I was confiding to a married-with-kids friend the other day. Telling him that, oddly enough, this book tour has made me understand what he has been going through as a new father. Up early to tend to the baby, ragged all day at work worrying about the baby, back home, up all night, and on weekends baby baby baby. Baby all the time. No time for friends, news, entertainment, culture, sports. No idea what's going on in the world--"So what's the deal with North Korea? Is Michael Vick really back in the NFL? Have you heard about this zombie TV show?"--except for his baby.
Well, this book (and book tour) is my baby and I'm spending 24/7 with it. I too unable to follow anything else occurring in the world. At least "How to Fail" doesn't take shits.
But, even with my complete immersion in my book tour, there's still one thing I've refused to ignore: my beloved Syracuse basketball. Which is why I may or may not have told my publisher it would be "savvy" to have signing events in Atlantic City over the post-Thanksgiving weekend, the very same weekend the Syracuse basketball team was also in town participating in the Legends Classic basketball tournament at Boardwalk Hall.
After a much needed, but still unrestful Thanksgiving "off" day--our sole off day on tour--my manager and I met up early Friday morning with my friend King Otto (a dedication page "thank you") for a lift to the shore (that's why he gets dedication page thank yous).
Friday's "How to Fail" event was at the legendary THE Irish Pub, a former 1900s "Boardwalk Empire"-esque speakeasy now open 24 hours a day (they don't even have locks on the doors!)! Besides the obvious Syracuse connections, my thought in having signings in AC were that it would give me some perfect "How to Fail" clientele: vice-riddled "failures" that were drunk, loose, and willing to spend moolah (hey, $15 for a book is a drop in the bucket in a town where you can lose your shirt in an hour). We'd even planned to accept chips for books, though this proved ultimately unnecessary.
You see, the Irish Pub is somewhat removed from the boardwalk, and totally unaffiliated with any casinos. It's a place that's meant for locals even if the "locals" are turning over completely every few days. Nevertheless, we had an amazing time, kicking things off with brisk sales before my people had even set up and continuing late into the night. And, we even did befriend some true AC locals, all great people, most notably: Marc Berman, host of "AC Plugged In" whose show I appeared on Saturday afternoon and who I will continue to call-in to for the foreseeable future; Fran Masino, the local DJ; and Irish Pub owner Cathy, an absolute angel of a woman who kept us loaded up with drinks and delicious tavern food all day and night. We also provided probably a dozen books to a dozen soldiers having one last lost weekend before shipping out to Iraq. What a great spot!
Saturday was an event more in line with what I had imagined a "How to Fail" Atlantic City event to be. We were stationed at A'dam Good Sports Bar in the Tropicana's "Quarter" area where we encountered a more upscale, younger, night-life, gambling clientele, all who loved the book amidst taking Patron shots and grinding up on each other. Lately, we've been finding it remarkably easy to transistion between varying groups of people on a day-to-day if not hour-to-hour basis, "How to Fail" crossing over into countless demographics, truly a ubiquitous work (humbly says the author!).
Oh yeah, and the great Syracuse Orange won yet another holiday tournament.
FAIL OF THE WEEKEND:
My manager Craig leaving his credit card and ID at A'dam and not realizing it until we were out of town. Even though we were dead tired and it was 2 AM--and we had to be back awake in just six more hours to head to Sunday's event, we turned back around to go retrieve his stuff. A costly mistake time-wise when we needed to very much use our time wisely.
SUCCESS OF THE WEEKEND:
Convincing a professional blackjack player to let us "sponsor" him in the Tropicana's Saturday night $100,000 winner-take-all tournament. He opted to wear a "What kinds of bars have the sluttiest women at them?" t-shirt to a big game full of gents in slacks and blazers (and toupees), and also managed to eke out an 8th place finish.
(Also a success that I didn't get a crowbar to the knees for taking a camera phone pic at a casino, something majorly verboten.)
DRINK OF THE WEEKEND:
Nothing. When will casinos ever get shit besides macro lagers and overpromoted, overly watered down turpentine? As overpriced as stuff is, I'd think they'd relish having some high-end craft beer and small batch liquors they could charge an arm and a leg for. Instead I'm stuck drinking buckets of Keystone Light?! Lame.
Some more photos here.