I went to a colleague's book signing on Wednesday. The book signing was for Evan Wright's Hella Nation. And, if you like fantastic slice-of-life stories from the fringes, this is the book for you. From knowing Evan, he's a great story teller and very funny in his descriptions of the extreme people and situations that he's profiled. I met Evan while he was in the office for Season Four of The Wire, working with David Simon on Generation Kill, an HBO Series based on his book by the same name. Evan was a great addition to the office and we shared many a conversation over the dartboard that was in my office. And, he and his wife have two Maine Coon cats.
When I got to the store, I followed an attractive tall blond man whose looks screamed Scandinavian, and his friends up the escalator. I wondered if the tall blond man was Evan's relative because of well...the tall and the blond thing. Evan is tall and blond. They took a seat in the front row as did I, and they were later joined by another friend, a hip looking guy in a gray knit cap.
David Markland of L.A. Metblogs and I had exchanged emails beforehand, as he was planning to go as well. Sure enough, he found me out of the crowd and we chatted a bit. It was great to meet a fellow blogger IRL. "In Real Life" for those of you who aren't up in geek speak. Hi David!
Anyway, I decided to see if Evan recognized me, as I hadn't seen him since middle of 2005 in Baltimore. Talk about out of context, so my bets were on no. And, my hair has grown quite a bit since last time. When he came in, his eyes lingered for a second, perhaps trying to place me but the recognition didn't come. I would later learn what he was thinking, that I resembled a woman who was stalking him and he wondered if I was her!
He read a couple of passages from his book, one which was hilarious. These are a collection of essays from his days as a journalist from publications ranging from Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Hustler. Yes, Hustler.
When the signing started, the group of blonds and knit cap hung around for quite awhile and talked to Evan. I think David told me he thought they were Generation Kill actors, but because everyone had their heads shaved I couldn't place them, much like Evan couldn't place me. When my turn came up, I stood there and asked if he knew me, then waited a second. I then gave him some hints and it all came back.
"The dart board!" he said. Just for the record, he's the only man who could get away with calling me that. When he realized I wasn't his stalker, just a dart board, we chatted a bit, but I knew it wasn't the place to take up too much time as there were more people in line. And, he'd said he had a fever. He wrote his email address in the book and signed it, "You are awesome," which was great.
David interviewed Evan with a very cool little camera, then darted off to catch Lost. After things wound down, I met Evan's wife, whom I'd heard so much about while on "The Wire," so it was great to see people, like David, materialize from blogs and stories to real life. It was there that I showed him a picture of Oliver and learned his Maine Coon cats were alive and well. Even his wife remembered me from stories Evan had told about his time in Baltimore. She was very cool.
It was there that I learned David and I had been sitting next to two vampires. Evan told me that they were actors from Gen Kill. When he said one of their names, it all came back. The other's name I didn't recognize, I'm sorry tween girls...I'm sorry. I just didn't. Yeah, I know. I suck and am old. But, when Evan told me he was in Twilight, which I'd seen, I was pretty sure which character he played. Does that count?
What I couldn't believe, was that I didn't recognize the first guy, Alexander Skarsgard, the tall Scandinavian, who's on a show that I just love, called True Blood. He plays a very old vampire named Eric Northman, who owns a vampire nightclub. Funny thing was that I'd interviewed his father, Stellan, who plays Will Turner's father in the Pirates movies, on the red carpet for the second movie. The other vampire, the one in the knit cap whose name I didn't recognize, is named Kellan Lutz. Evan told me he was in Twilight, and has lots of fans and fan sites. I verified when I got home that he plays Emmett Cullen in Twilight. That came in the form of cracking up loudly on the phone to Shannon when I put two and two together. A note to the tweens...he's cute in film, but much better looking in person.
After the signing, I went to the Farmer's Market and had a French crepe filled with Nutella and banana. Sweet Jesus. I guess the vampires were hungry too, because as I ate Kellan walked back and forth from a patio bar next to where I was satisfying my appetite near a Mexican place. When I left, I saw them at a table at the bar. For those of you who haven't been to the Farmer's Market, it's an outdoor area with shops and food, and table areas throughout. It's great food, great people watching and a good time. My mom and I went when she visited and she really enjoyed it.
Once again, get the book. Hella Nation by Evan Wright.
After all, all the vampires are reading it.