The How I Learned Series features writers, storytellers, comedians, and other raconteurs holding forth on a different theme. It all happens every last Wednesday of the month, and sometimes more than that, which basically means you will have the best night of your life on those nights, repeatedly.



Best Summertime Traveling Companions Ever!

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

If you thought everyone's been out of town, they were just at How I Learned. I'm awestruck by how many folks came out to the show last week--AT THE END OF AUGUST. Also, this travel themed installment was our last show of the summer season. How is it that summer is suddenly over? I don't think it's just because I'm old that time is moving so quickly. I think something pretty serious is going on cosmically. But in the meantime, LET'S NOT PANIC! Here's a recap of last week's How I Learned to Live on the Road: Tales of Travels, Travails, Wanderlust and Out-of-Town Hijinks:

The delightful EMMA STRAUB (Fly-Over State) came straight from the hospital having been there for 36 hours for the birth of a friend's baby. Running on what must have been pure adrenaline, she stepped up to the mic and utterly charmed the audience with a true story about being on the road with a band... sort of. Then I think after that she might have just passed out. Remember what Emma told you: February is not the time to go to Canada. Especially if you don't know how many metric tons your car weighs and all you want is some delicious poutine.

"Every now and then even Montreal gets sick of people loving it all the time and just wants someone to curse it out for being such an asshole."

Intrepid storyteller and nomadic narcoleptic, MELANIE HAMLETT (The Moth), shared a hilarious story about living in her truck last summer and traveling 14,000 miles all over America with nothing but a Dora Explorer pinata and an eye-opening visit from her sister.


Those of you who were blown away by Melanie's story--meaning all of you--will enjoy these photos she sent me.


Meanwhile, the inimitable HUGH RYAN (Details) made his third How I Learned appearance (once in New Orleans!), offering up what he learned from a year of being a professional house sitter in every place from Puerto Rico to Park Slope. Then Hugh left to get mentally prepared for a go-go dancing gig at a greaser theme party later that week. True story.

"Vacation homes are located in places that are amazing about four months out of the year. I lived in them during the other eight."

Finally, the beautiful and multi-talented RACHEL SHUKERT (Have You No Shame?) read from her latest book, Everything Is Going To Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Tour, a funny and thoughtful memoir about mischief and missteps while traveling abroad in her twenties. Not surprisingly, everyone loved her and her story so much that they snatched up all of the books she was selling that night. (Man, I love the How I Learned crowd.) Look at all the great reviews she's getting.

"Um, I'm Jewish. I don't know if that's obvious or not, but it made a difference in Austria."

Such a great lineup and an awesome audience. To further illustrate, please now enjoy more photos from the official How I Learned photog, JON BOULIER.  (Plus, even more photos from this show and previous shows in the How I Learned Facebook group if you like looking at photos or whatever.)


Thank you so much for coming out last week! Join me on September 22nd for HOW I LEARNED TO INHALE: STORIES ABOUT DRUGS. It's a pretty good way to start the Fall. Guests will be Tony O'Neill (Sick City), Jeff Simmermon (This American Life), Edith Zimmerman (The Awl), and Royal Young (Fame Shark). Stay tuned!

xoxo Blaise

Photos: Jon Boulier