Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Kiss My Grits" -- Jay

Growing up, "Kiss my grits" was tied with "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" as my favorite TV catchphrase. But, as a California boy, I had no idea 'grits' referred to a food that Mel's Diner might actually serve on Alice.

I spent this past weekend in Alabama and found out exactly what grits taste like. And they're mmm-mmm good! In fact, they're so good, you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, many people do just that. But that's not why I took my first trip to the South. I went because a certain school in Alabama held the first of many Thirteen Reasons Why book clubs last December, and there just happened to be a book fair nearby last Saturday. So I hopped on a plane to say thank you in person.

Here's a photo of my first meeting with some of the HMS iREAD Club students. It was taken soon after I stopped blushing from a little joke they played on me. (Don't worry...I'll get you back!)

During my presentation, Carrie helped me read from the book. It was the first time I heard Hannah with a southern accent, which made her words sound so much cooler than they sounded in my head when I wrote them!

An hour later, I found myself sitting on a very fun panel with R.A. Nelson, Loretta Ellsworth, and Jennifer Echols.

Nope, I never outgrew my love for Clifford.

That night, I met some local teachers and MSFKALs (Media Specialists Formerly Known As Librarians) at a restaurant for my first taste o' grits. Then we went and watched the most amazing cover band I've ever seen, The Spicolis, play everything from Take On Me to Smells Like Teen Spirit. (What? No, I never noticed how cute they all were. They just seemed really nice.)

Of course, I couldn't leave without stopping by a Waffle House. Hashbrowns? Covered!

- Jay


Wanna Chat? Join me online this Wednesday at 9pm Eastern. Thirteen Reasons Why is the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents Book Club pick for April.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great trip! Bet you can't wait for the next one - I wonder where it'll be?! Make sure you read Tina's latest interview!
Angela

Disco Mermaids said...

Looks like you had sooo much fun...without us :(

Um, are you sure you were out with a bunch of librarians? I think you may have accidentally gone to dinner with the cast of America's Next Top Model!

Not that librarians aren't normally cute, but, dang! Maybe they should start a reality show called,
"America's Next Top MSFKAL." Just sayin'. You lucky dawg.

Eve

Rita said...

Whoa. Why are they so cute? I'm with Eve: there is definitely a reality show in that.

Gregory K. said...

As a volunteer librarian, I like to think I'm proof of the fact that we're all attractive, nice, and all that. Right?

Sounds like fun, Jay. I hope you sang one of the many WaHo songs when you visited the House....

Yee-Lum said...

Because everyone loves Clifford. And waffles.

Jay, what you really need to hear is Hannah read in a Chinese FOB accent. =]

Colorado Writer said...

Waffles and hot girls? Wow, what a great trip.

Disco Mermaids said...

So Jay...um...who took that photo of you at the restaurant?

- Robin
(Tee-hee! I'm such a little troublemaker.)

Disco Mermaids said...

What if I said it was a waiter who took that photo? Or another diner? Or maybe it was another cute librarian and we rock-paper-scissored to see who wouldn't appear in the photo?

No, you'd tell on me, wouldn't you?

Okay, fine! It was one of the husbands who took that photo. And he was sitting beside another husband.

You happy, Robin? No, I'm not as cool as I make it seem sometimes.

(But did you notice how Clifford couldn't keep his paws off of me???)

- Jay

Anonymous said...

Looks like Jay really did consume a large dose of GRITS...and by that I mean, "Girls Raised in the South."

Hmmm...

Kerry Madden said...

Looks like you had a great trip, Jay. I love Alabama...So glad you had a good time...I did school visits in February in Lower Alabama, which were so much fun - backroads and stories. I took my nine-year-old with me.

Anyway, glad to find this post.

All best
Kerry Madden

Susan Sandmore said...

I never thought I'd see a tourist snap of anyone posing in front of a Waffle House. Glad you had a good trip, Jay!

LINDSEY said...

HEY JAY!
WOW i HAD SO MUCH FUN GETTiNG TO ACTUALLY MEET YOU!!! YOU ROCK EVEN MORE iN PERSON!! LOL!! ANYWAYS i AM SO GLAD YOU HAD FUN!! OH AND GRiTZ ARE PRETTY GOOD iN THE SOUTH!! REFERRiNG TO BOTH KiNDS!! LOL!! AND HANNAH DEFiNETLY DESRVES A SOUTHERN ACCENT!! BUT i DON'T KNOW ABOUT CHiNESE THOUGH! WELL THEY PROBABLY COULD HAVE FOUND A NiCER PLACE iN ALABAMA.....ALL OF iT iSN'T THAT OLD! MAYBE YOU MiGHT HAVE TO COME BACK JUST TO SEE THE REST OF iT!! MAYBE EVEN GO TO GULF SHORES AND SEE OUR NiCE SANDY BEACHES!!!iDK!! OK WELL GLAD YOU MADE iT BACK SAFELY!!

LOVE ONE OF YOUR FAVE READERS,
LiNDSEY
AKA: HOLTViLLE BOOK CLUBBER!!!

PLUS YOU CAN NEVER SAY HOWDY TOO MUCH!!!

jennifer echols said...

If you like grits...when you come back, try shrimp & grits. Best in Mobile. ;)

Rita said...

Highly amused by these comments. HAW HAW!!

It's like I'm watching the show, The Librarians Next Door, already! (The first twist was that Greg also lived in the house. The second was, so did all the spouses! Then the show ended.)

Emily Jiang said...

Wow, I miss the Waffle House! They don't exist in CA. You look great with Clifford!

kelsey said...

haha!
yeah.
them are my libraians!
yeah to bad i didnt get to go to that book sighing thingie.
but yeah.
i went to the first ever book club of thirteen reasons why!
must i say that was a very interesting book.
i loved how it was in two differetn people's piont of view.
yeah and it was awesome how you sent us voice recordings of answers to our questions.
but yeah i thought i would stop to comment your book once again!

--kelsey