Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Yipee!!! The book is off to the press!!!! Now I don't have to worry about it until they send me the proofs!!!

But in the course of trying to get it to FedEx, I discovered that one of my tires was flat. Is this a sign or something? At least it wasn't a huge disaster: as I happened to be at the Boyfriend's house to print out the hard copies of the manuscript (because his printer is faster), he very helpfully loaned me his car. Thank you Boyfriend!

Driving his zippy car, though, reminded me how much I miss my old Honda Civic, or "La Cholamobile," as one of my friends (himself Chicano) dubbed it because of its lowrider rims and wheels and its bitchin' Pioneer speakers. That car with me as its driver caused much merriment and surprise in Sprawling Big City. I learned all about police suspicions and assumptions, for instance, after having been tailed and pulled over a number of times and then let go once they saw who was driving the car. But mostly I loved its get-up-and-go and its flashy redness. Alas, my current "mom car" (Boyfriend's Mom had the same one!) does not have the same get-up-and-go, though it also doesn't have the same problem-causing cultural assumptions. (Though I'm not sure what Rust Belt City cops would make of a lowrider. We have a Latino population, but the climate is not lowrider friendly, so I don't know that the car would "read" the same way.)

Anyway, in the process of finally getting some air in my tires at the local service station, I found out that one phenomena in my life is the same here as in Sprawling Big City: old men are drawn to chewing my ear off. (And by old, I mean WWII generation.) As I was going into the station to get the air pump turned on, an old man pulled up behind me (in a Cadillac, of course) and by the time I got back he was out of his car looking as if he was going to jump the line and fill his tires first. I should have just let him because while I was filling mine, did he get back into his warm car and keep his wife company? No! He hovered over me, watched me, offered unsolicited advice, got down and measured the air pressure for me without my asking, and yammered on about the problems he'd been having with his otherwise "new" car. (By my guesstimation, his car was at least 5-6 years old. Omigod, the expectation of old men that things will never break is universal! My dad is surprised when 20-year-old microwaves break!) All of which made the tasks I had to do take exponentially longer, so of course he then asked if he could jump in and just fill his one tire, since I had to do all four. Oh, and he also distracted me so much I actually over-inflated one tire a little bit. Is that a big problem? Should I do something about that?

But anyway, here's the kicker: When I thought he was finally going to go, he turned around and said in a frustrated tone: "My wife thinks I'm an idiot. She thinks you've got *my* tire pressure gauge." I thought for a second that he want to make sure we hadn't switched, so I said, "Nope, I've got mine." And he responded: "Yes, I know. But *she* thinks I'd leave my head behind if it wasn't attached to me. Can you believe it?"

Oh. My. God. He was doing the "My wife doesn't understand me, but I bet *you'll* listen to me, pretty young woman" thing! Ew! Ew! Ew! It's bad enough when they're alone, but his wife was right there in the car! Ew!

I hope his wife is *still* bitching him out about this even as I type these words. Ick.

But hey -- my book is on its way to the publisher!!!!! Yipeee!!!! Now back to that to-do list of a few days ago!

PS -- I couldn't think of a title for this post, as it covered so many odd bases -- books, cars, old men.


Ancrene Wiseass said...

HOORAY for the book going to press! Excellent news.

Cats & Dogma said...

May your proofs be clean.

I only hope I'll be able to report my book off to press in the enxt couple of years. Congrats.

Dr. Virago said...

Thanks to both of you! And welcome Ryan. I see you're one of those old school Wordherders. I bow to your bloggy wisdom. :)

Fast Fizzy said...

Great, your book went to the publisher! Now go out and let the extra air out of your tire. If your finger won't work, use the little bump on the back of the tire gauge head to push the needle valve in. Air will come OUT. I don't know much about literature but I do have a lot of practical knowledge.
Spoken (written) like a true redneck.

Dr. Virago said...

You may have two pick-up trucks, Fizzy, but you're hardly a redneck!

Question: do I have to let the air out? Is it a big problem?

La Lecturess said...

Congratulations! I hope you enjoy a much-deserved break. . .

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Congrats on getting the manuscript out of your hair!

And kind of a tangent, but I, too, used to have a red Honda Civic! I think it was slightly prior to the Civic-as-lowrider trend; '91 hatchbacks didn't have much racer cred that I knew of. (Then again, I hardly know what I'm talking about.) It was an awesome car. I actually kind of miss it.

The Bailiff said...

Ok, no more italics jokes, I promise.

Dr. Virago said...

Lecturess -- Well if blog-commenting and blogging non-stop today counts as a break, then I've had one, but it's now over. :( It's now bedtime and I have *much* to do in the next few days! Ack!

New Kid -- OK, our parallel lives are getting closer and closer. Weird. But yeah, the civic-as-racer/lowrider thing didn't start until they streamlined the design in the mid-90s.

Bailiff -- Sure. I'll believe that when I see it. :)

academic coach said...

Kudos and Congrats. That's awesome. What's the schedule for publication?
Hey, would you offer some advice on *this phase* for my newsletter readers? If you have any tips, you could email them to me. I get requests for getting help with book proposals, etc., all the time.

Dr. Virago said...

I don't know the production schedule yet, though word is my publisher turns things around really fast.

I'm not sure I have advice yet to give because I kind of stumbled blindly through this process, half the time wishing *I* had more guidance. Though perhaps I could say some things about the proposal. And also, there are things I wish I'd done to have made this process less confusing -- for instance, I wish I'd just talked to publishers at the conference book exhibits to get their *advice* first *before* shopping around my book. That seems like a no-brainer, but it stupidly never occured to me.

So I guess I do have advice. I'll cohere my thoughts and e-mail you.