where the writers are
My Book Makes its NBC Debut
My punk-wrestling memoir, now seen on NBC's "Parenthood."
Beer, Blood & Cornmeal on NBC's Parenthood.


"Parenthood" is about the Braverman family. We know this because they tell us over and over again. They've already said the word Braverman four times by the episode's 25-minute mark. Craig T. Nelson, as grizzled patriarch Zeek Braverman, says his surname three times. Does my dad say "Calhoun" this many times? Does he regale me with tales about the "whole Calhoun male bonding experience" or the "original Calhoun hunter-gatherers"? No. He doesn't. But he's just a Calhoun, not a Braverman. When you're a Braverman, you're really into working your last name into sentences.

Three minutes in. Bonnie Bedilia as Camille Braverman is standing in front of a bookcase. I can't make out the spines of the books even with a 45" Zenith Plasma TV. There are a couple of black books with white lettering. I don't think that any of them are "Beer, Blood & Cornmeal" though. I can spot my 2008 punk-wrestling memoir on the bottom shelf of the sports entertainment section from across a crowded Barnes & Noble. I could definitely spot it on Camille Braverman's bookshelf.

Last month, I got an email from ECW Press publicist Simon Ware telling me that my book will be "used as permanent background set dressing in the NBC series 'Parenthood,'" starting with season 2, episode 14. This episode was supposed to air last week, but was preempted for the State of the Union address.

We're 11-minutes in. Bonnie Bedelia is reading a book, but it's a hard cover. My book is a trade paperback. Damn it.

Eight minutes later. Amber and Haddie, two teens, are unpacking. Haddie has been exiled from her parents' home because she's dating a 19-year old. The camera pans out into the hallway. There's a bookcase or some kind of table in the hallway. Saints be praised! Clearly visible on the shelf is a copy of "Beer, Blood and Cornmeal." They don't just show it once, but twice, with the NBC Peacock right next to it. Thank you cinematographer David J. Miller for getting my book into the frame. I owe you a beer or ten.

NBC ParenthoodA closeup of my punk-wrestling memoir, "Beer, Blood & Cornmeal," on the Braverman family's hallway shelf in the NBC comedy-drama "Parenthood."

I don't know why the producers of "Parenthood" chose to put my book on the shelf in the Braverman family's hallway. Maybe art director Susan Alegria or art department coordinator Charlene Blanco Agabao read the book and liked it. (Thanks to both of you by the way.) Maybe they or somebody else working for True Jack Productions thought that the cover picture of The Cruiser rolling up Macho Sasquatcho for a pinfall was just what they needed to add a sense of danger to the Braverman hallway. The show takes place in Berkeley so they could think that this what people in the East Bay are reading these days. (Hopefully it'll start a trend.) But then again, maybe this is just the kind of stick-to-your-ribs rasslin tell-all that hard-headed Bravermans like Zeek and Camille like to sink their teeth into.

At the thirty-nine minute mark Adam Braverman (Peter Krause from "Six Feet Under") gets high from a THC loaded lollipop. Back in the day, Mary Roach's "Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" made a couple of appearances on "Six Feet Under." Roach used to write for Salon and my straight-to-DVD reviews are a semi-regular feature on the site so this continues the rich tradition of books by Salon contributors appearing on shows starring Peter Krause.

A few minutes after Krause takes his hallucinogenic journey through candy land, Kristina Braverman (Monica Potter) and Bonnie Bedelia have a heart to heart on the porch. "Beer, Blood & Cornmeal" isn't seen again in this episode, but it's still strange to think that the estranged wife of John McClain from "Die Hard" and the dad from "Poltergeist" have a copy of my book rattling around their house; kind of strange, but also pretty cool.