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Amy Sedaris gives us the lowdown, dishing Martha


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Nov. 15--In her new book "I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence," Amy Sedaris dispenses quirky advice on everything from gift giving (The perfect gift for a single man? "Identification bracelet") to how to be a tolerable out-of-town guest ("Don't show up with a pet you need to bury.") to taking care of a sick person ("Never steal a sick person's pills."). And then there are the more than 100 delicious sounding recipes, including instruction for appetizers, desserts, drinks, main meals and treats.

Sedaris is in town for tonight's sold-out show, which is part of the Current's (89.3 FM) "Fakebook" series at the Fitzgerald Theater in St.Paul, where she'll be interviewed by the Current's Mary Lucia, make crafts and sing. On the phone from her Greenwich Village apartment in New York, the actress/comedian/author dished about Martha Stewart, the Minnesota State Fair and her own experience with holiday stress.

On her recent "Martha Stewart Show" appearance: "It was fun. I had never been on a show like that before, and I never really wanted to ... since I was a kid I wanted my own hospitality-type show. So, I didn't want to be inspired by anyone else's set. I kept saying 'no' to her, and, finally, I said, 'OK.' I had a good time, but we're just very different. She seems very stern and serious. I've never been inspired by Martha Stewart."

On perky TV show host Rachael Ray: "I like how fast she talks, but I don't know anything about her. I saw her on "Larry King" one night talking, and I feel like we have the same pace. Martha was very slow, and I was like, 'God, get to the verb.' "

On her trip to the Minnesota State Fair: "I went to the State Fair a couple of years ago, and I saw a woman who did a portrait out of butter. I was thinking that would be my author photo for the back of the book. I was trying to locate her to see if she would do a carving of me in butter but I couldn't find her anywhere.

"Then I saw a lot of seed art, which is where I got the idea for the seed art in my book."

On the stressfulness of the holidays: "I never had a problem with that. It's something I cannot relate to because I never dreaded going home and not wanting to be around anybody in my family. When people tell me they have that anxiety, I can't even imagine that. I guess I would deal with it in pill form, and I wouldn't stay at the house. I'd get a hotel room, and I would probably get a prescription for Xanax online or get something else to take the edge off."

Amy Carlson Gustafson can be reached at agustafson@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5561. Who: Amy Sedaris

When: 8 p.m. today

Where: Fitzgerald Theater, 10 East Exchange St., St. Paul

Info: 651-290-1221

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Copyright (c) 2006, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.

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