Friday, February 26, 2010

Meeting My Readers

Longtime TBG reader Josh Da Cane spent this past week here in San Diego on business. I first met him in 2008 while on my own business trip to Washington DC. This time around, Josh met Mrs. Bootleg and my son, Jalen. It safe to say they all hit it off, as my wife helped Josh with a load of his laundry, while Jalen inquired as to our guest's favorite number. J immediately ran to his toy box and presented Josh with the corresponding die-cast NASCAR replica of Tony Stewart's #14 car.

This got me thinking of the other readers I've met through my writing over the years.

Nick'a: First met in 2003. The undisputed highlight of his first visit to San Diego was a member of our bar-hopping party running afoul of the San Diego Police Department. The "walking down the street with an open beverage container" charge was fun, but it was the "resisting arrest" part that sealed the deal. In 2005, I flew out to the east coast for his wedding. The late evening/early morning after-party long after the bride and groom had retired for the evening remains the craziest personal anecdote that I never wrote about. Then, in 2007, we hooked up for
the greatest travel diary EVER.

Mathan: First met in 2006. He and I had
written together on the same pop culture/entertainment websites for a few years and we had the chance to hook up while I was in Las Vegas for work. Once I got past the jarring imagery of someone who was taller and skinnier than me, I was able to relax and appreciate the fact that Mathan bears an uncanny resemblance to this guy. His extensive and eclectic musical taste is one of Mathan's defining characteristics, so imagine my surprise – while flipping through his collection of highbrow hip hop CDs – to find this coaster amongst the classics. Math's hidden shame. Also, I mispronounced his name nearly 100 times during the week I was out there.

Jeff: First met in 2007 (I think). I'd also shared website real estate with Jeff as his old
Saturday Swindle Sheet music news column followed my own Friday Bootleg. Great guy. We went up and down the bar scene in Pacific Beach swapping several piercing behind-the-scenes anecdotes of the people and policies at Inside Pulse that challenged the patience of two anonymous internet superstars. Late that evening, I had a breakfast burrito at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place. Best breakfast burrito I've ever had, but I've never been able to remember the restaurant's name or location. I'll never give up the search.

Marco: First met in 2009. He's from Houston, so we hooked up at a Padres/Astros game at Petco Park. I'd have been surprised if there were 5,000 people in attendance that night. Ten minutes before the first pitch a half-dozen Astros fans began heckling…well, everyone. They were on Padres SP Josh Geer as he came in from the bullpen. They were on Astros' leadoff hitter Michael Bourn, who was stretching in the outfield. They even gave it back to the fans, ushers and security who admonished them. I watched a replay of the game after I got home and several of their taunts came through loud and clear during the broadcast. Marco just so happens to be an incredibly accomplished photographer. You can view pics from his California trip
right c'here.

NY Jon: First met in 2009. We got together at a bar in Albany, NY last summer while I was out there for baseball's
Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown. I still have his text from that evening: "I'm here. Look for the six foot six gay black guy." We watched the Yankees/A's game, drank whiskey-pickle juice shots and ate jerk burritos. The insane evening ended outside a Dunkin' Donuts – in the pouring rain – with me cramming the fourth of four maple bars in my grateful, grateful mouth.

Dunkin' Donuts in the wet, wee hours on the mean streets of Albany. The bar's been set pretty high Joe, Tom, Sam, Jeff, Michiewah, Elena and every other TBG reader I haven't met.



SHough610 said...

Irrespective of if I'm living in Philadelphia or Richmond you better believe I'm trekking up to DC the next time you're there on business.

You do realize that now you have to write about the wedding after-party, right? And how made are you that "Empire State of Mind" wasn't out when you wrote the New York travel diary?

Josh said...

You left out the fact that your black son presented your Jewish vistor with a NASCAR.

Nicka said...

We'll put the system on trial!

Mrs. Nick'a said...

Though our 2008 trip out to San Diego didn't make the highlight reel (I can still remember the nights alone in my hotel room!), I will give you a pass since you linked up to the prior travel diary where I was mentioned.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Sam - Unfortunately, the details would cost me my security clearance. And, without that, I'm pretty much Batman sans his utility belt (circa 1960s TV show).

Josh - The fact that Jalen so desperately wanted to go drinking with us was something I hope he'll remember when *I* wanna go drinking with him in 15 years.

Mrs. Nicka - Whoops! In my defense, though, you *were* pregnant at the time, so I'd argue that Nick never really left you "alone" :)

Elena said...

Well, now that I'm moving from Sydney back to Boston [sigh], there's a substantially better chance that I'll be able to cook up some of my eggplant parm for you in person! Give a yell should you find yourself on the East Coast.

That Bootleg Guy said...

While I'm disappointed to hear about the end of your Australian adventure, I'm heartened to know that with just one east coast trip, I could meet every reader I've got.