Episode 154: "Shakespeare on my Bike"
February 14, 2014
Origin of the episode title
Happy valentine's day, lover! This week's episode features the talented, beautiful and extremely delightful MARIA THAYER who played Tammi Littlenut on Strangers with Candy, Susie Wagner on Eagleheart, and, oh, she also went to Juilliard and has done Broadway plays and Shakespeare in the Park and what have you. Join Maria as she and Julie discuss Woody Allen, red hair, bee farms, magic and camping.
Plus: An eyelash person describes THE NOTEBOOK! Shirley Temple Black's legacy and mysterious death! Nathan the Bloodhound's disgraceful and upsetting snub! And Elaine Stritch for Pistachios. What a show for you!
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Transcription by Amy
Hello, Hello. Happy Valentine’s Day everybody. It’s Julie Klausner back for another episode of HWYW. Are you my Valentine? Be my valentine. Happy Valentine’s Day Valentine.
Do you remember when having the last name Valentine was the coolest thing that you could ever gift a character or a person in the 1980s? Wasn‘t that Justine Bateman’s boyfriend on Family Ties, wasn’t he named Scott Valentine? Her name was Mallory. Ugh! Mallory, Valerie, Monica and Veronica are four great 80s names for 80s Ladies. I hope that you are all feeling very loved this Valentine’s Day.
For those of you on the East Coast and it has been brought to my attention that other parts of the country are suffering under winter weathair, I offer you my mittened hand and say , “Hang in there kittens.” I am not going to be one of those people who gloats because she I is fortunate enough to live over a liquor store and pawn shop in a part of southern California that is not exposed to snow and Nor’easters. I know it sounds like I think my privilege is showing when I say I sort of felt, I don’t know I just kind of missed the storm. I missed the opportunity to be inside with the cat all cozy and watching the snowfall. But then again after the snow falls you have to go to work. Nothing is worse. Nothing in the world is worse than a commute right after, during, or before a storm. So to those underneath pound and pounds of what New York One’s twitter warned the other day would be ‘wet, heavy snow’,sounds like God’s diaper. I send you my heart.
Bill de Blasio I don’t know what you are doing but Al Roker’s really mad at you. Isn’t that the ballad of the New Yorker across the country when I find myself reading Gothamist? Al Roker tweeted some things about de Blasio keeping schools open and I said to myself, “Aw, I miss New York.” Then I saw a photo of people trying to leap over giant puddles at the corners, and then I said to myself, “I’m glad I’m here in ways.” I am trying to maintain an attitude of gratitude.
The city of Los Angeles dimmed it’s, the strip club up the block from me called Crazy Girls was kind enough to dim its lights when Sid Caesar died after Shirley Temple Black kicked off the week of death. I heard about both of those legends passing on and I thought to myself, there’s something missing. There’s something a little fishy about those deaths. I don’t know it just didn’t seem like their time to go. I’m joking of course they were both incredibly old people and I was shocked they were not dead already. Shirley Temple couldn’t be creepier. May I say amidst all of the respect and the grieving, was she a talented little girl? You betcha. Were some of her performances shocking? In every possible way! Sexually, racially, just the fact that America decided it has a delicious little girl in its…she was America’s daughter the way Marilyn Monroe was America’s mistress. The whole thing is gross. It makes America a gross guy like the character of America in Eagleheart this season. Like an uneducated thug, a twerp, and a lummox frankly. I am a patriot, but I think our paternalistic attitude toward that chubby little girl, and we always saw her goddamn underpants under her dress, and her ringlets. When she danced she would tap dance, and sing, and there was blackface at some point. It’s not an era that we should be nostalgic for.
All I know is that I woke up the other day and Nate had posted a video of the Good Ship Lollipop on my Facebook timeline and then I found out she had died. I was immediately creeped out. Before anything else, then said Shirley Temple Black has passed on. He re-posted that right from Countess Luanne who is obviously very influenced by Shirley Temple Black. RIP. Sid Caesar I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know anything about your penis like Milton Berle who had a huge one. I thought you were already dead, but God bless you and God bless America, the lummox.
I went on a hike on Sunday. That’s right. I am sorry I drank the cold-press juice of Los Angeles. Basically they said we’re going to send you back and you are going to have to dive right into the puddles on 23rd and 8th unless you take a hike. Very well, I did. I hiked right up Runyon Canyon and there was dog shit everywhere. The dogs were off-leash. They were thrilled to be off-leash. There was a buzzing noise that I was confident was a house of bees. It ended up being some hipster’s mechanical kite. Runyon Canyon is not attractive. It is not a pretty thing. It is not a pretty experience; the surroundings are not pleasing to the eye. You get on top and see a view of the city and say oh that’s interesting. It’s like roughage. It’s like roughage on a sand backdrop. It’s like you are on some sort of shitty planet and Raquel Welch doesn’t have the decency to show up in some sort of torn under thing. The landscape of LA hike-wise reminds me of an old person’s skin. It is very dusty and it is spotted with irregularities. It was a nice day I suppose. It wasn’t really a day I just went up the mountain and came back down. In the process I was confident I was going to die. There were fat Labradors passing me which never feels good. They were panting, I was panting. At one point I had to make it up steps that some good-natured individual had the decency to install. What was he a handyman that works on the mountain? So the incline was a little easier. To make it up those steps I have to put one of my legs on there and then put both of my hands on my legs to lever me. It was not a pretty picture. But hey, Los Angelinos why walk everywhere when you can just take one big hike every once in a while? Right? That makes a lot of sense.
I found the most irritatingly chipper description of the Runyon Canyon Trails online. Some lunatic made a google map that highlighted routes to takes. If you google Runyon Canyon I am pretty sure it’s a guy who does a lot of yoga, not to disparage men who do yoga, it’s just that there are more of them here than I have ever seen in my life, and proudly so. My neighbor whose name is Bryant, like the park, met me, and he was just soaked. He said, “Hey, I’m your neighbor.” “Oh, did you take a swim?” “No, I just came from yoga.” “Oh even better.” I have no idea how to talk to men, let alone strangers. That went well.
This person who made the map on google decided to label the trails. His descriptions are over the top. There are too many exclamation points. For example 1. Runyon Canyon – Route A Hiking in Runyon Canyon Route A is what hiking in Runyon Canyon is all about; fun, relaxing, beautiful and everything you need to unwind and enjoy a day in the park. Fuck off, just tell me where the entrance is and where I can park, or in this case take a cab. There’s also this guy went a little bit overboard warning me about this excursion.
1. Runyon Canyon – Danger Point Watch Your Step! BEWARE! This is a dangerous and scary section of the path if you aren’t ready for it. This section is steep, slippery and contains loose footings, rocks and snakes. If you choose to take this route – please be careful and wear proper shoes with a good sole – you have been warned. Oh god, Danger Point. If ever end up in a place called Danger Point. Then it took me 15 minutes to find it on the goddamn map! I’m not leaving this house until I know where Danger Point is. Then our pal Alex Cordella said it’s not a Danger Point at all. It’s just a bench. Are there snakes? Is the bench made out of snakes? You know how a bunch of snakes could easily resemble the slats of a bench. Anyway, I went on a hike. Congratulations me!
I also was very successful in not finding out what flappy bird is. Please don’t tell me. I have a feeling it is what Carlton from the Real Housewives of BH calls her vagina. Carlton is having the best week ever. Carlton for those of you who don’t know is a new edition to the cast. She is a witch. She practices spells. Her religion is Wicca. Her children are named Destini and Mysteri and there’s a third one. He’s also a noun, but I don’t feel like looking him up. The third one’s name is Boxcutter or something like that. Carlton decided to make everybody’s dreams come true and to liven up the series by provoking Kyle Richards to call her anti-Semitic. It was fantastic. Oddly enough this was the first on Housewives, I believe, where one character has called another anti-Semitic. They way Carlton reacted to it was hilarious. She got very emotional and then she explained she was feeling that way because of Apartheid. She grew up in South Africa during Apartheid, so Carlton’s accusation affected her in a very deep place. My condolences to Carlton and her reputation. It’s a good show. I have a feeling, I am not sure, people in California can tell me for sure, but I have a feeling that the location of the chat between Brandi and Kyle was Runyon Canyon. Am I wrong? Either way Brandi confided in Kyle that she was beginning to suspect Lisa of being not such a great friend. Kyle looked better than she ever looked. She beamed. She was so happy and radiant. It was quite a scene. It’s a good show. It’s interesting. Is it interesting?
Another thing that I missed in New York that made me sad to miss was the Westminster Dog Show. Nathan was robbed! Finally the judges have the decency to put a hound that looks like a hound at the top of the hound group. I always root for the Bassett. I am never surprised when the Bassett doesn’t win Best in Group let alone Best in Show. They chose that Bloodhound named Nathan and he was a contender. He was favored to win. Do you know why he was favored to win? Because Nathan was a good dog. Nathan didn’t win. A Terri-air named Joy won. Joy is a good dog. I have nothing bad to say about Joy except for the fact that she isn’t Nathan. If Nathan had won it would have been a great thing for the Harlan Peppers of the world. I consider myself a Harlan Pepper. One day Hubert will be validated.
Wouldn’t it be great if instead of Frank Underwood, Kevin Spacey’s character on House of Cards it was Christopher Guest as Harlan Pepper? He would turn to the camera and would start naming nuts. Thanks to all who wrote in about my twitchy eyeball. Most of you say that it is stress or that I need sleep or water. None of you offered me free Botox, which is very disappointing. It comes and goes. It comes and goes and comes and goes--badda, badda, badda, badda—that’s my eyelid. Botox and what’s the other thing I keep seeing billboards for, freeze the fat, lipofreeze. Certainly that’s not painful at all. It makes sense to freeze your fat away. Yeah, it shrinks the fat cells. All right. I have never been more self-conscious body-wise than I have been in the last four weeks in Los Angeles. It would be pedestrian of me to echo the observation that people out here are more appearance obsessed than in other places. Boy or boy that just sinks right the hell in. I’m not looking to have drastic plastic surgery and make myself look like Ali Fedotowsky. That blond girl who was created in a lab to be a bachelorette and she’s a correspondent on the Today Show.
They had this poor girl out in Sochi, which is a great place for LGBT tourists to go and enjoy a quick speed skate. They had Ali Fedotowsky saying, “Even if your girlfriend says she doesn’t think Valentine’s Day is a big deal, she does. Do not send yellow rose because that means you are just friends.” I was watching thinking I’ll take yellow roses what kind of crazy madwoman would get yellow roses and throw a fit? They are roses. He’s sending you flowers-or she. Do you know what you do? You make a pretty wreath out of them and put them on your head hair. Then you go to de Blasio’s inauguration and say, “Dad I support you trying to raise the minimum wage, and I support you trying to get wealthy residents trying to pay for pre-kindergarten. You also have to plow the streets.” de Blasio has to break a couple of knees, more than a couple, he’s going to have to break a lot of legs including the knees in order to get done what New York needs to get done. He’ll figure it out. Or he won’t. It would be cool to live through a New York City coup d’état. Not that I think he is a bad man, I am just a little concerned he hasn’t proven himself on the weather yet I say under a 72 degree sky.
I am going to be very real with you and tell you I have eyelash extensions right now. They have saved me more time with a mascara wand, a q-tip, and a curler every morning than I can ever express. The convenience and the joy that I have experienced can’t be measured currently. Maybe in a week it can be. Eyelash extensions are fantastic. They are a great way to have a conversation with another woman while your eyes are completely closed and she’s touching your eyes and face. I came to LA about five weeks ago and I found a woman on YELP who was able to see me that day or the day after. She tried her best; I’ll put it that way. My eyelashes are pretty damaged so I had to find a new woman.
Our pal Michelle Mcnamara was kind enough to recommend me to one. She was a lovely person. You really do spend a couple of hours with a stranger and chat it up while never making eye contact. She was great. She was really interesting. She is from Salmon, Idaho. She just moved here in October with a couple of girlfriends. They have a couple of cats. She met a great guy on Tinder. She’s a lot of fun. She told me a horror story about a woman form Minnesota who came to her with eyelash issues and asked to have them taken off. Apparently some demented mental hospital resident had used permanent eyelash glue to glue strip lashes from the pharmacy and cut them into 3-4 pieces and permanently glue them to her real eyelashes. I have never seen the Texas Chain Saw Massacre but as far as I’m concerned that’s what I assume it is like. The woman I saw before her, as I mentioned she did her best, I do not want to disparage her, yet it did get to the point where her company was wearing on me. Put it this way, she told me she met a guy in Santa Monica when she was out at a bar and that he looked like Ryan Gosling. That’s nice. I asked her what her favorite Ryan Gosling movie was. She said the Notebook. I told her I had never actually seen it. “What?” I made her explain to me the plot of the Notebook while she did her thing and I did mine. I wasn’t listening. I don’t know what happens in the notebook. I hate to bust your bubbles but I am not a rom-com girl. I know Vulture did a list of the best rom-com since When Harry Met Sally. I haven’t even seen My Best Friend’s Wedding which I know is a humiliation from the point of view of a 90s person. It’s not my thing. The romantic comedies I like have other plots that are the main attraction, for example Working Girl and Legally Blond. As far as movies about love-hello!—Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mindo is el bueno.
Love--It was a year ago that I knew that my ex and I weren’t long for this world because of Valentine’s Day of all things. It’s a silly holiday, I know, but when you don’t hear from your boyfriend all day and you post a vintage Valentine on his Facebook wall and a couple of your friends humiliate you enough by liking it and you don’t hear from him. You call him later and say it’s Valentine’s Day and he says, “We should talk.” Ew. I will say this; it’s nice to be a year out of that. It’s nice to be a year out of that.
I saw a physical therapist for the first time out here. I was seeing a physical therapist in NY twice a week. I was in a car accident a while ago and I have a lot of neck and shoulder issues, cervical spine stuff and disc stuff. I have been out here and everybody really likes hiking and looking impossible good in clothes. I have been feeling kind of guilty about not having time to exercise. It wasn’t until ten minutes ago that I had time to actually breathe and see people. I go out and have drinks with friends on the weekends but, it has been crazy, yet I manage to fit in time to beat myself up for not managing to find time to exercise every morning. Exercise means something different out here because people do Soul Cycle, cross-training, hiking, and boot camp. Boot camp, like the military which is, when I close my eyes, the worst possible thing I could imagine is being in the military and having to run through obstacle course. That’s the best part of being an adult. You never have to do anymore relay races; you don’t need to panic when someone is running towards you with a baton, or with a goddamn orange between their chin and their chest. You never have to ever consider the possibility that anyone will make you run a course of some kind. That said I still manage to feel like ‘oh, I’m fat’ in the morning, at night, and all during the day too. The office I work at has tremendous snacks. How am I going to bring these body issues and whinery around to physical therapy? I will tell you this is how. The woman who saw me at physical therapy is named Julie, which is also my name, therefore interesting. She was very sweet. She mentioned the treadmill desk which I am obsessed with and I want to desperately get. When I get back to New York I will get it, or maybe not, but I really want one. Or pal Michelle also has one. She told me that as far as exercise is concerned running is the worst thing you could do and cross training is the worst thing you can do. I said here is $100. That’s all. Sometimes it is worth it to pay somebody to remind you to be self-compassionate. If you can’t pay them, then just barter with a prostitute.
I want to thank Jamie Denbo for recommending me to Doran the Israeli therapist. I saw him this Sunday. He told me to get an inflatable neck traction collar which is something that looks like a Steampunk sex thing. I am delighted to have you know it is headed towards my mailing address as I speak to you.
How long will it be before Elaine Stritch does an ad for pistachios? I feel like it is around the goddamn corner. Hear me out, she needs the money. She’s in Detroit right now; she’s not living at the Carlyle. Second of all, she has an easily reduced schtick. She can show up without pants and it can be understood in 5 seconds. Therefore I present to you the countdown clock for Elaine Stritch for pistachios. This is the part where if I had a TV show I would wheel out a countdown clock and I also would be cross training. Julie you are so beautiful. Just call me thin. Call me thin!
I need a map. That’s another thing I need. I want a giant map for my wall so I know where the fuck Sherman Oaks is. That’s something on my to-do list, not necessarily on my things to talk about on the podcast list. I want to congratulate Robin Taylor, a beautiful blond actor, husband of Dickie Dibella, friend of the show. Robin Taylor just booked the part of the young Penguin on the pilot called Gotham which is the original telling-not the original telling, the original telling starred Adam goddamned West, of Batman. He is going to be playing the villain, the Penguin. It’s a great role for him. I am so excited. He is absolutely wonderful and totally fantastic.
I want to offer my condolences to the family of Maggie Estep. Maggie Estep passed away this week. She had a heart attack on Sunday. She was very young. Maggie Estep was a very important 90s spoken word artist when that was a thing. The 90s are now over, but Maggie Estep was very cool. To be completely honest with you I wasn’t even the biggest fan of her work. I had a few of her spoken word tracks on a couple of mixed tapes that people had made for me. I think I had a copy of her book at one point. I named one of the characters in my YA novel Art Girls Are Easy after her. I just wanted to offer my condolences to her but to the East Village, to the 90s and to everybody in my quasi-Gen Y generation as far as what we know and what we loved as relevant.
I am feeling a bit creaky, out-dated, old, and stodgy, not just because I am in lipstick city where everybody is young and wiry. I also actually wanted to talk about this from last week. Last week I said what I said, but I didn’t mean to out a person that I spoke about last week, but it seems like I did and people pointed it out to me online that it was a harmful thing to do and uncalled for and that it came from malice. They said that I spoke out against a person choice not to come out as gay was uncalled for, and at the very least tacky. I have since given that matter a lot of thought. I listened to people who listen to the show and take it seriously. That’s a big part of what makes this show, it is a conversation and I talked about it with our producer, Ryan Hotlips Houlihan and we actually decided, even though it is kind of creepy to do so, we did expunge the part of the monologue from last week in which I spoke about someone’s decision to stay in the closet, allegedly, hypothetically. I don’t know for a fact. It was an issue I had confronted after I go that feedback. I thought to myself it probably isn’t my place to out somebody so I am apologizing because I think that I was wrong. I am standing by our decision to remove the material because I do in retrospect believe that by having it out there could be harmful and hurtful. That is not my intention. Frankly I have the power to do something about it. A lot of people say things and they land out there in the ether and someone else controls whether or not it’s there or not. If I can take it down whether it is harmful when it was up then why not do that. If I am wrong, why not say so. I am doing precisely that. I hope you realize it is coming from a good place.
We have one guest…