Sunday, June 26, 2011

Look out, Rosalee. Imma trade your man for some cheap-ass almonds

Okay, so this post introduces another writer into the Posse of Authors Who Make Mill Girl Dance A Jig (PAWMMGDAJ). [Author's note: Still working out a few kinks in the group name.]

Joining the ranks of Marlon James and Cornel West on this blog, I introduce to you Mr. David McCullough. Author of much historical nonfiction, including this new one about Americans in Paris from 1830-1900:
Who knew cholera could be so spell-binding?
McCullough came to the Portsmouth Music Hall last Thursday, as part of the Writers on a New England Stage series. Allow me, in bullet form, to explain why he's marvelous.
An interview with Virginia Prescott of NPR.
  • In the first five minutes, he gave a shout-out to his copyeditor. *swoon*
  • He asked his adorable wife, Rosalee, to stand up so the packed auditorium could see her. She had a cute little gray bob, held back with a barrette.
  • He then lovingly mentioned her throughout the night.
  • He picked up the book, I believe, only twice: once to state that it was his most beautifully designed book, and once to read a direct quote. This was no typical reading.
  • He spoke with a passion that was infectious, like a professor who ignites something deep within.
  • He explained, with force, the duty we have to our children in the way of education.
  • "History is not about politics and the military." Art and culture must be acknowledged.
  • He confidently explain the relationship between France and the U.S.--how much France has done for us, what they have given to us, and how interwoven our histories are. Fuck freedom fries. 
  • During the interview segment with NPR's Virginia Prescott, he frankly discussed politics. Not left vs. right; just what's what. In essence: The people are always ahead of the government; we vote people into office in hopes they can catch up with us. Also: If you say you love your country, and you want to run for office, it would be a damn good idea to understand the history of your beloved country. Like, say, the ride of Paul Revere...

It was inspirational. Genius. A rally cry. I was ready to DO SOMETHING! I wanted to burn some shit and make time stand still. But it was also 9:30 on a Thursday and I was tired. So I just drove home excited as hell with no one to talk to.

In my search for people who might agree that we need to change the world STAT, I headed to Salem, MA, on Friday night to hang with some intellectual ladies. I listened to discussion on all the requisite topics. And then, at just the right moment, I pulled McCullough out of my holster and babbled like a new cult inductee. I'm sure the difficult-to-open-hence-looking-ghetto-on-nice-furniture Relax Resiling helped me make my case.
I think this is categorized under "Where there's a will (and a corkscrew), . . . "
Feeling I'd done my part to support local libraries and defend France, I let go my talons and we all moseyed over to Thai Place for dinner. No, really, that's what it's called. And they're working to keep Salem beautiful.
The decor, well, what's not to love? Myriad fake roses. A shrine containing a dim strobe light. Sad American music. But no matter--I just wanted a mai tai--but then the awful news: Thai Place just acquired its liquor license. So "mai tai next weekend, no this weekend." I ordered shiraz with my curry.  And somewhere in the world, a sommelier wept without knowing why.

But then, a miracle. The lovely and spastic proprietor brought over an illicit mai tai. The fixins happened to be behind the counter. With much commotion and excitement, we each took turns sipping and exclaiming love and happiness. The scene was actually pretty awesome. But we didn't know at that very moment that Thai Place had more in store for us.

This dinner was an extension of Heather's birthday tour, and we, being the only ones in the restaurant and a couple drinks in, sang Happy Birthday. Loudly. Then we stuffed ourselves with all kinds of Thai goodness. When the proprietor brought over the bill, she brought over about 7 lbs of pineapple. (Mmmm, pineapple.) AND...  a gift for Heather:
Happy birthday, Buttons.
A can of CVS almonds!? With a bow on top!? STFU!! What the hell do they have going on behind that counter? Lady, we will so be back for your sinful mai tais and MY birthday almonds...

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