I Pay Rapt Attention

Red-Eyes, Reading, and Rena

Posted in Eccentricities by Zoelle on August 17, 2008


I hate them. I am tall, and the seats aren’t made for people of my stature. Enough said.


Upon (finally) reaching the hotel, I crashed into bed and grabbed All About Lulu, a novel by Jonathan Evison. This book also holds the distinction of being the book behind My Favorite Book Tour that I mentioned earlier this summer.

Despite my exhaustion, I powered through all 336 pages in 3ish hours, which is a testament both to the flow of the writing and my hunger to read. I’m pretty tired now, so I won’t go into an astonishing amount of detail here with my thoughts on the book. Basically, it’s relatively well written, breezy, with an interesting conceit, and some surprisingly captivating characters. I especially like one Eugene Gobernecki and his transcendental Hot Dog stand. The ending isn’t surprising (I think I figured it out 50 pages in) but the story kept me going until the end, and I didn’t resent its predictability, which is a feat for a twist junkie like me.

It’s a good summer read, and I would certainly recommend checking it out if you’re looking for a light, fun piece.


Is getting married tomorrow. Tonight was dinner with the relatives. They’re surprisingly cooler than I remembered. In the next few days, if I have time, I’ll try to recreate the rant that Bernie, my uncle’s old college professor AKA the crankiest Canadian man ever, decided to share with us tonight. He’s sort of amazing.

In other news, Speedo must be kicking itself for making million dollar promises to one Michael Phelps. What a great run, eh?


Jello Shots, MUNI, and maus haus

Posted in adventures by Zoelle on August 6, 2008

Jello Shots

We began the night, six girls either in college or only recently departed, squashed into a car meant for five and pretending that sipping hangar one in paper cups while parked on Haight Street in the broad daylight of 6:30 pm was covert in any conceivable way. I’d always wanted to try hangar one; I was not disappointed. Soon an hour had passed and we were in terrible danger of being late to our own event (or at least, an event that some of them were supposed to be running)  so we reluctantly exited the car and rushed down the street to Booksmith.

The party had apparently started without us. And I say that in a more literal sense than one might expect, since the store had a surprisingly festive air. It didn’t take long to discover why- the author and his tour manager had provided some… unconventional refreshments.  I found myself presented with tray after tray of tiny jello-filled cups, twinkling in their jewel colors and promising that a good time lay ahead. Also offered were:

-Mini donuts

-Mini hotdogs

-Marshmallow-and-Jujubee skewers


and much much more. Apparently, as the author later mentioned, they were going for a “white trash feast.” We all approved, man. I lived up to my title as the Perennial First-Row Gawker, sat on an awkward children’s bench right in the front, and laughed a little too loudly for any normal book event, but no one seemed to care.  I may also be responsible for the bright red jello stain near the bookshelf labeled “Altered States” (yes, this actually exists- there was an entire tome on how to pass drug tests. amazing.) but that’s only speculation at this point.


Not much to say except it was just as much of a disaster as I expected. Even as the most sober one there, I still managed to lead us onto a bus going the wrong direction TWICE. I am the epitome of talent and responsibility. Clearly.

maus haus

We finally made it to the Bottom of the Hill, a great venue out in the middle of freaking nowhere on 17th street. They were still serving burgers at 10 pm, and while I’m a newly converted vegetarian (and thus wasn’t going to eat one) I did still get to steal all of my friend’s potato chips. Because their burgers come with CHIPS but in the American sense, not the British sense. Which is a little weird, if you think about it. But good for me.

We got there just as maus haus began to play. They completely killed it. What a great show. Really really enjoyable. Of the 2 guys and 3 girls who were with me at that point, who had musical tastes ranging from country to german industrial, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the set. Which is saying something. Check them out– they have a cd coming out in october.


To summarize: A great night, no major disasters, and some level of sleep achieved. I love having more of a social life during week days than the weekend…