|Posted by christelpistol on April 9, 2009 at 12:13 PM|
maybe it's because it's spring. maybe it's because lauren made the words "us. write. book. Numbers." maybe it's because it's been in the back of my mind. but i am rife with ideas. i need a stenographer for the voices in my head. i have mentally written about three chapters for the Numbers book while driving to the corporate office in south austin and driving from WIO's house to work. i zone out and come up with some of the most wonderful phrasing and when i finally get my fingers to a keyboard and open the gates, nothing comes out. and yes, a notebook would be a fantastic solution, but do you know how hard it is to text and drive? much less write a book chapter in rush hour on MoPac?
needless to say, there are words. but they are stuck. no, not stuck, just hiding back in the recesses of my brain. i am excited at the prospect of "the Book" even the little stuff not even related to writing. like the dedication. and chapter titles. and thanking everyone in the back of the book like liner notes. and the title. oh lord, the title. how do you get 5 women to agree on a place to eat, much less a title? and format, and who goes first and when it comes to the story of how we all met, do we all write OUR version or collaborate? i mean cause i met Lo first and Mary last. not all at the same time. if we ALL write that story, then wont it be repetitive? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
but another reason for inspiration is the book signing i went to last week. trust me, THAT was inspiration. what is better than reading a book where a grown woman uses the words, "Fuck" and "Vagina" as if they were as common as "The" and "Water"? actually HEARING that very same grown woman say "Fuck" and 'Vagina" to a crowd of women in a fantastic bookstore in downtown Austin with a microphone and delicious husband in tow.
i have read Heather B. Armstrong's blog, www.dooce.com for roughly 4 years now. i have no idea how i stumbled across it, and very few blogs have sucked me in after reading a few entries like hers has. i have read about her now five year old daughter and the dog that doesn't act like a dog. i have chortled through stories of the inability to poop and a love of pop tarts. and i am ashamed to say it, i feel like if given the opportunity, this woman and i could be fast friends.
which brings me to this. HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT THE TIME I WENT TO MEET DOOCE?
when i read that Heather was coming to Austin for her book tour, i was ecstatic. when i read that she was coming for SXSW i was excited too, but more excited when she "twittered" that she wanted chocolate cupcakes while she was in Austin. i formulated my plan then to take this woman chocolate cupcakes at her book signing. i was thrilled!
in the interim of her leaving Austin for SouthBy, and returning for her book tour, WIO and i have done some major overhauling to his house, i have fallen OFF the wagon, i have gained a room mate, and had a brother in town for a week. needless to say, i've been busy. and flighty.
that Tuesday i had to be at the corporate office at 8am. then to work. and knew after work i needed to go see Ian while he was getting his new tattoo and get cupcakes and then make my way down to the bookstore for the signing. the signing that i have spoken tirelessly about. the one i tried to back out of for dumb reasons. the one where i realized i had nothing to wear except work clothes and went and bought and ENTIRE outfit for during my lunch hour. to recap: up and out of the house by 7 am. at work by 9. shopping at lunch. leave work at 5:30 and get cupcakes. drive one more block and check in on inking brother, get BACK in the car and drive to bookstore. using my GPS to navigate my way there, i sat at the light at Lamar and 6th waiting to "turn left. your destination is on your left" had i LOOKED to the left, i would have realized that the bookstore was RIGHT there. instead, i drove through the light, cussing, and turned around 8 times and considered about 11 illegal u-turns in order to get back to the place i should have been in the first place. once i got there, and did one last lip gloss check, i got out with my box of cupcakes and smoothed my clothes and headed in. i was shocked at how i was able to score a front row spot and really didn?t think too much of it. i walked around for a bit trying to get the lay of the land and then found the giant pile of Heather?s books for sale. as i was purchasing the book, i asked if the book signing was upstairs. the guy looked at me as if i was speaking Dutch. as the wheels turned and gears clicked he and i both came to the realization at the same time, that the book signing was NOT on that night. it was the next night.
after i let forth a string of expletives that would have needed their own special locked section of the bookstore, i gathered my pride, my book, and my box of cupcakes and left. holding back the tears of exhaustion, anger, and defeat.
i drove home deflated. having let everyone know that i was a moron and don't know how to read a calendar and considered shoving all four of Heather's cupcakes into my mouth at one time.
my twitter that night was "I feel like Jack McFarlands mother doing a dry run. But cupcakes instead of a casserole dish. And clenched teeth instead of buttcheeks." (yeah about 5 of you get that)
so. dry run. ok. no big. we will do it again the next day. but NOW i know where im going. but insert the guilt of taking Dooce NOT-FRESH cupcakes! oh, the horror.
the next morning i got up and was prepared this time. book, CHECK. clothes, CHECK. cupcakes wrapped in 4 sheets of saran and hermetically sealed, CHECK. i had to be BACK at the corp office down south for training and while waiting for the class to start, i was catching up on facebook (or MyFace as it's called around here) and saw that someone posted something about having the ACTUAL book receipt in hand in order to get my book signed. of COURSE i do. and where is that receipt? on my kitchen counter. so i drove from SOUTH austin to round rock (40 miles for the non-locals) to get my receipt. i would be prepared if it killed me.
finally it was time to leave work and go BACK downtown to the bookstore. i was wearing cute clothes. i had cupcakes, Heather's book, AND my receipt. i just hoped i didn't need to know a secret handshake or have actually given birth to be able to gain entrance. i got there at 6 ish and the parking lot was way more packed than the day before. (WELL DUH, IT WAS THE RIGHT DAY NOW) and i went upstairs not knowing what to expect. i was stopped by the wristband lady and she didn?t even ask for my receipt. of course she didn?t. i found a seat and waited. and held my bladder and texted with KimmyDarling and fidgeted and wriggled in my seat. finally.... FINALLY i saw ankles. i saw ARMSTRONG ankles as Heather and Jon descended the staircase to the podium where i would finally get to SEE and HEAR this woman speak. let me just say, Jon Armstrong is delectable. and they are adorable together.
Heather started off with some anecdotal stories and then did a reading from her book. she talked about the first time she and Jon were able to have sex again after the birth of their first child. and to live in a world where a woman can say "vagina" and "fuck" into a microphone in a bookstore with children walking around is a world i want to live in. while she read, i imagined myself and the other Numbers sitting at a table with five microphones doing the EXACT same thing this woman was doing. i imagined the excitement and electricity before we all took our places at our microphones and a hush would fall over the crowd. i imagined people hanging on our every words and laughter erupting from the crowd as we told stories and read from OUR book. and the part about holding my bladder became more difficult. when i snapped back to reality, Heather was telling a story about how some guy in Portland heard her tell the same story and during the Q and A, he felt the need to let her know that "he didn't know who she was, nor had he read her book, but the story she just told scared the ever-living shit out of him". THAT is making a difference, people.
she then read her favorite story this year from her blog. it was the one where she and the family took their miniature Australian Shepherd to "sheep-herding" school. after she was done, she did Q and A. and here was my FAVORITE thing from the whole adventure. while leading into the answer for a question, she asked a crowd of over 100 people in a bookstore, "Have I told you the story about..." (i cant remember what the story was, i suck.) which struck me because it was if she was asking some friends or guests sitting in her living room all drinking wine, not as if she was addressing an entire sea of strangers. i thought that was the most awesome display of being down to earth.
the Q and A was fun, and i asked if she and Jon had any off-limits things they made SURE she didn?t mention in her blog. what i imagined is a closet in their house where all the things that DONT go in the blog live. and that thought has to be worth hours of entertainment.
we finally got to line up for the book signing. i stood and fidgeted and wiggled and tried to hold my shit together. not because i am that big of a fan, but i am that big of a nerd that i have absolutely no ability to be cool when meeting anyone famous. i rehearsed what i was going to say so that the only that thing that spilled out of my mouth was NOT, "i carried a watermelon" cause i would totally be that girl. when it was my turn i said to her, "a good southern girl doesn't show up empty-handed. a GREAT southern girl shows up with food."
and as i handed her a box of 4 enormous chocolate cupcakes, she said "i was hoping someone would bring me cupcakes!" i told her that when i read about her wanting them, i knew i had a mission. i also insured her that i didn't poison or spit in them. she said she would eat them anyway. we chatted about GEORGE! for a minute or two and i knew i had to leave. i wanted to sit and talk to her for about 3 days. but that's just creepy. so as i was walking away i realized that i forgot to get my picture taken. i pulled out my phone and hit the camera button and saw six words that almost reduced me to tears. "BATTERY TOO LOW FOR CAMERA USE" it was that damned texting with Kimmy! (luhyourfaceoff) i put on a brave face and was going to walk away defeated, the girl behind me said, "i will take a picture and then send it to you if you like" SWEET GIRL! i knelt beside Heather and mentioned that when i told people what shirt i was wearing i was told that the picture would HAVE to be my Christelmas card this year. i then grazed her shoulder with my boob and made an awkward comment about it. as you can tell by the picture, it was snapped about a third of a second after that incident.
notice how her left arm is tucked behind her. yeah. i strategically forced Dooce to get to second base! YES! and the shirt, the SHIRT... OH the Irony is Delicious!
that was my story. i did it. finally. phew. and she even mentioned the cupcakes in her blog. now it's not as cool as being mentioned by name, but i know and she knows that "enormous chocolate cupcakes" is code for "we could totally be BFF now. and i know we could.