Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Run away

Internet = back on and, boy, was that annoying. I don't mind so much being cut off from the web, or even my own email, but it sure throws a monkey wrench in your teaching, especially when you've been gone nearly a week.

And here we go.


I fired the Sunshine Lady. Just before I left she intimated, in an underhanded, almost threatening way that she wanted a substantial raise, despite being paid according to her own terms.

Suddenly, these weren't good anymore.

Essentially, it was extortion. She thought I wouldn't say no, that I needed her too much not to cave.

When I returned from AWP, I called her to discuss matters, even though in my mind she'd already committed a serious breach of trust. I wasn't going to continue to employ her. But I wanted to at least hear her out.

But she was, rather instantly, what's the word -- a bitch, yelling, demanding.

"I won't need your services anymore," I said and hung up.

The next morning I had my locks changed.


AWP was the blurriest of any I've attended. That's saying a lot. Wednesday morning my flight to LaGuardia at 9:45 was canceled. Almost instantly, the entire body of passengers rose up and began running the 19 gates to the Delta customer service desk to be rebooked.

I raced after them, weaving in and out, moving up through the pack. I knew there was no way they'd keep up that pace so I carefully passed each one.

But there was one woman who was determined to be first, running hard with her luggage. I pulled even with her, for just a bit, then poured out the chair's last speed, leaving her behind.

A rare moment when being disabled is intensely amusing.

We flew into JFK instead. Our baggage was lost. Fantastic.

That night: Spamalot starring Clay Aiken.

Thursday morning our luggage was delivered. I had a change of clothes to wear for my panels. I read from my memoir at nine and four poems at noon. Lunch was here. Then I signed a few books at the bookfair, one for Reb. That night dinner was -- I can't remember. A reception for University of Alabama peeps in a truly horrid bar. Eddie Money's "Take Me Home Tonight" roared out.

Eddie Money.

Friday morning I slept late until 10. I met with Dan Halpern at 1. I ate a burger with Betsy at 4. Dinner was a nice Thai place, reached in pouring rain. Shrimp with roasted garlic. My hoodie jacket gave me an 8 Mile affect.

Met Eduardo. Who was great. I salute you, sir.

Ended up in a hotel room filled with more alcohol than people: Josh Bell, Matt Guenette, Ron Mitchell, Dawn Teft, Amber Flora. Tomb Raider was playing.

And Saturday. I can't even begin.


Anonymous said...

Eddie Money rocks. Take it BACK, Paul!

Stephanie said...

"Psst...is that PAUL GUEST? THE Paul Guest?..."

Nice work, superstar.

Suzanne said...

Groupie: "OMG is that Paul Guest? I LOVE him."

Me: "Yes. Want to meet him?"

[Groupie's eyes light up like Christmas morning.]


Great to spend time with you, Paul, you are a superstar. xo

Kelly in Nebraska said...

Comment at Univ. of Nebraska Press Reception, just after Paul left:

I saw you talking with Paul Guest. Do you KNOW him?

(Nice to chat with you, Paul!)

Taylor said...

Re: firing the Sunshine Lady

In the immortal words of The Notorious B.I.G.
"Mo' Money, Mo' Problems."

Jett Superior said...

And you said poets don't have groupies! Well, except for...that one. I knew I was right to stand by my skepticism.

Sorry about the laydeh, welcome back to the sweet arms of the South.