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Zulkey
Interviews, essays, diatribes and diary entries documenting the days in the life of Claire Zulkey.
Sunday Apr 09, 2006.     By Jessica Herman
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

Claire Zulkey, of Zulkey.
Streaming directly from the mind of Ms. Claire Zulkey, the three-year-old blog Zulkey has achieved a rock-star status of sorts, having been namedropped in The Observer, The New Yorker and National Public Radio. The site is as much a repository for Claire's published essays, articles and interviews as it is an "after-dinner mint for the brain," so she says.

You can count on Claire daily, if not her mom (who previously hosted an advice column on the site) to keep you posted on matters of personal and pop cultural pertinence. She'll also keep you up-to-date on her professional life with links to her latest and greatest: She gets down and dirty with topics ranging from the "Redneck Revolution" and kissing and telling to an interview with the one-and-only Jenny Craig.

What's the gist of your blog?
Mainly literary humor except for the interviews on Friday, which aren't humor per se. I've gotten some really good ones...Eric Spitznagel, who's a Second City fixture and about to publish a book on his experience as a porn film writer; Andy Borowitz; I got a lot of attention for a James Frey interview...I love almost all of them.

If I read your blog today, gimme one thing I'd learn.
Literally today you'd learn about a panel I am hosting. You may be able to learn about other writers and what other people are up to who I know but you might not, [like] Wendy McClure and Jessa Crispin. It's always easiest to find someone who you've had a beer with.

My computer is surrounded by...
The Chicago skyline. At home my desk is wedged between a wall and a column. It fits perfectly between these two things. It's surrounded by windows and piles of books and doodads. Right now it's covered in wax because I dipped my finger in hot candle wax [the other night] and didn't wait to start typing. I have a bunch of books I'm supposed to be speaking with authors about, one on screenwriting and one called Falling Through the Earth by Danielle.

At work, there's a White Sox poster over my computer.

How do you pay the bills?
I have a day job at Northwestern (as assistant to the editor-in-chief at the Journal of the American Dietetic Association), and I do a lot of freelancing. One of my biggest clients is ElleGirl and I'm really sad because I just found out this morning that they're folding. There's this Lane Tech high schooler I've been following...for a year and a half, almost two years, and I've been writing about her once a month. In the meantime I'm blogging for Mediabistro.com And occasional advertising for Zulkey.

When you aren't loving blogging, you're loving BLANK in Chicago.
Right now the White Sox. I love my apartment on the North Side by Wrigley Field. It's an awesome studio [with lots] of windows. I get kind of agoraphobic. I like to watch the skyline, watch TV. I'm going shopping with my mom this weekend, which I like to do. I had a drink at the Four Seasons with my boyfriend last night. It's just nice to pretend like you're civilized and rich for a half-hour.

Name a local blogger extraordinaire.
Can I name two? I'm in love with Jessa Crispin and Wendy McClure. I love them both because they're both such hard workers and fun to hang out with. They're the perfect balance between optimism...and they can just hate on people. They have the perfect amount of crabbiness,