Don't worry. There's no effing way I'm going to bore you all with a detailed diary of everything I did on my summer vacation. I'm going to content myself with a single exceptional (or exceptionally weird) moment from each city we went to.
A really good question from the audience at the reading/book signing from Three Kinds of Asking For It. I'd been reading from Bending, my literary smut story about a woman's obsession with a specific sexual position, and a woman in the audience asked -- I wish I could remember her exact wording -- about depictions of fetishism in erotica, and whether we (I was there with editor Susie Bright and fellow "Three Kinds" contributor Jill Soloway) thought fetishists got short shrift in writing about sex, and whether my story was an attempt to rectify that.
(In general, this reading kicked ass. Packed house, attentive audience hanging on our every word, many smart questions afterward, and people actually lining up at the end to buy books and get them signed. Short of being carried away on the shoulders of an adoring crowd cheering wildly and chanting my name, it was every writer's dream of how a reading/book signing should go. I will now be disappointed in every reading I do that doesn't live up to it.)
A tie: Eating Ingrid's corn souffle at that cool Brazilian restaurant near Bluestockings while talking with my friend Matt about trying to live as an artist; and eating Frito pie at Cowgirl Hall of Fame while talking with my cousin Caitlin about trying to live as an artist. Also "Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus" -- a gorgeous documentary (why are all the good movies these days documentaries?) about music, Pentacostalism, and poverty in the deep South -- but I want to do a proper movie review on that, so I'll hold off for now.
A student art presentation at Bard College (we were there for my sister-in-law's graduation) that hovered beautifully on the line between naive klutziness and brilliant parody. It was the artist's proposal for his next year's project, an elaborate performance art/opera about marriage starring 17 actors and a Greek chorus, which would feature his own green-card wedding and ultimately be performed at every Frank Gehry building around the world. Not one of us could tell when he was serious and when he was pulling our collective leg: it was clear that he was doing both, but it was never clear which was which. I don't remember the artist's name; I'll post it here if I can find it. (I also liked the short film about steering bulky film equipment around tight corners.)
Dancing with Ingrid to "You Light Up My Life" at the piano bar at the Mayflower Hotel (of "Mayflower Madam" fame), while very, very drunk. (We'd asked the piano player for a waltz, and for some reason that's the one he played.) Also smoking a cigar with my in-laws at said piano bar. (For the record... no, I don't smoke cigars. My cousin-in-law Dirk had one and was passing it around like a joint, and it just seemed like the thing to do.)