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2008-07-12 - 1:05 p.m.

...memory lane with Heddy...

It's the heat of the day and the little one is asleep upstairs. K and I have been running around through the house trying to get ready for some NYC visitors (and former colleagues!) from my Dutchess and Corumba days. I've offered to BBQ, which means green salad, potato salad, marinated wild salmon, marinated chicken, chopped veggies, beer, and lemon sorbet for dessert. Oh and more beer. These guys are big on beer.

They are here for a conference that begins tomorrow, one that I will also be attending (although not presenting anything). It feels a little bit of a cop-out not to be presenting anything. Until I realize that I've not had a moment to do any science. And then I realize that rather than feel embarrassed, I should use the opportunity to be enthusiastic about other people's successes, and try to drum up some collaborations.

In my wave of feeling sorry for myself yesterday, I forgot to mention the very best part of the day. When I turned on my computer in the morning, I saw that my SF buddy (forget what her D-land pseudonym is, so let's call her... Heddy) was online for a chat. Anyway, she and I hadn't chatted for a very long time - actually since both of our babes were born and we were swapping birth stories. I had forgotten how much I love her witty repartees, and then it reminded me in particular of how refreshing it was to meet her for the first time in J*na, Germany, after a year of speaking almost exclusively with people who spoke English as a second language.

One favorite first memory was when we were talking about food - avocados, for some reason. And I mentioned their high fat content. And without skipping a beat her eyes got huge and she said in all apparent earnestness:

"But it's the GOOD fat!"

It made me laugh so hard. I think it's because no German would EVER have had this discussion, or even understood the culture behind such a phrase. And hearing it in the land of bratwurst and dumplings - the notion of "GOOD fat" just cracked me up beyond belief.

She and I had several other great and bizarre exchanges like this that still make me snicker uncontrollably (an image I like, can you actually SNICKER uncontrollably?? hee hee). Phrases like, "it's sort of like this...but not." or "but in a GOOD way." I'm sure she could come up with a ton more.

I don't remember having so many catch phrases with other people, or being in other such strange and hilarious situations. Dare I mention the time when we were on a train together in the Czech Republic, at about 10pm, eating crunchy peanut butter off our fingers (because we'd run out of apples, I think), and discussing the potential cunnilingual habits of a mutual friend of ours? OUt loud? In public? That's probably WAY too much information. (and when we sent him a postcard from Prague we wrote, "we were thinking of you.")

That was quite a trip. We also passed around red wine to our fellow passengers, offering them little samples in dixie cups with cartoon dogs that said "I LIKE YOU" on them. I guess from that we ascertained that they wouldn't be able to understand the aforementioned Cosmopolitan-inspired conversation. That was such a great trip, remembering the worst youth hostel of our time, and the hardest bed ever made.

I still laugh when I think about our ordering "Bum dumplings" off an English menu. I still don't know what a "bum dumpling" is supposed to be, apart from a mistranslation.

Anyway, it was great to chat with her - she's still one of my dearest friends, and now it looks like we'll have a chance to see each other in SF this winter at a conference. I want to bring Susi and K with me as well, so it's going to be one heckuva trip, if it works out.

In the meantime, I should go wash up. I smell like a fish in sour milk. Or was that too much information once again? oops.

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