Natural born easy

November 1st, 2006 → 9:52 am @

That’s right folks: I’m on the road again, which means another day rolling down the track for a week’s worth of Boston-area readings. I’ll be at Tufts tonight, at the Millbury Public Library tomorrow, at the Boston Society for Baseball Research Regional Meeting (at BU) on Saturday, and at the Woburn Public Library on Sunday. Make up for all those disenfranchised voters and come early and often.

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings & Oblique references to iconic songs about trains

The battle of who could care less

October 20th, 2006 → 1:50 am @

Okay, fine, that’s not totally fair. But come on! Two hits off of Jeff Suppan? (This is the guy who threw up a 5.57 ERA with the Sox in ’03 and didn’t even manage to make the playoff roster.) A game-winner by one of the Flying Molina Brothers? Somehow, I got wrapped in to rooting for the Mets, which means I shut off my TV in disgust and stomped around my apartment like a little baby. At least I won’t need to sit through endless replays of the ’86 Series. You know, twentieth anniversaries and all. (On the flip side, now I’ll need to hear how this is the first time in more than thirty years that the home team lost a Game 7 after trailing 3-2…the last time being the 1975 Red Sox.) You can be sure of one thing: the folks at MLB were praying the Series wouldn’t be a Detroit-St. Louis match up; that’s sure as hell not gonna be a ratings buster.

Anyway. I’m heading out of town again — to the Berkshires in preparation for Saturday’s reading at the Lenox Athenaeum (and yes, this will be the first time I’ll be speaking at an Athenaeum). This means I’ll be spared a weekend of the Hell O’Clock News on SportsCenter. It also means that posting may be sparse until Monday, when I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about the Tigers’ 2-0 Series lead.

P.S. Tony LaRussa still sucks ass.

Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & Feeding the Monster Readings & Oblique references to Arrested Development & Oblique references to Ben Folds Five lyrics & Oblique references to the Pick of Destiny

Today at one: watch as the author gets heckled

October 18th, 2006 → 8:47 am @

Beginning at 1 pm today, I’ll be doing a two-hour online chat on about Feeding the Monster. From what I can tell, you need to be a member of the site — described in their promotional literature as “a place where you can share the things that matter to you with the people that matter to you, too” to actually ask questions, but I could be wrong on that one. In any event, it should be interesting, or amusing, or possibly both.

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings

Truckin…up to Brattleboro

October 6th, 2006 → 10:51 am @

I’m about to take off for Brattleboro, Vermont, where I’ll be reading as part of their annual literary festival. As a result, I won’t have any trenchant comments on:

* The Yankees loss to the Tigers.
* The continuation of A-Rod’s playoff disappearing act. Yesterday, A-Rod struck out with the bases loaded in the first. Since Game 4 of the ’04 ALCS, he’s 4-35 with 0 RBIs in October.

* The Dodgers loss to the Mets. Grady Little started the rookie Hong-Chih Kuo (who-o?) (sorry – – couldn’t resist) instead of Greg Maddux. Seriously. (Let’s hope nobody takes Keith Law’s and Bill Simmons’s columns and reads them to Grady.)
* Nomar’s injury.

More, and more of those year-end wrap-ups, over the weekend…

Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & A-Rod & Feeding the Monster Readings & Grady Little & Oblique references to Grateful Dead lyrics

Guitar solos and tour riders, oh my! (All praise Iggy and the Dragonforces)

October 6th, 2006 → 10:36 am @

Two must-views:

1. The dual guitar solo on Dragonforce’s “Through the Fire and Flames.” (The whole clip is only about a minute long. I was tipped off to this by Kelefa Sanneh’s Times piece from earlier this week. As K. says: “A one-minute video of Mr. Li and Mr. Totman trading impossibly fast solos — from a song called “Through the Fire and Flames” — has been viewed nearly half a million times. (The fretwork is astonishing, but what’s even better is watching Mr. Totman swig a beer while Mr. Li plays.)” It’s truly mind-blowing…and actually better than Jake Shimabukuro’s ukulele rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Tangentiallly, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Kelefa is the best music writer in the country. I can’t think of a bad piece he’s written, and at least twice a week he comes out with something that examines some aspect of the music world in a whole new way.

2. Rock ‘n roll tour riders have been the subject of much fascination and awe ever since Van Halen demanded that their dressing rooms have bowls of M&M’s…with all the brown ones taken out.

Without further ado, I present to you the Iggy and the Stooges rider, dug up by the Smoking Gun. It is the best tour rider ever.

Some selected examples:

* “By the way, if there are any Reality TV executives reading this — hardly likely, I know, but — here is my idea for a Reality TV show. It’s called ‘Dead Dog Island’, where a group of contestants/dog lovers is asked what is their favourite breed of dog, then whatever they reply…they are then presented with a dead dog of that particular breed, which they have to cook in a number of different ways…”
* Sandwiches: “Hopefully not one of those sandwiches from Subway with beef and alfalfa sprouts sticking out like a Florida retiree’s bikini bottoms. Yuk.”
* Backstage entertainment: “Someebody dressed as Bob Hope Doing fantastic Bob Hope impersonations and telling all those hilarious Bob Hope jokes about golf and Hollywood and Bing Crosby.”
* For the Stooges dressing room: “6 cans of red bull or similar. Something with testicles in it. Or testicles lite.”

Read all 18 pages. It’s worth it.

Post Categories: 2006 Playoffs & A-Rod & Feeding the Monster Readings & Grady Little & Oblique references to Grateful Dead lyrics

Reflections from a (half) week on the road

September 23rd, 2006 → 8:17 am @

The final (mini) leg of the 2006 Feeding the Monster Tour is done and gone (with some individual dates still to come in the next few months). It included: one Amtrak ride from NYC to Rhode Island, 160 miles on a Hertz rental car (some sort of Mazda non-mini-van mini van, which was surprisingly fun to drive), three nights with my parents, and stops in Providence, Newton, and Burlington, MA. As usual, it’s been an entertaining trip. Without further ado…

* Who’d of thunk? Interest in the Sox is greatly diminished when the team’s not doing well.
* All the same, there’s no end of questions as to what’s up with Manny, why Johnny Damon was, um, traded to the Yankees, why Pedro was, uh, traded to the Mets, why the Sox didn’t make any moves at the deadline, and what that means for the future of the team.
* It is always delightful to see one of the Sittenfelds. Providence featured cousin Jo (the sister of cousin Curtis.)
* Private events sell lots and lots of book: more than 100 at a Boston investment firm on Thursday. Get in touch if you want me to come to an office near you. Or, as it were, your office.
* Hometown readings will always draw old faces: Grace Galton, my sixth-grade math teacher (and one of the great teachers of my youth), came out to the Newton Public Library, as did some old neighbors and the lawyer (and family friend) who represented me after some youthful indiscretions got me in trouble in high school.
* The readers of this blog are more varied than previously thought, and include at least one grandmother and at least one good friend of my sixth grade math teacher.
* The Burlington, MA Barnes & Noble (the biggest in New England), makes enormous banners when they have authors come to town. Truly enormous.

That’s it for now. You’ve been great! And hope to see you all down the road…

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings

Yes, I’m the kid who…

September 21st, 2006 → 11:17 am @

…(insert memory from high school here). After last night’s lovely reading in Providence — lovely if you cut out the tangled thicket of interweaving on-off ramps for 95 and 195 that surround the city — it’s back to my hometown for tonight’s event at the Newton Free Library. That means if you come out tonight, you’ll not only hear all about the the book (and the Sox more generally), but you’ll also get a chance to meet old high school teachers/siblings of ex-girlfriends/etc. And who’d want to miss that?

Post Categories: Feeding the Monster Readings