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Ain’t no angel gonna greet me

November 17, 2011

Here I am in my third state and third time zone in four days. This one’s looking pretty nice, though. Here’s the view of the City of Brotherly Love from my hotel room:

It’s been raining, though, so I’ve only looked at it out my window on the 23rd floor. I’m hoping to get out a little tomorrow. I used to live here, a long time ago. I had an internship the summer between my junior and senior year of college doing marketing for the orchestra here. I talked my way into it the summer before. They’d never had an intern, but I wanted to work there so I sent them a letter and then called to follow up. And to my surprise, they accepted my invitation to talk, but not before I already had a job. But, as it happened, I spent the summer between my sophomore and junior year working not too far from here, so I came in and interviewed in person and they hired me a year ahead of time.

I lived in West Philly, subletting an apartment from some Penn students in a sketchy neighborhood near campus. I used to take the Septa bus to work every day and I can still remember the smell of the pomade worn my someone on my bus, the way it would adhere to the insides of your nostrils so that you’d smell it all day. I hated the smell, but I loved that it reminded me of the word “pomade.” Some days, I’d walk home. It was a long walk that passed three universities and the formidable 30th street station, a train station that means business, if ever one did. On my way to work, I’d get off the bus a couple of blocks early so I could buy a carton of fruit salad from my favorite street cart for lunch. On my way home, I’d stop at the book store and read in the aisles. It was a good summer.

At the baggage claim at the Philadelphia airport, I ran into a professor I’m meeting with tomorrow. He’s the only surviving founder of the organization that’s meeting here this week. And he’s my dissertation advisor’s advisor, which I guess makes him my intellectual grandfather. I could do a lot worse. He’s in his 80s and still goes to meetings and writes books. He’s funny and charming and is not quite as tall as my shoulder. We shared a cab, along with a postdoc who was a former student of his, who woke her husband up in Istanbul and spoke Turkish to him while we drove over the river.

I checked into my room and settled down to work. There were some toys that needed fixing and I’m on deadline. I kicked off my shoes and ordered room service.

This morning, I slept through my alarm. A good thing, given that I’ve been under the weather for several days. I’ve been working in my room, but I’ve run through all the coffee and that is an untenable situation. Time to join the human race.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. cranky permalink
    November 17, 2011 8:11 pm

    nice shot. enjoy the conference and feel better.

  2. freshhell permalink
    November 18, 2011 11:39 am

    I love room service.

  3. drgeek permalink
    November 18, 2011 3:15 pm

    The word “pomade” always reminds me of Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, George Clooney, and Dapper Dan, usually in about that order.

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