February 19th, 2008

summer reading

(no subject)

It’s a cacophony of sound around here today.

I feel like I’m on an island within an ocean of sick people. My daughter looked absolutely miserable this morning and is missing school. One of my colleagues is in the hospital with lung problems from bronchitis (she’s a chronic smoker, so what would be bad for most people is life threatening for her), another of my colleagues has walking pneumonia, and the person who sits next to me sounds like a lung will be making an appearance outside her body any minute.

Stay away, sick people, stay away. If I never cough again, it’ll be soon enough. Having pneumonia a few years back was one of the two most miserable experiences of my life and I’m in no hurry to repeat it.

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I went to the dentist yesterday morning and learned, in further proof that life isn’t fair, that I have a cavity that needs to be filled. You see, I brush my teeth all the time. I am constantly berated and teased about the fact that I regularly carry a toothbrush and paste and use them in restaurants and at work after meals. But I learned a long time I ago that if I didn’t, the cavities would be out of control. Every dentist I’ve ever had has said, “You have exceptionally deep grooves in your teeth. Which is great for eating. But it means you need to brush extra carefully.” When I got braces in high school, the orthodontist suggested that I start carrying the toothbrush with me because it would only be worse than usual with extra things in my mouth to trap stuff in bad places. Thus I started this habit long ago and now it’s kind of like washing my hands: I don’t feel quite right or clean if I don’t brush after eating in the same way that I don’t feel right or clean if I don’t wash my hands when…well, you know. So yeah, it’s quite unfair: I brush and I brush and *still* I get cavities. Meanwhile, like in childhood with my siblings, other people ignore brushing and seem to suffer no ill consequences.

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I need to work on some meeting notes today from a multi-hour meeting last October. My memories of the day in question aren’t too helpful:
--Our frustration with the hotel over the meeting room and food services for which the group had paid a lot of money. For the amount of money in question, we expected better. Much better.
--Stuffing several souvenir items into the box we had used to send materials for the meeting to the hotel so we could ship the same box back home and thus avoid carrying lots of sundry items in our carry on luggage. Genius!
--Some of the topics we discussed at the meeting had research projects attached which we were to report on again in March; now it’s almost March and guess the status of those projects.
--During most breaks, I’d leave the windowless room and walk outside for some air. It was a wondrously pleasant shock every time I left the room that I could walk for about 30 seconds and there would be the sun and the ocean. More than once I was tempted to take a quick stroll around the hotel grounds because meetings where I can take a quick stroll next to the ocean during a break from a business meeting are very few and far between. During one break I was walking with one of my clients and he came across his family. If I ever get around to writing up my Hawaii 2007 posts like I keep meaning to, I’ll tell you about this family. I’ll just say for now that this family has provided much fodder for psychological study and speculation for one of my colleagues and me.
--At one break, one of the clients told us of a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of scenario that’s come about thanks to privacy laws and asked how other people might handle it. I think of that story from time to time, trying to tease a “think outside of the box” kind of solution out of it all, but thus far the situation has evaded such a resolution.
--After the meeting, one of my colleagues told me a story about the honeymooners her room looked over that had me in tears I was laughing so hard.
--I called my husband just after my colleague and I broke to go back to our respective rooms to change clothes and get a couple of hours of fun in before dinner.
--That night at dinner we had a fabulous time. I drank some wonderful wine – I believe that night was the Willakenzie Estate Pierre Leon, an Oregon pinot noir – and the waiters kept topping off the glass so I had no conception of how much I was drinking until the end of the meal. I was a little tipsy by the time I got back to my room. At my door, I couldn’t get my key card out of my wallet, then dropped it and scattered stuff everywhere. I found a punch card for a local restaurant that I’d been missing for months and it kind of made up for having to stand in the hallway, drunkenly gathering up the contents of my wallet. I dropped some stuff in my room, changed clothes, then went out for one last wander around on our last night there. I found a postcard at one end of the resort and had to go to the other end to mail it, which was just fine by me.

So, I remember stuff…just not things that’ll help me put together detailed notes that need to be submitted to state examiners. ::Wibble::.

However, there’s nothing for it but to press the memory as forcefully as possible until something leaks out so I’d better get back to it.