1) Are you currently in a serious relationship?
I am currently in a hilarious relationship.
2) What was your dream growing up?
Gosh, first and foremost, as the oldest girl in a family of nine kids, I suppose it was to not have to take care of someone else’s huge brood of wild Comanche children every day! And to live in England! And to be a writer! And to be a Medievalist! And to be a Medievalist writer in England! Oh, and to be one of those fab tour girls in a pea coat and knee socks on The Storybook Canal Boats at Disneyland who always sound like they have a stuffy nose as they tell you all about the miniature park where Peter Pan taught Wendy to fly! I may still do that yet. My dreams are still the same as when I was 5.
3) What talent do you wish you had?
I feel so ordinary for giving this answer, but it’s the truth: I wish I could just sit my fatass down and beautifully play the piano. Every once in a great while I am able do it in my dreams and it thrills me to my very core! If I could play my favorite piece of classical music on the piano — Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition — I would be one happy dame.
4) If I bought you a drink what would it be?
Just a club soda with extra lime for me, please — but I’d still make out with you if you caught my fancy. In polite company, I would most likely be referred to as a woman of questionable moral fiber. In impolite company (which is the kind I prefer to keep), I’d just call myself a tart, a trollop, a shitkicker, and a thief and be done with it.
5) Favorite vegetable?
Aside from those bitter bastard lima beans (which are shit), I adore all vegetables — they make up about 90% of my total diet and always have. But if I must choose, it’s a toss-up between corn-on-the-cob and brussel sprouts.
6) What was the last book you read?
Oh, Christ, I am always at any given time reading about ten books. The one I have next to me is a really good one about writing for sitcoms. I am also delightfully waltzing my way through, “The Crusades” by Zoe Oldenbourg yet one more time, as well as “Lucky Jim” by Kingsley Amis, “Among the Porcupines” by Carol Matthau, “This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All” by Marilyn Johnson, and waiting in the wings is (wait for it…) “The Pale King” by David Foster Wallace, who, along with Ted Hughes, is the greatest writer I have ever banged around with in my dreams.
7) What zodiac sign are you?
Oh, lord, isn’t it obvious? I am a Leo.
8) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.
No tattoos –- yet. Husband-raised-in-the-upper-middle-class is patently against me getting one, too — despite the fact that I have several choice ideas for what design I would have inked upon my arm. Suffice it to say, when it comes to tattoos, I am definitely a traditionalist and a literary whore — and that would without a doubt be reflected in any image I would have permanently affixed to my body.
9) Worst Habit?
Ah, just like every other worthless, piece-o’-shit writer on the godforsaken planet: perfectionism and procrastination. I also stack books on every available surface in the house. When my former husband and my current husband get together, they gang up on me about what they call “The Stacks.” I just belly laugh and remind them both that I am the greatest piece of ass they have ever had and that their petty annoyance over a few scattered piles of bound and published material pales mightily in comparison to my profound ability to suck the chrome off a trailer hitch. This always shuts their cakeholes immediately.
10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
Speaking of the suck — this question sucks and serves merely as filler. Hit me with something more interesting and I’ll consider answering you. Until then, go fuck yourself.
11) What is your favorite sport?
To watch on television: Women’s gymnastics.
To watch live: Baseball at Dodger Stadium with my two boys, one on either side of me, and a Dodger dog clutched in my meathooks with great reverence and satisfaction.
To play: Squat-hop-in-the-asparagus-patch.
12) Do you have a Negative or Optimistic attitude?
Infernally, annoyingly, appallingly optimistic.
13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
Gouge your left eye out with my thumb, you little freak, I shit you not.
14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?
Oh, god, I just cannot answer “the death of my little sister a few years ago” one more fucking time. I’m getting sick of it, you’re getting sick of it, and my fabulous sister –- wherever she may be –- is probably getting sick of it, as well. If she were here, she’d roll her eyes and SO tell me to get over my bad self and just get on with it. She was awesome that way. So, I am going to say, carelessly leaving my mother’s treasured 24 carat antique gold pen at a restaurant in Los Gatos when I was 10. We were traveling and stopped to get something to eat and she hesitantly gave it to me so I could draw on my paper placemat to pass the time until my spaghetti arrived — with the admonishment, “Okay, you can use my gold pen, but whatever you do, do not forget to give it back to me before we leave. “ Of course, I forgot. We had gone about an hour down the freeway before we realized my transgression, and so much did she love and treasure that pen, that we drove all the way back to retrieve it. Of course, when we got there, no one had any idea what happened to it. Yeah right. DIRTY, LYING, PEN-THIEVING BASTARDS. To this day, I still feel like shit about that goddamned pen.
15) Tell me one weird fact about you.
Although I used to mock them without mercy when I was a hateful, young hipster, I now know that as my babies get older, I will FULL-ON become one of those dames who has legions of yipping, scampering little dogs around to pamper and care for. I used to make fun of those broads, but I am telling you right now — with neither shame nor apology — that although I am all done procreating, I am nowhere near done taking care of small creatures and lavishing them with monstrous amounts of adoration and affection. Frances and Pearl are my fucking LIFE. It was said that Dorothy Parker was rarely seen without a treasured little dog at her wicked feet. I suppose I shall be in good company.
16) Do you have any pets?
Two glorious Chihuahuas who both sleep sweetly curled up around my gunt and are the reason I wake up in the morning. I kiss them both on the lips about 300 times a day. No, seriously.
17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?
How I would react depends entirely on who you are and what you mean to me. If you are someone that I love –- you would be heartily embraced and swept inside in a great flurry of kisses and welcomed like family and fed and cared for and given the biggest slice of pie and the most comfortable pillows in the house. Oh, and hot tea! And the remote control! I would wait on you hand and foot! And I would love it! I am Sicilian! On the other hand, if you are someone I…am not necessarily too keen on seeing…I wouldn’t even answer the door. Even better, you would see me peer out the window and look right at you with a completely bored and jaded look on my face –- so you would very clearly know that I was home and simply not opening the door to you — before merrily going back to my work or play. For the record, other than very, very close friends or family, I personally would never in a million years show up on somebody’s doorstep unannounced. I am far too mortified at the prospect of catching somebody wearin’ a ball-gag and gettin’ nailed in the keister, or something. Better to call.
18) Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
I am so over the whole, “Oooooh, clowns are scary!” thing. I’ll tell you what, cabron –- I think that people who obsessively dwell on whether or not clowns are cute or scary are scary.
19) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
Well, a few years ago I definitely woulda said “my titties” — christ, those hideous milky beavertails were an OUTRAGE! But since I already got those bastards shaved down and shimmied up…I would answer that I’d like gorgeous, smooth, translucent skin.
20) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
I would SO be your partner in crime! The tendency to be complicit in acts of clandestine mischief is entrenched in my genes! It is The Way of My Pipples! In fact, I am the friend you call when you gotta get rid of the body. Capische?
21) What color eyes do you have?
Green –- the only one out of nine children to have them (my youngest sibling, Ted, has blue.) Everyone else has brown.
22) Ever been arrested?
Oh, god, yes, and it was SO COMPLETELY AWESOME. If you wanna know more, you hafta read the book!
23) Bottle or can soda?
Umm…Diet Coke from the fountain –- with that pebbly, crunchy kind of ice you don’t see much anymore.
24) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
An extravagant sashimi dinner with Gregory and the babies at our local sushi joint and after that, a lavish, unbridled shop stop at Powell’s Bookstore –- and then first star on the right and straight on til Europa! Picture us and the babies lounging about the Southwest of France with good books, full bellies, sashimi breath, and self-satisfied looks on all our faces.
25) What’s your favorite place to hang?
At home with Gregory and the babies.
26) Do you believe in ghosts?
Let me put it this way: I want to believe in ghosts. The world is so much more interesting with the possibility of ghosts in it, don’t you think?
27) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Read –- mainly European history. And travel. And watch really good films. And talk about really good films. And write really good films. And feed Gregory and the beasties yummy vittles.
28) Do you swear a lot?
Ha! You gotta be fucking kidding me with this question. I make Keith Richards look like Hannah Montana with this mouth.
29) Biggest pet peeve?
People who are not generous with their praise or gratitude –- who are too small and petty and threatened and insecure to realize that there is room enough at the table for EVERYONE to shine and succeed. Also, adults who whine incessantly when no one makes a big deal about their birthday. FUCK RIGHT ON OFF.
30) In one word, how would you describe yourself?
31) Do you believe/appreciate romance?
Yes, but I suspect it’s probably my very own brand of romance. As in, if my husband forgets my birthday or our anniversary or Valentine’s Day or whatever –- I could give a fat rat’s ass. Fuck off. Unless you’re 16 years old, all that dire, forced, commercialized horseshit drivel drives me insane with disgust, anyway. For me, romance is belly laughing and traveling together and eating good food and watching good movies and having amazing discussions and just enjoying the shit out of each other’s company. Romance is setting off on great adventures together — even if that adventure is just to Trader Joe’s in Eagle Rock. Romance is encouraging the other person to seek their heart’s desire — whatever and wherever that might be. Romance is encouraging them to be exactly, precisely who they are every minute of every day — and celebrating that freedom. Romance is looking at the other person and knowing, to your marrow, that no matter how much time you will have together in this life, it will never be enough.
Romance had nothing at all to do with this shot I stealthily fired off at the grocery store at 5:30 pm on Valentine’s Day this year. Despite the Brooks Brothers shirt, the cashmere vest, the $400 Italian loafers, and the top-of-the-line black Mercedes S-Class parked right outside, homeboy looked fucking scared:
Romance also had nothing to do with this shot taken at See’s Candy a few minutes later. Along with the smell of marzipan and milk chocolate, dread and fear hung in the air like an unholy mist. You could just sense the many anuses puckering in desperate terror all around you:
This poor sap looked like he was waiting in line for a prostate exam:
Those pictures don’t show me romance; those pictures show me obligation, submission, and perhaps even a little annoyance.
Now, for me, this is romance; someone patiently sitting vigil at your hospital bedside for days and days whilst you emerge from major surgery and face the uncertain possibility of the dread cancer; and then that same someone consequently frolicking about with you like a giddy jackass on amyl when your oncologist tells you, this house is clean:
As for me, I subscribe to the David Sedaris definition of true love. It’s not always what you do that shows how much you love someone; it’s often what you don’t do:
“I was reminded of just how lucky I truly am. Movie characters might chase each other through the fog or race down the stairs of burning buildings, but that’s for beginners. Real love amounts to withholding the truth, even when you’re offered the perfect opportunity to hurt someone’s feelings.”
32) Do you believe in a god?
Again, I do –- but I am sure it’s my very own rarified, twisted version of god. My god is not a punishing, judgmental god; my god is a belly laugher and a deliverer of dreams.