Daily Archives: December 10, 2007

Rubbing Fins with Fishes and Friends

Easily the most fun night of Annual Meeting 2007.

It starts out poorly, however. At my ticket booth for the ASH Bash, we declare tickets sold out around 4:00 p.m. No, even worse, I’m wandering the exhibit hall, trying to get a picture of Avery Clyde at the Eisai booth, around three, when Ayuko calls me on the Nextel to tell me that my booth is swamped and that I should come help. I foolishly thought that ticket sales would be minimal today, the day of the event. Wrong.

We stop sales per Ayuko, around 2550 tickets sold. I let Kyle and Rita bolt, since we’re not selling tickets anymore. But then I get swamped by folks still stopping by to turn in their plastic badge-tokens for their tickets and drink coupons. And so then I’m late getting back to the staff office to make copies of the ticket list for use at the door at the aquarium. And it’s like 6:40 when Ayuko Nextels me again, telling me to get my sorry ass to the aquarium. Run, she says.

You know how like the old saw goes where drill sergeant says jump and the recruit asks how high? Except of course that the recruit isn’t supposed to ask how high, the recruit is just supposed to jump as high as he can jump. So I don’t ask nothing, just start running as fast as I can. It’s only half a mile to the aquarium, but I’m an old man and I’m like fucking dying by the time I arrive. To my credit, it’s only like four minutes later. But I’m sweating and can barely breathe. LaFaundra holds Ayuko off for a minute while I pace and try to get back to normal.

Ayuko then takes me through to the other side of the aquarium, where the second copy of the list will be used. I sit with Melissa and help check people in. Finally we’re relieved and we’re able to go enjoy the festivities.

Later I hook up with a group of folks, Clare and Helena and Virginia et. al., and we head through the Ocean Voyager exhibit. Then some want to go see river otters or sea otters or some other fuzzy aquatic mammals again, so Virginia and Helena and I go to pet the sharks and shrimp.

After the event is over, I walk them back to their hotel, the Marriott Marquee, where we repair to the lobby bar. We order clear drinks, Helena the vodka martini, whereas I have the regular gin martini, and Virginia has Sprite. Once, back in the day, I used to recite Shakespeare sonnets in bars. But I haven’t in years. But then tonight there is again such recitation. Helena goes first, although I am completely unfamiliar with the sonnet she recites. I do my basic number 30, the Proust one I call it, the one with “remembrance of things past.” Great fun.

LATE UPDATE: Helena reports that it was number 64, “When I have seen by time’s fell hand defaced.” She claims to have substituted Death for Ruin in line 14. I sure didn’t notice, and Virginia didn’t say anything about it.