Tag Archives: Cheesemonger — in store sighting

Oh right, self promotion… I forgot

If anyone needs a book signed as a last minute perfect gift for someone, I will be working the counter today from 1-9, Sunday 9-1, and Monday 2-5. I will be there other times as well, but in less predictable ways.

There are some signed books on the shelves as well. They all say, “To my favorite customer…”

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Book signing at ACS

I will be doing book signing from 10-10:30 Friday at the conference bookstore. I mean, I am willing to sign a book at ay time, but I will actually be sitting down, not distracted, and have a pen in my hands that specific half hour.

Come say hi!

My year of self-promotion (part 3)

So, I miscounted. I actually did 34 events. Sheesh, just reading this list makes me tired.

20. 6/8 Alexander Books, SF I will fully admit that I don’t get downtown much. Alexander Books does lunchtime reading downtown and I never knew it until they asked me to read. A great, interested crowd materialized out of nowhere and disappeared just as fast at the end. A great way to spend a lunch break

21. 6/11 Readers Books, Sonoma What a beautiful place to read. Outdoors right off the town square. This is a great little bookstore and a very food-knowledgeable crowd. And, since it was in the North Bay, friends of my parents showed up.

22. 6/23 Get Lost Travel Bookstore, SF Another place I read at that later went out of business. The owner was a regular customer for years and this was one of my favorite bookstores in SF. I never missed a visit to Get Lost before I went anywhere on vacation. Lee’s partner got a job in another state that he couldn’t turn down so it’s understandable why they closed up shop. But they are very much missed. Get Lost was one of my favorite things in San Francisco.

23. 7/12 18 Reasons, SF with Laura Werlin Great little space for food talk Doing an event with Laura was fun. Our different styles worked together well and we had fabulous cheese.
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24. 8/2 Encuentro Café, Oakland Very crowded and I kept it short because people were hungry. They made an amazing glossy, color poster for the event. This place is part-owned by a co-worker’s wife and a bunch of Rainbow workers who live in the East Bay showed up. Encuentro is a terrific veggie restaurant and wine bar and after I was done some folks called me over to talk about vegan cheese.

25. 8/24 Calf and the Kid, Seattle, WA OMG, my ears popped on the airplane so I couldn’t hear, I was snotty from judging 100 cheeses during the day, and the restaurant next to the cheese shop had their music on way loud, but this was an awesome event at an awesome shop. Up the Cheese punks!

26. 8/26 American Cheese Society Conference, Seattle Usually these kinds of sit down signings suck, but this was completely rewarding. It was great to be in a crowd of peers who (at least the ones who approached me) appreciated my book. If my book had been unpopular here, I would have considered it a failure. Satisfying and fun!
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27. 9/18 Skylight Books, Los Angeles I fell in love with this bookstore. I wanna write another book just so I can read there again. Hopefully this time my car won’t die on my way home. Oh, and reading in front of a stack of Ellroy’s new book was hilariously ironic.
skylight books readings

28. 10/7 Litquake at Book Passage, SF I’ll be honest, I didn’t sell many books here, but I had an awesome time. It was a crowd that cared deeply about writing and food and who laughed at all the right parts of my reading. Litquake is really a fun thing to participate in because it really does bring out the book lovers.

29. 10/23 Cheese Plus, SF Back behind a table trying not to take things personally. At least I got to hang out with Sasha Davies for a couple of hours. The Cheese Plus events are really fun places to be, I wish we could do these kinds of things at Rainbow, but we just have a pee-soaked alley, not a busy pedestrian street.

30. 11/2 SF Public Library RADAR Reading Series This was me, Novella Carpenter, Dori Midnight, and Chelsea Rae Klein and woah, what a packed house and diverse readers/artists. My only reading that included queer goth cemetery porn on the bill. Probably the youngest crowd I read to (my crowds were usually 35-50 years old I would guess). I had to explain what Reagan Cheese was and break the news that the Frugal Gourmet was likely a child molester.

31. 11/7 Pt. Reyes Books Pt. Reyes, CA I got to share the reading with Jill from Pt Reyes Farmstead Cheese and I think we encouraged each other to tell cheese gossip in public. I won’t repeat it here, but the folks who were there enjoyed it for sure.

32. 11/12 Oakland Museum of California (Lonely Planet), Oakland I got to sample out cheese and work with my old buddy (and co-worker) Rana. They made awesome trip itineraries for local cheesemaker visiting. The bookstore there is fabulous and the crowd that attends these free Friday night events is full of real people. I would do another event here in a second.

33. 12/18 Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, SF Ha. I actually did a book signing at the store. I had meant to do a reading at some point but we don’t have a good space for it. It was really weird standing behind a table at the store and not selling cheese. Still, it was a good thing even if I did get a little mocked by co-workers. My book made a great holiday gift!

34. 12/12 18 Reasons Book Club, SF I was honored when 18 Reasons made my book their book for December. The folks there all had read it and had interesting questions. It was a real treat to do this kind of event where people already know your book. I would love to do more of this in the future because it was a lot less answering of questions I get at work (“What’s the best way to store cheese?” was asked at every event) and more about themes in the book. A wonderful experience.

The only problem with all these events was that Schnitzel didn’t like that I was away so much:
Everyon'e a critic!

My year of self-promotion (part 2)

9. 4/3 Omnivore, SF This is the food book hub of SF so I was honored to read here. It’s a crowded space for a reading so I probably shouldn’t encourage you to go see Kurt Timmermeister there on March 7, but I’ll be there (in the audience listening, not reading). Authors get a free half dozen eggs from the owners chickens! Definitely the most food-obsessed crowd I read to.

10. 4/11 Green Fest, SF I don’t know if this was a bad reading because of the torrential downpour outside, because I tried to tailor my reading to environmentalists and made it really depressing, because I scheduled this during Laurie’s birthday weekend and felt really guilty, or because I’m not sure I could be heard over the didgeridoo from the next booth. I was supposed to sign books afterwards, but the featured speaker (who got to speak in a drum-circle proof auditorium) had a line that passed in front of my seat so I just went home instead.

11. 4/17 Day of the Goat, Ferry Building, SF Reading outside during a farmers market is no fun. Still it was an awesome event complete with goats, goat cheese makers, and Maggie Foard who makes goat fudge (which we now carry. Perfect for Valentine’s Day) Loud like the Green Fest, but a lot more fun.

12. 4/23 Gallery Bookshop, Mendocino It was a long drive and I was wondering whether it would be worth it, but this turned out to be of the best readings I did. The local grocery store (Harvest Market) provided and set up the cheese, dairy farmers who I didn’t know showed up, and everyone was super friendly. I had always stopped in when I was in town, but now I really love this place!

13. 5/7 Micro Gallery, Santa Rosa My buddy Spring set this up and it was great. I gave my whole talk while sitting on a table that used to belong to Ronald Reagan. My butt, your face Ronnie!

14. 5/16 Seattle Cheese Fest Seattle, WA Man, no one wanted to talk to me about a book after they waited 45 minutes in line to eat cheese. I guess I sold a book or two. This was a humbled-behind-a-table event for sure. “No, there aren’t any cheese pictures. No, I do not have any cheese to feed you.” I decided I would take a proof copy of the book next time, cut it up, and give out sentences saying, “Free Samples”. Do you think it’d work?

And look how nice my display was!
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15. 5/16 Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle, WA I love Seattle and I love this bookstore. Truly the antidote to earlier in the day. They had just moved into the new location and it still smelled like fresh paint. Some of my oldest and best friends were there. My agent was there. My friend’s son asked for a specific piece to be read as an encore and I ended up incorporating that piece into every reading. The eight-year-old was right!

Look at the local Seattle cheese folks!
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16. 5/17 Village Books, Bellingham, WA It was a surprisingly packed house (I found out later that the local college creative writing students got credit to attend) and I met some in-law relatives for the first time. Great set-up for a reading too. Unfortunately the hard rain soaked my car trunk ruining a few books. Boo hoo. Oh, in the hotel room I read my mention in the Washington Post so I will always have fond memories of that Super 8 even if I mostly used it to dry out my remaining copies..
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17. 5/18 Olympia Food Co-op, Olympia, WA Because of a timing mix up I only had an hour but Michelle Noel and I tried to and try to sell books and Gothberg Farms goat cheese in a busy, crowded store. Saw a bunch of ex-Rainbow customers.

18. 5/18 Orca Books, OLYMPIA, WA I got all sentimental on the drive from Bellingham while listening to J Church and teared up as I read the Reagan section of my book and dedicated it to Lance Hahn. The punx in the audience nodded and gave encouragement but most folks were nonplussed. My most maudlin reading. I actually gave a few people a whole bucket of cheese as a consolation because the time had been posted wrong in one email and they arrived as I was taking my last question.

Here’s Lance on the back stairs of our apartment, sometime in 1993. RIP Lance.
1993 failure stairs

19. 5/19 Square Deal Wine and Cheese PORTLAND, OR (With Tami Parr) Sasha Davies set this up but then the store went out of business a couple of months after I read. I hope it was nothing I did. Too bad it went under; it was a really nice place! Great inquisitive crowd.

Driving and Bellingham

After Seattle was Bellingham. The bookstore was fascinated hear me boasting of traveling with two coolers of cheese. They ever had me write a blog post about it. For anyone else who may be interested, here was my set-up:

Driving position. Wearing my Gits sweatshirt in honor of Seattle.
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Big ass cooler, cheese knives, cheese bag. Unfortunately I had to take the little cooler out of the way to capture the majesty of the big Rainbow cooler (checked out of the store for a week)
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Here’s a peek inside the cooler. This was on the way to the Seattle reading with pre-prepped cheese in tubs and decorative pieces (also useful as bribes) of Black Butte Reserve, Cocoa Cardona, and Gran Canaria. Ice was a constant issue.
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The Bellingham reading was good, but – if I had to grade myself – was probably the one I was most exhausted for. My old high school friend couldn’t make it, but I did get to hang out with my Sister-in-Law’s sisters for beer and pizza afterwards. The crowd was artificially bulked up by a creative writing class from the local college and friends of my high school friend. A couple of people brought their cute dogs. It was sponsored by the local co-op, but no one identified themselves if they were there. Co-op people, don’t be shy!

I forgot to take a picture of the cheese for the second reading in a row. Spoiler alert: I would never remember even though it was the main reason I brought a camera.

Seattle revisited with pictures

Well, that was exhausting. Six events and a radio show in four days and four cities. 2000 miles of driving, one flooded trunk, a lot of bad road food, and one solicitation for clean urine at a rest stop. Whoo and Hoo!

I know I did a couple of updates form the road, but now I have pictures. You love pictures don’t you?

First I hit the Seattle Cheese Festival. I came up with a brilliant idea the next time I do a fest where everyone else has actual samples of cheese. I’m going to print out my manuscript, cut out sentences, and put them in a bowl marked free samples. That way when drunk people ask, “Where are your samples?” I’ll have something to give them.

Here’s my Seattle Cheese Fest table. Looks nice, eh? (Thanks Laurie!)
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I was thrilled to read at the new Elliott Bay. So new you could smell the paint! Friends from all over (high school, college, LJ and cheese!) showed up and I was very grateful. I did what will probably be the only encore in my life and I have a friend’s 8-year-old to thank.

This doesn’t look like I’m droning on or anything, does it?
me reading

The event was actually put on by an old punk rocker who was shocked I knew of her band, Conflict (from Tuscon, not that other one from England). Heck, I’ll do better than that. Here they are on the internet. Oh, and
here are some Conflict MP3s
to listen to while reading the rest of this entry.

Oh, except that’s pretty much the end of the entry. Just this awesome picture of me and three local Seattle cheesemongers.

Roger (from Central Co-op’s Madison Market), me, Shari (from Calf and the Kid), and Julia (Metropolitan Market)
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See you in August, Seattle.

Books Inc. flyer

oh, I meant to include this in the last entry. Check out the punk rock-stylee flyer that someone at Books Inc. made for my reading. I saw it on a phone pole as I walked to the store!

books inc flyer

Awesome!