Nov 2, 2008

Hollywood, baby!

I'm back from my conference, and I had a wonderful time. I spent my days shopping on Rodeo drive, eating at fine restaurants, and hobnobbing with fabulous people. Well, window shopping. And I ate a couple of meals at Baja Fresh. But my companions, grad school classmates and friends from undergrad, were truly fabulous. Of course, none of this could prevent me from embarrassing myself.

My freshman roommate Erin just moved out to California, and made the trip to LA to visit with me. We were trying to catch an elevator to go down two flights (yes, we are lazy), but accidentally got on an elevator going all the way to the Penthouse.

Me: *peeking out* Hmmm, the Penthouse doesn't look any different from the other floors.
Erin (as the doors are closing): Just around the corner, there are men in underwear who will feed you fruit.
Me: *scrabbling at the closed doors*

It was then that the elevator stopped at the next floor and a handful of women tried to get on. God, I hope they were not genetic counselors. If they are, I will forever be known to them as that crazy woman on the elevator, poised to attack.

I also got to see my graduate school classmates, including a quite pregnant Alli. The baby's name is Abigail, but I like to call her Peanut Hamster (she used to be the size of a peanut, and she moves around, per her mom, like a little hamster in a wheel). Our conversation turned to how strange it was that Alli was growing a human being inside of her. Which led to hilarious impressions of the developing fetus in utero. I hope Peanut Hamster wasn't offended.

Amidst all this, I did find time to actually do conference-y things. I even attended a meeting of the Public Policy Committee. I showed up right on time with my lunch, only to find an empty meeting room. Figuring that other people would start filtering in eventually, I made myself comfortable and dug into my turkey sandwich. Two bites in I was joined by Diane Baker, author of A Guide to Genetic Counseling, the first textbook of genetic counseling and chair of the committee. Then came Barbara Harrison, the other committee chair. Then one of the judges for the poster presentations. Then the past president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Then the current president. Then the incoming president. Then the incoming president elect. All of them had the appropriate labels hanging from their name badges. What did my name badge say? I had gotten a fake label from the exhibitor suite that read, Kid At Heart. And I probably had mayo on my face the entire time. *head desk*

The best part of the entire conference was that I got to commiserate. I love my family and my non-genetic counselor friends, but when I complain about work to the I feel like I'm speaking a different language. It's such a relief to be amongst people who get it, you know? Many many thanks to Kara, Laura, Emily, Erin G. and Erin E. for listening to my tales of woe. Your support and faith in me gives me strength to keep going.

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