April 14th, 2011

Admiral Ackbar

Happy, wacky, geeky support: David Walker and Mike Russell's book signing went splendidly!

Many happy book-buyers. Lots of photos. All sorts of signatures. Beer. An enormous number of in-jokes. A severed manatee flipper. (Speaking of in-jokes.) A PLUSH VAMPIRE+.

David "Bad Azz Mofo" Walker and Mike "Culture Pulp" Russell did as they'd been allowed, and took over Bridge City Comics for over three hours tonight: David to sell and sign copies of his first novel Darius Logan: Super Justice Force (which I've finished, and which I really liked, and which gets a little cosmic near the end in a way that makes me look forward even more to Book 2), Mike to sell and sign his smaller, sillier projects Cort and Fatboy in the Secret of the Buried Unicorns and Beware the Sabre-Toothed Vampire. Who's the Sabre-Toothed Vampire? HIM.

This signing went hella well. So well, Walker sold out of copies he'd brought of Darius Logan. The shop started a list of people who went ahead and paid for a copy anyway, for when Walker drops off more copies Thursday.

Mixed crowd, happily, too. Families showed, and I'm hoping that made Walker feel good and hopeful because he wants teens to read his book, more than just those of us in Portland's geek cadre. (Mike's Sabre-Toothed Vampire is probably reasonably kid-friendly, too. I'm kidless and a bad judge of that.)

Happy crowd, even. And people were looking out for the men of the hour. One female fan brought David Walker cherry pie. The noises I made when I saw that led to good-natured ribbing from Steph Castro. I responded with nonsense noises, then I stopped and said "Now I'm making a noise you can't hear."

Who was among those there? Marvel Comics uber-writer Brian Michael Bendis, Boilerplate creator Paul Guinan, film critic and die-hard Portland Timbers soccer fan Shawn Levy (who, if I heard correctly, has the framed original of Mike's "Timbers Army" comic strip in his office), Buried Unicorns stars Cort Webber and Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts, Rick Emerson, Aaron "Geek in the City" Duran, Courtenay Hameister of Live Wire Radio, at least one out-of-costume Portland pirate, longtime Cort and Fatboy listener and recent-transplant-to-Portland Pwn Toney (pronounce that first word "Pone"), local blogger and motorcycle user Becky Ohlsen (creator of the blog with maybe my favorite blog title, "Mad Cow Vs. Bird Flu"), David Walker's filmmaker partner Alan Wone, Funemployment Radio hosts Sarah X. Dylan and Greg Nibler (now also hosts of the Portland Trail Blazers TV show Sportlandia), and others. Many many others. Of course, that way there were more buyers of Darius Logan than David had copies of. (Good thing I'd ordered my copy from the depths of the Web.)

You can see video of some of it, because THEY EVEN MADE THE NEWS. Live at 7:00, a KGW general interest show, did a remote from the signing.

The signing was scheduled to go from 6 to 8, but according to the store runners there were people hanging around for the event starting around 5:00, and some people still were there once I left around 9:00. Still happy.

Speaking of happy-making things, there is also a sketch that now exists, in a copy of the Sabre-Toothed Vampire book that is mine, of the Sabre-Toothed Vampire somehow managing to twirl. (Mike: "So what should the Sabre-Toothed Vampire do?" Me: "Ballet!")

+ Plush Sabre-Toothed Vampire made by Bobbie "Bobbie Girl" Winchell. She has skills.
Flavored Calories.

As Queen sang, just gimme gimme gimme fried chicken

Flour: no. Buttermilk: nope. Eggs: at least there's that. Chicken: well, my freezer has what Dad has called "boneless, skinless, tasteless chicken breasts" because it's how you prepare a boneless, skinless breast that makes it tasty. OK, no fried chicken tonight. Instead I'm now digesting chicken I boiled up on the stovetop, with some squeeze-bottle basil, butter and pepper seasoning it. That plus rice with some butter-like stuff and habanero sauce (Secret Aardvark, good and made in Portland). Close enough for my stomach.

That happened because of a craving (which I shouldn't call it, as "craving" really applies more specifically to what happens to pregnant women, but it fits in other contexts, too). It's not just fried chicken I wanted to eat. It's fried chicken I wanted to make.

Haven't done that since the '90s, and only when at Mom and Dad's. Didn't make it with buttermilk, as far as I remember, but there was batter. Oh, there was batter, with Parmesan cheese (from a Kraft Foods canister+) and eggs and flour, some of which would still be in the bowl where Mom had seasoned each breast before sticking the meat in the oven.

This might be TMI, but sometimes I'd damn the salmonella risk and lick that leftover batter up. Never got sick doing that, and got some flavor doing that, so that was positive reinforcement. (I also ate cookie batter. Not at the same time; that'd just be gross.)

Then the final, fully-cooked fried chicken was good, too. But that wasn't the sense-memory that hit me this afternoon: I wanted batter.

(Now I wonder if anyone's done deep-fried batter. Could you do "double-fried" fried chicken? Or, perhaps more simply, fry just the batter? We've deep-fried Twinkies, Snickers, insects -- heck, just type "deep-fried" into Google and see the search suggestions, like Pepsi, and your mouth might water -- we can find new frontiers of frying if we try!)

By the way, I did consider going to a restaurant tonight so someone else could fry chicken for me, but no place with fried chicken I like is close, plus I want to save money for Stumptown Comics Fest starting Saturday. And no restaurant is going to let me go to the back of the house and lick what they're cooking with. That health code violation would probably make the news...

But now I'm in the mood, when I get groceries again, to get fried chicken makings. Finally do it myself. See how I do it.

This is the most I've thought about fried chicken in years. This amuses me, but then, I'm easily amused.

Eat well, whatever you're going to eat...

+ It may not have been until this past decade that I ever noticed you could have Parmesan freshly grated. Or still in blocks. Means that cheap Parmesan is still my favorite Parmesan!
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