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January 10, 2007

Bottom Chef

First, housekeeping, as every entry these semi-busy days must begin with housekeeping. I've made some final adjustments to my tour schedule. My Jan. 18 reading at the Free Library Of Philadelphia starts at 7 PM. Also, the awesome Jan. 28 San Francisco book party and "dance freakout" with Beth Lisick and Pipsqueak A-Go-Go will run from 3-6 PM at 12 Galaxies. $5 for kids, $8 for adults.

Meanwhile, my first Amazon review for Alternadad has arrived. It's from none other than my former literary agent (and current Apple, Inc. spokesmodel) John Hodgman. I now have a goal: To get all current and former Daily Show cast members to review my book on Amazon. Can A. Whitney Brown be far behind?

For now, though, let's close the door on the offices of the Department Of Literary Nepotism and proceed with our usual amusing Elijah-related content. A fine tale follows after the bump.

Yesterday evening, before my epic semi-drunken book-release party, I was dispatched to watch Elijah while Regina took a shower. This turned out to be the easiest Elijah-watching period ever. As soon as mom vanished into her cleansing chamber, Elijah said,

"Daddy, I'm going to cook dinner for you now."

"Sounds good," I said.

He then went into his bedroom, where he has his own wooden kitchen, his main Chanukah gift from 2005. I heard a lot of clanging and thumping, but no crying, so I left it alone. A few minutes later, Elijah emerged. He was holding a green plastic bowl. He handed it to me.

"Here you go," he said.

Inside the bowl were half a green crayon, half a red crayon, a chunk of toy plastic sushi rice, and the black plastic stands from his Dr. Doom and Incredible Hulk figurines.

"Looks yummy," I said.

"It is yummy," he said.

"What is it?"

"Egg soup!"

"Oh. I like egg soup."

"I know. That's why I made it for you."

"Thank you. What ingredients did you use?"

"Egg," he said.


"And lemon and chicken broth."

My son had prepared a bowl of imaginary straciatella! Good boy!

"And sugar," he added.

"I don't know about the sugar."

"Lots of sugar," he said.


I moved to eat the soup with the plastic spoon Elijah had given me.

"No, daddy," he said. "It's not done yet."


"I have to mix it."


So I handed the bowl back to him. He took it over to the coffee table and began to stir the ingredients, chanting "Mix, mix, mix, mixy mixy mix!" over and over again. When Regina emerged from the bathroom 20 minutes later, he was still mixing.

"Mixy mixy mix, mommy!" he said.

"What the hell is he doing?" Regina said to me.

"Making egg soup," I said.

"Naturally," she replied.



What, no sordid tales of my fabulous drunkenness last night? What the hell am I reading this for?

Care to share, Rebecca?

Oh, Neal, I already told you! I threw up in a trash can, and it was NOT AWESOME.
But in your honor, I updated my site for the first time since late October, with a small write-up of what I can remember of your party. Which was fun, and full of terribly literate people, until I threw up. In a trash can.

"Free Library of Philly"? Is there a "Pay Library of Philly"? Isn' that Barnes & Noble?

Isn't the very idea of a library "free"?

That's just what they call it; of COURSE it's free.

If you were to schedule a Detroit stop on your book tour, I can almost guarantee that there would be literate parent-types willing to throw up in garbage cans ... In celebration of your book, of course (which I am purchasing today).

Sadly, no one ever comes down to Florida anymore for a tour...

Neal, check out the bear claw feet on the bottom of the columns inside the Free Library when you visit...one of the weirdest library decorations in the country.

Is Hodgeman really a former literary agent?

I'm working through his recent book, The Areas of My Expertise, and I noticed a shout out to you in his description of the fantastical and mythical city of Chicago. (I 'm listening to the audio version... he mentions you in the same breath as Wrigley Field and Al Capone.)

Indeed, Hodgeman is a former literary agent.

neal i enjoyed the philly appearance. i always remember the R5 comment to the fleeing suburanites back we you were thisssclose to eggers. best of luck in LA.

hope this works and you get my message. you could wish me happy b-day cos today feb 1st is it for me.


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