Do you remember that short movie that they used to play all the time back in the early days of HBO? The making of documentary about their promo video in which the audience got to see the care that went into a relatively simple truck across a miniature city set that went up into the air to reveal the steel HBO logo?
Regardless... that's a little how I felt tonight when I walked into Atomic Books in Baltimore to find a three dimensional rendition of the cover for Impossibly Funky all made in gum paste, fondant, and cake. I immediately thought, "Oh my gosh, how nice of Benn and Rachel to have Charm City Cakes make me a gala treat!" Nope. Andrea was the culprit. She'd been secretly working with the Charm City folks to make the Atomic event one I'd never forget.
I was gobsmacked. I still am. I nearly lost it, seeing the whole marquee that Jim Rugg designed with little gumpaste approximations of Luis De Jesus, Ann-Margret, Christopher Lambert, etc in an edible tableau. I teared up.
I already knew that Baltimore was going to be a great time. I love this city. I have a lot of great friends here who are also incredibly supportive. They came out in droves. The audience for A Night of Mikes consisted mostly of familiar faces. And, hey, no one tried to impress me with their film knowledge and the leave without buying a book!
After Benn Ray introduced us, Mike Faloon (Go Metric) and I said a few words. People reading a free city paper might have thought they were going to get an aria as we were listed as "singing" rather than "signing"...
No one broke into song (though Josh Slates did recall just how awful the end credit theme to Loose Cannons really is and may have hummed it to himself. Instead, Mike Faloon took the floor and did a story from his wonderful book, The Hanging Gardens of Split Rock. Hearing him read the stump speech of a less-than-reputable politician made for a great juxtaposition if you know how sweet Mike really is.
I got up afterward and did my schtick, talking about the magazine, rambling on incoherently, and often fumbling over my own words. And that was before I even started to read a piece from the book.
I finally delivered on a bunch of books that people had ordered via IndieGoGo from my summer push for advertising dollars, tricking them into coming out to the Atomic gig, but even managed to sell quite a few copies.
I had expected great things out of this Atomic Books gig and my expectations were completely blown out of the water.
Addendum: And how weird was it to be sitting at the pub after the gig and hear the local Baltimore news that "Ace of Cakes" has been canceled on the Food Network?