It was 6:30AM when we landed in Atlanta. It was a wonderful non-stop flight from Honolulu on Delta’s Airbus 330. First Class was purchased to insure I could sit in one of the 36 recliners in the first class cabin. I doused myself with champagne and wine and by the time I finished shoveling the vegetarian lasagna into my mouth, I was ready to pass out. How could they fuck up the lasagna I don’t know? It was basically cheese soup with a few rectangular pasta layers that were tasteless. Not sure why I ate the entire meal, cause it sucked. It was certainly not good for my cholesterol. I guess it was the wine! Everything taste better, everything looks better, and the most difficult problem is solvable after anesthetizing a hundred million brain cells with alcohol.
Back on the ground. The pictures above are sculptures in the Atlanta airport that most people would never see. That’s because most folks take the train from concourse to concourse. “This train is moving, please hold on. The next station is Concourse D as in David” Yup that’s my name. Anyway, I arrived at concourse E and had to get to T but, to my chagrin, that meant I had to take the train for the entire length of the airport….E – D – C – B – A – T. But I decided to be brave and walk from B to T to stretch my legs as well as visit my favorite airport sculpture display. It is located between A and T on the bottom level and only accessed by walking the length, which couldn’t be more than a few football fields of distance.
Anyway, the path was populated by 20 odd sculptures from Zimbabwe. Just a few of the many are displayed above by Gedion Nyanhongo. Really quite beautiful and striking; they exude pain and emotion that I’m not used to seeing or feeling when studying other sculptures. This display is something everyone should take the time to see when in Atlanta.
On my way to Washington DC shortly, or more accurately, Rockville, Maryland. I don’t like to sit in airports and then sit in airplanes and then sit in the metro or cab and then sit or sleep in the room. But I’ve become such a slug in the last two weeks nursing an awful ankle injury that it almost feels normal. I’m here to participate in a panel review of a few dozen-program grants called CTSA that will fund major universities between 16-25 million in grant funds over the next 5 years. I’ve spend the last few months studying my assigned applications, collecting my thoughts, composing my review and trying to say something intelligent and helpful. I just don’t want to come across like a moron at the meeting, the reviewers are chosen for their experience and expertise, and I don’t think my ballroom dancing will help me perform as a good reviewer. All I can count on is my experience over the last 36 years in academic medicine. I hope that will be enough!
I really haven’t had time to enjoy my blogging. The world has become for me – a full time commitment to completing this review and participation in this special emphasis panel of the National Institutes of Health. The good news is its almost over – 3 days and then I return to my baseline. The other good news is that I have learned a tremendous amount in the process. But I vow to never accept another invitation to do this again. At least not in this life! I enjoy too much the life I have carved for myself, and the freedom to veer in any direction at my discretion. This was too intense an experience, reminding me of the man I was – all work and no play. Now its some work and all play – the way life was meant to be.