Story Time with Andrew McCarthy
Tell me a story
Don’t sell me a destination
-Andrew T McCarthy
I have always been the go to girl. As a teenager, I knew EVERYONE’s phone number. I was the girl in English class that could make sense of the poetry we were assigned to read. People came to me for the information I knew.
As a parent, I was forced to engross myself with children’s mental health, special education, and law. If you ever want to really get me talking just ask me about the 1982 Federal Court decision on Christopher T.
Every year, I buy my Franklin Covey day planner. I spend a week setting it up for the coming year, transferring important dates. Then Each month, I go through and list all the national days and national food days. I find out the movie release dates of any movies I might want to see and notate them. Finally, I go to a specific list of websites to find out what is going on and where.
I like being in the know. I crave data. I feel like Johnny in one of the Short Circuit movies when he finds the book store. DATA DATA DATA INPUT INPUT INPUT!
One of the neat things about my set up is when someone says I wonder what is going on tonight, I have the answer! Yesterday was one of those days.
I got home from work around 3 pm. Bart and I were discussing our plans for the evening. I knew he had wanted to go to San Francisco a few days before. As I looked down my list out popped Andrew McCarthy book reading and discussion at Books inc. located at Opera Plaza in San Francisco at 7 PM.
We live 92.6 miles away from where Andrew was going to be in what was now about 3 1/2 hours. We made a decision. That very moment our night changed. I changed out of my scrubs. We picked up our mail at the post office. Alexis from Reddit was on the cover of Inc. Magazine. I made a joke we should swing by their offices and get him to sign it while we were in San Francisco. We filled the car up with gas and bought drinks at Chevron. Across the parking lot was Burger King so we made a quick run through the drive-thru for a bite to eat.
The errands left us with about 3 hours to go 92.6 miles. Completely do able! Unless you think about the time of day and the traffic. Especially crossing the Bay Bridge. (I am so glad the Giants were away!) Oh, wait, we are 7’s on the blog, we just have adventures and have a lot of fun.
Google told us that there was a public parking garage under the Opera Plaza. We made it about 35 minutes early. Peets Coffee was open and shares an opening with Books Inc. Bart had a blended drink and we shared a cute sugar cookie.
While we waited, we wandered the store. There were so many books we wanted. We ended up buying a few books. Okay maybe like 4 at first. We ended up buying more later.
We found some seats and got comfortable. I was checking in on foursquare/swarm and posting photos to facebook and twitter. My older sister is a HUGE Andrew McCarthy fan and I knew she would be so jealous. She is in Sioux Falls, SD and his tour isn’t going there. I heard a familiar voice as a man walked by. I looked up and it was Andrew. Bart snapped a photo on his iPhone and texted it to my sister. We had already planned on getting a book signed for her as a late birthday present. She comments on Facebook, “Face-Time me or make a video!” I was like, “yeah, right.” Having gone through our teen years living in the Palm Springs area when Less then Zero was filmed and released, we both have a love for his work.
Andrew was introduced by a lady from the Books Inc Laurel Village store. I so wish I could recall her name. She was a pretty blonde with curls. She explained that Andrew was the guest of Not Your Mother’s Book Club. When you make purchases of the authors work during an event, they donate 10% to help bring young adult books to the community.
Andrew came out and I felt like a teenager seeing a hearthrob for the first time. He was handsome. We heard him speak about the journey he took in writing Just Fly Away. Andrew had a central theme for over 7 years. He kept toying with the idea he had but he just didn’t have the right angle. Then one day, it was like a light turned on and he knew what Just Fly Away was about.
He spoke of the first time he stepped on a stage at the age of 15. Andrew said he finally felt like himself. It was a flame to be protected so people couldn’t blow it out and squash his dreams.
Andrew read a few passages from the book. 7’s, it was like old school cool. It was story time! Becoming 7 is about rediscovering the joys of childhood. Story time is definitely a joy of childhood. Remember last year when we talked about Dial a Story and how fun it was?
About that time, Bart turned and asked if I wanted to buy a second copy for us. We did! Bart reminded me of my daughter’s autograph collection that had over 2000 autographs. Bart said it was my turn. He’s so cute.
During the Q&A, I asked him a question specific to Less then Zero. I have heard people say how unrealistic it was over the years. Having lived in Palm Springs at the time the film was made, I knew how real it was.
His response impressed me. He talked about how it was the time of Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No campaign. After the studio executives saw it, they had to shoot scenes on the weekends, of them dumping drugs down toilets. The movie was originally darker then what we ever saw. The editors patched it together to reduce the harshness. Andrew said that for a very small subsect of the population it was reality at that time. He also said the executives were like, “these are our kids.”
I can not even begin to tell you how nice it was to hear him be so candid and honest. Other people might have tried to down play Less Then Zero, he called it for what it was. What also surprised me was when he said it was patched together. Having lived in the Palm Springs area at the time it was filmed, there were things my friends and I would notice. A car going down one street and turning but where they were at next was wrong.
I had 2 books signed, one for myself and one I am sending to my sister. I took a picture of her book that he wrote her name in and signed. I texted it to my sister with Happy Belated Birthday. She didn’t know I was getting her a book. My sister went wild on facebook. She posted pictures and said how she can’t wait to get her copy.
It was funny that Andrew stared in young adult movies and has now written a young adult book. He said he is the forever teenager.
I am forever becoming 7.
Andrew, thank you for an amazing adventure and evening. My husband says he truly enjoyed the intellectual stimulation.