Monthly Archives: June 2010

Speaking engagement…because I’m just that dumb

Oh my lord! What the hell was I thinking?

I agreed to be the “author” (air-quotes) for The City Club of Portland’s Citizens Read Book Group at 6 p.m. Monday, July 26, Gerding Theater at the Armory, 128 N.W. 11th Ave.

As a local journalist for 137 years, I wrote about a lot of the people who are in the City Club. I wrote thoughtful (snarky), well-crafted (judgmental) newspaper articles about these people. So, there’s a reasonable chance that some of them are going to remember me. Which means rotten fruit is not out of the question at this event. Neither are baseball bats.

These are the region’s shakers and movers. And now I am supposed to step in front of them as the air-quote author and speak.

Except, I know that the Citizens Read program primarily focuses on literature.

You know: As in “literature.”

And I wrote a fluffy, beach-friendly potboiler. Ivan Doig writes literature. What I write is more or less a comic book that forgot to get a cartoonist.

And I have to speak before the shakers and movers as the air-quote author. Who once wrote newspaper articles about the audience.

Yeah. This was a good plan.

If, later, you read that I got the crap beat out of me in the parking lot of the armory? For the record: I had it coming.

We’re there

The book launch was amazing. We drew an estimated 250 people to the Powell’s in Beaverton. Fully half of us got lost because, hey, it’s Beaverton.

The Powell’s crew did an absolute fantabulous job. Hat’s off. They’re the best.

We had a load of elected officials. How weird is that? Rep. Michael Dembrow and his wife Kiki were there. I worked for her in the ’80s. (I named a character after Kiki)

Katy King was amazing. No one Stan Lee ever invented has anything on you, love. Seriously. How you don’t have a mask and cape is completely beyond me.

Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown came. I told her: “I just signed Rep. Greenlick’s book, which makes it more valuable. Are you gonna fine me…. again?”

(Another story…)

Kate hugged me and said, “Have you got any idea how many times I’ve been fined?”

Love. Her.

My friends Ruth and Journey had World Cup-style posters. Some had glitter. I kid you not. Glitter. I cried. (I know; I’m Irish. Everything makes me cry.)

Then we came back to my joint and I told Katy, “I really need a shower.” That would have been OK, except Erica The Great (she’s hard to describe without using the word “wow”) had stolen my keys and snuck in with my sister and a bunch of others to decorate the joint with helium balloons and confetti and banners. So there I was, sweaty boy, beautiful girlfriend in hand, with family and friends.

The novel is out. People are reading it.

I wrote it 11 years ago.

Overnight success.

Cheers, mates.

Today’s the day. Believe it.

You’re a good soldier

Choosing your battles

Pick yourself up

And dust yourself off

And back in the saddle

You’re on the frontline

Everyone’s watching

You know it’s serious

We’re getting closer

This isn’t over

The pressure is on

You feel it

But you’ve got it all

Believe it

Listen to your god

This is our motto

Your time to shine

Don’t wait in line

Y vamos por Todo

People are raising

Their expectations

Go on and feed them

This is your moment

No hesitations

This is our motto

Today’s your day

I feel it

You paved the way

Believe it

If you get down

Get up

Oh oh…

When you get down

Get up eh eh…

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