1. Getting a nice blogger-hug hello from Patrick Rosal who somehow recognized me. Seeing as how he was sitting at the front of the room and was obviously Patrick Rosal, I should have been the one to greet him, but I told you: I'm socially inept.
2. Meeting Nick Carbo and having him say he reads my blog. OMG.
3. The delightful Anthem Salgado repeatedly asking Miz Barbara Jane if he could read "One more? Is that okay?" It was vaguely, um, erotic.
4. Patrick reading his now-infamous "The Blue Room" while everyone remained firmly planted in their seats. Which is probably just one of the many differences between San Francisco and Utica (hi Oliver!). Just a guess.
5. A library employee s l o w l y wheeling in a tragically squeaky cart of coffee and cookies when Patrick was just a few lines into "Next." It took him what seemed like fourteen years to travel the ten feet from the door to the table, which was positioned to the right of Patrick. I could've sworn we were on Candid Camera. Patrick stopped for a moment to gamely announce, "Coffee's here!" before moving on.
6. Nick reading "Parajos," wherein he uses his shoe to take the life of an innocent scorpion and then fears that its mate will track him down and exact its revenge on him or--much worse!--his beloved.
7. Nick reading his lovely "Directions to My Imaginary Childhood." Me becoming obsessed with the title.
8. How to explain the sound of Luis Francia's voice? I can't. You should have been there, is all, to hear him read "Cinderella at Fifty" or "Password for a Hybrid Century."
9. Luis kindly signing my copy of Musem of Absences. The following exchange occurred:
Me: (blurting and incapable of maintaining dignity) I have so many of your books; you wouldn't believe it.
L.F.: Really? You have Eye of the Fish?
Me: Of course! And Vestiges of War, Brown River, White Ocean, Flippin': Filipinos on America...
L.F.: (handing me my book and backing away slowly) I'm honored.
Me: (insides crumbling, retreating, banging my forehead, mumbling) I'madork, I'madork, I'madork.
Okay, he didn't really back away slowly. He was gracious and kind to his dorky fan.
In conclusion, dear readers...Such a fine time and so nice to finally meet Eileen Tabios and to see Barbara Jane, Oscar Penaranda, and Marianne Villanueva.
Best of all, nobody said, "Are you wearing Old Spice?"