Crazy from the Heat

Why Girls Are Weird is a bestseller!

As you can see from the right sidebar and further down in the entry, I’ve been spending a lot of time recently answering other people’s questions. It’s kept me from having much time to update here. Sorry about that.

Let me tell you what happens when I’m semi-single and intoxicated. By semi-single I mean I’m in a city without my boyfriend, and by drunk I mean Ray gave me a shot called a “salad shooter” and made me swear to never tell anyone that he ordered something called a “salad shooter.” I suppose I just broke that promise, but I think the world should know that there’s a shot with a slice of cucumber in it, and when it’s a million degrees outside everybody should be holding one.

Anyway, by the end of the evening we had all become a little dizzy from the heat and four straight hours of drinking and singing. Many people had gone home and the crowd was thinning out, and we were dwindling down to a two-thirds full outdoor bar area. I was sitting next to Michelle, watching the stage.

This guy walks up who looks like Smith from Sex and the City. He walks up with a group of backup singer girls and he proceeds to sing Father Figure. I look around the bar. Women everywhere are frozen, one eyebrow raised, drinks halfway to mouths, tongues touching their top teeth.

One of my favorite things about Michelle is her propensity to emphatically state the obvious. It is at this moment that she turns to me, one finger in the air and says, “He is HOT.”

And that’s when we — and by “we” I mean me, and then all of the other women around me — start to lose it.

I don’t know why I did this, but I started screaming, “TAKE OFF YOUR SHIRT!”

Michelle stood up. “YEAH! TAKE IT OFF!”

Other girls woo’ed, while still more joined in. “TAKE OFF YOUR SHIRT!”

“Take it off, pussy!” I may have screamed.

“Quit being such a prude!” another might have screamed.

We were suddenly The Bacchae, running toward the stage. One girl flirted up to him and unbuttoned his top button. He was getting flustered, blushing.

“You should put some money in his pocket,” Michelle suggested.

I opened my purse. “I don’t have any ones.”

“Give him a twenty! He is hot!”

“He’s gay,” someone leaned over to me to say.

“Awesome!” I replied. “Then I’m officially guilt free!”

“TAKE IT OFF!” We all screamed together.

Other men looked horrified. The same faces we would have made if it was a girl up there trying to sing “I Love Rock and Roll” and the men started hollering to see her tits. I know what we did was inappropriate, and I know we got away with some kind of double standard.

But isn’t it nice to finally have a double standard swing our way?


That wasn’t me who said that.

I was the one on stage, slipping a coin into his front pocket. I ran back to my seat.

“All I had was a token for the Bally’s locker room.”

“I think you just gave him the best present ever,” the man next to me said. “I’m sure he knows what to do with that.”

This is when another frenzied female rushed the stage and ripped open his shirt. Buttons flew across the stage and the women in the building gave a standing ovation. He finished his song, sweaty and stammering, amazed at the power of his “voice.”

And then it was, thankfully, last call.

This is why I don’t live in that Austin heat anymore. When I went to New Orleans? Messed up on hurricanes. Mardi Gras in Austin? Too many whiskey sours ended with me standing on a chair on top of the Iron Cactus, with Ray shouting my web address to the crowd below.

And we’ve been having a particularly hot week in Los Angeles, so I’ve been trying to stay indoors, alone, away from people. But last weekend when Chris and Allison were here, they got to see just a little bit of what happens when it’s hot and I’ve got some cash and someone’s handing me a microphone periodically to sing Karaoke.

I’m holding water, there. Part of the problem is that we got there at 7:30 and left at 2 in the morning. The other part of the problem is sometimes I just get stupid. I’ll let Allison tell the story, as I know she’s planning on some kind of scandalous tell-all about how I really live in the Big City.

Here come the cool kids!

If it wasn’t for Sahira, I wouldn’t have known I was a bestseller, so this is my favorite email of yesterday.

[readermail]Dear Pamie

The weather is stifling in London at present, although I am hoping that it will break tomorrow. Maybe 33C is a mere breath of hot air to a Texan but I hate it, particularly as the air-conditioning in the fetid little sweatbox that is my office has finally given up the ghost. This is all by way of an excuse for not reviewing my software licensing agreement this afternoon and instead surfing your site. It’s excellent, by the way.

I should also say thank you for your recaps of Boomtown on TwoP, although I don’t read them anymore now that I have given up watching that series. I caught myself shouting at one episode and that way madness, or at least maleness, lies. (My brother yells at the TV because of course the referee can hear him two days later from over a hundred miles away). I had to call it a day when, in defiance of all the laws of nature and the dramatic imperative, zillions of machine gun bullets failed to kill that annoying know-it all “I’m wise to the world because my friend got shot in the head” detective, Fearless. I wish they’d shoot him in the head and in his big fat hairy bottom although it may be that they could just shoot him in the bum anyway and save a bullet, since it is apparent that that is where all of his oh-so-deep thoughts come from, may he rot and fester.

Anyway, this is just to say that I have just bought 3 books for the MLK branch of Oakland Public Library. Well done for supporting their program. When I was young, I lived in my local libraries. I had to keep my own records because the library’s computer couldn’t keep up with my borrowing record.

Oakland library will get a pop-up book that was on their wishlist (“Color Surprises – A Pop-Up Book” by Chuck Murphy, although I have my doubts about the wisdom of lending out a pop-up book – won’t it get broken? I suppose however the library budget may yet allow them to buy sticky tape) and the first two books in Alexander McCall Smith’s series about Mma Precious Ramotswe, “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” and “Tears of the Giraffe“. On Cody’s Books’ website, it said that the library would also take anything that was currently on the bestsellers’ list of the San Francisco Chronicle and some of Professor Smith’s books were on the list.

I thought that it might be nice for the library’s users to read something that wasn’t American. My friend, Tara, who was brought up in France, said that they ought to have non-anglocentric classics, although she offered no suggestions – Baudelaire anyone? A gentle book about lady detectives, honest mechanics, cars, cattle and redbush tea in Botswana seemed to be a good compromise.

I see that your book is also on the Chronicle’s bestseller list. Congratulations. As a reward for my good deed, I have saved that pleasure for myself and have just ordered it from If, as promised, it is full to bursting of Barbie sinning in her heart, and bedroom, and bathroom, and upside down with a pogo stick in the garage, I shall send a copy to my sister who used to get so cross whenever my brother and I placed Ken and Barbie in compromising positions. Apparently, Ken and Barbie weren’t like that and we were bad naughty people. It will be very satisfying to let her know that others also felt that Ken and Barbie deserved an outlet.[/readermail]

From Colleen:

[readermail]I know you’ve heard this from tons of people, but I wanted to let you know how great I think you are for publicizing the Oakland library’s problem. I also loved my local library and went there every week with my father when I was little. After he died four years ago one of the first things I put up on my bulletin board was his library card. We had wonderful times there.

I purchased a copy of the Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith for the Lakeview Branch. I love this mystery series and I’m sure that this book will be very much enjoyed by the library patrons.[/readermail]

I think Alexander McCall Smith should give me a kickback for the amount of times he’s been mentioned on lately.

[readermail]I finally got off my lazy butt and donated to the OPL. (I felt so guilty for not having done so earlier since I live in the Bay Area.) I donated “Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman.” I don’t have a special story about why I chose that book, like other people who have written you; the title just made me laugh.

If you put me on your donor list (if you are still updating that), could you please list “” as my Web site? That’s actually my best friend’s site. I don’t really have my own site, except for a LiveJournal.

Fourth, having met Omar G at a Smallville convention this year and then seeing his name in print in your book actually gave me a thrill. I know a dude that knows a girl who wrote a real book!

Anyway, congratulations on all your success, and I hope there is more for you in the future. I hope to see more of your work in print soon. For the meanwhile I’ll just read your online journal and recaps.

aka SullivanLane at TWOP (don’t post much anymore; I now have a job that actually makes me work)[/readermail]

From Jason, who is clearly trying to be my new favorite Internet stalker:

[readermail]I am officially Cool. I donated to the Brookfield branch of the Oakland Public Library. I was considering giving Oakland a movie (one of them wants Sleuth, which everyone should see) but people should be reading. Moreover, kids should be reading, so I sent them one of Eric Hill’s Spot books; this particular one creatively titled “Where’s Spot?” I used to read the Spot books to my little cousins, and they all turned out brilliant and weird, just like their elder cousin, who used to sit in the playpen with them, and broke it once, I think.

I just want you to be proud of me, Pamie.

When are you announcing your candidacy for the CA governorship? Time’s a-wasting. If I’ve started preparing my run for the presidency of Italy, surely you can get on the ball, woman!


And from Loree, who got a little addicted to sending library books:

[readermail]Dear Pam,

I finally got around to sending more books to the OPL Main Branch (the East Bay Express can just shut UP). They’re getting a copy of “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah, because they requested 20 and only got 6.

I also sent a copy of “A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance” by Jane Juska (which was on their wish list) and “Big Big Love: A Sourcebook on Sex for People of Size and Those Who Love Them” by Hanne Blank (which wasn’t), mostly because there aren’t enough books that promote healthy sexuality for people who aren’t necessarily young and fit.

I then went searching for needy local libraries, so Castle Rock Public Library in Castle Rock, WA will be receiving “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck and “Living History” by Hillary Clinton.

Then I looked a little more, and discovered that Antlers Public Library in Antlers, OK has a wishlist. I was an Academic Team geek in high school, and we competed against Antlers. My mother was also once a physical therapy volunteer, and she worked with their disabled elementary students on several occasions. So the Antlers library is getting “How to Draw Animals” by Jack Hamm and “The World of the Celts” by Simon James, because everybody needs exposure to arts and other cultures.

And then a huge wave of nostalgia hit as I discovered that Aransas County Public Library in Rockport, TX has a wishlist, too. My grandparents live in Rockport, and some of my earliest memories are of summers spent in the childrens’ section of that library. So they’re getting “The Deadly Dungeon” by Ron Roy and “Into the Land of the Lost” and “The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet” by Tony Abbott.

In other news, I just finished reading your book, and I’m so glad you left in the Tiny Wooden Hand. That was one of the first Squishy entries I ever read, and it still makes me laugh so hard I have to pee.

You rock,

P.S. – Any chance your publisher will be sending you to Seattle for a signing?[/readermail]

Wow. Thanks for all the books, Loree.

Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be going to Seattle soon. Or Chicago. Or New York. Or Toronto. Or Miami. Many of you write and put in very nice bids for your cities. And as much as I want to see each and every one of you in person, right now there’s no way they’d pay for me to fly around this country so we can hang out. And I have just enough money to take a trip upstairs to refill my coffee mug, and that’s about it.

Maybe, if there’s a next book, it’ll be your turn.

You guys are almost at six hundred donations. You are so extremely cool.

You know that bird question in Why Girls Are Weird? That really happened to me. I get lots of questions I wouldn’t expect. Recently someone asked me to list the five 80’s comedies that everyone should see. That’s a hard question. I’m still thinking about it. This question is easier:

[readermail]Hey Pamie –

You are always encouraging weary travelers like me to tip the housekeeping staff when we are staying in hotels. I’m happy to do so, but how much does one tip? Is it a percentage of nightly rate? Before or after tax? Where do you leave the tip so they know it is there’s to take?


Both of my parents were hotel managers, I’ve been a night auditor and a front desk clerk, and I have lived in hotels, so I know how hard housekeeping works for almost no pay at all. And they’re cleaning up your nasty sheets and towels, so don’t forget to leave them a little something for not stealing all of your personal belongings when they had the chance.

According to this site the housekeepers should get $2 per person per night. I usually leave three to five dollars a day at the end of my stay, depending on the type of hotel I’m in. I put it on the table, wrapped in some of the hotel stationary with “thank you!” written on the top. That’s pretty clear. Some places will leave a card telling you who your housekeeper is. That’s for the tip. And filling out those response cards also help your staff. When I worked for a Wyndham, any time someone mentioned us by name we got an extra dollar on our paycheck. That’s right! A whole dollar! But it really helped out the housekeeping staff, who would sometimes get five of those a day. That added up after two weeks. It’s a pretty thankless job, working in a hotel, so be sure to mention to a manager when you get good service.

Finally, my good friend Todd has his show going up next week, and it’s directed by some guy named stee. Here’s the info. If you’re in (“You’re in!”) the area (“the area!”) you should come out (“come out!”) to see it. Todd’s very funny. And that’s no joke.

Useless is a benefit for the wonderful Santa Monica Playhouse, which is in the process of buying their lease out so they can exist in perpetuity. Um… those other shows on that website have nothing to do with Todd. But they’re kinda scary, huh?

It’s Thursday and Friday, Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 @ 8pm. Tickets are $15 at The Santa Monica Playhouse. 1211 4th Street. The reservation line is (310) 394-9779 EXT 1.

Currently Reading

In a sad evening I’m not proud of, in addition to cleaning my closet and watching part of Jay Leno, I read, in its entirety, Make the Connection. Only because it was getting donated to the library in minutes. Yes, it’s still on my kitchen table, but only because I haven’t taken everything to the library yet.

Please donate a book to Oakland

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