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CRAFTACULAR TAKES NEW YORK AND LONDON! This Holiday season, the BUST Magazine Craftacular is bigger and better than ever! We’ve doubled in size with nearly 300 of the best craft vendors from across the nation! Across the pond, catch the very best in one of a kind gifts and more! Amy Sedaris will be on site in New York, selling and signing copies of her latest book Simple Time, Crafts for Poor People. Don’t miss the two biggest shopping events of the season! 500+ free goodie bags • huge raffle prizes • special guests DIY demos • DJ’s • dancing • tasty drinks • delicious treats and so much more! Spread holiday cheer as you browse the very best in handmade!


NEW YORK, NY December 12th 10 am to 8pm

Metropolitan Pavilion 125 West 18th Street, New York, NY10011

LONDON, UK NOVEMBER 28th 12pm To 6pm York Hall 5-15 Old Ford Road Bethnal Green Tube





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THE BUST GIFT GUIDE Our staff’s picks for the best buys of the season. Photographed by Levi Brown and Christine Blackburne


L.A. STORY Art-house cinema queen Sofia




THE GIFT OF GAB Small talk with big-time


MAN UP! New Year’s relationship resolutions for the man in your life to make (for once!) By Brendan Tapley


KISS ME DEADLY Plus-size supermodel

writer Fran Lebowitz. By Phoebe Magee

Coppola opens up to an indie-rock icon. By Kim Gordon

ultimate guide to DIY holiday décor. Photographed by Sarah Anne Ward, styling by Stephanie Hanes

Ashley Graham tries on flirty film-noir fashions. Photographed by Danielle St. Laurent, styling by Julie Matos


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Editor’s Letter Dear BUST


Broadcast Catching up with Party Down’s Lizzy Caplan; Project Thrive keeps girls’ hopes alive; Belgium’s Scala women’s choir creeps us out; and more. 12 She-bonics Julia Roberts, Mira Sorvino, Chelsea Handler, and Halle Berry all have their worries. By Whitney Dwire 16 Pop Quiz Belinda Carlisle’s still got the beat! By Emily Rems 17 Boy du Jour Getting to know Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo. By Molly Simms 20 Hot Dates Some holiday season events are better than presents. By Libby Zay


Real Life Having a ball with mug decals; radical self-loving with Gala Darling; medical advice for the uninsured among us; and more. 26 Old School Grandma Anna’s cartellate. By Marie Penny 29 Buy or DIY Snug as a bug in a handmade rug. By Callie Watts


Looks Craft up some eye shadow that’ll make you flip your lids; party-dress success; a muff you won’t be able to keep your hands out of; and more. 36 BUST Test Kitchen Our interns take on the task of trying out top coat, moisturizer, and a hair masque. 38 Good Stuff Get glam with a look inspired by Made in Dagenham. By Stephanie J


Sex Files Sensual forays while home for the holidays; and more. 96 Questions for the Queen Dr. Carol Queen cures your love-life strife. 98 One-Handed Read Dirty Decimal. By Sara DiMaggio

Columns 14 Pop Tart The end of the “Cathy” era. By Wendy McClure 15 Museum of Femoribilia The race to be Miss Popularity. By Lynn Peril 24 News From a Broad Phasing out breast ironing. By Kara Buller 32 Eat Me Munchies-busting marvels. By Chef Rossi 34 Mother Superior Mama-imposed hangout horrors. By Ayun Halliday 44 Around the World in 80 Girls Set your sights on some Miami vice. By Francesca Franco 111 X Games Mad for Mad Men. By Deb Amlen The BUST Guide 81 Music Reviews; plus Agent Ribbons. 86 Movies It’s a Radical Act when your Tiny Furniture is Made in Dagenham. 91 Books Reviews; plus the return of Amber Tamblyn’s Poetry Corner. 88 Party Pics Sweet shots from Maker Faire, Comic Con, and CMJ! 100 BUSTshop 112 The Last Laugh The Tammy Pierce saga continues. By Esther Pearl Watson





ISSUE 66, DEC/JAN 2011

joy to the girls


WINTER. THE WORD fills me with dread. The days are short, the weather’s cold. Here in New York, the trees are barren, the ground is frozen, and all of nature seems to have fled the city except for the few remaining pigeons and stubborn sparrows. We wrap ourselves in layer upon layer of clothing and trudge outside while every fiber of our being begs us to stay in bed all day long. It’s not an easy time of year, which is probably why folks a long, long time ago realized that humans need a boost around now and created holidays to remind us that eventually the sun would return, and the world would become green again. Midwinter celebrations involving lighting candles, building fires, and bringing the small bit of greenery there was left outdoors inside—namely, in the form of evergreen trees—predate our contemporary religious rituals by centuries. Even the tradition of exchanging gifts in winter is a way to allow for a sense of gratitude and bounty at a time when the earth itself is particularly stingy. I cling to the holiday season and its rituals. In these days, I need the warm glow of candles, those sparkly Christmas lights, celebrations that last until dawn, and whatever generosity I am afforded and can bestow upon others. And I am constantly searching for new ways to try and fall in love with this season. Because unlike the summertime—when the living is easy—here in winter, everything takes just a little more work. That’s why this issue—with its sunny cover shot of Sofia Coppola on a balmy Los Angeles day—feels to me like a glittery ornament filled with cheer. And boy, is it filled. We’ve collected lots of ways to help you make this the best of times, from how to create sweet, religionneutral holiday décor that even a pagan would love (page 60) to crafting personalized mugs (page 25), budget-friendly rugs (page 29), and, yes, even your own drugs (our recipe for DIY NyQuil, on page 27, is so delicious, you may actually look forward to catching a cold this year). If crafting’s not for you, you might be enticed to try one of this issue’s munchies recipes (page 32), or browse through our picks for the best gifts of the season—there’s bound to be something there to please every one of your 800 Facebook friends (page 47). If you’re looking for a different way to give, you may want to participate in Project Thrive and help girls in developing nations develop to their full potential (page 18). And for those of you who enjoy celebrating life in sartorial splendor, our fashion spread featuring plus-size supermodel Ashley Graham might inspire you to add a little va-va-voom into your wardrobe this winter. But of course, nothing will warm a girl’s soul like some genuine food for thought, and our interview with the surprisingly relatable Coppola, conducted by one of our favorite rock idols, Kim Gordon, is intimate, smart, and about as un-Hollywood as you can get (page 54). And speaking of un-Hollywood, our own Phoebe Magee sat down with the ever-fiery New York legend Fran Lebowitz, whose gritty, funny insights will light a yule log in your mind (page 64). Finally, if you’re looking to heat up your relationship, why not take the pressure off of yourself for a change? Tired of seeing mainstream women’s magazines perpetually put the burden of relationship success on their female readers, writer Brendan Tapley thought it was about time someone told men how to carry their own weight in the heterosexual twostep and decided he was just the man for the job (page 68). All this, plus our usual assortment of book, movie, and music reviews (including some fun new holiday releases), along with our clever columnists, curious comic, and creative crossword, should help keep your fires stoked through the night. Enjoy!


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: Helen Dally, Emily DiRienzo, Larissa Dzegar, Brittany Jerlat, Katie Oldaker, Lauren Rubin, Skye Whitley, Katie Zanin MARKETING INTERN: Kathryn Cole VIDEO INTERNS: Sarah Gainer, Lynn Thomas FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS Please email or call 866.220.6010 FOR BOOBTIQUE ORDERS Please email WWW.BUST.COM ©2011 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



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Debbie Stoller

P.S. As a gift to our loyal BUST readers, we are giving away 10 copies of my latest book, Stitch ’n Bitch Superstar Knitting: Go Beyond the Basics. To enter, just email stitchnbitch@ with the subject line “Book Giveaway” before January 31, 2011.

BUST Magazine is printed on recycled paper. 6 / BUST // DEC/JAN


OCT/NOV ’10 WAS A KILLER ISH As a young female scientist just starting ng graduate school, I wanted to express lhow much I appreciated your acknowledgement of women in the sciences. I am both inspired and humbled by the bright, ambitious ladies who wentt before me and those who are on the front lines now. I believe that by encouraging young women who aspire to have careers in science, you will help fix some of those “leaks in the pipeline.” Thank you! Diana Garrett, San Angelo, TX I want to thank you profusely for the recent science-heavy issue. As a biological anthropology student, one of the foremost topics on my mind is the role of women in science and academia. “She Blinded Me With Science” addressed a lot of the issues I discuss on a regular basis with fellow lady scientists: balancing career with having a social life, sexism in the work place, and the not-sosmooth road to grad school and beyond. I hope the science issue becomes a regular addition to the BUST repertoire; it made my bi-monthly obsession that much better. P.S. “The Feminist Hulk” made me laugh till I peed myself. Sydney Tuller, Tucson, AZ Your profile of Dame Helen Mirren (“Armed and Dangerous”) by Mikki Halpin was wonderful. Dame Mirren’s body of work has been encouraging to many actresses—entertaining, enlightening, and full of so many great choices. The woman has balls and makes no bones about it. Especially now that she’s chosen to take on a role that was originally slated for a man (Shakespeare’s Prospero!). A thousand thanks to you, BUST, and Helen Mirren for letting young women everywhere know that nothing is impossible. Follow your dreams no matter what obstacles and stop signs are thrown your way. Jackie Luther, via email I would like to thank you for the amazing Oct/Nov issue of BUST. The piece you published on Taylor Swift (“Princess Superstar”) was a wonderful eye-opener. I gave her lyrics a read and discovered a couple of music videos by her that I really like. Here’s to not judging a book by its cover. I am thankful that your magazine covers so many aspects of women’s lives, good and bad, because it is a real wake-up call to know what is happening in the world. Viktorja Gardner, Cedar Rapids, IA This afternoon I bought the new issue of BUST, sat down in a beautiful garden in the sun, and flipped through to see my city, Vancouver, featured in “Around the World in 80 Girls.” Not only did the article include some great shots of the spectacular scenery to be found here, but it also featured some of my favorite spots in town! Thanks for putting my fantastic city on the ladies’ map and for making my day. Now I love BUST even more. Zosia Hortsing, Vancouver, BC

SAYING NO IS NO JOKE In her article on Die Antwoord (“Tales From the Zef Side,” Oct/Nov ’10), I can’t help but wonder why writer Jenni Miller wasn’t the least 8 / BUST // DEC/JAN

bit critical. Yes, a lot of people think they’re the best band to come out, but isn’t it problematic to glorify a band who (jokingly or not) sings “No means yes”? Women have worked hard, damn hard, to make sure that when it comes to sexual encounters, the saying “No means no” is heard loudly and clearly. I just can’t get behind a band that doesn’t respect a woman’s choice. Ronak Ghorbani, Toronto, ON Jenni Miller responds: Had I heard the song “$copie”—which contains the line you’re referring to—before the interview, I would have asked Yo-Landi about that lyric. It’s worth pointing out that Yo-Landi sings the line, and it’s ambiguous. In one interview, Die Antwoord said that it’s a reference to a line in Revenge of the Nerds.

BUST IS BANGIN’ I am 16 years old, and I have to say, you are the most badass magazine for women ever! Every time I pick up an issue, I feel stronger, more intelligent, and unique as the-chick-who’sinto-DIY-and-drama-club-andfilm-trivia in high school. I never thought there would be a magazine where outspoken ladies published whatever they felt like publishing and stand by it strongly, but there is! Thanks for being so rad. Cristina P. Soto, Dateland, AZ

WOMEN’S WORK When I read the letters of disappointed readers who referred to Molly Ringwald’s anecdote in which a young girl is asked, “Why not be a doctor?” when she says she wants to be a nurse (“Forty-Two Candles,” Aug/Sept ’10), I was equally disappointed. I noticed that the latest issue of BUST contains yet another critical reference to women being pushed into traditionally female professions, including nursing, in the profile of artist Rebecca Morgan (“Show and Tell,” Oct/Nov ’10). I don’t think Ringwald, BUST, or Morgan, for that matter, are critical of the profession itself. Rather, they’re engaging in the most basic of feminist exercises: questioning tradition and encouraging women (and men) to reassess century-old habits learned in a male-dominated society. “Don’t be a nurse,” isn’t the message; “You can be anything you want, even if historically only men did it!” is. I can offer my own recent anecdote. My mom (who is a wonderful oncologist) was returning home from work in scrubs. Nosy person in elevator, noting scrubs: “What do you do?” Mom: “I work in a hospital.” Nosy person: “You’re a nurse?” Mom: “Nope.” Nosy person: “A cleaning lady?” Again, both career options are just fine, but thinking that they’re the only options open to women isn’t. Natalia Jodko, Toronto, ON

CONTRIBUTORS OPERATION FAIL I just received my first issue of BUST and really enjoyed it until I got to the article about Operation Beautiful (“The Writing’s On the Wall,” Oct/Nov ’10). When are we, as a society, going to realize that telling women that they’re beautiful (and I mean “beautiful” in the physical sense—which is what this “quest to end fat talk” is all about) is not what women need? It merely reinforces social stereotypes that we should be valued for our appearance. Instead of telling women that they look good as they are, we should encourage them to value their whole selves. Sure, physical health matters, but only because our physical being is what contains our hearts and minds, the fundamental sources of our limitless potential as human beings. Danielle Harlan, Mountain View, CA

Kim Gordon (right), who interviewed her friend Sofia Coppola (left) about her new movie, Somewhere, for this issue’s cover story, is one of the founding members of Sonic Youth. Her musical side projects include Free Kitten and Mirror/Dash. The legendary rocker is also an artist; Gordon’s latest book, Performing/Guzzling (Rizzoli), includes her watercolors and photographs. She lives in New England with her husband, Thurston Moore, and their daughter, Coco.


Ashley Graham, who modeled for BUST’s “Kiss Me Deadly” fashion story, was born in Nebraska, where she was scouted at a mall at age 12. At 17 she moved to New York, where her plus-size-modeling career really began to take off. She has been featured in a variety of magazines, including Vogue and Glamour. “I never looked down upon myself for being shapely,” she says. “I was always taught to embrace my curves and love the skin I’m in.” You might recognize her curves from the recent Lane Bryant commercial she starred in, which was banned by TV networks for showing too much cleavage.

Thank you for profiling the artist Debra Rapoport in your Aug/ Sept ’10 issue. I was so inspired by her beauty, creativity, and insight that I created a collage. Thank you for providing inspiration to BUSTy gals like me! Danielle Latman, Brooklyn, NY

Kate Lacey is a freelance photographer who shot our “Buy or DIY” feature. After taking dog portraits at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show for Life magazine, the mutt loyalist was so charmed by the personalities and uniqueness of these pooches that she set out to photograph every breed. The result is her first book, Show Dogs: A Photographic Breed Guide, which was published in October by Evil Twin Publications. Lacey lives in Brooklyn with her own pup, Snack, and is a regular contributor to Artforum, InStyle, and Nylon. Her work can also be seen at

Get it off your chest! Send feedback to: Letters, BUST Magazine, 18 West 27th street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Email: Include your name, city, state, and email address. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

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Brendan Tapley, who wrote “Man Up!,” has had his work published in The Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, The New York Times, and Woman’s Day, among others. He earned his MFA in writing at Emerson College and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is currently writing a book on masculinity. He lives in New England, where he plays rugby and enjoys books, baking, and the New England Patriots.



funny girl COMEDIC POWERHOUSE LIZZY CAPLAN IS READY FOR HER CLOSE-UP “IT’S POSSIBLE TO be a feminist and also have a sense of humor,” Lizzy Caplan tells me over the phone from her home in Los Angeles. And if anyone can prove that to the world, it’s her. Though the 28-year-old actress’ auspicious first role was more sweet than sarcastic (she played Jason Segel’s disco-loving girlfriend on the last few episodes of Freaks and Geeks), and you can see her play a dramatic part in Danny Boyle’s new movie 127 Hours, she’s also parlayed her wry humor and smart-aleck sass into some truly hilarious characters. »


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She killed it as Janis Ian, Lindsay Lohan’s wise-ass, goth-y best friend in Mean Girls, and more recently as wannabe-comedian/ caterer Casey Klein on the severely overlooked and lamentably cancelled show Party Down. But it’s the project she’s working on now that may lead to her BUSTiest role yet. At the behest of a longtime friend who works for Will Ferrell’s production company, Caplan read comedian Julie Klausner’s book I Don’t Care About Your Band and “kind of freaked out over it.” She immediately jumped on board to help develop the sexand-dating tell-all as a show for HBO in which she’ll play the lead, suffering through the trials, tribulations, and graphically hysterical bedroom follies Klausner dishes about in her refreshingly honest tome. Being a funny lady seems to be something Caplan’s long been destined for. “When I was a really little kid,” she says, “I used to get joke books from the library, and I’d read, like, 20 of them a week, thinking that was really going to help me be a stand-up comic or something.”

Lizzy Caplan is sitting pretty


But it wasn’t just the humor that drew her to this project. “Having played a slutty best friend in a movie before, I really don’t like how that type of behavior is relegated to the best friend, and the main girl is much more strait-laced and has to be convinced to go out and get drunk and fuck boys. With my friends and I, that stigma does not exist,” she says. “I think a lot of that has to do with being teenagers when Sex and the City came out. There was something in that show that made it OK for girls to explore their own sexuality without being labeled whores. And it’s not like the girls who have sex with a handful of boys are these dumb, easily influenced, abusedby-their-fathers types of girls. They’re actually intelligent, beautiful, and owning their sexuality.” The show, which is still in a treacherously early stage, would offer a feminist take on modern romance that contemporary television desperately needs. “Keep your fingers crossed,” Caplan says. Done and done. [LISA BUTTERWORTH]


“It’s unfortunate that we live in such a panicked, dysmorphic society where women don’t even give themselves a chance to see what they’ll look like as older persons. I want my kids to know when I’m pissed, when I’m happy, and when I’m confounded. Your face tells a story, and it shouldn’t be a story about your drive to the doctor’s office.” Julia Roberts in Elle “My mom was a stay-at-home mom, so I’m always wrestling with guilt that I should give it all up and be with [my kids] all the time. My mother-in-law was almost a Marine Corps general, and she says you can’t have guilt—you have to work, and they have to get used to that.” Mira Sorvino in Pregnancy “If you’re going to have a cash bar at your wedding, don’t invite me. Isn’t it enough that I have to show up in a nice outfit, get you a gift, and sit there while you two say ridiculous things to each other as I try to stay awake? I showed up, now you serve me alcohol.” Chelsea Handler in Cosmopolitan “Nature got it all wrong: when you are younger, it should be harder to get pregnant, and as you get older, it should be easier. When you are so ready, you can’t do it to save your life. And when you are 21, you are so not ready, but you are ripe as could be. That’s one thing God got wrong.” Halle Berry in Vogue

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cathy is dead! long live cathy! DRIVING A STAKE (OR A DESSERT FORK) THROUGH THE HEART OF AN IMMORTAL LEGEND AFTER 34 YEARS, the long-running comic strip “Cathy” completed its final installment on October 3. Yes, the cartoon everywoman of indeterminate age (we knew only that she was old enough for bitter jokes about getting older) has launched her last speech balloon full of frazzled complaint and is now silent. The

passé her shtick has become, with her tired old calorie counting and rants about swimsuit shopping. Then again, last time I checked, widespread anxieties about food and body image haven’t exactly become things of the past. (And no, Cathy, they did not go out with shoulder pads.) Neither have glass-

Really, all the crap Cathy has acked about over the years is still very much with us. final “Ack!” has come to pass! And how does it feel, dear reader, to be living without her? Is your new Cathy-free existence thankfully quiet, or is it empty and hollow and sad? Perhaps Cathy won’t be missed much, seeing as how her brand of humor has been mocked by the decidedly cooler folks on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. (No, Cathy, being the butt of jokes does not make your butt look big.) Much of the derision is about how totally

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ceiling career woes, the social stigmas faced by single women, or the pressure to have babies—really, all the crap Cathy has acked about over the years is still very much with us. So it’s not real life that makes her appear hopelessly retrograde so much as her own sprawling, frantic history filled with endless déjà vu. I’m willing to bet that a recent “Cathy” cartoon would seem reasonably sharp and of-themoment to anyone who had never seen

one. But that’s beside the point, because the whole world knows Cathy, and to know Cathy is to know eternity. Maybe that’s what’s behind the whole paradox of “Cathy,” why we kept reading even as we rolled our eyes: she transcends time and never changes. Well, hardly ever—she did get married in 2005 after her longtime singlehood became more of a punch line than any joke in the strip itself. Beyond that, though, the more things change (like the styles of the improbably tiny clothes at the nameless department store where she has her dressing-room tantrums, for instance), the more they stay the same. Her eternal condition is that she wants it all—the career, the perfect body, Mr. Right, and motherly approval—and forever fails to get it. We love Cathy for demonstrating that having it all is often an impossible undertaking, but we also hate her for being stupid enough to keep trying. If modern womanhood is an extended experiment featuring a maze of absurdities like thong underwear and Cosmo sex tips, Cathy is the lab rat conditioned to run that maze again and again. So it’s a relief to know she’s finally allowed to stop. I think I speak for a lot of women who, with each passing year, have hoped to God their lives don’t resemble Cathy’s. It’s one thing to discover you’ve become your mother. It’s another entirely to become Cathy, which is like becoming a vampire except you thrive on guilt instead of human blood. At the same time, however, I suspect Cathy’s perpetuity has helped more of us recognize the eternity within ourselves than the ashram chapters in Eat, Pray, Love. If Cathy’s purpose is to show us that adulthood is forever full of regrets and insecurities, maybe we shouldn’t take her foreverness too literally. In the end, I’m glad “Cathy” is over, not because I’m happy to see Cathy go (because I guess I will miss her a little), but because it lets me imagine that she’s finally progressed to a higher level of existence, one in which she can shrug off her mother’s criticism, love what she sees in the dressing-room mirror, and never feel bad about finishing the pie. Here’s to that kind of eternity.



who’s the fairest of them all? IN THE ’60S, GIRLS VIED TO BE MISS POPULARITY


OPEN ANY GUIDEBOOK for teens published from the 1940s through the 1960s and you’re sure to see one word repeated again and again: popularity. According to the experts, being popular was the key to a successful adolescence and the cornerstone upon which a happy adulthood was built. Boys had to do little more than be polite, study hard, and go out for sports to attain this magic quality. In addition to getting good grades and participating in extracurricular activities, however, a popular girl was also expected to practice the self-effacing femininity that she would need one day in her role as wife and mother. »


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broadcast friends, boyfriends, home, and the contest judges. The lucky player who rung up “the most dates, trips, and money” was declared Miss Popularity. Though the Times ad lauded the game as “wonderful fun for girls of all ages,” its emphasis on dates and money made Miss Popularity sound more like a golddigger than “the True American Teen” the game’s box declared her to be. Nonetheless, as historian Beth Bailey documented in From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in 20th-Century America (1988), an important component of a girl’s popularity was the number of boys she dated— and their willingness to spend money on her. This had its roots in the practice of “dating and rating,” a phenomenon that started on college campuses in the 1920s in which a girl’s popularity was measured by the number of dates she had, ideally

with as many high-status boys as possible. “This is the time in your life for meeting boys—as many as you can,” counseled Datebook’s Complete Guide to Dating (1960). The boy always paid his date’s way, of course. “You don’t win prom princesses,” advised a late-1940s guidebook for men, “you buy them—like show horses.” The path to popularity, however, could be a perilous one. A maternity-home administrator, speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 1963 regarding an increase in teen pregnancies, “placed much of the blame on mothers of teenaged girls” who were “eager to have their daughters in the center of popularity” and thus pushed them into “going steady in junior high school.” Not exactly an outcome the makers of Miss Popularity had in mind when they encouraged little girls to practice dialing for dates.

1. Born on August 17, 1958, Belinda was conceived while her mom, a senior at California’s Hollywood High, was dating a gas-station attendant ___ years her elder. a. 5 b. 10 c. 15 d. 20

6. In 1981, Belinda’s band the Go-Go’s became the first all-female group to top the Billboard charts with an album that they wrote and played instruments on themselves. Name the album. a. Beauty and the Beat b. Vacation c. Talk Show d. God Bless the Go-Go’s

2. When Belinda was eight, her mother changed her last name to _____, the last name of her new, abusive, alcoholic stepfather. a. Kurczeski b. Valentine c. Caffey d. Schock

POP QUIZ WE’RE JUST WILD FOR BELINDA CARLISLE! [BY EMILY REMS] AS LEAD SINGER of the boundary-busting allgirl ’80s rock band the Go-Go’s, Belinda Carlisle used her punky pipes to pave the way for future generations of female musicians. And as a solo artist, her soft-rock stylings have kept her in heavy radio rotation, with hits like “Mad About You” and “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.” Think you know what makes Belinda so bellissima? Then take the quiz!

7. After abusing cocaine and alcohol for 30 years, Belinda got clean when? a. 2005 b. 2006 c. 2007 d. 2008

3. Between her mother’s two marriages, Belinda be8. What is the title of Belinda’s 2010 memoir? came the eldest in a poor family of how many children? a. The Beat Goes On b. 5 c. 6 d. 7 a. 4 b. Beyond the Valley of the Go-Go’s c. Lips Unsealed d. Heaven Is a Place on Earth

4. Which of her early employers did not fire teenage Belinda for stealing? a. Swensen’s Ice Cream b. Hilton Hotels c. House of Fabrics d. All of the above 5. In 1977, Belinda got her musical start as the drummer—playing under the stage name Dottie Danger—in what punk band? a. The Voidoids b. The Misfits c. The Germs d. 45 Grave

9. Belinda has a husband and son and divides her time between America and what country? b. Morocco a. Japan c. Brazil d. France 10. Complete the following Belinda quote: “Life’s too short to be a ____for 20 years.” a. Go-Go b. housewife d. yo-yo dieter c. drug addict

Answer Key: 1. d, 2. a, 3. d, 4. b, 5. c, 6. a, 7. a, 8. c, 9. d, 10. a 16 / BUST // DEC/JAN


“Like a competent secretary, the popular girl anticipates the needs and requests of her friends,” wrote Alfred Murray in Youth’s Courtship Problems (1940). But there was much more to being popular than being nice, as girls who played Miss Popularity, a board game introduced in 1961, soon found out. Players competed to see who could accrue the most votes from four beauty-pageant judges, three of whom were male. Points were awarded for such things as having pretty legs (5 votes), getting a good report card (20 votes), and winning a Most Attractive Teen contest (50 votes). Displeasing the judges with a display of “bad manners” lost 75 votes. The game also featured what an ad in The New York Times in 1962 said was “every girl’s favorite gadget—the telephone.” This blue plastic-toy model was used to “call” girl-





IN THE EARLY ’90s, the four members of the L.A. band Weezer were the undisputed kings of alternative pop music, and their frontman, Rivers Cuomo, had a rep for being a tricky interview. In fact, the words notoriously difficult come up more than once in a Google search for his name. Back then, Cuomo’s third-world-dictator-style treatment of bandmates, his intermittent attendance at Harvard that spanned more than a decade, his groupie indulgences, and his periods of self-imposed silence and abstinence made as many headlines as the confessional lyrics and hooky melodies that earned the band legions of fans. But to my surprise, when I call the soft-spoken Cuomo, now 40, right before Weezer’s tour in support of their new album Hurley, he thoughtfully answers my questions without a trace of crankiness. Maybe fatherhood, his fondness for meditation, or mellowing with age are to be credited, but this geek-chic icon is content and collected. »

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Celeste Mergens on a trip to distribute 500 kits in Kenya

a day in the life PROJECT THRIVE IS KEEPING GIRLS IN SCHOOL ONE PAD AT A TIME IN DEVELOPING NATIONS, the start of a girl’s menstrual cycle can put a stop to her education. That’s because in places where poverty limits access to feminine-hygiene supplies, this most basic aspect of growing up female becomes a monthly ordeal—and going to school becomes embarrassing and difficult. According to UNICEF, 1 in 10 African girls skip class during their periods, and the makeshift alternatives to pads they use, like mattress stuffing and newspaper, cause infections. But it is the time spent out of the classroom that poses the biggest threat to these girls, setting them up for a lifetime of academic inequality. Equipping them to deal more effectively with their periods is one way to close this gap, and Celeste Mergens, 48, director of the Lynden, WA, non-profit Project Thrive, is doing just that. In 2008, Mergens was preparing for a philanthropic trip to a Kenyan orphanage school when she asked the administrators what girls there did for feminine hygiene. The answer was “Nothing—the girls wait it out in their rooms.” That’s when Mergens started rallying together volunteers for a solution: they would make and send colorful, washable, reusable, homesewn sanitary pads. Using a pattern found online, they sewed “until their fingers bled,” making enough pads for 500 girls. With that initiative, Project Thrive’s Days for Girls program was born, and it has since grown into a major network of volunteers that distributes feminine-hygiene kits to Kenya, Haiti, Ghana, Indonesia, China, and Tanzania. Days for Girls gives DIY-ers a chance to use their skills to do enormous good. And that’s where you, BUST’s army of crafters, come in. To help out, visit, click on “Days for Girls,” grab all the info you need to start making kits, and then send your handiwork to the address on the site. Your pads will be delivered where they’re needed most, and you can feel good knowing you’ve changed someone’s life for the better. [PHOEBE MAGEE]


Our interview is scheduled for the decidedly un–rock-star–ish hour of 8:30 a.m., but when I comment on the early-bird timing, Cuomo says he’s been up since 5:30, “Twittering, meditating, and studying Japanese.” Living with a toddler will also mess with a person’s schedule: Cuomo and his wife of four years, Kyoko Ito, have a three-yearold daughter, Mia, who’s made a huge impact on his mental outlook. “I didn’t expect that I would feel that different after having a kid, but boy, I just feel like I have everything I could possibly want now,” he says. “Whatever happens with the record, I can’t be hurt because I have everything I want.” Being a father has also affected his performances on the road. “When I come home from a hard day at work, I might be tired or in a bad mood, but my daughter doesn’t care. She wants me to be fun, energetic, and happy,” he explains. “I think I’ve gotten a little more selfless as a performer, because it’s the same thing when you’re on tour. When you walk out on stage, your audience doesn’t care what happened to you during the day. They just want you to be ‘on.’ So those mental muscles in me have gotten stronger.” But not everyone is excited to see the new and improved Cuomo hitting the road again. In October, a disgruntled Weezer hater started an online petition to raise $10 million to stop the band from making more albums. Cuomo’s response: “I mean, in a way it seems reasonable—that you could buy out an artist and convince them to stop creating. But from where I’m sitting, it seems totally absurd. We don’t really have a choice in who we are. This is just who we are and what we do, and you could pay us any amount of money, but you couldn’t stop the flow of ideas and music. [laughs] I think his campaign is bound to fail.” Facing down criticism is something Cuomo has gotten used to. In the 16 years since his band catapulted to stardom, he has been picked apart by every media outlet around. But the scrutiny never stopped him from baring his soul through his songwriting, and his candor is something his fans have come to treasure. “It feels like a very important part of who I am as an artist, and it’s also an important part of the relationship I have with my audience,” he says of his deeply honest writing style. “That’s what they want from me, to open up and say exactly what’s going on in my mind. And that’s what I enjoy as an artist, too, so the more details I can give, the more fun it is for everyone.” [MOLLY SIMMS]

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hot dates


Opens December 11 PEACHES CHRIST SUPERSTAR Electro-punk darling Peaches and her collaborator Chilly Gonzales are prepping to unveil the U.S. debut of their unique rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar at the New York Society for Ethical Culture this winter. “Performing Peaches Christ Superstar is the most intense and powerful stage experience I have ever had,” says Peaches, who sings all the roles for the stripped-down rock opera. To learn more about the controversial show that sold out overseas, visit The women of Scala make their voices heard

BELGIAN ALL-WOMEN’S CHOIR SCALA GIVES ROCK CLASSICS A MELODIC MAKEOVER ANNOYED BY FANS’ insatiable demand for their 1992 megahit “Creep,” the British rock band Radiohead stopped playing it. But the haunting song with the stalkerish lyrics is now being given new life by Scala—a young-women’s Belgian choir with a penchant for subverting hard rock classics into divine opuses that sound downright liturgical. And since their cover of “Creep” was selected as the eerie accompaniment to the preview for October’s box-office smash The Social Network, American audiences have been primed for more from Scala, just in time for their upcoming U.S. debut from ATCO Records. The brainchild of classically trained musicians Steven, 41, and Stijn, 35, Kolacny, Scala started in 1996 with 18 members who performed more traditional choral selections. But the brothers soon became bored of these standard techniques and started arranging the group’s now-trademark rock covers. Today, Scala includes over 200 girls and women between the ages of 14 and 30, and they’ve recorded 9 albums featuring songs by bands like Nirvana, Kings of Leon, Metallica, and Coldplay. Natasja Vrank, 26, who has been singing with Scala since she was 17, attributes their success partly to the camaraderie she says exists among her fellow performers. “Scala is just a bunch of girls having fun, and you can see it on stage,” she says. “We are also friends in normal life. That’s the magic of the group.” The “Creep” cover is the Scala song that so far has triggered the most international attention, and Steven Kolacny says he’s not surprised. “The girls in that recording were ages 16 to 26, and when they start to sing, it gives you a creepy feeling. The song gets under your skin,” he says. “As performed by these girls, it is very honest, because even though they are young, they can have real problems. It’s a symbol for that kind of age.” [EMILY MCCOMBS]

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December 12 BUST MAGAZINE CRAFTACULAR—HOLIDAY 2010 Put the DIY in your holidays with a trip to the coolest shopping event of the season—the annual BUST Magazine Craftacular—Holiday 2010! This all-day extravaganza will feature gorgeous handmade wares from an unprecedented 300 indie vendors, as well as DJs, delicious food, an appearance by BUST fave Amy Sedaris, and more. It all goes down at the Metropolitan Pavilion in N.Y.C., so click over to for details, and shine up your shopping shoes! Begins January 22 BARRIO GRRRL Set in Philadelphia, Barrio Grrrl is a musical about a spunky nine-year-old Latina named Ana with a superhero alter ego. Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Quiara Alegría Hudes, the show kicks off its tour in Rockville, MD, but may be coming to a theater near you! Performances will be held in a dozen states throughout the U.S. before it begins a four-week run in Minneapolis. It’s the perfect event to take the junior BUSTies in your life to, so check out for the full tour schedule. Through January 30 “SHIFTING THE GAZE: PAINTING AND FEMINISM” This winter, the Jewish Museum in New York City will “explore the widespread influence of feminist practice on the styles and methods of painting from the 1960s to the present.” The exhibition will be organized into six sections: self-expression, the body, decoration, politics, writing, and satire. Confronting topics such as how feminist arts and crafts have historically “generated new ideas and challenged old ones,” the show will include work by Judy Chicago, Eva Hesse, Lee Krasner, and more. Don’t be a shlemiel—visit for more details. [COMPILED BY LIBBY ZAY]


creep show

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kick out the jam HELLEN JO HAS never been in a real highschool fight. She’s seen a few, though. “I remember the Asian-girl fights particularly well,” says the Korean-American cartoonist and illustrator. “Before they’d even touch each other, they’d be screaming and pulling off their foam wedge sandals and yanking out their own earrings. I was really dazzled by how glamorous and dangerous they were.” It’s just this kind of adolescent troublemaking that fuels Jin & Jam (Sparkplug Comic Books), the mini-comic the 27-year-old San Franciscan debuted in 2008. Jo’s title characters, two deeply cynical Korean-American teenage girls, spend their days hanging out, smoking, and generally getting into trouble in their California hometown. But occasionally the tone shifts, and readers glimpse a side to this precocious pair that isn’t so eager to grow up. In one scene, having failed to get into a bar to see a band, the girls are left no choice but to cross the street to hang out at a nearby playground. Floating through the air on the swing set, they poignantly occupy that void between too old and not old enough.

Jo’s style is brash, cinematic, and deftly tempered by a delicate, virtuosic technique: never before have images of conjoined twins being beaten with a garbage can been rendered in such gorgeous line. Jin & Jam’s surreal punkiness echoes the horror manga genre—an aggressive, dynamic Japanese comics style that reached its pinnacle in the 1960s—and is infused with absurd, grotesque imagery that perfectly reflects the nightmare of coming of age. Jo’s first interest in comics, however, started off much more innocently, with Shojo manga (Japa-

Counterclockwise from top: self-portrait (2010, ink, watercolor); the cover of Jin & Jam No. 1 (2008, ink, watercolor, Photoshop); Hellen in Venice, 2010

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nese girls’ comics). “The characters had large, sparkling eyes, they were constantly surrounded by furious floral windstorms, and everyone wore a tuxedo or frilly lace,” she says of her initial comics obsession. “It definitely affected my preferences in comics and the style in which I draw.” But drawing is only half the business of making a comic, of course, and Jo emphasizes the equal importance of storytelling. “A poorly drawn, well-written comic will be more moving than a beautifully drawn, badly written comic,” she says. “Comics use illustration and text to create a new language, a new mode of communicating ideas and storytelling that can’t necessarily be achieved in just text or just images or even in an animated medium like film. Of course, that’s the pretentious answer. The real best thing about comics is that you can read a 200-page graphic novel in, like, 15 minutes.” Jo is currently putting the finishing touches on her next volume of Jin & Jam and is also developing a single-issue horror comic, rendered in watercolor, to be published next year. For info on these projects and more, visit her online at [JILLIAN TAMAKI]




MAJESTY SHREDDING “…puts the pedal to the metal with youthful abandon.” — Time Out Chicago


“Libraries is one of the most infectious and exuberant albums of the year, one that skimps on neither ideas nor spirit.” — Washington Post Express


“Shadows builds upon Man-Made’s creative reboot…songs which in the fashion of mature-era Fanclub slowly yet unfailingly insinuate their charms.” — Mojo


LOVE AND ITS OPPOSITE “The ballads bewitch, reminding us that Tracey is one of the unique British voices, up there with Dusty Springfield.” — Mojo


PARALLEL SEISMIC CONSPIRACIES “If you don’t like Telekinesis, your ears don’t work.” —


Swim is Caribou’s masterpiece, an album that absorbs club culture sounds weaved within subtle pop frameworks, and the record Dan Snaith has wanted to bring to fruition for as long as he has been making music.

broadcast NEWS FROM A BROAD [BY KARA BULLER] their way to work at Juarez’s maquiladoras—factories in which girls notoriously endure sexual harassment and low pay while making America’s laptops and car seats. The two sisters behind Rodarte say they were inspired by the desolate landscape during a road trip through El Paso. But did they understand the horrifying situation beyond the border? Some say if you look at the names of the gloomy colors they chose, you’ll see they had a clue: Factory, Sleepwalker, Ghost Town, Softly Drifting. In response to online outcry, MAC has decided not to ship the collection and says it will donate money to charities working for the women of Juarez. So while MAC may not have started out thinking of our sisters south of the border, they are helping them now. Go MAC?

flat-out wrong BREAST IRONING FINALLY FALLING OUT OF FASHION IN CAMEROON CAMEROON’S CRINGE-INDUCING practice of breast ironing—in which mothers flatten their adolescent daughters’ developing breasts using hot household objects to detract male sexual attention—finally seems to be on the decline. RENATA, an activist group formed to fight it, reports that the practice has diminished since 2006, thanks to ongoing

their young daughters, thereby pulling them out of school and deeper into poverty. Overall, however, the decrease in breast ironing can be attributed to medical institutions and parents spreading the word about its dangers through Internet-assisted activism. Whaddaya know! Maybe we can blog our way to a more compassionate planet.

The decrease in breast ironing can be attributed to medical institutions and parents spreading the word about its dangers through Internet-assisted activism. public-awareness campaigns. But despite warnings from the United Nations Population Fund stating that breast ironing can lead to infections, cysts, abscesses, and in some cases, the complete elimination of one or both breasts, new incidents continue to be a problem. Some mothers still consider it a labor of love—done in hopes of warding off sexual aggressors who could impregnate

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COLOR THEM EMBARRASSED MAC admits its Juarez line was wack Estée Lauder–owned MAC Cosmetics, along with edgy fashion label Rodarte, came under fire recently for a line they planned to launch inspired by Ciudad Juarez, the murder capital of Mexico. The town has seen more than 400 young women killed since 1993, and about 100 more are missing. Many were killed on

LOCKUP CRACKDOWN Correcting Wisconsin’s correctional institutions After four years of legal battle, lawyers for the ACLU working on behalf of female prisoners at Wisconsin’s Taycheedah Correctional Institution (TCI) recently filed a settlement agreement that will ensure improved access to health care and better facilities for disabled prisoners at TCI. The ACLU charged that TCI’s health-care system’s deliberate indifference to medical conditions violated the Eighth Amendment’s barring of cruel and unusual punishment. And since the mental health care the women received was not on par with that provided to Wisconsin’s male prisoners, the ACLU also argued that TCI was in violation of the 14th Amendment’s assurance of equal protection. The suit was filed after two well-publicized cases caught the attention of the ACLU. In one, a 29-year-old asthmatic prisoner collapsed and died in the cafeteria after repeated requests to guards for medical help. In the other, an 18-year-old girl hanged herself while under observation in the mental health unit. The settlement carries a powerful message to state lawmakers: don’t incarcerate more women than you are able or willing to care for.





NOW THAT THE winter weather demands a piping hot brew, it’s probably safe to assume that at least one of your daily beverages makes its appearance in a mug. So why not make your drinkware your own by adding a little customized design? Decorating mugs with water-slide decals is a simple and inexpensive way to jazz up your cupboard. Plus, if you’ve got gift giving on the brain, the end result makes a great, personalized prezzie. »

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real life MATERIALS Clear water-slide printer paper (get inkjet or laser paper depending on your printer type; available at Printer Shallow dish Water-slide decal fixative (available at Soft sponge (your fixative should come with one) Scissors Plain mugs

DIRECTIONS 1. Start by finding an image you’d like to decorate your mug with. Use any image you want as long as it fits on your mug and can be printed on paper, though simple, twotoned images work best (the monogram pictured is from

2. Print your image on a piece of water-slide paper, and let the ink dry for 30 minutes. 3. Use your fixative to set the ink on the water-slide paper; the smell of the fixative is very strong, so make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area. Pour a puddle of fixative on the center of your image; you want a fairly thick coat (2 – 3 mm) so don’t be shy. Then very, very gently use a soft sponge to spread the fixative around until the image is completely covered (try not to exert any pressure when doing this). To make sure the image is thoroughly covered, hold the paper up to a light so you can see where the fixative stops. 4. Once covered, let it dry for 8 hours, then use sharp scissors to cut the image out close to the lines. 5. Fill a shallow bowl with warm water, and completely submerge the decal. Let it sit in water until it starts to separate from the paper

(about 1 minute). You can check its readiness by sliding the decal and paper between your fingers to see if it is moving away from the paper. But keep the image on the paper until you are ready to put it on your mug. 6. Decide where you want to place the image on your mug, and wet the spot slightly with your fingers. (This enables you to move the image around once it’s on the mug.) Hold one end of the decal, and slowly pull the paper off, then place it on the mug. You can slide it around until it’s exactly where you want it. Smooth out any air bubbles with your finger. Tip: wait a few minutes (but no longer) until some of the water has evaporated, then smooth any remaining air bubbles out. 7. Let the decal dry for 24 hours, then christen your customized drinkware with a delicious mug of hot chocolate. Note: if you happen to have a dishwasher, don’t put your water-slide-decaled mugs in it! Wash them by hand instead. [MELINDA HIKIDA]


grandma anna’s cartellate MY GRANDMA ANNA was a Queens, NY, girl who loved her job as a secretary in Manhattan. After getting married, she left the concrete jungle for the suburbs to start a family. Anna especially adored her many grandchildren, a fact she made clear by pinching our cheeks and proclaiming, “Cha bella!” (How beautiful!). And in the tradition of Italian grandmothers everywhere, she loved to feed us. You always knew it was Christmas when she whipped up batches of cartellate—fried, donut-shaped cookies glazed with mosto cotto (a syrup made from grape juice or wine)—a holiday tradition carried over the Atlantic from Puglia, the heel of Italy where her parents hailed from. According to Anna, the best way to learn this recipe is to get your hands dirty and start rolling. I likewise recommend you do the same. Make the glaze the day before by simmering 2 bottles Manischewitz Concord grape wine with 2 cups sugar over low heat for 6 – 8 hours. Cool overnight. To make the dough, combine 2 cups flour, 4 oz. oil (canola or vegetable), 4 oz. white wine (warmed), and a pinch of salt in a bowl. The dough should be rough and greasy; knead until smooth. Roll out paper-thin, and cut dough into strips. Twist each strip to form a circle, pinching the ends closed. Fry the cookies in a pot filled with 4 – 5 inches of oil over medium heat (the oil is ready when a wooden spoon dipped into it makes bubbles rise) until brown and floating, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Once cooled, use the slotted spoon to dunk the cookies in the glaze, and let dry. If it the syrup gets too thick, add a little water. [MARIE PENNY]

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club med DON’T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE? HERE’S HOW TO SEE A DOC WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK WHEN I BROKE my wrist in a freak rollerskating accident, I wanted ice, painkillers, and the soothing voice of a qualified orthopedist; the fact that I was uninsured was the least of my concerns. And I know I’m not alone—the U.S. Census Bureau reports that more than 50 million Americans are living without health insurance. Luckily, there are ways to get the care you need without going into crazy debt. IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: After my wreck on wheels, I went straight from the Brooklyn roller rink to Bellevue Hospital in N.Y.C. because Bellevue, like many hospitals around the country, is public, which means it’s required to treat everyone—with or without insurance. I left with a six-week cast, little-tono permanent damage, and only a few hundred dollars in medical bills (as opposed to the thousands I would have been charged elsewhere). Unless you’re insanely broke, you’ll have to pay something, but public hospitals often offer sliding scales and payment arrangements. To find one near you,


visit the Membership Directory page of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems’ Web site ( WHAT’S UP DOC?: Free health clinics offer basic health-care services at no cost to anyone who doesn’t have insurance, regardless of income. They’re the perfect option when you need non-emergency treatment. It might take a little persistence and multiple phone calls to get an appointment, but the care these clinics provide is “very similar, if not identical, to a private provider” says Peg McKee, director of development at the KC Free Health Clinic in Kansas City, MO. Locate one in your city at LADY PARTS: When I lived in New York, I knew my reproductive organs were covered because I qualified for low-cost ob-gyn care through Planned Parenthood. Like many of Planned Parenthood’s 825-plus U.S. locations (call 1-800-230-PLAN to find one near you), my local center offered sliding-scale payments based on Title X, a federal pro-

gram that helps provide low-income U.S. residents with family-planning services. You qualify for discounted fees for annual exams, pregnancy and STD testing, and contraception (my birth control co-pay was less than $20 a month) if your annual income is within 250 percent of your state’s poverty level. Call your local Planned Parenthood to see if you’re eligible. GRIN AND BEAR IT: Dental schools are a fantastic option for people without dental insurance. “Visits with dental students tend to take about three times longer than if you were visiting a private dental practice,” says Sandra Shagat of the UCLA School of Dentistry, where the cost of care is about half of what nearby private practices charge. But the lengthy appointment is a good thing, “because the person working on your mouth will be closely supervised by someone who’s been practicing for several years.” To find a local American Dental Association–accredited school, go to the Dental Education Program page at [EMILY FARRIS]



rug me the right way CRAFT A CUSTOM CARPET THAT REALLY TIES THE ROOM TOGETHER A SIMPLE AREA rug can completely transform a room. But change doesn’t always come cheap; the perfect floor covering can cost a pretty penny. We found a sweet selection that won’t break the bank, but if you still don’t see the perfect fit for your hardwood, you can slap together a quality rug to match your curtains in no time. Voilà! Instant room synergy the Big Lebowski would be proud of. »


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First, decide what size you want your rug to be. A standard rectangle rug is a foot smaller in width than length (we made ours 4' x 5'). Feel free to use these instructions to make a circle, a long runner, an oval, or whatever kind of rug you need. Peruse the upholstery material at your local fabric store. When you find a design that will


make your ideal rug, buy enough yards of material to accommodate the size you want your rug to be, plus 1" on each side. Depending on the width of your material, you may need to adjust the size of your rug so you can make it out of a single piece of fabric. Lay the upholstery material on a flat surface, right side down,


and mark your rug measurements with fabric pencil, then add 1" all around for a seam allowance. Cut a piece of thin cotton batting to the exact dimensions you want for your rug (don’t adjust for seam allowance). If your batting material is smaller than the size of your rug, sew pieces of the batting together to form a larger sheet. Pin the batting onto the upholstery material with the 1" seam folded over the edge of the batting, then sew all the way around the material. Cover the batting with one-sided fusible interfacing with the fusible side down, and iron according to the interfacing instructions. Do not move the iron as you heat the interfacing, hold in place for the required time, then lift and move the iron; put a thin piece of cotton fabric between the iron and the interfacing so your iron doesn’t get sticky. Let cool. Cover the interfacing with non-slip shelf liner (we used Magic Cover Grip), and glue it into place with E6000 glue. Let dry. Spray the entire thing with Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Protector. [CALLIE WATTS]


might as well face it, you’re addicted to rugs THESE BUYS WILL HAVE YOU SINGING, “I LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE” 1. PILE OF SHIRT Handmade from recycled tees, this 2'-wide throw will dress up any space. And the fabric strips provide more cushion for the pushin’ ($58,

3. LOW ART When your floor is looking bare, you must whip it! Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh designed this 22" x 34" rug, which is pretty as a picture but way more functional ($275, 4. CRAFTY AS A FOX You’ll be floored by the cuteness of this 26" x 17" creation. And since it’s screen-printed by hand with eco-friendly ink, you’ll also be supporting the environment and an indie business. Now, that is a step in the right direction ($25,

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2. UNBEWEAVABLE This 5' x 9' polyurethane inside/outside mat can be hosed down when it’s dirty; plus, it’s reversible. Talk about a magic carpet ($81,

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BARBECUE POPCORN There’s no better munchie food than popcorn, but why not bump it up a notch with some zingy barbecue flavoring? Buy your fave popcorn, and pop according to directions. Toss with a good pinch each of Cajun spice, chili powder, gar-


lic powder, and salt. Drizzle with melted sweet butter.

TOASTED RAVIOLI St. Louis is known for these breaded, deep-fried pockets of goodness. Just buy 1 package of any medium-size cheese ravioli you love. If it’s frozen, thaw it out. If it’s fresh, you’re good to go. Mix 1 egg with a good drizzle of milk. In another bowl, mix a coffee cup of breadcrumbs with salt to taste and a pinch each of dry oregano and pepper. Dip your ravioli in the egg goop, then in the breadcrumbs. Fill a big pan with enough oil to deepfry your ravioli, at least 2 inches. When the oil’s superhot, drop your ravioli in a few at a time, and wait until they are nice and crispy. This will take a few minutes. Then

drain on paper towels, throw ’em in a big bowl, cover in Parmesan, and use your fingers to dip the ravioli in warm marinara sauce. Good God, these are good!

CHOCOLATE KRISPIE NUT BITES This recipe is so easy, you will just plotz! Melt 2 heaping handfuls of dark-chocolate chips over a double boiler (or just bring a pot of water to a simmer, then put a metal bowl over it). Stir in a handful each of raisins, Rice Krispies, and chopped, salted, roasted nuts (pecans, peanuts, and cashews are all great). For a Mexican take, throw in a dash of chili powder. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto parchment or wax paper. Let sit until the chocolate hardens, then refrigerate for at least an hour.



THERE ARE SOME nights when the thought of dragging your tired little tuchis out the door is more painful than walking away from an all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet. Especially when the weather outside is frightful, the fire is so delightful, and there’s a little herb involved. What follows are some madly marvelous munchies to help you camp out on the couch. Now, quit bogarting the remote!

we have a remedy!


DITCH THE DRUGSTORE FOR A DIY COLD MED NO MATTER HOW much garlic and echinacea you ingest in the hopes of warding off a cold, when your body succumbs, it’s hard not to reach for the NyQuil. This winter, skip the chemical-filled med and try this DIY recipe—featuring fresh produce, organic sweeteners, and thimbles of liquor—instead. It replaces NyQuil’s pain-and-fever-reliever acetaminophen, cough suppressant dextromethorphan HBr, and sleep aid doxylamine succinate with all-natural ingredients like roasted green chiles, ginger, citric acid, and booze. Throw on some sweatpants, get cozy on the couch, and take a couple shots, er, doses of this concoction to wage war on your symptoms. Take that, Big Pharma! In a saucepan, bring 1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves and 1 cup water to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then strain out the leaves. Bring the mint water back to a boil over medium heat. Whisk in 1 cup agave nectar or honey, boil 1 more minute, and let cool. In a small dish, combine the zest of 1 lemon with 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil and set aside. In a blender, combine 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp. roasted green chiles, and 1 cup fresh mint leaves. Add the juice from your lemon and half the mint syrup; pulse thoroughly. Pass the mixture through a mesh strainer, stirring with a spoon to move. Taste the juice; if it seems too tart or spicy, add more mint syrup. To create a dose of your homemade medicine, combine 1 Tbsp. of this juice with 1 Tbsp. pastis (an anisebased liqueur) and 1 Tbsp. whiskey in a cocktail shaker. Add 1 tsp. of the lemon-zest oil and 3 ice cubes, and shake. Pour into a shot glass, and drink up. [ALEX BROWN AND EVAN GEORGE, WWW.URBANHONKING.COM/HOTKNIVES]

love me tender BLOGGER GALA DARLING, A SELF-HELP GURU FOR GALS WHO HATE SELF-HELP, SHARES HER RESOLUTIONS FOR A NEW YEAR THAT’S ALL YOU FORGET THE SHITTY resolutions of New Years past. I believe in something I call radical self-love: taking control of your life and being true to who you really are. It’s a call to arms for any girl who has ever felt like she’s not enough, who doubts her own strength or pins her self-worth on the affections of a partner. It’s time to have the greatest love affair of all: with yourself! Here are a few ways I’m going to live this year to the fullest. Feel free to use them or write a few radical self-love resolutions of your own. In 2011… • I choose to devour life. I will have adventures and shun routine. I will wear turbans and sparkly pink eyeliner. I will be big, bold, brave, and free. • I choose to develop my friendships. I will plan regular girl lunches and call my friends on the other side of the world. • I choose to take responsibility for the choices I make. I will take action to make things happen. • I choose to celebrate my sexuality, not push it aside. I will buy more sex toys! I will communicate more honestly, clearly, and fearlessly in bed. • I choose to follow my instincts and listen to my gut. I know it will always tell me the truth. • Above all, I give myself permission to be who I really am: messy, imperfect, beautiful, honest, and an ever-evolving contradiction. [GALA DARLING, WWW.GALADARLING.COM]

Tie the Knot Wrapping paper is so last year. Why not pretty up your presents with furoshiki—traditional Japanese reusable cloths that are used to envelop gifts origami style (go to attach/060403-5.html for instructions). We love the charming, organic-cotton selection from Chewing the Cud ($12 each, // BUST / 33



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unto my children as Mom and that girl’s mom did unto us. And yet.... It didn’t seem to matter so much, back when the kids were small. I’d get occasional emails from mothers whom I’d gotten to know on a raucous parenting Web board we all frequented. Now they were coming to New

We sat opposite each other on my twin beds, staring at the green shag carpet and not speaking. For hours. York and wanted to get together in person. Sure, come on over! The apartment’s small, but the kids can play. Most of these visits worked out OK. Once the clingy uncertainty of initial introductions had passed, the kids whooped it up, stripping to their underpants to pillage the dress-up box and drag the couch cushions onto the floor for an impromptu tumbling display. If anyone felt awkward, it was the adults, burdened with the realization that personalities with whom we feel such kinship online do not always carry over in the flesh.

if the other kid likes to read (something other than the Twilight saga) and then, if met with an affirmative response, suggest forgoing the bullshit to read together in companionable silence. The girl’s got to do it herself. Seventeen might not condone such frankly socially ambivalent behavior, but if I had it to do over, that’s what I’d do, or at least fantasize about doing, unaware that I’m just a link in the chain. Ayun Halliday’s new book, Zinester’s Guide to NYC, is out now from Microcosm Publishing.


LOOKING AT THIS memory forensically, I think the woman who came to our house one afternoon when I was about 11 must have been on some volunteer committee with my mother. She had a daughter with whom I was supposed to play who had low pigtails and long, skinny legs, like mine. Had we met at camp or school, we might have discovered common interests capable of sustaining conversation for more than 30 seconds, but the artificiality of our situation and the cheery maternal expectation that we’d be fine on our own proved too much for us. The awkwardness was so paralyzing, I neglected to show her the closetful of board games and craft kits. I would have gladly feigned an interest in General Hospital if there was a chance the tube could have saved us, but sadly, the only TV in the house was in the room in which our mothers were working—i.e., not to be disturbed. So we sat opposite each other on my twin beds, staring at the green shag carpet and not speaking. For hours. My 11-year-old blood would have curdled had I thought I’d grow up to do

Of course, acting naturally comes less and less naturally as one advances through life. Now when we go to dinner or a party at someone else’s place, it’s an unexpected gift if the younger generation has chemistry. Milo, who still responds to a basket of Playmobil or a liberal house policy with regard to computer games, has the easier row to hoe. At 10, he’ll throw in with a five-year-old if the shortie seems open to sharing his collection of Star Wars Lego figures. Inky, at 13, can no longer depend on such props. The results can be painful to watch, especially knowing that I’m the one who got her into this mess. She does her best to get out of it with a book. It’s a coping mechanism, a form of astral projection inherited from her father, and it works so well, I kind of hate having to remind her that it’s impolite to ignore the person you’re supposed to be socializing with. Even if you’ve never met her before and will likely never see her again. Then again, I’d rather she keep her nose in a book than wind up pregnant like the 13-year-old protagonist of Todd Solondz’s film Palindromes, the fallout of her parents’ insistence that she entertain a visiting couple’s sullen son. But otherwise, I regret to inform, one has to at least try to figure out how to engage. Wasn’t that the point of me staying out of all playground negotiations, save those in which sand was being flung above the neck? It’s not a mother’s place to find out


roxanne carter WRITER WONDERVU, CO Tell us about this outfit. The shirt is from Forever 21; it cost about $10. The skirt is Chanel; I thrifted it in California for $1! I got the high heels—$8—and the vintage 1940s crocheted bag—$4.99—at thrift stores in Denver. The obi belt is by Tamera Ferro (; it was a Christmas gift from my brother. I found the earrings on eBay. They are replicas of the ones Edie Sedgwick wears in Factory Girl. They were about $30. The tights were $10, by Hue, from Nordstrom. How would you define your style? It’s a pastiche that combines elements from different eras. Also, I consider fashion a kind of acting; when getting dressed in the morning, I sometimes think about who I want to “be” that day. Who or what influences your look? I love reading biographies of artists, writers, and actresses, like Marchesa Casati and Greta Garbo, and thinking about what it was that made their style unique. I’m also very inspired by Prince; I admire his daring and the way he’ll fuse 1930s glamour with, like, bedazzled pant suits, ostrich feathers, and pompadoured hair [laughs]. As a writer, do you think there are parallels between storytelling and outfit-making? I like to think about the narrative of clothing, how each piece has its individual story, and how the story changes when pieces get recombined in different outfits. It reminds me of Raymond Queneau’s book Exercises in Style, where he tells the same story using an assortment of techniques, exploring the possibilities of language, of form. Picking out an outfit can be like a game, a machine for telling a story. I like to combine different elements, explore the possibilities of clothing, and see where it takes me. [TRICIA ROYAL]


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EYE SHADOW IS one of the easiest ways to take a look from dull to daring. And mineral-based eye shadow—which contains no harsh chemicals, dyes, or preservatives—is all the rage. What you might not realize, however, is that it’s ridiculously easy to make your own. Going the DIY route gives you complete control over the shades you design (create your own signature color, and never worry about it being discontinued!) and what you’re putting on your skin. To make eye shadow, you need three things: mineral base (a white blend of mineral powders), inorganic dry color (pigments composed of metallic compounds, available in green, brown, red, yellow, black, blue, and pink), and mica (shimmery pigments, which come in a wide variety of hues), all of which can be purchased at Buy the specific colors you want, or get a range so you can experiment; consult a color wheel online to see how colors blend. For example, to create a coppery shadow, you might combine the brown inorganic dry color with bronze mica. You’ll also need measuring spoons and a few small containers (little jars with swirl-top lids); wash and reuse old ones you already have on hand, or buy a couple at www. To create your shade, fill half a 1⁄8 tsp. (1⁄16 tsp.) with mineral base, and put it in a container. Add 1⁄8 tsp. of your selected inorganic dry-color pigment and 1⁄8 tsp. of your chosen mica. Or, if you’re mixing colors, just make sure they add up to the same measurements. Close the container, shake it up, and you’re done! The result is a fine, colorful powder. Just keep in mind that a little goes a long way: a tiny dip with an eye-shadow brush should cover both lids. [DIANA GONZALEZ, WWW.THECRAFTAHOLIC.COM]

test kitchen THEIR PRODUCTS, OUR INTERNS L’Oréal EverPure Moisture Deep Restorative Masque, $8.99, available at drugstores

SKYE This product is an absolute dream! It instantly transformed my bleached, haylike locks into blond velvet. I only wish that it came in a bottle, because scooping it out of the jar under streaming hot water is a tad awkward.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat, $4.99,

EMILY Unlike most deep conditioners, this veganfriendly masque didn’t leave my fine hair greasy. It added just enough moisture to prevent fly-aways and split ends while giving a gentle boost to the dry, lackluster mane my shampoo often leaves behind.

A chipped manicure is inevitable when you are a crafter like me, and I have no patience when it comes to waiting for polish to dry. This top coat addressed both problems, and the results were great. I totally dug it.

I knew this one was too good to be true. The total drying time went way beyond the promised 30 seconds, and I endured a few casualties in the process. I’d rather let my nails go nude than rush through a manicure anyway.

Though the insta-dry element was iffy, this top coat’s anti-chip factor was the real deal. It totally helped prevent the wear and tear around my manicure’s edges and also created the shiniest shine known to humanity—I’m talkin’ diamond sparkle!

Kiss My Face Honey Calendula Ultra Moisturizer, $11.95,

LAUREN I I change my hair color almost as often as I change my socks, which can be rather taxing on the follicles. This restorative masque left my locks feeling soft and healthy while still retaining my color. And it smelled wonderful.

This cream’s honey calendula scent was questionable. At first whiff, it smelled pleasant but then had a strange, lingering afterscent. The lotion made my mitts feel soft, but it was nothing to write home about.

It was love at first inhale with this subtly scented moisturizer. And while its sweet yet sophisticated smell of honey and calendula may have caught my attention, it was the silky, skin-smoothing impact that had me going back for more.

This lotion felt like a thick, syrupy mess. It left my hands feeling like I had literally dipped them in an artificial-honey pot. Also, the smell was sweet but not at all natural and a bit overpowering for me.

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5. 4.







party on! BE THE KNOCKOUT EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT, WITH A SWEET SOIRÉE ENSEMBLE THE HOLIDAY-PARTY season isn’t only for decking the halls and downing bevvies with your BFFs; it’s also your chance to don a darling dress. Take a cue from some of our favorite style-bloggers and reach for a flirty, flouncy frock the next time you go out to get down. Whether it features a peek-a-boo lace bodice, a barely-there skirt, or a metallic print, a dance-worthy dress will have you jingle-balling through New Year’s. [TARA MARKS]

Lily + Jae Dallas Dress, $246,

Dusen Dusen Snow Stripes Belt Dress, $238,


Tulle Tours en L’Air Dress, $134.99,

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From left to right: Lauren Winter (; Keiko Lynn Groves (; Moa Svensson (


Happy Holidays!

check out our blog

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faux sure

TO MAKE THIS cozy handwarmer, lay out ½-yard of faux fur, face down. Use an X-Acto blade to cut a 20" x 10" piece (the length should be cut in the direction of the fur). Cut the fabric along the wrong side, and hold the blade at an angle so you don’t accidentally trim the fur. Cut a piece of satin for the lining and 2 layers of thick cotton batting to 9" x 20" each; set aside. To make the inside pocket, cut a 5" x 6" piece of satin, and hem all the way around using a ¼" seam. Lay the lining fabric right-side up, so that the short sides are at the top and bottom. Pin the pocket right-side up, with the widest sides at the top and bottom, 2" from the bottom edge of the lining piece and centered between the two sides. Sew the pocket down along three sides, leaving the top edge open. Lay the lining right-side down, and stack the layers of batting on top; sew together using a basting stitch around all the edges. Stack the lining/batting piece and the fur together, right sides facing, pin the long sides together, and sew along the long edges. Fold the tube into itself: start at one end, and push the sides of the tube into the middle opening (so that fur is against fur and lining against lining) until the ends meet (you have essentially halved the muff). For an easy way to carry your muff when you’re not warming your hands, cut 1' of decorative cord, fold it in half, and pin the ends to your muff where the fur and lining meet. Sew all the way around the raw edge of the tube, tucking the fur in as you go and securing the cord; leave a 3" hole on the lining part. Pull the other end of the muff through this hole to turn your muff right-side out, and handstitch the hole closed. Then fluff your muff, and dive right in. [CALLIE WATTS]

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linked in LAURA LOMBARDI’S JEWELRY IS OFF THE CHAIN “I’M REALLY INTO occult imagery and spiritual objects,” says Chicago-based jewelry designer Laura Lombardi, a born-and-bred New Yorker who creates necklaces, earrings, and bracelets with a striking simplicity and an intriguing edge. Geometric shapes, layered chains, and vintage components make up the 21-year-old’s signature style, inspired by the grit and beauty of her N.Y.C. childhood as well as the traditions and art history she was exposed to during summers spent in Florence with her Italian relatives. “I also tend to surround myself with objects that hold a lot of personal significance and serve as talismans,” she adds. That sensibility carries over into her collections with pieces like the Masonry necklace—a triple chain hung with rough faceted jade and vintage brass cubes—which can totally make an outfit without overpowering it. And her jewelry is crazy affordable (prices range from $36 to $130), so you get a ton of cool for your cash. Limited runs mean wearers get something truly unique, and each piece has an otherworldly air that makes it feel super-special. Lombardi attributes at least some of that feeling to the past life of her supplies: “Ninety percent of my materials are vintage or reconstituted. I prefer working with things that are older. To me, it makes more sense to use objects with history embedded in them.” Snap up a piece for yourself at [SUSAN JUVET]




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Feelin’ hot, hot, hot, in Miami


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MIAMI, SITUATED ON the gleaming coast of Florida, is a city with many personalities. There’s the Art Deco, pastel, half-nekkid-ladies, Miami Vice version; the superpretentious, celebrityfilled, clubby Miami that fancies itself New York City (there’s even an Upper East Side); and the multi-culti Miami that boasts a melting pot of traditions—like in Little Havana, where you can find old men painstakingly rolling cigars by hand, just as they’ve done for the past 50 years. But in addition to the flash, humidity, and cultural hodgepodge, there’s a kitschy, bizarre, and undeniably cool place. Miami is full of weirdos and oddballs, tacky awesomeness, and cheesy fun. It also has gorgeous beaches and the most delicious, varied, and unbeatable Latin food you’ve ever tasted. Though Miami is technically only 36 square miles, the surrounding suburbs in Miami-Dade County are considered part of the city too, so you’ll need a set of wheels to get around. Start in the north, in Hialeah, at Flamingo Plaza (901 E. 10th Ave.), a grungy strip mall of thrift stores where treasures abound if you’re willing to get your hands dirty (seriously, bring some hand sanitizer). If you prefer your shopping sans rummaging, C. Madeleine’s (13702 Biscayne Blvd.) in North Miami Beach is your next stop. The

store’s 10,000 square feet of vintage clothing is arranged by decade and goes as far back as the Victorian era. Beware, it’s pricey, but oh so pretty. Stop for a cup of joe at Luna Star Cafe (775 NE 125th St.), a tiny spot celebrating everything weird and unique. Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time to sample the best part of the city: the food. You can tour all of Latin America without ever leaving Miami—or the table. Start in the suburb of Doral, and take your pick. Try Colombian restaurant Mondongo’s (3500 NW 87th Ave.) signature namesake dish, guaranteed to be the best tripe (yes, tripe) soup you’ve ever tasted. Combine it with bandeja paisa (rice, beans, avocado, beef, plantains, pork crackling, and a type of cornbread called arepas) and just try to resist falling into a food coma. Meat lovers should go to Argentinean steakhouse The Knife (1455 NW 107th Ave.), an allyou-can-eat restaurant whose fixed-price meals include booze. If seafood’s your bag, Peruvian ceviche awaits at Las Totoritas (7367 NW 36th St.). Traveling south, to Westchester, you’ll find Chilean empanadas and completos (hot dogs smothered in avocado, tomato, and mayo) at Pamela’s Delicatessen (8449 Bird Rd.). The


Life’s a beach

Get a cue at Churchill’s Pub

Sip a cupatofLuna KonaStar at Bogart's Café Lounging

largest immigrant community in Miami is Cuban, and a true bistec de palomilla (Cuban fried steak) at Las Culebrinas (4700 W. Flagler St.) is not to be missed. Walk off your meal by heading downtown for some crafty shopping. Start at mom-and-pop shop Linda Fabrics (100 N. Miami Ave.), which features bolts of material stacked floor to ceiling, then stroll the neighboring blocks where you’ll find more than a half-dozen fabric shops. When you’re done perusing material, walk toward the water to the Flying Trapeze School (301 N. Biscayne Blvd., at Bayfront Park where, with an appointment and $10, you can Try n’ Fly. Mellow out after the aerial acrobatics with a drink, some delicious greasy bar grub (check out the killer nightly specials), and live music of the rock, blues, or jazz variety at Tobacco Road (626 S. Miami Ave.), the oldest bar in Miami. For a grungy, punkier vibe, grab a pint at uber-dive Churchill’s Pub (5501 NE 2nd Ave.), making sure to stop next door for some sweet snacks at Sweat Records (5505 NE 2nd Ave.), an indie-music shop that doubles as a vegan cafe.

Fish happens in the Everglades

Herbacious goods at the Trout Lake Farmers Market

Roly-poly fish heads in Little Havana

The next day, grab your sunblock and head to Crandon Park (4000 Crandon Blvd.) in Key Biscayne to spend some time on those gorgeous beaches the city’s so famous for. This state park offers much mellower (and prettier) shores than glitzy Miami Beach, plus kayak rentals and an amusement park, complete with carousel. Continue into Key Biscayne to the top of the Cape Florida Lighthouse (1200 S. Crandon Blvd.) for an awesome view of the city and the sea. For swimming without the fishy company, head to the Venetian Pool (2701 De Soto Blvd.) in Coral Gables, a beautiful, 820,000-gallon pool that used to be a coral rock quarry. Grab a bite—salads, sammies, tasty desserts—and a cuppa at nearby Cafe Demetrio (300 Alhambra Cir.), a very charming coffee shop with a twinkling-light-bedecked patio, followed by a house brew and some live tunes at the laid-back Titanic Brewery (5813 Ponce De Leon Blvd.). Finish off the night with some yummy fudge from Wall’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream (8075 SW 67th Ave.). Another famous Florida site worth checking out is the Everglades (36000 SW

Swim on at the Venetian Pool

8th St.), a massive, sprawling wetland that covers the bottom tip of the state. Rent a bike from the Shark Valley Tram Center ( for an up-close view of the “river of grass” (and maybe a gator or two!) on a 15-mile ride deep into the marsh. Then treat yourself to a Key lime milkshake at Robert Is Here (19200 SW 344th St.) in Florida City. What was started as a fruit stand over 50 years ago (by Robert himself) is now home to all kinds of tropical-fruit jams, preserves, pies, and ice cream. Finally, stop by Coral Castle (28655 S. Dixie Hwy.), a quirky landmark that may best illustrate Miami’s oddball glory. In the 1940s, Edward Leedskalnin hand-carved this “castle” entirely out of coral as a monument to his lost love, Agnes, who cancelled their wedding the day before the ceremony. The guided tours are excellent. It’s also home to a monthly psychic fair the first Saturday of every month. Miami can be a crazy city, but once you get away from the hype, you’ll find a genuinely cool, slightly offbeat, deliciously cholesterol-raising, amazing town. Complete with seashell tchotchkes.

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GIFT GUIDE A Bevy of Holiday Presents for All Your Besties


Your fam can make snowballs for days with these, and their hands will never get cold! Newtech Lined Ragg Wool Mittens with Deerskin Palm, $25,

The scrapbook, souvenir program, snapshots, and music box included in this incredible box set are sure to become a few of any Julie Andrews fan’s favorite things. The Sound of Music 45th Anniversary Collection, $89.99,

This small wonder takes less than 15 minutes to whip up a one-serving batch of soft serve. Perfect for those late-night munchies! Hamilton Beach Half-Pint Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker, $29.99,

This cool clip-on device that uses Wii technology to track movement, monitor sleep, and set activity goals will be a constant companion for any fitness buff. Fitbit Wireless Personal Trainer, $99,

Decorated with flowers and birds, this adorable candelabra is like a little bit of springtime. Best of all, it’s handmade according to fair-trade guidelines. Joy to the world! Rice Mint Candelabra, €49,

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This handmade iPad holder is way sweeter than the usual corporate-looking cover and so soft, it’s like a little bed for everyone’s fave new gadget. iPad Cover, $75,

Neon is hot right now, and this hand-knit necklace will add serious punch to any outfit. Catirpel Triple Tier Knit Necklace, $48,


Give these love-struck squirrels to someone you’re nuts about. Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed Figurines by Enormous Champion, $29.99,

This good lookin’, meticulously crafted backpack is the choicest carryall for when wanderlust strikes. Wayfarer Pack, $189,

Psychedelic music aficionados will love the outtakes, rarities, and live performances in this box set of the soundtrack from the Monkees’ 1968 movie Head. The Monkees Head Box Set, $59.98,

This petcam, which attatches to an animal’s collar and takes pics automatically, will let your favorite pet lover spy on Miss Furrypants all day. Pet’s Eye View Digital Camera, $49.99,

Damn, bitches! These are the fucking shit. Put her freshness on display with handmade earrings that take the words right out of her mouth. Profanity Earrings, $35,

This superpowerful machine, capable of whirling through soups, sauces, smoothies, and frozen treats in a single bound, is truly the Rolls Royce of blenders. Vita-Mix Super 5200 Blender, $549,

Give this beautifully hand-silk-screened organic canvas pillow to someone with an eye for detail. Dot Kuma Pillow, $48,

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Dan Aykroyd’s signature vodka is head and shoulders above the rest. Crystal Head Vodka, $49.95,

This kit comes with three glass jars and a canning rack, so anyone can get started making jams and sauces, no matter how small their harvest. Ball Home Canning Discovery Kit, $11.50,

A handmade tribute to everyone’s favorite Goonie, Chunk, is perfect for eating Baby Ruths off of. Deer Ol’ Chunk Portrait Altered Antique Plate, $42,

Bookworms can keep their favorite e-books at their fingertips with the Nook, and store it safely and stylishly with this Jonathan Adler– designed cover. Nook, $149; Punctuation Cover, $29.95;

Any “very stylish girl” would dig this look. Black Apache Kimono Shirt, $65,

Designer Christine Schmidt’s new extra-long necklace is worth hooting over. Owl Shield Pendant, $44,

No matter how fiery their favorite beats are, their ears may still get cold. With these, they’ll keep toasty as the music blazes on! Knitted Headphones, $35.99,

With four interchangeable blades, this mandoline is the supreme slicer for cooks who love to veg out. OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer, $39.95,

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Nothing keeps a laptop cozier than this supercool sleeve made from Pendleton wool. Native iWooly, $110,

When Ziggy Stardust and Harry Potter collide, the result hits like a bolt from the blue. Harry Stardust T-shirt, $24,

Having a pocket-size video camera is already awesome, but when it’s girlified with this illo by Caia Koopman, that makes it awesome sauce. Flip Mino, from $149,

Howl-elujah! This mystical wolf pillow is satiny and very cuddly, making it ideal to squeeze while watching scary movies on the couch. North Star Pillow, $32,

This adorable handprinted poster gets the point across. “Use Your Inside Voice” Poster, $20,

These won’t work for birdwatching. But if you’re gifting your favorite boozehound, this double-barrel flask is sure to make them drunk with glee! Barnoculars, $19.99,

Know someone who is just your type, who pushes the envelope, or is sweet as pie? Reward your pals’ best characteristics with handmade merit badges. Merit Badges, $24 each,

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Decorative Japanese masking tape is a killer gift for any crafter. Happy Tape HappyHappy 10pak, $36,

These Aussie cookbooks are so damn cute, even your nonbaking friends will adore them. Sweet Treats and Afternoon Tea, AU$19.95 each,

Slip one of these mammoth brass wrist rockers on a loved one, and watch them try not to be crippled under the weight of awesome. Skeleton and Teeth Bracelets, $120 each,

Everyone will shout “Whoopie!” when they open these homemade treats. Whoopie Pies, $21 per dozen,

What could be better than a book about crafting doll-wig doorknobs for Jesus? Nothing. That’s why everyone needs Amy Sedaris’ latest. Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People, $27.99,

This pretty print makes the days look good as they go flying by. Flower Garden Letterpress Calendar, $22,

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This dramatic eye set has five dark, sparkly shadows and the perfect matte black, plus a black liner and a primer so the drama can go all night. The Black Palette by Urban Decay, $36,

BUST GIFT GUIDE With this gadget, your friends can transfer old tapes to digital—so they can share that footage of them in the bathtub at age two with all their Facebook friends! Roxio Easy VHS to DVD Kit, $79.99,

Give your favorite home chef the kind of container her recipes deserve; handcrafted from salvaged wood, this screen-printed box is a real beauty. Heirloom Recipe Box, $125,

This antiquey accessory goes swimmingly with everything. “I’m All Arms” Brass Octopus Pendant Necklace, $27,

Say “Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah” with this six-piece doll set (that means “I Love You!”). Robot Matryoshka Madness Nesting Dolls, $15.50,

The hostess in your life can throw a quirky tea party with this Portugalinspired set. Whistler Cork Tea Service, Creamer and Sugar Pot $12 each; Cups, $10 each; Teapot, $25;

The only good thing about cold winter nights is a cozy sweater like this one. Luck Is In the Cardigan Sweater, $82.99,

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L.A. STORY Good-natured, grounded, and always inspiring, Sofia Coppola is one of the few female filmmakers writing and directing her own projects. Here she catches up with her friend, Sonic Youth founder Kim Gordon, about babies, boobs, and being creative


’VE KNOWN SOFIA since she was 18, back when she claimed she didn’t know what she wanted to pursue in her life. As she’s grown, Sofia—whose father is renowned director Francis Ford Coppola—has evolved into a filmmaker with her own vision. The 39-year-old auteur’s first feature was a gorgeous adaptation of The Virgin Suicides in 1999. In 2004, she became the first American female director to be nominated for an Academy Award, for Lost in Translation. Though she didn’t win in that category, she did take home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Throughout it all, she has remained resolutely herself: soft-spoken, downto-earth, and graceful, with a healthy aversion to all things Hollywood. In fact, it’s this world of glitz and image that she explores in her new movie,

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Somewhere, which won her the coveted Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Somewhere tells the story of Johnny Marco (played by Stephen Dorff ), a big-time actor living in L.A.’s famed Chateau Marmont hotel, who drinks, pops pills, and basically avoids real life until he’s faced with an extended visit from his 11-year-old daughter, Cleo (Elle Fanning). Sofia is a parent herself; she and her partner, Thomas Mars, of the band Phoenix, gave birth to their first daughter, Romy, in 2006, and another, Cosima, earlier this year. Everything Sofia does seems effortless and authentic, and maybe if she didn’t have that wonderful, sometimes slightly self-deprecating sense of humor, I would almost be jealous. Even though she’s years younger than I am, I truly admire her for being herself, always.

I really enjoyed Somewhere. I thought it was an incredible portrait of L.A. You grew up in Napa, CA, but you must have gone back and forth to L.A. Yeah, we lived there a bit when I was little. Then I moved to L.A. for college, so I feel like a lot of my memories of L.A. are ’90s L.A. We would go to the Chateau Marmont, and they would let us use the swimming pool. But it was different then. It was before US Weekly, and there weren’t paparazzi around, and they didn’t have all these reality stars who go there to be seen, so it felt a little more innocent or something. When I was writing the script, I started with the character of this movie-star guy and I thought, Of course he has to live at the Chateau Marmont, because all those guys have lived there. The manager was telling me that there’s this kind of vortex: when one bad-boy actor checks out, another comes in. There’s always one in residence.



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“ When I was growing up, my mom always talked about Hollywood values. She really had disdain for that. She’s not glamorous. She’s earthy. ” Why do you think people are so fascinated with actors? I don’t know. I was in Paris when I was writing this, and it feels really cut off from that whole pop culture. It’s not like here, where you can’t avoid it. Whenever friends would visit, they would bring tabloids. And I remember at that time, there were all these stories about young actor guys in crisis. Like, either attempting suicide or having these problems, and I was thinking, What’s going on? But also, there are so many of these reality shows in recent years—just the obsession with becoming famous. I thought [it would be interesting] to look at what happens when you get to the Chateau Marmont, and what’s it really like the next morning? Even though Johnny Marco was obviously the focus of the movie, I kept thinking about all the women around him. I loved the opening scene, with the twins pole dancing for Johnny in his hotel room. They were from that reality show The Girls Next Door. They lived with Hugh Hefner. They seemed really sweet, actually. They were! They were really fun to have around. But it is weird how men compartmentalize sex, more than women. I think so, and I thought it would be complicated for that kind of guy to have a young daughter who’s about to become a woman. To me, the movie was also very much about how women feel they have to be perfect in terms of pleasing men. All the women, even if they were superficial or whatever, they all were perfect.

I feel like the Chateau Marmont and L.A. always attract those girls who come to be models. I think the girls who are around that world would be that kind of woman. Yeah, that’s true, but even Johnny Marco’s daughter had this level of reaching for perfection, trying to please her dad. Like when she was making him those perfect eggs Benedict for breakfast. That’s funny, I never thought of the cooking and stuff to please him, but it’s just probably in my nature from growing up. I thought it was that she enjoyed cooking, doing something that makes the hotel room homey. I was thinking she was trying to take care of her dad, fulfill a certain role. And actually, I was thinking of Lost in Translation and how Scarlett Johansson’s character could almost be Cleo in the future. I had this whole fantasy in my head about how she grows up, feels like she’s done everything right, and then she’s in this situation where it’s not working. Yeah, that has like a father/daughter feeling to it, too. You seem so grounded. It seems like mostly what you got out of growing up with your dad is a disdain for— When I was growing up, my mom always talked about Hollywood values. She really had disdain for that. She’s not glamorous. She’s earthy, and she was a conceptual artist in the ’70s. She had one piece where she had me in a room, watching a video of my birth. She made these cool art films, but it was like the opposite of my dad’s world. So when she had to go into that world, I think she thought it was all full of shit.

Did she feel conflicted about it? I think she just really rejected it. I remember she was telling me stories about going to some Hollywood party and Joan Collins jumped in the pool in her underwear and my mom felt just really uncomfortable. That world wasn’t for her. Growing up, did you feel self-conscious about who your dad was? I notice that [my daughter] Coco is very self-conscious about that. Because I went to the same school—we would move but always come back—I knew a lot of the kids from first grade, so they didn’t think I was exotic. Do you worry about that with your kids? I never thought about that. I mean, I haven’t thought about it yet. [laughs] I just put a new worry into your head. Coco sometimes complains about it, “You don’t know what it’s like!” I feel bad for her. She’s at such a self-conscious age. I remember complaining that we traveled so much, like, “Oh, I miss my…” whatever, but I really liked it. I thought it was fun to do all that. Maybe back then also, I feel like people didn’t know as much because it was pre-Internet. Did you ever feel like the film world was your dad’s world? Did you ever think that you wanted to do that? I always liked visiting the set. We would go there in the summers and after school, so I was always really comfortable on set. When I went to college, I wanted to be an artist. But it didn’t even occur to me to do film, probably because [I felt like] I had to do something different. Then I tried a bunch of stuff, and I was always frustrat-

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“ As a writer, you always think you have to be in a quiet room alone, and it was good to be like, OK, you have to just learn to do it anywhere. ” ed that I wasn’t really good at anything. [laughs] But I had all these different interests, so when I made a short film, I felt like it came together. I felt like that was a place where it was good to know a little bit about all these different things. It took me longer because I was avoiding it. But my dad was really superencouraging from the beginning. How do you balance working and being a mom? I get that question all the time. I do think it’s interesting, because people don’t think about it, but it’s hard to balance. Yeah, I’m just winging it. When I shot this film, I had only one [kid]. It was a short shoot. Like, I couldn’t imagine now. I feel like I wouldn’t be drawn to doing some huge, epic project. My mom, she was always saying, “Just make sure you get really great nannies, so you can do your work and not feel guilty about it”— I think because she felt like she gave up her career to raise us. It was nice to take the year off after Romy was born just to hang out with her and have that experience. But then after that, I was missing having my own creative thing. Yeah, it can be boring. [both laugh] Yeah, I really like being able to work. I remember I used to write late at night, and stay up all night, because that was the time that you couldn’t make phone calls or do anything else to be distracted. And now with having kids, you can’t stay up all night writing, you have to be up in the morning. I remember I met Patti Smith at some photo exhibit in Paris, and she told me that when she had kids, she started waking up really early in the morning and working before they woke up. I don’t like to wake up early, but I can see there is that time when every-

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thing’s quiet. Xan Cassavetes—she’s like a big sister to me—I remember her saying, “You just have to learn how to write in the chaos.” We were all on a trip in France in the country, with all the kids running around, and I was working on the script for this, and she was writing something, and we would just all sit outside with the kids talking and write. As a writer, you always think you have to be in a quiet room alone, and it was good to be like, OK, you have to just learn to do it anywhere. It’s funny the things that make one focus. I find it hard. It’s always hard to start, I think. But once you get into something, you’re excited to work on it. Do you feel like when you finish a project, then it’s a thing of, What are you going to do next? Or can you enjoy being done with it? I always get worried I’m not going to find something. Yeah, but you always do. It’s true; I think that must just be a creative thing where you always panic that you’re not going to find something you’re into. This has nothing to do with the movie, but I was talking to [author] Mary Gaitskill, and she said one of her students, who’s 28, was saying all the men she knows are into porn, and that 14-year-old girls now feel that’s how they’re supposed to look because they’re watching porn on the Internet. And they’re learning that’s how they have to act? Yeah, I mean, that’s a very broad statement, but nonetheless. For some reason—because of the Inter-

net—porn is so pervasive. It was so different when we were young. I feel so removed from that, though. The whole Internet-porn world is totally foreign to me. In a way, in your movie you dealt with it in a very sweet—in a more sort of playful way. I remember when we were filming the twins doing their pole dances, there’s a part where they shake their butts in the camera, and I was like, “Is this too vulgar?” All the guys on the set were like, “No, no, that’s best part!” and I thought OK, I can’t be a prude. If I’m going to do pole dancing, I have to do the whole thing. It’s kind of interesting that it’s sort of there—an implication that it’s a surrounding sensibility without getting into it. I went with the twins because they’re kind of cute and cheerleader-y. I didn’t want it to be too dark. But that just might be my taste, too. Yeah, you made it tasteful! [laughs] [laughs] No, I mean I wanted it to be playful! I was impressed that they were Playmates that didn’t have big, fake boobs. They were actually talking about getting boob jobs after the shoot, and I really worked on talking them out of it. They thought they had to get boob jobs to make it in show business. I also thought it was good the way you dealt with the sex scene in Somewhere. Sex scenes are so hard. I’m really bad at them. It’s really brief. [laughs] Well, it’s in the dark! I mean, they’re usually so painful to watch.

Yeah, it’s awkward. The scene where Stephen passes out on the girl [in the middle of going down on her], I remember my dad being like, “How did you— What do you know— Where’d you get that from?” And I was like, “Umm…a story.” It was embarrassing. But yeah, the actors are all pro and get into it, and I’m embarrassed, and I’m like, “OK, guys, go ahead.” How did you feel when you acted in your dad’s movies, like The Godfather: Part III? Did you like it? No, I didn’t like it at all. I was at that age

where I wanted to try everything. I really freaked out about not knowing what I wanted to do. I think also, being 18 and having my dad tell me what to do at that age where you don’t want to listen to your parents was really uncomfortable. There was so much pressure and people looking at me. I remember afterward, people blamed the movie on you. Yeah, there was a magazine cover: Did she ruin her dad’s movie? But I feel like it made me strong.

Well, you always seemed to have a good attitude about it. If it was my dream to be an actress, I would’ve been crushed. But I never wanted to be an actress. Actors are just so vulnerable; you have to keep that in mind. I guess control freaks become directors because you get to have everything you want. To me, it would seem annoying as an actress that you don’t really have a say about the photography or the clothes, but I feel like the people who do it, they have to do it. I feel like everyone should be doing what they really feel strongly about. B

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Home Is Where the Heart Is DIY YOUR WAY TO A WINTER WONDERLAND SINCE STAYING HOME is the new going out, why not make your abode a little more festive with some supercheap and easy DIY décor ideas? Here are a few wonderful winter projects from some cream-of-the-crop crafters that will take your space from blah-ville to charm city. Bake a batch of cookies, spike some cider, gather supplies, and invite your ladies over for the handmade holiday fete of the season.


Stack Attack Use your fabric scraps to make an evergreen forest you can mix ’n’ match. MATERIALS


• 8½" x 11" piece of paper

1. Download the Christmas-tree template at www., and print. Cut your fabrics into rectangles large enough to fit the pattern pieces (you’ll need an 8½" x 4½" rectangle for the largest cone); then iron some lightweight interfacing to the backside of each. Using the pattern provided, cut out 4 semicircles from 4 complementary fabrics (you can create variations of the tree by making just 2 or 3 cones). With your sewing machine, stitch along each edge using a small zigzag stitch, for decoration.

• Printer • Assortment of fabrics • Scissors • Lightweight interfacing • Sewing machine

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2. Make each semicircle into a cone shape by curling the fabric to bring the straight sides together. Overlap the edges about 1", then handstitch to sew them together, closing up the back of the cone. Iron this seam so the cone will stay open in a nice, round form. 3. After you have finished sewing your cones, stack them large to small to make a tree. [SARAH NEUBURGER, WWW.THESMALLOBJECT.COM]

Let It Snow Turn camp-craft materials into designworthy decorations with giant Popsicle-stick snowflakes. MATERIALS

• Craft sticks • Protractor • Hot-glue gun and glue • White spray paint • Drop cloth or newspaper • ½"-wide ribbon and double-stick foam tape (for wall hanging) • Scissors • Rhinestones (round, 12 mm), glitter, and fake snow (optional) INSTRUCTIONS

1. To make the snowflake on the left: Start by gluing 6 craft sticks together at 60-degree angles into an asterisk shape. Use a protractor to make sure your angles are accurate. Glue 2 sticks to the end of each arm of the asterisk to triple the length of the arm, and set aside. Glue 6 sticks in a hexagon shape. Center the hexagon on the extended asterisk so that each point of the hexagon rests on an arm of the asterisk. Secure with glue. Glue 4 sticks in a diamond shape to the end of each of the snowflakes’ 6 arms to complete. Skip to step 3. 2. To make the snowflake on the right: Start by gluing 6 craft sticks together at 60-degree angles into an asterisk shape. Use a protractor to make sure your angles are accurate. Create starlike points by gluing 2 more craft sticks to the end of each arm; lay them all out before gluing to make sure your points aren’t wonky. Glue 2 sticks to the end of each arm of the original asterisk to triple the length of the arm. To complete the snowflake, glue 2 more sticks to each arm where the second and third sticks of the extended arm meet, creating a V shape. 3. Once you’ve assembled your shapes, lay out a drop cloth or newspaper. Spray-paint each side of your snowflake with 2 coats of paint, making sure to cover the edges. Let dry overnight. 4. For added flare, glue rhinestones to the tips of the snowflakes, or cover them with glitter or fake snow. Let dry. 5. To hang them, cut a long piece of ribbon. Use double-stick foam tape to secure one end of the ribbon to the back of the snowflake’s top and the other end to the very top of your wall. [MONICA EWING, WWW.CRAFTYNEST.COM] // BUST / 61

Shake Your Pom-pom Nothing pretties up a place like this supersimple garland.


• Ready-made pom-poms (available at most craft-supply stores) • Plastic beads in a variety of shapes and colors (available at most craft-supply stores) • Upholstery thread • Needle INSTRUCTIONS 1. Cut a piece of upholstery thread to the length you want your garland to be (ours was about 10'). 2. Thread one end through a needle, then slip the needle through your beads and the middle of your pompoms, creating a pattern by alternating colors and styles. Leave a few uncovered inches of thread at each end. 3. Loop each end of the thread, and secure with a knot for hanging. [ALICIA PAULSON, ROSYLITTLETHINGS.TYPEPAD.COM] 62 / BUST // DEC/JAN

Little House on the Table Create the cutest winter village this side of fall with little more than a few sheets of paper. MATERIALS

• 8½" x 11" piece of cardstock (one for each house you want to make) • Printer • X-Acto blade • Scissors • Craft glue • String of holiday lights (optional)

Tie One On Skip the short-lived greenery and deck your halls with a fabric wreath instead. MATERIALS

• 18"-long piece of cloth-covered floral stem wire, 16 gauge (available at floral-supply stores) • Pliers • About 80 pieces of scrap fabric cut into 7" x 2" pieces (I used pinks, reds, greens, and whites in many different patterns) • 20" x 3" piece of fabric for the bow • Needle and thread • String or ribbon (for hanging) INSTRUCTIONS


1. Download the paper house pattern at, and print on cardstock. Color the house any way you wish. The light-gray lines indicate folds; the dark-gray lines designate cut edges. Before cutting the pieces out, lightly score the folds—create an indented line in the cardstock that will make your folds crisp—by placing the paper on a cutting mat, lining a ruler up with the folding lines, and using a bone folder or the back of a butter knife to go over the lines. In addition to the marked folds, you should score the three wall edges of the house piece, the peak of the roof piece, and the edges of the roof, where the icicles hang down. To create a glowing paper village, use an X-Acto blade

to remove some or all of the shaded windowpanes from the house and the ¼" dark squares from the bottom of the house and the fence piece. 2. Use scissors to cut out your pieces. For pieces not marked with cutting lines (the roof and fence), cut as close to the drawn line as possible. Fold all edges and tabs. 3. To assemble, start with the house piece. Put just enough glue on the tab along the side of the house to make it adhere to the inside of the appropriate wall. Put glue on the three tabs at the bottom of the house, and then fold up the floor flap. Put glue on the six tabs along the roof of the house. Placing the peak of the house piece in the fold of the roof piece, make sure it’s centered, and attach. Take care on this step; you don’t want a wonky roof. Assemble the fence by putting glue on each of the four tabs and attaching the corners. Put glue on the base of the house, and place it inside the fence making sure the cut squares match up. 4. To light up your paper house, use the hole in the base to place it over a single bulb on a string of holiday lights. (Never leave holiday lights on for an extended period, as they can get hot and pose a fire risk.) Repeat the process as many times as you want, to create a whole village. To buy additional house patterns, go to [ANNA TORBORG, WWW.TWELVE22.ORG] B

1. Bend the floral stem wire into a circle, and twist the ends together a few times to close. Use pliers to secure the edges. 2. Begin tying your fabric pieces onto the wire by mixing up all the strips of fabric and picking them randomly (I actually shut my eyes to do this) so your wreath won’t look too “arranged.” Start at the top and work your way down and around, securing each piece with a simple knot. The knot should be in the center of the strip, tied tightly; squish the pieces together as you go, to form a tight fabric circle. Tie as many pieces onto the wreath as you can—the more the merrier. 3. Cut a length of string or ribbon, about 10" – 20", and tie it to the top of your wreath so it hangs. 4. Tie the 20" x 3" strip of fabric into a big bow. Use a needle and thread to sew the bow to one of the fabric strips at the top of your wreath. Attach it near the knot to make it more secure. [TAMAR SCHECHNER, WWW.NESTPRETTYTHINGS.COM] // BUST / 63


Fran Lebowitz is almost as famous for not writing her next book as she is for writing two bestsellers. Here, the legendary wit talks about the new Scorsese doc about her career, her dedication to keeping her private life private, and why kids today are “so boring!” BY




LOVE TO talk,” says writer Fran Lebowitz. “But I do not confuse talking with writing. If talking was writing, I would not be here, I would be in my villa in Tuscany.” Alas, there is no villa in Tuscany. A decades-long bout of writer’s block has rendered Lebowitz more a prolific talker than lucrative writer, though it is in fact

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her writing that made her a star. So instead, she is speaking to me in New York, the city she has lived in, written about— talked about—and sharply represented for nearly 40 years. After being expelled from her high school in Morristown, NJ, as a teenager, Lebowitz took off for Manhattan and got her start writing a regular column for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in the early 1970s. She then wrote two monumental books, 1978’s Metropolitan Life and 1981’s Social Studies, each a collection of short essays that brilliantly captured the urban vibe of their era and cemented Lebowitz as the most sophisticated lady of literary wit since Dorothy Parker. Both made The New York Times Bestseller List and still hold up today as classic works of humor. But that infamous writer’s block has allowed little more than magazine columns and one children’s book—1994’s Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas—to emerge from her pen since the early ’80s (and I do mean pen: Lebowitz writes by hand, and so slowly, she says, that she has no need for a speedier word processor). Her aforementioned aptitude for talking, however, has kept her in the public eye. And now, at age 60, she is the subject of a new documentary that highlights her way with words: Public Speaking, directed by cinema giant Martin Scorsese and premiering on HBO on November 22. The film follows Lebowitz as she fulfills

her duties as society’s cultural barometer by chastising—and improving—her world with the force of her opinions, which are captured in conversations between Lebowitz and Scorsese and in footage of her speaking engagements, during which she engages with everyone from college students to Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison. In the pairing of Scorsese and Lebowitz, Public Speaking brings together two of the fastest talkers in New York, and it’s the perfect vehicle for Lebowitz’s singular style. With observations about texting, tourists, what Andy Warhol did to fame, and what the AIDS crisis did to art (brilliantly punctuated by archival footage), Public Speaking sums up an era that’s gone forever and forces us to reconsider the one we are in now. When we met at a cafe in the storied Jane Hotel, Lebowitz arrived alone and on foot, wearing leather boots, Levi’s, a button-down shirt, and a beautifully tailored jacket—a variation on the signature look she’s maintained for decades. Her accessories included tortoiseshell sunglasses and understated cuff links, but not a publicist or a cell phone. That is to say she arrived unfettered and committed to having a real, live discussion. And we did just that, until my dinosaur of a tape recorder ran out of tape. Afterward, she walked me halfway to the subway, paused to yell at a biker who ran a red light, point-



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ed out an old apartment (it was too small for a stove), and hurried off to her next engagement (she was already late). Our time together further confirmed why this celebrated writer is equally renowned as a world-class conversationalist, and the choicest bits chronicled below are just a taste of all she had to share. How did you become the subject of a Martin Scorsese documentary? The whole movie was [editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair] Graydon Carter’s idea. Graydon suggested Martin Scorsese. As a filmmaker, I think he’s great, and as a person, he’s fantastic! At first, though, I thought Marty was too butch for me—I wanted to find a gay director, and there were a lot of false starts. I was wrong to wait so long. Usually, I believe myself to be right. In fact, I see myself to be invariably right. I believe that being right is my profession. But let’s face it: every year you wait, you look worse if you have to be in a movie. And then, when we were ready to begin filming, my father was dying, so I said, “I can’t do it now.” I was going back every day to New Jersey. But we still did it. We did it at night. We started at 11 p.m., and we would stop at 5:30 in the morning. This was two years ago, but then we also shot as recently as May, because Marty will never finish a movie. Marty would go into a rage about something that happened with Casino. If they would just give him back Casino, he would change it. How did you take to collaborating? I don’t believe it was collaborative. Collaboration is so far from my willingness that I don’t even allow editing [of my writing]. Even when I was a kid writing for Interview, I made them sign a contract. No editing. I believe Marty made this movie and I’m in it.

There’s very little biographical information about you in the film. No. There never would be. I am apparently the last person in the United States who believes in distinctions. And one of the distinctions I believe in is the one between public and private. That’s why the film is called Public Speaking. It’s not called Private Speaking. I would never do that in a movie. I would never do that in an interview. There are very few people I would do that with. I’m not that type of girl.

that was upstairs, and it was all as different as different countries. You might go to one of the other areas, but you were visiting. So I met these guys at Max’s. They’re mostly dead. A number of them died before AIDS. They died from their bad habits. And the truth is that by the time I was 22, people were dropping like flies around me and there was no AIDS. There was heroin, though, which is also a lethal thing for which there is no cure, no vaccine, so people were very reckless.

How do you define public and private speaking? I like to tell people what I think. I just don’t want to tell people things about myself. I also believe that I am the last person who knows the difference between think and feel. These are two different things. These days, everyone feels, and almost no one thinks. Most people feel the same stuff. Most people’s emotional lives are remarkably similar. I feel that a lot was lost when people stopped making these distinctions.

How did a mostly male social circle affect you as a young, female writer? I never thought about myself as a woman in that way. I just skipped it. When feminists started writing things, I thought, You could do this, or you could have a life. It wasn’t a question of whether they were right—they’re right. You can’t think feminism is wrong. It’s like when people ask, “Do you think people have a right to this downtown mosque?” That’s not a question! We have a constitution! That’s like saying, “Do you think rain is wet?” Rain is wet. The question is, Do you want it to rain? Do you want to have this mosque here? That’s a question. But a right, that’s not a question. There’s not another side to that. Was there, and does there continue to be, immense inequality between genders? Yes. When I was young, it was overt, allowed, accepted, and respected. It’s just—I thought if you devoted your life to [advancing feminism], that is what you would do with your whole life. [I thought] Some other people will do that for you, Fran.

In the film, you talk about the importance of audiences to art. When you first moved to New York, you had your own personal tough-critic audience, a circle of men who were older. Old, brilliant, and drunk. I met them at Max’s [Kansas City]. Now there is something of a resurgence of interest in Max’s, but of course no one seems to understand what it was. Mostly because it was a very segregated environment. People who went to the front were completely different than people who went to the back. You could have been there and said, “This is what Max’s was like,” but it was like that at the bar, it wasn’t like that in the back room. And people who think Max’s was a place where people performed music—

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What are your thoughts on feminism today? Well, now they’ve done it, and I believe that women have gotten pretty much as far as they’re going to get. Which is better, but not great. I mean, it’s immensely better. There’s no comparison. It’s against the law to say, “This job is just for boys.” But that doesn’t mean there aren’t all kinds of jobs you can’t have [as a woman]. And there are all kinds of things you won’t get. It’s just much more subtle now. And that’s progress. But there are still girls who make it bad for girls. Young girls are always showing me their diamond en-

gagement rings. “Look, Fran!” It’s so oldfashioned. I think that I am too old to feel that people who are kids remind me of my parents. Someone my age is supposed to be angered by kids. You’re supposed to say, “These crazy kids—what will they think of next?” You’re not supposed to say, “These kids are so boring. These kids are so regressive.” It’s like the 1950s. The 1950s weren’t just about great suits. That time was really suffocating. So it seems to me that people, especially women, especially women who have all these choices, are now looking for things that aren’t oppressive exactly but are pretty suffocating. What used to be called middle-class respectability looked like it was going to disappear, but it didn’t. It’s returned. It just returned in a different costume. If you do it in a loft instead of a split-level in the suburbs, it’s still the same. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be allowed to do it; I’m saying it’s suburban. This is why New York today seems suburban to me—all kids and babies in strollers. It’s 1950s domestic life. The sidewalks are the same size, but now you have twins and dogs. More children means more New Yorkers. Are you under the impression that we need more New Yorkers? Does this place seem too sparsely populated to you? And they won’t stay here. Every generation of parents thinks they can turn children into little versions of themselves. And only my generation seems to have done that. But I think it’s because my generation ate everything, so there’s nothing left, and the kids have to come home. When you were a kid, you left home. Here is the key to independence: earn your own money. I have supported myself since I was 18. This is true of life— people who are paying you, whether they are paying for you like parents who pay for children or paying like a boss pays an employee, they’re in charge of you. You don’t want someone to be in charge of you? Don’t take their money. So when you were 18 and started making your own money, what did

“ What used to be called middle-class respectability looked like it was going to disappear, but it didn’t. If you do it in a loft instead of a split-level in the suburbs, it’s still the same. ” you buy? Well, I didn’t have that much money. But I would buy shirts at Brooks Brothers, which were not the most expensive shirts in the world, but they were good. I had four shirts. I know how many shirts I had because a laundry lost two of my shirts. That’s one of the things about me—no matter how poor I was, and I was poor, I would never do laundry. The guy lost two of my shirts. If you have four shirts and they lose two shirts, this is a financial tragedy like having your house foreclosed on. Now everyone thinks I wear the same clothes all the time. It took me a long time to become aware of that. But I don’t. I have many variations. People don’t notice the differences, because they are subtle. I very much enjoy the process of having clothes made. I am deeply superficial. I could spend hours deciding between six shades of gray. I find this very absorbing. I know it’s not important. But it’s important to me. Your car is in the movie—it is a very specific shade of pearl gray. I’m in love with my car. I mean literally, this is the only monogamous relationship in my life. I’ve had this car since 1978. And the reason I am faithful, the reason I keep this car, is that every time I see this car, I think, That’s a beautiful car. I’ve never met a person like that. I’ve never met a person I didn’t get tired of. But I never get tired of the car. Even if I had 20 cars, I would keep this car. I would never give up this car. That is love. I never see the car and think, You again.

Is it true you have a gasoline phobia? I never put gasoline in my car. I don’t want to touch gas. There are states where there’s almost no full service; Pennsylvania is one of them, so I’ve had many experiences of begging people to put gas in my car. Most of the time, I say I’m allergic to gas. Or I just had an operation on my hand. Once, in Pennsylvania, I gave a guy $5 to put gas in my car because he wouldn’t do it. It’s like in Times Square when they found that bomb in the car—I always say to people, “Guess what? A car is a bomb.” That’s what a car is. It’s a receptacle. Filled with an explosive. And yet you weren’t afraid to drive through Broadway traffic surrounded by cameras for the movie? I’ve never been so physically afraid in my life as during the driving scene that’s in the movie. But that’s because they didn’t tell me what I was going to do. It was a big conspiracy against me. First of all, I thought we had the kind of permits where they close roads, and we did not. That was a Saturday night, and we drove through Times Square with no permits. Sometimes I had the camera behind me; sometimes the camera was next to me, someone on the floor—they ripped apart my dashboard. I complained to Marty afterward. He said, “Fran, you should know! You never ever let them make a movie in your house or your car.” I could not see. There is not one second in all that footage during which I feel safe. It is a miracle that everyone in the car and I were not killed. I’m kind of annoyed that I used up my one miracle on this. B

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MAN UP! Tired of being bombarded by all that women’s magazine relationship advice? Then why not take a break and let the man in your life make the self-improvement resolutions for a change? BY BRENDAN TAPLEY // PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALEX BAKER


GREW UP with three sisters. And among all the other tidbits I picked up as an outnumbered male—knowing what a dollop is, for example, or how to give great compliments— I also had access to scores of women’s magazines. Magazines that no male, however tempted (and we are), would dare peruse in drugstore aisles or at the public library. Because my sisters ranged in age, their glossies also let me study the psychologies of women across a spectrum of experiences and, let it be said, across a galaxy of neuroses. Of course, these magazines offered unusual information (the importance of the little black dress), and useful insights (hair-tossing is a sign a woman is being flirtatious), but what struck me most about each periodical was how universal a certain headline was. I’ll paraphrase to encompass its infinite incarnations: Why You, Woman, Must Improve Yourself Constantly in Order to Have a Relationship With a Man, Any Man, No Matter How Unworthy He Is!

Many of these articles were reinforced with numbers (“The 12 Secrets of the Male Brain”) or accompanied by urgent warnings (“What You Don’t Know About Him Will Shock You!”). As I grew older and the subscriptions belonged to women who were not relatives (my reading now taking place in their bathrooms), I found that the dilemmas pertaining to men in these mags remained the same. Their answers did too. And rarely were either helpful. After all this surreptitious study, I am tired of shaking my head at the Annual Guy Survey or shouting “Come on!” at The Relationship Issue. Just once I’d like the guys to be the ones encouraged to modify their behavior. So here, in familiar format—but in succinct guy style—are some ways for your man to self-improve. Feel free to clip out the advice, leave it near the remote control or his favorite beer, and show you’re serious about him getting serious.

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Lose the Guy Alibi Did you forget her birthday again because, well, “you’re just a guy”? Are you selfish in bed? I know, I know, “you’re just a guy.” And do you have trouble expressing emotion? Say it with me now: “You’re just a guy.” Guess what? I am too, and that’s why I know we men love The Guy Alibi. There’s no overestimating how much we get away with because of it. And the kicker is that the words he’s just a guy are ones we don’t have to say; women say them for us. The Guy Alibi is a big problem. Not only because it releases us from responsibility but also because relationships are like ships: they are aright only when they’re balanced. The “just a guy” defense invariably shifts the burden of thoughtfulness, introspection, and conscience—the very acts of love—to the woman. So it’s no wonder it’s invoked by ladies with a sinking feeling. Whether women endorse The Guy Alibi so they can feel superior in the realm of romance, explain away the lack of value shown to them by men, or to receive our culture’s affirmation of the feminine caretaker, it doesn’t much matter. In order for us to have a fulfilling bond with a woman, it’s got to go. The good news is that losing the alibi releases both genders from self-defeating patterns. For women, no longer excusing men from reciprocating love prevents a much more punishing state: the loneliness of loving for two. For men, surrendering the alibi by becoming more conscientious opens us to authentic connections. Whenever I have not been “just a guy,” a surprising intimacy emerges. It is not the scary version of intimacy we men are accused of fearing—one whose agenda is to enslave us to need or damn us to failure—but rather one that initiates true alliance with another. Of course, rejecting the alibi is not without initial discomforts. We may have to make efforts not normally required of us. For example, instead of the wife or girlfriend writing that Christmas thank-you note, we might have to. But men should dislike poor opinions of themselves just as much as women do, and if women keep exempting us from expressing gratitude, all we learn is how to take much of life for granted. That is no victory. Things may also get tense when a marital disagreement endures for days because the woman in your life has stopped communicating for two. But the silence will break, and break

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better for both parties, when we man up and fill the vacuum by expressing ourselves. Men may be more skilled at emotional withholding, but women’s restraint in this area can provoke the male conscience like nothing else. And what’s more manly than being conscientious, accountable, and forthright? At its worst, revoking The Guy Alibi could reveal that your gal’s exhaustive efforts on your behalf haven’t been out of love but self-deception. That she’s been holding up the relationship all by herself simply to have, or believe in, your connection. And you, deep down, don’t care to reciprocate. Deciding to end something and be alone is no one’s favorite conclusion, but the only thing worse is being alone inside a relationship. In this case, it’s time for you to be more than “just a guy” and to be a just guy by telling her the truth.

Keep the Bromance Alive If your lady reads a lot of women’s magazines or even just goes to the movies, she may be worried that when you say you’re going out with the guys, it’s merely an excuse for you to go out and ogle women. But what she doesn’t realize—and you might not, either—is that your malebonding time is good for both of you. In fact, it just may be the secret to your relationship’s success and a surefire path to male self-improvement. From an early age, many men are trained to go without loving gestures from our first models of guyness: our dads. And there is a simple reason for this. Openly expressing love toward another man still contradicts our modern definition of masculinity by coming across as effeminate or gay. This embeds a strange ratio in our psyche: the more capable we are living without love, the tougher and more male we seem. By the time a man’s object of connection shifts to women, this ratio is long established within him, and being a man has become a perverse endurance test of depriving oneself of intimacy. What’s even less understood is how, when presented with loving gestures by women, guys feel split. We long to correct this lifelong absence by embracing those gestures, and, at the same time, we fear exhibiting such need exposes us as lesser men. This creates a vicious cycle by which the antidote to the masculine condition—feminine love—can appear as its poison. Naturally, this generates confusion and pain for women too. Their open affection reminds us of all the ways we’ve gone without, and rather than confronting our dads (or any other guy), we resent them instead. What ensues is what’s often referred to as shutting down, detaching, or practicing avoidance. In layman’s terms, we run for the lonely but familiar man-cave of our minds. But this is why men need to be firmer about their time with other dudes. When one guy can freely create a real and—dare I say it—loving bond with another, that internal definition of manhood gets corrected. We no longer believe our ability to go without love makes us real men. We also overcome the pattern

of desire/denial that bedevils us and anyone who sends love our way. Once love is no longer seen by men as compromising masculinity, intimacy becomes less of an exercise in persuasion and more an offering we can embrace wholly and reciprocally. So, yes, even if a night in the basement with a friend’s joystick sounds dubious, insist on it. You’ll return a better man.


An Open-Door Policy The most dispiriting thing I’ve observed about modern male/female relationships is the profound lack of faith women have in our ability to love them, lighten their loads, and be true partners. What’s worse: I understand why. As women have become breadwinners, started families solo, and grown to expect their best connections to come from other women, modern masculinity has responded by narrowing itself. We men now more extremely and crudely embody masculinity’s negative traits as a way to distinguish ourselves as men. Macho overcompensation can be seen everywhere, including in our economy (self-interest on steroids), our politics (talk radio), and our sexuality (American men spend more on pornography every year than they do on movie tickets and the performing arts combined). As for being husbands and fathers, which should be noble callings, sitcoms have made buffoonery and cluelessness their hallmarks. Indeed, judging by the many (many) surveys in women’s magazines, today’s men come across as medieval. Which is why we should return to those times for a modern lesson. Chivalry may no longer be a word that folks of our era, male or female, use. That it has become a loaded term, tarnished as chauvinistic and demeaning, is tragic. Not merely because women often lament the ways men no longer show them courtesy but because chivalry was never about women needing assistance from men; it was about men needing the awareness chivalry demands. Chivalry emerged in medieval times because the period was coarse and the first knights were rapacious thugs. Originally a code meant to guide men on spiritual matters, one of which detailed how to honor women, chivalry aimed to change male behavior by inspiring a fraternity around a higher calling, the central principle being service. Chivalry’s authors knew that the virtue of service plays a nifty trick on men: raised to believe our fulfillment is front and center, service tempers our egocentrism by actually fulfilling it. A man committing to a cause greater than himself elevates the cause and the man (this is true whether you’re a Big Brother volunteer or Nelson Mandela). So, my fellow men, I ask you: what better cause is there for us than women? While holding a door or standing up when being introduced may not make for epic poetry, as symbols these gestures are manifestations of a solicitude men are accused of no longer possessing. Because it is a system based on serving others, what chivalry would return to men is a discipline of conscientiousness.

In his study of chivalry, The Broad Stone of Honour, Kenelm Henry Digby said it best when he wrote, “Chivalry is only a name for that general spirit or state of mind which disposes men to heroic actions and keeps them conversant with all that is beautiful and sublime in the intellectual and moral world.” By unloading chivalry of its baggage, rejecting The Guy Alibi, and encouraging our bonds with other guys, we men can finally take back the burden that has long been placed at women’s doorsteps and truly embrace this more enlightened state of mind. In so doing, we can rekindle in ourselves the noble spirit of chivalry Digby describes. And by taking on these challenges, we’re pointing ourselves toward a new quest with no less of a holy grail than women’s restored faith in us. B

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KISS ME DEADLY Ashley Graham models fashion fit for a femme fatale



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the bust guide


DIPLO Blow Your Head Compilation Series— Vol 1: Diplo Presents Dubstep (Mad Decent) For anyone unfamiliar with dubstep, Diplo (née Wesley Pentz), the everindustrious producer/DJ/electronic bon vivant, sets the record straight with Diplo Presents Dubstep, his curatorial take on the expansive, glitched-out, deepbeat dance genre. With tracks from Doctor P, James Blake, Zomby, and Rusko (who hails from Diplo’s own Mad Decent label), Diplo Presents is like a roll call for the dub scene’s major players. Its 16 tracks are a cohesive roundup of broadly layered synth beats and video-game sound effects orchestrated into frantic, intergalactic-showdown sounds that start out hyper and settle into sexy, early-morning afterparty vibes. The album suffers from repetitiveness in its midsection, but overall, Diplo nails the presentation of dubstep as an atmospheric powerhouse. When it’s good—check tracks from Joker & Ginz and Diplo’s other project Major Lazer—the compilation is a bombastic temple of digital noise that begs no definition, just demands that you shake the shit out of your limbs on the dance floor. [KATIE BAIN]


FORMER GHOSTS New Love (Upset the Rhythm) Just in time for the gray skies of winter, Former Ghosts unleash their bleak new album, New Love. On this gloomy collaboration, Freddy Ruppert, Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu), and Nika Roza Danilova (Zola Jesus) have turned bumming you out into an art form. Because Former Ghosts have developed a sound so bitterly cold that listeners may be in danger of losing exposed extremities, the minimal-synth sound of New Love will henceforth be labeled as bit-wave. Ruppert has always been known for his monophobia-inducing lyrics, and this record is no exception: tracks like “Taurean Nature” and “Bare Bones” make Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer (aka the Knife) seem like prancing rays of sunshine. But fret not, young lovers, the Nika-led “Chin Up” will give you the strength to lock away the hard

warpaint THE FOOL (ROUGH TRADE) LOS ANGELES ALL-GIRL post-punk quartet Warpaint is a disarmingly photogenic foursome. And judging from the darkly pretty songs on The Fool, their debut LP, they don’t act like one in the studio. The opening “Set Your Arms Down” is a vague call for the end of troop buildup—a kind of future-folk, anti-war song for the Twitter generation. It’s equal parts brooding pop and experimental rock. (If “The Fool” is a reference to the Bush administration, well, mission accomplished.) And Warpaint’s songs get even nervier from there, each splattered with spiraling guitar lines and hypnotic howls—like early, “Cross Bones Style”-era Cat Power. “Undertow” features sweet girl-on-girl harmonies not unlike School of Seven Bells. “Bees” is a dark, clubworthy head-nodder, with Warpaint’s psychedelia layered over throbbing, otherworldly beats. The group pushes its formula to the limit on “Composure,” with tempo changes bookended by an eerie schoolyard chorus: creepy and brilliant. [DYLAN STABLEFORD] // BUST / 81

the guide MUSIC alcohol and firearms just in time to hit the dance floor. [PETER WENKER]

GOLD MOTEL Summer House (Good as Gold) Remember summertime? You know— bathing suits, icy drinks, and 10 p.m. sunsets? Gold Motel’s Summer House would have been a perfect addition to any mid-July pool-party playlist, but its late-in-the-year release comes instead as a welcome reminder of the warmer times we relished just a few months ago. Formerly of the now-on-hiatus Hush Sound, Greta Morgan (aka Gold Motel) has carved out a solo debut of jangly, spunky, West Coast–inspired songs, which celebrate the ecstatic declarations of love that seem possible only on the sunniest days of the year. Recent albums from She & Him and the Mynabirds have taken a darker, more demure approach to female-fronted retro-pop, but Morgan’s dial seems locked somewhere between “giddy” and “dizzy.” If you can stand the relentless sweetness, Summer House should tide you over till June 22. [RACHAEL MADDUX]

HOLY SONS Survivalist Tales (Partisan) Holy Sons is the solo project of Emil Amos, known for his work in the bands Grails and Om, but his latest album, Survivalist Tales, does not seem like the work of just one man. His ninth release has a full folk sound for which Amos is single-handedly responsible. It’s the kind of extremely subtle album that deserves your full attention; wonderful elements could slip by passive ears. “Look of Pain!” features a prominent acoustic guitar loop throughout, as drums and synths build and the lyrics shift to dialogue from the 1963 film The Sadist. There are moments on the album that seem influenced by the Carpenters and others when an element of grunge is apparent, but as a whole, the sound is very much Amos’ specific blend of refined folk. I’m not telling you to buy Survivalist Tales and lie in a dark room with headphones on or any82 / BUST // DEC/JAN

thing, but I mean, it wouldn’t hurt. [AURORA MONTGOMERY]

LIA ICES Grown Unknown (Jagjaguwar) Vocalist/pianist Lia Ices takes her name from an ice-cream joint in her Brooklyn neighborhood, which telegraphs a certain cool, sweet quality about her songs—and at first listen, to be sure, they seem to fit that bill. On her second album (and first for lowkey, independent powerhouse label Jagjaguwar), her throaty voice swirls and curls around handclap percussion, rolling piano lines, and swooning choruses of “oohs.” But a darker, more organic beauty quickly reveals itself. Turns out she’s less interested in a jaunt to the gelato stand and more fascinated by river rocks, peeling bark, and flowers dying on the vine, braiding natural imagery into contemplations on tricky love affairs and thwarted desires. Moody harpsichord and trembling organ fill in the songs’ shadowy corners, with elegantly fingerpicked guitar occasionally giving way to searing electric strumming (like on the mesmerizing “Daphne,” featuring ghostly backing vocals from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon). It’s a stunning breakthrough—dirt-stained and achingly beautiful. [RACHAEL MADDUX]

NORAH JONES Featuring (Blue Note) For her fifth studio album, the ever-solovely Norah Jones gets a little help from her friends. An all-star list of musicians rounds out Featuring, but it’s more than just an impressive collaborative effort. It’s a culmination of Jones’ flourishing career thus far, as well as a fantastic reminder of how the singer/songwriter has remained a truly humble artist while honing her genre-blending craft since her charttopping 2002 debut, Come Away With Me. Whether it’s the dreamy “Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John” with Belle and Sebastian, the exquisite candor of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band collab “Ruler of My Heart,” or the funkier R&B flavors Q-Tip lends “Life Is Better,” Featuring offers a lit-

tle somethin’ for everyone. Jones and guitarist Charlie Hunter nail a smooth rendition of Roxy Music’s “More Than This,” but it’s her heart-aching duet with Ryan Adams on “Dear John” that will keep you locked in for good. [MACKENZIE WILSON]

AMOS LEE Mission Bell (EMI) This is embarrassing. Sexual experimentation is for the young. Middle-aged men like myself shouldn’t be slaves to their trousers. Yet there’s no denying the tent-pitch in my pants for folk singer Amos Lee. With his facial hair and burly good looks, he is Chuck Woolery–hot, though Love Connection never struck a Mission Bell (Lee’s latest seductively mellow album) with such a powerful dong. I suppose my attraction is understandable, since what this big daddy needs is a sensitive singer/songwriter to hush the noise from a household of children cranking Green Day and Linkin Park, and that’s exactly what Lee delivers. The atmospheric “Out of the Cold” makes me want to cuddle. Listening to the spiritual blues of “Jesus,” I’m ready to convert—to the Church of Amos Lee, where sacraments are consecrated in the foulest way. Like on the vaguely ethnic strut of standout track “Hello Again,” which is like saying hello to orgasmic climax over and over. I’m not ashamed, but I do need to consult a good dry cleaner. This album is that good. [PETER LANDAU]

LOVERS Dark Light (Badman) The short story of Lovers is that it’s a moody electro band from Portland, OR, fronted by Carolyn Berk. The long story is that the ladies backing Berk met the musician when her van exploded on tour, claiming all of her instruments and most of her belongings. Born from literal fire, the current incarnation of Lovers— featuring synth programmer Kerby Ferris and percussionist Emily Kingan—has released Dark Light. Pairing synth and Portland makes it easy to assume that the result would be some sort of

dance-party house band, but Lovers is more about getting in your head than in your pants. “I was a dagger, but in whose heart?” Berk sings on “Boxer.” And though the song, along with every other one on the album, is encased in electro beats, which you could for sure dance to, you kinda want to just sit and listen. [KELLY MCCLURE]

QUINN MARSTON Can You Hear Me See Me Now? (Ernest Jenning) N.Y.C.-based singer/songwriter Quinn Marston grew up in suburbia and turned to bands like Nirvana and Garbage for inspiration. She got her start as a teenager, opening up for her mom at coffee shops. Now in her 20s, Marston’s crafted a musical diary documenting her life as an artist on the brink of discovery. The bleeding heart, learning, and letting-go themes could easily fit on the next Taylor Swift album, but thankfully, with help from producers Tom Beaujour (Nada Surf, the Virgins) and Tim Foljahn (Thurston Moore, Cat Power), the stripped-down honesty is more riot grrrl than bubble gum. On songs like “Raincoat,” an anti-folk, Kimya Dawson–meets–Sharon Van Etten aesthetic comes through. But the standout performance is definitely the title track, which takes the listener on a drive upstate where Marston escapes the self-imposed complications and frustrations of life—very teen- (or in this case, early-20s) angsty. [LAUREN MOONEY]

MATT AND KIM Sidewalks (Fader) Brooklyn-based duo Matt and Kim are pretty much the go-to pop wunderkinds of, well, Brooklyn. Here on their third album, it seems they’re aiming to get out of the car commercials and into the speakers of your actual car. Sidewalks is full of the same kind of peppy dance tunes the group perfected on 2009’s Grand, but this time there’s a little more oomph behind them. The keyboards are louder, the production is slicker,

MUSIC and the bass is turned way, way up. First single “Cameras” is the perfect track to blast out the window at a house party, while “Good for Great” has strings so epic, they’d make Enya jealous. Even “Northeast,” the one slowish jam on the record, is backed by echoing piano chords that build to a climactic, swaying melody. The whole effect lends a lot more power to relatively simple dance music made by a couple of unassuming hipsters. Matt and Kim aren’t exactly splitting the atom here, but hey, who doesn’t love a good, raucous dance party? [ELIZA THOMPSON]

THE MUSIC TAPES Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes (Merge) Julian Koster, formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel and Chocolate USA, hasn’t released an album in nine years, but during that time, he’s apparently been further studying the Jeff Mangum textbook on how to sing loudly and off-key while still making each makeshift note so

damn pretty. Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes, the second of Koster’s solo albums, sounds like what would happen if Tiny Tim and Daniel Johnston swapped psych meds for a week just for kicks. Koster’s ubiquitous singing saw is the main instrument on most of these songs, all of which were recorded in the musician’s bedroom—an impermanent location that shifted from Nantucket, MA, to Coney Island, NY. Koster has stated that his music’s purpose is to open the doors to dream worlds for listeners. These songs, with their childlike ramblings and warped, dreamy instrumentations, were truly made to help us remember that the grownup term for daydreaming is wishful thinking. [KELLY MCCLURE]

THE OCTOPUS PROJECT Hexadecagon (Peek-A-Boo) Austin’s the Octopus Project has always been awesome at creating quirky electro made for zoning out, but their fourth album, Hexadecagon, totally takes

the cake. After nearly 10 years of tinkering with synths, theremins, and loads of looped samples, the quartet has traded any remaining naiveté for this amazing collection of instrumental electronic jams that feels both caffeinated and wistful—music made for a sleepless cross-country drive. The first single, “Fuguefat,” twists and turns like road hypnosis, playing into the dreamy, spaced-out “Korakrit,” then the ghostly howl of “Toneloop.” “Circling” is the perfect counterpoint, with its synth melody buzzing by like scenery at 75 miles per hour: manic, indistinct, and just a little dangerous. If the Octopus Project has pulsed a bit below the radar until now, Hexadecagon, especially paired with the band’s epic visual performance style, is destined to establish them as a true electronic behemoth. Hello, 2011 band-to-watch. [MOLLIE WELLS]

THE PARTING GIFTS Strychnine Dandelion (In The Red) The Parting Gifts

is the garage-rock brainchild of the Reigning Sound’s Greg Cartwright and the Ettes’ Coco Hames. The two met while Cartwright was producing the Ettes’ latest album, and what started as a recreational 45 by the new duo quickly turned into a full LP: a sweet, melodic, lo-fi rock ’n’ roll record that’s unassuming and infectious. Cartwright’s trademark tunes of anguish and agony take a backseat to innocent schoolboy-in-love lyrics; on “Shine” he sings, “I was laughing with you and your friends/Becky and Mary Anne/I tried to read your palm/ just so I could touch your hand.” On “Born to Be Blue,” Hames takes the reins on a song Cartwright originally penned for Shangri-La Mary Weiss; the result is a full-on Spector-esque Wall of Sound production, complete with string section. “Bound to Let Me Down” has made its way into Reigning Sound’s live shows recently, and while it’s already a standout tune when performed by Cartwright, Hames’ shared lead-vocal duties make it soar. Strychnine Dandelion is like a party favor for longstanding garage rockers. [ANNA BLUMENTHAL]


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

8 EYE SPY This Chinese group’s name indicates that they could be a tribute to Lydia Lunch (she fronted late-’70s postpunk band 8-Eyed Spy). And there’s plenty of staccato, jagged No Wave guitars and distorted femme screaming, sure. But 8 Eye Spy takes it to a whole other dimension, scratching and stretching out into 15-minute noise pieces that’d do Thurston Moore proud. Anger is a universal language.

MY FRIEND WALLIS Playing beautiful, crystalline funky stuff in Vancouver, Canada, My Friend Wallis is Crystal Dorval. She describes her music as “tropical dream pop-funk,” but it sounds way more trippy than that—like the Beach Boys smooching with Dee Dee Warwick, stuck on repeat. There’s reverb. There’s the sound of running feet. There are little tinkling, glass-shattering noises. And of course, there are beautiful, beautiful harmonies.

SODA FOUNTAIN RAG This Norwegian musician has a dark underbelly. Songs seem so sweet and warming on the surface—she sings and drums a stuttering beat, guitars jangle, melodies do all you could wish for—but there’s nastiness and alienation lurking beneath the musical harmony. It’s one for the many who love Belle and Sebastian, only, to my mind, Soda Fountain Rag is way superior because this is femme pop.

TOWN BIKE Every town needs its own Helen Love, its own Bangs…. This U.K. bunch matches the ’60s-inspired pop ramalama delight of the Ramones to the gorgeously outdated harmonies of Redd Kross or Teenage Fanclub, and the singer has a totally swoonworthy voice. Plus, they like to swear (their new single has one piss, two shits, six bastards, and eight fucks in less than two minutes).

Think: UT, Hang on the Box, Sonic Youth Daydream Nation: 10 “Daydream Believer”: 0

Think: Animal Collective, Opal, Delia Derbyshire Panda Bear: 9 Pooh Bear: 2

Think: the Smiths, the Cardigans, Heavenly Postcard Records: 8 Postcards From the Edge: 5

Think: the Fastbacks, Pansy Division, the Donnas “Baby, I Love You”: 9 “Baby I Love U!”: 0 // BUST / 83


secret agent band THESE AUSTIN LADIES ARE DOING ROCK RIGHT TEXAN THREE-PIECE Agent Ribbons is the band of your dreams: a little bit of ’50s doo-wop, a truckload of genius harmonies, a smattering of gothic ennui, and a lead singer with a voice that could call down the ghost of Johnny Ray. Vocalist and guitarist Natalie (pictured left), drummer Lauren (right), and newest member violinist Naomi (center) tour vigilante-style in a Chevy Astro. They like to play dress-up, love the Shaggs, and recruited artist/musician Dame Darcy to draw their last album cover. Their debut, 2006’s On Time Travel and Romance is killer, with its refreshing minimalism, ramshackle yet fluid drumming, and punishing choruses on kneetrembling standouts like “Chelsea, Let’s Go to the Circus” and the show-stopping “Don’t Touch Me.” Their new album, Chateau Crone (Antenna Farm), might be even better: it’s got unashamed theatricality, baroque phrasing, and just a touch of the Breeders. Here, Natalie fills me in on all things Agent Ribbons. Illustrations by Dame Darcy and Marie Caudry adorn your vinyls, you have an arsenal of colorful and vintage-y photos, and it doesn’t appear to be an accident. What does this aesthetic have to do with your music? Everything! Working with Dame Darcy was a huge deal for us, because we actually kind of released our first album as an excuse to get her to our hometown to perform at our CD-release party. She’s an inspiration because she’s created an entire universe all her own, and that, to me, is what a truly great artist can do. Lauren and I have always shared an aesthetic intuition, and everything we do is a conglomeration of our personal tastes—it’s not contrived for the sake of an image, it’s just what we like. Our music exists in a space that is very visual for us, and in presenting ourselves a certain way, we are trying to create our own universe as well. 84 / BUST // DEC/JAN

Agent Ribbons books its own tours, makes merchandise by hand, and does promotion without much, if any, outside help. What does it mean to be a DIY band these days? It means learning a lot of lessons the hard way. We still have a great deal of trouble financially and we regularly face unanticipated misfortunes that shed light on how naive we are. Our fairly recent deportation and banishment from the U.K. being no exception: we neglected to sort out work visas, and they came down on us pretty hard. Being DIY can sometimes feel like a nihilistic experiment to determine how many wrong ways there are to go about something, but at least we’re narrowing it down. Your first album was recorded mostly live and harks back to your days as a two-piece. What can be expected from the new stuff? Chateau Crone is arguably our first “real” record. We’re very proud of On Time Travel and Romance, but we regard it more as a demo. While many of our new songs have layered string arrangements and classical melodic references, the album is laden with familiar pop-song structures. All of us have extremely diverse tastes and ingest bizarre combinations of influences, but it’s hard to say how those influences are directly manifested, if at all. I doubt that any listener will hear our album and think, Wow, I bet that Lauren was listening to Liliput when she wrote that drum part or Hey, that dissonant guitar line reminds me of Marnie Stern, but that’s good. How did you meet, and why did you start a band? I was in dire need of money, as usual, and told the owner of a local, old record store that I had professional experience painting walls—not true. So I was hired to tidy up the store’s appearance. The building was very old and in a foul state; picking dead bats out of the bins was not an uncommon chore. If I recall correctly, this subject was the catalyst for my very first conversation with Lauren, who was a regular customer! At some point she told me she’d recently purchased a drum set. I invited her to play with me, and she was intuitive and fun to play with, not to mention the raddest lady I’d ever met. So, we decided we liked each other and started a band. [EVERETT TRUE] PHOTOGRAPHED BY SVEN ABRAHAMSSON & LINDSAY BELLE

MUSIC SHILPA RAY AND HER HAPPY HOOKERS Teenage and Torture (Knitting Factory) For me, rock music walks a fine line between boring, run-of-the-mill guitar noise and the rousing, raw energy that it’s meant to be. Really good albums that blow my hair back, without all the predictability, are few and far between. That’s why I was so excited to discover Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers. On Teenage and Torture, Ray’s voice has all the seductiveness of Blondie and the ready-for-trouble quality of Chrissie Hynde. The single “Venus Shaver” opens with her crooning over her harmonium: “I’ve been lookin’ for you/Why do I love you like I do/My woman” and transitions into a sexy, slow rock ’n’ roll song that makes you feel just a little tougher for having heard it. She slurs and growls on “Liquidation Sale,” bringing to the track all the sex and power that rock music is meant to have. [ELISABETH WILSON]

SUFJAN STEVENS The Age of Adz (Asthmatic Kitty) The compositions featured on The Age of Adz, Stevens’ first full-length album of original work since 2005’s Illinois, differ from anything else the singer/ songwriter’s done, as he forgoes the usual acoustic guitars and banjos for a primarily electronic backing. You would think that the absence of sweatstained strings and hot-breathed horns would somehow sterilize what we’ve come to love from Stevens, but no. The Age of Adz sounds big in a way that makes it obvious that the artist’s talent outgrew his mortal arsenal and needed the ever-expanding range of mechanical horsepower to evolve. The usual themes are present here: love, the big J.C., and frailty, but they aren’t laid out so gently on the ears. When Stevens sings “When it dies, when it dies/It rots/And when it lives, and when it lives/It gives it all it gots,” on the title track, he doesn’t whisper it; he exalts it with the confidence of someone who doesn’t need to see a guitar in front of him to believe that, yup, it’s there. [KELLY MCCLURE]

A REAL COOL YULE Three new albums for rockin’ around the Christmas tree

IF YOU’RE IN the mood for some holiday music besides the same old overplayed classics, check out these festive new releases by some of our favorite ladies. Alt-country and rockin’ soul is Shelby Lynne’s trademark sound, and on the aptly titled Merry Christmas (Everso) she gives us exactly that, ’tis-the-season style. The album features two original tracks: “Ain’t Nothin’ Like Christmas” and the funky blues number “Xmas,” which sounds like the soundtrack to an old family snapshot of Lynne’s ghosts of Christmas past. The chanteuse also tackles such holiday standards as “Silver Bells,” “White Christmas,” and “Christmas Time Is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas, delivering them with a twangy, acoustic feel; perfect for sipping some spiked eggnog, or moonshine, by the hearth. On Christmas With the Puppini Sisters (Verve), the

VIOLENS Amoral (Friendly Fire/ Static Recital) If a first-date makeout sesh is in your future, you might want to soundtrack it with the songs of Violens’ full-length debut. The Brooklyn three-piece mingles textured guitar and synth sounds of ’80s new wave (Aztec Camera, Prefab Sprout), swirling ’60s psych pop (the Zombies), and sweetlike-buttercream vocals (Morrissey, Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry) that are gonna get you past first base, no problem. The songs on Amoral are impeccably produced with shiny guitars and huge, dreamy harmonies. Whether it’s the wide-eyed ethereal pop of “Trance Like Turn” or the purely ’80s looping melodies and shimmering chorus of “Acid Reign,” you’ll want to listen to the record again the morning after. Because if you’re like me, there’s nothing better than lying in bed blissed-out and starryeyed from the night before. [JEN HAZEN]

WE ARE HEX Hail the Goer (Roaring Colonel) It’s clear the members of Indiana-

not-actually-related U.K. trio celebrates the retro futurist in us all. Combining ’40s-style vocal harmonies with jazzy, big-band arrangements on classics like “Santa Baby” and “Winter Wonderland,” the Puppini Sisters also cover songs by modern-day crooners, like Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas” and George Michael’s “Last Christmas.” This is one album that families’ elders and hipsters can groove to this yuletide season. Rock ’n’ roll icon Ronnie Spector graces us with a handful of new tunes on Ronnie Spector’s Best Christmas Ever (Bad Girl Sounds/The Orchard). The queen of the girl groups demonstrates her fabulousness on five fingersnappin’ tracks, including the R&B-sounding “My Christmas Wish,” and the Philly-soul–meets–reggae-dance-beat of “This Time of Year (Happy Holidays).” No one can sing Christmas pop like Spector, and this new EP is a welcome addition to her canon of holiday classics. [MICHAEL LEVINE]

based We Are Hex used their latest album as a form of rock ’n’ roll therapy, and with one listen, you’ll want to as well. Hail the Goer, the band’s sophomore release, is aggressive, in your face, and not afraid to be a little crazy. Dark, stripped-down, and emotional, it’s teen angst all grown up and channeled into a badass record. Taking a page from the Karen O. school of frontwomanship, lead singer Jilly Weiss manages to squeeze several extreme moods into each song. On “Gold Silver” she croons melodramatically, voice full of soul and sex, before flipping on the crazy switch faster than you can say “yeah yeah yeah.” And just as you begin to soak up the raw energy and uncontrollable howls coming from your tiny little earbuds, the band manages to change it up once more, transitioning smoothly to a haunting, beautiful outro of “humma-oohs.” And then they do it again, for seven more songs. It’s an album for anyone wanting to leave every ounce of her day on the dance floor or in the mosh pit. And judging by the earnestness of their first record, I imagine We Are

Hex does that each time they perform. [ ERIN GRIFFITH ]

ZOLA JESUS Valusia EP (Sacred Bones) Brooklyn’s indie labels and L.A.’s clubs have been recently bloodhounding hifi sounds like the pros, and Zola Jesus’ Valusia follows such ambition. All four songs on 21-year-old Nika Roza Danilova’s new EP are heavy on the trudging electro downbeat, with synths slicing through her signature, bummed-out– Cyndi Lauper coo. Opener “Poor Animal” carries the weight of attempting some kind of polished crossover with its decades-past rhythms, vocals, and New Order–like keys. But “Tower” and “Sea Talk” will more or less be a snooze for newcomer ears. (Pop does court repetition, but five-plus minutes of Danilova rhyming go with know with show on the latter is really stretching the butter.) The wick’s end, “Lightsick” harnesses a bit of that spooky minimalism Zola Jesus charmed fans with on last spring’s Stridulum—a light haunt in its step that proves the track to be the most memorable of the bunch. [JESS SCOTT] // BUST / 85

the guide MOVIES

MADE IN DAGENHAM Directed by Nigel Cole (Sony Pictures Classics) In our age of global warming and economic meltdowns, pay inequality has sort of fallen off the cultural radar. But lest we forget that the gender-based wage gap is still alive and kicking, Made in Dagenham is a true story that’s here to remind working girls everywhere that the battle isn’t over yet. The biopic begins in the late ’60s at the Ford factory in Dagenham, England, where management has recently downgraded all female workers to “unskilled” in order to give them a lower pay rate. The ladies in question are understandably pissed. As talented seamstresses who piece together confusing bits of car upholstery, they rightly feel they belong in the “skilled” pay bracket along with their (often less-skilled) male coworkers. So seamstress Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) agrees to address the issue at a union meeting as a wholesome representative of the factory. But when it becomes clear that her union is more interested in silencing its lady workers than helping them, Rita mobilizes her Ford comrades into action. Based on a real female autoworkers’ strike that nearly brought England’s economy to its knees, this film does occasionally veer into Norma Rae territory, with impassioned monologues about the importance of fair pay. But director 86 / BUST // DEC/JAN

Kathleen Hanna is a blast from the past in Radical Act

Nigel Cole (who also helmed Calendar Girls) works hard to ensure that his characters’ stories resonate beyond 1968. Hawkins is excellent as a working mother who struggles to balance her home life with her activism, and Rosamund Pike shines as an overeducated housewife whose husband belittles her progressive beliefs. The 1960s backdrop doesn’t hurt, either—beehive hairdos, hot pants, and Biba dresses add style and fun to a movie that’s essentially about social injustice. When the women of Dagenham take to the London streets waving signs written in lipstick, it’s hard not to jump out of your seat and start cheering along with them. [ELIZA THOMPSON]

RADICAL ACT Directed by Tex Clark (A Million Movies a Minute) In 1995, filmmaker Tex Clark set out to interview the bands she liked— Girls in the Nose, God Is My CoPilot, Sincola, Bikini Kill, Vitapup— that were making queer, feminist, political, women-centric rock and punk music. Documenting one’s subculture with ’zines and other DIY media felt like a historical imperative back then, and Clark wanted to make sure this music was represented. The resulting movie, Radical Act, debuted at Outfest in 1996 and has rarely been seen since. But thanks to a recent re-release on DVD, it’s finding a whole new audience. Clark’s subjects are articulate

Dunham and her mom inspect some Tiny Furniture

and thoughtful as they discuss making music as a feminist strategy. Kim Coletta of Jawbox quips, “You make a political statement just by being a strong woman in music,” and this is echoed by Kay Turner of Girls in the Nose, who notes, “Rock ‘n’ roll is a great medium to work in…to get a point of view out about lesbian culture.” Over and over, it is emphasized that it is powerful for women to tell their stories and even more powerful if they do it in a male-dominated space like rock. Producer Erin Donovan describes the DVD as a kind of time capsule, and it often has the feel of an oldtime newsreel, with grainy footage and fragmented camera-in-the-face interviews. The film is also just under an hour long, so you will be left wanting more: more women, more music, more politics. Radical Act promises that everything a gal could want is out there if you just look around for it—or even better, if you make it yourself. Pick it up online at www. [MIKKI HALPIN]

TINY FURNITURE Written and directed by Lena Dunham (IFC Films) Lena Dunham writes, directs, and stars in Tiny Furniture, a witty and tender story about the meanderings of an aimless video artist named Aura (played by Dunham), who has just moved back into her mother’s TriBeCa, N.Y.C., loft after four years of liberal-arts college in Ohio.

Wading through the malaise of post-grad life, Aura navigates her family and social life with difficulty. When she isn’t at her restauranthostessing job, she throws tantrums, scraps with her precocious teenage sister (played by Dunham’s little sister), parties with Manhattanite friends, and tries to date the worst dudes you’ve ever seen. It’s heartbreaking. But Dunham is extremely self-aware, and she writes some of the most fluid and funny dialogue to appear in a comedy in some time. The relationships here don’t fall into the stereotypical models you might expect, especially those between Aura, her mother, and her sister. Her mother (played by Dunham’s mom), is a successful photographer, and Aura has taken to reading her journals from when she was a struggling artist at Aura’s age. Their complicated ways of fighting and bonding are as frustrating as they are moving. Also fascinating is how Dunham approaches the idea of being an artist. Whether she’s poking fun at YouTube celebrities or incorporating her prior filmmaking into the storyline, Dunham raises lots of questions about what it means to make art and why we do it. This is Dunham’s second feature film; she has also created two very clever Web series and numerous short films. Pretty good for a 24-yearold! Check out to see more of her incredible body of work. [ANNA BEAN]


Made in Dagenham’s Sally Hawkins

// BUST / 87

BUST MAGAZINE CRAFTACULAR AT WORLD MAKER FAIRE, SEPTEMBER 25–26 Eager shopCrafters and shoppers alike pers line up load off in the sun intake the a cold

Families love to shop the unique wares at the BUST Magazine Craftacular!

Another happy customer

Maker Faire Laurie from BUST and Sheila B contraption

Shoppers galore

Meow Meow Tweet delivers vegan, handmade soaps to the crowds Holy paella!

Callie Watts shows off her crafty lady skills

Golden chariot races were a must-see!

BUST magazine teamed up with Maker Faire and Make magazine to bring New York City the first ever BUST Magazine Craftacular at World Maker Faire 2010. This two-day science, art, and craft extravaganza began in San Francisco in 2003 and has branched out to Detroit, Austin, and now the Big Apple. BUST brought over 100 of the best crafters selling the same coveted wares from our famous BUST Magazine Spring and Holiday Craftaculars, including clothing, cards, posters, housewares, jewelry, and more! We also brought the beats with some of our fave DJs including Night Spitter, Tara Angell, and Tammer Hijazi. The rest of the Faire featured bands, chariot races, art cars, exhibits, and the latest in science and design, making the event truly a gathering of the best and the brightest. Special thanks to Red Heart for supplying yarn to our Stich ’n BUST corner. 88 / BUST // DEC/JAN

The Broken Hearts


Hearts Revolution brought cool style and cool treats!

Debbie Stoller teaches knitting in the shade


BUST AT NEW YORK COMIC CON, OCTOBER 7–9 The animé fans came in character!

A homemade Optimus Prime even made an appearance

Judah Friedlander shows off his new book and his love for BUST! Babes love BUST too!

Susan Juvet and Erin Wengrovius manning the BUST booth

Nice package, Spidey

BUST got our comic-on and ventured out to New York Comic Con this year with our pals at ItBooks! We set up shop beside some of our favorite authors, superheroes, and

illustrators and sold subscriptions, held a raffle, and promoted the magazine to nearly 100,000 die-hard comic book fans. It sure was a weekend to remember, with Chew-

bacca, Spiderman, Superman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, and Optimus Prime extending a warm welcome to the lovely ladies from BUST!


Dominique Young Unique sets the stage for the evening

Rusty Lazer ponders in the green room

Tom Van Buskirk of Javelin mid-jam

In October, we brought a little taste of New Orleans to Southpaw in Brooklyn with our CMJ showcase featuring gender-BUSTing sissy bounce superstar Big Freedia, Brooklyn-based beat-makers Javelin, and up-and-coming young rapper Dominique

Dropping the beats Laurie from BUST and Sheila B

Young Unique. Big Freedia—a feature subject in our April/May ‘10 “Men We Love” issue—is the original “Queen Diva” and truly commands booties to start shaking. The party was bumpin’ as BUST gals danced all night on stage and on the

Big Freedia sissy bounced till we were wet with sweat!

floor while Rusty Lazer, the king of bounce beats, DJ’d throughout the evening. It was an incredible event and we can’t wait to get down with you next time! Special thanks to Southpaw ( in Brooklyn for hosting the event! / BUST / 89

the guide



THE MEMORY PALACE: A Memoir BY MIRA BARTÓK (FREE PRESS) MEMOIRS RELY ON remembering, but author Mira Bartók’s memory was damaged in an accident not long before she was told her mother was dying. When she went to Cleveland to be with Norma, her elderly, schizophrenic, erstwhile homeless mother, Bartók endeavored to construct a “memory palace”—an imagined home for memories, based on a mnemonic device from the 1500s. This book is that palace and reads much like the way memories unfold, one after another, seemingly disjointed but somehow harmonious. Bartók reveals that her return to Cleveland marks the first time she and her sister—both of whom changed their names to escape their loving but deeply troubled mother—have seen Norma in 17 years. They find a key to the storage space Norma had kept while homeless, and each old toy, baby book, mimeographed letter, and jam-packed diary they unpack triggers Bartók’s memory. Norma’s mental illness was as much a member of the family as the sisters, their maternal grandparents, the absence of their father, and Norma herself, and Bartók renders a full life on these pages. The depth of the family’s relationships and the related, complicated layers of love, frustration, shame, and heartbreak are told unflinchingly. Some books you carry with you while you’re reading them—in your purse, your e-reader, whatever—but this is one you also carry along well after the last page, on a small mantel in your own memory palace, or in the flicker of recognition the next time you see an elderly and possibly unwell homeless woman. It’s an arresting, compassionate, and unforgettable memoir. [CHRISTINE FEMIA]

AFTER CLAUDE By Iris Owens (NYRB Classics) After Claude is a raunchy, witty, and fantastically trashy novel penned by erotica-turned-fiction writer Iris Owens in the early 1970s and now rereleased by The New York Review of Books. Narrated by a modern Sally Bowles type, the book details the life of Harriet, a glamorous young woman whose French beau, Claude, kicks her out, inciting an identity crisis for the deliriously self-centered protagonist. Rather than face the tough streets of New York on her own, she squats in her ex-lover’s pad before eventually moving to the Chelsea Hotel, where her stifling quarters induce what she thinks is a heart attack. Then in a bizarre twist, Harriet meets her “savior”—the leader of a hippie-dippy sex cult. After Claude’s narrative is acerbic and clever, albeit a bit overwritten. Nevertheless, Harriet stands out as a strong, intellectual female lead with

a great deal of depth, whether she’s talking about her childhood, discussing her sexual philosophies, or giving her scathing critiques of anything and everything. And though the book is unabashedly funny, there are times when Owens’ humor comes off as downright offensive—especially when her often hypersexualized language mixes certain words (faggot) and topics (rape fantasies) in a way that can be uncomfortable for contemporary readers. Though Owens was a trailblazer in her time—she wrote for the eroticpublishing company Olympia in the ’50s and ’60s—her style is certainly not for everyone. You’ll either love or love to hate this revived, New York classic, but you won’t soon forget it. [ERICA VARLESE]

AMERICAN ROSE: A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee By Karen Abbott (Random House) Once upon a time,

before a tepid sex tape made Paris Hilton a household name, entertainers like Gypsy Rose Lee actually had to work at being famous for being famous. Born Rose Louise Hovick in 1911, Gypsy was the eldest daughter of a criminally ambitious (possibly murderous) stage mother, Rose. Hell-bent on staking her childrens’ claim in show business, Rose managed what became their years-long successful vaudeville act and one day volunteered teenage Louise to fill in as a stripper in a burlesque show. An instant success—she pioneered the act of stripteasing without really taking off her clothes—Louise adopted Gypsy as her stage name. Karen Abbott, best-selling author of Sin in the Second City, unfolds Gypsy’s life story as a microcosm of 20th-century America, with a backdrop of Prohibition, the Depression, and both World Wars. The book, which alternates between Louise’s vaudeville childhood and her later years as Gypsy, also focuses on the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair, where she headlined. Friends with glitterati like Carson

McCullers and H.L. Mencken, Gypsy wrote two novels and a play before penning her eponymous memoir, which was adapted into what many consider the best musical in Broadway history. Abbott’s thorough research includes interviews with Gypsy’s sister, June Havoc, and only child, Erik Preminger, and the final result, replete with dozens of photographs, is enormously entertaining. The book, like its subject, is pretty sensational stuff. [SARAH NORRIS]

BAD PENNY BLUES By Cathi Unsworth (Serpent’s Tail) Bad Penny Blues is not so much a standard crime novel as it is a series of threads that are intended to weave together to create an intricate plot. Set in late-’50s to early-’60s London, the story is told over the span of seven years from the alternative perspectives of two strangers: Stella, a young artist-turned-fashiondesigner, and Pete, a young detec// BUST / 91

the guide tive working his way up the ranks. It opens with Stella having a nightmare about a murdered prostitute; in the next chapter, we find out that Pete is investigating that very crime. However, then Cathi Unsworth drops the investigation of the murder for a good hundred pages or so, instead focusing on the political climate of the times. Unfortunately, her prose, while precise in its descriptions, is otherwise unremarkable, and the book lags when the mystery disappears. Unsworth eventually brings it back to the forefront and ties Pete and Stella’s lives together, but it comes a bit too late and, given the other politically based subplots, ends up being a somewhat confusing resolution. If you’re an Anglophile who’s particularly interested in the ’60s, you will probably eat this up. But if you’re just looking for solid crime fiction, you may want to look elsewhere. [KATIE OLDAKER]

THE CALCULUS DIARIES: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse By Jennifer Ouellette (Penguin) Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Physics of the Buffyverse and the blog Cocktail Party Physics, specializes in making intellectually intimidating subjects accessible to readers through the liberal use of pop-culture references and interesting historical anecdotes. Here, she applies this formula to calculus—with mixed results. Ouellette’s thesis is that, when used creatively, calculus can be applied to solve a range of real-world problems. To illustrate, she demonstrates how calculus can be used for gambling, riding roller coasters, driving, measuring the spread of epidemics, and even working out. It’s hard to knock any book that kicks off with a quote from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Ouellette endears herself to readers right off the bat by admitting that when she embarked on this project, she found that The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Calculus was over her head. (She tackled her fear of calculus by checking out a series of DVD lectures from the library and 92 / BUST // DEC/JAN

working through them herself.) And The Calculus Diaries contains many entertaining passages, particularly the illuminating background details on the lives of math greats. Still, when the book gets “mathy,” as Buffy might put it, the narrative becomes harder to follow, especially if you happen to suck at math in the first place. Unfortunately, the mathimpaired is Ouellette’s target audience. To her credit, she tries mightily to make calculus engaging, but in the end, it’s just not easy to sex up derivatives, sine curves, and parabolas, no matter how many pop-culture references you throw in. [AMANDA CANTRELL]

DEAR JOHN, I LOVE JANE Edited by Candace Walsh and Laura André (Seal Press) If you’re a “straight” woman coming to terms with the fact that you’re gay, then this is the book for you. Compiled by Candace Walsh and Laura André (a couple who share their own Dear John story in the introduction), Dear John, I Love Jane is a collection of 27 authentic stories told by women who’ve “jumped the fence” in the middle of their well-established (oftentimes married), heterosexual lives. While a few stories are tinged with stereotypical predictability, most are unexpectedly poignant and inspirational, and all the ladies deliver the dish with integrity. In “Memoirs of a Wanton Prude,” Sheila Smith tells all about her deeply ingrained straight life before meeting her first girlfriend at the tender age of 69. In “This Love Is Messy,” Amanda V. Mead offers this as the reason she left her husband for a woman: “I blame Angelina Jolie,” she writes (as she should, because Angelina Jolie could turn Jesus into a lesbian). Dear John is sandwiched by a foreword from Dr. Lisa Diamond, who discusses the emergence of “sexual fluidity” (also the title of her book), and an epilogue by Jennifer Baumgardner, who lets women in this situation know that they are not alone. This is a unique, much-needed collection of stories that describe the

fear and excitement that come with coming out. In a way, Dear John is like a handbook, providing answers, reassurance, and good company for those with questions. [WHITNEY DWIRE]

DELUSIONS OF GENDER Cordelia Fine (Norton) It’s incredible to think that as recently as the late 19th century, there was still a widespread belief that women’s smaller skull size made them less intelligent than men. Such theories would be mocked today. Yet, as Cordelia Fine insists, similar ideas are still in vogue in books with titles like Men Are Like Waffles—Women are Like Spaghetti, written by scientists and therapists who have re-clothed these arguments to “[bring] the fresh, modern zing of neuroscience to old stereotypes.” Fine unravels the notion that gender roles are “hardwired in the brain,” demonstrating how scientists use dubious and biased research, often conducted without proper controls, to justify these claims. (One deeply flawed but widely cited study purported to establish “innate differences” between men and women based solely on newborns’ responses to visual stimuli.) With elegant precision, Fine leads her readers through the labyrinth of circular reasoning employed by advocates of biological determinism. She shows how internalized prejudice can affect test scores by way of a phenomenon known as stereotype handicap, in which merely ticking a box marked M or F can influence a person’s subsequent performance on a standardized test. In a non-gender-neutral society, Fine argues, it’s impossible to determine what traits are naturally masculine or feminine, and she highlights the pervasive ways in which we are conditioned from birth to accept male or female cultural totems, from pink ruffled onesies to G.I. Joe. Meticulously researched and refreshingly funny, Delusions of Gender is a stirring, fascinating rebuttal to the type of essentialist thinking that works to legitimize sexism. [RENATE ROBERTSON]

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: A Memoir By Heather Havrilesky (Riverhead) Thematic and nonlinear, Heather Havrilesky’s Disaster Preparedness feels like a memoirin-essays, yet the author’s talent for digging toward deeper meaning, at bringing across leitmotifs and images from one chapter to the next, gives the book cohesion as a singular whole. The title refers more to preparing for relatable, everyday adversity—family vacation gone awry, perils of dating—than to large-scale, apocalyptic calamities, and this disaster-lite approach results in a humorous, glass-half-full memoir with a witty protagonist. Whether writing about the worst job she ever had, her first walk of shame, or her father’s inappropriately younger girlfriends, the author has a voice that’s great company on the page. Havrilesky, a senior writer at, chronicles personal experiences growing up in 1970s Durham, NC, in an unconventional, entertaining family, à la David Sedaris. While some of the childhood stories read as familiar memoir territory—her parents’ divorce, the questioning of organized religion—Havrilesky’s adolescent and early-adulthood material is fresh, honest, hilarious, and brutal, especially in “One Ring to Rule Them All,” in which she attempts to examine why she rejects “relationships with stable, genuinely interested men to go out with lukewarm, inappropriate, unavailable, self-involved, off-kilter mutants.” What initially seems at risk of becoming a Sex and the City cliché instead displays the book’s greatest strengths: apt juggling of multiple threads, self-deprecating humor that leads to surprising insight, and great one-liners (“Let’s face it, if you have to expound on your countless qualities as a future wife, you might as well just staple bologna to your face and screech like a wild bird”). This is a memoir that burns slowly but rises to a powerful crescendo. The main take-away: we can never really be prepared for disaster, or much of anything for that matter, but that realization frees us to live. [LIZA MONROY]


For more than a decade, prolific Belgian novelist Amélie Nothomb has maintained a devoted European following while remaining mostly unknown on this side of the Atlantic. Europa Editions is now releasing an English translation of Nothomb’s first novel, which was originally published in 1992. The book is set up as a sort of intellectual spin on The Three Little Pigs, although here the pigs are journalists and the big, bad wolf is the repugnant, egomaniacal novelist Prétextat Tach, who is giving his final interviews before his fast-approaching death. The first four male journalists who attempt to interview the writer are quickly undone by the insults, hatred, and grotesqueness he spews forth. But Nina, the fifth and only female journalist, proves to be a worthy match for Tach. She comes prepared to deconstruct his misogyny and beat him at his own game of rhetoric and, in a particularly satisfying scene, humiliates him and orders him to crawl at her feet. However, in dismantling his egomania and unlocking his secret past, Nina finds herself taking on Tach’s sadistic mindset. While the discourse between the characters is often clever, the fact that the novel is almost entirely dialogue, with little in terms of narration or description, makes it increasingly difficult to discern which character is speaking. This work is one of great originality, but readers new to Nothomb would be better off picking up one of her recent and more acclaimed novels, such as Fear and Trembling or Tokyo Fiancée, which showcase her abilities in character development and descriptive language. [ADRIENNE URBANSKI]

PICTURES OF YOU By Caroline Leavitt (Algonquin Books) In her new novel, author Caroline Leavitt looks at families. What, exactly, makes

a family? Is a truly happy family, well, possible? Can we ever really know the people we love? And what happens when a family is abruptly shattered by sudden death? Pictures of You tells the story of two women, Isabelle and April, both of whom are fleeing their normal lives. Their cars collide in a horrible crash one foggy evening on Cape Cod. One of the women dies; her young son and the other driver survive. The dead woman’s son, Sam—deeply in denial about his mother’s passing—will not answer questions about the crash. So his father, Charlie, is left asking why his wife’s car was parked the wrong way in the middle of the street with no headlights in a thick, dark fog. Also, why was Sam found in the woods—not inside the car—after the accident? And the nagging question that haunts him the most: why did she have a packed suitcase in her backseat? He’d thought they were reasonably happy. Leavitt is at her best when describing the slow spiral of mourning and the lasting effects of grief. Her carefully rendered descriptions of her characters’ post-crash feelings, actions, and motivations seem spot-on. Despite the depressing subject matter, Pictures of You is a thoughtful read that just might encourage you to start saying all those things you keep meaning to tell your loved ones. [LAURA BARCELLA]

PRINT WORKSHOP: Hand-Printing Techniques and Truly Original Projects By Christine Schmidt (Potter Craft) As the founder of the Bay Area print-shop-turned-design-company Yellow Owl Workshop, Christine Schmidt knows her way around an art studio. Her quirky designs have made their way into stores like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. In Print Workshop she reveals her secrets, providing an overview of her DIY-friendly hand-printing techniques (including relief, stencil, sun, and image-transfer printing), as well as instructions and templates for more than 30 of her own hip projects and images. Schmidt’s design inspirations are eclectic, whether they’re from the detritus she finds

AMBER TAMBLYN’S THE ACTRESS AND WRITER PICKS HER FAVE NEW VERSES BY FEMALE VOICES RACHEL MCKIBBENS TWISTS her dark upbringing into something curiously proactive by describing herself as “the star of the violence.” And indeed, she is a star; she is famous without ever having published a book. Until now. The works in her debut collection, Pink Elephant (Cypher Books), have been delivered by the performance poet on stages all over the world for the past decade. So the birth of this volume is nothing short of a milestone in the world of poetry and a major happening for her cult-fan base. McKibbens has famously inspired others, and her style has been infamously plagiarized. Take a look at a poem like “Orphan” and it’s easy to see why. “Sometimes I wonder what it must be like/to be in the same room as your mother,” she writes. “To be able to look at a woman’s body/and say, I lived there.” McKibbens’ ability to draw readers in and connect with them also shines in poems like “Central Park, Mother’s Day,” in which she scolds one of her five children for picking tulips: “A mama forgets what her weapons can do/Can’t know which of her failures/will be what does it.” To state it simply: all hotel-room Bibles should be replaced with this book. And all gods should be replaced with Rachel McKibbens. [AMBER TAMBLYN]

in her desk drawer or the pattern on a paper towel. Her how-tos are equally diverse, and she includes instructions for making things like silkscreened band merch and stationery, custom-designed using tiny pinpricks. (My hand ached after I tried this one, but with Schmidt’s straightforward instructions, I ended up with a cute relief pattern.) The ambitious can even tackle an aspen-tree-forest wall mural. A few of the projects are a bit lackluster—I can’t see many people embroidering personalized polo logos on all their shirts, and an Alexander Calder–inspired mobile doesn’t seem terribly original—but the book encompasses so many unexpected tutorials that it’s hard not to want to grab some materials and print something. For anyone who has picked up a set of expensive stationery at Anthropologie and thought, “I could make this,” Print Workshop is a good place to start. [ERICA WETTER]


HYGIENE AND THE ASSASSIN By Amélie Nothomb (Europa Editions)

THE VEGAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO LIFE: Cruelty-Free Crafts, Recipes, Beauty Secrets, and More By Melisser Elliott (Skyhorse Publishing) You’ve gotta be hot shit to successfully pull off any kind of “guide to life.” And luckily, Vegan Girl’s Guide author Melisser Elliott fits the bill. Even if you’re not familiar with her award-winning food blog The Urban Housewife or her mouth-watering San Francisco baking company Sugar Beat Sweets, one look at her adorable, punky mug on the book’s cover should be enough to convince you that she’s someone it would be fun to be more like. In the context of this guide, being like Elliott means being vegan. Vegans eschew all animal products for ethical, spiritual, environmental, and health reasons. And while this may sound like a tall order, Elliott is supremely skilled at describing the // BUST / 93

the guide ins and outs of the vegan lifestyle in a way that makes cruelty-free consumption seem well within reach. Chapters include “Understanding What Vegan Is (and Isn’t),” “Shopping Like a Vegan When You’re Not Buying Food,” and “Get Started in the Kitchen,” which features some really knockout recipes like the exceptionally flavorful Moroccan chickpea-and-kale tagine over quinoa and the literally lip-smacking pasta with asparagus in lemon cream sauce. (In the latter, the creaminess comes from pureed raw cashews—yum!) If there’s one area of this thoughtfully assembled collection that misses the mark, it’s the awkward final chapter, “Do It Yourself!” I’m sure there are plenty of vegans who might enjoy learning how to cross-stitch or knit a headband, but the instructions for these and other projects come off as half-assed attempts to cram the hipstercrafting craze into a book in which they clearly don’t belong. When Elliott actually sticks to vegan topics, however, she really shines. And it’s great to have a vegan manual written for women on the shelves that doesn’t feel it has to masquerade as a diet book. [EMILY REMS]

WANTED WOMEN: An American Obsession in the Reign of J. Edgar Hoover By Mary Elizabeth Strunk (University Press of Kansas) Taboo, transgression, and dark desires are the subjects of this surprisingly tame treatise on the criminal female. Mary Elizabeth Strunk focuses on 10 lawbreaking ladies who became infamous during the reign of J. Edgar Hoover, from the Great Depression to the 1970s, and shows how Hoover, in an attempt to hold them up as threats to public morality, inadvertently created media stars. Thanks to huge social upheavals, gun-toting ladies like Ma Barker and Patty Hearst earned more sympathy than censure from the public; they became symbols of women breaking free of expectations and constraints, and they knew how to exploit that image. In self-mythologizing poems and photos, petite vixen Bonnie Parker flaunted gun, cigar, and fun on her way to a tragic end; according 94 / BUST // DEC/JAN

to the memoir of one of the men who shot her down, 40,000 people lined up to view her bullet-mangled corpse at a Dallas funeral parlor, whereas only 30,000 did so for Clyde Barrow. The films these ladies inspired helped perpetuate their myths as well. Strunk suggests that Faye Dunaway’s glamorous portrayal of Parker in 1967 inspired the machine-gun-carrying, beret-topped Tanyas of the rebel underground. Strunk is an academic, and her hot topics get the cool and studious treatment you would expect from the ivory tower. With that understood, this is a thought-provoking exploration of gender-role anxiety through the 20th century. [FRAN WILLING]

WOMEN OF THE UNDERGROUND: Music: Cultural Innovators Speak for Themselves By Zora von Burden (Manic D Press) Zora von Burden’s Women of the Underground is somewhat of a personal endeavor. When dealing with hardships several years back, she sought inspiration in the work of several eclectic female artists who had influenced her as a teenager—including rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson, Throbbing Gristle’s Cosey Fanni Tutti, Jarboe of the Swans, goth siren Patricia Morrison, and the Velvet Underground’s Moe Tucker, among others. In this book of 20 candid interviews, von Burden aims to shed light on their careers and reveal how they broke down barriers to create great music. Her biggest accomplishment is drawing up a syllabus, encouraging readers to seek out more from these brilliant artists. Each story is enthralling—the wild ways of the GTOs (which included Pamela Des Barres), Pam Tent’s vivid recollections of performing alongside the Cockettes, NASA bestowing its first artist-in-residence title on Laurie Anderson. The interviews leave you wanting more, and that’s a good thing. It’s up to us to keep their contributions relevant through conversation and to honor them through cultivating our own artistic projects. Von Burden’s book is a solid first step in the right direction. [MACKENZIE WILSON]

sex files

a family affair HOW TO GET BUSY WITHOUT GETTING CAUGHT WHEN YOU’RE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, as you prepare to bunk down at your—or your significant other’s—parents’ house for a few festive days of overeating and dysfunction, you’re probably going to be thinking of only two things: where’s more whiskey for the eggnog, and when can you and your partner sneak in a good shag? Here are a few handy suggestions on how to manage sex during holiday stays at Mom and Dad’s without familial interruption. Which, as you well know, could result in lifelong humiliation or your younger brother wanting to gouge his eyes out with a candy cane. 1. Be prepared! Bring some clean-up tools: wipes, a Swiffer, whatever’s necessary so you don’t have to stumble nakedly to the bathroom in the middle of the night and risk a run-in with Grandma on the way to soak her teeth.


2. The only thing worse than hearing your parents have sex is them hearing you. If you can’t engage without imitating a howler monkey, please try to mask the ruckus. Bring a noise machine, or play some music.* 3. Wear a blindfold to shield your eyes from any lust-killing imagery that might still adorn your childhood bedroom. Tell your partner you’re feeling kinky and tie a winter scarf around your head. This will successfully block out photos of you and Aunt Sandy at graduation, your Beanie Baby collection, or your giant poster of Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice. 4. Borrow a car and offer to go pick up more cinnamon for the wassail. Park somewhere off the beaten path, and enjoy an old-school backseat romp.** Just be sure you’re someplace secluded, lest

Officer Hardy come tap on the glass and ask if you need help with a flat. 5. Outdoor sex can be very exciting, but if you tiptoe into the woods behind the house, remember that you might have some uninvited guests. So if you aren’t up for a ménage à trois with a raccoon or the neighbor’s dog, make sure you know the area well and that you and your lover are the only animals present. Nothing ruins the mood quicker than a labradoodle 10 inches from your partner’s genitals. [JOHANNA GOHMANN]

*Avoid mom magnets like Michael Bublé, as his smooth, innocuous vocals will only draw her to the room à la the Pied Piper. See also: Josh Groban, Jason Mraz. **Not recommended for the Ford Fiesta, unless you have prior contortionist/clowncar experience.

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sex files

questions for the queen DR. CAROL QUEEN TELLS YOU EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE WAITING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO ASK I’m newly pregnant and terrified of giving birth. I keep reading about episiotomies and perineal tears, and I’m freaking out. Some books suggest perineal massage, which is basically stretching out the rear vaginal wall. I love being fisted by my husband. Do I already have an advantage against perineal tearing? And do you have any other suggestions for easing my fears? Kinky and Expecting

A weird thing has been happening to me lately. When I masturbate, I get mild cramps similar to menstrual cramps. They happen during my orgasm and last for a few minutes afterward. They’re not so unpleasant that I’m worried, I’m just wondering why it happens. I usually masturbate to relieve my monthly menstrual cramps, so why would getting off bring them on? Crampin’ My Style


An orgasm can allay cramps because it relieves vasocongestion (genital/pelvic accumulation of blood) and releases endorphins, the body’s chemical painrelief system. The cramping you experience with orgasm probably has at least one thing in common with menstrual cramps: the uterine contractions of orgasm are strong enough to cut off the muscles’ supply of oxygen, resulting in pain. Oxytocin (sometimes called, cutely, “the cuddle hormone”) may be the likely culprit, since it appears to be released with sexual arousal and orgasm— and while it seems to promote bonding, contentment, and relaxation, it also causes uterine contraction. Fortunately, your cramps are mild; some women have severe pain that affects their sexual pleasure. It’s my guess that this level of extreme cramping can be associated with actual problems rather than an oxytocin response. For someone experiencing severe cramps post-orgasm, some possible causes to consider are hormonal issues (sometimes cramps with orgasm seem to correlate with monthly hormonal fluctuations or abnormal hormone levels); musculoskeletal issues, including nerve entrapment and blood-flow problems; endometriosis; irritable bowel syndrome; fibroids; and pelvic inflammatory disease. It’s worth knowing that some physicians, physical therapists, and clinical sexologists specialize in pelvic pain disorders and are likely to understand severe, life-impairing uterine cramping better than a general practitioner and even some gynecologists would. Lifestyle fixes that may help include yoga (especially pelvic stretches); chiropractic treatments and physical therapy; and a diet balanced in vitamins and minerals—particularly calcium, magnesium, and potassium, the deficiency of which is linked to muscle cramping. Stop smoking, cut down on caffeine and alcohol, drink enough water, and get enough exercise. If the pain you experience stays mild and doesn’t increase, I’d chalk it up to oxytocin. So go for that orgasm, and give yourself a nice cuddle when you’re done.



enced “fistee,” you have definitely had more perineal massage than the average woman.

pubococcygeal aka Kegel muscles I always talk about in the context of orgasm enhancement—will already be quite flexible. Those muscles will become extra-important when it’s time to give birth, so keep doing your Kegel exercises while you’re pregnant. Continue the hand play with your husband also, if your doctor doesn’t tell you to stop penetrative sex. While vigorous, full-hand fisting isn’t a good idea now that you’re pregnant, until the third trimester the slow and gentle version of this erotic play should be fine. Talk to your doctor about that too, make sure you have a green light to engage in it, and follow any specific instructions s/he gives you. Just in case explicit talk with your doctor is less than comfortable, there’s a great book called Health Care Without Shame by Dr. Charles Moser that will help you get chatty. Also, tell the doc about your concerns about the birth and express that you want no episiotomy. These are generally done because vaginal stretching is not proceeding quickly enough during the birthing process, so your flexible vagina gives you a head start against needing one. You might want to reach out to other women who’ve given birth and have experienced fisting prior to doing so; one place to look for them would be, a social-networking site for kinky folks. In general, cook up a couple of affirmations, repeat them quietly when you find yourself getting scared, get your husband to help reassure you, and don’t forget to breathe—another crucial part of a successful birth that is absolutely under your control. Use it to relax now and you’ll be ready to use it when Baby Day arrives. Best of luck!

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Got a sex or relationship question you need answered? Post it at



The short answer is yes—if you are an experi-

And the musculature surrounding your vagina—the PC aka


dirty decimal A GAL GETS HER KICKS BETWEEN THE LIBRARY STACKS [BY SARA DIMAGGIO] THE DAY WAS half over, but for Sheila, it felt like her shift at the university library would never end. It promised to be an incredibly dull day, duller than most at this dead-end bookshelving job she’d taken post-graduation to pay the bills. She had been told to go shelfread, so there she was, staring at the endless rows of books, making sure they were in order. Sheila sighed, running her fingers across the spines as her eyes scanned for mistakes. She paused for a moment to stretch, resting her hand carelessly on the shelf behind her. She turned to look at the book she was touching, and pulled it out to glance at its title—Thar She Blows: Steamy Stories of Sex at Sea. Sheila blushed. She hadn’t known the library carried books like this, but here, right in front of her, were shelves and shelves of erotica, each title more exciting than the one before it. Sheila looked around. It was winter vacation, so the library had been deserted all day. She opened the book to a random page and scanned it. “The captain ran his fingers through Alice’s hair as she kissed his bulge. He could feel himself growing harder, even as he tried to concentrate on steering the ship. But by the time Alice had unbuttoned his pants and put her mouth over his throbbing member, he didn’t care what happened at the wheel. He ripped off her dress, grabbed her ass with both hands, and slid into her as she slammed against the wall, moaning, her legs tight around his ribs.” Fuck, Sheila thought. She could feel herself growing aroused. Certain no one was around, she hungrily shoved her hand into her pants, letting out a small moan as her fingers found her wet clit. She made circles against her skin as she longingly read the pages. “May I help you?” She instantly recognized the startling voice as that of her coworker Dylan, the one with the blue eyes and the ass—oh, that ass. She burned red as she dropped the book to the ground, pulling her hand out of her pants as he came into sight. “I was just, um,” she stuttered. Dylan bent down, picking up the book that had fallen at his feet in her surprise.

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“Thar She Blows?” Dylan asked, raising an eyebrow. Sheila looked down, mortified. “I was just, um,” she repeated, praying that she’d find more words but coming up with nothing. Dylan had shuffled close to her. His hand reached out, pushing up her chin, his blue eyes locking with hers. “I’ve never read this one,” he said, his voice deep and sexy. “Would you like to tell me about it?” He ran his hand down her hair, her shoulder, his fingers millimeters away from her excited breasts. “What would you like to know?” she asked, amazed at how quickly her embarrassment had turned back into arousal. She didn’t know what was happening. Dylan was a gorgeous guy she had silently worshipped since she’d started this miserable job, a man who’d just seen her most embarrassing moment ever, and yet here he was, pressing his body close to hers in the shadow of the stacks. “Everything.” “Why don’t I show you?” She pulled him close, running her hands up his solid chest. He kissed her neck, which made her moan yet again. She closed her eyes as he pulled off her shirt. “Wait,” she said, suddenly remembering that she was in an open library half naked. “What if—” “The library’s closed,” he said, unclasping her bra. “I was just coming to tell you that. Snowstorm. They had to evacuate the premises—janitors, students, employees, everyone. Roads are real nasty. If we’re not careful, we might be trapped here all night, just you and me.” Sheila responded to this news by pulling off Dylan’s shirt. She wanted him, badly, immediately. She could feel him bulging against her as they kissed, their hips grinding. She fumbled at his belt buckle, dove down, and put his dick in her mouth as

soon as she could see it. Her fingers pressed against his perfectly firm ass. “Wait.” This time he was the one who said it. She looked up, letting him gently pull his shaft from her mouth. “I want to touch you.” He helped her to her feet, unbuttoned her jeans, and yanked them off. He slipped his fingers inside her panties, then pulled them down so his mouth could go to work on her clit. His tongue slipped in and out of her moist opening, while his fingers touched every part of her. “Oh, fuck!” she moaned, delirious with pleasure. He lifted her up, her legs eagerly wrapping around him as they slammed against shelf after shelf, finally making it to a desk. He placed her gently on the tabletop as he slid his hard cock inside her, her hands grabbing his hair in pleasure. His soft skin rocked against her clit as he pushed into her. He moaned now too, moving in and out of her faster, more desperately. Their cries became louder as they fucked harder, Sheila pulling him deeper with every thrust. “I’m…going…to…cum,” she panted, right before her body shuddered against him, tightening and contracting as she writhed. A moment later, he groaned with ecstasy. They leaned their sweaty heads against one another until, finally, Dylan pulled away, walking toward the shelves to collect their clothing. “I guess we should be going,” he said, a hint of regret in his voice, pulling on his T-shirt. “What do you mean, ‘going’?” she said, pointing to the window where snow was coming down so heavily, it was hard to see anything. “Sweetie, we’re not going anywhere.” “In that case,” he said, pulling off his shirt and walking toward her, “maybe we should get some more reading done.”

BUST (ISSN 1089-4713), No. 66, Dec/Jan, 2011. BUST is published bi-monthly in Feb/Mar, Apr/May, June/July, Aug/Sept, Oct/Nov, and Dec/Jan by BUST, Inc. 18 West 27th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY, 10001. 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.

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Mad for Mad Men

with 17-Across 71. Fries, maybe 72. Actress Evan Rachel ___, formerly engaged to Marilyn Manson


Across 1. Designer Chanel 5. “Now!” 9. Ex-wife of 17-Across 14. Thick, Japanese soup noodle 15. Hindu “sir” 16. Find a new purpose for 17. With 30-, 48-, and 65-Across, one of the founding partners of the new Mad Men ad agency 19. Fort Knox bar 20. The Sopranos restaurateur


21. Uses a swizzle stick 23. “If I Ruled the World” rapper 25. “Take that!” 30. See 17-Across 33. Helen Mirren rejected this honor by Queen Elizabeth in 1996: abbr. 35. Actor Hayes of TV’s Will & Grace 36. Digilux camera brand 37. Diva Horne 39. Copywriter Olson of the Mad Men agency 42. Opening for a coin 43. Discrimination against older people 45. Polygraph problems, presumably 47. Lennon’s widow 48. See 17-Across 52. Designer who produced a Gossip Girl–inspired fashion line for Target in 2009 53. Mom-and-pop org. 54. “I wanna do it!” 57. Pushes 61. “Speak” in Spanish 65. See 17-Across 67. Give someone ___ (allow to save face) 68. Where to get off? 69. “What’s Hecuba to him ___ to Hecuba?”: Hamlet 70. Freelance illustrator who had an affair

1. Plymouth muscle car manufactured from 1964 to 1974, briefly 2. Febreze target 3. [More on next pg.] 4. Warhol movie star whose professional name means “water spirit” 5. Legal org. 6. Easy marks 7. Aid in crime? 8. Stickler’s creed 9. Levi’s ex 10. Bard’s nightfall 11. Huge jerk 12. General ___’s Chicken (Chinese restaurant entrée) 13. “Is it soup ___?” 18. Parents 22. Big bird of myth 24. Dance instructor’s call 26. Skanks 27. Final words 28. Clothing or furniture makeover, for short 29. Inspiration for poets and musicians 30. Harmless 31. The Facts of Life actress 32. If it’s 90 degrees, then it’s right 33. The Nutcracker lead 34. 17th-century naturalist Michel ___, after whom begonias are named 38. Floating, perhaps 40. Companion of Zim in Nickelodeon TV series Invader Zim 41. Restaurant- and business-review site that is now a popular app 44. Fred’s boss on the 1960s TV show The Flintstones 46. Crunch 49. Seek damages 50. Sir, Lady, etc. 51. Thin 55. Long, for short 56. Daniel Clowes’ character ___ Coleslaw 58. Greek sandwich 59. Repeat performance 60. Gardener’s spring purchase 61. Stage hog 62. Singer DiFranco 63. Physique, slangily 64. Blockhead 66. Printemps follower // BUST / 111


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Issue 67  
Issue 67  

issue 67, sophia coppola