August 28, 2015
ON HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE: "My parents were a ridiculously good looking, romantic, intense couple. They met at St. John the Divine Cathedral, at a Serbian church shin-dig their parents made them go to. It made my mom feel good that they had the same background, she had grown tired of other men thinking she was so exotic, and for my dad, coming from a family of dramatic opera singers, marrying a beautiful actress made sense! It was New York City in the 70s, they lived in a freezing loft off of Union Square, where they made experimental films and played racquet ball on the roof. They celebrated "Happy New You" at coke-infused New Years parties and had explosive, crazy fights that usually resolved themselves at Old Town Bar. They were hot, passionate Scorpios. The best thing about my parents marriage was basking in the love between them. My sister and I never doubted that they were madly in love with each other, which is why it was a complete shock when they split up. My mom blames it on our brief stint in the suburbs. I don't think they could agree on what kind of life they wanted."
ON HER HUSBAND: "I never thought I'd get married. I had this art-damaged idea that I would just be this independent poet type, maybe be someone's complicated lover. But then I met Mr. Ian. I was twenty-three, fresh out of Bard College, and we were both working at a gallery uptown. He was standing on a ladder, in a wife beater, with cowboy boots, and I had never seen so many tattoos in my life. He had a tape measure attached to his punk rock belt and let's just say it was my Schneider (from One Day at a Time) fantasy come alive. Months of dumb elevator conversation, an awkward Metro North trip together upstate after work to our respective Thanksgivings, and a salvaged date to see the The Killers at Film Forum, finally led to an office Christmas party, after which we went back to my tiny Chelsea apartment and had amazing, messy sex until the sun rose."
ON HER TWIN BOYS: "My experience of motherhood thus far has been extreme from the get go. I lost my first pregnancy, and then a couple months later I was somehow pregnant with identical twin boys. I thought God was really nice to give me two baby boys after losing one. But then, days shy of West and Lou's first birthday, Lou was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, and I felt like I had been had. I remember so clearly standing in the hallway at the hospital and it was like those Choose Your Own Adventure novels. Turn to Page 4 if you want to freak the fuck out and hate the world or turn to Page 6 if you're going to step up and participate 100%. I'm an overachiever type so I just decided to get an A+ at being a mom. Which actually meant learning to practice extreme self care, forgiving myself for not being super human, and being grateful for every single day. Even if that day was spent psychedelically exhausted, sweating in a plastic isolation gown chasing a nauseous toddler attached to a beeping pole around the room."
ON BALANCE: "The biggest challenge as a mother, for me at least, is balance. Finding space for yourself when two little people need you constantly. At the hospital after Lou would fall asleep, the first couple of months I would just sit there in the dark. Then finally I was like, "No, I'm going to use this time." So I wrote my album on a crappy Casio piano the Child Life staff gave us. I felt terribly guilty about it, like, am I such an ego maniac that my child is lying here getting chemo and all I can think of right now is my next album? I'm sure I will always struggle with this, hopefully in less extreme circumstances. "
ON SUCCESS: "I've always been a storyteller, and have had a lot of emotional ups and downs in my career. I've made two albums, toured a bit and got some attention briefly there, but I was so tortured about the whole thing. I'm in the studio again, with a great producer and the band of my dreams. I don't really care about being famous anymore. I'm happy to be alive, and grateful that I have something I can do to survive in this world."
ON SEX AND MARRIAGE: "My husband and I had crazy chemistry from day one. But underneath that we are simply good friends. This has worked for us, as sometimes when we're not feeling it we still want to hang out with each other. And likewise, when we're really pissed off at each other, we still want to have sex. I think the hardest thing about marriage is understanding that there are going to be ups and downs. I don't break out in hives anymore, but our spark is something that continues to shape shift. This can be really scary and its usually what sends most couples running for the hills, or to the suburbs in my parents case. We totally almost didn't make it a few times, but we stuck it out and emerged new people, grown ups. Don't panic when the initial butterflies in your pants subside. Sex and marriage, it comes in waves."
FAVE LOVE SONG: "Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game' always makes me want to take my clothes off. I grew up on VH1, after all."
FAVE LOVE BOOK: M.F.K. Fisher's "The Gastronomical Me." Part memoir part food diary, Mary Frances' tale of falling in love with food, France, and her soul mate is my all time favorite book.
ON HER FANTASY WEDDING: "Jim Morrison to Hildegard of Bingen, she was a medieval nun, poet, and mystic. That would be a hot wedding, Jim in his priest shirt with his beads and Hildegard in her robes and flower crown. I mean, I'd leave Jesus for Jim! I'd wear a red velvet gown and a big cross and go with Salman Rushdie or some bearded creep."