November 19th, 2006


Fri and Sat

I went to the Denver museum of Art today, it was..... an experience.  They had some modern art on display, some of which including 3-D otaku shit with violently-lactating anime nipples and whatnot, it was a lot to take in.  I also went to the Denver Mint, and got some coins for collectin' and whatnot.  I got some US Mint thingies for putting into geocaches, though I didn't get to visit any while I was here.

I had planned tentatively to go snowboarding today, but I had a 'mentoring luncheon' to go to, and I'm glad I did because I got a 'sort-of' post-doc offer out of it.  :)  Afterwards, I decided that if I'm going to be in Denver, I'm going to the world headquarters of  REI, which if you don't know is the coolest outfitter company out there.  I spent 2 hours there, and got several things including more Eagle Creek packing cubes (oh yea) and some stuff for geocaching and camping, along with some unsolicited expert advice about this and that thing for camping which I will be asking Santa for for Xmas.  They have everything there, even a mountain bike trail out front to test their wares, and a built-in factory to do god knows what to make parts.  It was impressive to say the least.  I got some sort of co-op membership, and plan on exercising it.  I high-tailed it  back to the Adam's Mark for the final awards banquet.

At the end of the conference (actually, it's not the end, we have 'free radical school' tomorrow morning) tonight, there was a banquet for the various awards given out.  As (apparently unlike anyone else there) I knew very few people, I kind of shuffled around and listened for some interesting people to sit with at the tables, and I crossed to Frenchmen that I wanted to sit near and converse with.  Luck said otherwise and I was seated with 5 Koreans and 4 Germans.  I listened to the Germans prattle on and on (they loved the free wine) and was catching every 10th word, but it was quite a stretch for me as I've only recently started trying to learn.  After I told them of my German heritage though, they were all too eager to talk with me.  I told them that I was learning German swordsmanship and they were pleased to hear that as well.  They gave out the lifetime achievement awards, and they were actually razzing the recipients while swilling the chardonnay, in German.  It was a hoot.  I couldn't help but put my hand over my face to block my association when half the audience was looking over at our table.  These were some drunk Teutchen I was dining with.  I was having fun, though.  One was conversing with me about my work, gave me her card, and took my info to look at my abstract for later.  They announced the travel awards, which I was not eligible for due to sending in my abstract late (understandably) but a few people I met with throughout the conference won, which was cool.  Then they announced the 'young investigator awards' which I was eligible for and actually thought I had a shot at (what hubris, I know) due to having an awesome (I underplayed it the other day) presentation, and saw some names flash on the powerpoint but mine was, alas, not one of them.  But they flashed a few names on by afterwards and Bam, I was right there being called up.  I audibly choked, 'oh god, that's me!' to my calling and got up there for a round of applause and photos, and a $500 check along with free registration to next year's conference.  I  was seeing rose the rest of the dinner.  The Germans invited me to drink with them at the 'hospitality room', and I did so, and ended up singing show-tunes with them and the president of the society for a few hours until I got too drunk, so I shuffled up here.  This is, by far, the best week of the year for me.

Anyway, I'm rambling and pretty drunk so I will not bore most of you with the ins and outs of part XVII of 'this is how we're curin' your cancer, America' but my flight home is tomorrow and before I forget I want to let you know that I had an excellent time at this conference (and not a single fursuit to be seen, surprise surprise). 

Be seeing you from Galveston.