I went to the Printer’s Row Book Fair this afternoon. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s Shabbes. I didn’t shop. I just wandered down and passed out purposely shitty d.i.y.-ish bookmarks with my book info on them. It was funny picking people out to hand bookmarks to– I mainly went on interesting t-shirts, tattoos, buttons and haircolors. I mean, who is more likely to read my weird-ass book… a suburbanite in khaki shorts and a polo shirt from his latest golf outing or the cool lady I chatted with for a bit in the Ramones t-shirt? I’m just saying. All in all, I felt good about the distributing the flyers– especially because the very first person I handed a bookmark to was a laid-back lady with a friendly smile and a really cool bag with Hebrew all over it. I didn’t want to creep her out and stand there trying to read it all, the Hebrew lettering that is, but it caught my eye and made me whip a bookmark to her, pronto.

I made a few laps, accidentally hit up a few repeats, then took a breather in front of this cool used book dealer’s joint. I hung out for a bit, got three smiles and one wave from people I had given bookmarks to, and had this weird I’m-being-watched vibe just as I turn to see this woman running at me that I had given a bookmark to earlier. I don’t know why but her name rang a bell– she’s a critic, though it sounds like she reviews music and books AND art, and though she seemed a little abrasive at first, we ended up having a nice conversation about how there could possibly be so many “faux-hipster fratboys” (her term) at a book fair. It was nice to chat with someone also disillusioned with hype-based allegiances and that weird American quest for more and more mediocre junk to fill lives and houses with. I thought it was cool mainly because, unfortunately, I don’t find myself suddenly thrown into many spirited discussions very often, so it was a nice surprise.

I wonder what on my bookmark made her think to stop and chat me up when we crossed paths again…?

Anyway, Shabbat services were very nice last night. I got a nice welcome from the congregation, as I officially joined a couple of weeks ago. But, most importanty, I really enjoy the Book of Ruth and I liked the sort of open/alternative discussion we had about it last night. A few members tried to take me out afterwards for new member hazing, but after circling a few times for a parking spot (So what I drove? I was running late before….) I gave up and went home. It’s just as well– I like to keep Friday nights at home.

Gotta run. My Tribe Sandwich beckons (A term a friend gave to the latke, applesauce, tofurkey, soy pepperjack cheese, mustard and mayo on pumpernickel creations I am always scarfing)…