A StoryCorps Interview


The other day, my friend Vickie Pynchon and I went to the Annenberg Space for Photography, where we were delighted to find StoryCorps had set up a converted Airstream trailer in which visitors were invited to record their stories. Vickie interviewed me about my 20-plus years writing about the adult movie industry: "Interview with Porn Journalist." That interview is now archived at the Library of Congress.

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I Wrote A Story While I Was High

Over at Forbes, I wrote about how I addressed a week-long tension headache with a $40 cannabis candy bar. Because why not? In California, it's perfectly legal. All I had to do is walk in the store and fork over the cash, no medical marijuana card required. My bespoke bar contained very little THC and an equivalent amount of CBD. Needless to say, it worked.

From "I Spent $40 to Get High From a Cannabis Candy Bar":

By the second hour, I did start feeling the effects of the THC. I'd taken such a small dose that it was almost imperceptible, but it did become more significant. I wasn't stoned. I was just ... more relaxed. Well, I was a little high. Everything seemed a bit more amusing, and the things I'd been obsessing over earlier in the day were passing by me like a deadheading train.

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The Annex

I used to live in Los Feliz. Now I live in Burbank. Every so often, I go back to Los Feliz, and the other night I went to Skylight Books. My favorite thing is the bookstore's Art Annex. It's a few doors down on Vermont and stocked with graphic novels, art books, screenwriting books, photography books, and chapbooks. It's like the creative, mutant, smaller twin to Skylight. While there, I happened across a new book by Dave Cooper, a longtime favorite artist of mine. He's a maker of what could be called comics and a kind of psycho-surrealist. I first fell in love with his work through Ripple, which is a crazy magical work that forces you to think about the body, and sex, and human relations in all kinds of mind-bending new ways. A few weeks ago, when I was at Wacko, I spotted an Eddy Table doll, so I figured something was afoot. In any case, I was delighted to discover the latest work by Cooper at the Art Annex: Mud Bite. What's Mud Bite? It's hard to say. It's the story of a guy with bulging eyes, and a girl with a skin problem, and a river of mud. And there are scary bugs, too. It's a joy to encounter -- filled with curious and awful things, moments of bizarre beauty and strange twists, and oddly enlightening to your soul. Check out the trailer for "The Absence of Eddy Table." Holy cow!

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Last Weekend

Last weekend, I went to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I'd been to the FoB before, but when it was at UCLA, and it's now at USC, which I'd never been to before. USC is sprawling and nice, but there's something sort of flat and banal about it. Although there is some interesting architecture. I was there to see my friend Matt Young sit on a panel and discuss his new memoir, EAT THE APPLE, which is an amazing and experimental memoir that explores what multiple deployments do to a young Marine's mind. I highly recommend it. I got to meet BLACK HAWK DOWN author Mark Bowden, who was on the panel and discussing his new book, HUE 1968; read his rave of Matt's book in the New York Times. We didn't stay long at the FoB, because there were amazing shrimp tacos to be had at the appropriately named Best Fish Taco in Los Feliz. That inspired choice was thanks to Maggie Waz, a great young, talented, and hilarious writer who has an alter ego that is going to Mars.

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Operation Odessa

If you haven't seen it already, watch "Operation Odessa." It's on Showtime, and it's a fascinating, brilliant, hilarious, gorgeous, energetic documentary involving three guys, a lot of cocaine, and a Russian submarine. If you love hustlers, international intrigue, and strippers, you will love this movie. My favorite character is Nelson Yester, seen here and known as Tony. He's a man with global connections who's the brains behind the operations. He seems unable to resist engaging in whatever series of actions will result in the highest yield with the greatest risk. "Being a player was in my destiny," he pronounces as if to be a man-of-the-underworld is a higher calling.

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I took this photo the other day near Fairfax, I think, in Los Angeles. Earlier, I'd been to LACMA. It's a billboard for "A Quiet Place." People responded positively to the image. I like it because it reminded me of the photos I used to take in LA, when I lived here before (I moved back to LA last October). There's something fantastical about LA -- the blurring between reality and fiction, the larger than life facade, the staggering sprawl. I'm very happy to be embedded in it.

My shocking short story "The Tumor" has been called "a masterpiece." Buy it today!