An unexpected weekend activity…

Well, this past weekend was more fun than we expected.

On Saturday, Jennifer and I had planned to see the play Noises Off! at the Alley Theatre, using tickets given to us as wedding shower presents given to us by our friend Julie’s parents. That in and of itself would have made for a wonderful evening, but I managed to find a nice surprise on Twitter. One of our favorite authors, John Scalzi, announced on his Twitter feed that he was going to be doing a reading, a Q&A, and a book signing at the Brazos Bookstore that day at 4 PM. His newest book, Redshirts, had just been released, and this was part of the publicity tour. Realizing we had plenty of time before the play to go to the book signing, we decided to go ahead and go. We briefly considered bringing one of our Old Man’s War books for him to sign, but decided that we would just buy a copy of Redshirts there and have him sign it.

This was our first visit to the Brazos Bookstore, and we rather enjoyed their product selection. Whenever possible, we like to shop and eat at local places instead of chain stores, so we resolved to start shopping there for new books we want. Unfortunately, when we got there, their entire stock of Redshirts was out. However, the people there were nice enough to take down people’s info so that when new copies came in, they’d send them to Scalzi for signing, and then sell them when they arrived back at the store. Jennifer and I both left our info (as we both wanted signed copies), and sat down to watch the talk.

The talk was very interesting and amusing. Apparently he had promised that if someone brought a ukelele, he would sing the theme song to Redshirts (originally written and performed by Jonathan Coulton), and someone obliged. He did a reading of some material, plus did a skit that explained the literary theme of Redshirts (namely, how screwed up the world of Star Trek was from a safety standpoint). When it came time to do the actual book signing, we obviously didn’t have a book to give him to sign, so we decided to browse around the store. Admittedly, I thought of asking him to sign a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, simply to see what his reaction would be…

In the end, Jennifer bought a gift for a friend, and I got a copy of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. We had a great time at the bookstore, and truly enjoyed being able to go out and see Scalzi talk about his craft. Afterwards, we went to Hillstone (formerly Houston’s) for dinner, and then we went to see Noises Off!, which was as hysterically funny as we expected.

All in all, it was a wonderful day, especially with the added treat of getting to see John Scalzi. I just wish every weekend had that kind of pleasant surprise. :-)