Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On Neuroscience Pt 2

Sorry this is so late team, the rest of neuroscience was cool, saw some cool posters and head a talk from both Eric Kandel, and Richard Morris (inventer of the Morris Water Maze) both of whom are really huge names in neuroscience and biopsych.

Went to H&M couldn't find any long pants and then had a girl moment and flipped out when I couldn't fit into a 32. Ended up getting a shirt, hat, and underoos. Ended up going to UO and getting a pair of pants, almost made the move back up to skinny but decided to stay with the super skinnies for now. Also got a shirt.

Later that night went out with Jason and some of his old undergrad buddies, but before we meet up with them we went to a bar and had a drink with Rob and Laura. Rob talked to me about my work and that got me really pumped, and I had a really good feeling about everything. Had 2 pints there then went to dinner at the Webber Grill. The food was amazing, nice rare 16oz prime rib with a huge slab of mashed potatoes. By the time we were done none of us could move, walked around looking for another place to grab a drink at but ended up going back to the bar Jason and I had started at. Now, one thing I haven't mentioned is that apparently at Eau Clair, they make 'em big. Jason's old advisor and the two of his old undergrad guys were huge. For once I felt like the smallest guy in the group, usually I can count on my height taking care of that but there guys were tall and thick. Still though none of us could manage to choke down more than one beer, by the time we left the bar a second time I was drunk off the food, not the booze.

On Sunday I went to the poster session early and there wasn't too many posters I wanted to check out so I ended up leaving the confrence early to go explore downtown Chicago, went to Millenium Park and saw the usual tourist attractions like the bean. It was fun but I wish I had a camera/other people there with me.

So Jason and I roomed together, we also presented on the last half of the second day. We also thought it would be a great idea to get wasted the night before we had to present. So while walking around the conference on Tuesday Sarah and I walk by a booth and one of the cronies invites us to a presentation they're giving on the first knockout rats which is pretty cool in itself, but as an added bonus, they decided to throw in open bar and food. So Sarah, Jason, a girl Jason knows (claire), and a guy that's the girls friend (gilbert) go and we listen to the talk eat free food have a few drinks. Good times had by all but they begin to shoo people out. Sarah presents to the group a Grad Student social which also has a free bar and so we formulate the plan of going to Sarah's Hotel to drop stuff off then going to this grad student social. On our way to the hotel we get a call from Joe who'se at the invite only presidential reception at the Chicago Field Meuseum. So we hike across soldier's field to the meuseum. Here's where "gilbert" makes his first mistake, we get to the meuseum and start to walk up the steps, and out of no where in a really serious tone he goes "don't embarass your advisors here!". No shit, what do I look like to you a high schooler? Anyway, swanky food, a bar where they know how to make drinks, live Jazz band, and open exibits. What more could you ask for! We wander, had some drinks, etc. Then around 10:30 they began to shoo people out too.

We all leave the Museum but it's raining lightly, there's murmers but the group decides to walk it the 2-3ish blocks back to the hotel, so I light a cig and begin to walk. I then hear Sarah calling out to me, they're all getting on a bus that's going to the hotel. A few drinks into me I tell them to go on and that I'll meet them there, it's not raining that badly anyway. On my walk back I meet up with a few guys who had just gotten jobs at the museum and I talked to them about the area, then after they left I caught up to a group of (I assume) students from the University of Mexico (?) who were a little drunk to say the least. They were a fun group to walk with.

Get back to the hotel, say goodnight to Sarah and the four of us decide to go out. They insist on getting a cab and so we're in the cab and claire is checking her voice mail and I'm giving her shit (playfully) and etc and this is where Gilbert makes his second mistake. Again in a really serious voice he says "she's on the phone with her advisor chill". A) shes not B) if she was don't you think I'd know that? We get to the bar and meet up with calire's advisor who is also a former student of Joes. Long story short gilbert and the advisor talk bussiness the entire night, Jason was able to chime in a few times and so was claire but after 30 min I stopped even listening and just stared at the TV and drinking. So since I couldn't talk I was throwing back rum and coke's fairly quickly, and compound with the two incidents from earlier in the night with shutting me out of the convo plus his horrible face and purple shirt I began sending texts along the lines of "fucking grimace is giving me an ulcer" you get the drift.

Finally we leave the bar around 2 well drunk and minus grimace, we decide to go get more beer and drink in Millenium Park. We....get to a 7-11 some how try to buy beer and after I've brough up my selection the guy says "oh sorry I forgot to lock it", apparently there's no beer-o'clock in Chicago, which more than likley means that I looked/smelled too drunk for the guy to sell me booze. We try to go to Millenium park but as we're walking up the steps a disembodied voice tells us the park's closed. Seeing as how it's 3am we decide to just go back to the hotel (claire in tow) and drink the rest of the beer we have there.

We get back and I get on FB, TV gets turned on etc. I get up and go to the bathroom and as I come back out claire and Jason are on his bed giggleing and etc. I decide this is really awkward so I change my shirt throw on a hoodie and hat and when they ask where I'm going I say "going to see a man about a dog" and walk out. Long story short I wonder around the streets of Chicago drunk and alone at 4 in the morning. Go to a 7-11 get some grubb, go back and sit in the lobby and txt Jason giving him a 10 min warning. Come back up go to bed around 5. Wake up at 10, pack and check out at 11, put posters up at 12:30 and stand for the next 4 hours. Almost missed the flight on the way back because they decided to board early, got back into Richmond around midnight Wednesday (or Thursday if you want to be technical).

Overall, fun trip.

Monday, October 19, 2009

On Neuroscience: Bathroom edition

So a few things about our hotel bathroom.
1) Why is there a creepy view slot in the shower curtain? If somone needs to pee while I'm showering I don't want to be able to see them.
2) Why does our soap smell like butter? Is this a hotel, or an alien trap? aka, am I going to be eaten?
3)Why are the towels so course, I mean really. I dried myself off today and my legs and arms were itchy. I just got out of the shower why am I itching?!
4) That bear. Don't even get me started on that damn travlodge bear.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

On Neuroscience (pt1)

Saturday: My day started out a little rough. I had a flight out of Richmond at 7:04 am so I set my alarm for 5:45. Alarm went off, I decided not to shower and go back to sleep for an extra 15 min, apparently I fell asleep while setting my alarm and the next thing I know my girlfriend invdes my sleep with the question "what time is your flight again?" I bolt up and see that it's 6:24. We rush getting dressed and she goes to drive me to the airport. I throw on a heavy sweater, heavy coat, hat and gloves. I get to the ticket check out on 3 hours of sleep, stressed about rushing and overdressed, some old guy in front of me looks back and chuckles "oh you goin to flordia a lulululululul" catching my breath from running I just say no. I get through security and sprint to my gate, B20. The terminal ends and all I see is B16 as the highest gate with no one to be seen any where. I ask somone if there is a B20 and they ask me where I was going, I tell them Chicago and they say yeah they were at B15, so I turn around and see the gate, but no one is there. It was 6:58 so I had "plenty" of time to get on. However apparently they finish boarding 10 min before the flight. I wanted for a united rep to come back and I got schedueled for a 9:30 flight.

Go home, get another hour of sleep, get a shower, get a better start to my morning. Get to the terminal with enough time and get on the plane. Watched venture bros and looked at the program on the flight, fairly uneventful. Dr. Porter told me to call him when I get into Chicago, so when I get off the plane I call him but his phone is off. I try to get online and find the confrence but there's no internet, that's fine. I get down to the metro stop, get a week pass, and decide to call Joe again; only to find out my phone's dead. Now those of you who know me and my phone you know that if it dies I'm basiclly out of a phone for about 24-48 hours. So I'm in O'hare with no phone, no internet, an extremely vauge idea of where the confrence is and no idea at all where my hotel is. I do however see alot of people with poster tubes, so I decide to take a chance and follow them, hopeing atleast one of them will lead me to the confrence. Of course there is work being done on part of the line that I'm on so we all have to get off and get on a bus. I miss the majority of the people I was following getting on the bus so I get on the of the busses that say blue line, no posters. I stay on and one bewildered looking kid gets on with a poster so I figrue I'm ok. When the bus let's off I see 3 people with posters they all go in 3 different directions, so I follow one set of girls and they stop to look at a map, I walk up to them and ask if they're going to the confrence and they say yeah but they're going to their hotel first. So great I'm in chicago, no one to follow, no idea of where I am or where to go. Find my way to a metro station and I'm able to find a map with the metro and major land marks. With some cross referencing with some docs on my laptop I'm able to find where the confrence is being held and get on the metro towards there.

I get there successfully and try to get my badge and stuff, there's express log in places all over and I try to register but my name's not in the database, I know that I am a member, and I know that I'm presenting a poster, so why can't I log in? Turns out in addition to paying to be a memeber and paying to present a poster you have to present to attend as well. Shelled out another $60 and get a badge. I find an outlet and try to charge my phone which involves finding the hyper specific way to let it chrage and letting it charge for 20 min so I can get a min of usage. Twice I get my phone to charge long enough to see the texts I got only to have it cut out in the middle of writing a text or making a call. Whatever. So I'm wondering around the confrence with both my bags, heavy sweater and coat, inside. I'm sure I looked horrible. Sleep deprived, haven't eatten all day, lost, sweaty and smelly. Finally I charge my phone enough and got some numbers. Called Jason and got the hotel and the metro stop and found my way to the hotel.

Long story short: I got into chicago at 10:30 local time, and didn't get to my hotel til 5:00. Great first day.

Today: Went saw some posters, got some Epic Burger really, really good, went to SSPD meeting and had my poster up but didn't talk to anyone. Plus while putting away posters, ripped my pants again. So it looks like I'll be going to HM tomorrow morning to get some new jeans. But overall the confrence has been fun, haven't gotten a chance to really explore the city but I'll try to get some of that in while I'm here. Give me suggestions on places to go!