Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{January 17, 2009}   Things For You To Vote For

We haven’t had an election to vote in for more than two months!  Shocking, I know.  With the next election not scheduled for another 116 days1, I’ve just been itching to get my vote on.  While not nearly as important as a federal, provincial or municipal election, I have three things that you can vote on.  You’re welcome.

1. Vote for Terrace!

CBC is letting you vote for Hockeyville 2009.  The winning community gets $100,000 to upgrade their local arena, plus an NHL pre-season game hosted in their arena, with a CBC Hockey Night in Canada broadcast from their community.

One of the top 10 communities in this year’s contest is Terrace, BC.  Remember my former roommate, Danielle?  She’s from Terrace (a.k.a. a Terracite) . She thinks you should vote for Terrace.  I think you should vote for Terrace too.

Go here to vote to Terrace.

2. Vote For Your Favourite Restaurants!

The Georgia Strait is holding the vote for its annual Golden Plates award.  Go here to vote for your favourite Vancouver restaurants.

3. Vote for Saddlebacking!

Or, more accurately, vote for a definition of saddleback.”

Dan Savage needs your help.  He’s looking to come up with a definition for the word “Saddleback” and he’s got seven options for you to choose from. Read here to learn more.  Then email him to vote (as outlined in his article).  I, like Dan, recommendation definition number 5.   It’s so very appropriate!

1The possibility of another federal election being called once Parliament resumes later this month, of course, still looms.

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{January 15, 2009}  

Remember when I said that US Airways sucks?   A plane just crashed into the Hudson River.  Guess which airline.



{January 10, 2009}   Random Stuff
  • I’m only blog 3 postings away from 1000!  And as soon as I hit “publish” on this one, I’ll be only 2 postings away!
  • I now have a cleaning person!  Based on a recommendation from Nancy, I have a cleaning person who comes to my apartment and scrubs my kitchen and bathroom and leaves my place all shiny and fresh smelling. I think my life may be officially complete.
  • I’m going to get an accountant to do my taxes this year. My tax situation has now officially crossed the line of “too complicated for me to do in my sleep”1 and so I think it’s time for professional help.
  • If you are a Vancity member, be sure to check out the Vote Action website to learn more about the Action Slate candidates for Vancity Board of Directors. And if you aren’t a Vancity member, you should become one because Vancity is a wicked good credit union. And then tell them that I told you to be a member, because then they will give me money.
  • And finally, a question for you: My parents gave me $200 for Christmas – what should I spend it on? I usually just put birthday and/or Christmas money into my regular account with the idea I’ll get myself something nice and then I don’t and I just end up spending it on groceries or rent. And I’m pretty sure my parents want me to get myself something nice, not groceries. But I can’t decide what to get – any ideas?

1My tax years up until 2006 were “I’m a student. I make very, very little money. I pay huge  tuition fees –> You pay no taxes!” 2007 was my first non-student year, but I was able to handle my tax return via Quicken. 2008, however, I got all uppity with my working multiple jobs plus consulting and it makes my head hurt to even think about it.



{January 8, 2009}   I will not procrastinate

I will not procrastinate preparing my PowerPoint slides and thus stay up ’til 2 a.m. before my 8 a.m class.
I will not procrastinate preparing my PowerPoint slides and thus stay up ’til 2 a.m. before my 8 a.m class.
I will not procrastinate preparing my PowerPoint slides and thus stay up ’til 2 a.m. before my 8 a.m class.
I will not procrastinate preparing my PowerPoint slides and thus stay up ’til 2 a.m. before my 8 a.m class.
I will not procrastinate preparing my PowerPoint slides and thus stay up ’til 2 a.m. before my 8 a.m class.
I will not procrastinate preparing my PowerPoint slides and thus stay up ’til 2 a.m. before my 8 a.m class.
I will not procrastinate preparing my PowerPoint slides and thus stay up ’til 2 a.m. before my 8 a.m class.
I will not procrastinate preparing my PowerPoint slides and thus stay up ’til 2 a.m. before my 8 a.m class.
I will not procrastinate preparing my PowerPoint slides and thus stay up ’til 2 a.m. before my 8 a.m class.
I will not procrastinate preparing my PowerPoint slides and thus stay up ’til 2 a.m. before my 8 a.m class.

So. Very. Tired.



People who haven’t shoveled the snow from the sidewalk in front of your houses: I hate you, I hate you, you suck, I hate you.

I actually saw a little old lady virtually disappear into a snow bank getting off the bus last night.  The bus driver had to get off the bus and fish her out of the snow bank.  True story.

Dude who was shoveling my street when I got home from work: You rock.

Seriously. Dude was shoveling the street, by hand. Because Vancouver doesn’t plow side streets. Ever. Even when we get 3 ft of snow.  They assume that it will just rain and wash away the snow.  Even when we get 3 ft of snow and sub-zero temperatures for weeks and so the snow just sits there and sits there and traps unsuspecting drivers who try to drive on side streets.  Yesterday, in a mere two block span on my way from the office to catch the bus, I saw FOUR cars stuck in the snow. FOUR!

Mercifully, it is now raining and hopefully this means the snow will melt away and we can have our beautiful rainy Vancouver back.

Rain: I’ve missed you. Welcome home!



{January 5, 2009}   Overheard On The Bus

So I’m on the bus yesterday and some guy is yammering really loudly to his friend. Like, so loud that I can hear him despite the fact that I had my iPod turned all the way up in an attempt to drown out the horrible singing of this other women on the bus. So I turn off my iPod to see what is so important that this guy felt the need to proclaim it for all the bus to hear.  And you know what he was saying?  He was saying, “I can’t believe how inconsiderate people are talking really loudly on their cell phones on the bus!  Do they not realize how inconsiderate this is?  Do they really think that everyone on the bus wants to hear their conversation?  I think we should make it unacceptable to do this in society. We could be prejudiced against this behaviour. Maybe we could give them tickets for talking too loudly on their cell phones.”  And he went on like this for like five minutes. Seriously.



Yesterday, Airdrie posted her answers to interview questions given to her by Keira-Anne, who had posted her answers to interview questions given to her… well, you get the idea.  Anyhoo, I took Airdrie up on her offer to interview people.  Here are her questions and my answers:

1.  What are five of your favourite movies?

Fight Club definitely ranks up there with one of my fav movies, as does the Matrix.  I saw both of those when they first came out before there was a huge amount of hype about them (especially Fight Club, I don’t think I’d even heard of Fight Club and we just ended up seeing it because we wanted to see a movie and nothing else playing that day looked any good).  Fight Club was so well written, well acted, well directed and it was unlike any other movie I’d seen.  Similarly, the Matrix was unlike anything I’d ever seen before – the special effects, which were created because they were actually needed for the plot and not just because they looked cool, totally blew me away.  But the thing that really clinches it for me with both those movies is that not only were they very entertaining in their own right, they both had really insightful social commentaries to make.

American Beauty is another one of my favourites – like Fight Club & the Matrix, it had a compelling story, amazing direction and thoughtful social commentary to make.

I don’t think I ever laughed as hard at a movie as I did when I saw South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut in the theatre, so that has to be on the list.  I remember sitting in the theatre watching the South Park kids sitting in the theatre watching Terrance and Phillip sing, “Shut Your Fucking Face, Uncle Fucker.” We all sat their in our seats in the theatre, stunned, thinking, “Oh my god, did they really just *say* that?” while, on the screen, the South Park kids sat in their seats in the theatre saying, “Oh my god, did they really just *say* that?”  I heart self reflexivity.

Interestingly, all four of those movies were released in 1999. Best year for movies EVAR!

For my fifth movie, I’m going with Zoolander.  As evidenced by the inclusion of the South Park movie on my list, I like stupid humour.  Usually stupid humour is only funny the first time around, but Zoolander, for some reason, stays funny no matter how many times you watch it.  And I’ve watched Zoolander many, many times and it’s just as funny the 20th time as it was the first time.  Or maybe I like it because I’m really, really, ridiculously good looking.

2.  You are mailed a box with $10K cash inside, and a note that says “Pay It Forward!”  What do you do?

I would use it to pay off some of my friend Z’s student loan.  Z did her Ph.D. along with me and, like me, accumulated a significant student debt. Unlike me, she did her Ph.D. while raising two kids on her own.  She’s very bright and very dedicated and she’s one of the hardest workers I know.  Even though she now has a great job that she loves, one doesn’t go into academics for the money and I’m sure that $10K coming off her student loan debt would be a welcome relief.

Damn, now I wish I actually had $10K to pay forward!

3. What was the hardest thing about your teenage years? The best thing?

Me, all dressed up for the high school semi-formal dance.

Me, all dressed up for the high school semi-formal dance.

I think the hardest thing about my teenage years was the crappy jobs I worked.  I knew that university was going to be expensive, so I had one (sometimes two) jobs throughout my teen years (actually, starting with my paper route at about age 8, I’ve always had at least one job!).  The worst of the worst was working in the brake part factory where my dad worked the summer that I was 19.  I worked midnights (which sucked) on a 400 degree oven that cooks the brake parts in the heat and humidity of a southern Ontario summer (which really, really sucked).  Oh yeah, and the material used to make the brake parts contained absestos.

The best part… hmm… I guess the best part was hanging out with my friends.

Erin, me (dressed for my role as Miss Casewell), Sarah (dressed for her role as Mollie Ralston), Darren.

From a high school performance of "The Mousetrap." From left to right: Erin, me (dressed for my role as Miss Casewell), Sarah (dressed for her role as Mollie Ralston), Darren.

Despite having jobs and a volunteer position, I didn’t spend very much time during my teenage years doing homework, so had a fair bit of time to hang out with friends.  Mostly at Tim Horton’s (there really wasn’t a lot to do in the town I grew up in).  The semester I had all the same classes as my friend Sarah – that was good times.  Or when Sarah & I used to sign ourselves out of class, claiming we were working on the “gifted” program conference (in later years, we’d sign out younger students too). Or the time I packed the entire cast of our high school version of “The Mousetrap” into my parents’ Jeep to go watch a performance of “The Mousetrap” in Toronto.  Or the time I packed about a dozen people into my parent’s Jeep in front of my friend’s dad, who was a *cop*, to go to McDonald’s.  Yeah, so I guess the best thing in my teenage years was packing way too many people into my parents’ Jeep.

4.  What makes you sad?

Lots of things make me sad:  My Granny passing away.  Seeing how sad my niece was when my family dropped me off at the airport at the end of my recent trip to visit them (I miss her a lot!).  Seeing my friends or family in pain.  The song “Hate Me” by Blue October.  The thought that I may never pay off my enormous student loans.

Fortunately, many things make me happy too!

5.  Tell us about the last time you had an adventure.

Hmmm, define adventure. 

Getting home from Mexico was a bit of an adventure.  The 12 Bars of Christmas is always an adventure.  Surfing in Tofino in Januar was definitely an adventure, but that was almost two years ago now!

Damn, I really need more adventure in my life!

And now it’s time to meme:

Want to get in on the fun? You can be a part of it by following a few simple steps…
Send me an e-mail with the subject line “Interview Me”
I’ll respond within 24-ish hours with 5 questions directed to you (I promise to try and be unique)
Answer the questions on your blog (or Facebook or MySpace) and link back to this original post
Invite others to participate by re-posting these steps

Also, email me if you any good ideas for an adventure!

Image credits:



Miss604 is having her last contest of 2008 and this blog posting is my entry.  Supporting Canada Helps, a site that facilitates online charitable donations, the prize for this contest is one of two $25 e-gift cards that can be donated to the charity of your choice.  The contest requires that you write a blog posting about a charity that is close to your heart.  This is surprisingly difficult, as there are so many good charities out there.  But I’ve decided that the charity I would donate my $25 e-gift card to, should I win the contest, is the Pivot Legal Society.

Pivot Legal Society is a non-profit legal advocacy organization located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Pivot’s mandate is to take a strategic approach to social change, using the law to address the root causes that undermine the quality of life of those most on the margins.

We believe that everyone, regardless of income, benefits from a healthy and inclusive community where values such as opportunity, respect and equality are strongly rooted in the law. (From the Pivot website)

Pivot has been/is involved in a number of important issues, including addictions (including supporting the supervised injection site in Vancouver), homelessness, child welfare, policing, and sex workers rights.  I’ve had the opporutnity to meet with some amazing women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (and I have a number of inspiring colleagues who have done a great deal of work in the DTES) and I know that Pivot is doing really important work.



Brilliant1 things I’ve managed to do in the last 24 hours:

  • Broke the zipper on my dress pants.  And then, in my frustration to make the zipper unstick, I yanked it so hard that I broke the zipper completely in half and tore the seam right down the crotch.
  • Nearly left my purse on the bus.
  • Burned myself. Twice.
  • Ruined my fellow vegetarian co-workers love of Caesar salad by revealing that 99% of the time, Caesar dressing has anchovies in it.3
  • Went to upload my application to a workshop that I really, really wanted to attend, the application for which was due today, only to discover that they want three reference letters, also due today.  This one totally wasn’t my fault, as needing references was not mentioned anywhere on their public website (you know, like where it says what is to be included in the application!). Only once you register for their online application system do you find out the references are needed.  But still, if I’d registered for their application system earlier, I would have known.  This especially sucks because I spent a fair bit of time crafting my letter and tailoring my CV4.
  • Writing two blog postings today, instead of marking the papers that I really should be marking!

On the plus side, I got an assist on the only goal my team scored yesterday. Go me!

1Where by “brilliant” I mean “not brilliant.”
2Thankfully, I was still at home at this point!
3 In my defence, I didn’t mean to ruin her love of Caesar salad. I just asked the waiter at lunch if the Caesar dressing had anchovies in it (since there is always that 1%a of places where it doesn’t) and my co-worker was all “What? Anchovies?” and then I was all “Oh yeah, Caesar salad dressing almost always has anchovies in it” and she was all “Oh no! But that’s my go-to meal when there’s nothing vegetarian on the menu! I LOVE Caesar salad.” And then I felt like crap. She said that she was happy that I’d told her, because she really doesn’t want to be inadvertently eating fish, but I still bad. So I told her that I’d give her my recipe for anchovy-free Caesar dressing and now I totally can’t find that recipe.
      aOK, I’m totally making up these stats.  Basically, I mean “most of the time” and “not very often, but sometimes.”  But numbers sound so much better. Also, my dad makes up stats to support his arguments all the time and 85% of children who have a parent that makes up stats will go on to make up stats too.
4On the bright side for this one, at least I have a head start on the application for the 2010 workshop!



When I was a kid, I really, really wanted to be left-handed.  I’m not sure where the fascination for this came from, but I do know that my sister is left-handed and I thought it was cool.  When I got bored in school (which was often!) I would practice writing with my left hand to entertain myself (yes, I’m easily amused) and I actually got pretty good at it.  My mom grew up in Quebec, going to Catholic school and in those days, when she tried to write with her left hand (as was her natural inclination), the nuns would hit her hand with a ruler. Because, you know, it’s a sin to write with one’s left hand, devil child!  So she writes with her right hand now, but she was really born a southpaw.

Although my right hand is the dominant one for most things for me (e.g., writing, eating, brushing my teeth), I play sports like a left-handed person (mostly).  I play hockey left, bat left, I golf left – but I throw right.

Anyway, for the past two days I’ve had my right hand wrapped up – half because compression is good for the strain and half because it serves as a reminder for me not to lift things with my injured hand.  And not at all because it’s good for getting sympathy (I can’t believe you’d even suggest that!)  I’ve even moved my mouse to the left side of my keyboard.  And, you know what?  It sucks.  I want my right hand back!  I’m so much more efficient with it!



{December 8, 2008}   Random Photos On My Camera

So, I snapped this pic on my camera phone in Superstore the other day.  Because it’s the stupidest product ever and I just had to share that with you.

Photo_120708_001

This is a “tea bag squeeze.”  As in, a gadget that you use to squeeze out your tea bag.  Seriously.  Am I the only one who thinks that there is something wrong with someone who would own a gadget the sole purpose of which is to squeeze out tea bags?

When I went to upload that photo to Flickr to share it will all y’all, I discovered a whole bunch of photos on my phone that I’d taken thinking, “that is so bloggable,” but for some reason (probably because I got distracted by something shiny), I’d neglected to blog them.  Such gems include this sign that I saw in a restaurant:

Not exactly environmentally friendlyNot exactly environmentally friendly

… just a bit different than your usual “you only have one mouth, just take one napkin dammit!” signs.

Also, these Pride cupcakes, whose picture I took this past summer when I was in T.O.:

Pride Cupcakes

Mmm, cupcakes.  And contrast those with this:

Photo_112507_002[1]

A package of powdered poutine mix.  Powdered? Sacrilegious!  Mon Dieu!

And speaking of French, does “dressing” really translate to “farce”?

Photo_112507_001[2]

Weird.

French item #2.  I took this photo in an airport somewhere (although I don’t remember where).

Hors Taxes

Whores taxes. Hee hee.

And, finally, my camera phone allowed me to capture a series of photos which show why you can’t get work done with a cat in the house:

“Here, I’ll just sit here while you work”

Photo_090608_003

“I know, I’ll work the mousepad for you!” (This is when the cursor starts jumping wildly around the screen):

Photo_090608_015

“You are working too slow! Let me do it!”

Photo_090608_007Photo_090608_005

And that is why you got that email from me that said, “as;oidfhjaskdf55555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555.”



{December 7, 2008}   My Best Excuse Yet

So, Sunday is the day that I’m supposed to write my entry in my BC Premier series1.  And I know you are dying to hear about all the high jinks2 that Charles Augustus Semlin, the 11th Premier of BC, got up to during his crazy3 time in office. But I have a very good excuse as to why I’m not writing my entry today:

IMG_4374 by you.

My wrist hurts.  In fact, it’s hurt since last week’s hockey game, when I think I must have fallen on it funny.  And, since it’s my right hand that hurts – the hand I write with, the hand I mouse with – I haven’t really rested it during the past week. And now, after tonight’s hockey game4, it hurts more.  So I’ve made the drastic move of wrapping it in a tensor bandage. And I have plans to sleep with an ice pack (which I also did last week).  And I’m typing this with one hand.

And thus, I am not doing tonight’s scheduled entry in my BC Premier Series.  But that’s a pretty good excuse, right?

1And I do at least 50% of the time.
2I have no idea if there were high jinks, as I have not yet done my blog posting on him.
3Similarly, I have no idea the level of craziness, if any, of his time in office.
4Which we won 4-0, btw.



{December 5, 2008}   Foie Gras

As a vegetarian, I’m not going to be eating foie gras. Foie gras, in case you don’t know, is the liver of a goose that has been force fed to the point that it has developed fatty liver. Sounds rather disgusting to me (both the idea of eating a fatty liver and the force feeding of the poor geese), but people who eat it swear it’s delicious. Anyway, I watched this TED video of a story of foie gras being made a different way:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Dan Barber’s surprising foie gras par…“, posted with vodpod

I especially like how he takes what he learns about this “natural” foie gras and extends it to industrial agriculture as a whole.



{December 4, 2008}   R.I.P. Torsopants

Yesterday, I received an email telling me about the untimely demise of Torsopants:

It is with great sadness that I announce, at the urging of Bilderberg, that I am closing the doors at TorsoPants.com at midnight December 23rd, 2008. I cannot get into complete details, but my higher masters have told me that my mission will be changing over the next few months and this is the first step in a series of movements I will make in my life to fulfill the prophecy that is Sunshine Megatron.1

This is very sad, as Torsopants is where I purchased one of my most favourite shirts:

DSC_5062 by you.

Here we are enjoying delicious lemon fake “chicken” at Lucky Creation in San Francisco:

IMG_3750 by you.

Oh, those were happy times, before my beloved T-shirt’s homeland was on the brink of death.  Poor T-shirt.

Now I’m trying to decide if I should buy this one2 before the 23rd:

solipsistic

Or possible this one:

with this arrow

Or this one:

words on a shirt

1For the record, they always say weird stuff like that in their emails. The fish.
2It’s funny because you have to look it up in the dictionary.




{December 3, 2008}   Diet Dr. Pepper FTW!

Three of the last five Diet Dr. Peppers that I have bought have won me another Diet Dr. Pepper:

This seems like an abnormally high winning percentage, no?  I keep buying them from the vending machine at work – for some reason, whenever I’m in a store where I can actually cash in one of these bad boys, I’m not craving one.  And, of course, you can’t spend a pop bottle cap in a vending machine!  I suppose if I economy keeps tanking, at least I’ll still be able to afford my next few Diet Dr. Peppers.



et cetera