“On Thursday October 20th, the really and truly wonderful Julie Klausner brings her podcast How Was Your Week? to the Bell House stage with a truly incredible line-up that actually sort of reads like the guest list on a good night of The Best Show on WFMU. The line-up so far includes Ted Leo, Paul F. Tompkins, Billy Eichner, and Special Surprise Guests. And knowing Julie, those surprises are bound to be way beyond worth the cost of admission. And speaking of the cost of admission, I am truly dumfounded that this show isn’t sold out yet.”—
“Also, “KissyFur” (1986) and “Foofur” (1986) are two different series. “Foofur” was about Foofur, a blue hound dog, who inherits his deceased owner’s mansion and has his dog friends come live with him. “Kissyfur” was about a pair of father and son bears who escape from the circus.
I never watched “Kissyfur” but I did watch “Foofur.”—
“I was a senior at NYU living in a dorm across 9th St. from St. Mark’s, where Julie worked. During one of my many visits to the store to browse, I decided to buy a collection of poetry by Wisława Szymborska called View with a Grain of Sand. I brought it up to the cash register and goddamn it; there was an extraordinarily foxy woman working it. Not working the cash register, I mean “working it.” You feel me?”—
“I ate the outside chocolate parts of three Haagen Daaz ice cream bars but threw away the naked insides. How many Points is that, and also, do you think that is a glamorous way to have spent part of my afternoon?”—A sentence from a gorgeous email I just sent Jamie Denbo.
“Beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou has used the same “writing ritual” for many years. She wakes at five in the morning and checks into a hotel room, where the staff has been instructed to remove any pictures from the walls. She writes on legal pads while lying on the bed, with only a bottle of sherry, a deck of cards to play solitaire, Roget’s Thesaurus, and the Bible, and leaves by the early afternoon. She averages 10–12 pages of material a day, which she edits down to three or four pages in the evening.”—
“How Was Your Week? #27 – David Rakoff Podcasts are a transportable medium, unlike TV and Film; as a result you can have “I remember where I was when” moments with it. On the morning of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, with New York City at high alert, I was petrified sitting on the G-train. I started thinking about how my last vision on Earth will be of a passed out gutterpunk flanked with two puppy-inhabited duffle bags. At that exact moment Julie began talking to David about what he calls “defensive pessimism” and how Jewish it is, and I knew everything would be OK. Other than easing my worried mind, it was a wonderful episode of How Was Your Week?, featuring one of her best opening rants ever about her new comic-muse Nancy Grace, the evidently hot-button circumcision issue, and the glories of a potential Easter Island made up of only Bethany Frankel and Kelly Ripa’s heads.”—
On this week’s podcast, I make an empty promise to read a particular passage from Rakoff’s book, then promptly forget to do so. It’s about his self-observed knack for being unable to predict which things will catch on in the popular imagination, and I’ve typed it out here, so you may enjoy it.
In 1982, as a freshman in college, during a brief and ultimately fruitless attempt at inhabiting my own skin, I went one evening to Danceteria, a club in downtown Manhattan. I didn’t drink at the time, so there was nothing to buffer the noise, the dark, the crowded stairwells, the too-long wait for both the coat check and the urinals, and especially that evening’s entertainment: a whiny, nasal girl in torn lace and rubber-gasket bracelets who bopped around to an over-synthesized and generic backbeat.
"Well, she’s lousy,” I thought to myself, happily envisioning my departure from this throbbing club, my subway ride uptown to my dorm room and bed, and this girl’s return to the obscurity whence she sprung. The world, however, had different plans for Madonna.