I have stolen the keys to the TNB blog and am now going to take it for a spin. I may get booted off TNB for doing so, but before I’m found out, I thought I’d show some pictures of me hanging out with various TNB contributors, just to brag about the fact that I personally know them and stuff.
Let’s start with last Christmas. I hope everyone out there had a nice Christmas. I almost didn’t, except that Reno Romero came to town with his friend Christy, who’s got the greatest laugh I ever heard; and on Christmas Eve, we got together at the famous Hollywood restaurant Musso & Frank, along with Rich Ferguson and Lenore Zion. We were the last customers to leave Musso & Frank, but everybody there loved us, including the management, and the people at the next table loved us so much, they insisted on moving to ours.
The following night, Christmas, we got together for Indian food, and afterward we went to a snooty-looking French place, which had the most beautiful waitress I’ve ever seen. I think I creeped her out a bit, staring as I couldn’t help but do. Here’s Lenore offering comfort.
I’m not sure if Lenore will approve of this next shot. It was taken after the first Los Angeles TNB event (that’s The Nervous Breakdown Literary Experience, to be specific), and with me and Lenore are Ben Loory and Megan DiLullo. We ate a lot of french fries that night, and some of us—no names will be mentioned—got roaring drunk.
Here’s another shot of me and Megan. As you can see, she’s wearing Lenore’s TNB-famous rainbow gloves, and I’m wearing a scowl. I’m not sure why, except that I’m always a little freaked by cameras.
Nick Belardes was supposed to drive up to L.A. for that event, but he couldn’t make it. However, last month, I took a Greyhound to Bakersfield as a guest at Nick’s Random Writers Workshop. Nick wrote a piece about that visit. I arrived two and a half hours late, due to the rain. Contrary to stereotype, we do have weather in Southern California.
I had to take a bus to Bakersfield, since my car died last September, when Zara Potts was visiting from New Zealand and Simon Smithson was visiting from Australia. In fact, they were in the car when it pulled its Sylvia Plath, but neither of them has thankfully ever written about the tantrum I threw. I haven’t been able to replace the car, as I knew I wouldn’t at the time, which maybe accounts for my scowl in this photo, taken hours after the car fiasco. Zara, meantime, looks radiant, but then, she’d just eaten what she described as the best eggplant parmesan ever.
I’m sure Simon, on the other hand, would not describe the coffee he’s seen drinking below as the best coffee ever. I think you can tell his opinion of it—or maybe his expression owes to his proximity to me. Anyway, this picture was snapped shortly after our visit to Chateau Marmont, which he mentioned in a recent post. It certainly wasn’t taken at Chateau Marmont.
Now, I’m only posting the next photo to prove that I’ve met Matt Baldwin. I mean, I’ve certainly seen more flattering shots of myself, but hey, to hell with vanity, right? This was taken just up the street from Ben Loory’s place, after Simon and Zara ambushed him. He never expected to meet those two on the street in L.A.
Speaking of bad photos of myself, how about the one below? It was taken at Book Soup, the best-known independent bookstore in L.A. (or, technically, West Hollywood), where Greg Olear had arranged for me to read with him. Greg read from his novel, Totally Killer, and I read from mine, Banned for Life. It was a standing-room-only event, but most events are SRO at Book Soup; it’s a small place. Greg is a fantastic reader, incidentally, and if proof is required (though I can’t see why it would be), check out the podcast of the reading, which is filed somewhere under—you guessed it—“podcasts” on the TNB home page.
Finally, here’s me with Brad Listi, who may or may not kick me off the site after he sees that I’ve been joyriding at The Feed. This was after another reading, at a store in Echo Park called Stories. It’s been suggested to me that the titles of our books reflect our expressions, but I don’t think that’s fair to Brad, as I think it is to me. This is probably my least favorite shot of myself in the whole bunch, but it’s pretty good of Brad, don’t you think? Say yes, please. It may influence his thinking with regard to my future at TNB.
I’m returning the keys now. The problem with joyrides is, they’re so damned short.