hal tweets ·11:28 AM

Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

Please Remove That Unsightly Bulge from Your Pocket and Other Notes from Last Night’s Reading in Roc

Posted by Hal

Last night I read at the Rockville, Maryland Barnes & Noble, my old teenage stomping ground. My parents still live in Rockville, so my mom took the opportunity to invite everyone she ever knew, organize refreshments, and generally rule the roost. It all turned out great – standing room only crowd, near sell-out of the book. And, of course, those strange moments that occur when grown up author of brand new book is scrutinized by his conservative suburban parents, who will always look at him and see a scrawny, awkward teenager who needs instruction on just about everything.

*It starts in the morning when I go down to the Canadian Embassy to record a podcast for their website Connect to Canada (created for Canadians and other interested parties living in the US). As we get into the elevator mom takes one last look at my apparel. Mom: what is that horrible bulge in your pocket? Me: uh…ah…my wallet? Mom: give it to me. I’ll put it in my bag. It looks horrible. I dutifully hand over my cash, credit cards and identification to a higher authority.

*During lunch Mom expounds on the several ways I can improve my manners. I tell her that she should just be happy I have any manners to improve on whatsoever.

*Back at home, I rest up for the big show. Mom spends the afternoon calling everyone she knows and reminding them that if they don’t turn up, they can pretty much forget about an invite to Rosh Hashana dinner, an invitation prized by the entire Jewish community of the greater Washington area. (A party organizer – mom has been the social coordinator for the Canadian ambassador to the US for twenty years – she doesn’t have to come out and say it. There’s an edge in her voice. Her people feel the fear. No one wants to be find out they aren’t going to be able to eat twice their weight in brisket come the fall.)

*Mom doesn’t like my shirt. She pulls out a new black shirt with a faint checked pattern that she bought on sale at her favorite discount designer clothing outlet Loehman’s. Put this on, she says. What’s wrong with my shirt? I foolishly protest. You look terrible, mom says. I put the shirt on.

*Food items me and Dad haul into the Barnes and Noble: eight huge chunks of various cheeses; bulk size box of crackers; impressive tray of strawberries; big grape clusters; two huge packages of cookies (the neighbor would bring another two equally giant packages making the total number of cookies at well over 100); 48 bottles of water; 3 2 liter jugs of ice tea; 3 starbucks take-away vats of coffee (2 regular, one decaf). Cups, plates, napkins, tablecloth etc. I talked her out of: several loafs of bread to also go with the cheese and multiple bouquets of flowers.

*While we set everything up dad grabs the scotch tape he brought and affixes a giant blow up of the oprah summer reading recommendation to the poster announcing my reading. There’s also a laminated smaller version which dad and I laminated at Kinko’s the night before. Dad was very impressed with the self service laminator and we spent an extra half hour there laminating every piece of card stock in his wallet.

*Reading finally starts. Mom ignores content altogether in favor of shepherding late-comers to the snack table and inserting them into spaces with decent sight-lines (no chairs left despite her demands that B&N double the number of seat they put out).

*Mom comes to attention when I start talking about amateur online sex, spanking and, well, just about anything even remotely salacious. She delivers a series of warning looks.

 *My four friends from high school sidle in and immediately revert to their teenage selves: huddling in a corner and whispering loudly. Still they’re there, which is both awesome and some kind of proof that Facebook does have its uses after all.

*Fifteen minutes into the talk and mom is ready for the mingling to start. She makes increasingly more obvious gestures to me, tapping her watch then waving her index finger in a circle pattern in the air. I ignore her.

*I discuss using the website Net Detective to order up a complete dossier on Dad. This gets big laughs. Dad giggles nervously.

*Not a moment too soon for mom, I finish talking. I sign a ton of books, many of them to neighbors who have been watching me since before I sprouted my first back hair. Finally I slip away to meet my old high school pals at a restaurant across the street. Don’t drink, I hear mom calling as the escalator ever so slowly takes me out of view. 


There are -5- Comments.

1 count
Emmalene Pruden

You have a way with words…very entertaining and easy to read. Your mom reminds me very much of mine, only her ears would perk up at the amateur online sex and spanking.

2 count

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It’s the old what goes around comes around routine. Did you acquired lots of links and I see lots of trackbacks?
share your option

3 count
geld verdienen internet

Yes, I know it’s been over a year since I posted anything!  I apologize for letting this drop, but I’ve been very busy with other things, including performing, recording, writing, moving, trying to sell a house in a terrible real estate market, recuperating from hand surgery and pneumonia, and starting a new “day job” with a new national show for ABC Radio Network.  In addition, my computer conked out and had to be replaced, while my husband Pat, who is the webmaster and posts all this stuff, was too busy to help (he also was working on the ABC show, in addition to writing a third daily radio prep service for awhile for USA News Network).  Something had to give, and blogging was what gave.  But things are actually settling down a little, at least enough to sneak in the occasional post.  I’ll try to do more, when I have time.  geld verdienen internet

4 count

What is the difference between the two?
I bet in a decade there will be Jogging Pneumonia and Sprinting Pneumonia. How about Galloping or Skipping Pneumonia? haha.

5 count

What is the difference between the two?
I bet in a decade there will be Jogging Pneumonia and Sprinting Pneumonia. How about Galloping or Skipping Pneumonia? haha.


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The Bloggist

Hey, I’m Hal Niedzviecki. I’m a writer/thinker who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. Up till now I’ve always considered myself a private person. But at the same time I’m fascinated by people who effortlessly open themselves up to the whole world. So I’ve… more...



Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

Hal Niedzviecki :: ·11:28AM

EXPOZINE 2011, Montreal’s 10th Annual Small Press, Comic and Zine Fair—http://t.co/3ISW3Ovx http://t.co/FlLfB6hk

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