Let's Panic

Creepy little thoughts

I don't ever really think about my archives because once I get something off my chest I'm usually done with it. But the other day I was thinking about the post I wrote when my son told me he liked to hurt dogs. Those were the days! When I could admit difficult parenting moments and get the almost-full support of the Internet. I got some anonymous comments from what we used to call "concern trolls" who were worried that Jackson would grow up to be a serial killer, one of whom suggested I take him to an abused animal shelter and show him what it looks like for dogs to be horribly mistreated, which -- would they even let a four-year-old into a place like that? If I had explained to them that he liked to pinch his dog's ears, would they have said, "Oh, by all means, let's show him some bait dogs that have been starved half to death so that you can teach him that grown ups can be far more cruel than he'd ever imagined, because we want to make sure he feels just as helpless and traumatized as these puppies." I am so glad I don't blog about my kid anymore.

Rita read that post and ended up including it in her parenting anthology, Sleep Is For The Weak. Knowing what I know now, that Jackson was going through a phase that's weirdly normal for a lot of kids, and that he was not on his way to becoming a sociopath, I am tempted to delete that post because it could end up embarrassing him when he's older. I am also tempted to rewrite it because I come off as fairly desperate to reassure myself that he was just kidding. He wasn't, of course. I simply had no idea how to handle what he was telling me.

Fortunately, the Internet can smell insecurity on you. Then they pinch your ears until you cry! Who's the sociopath now, Internet?

What made that post necessary for me then and the reason I'm leaving it up for now are the comments that said, Oh yeah, I used to do that as a kid but I grew out of it, and, Thank you for writing this because my kid is doing the same thing and I am freaking out.

Now, I'm not an expert in anything, but -- okay, would you like to know what irony is? My dog was just sitting in the living room barking at nothing and I said, "Oh my God, Peewee, I am going to fucking kill you if you don't shut up!" and then I took two chew toys and I dangled them over his head to get him to follow me into the bedroom, and then I threw them on the floor and ran out of the room and closed the door. He is now trapped in a squeaky, quilt-filled prison.

People used to ask me and Alice if we were going to do a sequel to Let's Panic About Babies!, something that would take you from toddlerhood through teenagers, but since neither of us knew anything about parenting a teenager the idea never got out of the gate. I still have no idea how to parent a teenager. It has occasionally occurred to me that I wouldn't mind swaddling Jackson, who is now eleven, but only because I think it might make it more of a challenge for him to play Grand Theft Auto IV.

Swaddled, by Oslo Davis


I've also felt guilty for drawing a mustache on one of his baby pictures and putting it into Let's Panic!

creepy baby

He said it was okay that I did this -- and please believe me when I tell you that I asked for his permission at least a dozen times before the book went to print -- but then when the book came out he was all, I don't like that you did that! and I was all, Goddamnit I asked you a hundred* times!

I just looked into the bedroom and Peewee was lying on the bed with his head on my pillow, snoring. HE'S NOT DEAD AND I DID NOT KILL HIM, EVEN THOUGH IT SEEMED LIKE A GREAT IDEA TWENTY MINUTES AGO. But now I have another idea.


swaddled dog

Excuse me while I go register dogswaddling.com.

Rita is doing a giveaway because it's the fifth anniversary of Sleep Is For The Weak and the second anniversary of Let's Panic About Babies! Alice is doing one here, and I am doing it, too, because that seems to be what I do these days, give away books in exchange for you leaving your life story in the comments! It's in honor of Mother's Day, which is coming up pretty soon. If you would like to win a parenting double whammy of Sleep and Panic, leave a comment telling us the thing that worried everyone most about you when you were a kid, and how you grew up to be okay anyway. I mean, yes: unless you're dead we won't really know how it all works out, maybe the urge to put beans up your nose will return when you're 73 and make fools of us all. But if you feel relatively sure you're in the clear, psychologically and spiritually.

UPDATE: Our winner is frequent commenter and long-time Fussy supporter DGM. Thanks to each of you who spilled out a small portion of your guts in contribution to this post.

I haven't been avoiding you!

I didn't really mean to stop posting at the end of November, I was on a roll! But then December 1 was World AIDS Day, where you're supposed to go silent to honor all the people who've died of AIDS, and then I had to work the next few days in a row, and then bam! I was on a plane to New York reading a book about midwifery and preparing for this: This is the set in Brooklyn where Alice and I filmed the first twelve episodes of MomEd, a new series for cafemom.com. We talked about childbirth and yes, I know we are not childbirth experts, we are fake-childbirth-book-writing experts. Fortunately, not just for us but for everyone who ends up watching these videos, they hired a crack researcher and booked actual experts to sit next to us and tell us how it's done. Saul, for example:

Saul is an actual Park Avenue doctor who performed a c-section on our other guest, Lyss, who's the co-author of If You Give a Mom a Martini (which is not an adult version of the If You Give a Moose a Muffin series, though that might have some potential). Saul wanted to sing show tunes but Alice wouldn't let him! So we talked about c-sections instead.

Whenever we had to start a new take, I'd get my energy up by thinking, "I get to be in a video!" And then I'd go EEEEEEE! in my head and Ben, the director (far left), would smile because he could read my thoughts.

Joe was our prop master and Haley was our logistics coordinator and I'm sorry I don't have better pictures of either of them. The prop baby was just sort of inert after Alice dropped it on its head. Ha ha! Kidding. It was plastic.

We did one episode sitting in a birthing tub with a British person!

We also had to shoot separate footage of Alice and me explaining medical terms. We called these "knowledge transfers" because this was where we transferred knowledge from cue cards to the camera. We are magical conveyor belts of  wisdom.

I know, the cue card guy was cute! I don't know why I look slightly jaundiced here. Perhaps my bilirubin was low.

We shot in the studio for three days and then went out on the street Friday morning to corral Park Slope moms into telling us their birth stories, and may I say that Park Slope moms are uniformly adorable. Every Brooklyn mom we spoke to was cogent, thoughtful, articulate, brave, and humbled by what they went through to get their babies out, and it was an honor to talk to every one of them.

Then I got on a plane and developed a massive chest cold, from which I am still recovering, five days later. I am so happy to be in my own bed, there are no words. And now I'm going to take another nap, the end.

Day Twenty-five

I'm still a little bloated and hung over from Thanksgiving, and a little ashamed of all the things Yoda knows about me now, but I still managed to suck it up and be productive today. Alice and I did a test-run of the podcast we're going to start doing next year and I was totally encouraged by how well we made almost all of our technology mesh. (I was especially impressed when Alice figured out how to Skype through her iPad. It's quick thinking like that that wins wars, people.) We may be the only ones who find us funny, of course, but then that's what podcasting is about half the time anyway. When I was done patting myself on the back about the podcast, I finished writing a Popcorn Whisperer post that's supposed to be about shopping in the movies. I may not have been all that clear about my topic because the thing most people seem to take away from it is that someone needs to start a service that will deliver Johnny Depp to their door. I'm not sure that's what Dell had in mind when they offered to sponsor the post, but when you hire Mrs. Kennedy, you get a lot of things that don't necessarily make sense right away. Give it time, though, and it'll all soak in.

The last thing you might want to see is my post for The Stir, entitled "Pepper Spray: It's Not Just for Dinner Anymore." Because I am topical as hell. Also, I wanted to give you something that will make sense right away, in case you're busy and don't have time to let your knowledge steep.


It costs me $70.00 to fill up my car at current prices. SEVENTY DOLLARS. And then I have to do it twice a month, sometimes more. What else can you get for $70? Ten movie tickets. Thirty-five medium-sized Fuji apples. Nine-tenths of a Snowball microphone. When I was a kid I drove a Volkswagen Bug with a ten-gallon tank and thus it cost me $10.00 to fill it up. One-dollar-a-gallon gas might be the only thing I remember miss about the Reagan years. I only bring this up because I drove down to MaxFunCon last weekend and whenever I drive to a conference I tend to forget to save my gas receipts for tax purposes, and I would have forgotten this time, too, except that I'd been strangely compelled to print out my last two gas receipts, and then photograph them. Like you do.

The pump just happened to shut off and charge me these oddly symmetrical prices for gas, so naturally I printed them out so I could ponder their significance a little longer. And add them to my collection of tiny bits of paper that have nowhere else to go.

I'll just put them . . . here.

Because I knew I had a three-hour-plus drive ahead of me, I checked out a few audio books from the library for the ride, one of which was by Antonia's father, called Sharpe's Trafalgar. It's one of a series of books with the main character of Richard Sharpe, a battle-scarred professional soldier who will kill a man as efficiently and horribly as possible while in the midst of an affair with a deceitful yet golden-hearted married woman, and then you will also learn a lot about nineteenth-century shipbuilding. The story could not have been more disconnected with the reality of driving through Encino on my way to a convention full of nice people I only knew because they sound real on the Internet.

I feel as though the maxim Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid had particular resonance on this occasion, for I had boldly signed up to go to a place where I knew basically no one, and a mighty force indeed came to my aid. Maggie decided to go to the conference just a few days before it happened and also got to the Lake Arrowhead venue first, got us registered for the same room, and instantly cut down my social anxiety by half. Maggie also happened to know 500% more people there than I did so she was able to introduce me to several handsome, self-deprecating, well-dressed, friendly people I might not otherwise have spoken to, and once again I was reminded how lucky and grateful I am for her generosity and friendship. Too bad I don't have any pictures of her. I have one of Greg and Matt though, which also includes Jon's hand and shoulder:

In looking up a link for Greg just now I realized that he's the author of Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard and I am really mad that I didn't know that when I met him because I totally followed the blog tour for that book and got flamed by some guy named Anonymous as a result. Remind me to tell him that story next time we meet.

I really blew it on the picture-taking end of things, but I'll show you what I've got anyway.

Here's a picture of John Hodgman's benediction at the opening of the conference. He passed around several bottles of what tasted like liquor made out of brussels sprouts and then played a ukelele and sang La Vie En Rose with John Roderick. This simple presentation, along with the fact of the conference organizer, Jesse Thorn, being so kind and funny and such a gentleman, set the tone for the whole weekend. Jesse created this event with the underlying notion that creative people in general (and comedy nerds in specific) will come together to be awesome in a beautiful setting; that everyone will be open to meeting you; and that we're all potentially best friends. It is in this spirit that people were encouraged to leave their bullshit at home. As far as I can tell, setting that intention worked. Jesse Thorn is a smart man.

And he is married to a smart, beautiful, pregnant woman named Theresa who claimed to have a copy of Let's Panic! on her nightstand. She didn't have to say that, but she did and I want so much to believe her.

What else? I went to a session on podcasting presented by Adam Lisagor. I'd been thinking about doing some podcasting myself and now I feel far more capable of doing what it takes to make that happen. Adam activated my dormant editing genes merely by teasing apart a couple of episodes of You Look Nice Today, and the clarity and delight that he brought to the process helped my brain-heart start to blossom.

I also took a "Yoga for Comedy Nerds" class with Neal Pollack, which we did on a high platform overlooking the top of a mountain and which I did without benefit of sunscreen. I can't complain, though, because it gave me a hour to appreciate the beauty of our natural surroundings before heading right back into a series of darkened spaces to hear more hardworking people talk about what they do.

Hodgman interviewed Lee Unkrich, the director of Toy Story 3. Naturally I took a picture of the event before they even walked onstage. That's just how I operate. Maximum listening efficiency was MINE.

However, the next morning I did happen to end up having breakfast at Mr. Unkrich's table. I told him how my Barbie and my Malibu Ken used to sleep naked in a shoe box under my bed, which didn't appear to shock (or interest) him in the slightest. I forgot to tell him how I'd just been to Dreamworks and that based on what I learned from that New Yorker article, purely on the basis of workplace mindblowingness, Pixar wins. Even though I thought Kung Fu Panda 2 killed. We'll see if with Cars 2 Pixar can clear the bar Dreamworks has set.

On a final note, the whole weekend earned me my podcasting supporter badge! Now I just need to decide what to sew it onto. A sash of some sort, perhaps. Or a jaunty beret.

More stuff happened and more people were met but that's enough for now, I think. Go see Maggie's post for better pictures and another take on the whole weekend.

Mother's Day Is Nearly Upon Us

I like nothing more than a good holiday where I feel completely justified in buying myself a bunch of stuff that celebrates just how awesome I am. Also, if it's a national holiday that excludes people who identify primarily as male, and divides women into uneasy procreational factions? EVEN BETTER. I've been unloading a lot of stuff on eBay and Craigslist, so I felt like as long as I'm stimulating the local economy and a certain day is just around the corner, I could go ahead and buy myself a little treat.

It's a used Raleigh three-speed with bad brakes and it suits me to a tee. I'm not one to anthropomorphize but I may have to give her a name.

Something that says Sherwood Forest with a hint of World War II, perhaps.

Some of you may be wondering how Let's Panic is doing, sales-wise, and the answer is that it's chugging along nicely and if all goes well we'll get a little bump from Mother's Day. Luckily, St. Martin's still has a couple of gift bags left over from when the book first came out, so I'm giving one away! It's a tote bag that contains a copy of the book, as well as:

- an electric "back" massager - a stress ball thing for squeezing in your sweaty fist - an anti-stress bath soak - a meditation CD - Anne Taintor shot glasses - an exclusive Let's Panic Subversive Cross Stitch set

I have personally bought two of those cross-stitch sets. I haven't started stitching them yet because Osama bin Laden is dead under the cold, dark sea and I've been far too busy hugging my son and remembering 9/11 to look for my embroidery needle.

If you want to win the gift bag, leave a comment telling us something you learned from your mom, good or bad, I don't care. One thing my mom taught me was always to plant lily of the valley in the shade. Another thing she taught me was not to buy more yarn than you can hope to knit in your lifetime unless you want your estate sale to be set upon by frizzy-haired women in comfortable shoes.

I'll choose a random commenter and announce the winner on Thursday Wednesday afternoon! You may not get your bag in time for Mother's Day (because I should have done this last week) but we'll try!

Tour Diary: All the Rest of Everything

More images from the Let's Panic Some-of-the-World Tour '11.

The above photo was taken at the Bijou Café in Portland, but it could stand in for any morning we didn't have to wake up early to catch a plane or pretend to be parenting experts on local TV. This is one thing I learned about appearing on radio and TV: a quick glance at Let's Panic often leads producers to decide that we are either (a) parenting experts with lots of cute tips up our sleeves, or (b) stand-up comedians ready to improv with the Morning Zoo Crew. It took a couple of incredibly awkward interviews for me to realize that I can be neither of those things without a whole lot of advance preparation, and maybe not even then.

The day after our reading in Chicago we had a lot of time to kill until our plane left for Minneapolis, so what did we do? Go to the Art Institute and marvel at miniature rooms? Decorate Mimi Smartypants's house with Charmin? No. We drank too much coffee and went to Macy's. The Chicago Macy's fills an entire city block, and as a Small City Person I would like to remind all you Big City People to cherish your shoe departments. We have nothing like that within 100 miles of here, and yes, I have heard of Zappos. That is different.

Next we went to Minneapolis.

Forgive me if this sounds narcissistic, but recently I realized that I needed to figure out how to smile for photos. In the past I've often been shocked to find that what I thought I was presenting as a pleasant expression for your wedding reception turned out to be me looking insane. I'd open my eyes REALLY WIDE or, if I was feeling left out of the fun, I'd emanate so much posed melancholy that I'm surprised no one tried to slap it right off my face. So some time in February I figured out that maybe if I just squinched up my face like my mom used to do, I'd blend in somehow. Mom always looked cute in photos. If only I could emulate her aura of saintliness.

The crowd at our reading at the Har Mar Barnes & Noble in Minneapolis had some of the best laughers of anywhere on our tour and it was extremely gratifying to read for them. It's hard to get an audience warmed up in the short amount of time you're generally allotted for these events, so the next time we go out we'll travel with a warm-up act. Maybe we could get Gallagher to destroy a breast pump. Bring a poncho!

Sally, the lovely and funny style blogger, was kind enough to take a day off from work and show us around Minneapolis's north side. Sally took us to some extraordinarily creative and affordable stores but I wasn't able to find anything I wanted until she took us to an Oscar Wilde-themed café, which it turned out was exactly what I wanted: a comfortable place to chat, read, and (if you're me) stare into space and wonder what day of the week it was. (It was Wednesday! I realize that now.)

We had planned this leg of the tour to end with the Mom 2.0 conference in New Orleans, and thank God for that. And yet you'd think with all the beautiful women around me I'd have taken more pictures of them and less of my food.

Alice had been talking to me about the Paleo Diet (meat, eggs, vegetables, some fruit, not much dairy, no grains) so I gave it a try while we were traveling and I have to say, I liked it. I never got any weird blood-sugar drops, I always had lots of energy, and according to the scale in our Minneapolis hotel, I also lost five pounds. However, when I got to the Green Goddess restaurant in New Orleans a passion seized me and I ordered the (grains! sugar!) french toast. It gave me a headache all morning, but look at it. LOOK AT IT.

Here, Jenny prepares to photograph her boudin, sweet potato biscuits, and grits. New Orleans, you may be full of boozy frat boys, antiques, and statues of Louis Armstrong, but we came to eat.

Our waitress reminded us that 10:00 in the morning was a fine time for a watermelon margarita with black salt around the rim. She called it "Truth." There was no point in arguing.

Truth is $10.00. Now you know.

The next day, Alice and I presented a panel called "Let's Panic About Writing," where we talked about techniques to overcome writer's block and silence your inner critic so you can get some writing (or pole-dancing, or small-business-building--whatever your heart's endeavor is) done. Then, after some extensive napping on my part, we went back to the Green Goddess to see what was on the dinner menu. Sadly, I have no photos of my chilled fruit soup with lumps of crabmeat, or of my "Under the Volcano."

Bartender (baggy eyes, stained apron, weary expression): "Have you ever read Under the Volcano?" Me (red dress, no makeup, weary expression): "No." Bartender: (holds drink just out of my reach) Me: "I saw the movie! The Albert Finney version! And the Bill Murray version too, come to think of it." Bartender: "Okay, but you have to read the book. You must. (sighs) It's exquisite." Me: "Do I have to read it before you serve me the drink?"

I tried to go to bed early that night because I had to get up at 5:00 a.m. to catch my flight back home, but I guess I was so jazzed up from reading at The Eiffel Society that I couldn't sleep. I guess everything happens for a reason because I was still awake at 1:45 a.m. when Jackson called in tears. My baby! He'd missed me a lot over the two weeks I was gone (this was on top of the two weeks I'd already been away in March) and the feeling was mutual. There may also have been some fear of zombies, yes. I talked him down.

Me: "I love you with all my heart but now it's 2:00 a.m. and I have to get up in three hours to go to the airport." Jackson (suddenly 35 years old): "Okay, mom, I'll let you go."

Tour Diary: San Francisco

San Francisco, you were on your best behavior for us. Your sky was blue, your taxi cabs prompt, your coffee delicious, your streets colorful but unthreatening, and your residents inspiring. You know what? I've had enough of the Golden Gate bridge and its majesty and grandeur and its gateway to Napa-ness. How about a round of applause for the Bay Bridge instead? Let's dress up like a gang of motorcycle vikings and go to Oakland. C'mon, it'll be fun.

Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up my motorcycle viking outfit from the cleaners, and Alice's helmet wouldn't fit in her suitcase.

This is City Lights Bookstore and no, we didn't do a reading there, I just happened to be passing by as I walked home from our meet-up at The Press Club Wine Bar. At every stop on the BlogHer-sponsored portion of our tour we had meet-ups with whoever wanted to come out and say hello. Some who came out were bloggers, some we knew from Twitter, some were readers, and some were writers. Some drank and some didn't. If you're ever nervous about going to a meet-up where you don't know anybody, you can be pretty sure that everybody else feels the same way, and that will be fine. We'll talk to you no matter what the voices inside your head have been telling you about us. If you're still not sure which way to go, Alice is the funny one and I'm the one who wants to hear your entire life story. (If you need more reassurance than that, may I recommend you read Pema Chödrön's Comfortable with Uncertainty.)

At the readings, our crowds were about 80% women, 10% men, and 10% the result of men and women mixing their reproductive material. Note also the die-hard Fussy fans in the front row! San Francisco represents hard.

Anyone who asks me to sign her forehead automatically gets a piece of my heart. I'm writing up a proposal to arrange the marriage of this small, delightful person and my son. 

The meet-up after the reading at The Green Apple ended up being a full-on mimosa-fueled brunch situation complete with magnetic letters. Magnetic letters tempt young and old alike to misuse the English language. The sign for the restroom magically turned into BREASTROOM and it was way too far off the ground to blame on anyone under the age of twelve. Here you see our two sprites concocting some breathtakingly inappropriate poetry behind Alice's back. 

After the meet-up we took a long, sobering walk over to a friend's house to join her and a fistful of amazing women I was truly honored to meet for yet another mimosa-fueled gathering. This is Bug. He may be one of the most lovingly-photographed dogs on the Internet as we know it, but I couldn't help but want to take my own shot of him. Bug is a Very Good Boy and is loyal, helpful, calm, obedient--basically, he's the smallest Eagle Scout in these United States.

So, thank you, San Francisco, you never disappoint. Burlingame, I didn't take a single photo of you so your post is going to have to wait until I can borrow some of Maggie and Alice's.

Tour Diary, Seattle

Things I learned about Seattle in the 21 hours I got to spend there: 1. The entire downtown area is built on landfill, which means that the next biggish earthquake (maybe "biggish" isn't accurate, maybe "holyshitish" is the word I'm looking for) will create the possibility for liquefaction. To my thinking, this gives the entire street grid of downtown Seattle the unique opportunity to slide into the water in one whole piece. The next obvious step would be to drop 11,000,000 tons of plastic snow and a giant Simpsons-style bio-dome over it, creating the world's largest and most death-filled snow dome. 2. There are a lot of beardy guys in Seattle! Way to go with the manly facial hair, gentlemen. It looks good on you.

3. You can drive through the stabbing zone (2nd and Pike, if memory serves?) but don't get out of your car unless you actually want to get stabbed. I don't know why so many people were walking around the stabbing zone. Maybe they were all stabbers looking for stabbees, and the stabbers have a gentleman's agreement not to stab each other. It wouldn't be much of a stabbing zone if all you had was people wandering around hoping to get stabbed. I admit there may be nuances to this symbiotic lifestyle that I'm not picking up on.

4. Alice has a lot of friends in Seattle and so many of them came to our reading at Third Place Books! I used to have an old boyfriend in Seattle but he's got one of those names that's common enough to make him unGoogleable so he may not still live there. He didn't show up and surprise me with the baby he gave birth to and never told me about and now she's 25 and her name is Rory and she hates me because she only ever heard his side of the story. So that was probably good that he didn't show up with our imaginary baby to see me reading from a book I co-wrote about . . . babies.

5. I keep forgetting to take pictures of the nice people we hang out with because I'm too busy talking with them, but here's a photo of the Space Needle I took from the passenger seat of Tina's car:

It is not in the stabbing zone, but maybe if it fell over it would land in the stabbing zone, like when Itchy sawed the Space Needle in half and the top half fell over and stabbed Scratchy in the eye. Full circle on the Simpsons references! High five!

Thank you, Seattle, for a brief but excellent time. Next stops: San Francisco and Burlingame.

And thanks also, again and again, to BlogHer for sponsoring this once-in-a-lifetime book tour for our baby, Let's Panic.

Tour Diary, Portland

Portland, you have some mystical-looking trees amongst you. And yet you can also be so delicate and blossomy.

And damp and hobbity.

Why, look, I've spotted a pixie!

Perhaps I will capture her and force her to write a book with me. Pixies are magical, you know.

Oh, look, it's another fetching maiden. Take my word for it, Portland is bursting with them. Be careful! They may ply you with exotic libations.

And then the nice judge will make you get around on one of these for a year:

Look out, Seattle! We're coming for you next!

Dear Diary

Wow, I've really let this web site slide. My excuses are legion, but in the end, part of what's kept me from posting is a slowly growing need for this crazy thing called "privacy." Have you heard of it? It's where you don't put your entire life online for people to have opinions about. However, as we hop onto part two of the Let's Panic tour, I have promised to keep a tour diary, so today I'm revving up my little diarycycle and racing up and down your street to warm up. Brace yourself for the most revealing Momversation ever! Wherein Alice and I tell Rebecca how to manage her love life during pregnancy.

On the road again

Alice and I are about to take off again, leaving hearth and home to the care of the menfolk. For this leg of the tour we'll be reading, signing books, and meeting up with bloggers and other civilians in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Burlingame. (All sponsored by BlogHer, for whose generosity we are deeply grateful!) (Details, times, and locations are here.) I had a little free time on my hands this week so I made a new yogabeans! Please to enjoy.

To Minneapolis and Beyond!

If you're in Santa Barbara tonight and you want to come over to Chaucer's and say hello and have me sign a book or two, that would be INCREDIBLE. For me! Maybe not for you. But probably for you? Look, I'm not making any promises. We'll be at Harry's afterward, then I'll start making promises. I would have made this announcement earlier but technology has failed me (and I, it) in one creative way or another every day this week so far. Mysteriously broken laptop in the shop for two days? Check. Web site crash after a WordPress update? Check. Accidentally washed a Flip video camera? CHECKITY CHECK.

Unfortunately, I didn't take that many pictures while I was in New York, but I plan on rectifying that in the coming weeks as Alice and I continue to Bring the Panic! to Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Burlingame, Minneapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Denver. And then I'm going to come home and sleep for a year.

Tour specifics are below. We'd love to see you if we come to your town, or within 100 miles of your town. You have a car and enough gas for a four-hour drive, right?

Here is a picture of Alice looking lovely and me looking like a tipsy ostrich:

Me and Alice

There will be meet-ups before, after, and between each event, so that we can hang out with the locals and also because we're writers and we need our daily dose of bar food. The Pacific Northwest leg of the tour is being generously sponsored by BlogHer. My Tour page will be updated with meet-up details as soon as they become available.

Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 pm Powells 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd. Beaverton, OR

Wednesday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m. Third Place Books 6504 20th Ave. NE Seattle, WA 98115

Saturday, April 9 at 3:00 p.m. Books Inc. 1375 Burlingame Ave. Burlingame, CA 94010

Sunday, April 10 at 11:00 a.m. Green Apple Books 506 Clement St. San Francisco, CA 94118-2324

Monday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. Barbara’s Bookstore 1218 S. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60607

Tuesday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m. Barnes & Noble 2100 North Snelling Ave. Roseville, MN 55113

Thursday, April 14 to Saturday, April 16 Mom 2.0 Summit Alice and I will be presenting a workshop called "Let's Panic About Writing"

Tuesday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. Tattered Cover Book Store 9315 Dorchester St. Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

Something's also being cooked up for Los Angeles in mid-May, and, of course, we'll be at BlogHer in August! Come watch me nap on the floor in front of the Purina Mom Chow® booth.