I’m not going to write about yet another Friend With Cancer yet. This one hasn’t been too vocal about it. I learned from a text from a friend I also hadn’t heard in a while. There’s a CaringBridge account with thoughtful updates. A targeted therapy that quietly stopped working. Spots on the brain. Someday, hopefully not soon, I’ll write the piece that talks about our friendship like a flower in your front bed that (pleasantly) surprises you when it pops up in the spring because it’s still there. It is one of those improbable things that happens in a person’s life, to keep ending up in the same orbit, that would get someone picked apart at a fiction workshop if they’d written it.1
It’s the sort of detail that — put together with many other recent improbabilities — makes you wonder if you yourself once quietly slipped from reality into some solipsist hell.
At least the dog surprises me. I’ve never had a dog that burped before, nor one that felt it was his duty to lick my shins after I get out of a shower. That’s not something I would have imagined.
I traveled to Cleveland for PyCon 2018 this weekend. The talks were excellent, but I felt like they were either just affirming that my team and I are following best practices or they were so packed with information that to truly absorb the concepts, I’ll have to watch them again on YouTube.
Like nearly every other catered event, the conference food lumped in the gluten free with the vegans, so I kept to a decently stocked mini fridge (with one delightfully quick stop in to pickup an online order at a Chipotle on the way back to the hotel from the grocery store) and spent meals drafting and submitting some talk proposals to upcoming regional Python conferences.
I spent a fair amount of time on Wikipedia, too. First, because I couldn’t remember much about The Drew Carey Show except loud eye makeup and two theme songs about Cleveland2, which alternated as earworms as I walked around downtown. The second because the city has light rail and bus rapid transit and half the population3 of my own city, which just soundly rejected either. (They also have Amtrak, but that is not a local decision.) It was nice to be somewhere I could walk to a good grocery store and reliably catch a ride every 15 minutes.
I’m contemplating replacing my carry-on bags. I have a much longer trip to NYC happening later this summer, and taking my running gear along for the PyCon 5K (cancelled for lightning, thankfully, because I did not do the timezone math and realize I’d have to be to the shuttle at 5:15 a.m. Central) put my bag at capacity. I am not sure where I will get the mileage in around Manhattan but I’m going to coach again this summer, so I will not be able to take a week off from running a week before their target race. I also have the Backyard Project approaching, so any dollar that is not socked away toward that feels wasteful.
I’m still reading a lot.
1: I’ve used this expression before. I really need to start keeping a list of them.
2: I also spent a fair amount of time wondering what could be in memory if not for the space wasted by those theme songs.
3: To be fair, they had a population of nearly a million in the crucial postwar period, when it was far easier to lay the groundwork for a good public transit system.