My father called me tonight to let me know he's having an angiogram (sp?) on Tuesday because he failed his stress test, has high cholestrol, and they found that he'd probably had one heart attack (that he never felt) some time in the past. Tuesday will determine if he has to have angioplasty or a shunt or the like, and he's in an absolutely rotten yet kind of giddy mood because after almost 50 years of smoking (he started when he was 15) he is quitting cold - fucking - turkey. Poor pappa. I'm not worried, this is fairly routine kind of stuff (unfortunately) but ... it's no fun to have parents go from those gods who know everything will live forever into ... people. I'll make it out for christmas this year come hell or high water.
Made a good dinner tonight! With more than one vegitable! Finally! We really need to get on the whole healthy eating kick, but haven't yet (last night was mac & cheese and a kit cat that my beloved picked up for me). However, at least we have a new veggie to add to the very short list that we both like and will eat - it's this cross between brocolli and asparagus (but without that acrid asparagus taste). Green! We had green things! Huzzah!
I have discovered my favorite author of all time is going to write another book!! She has a website (because that's an requirement for every writer these days, isn't it?), and this is what I snatched off of it:
I met someone in a pub off Victoria Park a couple of years ago. Ilya Gridneff. Australian, Russian father. He'd just turned 24. I don't think he told me any of those things then but I don't remember.
We talked about Adorno; I wrote my email address on a receipt, went to NY, things went very very sour with Miramax. Got an anarchic, obscene, insanely funny email from Ilya which I kept in my Inbox but never answered. Was finally driven to suicide by cuddly old contract-breaking Miramax, ended up in a psychiatric ward at Niagara Falls to press furore, talked my way out, went to Berlin.
Wrote to Ilya two years on. The tragicomedy of it all! Turns out he was a paparazzo. So while Miramax was covering its ass and killing the story I could have given an exclusive to Mr. National Enquirer. Shock horror. Meanwhile he had used his money from chasing Brittney and Angelina and Posh to travel around the Middle East, ending up in Iraq ("Where's the suicide bomber?" "You're standing in him.")
Got some more of his anarchic Hunger Thompsonesque emails. He was trying to get pharmaceuticals in Iran using an old phrasebook ("Give me painkillers, the strongest you have."). He was pretending to be German ("Mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut."). Thought he deserved a book deal, thought my former editor Jonathan Burnham, now at HarperCollins, might be the one to do it.
I'm not much of a dealmaker.
I now have about 6 months of emails. Asked Ilya if I could use them in a book along the lines of Charlie Kaufman's "Adaptation." Very nervous about this: his literary heroes are Mailer, Miller, Burroughs, Bukowski, Genet, Celine, DeLillo. Likes Martin Amis's "Money." Russian nihilists. Bataille, Neitzsche, Deleuze. The reason I want his voice in the book in the first place is that it's a completely different literary sensibility. Obviously. But what if he hates the book?
Sent him the first 100 pages a couple of weeks ago. In my mind I saw Ilya recoiling in horror. Gagging. Vomiting. These were the terrors.
Ilya: No, I liked it. When you said part of it was about Oxford I thought it would be something twee like Stephen, what's the name, Frears?
Ilya: Yeah, Stephen Fry, something twee about punting. But I liked it, I liked the Arabic map of the US, I could see the Philip K Dick influence, I liked Hunter Thompson at the Boat Race, I'd like to be more involved in the project.
Ilya Gridneff is living out of a backpack in Berlin while writing two books of his own ("Drinking Bleach" about London, [Name to come] about Britney to Baghdad). I'm living in Berlin with 6 suitcases and 500 books. "YOUR NAME HERE" should be finished soon.