Monday, November 17, 2003

Soaring inside:

I interviewed JT LeRoy (This Is last week for Bookslut, and my molecules have been realigned in a really great way.

I feel unnervingly lucky and profoundly grateful, both to him and to whatever force threw us togehter.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Earlier this week, I interviewed the extraordinary photographer, Amanda Koster...

...for an upcoming Digittante piece. If you're unfamiliar w/ her work, check it out at


Also, and way the hell off the topic: About five minutes ago, I took a break from transcribing and turned on the American Music Awards. Is it just me, or does Lindsey Buckingham now resemble an un-tenured comp lit professor? The one who runs five miles each morning, excoriates you for drinking caffeine ("Man, some kid is in jail right now for crack, but you can bring your drug to class"), yet still smokes prodigious amounts of weed?

The second installment of my arts column for Digittante is up--yea!

This month's subject: the way groovy, Montreal-based Mobilivre ("Bookmobile") collective:

| d i g i t t a n t e | get right by art |


Mobilivre’s vintage silver trailer is parked on Pine Street in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. "The Hill" is the fulcrum of Seattle’s arts (and heroin) scene and its denizens tend to be unflappable. Yet passerby hover around this sleek, bullet-shaped vehicle with a childlike eagerness that is refreshingly un-hip.

I step inside with a member of Mobilivre and as I look around, I feel giddy: the walls are a calm cool aqua—at once retro and of-the-minute—and lined with hundreds of independently produced publications: zines, graphic novels, art books, comics. The colors dance—one cover is a swirl of Creamcicle orange, another sports what looks like lavender satin—and I’m overcome with the desire to stay and splash around for the next several days.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Oh, yeah, *that*:

I've had CFIDS for the past twelve years. It's in an acute phase right now and I'm:

1) extremely grateful for my family and closest friends, and

2) really fucking sick of feeling this way.

Pre-emptive strike: I do mild yoga and stretching; walk as far as I can without incurring relapse; have eliminated the foods to which I'm allergic; eat my fruits and vegetables; drink eight glasses of water a day; follow all of the latest research; take a daily multi-vitamin; don't smoke; have two or three drinks a year; consume minimum amounts of caffeine; have tried acupuncture; get two massages a month; and have seen some of the most knowledgable doctors in the region. I stay focused, remain optimistic, implement the best of western and eastern medicine, help those less fortunate, and maintain a lively, ribald sense of humor.

In spite of this, I'm wrestling w/ acute nausea, fever, swollen lymph nodes and I feel like my very active mind is trapped in the body of a ninety year old. And while none of this has affected my sense of style--I will *never* leave the house in sweats and a fleece hoody, I don't care how sick I am--the other ninety-five percent of me feels battered right now.

When I'm able, I'm going to shoot a documentary on CFIDS and launch an annual fundraiser. In the meantime, if you're interested, check out for more information:

The CFIDS Association of America

Saturday, November 08, 2003

John Wells Needs a Hug; Les Moonves Needs a Ball Sack:

1) "The West Wing" suffered a steep decline in ratings last season, precipitated by stiff competition from "The Bachelor" and what some viewed as sluggish, convoluted storylines. Head writer and creator Aaron Sorkin consistently turned in late scripts, NBC balked, and Sorkin and Tom Schlamme--two of the show's three executive producers--quit before they were fired.

NBC asked the remaining exec producer, John Wells (hugely successful as a writer and exec producer of "ER") to helm "WW" 's writing staff and jump start its ratings. According to the latest Nielsens, ratings have improved slightly, but I don't care: John Wells isn't fit to clean Aaron Sorkin's keyboard, and he is ruining my goddamned show.

Nuance? Gone. That absurd close-up of Mary Stuart Masterson's red toenails lasted so long it could have been a Revlon commercial. (Oh, I get it now. *Feminists can still be sexy*. Thanks for clearing that up.) Wit? M.I.A. Leo’s referring to Albania and Greece as "two Bronze Age civilizations" was humorous, but hardly deft. Sorkin’s trademark banter is sorely missed.

It’s a mistake to analyze a writer’s personality based on their work, but John Wells seems pissed off and needy. As "ER" has devolved over the years, its characters have become self-loathing, petulant, and moody. When they yell, it’s not out of anger at the injustices that they witness, it’s because another staff member has insulted them or because they have to work late or they got dumped again. When they’re not fucking each other, they're hating each other. (Sometimes both simultaneously.)

Under Wells, the same dour mood has blanketed "The West Wing". In the most recent episode, Josh had his driver stop the car so he could get out and scream at the Capitol Building, "You want a piece of me?" Um, you want a piece of me? This execrable line was completely out of character for the hyper-articulate Josh. He sounded like a third grader who got pushed off the swings and into the wood chips.

Perhaps it’s nap time for John Wells.

2) Much has been written about CBS pulling its mini-series on the Reagans, but I want to add: Les Moonves, you are a little, little man. So, the RNC sent you a letter. Big fucking deal. You could have aired the series and weathered the heat for one news cycle. Sure, there might have been boycotts, but as the CEO of the country's #1 network, you should have learned something by now: Americans have short attention spans. The next ostensible controversy would have erupted--maybe "The Restaurant" would have poisoned a diner with some bad squid--and no one would have cared that your network depicted the neocon's patron saint as human.

Most likely, you were scared how a Republican Congress would treat CBS and its parent company, Viacom, in matters of deregulation, etc. Jesus Christ, man, grow a set. It’s not as if you’re staring down the Khmer Rouge.

Alms, please, for Les Moonves’ penis.