"How's my butt?" "Good! I mean, fine. It's fine." - Sarah and Derek in Save the Last DanceWe are still riffing off STLD. Every other line we give the crazy homegirl "Aiight" and I've asked Kitty twice, "How's my butt?" so she could do the next line, "Good! I mean, fine. It's fine." and we've been practicing hand gestures from the funky modern audition piece for Julliard. Kathe has said that she wanted to use her shirt for a doo-rag (a la Julia's Gap shirt prior to her first entrance to Steppes) multiple times today or French braid her hair in a complicated fashion that could never be done on a person by themselves. It's just too much fun.
We went to a copyright session this morning and had plenty of time to contemplate all the egregious violations our school participates in (and it sounds like we are like every other school in that respect). We got an early lunch (California Raisin Brioche French Toast with apricot butter, yum!) and hit the vendors since after noon is when they put their books at half price which really saves us uber $$$$. We scored more free stuff (the big eyes really works on the male vendors) and when it hit noon cruised around. Kathe stationed herself at the HarperCollins booth (they don't sell their books, they let librarians pick one for free) and justified herself as queen of free booty when she just kept going to the end of the line and working it over and over again. She ended up with something like 8 free books! Go, Kitty Kat!
In the meantime, my Jeopardy-won rolling tote (nicknamed "Rolly") and I cruised around picking up all our Oxford University Press reference books, with stops at Libraries Unlimited and Scarecrow Press. I began testing the structural integrity of Rolly, and actually stopped to scam a coffee mug and Starbucks gift card from Columbia Press, when I spotted a familiar figure. Polka-dotted woman from the "Exhbit Hall entrance" was adjusting her knee-highs in an equally as unflattering dress. When she finally finished testing her elastic, she straightened up and glanced over catching my laser-like gaze filled with contempt. She actually blanched and looked around panicked. I simply gave her an icy smile, glanced at my overflowing Rolly and walked on. She scurried away and disappeared in the direction of the Baker & Taylor booth, undoubtedly to change into her cat costume.
Kathe was still working the HarperCollins line to great effect, so I parked myself in the Facts on File press booth which was across from HarperCollins and managed to get some other really good titles. With all our stuff, we knew we had to get some serious packing happening and ship these puppies out, so we headed to Sack Sitters. Approximately four million other librarians appeared to have the same idea, so we spend the next two hours pushing six boxes of books and free stuff around, snaking ourselves through the heinously long line until we got to the table and could ship the g-d stuff. Kitty actually lifted this one box that weighed 55 lbs! She's wicked strong. Since I couldn't pack Rolly in a box or my suitcase, I spotted a group of three librarians totally weighed down with stuff and gave them Rolly to help out. It was so great how grateful they were and I felt like I had done a nice mitzvah to help them. God rewarded me by having me see lots of cute puppy dogs outside the convention center where I got lots of puppy kisses! There's a Pet Expo across the way and they were headed there and I wished I had Bugsy with me to check out the doggy fashions.
We had afternoon tea at the hotel since we knew we'd be eating late at the closing gala and we met a really nice librarian, Karen, from Texas, who ate with us, and we learned all about her interesting school district and the challenges she faced. We boarded the bus (I had changed midday into jeans and sneakers for my sore feet) and headed a few blocks to the Heinz History Center. The place was PACKED with librarians and we had a nice, if crowded, meal. Lots of friendly librarians and we had fun looking around at all the exhibits (some silly pictures were taken) and the gift shop. I got Ethan a little present and some fun rulers (which will be prizes for Women's History Month) and boarded the bus for home. I think some of the librarians had had too much of the open bar as they started singing "99 Librarians" but the syllabic rhythm was off or they had drunk too much happy juice, because it was pretty garbled. We were hoping for a TNT encoure of STLD, but the network were showing Legally Blonde instead which we really like, so we're making due. I feel completely wiped out, but at least we don't have our author brunch with Jerry Spinelli until 9 am and it's right in the hotel. I hoping we have a little picture taking time before we have to go to the airport tomorrow!