Before we do anything, let us bow our heads and slug someone to mourn the passing of Norman Mailer.
Now on to why we're here. Remember, do your homework for our Bad Santa contest.
If you wondered where I've been, I was gone for a week in California to attend:Men of Mystery, A Gathering of Gentlemen of this Genre. (I'll claim the genre but a gentleman? That's stretching it.) Here is my minder, Peri, and her mom, both devotees of the mystery novel. (Note the yellow and black X-Rated Bloodsuckers buttons. A classy pair, these two.)All of us Men of Mystery had a table of fans. My crew demanded that I open the complimentary bottle of Mystery wine before they let me take a seat.The guests of honor included macho man Vince Flynn and uber-hunk Tim Green (shown here):
Afterwards, north to the Bay Area. (True, the world has plenty of bay areas but the only that counts is San Francisco.) I spent most of my time putzing around the bookstores in Oakland-Berkeley (and drinking). Here are novelists (and fellow drinkers) Marta Acosta (Biting-Edge founder), and Hailey Lind (One half of that sister writing duo.)In Oakland's China town I discovered this rather reserved denim store:If you're interested in becoming an attorney, you could go to Harvard Law School or you could enroll in the exclusive:While Oakland has its charms, San Francisco beckoned and this is an interior shot of Vesuvius, the coolest bar on the entire planet:
Then back south to Los Angeles where I was feted at Cal State-Northridge (courtesy of Dr. Jesus Gonzales) and CSU-LA (courtesy of Dr. Roberto Cantu). They kept asking me brainy literary questions and I kept answering, who do you think I am, Jeff Shelby?