I used to manage a research center for Mad Cow disease in people, which is where a lot of my brain-related anecdotes took place. Actually, I have to be honest: it's where ALL of the brain-related anecdotes took place. I did not handle any brains when I taught undergraduate computer classes, although at times I wanted to. I wanted to shake those brains and ask them if they were defective, but that wouldn't be very nice.
Anyway, it turns out that I'm actually very good at this brain-related stuff, or at least I'm good at convincing people that I'm good at it. And at one point, they sent me to Europe to present at an international meeting of the world's best researchers in this topic. Yay me.
So after I missed my connecting flight, and ended up arriving to Slovenia late and sick as a dog because I was flying whilst unknowingly pregnant with twins, I got up to make my presentation. Now, I'm actually a good public speaker; I get a little jittery but not particularly nervous. I've taught aerobics. In a bathing suit. After getting up in front of a big group of people to do froggies in a high-cut tank, nothing is frightening. And then there was the time that my own boss started to heckle me during my presentation; the projector overheated and wouldn't work any more, and he wasn't happy that he had nothing to look at, so I offered to get up on the podium and dance. Everyone ELSE laughed, at least. One of my coworkers offered me a quarter, and I got offended because I knew I was at least worth a dollar.
Wow. Big tangent there. Anyway, I was actually a little nervous this time, because there were some people there who had actually WON the nobel prize, and I'm just a chick from the Midwest who thinks zombies are really nifty. And they're all these mid-50s and older Europeans, all dapper and cool, and I'm a long-haired pregnant chick who is neither dapper nor cool. I regret the cool part, but not the dapper part.
And then, the very kind Brit who was running the whole thing said, "And now, from the US group, let's hear from Carrie Fisher."
Sadly enough, this is not the first time I've been referred to as Leia's alter ego. My boss right out of college called me Carrie Fisher for the first three months that I worked there. I take it as a compliment, so long as you're referring to slave girl Leia and not sticky-bun-headed Leia. Although she really did pull off the buns.
Nuff said. Happy Thanksgiving, and yet again, let me remind you that the prizes for the BRAINS contest are still up for grabs through Wednesday of next week.