Tuesday, May 29, 2007
This was me and my family last year on the Memorial Day weekend - we took our traditional jaunt to Ocean City where every May, we go down the shore that Sunday, gorge ourselves on Brown's donuts and Mack and Manco's pizza, after which we ride a surrey for four hours to try and work off the calories. The following day, Memorial Day, was always spent with a party at our house where their friends wandered in and out all day scarfing Gary's rather incredible burgers and then, since all of their pals are musicians, we'd be treated to the world's best jam session in our living room.
Well, needless to say, we didn't make it down to Ocean City this year for the first time in like...forever. I sulked for a bit but have finally come to the conclusion that yes, Julie and Eric are adults now; long held traditions are reduced to 5x7 pictures in our photograph album, and damn it, everyone knows that he who stands with one foot in the past and one in the future (worrying, that would be me) is pissing on the present.
So I came to terms with the fact that Eric wasn't available Saturday because he had a backstage, all access pass to this year's Jam on the River courtesy of guitarist extraordinaire Scott Metzger who was playing at the concert with Eric's pal and Crescent Moon bandmate, Ween's Dave Dreiwitz as Bustle in Your Hedgerow. Last time Bustle played in New York Eric sat in on a song or two and I was tempted to go myself but yeah, yeah, realized once again Eric doesn't always want his groupie mom going to every show, even though she repeatedly assures him it's for the music, not just to watch him...and that she has been going to concerts for over thirty years, sometimes spending her entire week's paycheck for prime seats.
Anyway, it wasn't just Eric who wasn't available -- Julie had to work, teaching a recording class on Saturday and working at the restaurant for a double shift on Sunday.
"Want to go anyway, without the kids?" Gary asked me, knowing that I was putting up a brave front and was seconds away from a major meltdown...i.e., tears and several bittersweet walks down memory lane.
"No," I barked. "It won't be the same."
So just as I was about to totally wallow in misery, Julie came over for coffee early Saturday morning (I ran out of filters, she said sheepishly), I casually threw out the following comment to both Julie and Eric, who hadn't left for the River Jam yet, never expecting the response.
"I don't suppose you guys and any of your friends want to come over Memorial Day for a barbecue?" I asked hopefully, although with both J&E being vegetarians, it would call for major improvisation on our usual holiday menu.
"Yeah, we can do that," they both said. "How many people can we invite?"
"As many as you want!" I shouted, practically jumping up and down with glee.
So they left, and I woke Gary.
"Guess what! We're having a party here on Monday!"
He groaned, rolled over, and put the pillow over his head.
Nah, he didn't really do that. He smiled from ear to ear and immediately started planning the menu.
Both Julie and Eric had been raving that the very best veggie burger they ever had was courtesy of Houston's Restaurant so I said, "Hmm...I bet if I go on line I can find the recipe and Daddy will make them for you."
Stupidest thing I ever said. Oh, I found the recipe alright. I have to post it just so you can see what it involved:
Houston Restaurant's Veggie Burgers
4 tablespoons hickory barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon oat bran
2 tablespoons onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped canned beets
1 teaspoon beet juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 egg white, add more if needed (to bind)
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 slices monterey jack cheese (optional)
1. Stir together barbecue sauce and molasses. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mash beans. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the barbecue mixture (reserving remaining for brushing) and remaining ingredients -- rice through egg white. Form into four 6 oz patties.
3. Heat olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium. Grill burgers for 2 minutes on one side. Turn and brush with remaining barbecue/molasses mixture. Top with Monterey Jack and grill for another 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
4. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions and mustard on a bun which has been grilled in butter.
In other words, by the time Gary made these burgers, he could have cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner.
But oh, did he love doing it. And oh did J&E love eating them.
Though naturally we had a couple of disasters -- right in the middle of grilling, Gary's barbecue decided to self-destruct and the whole thing somehow did not go crashing to the ground but rather tilted on this bizarre, precarious angle which allowed Gary to finish cooking while juggling hotdogs and burgers on a decided slant. While he was dealing with that, I had to cook the veggie burgers in a skillet on the stove. Oh my god. I mean, if you look at the above ingredients, you will see that what I basically had to work with was a very wet mixture. I tried vainly to shape it into some semblance of a burger patty; then had to refrain from touching or turning it in the pan because I just knew those suckers would fall apart, rendering all of Gary's hard work for naught, so I nervously hopped from foot to foot in the kitchen, praying I wouldn't fuck up.
Hey, I used to be an awesome cook until Gary and Julie outdid me and now it's a lot easier to defer to them.
Except when I'm stuck with a mixture of beets and oatbran dressed in sheep's clothing (har har) as a hamburger.
Somehow, it all worked out.
So we ended up having ten of their friends here (I think -- I wasn't about to stand there and count); we made way too much food; Julie made an outrageous key lime pie for dessert which ended up pretty funny because she made home made whipped cream in that fancy gadget of hers which requires whippets...err...I mean, nitrous oxide cartridges to make it work...anyway, when she squeezed the handle whipped cream shot up everywhere, all in her hair...it was pretty fucking funny.
Naturally she blamed the cartridge, not the Sangria she also made and was drinking...oh my god, I had one glass of that stuff and was slurring my words.
In a good way, in a good way.
No jam session - after dinner everyone played baseball -- oh my god, we were such a normal family yesterday it was ridiculous.
And in two weeks, Eric leaves to play Bonanaroo, and after that, he immediately heads to Nashville and meets up with Julie at Adrian's house for rehearsals and then it's the Belew east coast tour and the start of a lot of summer insanity -- my mind is still coping with the fact that they'll both fly to Quebec July 10-12, leave for Tokyo July 13, and then Eric has to be in Germany July 28.
But that's not until mid-June; in the meantime I intend to enjoy my kids as much as possible -- in fact, pre-party yesterday Julie and I went out for breakfast and then shopping downtown and we had a freaking blast, just doing girl stuff and giggling.
Tomorrow I'll be in New York for the Backspace Writers Conference; I just got invited to two lit blog parties in NYC Thursday night and it appears I need a serious cloning machine because I'm also supposed to be part of the banquet at what looks like a luscious Italian restaurant called Dopo Teatro and who can't love a restaurant called "Dopo"...then I find out Eric will also be in NYC at the Knitting Factory at 6:30 that night with some heavy hitters in the music world...arghh...somehow I have to figure out how to do all.
Nice problem to have, huh.
I'll have the laptop with me in NYC and may have time to post again before I leave tomorrow morning...I'm thinking it would be a lot of fun to blog from this event assuming I'm not scarfing Ketel One martinis at the Algonquin bar in my down time but then again, assuming I can type, that would be one hell of a post, huh.
Anyway, I do have lots of other news but I can't blab yet so...
Friday, May 25, 2007
Okay, this should be called the totally self-indulgent post but there you have it and here it is -- first I see the above Google listing for Three Days in New York City which totally freaked me out; then I've been watching my Amazon numbers all week because when I did a vanity google on Monday, I was shocked to see Three Days in New York in the best seller zone. Now today it's climbed back up a bit, but it's still at a shockingly respectable all time high in sales and you can see for yourself (and order the book har har) right here.
And since you know I do the aforesaid cheesey vanity googles, maybe the reason I have such great numbers is that this BAD MOM was seen reading it at her son's baseball practice!
She broke me up with what she wrote, so I have no choice but to cut and paste it here, even though I did provide the link.
"Baseball Practice and Three Days In New York City
I know I shouldn't be... but I'm a little bit (well OK, a LOT) glad that little league practice was canceled for today. Since my Baby Twinkies are on two different teams this year, it means baseball EVERY DAY of the week except Sundays. So every day my evening consists of me rushing home to pick one of them up, take them to practice.
Of course I stay at practice with them. They like for me to be there and watch just in case they catch that amazing pop fly, or hit a home run or make the most perfect slide EVER onto home plate.
I usually take a book to read in between all this amazing feats. Right now I'm reading Moon Pies and Movie Stars by Amy Wallen. If any of you read Paperback Writer then you know that N.L. Belardes recently interviewed her and wrote a book review. It was a fun and interesting interview, as always and the review really caught my attention so I bought it. So far it's made me laugh out loud about ten times and I'm not even done with the first chapter yet. YUP! That's my kind of book!
Another book reviewed on Paperback Writer that caught my eye was Three Days In New York City by Robin Slick. I took it out to Baby Twinkie's practice one day and read about a chapter and half. I had to stop reading it. Don't get me wrong. It turned out to be a very fun book but... well.... you're gonna think I'm a dumb ass.. and I should have known better.. but I guess I didn't really know... but I should have. It's labeled EROTICA. And yes, while I know what the word means, I guess I didn't really "KNOW" what the word meant? Yes, I can be slow like that.
The book starts with phone sex while she's on public transportation while wearing a short skirt with no panties, per HIS request. Ummm yeah. So anyways, after reading a little bit my face started to feel a little flushed. I looked up and felt like all the other baseball moms were staring at me. Did they KNOW? Can they read my thoughts as I'm reading? Can they tell that my heart is racing? Can they feel my sweaty palms? Did I accidentally mouth the words as I was reading? Or worse.... did they have Three Days In New York City at home? Did they recognize the cover? Are they judging me?
"BAD MOM, reading that smut while at at her kids baseball practice? I mean, what kind of mother does that?"
The crack-ho/nympho kind, that's what.
So I very discreetly put the book back IN my purse, looked around to see if anybody had been able to read my thoughts. If I was Catholic I would have said ten hail Marie's(is that what they call it?) DAMN. I can't even remember what those prayers are called. Not that it matters since I'm not Catholic, so even if I did know what it was called and how to recite them, the Catholic God would look down at me from heaven and say, "Nice try, Twinkie, but you're not fooling anyone!"
That evening I went home, made dinner and did all that other motherly/wifely stuff, then once everyone was in bed, I finished the book. Devoured it, really. Like I said, not only is it "EROTICA" but it's really funny too. It was a short and very easy read. And don't worry. I've learned my lesson. From now on, if the cover has certain key words like sex, erotic, dirty dirty girl, etc on it, I will NOT take it to my kids practice."
Okay, so between that and my Amazon numbers, my day is definitely made today.
In other news, I know Adrian Belew and I share some blog readers but in case you do not visit his blog daily -- big mistake, because he's brilliant -- I really got a kick out of his last post so I have the urge to cross-blogginate again and cut and paste it here. It's about the night he met Mick Jagger:
"twelve years after our first world tour I was touring again with david, this time on the Sound and Vision Tour. we played two nights in paris, april 2 and 3, 1990. after the second night's show david, the band, the crew, and most of our entourage of fifty people went to a chic parisian nightclub to celebrate. the place was packed with excited euros dancing and looking around for david.
mick jagger was there.
I first spotted mick standing at the crowded bar.
"I've always loved your music," I said.
mick gave me the look of Death and moved on.
'gee,' I thought, 'it worked so well with david.'
to one side of the club there was a VIP room which looked out into rest of the club. you had to step down two steps to get inside but more importantly you had to be asked. it was guarded. I walked aimlessly around listening to the music and watching the dancers of paris. all of a sudden I heard david shouting towards me and waving me over to the VIP room.
the velour rope parted and I was in!
david motioned me over to a couch where he was sitting. he placed me right between himself and mick. which is where i spent the evening. david and mick laughed loudly and talked back and forth over me like I was a coffee table. they were obviously happy to see each other.
david was trying to hit on a girl whom he kept dancing with. I tried to strike up a conversation with mick but what do you say? "how do you like your Ferrari?", I asked ever so lamely. "got 3 of them," mick said. "never drive them. they're investments."
mick was far more interested in david's girl.
david is not a "drinker". in fact the few times I've seen him drink I'm always amazed. he gets drunk faster than anyone I've ever known! two beers and he's blasted.
on this night david was happy and amorous and soon a little drunk. while he was dancing with the girl, mick started warming to me. he needed an audience. he began hitting on david's girl. he would get up and dance beside her flirtatiously. then he'd come back to the couch and say to me, "watch me steal his girl". then he'd watch david dancing with the girl some more and he'd laugh and say, "look at that old queen".
this banter went on for the rest of the evening. it was all done jokingly, mick was hysterical. he and david had a great time out-doing each other.
it was one marvelous night."
So naturally after I read that, I had one of those moments again where I shook my head in disbelief and said to myself "Do I believe my kids are in a band with this man? Do I believe my husband and I consider him a friend and I know it's vice versa. Oh. My. God."
Yeah, I'm having a good day today. And absolutely no plans for the three day holiday weekend, which I'm going to happily spend in Philadelphia doing as little as possible.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Another pic from the Chris Harford show Saturday night at John and Peters - there's Chris, Eric, and Scott -- Dave is hidden behind Scott somewhere...
So I had fun reading the Ween forum board - here are some more blurbs:
"great show. Chris was his wild self. (not to mention, he's been playing in the over 40 Lacrosse league in Princeton)
Eric Slick is indeed the best young drummer on the scene in a long, long time. guy plays it every way from Sunday and with authority. hell of a nice guy too.
in fact, kudos to all the players. hell of a band there.
kudos to Metzger for great playing and a solo on the Leaf that just fucking ruled. (anybody notice he's doing a Mickey and suddenly growing like three inches or so?) Scotts really maturing as a fine, fine player..."
"Saw a bunch of old favorite tunes. A good grouping of freaks out. Dirtmerchant, thanks for the Jim Beam! Sean Horan out on a weekend, always good. Harford & band had a good controlled sound but still went over the top occasionally & the mix was done up nice too. That Eric kid can really play the drums. As well as "Fearless", Dave did another great cover in the Crescent Moon set: "Silver Machine" by Hawkwind..."
So I'm reading all of this, and then I see someone found my blog and put up a link. I really got a kick out of what followed:
"cool... wow, I just read that....so that's Erik's Mom?
She writes really well, & it's neat to get her
perspective on the J&P's scene...esp. since
she'd been there years before.
Sorry I didn't get to meet Erik's parents...
they must be so darn proud of him.
& knowing so much about music, themselves,
I'll bet had alot to do with his influences
over the years growing up...which I think
is just awesome, & very cool."
Then I really smiled because someone posted a photo of Julie playing bass and said, um, some nice things about her and her obvious attributes:
Ha ha, thank you Daryl, and you should click on that link because Daryl takes amazing photos -- he took several of the Adrian Belew Trio when they were on the west coast tour in November.
Anyway, getting back to the Ween forum board, so there I am smiling at Julie's photo and, um, compliments and a few photos down, there's a picture of me with a similar comment which totally made me laugh out loud.
I have made the bigtime now...I can die with a huge happy grin on my face.
Seriously, that was awesome and Ween fans are great.
Okay, if you want to catch Eric on drums tomorrow night, here's where he will be:
Eric is part of the Sarah Zimmermann Trio, and Julie is the regular bass player but she's really bogged down with school so Andy Z. is filling in for her. Here's a photo of the band along with a link to their MySpace site, where you can have a listen to one of their songs (written by Julie, by the way)
In other news, I was stunned to learn that Napoleon Murphy Brock was leaving the Zappa Plays Zappa tour. What's so crazy about this is that on Saturday night at the Chris Harford show, I asked Eric when he'd be home from touring in Germany and he said "oh, around August 8 or 9" and I was bummed because I wanted to go with him to the Zappa Plays Zappa show at the Electric Factory in Philly on August 8.
"I haven't talked to Napoleon in like forever," I said. "I miss him."
Napoleon and I were bus seat mates on the legendary twenty one day Paul Green School of Rock west coast tour, summer 2004, and we really bonded...I think the last time we spoke was at the Rock School movie premier in LA in May, 2005. (Oh god, was it really two years ago? It feels both like yesterday and like forever)
Anyway, here's what Napi had to say about his departure:
""Hello people!! Thanks for wondering exactly what's up. I really appreciate that, and all the support. I send you my love , but i'm not gonna be on the ZPZ tour this year - contractual complications -- but I'll be seeing you in some other setting -- you'll be able to see me perform music in many locations -- stay tuned to www.napoleonmbrock.com. We will have some updates there before too long - I am going to put all kinds of new info up there before too long.
I WILL be in your area sometime this year --and you know what kind of performance you're gonna get! I've been in training since January. When i wasn't in the gym, i was working on the music - 5 hrs a day. I'm gonna put a whole thing on my site about "preparing to go on tour".
So - As of now my next show is the Syracuse Jazz fest June 28 with Ed Palermo Big band. More yet to come....Keep an eye on the website or this forum.!!
I'm reading between the lines here, but as you know, Eric will be touring with Project Object the last week of July, first week of August, and then possibly in the fall while the Belew tour is on hiatus as Julie finishes (finally) a couple of credits required for her graduation...so in a perfect world, I may be seeing Napoleon again sooner rather than later, and under the best possible circumstances, playing with Mr. Ike Willis, Robbie Seahag Mangano, Dave Johnsen, Andre Cholmondeley, and Eric Slick!
Do you think these will be "must see" shows? Oh my god, you'd better believe it.
And there's more on the music front with my son.
As I posted here last week, he's doing a maniac run at the SOR Fest on June 23 and 24, playing with like six bands (I think I've lost count now...). Anyway, he's slated to play Saturday afternoon with yet another Zappa alumni, Mike Keneally and on bass was supposed to be the brilliant Bryan Beller, but according to what I just read on the Zappa forum board, Bryan is now gigging with Steve Vai, and filling in for him at SOR Fest will be Doug Lunn.
Holy crap, click on that link and see Doug's creds! So Eric gets to play with yet another luminary in the music world. Damn lucky kid, that Eric.
Or should I say, damn talented man!
By the way, and I will be posting this again closer to the event, the entire two day festival will be live streamed on the internet on WDCD Radio. So if you can't make it to Asbury Park on June 23 and June 24, you will be able to hear everyone from Ween to Adrian Belew to the Bad Brains on radio, free of charge. But seriously, this festival is going to be so fucking cool you should find a way to be there in person.
I don't have any writing news I want to share right now (she said with an evil grin) except that one week from today, I will be in a luxury suite at the Algonquin Hotel for a couple of nights courtesy of my participation at the Backspace Writers Conference May 30-June 1 where I will be hanging out at various events and on a panel June 1 at 4:00 p.m. with the awesome title: "You Write Your Momma With That Pen?" Fiction from the Edge - Jackie Kessler, M.J. Pearson, Robin Slick. (Mark Bastable, moderator)". Pretty cool, huh. Oh, yeah, here's something else. I seem to have acquired a Neil Gaiman doll. One of my anonymous readers put up an ebay link on my blog and I could not resist clicking on it...and since it was "handpainted" and "hand made" and only $9.99, what did I have to lose. What I can't believe is that no one else bid on it but that could be because no one else was aware of its existence.
It looks kind of creepy though -- I don't know, I will have to see it in person and naturally will take another photo once it arrives.
Ha ha - it measures nine inches by two inches.
Please don't ask me what I plan on doing with it...
Be quiet! Wash your brains out with soap! I was thinking more along the lines of turning it into a campy necklace by putting it on a string of black suede or simply using it as a bookmark.
Or I will give it to Susan Henderson when I see her next week at Backspace where she will also be on a panel...hers is a lot more normal than mine but what did you expect -- “And on the Sixth Day: Creating Living, Breathing Characters in Literary Fiction" - Mark Bastable, Jon Clinch, Renee Rosen, Susan Henderson (Jeff Kleinman, moderator)
Whatever. It's all good.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
That would be Chris Harford and the Band of Changes, featuring Chris on guitar and vocals, Scott Metzger on guitar, Dave Dreiwitz on bass, and Eric Slick on drums; and Eric and Dave doing a bass-and-drums-only-it-sounds-like-a-full-band - Crescent Moon
Cool art shot of Eric, who, as you can see, sings when he plays with Dave in Crescent Moon
So last night's Chris Harford Band of Changes/Crescent Moon shows were amazing. Totally amazing.
I wasn't even going to go. I have a ton of editing work to do and as we were leaving, the dog decided to have an anxiety attack. I've never seen him do this in nine years - he hurled himself in front of the door and wouldn't let us get by; then he began to bark and howl like you would not believe. If that wasn't bad enough, he somehow squeezed outside and we couldn't get him back indoors.
I got spooked that maybe the dog knew something we didn't. I have no idea what I mean by that, but he was acting so adamant that we not go that he scared me and I was this close to saying Forget it, I'm staying home...I'm afraid this dog is going to have a heart attack if we leave him alone.
I'd forgotten how much I loved New Hope. It's been years and years since we've visited that town, even though we were weekly visitors back in the seventies when we were little baby hippies. I was worried that it had been taken over by the usual suspects - Starbucks, Banana Republic, Radio Shack, etc. Nope. Still cool, arty shops, funky restaurants...I need to go back soon and check it out further because I really felt happy seeing that. But walking into John and Peters was the biggest shock of all. It hadn't changed in the more than twenty years since we'd first hung out there. Gary and I gasped; it was like reliving our youth all over again. Every single fixture, booth...all of it...was exactly the same.
If that wasn't totally cool enough, the dj played the most incredible music pre-show...we practically fell off our chairs. Whiskey Train by Procol Harum; Ring in his Nose and a Ring on her Hand by Savoy Brown; Hurdy Gurdy Man - Donovan -- and then I find out that the dj is none other than Mickey from Ween. So we're totally into this and I'm drinking Kettle One vodka martinis and feeling absolutely no pain when Chris Harford and the Band of Changes took the stage.
Holy shit. Chris' songwriting rocks and this band is so fucking good it's ridiculous. Four incredible musicians, so tight you would not guess that Eric, for one, had never even played half of the first set before in his life...it was all new material or stuff he didn't cover in prior shows. But Chris would say something to him about the beat, Eric would look over at bassist Dave Dreiwitz from time to time, and he aced it all. Both Chris Harford and Scott Metzger (Particle, Rana) are amazing guitarists. Scott plays a vintage Les Paul and really has a cool, unique sound. Chris played a Resonator a good part of the night which I admit to loving. And Dave..what the hell can I say about Dave? He sounds like an entire orchestra when he plays the bass, which brings me to Crescent Moon.
Unbelievable. Just Dave on bass and Eric on drums doing a punk thing with both of them singing and it's impossible to sit still when they play...okay, I was drinking martinis but I still say it's impossible. They rocked so hard it was insane. I have one request: Please, please, please record a CD!
Oh man, one more thing. When I was talking about this being a band of consummate musicians,a couple of times I caught their faces...they all had their eyes closed with half smiles, so into the music they looked enchanted. I think the black and white photo of the band I posted above shows that...except for Eric whose eyes somehow came out looking like Children of the Damned and I have not a clue how to fix it. Note to self: Take a photography class, dork.
Here's some stuff I found on Ween forum board about the show:
"great show last night. Eric 'the kid' Slick was awesome with both the BOC and Crescent Moon in his innaugural performance at John and Peter's. It was only my second Crescent Moon show, and it was great to see Dave do his thing again. 'Fearless' was sick. The BOC also included Scott Metzger, who is always a treat to watch. 'Catacombs of Paris' was super fucking wastey. Some kid from Colorado whose name I forgot ripped on guitar for the show closing 'Leaf of Fall' while Chris free-associated his rap."
"Chris sounded great & really
had an awesome groove going last night.
I love it when those guys just go off on a tangnent...
Double Dip was on fire, & it was the best show I've
ever seen him play...which was totally enhanced by
Eric Slick, who is so talented & fun to watch too.
That "Fearless" did kick ass!
Oh & let's not forget how lucky we all were to have
dj softpack in the house...what a blast."
"Great nite of music! Those guys were on! Chris and Scott tore it up. Kid Slick brought it!
CRECENT FUCKING MOON!
Dave was on fiyah! Thanks Chris and the rest of youse"
So that's pretty awesome. Eric was also stoked to meet Andrew Weiss at the show last night and had a good time talking music and messing around with him and Mickey, or Dean Ween to you, who, oh my god showed up at the gig with bandages on three of his fingers from an unfortunate incident with a barbecue grill. He was going to play with the band last night, damn it, but his injuries made him the designated dj. Hey, going by what he played, I wish he had his own damn radio station -- I'd be listening 24/7.
Here's the link for Chris' My Space page. Every single song is amazing but right now I have a thing for "Teach Me".
In other music news, yep, The Adrian Belew Power Trio is playing the Quebec Summer Music Festival on July 11. So I was teasing Eric this morning that he will be in four countries in 18 days - US for the east coast tour late June; Canada July 11; Japan July 13-21; Germany July 28-August 8 with maybe some other countries thrown in between. Also, the Nashville gig is going to be at The Mercy Lounge on June 19. Basically I will not see Julie or Eric from the time Eric leaves for Bonnaroo on June 13 until sometime in late July. Arghh....
Okay, I'm exaggerating. Naturally I'm going to all of the east coast shows in June. But okay, after July 11, I won't see them, especially Eric, for a while. Though I'd love to stow away in their suitcases to Tokyo, I think they are sick of their hapless groupie mom and sadly, they are probably right.
Nah, it's more like Gary and I have a prepaid vacation at a beautiful beach.
But just try and keep us from those east coast shows.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Ha ha Eric, I found the photograph which proves you actually went to a Phillies baseball game last week...at least I think that's Citizens Bank Park but I'm not sure since I've never been there
So I've been busy editing, reading, etc. but I just wanted to pop in, say hi, and remind the world that Eric has two gigs tonight at John and Peters in New Hope, Pennsylvania with both the opening act, Crescent Moon, featuring Dave Dreiwitz of Ween and then he's sitting in on drums with the fabulous Chris Harford.
Funny. I see on John and Peter's website that they've been around for thirty-five years. Sadly, I know this is true because Gary and I used to go there when we were eighteen years old to see a group that used to be a Philly institution there - Johnny's Dance Band. I was actually just completely freaked out to find that website and catch up on what the former members are up to...I remember thinking Nanette was so freaking amazing and I can still hear her singing "My boy Alfredo, has eyes like potatoes, but when he comes to my house he's the genius of love..."
Those are probably lyrics I just butchered on the order of "Give Peas a Chance" or "There's a bathroom on the right" or "Excuse me while I kiss this guy" but I can't find them anywhere so I'm going with what I think is right.
Ha ha - they just don't write songs like that anymore. I'm almost positive we have it on vinyl but Eric's drums are blocking our collection right now so I will ask Gary when he wakes up but I'm pretty sure it's up there on one of the shelves. (What, you didn't think we ever threw out our vinyl collection, did you? Not with 5,000 records spanning five decades! They take up an entire built in shelving unit on a good section of our living room wall). Because naturally now I want to have a listen to see if Alfredo still holds up after all these years. I vote yep, it will. In looking over the website, I was surprised to learn that Fran Smith was with the band on that song...Fran would later go on to join The Hooters, and oh my god, what a sobering sight their website just was. I guess I didn't realize how many years had passed since I'd last seen them live...when they were still young and all drop dead gorgeous, especially Eric Bazilian. Want to know the last time I saw The Hooters in concert? It was during Live Aid on July 13, 1985 at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. I was two months pregnant with Julie and in the stage where I needed to be in the bathroom every five minutes, either to toss up whatever I ate or to pee. And naturally there were these huge megalines for the ladies room, but I planned my trips accordingly so I wouldn't miss anyone good -- like, when I saw Joan Baez on the schedule I bolted for the toilet but then again, I probably would have done that pregnant or not.
Ha ha - be nice, Robin, she's anti-war and anti-Bush just like you are. Okay. And, she was also in love with Bob Dylan at one time, just like you. Wait. I still love Bob, but I am still reeling from his Starbucks affiliation.
Anyway, getting back to Live Aid, music is music and if the same concert were held today, I'd still probably plan my bathroom trip around Joan Baez. Sorry, Joan.
This just cracked me up from the Live Aid article:
"Memorable moments at JFK Stadium
When Bob Dylan broke a guitar string, Ron Wood took off his own guitar and gave it to Dylan. Wood was left standing on stage guitarless. After shrugging to the audience, he played air guitar, even mimicking The Who's Pete Townshend by swinging his arm in wide circles, until a stagehand brought him a replacement.
The JFK portion included reunions of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and members of Led Zeppelin (although they were not officially announced by their group name from the stage, they were announced as Zeppelin on air by ABC host Dick Clark).
Teddy Pendergrass made his first public appearance since his near-fatal car accident which paralyzed him for life. Pendergrass, along with Ashford & Simpson, performed "Reach Out And Touch".
The transatlantic broadcast from Wembley Stadium suffered technical problems and failed during The Who's performance of their song "My Generation," immediately after Roger Daltrey sang "Why don't you all f-fade away."
At one point during her set, Joan Baez announced to the assembled crowd (and the viewing audience) that "this is your Woodstock"
I like the bit about Dick Clark introducing Zep on television. I can't believe I never heard that story, but then again, I was at the concert, not watching it on ABC. It never fails to amaze me that Dick Clark is lauded as king of rock and roll - he's a lucky, lucky bastard who fell into television and American Bandstand at just the right time...in truth he's no rocker, he's a ruthless, brutal businessman who destroyed the career of one of Philadelphia's premier guitarists, Charlie Gracie and oh my god, do I believe I just clicked on that link and there's a picture of Fran Smith, the Johnny's Dance Band/Hooter's member I just mentioned above?
Wait, that's not really a good link for Charlie Gracie, though...I want to find one where it tells the story of how Dick Clark fucked him over. I watched a documentary about it on PBS last year and felt like smashing the television set. Aha! Here's Charlie's official web page and there are trailers for the documentary and all kinds of cool stuff.
I bet you all never heard of Charlie. Well, you can thank Dick Clark for that. But should you ever be near Wildwood, New Jersey, you can probably catch him playing at a club there this summer. Oh wow. I just clicked on his tour schedule and found this:
"April, 2007: Charlie begins work on new cd for LANARK RECORDS with AL KOOPER and others contributing!"
Cool! And I'm thrilled to learn that Al Kooper must be doing okay now if he's recording -- I know he had a brush with Dr. Death a few years ago - a brain tumor which robbed him of 2/3 of his sight but luckily it turned out benign and surgery restored him to better health. Whew.
Ha ha - it's amazing where this blog takes me sometimes. I'd intended to just sign on and write about Eric's gig tonight; now I've wandered back into rock and roll history and I want to end this post now so that I can go back and click on some of the links I've provided here and read more myself.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
So today Eric is twenty years old, which means that it's twenty years ago today that I almost gave a cab driver a heart attack.
I could have sworn I posted this story here before, but I just checked the archives and did a word search and can't find it anywhere, so maybe I never did talk about the day Eric was born but I find that hard to believe. So in any event, if you already know the story, you have my permission to skip ahead.
I'd just entered my ninth month, was still working full-time, and at the stage of my pregnancy where I was scheduled to see the obstetrician every week for a status check. I went to work that morning and had a lunchtime appointment with the doctor, whose office was five blocks away from mine.
So I strolled over there; by now I was an old friend at the doctor's office having just given birth to Julie the January before -- it seemed like I lived there for almost two years -- so I hopped up on the examining table, cracking jokes, while the doctor snapped on those dreaded rubber gloves and began his, um, probe. I'll never forget the expression on his face -- a shadow passed over it -- he looked really alarmed, and said "I'll be right back. Don't move."
Err...both of my feet were in the stirrups and moving wasn't an option after seeing his expression and hearing the anxiety in his voice. Oh my god, what was it? Did he not hear a heartbeat? I searched around the room frantically, hoping he'd left his stethoscope behind so I could listen for myself...like I really knew how the hell to do that.
But it was moot because he returned seconds later with his partner, who quickly slid into a pair of gloves as well and did a probe of his own. The two of them exchanged glances and I would have had to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to realize something major was going on.
"What is it?" I gasped, terrified.
"Robin? Are you in any pain right now?" asked doctor #2.
"No!" I said probably a little too vehemently. But it was true. I wasn't. Terrified, yes, in pain, no.
"No pain at all?" My doctor appeared to be in a state of total disbelief.
"What's wrong? Why won't you tell me what's wrong?" I could feel myself getting hysterical. (Who me? Get hysterical? Impossible!)
"Robin. Listen to us. Nothing is wrong. It's just...it's just..." Doctor #2 looked at my doctor, as if it were his call to make.
"You are over seven centimeters dilated, Rob," my doctor said.
"You are in active labor right now. You don't even feel a contraction? No cramping? Nothing?"
"No! Wait...are you telling me I'm giving birth now? In your office?"
I was incredulous but not really scared. Hell, I was in no pain whatsoever. If I could have a Hollywood style, contraction free birth right there in the doctors' office within the next few minutes, how lucky would I be?
Wait. There are reasons babies need to be born in hospitals. Arghhh...within seconds fear set in bigtime...and err...so did the sudden spasms of pain.
My doctor spoke to me in calm, even tones, knowing that I was about to go off the deep end.
"Robin. Listen to me. I need you to get dressed right now, take a cab to the hospital, and I will meet you there. Go in through the emergency room. Give me your husband's telephone number -- I will have my nurse call him so he can leave work now and meet us there as well. Just stay calm, make sure you take a cab -- I know the hospital is only a six blocks away but I don't want you walking. Okay?"
"Okay," I gasped, in a total state of shock.
I got dressed, practically doubling over every time a contraction hit, which was like every two minutes, and headed to the lobby to hail a cab.
Except for one problem.
Fuck! Because I was still fairly lucid, I realized I didn't have any money. Twenty years ago, I didn't have a debit card...I had to get my money the old fashioned way, by cashing a check at the bank. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Oh well. The bank was right down the street. It would only take a minute or two and then I could get in a cab and head to the hospital.
Except there was a line in the bank. A long line.
I hopped from foot to foot. Finally I couldn't take it any more.
"I'm in labor, I'm in labor," I babbled to the people ahead of me. "I need to cash a check so I can take a cab and go to the hospital." People turned around and stared at me but I was in that desperate mode where I didn't really give a damn...oh dear lord, I did not want to give birth to Eric James Marshall Slick in a bank. Yeah, we'd already picked out his name...my boy is named for both Clapton and James Marshall Hendrix...Gary and my favorite guitar players other than Adrian Belew har har...and how insane that he did in fact turn out to be a musician though I guess I should have named him "Keith" or even better, Charlie...and you are all hereby ordered to click on that link because even two years later, I am still blown away every time I read it and realize....oh god.
Anyway, I made it to the front of the line, managed to cash a check and even made small talk with the teller "Yeah, I'm in labor right now. Ever have a baby born in your bank? Ha ha - isn't this hilarious. Ow...ow...ow..."
This was also before cell phones so I wasn't able to call Gary and even check to see where he was -- and that would be running every red light in Philadelphia as he raced to the hospital, which was a good half hour away even if he didn't hit traffic.
Unfortunately, I did. Hit traffic, that is. I hailed a cab and luckily one stopped right away -- a very kind gentleman wearing a turban.
"Jefferson Hospital," I shrieked.
Oh my god. A rookie driver.
"llth and Walnut. Just take Locust Street five blocks to 11th, make a left up 11th and we'll be right there." Oh shit. That's where the emergency room entrance was, wasn't it? Or was that 10th Street? Never mind, we'd find it.
But as I said, no sooner did I get in that cab when we hit gridlock. I mean, we didn't move. We were in the downtown Philly traffic jam from hell.
"Oh god, we have to get off this street," I moaned. "I'm having a baby..."
The driver turned around and stared as if seeing me for the first time and realizing the enormity of both my belly and the situation.
"A baby? Oh no thank you very much, no baby, no baby," the driver stuttered.
"Yeah. I need to get to the hospital."
So he turned up 16th Street, which was the worst move he could have made, because there are no right turns until Market Street, which was two blocks above the hospital and took us right into another jam at City Hall, where the traffic patterns are always skewed and messy.
We inched down the street, hitting every fucking red light.
"Oh my god," I moaned as another contraction hit.
The driver turned around again.
"No thank you very much, no thank you very much, no baby, no baby, no baby in the cab."
And he kept repeating it. No thank you very much, no baby, no baby. If I would have had a frying pan handy, I would have cracked it over his head.
I looked at my watch and almost had a heart attack. It was now thirty minutes since I left the doctor's office with strict instructions to get into a cab to go to a hospital six blocks away.
"I have to get out," I told the driver. "I'll walk the rest of the way. I'll never make it otherwise."
What was I thinking? All I knew was, I was not giving birth in that cab, and that the doctor was going to be mad at me, and poor Gary was probably having a stroke.
I jumped out of that cab and literally ran four blocks to the hospital. I arrived at the emergency room dripping sweat (it was a very hot May 15 in 1987) and in a state of shock.
Both my husband and doctor were already there.
I remember the doctor freaking out "Where were you?" and me mumbling something back about having to go to the bank and both the doctor and Gary staring at me like I'd completely lost my mind...anyway...they immediately got me prepped and I swear to God, Eric came into the world an hour later, sweetly and with no problems whatsoever...I didn't ask for heroin or a gun like I did when I was in labor with Julie...he just, err, popped right out without even a whimper from me...and that's basically how Eric has been for all twenty years of his life...the sweetest, nicest, most problem free kid a parent could ever want.
Anyway, speaking of Eric...and Julie...
There's an article today over at Jam Base which talks about Uber Lord Paul Green and the upcoming School of Rock Festival, which says, in part:
"Since 1998, a mad genius named Paul Green has been on a quest to educate the world's youth in the ways of rock & roll. Originally teaching just a handful of students out of his Philadelphia apartment, the school now has 31 branches nationwide, together boasting over 2,500 students, and is planning for international expansion. In Green's view, any kid, age 5-18, regardless of musical proficiency or experience, should be playing in a band with other students of varying skill levels, and onstage in front of an audience in a real rock club within months of first holding an instrument. And it's hard to deny he gets results: two of his original students now comprise King Crimson guitar legend Adrian Belew's backing band, and the School of Rock All-Stars - the very best players from his schools nationwide - have shared the stage with everyone from Alice Cooper to Eddie Vedder...
...And of course the festival lineup wouldn't be complete without King Crimson/Talking Heads/David Bowie/Brian Eno guitar legend Adrian Belew and his aforementioned School of Rock-educated rhythm section."
And if you click on the School of Rock Fest link, you'll see it says:
"Adrian Belew is basically the unifying factor behind all the coolest music of the late 70's & early 80's. Lodging time with David Bowie, The Talking Heads, Frank Zappa and, of course, King Crimson, Belew is a true guitar pioneer, and as creative a player as anyone who's ever plugged in. His current trio consists of himself (duh) and two Paul Green School of Rock graduates - brother/sister rhythm section Eric and Julie Slick, on drums & bass respectively. If that isn't an advertisement for how awesome this school is, we don't know what is."
So yeah, our family is pretty psyched about all of this, and I was talking with Eric yesterday and realized that he would be playing ten shows in six days as follows:
June 19: Belew Trio, Nashville
June 21: Belew Trio, Virginia
June 22: Belew Trio, Annapolis
June 23: SOR Fest - 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. - Eric will play with Mike Keneally
June 23: Belew Trio - Sellersville, PA - June 23, 8:00 p.m.
12:15 to 12:45 p.m. Eric will play with Crescent Moon, featuring Dave Dreiwitz from Ween
2:00 to 3:00 p.m - Eric plays with Belew Trio
5:15 to 5:45 p.m. - Eric plays with **PRFSR*DRSZ**
6:00 to 6:30 p.m. - Eric plays with Chris Harford
June 25: Belew Trio, BB Kings
This of course does not take into consideration the week before when Eric will be playing at Bonnaroo from June 14-17 -- yep, he's on the bill for all four days.
But as I've said many times before, this is the stuff Eric...and our family...lives for. We can't wait!
So Happy Birthday Eric...I will refrain from singing the lyrics to Sgt. Pepper to you today but you know I am dying to do it so I will post the opening for you here instead:
It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile.
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years,
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,
We hope you will enjoy the show,
We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,
Sit back and let the evening go.
Sgt. Pepper's lonely, Sgt. Pepper's lonely,
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
It's wonderful to be here,
It's certainly a thrill.
You're such a lovely audience,
We'd like to take you home with us,
We'd love to take you home.
I don't really want to stop the show,
But I thought that you might like to know,
That the singer's going to sing a song,
And he wants you all to sing along.
So let me introduce to you
The one and only Billy Shears (very tempting to insert Eric's name here but even I am not that corny...though of course you know I will probably sing it to him later which is probably why, if he reads this first, he'll be hiding from me for the rest of the day)
And Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band!
Happy Birthday, Eric James Marshall Slick.
P.S. This blog strongly supports Michael Nutter for Mayor of Philadelphia. Please get out and vote today and please let my decision influence you. (As if...but yeah, I did my research, watched the debate, and Michael Nutter is an extremely intelligent man who will represent this city and make us all proud instead of embarrassed (not that our present administration EVER embarrassed us...oy...was it Time Magazine who said we had the worst Mayor in the U.S.? Christ, what an understatement...)
Monday, May 14, 2007
So. How cool was my Mothers Day? Too cool for words.
Mothers Day morning Eric and Gary took me out to brunch at the restaurant where Julie is working while on Belew tour hiatus. Yeah, the life of a young rock star...one minute you are on stage facing screaming, adoring fans and autographing everything from ticket stubs to foreheads; two months later you are studying for finals and waiting tables. Julie stuffed me with eggs benedict, mimosas, and a wicked carrot cake. She handed me a card she drew/wrote herself, which I would share here but it's very personal, and then, as if that wasn't enough, Eric presented me with one as well which broke me up laughing but, sorry, also too personal to post.
My kids know me. I am the woman who has everything she wants material goods wise and there is nothing which pleases me more than something handmade/original, and the fact that they are now twenty-one and twenty (okay, not quite - Eric will be twenty tomorrow and I will have to plan a special birthday blog post to sufficiently mortify him) and still making me personalized instead of store bought greeting cards is the best Mothers Day present of all.
Well, except for Gary's way beyond cool gift -- he dragged poor Eric to the Garden Center -- trust me, a total nightmare for Eric, between his allergies and his aversion to going to places like that but hey, Gary and I hate those places, too, and Gary suffers from the same allergies...but you know, sometimes you just have to do things you don't want to do because the end result is so cool:
And there's Eric trying to look happy upon his return home:
Ha ha, just kidding. The amazing Dan Nitz took that photo of Eric a week ago and I love it...I just needed an excuse to sneak it in though I probably should have saved it for tomorrow's birthday post.
Anyway, that's just the beginning of the Slick family flower boxes -- Gary actually planted a million different varieties in several spots and I will post more photos in a few days as they bloom in a wild burst of color and variety.
And let me add that later in the evening, Eric came home with another present - a box from the Naked Chocolate Cafe, which, trust me, if you are anywhere near Philadelphia, you must visit and you must also click on the link and download the menu. He bought me "haystacks" - one was like a gooey, chocolate brownie souffle and the other was chocolate, pineapple, and coconut. Oh. My. God.
So yeah, yeah, of course I have all kinds of writing and music news but I'm thinking I should save it for tomorrow...perhaps I'll have enough stuff to report by then that I can spare you the story of Eric's birth...though I'm pretty sure I posted it here last year or the year before so maybe I'll just link it...
P.S. Susan, I have linked Tommy Kane and I can't believe you were lucky enough to snag him for your new book's cover. Holy freaking cow. But err...this is also to let you know that in doing so, I've officially entered myself in your contest. And officially letting people here know they should click on the link to Tommy's site so that they can have their minds boggled as well.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Julie Slick, Adrian Belew, and Eric Slick out on the west coast six months ago
There are days I truly love my life. How do you think it feels to be me, surfing by Adrian Belew's blog, and reading what that incredibly talented, incredible man has to say about my two offspring and their soon-to-be released CD:
"sunday I went to work with saul zonana who is mixing side four with me (and house-hunting in the nashville area.) we worked on the first 7 mixes of the live power trio. I'm a little dumbfounded (or maybe just a little dumb.) I had no idea what to expect. there is only one word I can say...
Followed by his subsequent post a day later:
"I don't usually care for live rock records. even though I've been part of a few good ones. live jazz? absolutely. live classical? a must. but many live "rock" recordings have a hollowness like something is missing from the sound. most live rock records leave me wishing for the well-produced studio version. that's just my opinion. which explains why I have not made a live solo record until now. maybe it's because I've lived my life in a recording studio where things are never out of tune (at least not for long) and the sound is rich and full. maybe that's why I was so dumbfounded upon hearing the first 7 side four mixes.
I loved it! it gave me chills.
I felt that rare thing: passion.
the one component so favorable to a live record is the energy.
many live records today (in the "Idol Era") are heavily processed to iron out the imperfections. you're not going to have a "star" allow their voice to be out of tune. many records have added parts to enhance what could not actually be "performed". in a time when nearly everyone has ProTools it would be rare to hear something that wasn't doctored to death. those records are more hydrid studio/live than an actual "record" of the event and they somehow drain the synergy from the performance.
the passion and energy of side four makes it impossible for me to want to "doctor" anything. it sounds and feels like people voraciously enjoying playing music. eric and julie shine.
it sounds like a hot ass trio breathing together (pardon my french.)
I can't wait for you to hear it."
I mean, really. Adrian thinks he has the chills, I have been reduced to quivering jello.
And the comments under each post on his blog! To much for me to copy here, but so exciting...you should click on the link provided above and go there, anyway, because Ade did a very cool question and answer thing yesterday with almost sixty comments on one post alone.
Then I find this over at Taylor Guitar Journal...and this is the HTML version, this appears in a beautiful PDF on line but god knows how to convert it so I'll just paste the quote in here and if Eric wakes up before I have to book out of here for today, I will see if he can help me because this comes from an actual publication that Taylor Guitars put out this year which is just gorgeous.
In early November, artist relationist Bob Borbonus spent some face time with guitar monster Adrian Belew before a show in San Diego’s coastal North County. Bob hung around for Adrian’s sound check (“his rig is sick”), and chatted with Belew about the T5 he’s been checking out. Though he was playing Parker Flys on the gig, Belew told Bob he loves the T5 and plans to perform with it soon.
Belew’s rhythm section accomplices are a ferocious brother/sister duo from Philly: drummer Eric Slick, 19, and his bass-playing sister Julie, 20, whom Bob assessed “are not of this world when it comes to music.” Appropriately enough, Taylor clinician and fellow prog-rock trailblazer Mike Keneally was front and center to enjoy the show.
In writing news, Noveltown Review got an awesome review the other day and they mention my article! Read about it right here.
Also, NL Belardes, editor in chief of Noveltown and author of the incredible Lords, Part One (I need to review this book as well as many others I've promised but certain circumstances have left me pressed for time...just know I will get to them all...anyway, Lords Part one is so freaking interesting and well-written with characters you can't believe actually exist but on second thought...yeah, you will believe it but to read about it in print...and the link to purchase it is on the right hand side here)...anyway, Nick interviews the amazing Lauren Baratz Logsted which I did not know until I just clicked on the link and I've now read all of Lauren's books and also need to review them as well -- to say she rocks would be a major understatement -- but I was mentioning Nick because not only did he contribute a wonderful story to the anthology I'm editing, 39 and holding...him, he designed the cover, which features the absolutely magnificent Matilda Kay:
Is it just me, or is that the sexiest bookcover ever?
Anyway, I am still accepting submissions for the anthology which will be published this fall and out in print in December, but the issue is filling up quickly and I've already gotten some incredible stories. Acceptance letters will not go out until the submission period of August 1 expires so if you are a writer and think you can send me something that fits the bill, please follow the guidelines listed on the link provided...I've also managed to snag a few literary notables for this project but even they haven't received their acceptance letters yet because I want this to be a mix of both established and new authors and again, because it's not fair to send acceptance letters out until the submission period closes...and I'm still fantasizing about receiving even a poem or haiku from people like Erica Jong and Neil Gaiman. (Way to go on the dog, Neil! I think all of us dog lovers were rooting for you bigtime to adopt him and I think you've managed to melt a few more million hearts if that's humanly possible. Now. How about posting a good, clear photo of you all in black while walking your oh-so-white dog. If that isn't a Kodak moment, what is?)
I also got an incredible fan letter from someone yesterday about Three Days in New York City...made my day...apparently my work of fiction mirrored his real life and part of his email reads:
I just wanted to tell you that I am a British gentleman who has experienced in minute detail what went down in your classic book 3 Days in New York...
(He went on to describe his friendship with an American woman)
Thanks so much for putting into words our story"
Hahahaha - I'm posting this because he wrote the words "classic book" which really made me smile. But yeah, Three Days in NYC, which is already over two years old, is starting to feel like a classic. It continues to sell and I continue to get fan mail. Now. All I need is for Hollywood to come calling and I can sit back and relax and not hyperventilate over the new book, which, by the way, I am not going to talk about anymore as per a very insightful interview at Lit Park that author Lance Reynald did with Heather McEllhatton. Heather's advice to other authors out there?
"My biggest advice is if you send your manuscript out to agents or publishers; keep that piece of information to yourself. Otherwise friends, family and co-workers will keep asking you, “How’s the book?” and after a month or two of hearing “How’s the book? How’s the book?” you want to throw a stapler at them and say “YOU CAN BE SURE IF THERE WAS NEWS ABOUT THE BOOK I WOULD TELL YOU. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP ASKING ME THAT.”
Then after enough time passes people either STOP asking you about the book, and just give “understanding nods” or they ask you about your book in the same gentle concerned tone they’d use to ask you about your contagious disease.
Just save yourself the entire ordeal and keep everything, (your ideas, your writing, your manuscript, your submissions) a secret until you have a book deal. Then you announce it all at once, people buy you champagne and no staplers are thrown."
Oh god, truer words were never written. You are not only saving yourself a ton of anguish by following her advice, you are saving all of your friends and family from utter boredom and wanting to throw a stapler of their own at you.
But err...since I have been bringing up Daddy Left Me Alone with God for months, let's just say I've gotten several very pleasing responses almost immediately and I'm currently considering all options.
And that's the last you'll hear from me until I (a) get the deal; or (b) decide I would rather pursue a career as groupie/unofficial publicist Mom instead (ducking as Eric and Julie shoot imaginary poison darts at me)(just kidding, just kidding) and travel the universe with The Adrian Belew Power Trio listening to the aforesaid "otherworldly" music for the rest of my life with my jaw firmly on the floor.
Let me tell you. Life could be a hell of a lot worse.
Monday, May 07, 2007
So yesterday I'm sitting around with my family, kind of half-heartedly googling stuff, and I asked Eric, "Hey, you don't have any news for my blog, do you? I mean, I saw the blurb in Modern Drummer and..."
"Excuse me? What blurb in Modern Drummer?" Eric asked, startled. He jumped up from his prone position on the sofa.
"Oh, I think it's just an on-line thing -- it's called "Update News From the Current Modern Drummer"...you know, stuff that probably either didn't make the issue or happened after the issue went to press..."
"Mom! That means I'm in the print issue!"
"Nah, I don't think so. It's updated..."
"I've been reading Modern Drummer since I'm ten years old. I know what I'm talking about. Update News is a feature that appears in the front of the magazine."
"Holy crap, Eric! Does this mean you are in the actual magazine?"
"Yeah...get up and let me see what it says on line, though."
"Nineteen-year-old Eric Slick is on tour with The Adrian Belew Power Trio. The trio will be recording a live CD to be called Side Four Live."
"So you are telling me that if we go to Borders or Barnes and Noble and buy this month's Modern Drummer, you are in there?"
"Yes! Oh god, you're going to make me walk into town and buy you a hundred copies now, aren't you," Eric sighed. (though secretly pleased)
"What do you think? Gary, give Eric some money...he needs to go magazine shopping."
Even when Eric left to pick up some copies of Modern Drummer after assuring me many times he was actually in the issue, I was still dubious. Updated news available on line sounded to me that it was just that...updated cyber news, not in print. I waited for his disappointed phone call.
Well, as you can see by the above photos, as usual, Eric was correct and I was wrong, and this is his first mention in a major magazine exclusive of Rock School.
Needless to say, we are all very excited.
And in our wacky world of cosmic happenings, on the cover of this issue is drummer Marco Minnemann. Marco, naturally, is Mike Keneally's west coast drummer -- Eric is Mike's east coast man behind the skins and as previously shouted out here, Eric will be playing with Mike at the SOR Festival in Asbury Park on June 23.
Further investigation on Google revealed another blurb from Modern Drummer at Melodic Rock, who really does the article up nicely in huge capital letters.
Speaking of Side Four Live, it's officially being mixed today, and it's a joint effort between Adrian and the fabulous Saul Zonana, who says in his In The Studio section:
"Side Four is Adrian Belew's new live CD featuring his power trio. I have the pleasure to be mixing it. It's packed with energy and all of the classic Adrian and Crimson tunes."
I'm unable to copy other chunks from Saul's website but read his bio -- it's pretty impressive and I know my family is crazy about him after touring with Saul and Adrian last year. And here's a really cool article about how Saul and Adrian first began working together...with a reference to the late Ken Latchney.
Also, Eric will be drumming with the fabulous Chris Harford at John and Peter's in New Hope, Pennsylvania, on May 19, 2007...and doing double duty because Eric will also be opening for Chris on the drums that night with Dave Dreiwitz/Crescent Moon.
So that's Eric in the news; here's the latest on his mother:
I found that on the website of Matilda Kay, who had this to say:
"The newest literary magazine out of the California Central Valley features some great writers from across the country.
Fiction stories by: Brad Listi, N. Frank Daniels, Conrad Romo and Susan Henderson.
Literary articles by: Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Cindy Wathen, N. Frank Daniels, Robin Slick, Susan Henderson and N.L. Belardes.
The layout is classy and goregeous! The writing is outstanding! You won't be able to put it down.
Get your free copy at Russo's Books at the Marketplace or Metro Art Galleries downtown.
Or order your copy online at www.noveltown.net/books. (Online orders - minimal cost to cover shipping).
Read excerpts from the magazine and see photos from the Noveltown Review's premier Mixer on Paperback Writer."
I have a huge box of Noveltown Reviews kindly sent to me by the publishers and I will be doing my best to see that they are distributed in book stores and coffee shops all ovr Philadelphia.
And while I'm on the subject of Ms. Kay, this morning I came down to the coolest email from her:
I work with Nick and Melody in Noveltown and I just finished your book. I loved it! Sexy sexy! You have a gift for sarcasm and believable characters. :) I understand there is a sequal, I have to read it!
Well just wanted to drop you a line and let you know I enjoyed your book.
By the way, Phaze has just released the second Edition of Three Days in New York City...I'm psyched...the new cover is very beautiful and the book itself has a few new additions (See? You can edit a book after it's been published...so for all of you fellow OCD writers out there, your similar strange behavior is not for naught).
And while I bite my nails over "Daddy Left Me Alone with God", currently out there in submission land, I've started a new novel which may or may not be a departure from my other work. I fully intended to write something serious but I can't help it; I have a warped sense of humor and I can't do "stern" nor do I want to do "literary" so I'll let you know how it all pans out. I've never been an organized writer who uses an outline, anyway...half the fun of writing is the surprise of where my convoluted thoughts take me and my new book will be no exception.
Friday, May 04, 2007
So it's official -- I'm the world's worst photographer but I did manage this ten second avi of Eric and The Breakfast...just ignore the five seconds seconds of floor shots and you'll be fine.
As I posted yesterday, Eric sat in with The Breakfast last night and it was amazing. What a band The Breakfast is -- and they have a pretty awesome drummer in their own right, Adrian (seems to be a favorite name for our family)...in fact, he's a multi-instrumentologist like Eric because while Eric was drumming Adrian was doing some nasty-in-a-good way licks on guitar. And Tim Palmieri is just an absolutely fantastic guitarist as evidenced by the video I posted yesterday. Their bass player is freaking awesome, too, and it makes me weep that a band like this is playing in small venues when they should be ruling the world. What the hell is wrong with this country? When did people completely lose their taste and minds and stop buying/appreciating real music? Why are we letting corporations run our lives? Ugh...okay, I'm finished, but it just makes me so damned angry.
Okay, I'm calm now.
Some more cool news regarding the Belew tour -- Eric is playing all four days at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee, and as soon as he wraps up on June 17, he's heading straight for Adrian's house in Nashville. Julie is flying down that evening as well, and the trio will then rehearse new songs to add to their set in preparation for the east coast swing the following week. They will be doing a warm-up show in Nashville on June 19, and a Washington, D.C. show has been added for June 21. I'll post venues and links as soon as I have the information.
Following their July tour in Japan, they are looking to tour the west coast again before Julie returns for her final semester of college in September so how cool is that...this time I really need to fly out for a couple of the shows.
In writing news, holy cow, the ladies at RT were even more outrageous than first reported here. Photos have surfaced in a lot of the author chats which have even caused my jaded jaw to drop. Naughty, naughty girls and no men involved. Hahahaha - I hate to say it, but my decision to cut out early every night and go to my own, single occupant room, was a good one. But hey, I'm not passing judgment, everyone looks like they are having a blast, and I must admit, I enjoyed those photos but no, no, I cannot post them here.
I know I mentioned this before but now that I'm officially on the website along with photo I need to post it again...I'll be on a panel at The Backspace Writers Conference from May 30-June 1 where I will be discussing Writing the Edge, which means writing outside the mainstream and I'm really looking forward to it. I don't remember if I mentioned it or not in my RT post here the other day, but weirdly enough, I'd just learned I was going to be on this panel with fellow author Jackie Kessler and while at Club RT, I looked over and saw a sign "Jackie Kessler" and couldn't believe it -- I mean, she's from New York, I'm from Philadelphia, and there we both were at this convention in Houston -- so I introduced myself and after meeting Jackie, I'm a hundred times more relaxed about the conference.
The brand new issue of Noveltown Review is now officially out and some really nice people have written to me to let me know how much they enjoyed and related to my column on blogging. I am currently writing a column for their next issue which is going to be all about the RT Convention and look out, I'm not holding back! You guys got the homogenized version in my blogpost but for Noveltown I will tell all. By the way, here's a great write-up complete with photos of the Noveltown launch party.
Man, I'm really tired. Eric didn't even go on stage until almost midnight and I didn't get to sleep until well after that. So I think that's it for today.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
You can catch the fabulously talented Eric Slick tonight at the North Star Bar at approximately 10:30 p.m. this evening when he sits in on a song or two with the awesome jam band, The Breakfast. If you want to listen to a fantastic example of their lead guitar player, Tim Palmieri, just click on the You Tube which I am posting here and permanently keep on the right hand side of this blog...Tim sat in with Eric and Project Object on Frank Zappa's Cosmik Debris in Baltimore last year.
Naturally, I will be back here tomorrow morning with photos and a full report as well as some new and exciting Adrian Belew Power Trio tour info.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Okay, now that I have your attention...
Getting any idea at all about my week at the RT Convention?
Let me start at the very beginning and then I'll tell you a bit about the guy in the photo. Ha ha - his name is Travis.
So my flight to Houston last Wednesday was eventful, damn it. We flew over tornadoes and monsoons and it was like being on a roller coaster for two hours at least. I'm not afraid to fly but I hate amusement rides and that awful, not being able to touch bottom feeling you get when you are unnaturally tossed around so when I got off the plane I was totally disoriented.
Which meant I could not find the shuttle to the hotel anywhere. I walked around the airport dazed and confused, out in the ground transport area where it had to be one hundred per cent humidity, hot, and rainy...and then I almost got hit by a cab. Anyway, that woke me the hell up and I walked back into the airport, determined to find the shuttle which was, according to the RT website, especially there for us. Oh well. After asking about a hundred clueless people I gave up and used a private service to get to the Hyatt.
On the way there, I saw this and almost fell off my seat laughing:
That would be the law office of Tim Hootman, Esquire. Yep, an attorney with an office in a gaudily painted trailer complete with a large, paper mache naked woman with rather large, err, hootmans, out in front to greet clients.
Anyway, between the delays caused by the weather and my own ineptitude as well as those of the Houston Hobbie Airport employees, I arrived at the hotel around 3:30 p.m. as opposed to 1:00 p.m. as anticipated. And I was freaking starving.
I checked into the Hyatt -- pretty nice hotel -- stumbled into my room and crashed onto the bed. Oh please make the room stop spinning, I begged, burying my face into the pillow.
And then I remembered Oh Crap, I need to register for the actual conference, get my badge, schedule, etc. I dragged myself out of bed, unpacked my suitcase, and headed back down to the lobby.
"Oh, RT registration is on the third floor," the concierge told me after I again wandered around aimlessly. (This is not the hotel or RT's fault...solely mine...okay, not really mine, the fault of the bad weather and rocky flight).
So I went up to the third floor and naturally got lost -- this is a huge, huge hotel but then I saw a bunch of women wearing RT badges and they kindly pointed me in the right direction...and of course once I got there, there was a gigantic line.
I stood there hopping from foot to foot, praying I wouldn't have a panic attack or pass out from hunger. I also knew I had at least two parties that night -- a private party being held in one of the suites at the hotel by author Kally Jo Surbeck, which, I'm going to tell you right now, was probably the best party I attended all week...and the Ellora's Cave Moulin Rouge Party, where I was planning on wearing my new Betsey Johnson dress (see prior post), drinking champagne, and eating decadent chocolate.
Anyway, I finally registered and was given my cool badge, which was blue and said "published author". Readers and aspiring authors got yellow badges which had either "reader" or "aspiring author" and their names on it; book sellers got green ones, and publishers orange. So all of us with blue badges pretty much stalked those with green and orange, and oh god, I saw a whole new side of myself that week which I will go into in a minute.
Oh yeah, these badges were attached to these little badge holders we were supposed to wear around our necks on long black strings but naturally I could never do anything that uncool so I strung mine through my jeans belt and wore it long and hanging like I was working backstage at a rock festival.
Ha ha, what can I saw, once a rebel, always a rebel.
They also handed me a glossy booklet which, hooray, gave me the rooms, times, and information for every single event that week so I no longer had to walk up to other clueless people and ask them where to go.
I got back to my room around 4:30 and my hunger was now making me hallucinate. With two alcohol laced parties ahead of me and no real clue as to whether there'd be anything but snacks and chocolate, I ordered room service. I was still too frazzled to go back down to the lobby and schmooze...even though the lobby looked to have a very nice restaurant as well as...bleh...a Starbucks. That was the biggest bummer of the week -- the hotel only stocked Starbucks coffee. I'd normally rather drink a cup of cigarette ash because they are one in the same and in Houston, smoking is still allowed in hotels so I probably could have dumped out an ashtray and had a free drink instead of $4.50 (yes...that is what they charged...I'm still reeling) for a cup of Starbucks drek.
I ordered a grilled salmon salad and a glass of good wine. I really needed to decompress. But as I've said here on many occasions, I am a lousy drunk, and that one glass of wine combined with nothing but a salad made me even dizzier/giddier. Oh well. I sat on the edge of the bed, talked myself down from all the weirdness. Have I mentioned that some people walk around in costume the whole week? I kept a low profile and watched a little television until it was time to go to Kally Jo's party. I decided to stay in my jeans for that because the Ellora's Cave Party three hours later was formal and there is only so long I can be comfortable in a dress and panty hose.
Kally's party was a blast -- not too many people, and the ones that were there were either Phaze authors I already knew or women I'd met at the RT Convention in St. Louis two years ago so it was a very cool crowd and I felt instantly better. I reached for a shot of something that looked chocolately on a large round table in the middle of the room because it had a can of whipped cream next to it.
"No, no, Robin. You can't just squirt the whipped cream in that drink and swill it normally -- that's a bl*wjob!" (Ahem. I am deliberately misspelling that word because I don't want every knucklehead who googles the real word to find my blog)
"It's a what?" I told you I'm not a drinker...I was never into going to clubs, either, so drinks with names like bl*wjobs and the large display of colored liquids in testtubes also on the table meant nothing to me.
"A bl*wjob! You have to bend over, wrap your lips around the shot glass without using your hands, and drink up," someone said. And then they topped the shot with whipped cream for me.
"So you are telling me I have to stick my face in that and drink it without using my hands?" I asked dubiously, wondering how the hell I could manage that and really, did I even want to?
But then I realized: Robin, you are here to sell books. You are here to schmooze. You know if it were up to you, you would hide in your room all week. Get into the spirit. Kally was nice enough to throw this party and invite you...you really like Kally...drink the damn bl*wjob.
Okay, how sad is that? Again I will reiterate how un-photogenic I am, which will be demonstrated further in the photos below, but in this one I look like I'm at a deranged pie eating contest. I was so nervous -- I had my hands behind my back scared to move lest I break the rules; I don't even remember anyone holding up my hair but there you have it in the photo so someone must have -- anyway, I could not do it. If I had attempted to put that entire shot glass in my mouth filled to the top with Bailey's Irish Cream and whipped cream, I would have spilled it everywhere and I would have been a sticky mess. Ohhhhh...now I know why they're called...heh...never mind. So I made a few feeble attempts, and when people got tired of egging me on and a new victim walked into the room, I quickly drank it up like a normal person and then moved on to the stuff in the test tubes.
Pink and green and pretty tasty -- I still never asked exactly what it was I was drinking, but I believe it was flavored vodka.
An hour later, I found my way back to my room. It only took me ten trys to get the door card to work. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and almost had a stroke. My hair was sticking straight out from the humidity; I was so tipsy I had this silly assed look on my face that I couldn't get rid of even though I tried to physically re-arrange my features with my hands...and I was like "Oh no. No, no, no. How will I ever make it to the Moulin Rouge Party?"
I decided if I attempted a nap, I'd never wake up, so instead I washed my face and pulled my new dress off the hanger.
Uh-oh. I couldn't get it over my head. I kept trying, I really did, but my head ended up in the sleeve one time; and then, when I finally accomplished getting my head through the right hole, I realized I had the damn thing on backwards. As I'm crashing into furniture trying to rectify the situation, I realized I couldn't get it off. It's a really tight, form fitting black velvet dress without a zipper. I sat on the bed, the floor, tried bending over like a pretzel...could not do it. By then I was sweating and hyperventilating and my hair was like this huge scary Afro and I vaguely thought: How the hell can I go to a party tonight?
Because you must, Robin.
Finally, after at least fifteen minutes of struggling, I was able to get undressed.
Without even giving it a second thought, I changed into my pajamas.
It was now around 7:00 p.m.; I had two more hours until the party. I would just stretch out on the bed and take a little nap.
When I opened my eyes again, the bedside clock said 4:00 a.m.
Okay, so I missed my first big RT party. Robin the socialite was already on a roll before the convention was in full swing.
The next morning authors Christina Skye and Bobbi Smith threw a breakfast mixer. They are probably two of the biggest superstars at the convention -- I would later learn to host an event like that costs thousands -- and oh my god, a glance at the program told me something incredible. By the good graces of the alphabet, I would be seated in between the two of them at the book fair/signing on Saturday, which is what all of these parties and mixers led up to. You talked to people and made friends for four days; then they would remember you and come to your table and buy your book on Saturday. Skye, Slick, Smith. How freaking lucky was I? Both women had large lines of fans wherever they went. I would get their run off by sitting at my pathetic, empty spot looking sad and lonely.
Well, this was all in my head of course...because yep, I did indeed start acting like a social butterfly that morning and once I started, I could not shut up. This was good because later that morning and throughout the day, I was on duty at Club RT, which was a large room where every publisher had a long table for their authors to sit and chat with fans and give out promo items.
There I am sitting in between Phaze author Alessia Brio on my left and our publisher, Kat Lively, on my right.
I'm serious. Maybe it was the two cups of Starbucks coffee I had at the Smith/Skye mixer; maybe it was nerves, but I could not shut up. I talked to everyone and anyone who came to our table; I talked Alessia and Kat's ears off...I just could not keep quiet.
It was pretty cool I was in such a state because that night was the night I was dreading the most -- the faery ball.
I'm sorry. I love my faery crown...which I am going to wear at all future readings...heh..well, at least for a while...but my dress made me look like Moby Dick. Here's a photo, but don't even bother to click on it...I shrunk it down for damage control.
There I am looking dazed and confused with my fellow Phaze authors, some of whom were a little too comfortable in their costumes (snort).
Okay, I'm kidding, I'm kidding.
The women in charge of this event really did a nice job, though. The room was beautifully decorated, especially the colored light centerpieces, and we were fed Beef Wellington and this insane chocolate mousse thing for dessert with fresh raspberries. Again, Robin the strangely outgoing talked, took photos, smiled...and kept visiting the bar for courage.
By the time dinner was over, I had to get the hell out of there before I did something stupid. Okay, stupider.
Oh. I just realized I forgot something. We also had a luncheon that day, which I walked out of. It's just that it seems to be that a lot of the women there are either part of military families or are very pro-Bush...anyway, when they served us lunch a speaker stood up and started cheering on our men in Iraq; made an announcement that one of the husbands who was just sent home was being deployed again...and the whole room burst into wild applause. I was horrified and said to myself "You'd better get the hell out of here before everyone starts singing God Bless America" and you scream at the top of your lungs "Impeach and Arrest Bush and Cheney! They have committed murder, you fools!"
I mean, I was over caffinated, over-tired, and another person had entered my body that day so I could not trust what I'd do. My leaving that luncheon was brilliant, actually, and by walking across that crowded seated ballroom while the speaker was still in full pro-war mode was one of my favorite non-writer moments of the event. Yes, I know. I am a legend/rebel in my own mind, but nevertheless, I made myself very happy by doing that. At least I wasn't a total sell-out.
The next day brought more time at Club RT where I really had a blast. People I'd met the day before stopped by to talk, they picked up my book, my publisher told them if they bought it at Club RT she'd take $5 off the list price so it flew off the table before the actual book sale on Saturday.
We also had another luncheon that day and I decided to go and play nice. But while standing nervously in line, I noticed a tall, attractive man giving out books and standing next to him was a woman signing them. Uh-oh, he had an orange badge on. That meant publisher. Who was he? I grabbed one of the novels he was offering. Oh. My. God. He was Ken Siman, publisher of Virgin Books. What a perfect fit he would be for my novel! I'm afraid I went into full Insane Robin overdrive and pitched him my book while waiting in line. But check this out. He knew about Rock School, he knew about Adrian Belew...and oh holy crap, despite my obnoxious, aggressive behavior while this poor man was trying to help his new author distribute and sign books, he graciously invited me to send him my manuscript directly. Arghhh...do you think I said yes and thanked him enough times?
So yep, my first act upon returning to Philly was to visit the post office. Light a candle for me or something, will you?
Anyway, that little encounter made my day and I was on cloud nine for the remainder...so much so that I didn't even worry about the vampire party that night. Oh. Excuse me. The Wild, Wild, West Vampire Party. Which I guess meant fangs and a cowboy hat? I had no idea. All I knew was, I'd missed wearing my Betsey Johnson dress at the Moulin Rouge party; I was going to wear it to the vampire thing instead because of course when I tried my vampire dress on, which also had no zipper, I managed to rip it practically in half pulling it over my head.
What, do I have the biggest head in the world? Great. Just what I need. Another complex.
There I am with author Eden Bradley, who apparently took her role as vampire very seriously. Do I look like I was enjoying it a little too much? Nah. Trust me on this. Once again, two glasses of wine and I was three sheets to the wind.
Needless to say, I ate my dinner...which oddly enough was billed as a Texas barbecue and instead were two sausages on a plate in a pool of sauce...and I couldn't help but think to myself "Oh, I see how it is here. First you have to drink a bl*wjob, then you have to actually eat the....never mind."
I booked out early once again and apparently missed a lot of unladylike behavior.
There is a God.
Oh. I just realized I forgot to tell you about Travis and friends. Travis, in case you have forgotten by now, is the boy whose photo appears first in this mini-series of a blogpost. Travis was one of I guess ten or so cover models vying for the title of Mr. Romance. Whoever won that contest also won the opportunity to be the next Dorchester Publishing cover model...you know, the next Fabio. So these guys walked around all week, having their photos taken with "fans"...because really, a lot of romance readers attend this convention and they live for this stuff. Look, I'm going to be honest here. Most of these guys are either way too buff, oily, or, um, gay. But poor Travis, who is actually entering medical school in the fall, was there because his mother is a romance writer and she coerced him into it. He's really a nice kid and I voted for him despite my saying to myself I would never vote for anyone...but he didn't win...one of the oiled guys did instead, I think...I really have no idea.
Anyway, finally after three days of hard work and social torture, it was time for the bookfair on Saturday. I fucking ruled there! I sold every single book I had; all of the readers I met at Club RT on Thursday and Friday did in fact visit me; I went out of my way to talk with Bobbi Smith and Christina Skye's fans and yep, they all bought my book, too -- by the way, I adore both Bobbi and Christina and Christina actually hugged me after the event was over. I picked their brains, especially Bobbi, because I'd heard the unfortunate rumor...which isn't a rumor at all...that places like Borders and Barnes and Nobel would soon be doing print on demand. Which meant that they would carry one print book by an author to stock on their shelves and if you wanted to buy it, they're going to have special machines on location which would print out your copy. Oh, the humanity, I thought to myself. All the jobs lost. And what about hardcover books? Would they be going the way of the dinosaur?
This just can't happen. Ebooks are horrid enough, and I have one out there but thankfully it's going to print. I tried to make myself feel better by equating publishing to music. I mean, who'd have ever thought albums would be obsolete let alone CDs? Tower Records went out of business! So why should writing be any different.
I'm sorry. I love books. I love their feel, their smell, everything about them. No fucking way am I going to sit there with a Sony reader on a four hour plane ride with an ebook. Okay, no fucking way am I ever going to sit with a Sony reader anywhere. I want print books, damn it! We must rebel against this crap, fellow writers!
Whoops. There I go again. But damn it, this country needs a revolution in more ways than one!
So here I am at the book fair, and I actually love this photo (which Bobbi Smith was kind enough to take)...it's the only one here which I really feel looks like me. Damn digital cameras. Don't get me started on that, either.
So after a triumphant day of book selling and having enjoyable author/reader chats, we had our final party of the convention, Dorchester Publishing's Rock and Roll Immortals. Yay! Finally something I could dress like Robin for...and here I am with Eden in, yes, it's true, my Gaiman shirt again. Hey, I went five days without wearing it...do I get a trophy?
Only bummer about that party was the music. Err...they did say rock and roll, but that translated into "Shout", "Louie, Louie", and "Dancin' in the Street".
Eden and I looked at each other, pissed.
"I'm going to go speak to the disc jockey," she said. I laughed. I was already planning my escape back to my room, especially once I noticed they were serving nothing to eat but popcorn and cheese. But then again, I love popcorn and cheese and they didn't advertise this as a dinner, it was a late night wrap party and what goes better with alcohol?
Eden came back and said to me, "The dj told me he's under strict instructions to play this stuff. I asked him, like, don't you have any Doors or Led Zep?"
"Ha ha, as if," I replied.
But sure enough, maybe because Eden is so fucking gorgeous, the very next song was The Doors.
Except of course I am a snob who doesn't like the Doors, either, but compared to Louie, Louie and Shout it was like listening to Frank Zappa so I stayed for another glass of wine before quietly slipping out the door.
I fell into a coma like sleep, woke up Sunday morning, took advantage of the hotel's all you can eat Sunday brunch where I behaved and had a custom eggwhite omelet filled with mushrooms, fresh fruit, and yoghurt.
The convention was over and I went home. I was never so happy to see Philadelphia in my life.
And yet...despite my differences...i.e., being cool hippie chick in a decidedly unhip environment, I ended up having a blast. Every single person was ultra-nice; I really bonded with a couple of people (Hi, Stella! Hi, Audra...Eden, Kat, Bobbi, Christina, Ken Siman hopefully, etc. etc.)...and yeah, yeah...assuming I have a new book out next year, I will be back again for RT Convention 2008, which is being held in Pittsburgh this time! Yay, Pittsburgh!
Cos' this time I'm bringing Gary with me...we'll drive instead of fly...and he really needs to see this for himself.
Or it's more like I need him to help me get dressed, feed me, and take photos because I am an apparent failure to do any of that without him.
Okay, it's really because Gary would have yelled Impeach and Arrest Bush and Cheney at that luncheon and not wimped out like I did which is why I love him so much.