Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{November 3, 2008}   Grumpy Mood

To the man who blew past me at about 70 km/hr when I was stopped at the crosswalk on Main St. tonight,

You came within 3 ft of killing the pedestrian who was IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET!  Yes, I realize she was crossing the road at an unlit crosswalk on a dark and rainy night wearing all black, but she was IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!  You are driving a car and you should really be looking out for people who are IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!  Here’s a tip: when you see that the car in the next lane (i.e., me) is stopped at a crosswalk, you may want to consider that there may be a person IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET! Also, when I yelled at you at the next stoplight (because, despite your ridiculous speed and lack of consideration for the safety and life of a young pedestrian, you didn’t actually get any further ahead than the next stoplight!), your dismissive shrug, as if you cared not that you nearly killed a person, was not appreciated.


To the man to drove by me very slowly and stared at me the entire time while I was loading my hockey gear into my co-op car,

Yes, I play hockey. Yes, I am a girl. Get over it.


To the girl who shoved me, hard, down to the ice, from behind, at the blue line, after the whistle and then said, “Sorry!”,

I did not believe that you were sorry.


To my brown shoes that appear to have disappeared from my apartment without a trace,

Was it something I said?


To the too hot french fry that burned the roof of my mouth when I bit into it,

You were supposed to be delicious, not injurious.



I had to go pick up a desk from my friend Alicia’s place today.  The desk I had been using for the last 2 years actually belonged to my old roommate, Danielle.  She’d moved to a furnished place on the island, so I was babysitting the desk, and her dresser, until such time as she needed them back.  As she’s now moving to an unfurnished place, such time has arrived.  Fortunately for me, my friend Alicia was looking to get rid of a desk1 right around the same time, so said I could have it for free!  And you know how I feel about free stuff.

So tonight I booked myself a pick-up truck from the car co-op and bribed Kalev with a trip to the grocery store2 if would help me pick up the desk.  It’s one of the many great things about the car co-op – whenever you need a truck or a van to move big stuff, you can have your pick.  I chose a 2007 Mazda B3000, a pretty big truck for a wee-sized girl like myself.  I hate driving pick-up trucks because (a) they are a bitch to park and (b) I had a horrifying experience driving my dad’s pick-up truck when I was younger… a horrifying experience involving a very, very large spider.  *shudder*

Anyhoo, we managed to get the desk moved into my place all in one piece, as well as get a ridiculous amount of groceries – virtually all of which was on sale and/or came with bonus AirMiles.  And now I’m very, very tired!  So my desk setting up adventure will have to wait until tomorrow.  But I’ll post a picture once I have it set up all nice like.

Props to Alicia & Paul for letting me have their old desk/dresser thingamabob, and to Kalev for helping me move it!

1It’s actually a dresser with a spot for a chair – like where you’d have a chair and could sit and put on your makeup at your dresser – but I’m going to use it as a computer desk. ‘cuz that’s the way I roll.
2Kalev, like me, is carless, so an opportunity to be driven to a grocery store where he can buy any heavy items he wants, is an excellent bribe.



{March 15, 2008}  

Man, two days of no blogging! I blame The Man. And fiscal year end¹. Anyhoo, since I’m sure that you are all dying to hear the random thoughts in my brain², here they are:

  • I taught my last lesson to the grade 3-5 students that I was teaching Human Anatomy too. They are sooo damn cute. Especially the one that called me “Mrs. Dr. Snow.” And the one that drew a picture of a flower to give to me since it was my last day with them.
  • We won the first of our three hockey playoff games that we need to win this weekend to make it to the finals on Sunday. We were playing the last place team and, since players need to have played at least 8 regular season games to play in playoffs, teams can’t bring out ringers, so it wasn’t unexpected that we’d win last night’s game. But, anything can happen in playoffs…. last night the 5th place team beat the 2nd place team… so we can’t get too cocky! Keep your fingers crossed for us today at 4:30 p.m. Pacific as we take on the 4th place team!
  • Since I have to drive out to Coquitlam three, possibly four, times this weekend, I decided to rent a car rather than using a Car Co-op car. I got one of those cheap-o weekend deals, my credit card covers the insurance part and I get unlimited kilometers³, so it works out a lot cheaper to rent for this trip than to use the Co-op. The car I rented is a 2008 Toyota Yaris. It drives nicely enough, but I have three complaints: (a) the speedometer is located in the middle of the dashboard, rather than directly in front of the driver, so every time I glance up to see my speed, I have a mini-heart attack when all I see is a blank dashboard4, (b) my hockey sticks don’t fit in the trunk5 so I have to put them in the backseat, which just makes for an extra step when loading and unloading my gear into/out of the car, (c) the cupholder is weird. Based on my patented system of determining if a car is good6, this car ranks an “I wouldn’t buy it.”
  • Fun things I’ve got to talk about lately in the third-year university class I’m teaching: impotence, using semen as a biological testing sample, having the students touch each other.  Don’t you wish you were taking my class?

¹Yes, I realize I’m not in finance and I pawn anything financial that I need to do off on the finance people. But I’m blaming fiscal year end anyway. It’s my blog and I’ll prevaricate if I want to.
²And aren’t just saying “oh, you didn’t blog for a couple of days? I didn’t even notice! Get over yourself already!”
³Random question: Since we measure distance in kilometers here in Canada, why don’t we say “kilometerage” instead of “mileage”?
4I’m not sure why I have a little freak out when I look up and don’t see what speed I’m traveling. The thought going through my mind is something like, “Oh my god, I can’t see the speed, I must be going too fast!”
5My sticks are really short and they fit in the trunk of the Honda Civic that I usually drive from the Car Co-op, and the Yaris feels like a bigger car than the Civic, so I have no idea what’s up with that.
6My system for determining if a car is good consists of (a) can I fit my hockey gear in there?, (b) does it have good cupholders, (c) can I get it in standard, and (d) is it not a Ford? Cars must meet all four criterion to be considered appropriate for me to want to buy it.



{October 22, 2007}  

Dear Every Other Driver on Highway 1 in the Pouring Rain Last Night,

That space between me and the car in front of me is there for a reason. And the reason is not that you can zoom into said space at a high rate of speed and then slam on your brakes because, lo and behold, there is a car in front, you asshat.

Sincerely,

Someone Who Actually Knows How Drive a Car



{October 21, 2007}   Behind the Visor

For years, I’ve been using a visor on my hockey helmet that doesn’t fit properly1. In fact, I’ve been using it since I started playing hockey almost 5 years ago. It was a handy-me-down from my ex – he didn’t like playing with a full face shield, so got himself a half visor and I acquired the ill-fitting full one2. After 4 years of hockey, this visor is now scratched all to hell and it’s always fogged up something terrible. And, really, when you think about it, it’s probably not the best idea to have your safety equipment jury-rigged together. So I finally broke down and bought my own properly fitting visor.

Attaching said visor to my helmet, however, was no small feat. I mean, look at these directions:

instructions

Aside from the fact the chart that tells you if this visor will actually fit your particular helmet is *inside* the packaging (meaning you don’t know for sure until you buy it if it’s going to fit), you seem to need an engineering degree to assemble this damn thing. They appear to have one set of instructors for like 5 different types of visors, so it’s all “For concept II protectors (type 1 and 2), thread the chin strap through the chin cup and face protector as shown in figures 2 and 4.” And I’m all “mine is what concept? what type? whose figure? My cat’s breath smells like cat food.” I mean, for crying out loud, you need a 3 part picture, with multiple arrows, just to loop the chinstrap through the side of the visor:

instructions2

… and that’s before you even start attaching screws and clips and suchlike. Speaking of which, does anyone have any idea what these screws are for?

screws

Because they were left over when I was done and I don’t see anything in the instructions saying what I was supposed to have done with them.

Anyway, although it did take much longer that I expected, by some miracle I seem to have attached the new visor to the helmet in enough time to actually blog this before I have to go pick up my co-op car for tonight’s game.

Also, I’m fighting off a cold, so I’ve affixed some warning signs to my water bottle:

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Hockey players tend to drink out of any bottle on the bench and, since I’d hate to get any more people sick than I’ve already infected, I figured a couple of bright purple signs will help.

1It’s an adult-sized visor and all my equipment is junior boys.
2I’m of the opinion that this face is far too pretty not to have full protection.



{October 16, 2007}   Blog Action Day

Although my previous post was, at least in part, about the environment it was not actually intended as part of Blog Action Day. I actually didn’t know about Blog Action Day until Darren mentioned it in the comments on that post.

In his post, Darren asked “what is your big eco-sin?” Like most of his commenters, I try to be good to the environment:

  • I don’t own a car – I take the bus to work and for most of my transportation around the city, and I joined the car co-op for getting to hockey games
  • even when I do take a co-op car, I usually try to do multiple things on a given trip (such as go to the grocery store after my hockey game) in order to minimize the number of car trips I take
  • I’m a vegetarian and I don’t wear leather
  • I use a travel mug1 to avoid using paper cups and I bring my own Tupperwear container to the cafeteria to avoid using Styrofoam containers
  • I bring my own bag to the grocery store so I don’t have to take plastic ones
  • I recycle anything that can be recycled2
  • I turn the lights out in the bathroom, the kitchen and the photocopy room at work when I leave them3
  • I use the back of old printouts as note paper before I recycle them
  • I don’t buy anything new if I can get it used instead and buy almost all of my clothes in consignment & thrift stores
  • I rarely fly anywhere4

But I do have one big eco-sin. I leave my computer on. All the time. 24/7. Even when I’m at work all day, my computer at home is on. And the main reason I do this is a rather ridiculous one – when I come home, I like there to be messages waiting for me. Even though I haven’t had my landline and it’s accompanying answering machine for months now, my natural inclination when I walk in the door is to look for the little flashing red light telling me that someone cared enough to call me! And since I don’t have that anymore, my msn serves that purpose. With my computer on, people can msn me all day long and when I get home, I have messages waiting for me. OK, now that I write that down, I see it’s silly. Starting tomorrow, I’m shutting my computers off when I leave.

On a related note: why, since the librarians have been on strike for four months, were all the lights on in the local library branch when I walked by there tonight?

1A friend of mine said that he feels if he can’t have his act together enough to bring his travel mug with him, then he feels that he doesn’t deserve a coffee. I think this is a good philosophy
2and in light of the 4 month garbage strike that has, mercifully, just ended, this is a real sacrifice as I can barely fit in my kitchen because I have so much recycling piled up in there!
3and have noticed that some of my co-workers have started following my example
4Although, truth be told, this has more to do with my lack of money (thanks, $70,000 of student loans!) than with a conscience choice to fly less



{October 15, 2007}   Al Gore Would Be Ashamed of Me

I have a confession to make. I like driving cars. I want to be good to the environment and I don’t even own a car, but I really like driving! As you know, I joined the car co-op so that I can get to my hockey games out in Coquitlam. Well, for today’s hockey game, I booked a 2007 Mazda 5. When I booked it, I had in my head a Mazda 3. I like the Mazda 3. The Mazda 5, however, is pretty much a station wagon1. Boo! But the cool thing about the Mazda 5 is that it has a feature where you can drive the car as a clutch-less manual. Like with the Tiptronic™ transmission of my beloved Smart Car, you can drive this car like a manual, but without having to step on a clutch. I like to call it “idiot-proof manual,” because if you don’t shift correctly, the car will eventually shift for you. The system for shifting is a little wack – you put the gear selector2 into “M” for “manual”, a position from which you can then shift up and down by pushing the stick down or up. Ya, you read that correctly – to shift up, you push the stick down and vice versa. Shifting up shifts down, shifting down shifts up, people wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people3. Driving idiot-proof manual really reminded me how much I love driving a car with a manual transmission. The first car I ever owned, a 1989 Honda Civic, was manual and I loved that car. Interestingly4, I learned how to drive manual on that car and it didn’t have a tachometer. Fortunately, it also didn’t have its muffler properly attached most of the time, so I learned to shift gears based on the sound of the engine. Driving this 5 today was trickly as the engine is so quiet, you can barely hear it and I’m not used to looking at a tach to know when to shift.

Another point of note from my trip in the Mazda 5 is that the car has way too many cup holders. And if I, the woman whose only concerns when car shopping are “will my hockey gear fit into it” and “does it have a cup holder?”, am saying that, well, you just know it must be true. Seriously, there are no fewer than FIVE cup holders accessible from the front seats. FIVE!! Granted, hockey and various other weekend activities may leave one somewhat dehydrated, but how many beverages am I expected to consume in a 45 minute car ride?

Oh ya, and in case you don’t believe that I love to drive, here’s the odometer reading on my old Honda Civic the day she died, some 7 years after I bought her for $2000. When I bought her, I believe she had about 150,000 km on her.

Civic Odometer

RIP, little buddy. I miss you.

1on Wikipedia they refer to it as a “minimini van” because it’s not as big as a minivan, but it has sliding doors and seats 6. But it felt like a station wagon to me! Ick!
2For the record, I had to look that term up. I usually just call it the “stick,” but that feels like it’s more for a manual than an automatic.
310 points to the first person who correctly identifies where I stole that line from.
4If you don’t think this is interesting, try learning to drive stick with a tachometer!



{October 2, 2007}  

Sunday night, 11 pm seems to be the time when hot Vancouver boys do their grocery shopping. Safeway was positively crawling with them. It’s something I’ve been wondering about for a while, because I rarely see hot boys in the grocery store, yet I know they must acquire their sustenance at some point – you can’t build those muscles without protein!

Unfortunately, Sunday at 11 pm was also the time that I, being on the way home from my hockey game, decided to take advantage of the fact that I had a co-op car by stopping in at Safeway for some groceries.

On the way home from my hockey game. As in my hair is in pigtails, tied back with a bandana, no makeup, sweaty and disgusting.

Sigh. Sometimes you just can’t catch a break.



{October 1, 2007}   My First Ever Camping Trip

So, once upon a time I went camping. And then a week of internet-less-ness went by. And then I got really, really, really ridiculously busy at work. And then I could finally blog about it.

While I was packing for my camping trip:

Me: I think I’ll bring this little notebook and a pen, in case I have any profound thoughts I need to write down while I’m camping.

Dani: You mean in case you have any ideas for your blog.

pause

Me: Yes, yes I do.

Just to give you some background, this was the first time in my entire life that I ever slept in a tent. Seriously. I went to “camp” in grade 8, where we slept in cabins. And I’ve been to my friend Erika’s cabin. And I went to someone’s cottage once. And that’s the extent of my “camping” type experiences up until now. My family never did the camping thing when I was growing up and, despite the fact that everyone in Vancouver seems to camp all summer long, no one has ever invited me to go camping with them until Rachel did three weeks ago.

Rachel has a lot of camping gear, so all I had to bring was my food, clothes and a pillow. Neither of us own a car and it turned out to be much cheaper to rent one than to use a co-op car (which seems to be true of the longer trips, and we were driving pretty far). Rachel did all the planning (did I ever mention that Rachel rocks??) and I honestly didn’t even know exactly where we were heading when we left on the Friday afternoon. It turns out we camped at Nairn Falls Provincial Park on Friday night, then headed out to Joffre Lakes to hike on Saturday.


To give you some perspective, Nairn is about 150 km north of Vancouver. And Joffre, unlike what Rachel’s hiking guide book told us, is about 40 km past that. Rachel’s guide book said “Drive 190 km north past Whistler & Pemberton,” so we got up quite early on Friday expecting to drive 190 km (as Nairne is near Pemberton). What the guide book should have said was “Drive 190 km north of Vancouver, going past Whistler & Pemberton.” Minor details.

We left Vancouver in the afternoon and arrived at our campsite in time to pitch our tent while there was still some sunlight, with time to then enjoy the glorious sunset. We also had, in our opinion, the nicest campsite of all the sites in the park. We had a great view of the mountains and the water running by:


I really like this photo we took of ourselves:

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Although I think the sunset makes it look like Rachel has a halo and, really, I should have some devil horns to complete the image.

Before and after photos of our tent:

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Before

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After

Am I the only one who is amazed that the tent, tent poles and tarp all fit into that tiny little sack?

After pitching the tent, we went for a little stroll in search of water and firewood and we don’t get but three campsites down when we here “Beth?” It was my friend Alicia, and her boyfriend Paul, who had just arrived at their campsite. It amazes me that in the 7 years I’ve lived in Vancouver, I can count the number of times I’ve just run into someone I know while out in the city1 on one hand2, but I drive 150 km north and run into a friend three campsites down.

After finding water, but not finding the camp ranger3 to get our firewood, we returned to our site, and cooked some dinner on our wee little camping stoves. The ranger did show up later so we could buy some firewood and build a nice little fire. Rachel had booked the campsite in her name, so when the ranger showed up she asked, “Are you the Molls?” Apparently I took Rachel’s name when we got married.

We had a very relaxed night of playing cribbage, watching the stars and chatting. And then we went to bed, since we were planning to get up really early. And I didn’t sleep a wink. The water that was so beautiful was also unbelievably loud! Funnily enough, we had been chatting, among other things, about how both of us almost never have problems sleeping! That’ll learn me to tempt fate! Also, it was a bit chilly and Rachel, meaning to ask if I knew where the extra blanket was in case I got cold, uttered the best line of the trip: “Do you know how to operate a blanket?”

We got up early and, after a quick camping breakfast, packed up and headed out for a drive to Joffre. From the Ministry of the Environment website:

Steeply rising from Lower Joffre Lake, the glacier-laden peaks are visible from an easily accessible viewpoint 500 metres from the parking lot. If you carry on, the trail becomes a rough, rocky and steep hike through the Coast Mountain range. Evidence of the park’s glacial history can be found in the U-shaped valleys, glacial silts and lateral moraines. This magnificent area of jagged peaks, icefields, cold rushing streams and turquoise blue lakes was established as a recreation area in 1988 and became a Class A park in 1996. A highlight of the park is the turquoise blue waters of Lower, Middle and Upper Joffre lakes, all three of which are located along the trail, and each more stunning than the last. Their striking, saturated blue colour is caused by “rockflour” – or glacial silt – that is suspended in the water and reflects green and blue wavelengths of sunlight. Joffre Lakes Provincial Park has opportunities for hiking, camping, mountaineering, wildlife viewing, and fishing.

If it seems like they are going on and on about the turquoise blue waters of the lakes, it’s only because the water is really turquoise! Seriously, don’t these photos look like we standing in front of a fake backdrop? It was hard to believe that something this beautiful really exists!

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After reaching Upper Lake, we decided that for our next trip to Joffre we will pack our tent and other camping gear and carry it up there to camp out by Upper Lake. Then we could hike up to see the glacier at the top. How cool will that be!

If you ever decide to go to Joffre Lakes, though, I recommend you beware of the wildlife! Check out this ferocious beast we encountered near Upper Lake:

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In all seriousness, though, there are bears in the area. And we saw these (what we are pretty sure are4) bear tracks:


There was also a very large pile of what we believe to have been bear shit on a nearby log – making us think these were bear tracks and not, as some fellow hikers thought dog or squirrel prints. Seriously, we told some other hikers we saw what looked like bear prints and they said, “maybe they were squirrel prints.” I mean, really – how big do squirrels get up north??

Then we hiked back down. And the hike did require that we traverse some very loose rocks and I twice slipped and slammed my ankle into some not very forgiving rocks. Ouch.

And on the way home we were stopped on the Sea-to-Sky highway for over an hour just south of Squamish as there had been a big collision which required them to stop traffic in both directions. Rachel took a picture in the rearview mirror of the traffic behind us:

… and there were 3 km of cars stopped ahead of us.

Word to the wise – if you are ever stuck in traffic on the Sea-to-Sky highway just outside of Squamish, I recommend taking a walk down the road and chatting with each of the carload after carload of hot boys also stuck in said traffic. Good opening lines include “Can you see what’s going on up there?” and “Where did you get that pizza?”

Anyhoo, we eventually made it home and I even went out on the town that night. There’s something truly wonderful about living in a place where you can hike glacial lakes during the day and still get home to go clubbing at night.

1not counting while on campus. ‘cuz that’s not really in the city.
2ok, maybe on two hands
3is that what they are called?
4can anyone confirm or deny whether these are, in fact, bear tracks?



{September 27, 2007}   Hockey, Hockey, Hockey, Hockey

Anyone wanna take a wild guess who scored the first goal of the season for my new team at UBC? Anyone? Wild guess?

Yes, in true Beth style1, I planted myself in front of the net, waited for the good player2 to make some fancy moves and take a great shot, and then I pounced on the rebound and stuffed it in the net! Some may call it a garbage goal. I prefer to think of it as my excellent positioning saving the day! Also important is the technique of celebrating loudly and pointing in the net, just to make sure the ref sees that the puck is, in fact, in the net. This is followed by turning your back towards the ref so (s)he can clearly see your number, ensuring that you get credit for your goal (as the ref tells the scorer keeper which player scored). Refs can be lazy, so you have to make their job easier for them. Sometimes I wonder if you started celebrating and pointing into the net when I goalie actually had made the save, would they count it as a goal just because the ref wasn’t really watching and assumed you’d seen it go in when (s)he hadn’t?

After the game3, the Aggie contingent of of the team4 stopped at the 7/11 for post-game Slurpees. I had a Car Co-op minivan, which is the closest C0-op vehicle to my house, and being in a van with a bunch of hockey gear brought back memories of hockey seasons past, which often involved getting a ride home after the game in Andrew’s or Jill’s van and stopping at the 7/11 for post-game Slurpees. Mmmm, Slurpees.

Also, for the record, late night hockey games are soooo bad for screwing up your sleep schedule. Tonight’s game started at 11:15 pm and I was sooo tired before the game that all I wanted to do was go to bed. But after a game of hockey, you are so jacked up that you just can’t sleep for like 2 hours. I didn’t get home ’til almost 1:30 am, took a shower, played some Facebook Scrabulous and only now am I starting to feel like I can get to sleep. And I bet it will be very difficult to get myself out of bed in the morning. Ugh! I really hope all of our games aren’t so late!

1a.k.a., Anson Carter style. Carter used to play with the Sedin twins on the Canucks. He would also just plant himself in front of the net and wait for the good players to shoot, then pounce on the rebound. He was the leading scorer on the Canucks that year. This resulted in his being under the delusion that he is a good player, so he asked for tonnes of money in his next contract and, as punishment for being greedy and vain, he was sent to live in Ohio.

2In this case, it was an excellent offensive defenceman we have on our team. I think her name might be Sandra, but there was a lot of new people so I might have the name mixed up. For now, she’s known in my brain (and hence on my blog) as Red-Shirt-Who-May-Be-Named-Sandra.

3Which we lost 6-2. RSWMBNS scored our second goal. We were actually pleased with that score, as the other team was quite a bit better than us, with many of our players brand new to the game, and I thought they’d have twice as many goals against us.

4Which consists of myself, Kim & Sharon at the moment, although we are hoping to recruit more.



et cetera
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