Friday Night Fun: Chillin’ with Laurie Notaro at Powell’s

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 8.26.55 PMFriday night is for absolute fun. This is no joke. On Fridays, you’re supposed to go to dinner, hit the movie theater, and stay out all night if you want. Or is it? Today is Friday and I have a very intense evening planned: I’m going to Powell’s City of Books for a book reading. That’s right, ya’ll. I’m a total nerd. I just am. But luckily, the author that I’m going to listen to is an absolute rockstar. Her name is Laurie Notaro. I discovered Ms. Notaro, one of my favorite authors, when I was but a teenager. I was browsing on my parent’s desktop computer after my freshman year of college when I saw it. See the cover? I was hooked. I had to read the book. Whoever says, “don’t judge a book by its cover” obviously lives in an alternative universe. Not judging a book by its cover is like not being able to notice that a guy is totally hot with “screaming silver-blue eyes” (Todd Spencer reference – thanks, Robin Jones Gunn) with abs of steel. If you practice this non-judgmental attitude towards books, you’re probably a great, charming, person who will not end up hanging out at a coffee shop with me.

The point is, of course, that the cover of this book was so interesting that I couldn’t help but buy it and read it. And I did. I read it and I loved it and Laurie Notaro became my first favorite author. (I always liked Jane Austen too, but Laurie Notaro was weird and quirky and she seemed way more normal than Jane who got to go to fancy balls and wear elegant regency dresses.)

In 2010, when I was living in Eugene, Oregon, I found out that Laurie was reading an excerpt from her book at Barnes & Noble in Eugene. I was ecstatic. I convinced my friend Blair that this reading was a must-see (though I really just needed a ride because I was “no-wheels Bunn” back then) and we went to see her.

After the reading, Blair let me have a few minutes to go meet Laurie while she looked at cycling books in the fitness section. I introduced myself and told how much I loved her work. She asked me about myself and I told her that I was in journalism school (which made her sigh heavily) and that I was interning at a radio station. This made her perk up. “Radio sounds cool,” she said. I knew from her books that her journalistic years in Arizona weren’t always so grand.

Well, now it’s three years later. I have a journalism degree that I’m not particularly using, and I am still working on that first book. I’m moving forward though, writing every day, which is definitely a first step. And tonight I’m going to listen to one of the writers who has inspired me. I’m stoked and though hanging out at a bookstore on a Friday night may signify that I’m a hopeless nerd, I’m down with that because honestly, there’s nothing I’d rather do this evening. Well, unless I could have dinner with some of my favorite former cast members of SNL… but I really don’t have time to plan such an extravagant union in the next few hours. I’ll stick with my Portland gig for now.

Happy Friday, everyone!


Details of Notaro’s visit to Powell’s below.
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