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19 October 2017 @ 03:29 pm
Much Socializing  
Stupidest Swag Ever: When I wrote about the MIT School of Engineering Reception, I forgot to mention the swag they gave us. The silver shopping bag looked elegant, but what it had was a sleep mask with the words "engineer at rest." Oy.

The Grapevine: I dragged myself to Busboys and Poets in Takoma last Wednesday for storytelling with Angela Lloyd and Robin Bady, two of my favorite wild women. Angela had a great mix of stories, ranging from shopping with a man who was going to hop a train to her version of Cinderella. (Glass slippers go with everything.) Robin focused on the ghostly. As I expected, it was a great evening of stories and I only wish I’d had more time to hang out with both of these wonderful ladies.

Fall For the Book: Thursday night was another storytelling event – a Better Said Than Done show for the Fall for the Book festival. The theme was "Air Guitar: stories about faking, music, and playing with heart." I told a story about the trauma I suffered as a child at the hands of (well, keys of) a Baldwin Acrosonic spinet piano - and my brother. The story mostly worked, though I still think the ending could use some improvement. Overall, it was interesting to see how various tellers interpreted the theme and the show was a lot of fun, though the audience was on the small side. There was also lots of great conversation with other tellers before and after the show.

TCC: On Saturday, I went to a Travelers’ Century Club luncheon. TCC is a group for people who have been to over 100 countries and territories. The catch is that their list of countries and territories is rather broad (e.g. Alaska and Hawaii get counted separately from CONUS). So I have rather mixed feelings about the whole thing, but it is always good to hang out with other well-traveled people. I had a lot of good conversations with interesting people (e..g the U.S. ambassador to Benin and her husband; she was surprised to be sitting between two people who had actually been to Benin). There were other people I would have liked to have gotten more time to talk with. Schedule permitting, I will try to go to future luncheons.

An Act of G-d: I saw this play at Signature Theatre on Sunday afternoon. The premise is that the Lord has come down to earth, inhabiting the body of actor – make that 7-times Helen Hayes award nominated actor – Tom Story and is going to revise the 10 commandments. The show is based on a twitter feed by David Javerbaum. That twitter sensibility makes for a lot of wisecracking and no real narrative line. There’s a lot of local insider humor (e.g. a reference to Bobby Smith, who is a better-known local actor). Some of it is genuinely funny, while some of the jokes are total groaners. The basic premise is that G-d created man in His image – and He is an asshole. Illustrative examples abound. It’s worth seeing as long as you aren’t really expecting anything particularly profound.

WBRS Reception: Sunday night was another reception at the Willard Intercontinental, this time for the William Barton Rogers Society, which has to do with donating above a certain amount of money to MIT. There was plenty of good conversation and very tasty food (heavy appetizers before the speaker, desserts after). The speech was about the D-Lab, which is MIT’s effort to involve students with projects in the developing world. I wish something like that had existed back in my undergraduate days, though I would probably have been too wimpy and conventional to get involved in it. As well-traveled as I am now, I can’t imagine 19-year-old me going to, say, Ghana. Anyway, the reception was a nice evening out. And, thankfully, no swag.

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