Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I Am Just A Big Old Geek

I had to attend a dinner meeting last night, at which a bunch of scientists from my institution were presenting the results of pre-clinical work they've been doing. I was not looking forward to it. For one thing, I hoard my evenings jealously, and I don't like to spend them at work. For another, the meeting was to be at our faculty club, a place not exactly renowned for its haute cuisine.

It turned out to be a great night. As often happens at these sorts of meetings, I got more 'work' done during the dinner and chatting parts of the evening than I normally do in a month. And the faculty club imported this amazing chef for the evening, who almost literally showered us with tasty delights. Mmmmm. Wasabi-infused roe over crusted sea scallops. Mmmmm. Tuna tartare in a can't-remember-its-name sauce. Mmmmm. Filet in a balsamic reduction. And on and on and on until the piece de resistance, a 'molten chocolate' desert/souffle that was unbearaby delicious, and was topped with vanilla bean cream.

The conversation at our table was really interesting, too. Very few of us knew one another well, so there was a lot of spirited but polite discussion of current events and the state of the scientific endeavor. Plus, you know, there was wine. There was a lot of wine. And it was good wine. Very good wine. And did I mention there was a lot of it?

All of which led to my driving home at around 9 last night, slightly inebriated, but not feeling impaired. And so, instead of obeying my usual NPR-or-die listening habits, I surfed the stations until I found some oldies rock. (Because, whether I like to admit it or not, the rock I loved as a teen is OLD now.) And just as I was exiting the freeway, Cheap Trick came on. Cheap Trick! Live From Budokan! I Want You To Want ME! The song that pretty much defined my last year in junior high school. Which was, yes, in 1979. Shut UP.

I don't know what came over me. OK, yes I do. That sort of post-delicious-dinner high, plus a kick from the wine. I drove my car past my block and up the rest of the way into the winding, deserted roads of the foothills I live in, cranked up the radio, and sang--nay, screamed or, you could say, bayed--the lyrics at the top of my lungs. Three-plus minutes of teenaged bliss. Which probably would have been really, really cool were I not a 40-year-old mom of two in a red minivan, drunk on less than two glasses of wine, and all juiced up because of a successful meeting discussing the relative merits of FMR combination therapy in the treatment of recalcitrant lymphoma.

But hey. These are the moments that keep us young and vibrant, right? Just as long as nobody, not one single soul, actually witnesses them, that is. Otherwise, they become the moments that keep us institutionalized. But in either case, I would say, they're worth it.

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