And it's been downhill ever since.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) regional conference was okay, I suppose, but I was the wrong person to send to it. It was very much geared to people who had little to no experience dealing with the NSF, and that's not me, given that I have a dozen rejection letters to my credit. I will probably write more about it later.
Speaking of rejection, I came back to find a rejection letter waiting for me on my most recent manuscript. The reviewer claimed the experiments I did repeated some done 50 years ago. But I looked for precedent and couldn't find them, and did the reviewer provide me with a reference for the experiments? NoooOOOooo...
I am thwarted at every turn.