I am a blogger. I’m proud to be a blogger for two reasons: I actually believe I may be marginally increasing the intelligence of the human race through this medium; and I’m a proud bastard, and everything I do is cool simply by virtue of my doing it. That said, I don’t exactly fit the stereotypes commonly attributed to bloggers. I love playing and watching sports and conversing with people. I despise stupidity, but I’ve learned that everyone knows enough about something to be interesting (this comic notwithstanding). I came from a massive undergraduate institution with a pitiful chemistry program, and thus I have no “chemistry pride” whatsoever–being at UI makes it easier to do the chemistry I want to, sure, but there’s no point in bragging or acting like an ass just because I’m taking up space here. I do chemistry because I’m good at it and it brings back fond memories of high school and (now) undergrad, not for bragging rights. In fact, I couldn’t care less whether I was doing it in Champaign-Urbana, New York City, or Siberia. The primary reason I came here was for UI’s awesome access to facilities, resources, and people…but in an alternate universe not unlike our own, UK and UI could easily be in each other’s shoes. And frankly, I hope that happens one day (though I know it never will).

I’m getting a little off track here. The point is, I’m just an ordinary guy with a blog. And I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that most of the chemical blogging community, well, we’re just normal guys with blogs. Trust me. I know. I live with one. We don’t spend all day perusing the chemical literature for fun. We don’t sit at our computers all day making ASCII art of Hilary Duff*. We love women and women love us. Some of us have girlfriends, some prefer to fuck women randomly, and still others have chicks give us the runaround for eight months and end up “just friends” (a story for another day). We love the Olympics, we love good beer, and our musical tastes are all over the map. In short, we are ordinary people.

Naturally, when I explain who I live with and how we met (as I’ve done about a bazillion times in the past week), the issue of blogging comes up. And occasionally when it does, people cringe or snicker at that aspect of who I am. To which I reply, what the fuck? I mean yeah, psychologists say it’s all pent-up insecurities and shit, but it still kind of hurts, you know? It’s become a part of who I am in the past few months, and I’ll be damned before I change who I am just to be a little more likeable. Reminds me of a classic quote from my old research advisor, Dennis Clouthier:

“The older you get, the more ‘like yourself’ you become.”

Reading over this, it’s got a little of that “whiny bitch” feel. Fact is, I’m in a slump, and I just wanted to send out a warning post.

* Yep, you guessed it, people actually do this.



  1. I’d like to think that UK at least reaches the “mediocre” mark for organic materials! (Otherwise, yeah.)
    I kinda cringe every time someone asks how Excimer and I met. Know exactly what you mean there. Oh, speaking of which, I might try and make a road trip up there this October. 🙂
    Hope you’re enjoying grad school so far. I’m so jealous it hurts a little. 😛


  2. Yeah, materials is definitely a bright spot in the program. Speaking of which, Watson is doing a seminar up here September 25! I’m so proud! 🙂

    Call me when you’re in town!


  3. So…wait…you were at Kentucky and now you’re at Illinois? Alex Legion? Is that you?

    If anyone makes fun of me for being a blogger, I kick them in the dinger. And then I stand over them while they’re writhing in pain on the ground and tell them how I’m going to write a well-worded post about their mother’s inability to produce a viable offspring. Or that’ll I’ll make fun of their dingers.


  4. mjenks, you got me. I suck ass at basketball, but you probably already knew that. The real reason I came here was for the chemistry.

    Seriously though, if I see him on campus, he’s getting a swift kick in the nuts himself.


  5. Thanks for that. Because, while I’m not a great Kentucky fan, the way Illinois fans acted after Eric Gordon decided to decommit still makes me throw up a little in the back of my mouth.

    Or maybe that’s just a side effect of thinking of Bruce Weber.

    [/political rant]


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