Monday, December 25, 2006

Holiday Wrap-up - Crichton's Posse, The Hold Steady, and Burnt Popcorn

Lucky Man's Amazon ranking has dropped to 247,000 and while many industry analysts suggest this is due to the pre-order buzz among my family and friends slowly petering out I can't help but wonder if Michael Crichton's posse doesn't have something to do with this? As you may recall, when Lucky Man began its climb to the top of the rankings, I called Crichton out, I challenged him, and I said there was a new sheriff in town. You would think he would ignore this, I mean who is Ben Tanzer to Michael Crichton, but then boom the book starts to drop immediately. Immediately. So, sure it it could be a slowdown in pre-orders, but facts are facts, and I'm thinking Crichton hasn't stayed on top due to quality alone, you know what I'm saying?

Meanwhile, I now have ten friends at my MySpace site, and I am very happy to say that The Hold Steady have most graciously accepted my offer to join-up. Now, the question is whether you are already listening to The Hold Steady, and if you aren't what are you thinking? I am not embarassed to say that when I started to listen to them I not only found the strength to leave my couch after many years, but the nagging back pain that had dogged me for almost two decades went away practically overnight. I also noticed that the grass had never looked so green, nor the skies so blue. And I could suddenly talk to dolphins, dolphins! It's been crazy, crazy good, so check them out at, now, don't pause, go.

Finally, I am not a good neighbor. I don't try to meet anyone. I look away on the elevator when people come on. I avoid conversations and opportunities to introduce myself. I skip the building picnics and never attend the annual board meeting. And yet, despite all this, it isn't truly clear to me why people aren't friendlier, why they don't seem to care more about my well-being and that of my family's. It's confusing you know. Today though I figured out the key, the means to creating the kind of attention I've always felt we deserved, regardless of whether we had earned it. I burned a bag of microwave popcorn and by the time I went to the open the door two hours later so I could clear out the smoke they were all there, all the neighbors, in a panic, and I could feel their concern. It was beautiful. Thank you all, I truly felt the love, and happy holidays to everyone. Really.

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