I love my breakfasts. But when I’m at home, I don’t usually get to them until late—11 or 12, if I’m writing. (Some writers drink. Some do drugs. I find creativity via coffee on an empty stomach.) And I eat cereal. Or oatmeal/porridge. Milk should always be somehow involved with breakfast, I feel. The hearty, American-style breakfast of egg and bacon and sausage and hash browns is a little too much for me, especially early. If you ask me, there’s something a little immoral about cooking anything before noon but toast.
This is why I’m having a little difficulty with the hordes of people in line for pizza at 8am at the airport. And “breakfast tacos!” You can’t just put the word “breakfast” in front of something as if that makes it okay! No! There are no breakfast pot roasts, are there? Breakfast buffalo burgers? Breakfast prime rib steak?
It’s raining in Austin. But that’s okay, because I have to stay in and do my washing. Originally, my plan was to have the hotel dryclean some clothes for me. But I’m never long enough in one place for this. So I fill up the bathtub, toss in some soap, and wash a load of shirts and underpants, old-school. Then I wring them out, arrange them on hangers, and distribute them around my hotel room. It really adds something to my luxurious hotel room; a certain third world ambiance.
I call home, and we get the webcam thing happening. Jen puts Fin on her lap, and Fin sees my picture and smiles. I sing nursery rhymes to her through the phone and she grins and claps and says, “More?” when I finish. It’s wonderful. Being able to see them, even in jerky low-resolution, makes me feel much closer to home.
On a geeky note, I’m very pleased with my laptop computer. It’s the first time I’ve left home with a Linux-powered machine (it’s running Ubuntu), and thought I might hit problems trying to hook up with the internet services of various hotels. But nope: everything’s worked perfectly.
Today’s amusing email:
im doing a book report on your book “Jennifer Government” and i need some books that contain information about you as an author. my stupid english teacher insists that i find at least 3 books that contain information about you as an author, even though it seems to be impossible.
i also need to know if you are “respected” as an author in the writing community because it is part of my paper.
please please help me
That’s a good question, whether I am respected. Who knows what those bitchy other authors say about me behind my back?
I wonder if authors ever go on tours together. That would be cool. All this travelling would be more fun if there was somebody else. I should go with Paul Neilan, because I’m recommending his book at every stop. It feels good to recommend Paul’s book here, because back home, every time I tell someone how great it is, I have to add, “But you can’t buy it here.” This makes them disappointed and angry. But it’s not my fault no-one’s published it in Australia. I don’t control the world. But here, at readings I can say, “And it’s available in the US!” Then we all look at the bookstore person, who says, “I don’t think we have that.”
At tonight’s reading, a girl named Jessica asks whether Chuck Palahniuk and I hang out together. She says that she read online that he’s a fan of my work, and I hyperventilate for a few seconds before realizing that she’s confusing Chuck with the webmaster of chuckpalahniuk.net, Dennis. So I guess Chuck won’t be calling up any time soon and asking if I want to come over and shoot some pool, or, you know, murder some puppies or something. Whatever, Chuck. I’d be up for it.
Jessica has an adorable accent and says “y’all.” It’s so strange to hear actual “y’all”s. I kind of assumed they were just in movies and Jerry Springer. For some more local flavor, a guy—I want to say Mike, but my notes aren’t clear, sorry—gives me a “Fightin’ Texas Aggies” T-shirt, from Texas A&M University. He helpfully advises me not to wear it in Austin, though, because it may prompt locals to beat me up. I’m glad he mentioned that. I hope it doesn’t cause any problem with airport security tomorrow.