Why I’d rather pretend April didn’t happen

This has been a very rough month for me. As most of you know, I’m an analytical chemist and work with small molecules related to metabolism. I’ve been having problems with my mass spec this month and it’s required the company come in to replace some parts, meaning I lost quite a bit of time on an already tight schedule.

This combined with a massive turnover in management and our complete portfolio so far as potential targets means I’m starting a ton of projects from scratch with little or no time to actually do so.

In summary : STRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Basically everything in my life has taken a hit because of the crazy hours I’m putting in at the moment. Reading crawled to an almost standstill, no new blog posts, laundry has been done at 4:30AM because it’s the only time I’ve had free and I’ve pretty much stopped running.

The only thing that has remained unaffected is pretty much my Border Collie’s schedule… She’s still getting her walks and kibble is served on time, so she’s having a pretty good month.

On the plus side, I’ve been given a few days off because of all the overtime the last several weeks, and Dr Hops and I are planning a little trip tomorrow.

Here’s to May, which has to be better than April!

Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg, or A Scientist & Her Border Collie Army

[the following is a seemingly random muttering of fiction, but trust me and stick it out .. or skip to the block quote below for the book review]

**** BREAKING NEWS:  secret underground lab of infamous evil scientist discovered! More at 11 ****

“Well, that does it Doctor,” says the Collheesi, as she flops around the mountain of pillows which surround her, attempting to find the remote and stop the footage of helicopters circling overhead.  “We’ve been found. Mobilize the Border Collie Army, it’s time to make our escape.”

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Half hanging off the couch, she finally just yells, “Doctor, why watch me struggle, just turn it off! I can’t find the damn remote again!”

“Of course Miss.” With a thought, Doctor turns off the footage that is angering his creator. “We might have had better luck staying hidden if you hadn’t created replicas of all the doctors from Doctor Who and insisted on reenacting scenes from the series while traipsing around London… With all respect Miss.”

“Ah, you’re probably correct, but that wouldn’t be living, now would it,” states the Collheesi as she reaches for her sonic screwdriver. “Are the collies in place?”

“They are Miss,” says a replica of the 10th Doctor. “Buttons and Dazzle have managed to disable the broadcasting signal and Freckles has captured an intruder near the south entrance.”

“Excellent! .. and you doubted the usefulness of a Border Collie army,” says the Collheesi as she admires the photos of her minions on the wall. Turning back to Doctor, she asks “What has Freckles done with her charge?” 

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An example of the creepiness of a collie stare

“Standard protocol, Miss. She has them herded to a corner and is staring at them aggressively.” 

“Great. Great. Release a treat from her collar and tell her to wait five minutes and meet the pack at the extraction point. Well, off we go then,” she says with a flourish as she wraps her multicolored, 24 foot, scarf around her. With the remainder of her Collie guard following closely behind, she runs out of her secret lab yelling, “Geronimooooo!!”

This might seem like a ridiculous aside when attempting to write a book review, but it is a fairly accurate, though more poorly written version of the beginning of each chapter in this book. It’s a mixture of actual recounts of how he began his long love affair with making people laugh, awkward non-chronological stories of growing up, and becoming the nerd he is today.

Nerd Do Well BOOK FACTS

Author: Simon Pegg           Pages: 356           Publication date: 2009
Genre: Humor / Autobiography

Summary from Amazon:
The unique life story of one of the most talented and inventive comedians, star of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul, Spaced, and Star Trek.

Zombies in North London, death cults in the West Country, the engineering deck of the Enterprise — actor, comedian, writer, and supergeek Simon Pegg has been ploughing some bizarre furrows. Having landed on the U.S. movie scene in the surprise cult hit Shaun of the Dead, his enduring appeal and rise to movie stardom has been mercurial, meteoric, megatronic, but mostly just plain great.From his childhood (and subsequently adult) obsession with science fiction, his enduring friendship with Nick Frost, and his forays into stand-up comedy, which began with his regular Monday-morning slot in front of his twelve-year-old classmates, Simon has always had a severe and dangerous case of the funnies. Whether recounting his experience working as a lifeguard at the city pool, going to Comic-Con for the first time and confessing to Carrie Fisher that he used to kiss her picture every night before he went to sleep, or meeting and working with heroes that include Peter Jackson, Kevin Smith, and Quentin Tarantino, Pegg offers a hilarious look at the journey to becoming an international superstar.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Star Trek Figurines

Find the book on Amazon / Goodreads 

My Thoughts: 

The forward was pretty funny, as it was directed at Americans and not so subtle reminded them that the British spell things differently, so those aren’t typos in the following chapters. As I started the first chapter I had to check the description again that this was in fact a biography and not a science fiction story, because the opening scene is a Batman modeled Pegg and his discussion with a robotic butler.

Pegg then describes how he’s naturally a private person and how he started his love affair with making others laugh. On the screen, I think he’s HILARIOUS, but a lot of the content of his books is rightly directed at a British audience (since, you know, he’s British and it’s about growing up in Britain). This means I missed references and many of the jokes fell flat.

The constant asides to his crime fighting fictional life and the assistance of his somewhat needy butler detracted from the story. If I pick up a book about anyone’s life, I want to hear about THEIR life, not a fictional story that acts as filler to make the book as a whole an appropriate length. Combine the fictional inserts, and exaggerations of real experiences, with a nonlinear progression of childhood events, and you’re left not really understanding what happened and certainly not with a feeling of how he became one of the most famous nerds of today.