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|Thursday, August 20th, 2015|
|Day Five- Thursday
We are in Pennsylvania! Just barely, but still....
I've always considered Pennsylvania to be part of the east coast, so it feels like we've arrived. Technically, we have just under four hundred miles to get to NYC, but that's a pretty easy drive for tomorrow. We might even get in early enough to do something fun in the city!
Obviously, we lost another hour when we hit Eastern Time Zone, but that means tomorrow is all in one time zone. Yay.
Um. Today was particularly uneventful. I didn't even manage to take any pictures. We only stopped at service plazas since much of the day was on toll roads. The most exciting thing was discovering a new Podcast. Thanks to Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! We listened to an episode that had Starlee Kine as the guest. She was there (in part) to plug her new podcast Mystery Show. Which turns out to be rather awesome and one of the few things we all enjoy listening to. We listened to the first three (of six) episodes already! I expect we'll finish them tomorrow. Highly recommended!!
(The other Scott, Ivy, and Winter-approved podcasts, for those interested, are: Worst Bestsellers, Ask Me Another, and the aforementioned Wait Wait...)
Yeah. That's about it for excitement. Scott and Winter are playing YET ANOTHER game of Settlers of Catan. And I'm typing. I tell you, the fun never ends!
Tomorrow = NYC. Which promises to be much more interesting. And I'll make sure to get pics!
|Wednesday, August 19th, 2015|
|Day Four- Wednesday
So proud of us! We actually got up fairly early today, and drove about 600 miles! Not fantastic, but our best day so far. We haven't been stopping much, except for gas, caffeine, and an occasional rest stop break, so not much excitement. I took all of two pictures today, the first at a rest stop because the impending rain clouds were pretty (the rain never really caught up with us):
And the second was at dinner, because Yay! Cracker Barrel! And Winter! (And dinner!)
Yesterday afternoon our weather turned cooler and has continued that way all day today. At one point it was almost even cold (in the 50°s!). So that's been nice.
We stopped early today and as I type this, Scott and Winter are playing yet another game of Settlers of Catan (they played several during the drive as well). Wish I liked the game more, but they're having fun.
On my last post a friend asked what this trip was about, so for those that don't know, I figured I should explain. Scott and I are taking Winter to Syracuse where she will be starting school in a week or so. She's a transfer student coming in as a junior. She's thrilled to be going there for several reasons; Scott and I both went there (it's where we met), she fell in love with the campus when we were on tour, and, most importantly, she can take classes in education as well as math. It's all win win win for Winter!
On our way there we are going to spend a few days in NYC to see some plays (we have tickets to Fun Home already)!
After we drop Winter at SU, we'll be in Boston for a bit, then Scott goes to CA for some gigs, and then comes back to me in Boston. Then there's a gig at Skidmore in NY, SPX in Maryland, up to UW in Milwaukee, and lastly (probably) Middlebury College, VT, then back home. That's the part that's definite. Things might get added? We'll see...
Right now we're in Moline, Illinois. I think that means we have less than a thousand miles to get to NYC. So, go me! Looks like we'll make it to NYC by Friday, easy!
|Tuesday, August 18th, 2015|
|Day Three- Tuesday
Today was not much better than yesterday in that we started a bit earlier, but by the time we got gas and stuff, and we finally got on the road it was about 11am. Again, we drove about 500 miles.
We are spending tonight in North Platte, Nebraska.
This means we drove through Colorado today, which is probably the prettiest views of the trip. We even stopped for a half hour in Vale, which my favorite place we pass. I've never been (and still really haven't as we barely saw a thing) but I did take a few pictures, and since it was the most exciting thing we did today, here they are:
This was the view from the bench Winter and I hung out on while Scott attempted and failed to find me a Diet Dr Pepper (the air was too thin for me to do too much walking).
Other excitement for today: we lost yet another hour. It is now 11pm (central time). Scott's in bed and I'm about to go take a bath. The beds in this hotel are very high (like 3 feet up!), so we've been making jokes about the altitude, which is doubly funny since the actual altitude has bothering all of us all day.
Um. This trip is not all that interesting so far. Hopefully we'll do something fun soon?
|Monday, August 17th, 2015|
|Day Two- Monday
We started today far too late. By the time we got on the road it was already 11:30! Oy. Not a great start. We managed to do about 500 miles, which is not wonderful, but since we also lost an hour (we are now in Mountain Time), I'm not gonna be too hard on myself.
Today we drove from Vegas to Grand Junction, CO. Which means we drove through the desert and into the canyons. The second half of today's drive had spectacular scenery.
Scott and Winter played two games of Settlers of Catan, trying out both of Winter's new travel sets (yes, she has two different ones, they were birthday presents, it's a very long complicated story). They unanimously chose the newest edition as best.
That, actually, is about all there is to say about today. Hopefully tomorrow will be more interesting?
Maybe we'll start early, then stop early enough that I'm less tired when I write tomorrow's post. It could happen. Maybe?
|Our Journey to Syracuse, Day One- Sunday
(Okay, I wrote this last night and this morning, but I just got internet, so I'm posting it now. Next I'm going to write up today's adventures and post them when I'm done...)
We decided to start our trip on Sunday instead of Monday. I got a TripTik on Friday (from AAA) and looking at the mileage we figured the extra day would come in handy.
Our first stop was to meet up with Bryan K (of Avatar/Korra fame) for lunch. It was pretty awesome. We really like him and hope we'll get to see more of him. He gave Winter a present that she declared "Made my life" (it was, among other things, a sketch made just for her)!
After our wonderful lunch, we got on the road. I have discovered that driving for more than an hour does indeed make my back feel worse and that stopping to walk around when it's 115° doesn't actually help.
Because we started fairly late, and because I made us stop more than usual, we didn't get very far. We drove about 300 miles today, but then that's 300 miles less for the rest of the trip to drive, so go me!
And we are spending the night in Las Vegas, so that's fun. Well, except for the fact that all we've seen so far is our hotel. Once we were all checked in we were too tired to do much more than get food and head back to our room. It's almost midnight. I don't have Internet, so I'll finish this in the morning and post when I can.
Morning! This has been a pretty much useless trip to Vegas, but Scott and I had a lovely breakfast at a buffet this morning (Winter slept in). Now I need to ice my back, then get us back on the road. We are not starting out super early, so we'll see how much I can make up.
(Note: for the duration of the trip I'm not really on Twitter. I should see things directed at me, and I'll be checking comments on my blog and answering them at night...)
|Wednesday, August 12th, 2015|
|The Next Journey is About to Begin!
It's been awhile. Summer is hard. Just keeping up with Twitter seems to take up all my time. But we're about to hit the road again, so I decided it was important to update.
ComicCon was much fun. I did get a wheelchair which was very weird. I did not love it. There were some advantages, and I know it was probably a good thing, but I hated being at the mercy of others to get me places.
On the other hand, both of our kids were there and mostly in good moods. I was really sad when Sky had to leave, having both girls there was my favorite part of con this year. That, and the meals. This year all our meals were fairly small with awesome people.
There are stories and good times, and maybe someday I'll do a full report, but not today.
Right now I'm sitting in the Toyota dealer getting my car up to travel condition. On Monday, Scott and I are driving Winter to Syracuse! I figure we'll take the northern route to hopefully get some cooler weather.
For a long time Scott wasn't sure if he was going to come with us, but my physical therapist put the fear of death (mine) in him, and he decided it would be best if he came. I've had another epidural since the last time I wrote. My PT says I should be taking breaks to walk around every hour. It means it'll take longer to drive cross-country, but it's better for me? Anyway, she's explained to me how I can easily relapse and how the epidurals help but don't cure. So Scott's my security blanket. Gonna take my cane just in case as well.
Like I said, we leave on Monday, and I've decided to go back to daily blogging at that point. So, starting Monday night I'll post something every night for the whole trip (I get back early October). So look for those.
Because of that, I will probably be less likely to keep up with Twitter. I'll try, but spending the day driving and the night writing makes it difficult, so...
Meanwhile, friends of ours in the SoCal area, note: this Friday will be the last Game Night of the summer. We'll return again in October, but that's a long way away. So if you've always wanted to check it out, or are a regular but haven't been in awhile, or just want to wish Winter luck as she heads off on her new adventure, please come! And if you want pizza or sushi let me know by 6:15 on Friday (and if you do want food, don't forget to bring money to cover it)!
Wish us luck, I can't believe all we have to do before we go. With officially less than a week left. Oy! But we'll do it! We bought tickets for Fun Home, so we have to make it to NYC by Friday the 21st so we can see the show the next day. Some things are very important.
'Til Monday. Happy week!
(For the record, I wrote this yesterday, but I wanted Scott to proof it before I posted. Hence the delay. I will not let this happen when we're on the road...)
|Thursday, June 25th, 2015|
|A Story About a Back
I've been silent for a while. If you follow me on Twitter then you know what's been up, or this might all be new to you.
Either way, let me tell you a story. (Warning: This got very long, and delves into TMI territory. You've been warned)
The first memory I have concerning my back was when I was a little kid. I was at the doctor's and he had me stand with my back to the wall. He informed me that I had a mild case of scoliosis, in other words; a curved spine. He told me that if I wanted to fix it it would be considered elective surgery as the only reason to fix it was cosmetic. He also told me that it might give me problems if I ever decided to get pregnant, but since I was a kid at the time that seemed like a far-off concern. That was the only time in my life anyone's ever told me my spine's curved. I have no idea if it's true. But I remember it very clearly, I know it happened.
Back problems for me are like an old friend. I have snapshots in my head, memories of pain. I remember at college, riding the bus to the health center, standing all the way because it hurt more to sit. I remember showing up at dance class feeling fine thanks to meds, and being kicked out because it's dangerous to dance if you can't feel pain. That's the time I was given codeine and had a terrible reaction to it, leading a nursing student to diagnose my allergy to it.
There was Sky's birth. I was in back labor (she was what they call "sunny side up", which means her head was facing forward instead of back). It was incredibly painful. I had Scott punch me in the back with each contraction. I was all black and blue by the time she was born. And since the doctor didn't believe that I was in back labor (he claimed I just didn't know how painful labor was), he didn't do anything to help. I wound up with a C-section. Despite my relatively high pain threshold, I seemed to be a lot more miserable than others I know who wound up with sections. Not sure if that, once again, had to do with my back.
I remember when the girls were in elementary school and we had a field trip to Barnes and Noble. Mark Crilley was doing a signing, and our (very awesome) school decided it was worth taking the kids to it. I remember sitting with my back against a post in agony and frustration (it's when we first met Mark and got to hang with him for a bit, but it was marred for me by pain).
There are many other moments, but the most recent one (before this month), was when I woke in the middle of the night worried that my lungs had collapsed. I was in bed and I couldn't catch my breath. I was starting to panic. I tweeted, and was admonished by my followers for not waking up Scott and getting to the hospital. So I did. We went to emergency where they did a bunch of tests and diagnosed it as a back problem, not a lung problem, gave me some pain meds, and sent me home. I think that was the time my mom and sister showed up to steal my dog, since I was bedridden and couldn't walk him (I have an awesome family).
Mostly, what they all have in common is a memory of pain. Lots and lots of pain.
Which brings us to this last time.
On Friday (May 29th), we brought back Game Night. It was awesome. Lots of people came, lots of food was eaten, lots of games were played. A great night. I also started a puzzle. This is important, maybe; I don't know. I just know that when I woke up my back hurt. But there was stuff to do. There was laundry. Scott flew to NYC, which meant I drove to LAX and back two days in a row. Stuff. There was other stuff. I don't remember what anymore. I just remember that I hurt. As you can gather from up above, this is not new to me. I hurt, but not bad enough to do anything other than whine periodically that I hurt. No one (including myself) paid much attention.
On Thursday, things changed. Thursday I think I hurt more? Maybe I was just tired of hurting. I don't know. But. I remembered that I'd been given pain meds when I'd last gone to emergency and it occurred to me that this would be a good time to take them. So I did. And I slept. The whole morning. When I woke I got up to go to the bathroom. Sat down on the toilet and almost passed out from the pain. I managed to throw some water on my hands (good hygiene: so important) (couldn't even turn around to flush, though), and ping-pong back to my room (hitting the walls on either side of me). I only got as far as the floor of the bedroom, right inside the door. I was laying on my stomach, my legs had my shoes under them. I was in pain AND uncomfortable. I yelled for Winter. She thought my mom had called her, Mom said it must've been the TV. I was crying. I yelled again. Winter came up stairs. Got the shoes out from under my legs and phoned Scott at his studio. He came right home. It's about a 15/20min drive, so while we were waiting, Winter and Mom kept me company and got scared.
When Scott arrived he helped me get up so that he could drive me to the emergency room. We got as far as the stairs. I sat down and tried to scoot down them. I only got down one and I couldn't move again without massive pain. I was stuck. Scott called 911. They got here amazingly fast.
They had a chair that they got me into. And from there to the ambulance. I was in my nightgown. It was weird. I took my very first ride in an ambulance. When I looked out the window I could see Scott, Mom and Winter following in our car. It was surreal.
In the hospital I got seen pretty quickly. Except there was another ambulance bringing someone in at the same time and they kept thinking I was her. She had a fall and they were worried about concussion. No one was too worried about me.
They brought me in for a CAT scan and scanned my head. I told them they needed to do my back so they did that too (they later apologized for the first scan and told me it was a mistake that I wouldn't need to pay for. Oy). I don't think they found anything in my back, either.
They gave me heavy duty pain meds (the kind they're afraid you'll get addicted to) which only touched the surface of my pain. They wanted a urine sample, but I couldn't do it, they had to catheterize me to get it.
It was decided I was spending the night under observation. At some point an MRI was done. I was in too much pain to remember when.
At 9somethingPM I realized I'd not eaten any food since the day before. They got me a sandwich (and some other stuff, but I only managed to eat the sandwich).
Eventually I was put in a room (a single! That's all they have these days) and people went home (Scott might've brought Mom and Windy home at some point and then came back? I don't remember).
Friday morning I had THE BEST NURSE. I think she saved me. The doctor assigned to me decided there was nothing wrong with me. His cure: I should go home, lay in bed and loose weight, and I'd be fine. He was ready to release me. THE BEST NURSE thought this was crazy. I was in too much pain to even stand. She called the doctor. When he said he thought I should go home she looked at me and made a "what, is he crazy?" face. She told him I was a fall risk and not safe to go home to a house with stairs. Then she asked if he'd scheduled a specialist. He said no. She rolled her eyes at the phone and told him I'd specifically requested it (I hadn't. I'd assumed one would see me). Like I said, she saved me.
It was the specialist who decided I should have the epidural. Someone decided it should be done asap. The specialist said it would be done the next day, since I'd eaten breakfast, but they did it a few hours later with a local anesthetic instead of a general. I felt it. I screamed.
The next day the specialist said he'd looked at the MRI results and discovered that the technician had missed the pinched nerve (he'd caught the herniated disc and the torn one, but missed the actual culprit). The epidural worked (it was cortisone). I might need another one.
After a few days the pain was reduced enough for them to send me home.
I entered the hospital on Thursday and was released on Tuesday. I was still pretty bad for a few more days, but I did manage to get to Sky's graduation, though Scott had to drive and I needed to use a walker.
I fall down a lot. My right leg still doesn't like supporting my weight. My leg hurts more than my back does. I looked up "pinched sciatic nerve" and it turns out it is indeed one of the most painful of all medical ailments.
Being in the hospital was demeaning. I needed help to go to the bathroom, and couldn't wipe myself. I had to call for meds every four hours. Scott and my mom visited every day, my sister and her partner came out the first day, but the longer I was there the shorter the visits. Winter stopped coming. One friend visited and brought cherries (she is awesome). I complained of boredom on Monday(?), and another friend visited and Neil called. My iPad was being repaired the whole time, so I didn't have it, and I ran out of things to read on my kindle. When I wasn't in pain, I was bored. And dirty. No one thought to give me a sponge bath until I was getting ready to leave. I only managed to brush my teeth a few times. Ug.
But I'm home now. I'm scared to death about how much mobility I'll have for ComicCon. I have a walker and a cane. Scott wants me to get a wheelchair for Con so I don't have to stand and risk falling in the large crowds. I made a follow up appointment with the specialist, but he's so popular I can't see him until after Con is over. My regular doctor is going on vacation so I can't see him either.
I just keep telling myself I'm much better. And I pretend I haven't been told that this is very likely to come back. And I studiously don't think about the possibility of surgery with its six weeks recovery time.
I'm okay. I'm much better. The pain will go away. ComicCon will be fun. I can do this. I'm much better. I'm much better.
|Thursday, May 7th, 2015|
|This post is long. Sorry.
Wow. I didn't expect that much time to pass between posts!
Minutes after my last post I tripped in the bathroom of the hotel we'd just checked into (long story). I fell flat on my face (really) (ow). I spent most of the rest of Italy in varying degrees of pain which meant getting up the energy to write didn't happen.
But I'm mostly better now, and on yet another plane, so I figured I should give the highlights.
Scott did a total of four appearances in Italy and all were standing room only! The venues were beautiful and the people were all wonderful. We were introduced to all sorts of different, scary, and amazing food.
And we even had a day off to play! We spent it in museums, of course. The one we spent the most time in had a crazy exhibit about food. Some of it was bizarre, and some inspired. After the museum we walked in the park in the rain, and found ourselves at a castle! We even got to go in for free since it was almost closing time. Then there was another dinner with our hosts, and sad goodbyes with our new friends.
And so ended our trip to Italy and our European tour.
We flew back to Newark to pick up our car. Got in the bus to long term parking. It was slammed. I had my new suitcase on my lap. When the crowd thinned the woman across from us asked if she could help with my bag. Then she said, "excuse me, but are you Scott McCloud?" (To Scott, of course). Turns out she is from West Point and had been with the students who were brought to Scott's event at the 92nd St. Y.—which was the first event of the tour! It felt like we'd come full circle. She told us that the students were loving The Sculptor, which made us feel even better. It was the perfect end to the craziness.
But the craziness wasn't yet over!
From Newark, we drove to Boston. Finally got our car serviced. Visited with Scott 's mom. Did laundry. Had dinner with a few friends. Picked Sky up from the airport. Did HER laundry.
Then came the reason we were in Boston, which I'm finally allowed to share! Scott was inducted into the Harvard Lampoon as an honorary member! It was quite the experience! I've been sworn to secrecy, so I can't really tell you much. The Lampoon Castle is pretty amazing, but pictures are not allowed so I can't show you. What I can say is that they treated us like royalty. Example: because Sky is a vegan, they got special food just for her. A lot of it. I was struck by how young everyone was. Sky realized that she was the age of the oldest there. That part was pretty disconcerting. As you'd expect, everyone was very funny, and there were some great stories!
The next day was spent with Sky interviewing Scott's mom, Pat, for a documentary she's doing (which is the reason SHE had come to Boston). The interview was fascinating, I can't wait to see what she does with it. She's visiting my mom this weekend to interview her (and no, it's not a doc about parents or grandparents, it's about being blind and living with someone who was blind).
After spending time with Pat, we rushed to a theater where we were just a few minutes late for the Avengers double feature. We met up with friends there and I later found out another friend saw me but wasn't sure if it was me (it was) so I missed her (really bummed, haven't seen her in ages). I liked Age of Ultron more than Sky and Scott. I'm looking forward to having the chance to see it again.
Sadly, we had to leave Boston the next day, which means there are still many friends that we, yet again, did not get to see. There was a stop at the cemetery to visit Scott's dad's grave (for Sky to film) and a two day drive to Chicago to drop Sky at the airport to fly home. I have not gotten used to the fact that Sky is now so very much an adult. And one that I enjoy spending time with. I'm very proud of that young woman. She's still on track to take the world by storm. As soon as we dropped her at the hostel, I started missing her.
Scott and I had Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to drive home to SoCal. We drove hard (or rather, I drove hard, since I do all the driving). We made it back at around four PM Tuesday (yesterday, as I write this). We had enough time to run some errands, try to get our dog to like us again, take my mom out to dinner, do laundry, pack and sleep for only a few hours before getting up early, saying goodbye to my mom and dogs, and driving to LAX to grab a plane for Toronto and TCAF.
Other stuff happened, but this post is long and I'm tired and want to read or nap.
On the tv screen in front of me I'm watching Hard Core Logo without sound. Every so often I look up and smile at Callum Keith Rennie. The last time I was in Toronto I went to a special screening of HCL with the director and a cast member or two in attendance. I think this bodes well for an awesome trip to Toronto (watching it with no sound because it's a depressing movie and I don't need to see it again, I've seen it enough times to know what's going on when I look up).
Movie is now over. If this is posted, I'm in Toronto. See you at TCAF!!
|Thursday, April 23rd, 2015|
On another train!
Unfortunately, though I have lots to say, last night Winter had a bad night. She's not feeling well. I doubt that I was of any use to her at all, as I am thousands of miles away from her in Italy, but I was up much of the night texting her and doing what I could to help. I mention this, because it means that instead of spending this train ride writing, I've spent most of it sleeping. We are on a high speed train from Milan to Rome. We'll be there soon and the craziness will begin again.
I will see what I can write before we get there?
So, MoCCA was great. We saw many many people we knew. We skipped the Saturday night party so that we could go to Macy's and replace the suitcase that we bought in China (which is now broken). I love my new suitcase!!
Spain was totally different than many other countries this trip. We spent the whole time we were there in Barcelona. Only one hotel! We were there for the comics festival and that's what we did. Scott had many interviews, many many signings, and two public talks. While there, we spent all of our time within a few blocks. So I don't feel like we saw much of the city, but what we saw was beautiful. Spent time off at the nearby museum on the hill with a most awesome view, went to the converted bull ring that's now a mall, and even managed to do laundry (their washers were really cool, wish we had similar ones at home)!
When thinking about our time in Barcelona some things stand out. We now know so many people around the world! We spent time with people we adore from France, England, Canada, and even previous trips to Spain. We are becoming international! And we have friends everywhere!
Scott is becoming more well-known. Someone wrote us once, a long time ago, asking when we were going to do an appearance in Spain. He informed Scott that he was a "God in Spain." This has long been a running joke with us. Later, either the same person, or someone else said it again. Every time we go to Spain (surprisingly, this was my 4th and Scott's 5th time in the country, making it our most visited non English-speaking country) I harass Scott about it. This time it felt true! The show felt a bit like ComicCon. Scott was scheduled for a lot of signings, and he was afraid there wouldn't be people to fill them, but there were. There were encounters with fans when we were not at signings. We kept meeting cool people who were huge fans. It felt like a different level. And they were all so nice!
But for me, the coolest thing was that I seem to be developing a fan club! Since Meg is so me, when people who have read the book meet me and I act like me, they feel like they know me; and since they love Meg, they love me! It was awesome. And the people who treat me that way are always the best people. I was given gifts! Did I mention that the amazing chocolate we got in our first trip to Belgium got left somewhere? All gone and barely tried. I was pretty upset. They found out about it in Spain and before we left our hosts gifted us with some gorgeous and delicious Spanish chocolate! I was also given a mini blue Sailor Moon by this girl I adored, because she loved my blue hair. Like I said, pretty awesome!
I'm now on another train. We've done two cities in Italy (in Rome and Bologna), and both were so packed that people were sitting in aisles and others got turned away. The food has been interesting. As yet I still haven't had my shrimp risotto, but I have had some amazing desserts.
I think I'll stop here. That way I can post this next time I get internet. And then I'll do a write up of all of Italy and any final European thoughts on the plane home.
Oh, one more thing before I post this: have I yet mentioned the very exciting news about Winter? She had applied to Syracuse University As a transfer student. I told everyone I could think of at MoCCA to put in a good word for her (they couldn't, but I asked anyway). Didn't matter, the very next day we found out she got in!! So; go Windy! I am so proud of my kids! And now I get to drive her cross country. Mom and daughter time, ftw!!
|Monday, April 13th, 2015|
|I'm too tired to think of a witty subject (part 1)
Whelp, I said the next blog would be written either while doing laundry, or flying back to Europe and since we did laundry by dropping it off again, this is being written on the plane back to Europe.
It's been a very busy week (or however long, I have no idea anymore, I've totally lost track of time)!
Scott's talk in Virginia was so full they had to turn away over a hundred people! I felt really bad, I even knew people who tried and failed to get in. Ug. Wish it had been in a bigger venue. I think Scott is awesome and want everyone to see him. And he did a kickass job. The line for signing afterwards was so long there was worry we'd miss dinner (Richmond evidently closes early). But we made it! It was a cool Italian family style restaurant, which I would've liked better if I'd had more say in what was ordered. What I ate was very good, just most of what they ordered was not Ivy friendly. But the people we were with were great, so it made up for my lack of food.
I would like to go on about the people we got to meet and spend time with both in Virginia and then the next day in Camden, but I'm afraid I will leave someone out, or get their name(s) wrong. Suffice it to say that we met a bunch of people that were so awesome that I wished I could've spend much more time with all of them. And I miss them already.
Besides the talk, Scott did some class visits in Virginia, where we met some very talented young people. Oh, and we also got a tour of their library's amazing comics collection. It was impressive. I could've spent hours there.
There was a class visit in Virginia the day after the talk. As soon as it was done we needed to run to get to Rutgers Camden campus. We got there in plenty of time, yay! Scott did his talk at Rutgers and it was the weirdest talk he's done in ages. The audience wasn't as large as the previous night, but they were enthusiastic. Unfortunately the door to the room was right next to Scott, and he (brilliantly) decided it should be closed. Many people came in late, every time someone walked in, the door would slam. Very distracting. Scott is hoping to completely revamp the talk. If he succeeds, then that was probably the last time for that talk. The new one will be even better!
After the Camden talk we were taken to dinner at an Israeli restaurant (in Philadelphia!). The food that I liked, I loved, the rest I didn't eat. But because I didn't have as much food as everyone else, I was still hungry for dessert. Which was pretty amazing. (I mean the dessert, not the fact that I was still hungry).
The next day there was a class visit in the afternoon, which meant we had several hours to play. We also had to do laundry. Instead of spending the day in a laundromat, one of our hosts, Robert Berry, found a laundromat that would do our clothes for us while we spent the time down the road at The Barnes.
It was a pretty amazing place. It was one very rich and slightly crazy, man's collection. All the rooms were filled to the brim with amazing art. Sometimes I found it too much. In his will he had stipulated that all the rooms had to stay exactly as they had been, which meant some rooms had art all shoved together, and others had only a few pieces on a given wall.
Things I discovered: I really do love Henri Rousseau. Every room we walked into, my eyes instantly found him. I knew I loved him, just hadn't realized how much. There were a bunch of Rousseau's that I'd not seen before. Just..wow. I similarly love Miro and Monet, as I had the same reaction to them (though there weren't as many of them). I like Renoir more than I thought I did (there were a LOT of Renoir's, I mean a huge amount). I like Cezanne much less than I thought I did (he didn't do anything for me). And I really would've preferred that the Serats were not up so high, cause I could've stared at them for hours! Like I said, the museum was pretty awesome.
And our laundry was all done when we went to get it, and we made it back to Rutgers just in time for the Q&A that Scott had there!
From Rutgers we were off to NYC. Well, we stopped at the Cherry Hill Mall for a bit and had a very nice dinner (I also bought some hair dye). I have no memory at all of what we did that first night. I know we checked into the hotel, but that's all I remember. Maybe we were tired and went to bed?
I remember the next day, Thursday, much better. In the morning Scott went off for an interview. While he was gone, I very quickly dyed my hair (it had been fading). I managed to get done with enough time to join Scott for a lunch with our new HarperCollins editor and Judy, Scott's agent. Very interesting conversation. Things are in the works, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say, so I'll just say that I'm excited!
After lunch we hung out with Judy for awhile to talk about even more things (while in NYC, meetings like this are a must).
The night time was spent at a party at The Society of Illustrators in honor of Aline Kominsky Crumb. The Society are the ones who organize MoCCA (MoCCA is why we were in NYC). The party was like a reunion. So many friends! The building is filled with all sorts of comic art. I didn't get to see anywhere near all of it. What I did see was pretty amazing. We hadn't been there too long when Scott and I decided to sit at a table. It was one of those very high ones with very tall chairs. It took work for me to get up (I am very short, and far too heavy to be graceful anymore). It was such a chore to get up, I decided I'd better just stay there for the night. So I did. Many people I adore came to join us and chat. There was live music, including the band that Robert Crumb plays with (they are really good, by the way). Perfect start to our con weekend!
Friday, our only commitment was that Scott had an interview in the morning. After that we had the day to ourselves. We decided to go to a bunch of museums but in the end, only went to one. The Cooper Hewett. Which is a design museum and associated with the Smithsonian. I highly recommend it. Kind of expensive, but super cool. And they gave you this stylus thingy that allowed you to save items that interested you to get more info later. So modern!
After the museum, we decided to go to a movie and this is where dumb luck appeared in the form of nuisance! We found a movie we wanted to see nearby, and headed for it, but we only had 15 minutes to walk it and it wasn't quite as near as we thought (and I walk really slow). So we missed it, which was good because Winter called, and she doesn't call very often, so I was glad I hadn't missed the call! While talking we walked to the East River and walked along it, stopping at a bench to just sit and talk to our daughter, which is why we missed the show we'd decided to try for after missing the other one (different theatres, different movies). Having missed both earlier shows we decided to get dinner near our hotel first, and then go to a theatre near there that was playing the movie we most wanted to see. We had dinner at a burger place that Scott had drawn in his book. It was a block from our hotel (the beautiful High Line Hotel). We just had to! When we were done with food, there was still an hour before the movie, so we took a walk on the High Line, which is one of the coolest things ever. Then we walked to the theater, which is when all our bad timing paid off! On our way to the theatre we were going to, we passed another theatre that belongs to SVA and was having a MoCCA event! We decided to do that instead. We had had no idea it was happening, and we were so glad we went. The movie was a documentary about Charlie Hebdo from the court case a few years ago. It was hard to watch knowing that many of the people we were watching had since been murdered. I've been thinking about the movie ever since we saw it, which is an indication that it was a good movie.
After the movie, Art Spiegelman and Francouse Mouley got on stage to talk about the movie. It started very scarily when Art was walking towards the center of the stage and didn't realize that the staircase was there and he fell ABOUT 8 FEET!! It was very scary! He said he was fine, and he looked okay, but boy did my heart stop beating for a bit there. Bill Kartalopoulis moderated the discussion and wow was he a wiz at getting the appropriate slides up! Fascinating discussion. Wish it could've gone on much longer.
So glad we got to see it! And if we'd made it to any of the movies we'd planned to see, we would've missed it.
Arg! I'm almost caught up, but our plane is landing, and this is really long! I think I'll post this when I have Internet, and write about the weekend in the next post.
We are now checked in to a beautiful hotel in Belgium and I've yet to get any sleep. Today is a busy busy day, starting in three hours, so I'm going to post this, as is, and and see if I can take a nap. I'll finish our adventures in NYC, next time I have a free hour...
|Sunday, April 5th, 2015|
|Back in the USA
When I last wrote, we had just gotten back to the States. We spent two days (Sunday and Monday) driving from NJ to Mississippi. I took it easy. Managed to catch up on some sleep (when we weren't staying up half the night to do laundry), and drive mostly in daylight!
Tuesday was our day to do stuff. Our host, Ben, gave us a tour of the campus and took us to lunch. At lunch there were several other people. Everyone was interesting and cool. College campuses are insular places. The faculty that we met was made up of great people, none of whom seemed to come from the area. It was eye opening for me.
After lunch and a rest back at our hotel, it was time for Scott's talk. Ben gave the intro. It was one of the best intros ever. Here's
a link, you can read it!
The first people in the door for the talk were a couple that drove FIVE HOURS to get there! We talked to them quite a bit. Good people. :-)
After the talk Scott hung out to sign things. I love this part. It's when I get to talk to people and the people that come to see Scott are always interesting.
When Scott was done signing we were taken out to dinner with new and interesting people from the university. There were stories of natural disasters. So much fun!
And that was it for our time at Mississippi State University. We did, however, spend the next day hanging out at our hotel room trying to answer mail and stuff. I got caught up on commenting on all my comments, but didn't have time to write a new post. We also snuck off and saw Cinderella, which I enjoyed despite it being kind of strange.
We then spent Thursday and Friday driving and sleeping. And got into Washington DC early-ish Friday night. On Friday, my back decided to revolt. I spent the day in massive amounts of pain. Still managed to drive the six or so hours needed to get here, but OW OW OW!
Saturday my back was no better. It hurt and I still couldn't stand straight up. I was determined to have a good time, and I did. We spent the day at several different Smithsonian museums. But very slowly. With many many stops to rest. Despite the pain pills I took, I was pretty bad all day. Because of that we didn't get to see as much as we would've otherwise. But it was still a good day. At the Hirshhorn there's an exhibit of movies that are supposed to relax you. I found most of them too tense to be relaxing (I kept waiting for something to happen, but then nothing did), but there was one I loved that really worked on me. It was called "Staging Silence." I've been thinking about it all day. Almost magical.
It would've been a better day if I could actually walk or stand, but it was still pretty good. We got back to the room early, but I was grouchy and in way too much pain to write, so I read instead.
This morning I slept late (I clearly needed it), ate breakfast, and started writing this. My back is still in pain,but it's much better. I can actually stand!! I'm guessing I'll be good as gold tomorrow. I hope?
Don't forget: Richmond, Virginia
tomorrow (Monday) night!
And Rutgers; Camden campus
in NYC On Saturday and Sunday (morning only on Sun)!
SEE YOU THERE!!
(I'm guessing the next post will be written while doing laundry, or flying back to Europe)
|Saturday, March 28th, 2015|
|Our Last Day in Paris
As promised, I am writing this on the plane home from Paris (technically, we're not going home; we're going to pick up our car in NJ and drive to Mississippi, but you know what I mean).
Yesterday, for me, was sadder than fun. We got to sleep in, and then spent much of the day at the Rue De Sevres office. Scott had several interviews, while I sat around playing games, reading, and trying not to fall asleep. There wasn't much time for lunch, so Nadia took us nearby to a store I've already forgotten the name of but it was awesome! It reminded me a lot of Harrods in London. It was huge! We only had a short time, but I would've loved to explore more, even if I couldn't afford to buy anything there. Nadia took us to the sushi bar (mmmm, sushi!), then got us dessert at the patisserie (omg, chocolate cake to die for, have I mentioned how much I love the food in France? I do. I really really do).
Then Scott did some more interviews, and then it was off to our last event of this leg of the tour; a signing in yet another great bookstore. This one in Paris. Another rousing success.
And then came all the goodbyes. This was the part that made me sad. Everyone was so wonderful, I didn't want to leave. There were actually tears.
Scott and I wandered a bit in the evening, but mostly we found an okay place to eat dinner, and then went to the hotel and packed.
This morning one of our new friends from Rue Des Sevres came to our hotel to make sure we got off okay. She gave me a box of chocolate marshmallow bears that I had liked. I cried.
So far everywhere we've gone on this trip we've met people who made me feel like I belonged. I am the wife. I frequently worry that people wish I wasn't there. That has not been true at all on this trip. I can't thank everyone enough. And I mean everyone. I love you all.
Some notes about our time in Paris:
Paris is amazingly good at being Paris! It lives up to expectations. Such a beautiful city!
The people, however, have changed. I don't know if it's just the people we were with, or if time has softened them, but no one made us feel bad about being tacky Americans. People were nice to us! It was weird.
The strangest thing for me at the signings was the lack of females. They were there, but in much fewer numbers. I've gotten used to Scott's signings being close to 50/50 gender split, but this was more like 90/10! And many of the women were getting books signed for husbands or sons (amusingly there were also men getting books for wives and daughters). I asked about it at the last signing, and they said most Ban Designee was geared towards men, but it was beginning to change. This surprised me. I figured with the lack of superheroes there would be a less male dominated market. Guess I was wrong. And all the storesh are so beautiful!
Of all the books Scott signed, the one person who I will remember most was the woman who spoke almost no English at all but came to get a book signed for her husband. He had wanted to be there but had been rushed to the hospital. She was there to get the book signed and then was going back to the hospital to give it to him. She was crying most of the time Scott was signing it. I hope he is okay, but I have no idea what was even wrong. The language barrier and her sadness were too great to overcome. I will never know what's happened, but I will think of them often and hope they are happy and healthy.
Our plane is going to land soon. Sadly, not in New Jersey, but in Bangor, Maine where we will refuel. This will make us land later than scheduled. Luckily I was not counting today as a driving day and there should be enough time to get to Mississippi by Tuesday, no problem. Since the next few days are gonna be just us driving, I'm not sure if I'm gonna post or not. If you're worried about us, I promise to tweet our whereabouts while on the road. You can check for updates here
Hi from New Jersey! We are at a hotel, safe and sound. I had more I'd wanted to say, but honestly it is now after 10pm Eastern time and I've been awake since 7am Paris time and I'm far too tired to figure out how many hours that is, so I think I'll just go to bed.
|Thursday, March 26th, 2015|
|Musings From Trains
I promised I would write next time I was on a train! Technically I'm on my second train of the day, but I was too tired to write this morning. We spent the last two nights and one day in Brussels. It was Scott's third time there and my first. We weren't there long enough for me to see too much, but I tried to make use of the time I had.
Our room was amazing. THERE WERE TWO BATHROOMS!! And a tub! I took two baths in one day! There was also a couch and two comfy chairs. It really was quite spectacular. And very different from our room in Paris.
Scott spent most of yesterday being interviewed. I only made it to the third one as I took a very long bath instead. After the interview I was around for, we were off to a lovely lunch with yet another reporter. Throughout Monday night and all day Tuesday, we were carted around by a very nice woman named Stephane. She helped us get to the museums. Scott could only spare about 15 min before his next interview, but I skipped that one also and stayed at the museum for about an hour and a half. We went together to the Magritte Museum (I took a picture of Treachery of Images!!). Scott's been before, which is good since he couldn't stay long, but I got to take more time.
I also went next door to the special exhibit they had of Chagall. I love Chagall. Would've liked to buy something in the gift shop, but no time...
Next was the signing. It was well-attended (it went an hour longer than scheduled, so I think that means it was good). During the signing, Nadia, our host from Rue de Sevres, (who had arrived in time for the event) took me on a chocolate expedition. I know the important things in life. There were a lot of chocolate shops! We found the one that the most people had recommended and I bought a very expensive box of chocolates that we've yet to taste. But they look really good and many people told me they were the best.
After the signing, we were treated to another wonderful meal. This time dessert was "Chocolate Follies" which meant a bunch of different chocolate things (mousse, ice cream, cookies...). Yum yum yum!
We got back to the hotel late, but I took another bath anyway. :-)
And now I'm writing on Thursday on yet another train. This time on our way to Lyon.
Wednesday morning was all about transportation. There was a train from Brussels to Paris, a quick stop at the hotel where we were given the exact same room again, then off to a different train station and a trip to Le Mans. Which is yet another beautiful city in France. We didn't have time to explore, sadly.
But we did have time for an amazing lunch. It was in a house and our group had our own room. It was run by two sisters, who were both delightful. They took turns: for one week one cooked while the other waited on tables, then the next week they switched. The food was great and the dessert; magnifique! I had a selection of chocolate things (pie, mousse, and ice cream!).
After lunch it was off to another amazing comics shop (they have all been awesome in very different ways). This time we had a camera crew following us around for awhile. Very odd. Scott did a signing followed by an "onstage" (really "in room" but that doesn't look right) conversation to a packed house (The space was brand new, Scott's event was the first time it was used). Really interesting. Much fun. Then there was more signing and a mad dash to get train.
Side note: really awesome people the last few days! I'm not naming them for fear of leaving someone out, but I could spend ages talking about how much I adored everyone!
Arg! My hand is going numb again and I'm pretty much at the end of yesterday and we're almost at Lyon, so... I think I'll finish this tonight on the train back to Paris.
And we're back on the train to Paris! My hand is not so numb anymore, we'll see how long it lasts. My hand's been like this for months, so don't worry. Oh, and in case you're interested, my knee is still swollen, but not nearly as much as it was and I've been walking fine. It only hurts when I put weight on it.
Today was Lyon. What a beautiful city. And again, the nicest people. This time Scott did signings in two different stores, and both stores were gorgeous. I can't say how much I wish we had such nice stores near us!
Our group consisted of us plus Nadia and Alain from Rue de Sevres. When we got to town we went right to our first store. As we arrived, we met up with Sylvie, who also works with Rue de Sevres who GIFTED ME WITH CHOCOLATE! (I told you, awesome people!) We were worried that there was a small turnout, but we discovered that the store owner had given people times to arrive. Once Scott started signing there was a constant stream of people.
From the signing our whole group went to lunch with some reporters and our hosts from store number two. I made sure to order Lyonnaise food. It was very good. I ate way too much. Luckily we took a very long walk afterwards. There are secret passageways!! I kept expecting D'Artanion and friends to show up any minute. Finally it got late enough that Scott (and Alain) had to run off to the signing. The gals and I went hunting for more underwear for me, as I had nothing clean left. So we got an even longer walk!
We accomplished our task and got back to the signing. I love meeting all the people.
Scott finished with just enough time for us get to the train station in time for our train. Which we are now on heading back to Paris and our hotel.
Oh, and while on our walk I bought another purse. It has Le Petite Prince on it! It makes me very happy!
Tomorrow is our last day in Paris. That makes me very sad.
Next update will be written on the plane home. :-(
|Tuesday, March 24th, 2015|
|So. Busy. Omg.
I know, it's been forever. So sorry. To be honest, we've been doing so much, it's hard to find time to write. I'll be on a train again in a few hours,so if I don't finish this now, I can finish it then.
Last I wrote, I think I was heading from one friend to another. At the second friend's I was treated to new and excellent food, and BABY SHEEP! THEY WERE SO CUTE!!! Ahem, sorry. Lovely walk, cute sheep and a way of life so different that I kept bothering them with questions.
All in all, my time with friends was exactly as awesome as I'd expected knowing how awesome my friends are.
From there I TOOK THE EUROSTAR!!! This gets all caps because it's something I've wanted to do for, literally, decades! It was very fast. I was wondering when we'd go through the Chunnel, and then realized that we were in France! There was a bunch underground so I just hadn't realized. The "in France" part of the journey was longer than the England or Chunnel parts. My ears felt the speed. So weird!
I was not given any problems trying to check into our Paris hotel (I had feared I would since I was sans Scott). It took me a bit to figure out what to do alone in Paris. In the end, I decided to go for a walk. Going for a walk in Paris is exactly like in the movies and songs. It is just beautiful. I wandered aimlessly and saw all sorts of cool things. Unfortunately, my new shoes tried to kill me. One slipped off my foot and I went boom. Ow ow ow. I was instantly helped up by a group of young men who were concerned about my wellbeing. I found a bench to sit on until the pain subsided enough for me to continue my walk. Sitting on the bench I looked up and realized I was right in front of the Louvre!! I sat and stared. I later found out it had been open, but I wouldn't have had much time anyway. Plus: my knee, OW! Once I could walk again, I went right back to the hotel (about a 20min walk). Once back in the neighborhood I had my first of many amazing deserts (what we Americans call Chocolate Lava cake).
(And now I'm on the train, in 1st class no less! So far Scott and I have the car to ourselves) (damn. We are no longer the only people in this car; one fellow has entered)
Scott arrived in Paris early the next morning (Thursday) beginning our Paris portion of the tour.
(Damn again, just before the train left the station someone else joined the car, oh well, they are both several rows away...)
Thursday we were met at the hotel by Nadia our host from Rue D'Sevre, our French publisher. She brought us to their offices where we were given a tour and a wonderful lunch (you'll hear a lot about food in Paris because it's been amazingly good) with Nadia, Louis (the head of the company), and Laura (who sold the foreign licenses for Scott's book. My dessert turned out to be the same kind of cake I had the night before but slightly different, still wonderful.
Scott was so tired he fell asleep on the office couch!
The evening was spent at the opening of the Salon du Livre, which was basically why we were in town. It reminded me of Wednesday night at ComicCon.
Friday we were able to sleep late! Then it was back to Rue de Sevres for many interviews, then off to the Salon for more interviews and a signing, then back to the offices for a party! A very busy day! But not so busy that we didn't have time to run off for a bit. To Notre Dame. Just in time for a service to begin. Quite the perfect experience. And the singing! And the stained glass! I don't have words to describe how beautiful.
Saturday was another late morning! These have been few on this trip. There was a film interview for Scott and then a break! So Scott and I took a walk. Our plan had been to try to get an hour or two at the Louvre, but the line was ridiculously long so we just stared at the huge building, and then continued our nice long walk. Paris is ridiculously beautiful. We got back just in time to meet with Nora who was moderating the panel with Scott and Boulet the next day.
Then we rushed back to the Salon just in time for Scott's signing. But that was it for us for the day, so we had the night to ourselves. We made best use of it by taking a boat ride on the Seine! Yes, we do know how to be tourists. :-) The boat dock was at the Eiffel Tower, so we got to see that as well!
Sunday (yesterday) was the big day for us. The Salon people picked us up and got us there in time for Scott and Boulet to have their talk with Nora for a packed audience. It was lots of fun and way too short.
After was another wonderful meal (I can't remember which dessert it was, but I know I've not mentioned the amazing chocolate mousse yet, omg was that good, oh wait, I remember, this wasn't that amazing chocolate cake thing that was like a mousse ball on a layer of cake, omg was that good!).
Then it was off to Scott's last signing of the festival. Really good crowd! And when it was over, so was our time at the Salon. A ride was waiting to take us back to our hotel.
That night we decided to walk the Champs Élysées and have dinner within the sight of the Arc de Triomphe. Dessert was another (totally different) amazing chocolate cake.
Which brings us to today (Monday). Today we checked out of our Paris hotel and went back to the Rue de Servres offices where Scott had his picture taken and I (with help) managed to acquire tickets to the Louvre! Which Scott and I got to spend a few hours in. Not nearly enough time, of course, but we saw something.
After that it was back to the office for another interview and then to a really great comic shop for a signing. Small store, but lots of people. And hence, lots of fun!
Then to the train that we got to ride 1st class and then to here. An amazing room in a radically different hotel in Brussels. It is time for bed, so Scott will proof this, and then I'll post it. My next post will be written on the next train (which will be Wednesday).
|Monday, March 16th, 2015|
|A Pathetic Attempt to Write About Germany (and Newcastle)
This time I'm writing from a plane instead of a train!
I'm back in England, heading off to visit some friends while Scott flies back to the states to do a talk in Ohio. We meet up again in a few days in Paris. How romantic is that!?
I left my narrative off in England. Since then, we've done our Germany portion of the tour. We were two places in Germany; Berlin and Leipzig.
Honestly, the whole trip is a blur. In Berlin we had two hours to sightsee with our hosts. We saw a church that had been mostly destroyed by bombing and the new church they built next door. Both were awe inspiring in their own ways. We had lunch in a restaurant overlooking the zoo, so we got to see animals! Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time to actually go into the zoo.
But mostly Germany was a few days of meeting people (as par for this tour, all the people we spent time with were great) and Scott being interviewed. With a few train rides.
The two big talks Scott did were well attended (the last one in Leipzig had people piled into the room, sitting in every available space on chairs and floor). They were massive amounts of fun.
I'm sure Scott will eventually be linking to many interviews that were done while we were there as well. Like I said: Germany was spent with Scott doing lots of talks and interviews and me watching him (and joining in on an interview or two) and good food with wonderful people.
(Time has passed again)
And now I'm back on another train. I'm traveling from visiting one friend and on my way to the next. My visit to Newcastle was awesome and I'm very sad to leave. K and I basically spent most of our time shopping. She took me to a bunch of markets that were very cool. I finally got my Cornish Pasty! Mmmm so good! Then we went to a mall where I MANAGED TO BUY NEW SHOES! So exciting! I also bought a change purse but it's not exactly what I wanted. It will do for now and I wanted two anyway.
There was also a great dinner my first night, and watching of things. Basically an awesome time with two awesome people whom I'm very sad to be leaving.
But I'm off to spend the next few days with another awesome friend and her husband, so go me!
I'll post this when I get to their place, and try to include a pic of my awesome new shoes.
And here are my awesome shoes(well, one of them, anyway):
|Thursday, March 12th, 2015|
|The Rest of England
Well, clearly I failed to write while on the last few trains. Which means I have a bit to catch up on!
Let's see, we left off on Sunday night, so I guess I should start with Monday:
Monday started with us waking early on one of the few days we didn't have to. Well, we did have to, Sky needed us. Sky sent us her script, then had Scott and I got do voice work (with Sky recording herself as well), for her film for her senior project. I hope she's satisfied with the results.
We only had so much time, cause then came time for walking to the train station and saying goodbye to Stephan from Page 45.
And no dead bodies at the train station this time!
(Did I mention that in my last entry? There were bunches of dead bodies all over the station when we arrived. Most people seemed to be ignoring them and we saw one taking her place to lay on top of one of the other dead people, so we realized pretty quickly that it was some kind of performance art or protest. I tried to look it up online,but found no mention of it)
From Nottingham, it was on to Leeds!
There were two events there; a signing at a lovely store called OK Comics, and an event at the Leeds Town Hall (an amazingly beautiful building with a theater I could've spent hours staring at, which sadly, was NOT where Scott spoke) (I mean the theatre, he did speak at the town hall...).
Our day in Leeds was bracketed by two very scary almost accidents that were close enough to us that had they not been "almost" accidents we might've gotten really hurt. One was a car turning when he shouldn't've and the other was a car going way too fast and recklessly. Both incidents involved screeching breaks and happened while we were standing at the intersection. The two events were separated by one block and the whole day. Weird. All three of us (Sam, from Self Made Hero, was our amazing and wonderful guide throughout our stay in England) were a bit shook up.
The OK Comics signing was pretty well attended considering it was in the middle of the day on a Monday. And I really liked the people that showed up, so it was a really good time.
The Town Hall event was full and Scott was in discussion with Peter Daherty. The questions from both Peter and the audience were great. The night was so much fun. After the talk (and the signing that followed) it was off to Indian food! And yet again it was great food and even better company. Except for the two near death experiences it was pretty close to a perfect day.
Despite everything being a 9min walk (according to Sam's phone) we cabbed it to the train on Tuesday morning for yet another train. This time to Birmingham.
Once in Birmingham we were able to meet up with our friend Ted, who always makes things more fun! Ted knew of a cool Tea Room in a museum, so that was where we lunched. It was indeed cool and pictures of us all were taken there (unfortunately not with my camera, so I don't have them to post).
From there we continued our, as yet, unsuccessful shoe hunt. Hmm, have I mentioned this yet? I have no memory anymore. I'm trying to get new shoes before we go to France because my Captain America shoes are falls apart and I didn't bring any others. In Birmingham there's a mall (shopping plaza?) that looks like it was created and dropped into the city by aliens. It does not look of this earth. In this wondrous building we actually found the shoes I wanted. But, sadly, not in my size. Arg. They were even on sale! Double arg!
I could've hung out there for hours more, but we needed to get to Scott's signing.
It was a fun signing and I bought a poster! This is a big thing for me. Poor Sam has been delegated to get all our gifts and purchases sent home for us. I asked if it would be okay to include the poster, and he assured me it would be. I'd not have bought it otherwise.. But it was Watson (Martin Freeman) BY HIMSELF!!! (To go next to my Sherlock alone poster I got for December holidays).
After the signing Scott, Sam, Ted and I went to a cute place for dinner, then it was time to say goodbye to Ted. He went for a bus and we got on our train for London.
This was our last night in London. But we were too tired to do anything other than sleep. We hit our beds after midnight and had a cab waiting to pick us up at 5:30 am.
Well that finishes up England. I'm writing this from Germany, but we have to run to catch another train so I'll have to do yesterday later...
|Sunday, March 8th, 2015|
|Goodbye London—Hello Nottingham!
I'm back on another train (this time on our way to Nottingham and the awesome Page 45) so I figured it was time for another blog post.
We left off last post in the middle of Friday: After the train, we went back to the Self Made Hero offices (our British publisher) so Scott could finish signing their quite lovely book plates. But Scott was not done signing when he'd finished there, oh no! From there (after checking into our hotel) it was off to Gosh Comics and then Forbidden Planet for Scott to sign their stock. While Scott was signing I was either off getting pork buns (mmm, so good!) or enjoying the store. I could happily spend hours (days?) in any of the stores we visited.
In the evening, we had the wonderful talk at the British Library! Paul Gravett, whom I adore, was there to ask Scott questions in front of the sold-out crowd. They were both in rare form and it was much fun. During the signing I got to run around and talk to everyone there. There was a delightful woman who had come despite the fact that she was supposed to be on bed rest due to her pregnancy. I hope all is well with her! There were so many cool people, I can't begin to mention them all, but suffice to say, I think Scott has the best fans!
Dinner was with the staff of Self Made Hero and Paul. I got the pie of the day and it was bigger than my head! Fun conversation despite the music being on loud enough to barely hear over.
We went late as one does on a Friday night with awesome people. The great thing was that it was the only night, on the UK leg of the tour, that we did not have to leave the next morning so we got to sleep in! Mostly.
Saturday morning we slept so late we almost missed breakfast! After our very quick breakfast, Scott had several interviews at the hotel. I took a long bath instead. Then I joined the gang for the last interview at a pub and on to a signing at Waterstones, this one open to the public. For me, the best part of that signing is that a friend of mine arrived half way through. She stayed the rest of the evening! Have I mentioned I know really awesome people? Because I do. I really do!
There was another stop at the hotel for Scott to do a live radio show (with Judith Regan) and then off to Orbital Comics for a signing. Unlike Friday, Saturday's signings were public (Friday Scott was in the stores to sign back-stock not to talk to people). We had met the gang at Orbital last time we were in London, hence the evening was like hanging out with old friends. Dinner was even at the same place we'd had dinner last time! And my friend was invited along, and she definitely counts as an old friend!
Since I wrote the above we've had our appearance at Page 45 in Nottingham! Page 45 is a great store with one of my favorite store owners: Stephan Holland. So naturally we had a grand time! Both the signing and the dinner after were filled with interesting, smart, talented people. Scott did an impromptu Q&A at the store where the lively conversation continued through dinner.
And I knew how to spell raccoon, which evidently is something many people get wrong (especially impressive considering how much I can't spell (thank god for spellcheck!).
We are now back in our hotel room. Once I post this, we'll go to bed so we can get up early to help Sky—thousands of miles away—record the sound track for the movie she's working on, which I believe is her senior thesis!
Tomorrow is Leeds. If I'm awake enough, I'll try to write the next post on the train between Leeds and Birmingham.
|Friday, March 6th, 2015|
I'm on a train right now heading from London to Cambridge where Scott will be speaking this evening. I figured this was as good a time as any to catch up on my blog. Although really the excitement is just about to begin.
In my last post (on Monday) I said, "Hopefully tomorrow will be more interesting." It was not.
We spent all of Tuesday worrying about our flight (yet another storm was coming in). In the end, all we did was change our flight to an earlier one, then spend most of the day hanging out in the airport waiting and watching as the storm got worse and our flight got delayed.
Eventually the flight did take off. It was not crowded at all so we had plenty of room.
When we landed it was Wednesday. We were picked up and brought to our hotel where we could not yet check in. Scott and I wandered around, got some food, saw a mall that we are convinced was in Love Actually (this counts as exciting to us), and wasted enough time to allow us to check in.
Scott took a nap while I took a very long bath. So nice!
In the evening we met with our delightful hosts for this trip; Sam and Emma from Self Made Hero, our UK publisher. We had Chinese food. I love Chinese food. After our delicious dinner it was back to our hotel, and bed.
Which brings us to today. I started this post on the train, but I am finishing it now, hours later, on Thursday night (technically Friday as it's after midnight).
What a great day! Fantastic start to our "World Tour". First we went to the offices of Self Made Hero for Scott to sign books for Spain and bookplates for UK. Didn't quite finish before we had to run for the train. Sam is joining us so we have good company.
Cambridge is a beautiful city, omg. The university is huge and confusing and gorgeous. Before the talk we had lunch, Scott was interviewed, and we got a bit lost but found the right place. When we arrived we were greeted by some friends we hadn't seen in YEARS! It was so great to see them. The adults looked just the same, but oh how the kids have grown. Time does that.
I got to hang out with them before the talk.
This was another Q&A event. The person on stage with Scott was a fellow named John Lennard, who was fascinating in his own right. The conversation covered all sorts of new things. It really got me thinking. Best part: the last audience question, which Scott answered so beautifully that he earned massive applause (I'm still laughing to myself about it and it's now the next day).
(Oh, right, I'm now on the train back to London, fell asleep last night before I finished this)
After the talk (and signing) we went to dinner. Our friends were invited along. What a delight! Great food and even better company. Our friends (Ann and Steve and daughters Kate and Alice for those of you at home wondering who I'm talking about) were just as wonderful as the last time we saw them. Kate is a student at Cambridge so we were on her turf. The conversation between the ten people at dinner was varied, interesting and exciting. More often than not there was one conversation that everyone took part in. I love when that happens.
During dinner two drinks were delivered to our table for Scott and I courtesy of two other anonymous patrons in thanks for a wonderful evening! I couldn't thank them last night, but guys, if you read this; THANK YOU!!
What a wonderful day. And did I mention that Cambridge is beyond beautiful? So pretty!
We are pulling into London, I will post this as soon as I have internet.
(Oh, and don't forget: British Library tonight! People can't all make it; probably some empty seats despite being sold out!)
|Monday, March 2nd, 2015|
|Didn't do a lot today...
Today we spent much of the day hanging around the hotel. Scott had a phone interview midday, and afterwards we went shopping. I failed to buy a new pair of shoes, but Scott did get some t-shirts. Hight of excitement here folks.
Five pm found us at WNYC studios Where Scott was to tape an interview for Studio 360. It was a really good interview. I'm pretty sure Scott was asked questions and gave answers that I'd not heard before. This is rare. Can't wait until I can share it with you!
After the interview we were able to meet up with Brooke Gladstone (of "On [The Media]" fame) for a bit. SHE GAVE US HATS!!! They are awesome!!!!!
By far the most exciting part of our day.
She had dinner plans so we could only take up so much of her time. But...she did walk us to a restaurant she loves and recommend. Scott and I did indeed eat there. The food was delicious.
After dinner we came back to our hotel and did stuff on computers.
Hopefully tomorrow will be more interesting. I'll probably skip posting tomorrow night since we are taking the red eye to London!
UK, WE WILL BE IN YOU SOON!
|Sunday, March 1st, 2015|
|Cheated: here's the whole weekend!
First, if you were waiting for me to do the "real " post for Friday, it's finally up. Sorry about that, the last few days have been just too full to find time to write.
Since I missed yesterday completely, I'm going to make this post be for the whole weekend. I know that's kinda cheating, but it seemed silly to write three separate posts in one day...
Saturday: after a later start than we had hoped for, we went to visit Scott's mom again. This time, not only did we have lunch with her, but we were joined by one of Scott's cousins and her son. As we finished eating, the group got bigger as another cousin joined.
As if it wasn't awesome enough to see and get to spend time with all of them, Scott's brother then arrived with his whole family (wife, their three adult kids and their two spouses and the one grandchild)! I think it was a total of 14 people there (including us and Scott's mom). Scott has a pretty great family. I really appreciated being able to spend time with them all.
As if just their presence wasn't enough, Scott's brother and his wife brought a cake! For us! It said "Congratulations Scott and Ivy" in honor of Scott's new book. Total surprise. Made my day (week? month?). Like I said, Scott's family is pretty awesome.
The impromptu party broke up at around dinner time. From there, we met up with my friend Alice at Uno's for dinner. Afterwards she came back to our hotel for an oh so very exciting night of laundry and hair dying that lasted past midnight. Which is why I didn't have the energy to write anything.
Sunday (today): I purposely decided not to get up too early so that I'd be plenty rested for the day's driving. We started later than we'd hoped, but not too late. Our GPS said that we should be getting into NYC at about 3pm. I thought this was great because it meant only driving in the day and getting there just in time to check in to our hotel.
But fate was cruel and the weather was horrid (lots of snow and very scary road and weather conditions), so instead of arriving at 3:00, we got there at 7:30! My car was awesome but I was a wreck.
The important thing is we made it here safely. I didn't manage to eat dinner, but the whole day was so stressful that it's probably for the best.
And now it is 11:35pm, Scott's in bed and I've written two posts. I think I'll answer all the previous comments that I've not gotten to, tomorrow.
And all our Boston friends that I wanted to get to see and didn't manage to: I am so sorry! We WILL be back at the end of April. The weather will be better and I will find a way to see you all. I miss you!!