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I think I forgot to mention this yesterday, but people are <i>freaks</i> about giveaways at conventions. Seriously, people were just meandering around the convention hall, picking up schwag at random and in bulk. People were stopping at our booth asking, “what’s this,” then requesting to take three. It was astounding. People were wandering around with bags of loot, and most of it was just <i>stuff</i> like “stress balls,” little plastic keychains, plastic coffee mugs or water bottles, and fridge magnets. Since I’ve been on a campaign to get the crap out of my house, I wasn’t about to go moseying around on a giveaway safari and tote home a whole armload of fresh plastic ephemera.

Thanks to the mysterious and peculiar avarice of conventioneers, we got rid of most of the giveaway items we’d brought. There are still a lot of pamphlets from various places, but the bulky stuff has mostly been given away, so I’m satisfied with that.

I did my two shifts in the booth 10:00-noon and 2:00-4:00, but wasn’t actually able to get away until 5:00. Our group decided to go out for dinner tonight; we went to a posh place called Wolfe’s with mixed results. Two of the dinners were considered quite satisfactory by their recipients, two were considered pretty good, though over-salty, and mine was just plain awful. It was the only vegetarian thing on the menu, and I get the impression that they just plain didn’t try. Theoretically it was angelhair pasta with fresh tomato, basil, and romano cheese, but really, all you could taste was salt (and LOTS of it—enough to burn your lips) and garlic. If you specifically ate a shred of the basil you could taste it, but everything else just tasted of salty garlic, plus the pasta was sticky and gummy, which is a frequent issue with angelhair. We’d walked around the restaurants on Fulton looking at menus, finding out that few places even offered a vegetarian entrée, and I’d considered just leaving the group and making my own arrangements, but I didn’t want to be unsocial. I hadn’t eaten much today, though, because I missed out on the vegetarian boxed lunches at the convention center, so one of the caterers mocked something up by combining two lunchboxes by taking out the sandwiches and leaving the salads and an (awful, mealy) apple. It was awfully nice of him to do that for me, so I thanked him heartily, but I must say the potato salad was pretty bad. The pasta salad was tasty, but basically all I had for lunch was a small serving of pasta salad which didn’t tide me over for very long.

It has not been my week for food, apparently, and I’m starting to get awfully spacey after having essentially lived off of coffee, salad, and one good sandwich yesterday (yesterday’s lunch was at a sandwich shop called <La Boucherie</a> that was actually really awesome. During tonight’s dinner, I completely lost the bunny, and ended up kind of zoning out, sitting on my hands and (I hate to admit it) fidgeting absentmindedly. God, I have no sense of decorum and am embarrassed at myself sometimes. I felt like such an asshole because the director we came down here with bought us dinner, and I only ate just a few bites of it. I feel kind of ungrateful, but the food truly was unpleasant. It was bad enough that it almost seems like it was a cooking error. I think, in effort to assuage the assholiness I am feeling, I am going to hand-write a nice thank-you to the fellow who bought us dinner, for I am grateful nonetheless.

Tomorrow’s the last day we’re presenting at the convention, and I think my main task is going to be making sure that we get everything broken down, packed up, labeled for shipping, and our carrier is notified to pick it up. I don’t have to be over there until after 10:00 a.m., so I am planning to get up early and go back to the Garden District and finish my sightseeing, snap a few pictures, and then walk back through downtown to the convention center.

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