Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I went to Toronto last week for what turned out to be a fantastic meeting. I was to say this nicely? I was anticipating that the group, currently on its 11th gathering, would be less-than-welcoming to new participants. And I found the exact opposite, which was such a pleasure. It reinforced my interest in my dissertation topic, and prompted me to start working on developing contacts in another clinic in the hospital here.

I also had one of the better travel experiences I've had recently (which means my trip to my parents' house next weekend for a cousin's wedding shower is now doomed). Cookies on the flights (woo hoo, NWA/Delta merger!), exit rows, on-time departures and arrivals, and a bag that arrived on both the outbound and inbound segments. Seriously fantastic.

I love airports. I love people-watching, and airports are one of the best places to accomplish this. I could sit in an airport for days, likely, and not run out of people to observe, discuss with my husband (if available; I feel fortunate that I married another unashamed people-watcher), and remember.

This trip, people were mostly normal. There were a few who stand out, though:

  • To the gentlemen who felt compelled to clip his nails in the Toronto airport, while waiting to board the flight to Minneapolis: Seriously? Ew. You couldn't find 2 minutes to do that before you got to the airport?
  • To the four people who a) took up about 16 seats, in a very small boarding area, and b) removed their shoes: Really? You can't keep your shoes on for 1/2 an hour in the airport? Do we all need to see (and, in some cases, smell) your bare feet? I repeat: Ew.
  • To the woman who I nearly accosted in MSP, trying to find out if she was at the meeting (long story - I thought she had been there, and she mentioned my town on the flight to MSP, and I put 2 and 2 together and thought, potential collaborator! Alas, not so much - she was not at the meeting. *sigh*): I apologize for practically stalking you to find an opportunity to ask you whether you had attended the meeting. And thank you for being so lovely and Midwestern, and actually having a brief conversation with me, instead of pepper-spraying me.
  • To the family I saw, whose child appears to have the condition I used to work with, extensively: I hope your child is receiving excellent medical care; she was one of the cutest kids I've ever seen. I didn't approach you because, well, I'd already hit my quota of uninvited conversations for the day. But I've been keeping you in my thoughts, and hoping that all is going well.
Also? The recorded voice in the MSP airport, the one that tells you when the "moving walkway is ending"? Has a British accent. In Minnesota. What is up with that?

I am happy to be home, but drifting a bit as I figure out what I should focus on this week. Paper #1 resubmitted, and waiting for a final verdict. All fingers are crossed, which is seriously hampering my ability to type.

And, one final note - April? You have been rather icky, thanks. I'd appreciate it if you could give me some sunshine and warmth here in the last two days you're on the calendar. [I missed the nearly-record warmth last week while in Toronto...]

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