Seized-Up, Or Not.

Having Seized Up–Or Not, Who Knows?

I got to the meeting–that’s the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco–for anyone who doesn’t know. I had to leave in a very bad snow storm on Sunday morning, Dec.13, to get to my motel reservation in South San Francisco. By the time I got to Sacramento, though, the weather had cleared.

Doing final arrangements for departure depended heavily on Barbara—more so than can be explained by the binding vows of mere marriage and the bad luck of having your husband go belly-up without the common decency of giving up the ghost. She mounted my scooter on its hitch supported ramp and wrapped it against the weather in the midst of the precipitation.

After a slow drive to Placerville the storm cleared, and I began to feel much better about the decision to make the attempt to attend this year. I’ve been very afraid that I might have already seized up, a phenomenon I’ve discussed at length elsewhere in this blog. Going to the AGU meeting seemed like the best test I was apt to have for whether I had seized or not. I missed last year’s meeting account of inadequate preparation. Most of this year has  been spent being sure that didn’t happen again, so it was very good to actually be on my way.

The drive was uneventful, but the entry to the hotel was less than auspicious. I had decided to have dinner at Denny’s, which is next to the hotel. The plan was to use their bathroom since standing after a long sit is always stressful to my bladder. By the time I was ready to go in, I realized I would not be able to make it to the restroom. I’ll spare you the details, but the bottom line is that I signed into my room wet, hungry, and probably radiating the odor of urine. This was the first of numerous events that made me question my decision to attend.

The first night I was entirely on my own. It went fairly well, but the next morning I got lost in San Francisco and twice found myself on the interstate when I wanted to be on city streets. I had hoped to interview a professor who had spoken at last year’s meeting, but wound up standing him up. I did the same thing with another professor on Tuesday.

Most importantly, though, I couldn’t find the garage that night. I had no jacket, and had arrived so late at the garage that this had not bothered me in the morning. The evening, though, was very different. San Francisco can get very cold, and especially so when you are zipping around its sidewalks on an electric scooter without a jacket looking for that damned garage and your car.

My friends Jim and Joann had been planning to come down and help me on Monday and Tuesday nights, leaving San Rafael for the hotel Monday when their business there was finished. I called them on my cell phone and they told me to find someplace inside to await their arrival. Jim even loaned me his jacket when they got there and drove me to the hotel in my car when we finally found it. I could probably have figured something out on my own, but by the time I reached them I was very glad to take whatever they were giving.

The scooter was good for getting around, although the bathrooms were hard to get in and out of. All in all, though, I had gotten more from the meeting the previous year when I had discovered the virtual offerings on the web. On Thursday I decided to abort the rest of the trip and utilize that option for the rest of my experience. As it was, I got home just before the next storm.

The message of the trip seemed clear: I may or may not be seized-up, but I should give up the idea of attending such public gatherings as this. I’m too seized up for them.

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3 Responses to Seized-Up, Or Not.

  1. Hank Raymond says:

    Sounds like attending the event on the web is a good way to do it George. Certainly mush less hassle and way cheaper for anyone.

  2. George says:

    Jim sent me this e-mail after reading this post::

    Hi George. What a journey we had with you. Sure glad we met up Monday night.
    I would suggest that it’s not the events you should stop going to but rather going to them alone. I think the other challenge was that your hotel was quite a distance from the Moscone and getting there and back in rush hour traffic is a challenge for the most able bodied person.
    I’m glad JoAnn and I were available to help you for a couple days.
    Take care

    • I agree with Jim, George. I think with adequate assistance–someone as a trained caregiver–you’d have much more access (and fun!) at these events and more.

      Jim & I are amazed at your perseverance and capacity to do things on your own–maybe a byproduct of this individualistic culture?

      Either way, it was wonderful to connect and be of assistance for your adventure–even with the added chaos of a new canine companion–you were quite accepting and resilient.

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