The Fabulous Beekman Boys Ep. #2 – Report From James Frey


Should I Stay or Should I Go? Thoughts on an “Unhappy Birthday” at the Beekman Boys Farm

by James Frey, New York

fabulous beekman boys wedding photo

missed episode two. How did I do that? They played two on the first night. I wasn’t paying attention. I figured it was one episode per week. My bad. I get a dumbass award.

Wonderful episode three. Another chapter in the epic tale of the Fabulous Beekman Boys. Let’s get into it. Let’s get into it right away. As with my last recap, I’ll be using a scale of one to five goats to indicate whether the events depicted on the show make it more or less likely for me to move out of New York to a farm of my own.

We learn that it is the weekend of Josh’s 40th birthday. He’s excited and hoping for a fun weekend. He finds out Brent has rented out the farm to a young couple for their wedding. They learned of the farm in an article in the New York Times. The idea of hosting a wedding at my house is horrifying. The idea of my house being written about in the New York Times is even more horrifying. One goat.

Josh is pissed. Rightfully so. I know Josh and he likes his birthday. The idea that one’s spouse would pimp out your house and not do anything for your 40th birthday, which is the birthday where you are officially kind of old, is not a good idea. One goat.

[ click to continue James’ review of The Beekman Boys @ Treehugger ]

I AM NUMBER FOUR On Sale August 3

from HarperCollins’ I AM NUMBER FOUR blog

Breaking News… on-sale date is now August 3!

Great news!!!  I Am Number Four’s on-sale date has been moved up by TWO WEEKS! Now you’ll be able to pick it up on August 3, wherever books are sold. Be sure to grab your copy of the novel behind the upcoming feature film directed by D. J. Caruso and produced by Michael Bay. Your wait is almost over. Seven weeks to go!

 Pre-order now!

[ click to visit the I AM NUMBER FOUR blog ]

Raymond Scott accused of stealing one of the most important printed works in the English language

from AP via Google News

Flashy book dealer in limo for Shakespeare trial


LONDON — A flashy British book dealer accused of stealing a rare first edition of Shakespeare’s plays appeared for trial Wednesday in a silver limousine, sporting a Panama hat and flashing victory signs at reporters.

Raymond Scott was accused of stealing the 1623 folio from England’s Durham University in 1998. The 53-year-old was arrested after a man took the volume to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, claiming he found it in Cuba and asking for verification that it was genuine.

Scholars consider the folio one of the most important printed works in the English language.

He arrived Wednesday at northeastern England’s Newcastle Crown Court in a silver Chrysler 300. For an earlier court appearance, he wore a kilt and came in a horse-drawn carriage led by a Scots piper.

[ click to read full article at Google News ]

Public Pianos in NYC

from the NY Times

Pianos as Public Art, and the Public’s Playthings


Corinna Berthould, a volunteer with the “Play Me, I’m Yours” street-piano project, at a piano-painting party on Monday.

Photographs by Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times 

Jerome Ware Jr. pressed his palm into a tray of orange paint. Then he found exactly the right spot for a handprint on the top of an upright piano he had just painted gold.

“Contrasts, that’s what I’m going for,” he said.

Jerome, 16, was painting one of 60 pianos that will hit the city’s streets next Monday as part of a public art project called “Play Me, I’m Yours” (see map below). On corners, in parks, the pianos will be an eyeful as well as an earful, with attention-getting cases and living-color keys — green or blue, or all black instead of the usual allotment of 52 white and 36 black.

So before the whole city finds out who needs to brush up on the “Minuet in G,” volunteers have been putting brushes to the pianos.

The nonprofit arts group behind the project, Sing for Hope, is betting that transforming the pianos into something to see as well as something to hear will make the installation as captivating as art installations like “the Gates,” the orange gates and matching draperies that stretched across Central Park in 2005, or the four-waterfall exhibit on the East River in 2008. Painting the pianos also brought back memories of the fiberglass cows that took up residence here in the summer of 2000.

[ click to continue reading at the NY Times ]

Casey Affleck Beats The Holy Crap Out Of Jessica Alba

from The New York Observer

Punch Drunk Love 

By Rex Reed

I don’t pretend to understand movie audiences under 30 with an ever-growing lust for blood, bowels, vomit and torture. But they’ll get plenty of it all in an apocalyptic view of toxic humanity called The Killer Inside Me, another sweaty, feverish adaptation of visceral pulp fiction by the nihilistic gonzo writer Jim Thompson, who was not labeled “the dime-store Dostoevsky” for nothing. This movie is so staggeringly violent and stomach-souring disgusting that when it screens, it is occasionally greeted with boos and almost always accompanied by massive audience walkouts. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

The Fabulous Beekman Boys Premiere – Report From James Frey


Thoughts on the First Episode of The Fabulous Beekman Boys

by James Frey, New York

beekman farm party photo
Watch the first episode of The Fabulous Beekman Boys online!

This guest post was written by bestselling author James Frey.

Woohoo, woohoo, let’s all go to the farm, woohoo! Welcome to my first weekly recap of The Fabulous Beekman Boys, where I summarize Josh and Brent’s farmlife adventures and decide whether what I’ve seen makes it more or less likely that I leave New York for a simpler life. I’ll be ranking events in the episode using a scale of five goats, with one goat being the worst, and meaning there’s no way I’m following their example and leaving the city, and five goats meaning I’m calling a real estate agent to start looking for a house. I add up all the goats and whatever the average indicates where I am in my own decision making process at the end of every episode.

Snappy opening sequence. Nice theme music. Clearly Planet Green has taken great cares about and has spent some money on the show. If I were ever to have a reality show, I’d hope to have the same. Because I don’t want to be on one, the ranking is mitigated. Three goats.

We immediately get a brief history of our heroes, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, an advertising creative director and former drag queen, and Brent Ridge, a physician and former VP at Martha Stewart Omnimedia. They bought a farm, which is called Beekman Farm, and has a huge gorgeous Mansion on its grounds, in a small town in Upstate New York. Both were tired of city life, and wanted a place to escape. While there, they decide to try to make a living off the farm, in part because they need the money to keep the place, and in part because they’ve been inspired by Martha, who built an empire around her lifestyle. The farm is gorgeous, and empires are cool: five goats.

We meet Farmer John, a gay farmer who seems very sweet. He has a hundred goats, which are very cute, and seems to do much of the actual work on the farm. He also cries quite a bit, especially when talking about the goats. Farmer John, the goats and him doing all the work: five goats. Farmer John crying: one goat.

[ click to continue James’ take on the The Fabulous Beekman Boys Premiere ]

Malcolm-Jamal Warner Saves James Frey’s Ass

from The Nervous Breakdown

Three Older Women Stand in Line to Yell at the Author James Frey when Malcolm-Jamal Warner Stops By with a Two-Liter of Cherry Coke Under his Arm


14 June 2010


Helen: I’m really going to let him have it.

Susan: Oh, Helen, you’re too much.

Helen: He deserves it for what he did.

Rita: Well, don’t just get up there and immediately blow up at the jerk. You have to take him by surprise by being nice and sweet, and then you can let him have it.

Helen: He just makes me so mad!

Susan: He’s a liar.

Rita: Despicable.

Helen: Absolutely. I told you ladies about my brother, right…?

click to continue reading Greg Boose at

Goat Cheese Frittata

from The LA Times

Quick Dish

Goat cheese frittata

Goat cheese frittata

The classic frittata, an Italian omelet, let eggs do their thing unmolested.
Photo by Bill Hogan)

By Bill Daley
Chicago Tribune

It took Julia’s influential editor, Judith Jones, and her thoughtful book, “The Pleasures of Cooking for One,” to get me to slow down and let the eggs do their thing unmolested, as in the frittata, the Italian omelet.Simply mix into the eggs the ingredients you want, pour into a hot skillet and cook over low heat until set. Jones’ recipe was for one, of course; here I’ve expanded her frittata proportion to serve four.

[ click for recipe ]

Strange Reaction’s Top 10 (Not Punk) Punks

from Strange Reaction

8. Steve McQueen
A big time movie star who in his later years chose to live in an airplane hanger with his woman, motorcycles, and rare cars. Always cool.

7. James Frey
His incredible book, A Million Little Pieces set the stage for the type of books people would write about when dealing with recovery, or addiction. His second book, My Friend Leonard recounts him and friends slam dancing at a Vandals show.

6. Charles Bukowski
What do you say about Bukowski? A man who gave up a suburban life to live on the streets, and be a drunk. Through this life he found cult-like fame, and vindication. He traveled the hard road, and yet made it . . . his way.

5. Hunter S. Thompson
George Plimpton once wrote a book called Shadow Box. In the book he talks about flying to Zaire to cover the Ali-Foreman fight. On the flight was Thompson. Once they landed Plimpton went to the stadium to cover the fight. Thompson went into the jungle to get mind-altering drugs from a local Witch Doctor.

[ click for full list at Strange Reaction ]

John Wooden’s Wisdom

from Shelf-Awareness

Obituary: Coach Wooden, Whose Last Book Publishes in July

Besides being one of the most successful basketball coaches ever, winning 10 national titles in 12 years for UCLA, John Wooden, who died Friday at age 99, was a prolific author whose books aimed to spread his philosophy of life, a practical, wise approach that included the concept of the pyramid of success and such widely quoted aphorisms as these (there are many more):

“It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.”

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

“Be quick but don’t hurry.”

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

“Listen if you want to be heard.”

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

His titles, many published by McGraw-Hill, have sold more than a million copies and include Wooden (1997), My Personal Best (2004), They Call Me Coach(2004), Wooden on Leadership (2005), The Essential Wooden (2007) and Coach Wooden’s Leadership Game Plan for Success (2009). 

[ click to continue reading at ]

Report from Shakespeare And Company

from Sion Dayson’s ‘Paris (im)perfect’


James Frey, After the Fact

Sex or violence?

This was the choice presented to us by author James Frey on Monday night at Shakespeare & Co. He would either read a passage of the sultry stuff or the gun stuff – the decision rested with us.

This being France, we went for the sex.

(Though wait! Immediately after, the audience then begged for the violence, too. I guess people always want it all).

For awhile, fact or fiction was the real question in regards to Frey. If you weren’t hiding under a rock around 2006, you probably remember him as the writer whose 2003 “memoir” A Million Little Pieces blew up into a big controversy. He was the man who duped Oprah. His memoir, you see, was partly “made up.”

I never read the book – I stayed above the fray (yes, pun intended) – but I can’t say I wasn’t curious to see the man behind the headlines, all these years later.

It’s a rare opportunity, really. Frey doesn’t do readings in the US anymore. Probably tired of answering the same questions.

But this is France, and Paris holds a special place in Frey’s heart. He came here as a 22 year-old, inspired by the “American writer in Paris myth,” he said. “Tropic of Cancer” by Henry Miller had “lit him up,” and he wanted to come here to experience the literary fire himself. It was something of a dream for Frey to return nearly two decades later as a visiting author to the famed Shakespeare & Co.

[ click to continue reading at Paris (im)perfect ]

Mad Tenacious Rider

from The LA Times

An uneasy ride with Dennis Hopper

A writer’s tortured 10-year relationship with the actor never produced the biography originally sought by Hopper, who feared opening a Pandora’s box of the past. What was revealed was a serious careerist who tenaciously managed his sobriety.
Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper during an interview in Los Angeles in 1985. (Wally Fong / Associated Press)

By Richard Stayton

What went down behind those corrugated steel walls of Dennis Hopper’s Venice fortress as he lay dying at age 74?

He was divorcing his fifth wife after 18 years together, obtaining an “emergency restraining order” to keep her at a 10-foot distance. They battled over his valuable artworks. She also filed complaints about him keeping marijuana joints throughout his compound, ready to provide quick relief from pain, and loaded guns in strategic locations, ready to provide quick resolutions.

If a person’s manner of dying is a distillation of his life, then Hopper’s death seemed a revisit of the same stories about a man once called the “patron saint of the deranged.” Never an easy rider.

But the private Dennis I spent a decade alongside, working on his biography, had a different persona. The artist I came to know was a serious careerist calculating his return from illegality and literal madness, tenaciously managing his sobriety.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Number 4 Leaves No Trace

from The Pittsburgh Tribune

Dreamworks to pay for improvements to Allegheny County parks


Two Allegheny County parks could get a Hollywood facelift this summer, after Dreamworks Productions finishes filming scenes for its teen sci-fi flick “I am Number IV.”

Dreamworks got approval from County Council to film in the parks as long as the movie company pays to fix up a North Park water tower and keeps a playing field at Deer Lakes Park pristine.

“Any time we allow outside organizations to use county facilities or county parks, we require them to restore the park or facility to the same or better condition than they found it,” county spokesman Kevin Evanto said.

In exchange for shooting scenes at the water tower, the company will donate $10,000 toward fixing up the terrazzo floor of its observation deck, Evanto said. The tile floor, which depicts constellations, needs repairs, he said.

The film company will take out a $50,000 bond to cover any damage it might cause filming scenes of a carnival on a freshly sodded soccer field at Deer Lakes Park, said County Councilman Nick Futules, chairman of the parks committee.

[ click to continue reading at ]