Friday, October 20, 2006

Geek Overload

This past week I was at the Society for Neuroscience 2006 conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It's one of the biggest conferences in North America - this year there was around 30,000 Neuroscientists who attended.

That's a crap load of geeks in the same place at the same time.

The size of the conference is hard to explain unless you see it for yourself. I essentially spent the first day just walking around staring at things with my mouth agape. There was so much to do and see, so many talks and presentations and discussions and seminars and posters.

To give you an idea, here's a video I took of only one of the big poster presentation halls - there were a few this size.

I went to some talks by Nobel prize winners, I got to meet a lot of really important people in my field, and I even got a few offers for collaboration and one recruitment.

It was such an incredible experience - overwhelming and scary, but fascinating and exciting. Talking with all these really smart people and getting to see how much my research is on the cutting edge of neuroscience really made me re-evaluate wanting to stick with what I'm doing. Just last week I was sure I was going to leave the lab and do something else for my PhD, now I'm thinking of staying. It's funny how experiences like this can change us dramatically in just a few days.

Here's me with my poster on presentation day, woot! And don't worry if you don't even understand the title - I don't either!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Oh how I love fall.

Voila a view of Mount Royal taken from my balcony.

When Autumn comes, it doesn't ask
It just walks in where it left you last.
You never know when it starts
Until there's fog inside the glass around your summer heart.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Heart of Life

It's surprising how much sway the weather can have in determining my mood.

Yesterday was a beautifully perfect fall day: sunny, a big bright blue sky, and a comfortably warm temperature with that slight crispness in the air that makes a light jacket the perfect accessory. I love fall for this reason, with all the leaves just starting to change colour and fall from the trees. It makes me happy.

I slept in, had my coffee, did my pilates, and set out for some shopping. I took my iPOD, freshly loaded with the new John Mayer CD Continuum (I am completely addicted to it and cannot stop listening, I even have trouble falling asleep because the songs are stuck in my head).

The combination of the beautiful day, the sometimes fulfilling feeling that can result from shopping for things you actually need and want, and the great music all came together to make yesterday such a great day. I had a little hop in my step and a smile on my face, it was terrific.

Days like that are so few and far between, I'm glad that I was able to savour it in the moment. Next weekend is shaping up to be even better: Thanksgiving with Mike and Rose coming into town! Woot woot, can't wait to see them!