Monday, December 15, 2014

Return to Litte Tavern on the Prairie: The Advil Calendar 2014 WEEK TWO - Week of EXCITING GUESTS! Day One: Adam Rex

Hi there. It's Monday! We're halfway through December and true to rum-soaked form, Your Neighborhood Librarian finally has her crap together enough to start posting the Advil Calendar with some regularity. You're going to want to tune in to this, because I have a whole week of Exciting Guests to help us get squishy for the holidays. Exciting Guests!

What kind of Exciting Guests could Your Neighborhood Librarian possibly drum up? Will we hear from celebrity chefs turned novelists? Rock stars turned novelists? NASA techs turned novelists?

NO. EVEN BETTER: find a barstool and buckle up, because ain't nobody drink like an author of books for children drinks. I have authors of YA sci-fi, picture books, time travel adventure (time travel is SO HOT right now take my word for it), pirate adventure, and whatever you'd call that dizzying unquantifiable marvelousness that Blythe Woolston writes. That's right. Its...


Last year, one of my favorite Advil Calendar posts was about drinking with characters from children's literature. Um, two of my favorite posts. I had polled some of my kidlit industry colleagues (mostly bloggers) asking them what character from literature that they'd most like to drink with. Sam Musher said she wanted to get lit with The Baby-Sitters Club - and knew exactly what they'd all be drinking. John Schu wanted to drink with Babymouse, and that sent me on a crazy trip in search of the perfect lychee-tini. We slugged snaps with Pippi and sipped spiked chamomile tea with Mrs. Frisby. It was fun!

So now I have this idiotic compulsion to match characters with cocktails in every book I read. Poor Malorie in Bird Box gets a Dark 'n' Stormy, while the parents in Breed share a pitcher of Salty Dogs. I pulled down a bottle of viryta today to check its progress (needs another week for that cloudiness to settle, I'd say). Doesn't it look just like the cover ofThe Martian? If I dropped in a tiny little astronaut figure?

Which of course made me wonder - what would Mark Watney drink? HA! Trick question! Mark Watney would drink ANYTHING. Mark Watney was stranded on Mars all by himself for like I don't know how many months. Mark Watney would suck down Avon perfume samples if he had any. He would squeeze hand sanitizer onto a sponge and suck the alcohol through it if it meant catching a little buzz.

(I attended a Security Orientation at the Baltimore County Detention Center this week. I am very up to date on my Shit You Wouldn't Expect Is Contraband list.)

I didn't get a chance to ask Andy Weir what he thought Mark Watney would drink, because number one I don't know that guy and number two he's probably busy right now going on the Today Show and christening ships and eating crudite with Matt Damon. Authors of adult books, sheesh. They get all kinds of attention.

But speaking of hand sanitizer, this is when I realized the best thing would be to contact some of the authors I do know (or, uh, authors who had the misfortune of sitting next to me at something and letting me friend them on Facebook) and ask them which of their own characters they'd like to drink with, and what that person (using the word "person" pretty loosely here, see below) would order when the good-looking barman with the half-sleeve tattoos gave them the eye.

Being an author must be the best, man. You can make up the people you'd like to hang out with. Lord knows plenty of people use fiction to design their own boyfriend. I mean - nobody *I* know does that, but, like, you could. Hrmhm.

Oh wait I said "speaking of hand sanitizer" and I just left that hanging, didn't I? This is why I write for free. Let me stop meandering and let's check in with the first of our EXCITING GUESTS...


Mr. Adam Rex

Why does Adam look blurry in this picture? I'll let him tell it:

"I was going to say that I wanted to spend a night drinking with Merle Lynn, Mick the leprechaun, and Harvey the pooka from my Cold Cereal Saga. But I don’t know. Merle the medieval time-traveler would keep forgetting that he can't order mead. Mick is strictly a perfume-in-his-own-flask man. Harvey would be drinking oatmeal cookie-tinis which would make him initially furious but eventually a real “I love you man” type, and I can’t stand that. Plus Harvey is like an arsonist, but for bar fights. He likes to start something and then watch it from a safe distance.

So none of them would want to share a pitcher, is what I’m saying.

Neither would J.Lo from True Meaning of Smekday, but I think I’d want to hear him talk about watching his life story get turned into a DreamWorks film like it is. So I’d order a beer and set J.Lo up with a glass of hand sanitizer, and see how much he has to drink before he starts being honest."

I love that Mick (that's him in the red tracksuit) drinks perfume. Doesn't drinking perfume sound all tinkly and magic-y? In fact (I learned in my Security Orientation at the Baltimore County House of D), when humans drink perfume they end up in the hospital, so: tinkly, magic-y, and yet super hard-core. Very Mick.

Harvey (duplicitous magic rabbit and bar fight arsonist) is a terrible creature. Or he has a heart of gold. Or, nope, he'll betray you to the evil queen for a pat on the head and a couple of drink coupons. I love a character that keeps you guessing. "Bar fight arson" is a genius way to describe behavior that, hmmm, I may have indulged in myself, oh but that was 20 years ago, and really nobody can even prove I've ever been to Santorini.

I wouldn't drink with Harvey either. Those oatmeal cookie-tinis are DISGUSTING. I thought Adam had made that up, but, as with Rule 34 of the Internet, if it exists, there is a martini of it.

Oatmeal Cookie Martini (from
1 1/2 oz. Bailey’s
1 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
1/2 oz. Cream
Splash of Goldschlager
caramel sauce
oatmeal cookies, crushed
Rim a martini glass in caramel sauce and coat with oatmeal cookie pieces. Chill until ready to serve. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake, pour enjoy.

Thank you Adam Rex! Way to play along! People, read Adam's books. They are for anyone who has ever kind of suspected that there might be something going on under that rosebush between a squirrel and... something that is not a squirrel, and that if they looked closely, they would either go on an adventure or be reduced to a squashed wad of gum on the spot.

And as for Dreamworks making a movie of The True Meaning of Smekday, one of my family's favorite books of all time - it could have gone so horribly wrong. We were so worried! But - giant sigh of relief: besides the title, which is dumb (you can't google Home, and what was wrong with The True Meaning of Smekday?) (I mean besides the implied criticism of certain dogmatists, and really, that's just so subtle, who would notice?), the movie looks terrific! I am so pleased for Adam and for the rest of us, because I could watch this trailer ten times:

Tune in tomorrow, chilblains YES I SAID TOMORROW. I'm generally total crap at doing daily posts, but I've got this week WIRED.