Not To Be Trusted With Knives











Why, oh why, did I not notice that my bread expired two days ago until 3 am? All I wanted was a lousy peanut butter sandwich to help me through this long, long night of thesis revisions. Oh thesis revisions, how I hate you. And I’m not the only one:

Thanks to those sweethearts who made their messenger names and tag lines reflect my misery. You give me the strength to go on, knowing that you care!

And thanks to all the sweethearts for their kind comments about the much awaited photo of me & my shoes… your stroking of my ego is much appreciated!

Have you ever been so tired that every bone in your body aches?

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Sorry I’ve been MIA lately — have been working frantically to try to get the thesis revisions done, with no time for such things as eating proper meals, sleeping or blogging. Still working on the revisions, but getting there. Was very burnt out and so actually did some partying this weekend (full report on that to come once I’m done with the revisions). But I just HAD to make this quick posting because I now have, as requested, a pic of me in my new shoes!



{May 23, 2006}   Done and done

I’m typing this posting from my new apartment! I moved! And I survived the move! Sure, I’m surrounded by piles and piles of boxes, into which has been folded/squished/stuffed virtually everything I own, which will probably take me all summer to unpack. And sure my apartment contains the possessions of no fewer than 4 people. And sure my countertop dishwasher is about 16 feet too tall to fit on my new counter. But I’m in my new home and I love it!

Many thanks to Erika, Shalu & Deepak who helped me move all my stuff and did it with smiles on their faces. And to Erika’s dad, who lent his truck! I’m so lucky to have such wonderful and generous friends!

OK, now it’s back to these damn hell thesis revisions, despite the fact that I did not sleep last night. I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead, right?



{May 19, 2006}   Misery Loves Company

Long weekends don’t mean a lot when you are a grad student. Especially a grad student with such a sporadic schedule as mine. When I have experiments going, I’m in the lab 7 days a week, usually for anywhere between 8-14 hours a day. I usually forget to eat until about 4 pm, when Shalu and I both nearly pass out from hunger. When I’m in a writing phase, I will usually work everyday, late into the night, drinking copious amounts of coffee/tea/diet Pepsi, and then sleep in ’til noon. And repeat, with each night getting progressively later until I end up working ’til 7 am and sleeping ’til 3 in the afternoon. Or maybe I’ll take a week and just goof off. I often lose track of what day of the week it is, since days melt into nights, weekdays melt into weekends – it’s all the same to me.

And as much as I love what I do and the flexibility that my career (sometimes) affords me, when I hear people who have regular jobs, with regular schedules talk about their plans for the long weekend and realize that they can actually enjoy their “free time” without the nagging voice in the back of their mind saying “you should be working right now!”, I feel a pang of jealousy*.

This long weekend will be filled with more working on the thesis (of “Thesis Writing is Hell” fame), punctuated by packing to move. All of which will take place inside my dank basement apartment. The apartment I’ve spent so much time in working on the damn hell thesis lately that I think I’ll go mad**.

So, since I’m in a bitter and angry place right now, I was pleased to see this weekend’s forecast:

It’s been gorgeously sunny and warm for about a week, but in typical Vancouver fashion, it will raining throughout the entire long weekend. Except on Sunday, when apparently the weather will be Not Applicable***. Enjoy your long weekend, Vancouver! ****

On a completely unrelated topic:

As per Dave’s request, I’m posting a link to the funniest video EVER! Calgary Flames. Singing. Seriously. Watch this video and tell me that anyone who is a Flames fan isn’t a complete freak. You can’t touch a flame when it’s red hot!

*when I hear about how people actually get paid a living wage (or more) for their work, I experience another pang of jealousy. But that’s a whole other issue.

**thank god for the friends who have invited me out for dinner lately, giving me an excuse to get out of this place once in a while! I owe them my sanity (such as it is).

***WTF?

***I know. That is mean and spiteful and I’m going to hell. Please send me beer, as it will be hot there. I hear that beer is an acquired taste, like red wine.



{May 18, 2006}   Go Oilers!

The Edmonton Oilers are off to Anaheim for the Western Conference finals after beating San Jose 2-0 tonight! Go Oilers! Bring the Cup back to Canada boys!! Since my beloved/despised Canucks never even made the playoffs, and my backup team, the Sens, inexplicably got knocked out by Buffalo*, I’ve been cheering for the Oilers. Granted, I wouldn’t have been too disappointed if San Jose won, seeing as how they will be the closest team to me once I move so I now have a bit of a soft-spot for them… but I am much happier with an Oilers victory. Unlike Calgary, the Oilers fans aren’t jerks**, so I am am happy to cheer them on. Oh ya, and the Vancouver Giants play in the Memorial Cup tourney starting on Saturday — go Giants!

Speaking of sports, I just joined a soccer team for the summer. Now, I don’t know the first thing about soccer. I don’t think I’ve played soccer since, well, probably grade 9 gym class. But I figure it’s just like hockey but without the ice, right? I feel like all I’ve been doing for the past month is sitting and typing, with the occasional jaunt out to the library, to Tim Horton’s or for a short walk around town in my new shoes, and I can just feel my muscles atrophying, so I needed to do something that will actually get me off my butt. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Also, one of my favourite pens died today****. Boo! I have this aversion to buying pens when people are always giving out free pens with their logos on them. So I’m always writing with some sort of promotional pen or another and I’ve found that they really vary in quality. I was really liking this one particular pen and then it up and died on me! Farewell, pen from Stem Cell Technologies that I’m sure I picked up at some conference or another, you will be sadly missed.

*WTF?

**thank god no Calgarians read my blog!

***yes, this is how boring my life has gotten. I’m writing about pens.



{May 17, 2006}   Best.Joke.Ever

Go to Jody’s blog and read this joke.

Do it. Do it now.



{May 16, 2006}   I Want Cookies

It’s past 3 am and I’m still up working*. I am bound and determined that I will have my chapters 2 and 3 finished and sent to my supervisor before I go to bed. I’m almost done proofreading chapter 2 and then will proofread chapter 3… which means I probably won’t actually go to bed tonight, as I actually do have to get up and go to campus tomorrow morning. And for someone who has spent the majority of the past week wearing her PJs and chained to her computer into the wee hours of the morning, that will actually be a little weird, having somewhere else that I actually have to be. This is the state of my life right now. Two words: gong show.

Earlier this evening I was totally jonesing for some tea and, to my chagrin, I had run out of soymilk. And I just can’t abide tea without soymilk. Or at least regular milk. Some kind of proteinaceous milk-like substance, of which I had none. So I made the trek to the grocery store, got my soymilk (which was on sale! Go Safeway!), lugged it all the way home, and by the time I got home, I was too hot for tea and decided to have a diet Pepsi instead. I told you, my life right now = gong show.

However, now it is many hours later and the desire for tea reared its ugly head, but this time I was prepared for it! So now I am sitting here, writing this blog, drinking my tea with soymilk and totally jonesing for some cookies! Did I think to get cookies when I was at the store? No, of course I didn’t!

Oh yea, I should probably also let you know that the few times I’ve found excuses** to leave my dank, mouldy basement apartment during the hours in which the sun is shining over the last few days, I have worn my new shoes! And they are spectacular! I LITERALLY stopped traffic in those shoes. LITERALLY! I was waiting to the cross the street (not at a crosswalk) and a car stopped, right in the middle of the street, the driver gesturing for me to cross the street as if to say “let me stop here so I can take a good look at those spectacular shoes!” And a woman on a patio*** at a restaurant on Broadway that I walked by stared at my shoes — she actually turned her head to continue looking at my feet as I passed by… it was pretty funny. Oh yes, I think I’m going to enjoy wearing these shoes all summer long!

Update: It’s 5:24 am and I just emailed chapters 2 and 3 to my supervisor! Woo hoo!

*OK, so by virtue of the fact that I am writing this posting, I am not, in fact, actually working. But I have been working and will return to working once I finish this post. I just needed to give my brain a wee break and thought that spilling all the random thoughts in my head out into cyberspace might be a good way to do that.

**Excuses like, my printer ran out of ink and I must buy more. Or, I must have a bag of chips RIGHT NOW!!

***Vancouverites are ecstatic that patio weather has finally arrived!



Just got home from dinner at a friend’s place… she lives downtown, so after our lovely dinner and a few bottles of wine*, I had to venture out to the craziness that is downtown Vancouver on a Friday night. Deciding that it wasn’t worth waiting for the 6 bus (that may or may not ever arrive) to take me up Davie St., I decided to walk it. So did another guy at the bus stop, so we chatted about being from Ontario** as we walked up the street. When I got to Howe St (where I could catch the 17 to get me home), he said, “Do you want me to write about you in “I Saw You“? “I Saw You” is this feature in a local paper, the Georgia Straight, where you can write a personal ad about the person you saw on the bus or in the grocery store or you made out with on the dance floor of some club but were to shy to ask for their phone number. I always read “I Saw You” in the hopes that someone would be so enamored with me that they’d need to write about it in the paper, but no one ever does. And this guy really wasn’t the guy I’d want to be writing about me. Boo!

So anyway, as I’m waiting for the 17, I start chatting with a couple of guys at the bus stop. They are from, surprize surprize, Ottawa, and they are giving a number of a company that hires people to teach English in Taiwan to a homeless person. Also, some random is passing a joint around. Anyway, we get chatting and the one guy asks me what I do and I say that I’m a scientist and he starts coming up with things that I should invent. Like a pill that makes your hair grow really fast, but your hair is pot. So you can cut your hair and smoke up. Then some other random on the bus (‘cuz the bus has arrived by this point) decides that the pill should also make your fingernails grow as rolling papers. Then he asks what’s the deal with us giving free crack to crackheads? And if we are doing that, why don’t we give out free alcohol? And free sex? You know, free sex clinics that give out whatever you like… like, a guy can walk in and say “Today I’d like big titties” or a girl can walk in and say “I’d like 8 inches today!” You know, I think he may have been on to something… but then again, I may just be drunk.

*Sarah, I’m starting to appreciate that you are right about red wine being an acquired taste.

**Pretty much everyone you meet here is originally from Ontario. I don’t think anyone actually lived in BC prior to 1997.



{May 12, 2006}   My Shoes Are Here!!

Now, I may not have mentioned this before, but I recently purchased some shoes on e-bay. And they are here now!!! And they are perfect!!!

I realize that there was a request for a picture of me wearing said shoes, but (and you may find this shocking), I don’t own a digital camera! I usually have access to the Let’s Talk Science digital camera, but it is currently with some volunteers who went on a trip to Kelowna, so I can’t use it to take a pic of my smoking hot new shoes. I can assure you that they look EXACTLY like the e-bay picture and that I will post a pic of me in new my babies as soon as I track down someone with a digi-cam that will take my picture. Yeesh. Being a starving scientist sucks.



{May 11, 2006}   Hump at the Pump

On CFOX radio in Vancouver*, they do this thing called Hump at the Pump. Basically, they find two complete strangers and get them to make out at a gas station, pumping gas into their cars for as long as they keep making out. The radio guy pumping the gas gives a play-by-play over the radio and then they put the video of it up on the net (click here to witness an example of the debauchery).

So, the question is: would you make out with a complete stranger for free gas? Keep in mind that here in Vancouver, gas currently cost about $1.20 a litre. (For my American readers, 1 litre = 0.264 gallons… so we are talking like $4.50 per gallon).

*I’m willing to bet that they do this at radio stations in other cities too. Radio stations seem to be the same no matter where you go.



{May 10, 2006}   I heart Irony

Checking out my favourite blogs, I saw this book review on Academic Coach’s blog. It’s a book about procrastination. More specifically, it’s a book about how not to procrastinate. I immediate thought, “I need to get this book and read it immediately! I must drop all the work I’m doing right now and read this book in order to learn how not to procrastinate anymore.” If I were to write a book about how not to procrastinate, it would just say “Put down this book and get back to work!!” Ah… I really do heart irony.

In the interests of actually getting my thesis revisions done on time, I present you with the list of:

Things I’ve Had to Ban Myself From Doing:

  • watching clips of any TV shows on the net
  • looking at Mugglenet updates
  • reading archives of my favourite blogs
  • looking up anything on Internet Movie Database
  • playing around on Urban Dictionary
  • updating my weblinks page (which gives me easy access to all the things I like to do to procrastinate)
  • checking my email more than once per hour
  • initiating any conversations on messenger*
  • basically anything to do with the internet that doesn’t involve downloading academic papers from the library’s website
  • ever buying another black shirt**

In other news, congrats to the Vancouver Giants, the 2005-06 WHL champions! And Gilbert Brule, the WHL Playoff MVP! Go Giants!***

OK, I need to get in a solid 2 hours of work before I head out for my friend’s birthday dinner… although I do think I should call my sister, clean my kitchen and check out the archives of all my favourite blogs….

*I will, however, chat if someone messages me… it could be something important that they need to talk to me about!

**this has nothing to do with procrastinating… I just own way too many black shirts and way too few shirts with actual colour in them!

***Bandwagon jumper — I’m guilty as charged!



First of all, I’ve got to give a shout out to my friends who ran the Vancouver International Half Marathon yesterday — congrats to Danielle, Laura, Ali* and Jordy! I went to see if I could catch a glimpse of them crossing the finish line and, even though I was there when they all finished, somehow I didn’t actually see any of them. Oh well, I guess that’s what happens when almost 15,000 people are all running in the same race! It wasn’t a total loss for me, though, because I did get to see the winner and second place finisher of the full marathon cross the finish line (4 seconds apart), which was pretty cool… plus, I later saw my friend, Derrick, who was running in the full marathon when I was walking around downtown. I must say that it was pretty phenomenal to see people running (and finishing**) a race that long and made me feel like a total sloth***. Got me toying with the idea of finding a nice 5 or 10 k race near the end of the summer — give me a goal to work towards.****

Also, Al Gore is coming to UBC to give a talk on “Our Global Civilization: An Inconvenient Truth” on June 1st – and I just scored myself a ticket! Well, I didn’t actually score it myself… but I have connections, and so someone else scored it for me. I’m really looking forward to it! I’ll be sure to let you know how it is!

And, since no blog entry will be complete without an update on my shoes*****, I’m happy to report that, after taking the weekend off, the little beauties left LA this morning, stopped over in West Sacramento, CA and then arrived this evening in San Pablo, CA… so I think that they do have the delivery guy walking here in them. Oh well, if they do arrive on the 11th as scheduled, I won’t be able to wear them out for dinner with my friends on the 10th, but I will be able to wear them to the Nuthin’ But A Jersey party that I’m going to on the 20th… yup, nothing says “fashion sense” like a hockey jersey and wedge heels!

And speaking of hockey, Sens lost again! Boo-urns!! But the Vancouver Giants won! I’m so jumping on the Giants bandwagon!

*I don’t actually know Ali, but she was running with Danielle, so she gets a shout out anyway.
**And some people were just barely finishing… like, they’d cross the finish line and collapse. They had medical teams standing by to run out and assist them, so I guess this is a common occurrence. That’s pretty friggin’ crazy if you ask me.
***Although I did manage to get myself out of bed and all the way downtown by 9 am on a Sunday morning, so that’s gotta count for something, right?
****Don’t worry, I’m sure this idea won’t last too long!
*****At least until I get my shoes. After that, you probably won’t need updates.



… and I’m still in the tub! (25 points to whoever gets that obscure reference!)

UPS has notified me that my glorious, glorious shoes have an ETA of May 11. Kinda sucks that I have plans to go out on May 10 and was hoping that I’d be able to wear them on that occasion, but such is life. I’ll just have to make more plans to go out again once the shoes have arrived. Apparently my shoes left Baldwin, CA at 21:50 today and arrived in LA at 22:14. Isn’t technology wonderful — I can get a minute-by-minute update of exactly where my shoes are!* Although it does seem odd that it is going to take them 6 days to get to Vancouver from LA — is the UPS delivery person going to be walking here in them? Don’t these people have planes??

And speaking of planes, I just booked a flight to Ontario today! I’m going for my last ever, all-expenses paid trip to London, ON for a Let’s Talk Science conference from June 9-11. And then, since my thesis will be out of my hands at that point and I’ll have nothing to do but wait, I will be spending two weeks in the T dot. I’m VERY excited to see my neice, Madeline, the greatest baby that ever lived (not that I’m biased or anything). And, of course, my other family and friends, who are also cool. Anyone who wants to see me while I’m in ON should speak now or forever hold their peace**.

And speaking of ON, I caught the end of the Senators game while having dinner at Nevermind tonight. I nominate Volchenkov as an honourary Canuck for the worst OT giveaway I’ve EVER seen! Plus, he’s ugly enough to be an honourary the Sedin twin.

And speaking of the Canucks, we signed Luc Bourdon, our 2005 1st round draft pick, yesterday. While he certainly doesn’t up the Canucks’s hotness quotient, he’s a pretty good player so I’m glad to have him on board.

*And yet we still have no cure for the common cold. Nor for ARM or ARE.

**The end of this sentence is in honour of the onset of wedding season. Stupid wedding season.



{May 4, 2006}   Work Is For Jerks

I don’t wanna do my work! [stomps feet] And you can’t make me!!

I have forbidden myself from watching any clips from Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report or I-Film until I’ve finished revising my lit review chapter. You’d think that the looming deadline of needing to have the whole thesis revised by May 19 would be motivation enough to keep working, but I’ve had to resort such punitive action to keep myself from procrastinating*.

Plus, it’s sunny out. And a balmy 16 degrees! I’d much rather be outside doing… well, pretty much anything other than sitting in my dank, mouldy basement apartment doing thesis revisions. Boo!

OK, I’ll go back to work now. But I’m not happy about it.

*Writing this posting, of course, is not procrastinating. You’re procrastinating.



I really hope that’s true. Because if it is, I’m going to be the strongest person EVER!

I’m moving. I hate moving, but I’m doing it anyway. Moving to a cheaper place – not too far from where I am now, but much more affordable than my current place. It’s actually just a summer sublet, so I really, really, really hope that I’m done by the end of the summer, because if I’m not, I’ll be homeless! So on top of my professional and personal crises, I’ve decided to throw a move into the mix. You know, just for kicks. Oh yeah, and the shed where I will keep my bike at my new place has black widow spiders**. Seriously.

On a much happier topic, I bought a new pair of shoes on ebay! I had seen a pair of shoes that I really liked when I was in Seattle, but they only came in pink*** & lime green. And I’ve been obsessed with finding these shoes in a reasonable colour, but the only pair I’ve been able to find in Vancouver cost $90, which is much more than someone who is moving into spider-haven to save some cash is willing or able to pay for a pair of shoes. But I found them for super cheap on ebay (even with shipping and the exchange rate)… what do you think?

*When I Googled this to find out who originally said this, I was surprized to discover that it was Nietzsche – I hadn’t realized that before. I also saw another good quotation during my Googling: “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” You said it!

**And you know how I feel about spiders!! When I took Zoology in my undergrad, I didn’t even read the chapter on arachnids. I was willing to sacrifice any marks pertaining to the eight-legged monsters in order to not have to look at pictures of them in my textbook.


***And you know how I feel about pink!



et cetera