Where should I start? I got an email yesterday from CBFTW telling me that he was in Philly and speaking at the First Person Arts Festival (where he was under the mistaken impression that he was asked to speak about writing a book in first person).
I called my Mom and begged for the babysitting favor and The Man and I headed downtown. I figured this was going to be a major lib-fest, but I wasn't passing up the chance to finally meet CB.
The three hours were painful --the powers that be had picked passages for Colby to read that, taken out of the context of the book, made soldiers "look stupid". He was paging furiously through the book on stage looking for alternative passages to read...and I hope they were upset that he chose to read the passage about the female interpreter (one of my favorite from the book).
They also had a "PhD candidate" reading passages from "Riverbend" a "24 year old anonymous female Blogger from Baghdad". As soon as the Q&A started I raised my hand (I'm sure Colby panicked) and asked the girl how we knew this book had any veracity and wasn't written by a 24 year old male at Berkeley. I mean, I hate to get picky and technical about silly things like fact checking when this "Iraqi girl" was hitting every DNC talking point one by one... When it was over a guy came up and was talking to me about how he was going to ask CB how the soldiers felt about the "war being for oil", etc. and I told the guy Colby was pretty apolitical and he shouldn't bother. Since he assumed I was a lib (since I had set foot in the building) I used the opportunity and told him to check out "Iraq the Model". "It's written by three brothers in Baghdad...you should check it out", I told him. "Really," he was getting excited over the proposition of more material for his anti-war friends, "what's their message?" (translation: Do they hate the troops?) "Oh, ya know...just first person, on-the-ground observation. Check it out." Hahah... He's going to be very disappointed! ;)
When I finally extrapolated myself from Mr. Cosby-sweater (what is it with you libs and the damn Cosby sweaters?!), The Man, Colby and I headed over to South Street for the drinks we'd been promising to buy him since he was on the ground in Iraq... (In fairness to me and CB, the pic above was taken at the end of the night after we pretty much closed the bar (sorry mom!).
We talked politics, the war, the blogs, you all, and High Fidelity music amidst margaritas, Coronas, gin & tonics and way too many smokes. It was so great to finally be able to meet CB and confirm what I already knew --he is one of the most unaffected, down to earth guys. He possesses the lovely combination of having a strong will but no hidden agenda... Free, ID and Ciggy, CB will not be joining in with your "short jokes" as I wore shoes to assure he had no idea (broken toe and all...);)
Please excuse the lack of further posting...it was a late night. This more than made up for missing the Milblog Conference.