Hitting book stores Feb. 7 will be "I Am Not Myself These Days," by Josh Kilmer-Purcell, a partner and creative director at SS&K in New York.
The story chronicles Josh's first year in New York working at an ad agency by day and hitting the drag circuit at night as Aquadisiac-7'2" in wig and heels and sporting real live gold-fish in her breasts. The year was 1996. The agency? Josh wouldn't fess up, but some snooping around pointed to Merkley Newman Harty. And, as Josh says, since "drunken drag queens and drug addicts" might be a tough sell, he needed a universal theme. So what better than love? The love in this case is with a crack-addicted male escort who gets paid to smack around rich men.
It's a good read, as you'd expect. Of course, recent events made us a little cautious. And there was one other detail. The review proof has a cover blurb from none other than James Frey. Frey thought the book was "beautiful" and "wonderful."
But is it true?
According to Josh, Harper Collins has been "extremely responsible" even before the latest flap. "I turned over stacks of photos, club fliers, affidavits, even my passport stamps showing where I've traveled." And the book "had a standard disclaimer from Day One." He pointed out that the more outlandish stuff was the easiest to remember. "The more mundane things ... those are the sorts of things I had to recreate."
Josh also makes one other salient point: "Anyone who wholeheartedly buys into a memoir about a drunk drag queen who spends half the book passed out should really limit their reading to encyclopedias."
Josh is unsure about what will happen to the cover quote. But, he admits, "being in marketing, I'm a little on the fence about whether it's a bad thing, anyway. If it means that the book gets a little more attention than a normal first book would, then I'd kiss James Frey with tongue on `Larry King Live.' "
Oddly enough, we discovered that Frey's wife used to work at SS&K. Josh confirmed, saying she's "still a dear friend." We don't know how she'd feel about that whole tongue-kissing thing.
Asked if he's scared of Oprah, Josh responds: "Who isn't scared of Oprah? I think even God does gut-checks with her."
For the curious, Aqua was retired in 2000.
Her shadow hangs over the land
Rather than sitting at home while our better half screamed at the TV, Adages took in the State of the Union address at a New York viewing party hosted by The Atlantic Monthly, or as attending funny man Andy Borowitz called it, "The Atlantic Almost-Monthly." As if to prove some sort of sick point about America, some of the biggest buzz during the cocktail hour was about ... Oprah. Adages chatted briefly with longtime journalist Richard Cohen, who was on the now-infamous episode of her show. Cohen compared the whole ordeal to the moon landing.
On hand for the evening were journalists Barbara Walters, John Fund and Robert George. Moby was in the house ( he's thinking of selling off his tea business), as was actress Julia Stiles. Also participating in the fun was Daily News gossiper Lloyd Grove and guest, actress Linda Fiorentino.
Atlantic National Correspondent James Fallows and Associate Publisher Meredith Kopit ran a good show and fully one-third of the crowd was Republican-a minor miracle for a New York media party. But even the Republicans present cringed at the president's mention of "human-animal hybrids." Said one: "He should have quit speaking 20 minutes ago."
No soup for you!
When Adages received an invite from Chicken Soup for the Soul Magazine to a party in New York celebrating Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, one of Spain's most famous fashion designers, we just had to swing by. How did Mignonne Wright, the publisher and editor in chief of the Memphis-based magazine, hook up with an international designer in her SoHo boutique? Well, Mignonne came upon Agatha the old-fashioned way-on the Web-and fell in love with her colorful designs, which are a bit of a shock for the average black-clad New Yorker. And Agatha made sure to tell Adages that our own attire wasn't up to sartorial snuff. We also went because Mignonne's always good for a funny story or two. She didn't disappoint. After a brief chat with Rodrigo Riofrio, the ambassador for Ecuador, she reported to Adages, "If we go to war with Ecuador, I swear it wasn't my fault."