Tonight we'll be reading at Quimby's in Chicago, IL at 7pm! Come out and see us if you're in the area!
Cheyenne and Jacek, the lovely folks who let us stay with them in Louisville, with Gabby.
So the last time we checked in, we were about to leave for Bloomington, IN where we had a reading scheduled at Boxcar Books on Saturday night. We rolled into Bloomington a few hours ahead of time (which I believe may have been a first for us) and were immediately swept away on an Indiana adventure by our intrepid handler, friend, and employee of both Boxcar Books and Microcosm Publishing, Steven Stothard.
Steven immediately set to work on getting us anything and everything we wanted, from coffee and cookies to a new cell charger for MK, and then led us to a local radio station (where Sparky who also works at Microcosm ALSO works) where we were scheduled for a short interview right before our reading at Boxcar. It went incredibly well and we were naturally very thankful for the opportunity. I don't think any of us have been on the radio before, especially not in Indiana.
Inside the radio station.
We hung out a bit after the interview to chat with Sparky, who is a friend of ours and is always fun to hang out with. Apparently Sparky and Gabby met in Greyhound bus station ten years ago when she was like 16 or something. Small, weird world. We talked about Dollywood and why we didn't end up going, among other things, until it was almost time for our reading and we drove back to Boxcar Books.
Since the banjo/ukulele soundtrack thing went off so well in Louisville, we decided to give it another shot in Bloomington, and I think it worked pretty well. We definitely had the biggest crowd in Bloomington of any we've had so far, the store was pretty packed!
It helped that we had a ton of local coverage for our event (including a spot in the weekend section of the local paper!) and also that nothing much else was going on that night. After the event, we hung out and signed books and chatted with people, and definitely ended up staying in the store waaaaay longer than any other event so far.
Punchbuggy in the paper!
After everyone filed out, Steven and Chris (also from Microcosm) took us to eat at a local burrito place, which was very tasty indeed. It was actually the very same burrito place I ate at the last time I visited Bloomington for a very brief time (less than a day) back in 2006. The burrito was good but I sat in some gum at the picnic table outside the restaurant and had to buy new pants at Target.
No gum on my pants this time! The burrito was tasty as heck and afterward, we collected a few more people (including Sparky and a few people whose names I forget) and were led off to a very large local bar which was sold to us as being only "semi-douchey" as opposed to most of the other local college spots. Since Bloomington is the home of Indiana University, AND there was a game going on that night, the streets were invariably filled with drunken louts dressed in the their IU finery. Living in New York, we have college kids, but nothing like this. It was incredible to behold!
Sparky, me and Gabby admiring a street full of drunk college kids in Bloomington.
We hung out at the bar for a long while and drank a few pitchers and somewhere along the way I coined the phrase "Infinite Mental Testicles" or "IMT" which Gabby wrote on his wrist so we would not forget. Basically it is another way of saying you have balls but bigger in some way. You have to actually summon your Infinite Mental Testicles whenever you get shy or whatnot. I summoned them a lot in the van when I was trying to sing without my voice cracking (I've been battling some kind of laryngitis/bronchitis combo for a while which has basically decimated any type of vibrato I was previously able to summon, though with IMT at least I can belt stuff out enough that maybe no one cares).
A note left by Gabby for the person we stayed with in Bloomington, who we never actually met for more than a few seconds.
Really cute dog in the yard next door.
After the bar, we made our way back to the home of whoever we were staying with (we didn't actually meet her for more than two seconds, it was very nice of her to let us stay with her without even really knowing us at all!) and went right to bed.
Two really cute dogs in the house we stayed at in Bloomington.
The next day, we went over to the Microcosm headquarters (which is also actually Sparky's house, not far from where we were staying) and checked the place out. Who should be parked out front but Gabby's old house truck, which he sold to Microcosm as their touring vehicle some while back.
After taking a look around, we made our way over to a great restaurant in town where we ate yet another delightful breakfast. It took forever to get made but it was totally delicious and inexpensive (by New York standards, anyway). We spent most of breakfast trying to convince Sparky to move to New York, which seemed to be relatively convincing, haha.
We headed back to Microcosm headquarters to check our email a bit and catch up on the internet slightly before heading off to Chicago, IL where we are slated to read at Quimby's this evening.
Flying J truck stop, filling up the tank
"Singing Lying Frog" at Flying J truck stop sings "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
Driving through Indiana there were a LOT of cornfields. We traveled through this one terrifying area where there was a ton of roadkill and MK even saw a hawk fly straight into a car two vehicles ahead of us. Terrifying.
Thankfully we gained an hour in Illinois so we didn't get in too late, and we were able to learn a few songs on the ukulele while riding in the van. Once Gabby and I can learn them a bit better and get MK a tambourine to accompany us, we'll probably put some audio files up or maybe a video.
Anyway, if you are in the Chicago area, come see us at Quimby's tonight!