Jennifer Weiner, Dave Barry, and Me. One of These Things is Not Like the Others

Thursday, the Rock Bottom Remainders came to Philly with their 2010 Wordstock Tour.

This year’s Rock Bottom Remainders lineup features Dave Barry on lead guitar, Amy Tan on vocals, Mitch Albom on keyboards, Scott Turow on vocals, Greg Iles on lead guitar, Kathi Kamen Goldmark on vocals, James McBride on saxophone, Ridley Pearson on bass, and Roy Blount Jr. (self-proclaimed crowd pleaser).

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I started off the night with a happy hour hosted by Jennifer Weiner at The Continental, as one of 35 of her personally invited guests (after answering her blog blast).  I was pretty excited, I had met Jennifer twice already, both at book signings…did she remember me? I have no idea. Was I going to know anyone else there, probably not. When was the last time I read a book, really read a book? Three years ago. But, I would just roll with it and nod my head a lot when literary gossip came up in conversation.

It all began with me running down 2nd street in the rain. I ran half a block down 2nd and into Brownies bar, I knew they would have newspapers to cover my hair.  I then ran back out  and found myself in 40mph wind in the parking lot next door to Brownies, promptly turned around and  ran back into Brownies.  After standing in the doorway of Brownies and staring at The Continental from across the street, I decided to make a break for it. I threw my newspaper over my head, checked traffic, and made a dash across the street for the restaurant.  When I finally did make inside, I gave the host my soaking wet, falling apart newspaper and then followed her to the Chocolate Room for the party….fabulous hair in tow.

I didn’t know what to expect, but soon met some amazing people.  I checked my Twitter and discovered a woman I follow was at the party. I met a rep from the Free Library and we talked about Charles Dicken’s raven, Grip, which  after auctions and bequeathing, found its way at the  library and believed to be the inspiration for Poe’s , The Raven. I also met an associate producer or producer for NPR, who looked so familiar, I couldn’t place  her. Then I met my Twitter woman, Cecily (@Cecilyk) as well as Sarah Pekkanen (@sarahpekkanen). Sarah just had a book publish, The Opposite of Me, about two twin sisters who are complete opposites, or so they think.  Cecily is  a fiery, punky, woman with bright red hair and all black clothing with Doc Martins to match. Sarah, all American, leggy blond with friendly and adventurous demeanor.

I found myself energized talking about books, social media, and of course, “Chick Lit’ “. Begin head nodding. Apparently there is a definition  between “Chick Lit’ ” and “Women’s Fiction“.  Continue head nodding.

On the cab ride to the show, my cab mates, from Scraton, were discussing the seating arrangement of  The Electric Factory.  One was concerned about the mosh pit area, I assured her, The Rock Bottom Remainders, probably do not have fans who mosh. Actually, they probably have fans who  sit.

Jen gave a great introduction to the band. As she stood on stage,  she gave my favorite shout out of the night, “You bitches better clap for me,  I paid for your tickets!”  I love Philly.   I gave shout out to Dave Barry, “You’re the best Dave!”.  The rest of the night was a crowd pleasing array of classic rock, Amy Tan was in leather and Roy Blount Jr. was the jester of the show.  Eventually Jen took the stage a few times and Sarah joining her for “Wild Thing”.  We clapped AND cheered!

Dave Barry

Roy Blount Jr.

Amy Tan: S and M Style

Jennifer Weiner singing back up

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