November 6, 2008

The Boy in on art conference in Toledo this weekend, doing all kinds of fun things to bring innovation to the classroom.

The perks to both of our jobs is that, on occasion, we get to go to conferences that are either sponsored, or attended by wholesalers in the field.  Not unlike medical professionals, The Boy and I will get handed all kinds of tschochkes peddling products: in The Boy’s case, selling art supplies, in mine, life insurance and annuity products.  I can get anything from pens to pen/highlighter-combos, to folders, to lanyards, to highlighters, to coin-purses, to Slinkies, to mints in pop-up tins, to wine totes.  The Boy gets paints, brushes, aprons, pens, highlighters, colored-pencil samples, art bags, and paper.

When I was on my trip to Atlanta in March, I was actually complimented by two top-producing planners on my tschochke-grabbing abilities.  The key is to come in from the side, when two or more people are already at the table, and the wholesaler is in mid-spiel.  That way, you get some bad-ass tschochkes and not caught in a long-winded presentation.

My crowning glory from the Atlanta trip was a bobble-head that was going to go in my office, but I had to leave it behind because there was no room left in my suitcase – and I had taken one of the gigantic suitcases by brother had taken on his first trip to Japan.

I think the other piece that went over really well was a set of “buzzing” magnets that you threw into the air just so and they would “buzz” because of their polarity.  I gave them to The Boy, who left them at my in-laws house, where they can’t be used, because the noise they make causes the dog to barf (I know, I know: only in my life does weird shit like that happen).

I’m excited to see what The Boy might bring home for me this year.  I talked to him today, and he mentioned that the current economic climate had hit art supply wholesalers, too: there weren’t nearly as many tschochke-grab opportunities.  He did say, though, that he got a new apron, and he got me a multi-color highlighter.

Well, maybe if I’m lucky, he’ll bring me a Toledo shot glass for my collection.  And maybe even a little beef jerky from Michigan.

A girl can dream.