Episode 119: "Curating the Linens"
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Hello everybody. It’s Julie Klausner back for another episode of How Was Your Week.
I’m recording this a little bit earlier than I usually do which doesn’t matter. Why would that affect you? It doesn’t. Just a little peek into the marionette strings that keep this grotesque puppet alight with locomotion like Pinocchio which was not a scary movie, How dare you.
I am talking to you around 4:30 Thursday. It is kind of an ominous murky, rainy, sad still quiet, something terrible is going to happen weather outside. Back to you, Al. I interviewed Marc Maron today at the New York Public Library which was prestigious in that I wasn’t paid. They sent a car after I complained. We did an interview near a furniture object, the name of which I don’t know. It held cards—a card catalog carrier, a dresser of decimals.
It was a good conversation. I prepared nothing for it. I am trying that out in life. What happens if I don’t do not only too much but nothing? What is that going to be? Am I going to do ok? Will I fail? How will that affect my relationship with myself? I’m thinking about these things because this cabaret show is coming up next week and I want to thank everyone who bought tickets. I have an instinct to apologize for it not being as dense with bells and whistles as the variety shows that we’ve done at the Bell House in the past. I’m not going to apologize for it. I’m just going to express my anxiety around th simplicity of what will ensue.
This is what you should expect. Me size eight on the bottom size six on the top—perfect breasts, singing, talking, and there’s a band. That’s it. There’s also a screen and Rachel Lichtman, DJ Rotary Rachel, did some video stuff that is great and astonishing. Beyond that, there are not as many moving parts. That’s terrifying to me because I have a fear of being seen and being stripped down, being seen without makeup metaphorically and literally and physically. I believe that if you see me as I am you won’t love me. That’s on the table. I am trying to pare down a little bit. It is scary. All of which is to say I will be wearing more makeup than you have ever seen on a women’s face. I’ll be wearing the kind of makeup that Lucille Ball wore when color TV was introduced into the things she had to incorporate into her repertoire. Oh really I’m going to be on color TV? Then I better borrow Bozo’s pallet and cake on—what was the consistency of the eye makeup? I know it was a cake. It definitely was in cake form. Just the density of it—do you know when white-out gets a little bit tacky?
I’m going to be wearing a ton of makeup next week. Don’t expect any surprises. I’m already defensive. There are not going to be any audience plants—Does anyone have a question? Yes, you sir. I have a question—none of that, and no dancing so hold off on those expectations. I think it will be really great. If it fails…The best compliment I got recently was from Ted Teddy Leo our music man. He said, “Julie you’re like falafel, you can’t be that bad, even if you fuck up.” Ted I love everything about that, both Jews and Palestinians, you can be a Palestinian Jew. Let me back up. Falafel is fine, when you’re drunk and it’s great, when you are in that god forsaken part of the world and it just tastes better because the bread is…let’s talk about bread.
I just finished working on a pilot. I believe I referred to it last week. Saying I was writing something that was not not the Black Talk Soup or the Black Tosh.0. I have since finished doing that. It was one of those jobs where you are on set all day not really doing anything until they say, “Hey Julie.” And then you go back to reading an excerpt of Marie Callaway’s book. Have you heard of Marie Calloway? Jesus Christ she’s changed everything I know about millenials and sex. Marie Callaway- Jesus Christ I can’t put her book down. It has a hounds-tooth spine which is interesting in a way.
I was on set sort of all day. My body started failing. I generally ignore studies, but sometimes there’s a study that keeps popping up how sitting can kill you. You think that’s not what I believed based on my parent’s experience in Viet Nam. Then you forget it or you don’t read it, or it’s like stress can make you fatter, fuck you, I don’t read studies, but I know the sitting one. The sitting one is my least favorite study to read. It does take effect if at the end of the day you have been sitting and you’ll start stretching oddly. You’ll do this socially inappropriate elbow to ear thing. It almost looks like you are acting out the old adage that you shouldn’t stick anything in your ear that’s smaller than your elbow. By this time people have stopped looking at you and you wonder why you ever even combed your hair. The point is Panera Bread has really good cookies.
I sent a young man a PA by the name of Sam, a lovely kid, I said , “Sam do you know what I want?” at around 4pm I said, “I want something starchy and gently sweet like a cereal bar, or a muffin, or a cookie. I got serious. Sam knew I was serious, so Sam did a cookie run. I said, “Sam I want something very specific. I want an oatmeal chocolate chip situation, if there are raisins terrific, but basically I want it to be gently sweet.” Then I qualified because there’s a bowl of fun-sized Three Musketeers, which is just a waste of my time incorporated, behind me. I said, “I don’t want candy.” He brought me cookies from Panera Bread, oatmeal chocolate chip, by far the best things I have ever had in my life. Take that to your knowledge bank.
I wanted to talk briefly about the Tony awards. We did not do a How was Your Tony’s this week for various reasons having to do with not having time to. I regret that because it was actually a great Tony’s this year. Apparently a lot of people watched it. The opening number was by far the best opening number I’d seen on any awards show ever since Billy Crystal did that medley where he referenced a Few Good Men, and how Rob Reiner was not nominated for Best Director, and everyone said oh ho isn’t that the case? Neil Patrick Harris is our Gene Kelly at this point. There’s really no other way of perceiving of him. Am I correct in thinking like that? Therefore what does that make Jessi Tylor Ferguson, Donald O’Conner? That’s insulting to Donald O’Conner.
I really enjoy Neil Patrick Harris’ work. I thought that opening number that I guess Linn-Manuel Miranda wrote was superb even though he might be following me on twitter again, he goes back and forth. I don’t care I liked his work. Cecily Tyson had a great speech, her dress was everything. Mandy Patinkin was not there. He’s being signed to Paradigm. These are things that I get in my twitter feed during the day. I resent knowing them--Big News Think X is now AdultSwim.com Ok. That’s what I am doing besides following the twitter feeds of people I have crushes on because it’s not healthy. I also want to mention that I thought the best dressed that night at the Tony’s was old Pippin muscles. I don’t know her name. I could look it up—Patina Miller. Patina Miller looked superb in that Zac Posen. Zac Posen did her dress and also Angela from Who’s the Boss. It was architectural perfection. She looked like the Empire State Building. She was like, oh yeah I was in Wit, now I have hair, boy am I thin, the stage the stage! The Tony awards are the best speeches. Nobody gives a better speech than theater people.
What’s his name form Kinky Boots. I cried. I really enjoyed his speech. I did see Kinky Boots. Sunday Scott Brown took me to see the matinee. The crowd was on their feet the minute that drag queen came on stage and they stayed on their feet until they were told to sit down. It was a show that was so crowd-pleasing that I got three migraines. It wasn’t a bad show. It was not a good show. It also was a show in which Cyndi Lauper finally has something which she can say, “I did that.” Cyndi Lauper needs that. Cyndi Lauper has set up this thing for herself, that I relate to where you are competing with someone you shouldn’t be competing with and it’s only in your head.
You can’t help but set yourself up for failure. If you feel jealous of Tina Fey, she’s not in your league so there’s no point being jealous of her you crazy animal. Women picking people and instead of admiring them, compete with them. You do realize that she has no idea you are competing with her because it’s all in your head? My theory is that Cyndi Lauper has been competing with Madonna since 1982 and it ain’t 1982 anymore. She needs this. She needs her Tony. I could not be happier for Cyndi Lauper and her Tony for writing the most derivative score. In no way do I want to eviscerate the score of Kinky Boots that’s not my mission statement in this particular podcast. But every single one of those songs you thought, oh yeah, I know this song. Do you? You’ve never heard it before but also there are three or four songs you’ve heard so many times you don’t even think about them as songs. You think about them as life rhythms. By which I mean Turn the Beat Around, Celebrate the Times Come On, Jungle Boogie, just K-Tel’s scrolling sensations all in a blender. You enjoy them to some extent.
Hey what is that? Is that cumin? Honey do I like cumin? You like cumin. I didn’t realize that. Then the show is over and you learned nothing. So Kinky Boots exists. Matilda I didn’t see, I would like to see, hint hint if anyone would like to take me or donate tickets. I did enjoy that the score sounds like it was written by the band Jellyfish. It seems a little Tim Burton-y so good for them. Will history ever know that Tim Burton and Roald Dahl were different people or will future generations just mesh them? In which case, I don’t know. I have given up. What’s it going to be millenials’ kids’names and how much HPV will they have? It’s one thing to be GMOs and gluten it’s another thing, guys your sex is riddled with diseases. A lot of it is internet buffered. A lot of it is psychologically very damaging. I’m not saying this from a judgey place. I’m like Ron Burgandy, I’m impressed that you managed to get more sexually depraved than us GenXers. We thought we were slutty. We are not.
The Tony’s were fine. Laura Bananti is a sex goddess who is completely perfect. Also Neal Labute who was not invited to the Tony’s for something something fat joke. Neal Labute, whom I love talking about, and is one of my favorite obsessions, in this life as well as on this show, responded to a negative review about one of his garbage plays about how people stink and life is a toilet and women are doing the flushing. He started a user account on Time Out New York’s website. He responded to a theater critic named David Coat (sp?) who I am now following on twitter because he is a hero. If Neal Labute writes a comment on your negative review of his play then you won.
Do you know what? How about this. Check this out. This is highly unorthodox to be sure, David Coat (sp) critic; you are in the Redhead Hall of Fame. Is that inappropriate? Do you know what else is inappropriate? Commenting on someone’s bad review of your play. This is what Neal Labute wrote:
david, actually i have taught writing classes at various universities and workshops. invariably my writing begins with by having students read the collected works of George Steiner. George Steiner who was clever enough to remind us that, “A critic casts a eunuch’s shadow.” some shadows of course are more portly than others but their effect on mankind is basically the same, brief and passing. keep enjoying the free tickets while they last. nl
OMG that was the most…that is the single angriest string of sentences I have ever read on a screen from a man. I have read a lot. Holy shit Neal Labute are you fucking kidding me? It’s not just about David Coat. That portly comment I cannot believe in my wildest imagination that the morbidly obese Neal Labute is calling another dude fat. I don’t think that’s what he was saying, unless he was, in that case it is fucking crazy and I can’t absorb it. What Neal Labute is saying is that criticism is a meaningless practice. Not only is it meaningless but people who do it don’t have balls. Balls I assume to make their own stuff? This is the most arrogant, pompous, I’m sorry to keep going back to this, I know it’s annoying, If I were you I’d be sick of hearing me talking about it too. It’s rooted in that boomer misinterpretation of what authenticity really is. It is that idea that you are either the one making the art or the one shitting on the art. Guess what? Neal Labute there are a lot of shades of gray in between. I’m not talking about the sex book.
Since your hey day, when was that the 80s? Guess what? I don’t remember Neal Labute in the 80s. I remember some other people. I don’t remember a lot of playwrights from the 80s. I’m not as educated as I could be. I’m doing the well on this. Since Neal Labute’s day or whatever he thinks is his day, criticism, since before his day, criticism has established itself by leaps and bounds as its own art form. I’m not talking about blogging, you fat idiot, I’m talking about Pauline Kael and people who write for the New Yorker, New York Magazine, and the Times, and people who do write on the internet and people who have stuff to say about art.
People who have stuff to say about art, culture and generations and putting them together as their own voice, and you’re coming around and telling somebody who didn’t like your fucking toilet play which I did not see and I do not want to see. I would rather be doing something else than lending an ear to a man whose voice is already too loud in the grand scheme of things. You’re telling me that what you have to say is more important than what a critic has to say? You are so wrong. That’s the bigger picture. The smaller picture is…what is the smaller picture? There is no smaller picture! That’s literally all he had to say. That’s all that comment means. You’re fat. You have no balls. Criticism is nothing compared to the sacred authenticity of originality, of original writing, of the Artist although I’m only using lowercase letters. The capital ‘A’ artist who sits down and puts his, and I’m not including his or hers, his pen to sacred parchment and puts words into the mouths of other characters because he wants to control the world as he wishes it could be as opposed to the way it actually is which lends veracity and magnitude to the meaning of what others have to say.
Neal Labute is a fat narcissist and I hope he gets hit in the face with a Carvel Cookie cake at some point. Cookie Puss or Fudgie the Whale, but fuck that guy. He also has a show on Direct TV coming up which sounds really interesting. It’s all of these characters and their lives intertwine.
Peggy got a cat on Mad Men. Put that in the ledger. The Mad Men and Boredwalk Empirezzzz mix’em ups are getting deeper and deeper and thicker and thicker when it comes to ways to bore white people. Also what happened again this week on Mad Men is that Sally Draper walked in again on another sex act. It’s becoming like the fifth season of Three’s Company where Sally Draper is Mr. Furley and instead of a neckerchief she’s got a flattering haircut because she’s growing into a beautiful young woman? I don’t know. Viet Name just seems like set dressing at this point on that show. It’s like Owen Wilson’s character in the Royal Tennenbaums. Are you sure? I he really necessary. I guess if he signed the paperwork you may as well integrate him into the “plot”, but I am putting plot in italics with quotes around it. Our pal Nate was the first person to call Owen Wilson in the Royal Tennenbaums mis en scene and he’s not wrong about it.
Do you know what else? Labradoodles are the Owen Wilson of dogs.
What else? Jonathan Franzen versus cats was a thing. Jessica Pressler wrote a piece in New York Magazine about Jonathon Franzen’s obsession with birds which is a thing white people have had to deal with since Freedom came out a few years ago. I read that book on Christmas, alone. I remember hat Christmas. Jack was away. We were still together. I remember I went to the airport but couldn’t get on a plane. I was flying stand by. It was Christmas day of all things so of course I couldn’t get on a plane. So I had to go back home and I spent Christmas alone. It was actually really nice. I got to read that book. It was a good book. I enjoyed reading it although the lead character was a thinly veiled cranky version of Jonathan Franzen. I think his name was Walter. Which is also the name of Jeff Dunham’s cranky puppet so I also inextricably link the two. My brain is a lot of fun.
Jonathan Franzen hates cats. Here’s why, cats kill birds. Jonathan Franzen loves birds. He loves birds so much that he was the only person who watched that movie with Jack Black, Steve Martin, and one other person who I cannot remember, please do not tell me. They did a movie called the Big Year where they did a mid-life crisis and they all go bird watching. Every black person in the world was like, what? Come on. Or they didn’t hear about it. I love black people by the way. I spent the last three weeks working on a show and hanging out with more black people than I ever have. I’ve got to tell you, I liked them before. But I really love them now.
Jonathan Franzen doesn’t like cats. He thinks, he’s right, he knows that all cats kill birds and there are less birds now. All right. Do you know what I think? I think Team Cats. I’m also deeply ignorant. I’ve never liked birds as much. It’s bad that they are dying and it’s bad that cats are worming around because they don’t have people to take care of them. Listen to Bob Barker. Do the thing to your cats that makes their genitals irrelevant. Don’t give interviews about this Jonathan Franzen. It’s not a cute look. It’s not a cute look to be the bird guy.
I know I shit on people who ride bicycles last week. I know I have an issue with things who I shouldn’t have issues with. You should like what you like. In all honest if I met someone and I really liked them and they said I’m into birds and bicycles, I’d say good for you. Live your life. I don’t care. Be nice to me. Give me love. Accept me for who I am. If you don’t accept me for who I am don’t make me feel bad about being who I am.
Now that we are entering the summer months I have to tell you, I don’t know if I told you last week. If you see a woman and she has liquid eyeliner messed up you have to tell her. I don’t care if you know her, I don’t care if you don’t know her. If she has liquid eyeliner on and she sweat enough so that there’s some black above the lid crease or it’s going into the side of her hair line you have to tell her. She will appreciate it. She might be embarrassed but she’d be a lot more embarrassed if you didn’t tell her. That’s on you.
Finally Wendy Deng is single. She left Rupert Murdock. Wendy Deng you have an open invitation to be on this show whenever you want. I think you’re terrific. I have always said this is the year of the Deng. I think you have a long life ahead of you, maybe we should start a Kickstarter. Just kidding. You have blood money. If you want to ever come over and watch the first wives club we can get Panera Bread cookies and that’s all if have to offer you…and my friendship.
Here we go. Let’s start this show.