Sunday, October 07, 2007

Things about me.

As you may know, I recently wrote, defending and deposited a doctoral dissertation.  Then I loaded up my home, sold the house and moved to another country.   Then I started a new job.  This didn't leave a lot of time for keeping up with blogs that I otherwise enjoy.  I have a bloglines account that keeps track of new postings for me, and I recently had the chance to go look at some of what I had missed over the last part of the summer.  One thing I missed was the "8 random facts about me" meme that a number of bloggers participated in.  Of course then, I missed the invitation from By the Bay to tell you 8 things about myself.   Having just moved herself, By The Bay will either understand my tardiness and know that I didn't quit reading her blog, or she'll wonder what all the whining is about.  Anyway, b etter late than never, so here I am. 


In any other forum, not eating gluten would be a random fact, but I don't think it counts here.


1.  I am by training a medicinal organic chemist; for my Ph.D. I designed and synthesized potential drugs for imaging breast cancer.   One of the tenets of both chemistry and the biology that chemistry interacts with is that structure (chemical and biological) leads to function (chemical reactivity, biological response).   I think that this has really affected how I approach baking.  I tend to be less interested in following a recipe than understanding what each ingredient is doing.   If I don't know what something does, I don't want to put it in my food.  One result of this is that I don't post recipes as often as many (all other?) food bloggers, because I don't feel like the recipes themselves are that important, unless you have exactly the same taste as I do.

Some people don't want anything in their food that they can't pronounce.  I can say [insert IUPC name here] but I still don't want it in my food.


2.  The picture I use for my online persona is not really a picture of me.   It is my kitchen gnome.  His name is Gourmand, the Gastrognome.  That is a pun that I end up explaining to a discouragingly high number of people.   Gourmand now lives at my office because Riley doesn't appreciate his contribution to the aesthetics of our home.


3.  That brings up another random fact about me that I occasionally wish was more apparent.   The proper pronoun for me is He, not She.  I suppose that people may get confused because my spouse, Riley, has a masculine name, and ElwoodCity isn't a name at all.   Also, I bake, which is traditionally women's work.  When our two-year old daughter Hildr was younger, Riley used to call her "girly".  For a time she started to worry that by calling her girly, Hildr would end up feeling forced into a stereotypical gender role.  Then she realized that if Hildr ended up feeling "girly" she might think that that meant she was supposed to use mow the lawn and use the power tools like her Mom, instead of baking like her Dad, so that's probably OK.


4.  OK, those aren't exactly random.  Here's a random fact: I don't use Shampoo.   I have curly hair, and curly hair is usually much drier than straight hair.  When I use shampoo, my hair gets frizzy, especially since I moved back to Home Town.  This isn't to say that I don't wash my hair; I simply use conditioner to wash it with.  When I don't wash my hair, it does get oil.   I've been washing my hair this way since before I stopped eating gluten, and have had much less trouble with it than when I used shampoo.


I think that I talk too much, so I will only tell you four things about myself today, and give you the rest later in the week.   I know.  The suspense is killing you.


  1. OH! These are great facts!

    WTG with the Doctorate delivery! =)

    Truly impressive! As our your recipes!

  2. Holy cow! Info overload! I thought Riley was your child and that you had a funny little face - just kidding! I hope you are some place great in Canada.

  3. Anonymous12:23 AM

    Hi friend! Tell you what, try squeezing some fresh lime into a basin of hot water and wash your hair using this wonderful steamy concoction. Your scalp will be free from oil, hair wouldn't go frizzy. Trust me, my hair is curly too.

  4. Major respect and very cool kudos on the organic chemist part. That made me like you (or your blog persona) instantly, haha

    I also have curly hair and use shampoo rarely, only conditioner. Rock on!

  5. I just found your blog. It's been a while since you've posted. You still out there? Are w/ Diss. yet? I am an Organic Chemist, too & spent most of my chemist career in pharm. And I have Celiac & DH & milk allergy & curly hair! Hope to hear more from you in the future!


  6. I am indeed still alive.

    I started teaching Organic Chemistry at a college that has University aspirations, including aspirations for a chemistry degree.

    Things got really crazy, and I lost track of blogging, and developing new recipes. I've been thinking I ought to add an update to let everyone know what we're up to. (SPOILER ALERT: I can't find sorghum at a good price anywhere, so we use millet instead)

    I used to blog while reactions stirred, and then as a break from Dissertation writing. Now there is always something to grade during that time.

    I'll stop explaining now, since I might as well write a real post as do that. I am coming up with clean NMR examples for lecture tomorrow anyway.