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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tea and a Madeleine

My friend and I went to Vroman's Bookstore last night for a signing of Why we Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman. You're sorry you missed it. If these two artists are half as delightful together on the page as they are in person, the book is going to be a treasure.

I did take pictures of Handler and Kalman, but the shots I got are not complimentary and I have a personal rule: I don't do that to nice people. I assume they're nice. They're certainly entertaining.

They sparked a great conversation between me and my friend that continued down the stairs and through the store as we browsed, selected more books and made our purchases. (Have you ever waited in line to buy books at Vroman's? You don't have to. There's never a line at my favorite check-out counter by the Zeli entrance.)

Which brought us to Zeli Coffee Bar, a there-when-you-need-it spot for a coffee or, if it's almost closing time, a cup of chamomile and a madeleine. And a conversation that ran the gamut from Lemony Snicket to Michael Pollan to Las Vegas to financial planning to controlling parents to world travel to Hurricane Rose.

What subjects did you cover in your last heart-to-heart?

28 comments:

John Sandel said...

Well, let's see … treats. Belly-rubs. Stretches. Treats (again). What kid is chattering on the porch now? Who's a good boy? More treats. And dozing. And sighing. And snoring and growling and twitching.

All in all, a good conversation.

Speedway said...

John, you and Boz are damn funny!

Letsee, skiing in Colorado (not!), traffic downtown and all-around, Madonna, cancer, Super Bowl half-time show, Indy car racing, filing our tax returns, an art exhibit at Old City Hall, breakfast on Saturday.

LGreenWriter said...

Hmmmm...relationships (my current one, and the one my friend wishes to have). The challenges of being vegetarian. The comparison of my fruit-forward red to her earthier one. What it was like for her to return to India after being in the US for four years. The need to disengage with toxic people.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Read a bit of it on Amazon.. boy does that bring back some memories!. One of my daughters was into Lemony Snickett! hadn't heard that name in years. Love those neighborhood coffee places- so much more character than Stars...

Kate said...

Listening to writers at book signings who are articulate, personable and entertaining is a bonus. Right now my stomach is growling as I view your photo. Breakfast is waiting!!

BaysideLife said...

Sounds like one of those perfect evenings that can only be shared by friends.

Petrea Burchard said...

Love your conversational snippets!

JS, I had that same conversation with Boz. I think he's trying to tell us something.

pasadenapio said...

The complicated relationships of fathers and daughters.

Petrea Burchard said...

That one's its own gamut, Ann, don't you think?

Bellis said...

The madeleine brings back my memories of past conversations, but they'd fill twelve volumes.

The teen book market seems to be thriving. Perhaps would-be-published authors should be aiming for it? Just add some vampires, werewolves and dragons.

Irina said...

Which means that my friend wisely mix internet-life and real life. I am happy!
Petrea, I am bad and inattentive friend, I know. As soon as I figure out how to control my time and not to turn on the computer on my first morning route from bed to toilet (yes, it is THAT serious!))), I will be back!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Last Thursday - after a walk to the dog park, "Walking with Mary" and I headed over to Fresco market's coffee bar in the adjacent neighborhood of Hermon.

But our conversation was private. Hard to believe, but I don't put everything on-line.

I love Mary

almost

Cafe Pasadena said...

That was quite a synopsis of a wide-ranging conversation! Sounds like it was indeed just you & your friend.

Btw, how was the food/drink at Zeli's?

Bellis said...

How was the service? Sometimes they've not been as friendly as in other places, but maybe they can't understand my foreign accent.:o) Can't beat their cappucino.

Petrea Burchard said...

Hee hee, Bellis.

I study the publishing business pretty closely. They are so OVER werewolves and vampires.

Irina, that's serious! You need an iPad so you can take the computer to the toilet with you!

How about that, PA? I don't think anyone I know puts their whole, real self online. Hope not.

CP, it's honestly just okay. I like the place when it's quiet, like it was last night, not because of the food but because it's part of the book store.
I should've tried the cappuccino.

CafePasadena said...

I'm not sure I understood what BellIs wrote here. Do u PDP?? Maybe it's becuz I understand bark better, or maybe it's her accent which is giving my dog ears a twitch.

TheChieftess said...

That's the best check out line Petrea!!! when I've stopped at Zeli's it's been a latte and one of those lacy cookies dipped in chocolate...yummm!!!
As for conversations...last night I hosted the original Mammoth Book Club!!! We ate, drank, laughed and talked...and even talked about the book...Kate Atkinson's Started Early, Took the Dog!!!

Ms M said...

Sounds like a lovely evening. As far as my latest conversation topics: kitty food, kitty treats (so the medicine goes down), kitty love, and waiting ('cause it's not time for more kitty food yet). [The other human in the household is at work :-)]

Petrea Burchard said...

CP, Bellis refers to Marcel Proust's very very very long novel, Remembrance of Things Past, which I do not claim to have read (nor do I plan to). Some or the remembrance is sparked by a madeleine.

Chieftess, that sounds like my kind of fun. I love my book group.

Oh gosh, Ms. M., kitty waiting is almost as tough as dog waiting. I can hear Boz waiting right now.

Margaret said...

Shhhh. Don't tell about the other cashier. You're spoiling everything.

Petrea Burchard said...

Oops.

Katie said...

What a magical evening, with talk and tea and treats. On Saturday I spent the day wandering around Sonoma with a friend I hadn't seen since September and we talked about many topics, including her (somewhat stressful) wedding planning, and travel (her recent trip to India and my upcoming trip to Sri Lanka). It's nice that the internet lets us stay connected with friends more easily, but nothing beats spending quality time in person with a friend.

Desiree said...

Best book bevent I ever went to was Daniel Handler at Vroman's for a Lemony Snicket novel. I laughed so hard at the persona he projected. My daughter and I still talk about it.

Petrea Burchard said...

That's it, Katie, quality time.

Des, I learned a lot from watching them--they were practically Nichols and May. Hilarious.

Susan Campisi said...

That sounds like a lovely evening. And I can't believe I missed Lemony Snicket. I need to get a pit bull sitter so I can get out and enjoy the world meant exclusively for humans.

Petrea Burchard said...

Any chance you get to see Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket, Susan, is worthy acting on. He's a funny, funny guy. And Maira Kalman held her own with him. She is no slouch when it comes to funny.

You also know her drawings. Her work is everywhere and she's often imitated.

Nathalie said...

Petrea what a lovely post, books, talks, Madeleine, memories and all - and I loved your readers' lists of items discussed. Mine would be similar in the diversity of topics we touched.

Lovely photo too of course.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Nathalie.

Sometimes I write a post and realize I've buttoned it all up--finished it to a point where I didn't leave anything open for commenters to say. I almost did that with this one when I realized I wanted to know what their conversations were like, so I just asked the question. I think Ming the Merciless does that on his NY blog, so maybe I stole his idea.