Well, I went to the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference, after having avoided it for several years. Here are some of my highlights (many of which were "off-site").
1. Pasta at Francesco's and conversation about movies, art, and Italian pop music.
2. Hearing of Maria's adventures in Malaysia and hearing her poetry. And she had the best t-shirt.
3. Lunch with Tayve and Dorinda. Talk of Staten Island, haunted places in Florida, and their new press-- Trio House!
4. Seeing Joe Pan at the Brooklyn Arts Press table. Their books look great.
5. Resting for a moment at the Ping Pong table (not a literal ping pong table-- the book fair table for the journal Ping Pong), talking to Christine, and admiring their posters.
6. The two older ladies at the reading who were like the judges from the Muppets. They approved of my reading, apparently.
7. Seeing long-lost friends from St. Paul (John!) and Kansas (Kate!).
8. jubilat tote bag.
9. (Free) dinner with friends. Scallops and wine.
10. Seeing Malena's beautiful face.
11. Kind words from J. and M. in the Hilton lobby.
12. Codeine cough syrup, homeopathic cough syrup, decongestants, lozenges, tea.
13. Falling asleep to Marc Maron interviews.
14. Ditching the conference for some off-site quality time on the South Side with poet mama friends, Lauren and Annmarie.
15. Seeing Kari, who I've known since age 15 (or 16?), and how some friends are deeply familiar, despite years apart.
16. Stopping by Dancing Girl Press open house and buying a laurel leaf tiara-headband, instead of more books.
17. How entering the Fine Arts building is like stepping back in time. (That elevator!) That building must be haunted, right?
18. Meeting Facebook friends and being greeted with, "Hey! Facebook friend!"
19. Reading Jen's chapbook on the plane and loving it.
20. My good deed of the conference: Talking nonsense to a fellow AWPer as we descended back into NYC to distract her from a bumpy landing.
21. Oh, my friends. What would I do without you? Really.