HEY, YOU. Welcome to the latest edition of the Must List, wherein I chronicle the aspects of the world that pluck me outta bed in the morning. Here is the best shit of right now.
1. The bassline of the Beverly Hills Teens theme song
Yo, do you know about Beverly Hills Teens? The smash cartoon bildungsroman that followed a group of rich-ass California teenagers around their country club? You remember. The one that aired from 1987 right up through…1987. (September to December. YouTube any episode and see for yourself why—maybe “Diet, Please,” where the fillies are competing for a beauty contest. Notable quotable: “Gag me with a lobster fork.”)
I FUCKING LOVE THIS SHOW. The characters have names like “Larke” and a proto–cell phone thing—“the Gossip Hotline”—that buzzes harshly, like a panic alarm at a nuclear plant, whenever some new social scandal emerges. More mellifluous than that: The stupendous theme song. This week, I have seriously not wanted to do anything but jam to the tune of these BevHillzTeenz. Come on and make your dreams come true. It’s so horrible. I’m so in love.
2. “Twist My Fingaz,” YG
Actually: There is a second song on my end-of-July playlist. In terms of real West Coast music made for humans instead of a group of profligate animations: This single goes and goes and goes and GOES.
This track reads even more “California” to me than the above theme—who knew that were possible?
3. Back rubs
I’m an elderly boy now. I can tell because yesterday, fed up full to bursting with the world entire, I dipped into one of those “$10 for 10 minutes” outlets where a person punches you in the spine for a little portion of your life. I had never had a massage before! It turns out my vertebrae adore pummeling.
I didn’t know whether to take off my clothes?
Whatever. I’m into it. If, like me, you (a) are prone to kvetching re: feeling mad Sisyphean, even though you have litero nothing to complain about, and/or (b) recently texted your sororal group chat that you “seriously want a breast reduct-o” because of persistent back pain, go get socked in the back some. You will like it, or at least not be texting diatribes about your life/tits to your siblings for a hot 10.
4. The southern flannel moth, aka the Mrat’s identical twin
Mritter has a body double and I’m never going to stop making fun of her about it.
5. My First Time
I am very stoked for this forthcoming video series. In it, experiences with first books are recounted by writers like Donald Antrim, Sheila Heti (“I remember thinking, I just have to work harder than any other writer in the world“—yes, and if I didn’t feel this way, I’d quit), Akhil Sharma, and Ben Lerner (I loved 10:04; shove it). So far, only the trailer and a few excerpts have been released, but even just those little bitsa flotsam are making me feel way okay.
By and large, lip plumpers are temporary bullshit that taste like smoking a Newport without the tobacco part. To these, I say, “FERGIT IT.” The ringing/stinging exception is this injurious and beautiful gloss, which burns as though you smoothed fiberglass over your chomper (in a nice way?) as it expands it exponentially. It’s so horrible. I’m so in love.
7. Lisa Hanawalt
I have long adored this person‘s work for Lucky Peach (this strip, where she goes all spirals-for-eyes at a Las Vegas buffet, is my favorite of those), so clearly I was like YEA DOYE MY DUDE uh sorry I meant to say thank you but got excited, is all when the proprietor of the best comic/zine store in my neighborhood suggested that I might like her new-ish book, MY DIRTY DUMB EYES. And doye, did I ever! Cop it if you like lewd animals/are, yourself, one. (Oh, and on that note: If you like that show Bojack Horseman, Hanawalt designs that.)
8. The Rufous hummingbird
In terms of my Instagram consumption, the two categories I follow above any others are similar in tone: Sneaker-enthusiast and bird-watching accounts, with sparse exception, are both captioned all like, “[STERN RED EXCLAMATION EMOJI!] AUTHENTIC PICTURES ONLY. NO REPOSTS. TAG US FOR A FOLLOW BACK. [STERN RED EXCLAMATION EMOJI!]” Do not fuck around with, like, Sole Supremacy or BirdExtremeFeatures if you are tryna get them to redistribute photos of some spurious sparrows/SBs that you actually have no business with. The avian/sneakerhead social internet: “ACCEPT NO FAKES [AN EMOJI THAT LETS YOU KNOW THEY ARE IN NO WAY PLAYING AROUND ABOUT FINCHES/FOAMPOSITES!]”
Given the gravity of all that cartoon punctuation, I knew my love was AUTHENTIC when I happened upon this species of hummingbird, of which I had never heard:
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS WONDROUS LITTLE GUY? I got me over to the Audubon Society’s website for more intel, because, like the above Instagram captions, Audubon has its own sort of stylistic rapture inherent to its language. You can just hear the organization’s bird-os caring SO MUCH as you read their rapt characterizations of each species. Here are the first two lines of their description of Rufous, aka this bird:
Although it is one of the smaller members in a family of midgets, this species is notably pugnacious. The male Rufous, glowing like new copper penny [sic], often defends a patch of flowers in a mountain meadow, vigorously chasing away all intruders (including larger birds).
WHAT AN UNDERDOG. Mountain meadows are worth scrapping for, though, if anything is; I knew I liked Rufous for a reason outside its “glowing like new copper penny,” although the photo above is of a female, whose cranial plumage is…let me try and Audubon this…verdant like freshly-mint dollar bills.
Or maybe: RARE COLORWAY! PREMIUM HUMMINGBIRD [MEAN PUNCTUATION]
All right. That’s everything I like right now. Have a good summer-remainder, and remember: Come on and make your dreams come true! It’s fun for me and you! In Beverly Hills!