I’m writing this from my office perch here at home, where I am haunted by my still-packed suitcase and the piles of catch-up work staring me in the face. I ignored it all yesterday in favor of a day spent snuggling with T-Bone and grudgingly admiring Scott’s new car. That’ll teach me to leave town for five days.
The last stop of the tour was Houston, where my old friend Garrett Finney resides with his charming family. Garrett used to do interior design for NASA, but most recently he’s employed his mad skills creating The Cricket, an innovative camping trailer. Next to his office is John and Dee Dillman’s Kaboom Books, dubbed, “Houston’s most exhuberantly misanthropic used bookstore.” It was the perfect spot to see out my tour.
Dee threw me a beautiful party, complete with organic snow cones and cupcakes decorated to look like boobs with pasties. There was a wonderful crowd and the weather even cooperated in giving me a dramatic exit, punctuating my outdoor reading with thunder claps and sending everyone running inside for the signing.
I’ve been so touched by the friends who have showed up throughout the tour and offered me love, support and couches to crash on. In the case of Houston, I also got my first taste of friend pickles and a guided tour of the stunning Menil Collection by a four-year-old who taught me that nearly every Surrealist master work demands that one break out singing Beyonce. I wish I could always see art with such new eyes.
It has been a wild ride, but I look forward to settling back into some sort of routine. There are still a handful of Some Girls events in Los Angeles and San Francisco this month, in case you missed the first go-round.
It’s nearly midnight and there’s a full yellow moon and loud music in the courtyard outside my door. It’s comforting tonight rather than annoying. The music in Austin doesn’t acknowledge doorways. I’m staying at a soulful little hotel with poems pinned to the walls. The poem next to the mirror in my bathroom is called “Knots” and it’s about the dual nature, oppressive and redemptive, of one’s family, of one’s past. A timely sentiment for me.
The reading at Book People went well. Another fabulous bookstore in another great town. I can usually count on one pervert (with lots of questions about lesbian harem action) and one elderly lady showing up at every reading. This reading had two perverts and a whole gang of elderly ladies. Does that mean I’m getting more successful?
Lost toothbrush and lost sleep and lost itinerary- it’s starting to feel like the end of the tour is at hand. True, the book tour is on a smaller scale than the rock tours I’ve been on before, but the month of travel is wearing on me just the same. I haven’t seen my little man in four days and I miss him so much that I feel sick.
Yesterday morning I taped Good Morning America (to air next Thursday), then changed into traveling clothes in the car on the way to JFK to catch my flight to Austin. The interview with Juju Chang was fantastic. She’s a powerhouse. I think I want to be her in my next life- you know, the one where I don’t make the kind of mistakes that make you the interviewee instead of the interviewer.
I love that great equalizer mom moment of sharing iPhone pictures of your kids. The only difference between Juju’s pictures and mine was that I didn’t have to scroll through pictures of Sasha Obama in order to get to the picture of my kid playing Rock Band.
There are lots of good things about the Jet Blue Terminal at JFK. The first is the sushi. The second is the fact that whoever designed that place was clearly a germaphobe because there are motion sensor Purell dispensers everywhere. Scott likes to point out to me that in spite of my fondness for anti-bacterial products, I still manage to get sick all the time. But that’s not the point. The point is the illusion of control. The only thing that saves me from being a neurotic loon about germs is that I loathe housecleaning.
The third thing I love about the terminal is that the Borders there carries Some Girls. My first airport spotting! I managed to sneak in this picture before the Borders employee at the airport told me that she didn’t care what I wrote, I still wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the display books…
Phew, okay. Now I’m caught up and can give you the blog you’ve been waiting for.
Scott and I went on Howard Stern this morning. You can find the (shortened and kind of lame) transcript here. I have to tell you, I went in there with my Wonder Woman bracelets on, ready to deflect all manner of shenanigans. And you know what? I almost feel bad saying this, but Howard was a pussycat. Of course he asked me a lot of sex questions, but that was a given. I thought that he and Robin were attentive and interested and pretty respectful. I actually liked the guy. Weird, right? Howard brought out the Jewish mom in me. I wanted to go straight home and cook him a noodle kugel or something. He needs to eat more.
Scott said before the show, “You’re an author, you’re not here promoting your signature glow in the dark fake vagina toy or something. Don’t worry about it. He’ll treat you with respect.” And he was right.
I dressed like a bitchy Beverly Hills PTA mom, so maybe that threw Howard off. Anyway, Scott and I had a romantic (and surreal) twelve hours in New York together before he turned right back around and got on a plane home.
If you missed it (or just want to see my PTA duds), it airs on Howard TV tomorrow night at midnight.
Portland is author paradise. I did two events there- a live storytelling event called Backfence PDX and a reading at the best bookstore in the known universe: Powell’s.
At Backfence I shared a stage with the annoyingly talented Steve Almond, whose new book, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life, I bought for my favorite rocker. The deal with Backfence is that there are no notes allowed. You just stand up there and tell a story. It’s run by Melissa Lion and B. Frayn Masters. Below is a picture of me with Frayn and her man, author Kevin Sampsell.
This was an entirely new thing for me and I completely freaked out. And when I say freaked out, I mean literally shaking in my boots, seeing weird spots and almost passing out. I should have paid them for the adrenaline rush alone. As it was, I got great swag and may have been bitten by the storytelling bug.
Early the following morning I rolled off my friend Tammy’s (that’s her in the lovely furry vest) couch, threw on a crumpled shirt and some lipstick and went to what I thought was a radio interview. Imagine my surprise when I saw the television cameras. I must have glanced too hastily at my itinerary. I hunted down the woman in the building wearing the most makeup and begged her to raid her purse. Here’s me with the show’s other guest, a felon-finding bloodhound named Sister and her cop/author dad. If I look like I’m in my pajamas, it’s because I am.
In fact, at my reading at Powell’s that night, a man came to get his book signed and told me that he saw me on AM Northwest that morning. I told him the story. He said, “I was wondering why you looked so much better tonight.”
So much love, so much rain. Here’s me and my fabulous friend Karin. You should read her blog about her groovy family and their journey with international adoption.