Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Filmed, Feted, and Fed

I had a lovely time in Portland Friday and Saturday, hobnobbing and being interviewed and reading at Bull Moose. In addition to the general wonderfulness, it was therapeutic to get out of Brooklin for a while. There have been strings of days lately when I haven't even left the yard. This cannot be healthy.

Carrie Jones, Maurissa Guibord and I gathered first at MPBN (Maine public radio) for a Maine Things Considered interview with Keith Shortall, a lovely bearlike man who calmed us right down and asked great questions. Encouraged, we went off to WCSH and 207 host Rob Caldwell, less bearlike but equally calming and good to talk to.

We're lucky we didn't have a Live Mic incident. As we were being miked, the experience reminded Carrie of wearing a wire and pretending to be a hooker in Lewiston during college, aiding the police. She held forth at some length as the shots were being set up, which I suppose could have been entertaining if the cameras had been on. She never got a chance to explain exactly why she was aiding the police in the first place, so I look forward to that story sometime.

My potential embarrassment was that I mugged and waved at myself when the m onitor came on (again, not when we were being filmed, thank god). Such a grown-up.

The video of the TV interview doesn't seem to want to embed, so here's the link if you're interested. The radio interview hasn't aired yet.

I spent Friday night with my friends Zoe and Sosha, a mother/daughter duo who took me out to dinner and generally coddled me. They used to live in Brooklin--Zoe was in my writers group and I worked with Sosha at the school, plus she was a reader for SMALL PERSONS. So it was a thrill to hang out with them for a bit.

Here's Carrie (left) and Maurissa (in background, in black) in action on Saturday, after our reading at Bull Moose.

Many, many thanks to Tia and Brian at Bull Moose (as well as the previously hailed Gillian Britt) for setting up the event and treating us so well.

The knitting report: Finished my last sock, and I have to buy yarn in order to start my sweater. I'm noodling with a dishcloth as an alternative to fidgeting.

The Maine Politics report: Governor LePage secretly removed the embattled mural from the Department of Labor over the weekend, fearing that the opposition would sit in to prevent it going out the door. (Which they would have. Including me, probably.) Research is under way as to the legalities, since it's a Percent for Art project and could conceivably have required consultation with the artist before it got moved.

The New York Times had a good editorial. But, as usual, E.B. White said it best. The occasion was the 1933 battle between Diego Rivera and Nelson Rockefeller about a portrait of Lenin in a mural Rivera was creating for Rockefeller Center. (If you saw the movie "Frida" you know that Rockefeller's goons ended up taking sledgehammers to the mural.)

White wrote a poem called "I Paint What I See," which was published in The New Yorker. It's here. My favorite part right now is the end (the speaker is "John D.'s grandson Nelson"):

"For this, you know, is a public hall

"And people want doves, or a tree in fall,

"And though your art I dislike to hamper

"I owe a little to God and Gramper.

"And after all,

"It's my wall."

"We'll see if it is," said Rivera.


Anonymous said...

If I was the artist, I would sue the governor for interference with his trade?/ messing with his livelihood?/ advertising? I can`t think of what the official name for it is, but the piece of art could be considered "advertising" for the artist, getting his name out, a "sample" piece of his work that he (or she) could potentially get more bids for work from, and since the governor took it down, he is interfering with the artists potential future earnings. I like that logic/reasoning, let`s see if it will fly!
Kzspot, whose word verification thingie is balim, which reminds me of bedlam for some reason, and is perfectly appropriate for this post.

Barrie said...

Thanks so much for sharing, Ellen. It's exciting to read about you hobnobbing and doing authorly things ;)

Jacqueline said...

I just wanted to stop by and say how much I enjoyed Small Person With Wings and how much I would love to hear more tales about Mellie.

I will be recommending the book to the children who visit my library.

Ellen Booraem said...

Thanks so much for the comment, Jacqueline! I hope there will be a sequel, although that's not what I'm working on at the moment.

Thanks to you, too, Barrie...although I need to do a little less hobnobbing and a little more revising right now!

KZ, they are suing the governor, contending that the removal violated federal law. (The feds funded the mural, in part at least.)Is it "restraint of trade" you're thinking of? There's another term floating around just beyond reach--that's probably the right one.