12/20/2008

Making Merry

Shopping for Christmas gifts is daunting unless I front load the experience by buying something exquisite for myself.  This year, I started my 'me shopping' early by getting tickets to An Evening With David Sedaris at Massey Hall.  

Mr. Sedaris was in fine form reading stories old and new, some with a Christmas theme and one with a local connection.  He continued on with selections from his diaries and then had the lights turned up and hosted a lively Q & A session with the audience.  

Hearing one of your favourite authors bring his stories to life is not an experience to be underestimated.  If you need proof, track down a copy of his audio recording Live from Carnegie Hall.  It's a rare gift to hear experiences unusual or even mundane filtered through a critical eye to the place where you feel both the humour and the heart of the situation.

I was distracted briefly when he began speaking about encounters with his fans and in particular a flight attendant who told him that sometimes for fun while cleaning the cabin, they hold open a garbage bag to passengers and say "You're trash" or "Your family's trash" to amuse themselves.  The distraction was borne of recognition of a flight I took and mentioned here.  Have a look at the last line.

At the end of his hour and a half presentation, David did what he regularly does on his book tours and invited those with further questions, comments or just wanting a book signed to join him in the lounge downstairs.  I'd forgotten the book I'd brought and so went into the night with a smile and adding another item to my growing list of dreams come true.  

Merry Christmas to me and to you David Sedaris!

25 comments:

The Freelance Guru said...

I'm never heard of this guy.
Will have to check him out

Bubs said...

That sounds wonderful. I'm listening to Santaland Diaries right now.

When I get questioned for angrily confronting the next flight attendant I encounter by yelling "I'M NOT TRASH" I'll just blame you.

Allison said...

Sounds like a wonderful evening! I would be interested in hearing his audio recording, as I feel in love with him while reading Santaland Diaries last year.

Distributorcap said...

santaland diaries is an annual ritual here....

and who could not use a few laughs right now

Helene (the Artist Formerly Known as Kate) said...

ditto to freelance guru...

What a great thing to get to do. I really enjoy events like that. I have been to a few book signings for authors I respect and I love hearing them speak. It gives you so much more to grab onto when you read their work... you can almost hear their inflections when you go back and read!

I've never been to Toronto. I would love to get up there sometime. I have only been to Niagra Falls in Canada. It was lovely and that entire area is so rich in history!

Cheers and Happy Holidays

Cormac Brown said...

Dale and Bubs,

A live version of "The Santaland Diaries" is going on in San Francisco now.

Dale,

Speaking of flight attendants, I just got through reading "Crybaby" from "When You Are Engulfed In Flames." The look of disdain on one of the stewardesses for Sedaris, made me think of that look they get when someone hands them a particularly crusty or greasy napkin.

Dr Zibbs said...

I'd love to see him.

Esther said...

I've never seen David Sedaris live but I've read his stuff/heard him and he is very funny. I'm glad you gave yourself a nice present. We often overlook ourselves when it comes to gift giving!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh great! Another few books to add to my ever-increasing must-read list! But it's all worth it knowing that you have been severely dissed by a flight attendant and I haven't (yet).

Tanya Espanya said...

I'm so mad I didn't get to go! I was being bossed in Halifax by Gifted Typist. Will go and listen to him right now.

Melly/Melody/or Mel said...

I love Sedaris..and his sister Amy is a crackup. He was in Sacramento..but then I was in Portland at the time. We crossed paths but never met. Darn.

What other dreams have come true for you?

Leonesse said...

What else are you getting yourself for the holidays?

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I have been stared at on public transport in the past for guffawing inappropriately at David Sedaris books. But it just can't be avoided. Else you'd rupture something, right?

Chancelucky said...

We bought the audio book version of When You Are Engulfed in Flames for a family member a few months ago. Family member didn't seem to like it much, but we thought it was hilarious and sharply observed. In fact, it reminded me of your audio blogs.

Sean Wraight said...

I'm very, very jealous now Dale... What a terrific way to usher in the holiday season. David Sedaris is truly one of the finest authors out there, but to hear him speak...WOW! You are a lucky man, with discriminating 'self-present buying' tastes.

Happy Holidays to you!

Sean

Mob said...

I'm so jealous, sounds like an awesome night.

Merry Christmas to you, huh? Perfect timing for his tour.

dguzman said...

I love that guy.

BeckEye said...

Well, I WAS going to wish you a Merry Christmas, but you beat me to it. I guess I'll redistribute that wish to myself.

John Mutford said...

Yes, God bless us everyone. But especially David Sedaris.

FranIAm said...

Oh my, I saw him once and I am still sore from laughing!

In fact I think it is essential that he be listened to and not just read.

He's got "teh funneh" and so do you!

Flannery Alden said...

Oh, lucky you! David Sedaris is the best, is he not? I still vividly remember seeing him then meeting him. I hope someday I'll be hanging out with him...or you!

Dale said...

Read and then listen Mr. Guru, I think you'll enjoy very much.

Santaland Diaries is such a classic Bubs, watch out for the waitresses in the sky, they're wily!

To hear him read Allison brings things to a whole 'nother level, you'll fall under his spell quickly.

A wonderful ritual Distributorcap, I can't say how many times I've read it. One of my other traditions is watching "The Ref", a holiday classic.

I don't think I've ever gone to a signing or even a reading (I may have but my brain's foggy) before this but I couldn't miss Mr. Sedaris Helene. Happy Holidays to you too, Toronto's a great place to visit in spring or summer, right now - brrrrrr! Of course, that's just about everywhere.

The show looks interesting Cormac, I wonder what Sedaris thinks of it? I've barely started "When You Are Engulfed..." but I have the audio version as well so one of these days...!

Then you must Dr. Zibbs, start stalking now!

I never overlook me Esther, I'm always treating myself whether I deserve it or not.

Bide your time Barbara, it will happen! The dissing is only a drink cart away. Add David to your list and enjoy! Or not.

It was so great Tanya but I've gloated already to you about that. You're tired of listening to me, not him though!

Melly, I am in love with Amy as well and fear they'd need a restraining order to keep me away if they appeared together. I've had dreams enough come true to know that I'm a very lucky man.

A few Blu-ray discs, some books, possibly a few drinks, not sure what else yet Leonesse but I'll try and surprise me again!

When faced with the choice, I go with guffaw over rupture. The guffaw can cause rapture though which is nice Vegetable Assassin.

You're too kind Chancelucky, he's got such a great way of seeing things and hearing him talk about them is just the best!

I know how to treat me right Sean Wraight. Instead of being jealous, track him down and then be nice.

Just another chapter in my semi-charmed life Mob, I wish everyone who likes him would get to hear him live. Happy Holidays!

You're in excellent company then dguzman! Maybe we should hire him for a group hug?

Poor Beckeye, just when you think of the best thing ever, I beat you to it, better than beating you to a pulp still. It's A Wonderful Life, ain't it? I just read your funny, sad, poignant and pervy post. Merry Christmas!

Indeed John Mutford. Bless him and Amy and the rest of his kooky clan, and yours too!

I'd say it's essential too Fran, it's just exquisite! I'm only as funny as you think i am, wait, you're FranIAm and now I am confused. I'll stop typing now.

I remember reading you writing about him reading Flannery. I wish the line hadn't been hours long and I hadn't left my book behind. Still, I'm content. You can hang out any time you want, with him or me. Get out your dog sled and snowshoes and you might make it for the 25th!

Cormac Brown said...

"The Ref" is underappreciated classic! "When You Are Engulfed" is a lot more reflective than his previous work, though that does not mean that it isn't without some belly laughs.

X. Dell said...

Well, if you kee going to his readings and buying his books, how can he not have a Merry Christmas?

Coaster Punchman said...

Does David know you're stalking him? Oh, while we're at it I have Amy's address in NYC if you ever need it.