Numb from blood oranges, peroxide and First Contact
Posted July 29, 2010on:
Last night, I had the great fortune to (finally!) meet Twitter pals @byseanferrell, @jeffreysomers and @janet_reid at Paper Cone Stories, a monthly book reading held at Jack’s Stir Brew in Manhattan. They invited Evan Mandery along. Sadly for us, Evan does not Twitter. I learned after the readings that Carrie, another twitter friend, was also in attendance. For me, this was a special event… I admit to fangirl gushing. I ADORE Jeff’s Avery Cates series, and can’t wait until my pre-ordered NUMB copy finally arrives. To meet these talented geniuses (geniuii??) in person is something I wasn’t sure would ever happen.
It very nearly didn’t. This trip was plagued by mishaps. First, I was unable to take the day off because I’ve already got vacation time scheduled for next week. I live fifty-five miles away from Manhattan. I’d planned to drive into the city and then learned gridlock was expected due to the President’s planned visit.
[Brief aside: Can someone explain to me why the President of the United States finds it necessary to appear on The View, of all shows, when he has a whole cadre of press professionals at his disposal, and why, WHY, I ask you, did it have to the same night as Sean’s and Jeff’s reading? And why, WHY!? did he also have to visit the Village, the same area where the reading took place? ]
A quick shift in plans allowed me to leave work before 4 PM and, accompanied by my first born, hop on a train to New York’s Penn Station. The 4:48 PM train was packed with various revelers. The Mets were playing at Citi Field. Tom Petty was in concert. Not sure what else was happening, but we were sitting near a group of inebriated folks trading I CAN TOP THAT stories about the ugliest women they’d slept with. My son and I were choking on giggles as one man described an encounter with an Oompaloompa – well, I’ll spare you the details.
The train was supposed to arrive in Manhattan at shortly past 6 but broke down half way to the city. We had to change trains in one of the baddest towns on the route. Luckily, no muggings, murders, or other mayhem occurred and we were soon on our way. Just as we arrived in Penn Station, a twenty-something sitting beside me spilled several open bottles of beer on the floor under my feet. She and her sixteen-year-old sister (I know!) were apparently confounded by laws of physics in which open bottles of liquid unsecured on moving vehicles fall over. (Who knew?) Luckily, my son rescued the homemade cookies I’d baked as gifts for Sean and Jeff before the tsunami reached the shopping bag holding them.
Finally, we grabbed a downtown subway and found Jack’s Stir Brew at about 7:30 PM. *Wipes brow.* My son went off in search of dinner. I sat alone in the quaint coffee shop, scribbling some notes about the Oompaloompa stories (Yep. They were entertaining.), and wondering why there was a crate of blood oranges and peroxide on the stage (not really. This was Jeff’s Diva Demand List. It was not met.). Then, the door opened and they were here! Jeff Somers and Sean Ferrell. They DO exist! They are not merely alter egos of Janet The Shark Reid. I also had the distinct pleasure of meeting our pals’ lovely brides, The Duchess (Mrs. Somers) and Mrs. Ferrell (I’m not sure if Sean wants her name divulged, so I will omit it.) First impressions? Sean is just adorable and Jeff is very tall and does actually wear pants. Both are as witty and clever in person as they are online. I am so happy to finally put faces to names.
An unexpected surprise… author Evan Mandery was also there with his latest release, FIRST CONTACT. Brilliant! I met his baby daughter, who cheered for her dad in her own little way. Janet Reid introduced us and yes, I still have all my limbs, even though it’s SHARK WEEK.
My son bought me Evan’s novel but is hiding it from me until vacation next week. An unread book in my house is sort of a compulsion for me. I can’t let it just sit there, all forlorn. He also bought me chocolate. *grins*
The night was epic AWESOME for me. I was hangin’ with my boy, got to meet people I have come to consider as mentors, bought their books and got chocolate. Pretty much my idea of an ideal evening. Jeff was up first, reading a section from THE TERMINAL STATE. I got a hat! Evan was next, started his reading with a bit of comedy. And then, Sean (cheers! applause!) read from NUMB. I posted some brief videos on YouTube for y’all!
Here are some still shots of the evening. (And if anyone knows how to force WordPress to align the darn things, please send directions!)
Hm. Jeff is blurry in real life, too.