wear a nametag

a familiar looking woman invaded my uncaffeinated haze this morning on the metro platform. she seemed shocked and amazed to have run into me, and i had no idea who she was, so i smiled as widely as possible and played along, although i doubt that i was that convincing.this is where i sound like some jerk who meets too many people a day to possibly remember people’s faces or names. not so. rather, this is where i admit that maybe too much time in front of flickering screens and on the phone has reduced my mine to that of a 50 year old (sorry, dad).we played that very useful little game where we ask each other strategic little chit-chat questions, which was mainly of benefit to me in narrowing down the possibilities of who this person actually was.”So, who do you stay in touch with?” she asked, winning the first question. damn! too open ended! from where?! that could mean anyone from pre-school to my last job.”oh, you know, whoever i can, not too many folks, i guess,” i meekly replied. “How about YOU?”“sometimes Seth…” (Seth? no last name, c’mon!!! ok at least this person is not recent. i barely know any current seths) “do you talk to Watras?” she continuedbingo!!! high school! there’s only one Watras. so, we went to high school together!i could feel the blood moving into that part of my brain that held whatever historical info on her. we discovered that we live right near each other here in DC and then talked about ms. schwartz, one of those amazingly talented and memorable teachers you just end up talking about.on the way out, i ventured a name, in hopes of redeeming the blank stares i had given to her previously (which now seem warranted since we were only at the same school for a year):”well, good to see you, Erica“and with that, it was over. no time to exchange cards or examine reactions to see how my experiment had fared. the investigation will have to continue on Facebook.UPDATE: I just ran into Erica for a second time today (first time in, oh, 7 or 10 years) at our local cafe/diner. And I can now confirm that her name is Erica. Crazy world.

i got distracted

and started posting on other blogs except my own… that’s why there’s nothing new here, sorry.

OH — Big News from last week:

  1. Nicco and I held the door for Helen Thomas as she poked her way out of the cab that we were getting ready to take from our office building. Seeing someone from history was easily more surprising than seeing someone of present-day fame — it defies your understanding of what’s possible in the world. It may as well have been Eleanor Roosevelt hobbling out of that cab.
  2. I purchased a Melitta One:One pod coffee machine online, and it arrived from the future to make decent coffee and rank among the best impulse purchases I’ve made in a long time, or ever.

Middlebury = out and proud in DC

I just got off the woodley metro and am waiting for the elevator when two women come up to me and say, “didn’t you go to Middlebury?” It took me a good 10 seconds to process these words under the circumstances. (The red line, under perpetual construction (along with the escalators), asked hundreds of riders to swallow a 25 minute delay after 10 pm)Of course, I told these fine ladies that I did and then asked them who the hell they were. Answer: They just graduated this year, recognized me from the Dean article in Middlebury magazine, and are now working at the NIH, but isn’t it incredible — yes yes.What was more odd was this other guy who said “Middlebury?” when we packed into the front of an already packed elevator to continue our discussion. “My roomate at UCLA always wore a Middlebury sweatshirt, and he didn’t even go there. Where is it again?”A pointless little chat ensued… but it is pretty fascinating how many middlebury people are hidden in this fair city. And how proud we are of middlebury that we go around telling everyone that we went there, regardless of our workplace or city. Even non-Middlebury people tell me that there seems to be a disproportionate number of Middlebury people here, for the size of the school. And that’s true in other cities too. Who’s sponsoring the study on this. I won’t even require a comission for the idea.