Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{June 28, 2007}   Free Stuff

So, on Sunday I got a bit of a surprise when I ventured out to the cheap Broadway produce stores in search of fresh veggies with which to cook up a bunch of delicious meals for the week. Broadway was closed to traffic as, apparently, it was Greek Day. And there were lots of vendors in the street. If this Greek Day is any indication, I’m pretty sure that Greece is a country full of nothing but restaurants, as pretty much every vendor there was selling food. And there were TONNES of people out, despite the fact that it was on and off raining the whole time. Weaving my way around the slow moving crowds on my quest for produce1, I spied a non-food booth. And at this booth you could apply for a Vancity Enviro VISA4. And, as it so happens, I was in the market for a Vancity Enviro VISA. I recently switched from the bank I’d been at for years (I’ve only kept my student loan accounts there) to Vancity, as I really do feel that I’m more of a credit union kind of girl. And I’d been meaning to apply for one of their Enviro VISAs (5% of the profits go to environmental projects), but what with all the optometrist visits/dentist visits5/softball games/climbing of mountains6/etc., I hadn’t quite gotten around to it. So I talked to the woman at the booth and she was like, “fill out this application form and I’ll give you a bunch of free stuff.” And you know how I feel about free stuff! As hard as I try to avoid my pack rat tendencies, I can’t turn down freebies. So, for signing up for a VISA that I was planning to sign up for anyway, I got:

  • a baseball cap – it’s plain black with the words “Vancity Enviro VISA” in small red letters on the side (very subtle)… and I needed a new baseball hat!
  • a ruler with a calculator in it – who couldn’t use one of those?
  • a water bottle – you can never have enough water bottles, imho
  • a free pen – I don’t believe in buying pens… people are always giving them away for free to advertise something or another, so buying pens seems crazy to me.
  • another, even cooler free pen – this one is made from biodegradable plastic and biodegradable ink and when you are done with the pen you plant it in the ground and IT GROWS INTO A TREE ‘cuz there is a seed inside!!7

So, that’s my story about the free stuff.

In other news, I’m still sick. I was coughing and sneezing all freakin’ day at work. I’m pretty sure that I must have the plague. Or possibly Ebola. Or possibly plague-infested Ebola viruses.

1OK, I admit it. Produce and shoes. I bought a pair of “pewter” 2coloured flats3 at the Shoe Warehouse. Adorable!

2Not “silver”, but “pewter”. ‘cuz there is *such* a difference!

3That’s right, I said “flats.” I was able to overcome my love of 27 inch heels and buy a pair of flats. For variety.

4I have *no idea* what Vancity has to do with Greek Day.

5oh ya, in case you were wondering, it turns out, as Dave so wisely predicted, I do not have oral cancer. In case you were worried.

6Crap. It just occurred to me that I never blogged about my recent trip up the Grouse Grind. Here I am writing about applying for a freaking VISA card (*yawn*) and neglecting to mention that I climbed a mountain that is 1.5X the height of the CN Tower. D’oh! Anyhoo, I climbed Grouse Mountain on Friday! Pictures to follow, hopefully… unless I forget to blog it again. I swear, I’d forget my head if it wasn’t attached!

7sure, I’m a renter and will be for the forseeable future and so have place to plant a tree. But no matter! Minor details! I love my tree pen!

{June 26, 2007}   Sick

Who the hell catches a cold during the summer? Me, apparently.

I was supposed to have a work event to attend tonight, but it was cancelled. Which turned out to be a good thing, since my throat has been killing me all day, and now I have a headache/backache/shoulderache/general malaise. So, instead of having to go out with my colleagues, I came home and took a nap. Got up and went to the drug store. Came back, put on my PJs and hopped back in bed. And now here I sit in my toasty warm bed, typing this on my laptop while I sip away at my “Hot Lemon Relief”1, glad that I don’t have epilepsy, high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, heart, liver, thyroid or lung diseases, including asthma, bladder neck obstruction, stenosing peptic ulcer, pyloroduodenal obstruction, enlarged prostate, or pregnancy2, and hoping that I don’t experience the potential side effects of excitability, nervousness, restlessness, sleeplessness, dizziness, palpitations or late onset albinoism3. I was surprised to see “drowsiness” listed as a potential side effect – isn’t that half the reason you take this stuff – to help you fall into merciful, merciful sleep? Speaking of which, I feel the drowsiness setting in, so it’s back to sleep for me. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be feeling better and can post something more exciting.

1translation: no name brand NeoCitran.
2all contraindications to taking this drug
350 points to the first person who identifies where I stole that joke from!

In this interests of keeping my Vancouverite friends living abroad apprised of the goings on of my beloved Canucks in the off season, I give you the Canucks’s newest hotties:

Ryan Shannon

This tasty morsel was picked up from the Anahiem Ducks as in exchange for Jason King and a conditional draft pick. He’s a centre, like me. And he’s 23, which happens to be my favourite age.

Jimmy Sharrow

This cutie was picked up in exchange for a cutie who was previously mentioned here in my corner of the blogosphere, Jesse Schultz. Jesse didn’t, however, appear to play much when he was called up and I assume he got sent back down to the Moose shortly thereafter. Hopefully Jimmy can do a little bit more than that next season.

Draft Picks

Patrick White (picked 25th overall) & Taylor Ellington (picked 33rd overall)

When I first heard that we picked up another Taylor, my first thought was “Taylor sandwich! With a Dr. Beth filling!” But, alas, then I saw the pics. Now, I’m probably going to lose my cougar card for saying this – but Pat & Taylor look a wee bit too young for my liking. Maybe they just need a few years on the Moose to, um, develop. You know, time to fill out and work on their skills.

In the meantime, there is always Ryan and Jimmy….

{June 21, 2007}   Feast or Famine

Remember back when I didn’t have a job, and couldn’t seem to find one? Now I have three!

In addition to my regular 4 days per week job, I recently got hired for two part-time jobs for 2007-2008. In addition to my current job, I will be teaching (a) third-year university students1 and (b) grade 3s. So very, very excited about this!

1this is tentative, budget dependent

Friday night after my softball game, my team went to the pub for some hard earned post-game beers. A few of my teammates got some of those pull-tab lottery thingys, where if you pull a tab to discover three of a kind, you win cash. As they were discarding the non-winning tickets onto the table, I picked one up to have a look at it and look what I discovered:

Why the hell is the female symbol (♀) only worth $25, but the male (♂) symbol worth $100? What the f is up with that???

{June 17, 2007}   Watch These Videos

These videos show what it would be like if shopping in the real world was like online shopping. Good for a chuckle.

Plus, by linking there, I could potentially win a gift certificate. And you know I likes me some free stuff. Plus, I know the guy who plays the search engine and the homepage.

4 intrepid young women.



Drive 230 km.

To buy 7 pairs of shoes.

50 points to the first person who correctly identifies which 2 of these are mine.

1for a recounting of what happens in Seattle when I don’t avoid the 151, see here.

{June 17, 2007}   Shout Out to Alain

Friday, as I got onto the bus that would take me to my softball game, the bus driver said, “Nice shirt. Why are so many people wearing Canucks shirts today?” “Because Alain Vigneault won the coach of the year!” I replied. I have no idea if this is why other people were wearing their ‘nucks gear that day, but that was why I put on my stick-in-a-box retro logo shirt!

Of course, Roberto Luongo was robbed of both the Hart Trophy and the Vezina. But don’t you worry, Bobby Lou. You’ll get ’em next year!

{June 17, 2007}   Ponderings

Why is the plural of “practicum” not “practica”?

Why can you say that someone was “nonchalant”, but you can’t say that someone did something in a “chalant” manner?

Why, no matter how many times I look up the definitions, can I *never* remember what “hegemony” and “heuristic” mean?

How long can I continue to use the excuse that my place is so disorganized because “my roommate just moved out, and I haven’t yet had any time to reorganize my stuff since she left”?

I was talking to my sister today and she was telling me about how she really wants an iPhone, but she is hestitant to get one when they come out since she is “dropper of all things valuable.” I think this trait must be genetic, because I am also a DoATV. I drop my iPod on a regular basis (thank dog for the protective rubber case I have on it). I’ve dropped my digital camera a couple of times (always onto my carpeted floor though, so it’s been ok so far). I even dropped my beloved new phone on the bus the other day (can anyone say “heart attack”?)! And then tonight, I broke the pot for my coffeemaker! Now, that might not seem to meet the V requirement of DoATV, especially when you consider that I had partially melted the handle of that pot in a previous episode of airheadedness, wherein I had left it sitting on the oven and then turned on the wrong burner1 when I went to cook something, resulting in fire and melted plastic all over the stove. And so the handle was only very tenuously attached to the pot itself and I was pretty sure that I would one day spill a pot full of boiling hot coffee all over myself. So really, it’s probably better that I knocked the pot off the pile of dishes in the dish drying rack, as opposed to getting third-degree burns over significant portions of my body. However, it does leave me in a bit of a predicament. I have a perfectly good coffeemaker, but no pot in which to make said coffee. What’s a girl to do? Can you replace the coffee pot? I mean, you’d need to get the exact right model, or it wouldn’t fit. But do they sell just the coffee pot part? If so, where? It would seem quite environmentally unfriendly to trash a perfectly good coffeemaker and get a new one just because you went and smashed the pot. People of the internets, I need your help! What do I do??

Also, on the topic of my airheadedness, I lost my key no fewer than once per day for the last three days. On Sunday I went for a run and so I had taken my key off the keychain to carry it in this little wrist band keyholder thing I have. I returned home from my run, absentmindedly put my key down and went about my day without thinking about it again until I went out. At that point, I checked my purse to make sure I had my keychain, which I did. But I had forgotten that the key was not attached to the key chain. So I locked myself out. Had to borrow the landlords’s key to get back in. Spent hours looking for my key. Which turned out to be sitting underneath my laptop the entire time. *Sigh*

Oh man, it’s so late right now. I’m up way past my bedtime. I have to be up in five and a half hours. And, of course, I won’t be able to make myself any coffee in the morning!! Arrgh!

1I constantly, despite my best efforts to avoid it, turn the wrong burner on. If I want to turn the front burner on, 9 times of out 10 I’ll turn the back burner on. I believe I suffer from stove dyslexia.

{June 12, 2007}   Points Updates

Well, it took 11 days, but someone *finally* contacted me via my new cellie and uttered the magic works: Thirteenth Step Rocks! And so, Jody wins 100 points! Yay Jody!

Now, everyone seems to think that these blog points that I like to throw around all willy nilly should have some actual purpose. I will take that under advisement. In the meantime, here is an accounting of the point standings so far:




So, even though I have no idea what these points will be worth, you *know* you are jealous of Dave‘s point total. Admit it!

{June 11, 2007}   As Requested: Funny

As requested, I am now returning to your regularly scheduled funny. So I give you this photo I took recently at a store on Denman St:


{June 10, 2007}   Binaries

I was at a women’s health event on Thursday and we spent most of the morning talking about the defintions of “sex” and “gender.” Sex and gender, you may be surprised to hear1, are not the same thing.

Sex is a biological construct – based on our genes/hormones/anatomy/physiology, we are classified as “male” or “female,” although research shows that things are not quite as clear cut as this. For example, we tend to think of sex chromosomes as being XX = female, XY = male, but there are people with different chromosomal combinations (e.g., XO, XXX, XXY, XYY); similarly, we think of vagina = female, penis = male, but there are people born with indeterminate genitalia, or both sets, or incongruous external and internal anatomy.

Gender is a social construct, something that we humans create. We can think of “gender roles” (the way that society expects us to behave) and “gender identities” (what gender we personally identify ourselves with). We talked a lot about how there are many genders, not just “male” or “female”, and even within the groups “male” and “female”, there really are multiple “masculinities” and “feminities)2.

We spent a considerable amount of time exploring these concepts of multiple and complex sexes and genders, specifically regarding how this complexity affects our research.

What happened at the break after this enriching and thoughtful discussion really struck me as rather funyy. The women’s health field is, not surprisingly, dominanted by women researchers. The group at this event was made up of probably 100 or so participants, of which there were maybe 2 or 3 males. At the break, many participants, myself included, headed to the bathroom. As I walked down the hall, I noticed a large lineup of women at the door to the “women’s” washroom, and no one going into the men’s washroom. Hadn’t we just discussed that “male” and “female” is a false binary??

So I knocked on the door to the “men’s” room (because I realize that societal norms do dictate that it would be “strange” for a woman to walk in on a man at the urinal and that might make some men uncomfortable), and getting no response, I said something nonchalant to the women lined up for the “ladies’s room” and marched on into the unoccupied “men’s” washroom. I’m not sure if any of the other women saw the poignancy of my actions and certainly no one followed me. I guess it’s easier to talk the talk than walk the walk sometimes.

Wow, this posting turned out far more cerebral than what I usually post here. It’s almost like something you’d expect to see here or here or here. Perhaps I should nerdify it a bit by adding in a few more big words4 and post it on my “professional” blog… yup, I’ve started a professional blog for work/education purposes… I’m trying to inform others of the benefits of blogging for reflective practice/educational purposes/community building, so I figured that I should be practising what I preach and blogging my own reflections on my professional practice. But I’m not linking it to this blog which, if you know what I did for a living, would probably make a lot of sense to you.

1or maybe not, depending on your background.

2As an aside, this issue of “masculinities” and “feminities” got me thinking about how I have never really felt that I fit into any predefined gender roles – when asked “are you a girly girl or a tom boy?”3, I’ve basically come to the point of giving the answer “I’m a tom boy who likes to dress like a girly girl.” In many ways, I have some very stereotypically “male” characteristics. I love both watching and playing sports, although I think it is somewhat outside of the “male” gender role to want to bed your favourite NHL hockey player. Another example – I’m very career focussed, but I like to wear short skirts and high heels while I go about my career. Hell, I wore CFM boots to my PhD defence!! I like pretty, sparkly jewellry and wearing makeup, which I think contrasts nicely with my pig-sty of an apartment and my trucker mouth. We are all aware of my obsession with pretty shoes , but are you aware that I will wear my pretty shoes to watch action and horror movies but wouldn’t be caught dead watching a chick flick? It’s never actually bothered me that don’t fit into some stereotypically “female” roles, while I do partake of other “girly” behaviours that would make some feminists look down their nose at me… I actually like picking and choosing my behaviours regardless of what society feels I should do. But it was an interesting phenomenon to think about in a group of predominantly feminist scholars and strengthened my confidence in being who I am, regardless of whether mainstream society accepts it or not.

3Which I’ve been asked more times that you’d believe.

4and remove the part about bedding Taylor Pyatt.

{June 6, 2007}  

Is it wrong for me to love an inanimate object? I’m standing at a bus stop, secure in the knowledge that my bus will be here soon because now I, like everyone else, can call Translink’s automated system and find out when the next bus is coming. I stand here, pecking away at my little keyboard, the smell of pot from the joint the girl next to me is smoking burning strong, and I try to avoid being in the direct line of fire as she hacks up what I can only assume is both of her lungs.

Now I’m sitting on the bus, still pecking away at the tiny keyboard, because you really can’t type that fast on keys that are mere millimetres wide (or at least that’s what it feels like… I’m sure that my phone will soon announce “the fingers you are using to type with are too fat. If you would like to order a dialing wand, please smash the keyboard with your palm.”)

Soon, I will be home and I’ll upload this to my blog (which will then be automatically imported into Facebook, for those of you who read my blog postings there instead of reading my blog…). And the world will be blessed with yet another pithy blog posting from me, all thanks to my shiny new Treo. That, and the fact that I finished the book I was reading on the bus ride to dinner1, and so was bored enough to write this.

OK, so apparently I was bored enough to write that yesterday, but not motivated enough to actually upload it! It’s now the next day and I’m at Kalev’s in the middle of watching Night Watch, a Russian horror movie that we saw over a year ago in the theatre that just so happens to have the BEST. SUBTITLES. EVER. But we paused the movie ‘cuz Kalev keeps getting phone calls! You may be interested to know, however, that we are watching Night Watch for a very special reason… As it happens, Day Watch, the first of two sequels, is coming out in theatres this weekend. And as it also happens, there were two contests2 that Vancouverites could enter to win passes to see a sneak preview of said sequel. Contests that Kalev and I may have asked our friends ever so nicely to enter in the hopes of increasing our chances of getting our mitts on those tix. And, as it so happens, not only did Kalev and I both win double passes, but so did no fewer than FOUR of our friends!3 And just to add the cherry on top, I also just so happened to be one of the first three winners of the Georgia Strait’s contest to pick up my passes, so I also got a copy of the book “Day Watch.” A book, of course was what I really could have used yesterday when I started writing this posting!

Oh yes, for the record, I’m on yet another bus (and have been since about the middle of the last paragraph). And I have no fewer than 4 books in my bag today: the library book that I brought with me to read on the bus on the way to work this morning, the copy of Day Watch and two books that I picked up as Christmas presents, if you can believe that!4

1Minority Report by Philip K. Dick, in case you were wondering
2One from Videomatica and one from the Georgia Strait. I suppose it is possible there were more, but these were the two of which I was aware.
3I think that this is sufficient evidence that the Flying Spaghetti Monster was using his Noodly Appendage to ensure that I saw this movie.
4I don’t think I’ve ever started my Christmas shopping before Dec 19.

So, after several phone calls with accompanying freakouts, I finally got the cell phone deal that I was promised. Rather ridiculous that one needs to do that, but hey, I finally got what I wanted by having temper tantrums. That’s a good life lesson, isn’t it?

Notably, no one has yet phoned me on my new phone and said the magic words. Guess no one wants to win those valuable, valuble BTNaNN points!

et cetera