Well, to sum it up and save you the time of reading this lengthy recollection, this weekend has been quite the experience and I loved every second of it.
I’m currently sitting at the bar of the swanky hotel Renaissance, a string of the Marriot chain, sipping… drinking… flat tire. After walking around from 10:30am to 7 pm, I didn’t feel like venturing out tonight and the hotel bar seemed like a charming compromise. Somehow the bartender didn’t even card me, which spares me the anxiety of using my fake- not that it hasn’t worked flawlessly in D.C. so far. So, let’s recollect.. where do I begin?
I suppose we’ll go chronologically. The night before I got no sleep, the night before that, 3 hours, and previous to that, 5. My sloth-streak has been cured. Although this then subjects me to a narcoleptic form of taking naps more frequently now. Anyhow, I managed to finish the figures of my poster and at the airport, finished it altogether and submitted it to Kinko’s for printing in D.C. Boarding the plane went well. I see myself as someone with very little common sense, so it makes me feel like a slightly more functional person to be able to direct myself via signs in a well-lit airport without needing to ask everyone where I’m going. The flight was.. outstanding! I saw the sun rise from my window. There was no one in the seat next to me and the lady on the isle was kind, but kept to herself mostly. It was great- other than the screaming child in the back that its parents couldn’t care less about. Upon arrival in D.C., I got myself to the hotel, with my poster in hand and on time- ahead of time, actually. The SuperShuttle driver took me through the scenic route of the city from Baltimore to D.C. (btw, why do most houses have a door and then a glass door directly in front of it??), and he was very nice. He is originally from Uganda, moved to Georgia, and has been in the US for 14 years. He was kind enough to wait for me to pick up my poster and just overall someone I wish I could have gotten to know better. He drove like a B.A. Everyone here drives like a B.A. I don’t know if it’s just me, or just because I’m a tourist, or what, but D.C. people are fantastic. The conference was great. My poster turned out decent. It said a whole lot of nothing so when I stepped in to explain, I think people ended up really liking it. The nice thing about being a woman in science is that I get to load every conversation with (semi) flirtatious behavior so, what’s not to like? I’m cute and approachable, I’ve learned. (At least when I want to be.) I’ve also learned that I smooze like a maddog. Especially with a bit of red wine.. It was great, my PI walks up to me and we’re going over my poster. And by that, I mean he’s throwing piles of shit on it. I did a lot of shit wrong, I’m not gonna lie. It’s the best I can do though, so whatever, deal with it. I say, “shit, I’m going to need a glass of wine after this” and he says “go for it, I’d love to see if you can pull that off” “alright then” and I walk off and get my god damn spiteful glass of red merlot. The night progresses and I catch up with my boss. He hates everyone. Seriously, he’s a jerk. I wish I could like him as a person, but… You know, I’d probably really enjoy his company if he wasn’t my boss actually. I go back to my poster, my feet hurt, so I sit down at a table. Four guys join the table and I overhear them talking about how his friend was stabbed and shot in Reno. “I hate to eavesdrop, but what?” Queue laughter, queue me getting their number, queue the invite to hang out later. I never made it out to chill with them, but I joined them at the conference the next day and networked some more. What I did end up doing that night was go out with my boss and a grad student. Every fuckin bar closed at midnight (what?) except for Clyde’s, where we drank more. By the end of the night, the grad student is wasted, I’m a combination of tired/buzzed, and my boss is pretty drunk. I gave him a couple cigarettes upon which he starts making fun of me because they’re menthols. Okay, so he likes to give people shit. Fine, I can take it. I told him that a few times too. OH the best part was when we start talking about my love life. Shits great. I’ve successfully gotten my boss to like me through the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing with my life and he finds comfort in that (because he’s in the same boat, I can guess). Anyway, we head back to the hotel and he texts me saying something like “thanks for coming out” where I respond in kind. It evolves into him asking if I’m watching a movie- “probably” I say, and he asks “want company?”
I promptly fell asleep.
So that’s kool. I mean, I knew my boss was a pig previously, but all of my suspicions have been confirmed. This makes me feel pretty good about my intuition, but great. That just happened. And this is supposed to be a professional matter. Oh, did I mention that he has a knack to hire pretty (dumb) undergrad girls to walk around the lab? Did I mention he recently went through a divorce, that he has two kids, and he’s about, what, 40 yo? The good thing about this is that Jeff is a pretty absent boss anyway so I doubt I’ll have to see him for awhile and maybe he’ll have forgotten about it by then. Hopefully.
So the next day, I attend the talks held at the conference and take up talking to a guy that was next to me in the poster display. His name is J. McLain Pray, and he goes by McLain. We talk of what we’re doing after the conference and when I tell him I’m solo sight-seeing, he offers to join me. Wha? Did this just work out perfectly? Yes. So we exchange numbers, and get dinner later that evening. He’s from Michigan, previously a music major, now a geologist. His family runs a funeral home (Six Feet Under, anyone?). He’s quirky, and cute, and easy enough to talk to, so I was really glad to spend the next day with him and his 18 yo cousin when we attended the National Museum of Natural History (fossils, dinosaurs, and minerals/gems exhibits, then briefly the human skeletons exhibit), the Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian Institute (The Castle), the Washington Monument at sunset, and the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I’d say I hit up quite a few places for such a short amount of time, thanks very much.
Tomorrow, who knows. Tonight who knows. All I know is I’m running low on this flat tire and could use some hard liquor and a good fuck. D.C. has been great. I love the weather (really wasn’t as cold/bad as I was expecting) and everyone has been extremely nice.
Ironic notes: Umm, I don’t know what it is with Maryland, but they have something like five baseball fields to every school here. It’s ridiculous. Also, the grand hyatt where I stayed the first night was three times as expensive as this renaissance hotel, and not nearly as awesome. At all. My bed is better, the bathroom, the coffee box, the view, the lounge/lobby, the evveerryyttthhiinngg. So fuck yeah.
Anyway, challenges for tomorrow: not freezing my ass off. Changing the pick up location for the supershuttle, managing to get my poster from point A to point B in one piece. Doing the homework that was due earlier this week. Waking up on time. Not having promiscuous sex with someone who might pick me up at this bar tonight. Dealing with the fact that I have to leave this place tomorrow.
All doable, right?
I’m audi, ya’ll. ‘Night!