Friday, December 07, 2012

The Shrink Rappers in New York: A Little bit of Chaos!

(note, I corrected a zillion typos and added a little)

The Shrink Rappers spoke last night at the New York Public Library, the mid-town branch, right across from the big library with the lions.  Let me tell you about my day.

Well, I travelled up with Clink, Roy came later.  Clink wanted to take the bus, so we took the bus.  I had been consumed for two days with creating my CPT coding tutorials, which had kept me up well into the night, and at 1 AM, I had posted the last three parts of the 4 part series.  On the bus, I received three emails telling me there were multiple sound-tracks of me talking over myself (--somehow Clink & Roy thought that now everyone would know how they feel…), so that weighed on me with the mission to get to the hotel and get WiFi as soon after eating lox & bagel (my NYC must) as possible.

 I started to work on the talk we were giving at the library that night on my laptop on a bouncy bus when Clink began laughing.  Truth be told, she emits periodic hamster noises when she’s reading from her iPhone, but this was a true laugh.  A friend of a friend of Clink's had posted on Facebook, “Hey, tomorrow I get my new boobs!”  I thought this was funny enough to write about on my own Facebook page, but I inadvertently posted it to the Shrink Rap Book facebook page instead --one more reason you should Friend us. 

We stopped for Bagels & Lox (so much better in New York than in Baltimore), Clink tethered me to her WiFi, and with a slow connection, it seemed I couldn’t quite post the fixed version of CPT Coding, Part 2, but later, it seemed I had fixed it.  Clink would like credit for uploading to YouTube while I got ready for our talk.

Roy arrived and they want to head to the library, but I was glued to Shrink Rap & YouTube.  We finally left, with plenty of time to spare, and Roy rushed through the streets of New York at pace I found hard to keep up with.  Why did this have to be the one event in his life he’s early to?  We were early.

In anticipation of the talk, and with a few friends who’d asked when I’d be in New York next, I had sent out an email to the few random people I still know in the City and the surrounding ‘burbs.  The numbers have dwindled over the decades.  I tried to make a reservation at The Bryant Park Grill next to the library, but there were none available (this was 10 days before).  I tried other nearby restaurants.  Holiday season, no reservations anywhere.  Patty from high school sent me a list of places nearby and I found a Tavern next door with availability, but Yelp described it as a loud pick-up bar with dirty bathrooms.  An Italian restaurant with a long funny name only three blocks away sounded quiet and good.  I tried to make a reservation at 9 for 8, instead I got a reservation at 8:30 for 6, having no idea who was coming.  What I didn’t notice was that the website said “LocationS” (plural) and the different locations had different names and the name I sent everyone was the restaurant across town.  I noticed this at 6:20 pm, just as we were setting up to talk at 6:30.  I also realized I didn’t have a phone number for Nick, who had said he’d join us at 8:30.  I haven’t seen Nick in 20 years.  I shot off an email, hoping he’d see it. He did, but not until after he’d gone to the wrong library and was headed across town to the wrong restaurant.

I spoke first.  It was a great group, maybe 60-80 people, a full room, and they asked lots of questions.  I noticed a voicemail had come through on my phone.  As Clink started to talk, I ducked out to listen, and a man beckoned me over.  I leaned in to hear his question, and he asked “Why did Susan Smith kill her children?”  Oh, my.  The librarian was also vying for my attention, and the voicemail was from Patty saying she couldn’t make it.

The talks went well, people had lots of questions for Clink—they always do, she always has cool stuff to present.  She made a video of a SWAT team standoff where the defendent was tweeting and broadcasting his police negotiations.  Roy talked about health information technology, state-run electronic medical record systems, the M3 mental health screen, and increased morbidity, mortality, and expense of health care in people with mental illnesses. The library folks told us were great and they could have listened to us forever, which might work because we can talk forever.  We were told that the talks – by the end it was all questions, and questions, and more questions—always end by 8:30 and this was the first one that had gone on until nearly 9.  We left feeling pretty good.

 The subsequent voicemails were from Nick, and then there was Steve’s friend who was at the restaurant across town, the one which had no reservation for us, but they had kindly secured him a table for 7 where he was waiting alone.  Debbie, from college, came in from Long Island,  and she actually made it to part of our talk, after a quest to find parking and a visit to main library where we weren’t.  Believe it or not,  we all ended up at the right restaurant – Steve’s friend was gracious enough to say it was nicer than the place he’d sat by himself at the table for 7 – the drinks were good, the food was excellent, the company superb, and it was Osteria something, the East side one, not the West side one. 

Clink and I are staying in New York and she has quite the day planned for us.  We’re going to the Museum of Modern Art to see The Scream.  We’re eating lunch at Cannibal.  And we’re going to see The Anarchist, a play by David Mamet that opened last week and has gotten such scathing reviews that it’s closing date is about to be announced.  I hope Clink’s friend of a friend likes her new boobs.