Polter-Cow (spectralbovine) wrote,

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Kentucky Fried Writing, Part 2: Extra Crispy

If you're just joining us, you've missed three days of AMWA conference fun! You're going to want to read up and get familiar with the cast of characters for this next outing. Plus, then you won't be all, "What the crap is he doing in Louisville?"


Saturday morning, the breakfast roundtable was on networking, and at my table, appropriately enough, were NoDe and SR-71. We shared some networking stories and ate a cheese omelette of some sort. SR-71 was in for Tracy Morgan! She said she was going to go exploring in the morning, however, so she would meet us at the restaurant for lunch.

My morning workshop was about writing a protocol, and who should sit by me but Cyn! Conferences are fun.

I met Mal in the lobby. We waited for JStew, who arrived with Reese! This was perfect, as I had meant to tell JStew to invite Reese if she saw her. I couldn't leave a message for her on the board because I couldn't remember her last name or where she worked. There were a lot of Reeses attending the conference. (Hers wasn't the most common name, however. For my money, there were about fifty thousand Heathers there. So, Heathers on my flist...you would probably make good medical writers?)

JStew had heard about the Tracy Morgan thing, and she was interested, even though she'd never seen 30 Rock before. Reese, unfortunately, was leaving that afternoon, so she couldn't come. We were turning into a decent-size group now, though! An outing with Chris and maybe a fellow medical writer had turned into a medical writer outing to which Chris was also invited. Heh. The website kept saying that the gig was ALMOST SOLD OUT - ONLY 137 TICKETS LEFT, so I didn't think there'd be a problem getting tickets.

After JStew got her coat, we walked the three blocks down Main to Seventh and Main, where Proof on Main was located. I could see SR-71 standing outside, waiting for us. I called her name, but she didn't hear. In the morning, I had recognized her from the back as we were both on our way to breakfast, and I had called her name then, and she had also failed to turn around. It was not a good day for calling her name.

Inside Proof on Main, we discovered that they weren't really serving lunch, so much, on a Saturday. They had the bar menu and the bar tables, but...yeah, we could do better. So we walked back down Main to find another place to eat.

Lo and behold, we spotted a sign for...Another Place Sandwich Shop. I kid you not. It was the most appropriate name for an eatery ever. The menu on the door looked promising, if simple. We walked in, and I saw that we had certainly made the right decision, as it looked like a down-home, local joint. The menu was written on a chalkboard, and SR-71 contemplated what to get while the more decisive girls went ahead of us. It took a little while for the woman behind the counter to get to us (there were only two women working, period), but she was finally able to explain that the funny-sounding soup was a mix of all the meats they had and was thus not good for me. I chose a turkey-and-cheddar sandwich with a small side of potato salad, which she said was the best side. Unbeknownst to me until I sat down at our table, SR-71 totally copied my order.

It was a very good lunch, and not just foodwise. The atmosphere was very cozy. JStew or Reese said that this was sort of what she imagined the lunch would be like. Or maybe it was SR-71. I don't know who said it, but I know where everyone was sitting! On my side, JStew was to my left and Mal was to my right. Across from me was SR-71, and across from JStew was Reese. I know JStew was to my left because she bought a communal brownie for us to dig into, and I know SR-71 was across from me because she asked me to explain safety narratives after I related the story of a guy remembering me from the breakfast roundtable last year even though I couldn't really remember him. He was all, "You were better than the leader." I know!

I thought she was joking at first, but then she repeated the question, almost interview-style, and I realized that she and the others were genuinely interested. So I explained about safety narratives and regulatory reporting and all that. It was an impromptu lunchtime roundtable! How cool!

Since we had had Saturday lunch together two years running, SR-71 and I decided to make it a tradition. We're on for Saturday lunch next year in Dallas!

We actually had enough time to stop by the comedy club box office on the way back so SR-71 and JStew could get tickets. SR-71 had already gotten her ticket over the phone. She related the conversation she had with the girl on the other end:

"You know there's a 2-item minimum, right?"
"You're over 21, right?"
"You know there's adult content, right?"
"You know it's Tracy Morgan, right?"

JStew was curious about working in the industry. Did we have some sort of medical writing library? With resources? I wasn't sure exactly what she was asking since the question was coming from such a point of naivety, so I think I inadvertently insulted her intelligence. Good times.

JStew decided against getting her ticket since she didn't want to be late for her afternoon session. Reese had to leave, and she didn't have a business card (being a grad student and all), so she wrote her e-mail address on the backs of our cards.

My afternoon workshop was about making effective slides, and Hal sat next to me. The instructor was Canadian, which amused me. Since he misspelled color and stuff.

After the workshop, the final event of the conference was the Kickoff Reception for next year's conference in Dallas. Yee haw! They had some vegetarian chili that had no beans, just vegetables, and was therefore not very good. But they had some good fried cheese-stuffed jalapeños. That is, the cheese-stuffed jalapeños were fried.

I talked with Tom from Jellyvision about my possible cancer pharmacology workshop, and he gave me tips, as he had last year. I ran into Nice and Gur, an Indian man in a turban and everything. He said he remembered me from last year or something. Perhaps we had met. He seemed cool. I knew I would be leaving soon, so I gave Nice a business card with "Watch Dexter" written on it. She thanked me and said she would.

Comma-Poo began announcing raffle winners with great gusto and flair. I spotted Chris (teapot37) in the back, waiting for me as I had asked him to. I made my way there, where he was nearing the end of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. He was also entertained by Comma-Poo, whom he recognized from the video but whose identity he wasn't quite sure about since what were the odds that the guy reading about fabulous prizes would be the star of my show? Very good, because I'm me. Unfortunately, I couldn't rig the raffle and win myself Clinical Trial Monopoly.

I rushed through and said some final goodbyes. I'll see people at the next conference, I'm sure. But my AMWA time was over for now, officially.

Chris led me to his car in the parking garage, and I failed to notice his license plate, which was his default icon. I just noticed his little Ford Focus, which seemed like an appropriate car for him. We listened to VHS or Beta as we drove down Market, which eventually became fucking psychotic because EVERY LANE WAS SEPARATED BY A SOLID YELLOW LINE. I asked Chris how the hell you were supposed to know which direction the lane went, and he pointed to the lights above the street. The lanes changed?? Sometimes they became left-turn-only lanes! Aaah, freaky.

Our destination was Jarfi's Bistro, my final bistro of the trip. But, damn, it was a very fancy bistro. Chris had made reservations and everything, even though it was not that crowded this early (about 7) on a Saturday night. We chose to sit in the back corner, next to the mirrors on the walls. We had looked at the menu online and decided what we wanted to order, as our time was short. The show was at 9, and doors opened at 8 or 8:30. The rest of our party was going to head over around 7:40 to secure us a place in line.

Since the menu featured escargot, I gave it a shot in honor of this year. And since I was in the South, I figured I should have the catfish. Chris ordered the Hot Brown, a traditional Louisville dish featuring turkey and bread and cheese and gravy or somesuch. I teased him for choosing the place because it had an interesting menu and then ordering something he could get at any other restaurant.

We waited. Our waiter came and asked us if we wanted some pepper in our oil. "...What does it do?" I asked, since I could currently see no purpose for the oil. The waiter explained that he would be bringing bread to dip in it. Oooh. I had guessed, but I didn't want to assume!

Later, our waiter brought out the most amusing thing. Little shot glasses...full of soup. A little taste, he said, of the tomato-garlic soup. They were shooters. Inside each shot glass was a deep-fried leek. Bottoms up! Good stuff. But heeeee.

My camera was being a whore, so the flash wasn't working, but that's my escargot, folks! They're the little black things. It was inexplicably on pasta, which was a weird appetizer, but the snails themselves sort of tasted like clams or mussels. Which made sense when you thought about it. I didn't really see what the big deal was.

As we waited for our main courses, we watched oil drops form at the bottom of the spout of the bottle. I cheered them on, urging them to gain enough mass to break away and drop into the bottle. When it became apparent that one drop was in equilibrium, the force of gravity equaling the force of the surface tension, I poured a little oil out into my dish to start the process over again. It was one of the geekiest things I have ever done at dinner.

My catfish! Which was so good, you guys! Okay, the catfish itself sort of tasted like mashed potatoes, which may have been because it was potato-crusted, but the red beans and rice were incredibly good, and the sauce was yummy, and even the vegetables were great, and it all tasted wonderful together, and I totally cleaned off my plate. When the waiter asked how my meal had been, I said, "I believe my plate speaks for itself."

Chris also cleaned off his plate, but he took longer. He was a slow eater, wanting to savor his meal. Like jeeperstseepers!

Ethicalmedical.net paid for my most expensive meal of the trip, and we headed out. I texted SR-71 to let her know we were on our way. It was a little after 8.

We parked in a garage downtown. When exiting, I saw a giant Colonel Sanders on the wall and remembered that we were in Kentucky. There were a lot of giant Colonel Sanderses in Louisville. They did love their Colonel.

The comedy club waiting area was packed! I couldn't even tell where the "line" was supposed to be, and I couldn't see the rest of our group. Finally, I saw them near the entrance to the club proper. They were first in line! How did they manage that?? Apparently, they got there just in time; a few minutes after they arrived, there was a huge line behind them. Wow, I'd never been first in line for a comedy show before. And Mal had never been to a comedy show before, period.

I introduced the girls to Chris. JStew asked him if he was also in AMWA, and he said that no, he knew me From the Internet. Mysterious! I told SR-71 about my escargot experience; she had also had it once and once had been enough. I said they tasted quite—I couldn't remember what -pod they were, and Chris helped me out—gastropodal. JStew was very confused about escargot; she thought it was normally served as a paste. I thought she was thinking of caviar. It's possible this was the topic that led to a similar bout of miscommunication as had occurred after lunch regarding the medical writing library, and I said, "Well, now we're even." Except she didn't know what I was referring to, and I thought it better to just let it go.

A woman tapped JStew on the shoulder and asked if she needed a ticket. She hadn't gotten a ticket in advance, and somehow, the show had sold out. She had gotten on the waiting list, and this woman's friends weren't coming, and the girl at the ticket window had said that "a nice girl in a red velvet jacket" needed a ticket. Hee! We thought it was a good description. So, whew! It would have sucked if she hadn't been able to get into the show.

I had noticed some Ws on JStew's hands. They were actually Ms, for "Minor." She'd forgotten her ID! Oops. I said I'd buy her a drink if she'd buy me a hot chocolate.

We waited for a long time before they let us in and seated us...in a booth at the back of the first section. Wait, hold up, I thought being first in line meant you could sit right up by the stage! Plus, there were five of us, and it looked like they wanted us to be at one table. This was confusing. Another group of about four was seated at the table next to us, the seats by the stage still empty. One of the waiters did remark that, based on the last show, we probably didn't want to be close to the stage and within Tracy's range. But still, we had been first in line! Why couldn't we choose where to sit? We were told that if we wanted to be reseated, we would have to go the end of the line. ...What? This was bullshit. The group next to us agreed and asked to speak to the manager. JStew was also miffed and fought for her right to choose. She said she didn't want to cause a scene or anything, but, seriously! No one had told us that once we sat down, that was the final decision. Once someone came and talked to the group next to us, I understood what the deal was, though. Because they were sold out, they had to seat most efficiently, and the tables by the stage were designed for couples. While they could seat our group at the couples tables, they couldn't seat a couple at a four-person table. It was a waste of space. So I explained to everyone else what the deal was, and we stayed happily where we were. They were the best seats we could have gotten, anyway. Right in the middle; we had a good view of the stage. I was on the left in the booth, next to the other group; to my right were Mal and SR-71. Across from me was JStew, and Chris took the other chair at the table.

Someone asked how Chris and I knew each other From the Internet. At first, Chris dispelled the notion that we knew each other That Way...by insinuating that we knew each other That Way. Then: messageboards. What kind? "Well, we bonded over our mutual love of the Gilmore girls," he replied. (I assume he said that and not "our mutual love of The Gilmore Girls," because then I'd have to punch him. He did say that both lead actresses were incredibly cute when listing the merits of the show.) JStew and SR-71 were also GG fans! Mal may have also watched the show. Chris and I explained about TWoP and the Meet Market; we guessed we probably met in...2004? Because that was when I really started TWoP-ing it up.

"Do you think the writing has improved?" said JStew. I was confused by her use of the present perfect and told her the show was over. She said she knew that but continued to ask if the writing "has improved" a couple times. We were having major communication issues today. Finally, she was able to ask whether we thought the writing improved from the first season, which she thought was kind of cheesy. I thought the first season was great, myself! Chris thought the show peaked in season four and described some of the plotlines afterward. JStew wasn't sure of the last episode she'd watched; she apparently had not even met Lindsay. Chris was better at remembering plots than I was, so I let him explain what went on with Rory and Jess and Dean and Lindsay and sex and marriage.

"Are you married?" JStew asked us.

We looked at each other. There was a pause as JStew figured out what it sounded like she'd asked us. Chris had dispelled that notion already! But, no, neither of us was married.

As I said before, JStew had not seen 30 Rock. So we tried to explain it to her. She didn't know why it was called 30 Rock, and Chris said it was because the NBC building was on 30 Rockefeller Plaza. So the show was on NBC? Yes. And the show was a behind-the-scenes look at a sketch comedy show. That was also on NBC. Inside the show. It's possible we confused her more by explaining.

There was also a short discussion of books during which we discovered that Mal had just read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. She pronounced it way-o, but I hesitated to correct her in case this was some Pursuit of Happyness thing where the incorrectness was deliberate. It was not, and Chris corrected her. He found it hard to describe the book to JStew, but I asked him not to reveal much detail since I was planning on reading it soon.

The menu at the comedy club was that of an actual restaurant and thus better than your usual comedy club fare. Plus, they truly had a 2-item minimum as opposed to a 2-drink minimum, which is how I thought all comedy clubs do it! Sadly, they had no hot chocolate. So, instead, I wanted a key lime pie. JStew also liked the key lime pie and said she'd share with me, so I figured we'd save it for my second item. First, I wanted a Coke. JStew wanted a dark beer of some sort. When the waiter came, I asked what dark beers they had. They had Guinness and something that started with a B. I "asked JStew what she recommended." She said I should get the B one. I ordered it, and she ordered a Coke. Very smooth!

Less smooth was what happened after I returned from the restroom. The waiter had come to inform "me" that something was wrong with the B beer. JStew said I should look into ales. What ales did they have? The waiter scrunched up his face a little and replied, "Well, we have...Heineken?" I looked at JStew for her assent. "Heineken?" I asked her. Yeah, "I" should get Heineken. When he walked away, we agreed that one hadn't gone as well and wondered whether the waiter was on to us. I wasn't sure whether she liked Heineken or not because the waiter's reaction made it seem like Heineken was not a great option when it came to ales, but JStew loved Heineken! We really should have had a contingency plan in place. I don't know anything about ordering drinks!

It took forever, but the show eventually started. The host comic was not that funny, and I explained to Mal that the opening comics were traditionally not that funny since they were really there to warm up the audience and make the headliner look good. And they were usually local people who weren't well known because, well, they weren't that good. The featured guest, Tyrone Hawkins, wasn't very funny either, but he had his moments, including the funniest joke of the night, which was about Models Opening Briefcases Deal or No Deal. The video version is a little different and isn't as funny as the version he did our night, but the "$200"/"DEAL!" moment was absolutely hilarious. A lot of his jokes were very raunchy, though. I leaned over to SR-71 and said, "'You know there's adult content, right?'"

JStew and I kept our drinks right in the middle between us, ambiguous in case a waiter walked by. So sneaky, we were!

Tracy Morgan took the stage to great applause. He wore very red pants and a shiny, bejeweled Obama shirt. He began by talking about farts, which was pretty tame compared to the rest of his act. You guys, Tracy Morgan is 100 times funnier as Tracy Jordan than he is as himself. I have even more respect for the 30 Rock writers for giving him funny lines, the directors for reigning him in, and Tracy Morgan the actor for still having impeccable delivery. Tracy Morgan the comedian didn't seem to have a delivery at all. Ninety fucking percent of his act was dedicated to dirty sex "jokes" that were less jokes and more graphic descriptions of masturbation and other sex acts. Ladies, he will eat your pussy! He will eat your ass! He will ask you to suck his dick! He will aim for your eye! This is Tracy Morgan, ladies and gentlemen. Sometimes, he was funny. Most of the time, he just made us uncomfortable. I leaned over to SR-71 and said, "'You know it's Tracy Morgan, right?'"

JStew went to the restroom during his act. When she returned a few minutes later, I tapped her on the shoulder and said, "I know you'll be surprised to hear this, but you missed some sex jokes."

"No way!" she exclaimed.

If the Heineken exchange had been less smooth than our first, ordering our second item was coarse and rough and irritating and got everywhere. You see, I was working under our original plan to share a key lime pie that I would order, since she didn't want another drink. I told her to get me a Sprite. But right before the waiter came around, she said that actually, she wanted a Caesar salad, so I ordered a Caesar salad, and she ordered a...Sprite. Wait, no, there was supposed to be a key lime pie involved! What about the key lime pie? The waiter was mighty confused now, and I was trying to figure out a way to telepathically communicate with JStew in order not to blow our cover. After many seconds of burbling, I finally just said, "I'm having a Caesar salad, and she's having key lime pie. There's no Sprite involved." We wanted to have the items on the right checks so we could just exchange checks at the end and pay for what we got. Amusingly, when someone else came out to bring us our food, she went ahead and had him give me the key lime pie and her the salad. It's not like he knew the difference!

The key lime pie was very small. I saved a little piece before the crust and plopped it on the edge of my plate for JStew. I didn't even finish the whole thing, having gotten my key lime pie fix and remembering all the pro-health talks we'd listened to. I gave the waiter my plate, saying I was done. Seconds later, JStew had managed to get the plate back from him so she could finish off the pie. Heeee. It was cute.

Bizarrely, her beer and salad cost less than my Coke and key lime pie. I was going to offer to pay hers if it were more expensive since I was on the company dime, but I guess my pie was really expensive.

Finally, Tracy Morgan's assault on good taste was over, and we could leave, although we had seen multiple people leaving during the show. It was definitely the worst show I'd ever been to. But it was still thirty dollars well spent for the bonding experience. I hoped it hadn't put Mal off of comedy shows forever. I apologized for bringing the girls to an unfunny, uncomfortable show, but we had all thought it was going to be hilarious! JStew had expected more intelligent, political humor (Tracy did have a little bit of political humor! He mimed Barack fucking Michelle in the Oval Office!). I had expected more absurdist, Tracy Jordan-esque humor. "My face doesn't hurt from laughing," I said, "so it was not a success." Except I couldn't even say "success" properly; it kept coming out as "suck sex." Damn you, Tracy Morgan!

On our way out of Fourth Street Live!, we passed a bar in which women were actually dancing on the tables. I remarked that I didn't think that actually happened, but JStew said that it definitely did; she had done her share of dancing on tables in college. Like in 10 Things I Hate About You? Yeah, or, she said, Coyote Ugly, which she really liked. Not because of the plot or anything, but because of the hot ladies. No, wait, that's why I liked it. She liked it because they got the dancing-on-tables scenes so right.

As we neared the hotel, I suggested that we go up to my room and watch some 30 Rock so that JStew could see why we had thought Tracy Morgan would be funny. To my surprise, she was game, even though it was past 11. SR-71 and Mal had early flights, so they declined; plus, they already watched the show. JStew had an early flight too, but she had never seen the show and had been meaning to. So we bid adieu to SR-71 and Mal. On the way up to my room, I thanked JStew for going along with my plan because I had brought my 30 Rock DVDs and a docking station for the laptop but hadn't used them at all for the whole two weeks I'd been gone. And the docking station had made the laptop thicker and heavier than it otherwise would have been, so now it was all worth it.

Another good reason to get JStew up to my room was so someone could take a picture of Chris and me. We had not been lying about only having met each other yesterday.

I popped the DVD into the laptop and tried to make it work. Chris and JStew were sitting on the chair and couch, respectively, and JStew suggested I put the laptop on the coffee table, which was a very good suggestion. I sat next to JStew on the couch and put on "Rosemary's Baby," which included Jack's therapy session with Tracy. After which my face hurt from laughing. Chris and I were laughing at jokes more than JStew was, but I think that's a function of our being more used to the show and its style of comedy. Like its spiritual predecessor, Arrested Development, it gets funnier when you know what to expect from certain characters and situations.

JStew clearly did like it, however, because as soon as the episode was over, she asked if we could watch the next one! Ha, it was adorable. I had only intended to watch one, but I put on "Greenzo," which was also really funny and reminded me how funny the line "Just like colonial Williamsburg" is. I explained the meta joke about Green Week to JStew, also pointing out that the show had a lot of political humor, so I thought she'd like it. As the credits rolled, I waited to hear whether she wanted to watch another episode, but then I turned to look at her and saw that she had nodded off. So that would be a no.

I walked them both out. JStew had to get off at the third floor because she was staying in the other tower, so we didn't really get to have a proper goodbye, but I hope to see her at a future conference. In the lobby, Chris remarked, "Is she really young?" I tend to assume everyone is my age, so I hadn't really noticed, exactly. But Chris is five years older than I am, and, if I were to guess based on when JStew graduated from college, she is three or four years younger than I am, so to him, she's really young. (As it turns out, however, she is only two years younger than I am! And a fellow Virgo. Facebook, you are a font of useful infomation.)


Sunday morning, I checked out and met Chris in the lobby. It was a little early for lunch, so Chris gave me a driving tour of Louisville, pointing out landmarks and naming neighborhoods. And at my request, he even took us across the Ohio River and into Indiana for a few minutes, just for kicks. My favorite thing about Louisville is the giant paintings of all the famous people who came from Louisville, like Muhammad Ali and Diane Sawyer and, of course, Colonel Sanders.

Toast on Market was one of the few restaurants even open for lunch on Sunday, and the menu looked really good, which would explain why we were told that the wait for a table was forty-five minutes. Oops. Maybe we should have put our names in before our little joyride. We passed the time by looking at magazines. By chance, two of them featured Daniel Craig.

Finally, we were seated (by which time the wait for a table had risen to an hour and fifteen minutes). Our waitress was cute and blonde and tiny; she was eye level with me when I was sitting down. Because they had four kinds of grilled cheese, I felt like I should try one of them out. I went with the spicy chipotle (with no cilantro!), and Chris went with the 3 cheese (even though the three cheeses listed were different from the three on the online menu). As it came with soup, I got the traditional roasted tomato, and he went with black bean. Grilled cheese and tomato soup go together like cake and ice cream, man! I was also able to get a turkey sandwich to go for my dinner, forgoing the chance to buy overpriced airport food. Finally: fresh squeezed lemonade! Which tasted like lemons.

The grilled cheese was excellent, I must say. Sure, it's hard to screw up a grilled cheese sandwich, but they made a damn good one, with just the right amount of crunch. And the cheddar and tomato and onion and spread all worked well together. Plus, the soup! Man, I want to go back and try the other three grilled cheese sandwiches. Louisville, you guys. They make amazing grilled cheese and catfish.

After lunch, we ran into a silght navigational snag because of a breast cancer walk that was causing havoc on traffic flow because Louisville apparently had no idea how streets worked? It was actually possible to reach a point where you legally had nowhere to go. Chris made a daring U-turn to get us out of the mess and tried to bypass the shenanigans to get us back to Main Street. Next stop: Louisville Science Center!

Which, before you even paid to get in, gave you this totally awesome satellite dish tiled with mirrors or something. CHECK IT OUT:

Inside, the first thing we did was check out the nanotechnology exhibit, which was...not really as awesome as I had hoped. Look, I already knew things were small, you guys. We took a break from nanotech to go upstairs and make Shrinky Dinks.

So this guy gave us these small sheets of a plastic polymer, and we were supposed to draw a design on them with colored pencils. He had templates we could use to trace. A couple little boys were there, and it was really hilarious to listen to them. I love little kids in science museums! They don't know anything! Also, little kids in general say ridiculously cute stuff. I carefully traced and colored my drawing.

It's either Denver the Gay Dinosaur or Denverina, My Dinosaur Girlfriend.

So the guy put the polymer in the toaster oven to heat it up and remove all the water molecules, causing it to shrink. Occasionally, it can curl up too much and then it's a bust: one day he had a woman who spent hours on a snowflake, making it as ornate and colorful and unique as humanly possible, I guess, and he was so very afraid that it would get screwed up (but it didn't).

Ta da! Isn't it pretty? I love how the colors became so much richer as everything moved closer together. I wore it around my neck the rest of the day.

We went back down to the nanotech exhibit, where I learned a little about what I had been interested in: carbon nanotubes used to fight cancer. It was a pretty awesome trick: they coated the nanotubes with folic acid so they would attach to the tumor cells, and then they hit the cells with radiation. Carbon nanotubes tend to heat up like crazy when irradiated, so they then destroyed the tumor cells by overheating, leaving regular cells unfazed. It reminded me of sticking a plasma grenade on someone in Halo.

Meanwhile, Chris played with models. He had a pathological need to build things. I had a pathological need to take silly pictures.

You can see his really cool aardvark Shrinky Dink.

We messed around with some of the other exhibits about crystals and molecules and whatnot. Some didn't work. I'd say at least a quarter of the exhibits in the place didn't work. This was the Louisville Science Center, after all.

Before we explored the second floor, we had to Be In A Bubble!

It was hard to get the bubble all the way up because it was so big, it tended to break under its own weight, so even though it was counterintuitive, you actually had to do it really fast.

We played around on the second floor, which celebrated the power of invention and made us look like fools by describing all these fucking nine-year-olds who invented awesome things. We built an arch with the help of a couple kids; I immediately wanted to destroy it.

There was a space pod!

I don't know how anyone pilots these things! I was reminded of Alan Tudyk's remark that he always flipped the same three switches whenever Wash did anything important. He didn't know what the switches did, but it made him look like he was doing something.

To the moooooooooooooooon!

We hit the third floor, which was about the human body. The place had a lot of games. We played one about household hazards like "that random saw I left on the floor" and "my cabinet full of guns" and "the banister." There was also a really amusing one about nutrition hosted by Marisa Tomato. It was basically Hollywood Squares, where you had to agree or disagree with a celebrity's answers. Celebrities like Broccoli Spears and David Lettuceman and Okra Winfrey. Broccoli Spears is a dumbass, by the way. And David Lettuceman always ate the apple pie I won!

We swung through the last section on our way out. There was a pretty neat model of water usage where you could direct "water" in the form of little balls out of aquifers and into treatment plants and then you could dam it all up and FLOOD THE TOWN AAAAAHHHH. It was fun.

Chris and I also delivered a weather report.

Overall, the Louisville Science Center is not really something to write home about, but it's a fun place to pass the time on a Sunday afternoon, for sure.

We exited right into the gift shop, conveniently enough. Where we discovered these awesome shirts that were only ten damn dollars.

I considered getting one, but I would feel weird walking around with "Louisville Science Center" on my shirt. Chris, however, was local! He had no such issues.

He did have other issues, however. Like the fact that he watched Yo Gabba Gabba. I threw him a smushy worm thing, and he said it looked like something from that show, and the guy behind the desk said his boss loved that show. Then his boss walked up! So he and Chris geeked out about Yo Gabba Gabba, of all things. Chris bought the shirt.

The boss then looked at my shirt. "I don't get it," he said.

I chuckled. "You wouldn't."

He read it all out loud, trying to make sense of it. Each letter: tcbumfhnemc. When I saw that he was genuinely curious, I attempted to explain it to him. "The Chet Baker Ultimate Music Fan Happy Ninja Extreme MP3 Challenge," I said, all in one breath. I told him about the game and then turned around to show that (I Rocked It).

Before we left, Chris complimented the guy's Yo Gabba Gabba pin, so he gave it to him! Hee. Aw. Chris also gave him props on his Torchwood pin.

On the way to the car, Chris asked if I wanted to get a picture of the GINORMOUS FUCKING BAT outside the Louisville Slugger Museum. Did I!

Then it was off to the Louisville airport, where I decided to be a hugger once again. Chris is great!

Delta is not great! My flight was delayed, so I was even gladder to have dinner with me. The sandwich was a little funny to eat since it had been grilled, and now it was somewhat soggy, but it was still tasty. And I had a little pasta salad to go with it.

A woman sitting in the row across from me...was reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. THE BOOK WAS EVERYWHERE. It was like the new Da Vinci Code.

Louisville to Atlanta. I sped from my arriving concourse to my departing concourse. I waited to board.

Just after I had my ticket scanned, I idly looked toward the breezeway entrance. I made eye contact with a big bald black dude.

It was Bill.

He was sitting four rows behind me on the flight home. How crazy! We waited for a damn hour at the gate before finally taking off.

The overhead compartments had been full, so my bag had to be checked. As soon as I got my bag off the carousel, I called Park 'N Fly to send a shuttle and headed for the door. I saw Bill with a phone to his ear and told him that I'd already called them. We walked out together, and the shuttle arrived just as we hit the spot.

On the ride to the parking lot, Bill handed me his card in case I ever needed some real estate appraised. I gave him mine as well, although I don't know what he would do with it. You never know! Sometimes it's the most random connections that lead to the most fruitful rewards.
Tags: 30 rock, ethicalmedical.net, food, ggmm, gilmore girls, girls, it's a small world, life online, lj friends, medical writing, my year(s) of (new) meats, not being a serial killer, personal, pesceducation, pictures, pimpings, such is life, twop
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