Thursday, July 23, 2009

the way I vanced with you

Went to the Newberry Library Book Fair today. Bought three books for four dollars. Promptly got rained on sufficiently warping pages of books. Fine by me.

People at the Book Fair were weird.

People everywhere are weird.

I wish I could change everything.


I promised a tour re-cap and dammit!

I had a great time on this tour. Can't even come close to talking all about it. To my van mates: Zach, Aaron, Amelia, Jac, Caroline, Blake, and Patrick--you are all kind of super awesome and you make me wanna do the ham face till I die. For real.

And big love to our guest readers, who in every city brought a whole lot of class, style, and nifty words.

I'm gonna do it like this, with pictures, because there's been a lot of Internet in my face today and my eyes are tired.

This is the van. We spent more than 5000 miles in this van. I can't believe I'm saying this, but love and miss the van.

While Zach was putting gas in the van, I found this in the driver's side door. Can you believe it!? (I only brought two books for the road, one of them was a biography of Abraham Lincoln.)

The Nashville show was really last minute and of our audience of 10, we knew 8 people and 5 of us were readers. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but not by much.

Can you believe it?!?!?!?! (At a honky tonk club in Nashville!!!)

We stopped at Willie's Place (Willie Nelson themed and owned truck stop) and got some bio-diesel fuel for the van. I made a new friend.

Shortly after we lost half our a/c, the gang decided to stop for bbq. I watched them eat and then made them take me to Subway. The guy who made the bbq sandwiches was very....mellow.

I cried in the LBJ museum. Then we went upstairs and Zach asked the guard, "Where's the robot?" He directed us to this: an animatronic LBJ who tells jokes. Do you think, while he was president, that LBJ ever thought this would exist?

I read a story out loud in Austin. The crowd seemed to like it. I liked them back.

Austin was great. Big crowd. Awesome crowd. We were so happy then....

Snack pack was the first to discover the Love Loft. He was quite emotionally attached to that space.

Gene Morgan read with us in Houston. I really liked his outfit.

I didn't take a ton of pictures in Houston, but it was fun: Absinthe, Elissa letting us sleep on every bit of floor in her apartment, Zach and I hosting the show completely sleep deprived.

I also didn't take many pictures in New Orleans. I was busy making memories. I loved New Orleans.

In Atlanta, we spent the afternoon swimming. (From the bottom: Blake, me, Snack Pack, Zach, Jac)

After our reading a band called Lyonnais played with their backs to the audience. Amelia and I did not approve so we went out side and pulled up some chairs and watched the show. After the music stopped, we put our hands on the glass and the lead singer put his hands on the glass on the other side and we shared a moment.

Caroline approves of moments.

Somewhere in Virginia we ate at the Nottoway Restaurant. The ham face was born.

On the road from Atlanta to Baltimore, we read ghost stories to each other in the van. My favorite was when Caroline read "The Hook" in a drunk Scottish accent.

I think I'm cool. Snack pack, apparently, does not agree.

This is our venue in Baltimore. Ain't it amazing?! See that trapeze bar there? In the middle of the pic? Yeah, I hung from that.

After our Baltimore show, some lovely people let us come over for some drinks. We had a lot of drinks. Our hosts also had two adorable kittens. Sometimes they would wander into the kitchen and because they were so small, I was worried someone would step on them, thus forcing me to pick them up and give them a good cuddle.

In Baltimore, we stayed in this house. It was really big. Our hostess was really nice. A one-eyed cat lives in this house. The cat is also really nice.

Caroline left us in Baltimore. We were all very very sad about it.

After Baltimore we went to New York. It was kind of lame. I could really, happily, live the rest of my life without a hipster telling me that I absolutely *have* to go to a party in Williamsburg because it's like nothing else on earth.

On our way out of the city, we were stuck in a traffic jam. I gave my ipod to the cause and we vanced to some Girl Talk. For real.

When we got to Philly, we were tired. Luckily CC was our hostess. She has an aura of calm that I find very comforting. She is great. This is her porch. She always has the best porches!!!

One of the stories Snack Pack read throughout the tour required him to remove his shirt.

At some point in the night, everyone wanted cheesesteak. Except me, I wanted pizza. Cheesesteak won. I got cheese fries which I feel were a more than satisfying substitute.

Who's throwin' dirt?

In Boston, Blake read a story that made everyone blush.

Those are two of my favorite pictures, ever.

Blake left us in Boston, we took pictures by the van because it just seemed to be the thing to do.

Then we went to Walden and were all sad and contemplative.

In Boston we also gained a Patrick Somerville and we were happy again.

Shane Jones read with us in Albany. They misspelled his name on the poster as Shanke Jones. I like the sound of that and I think he should keep it as his performance name. He also let us all sleep in his apartment and then he woke up at 5am to make us coffee. I am glad good things are happening for him.

In Ann Arbor, Amelia wore the Yaky Perm Pony and all seemed right.

No Amelia, we did not. If anything, we didn't go far enough. Here's to next year and speedballin' another 5000 miles!!!


Friday, July 17, 2009

throwin' dirt

Just returned home from the epic tour.

It wrecked me and it rejuvenated me and it twisted my brain and it broke my heart to say goodbye.

I should be happy to be home. Was so exhausted by the end. Was full of whiskey and beer and food made by strangers.

Had leg cramps and greasy hair.

Wore the same clothes over and over and by the end felt like a block of nasty ass lard.

And already I miss it. Miss the people and being with them always.

I was nervous about that--being around people all the time.

Now I miss it.

Wish I had someone to hug every now and then, like I did for the last two weeks.

Funny faces and shoulders to lean on.

Breakdowns and good times.

And the words the words the words.

People wrote shit in the van that made me want to be rocket ship so I could jump as high as I felt about it all.

At some point, will break it down city by city.

Gonna go cry now.

Sad face.