You hit Television Without Pity for biting TV recaps. You scour over Tomato Nation for witty and smart essays – both irreverant and touching. Sars has a knack for writing bits and pieces of her life so well that you realize she’s writing about yours. From her frustration with her cats to a recap of a trip across country to meet some internet friends, you find yourself reading along – pointing out things you’ve done, thought or felt. And usually laughing along the way.
She gratefully accepted our invitation, and met up with loki in one of the few coffeeshops that still allows smoking. (Let’s not bring that to Mayor Bloomberg’s attention.) After a hearty discussion of exercise, soap operas and the sadistic minds that create bras, we settled down for a bit of the old 20 questions…
What television show universe did you want to live in? Why?
My So-Called Life. Because… Jared Leto. Also, Jared Leto. In addition, Jared Leto. First of all, I went to an all-girls school, so living in a universe where there were boys at your high school is really cool. Also, I’ve been a fag hag since birth, and Ricky just rules.
And Jared Leto.
When your cats jump on your desk, knock all your papers off, and run across your keyboard, do you ever find that they’ve actually enhanced what you’re writing? Or are they pretty much just trying to be pains in your ass?
Generally, they’re just being pains in the asses.
One time, I was working on this poem and it really wasn’t working out. Little Joe spilled a whole thing of Diet Coke on it and that was a sign. It saved me some stress – I was trying to do some metaphor about fingernails and it was horribly pretentious. It was killed.
So, thank you Little Joe for protecting the world from that sophomoric anguish.
Reality Television Shows: Interesting studies of people, or televised Lord of the Flies?
What word would you like to make into the newest pop culture phenomenon? What would it mean?
I’m working on bringing back “gaylord.” It’s not popular – a lot of people have problems with calling someone a gaylord or saying that something is “gay.” I have focus-grouped this extensively with gay people and they get it. As I said before, I’m a definite friend of the Friends of Dorothy. Certainly, someone who knows me would know I’m not homophobic but it’s a fine line and I certainly wouldn’t want to offend anyone. There’s “gay” which means you are gay and enjoy the company of the same sex as you, and then there’s “gay” which is sort of like “smurfy,” which is the closest that you can get without really saying “gay.”
I’m more of a revivalist than putting a new word into the culture. I’d like to bring “rad” back. I say “awesome” way too much and I think that “rad” and “massive” are due for a comeback. Because “massive” can sub in for “wicked,” which I already say too much.
We at PopGurls consider potatoes to be the world’s most perfect food. Agree or disagree? What’s your ideal potato dish?
I agree. My favorite dish is my mother’s mashed potatoes which are really lumpy and they have to be served with roast chicken or her meatloaf – which is a fine meatloaf – but her potatoes… she uses a ton of garlic and a little bit of parsley and they’re just.so.good.
Which are a girl’s best friend: Diamonds or gay boys?
Gay boys. You can’t lose a gay boy down the sink and you can’t call a diamond at two in the morning and say, “What’s the deal with blah blah blah?” I mean, you can, but it’s not going to do much for you.
Run-on sentences: A boon of freedom of expression or a crime against nature that needs to be stopped?
It depends on the use. I perpetrate a run-on sentence now and then, but my knowledge of the rules of usage is beyond reproach, if you’ll forgive my saying so. It’s the one thing I’m really good at. If it’s clear from the context that you know what you’re doing and are using it in a colloquial fashion, so that the form of what you’re writing follows the function – that’s fine. If you’re just an idiot, who’s one of those people who writes “utilize” instead of “use,” then you need to be hit with a shoe.
What’s your biggest grammatical pet peeve?
God, there’s so many. It’s more of a spelling pet peeve. Misspelling “definite” and “definitely” – there’s no A!
Name your top 5 counterworthy people.
This changes on an almost daily basis. Right now, occupying the top 5 slots:
- William Fichtner
- Goran Visnjic
- Nicholas Brendon – recent entry to the list, was not really seeing it before. And knowing that he has a twin brother – I know that’s really gross and male porn of me… but I’m counting that as one.
- Kiefer Sutherland
- The new principal on Buffy. Man, that guy is hot.
Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven: Did you find that the tattoo which kept peeking out from under his sleeve made him strangely attractive?
I didn’t even notice it. I’ve never really found Brad Pitt that attractive. He’s too pretty. I don’t usually go for blondes… but he was already a little “too much.” Everyone would rent “Thelma and Louise” and be rewinding it – I can see that he’s attractive. I’m just not [attracted].
There’s something about the way he’s running the whole game and is really smart. I was intrigued by the fact that he’s eating in every scene, which obviously we were supposed to notice but they really didn’t call attention to it. I just thought that he was really cool. He’s one of those guys that you have a crush on but never really consider sleeping with.
What would be on your “how to be hot” checklist for boys?
Nice deep voice.
And don’t have “woman ass.”
Does djb miss Roswell? Does he have his tapes on repeat? Is he in LA stalking Shiri Appleby and Jason Behr? He misses them, doesn’t he?
No, no and no.
How much would they have to pay you to wear that Puritan-from-hell top Anya wore in the Buffy season premiere? Would you feel deep shame afterwards, and insist that all photos and negatives be burned, or would you embrace the experience and try to pass it off as being avant-garde?
They would have to pay me SAG scale. Emma Caulfield now weighs 70lbs? It would look a lot different on me because I actually have tits. It’s a hideous top, but as long as you’re willing to be self-deprecating about it and make Prince jokes – I wouldn’t be filled with too much shame.
If you could make a hybrid show using characters from the WB (or former WB), where would it be, who would be on it and what would be the theme?
The whole cast of Dawson’s Creek, and they’d just rename it The Creek. The theme would be accidental drownings – one per week. The show would air for as long as there were characters to drown accidentally, except for Grams, who is okay in my book. It would be a limited run, like Prime Suspect, and then it would be over.
If you had your own casino, what would be the theme? Would you put it in Vegas, Atlantic City, or somewhere else?
Oh gosh… cheese. Not metaphorical cheese, but actual cheese. It would be called “La Fromage” or “La Fromagerie,” and all the employees would have to wear cheese hats. Instead of booze in your minibar, you would have a little hunk of Roquefort and those spiffy little crackers with sundried tomatoes. There would be a cheese bar downstairs, I don’t know what the entertainment would be…
I would put it in Atlantic City. Atlantic City’s fallen on hard times now that Vegas is all family-friendly. Atlantic City is kind of skanky and tough. But I’m from Jersey and maybe a New Jersey-themed casino like New York, New York [would work] in Atlantic City. You would have cheese-fries in your room and you can drive around in a go-kart and cut people off. There would be jughandles in the hallway instead of proper left turns. Everyone is dressed like a guido, everyone has big hair. That could be fun.
“New Jersey, New Jersey,” and I’d put it in Atlantic City because Atlantic City’s the place.
What magazine do you read that you have a hard time admitting to people?
I don’t really read anything I’d have trouble admitting to other people. I read The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly and Lucky. Those are not too embarrassing. Oh, and Bust, Bitch, Muffy – all the feminist zines.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Muffy.
Muffy is good – Muffy is what Bust used to be before they got completely obsessed with vibrators and knitting. And knitting cozies for your vibrators. We. Get. It.
There’s nothing I’m ashamed to read in magazine form. Other formats, that’s another story. I haven’t yet stooped to subscribing to True Crime magazines, but that’s only a matter of time.
What kind of magazine would you love to read but doesn’t exist yet?
Generally speaking, I’m pretty satisfied with the state of magazines. Although I sort of miss Steve Brill’s Content. But I would have preferred to see that magazine really making fun of other magazines – especially now after this whole Rosie O’Donnell flapdoodle, wherein addition to having that horrendous 1984 haircut that was only in for ten minutes, she’s also apparently losing her shit. And this thing where she takes over McCalls and is, like, “It’s not dyke-friendly enough.” Honey, calm down.
I would love to see a fun feature on that from someone who used to be the editor of Spy – like, “Cuckoo, Rosie’s losing it!”
[And,] stereotypically, True Confessions belongs to a certain market of less educated people and those are the type to write in. I’d like to see a True Confessions with more of an existential slant. Not necessarily more educated, because I don’t want to be classist about it. [But something] like, “My TiVo melted because I saved too many episodes of 90210.” Not that it happened to anyone I know, and I’m just speaking theoretically…
Actually, in my case, it was the E! True Hollywood Story. It taped all of them. You tell it only to get the new ones and then it gets confused. Next thing you know, you’re watching the Eight is Enough [one] that you’ve already seen! But there’s something about it that just lulls you… “Nicholas…” You can’t stop watching!
I’d do something like that which is the general true confessions – funny stories that people are too embarrassed to admit.
Karyn is this annoying chick who got herself in debt and created a website to get people to pay for her mistakes. While she needs to be slapped (as do the people who sent her money), the fact that there are suckers out there willing to fork over stuff for no good reason is noteworthy. Aside from money, what would you like people to shower you with, no strings attached?
Pre-cooked meals that I just have to microwave.
Each time you make a mix tape/cd, do you use completely different songs or do the same ones keep showing up time after time? Name five songs that you can never seem to keep off a mix.
It depends on who I’m making it for, or the theme. It’s usually an occasion that I’m marking. It’s not always the same songs, a mix I made ten years ago – I won’t even own that music anymore. One I’d make now is probably going to be [filled with] embarrassing stuff that I got off Kazaa – you know, Toto.
There are a couple of songs that always show up – like Liz Phair’s “Polyester Bride” has been on every single mix for two years. Aimee Mann – it’s on “I’m With Stupid” and it’s number ten and I’ve probably listened to it ten thousand times and now I can’t remember the name of it. (“That’s Just What You Are”) There’s always a Sundays’ song – [which one] depends on the kind of mood I’m in. Aretha Franklin was on a lot of them.
And, ooh, Tori Amos. But that was ten years ago, and mistakes were made. There’s this song by The Queers called “I’m Okay, You’re Fucked” which is two minutes long that I put on a lot of mixes – just plunked down in the middle after Michelle Branch. Just to mess with people’s minds.
If you could ask everyone one question, and they’d have to answer it honestly, what would it be?
Have you seen the movie Diner and what did you think of it?
It’s a pretty accurate predictor for me – people who thought it was very dull or who refuse to admit that Paul Reiser was really very funny in that movie, then I’m sorta like, “Hey, we’re done.” I can understand that people thought it was boring – some people don’t like Barry Levinson. If you didn’t grow up in a diner culture, maybe it’s not as accessible to you.
[“Diner”] sort of grows on you. You’re not quite aware at first, but the rhythms of it… a lot was ad-libbed apparently. A lot of the guys never did anything else [that wasn’t] annoying in their careers. Daniel Stern? Mickey Rourke – who was kinda hot in the movie? Paul Reiser, who is so funny! [Especially] that whole riff he does over the closing credits that no one ever sees.
There’s something about that movie that really informs the way that I write. That really speaks to the way that I think, the way that I deal with people.
I slip little references to Diner into my speech all the time. No one ever gets [them], but it just lives in my head. When people catch it, “Is that from Diner?” It’s like finding another freemason in the room.
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