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Haunted by Sedaris, Yusuf’s Beard, Improbably Good-Looking Men, and Polkas – San Francisco Recap

Yesterday I flew into San Francisco in the early morn. I was picked up by yet another incredibly hilarious media escort, a professional musician named David Golia. His wife–he gave me one of her CDs–is a bodybuilding, accordion-playing, seismologist who performs under the name Big Lou.

I must meet this woman. I’m a little miffed at not having the strangest resume around anymore.

Everything is spread out here. We drove 45 minutes from the airport to the Pleasanton Library, which was indeed, pleasant. Had a great talk with a book club atmosphere. As much as I like giving talks, I think I enjoy the intimate atmosphere where everyone just chats even more.

Also,I got to meet a great, tough kid with Tourette’s named Steven. Steven, if you read this, you made my day and inspired me to stop whining! Keep banging on those drums! We’ll start our band soon.

We had Mexican food twice yesterday. That was once too many.

Yusuf Clack came, another online pal. His beard was every bit as fierce in person. It is a beard that says, “This is not a negotiation.”

Everywhere I go, there’s a giant banner of David Sedaris waiting for me. He’s always in town, if not the same night, very soon. This has become the running joke with my wife. “Oh, looks like David’s coming too! Hey! Is that a stack of 500 of his books over there? Looks like they’ve already been paid for! Wow!”

Mr. Sedaris, no hard feelings. Perhaps one day I’ll have as many books in print as you can sell in an hour by just showing up. Please don’t lose any sleep over never having heard of me.

The Golden Gate Bridge is incredible. Everywhere I go, I just wind up thinking, “I can’t believe people can build these things.” Buildings, bridges, whatever–people are so smart. I don’t have that sort of ingenuity but I’ll kill just about anyone in a spelling bee. Be wary.

The event at the Fairfax Library was a blast. And I got to meet Sam Barry, whose harmonica playing I’ve admired from afar for too long.

Also, Tara Sophia Mohr came. I’ve known Tara online for years, but finally got to meet her. From her Twitter avatar, even though it’s just a headshot, somehow I got the idea that she was tall. She’s like 4’1″ I think. Not a good estimator, me.

Also, Uma, another wonderful kid with Tourette’s, came. I made her sit up front by me, which might have made her uneasy for a second, but then she stole the spotlight, as was only fair.

I’m tired. It’s been so fun, but I’m ready to go home. I’ve got a bunch of stuff to do locally next week, but I want to sleep in my own bed and run around with my son. And I want to lift! Traveling hasn’t been great for my training. I’ve done lots of pushups and running, but I’ve wasted away to nothing. To nothing, I say.

Also, my hotel is very trendy and there are improbably handsome men holding the doors. They’re probably being built in a lab. They all look similar, and like they just stepped out of a magazine. It’s weird to see people so pretty they look airbrushed in person.

the end










Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Noni May 22, 2013, 10:40 am

    love it! thanks for visiting the Bay Area! stay strong!

  • Yusuf May 22, 2013, 10:53 am

    I know what you’re saying about the Pleasanton environment. I was just soaking it up, almost buzzing, and didn’t feel like speaking much myself. Especially with Steven there, sitting right across from you, I just kept thinking about the challenges that lie ahead for him, for you, but that connecting up everyone’s experience, was exactly the right thing at that moment. People learning more about Tourrette’s, about ourselves, and more concrete examples of why we need to find a way to be nicer to each other.

  • Jennifer May 23, 2013, 6:56 am

    I just saw a great photo of you and David Golia in the Shelf Awareness daily email 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne May 23, 2013, 8:39 am

      They just sent that to me. Oh, I love that guy. He was probably my favorite part of the trip.

  • Jack M May 23, 2013, 7:12 am

    Don’t worry about David Sedaris. He’s amusing, but you’re the real deal! BTW, I would love to go up against you in a spelling challenge – I’m pretty good myself.

    • Josh Hanagarne May 23, 2013, 8:32 am

      Jack, I’m sure you’d kill me, but let’s do it sometime. Did you see the documentary about the documentary spellbound? Those kids would have all whipped me in a heartbeat.

      • Jack M May 23, 2013, 8:41 am

        Have heard of the movie but haven’t seen it. I’ll check it out.

  • joanna mosley May 25, 2013, 6:48 am

    Really enjoyed your book, the insights into your family life, your religious seemings, etc.