The above photo is not of Patrick O'Dell. It was taken by him and showed up on his web site, Epicly Later'd. O'Dell has been chronicling his days via digital photos for the last year and a half and has amassed a steady following of viewers. A former staff photographer for Thrasher magazine, O'Dell's site features stars of the skateboarding world, New York musicians, photographers, artists, and a whole revolving cast of friends and drunken strangers that populate the posts on his site. At first glance the basic design may not immediately grab you, but as you view more and more of the posts, laden with the lyrics of one Steven Patrick Morrissey, it all begins to make sense. You are experiencing, on a small level, what it is like to live in New York and be Patrick O'Dell, and it's a fun and addictive ride. This interview was done via e-mail.
What made you decide you wanted to have a web site?
The idea was to bite Amy Kellner's weblog...I got addicted to hers and stole the whole operation.
What do your friends think of the site?
They think it's terrible.
Who's your favorite person to take photos of for the site?
Anyone that's drunk...this is a typing interview btw...I'm typing not talking, just to clear that up. Like a Myspace survey.
Who are the readers favorites on the site? Were you surprised by this at all?
I never did a poll...but the kids like to see Spanky and Andrew Reynolds...not surprisingly.
Is there anyone that doesn't want to be on it, like how there's an Osbourne sister that's never shown?
Yes...there are people that are definitely missing...sometimes people aren't into it and I never force anyone...it's all for fun, and I have a 100% take down policy...like if someone's with a situation that's on the D.L., or thinks they look fat and they want me to take it down, I will.
How do you feel about the imitators that you've inspired, such as lurkstatus and epiclytrife?
I wish them all nothing but the worst for the rest of their days and I hope they catch internet AIDS.
What's the weirdest thing about having a web site?
Getting hate mail.
Do you have any goals for the site?
No, the goals are achieved...I was hoping that someone would look at it and give me a sweet job. Getting a girlfriend out of it would be nice too.
What sort of stuff doesn't get show on the site? How do you decide what's material and what isn't?
I like to keep certain things private and so do other people. I try not to put up pictures of people I dislike.
Has the popularity of the site surprised you at all?
Yes, I am very surprised.
Are there any things in your life that have happened as a direct result of the site?
I've gone up three levels in social hierarchy...I was at the level of "disgruntled stoner," now I'm more "prep/yearbook editor."
How has Spanky been affected by the site?
Badly, he hates it.
What happened to the guest books?
I hated them, but I kept them up for Manute, but then after awhile I was tired of people talking shit—the level of intelligence on there was incredibly low. They'd talk shit about me, my friends, and even the compliments were stupid. It was like some kind of opinion poll about my life...which is strange, because I don't think my life needs any more opinions.
What is it about Morrissey that inspires you to quote him so often?
Because everything he said rings true.
What photoblogs do you look at?
I look at Athena's on the Verte web site, Amy Kellner's, Epicly Trife, and Tiny Vices.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
That I'm actually very anti-social and kind of a snob. I've also spent the last week sitting in my room re-reading Harry Potter books in preparation for the new one to come out.