Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Pittsburgh and Back

I am finally home!! It was a very long and busy week. But it was great to see my music librarian colleagues and reconnect with old friends!! Jennifer and I got caught up and the first thing she wanted to see was the ring! Bruce and I spent a lot of time together exchanging news, comparing our different work places, and getting into philosophical discussions. Marlene and I managed to grab breakfast together one morning and exchanged news about all the people we know in common. And I got to meet Tim's wife and their new puppy! Plus slowly word spread about my news and I had all sorts of people congratulating me and wanting to know about Chris. Socially, I had a great time. Especially going out to eat with a variety of people.

I was sick before leaving for Pittsburgh, which made the plane ride pretty terrible. The delays in Detroit did not help things at all. If it wasn't a February conference in Pittsburgh I would have considered driving (Pitt is about 6 hours from here), but I figured I'd be safer taking a plane. I was, but four gate changes later I was wishing I had driven. We finally left Detroit after midnight Monday night and I checked into the hotel around 2:30am Tuesday morning. Luckily the meeting we had planned on having at 8:30 was moved to 9:30am, so I was able to grab a little bit of sleep before having to be anywhere.

The MOUG meeting was really great. Lots of good information and discussion. I still haven't filled out my evaluation form (sorry Bruce) but it really was one of the best programs we've had. I think since we were only 2 hours from Columbus, OH we could bring more OCLC people in to give presentations, and it made a world of difference.

The MLA meeting was also good. I was busy going to several business meetings, but I actually came away with quite a bit of information this time. I am going to be sharing much of that information with my UK collegaues at a meeting tomorrow morning. I figure it was time to discuss some cataloging things at our CTS meetings since we usually only discuss special projects, acquisitions issues, and anything electronic.

The best time I had was meals out. Wednesday after MOUG I took a walk with three other people through downtown Pittsburgh all the way to an area called the strip. We had lunch there at a place known for their fish sandwiches, which were HUGE!!! We must have walked two miles to get there and two miles back. I was with three other music catalog librarians from Washington Univ. in St. Louis, the University of Maryland, and the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday night the MOUG Board (on which I am a member) went out to dinner together, as is the tradition. We found a Greek restaurant that was great. The food was spectacular and the atmosphere was very European. I love restaurants like that! They let you sit and talk and they aren't eager for you to leave so they can seat more customers. If you are ever in Pittsburgh I highly recommend it: Christos on 6th Ave. (or 6th Street, maybe?), it's downtown in the Cultural District. The waiter (who I think was also the owner) convinced us to try his Onassis dessert. He said he used to cook on the Onassis yacht and Jackie Onassis didn't care for desserts, so they were always trying to find something she would like, and this was it. It was a cake that was very light, white and had honey in it, and the frosting was also very light with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top. We ordered one and all seven of us tried a little. It was great!

Friday night we went across the river to Station Square and had dinner at an Italian place. It was very cute and everything there is family style, thus big portions. There were 6 of us, five catalogers and one reference/public services librarian. He was a little out of his element being surrounded by catalogers but later I found out that he had a really great time and was even contemplating switching to being a cataloger. He said we have more fun than the public services people. They were all from: Julliard School of Music, NYU, Baylor Univ., and two people from Roosevelt Univ. (Chicago). We were laughing so hard, I'm sure we were the loudest people in the place. And there wasn't that much alcohol at the table. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. I had no idea cataloging jokes could be so funny!! 520: that about sums it up!! [Guess you kind of had to be there!] The food was great, we order one salad and one appetizer to share between us and three entrees and three (very large!) desserts. I have never seen achocolate cake that big!!

Saturday night was also great. We always have a small cocktail reception before the banquet. This year's meeting was a joint conference with MLA and SAM (the Society for American Music). SAM has a brass band that plays to help close their conferences. So the brass band played for the first 30 minutes of the cocktail reception. There was also free champagne being passed out, so I had a glass of that. The brass band was okay, not very exciting music, just marches and some band type pieces. But then the MLA Big Band played! We have an awesome group. They played for the last hour of the reception before the banquet started and as soon as they started playing we were all cheering and going wild. They were great!! Definitely better than the brass band. One of my co-workers told me that someone standing next to her asked who these people were and she looked at them and just said, "They are Librarians!" How awesome!!! Check out our Big Band at: www.myspace.com/mlabigband. (I hope I have that correct, that's off the top of my head.)

I got back to town late Sunday night, went to see Chris and then finally made it back to my house in time to go to bed. I took Monday off to run errands and sleep in some. Went back to work today. Back to my mundane life. I love these conferences, I learn so much and I have so many friends there now, it's just fun to go. I can't wait to go to Newport, RI next year for our 2008 meeting. True Newport in February will be cold, but it'll be warm and cozy inside the hotel surrounded by lots of friends and good conversation!!

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