Preparing for Zurich

I'll be in Zurich for the next week working with Dr. Michael Hengartner to develop a data schema and custom displays to handle proteomics data generated in his lab. Yesterday and today were insanely hectic preparing for my trip to Zurich. It all began in the afternoon when I ran down to SLC to renew my driver's license. The DMV is always an eye opener into just how rude and stupid Americans really are. A man in front of me was trying to get a driver's license but he had no identification - none whatsoever. Clearly agitated, he lifted his shirt high up over his head to reveal his astoundingly white and comically fat stomach. The point of this rather grotesque display was not to flaunt his termendous physique but to reveal an unsightly tattoo in his cavernous and visibly sweaty armpit that apparently read his name and should be taken as some proof of his existence. Onlookers turned away in horror until a faceless woman behind me began yelling, "Let's go, put your shirt on, let's get this line moving" over and over. I wanted to throw in a "Si, se puede!" in honor of the protest marches for immigration reform but I refrained. After a cacophonous hour and a half of waiting, my number was up - now serving number 200! I made my way to the counter ready to be done with this whole ordeal. It was only then that I discovered that the great state of New York had put a hold on my license for some reason. No explanation, only the word "NOT" for my status so I was unable to get a license. Return to Park City and speed packed. Done by 7 PM a new record and ran down to the No Name for some quick dinner which really just turned into beer after beer with Legend, Matt, Clifford, and Clifford's mom Carol. Hilarious. Which brings me to this morning. Up super early to finish packing, check emails, and call New York with the hope of clearing my name and getting my driver's license renewed this morning. ~~ insert an hour of exasperation ~~ No such luck. $30 later my name is apparently cleared although it will take 48 hours to process. So my license will expire and I cannot rent a car this week. Great. I don't think there is anything more annoying to me than mindless beaurocracy and the inability of people who work in it to do anything about or apply rules of common sense. Jetted down to SLC carrying the heavy burden of my taxes with me but unable to find an open post office. Finally was able to find a stamp machine and PO Box in ATL. Whew! En route now from ATL to Zurich, listening to the "Border Control" mix that Channy made for Mexico. I'm all sauced up after drinking some wine. I think the best stratgey for trans-atlantic flights is to go out drinking the night before then come home and pack. By 6pm the day of your arrival you are exhausted and ready to sleep the whole night through.