October 8, 2008

On the road. Again.

Greetings from Grand Junction, Colorado. After the book release party, everything has flown by briskly. On October 4, I participated in the annual San Francisco Litquake Fest during the “Food and Beverage Hour” in the Main Public Library. The great lineup included readings about the origins of soul food, the Mission burrito, Robert Mondavi and his wine, and a killer six minutes about the origins of rice as both a meal and fermented beverage, aka sake, as read by Beau Timken. Oh, and beer.

Afterward there was a signing event at Books, Inc in Opera Plaza, just a couple blocks away, but between Freakfest, er, Lovefest (think thumping house music, lots of gold lame and glitter, and thousands raving throughout the Civic Center) and my broken ankle, it took almost that long to reach the store. Once there, I rubbed elbows with my fellow authors (still kills me to say that) and even signed a few books.

The next morning, Half Pint and I drove down to LA, arriving just before the start of my parents’ Oktoberfest. In an attempt to have as many beers from Red, White, and Brew on hand, they offered: Leinie’s Sunset Wheat, New Belgium (a variety, not just Fat Tire), Grand Teton’s Bitch Creek ESB, Widmer Bros. Hefeweizen (thanks, Craft Brewery Alliance!), Anchor Steam and Porter, Shiner Bock and Dixie Blackened Voodoo and even Dixie’s Amber Jazz Light, which I forgot to taste. There were plenty of family friends, good bbq, and best of all, a cake my Aunt Terri made that looked like an honest to goodness pitcher of beer. A chocolate stout cake!

Before splitting town on Monday, I was interviewed by NPR. Not an in-studio NPR interview (Schwette Balls, anyone?) but I was interviewed by Kai Ryssdal at the Library Bar in Downtown LA. He suggested I order “something dark, something hoppy, something middle-of-the-road, and something like piss water.” I don’t think the piss water part will make the edited down version. Based on what I had available, I selected Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Racer 5 IPA, Craftsman 1903 Lager, and, what I’m guessing is the third best selling beer in LA after Corona and Heinie, Amstel Light. I’ll announce when the interview will air and will post a link to the streamed version. I sat at the bar, alone with all eight beers (two of each for the both of us). Naturally my inclination was to sit there and drink all six (guess which ones I’d leave), but we had to get as far as Vegas where we stayed with Half Pint’s cousins, Bart, Luanne, and Carlee.

Today we drove 500 miles through Arizona and Utah to Grand Junction, where we got dinner at the Rockslide Brewpub. I had the buffalo meatloaf and we washed our meals down with pints of Oktoberfest and Widowmaker Wheat. Tomorrow: Fort Collins.

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