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Annnnddd I’m back!

Pfew! What a roller coaster! Defending a Ph.D. is seriously no joke. First, there is writing a dissertation – and folks, mine was nearly 200 pages. 200! Me, who has a hard time thinking a complete thought (thanks ADD, who is now called ADHD, because the acronym also has ADD) and has a hard time writing! I wrote that beast in about 1.5 months. It was a necessity though, otherwise the consequences would have been devastating. I would have to stay another semester … surrounded by so many people who have excluded and made me feel lesser.

I have so much to tell you! So much has happened in these past four absent months! SO MUCH!

So, I’m a doctor now. I don’t feel any smarter, and for some reason, I thought I would. Titles aren’t everything.

I’m addicted to MasterChef Junior. There is something about kids with passions and such motivation to succeed. I just love it so much. I will probably talk about this later on.

My friend Charles and I have something cooking up that will please all of my geeky readers (if I have any). It was an idea he had originally and it was going to be done with his brother, but, there was no interest there. And the thing is, I just couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. I kept hoping and hoping I would be surprised and the two of them would do it, and then I would be in reading bliss – but nothing! So, I decided to pitch the idea back to Charles, and now we are doing this together!!!! I’m so pumped. Stand by for this!

I also started, and (wait for it) never got around to it, an alphabet challenge. I may be a year late, but I have a few drafts sitting around with this. Stand by for an alphabet of all of my favourite things.

The best thing – I have a job! YES! I am going to be a postdoctoral research fellow at a hospital in Memphis, TN. I will be joining a wonderful research team doing some very important work. I will tell you more about this as I settle in. I really hope Kristi can find a job because I don’t want to be without her for too long (although I am prepared for this … unfortunate circumstance.)

 

So many great things in the wood-work and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Um, excuse me? The colour of WHAT?!

I am part of a team of graduate students who are jointly teaching a Biochemistry class. It’s pretty cool, and I got this opportunity because I was 1 in 4 people who won a Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (MMoD) training grant. The other 3 MMoD candidates plus an additional graduate student make up this team and together, we are doing our best to teach sophomores scientific analysis and technical writing (the un-official name of this special topics course).

I own a lot of raggedy clothes, with lots of holes in my t-shirts, food stains all over the boob area, and pants with the crotch half gone (hey, it happens when you wear the same pants over and over again, and when your thighs touch.) Usually, I don’t care what I look like. When I am teaching a lecture/discussion based class, it turns out, I do care because I want to be taken seriously. This is when Kristi REJOICES because she can finally take me shopping (something I don’t like to do) and buy me new things. This is just another thing she loves and I don’t love (for more reference, I wrote an article on this here).

We have a coupon for $50 off a $100+ purchase at Younkers, so we go there first. I like Younkers because this store is the only store in the mall that sells the brand of pants I just love. What greets me when I enter the store? This kiosk:

skinny

The colour of skinny. That’s right, you didn’t mis-read that sign. You will notice at the very bottom of picture, some black jeans. Some very uncolourful, black jeans. The largest size on that table? A whooping 4. This kiosk was placed in the part of the store that does not sell “women’s” sizes (ugh, don’t get me started on this sub-classification). There was another kiosk next to this one saying “Dangerous curves ahead” (I couldn’t get a picture of this one because there were people standing in front of it.) This second kiosk also rubbed me the wrong way.

I wish, for once, that size was left out of marketing. If we are a size 4, we will find our way to the size 4 pants; and if we are a size 18, we will find our way to the size 18 pants. People are not stupid. But signs like this can hurt anyone.

I have to admit, at first, I kind of liked these signs. Until, I started thinking about who they were targeting and who they were excluding. We have the skinny table and the curvy table … but not the skinny with curves table or the skinny as a rail with no curves table or … you get the drift (I hope).

I put this out of my mind as we made it to “the fat section” as I like to call it. The section of the store I can call home and the section of the store I always hate. Why can’t I have the same prints and designs as the “skinny section”? Instead, my section of the store is usually filled with animal prints (because every heavy person wants to wear zebra print) or sweaters with cutesy animal embroidery on them (just like my mom wears). (No offense mom! She is seriously adorable in those sweaters.) But, lo and behold! I see fashionable, if I can be a judge of fashion, clothing this time! I grab a few shirts and head to the dressing room to see if I can tolerate anything this nice on me.

What is that? What do I see staring at me in the dressing room? THIS!
spanx

“WARDROBE MUST HAVES” …. an advert for full-body SPANX! What is spanx? They are modern corsets, and are worn to make you look slimmer.  Only, it seems that people never question where the fat goes. It goes in, folks. As in, into all of your precious organs, thereby placing an enormous burden on tissues such as your bladder and your lungs. Spanx are used to hold all of you in, so you don’t bulge out of your shirt/dress/pants/etc.

Needless to say, I felt like crap after shopping here. Kristi does a great job cheering me up, we even went to buy some tea from Teavana!

Younkers, you get an A+ for making me feel poopy. I just don’t understand why fat is the worst thing you can be. I agree with J.K. Rowling.

Is fat really the worst thing a human being can be? Is fat worse than vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, boring, evil, or cruel? Not to me.
-J.K. Rowling

The love of my life, my wife: an unlikely pairing

I am brash, book smart, naive, kind, generally happy-go-lucky, no-touchy kind of person who is passionate about animals, human rights, art, and science (just to name a few characteristics of me).

My wife, the beautiful Kristi, is, for the most part, my opposite. She is affectionate, a fire-starter, street smart, and an honest person who shares most of my passions, except the in-depth love of science.

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She loves aviation, I love science.
She loves basset hounds, I love Rottweilers.
She loves looking nice without a hair out of place, I love sweatshirts and crazy hair.
She loves the beach, I love not the beach.
She loves going out and having date nights, I love staying home and having date nights.
She feels love with physical touch and acts of service, I feel love with quality time and words of affirmation. **
She loves coffee, I love tea.
She loves cuddling, I love space.
She loves movies, I love reading.
She loves noise, I love quiet.
** These are part of The 5 Love Languages book by Gary Chapman. You can take buy the book on Amazon here, or take the free quiz to find out how you need love here.

You get the gist. … but Paula Abdul got it right! Opposites DO attract! If you actually watch this video, Kristi is Skat Cat and I’m Paula Abdul. Kind of. Well, for this analogy, we can be these people.

Now, on to the gushy stuff.

We met in Jacksonville, FL … actually, we met on MySpace while we both lived in Jacksonville, FL. We were just looking for friends, and she messaged me about my dog (instant bonus points, if you ask me). We started talking …. and it was impossible not to be caught up in this girl. I didn’t want to work that day, but I did anyway … just to rush back to my desk so we could keep talking. It was a Friday in January (perhaps the 12th) of 2007. After a long day of messaging each other, I told her I didn’t have the internet at my house, so we couldn’t talk over the weekend. She panicked, and asked me out on a date. The best mistake she could ever make, if you ask me. Once she realized I was directionally challenged, and despite living in the same neighborhood for a few years, that I had no idea where anything was, she offered to pick me up at my apartment. But only after I confirmed I wasn’t a 40 year old man. So, she showed up, and my heart was racing. I grabbed my groucho glasses, and met her outside. I LIED! I WAS a 40 year old man (hahahahha!, get it? … did I mention I have a very corny sense of humour?) She took me out to dinner anyway …. and this should have been the beginning of the end. If I could have been given a grade for this entire date, it would have been a F. Kristi took me to a nice restaurant, I didn’t order anything. Well, I had a water (because it was free). You see, I didn’t have any money to buy food, and I hadn’t been on a date in quite some time, and I forgot all the rules. So, instead, I watched her eat, and I talked. I talked, and talked, and talked. For-ev-er. You see, I have this thing where I talk when I am nervous, and nervous I was! She took me home, and I called my sisters telling them I had the best time but I think I bombed the entire thing. Next thing I know, Kristi brought me some food for dinner one night while I was working at the movie theatre. It was timed perfectly, because I couldn’t shut up to all of my theatre friends about the date and how amazing she was. Then, out of nowhere, here she is bringing me food! She didn’t know what I liked, so she brought me the meal she ate on our first date. I managed to woo her and we became official on February 4, 2007. She moved half way across the country to be with me in December 2009. We got married on May 23-25, 2013 (yes, it was a 3-day festival of love).

Oh! I failed to mention that it was quite strange that we had to meet online. She lived like 1 mile away from me, and we did all of our shopping at the same stores. I wonder how we never saw each other!

She really is my everything.

She is my wife.

We are perfect together, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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