David Sedaris Delights

“This will be the last decent day we’re going to have.” David Sedaris reflecting on the day before the Inauguration.  Glad Thom and I got to share a fun evening with this smart, diverse, witty guy instead of watching that narcissistic, lying, cheating racist prepare to destroy our democracy.   But enough about the rosy future of our nation…

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Waiting for David Sedaris

 

Billed as a chance to help David Sedaris edit his next book, we quickly bought tickets and looked forward to time with this genius writer and keen observer of life.  Used to seeing David in a large venue like Benroya Hall, it was nice to get cozy with David and about 200 other hard core fans at The Broadway Performance Hall at Seattle Community College.

“Theft by Finding” will end up being 2 books based on David’s 156 volumes of diaries from 1997-2002.  Because “books get ugly when too fat”,  David was editing the 630 pages he currently had for volume 1 before sending it off to his publishers next week with an anticipated May release.  His next book will be coming out a year after that and will be a collection of short essays, a few of which he shared, giving us all a much needed laugh to the point of tears streaming down our faces.  Much to look forward to, at least in books.

David opened his presentation by introducing two locals looking for jobs:  Aaron and Julia.  Peppering them with questions that HR could never ask like “are you gay?”  “how old are you?”, he encouraged the audience to consider helping these fine folks out, including a recommendation that Julia appreciated sexual harassment and would never sue.  Oh, David.

He has broken down his diary entries into categories:  animal, people, drugs, assholes, travel, hard luck, asking for $, IHOP (a place he goes to observe people), etc. Needing to edit clumsy passages if “There’s no music to it”, the book will be a culmination of the best that the diaries have to offer and thus the enormous size of the books as they stand now. More pages are good for me, David, so don’t edit too much!

Looking back on many dairy entries of his travels including his forced visit to a Johnny Rocket diner where the waitresses put smiley faces on your hamburgers with ketchup but David requested a swastika instead and the reaction that elicited, his tales of his family really stand out as both relatable and hysterical.  With a dad who is mostly angry and ridiculing, David related that when he recently fell off a ladder and hurt himself, he was amazed that his dad instantly turned caring after just having an argument prior to the incident.  Family is family.  Or his dad’s aversion to candlelight at the dinner table that his mom favored and his own aversion to the harshness of overhead lighting.  Even a 15-year old David appreciated the softness of afternoon light and favored lamps covered with scarves to reduce the glare.  Doesn’t every 15-year old boy?

Hugh is David’s partner and is featured in many of his diary entries.  Relating when, after many years together, they finally had THE discussion of how many people they had each slept with, Hugh just kept counting, “moving on to a population of a small town”.  David reflected that it was a miracle that they both didn’t get AIDS and when Hugh finally got around to sharing his “total slept with” number, David couldn’t help but state the obvious:  “Whore!”

Always a fashion statement, David favors culottes and modelled a smock from Japan that had snaps up the front AND the back, though he couldn’t fathom why the snaps were needed in the back.  I always look forward to his unique outfits befitting his personality.

In the Q&A, David was asked about his writing process and if he would ever write a book about it.  Writer’s write and the only way to improve is to keep on writing but as far as writing a book about it:  “No, it’s boring.  Writing seems so dull to me” but David takes his observations of the world and shares them with us so we can laugh even in the darkest of times.  Thank you, David.

 

 

My Election Hangover

Optimism followed by shock then sadness morphing into pure terror to my core and now a call to action.  He Who Will Never Represent My Values is our nation’s new leader, elected by less than a majority of our citizens.  Why?  How?  WTF!

Spending the first Presidential election apart since we met, Thom suffered in Idaho, the most red of red states while I will forever be bonded with Whitney and Cat as we experienced the heartache together in Seattle.  At one point after it became obvious Cheeto Jesus was in control, Cat pulled out the smokes and we drowned our sorrows first in tobacco quickly followed by strong alcohol at a bar across the street from The Westin where the Dems had gathered to celebrate and ultimately cry together.  Normal behavior for me?  Nope-haven’t had a cigarette in years and probably won’t ever again but desperate times and all.

Leaving my friends around 9 p.m., I made the cold walk home alone to walk the dogs.  I went to bed amidst a self-imposed media blackout, not wanting to face the awful final decision confirming that the American people had gone crazy.  Up early to take care of the pups, I caught the newspaper headlines out of the corner of my eye in the street box around the corner that verified the awful truth.  Oh.  Hell. No.

Spending the following weekend in Boise with our lovely granddaughter, Mia finally made us smile and forget.  Sadly, Mia would not see a woman elected to our highest office.  Yet.  Damn.wp_20161111_18_49_06_rich

This week we looked forward to David Sedaris sharing his wisdom and wit during his appearance at Benroya Hall.  Surely David, the funniest writer and humorist around, would make us feel better, perhaps even laugh.  Paul Constant, co-founder of Seattle Review of Books, introduced David.  “Fuuuuuuccccckkkkk” followed by “Shhhhhiiiiiittttt”.  Paul shared his election reaction that we could all relate to.  Election eve, Paul shared that he got terribly high as he dealt with the anxiety.  Paul, you and everyone in the place could relate as we are all in this together, struggling mightily to make sense of it all while multi-tasking to explore the Canadian real estate market as we drink LOTS of hard alcohol. Crazy times.

Avoiding the topic for most of the night and sporting bold culottes cut from curtain-like fabric, David finally had to address the orange elephant in the room when one gal asked him during the Q & A, “What can you say to make us feel better?”

At that point, he called to the stage a local Seattle friend of his, Suze.  He must have anticipated this type of question because she was ready to encourage the audience with a passionate call to action:  spread love (kissing booths perhaps?), offer sanctuary to all who are targeted by this administration and be subversive.  Really, really subversive.  I like her.

David mocked recent protests where people rallied and held hands peacefully around a lake.  What a bucolic scene that would be but he suggested instead that we should gather around a lake and drown those who didn’t vote.  I think he was kidding.  Maybe.

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Suze, David’s Seattle friend, encourages audience to take action

 

So, here we are profoundly sad, broken, pissed, fearful, and the emotional list goes on and on.  We are a mess.  What to do now?  Get involved, make your voice heard, contribute to those in need.

I will march with the Women’s March on Washington movement right here in Seattle on 1/21, the day after the inauguration, which I will not watch.  Anyone who wants to show, in a peaceful way, that women’s rights should matter to everyone is welcome to join us.

I will donate to causes who will need help now more than ever-Planned Parenthood and the ACLU among others.

I will call the House Oversight Committee (202-225-5074) to support a bipartisan review of Trump’s financials and conflicts of interest.  Call early, call often.

I will call my congress person and demand they stand up against the appointment of Bannon and use this as a script: ” Hi, my name is xxxx and I am a constituent.  I am calling to ask that Rep/Sen xxxx refuse to work with the Trump transition team until Bannon is removed from his staff.  His history of demeaning and dangerous racist language is unacceptable.  He/she needs to step up and protect American values now.”

I will encourage others to make a difference and not move to Canada or avoid the frightening news that will be coming at us daily.  Stand tall and fight the good fight.

Here’s hoping that the sun will continue to rise, that people will continue to stand up for their rights and our country remains safe for ALL people.  Be safe, be strong my friends.