Friday, August 31

Worlds of Taste {5} :: Pink Smog

Worlds of Taste

Part {5} :: Pink Smog
(Francesca Lia Block, 2012)

"I got myself a bowl of Lucky Charms. The pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers ached my molars as the milk turned rainbow colors." (1)
"...watching the clock and eating the lunch I'd made-- an apple and a pack of orange cheese spread and crackers." (5)

"I got a can of Tab, sleek and sweaty with cold. ... I drank my Tab. It tasted like sweet liquid metal." (11)

"I heated up some frozen mac and cheese for us and sat next to her..." (11)

"I brought her Brazil nuts and ginger ale and red licorice. I would have tried to cook but I always burned the grilled cheese sandwiches or let the rice bubble over. The only thing I could make was instant mac and cheese but she didn't want that and neither did I. I wished she had taught me to cook when I was littler and she was happy..." (25-26)

"... the cute waiter sand me Cat Stevens songs and brought me a Cobb salad and a piece of birthday cake." (29)

"They served veggie burgers and sprouts and hibiscus lemonade. Carney's was a hot-dog place inside and old train car. Butterfield's was a sunken garden at the bottom of the stairs, like someone's run-down mansion where you could have elegant brunches with quiche, fresh fruit, and champagne among lacy trees." (33)

"We ate little pieces of raw fish and candied ginger and my parents had cocktails and wine." (35)

"They stay in a tiny, lovely Victorian hotel on a steep hill and eat fettuccine at an Italian restaurant." (49)

"I ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and she massacred her apple. I offered her half a frosted Pop-Tart but she looked at it like it might bite back so I quickly returned it to my lunch box." (57)

"Bobby and I got ice-cream cones but Lily didn't want one and I didn't push-- she looked as if I were going to stab her with my swirly pink-and-white confection." (71)

"...afterward we made Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies and at the whole batch... I have to admit chocolate never tasted so good." (101)

"...we were home stuffing our faces with the 3 Musketeers bars Bobby had brought over for trick-or-treaters..." (123)

"...her mother was a professional housewife who liked to cook elaborate meals to entice her daughter into eating. The huge, fatty dishes only made Lily starve herself more." (132)

"I wanted to make her soup but I was a lousy cook and I knew she didn't want any either. ... He... came back with a large green apple and a cup of peppermint tea with lemon and honey." (133)

"I wanted to make pancakes, bacon, and scrambled eggs for dinner. Sometimes it cheered me up to eat meals at the "wrong times"." (134)

""We'll have pressed turkey and cranberry jelly and pumpkin pie under the cuckoo clocks, okay?"" (137)

"When I was little he liked to take me to Norms Coffee Shop for hamburgers and vanilla shakes that we ate in the vinyl booths,... or could make your own toast at the toasters at your table. We had ice-cream cones at Wil Wright's.... Farrell's where they made a huge ice-cream birthday concoction called the Zoo that was covered in little plastic animals. ... We sat down under the wooden birds and ate the orange sticky buns the restaurant was famous for, as well as turkey dinners with pressed turkey and cranberry jelly and mashed potatoes." (145)

"In the same way I ate a double-scoop pistachio-and-cherry ice-cream cone and then had popcorn and a large Sprite at the movie theater..." (147-148)

"...bought ingredients to make pasta with pesto sauce and a spinach salad with walnuts and dried cranberries and balsamic vinegar..." (161)

"I was going to make turkey sandwiches, green beans with candied almonds, yams with marshmallows, and cranberry sauce." (161)

"...we drank the cold, bitter white wine from plastic cups and chewed Bubble Yum to take the edge off." (166)

"We hate gnocchi and ravioli, Indian curries and samosas, pork buns and chow mein. ... while we went to buy oranges, milk, and cornflakes at the corner market." (183)

The Worlds of Taste series here is a collection of all the mentions of food that occurs in the books of Francesca Lia Block. Sometimes accompanied by photos from the web, or sometimes just colored with glitter and shine, these posts remind me of the luxurious world of food within the FLB books. Read others at Worlds of Taste {3}: Weetzie Bat, or {4} : Ecstasia

Sunday, August 26

Beautiful Books :: Pink Smog

Beautiful Books

Pink Smog
Francesca Lia Block

"I don't know if I can do this myself," I said, meaning everything, meaning life.
"Yes you can. You can do anything you put your mind to. You just needed a little help through adolescence..."

Ever wonder how Weetzie Bat became so slam glam fabulous and in love with the world? 
Well it turns out she wasn't always a life-loving city goddess, she was once just Louise Bat, a shy brunette who skated to school, got picked on, and never felt sure of herself.
But after her dad leaves home, Louise has to find a way to bring herself up to the top. There's a strange new family in her building, with a chic purple-eyed woman, a devilish girl who terrorizes Louise, and an Angel Boy who watches over her. At school the popular girls tease her and put gum in her hair. Her mother stays at the bottom of a bottle. And her dad is nowhere to be found. 
"I realized that mean people had their purpose, too. They brought you together. They unified you. They made you find your friends."
Now Weetzie has to figure out how to navigate through it all and make herself happy even when everything is going wrong.
"I had this city and I decided I had better fall in love with her again because she wasn't going anywhere and neither was I.
The black pavement, dark to hide the dirt, sparkled with diamond chips in the burning sun."
This quick novel isn't the burning, flashing, life-changing manifesto of life and love and beauty that the original Weetzie Bat book(s) was, but it is still amazing in its own way. 
We don't pop out of the box cool and glam like Weetzie Bat. And the more we struggle to "be like Weetzie", the more we tend to forget that. This story shows that even Weetzie didn't start out as Weetzie, she had to create herself. And we all start off as Louise, struggling to make sense of a world that is constantly against us. And seeing that transformation, from Louise to Weetzie, is a very simple but beautiful story that still manages to resonate with the reader who's been there; young and alone and unhappy.
"And smog is like sadness. It slips stealthily inside of you,  with every breath, poisoning you before you realize it..."
Hell, at 23, it resonates perfectly with me now. That empty, alone feeling that crawls into your stomach and up into your brain and whispers and scratches at you, reminding you of all the things that keep going wrong. That will always go wrong.
But Pink Smog reminds us that sometimes we need to push that feeling away, find the beauty in our lives, and even reinvent ourselves to find who we really are, and what we really want.

Wednesday, August 15

Currently reading Pink Smog! Definitely puts me back in a blogging mood.
Also, have been having minor success selling bracelets on Etsy, and I really really want to make Weetzie inspires ones! Any suggestions???

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