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PhriDay Phive...a VERY belated update

Well, I am back.

1. I went back to the lab this week and have been taking it easy. This week I mostly focused on reading a bunch of papers relevant to my qualifying exam project. Needless to say, the reading has been intense....but I have picked up on more within this last week than I have in the preceding that my head is clear and I am not frantically going from paper to paper. Don't get me is still far from easy reading. Fortunately, my eyes haven't fallen off yet.

2. One of my little cousins came for a visit for a few days this last week and it was fun. We did experiments, I showed him a real lab, and we even took him to the American Museum of Natural History. I don't want to sound like a museum snob (which I am after years of being taken to the Franklin Institute and many other awesome science-related places over the years), but this museum was a HUGE disappointment for me. Don't get me wrong, my cousin enjoyed it...but I could tell that he found most of the exhibits as excruciatingly boring as I did. They came close to catching my attention with a few hands-on exhibits at carefully supervised carts...but the excitement for science just wasn't there. The kids were allowed to touch a few props and whatnot...but the place did not seem too kid-friendly. There was almost no interactivity there and I cannot help but say that I wasn't impressed. They really need to improve the manner in which they are selling the science to these kids. If they had invested more time into making it kid-friendly versus inundating kids with redundant social commentary....the museum would have ROCKED.

You know what was funny about this visit? After all that science, this little cousin and I ended up having some pretty awesome theological discussions. Catholic Science Geek INDEED! Contrary to what the militant atheists may tell you, this little guy proved to me that children are naturally curious about all things God-related. I didn't really bring up the conversation...he did. I was more than happy to introduce him to Saint Michael, the role of the Pope within the Catholic Church (he wasn't too familiar with Papa Bene's significance), the intercession of saints, guardian angels, and even the ultimate futility devil. The little guy (he's 8) was very afraid of the devil for whatever reason, so I assuaged his fears by teaching him about how God is infinitely more important and powerful than the devil will ever be. I also explained how futile the devil will be if you are very good friends with God. Needless to say, he felt a lot better and the Fool and I even gave him a few holy cards to take home (along with the Ring of Power and a few other geeky items). I emphasized however, that the cards themselves mean nothing without faith and prayer. Hopefully, this will help him out with whatever fears he will have to confront in the future.

3. Contrary to what I have suggested before...Christian music doesn't suck that much. After I got her hooked on David Crowder Band's "Phos Hilaron," the Fool bought their "Church Music" album. She's been playing it nonstop in the car ever since and I have to say that I actually have been enjoying it. Sure, some of the music seems a little out there at times, but overall the album is pretty decent. I have also come to terms that I like some of the other music the Fool tends to play in the car, even if I don't admit it...and even if I make up silly names for the music on the CD.

4. I learned how to drink a martini. I'm talking about a legitimate martini...none of the fruity appletinis and insert fruit here-tini. I'm talking about the gin/vermouth/olives concoction that burns your mouth and makes you want to never drink alcohol again. It turns out there's a method to it...that involves carefully placed sips and some level of olive-eating plan. I was starving that day from an entire day in the lab, so I ended up scarfing down the first toothpick of olives within seconds. The waitress was kind enough to bring me more olives once my lack of decorum was spotted by my old mentor who then taught me to drink the martini properly. She wasn't lying. If drunken properly, it doesn't taste that bad a few sips in. It still burned my esophagus and stomach lining...but it wasn't too bad...especially when coupled with good company and a good dinner.

5. Meetings with the counselor have been going okay...and my former mentor referred me to Lucinda Bassett...a self-help guru/motivational speaker who specializes in anxiety and a variety of other inner demons. I am usually not a big fan of self-help gurus....but this woman's Youtube videos are not too bad. I may even venture to say that she's got a lot of good advice for people who, like me, have suffered from panic attacks. Overall, the week off did wonders for me and I feel like I have a lot more control over the whole situation these days. I've been sleeping better, haven't felt tired, and even returned to my jogging. This week alone I realized that I can jog 15 minutes straight without stopping. I know I am not jogging fast...but 15 minutes is still 15 minutes. It is certainly the most endurance I have ever shown when it comes to athletics of any kind. I think that's quite a bit of progress!
A toast to achieving my jogging best thus far!
Sorry, I just had to throw in Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary...They are too awesome to NOT include in this post. With that said, here's to a speedy recovery and a bright future ahead!

Pax Vobiscum


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  2. My favorite martini is a dry dirty gin martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives. Gin doesn't taste bad to me at all any more and it never burned, but I do admit it's an acquired taste, and one I was glad to acquire because I tend to forget to sip sweet drinks.

    Yay Matthew and Mary! I just finished mainlining the second season and I'm a little obsessed... Congrats on the jogging. I'm currently working my way back to fitness on the medieval torture device known as the rowing erg, so I understand the joys of new personal bests!

  3. I've only been to the Museum of Natural History once, after graduating eighth grade. I thought it was awesome. I can still remember seeing a miniature Arabian Nights city with little people and a man on a flying carpet, close to a gold statue of a demon and a maiden that was very Tantric in nature, and passing by Indian and Polynesian tribal masks. I remember eating in the cafeteria under a suspended stuffed whale, and my six-year-old cousin loved the dinosaur skeletons. But indeed, from that one trip, the museum seems much more anthropological than scientific in nature. Maybe next time you should take your cousin to the Liberty Science Center. That's much more kid-oriented.