Friday, September 17, 2010

The Morning After The Night Before

A suprising number of important things happened in January, 2004: NASA landed a Mars rover, Britney Spears had her Vegas wedding annulled in less than 24 hours, the U.N. called America's bluff on the invasion of Iraq. I, however, remember that January for one thing -- the very last episode of Friends.

I freely confess to being a total Friends fiend. Moments from the show are imbedded in my brain, taking up valuable space; I often forget how to transfer calls on my phone at work, but I certainly remember the episode in which Marcel swallows a Scrabble tile (it was a K, if you're wondering). So, when grey clouds began rolling across the sky yesterday afternoon, I immediately thought of the beginning of the seventh season, when Monica and Chandler celebrate their engagement at the Plaza. Everyone is celebrating and having a great time; that is, until Monica catches Rachel hooking up with Ross. She furiously confronts them, accusing them of "stealing her thunder."

I felt a certain sympathy for Monica as I sat at my desk on the 19th floor, watching lightning bolts splinter the sky and the Twitterverse explode with furious tweets of "TORNADO!"; "OMG tornado wtf"; "Quetzalcoatl came early!" Seriously, a tornado on the night of much-anticipated [tk] reviews event? We had cake! We had raffle prizes! We had homemade guacamole! But, with this kind of weather, who would turn up? Damn mother nature, up in here stealing all our thunder!

The subway ride was rather morose, as we cradled the cake and contemplated a damp evening alone together, stuffing ourselves with cupcakes and making up silly imaginary names to enter into the raffle. (Mike Ock, anyone?) However, as soon as we got off the subway in Brooklyn we ran into some colleagues, intrepidly rubber-booted, and a thin ray of sunshine began to show itself over the horizon.

This is all a long way of saying that, despite the Doppler Radar-registering chaos , we had a fantastic evening and a terrific turn out. The High Dive folks were wonderful, and we took over the back with our tables of food and [tk] reviews paraphernalia. Claire made beautiful cupcakes, Jess brought delicious flat-bread pizza, Carmen baked fresh chocolate chip cookies, and Joey mashed up a wicked guacamole. Nearly everyone entered the free raffle for two prizes: we gave away a "wild card" bundle of funny and crazy books, as well as a grand prize stack of every book reviewed in Issue V! We also got to wish ourselves a happy quinquennial by blowing out the candles on Caroline's amazing cake.

We're so grateful to all the people who came, hell or high-water. Friends, colleagues, significant others: we couldn't do this without you. As NPR recently pointed out, word-of-mouth is still the most effective way to sell books -- and the best way to let everybody know about start-up online book review websites. Thank you so much for your support, and for sharing our site with the people you know. We can't wait to throw another party and have an equally fantastic evening. There are rumors of literary trivia in the air...but we'll keep you posted.

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