BIRN AHM, 2003

The main project that I'm involved in at work, BIRN, has an all hands meeting once a year, and so it was back to San Diego with me. I'd just ordered a keyboard for my palm pilot and used it to type up my diaries as I went along.

Oct 6

Had a sort of useless day at work, not helped by starting off with a crowded T trip to work, though the trip to the airport wasn't too bad. Saw the amazing sunset as we were taking off. Ice blue water, violet & orange sky. The sun lanced through downtown office buildings as we rose. Moonlight shone on the wing, and blurred orange lights from the windows fell on the engine. We skirted a lightening storm. In Phoenix now, my room in La Jolla held to 6am. They have a free shuttle from the airport, score. In pacific time zone now at least. Red sox game was cheered as they won and advanced in the pennant race as I bought a bag of dried fruit and water. Slept on 1h flight from PHX to SAN. Waited around for the shuttle, finally called the hotel to ask them to send it, it was too late, so I ended up taking the Cloud 9 shuttle and paying for it - same service as last year, this hotel is across the street from the last one. Room is lovely. Has a cd player and fridge. Lots of palm trees in the hotel gardens that surround the buildings that hold the room and the fitness center. Pool and hot tub are next to my building, score.

Oct 7

Wake up call seemed to come early this morning, then realised that the clock was set early. Room service also early. toast smelled divine, also had special k. Quick shower then tried to catch the 8am bus but missed it. Back to room to watch TV a little then back out. Talked a bit with Ron, Steve, Kelly. Yellow bus over to the San Diego Supercomputer Center, we didn't have to sign into the building, got badges, then lots of little talks regarding the FMRI part of BIRN. Good rice, raisins, pine nuts dish at lunch, as well as a ratatouille. Adam showed up, talked a little with him. His purple hair looks cool, plus he has a bowler as well. Had a tazo tea as well as making up my own bag. Database breakout session, done just after 3pm, bus back to hotel. Watched TV a bit but all ads for exercise machines, so changed and did a workout in the hot fitness room. Just arms, skipped cardio. Took a hot bath when came back to the room. Went out to Whole Foods, found the pass thru to the mall, got yoghurt and fruit and granola bars and drinks and strawberries. Fridge smells lovely.

Did a quick change into my velvet dress, then onto the charter bus for the drive to the harbour. Forgot what I'd ordered, they didn't have a record, so I picked veggie lasagna. Felt isolated on way there, but sat with BWH people at a couple of tables pulled together. Sandy and I went up on deck after dinner, city lights pretty, green neon outlined roof of one building, maritime museum had sails up, bridge to navy base island curving over us. The moon peeked through wispy clouds. Back at 10, called Adam in reference to his message, will probably go to darkwave night tomorrow. Joined Sandy, Steve, Jonathan in bar, didn't drink, talked of metric. Swartzenegger (sp?) won the governor election. 11:30pm.

Oct 8

Wake up call at 7:15 this morning, suck, but woke up with it. Had the yoghurt, granola bar, juice, tea for breakfast. Showered and caught the 8:15 bus to Scripps Oceanography Institute, double decker green NVidia bus, very slow and held together with duct tape. Auditorium okay, view really nice, we could see surfers in the waves at the bottom of the hill. They did a group picture after morning intro session. I sat with Kevin now that he'd arrived for the main BIRN meeting, and had to pop out of the row we were sitting in the middle of due to kamikaze eyelash. Bus back to SDSC for lunch at Eucalyptus Point, working meeting, moved to SDSC to do demos by Steve. Some query atlas discussion.

Afternoon session began in a really dark auditorium, mediator stuff. At the coffee break, started talking with Adam, and Dave, we grabbed Kevin and our stuff and went for a walk across campus. Library is cantilevered out, mostly underground. Along library walk to stone henge, looked at snake walk, saw a pretty good juggler while sitting in the stones. Eventually back over to Eucalyptus point, missed all break outs in afternoon. Kevin skipped the reception. Talked a bit to Lara (statistical analysis), BWHers. Ate California rolls, very good guacamole, bread and cheese. Had a half glass of syrah (a very thick red wine) and talked a bit with Rob from JHU about data provenance. Pictures:

Grabbed bus back at 8, Adam said to call when we were ready. called Kevin, then used the hot tub to try and work out back knots, but even swimming a bit didn't do it all. Back for quick shower then into cargo skirt and babydoll t, then met the guys (Kevin and Adam, Dave R and Allan, and Dave) and I got shotgun in Adam's convertible, the rest in Dave's car (he'd driven down from LA). To Adam's for drinks, kitty petting, geeking. Then to club at 11, kinda reminiscent of Ceremony, smaller, all gothy music. At one point all 6 of us were on the floor, made me happy. Had a Magner's cider, but not tipsy. Dave said on way back, all in Dave's car so Adam could go straight home, that I dance just like Allan. Odd. Dave's more of an interprative dancer than I expected, Allan dances pretty standard goth. It's 2:30, I so screwed. Also, must call Q tomorrow about envelope from Czech consulate which should arrive at home with my passport avec visa stamp.

Oct 9/03

Palm pilot woke me at 7.30am. Managed to wake up even. Quick brekkie + shower. Mai called, passport back w/visa - hella hooray. Bus late again, to Scripps again, talked w/Alan & Dave @ break. Sat w/Kevin. Made mistake and got mint tea w/no caffeine. Surf was higher than yesterday. Bus to Eucalyptus Point. It had to back up since it wasn't fitting under one UCSD bridge. Sat in on sysadmin lunch meeting. Ate apple from hotel. Chilly all day. Grey. Hoodie on all time. Will see if Dave K's going to use shuttle to gaslamp district. Asked Lara to come. Read on palm pilot through most of afternoon. Shuttle back to hotel, Dave had neglected me at SDSC about gaslamp district trip, but then was talking to others about it and mentioning me behind me, I was out of sorts, ignored him and went back to room, telling Kelly that would miss out on the BWH dinner trip. Hot again in exercise room, had fellow work out-ee. Message waiting for me, Adam called re dinner, called back, they'd mixed up reservation time, they came to get me as I showered. To San Diego to a Mexican place for dinner, all a bit punchy, had margaritas (not very mango) and chicken verde enchilada. Fried ice cream kinda sucky. To a tiny dive bar, Dave bought me a large Stoli vanil and orange juice, but it was made with bad oj. Game of pool on small table, then to a pool hall and played for 2 hours. Off then on then off again in my game. Bought Dave a Smirnoff ice. Then to Denny's for fried food, then back. Lots of college kids out on the streets. Neat area, hopefully will go shopping there with Adam tomorrow. We took Dave's car, though Adam drove. I ended up migrating through places in the back seat each time we stopped and then started off to a new place. Some teasing about me being a canuck. Back at hotel at 2am. Very fun night, they're a good group of guys, hopefully I'll be able to make it to NOLA when a lot of them will be there as well.

Oct 10/03

Woke up to palm pilot alarm again, so tired, but managed to get out and up and to the bus on time. Everything ended up being at SDSC today, except lunch. Gathered together people for the data provenance talk at 1, good stuff. Grid and portal has Kevin excited to launch batch jobs. Adam took me over to a San Diego mall, no tix left to Lord of the Rings marathon. Picked up some neat marbled red/black hair dye and a black mesh top at Hot Topic, then got Transmet 6 and then back to meetings. Mostly over at that point, they were actually ahead of schedule, I popped in just as data provenance came up. Kevin and I walked back to the hotel, misty and sort of drizzle-y, but the eucalyptus trees smelled nice. Packed, waiting for Adam. Keys didn't work first time. Therapy industrial club night tonight, after dinner. To call A now.

He knocked as I typed that. To lobby to collect Kevin, to La Torita across the street. Had table prepared guacamole, shrimp enchilada. Kevin had a margarita but I skipped this time. Soaked our feet in the pool for 20 mins, then waited with Kevin for the shuttle to the airport at 8. Back to my room, gave Adam Transmet to read while I put on new fishnet top, fishnet tights, short wool skirt and Bauhaus t-shirt (tummy felt all bloated from dinner). To his place, I trimmed his hair, shaving underneath. Fun, much easier to do well on someone else. Napped for an hour while he got ready. He made me chocolate chai, my eyes finally opened then. Drove over to the Therapy night at Flame, talked to people outside - Sara was a twitchy, but very cute shaved head pierced chick. Pear cider on tap! Part of the cage fell onto the dance floor. Danced lots, crunchy music. I totally didn't notice the photographer, but I got caught a couple of times:

Bridget danced like sex on wheels, all hips and tummy. A and I both watched her and drooled. Stayed to the end, chatted a bit again with Sara, then back to hotel. He walked me to my room, and I garnered another pick up hug. Showered, set palm alarm to supplement 7:15 wake up call. 3am.

Oct 11/03

Woke via a wake up call. Had showered last night, so just did last minute pack. Ate yoghurt + peach. Brought granola bar for plane. On shuttle w/Jorge + another BIRNer. Curb check in, shortish line @ security. Weird vein things in desert. Ate @ bar in Phoenix. Full flight this time, had row to self last one. Slept most of way, bathroom + tea. Boston glowinq under mist. Bag last off. A really tall woman was on my flight. Fell into bed, off to Europe tomorrow.
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