Tuesday

At the Nation's Capital

I’m in Washington D.C. this week, for work. Tomorrow is National GIS Day. “So soon?” you exclaim. “It seems to sneak up on me every year!” I know how you feel.

Well, even if you don’t know what the hell a Geographic Information System is, it’s just a map on a computer. It can, of course, be more complicated than that. You ever use MSN’s MapPoint or MapQuest? Those are web-based GIS interfaces. If you don’t have ESRI software on your computer to create your own GIS, tape a map onto your computer monitor. Close enough.

I came down with a co-worker who’s staying outside the city with her parents. She brought her 7-month-old daughter down to spent time with her parents. Here’s something they don’t tell new parents: When you have a baby and need to go somewhere, be prepared to pack 10 times more than you would have packed pre-baby. I brought a computer bag and a small carry-on. My co-worker brought a car seat, stroller, duffle bag big enough to fit several small children inside, backpack and diaper bag. Oh, the baby as well. And it’s not like she packed irrelevant items (I’ll just bring this vase and lamp. You never know.), she needed and used 80% of just to get from home to Boston to DC.

When I picked her up this morning, she went put her things in the trunk and saw my small bag. She said, “That’s all your have? That’s cool.” She said it in passing, innocently, but I felt bad all of a sudden. Like, maybe I should have brought more so that she wasn’t the only one bogged down. Her daughter was really good throughout the whole day, though. She didn’t cry once and only started to whimper late in the day. We all felt the same way but the baby was the only one vocalizing it. So she did a good job.

I’m very tired. And kind-of spoiling for a fight. I’m going to watch a movie, read some more of Eragon (not bad, for a 19-year-old home-schooled writer), prance around naked in front of my hotel window and go to bed.

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