The BioIT Coalition
hosted its 4th annual spring event at the George Mason University
in Fairfax, Virginia today. Our own AudieMcCall
saw his play/reading of The Sequence
produced by local actors. The reading was at 7:00 p.m. at the Center for Performing Arts, a small theater with a seating capacity of about 150. It's an intimate theater with room for minimal sets - perfect for Audie's minimalist
reading of the race to sequence the human genome in the 1990s.
In attendance were momomom, doyle, maylith, yrs truly, and of course E2's own AudieMcCall.
Paul, who flew in from Seattle to watch the play, fidgeted anxiously in his chair. He's a powerfully built man, good looking, with a distinct scar on his left cheek. He was not at all what I'd expected - he looked very normal, talked normally during the post-play Q & A - not at all affected and artistic. It was great fun to hear him laugh when a line was particularly well-delivered. When he fidgeted, his motions were abrupt and explosive, and shook the entire row of chairs. He'd seated himself at the end of the row as if he planned to make a hasty escape sometime during the play, which he did. It was probably a sound check or sound balance, or just to see the stage from a different perspective; it was something artistic and therefore beyond the ken of this reviewer, but it seemed to be terribly important, because he did pace as a man awaiting word of his just-born child in the delivery room. Seeing his high energy performance caused me to think of how much energy chess masters burned up during seemingly benign matches.
It was not your normal audience. If the biological sciences can be said to have gliterati, then they were all there. The audience was chock full of overachieving PhDs who were chairs of this and Fellows of that and had received various Distinguished Service Awards from notable places. They'd done their time in the laboratories and were now graying nicely. The women were slim and blonde and tony and terribly smart. It was enough to give a man a terrible chubby. The audience was not just well-informed about the factual content behind the play, they were active participants in the drama that was the genome sequencing race. It was a very distinguished audience that sat there that night, and they applauded it vigorously. Dr. Francis Collins, one of the protagonists of Audie's play, sat right in front of the actor who played him. It made for good press. Indeed, the Washington Post's Business section of Thursday, April 28, 2005 made mention of this fact. The same article also praised Paul's play.
After the play we E2ers drew together like the gray blobs of Terminator2. We couldn't help it. It was in our very DNA to do so. A. C. T. G. And so forth. Audie knows all this shit way better than we do.
I'd met momomom from our arduous hike from Hell. She's lost a lot of weight and looks good. She's great fun and a good conversationalist.
Met two new noders: the good hearted Dr. doyle and the irrepressible maylith. Maylith, being a foodie, apologized profusely for not having brought some cookies for us (as if we needed them), but she did bring us each a bar of dark chocolate. It must have been made by the Swiss, because it was relentlessly non-sweet, as if a product manager had been ordered to make a bar of chocolate without any trace of sweetness, and she had thought to herself, "I'll show them." Indeed, she did show us. My bar of chocolate was so dark it caused me to pucker. Maylith was in good spirits in her usual neurotic sort of way, and was very much like her catbox persona.
Doyle, he of Calvados fame, Irish to the bone, a tall slim wire-haired man, a charming combination of intense and casual, intriguing, regaled us with stories of drive by shootings where he practiced medicine in the projects of Newark. The man is a saint, but the drive by shootings have motivated him powerfully to change professions. He will become some lucky high school students' teacher in a season or so, as he leaves his shots and inner-city acumen behind and prepares young minds for the road ahead.
After the play, Paul took questions from the audience. He did you proud, Everything2. After that we toddled down the labyrinthine passageways of the Performing Arts Center to the lobby where we slurped down various fruit tortes and coffees and noshed on whatever goodies we could find. We said hello to the people we had to say hello to, and then sought to retire to a more alcohol-friendly place, so we could sip on something less dreadfully caffeine-laced. Alas, it was too late for Clyde's. However, we did find an all-nite establishment by the name of 29 Diner, about which a node should surely be written. Small linoleum tables with jukeboxes at every table, and waitresses came prestained with those lovely armpit stains we all remembered from roadside diners of our childhoods. (It's really remarkable how all of our childhood memories remembered this particular facet of roadside diners.) We ordered eggs and hashbrowns and other breakfast foods, it being by this time necessary to consider what few short hours and responsibilities lay ahead. Momomom applied her brain to the necessary mechanics of telling us all what we'd owed, and we threw in various denominations of bills and coins, and I think it was adequate to cover the waitress's troubles. No stains were left on my suit or tie, for which I am grateful. These grease joints do tend to leave their mark, but it was not to be so this fine evening.
We had left Audie back at GMU in the crowd of twentysome young lovelies, holding forth about how difficult it was to craft a play. They hung on his every word. He had to fly back the next day.
I had to smile. Another E2 nodermeet, another huge raging success.
Greetings to all my companions on this lovely evening: momomom, doyle, maylith, and of course AudieMcCall. Love to you all.
Doyle provided a correction about one matter: "it was the interminable frustration rather than the bullets that drove me away"
Maylith pointed out that it's not neurosis, it's generalized anxiety disorder. Ah.