Now that my dream interview with starlet Alicia Silverstone (at last month's Warwick's cooking club event) has officially fallen through, I've turned to my other 'Favorite Lady I'm Not Married To', bookseller extraordinaire Adriana Hill-Diamond, to provide some quote fodder for the Warwick's Blog. Adriana is the lynch pin behind both the Warwick's Book Club Program and our lovely magazine section. If there's a magazine that smells pretty, or has pretty things in it, or has something to do with England, we have it and she reads it. One of my long term goals in life, if my wife and I accidentally have a child, is to have that child spend a tranquil happy decade before embarking on an arranged marriage with Adriana's future child. Thusly, the married couple, if they chose to hyphenate, would have the last name of Hill-Diamond-Ehrig-Burgess, which sounds like a great name for an architecture firm, or some crazy accountants. In fact, my kid's first name would be Hyphen (Which is a pretty common first name in some countries), so my kid's name would sound like: Hyphen Ehrig hyphen Burgess hyphen Hill hyphen Diamond, for example. Anyway, what were we talking about?
Reggie Style: Adriana, welcome to the Octagon. Why does the magazine selection at Warwick's intentionally alienate half of the population? No Sports Illustrated, no Car & Driver, no Consumer Reports, no Field & Stream. What message are you sending to the La Jolla Man?
Adriana Hill-Diamond: No one cares what they think. Unless they're fashionable, in that case they're reading Vogue. There is one rule of thumb for selling magazines: It's got to have breasts on the cover; either women's or chicken's.
RS: Can you think of a policy any more discriminatory in the history of the world? I’ll answer that one for you: no, you can’t, because it doesn’t exist.
AHD: (Look of daggers, tapping fingers impatiently.)
RS: If you had your own Magazine what would it be and what would it be called?
AHD: Baking For the Weak Willed or Cats on Bikes.
RS: As Book Club Coordinator, what insights can you give to people who have perhaps been scared to take the leap and start a bookclub?
AHD: Don't. It causes nothing but heartache. They're right to be scared.
RS: Why is there always someone in the bookclub who suggests reading The Red Tent?
AHD: Not true. No one reads that.
RS: Let’s talk about your dominance in the Warwick’s cupcake battle: I believe you won Best in Show, Best Frosting and Best Cake. Do you have any rituals while you’re baking? Like standing on hot coals or guttural chanting?
AHD: Curse, cry, start over. Have another tantrum.
RS: What are some of the cookbooks you’ve been influenced by?
AHD: Nigella Express, Magnolia Bakery and Baked by Lewis and Poliafito, which is my baking bible.
RS: Have you ever had a job where so much cheese was served in the breakroom?
AHD: No. But it's not enough. Who doesn't love cheese? (Editor's Note: Nancy Warwick, the owner of the store, is second only to Wallace, from Wallace and Gromit, in her love of cheese. . .we suspect Adriana is up for a performance review soon.)
RS: I am contractually obligated to ask you about books, so tell me about the Joyce Maynard book, Labor Day, so we can get to the speed round.
AHD: It's about a lonely boy who lives an isolated life with an even lonelier mother. They spend Labor Day weekend with an escaped convict and it changes their lives forever.
RS: I spent a lost weekend in Yuma with an escaped convict when I worked the beauty pageant circuit, but that story's probably best for another blog, another day. . .
RS: Any other books you'd like to give a shout out to?
AHD: Man Who Ate the World by Jay Raynor, First Stop In the New World by David Lida, First & Last Freedom by Krishnamurti.
RS: Ok. Speed round. How many tatoos do you have? A.) 20+ B.) 15+ C.) 10+ D.) Less than 10
RS: Name the celebrity baker you would most like to challenge to a cupcake bake-off?
RS: Final thoughts. I like to tell people that you’re my work wife, and I know you think of me as your work husband. Have you ever had a relationship with another human that was lower maintenance yet as beautiful and enriching as ours? This is a yes or no question.
AHD: Human relationship? No. But Abbey, my dog, is certainly lower maintenance.