Thursday, October 19, 2006


On the docket for Wednesday: nothing all day, Santa Rosa at night. So I had the whole day to fill/kill/THRILL! At the urging of my wife (who alert friends and readers know is much smarter than me), I decided against sitting around the hotel room and stewing about book publicity and in favor of perhaps seeing more of the city I was in, which was conveniently one of the beautifulest around.

On the advice of the concierge, I hopped a trolley car (I know!) and took it up a steeeep hill, all the way to Union Square. Trolley cars are noisy. Since I was alone and self-conscious and kind of a weird guy, I didn't want to let on that I was a tourist. So I tried to blend. Had a lovely walk around downtown and a stroll through Chinatown where I picked up a silk purse for Kate.

Something about SF: there are lots of little shops and restaurants that don't seem to be open in any reasonable or consistent manner. It's like a nice little business but then the door is barred but the lights are on. Vexing. It's as if all of San Francisco decided to start businesses and then sort of lost interest in running it and stopped showing up.

I also got good news on a couple of publicity fronts. The Washington Post Express, which is not a delivery service but a whole nother paper, is doing an interview that will appear the day of the DC appearance. The Express is a free shorter version of the Post that's handed out at Metro stations. So while the regular Post is well regarded, the Express is actually read. Also, the book will be reviewed in the New York Times Book Review. Thrilled. Terrified. All that.

We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge all the way up to Santa Rosa and Copperfield's: home of tremendous generosity, lovely teapots, and Louisa, the hostess who politely asked my permission to compare me to Barbara Ehrenreich and Lemony Snicket (permission granted!). I trotted out the SUV passage instead of the Nixon passage and it was well received. Lots of folks sticking around to chat afterwards, a few even buying books.

Next time: we find out if there are any liberals - oh excuse me, the word is progressive now - in Berkeley.

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