A surfeit of surreality

So the other day I make a trip to the university surplus store. That’s the place where the University sells things that it doesn’t need anymore.

(Whoops. That should be university. No capital letter. It’s hard to break certain typing habits after working on the book.)

I love the surplus store. I’ve bought couches there. Chalkboards. Computers. The chair I’m sitting on right now came from the surplus store. Five bucks. It’s cushy and everything.

But on this particular day, I wander over because I hear the chemistry department has surplussed some of its glassware. Back before I fell under the dark sway of the liberal arts, I was studying to be a chemical engineer. I quit early on, before I could get sick of it. And as a result, I still have a real fondness for chemistry equipment. Especially the glassware.

So I head over and look at what they have. After poking around in a dozen boxes, I ask them what they’d take for the whole lot of it. We negotiate for a while, and eventually settle on a hundred fifty bucks for everything. I get them to throw in an old hand-crank centrifuge as well. Because if you’re going to have a  lab in your basement, why wouldn’t you want a hand-crank centrifuge?

It was a pretty frivolous purchase, I suppose. But I just love the stuff. Not even because it’s useful. Hell, some of the stuff I don’t even know what it’s called, let alone how to use it.

Other pieces are easier to identify.

This, for example, is obviously a bong:

This, on the other hand, is a much cooler, more complicated bong:

Okay, fine. I’m not sure what either one of those things is for. But look at the lower one. Witness its awesome. How could anyone not want something like that in their house?

After I bought the glassware I realized Sarah was off running errands. So my intrepid assistant Valerie offered to come pick me up and help me move the boxes.

While I was waiting for her, I wandered over to Starbucks for coffee. I know, I’m not proud of it. But I was on foot with half an hour to kill, and daddy needs his medicine.

By the way, we’re getting to the point of the story now. Did I mention that there was a point to this story? There is.

So I’m at Starbucks, trying to overcome the guilt of not supporting my locally owned, independent coffee shop. They don’t have blueberry syrup, either, which I figure is fair punishment for my betrayal.

Then the woman behind the counter says, “I really liked your book.”

I’m always surprised when someone recognizes me. It doesn’t happen that often, but it’s always flattering.  We talk about the book for a minute, and then I head out the door.

On the way back to the surplus store, I walk past a previously out-of-business store someone’s remodeling. I’ve heard a rumor that someone’s starting up a new restaurant in town called “Curry in a Hurry.” Needless to say, I’m delighted. Stevens Point is a nice place to live, but there’s no Indian food around these parts, and that makes me sad.

So I go over and ask the guy that’s painting a few questions. He confirms it is actually going to be the new curry place. I tell him that’s awesome. We smile.

Then, as I turn to leave, he says. “I’m a big fan.”

And this time it strikes me as a little weird. Two stranger in less than three minutes. And they haven’t just read my book, but they obviously know who I am and what I look like.

Still, I shrug it off. This is my hometown after all. And there have been more than a few local-boy-does-good stories in the paper. And I do have a bit of a distinctive look to me…

Given all that, I decide it’s just a coincidence, and that helps me keep my cool together.

But then, less than an hour later when I’m picking up an air conditioner at Menards, the guy in the loading bay smiles and says, “How are the books doing?”

And then it’s just all different colors of bizarre. Flattering? Sure. Cool? Yeah.  But mostly it was just weird. None of them said, “Are you that author guy?” They all just knew who I was. I’m not used to that. How can anyone ever be used to that?

Everything said, it made for a very surreal afternoon.

Later space cowboys,


This entry was posted in cool things, day in the life, ValerieBy Firebirdblaze87 Responses


  1. Kisaoda
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    I somehow think the Shining Beard of Glory gives it away. It renders the victims of a vast knowledge of your awesomeness, regardless of whether or not they’ve actually read the book.

    That, or, GOOD JOB: You’ve reached an (almost) Neil Gaiman status where people recognize you on the spot! Pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments. :D

  2. girder
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    I am studying to be a chemist and have never seen these kinds of glassware (they weren’t surplus for nothing). I never knew you studied to be a chemical engineer, you didn’t seem the beta.

    Guido from Amsterdam

    • gaard63
      Posted June 30, 2010 at 11:42 AM | Permalink


      I have my, BS, yes bachelor of science, not the other thing you may be thinking, in Chemistry, the top item is what we nerdy folks call a “quikfit”it just holds stuff together, the second is an older version of a separetory funnel, with what looks like either a water line or a simple distilling apparatus attached! which is friggin sweet looking.


    • johngard15
      Posted July 1, 2010 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

      the word “titration” comes to mind looking at the second device.

  3. Tyson
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

    If I ever meet you, I’ll be the one wetting my pants.

    Figuratively, of course. I hope.

    I think being a successful author is just the right amount of famous to be.

  4. Rob47
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    I love my chemistry I did it at A-Level but was absolutely terrible at it everything went straight over my head.

  5. Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    if i ever see you.. i’ll toss a “looking forward to march 1st” in there at the end of the encounter. and maybe a “you rule the earth by the way” for good measure.


  6. Tyler
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:10 PM | Permalink

    I’m a chem major, never seen the first. The second though has some unpleasant memories attached to it. Made cinnamic acid into an anilide, and holy hell did it smell badly. Can’t for the life of me remember what that glassware is called though.

    On the main point: Something tells me nobody with a trace of modesty will ever really get used to having people recognize them.

  7. Honken
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:10 PM | Permalink

    Space cowboy.
    is that a reference to Bebop?

    • Kisaoda
      Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

      That, or Steve Miller.

      • borvise
        Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

        Nope. Definitely Beebob. Gotta love it.

    • chaelek
      Posted June 30, 2010 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

      I thought it was a Firefly thing. A Whedonism, if you will.

      • stephanie
        Posted June 30, 2010 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

        Oh thank goodness, I thought the world had gone nuts. I mean, yeah, we all love our Bebop, but let’s not forget about Firefly!

      • Kalinya
        Posted July 2, 2010 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

        I thought they were kidding about the bebop thing =/

  8. baronbloodbath
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    I agree. Very bong-shaped. You could distill something with that setup, methinks.

    • Larzid
      Posted June 30, 2010 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

      I think, if i remember well that the second one is used to separate liquids.

  9. Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

    You see, for those reasons, I’m glad we don’t live in the same city. Were we to cross paths in the local market, I might frighten you with rabid fan blather. Just praise Tehlu that these cheerful, Pleasantville types didn’t whisk you into a musical number.

    Or perhaps that was your secret longing all along. Dr. Horrible approves.

  10. jrftzgb
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    The top piece you fill with a drying material and pass inert gas through it to keep it from screwing up reactions that are sensitive to those sorta things.
    The second I believe is a custom make, some sort of pressure equalizing funnel.

  11. MarcusCato
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    Honken beat me to it, but nice bebop reference, if that’s what it is…

  12. beau
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    That sure is some fancy meth-making equipment there, Pat.

    • Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

      Yeah. I’m going to have trouble explaining this shit to the cops if they ever show up.

      • borvise
        Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

        Just point to your beard and say you’re an author. You might get off on a “oh, you’re one of those guys” defense. That’d get you right off the hook. Possibly onto a bigger one.

      • Bars
        Posted June 30, 2010 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

        If the cops do show up, at least one of them will say “Oh, hello, Mr. Rothfuss, how’s your book going? I’m a big fan, you know” and all will be well ;)

      • RegistrationIsStupid
        Posted June 30, 2010 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

        You will be running in circles explaining “But, but, … I’m a writer?!” just like the dude in the long version of tribute by Tenacious D.

      • Skoivan
        Posted July 5, 2010 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

        Just memorize the names and functions of the crazy instruments as explained by the chemistry people, and when you can rattle it off so very matter-of-factly to the cops when they ask, “Well Mr. Rothfuss, what do we have here?” they will be forced to believe you, for they shan’t understand it themselves, but you’ll sound scientific enough for them.

        Or you could just tell them you wanted to build a replica of Dr. Jekyll’s lab in your basement…

  13. He without a clever name
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    You called us space Cowboys! I approve, sir (although I read it as a firefly reference.)

    Unfortunately, were we to meet in such a way or setting, my wife and I could not give you a good chemistry talking. We could, however, give you some philosophy and metaphorical physics conversation.

  14. Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    I see this is what is going to happen. Eventually your fame will become too much. You will be chased the like the Beatles and Elvis. It will overwhelm you. But that is when you can implement this brilliant plan.
    Shave the beard and VOILA ‘Pat Under Cover’. No one will recognize you.
    And you get yourself a fake beard for the public appearances so you can maintain the Public Identity. Its so very sneaky.

    • Posted June 29, 2010 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

      For shame! Suggesting, nay, even hinting, that Pat should shave The Beard is blasphemous and frankly, outrageous. The obvious answer here is that he should modify a bald cap to wear over his chin whenever he wants to blend in with the mundane simpletons that walk the streets.

      • cmstewart
        Posted June 29, 2010 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

        ALL MEN ARE SEXIER WITH BEARDS. yes. ALL men. If you’re a man and you don’t have one.. get one.

  15. mentalchaos
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    I think you bought some type of novelty penis pump. Not a bong.

  16. ladyvader401
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    I just graduated with a Biology degree, but I did an internship last summer that was mostly organic chemistry, and I worked with the second piece of glassware a lot. It’s called a separatory funnel. You use it to separate the aqueous and organic layers in a mixture; the spout at the bottom lets you draw out the bottom layer and leave the top one in there. The Wikipedia page for sep funnels has some pretty pictures, too.

    However, bong is my best guess on the first one. :-D It could be part of a distillation setup, but I really don’t know .

    • Little My
      Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

      Sounds like a fat-skimming gravy pourer might work just as well. Although it wouldn’t look as graceful.

  17. Sherp
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

    You can file this under “research”, if you like. Kvothe is going to have to come to terms with his fame at some point, I imagine. :-)

  18. Dawn the glass bead maker
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    I could mail you a book that’s got some way cool photos of glassblowing and lab equipment, so you could tell the cops it’s research when they show up…. ;)

    Older book, too, so it’s legit and all.

  19. melanie
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    i vote for Steve Miller (space cowboy), or Gangster of Love, but with the bong present, space cowboy fits.

  20. James
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    No idea on the first, but the second really looks like a tweaked separating funnel. Used to separate liquids of different density.

    Awesome purchases either way.

  21. mtk93
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    Speaking as a Stevens Point resident who bumped into you at a sushi restaurant a couple of weeks ago, as you were going over “The Wise Man’s Fear” with your beta reader (and my coworker at The Gazette), I can definitely say it’s an honor that we have the pleasure of seeing you once in a while. I felt like a bit of a fool when I talked to you, mainly because I felt like the over enthusiastic fan who had a lot to say but who couldn’t spit it out, but it was the highlight of my dinner. And that’s saying a lot because that sushi restaurant is my favorite place to eat in town.
    Stevens Point has a lot to be proud of, and you’re sitting right near the top. That’s why people know you.

    • Widow Of Sirius
      Posted June 30, 2010 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

      You’re not the only one. Holy benefit to living in Point – bumping into Pat just about anywhere. I saw Sarah at the grocery store and I almost peed myself, but was just like “Hey, what’s up?”

  22. Chris Vasko
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    Did you infact, “Save big money at Menard’s”? My brother works for them, apparently they have really craptastic health insurance.

  23. Mallory
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    Are you sure you weren’t walking around with your “Hi, my name’s Pat and I wrote a kick-ass book” tee on? That might explain it…

  24. BGrimm
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    I’m a soon-to-be-chemist who wishes to one day be a writer. I think that’s some pretty awesome lab glassware. I’d say that the first piece is probably part of a huge distillation unit, my guess would be a fractional distillation apparatus. Also, that the second one is definitly a separatory funnel, although it’s a little different than any other sep. funnel I’ve ever seen/used before.

  25. PirateXxEsque
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    I learned a new word today – surfeit.

    You know, you’ve probably met these people before, and they probably thought you might remember them… I hope they weren’t crushed when they realised they weren’t. :P

  26. Will
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    The surreality began for me with “hand-crank centrifuge.” All the centrifuges I’ve ever worked are electronic, encased in steel, and go at 3000+ rpm. You should have had a picture of yourself working that thing like an organ grinder.

  27. Naznarreb
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

    So, given that you took college chemistry courses, and in TNOTW you specifically mention one of the rules of the chemist is “eat elsewhere” you probably know this, but just in case you don’t or forgot or something: please don’t put chemistry glassware in your mouth. It could end badly.

  28. MacDuff
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 11:36 PM | Permalink

    You have to stop wearing that “I am Patrick Rothfuss and you can Kvothe me on that! ” t-shirt:)

    Uh, sorry, I think I just made myself throw up a tiny bit of stomach acid ….

    Hate when that happens.

  29. Erzberger
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    The latter of the two glass thingies is (as far as I know) used to extract essential oils from flowers and the likes. I used it in my pharmacy internship. Pretty neat stuff.

  30. chaelek
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

    YOU may not know what those pieces are, but I’m sure Kvothe came across them in Ben’s wagon a time or two.

  31. Zeo077
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 1:56 AM | Permalink

    What’s with “posted by Firebirdblaze”?

    • Widow Of Sirius
      Posted June 30, 2010 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

      I think that was Valerie’s log-on name. He must’ve forgotten to sign her out.

  32. Arcy
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

    Excellent post, and shopping at Menards gives you a +10 to your “making my WoW guild rofl” skill. 21+ guild, and we act like a bunch of 11 year old boys. Menards. *giggle*

  33. bldysabba
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 4:53 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat!
    I hope this doesn’t get buried too deep in the comments for you to see. I saw in the post that you like Indian food, and couldn’t resist asking – Is there any chance, ever, of you coming to India? You have a small, but very devoted(And rapidly growing. Like all good minions, we plug NOTW shamelessly) set of fans here. It would be beyond awesome if you do visit!

    • Chocolate Fanatic
      Posted June 30, 2010 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

      or if that takes too much time just go to Devon in Chicago, loads of desi’s there but not me. ATL has a lot of them and several of them have beards that might. might rival yours

      • Chocolate Fanatic
        Posted June 30, 2010 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

        and ATL has totally awesome indian food if you know where to go. for you id recommend Ashiana at global mall. oh and for those who don’t know desi refers to anyone who originates from the indian subcontinent

  34. Janeymacd
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

    Hello Pat, I’m mighty jealous of your chemistry equipment, and your impending basement lab. Do you have aspirations of taking over the world while using the medium of song? You’ll have to post a picture or video of you in your lab with lab coat and goggles chuckling evily away to yourself ‘mwa ha ha ha’ while staring into a beaker of something luminous.
    So the second piece of equipment looks like a separatory funnel, its for seperating two immiscible liduids, although the tubing to the right is unusual, it could be for vaporisation possibly. I haven’t a clue what the first one is though, I’ve never used anything like that before in a lab, I’m intrigued as to its intended purpose, other than the purification of smoke of course!

    • Skoivan
      Posted July 5, 2010 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

      I agree photos will be a necessity to keep the minions happy. My brother’s girlfriend is a photographer, she’d probably do a photo shoot of Mad Scientist Rothfuss. It would be sure to shoot her (no pun intended) to photographer super-stardom!

  35. Mickey
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 6:38 AM | Permalink

    ” Wha’ are we doin’ tonight Pat ? ”

    ” Same thing we do every night Mickey….Try to take over the World ! ”

    Soon Sire you will have to hire body guards to protect you from the screaming hordes of nubile beauties throwing their nicest bits at you for autographication (real word , I swear )

  36. Shifty
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    “Witness its awesome” has to be one of the neatest phrases I’ve heard in a while. Reminiscent of The Tick to my mind.

  37. Posted June 30, 2010 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    Your new glassware will work perfectly if you ever decide to dress up as Dr. Horrible again.

  38. Posted June 30, 2010 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    A long time ago, I was recognised at the public library.

    There were several computers on a table, and I was searching something related with manga on the internet. Then, a man using the next computer asked to me: “Do you know that manga is japanese?”
    “Yes, I’m learning japanese.”
    “Really? Who’s your teacher?”
    “Ehm… She’s called Eko.”
    “Is your name ***?” There were private lessons for a friend and me, and *** was that friend.
    “… no…”
    “Then you’re Elennim!!” Obviously, he didn’t say my nickname, but I thought Ô.ô How the hell do you know who I am??

    Later, he told me that my teacher was his friend and so on, but… I was really freaking out xD

  39. Posted June 30, 2010 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    I’m with you on the glassware, quite useless and yet strangely attractive in a collect and … collect dust kind of way.

    I have a question though. I noticed the other day the swedish edition of Name of the Wind (or “Vindens Namn” as it is called here) which was cool. What’s less cool, in my opinion, is that they have made it into part 1 and part 2. This will obviously sell more books (and they charge just as much for half a book I tell ya) but aside from that, is there any other reason why this is sometimes done?

    I’m not asking in an angry kind of way, just curious?

    • Posted June 30, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

      By book is really big, and in some countries, big books just don’t sell very well. So they break it up. In Japan they turned it into three books.

      • Posted June 30, 2010 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

        They have done that to the translated version of the Wheel of Time series as well in Sweden. I can not see how anyone would like to interrupt a book like Pat’s though, it’s simply too enthralling.

      • Posted June 30, 2010 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

        Thank you, that’s actually quite interesting although I’m not sure how to feel about being on the list of countries where people don’t have the attention span to finish a book. I had thought it was more genre based (making fantasy fans marathon readers) but my preconceptions and I stand humbly corrected.

        • Mags
          Posted September 20, 2010 at 1:24 AM | Permalink

          As far as dividing up NOTW into two or three to increase sales, the issue may not necessarily be short attention span but rather the actual size and/or weight of the book. Big books are heavier and bulkier so they’re more of a pain to carry around and store. Not an issue for many North Americans but definitely for people who use public transportation, walk,and carry their baggage around all day. Or for people who live in tiny homes where every square inch is prime real estate. I know this is the case for the Japanese. Maybe for the Swedish too?

  40. laurafromNY
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    WOW, people are so late to the cowboy bebop reference but it’s always cool to hear…Monday I sat down to eat some curry and flipped on the tv and there was Cowboy Bebop the movie playing. I love it, but I STILL don’t get the part where Vincent cuts Faye’s top and does nothing…(don’t want rape or anything) but I don’t get it!!! What’s the point? Teaser?

    By the way, “Curry in a Hurry” sounds really cool, but I hope they don’t make it in a hurry…it’ll suck, esp. since not all curry is the same! And this experience shows that your growing legion of fans WILL take over the world! mwah ha ha…eh.

  41. Channain
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    My comment to you would be, “So, ready to duck under the table yet?”

    Because my chance of meeting you would probably be at CONvergence in Minneapolis. In the picture I saw of you from that, your eyes looked a little glazed already. I know that feeling too, but from the con comm POV from MarsCon.

    Hope ComicCon goes well, and that you can, on occasion, find a dark quiet place to hide as frequently as possible.


  42. Widow Of Sirius
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    There’s gonna be a curry place in town?!?! Is that where the Gotta Hava Java was ?!?!?! PUMPED!!

    In other news, I’ll have you know most of my friends here in town have heard of you, one way or the other (not only just from my incessant blathering about how awesome you are), and a few actually took classes with you as their professor. Remember that, as well.

    But I agree with most people – it’s probably The Beard.

  43. triteconfessions
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    I see plenty of Cowboy Bebop references – which I thought at first, but then I heard it in my head and I said to myself, I says: Homer Simpson.

    Some people call me Mauriiiice

  44. Adaephon
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    I would recognize you if you ever came to Florida…but no one EVER comes to Florida…

  45. r_linton
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    I wish I knew if my uni had a surplus store. My magpie/pack rat sensibilities would be going into overdrive.

    However, that chemistry glassware apparatus (my teacher called it Quickfit) mades me reflexively shudder. Wasn’t my best subject – although I have ended up doing science at uni, so the ‘dark sway’ of the liberal arts didn’t win me over entirely! (in a university where the campus is split down the middle between the sciences and the arts, and my lecturers routinely refer to those liberal fools “across the road”, that makes me laugh)

    Pat yourself on the back (sorry, couldn’t resist), you’ve now become a well-recognised figure! As you should be! Of course, it may well just be the beard.

    I feel your pain for living in a town with no (insert food of choice here) restaurants. There is no sushi place in my town, and I’ve been craving it for the past week. Grr.

  46. Mike
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    In re: recognition, remember the wisdom of Auric Goldfinger: “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.”

    Have a nice day. (evil grin)

  47. MisterMerf
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    I think it’s clear that people are moving to Stevens Point just to get closer to you, Pat.

    Soon you’ll have to move to Montana and your dust jackets will say “…lives somewhere in the craggy peaks of the Rockies with his paranoia and vicious mastiffs. You’ll never find him. Never.”

  48. maine character
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    A friend once stole a bunch of glassware like that from a chemistry dept (cutting his hand badly as he climbed out the window – really, be careful with that stuff) and gave me a few pieces for helping him carry it back to his place.

    A few days later a friend dropped into my room with a girl I liked, and on seeing the tubes, bulbs, and valves, she gave me a look like I was some horrid stoner. It didn’t help that my friend said, “Oh, hey, great glass – let me know when you got that set up.”

    As it turned out, it did work really well. :-)

  49. Posted June 30, 2010 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    Can I just say I’m a little concerned about all the chemical equipment heading to your lab in the basement.

    Don’t blow up your family, ok. I know, you’re the nearly-chemical engineer, and I am the one who first had a board eraser thrown at her head for screwing up basic chromatography and was then kicked out of chem class altogether. But just saying….Leave that stuff in the box, back away from the boxes and get on with writing. Because it’s clear from all those people knowing exactly who you are that what you are really good at is writing. There is a reason that you are not a chemical engineer.

  50. Bellona, The Netherlands
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    I’m picturing you testing out some shirts from the contest and wondering why they all recognize you…

  51. Bucky
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    HA! I was in Stevens Point visiting my grandparents last Thursday (24th) until this Monday (28th), and was hoping in the back of my mind that I’d run in to you as I’m a fan of the first book as well as your blog.
    I however was not that lucky.

    I did check out the town a little bit as it’s been probably 15 years since I was last up there. I nosed around a couple local used book stores and hit up this soft serve ice cream place over on Division because everytime I drove by it the place was hopping. I had a strawberry sundae since they were pimping the local strawberries pretty hard. My wife ordered a medium twist that turned out to be gigantic, which just means I got some of her’s too. The place did not disappoint.

    Overall I had a nice visit with my grandparents and enjoyed Stevens Point. Sure as heck beats the 100+ degree weather down here in Little Rock, AR right now.

    Next time I visit I might fudge the trip dates a bit to hit a signing/reading. I was disappointed I missed the one on the 19th as that was within driving range, but I just wasn’t up there yet.

    • Widow Of Sirius
      Posted June 30, 2010 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

      Belt’s is kinda the main reason anyone lives in Point. I’ve never gotten anything larger than a small, and I’ve never been dissatisfied.

  52. kungfusinger
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    Completely off topic, but I just rented the Dr Horrible DVD.

    Three words:


    Best commentary ever!

  53. Dana
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 6:49 PM | Permalink


    I see you in Point every now and then (I work at the Co-op), and I am always too embarrassed to say “Hi. Ommmmigosh I’m a huge fan. I feel star-struck.”

    But maybe next time I will.

    PS. I found Name of the Wind in Spain (El Nombre del Viento) and had a miniature heart attack. Of course I bought it.

  54. Slimjim
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 3:02 AM | Permalink

    Dude. How much do you want for both those bongs?

  55. Robin
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Well. I don’t know about chemistry (not even enough to be dangerous) but an Indian restaurant is a sign of impending civilization, at least according to the generally accepted theory that the defining elements of civilization are gay bars and Thai restaurants. So if you are getting an Indian takeout you are nearly there.

  56. kaz
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    I totally imagined you walking around in your bathrobe, The Dude style.

  57. DShannon
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    I thought for certain that the story was going to end with you realizing, hours later, than you had worn your “I’m Patrick Rothfuss, Pretend You Read My Book” shirt.

  58. Sulobaid
    Posted July 3, 2010 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    what do you expect Mr. Rothfuss, your book is full of awesome and your beard is made of it XD

  59. lynnoliver
    Posted July 6, 2010 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    You’d love the Reuseum here in Boise, then. Tons of surplus science stuff, glassware included. The glassware tends to sit sometimes, since my brother can’t build robots out of it.


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