One two free

I meant to blog this past week, really I did. However, most of my week was taken up with going to a librarian conference in Portland (and Nordic Boy had to work in Portland too so we saw each other EVERY DAY OF THE WHOLE WEEK which is so luxurious I can’t even tell you). While there I cavorted with my cohorts on a national level. (Whenever anyone uses the word “cohorts” I can’t help but think they are saying “co-whores” so I give you full permission to think the same thoughts now). I could say many things about my week, but let’s start with this.

My week in Portland: or, the week of FREE SHIT.

Free shit item #1.
Our hotel upgraded us to a fancy suite. Living room! Dining room! Bedroom! A shower as big as our entire bathroom at home! We had multiple tvs! It is really alarming to me how much this made my week. Next thing you know I will be one of those assholes who will only take baths in Evian or something.

Free shit item #2
Natalie Merchant did a free concert for the librarians. And according to the lady who introduced her, this was something that Ms. Merchant asked to do. She sought out the librarians. The last thing she did was sing at the TED conference. Ms. Merchant is wooing the geeks, hardcore. And it was free. Well, there’s the registration cost of the entire conference, but besides that.

Free shit item #3
Aside from the various speakers, author talks, workshops, etc. there is a large exhibits area where hundreds of library vendors set up booths so that they can market their wares to librarians. Database vendors, architects, computer hardware and software, all of that sexy stuff. Also making a big showing, not surprisingly: publishers. The publishers bring with them stacks and stacks of free ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies, galleys, or if you want to be less of a dick you might just call them books that haven’t been released yet). And they just hand those suckers out. And although I am a person that does not collect or hoard anything, including (and especially) books, I GO APESHIT for the free books. I came home with more books than I need to own. Because they were free. Since, you know, I don’t work in a place where I ever get free books to read, no sir.

Free shit item #4
Portland trains. I went everywhere I needed to go in Portland on a train. For free. It’s enough to make you sing a Sheena Easton song. As if you need a reason to do that, which I don’t.

Free shit item #5
I was there for the free day at Portland Art Museum. Did I partake of this? Well, no. But still, I totally coulda.

All in all, it was a lovely week. I even gave a talk on a panel at the conference and of the hundreds of people listening (and let me tell you I had no idea when I signed up for that madness that it wouldn’t be 20 people) not one person threw tomatoes at me. I call that success.

Lastly, Nordic Boy and I had one of the best dining experiences ever at a little family-owned italian restaurant that we found. It was like being in someone’s house. If that house had just a few tables, and a man on a guitar singing italian songs, an old italian grandpa who seemed to know every customer and hugged everyone goodbye as they left, and a little boy who shyly handed us our dessert menus when the time came, and italian soccer playing on a tv in the corner, and food so good I wanted to punch someone in the face. Or something like that. You know what I mean. Plus they gave us our salad for free, which qualifies it for Free Shit Item #6, which I almost forgot about. It was just lovely. It was all Nordic Boy and I could do not to be disgusting and eat the same long strand of spaghetti from either end, ending in a smooch. Which I assure you we did not do. But if we had, it might just have been warranted. It is my new fave place to go in Portland.

Bye Portland, land of the free, home of the fave. Until next time.


  1. I am utterly sick with envy over a conference with free books! At the last conference I went to, it was same-old same-old pens and cheap mousepads and crappy wifi that didn't even work in my room! I guess we got kickass bags out of the deal, but that's it!

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