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Code4Lib Made My Brain Fall Out of My Head

Note: that title is a compliment.

Code4Lib is a big stretch for me. Large swaths of it are simply too technical for me. (Note the important qualifier: for me.)

Even the way Code4Libbers welcome one another in advance was harder than usual. List my name on a wiki? No, nothing that simple. I had to create a FOAF file and make it all valid and whatnot… which took a few tries. I finally stole a file from someone else and modified it.

But I really, really appreciate Code4Lib, even if I feel a teensy bit guilty for taking a spot from someone who dreams in tuples or codes drunk or immediately understands that a doomaflatchy is always a subclass of whatchamajigger. (And since My Place of Work was a sponsor, and then stepped in with more funding when another sponsor dropped out, and I helped tape the conference… well, I don’t feel THAT guilty.)

What I love about Code4Lib:

  • A one-track format of short programs and lightning talks that taken together provide a zeitgeist of where we are in library development
  • Genuinely friendly people who like good food, interesting beer, and local sights
  • Coders and other geeks relaxing and being themselves, with the requisite insider-baseball jokes
  • The ongoing, funny, nattering IRC backchannel, or as one colleague refers to it, the “quilting bee” (I’d go so far to label it as the “stitch and bitch,” a modernized term that nonetheless fits)
  • The relaxed feeling I get when I’m in a group of very intelligent people who aren’t shy about being smart

I had some nice meals big and small (is it now required that mac-n-cheese include truffle oil?) but the best meal by far was at Local 121, where I had a duck leg so good I keep channeling it like a very strong psychedelic hallucination, my noise tingling from its ineluctably gamy fragrance that paired so seductively with that crackling skin floating over moist, moist meat.

After the conference, since I wasn’t leaving til the next day, I drove to Provincetown, where after I visited our friend Mark, Danny at Snip cut my hair, colored it (twice!) and waxed my eyebrows.  It was a quiet drive there and back, just me and my podcasts, and the ocean was a subdued blue that rippled into an equally-muted late-winter sky, while PTown itself was as still as those moments in church before the sermon begins. They have a Radio Shack in PTown now — everyone knows where it is and commented how happy they were to see it — and before my haircut I sped over there to buy a replacement GPS car charger and we talked about the economy, and later, on the way out of town,  the houses with their tidy winter-scrubbed yards and glowing windows  seemed snug and expectant, like they knew spring was coming and were willing to wait.

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