Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tales from the Road

I swear I absolutely never post twice in one day, especially when I should be finishing book 3 and finishing Dracula before my students do (okay that was overly optimistic on both our parts) and a zillion other things. But the brain - she kept on telling me stories as I zipped here and there because honestly there's a special special set of neuroses when you've been traveling a bunch and have a new book out and so, in no particular order, here's the stuff I haven't been saying while I've been posting pics and thanking everyone who really really deserves to be thanked:

  • I am now convinced that every major American city has better rock radio stations than Houston. Even conservative SLC. Why is that, Houston? Hmmm? Yeah, yeah, I know - maybe radio is dead. But when you're spending your time in rental cars, this is something you notice.

  • Renting a car past midnight even if you have a reservation is not always a happy experience. The very tired woman at the Budget counter insisted that I accept a ginormous white van that would have been perfect for transporting the middle school of a small academy or doing bakery deliveries. Let's just say that by 1 AM I'd worn her down and scored the Ford Focus. I am still not sure whose victory this is.

  • My stock answer to every single bookseller, CRM and school headmaster who has been asking me, "Where's your driver?" is now "You're lookin' at her." Then we both spend a few seconds contemplating the amount of books I will have to sell to rate that elusive thing called 'media escorts.' Conversely, I can blast Metallica as loudly as I like in my Focus or my Kia.

  • To the woman next to me on the plane yesterday, here's the full story: I'm an anxious flier. And I've been flying a lot lately. I'm not crazy anxious. I just have these thoughts like, "Shit. Look at those gorgeous snowy Wasatch mountains I've been so crazy for. Can this metal tube actually fly over them? Or will we just get mostly over them and go down in a blaze of glory and have to eat each other like those soccer players in the Andes? So yes, when you kept you cell phone out and said in a cheery sing song voice to the guy next to you - the one you insisted provide you with a full body massage for the entire 3 hour flight - "I'm breaking the rules," I was probably not the best ear for that message. My rational brain knows that your texting probably wouldn't send us plummeting in the Wasatch range. But still there I was saying, "So is there a reason you don't have to put your cell phone away and everyone else does?"

  • On my California trip, while waiting for a signing at B&N, I was chatting with agent Jen. Some real live teens traipsed by us. "Tell them to come to your event," Jen says. "Ehhh, ahhh, maybe," I say. "What's the worst that could happen?" asks Jen. "They'll say no." At which point I explain that in my brain, this is NOT the worst that can happen. The worst is that they were planning on going but now that I've asked them, I seem kinda creepy and desperate and they change their minds. It takes a special mind to come up with this scenario.

  • Oatmeal, fruit, toast and coffee should NOT cost $8.95 even if it's the hotel dining room. Conversely, it was very very good. As was the hamburger and fries I ate at the hotel bar - and which cost only a dollar more than the oatmeal. Plus there was beer available. And basketball on the big screen. And a fascinating assortment of tired businessmen. Yes - I was the only chick. But I'm okay with that.

  • There is a special place in heaven for the overnight desk clerk at the Marriott who sold me my Hagen Daaz coffee and nuts ice cream bar at 1:30 AM and did not cast a single judgmental look my way when I finally arrived in the above described Ford Focus.

And so it goes. Back out on the local road this week. Will report more.

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