Josie here, blogging from the Internet Cafe, so I’ll be quick. To recap: the Children’s Not a Dinner last night was great. The mashed potatoes in a martini glass were an innovation I’d never seen before and hope to encounter again. Here’s how it worked: picture a steaming chafing dish of creamy mashed potatoes, add to that a mix-in area with choices ranging from broccoli, bacon bits, creme fraiche, sour cream, scallions. Really, it was heaven. Mix in mashed potatoes, it’s like I’d died and gone to heaven. The other food was fabulous as well. I was particularly fond of the caprese salad on a stick. There did seem to be some confusion from attendees about how much to eat as they weren’t sure when food would appear again. Closing the bar before we moved inside caused this writer some stress as I searched in vain for one more beer.
The silent auction was fraught, as always. People mapped the areas they needed to bid on. Many people were frantically running the very spacious room (how nice was it to actually be able to view the art without being pressed against people!) from artwork to artwork. I happily hung by the piece I wanted and am happy to say I got for just under my budget. The live auction, new this year, was very exciting. The Brian Selznick locket from The Invention of Hugo Cabret went for a jaw dropping $1750!
The Author’s Lunch today was really quite good in spite of the missing Michael Moore — Midwest weather once again foils a traveler’s plans. Again, I’m all about the food. I arrived late and found a seat in the back. Quite quickly a man in a tie and women in business suits were ably handling trays with 10 covered plates on them. I looked about and didn’t see one regular waiter or waitress. As I was cutting my very good chicken, Lance Fensterman of BookExpo announced that Local 11 was on strike. So, here I sat eating a surprisingly yummy meal, while all the while I’d been crossing the picket line. Not something I would normally do. I was faced with a dilemma: stop eating or continue. What would Ariana Huffington do? She seemed okay with it, so I continued. Halfway through lunch, the regular waiters returned and finished the service. I must say, the BEA folks did a great, if somewhat noisy job. I was impressed by their speed at serving a thousand lunches. I can bet there was not one staffer who thought that’s how they’d be spending lunch.
Okay, it’s time for the BEA physical ailments to start. The balls of my feet have a pulse. I guess that’s to really let you know your blisters have a life of their own. You know, I come to this show just about every year and every year I’m surprised at how quickly my body falls apart. The feet are the first to go, then it’s the back. Too many books in non-ergonomic bags. (Note to publishers: swag bags from the Back Saver Catalog for next year!). Then the shoulders go. I never remember to move the book bags around, so one shoulder is in agony while the other escapes fairly unscathed. Then there are the toes. Am I a magnet for rolling bag toe crush injuries or do they happen to everyone? I swear at least twice a day as someone, usually a nice midwestern, rolls over my poor feet as I’m trying to get my bearings. More soon!