The decorations were drop-dead gorgeous. The stars that were hanging from the rafters changed colors in rhythm to the music. (More on this is a later post.) As we took the escalator to the second floor on the way to the restaurant, I tried to free my camera from the depths of my bag so I could take two or three thousand pictures. Digital is a miracle. As we were climbing on the escalator and after I got my hands on the camera, I spotted Borders Bookstore. I knew it was there and I was using their snack bar as a back up just in case the wait at the restaurant was too long. But before we continued our trek to the third floor I spotted a huge sign in the window of Borders. There were pictures of about six people who would be signing books soon with their schedules. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Lo and behold, the Pioneer Woman (http://www.thepioneerwoman.com/) was going to be there that evening to sign her cookbook. She was in Atlanta the Monday before I left for New York, but I couldn't go and I was just sick about it. Those of you who do not know who she is, you will.
Side Bar: Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, has a blog. It is absolutely the best blog that I have ever read. It's divided into sections: confessions, photography, cooking, and home and garden. Of course my favorite part of her blog is photography. She puts the process into every day lingo that is easily understood. You really should take the time and check it out, but it will take hours if you try to read it all at one sitting.
After seeing the notice in the window, I had to go in the store and get the low down. Poor Karen, she followed me into the store as I was mumbling, drooling, and running all over the store trying to find the book. Finally I got control of myself and found a really nice man who took me to the front counter and asked one of the folks to show me THE BOOK. That is when I met Amanda H. She is an angel. She not only showed me the book, but looked up my Borders club number so I could get a discount on the purchase price AND, get this, gave me THREE wrist bands so we could get seats at the discussion and the signing. "Good grief", I thought, "this is New York, people aren't supposed to be this nice and certainly not this helpful." But she was and it didn't end there.
I told Amanda all about The Pioneer Woman. Bless her heart, she really hadn't heard of her until recently. As she was showing us where the discussion and book signing was going to take place, she mentioned that the Atlanta signing had over 800 people. When I saw that they only had sixty chairs, I worried. But I didn't need to.
When my sister arrived at the hotel, Karen and I met her, exchanged pleasantries, and then I began educating her about the PW. She was willing to go with us, but I couldn't see any enthusiasm. She didn't "get" the whole PW thing, but I had confidence that she would. We had to leave the hotel around five to get there in plenty of time. We also knew that we had to leave Borders at seven to get to Lincoln Center to see the Nutcracker. Sadly, I had given up hope of having her sign my book. When we arrived we found Amanda H. and my sister asked her if there were any books left because she wanted to buy one. Amanda being the angel she is, took Ann's credit card and even gave her my discount! Amazing. Get this...she knew that we had to leave early (she also has a great memory) so she took our books in the back of the store where PW was waiting and asked her to sign them for us! She should be Employee of the Year. Maybe I'll write a letter.
At around six, out came PW. She was dressed in black, and had a sweet smile. She answered about fifteen questions from the two or three hundred in attendance. As soon as she started signing books we made a quick exit.
What surprised me was that PW seemed timid. I imagined her to be really outgoing and she probably is when she isn't in front of a huge NYC crowd and her publisher. She writes in some of her posts that she's always nervous, but she doesn't need to be...everyone there loved her!
We met a nice young man while we waited, named James. James was from Oklahoma, where PW lives, but was working in NYC at Bank of America. He knew almost everything about her. He's her friend on FB and Twitter. In fact, he got a tweet from her as we were talking. What a hoot! James also likes to cook, thus the cookbook. (Sorry for the blurred shot, James. I only brought my wide angle lens.) I don't cook, but I did buy the book just in case the mood strikes. Truth be told, if she wrote a book on dirt, I'd probably buy it. I'm a fan, what can I say?