Archive for the ‘Things I Love That I Go to Inappropriate Lengths to Track Down’ Category

My Introvert Paradise

December 18, 2019

When I read the 2011 obituary of 104-year-old Huguette Clark, the reclusive heiress who had spent nearly two decades in luxury hospital suites by choice before she died, naturally my first thought was, “This bitch is my hero.”  Okay, so maybe I have no interest in collecting dolls, as the eccentric Clark did well into adulthood, and maybe I didn’t grow up in a 121-room mansion, but dreamers gotta dream!

When Clark died, she left behind three enormous properties, estates in Santa Barbara and New Canaan, Connecticut, and a palatial apartment on 5th Avenue, that she hadn’t set foot in since her hospital admission.  She kept people on staff at all three houses to ensure they would be in perfect shape lest she decide (?) to pay a visit.  (Side note: have considered writing a short story about the house manager at the Santa Barbara estate, a real Remains-of-the-Day type, who squashes a new hire’s mission to find out more about their mysterious employer.  Or something like that.)

Anyway, her properties were put up for sale after her death, including her apartment at 907 5th Avenue, which was originally two apartments combined so she could live with her mother.  Naturally I want to live there.  When the realtor put a floor plan up on the listing site back in the day, I printed a copy and marked what the layout would be if justice were real and I got to live in a mansion.  Herewith, my introvert paradise!

2019-12-16_222512 copy 2

From top left around in a clockwise circle moving closer to the compass:

Kitchen
Informal breakfast nook: no idea why I put breakfast in quotation marks but I’ve grown a lot in the last eight years
Dining room
Bathroom with clawfoot tub: basically all I want in life, other than a $22.5 million apartment, is a clawfoot tub
Bedroom: mine
Closet: not sure where I’ll be getting the money to buy clothes in this scenario but it’s my fantasy
Nonfiction library: where I store my collection of nonfiction books
Bathroom
Cozy TV/movie watching room: big couches, plush blankets, etc.
Closet
Nap closet: for when you’re on the other side of the house and you’re too lazy to walk back to your own bed to nap
Hisbodedut room: when you want to daven Breslov style
Craft room: a room for doing projects, a la Amy Sedaris
Billiards room: not sure why I chose this, because I don’t play pool, but maybe I was just running out of ideas?
Sculptor-in-residence’s room: this is where the sculptor-residence will live and, well, sculpt
SIR’s bathroom
Office: this is the only room in the apartment with WiFi
Fiction library: where I store my novels
Group therapy room: where I get together with a bunch of people and do some guerrilla group therapy
Soundproof destruction room: when you’re really angry you can come in here and break things
Pantry
Empty room with waxed floor for skateboarding, toy car riding and sliding around on your butt: self-explanatory
Phone booth #2: phone booth #1 is on the other side
Psychopath room: a padded room for when you want to lose your shit a little
Room I forgot to name: thoughts, anyone?
Ping pong and game room: foosball as well
Is this a room or a hallway?: I genuinely cannot tell
Knick knack closet: this is where I keep my knick-knacks
Crying closet: this is a room with a couch and lots of tissues in case you feel like crying in private
Art gallery: this is where I keep my pictures and display the SIR’s work
Phone booth
Supply closet: for paper towels and such

So!  That’s the goal, folks.  Let’s make it happen.  Coming up soon, the link to my GoFundMe––aiming for a cool $25 mill here, people, so don’t be shy!  Oh and I’m auctioning off the original of the above.  Just reach out to Siobhan: she’s lazy, but she knows how to cash a check.

SAD!

December 4, 2019

Not gonna lie, pretty bummed these ceramic peanuts are sold out.  (PS: having a bit of a consumerist moment over here!  Send help!). (PPS: I love fake food you can scatter around your house a laAmy Sedaris!)

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 11.00.02 PM.png

Ruin Porn

August 8, 2019

I’ve been wanting for ages to make a prototype for a cover of my magazine, Ruin Porn, which will be a high-end glossy for those of us who love abandoned buildings, architectural decay, and eerie interiors.  Unfortunately for us all, my Photoshop skills are zilch.  So I’ve done this, which is kiiiinda close but a) the font of the contents isn’t perfect and b) I want the background to be Baker-Miller/Millennial Pink or another shade of pink TBD, which feels like it SHOULD be easy to accomplish but is… not.

By the way if anyone wants to team up with me and make this magazine, I would toooootally do it.  I’m leaning toward it being a biannual journal but I’ll sign on for a quarterly if my financial backers absolutely insist.

By the way, in case you can’t read it, the features in this issue are: The Abandoned Villas of Italy by Photographer Thomas Jorian, The Stalkers of Pripyat, Ukraine, and A Visit to Poveglio Island.

Screen Shot 2019-08-07 at 8.45.41 PM

Put Me in Your Will, Mr. Waters

June 3, 2019

There’s a new article out about John Waters, which focuses on his art collection, one of my favorite topics.  You’ll recall, I’m sure, that many years ago I wrote him a note offering to be caretaker of his art collection when he dies.  I would probably strike a different tone now, but what’s done is done.

The new piece features a number of pictures of Waters’s pieces from my favorite “genre” of art, trompe l’oeil!  The toilet paper dispenser, light switch, olives, playing cards and pencil in these pictures are fake!  Basically my dream is to have an apartment riddled with fake things just to confuse my guests.

Additions to List

April 28, 2019

Back in this post, I said there should be names for films that use either regular people to play characters much like themselves/non-professional actors exclusively or a mix of professional and non-professional actors.  Kind of like, filmic auto-fiction?  Anyway, I named a few movies that fall into this category, but I have some more to add: La Pointe Court (Agnes Varda) and Man of Aran.  I’m sure there must be a name for this type of cinema, so please, by all means, can some snobby first year film MFA student school me on this?

True Crime

March 21, 2019

You know how true crime is big?  Of course you do!  And true crime podcasts are the BIGGEST!  You are definitely plugged in enough to know that.  Well, while researching an article about an Amish thing, I came across this old news story, and I’m convinced it’s the next big true crime podcast subject (it’s basically a solved murder, but they’ve made well-reviewed podcasts about Charles Manson, so I don’t think knowing who did it is that much of a deterrent).  I would love to do some of the work on this, but the thing is, only some of it: pitching it, organizing interviews and travel, arranging for advertising, etc., I’d prefer someone else do.  Do you think Sarah Koenig is free?

A trailer:

The break came in 1987, when Reader’s Digest published an article about Little Boy Blue. A woman in northern Ohio, a member of an Amish community, read the story and wondered whether the mystery boy was a relative who had not been seen for several years. She contacted authorities, who, in the days before forensic DNA testing, used a fingerprint to confirm the identification.

Little Boy Blue was Danny Stutzman, a 9-year-old from Dalton, Ohio. The sheriff and Nebraska State Patrol investigator Jack Wyant furiously searched for the boy’s father, Eli Stutzman. They found him in Azle, Texas, almost two years from the date of Danny’s discovery in Nebraska.

I mean, it’s a gay Amish murder story.  Gold, Jerry!

Thats-Gold-Jerry-Gold-Kenny-Bania-Seinfeld-Quote

 

Chapter Titles From The Favourite

January 10, 2019

 

  1.  This Mud Stinks
  2. I Do Fear Confusion and Accidents
  3. What an Outfit
  4. A Minor Hitch
  5. What if I Should Fall asleep and Slip Under
  6. Stop Infection
  7. Leave That I Like It
  8. I Dreamt I Stabbed You in the Eye

My New Favorite Website

December 23, 2018

Two reasons why I have a new favorite website.

1. In 2012, the high school football team in Gypsum, Colorado, rallied around a young fan suffering from leukemia, who lived nearby in the mountains.  A family friend of the boy, a woman in her twenties named Briana, was the intermediary: telling the football team about him, giving interviews to the press, moderating a Facebook page for him, etc.  When he died, the whole town mourned.  But then––surprise!––it turned out the whole thing was a scam.

This is just one example of “Munchausen by Internet,” but it’s one that’s always stuck with me, for reasons I can’t explain.  If someone gave me a few thousand bucks with the stipulation that I had to use it to satiate some longstanding useless desire, I would hire a private investigator to find Briana and Treva Throneberry and just show up at their homes and be like, “Yo ladies, WTF?”

2. When I’m bored, sometimes I will scroll through GoFundMe and try to do a little hypothetical empathy math.  Who deserves my imaginary extra thousand dollars?  The woman with colon cancer, or the man with the brain tumor?  The family who lost their home in a flood (aha, but did they have insurance), or the couple desperate to raise funds for IVF?  The website’s mere existence basically begs a million ethical questions, and I have considered writing about it at length before, but then someone else got there first, which would have pissed me off if the article wasn’t so damn good.

Anyway!  A few weeks back, a friend of mine and I were talking about illness on the Internet, and she gave me the greatest gift of all, which was a link to website called GoFraudMe: a snarky news site that tells you whenever someone commits fraud via crowdfunding!  It’s hilarious, galling, informative, and thought-provoking all at once!  Wanna hear about the nurse accused of killing his patients who took to GoFundMe to raise money for his legal fees?  Sure!  Did you know that Whitney Houston’s sister tried to raise funds to get people to investigate the “foul play” in Whitney and Bobbi Kristina’s deaths?  I did NOT know that!  What about the woman who not only faked cancer for money but said she was a veteran despite never having served? Sign. me. up!

Point being: this website is a trove of great stories (and as an aside, was a great distraction when I was recently in the hospital).  Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have been updated since September.  All I want for Christmas is MORE GOFUNDME FRAUD STORIES!

Screen Shot 2018-12-23 at 12.35.23 AM

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Get Me This Shirt

October 29, 2018

Anyone who has seen Synecdoche, New York and doesn’t think it perfectly encapsulates the despair of human existence I sadly must unfriend.

tumblr_n0nigeX1J41rsn92lo1_500

Bathroom Porn

October 24, 2018

Once, I had an idea that I was going to do a blog post that was only pictures of clawfoot tubs, because I love them.  Then I forgot about it, or maybe I just decided it was something Honestly WTF had already done at least once (it appears they’ve done one on cast iron tubs, which appear to be… the same?  Mostly clawfoot?  It’s like an SAT problem).  Anyway, yesterday, while drooling over this real estate listing for the apartment I would live in if I were 98 years old and had gone full-on rich eccentric, I actually felt my limbs go tingly while gazing upon the amazing green bathroom.  You could just die, right?

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 8.54.48 PM

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 8.54.59 PM