Sunday, November 13, 2005

Brians Aplenty

I realize that "Brian" is far from the most popular male name in the English-speaking world. Indeed, for my entire lifetime, it has been less popular, nationwide, than my own given name. Somehow, though, by way of some statistical anomaly, I can't seem to swing a long-tailed cat without hitting two guys named Brian and one named Bryan. In particular, there are six (Count 'em!) Brians or Bryans that Alison and I have reason to refer to on a semi-regular basis:

  • Brian Who Blogs at Breakfast is the author of a pretty dad-gum funny blog, and he's also a biostatistics professor. Given that he's my age, but already is a professor, is married (with pets!), and has a much cooler blog than I do, I can't help but feel inferior, or at least behind schedule.
  • Krav Bryan taught krav maga at my old school in Virginia and now teaches at my new school in Maryland. He's a much better kraver (Kravist? Kravster? Kravinater?) than I am, so I always feel like an uncoordinated pansy around him.
  • K-State Brian was in my research group in grad school is now a physics professor at Kansas State University. This Brian is also my age and already a professor. Plus, he knows far more about optics than I do. So, it's lather, rinse, repeat with my inferiority complex.
  • Piercing Brian owns the Piercing Experience in Atlanta. He's a remarkably intelligent and surprisingly soft-spoken guy, though he's sometimes almost frustrating to talk to, since he's so obsessed with the hygiene of the piercing process and the suitability of the jewelry material . However, it seems to me that that kind of obsession is exactly what one wants in a piercer, so carry on, Brian.
  • Quantum Bryan works in my current group. In addition to being a really smart and moderately funny guy, he has, sadly, been witness to every stupid thing I've done since I started my new gig. (Somehow, I've avoided doing obviously inane things in front of my other coworkers.) So blah blah blah inferiority issues yada yada yada. By the way, if you're reading this, Bryan (and if you've been able to sort yourself out from the other Brians and Bryans in this entry), I'm really not as inept as I seem. I'm thoroughly ept, I promise.
  • Family Guy Brian is, of course, a character on Family Guy. So yes, he's a dog. And I don't actually know him. And yes, he is fictional. But I still find the need to refer to him frequently. (Besides, he reminds me of Todd.) This Brian doesn't make me feel inferior, and that's a nice change. I mean, I have my problems, but at least I'm not an alcoholic who is infatuated with his best friend's wife and spends most of his time with an oddly British-accented infant bent on matricide and world domination. Oh, and I'm not a dog.

So please, if you are planning to have children, it would simplify my life if you would leave "Brian" and its alternate spellings off the list. In fact, if you're called Brian, I'd appreciate it if you'd look into changing it. Thanks.

Next post: Girls named Sara(h), and why they all have to go.

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