I once dated a girl who told me she never got into Cake because she was always a Pavement fan— like you couldn’t like Cake and Pavement, like there was some big Cake/Pavement beef. Maybe there was? I don’t know; maybe she knew something I didn’t, but I think she was probably just thinking about two different kinds of people she went to high school with, and how at some point she decided that this group of people listened to Cake and this group of people listened to Pavement, and she threw her lot in with the Pavement listeners, and she let that define her because she wanted it to.
I don’t know if there’s a point to this story other than I like how we create narratives around the music we listen to, how we let it define us. I’ve written before about how the music of Jenny Lewis has shaped me, and how I’ve shaped myself into the kind of person that likes Jenny Lewis. Her new album is streaming on NPR and I’ve been listening to it over and over. I already love it in the way I love all my favorite albums, which is to say I love it like it’s a part of myself.
We will be so close on Friday 18 July. For one night only I will hold your face in my hands and I will kiss you quickly and then slowly and then quickly and we will feel this incredible connection and we will tell each other everything.
On Friday 18 July, we will feed each other berries, and we will sing-mumble-slur old half-remembered camp songs, and we will laugh about how there was a time, not even that long ago, when we hadn’t even met, and what were we doing not meeting, who were we fooling, whose time were we wasting?
Sitting on my bed, recalling the origin of your knee’s crescent moon scar, you’ll gesticulate wildly and I’ll watch the cigarette sparks like evaporating fireflies, dizzy for a home in your discarded black blouse.
"I want to know you completely," I’ll whisper into every crevice of your body. We’ll make up constellations out of the freckles on our thighs, rich mythologies of ancient long-dead civilizations.
"Did you know I can juggle?" you’ll say, and I’ll say, "Show me."
Every other night will have been rehearsal for Friday 18 July — we had to be ready. Everything was pushing us imperceptibly toward this moment — if I hadn’t missed that train, if you hadn’t moved for the job, just imagine.
"I don’t want it to be tomorrow," you’ll say, a single tear escaping as you bitterly laugh at the futility of the sentiment. "I want it to be Friday 18 July forever."
And when the morning comes, our love, like bugs, will scatter in the light. We will dress ourselves while facing the wall, we will scramble for our phones, we will be strangers.
And we will realize that Friday 18 July, like every day in history before it, was a moment, a twenty-four-hour trick of the light, a thing that happened once and never again.
And that sad truth will just about swallow us whole.
Hello, friends and friends of friends! I will be telling a story at this show next week! I haven’t figured out what story I’m going to tell yet, but I’ll bet it will be great! Come to this show and watch me be great! Hashtag I am great!
When cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Humor Award for the second time last month, she joked that she was working on a cookbook featuring such recipes as “Hurry-Up Scrambled Eggs” and “Handfuls of Cereal with Maple Syrup Reduction.”
I’ve got a new food-themed book in the works! Print media rules.
Huzzah! What a talented person! I can’t wait to read her funny words and look at her funny pictures. Also Lisa is my friend and also we work together and I am going to go over to her desk now and poke her.
that I am lying in bed and I am having trouble falling asleep so I thought I would take out my super secret private journal and jot down a few notes about how I’m feeling right now at this very instant in time, not necessarily because anybody else will find it interesting (although who am I kidding, the very fact that I’m writing this here means I assume some people will find it interesting), but more because this feels like a moment in my life that I will want to REMEMBER and so I am putting it here in this internet place where I will be able to find it later, as a document of what THINGS ARE LIKE RIGHT NOW.
And this is just to say that I have been very busy these last several months writing and producing my own TV show, which still feels like a very weird thing to say and an even weirder thing to actually be a true fact that exists and is happening. Running my own show has been an incredible experience — I feel like Charlie after Willy Wonka gave him the chocolate factory. I got really lucky with an incredible staff of writers (not a dud in the bunch!) and an unbelievable cast of actors, and just the most wonderful collection of artists and animators and directors and editors and line producers and I’m sure I’m forgetting some people, but basically everyone’s been an incredible talent who has raised considerably the quality of the project, and I know that to say all that sounds like the bullshit that everyone has to say, but this is my own secret private livejournal, so you know I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true.
I remember around episode eight realizing that I could just start phoning it in and we’d still have an amazing show, just because of all the great work everyone else was doing, and I made the mistake of telling that to one of the execs at Netflix, who said, Well, uh, please don’t start phoning it in, and spoiler alert, I didn’t. (Netflix has been a phenomenal company to work for, by the way — so supportive and trusting and helpful — if you ever get the opportunity to make a show for Netflix, I highly recommend you take it. I remember around episode six realizing that this was the longest I’d ever worked on a show where the network still liked the show, and what an amazing feeling that was.)
And this is just to say that this part is kind of the Magic Hour, where everything is so full of wonderful potential — right now the show is on its way to being a thing that exists that could be perfect, as opposed to a few months from now when it will actually be an actual thing that exists that is not perfect. Right now I don’t have to worry about what other people think — I don’t need to obsess over all the things I screwed up that it’s too late to fix. Right now I can just enjoy the feeling of having something that belongs to just me and a handful of writers and producers and directors and artists and animators and editors and assistants and script coordinators and Netflix executives. Today I had a meeting with the people who are going to dub my show into Portuguese and Spanish and French and German so that people all over the world could watch the show that I created, and let me tell you that’s a trip. If you ever get the opportunity to sit in a room with people who are going to translate something you wrote into Portuguese and Spanish and German and French, I recommend you take it.
And this is just to say that one of the weird things about being so incredibly busy and then gradually not so busy is that things come back, the things you’re too busy for come back. A few weeks ago, after I finished writing the season finale, I had a dream about an ex-girlfriend, and I remembered, Oh right, THIS is a thing. I had been too busy for all my anxieties and neuroses and stupid stupid memories, like I actually just did not have the time or brain space to worry about all that shit, and then the second I got less busy it all came rushing back, which on the hand, Daaaaaaang, but on the other hand, Hello old friend.
Anyway, my apartment is a mess, and I still haven’t done my taxes, and I feel bad that I don’t make more of an effort to see my friends, especially now that I’m starting to have a little more free time, and on nights like this, when I can’t sleep, I just have this feeling that no matter what, even in spite of all my recent good fortune, I’m never going to just wake up one morning and find that I’m all of a sudden some other better me, the me I want to be that I’ve convinced so many other people to see me as, that instead I’m just kind of doomed to be the me that I am, and I work that feeling like a loose tooth.
But again, that’s just like default anxiety, that’s nothing to get all bent out of shape about, this is a very exciting time for me and I’m not a TOTAL idiot so I get that. I GET IT.
And I’m already worried about what people are going to think about this show (which doesn’t even premiere until August, which feels so far away but also like tomorrow) or that even if they like it, they won’t like it for the right reasons, or that a lot of people will like it, but the people that REALLY matter won’t, or most terrifying of all, that it succeeds beyond my wildest dreams and then I have to figure out what happens next. (MR. WONKA: “Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted…” CHARLIE BUCKET: “What happened?” MR. WONKA: “Yeah, exactly, right? I know, right? Totally….”)
But, oh my God, good problems to have, right? I saw my family last week and my grandfather told me the story of how his father got stabbed in the back by his best friend. They were working together for Polish independence, and then when they got it there was a big celebration which turned into a big pogrom, and because my great-grandfather was Jewish, his best friend stabbed him in the actual literal back, just because, like, that was a thing you did in those days in Eastern Europe. And my great-grandfather was like, Fuck THIS shit, I’m going to America. And because of that, he missed the Holocaust, and because of that all of us are alive.
So if that doesn’t put things in perspective, re: my dumb little Netflix series about a talking cartoon horse and all my dumb little neuroses, well then I don’t know what.
And this is just to say that I feel unbelievably lucky that I get to exist and be alive, as imperfect and embarrassing as I am, and that I get to tell my dumb little stories for Netflix, and write in my dumb little journal. These last six months have been amazing. These last thirty years have been amazing. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that my great-grandfather’s best friend in Poland stabbed him in the back.
If you can find the time in today’s busy world (shout out to Richard Scarry!), I would recommend swimming through a couple of Adam Maygar’s super-slo-mo subway platform videos. Turn the lights low and full-screen this shit, because it is gorgeous and fascinating and requires your full attention.
My friend Joe told me about these videos. Thanks, my friend Joe!
So many different kinds of faces. Everybody’s waiting for something.
These are all the movies on Morgan Fairchild’s wikipedia page that don’t have their own wikipedia pages. So much mystery! What was “Bikini Model Academy” about? Is “Just Deserts” a spelling error or an attempt at wordplay? I feel like this is what Jenna from 30 Rock’s resume must look like. Some of these titles are so evocative I feel like they don’t even need wikipedia entries. I mean, is there anything else you need to know about “Point of Seduction: Body Chemistry III” or “Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000” that isn’t right there in the titles?
Just in time for the holidays (well, certain holidays), The Exquisite Corpse Project can now be yours to own in a physical format that you can hold in your hands and put on your shelves and wrap up in gift wrap and give to your friends. Sure, you can still stream the movie online for only five bucks (still a great deal for the uninitiated!), but damn it, sometimes you want something tactile you can own, in this crazy ephemeral world that we live in. And since both the DVD and Blu-Ray are literally metaphorically stuffed to their gills with bonus features, you don’t have to feel like a sucker for buying the full package. Our virtual merch table also has posters, t-shirts, and an EP by Dave’s band The Wake Up Kings, featured in The Exquisite Corpse Project. Fun for the whole family!
So excited I can finally talk about this amazing project I’ve been putting together over the last few years. Can’t talk about it right now though — we’ve got twelve episodes to write! See you in six months!
Hi. My name is Raphael and this is where I write about my feelings. I am in the comedy group Olde English and we made this movie. I created this show for Netflix about a depressed talking horse. I currently live in Los Angeles where I spend the majority of my time trying to find a parking space.