David Bowie passed last night. He was my favorite musician of all time, including Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and James Brown all put together. Maybe Jim Henson's death came close (please read his biography if you have the will), but his creations aren't intrinsically part of my life in the way Bowie's music is. Nothing shapes our lives when we are young like music does, not even movies.
Those who grew up on Bowie felt our childhoods precipitate into the heavens tonight. There are just no other artists like him and we can't have true rock stars like him ever again. It was a specific cultural era that allowed him to become so massive. The world desperately needed him at the time; a freak to just show up and make us believe in something bigger, to give us a sense of magic. He constantly metamorphosed, yet remained steadily self-possessed up until his last album. He was elegant and strange, creating endlessly elaborate lyrics and compositions that unified us and made us dream about space travel and the life of a rock star. Today these are memes, but when Ziggy Stardust and Space Oddity arrived, they were nearly unattainable.
Someone asked me what my favorite Bowie song is. I think it's Lady Stardust, but his hottest love song is definitely Moonage Daydream. We all know what a love like that feels like. It's what keeps us on our best behavior.
I listened to Bowie all day at work today, trying not to cry like an unprofessional baby. After work I didn't want to go home, but didn't want to see my friends, so I got in my car where I could be alone and drove up the 1 to the top of Malibu, singing and crying like a spastic emomonster (except when cars got too close). Sometimes you just need to say goodbye to your heroes in your own way. It makes me happy to think of millions of people singing, celebrating, mourning, saying goodbye, sharing stories and listening to his music tonight. I'll always love you, Starman. Thank you for being part of my life xo
The Wolfpack x Star Wars: Dave, Eddie, me, Megan, and Mukunda (as Darth Vader), who made his costume entirely out of cardboard and tape. Check out his costumes and movie artwork in Vogue!
Star Wars has not only awakened The Force, but after years of dormancy, it has awakened my need to write about it. Blogging makes me feel like a little ol' granny trying to reach out on Facebook, so please get me on your nerdy Episode VII group texts ASAP.
As a Star Wars lifer, I loved this film. Not because it was better than the original trilogy, but because it brought me back to it. This is an important feeling for early fans who lost their passion for the legacy after The Phantom Menace. The storyline was simplistic and there were some hokey moments, but I appreciate how this film echoed it's own roots. Some of my friends have complained about the script being lazy, but George Lucas went so off plot through four convoluted and poorly cast films, it's relieving to see JJ Abrams take control and get the franchise back on track. I respect and worship George Lucas, but once Jar Jar Binks hit the screen, the world realized he was in over his head. Jar Jar holds steady as the all-time worst character in film history, although Mad Max's Guitar Flamethrower dude is definitely sizzling on the scene (sidenote: everyone involved in the creation of that character should be forced to attend a job fair to find a new career path). ANYHOW!
My thoughts on The Force Awakens (SPOILERS):
FINN - I was happy to see a black lead character and I'm curious about his future, but unfortunately I didn't feel connected to Finn at all. He was a wee tad too puppy-like for my taste. However, I anticipated him replacing Luke Skywalker, so preemptively overhyping his role is the primary reason for my disappointment. Nonetheless, I can't help but anticipate him somehow replacing Han Solo in the next film, so I'll just be over here gearing up for another let down.
THE BAR SCENE - I wish the filmmakers had spent more time in the bar on Jakku. It made me really miss Mos Eisley and Tatooine. The locals at Ergel's bar (the featured tavern in Cratertown) should have had one more minute of screen time. Not just for extra chuckles, but to showcase the innovation of Industrial Light & Magic's creature department. However, there was an Easter Egg for us Mos Eisley groupies, including a cameo of the original jazz band, Figran D'an & The Modal Nodes from Episode IV: in A New Hope.
MAZ KANATA - I know this is extremely shallow because Lupita N'yongo is an astute actress and role model, but why did JJ Abrams waste her gorgeousness on an ET-looking-ass barkeep who - no big deal - has Luke Motherfucking Skywalker's light saber laying around in an unlocked box? That's like leaving the One Ring in a file cabinet in the manager's office at a Dave & Busters. IT'S PRECIOUS, Y'ALL. Also, Maz is just an off-brand Yoda the way Jakku is an off-brand Tatooine. On a lighter note, I appreciated the diversity of this film. They were able to create a range of backgrounds for characters without making it a racist shitshow (coughcough The Phantom Menace).
STARKILLER BASE - Creating a new Death Star seemed redundant, but I did love the Nazi scenery of the First Order's militia. I keep forgetting to ask more knowledgable pals about the necessity of an ice planet, so please weigh in!
REY - Daisy Ridley, the actress who played Rey, was strong all around. Her character had a nice mix of Leia's courage, Luke's sensitivity, and Han's snark, but she was an intelligent warrior with her own style. I found her pretty compelling as a female protagonist and I think she will carry the series, no sweat. Can't wait to see her in the next chapter.
FASHION - The wardrobe was insahhhnely good. I'd wear almost anything seen on screen, male or female, Finn's leathers in particular. Here's a good interview about the costume designer's thought process when creating the wardrobe. Aside from dressing General Leia as someone's aunt who breeds Golden Retrievers in Maine, I felt the film was respectful of the legacy of Star Wars fashion.
THE LIGHTSABER - I found Kylo Ren's two sided saber superfluous and off-putting. The lightsaber is a sacred icon that should not be altered. However, Kylo's silken mane really transformed dorky Adam Driver into a smoldering pony, amirite?
HAN, R2D2, C3PO, LUKE, LEIA(in that order) - I didn't expect it, but I got pretty ferklempt seeing my childhood friends appear on screen. The Empire Strikes Back was the first movie I saw in a theater; my cousin Dalton took me to see it in Times Square, and even though I couldn't really follow the plot at such a young age, I remember being awed. I fell in love with Yoda immediately and was genuinely scared of Darth Vader. We didn't have spaceships and creatures like that before Star Wars. The Rebels were my very first heroes outside of Piggy and Kermy, so every time a vintage character appeared in The Force Awakens, I cheered and clapped along with the UA Sheepshead Bay IMAX audience. D and I kept side-hugging and holding hands, and I could hear Megan squealing 6 seats over. It was definitely a highlight of the experience.
POE DAMARIN - After watching Ex-Machina, I simultaneously added Oscar Isaac into both my Greatest Actors and Would Definitely F lists. However, he has surpassed all canon and moved into a very important role formerly occupied by Jason Mantzoukas and James MacAvoy: Poe Damarin is officially my TOP DUDEFISH. This means I will think about him at inappropriate times. Hope I meet him at a dinner party and he wifes me. Will keep you posted x
It's been awhile since I've written anything here and I'm feeling kind of rusty. I used to love this thing and couldn't wait to come home from work and write, but now it seems pointless. There are a few reasons why:
2) I love my job so much I'm kind of obsessed with it and don't really want to distract myself. This blog could potentially be a huge time burglar.
3) I no longer live in New York City during the ever-burgeoning artistic era of Lower East Side creativity that has since been completely annihilated by yada yada rich assholes yada gentrification yada.... I live an ideal life out here in boring old Los Angeles, which I'm grateful for, but it's not exactly the most inspiring city. It's no pre-9/11 Manhattan.
4) I'm happy and I can't write when I'm happy. I don't know why this is true, all I know is that whenever things are rough I am better at articulating myself.
5) No one blogs anymore. Blogging is for people in their 20's who are defining themselves, or people in their 50's who are reinventing themselves. That said, I'm definitely going to have an old lady blog someday, mostly about my all-female ragtime band, Pickleback.
Anyhow. Here is the last reason I'm not writing here anymore:**
6) I'm turning this blog into a podcast! I'm really excited about it. Stay tuned for Everything Is Annoying.
** I'm definitely going to continue writing here. To skip the reading and go straight to my daily complaints, follow me on Twitter. I love Twitter.
I recently visited my mom in New Orleans (my hometown, born and raised). We had a fun visit that mostly consisted of going out to eat at all my favorite spots. If you ever go to New Orleans, ask me where to eat, drink, and dance. Anyhow, as usual my mom shared her special brand of advice and opinions. I collected some of her more seminal phrases. Below are a few killer classics:
We drove past a giant building that was under construction.
Mom: (Gasp) "They're building a modern extravaganza!"
Me: "I can't believe dad smokes pot"
Mom: "Oh honey he's what they call a doper."
Me: "Why do you have so many cookies in your house?"
Mom: "Because I'm a junkie"
"Oh please, he's so full of shit I don't know how he can walk"
"He's kind as can be, but ugly as sin"
"Maybe it's time you start looking into freezing your eggs"
Been awhile! I haven't had much to say in long form, but if you want to know what I'm up to these days, my boos Twitter and Instagram got all you need. In the meantime, here is a short piece I directed for Pharrell's i am OTHER channel for our HYPEBEAST series about one of my favorite spots in LA, Freak City. I love the owners Justin Time and Vally Girl, and am happy to be able to tell my friends exactly WHAT Freak City is with just a link. Enjoy!
This is a repost of my favorite bad date story, originally posted 7/7/11
This song will never die. I'll be an old lady rocking back and forth in my rocking chair on the front porch (I live in the South somewhere?) and I'll tell my son to "crank this shit up." Probably more likely I'll be soothing my teeth between prolonged sips from a Bourbon lemonade, swirling regrets and theophanies into the thick root of a lowball. Sorry I said "theophanies." Just trying it out. Whaddya think? It's probably the worst, but I'm listless these days. Using new words is about as edgy as I get. I'm still waiting for the right moment to casually drop "excoriate" without losing friends.
One time I went on a date with a guy who lived, ate and drank on the Upper East Side. We'll just call him "Harvard Sweatshirt." A snowstorm hit and neither of us wanted to walk three long avenues to the train, so we went back to his immaculate, book-laden apartment. I pulled a copy of "Pockets Full of Chomsky" from his shelf and told him how I'd gifted the series to someone that very morning. His sweatshirt then asked me to "translate complex passages" chosen by him into what I think they mean in layman's terms. You know, because I was a fucking idiot who went to UCLA and couldn't possibly grasp or dissect Chomsky's philosophy.
The degradation sobered me up instantly. I was being hazed. Apparently my ability to break down the assigned excerpts into tiny little pieces at 2am and still look pretty must have been all that he was looking for, for that night anyhow, because suddenly I was "this" and "that" and "more things you want to hear from someone who you're attracted to."
It was freezing, there was a blizzard outside, and the trains were running on holiday service, but I walked three long avenues, transferred trains, and followed the East River home til I could get back to my bed in Williamsburg by 5am.
-sized pressure cooker filled with social climbers and fashion people just as desperate and full of shit as you are. Maybe if we all come out of the JS closet at once no one will notice, like bum-rushing a police barricade.
Let us not forget how he outdid himself with the S/S12 runway presentation, a veritable bounty of
offset the cost of production on his line, but I suspect he has a rich old benefactor in Paris who underwrites it all. If anyone knows, please holler at me in the comments or email me. On the bright side,
I just got back from the AIDS/Lifecycle ride this weekend and I wanted to let you know it was the experience of a lifetime. I am totally inspired and feel different about my priorities, particularly in regards to helping other people. It was mentally, physically and even spiritually challenging but it was a very special week. Sorry if that sounds corny as hell, but it's true. I just wanted to thank you for being part of this and helping me raise enough money to have this opportunity.
This year the ALC broke it's record: 2,200 riders fundraised $14.2 MILLION to help AIDS research and to help rehabilitate people living with HIV and AIDS. Babies, families, and elderly folks included. People who have no health insurance because they either can't afford it or have lost their jobs and even homes because they became sick and ran out of money are being saved by your donations. I know because I was riding next to many of them. It is an incredibly rewarding experience to meet the very people who are benefitting from your cause. They thank you and I thank you. It's important you know exactly where the money you gave to the ALC went, and you should be proud of yourself for making a difference in these people's lives.
I hope you enjoyed my Instagram photos (it was hard to find power for my cell to post a lot of photos, but I'll be posting more this week). Thank you again - you've been great friends to me!
If you ever consider doing the ride yourself next year please let me know. It's fully achievable, trust me!
Thanks to you I've successfully raised the $3000. I needed to be able to participate in the
550-mile AIDS Ride
on June 2nd! I'm so excited, grateful, and personally moved by the amount of support and effort you guys have put into helping me make this long-time goal happen.
If you would still like to support me but couldn't donate before I met my goal, you can donate to a separate PayPal fundraiser I've set up, which will go directly toward next year's fund by clicking this:
Please click that Paypal button in the upper right corner of this here blog. There is also an article entitled "
Big ol' D's have been historically celebrated through art and architecture as a symbol of virility and procreation. Our society obsesses over BOD's in comedy, literature, advertising, music, movies, sports, pop culture and fashion. Science has finally confirmed what we all already know to be the most true truth in the history of trueness:
The study was conducted by a panel of male scientists who may or may not have tiny penises. I wonder how much this study in obviousness cost researchers at the University of Georgia?
If you weren't blessed with a giant you-know-what, there's nothing you can do about it so just try not to worry. If you make us laugh and want to make rad babies with you, it doesn't really matter. So let's all pretend we are all gorgeous and perfect and keep on bonin'.
I want to thank all of you who have generously donated to my AIDS Ride fundraiser. I am only $500. from my goal now and completely on track to meet the $3000. mark within the next two weeks thanks to you!
As difficult as it has been to raise this money, I have to say that being this close has motivated me both physically and mentally. Thank you for encouraging me and keeping me on track. If you haven't already donated please click the link below for my fundraising page and updates:
I also want to let you know that I am dedicating my ride to my stepmom Anne who did this ride on her 50th birthday after the passing of her daughter and my sister Natacha. I can't wait to do this ride and make your kindness, your donations, and your moral support pay off. Thank you guys!
Since my last post 3 days ago you guys have helped me reach 50% of my fundraising goal! Your amazing
generosity not only proves to me that people still care about things other than the Real Housewives of
Beverly Hills Reunion Episodes (not that there is much else to care about), but it has completely reinvigorated me
I was feeling a little discouraged. My team dropped out, I hadn't raised much money, the cost of a proper new bike, gear, and equipment are high and not included in the fundraising, and my training hasn't been good enough until recently. After seeing an outpouring of donations and friends offering to donate art, clothes and other things to help me hold a fundraising party, I feel inspired again and I would do this ride alone no matter what. Camping with thousands of strangers from all over the world even though I hate camping? NO PROBLEM. Being out of my physical and mental element? NO PROBLEM. Worrying about taking a week off from my regular job and clients? OKAY SLIGHT PROBLEM because I don't like taking time off. But it's all going to be worth it once I'm on that beautiful ride with all those goal-driven people.
I will be shouting out my supporters from the road on Instagram and sending postcards to each of you along the way, so if you haven't donated yet drop a few bucks on my page and join me on my journey! As a preliminary thank you, here is a cute cute cute cute cute cute cute CUTE thank you gerbil-hamster (what is it?):
Thank you to my supporters:
Jennifer Brandt & Nic Taylor Rich Awn (see you on the ride Rich!) Matt Lenski David Cross Ilona Klaver
Jessie Mann Nelleke McCowan Kate Carraway Suzy and Coady Willis (who gave me $69.69 because they are perverts!) Chevonne Moore
The O'Niells Delia Sweeney Julia Dimon Shay Neilsen Ann Heche and the Heche Family April Jones Keeli Shaw Jeremy & Danika Sirota Nick Stern Tracy Stewart Michael Lavoilette Alex Yenni Elliot Aranow Rudj Escobar Nancy Kagan Mollie Culligan Sarah Soquel Morhaim Kasey Price Ellisah Gennello Andrew Bangs Avril Lang I love you guys. Thank you SO MUCH!
Hello, Readers! I have some juicy new posts coming up, but I
wanted to let you know about something very important. This June, I’m
embarking on a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles entirely by bicycle. This
will be my first year participating in theAIDS/LifeCycle, a ride that raises
money and awareness for HIV/AIDS prevention and I am very excited!
This is going to be my
first attempt at serious fundraising, as I have to raisea minimum of $3000. to
be able to participate in the ride and I need your help getting me there! Plus,
your donation will directly improve the lives of others.
funds we raise together will be going to theSan Francisco AIDS Foundation. The
AIDS Foundation provides free healthcare and low-cost medication to people who have the virus. Your gift will help do outreach in poor
communities, communities of color, and help spread prevention awareness about HIV. This is
a very good thing we can do together!
If you click on any of those adorable piggies, you will be linked directly to my
donation page! The minimum donation is just $5.00, but I know
money is tight for many people, so if you can't donate, please spread this link
on Twitter or Facebook and share it with your friends. It's just as meaningful
Another way you can help is byjoining
The ride is one
week long and is an average of 80 miles per day. We will stay in camps provided
by the AIDS Lifecycle Foundation and (delicious) meals are provided
throughout the entire ride. Also, if you HATE public restrooms and port-o-potties
like I do, you'll be happy to know that the AIDS ride has some
of the cleanest facilities on the planned routes you can ever hope for. A
Germaphobe's dream! And you'll be riding through some of
California's most coveted scenery. You can read more about the route HERE.
If you are interested in joining, please let me know in the comments. As a pre-thank you for either donating, spreading the word, or just quietly hoping that I reach my fundraising goal, here is an awesome Internet
cat and my boyfriend Ron Swanson:
I will keep you posted on my progress and will post occasional pics of our rides and recipes at instagram.com/avivayael. xx Aviva