Wednesday, October 05, 2005

It's another beautiful day. I love LA.

I know. It's creepy, right? But I spent my first official book tour day here in Los Angeles, and I kind of loved it. I love the driving (well being driven) around, I love the nice people, I love In-and-Out Burger (though a controversy rages - which is better? In-and-Out or Fat Burger? I guess I'll have to get back here to do more research....), and I LOVE the weather. Ken, the guy driving me around - my "male escort" as he would prefer to be called - kept apologizing about the heat, but frankly, I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. Sometimes the breeze would pick up, and he would intone darkly about Santa Ana. I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. He did show me a collapsed house in Laurel Canyon that was pretty impressive, so maybe bad things do happen here. And those people I have known who have lived in LA warn that upon moving here, toxic boredom soon sets in, until you think you'll have to slit your wrists if you have to walk past Cameron Diaz on a perfect cloudless 75 degree day on the Santa Monica boardwalk one more fucking time. But I remain skeptical on that score.

Anyway, the very best thing about LA is that when you hold a reading, people come! I had people! They listened to me ramble! They bought my books! They were, almost to a man, blog readers! I met An Avid Fan, and Carol (not "Carroll"), whose husband (who I also met) went to grade school with Granny, and lost touch with her for 50 years, until they met again in a market in Istanbul. (!!!!!!) AND by the time I'd gotten home - by which I mean back to my fancy-ass W Hotel - Carol had already commented on this blog.

Damn! I love LA!

Now I must go to bed, because I must awake at 4 am to catch a plane to Seattle. Oy. I'm going to have to start going easy on the gimlets, I can tell already. And me with sudden frequent access to minibars....


Anonymous Susan Kitchens said...

Julie, nice to meet you, too. I took pictures. I'll post 'em in flickr, and give you a link. (then you can post 'em on this blog, I think) I'll be blogging the Vromans reading, too.

re: Santa Anas.... that dry crackly air you feel is the precursor to all those California wildfires. I think that I even blogged about Santa Ana on another post about our rainy season. We have a city, Santa Ana. And there's the Santa Ana river. So when the winds rush down from the desert, through the mountains, and down the Santa Ana river plain, well then, thats a Santa Ana (well, okay, the winds cut a wider path in Southern California than just the river area, but hey, I figure that one of Father Junipero Serra's homeys hanging out at Mission Santa Ana named the winds for their own locale, and it stuck.)

BTW, re: LA's tempting beauty. You're here at the best time of year. Really. Unless the damn hills are burning in October, what's not to love about this place?

Oh, one more thing. There was someone sitting on one side of the room, the row ahead of me (woulda been the right side, from your perspective). An older woman who, from the side, bore a sneaking resemblance to Julia. This is, after all, her hometown, so I could see how a younger sister might show up to see who's this Julie person who wrote about Julia. But I don't know enough about Julia's family to know if she's a relation. I watched her get up and go to the back of the line (I thought) but then, no, turns out she left. I also snuck a picture of her, too, which I won't put on Flickr, but will get to you somehow. Just in case she *is* related.

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Susan Kitchens said...

Flickr is cool: Here you are.

12:54 AM  
Blogger No Sluggo Dave said...

Julie - I can't get to any of the book signings, but the folks at Book People in Austin were great on the phone and will hold six copies for you to sign and they'll ship them to me. Other bleaders might want to consider this as it was a pretty smooth deal.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Catherine said...

Hi Julie, I am not an old dear "friend" or "bleader" but I did just read the book (insert "rave of choice" here) and am enjoying following you on your virtual book tour. Er, well, virtual for me, since you don't seem to be coming to San Francisco. Which seems dumb of your book agent PR people, because (a) SF is very cool and way cooler than LA, and (b) we have lots of frenzied fanatical food writers and readers, and (c) I bet the guys at Bix can make a mean gimlet. Cheers.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Hi Julie. It's me Jennifer who asked if you've done the Julia tour of Pasadena. I have been carrying the addresses around with me in the glove compartment for a few months, so hopefully I will be able to get around to it myself soon to assess how much "historic feeling" (actually an historic preservation technical term!) remains. I will let you know.

Those San Franciscans! We Angelenos are secure enough to love SF without hating Los Angeles, but they are not so generous! Everyone knows that SF a slice of culinary heaven, but it doesn't mean that Los Angeles has anything to be ashamed of in that department. (Or as a book market, for that matter, as your agent knows) So glad you had a good visit here. And I'd bet money that Julia herself once used to shop at Vroman's. What Pasadenan in the past 100+ years hasn't?

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Carroll said...

Susan! Front row pictures!!! And Julie, you look ever-so-smashingly "literati" in that outfit (admit it...your first signing? We KNOW you put some thought into what to wear! :)

I so SO hope I can wend my way up to one of those SF area events! It's a serious bit of a drive from here, but an in-person hug would be well-worth it.

Oh, but you are going to be SO wrung out by the end of the month after all this travel! Maybe I can slip you a gimlet-filled water bottle to see you through the evening ;)

Here's to an adequate adrenalin rush, and sufficient sleep in between stops to maintain that excited happy smile!

Hugs from here,

2:15 PM  
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6:30 AM  

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