issue 60

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The BUST Magazine Holiday Craftacular is three times the fun this year, with events in N.Y.C., L.A., and London! Don’t miss the best craft fair in the world as we take over three crafty cities once again. Come dance to DJs, down some tasty drinks, munch on delicious treats, and spread holiday cheer as you browse through the best in handmade goods. Every gift for you and yours can be found at our three Craftaculars, including cozy winter wares, handbags, ornaments, jewelry and cards —all made by hand! All this, plus free goodie bags, raffle prizes and more. NEW YORK



DEC. 6TH 10am-7:30pm Metropolitan Pavilion 125 West 18th Street, N.Y.C.

DEC. 12TH 10am-6pm The Echo & The Echoplex 1822 Sunset Blvd., L.A.

DEC. 12TH 12pm-7pm York Hall 5-15 Old Ford Road, London






46 39 TRULY GIFTED Holiday shopping got you down? We’ve got editors’ picks for everyone on your list.

46 POEHLER EXPRESS Amy Poehler and her comedy

60 LOVIN’ FROM THE OVEN Delicious gifts you can DIY! By Lisa Butterworth and Caroline Hwang

62 IT’S YOUR LIFE A hands-on guide to tackling

collaborator Rachel Dratch break it down as only old friends can. By Rachel Dratch

marriage, childbirth, and even the death of a loved one your own way. By Erin DeJesus

54 THE SIX-WEEK CURE Remembering the era when

66 COLD SNAP! Supercool looks for sporty winter chillin’.

Reno “divorce ranches” helped unhappily married women start new lives. By Priya Jain

Photos by Danielle St. Laurent, styling by Leila Wolford


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9 24


Broadcast Hooray for Gemma Ray; The Lady Aye trades in purging for sword swallowing; straighten up and skate right with Derby Lite; and more. 10 She-bonics Tracey Emin, Diablo Cody, Trina, and Hillary Clinton get their gab on. By Whitney Dwire 14 Pop Quiz We’re just wild about Ringwald. By Emily Rems 15 Boy du Jour The Mighty Boosh is on the loose! By Jenni Miller 16 Hot Dates Spend the season of celebration at these winter destinations. By Libby Zay


Real Life Build a batch of dreamcatchers; mind-boggling apartment gardening; gym tips for thick chicks; and more. 20 Old School Granny Ella’s sticky date pudding. By Suzanne Cooper 25 Buy or DIY Hand-spin yarn like they do on the farm. By Megan LaCore and Callie Watts


Looks Tamera Ferro’s got style from her shoes to her ’do; take a chance on Alabama’s look from True Romance; homemade perfume that’ll make you swoon; and more. 32 BUST Test Kitchen Our interns pop a boner for hair mask, deodorant, and tea tree toner. 35 Page O’ Shit Long johns for every Jane. By Callie Watts


Sex Files Don’t call it a comeback—boudoir photography’s been here for years; and more. 90 Ask Aunt Betty and Cousin Carlin Get it goin’ on till the break of dawn. 92 One-Handed Read Flavor of Love. By Letty James

Columns 12 Pop Tart Plus-sized girls break into reality TV world. By Wendy McClure 13 Museum of Femoribilia Women used to include home mechanics in their bag of tricks. By Lynn Peril 18 News From a Broad Female DUIs on the rise. By Laura Krafft 24 Eat Me Finger-lickin’ finger foods. By Chef Rossi 28 Mother Superior Invented Spelling leaves kids at a loss for words. By Ayun Halliday Around the World in 80 Girls What could be finer than a trip to 36 Asheville, North Carolina? By Erica Stepanian 93 X Games Stop Staring at Me. By Deb Amlen The BUST Guide 75 Music Reviews; plus girl-band news from Everett True! 81 Movies It took a Queen to Play The Young Victoria under the Serious Moonlight. 83 Books Reviews; plus Penny Arcade on her new book of plays. 94 104


BUSTshop The Last Laugh Truth or Dare with Tammy. By Esther Pearl Watson



REGULARS 6 Editor’s Letter 7 Dear BUST


same time, same place FOR A MAGAZINE that’s as non-traditional as BUST, we sure do have a lot of traditions around here. Every Friday, for instance, is either a “Ying Yang Twins Friday” (when we blast the Twins’ song over the stereo to celebrate the fact that “It’s Friday, it’s payday, everything gonna go my way day”) or a “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah Friday” (when we play Tracy Jordan’s gold record to cheer ourselves up on those Fridays when we don’t get a paycheck and are facing a weekend of being off work, but broke). For the past three years, it has also been a tradition for BUST staffers to share their picks for what they would most like to receive as gifts this year, and I have to admit this is one of our favorite traditions of all. Searching high and low to select the most droolworthy items is a pretty exciting assignment, and you’re certain to find something in this issue’s guide (“Truly Gifted,” page 39) that will be just perfect for someone on your list, whether they’re foodies, fashionistas, or freaks. Now we may just have to add “having Amy Poehler in BUST” as another of our well-loved traditions, since this issue marks the fourth time we’ve had our favorite comedic actress in the magazine. We first wrote about Amy back in 1999, when she was a standout performer in N.Y.C.’s Upright Citizen’s Brigade. We had her on the cover in 2006, when she was a standout cast member on Saturday Night Live. In 2008, she did a standout interview with Phyllis Diller for us. And now that she’s a standout movie actress with a standout TV show, we are lucky enough to have Amy grace our cover once more. What can we say? Amy really stands out. Not only is she one of the few females who’s managed to launch a movie and TV career after SNL (it’s always bugged me that this appears to be such a challenge for the women on the show, as the guys seem to be given movie roles right after their first SNL appearances, whether or not they are funny), but she’s also an unabashed feminist whose roles always reflect her concerns about how women are portrayed in the media. Her characters may be ridiculous, but they’ll never be stereotypical. Interviewing Amy for this issue is her comedic colleague Rachel Dratch, and we love that they gave us the chance to eavesdrop on their conversation (“Poehler Express,” page 46). The holiday season, of course, is also all about tradition, and we invite you to create some of your own this year, like making a New Year’s resolution to try some volunteer work (see our list of some girl-friendly organizations that could use your help, page 23), having your closest friends over for an intimate party featuring easy-to-make finger foods (Chef Rossi’s got your back in this issue’s “Eat Me” column, page 24), or making and baking some of your holiday gifts (we have treats to DIY for on page 60). Sometimes, however, you might want to break with tradition, especially when it comes to major life milestones, such as childbirth, marriage, and death. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to navigating each of those events on your own terms—whether it’s having your best friend perform your wedding ceremony, giving birth in a baby pool, or having a loved one’s memorial service in your home (see “It’s Your Life,” page 62). All that plus great fashion, interviews, and much more. So go ahead and indulge in the old lie-on-the-couch-and-read-a-magazine tradition, or whatever it is you do when you get your hands on a new issue of BUST. It’s time for me to go play some Ying Yang Twins. xoxoxo

Debbie 6 / BUST // DEC/JAN

ISSUE 60, DEC/JAN 2010


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Debbie Stoller CREATIVE DIRECTOR + FASHION EDITOR Laurie Henzel MANAGING EDITOR Emily Rems SENIOR DESIGNER Erin Wengrovius ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lisa Butterworth CUSTOMER SERVICE + CRAFTY LADY Callie Watts BOOKS EDITOR Priya Jain ASSOCIATE MUSIC EDITOR Sara Graham CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Molly Simms CONTRIBUTING STYLE EDITOR Tara Marks PUBLISHERS Laurie Henzel & Debbie Stoller DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING + MARKETING Emily Andrews, 212.675.1707 x112, SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER Susan Juvet, 212.675.1707 x104, BOOKKEEPER Amy Moore, EDITORIAL INTERNS Nicole Mayefske, Amber Bela Muse, Anna Reilly, Eliza Thompson WEB INTERN Vanessa Rees MARKETING INTERN Bette Bentley FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS Please email or call 866.220.6010 FOR BOOBTIQUE ORDERS Please email


WWW.BUST.COM ©2010 BUST, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the permission of the publisher. The articles and advertising appearing within this publication reflect the opinions and attitudes of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the publisher or editors. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608 Canada returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2


Our Oct/Nov ’09 Issue Was Full of Awesome I was so excited about the new issue of BUST! I devoured the article “Rebel, Rebel,” about Buffy Sainte-Marie. My mom had an “out of body” experience at one of her concerts in the ’70s and named my older sister Buffy in homage. It came full circle when she dh d th went to a Sainte-Marie concert a few years b backk and had the opportunity to meet her namesake. When my sister introduced herself, Ms. Sainte-Marie laughed and said, “Oh I’m sorry.” We all had a laugh about that. Deirdre Nagayama, Palo Alto, CA I am in love with candy corn, but it’s so hard to find any made without gelatin. So when I saw the candy corn recipe, “I Want Candy,” I grabbed my apron and some corn syrup and made a DIY batch. It was a little time consuming, but oh so worth it! Thanks for inspiring a new Halloween tradition. Kiley Branson, San Jose, CA I just opened my new issue and I’m absolutely thrilled by the adorable Nancy Drew fashion story, “The Mystery at the Old Barn,” featuring the gorgeous Vivian Girls. This is the BUST I know and love! Thank you so, so much! Alison Crane, Queens, NY

All in the Family I’m 15 years old and I identify as a feminist as do both my sisters, ages 17 and 11. Us older two love BUST and all you do, so keep on rocking! In fact, we like it so much that we brought it with us when we went to Italy this August! Here we are at the Coliseum in Rome. My little sister Molly’s shirt says, “I am what I am,” since people constantly assume she’s a boy because of her clothes and short hair; she wanted to clear things up. Rory (me), Nellie, and Molly Beckett, Silver Spring, MD

Oops, We Did It Again Nona Willis Aronowitz wrote the prologue to the book Girldrive, and we featured an incorrect cover for the book Grunge, both of which were reviewed in the Oct/Nov ’09 issue. Re/Dress NYC supplied clothes for the same issue’s Nancy Drew fashion story.

Get it off your chest! Send feedback to: Letters, BUST Magazine, P.O. Box 1016, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276. Email: Include your name, city, state, and email address. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. // BUST / 7

CONTRIBUTORS Christine Blackburne is a still-life photographer who works out of her studio in Brooklyn, NY. She is a regular BUST contributor and shot all the awesome goods in this issue’s “Truly Gifted” story. “I love photographing things that make light tangible, so you can almost touch it and feel its weight with your eyes,” she says. Blackburne recently won Best Still Life in the Px3 photography competition. Actress and comedian Rachel Dratch, who interviewed pal Amy Poehler for our cover story, is best known for her work as a cast member on Saturday Night Live for seven years. Before that, she performed in and co-wrote four revues on The Second City Mainstage in Chicago. Her other TV credits include Ugly Betty, King of Queens, 30 Rock, and a dancey-dance on Yo Gabba Gabba. She’s also been in a number of films, including Down with Love, My Life in Ruins, and Spring Breakdown, which recently screened at the Sundance Film Festival. BUST’s new style columnist, Tricia Royal (see her first interview on page 29), is a writer/designer based in the N.Y.C.-metro area. Royal is the creator of wardrobe_remix, a popular style-sharing community on, and blogs about all things fashion at Being a mom to a one-year-old is her main gig these days, but when she’s got time to spare, she rabidly indulges in her fave hobbies: sewing, knitting, and crocheting. Jared Andrew Schorr, who illustrated “It’s Your Life,” lives and works in Southern California. He received a BFA in illustration from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Schorr specializes in creating whimsical and surprisingly detailed pieces entirely from cut paper, and they’ve been featured in The New York Times, Good magazine, WIRED, and on living room walls around the world. You can find more of his work at Music critic Everett True lives in Brisbane, Australia, with his wife and two young sons. His deep love for girl groups is on display in his new column, “Everett True’s First Ladies of Rock.” In 2001, he started the music magazine Careless Talk Costs Lives with photographer Steve Gullick, which started at issue 12, counted down to issue 1, and stopped. He’s never owned a business card, but if he did, it would read, “Insurrectionary, feminist, loser.” 8 / BUST // DEC/JAN


london calling


NOIR SINGER/SONGWRITER GEMMA RAY’S TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE WHEN I MEET 29-year-old singer/songwriter Gemma Ray during her recent visit to N.Y.C., it’s clear she’s running herself ragged. Bouncing from late-night gigs to daytime appointments, she arrives to our interview with suitcases in tow and explains her plans to leave the BUST photo shoot, head over to Brooklyn to perform again, and then go straight to the airport for a flight back to her home in London. “I really don’t want to go home tonight. I haven’t done any sightseeing,” Ray laments. “But I’ve been doing quite a lot of music.” As for the frantic pace, she says, “If I stopped, I wouldn’t get up again.” Born Gemma Smith, Ray recorded her new album, Lights Out Zoltar!, in the midst of a bout of chronic fatigue syndrome and blood poisoning that began in 2005. But despite her health challenges, she shows no sign of slowing down. And luckily for the workaholic guitarist, she won’t have to; critics are swooning over the album—a mixture of girl-group-style torch songs, arrangements that would sound at home in a ’60s Italian film, and twangy, rockabilly guitars. Her aesthetic may be retro, but the tough, moody perspective she brings to vintage song structures feels fresh and ultramodern. When she became passionate about music in her early teens in Essex, England, Ray says she and her buddies rented storage lockers, soundproofed them, and learned to play instruments inside. “We turned them into these little psychedelic dens and taught each other,” she recalls. “I just tuned my guitar horribly, worked out how to make noises, and progressively got better.” Judging from Ray’s live shows, however, her craft hasn’t suffered—she’s even been known to play with the side of a butcher knife, creating slide-guitar licks with an evil-looking twist. Lights Out Zoltar! and Ray’s first album, 2008’s The Leader, are frequently described as having a sinister, noir sound, and the singer doesn’t deny her propensity for the gloomy side of life. “I’m always drawn to minor keys and that sort of transcendent beauty or depth,” she says. “It’s naturally what I prefer, because I see that sound as otherworldly. I think people interpret that as dark and moody, but I see moodiness as a lovely thing.” Sometimes, though, Ray makes the occasional attempt at defying what’s expected of her. “On the last album, I’ve embraced the cheesiness,” she says. “But if I do have a flowery, major chord, then I’ll slam some negative lyrics in there. I love it when those two worlds collide. I think the push and pull is where the best things are made.” [MOLLY SIMMS] PHOTOGRAPHED NAUMOFF PHOTOGRAPHED BY BY ALIYA JOHAN RENCK

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the aye has it

“Down the hatch without a scratch!”

“I WAS PICKED on in high school. I was called a freak, which led me to become interested in actual sideshow freaks,” explains The Lady Aye, 36, putting an unusual twist on the classic teenage-misfit narrative. All grown up now, she’s made a name for herself as one of fewer than 20 female sword swallowers—and definitely the only Jewish, Ivy League–educated,


formerly bulimic one—in the world. These days, Aye is a fixture of the New York burlesque and sideshow scenes, but success didn’t come easy. Her decades-long struggle with bulimia and depression reached its peak following 9/11 (she overslept and was late for her job as a financial editor at Two World Trade). In the wake of that tragedy, she switched careers and, after a long period of “casting around,” at last started to recover a sense of balance in her life. In her new job as a promoter in the local rockabilly scene, she finally met a performer willing to teach her skills she had longed to master since her teenage interest in freak shows. But after learning to eat fire, hammer nails up her nose, escape a straitjacket, and walk on glass, she hesitated before attempting the “holy grail” of sideshow: sword swallowing. The problem? Not so much the fear of impaling herself as the fear of the sword triggering her desire to purge. Months passed during which she agonized over the risk. “But,” she confesses, “I thought, ‘What do you want more?’ And I really wanted to learn.”


It took four months of constant practice with swords purchased on eBay and cleaned with Listerine for Aye to get the hang of sword swallowing, but it paid off. She says with relief that once she got used to it, the trick “was a totally different feeling” than the one she was trying not to trigger, and it never led to any problems. In fact, the achievement helped her to become as confident in her daytime life as she was on stage. She even found that her persona—a character she describes as Rosalind Russell in an evening gown, eating a lightbulb—was more shocking to audiences than the heavily pierced men who dominate today’s sideshow scene with acts of self-mutilation. Now, despite her past, when The Lady Aye takes the stage in a demure vintage suit and goes through her practiced patter, she doesn’t miss a beat as she slides an 18-inch stainlesssteel sword down her throat: “As we say in the business,” she tells her audiences, “down the hatch without a scratch!” Then, to audible gasps, she does it again. [LILY ROTHMAN]


“I made every woman feel like they’re the baddest chick. That’s my brand. Every city I go to, some chick is telling me she’s the baddest chick in her city—and that’s what’s up.” Trina in XXL “As an older woman without children, society sees you as pretty redundant. But you have to force yourself to think, ‘Maybe the mirror’s not so important.’ Rather than thinking, ‘I’ve got to get my breasts raised or get Botox,’ why not think, ‘I’m going to learn French’?” Tracey Emin in The Daily Mirror “I just can’t do white denim. It’s like a letter to YM waiting to happen.” Diablo Cody in BlackBook “The most common comments I get are: ‘Your campaign gave me courage,’ or ‘I went back to school because of your campaign.’ So, [my campaign] is unfinished business, and young women know it. The vast majority will never run for political office. But they may decide to seek an education or move away for a job that is a little bit frightening. All of that is a ripple that is building—and is unstoppable.” Hillary Clinton in The New York Times 10 / BUST // DEC/JAN




fat chances WHO WINS WHEN “REAL” WOMEN MEET REALITY SHOWS? AS A FAT woman, I watch reality shows with a keen eye on the lone fat contestants, like Danielle on Stylista or the such-a-pretty-faces on America’s Next Top Model, hoping they can overcome their unique obstacles—couture outfits that don’t fit, terrible editing that always shows them eating—in order to win one for the big girls.

the next open call. Those who wind up on camera will probably be expected to be as appreciative as the women on More to Love—who seemed so grateful for five minutes of bigguy bachelor Luke’s attention, you’d think he had healing powers. In a way, he does: by the second episode, I lost track of how many contestants gushed about how “the

More to Love may not exploit fat women for their fat, but it sure takes advantage of their realness—their sadness, their insecurities, their vulnerable self-esteem. But this past summer brought us More to Love, a Bachelor-type reality show featuring plus-sized bachelorettes, and Dance Your Ass Off, which seemed to acknowledge that even fat people can strut their stuff (although they’re still expected to lose it). More fat-focused shows, like Making the Curve, a pop talent search dedicated to bigger women, are reportedly in development. And at this very moment, more women my size are probably lining up in a mall or hotel lobby for 12 / BUST // DEC/JAN

way he looks at me makes me feel special.” Clearly, this has less to do with Luke than with the fact that these women, despite their gorgeousness, aren’t used to being looked at that way because of their size. And as a fat chick following along at home, I can’t say I’m thrilled. It’s not that More to Love is insulting, exactly. After all, the whole show seems engineered to be as carefully flattering as those dark-rinse boot-cut jeans they’re always handing out to big girls on What Not to Wear. So

what’s the problem? First, a little history: once upon a time, there was the real world, full of all kinds of people. Then there was The Real World, full of fresh-faced non-actors who acted like people and sometimes, as a bonus, like assholes. Next came Big Brother and The Bachelor and Rock of Love and I Love Money, and in time, the folks on these shows evolved into Reality Show People, a grotesque subspecies characterized by spray tans and pronouncements like “Bitch, I’m in it to win it!” The sad reality is that there’s no reality in these shows anymore, just endless scheming and “fauxmance.” How can TV get back its humanity? Well, it just so happens that our culture has a habit of calling beautiful fat women real instead of fat, and this year, producers figured out a use for “real” in reality programming. More to Love may not exploit fat women for their fat, but it sure takes advantage of their realness—their sadness, their insecurities, their vulnerable self-esteem. These women seem to believe so wholeheartedly that their weight has kept them from romantic happiness, I suspect nobody with a healthy sense of self-worth made it past the first round of auditions. That’s just how More to Love wants it. Because the only way reality-TV producers know how to achieve genuine moments is to go to extremes. TV needs families with at least eight kids for shows about parenthood, and it seeks out the screechiest divas for shows about fame. And now, to explore love, TV has found women who have been culturally conditioned to feel unlovable! That’s the problem. What’s worse is the way the show purports to appreciate heavier women even while its premise depends on them feeling desperate enough to play along. There’s one thing I love about More to Love, though, and that’s the fact that you get to see plus-sized women without candy bars in their hands. They ride around in limos, wear cocktail dresses, and splash around in hot tubs, just like everyone else on TV. If only FOX could air More to Love with no sound. ILLUSTRATED BY HEIDI CHISHOLM




THE HOME HAS been traditionally considered woman’s domain, but heaven help the lady of the house if something went awry with the plumbing or the electricity. In that case, her all-knowing hubby—or, if he wasn’t so handy with a hammer, a proxy spouse in the guise of a repairman—stepped in to unclog the sink or replace a fuse. At least, that was the scenario frequently presented in mid-20th-century pop culture and advertising: women, with their “naturally” feminine aptitude for color and design, undertook wallpaper and interior painting projects; men built household items and did technical repairs. If women were depicted with power tools, it was within what Carolyn M. Goldstein, curator of the exhibition Do It Yourself at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., calls “certain circumscribed situations,” such as polishing silver or even mixing a milkshake—as Popular Science suggested housewives might do with a power drill in 1954. »


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broadcast Step farther back in history, however, and it becomes apparent that Greatgrandma and her mother may have had real hands-on ability when it came to household repairs. According to historian Sarah A. Leavitt, the domestic scientists who, at the turn of the 20th century, founded what would eventually become the field of home economics, believed women “should understand the business and technological aspects of their homes.” In turn, they could apply this knowledge to the improvement of living conditions in the community at large. That was the theory, anyway; in practice, it meant that a book like Elizabeth Hale Gilman’s Housekeeping (1911), part of a series called “The Children’s Library of Work and Play,” might devote five pages to sewage systems and under-sink water traps. “In building a new house, it is bet-

ter to have no rugs, no table linen, and to leave two rooms unfurnished…than to put in cheap plumbing,” Gilman advised her preteen readers. Thirty years later, the progressive goals of domestic science had largely given way to the cooking, cleaning, and child-care lessons of home economics. For a few years in the late 1930s, however, high-school students in Kansas had the opportunity to take a class in “Home Mechanics for Girls.” Forgetting the pejorative nature of those last two words for a moment, the class textbook included enough information on wiring (“Thread the cord through the cap, and then tie underwriters’ knot”), household motors (“There are three types of oilers which are common to motors used in the home”), and locksmithing (“With a chisel as wide as can conveniently be used, cut

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the new mortise for plate”) to open a repair shop of one’s own. The book’s preface made it clear that the course was meant to help “prepare the girl to be a better housewife,” but it also gave those housewives a measure of independence by freeing them from the wait for Mr. Fix-It. Most important, the book acknowledged both “that feeling of accomplishment which comes with work well done” and the pride in one’s “ability to do things which most women have to depend upon men to do for them.” It’s impossible to know how many young women took the home mechanics course or studied its textbook, but it’s almost certain that those who graduated from it understood the importance of using the right tool for the job—and knew there were far better uses for a power drill than making milkshakes.



WHEN SCREENWRITER AND director John Hughes died suddenly last August, it was hard not to become wistful for those days when his muse, a teenaged Molly Ringwald, ruled the screen. A flame-haired dynamo with soulful eyes and a way with witty adolescent bon mots, she was the face of the ’80s “Brat Pack,” playing out fears and fantasies legions of girls could identify with in hits like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink. Think you know Molly’s whole story? Then take the quiz!

4. Because she studied overseas and her first husband spoke it, Molly is fluent in what second language? a. German b. Spanish c. Japanese d. French

1. Born in Roseville, CA, in 1968, Molly is the youngest of how many siblings? a. 2 b. 3 c. 4 d. 5 2. Molly’s father, Bob Ringwald, is a well-known jazz pianist despite what physical challenge? a. He’s blind b. He’s deaf c. He has one arm d. He has one leg 14 / BUST // DEC/JAN

5. Which of these smooches did Molly identify as her favorite on-screen kiss of her career? a. Kissing Andrew McCarthy in Pretty in Pink b. Kissing Michael Schoeffling in Sixteen Candles c. Kissing Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club d. Kissing Robert Downey Jr. in The Pick-Up Artist 6. When Molly turned down a lead in this 1987 John Hughes film, it ended her relationship with the screenwriter who made her a star.

a. Weird Science b. Some Kind of Wonderful c. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off d. She’s Having a Baby 7. Now famous for turning down leads in many hit films, which of the following characters that Molly was offered is the only one she actually played? a. Darcy in For Keeps b. Vivian in Pretty Woman c. Molly in Ghost d. Sandy in Blue Velvet 8. In 2003, Molly had a daughter with her second husband, Panio Gianopoulos. In 2009, they became parents of _____. a. Triplet girls b. Twin boys c. Twin girls d. Twins, a boy and a girl 9. In recent years, Molly has been _____. a. Acting in TV shows b. Acting in stage productions c. Writing for newspapers d. All of the above 10. Complete the following Molly quote: “You can’t be ___ forever.” a. famous b. 16 c. a redhead d. in John Hughes movies Answer Key: 1. b, 2. a, 3. c, 4. d, 5. a, 6. b, 7. a, 8. d, 9. d, 10. b

3. When she was six years old, Molly released an album called _______. a. Molly Sings the Blues b. Sing Along With Molly c. I Wanna Be Loved By You, Molly Sings d. Molly Sings Her Favorite Songs



AT THE OPENING of each episode of Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding’s hyperimaginative British comedy series, a deep voice intones, “Come with us now on a journey through time and space to the world of The Mighty Boosh!” Your erstwhile guides in this upsidedown universe are Howard, a self-serious jazz enthusiast, played by 41-year-old Barratt [left], who often finds himself in dangerous and bizarre situations alongside his ultrastylish, hair-obsessed pal Vince, played by 36-year-old Fielding. Their psychedelic sitcom, populated by horny yetis, a lovelorn hermaphrodite merman, a tiny shaman (played by Fielding’s brother Michael), a talking gorilla, a demented moon, and more, leaves fans and journalists alike floundering to describe its irresistible appeal. But its writers/stars are in no rush to explain their surreal vision. “If you dissect comedy, it dies,” Fielding tells me on the pair’s recent sojourn to N.Y.C. “You shouldn’t worry too much about what it is. But people like to know. They get really scared if they don’t know: ‘What’s the joke?!’” Their fans on both sides of the pond, however, definitely seem to get it. Although the Brits have been hip to the Boosh since 2004, when the BBC started airing three seasons of the show, their U.S. following is now picking up speed, with cultish crowds showing up at their live appearances in N.Y.C., L.A., and San Diego earlier this year in dressed-up droves. All this despite the fact that until last January, The Mighty Boosh was available to Americans only via YouTube and illegal downloads. But now that PHOTOGRAPHED BY DANIELLE ST. LAURENT

it’s on Adult Swim and all three seasons have just been released on DVD in the U.S., complete stateside domination is at hand. “We’re apparently storming America now,” quips Barratt while munching a sandwich. “We’re gonna take ass. We’re gonna take people’s asses. Just, like, really, take your asses right off.” “In England we just sort of…caress people,” jokes Fielding, demonstrating the easy banter the two have developed over the past 10 years as collaborators. When I ask why they think ladies especially seem to love their show, though, Fielding gets thoughtful. “Maybe it’s because we’re not sexist,” he suggests. “We don’t just appeal to men. We’re in touch with our feminine sides. We love women, and we want to appeal to women. They’re great, aren’t they? I actually prefer women to men.” The moment clearly is too earnest, so Barratt can’t help but interject. “I think they’re evil,” he deadpans. “Strange.” “The New York Dolls once said if you want to appeal to women, dress up like their dollies and then they’ll want to dress you,” muses Fielding, flexing in his poncho and glam gold boots. “I try to look like women’s dollies so they’ll want to dress me and make my hair into funny shapes.” “That’s deeply fucked up,” Barratt replies. But I have to agree with Fielding, admitting that when I had dolls, I immediately took all their clothes off as soon as they came out of the box. “Exactly,” Fielding says, grinning. [JENNI MILLER] // BUST / 15



ROLLER GIRLS WHO’D RATHER TAKE IT SLOW ARE TEAMING UP WITH DERBY LITE THE RESURGENCE OF roller derby keeps picking up speed, especially since the film Whip It brought the hard-hitting skating phenomenon to the big screen. But what about women who love the sport but can’t afford to risk their necks? Though many may feel more at home on the bleachers, there’s a version of derby out there for more cautious competitors as well. Created two years ago in Oak Park, IL, Derby Lite (also called DL) is a modified version that takes the best parts of derby—the athleticism, the camaraderie, the sassy nicknames—and makes it easier for gals of all ages and experience levels to safely participate through light-contact drills and scrimmages. “Because we have developed a new version of the game, there are fewer limits on who can play,” says 45-year-old Barbara Dolan, aka Queen B, formerly of the Windy City Rollers and founder of Derby Lite. “When I was a Windy City Roller, I saw girls getting seriously injured,” Dolan says, explaining her motivation for changing the game. In fact, Dolan’s former teammate Tahirah Johnson, aka Tequila Mockingbird, was paralyzed from the neck down after falling during a bout. Of course, the sport is rife with other, less dramatic mishaps, too. “There comes a point when you can’t live your life injured,” says Dolan. “You have kids to take care of and a job to go to, and you can’t do that on crutches or with a cast.” But just because DL players don’t put on flashy public bouts and their hits aren’t as big as those in regular derby doesn’t mean they don’t work hard. Practices consist of 90 minutes of skating and a half hour of strength work, with the focus on total body fitness. DL runs regular derby drills, like pace lines, knees drops, and plow stops. But when it comes to blocking or hitting, DL insists on modified, controlled movements to avoid pile-ups and injuries. It also allows game play without a referee, so bouts can be played pick-up-style. After seeing DL membership double in the Chicago area, Dolan started broadening her focus, recently holding an instructor training session with participants from all over the Midwest. “I want it to be like Pilates or yoga,” says Dolan about her hopes to spread the sport nationwide. “DL gives everyone a chance to enjoy the game.” For more information, check out [ELIZABETH VASSOLO] 16 / BUST // DEC/JAN

December 21 — 22 GLOBAL ORGASM Winter doldrums got you down? Then stop hibernating and start hyperventilating! Expect a heat wave during the 24 hours that surround the winter solstice, when the fourth annual “Orgasm for Peace” is planned to rise to a steamy crescendo. From 5:47 a.m. on December 21st to 5:47 a.m. on the 22nd GMT (that’s 1:47 a.m. in N.Y.C.), everyone is encouraged to hit the hot spot “with conscious thoughts of peace, harmony, joy, well-being— everything good.” To learn more about the Big O, visit Through January 10 REFLECTIONS ON THE ELECTRIC MIRROR: NEW FEMINIST VIDEO In this new exhibition, feminist artists including Cathy Begien, Jen DeNike, Kate Gilmore, K8 Hardy and Wynne Greenwood, and Shannon Plumb explore issues related to their bodies, experiences, and identities by placing themselves in front of the lens. The Brooklyn-based show is a throwback to ’70s feminist filmmakers who also investigated issues such as desire, autonomy, and selfhood through home movies. For more info, visit Through February 7 RARE BIRD OF FASHION: THE IRREVERENT IRIS APFEL Known for her quirky, one-of-a-kind style, textile expert Iris Apfel is a truly fierce female. Now 88, the geriatric glamazon can still be spotted wearing a mix of high and low fashion, usually adorned with chunky accessories and her trademark oversized owl glasses. Over 80 of her eclectic ensembles will be on display at the Peabody Essex museum in Salem, MA, where you might even catch a glimpse of the sartorial icon herself at one of her personal appearances! Check it out at [COMPILED BY LIBBY ZAY]


Barbara “Queen B” Dolan at a Derby Lite practice

safety dance

December 6 BUST HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR The annual BUST Holiday Craftacular is back! This all-day shopping and music extravaganza will feature the nation’s hottest DIY talent, including over 200 crafty vendors, DJs, tasty treats, and much more. Listen to the choicest tunes as you browse handmade wares, whether it’s jewelry and accessories or home decor and cards. Then munch holiday goodies in a winter wonderland of unique gifts and crafts. It all goes down at the Metropolitan Pavilion in N.Y.C., so click over to for all the deets.

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broadcast NEWS FROM A BROAD [BY LAURA KRAFFT] though, has today become a common practice. And no matter how many additional incentives the government may now offer gals who go full-time, Dutch women aren’t taking the bait. According to data collected by Vox European Analysis Organization, despite the fact that “Now a part-time job is often considered a trap in which the full potential of women remains unexploited,” Dutch women are content to continue this way, citing such advantages as having more time for “housekeeping, having time for oneself, and having time for friends and hobbies.” Being a Dutch dame sounds like a pretty good deal: not only do they live in a country where authorities won’t bust them for their magic brownies, but they also have the time to enjoy them.

women under the influence LADY DRUNK DRIVING IN THE FAST LANE WE ALL READ with horror about the recent accident in New York where a drunk woman named Diane Schuler drove the wrong way on a highway for almost two miles before crashing into oncoming traffic and killing eight people, including herself, her two-year-old daughter, and three young nieces. What we may not have realized at the time, however, was that cases like Schuler’s are becoming more common. According to The New York Times, “A recent report [by the National Highway

leftover Ziploc bag for a condom. The NHTSA called the problem a national public health and safety issue, and “confirmed Federal Bureau of Investigation figures showing that arrests of women for driving under the influence increased by nearly 30 percent from 1998 to 2007. The number of men arrested decreased 7.5 percent during that same 10year period.” It’s great to speed past the guys, but let’s do it on an academic path, not careening drunk down a highway.

It’s great to speed past the guys, but let’s do it on an academic path, not careening drunk down a highway. Traffic Safety Administration] highlights a new trend: the number of women arrested for driving drunk is on the rise.” It was probably inevitable that the days of “No, thanks, buddy! I can buy my own drink!” would lead to “And I can drive myself home and get my own DUI!” But this report still seems shocking because women are usually less reckless. Look at the cast of Jackass. Or which member of a couple is more likely to suggest using a 18 / BUST // DEC/JAN

GOING DUTCH Women in the Netherlands Embrace the Part-Time Lifestyle An interesting thing happens when you offer someone a great deal—she tends to take you up on it. Case in point: during the ’80s and ’90s, women in the Netherlands were given tax incentives to take part-time jobs to spur them toward participation in the workforce. What was intended as a preliminary measure,

LADIES HIT HARD BY MORE THAN JUST THE MARKET Domestic Violence Increases as Finances Decrease Ever get so mad at the economy you want to hit something? Turns out, you’re not alone. A lot of guys have had the same idea—and they’ve been using their partners and children as punching bags. The worst part, according to the National Organization for Women, is that “economic pressures to support a family will leave women in abusive relationships with no choice but to stay with their battering husbands.” Adding insult to injury, victims’ services agencies around the country are drying up. Despite escalating reports of violence in California alone—“One hotline, in Contra Costa County, CA, received triple the normal number of calls in just the first seven months of this year,” says NOW—California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger line-item vetoed $20 million from the state budget that would have funded 94 domestic-violence shelters. The economy may not cause violence, but it definitely influences it. Do your part to help abuse victims by writing to your governor at violence/. Life during a recession is hard, but it shouldn’t be deadly. ILLUSTRATED BY ANNELIE CARLSTRÖM




AN AMERICAN INDIAN tradition that originated from the Ojibway or Chippewa tribe, dreamcatchers were handcrafted to hang over children’s beds—bad dreams get “caught” in the web, while good dreams slip through the center and down the feathers onto the sleeper. »


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real life Traditionally about the size of your palm and made of willow branches, dreamcatchers were intended to disintegrate over time as the child grew. Here we show you how to create a larger, longer-lasting personalized one with a purse handle and a simple-to-stitch web so you can sleep in peace. Once you master the basic technique, you can get more advanced by tying twigs together to make the frame.

Materials Bamboo purse handle Suede cord Fabric glue Wax cord Decorations like beads, feathers, shells, or gems

Instructions 1. Start with a round bamboo purse handle (available at most craft-supply stores or online at We made two dreamcatchers, one 11" in diameter and one 7" in diameter. To cover an 11" handle, take 12 yards of 1⁄8" suede cord (8 yards for a 7" handle) and knot one end around a point on the hoop.

Start wrapping the cord around the hoop’s perimeter until the entire ring is covered and secure it with fabric glue. 2. To create the web within the ring, take 7 – 9 yards of wax cord for an 11" handle (3 – 5 yards for a 7" handle), and knot one end around a point on the hoop. Loop the cord once tightly around the hoop, and tie a knot 1" away from your starting point. Repeat this step, looping and tying a knot every inch, until you’ve worked your way around the hoop to your starting point. Then, to begin forming the web, make the next round of stitches not on the rim but through the center of each knotted section. Repeat this step, working your way around and around, expanding your web to the center of the hoop. Keep the cord taut, but not too tight or your dreamcatcher will warp. Leave a small hole at the center for the good dreams to “slip” through, and tie a knot to secure the web. 3. You can either decorate the excess cord and let it hang, or you can cut it off at the knot. To decorate your dreamcatcher, attach beads, feathers, shells, or gems to lengths of suede cord and tie them to the hoop. Tie several inches of cord around the top of the catcher, hang it above your bed, and sleep like a baby. [ALEX DYCK AND CALLIE WATTS]


granny ella’s sticky date pudding WHEN I THINK of Granny Ella, I remember an adorable, hilarious, ridiculously tiny (4'10"!) woman who always played capture the flag with us kids despite her 80something years—and sometimes kicked our asses. She attributed most of her vava-verve to exercise, lots of potassium, and doing everything herself. My Granny— who hauled over to Canada from Peebles, Scotland, in the 1950s— “could nae see tha point” of paying someone to do what she could do better. The Scots’ cuisine can be a bit Fear Factor–ish, but stomach lining, blood pudding, and tongue aside, they have some pretty nifty and simple desserts, like this one that is gleefully and guiltlessly ridden with incredible amounts of fat, so you know it tastes freakin’ delicious. Sticky date pudding is Granny’s most prominent culinary legacy, and this sweet cake topped with a rich, buttery sauce makes for a perfect holiday dessert. Combine 1 cup chopped dates, 1 cup boiling water, and 1 tsp. baking soda in a bowl, and set aside. In another bowl, beat 2⁄3 cup sugar and 1⁄2 cup butter. Gradually add 2 eggs and 11⁄2 tsp. vanilla, and beat until fluffy. Fold in 1⁄2 cup of self-rising flour (sold everywhere, it’s the key to bakin’ like a true lass), and add the date mixture; be careful not to overmix. Pour the mixture into a greased 8-inch Springform pan, and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing 1 cup brown sugar, 1⁄2 cup heavy cream, and 1⁄2 cup butter in a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar melts. Serve the pudding in slices smothered in warm sauce for a taste that screams glamour despite its peasant-girl appearance. A small glass of single malt scotch served neat completes the experience and will make you feel a “wee bit blotto.” [SUZANNE COOPER] Send your old school recipes to 20 / BUST // DEC/JAN

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real life


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WHEN BROOKLYN-BASED scientists Britta Riley, 32, and Rebecca Bray, 34, decided to grow their own food, they ran into obstacles that most city dwellers face—fire-escape gardens were outlawed by landlords, and fourthfloor walk-ups with precious floor space didn’t lend themselves to large soil beds. But rather than give up on the idea, the duo came up with a solution: using recycled water bottles, they created a vertical garden that hangs in a window and can produce veggies year round. Now you can tap their DIY ingenuity to sow an indoor crop of your own. “I’m sort of obsessed with hydroponics,” says Riley, explaining the inspiration behind the garden. The ladies’ “window farm,” as they’ve dubbed it, uses a bottom reservoir (a 5-gallon plastic bucket) to carry dissolved nutrients to the top plant in the window. The water then trickles down a root system stored in hanging, nested water bottles. With 25 plants to a 4' x 6' window, their harvest yields an impressive weekly salad of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, okra, basil, and peppers. Best of all, they tell you exactly how to make one yourself at WindowFarms. org. There you’ll find tutorials for every step of the building process, including options

for variations in space, budget, or handiness, so anyone with a window and 30 bucks can grow food in her own apartment. “[We should] address our own personal ecosystems,” says Bray, who met Riley when the two were artists-in-residence at New York’s Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, a gallery that funds the creative use of new technologies. “We can all be scientists, experimenters, and take control of the process.” That sentiment is spreading, and Bray and Riley’s newly created online community proves it. At, an offshoot of their original site, hanging-garden growers swap success stories, troubleshoot problems, and share improvements including babyproofing, designing specifically for herbs, and using Coke bottles as building materials. The women see window farms as a starting point for environmental reform. One of their projects uses their hanginggarden technology to bring relief to “food deserts” in sandy towns outside Johannesburg, South Africa. So while you’re munching your homegrown veggies, you can feel good knowing you’re part of a movement that’s changing the way we eat, one window at a time. [DEVAN BOYLE]


Riley [left] and Bray hangin’ out


Girls Inc. in action

get in shape, girl


GYM TIPS FOR BIG GALS LOOKING FOR HEALTH AT ANY SIZE AS A PLUS-SIZED lady, I used to view gyms as hideous extensions of P.E. class⎯places where physical discomfort and potential mockery lurked around every corner. But when I started drumming in a band, I plunged into that world anyway to increase my endurance, speed, and agility. Check out these big-girl tips I’ve picked up, and maybe you, too, will be inspired to break a sweat and get strong. 1. Location, Location, Location: When it comes to choosing a gym, close to home is not always best. Most offer trial memberships, so try out small neighborhood gyms as well as humongous fitness palaces to see what floats your boat. And don’t just look at the equipment; look at the people. Places where regular folks exercise can make you feel more comfortable than hot spots packed with models and executives cruising each other. 2. Get Over Yourself: One of the hardest hurdles to overcome is the feeling that everyone is looking at you because of your size. Places with long waits to use machines breed self-consciousness because people tend to stare while on line, but it’s born of boredom, not judgment. Take it from me: the vast majority of gym-goers are way too selfobsessed to give you much thought. Buy some new exercise outfits, and hit the floor with confidence. Even if you have to fake it at first, soon you’ll be just as self-absorbed as everyone else. 3. Come Prepared: While many fancy gyms are trickedout with saunas and steam rooms, the problem for big girls is that they often provide only skimpy towels and robes, so try them out beforehand, and if they don’t fit, bring your own. 4. Be a Teacher’s Pet: Fitness classes can be intimidating; the key is learning to modify. Step aerobics making you blue in the face? Get off the bench and do the movement on the floor for a while. Yoga pose feel impossible? Just stretch until you can jump back in. If you introduce yourself to the instructor ahead of time and tell her you’re planning to modify, she’ll often provide alternative moves throughout the class. It’s like getting a personal trainer at group-fitness prices! [EMILY REMS]

NON-PROFITS NEED more than your money, so why not add volunteering to your list of New Year’s resolutions? Donate your time to a good cause by helping young girls through one of these cool organizations. Girls Incorporated ( gives gals ages 6 – 18 the role models and encouragement they need in order to succeed, by offering math, science, media literacy, and pregnancy-prevention programs in more than 300 cities. Different sites have different needs, so contact your local chapter to begin tutoring, stuffing envelopes, or assisting with events. New York City–based Girls Write Now (www.girlswritenow. org) gives high school girls access to professional women authors, editors, poets, and playwrights. The aspiring writers learn the basics of fiction, poetry, journalism, and playwriting in monthly workshops, attend weekly one-on-ones with a mentor, read their work at public events, and get published in the organization’s annual anthology. If you have writing experience, you can volunteer as a mentor, or depending on your skill set, donate your expertise in graphic design, finance, or technology. Middle school can really suck, so the Austin, TX–based Girls Empowerment Network ( is making sure young local ladies don’t become victims of substance abuse, sexual harassment, or depression, through a weekly after-school program that addresses bullying, body-image issues, and decision-making, with discussions facilitated by high-school girls. The non-profit is becoming national, and volunteers are needed for organization committees and to spread the word through tweets and blogs. Girls on the Run ( serves over 50,000 third- to eighth-graders in the U.S. and Canada. The gals gain confidence during a 12-week, non-competitive running program that also promotes media literacy, healthy eating, and collaborative leadership and culminates in a 3.1-mile event. Be a volunteer coach or program facilitator in one of 160 cities, or start a chapter of your own if your hood doesn’t have one. [TARA BRACCO]

Hungry? Oui! If you’ve got a hankerin’ to get French in the kitchen but Julia’s recipe for boeuf bourguignon has you running scared, pick up the first-ever English edition of Ginette Mathiot’s 1932 I Know How to Cook (Phaidon Press, $45). Considered France’s version of The Joy of Cooking, the title’s a subtle eff-you to the era’s male-dominated chef scene, and it’ll have you whipping up crêpe suzettes immédiatement. // BUST / 23

real life


These 'wiches are eggcellent

don’t put a fork in it FINGER FOODS FOR A FAB HOLIDAY FÊTE

WELCOME TO AN easier way to entertain! Forget plates, forks, and knives—we’re going to party finger-food-style. These recipes require nothing more from your guests than a hearty appetite and a napkin. Best of all, when the soiree is over, you’ll have less of a mess, so you can pass out in your party dress without worrying your pretty little head about a dish disaster in the kitchen.

Inside-Out BLTs Start with 2 pints of cherry tomatoes. Cut off the top and scoop out the insides of each one. Fry a package of bacon (turkey or tempeh bacon works too) until crispy. When it’s cool enough to handle, crumble and mix with a shredded head of iceberg lettuce. Fill your tomatoes with this and top with a drizzle of mayo. These can be made up to a half hour before serving but no earlier, as they can get soggy.

Feta and Tomato Concassé on Crostini Slice a couple of baguettes into quarter-inchthick pieces. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees until crispy. Meanwhile, cut 1 pound of 24 / BUST // DEC/JAN

feta into the tiniest little squares you can and about 6 plum tomatoes into a supersmall dice. Toss them together with a few dashes of olive oil and a heaping handful of fresh chopped basil, then salt and pepper to taste. To serve, spoon your concassé onto the crostini.

Chicken ’n’ Waffles Talk about a match made in heaven. If you have the time (and a waffle iron), make waffles from scratch, but a box of your favorite plain frozen waffles will work great too. Thaw them, then use a cookie cutter to stamp out shapes, or just cut a regular-size waffle into 4 square minis. For the pulled chicken, marinate 4 or 5 boneless chicken breasts overnight in a few shots of barbecue sauce, a shot each of Worcestershire, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil, fresh ground pepper, a few pinches of garlic powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Then bake at 300 degrees until cooked through (40 minutes to an hour). Shred it using two forks or your fingers. Save all the drippings from the baking pan and pour over your pulled chicken. Toast your waffles till crisp, then dollop the chicken on top. PHOTOGRAPHED BY JESSICA BOONE


as the wool turns


TWIRL THE WINTER BLUES AWAY BY MAKING YOUR OWN YARN HAND-SPUN YARN can warm your body and brighten your spirits, which makes spinning the perfect craft for cold winter months. Creating your own yarn from fibers such as bamboo, cotton, or wool gives you complete control over your next knit or crocheted project, and using a drop spindle for spinning is relaxing and cheap. All you need is some prepared fiber, a spindle, and a chair to sit on. »


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A drop spindle has three parts: a center shaft that holds yarn and creates twist when spun, called the spindle; a disk-shaped weight, aka a whorl; and a hook at the top of the spindle that holds the yarn as you twist your fibers. Start by taking a piece of scrap yarn, approximately 12", and tie the ends together, creating a loop. With your upright spindle in hand, wrap the yarn around the dowel below the whorl and secure it with a slip knot. This is your leader yarn; pull it up and over the whorl and through the hook. Pull off a handful of roving (a long narrow bundle of fiber available at select yarn stores or, for online suppliers, try and insert a small amount of the end through the loop of the leader, wrapping the end back onto itself. Pinch this join with your non-dominant hand, and sitting down, add your first twist by rolling the spindle between your palm and your thigh, from the top of the inner leg to the knee. Then park the spindle between your knees. Holding the top of the twist between the fingers of your non-dominant hand, use your other hand to pull the fiber away from the join, elongating it with short motions and light pressure. This is called drafting. Be careful not to pull so much that you break the chain of fibers. When you become more confident, you can drop the spindle and draft while it’s still spinning. When the thickness of the section (aka the drafting zone) is to your liking, move your non-dominant hand up the fibers, allowing the twist to follow your fingers but not pass them. Add more twist using the same inner-thigh-to-knee rolling motion as before, and continue stretching the fibers and lengthening the twist until you’ve created an arm’s length of yarn. Then wind it onto the spindle below the whorl. To add more fiber, fan out the end of your yarn, and overlap the new fiber in the drafting zone. Move your non-dominant hand to travel the twist upward over both ends, securing them together. When you’ve completed spinning the amount of yarn you’d like, wind it off the spindle onto a niddy noddy (a skeinmaking tool) or around a chair back. Remove the leader yarn, and tie the ends of your new yarn together. To keep it from getting tangled while you set the twist, tie thread around it in several different places before you pull it off the chair back. To set the twist, wet the skein, wring out excess water, and hang dry, weighting the bottom loop with a few coat hangers. When the yarn is fully dry, twist it until the skein folds back on itself, then pull one loop through the other. [MEGAN LACORE, WWW.THEARTOFMEGAN.COM] For instructions on how to spin yarn with a wheel, go to 26 / BUST // DEC/JAN


Strawberry Spindles Forever Handcrafted for handcrafters, this yarn-making tool is painted in traditional Russian Khokhloma style ($26.99,

Rove If You Want To Some special hand-dyed Bluefaced Leicester for the ladies who like it raw ($16,

A Different Wool If yarn twisting makes you shout, don’t let it get your goat—grab a handspun bundle instead. This one’s part mohair, so it’s superfuzzy ($32.50, www.

Look at That S Car Go Give this handmade drop spindle, featuring Seymour the snail, a whorl ($15,


real life



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califragilisticexpialidocious. According to Invented Spelling, fixating on a little child’s spelling errors may cause her to grow discouraged, as if the story she’s trying to get down on paper isn’t very good either. Before you know it, Janie can’t write! By fostering a temporary belief that spelling doesn’t matter, we help keep those creative taps open forever! The proper form can come later. It would, the principal reassured the

Inky and Milo can measure just fine, but they can’t spell for shit. few holdouts, one of whom, judging by the creased brow and folded arms, was my husband. “I promise you,” she said. “We will not let your children leave this place without knowing how to spell.” Um, yeah. I think I might know of one who managed to get away. In fact, you might want to check the floodgates, because I think a number slipped through when they were left wide open. Back when I helped edit the graduating fifth graders’ yearbook, there was a mandate against fiddling with the content of the students’

“What about a dinosaur who eats pizza?” Uninspired, to be sure, but pizza is one of the few words he’s incapable of misspelling, thanks to the neon reinforcement of our city’s ubiquitous $2-a-slice joints. “Chop, chop, let’s go. Or no TV.” “No TV?” he croaks, stricken. Please. Like this is some novel threat. It’s too late now, but maybe if I’d been less of a hard-liner where the boob tube is concerned, PBS Kids could’ve taught my kids how to spell. Ain’t no fuzzy monster singing the praises of Invented Spelling unless he wants to lose his funding.


I SUPPOSE EVERY generation must suffer the slings and arrows of some outrageous educational craze. Chisanbop. The Suzuki method. My second-grade classmates and I logged a lot of quality time with Cuisenaire Rods, a hands-on math system whose bright colors and functional design presaged the rise of Ikea. Back when the American public still believed we were on the brink of forced conversion to kilograms and milliliters, Cuisenaire rods represented the Great Metric Hope. As a result, I am incapable of guesstimating anything in inches. Ask me for six inches of string and I’ll cut you a length ranging anywhere from three centimeters to something just shy of a foot. Inky and Milo can measure just fine, but they can’t spell for shit, a failing I, a former third-grade spelling bee first-runner-up, find particularly vexing. I blame myself, but not nearly as much as I blame the Board of Ed. They’re the ones who sold the liberal public-school parents of Brooklyn snake oil in the guise of Invented Spelling. Some of my peers looked a bit jumpy when the concept was introduced to us at a long ago curriculum night, but I lapped it up faster than Microsoft Word spell-checking super-

reflections, but I did seek permission to correct their misspellings. “Absolutely,” the teacher in charge growled, massaging his forehead. “Wouldn’t want them looking like a bunch of illiterates.” Or, as a first-grader might be encouraged to write that sentence, “Wudunt wunt thm lking lik a buch uv”—sorry, I can’t bring myself to contemplate how one would write “illiterate” using Invented Spelling, only that there are no wrong answers! Inky’s impulse toward creative writing is such that I now doubt a little thing like being made to arrange letters by the book would’ve doused her flame. It’s hard to imagine anything coming between her and her desire to generate historic first-person fiction, of the kind that starts “After momma died of scarlit fever on the way to Callyfornia…” If I’d known what I know now, I could have yoked her younger brother to a more traditional approach. That way, he’d still hate to write, but at least he could spell. As it now stands, even when the word is printed at the top of the page, he misspells it, as a subtle Fuk U to anyone who would make him write three sentences. Even if they can be “fun.” I’m like, “Excuse me, I refrained from squelching your creative spark, and this is how you repay me? This shouldn’t take 45 minutes! Come on. They can be about dinosaurs.” “That is so lame.”


tamera ferro WEB STRATEGIST/ARTIST How would you describe your style? Because I thrift a lot of what I wear, there’s definitely a patchwork feeling to my style. Right now, I’m generally into an Audrey Hepburn–meets–black forest–meets– gypsies look. [laughs] Tell me about what you’re wearing here. The dress is from the ’60s; it has scalloped embroidery. It was $8, from Goodwill. The leather gloves are vintage as well; I thrifted them in Vermont. They are a favorite find—so incredibly soft. The shoes are Michael Kors, and they were $100. Michael Kors, eh? I thought your wardrobe was thrifted. It’s mostly thrifted. Sometimes, though, I’m on a fashion mission. I’ll try that “putting it out into the universe that I need this” thrift magic. If that doesn’t work—and it often does—I will buy things new. Tell me about that incredible hat and cape. I made the little hat, from faux-bois print fabric. I also made the cape, from a piece of hand-felted, naturally dyed wool. Both were inspired by the ’40s. Do you have a background in fashion? My first years of school were in a fashion-design program at Moore College of Art, a small school in Philadelphia. What inspires you? The elements and colors of nature, or watching a film that has a certain feel to it and wanting to re-create that feeling somehow. Does being an artist affect what you choose to wear? Yes. When getting dressed, I feel as if I’m curating or creating an art installation, but it’s around fashion. Even when I’m choosing an outfit for work, where I can’t be as expressive, I try to create a persona, like, “This is a 1940s pencil-skirtsecretary look, or this is a beatnik-gamine-1960s look,” so it at least feels more interesting for me, almost like I’m playing a part. [TRICIA ROYAL]


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she’s got the look TAKE A STYLE CUE FROM ALABAMA’S CALL-GIRL COOL IN THE 1993 lovers-on-the-lam classic True Romance, penned by Quentin Tarantino, Patricia Arquette stole the show as a lone lady in a movie full of dudes (including Christian Slater at his bad-boy peak as her john-turned-hubby, Clarence Worley). Her girl group– loving, fledgling hooker with a heart of gold, Alabama Whitman, was a four-alarm fire and had the style to prove it. Rocking a reckless mix of bright colors and bold animal prints, she hit a striking balance between sweet and slutty. Using her captivating laugh and honeyed drawl, she killed everyone with kindness, unless, of course, she was killing them with gunshots, all in the name of love. Grab these Alabama-inspired goods, and tap into your inner tart by adding a little Romance to your life. [LISA BUTTERWORTH AND TARA MARKS]



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looks penny-pinching pampering THE BUST STAFF RAVES ABOUT OUR DRUGSTORE BEAUTY FAVES Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara ($4.89) “It’s the best cheap mascara you can get. It doesn’t clump, and I love the Blackest Black color.” – Callie



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Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($8.99) “Who needs soap and water? These towelettes are a quick and neat way to wash your face, and they’re great for travel, too.” – Laurie




St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub ($3.99) “I love using this product right before going to bed—you wake up the next morning feeling superglowing and clean. Not to mention it smells amazing!” – Erin


Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($7.99) “This really and truly is the brand that dermatologists recommend. I know because my dermatologist recommended it, and I’ve been addicted to it ever since.” – Debbie


Olay Body Wash Plus Tone Enriching Ribbons ($6.99) “The subtle shimmer this body wash leaves behind on my skin makes me feel like an extra in the Twilight Saga.” – Emily


Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub ($7.49) “My skin is supersensitive, so exfoliants usually rub me the wrong way. But this scrub is perfectly gentle.” – Lisa


Lafe’s Natural and Organic Deodorant Stick, $7.99,

Yes to Carrots Hair and Scalp Moisturizing Mud Mask, $12.99,

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin-Clearing Toner, $11,


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Feel the burn! This toner was a great addition to my morning routine, and it left my face feeling fresh and clean all day. Just remember to moisturize afterward.

This toner got my face superclean—no grime or makeup in sight. It also left a pleasant tingly feeling on my skin but made my face a little too tight and dry for me to use it every day.

It smelled a little funky (like a very pungent garden center), but this toner chilled out my blemishy skin. Sweeping the green stuff over my just-washed face left me feeling cool, clean, and light.

My hair was left feeling silkysmooth, just like I’d hoped. This mud mask takes some time to apply, though, and girls with superthick hair like mine will need a lot of it to coat from root to tip.

I’m pretty low-maintenance when it comes to hair care, and even I thought this product was easy to use. After rinsing it out, my locks were soft and completely tangle-free—a major perk for a lazy person with long hair.

My hair is oily, and conditioning treatments usually add to the problem. But the natural magic of this mask made my tresses soft and silky, not greasy or weighed-down.

As a sweaty girl, natural deodorant products usually turn me off. They cost a lot and don’t keep me dry. However, this stick actually worked…for a couple of hours. I had to reapply during the day, but I felt good using something natural.

I’ve always believed chemicals were the only remedy for underarm stench, but this deodorant proved me wrong. It won’t stop you from sweating, but it did stop me from stinking, and didn’t leave any gross white residue behind.

Let’s be real—this deodorant didn’t work. After a liberal application, I was in the clear for a good hour. But when the sweat came, so did the smellies. Without a perfume to cover my natural odor, the B.O. did flow.





248 BROOME ST. NYC 10002 212-674-8383

check out our blog // BUST / 33



HAVING A SIGNATURE scent is an easy way to take your personal style to the next level. But smelling your aroma on someone else is like showing up to a party in the same dress. So why not create your own affordable, custom scent? Perfumes are made up of “notes,” individual scents that are layered in “chords” to create an enticing blend. To get the right result, you need to mix complementary fragrances, which fall into three classifications. Top notes are the first to reach your nose and are typically citrus, herbal, and ginger-type scents. Heart notes are the middle tier, often floral, and frequently the inspiration for the fragrance. Base notes are the anchors⎯their aromas last the longest, and woodsy or musky scents are the most common. These instructions are for a three-note, single-chord perfume, perfect for getting started.

MATERIALS 3 essential or fragrance oils (available at and, one for each classification. Go to downloads.html for a list of fragrances by category. For an earthy, citrus scent, try bergamot (top), heliotrope (heart), and a musk (base). Jojoba oil (or other scentless, vegetable-based carrier oil); pipettes or glass droppers (one for each oil); an empty (clean!) bottle for storing your creation (available at and; and newspaper or paper towels to protect your work surface. 34 / BUST // DEC/JAN


INSTRUCTIONS 1. Line up your notes in the order you’ll be using them: base, heart, top. A basic perfume chord requires 2 parts base note, 1 part heart note, and 1 part top note. A typical 1⁄4 oz. formula is roughly 200 drops, so a simple one-chord formula looks like this: Component





40 drops

Heart Base


40 drops


80 drops



40 drops

2. Fill a pipette with your base oil and drop the amount desired into your final container. Repeat for the heart and top notes (you’ll add the carrier oil later). Do not reuse pipettes—this will crosscontaminate your raw materials. 3. Once your oils are blended, cap your container, label it with the date, and walk away. Let it sit for at least one week, to give the chemical compounds time to marry. Put your concoction somewhere dark and cool, like your medicine cabinet or fridge, for best results. 4. Open your perfume and smell. If it’s not what you wanted, let it sit a little longer or go back to the drawing board. Like it? Now you can dilute it. Add your carrier oil and repeat step 3. Now let your perfume rest for 3 to 4 weeks. 5. If you’ve reached the end of your grace period without going completely mad, open up. Smell it, love it, wear it! [MEREDITH TUCKER]

To see the author’s custom creations go to


scent of a woman



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1. Wear the Wild Things Are This silky-smooth animalprint collective will keep you warm, dry, and stenchfree thanks to moisturemanagement and odorcontrol fiber enhancements (top, $43; bottom, $43, 2. No Stank You This set is stinkproof, so after you’ve worked up a sweat shredding in the snow, your beaver won’t smell like it just crawled out of the Hudson (top $44.95; bottom $39.95,

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3. Union Movement You’re the onesie I want! Stay toasty in this striped suit while you’re walking in a winter wonderland ($70, 4. My Blue Heaven These bad boys are so soft and thin, you’d never guess they’re made of wool ($59.99,


5. Elephant Tightness You’ll never forget to put these cozy pink pachyderms on parade ($49, // BUST / 35



Evening falls on Asheville

Buskin’ babe

Spin your partner at the Grey Eagle


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AT THE SAME time AARP named Asheville, NC, a top place to retire, Rolling Stone named it “the new freak capital of the U.S.,” proving that this charming Southern city defies categorization, with its eclectic mix of people, places, and things to do. You’ll find spray-painted alleys that are home to movie studios, art collectives, and impromptu street parties next to quaint, community garden– filled neighborhoods. A downtown venue may host Joanna Newsom one day and a gun show the next. If you’re looking for a low-key getaway with some serious scenery, you’ll love Asheville’s sleepy pace and friendly feel. So why don’t you pay us a visit and experience firsthand what draws all the retirees, freaks, yogis, fashion designers, musicians, artists, DIY-ers, granolas, and gutterpunks to this lovably kooky mountain town. Because Asheville is full of San Francisco– esque hills, it’s best to begin your adventures fully fueled. The Over Easy Cafe (32 Broadway St.) is a breakfast favorite, with to-die-for omelets. Snag one of the small joint’s 10 tables, and try a side of grits while you’re at it. Or stop in to the Tupelo Honey Cafe (12 College St.), which fuses Southern comfort food with healthy ingredients, for their legendary sweet potato pancakes. Once you’ve been fed, it’s time to hit the trails. Asheville’s nestled in the Blue Ridge Moun-

tains, so the surrounding area has more options for hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, and camping than you can imagine. But the must-hit spot is DuPont State Forest, just 40 miles southwest. All its trails, which range from easy to challenging, lead to one of three epically beautiful waterfalls. Back in town, head west down Haywood Rd. (between Patton Ave. and Clingman Ave.) and you’ll hit the gold mine of kitsch—buildings with old, funky marquees left intact, barbershops, countless diners, and vintage stores galore. Stop in to the Westville Pub (777 Haywood Rd.), a neighborhood restaurant/bar that hosts Asheville’s most laid-back crowd. Go on a Wednesday night for a winning combo: Stitch ’n Bitch and all-you-can-eat lasagna. On the other end of Haywood you’ll find Custom (415 Haywood Rd.), a superaffordable boutique owned by two sisters who stock the store with all things cute, including colorful home goods from their native Mexico, clothes that won’t break the bank, and gorgeous handmade jewelry. Next door to Custom is everyone’s favorite record store, Harvest Records (415-B Haywood Rd.) run by Matt and Mark—two of Asheville’s nicest. The city has a seriously thriving music scene (it’s been dubbed “Little Austin”), and these guys are in the know, PHOTOGRAPHED BY MIKE BELLEME

Impressive erection

Hiker chicks

Rosetta’s grub

so hit them up for advice about what shows to catch while you’re in town. They’ll likely send you to the Grey Eagle (185 Clingman Ave.), a smoke-free venue that showcases indie bands like Cat Power, Mates of State, Deerhoof, and Sparklehorse. If you’re looking for an authentic Southern hoedown, give their Monday night contra dancing event a whirl and try your hand at old-time square dancing. After you get your music fill, head to BoBo (22 Lexington Ave.), a cozy, low-lit bar/ club/art gallery that’s almost always bouncing until last call. Though popular with the local artist crowd, BoBo hosts all types of folks and, depending on the evening, you may catch a poetry slam, a puppet show, or a healthy dose of belly-dancing. If dark and smoky is more your scene, hit up Broadway’s (113 Broadway St.) for a PBR and a round of pool. This classic dive also has an upstairs space for late-starting shows that lean heavily toward local indie rock and punk bands. Or come on a Wednesday for ’80s night, and dance to Cyndi Lauper till you drop. Rosetta’s Kitchen (111 Broadway St.), conveniently located next to Broadway’s, is a perfect cure for the post-party hunger

The ladies love Custom

Pool sharks at Broadway’s

pangs. Rosetta and her staff dish out a range of healthy vegan/vegetarian options until 3 a.m. on weekends, but you’d be a fool to pass up the mac ’n’ cheese. Sit on the covered patio upstairs, and watch the drama of the evening unwind below. After a night on the town, you’ll want to continue exploring Asheville’s quaint hoods, so put on your walking shoes. Crafters should make a beeline for Earth Guild (33 Haywood St.), a DIY heaven and the goto spot for all things knitting, including rare alpaca threads and hand-dyed silk yarns. A couple of doors down is the Woolworth Walk (25 Haywood St.), a full-building gallery representing close to 200 local artists where pieces are as varied as watercolor landscapes and edgy acrylic paintings on found objects. And in a very odd, very Asheville pairing, the gallery houses an old-fashioned soda fountain with simple eats like hot dogs, grilled cheese, and, of course, malts, shakes, and cream sodas. If you’re into spicy food, try Mela (70 N. Lexington Ave.) for a midday meal. This Indian restaurant serves up the most addictive samosas, and at just over eight bucks, the lunch buffet is a steal. If there’s a wait (highly

Downtown, where all the lights are bright

possible), you can kill some time browsing at Downtown Books & News (67 N. Lexington Ave.) across the street. Along with an ever-rotating collection of over 35,000 used books, they have Asheville’s most comprehensive selection of local and national indie ’zines (including BUST, of course!). And be sure to check out nearby boutique Minx (64 N. Lexington Ave.). Owner Rebeccah and her staff of Asheville’s best-dressed stock the store with the cutest threads this side of the Mississippi. For a post-meal pick-me-up, try Izzy’s Coffee Den (74 N. Lexington Ave.), a cozy coffee shop with vintage sofas and scrumptious chai tea that will warm you up on even the chilliest afternoon. Caffeine in hand, wander up and down Lexington Ave., a street that captures this town’s quintessential quirk. Everybody needs a breath of fresh air, and Asheville is the perfect place to find it, along with gorgeous mountain views, oodles of homegrown art and music, and a tight-knit community that welcomes visitors with good ol’ Southern hospitality. You’ll feel like a local before your trip is through, and who knows, you may just want to be one! // BUST / 37

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BUST staff picks for this season’s most perfect presents

Photography: Christine Blackburne Staff Portraits: Amanda Bruns Hair: Jennifer Silva & Prissy Daugherty Makeup: Kim Weber // BUST / 39

Laurie Henzel, Publisher and Creative Director [Clockwise from top] I die for these totally ’70s clog boots. Swedish Hasbeens High-Heeled Jodhpur, $358, This foxy silver ring represents wit, wisdom, and good luck. Fox Head Ring, $216, Yeah, baby, groove out to these obscure sounds. Where The Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968, $64.98, Spice up your routine with a round of mint tea. Demna Tea Pot, $49 for tea pot and three glasses, I love a nice set of chompers. Peppermint Denture Soap Set, $4 for two, Prepare for the return of vinyl with this cute little record player that converts your platters to mp3s. Crosley Tech Turntable, $129.95, or 1-866CROSLEY. Best brownie ever, no kidding. Vanilla Sea Salt Caramel Brownies, $36 for 12, 40 / BUST // DEC/JAN


Debbie Stoller, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief [Clockwise from top] This robin’s-egg blue 8-speed is so damn sweet, I want to lick it. Electra Townie Euro 8D in Cadet Blue, $600, You can make any bike totes adorbs with these floral pannier bags and matching polka-dot saddle cover. Basil Rosa Double Bag, €49.95, and Basil Rosa Saddle Cover, €6.95, This handcrafted, rustic wood frame will bring a little bit of country to a city apartment. Turquoise Stacked Pine Picture Frame, $24, A painting of a bird that’s so expressive you could swear it was staring at you? Yes, please. “Will You Please Put Down That US Magazine and Listen to Me” Art Print, $14, Tessa Kiros’ cookbooks are so beautiful, they belong on your coffee table—right next to some fresh-baked cinnamon and cardamom buns. Venezia, $34.99; Falling Cloudberries, $29.99; Apples for Jam, $29.95, I can’t wait to try making chèvre with this kit. Just add milk! Deluxe DIY Cheese Kit, $50, This pretty throw pillow is filled with lavender and buckwheat hulls, so it has secret soothing powers. Vintage Crewel and Antique Grain Sack Dream Pillow, $45, Oversized, retro-styled, and animalfriendly, this knitting bag has compartments to hold your project in progress, and all your other junk, too. The Knitter’s Satchel, $89, // BUST / 41

Emily Rems, Managing Editor [Clockwise from top] The perfect shirt for true lovers of True Blood. “Fangtasia: Life Begins at Night” T-Shirt, $24.99, This stunning sparkler makes any hand look grand. Jorgensen Studio Vintage Swarovski Crystal Bling Ring V2, $52, These speakers made from recycled cardboard fold up flat to go anywhere! OrigAudio’s Fold n’ Play Speakers in Cityscape, $16, I’m sold on this pretty, pink, and powerful digi-cam. Nikon Coolpix S570 Digital Camera, $199.95, Never has something so sad looked so rad. Miju “A Tragedy” Necklace, $48, Once you get past the tactile awesomeness of this book’s fuzzy velvet cover, the inside is pretty swell too. The Velvet Underground: An Illustrated History of a Walk on the Wild Side by Jim DeRogatis, $30, Has it really been two decades since John Cusack held that boom box over his head? Say Anything 20th Anniversary Edition, $15.98, 42 / BUST // DEC/JAN


Lisa Butterworth, Associate Editor [Clockwise from top] These handmade necklaces are like a grown-up version of friendship bracelets. For Me, For You by Kate Miss Necklaces, $50 each, A cute wool coat from Rebecca Turbow makes cold weather OK. Safe Collar Wrap Coat, $190, www. Pay homage to love with a little hand-stitchery. Miniature Rhino by Jessica Marquez Custom Heart Sampler, $60, The perfect tee for the perfect day. Nooworks “Best Day Ever� T-Shirt, $30, The ideal tchotchke for your Polaroid-obsessed pals. Yellow Owl Workshop Ceramic Ghost Camera, $60, This handcrafted prize ribbon is a total winner. Bee Ribbon Brooch, $90, Coolest decade ever. This book proves it. 70s Style & Design by Dominic Lutyens and Kirsty Hislop, $31.50, // BUST / 43

Erin Wengrovius, Senior Designer [Clockwise from top] Forget diamonds. Try this eye-catching, Day-Glo piece of bubblegum cast in brass instead. Bubblegum Necklace by Kiel Mead, $100, This innovative ABC pop-up book was designed for the type-nerd in your life. ABC 3D by Marion Bataille, $19.95, www. I can’t decide what’s better, the adorable retro shape or the delicious espresso this machine makes. Espressione Café Retró, $399, This gadget will fill your room with rainbows—unicorns sold separately. Double Rainbow Maker, $35, The official boots of the Queen. Enough said. Hunter Boots in Original Green, £60, These gloves keep fingers lacy yet warm when it’s cold outside. Lacy Fingerless Arm Warmers by Goorin Brothers, $25, Enjoy a different vintage Alice in Wonderland print with every meal. Alice Glasses, $20 for set of four, 44 / BUST // DEC/JAN


Callie Watts, Customer Service and Crafty Lady [Clockwise from top] Handmade by Hannah Havana, this hamburger-shaped handbag makes my mouth water. Hambag Purse, £28, The back of this dress boasts the Lil Wayne lyric “I got cake like everyday my birthday.” The Wayne Cake Dress by MindRite, $45, The best thing about these handmade earrings is that the tiny graffiti guy will write anything you want, because the scrawl on the wall is customized! Train Hoop Earrings, $195, A flat over-the-knee boot is the perfect winter way to go from your bike to the dance floor. Trust Me Suede Boot, $119, www. These gloves have touch pads on the fingertips so you can tickle the ivories by touching anything. Piano Gloves, $49.99, www.jcpenney. com. This keychain is the prettiest way to transport your files. Tribal 2GB USB Drive, $32.50, Equipped with a timer and a brew-pause feature, this pot is perfect for both those who plan ahead and those who procrastinate. Brew Central 14-Cup Coffeemaker, $99.95, // BUST / 45


For the past 10 years, Amy Poehler’s comedy career has been unstoppable. And from the improv trenches to Saturday Night Live to her current incarnation as a 38-year-old movie star and primetime darling, she’s remained a relatable gal we’d love to pal around with. Here, we get a peek at what being friends with Poehler is really like, as she chats it up with her frequent collaborator and

were both trying to break into the improv comedy scene there. She dressed like an eighthgrade boy back then, in Converse sneakers and band T-shirts, but made it a girly thing. And she was a pioneer. Instead of waiting around to be moved up the ranks of Second City, like most of us were doing, Amy and her three cohorts from the Upright Citizens Brigade—Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts—moved to N.Y.C. to start a theater in 1996. This was crazy! Surely, Amy would have made it at Second City, the granddaddy of all comedy programs. But no, she fearlessly did her own thing instead and created a venue that is now the improv mecca of New York City.



fellow comic, Rachel Dratch AMY POEHLER IS the epitome of cool. Women want to befriend her. Comedians want to emulate her. Guys want to befriend her, emulate her, date her, and/or make sweet love to her. And comedy guys want to bone her, because that’s what comedy guys call it. She is a rare combination of sweet and tough. Both feminine and tomboyish, she can get a roomful of guys to do whatever she wants. She is kind and friendly. She’s a go-getter and a superambitious chick. She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes. She can ruin your faith with her casual lies. But she’s always a woman to me. We met in Chicago in the ’90s while we

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mated show The Mighty B! and your Internet show Smart Girls at the Party, which are both for kids. Talk about feminism and your work inspiring girls. Well, Rachel Dratch, The Mighty B! was a Nickelodeon project that I started with my friend Cynthia True, who is a great writer, and her partner Erik Wiese, who is an animator. We started with me wanting to do this character that I had done back in my Upright Citizens Brigade days who was kind of a Girl Scout. And in making it, we discovered this fun, empowered, quirky girl. It was something we didn’t see enough of in animated shows. At the time, watching a lot of those shows, the girls were either boy crazy or mean to each other, unless they were a superhero. This girl is interested in bigger things than the boy next door, so the show falls under the umbrella of girl power. The other project, Smart Girls at the Party, is a Web

pertise have been? Were you into acting when you were little? No, not really. Were you? Well, I was into doing the school plays. And I was into dancing around to Annie in the living room. That’s so funny. Annie was a real telltale thing. How much a girl got into Annie was sort of a definitive measure of how much she wanted to be on stage. If you were the kind of person who was like, “I’m cool with being one of the orphans and I’ll do a ‘Hard-Knock Life’ performance during a sleepover, but I’m not so down with doing it for the whole school,” then you were someone who perhaps would not pursue acting as a career. You and I both enjoyed Annie. I did a lot of basement acting out. Basement performances? Oh, my God, Basement Performances by Amy Poehler. Grease was also a big deal. To answer your question about what I would have talked about on Smart Girls,

Amy and I actually grew up 10 minutes away from each other in Massachusetts—Amy in Burlington, and I in Lexington—but we didn’t know each other as kids. Our high-school football teams played each other every Thanksgiving. We both worked at the same ice-cream parlor, Chadwick’s, at different times. We both had a lead in our sixth-grade productions of Once Upon a Mattress. Poehler had a secretary named Dratch, and Dratch had a secretary named Lincoln. Wait a minute… I’ve had the pleasure of working with Amy over many years, from Asssscat, the improv show we did together at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre when I first moved to N.Y.C. in 1999, to Saturday Night Live, where we overlapped from 2001 to 2006, to our work together on Spring Breakdown, the 2009 film I cowrote and produced that we also starred in together. I’ve told Amy that I often picture a little imaginary bracelet on my arm that reads “W.W.P.D?” because Poehler don’t take no shit. If there’s a line or a bit that’s not funny and she knows it’s not going to get a laugh, she won’t indulge or placate whomever’s telling her to say it, like I sometimes do. Instead, she’ll quickly and authoritatively say, “Yeah. We’re not doing that.” Case closed. W.W.P.D? What Would Poehler Do? Let’s find out!

“Girls between the ages of 9 and 13 keep reminding me of how fun it is to not care about what other people think.”

Amy: Hey, dude! Thanks for doing this. My God, we’re being recorded! Rachel: I know! I can’t believe I have the Great White on the line. You and I have had many, many, conversations but never one that has been recorded. At least not to our knowledge. Where are you right now? I’m in my living room. It’s just a beautiful day out here [in New York]. Where are you? I am in Los Angeles, in my house, and it’s a honey of a day out here, too. When we’re being recorded we use phrases like “honey of a day.” All right, well, one thing I was thinking of that connects you with BUST readers is that you actually do projects that are feminist-minded. I was thinking specifically of your ani-

series I did with my friends Meredith Walker and Amy Miles. We wanted to do a Charlie Rose–style interview show for girls where they could talk about what they’re interested in. That came from a much more deliberate place of trying to find something we could enjoy doing that would also be inspiring for girls. What have you learned from the girls? Ooh, that’s a good question! You know, it’s funny. Girls who are between the ages of 9 and 13 are at the precipice. They’re not yet completely obsessed with how they look. They’re just turning into teenagers but they’re still kind of kids. And they kept reminding me of how fun it is to not care about what other people think; how liberating that can be. If little Amy Poehler were on Smart Girls, what would your field of ex-

though, I used to write a lot of poems and short stories then. But honestly, if you caught me on a different day, it would just be, like, roller-skating. I could probably sail away to the Pinot Grigio Islands with you right now. Explain what that is to the people reading this, Dratch. Amy and I like to drink wine together, and our drink of choice is often Pinot Grigio, so when we want to go out together we say, “Shall we sail to the Pinot Grigio Islands this evening?” and it makes it feel like we’re on an exotic Italian vacation to the Pinot Grigio Isles. You can see Chianti Mountain from there. [both laugh] Moving on, BUST says they haven’t interviewed you since you had your // BUST / 49

son, Archie, last year. So what are your favorite and least favorite things about being a mom? My favorite thing is my kid. It’s cliché, but it’s true. A little person exists in this little body, and he’s growing, and getting to meet that person is the coolest part. And then—BUST will enjoy this rant and so will you, Dratch. This is a rant I would say to you even if I wasn’t being interviewed. My least favorite part is when women ask me how I do it. There’s been a little lady-on-lady crime in my life recently, where a person was asking me about my schedule and, like working mothers everywhere, I have to work and I have help. I’m lucky to have help with my kid, and then you’ve just got to make it work. In my case, I’m a lot luckier than some people who have to work two jobs and, you know, I sometimes get to bring my kid to work and all that stuff. But this

that, like, weirdly stick in your head that are just projected shit that women tell each other. It’s such a drag! I like how you call it “lady-on-lady crime,” because nobody would ask a dude questions like, “How do you do it?” My cousin Lynn, who’s a working mother, she would be in meetings and guys would be like, “I gotta leave early you guys. My kid has a baseball game.” And people would be like, “Oh, my God, that’s so cute! He’s leaving early for the baseball game!” But then when a mother says, “I have to leave early ’cause there’s a baseball game,” everyone’s like, “We really need you here.” Are people asking if Archie is going to be funny because he has two comedian parents? [Amy’s husband is comedian Will Arnett] Actually, he has the personality of a

“Women who stay at home are supposed to pretend it’s boring, and women who work are supposed to pretend they feel guilty.” woman was like, “Oh, my God, your hours! You just work so hard! How do you do it?” And I realized that, “How do you do it?” really means “How could you do it?” Ooh! Isn’t that interesting? I was like, “I want to punch you fucking right in the mouth.” [both laugh] Even when you were pregnant, you said you’d get a lot of unwanted advice. And now people are still butting their noses in. Yeah, there’s an unwritten rule that women who stay at home are supposed to pretend it’s boring, and women who work are supposed to pretend they feel guilty, and that’s how it works. That’s a good observation. Women fuckin’ torture each other. It’s just constant. That’s the weird part of all of this; the drive-bys, the comments 50 / BUST // DEC/JAN

French New Wave film. He’s really serious, very abstract. I like that answer. Now, you’ve probably been asked this before, but I was wondering who your influences were growing up in terms of becoming a funny person. You and I grew up around the same time. Do you remember watching SNL growing up? Yes. I especially remember watching some of the musical acts when I was in the fourth grade and thinking, “What is this?” I think I remember Mick Jagger singing “Shattered” and David Bowie in a dress. Wow. We have to point out to the readers of BUST now that Dratch is a human jukebox. I challenge anyone. Dratch knows the lyrics to any song. Well, from a certain era. I don’t know

today’s music. And Amy knows every rap song, by the way. That’s a little-known fact. I remember in Chicago, Amy was the cool chick who was genuinely into rap. You weren’t into rap like, “Look at this funny blond chick listening to rap.” You were genuinely way into it. You’re the human rap jukebox, if they have rap jukeboxes. I remember meeting the Wu-Tang Clan one time, actually it was RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, ’cause he did an episode of our UCB show, and I remember rapping all of his lines back to him and thinking, “I’m probably not the demo he was going for. I’m not his favorite demo.” Since this is the cover story for BUST’s Holiday Issue, I wanted to ask you about the tradition you started with your family of giving gifts that follow a theme. That sounded like a really cool idea! I think you guys dropped it, but it sounded cool. I did it for a couple of years. Me and my bossy self, I said to my family, “Let’s pick a theme instead of picking indiscriminate gifts.” I have a small family, just me, my brother, and our parents. And we usually buy presents for each other, so I decided to pick a theme. One year the theme was “light.” My dad’s year, he picked “insects,” and that was fun because I bought my mom Burt’s Bees products and I got my brother, like, 20 tarantulas. [both laugh] In a stocking! What did you really get him? I forget. I got my dad this cool key chain thing with a bug in amber. Now, this will be Archie’s second Christmas ’cause he was only a few months old last year. Right. Well, Will and I were just talking about what we’re going to do for his birthday, because it’s kind of weird to have a birthday party for a one-year-old kid. We were thinking, maybe a cool tradition for Archie’s birthday every year is… …20 tarantulas? Yeah, 20 tarantulas, turn ’em loose. Um, no, we were saying we could do something for someone else. Like, donate money or time somewhere, and then it might be a nice tradition for Archie


when he gets older. He can decide, “OK, it’s my birthday. Today I should spend part of the day doing something for someone else.” Wow, that’s pretty good. I asked him right now what he wants to do and all he wants to do is poop in his pants and take a nap. What would be your dream job if you weren’t an actor? I’m going to say tour guide. I’d like to be an expert on a historical building or museum. I could have a little bit of an audience and be an expert and talk about this thing I’m really passionate about and work from, like, noon to four. What about you? I would be a therapist. Sometimes I still think about doing that. You’d be a great therapist. I like analyzing people’s dreams and my own dreams, too.

That’s literally a dream job, by the way. You’re right! So, I found out that our movie Spring Breakdown has a cult following at the BUST office and they want to know what the shoot was like. So much fun. It was anything goes. And we shot it really fast, like in eight weeks. Yeah, and it didn’t get released. [laughs] But it came out on DVD and people keep coming up to me saying how much they like it. We could speculate as to why it didn’t get released, but at the end of the day, people liked it, and certainly, the experience of doing it was top-notch. It was top-notch, and I think you can see that we were having fun shooting it, too. We had youngsters behind us pretending to be drunk. And we both made out with younger men! That’s right. That’s in our contracts.

Whatever we do, we have to make out with younger men. Can I ask you, how do you feel about this term “cougar”? I hate that fucking word. Me too! Since the dawn of moviemaking, there have been so many scenarios where an older guy is with a younger woman, and we don’t bat an eye. But if it’s reversed and a 40year-old woman is with a 35-yearold guy, she’s called a “cougar.” I know. Once again, there are these derogatory boxes that people have invented that they have to put themselves in. And why isn’t there a word for the inappropriate older guy with the younger girl? What is the exact word for that? I don’t know…Gray Balls? Old Gray Balls! Oh he’s a real Gray Balls! [both laugh] Maybe we should make it Clark Gray-Balls. There’s just something // BUST / 51

52 / BUST // DEC/JAN

ping on the corner. Who gets immediately shot. [both laugh] Do you want to reflect on the time we spent together on SNL? Well, I can wax nostalgic about it…by the way, I just read somewhere that the word nostalgia is Greek for “pain from an old wound.” And I thought, “Ooh, that’s interesting!” The difference between memory and something that’s nostalgic is that it has to hurt a little bit. Isn’t that interesting? But I have to say, that job is so hard, you get a trench mentality where you all were in the trench together. And anyone who worked there will always be able to go back there with you and talk about their experience. It’s a

I was talking to a friend who is changing jobs and relationships, and we were talking about chapters of life. It’s so wild, there are times when your chapters blend into each other and other times when you really feel them end very hard. The early Chicago days were such a rich chapter in our lives. It was a time when we had the right combination of narcissism and naiveté and a lack of responsibility to anyone but ourselves. But since I was part of the UCB, I had a little bit more bravado at the time because I had a tiny little gang. I don’t know if I would have been able to make those moves on my own. I feel like it’s that time, when you’re in your 20s, when you’re still like, “I

“The early Chicago days were such a rich chapter in our lives. We had the right combination of narcissism and naiveté.” really cool club to belong to. We’re like a bunch of vets. You and I had known each other for a long time but it wasn’t until we started working together at SNL that we got to be really close friends. I feel like the journey on that show for both of us was very intense and I couldn’t have picked a better person to be able to share that experience that with. Aww, I feel the same. We would write together a lot. There was a little group of like-minded ladies there, and we would all write together. Like you said, if you’re in the trenches and know the highs and lows of the job, you understand. In my little intro I wrote about you, I said you were a pioneer because you didn’t stick around Chicago waiting to move up the ranks at Second City. You took this huge risk and moved to New York and started this theater from the ground up that is now the city’s biggest improv draw. Can you talk about that? I was thinking the other day about this.

want to do improv!” that you can go do it every single night. And like you said, because of the narcissism and the drive, you are just always seeking out those opportunities. I just think very fondly on that time; everyone around was so funny! This is how emotionally unstable I am. I was driving a couple of days ago, kind of burnt-out from work, and Willie Nelson came on, doing “On the Road Again,” which is a great song. And he sings the line, “The life I love is makin’ music with my friends.” Cue waterworks. Exactly, cue waterworks. I was like, “I cannot believe I’m fucking crying.” But that line, “The life I love is makin’ music with my friends…” I’m just so lucky. My life is so lucky. I am surrounded by people whom I find really interesting and creative. And the people I get to hang around with are so funny. I’m so lucky to be around those people. That’s a good little burst of gratitude! Yup, change your attitude, get some gratitude! [both laugh] B


about a 20-year-old calling someone a cougar that makes me want to punch them in the mouth. Right. One more thing that I wanted to throw in, in terms of Amy Poehler being a feminist, is Parks and Recreation. I just watched the one where the guy didn’t know who Madeleine Albright was, and I love how you weave feminist role models in there. Did you have a hand in creating the show? No. Michael Schur and Greg Daniels had this idea of wanting to do a show that took place in a small department of local government, and I think they thought of me when writing the part of Leslie, but they came to me with that idea, and then we shaped that a little bit. What about the idea of her aspiring to be like Hillary Clinton? Was that from you? Well, we talked a bit about this woman who’s in government and is ambitious. Who does she admire today? It’s been such a nice change over the past few years, how many more female voices there are in the political arena. But my character, for comic effect, kind of has these people who are much more powerful than she is in her sight. She has this idea that if she keeps moving up, she might find herself at lunch with Nancy Pelosi. They’re like her sports heroes, you know? Now, you played Hillary Clinton on SNL and got to meet her and everything. Is she in your phone? Do you have her phone number? I don’t have her phone number. But I have received really pleasant calls from her, and I’ve received a couple of really nice old-school letters that I will treasure. She sent a really nice letter when Archie was born. Oh, wow! Like, “Welcome to New York.” It was, like, the classiest thing. I was wondering if you’d ever want to do dramatic roles. Yeah, I would be scared, but I would want to. I’ve talked about this before, but I wish back in the day I could have been on an old Law & Order episode with Jerry Orbach and played a street punk. Oh, that would be good. I can see you as a street punk. You could be rap-

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Pyramid Lake guests show off their trout in 1935 54 / BUST // DEC/JAN

A postcard depicting Nevada's biggest tourist attraction




In 1931, Nevada became the easiest place in America to get a divorce. And for the next four decades, women would flock there, staying at “divorce ranches” where they could join in a little sunbathing, sightseeing, and sisterhood while waiting to untie the knot By Priya Jain


ARILU NORDEN WAS 20 years old when she met her first husband, a dance teacher, and let him sweep her off her feet. She became his dance partner and believed they were happy. So when the marriage began to fall apart, Norden was stunned. She was 25 years old, living in Stamford, CT, and eight months pregnant with their second child when she noticed her husband was “behaving kind of strangely.” He had recently hired a new partner, and, as Norden later learned, he became infatuated with her. The weeks surrounding her daughter’s birth were misery for Norden. “He was just awful and cold,” she says, “but I decided to make the best of it, hoping and praying everything was going to be OK.” It wasn’t. Shortly after Norden gave birth, her husband

insisted on a divorce. And that’s how, in 1951, Norden became one of thousands of women who ended up in Reno, NV. If Nevada today is synonymous with impulsive marriages, from the 1930s to the ’60s, it was just as well known for quickie divorces. Before the 1960s, when states around the country began liberalizing their divorce laws, it was difficult to get a divorce in most places—had Norden stayed in Connecticut, she and her husband would have had to remain married for a year before their divorce was granted—but it took just six weeks to establish residency and obtain a divorce in Nevada. Thus, married folk who no longer wished to remain so, most of whom were from the East Coast, descended on Reno and its environs. It was typically the wives who went—“the men would // BUST / 55

companions—swim, ride, rest—or dash into Reno for a taste of city life.” And so it was: though she had to leave her newborn baby behind, and though she mourned the loss of her marriage, her stay at Pyramid Lake Ranch turned out to be a boon for Norden. It afforded her the chance to bond with other women, to flirt and drink and gamble— to be, for a while, the opposite of an East Coast good girl, and to figure out, in the process, who she really was. “We sat around the pool, we went for rides,” she recalls now from her home in Tucson, AZ. “I went shopping with one of the gals and got close to her. It was like going to a school or a camp or someplace where you form friendships and get to see a different side of life. One time a gal who’d just come there, she had a convertible, and she invited all of us girls to go to Lake Tahoe. There’s a lodge there, and we went and saw Nat King Cole. I had my first martini and almost died!” Often at night, Norden and the other women at Pyramid The Flying M E Ranch

Marilu Norden six months after her stay in Nevada circa 1951

usually stay at home because quite often, they had somebody on the side,” says Norden, although the men were also more likely to be the breadwinners and therefore had jobs to go to. If they had the means and were in the market for a little adventure, these divorcées very often stayed at a “divorce ranch,” onetime working ranches outside the city that offered lodging in an attempt to supplement their income and had become popular with out-of-towners waiting out their six weeks. Some had private cabins, others had just a few guest rooms where divorcées would bunk together, but all provided a sort of rustic

ordinary people.” resort atmosphere, with swimming, horseback riding, and the continuous scenery of the wild wild West—not to mention the privacy of being in the middle of nowhere. The journalist Robert Wernick, who himself went to Reno for a divorce, wrote in The Saturday Evening Post in 1965 that “the trouble is Nevada has a peculiar effect on ordinary people. There is the loose and lively Western atmosphere, the bars and casinos open 24 hours a day, the casual clothes and casual friendships. And it is 3,000 miles from home, no neighbors to snoop, no public opinion to fear.” Unsurprisingly, then, and much like divorce itself, the experience of being on a divorce ranch could be traumatic but also liberating. Norden found herself at the Pyramid Lake Ranch, 34 miles north of Reno, on the shores of a desert lake surrounded by mountains. A brochure for the ranch promised its guests that “troubles are soon forgotten—you will meet congenial 56 / BUST // DEC/JAN

Lake would head to a local bar, and there Norden found that “loose and lively Western atmosphere” Wernick had written about. “I danced by myself sometimes and put on a little show,” she recalls. “I was so upset and sad that my marriage had broken up. I needed to feel free and let go. Everybody was so understanding.” In her novel Unbridled: A Tale of a Divorce Ranch, in which she thinly veils her own true-life experiences at Pyramid Lake, Norden tells the story of a naïve housewife who realizes she spent her marriage trying to please her husband and decides, during her divorce-ranch stay, that it was time to please herself. “I committed to my husband without having established myself as somebody in her own right,” she says. But during her ranch stay, “I became stronger, more sure of myself as a person.” That newfound confidence paid off romantically, too: not long after her divorce, she moved to Los Angeles and was working as a singer when she met a man


“Nevada has a peculiar e ect on

much better suited for her, a psychologist to whom she was married for 48 years, until his death in 2007. The golden age of divorce, as it was often referred to, began in 1931, when the Nevada legislature lowered its residency requirements for divorce as part of a radical effort to attract visitors and ensure that the state would make it through the Great Depression (it also legalized gambling that year for the same reason). Previously, the residency requirement was a liberal three months, meaning that Reno was already doing a brisk divorce trade, but lowering the term to six weeks opened the floodgates. At the divorce trade’s peak, in 1946, the courthouse in Washoe County, where Reno is situated, granted 11,060

break in horses for the guests to use, take them riding during the day, and chauffeur them to a bar where they could drink and gamble at night. McGee remembers that there were “10 women to every man in those days,” most of them in their 30s. Some guests, like Norden, were reluctant to get a divorce, but many were perfectly happy to shed their husbands. Wernick, the journalist, who, like Norden, stayed at the Pyramid Lake Ranch in the ’50s, identified several types of guests, including “the poor, shell-shocked girl,” “the boastful gold digger,” “the bouncing, simpering little thing whose mother has come along to keep an eye on her,” the “secret drinker,” the

“Ca it recreational therapy, the idea was to get everybody


out to do something.” divorces that year alone. (Reno was the center of the divorce trade because it was the biggest, most diverse city in Nevada. Las Vegas was still a dusty, dead town.) Divorce trips to Reno became so popular, in fact, that a whole lexicon sprung up around the practice: women went to get “Reno-vated” (a term coined by Walter Winchell) or to “take the six-week cure.” And very often they found themselves “going Reno,” doing wild things they wouldn’t have dared to do back home. Films like The Women and Charlie Chan in Reno, both from 1939, made comedic hay of these divorcée high jinks—a tradition that continues: a new indie comedy called Divorce Ranch, starring Chloë Sevigny and Zooey Deschanel, is in development. Not only was a Nevada divorce quick, but it was easy, too. According to The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler by Bill and Sandra McGee, Nevada allowed divorce on nine possible grounds, including mental cruelty, “and plaintiffs did not have to prove their charges.” Those who did not have the wherewithal to lie around for six weeks without working ended up in Reno proper, living in boarding houses and working as waitresses or card dealers. But the affluent—including socialites and celebrities—went to the ranches. In the late 1940s, Bill McGee was a dude wrangler at the most famous Reno divorce ranch, the Flying M E. McGee’s job was to

“all-too-public drinker,” and “the girl with the hard eyes who specializes in instant analysis of her fellow guests.” Whatever their disposition, the fact that the legal details of their divorces had been finalized by lawyers back home left them with little to worry about in Reno besides their own day-today entertainment, and they were “footloose and fancy-free,” says McGee. The proprietor of the Flying M E, Emmy Pentz Wood (the name of the ranch was a play on her own name), was determined to keep her guests busy. During the day, McGee would take the guests riding. “Call it recreational therapy,” he says.

Rita Hayworth in Nevada to divorce Prince Aly Khan in the early 1950s

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for her husband’s memoir, The Divorce Seekers, notes that some divorcées kept their spare “stashed in a hotel in Reno, and as soon as they got divorced, walked across the courthouse and got married. It’s fascinating how many of them played musical chairs.” Then there were more complicated cases, like Maggie Astor. In the book, the McGees recall that although Astor came to the Flying M E to divorce one man and marry another, she ended up falling in love with a local and skipping town with him instead. Others who meant to return back East and resume their lives unhitched ended up falling in love and staying in Nevada. Penna Tew, a New York debutante, fell in love with a saloon owner. Sandra McGee recalls a Lord Wellesley who came for a divorce in the ’30s and decided to stay after falling in love with a hat-check girl. Although many marriages were made at divorce ranches, more common were the temporary romances, especially between ladies and cowboys. “These women whose husbands

Many came to reno with a "spare," a lover they intended to ma y as s n as their divorce was granted. Miller stayed at Pyramid Lake while waiting to get unhitched so he could marry Marilyn Monroe. (Miller’s play The Misfits was inspired by his time there.) Clark Gable and Ava Gardner came to the Flying M E just to relax out of the public eye (though when Gable needed a divorce, in 1951, he headed to a different ranch). In order to catch these celebs, newspapers sent stringers to hang around the train stations and hotels. Many of these bold-faced names came to Reno with a “spare,” a lover they intended to marry as soon as their divorce was granted—like Gloria Vanderbilt, who came to Reno to get a divorce and marry, in the middle of the night, the conductor Leopold Stokowski. Norden remembers a couple at Pyramid Lake whom she later found out were the premier of Greece and his mistress, masquerading under assumed names. Sandra McGee, who co-authored and did much of the research 58 / BUST // DEC/JAN

wore suits and worked on Wall Street,” says Sandra McGee, “fell head over heels for these men. You can kind of understand why—most men look pretty good in a pair of Levi’s.” Norden had her own affair with a local wrangler. On her first night at Pyramid Lake, she noticed that he was “very admiring of me, and that boosted my self-confidence,” she remembers. “There was sex, because I was starved!” she says, adding that the cowboy experience was very much a part of healing and evolving from her divorce. “I went out with him and his friend one night to Reno. I got up on the bar and was dancing. He thought that was great! I think that would have shocked my husband. I was striking out on my own, and striking back, and feeling free for the first time.” Norden did not attempt to make her fling last, but many cowboy/lady romances led to bad marriages, in which the cow-


“That’s really what it was. Guests at the Flying M E in 1947 Those who didn’t ride, Emmy would load them into the station wagon and give them tours of Tahoe. The idea was to get everybody out to do something.” At night, there were more bacchanalian field trips. “We almost never went into Reno. We would go at night into Virginia City or Carson City,” he says. “We had a favorite hangout, the Old Corner Bar. The lady guests would let their hair down. They met a lot of people they wouldn’t normally talk to. But Emmy had a strict rule: if you take six guests into Carson City, you came home with them. We couldn’t afford the publicity if one got drunk and crashed a car.” The reason for this caution—the avoidance of Reno proper, the worry over publicity—was that ranches like the Flying M E built their reputation on privacy. Many of the guests were gossipcolumn catnip. Socialites like Maggie Astor and Ethel du Pont Roosevelt Jr. came for divorces, as well as several Rockefellers. Rita Hayworth came to Reno to divorce Prince Aly Khan; Arthur


boy took advantage of the woman’s money or left her quickly for someone else. (In fact, that very thing had happened to Emmy Wood, who originally opened her ranch with her husband Theodore “Dore” Wood. When Dore decided to leave Emmy and take off with a wealthy young divorcée, he left her the ranch.) “Some of them were decent cowboys,” says McGee. “A lot of them were not very well educated. They could get out of line easily, and that’s something Emmy really worried about.” For the divorce-ranch proprietor, these relationships were one of many things to monitor. Besides watching out for their guests’ hearts, they bore the important task of testifying in court that they had seen their guest every day for six weeks— only then could the guest get a divorce, and lying was a serious crime punishable with up to 14 years in prison. In exchange, the ranch owner earned an important bit of income. Many of them, like Emmy and Dore Wood, were Easterners themselves who were trying to live the pioneer life. Tina Bundy Nappe, whose parents owned the Bundy Ranch about 20 miles from Reno, recalls how her mother, who grew up in Japan and at boarding schools, and her father, an artist from New York, tried to make a go of it in Washoe County in the 1940s. “At one time, they built a large chicken house and raised leghorns to sell eggs,” she says, via email. “But, as my father used to say, the bottom fell out of the egg business. The chicken house was then attached to the small main house. The structure was modified to provide two bedrooms linked by a bathroom and a narrow hallway. They decided to go into the divorce business.” For Nappe, growing up on a divorce ranch meant exposure to people and ideas she might not have had anywhere else. “What I have realized in retrospect is that I grew up in a relatively culturally isolated community,” she says. “However, the divorcées provided us with a much Guests enjoy the larger world of educaFlying M E's poolhouse tion and culture.” Among deck in 1947 other guests, Nappe re-

members children’s book author Jane McIlvaine McClary and D.C. socialite Mary Pinchot Meyer, who was murdered in l964. “I always remember her as being very attractive,” says Nappe, “and boasting of her affair with John Kennedy.” “Divorce is a form of relief from stress,” says Nappe. “However, it was Blackjack at Harolds also a form of failure for Club in the 1940s many. It was also a way out to a happier life. Even when the person who came to the ranch wanted the divorce, I suspect that there was emotional trauma my parents had to shoulder.” If anything, this was what the divorce ranch offered—a place in which to deal with that trauma, to make it a shared experience and a forgiving environment in which to go a little crazy. “You could see people were learning about themselves,” says Norden. The Nevada divorce trade faded away in the early ’60s when other states began to liberalize their divorce laws and it was no longer necessary to go get Renovated—and so, ultimately, did the ranches. The couple who ran Pyramid Lake Ranch lost their lease in 1956; the Flying M E burned down in 1963. According to The Divorce Seekers, there were only two dude ranches in northern Nevada by 1970, and “they were finding more and more guests came for a Western vacation rather than for a divorce.” And while that may be a good thing (depending on how you look at divorce), it’s understandable why those who once resided at divorce ranches are still nostalgic for that era. Near the Washoe County courthouse there is a bridge over the Truckee River, from which divorcées were said to toss their rings after exiting the courthouse. According to Bill McGee, this was a myth, though “a lot of people, because of the myth, would go to the five and dime and get a cheap ring to throw over.” Norden herself did not toss her ring into the river. But years later, “and happily married to my wonderful psychologist husband,” she says, “I gathered up a stash of some gold jewelry I had (the ring from that former marriage included) and got cash from a reputable jeweler. Felt not a ping of regret!” B // BUST / 59


from the


Package up these tasty gifts for everyone on your list WINTER IS THE perfect time to get your bake on, so why not forgo some holiday shopping and head to your kitchen instead of the mall? There you can skip the crowds and save a little money by DIY-ing delicious gifts. Wrap them up like we’ve done here and they’ll be the prettiest presents in the pile. Read on for some no-fail recipes and our cute ‘n’ easy packaging instructions, then tie on an apron and start mixing.



SUGAR ’N’ SPICE NUTS Sweet and salty is a classic combo, and these candied nuts are perfect for satisfying the holiday munchies. Mail ’em to a pen pal, stuff ’em in your dad’s stocking, or treat your co-workers to some nuts they’ll actually enjoy.

and the recipients will have something to hang on to after they’ve devoured every last crumb.

Ingredients 1 /3 cup brown sugar 2 /3 cup white sugar 1 1/2 tsp. salt Big pinch of cayenne pepper 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 lb. pecan halves 1 egg white 1 Tbsp. water

Ingredients 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free allpurpose baking flour (available at Whole Foods and health-food stores) 2 tsp. each of baking powder & baking soda 1 tsp. each of Xanthan gum (available at Whole Foods and health-food stores), salt, and ground cinnamon 1 /2 cup coconut oil 2 /3 cup each of agave nectar & rice milk 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1 tsp. vanilla 6 medium bananas, peeled and mashed

Wrapping Materials Cellophane bags (this recipe fills five 6 1/4" x 2 1/4" x 2" bags), decorative paper, and twine.

Wrapping Materials Two 6" x 3" x 2" loaf pans, two 4" x 9 1/4" x 2” cellophane bags, yarn, and pom-pom maker (or cardboard and compass).

Instructions In a small bowl, combine sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon until lump-free. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg white and water until frothy. Add the pecans, and stir gently to coat. Sprinkle the nuts with your sugar mixture, toss until evenly coated, then spread on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes. Separate the nuts while still warm. Once they’ve cooled, use them to fill each cellophane bag about 3/4 full. Fold the excess cellophane over and tape it to the back of the bag, making small, rectangular packages. For each bag, cut a strip of decorative paper (we used leftover wrapping paper) about 12" long and 1 1/2" wide. Wrap a strip around each package, centering it and taping the ends. Wrap a length of twine around each package once or twice, centered on the paper strip, and tie.

Instructions Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease loaf pans with oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, Xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon. Add coconut oil, agave nectar, rice milk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir until the batter is smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the bananas and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into your pans, and bake on the center rack for 30 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean), rotating the pan 180 degrees after 15 minutes. These are best if baked right before gifting and eaten within three days (though we’re sure that part won’t be a problem). While your bread is cooling, make the yarn pom-poms for packaging. To create a pom-pom maker, use your compass to draw 2 circles, 2 1/4" in diameter, on a piece of cardboard. Draw a circle with a 1 1/4" diameter in the center of each circle. Cut out all 4 circles so you have 2 cardboard rings. To make the pom-pom, cut a piece of yarn several feet long. Place the two rings together, then, holding one end of the yarn outside the ring, feed the other end through the center hole, around the ring, and back through the center, working your way around until the cardboard is covered. Continue wrapping the ring in this circular motion until you have a thick layer of yarn. Take your scissors

BABYCAKES’ BANANA CHOCOLATE-CHIP BREAD This recipe, from one of New York’s tastiest bakeries, creates two little loaves of heaven for anyone with a sweet tooth. They’re even better for vegans or pals with a food allergy (no wheat!), and the rest of your friends will never know the difference. Package it up right in the pan,

and cut the yarn around the edge of your ring, snipping the layers until the scissor blades pass between the two rings. Cut another piece of yarn several feet long, and tie it tightly around your bundle of yarn between the cardboard rings. Remove the rings and fluff your pom-pom, trimming any uneven ends. To make a smaller pompom, repeat the process with a pom-pom maker 11/2" in diameter with inner circles 3 /4" in diameter. Once your bread has cooled completely, slip it into a cellophane bag, loaf pan and all, then fold and tape the opening like a present. Wrap the yarn tails of your pom-poms around the loaf and tie. BAKE-IT-EASY COOKIE MIX Home-baked cookies make a great gift, but they come with a limited shelf life. A jarred mix, however, gives a gal a chance to make cookies whenever she damn well pleases. All she’ll need is a stick of butter and an egg to follow the recipe that comes with it. As a bonus, it’ll look supercute on the kitchen counter until she gets a craving. Ingredients 1 1/3 cup rolled oats 1 /2 cup each of packed brown sugar & white sugar 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1 1/3 cups flour 1 tsp. each of baking powder & baking soda 1 /4 tsp. salt Wrapping Materials 1 qt. Mason jar, fabric square (about 7" x 7"), twine or ribbon, and a sheet of sticker paper. Instructions Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour this mixture into your jar, tapping the bottom to even out the contents. Jar the rest of the ingredients in this order, making sure the top of each layer is level: oats, chocolate chips, brown sugar, and white sugar. Screw on the lid. Go to html, download the cookie-jar labels, and print them out on your sticker paper. Place the rectangle sticker on the front of the jar and the recipe sticker on top of the lid. Cover the top with your fabric, and keep it in place by tying a piece of twine or ribbon around the lid. B // BUST / 61

BUST ’s guide to handling some of life’s major milestones— marriage, childbirth, and death—with a DIY frame of mind BY ERIN DEJESUS ILLUSTRATION BY JARED ANDREW SCHORR

A DO-IT-YOURSELF lifestyle can be applied to many things—whether it’s altering a skirt with your Singer or getting MacGyver with home repairs. But when it comes to some of life’s big events— getting married, giving birth, and laying loved ones to rest—many people leave it to the professionals, simply because they’re not aware of what they can do on their own. Should you choose to say “I do,” have a kid, or care for a friend or family member at death, you can do it with a DIY consciousness, in your chosen setting and on your own terms. So if you’re looking to have a more personalized birthing experience, avoid a denominational wedding ceremony, or partake in the intimate process of caring for a loved one who's passed away, we’ve outlined the basics to help you take matters into your own hands.

G GOING TO THE CHAPEL…OR NOT: H How to Make Your Marriage Legal Most weddings have some DIY element, whether it’s handcrafted invites, home-sewn bridesmaids dresses, or handpicked flower arrangements. And that’s how it should be, says Ariel Meadow Stallings, author of Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides. “There’s a lot of pressure on people to have a complicated wedding. There’s this concept of the ‘should-haves,’” says Stallings, who celebrated her DIY wedding in 2004 and now runs, a community that celebrates brides with an eye for DIY. “But all you need is to have an officiant, sign the papers, and be in love with your partner.” Wedding laws vary by county, municipality, and state (only Massachusetts,

Iowa, Vermont, and Connecticut currently allow samesex marriages; New Hampshire will begin marrying gay couples on January 1), but the general legal process is actually quite simple. 1. Apply for a marriage license. Grab your partner and head to the county clerk’s office—in the county you plan on getting married in—to apply for your marriage license. To be safe, do it at least one month before the ceremony (many states require couples to wait a few days after applying before receiving a license). The locations of clerk’s offices vary—courthouses, city halls, independent office spaces—so Google the address of the one you need to go to. Each state has its own set of requirements, but you’ll likely be asked to provide identification, proof of residence, and information about prior marriages; some places (like Mississippi and Washington, D.C.) require blood tests. The Web site is a good place to brush up on your local law, but your county clerk should provide the most up-to-date legal info. 2. Get someone to officiate. To make the marriage license valid, it must be signed by someone qualified in your state to perform marriages: a clergy member, justice of the peace, or other state-certified officiant. If you’re skipping a traditional, denominational wedding and would like a friend or family member to perform the ceremony, he or she can legally register to do so through the Universal Life Church (, which Stallings calls the “standard online destination” for getting ordained. Take note: Some municipalities have // BUST / 63

regulations stating that you must be married by someone who was ordained in-state. As far as the ceremony goes, the only thing that must legally be included is the Declaration of Intent—the “I do’s.” Following the ceremony, it’s the officiant’s job to file your marriage license. 3. Once you’ve covered these few requirements, the party planning is completely up to you. “It’s important to have a wedding that’s authentic to you,” Stallings says. “The first place to start is to think of the scope of the wedding you want. And that’s going to determine everything.” In addition to, which features wedding tips, tricks, and photos submitted by creative DIY brides around the country, Stallings recommends the site for inspiration—particularly its active message boards.

SWE CHILD O’ MINE: SWEET Prep Preparing for a DIY-style Delivery Givin birth comes with its share of uncertainties, and Giving sometimes a traditional birth⎯in a hospital with an some obstetrician⎯can leave much to be desired in terms of comfort and family involvement. As a result, many pregnant women are choosing alternative birthing experiences, which often means hiring a midwife or doula to deliver the baby outside of a hospital or even at home. According to Elizabeth Stein, a New York City–based certified midwife and operator of, “The goal is healthy mom, healthy baby, and hopefully a positive psychological experience—in that order.” Choosing a nontraditional birth requires a ton of legwork and research, and each decision should take into account your health, your baby’s health, and the wishes of your family. 1. Do your research. There are big differences between doulas (who provide emotional and physical support during birth but no medical assistance), accredited midwives, and lay midwives. There are two kinds of accredited midwives: certified-nurse midwives (CNMs) are licensed healthcare practitioners and often deliver in a hospital setting (though some do attend home births); certified midwives are not registered nurses but have degrees in midwifery. Lay midwives received their training through an apprenticeship or training program. The Citizens for Midwifery Web site,, provides an in-depth description of the differences, but as a CNM, Stein strongly encourages women to use midwives with a medical background, no matter where they choose to give birth. 2. Decide where and how you want to give birth: at home, at a birth center, or in the hospital with a midwife. Though it seems like a trend, in reality, less than one percent of pregnant women choose to have a baby outside of a hospital setting. Stein strongly advocates for women to give birth in a hospital— where a midwife can deliver your baby and facilitate family 64 / BUST // DEC/JAN

involvement with additional medical assistance nearby—just in case problems occur during labor. Like hospitals, birthing centers are licensed, accredited facilities with medical professionals but are outfitted to mimic the comforts of home. Birth centers often offer mothers-to-be private rooms and welcome the entire family to participate. Make sure your birth center is accredited, by visiting the American Association of Birth Centers Web site, 3. Check in with your insurance provider. Not all states have laws that mandate insurance coverage of home births, and midwifery—even by certified midwives—is still illegal in 14 states. (Conversely, most insurance companies, including Medicaid, contract with birthing centers to provide some kind of coverage.) 4. Start screening your potential doula or midwife. Once you’ve decided what kind of birthing assistance you want, several online organizations can help narrow your search. Doulas of North America ( and the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association ( have databases and referral lists on their Web sites, sorted by location. For midwives, certification requirements vary by state, so check a potential midwife’s legal status at the American College of Nurse-Midwives ( Stein cautions that if you choose to give birth at home, make sure your midwife has both insurance and admitting privileges to a nearby hospital. “For midwives who do home deliveries—the issue that comes up is, what if something goes wrong and you need to do a hospital transfer?” If your midwife has no malpractice insurance, she will not be able to accompany you into the hospital. Sometimes, says Stein, a midwife will “just dump the patient in.” 5. Interview several candidates. In addition to scheduling and pricing concerns, take into consideration experience, references, and most important, her approach to birth. “You have to be comfortable [enough with your provider] to ask questions,” says Stein, who adds that your midwife must be respectful and informative. Make sure you’re comfortable not only with the midwife but also their site, if you choose to give birth outside your home. In addition, every midwife has to have a back-up physician. Be sure yours does, and do some research on the doctor as well. 6. Some women who approach childbirth from a DIY angle choose to go balls-out with an unassisted childbirth—which, just as it sounds, has the mother-to-be going solo, without a midwife or medical assistance. Though many women share successful stories about their unassisted childbirths (also known as “free births”), most medical experts and women’s health advocates (including the feminist-minded organization Our Bodies Ourselves) discourage the practice. Arm yourself with information from both sides of the argument at www. and

R REST IN PEACE: C Caring for a Loved One in Death T average cost of a funeral, according to the National Funeral The Directors Association, is a staggering $7,323—not including D cemetery costs. But for proponents of the DIY funeral, caring for a loved one after death rather than turning him or her over to a funeral director offers way more than financial benefits, particularly if the death is an expected one. Depending on your state’s laws, you can handle many of the aspects that funeral directors typically take care of during the period of time between a person’s last breath and the burial or cremation: completing paperwork, transporting the body from a hospital or hospice home, washing and dressing the body, planning and hosting a wake, and transferring the body to a cemetery or crematory. “It ameliorates the grieving process,” says Beth Knox, founder of the Maryland-based home-funeral resource Crossings. “Because we’ve been able to stay present during the whole experience, there’s very little in the way of regret or longings because you’ve been able to serve [the deceased] with love and be present to their needs. It’s a tremendous comfort, knowing that you could just be with them every step of the way until they were gone—truly, as in final-disposition gone.”

To cover your bases legally: 1. Research your rights. Caring for your dead is legal in all 50 states, though 7—Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, and New York—enforce some legal conditions. Pick up Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love by Lisa Carlson, the go-to guide that provides a lengthy list of laws concerning DIY funerals. You can also visit the nonprofit Funeral Consumers Alliance ( for a stateby-state breakdown of laws, which includes downloads of state-specific paperwork when applicable. Or simply call your local Office of Vital Records or public health department. One universal rule: there is no law in the U.S. requiring a body to be embalmed. 2. At the time of your loved one’s death, get a hold of the death certificate. Knox warns that many families looking to care for their own may face resistance from hospital employees who are used to funeral directors handling the process, but all you need is for the doctor or medical examiner to sign the death certificate to state the cause of death. Because some states require it by law, Knox recommends finding a funeral director to file the death certificate for you. 3. Obtain a burial transfer (or transport) permit. Some municipalities require a permit, issued by the town or county clerk, to transport the body from place to place—from the hospital to the cemetery, crematory, or the town or state where the funeral ceremony will occur. Check with your local clerk to see if one is required. Usually, all you need for a transfer permit is the death certificate and basic information about the deceased.

4. When it comes to physically transporting the body, rules and regulations vary by state. In some, you must hire a funeral director to provide the service. But in many states, it is perfectly legal to transport your own dead, either in or out of a casket, in your own vehicle. Carlson’s book covers the laws of each state, but be sure to call your health department or attorney general’s office to confirm. Obviously, making the decision to care for a loved one during the time between death and burial or cremation extends far beyond legal concerns—handling the remains personally can prove to be a powerful final act of love. Though the thought of forgoing a funeral director might sound grisly, Knox points out that the opportunity to closely serve your loved one should trump our society-fueled fear of death. “It’s just some too-many-zombie-movies kind of fear,” Knox says. “Usually, it’s not nearly as scary.”

To prep the deceased for burial: 1. Decide on the body’s final disposition, taking into account the deceased’s wishes. If your loved one did not purchase a cemetery plot, research local burial sites and gather their requirements for preparation of the body; if the body will be cremated, make sure your local crematory will accept a body delivered by the family. Should you choose to bury your loved one on private land, laws and regulations will vary widely depending on where you live (local officials will take everything into account, including environmental impact and zoning property laws). Consult your local municipal officials for more information. 2. There’s no U.S. law requiring an outer burial container, but if you’d like a casket for a memorial service or are burying your loved one in a cemetery (many will require one), select a casket or an urn. In a traditional service, the casket often accounts for much of the funeral cost, so be a savvy consumer by avoiding the funeral-home middleman and purchasing a casket or an urn directly from the manufacturer or craftsman. The Web site offers a list of affordable casket and urn providers (including many online retailers that offer eco-friendly options), as well as instructions on how to make your own. 3. The Crossings Web site,, offers a downloadable pdf that takes you through the washing and dressing process step-by-step. Should prepping the body be outside your comfort zone, some funeral directors may be willing to handle the remains while leaving everything else up to you. 4. Planning an at-home memorial service for your loved one is deeply personal. If you’re not sure where to start, the Funeral Consumers Alliance Web site has several downloadable pamphlets that give advice on such varied topics as how to plan a memorial service and eco-friendly burials. Its links page directs families to several organizations, like Knox’s, that educate visitors about the home-funeral process. B // BUST / 65



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the bust guide


ANNIE Don’t Stop (Smalltown Supersound) Like a spunkier, wittier Kylie Minogue, should-besuperstar Annie had her fab debut, Anniemal, downloaded by all the online movers ‘n’ shakers, but that mighty blog love never translated into actual album sales. And since her storied follow-up, Don’t Stop, has floated around the Web for months with nary a peep, a similarly shameful fate may sadly await. That’s a crime, ’cause this album is bright and energetic, passionate and playful. Every song is a potential single with a weirdo edge underneath the initial sugar buzz, thanks in part to ace producers like Xenomania and Richard X. There used to be a market for well-crafted confections that a vibrant personality like Annie could easily sell to, so let’s hope that Don’t Stop is her battle cry for bringing pure pop to the masses. [ERICK HAIGHT]


DEVENDRA BANHART What Will We Be (Warner Bros.) The maddening irony of reviewing a watermarked disk of What Will We Be is that it forces the writer to hunt down her quaint, much neglected boombox—a gesture that implicitly bears a Devendra Banhart stamp of approval. Compared with Banhart’s past eccentricities, his debut on a major label is an elegant and restrained work that invites rather than provokes. There are fewer moments of unbridled incantations and childlike coos, and instead, an orchestra of seasoned players composes lush and sprawling midtempo backdrops. “16th & Valencia” will be the album’s commercial breakout, thanks to its uplifting Roxy Music–inspired melody. Longtime fans will embrace the return of Banhart’s vocal excesses on the post-punk collage “Rats” and Latin-inflected ballads like “Maria Lionza.” What Will We Be is more like a happy musing than an exasperated rhetorical question. [MILA ZUO]

thao with the get down stay down KNOW BETTER LEARN FASTER (KILL ROCK STARS) FROM THE ALBUM’S title to the songs themselves, this is a record for broken-hearted people who are sick of feeling like mopes and have decided to dance it all away. Formerly from Falls Church, VA, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, led by Thao Nguyen, now calls San Francisco home. This poppy-folk trio is known for putting on amazingly energetic shows which means when you check them out live, you won’t be the only one jumping around like a kid who’s just been handed a sparkler on the 4th of July. One listen to this record, and you’ll be itching to catch a show. The opening track, “The Clap,” draws a line in the sand for all of those cruel lovers who have scorned us poor listeners, proclaiming: “If this is how you want it/OK, OK.” Thao’s vocals sound like a cigarette after a really long nap and are displayed most delightfully in songs such as the title track “Know Better, Learn Faster,” with its aching strings and crisp drums; and in “The Give,” which is guided by guitar like the nervous tapping of a foot, and honest lyrics like: “Of course I love you/A little bit, a little bit.” The last song, “Easy,” gives permission to shake the blues by shaking your butt when Thao proclaims, “Sad people dance too.” Of course, you know what they say about bodies in motion: they stop crying and end up finding hot dates on the dance floor. [KELLY MCCLURE] // BUST / 75

the guide MUSIC EL PERRO DEL MAR Love Is Not Pop (Control Group) Discerning fans of subdued, synthy Swedepop will be hardpressed not to fall head over heels for El Perro Del Mar’s latest release. On Love Is Not Pop, the alter ego of Swedish babe Sarah Assbring offers her usual sonic touchstones (thick, sentimental key riffs, tinny drumbeats, lullaby vocals), though this time they bring to mind another stylish Swede (Lykke Li, anyone?). An album full of musings on breaking up (the super-emo “A Better Love”) and making up (“Let Me In”), Love Is Not Pop has spacey, cold instrumentals perfectly suited for the emotional roller-coaster Assbring invites you on. She channels Sade with a smooth, baby-making vibe on my personal fave, “Heavenly Arms,” and its sexy guitar outro will keep you pressing “repeat.” With just seven original tracks on the album (and three remixes), the only thing lacking is more moody material. [SARA GRAHAM]

LISA GERMANO Magic Neighbor (Young God) On her latest, Magic Neighbor, Lisa Germano evokes her early’90s recordings On the Way Down from the Moon Palace and Happiness. A multitalented musician who plays the violin and the synth among other instruments, Germano opens her album with the fuzzy, dark track “To the Mighty One” and keeps her slow-motion, sleepy soundscapes lush and lyrical. Her poetics live somewhere between a love letter and a suicide note, like on acoustic rocker “Simple,” when she sings, “Bitter and worn out girl/No one feels sorry for you.” Her affection for spooky orchestration is brilliantly displayed on “Suli-Mon,” which features weird manipulated vocals; “Painting the Doors” has Germano collaborating with ambient musician Harold Budd for a dream-pop interlude. The proof is all here: Germano is a musical genius who will always be a step ahead of the next big indie-rock chick—whoever she may be. [MICHAEL LEVINE]

ROBIN GUTHRIE Carousel (Darla) With all the best bits of the recent nu-shoegaze craze (see: the Big Pink, A Sunny Day In Glasgow), it’s amazing that veteran Robin Guthrie has made an album that, however unintentionally, takes the newcomers to school. The Cocteau Twins guitarist/sound designer is one of the most crucial figures in shoegaze, and the wafty, watery instrumentals on Carousel flaunt that cred with wild abandon. Superslow jams like “Some Sort of Paradise” and “Delight” are beautifully sleepy, but the 76 / BUST // DEC/JAN

spectral atmospherics of “Mission Dolores” and the seriously explosive “Waiting By the Carousel” truly make the album—the tracks are unmistakably Guthrie. And though it definitely suggests classic Cocteau Twins dream-pop (maybe more so than anything else Guthrie’s done), Carousel is so gorgeously consuming that you won’t miss Elizabeth Fraser’s voice for a minute. Promise. [MOLLIE WELLS]

HARMONIA & ENO ’76 Tracks and Traces (Reissue) (Gronland) Reissues can be a little ho-hum, but this 1976 collab between electronic-music pioneer Brian Eno and kraut-rock darlings Harmonia (a side project of NEU!’s Michael Rother) is worth the attention. Not only are its experimental sounds still totally groundbreaking, but the album is also a Nostradamus-like predictor of ’80s dark wave and ambient electro—though, due to missing tapes, Tracks and Traces didn’t officially debut until 1997. Original first track “Vamos Camponeros” still calls to mind later jams from bands like Suicide and Sigur Rós, but dreamy new openers “Welcome” and “Atmosphere” give the album a fuller, more optimistic and classic Eno context. With all the haunted sounds culminating in the ethereal space-synths of new closing song “Aubade,” Tracks finally feels complete. An absolute must-have for Eno and NEU! obsessives everywhere. [MOLLIE WELLS]

HEAVY TRASH Midnight Soul Serenade (Fat Possum/Big Legal Mess) Rockabilly has always been a prime ingredient in Jon Spencer’s stew, but it wasn’t until forming Heavy Trash with Matt Verta-Ray that it moved front and center. Spencer and Verta-Ray weren’t kidding when they named this album Midnight Soul Serenade, as its balance sounds like it was beamed in from an old radio station that broadcasts only in the wee hours. This is exactly what you’d want to be listening to if you were necking with someone at Lookout Point on an unseasonably warm night. Opener “Gee, I Really Love You” sets the tone with Spencer’s unhinged yowl, framed by a classic high-school-gymnasium dance number, all ballroom rhythms, tinkling pianos, and a scratch of guitars. “Bumble Bee” is rollicking western cowboy rock, feverish and galloping like a Link Wray outtake. Perhaps best exemplifying Midnight is story-song “The Pill”—with a high, lonesomedesert vibe, it’s like a Sun Records 45 melting in the noontime heat. [TOM FORGET]

NORAH JONES The Fall (Blue Note/EMI) With seven years, several Grammys, and one Wong Kar-wai

the guide MUSIC movie under her belt since her ubiquitous debut (Come Away With Me), Norah Jones releases her fourth record to a musical landscape dominated by panty-flashing, futuristic electro, which makes her laid-back, jazzy pop seem a little bit tame. Thankfully, The Fall, in its own quiet way, is a stylistic departure from her previous work: Jones swaps her piano for a guitar, and producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Modest Mouse) adds a shimmering, pepped-up sound to the record. But let’s be honest—it’s still mellow, polite pop, which breaks few rules and sometimes bores but more often impresses. Although Ryan Adams and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff lend their songwriting skills, Jones is strongest when she writes alone, particularly on the bluesy “You’ve Ruined Me,” which sounds equally vulnerable and defiant, and with the lyrical sweetness of “December,” which displays her cool, clear voice at its best. [LUIZA SAUMA]

LISSIE Why You Runnin’ (Fat Possum) Take a breather from holiday commercialism with Why You Runnin’, the new, wrenchingly sincere EP from Illinois singer/songwriter Lissie. Echoing with folksy, Appalachian heart and flooded with the haunting sweetness of Lissie’s vocals (think Dolly Parton à la “Jolene”), Runnin’ sounds like an intimate, modern hymnal to love and the Heartland. Tracks like “Oh Mississippi” hum with Cat Power melancholy, while Lissie’s cover of Hank Williams’ “Wedding Bells” lopes along with a She & Him–style melody. Sweetly evocative, these songs bring some down-home soul to the season. [ANNA REILLY]

self-titled album, Morningwood’s vocalist Chantal Claret and bassist Pedro Yanowitz have split to different coasts, endured couples’ therapy (though their union is strictly creative), and redefined the passion that brought them together in the first place. Diamonds & Studs twists up their glam-tinged sass and street-smart appeal for a gut-punching dose of true, unabashed rawk that’s somehow still danceable. Claret is even more fiery this time out, particularly on the decadent pop flecks of “Best of Me” and “How You Know It’s Love.” But it’s the hungry electric riffs of “Bitches” and the dizzying synths of “Hot Tonight” that equal the sexy confidence of Chrissie Hynde and Karen O. One listen to “That’s My Tune,” poised to be this year’s “Hollaback Girl,” and you’ll understand. [MACKENZIE WILSON]

MORNINGWOOD Diamonds & Studs (VH1 Classics)

NEON INDIAN Psychic Chasms (Lefse)

In the three years since making their major-label debut with a cool and cocky

It’s not dance music, it’s drug mu-

sic, and it’s made by a kid who was raised on video games. Conceived in the wake of a cancelled acid trip, Neon Indian is the latest project from Adam Palomo, the 21-year-old Texan behind synth-pop act VEGA. Palomo calls Neon Indian VEGA’s “evil twin,” but with Muzak melodies, fat, warbling synth lines, and the occasional laser sound effect, Neon Indian is more like VEGA’s weird ’shroom-dealing brother. The lazily delivered vocals and New Order beats beg a tooobvious MGMT comparison, but the lo-fi recording quality and non-linear song structures set the album apart. Psychic Chasms would be the perfect soundtrack for your next psychedelic bender, but chemical enhancement would only be icing on Neon Indian’s already-colorful cake. Full of familiar ’80s sounds paired unexpectedly, the album builds a comforting mood suitable for any groovy gathering of the “Terminally Chill,” which is, naturally, the tongue-in-cheek title of track three. [ERIN GRIFFITH]

EVERETT TRUE’S FIRST LADIES OF ROCK The best girl bands you’ve never heard of [BY EVERETT TRUE]





This Buenos Aires–based trio dresses like Devo going to the gym, rattles the drums like ESG, and has pretty, stinging voices that bounce and cleanse and sometimes harmonize (as a sort of bonus afterthought). Their guitar solos are minimal, and what the girls leave out is twice as important as what they put in. “Pear Tree,” from their album Kalimera, is the garage-band anthem of 2009.

California’s the Monster Women sound surreally sun-dappled and flowery with their sweetened ’60s harmonies and ramshackle drumbeats—like every girl group you never knew but still had a secret crush on in your heart. This trio makes every day a beach party.

Why is it that in conventional rock criticism, males “choose” not to play instruments well (Wavves, Flipper), whereas females “don’t have the ability” (the Shaggs, Vivian Girls)? Also, only dudes are allowed to make dick jokes. Fuck that. U.K.’s Pens are squiggly and sweet and sour and the trio makes me sweat thinking about how elastic beats and distortion can be.

Super Wild Horses play primal garage rock just the way I like it: stripped down, with a hint of Bo Diddley. This Melbourne band is good and grungy (in the 1957 Johnny Burnette sense of the word). You can tell it’s a two-piece, straight off. And you can tell the duo thinks they’re Phil Spector. Their sound’s got a little bit of rockabilly and a little bit of ’60s primordial ooze. Nice!

Think: The Raincoats, Wetdog, No Age Thurston Moore factor: 10 Demi Moore factor: 0

Think: The Whyte Boots, Flat Duo Jets, Beaches Garage-band-crush level: 9 Grunge-band-crush level: 2

Think: Kleenex, Shonen Knife, Hello Cuca Fun factor: 10 Cool factor: 10 78 / BUST // DEC/JAN

Think: Shop Assistants, Holly Golightly, Slumber Party Summertime crush level: 10 Wintertime crush level: 7.5

NOUVELLE VAGUE 3 (Peacefrog) This French cover band stretches the possibilities of genre bending by taking punk, post-punk, and New Wave songs by some of our favorite artists (like Talking Heads, Violent Femmes, and Echo and the Bunnymen), and turning them into jazzy, bossa nova, and even country-western tunes on their appropriately titled third album. Before you automatically dismiss Nouvelle Vague for remaking your favorite punk tracks in a French pop style—not very punk rock at all—it should be noted that these songs have been rearranged in a tasteful and, at times, surprisingly alluring way. For example, Martin Gore sings on their country-pop version of Depeche Mode’s “Master and Servant” and successfully twists the classic into something completely new. With the approval of the Dead Kennedys, Killing Joke, and Mick Jones of the Clash, this cover band is so legit, even the most cynical post-punk fan will dig them. [ANDIE RISHOI]

DOLLY PARTON Dolly (RCA/Legacy) Brassy, tacky, flashy, and sassy, Dolly Parton is so notorious for her eye-popping assets, acting career, and amusement-park entrepreneurship that we sometimes forget the reason she’s a star in the first place: her voice—a clear and shining instrument that can bring you to tears or drag you out of a funk with just a few bars. This new four-CD box set is a collection of the saucy icon’s best work, as well as some little-known gems. The set spans her first recording, 1959’s adorbs “Puppy Love,” to later tunes like 1993’s “Romeo,” her collaboration with Tanya Tucker and Mary Chapin Carpenter. What’s most amazing—aside from the fact that she’s been recording for 50 years—is the breadth of these tracks. Though she’s a die-hard country girl at heart, Dolly puts her irresistible chipmunky yodel to work on songs that won’t just appeal to the bolo-tiewearing crowd. Out of this collection’s 99 tracks, 7 are previously unreleased,

making it a must-have for your next road trip to Dollywood. [MOLLY SIMMS]

RONNIE SPECTOR The Last of the Rock Stars (Bad Girl Sounds/RED) She donned the mile-high beehive ages before Amy Winehouse and flaunted her sex appeal years before Madonna. Now ’60s girl-group icon Ronnie Spector, whose sultry vocals made the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” a megahit, is back with The Last of the Rock Stars. The album opens promisingly with punky guitar riffs, courtesy of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, on “Hey Sah Lo Ney.” The momentum isn’t lost when the Raveonettes lend themselves to their own tune, “Ode to L.A.,” a jangly homage to garage-pop that casts the ideal setting for Spector’s sweet cries. However, Rock Stars tosses a few rotten apples into its bag of treats, like the outdated “Girl From the Ghetto.” Even so, this track is also one of the LP’s most memorable due to Spector’s vengeful lyrics, perhaps directed at controlling ex-factor Phil Spector. [HELEN MATATOV]

JOSS STONE Colour Me Free (Virgin) It’s been more than five years since Joss Stone’s debut, The Soul Sessions, was nominated for the coveted Mercury Prize, so it’s easy to forget that the English songstress is only 22. At her best, Stone’s records sound like Motown by way of Manchester; at worst, they’re pedestrian R&B by a white girl with a nose ring. Colour Me Free leans toward the latter, though not for a lack of special guests. Stone enlists Jeff Beck and Sheila E. on “Parallel Lines,” with Beck soloing over a Stevie Wonder–like groove. Saxophonist David Sanborn does his best work since Ween’s “Your Party” on “I Believe It to My Soul.” Even Nas makes an appearance, on “Governmentalist,” an attempt at Curtis Mayfield–style blaxploitation that comes up woefully short. Stay tuned, however, for the best track, “4 and 20,” a slowburning comedown featuring horns and backup singers who sound like they’re waltzing through New Orleans’ French Quarter. [DYLAN STABLEFORD] // BUST / 79

the guide MUSIC TEGAN AND SARA Sainthood (Vapor/Sire/Warner Bros.) Quirky Canadian twins Tegan and Sara are back, this time abandoning the darker sound that penetrated The Con and returning, a bit, to their folk-rock roots. With their sixth album, Sainthood, the greater presence of pounding electronica with a rock twist might make you wonder if you’re listening to the duo at all. Opener “Arrow” gives an immediate adrenaline rush, and “Red Belt” uses beats inspired by Super Mario Brothers circa 1985. While most of the album is high-energy, it still displays Tegan and Sara’s signature strength of making emotional music. Tracks “The Ocean” and “Someday” exhibit a yearning for a fulfilling love they have yet to attain. Overall, this album does a superb job of weaving thumping beats with the introspective nature of romantic longing. [NICOLE MAYEFSKE]

VARIOUS ARTISTS Daptone Gold (Daptone) Sweet-soul-music fans, rejoice! Daptone, the label that has kept the authentic sounds of R&B alive from its base in Brooklyn since 2001, has released a stellar compilation of hits, rarities, and previously unreleased material from their talented family of artists. Dominating the collection are tracks by label co-owner Gabriel Roth’s band Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, including their 2007 hit “Tell Me” and an excellent cover of the Gladys Knight song “Giving Up.” But Jones and company aren’t the only stars twinkling in this stratosphere. Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens take it to church on two fiercely forged numbers, and Binky Griptite breaks it down old-school in collaboration with both the Sugarman Three and the Mellomatics. But beware of Roth’s “favorite all-time Daptone cut,” the Lee Fields track “Could Have Been.” This love ballad’s lonesome wailing is so potent, it could reduce any listener closely acquainted with heartbreak to a quivering, weeping mass on her bedroom floor. [EMILY REMS] 80 / BUST // DEC/JAN

WHITE DENIM Fits (Full Time Hobby) White Denim’s name may reference the acid-washed ’80s, but on Fits, the Austin, TX, trio’s third full-length, their sound mines the acid-testing ’60s, hardrock ’70s, alt-rock ’90s, indie-rock ’00s, and everything in between. But unlike other genre-hopping bands, there is a method to White Denim’s madness. Fits opens with a spooky choral intro on “Radio Milk: How Can You Stand It,” giving way to trashy, frantic, and anthemic rock on “All Consolation,” like an 8-track flashback as rendered by MGMT. The prog-heavy “Say What You Want” shows off Joshua Block’s wicked work around the drum kit, while “I Start to Run” sounds like a lost Clash 45. “El Hard Attack Dcwyw” mixes Zeppelin start-stops and Mexican punk, replete with Spanish lyrics, and a throbbing, pounding bass line on the psychedelic “Mirrored and Reverse” could be from any era. It’s indie rock with a near-perfect amount of irony and attitude—just like their name. [DYLAN STABLEFORD]

Dirtbombs into an accessible, feelgood LP. [ERIN GRIFFITH]

THE XX xx (Young Turks) The self-titled debut from the xx, marked with a very mysterious giant X on the cover, is full of classic R&B soul-tinged girl/guy vocals over throbbing bass, and/or dreamy synths, with tribal drums tossed in for good measure. However, this guy and girl (Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft) have some of the most seductive harmo-

nies that have been heard in a long time. Croft’s desperate whisper is met by Sim’s forlorn rasp on most songs, which, if nothing else, make this a great album to make out to. Producer Jamie Smith and keyboardist Baria Qureshi round out the amorousness with some electronic claps, pulses, and twisted melodies. Best song for smooching? The soft and spacey synth-trip “Fantasy.” The happy-golucky jaunt “VCR” is a shoo-in for the post-make-out mixtape, and bassheavy tearjerker “Night Time” is certainly the track to cry your eyes out to after it’s all over. [MARY-LOUISE PRICE]

{cool ep alert}

THE WILLOWZ Everyone (Dim Mak/Downtown) So-Cal garage rockers the Willowz deploy classic blues-rock riffs, swaggering vocals, and freewheeling guitar melodies in a way that ignites a touch of nostalgia for the rock ‘n’ roll glory days, whenever those were. The band’s latest release, Everyone, barrels through 30 minutes of pure and simple American rock. The album’s namesake track is a clear standout. With its fun-times cadence and fist-pumping sing-along chorus of “Woooah, yeah, here they come,” it begs to be featured in a teen movie—during the scene that depicts the party getting started, obviously. Other tracks would be right at home on the Dazed and Confused soundtrack, channeling ’70s guitar gods with crunchy riffs and high-pitched wailing. Which is all to say that despite their grimy L.A. image, the Willowz straddle the line between clean-cut Kings of Leon–style frat rock and loud, grungy garage revival. They’ve funneled the sweaty energy of the

TOTAL BABE Heatwave EP (SO TM) TOTAL BABE’S DEBUT, Heatwave, is pure bliss. The trio’s members, 16-year-old Clara Salyer (vocals, guitar), Lizzie Carolan (violin), and Jordan Gatesmith (guitar), are still in high school, yet they possess a finely tuned sound that captures everything that greats like the Velvet Underground stood for: lo-fi and raw. Softer than the Vivian Girls and as happy as Belle and Sebastian, Total Babe will bring out your sentimental twee side. Salyer sings with delicate prowess on tracks like “Short Stories” and “Bearbones.” But ultimately, it’s Carolan’s folksy violin that nourishes the album. “Country” is a surprisingly mature instrumental track, while “Shape Up” is slumber-party silly. Even during the winter months, this album will bring back memories of carefree summer days. [AMBER BELA MUSE]

the guide


Sandrine Bonnaire’s got game in Queen to Play

Meg Ryan keeps Timothy Hutton under wraps in Serious Moonlight


QUEEN TO PLAY Directed by Caroline Bottaro (Liberation Entertainment) In this intriguing French film (with English subtitles), Hélène (Sandrine Bonnaire) is trapped in a beautiful but boring life on the island of Corsica. Wife to a loving but less-than-passionate husband, and mother to an insightful but class-conscious teenager, she does her best to make everyone else happy. Only her home’s dramatic landscape adds excitement to this chambermaid’s life, until the day she sees a vacationing American couple playing chess as she prepares their room. The sensuality of their game captivates her and spawns an obsession that quickly takes over her life. When Hélène buys her husband an electronic chessboard for his birthday, she soon becomes addicted to the game herself. Neglecting her family, her job, and her friends, she unsuccessfully tries to beat the game. She soon realizes, however, that she cannot progress without human instruction. So she persuades one of her clients, the cantankerous Dr. Kröger (Kevin Kline), to play chess with her in exchange for free housecleaning. Soon the town is wagging their tongues, assuming their relationship is carnal instead of intellectual. But deciding whether to pursue her chess dreams or live a quiet life that pleases everyone else proves to be a harder decision than Hélène expects. Queen to Play is a joy to watch. Bonnaire imbues Hélène with a

charming sense of deviousness, especially when she is first discovering the wonder of chess. Kline, typically an exuberant character actor, is refreshingly subtle in his first non-English-speaking role. And though the cast is small, the supporting characters of Hélène’s husband, Ange (Francis Renaud), and her daughter, Lisa (Alexandra Gentil), are well rounded and multidimensional. In her first feature-length film, Bottaro deftly plays with dialogue, silence, shadows, and scenery, exhibiting a level of skill far beyond her experience. Here’s hoping Bottaro’s future work is just as soulful and charming. [ERRIN DONAHUE]

SERIOUS MOONLIGHT Directed by Cheryl Hines (Magnolia Pictures) Imagine coming home early to surprise your husband, only to find him putting the final floral touches on a romantic evening he’s planning to spend…with his mistress…whom he’s conspiring to run off with to Paris the following morning. It’s many women’s worst nightmare and one that Louise (Meg Ryan) reacts to in a highly unusual manner, in this film written by the late Adrienne Shelly and directed by actress Cheryl Hines. Like Shelly’s last feature script, the sweet yet halfbaked Waitress, Serious Moonlight is an offbeat romance that exposes the idiosyncrasies of the heart and the creative ways adults find to deal with the frustrations of love and marriage. When Louise discovers that Ian (Timothy Hutton) is planning on

Emily Blunt kicks it old school in The Young Victoria

leaving her after 13 years of marital ups and downs for a young secretary (Kristen Bell), she is understandably furious. After hurling invectives and flowerpots at him until he’s rendered unconscious, Louise then duct-tapes Ian to their toilet to prevent his escape. A high-powered lawyer who is used to controlling the terms of any argument, she is determined to talk this out with Ian when he wakes up. But she gets so obsessed with winning this battle of wills that she seems to lose sight of the prize—which, to the viewer, appears to be a selfish philanderer who resents his wife’s success and takes her beauty for granted. After lots of screaming, the audience, too, begins to feel trapped in this couple’s bathroom (and in their marriage). Perhaps a more experienced director (this was Hines’ debut) could have turned down the volume a bit. Regardless, Shelly again shows a deep empathy for women’s relationship fears and needs, and Meg Ryan, with her collagen-puffed lips and waxen brow, perfectly conveys the powerful indignation of a woman who refuses to play the victim to anyone—including Mother Nature. [CORRIE PIKUL]

THE YOUNG VICTORIA Directed By Jean-Marc Vallée (Apparition) Starring Emily Blunt as the young woman who was crowned Queen of England at age 18, The Young Victoria follows a life that was both strange

and stifling. Victoria had no playmates, she wasn’t allowed to read, and an adult had to hold her hand when she walked up or down stairs. While the first half of the film focuses primarily on palace power struggles, from Victoria’s fights with her mother to the more public problems she faces as queen, the real story here is her love affair with Prince Albert (Rupert Friend). Despite her cloistered childhood, Victoria is smart, curious, creative, and fun, and what is at first a political match between Victoria and Albert flourishes as an affair between equals. The two fall madly in love but also experience problems, as Victoria suspects Albert of jostling for power in her court. Their budding romance is the true centerpiece of the movie, so much so that while it would be inappropriate to tell her story without including her trials as queen, the love story is the more engaging aspect of the plot by far. Blunt gives a strong performance as the fresh-faced, highly intelligent young queen, and Friend is wonderfully alive as the shy paramour who woos Victoria with long letters—a welcome change from his bloodless performance in Stephen Frears’ Chéri. But while the cinematography at first keeps things interesting with off-center, over-the-shoulder shots, eventually these tricks take away from the bigger picture. The Young Victoria will please period-piece fans and hopefully establish Blunt as a leading lady, but it probably won’t take a bite out of the Oscar pie. [JENNI MILLER] // BUST / 81

82 / BUST // DEC/JAN

the guide



hungry: a young model’s story of appetite, ambition, and the ultimate embrace of curves BY CRYSTAL RENN WITH MAJORIE INGALL [SIMON AND SCHUSTER] AS A SURVIVOR of an eating disorder, I usually refrain from reading these types of memoirs, because the author usually writes not for empowerment but for sympathy. Hungry is different. Crystal Renn’s memoir of her modeling career and battle with anorexia is extraordinary. Renn was a Mississippi teenager struggling to fit in when a model scout showed her a Vogue cover featuring supermodel Gisele Bündchen, saying simply: “This could be you.” Renn became a vigilant dieter, often consuming only lettuce, Diet Coke, and gum, and she exercised daily, sometimes for eight hours. “I wanted to be less, always less,” she writes. Once a healthy 14-year-old at 5'8" tall and 165 pounds, Renn dropped to 98 pounds in less than a year. That got her a ticket to New York City and a $250,000 modeling contract. Renn (with co-author Marjorie Ingall) describes her illness in graphic detail—and I’d caution anyone with an eating disorder that this book may trigger unhealthy thoughts. But those with healthy bodies will rejoice at Renn’s recovery: after nearly losing her mind, Renn quit her obsessive exercising and started eating. Surprisingly, this helped her career: after struggling to make it as a “straight” model, Renn found herself on top as a plus-size model, landing in Vogue, Dolce & Gabbana ads, and Elle. In addition to Renn’s personal story, Hungry offers astounding statistics on the rise of eating disorders, as well as a precise breakdown of why our culture is weight-obsessed and how and why we should change it. That such change is possible Renn’s experience makes clear. And when she recalls walking beside Jean Paul Gaultier at his fashion show, writing, “Get a load of me, black-clad, hungry bitches,” you cheer. [AMBER BELA MUSE]

ANNA IN-BETWEEN By Elizabeth Nunez (Akashic Books) Anna is a successful New York City book editor visiting her parents at home in the Caribbean for a few weeks when she discovers that her mother, Beatrice, has breast cancer. Deeply distrustful of the United States, Beatrice refuses to be treated there, against her doctor’s recommendation. Nunez plays out this dramatic scenario quietly, her finely tuned narrative as graceful and measured as Beatrice, a woman who prides herself on her impeccable manners and appearance. And yet Nunez manages to imbue remarkable texture, weaving in commentary on the complicated history and status of race and class on the island. She also develops a rich portrait of a family dynamic that reflects the changes the community has seen over the course of Anna’s lifetime, as well as those things that have not changed, for better and for worse. Anna, thinking about the intimacy of discussing books with another per-

son, reflects, “Good fiction takes one through the corridors of the human heart,” and Nunez delivers a book that lives up to that standard. The ending, in which one man represents a salvation of sorts for both Anna and Beatrice, feels a bit too neatly wrapped up for the messiness of real life, but there is also a beauty in the unity it brings to mother and daughter, who had been pulling in opposite directions for so long. [EMMA HAMILTON]

BLUEBIRD: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness By Ariel Gore (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Unearthing the secrets of feminine joy is the task that memoirist and hip mama Ariel Gore sets for herself in this likable and emotionally intelligent new book. Initially, Gore looks to the new science of positive psychology for answers. But discovering that the field’s male-dominated rhetoric doesn’t mesh with the

complexity of women’s experiences, she decides to augment its findings with a more personalized study in living joyfully, using herself and a group of women friends as subjects. Bluebird is the eclectic, funny, and honest chronicle of this empowering feminist quest for bliss. Gore’s is a meandering exploration that involves some enlightening scientific and cultural history (the first cheerleader was a guy, for instance), not to mention a lot of soul-searching and journaling (she quotes her friends amply). And what is the formula for happiness? Predictably, but no less important, Gore finds that it is an individualized experience dependent upon a woman’s ability to step back and question the cultural scripts she’s been given, whether modern feminist or ’50s traditional. The most contented women prove to be those who are able to determine for themselves what happiness is—as well as the best path to it. “We can write our own scripts, write our own stories,” Gore entreats, and writing her own story is exactly what she has done in Bluebird. [ERICA WETTER]

THE BRIDE’S FAREWELL By Meg Rosoff (Viking Adult) At the opening of this novel, a mid19th-century tomboy named Pell Ridley faces an important decision: marry a man she doesn’t love to exchange her life of freedom for a life of household drudgery, or strike out on horseback for the unknown. Unsurprisingly (this is a novel, after all), she chooses the latter and soon finds herself among a colorful cast of characters, including gypsies, horse traders, poachers, bakers, and orphans. In this way, the novel is similar to Dickens’ stories of young people astray, except Rosoff cleverly exposes how an unmarried young woman in this position is much more socially restricted than the iconic characters of Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. Rosoff also merges Pell’s adventures with the stories of other Ridley family members, demonstrating how the courses of their lives are still interdependent. Simultaneously, the // BUST / 83

the guide


voice of the novel takes on a little of each character, so that it sounds like any one character could be narrating. The main thickening of the plot comes when Pell’s younger brother Bean follows Pell as she escapes from home but later goes missing himself. In searching for him, Pell unknowingly stirs up her father’s sordid past and learns that her own search for reinvention has consequences she can’t foresee. Her choices at the end represent a sort of compromise between her duty to her family and her desire for freedom. [LAURA STOKES]

CANCER VIXEN: A True Story By Marisa Acocella Marchetto (Pantheon) I sat down to read Cancer Vixen, a graphic novel–style memoir of cartoonist Marissa Acocella Marchetto’s battle with breast cancer, just after learning that my uncle is suffering from terminal cancer. So I may not have approached this book, which was originally published in 2007 and has just been released in paperback, with the most detached critical eye, seeing as how I pretty much cried my way through it. But I also laughed. Marchetto, a cartoonist for The New Yorker and Glamour, among others, details the 11-month odyssey that followed her cancer diagnosis with blunt candor and honesty about even the most embarrassing details (chemo farts— who knew?). These details, coupled with amusing drawings, like a depiction of cancer cells as bird-flipping delinquents, offer a refreshing dose of levity to a heavy subject. Marchetto, a self-described “shoecrazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, singleforever, about-to-get-married big city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life” learned she had breast cancer just weeks before she was to marry hotshot New York restaurateur Silvano Marchetto. That might not make her quite relatable to everyone (I, myself, will never fully understand the shoe thing), but her bravery in chronicling every emotion she experienced during her tumultuous, draining, and ultimately victorious fight against cancer is admirable. 84 / BUST // DEC/JAN

She also outlines, in great detail, every step of her treatment. The graphic-novel format works particularly well here, illustrating exactly what happens during chemotherapy and radiation. In that sense, the book is not only autobiographical but also instructive, a field guide for those of us facing the cancer of a loved one, or of ourselves, for the first time. [AMANDA CANTRELL]

CLEAVING: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession By Julie Powell (Little, Brown and Co.) Following the publication of her bestselling memoir, Julie and Julia, foodie Julie Powell found herself caught in the sort of personal crisis that made daily gulps of codeinelaced cough syrup appealing. At age 33, she’d spent more than half her life with her husband, Eric, and two years cheating on him with an emotionally checked-out sadist, D. From the first time D slapped and bit her, Powell was a goner, deadly in love. “The whole thing is so intricate and incestuous and endless,” she confesses. “It’s like trying to explain the plotline of a Buffy episode six seasons in.” In revolt, Eric takes up his own affair, often staying out all night. They stop having sex but together they weep, drink themselves to sleep in front of their television in Queens, wake up, and do it all again. Just reading about this stagnant self-destruction is exhausting, especially considering Powell’s inability to fold her marriage and walk away. “We’re one thing, Eric and I… one bone. You can’t snap a bone in two with a delicious pop. You have to hack, saw, destroy.” Thus, in part to launch herself out of this miserable spin cycle, Powell decides to apprentice as a butcher. As she’s learning how to turn a cow into a steak, D dumps her, but she soldiers on, chopping dead animals so violently she gets carpal tunnel syndrome. Though her story is interspersed with carnivorous recipes, Powell’s raw angst is aggravating enough to make you lose your appetite. Instead of a hardcover book, Powell’s black-and-blue mess of confessions should never have left her hard drive. [SARAH NORRIS]

THE FART PARTY, VOL. 2 By Julia Wertz (Atomic Books) Author of the blog with the giggleworthy name, Julia Wertz documents the (non)events of her life with biting sarcasm and touching honesty. In this second collection pulled from both her Web site and her never-before-printed stock, she hilariously chronicles the end of a long-distance relationship and her spontaneous move to Brooklyn, NY, after trekking across the States in a primary narrative broken up by oddball, and often morbidly funny, vignettes. Rather than a graphic novel, Fart Party is a series of mini-comics, meaning each page is its own story—a perfect medium for an artist with oneliners as sharp as Wertz’s. She showcases her absurdist sense of humor in strips like “The Magic School Bus Gets Motherfucking Real,” where the main character of the children’s-book series The Magic School Bus “goes to Iraq and blows shit up” and “becomes a junkie and turns out alright,” and “Creative Ways to Open a Wine Bottle,” in which Wertz features breaking the bottle and filtering the glass as a prime bottle-opening method. Wertz has a gift for relating humdrum feelings in a way that is poignantly articulate, such as her seemingly constant struggle with her sense of artistic inadequacy and the imaginary “Black Hole of Self Loathing” that she falls into. Her nostalgic series of drawings of her favorite places in San Francisco and her open discussion on the increasing violence in her neighborhood also give Wertz an emotional depth that is deeply sincere. Undeniably quirky and ironically mature, Wertz is an amazing host for any and every “Fart Party” she sees fit to draw. [ERICA VARLESE]

FLOW: The Cultural Story of Menstruation By Elissa Stein and Susan Kim (St. Martin’s Griffin) The old joke “Never trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die” is especially depressing when you consider that women weren’t trusted

with much for the bulk of history, and it may have had something to do with menses. Although feminine-hygiene products and pain meds have come a long way, society, as a whole, continues to be suspicious, disgusted, and flummoxed by the fact that women bleed every month. In Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, authors Elissa Stein and Susan Kim bring period talk out from behind closed bathroom doors to reveal this secret history, including the links between feminism and attitudes about monthly flow. Stein and Kim cover every side of menstruating: the hilarious ads that skirt the issue of blood, new birthcontrol pills developed to do away with periods all together, the frivolous characteristics of hygiene products (wings!), and how some cultures celebrate a girl’s first period while others condemn it. At their best, the authors serve as brash cultural critics with the courage to engage in candid discourses about the smell and look of menstruation, while casting the suspicion back at those who can’t deal with a little thing called blood. [AMANDA MCCORQUODALE]

THE GREATEST EXPERIMENT EVER PERFORMED ON WOMEN: Exploding the Estrogen Myth By Barbara Seaman (Seven Stories Press) In 1959, Barbara Seaman’s aunt died from endometrial cancer linked to her menopause medication, Premarin, a type of synthetic estrogen made from the urine of pregnant mares. After the funeral, the young journalist opened a case file on the drug and its ties to cancer; this book is the product of nearly 50 years of investigation on the subject. Now in paperback, The Greatest Experiment exposes the full story behind synthetic estrogen’s development and proliferation as a “wonder drug” for women. Having witnessed its effects on first-generation users in the late ’50s and ’60s, Seaman has a unique perspective that enriches an already wellresearched book with evidence-based accounts of her family’s, friends’, and colleagues’ personal and professional experiences with estrogen.

Although she reports on some startling findings about the drug’s adverse effects and the unethical ways in which pharmaceutical companies (and some doctors) have deliberately kept the public in the dark about them, her goal is not to vilify the drug; it is to tell the whole tale, so that we are able to make an informed decision about what we put in our bodies. And because many of us have at some point taken an estrogen pill or know someone who has, this book is essential reading for everyone. Written as if she’s spilling some juicy gossip over lunch, Seaman sparks an important conversation about seeking out the truth from government regulators, pharmaceutical companies, and our doctors. Spread the word! [GINA MARIE VASOLI]


WHETHER YOU WANT to make some gifts yourself or are in need of a gift for one of your DIY-hard friends, a craft book is the answer. Filled with inspiration and ideas, they’re sure to make your holiday crafty and bright. Here are a few of my faves from the latest releases. You need only to be able to use scissors and make the simplest of sewing stitches in order to create the ridiculously cute critters in Nelly Pailloux’s FELTIES: How to Make 18 Cute and Fuzzy Friends (Andrews McMeel). Her directions for teeny tiny little animelike characters will make for hours of fun. Give this book along with an assortment of felt, a needle, and some thread and you might not see or hear from your friend again for weeks. For those with more needle skillz, A RAINBOW OF STITCHES by Agnès DelageCalvet, Anne Sohier-Fournel, Muriel Brunet, and Françoise Ritz (Watson-Guptill) is one of the most beautiful books of embroidery projects I’ve seen. It’s filled with super-Frenchy patterns that are all worked in a single color and made in basic embroidery and crossstitches. Mais, oui! Any seamstress ready to move past potholders and pillows will appreciate Ruth Singer’s THE SEWING BIBLE: A Modern Manual of Practical and Decorative Sewing Techniques (Potter Craft). A true tome (this one’s fat, yo), the book is organized into various “master classes” on advanced sewing techniques, along with appealing projects that incorporate each newly learned skill. Stitchers like to give as much as they like to receive, and QUILTING FOR PEACE: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time (STC Craft), by Katherine Bell, not only includes patterns for some truly sweet quilts but also has information about a whole world of charities you can get involved with while using your quilting abilities. ’Tis the season, after all.

If your friend’s a knitting-needle wielder, you can’t go wrong with Alice Starmore’s recently re-released BOOK OF FAIR ISLE KNITTING (Dover Publications). How this essential guide to color knitting ever fell out of print is a mystery, as Starmore is known to be one of the masters of the method. Here she shares everything she knows on the subject, including its history, an immense library of stitch patterns, illustrated techniques, and more. Lily Chin is another major icon in the fiber world. A knitting and crocheting dynamo, her CROCHET TIPS AND TRICKS and KNITTING TIPS AND TRICKS (Potter Craft) would make great stocking stuffers for any naughty knitters or happy hookers on your list. For a gift that is both a craft book and crafting supply in one, turn to Djerba Goldfinger’s REPRODEPOT PATTERN BOOK: Flora—225 Vintage-Inspired Textile Designs (Chronicle Books). The disk that accompanies it is filled with beautiful floral patterns that can be printed out onto paper using any old computer and color printer, then used in a bajillion different ways, such as for crafting custom labels, stationery, and even placemats. Finally, you may not know someone who is into crafting with polymer clay—I don’t—but anyone who likes to craft is likely to start itching to play with clay when they see Jessica and Susan Partain’s THE POLYMER CLAY COOKBOOK: Tiny Food Jewelry to Whip Up and Wear (Watson-Guptill). Whether it’s coffee-cup earrings that dangle from tiny espresso beans, a ring sporting a platter of bacon and eggs, or a necklace decorated with teensy peeled bananas, the food jewelry here is both intriguing and irresistible. Pick up a couple of packs of clay and a few of the easy tools described in the book, package them all together, then sit back and hope your crafty bud will lay some of this adorableness on you someday. [DEBBIE STOLLER]

I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR BAND: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Hippies, Pornographers, Self-Loathing Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated By Julie Klausner (Gotham) Julie Klausner is a funny lady—she writes for VH1, teaches classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade, and has appeared on TV shows like Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Saturday Night Live, and the sadly defunct Strangers with Candy. And her new book, I Don’t Care About Your Band, a memoir of dating, is often hilarious. Klausner’s unorthodox definition of “relationship,” which includes such varied situations as cohabitation, intense MySpace friendships, and guys she sleeps with twice, is refreshing. And an anecdote about a would-be paramour getting arrested for accidentally kidnapping a child had me laughing so hard I was nearly crying. But at the end of several chapters, Klausner tries in vain to connect her experiences back to her readers with tacked-on paragraphs about how you should try to find a guy “who impresses and adores you” and “makes you feel like a star.” The advice reads as slightly patronizing coming from a woman who’s great at getting laughs but pretty terrible at finding good boyfriends. And her frequent pop culture references and sarcastic tone interfere with the comedy // BUST / 85

the guide BOOKS inherent in all of these crazy episodes. Her story about calling a phone-sex hotline to feed her adolescent curiosity is funny on its own, but adult Julie’s cynical narration just feels redundant. This is the problem with many of Klausner’s tales throughout the memoir—the imposition of her present dating savvy on her past mishaps only makes the stories seem less funny than they actually are. You’ll laugh at some of her memories, but you’ll also wish Klausner had let the previous incarnations of Julie speak for themselves. [ELIZA THOMPSON]

MAD, BAD, AND SAD: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors By Lisa Appignanesi (W.W. Norton and Co.) Prolific author and scholar Lisa Appignanesi’s latest nonfiction work expertly weaves together mind-bendingly extensive research with deft storytelling ability. From early approaches to

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understanding “madness from the point of view of the sufferer” to today’s interrelated “psy” fields, the book ambitiously and thoroughly traces the history of mental illness—and the evolution of its treatments—through the lens of colorful, prominent women. The book starts with writer Mary Lamb’s 1796 matricide, an early case that exemplified the beginning of the now familiar notion of a link between “childhood experience and the deformations of the adult.” From here, Appignanesi charts the lives of women in different eras, demonstrating how various forms of “madness” surfaced and tracing the evolution of treatments from early sanatoriums to newer diagnoses (postpartum depression is explored in the epilogue) and increasing pharmaceutical options. A particularly fascinating piece captures Sabina Spielrein, Carl Jung’s patient and lover, who became a psychoanalyst herself. Appignanesi’s findings reveal, not surprisingly, that new treatments bring new problems; she touches on early Prozac recipients Lauren Slater and Elizabeth Wurtzel to

show how a generation’s “drug-charged highs too often descended into the terrifying and recurring lows of depression, which themselves became the target of more drugs.” Appropriately, Appignanesi doesn’t attempt overarching solutions, ultimately allowing her case studies to contribute to the ongoing conversation about what constitutes mental illness and the ways it is treated. [LIZA MONROY]

THE TRUE DECEIVER By Tove Jansson, translated by Thomas Teal (NYRB Classics) In literature, there are quirky novels that try hard to stand out. And then there are different novels, which come from a mind with a unique point of view and can’t help but show us something new. In this sense, Tove Jansson has the advantage of being from a different time and place, born in Finland in 1914. She was best known for her Moomin comics, absurdist tales about a family of what look like upright hippos. But The True Deceiver, published in 1982 and only now translated into English, is definitely an adult novel, albeit a deceptively simple one. In it, Katri and Anna live in a seaside village, empty outside of tourist season. Katri is the town misfit, an orphan living barely above the poverty line. Anna, born into wealth, is an elderly illustrator of children’s books featuring flower-printed bunnies. Using a trumped-up string of robberies as an excuse, Katri insinuates herself into Anna’s life, house, and finances. Jansson’s quiet writing style works because of its honesty. She deals with seemingly mundane subjects—money, irritation, petty dishonesties—to show that our everyday interactions form the basis of our philosophical view of the world. Much of the plot centers on Katri taking over Anna’s accounting, not usually a topic to inspire passions, but it showcases the clash between Katri’s suspicious nature and Anna’s willful blindness. Throughout, Jansson weaves in a subtle suspense that leaves readers uneasy because we’re never quite sure of its cause. And every time the narrative seems to be heading in a conventional

direction, Jansson subtly tweaks our expectations. A novel about eccentric characters caught in a clash of class and generation could easily devolve into cliché, but with Jansson, we’re in the hands of a storyteller who truly has something worthwhile to say. [KARIN MARLEY]

VEGAN COOKIES INVADE YOUR COOKIE JAR: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats By Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (Da Capo Press) When Moskowitz and Romero’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World hit shelves back in 2006, it was totally a big deal. Because with their irresistible recipes, the daring culinary duo proved that vegan cupcakes aren’t just passable substitutes for the “real thing” but actually taste better. Yes, better. In looking for ways to veganize dessert, they stumbled upon new ingredients and techniques that turn out moister, more satisfying baked goods. And with their newest collection, classic cookie recipes get the same magical treatment. Eager to try out their clever use of ground flax seeds instead of eggs to hold together a dense drop cookie, I gave the recipe for “Peanut Apple Pretzel Drops” a whirl—with fantastic results, especially considering how easy these were to make. Loaded with dried apple chunks, peanut halves, and pretzel pieces, this sweet ‘n’ salty combo was devoured by the omnivorous BUST office quicker than you can say “coffee break.” But not all the recipes call for unfamiliar substitutions. The “Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows” are possibly the most delicious things I have ever made, and the only ingredient they require that may not already be in a standard pantry is soy milk. Coming out just in time for holiday cookie-swap season, this treasure trove also has options for every dietary restriction, whether it’s gluten-free or agavesweetened, ensuring your baking will be the hit of the party no matter where you go. Unless, of course, you’re going someplace where the people don’t like cookies. In which case, I would highly advise staying home. [EMILY REMS]


How did you find your way into performing your own work? I didn’t say, “I’m going to be a writer and do this and do this.” It came out because it had to. I forged myself. I created this person. I didn’t write anything down until I was 40! I didn’t emerge as a voice until I was 40. I had the grace of a 25year period of development. We’ve lost the arc of development. Now there’s this new era where people are supposed to have a point of view at 25, and it is just absurd. Nothing happens between ages 20 and 27. Then 27 to 37 drags on like summer in the fourth grade, and then 39 to 50 lasts three weeks, and everything happens! No one ever tells you this! You’re clearly not afraid to address social and personal taboos when you perform. I’m really honest about my experiences, not because I’m a “good” person—I’m like everyone else. I want people to like me! That’s a very difficult balance. I’m steeped in survival. A lot of times, I’ll hear what’s coming out of my mouth and I’ll be like, “Please don’t! Stop now! That’s enough!”

penny’s from heaven


CHATTING WITH PUNK’S HIGH PRIESTESS OF PERFORMANCE ART, PENNY ARCADE SINCE THE FATEFUL day she arrived in N.Y.C. from Connecticut in 1963, Penny Arcade (born Susana Ventura) has been cultivating her own unique, fearless style. A tough teen fresh out of reform school when she first hit the city, Arcade would eventually grow to become a staple of the downtown performance-art scene. Along the way, this self-professed “unintentional artist” would join the famed Theatre of the Ridiculous, appear in the Andy Warhol film Women in Revolt, have a chapter devoted to her antics in Please Kill Me: An Oral History of Punk, and create numerous dramatic works lampooning pop culture’s commoditization of the “bad girl.” Three of these plays are collected in her new book, Bad Reputation: Performances, Essays, Interviews, alongside Arcade’s provocative autobiographical asides. Here, she chats about personal artistry, performance anarchy, and periods by way of Judy Blume. Your work often addresses your difficult teen years. You’ve said you were “raised by drag queens.” How so? When I was 14, hanging out at fluorescent-lit coffee shops, my goal every night was to get to sit at the table with the old queens. Theirs was a fierce and unapologetic intelligence and wit. I needed the solace of the understanding that lay behind their barbed comments. And now I’m an old queen, in an era that has lost the means of measuring the value of old queens.

Along these lines, you notoriously submitted a grant request to the National Endowment for the Arts during the Sen. Jesse Helms–led conservative backlash. Can you tell me about that? During the censorship crisis at the N.E.A. in the 1990s, I submitted a proposal for my play Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! as a kind of “fuck you.” And what was their response? Well, I didn’t get a grant! [laughs] Back then, the downtown arts scene was all about “censorship and funding,” but what about censorship besides funding? What about books by Judy Blume being taken out of libraries? Fourteen-year-old girls shouldn’t be able to read about getting their periods? That’s censorship. Do you consider yourself a feminist? I’m a feminist and always have been. I’m a feminist out of necessity. It’s not theoretical to me. You can’t grow up a working-class Italian immigrant in America or be out on the street and not know feminism is important. But who hates on girls more than girls? Who limits the possibilities for women more than other women? I was very involved with Riot Grrrls in 1992. I was like, “Here’s a feminism I can relate to.” What advice do you have for burgeoning artists? Life is not a bus station where you buy your ticket to your destination when you’re fuckin’ 21 years old. You become who you’re going to become by those choices you make moment to moment. So when people say, “Oh, I’m doing this now to get known, and then I’m going to come back around to do what I want to do,” I say, “You never come back around.” [BRANDY BARBER] // BUST / 87

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sex files Kuptsow shows the goods

The author, all dolled up

picture perfect


LEGIONS OF LADIES ARE CHANNELING THEIR INNER PIN-UP AND RECLAIMING THAT VA-VA-VOOM LOOK IN THE PAST, boudoir photography—pictures of women glamourously made up and striking suggestive poses wearing retro lingerie—was shot strictly for the boys. WWII servicemen cherished the racy images of their wives or girlfriends while away at war, and the more commercial pin-up shots titillated youths flipping through magazines. But today, ladies are embracing boudoir⎯and their bodies⎯with a new sense of empowerment. Along with the burlesque revival of the past decade came a renewed reverence for vintage glam and the inherent sexiness of women of all shapes and sizes. For gals who dig the idea of donning red lipstick and little else but aren’t inclined to take to the stage, women-run boudoir photo studios are the perfect place to explore your inner Bettie Page. A package deal (which can range from $150 to $500) includes classic, flawless hair and makeup, a closet of garters, corsets, and Betty Draper– esque lingerie to choose from, and a set of professional prints featuring your gorgeous pin-up self. And while the resulting photos may make a great gift for a beau, the lasting effects of a boudoir shoot—confidence and body acceptance among them—can prove to be the real present, which is why more and more women are having the

photos taken for themselves. “Everyone deserves to feel special and empowered,” says photographer Kimberly Noel, of Philadelphia-based KNP Boudoir, who claims the experience can be therapeutic. Jennifer Kuptsow, who does boudoir shoots in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey for her photo studio, Bloomers & Blush, enjoys the supportive spirit of the shoots. “It’s a rare feeling of unity among women who don’t actually know each other but respect each other’s talents and beauty,” she says. “We have a lot to offer each other once we let go of the competitive nature.” I experienced this camaraderie when I did my own boudoir photo shoot with Kuptsow. While her stylist readied my outfits, I sipped champagne, and after 45 minutes of hair and makeup (and makeup instruction!), I was transformed into a red-lipped Varga gal, complete with cheek-grazing faux lashes. Throughout the shoot, the girls kept me comfortable no matter how little I was wearing, and I walked away with a buzz of confidence. Even if your last picture-taking experience involved braces, knee socks, and a school auditorium, a boudoir photo shoot will make you feel like a pro and have you thinking, “Damn, I look good.” [CRISTINA PERACHIO] // BUST / 89

sex files



Do you have any advice for a single woman with herpes? At what point should you bring it up with a partner and, more important, what do you say? Will I ever have sex again? STDowner

Betty says: How someone responds to having herpes is as varied as one’s appearance. First off, I have never viewed herpes as a serious STD, although our sex-negative and pharmaceuticaladdicted society loves to scare everyone into thinking it’s something we should all worry about. I’ve had long periods of no outbreaks—one time I was blister-free for more than 10 years. When I do have an outbreak, it’s always related to stress. Similar to cold sores we get on our mouths, it simply goes away. Back in the swinging ’70s, herpes was a badge of being sexual. Most of us viewed it as no different than having the common cold. Similarly, there is no cure for either of these viruses. I have never announced to a new sex partner that I have herpes. If I have an outbreak, naturally, I put off having partnersex, and we can discuss it at that point. In the end, you should handle it in whatever way feels comfortable to you.

Carlin says: First, you should always be using condoms when you have casual or non-monogamous relationship sex. So when you’re playing safe, you don’t have to say anything unless you have an outbreak. If your relationship develops to the point that you’re considering becoming “fluid-bonded” partners, then it’s time to have “the talk.” At that point, you’ll both go for STD testing, which will provide a natural context for disclosure. I’ve had a long-term relationship with someone who had herpes—it didn’t freak me out and I’ve never had an outbreak. We forget we have functioning immune systems to protect us.


I’m 19, and I don’t know if my hormones are just going nuts, but I seem to be in heat all the time. It’s not that I’m thinking dirty thoughts; I will just randomly feel an intense sensation and get really turned on for no apparent reason. It usually happens if I’m in the pool, getting out of the shower, just waking up or going to sleep, and, oddly, when I pick out clothes from my closet. I don’t know if this is normal or not. I’m also not sure if this is connected, but sometimes when I pee, I feel excited. Do I have some sick, underlying fetish or something? I don’t know what’s going on! The Heat Is On

Betty says: It sounds to me like you have a very high-class problem, and I’m feeling a bit jealous. Forget about “normal” when it comes to sex. And dismiss the idea that you have some “sick, underlying fetish” unless you want to develop one. Since you’re only 19, I’d say it’s your average sexual coming-of-age, and those pesky hormones are testing their power. I had a similar phase when I was 16, and then again, just before I went into menopause, at 50. It happened one more time when I began to use a plant-based hormone cream to revitalize my vagina at the age of 66. In your case, the first thing that comes to mind is to simply catch some of those waves of arousal and whip out a sex toy or two. Take advantage of your moments of horniness.

Carlin says: It’s a beautiful thing to be young and sexual. Enjoy your filthy mind and your wet pussy. If you want to curb your appetite, I suggest masturbating first thing in the morning before you head out for your day. And that means vaginal penetration with a dildo and clitoral stimulation with a vibrator (unless you use your fingers).

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Got a que questi question stion on for Be Betty tty an and d Carl C Carlin? arlin? in? Po Post st it at www www.bu .bust. com/au /auntb ntbett ettyy United States Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation: 1. Publication Title: BUST 2. Publication Number: 1089-4713 3. Filing Date: October 1, 2009 4. Issue Frequency: Bi-monthly 5. Number of issues published annually: 6 6. Annual subscription price: $19.95 7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: 78 Fifth Ave., 5th floor, New York NY 10011 Contact Person: Debbie Stoller Telephone: 212 675-1707. 8. Complete mailing address of headquarters or general business office of publisher: 78 Fifth Ave, 5th floor, New York NY 10011 9. Full names and complete addresses of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor: Publisher, BUST Inc., 78 Fifth Ave., 5th floor, New York NY 10011, Editor, Debbie Stoller, 78 Fifth Ave., 5th floor, New York NY 10011, Managing Editor, Emily Rems, 78 Fifth Ave., 5th floor, New York NY 10011 10. Owner (If the publication is owned by a corporation, give the name and address of the corporation, immediately followed by the names and addresses of all stockholders owning or holding 1 percent or more of the total amount of stock. If not owned by a corporation, give the names and addresses of the individual owners. If owned by a partnership or other unincorporated firm, give its name and address, as well as those of each individual owner. If the publication is published by a non-profit organization, give its name and address.) BUST Inc., 78 Fifth Ave., 5th floor, New York, NY 10011; Debbie Stoller, 78 Fifth Ave., 5th floor, New York, NY 10011; Laurie Henzel, 78 Fifth Ave., 5th floor, New York, NY 10011 11. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders, owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: NONE. 12. N/A 13. Publication title: BUST. 14. Issue date for circulation data below: Oct/Nov 2009. 15. Average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months/No. copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: A. Total no. copies (Net press run) 68,723/66,495. B. Paid and/or requested circulation: 1. Paid/Requested Outside-County Mail Subscriptions: 20,679/19,358. 2. Paid In-County Subscriptions: 0/0. 3. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors and counter sales: 26,040/41,285. 4. Other Classes mailed through the USPS: 500/500. C. Total paid and/or requested circulation: 47,219/61,143. D. Free distribution by mail: 0/0. E. Free distribution outside the mail: 2,700/1,700. F. Total free distribution: 2,700/1,700. G. Total distribution: 68,723/62,843. H. Copies not distributed: 18,804/3,652. I. Total: 68,723/66,495. J. Percent paid and/or requested circulation: 95%/97%. 16. This statement of ownership will be printed in the December 2009 issue of this publication. 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner: Debbie Stoller, Publisher. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete.


flavor of love A SHOP OWNER NABS A CRUSH WITH A HOLIDAY ROMP [BY MAKE IT A safe day,” I said as I handed the redhead a lemon-flavored condom. She blushed, but I knew she’d be back to the store. I stamped my boots against the sidewalk and debated throwing my stash of foil packets out into the passing holiday-shopping crowd like confetti. Handing out promotional items for my lingerie shop wasn’t as much fun since David had been promoted to detective and didn’t walk the beat on my little bit of 35th Street anymore. “Good morning, Candy.” “David! I was just thinking of you.” He handed me a cup from the corner coffee shop. “You keeping it clean?” “Maybe. You have something dirty in mind?” I raised my eyebrows, flirting outrageously. I’d wanted David since the day he’d walked into the shop to welcome me to the neighborhood. I had fantasized about rubbing my body against his policeman’s uniform like a lint brush picking up every fiber. Today, in a charcoal suit and black wool coat, he was more handsome than ever. He gave me his sexy smile and flirted right back. “Always. I’ve missed my Candy in the morning.” I winked and touched his arm. “Are you on duty?” “Not until nine. You need something?” His smile widened. “Anything you can spare, Detective. Let’s drink our coffee inside.” “Love to.” David leaned against the storefront, his gaze warming me to my toes as I opened the shop. Marvin Gaye crooned on the stereo, and patchouli scented the air. The lights were dim. I plunked my basket and coffee down on the counter. David watched as I slowly stripped off my coat. “So what brings you this way?” I asked. “Besides me, of course.” I took a sip of coffee, licking the moisture off my lips as I let him know with my eyes how much I missed him. “Doing a little Hanukkah shopping. Anything interesting here?” He squinted down at the foil packages in my abandoned basket. His cheeks flared with color 92 / BUST // DEC/JAN


when he realized it didn’t hold the usual chocolates today. I smiled as I picked up a red-striped square and stroked it against his pink cheek. “This one’s peppermint, like a candy cane. Is that not kosher?” He laughed that deep rumbling laugh that made me want to snuggle up to him like a kid to Santa Claus. “What do you have for Hanukkah? Latkeflavored?” His arm circled my waist and pulled me against him. His wool coat felt pleasantly scratchy under my palms. “I think it’s time we moved beyond morning coffee.” I ran my hands against the smooth surface of his starched shirt. His fingers danced over my spine, teasing the skin between my sweater and skirt. “What did you have in mind?” “How about dinner tonight? I’ll cook my Protestant friend a Hanukkah feast.” My fingers twined into his hair. I could feel his more-than-a-mouthful cock pulsing against my belly. He trailed a finger down my cleavage, making my nipples tighten with excitement. “Maybe I’ll let you light the first candle.” He swallowed my laughter in a kiss that tasted of coffee and caramel. The past months of longing spilled out between us. I tugged on his tie as his hands slipped under my sweater to caress my bare back. Our breathing came quick, ragged, and urgent. David reached over and twisted the lock on the door. I flipped over the CLOSED sign. Taking his hand, I led him to the storeroom where boxes of merchandise overflowed. He spun me around, his mouth meeting mine, hard and hot. We tumbled against the shelves, condoms raining down on us like hints from heaven. I grabbed a couple off his shoulders. “What’s your pleasure? Chocolate? Cinnamon?” He pushed me up against the wall and groaned against my neck. “Jesus, Candy.” I wound my leg around his and ground

against his erection. “Jesus? I thought you were a non-believer.” My smart-ass remark disappeared on a sigh as David pushed up my sweater. With a shiver of lust, I unbuckled his belt while he sucked hard on one nipple and gently pinched the other. His hand slipped under my skirt to tease my clit. It was my turn to groan as his fingers entered my wet pussy. But I pushed him roughly away. “Sit,” I ordered. He sat down on a large box, and I released his cock from his boxers and stroked the beautiful specimen of circumcised pleasure. I picked up one of the packets and ripped it open with my teeth. “Chocolate,” I announced as I rolled the condom on. He leaned down and kissed me, his tongue mating with mine. I pulled my mouth away using our shared spit to coat his cock. The taste of chocolate filled my mouth as I sucked and lapped while David buried his hands in my hair. I scraped the condom off with my teeth enjoying his moan of surprise. “Raspberry.” I grinned up at him as I rolled a fresh condom on before taking him deep in my mouth, his width stretching my lips. David gasped as I ripped the condom off then unzipped my skirt, wiggling it down my hips. “What flavor’s next?” He asked as I slipped out of my thong, leaving on my boots. I put my hands on his knees, and he bestowed more kisses to my lips, my breasts, my belly, my clit, then back to my mouth. “Peppermint’s always been my favorite,” I whispered against his lips. This time David opened the red-and-white package and rolled on the condom. He urged me down on his great expanse of striped flesh, my wet pussy sucking with each thrust until I was singing a chorus of hallelujahs. Pushing up hard within me, David grunted with pleasure as he came. He sat up and nuzzled between my breasts. “There’s nothing better than celebrating the holidays with Candy.”

BUST (ISSN 1089-4713), No. 60, Dec/Jan, 2010. BUST is published bi-monthly in Feb/Mar, April/May, June/July, Aug/Sept, Oct/Nov, and Dec/Jan by BUST, Inc., 78 5th Avenue #5, New York, NY, 10011-8000. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Subscription prices, payable in U.S. funds, are $19.95 for one year (6 issues). Additional postage: In Canada add $10 per year, and in all other foreign countries add $20 per year. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to BUST, P.O. BOX 16775, NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA, 91615.


stop staring at me 64. Harder to follow, as a trail 65. Ignored 66. CBS TV show The Big Bang ___ 67. Do some yoga or get a massage, perhaps

Down 1. About to explode 2. Coffee order 3. Sore spot 4. Wily tactics 5. Phone button 6. Actress Amurri of Californication 7. Merlot or Cabernet, e.g. 8. “___ Time transfigured me”: Yeats 9. Band aid 10. Ode or haiku 11. Paquin and Kournikova 12. Bird in a song sung by Ko-Ko in The Mikado 13. Mozart’s L’___ del Cairo 14. Crayon material 22. Revolution From Within author 23. American, for one 24. Four Monopoly properties: abbr. 25. Magnetite, e.g.


21. Listening devices

26. Men of La Mancha

1. “Stop gawking!” or, a woman's response

22. They might be thrown over the shoulder

28. Like a male pin-up model

27. They’re all in the family

29. Improv sketch group from the 1990s who

to a man staring at this puzzle? 9. Director of Funny People

30. Emotionally moved

15. Extra minutes on a cell phone plan

32. “___ the Sun Shine In”

had their own TV show, with “The” 30. “...Here is my handle, here is my ___.”

16. Seles of tennis

33. British rule in colonial India

31. Curses

17. Award for a job well done

36. ___ non grata

33. It was 2008 Song of the Year in the U.K.

18. Canon competitor

37. Actress Thompson of Some Kind

19. “___ never believe me.” 20. Big mouth

of Wonderful

34. Entertain

38. Cousin of an ostrich

35. “All Turns” sign locale

39. Painter’s medium

44. Film director’s cry

40. ___ de plume

49. It might be strapped on

41. Frequently, in verse

51. “Come in!”

42. Embrace

52. Liszt’s “La Campanella,” e.g.

43. Symbol of purity

53. Taunts

45. Letter between ex and zee

54. Offspring

46. ___ Wednesday

56. One may exert pressure

47. Professors’ prizes

57. The only chocolate syrup that should be

48. Bit of sweat


for Amy Winehouse

used in making an egg cream, some say

50. Distributes, with “out”

58. Make a scene?

51. Lines of thought, for short?

59. Cry from Homer Simpson

55. Quick drink

60. Like some martinis

57. Loosen, as laces

61. Flower starter

58. Confused

62. A Chorus Line number

61. Television set, slangily

63. Words of understanding // BUST / 93

94 / BUST // DEC/JAN


Don’t give your peeps plain old d ec ecoo-ba ags g this holiday... eco-bags

Give them


// BUST / 95

96 / BUST // DEC/JAN



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98 / BUST // DEC/JAN



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100 / BUST // DEC/JAN



// BUST / 101 Cobblestone Bracelet $101.50 I Love You Because $10 Porcelain Nuts


www. Cardboard Safari

$35 Brown Owl Necklace Leopard Panties Sea Star Necklace Gourmet Caramels

$12 Hummingbird Dress

$30 Meat Necklace

$24 Owl Totem




$115 Yes Organic Lube $35 Tote Bag

$10 Leather Cuff Cameo

$34 Felt Flower Headband Hot Rod Handbag

$40 Smoke Cicada Ring

$260 Scissor Necklace

$58 Postcard Pebbles Ring

$42 Ziptote Jay Reversible Necklace

$80 Anchor Earrings

$96 David Bowie Tee The Keene Supremes

$40 Blackbird

$102 Everyday Fancy $40 Silver Octo

$20 Candy Bar Earrings $2.50 Ideal Vibe

$58 One Love Earrings

$15 Everyday Fancy $50 Handspun Yarn $35 Yeti Postal Bangle $15

102 / BUST // DEC/JAN



$35 Vamp Pendant $42


bust PRODUCT SHOWCASE Wish-Citrine

$90 Leather Hoops

$46 Where Are You Fox?

$20 Lipstick Red Veil

$43 Handspun Art Yarn Gummybear Necklace

$56 Line Skirt

$60 A Rocky Beginning

$35 Silhouette Pendant

$60 Polka Dot Squares $15 Deerskin Rock Wraps

$26 Rabbit Rattle Tasmanian Wolf Painting $40 Plum Flower Ring

$30 Hot Rod Check Cover

$18 One Day... $18 Twiggy Dress

$78 Bohemian Bow Top


$140 Black Birdcage Veil

$45 Blue Bouquet Ring Plus Size Wrap Sweater

$50 Yoga for Health Art Jewelry $98-168 Whale Stuffie

$20 Guinness Cufflinks $10 Sew Very Vintage $25 Glow With God Crimson Che Shirt $20 Freak-o-Bags

$20 Furry Aviator Hat Berry Merry Kissmas

$24.95 Sasquatch Sees UFO $40 Double Finger Long Mut Vampire Love









// BUST / 103

thelast the lastlaugh laugh {BY ESTHER PEARL WATSON}

104 / BUST // DEC/JAN

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