The smart and cool litbloggers of the LitBlog Co-Op threw a party Friday night. Gwenda and Lauren were both stylish and conveniently seated near one of the few lights. The dark was good for atmosphere, not so good for pictures.
The editor of the LA Times Book Review, David Ulin, hid the books he was carrying before I could snap a photo. I saw at least one LA-based writer's ARC in the pile. That's not giving away too much, is it?
The sitting woman is from Newsweek. Or Newsday. She does books for a newsy publication. News-something.
As othershavementioned, it's hard to blog when the convention center is charging $50 a day for wifi. I mean, it's hard for those of us who need sleep, and easy for anyone else. I've got some photos up but now I have to run to the convention center. I'm the latest blogger ever.
Today's goal is to really hit the floor. There are hundreds (thousands?) of publishers and they've all got books and banners and chairs and it's a little overwhelming. There are the few that try a little too hard to make an impression, like these guys I spotted in the lobby. See my other BEA photos on flickr.
BEA got underway this morning. Everything kicked off for me with a podcasting panel, unfortunately led by the man who wrote Podcasting for Dummies. Literally, the dude who wrote the book. He was painfully awful, never connecting podcasting to books (let alone literary books), never going beyond shallow business jargon. It was such a lost opportunity that I was flashing between fury and disappointment. Ed was able to stomach far more than me. I felt terribly sorry for the people in the audience, who came curious to learn something about podcasting and were being subjected to a low-rent marketing schpiel. "You have to treat podcasting like a business solution," he said. Call me crazy but I thought you had to think of it as a creative endeavor. He also called podcasting the Next Big Thing. Hello, got any snake oil?
So a quick chain of fortunate circumstances later and I'm heading to the National Museum of History with Cecil and David and Steve to see the new Muppet exhibit. How cool! Except it's just 5 sealed cases of puppets, one of which contains only the Swedish Chef. No Gonzo whatsoever. No Sam Eagle, no Miss Piggy, no Dr. Bunsen Honeydew or his sidekick Beaker. We could see the muppets but no touchy touchy. Eh, it was still better than a lame podcast session.
Later I was lucky again and ran into Kassia and met Lauren and Wendi and Megan and saw Ron and Mark and trailed around on the subway behind Ed, who has a very good sense of direction. Tomorrow I will try much harder to grin and bear any panels that suck -- because none can be as crappy as today's podcasting panel.
The most-emailed story fomr the NY Times site is Scan This Book! It's about the digitization of books (duh) and movies and music. All knowledge! Digitized! A universal library -- that's Google-able! That can be hyperlinked and tagged! But, on the downside, there is that pesky copyright thing. But technology will have out, and copyright owners will figure out a way to come around. Which is probably true, but all I can think is ... microfilm.
Microfilm was the technological wave of the future in -- what, 1966? 1973? I mean I like using microfilm but I'd rather have the newspapers. And finding a microfilm reader just isn't that easy these days. Digitized material is more translatable, sure. But what if, say, a really big magnet falls on the petabyte computer disks? What then?
The extraordinary and talented Jim Ruland is posting over at The Elegant Variation while Mark's a-moving and he read the Sunday LA Times magazine called West. And apparently it's great; David Ulin calls Charlie Kaufman the greatest writer of our generation, dropping names like Pynchon and Erickson. I wrote my undergrad thesis on Pynchon and Erickson and cited Mr. Ulin, so I feel like I should have be home in LA to read this instead of miles away looking for an apartment.
So if you're listening to Theory Radio right now, that's not me. We have to do a digital handoff and the DJ before me is having too much fun to hand off. There's a chance that this will be straightened out, but my guess is that tonight there will be no Theory Radio. Enjoy the electronica (if it had been me, there was the new BellRays, Howe Gelb, Petra Haden, PJ Harvey and some Johnny Cash)
Some people have right brain / left brain communication issues. Me, I have LAist brain and Paperhaus brain, and they just had an oh-duh moment. Tonight several of the ladies who contributed to The May Queen will be reading and panel-ing in Brentwood, including onetime Pinky guest Meghan Daum, as I posted on LAist earlier today. The May Queen is by/about chicks in their 30s, which is a sorely underrepresented group (kidding, I kid). I have no personal knowledge of the book, but that Meghan Daum sure can crack wise.
Tonight's Theory Radio show will be all music, no books or author. The lack of author smartness is sad, but will be made up for, I hope, with excellent new music from the BellRays and other audio delights. That's 7pm Pacific, streaming with one easy click.
Coming up: Michael Walker whose book, Laurel Canyon, looks at the canyon and the role it played in the lives of CSNY, Joni Mitchell, the Mamas and the Papas, Frank Zappa and more. And Aimee Bender -- not sure what she'll play, but she's planning her attack now.