Episode 149: "Here's a Sconce"

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January 10, 2014


Aimee Mann

Origin of the episode title[edit]


How do you do? This week, the great AIMEE MANN joins Julie in Los Angeles to discuss advertising, beavers, Gelson's and the Dark Shadows-ness of The Magic Castle.

Plus: a facialist's favorite comedienne! How cars are basically made to cry inside of! The grossest way for sheets to get soft! A question about Ariel Castro! And a masseur drops an unusual name.

Trivia and References[edit]

  • "Dennis", the masseuse from Episode 144: "P Pocket" is mentioned again. So far he has name dropped the following celebrities: Lauren Hutton, Mandy Patinkin, Gedde Watanabe.
  • Aimee's cat Roman is a mushy mushy mushy man.
  • Ariel Castro and his neighbor Elias Acevedo apparently have no connection other than once living on the same block.
  • Many people sent Julie the link to a Slate article about Ashkenazi surnames. The surname 'Klausner' refers to a rabbi for a small congregation.

Download the Episode[edit]

Episode Link


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Monologue Transcript[edit]

Transcription by Joan

Hello everybody, it's Julie Klausner back for another episode of How Was Your Week. I am talking to you with my voice from Los Angeles, California, where I am right now. I am working on a TV show as a writer and it's so much fun. I'm just very tired. Because, you know what it is? I'm workin' hard, I'm not hardly workin'. But it doesn't feel like work, it's like play!

Is there anything worse than the word 'play' when you're describing sexual acts? Have I covered this in the past? Don't tell me if I have. Like, 'nipple-play' or 'leather-play' or 'pony-play,' g-d forbid. I'm not saying it's bad to be into riding someone like a horsey, it's very very bad. People get excited about the word 'naughty' -- it's a surprisingly large percentage of people. But, yeah, "play" as it refers to sex is gross. But not as gross as "play" as it refers to improv and making people laugh, even though I love to do all of those things. That's right, I'm into pony-play, nipple-play, improv, and making people laugh. That's why I'm here, in Los Angeles. Oh my g-d, it's so weird.

I have spent a lot of time in LA in the past, going back and forth, but I've never lived here and now that I'm sort of living here and working here at least for the time being, I am on Mars. I like Mars. I've always liked Mars, I enjoy visiting Mars, but imagine moving into Disneyland or Disney World. Imagine moving into a theme park that you like! And realizing that instead of going to work on the subway, you have to take a golf clart. Glolf Clart? A golf! cart! to Magic Mountain. And your co-workers are Chip and Dale! And you have to make a left on Gilligan's Island street and drive past Gunsmoke Avenue to get to the Fairy Farm where magic beans are your co-workers? Also?

I don't know. It's very odd. It's very much like Sandra Bullock in the film Gravity, when she is -- what happened in that movie, exactly? It was pretty simple, wasn't it? It started out in space, which was helpful. There wasn't a lot of backstory. Unlike Saving Mr. Banks, where Emma Thompson spent 95% of the movie being a little girl and having flashbacks of that. Having Colin Farrell as a dad, which NOBODY asked for.

No, I feel like Sandra Bullock in Gravity in that I am in another hemisphere, where the pizza isn't that good. And people talk about getting points on a show that they helped create and how that, combined with residuals, could be pretty good. And they also eat healthier than I've every seen the majority of people in a room eat. Like, usually when you go out to eat in a group, I feel like there has to be some -- I don't want to call it pressure -- but I feel like when people eat in groups, they eat foods that are just sort of more fun. By which I'm referring to chicken fingers. And cookies. And other of G-d's favorite things. But in California, I've never shared close space with as many people who are eating salad. And when things are cooked, they're only lightly cooked. Like kale is flash steamed and then there'll be salmon on it. And just, like, quinoa as plentiful as the day is long, everybody.

But it's a pleasure to be here, I'm so excited. I have such a great opportunity working with my pal, John Mulaney, whose mind terrifies me with how quick and funny and smart it is, I may say in the Komplement Korner. Two "k"s for good luck. Which is a third K, in a way.

And I am having a good time. And you know what? When I am not, I cry in my car. Because, I have learned, in the past... however long I've been here, I couldn't tell you for a thousand points. Look up 'points' if you don't know what points are. It's a Hollywood thing. And a Weight Watchers thing. I don't care about ... if I had to put Jessica Simpson's happiness on a scale of things I'm invested in, I couldn't a placeholder lower than the one she deserves.

The thing I've learned since being here has to do with cars and how they are seemingly built for crying in. And I know that there's a history to the automobile in this country and it's something that, in addition to sports, I've done a really, really successful job of avoiding knowing anything about. But, I know that people prevented other people from making an electric car, I know that Tucker had an idea for -- was it a third light or a second steering wheel? It couldn't have been a second steering wheel because the driving teacher that I had, what was his name, Steve Solomon or something? Um, he co-opted that idea and boy-oh-boy did he use that second -- he didn't use the steering wheel as much as he really liked using that second brake. I'm a bad driver, by the way.

Anyway, yes, I'm a bad driver, I don't care about the history of the automobile, and I'm really interested in how -- I don't want to say how "fun" cars are to cry in, as much as it's like... Look, my first day here I got the following rite of passage out of the way: I cried in the parking lot of a CVS at three in the afternoon. Maybe it was two. Either way, I hadn't eaten lunch yet. And ladies, if you're listening, and I know that you are... the audience does the wave.

I, um, I just want to give you a helpful tip -- going deeper into 2014. If you're feeling like you want to cry in a CVS parking lot in the middle of the day -- first of all, do it, because you'll feel better after. It's just like puking. I don't know if everybody's scared of puking, I'm scared of puking, but then once you do it, you feel better. Cry in your car, but then, the odds are that you're hungry and hunger manifests itself in ways besides the actual feeling of hunger. So, if you're really freaking out about something -- even if it's something that you COMPLETELY deserve to be freaking out about, you should just have a sandwich anyway. Because it can't hurt. Because sandwiches have never hurt anybody in the history of time. Except for Chris Christie. But honestly, I think that Chris Christie has bigger fish to put in between two slices of bread at this point.

Have you guys followed the Chris Christie scandal this week? It has to be a bigger deal on the East Coast than it is [here] -- it has reached California, but not nearly as loudly as... I guess somebody in Encino was either burgled or I don't know. The local news here is... the women on the local news are wearing. I didn't know Joyce Leslie made suits, but they're like tearaway. They're very low-quality outfits these women are wearing.

Anyway, Chris Christie basically is in trouble. For those of you who don't know, he is the overweight Governor of New Jersey and he is the mobbiest governor we've had in our thoughts and in our prayers for quite a long time. And he is in trouble because his administration because his administration shut a lane off of a bridge so that he could give traffic to a town that elected a mayor he didn't approve of. So in other words, his administration created traffic. So people didn't get to where they needed to go in time and they were -- well, it did what traffic does, I suppose. Oh, god, I'm back into cars. The only thing I care about cars is that Michael Keaton did the voice of one of them in a Pixar movie and he can have sex with me any way he wants. Pony style, fine. What am I doing on Thursday? Nothing better than that.

Chris Christie created traffic and then he threw somebody under the bus, but, oddly the bus wasn't moving because it was stuck in traffic. Hi, everybody! I am looking for representa-- no, I'm not looking for representation. I'm looking for a good slice of pizza out here.

I am delighted to be in warmer weather. I am thrilled to be in the presence of women who are completely from outer space. I got a facial on Sunday from a lady named Shara, who has a freelance -- she just does beauty services. And she worked out of this mall -- not everybody works out of a mall, but there's more malls and it's acceptable to like, have a place of business in a mall. It's always been acceptable to have a place of business in a mall. I have nothing against malls. And by the way, I'm aware that there are zombie movies that take place in malls and not only are they a bit on the nose, but I find them to be very anti-mall. In a very one-sided way. And I'm here to represent the other side of it, which is that malls do a lot of good things for a lot of good people.

Anyway, I got a beauty service from a woman who gives them in a mall. She spends half the time here, and half the time in Las Vegas, where she's from, which is weird. Here are the people I know that are from Las Vegas: Jacquline Laurita, Jimmy Kimmel, and... that's it. That's the only people I know who are from Vegas. And they're both, well, I don't know, they're both on television. What am I gonna do, make a conclusion about those two people. Not right now. Not in the state I'm in. State of California.

This woman who did my facial talked to me about her boyfriend -- well, she doesn't have a boyfriend. She met this guy at a bar and then she told me about her ex-husband, who she also met in a bar. Who she had to get a restraining order against. And then she said, "What do you do?" and I said "Um, I'm a -- I do comedy and I'm a writer." She said "Comedy? You know who I love, is Whitney Cummings." And that was the first time anyone's ever named her first, I suppose? And put her in that context? I'm from a place where people don't say "I love Whitney Cummings," and that's not to say that she's not great or cool or good or worthy of love from someone who enjoys her work. But it's just never a sentence that I'd heard in conversation in New York. And then someone else said, "I love Sandra Bullock." And they meant it. And that's very, very new to me. You know what? I just shake my head and I go "Only in New York." But I don't mean it, because I'm not in New York.

I actually did have a name-droppy experience when I was in New York before I came out here, which was that I got a massage from that place which I talked about a couple weeks ago called Zeel. Which is an app and it's only in New York which is bullshit. They send a masseur? A masseuse? They send a masseuse over to your place of residence and they will set up a massage table and they will fucking give you a massage and then they will leave and it's a fucking great service and I recommend it because, above all, they don't rape you and that was a concern of mine at the time. My concerns were alleviated when I learned that it was just not something that would happen... in that particular instance that I can vouch for.

I ordered a Zeel. I said, "I want a Zeel." And I got the same practitioner and if you remember this guy, from last time, has it on his website that he has worked with celebrities and so it took him approximately two minutes after my massage was done that he worked on Faye Dunaway - no! I'm sorry, not Faye Dunaway, Lauren Hutton. And that was during that time when she had that show where her face was on a bunch of TV screens at the same time. And that he'd also worked with Mandy Patinkin. And that was a sentence that he had said, "I've also worked on Mandy Patinkin."

This time, he came over, he gave me a massage. Fantastic massage, by the way, I completely recommend it. He went into the next room, I changed into my -- what did I change into -- a robe, a tasteful robe. And while he was de-assembling his massage table to get ready to go, we were chatting and I said something about how I'm going to LA in a bit. And he goes "Oh, my dear friend," and I'm waiting for it. Who's the celebrity he's going to name next? "My dear friend Gedde Watanabe lives there." Now, Gedde Watanabe is a Japanese man and the rest of it you can just fill in the blanks. Because, if I'm gonna sit here and explain who Gedde Watanabe is to you, I don't feel like we know each other as well as we need to be at this point in our experience. In our relationship. To that, I will only add the next two words, which are "Gung Ho".

Gedde Watanabe. They're pals. And then I found myself saying, "He hasn't been working a lot lately?" And he said, "Yeah, he's more behind the camera." And I said, "Oh, good for him."

I am very confused about Ariel Castro's neighbor and I'm wondering if you guys can help me figure out -- I've read the stuff online, but I would just appreciate if not an email, at least an update to HowWasYourWiki.com on the subject. Ariel Castro's neighbor, E-lias? Elias. Elias Acevedo, I think that's his name. The point is, somehow, more devilishly handsome than Ariel Castro, which I did not expect to be possible. Yes, Elias Acevedo. Senior! There's a junior floating around. Elias is really quite a looker, he will surely be portrayed by Javier Bardem. He was a sex offender. Cleveland sex offender. And he is serving life in prison for two murders and how many rapes? Too many, to... Oh, four family members, terrific. Yeah, he's a real Eagle Scout.

And my question to you is, please update HowWasYourWiki.com with this information -- how were he and Ariel Castro connected? Were they connected? Were they in cahoots? Or was this coincidence and an example of a terrible neighborhood or a neighborhood with terrible vibes? They couldn't have both been up to similar... well, let's just call it rascalry concurrently! Without having at least a whiff of what the other was up to. Am I wrong? I mean, what was the nature of their relationship, and furthermore, why haven't I seen this dramatized?

Yeah. I am curious about that, and I am also curious, just as an informal poll -- and I don't know how to set up a poll on a website, but if somebody know show to do that on HowWasYourWiki, I would be very excited to see it. How many of you think Ariel Castro died of auto-erotic asphyxiation and how many of you think Ariel Castro died of suiciding? In my mind, Ariel Castro died in prison hanging himself with a bedsheet. Period. However, when you google Ariel Castro, as you are wont to do, you will find that the Joseph Campbell-esque mythology of his particular hero's journey ends with a definitive he may have killed himself while jerking off.

That is not how I think of him. I think his legacy transcends its end. Is that how I think of Michael Hutchence? Every day. INXS was a clever band name because it also was a pun for "in excess."

I also want you all to know that I am staying at a place where I have to get new sheets at Bed, Bath and Beyond because when I checked in here... it's an apartment and they provide linens and, what are the other things called? Towels and bedsheets, right? And they're clean! They're not dirty, they don't smell, but like, the bed had this... the sheets had this softness to them. You know when you go to a hotel, there's a crisp, bleachy kind of quality to their linens, which is very helpful from distracting you from the fact that thousands of bodies have shed skin in those very places. But when I checked in here, there was a softness to the sheets of the bed that made me very, very uncomfortable. And it was the kind of softness that was only created by bodies rendering it so. In the way that the ocean turns a stone into sand, such did the bodies of sleeping residents turn these sheets into slightly softer ones. And that, my friends, was enough to make me go, "Buuueeeueuughh," and buy sheets of my own, which I am now sleeping on. I mean, I'm not currently sleeping on them, but I will be soon. Again, I apologize for how sleepy my brain is.

I am very excited to be checking in with you and I'm very excited to introduce our one and only guest for the week. This is my pal and yours, Aimee Mann. She is a gifted beauty. She is an extraordinarily talented singer-songwriter, not only of her generation, but of all time. And I did not petition Amy to sing on this podcast, so I apologize in advance for being disappointed. I just didn't want you to figure that out in real time and wait for it and not have it. So, just so you know, this a chat with me and Aimee. Aimee and Ted Leo are making music together right now and it's very exciting because it's wonderful music and they are touring soon. They might be coming to your town, just like the Monkees, who are certainly NOT coming to your town. Because they hold grudges. And you know what you did. Peter Tork aka Torkelson.

Listen, I'm thrilled Aimee Mann is here. She has two cats, they're both terrific. We talk about that. Enjoy this interview with our pal, and mine, more importantly MY pal. No, that's selfish. Please enjoy this interview with OUR pal, Aimee Mann.