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

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

Theresa Duncan’s (Missed) Yahrtzeit

August 29, 2018

So this is truly embarrassing, but I had it in mind to write something acknowledging the 10 year anniversary of Theresa Duncan’s death, and I thought it was somewhat recent, but then I Googled it just now and saw that it was actually LAST summer.  This is what having an infant/toddler will do to you.

Anyway, I wanted to memorialize the summer of Duncan’s passing, which of course, being twenty-three at the time, I made into a commentary all about me, but obviously I’ve missed it.  And so did, it seems, everyone else: there was no gossip-y Nancy Jo Sales piece, no memorial service at Saint Mark’s Church, no biopic from Brett Easton Ellis playing at my local Alamo Drafthouse (although I’ve always thought the story was better suited for avant garde opera, no)?  There was a pretty good essay about it by a writer named Patricia Grisafi, although clearly not timed for the anniversary; there was nothing specifically mentioning the anniversary on her mother’s blog homage (blomage?) to Theresa, but then again, maybe she doesn’t mark the anniversaries the way us Jews do.

And also, maybe there weren’t those things because… there isn’t really much to say?  I’m realizing now that I don’t have anything to add to the story except that we should try not to forget these two people, or at least that I don’t think I will be able to forget these two people, which is something else entirely.  Wherever you two lovebirds are, I hope it’s sunny.

cc50d9b2f1d9d316a6eeb7fbb454f716.jpg

A Very Literary Problem

April 10, 2018

I really dislike openly displaying sentiment, or attachment to things, particularly things that a lot of people feel sentimental about, but I can’t really avoid it when I discuss this topic.  Brief disclaimer.

So probably you guys remember almost seven (!) years ago, I stayed at Shakespeare & Company, the famous English language bookstore in Paris.  I danced a drunken jig outside the shop after a Will Self reading, I read Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan late into the night, I had a mystical experience afterward: it was all gravy.

Fast forward to 2016.  The history book on the shop, which I had done the tiniest bit of work on when I was there, came out.  Though it was something like 40 Euros and I had to pay for shipping to London, I splurged and got it for myself.  But then, some very thoughtful people ALSO got it for me.  And now I have two.

I don’t really like to own multiple copies of books (I blame Marie Kondo) but I can’t really bring myself to just give the extra one to Goodwill or put it on my stoop.  I feel like it needs to go to a good Tumbleweed home, but I can’t really find any sort of online group that is like, New York City Tumbleweed alums.  (Not being on Facebook does not help my cause here.)  The only NYC-based person I can find who definitely was a Tumbleweed is Molly Crabapple, but she’s KBD and will probably be like, “Why is this weirdo writing me frantically insisting I take her coffee table book?”  (I know she loved it, because her LitHub essay told me so.)  If she sees this and reaches out, she’s got dibs, but I’m not holding my breath.  So now what?  Help me, Internet!

391

(Not Shakespeare & Company.  Just another thing Molly Crabapple and I have in common.)