Ridiculousness, in bullet points

  • I should just stop blogging about what I plan to blog about because every time I do it NEVER and I mean NEVER works out. Never. I had all these grand plans to blog about Clinton and Obama and then, as occasionally happens in my field of work, I found myself caught up in some heart-wrenching cancer stories and suddenly by Tuesday afternoon everything about the candidates and their primary runs seemed so unimportant, in light of the people I was meeting and their stories they were kind enough to share with me. I have weeks like this every once in a while at work – weeks that seem supported only by wave after wave of sadness, and I found myself crying more than once for people I barely knew.
  • Did you know that while the rates of cardiovascular diseases have steadily fallen, the rates of cancer have remained steady over the last forty years? And that a literal tsunami of cancers are expected as the baby boomer generation continues to age, and yet our government continues to cut research funding for this disease? Think about that when you receive this RIDICULOUS rebate check we are all supposedly receiving…really think about where that money is coming from.
  • Sometimes I take my job too personally. Sometimes, it can make me cry. Sometimes, it sends me home so depressed no amount of exercise eliminates it, and I have to find a certain strength inside of me to keep from internalizing the illness of others…a random pain in my stomach is NOT like the time patient A was first diagnosed with colon cancer – a fleeting headache is not a warning sign of malignant glioma.
  • But this sensitivity is also what makes me good at my job, and is the reason my boss is willing to send me around the country representing our institute, and why I find myself in sunny San Diego as I write this, sipping the world’s most wonderful cappuccino (to combat jet lag, you know), although I must admit that
  • San Diego seems like an unusually cruel place to come for work – the sun! The beach! Coronado Island is RIGHT THERE – land of one of my favorite mystery authors, T. Jefferson Parker, and I have to go make copies in the business center instead of taking the ferry over. Of course, I won’t be going anywhere if
  • My luggage doesn’t show up. While I made my flight from Pittsburgh, sadly my luggage had a mind of its own and took itself to Savannah, GA. Bitchy luggage. I could be in a bit of a bind tomorrow since when I left my quiet apartment this morning at Puke Early, I dressed for comfort – cords, a big white hippie blouse thing, ballet flats – and I really cannot look like this when the conference starts. Tomorrow.
  • One Mississippi by Mark Childress is a wonderful plane read – I am nearly finished with it. Two thumbs up as a great airport/airplane book.
  • I am so excited by the proximity of so much seafood, I can barely stand it. I am wondering – can one eat seafood for 2 out of 3 meals each day for five days? For lunch I had a nicoise salad, and I don’t care what the New York Times says, that salad is NOT outdated – it’s a classic! And the sourdough bread here – oh. my. God.
  • I am incredibly pleased with myself for bringing my own laptop instead of my work laptop. Granted ,the work laptop is having firewall issues (I think it’s in cahoots with my luggage and my blackberry, which will NOT tell CA time) but my laptop has my music (currently listening – Dixie Chicks), my novel, my recipes I’ve been meaning to organize, and in no way can I get in trouble for surfing the internet. Rock. On. I am always traveling with my laptop from now on, which will probably drive S. crazy because he likes perks like laptops and blackberries and thinks work things should be used whenever possible, which is the same reason he always rents cars on business trips when I much prefer driving my own if possible.
  • And….so…that’s it. Obama and Clinton…maybe soon? I just don’t know. I’ve lost my bloodlust on this topic, suddenly. From now I on I don’t think I will blog about future blogs. Hard week at work, but hard because it was emotionally challenging. Those are the challenges, though, that make me believe the cancer field is the field I hope to stay in for the rest of my life. There’s just so much to do. San Diego -I totally get the hype. That said, I felt very wistful, leaving my little street in Pittsburgh this morning. It’s home.  I think I am going to take my book to the pool, soak up some sun (not something the burgh sees much of, that’s for sure), and finish it. When I return, maybe my luggage will have shown up. And I make no promises about what I will be blogging about next – I really do seem suddenly all over the map!


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12 Responses to Ridiculousness, in bullet points

  1. lilalia says:

    A perfect travel entry. I find it so hard to deliver anything different when on a journey. Please do tell us more about the conference and the people you meet.

  2. I’m sure your compassion is a huge asset in your job. It certainly helps when people have to talk to you, and they know that they have a kind listener. I was the same in journalism, but bursting into tears at a murder scene was not an asset in that job, unfortunately.

    Wishing you wonderful sunshine, a ton of seafood and some down-time with your own laptop, doing your thing, as well as successful work.

    And as for the Clinton/Obama thing, don’t feel guilty. You blog what you need to!

  3. yogamum says:

    What a fabulous glimpse into your life… I can feel the sunshine and taste the coffee!!

    You gave me an idea. I will donate my rebate check to cancer research. Do you have a recommendation for the “best” place to donate to?

  4. There’s more compassion and sensitivity in this post than in any speech I’ve yet heard by the candidates.
    Excellent writing.

  5. Dorothy W. says:

    Whenever I make plans and announce them on the internet, they all the sudden become less interesting or impossible to fulfill, so I know just what you mean! All you can do it write whatever you like at that particular moment. I tell myself if I force myself to write about something it won’t be as good.

  6. Emily Barton says:

    I have absolutely no idea how you manage to do the job you do. Well, good thing there are those in the world who CAN do such important work. Meanwhile, last time I was in San Diego for work probably ranked right up there in the top five instances of sickest I’ve ever been. I spent an entire day in my hotel suite (provided by the company S. would be happy to hear) voiceless, feverish, and sort of viewing the beautiful city and its (January) weather from afar (the suite had huge glass windows in the “living room”), when I wasn’t sleeping and dreaming that someone would bring me some chicken soup without my having to get up and open the door. I then dragged myself out of bed for two days and evenings I barely remember. Good thing I didn’t also suffer from lost luggage on that trip! Sounds like you’re making much better use of the city, and I hope your luggage arrived safe and sound.

  7. Cam says:

    in bullets:
    * take the battery out of the blackberry for about 30 seconds. Restart & it should re-adjust the time.
    * maybe a little late to suggest this, but go buy yourself a new outfit. Check to see if you’re covered by your companies travel agent for reimbursement for clothing while luggage was ‘lost’. If you booked flights with Amex, check it out — I think they offer something like this.
    * I recommend seafood 3 times a day if you’re surfside!

  8. Cam says:

    of course that was suppose to be company’s not companies. Jeez! I really should proofread before hitting ‘submit’.

  9. Noble Savage says:

    As someone who has had cancer take away more people from her life than anything else, I commend you for the job you do and the sensitivity with which you do it. And yes, those rebate checks seem like a slap in the face when so many people and programs are underfunded.

  10. Litlove says:

    I’m amazed how well you cope with your job generally. I know I wouldn’t have the courage to do it, to face up to those issues day in, day out. Hopefully the time spent away at the conference will clear your mind and refresh you. Do hope your luggage reappears soon! What a nightmare!

  11. Andi says:

    From what I’ve heard of your job, I think you’re a fantastic, strong, talented individual. I really doubt I could handle it with such grace.

    As for San Diego, I’ve never been there, but my Freshman year college roomate found me on MySpace the other day and she lives there! And as I recall, she doesn’t like seafood. Tragedy.

  12. Lilalia – well, on this conference I’m actually meeting a whole bunch of researchers who are amazing in their own right but I’m not really allowed to blog about them – but I’m glad you like the journey post!
    Charlotte – you are way too nice to me. And yes, I can see how bursting into tears at a murder scene wouldn’t be ideal for a journalist…
    Yogamum, what a lovely idea! The American Cancer Society is always good, but I would actually look into donating directly to a cancer hospital…the funds are more likely to go directly to research as opposed to administrative costs.
    Elementary – I’m blushing!
    Dorothy – what is it about voicing blogging goals that immediately detracts from them? I have no idea but I do know I’ve got to stop blogging about what I’m going to blog about!
    Emily, my luggage arrived but I haven’t seen much more of San Diego than you did, and I’m well! I’m so bushed at the end of each day only my hotel room sounds inviting – and beating my way through the crowds of tourists sounds like the last thing I want to do!
    Cam – it turns out on this model I have to change the time manually. Sigh. I am eating seafood like crazy and will be ready for a nice piece of steak when I return home!
    Noble – what kind words. Thank you.
    Litlove – I’m not sure so much that I am courageous – I think I just have fortitude and passion for the subject matter. Luggage has arrived – all is well on that front, at least.
    Andi – I simply don’t understand people who don’t like seafood, but I must admit the mercury level in my blood is probably atrocious.

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