That One Time I Met Neil Gaiman

It was June 29, in the sweltering Portland heat…wait, that can’t be right.

But it was. It was like 90 degrees  the day I met Neil Gaiman. There were 900 people packed into the Crystal Ballroom, a beautiful, non-air conditioned venue downtown.

By virtue of our early arrival, my friend and I were seated in the second row. Not all authors have an opening act, but Jason Webley opened with his hat-wearing-accordion-playing awesomeness. Neil did a reading (Chapter 3) from The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which I had purposely not read yet so I could read the signed copy.

After the reading, my friend and I debated about sticking around in the sweltering heat to get our books signed. The 900 bodies in the Ballroom, combined with the unexpected sunlight, were cooking up a decidedly sweaty funk.

Naturally, I complained to Twitter.

 And from backstage came this reply:

So, of course I did.

And also, because the friend I was with happened to be pregnant, we were whisked to the front of the line.

So, after painting he and his wife with skull faces; and both of his dogs, with regular faces; I finally met Neil Gaiman in real life.

 

The end.


Rachael Rossman

 

66/400


Rachael Rossman

 

65/400


Rachael Rossman

 

Deer Park

As my kids get older (i.e. old enough to sit still for a long car ride, pack their own bags, maintain intelligent conversations, not scream or pee in public, etc.) I’ve started to be nostalgic for places I loved as a kid. Last weekend we visited my parents on the Oregon Coast and made a day trip to West Coast Game Park Safari, or as I called it as a kid – Deer Park.

The last time I visited, my husband was carrying my oldest around in a backpack, so maybe 10 years ago? It hadn’t changed much from my childhood memories at that visit, and it still hasn’t.

You still see the same weathered signs (coastal air does that.)

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You still walk through the gift shop.

You still buy ice cream cones filled with deer and goat chow.

The free-ranging goats and assorted deer still single out the smallest children and knock the cones out of their hands as soon as you walk through the gate.

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The place is still lousy with peacocks and peahens.

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The animal enclosures are still charmingly rustic.

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You are still separated from huge beasts by mere wire and electric fence.

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And the best part – you still get to hold BABY ANIMALS. Gah!

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Rachael Rossman

 

64/400


Rachael Rossman