Through the Vortex

June 28th, 2007 by Potato

It’s been a hectic time at work lately. We’re scheduling an upgrade to our MRI system sometime in the winter, and to get ready for that the hospital is going to cancel all research time to get caught up on the clinical backlog (since the upgrade is going to mean weeks to months of downtime). That, of course, is extremely painful to someone who needs research time on the magnet for their PhD. To add to the pain of it, we only found out about this plan two weeks ago, so we begged and pleaded to get at least some of the time we need to actually finish a study or two… and we did, sort of. A solid block of 31 consecutive hours on the long weekend. Whee! Sure, we could technically do about 25 subjects in that time, but realistically? Even if I did hypercaffeinate myself, it’s pretty difficult to convince someone to come in for a scan (a sober scan) in the middle of the night on the long weekend… I think we’ve got 4 or 5 people scheduled, and that was damned near miraculous (and involved a lot of begging, pleading, and favours called in). Heck, I can’t even convince my immediate family to come down (“well, maybe, if you really want to graduate this decade… and if the weather’s bad at the cottage.”).

By chance or design, Wayfare’s parents came to visit last weekend (when I had another, fairly inconvenient, smaller block of time on the scanner) and I scanned her dad. He was thrilled to get a CD with pictures of his brain on it to show the people at work, something he’ll treasure long after his hand has stopped aching. Of course, we tried to go out for lunch beforehand, but had a heck of a time with the logistics of that. Wayfare’s had her eye on the new french restaurant just a block from our place (“Red meat, red wine, etc.” is their motto). We went by at 3 pm, and they were closed until dinner time. Moving on down the street, we tried the Village Cafe, which was closed for a catering event. Some clowns walked by on the sidewalk, in full clown makeup. “It’s like we’ve passed through a vortex into a universe where restaurants are closed on saturdays and clowns walk the streets.” I suggested we try Bertoldi’s or Symposium next, but Wayfare hasn’t been impressed with Bertoldi’s the last few times we went, so we settled on TJ Baxter’s, which was close. They met us at the door and sat us down, but other than that they might as well have been closed too. The patio was mostly full, but we were the only ones sitting inside, so it wasn’t all that busy, yet we had to wait about a half hour for our food to arrive. “Perhaps we should run across the street for a quick lunch to hold us over until they get dinner ready here…”

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