Coach WHO?Okay, I'm a little cranky so this needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Kitty and I went to the Exploratorium which is where many school librarians present their "best practices" in some form. We went into this room and first noticed that there were AMAZING free munchies in the center of the room, so - forget about the posterboard displays - we chowed down on some really nice lemonade and super chocolate brownies. Sated for a while, we then milled around to take a gander at people's work. Unfortunately, I'm shallow enough that I was distracted by what some of the people were wearing, so I kept glancing around and not paying attention. I mean, fanny packs??? A fanny pack wouldn't look great on Nicole Ritchie, so say nothing of someone less anorexic. And what is with flood pants? With knee socks?? And really unattractive clogs?? And, brace yourself, I actually saw someone in PEDAL PUSHERS. They were denim. Worn with knee socks. I've seen more attractive lederhosen on 80-year-old Bavarians. I think someone should let librarians not under 19 wear pedal pushers. No librarian is under 19.
We finished a little early because there's not much to see that is all that earth-shaking, so we decided to get a nice lunch at a local restaurant which revivified us. BECAUSE WE WERE GOING TO SEE LEVAR BURTON!! Yes! We got a seat on the floor in the ballroom (they ran out of chairs so we sat down on the floor) and listened to the chair of every forsaken committee in the ALA (and the Lt. Governor's secretary's hair dresser, or some similar weird permutation) and then they started the big build-up. "It is my extreme pleasure to introduce someone well-known to all of use as the coach (LeVar coaches people?) who locked out his basketball team out when their grades fell (whaaaa???). The man who Samuel L. Jackson is playing in a wonderful recent motion picture (LeVar is playing Samuel Jackson, huhhhh?) - COACH CARTER!!!!" What the f***?! Where the h*&% is LeVar Burton??!!!
Turns out Mr. Jordy "Precious" LaForge felt that his butt was more valuable "directing" a project and cancelled, so Coach Carter (who I'm sure is a very nice person) is high fiving and whistling (he actually had a whistle) down the center aisle. Puhleeze. I stalked out with Kitty behind me going "I want to see if he looks like Samuel Jackson!" (Conclusion, Coach Carter was better looking than Samuel, who is certainly a fine looking man.)
So we went to stake out our spot in front of the exhibit hall. It was 4 pm and the hall didn't open until 5:30 pm so we were the first ones there. YESSS!!! We asked the security guard guarding the opening where was the spot we should be and sat where she indicated. We got our our exhibit hall maps and began checking the material to figure out where we should go first. Answer: Greenwood Press's booth. Why? JANE AUSTEN BOBBLEHEAD DOLLS!!!!!
Of course, our magnetic personalities, witty banter, and obvious organization drew a crowd who we made friends with them and told them all about our tradition of being first in the exhibit hall. They were charmed and made fun comments and we were having a great time until... she appeared. This little (4 foot 9 inches tops), older librarian gave this smooth look into the exhibit hall in the space in front of us (a large area designated as to remain clear by the security guard) and then STAYED IN FRONT OF US. She cut the line!!! And she has the gall to signal her friend to come join her. In front of us! So our little group had to stand (it's only 5 pm, we are going to have to stand for a half an hour) and get behind this woman. But I'm not going to let this pass. I get alongside of her, look down (remember she was short), and say, "Excuse me, but my friend and I have a tradition of being first into the exhibit hall. It's why we came at 4 pm and sat down. Would you mind getting behind the other people who were here first?" No response. Not a flicker. I'm ticked. "Are you purposely not looking me in the eye or answering? Or you actually trying to AVOID me?", I asked. She whispers back, still NOT LOOKING at me, "I can't believe you're actually talking to me about this." Is she sh*****g me? She cut in front of 40 people who were all waiting for freaking LEVAR BURTON who didn't show and then got convention center rug imprints in our librarian butts waiting to be first in the exhibit hall!!! That's why I'm talking to her!!
I actually considered starting a rumble, or at least a firm shoving match, but by now there were a ton of librarians all crowding around, jockeying for position, so it would have involved others. So I decide to let it go and simply burn this woman's face into my brain so she can be on my "go to hell" list forever. No sooner do I decide this then a mousy woman in a red dress with white polka dots, actually says to me in a snooty way, "You know, you shouldn't engage in any behavior that you wouldn't ask your students to do." I just looked her and said in a VERY distant voice, "I believe that's what I'm doing." I would open up such a can of whoop-ass on any student who tried to cut a line of deserving people who had been waiting for an hour!!! The exhibitors were trying to get to the door through the throng of now-packed in like sardines librarians (thank you, short, snarky line-cutter librarian) and an exhibiter comes up to me to squeeze by and of course, I let him. Polka-dots snipes, "I think you should at least plan on letting the exhibitors through." Me. Raised eyebrow. "I believe that's what I'm doing."
They finally let us through, little snarky librarian is first through the door (but I know Kathe and I were the first people through who deserved to be there) and she goes right to the Greenwood Booth that has the bobbleheads!! And she's first!!! Okay, I'm second but just to show you that good karma pays off, I was chatting up the Greenwood rep about the Jane Austen encyclopedia that just came out and - she gave me two extra free bobblehead dolls!! Justice.
We worked the room with lots of free stuff which was good. We cut out at 6:30 pm and went back to the room to prep for the Independent School Section Networking Reception. I called Ethan, who helped me adjust the laptop to accept the wireless network at the hotel (still no internet based FirstClass or Exchange so no work email which is frustrating) and Kitty checked on her little man, Thad, who's perfect of course building forts with his grandmother. With things good on the home front, we located the networking reception in one of the function rooms. We had paid for $29 each for this reception so I expected a nice spread. Um, no. There was a cash bar (we couldn't even soft drinks for free and had to beg for water) and only a cheese block and crackers with some whole grain crackers! I actually pinched the grapes which were a garnish for the platter, I was so hungry. Then we looked around - NO CHAIRS!! There was about 20 more people than chairs (Kitty Kat quote of the day, "Pittsburgh is the city of rivers, but not the city of chairs.") so we decided to sit in a corner on the floor but were saved by a nice group of librarians who found us a chair which we both sat on, eating our cheese plates.
We passed a nice night and a great time talking to the other librarians, but I'm definitely of the opinion that it wasn't worth $29. We ordered dessert back in our rooms and watched Sex in the City again for solace. Verdict of the day? I had a great time with Kitty and it was an adventure. I love Pittsburgh - it's so beautiful - but I'm keeping an eye out for little librarians.