Sunday, October 30, 2011

momentary smartypants


  • The Louisiana Book Festival was a rejuvenating hoot. It is the weekend when soggy, scrappy Baton Rouge transcends its reticence to airs to become a momentary smartypants village blessed with fantastic weather.

  • Mark Richard (below) let me be a pesky fanboy a number of times throughout the festival, which is very kind of him. His is a body of writing that is deserving of slobbery praise.


    I rode my bike claiming to offset all those paperback copies of my own book I'll be shilling out there next year. I like to pay it forward like that. My various editors in attendance all made me feel like a big shot even though I didn't have any product to push this time around.

  • A certain once Oprah book actual big shot kinda flipped out a little during his talk, going WHO'S TALKING? WHO IS TALKING?! And then stormed off the podium to chew out a security guard in the marbled echoey lobby of the State Capitol who was probably for the 1000th time that morning sweetly directing a visitor to where you can put your finger in the Huey Long bullet holes. I like this person's books and his whole talk was generally about feeling out of his league as a success, which I can get with, but man, the security guards at State Capitol have great stories and know how to tell them with a surplus of dignity. So, settle down. I walked out.

  • Not really because I am so sensitive to spectacle - my Saturday night of absinthe-and-roasted oyster-fueled holding of forth will establish my comfort with such. The green fairy and I make an unstoppable comedy duo.


    No, I split because Maya's band Black Diamond had their second live performance at St. Aloysius Fair, which is an excellent suburbanite counterpoint to the bookish types cavorting around Capitol grounds. While getting a round of corn dogs, the two dads manning the Red Bull stand were overheard saying, "Those Occupy Baton Rouge people oughta get out there after that." and the other was beside himself. "Occupy Baton Rouge! That is stupidest thi -" and collapsed into sputters. It really was stupidest thing he'd ever heard of. Protesting!


    I'm not offering this anecdote to make my fellow pinkos gasp; just to demonstrate the political baseline of the place and that our charms as a city come filtered through that kind of cheesecloth. I told someone that while New Orleans is taxonomically rooted in recreating Europe in the wilds of Ameriker, Baton Rouge is named for a bloody head on a stick.

  • Back on the chain gang of Sunday, we listened to Dolly Parton sing

    Gimme a word, gimme a sign
    Show me where to look
    And tell me what will I find


    and had grits and grillades and did the sorority row trick-or-treat. Maya went as Ziggy Stardust - technically Aladdin Sane if you are going to be like that, but nobody out there had every heard of David Bowie anyway, so we be whatever leper messiah we wish.


    Tomorrow night is the kick ass trick-or-treating in the rich people sector of our neighborhood. There's one lady that sets up a table where you get a WHOLE Snickers and a grab bag size bag of potato chips. I think they gave out whole Cokes one year, but some killjoy probably complained. Dude. A whole Snickers. A richness anyone can respect. That's why I love it here.

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