Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Call Me Leia, with a Side of Brains

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.


K.C. Shaw said...

Lol! No wonder Star Wars makes you snarf!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jamie Eyberg said...

And she is a good writer. I still think of her in The Blues Brothers.

Adrienne said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Leia ;)
I'm going to go with a side of cranberry sauce.

Kelly Polark said...

May the snarf be with you!
So I am afraid to ask what you are stuffing your turkey with this year...
I am impressed with you presenting to prize winners though! You are brainy!

Aaron Polson said...

I lurv it. And Brains, too. It could have been could have been an Ewok. (shivers)

Samantha said...

Happy Turkey Day!

I'm coming up for air, having just completed my 50k for NaNoWriMo. I wish the rest of the novel could be completed through osmosis. But it won't. Maybe Carrie Fisher can finish it. (Her books are funny...)
Did you know she was an authoress?

So, I think you would look snarfalicious with Princess Leia buns. Maybe for your next speaking engagement?

Anne Spollen said...

I still can't get past aerobics in a bathing suit...

Ray Veen said...

Oh man. I reeeeelly liked that slave girl, Leia. Anyhow, after this post, I have a new appreciation for how big-time you are.

Presenting in Europe.

Dang, girl.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

I have a writing friend named Leiah (yes pronounced the same as the Star Wars Leia). She has the same Star Wars connections you have. :)

Wow. I'm surrounded by cinnamon buns!!!

Carrie Harris said...

KC: Yeah, it's as good an excuse as any. :)

Jamie: How embarrassing. I forgot she was even in that movie. Slayer would be disappointed in me.

Adrienne: Hee. You called me Leia.

Kelly: They're not letting me cook the turkey. This is probably smart, although I am a pretty good cook.

Aaron: And then I'd have to run around singing Luve Nubs. You're right; that would be bad.

slhastings: Yippee to you for finishing NaNo!!!! And depending on the circumstances of the speaking engagement, I might just do it.

Anne: Yeah, probably should have said that I was teaching WATER aerobics, huh? But everyone else was in the water, and I was on the side of the pool. In my bathing suit. Doing frog kicks. Yeah, I was stylin.

BPV: Good. Now I shall get the respect I deserve. Then again, knowing you and Bryan, probably not. ;)

Fox Lee said...

I liked Jabba the Hut. He was the whole reason I kept watching those movies : )

K. M. Walton said...

I went to school, IN 8TH GRADE, wearing Princess Leia buns.

...and it wasn't Halloween.

...and I went to Catholic school.

...and I had a metal yoda pencil case.

...and I still have all of my action figures for Empire Strikes Back in my garage.

...and I still have my 900,000 trading cards in my garage - and my Empire pillow case.

And finally, I used to know EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY WORD to Empire.

I was 12. That is my only defense.

Brenda said...

What an impressive resume you have...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pat Powers said...

Slave Leia? You're related to Slave Leia? I luuuuuurve Slave Leia.

Also: Brainnnnssssss ...

Cate Gardner said...


Carrie Harris said...

Glamis: I used to know someone in a writing group who had twins named Luke and Leia and a little boy named Raistlin, which is a Dragonlance reference. I was relieved to know someone who was a bigger geek than me.

Natalie: And once again, I am not surprised. :)

KM: I WISH I would have saved all of my trading cards. Actually, I think I did and then my mother threw them out. I had Star Wars, Michael Jackson, and Grease. Eclectic, huh?

Brenda: Yeah, I look good on paper. I'm one of those overachiever types. Please don't hate me. ;)

Pat: In my dreams at least. And BRAAINS right back atcha!

Cate: And happy Thursday right back atcha. ;)

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving -- Hope it's gobblicious!


Mary Witzl said...

You actually taught aerobics in a swim suit? AND you have twins? Good God -- is there anything you CAN'T do?

Sherrie Petersen said...

My husband loves slave girl Leia, too. I'm pretty sure she couldn't have taught aerobics in that getup though!

Hope you didn't eat the turkey brains. They're kind of minimal, in the brains department.

Carrie Harris said...

Abi: T-giving was good, thanks. Hope yours was too!

Mary W: I feel compelled to point out that the aerobics teaching predated the twin having. Post-twin me wouldn't be so keen on the bathing suited aerobics teaching. ;)

Sherrie: I didn't eat the turkey brains. Although I used to call one of my close friends in junior high "turkey brain." In retrospect, I have no idea what we were thinking.

Ray Veen said...

So I accidentally clicked this thing that took me to your profile and it turns out, I was viewer number 777.

See how special I am?

Caryn Caldwell said...

How funny! It's not like the two last names are *that* similar, or that Carrie is such an uncommon name.

sruble said...

You mean I can officially say that I know Princess Leia? Cool.

BTW, how did the brain presentation go? You didn't finish the story.

Carrie Harris said...

BPV: I knew you were special already, my non-biscuit ninja friend.

Caryn: I know. And my maiden name is Lewis, which is STILL nothing like Fisher.

sruble: Oh, the presentation went just fine. I did a lot of those puppies back in the day, so I had it pretty much down pat.