Thursday, April 07, 2005

A night of minor indignities

So I'm warming up to work on my zine, or delaying it again...

I spent a few hours Wednesday evening in Oak Park/River Forest. I love taking the Green Line all the way to Harlem, then having lots of places for books, coffee, etc. all within a couple blocks. (I live in Chicago but get excited to visit the suburbs!)

This was my third visit in as many weeks, and I started off at Panera yet again. (I somehow missed it on many earlier trips, though it's right there in the shopping plaza.) I wrote for a bit, then headed to Barbara's for the Elizabeth Crane reading.

I knew I wanted to see her first Chicago-area appearance for her new book (All This Heavenly Glory). I also wanted to have my zine done to have an excuse to talk to her, and I wanted to buy the new book. Neither were a possibility tonight, but I figured I'd at least go hear her.

I met Crane in early 2004 and talked to her a couple times about how much I liked When the Messenger is Hot, and about my book project, City of Destiny. There's more to it I won't get into now. (Cookies were involved.)

I try to meet lots of writers, but I tend to be bizarrely nervous when doing so. So I'm afraid Crane is on the list of Chicago Authors Who Might Think I'm a Bit Crazy (see also: Brian Costello, Joe Meno). The goal is to get her to the list of Chicago Authors Who I Don't Seem as Crazy To As Before (see: Al Burian).

So tonight I just sat in the back and listened. I didn't expect her to recognize me; in fact, I kind of hoped she wouldn't.

She read an amusing story, then (because she clearly had friends in the audience), asked, "Do any people I know want to ask me questions?" then, indicating the people she didn't know, "Except for the back row?" Where I was. (Next to, oddly, someone I kind of know, who'd shown up late).

Well, I didn't expect to be recognized; I just didn't expect to be explicitly NOT recognized.

I'll have my excuse to talk to Crane soon, but I don't think I'll mention this story, even if it has had me chuckling all night...

So after that, I found out that just since my last visit, apparently, the Oak Park Borders put those fucking locks-that-need-tokens on their restroom doors. Why?

I finished the trip at Whole Foods, to get soymilk and tonic water (no, I don't drink them together). In the soymilk aisle, a thirtyish man and woman spoke in a Slavic language as they filled their cart with quarts of Soy Dream. I mean, filled--they must have had SIXTY QUARTS in there, including at least a dozen of chocolate. It's always at least mildly intriguing to see someone buy so much of something, but this just made me...baffled...and angry. I don't dislike Soy Dream, but who likes or needs it THAT much? I like almost every other brand there more. And it wasn't on sale--Vitasoy, on sale right now (and one of the best brands), cost a dollar less per quart. Every time I saw them as I continued shopping, I got more upset.

I pick very, very weird battles sometimes.

Anyway, back to work; I've got a self-publishing fair Saturday to get ready for...

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