Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{July 31, 2007}   Pierre Chretien

I was just reading this article on the Global TV website and was looking at the “photo gallery” of the “10 Worst Canadians,” as voted on by any jackass with Internet access. When I got to #6 in the photo gallery, I noticed this oddity:

[Click on the pic to see it in its full-sized glory]

Pierre Chretien1? Really, Global TV? Really?

You seriously need to fire your editor.

1For the benefit of my American readers, the man in that photo is Jean Chretien. He was our Prime Minister for just over a decade (Nov 1993 to Dec 2003). Certainly long enough for us to have learned his name.



{July 31, 2007}   Finally!

Finally, a website to provide just what I’ve been looking for:

Sugar daddies look for ‘babies’ on dating site

Apparently the term for the recipient of a sugar daddy or sugar momma’s money is a “sugar baby.” You learn something new everyday.

P.S. Can you believe this was a “top story” on the CTV News website? *cough* slow news day *cough*



{July 30, 2007}   Freebee Update

I suddenly remembered that training for a half marathon actually requires that I go out for a run once in a while. So I decided to head out for a good long run today. And about 7 k into my 10 k, I remembered that (a) my route would take me past Cheapskates, a sports consignment store, and (b) more than one person, from both my own team and opposing teams, has suggested that I get some baseball cleats, as running shoes really just don’t cut it. So I stopped into Cheapskates and tried on a few pairs. And found a pair that fit me that just so happened to be free!1

Apparently this really is my lucky week!

1For the uninitiated, consignment stores set a price for their items, and every week that the item is still in the store, the price gets cheaper. This particular pair had remained on the shelf long enough to get all the way down to $0.



{July 29, 2007}  

I’ve had requests for pictures of both my hook up lip colour and my haircut. Well, as they say, better late than never!



{July 28, 2007}   Freebee Friday

I love free stuff. The offer of free stuff appeals to both my pack rat tendencies and my cheapness gene. And this week was a banner week for free stuff. As previously mentioned, I got to see TWO free movies this weekend – Arctic Tale (my movie review: meh.) on Monday and Skinwalkers (my movie review: I heart things that bite!) on Wednesday.

But Friday brought the motherload of free stuff! First, I got a free textbook from a publishing company. Publishing companies love to give instructors free textbooks, because if you like their book and make it the required one for your course, that’s 1001 kids who have to buy the overpriced thing. When I used to teach introductory nutrition, I received no less fewer than four textbooks and two diet analysis software packages for free! After going to campus to pick up my free textbook, I headed out to the Georgia Straight office to pick up a prize package that I had won through one of their online contests. This prize pack consisted of 5 books, seen here sitting on my bedside bookshelf:

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The book that had most appealed to me when I saw this contest was the Raw Shark Texts. I’d seen this book on a recent trip to the UBC Bookstore and it caught my eye because (a) I like sharks and (b) it had the shape of a shark cut out of the cover:

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…so I read the back of the book and it sounded intriguing! I wasn’t familiar with any of the other books, but I checked them out while waiting for the bus after picking them up and they all sound really good! So now I have a big stack of books to read – I’m just starting Infinite Jest3 though, which is about 2 million pages long, so it may be a while until I get to my new free books.

As an added bonus, I also got this free, snazzy new Georgia Straight bag, in which to carry my new books home:

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And on the way home, I stopped by to see my hair stylist to get a free bang trim. I’m coming to discover that having bangs requires more than a once a year haircut.

OK, now as I was composing this posting, I just got a free bottle of water! I’m sitting at a coffee shop and the dude at the counter forget to make my toasted bagel so, as an apology for making me wait, he gave me a free bottle of water! It’s my lucky week!

1well, 100 kids in the case of my class, ‘cuz that’s about how big the class will be. If you teach one of those monster 500 student courses, that’s a total goldmine for the publisher!

2the Georgia Straight, a local newspaper, was also the source of the Skinwalkers tickets.

3which I picked up at a used bookstore a while ago



{July 28, 2007}   My First Ever Sangeet!

Last night I attended my first ever Sangeet (or Ladies Party, as it is also called). And I must say that you have not partied until you have danced to a mash up of “My Humps” + Hindi music.

OK, maybe I should back up a little. Since this is my first ever Indian wedding, when Shalu gave me my invitation (which, by the way, is the most gorgeous invitation I’ve ever seen!), I had to have her walk me through what the heck everything was, since my invitation had FOUR invitations in it!1 The invitation to the Sangeet indicated that there would be Appetizers, followed by Chunni & Tilak, then dinner & dancing. Appies, dinner & dancing I am familiar with, but chunni & tilak, not so much. Around about the time that we were waiting for our ride to pick us up, Shalu’s friend, Mina (who I met at the wedding shower last weekend and arranged to carpool with) and I decided to Wikipedia2 those terms to see what we could expect. Chunni, as near as we could tell from Wikipedia, is a piece of red fabric the groom’s family puts on the bride’s head. Tilak is a mark on the forehead.

Here’s a pic of the happy couple after the Chunni & Tilak part of the night. As you can see, Shalu bears both the chunni and the tilak. Wikipedia did not steer us wrong!

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Don’t they look amazing??

OK, a few highlights of the night:

  • the food. omg, so delish! I *love* Indian food. Plus, it was all vegetarian!
  • everyone’s outfits – they were soooo beautiful! Shalu looked radiant in her beautiful green dress and Deepak was dashing in his blue outfit.
  • the music! As I mentioned at the start of the post, it was Hindi music mixed with pop. Billie Jean, plus Hindi. Sexy Back, plus Hindi. It went surprisingly well together and had a great beat, which made for great fun dancing.
  • And speaking of dancing, I got a few compliments on my dancing abilities. Now, I’ve never danced to Indian music before, so I just sort of looked at what other people were doing and tried to imitate it… just feel the beat and go with it! I think people were surprised to see the only white girl there dancing to the Indian
  • And speaking of dancing, the DJ told us that “this next song will be the last song of the night” about 6 times. At once point, they had turned the lights up for the “last song”, but we kept on dancing, so they turned the lights back down and kept playing music! After the actual last song, we decided we still needed to dance some more, so a bunch of us headed to Ginger Sixty-Two. Deepak told us it was Indian Night there, which we didn’t believe, as Deepak likes to make things up just to see if you will believe them. But he turned out to be telling the truth, because when we got there, they were, in fact, playing Indian music! Of course, Shalu & her “entourage” (as the DJ there called it) were the only ones wearing Indian outfits, which everyone there thought was very cool.
    Here are Shalu & Deepak outside of Ginger Sixty-Two. Party like a rock star.
  • We stayed ’til Ginger Sixty-Two closed (for those of you who are counting, that’s right, we stayed right to the end of *two* parties last night… ya, we are that hardcore!) By then, I was pretty much unable to walk due to my feet deforming shoes. In my defence, the shoes are very pretty. Some peeps headed off for pizza, but me, Andrea & Mina decided that it was time, since it was after 2 am and Andrea had to work in a few hours, to head home.

OK, that’s enough with the writing. But I’ll give you a few more pictures, what with them being worth a thousand words and all.

<img src=”http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1025/921577139_3dfa7fd769_m.jpg” alt=”

Me, Radha (sister of the groom) and Mina (friend of Shalu’s (and now my friend too!))

<img src=”http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1219/922427514_6648ddd72c_m.jpg” alt=”

Mina, me & Ritu in the back row. Deepak & Shalu in the middle. Meenu up front.
<img src=”http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1114/921585443_09f3dce059_m.jpg” alt=”
At Ginger Sixty-Two.

Stay tuned for more exciting wedding events next week. Next up, the wedding tradition of Mehndi on Wednesday!

1See here for a brief description of the different events.

2I also discovered through Wikipedia that Shalu’s name is also the name of a “special type of sari.”



{July 25, 2007}   Isn’t it ironic?

The other day, I happened to come across the Centre for Internet Addiction Recovery’s website.
Let me repeat that.

The Centre for Internet Addiction Recovery has a website. A website. You can listen to their podcast, read their blog, buy “valuable resources” from their online bookstore, join their mailing list, take an online test to see if you are addicted to the internet, or seek treatment. Seek treatment for internet addiction by going onto the internet??

For the record, I took the test and I am not (though I know a few people who won’t believe me on this one), addicted to the ‘net.

And speaking of my internet (non)addiction, why have the comments on my postings dried up? I checked my stats counter and I’m still getting just as many hits as always, but no one is commenting… was it something I said?1

1this pathetic plea for comments has been brought to you by the letters B, E and G.



{July 25, 2007}   Polar Bear Porn

This week seems to be a week for free movies – I’m seeing two of them! First up was a special screening of Arctic Tale, free tickets for which I got from work. Why my office got a bunch of free passes to this movie – well, your guess is as good as mine! Billed as “from the makers of March of the Penguins” this documentary follows Nanu the polar bear and Seela the walrus from birth until adulthood. Now, March of the Penguins was a pretty damn good movie and I was disappointed to discover that this film didn’t even come close to measuring up. It seemed to be geared more towards kids, so there was far less info about the two species than I would have liked, and far more fart jokes. Oh, if only I were kidding about that! There was a long scene of walruses farting. Also, the narration by, “storyteller” Queen Latifah , was rather lame (e.g., saying things like “that’s just way the walruses roll” and introducing the farting scene by saying “someone starts a game of pull my flipper”) and the music sucked. They did, however, get some pretty amazing shots, including shots of the polar bear in her birthing den with brand new baby cubs and shots from under the water of polar bears walking on very thin ice.

Probably the worst part of the movie was when Queen Latifah basically calls all the walruses, other than Seela, a bunch of sluts. OK, so she didn’t use the word “slut.” I believe it was more something along the lines of “Seela isn’t going to go with just any male. She has standards, unlike *some* walruses she knows.” [showing picture of other walruses jumping into the water]. But she wanted to say “sluts!”, I can just tell.

Probably the best part of the movie happened when Nanu the polar bear was all grown up and ready to mate. The deal with male polar bears is that they are pretty much the worst deadbeat dads. Not only do they take off after mating, leaving the female to birth and raise the cubs on her own, but if a male polar bear should run into a female and her cubs, he’ll attack and kill them given the chance! Of course, when the female is cub-less and ready to mate, he’s not violent. So the best part of the movie went like this:

Queen Latifah says: “After many years of fearing the male polar bear, Nanu now finds herself drawn to one,” as images of Nanu and the male polar bear being all cuddly show on the screen.

Kid, says loudly in the otherwise silent the theatre: “Is he being nice to her?”

Um, ya, you could call it that [cue porn music].

So, in conclusion, I’m glad that I didn’t actually pay to watch this movie.

Next up in free movieland is Skinwalkers, tickets for which Kalev won from the Georgia Straight and which we are seeing tomorrow night. It’s a movie about warring werewolf packs. Coincidentally, also a documentary.



For posterity, I would like to record how I spent Saturday, the day the 7th and final Harry Potter book was released. Please note that all times are approximate.

8:13 am – Post a blog entry.

8:14 am – Log off of msn, log off of Skype and shut down browser with email in it so that no one can interrupt my date with Harry.

8:15 am – Lie in bed, thinking that I really should get up so I can go sit on the porch to wait for my book.

~9 am – The doorbell rings, I jump out of bed and race to the door, where my book awaits me on the porch. The letter carrier is nowhere in sight. (A co-worker of mine will later ask me, “How do you know that a letter carrier brought it?” “Oh my god,” I will exclaim, “It was brought by an owl!!”)

Rip open packaging. Begin to read; promptly lose track of time.

Decide I need a cup of tea. Make pot of tea without ceasing to read. Consume entire pot.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Decide I’m hungry. Toast an English muffin, and make another pot of tea, still without ceasing to read. Consume English muffin, with cream cheese, and entire pot of tea while reading.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Shout out “oh my god!” at various intervals.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Decide I’m thirsty. Drink a can of diet Pepsi while reading.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Decide I’m hungry again. Make pizza. Discover that I cannot do this without putting book down. Quickly throw dough onto cookie sheet, dump pasta sauce on top (having discovered the pizza sauce in my fridge had gone moldy) along with chunks of mozzarella (roughly cut in order to save time). No time to chop veggies, as there is book to be read, so determine that a cheese & sauce pizza is sufficient. Stick pizza in oven.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Take pizza out of oven. Read while it’s cooling. Read while I eat it, along with another can of diet Pepsi.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Hunger raises its ugly head again, but is quieted by consuming a spoonful of leftover chocolate frosting (I’m not a proud woman). Make and consume another pot of tea, without ceasing to read.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Move from living room to bedroom to read on my bed instead of on my couch or armchair (between which I had been alternating up until this point).

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Check facts in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Recognize a name, so check back in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to determine that I’m right about where I thought I’d read that name before. Continue onto next page of Deathly Hallows, where this is confirmed.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Decide my room feels too cold, fear that Dementors are present. Move back to living room.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Decide its time to eat something other than frosting. Nuke leftover stuffed green pepper, thankful that I have something that I can make without stopping my reading. Eat it while reading. Decide I’ve passed any possible recommended caffeine intake for the day, so wash it down with some nice cold water.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Scream out loud “no no no no no no no no no!! It can’t be.”

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Think I see, out of the corner of my eye, Lord Voldemort’s snake-like face pressed up against my kitchen window.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.

~2:20 am – Finish.

2:37 am. Facebook Sarah in reply to her email and to inform her of my finish.

Fall into bed, sleep the sleep of the just.



When my friend Linda & I were looking for a bottle of booze to give to our friends Erika & Paul to go with the glasses we got them for their wedding shower present, nothing in the Liquor Store seemed quite right, nothing said what we really wanted it to say. We wanted something with a name and label that was fun and somewhat appropriate to the the occasion (the vanilla liquor “French Kiss,” came close, but wasn’t exactly what we wanted). Then a stroke of genius hit – if we can’t find just the right thing, why not invent our own brand? Not to actually make the liquor, mind you, but we could come up with our own label and put it on a bottle of tasty liquor. Erika is a fish biologist, Paul, a video game designer. Thus was born – Wired Fish:

WiredFish

Never one to waste a good idea, when I had to find a gift for Shalu (a rat researcher) & Deepak (an IT guy) to go along with the martini glasses that I got them for their wedding shower, the label was adapted and thus was born – Wired Rat:

wired rat

Now, as long as my friends continue to marry people that are somehow involved in computer industry (and those friends are somehow involved with some species of living creature), I may never had to think up another good wedding shower gift idea again! Wired Amoeba anyone?


{July 21, 2007}   I’m Going Off the Grid

I will not be answering my phone.

I will logging off of msn.

I will be logging off of Skype.

I will not be going onto Facebook, reading blogs or news websites or checking any of my 8 emails.

In fact, I’m going to unplug my computers, just in case.

I will be incommunicado for however long it takes me to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

When the 6th book was released, I waited by my front window until the letter carrier came to deliver it (I pre-ordered, because it’s 40% off if you do that). She look quite amused when I jumped across my couch to greet her at the window in order to get the book into my hot little hands as quickly as possible. I tore open the package and read. And read. And read. And I didn’t stop reading until it was done, 15 hours later. Even when I was cooking (a girl has to eat at least once ever 15 hours, you know), I was doing it one handed, so that I could hold the book and read as I cooked. And when I went to sleep at 3 am after finishing the book, I slept the sleep of a woman who knew that no one had been able to spoil anything by revealing any of the books secrets. And, as I’m sure you know, the Deathly Hallows is the 7th and final book, where the final outcome will be revealed. And thus I must ensure that no one can spoil even the smalleset detail for me! And so, off the grid I go.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go and sit on the front steps until the letter carrier arrives.



{July 21, 2007}   A much better video to watch

Last week I posted a link to a terrible, terrible video that no one should ever watch.

As an apology to anyone who did not heed my warning and watched that video anyway, I give you a much better video to watch.

You’re welcome.



{July 20, 2007}   Weddings

So, I’m going to two weddings in the next couple of weeks and I’m really excited about both of them.

First of all, both couples are AWESOME! You know how sometimes couples are together and everyone is always (behind their backs, of course) like “wtf? why is she (or he) with him (or her)? She (or he) is way too good for that schmuck!” This is not the case with these couples – I can honestly say that I’m totally happy for both of the brides, who are getting awesome husbands, and both of the grooms, who are getting awesome wives!

Second, these two weddings are going to be about as different as can be. The first one is a traditional Indian wedding, meaning that I’m going to four different events, spread out over a week and a half, some of which will have 700+ guests. There’s a pre-wedding reception thrown by the bride’s family, a party where all the girls get hennaed, a wedding ceremony (plus a ceremony for leaving the parents’s house and another one for entering the new house) and the reception thrown by the groom’s family (and probably ten thousand other things I don’t even know about). I’ve never been to an Indian wedding before, so I’m very excited to experience it all (especially, the food! I *love* Indian food1!)

The second wedding will (most fittingly for a bride and groom who got engaged after climbing the Chief and who registered their wedding on the gift registry at Mountain Equipment Co-op) be outdoors on a property out in Langley, and many people will be camping out that way that night. I tried to convince the bride that she should do a keg stand at her wedding, but apparently it will be cans of beer, not kegs, so that plan was foiled! There certainly won’t be 700 guests (I think it’s something like 100-150, but I might be totally making that number up). And no guests are allowed to attend that haven’t met the bride and/or groom at least once (i.e., no bringing random dates just so you can have a date!). The idea is that the bride and groom want a great party with their family & friends, which is very in keeping with their personalities2.

All of this talk of guests and whether or not the bride and groom actually know all the people at their wedding is sort of getting mashed up in my brain with recent conversations I’ve had about Facebook (i.e., how some people only add their actual friends, whereas other people add anyone and everyone they meet (and sometimes people they haven’t even met)). And so I have a question for you, blog reader:

How many of your Facebook “friends” would you invite to your wedding? 100% of them? 50%? 10%?

1I was talking with Dave the other day and mentioned that the bride & groom are vegetarian, so I’m going to get a wicked good Indian vegetarian dinner, and he said, “Nice to see that your dietary lifestyle choice will be met.” (This was a reference to the MC at his & Sarah’s wedding, who cracked us all up when he said, “Vegetarians and vegans, please inform the waitstaff of your dietary lifestyle choice.”). I replied to Dave, “Yes, and my other dietary lifestyle choice too. Open bar.”

2 OK, as I’m proofreading this post, it almost sounds like I’m slagging on the one couple because they are having a less ornate wedding and/or slagging on the other couple because they are having a huge wedding with a lot of people that aren’t close friends there… but I’m so totally not doing that! I really am excited about the two weddings and just think the contrast is very interesting, not that one is better than the other.



{July 18, 2007}   Adventures in Packaging

A few packages have made me go “WTF?” lately and so I thought I’d share them with you, gentle blog reader. First up, Veggie Patch Spinach Nuggets:

I was in the grocery store the other day, looking for some delicious and proteinaceous foodstuffs and as I was checking out which of the Yves Veggie pretend-meat items were on sale, I noticed a package of spinach nuggets that looked tasty. I started reading the packaging, as is the habit of the nutritional scientist (how many calories? how many grams of protein? are there any trans fat? for the love of all that is good in the world, tell me if there are any trans fats!!!) and saw a picture of the new – and, in my humble opinion, infuriating1 – American Food Pyramid. Being that I’m in Canada, I found this a little strange – shouldn’t it have Canada’s Food Guide on there? And then I read what was written next to it – it actually does talk about Canada’s Food Guide there. But that’s not a picture of Canada’s Food Guide!!! Canada’s Food Guide is a RAINBOW, people, a RAINBOW! What is up with that???

Next up, Reversaflex tabs.

In the cupboard where the stationery items live in in my office, there was a box of those clear plastic tabs you use to label hanging file folders… you know, like this kind of thing:

Photo courtesy of some random on Flickr.

In one of my “I’m going to be organized” moments, I decided to use them file away some of my papers in an orderly fashion2. I just printed up labels and stuck them on the tabs, but check out how the instructions suggest you deal with them:

A *typewriter*? Are you serious?? Or a *tapewriter*?? Do you remember those things? My parents had one and I thought it was sooo cool. Like when I was 5 years old. Sure, I found these in a supply cupboard and do not know how long they’ve been there so, in theory, they could have been produced in 1981, but I should point out that my program has only been in existence for like 4 years. And the organization in which my program is based for like 10. So really, they can’t be older than that3. And I’m pretty sure that typewriters and tapewriters were not prevalent in 1997.

And now, my favourite of the packages that made me go “WTF” this week. This one is from a lipgloss that my mom sent to me:

Hook up lip color? My *mom* sent me something called hook up lip color?? I can only conclude that she either did not read the packaging or she does not know what “hook up” means. Seeing as this is a woman who referred to S&M as M&M, I’m betting on the latter.

1infuriating because pretty much the only thing that people understood about the US Food Pyramid was that it’s big on the bottom and small on the top… so the groups on the bottom (Grains, Veggies & Fruits) are what you should have more of and the ones on the top (Meat, Milk, Oils) are what you should have less of. People couldn’t get their heads around portion sizes or figure out the specific numbers of servings from each group they should be getting or pretty much anything else about the damn thing, but at least they knew that you should eat more Veggies & Fruits than Meat. But in this latest incarnation of the Food Pyramid (as seen on the package above), they changed it so that the food groups run vertically instead of horizontally, with the (barely discernable differences in the) width of the groups representing which (unlabeled) groups you should have more of and which you should have less of. And the fact that the groups are each wider at the bottom means that some (unspecified) types of, say, Meats & Alternatives are better than other (also unspecified on the Pyramid) groups. And somehow you are supposed to get that from the unlabeled, different coloured slices in the Pyramid. Like I said, infuriating!
/rant

2As opposed to my usual method of throwing papers haphazardly on any available table, counter top or deskspace.

3unless, I suppose, they were somehow inherited from another organization, but that’s a pretty unlikely possibility



{July 17, 2007}   Stupidest Toe Injury Ever

Today, on the way to work. My flip flop flipped when it should have flopped and, as a result, my big toe scraped along the ground, taking a big chunk out of it in the process.

This incident of stupidity has been brought to you by the letter J1

1as in, I am a jackass.



et cetera