|Wednesday night: AWESOME
||[Oct. 13th, 2006|05:00 pm]
After work on Wednesday, Sora and I went over to the Elliott Bay Book Company for a reading/signing by John Hodgman for his book The Areas of My Expertise.
The book, if you're unfamiliar with it, purports to be an almanac of Complete World Knowledge. It's basically an absurdist book filled with "facts" and "information" about things. For example, it contains a list of 700 hobo names (with an extra hundred in the new edition), lycanthropy timetables, and a list of Presidents with hooks for hands. He read a passage from a "travel report" he did on the Mall of America, and an excerpt from a Ken-Burns-style 35-hour documentary on hobos and their takeover of the US government, with Jonathan Coulton supplying the folksy background music (as well as a rendition of Code Monkey).
Coulton had to leave to get over to his own gig on the other side of downtown, and Sora and I ducked out a few minutes later to do the same. Rather than bussing, we decided to take a gamble and go by car, hoping to find parking on 2nd. As it happened, we found parking practically right in front of the little restaurant/theater (the Jewelbox), and got front-row seats as well as a copy of the Thing A Week II CD.
Coulton's set was a lot of fun, and he played several songs he hadn't played last time, including Mandelbrot Set, Ikea, and Chiron Beta Prime, as well as once again playing Skullcrusher Mountain, Womb with a View, and I Feel Fantastic, and a few others. (Creepy Doll, Code Monkey, and Kenesaw Mountain Landis were in there somewhere, and I think he closed with Re: Your Brains again.) Chiron Beta Prime was the height of my evening, though, as I got called up on stage to be the robot overlord (providing the "MESSAGE REDACTED" line in the third verse). I haven't been that thrilled in a long time.
Anyway, after the show, we (the collective crowd) chatted with Coulton for a little while (the crowd may well have convinced him to come to PAX. Woot.), and he signed the TAW2 CD as well as a copy of Hodgman's book, since we'd skipped out on the signing portion earlier. But on the way out, we had an idea... so we drove back to Elliott Bay, and wouldn't you know, there were still a few people (less than ten!) in line for the signing. He actually stayed until nearly 11 PM (the event had started at 7:30), making sure every last person that wanted to get something signed had the opportunity. His character (both on the Daily Show and in his writing, as well as to some degree in his PC persona) is a bit of a pompous ass, but in person John Hodgman is a wonderful guy, gracious and friendly to his fans. He inquired whether we'd made it to the Coulton show on time, and we chatted for a few seconds before getting out of the way of the last couple people in line.
Anyway. The evening went perfectly, and both Coulton and Hodgman are true gentlemen.