gordonzola: (Default)
Yay! My book got chosen for a book club!

Sunday, October 24th, November 21st, & December 19th, 4-6PM, Ticketed
Food Lit Club Meetings
$30 without books; $70 with books

Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/130779

Announcing the fourth 3-month installment of our popular food lit bookclub! We've got special guests in both October and December, so read up and come ready for a great discussion! This time we are reading:

October: The Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms by Nicolette Niman: an in-depth exploration of meat eating from the point of a view of a vegetarian cattle rancher. Extra: Nicolette and her husband Bill will be at the discussion session to talk to you in person about ranching, vegetarianism, and the ethics of eating meat.
November: Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food by Paul Greenberg: a hard look at the effects of world fish consumption on cod, salmon, sea bass, and tuna.
December: Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge by Gordon Edgar: a hilarious and honest look at how a local cheese legend came to be. Extra: Gordon will be at the discussion to give you in-person answers to your questions and behind the scenes extras!

Here's how the club works - please note important DATE changes!

1. By signing up you commit to reading the book of the month and attending the club meeting for three months. At the end of three months you can continue on in the group or choose to give up your spot to a newcomer.

2. Heather Knapp is our fearless moderator and she sends discussion topics/questions to members before each monthly meeting.

3. This time, because of holidays and scheduling, all club meetings take place at 18 Reasons at 4PM on Sundays as follows: October 24, November 21, and December 19.

4. The club tends to organize some sort of rotating snack duty or potluck system (there are no snacks or beverages provided by 18 Reasons).

5. You can choose to pay only to participate or you can purchase the books with your sign-up. If you purchase books, they are available for pick-up from Omnivore Books and 20% of the proceeds will go to benefit the work of 18 Reasons.
gordonzola: (Default)
Ok, People keep asking when the book is coming out so here it is. Not available until March, but it’s never too early to pre-order. And check out the new low cover price since we’ve done away with the pretentious hard cover edition. ;)

cover pic
(Photo by awesome local photographer Myleen Hollero)

You can order direct from Chelsea Green.

Or from the bookstore of your choice (like your neighborhood worker-cooperative perhaps)

For some reason, Amazon is the only place that is posting the blurbs (though I have a few more now) and they are pretty good.

OK, self-promotion time is over (for the day).
gordonzola: (Default)
Now Channel 5 thinks our coupons are newsworthy!

Best part is our Rainbow person plugging my book while talking about the cheese department.

Otherwise there are some factual inaccuracies (we started the coupons originally because we were trying to make the weekends less crowded, not because we were having hard times), and it would have been nice to hear the word "cooperative". But you can't get mad at free publicity.
gordonzola: (Default)
While this is all good news to me, this announcement may sound a little good news/bad news to you folks. But, here it is: I have changed publishers for my book.

The bad news is that it will not be published until early 2010, nearly a full year past the original pub date.

The overwhelmingly good news is that I have reached an agreement with Chelsea Green, a environmentalist press who have put out some of my favorite cheese books (including one that I actually quoted in my manuscript – how incestuous!). I am incredibly excited to be involved with Chelsea Green because I have admired their work for years. Plus, I think they will actually print the book!

I wish my old publisher well. They have put out some books I love and while they are going through some hard times right now, I do think they will eventually rebound. I just couldn’t stay in limbo any longer.

I will link to ordering information and all that when it’s up in a few months, but just wanted to update you all on the state of the Cheesemonger.

Thanks for all your support.
gordonzola: (Default)
Ha. According to Amazon.com my book is “frequently bought together” with “Tonight” by Franz Ferdinand. I guess when you are # 1,340,897 in sales, a couple of people can have a big impact. Previously the related items were all books on sex work.

The official new release date is July 1. No, I will not guarantee that. And no, you will not be able to miss it when I know for sure.

My book

Mar. 19th, 2009 09:51 am
gordonzola: (Default)
Hey just a little update on the state of my book since a bunch of folks have asked me: it has been delayed. The new, tentative, release date is July 1. I was waiting to announce the delay until I had a more definite new release date but since the original release date is upon us -- and I know some of you folks pre-ordered it -- it seems only fair to give you the heads-up that it won't be arriving in the mail or your local bookstores this month.

Keep your fingers crossed for July!
gordonzola: (Default)
By the way, the percentage of returned mail I had was concerning to me but also reminded me of something. I need to compile an email and a real address list for my book events. If you want to be on that list post a comment with

Name:
E-mail:
Snail address:

and you'll be all set. Comments will be screened.

There may be a small present for snail address givers. Maybe.

Thanks!
gordonzola: (Default)
Our cheese area is way too small for the volume of cheese we sell. While this makes our financial statement look great, it contributes to the too-many-rats-in-the-cage feeling that our store gets when it’s crowded. The crowd around our sample table jams up the area like fallen trees on a country road. Shopping carts and people take up so much space when we’re really busy that getting from produce to cheee is like crossing the Bay Bridge at 5 PM. Sometimes we have to wait long periods of time to stock cheese we’ve cut and wrapped because the area simply can’t fit another person. I took a picture at Thanksgiving 1996 (just months after we moved into our new store) amazed at how busy the area in front of cheese was compared to our Mission St store. Now I see that view at some point almost every day.

When we cheeseworkers do get out to stock the cheese coolers on busy days it’s often one question after another from customers too quiet or shy to get our attention over the cheese counter. That’s cool. It’s one of the parts of my job I enjoy most, actually. The problem is that the customers get a little close sometimes.

Maybe it’s the desperation in the air these days but customers were more stressed than usual in this holiday season. It wasn’t that more customers than usual were rude, it’s that the ones who were rude were really rude.

I was answering a customer’s question at one point in late December when someone started hitting me on the back. I thought it was some friend or coworker, but no, it was another customer. I turned – surprised that I didn’t recognize the person and before I could say anything she said, “I have some cheese questions? Can you answer them?”* I told her “no” because it’s against the rules to touch a cheese worker without consent.

Even more obnoxious was a guy who came in – possibly a little fucked up already – looking for cheese for a party he was already late to. He kept picking up pieces of cheese, studying them, and then tossing them a few feet away in the cooler as if he couldn’t bear their sight. I was already coming around the counter when he saw me, “I need the right size piece of brie, can you help me?”

“Yes, but if you keep throwing cheese around the case I’m going to throw you out of the store.” I put a medium-sized Fromager D’affinois in his cart and used my I-dare-you-to-say-something look. He thanked me and walked away, coming back ten minutes later to apologize to my co-worker for “upsetting” me.

Then, just the other day someone came in and asked for the “Sky Q” cheese that he had read about on the internet. After I thought for a second I said, “Ski Queen”? I explained what it was but he said, “No, that’s not it. I know they carry it at the East Coast Whole Foods stores, you probably just haven’t heard of it yet.” Then he asked for ricotta. I tried to explain that if he was looking for whey-based cheeses, that it probably was Ski Queen Gjetost he was looking for. However, since I was contradicting the internet, he didn’t trust me and went with a sneer and empty hands.**

But I knew I was starting to overreact to the retail pressure when a customer came up –obviously dismayed—and asked for a “softer Parmesan” than the Parmigiano Reggiano. There are obvious answers to that question: Domestic Parmesan, Argentine Parmesan, Grana Padano etc. but I couldn’t let go of the premise inherent in her question – that she wished to deny one of the main traits that makes Parmesan Parmesan. In a moment of self-righteousness I wanted to stand in solidarity with the identity struggle of Parmigiano Reggiano. I whispered to a co-worker, “Do we have any drier water?” and neither of us could stop laughing until I finally left the cheese cutting area.



*If I were reading this entry I would try to figure out this behavior. I’d think maybe she had been waiting for help and had been ignored or something. You’ll have to trust me, I have a developed skill for this, she was not there when I started talking to the other customer. She just didn’t want to wait her turn.
**Which isn’t the worst thing. Norweigans aside, Gjetost isn’t for everyone.
gordonzola: (Default)
My book Cheesemonger: (really clever subtitle goes here) will be published in April 2009 by Macadam/Cage. Memoir, food politics, and cheese, oh yeah.

Yes, I have been keeping this a secret writing project for the most part. But if you wondered why I haven’t visited your city in awhile or why my LJ appearances have been sporadic over the last two years, well, I was writing a book.

I will give you plenty of chances to buy it when it’s closer to the release date and might hit you up to crash on your couch if I’m reading in your town, but for now I just wanted to let you all know. This book germinated from some things I originally did for LJ so most of all I just wanted to say thanks for paying attention to a random blog on the internet! Ha! Whoo-hoo! Heeeeeee.




*Many people helped me with this (my co-workers for inspiring me and covering for me, a number of friends who gave input on particular sections, [livejournal.com profile] beelavender for introducing me to my agent, [livejournal.com profile] smallstages for massive editing help...), but over a year ago [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid gave me some really good input on the first 50 pages or so. Nick is trying to fund a move across country right now so if you’re a writer working on a project, and you want some reality-based professional criticism, you should check out Uncle Nick's Crazy-Ass Critique Service!. Fast and honest!

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