Friday, December 4, 2009

The Pioneer Woman book signing in Austin

On a Thursday night. A school night for the love of all that is good and holy. Did I go? Hells yes I went, it's only 100 miles from my front door. My girlfriend was supposed to go with but she works for a not for profit womens shelter or some goody thing and they had a fundraiser. So it was me. And the kid. YES I TOOK MY CHILD. On a school night. She wanted to go and she's an only child, we can be flexible. Hey how often do we get to see the entire Drummond clan in the flesh? Cause you know, we're go and drive to the boonies of north east Oklahoma all the time. OK not so much, I hate weather and I hear they have tornadoes up there. Not enough money in the world, gimme a good ol' earthquake any day.

So the book signing, yeah, awesome. And frick off long. Does anyone out there really understand how popular that woman is? Seriously? I heard that her signing in Dallas lasted until 1 am. We got there at 7pm (when it started) and managed to be one of the last 20 in line so we saw her at around 11pm. Yeah, it was insane. She started off by answering some questions from the crowd and then went upstairs to a room where she signed books. They had us line up in groups and the line would go though the book store and up a flight of stairs into the room.

This was some (and only really a small part) of the crowd:

If you look (below) next to the left of the hat on the dork who went there in a cowboy hat (why do people do that?) that's Ree at the lectern answering questions. Yes, that's as close as I could get. Eventually people started asking insanely stupid questions not relating to her so I took my kid over to the childrens section to wait it out. While posting on Facebook and Twitter from my iPhone. I love iPhones, it was a 4 hour wait and I really understood how addicted to the internet I was at that point.

So who was there? Well since Ree's sister and brother in law live in Austin everyone was there. Even Ree's mom who was helping wrangle the kids. My kid played with all the plethora of toys, trinkets and whatnots they had littered about the place. Eventually Ree's 2 boys joined her (there weren't a lot of kids there, certainly not by the end) and even later Ree's daughters came in. They signed a few books too, more on that later.

The kid, entertaining herself because she, for some reason she can't remember, let her mom drag her to another city to get a signature of some woman on a blog. Poor child. BTW, do you love the socks? She's decided outrageous knee highs are the coolest thing this season. Apparently my love of knee highs is genetic, rockin...

Ree's eldest Alex is going to be a very tall woman, I think she's taller than me now (ok I'm 5'1" so that's not saying much but still) but she's very regal in her height. When I think of a child being that tall I think gangly, not at all with her. The two boys are a funny little handful, just as crazy as all of Ree's photos show them being. They grab any microphone within reach and nothing is sacred. One of them manged to find a toy bow and arrow set. In a book store. What were the chances right? Texas, I swear. Did I mention that I made hoops for the girls? I'd have made some for the boys too but I didn't have any 160psi tubing left and I know the 125 psi I used for the girls probably wouldn't last a day with those 2 boys. After seeing them in real life I'm sure of it. Lots of people brought her presents too, as you can see to the left on the table in the pic of she and my kid.

Marlboro Man (Ladd) signed books too, you'll have to excuse what my camera and flash did to his fair skin. He looks really tired in these photos (and he probably was) but it was hot in the store and if you saw him in person he was very cool and handsome. And calm, see now I don't think I know people that are calm like him. Must mean I only know city people. Please note that my child is not that tall (I think Ladd is 6', maybe more) she is standing on the podium next to him.

When we (finally) got up to where Ree was and got her signature the kid gave her the hoops for her daughters and Ladd asked her to show them how she hooped, which was sweet. I will mention that The Book People were very apprehensive about letting hoops in their store. I had to leave them behind an information booth near the front door until the very end (good thing we closed down the place) and when I sent the kid to go retrieve them they tried stopping her too. Pfft, stop the kid from giving her hoop gifts, I don't thinks so. She just told them they were for Ree, blew them off and kept walking. I have such a cool kid, she's so smart. Also she never tried hooping while holding them in line, only when Ladd asked her to. She's so well trained, much better in social situations than her mamma. Oh and these hoops? Sorry I didn't take a picture, one was a purple relief that was solid and sparkly tape and we loved it. The other was the same only pink. Yeah, no picture, sorry, I was in a rush to get to Austin in rush hour traffic, yay me!

See those people behind the kid? Those were the last of us. We got there at 7 and that picture was taken around 11pm. Her kids were long gone to the hotel by then, the only ones left were her husband and her sister and brother in law. No their baby wasn't there.

Yes, I know, you want more pictures I'm sure. Here's where I tell you about what I learned about myself as a photographer (gee Michelle, isn't this post dang hella long enough as it is? Welcome to my blog...). I could have taken lotsa pictures of her kids playing and gotten signatures from her girls but I felt odd about that. Yes, they have definitely reached 'celebrity' status and their college fund could be made with the profits from the book signing tour alone (seriously) but they are kids from a ranch out in the middle of nowhere. It didn't feel right to me so I didn't take a bunch of pictures. As for Ree pics well, this is it. That's all I saw of her. There was A TON of people there and she was upstairs in the room. Even when you got to her a person took the books you wanted her to sign and put them in front of her (earlier in the line some other worker wrote what name you wanted it signed to on a sticky so that was already taken care of). It was oddly like she was holding court.

Don't get me wrong, she and her hubby were very personable. And they must have been really tired by the time I got to them. She asked me to step closer to her and converse, which was nice. Like I said, the way they had it set up wasn't terribly personable. They asked the kid questions and seemed just as chipper at the end as they did in the beginning. It must be a huge change from their everyday life and they seemed to take it in stride. Much better than I would do I'm absolutely sure, too many people for my taste.

All in all I think it was very awesome for Ree to bring her whole family out for all of us to see them in real life. They are just as you would expect from her stories on the blog. Seriously nice people.


stephanie @ said...

Yeah, the "holding court" thing... I know what you mean. Well, she was in LA and I THINK I would have gone had I been paying attention and realized she was going to be so close... then again, I hate driving to LA... so maybe I wouldn't have. Anyway, I have a lot of respect for the woman. I think she's incredibly talented and God knows she's inspired me in more ways than one, but in the last year or so, it seems her blog has turned into a business more than, well, a blog. I don't know if I'm making sense, but the "holding court" thing made sense. Still, I'm seriously jealous. (Yeah, I probably would have driven to LA. If for nothing else than the experience.)

MichelleSG said...

Oh honey, it was an experience. And yes, it has got to be a business for her. I can't even fathom how much money she is making (whether or not she planned on it, doesn't matter). Although I must tell you, the whole family is so down to earth. I don't know if the kids will continue to be but the adults are very very nice.

Anonymous said...

I saw you were a randomly picked winner on the Smarty Pants quiz! Yay for you! Congrats! :)

MichelleSG said...

GET OUT! I didn't even know and probably wouldn't have if you didn't tell me. THANKS!

Violet said...

AND she posted a pic of your daughter hooping! And you can see the hoops you gave them in another pic - you're famous!

Holy there anyone in the blog world who DOESN'T follow P-Dub??

Pony Girl said...

So cool you got to meet her! I've been wanting to get the book. I used to be a huge fan. Not that I'm not a fan, I was just obsessed and now I rarely get over there and comment (I go in waves.)

Pony Girl said...

So cool you got to meet her! I've been wanting to get the book. I used to be a huge fan. Not that I'm not a fan, I was just obsessed and now I rarely get over there and comment (I go in waves.)