Diva bawled her eyes out after Swishy left.
Hubby breathed a sigh of relief to discover she really wasn’t a lesbian-knife-wielding-serial-killer-girl, although I suspect some readers might think the lesbian aspect would be kind of cool.
When Swishy drives up, before she gets into my house, hubby and I have this quick conversation:
Hubby: How do you know she’s not a serial killer?
Me: We shared a hotel room for two nights in April. If she wanted to kill me (she probably should have after that waxing episode), she could have done it there. (And if he was so concerned, why didn’t he ask me this five hours previous, before Swishy left her home to come to mine?)
Me, going out to greet Swishy, laughing: Hubby thinks you’re a serial killer!
Swish: Oh great, first time I meet him, he thinks I’m a lesbian, now I’m a serial killer?
So, there was no time spent in jail, no time spent hanging our heads over the toilet, but we did spend a lot of time laughing! There’s just something about Swishy! (Hey, that would make a great movie title!).
Anyway, Friday night was low-key because we had to be charged up and ready for our big day on Saturday, where we attended the Midwest Literary Festival, in the second largest city in Illinois - Aurora! (Who woulda thunk it?)
Right away, I spot our idol, Emily Giffin, and so we go up to her and yell, “Your fan club is here!”
She was probably thinking, “Oh God, not them again. I cannot escape Manic and Swishy!”
But seriously, Emily remembered us, and we had a great time laughing and talking about writing, and all the stuff you guys who don’t write wouldn’t get (but wait, most of you are bloggers, so you all write too, so you WOULD understand!).
In between panel discussions with these really cool authors, Judy Merrill Larsen, Tasha Alexander, Cynthia Langston, and some guy named David who wrote Dark Gold, we had some free time and instead of mingling and rubbing elbows or other things with the festival-goers, I took Swishy to the place where you can get pizza slices as big as your head! The young Hispanic who worked there fell in love with Swishy, telling her that her eyes were beautiful.
That pissed me off.
“What’s wrong with MY shit brown eyes! Just because Swish has eyes the color of aquamarine gemstones, you think mine aren’t good enough?!” I yelled.
“Go make me my freaking pizza now!” I demanded.
I’m sure he spit in it, right after he put the pepperoni slices on Swishy’s piece to spell out his phone number. He was smitten with her for sure!
Then, after pizza, we have some free time, and again, instead of hobnobbing and networking with festival goers, we decide to throw some money into the Aurora River (that’s not really the name of it, and no, we didn’t really toss money into the river, but it would have probably been more fun than what we did with our cash.)
We went to play the slots with the fine specimen of folk that inhabit
I swear, there are some unwritten gambling requirements that we were unaware of. You must either be:
a. a smoker
b. a person older than dirt
c. in a motorized wheelchair
d. all of the above
It reeked, I got a huge headache (I get one just thinking about it!), and the first machine I tried to play stole my money because DUH, I put a five-dollar bill in a ten-dollar slot machine. WHAT!
I felt like an idiot and had to ask the nice lady who would NOT bring FREE drinks because that is another PROBLEM with this particular establishment: They don’t give free cocktails… I had to meekly request my money back. And then I had to ask her to direct me to the quarter slots.
And the slots sucked because:
a. Swishy got carded and I DIDN’T
b. No real money jingles out of them… you get a stupid bar-code card to keep track of your money.
c. No free drinks.
d. Smoke-filled air.
e. We lost.
But, we didn’t lose a lot cuz we are SMART SHOOTERS and went in with a plan. Our plan was to only spend $10. Okay, so I spent freaking $17 in which I could have gotten something much more out of the day, like another new book, but whatever. It was an experience. And I am all about living life for the experiences.
Aren’t we all?
So, losses aside, we head back to the festival and settle in for some more panel discussions, which are very exciting to Swish and me, but probably a little dull to those not seeking best-sellerdom and publication. And we were front and center gleaming at Emily, and she even referred to us, saying we were her fans, and she blew us kisses, and later, she sat behind us before another panel and admitted she was nervous. A beautiful, best-selling, wonderful author nervous!
She left her sweater in the seat behind us and I told her later that I shoulda hawked it and sold it on eBay. I could have gotten enough to publish and market my own damn book, I betcha! Before we parted ways with Emily, I slipped her my biz card, cuz I’m all coy like that (HA!) and told her if she was going to be hanging out in Naperville, to call us, cuz we were all about wanting to hang out with a best-selling fun, awesome author.
And the cool thing about Em (can I call you Em, Em?) is that she is so real, and down to earth, and very much appreciative and deserving of the successes she has enjoyed as an author. She asks the audience questions, and truly cares about what they think and what they are doing and why they want to be a writer. And she confided to Swish and me some things we were in complete agreement with, which further cemented our forever friendships!
Oh, the things I aspire to be…
I purchased these books at the festival. Go ahead and check them out, because they all look very fun. Okay, some are not fun. One is about a kid that gets killed by a jet-skiier, and one is about a swim team member being seduced by his coach, but still, the imaginary worlds are fun, and I’m looking forward to reading all these novels.
All The Numbers
Oh, I’m sure Swish will expound on this little gem of the day, but there was this hottie poet signing books, and she and I and, hell, every woman under the age of 70 there, were checking him out. We almost bought the damn book just so we could go have him sign something of ours, but then we spotted it!
The gold band on his left hand.
Married! How dare he? However could we flirt? We mentioned his matrimonial status to one of the booksellers, and how we thought if he removed his ball-and-chain -- oops, I mean his ring --he would probably sell a whole lot more books. So, Miss Bookseller agreed and she went up to his publicist to quietly whisper to tell him that if he got the chance, he should remove his wedding band.
Turns out the so-assumed publicist was the poet’s wife!
Who brings his WIFE to a book festival? A very good-looking Italian man, that’s who! She’s a smart gal, she is.
You know, the excitement of the day got the best of us, but we did manage to meet up with Cubmommy for some fun conversation and eats, where I was able to enjoy my favorite of favorites, a caramel appletini, and the three of us decided that the evening was our very first ever Midwest Blog Festival, and that next year, in conjunction with the Midwest Literary Festival, we’ll hold the Second Annual Midwest Blog Festival.
Oh, and not only was it the first annual Midwest Blog Festival, party of three, but while we were out, we noticed a peculiar phenomenon about town. Apparently it was “Waitresses, Bring Out Your Fake Boobies Night!" Oh my gosh. You would so not believe the service industry that evening. It’s almost as if we wore a sign, “Please send us over the waitress with the most fake and largest implants ever! And while you’re at it, make her lean forward so we can glimpse into the crevasse and wonder how in the hell those things are staying in place with nothing to hold them!” Oh, I know, cuz THEY’RE FAKE!
(Sidenote: men readers, please chime in on this one—do you enjoy the feel and texture of fake ones? Cuz if so, men can start fondling those colorful bouncy rubber balls you can get at the drug store for a buck-ninety-nine. What.Is.The.Point?)
And women, if you’re out there with some fake ones, I mean no disrespect. I so understand getting them for the self-esteem issue, but come on, let’s just take the old tire pump out and fill those suckers up right before we attempt to make nicey-nice with customers looking only for a nice caramel appletini and a salad!
I’m so done with that. You men might be ‘down’ with that. But I’m done with that.
Continuing along, ta-tas aside…
BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED BLOG-POST:
And all the while we willed my cell phone to ring with Emily’s request to come meet her out because she just can’t stand partying and having fun without her biggest fans, right! Wrong. The call never came, but don’t worry Emily, you are still our favorite in the whole world. I know you were probably exhausted from smiling so damn much all day long, and you needed to see your babies, and you were just plain old tired. I can’t wait to someday get that exhausted, and I promise I will be as nice and kind and spend time with loser fans who want to sell my sweater on eBay too!
Seeing you and hanging out for the little bit we got to is comparable to someone seeking out their favorite rock band and singing up on stage with them. Kinda like singing Don’t Stop Believin’ with Journey! Yea.
The next day, Swish and I took Diva, Ajers, and Tukey for a walk/bike ride to Starbucks while hubby got some R&R he really deserved. The kids adore her. She is like a fun aunt who swooshes in and delights them all, plays with them, tickles them, tackles them, tells them silly stories. The kids couldn’t get enough Swish, that’s for sure. Even tonight, Diva asked if she could write Swish an email. And last night, she did practically cry herself to sleep because she missed her. See, the internet can bring about some very good friends, and Swish and I get along so well because of the passion we share for books and writing, and having some fun and laughter.
Then later, we went to a friend’s home, and I was so caught up in the Swishfest that I began behaving about a decade younger than I am (okay, two decades younger), and acting like an idiot in front of some people. I think I thought I was trying to be cool, and I ended up acting like a capital I*D*I*O*T.
I really disrespected myself and my husband, and made a fool of myself and the saddest aspect of this foolishness was that I couldn’t even blame it on alcohol! So, even though I know hubby does not read this, nor does the person whom I embarrassed myself in front of, this is a blogpology, in case you do pop into Manic’s house.
Anyway, as I said, there was no puking, no handcuffs, nothing crazy, but it was a fabulous weekend for me because I got to hang with some very cool blog chicks, meet some amazing up-and-coming new authors, and also, got to chat with Emily again, and I’m certain now our friendship is sealed in gold and cemented forever! Right Emily*, huh?
*Matchy-Matchy is Bitchy-Bitchy. So Bitchy-Bitchy!
Pizza As Big As Your Head,
And As Greasy As A Character's Face In Emily's Baby Proof:
First Annual Midwest Blogging Festival
Attendees, Committee Members, Voters, Organizers!
We're Not Worthy! We're Not Worthy!
Swish, Emily, Manic
Lovin' My Martini and Friends!
Manic and Cubmommy