Hi all and thanks to the powers-that-be for letting me spread my td;lr for all to see instead of just in the comments.

By way of very brief introduction, I'm a northern European getting my PhD in the Midwest. I like cross-stitching and making greeting cards, and observe Midwestern values and legislation through my "libertarian-socialist" (only relatively speaking) glasses with a mixture of fascination and occasional horror. (Yes, my crafty tendencies and political views are roughly equally pertinent facts.) That said, I'm beginning to develop a soft spot for the area and hope to explore more of it in coming years.

Like so many others here, I'm beating my head against the virtual wall of OKC while recuperating from heartbreak and depression. That said, I have a pretty cool life, and since I foresee a lot of whiny posts in my future, I thought I would start off with something completely different: a self-love party! (And I don't mean this in a porny sense, although if that tickles your fancy, be my guest.) I know you're all wicked awesome, talented, cool and kind people, but I also know it's sometimes easy to forget that. I also know it's sometimes easier to appreciate and believe things when you write them down and share them.

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So, be shameless: What makes you awesome? (I'll tell you all about my awesomeness in the comments.)

Hope everyone has a fun Saturday! Here, have some puppies, including the chin up!pup that's my avatar.