Just so you guys know, I'm pretty good at doing weekends. I'm usually eating tasty business and drinking cocktails and convo-ing it up with my friends and basically enjoying the pants out of Austin.
But last Friday night was much wilder than usual. Because guess what I did. GUESS GUESS GUESS. That's right, I went to my local bookstore, Bookpeople (which is totes awesome, btw), and hung out with a mass of extremely hyper teenagers to see OMG JOHN GREEN AND DAVID LEVITHAN OMGG!!!! CRAZYTOWN!!!
Seriously, though. It was literally crazytown.
Like, that day, I told my boyfriend that I was gonna be there about an hour early, and he replied, "An hour? Really?" And I said, "Um, actually, that might even be cutting it close." And I WAS NOT WRONG. In fact, right after I bought my copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, the store ran out of the book!!! What?! I know! I heard the manager say, "Wow, we really did not expect this event to be so popular," and I wanted to say, "Hmm, maybe that's because you UNDERESTIMATED THE POWER OF YA?!!! Now embrace this enlightenment and be ignorant no more!" But instead I just went upstairs cos I wanted to get a good seat, which by that point meant the floor. An hour early, you guys. Fortunately, I snagged a spot with a good view of the stage as well as the added bonus of proximity to these two girls, upon whom I shamelessly eavesdropped:
Seriously, teenage book nerds are THE CUTEST THING EVER. Like, I heart them so much, but I'm also kind of jealous of them, cos back when I was a teenage book nerd, we didn't have awesome YA authors doing book tours and even if we did, I would've had to walk barefoot through three feet of snow in Houston to get there! Anyway, these two whippersnappers spent the next 60 minutes squeeing over Will Grayson and showing each other notes in their friendship notebook OMG FRIENDSHIP NOTEBOOK!!!!! I'm seriously considering mailing a college rule notebook to the other FYA girls so we can pass it back and forth and write in sparkly glitter pens and gossip about fictional boys. THE INTERNET IS DEAD TO ME.
In addition to creepily listening to those girls, I watched the crowd grow bigger...
And look to my left!
There were tons of people behind me too but the one time I tried to take a picture, the mom behind me gave me a weird look so I stopped. Oh yeah did I mention all of the unsung hero parents that were there?!! Seriously, I cannot remember the last time i attended an event where the majority of the audience had to be driven by their parents. It was awesome. I kind of wanted to ask one of the moms to drive me home just for minivan kicks.
As you can see, the nerdfighters were out in full force, and they completely schooled me in how to be a swimfan. Like, some of them had t-shirts with JOHN GREEN'S FACE ON IT. The last time I was surrounded by that many face-on-a-t-shirts, it was at an 'N Sync concert.
Speaking of concerts, check out THE CROWD GOING WILD when John and David finally stepped on to the stage:
John kept making jokes about being a rock star (at one point, he mentioned Pete Townsend and the girl next to me whispered, "Who's that?" Ouch! The A in YA just poked me), but it's true! He and David are TOTALLY ROCK STARS!!! I mean, look how cute they are, posing for pictures:
I want to HUG THEM IMMEDIATELY! And then buy them a beer.
Cos, seriously, listening to them talk about writing and YA just made me even more of a swimfan, aka I really do want to be their bff and go on road trips with them and make snarky comments about bad movies and talk about cool bands (btw, in case you're wondering, John's fave band is the Mountain Goats, and David loves The National. I know this cos someone asked about during the Q&A, not cos I read it in Bop Magazine. Although I wish Bop still existed and featured YA authors because that would be the greatest development in the history of publishing).
Further loosening my stalker inhibitions is the fact that Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a freaking fantastic book. It's hands down my favorite novel from BOTH authors, and, when I publish my review later this week, it will immediately be filed under Required Reading.
Check out John and David reading a few scenes from it (along with a local YA author whose name I can't remember, sorry lady!):
You may not realize this yet, but Tiny Cooper is about to be yr favorite YA character EVER. And also, the gayest.
Here's a shorter scene involving David's Will Grayson and his online boyfriend, Issac, where they discuss their clever take on internet sexy chat:
I will never think of my clavicle in the same way again.
In addition to highly entertaining readings from the book, John and David took a lot of questions from the audience, some of which were ULTRA swimfan-y (example: "Did you realize that Margo Roth Spiegelman's initials spell 'Mrs' and was this a deliberate choice on yr part to be ironic since she fears marriage?" At this point, even I, a total book nerd, wanted to go into full on jock mode and yell, "SHUT UP DORKFACE!"). Thankfully, there were some excellent questions as well, and my favorite was about David's generous use of profanity and his motives behind it. Basically, he said that yes, part of it is due to the fact that teenagers actually DO cuss (What? You can't be serious!), but the other part is that profanity obvs changes the emotion in a statement, i.e. the difference between, "you are so wrong" and "you are so fucking wrong." He then got on his soapbox (his words, not mine) and launched into an AWESOME mini-lesson on the history of bad words and the loaded meaning, often sexist and/or homophobic, behind them. I totally wanted to pump my fist like, a thousand times, esp. when he threw out the c-word and the parents behind me like GASPED OUT LOUD. It was absolutely brilliant, not to mention the perfect example of how good YA can truly broaden the horizons of its reader. DAVID I LOVE YOU AND YR POTTY MOUTH!!!!
I also squeed when someone asked him why he wrote his Will Grayson with no capitalization and he replied, "It just fit the way the character felt. Like, I think a lot of us feel very lower case inside." Awww dubs true!!!
Anyway, the hour simply flew by on the wings of amazingess, and then it was time to line up for the book signing! Which immediately turned into a clustercuss! We're talking Justin Bieber at the mall, minus personal injuries. Eventually, the Bookpeople staff herded us into a semblance of a line, which wound around the entire second floor. I had to document it with video so I could prove how unsane it was:
I know, RIGHT?!!! I didn't even see lines this long at SXSW this year! Gah! And even though I was STARVING, I decided to wait it out, because that's how much of a swimfan I had become (and when something is more of a priority than my hunger, that's like, basically a declaration of eternal love). Fortunately, the line moved pretty quickly, so I ended up only waiting about 45 minutes. HA HA ONLY 45 MINUTES. WTF.
For part of the time, I had a good view of the signing table, so I got to enjoy the Acts of Swimfandom that occurred. My favorite was a guy with a video camera who got John to ask his gf to go to prom with him (the video camera holder, not actually John Green. Duh he's married!). HOW CUTE IS THAT?!!!!!!
It also helped that I made friends with Maggie, the girl behind me. we gushed about Sarah Dessen and you guys it was SO NICE to just geek out with a random stranger about YA! That never happens! At least, in person!
Her mom took that picture for us. Because she is awesome. Even awesomer? They drove in from DALLAS! And even AWESOMER-ER?! Maggie's mom took my picture when I was meeting John and David!! Omg!!! MILESTONE MOMENT!!! And look at how entertaining and charming John finds me to be!
At that exact moment, I was telling them about FYA and how we make drinks based on our fave books/characters and how the Will Grayson drink is going to be called... well, maybe I'll save that little tidbit for my review. But trust me, you will make that face as well when you read the name.
So yeah, basically David and John are totally my bffs now. Hello THEY SIGNED MY BOOK. AND INCLUDED MY NAME. If that's not a sign of bosom buddies, I don't know what is.
Oh wait, I do know. it's... A BOTTLE OF BOONE'S FARM!
Yeah, that's a picture of all of the presents that fans brought for John, and my inner FYAer was SO PROUD of whoever bought him Strawberry Fields because GREATEST GIFT EVER. Also, it's a reference to Looking For Alaska. I mean, in case you aren't enough of a fan to know that.
Oh SNAP! I think I just made aced my swimfan exam.