Saturday, September 20, 2008
Test 07: 09-20-2008 13:57 PDT; -crm-
Test 05: 09-20-2008 13:51 PDT; -crm-
Test 04: 09-20-2008 13:48pm; -crm-
Test 03: 09-20-2008 13:44 PDT; -crm-
Test 02: 09_20-2008 1:42pm PDT; -crm-
Test post: 09-20-2008 1:40pm PDT -crm-
Monday, September 15, 2008
September is the Month of Sex on ToddSeavey.com
And Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl is the focus of today's rant!
Todd's blog is full of unexpected treasures, such as this report on the non-commercial sex trade (for want of a better term), and he calls his stuff "conservatism for punks." He is diligently contrarian, recommending Nancy Chan's Provencal adventure "for its educational value even while seriously questioning the ethics of the main character."
If you enjoy Todd's commentary on the issues raised in Jetsetting Call Girl, come to Lolita Bar on Sunday, September 28. Todd hosts a regular debate series. This month: "Is modern sex good or evil?"
Free admission, cash bar - you get to drink and vote at the same time!!! No fair deciding before the debate how you will vote. Must listen to both sides of the discussion with an open mind.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Reality Check: Who Were the Suffragettes, Really?
This excellent piece by Susan Levine may startle some idealists who doubt Sarah Palin's authenticity as a feminist. Levine basically points out that Palin is just as authentic as Susan B Anthony! Also, you'll notice that the suffragette who ended up on a dollar coin wasn't Lucy Stone (allied with Frederick Douglass.)
The names that flash most brightly in our collective memory are of suffragettes who turned their cause into a movement for gaining white privilege. That's one way of putting it. Or you could say they made certain compromises because politics is a dirty business. Susan B Anthony, Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton... there is a direct line leading from these women to the likes of Sarah Palin. There always were a few "cranks" who thought that fighting for the vote was a mistake, a distraction from the real deal. Emma Goldman wasn't especially keen on the vote.
Send this link to every woman you know! Especially anyone who's even remotely attracted to Sarah Palin for "gender" reasons. Blech.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
In today's ABC Unleashed column, I respond to Pru Goward, contemplate hockey feminism, and relish a mooseburger. It's about Sarah Palin, but it's not.
I agree with Gary Hart. Listen to his conversation with Robert Wright. Gary is very wise.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Democracy Wow: RNC Observations
At first, I liked Sarah Palin's Alaska crab centerpiece and her open-toed slides, but the more she talks, the less I like her style. Others have said that Palin sounds formidable. I'm sorry, but, to me, she seems abrasive. This supposedly rugged Alaskan manages to feed into some unfortunate stereotypes about American women. She sounds like a potential nag, but she also sounds canned.
As for our former mayor, it was comical to watch a New Yorker pandering to this braying mob with comments about "the left wing media." Good grief. Left wing media? What's that? New York magazine? CNN?
Also, what was the point of insulting all the ordinary people in this country who feel a responsibility to their community - whether they work in a soup kitchen, attend community board meetings, or, um, volunteer for voter registration drives?
These are among the people who call themselves community organizers. It seems misguided to me.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
I'm hardly the first to have heard about this ...but I just wanna share the now infamous YouTube clip which has also been Gawkerized.
The NY Times provides a limited "transcript" of the overheard comments.
Here's a better transcription of the entire moment. Noonan has a wonderful speaking voice!
Monday, September 01, 2008
Mumbai, India: Detrimental Fun (New Review!)
More news from my inbox: an email from Xaviera Hollander, who writes to tell me about a review of Jetsetting Call Girl in DNA, the hot new Mumbai broadsheet. (Launched 2005.) Living it up as a call girl among the hippies, hash, migrants and modern architects - just like real life.
Aastha Atray Banan finds Jetsetting a "fun read" which "could be detrimental for your mental health," adding: "it is wittily written, especially where one of the young prostitutes becomes part of a group of call girls who want to preserve Mary Magdalene’s bad reputation."
See it here.
My growing love affair with India continues! You can order Jetsetting from India Times Shopping, and spring for the courier option if you want prompt delivery within India.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Marburg, Germany: Sex Work Tax Protest
Marc of Frankfurt writes to tell us that, "in the city of Marburg near Frankfurt, the city council voted for a new sex show/performance tax which is 7.000 Euro per year per 100 square meter location. They call it 'tax on pleasure of special kind'. Twenty sex workers protested at the city council meeting yesterday."
Watch a short youtube video.
And read this document on the tax legislation.
A Girl Like Thee
Those who whinge about the decadent qualities of Gossip Girl might be surprised by its middle class origins. Roger Sutton is right to call Jeanette Eyerly, who recently died at the age of 100, "the ‘Gossip Girls’ writer of 30 years ago" - even though her stories take place far away from the Upper East Side. (Geographically speaking, her characters were closer to Booth Tarkington's Penrod or William Baxter.)
Sex (implied, not explicit), drugs, pregnancy, abortion, suicide, shoplifting, divorce. Though it's hard to imagine, all these things were quite a big deal when she introduced them to the marketplace in the 1960s. She continued publishing stories about teenagers into the late 1980s.
Her papers, going back to 1925, are at the University of Iowa. They include correspondence with Chloris Leachman, Ann Landers and Bill Keane. (Here I learned that attempts were made to ban her 1977 novel He's My Baby Now - about a 16-year-old unwed father.)
If you've been moping about the last days of print journalism, you must read Rebecca Christian's beautifully written appreciation of Jeanette Eyerly in the Des Moines Register. I loved hearing about Eyerly's early newspaper career - it seems she may have created an early Bridget Jones type through the persona of Linda Lee.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
DPA at the DNC: Biden's Drug War
This email from Ethan of the Drug Policy Foundation got my attention. Biden, he says, is partly to blame for "the draconian mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines that have filled our prisons." BUT: "Earlier this year, Sen. Biden surprised many by introducing legislation to eliminate the 100-to-1 crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity, leapfrogging more modest reforms put forth by others."
Read Ethan's letter here.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
$preading 4.2 out and other tidbits
The latest issue of $pread - illuminating the sex industry since 2004 - asks: "Are hookers going to hell?"
They mean it in the theological sense, not the metaphorical - but wait, hell IS a metaphor, isn't it? For other people, sure... but maybe not for Annie Lobert of Hookers for Jesus, a Vegas-based ministry. She seems to be a true believer. Mistress Julie, a Buddhist domme, takes an opposing view. This is all on page 20 of Spread 4.2 in their Positions column.
On page 18, Consumer Reports, three panelists rate Flavored Condoms. I feel so left out!! I mean, I have definite opinions about those things...
But wait wait wait, there is a positive and rather edgy review of Jetsetting Call Girl on page 60 by Rachel Aimee!
"The juicy call girl drama takes a detour into ...a debate between warring factions of feminists over whether it's more misogynistic to call Mary Magdalen a whore or not a whore."
You can order issue 4.2 here
Monday, August 18, 2008
A DearTQ from Delhi
The Mail Today piece sorta made my day. I'm a Yank who first came here in the Peace
Corps in 1965 and it changed my life. Was able to shift here starting in '87. One of my
smarter moves. I too have led a varied life and since part of you's from here, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
New Delhi Debut
In Mail Today on Sunday, "two worlds, two personas: blogger-debutante Meenakshi Reddy and Tracy Quan, New York call-girl turned writer, tell their personal stories."
I can't claim to be THAT kinda debutante - but this is a debut of another sort, as I've never worked with an Indian daily before. Naturally I'm excited to be published in "a paper tiger that bites."
My column is here. Enron rumors, Indian ancestors and deadwhitemales are given equal consideration.
There's a special Harper Perennial edition of Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl for the Indian subcontinent only. I finally caught a glimpse of it, last week, while lunching at Tea and Sympathy...
Thursday, August 14, 2008
We've never known what it is to loathe our inner housewife. We're madly in love with her! She can do no wrong. However, she's been a little distracted lately. Needs to do some tidying up. So, for now, we're putting Bookslut Q&A: here.** So that Married Call Girl can assert herself a bit.
**(This is where Elizabeth Merrick investigates Tracy's "dark side.")
Monday, August 11, 2008
The new N-word
Is there such a thing as high-density narcissism, akin to HDL ("good") cholesterol?
Last week, I looked at the diversity of narcissism, and defended its role in art,
entertainment, affairs of the heart.
This week, everyone is slinging the N-word around, including John Edwards himself, as if he were describing a kind of mental pox...
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Book Event at AIDS2008, Mexico City
Are you in Mexico City? At the International AIDS Conference? On Thursday August 7, at 2:45 pm/ 14:45, you can win a signed souvenir copy of Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl!
Come to the Global Village Main Stage.
Raffle tickets will be sold before and during the Star Whores 2 performance. All sales will benefit APROASE, one of the sex worker NGOs in Mexico City.
To win a signed copy of Jetsetting Call Girl, click here for details.
The Global Village is open to the public, one of the unofficial activities of the AIDS2008.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Jetsetting to Hong Kong by Phone
It was lovely and rather special to chat with Phil Whelan again on Morning Brew. (I was a guest when my first book arrived in Hong Kong.)
We talked about my new book, the responsibilities of glamour, what Mary Magdalen has in common with Barbie - and what it's like to be confused with a fictional character.
If you missed the Friday morning show (Thursday night in New York!) you can listen to the archive on Radio 3 the following day.
Some news for my listeners in Asia!
Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers will be raffling signed copies of Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl at the International AIDS conference in Mexico City on August 7th. Proceeds will be donated to APROASE, a local sex worker NGO: 2:45 PM Global Village Main Stage, Thursday August 7th.
Check out this video on BlipTV. It's about the problems faced by sex workers in Cambodia after the new prostitution laws were passed in February 2008.
If you're attending AIDS2008 in Mexico City, visit the Sex Worker Lounge which is hosted by APROASE, NSWP and APNSW. I'll be posting news about sex workers at AIDS2008 in the next few days.
Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers site is here.
Ordering Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl in Asia?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Yesterday, July 22, was a very Catholic Tuesday.
Around lunchtime, my homage to Mary Magdalen went up on Guardian Unlimited. Later, I went to the preview for Brideshead Revisited.
Now I like a bit of Catholic Chic - find it most enjoyable - but can't quite keep a straight face when some of my co-religionists (even fictional ones) start doing The Tormented Catholic Thing. It's not a hat I've ever worn, and while it looks okay on some, the effect can be overly precious.
So I was pleasantly surprised! Brideshead, the movie, is amusing rather than earnest. (I don't share the concerns of my friends who are fans of the TV series... which, as I recall, was ponderous and looooong.) Teddy bears, plovers eggs, rosaries, and last rites. The movie provides just the right amount of each.
The only character I could relate to is the Italian mistress of Sebastian Flyte's dad... when she explains to Charles Ryder that Catholicism's just a lifestyle around here, rather than a special obsession (as it has become for these Anglo aristos)
There was a great deal of Catholic Envy at the party, which also makes me chuckle. Get over it, Anglicans! And please, no more converts. There's nothing more scary than a convert! Yikes!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Mary Magdalen Today
Medieval career girl? Or modern icon? On July 22, her feast day, we ask: just how relevant is she? And what has she done for you lately?
My column is here.
Or will be shortly!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Hong Kong: Radio 3 RTHK This Friday 7/25
I'll be a guest on Morning Brew in Hong Kong this Friday, talking to Phil Whelan about the story behind Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl... the many faces of Mary Magdalen... and other matters both intimate and public.
You can listen anywhere in the world. Here's a time zone converter if you're not in HK.
Date: Friday, July 25, 2008, Hong Kong
Time: 11:05-11:30 AM Hong Kong Time
New York is 12 hours behind, so it will be 11 PM here, this Thursday.)
Friday, July 11, 2008
A Work(ing Girl) in Progress
The globalization of Nancy
This album of book jackets is by no means complete. I'll let you know as I update and receive new jackets, translation deals.
From Australia: Just Loving
...this news from SassiConfidential.
ANZ readers can order Jetsetting Call Girl online here.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Virginity is back
... and more controversial than ever. My take on the allure of first-timers ran in the National Post this weekend.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
A Dear TQ from Nancy Chan Herself
... evidently I have missed out a BIG chunk of the goings on of Nancy Chan. I can remember clearly the day I stumbled upon Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, three years ago. It was during a routine boring work lunch, I had decided to hit the shops. I walked past all these books and none stood out as much as this novel.
When I had read the blurb on the back of the book I had to buy it straight away. Three years later in the same shop, I casually walked past the books section and here it was -- the third of the Nancy Chan novels screaming out at me. I had no idea there was #2 or #3! I can't wait to start immersing myself back into another world of Nancy Chan.
I say "another world" because my name is Nancy Chan.
No middle name, no marriage name. When I read the first book I had to read it again a second time. Sometimes I think the similarities are too real, my friends would say you could be writing about my crazy crazy life.
I just have one question that has been plaguing me for three years now:
Why did you choose the name Nancy Chan?
Best wishes and warm regards,
(coincidentally getting married in August)
Wow. I decided to keep your city a mystery, just to be safe. A girl can never be too careful. It is, of course, a lovely name. I've always been fond of it. I have a favorite relative whose name is Nancy, but there may be other reasons for choosing this name. And then again - do we really choose the names of our characters? There is something in the creative process that is confounding and dreamlike.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Jetsetting Call Girl Review: Vibewire, Australia
"I was rather biased towards this book from the start," says Dawn Dawson at Vibewire. Nancy "has consciously chosen to construct her life like 'a house of cards', constantly worrying if some tiny, revelatory detail will be the one that topples it. Constantly coming up with new lies to maintain the old ones. Even though she's a fictional character, you really have to wonder how anyone could live this way...Oh, and by the way, there's also this whole strange plot involving the relics of Mary Magdalen, a goat farm and deranged Christian feminists."
You can read the entire review here.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
London: Signed Copies of Jetsetting Call Girl
Chelsea: You can pick up a signed copy of my new book at Waterstone's, 150 Kings Road, across from M&S.
Notting Hill: Waterstone's, 39-41 Notting Hill Gate
Kensington: Waterstone's, 193 Kensington High Street, W8 6SH Phone 02079378432
More shops will be listed here shortly. Watch this space!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Naturally, I acquired WAY too many books in London. I can't wait to read Hillary Mantel's Giving Up the Ghost. (Thank you, Essie!) And I now have a signed copy of The Wisdom of Whores. (Thanks to ADL.) As both were hardcover, I packed them away. Miraculously, I was only 1 kilo over the limit when I returned.
Also picked up Gigolo which looks promising and witty. Plus: a novel about Freud by Salley Vickers, Where Three Roads Meet.
What I devoured on the flight back to New York...
was the newly released paperback, Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. I simply couldn't put it down. The most fun I've had in months! Entertaining, intelligent and quirky.
I'm dismayed - but convinced - by MP's depiction of Athena. (Warning: TQ Juvenilia.) Click here if you can bear to look at Acrylic Athena, pubescent homage to my favorite goddess. As you can see, I wasn't sure what to do about her face and hands -- but I think I did a decent job with the headgear, no?
Turns out she's a bit dysfunctional, a brainy sort who can't communicate because she's been overexposed to academic bureaucracy. Phillips has control of the story! Like I said, her take on Athena's entirely believable. Wonderful stuff.
In due course, I'll let you know what I think of the other books but this is the one I can't stop thinking about.
My Name in Lights?
Someone just sent me this link to The Jewish Journal. A first for me!!
Monday, June 23, 2008
In Australia: Cosmo Asks
"Nancy has her favourite client, Milt, whom she tries to please in much the same way as people with, say office jobs, try to do their best possible work for a coveted project. Did you ever have a client like this, and if so, what kind of things would you do to please him?"
You can read my conversation with Cosmo's Lauren Melcher here.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Diary of a Married Call Girl: Nu PÅ Dansk
The second misadventure in the Nancy Chan series has just been published in Denmark! Visit the Leksis website to learn about Høje hæle og laktaske,
translated by Søren Rasmussen.
Check out the snazzy jacket art here. For some reason, when I look at those slim purposeful legs, I think of Pippi Longstocking - blossoming into a post-adolescent go-getter, checking her cellphone at every traffic light.
Pippi was Swedish, not Danish. So perhaps that's a bit like mentioning Suzie Wong in the same breath as Bangkok 8? But Nancy Chan is herself an ethnic hybrid and good stories tend to travel across borders.
Characters from my childhood library live on through Nancy. Many of you will know that A.A. Milne's anxiety-ridden Piglet has been a huge influence. But now I think of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi who planted in my juvenile mind the idea that a girl can survive on her wits, live alone (or with whom she pleases), challenge authority, and make up any story she likes.
I wonder whether Marilou Perhson, the illustrator, feels this influence -- or is it just coincidental?
Friday, June 20, 2008
Jetsetting Call Girl: There is no such thing as a free, er
...lunch, but sometimes (if you're lucky) there's a free lip gloss. At your local Tesco this week, Jetsetting Call Girl comes with a matching gloss, hygienically shrink-wrapped. Just like our heroine Nancy, the Jetsetting lip gloss is classy enough to deceive everyone -- while hinting at a secret reputation below the surface.
If you're looking for a signed copy, try Waterstones in Notting Hill Gate. Notting Hill manager Mark Farley has very kindly posted our Q&A on his blog in honor of the occasion.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
My UK launch has been huge fun, thanks in great part to the machinations of Rebecca McEwan. It began with this zany Q&A in the Sunday Times Style magazine.
On Monday, a delightful celebration with the HarperCollins team at Snows on the Green. Had a delicious osso bucco with risotto -- am I growing addicted to the life-enhancing qualities of veal marrow?? -- while sipping Prosecco.
During lunch, it was hard to avoid the question of Obama. HarperCollins is Doris Lessing's publisher, after all...
For dessert, I ordered a rhubarb and hobnut crumble!!
I now know that rhubarb farming has replaced coal-mining in West Yorkshire...well, I THINK that's what Paul Baggaley told me, which led to comparisons with upstate New York where prisons have replaced farming. Until Monday, I'd no idea about the ascendancy of rhubarb in UK life. (I did know it to be high in vitamin C though, and remember having it as a small child, raw, dipped in brown sugar.)
I returned to my guest room near the Kings Road clutching a gorgeous bouquet -- lots of mysterious purple flora to match Natasha Law's lavender-hued Jetsetting jacket. If only I could figure out how to get the camera on my UK cellphone to work.
Later, I had a bracing discussion on BBC Five Live with Richard Bacon (of Blue Peter fame). Richard admits to enjoying the new book but seems to regard Jetsetting Call Girl as a guilty pleasure.
You can listen again on the Five Live website. Click on Monday and listen to the June 16 show. My bit begins about 1 hour and 21 minutes into the show. It will be up until they replace it with the show for Monday 23rd June. Get it while you can.
[Update 6/24: No longer available on Five Live. You can listen here instead.]
Richard was very focused on drug abuse -- an interesting topic for Richard! -- and finally made the point that the five women murdered in Ipswich were addicted to drugs. (Therefore, prostitution is bad? Of course, I disagreed.)
After our segment, Richard spoke to Rodney Pinter about reporters who lose their lives on the job. In the elevator, as I left the studio, I couldn't resist asking the (v. nice) producer helping me find my cab whether we think journalists killed in the line of duty have simply chosen to enter a profession that shouldn't exist.
Given the juxtaposition of my segment and Rodney's, it's hard to avoid the comparison! Richard's discussion with Rodney about another potentially dangerous profession is, in fact, quite interesting and worth hearing.
I'll return in a bit to continue my London travelogue.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Laura Agustin in Re-public
A beautiful piece of writing about Border thinking in this online journal which is new to me: Re-public.
"...although the media report continuous polemic and violence here, vast numbers of people move across this border every day in the course of their ordinary lives."
Laura Agustin's Sex at the Margins has developed a following that also crosses borders. You can listen to her conversation with Doug Henwood here. In The Erotic Review, Bruno Phillips refers to the author as a class act. I so agree! The New Statesman calls Sex at the Margins "one of the most important books on migration published in recent years."
Saturday, June 07, 2008
More Thoughts About YSL's Funeral
A lovely description of the service in the Telegraph. I found this especially moving.
"You belonged to this magnificent and tragic family of highly-strung people who are the salt of the earth. All that is best comes to us from the highly strung." Also:
In accordance with his wishes, the Algerian-born designer's ashes are to be spread in a botanical garden close to the villa in Marrakech, Morocco, where he spent much of his time. There is an aspect of his story that makes me want to talk about colonisation. He was from Algeria, and maybe that's part of what made him ambitious. Many of the movers and shakers of French culture come out of Algeria. I think it's no coincidence that he became a French icon -- being an outsider sometimes gives a certain charisma, as well as insight.
"He will stay there in a country that influenced and marked him greatly. He will end up in the Maghreb where he was born," Berge said. As a mark of respect, YSL shops around the world closed for two hours while the funeral took place.
Despite his comfortable origins, he was also a casualty of Algeria's colonisation. His terrible ordeal in the army: it's remarkable how one person can have so little power and then so much within one lifetime. In the French army and in the mental hospital (where he was afraid even to leave his room), he was a victim of other people's cruelty. As an artist, he had so much cultural power it makes you gasp. But he did have to work for that.
He always did it first and he always did it with panache. In the 1960s, women were banned from restaurants for wearing "YSL" trouser suits, and in the 1970s he provoked outrage when he showed a transparent chiffon blouse... at 21 he was the world’s youngest couturier ... says this obit. He was "traumatised by his own talent."
... those working with him became accustomed to his regular crises de nerfs and to the frightening possibility that the man on whom the multi-million YSL fashion empire hinged might at any moment become permanently unhinged or even vanish altogether. I see a connection between his precocity -- "world’s youngest couturier" -- and his inner demons. I've known a few people who suffer from this problem which is also, of course, a price they pay for their talent.
I also see a connection between Algeria -- being French but an outsider -- and his pioneering support for non-white fashion models. He was one of the first to put black models on the runway. I have tremendous sympathy for people who find themselves in the middle, neither the darlings of the right nor the left. They very often develop a talent for survival and empathy unique to their situation.
The coloniser's lot was not such an easy one in the 20th century. Their luck ran out. They weren't always accepted in their "home" country. Especially if they were not star quality outsiders. Snubbed by the social climbers and the establishment at home, they were also vilified by the left at a time when it was becoming more fashionable to identify with the colonised.
Is it correct to say that Yves Saint Laurent found a way to rise above this?
"Fashion dies, but style remains."
Friday, June 06, 2008
An SOS to My Readers
If anyone out there can point me to the poem which Catherine Deneuve read at YSL's service, please do send me a dearTQ!
YSL's Funeral Yesterday
“The most beautiful clothes that can dress a woman are the arms of the man she loves,” he once said. “But for those who haven’t had the good fortune of finding this happiness, I am there.”
Like many of the women in the church, Carla Bruni wore a black trouser suit, "a gesture of respect and even homage." Catherine Deneuve carried a sheaf of green wheat into the church and read a eulogy, in the form of a poem by Walt Whitman.
I'm dying to know which poem. Will see what I can find out.
My homage, Daughters of Yves, is posted here.
In Australia: Jetsetting Unleashed
Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl is out now. For your chance to win one of FIVE copies, visit Sydney Unleashed.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
U, After All
The upgrade at Guardian Unlimited CIF continues! Good news! The links are being restored. The site is moving faster. I regret any criticism I had expressed earlier. Anyway, you can't fight City Hall, baby.
This is the new link to my Commentisfree page. Many thanks to Richard, Sasha and the elves for fixing what was not working previously.
Today's column will be going up shortly. And ....
it's the first day of the rest of our lives!
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Australia: Jetsetting Call Girl Schedule!
Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl is out now in Australia.
Two radio shows on Thursday June 5. Morning and afternoon drive.
SYDNEY: Thursday morning, Breakfast with the Stars, Kyle and Jackie O, 7:10 am Sydney time. If you want to listen live, from New York, that's 5:10 pm Eastern.
UPDATE from Sydney! They're running behind schedule, and I'll be on in ten minutes or so. :)
CANBERRA: Thursday afternoon, I'll be discussing Nancy Chan's latest misadventures on 2CC Radio's Mike Welsh Drive Show.
U and Non-U at Commentisfree
I keep seeing these weird spooky warnings from the Brit side of Guardian Unlimited about the CIF "upgrade."
Yes, well... "upgrade"??
Personally, I'm skeptical about the term. "Upgraded" websites, upgraded software.
Sometimes it's nothing of the sort! For example, I'm *deeply* unimpressed with the changes to my favourite email reader, Eudora.
As for those who dare think they've upgraded their boyfriend? Beware. You may be deluding yourself about that particular upgrade. U know who u are!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
In some respects
YSL was more confident than Freud:
“My small job as a couturier,” he once said, “is to make clothes that reflect our times. I’m convinced women want to wear pants.”
A shrink has to keep asking questions, but a designer's got to provide
answers. Well, that's my current theory.
My new piece on Yves Saint Laurent goes up shortly at Commentisfree
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Over at Commentisfree
... the remarks about Sex and the City continue to accumulate. I haven't been able to read them all because I'm kind of busy this weekend.
Still. I'm learning a lot of interesting things about Guardian Commenters. If I write a column that doesn't mention my scarlet past at all, someone will bring it up. If I write a column that does mention it, someone will ask me what my scarlet past has to do with all this.
Still, I love writing for the Guardian Commenters because they are such a diverse tribe. Yes, a tribe, I'm convinced of it. Maybe that's a bad habit -- thinking of Commenters in tribal terms. Maybe it's important to see each Commenter as an individual. At the end of the day, because of the way comments are counted, this is hard to do.
I haven't made up my mind about Lee Siegel's assertions, but they're beginning to interest me.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The Hustle at powerHouse & Udo Spreitzenbarth = the bomb
What an honour to finally see my portrait by the amazing Udo Spreitzenbarth hanging at powerHouse Arena... in the company of classic performers such as Vanessa del Rio and Guy Gonzalez.
This exhibit is a celebration of powerHouse Magazine, Issue 3: The Hustle.
A tribute to capitalism in action, Issue 3 is about the art of selling, with a nice emphasis on DIY capitalism, the informal marketplace. This show, which includes new material not seen in the magazine is up through July 13.
When: May 22 - July 13
Weekdays: 10am - 7pm
Weekends: 11am - 7pm
37 Main Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
powerHouse Arena Toll Free 1-866-99-ARENA
Directions to the Arena here.
~ ~ ~ ~
If you can't make it to the Arena, you can order the magazine here for $10. Issue 3, The Hustle, includes: True to the Game by Teri Woods; Ron Galella, Godfather of Paparazzi by Tami Mnoian; a chilling piece about selling images from the Iraq war by Christoph Bangert; and an ex-hooker's Horizontal Diary by yours truly.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
At the risk of seeming totally self-centered....
I want to report that my new column is currently #1 in the top ten Most Active at CIF. Now some authors (swollen-headed MSM journalists for the most part!) tell me they have no time for Commenters! I even know some website editors who "hate" their Commenters. No names!
(I am very good at that by the way. Not giving up names. Suffice it to say, I count these flawed, high-handed snoots as my friends. But even if they were not my friends, my lips would be sealed.)
I compare this authorial snootitude to how pro athletes feel about their fans. There's some professional chauvinism here about the amateur scribe who can't spell or doesn't get paid. I don't really share it -- though, of course, I notice (other people's) spelling errors. It's just second-nature.
Personally, I think Commenters have a strange kind of cultural power. Even the most dismissive author feels good about getting a lot of comments. And a self-confident, capable author feels a bit worried when NOBODY comments.
One Commenter today said that it doesn't matter how well or badly I write because of how I look. (I can only take that as a compliment, giving it the 'when I'm 85' test.) I would add that it doesn't matter how well or badly a Commenter spells, as long as they have something to say.
It's all starting to feel a bit Marxist in here. I think I'll have some more coffee.
Monday, May 26, 2008
God doesn't HAVE to be great....
for religion to be worthwhile. Some of my favorite comments on today's column include the very wise:
...amongst those who ostensibly kill and oppress for their religion or other ideology, there are usually a multitude who are doing it for the money or the power.
... the ad feminem:
Who is this ignorant baggage? It would have been nice if she'd bothered to read any of the books she mentions. Too busy concentrating on her 3rd book I s'pose...
... as well as the very interesting:
I've been brought up without religion. I have read Richard Dawkins' book and passed it on to my 19 year old son.In my view, you don't have to be religious to see that several children by several different fathers is not desirable to the larger society. It should not be beyond the ability of government, in a secular way, to encourage moral behaviour.
.... which demonstrates an important point: even atheists buy into Judeo-Christian judgements about female sexuality.
A totally fun comment thread, I must say! People really get wound up about God.
Monday, May 19, 2008
This Just In
I have just learned that Essie Cousins, my fabulous editor at HarperCollins UK, is now the Editorial Director of Harper Perennial. As we say in the States, You Go, Girl!
I have also received in the post a gorgeous wetlook lipgloss that matches the Jetsetting Call Girl cover beautifully. Stay tuned for further deets.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
In My Mailbox: a dearTQ re "What is up with the jetsetter?"
I knew you had been tied up with the next project so I was patient. Now your third novel is out. Only in UK, though? No info has been up so far in US, or am I the only one missing it? You owe me an explanation.
- Another Jetsetter
My third book will be out in just a few weeks, and yes, it will be published in the UK first. Expect some news soon about the US.
Not into being tied up, by the way... but thanks for being patient, girlfriend.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Yasmin Alibai-Brown versus Gordon Ramsay
Yasmin A-B has a few things to say about Ramsay's latest enemy: the out-of-season strawberry, imported from God knows where...
For centuries, our island nation has been seafaring and roaming, restless and lusty, hedonistic and insatiably curious, mercantile and capitalist, unable ever to stay put. Through that history, the land periodically goes through cycles of self-pity and dread of the very things it seeks, withdrawing into itself, its cliffs becoming fortresses. Sybaritic excess is followed by puritanism; internationalism is pushed out by petty patriotism. One thing for sure, this zeal will not be followed through to its logical end for that would mean the closure of Carluccio's and tandoori houses, and even the most fundamentalist food purists would not dare tread that far.
I don't always agree with Yasmin A-B. but when she's right, she's right.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Mother's Day Cont'd
What IS it about Mom? I mean the concept, not the actual person. Because I said a few irreverent things about my mother, two people have taken me to task for being the child of a heartless witch -- implying that I am the devil's spawn. But I am not, I repeat NOT, the devil's spawn. (My dad's a programmer and refers to his gig as having to do with "the black arts" -- but that, I assure you, is all smoke and mirrors. He's just my dad and my DNA's no more satanic than yours, EquivalencyDalek.)
The myth of the wanted child
It's Mother's Day in America, and Guardian readers are freaking out. Talk about a cultural panic:
"I can't tell you how much you've just scared me! Make it clear that you're talking about the US Mother's Day and I'm not going to be fielding a hurt phonecall from my mother tomorrow..."
"OH NO HOW AM I GOING TO GET A CARD TO THE LAKE DISTRICT."
And so on and so forth. There is nothing quite so ticklish as setting off those primal alarm buzzers -- accidentally.
I want to say that Guardian commenters are the most fun people to write for and I adore some of those user IDs. (What kind of person goes by tinfoilhoodie?? No matter, it's a great name!!)
Happy Mother's Day. My new column is posted here.
Friday, May 09, 2008
In My Mailbox Today: a dearTQ from Paul
I hope you will consider not giving up on your blog. I check it fairly regularly, and if I don't check it for a while it just means things have gone insane at work. (Which they have been lately, which is why I didn't see your plan to give it up until now.)
Anyway, I hope you'll consider keeping it running. I mean, I've needed some consolation after the denouement of the Palfrey affair (it made me really depressed seeing it on the news when it happened), so it was nice to read something by you on the subject. (Although I regularly search for your articles online, I don't always find them.) Vive La Tracy Quan's Blog!
This is fairly convincing. Except... I did not blog from July until May! Work must have been insane, but sometimes insane is good. Especially at work. But okay, I'll try this for awhile and see how it feels. Thanks for checking in.
I didn't know DJP -- didn't realize until today that she was called Jeane, rather than Deborah, by most of her friends. (Alex Jones called her Jeane. I noticed, but it took awhile for it all to sink in.) Anyway, I didn't know her but her death has caused an emotional ripple, and I guess we're part of that.
This weekend, I have a piece going up at Guardian America -- a sacrilegious take on Mothers' Day, motherhood and the myth of the "wanted" child.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Deborah Palfrey Talking to Alex Jones
An important video because you can hear Deborah in this interview with Alex Jones. There's something to be said for having a voice.
Email from an IUSW activist
As many of you doubtless already know, a body believed to be that of Deborah Jeane Palfrey has been found. Although it seems possible she committed suicide, it has been reported she feared for her life from those whose public standing could be damaged by her testimony.
Whether she died by her own hand or her suicide is a cover for murder, she has been killed by the state.
We will remember her as we remember all those named and unnamed women and men who are victimised for their sexwork, till one day we all are free.
...in solidarity and hope...
Thank you, Catherine, for that eloquent message of support.
You have to remember that all those who worked for her service and those who used it — none of them were held to account, or punished. And now, she is dead. (Dan Moldea)
Many are questioning the official version of her death, and I was taken to task yesterday by a friend for referring to DJP's death as a suicide. At a moment like this, people who basically share some sense of loss can turn on each other. Maybe that's a way of processing death.
But you know what? Conspiracy theory is not a term in my lexicon. I wouldn't rule anything out. And neither, it seems, do a lot of New York Times readers.
I think everyone responds to a thing like this differently. A lot of us, whether we knew Deborah or not, are taking this personally. Will she come to be seen as a martyr for our cause?
I wish she had lived on to do a book about her experience, including her prison time.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Goodbye, Deborah Palfrey
I just heard that Deborah Palfrey has killed herself. We're all a bit shocked. She was convicted in April and sentencing was scheduled for July.
While I think of myself as a fairly upbeat person, this is daunting.
I wonder about all the people whose job it was to chase her down and ruin her life. How do these people sleep at night?
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Something to Blog About
Today, I spoke to Charlie. "So you're GIVING UP YOUR BLOG?" he said.
"As if anyone would notice," I sniffed.
"*I* would notice."
Hmmmm. Well, I'll take that into consideration, then.
Meanwhile, I'm overjoyed to learn that the Bloomingdale's strike has been averted. I am peeved by all the disruptions taking place around 59th Street. For me, 59th and Third is the throbbing heart of Manhattan. Everything is the perfect size, nothing is too grotesque or imposing and the 20th century lives on... never change, 59th Street!
Recently, my favorite grocery store, Katagiri, underwent renovations -- fine, no problem with that idea. Katagiri has been on East 59th Street since 1907, and always looks like it was invented yesterday. That's what makes Katagiri special.
But when they re-opened, I discovered that the lunch counter has been eliminated. So you can still get all the delicious little snacks and meals, the frozen Berkshire pork belly, the fresh herring roe, the green teas (dry or bottled) from Japan, the lovely shrimp dumplings which need only a few seconds in your microwave...
But you can no longer pop into Katagiri for a piece of grilled mackerel and a bowl of perfectly executed rice on your way to pick up facial provisions and men's socks at Bloomie's.
I complained about the new state of affairs at Katagiri to my hair guru. "Yes, I know," he said. "I got over it." Got over it? I hate it when people "get over things" before I even find out what there is to get over.
When I heard that a strike at Bloomie's 59th was even a possibility, I got very serious, and ordered a two year supply of my custom face powder. Just in case. Panic buying. Anyway, I'm relieved to learn that, while I get used to Katagiri's new lay-out (yes, I will just have to get over it) - life as we know it can sort of continue.
Monday, April 21, 2008
What I Did Last Summer...?
Well, I had every intention of coming back in July 2007 with some Asian sex worker chit-chat, but then I disappeared on you all. I did, however, finish my new novel, start a new column, and... well, it's been quite an intense year.
I'm actually contemplating whether to continue this blog. I'm rather attached to it because it's one of the oldest blog templates in existence. When I started, I had no idea things like Permalink and Comment would be coming next. I quite like the fact that this has neither, even though I take full advantage of such features on other folks' blogs! It's just one of the many perversities I indulge in because I can. A bit like my overdue fondness for DOS and attachment to Dial-up.
For now, an update on The Guardian column which I thoroughly enjoy doing. I am a little surprised to find myself commenting on the sexual motifs in politicians' lives. For some time, my friend Michael in Toronto has been after me to devote myself to this theme. My first reaction had been that politicians are, for the most part, sexually boring. To me, politicians are a terrible snore (unless they are Pierre Trudeau -- alluring, but he's dead.) I'll never be one of those girls who throws herself at a candidate. Unlike Dina or Silda I'm incapable of getting it up for a state governor. Also, isn't a politician's private sexuality none of our business? But it turns out we can often be most opinionated about things we aren't involved in... especially things which weren't our business to start with!
Speaking of things which shouldn't be any of my business, my next Guardian column takes a look at VS Naipaul's, er, sexuality.. Snipe-All, as I like to call him, has volunteered this info, so it seems entirely okay to go there...
Friday, July 13, 2007
We, Asian Sex Workers: Update
My Q&A with Gennifer Hirano is up. We'll continue during the week...
Visit We, Asian Sex Workers in San Francisco.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
San Francisco July 14-22: We, Asian Sex Workers
is the brainchild of Gennifer M. Hirano, an Asian princess with a mission. Check out the china pattern.
Read all about the participants here! There's a nice round-up of menu choices here.
If you go to their fundraiser on Sunday night, you just might win a signed souvenir copy of Married Call Girl!
Full schedule is here.
Friday, June 15, 2007
June 14-24, 2007: What Am I Doing on eBay?
This year, I'm participating in the MIX NYC Charity Auction to support Hima B.'s media training "summer school." It's a project aimed at LGBT youth. My personal reasons for doing this are discussed here.
You can bid on my mystery pics -- or those of 150 unusual suspects -- and support a fabulous LGBT cause!
Visit MIX NYC to find out more.
Visit eBay to place a bid on my camera. Or, go here to bid on the cameras of Annie Sprinkle, Meredith Monk, Ann Magnussen and many others!
Thursday, May 31, 2007
More Mail: Laura Bush Precedes Me
Dan and Lisa wrote to tell me about my interview with Ben Karakh which appears today at Gothamist -- right after the Laura Bush school librarian photo op.
Then Molly wrote to say: "You cut school to go to the library? I did that, too!"
As the saying goes: We Are Everywhere.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Today's Mail: Bookslut & BEA
I just heard from Charlotte Reed, who tells me that the Q&A I did with Bookslut is finally up.
Charlotte (Emily Post for the Pet Set!) will be signing copies of her new book, Miss Fido Manners, at BEA this weekend.
If you're attending BEA, Charlotte will be at the Adams Media Booth, #3915 on Saturday, June 2, 10:00-11:00 AM!
Or visit the Miss Fido Manners website to find out more.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Nancy Does Washington?
Not exactly but: what a cute coincidence!
From the diary of Nancy Chan:
Today, a piece in the Times about a Washington archeologist who recently uncovered a brothel in D.C. While searching for something entirely different... You can read the rest of this excerpt here.
Don't confuse me with the facts! Today, Francis Clines writes (about the same brothel)in the Times Editorial Notebook:
Except for archeologists digging in the Mall a decade ago, Ms. Hall’s for-profit revels would have eluded history. The diggers uncovered volumes of broken Champagne bottles and other deluxe detritus where the three-story bordello once flourished. At that time, he points out, " 'prostitute' was an occupation on census lists," and "pitifully nuanced defenses for the media were unnecessary."
It's worth reading, if you want to put this whole mess in perspective.
Friday, May 04, 2007
I'll be on Washington Post Radio: Monday May 7 around 2:15 PM Eastern USA Time
talking to Sam Litzinger. You can find out more here:
1500AM/107.7FM in D.C., Virginia and Maryland. Or listen online.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
May Day Activities: Newsday and WOR
Yesterday, I told Newsday that people in the sex industry have a right to interpret the law for their benefit, too. This isn't the exclusive right of giant corporations, landlords or big media! You can read the Newsday column here.
My take on the very shy and retiring Randall Tobias. (Did Deborah Jean Palfrey take the "anti-prostitution pledge?") Scroll down to the May 1 Podcast for my interview with Henican & White at WOR710HD.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Radio Interview Today: Listen Live @ 4:00 PM Eastern USA-Canada Time
I'll be on WOR710 HD later today... talking about the DC meltdown, er, madam, story. As some of you already know, a notorious anti-prostitution hack has "retired" from his job as Director of US Foreign Assistance and Administrator for USAID (US Agency for International Development)
... because his name shows up in the records of Pamela Martin Assoc.
Tune in at 4 pm Eastern USA time.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
What's In Your Bag
January Magazine has just published my review of Winifred Gallagher's latest, It's In the Bag. I loved this book. Perfect prezzie for the girlfriend who has everything. Or wants to have everything -- let's not be too exclusive. It's as smart (cover and contents) as your smartest bag.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Don Imus and the H-Word
Well, I can't believe I missed this, but I'm finally getting up to speed on the Imus flap. He has been dismissed by NBC, for referring to a group of respectable women as HOs. The adjectives he used didn't exactly endear him to anyone.
Gwen Ifill describes it as "a shockingly concise sexual and racial insult, tossed out in a volley of male camaraderie by a group of amused, middle-aged white men."
Without taking sides here, I just have to ask: What's up with middle-aged white guys who try to incorporate the word HO into their public patter?
A notorious FOX-TV host tried this when he interviewed ME and it was simply bizarre. I mean, this was a grown man with a daughter! Unlike Imus, who was merely trying to sound with-it, this one was hoping to sound censorious as well: an uptight white guy from Long Island trying to work a two-letter word... which I myself can't use with a straight face.
Talking heads of a certain age need a good talking to. Enough with the pseudo street talk. You're only 14 once and that was a long time ago. Alas, it may be too late for Don Imus.
Here's a PDF of Amy Zimmer's piece in Metro New York.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Matzohs, Madeleines & the Morning After
Transmission Easter was lovely. Thank you to all who came, helped out, participated, announced the event!
We had what I can only describe as interactive communion, involving matzoh and wine (grape juice for some). People gathered in groups of six to ten and each group had a Ziploc bag with a communal matzoh. There were various instructions on slips of paper, for the group to work with. Like a scavenger hunt...
Anglicans are doing it for themselves!
Bowie Snodgrass, by the way, is inspiring and fun to read. As I prepared for the event, I checked out some of her work and enjoyed, especially, a piece about life as a single seminarian in the city. I'm really glad she invited me to participate.
$pread magazine hosted a "station" where PONY gave away madeleines made in Commercy. (Madeleine is the French equivalent of Magdalen: edible and audible proof of Mary Magdalen's everyday presence in one culture's life and language...)
And this morning, I heard from Harley about this nice write-up in Metro. Lewis W. sent a scan of the piece -- I'll have it up soon.