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Thursday, July 17, 2003  

New York Stories, Part Four

Trash again. Notice how these introductions keep getting shorter?

Tuesday morning started bright and early. Thankfully, none of us were awake to see it, since we had returned to our rooms after 4 A.M. the night before. CorpKitten was scheduled to attend an early morning meeting, but we were able to convince her not to go by muttering the magical words “you should sleep.” It was a hard sell. (The other magic words are “here, have some rum” and “no, just stay home and read. That whole “make a living thing”? We were so kidding”. Sigh. –CK)

As a result, our first scheduled meeting was at 11:30, which was a lunch (FINALLY) meeting for the SOLO librarian group. It was actually an interesting meeting, although some people saw it as a selling opportunity and used the time to try and sell their most recent books. Chao wasn’t registered, so he decided to take a long walk down Broadway and look for porn. We all met up after lunch to run through the booths one last time and to see how “Andy” was taking his hangover. He apparently was taking it elsewhere, as he hadn’t shown up for work all day. This made Chao very sad. [Trash glossed over the details of this story – When we asked if anyone had seen “Andy”, the person at the desk said something stiff and formal like, “No, Andy is not available right now.” So Chao told him he “took Andy home last night” and winked, and the gentleman relaxed visibly and said, “Actually, Andy hasn’t shown up for work today and no one has seen or heard from him.” Ah much more accurate information now. We told friendly British chap to tell Andy we called on him and THEN left. –Chao]

That afternoon, I had agreed to cover a meeting on CRM for a colleague, and CorpKitten had a meeting of her own, so we left Chao to his own devices again. There isn’t much to say about the day (the evening gets better) except that I am now skilled at CRM, CorpKitten is now skilled at taxonomy, ( I don’t know if I’d call it “skilled” per se – CK) and Chao is still skilled at porn. (well, no doubts at all, there – CK) And people-watching. And probably other things that none of us want to know. [And other meanings of the term “cock-fighting.” –Chao]

That evening, we had an AMAZING dinner at the best Thai restaurant in New York (please someone remember the name!) [Topaz, next to the Mysterioso! Bookstore at Carnegie – CK] next to a man who thought he was a restaurant critic. “Now, I would like a very dry martini with 1/3 gin and extra-dry vermouth and a twist–just a twist–of lime, and I would like it served in a jelly jar slightly crystallized around the edges, EXCEPT for the edge I will use for drinking, which should slop ever-so-slightly on the edge…NO! NO! NO! It’s ALL WRONG! Weren’t you LISTENING?!?!?!?!??!?!?!” Needless to say, it was no trouble when I asked for a meal to have mock duck added to it instead of tofu. (What is mock duck you ask?
Picture the bottom of the fry cage at Long John Silvers -- the crisp, starchy little chunks of not-fish and not-hushpuppy. That’s mock duck. Mmmm-mmm. That’s our girl. – CK) The restaurant is next to the bookstore that I intend to purchase someday (yes, I am being serious. Sars, be prepared to put up M. Giant and myself for a week or month or two).

After dinner, CorpKitten and I went to an SLA board meeting, and things began to go very much awry. It seems that librarians care VERYMUCH about their governing documents, and are willing to talk. And talk. And talk about them. ( And move only to withdraw an earlier movement which wasn’t theirs to begin with so why the hell don’t they sit their Southwestern ass down already and let the big girls talk? -- CK) By “talk,” I mean, “heated and painful discussions with people taking things personally and a board that doesn’t care anymore and just wants everything PASSED already, and larger groups making disparaging remarks about the smaller groups, and this terrible, terrible woman hollering out things from her seat, NOT at the microphone,” (The hair on the woman in the cordoruy jacket up front? Because that was my nightmare for a week. – CK) and the worst part? The very worst part? I had to go because I am the president elect-elect of the Minnesota SLA, and since CorpKitten is the same for the Michigan chapter, I made her go, too. She was NOT HAPPY. Maybe I should repeat that, just to ensure you got it. SHE WAS NOT HAPPY. So, any time I would look over at her table, she was glaring. And sighing. And sometimes crying. It was terrible. ( Because why? Because I didn’t even have to be there. I was supposed to be at a lovely party at the Grolier Club instead, drinking extra sharp gin and tonics. But nooooo, my presidential-elect priorities were called to bear and the shit had to jump off– CK) [actually CorpKitten left a little early and found Chao out in the hallway waiting patiently (tapping his foot and sighing a lot is patient for him). After a stream of curses directed at Trash and then full-of-themselves-librarians, CorpKitten calmed down and explained what was going on in the “meeting.” Trash is lucky Chao and CorpKitten are her friends – normal people would have let her rot in hell. –Chao]

After that experience, we went back to our rooms for a while, and then CorpKitten had to start packing to leave the next morning. Her flight left at something like 6 a.m., so I think her cab picked her up around 4 – which was right when Chao and I returned from the bar. ( Yep -- I was up BEFORE the little men who come to hose the trash off the sidewalk. Ah, NYC is certainly a magical town. -- CK) But I get ahead of myself.

Being the New York jet setters that we are, we were all invited to a publishing party for a friend of mine. Josh had a reading of his book Short People (it’s a good book – I’m half way through and M. Giant finished it – buy it!) earlier in the evening at Barnes and Noble, and there was a celebration to follow. Thus Chao and I cabbed to a über-cool bar in Soho that didn’t even have its name on the door—THAT’S how cool it was. It had red windows and some special lighting, and these drinks that had moss [seaweed –Chao] in them. It made us feel all cool, and we kept posing by the windows so people could stare at us, but no one seemed interested, except for the New Yorkers that now have to go outside to smoke.

Despite what you might think, we did remember that we weren’t the guests of honor, and tried to be respectful. I got to see Lawre (one of my best friends from college) and Seven (another best friend from college–she used to swing dance with M. Giant, back in the day). Introduced them to Chao, who managed to actually impress them with his charm and personality–unexpected, considering the stories I had told them. We were then invited to an after party-party at a local director’s brownstone (did I mention what rock stars we are? I bet you didn’t realize just how well-connected librarians were!) where we sat outside in a courtyard with a dozen or so people, drinking beer and laughing very quietly, until a neighbor woman yelled for us to shut up from her third-floor window across the alley. Yes, that’s how cool we are – neighborhood ladies even screamed at us.

To end the evening, Chao and I returned to the local bar of the preceding evening’s debauchery, where we solved the problems of the world and ended world hunger. Or maybe just drank tiny beers and laughed until 4 A.M. again, and then returned to our swank hotel.

posted by M. Giant 3:54 PM 0 comments


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