Sarah Kidd


Sarah, thank you for taking the time out to answer these questions.
Let's start off with telling everyone a little bit about yourself. Where
were you born? How did you wind up in Vancouver?

Thanks Erwin. It's great to be here and lovely to see you, as always.

I was born in a small town in Northern England, known as Buxton. It's close to Manchester and is famous for its spring water. People come from all over the world to fill up their water bottles at the well, believing it has healing properties and such. I can't remember if I ever drank it though.

My parents got sick and tired of the cold wet weather in England and decided to take us to live in Australia. I was 12 years old, and it was very exciting to have a pool and palm trees in my backyard for the first time.

How did I wind up in Vancouver? Well I had visited a couple of times over the years, and I liked it. One time when I was visiting Vancouver, back in 2002, I met this guy called Bryan. He turned out to be quite nice so we started calling each other and emailing and stuff, even after I went back to Sydney. Then we got tired of talking on the phone and I started to look for work in Vancouver. Well I found this job that was perfect for me – I get to run around the wilderness hugging trees and taking soil samples, I do fancy-looking science work in a lab, I mingle with public health folks, and I even give interviews for TV news programs sometimes. The news reporters regard me as such an expert in my field that they refer to me simply as “Sarah”. So, long story short, I moved to Vancouver in the summer of 2003, and have been here ever since.

That's great Sarah, who knew being a squirrel wrangler could lead you
to your current job in Vancouver. Anyways, do you remember the first time you met me? Given your first impressions, you must be really surprised we're friends now.

Well I think squirrels are cute but I don't think I'd ever want to wrangle with one that just sounds cruel.

I do remember the first time I met you Erwin. I'd just arrived in Vancouver that day, and Bryan was taking me to the Golf Club for some lunch before the jet lag kicked in. We met you on the way. I honestly didn't have any first impression, other than 'he seems like a nice guy'. My brain wasn't really onboard. I remember having breakfast with you at St. John's a few days later and you didn't really talk to me, so naturally I assumed you were a shy guy who doesn't like to talk much. I think that's the only time I've seen you eat breakfast.

Toilet paper. Hang over or hang under?

Over. I'm very particular about that. Sometimes, when I'm using the bathroom at other people's houses and I see that their toilet paper is hanging under, I change it so that it hangs over. I figure they'll appreciate the difference and thank me later.

Speaking of hung over, do you partake in the imbibing of fine spirits or beverages of such nature? If so, what's your favourite drink?

I'm fond of a good fruity martini-style drink, like a Cosmo or a Candy Apple. I also like the occasional Bellini or Mojito. I had a lychee Mojito a few days ago, it was delicious!

Let's get back to your education. Out of the many, many grad students
I've met over the years, you remain the youngest person I know to have received their PhD. You were 26 when you were crowned Dr. Sarah. Did you take any extra special satisfaction in finishing at such a young age?

Well I knew I didn't want to be doing a PhD when I was middle aged with kids, so I decided to get it out of the way early.

Actually that's not true. In fact I just didn't really know what else I wanted to do with my life, so I enrolled in a PhD. As for finishing at such a young age, well I realized enrolling in a PhD just to avoid being on the dole wasn't a good decision. But I wasn't going to quit halfway through something so I decided to work hard and get out of there fast. There was also a lot of motivation to get away from evil people in my research group, and to move to Vancouver.

You have slight fondness for dogs. If you had to buy me a dog, which breed would you choose for me and why?

I would get you a small dog like a pug. Pugs are really cute and friendly, and they don't need too much exercise, which I think would suit you well. Plus, as a bonus, if you ever did happen to take a pug puppy for a walk, I think you would have a girlfriend within hours!

Assuming you were going to have a hot dog for lunch tomorrow, what kind of condiments would we find on said hot dog?

Well it would have to be a really good quality hotdog. I'd want it to contain at least 70% meat and 0% dog before I'd agree to eat it. But assuming it was a good quality hot dog, I'd probably put onions, ketchup and sweet pickle relish on it. I wouldn't put cheese or mustard on it.

In a sort of cultural exchange about a year ago, you agreed to eat
steamed chicken feet while I agreed to eat vegemite. In your opinion, who got the raw end of the deal and why?

Me, obviously. They were chickens feet!!! Chickens walk around in chicken poop all day long. Vegemite is delicious, salty, nutritious goodness, and doesn't walk around in chicken poop all day long.

I respectfully disagree but we'll leave it at - Ed.

You once publicly referred to the Lord of the Rings trilogy as "elf"
movies. While there were elves in the movies, the fellowship was comprised of individuals from many races. The character of Legolas was perhaps the most prominent elf, followed by Elrond and Arwen. One could argue that Aragorn was part elf since it was written he had Dunedain blood. Another argument could be made that if one had to choose a race to label the movies, they would be called "hobbit" movies since both Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry factor so largely into the story. What is your Mom's first name?

Rosalind, and I prefer to think of her as a Mum than a Mom. She likes elf movies. She also likes Star Trek, Star Wars and other geeky stuff.

I know it's been a while but could you tell us what your favourite meal was when you lived at St. John's College?

Oh that's easy. My favourite soup was the carrot and ginger. My favourite salad was the tomato and basil with bocconcini cheese. I enjoyed a lot of the entrees – Chef Clarence made a pretty tasty curry, and the salmon was always good. Actually, I liked most of the entrees that didn't contain sauerkraut, jellyfish or spam. My favourite dessert was either the triple chocolate mousse cake or the tri-chocolate pate, which were pretty much the same thing anyway. One time, they had all of my favourite dishes in one night!

You and I both love drinking Coke. Do you think it's something we'll ever kick as a habit? And, don't you think Diet Coke tastes awful compared to normal Coke?

[Audible gasp] No Erwin! I do not think Diet Coke tastes awful compared to normal Coke!! In my opinion, Diet Coke is Nectar of the Gods, and I worship it as such. Nothing else comes close to being as tasty and mood-lifting, not even coffee. My parents started buying Diet Coke as soon as it became available in the 80's, and I've been hooked for a good long time now. I remember getting cravings in Grade 9 if I hadn't had Diet Coke in a couple of days, and by Grade 12 I was truly an addict. I've pretty much been an addict ever since, with the exception of a few brief stints where I went cold turkey for a month or two.

So speaking for myself, I don't think I'll ever be able to kick the habit. I'm not sure about you though, I don't think normal Coke is nearly as addictive, especially when you often go for the caffeine free variety - maybe you'll eventually find a hearty cup of hot water more rewarding.

For just over a year now, you've had your own web site and new fangled blog. How has that changed your life?

When I came to Vancouver I didn't know the first thing about blogging or web design. I didn't even know what a blog was until I stumbled across yours, Erwin. But you'll be pleased to know that I was so inspired by your blog, especially how you talk about your lunch and stuff, that I decided to try writing my own blog. I thought it would be a great way for my family and friends in other countries to keep up to date with what I eat for lunch. And then I realized you could write about other stuff besides lunch, and I started discussing all kinds of things. Then somehow I ended up designing a rather mediocre website and getting a personal domain, and I just couldn't stop!

So how has it changed my life? – I spend a lot more time in front of a computer these days. But I've got to say its hard-work keeping up a blog and website. Sometimes, I just don't have anything to say, but people expect you to write stuff, and they expect you to be funny too. I'm not naturally funny.

Would you rather do a push up or a sit up... and why?

If we're talking about doing just one push up or one sit up, I could do either. I'd even do both. It's the twenty in a row that kills me. If I had to choose, I'd do twenty sit ups rather than twenty push ups, because I'm not sure if I could actually do twenty push ups without a 10 minute break halfway.

Who was the last celebrity you saw in Vancouver?

I haven't seen that many. Usually Bryan sees them first and points them out to me, and all I see is the back of their head. I think the last celebrity who I saw at a distance was Juliette Lewis. But before that I saw John Cusack, and I actually got a good look at him. He was smoking a cigar on the patio of one of our local restaurants. I also shared a flight down to LA with David Suzuki and Jason Biggs recently. Jason Biggs was a bit full of his own celebrity status and had a flight attendant sneak him out of the plane to avoid mingling with the riffraff at the arrivals gate.

Your current boyfriend is a guy named Bryan. Please tell us a little bit about BryBry.

Bryan is a really lovely guy, the kind that gets along well with everybody he meets. He's cute and wears interesting eyewear that makes him look like Elvis Costello, only more cute than Elvis Costello. He is always well-groomed, except for when he grew a beard. He's very smart and is almost finished with his Ph.D. in chemistry. Despite being a chemist he is quite artistic, and designs his own T-shirts and greeting cards. He makes me laugh, and sometimes he even laughs at my jokes, which I appreciate. He does nice things for me, like putting my pyjamas in the dryer to warm up before bedtime (No. I did not spell pyjamas wrong). But just in case you were thinking Bryan might be the perfect man, he is not - he likes to play computer games. Sometimes he even takes his computer to other people's houses and they network their computers and geek out surrounded by empty pizza boxes and Coke cans. I don't really understand what that's about. Do you know what that's about, Erwin? But in any case, I cope with his LAN partying life-style by visiting girlfriends, renting Sex and the City, and eating chocolate.

In Canada, a "jumper" is most likely to be identified as a guy on a bridge or on top of a building. What's a "jumper" in Australia?

In Australia a jumper is a knitted sweater made from wool, cotton or fleece. It has the same meaning in England too. Jumper has lots of meanings in Canada, as I have come to realize through various miscommunications – it turns out that jumper also refers to a baby's one-piece outfit, and a method of starting your car when you accidentally left the lights on.

If we were to follow you into a non-adult movie theatre, what snack would you most likely to buy from the concession stand?

Depending on the quality of the establishment, either Reeces pieces or frozen yogurt with Skor bar topping. I'd also take in a Diet Coke, but I'm more likely to sneak in a can that I bought earlier, rather than pay $4 for a small soda fountain Diet Coke.

I know a guy that sneaks malt liquor into pubs and strip joints but that's for another time - Ed.

Sarah, on behalf of everyone here at, I'd like to thank
you for taking the time to answer these questions. Before we leave, is
there anything else you'd like the readers to know?

I'd have to agree with Marcia that this is rather a clichéd question to wrap up an interview with. I'd also like to echo Carolyn's sentiment on red. I like red too. I like to wear clothes that are red. I live in a red house, and it's a lot more fun than living in a grey house.

Also, I'd like your readers to know that there is an alternative to aluminum – its called aluminium and it's pronounced using an extra syllable. I like aluminium so much that I think it's worth going to the effort of an extra syllable.

It was nice chatting with you Erwin. Have you considered hosting a talk show?

The pleasure was all mine indeed. Actually, I've thought many times before how I'd like to host a show at 5am in the morning on cable access. Anyways, thanks once again for your time, I'm sure the readers have enjoyed this!


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