Wednesday, October 12, 2005

It isn't my fault.

After the Austin "conversation" at Book People - which went really well, mostly because my parents invited all of their friends and family, including some of the born again ones - I went out with my parents and my editor Judy for gimlets and appetizers at Jeffrey's. No one could expect me to blog after that, especially since I had to get up at 4 am the next morning to catch a plane to Milwaukee.

Well, 4ish. My mom woke up at 4:15 to the sight of a faceless suited man standing on the front porch - my driver. He continued to stand there while my mom, a bit panicked, woke me up, then climbed into my bed and napped just a bit while I climbed into my shower.

Milwaukee. Honestly, I don't love the town. That's totally not fair, and I should give it more of a chance. I had a lunch event at the Park Bistro, which according to everyone who could grab my arms for ten seconds is the BEST restaurant in town. They did a Julia - based menu, steak with bone marrow sauce and cream of mushroom soup and pear flan, not necessarily in that order. It was quite nice. And the people - 90% women, perhaps %25 of them over the age of 75 - were fantastic. But you know how you just get that conservative vibe off people? I didn't know what to read, so I read the bone marrow section, omitting the foul language, and I think it went over well. Oh! And Matt came by, husband-o-Pinky Matt, who ate the chicken livers in aspic on Aspic nights lo these many moons ago. He looks great. And he's starring in the new production at the Milwaukee Shakespeare Company. So Milwaukee can't be all bad.

Then a big nap. Then a reading at the Schwartz bookstore in Bay View ( am I getting this right?) Which was a lot of fun (still just a tiny bit on the old side), so clearly I'm not giving Milwaukee the fair shakes.

Probably because when I got back to the hotel after the reading and went to the bar for a drink, I got totally totally hit on by a 70 year old man from Jackson Mississippi. It was awful. He bought me a drink from across the room, which, you know, fine. I like drinks. Then he came to sit down, and he seemed a nice enough old man, we talked about politics - he seemed to be a liberal. And I drank too much, what with the free drinks and all, so when it was time for me to go up to my room I didn't notice at first that he was getting off the elevator with me, and walking me to my room. And then, suddenly, trying to kiss me. And telling me how good he was, and that I should let him into my room for a memorable experience.

Ick. Ick ick ick.

I wound up giving him my copy of my book, just to get rid of him.

Also, I don't like Milwaukee because I couldn't get internet service in my room there. I felt like I was in 1988. Eric suggested I register the domain name and try to assassinate George W. Bush. But who has the time?

Then on to Chicago, where many interviews and things. And a fanTABulous hotel room. The Ritz Carlton. There's a reason they call it the Ritz - holy shit. The sheets are like 3,000 thread count. And they brought me a pizza on a silver tray, with little ramekins of chili flakes and parmesan. My reading was at this weirdo place in Naperville, called Dinners Together. You go in, and you pay $150 or something, and in two hours you assemble twelve freezer-friendly meals, which then you take home and nosh on for the next month. I can't decide if this is a brilliant or insane idea. Probably a little of both. For my reading, they made hors'deuvres and after my reading, I signed books while everyone made chicken divan crepes. And I sipped gimlets out of paper cups, on the sly, because some goddamned city inspector is breathing down the neck of the woman who owns the place because of alcohol, though she doesn't sell alcohol, so I don't see what the fucking problem is.

And I met lots of people, including Chad and Emily, who was a lurker, and who it absolutely the most adorable person I've ever met, sort of like a cross between Sarah Vowell and Amanda Hesser. And we must all say a prayer that she gets out of her crap dead-end job. And also Jill, whose birthday present I was (next time, though, I want to get to burst out of a cake with pasties on.) And the people from Anderson's Bookstore, Mary and Rachelle et al..., who were all great. Rachelle reminds me of that actress who plays the manager in The 40-Year-Old Virgin who propositions whatsisname. Except she's much better looking.

And that is all. Tomorrow, Boston.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would TOTALLY have been there, braving the drive to Naperville and everything, if there weren't such a weird conflict between a food blog-->book event and Yom Kippur. What's a girl to do?

If it's any help, those of us who live in/by the city also tend to think Naperville is a little weird. I hear there's good shopping, but whatever.


5:40 AM  
Anonymous Beastmomma said...

Sounds like the cards were stacked against you for liking the city too much. However, it is good that things went well in Austin.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the drinks were not free and your a drunk

7:39 PM  
Anonymous NoSluggoDave said...

Every party has a pooper.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Julie Powell said...

Wow - and anonymous didn't even see me LAST night....

6:37 AM  
Anonymous grammarnazi said...

I had no idea Julie owned an 'a drunk'

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks grammarnazi, she doesn't...but Little Brown owns a foul mouth lush...reminds me of that vulgar mouth old drunk puppet that used to show up on the show "Laugh In".....thanks darling

11:07 PM  
Blogger pinky said...

OK so Milwaukee has a better restaurant by far than Lake Park Bistro, I say it has 3 that are better by far, I find that place a salt lick, but you are in what Calvin Trillin calls the "Maison de la Casa" European Cuisine tour rut. Because of your book or reputation or whatever, everyone thinks you are like, dying for marrow flakes in aspic which I think I know is NOT the case. You will have to demand to be taken to the place in town that serves whatever that town specializes in. You are being taken to the snootiest boring French places, where people are understandably older and more conservative than is your actual taste - which is for WHATEVER is great. Right? So, next time you come to Milwaukee, we will take you out to eat, and you will be completely satisfied. I may not be a hot-blooded 70 year old, but I know how to please a girl.

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