Every now and then, someone points out that I'm not *that* awkward, and then they ask me how I picked the Awkward Engineer name. First, I usually question their judgement and also respond that they've never seen the single, unmarried version of Sam try to talk to women and find a girlfriend.
But here's the official story of where the name comes from:
At some point in my mid twenties, I had a friend who, no joke, picked up a CO2 tank and a pressure vessel off the side of the road somewhere in Cambridge, MA. Given the number of universities, laboratories, and home brewers in the area, this wasn't that eyebrow raising, but I digress.
This friend then went about carbonating anything and everything she could put in the pressure vessel. Beverages, fruit, vegetables, jello, yogurt, etc... Anything with some water content will absorb some CO2 and get a bit of the fizzy 'soda' feeling when you eat it. We even tried carbonating marshmallows. (As I recall, they sort of collapse under the pressure of the CO2, then re-inflate when the pressure is released, and retain a bit of fizz.)
The carbonation was really becoming obsessive, but another friend said something along the lines of "Oh, it's just a phase, it will pass."
And in that moment, something clicked in my brain, and I realized that all my quirks, twitches, odd habits, dating foibles, and misadventures with trying to talk to women weren't just a phase. I was in my mid twenties. I wasn't going to grow out of it.
This was just who I was.
I decided I might as well roll with it, so Awkward Engineer became the name of my blog. Fast forward several years, and I'm very lucky that my now wife basically clubbed me over the head and instructed me to ask her out. But that's another story for another time.
aka THE Awkward Engineer