Things I'd Rather Be Doing ... this blog by John Kenyon was more than kind to the ugly one and Johnny Porno. Check out the review/story/interview here ...
Titan ... I still have goose bumps. It was THAT good. As for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) ... well, I sure wish they’d grease the right government officials not to have road work done the night of performances. Getting home from there was a pure nightmare. The place is nice enough, though. Very pretty and the prices are what’s to be expected: $12.00 for two coffees, a small sliver of cheese cake and a bottle of water. Parking was much more reasonable than it is in Manhattan, however and it was great being one of the younger couples in the crowd. The wife took particular issue with a group of younger women who cut her off going into the women’s room and then proceeded to cut off an elderly woman from using a stall as the three younger ones bolted for the stalls. Spoiled brats was my guess ... who probably thought it was a night with Lady Ga Ga. I hope they were as tortured as I was thrilled, the shits.
And about that phenom conductor, Gustavo Dudamel ... this from 60 Minutes. The intro is his first rehearsal of Titan with the L.A. Philharmonic ... and what he’s doing with kids is about 100,000x’s better than what Ted Kennedy and George Bush (tell me again how they're not all the same) came up with in No Child Left Behind.
Watch CBS News Videos Online
If Dudamel’s smile doesn’t say it all, amici, nothing does. “LIFE IS GOOD. IT’S VERY GOOD!”
Signing at the Waldenbooks ... I got this over at JD Rhoades blog and it is not only hilarious but way too true. Watch the video and then read some of that Stella character’s book-signing horror stories.
Horror Story #1 ... somewhere in the great and very corrupt state of New Jersey, my wife and I drove to a small bookstore (up north, I think) where after being lost for 30 minutes on the road, we were confronted with the following from the store manager: “What is it you write?” “Soprano type stuff,” I said (thinking she’s working in Jersey, she should know the Sopranos, besides the fact two dozen of the fucking books are on the table--Jimmy Bench Press, this was). “Oh, I hate that mob stuff,” she said. My wife saw the look on my face. I was pissed off no end and thought, “Why the fuck am I here?” Half an hour later, fifteen minutes into the “signing” that was more like a funeral with no attendees, the compassionate store manager said, “Maybe if you wrote good books, they'd be more people here." And I said, "That’s enough. Let’s go.”
The humiliation caused a war in the car and I saw a feisty side of my wife I never want to see again. In a nutshell, I think she can kick my ass.
Horror Story #2 ... we had very good luck with the reviews of Charlie Opera and had hired a publicist. The book was selling out very quickly but the publisher wasn’t keeping track of the numbers. Our publicist told us about this and we tried to convince the publisher but nobody there was home. Six weeks later, the book was sold out and we had to travel to a conference down south. I called the bookstore there and asked them to hold a box of our books we were shipping (our supply) just in case the distributor didn’t have enough to ship them. They were very kind and said “No problem.” Two nights before we left, I called the bookstore again to make sure the books had arrived and was told in as nasty a tone as you can muster, “We can’t hold these books here. Why did you send so many?” (They had 12 copies and we said we’d pay to ship them back to our house). The more I tried to explain, the more nasty the person became and kept cutting me off and being sarcastic about how “good your book is” (which wasn’t what I had said at all). Finally, in my very best stellareeze, I said, “I tell you what, why don’t you go fuck yourself. How’s that?” My wife gave me a lecture later on about why I was never hired at the U.N. as a diplomat, but I volleyed with the following: “I wouldn’t take that shit for a million dollars, honey. That assshole was demanding I take it for a few books.” (The upside for me was we sold out at the conference -- all 3 books).
Horror Story #3 ... My wife was always big on bringing candies and cookies to our events (we now bring canolli) ... and when a publicist had lined us up at a library in Jersey City, we showed up with cookies and candies and my audience consisted of every homeless person in town that cold February morning ... and frankly they had better stories to tell than I did.
Horror Stories #4-10 ... (I don’t have the perseverance Mr. Hall does so that’s about all we’ve done)... showing up to a signing and seeing the same two or three loyal friends over and over and over (people who were just being extra kind to a poor slob trying to hawk a book).
There were some very good stories, too and those make it all worth the effort so don’t think the ugly one isn’t grateful. We’ll never forget San Mateo, Houston and Phoenix, that’s for sure.
Me and the DOC ... today we’ll be chowing down on some grilled steaks and enjoying a few cold ones just as soon as I return from the gym and DOC manages to navigate his way to beautiful downtown Fords, New Jersey. He says he’s leaving at 2 and will be here by 3. I suggested he leave around 9:00 a.m. to make it here by 3:00 p.m.
The boss is studying for her last test of the nursing semester. Last week she scored a 91. She works full-time and attends nursing school full time (including a weekend clinical at various hospitals) and she deals with me; a beautiful freckled wonder she is.
And the DOC says ...
I don’t have too much time as I have to get ready for my daughter’s graduation, but I can spare a few minutes to recount Book Signing Horror Story #11.
After work, I’m zooming down I-95 to catch one of the first signings by my buddy, “The Chazmeister”. Finally get to Forest Hills… look for parking for half an hour. Find the right room. It’s not too big. Shouldn’t be too difficult to spot a 900 pound author. Nowhere in sight. I mention your name and the book signing lady seems to think you’ve already left. Curious, because the book signing hasn’t begun. Upon mentioning your name I am approached by a client of yours and he is speaking in Fuhgeddabouddit. Luckily, I speak Fuhgeddabouddit. Not to brag, but I am fluent in both the Queens and Brooklynese dialects. Oddly enough, there is no written language in Fuhgeddabouddit, except possibly your books. Not to digress, this guy gives me an envelope stuffed with $20 bills. He says it’s five dimes and I should give it to you right away. Funny how your story of book signing horror stories reminded me of this. So, I drown the disappointment of missing your book signing with the five grand this guy gives me. I think his name was Johnny the Gimp. At the time his name wasn’t Johnny the Gimp, but that’s what they call him now. In retrospect, I probably should have mentioned this to you before today, but hey, fuhgeddabouddit.
I had a great time at the barbecue at Casa Stella today. I haven’t seen eating like that since that cheetah caught that gazelle on the National Geographic Channel.