California so far

I keep hearing about how Chicago is ungodly hot right now, and it’s so strange to be here in San Francisco where it’s almost kind of cold. Sadly, my hotel has an outdoor pool. Even more sadly, it has no internet access. But I’m getting out and taking photos.

Here is a quick LA summary. I ate: curried wild boar, an In-N-Out burger, and fresh scallops at a restuarant somewhere around where the Manson Family lived. I saw: Hollywood Blvd., the Scientology Celebrity Center, my friend Amy, some improv, the stage where Thai Elvis plays (but not Thai Elvis himself), my friend Brian, Glenn Danzig’s house, the ocean, about seven thousand promotional signs for Herbie: Fully Loaded, for fuck’s sake. Celebrities I met: the woman who makes the 30-Second Bunnies films; Pamie. I drove: The 5, the 110, the 101, the 105, and the 134, though not at all in that order.

I talked to Eve at SFist this weekend, and the interview should be posted there later on today. And my reading is tomorrow night at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books. See you there…

Things to do at the Vegas airport while waiting for flight to San Francisco

.flickr-photo { border: solid 1px #000000; }.flickr-frame { float: left; text-align: center; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }

Vegas airport

(And yes, I know that’s a stupid way to get there from LA.)

1.) Take pictures with cameraphone (as shown.
2.) Lose one whole dollar in the slot machines. Decide that being easily discouraged is a good thing sometimes.
3.) Consider buying chocolate poker chips.
4.) Discover there’s free wireless. Decide that being a twitchily compulsive email checker is also a good thing sometimes.
5.) Check your boarding pass. HOLY SHIT, YOU’RE IN “GROUP 1.” YOU NEVER GET GROUP 1.

More (and LA pictures) when I get to San Francisco.

Quickie

.flickr-photo { border: solid 1px #000000; }.flickr-frame { float: left; text-align: center; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }

signing book

Tomorrow I fly to LA for my reading at Dutton’s on Wednesday, and then next Tuesday I’ll be in San Francisco at this wonderful place. (More info here.) And in between I hope to be posting some photos, if not some entries. When I get back I’ll be launching the new version of this site and reprinting some classic old poundy.com stuff, and God willing, it’ll be the beginning of the end of rushed, exhausted entries like this one. But then, maybe you’re all at the beach. I hope you are.

If you come to one of the readings I’ll be happy to entertain you with the droll little title-page cartoon I draw on EACH AND EVERY PERSONALIZED COPY of my book, as shown in this photo that Not Martha took at one of the Seattle readings.

In San Francisco I hope to say hi to this dude, whose book I will be reading on the plane. I might also make a pilgrimage to this store. Any other suggestions about what to do/where to go in LA and SF, post ‘em in the comments.

See you in California…

Redeyed and fat-faced, that's me

It seems Flea is wondering if perhaps I, too, was stricken with the RedEye Curse that caused her to break her toe and Justin Kaufmann to get a speeding ticket after being featured in yesterday’s paper. The answer is no, because, clever me, I didn’t even READ the RedEye yesterday. I’d seen the cover online and I’d meant to get a copy, but I work in the surburbs where I couldn’t just run out to a newsstand. I knew l’d see it eventually because my boyfriend picked up a couple copies, so I didn’t go out of my way to find one and bwah hah hah, I CHEATED THE NEWSPRINT-SMEARED HAND OF FATE, SO THERE.

If you’re not coming from the RedEye, perhaps you’ve somehow made your way here from a link in a a Salon article which referred to the ’74 Recipe Cards. It’s nice to have a nod, though I can’t help wishing that for all the attention Salon has been giving fat people they’d notice my book, too. Moreover the last pargraph of this article bugs the hell out of me from the way he felt compelled to describe a newly widowed woman “gnawing away” on a cake and “smearing icing down her chin” just because she happened to be bereaved while fat and at a Jenny Craig center. Because see, the fatties, they grieve, too. Really, it’s lovely that Dale Hrabi is touched by our chubby, grease-stained humanity, even if it is “a bit gross.” Oh, for fuck’s sake.

The revamped Poundy.com is just days from launching, as soon as the Moveable Type-Wrangler works out some kinks and I eat three or four whole roast chickens or something.

I read in Oak Park on Thursday! It’s freaking me out a little, since it’s my hometown. Maybe more on that later.

A Madison moment

I was looking at earrings at a jewelry stand on State Street outside the student union. As I browsed, I became aware of a voice behind me a few yards away.

“Hi! Can you spare a moment to help out the environment?”

I could tell it was a girl and that I sure as hell was in a college town.
[Read more…]

A Madison, WI moment from yesterday

I was looking at earrings at a jewelry stand on State Street outside the student union. As I browsed, I became aware of a voice behind me a few yards away.

“Hi! Can you spare a moment to help out the environment?”

I could tell it was a girl and that I sure as hell was in a college town. When I was walking around Cambridge a couple weeks ago there were scary kids in yellow T-shirts and clipboards lurching around the sidewalks saying, “You�ve got a minute, RIGHT?” I dodged two of them, since I was pretty sure that my out-of-town-just-passing-through-minute would be worthless to their cause and thus wasted. At one point I�d had to turn around and backtrack half a block, which meant I had to pass one of them again, a tall lanky kid. “I knew you�d come back!” he�d said exuberantly. “No.” I�d mumbled, rushing by. But the girl here in Madison wasn�t accosting me. I couldn�t even really see her but as I tried to decide on a pair of earrings I kept hearing her try to engage passerby.

“Hi there! Can you spare a moment to help out the environment?”

(Silence and footsteps)

“Hi! Can you spare a moment to help out the environment?”

(Muttered, noncommittal reply)

“Okay! Hi! Can you spare a moment to help out the environment?”

I handed the earrings I�d chosen to the jewelry vendor, who wrote the receipt slowly. Someone had stopped to help out the environment. From what I could hear, the environment required a monthly debit amount from a checking account. Someone would think about it.

“Yeah, that�s fine!” I heard the girl call after him or her.

Then she said, “Hi! Can you spare a moment to help out the environment?”

The vendor gave me my earrings and pointed out some necklaces that were twenty percent off. I started examining some silver pendant.

“Hi there! Spare a moment to help out the environment?”

I decided to buy a necklace, too.

“Hey!” Environment Girl said suddenly. Her voice was different. I froze and was afraid to turn, because for a moment I thought she was talking to me. “So guess where I am,” she said, and then I realized she was on her cell phone. “I�m on State Street,” she told her friend on the phone. “I�m doing that job? Yeah.”

I tried to catch the name of the organization she was working for, but the jewelry vendor was counting out my change.

“�Yeah. Classes are out now. (Pause.) I�m by the bookstore? (Pause.) Yeah. The thing is? I think? Um, this job makes me totally want to shoot myself. Seriously.”

I looked at the jewelry lady to see if she was listening, too, but she was busy writing another receipt.

“I mean, my God,” the girl went on. “This sucks so bad.”

***

I�m back from Wisconsin now. I didn�t get a chance to take many photos, but I�ll post the few that I have this weekend.

And if you’ve been by the book site, you’ve noticed you�ll get a chance to see me three times this weekend: 1.) 7:00 pm Saturday for a short reading at at Book Cellar in Lincoln Square 2.) 12:30 pm Sunday for a reading at The Printers Row Book Fair and then 3.) 2:00 pm Sunday at the fair I’ll be doing a memoirs panel with Paula Kamen and Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Come see me! It’s for the environment! Okay, so it’s not, but for the sake of that poor girl, PRETEND IT IS.