Archive for June 23rd, 2006

Blackout in Boston?

June 23rd, 2006

Okay, I know nobody’s really gonna see this, but I’ll post it anyway. I just found out that the place in Boston where I’m speaking tonight has been changed because there was a power outage. (There’s a big storm going on.) It’s now at Alumni Hall, which is also part of Simmons College. The address is 321 Brookline.


Oddities of the day

June 23rd, 2006

Today I traveled on the Acela from Philadelphia to Boston. As I was hanging out in the vast central waiting room of 30th St. Station before the train left, I saw this tiny mouse running across the marble floor.

30th st

Then when I got to my hotel room in Boston, I realized it was the same hotel from which a woman flashed the Dyke March last year. For real. We were marching along up Boylston, and in the window of a hotel across from the Public Garden two women in bathrobes were watching us go by. They were smiling and waving, and then one of them totally yanked open her bathrobe. For just a second, before collapsing out of view. It was pretty funny. Anyhow, here I am re-enacting the scene. But don’t worry, I’m fully clothed under there.


Now I’m getting ready to go do an event for the Center for New Words. It’ll be at Simmons College, the Linda K. Paretsky Conference Center, 300 The Fenway. Just in case anyone in Boston is reading this between now (5:06pm) and 7, when it starts. Or come to Toast Lounge at 708 Union Square in Somerville, where I’ll be later, after 9 tonight.

Philadelphia Story, or, Worlds Collide

June 23rd, 2006

Thursday I took the train from the nondescript underground remnants of Penn Station, where they were holding some kind of surreal “security expo” with bomb-sniffing dogs, to the glorious 30th St. Station in Philadelphia. See illustration.

philly train station

I then proceeded to a handsome suburb called Mount Airy, which appeared to be populated solely by lesbian couples with children. At any rate, I never saw so many in one place before in my life. I signed books at The Big Blue Marble, a new independent bookstore in the neighborhood. Here’s Sheila, the owner.

big blue marble

And here’s Nava, a charming queerspawn poet who works there.

nava at big blue marble

After hanging out and signing books there for a while, it was on to the august Giovanni’s Room, back in the city. I was expecting this to be another “meet and greet,” where I sit and sign peoples’ books and talk one-on-one to them. But there was a bit of a mix-up, and I walked into a room where thirty or forty people sat expectantly in rows facing one lone chair, as if for a reading. And of course you can’t just do a reading from a graphic novel. And I hadn’t prepared anything to say to a group. It was a rather nightmarish moment for an introvert, but somehow I rallied and we managed to have an interesting, intimate Q & A session.

slightly panicked

THEN I scarfed down some food in the car while being driven to another august institution, the Philadelphia Free Library.

free library

I was part of their reading series. They had a really nice auditorium that even had a dressing room backstage, lined with portraits of authors. Here I am in it, pretty well fried by now.


Fortunately the lovely librarian who was going to introduce me gave me some kind of zen slap to the back of the neck that she promised would give me twenty minutes of energy. I think it worked. As I looked back to scan the crowd before going onstage, I saw my Aunt Jane come in–that’s her in the green sweater in the rear right. She’s my dad’s sister.
library crowd

I’ve never done a reading from the book with any family members present, and it was pretty intense. It felt much more emotional. Of course I’m worried some of my family will be hurt or angry about the book. But afterward, Aunt Jane gave me a big hug and said she was proud of me. It was really wonderful. Here we are together. I was named after Aunt Jane–Jane is my middle name. Also, she bought me a baseball bat and my first pair of boys’ sneakers when I was little. She’s utterly awesome.

me and aunt jane

And then there was still this big long line of people waiting patiently for me to sign their books while I was yacking to Aunt Jane and my dad’s cousin and her husband and daughter.

patient people

Anyhow. It was quite a day. I’m ready for the sensory deprivation tank.