Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Desperately seeking a good book!


In what perhaps is the most ultimate of ironies, here I am, a librarian without a good book to read!

Every single day, I unite readers with books. I relish finding that perfect book for someone. Reader’s Advisory (that nice librarian term for recommending books for patrons) is one of my favorites aspects of my career- it’s the sweet slice of pie topped with whipped cream to my dinner plate of a work day (can you tell Thanksgiving is around the corner?).

There’s just nothing better to me than spending time talking with a patron about the books they’ve loved, the ones they’ve hated, and the ones that were just so-so, then taking all that information, wrapping it around in my mind and flipping through my mental book catalog to find the perfect book for that unique patron. I like seeing the interest and curiosity on patrons’ faces as they contemplate a new book- and I really love it when they come back and tell me how much they loved it!

Yet, despite all this, I’ve been having a hard time finding a book for myself to read. Its not that I haven’t been reading- goodness, no!- but its that I haven’t found a book that resonates with me. You know the books I mean. They are the books you keep for years on end, the pages thin at the edges from repeated turnings, the spines cracked from frequent re-reads. They are the books you can’t stop thinking about for days after you finish the book, the ones you instantly tell all your friends about so they can read it, too. It has been a long time since I found one of those books.

So, I need help. Dear readers, what are your favorite books? What books speak to you? What books do you think everyone should read- especially me?

I look forward to all your suggestions, and to be fair, I, too, will be posting my personal favorite books up soon as well.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Please vote today.

Only through voting can your voice be heard.

Thank you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Have a Happy Halloween!

Pompey as Pirate Kitty, the fiercest pirate of the seven seas, known for his deadly hairball attack! Arrrgghhhhh!!!!

Pompey had a wonderful Halloween, and hopes you all have a wonderful one, too. He enjoyed going trick-or-treating at our neighbor, friend, and fellow blogger Deb's house! Thanks, Deb, for giving Pompey such a fun Halloween!

Enjoy the holiday!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh no! I've been banned!

By the miracles of modern technology, I've discovered that China thinks my beloved little blog is ban worthy!

I have now joined the ranks of J.K. Rowling, Maya Angelou, John Steinbeck, and Judy Blume, just to name a few authors who have been banned.

Learn more about books that have been banned here. Check it out- you might be surprised at just what has been banned over the years!

Thanks to my dear friend Caeseria for discovering this strange little blogging tidbit!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Smile Awards

Oh my! I’ve been given an award! My dear friend and co-worker Deb has awarded me the Smile Award! What a way to start the day! Thank you Deb!

Here are the details of the Smile Award:

Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude.
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.

These are the rules for The Smile Award.
1. The recipient must link back to the award’s creator
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must chose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by .
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

Here's is what Deb very kindly wrote about me:

“Witty works with me at the library and obviously loves children from the excitement she gets in programming for them! If there would be a category for loving cats, H would be at the top of the list! Her blog is like eating the best chocolate with all the creamy, tasty, smooth details she gives in her posts about her adventures with her husband and travels. (Even if he likes the group KISS.) And, no matter what the situation, she stays the course and is kind about everybody even behind their backs!”

Thanks so much for the wonderful words! If you haven’t read Deb’s blog, you should click right on over to it- her posts are always wonderfully witty, charming, full of joy and heart- just like Deb! I enjoy reading her blog every day!

Now, I award the Smile Award to my following friends and fellow bloggers!

Andrew! From reading my blog, you know that Andrew is my sweet husband. He is one of the most kind and caring individuals I have ever had the privilege to know. He has a warm and welcoming demeanor, one that invited people in and instantly makes them at ease. He is a friend to everyone who has ever met him. He is also a fellow blogger with two very interesting blogs. His main blog is all about heavy metal music, and it is extremely insightful and intelligent- honestly, those music magazines should keep an eye on him- you may not be a fan of heavy metal, but reading a few of his blog posts might make you check a new CD out! His second blog displays more of the quirky Andrew I know and love. It’s full of his random observations on things going on in life, good books that he has read, movies that he has seen- you never know what will be posted there, but it is sure to be fun reading!

Mom! Ah, my mom! She’s funny, smart, charming, quite clever, warm hearted, caring, and a best friend to me. She always has a wide smile and a kind word for everyone she meets. She’s a true joy to know! She is also the strongest woman I have ever know- her strength of character, her joy in life, all that she has done and conquered has given me a lifetime of inspiration. Her blog is one of the most interesting blogs I’ve read. It is full of the wild and random thoughts that enter her head. One day, it could be a post about a news item she just read, and another day it could be a sweet memory of a friend that she shares. You never know what you are going to find on her blog, but you’ll always enjoy reading it!

Andie! This is a good friend of mine whom I use to work with. Andie is simply a great person to know! She is so smart and fun and funny. She is a super librarian- great with patrons young and old; just excellent with kids; does great programs for children (we once did a “Survivor” type program together- what a blast!); and is simply a wiz at reference work. She’s also extremely funny, charming to be around, and if you need a good book recommendation, you can bet she has one! Her blog has all sorts of wonderful stories about the adventures and musings that go on in her life. I always grin at every new post!

Patricia! Ah, what a wonderful lady to know! Patricia is a good friend of mine at work. She’s wonderfully quirky, smart, and just simply a delight to know. Talking with her is always so interesting- talks can range from how addicting shows like Degrassi are, how wonderful anything Anne of Green Gables is, what wonderful places there are in the world to visit, interest books there are to read, even fun things to make and bake! It is always an adventure talking to Patricia, and her blog is just like her- full of random stories, interesting new articles, fascinating pictures, and other items that catch her eye- it is simply full of delightful adventure!

Caeseria! This is a good friend of mine from back in my college days! She is so wonderful quirky and fun to be with- so much so that we even created an adverb in her honor! Things are either Caeseria-ish or not Caeseria-ish. Caeseria-ish items can usually be described as things that are brightly colored, flashy in a good way, a little off-the-wall, and most delightfully unusual- all traits that describe Caeseria to a T. Her blog is a delightful look into her life as a full time Mom with an adorable son, adventures in planting and canning vegtiables, and learning to live a greener life. It is always so neat to read her blog, seeing what’s going on in her life at that moment. She is most amusing and a joy to read!

Have a smiley day everyone!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Caesar is King...

Because with a laugh like this, why wouldn't Caesar be king?

Pompey Gets Crafty

Pompey wonders if the yellow yarn would provide a nice accent to his golden eyes.

The Antics of Octavian

Octavian considers the tactical advantages of mailing himself to his enemy's doorstep.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shake your Bon-Bon!

A few weeks ago, Andrew and I had a delightful afternoon enjoying a traditional Japanese Bon Festival at our local Japanese shopping center.

It was liking being swept away to Japan- there were traditional games, yummy festival foods, and even women wearing traditional yukatas (click here to see information on yukatas!) Since I couldn't take all of you wonderful readers to the festival with me, I thought I would bring the festival to you with a photo journey!


The front of the Japanese Shopping Center

Booths lined the sides of the shopping center, and people milled about, looking at all the delicious offerings. There was takoyaki, yakisoba, cotton candy, iced coffee, and many other treats. Some vendors were selling fun festival masks featuring Hello Kitty, Doraemon, and Pokemon!

In the center of the shopping center's parking lot, a stage had been set up. Traditional dances were being performed, as well as awesome Japanese Drum songs.

Women were wearing lovely, traditional yukatas. It has become my goal to buy one for the festival next year! They are so beautiful and seems so comfortable and elegant.

Andre proved to be an expert at the traditional "scooping" games at Japanese festivals.

In the "scooping" games, you are giving a very small paddle, covered with a thin paper covering that dissolves in water. The object of the game is to scoop objects out of the water without ripping your paper net. Goldfish Scooping is extremely popular at Japanese festivals (yes, you scoop live goldfish!), but Andrew decided to try the Toy Scooping because we couldn't take a goldfish home with us. He wound up winning two bouncing balls and an adorable Hello Kitty figurine!

Also at the festival was a book vendor, selling books and magazines for a fantastic price! Granted, all the books and magazines were in Japanese, but that didn't stop me from buying a few....

More Books!!!

Here's Andrew tries his hand at another game. Your goal was to shot suction arrows at a target. If you landed in the center, you got the grand prize- a Nintendo Wii! Andrew didn't win that, but he did get some awesome snack prizes.

This was one of the ultra yummy treats Andrew won. They were biscuit cookies, filled with a cookie and rice crunch filling, shaped like mushrooms. They didn't last long- Andrew and I devoured them and determined that we would definitely be making these a regular purchase!

Another one of Andrew's prizes- Japanese soda! It's called Ramune, and it is surprisingly sweet and tangy. The bottle also has a surprise for the unwary...

Look closely, very closely. Yes, there is a marble is the bottle! There's no danger of swallowing it, but its presences in the bottle makes a little game out of drinking the soda. You have to hold the bottle in just the right way, otherwise the marble blocks the bottle's opening!

All of our snacking made us very hungry, so we decided to hit the food vendors!

Yum! It's yakisoba!

Andrew enjoyed the extremely tangy taste of the yakisoba- I liked the slight crunch of the noodles!

Well, that's it! Keep an eye out for a Bon festival near you- they are lots and lots of fun!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The King of the Flop

Octavian, my fluffy Ragdoll, is hereby crowned the King of the Flop. He has mastered flopping in the most irresistibly cute ways. Camera happy person that I am, I take lots and lots of pictures of Sir Octavian flopping, so I decided to share some floppy cuteness with you, Dear Readers! See if you can resist the fluffy cuteness!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Night Time Musings of Andrew

When you live with someone, you find out all sorts of weird quirks and ticks that you might not otherwise know if you just saw them on a day-to-day basis. Naturally, that’s been true of Andrew and I.

Now, I’m sure I have some very weird quirks that Andrew could tell you all about- perhaps my tendency to make up ridiculous songs at the spur of the moment out of sheer boredom- but Andrew has one strange quirk that nearly shocked me out of my skin the first time I encountered it.

Andrew talks in his sleep.

So, I know a lot of people talk in their sleep, but when Andrew talks in his sleep, he sounds completely lucid and wide awake. Half the time, what he says even makes sense. He’ll sometime say things like: “What did you think of that CD?” and if I ask him what CD he’s referring to, he’ll give me a response! When he’s like that, I have to look closely at him to see if he is indeed asleep, because he can carry on a complete conversation with me.

Yet, the other half of the time, I am given a glimpse into the very strange world of Andrew’s dreams. I don’t know where he gets the ideas he dreams of, and I don’t know what they mean, but I find his musings strangely fascinating. Whenever possible, I write down what he says, because it amuses me so much. And, since his musings amuse me, I thought they might amuse you, too.

So here on my blog, I will share the, ahem, wisdom of Andrew's Night Time Musings.

Up for today's contemplation is this gem of wisdom:

"This was already used for the wringer. Now there's no need for the Volvo."

What this means, I don't know, but enjoy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Witty and the Temporary Dog

Over the weekend, Andrew and I took a little house hunting jaunt. We didn't actually travel far from our current abode- we had found a house that was just around the corner from where we are currently living that we wanted to look at. So we arranged a viewing and took a little stroll through the neighborhood.

It was a lovely day- blue sky, bright sun, cool breeze- and we were enjoying ourselves. As we got nearer to the house we were going to see, Andrew and I began craning our necks to get a better look at the house. I was so absorbed in contemplating the brick and vinyl siding we were approaching, that when Andrew suddenly called out, "Witty! Look out!" and pointed in front of us, I was completely startled.

I followed the line of Andrew's arm to see what he was pointing at. There, bounding towards us in great enthusiastic leaps, was a dog- a big, black and white dog. I froze. I like dogs, but big leaping and bounding dogs scare me. I braced myself for an attack. Would the dog jump on me? Would it bite me? Would it pin me to the ground and slobber all over my face? I shuddered as these thoughts whipped through my mind. Yet, to my utter surprise, the dog did none of these things!
As soon as the dog got within the vicinity of my feet, it suddenly stopped, dropped and flopped at my feet! The dog gave us what could best be described as a doggie grin as she offered her belly to us for rubbing and scratching. Andrew and I looked at each other. "Well," I said. "I guess she's friendly." Then we took her up on her invitation and gave her a good belly rub.

When we finished lavishing her with attention, we continued on our walk, but quickly realized we were not on the walk alone anymore. Our new doggie friend followed us! We tried to shoo her away, urge her to go home, but she stubbornly stuck with us, grinning at us, her new found friends. We discovered that she was a really, really friendly dog. Whenever we passed by another person on our walk, she would run up to them, say hi, then run back to us. More worrisome, she liked to run up and say hi to passing cars.

While we really did like the dog, we were beginning to worry. Where was this friendly dog's home? Were her owners missing her? Since we couldn't get her home on her own, we decided that we would lead her home. We looked for a tag on her collar and discovered that her home was right next door to the very house we were going to look at! Serendipity!

We quickly steered the dog towards her house, and brought her up to her owners' front porch and rang the bell. And rang the bell. And rang the bell. And rang the bell. There was no answer. There were cars in the driveway, but no one answered the door. We looked at the dog. Maybe she would stay on her porch? We looked at her, "Stay!" we ordered, then we rushed next door to meet our realtor.

The dog followed us. Our realtor, a dog lover herself, was both amused and worried. The dog was very sweet and friendly, but really shouldn't have been roaming outside alone. As we all proceeded to look at the house, the dog once again began to follow us! She would keep sneaking in the open front door and we'd have to shoo her back out. Then she would run around to the back of the house and peek in through the patio doors, whining a little when she couldn't reach us. The entire time we were in the house, the dog stayed nearby.

By the time we were finished, we were really worried about the dog. Once more, we walked over to her home, rang the doorbell repeatedly, but received no answer. So we decided to see if we could put her in her backyard. We managed to open her yard's gate and shoo her in, but she popped right back out through a hole she had dug under the fence! So, at least we now knew how she got out the first time.

So, what do you do with a too friendly dog on a bright and warm summer's day? Well, we did the
only thing we could think of- we bid farewell to our realtor and took the dog home with us! She followed us willingly and eagerly all the way back to our house. We felt a bit like dog nappers, but what could we do? Images of this sweet dog being hit by a car kept running through our head. There was no way we could leave the dog behind- besides, she would have followed us anyway!

So, we took her home, and immediately set her up with a bowl of water and a dish of dog food (generously donated by a kind neighbor!). Then we called her owners and left what was probably the strangest message ever:

"Hello! We have your dog. She followed us home. We think she escaped your yard. We're happy to watch her until you get back. Give us a call!"

Then we sat and watched the dog. Since I had never had a dog before, I was fascinated by her. I found her to be extremely affectionate and great company! She loved to sit beside me with her head on my lap and be petted. She was quite the charmer.

Andrew and I contemplated where her owners could be. As we thought about this, it began to dawn on us that perhaps the friendly dog was home alone. Maybe her owners were on vacation, and she was being watched by a dog sitter. That dog sitter surely wouldn't check phone messages, would they? And what panic might set in when the sitter realized the dog was gone?
We realized that we should probably run back to the house and leave a note on the door.

So, we wrote up a quick note, and Andrew made a mad dash back to the house while I stayed with the dog. Despite my and Andrew's worry with the situation, the dog was just happy to be with people. It was like she had complete faith in us that we would see her home to her owners safely.

It was on Andrew's mad dash back to the dog owners' house that he actually ran into the dog's owners. They were quite surprised to see the tall, lanky man striding up to their house, paper clutched in his hand. I imagine it was a strange conversation as he explained that we had their dog. They were completely shocked that their dog was gone! Apparently, this was only the second time in the six years they had their dog that she had gotten out of the yard. They were extremely grateful that we took her in, because with her trusting and friendly nature, she could have all too easily gotten hurt.

So Andrew, together with the dog's owners, walked home once more. The dog, upon seeing her owners, trotted up to them like nothing was amiss, just that same sweet grin on her face. For the dog, it was just another fun filled, exciting day! Andrew and I said our goodbyes to the dog, and owners and dog went on their merry way, happy to be together.

Meanwhile, I now suddenly long for a dog of my own. Surely a dog could get a long with the Triumvirate of cats, right? Right?


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Last day of PLA and vacation

The third and final day of PLA was a short one. I attended two fascinating sessions, one on interior Library design, and the other on the Librarian's image in the media. That one was hysterical! Librarians have a strange cultural iconography, where we are sometimes viewed as prissy, thin lipped, with our hair in a tight bun and glowering behind small glasses; other times, we are viewed as the hidden seductress, prim and proper until we pull our hair out of the bun and whip off the glasses in one smooth move. The lecture I attended had tons of examples of the Librarian in the media- be it from books, movies, television, and advertisements. It was fascinating and funny to see all the different ways we've been portrayed!

After that enjoyable lecture, I bid farewell to PLA, but not to a library vacation entirely! I once more met up with my good friend Andie, and we took a tour of Minneapolis's new downtown library! It was a huge building that was visually interesting. I was impressed with all the fun details in the children's department, like huge, beautiful dragonflies hanging from the ceiling, and artful end caps on all the bookcases. A librarian's vacation is never complete without a visit to a library!

After our library visit, we all (me, Andrew, my Mom, and Andie) went out to a fantastic dinner at an Italian restaurant. The food was Divine, the company great, and the atmosphere wonderful! The restaurant was full of old architectural elements, and I couldn't get enough of them! What a way to end a day in Minneapolis, and what a way to end PLA!

Despite PLA being over with, our vacation was not. On our way home, we went straight passed my Mom's very best friend Diva's house, thus making a perfect opportunity to visit! It was great to see Diva again- growing up, she was like a second mother to me. She's always fun to see and spend time with. I just wish I had more time on the trip to visit with her, but Andrew and I were only able to stay for a few hours before we left for a small, mini vacation at a nearby resort to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Mom stayed with Diva so they had time to catch up without the kids around.

The resort Andrew and I stayed at was lovely. We had a fun suite that was bear themed, complete with a fireplace and a balcony. We had a great time together, relaxing and reminiscing over the years we've been married. We're still insanely happy together :)

This was the view outside our balcony,

but this was my favorite view of all:

Along the way at our resort, we also stumbled upon this vending machine, which had us both laughing hysterically:
"Your choice for healthy eating!" but the machine was filled to the brim with junk food!
It was a lovely way to end our trip, and the next morning we picked up my Mom, and hit the road home, happy and content with a fun trip.

Oh, and remember our lovely SUV we rented? Well, here's the trunk before we left for PLA:

and here's the trunk after:

What a great trip!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Blogging PLA Day 3

The third day of my PLA extravaganza bloomed bright and early for me. I had my very conference session of the day at 8:30 a.m. The session was about musical storytimes, and let me tell you, nothing wakes you up more than sitting in a room with over a hundred other children's' librarians, clapping and singing along to silly songs! It was great fun, really informative, and left me with a wealth of new ideas.

Afterwards, I rushed down to the exhibit hall to meet up with Andrew and my mom who were already browsing the aisles, seeing what was new and exciting. I spent a few gleeful hours talking to vendors, looking at new books, meeting new people, and having a grand time, before I rushed off to my next session, all about new technology and how the library might integrate it.

Following that program, I went to one of the programs I was really looking forward to- a luncheon presentation with Nancy Pearl, my librarian idol. She's simply super cool, and even has her own action figure. She started the now nation wide program called "One Book, One City" and all its incarnates. She's authored some fantastic books called Book Lust, More Book Lust, and Book Crush. She gave an inspirational speech about the role of books in her life, and the "dangers" of being a book lover- "dangers" like thinking you are from the 18th century after reading an historical novel, saying words incorrectly that you've only read, and not wanting a book to end. By the end of her talk, I was once more enthralled with books and reading and my profession.

After that, I spent a hectic 45 minutes once again roaming the exhibit hall (I am an addict of the exhibit hall, I confess!), before rushing off to another exciting event of all: Authors Readers Theater! This was a presentation by Sarah Weeks, Avi, Brian Selznick, and Pam Munoz Ryan- all fantastic authors of children's literature. Together they put on wonderful spoken word performances of each others work. It was inspiring and uplifting, their voices blended beautifully and the stories really came to life. In particular, Selznick's awarding winning illustrated novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret became cinematic in nature, as slides from the books flashed behind the authors as they read their parts. I left thoroughly enchanted with each and every one of the authors- and I got a book signed by each, too!

By the time the program was over, the whole day had passed by, and it was nearly evening. Mom, Andrew and I headed back to our hotel, laden down with fantastic books, to rest for awhile, but not for long. Andrew and I were jetting off to an all conference reception! Once there, we met up with friends, enjoyed a strange but delicious meal (Hot dogs on sticks, steak, casseroles, ham, potato salads and lots more), listened to some music, watched librarians dancing, and had a great time talking with everyone around. By the time the party ended, I was thoroughly exhausted, but thoroughly happy!

Another PLA day over and done with, and more fond memories than I can possibly record.

Book Count: 101!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Roaming Minneapolis...

The PLA adventures continue...

After our exciting arrival in Minneapolis the day before, Andrew, my mom and I were eager to jump right in and explore the city on our first full day in the city. The convention actually didn't start until 4 p.m., so we had the whole day to explore the city. We had poured through brochure and identified several places we wanted to visit, and we set out bright and early to begin our adventure.

The first place on our list was the American Swedish Institute. It was housed in a castle! We were really excited to check this place out. It took us a while to find the place, being unfamiliar with the city, but before too long, we found ourselves in front the lovely museum. Just as we were circling the place to find a parking spot, I- the ever observant librarian- happened to look at the brochure we had for the museum and notice when itty bitty little problem. It was 9 a.m., and the museum didn't open until 12 p.m. Whoops!

Quick change of plans! We quickly consulted our list of places to visit, and decided to visit the Minnesota Center of the Book Arts. A place dedicated to books! Perfect! What a way to spend a book-centered vacation. Once more, we navigated our way to the Center, which was on the other side of the city. Once there, we quickly found a parking space and made our way into the Center.

The first thing we noticed when we entered was that the place was quiet- almost too quiet. There was a little cafe in the Center off to the side with only one person working the counter, and one customer sipping a drink inside. Interesting. We looked to the other side of the Center, and saw that the place was dark. It seemed that while the Center's Cafe and Lobby were open, the actual Center was not.

Quick change of plans!

We were quickly realizing that exploring Minneapolis might best be a thing done on a weekend, not a weekday morning. But we were out and about, and we wanted to do something! Once more, I scoured our list of things we wanted to see and do in the city. This time, I paid attention to the opening times of places we wanted to see (Third time's a charm!). Everything we were interested in opened late except one place, so we decided that it would be our destination.

The place: The Cathedral of Saint Paul.

In a word, the Cathedral was beautiful. It stood high atop Summit Hill in Saint Paul, with breathtaking views of the city all around. It's Renaissance inspired architecture took my breath away. Inside was a peace and calm that truly did make one feel closer to heaven. I found the place so lovely that honestly, I don't think my words only can describe what I felt, and only my pictures can provide a half way adequate description of what I saw. Please enjoy!

When we were finished enjoy the enchanting Cathedral, we decided that rather than try our luck at another attraction, we were in need of some retail therapy. We went downtown and started to explore the area.

Of course, book lovers that we are, we did manage to find the city's bookstores, including a delightful used and antique bookstore. There, despite the fact that we would soon be scouring the aisles of the convention center for free books, we did find one gem of a book we couldn't live without: the special edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Andrew and I are huge fans of the series and have taken to collecting various versions of all seven novels, from special editions to foreign volumes.All along the shopping district were sculptures that really brought life to the street.

I was particularly captivated by this one:

Andrew, however, really was inspired by this statue of Minneapolis's own Mary Tyler Moore:

After shopping, all three of us were starved! So, we looked around for a place to eat. One place in particular called out to us, or rather to Andrew: The NBA City Restaurant. Andrew is a huge basketball fan, so this place was like nirvana to him. My mom and I could care less about sports- particularly basketball- but seeing Andrew's face when he saw that NBA City was a restaurant was too much to resist, so we decided to check it out.

It was a fun place that really embraced its theme, but not in an over the top way, as a matter of fact, it was quiet tastefully decorated and had a gourmet menu. I was particularly enthralled with the actual menu from the place- it's cover was made from a basketball! Even though I'm not a fan of basketball, I couldn't help but enjoy myself!

After our tasty meal, it was time to hit the convention center. The exhibits were opening, and we wanted to be there when the doors opened! We weren't the only ones, however, the place was swarming with librarians eager to hit the stacks as the exhibit hall was called. To keep us occupied, there was an om pah band playing which created a, shall we say, interesting, atmosphere.

When the doors opened, the stampede began! Librarians literally swarmed in the doors, rushing to get to their favorite booths. Some booths had sent out fliers and coupons, offering special prizes and giveaways to the first 50 people who showed up to their booth, so there was a lot of mad rushing to the desired booth. Not one to be left out, I, too, had a desired booth to hit, craving to be one of the first 50, and I was! My reward for my efforts? A nifty little tote bag filled with candy, a paperweight, and a slinky! Yes- it was definitely worth it!

After that, the floor passed by in a blur. There were so many booths! Among my favorites was Harper Collins, a publisher that really goes all out for librarians. They always have fantastic authors visiting and lots of free books! I also really loved the Romance Writers of America's booth. Although I am not always a fan of romance novels, this association goes all out for librarians and always has the nicest and friendly booth in the stacks. No matter when you stop by there is always an author there, signing books for free, and lots of other books- signed as well- for the taking. You are always assured of a warm welcome and a fun conversation. And you know what? The books they were giving away? They were awesome! Romance novels have come a long way from the days of Fabio covers.

The stacks were only open for 2 hours, but we sure made those most of those two hours! We had bags of books and made many trips out to the car to drop them off! By the time the stacks closed, we were wiped, but there was still more to do!Andrew has an aunt and uncle who live near the Twin Cities, and we went to meet them for a lovely meal out. I absolutely adore Andrew's family, so it was a fun time. They took us around the city and showed us some places we might not have otherwise seen, like a beautiful park with waterfalls! Andrew and I could have spent hours gazing at the beautiful surroundings.

We had such a delightful time with Andrew's family, that we were reluctant to say good night and goodbye, but the time was swiftly passing us by, and it was almost 11 p.m. by the time we got back to our hotel. Whew! We were tired.... but we still had another long day ahead of us! The very next day, the convention started in full swing! Stay tuned for more details.

Book Count of the Day: 100