Sunday, October 15, 2006

My New Best Friend.

I'm a huge David Sedaris fan. I've read all of his books twice, eat up his occasional pieces for The New Yorker, and when I saw him live earlier this year I even briefly considered waiting in the line of two-hundred-plus people just to get my copy of Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim signed. Instead I sat at a nearby table where I drank my nine dollar glass of wine and fantasized how I would trick him into coming to my next dinner party. I had gotten to the part where he takes out a restraining order, when I was brought to my senses by Rigel pointing out that I was smashing my plastic tumbler into tiny pieces and mumbling, "But all I wanted was to be your friend!"

Yesterday, as I was browsing the bookstore, lamenting the fact that it had been two whole years since his last new release, I came across this book, written by his sister Amy. I'd seen her occasional appearances on David Letterman and as Carrie's agent on Sex and the City, but had never read anything she'd written until now.

It's a how-to book on entertaining and contains actual recipes for things like Roast Leg Of Lamb, but the text is like something written by the local Girl Scout leader after a night of tequila slammers. You'll find recipes for Vulgar Barbecue Sauce and even useful beauty tips such as how to use cigarette ashes to remove hair color from your hairline. And how awesome is it that I can follow her recipe for white frosting with figs and then, on the facing page, find tips for keeping my private parts clean and fresh!

The first thing I saw when I flipped open the book was this recipe for hot dogs, and after reading the first few steps I knew that I had found someone else to stalk.

Mrs. Hog's Hot Dogs
  1. Wake up.
  2. Turn the stove on.
  3. Get a pan, put water in and boil it.
  4. Drop hot dogs in boiling water but be careful not to splash boiling water on yourself.
Not only do I have a book of new recipes to pour over, I also get some good advice in her Art of Hospitality section:
A Self-Realized Person Will...
  • Be unique in a way that is pleasing to everybody.
  • Accentuate the postives – medicate the negatives.
  • Have a hairstyle that is flattering to some and offensive to few.
  • Have access to money.
  • Never cry herself to sleep in front of others.
This book is around 300 pages and I'm only on page nineteen, so it should keep me busy until what's-his-name decides to publish another book of his essays. Plus, the entire last section is devoted to crafts and there's a few that I want to get started on right away. The pantyhose bath sachet and the wooden calf stretcher will be perfect for the slumber party I'm inviting Amy to!

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44 comments:

  1. blimey that sounds funny! what section was it shelved under? facetious post-modern self-help parody? it's soooo funny when a book like that gets categorised by someone with no sense of irony at all.
    i once worked on a slightly weird book of tips, called 'trade secrets', from which i learned that if you run out of shaving foam, you can use peanut better instead - apparently it makes you skin lovely and soft. you just can't stop yourself wondering - what was the thought process of the first person to try that? had he/she tried and rejected ketchup? and how did the ash on the hairline thing emerge? the mind boggles ...

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  2. Amy is totally just as funny as David!!!

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  3. I love David Sedaris! Thanks for tipping me off to his sister, I will have to check it out. Now that would be a fun family Thanksgiving to be a part of, huh?

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  4. I'm ashamed to say that I've never heard of David and his sister. You can usually find me in the "fantasy/fiction" section with dragons, kings and queens.

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  5. I love Amy Sedaris too! I want to grow up to be like her.
    She used to have a TV show called Strangers with Candy which was hilarious in a disturbing kind of way.
    So, when I discovered David Sedaris, I thought, "oh,Amy's brother..."

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  6. Please, please let me come to your slumber party.

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  7. oh my god.
    i must have this!

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  8. this book is on my christmas wish list.

    anyone who walks around in a fat suit to try to piss her father off is definitely someone i admire.

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  9. I will pick this up asap. I've been looking for new reading material of all genres. I want to broaden my scope a bit.

    Also, I've been thinking about writing to Ellen DeGeneres and inviting her over for dinner some time. I think she'd like me. This means that I'd have to clean my laundry room, so I'm not ready for the committment yet.

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  10. I adore David and Amy, too. LOVE THEM. Check out this site. It is hysterical

    http://www.amysedarisrocks.com/aboutamy.htm

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  11. I think it is wonderful that you are an equal opportunity stalker - regardless of sex, race, and religion.

    I particularly enjoyed how you referred to David as "what's-his-name." Priceless!

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  12. I just saw this book in the bookstore but wasn't sure what to make of it. Now that I know it has tips for keeping my private parts clean and fresh, I'm going to order it on Amazon.

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  13. A girl scout leader and tequilas! A vivid description. I've seen her on Letterman before and thought she was distinctly odd, rather hyper and perky for my tastes but Letterman seems to really like her since she's on a lot. Maybe I'll have to check out the book and give her another chance.

    Oh! Now I remember, my parents went to see the show live when she was on the last time, that's where I remembered her from.

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  14. I have a huge crush on Amy Sedaris. Thankfully, my wife does too. Next time you come to NYC, I'll take you out to Mary's Fish Camp, where Amy likes to waitress on weekends (for fun) and sell her homemade muffins.

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  15. She lived in my building (the one before I moved to Brooklyn 2 years ago) and I can assure you she's every bit as weird and cool and you'd think she is. She used to run around to the local merchants handing out homemade cupcakes, and I never passed up a chance to stammer something utterly stupid to her every time we were in the elevator together.

    Also? Steven Colbert and Paul Dinello used to visit her a lot. They like my dog.

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  16. Do I HAVE to wake up before I make the hot dogs?

    -annie

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  17. Amy Sedaris rocks. Have you seen "Strangers with Candy"? Too damn funny.
    I thought David had a new book- something like "children staring at a statue of Hercules". He is my favorite. Every time I read something of his, I look around like "Oh my God!, I can't believe he wrote that down!"
    I am definitely checking out the Amy book.

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  18. wife.imp loves David S.! We also saw him live--very funny man. Once wife.imp purchased one of his books for me and I got to the section where he talks about sucking...well I did not read much further.

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  19. How cool is that? I've got to check out this book.

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  20. I wish the Sedaris family would adopt me (just kidding mom)!

    Gotta get that book!

    Carrie

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  21. Both Amy and David Sedaris are funny in a savant kind of way. I have no idea how they function in the other parts of their lives, but they can sure as hell write funny stuff. There are other sibs in their family. One is someone they call "The Rooster". Maybe he's not fit for public consumption with a name like that.

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  22. I WANT THAT BOOK! :) Great post, and great blog!

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  23. I am SO going to ebay right now.....

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  24. Ive seen Amy on shows but didn't know about David. Going to check him out- thanks!

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  25. I'm so out of the loop I didn't realize David had a sister but SHE'S MY NEW BEST FRIEND so watch out. Mwaaa haaa haa haa. Gonna go check into that book stat. Sounds like my kind of read!

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  26. Thank you Marsha for actually writing something worth reading. David Sedaris is a mastermind behind the 'low self-esteem essay'. I've only read, 'Me Talk Pretty One Day' and 'DYFICAD', but I will have to read Amy now. Just because of how David describes her in his essays.

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  27. Yeah, I second sgazzetti on Strangers with Candy. The most hilariously disturbing half-hour comedy ever.

    Also, Amy Sedaris has a great advice column in The Believer with the excellent title "Sedaratives." They've had guest columnists the past few months (one of them Jeri Blank, Amy's "Strangers w/ Candy" character, which was a fucking riot), but I'm hoping Ms. Amy herself will return soon.

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  28. I love David Sedaris...and can I come to the slumber party? Please?

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  29. Oh my gawd! I just scrolled down and saw the keychains for My neighbour Totoro and Kiki's, two of our all time faves around here. I loved Totoro so much I actually Made (yes I said that), made a totoro stuffie for my girls....well, more for me really...

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  30. I really must read one of David Sedaris' books. I heard him read an excerpt from the Santaland Diaries on public radio, and I really enjoyed it.

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  31. I loved the description of Amy from one of the essays in "Me Talk Pretty One Day"--I can still start giggling at the thought of her made up like a rape victim telling complete strangers, "I think I'm finally really in love." This looks, if possible, even funnier. Thanks for getting the word out. Also, for quoting that recipe for hot dogs. That's very helpful. I see now where I've been going wrong.

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  32. Love her. Love him. Gotta read it.

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  33. NOTHING beats a good book recommendation. Let us know if you're still into her at page 158 or thereabouts.

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  34. OMG! Love you for letting me know this book is out. I've read most of David's and have been dying to know what the rest of the family thinks.

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  35. Mother fucking blogger ate my comment yesterday.

    The gist was that I love Amy. She was on Daily Show last night and fucking rocked.

    AND That I hope Kira, Kiyomi and Emily form a super group and write their memoirs of their mothers. I sense they will collectively end up as the Sedaris children....

    They can be Ekk!

    or KEK

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  36. Can you imagine if the two of them co-authored a book together?
    *shudder*

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  37. I'm a dedicated David fan and like you, own all his work and have seen him live.
    I've been following Amy since her Strangers With Candy days. She's awesome. She was on The Daily Show last night, so if you get a chance you might be able to catch the replay today if you didn't see it.

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  38. I love David Sedaris and have been a fan of Amy since Strangers With Candy. I have to read this- thanks!

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  39. I hear that Amy runs her own cupcake business out of her apartment. No lie. I'm suddenly feeling very unproductive.

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  40. I've been wanting to read this book since I first read about it a week ago. Any book that starts off abusing me in the front flap has got to be good...

    I'm so glad to hear it's good so far.

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  41. Damnit, now I'll have to add this book to The Stack. The Stack? She is getting a bit overwhelming.

    David Sedaris makes me laugh until I pee myself a little. His account of being one of Santa's elves at Macy's is one the funniest things I've ever read.

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  42. I love David Sedaris as well! The book by Amy Sedaris also sounds really funny; I'll have to check that out.

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  43. I'm in love...I'm going to go get that book RIGHT NOW!!!

    When we saw David Sedaris this past year, I asked him a question at the end - of course, he was fantastic, I almost threw my panties up on stage at him.

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