Sunday, March 13, 2011

To BEA or Not To BEA...?

That is the question. (*hardeeharhar* Sorry, I'll be here all week. All month. All year, even.)

Hi, my name is Megan and I suffer from a debilitating condition called "Decision Making Impairment." It's likely that you know someone who suffers or that you yourself suffer from this troublesome disease. Do you find yourself unable to do something so simple as choose an entree on a menu that is too large? Does the though of making a major life decision make you want to go cry in a corner? Does the choice of where to spend oh, $1000 or so find you rocking back and forth manically trying to stop your teeth from chattering? Does your total inability to make decisions both large and small give you the compulsion to cook up dozens of internet polls so that people you've never laid eyes on in person who are far less engaged in your life than you are can decide with the click of a button what you should eat for dinner or how should spend your meager savings? If so, you may, like me, be Decision Making Impaired.

(P.S. If you're strapped for time, you could probably just skip the next few paragraphs of waffling/evidence of extreme Decision Making Impairment and pick up with the important questions at the bottom. Not that I recommend that or anything. Just saying. Thanks. - The Management)

I'm sure you're thinking, right about now, that I may be coming to some point with all this. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but... No really, I am. You may have heard of this little thing called BEA. Book Expo America, and accompanying Book Blogger Convention, of course. So have I. In fact, last year I was there, and I had a fantabulous time. For real. There were bloggers and books and authors and more books and signed books and people I'd just met talking to me about books and people on stages having intelligent conversations about books and buzz about upcoming books and there were those pirates that were supposed to mail me that picture of me and them (and BOOKS!), but the picture never showed up, and you just can't trust pirates (even ones with BOOKS), but that is another story altogether. So, it was great. Last year it even brought me out of a months long bloggery slump. This year, I feel way more steady as a blogger, so maybe it'd be even better for me to go this year.

However, it cost me in the neighborhood of $1000 for my 3 day stay. You heard it here first one THOUSAND dollars for THREE DAYS (and that's WITH the discounted BEA hotel rate). I was into NYC on Wednesday morning around 7 AM and out by 6 PM on Friday evening with my bank account suddenly just about $1000 emptier, and I'm pretty sure my soul fell out while I was trying to squeeze my suitcase and me and a massive tote bag full of Book Blogger Con swag onto a New Jersey Transit train on the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend. Actually, I may have sold my soul to get a spot on the train. I think that may actually be how it works when the entire free world is trying to get out of NYC for a long holiday weekend.

So, here I am this year, thinking about BEA/BBC. Yes, I want to go. It's great fun. I even have the money, sort of. I even have about a trillion leftover business cards despite throwing them at everything that walks. Alas, I also have creeping doubts. Like, should I save my $1000 for something I haven't already done or something I should be doing but am not doing (*ahem* getting ahead on my student loans? Looking for a new place to live?)? Can I manage to negotiate the mostly impenetrable logistics of getting to New York City just from Pennsylvania any better than I did last year? Different people are going to be there this year. As a matter of fact, I don't even really have a clear idea of WHO is going to be there this year from the blogosphere or whether they will even hang out with me.

So, I need help, because for the Decision Making Impaired weighing her options, this has proved to be an insurmountable decision. At one point, I thought I'd decided to skip it this year, but I didn't shut the door tight enough on it and out popped BEA again calling out my name. So here I am, dear readers, begging your assistance in support of the Decision Making Impaired. I've resisted the temptation to compile a poll. You need not donate any money, but could I prevail upon you to answer me some questions that might nudge me in one direction or the other?


- Will you be at BEA/BBC? (I sooo miss the "Attendees" page on the Book Blogger Con website. I got a bunch of page views off of it in the aftermath of the event, too. *sad face*)
- If so, are you the sort of benevolent blogger/person who will hang out with me there? (On the show floor? Or, even better, for like lunches and dinners and stuff?)
- Are you going and secretly (or not so secretly) need a nice, well-behaved, non-snoring, only mildly insecure roommate (like yours truly) to help defray the cost of that overpriced New York City hotel room and to, you know, keep you company or whatever?
- Do you know of any amazingly simple ways I may have overlooked to get to NYC from Pennsylvania (and the reverse) without A) actually driving my car into the city, B) spending an additional small fortune, or C) having the life squished out of me in Penn Station?
- Have you any other assorted information and/or tantalizing details that might sway me in my decision-making?

Thanks in advance for any assistance you or your friends can lend to the severely Decision Making Impaired. We are forever indebted (if indeed you do assist us). I mean, uh, me.

Happy Sunday!


  1. Sadly, I will not be able to go to BEA this year. I will actually be traveling the week before and I don't t hink I can justify taking two weeks away from home...not to mention the cost!

  2. I will be there!! I would love to dine with you for lunch or dinner :) Unfortunately I do not have a room to share since mine is all filled up, but if you tweet it I will RT!

  3. Like Amanda, I'm passing this year - reluctantly and a bit petulantly I might add. But money just isn't there this year. Crapola.

  4. I will be at BEA this year, and of course I'd love to hang out with you some!

  5. Like you, I spent at least $1000 last year for BEA as well and deciding to go for the third year in a row gave me pause. I decided that I don't need to go every year so I'm putting myself on an every other year plan. So no BEA for me this year.

  6. I'm going, and I'll be there all week. I MAY need a roommate for part of the week - I'll be there Monday-Saturday for both BEA and BBC, but her plans are up in the air and she may only come for BBC. But I'm just as anxious as you are about having people to hang out and share meals with - see you there?

  7. Very smooth of me to have written this post and then disappear for a week, right? *takes a bow*

    Amanda and Trisha - I'm so bummed you won't be there this year. I had such a great time hanging out with both of you last year, and I know if I end up going I'll be missing you both! I definitely understand, though. It's a lot of money (and 2 weeks is definitely a lot of travel for you, Amanda)!

    Natasha - That every other year thing was something I was thinking for myself, too. Not sure, though, because I'm in such a place in my life that I have no idea what I'll be doing next year at this time or if I'll have a spare cent to my name, so I wonder if I hadn't better seize the day while I can!

    Shanyn and Kathy - Glad to hear I'll have some people lined up to hang out with if I finally decide to go!

    Florinda - It would be a way easier decision if I knew I had a roommate for at least part of the time, since that's where most of the cost is coming from for me. Let me know if you end up needing one! As a matter of fact, I'll probably send you an e-mail. I'll let you know if I'll be there, cuz I'd love to hang out! =D

  8. I'm going! Flew solo last year and will probably do the same again this year, as I was running around so much that I never did manage any hook ups. I kept running into my blogging buddies in line, but we all seemed to have different agendas.

    You might want to consider staying in NJ and taking the train or ferry in every morning. May be a little cheaper. I took the ferry every morning and was so exhausted at the end of the day that I wound up skipping the nightly get-togethers.

    Like you, I figure I may as well go this year as who knows what next year will bring? :)

  9. I'm skipping this year too. It was really important to be at the first BBC, but I don't feel the need to go every year. I thought about just going for BBC and staying one night, but as I will be unemployed as of mid-May, I just can't justify it. I may be back next year, but like you, I have no idea where I'll be living by then!

  10. It was great meeting and talking with you last year at BBC! I am going again this year (although I live here so the expense issue is not really there) and I hope you decide to come!