When I think of crack addicts I think of a certain kind of person. In my mind, crack addicts live in rundown row-houses in terrible neighborhoods of deteriorating cities. I think of people who have never had a job, who are missing teeth, who are uneducated (oh, and the people on Intervention). That’s why I was blown away by the debut memoir from esteemed literary agent Bill Clegg. Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man follows Clegg’s two month spiral from successful literary prodigy to suicidal crack addict.
Interspersed in the harrowing narrative of Clegg jumping from one downtown luxury hotel to the next in a haze of vodka and crack, he takes us back to his childhood, to the beginning of his partying days in high school and college, to the first time he encountered the drug that was almost his undoing. His writing style makes readers think that they are on crack as they follow him around the tri-state area always in search of more. Never sure what is reality and what is a drug-induced hallucination, it’s easy to be swept up in the paranoia Clegg was living.
A memoir of drug usage and such a cataclysmic fall from grace could easy become cliched or old-hat, especially since James Frey’s successful yet controversial works. Portrait of an Addict, however, remains hauntingly real and incredibly sincere.
Read an excerpt from the book published in New York Magazine entitled Flying.
Thanks to Netflix I’ve been seeing lots of movies that I never intended to see in the theaters (or intended to but was far too cheap to actually go and buy tickets). One of these movies is Charlie Bartlett. I had pretty low expectations, but had wanted to see it from the ads (if for nothing else than the always charming Robert Downey Jr.).
Though at times this movie bordered on being a cheap rip-off of Running with Scissors, I have to say it was really enjoyable (though Alec Baldwin-less, which is always a strike against a film). It’s a coming-of-age teen movie meets a dark, adult comedy. It takes on a theme that, while prevalent in high school movies, is always relevant: being different and finding yourself.
The young actor in the titular role, Anton Yelchin, is adorable and does a great job playing the 38 year old in a 16 year old’s body kind of character that can so easily drift into caricature. Hope Davis plays a wonderfully detached and vacant, wealthy mother. Kat Dennings plays the moody adolescent that made her famous. Robert Downey Jr. is, of course, charming and dryly funny and perfect as the trainwreck school principal/father of Bartlett’s love interest. Oh, and like, half of the cast of Degrassi is in it, a brilliant casting choice.
It’s not an Oscar winner or any critic’s choice, but this movie is worthy of your Netflix queue.
I am always on the hunt for good additions to salads—especially now that it’s summer and the thought of turning on my stove or oven to make a meal is akin to turning on my furnace. So salad it is for many dinners. And to break up the monotony of veggies I usually like to add nuts, but they can be problematic. Walnuts aren’t crunchy enough (and prohibitively expensive), almonds are too big for a bite and awkward to crush up in my tiny, ill-equipped kitchen, and peanuts are a pretty specific flavor and can veer on waxy.
And then I discovered roasted soy nuts. Not only are they super crunchy, but they are light and have a flavor that actually works with most salads I could make. And to boot? They are CRAZY cheap. I suggest scrounging up some change and buying a giant container of them immediately.
- natasha: did you know coolio wrote a cookbook?
- me: excuse me?
- natasha: it's called 'cookin' with coolio'.