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coconut and lavender and vanilla

November 15, 2014

Today was the 4th day in a row I had to get up early, but it was worth it. I attended (a tiny portion of) #SfN14, the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting, held in DC this year. (Next year, Chicago!)

I got a name badge! I kept it . . . it’s so cool.

I met Joni Seidenstein (a Twitter-friend) and Michele Banks (someone I also know from Twitter). I bought art stuff from each of them. I saw amazing sculptures by Megan McGlynn.

I was saddened to learn I could not meet with Audrius Plioplys, a professional artist who is also a neurologist-neuroscientist, because he was unable to make it. Not only does he sound fascinating, but (as I recognized from his name), he’s Lithuanian. He was recognized by Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture as Man of the Year in 2011. (I retained my membership at Balzekas Museum long years after leaving Chicagoland.)

I heard chef Bryan Voltaggio speak, and watched him make food for 4 lucky panelists. Then watched them eat that food, and ooh and aah over it, alongside ~4,000 other people who didn’t get to taste any of it.

I gazed upon some of the (apparently hundreds of) neuro-themed posters.

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I made notes — both of heard and overheard dialogue, and phrases from posters. I hope some of them will eventually appear in a poem.

29,310 registered attendees is a lot of people, even in a gigantic convention center.

A great many people I saw today were short, some extremely short. I saw a tiny minority of very tall people; all the ones I saw were men. I guess there are worse things in the world than feeling like a giraffe; I like giraffes.

I miss having colleagues. I miss attending conferences where I can speak knowledgeably on the topic, and understand what other people are talking about / what the posters reference.

I miss being able to be smart in public.

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