Sunday, February 18, 2007

Polish Overload

So my date with Match Boy went well. We went out for drinks at a quaint Scotch bar - though we both opted for beer. We got along well, had nice conversation, and generally enjoyed each other's company.

With that said, there just didn't seem to be any spark/chemistry on my part. I didn't feel the excited nervousness that comes I like someone. Cliche or not, there was a very strong 'friend' vibe - it really felt like going out for drinks with a new friend.

While there doesn't seem to be a romantic match, at least I might get a friend out of the deal! I'm going out for drinks with another guy, henceforth named Dr. Guy (he's a medical resident), on Tuesday. So we'll see how that goes!


As for the topic - Polish Guy has unfortunately and hilariously crawled back ever so briefly into my life.

I was out with my best friend yesterday doing some shopping before seeing the new Hugh Grant movie. We're down in one of the underground food courts, just sitting and having a chat. As we're getting up to leave, guess who strolls up to us.

I instantly know it's Polish Guy, and start laughing in a "god this is going to be bad, isn't it" kind of way. He starts off asking something along the line of if my friend and I are "good smellers". I shit you not.

I look over at MC, and can tell she doesn't recognize him. And then I realize he doesn't recognize us! He then tries to tell us that he has two different colognes on his wrists, and wants us to choose the one we like best. He proceeds to shove his wrists in our faces.

The look of pure terror and disbelief on my friends face was hysterical. We both start to back away, just trying to get the hell away from this guy - while I'm frantically hoping he doesn't suddenly remember us.

As we're walking away, I tell my friend who it was, and we begin to talk about how randomly scary that was and if the "are you good smellers" line usually works on unsuspecting women.

Polish Guy is a whole new brand of completely and horrifying weirdness that I hope to never encounter again in my life. Blech!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dreaded Presentations

Last Thursday it was my turn to present my research to the group of PI's and their students at the Montreal Neurological Institute, where I work.

I had to give my first presentation last year, and if you remember, I was quite absolutely and completely terrified to do it. This year was a complete 180 degree change.

Recently, I've been feeling exponentially more confident in myself with regards to my research. Having had no background in biochem/molecular research going into the lab made for a very difficult, stressful, and self-esteem breaking experience. It took a really long time to learn the ropes and be able to confidently speak to others about what I'm doing. Last year I didn't sleep well for 2 months leading up to my MNI presentation and had frequent panic attacks.

This year I rocked it. I wasn't too nervous, had a lot more data to present, knew what I was talking about, and was able to answer the questions thrown my way.

Friday I have to give the same talk to the Psychology department as a requirement to fast-track through my Masters and right into my PhD without losing a year or having to do a candidacy exam.

I'm so glad and relieved that I finally feel comfortable and confident again. Who knows what it will be like next year, I might morph into one of those scary pretentious virulent grad students that the undergraduate community so fiercely fears. A girl can hope!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hussy Alert!

So it turns out I have a speed dating match.

Match-Boy actually turned out to be the lucky guy I dashed off to after my horrifying encounter with Polish Guy. Thankfully he was much more pleasant. We've talked and decided to go out for drinks sometime next week, and I'm looking forward to it!

Interestingly enough, turns out I will also be going out with another guy I met recently - he's a friend of someone in my lab. We had met after a bunch of us from the lab went out for drinks one night after work, and we had been keeping in touch.

Looks like I'm turning into quite the hussy! We loves it!

I'll keep you all posted ;)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Speed Dating Experience

Since my little world of graduate neuroscience research is fairly limited, I recently decided to participate in a Speed Dating event that was hosted by the graduate students' society at my University.

I figured it would be a good way to meet some new people, be able to check 'Speed Dating' off my list of Things-To-Do-Before-I-Die, and I would at least get a good story out of it. My best friend and I signed up together, so we would be able to cling to each other for emotional/moral support (and have it look slightly less pathetic when recounting the story).

The night actually ended up being a lot of fun - and I of course have an amusing story to tell you all.

There was 20 guys and 20 girls who turned up, all grad students - mostly in science related fields. The majority of the guys were from physics, which makes sense if you think of the male/female ratio in that field.

Most, with one very hilarious exception, were really nice guys. Some were really funny, some were pretty cute, some were painfully geeky, some were fairly awkward, and one was nutsycoocoo. This diamond in the rough has henceforth been labeled as Polish Guy.

This particular event was structured so the women moved from table to table, with the guys staying seated. You had 2 minutes to chat, and then moved on to the next table. If you were interested, you make a little check in the person's box and if you both checked each other's off, you get emailed the other's email address.

As I'm moving over to Polish Guy's table, already suspiciously eyeing his protruding chest hair from the top of his unbuttoned shirt with quintessential gold chain, I realize this is going to be 2 minutes too long.

He first eyes me up, from top to bottom, makes an approving/demeaning "oohh" noise, and immediately checks my box on his list. At this point all I'm thinking is 'Fuck'.

One of the first things he says, after this horrifying initial display, is to comment on how young I look. He even went as far to estimate my age at 7 years old. I smile in return, trying to pass it off as a joke and not think about any pedophiliac tendencies, and make a sarcastic comment about offensive first impressions.

The next thing I know, he's telling me to look at his chest as an answer to the question "Interesting accent, where are you from?". He promptly takes this glorious opportunity to openly stare at my chest for a good few seconds. Apparently, his gold chain had a pendant which read 'POLAND' - his country of origin. Needless to say, I wasn't about to try to locate this pendant in his peek-a-boo chest hair.

I also remember him asking me whether I like to be on top. I honestly can't recall exactly why this came up (psychological defence mechanism?), but I'm pretty sure there is no logical reason to explain any of this.

Finally, the bell rings - indicating it is time to switch tables. I thank the god of all this is holy and good, and practically knock over my chair in an attempt to get away from this dude as fast as humanly possible. Not only do I not check off his box, but I completely scratch out his number just to ensure that my information doesn't accidentally get sent to him.

I then spend the following 2 minutes talking to the next guy about how scary Polish Guy was.

At the end of the night, my friend and I compare stories - apparently she had a similar experience with Polish Guy. This made me feel better, and less singularly dirty. We now both have an amusing story to share about the perils of speed dating.

All in all, despite the Polish horror that ensued, I'm glad I decided to do it. We'll be notified of any potential matches in the next few days, so we'll see what will come of it :) I had a good time, and at least is makes for an amusing run-on blog post!

Listening to: The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani

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