1. I staggered into the Sube shortly after 7 a.m. and blasted my way north of Baltimore to the Hunt Valley Inn in Cockeysville, MD for a conference called "The Transplant Journey 2016". It's not comfortable or comforting to thrust myself into the reality of a possible kidney transplant one day, but today I confronted the medical and financial realities of transplantation by attending a session on preparing for a kidney transplant (I'm doing the right things), a panel on living donors --both liver and kidney donors and recipients spoke --, and a session going over Medicare. I left the conference overwhelmed -- I was reminded of and understand better why dialysis is a lousy long term solution to kidney failure, how much better it is to have a living donor come forward, what the transplant surgery involves, and what the prescription load is for kidney recipients as long as they live. I know many transplant recipients attended the conference and were doing great. I know I am listed at one of the world's best transplant centers, at the University of Maryland. All the same, I try to put on a brave front about all of this, but, well, it unsettles me.
2. Upon returning to the greater Greenbelt/Silver Spring area, I buzzed straight to the Diazes and checked in with the Deke, talked about a few things, and accepted without a problem that she was very tired, about to take a nap, already full from eating earlier, and would not join me for lunch. I went to the Old Line and ordered a blue cheese and avocado burger with a fried egg inside. It came with a side of fries. I enjoyed a Double IPA from Star Hill in Charlottesville and a beer from D.C., Three Star's White IPA. I ate too much, but enjoyed having a long sit and emptying out my mind as much as I could after attending the conference.
3. Today, a new season of The Big Listen, the podcast about podcasts, got underway on WAMU-FM. The podcast of the show was released Thursday or Friday, so I had it ready to go on Podbean, my podcast app, and while I relaxed at Old Line, I listened to Episode 1 of the new 2016-17 season, right here. I love this podcast and this first episode is full of great interviews and the listener call-in recommendations for podcasts are really good. In fact, when I went to bed Saturday night, I went to sleep listening to an episode from the recommended podcast, You Must Remember This, here, a storytelling show about Hollywood's first century. I listened to an episode called "Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Bette Davis and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?", found here. It was the fifth of a six part series on Joan Crawford.