Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Because animal-named blogs are awesome:

Perhaps hypocritically, I'm not a huge fan of blogs. There are several that I enjoy, but too many are poorly written and banal.

If you're suffering from holiday-induced delirium, though, treat yourself to a jolt of wicked good humor from Darci Ratliff and Heather Havrilesky. You'll laugh so hard you'll shoot egg nog through your nose:

Darci Ratliff's Kittenpants
kittenpants: the site for cats, pants, Keith Gordon

Heather Havrilesky's Rabbit Blog
rabbit blog

Monday, December 20, 2004

JT and Harold:

1) My Poets and Writers interview with my friend, JT LeRoy, is up. We discuss his books, films, past, the subjective nature of fiction and of autobiography, how surviving the streets is akin to war, R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Charles Bukowski, James Ellroy, and JT's "Sophie's Choice" moment between Dave Eggers and Billy Corgan:

Poets&Writers, Inc.

2) Read JT's new novella, "Harold's End", when you get a chance: its story wrenches like a meat hook and the language imbeds itself like a great song. Cherry Hood's watercolor illustrations stun and a well-racked smart girl gets thanked on p.95. Mr. Eggers wrote the introduction, too. What more could you want from a literary experience? :)

jt leroy - writing - harold's end

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Great moments in diametric opposition:

Last time, I wrote that "An Open Letter to Keith Richards' Immune System" had been linked to a science humor site. Today I discovered it on a Lynyrd Skynyrd message board:

Frynds of Skynyrd - Off Topics

Sunday, December 12, 2004

"Analysis and freaky sensitivity/We've got to live on science alone..." --"Scientist", The Dandy Warhols

The editor of the science humor site, The Abhorrent and Secret World of Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid, just emailed me and said that he linked my McSweeney's piece, "An Open Letter to Keith Richards' Immune System", to his publication. (Scroll halfway down and click on "C.F.I.D.S.".)

I read some of their other stuff and I like their smart-geek humor:

Science Humour: The Abhorrent and Secret World of Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Brava, L.H!:

Laura Hillenbrand's New Yorker essay on her life with CFIDS, "A Sudden Illness", has been chosen for both the prestigious "Best American Essays 2004" and "Best American Magazine Writing 2004".

"A Sudden Illness" is a masterwork and I'd say that even if I didn't have CFIDS. With eloquence and a slow-burning anger, Hillenbrand lays bare the heartbreak of having one's life--particularly one's youth--upended by incurable illness.

I know someone is going to ask, "If she's so sick how did she write such a long piece?" Answer: It took her two years and she often had to write lying down and/or with her eyes closed to quell the vertigo. Being ill doesn't diminish one's talent: it makes it more difficult to access. If one has the tenacity of a rabid dog, though, great things can happen.


CFIDS Books: The Best American Essays 2004 (Best American Essays) Books: The Best American Magazine Writing 2004 (Best American Magazine Writing)

Friday, December 10, 2004


My new pieces for McSweeney's and for The Black Table both went online today. (Kinda makes up for the fact that I was only able to leave the house for an hour.) Anyway, I'm happy.

"An Open Letter to Keith Richards' Immune System":
McSweeney's Internet Tendency: An Open Letter to Keith Richards' Immune System.

"Who Would I Kill: A Partial List":

Monday, December 06, 2004

If the speculation about Ann Coultier turns out to be true, I'll never stop laughing:

One of my favorite authors, Jerry Stahl ("Permanent Midnight", "I, Fatty"), gives a new interview to Salon: Books | "All my heroes were dope fiends"

An excerpt:

"On a more serious note, you have to give Rush [Limbaugh] credit -- he's probably done more to curb the spread of opiate use in this country than anybody. When I was coming up, you had this hipster dope-fiend legacy: Lenny Bruce, Miles Davis, Burroughs, Richards and Nick Cave. Now you've got ... Rush Limbaugh. I mean, who wants to do the same drug as some overfed, unlaid right-wing toady? I can just picture Rush scratching his nose and explaining his anti-immigration policy to the maid he bought his shit from. Buying Dilaudid from your maid -- does it get any more Republican?"

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Have yourself a sticky little Christmas:

The Black Table recently ran my piece, "Ivory Christmas", in its monthly "Waxing Off" section. I've posted the link here, as well as the original version, which I prefer. (Two of my favorite lines were cut! Who dares to alter my story of adolescent fake masturbation?)

Anyway, enjoy!


I was a teenage art-geek. Frizzy haired and studious, I hadn't yet learned to work a prodigious vocabulary and ample rack to my advantage. But I had my first real boyfriend, Pete. We discussed Dylan Thomas at lunch and he played King Crimson riffs for me over the phone. I was in love.

My parents, both Greek, both prosecutors, insisted on meeting him. I balked, but relented when my dad threatened to run Pete's license plates. "This house is like a cop show!" I yelled and stormed from the room.

The next day after school, Pete loaded his books into my used Mustang and we drove home. It was two weeks before Christmas and I'd told him my folks wanted to include him in a traditional Greek holiday meal. Once inside, we sat on the living room couch by the Christmas tree. Mom and Dad wouldn't be home for a couple of hours and I thought my brother was at soccer practice.

"You're my other half," Pete said and put his hand on my knee. As we kissed, a moaning sound wafted down the hall. Barely audible at first, it grew louder. I realized it was my brother. "It sounds like someone's jacking off," Pete said, alarmed.

The bathroom door flung open and my brother raced into the room. "Aaaahhhhh!" he yelled and ran toward Pete. His hands were coated in viscous white liquid and he waved them around maniacally. "Pete! I love you, Pete!"

"Is he retarded?" Pete asked frantically, tripping over the hassock in an effort to get away. "I want to give you my baby juice!" my brother continued and chased Pete into the kitchen. I heard my mom's planter knock into a wall.

By now, I knew what was going on. My brother, a smart-ass and more than slightly nuts, was hazing my boyfriend. My boyfriend, however, had no clue.

"Goddamn it, George! Leave him alone!" I called after them. I sprinted into the kitchen, caught George by the shirt and yanked. He stopped and burst out laughing.

"Oh my God! Dude, you should have seen the look on your face!" he told Pete. "Lighten up there, pal. It's just Ivory Liquid. I would have had to crank it eight or nine times to get that much jizz."

"What the hell's wrong with you?" Pete cried, visibly shaken.

Later at dinner, Pete endured my parents' inquisition with aplomb. He made polite conversation with my brother as if nothing had happened. And he left me the next week for a cheerleader.

He said it was because she would blow him. Though perhaps Pete liked his Christmases white, not Ivory.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

NYC odds and sods, part 2:

--My first night in town I went to the much-touted Cupcake Reading Series at Lolita on the LES with my friend, Caryn. Martha Witt read from her new novel, "Broken As Things Are" and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche read from her new novel, "Purple Hibiscus". Katherine Lanpher, co-host of "The Al Franken Show" on Air America, moderated. Witt is undeniably talented, but Adiche blew the room away. After the Q and A, Witt and Adiche went upstairs to sell and sign books. I felt bad that I only purchased Adiche's "Hibiscus"--the authors were seated next to each other--but we're all big girls, and I couldn't see the point of buying a book I knew I wouldn't read. I'm finishing Arthur Bradford's "Dogwalker" now (more on him in a sec) but I can't wait to begin "Hibiscus" when I'm done.

--Purchased some gunmetal silver kitten heels at Bounce in Soho that I like more than most people. At the Punk Silver boutique within Bounce, I did some early Christmas shopping for my cousins, Ellie and Helena. The 25 year old jewelry maker asked me out, and while he wasn't my type, I enjoyed it when he told me, "You have the best smile in the city".

--Met Arthur Bradford at JT's after party at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. I'd heard of him, but hadn't yet read his work. Knew he'd be brilliant, though, after hearing him sing to JT earlier that evening at Deitch: his lyrics were hilarious, warm, and spot-on. (I'll post them here after JT's webmaster gets them online.)

--The squirrels at Tompkins Square Park are quintessential New Yorkers: they literally sit on your lap and get in your face. Split a chocolate croissant with two of them--my friend, Christy, took some fun pics--and C and I enjoyed unwinding on this cold, sunny afternoon, our last day in town.

For further info:

Guardian Unlimited Books | Special Reports | A4 challenge: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Martha Witt > Broken As Things Are


identity theory | the narrative thread - arthur bradford