Saturday, January 26, 2008

Birthdays, Books, and Costumed Geeks.

The Rumours of my Death have been Greatly Exaggerated.

Not dead, just busy. Here's what with.

My Birthday - I turned 30 this Wednesday, but was quite surprised to have a (quite elaborate) party sprung on me on Sunday. My Dad and Both Uncles (on his side) shared the same oxygen in my presence for the first time since their mother's funeral a decade or more ago. Much fun was had by all, and I received a bunch of toys as presents which were appropriate for a "birthday boy" half my age, or younger. I also received "Bananagrams", a game previously known to me as "Boardless Scrabble", but with a more banana-centric theme, and packaged in an easily transportable, banana-shaped pouch. It is a lot of fun, either solitaire or with one or more opponents.

Books - I was blissfully ignorant of the preparations for the above-mentioned party because I was up to my eyeballs in "Forever Odd" by Dean Koontz, the sequel to my current Favorite Book Ever - Odd Thomas . I read most of "Odd Thomas" on the plane ride back from my San Diego Vacation, and read the rest of it the following morning at my Folks' house. It is the best novel I have read in ... well, ever! I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. I have within the last week read both the sequels, "Forever Odd" and "Brother Odd". My Brother-in-law, Jeff, who was the person responsible for introducing me to Terry Pratchett's Discworld, put me on to the "Odd Thomas" series, and has scored another solid point toward being my fiction Guru. Unfortunately, I still have the "Thursday Next" books in his "losses" column, so his score is not perfect. Anyway, you should definitely read "Odd Thomas" before you die. If you don't get around to it, then read it after you die.

Chattacon - I opened the Chattanooga Times-Free Press the other morning to find that their "Weekend" section had a feature devoted to ChattaCon, Chattanooga's answer to The Mega-Events "Comic-Con" in San Diego, and "Dragon*Con" in Atlanta. The cover of this section featured people who were even older than me (and I just officially turned old, people!) dressed as a Star Wars Rebel fighter of some kind, a Pirate Wench of some kind, and, totally inexplicably between the two, the Burger King from the recent ads for the fast food joint of the same name. The Burger King, people? Really? Seeing this picture I had no desire to do any more than mock the "Poor Man's Comic-Con". I had no desire to go.

Then at about 4am this morning, I checked the blog reader on my cellphone, and found out that local author David B. Coe, whose books I recently plugged on this site, was going to be doing a reading there this morning. When I found out that Becca needed to go to Chattanooga early this morning, I decided I would tag along and see if I could pop in to ChattaCon long enough to get Mr. Coe's latest book signed. I popped a couple of other potentially autographable books in my official ComicCon San Diego "swag-bag" that I have been using since my Brother gave it to me when I visited, and also grabbed a milk crate full of books I had been wanting to sell to McKay's, the used book megastore in Chattanooga.

I have to go to work now, and my wife is staring a hole into the back of my neck, so I will continue this story in part 2, later.


Art said...

Happy belated birthday, Frank. I hope it was a good one.

Jeremy Gibson said...

Is Chattanooga getting hip?
I found this blurb in an media industry e-mail...

"The top city in the U.S. when it comes to growth in podcast use is Chattanooga with a 644% increase over the previous year. Other cities in Wizzard Media's podcasting top ten network are Tampa-St. Petersburg with a 380% increase; Kansas City (348%); Green Bay - Appleton (339%); Fresno-Visalia (173%); Toledo (106%); Houston (101%); Nashville (82%); Washington DC (72%) and San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (68%)."

And a comic-con too? Man. I always thought of Chattanooga as a scummy industrial relic of a city.

Frank Gibson said...

Art - Thanks, It Was a Great One!

Jeremy - Yeah, Chattanooga is tres hip. They have awesome walkable streets, super artsy-fartsy districts, motorscooters in abundance, public art, and tours via horse drawn carriage OR Segway!

Pretty doggone hip. Just 45 miles away from podunkville, if feels like visiting Emerald City in the Land of Oz.

Not HBO's Oz, the other one.