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Home: The Toast

unfffffffff oral history of laurel canyon eeeeeehhfhffhfhfhfhfh:

DAVID CROSBY: Cass was such a funny and vibrant person and somebody you definitely wanted to hang out with and talk to. She knew everybody and everybody liked her.

MICHELLE PHILLIPS, singer-songwriter-actor, the Mamas and the Papas: It was very lax at Cass’s house when she moved to Woodrow Wilson. Ashtrays were overflowing. She would let people write their phone numbers and messages on her walls with felt pens. She smoked a lot of pot. I wasn’t into food at that point in my life, but there were a lot of grown men there, so there must have been food. They probably called down to Greenblatt’s Deli and had 20 different platters of sandwiches brought up.

wasn’t into food at that point in my life


l.o.l. life is hard and fleeting, sorry dude:

…I draw the line when it comes to daily worship at the temple of your own body. I don’t advocate the metal hair comb my father used, or burning your face with cheap astringents, yet I feel certain that something in masculine solidity is lost with the enforcement of beauty regimens. What do I mean by “masculine solidity”? I mean the suavity that comes as if by accident, without noticeable effort. Simple as that. Men exfoliate every day if they shave properly and that’s enough — and a little cream won’t harm. But surely there is only room for one oscillating microdermabrasion brush in any happy heterosexual bathroom. I don’t care if you think it’s sexist: It’s not a man’s job to pluck his eyebrows or plump his lips. People must do as they wish, of course, but to my mind (and according to my prejudices) male beauty loses its essence with premeditation. It’s a failure of natural elegance for a man to seem beautified, and the pressure on him to be so may be the biggest sexual category error of our times.


I hope you are reading Millihelen! Jane Marie has set up shop over at Jezebel, and her beauty advice remains utterly perfect. She is also finding fashion deals again! Basically, that hole in my life is filled now, after a long hiatus.


The Guardian‘s investigation into Chicago’s corrupt and terrifying and illegal policing is an absolute jaw-dropper. However low your expectations may have fallen about the racism and violence endemic in many spheres of law enforcement, PREPARE TO LOWER THEM STILL FURTHER:

Three attorneys interviewed by the Guardian report being personally turned away from Homan Square between 2009 and 2013 without being allowed access to their clients. Two more lawyers who hadn’t been physically denied described it as a place where police withheld information about their clients’ whereabouts. Church was the only person who had been detained at the facility who agreed to talk with the Guardian: their lawyers say others fear police retaliation.


I was really moved by this piece by Andrew Solomon about the suicide of a close friend, which is also about identity and youth:

Spring break, freshman year, I panicked. I did not want to be gay; I was not going to be gay. If I roomed with Terry Kirk, people would think I was gay. If I roomed with Terry Kirk, there would be wild parties in my own room, and I would never be the faux WASP prepster I had planned to be. I knew that histrionic people were fake, and that real people were restrained and moderate and focused on their grades. I would fail if this went ahead. My parents had asked me about the person I was going to room with, and I had decided that since both Terry and my father were great opera buffs, it would be a good idea to invite Terry to come and see Madame Butterfly with my family. We were to meet at my parents’ apartment and have drinks, then go to dinner at my mother’s favorite restaurant, and then proceed to the Met for the performance. Terry arrived a half hour late, which was not an acceptable opening gambit in my family under the best of circumstances. He showed up, also, in the green cape and the hat, wearing white pants tucked into knee-high boots from Charles Jourdan that had most likely not been intended for men. He cut what might euphemistically have been called a dashing figure. My mother was seething already about the delay, and I watched with a churning stomach as Terry turned on a flow of charm that simply refused to wither under her withering glare. Now that I’m old and wise, I can see that my mother, too, thought that I must be gay if I were going to room with Terry Kirk, and she wasn’t very happy about it, but at the time, I just remember being relieved when what struck me as the comparatively happy and untheatrical story of Cio-Cio San began to unfold on the stage.


This is a lovely interview with Anne Tyler, who I admire so greatly, and if you have never read her luminous and generous and brilliant work, start with either Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant or Breathing Lessons. I think Tyler gets slightly dismissed because of her subject matter (family, relationships, widowhood) and her gender (SHE IS A WOMAN YOU NEVER SEE THAT HAPPEN) and she is ACTUALLY one of the greatest American writers, so. And she is full of wisdom, I think:

Has Tyler had another partner since Modarressi? She sighs. “I tried having someone else in my life. It seemed very clear to me there’s a stage when you can make allowances for people, where you can adapt and change and a stage where you feel, ‘I’m beyond adapting.’ I gave it a chance. Now I’m on my own.”

And staying that way, it sounds like. “I would absolutely like to stay that way,” Tyler says, laughing. “Years ago John Waters told me it would be nice to have somebody in his life, but he thought that after about two days [his partner] might say something like, ‘How about I hang this one picture of mine over on that wall?’ and that would do it. Out you go.”


I’ll read anything about otherkin, tbh.


Like many parents, I have one thing with every kid I lie to my pediatrician about. It keeps things EXCITING. In my case, it’s just that my son likes to sleep in his Rock ‘n Play, this glorious, cushioned, vibrating invention here, whereas your baby is supposed to sleep flat on their back on a bed full of nails in an empty room with only a framed photograph of Bruno Bettelheim in it. So, when my pediatrician said “and he’s sleeping on his back?” I said “yes!” (not a lie) and “we have one of those co-sleepers that attaches to the bed!” (also not a lie, I just use it as a bedside table, see below:)

IMG_5716And then I said “he…likes to take naps in his Rock ‘n Play” (not a lie) and she said (o frabjous day!!!!):

“It’s fine if he wants to sleep in it at night too, I always tell moms that the silver bullet for sleep is swaddling that kid, putting them in a Rock ‘n Play, popping a binkie in, and enjoying the result. Once they’re rolling over, you can move them to a crib.”

YESSSSSSSS. He honest-to-God will do a midnight to 7am stretch in that thing! HIGH-FIVING A MILLION ANGELS.

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