Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How To Hit Bottom With Style And Panache (Robyn Happened: Vintage 2008)

OMIGOD YOU GUYS. I was poking around MySpace for old times' sake and re-reading the ol' blog. It used to live there once upon a time. And I came upon this gem of an entry from December 2008. For those playing along, at the time, I was living in DC and had broken up with a guy who did an Epically Bad Thing, and was perpetually drunk and miserable. It was fantastic. I've hit a bit of an emo patch here in 2011 lately, but finding this was like getting a face-punch across time and space from 2008 Robyn, who's all "Awwwwwww, is widdle hipstew Wobyn sad with her uptown wiverfwont apartment and wock star fwiends and widicuwous job. PISS OFF. DON'T. EVEN. START. WITH. ME." And she has something that resembles a point, poor drunk thing.

And to think I didn't transfer this over because I thought it was oversharing. Hilarious.


So you think things can't possibly get any worse? Surprise! They just did! But fear not. Here's some tips on how to properly hit bottom.

1a. If the bad news is delivered in a professional/public setting, and does not entail any life or death type situations, it is critical that you accept it elegantly. Look your assailant in the eye and smile like you love nothing more than being metaphorically shot in the gut at close range. Exit the situation with perfect posture until you are out of sight, dragging your metaphorical entrails behind you.

1b. If, however, the bad news manifests itself in a no kidding, life and death type situation, by all means, skip immediately to step 6 and lose your shit like there's no tomorrow. A good primal scream or prolonged gutteral moan works beautifully. As does a nice fainting spell. In this situation, all bets are off.

2. An escape plan is critical. You must, in the near future, flee the scene, if only for a day or so. Clean up whatever logistical mess must be attended to, and then get the hell out of town. If you've just received the bad news, it might be a good idea to fire off a semi-hysterical missive to out-of-town friends requesting, nay, demanding, their hospitality in the not-too-distant-future. You may lose elegance points here, but they will oblige. They'd be scared not to.

3. If it's seasonally appropriate, and if your city is enlightened enough to have one, visit the neighborhood Festivus pole, and publicly air your grievance anonymously. True, it will not solve your issue, but it will be immensely satisfying. Especially if you have a particularly good grievance, or a series of them presented in bullet form on the back of an envelope that once contained an affidavit from Dell Financial Services.

4. If you have a friend in the vicinity of said Festivus pole, call them immediately upon posting your grievance, and drink copious amounts of adult beverages with them. Bonus points if said friend happens to have a healing mixtape on hand, and is willing to share her steak dinner with you. Make sure you have cab fare before embarking on this step. You'll need it later.

5. On your way home, kick the crap out of a few streetlamps. This town is, after all, trying to kill you, and you must fight back. Just mind your toes.

6. Once, and only once, you are in a safe space, it is now time to lose it. Crumple to the floor and weep generously. I mean really get into it. Get all snotty and ugly and maybe drool a little. Ad-lib. Suggestions: "I don't understaaaaand..." or "Whhhhhyyyyyy?" or just say the F-word. A lot.

7. Pass out, either from exhaustion or alcohol, or both. You can take off your makeup in the morning.

8. Wake up, take an aspirin, dress up pretty, and resolve then and there to move to New York City.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rollin' With Cannolis...

I have a friend named Jennie who's a pastry chef. Have you got a pastry chef for a friend? You should. Because you get to spend afternoons like this.

Jennie decided we should all come over to her apartment to make cannolis. I don't know if you know this about cannolis, but they don't just come in a box. They take a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of sitting around eating deviled eggs and drinking whiskey while the cannolis take a nap or something in the fridge. Let me illustrate...

Here, Jennie brandishes her W├╝sthof, not because we need to chop anything, but because we need to show the cannolis that we are not messing around.

Next, you have to sift the ingredients to make the dough. And then you make dough patties and put them in the fridge.

Then you vogue a bit in your awesome apron.

After a good hour of that, you take out the dough and knead the living hell out of it. This not only makes it nice and pliable, but also works the upper arms a bit, so as to look fetching in aforementioned apron. This is part of the process, and it is very important.

Then -- and this is where we blow your mind -- you run it through A PASTA MAKER. WHAT? I KNOW. You do this roughly 654 times.

Then, you put the ribbons of dough in the fridge again and you drink.

You also have to work on the filling. Here, we see three pounds of a very special ricotta impastata, obtained deep in Brooklyn. I'm not entirely clear on why it was so special, but Jennie assures me it is "the Cadillac of ricotta," and I am in no position to debate her.

So you take the magic ricotta and you beat it with sugar and spices and whatever the hell else you want. We put some chocolate chips in one batch. And blueberry flan in another. I mean, it was getting WACKY. Completely off the chain.

Then you take a huge vat of oil and stick a thermometer in it and convince yourself that you are, in fact, sober enough to take this on without causing horrific injury.

Then you remember that you put strips of dough in the fridge, so you take it out and cut rounds out of them. Then you take your cannoli rollers, which OF COURSE you have...right next to your pasta maker, and you wrap the rounds around the rollers.

Then you drop the rollers in the oil, drain 'em on a plate...

Squish the cheese into the cannoli shells...

Dust 'em with sugar...


Then you take the cannolis you worked all day on over to Cobble Hill where a bunch of inebriated people with floppy hair eat them in about three minutes.

And that's how cannolis are made.

Monday, April 4, 2011

How To Do A Badass Photo Shoot (with Jessi Robertson)

Our story starts out with a musician's nightmare. After working for an insanely long time on her album and spending an ungodly amount of money, my pal Jessi finally received a shipment of 1000 CDs. The CDs represented the realization of so many hopes and dreams and...they all had a manufacturer's error on them that rendered them unusable. DISASTER. OR IS IT? Before taking her hopes and dreams curbside, my other genius pal Lara had an idea. Let's do a photo shoot! she said. Because what could be more satisfying, more decadent, than destroying your own artistic efforts on film? That is baller, friends. Ball. Er.

So we broke into Bar 4 on a Saturday afternoon (okay...nicely asked Larry if we could use the place off-hours. BALLER.) and trashed the place with hundreds of Jessi's jacked-up CDs. The idea was this: Jessi was gonna come in and look hot and lie the hell all over the albums. Were we gonna crease up the booklets? Yah. Were we gonna dent the crap out of the discs? Yeppers. Were we gonna make CD angels on the floor? Well, we would if we felt like lying on the floor at Bar 4. And there are some things you just don't do. Even for ART. Below, we see the awesome photographer Nathaniel Johnston at work. He was the business. And stylist/art director/mastermind tends to the talent's tresses. ALLITERATION. Meanwhile, DJ Shep creates the proper sultry, decadent mood with some really empowering jams. I mean, really sultry. Also, nothing is more rock and roll than chocolate chip cookies that aren't baked all the way through. Because that's the way the MAN wants us to make cookies. And this photo shoot is all about turning convention on its motherfucking head. And also, I, uh, used the wrong pan. We also took the party outside, and threw a bunch of CDs on the ground. That was kinda fun. We're still waiting on the finished photos, but YOU don't have to wait to hear Jessi's un-messed-up album. You can get it on iTunes, and if you wait a few more weeks, she'll have a brand spankin' new shipment of actual CDs that you can hold in your hands. Which we won't throw all over the bar. Unless the CD re-release party is REALLY raging. But we'll buy them first. That's just polite.

UPDATE: Sneak peek of the photo shoot! Hawt!

Friday, April 1, 2011