Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Life Off the Net

Due to an untimely decision to switch Internet service providers on a Friday, before the modem was shipped (I'm guessing they strapped it to the back of a turtle, slapped his behind and sent him on his merry, aimless way), I have been without home web access for the last five days. As a result, I am clueless about the following things: the weather forecast, my amazon ranking, any communication at all in my email accounts, urgent electronic messages from work, and the fact that Madonna is getting divorced. So, if you've been trying to reach me via email and I haven't replied, it's because I'm fiddling with my abacus, listening to an eight track of Gordon Lightfoot, and eating fondue while I wait for the modem to arrive. So I can step back into the modern age.

I had my first real signing this past Saturday, at Strawberry Fest in Cedarburg. Here I am, in my sunscreen-less glory. Things went well! I met many lovely people, and we sold out of every copy of Driving Sideways that Creekside Books had in stock. However, I had stiff competition from the book propped to my right: do you see what it is? Here, let me zoom in for you:

I was very nearly upstaged by Walter the Farting Dog. If I kept a running tally of the number of people who stopped to giggle at this, I would have sprained my wrist. At one point I actually said to a couple, "Hey, my book has fart jokes in it, too!" Thankfully, they laughed. And then they kept walking. Later, I would discover more books on the history of the fart propped to my right. And earlier in the week, there was this with my friend L, during some drop-in signings at Milwaukee area bookstores:

I may as well embrace the fart. Because clearly, there is no escape.

I must soon leave this air-conditioned, Internet-connected Building of the Future for my sweaty, disconnected hovel, but before I do, some commentary on things I'm digging or not digging:

Funny Games, starring Naomi Watts. Not so much with the digging. I'd say it was violent and pointless, but that's the whole point.

Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch. Digging so much I want to mainline it. In fact, I want to cut this post short so I can go home and binge on it some more.

Diary of the Dead. Meh. I love zombie flicks, in general (strange, isn't it? I wonder why that is...), but this is only for Die Hard Romero fans.

I haven't been watching much TV, but I do have a nagging feeling that new seasons for Flight of the Conchords and Mad Men are both about to begin. These shows? I dig them. Immensely.

I haven't been listening to much new music either, but I am going to see Trampled by Turtles live this Thursday. I don't so much dig them as want to marry them all. (J, you won't mind, will you?)


  1. First many congrats on doing your book signing at the strawberry festival...that is so great.

    My first thought was I how strange it would be to be sitting there as all those people walked by, I would feel so vulnerable...on the other hand, it must be such a feeling of pride to sharing something you wrote!

    You know, it must be hard not to have the internet connection working, but also great for catching up on reading!

  2. My nephew LOVES Walter the Farting Dog. It's quite funny.

    Can you balance my checkbook with that abacus of yours?

  3. Congrats on the book signing, but how funny that you were placed next to Walter the Farting Dog!

    If you were a fan of Sex in the City, your experience is very similar to the storyline of Carrie Bradshaw's first book reading in SF. If you remember she read before some author of a children's book about a dog. On the show, her book was a big success, maybe, your real life will follow that storyline of SITC.


  4. Dang. You were right here...near my zip code. And I missed you. Drat. I hope you'll be back again. Perhaps a Schwartz appearance? OK, I just wanted to pass along that my sister finished Driving Sideways and said that she kept laughing hysterically while reading it, annoying the hell out of her husband. She LOVED it. Seriously. I am not embellishing on this. You have a big fan down in lovely Glenview, IL.

    Hope the book sells a ton!

    P.S. Madonna is denying the divorce. I just Googled it so it must be true.

  5. Beware of hail tomorrow afternoon in Milwaukee. I checked the weather for you, but have no idea if you are close to the big city.

    Finally saw your book in Target today! Took a picture of it with my kids (bought it of course!)and will start reading it ASAP.

    Good luck with that no internet thing!

  6. Anonymous8:51 AM

    Look at that rockin' author/book signing table! I hope your enjoying the hell of out getting out there and promoting.

  7. Sorry about the modem. I bet you were going crazy without internet access for so long. Oh, and I actually laughed out loud at the "Hey, my book has fart jokes in it, too!" That couple is definitely missing out.

  8. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Hi Jess! Just wanted to say it was a pleasure talking with you about DS, and I actually finished reading it a week ago - loved it :)

    ~Sarah Owen

  9. At least you got some walk-by traffic thanks to Walter--better than to have been next to some depressing book, right?

    And I was so happy you at least had fondue. Food you can play with makes everything better.

  10. Walter the Farting Dog? Too funny! But you look good sitting there at the table!! :) I can relate to the non-computer home as mine got fried by lightning along with my tv's. (You may have heard! lol)

    Congrats on the book signing! That is awesome. By the way, I LOVE Mad Men and can't wait for it to start!!

  11. My friend Jenny is in the new Flight of the Conchords vid. She's on my sidebar as Jenny Is Single And Hot. Do you see how she made it into the video?

  12. kellyg5:22 PM

    Hmmm....your modem people seem to be from the same group as our old apartment dishwasher people. When the dishwasher died in our old apartment (several years ago), it took so long to get a new one that we joked they got it off a mountain in Nepal and sent it to us by pygmy goat. It would have gotten to us sooner but there was a whole ocean to swim. The new dishwasher was installed just after we gave notice to vacate. Coincidence?

  13. Sorry Jess, but it's nearly impossible to compete with fart books, which brings up a good point... did you and your publisher ever discuss titling your book Farting Sideways - or perhaps (from the original title) Farting With Larry Resnick?

    I don't know, maybe you ought to think about that for your next novel. After all if I'm not mistaken, it IS going to be written in a more masculine voice. I'm just saying.

  14. After I got off the phone with you the other day when I was at Target, a woman who was EAVESDROPPING said, "I heard you talking about Girls in Trucks--it's right here." I didn't buy it yet but I have to! Especially cuz Jen Lancaster is promoting it too, along with DRIVING SIDEWAYS as a SHITTASTIC summer read--go check out her blog!

    And we are sooo on for July 16 babe!