Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean came to Pittsburgh last night and I met her! The woman who describes men by comparing them to sides of beef and who can add the word cracker and sparkle to any description, who traveled the world writing about female bull fighters and child beauty queens came to Pittsburgh! I bought Corey and I tickets for the event very early and we made a whole date out of it.

Corey drove the car (retrieved from the mechanic for only $350...with some lingering problems...) to Oakland and we planned to have a nice dinner at LuLu's noodles before walking over to the lecture. Only I got very nervous about time and being late and started to rock before they even brought us our water. My anal retentive need to be ten minutes early totally ruined dinner to the point where I was standing above him wearing my backpack as he crammed moo shoo pork in his mouth and glared at me. I was like a 5 year old child anxious about starting kindergarten. Only I was carrying a backpack full of books to sign and threatening to go in without him, taking the tickets with me. And we weren't even running late! Just not early. I was excited.

So then we found our seats and Susan started talking and everything was great. I had my perfect question all prepared for Q&A time: what was your first national publication and how did you pitch the editor of that publication?" Isn't that a good question? She didn't call on me! She took stupid, useless questions like "When did you know you were going to be a writer?" She even went over that in her talk. I was livid at the waste of question time. I had nothing to do but force my way to the front of the signing line and ask her myself. Out of turn!

Things were going well until there was a gas leak in the lecture hall and they moved Susan into the art museum. The neatly controlled line was released helter skelter into the masses who cut in line and herded toward her new post. I had to work very hard to regain my position. By this time two of my classmates were near me and (I think) slightly amazed (horrified?) at my frenzy to ask Susan Orlean a question. I finally got up to the front, holding my Post-It that Susan's aide wrote my name on to verify spelling and lack of personal interaction. I slid the book across the desk and smiled at her and froze! I almost dropped the ball, standing there speechless as she read from the Post-It. I started to back away, desperate, and finally blurted out my question all in one breath.

She laughed and told me the answer: A concert review for Rolling Stone. She kind of knew the editor and he called her for the piece. So there was her break. A concert review. I need to stop going to see writers and start paying attention to the music scene.


Anonymous said...

find a band that plays rugby. or a rugby team with a band. and then maybe they'll be covered by rolling stone, and you can write about them.

Anonymous said...

the above was posted by cousin mer, but the stupid site keeps giving me an error when i try to post using my account!

onion said...

Loved this one. Wish I could have seen her...the problem with living near a big city is that all the famous people go only to the big city. They never get anywhere near the burbs.

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