Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{March 16, 2007}   Think & Drink Green

I’m going to the “Think & Drink Green” beer garden tonight. It’s combining the joy that is drinking green beer for St. Paddy’s Day with raising awareness about sustainability. And I think they are raising money for something. However, much to my chagrin, I have discovered that I have *nothing* green to wear! What kind of an Irish girl am I?? OK, I’m off in search of some green ribbon to put in my hair…

How, exactly, am I supposed to read my book, make notes on my Palm Pilot AND hold onto my coffee cup at the same time while riding on the bus? I’ve been told before that I have octopus-like proficiency when it comes to such multitasking, but even I have my limits.

{March 15, 2007}  

I still haven’t figure out how the hell I’m supposed to get anything done when I’m spending most of my day at work! So today’s blog posting is another bulleted list of random thoughts… I can finn the time to compose a few random thoughts (on my Palm Pilot on the bus seems to be effective, but I live quite close to work, so the bus ride isn’t quite long enough to compose a coherenet single postings. I see that Dave has been resurrected from the dead and is also writing in random ideas in bulleted list form, so perhaps this is a trend…

OK, here goes:

  • We have these really funky paperweights at work that have been given out as presents from our program. But it really begs the question: is paper flying off of people’s desks really that much of a problem?
  • apparently today was “Steak & a Blow Job” day. Allegedly the idea is that since Valentine’s Day is supposed to be for women, so exactly one month later, guys are supposed to be getting what they want (i.e., S & a BJ). First of all, I was unaware that women getting oral sex was the traditional way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. What’s that you say? On Valentine’s Day women are giving chocolate, flowers and cards? Hardly seems like a fair trade!! No wonder young girls think that they are supposed to be giving unreciprocated oral to every guy in school!! Secondly, this so-called holiday hardly seems vegetarian friendly. Why not “Tempeh and a BJ”? “Tofu and a BJ”? Better yet, “vegetarian maki, a BJ and some reciprocated oral” day!
  • I’m sleepy.

Thoughts on my day:

  • because there was a chance that I might have to stay late for a meeting this evening, I decided to get up early* to go for a run before work as I didn’t want to run in the dark after getting home late. Apparently someone is unfamiliar with the concept of “spring forward.” I got up at 6:30 a.m. and it was pitch fucking black. But, being the resourceful person that I am, I decided to have my breakfast/make my lunch/do the dishes/pack my bag for work before I ran, thus giving it time to get light out. And I got into work by 9:30 am, which is half an hour earlier than I had expected to.
  • Apparently there is a reason that “free coffee” isn’t a listed benefit. I discovered today that apparently the kitchenette on my floor has a coffee maker that is just for show. My hallmates** informed me, when I inquired about the coffee making situation, that “it’s just for desperation” and the coffee maker in the main office, three floors below us, is much better… well, you would have to be quite desperate, not to mention very creative, to make coffee on our floor, as there are coffee filters, but no coffee***. So I went to the main office for my morning coffee, but their coffee maker is quite small and since I’m sure that satisfying my coffee dependency by continually making pots of it is not in any of the support staff’s job descriptions, when I required an afternoon caffeine jolt****, I made the trip to Timmy Ho’s. It’s a long, convoluted, subterranean route to the Timmy’s… a series of tubes, if you will, not unlike the internets.
  • I’m hoping that walking through said series of tubes to Timmy’s, as well as taking the stairs up and down to my 6th floor office a few times a day will counteract the nonstop sitting and snacking that comes along with a computer-based office job, so that I won’t gain 50 lbs a minute.
  • I’m listening to the Canucks game on the radio as I compose this posting and this brings up two things: (a) I saw on their website that the Canucks have called up relative cutie Nathan Smith from the Manitoba Moose, and (b) the Canucks are playing the Wild and I can’t hear Shorty or Larscheid say the name “Carney” without giggling. I keep picturing a carnie rather than Carney.
  • while waiting for the bus this morning I learned that, apparently, Matt (whoever Matt may be) is ripped and has 3 nipples and someone else “luvs to spooge”:
  • After two days at work, I’m interesting in learning how the hell anyone gets anything done when they are working 8 hours a day on things unrelated to blogging and emailing? Anyone have any idea?

*Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are.
**Is that a word?
***There’s instant, but I won’t dignify that by calling it coffee. Hey, does anyone remember the brief period when Tetley made instant tea? What was up with that?
****as my early afternoon diet Pepsi just wasn’t cutting it.

As you know, today was my first day of work. My job rocks!! There’s lots to do but so much of it is going to be fun and challenging and I’ll get to use a lot of my mad skillz, but also learn cool new things. Had a meeting today with some of the key players and everyone seems very excited about the program and totally cool.

And did I mention that I have a HUGE office with a big window with a view of the friggin’ mountains??? And there’s a Tim Horton’s on site (although I probably won’t go there that much, seeing as there is free coffee in the lunch room. Free! They really should mention that in the list of benefits when they offered the job*). And did I mention the mountains???

*You think listing free coffee as a “benefit” is a crazy idea? ‘cuz Genentech does. Seriously, check it out.

{March 12, 2007}   A few unrelated things

(a) So, I went out for a run today. Just a little 14 K*. In a torrential downpour. Believe it or not, I actually really enjoy running in the rain… You get awfully warm running and the rain is delightfully cool. There are only two drawbacks: (1) I get a lot of water in my shoes when the puddles are too large to jump (which they certainly were today) and having wet feet kinda sucks, (2) my hair turns into a knotted rat’s nest if it gets anywhere near rain. How knotted, you ask? Take this for example – after my run, I was applying a half a bottle of conditioner to try to work out the knots in my hair. And apparently, in addition to not being trusted with knives, I should also not be trusted with my own hair. Check out the wound I received from trying to run my fingers through my knotty, knotty hair:

That’s a hell of a hunk flesh to be ripped from one’s finger!! My poor, poor finger!!

(b) On Friday night, I went to see a talk by Nobel Laureate, Carl Weimann. He talked about his research for which he won the Nobel Prize (he and his colleagues produced the first true Bose-Einstein condensate). Here is a picture of the “velocity-distribution data of a gas of rubidium atoms, confirming the discovery of a new phase of matter, the Bose–Einstein condensate.” (taken from Wikipedia… I’m just including it here ‘cuz (1) it looks cool and (2) it’s in the public domain, so I can).

He also talked a lot about science education, as that is what he was recruited to UBC to study. The best part of the whole talk was when this completely belligerent audience member asked a series of long and rambling questions, including a diatribe about how he didn’t believe any of what Dr. Weimann said about what makes an effective educator since we all know that being a dynamic speaker is the only thing that matters to being a good teacher, “SO ANSWER THAT MR. NOBEL LAUREATE!”**… to which Dr. Weimann responded there is plenty of solid data to support what he’s said about education and so, “You can either say that you don’t believe evidence or you can say that I’m right.” Ha ha! Take that, belligerent audience member! Here’s a pic I snapped at the talk – Dr. Weimann is the guy on the right:

(3) I bought a wicked pair of news shoes. For work. Ha ha… I just love saying that. Work. As in a job. As in employment, with a paycheque and benefits and challenging responsibilities and the need for appropriate footwear. I decided to buy a simple pair of black heels, ones that will go with pretty much any outfit I might wear to work. But, being the sexy shoe-obsessed girl that I am, I bought really shiny black shoes that are ever so slightly too high to be exactly considered conservative. Yes, I’m edgy like that.

After I bought my shoes at the trusty Payless, I strolled around Kingsgate Mall (I’d never been there before) and stumbled upon a shoe store that must have fallen from heaven***. Never before had I seen so many platform boots! Boots that make my boots look like nun’s shoes. I was also very pleased to see that cork wedge heels are in fashion for another year… my eBay shoes will come out of mothballs once the rain, rain goes away!

(4) Damn, I was sure I had something else I wanted to blog about, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. I’m going to blame the trauma of my above mentioned hand injury for this lapse in memory.

*That’s over 8.5 miles for my American readers.
**I’m not even joking… the audience member actually yelled that, while pointing emphatically in Dr. Weimann’s general direction.
***The “heaven” in my world my vary from yours.

{March 11, 2007}  

Wow. I nearly missed my blogging today. I’m actually blogging at a party, just to make sure I don’t break my New Year’s Resolution. Yes, yes, I really am that cool.

As for my job, I think it’s best to avoid specifics here in blogland (translate: if someone Googles my work, I don’t want them to find this blog). Suffice it to say that this job is wicked cool, combines my interests in research, education and nerdy tech stuff. And completely justifies my desire to buy new shoes.

OK, now back to my regularly scheduled party.

P.S. I ❤ poutine.

{March 10, 2007}   Employed

Guess who has a job?? Starting on Monday!!!

{March 8, 2007}   I’m 55% Claudia Schiffer

I noticed that Kelly had a “My Celebrity Look-alikes” posting on Facebook. will put your picture through a “face recognition” program that will tell you which celebrities you look like. So, of course, I just had to try it out myself. They tell you that, for the best results, you are supposed to use a photo in which you are looking directly into the camera (meaning that my patented 3/4 profile with head tilt that I do in almost all of my photos wasn’t going to cut it). I found a few useable photos and the first one that I used gave me the most ridiculous celebrities that it claimed I look like, including, I kid you not, a 56-year-old bald man. Unhappy with the results, I did what all great scientists do – I scrapped it and did it over. Photo #2 gave me “no matches” – as did photos 3 and 4! Photo #5 gave me some more reasonable celebrities – and by “reasonable” I mean ones that I wouldn’t mind looking like*, not ones that I actually believe I look like. Judge for yourself:

Notably, there wasn’t a single person who matched up with my first photo that matched up with my other photo. I was starting to doubt the reliability and validity of this so-called “face recognition” software. Also of note was that neither list included the two celebrities who I’m always told I look like, Emily Watson:

and Kellie Martin:
This whole thing reminded me of a posting that Dave did ages ago. Dave, if only you’d waited, you could have used this “face recognition” software that would have given you a list of celebrities that you don’t really look like at all.

*well, except for Tori.

Why does the stupid word verification thingy in Blogger no longer work in Firefox? It used to work just fine, but now the image no longer shows up and the workaround for people with disabilities doesn’t do anything at all. If I want to comment, I have to go to the post I want to comment on in IE! Boo!

And while I’m bitching, Jorge, why do your Footnotz not work in Firefox? You only get to see part of the footnote, followed by “…” and there is no where to click to get the full footnote. I am hereby boycotting Footnotz until you make them work in Firefox. So there!

{March 7, 2007}   Grad Student Humour

At Danielle’s birthday dinner last night, Sheila mentioned a Simpsons clip that a friend of hers had sent her from You Tube:

All I have to say is, “I’m 30 and I WISH I made $600!!”

In my search for that clip, I came across this other clip about grad students:

It’s funny because it’s true. I find it amusing that the professor in the clip has elbow patches on his tweed jacket. Why do they always portray profs as wearing tweed jackets with elbow patches on them in TV shows and movies? Eleven years of postsecondary education and I never met a prof with a tweed jacket, let alone elbow patches.

And then, as YouTube sucked me in, I also found this clip, which I have always found hilarious:

I’ve been known to use the quotation “there may be a boogyman, or boogymen, in the house!”

OK, I’ll stop now.

{March 6, 2007}   23 Reasons Why Danielle Rocks

Today is Danielle’s Birthday. And since I’m poverty stricken and can’t afford to buy her a really good gift like she deserves gifts that you make are so much more personal, I’m writing a tribute to here in my little corner of the blogosphere. Now, Danielle is not much of a technophile, although she is a photo-acholic. In fact, she doesn’t read my blog postings unless they contain photos (and even then, I’m pretty sure that she only looks at the photos). So my “23 Reasons Why Danielle Rocks” posting* will contain plenty of photos… and I hope she reads the words to go along with the photos!

1. She’s adventerous. Case in point: this is her packing for her trip to Belize! She decided that she wanted to do some traveling and she just went and did it!

2. She is very laid back. She has taught me to chill, to not take things so seriously and that sometimes it can be fun to walk to Shopper’s in your PJs.

3. She’s an amazing cook! Whether it’s dinner (or a whole dinner party!), baking or a creative snack, if Danielle made it, you know it’s going to be tasty!

4. She’s a photo-aholic! She’s the only person that I know who takes as many pictures of every crazy thing as I do (translate: she’s the only person who would put up with me trying to take pictures of everything, let alone be taking the crazy photos right alongside me!) A photo to illustrate that: see above, where we took photos of pretty meals that we made.

5. She’s bringing sexy back.

6. She’s a vegetarian. Vegetarians rock.

7. She’s extremely thoughtful. Exhibit A: Check out this sweet picture frame she made me for Christmas! She’ll bake people cookies to thank them, or make them a card or present to let them know she’s thinking of them. She’s always doing thoughtful things like that.

8. She’s a snowboarder. And everyone knows that snowboarders are just cool.

9. They say you can tell a lot about a person by the company that they keep. And judging by the fantastically amazing friends that Danielle has, you know that she rocks!! (My apologies to the many, many, many great friends of Danielle of whom I don’t have a picture here! I just don’t have photos of you all! If you email me a pic, I’d be happy to include it!)

10. She’s a true Aggie! Aggies are cool! Aggies ride mechanical bulls.

11. She is really, really ridiculously good looking. Check out that model look (is that Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigra? Magnum?)

12. She has a tongue ring. It is cool. You know you are jealous (I know that I am!)

13. She is giving. OK, in this picture she happens to be giving away shots. But she is giving in so many more ways than that! She’s giving of her time and expertise to help others with nutrition questions (whether through her many volunteer endeavours or when friends and family ask for help), she gives sage advice (and is wise much beyond her years!), she gives support when you need it most…. well, you get the picture! She’s the friend/roommate/daughter/sister/cousin/etc. that keeps on giving!

14. She’s the best hockey captain ever! We met when we both started playing for the Aggiettes hockey team – “We are Aggies, we are great! We will score and irrigate! Go AGGIES!”

15. She is disciplined and hard working. You’d be hard pressed to find a more studious and responsible individual!

16. She may know when to be disciplined and responsible, but she also knows how to party!

17. She practises what she preaches. As a dietitian-in-training, she’s preparing to educate others on how to eat more healthily. But she’s not one of those people who is all talk – she takes her healthy eating seriously! And she loves it!

18. She has a fantastic sense of humour. It’s hard to capture something like a “sense of humour” in a photo, but I think this photo of her and her best friend Tamara does a decent job of it.

19. She’s intelligent. What to put as a photo for that, well, if I were more intelligent perhaps I would know!

20. She looks great in neoprene! Not everyone can pull that off, you know!

21. She’s environmentally friendly! She’s the one who inspired me to take my travel mug with me wherever I go, bring my own bags to the grocery store, wrap my Christmas gifts in magazine pages and all the other things I do to try lead a more sustainable life. She leads by example! This is a picture of her on public transit (she often rides her bike to school, but I don’t have a photo of that!).

22. She’s super athletic. She plays on ultimate, football and ball hockey teams this term. And she’s training for a triathelon right now. And after that she’ll run a half marathon, her fourth since last May. See that shirt she’s wearing? That’s from the Seattle half that she ran!

23. She’s the best roommate that a girl could ever ask for!! She took me in when I would have otherwise been homeless, she made me feel welcome from the day I moved in, and has continued to make me feel well each and every day since. She made her home into our home and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Happy birthday, roomie!!

*note: this is not to imply that there are only 23 reasons why Danielle rocks, nor that these are even the top 23 reasons. The ways in which Danielle rocks are too innumerable to count, so I’ve picked 23 that came to mind. And for which I had an appropriate photograph or two.

Of late, I seem to be having trouble in the safe operation of the simple kitchen knife. And I have no fewer than three self-inflected knife wounds on my hands from the last two days. One of which spontaneously started bleeding on the bus today (and, of course, I did not have a band-aid on me. An iPod, a notebook, a travel mug, an umbrella, several pens, a book – all these things were at my disposal, but band-aids, not so much).

Now, you might be wondering, “didn’t she learn after the first time that she should be more careful? or after the second time??” I’m a scientist people! We require replication to have any confidence in anything!

Hypothesis: cutting your hand hurts.
Replications: 3.
Conclusion: I accept the hypothesis (p < 0.05*).

*sorry. The nerd in me required a statistical analysis, albeit a completely made up one.

It has been noted in blogland that I tend to offer my “willing womb to various Canucks as their on-ice performance dictates.” After tonight’s game, in which thug-turned-goal scorer Jeff Cowan scored two goals (!), I think I need to offer to carry his babies. According to the Canucks website, his personal life is “not applicable,” so apparently I need not worry about him having a wife or girlfriend who might object. The same cannot be said of the other Canuck to whom I offer my willing womb, Daniel Sedin, as he and his wife already have a baby; Daniel won the game in the shootout, so I am obligated to offer to have his babies… at least, those of his babies which have not already been had. Interestingly, I think that Cowan kinda looks like a Sedin, just with a less bulbous head (but maybe it’s just that they are redheads and have stupid looking facial hair that makes me think that).

Left, Jeff Cowan. Right, Daniel Sedin.

{March 3, 2007}   A test of my will

The other day I was watching the Canucks game with some fellow scientists at Coppertank and Erika told a story about how she was burned as a young child when she spilled a scalding hot cup of hot chocolate on herself and she bears the scar tissue to this day. For some reason, this made me crave a hot chocolate*. And since Coppertank is right across the road from Timmy Ho’s and I was walking home from the ‘tank, I decided to pop in to satisfy that craving. And what did I discover when I entered Timmy’s?

It’s Roll Up The Rim To Win time. For you non-Canadians, RUTRTW is this promotion they have at Tim Horton’s where you can, not surprisingly, win prizes by rolling up the rim of your coffee cup. Your disposable paper coffee cup.

This is where the test of my will comes in. As I have mentioned before, I bring a travel mug around with me, as I prefer not to use disposable cups, destroying trees and filling up landfills unnecessarily. When I emailed my sister the pic from the Metro, her response was “And look at you sporting your environmentally friendly coffee cup.” It’s what I do. However, I also like winning things. Hence, my dilemma. You can’t very well win anything at Roll Up The Rim To Win if you don’t take the paper coffee cup. So, I’ve been to Timmy’s twice since RUTRTW started and used my travel mug both times, forgoing my opportunity to roll and win. But how long can I resist the siren song this is a chance to win an iPod**? And shouldn’t they have a contest that rewards the use of non-disposable mugs, rather than promoting those who continue to fill up our landfills??

Me, modeling with a disposable paper cup at Timmy’s (not a Roll Up The Rim To Win one, mind you) on a day when I was not practising what I preach. And yes, I always dress this nicely to go to Timmy’s, don’t you?

*I know. I’m weird.

**I know that I already have an iPod. But this one has more memory than mine!

et cetera