Always buy the number ones

stupid people tricks: dear self, please do not go looking up totoros on ebay when you are broke. I mean, please. you already tore yourself away from the stuffed ones in powell's - all three! grey, blue, and white! different sizes! - and the endless options on ebay are only going to torture you. you already bid on a handful of books of magic trades (you who are responsible for this addiction, you know who you are) and you don't need to spend any more money. no, get your fingers away from that buy now button. I mean it. I mean click it. I mean...

I only spent $9.99 on a coin purse. including shipping. I swear. but if anyone needs to buy me a birthday present in two months (from today, even!), you know where to look. stuffed totoros. no-face keychains. catbusses. the cat from kikI's delivery service. nerdy miyazakI t-shirts. I have a new obsession. I feel an urge to Collect, I do.

sigh.

today was the first half of my fall book extravaganza: quicksilver and the fortress of solitude. (maguire and hobb - via amazon uk or a well-placed beg and plead, perhaps - to come.) I am missing stephenson's reading tomorrow (and I am going to be missing the ability to pester the swede about historical accuracy, soon) but I went to see jonathan lethem read tonight. firstly, he is a sort of adorable man. like ben stiller but less simian, and, unlike, say, jonathan franzen, much handsomer in person than his book photo would lead you to believe. also, he's a good reader; I hate going to see much-loved authors and being disappointed in their voice or presentation. the nerdy voice in which he read a particular character was so appropriate that it made the night.

as did the fact that the first person I saw when I walked up the stairs to the author reading area was my personal favorite member of sleater-kinney, carrie brownstein. tiny and dark-haired and adorable as you'd think, with a friend in a black leather members only jacket. (I am biting my tongue. no I'm not. FUCK 80s FASHION! ok, I feel better now. listen, NO ONE looks cool in a members only jacket. NO ONE. for serious.) I smiled right at her before I could stop myself - I just liked that she was there. I like when different side of my pop culture affections overlap, and when she went right up to the booksigning table afterwards and clearly knew mr. lethem to some higher degree than the rest of us, well, it made me smile even more.

(well, a higher degree than most of the rest of us, anyway; a girllady in front of me was talking about him being her babysitter when she was five. oh, weird.)

I stood in line, I read, and I got my book signed. when I got to the front of the line I'd read about eight pages (and one typo already! for shame, doubleday!) and said, "I'm already wishing there was a map in here so I could remember where everything is."

"well," he said, rather dryly, "you could use mapquest, if you wanted to check it out."

ok. now that was unexpected.

but I still think he's supercallifragilisticexpealidocious. and not just for refusing to differentiate between his sci-fI books and the ones that are shelved in fiction/literature. he said they inform each other, and that he sees it as a continuation, a change in the way he writes about the same things, and oh, did I like that.

I need to go to more author things.

but first? first I need to decide which book to read first.