Polter-Cow (spectralbovine) wrote,

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Pirates of Asilomar 4: On Stranger Tides

For the fourth year in a row, I traveled to Asilomar for a medical writing conference, but for the first time, I don't really have time to write about it in much detail, which is just as well since hardly anyone reads LJ anymore. But I do have lots of gerunds, and if you make it to the end, you will find the funniest thing that has been said to me all month. It still baffles and amuses me! Also makes me sad.
  • picking Caroline up in the Mission and driving down to Asilomar
  • declaring that what she was seeing was not the ocean but simply fog, or perhaps a grand illusion to fool the people of Seaside into believing their name was not ironic
  • picking up my script for the skit and discovering that I was playing a Chris again, as Mrs. Jimbo used gender-neutral names so she could cast whoever
  • grinning as Cathi told Caroline not to trust a thing I said
  • convincing Caroline to play 10 Days in Europe, the game I'd bought at Dr. Comics that morning, and finding it quite enjoyable, especially since I won
  • totally socializing with medical writers and talking about things I don't even remember now because it was like three weeks ago but oh we probably talked about career stability and buying a house and stuff like that
  • introducing Aprille, a curly-haired blonde woman of indeterminate age who looked young and old at the same time and was always smiling, to Jimbo because she was interested in the medical device industry
  • discussing various tools of the trade that have become obsolete, from slide rules to compasses, for a possible dessert klatch OR next year's skit, which Jude was happy to help me write
  • sort of paying attention during talks about personalized medicine and nanotechnology but also taking an extended bathroom break to read Wise Man's Fear
  • being amused at the Creepy Old Guy at lunch, as he had no patience for Jimbo's constant quips during his story of his desire to create an agnostic chapel in his regiment so that the agnostic could have chaplains on the battlefield to give them spiritual guidance in their last moments: "Let me finish," he kept saying
  • working together with the Creepy Old Guy to recite the Prologue to Canterbury Tales because Aprille's name was Middle English and being surprised at how much I actually remembered from having to memorize it in high school
  • rehearsing this year's medical comedy skit, based on La Cage Aux Folles, in which I played a medical writer who tells his parents he's a professional dancer
  • initially wanting to sing my solo, which was to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," to the tune of "The Ants Go Marching"
  • learning a lot of interesting things about the regulation of dietary supplements from a lively nutritionist who reminded me of someone I couldn't put my finger on
  • being really fucking bored by the next presenter, who was not nearly as lively, and taking another extended bathroom break to read
  • agreeing with Aprille that the nutritionist looked and even sounded like a brunette Kim Cattrall; the nutritionist had been told she looked like Tyne Daly and had a job interview where the interviewer couldn't stop commenting on it
  • walking with Caroline down to the beach to see the fog, which was very wet, and possibly the sunset
  • burying Caroline's feet in the sand to keep her from leaving because she was cold
  • putting my arm around her in an ineffectual attempt to warm her ("Does this help?" "No.")
  • declaring that all sunsets look the same anyway and leaving with her, pointing out the Stairway to Heaven after mocking her for removing a stone from her shoe in the middle of the road
  • socializing once again because medical writers are a social bunch
  • learning something about something, probably regulatory documents or something
  • attending the session on breaking into medical writing even though I've been working for five years so I could give proper advice when contacted by people on LinkedIn
  • saving a seat for Caroline at lunch only to have it taken by Creepy Old Guy, who talked about some episode of some television show that involved penises or something and/or his crazy ex
  • rehearsing a second time and deciding to forgo any semblance of acting and then trying to act and failing and marveling at how difficult it is to act a thinly written character whose lines in the second half don't sound like his lines in the first half
  • being frustrated and dumbfounded at people's inability to understand the difference between Adobe, Adobe Acrobat, and Acrobat Reader, as if they'd never seen a PDF before
  • teaching the instructor of the Adobe Acrobat 9 course how to do many things she just taught much, much more easily using the Pages tab
  • saving a seat for Caroline at dinner only to have it taken by Creepy Old Guy, who once again sat next to Caroline's roommate, who made uncomfortable eyes at me
  • hearing about his crazy ex who had been proposed to, like, eleven times, as well as something about penises
  • playing the What Celebrity Does Everyone Look Like game with Caroline's roommate, who determined that Aprille looked like Gwyneth Paltrow (she did, actually, from the side) and I looked like Aziz Ansari, I suppose because we are both Indians with facial hair
  • not being surprised that the R.M. Award went to jubilant, jocular Jude
  • entertaining the crowd with our musical comedy antics, which included a chaotic kickline
  • singing my solo to the wrong tune even though I had been trying and trying to force the correct tune into my head
  • ad-libbing, "Mom, wherever you are," as Mom had somehow ended up on the other side of the stage
  • going down to the beach for the bioluminescence stomp and debating the existence of the mythical green flash that occurs at sunset
  • leading the way to the afterparty with a small flashlight
  • gorging on snacks and chatting at the afterparty but not staying too long, as I was tired
  • coordinating with Caroline at breakfast about what to do with her luggage
  • being slightly confused at Demi's non sequitur "She seems sweet" after Caroline had left
  • being correct in my deduction that the next thing she would say would be the hilarious and adorable "Are the two of you dating?"
  • managing to answer in the negative honestly and without fanfare, as if I were not curious as to how she got that impression when Caroline is married or in a long-term relationship or something, Facebook is inconclusive
  • skipping the morning session to read in the sun
  • saving a seat for Caroline at lunch only to have it taken by Creepy Old Guy
  • enjoying the fact that Caroline did realize that she had only asked for a ride down to Asilomar so I could "reluctantly agree" to take her back as well, especially since her luggage was already in my car
  • driving up from Asilomar and dropping Caroline off in the Mission
Tags: being indian, board/card games, ethicalmedical.net, girls, lists are less time-intensive, medical writing, personal, real life friends, schmacting, singing, theatre
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