My area of research in Astronomy involves computer simulations of individual galaxies. There are a few groups working on similar projects to me, but there is one person in particular whose research is so close that she shall henceforth be known as ARCH RIVAL #1. ARCH RIVAL #1 not only develops similar models, but she is also British and my exact contemporary, graduating the same year I did, albeit from a different university.

Even though we are employed on different continents (North America is MINE bitches, but one day I will retake Europe), the similarity of our work means that we frequently attend the same conferences. Currently, we are both in Aspen. In June, we were both in Barcelona. April saw us in Florida and last summer in Italy. You get the idea. Other scientists confuse us, sometimes using the wrong name even when facing the person in question.

So what was I to do when said ARCH RIVAL #1 had her birthday during this workshop? Clearly, a multi-step plan was in order:

1. First, announce said birthday to an entire room of Astronomers during the formal discussion we were jointly leading this morning.

2. Buy a cake.

3. Fill the birthday girl's slice with a slow acting poison that takes 72 HOURS to take affect, knowing that she reads my blog.

4. Laugh evilly.

5. Repeat (4) to taste.