I’ve traveled every road in this here land

September 20th, 2006 → 9:48 am @

(But only if “this here land” is defined as New England.) That’s right, folks: tonight begins the last leg of the great 2006 Feeding the Monster Tour, with stops tonight in Providence, tomorrow in Newton (home of the Tigers!), and Friday in Burlington, MA. There’ll be selected dates here and there through the end of the year — October in Brattleboro, November in Springfield — but besides that, this week your last chance to ask me about trades, non-trades, NASCAR, long-term strategies, Kevin Millar’s obsession with Manny Ramirez’s anatomy, or anything else having to do with last year, this year, or next year.* After that, it’s spring break for me. It’s my favorite holiday. Nothing gets me more excited.

Hope to see you all down the road…

*If you work for a large (or even medium sized company) based in either New York or Boston and want me to come speak/read to you, get in touch: I have done a bunch of private-ish readings for groups, which I’m almost always happy to do. Especially if said group has a lot of folks that want to buy books. One warning: my rider for those events stipulates unlimited juice.

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings & Oblique references to Arrested Development

About last night; Globe refuses to write about Mike Timlin’s high-wire act; Nomar! Nomar! Nomar!

September 15th, 2006 → 10:54 am @

First things first: thanks to everyone who came out last night to hear me talk about Feeding the Monster at Professor Thoms’. Chris, the always delightful man behind the bar, has some more copies of the book on stock; if you want to get a signed copy, pick one up from Chris during the Yankees series this weekend and I’ll come in and (inscrutably) personalize for you. (Line of the night, coming from Chris after I signed a book for his friend: “What in the world does that say?”) PT’s is at 219 Second Ave, south of 14th Street on the west side of the street.

A couple of other things about last night: I know fewer people want to watch the Sox these days. On the one hand I understand that; on the other hand it baffles me. I’ll never tire of watching baseball, and will never tire of watching the Sox. I love how Pedroia turns the double play; I love how Youkilis is perfecting the “what the fuck!” both hands on the helmet look; I even love watching lefty Lenny. I do not, however, love watching Mike Timlin pitch the ninth. Apparently, the Globe isn’t much enamored of that, either: in today’s game write-up, there’s almost no information about the actual game itself, as most of the article is dedicated to a discussion of whether or not Manny will play again this year. (My bet: nope.) In case you’re actually wondering what happened in Baltimore, Ian Browne has the skinny on redsox.com. A quick summary: Ortiz is getting walked a lot without Manny in the lineup; Mark Loretta is following in the Todd Walker-Mark Bellhorn tradition of unlikely offensive forces coming out of 2B (even though Loretta was at first last night, with Youks in left); Timlin gave up a first-batter double in the bottom of the ninth with the Sox clinging to a one-run lead before escaping from a 1st and 3rd, one out situation.

Finally, judging from last night’s Q/A, there’s still a whole lot of interest in the shortstop formerly known as Nomah. So here are the three interview outtakes I printed back in June:

* Nomar on his Achilles injury and 2004

* Nomar’s not always that thrilled about Boston

and finally:

* Nomar on being traded to the Cubs

There’s lots, lots more about Nomar in the book — and lots more about the enigma known as Manny, the other hot topic last night — so if, for some odd, unknowable reason, you haven’t picked one up yet, do it now. (Providence/Boston are folks can do so next week and have me sign said book at one of my appearances.)

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Outtakes & Feeding the Monster Readings & Manny Ramirez & Nomar Garciaparra

Tonight: Rare opportunity to drown your sorrows in drink while listening to the dulcet tones of my voice

September 14th, 2006 → 1:23 pm @

It’s true: tonight’s the long-awaited reading at Professor Thoms’ in Manhattan’s delightfully gentrified East Village (219 Second Ave). Reading/q&a/book signing (there’ll be a bookseller on site) starts at 6:30 — and yes, I’ll answer anything you throw at me — and at 7:30 we all watch the Sox play the Orioles, which can’t be all bad: if the Sox didn’t have to play anyone but the Orioles and the NL, they’d be something like 130-10.

And: I know I’ve been a bit behind the last few days, and I know there’s been plenty to talk about: the Ortiz for MVP controversy, Chapter 28 in the Mike Timlin saga (the headline “Timlin Not Ready To Retire” couldn’t have inspired lots of joy in New England), the spectacle of open warfare in the Fenway trenches, another page in the ongoing what’s up with Manny brouhaha, the hometown park coming in 28th out of 30 in terms of fan value. My only excuse is I’ve been reading every book ever written about the Black Dahlia. Seriously.

Anyway, I’ll remind you all once again that this is as good a time as any to read my book, a recounting fo the when, why, and how of 2001-2005. Hope to see you all of you living in New York. We can relive the glory days.

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings

Feeding the Lust for Happy Endings: How a Hot Rammer Jammer Took America into Mania

September 6th, 2006 → 9:26 am @

For all you New Yorkers, I’ll be reading tonight at 8 pm as part of the “Varisty Letters” program at the Happy Ending bar. It’s menage à authors, with Warren St. John, author of Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Journey Into the Heart of Fan Mania, and Jeff MacGregor, author of Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! A Hot Lap Around America with NASCAR.

The Happy Ending is at 302 Broome St., between Forsyth and Eldridge; to get there, take the J, M, Z, or F to Delancey or the B or D to Grand Street; on Broome Street, look for the hot pink awning with the words “Health Club” on it. Unlike most happy endings, this one is free. And it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity: you can not only heckle me, but hear two great authors read. See you there.

SEPT 21 EDIT: At the explicit request of the curator of the Happy Endings Reading Series, I want to make clear that this was not a part of that program. This, apparently, is a very important distinction to make. Especially two weeks after the fact.

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings

There ain’t no place I’d rather be…

August 28th, 2006 → 5:09 pm @

From the “things you learn when promoting a book” department: there is, in publishing, something known as a clusterfu, er, radio tour. These are not “tours,” per se, but a series of staggered phone calls, one after another after another, with stations around the country. They’re a surprising amount of fun, although the only other time I did one — right after Feeding the Monster came out — I did get a little slap happy by the end. Anyway, tomorrow there’s another, proving either that the gods of scheduling have a perverse sense of humor or the rest of the country wants to wallow in Boston’s misery. In either case, here’s the schedule. And yes, for all you fans in Nashville, you’ll actually have three chances to hear me tomorrow. Because Tennessee is a hotbed of Sox fanaticism.

Also, coming up in September, a brand new series of readings, including stops in Manhattan, Providence, Newton (home of the Tigers), and Burlington (MA, not VT). For those of you who won’t be able to heckle me in person but would still like a signed book, I can offer personalized, signed bookplates, sent to you free of charge in a lovely Simon & Schuster envelope.

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings & Oblique references to Grateful Dead lyrics

(Slightly late) reflections from a third (half) week on the road

August 15th, 2006 → 4:50 pm @

The first (and only) half-week of the 2006 Florida Monster tour included one Jeep Wrangler, one night in Boca Raton, one night in Miami, one flight the day before all liquids and gels were prohibited on domestic flights, one flight the day after all liquids and gels were prohibited on domestic flights, and several painful Red Sox losses to the Kansas City Royals. Some observations:

* As hot as it is in the Northeast, it is much hotter (and more humid) in South Florida. So hot that I rediscovered the joys of Gold Bond Powder. Ahhhh….sweet, sweet Gold Bond Powder.
* The Jeep Wrangler looks like it should be fun. It’s really not. You can’t lock the soft-tops; driving over 50 mph is incredibly loud; the handling sucks.
* Miami has its share of Red Sox fans. I’m sure Boca Raton–which is John Henry’s offseason home–does as well, but they didn’t come to my reading. The sum total was one family, one woman who was looking for a place to sit, one Barnes & Noble employee, and one homeless man.
* More reminders that I’ll never escape the shirt.
* Chip McGrath can work “Leibniz,” “Spinoza,” and “penis” into the same review and not sound ridiculous. Also, he wishes Feeding the Monster had included more porn.
* After two weeks on the Times‘s bestseller list, I slipped to No. 17, which means I’m on the extended list…but not the one printed in the paper. I hope I managed to impress everyone from my high school during those first two weeks in August.
* Cities are like personalities: it’s hard to recognize in yourself those things that drive you crazy about others. With that caveat…I’m not a fan of Miami.
* Five years ago, the hundreth stadium plan John Henry had come up with for the Marlins was squashed by the inanities of Florida politics. One of those proposals was for a domed stadium next to where the Heat play; John hoped the stadium would help revitalize the downtown. Half a decade later, that neighborhood is still literally in transition: at one point, all the traffic on Biscayne Boulevard was stopped for 20 minutes because there was an enormous metal wall that had to be hoisted onto a new building.
* Books & Books is a wonderful bookstore with very good lemonade.
* Jeffrey Loria can be a dick, kind of like George Steinbrenner without the bloated payroll. (Also: hi, Capozzi!)
* I miss the Todds. (Hi, Todds!)

That does it until September, when I’ll be making a pair of stops in Manhattan and doing another abbreviated swing through New England. As always, if you want to be kept up to date, sign up for the Monster Newsletter. And remember to buy Feeding the Monster for your friends and loved ones. There’s enough porn in there to keep (almost) everyone satisfied.

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings

Yeah, I got nothing

August 10th, 2006 → 11:16 pm @

Tonight, I gave a talk in Coral Gables, Florida. Being down here has reminded me why I wasn’t all that upset to leave Florida when I headed back north in 2000: the oppresive heat, the horrendous traffic, the oppresive heat. Still, the Coral Gables event was lovely: lots of Sox fans, lots of good questions, lots of people wanting to know why the Red Sox had traded Pedro and Johnny.

On my ride back to my hotel, I started to compose an entry in my head, most likely titled “The Stopper.” I’d point out how, in 2004, Curt Schilling was 12-3 after a Red Sox loss, and how this year he was 5-2 thus far…and I was only thus far-ing it because I was totally confident he would pull it out.

A little after 10, I came into my room. Since the game wasn’t on TV (you’d think with all that PPV-porn available you’d think they’d find a way to let us overpay for the privledge of watching a baseball game), I resigneed myself to watching the MLB game cast: the one where you see a message that says “ball in play” for about 15 or 20 seconds before you find out what actually happened. It was the bottom of the eighth. The Red Sox were leading, 4-2. Schilling was under 100 pitches. Wily Mo had smacked a three-run homer. All was right in the world.

And then there was a ball hit into play. And then there was a ball hit into play, except this one was a run scoring play. Then there was another run scoring play. And then another. And then I wanted to cry.

Remember how yesterday I was all, ‘Look on the bright side, think about the future, blah blah blah blah blah.’ Well, forget it. Go back to the ledge. The sky is falling. Life sucks. I want Bobby Abreu. I mean, it’s the goddamn Royals. I would have been happy if the Red Sox had won one game against the goddamn Royals. I would have been happy if the Red Sox had merely gone 2-4 against a pair of last place teams. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

Tomorrow? I get to head to the airport at 5 am so I can sit in row 27 for a flight back to New York. Right now that seems like more fun than what I had to watch unfold on my computer screen tonight.

(Note: I reserve the right to go back to being rational and sanctimoniously tell everyone how they should just chill. If you don’t like it, start your own blog.)

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings & Losing streaks