For all that my family is a very volatile creature (we fought like wildcats two nights ago), we ARE a family. This is something the occasional outsider doesn’t understand. I’m not sure whether I envy or pity these people, but that’s another matter. So, to some, it may come as a surprise what happened today (especially when one takes into account the huge fight we all got into recently).

This afternoon, as I was boxing yet more stuff up, Mum & Dad ambled into the room to check on my progress, and plan for the rest of the afternoon. When they asked what I’d rather do today (more boxes or gardening), I joking admitted that I really wanted to go to the Harlot’s signing at Powell’s. There was a pause.

“That’s today? I thought it was tomorrow.”

“No,” sigh, “it’s tonight.”

“Well…” And then, somehow, Mum & Dad came up with a plot. We’d pack up the car to the brim with boxes, move them into the Portland house and then take me over to the signing – thus, the afternoon wouldn’t be wasted, and I’d get my book signed (I have all the Harlot’s books autographed now, yay).

So, at around 4 pm, the Jaywalkers were getting carsick outside Albany:

They asked me to pleaseplease put them back in their bag, please. I did. We arrived in Portland a bit late, cuz there was a HUGE backup (read: standstill) outside of Canby. Dad and I, seeing the terrible sight of several miles of Interstate clogged, veered off of said Interstate on the nearest exit.

Upon grabbing the giant Portland Metropolitan area map, a haphazard route was planned along several country roads, two highways, and through the middle of Canby itself. Dad was impressed with how pretty the countryside was (wine country), and the ride was much smoother than I-5, so it was definitely worth the extra half hour or so.

Eventually we arrived at the house and proceeded to move boxes with a speed rarely seen in humans. We had T-minus 45 minutes to get supper and get to Powell’s before the Harlot appeared (7:30 pm). We grabbed the bestest Pho ever (yumyum), dashed out of the restaurant (we paid, don’t worry), and drove like maniacs to the Burnside Bridge. Dad dropped me off outside of Powell’s (running late, ack!) and I rushed in, acting very Italian, and cut to the front of the Information desk.

“Harlot signing,” I panted. The woman looked at me with pity.

“It’s in the Pearl Room, on the 3rd Floor. But,” she paused and considered me, my size, and my ability to act like a sardine, “the room’s already overfull and the manager’s talking about closing off the room. I’d hurry if I were you,” she called to me, and the 3 other knitters who had slipped in behind me, as a mass of us rushed off towards the stairs. After getting lost in the Purple Room (I don’t recommend this) and, err, a slight stampede (we warned the man, I swear), the four of us made it to the Pearl Room.

And, indeed, the event was standing room only. For most of the Harlot’s talk I couldn’t even see her, but instead listened and watched the knitters around me. Handspun, handknit garments were everywhere, and I enjoyed inspecting them. Finally, towards the end of the Harlot’s talk, the crowd had thinned a bit, and I shimmied past a couple of snickering Knitters to snap this very blurry shot:

Seriously. I’m amazed we all fit onto the 3rd floor, in the end (many a knitter was seen perched on the stairs to the 4th floor, or in the stacks). Then, when the talk was over and the signing was to begin, I took the Powell’s representative very very seriously and lined up, quickly, where he told us to. Good thing I did, too, since the line got lengthy fast; and, wow, I doubt even Dad would have sat that long for me to get my book signed. But, luckily, I only stood in line for maybe 15 minutes. Which were spent amicably chatting with a very interesting woman and her daughter, both knitters, and who promised me an In with Blue Moon. Oh… my.

Great chat. I also was greeted by one of the girls from Knit/Purl, who asked if she could come up with me (she identified the Jaywalkers instantly). In exchange for a photograph, I agreed. I think the Harlot passed on some of her mojo to the Jaywalkers for me and I got to hold The Sock:

(can you totally tell I spent the afternoon getting sweaty and dirty
…and didn’t get to shower or brush my hair before this photo was taken?)

After the photo was taken, an offer for drinks was given, and pleasantries exchanged, I handed the Harlot my book, containing my sticky-note the Powell’s person wrote out for me.

“You’re Fyberduck?!” I looked around, confused. Were there Wanted posters up? Was she remembering that (slight) fiasco involving the Knitting Olympics group blog I organized?


“Well, if this isn’t like being approached by Bruce Wayne and being asked to write an autograph for Batman!” I laughed nervously, said thank you, was photographed again with The Sock, then made polite talk I really don’t remember now and made my escape (sans Dark Knight cape, alas).

I found Dad standing by the “Knitting Is Knotty” display (insert snicker here) and replied to his ‘how did it go?’ with, “Wow, I guess I’m infamous.”

After turning down an offer from a couple of the girls from Knit/Purl (they were having a get-together nearby), evading some sailors on shore-leave, hunting down ice cream, and singing off-key for two hours, we finally arrived home.

What a strange day.

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