Thursday, January 05, 2006

A is for Astrophysicist

I've decided that it might be nice if other people read my blog so that I'm not just talking to myself here, so to that end I've joined the A-B-C-Along ring. It's pretty straight-forward: every two weeks, I post a photo about something that means something to me. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my first one:

This is my Astrophysicist, aka my husband (standing next to a space capsule at Kennedy Space Center; I took the picture when we visited there once, he doesn't actually have any professional relationship with the Space Center). There are two general types of responses when I say my husband is an astrophysicist: intimidation, or confusion. Sometimes both. The confused ask, "What's an astrophysicist?" to which I reply, "A rocket scientist," which is completely inaccurate, but at least it's something people have heard of. Inaccurate, because he doesn't build or study rockets. The intimidated, well, there's not much I can do for them. I try to comfort them, I try to let them know that he's not scary, I try to tell them that it's okay, you can just go back to talking about the weather, but alas, they simply back away. They might try and ask me what I do, to which I reply, "I'm a cell biologist," (which is the least scary title I can give myself, technically I'm getting a PhD in molecular genetics and cell biology), and that pretty much clinches the deal. It happened just this past weekend at a New Year's Eve party, actually. But I digress. I'm supposed to be talking about my astrophysicist, not how people react to his profession.

I met John in the dorm lounge at college. He was smart and funny, and helped me with my physics homework. Eventually, he became my physics tutor. For various reasons, we didn't actually "get together" for a couple years. I can honestly say that all of the good things I experience in my life today started then. We were married in the spring of 2000 and I have never been happier. I'm not saying it's all been one big party, there are ups and downs as there are in any relationship, but my life is better for having him in it.

John grew up just outside Boston, but was fortunately spared most of the accent (he pronounces all of his r's, but he has a few funny words: sawr [saw], idear [idea] and arnge [orange] ). He has always wanted to be an astronomer, at least since junior high or so, and he majored in astronomy and physics in college, then got a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics at U of Chicago. He studies cosmic dust. Yes, that's right, dust, you know, like the stuff that collects on your figurines. To do this, he uses a telescope with a special device on it that lets him see infrared light . STOP! DON'T RUN AWAY!!! It's not scary, it's like you see in spy shows on tv or in movies when they have a device that lets them see people because of their body heat and they show up like little red people moving around, that's really infrared light. I don't really understand it all, but basically what it means is that he goes to Hawaii (just left this morning as a matter of fact), way up high on a mountain (where it's very cold--he brings his winter coat when he goes, there's no laying on the beach for him), staring at cosmic dust. Which is pretty zen when you think about it.

He likes to read science fiction and political humor (I got him an Al Franken book for Christmas). He hates George Bush (don't we all), and is a democrat as only a half-Irish [non-practicing] Catholic from Boston can be. He likes to play cards, Trivial Pursuit, and Parchisi. He's tall and skinny and has a really great metabolism, such as I can only dream of. Don't get him started on the Vatican and the Catholic Church (please, really, don't do it). He pretends not to like our kitty but I've seen him petting him when no one was looking. At his most stressed-out, he resembles what I look like at my least. In an effort to get him a hobby, I bought him a toy train once and my mother now buys him train things every Christmas without fail. It's amazing how many books about trains there are out there. Now, if only we could set up the train set again, it would all make more sense....

So that's it. That's my Astrophysicist/husband John.


  1. I LOVED reading about your astrophysicist husband. I might be intimidated, too....naw, not really. but I might not know what question to follow up with next. For a minute when I started reading your entry, I said, "Hey! This is Nicole and Matt!" (our neighbors. I, of course, call them our "cute, geeky neighbors.") He's a rocket scientist and she's a Ph.D. chemist. They're both extremely tall and lanky and geeky-looking. But your husband doesn't look like that at all. He looks perfectly normal (and cuter than all hell, too!) ROFL. Oh, I crack myself up. I hope you "get" my humor and don't back away slowly.

    THANKS! for doing the red scarf thing. And I will put you in my bloglines, now that I know you're here.

  2. I love your A! It's fun to come across so many new blogs because of the ABC-Along, isn't it? I think your husband is perfectly normal, too, by the way. The only thing scary about "astrophysicist" is spelling it.