The Doctorow is in

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“That guy’s a dead ringer for Cory Doctorow,” I thought. I was peering through a window of a conference room at the American Library Association annual conference. I was peering into the room, rather than sitting in it, because I was only up for a day trip to visit the exhibits, not to attend any of the sessions.

I was peering into that particular room because I was making googly eyes at one of the panelists, my colleague Nebuchadnezzar. My sophomoric antics did not result from my juvenile disposition– I am a mature and staid woman—but from my desire to improve my colleague’s public speaking skills: It is good practice, maintaining composure in the face of distractions. Also, I wanted him to hurry up and finish so we could go get lunch.

But I couldn’t help noticing that the panelist right next to Nebuchadnezzar was the spitting image of science fiction novelist Cory Doctorow, editor of Boing Boing, hero of digital rights anarchists, and winner of the prestigious Locus Award for Best First Novel, which is really obnoxious. Dude’s not even forty.

I can easily recall all these facts about Doctorow because I just finished writing about him for NoveList the other day—and that’s why his image was fresh on my mind.

“Yup. Could be his brother,” I thought. Then I made another childish face and forgot about it.

Ahem. My freaking buddy Nebuchadnezzar, the father of my CAT, for crying out loud, literally rubbed elbows with Cory Doctorow today. Jerk. And here I was too dim to pick up on it. I mean there was even a freaking sign outside the room, “The Future of Science Fiction.” A sign. Printed in clear sans-serif letters. It just does not get more obvious than that.

If the potential employer who called me today for a screening interview happens to stumble upon this site, I would like to protest that I am not normally this slow. Really. I have nothing to back up this assertion, but please just take my word on this. I am not usually so appallingly stupid.

On the bus ride up to the conference, I read a book on green housekeeping. I think there was some good advice nestled in there, but I’m irritated that I spent money on it. (Library didn’t have a copy, and besides, I like to have cooking and cleaning books within easy reach. A recipe for removing candle wax from your carpet isn’t doing you any good when it’s midnight and the library’s closed.) The problem with the book was that it suffered from bad copyediting and worse proofreading. I struggled through it enough to glean some eco-friendly cleaning ideas, but now my entire book collection feels sullied by this interloper.

On the bus ride back from the conference, I got about four pages through the first book of the Dark Brotherhood series before determining that life is too short to read that kind of crap. I can tolerate stereotypical characters and cliched actions to a point, but I have my limits. When those limits are reached within ten minutes of reading, it is time time to slam the book down in disgust, and also it is time to take a nap. Which I did. But then I woke up with nothing to read for the rest of the bus ride back.

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to describe such a horrific episode. Enduring it was agonizing, but that’s no reason to make everyone else suffer by proxy. I beg your forgiveness, and I will leave you with a much brighter note: within a week or two, I should know whether I have an in-person interview on the horizon.


2 responses »

  1. Oh NO! Was it the Rachelle Straus "Household Cleaning" book? I didn’t read it as closely as you did (I read it like I did all things cleaning: half-assed, fast, etc.)Normally typos bug me too, but I must say I didn’t even notice in this one. I’m slipping. What say I buy it from you? I was still thinking of getting it as a reference (I’m too freaking lazy to look this crap up on the Internet when I need it) so I could take it off your hands. We’ll talk. The Doctorow story is hilarious. The minute you said "looks like CD" I thought, of course, he was speaking at the conference. You’ve got to read your conference materials, my darling, they’re fascinating.

  2. the lesbrarian

    CR,It was the Rachelle Strauss book. I don’t think there were any actual typos, but there were grammar and punctuation errors all over the place, and examples of sloppy writing abounded. I think I’d like to own a green cleaning book, but I’ll hunt around a bit before I spend more money. I’m going to try to use some of the recipe ideas in this book (before I ship it off to you) in conjunction with my favorite cleaning book, Real Simple Cleaning.In my defense, I didn’t get the conference materials, only a bit of info about the exhibitors, since I wasn’t attending the full conference. I’m sure there are PLENTY of people who look just like Cory Doctorow who hang out at library conferences.


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