Do you have those odd themes that just seem to be recurrent in your life? I have two recurrent themes in my life. First is NYC – I served a mission here and have traveled here at least once a month in my job over the last 8 years. I enjoy the city and all of its energy and diversity. I have also been here during interesting times – lived in Brooklyn during the race riots in the early 1990s, visited the WTC two weeks before 9/11, traveled to NYC for work just after 9/11 when the airports reopened, spent a long hot night in a hotel room after climbing 44 flights of stairs in the dark during the great blackout here a few years ago. However, if there were a list of places I would not want to live, sadly, NYC would be near the top, but it is a great place to visit.

The second theme has been chickens. Ever since I was young I have loved chickens. My siblings and I raised chickens. We circled chicken breeds from the chicken hatchery catalogues as many kids used to circle toys in the Sears catalogue in preparation for Christmas. We loved to get the chicks, raise them, do some funky genetic crosses and incubate the eggs to see what weird chicken would emerge. Little did I know that in my 7 years of graduate school studying embryology, I would use the Chicken embryo as my model system. I spent countless hours looking at and manipulating chicken embryos. I would bring extra eggs home from the lab to eat (virus and pathogen free eggs that cost $15 a dozen). Those were good times. Now I look forward to the day when I will have a patch of ground large enough for my own chickens….

I find it fascinating how these themes occur in our lives. Perhaps it is serendipity, perhaps fate, but perhaps I had some pre-mortal chickens that I raised in a large pre-mortal city that resembled NYC….