Every April I look forward to the L. A. Times Festival of Books. Held at the UCLA campus, it's a full weekend of devotion to all things bookish. This year's Festival was particularly dandy for me, as I got to meet one of my favorite artists.
Started off the day by getting to UCLA campus half an hour before the Festival opened. We were blessed with pleasant weather, which was welcome (2008's event had some truly hideous heat). I spent the morning shopping (and learned the hard way that books are heavy, especially when you lug them around UCLA's hilly campus). Took a break for lunch (which I'd acquired earlier from Noah's New York Bagels, so I didn't have to spend precious time waiting in line at the Festival's food court), and then headed over to the Book Soup booth to get a book signed by David Lynch.
I hadn't known until the night before the Festival that Lynch would be there; I only learned by checking his Twitter (I'm guilty of following a few Twitters, sue me). He was scheduled to be at the Book Soup booth at 2 to sign his book Catching the Big Fish (which I've discussed elsewhere in this blog) and one other item. So I was there with Catching the Big Fish and my DVD of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (underrated movie that doesn't get nearly enough love from Lynch fans). I actually showed up at 1, wanting to be on the safe side. I wasn't the only one with this idea and soon a line had been set up for the Lynch signing. (I can't help wondering if T. C. Boyle, who had the 1 p.m. signing slot, was miffed at seeing all those people line up for someone else.)
I waited patiently, and about 1:40 happened to glance to my right, where I saw a familiar figure. Average height, wearing baggy brown pants, a white shirt buttoned up to the neck, a black jacket, and shades. Gray mad scientist hair. The one and only David Lynch, a man I've been a fan of since I saw The Elephant Man in theaters (I must have been 12 or so).
Lynch took his seat at 1:45, and he signed my book and DVD. It was one of those quick signings where there's no time for conversation (he was only scheduled to go til 2:30 and the line was LONG). But I didn't mind. I got to shake his hand and thank him for his work. If the day had ended then, I'd have been quite satisfied.
But there was more fun to come. I met up with my friend Karen to chat and compare our loot. Then I headed over to catch the 3:30 panel with James Ellroy, moderated by Joseph Wambaugh. In line I met up with my Readerville/BookBalloon friend Lynn, and I sat with her for the panel. Mr. Ellroy was his usual delightfully profane self, and he and Wambaugh had excellent repartee. Afterward I got books signed by Ellroy for myself, and for my friends Gerry and A.J. Only disappointment was that unlike last year, Ellroy did not compliment me on my hat. :(
Then, more shopping until it was time to go home!
And what did I buy during all this shopping? Glad you asked.
Foul Play! The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s E.C. Comics by Grant Geissman
Play it as it Lays by Joan Didion
Junky by William S. Burroughs
The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler
Night Walker by Donald Hamilton
Push by Sapphire
I also bought books for my husband and my son. Also coming home with me were some non-book items, including some of David Lynch's signature coffee beans (which come in this seriously awesome tin), a purple pen for signings of self-published works, and some other bits of book-related gear.
All in all, a splendid day!