Sunday, February 8, 2009

i made peepy poopie

I did what I had to do.

Now, as Katherine Applegate told me when I finished my mission, I can die happy. Well, she actually said something like you might as well go kill yourself. I could be wrong, too.


Lots and lots of them.

Okay, so here's the deal. I'm going to start with getting dressed for last night's SCIBA Children's Books and Literacy Dinner: I was having a tie crisis. I mean, after all, when I think of anything that is officially a Dinner with a capital D, I suppose the Code of Boy says you should wear a jacket and tie.

Let me deviate here for a minute. One day, I am going to spell out, in no uncertain terms, exactly what is on the 25 empty toilet paper rolls Ernest Hemingway delivered to me during a Sharpie-fume-haze in a burning urinal. These scrolls constitute the Code of Boy. The vast majority of you have it all wrong. Especially the XX set. Just sayin'.

Okay. So, my Feiwel friend author James Preller tells me, "No tie, Drew." I figure he's an East Coast guy. Writers don't wear ties there. And they cuss and drink. A lot. Which is entirely okay in H's Code of Boy. In fact, I think it's a commandment.

So I get dressed. Shirt, open at the collar. Jacket. I come downstairs.


Back upstairs. I forgot the pants.

My wife, toiling, bent over an endless batch of brownies or carrot cakes she will inevitably burn and feed to our chickens, looks at me and says:



Back upstairs.

The dinner was incredible. Hundreds of people in attendance. But, it being a writers' event, there were only, like, six guys there. And... woo hoo! four of us were wearing ties! Yeah... me, and the three guys who took the dirty dishes away from the tables.

Yeah, I saw them pointing and laughing at me from the hallway, taunting me with their tray jacks and dessert carts, pulling their ties out and sensually stroking them in a bizarre sartorial saturnalia of silk.

Eww... did I actually say that? Maybe I should go kill myself.


Sorry, Hemingway.

I'm a loser.

Well, okay. So, I did actually set out to accomplish the three things I said I would. Remember? Here they are:

1. Keep the freekin badge on all night so I don't get strip-searched by hotel security again.

2. Meet and chat with Katherine Applegate.

3. Have my picture taken with Lisa Yee's little stuffed yellow jalapeno or banana slug or whatever it is.

But there was a lot more to it than that.

So, yeah... I got to meet Katherine Applegate. I also met Kathryn Fitzmaurice. Need I say there was an abundance of Katherines?

Okay. I'll go kill myself now.

But both of the Ks are just incredible people. AND K.A. signed a copy of her book, Home of the Brave, which is a definite keeper, and her husband (male number 5, tieless) noticed how pathetic I looked standing by the Vesuvius of Cheese display and talked to me... about whiskey.


He has read from the scrolls.

K.F. ran out of her book, The Year the Swallows Came Early, which I really wanted to pick up for my little girl. So... off to the bookstore. Indie.

Then, I got to meet Lisa Yee, and I had the stalker-like audacity to ask for a picture with Peepy. Hmmm... nowhere in the scrolls is there a reference to making such requests, although I suspect some karmic punishment is pending. I did, however, manage to put the little guy (who would, I must admit, be promptly shot at if I ever saw one of his kind in my back yard) on a cheese plate with three strategically placed raisins trailing from his backside for a Lisa Yee original picture.

Please, let's see that Peepy Poopie Picture, Lisa.

Oh yeah... she is ultra-cool. Like me, she takes pictures with her iPhone.

Then, I actually had a lengthy chat with Newbery-Winner-not-afraid-to-say-scrotum-but-the-Code-of-Boy-requires-use-of-the-term-ballsack Susan Patron. Incredible. And, in all sincerity, Susan gave a truly significant and inspiring speech that I will have to mention in a future blog. Thank you, Susan... and thanks for the book... I know my daughter is going to love it.

In fact, every one of the speakers was awesomely inspiring: Pam Munoz Ryan, Lisa Yee, Eve Bunting, and Susan Patron, whose table was next to mine at the book signing portion of the evening.(Of course, the guys had to sit down and stare off into space during all these speeches... and this was even pointed out by one of the presenters, but I can't remember who because I was paying attention to the wait staff mocking me with their ties outside in the hallway). Oh, and Kerry Madden showed up and sat at my dinner table, too. She's like a walking smile, and I forgot to tell her how much my daughter loved Jessie's Mountain. But... Kerry, she loved it.

But during the signing, I was overcome by the fumes from the Sharpies (Smith has never used a Sharpie to sign) and I hallucinated (I think) seeing Kurt Cobain lip-syncing to Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings.

Nah... that must have really happened.