December 20th, 2018


AGU & Recovery

AGU was good, other than catching a nasty cold that started on Monday. I think it helped that my hotel was so close, and my schedule this year was kind; I only had early morning stuff on one or two days.

I ended up working all day on Sunday finishing things up for my talk. I finally called it done at 1 am that night. Uploading it on Monday and the talk itself on Tuesday afternoon both went smoothly, and I was apparently speaking coherent English, because a couple people told me it was good. So yay!

Had a few useful side meetings (none in the evening, which was nice), and the DC convention center is reasonably laid-out (although the signage wasn't the greatest), so I didn't feel like I was running running running to see everything. Absorbed what feels like useful information about a number of topics.

I got dinner with Ian L. on Tuesday after my talk, at a vegetarian middle-eastern place (Shouk) a few blocks away. And then I was able to meet up with Seth S. for lunch at the Native American Museum on Wednesday, in celebration of his completing his nursing program. Since I had the next afternoon off, I trekked out to Bethesda and got a massage from him, too, and that was quite nice.

They had a "night at the museum" set up for conference attendees to go visit several of the Smithsonian museums from 7-10 on Thursday night, and I had plans to go see the Air & Space Museum (picked up my wristband and everything), but I was just too wiped out to leave my hotel room after dinner.

What with getting sick and pushing hard to get things finished, I was too wiped for a lot of things. I tacked on a personal day before and after the meeting, and I was hoping to visit more friends and do more sightseeing, but I just didn't have it in me. (Apologies to everyone I missed!)

I did manage to get to the Air & Space Museum for a couple hours before closing on Saturday. It started raining on Friday afternoon and didn't stop until I left on Sunday, so it wasn't terribly crowded. There were a number of things that were neat to see the in person -- not a replica, not a model, but the actual thing itself. They have a piece of moon rock that you can touch, and that was pretty keen, actually. I got a shiver from it. I also really liked the Wright brothers exhibit. They did a good job of telling the story of how they figured out flight, and then you turn and look at it and there it is! The first airplane ever!

I also managed to drag myself to the Green Lantern on Saturday evening to meet up with Seth and some other folks, once I realized it was only three and a half blocks from the hotel. It is very stealthy - I circled it twice before figuring out where it was. I was wandering through an alley in the rain thinking I can hear the thump-thump-thump of dance music, so there HAS to be a gay bar somewhere nearby! Had a pleasant time. It was low-key, and we were able to just hang out and chat.

I realized at some point on the trip back that I have been working at about 120% of my normal capacity since, like, October, and that I need to operate at reduced capacity for a while to rebuild my reserves. I've been working half days all week so far. Today I managed to shovel out my inbox. That's not actually dealing with anything, just reading through the backlog and deleting all the unimportant stuff. And that was enough.