Monday, October 10, 2005

I have been terribly, terribly remiss.

Sorry, everyone. Things went a little haywire there for a couple of days, and now I'm completely behind. So:

1) Portland. I LOVED Portland. Of course, I understand that it helps that I came on one of the five non-drizzly days of the year. It also helped that I was shown around all day by Nancy, who looks like Cynthia Nixon and is just absolutely the BEST, and was very concerned that I eat very well. Goddammit, I can't remember the place where we ate dinner, but it was in a converted warehouse and it had a huge hearth for cooking lots of big hunks of meat, and I had a vodka and fennel cocktail, though Nancy's - vodka with cucumber and anchovy-stuffed olives - was better. My reading was at the Powell's Books for Cooks on Hawthorne, and it was great, though still I ramble. (Fennel cocktail probably didn't help with that.) Then Nancy and I ended the evening at my hotel bar, with some gimlets. It was great.

2) Oakland. Not so great. Nothing against Oakland, you understand - I just got to the Marriot early, slept for five hours, then went downstairs to get drunk with booksellers. Very, very drunk. Fall asleep in my clothes, get woken up by a call from my driver at 4:30 am drunk. Not good. Really the best thing to happen all day was that I met a woman named Jennifer on the plane to Oakland, who was flying from her 94-year-old mother's funeral to a vacation in Dubai, and who is going to buy copies of my book for all her siblings, because her mother was a devoted reader and cook. It was a wonderful conversation, and I've decided not to feel at all exploitative, just because I managed to shill my book to a woman in mourning.

3) After the late wake-up call, I managed to be on a plane to Houston by 6:30 am; doing a radio interview at Brazos Books by 1:30. Oh, and I left my laptop on the plane, but because god looks after fools and drunks the people at Continental found it, and because Time-Warner looks after their hapless authors, I had a driver named Ben who could run back to the airport to pick it up while I did my radio interview.

My editor met me in Houston, with her friend Charlotte, who's a good Fort Worth girl who's lived in New York for years, which is the very best kind of Fort Worth girl, because she can totally shoot the high-falutin' cosmopolitan shit, but will also go next door and break in to her neighbor's house to find a perfect stranger a hair dryer. We ate lunch at Hugo's, treating my Oakland hangover with some most excellent margaritas and cochinita pibil, then did an amazing reading at Ousie's, this sort of Old Houston place. A strange mix of very well-coifed older ladies and blog-kids. About 80 of them, which is an amazing turn-out - absolutely mind-blowing when you realize there was an 18-inning Astros game going on at the same time. (The waiters were watching at the back of the room, but they kept their cheers to a very respectable dull roar.) My brother-in-law and his wife and their two little ones, including Katherine who I've never met and who can open her mouth as wide as my head, and Eric's cousin Kirsten and her husband and their itty bitty one all came and sat in the front row, representing the Powells in all their prolific-ness. And a blog reader named Lynne gave me her copy of MtAoFC, signed by both Julia and Paul. Which made me cry. Then more drinking, then a long drive (Ben doing the driving, me doing the sleeping in the back seat) to Austin, where I ended the night with vodka tonics at my parents' kitchen table. A good day.

Now, Austin! Laundry and barbecue, perhaps a manicure. And Book People! Glorious, glorious Book People! I can't wait.....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are you doing so much drinking?

9:58 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I really, Really, REALLY wanted to get to Book People last night and didn't. Now I'm sad.

4:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I never knew what a blog was until I read a review of your book. I spent all weekend and yesterday reading your entire blog. Amazing! You have certainly lived a full year or two. I ordered your book from amazon and can't wait for it to arrive. What other great blogs would you recommend or can anyone else recommend while I'm waiting for you book?

6:47 AM  
Blogger Lulu said...

I'm so glad Houston gave a good showing. I was excited to see that you got to go to Ousie's where I had chicken fried steak every Tuesday of the last month of my pregnancy. I have some Ousie stories for you some day - it wasn't always so fancy pants but it was always delicious.
keep em coming

12:07 PM  
Blogger Ex-Apathetic Discontent said...

I've decided to become your unofficial stalker #871623. I just finished reading the Project blog (what happened to the comments?) and figure I should start this one.

How nice to get a signed copy of the MtAoFc from that blogger.

It was the movie that got me to read the blog, now I need to read this one and eventually get your books.

Thank you, you've helped me refocus my culinary aspirations.

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