Not To Be Trusted With Knives

As you can see from the “Events” list on my Facebook sidebar thingy*, I’m a busy girl for the next week. So I thought I’d share with y’all some of the exciting things I’m doing. And for one of them, you can even play along at home!

Next Thursday, I’m going to “Danielle and Beth’s First Shower Power.” Hosted by my friend Kalev, the tagline for the event is: “because all girls should see wet naked men shower in a gay bar before they die.” That’s right, Thursday nights at the Odyssey feature a shower on the dancefloor. And you get to watch the hot naked men shower. For some reason, this seems like something that Courtney would want to attend.

This Sunday is the “Aggies Roosters Run”; tagline: “Because Aggies do it best.”** Roosters is a country bar out in Pitt Meadows. Piling a bunch of Aggies on a schoolbus with a lot of beer and taking them to a country bar is a definite recipe to ensure that the event lives up to its Facebook “event type”: “Party – Night of Mayhem.”

The third event, and the one where you can play along at home, is called “Lights Out” – tagline: “.. Take part in the greatest mobilisation of citizens against Climate Change!” Utilizing my mad cut and paste skills, I give you a summary of the event:

The “Alliance pour la Planète” (a national grouping of environmental associations) appeals to all citizens to give the planet 5 minutes respite :

Everybody to extinguish all their lights and illuminations and turn off equipment on stand-by on the 1st February 2007 from 18h55 until 19h00. (GMT)

The purpose is not just to save electricity for 5 minutes that day, but to draw the attention of citizens, the media and the authorities to the waste of energy and the need to initiate action! 5 minutes respite for the planet: that’s not long, it costs nothing and will show our politicians that climate change is something which should figure prominently in political debates.

Why the 1st February? Because that is the day on which the latest report of the United Nations Panel of Experts is to be released in Paris.

Although this event is scheduled to take place in France, we should not miss this opportunity of drawing attention to the global climatic situation.

If we all participate our actions will have great public and political resonance, at an important moment in our political life.!

Please make this appeal as widely known as possible in your own circles and networks ! please also publish it on your websites and in your newsletters.

So dont just stop after this little event but carry on everyday being aware of the little things that you can do to save our world.

Further clarification on the site indicates that you should actually be doing this at 6:55 pm local time, so no need to do any conversions to GMT.

*I think it’s actually called a “badge,” but I was never a girl scout, so I don’t do badges. To me, it’s a “thingy”

**Having never done an Aggie myself, I cannot verify nor deny this claim.


{January 30, 2007}   New Blog Title?
After much yammering about it, I think it’s high time I changed my blog title to something non-thesis related. But I’m still not 100% sure what to change it to. So I’m trying one on for size – and I may try other ones in the coming days, sort of a multiple blog-ality disorder. Or I may get distracted* (ooh… that dog has a puffy tail!) and leaving up whatever title happens to be there. We’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out. For the moment, I’m not going to change my URL, as I don’t want to lose any of my readers.

OK, so first up we have the new title: Total Perspective Vortex. Astute readers will know this is reference to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For those of you who already know all about it, feel free to let your attention wander freely for the rest of this paragraph.** The Total Perspective Vortex is summarized by Wikipedia thusly:

the most horrible torture device to which a sentient being can be subjected […] it shows its victim the entire unimaginable infinity of the universe with a very tiny marker that says “You Are Here” which points to a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot.

Most people go mad from being shown how utterly insignificant they are. Only Zaphod Beeblebrox has survived it unscathed, as the TPV was “simply telling him that he was the most important being in the universe.”***

Anyhoo, I thought that Total Perspective Vortex would be a good (if nerdy) name for my blog because all indications given on this blog are that *I* am the most important being in the blogosphere. The drawback to this blog name is that some other guy already took the URL… he wrote a grand total of 3 postings back in June of 2004 and then abandoned the venture. Clearly, he was not the most important being in the blogosphere.

The only other name I have thought of comes from this photo, taken at Capliano Canyon last April:

Photo courtesy of Dave.

One of my pet peeves about Capliano, aside from the fact that they charge you nearly $30 to cross a friggin’ bridge, is that they have all these signs that tell you what to do. Like the “Kodak Photos Spots,” where they tell you “oooh, this is a good spot to take a photo! then you can have a photo that looks like the photos taken by every other tourist that’s ever been here!” And like this sign that actually tells you that it is a good place to do some thinking. And so I couldn’t resist doing this pose for a photo. And it wasn’t even a “Kodak Photos Spot”! So I was thinking that “The Thinking Spot” could be a good blog name, because I could use this photo. Except that anyone who has ever read this blog knows that very little thinking is going on here****.

*I’m very easily distracted.

**And that was a reference to Dumbledore in one of the Harry Potter books.. I’m pretty sure it was the Goblet of Fire, but don’t have the books handy to double check it.

***Of course, he was in an artificial universe that was created specifically for him so he actually WAS the most important thing in that universe, but that’s beside the point.

****Also, has already been taken too. Sigh

{January 29, 2007}   Tech Support

For what seems like the millionth time, the wireless at my place is on the fritz*. So I called Telus to get them walk me through how to fix the damn thing… again. They have a new feature where you don’t actually have to stay on the line to hold your place in the queue. “You can either stay on the line, or we can call you back when the next available operator is free and you won’t lose your place in line!” the cheery automated voice tells me, “Your estimated wait time is 5 minutes!”

That was an hour and a half ago.

*I’m writing this on my old fashioned plugged in ADSL, FYI.

Cross posted at Indie Bloggers.

{January 29, 2007}   My New Calling

Today, I had my first pole dancing lesson. First of all, props to Alicia for giving me such a freaking cool birthday present! Second, a shout out goes to Tantra Fitness, where you can take lapdancing or cardio striptease classes, in addition to learning how to work the pole.

There were a lot of people at the lesson, so Alicia and I had to share a pole. Having so many people there also meant we only got to learn two moves, as the instructors came around to check out each person’s form individually…. you know, because as we each “got to know our pole,” we need individualized instruction. Once Alicia and I had perfected the first move (a swinging around the pole kinda thing), which seemed to be quite a while before the instructors got around to everyone, we decided to try it out going in the opposite direction. At first I thought I might not be an ambiturner, but I soon got the hang out it.

The second move we learned was a “transition” move. It totally threw me for a loop until I discovered that I was taking my first step with my outside foot instead of my inside foot. Silly me. After that, it was pretty easy. This move was one where you spin around so your back is to the pole, and sort of peel your body away from it, looking as sexy as you can. FYI, we discovered that having a confused “what the hell is the next step?” look on your face really takes away from the sexiness. Once we had that move down, we practised our ambiturning and combined our two moves into one natural flowing routine.

Also, as it turns out, I am a natural at pole dancing. When the instructor came around to check out our form on the first move, she told me “You are actually doing something very advanced. Most people are never able to cross their feet over like that.” So I’m thinking that I should give up on this whole scientist thing and become a pole dancing instructor. Anyone want to spring for the $100/hr it will cost for me to take pole dance instructor lesssons? I think I’d also need my own pole installed at home… you know, to practise. That’ll cost about $600 – donations to the cause are welcome!

{January 28, 2007}   At The Grocery Store

As a nutritional scientist, I consider it my duty to assess the contents of other shoppers’s purchases when waiting in line at the grocery store checkout. The vast majority of the time, what people are buying is appallingly bad for you and I get to feel all smug and superior in a “what is this world coming to? why isn’t anyone buying any whole grain products??” kind of way.

Today, I’m standing in the line up at Safeway and a cute boy walks into the line up behind me and starts emptying his basket onto the conveyor belt thingy. Oh my god, he’s buying sprouted grain bread – not Wonder Bread! Look at that, he’s getting whole grain crackers! And oatmeal! And the eggs with the omega-3 fatty acids! And then I look at my pathetic order… frozen french fries; pre-manufactured veggie burgers; the cheapest, omega-3-less eggs they sell; a huge vat of salsa. Oh my god, does he see I’m buying the cheap eggs with artery clogging saturated fats in them? Is he judging my frozen french fries? I want to yell, “but I’m on my way to the produce store to buy my fresh fruits and veggies next! I swear! And I’m getting multigrain bread at the bakery on the next block! Honest!” I can’t even bring myself to look at him, lest his eyes tell me what he’s surely too polite to say aloud: “Your grocery order is pathetic.” Or perhaps not everyone is as critical as me about other people’s groceries. Or perhaps he wasn’t even looking at my order and he really was interested in the headline on that tabloid* he was looking at. Hard to say really.

It seems like there really should be some sort of grand conclusion to the posting, some moral to this story. But there isn’t.

*FYI, did you know that Katy Holmes has been turned into a Stepford wife?

{January 26, 2007}   Look Ma, No Wires!

I finally got my new laptop!! Despite Future Shop’s best efforts to keep me from getting it (first by insisting that the holder of the credit card (who is in Toronto) that paid for laptop show up at the pick up location (which is in Vancouver), then (after agreeing she could pay there and I could pick it up here) by twice denying her the opportunity to pay for the damn thing in Toronto via (1) their system being down one day and (2) having a lineup so huge that my sister waited for her whole lunch hour and never got to the head of the line the next day), they finally let her pay for it and then gave it to me without my even showing any ID! Seriously, I walked in and said that someone in Toronto bought me a computer to be picked up at this location, and they just handed it over!

Anyhoo, I’m composing this posting on my lovely, shiny new laptop. My Wifi-enabled beauty, meaning that I could be just about anywhere! The fact that I am sitting in the chair at my desk, right next to my desktop computer is immaterial! I could be sitting in bed writing this. Or in my kitchen! Or maybe even out in my backyard, seeing as it is sunny today! Or at a coffee shop! Or even at Nevermind, which has a fatport connection!

Also, the keyboard on my new laptop is bilingual. Did you know that the French version of “PgDn” is “P.suiv” or that the French version of “Alt” is “Car”?* Of course, when I set the computer up for the first time, there was a message when I chose “English” as the language I wanted to use that essentially said, “Are you sure? If you choose English now, you will never ever, ever be able to switch it to another language! Even if you do a complete system recovery! Even if you dismantle the computer into its component atoms and re-construct it, atom by atom, you will never be able to make it work in French. We swear! No fooling!!” So here’s hoping that I don’t want to use Windows in French!

OK, I should go now. I need to go for a run (yup, still training for the half marathon!). And then I’m off to school to get some stuff out of my old office (stuff I’d completely forgotten was even there!) and then to help set up for the Aggie Bzzr Garden. You may recall reading about the last Aggie Bzzr Garden. I’ll try to behave myself this time. But if I ride the mechanical bull again, I’ll be sure to sign my waiver “Lara Croft.”

*Damn, this keyboard is slightly different than my other one and I keep accidentally hitting the “Verr.maj.” key.

  • Justify buying toaster waffles in order to use up the last of the syrup you have in your fridge.
  • Use up the last of the syrup.
  • Justify buying syrup on the grounds that you need it to eat up the last of those toaster waffles you bought.
  • Repeat.

{January 24, 2007}   The Queen

So, The Queen is up for the Best Picture Oscar. I so don’t get this. That was probably the most boring movie I saw all year. And I only went to see it because I won free tickets. It was a “character study,” they tell you. “You learned so much about the queen’s perspective,” they tell you. Um, no. Really, it was a movie about how the queen didn’t go on TV for a week after Diana died. And then she went on TV. And we already knew she would, because it already happened. Ya, that’s Best Picture material.

{January 23, 2007}   Why Do You Blog?

Darren of fame has a survey going on about “Why Do You Blog.” If you fill it out, you can win stuff.

Go here to check it out.

And while we are on the topic, those of you who blog, why do you blog?

If only that were true. Now that Vancouver is settling nicely into its normal winter weather (7 degrees and raining), it would be prudent to know where one’s umbrella is. I, of course, lost my umbrella. I guess if I want to get really technical about it, it’s not exactly “lost,” since I know exactly where I left it. I left it in the cab that I took home on New Year’s Eve. It’s a shame because that was a nice umbrella – a sturdy one that didn’t turn inside out at the slightest breeze like my umbrellas usually do. Of course, that is because I usually buy the cheapest umbrellas, knowing that I will inevitably lose them anyway. This sturdy umbrella is one that I found on the bus… I instinctly grabbed it off the seat next to me when I was getting off the bus, as it was black and I thought it was mine, but then as soon as I got off the bus I noticed that my own cheap umbrella was sticking out of the top of my bag and the one in my hand was clearly one that someone had accidently left on the bus. So I suppose I shouldn’t be too upset about having lost it, since it wasn’t really *my* umbrella anyway. As the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s noodly appendages giveth, so his noodly appendages taketh away.

{January 22, 2007}   LendList

A bunch of us were over at a friend’s place for dinner last night and one of the girl’s there invited us all to a launch party for a new website: The idea behind the website, according to their “About” page is: is a rebellion against materialism and consumerism

Basically, it’s a place that you can list things you are willing to lend, and you can see your friends’s lists of things they are willing to lend. And then you can contact each other if you want to borrow stuff. It’s that simple. You can set up groups (for example, a group could be people that live in your neighbourhood, or people on your hockey team) and you can also just be linked up with your friends. So I thought I’d let y’all know about it – check it out!

{January 21, 2007}   Overheard in Vancouver

Having recently read two fellow Vancouver bloggers postings about things “overheard in Vancouver” (Barefoot, 2007; Doppelganger, 2007)*, I was inspired to record this comment that I overhead on a bus in Vancouver today**:

“A gun license is good for 5 years, but my medicinal marijuana license is only good for one. You do the math.”

*Sorry. Flashback to APA*** citation style.

**“today” was actually “yesterday” but the time I have posted this, possibly further back in history by the time you read this. I heard this on a bus heading downtown and wrote**** this posting on my Palm Pilot with attachable keyboard on the next bus I was on, heading out to the ‘burbs. I ❤ technology.

***No, not the American Poultry Association. Although they do have a book called “Living with Chickens,” by which I am intrigued. However, I’m not sure what citation style they use.

****Ever since I first saw 8 Mile******, which I saw in the theatre when it first came out, everytime I take a long bus ride, I feel like I should be writing a rap song. Granted, Eminem wasn’t writing on a Palm Pilot and I couldn’t write a rap song to save my life, so writing blog posts will have to be sufficient.

******I just have to say that the sex scene between Eminem and Britney Murphy in 8 Mile is one of the hottest sex scenes I’ve ever seen on film*******.

*******Have you been able to follow all these footnotes? Is it nerdy to have more writing in footnote form than in the actual body of the posting? Is it nerdy that I wrote the HTML code to superscript the asterisks******** while composing this on my keyboard on the bus? Was it nerdy, as Danielle contended, that I went to the library and took out the a book on computer programming, by Stephen Hawking, and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy*********? I also got Timothy Findley’s Not Wanted on the Voyage, but Danielle said that just made it look like I was trying not to look to geeky by throwing some literature in there.

********I would have written the HTML code for the hyperlinks as well, but I didn’t have the URLs of those things to which I wanted to link.

*********Which I picked up so as to complete my Hitchhiker Trilogy entries on my other blog

So, I finally got off my butt and scanned the grad photos that I finally got. I had originally hoped to send my grad photos out with my Christmas cards, thus saving a bunch of $$ on mailing, but when I got the proofs in mid-December, the photographer informed me that it would take 5 WEEKS to print my photos. I’m not sure why I can walk into Shopper’s Drug Mart and print digital photos in a matter of minutes, but it takes these guys 5 WEEKS to print their digital photos, but, hey, I’m not a photographer, right? But, seriously, 5 WEEKS?? No one will even remember, let alone care, that I graduated by 5 WEEKS after the proofs are in… at least as evidenced by the fact that no one wants to hire me. Hmph. Apparently I am in a mood today.

OK, so back to the main point of this posting, which was not, despite all evidence thus far to the contrary, to complain about the slowness of digital printing these days. The point was this: to share with you my two favourite photos from the shoot. I love these photos because of the sheer ridiculousness of them.

First up, we have Beth and the pole.

Why I am standing like this? Am I in love with this pole? Why am I caressing it? Did the photographer actually position my hands like that, since apparently I am incapable of knowing how to hold my hands against a pole? Where does one find such a pole? Why is there no background in this pole-centric location? What am I looking at? What is behind that mysterious smile? Why is my robe so very, very pink? And, of course, what’s the deal with the puffy hat? Clearly, this photo raises more questions than it answers.

Second up, is Beth sitting on a throne-like chair. I’d like to point out (not that it is strictly necessary, as how could you miss it really?) the sheer number of props in this photo. The big leather chair, the book I’m holding, the globe in the background, the puffy ha, the bookcase full of books behind me… and they are *real* books, not a facade and not a pull down screen with a picture of books on it. *Real* books… JUST LIKE THE GREAT GATSBY!! I was highly disappointed when I got this photo back, as the proof had a clock on one of the higher shelves behind me, but it was cropped out in the final print. Because I really feel that this photo needs one more prop. I like to think of the props as each representing something. The books represent the large body of knowledge that I learned over the years and then forgot. The globe represents all the places in the world that I didn’t visit because I was spending all my time and money on school, the book that I’m holding, but clearly not reading represents all the procrastinating that I did. The leather chair represents… um, can someone help me out with what the leather chair represents? And the clock, well the clock represents how friggin‘ long it took me to do the Ph.D. (or, as phrased ever so eloquently by my supervisor, “Don’t you think you are getting a little long in the tooth?). So really, without the clock, it loses the full effect, don’t you think?

OK, I’m going to shut up about my birthday pretty soon, seeing as it was a week ago. Those of you who know me know that I do like to be the centre of attention, so is it really surprisingly that I celebrate my birthday for a whole week? I mean, really, would you expect any less from me??

So, the last thing I want to say about my birthday is this… I got the coolest, most thoughtful gifts EVER! They included (in no particular order):

  • a laptop from my parents and my sister. Since I lost custody* of the laptop I used to own, I have been a freak of ridiculous proportions**. Case in point: I’m currently designing a website for a group at school and when I showed up to our meeting they were all like “where’s you laptop?” and I was all like “I don’t have one” and they were all like “?????” Apparently my parents spent my mom’s entire Christmas bonus on it… a bonus that they were thinking of using to buy themselves a big screen TV. Isn’t that sweet and selfless of them? They must really love me! So, anyhoo, welcome me back to the 21st century. Now I too can watch downloaded TV shows and blog in bed, instead of having to be at my desk with me ole desktop.
  • an adventure to be named later. Since my life is *still* up in the air, with no idea when I’ll end up with a job or where that will be, Sarah & Dave are going to provide me with some sort of adventure, where either they will fly me out there, or they will fly to see me here, or we will all fly to some other location to do adventerous things… things that we will figure out once I get somewhat settled. Did I ever mention that Sarah & Dave rock?
  • an “Official Young, Single & Fabulous Kit” made for me by my friend Erika. I’m going to leave it up to your imagination as to what was in this kit, but I will say that I am really, really going to enjoy these items!
  • a pole dancing lesson from my friend Alicia. We are going to go together to learn how to pole dance! How freaking cool is that?
  • This cool magnet:
  • OK, I’m probably forgetting something and am going to feel like a total jackass when I remember whatever it is that I’ve forgotten!

*Yes, I’m still bitter about that. But I decided that it was more worth to me to not fight about it than it was to have that laptop.
**Not having a laptop made me just slightly less of a freak than my not having a cell phone.

{January 17, 2007}   Career Fair

Does anyone else see the humour in the fact that this Career Fair poster features a photo of an unemployed graduate of one of the sponsoring Faculties??

In related news, I saw a job posting for a Professor of Potato Storage Physiology. Would you really want to have that as your job title??

et cetera