Writer’s Block

Since I was in no particular hurry on this day, I took the 8:40 bus in to work after seeing both of the kids off,. I was a little stuck on my writing, however. I had just written that the sites of chemical modification of H1 had first been determined in 1995, which I sensed not to be true. I spent the morning digging up old papers which I had not read on the subject, until I found a review article from 1983 that detailed no less than 8 regions of modification which had been previously characterized. I spend a lot of time reading this review, as well as looking up the individual papers which it referred to. I also realized that I had not discussed one of the papers that I had in my stack, even though I had already written the section which would have included it. By afternoon, I had dealt with these issues but had only written 250 more words, the same as on the very first day that I started to write.

I decided to skip the group meeting at 4:30, since Kiyoe was out of the country and I wasn’t going to understand it anyway, so I headed to the bus stop early. When I got there, I had just missed the 4:35 bus, and there was a huge line of people waiting for the 4:55 already. After Friday’s experience, I could read the handwriting on the wall and knew that I wouldn’t be able to squeeze onto the next bus. I decided to spend the time walking to the bus stop on the Engineering campus, so I could board it one stop earlier than usual. My plan worked, I was able to make it on at the earlier stop, while more than half of the line at my usual stop did not. It was not the most comfortable ride, however, with all of the people smashed together. I tried to envision how claustrophobic people were able to survive in Japan during the 35 minute trip to the Toyonaka campus.

The family was surprised to see me so early, but luckily Trudy had soup with Chinese dumplings in it on the stove already for dinner. After we ate, Trudy and I walked to the store to pick up a few things that we were out of. When we returned, Game 4 of the World Series was on, but all of us knew the outcome because it had been featured on the Japanese, as well as the American, news that the Red Socks had swept the series, so there wasn’t much point in watching it. We all bed to bed around 10 pm.

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