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Graduate student (permanently, it seems). Scientist by day. Writer by night. Gay at all times 🌈 I post funny essays, opinion pieces, and some favorite recipes.

How I learned about Targét and Bible Camp

(Photo by fauxels from Pexels)

By sheer coincidence, I had to travel to my boyfriend’s hometown a few weeks after we started dating. I was incurably optimistic then, so I suggested meeting his parents while I stayed in Chicago. I was calm about crossing this serious relationship milestone so early on —until about a week before my flight. In the course of about three days, I descended through multiple distinct and excruciating levels of panic.

Since all gay thinking is overthinking, everything seemed fine until I realized how different we were. He was quite literally a Boy Scout from the Midwest: kind and pale just…


Immunosenescense, Reversing Thymic Involution, and Stem Cell Banking

Preamble: This piece is actually a final paper I wrote for a seminar-style class about the science and technology behind the biology of ageing. I wrote a (moderately technical) piece about the effects of ageing on the immune system, a possible strategy to reverse the damage, and highlight how this can be scaled for everyone with stem cell banking. It is a somewhat technical paper so there are references at the end, but throughout the text they’re designated with a [#] symbol where the number matches the list number in the references at the end.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

Introduction

One of the great ironies…


Short Recipe: Tasty Egg-Based Brunch Dish

Photo by author/cook/me.

Simply put, shakshuka is just eggs poached in tomato sauce. Therefore they key ingredient (and the place where you can go crazy) is in the making of this sauce. I, personally, try to keep the dish healthy and just add in a can of black beans to increase the lean protein content.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil for sautéing
  • 1 medium/large white onion; diced
  • 1 red bell pepper; diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic; diced
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz can of whole tomatoes (get San Marzano tomatoes if you can)
  • 1…


Easy and Delicious Brunch Dish

Photo by author/cook/me.

Shakshuka is a classic Middle Eastern/North African (MENA region) dish (sometimes made for breakfast I think, because it’s egg heavy) that’s been continuoulsy reinvented and has been turned into another fancy brunch food here in the US. Oddly, the best version of this dish I have encountered (so far) was in Melbourne, Australia; this was back when traveling was a thing, in a pre-pandemic world. At any rate, this is a quick and (moderately) easy recipe to make in about 30 minutes or so if you have everything ready to go. …


A podcast dedicated to fabulous narration.

Photo by author. Podcast Cover Art.

I recently had the idea to add narration to my comedic pieces which are the entire reason started writing again. Since only a minority of stories on Medium are selected for narration, I decided to do it myself so I created a podcast called That’s Incorrect.

My task now is to narrate my stories and add an embedded audio player near the top of my stories. Pieces that have narration will get a 🗣️ emoji in the title so folks know that narration is available. …


In Between Brothy Lentil Soup and Creamy Daal

Photo by author/cook/me.

I love lentils so I decided to experiment by creating a hybrid dish: a lentil soup that combines the traditional spices from Daal and the veggies from more traditional lentil soup. Daal is often prepared with red lentils because they can be used dry without problems; when added to a simmering pot, they will fall apart and create that creamy texture. Traditional lentil soup is brothy but can be made creamier by manually pureeing a portion of the soup and adding it back to the broth. …


An Appeal for a New Culture in the Century of Biology

Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels

Ironically, I’d like to begin this piece by describing my credentials. At the time of writing, I am pursuing a chemistry PhD and have a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology. The purpose of my post-secondary education, which now spans ten years, has been to prepare me to be a creative and productive member of the scientific community. As I enter the (hopefully) final year of my doctoral studies during a global pandemic, I worry about the following developments: (1) the existing culture of credentialism in the scientific community, (2) the ascent of biology in the 21st century, (3) the…


Oh, the Places You Shouldn’t Go.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash.

Although my boyfriend and I were born in different countries, our biggest cultural differences are actually due to him being raised in the Midwest while I grew up in the East Coast. By no fault of his own, my beloved was born and raised somewhere in the enormous suburban sprawl that claims to be part of the city of Chicago. I, on the other hand, spent my teenage years in the New York City area. Consequently, I refer to the entire region between The Appalachians and The Rockies as “the middle”. …


Short Recipe: Decadent, Enormous, Death by Chocolate

Photo by author/cook/me.

I was first introduced to these massive and delicious cookies from Levain by a high school friend I was visiting for the holidays. The bakery now has 8 locations, most of which are in New York City — if you’re ever in town, you should check these out.

Note: this makes about 8 cookies so either freeze/store the unused dough or call up 8 hungry friends.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark baking cocoa
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp…

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