Searching for F. Scott (and other adventures)

I’ll keep this brief, as I have an awful lot of story writing to do tonight.  I’m at seven pages, which has seemed like a huge accomplishment these past few weeks, but not anymore; I’ve just done my math and realized that seven pages is not even halfway to fifteen pages.  And fifteen pages is what I need.  I also need them quickly so that I can edit and make more drafts before actually turning the thing in.

My day, although only briefly mentioned here, was wonderful.  Mom and I took our show on the road at 11:30, and returned at 5.  Here’s what we did (in and around St. Paul):

1.  Ate at The Nook, a bar/burger joint that has been featured on everyone’s favorite show, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  We both ordered the Juicy Lucy with sweet potato fries.  Deliciously messy, let me tell you; I had to dive under the table a few times to hide the fact that there were gobs of hot cheese clinging to my chin.

2.  Hunted down Garrison Keillor’s bookstore Common Good Books.  The first thing I appreciated was that the poetry section was front and center.  The second thing I appreciated was the framed photo of F. Scott and family.  The third thing I appreciated was that the place looked like this:

The fourth thing I appreciated was finding a copy of Mr. Keillor’s “Good Poems, American Places,” signed by the man himself (which I bought, obviously).

3.  Got ice cream at Grand Old Creamery.  Half a scoop of chocolate peanut butter, half a scoop of raspberry lemon sorbet, and I was a happy camper.

4.  Hiked from Grand Avenue to Summit Avenue.  Summit Avenue is the street I want to live on some day, when I’m a grown-up lady English professor with enough books to fill a proper library.  Summit is lined with old, frosted Victorian mansions.  It used to be (and still is, I suspect) the classiest address you can have in the Twin Cities.  James J. Hill’s house-turned-museum (which I drag my family to once every few years) is there, and the Catholic Cathedral, and the Governor’s Mansion.  F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in a few different houses on Summit.  Having learned this, I may or may not have jumped out of a moving van in order to take a few pictures of his former residence.  I may or may not have followed up with a James Bond roll into the bushes.

I’m not a stalker.  I’m just a fan.  Really.

Thursday in Two Parts

You’ll hear me talk about this a lot, but I’ve always known Thursdays to be spectacular.  There’s just something about them.

Maybe today’s general splendor had to do with the fact that yesterday, a compadre of mine posted on Facebook that he was at the Sherman Alexie meetngreet.  I immediately commented, practically offering him my soul in exchange for an autograph.  And you know what?  I found out today that he got it.  I have yet to see the dear thing, but rest assured, it will soon hang (framed, probably) above my bed.  This is meant to read as inspirational, not creepy, by the way.  I admire him as a writer, you guys.  Yes, I may want to marry him.  But only a little.

Continuing with the spectacular theme (albeit a different kind of spectacular), and for those of you who seem to like my Clumsy Barista sagas a little too much, here’s an incident that happened today:

Someone asked for a Mint Cooler, except they didn’t want coffee in it.  Okay.  White chocolate powder and a few pumps liquid white chocolate into the blender.  Stir with spoon until mixture resembles thick icing.  Then decide to let machine do the work; press ‘blend.’  Machine coughs twice and then comes to a sludgy-sounding stop.  The sticky white chocolate mass has jammed up the blade.  What now?  Clearly we need some liquid in this thing, or it won’t work.  Dump out goo.  Try again with more liquid white chocolate, less powder.  Feel nauseated by the amount of sugar in this drink.  It doesn’t work anyway;  dump into sink, spilling a little.  Girl who ordered this disaster, who is waiting good-naturedly, trying not to laugh, tips me off that when other baristas make this drink for her, they usually just use milk instead of coffee.  Oh.  Milk, white chocolate powder, white chocolate liquid.  Blend.  Perfect.  I give her a few extra Andes Mints on top to make up for her ten minute wait.  Consider eating one myself, but it’s Lent, and some bozo decided to give up sweets.  A rush starts up then, and I am kept busy until my replacement arrives and laughs at my mess: one gummy blender, one counter streaked with white chocolate powder, four Andes wrappers, several dirty spoons, a puddle of whipped cream and a half empty gallon of skim.  I tell her I’ll clean it up.  She looks relieved.

 

Why I Am Not Chilling With Sherman Alexie Right Now

Dear Mr. Alexie,

First of all, I’ve read your book, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.”  Twice.  Second of all, we had an entire unit on you in American Literature last year.  My professor told us that you’re sensitive about your big head (I think it looks fine on Google Images), and that you often get marriage proposals during book signings.

But to reach my point, there was a ticket waiting for me in the Multicultural Center.  I could have driven down to St. Cloud with a group of other students, I could have chatted with students from other schools at a reception, I could have listened to you give a lecture, and then I could have made a fool out of myself asking for your autograph.

Instead, sir, I’m sitting on campus like the boring, scholastically responsible person that I am.  You see, in order to meet you, I would have had to skip two classes, work, and a meeting.  And I just couldn’t do it, not even for one of my favorite writers.  I’m telling myself right now, as I prepare to take an online statistics quiz, that I’ll have another chance to meet you.  I’m telling myself that if I truly do go to graduate school and become a professor and a writer, then I’ll surely run into you somewhere down the literary line.  I hope so.

In the meantime, please don’t accept any marriage proposals.

Sincerely,

Holly