Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sweet Merciful Minerva! Or, Holy Job of My Dreams Batman!

I have a history of embarrassing myself in front of people I admire.

If not reduced to a state where I lose most of my ability to speak like an intelligent human being...or a mildly autistic six-year old (1)...I begin to interview them (2). I have also been known to simply flee (3).

The other night, however, I employed a new strategy. I bought a particular collection of folks who I have come to greatly admire professionally drinks (4).

I will come clean and say the jury in my head is still out as to what degree I may have looked as ridiculous as I do when the scene replays in my head based wholly on a single exchange.

You see, one of the people at the table writes about comics. More than that, he writes about comics brilliantly because, go figure, he himself is an unashamed comics fanboy.

Or, at the very least, that's how he comes across.

And so, when the one person at the table who knew me prior to what we will now refer to as "The Night I Attempted to Pick Up a Table of Culture Critics" introduced me to the table and said comics writer (5) said that he knew my writing I blurted back, "I read your work too."

Or, at the very least, that's the way I remember it in its least embarrassing iteration.

I will also note here that I don't recall if there was an ending to his sentence. Like, "...and I think it's very good." Or, "...you rarely make me question your overall literacy." Or, "...but the less said about that the better."

"I read your work too." This is what I said to the comics writer in question when what I really wanted to do was pull a full fanboy and let loose with how fantastic I think his writing is...especially this gem (6). That's what I wanted to do, but did not do in the hopes of avoiding the addition of another pratfall to the scrapbook.

So close.

1. The Gwen Ifill Incident.
2. The Ted "Apparently I Am Writing a Book About Iron Chef and Must Learn All About it Right Now" Allen Horror.
3. The Great Ira Glass Escape.
4. Note to all fanboys and girls out there: buying people cocktails is a very good strategy.
5. Who also writes about books in the event that there is someone beyond my three regular readers for whom that cv addition might be important.
6. This was sent to me by The Theatre Critic on a particularly bad day. That day instantly turned around.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hello Blog. It's me, Artboy.

It's been a frantic couple of weeks and it's not really showing signs of letting up. Priorities over the next several days is to try as hard as I can to catch up on the laundry, get the house back together and try really, really hard not to buy any new books.

That's right. As nuts as things have been I've spent some time browsing the shelves and, well, I'm afraid there are some items that have caught my eye.

Michael Cunningham has a new book, By Nightfall, which sounds pretty much as wonderful as The Hours. There are artists involved. Of course it's going to be good.

Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists looks like the kind of book that should be hanging out in my house, waiting to be read.

And then there's John Waters' Role Models which, let's face it, was written by John Waters so...c'mon.

As the list of books that I'm craving continues to grow the voices in the back of my head are getting louder and louder. These are the voices of folks like the Cheap Bohemian, VanPelt and The Roller Derby Queen who wonder, often and out loud, why it is I don't just go to the library.

The answer?

Where others fill their closets with clothes or their kitchens with gadgets or their livers with fancy cocktails, I love a good book (1).

I like the crack of a fresh book spine. The feel of a freshly printed page. The heft of a hardcover.

Which is why one of the books that I have lately picked up is a book about how to make books.

I consider this my "teach a man to fish" phase...

1. Okay. I'm not opposed to a fancy cocktail or two.