Episode 150: "HWYW Gems Vol. 5"

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January 17, 2014


Brent Weinbach
Rachel Lichtman
Freedy Johnston


This week, Julie checks in from her new apartment in Los Angeles, where thoughts of suicide are as ubiquitous as shameless dum-dums. But, boy is it sunny! Also, it's a gems/ lost footage episode, so kindly enjoy never-before heard clips from interviews with BRENT WEINBACH, RACHEL LICHTMAN & FREEDY JOHNSTON. Also: some musings on LA pizza & an interaction with Paz DeLaHuerta! Happy 150th episode, chums!

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Monologue Transcript[edit]

Transcription by Amy

Hello everybody. It’s Julie Klausner back for another episode of HWYW.

I’m in my new apartment in Los Angeles. I moved, it’s the second time I have moved since I have been out here which has been I have no idea, it could be ten minutes, it could be ten days. It’s about ten days. I have been out here for ten days exactly. I was staying in an apartment in the same neighborhood where I am now, which is Hollywood as in hurray for. I found a place that was fine from the inside. Although I did talk about how the sheets were disgusting the linens too. Sheets are linens, but linens include sheets and towels. Right? I was staying at this place. Was it haunted? In retrospect it was, but that wasn’t my concern. This took me a couple of days to realize, my concern was that I was living in a dangerous apartment. I was living on the ground floor of a house that had no alarm system. There was a big bay window in what was essentially my bedroom. I was sleeping in an apartment that in retrospect was, I don’t want to say an invitation to be raped, but it would have been so easy to rape me in the middle of the night.

I didn’t feel great about it. Actually I didn’t let myself feel anything which I am getting better and better at. I stuffed it down (with food until I found a better place. This place is beautiful. It’s on the 6th floor. There’s a security guard and I feel safe. I may still be raped. Anybody can be raped, even men. Hi I’m eddy Izzard and I’m here to talk to you about men’s rights.

Guys, I’m very tired. I have been writing on a TV sitcom. It is really fun but it’s exhausting and I had to go on Real Housewife Recap hiatus which was very hard for me to do because I don’t like disappointing people who like me. I was about to say because there are so few of them but it might sound like I’m joking or that it is not that funny. Whether or not there are many people that like me or not a lot of people that like me it will never be enough. It will never fill this void. What’s the void caused by? Trauma, most likely.

Los Angeles is so weird. I like it. I do like it. I know that didn’t sound very convincing but I do. I did have a slice of pizza the other day and I feel like every pizzeria here should be called It’s Still Pizza, or It’s Technically Pizza, because the pizza isn’t that good. I moved out of my apartment. I remember calling my manager before I moved out and asking him, “Is it possible to get bars on the window?” “Nope.” “Well is there an alarm system in the building?” “Nope.” “So my best bet is 911 then?” Then there was a silence. There was a silence after each nope that in another place and another time would have been a shame fueled silence, but I don’t know what this guy is feeling or thinking. Waiting and listening can be very powerful I have heard.

I got a parking ticket today which was bullshit. I stepped out of the office for fifteen or twenty minutes, I had to go to CVS to pick up a prescription for Oxycontin which I sell to youths. I had to pick up a prescription at CVS in Studio City. There was a spot right outside. I parked it. I considered putting money in the meter but then thought I’m not going to do that. I’m just going in and out. Nope. Guys I was just in there for ten seconds. I see this cop who looks like the cop from the movie Head. He’s just a big square dum-dum with a helmet. In my mind he had a helmet on. I see him writing a ticket and I run out of the store to go, “No!” but I had that thing where you pull instead of push a door and I was fumbling. It was whimsical but I wouldn’t call it comedic. It was like the ShowTime shows nominated in the best comedy category. They are a sorbet course sure but they are not a dessert.

Congratulations, by the way to Jacqueline Bisset. Congratulations to Jacqueline Bisset, I should just start saying that every week. Is Zsa Zsa still alive? I should probably swing by. This is what I should do; I should start thanking Jacqueline Bisset, not just weekly on the podcast but daily when I pray. I should also start swinging by the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and just see if Zsa Zsa is dead. I wouldn’t trust The Source, I’d want to be there in person.TMZ would report on Zsa Zsa Gabor’s death which is inevitable. TMZ would take a break from covering Dr. Conrad Murray and they would say Zsa Zsa’s dead when Zsa Zsa dies. Do you know what? I don’t want to say it would be a relief. When Michael Jackson died it was a relief, are we in agreement on that? When he died it was like thank god. It was too much suffering right?

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is a place that exists. I strongly recommend you find its website (http://www.hollywoodforever.com/) It’s not a very good website. It was design ages ago and that’s part of what I like about it or am fascinated by. You can look at a map of the cemetery and then click on the plot of…your favorite movie… You can click on a celebrity’s name and it will take you to a page where they have a montage video. I clicked on Estelle Getty naturally. It said Estelle Getty was famous for being on the Golden Girls. Then there is a photo that dwells for way too long. It’s like some child arrived at Los Angeles and they were looking at job listings online, maybe it wasn’t even online, maybe it was in LA Weekly because that website was not from a time in which people looked for job listings on line, and somebody say something that said, “Video Editor Needed.” They thought to themselves, I’m going to make films one day, and they applied. They got that job. And they thought to themselves they thought, this is creative. I’ve got Final Cut open. I’m using Movie Magic. I’m learning about Boris Karloff. I’m in the business. That, my friends, is why suicide is not always a bad idea.

People come to LA. People come to New York. They are both ambitious groups of people. The people in LA are so much dumber. Their stories are sadder. Bottoming out in New York—there’s still a dignity to bottoming out in New York. What did people say in the 90s? I’m a cunt-hair away from that. People were filthy then. Don’t you think that Quentin Tarantino brought the C-word back? I haven’t run into him yet for some reason. I’m not hanging out in cocaine and zoot suit stores.

Anyway my friend told me a story about a woman she knew who worked at a reality TV Production Company and now she’s a nanny. I completely get that trajectory of what am I doing? I want to make the world better. There have got to be so many stories, none of them are glamorous enough to be interesting to, ironically, a reality show producer. Let’s make a show about people who are former porn stars and now work in animal shelters. Nobody wants to see that. I do.

Did you ever see the documentary After Porn? Yeesh! Porn ruins lives everybody. The porn I watched in that creepy apartment was catharsis incorporated. My attitude towards porn I don’t want to say is complicated because there is nothing more exhausting than a feminist saying her attitude toward something very simple is complicated even though it is. It’s not complicated just contradictory. I contain multitudes. I can compartmentalize personally. My philosophy towards porn is mostly don’t search for something because once your typing you’ve got to snap out of it. You’ve got to go outside or at least just walk around in the hallway. The amount of sunshine I have gotten since I’ve come out here is startling. I guess I don’t leave the apartment that much in New York either.

The indoors has always been good to me. I grew up staying in the library on recess days. I was always excited when it was nasty out because I had a better chance of luring my friend Aliza to sit with me in the library and we would write new lyrics to theme songs we both knew such as the theme song to Kids Incorporated. That was when I was able to get to her. Then it would be sunny and she would go outside and play with her friends. Were they my friends too? Sometimes. Guys, I was a really interesting little girl.

I went to a party on Sunday night at the Chateau Marmont which is very glamorous, experientially. The actual Chateau Marmont is a hovel. It that a word? Hovel- a small, squalid, unpleasant or simply constructed dwelling. The Chateau Marmont is a haunted hovel. It has bungalows. It has a tiny little pool that looks odd without a body floating in it. It has a lobby with a medieval flare. I can absolutely see why any celebrity in his or her right mind would go there for an unspecified amount of time and kill themselves with vice (magazine), you know wine, women, and song—from fucking too much, from drinking too much, from doing too much cocaine. There’re all kinds of way you can kill yourself out here. I’ve been talking about suicide more than I should be. Everything is fine guys. I’m really doing great. I love my job so much. It’s just my life is very different.

I have an amazing time at work. I am completely absorbed. I’ll say this about the creative process…that’s how I’ll start my TED talk, and then just only talk about a moment in which everybody learned that Bob Fosse not only wasn’t gay but was a womanizer. That will be my TED Talk. I’ll charge for it by the way, do people charge for their TED talks? I will. I will have a bouncer and I’ll pass a bucket. There’s no way I’m going to write a TED talk and not charge…no one has asked me. This is not an issue. One of the things about the creative process that is the ultimate privilege is learning how to apply social muscles towards an activity that is inherently solitary. In other words, writing which is one of the most lonely things you can do with your brain, and the most rewarding and challenging, and the most ironic ways to establish intimacy because you are so alone when you put your thoughts down, and you have to be alone when you read, unless you go to a reading at Brooklyn Soup. There are people that go to readings and just stare at the person reading. Did you not have kindergarten? Was kindergarten something you need to re-experience the way people who take improv classes need to do High School 2.0. When you read you are alone. When you write you are alone. Then you achieve intimacy with the person reading. You are in that person’s brain. Is it better than sex? Absolutely not, what are you insane?

But when you work in a collaborative capacity, I’m not just talking about in my job; I had the good fortune of working on something the other day with my friends Billy and Jake. I have to say it is such a blessing to have that, not a tool, not a skill, just an experience. It’s something that, without getting too corny, I learned the joy of it from watching Amy Poehler and doing stuff at UCB. Learn how you write in a group so that writing doesn’t have to be you alone with a laptop or a notebook, and it can be, and in a lot of ways should be something you figure out with others out load, so that when you sit down you have a game plan.

A game plan…is Super Bowl around the corner? Do you know what I don’t like is March Madness. Have you ever worked in a job where someone came up to you with a clipboard and said, “Hey we’re doing…” and you walked away and got a Fiber One bar from the vending machine and it was so good you got another one, then you realized that they do things to your farts. I’d rather have a Mormon approaching me with a clipboard and a smile then someone in corporate casual asking me if I want to join some sort of wagering pool. The Oscars I will bet on. I like an Oscar Ballot. It’s fun to fill in the bubbles. I’m very excited that 20 Feet from Stardom was nominated for Best Documentary. There are a lot of ladies in that movie, a lot of great ladies that don’t get their due, recognition. It’s not going to win. It’s not going to win because it’s not about Syria. People are mad that Blackfish wasn’t nominated. I think Blackfish got its point across. I don’t want to see that movie. Here’s why. It would be upsetting. I don’t have to see it in order to join the protest against Sea World. Is there a protest? I know that celebrities are cancelling their gigs there. You were going to sing at Sea World? Jesus Christ what’s going on with you Melissa Etheridge? Is this what happens when we don’t check in?

Was she the one that had David Crosby’s semen inside of her or was that her girlfriend? Wife? I know her first name was Julie. Isn’t that embarrassing how you always remember someone that has your name? You’re like me. I know me.

I went to a party at the Chateau Marmont and I just want to mention that I saw Paz de La Huerta. I’m not bragging. There’s no good story around this except for the fact that it happened. Paz de La Huerta entered the same room I was in being physically held up by two men. She was tall. She was gorgeous. She was bloated. She was confusing and confused. I think she’s perfect. I didn’t talk to her. I’m sorry. I know that if I had I would have a better story, but I didn’t want a better story, I wanted a great experience and I had one. I just stared at her and took it all in. Her lip liner was exquisite. Her body was odd. She’s not long for this world is she? There’s so much death on this show.

Why haven’t I been on someone’s LA podcast yet? I have been here for ten days. What the fuck is wrong with me. Do I have leprosy or something? Don’t tell me it’s because I have no time. There’s always time for podcasts. What else is going on? What am I Jay Leno? How depressing were those ads during the Golden Globes for the Tonight Show? Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and then they showed Conan, the Jimmy Fallon. It wasn’t the most impressive evolution poster. I’m not snarking on Jimmy Fallon. I have nothing against Jimmy Fallon. I don’t know. It’s not what I watch. It’s not my thing. Are we at a place right now where if you say you don’t have a TV you’re not weird? You’re still falling over yourself at a party to make sure somebody knows that about you but now that people watch things on their computers, by the way people watch things on their computers, is it becoming more acceptable or at least less pretention to say you don’t have a TV? In my opinion you should always have both. If you have a computer that’s fine, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a TV. What did the TV do to you? Nothing. TV is great. Making it is the best thing you could ever want to do. By you I mean me. By me I mean the little girl inside of me that I am rocking back and forth because somebody needs to take care of her. She’s in the library by herself because it’s a nice day and Aliza is playing god forsaken kickball, who knows, with Donna Belieu. My refrigerator just made a sound. Jesus Christ what is that? Is it making ice?

I am surrounded by appliances that don’t belong to me. I am renting an apartment that is furnished by a company called Synergy Corporate Housing which I acknowledge is an incredibly specific name for a corporation. You know exactly what they do right? What they do in reality is they turn any short-term lease apartment into a goddamn hotel room. It’s genius. I think they are fucking brilliant and I love them. I am paying out the wazoo but it is worth it. When I saw this apartment last weekend it was an empty studio apartment. I cam e in today and down to the shitty art on the walls and the stiff bleachy clean fucking sheets on the bed, there’s even little shampoos and conditioners in the bathroom. There’s a baby Palmolive, it’s adorable. They give you dishes. You come into the apartment and it looks like a hotel room with a kitchen. You say honey I’m home. They also set up your cable. It’s the best thing that has ever happened. I said to the woman who works here and rents out apartments, who’s very sweet. She’s from Oklahoma, “It’s funny they are called synergy, that’s not a very specific name for a company.” “Oh, yeah. What does synergy mean?” I’m not saying it’s illegal to not be smart, but the lack of shame people have around it. I’ve been working on asking people what they mean when I don’t know the reference, if I haven’t seen a particular movie, or I don’t know what they are talking about celebrity-wise, or a book I haven’t heard of, or an album. I’m trying to be better at that. I think maybe the opposite is in effect here, some sort of broad potato-face smiling admissions of ignorance.

Speaking of organic matter with faces, I am not crazy about Leonardo DiCaprio in any way shape or form. I just had to say the again. This might be his year. He might win an Oscar. Maybe this is our making a monster in the sense of how we made monsters out of Kevin Spacey and Gwyneth Paltrow in the 90s, however, Leonardo DiCaprio is already a monster, so we’re good.

Finally I wanted to mention I get a table massage in a strip mall for $30. It wasn’t a sex massage. I know that it sounds Jappy, by the way this apartment is the biggest Jappy experience I have ever had and I have had some pretty Jappy experiences including going to a summer camp in which girls in the next bunk named fake lipsticks, “Let’s name lipstick. How about Coral Dream?” One of them expressed horror that the other had never used Chanel lipstick by saying the following, “You have never felt Chanel on your lips?” There are a lot of massage places out here. I don’t know how many of them are sex massage places, but I guess I’ll find out. The one in the strip mall with the It’s Still Pizza place was open and I went there. I asked for a massage. The woman put so much oil on me it was disgusting. I felt like a latke. She just sort of rubbed it around. It was a bad massage. Do you know how you go to something for the first time and think if this works out this could be the place I go to? This could be my place, my café, my apartment, my massage place. Could I see myself going here every day? It’s sort of the same with exercising. You psyche yourself up, could this be my new routine. Then you realize, hey man anything can happen. We don’t control this crazy blue marble. God does, or somebody does. I don’t know.

How does the end of Men in Black end? The world becomes a marble. The marble is going around and then it is in a bag. They shouldn’t have ended that movie that way. The thing that was unusual about this massage place is that there were framed posters and the posters were of random celebrities. They weren’t posing for photos, they were paparazzi photos. They were from odd periods, like Julia Roberts from Sleeping with the Enemy era on the red carpet with Keifer Sutherland. There was a photo of Sting. There was a photo of Kate Capshaw with Steven Spielberg. It was the most random assembly of celebrity photos in a massage place. I know the goal wasn’t that it would be soothing as much as it would be friendly, local, and colloquial. We fit in right? Absolutely. It was weird. I also have been driving around. On the side streets there is so much to discover like when you have a dream and discover a new room in your house that means you’re not using a part of your brain that you want to be tapping into. It’s unlocked potential your brain could be using. It’s like that movie where Bradley Cooper takes a pill. I didn’t see it. The potential of your brain? Like I need that in a two and a half hour movie ? Please. This I what I want to see in a movie—Dogs talking. And Her. I loved Her.

Anyway I was driving around and I found this place that was horns only. It was called something like Gone with the Wind--only trumpets. It seems like a trifle until you realize that’s just the currency of this town. It would be like if you were in a town who’s currency is clocks, is that Switzerland? I know nothing. Then there was a store that only sold cogs. Not a Steampunk store. That’s funny, here’s a store just for watchbands, they’re related to clocks right? It’s not that funny because this whole town manufactures that thing. Oh isn’t it funny there’s a store just for whatever supply keeps a steel mill running in Pittsburgh? What the hell keeps a steel mill running besides raw greasy man-power?

Guys I’m going to start the show and then I’m going to take a bath. I do want to thank two gay Angels, they are not dead, don’t be morose, they’re just wonderful people--Luke Canner (?) and Ryan ‘Hotlips’ Houlihan for putting this show together so late at night. Luke helped me move into my apartment earlier in the evening and actually brought me a bottle of Maker’s Mark and a pie which is above and beyond. I appreciate it more than you know, you know.

We have a gems show…