Monday, March 10, 2008

I never get tired of fake memoirs

Most of you have probably seen this, but in case you haven't: a 33-year-old white woman named Margaret Seltzer recently wrote a critically acclaimed memoir, Love and Consequences, about growing up in a black foster family n South Central Los Angeles and getting involved in drugs and gang life. Except that she wasn't ever in a foster family, in South Central or elsewhere, and she didn't get into drugs or gang life. She grew up in the suburbs with her biological family and went to the same private school as the Olsen twins. She was found out when her sister called a reporter and said Seltzer was lying. Here's the story.

This takes some guts. This isn't James Frey embellishing and adding details to a real-life story; it's totally, completely made up. Just imagine what it must take to go on book tours and interviews, telling person after person all of these lies. How could you do it? And how could you think that you wouldn't be found out? Think of all the people who know you--all it would take is for one of them to see your picture in a book review or media appearance, and it's all over. I would like to meet this woman.

Notes on hotels

Last week, for reasons beyond my control, I stayed for a few nights at a hotel that is far nicer than I am used to--one of the best and most expensive in the city where it is located. The hotel was extremely elegant, the rooms lovely, and the service excellent. However, I barely noticed any of this. Instead, I spent my stay there in a constant struggle to obtain cold Diet Coke. This was caused by the fact that the hotel has no self-service ice machines, no vending machines, and no in-room refrigerators. Perhaps this is comforting to patrons who turn up their noses at the vulgar idea of consuming food and drink not presented on an actual silver platter. To me, it was annoying.

At this hotel, a person who wishes to enjoy a Diet Coke in her room must either (1) pre-purchase some Diet Coke, store it warm in the room, call down to room service, request that ice be sent up, wait up to 20 minutes, allow a person into her hotel room, and give them a tip; or (2) call down to room service and request that a can of Diet Coke be sent up for the reasonable price of $3.50 plus an 18% gratuity and a $2.50 delivery charge. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Particularly when you want to do it two to four times per day.

Also, a hotel that costs $60 a night can give me a free buffet breakfast and phone calls, but the hotel that's hundreds of dollars a night charges $12 for a bowl of Cheerios and $1.50 for a local call? Stupid.

It's two stars max for me from here on out.