Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back from LA

What a successful trip! Went to the Augustine meeting at the AAR on Saturday. I thought the four papers were thoughtful and detailed, and the Q&A afterwards was especially helpful to the audience. Then we ended up going out to this great Mexican restaurant in Old Town San Diego - giant margaritas and excellent food. The plan had orginally been to drive back up to Burbank (where I was staying with my friend Bill), but my colleague Robert had a suite instead of a regular room, so we ended up staying in San Diego, drinking till all hours, and crashing there. Overheard from the pedi-cab drivers at 9:30 pm - "I'm sick of these Mennonites! I'm outta here!" Do my colleagues in religious studies limit their concern for the poor to prayers and organized charitable organizations, but aren't so great with tips? Scandal! No, wait - the real scandal was that the Harvard reception only served bad red wine and no beer or liquor. That's scandalous! Jesus would've taken care of that wine in a trice!

The next day we were back in Burbank and I got to my signing at Dark Delicacies. I sat there with the other two authors and no one else showed up! I was thinking it was one of the usual signing experiences where you end up not selling any books. But then the owner brought out two big stacks of books for each of us: one stack was books that had been pre-ordered (each had a slip of paper in it telling us how to sign it), and the other stack was books for the store to sell later (and we're not talking the one or two copies a Borders usually buys at such events, but a nice stack of a dozen!). I ended up signing 30 books! Thanks to the nice people at Dark Delicacies for organizing that and being so generous!

Red-eye home, not so hot. I need to go to sleep finally after being up since Monday morning.


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