Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{December 20, 2006}   Holiday Potluck

I was at a potluck on Monday night. Brought my cheesecake – it was a big hit! It was a little softer than usual, which resulted from a combination of putting just a splash too much Amaretto and taking it on an hour long bus ride, where the bus drivers were maniacs and the centrifugal force of them taking the corners at Mach 10 pretty much liquified my precious cheesecake. But it still tasted damn good, which is really what matters.

The party was lots of fun, but there were two particular points of interest that I thought I’d share with y’all. First, I tried Gløgg. And it was really good! Ordinarily, I’m not much interested in chunks of food in my beverage (bubble tea, I’m looking in your direction!), but I quite enjoyed the nuts and raisins in my Gløgg!

Mmmm, Gløgg!

Second, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of our entertainment for the evening. I’ve never put anything up on YouTube before and I just took the clips on my digicam, so the quality isn’t the best, but you can still tell what is going on:


{December 18, 2006}   The 12 Bars of Christmas

The date: Saturday, December 16th, 2006.

The premise: It’s Erika’s birthday. We celebrate by going to 12 bars in one night.

The rules: You must consume at least one drink per bar. You must finish your drink on time to get to the next bar on schedule, lest you get yelled at by the Pub Crawl Nazis (read: Erika, Paul and, eventually, Linda). Five, three and/or two minute warnings will be given, depending upon the time at which a Pub Crawl Nazi looks at their watch. You must sing the appropriate verse of “The 12 Days of Christmas” before leaving each bar.

The participants: Anyone crazy enough to join in. While some people did join us along the way at various bars (the schedule having been emailed out the week previous), only those who started at Bar 1 were truly cool.

The photographic evidence: First, a confession. I have shamelessly ripped off my photo idea from paid homage to Dave’s Movie Marathon 2006 photography – at each bar, I had someone hold up the appropriate number of fingers to represent the bar in question. Or at least I attempted to. It was necessary, because I knew I was going to be in no state to remember where the hell we were in these photos by the next day. Unfortunately, I am not as skilled a technical wizard as Jorge (read: I can’t figure out where on my computer my animated GIF program has run off to) so my photos are not in cool slideshow format like Dave’s are.

3 pm* – Bar 1 (E & P’s place). Of course, two people are showing number 1, which may lead you to believe that this is bar 2, which it is not. Clearly, the drinking has begun:

3:30 pm – Bar 2 (Bimini’s). Beth shows off a festive (and highly overpriced) Amaretto Sour*:

4 pm – Erika tells us it is Bar 3, as does Linda (again, making it look like it is bar 6, rather than Bar 3). Dave K. (who was only at bar 3) shows us his two beer, further confusing our numbering system. Oh ya, this is Hell’s Kitchen, which had by far the best Amaretto Sour:

4:30 pm – Showing that we are now at Bar 4 (Kitsilano Restaurant), with glass of House Red in hand.

We had the luxury of a whole hour scheduled at Kitsilano Restaurant, as we also had dinner there. And although we were surprised by how fast they could make 21 orders of chow mein, it did take slightly more than one hour. Which meant we needed to spend less than our 1/2 hr at the next bar in order to get back on schedule.

5 pm – Hence this photo:

The first few of us into Bar 5, Tatlows, started negotiate with the bartender: “We need 23 shots of something – what kind of deal can you offer us?” She agreed to make 23 Crispy Crunch shots. Which were then paid for by a total random sitting at the bar, with whom Leanne had been chatting. Said he was missing out on a holiday party that day, so he’d buy our shots and “Merry Christmas!” Merry Christmas indeed!!

And now we start to get creative! 5 shot glasses to represent Bar 5!

6 pm – Bar 6 was Darby’s.

Our fearless leaders, Erika & Paul, lead us in song. “On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, six geese a-laying!” at Darby’s.

6: 30 pm – Bar 7 is one of my favourite bars – Nevermind!

7 pm – Bar 8 Lou’s. Christine is holding up 3 fingers, I swear! We may be on our 8th drink (shots of Jäger, ‘cuz they were on special), but we can still count!

I would also like to point out that I chatted up a hot boy, who took this photo for us:

7:30 pm – Bar 9
The Fringe Cafe. Nick is trying to look sexy. Linda seems to find her hand amusing!

Getting a bit behind schedule, and because The Fringe Cafe really can’t fit all 23 of us very comfortably, we opted for shots. Inexplicably, we chose shots of Jäger again:

8 pm – Linda’s sister, Krista*** joined us at Coppertank, and was thus our model for Bar 10:

8:30 pm – Bar 11Mark’s Fiasco – Apparently my photography skills are getting a bit fuzzy by my 11th drink, as I cut Erika’s hand out of the photo. =(

9 pm – Bar 12
and we can still do math! wOOt! Good times at the Reagle Beagle:

9:30 pm ’til late: After Bar 12, we decided to celebrate having survived this insanity by going to another bar – Lola’s. Where we played pool, danced and, unbelievably, drank some more.

Summary: I got the bright idea at some point during the night that I should figure out how many alcohol calories I actually consumed during thidebaucheryry. This morning, I still thought that would be a good, albeit frightening, prospect. And so, as best I can remember (using the photos as help!), I believe I consumed: a beer, an Amaretto Sour, an Amaretto Sour, white wine, Crispy Crunch shot, an Amaretto Sour, an Amaretto Sour, shot of Jäger, shot of Jäger, an Amaretto Sour, an Amaretto Sour, an Amaretto Sour, an Amaretto Sour, shot of Jäger, an Amaretto Sour. Using my diet analysis software and the wonders of the internets for research, I estimate this to be a whopping 1898 Calories!! Considering that my average caloric expenditure for a day is only 1748 Calories and I did actually eat food that day, I also estimate that I now weigh 500 lbs.

For those of you who prefer graphics to all this text, estimates my blood alcohol to have been:

To put that in context, drunk driving in most of Canada and the US is 80 mg/dL. Also from

300 mg/100 ml of blood – At this level most people will lose conciousness.

Now, in my own defence, I don’t believe my blood alcohol was this high. I didn’t feel nearly that drunk****. I didn’t puke, or even come close to puking. Nor did I pass out, or even fall over. I only sunk 1 ball in 2 whole games of pool, but I suck at pool, so I could easily have done that stone cold sober. Similarly, I may have knocked over the drinks of two of the three people who bought me drinks at Lola’s, but I am a generally clumsy person anyway. Jesus, do I sound like I’m justifying things here or what?

Best lines of the night:

I need your fingers” – in reference to the photos!

If you don’t look the other person in the eye during a toast, you will have 7 years of bad sex.” Response: “Oh my god, is that consecutive??”

E: “Hookups trump relationships” This was in reference to the priority list for who, of all the people crashing at E & P’s, would get the spare bedroom (a hookup couple would get priority over a relationship couple, which would get priority over a single person). My response to this: “I agree with that statement in every possible connotation*****

Conclusion: A fun time was had by all, even though it will take me at least 17 weeks of running to burn off all those calories. Anyone who didn’t do all 12 bars is a wimp. Better luck next year!

*Times are approximate… we pretty much stuck to the schedule, so the times are basically correct, ± 15 minutes.

**I was drinking Amaretto Sours for a very good reason – I wanted a drink that I could consume most of the night without getting alcohol poisoning. I thought that was reasonable.

***At least I think her name was Krista… I’m not good with names at the best of times!

****And clearly I was in the proper state to judge such a thing.

*****For the record, there were no hookups. Sorry to disappoint!

{December 11, 2006}   How To Drink From A Shot Syringe

I know you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for photos since I said that Kalev won a Turistas shot syringe, so I will keep you in suspense no longer.

Step One: pour your delicious beverage* into a receptacle

Step Two: suck up your delicious beverage into the syringe.

Step Three: smile maniacally for the camera.

Step Four: Enjoy!

Step Five: Repeat as many times as necessary until you acheived the desired results.

Variation: Using a red liquid makes it look even cooler.

Believe it or not, there were actually more people at this party than just Kalev and I. We just happened to be the only ones cool enough** to actually take shots from a syringe. And so we recruited Nathan, who I like to refer to as Mr. I’ll-do-another-shot-if-you’ll-do-another-shot. And here he is, putting his money where his mouth is.

There was also a very hilarious conversation that ensued from this whole proceeding that I couldn’t possible hope to reproduce in its entirety, but from which I now provide a few snippets that I can remember:

  • “Beth needs to learn to swallow”
  • “Go slower this time”
  • “You can’t always control it. Sometimes you just have to gulp”
  • “It’s not my fault you shot it all over my face!”

You know you wish you could attend the same parties as me.

*In this case, it was some sort of toffee flavoured liquor.
**This may be explained by the fact that most of the people there were engineers and they were too busy discussing mathematical formulae and, I kid you not, the Fibonacci sequence. Let me repeat that: they were discussing the Fibonacci sequence at a party.

{December 6, 2006}   Pot Lucks and Pub Crawls

Apparently it’s party season*. I have four outstanding party invites outstanding at the moment**. This Saturday I have a holiday potluck for the lab in which I used to be an unofficial member/official hanger-on. My mom gave me a holiday recipe magazine when she was here that has some fantastic recipes that will be sure to wow everyone… if only I could figure out where I put the magazine. Also on Saturday is a party to celebrate a friend’s passing of his PhD qualifying exam. Kalev is going to bring his shot syringe that he won when we went to a free screening of Turistas… I’m very excited about that. I mean, who wouldn’t want to inject 1, 2 or 3 shots directly down their throats?? The last time I went to a student-run party after a lab party was the day of the Hockey Jersey party***… so between that precedent and the shot syringe, I think it will be quite the par-tay.

December 16th marks the anniversary of Erika’s birth (correction: E’s b-day is actually Dec. 15th) and the date of her”12 Bars of Christmas” pub crawl. That is expected to be just as wicked as it sounds. Two days after that**** I have another potluck, to which I was instructed that I am to bring a cheesecake. Specifically, a cheesecake like this one:

There’s also a New Year’s party, the details of which I don’t yet have. And I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more festivities arise in the coming days as well.

*If you don’t believe me, check out these pics.

**Yes, that sentence does so make sense.

***most of which I don’t remember.

****which should be just enough time to have recovered.

When we last left our heroine*, she was stuck in the world of detox diet, eating apples and rice cakes and totally jonesing for a diet Pepsi. Before I started the detox, I thought that the whole idea was bunk. After having tried it, I’m thinking it’s bunk. On the plus side, it kept me off the sauce for 12 whole days. Also on the plus side, we made some wicked delicious foods.

Now, my roommate and I are totally foodies. We once spent an entire evening at her friend Sheila’s place talking about nutrition and trading recipes. We once made her little brother walk around a grocery store while we read nutrition labels on all the food packages… for fun**. So we spent our 12 days of detox coming up with new and exciting dishes. I felt like I spent the better part of the week chopping vegetables, as seen here:

But check out how good these foods look!

Green beans, carrots and almonds. Seven-layer veggie casserole. You know you are jealous.

And even crepes made with spelt! And roasted apples, pears & berries!

By the end of the 12 days, I was pretty much just sticking to the program out of sheer stubbornness***. But I did it – 12 days with no black tea, no alcohol, no added sugar or salt, no bread products, no mushrooms, no tropical fruit and no sweet sweet diet Pepsi. At 12:07 am on Saturday, I ate a dark chocolate Turtle**** to celebrate the end of the detox. Saturday morning meant a trip to Cobs Bread for breakfast. And a Timmy Ho coffee. But the big retoxification began at dinner… as you may recall, the retox plan involved Nevermind, a portobello mushroom burger and a bellini served in a fishbowl. Apparently Nevermind didn’t receive the memo. My hopes were dashed when the cute waiter told me, “the bellini isn’t frozen.” So I had to make due with a Surfer on Acid*****, a Jail Bait******, a Strongbow cider and, of course, the precious precious beer, courtesy of Taylor Pyatt. Unfortunately, he didn’t actually purchase said beer himself. For you see, he was playing hockey at the time. And I was watching said hockey game on the big ass screens they have a Nevermind. In addition to big ass screens, Nevermind also has a “player of the game.” And if said “player of the game” scores a goal, everyone in the bar gets a free beer. And guess who was the “player of the game”? And guess who scored a goal? That’s right, Taylor Pyatt contributed to my retoxification, and he hasn’t even met me. Yet.

You can see me drinking my Taylor Pyatt beer and gazing intently at Taylor Pyatt here:

*not our herion.

**her little brother most definitely disagreed with us on the funness level of this activity.

***I have been known to be somewhat stubborn. In fact, when my PhD supervisor was considering taking me into her lab, she called my MSc supervisor to ask what I was like. Apparently he told her I was stubborn. Fortunately, she considered this to be a good thing and took me in anyway.

****We were watching Into the Blue at Kalev’s house and he generously donated a Turtle to the cause as I had left the Ferrero Rochers that I bought for just this purpose at my house, thinking the movie would be over and I would be home well before midnight. Thanks Kalev!

*****While this link to will tell you that a Surfer on Acid is Jäg, Malibu & pineapple juice, a Surfer on Acid at Nevermind also includes Red Bull. And you know how I feel about Red Bull and Jäg.

******or two. You know how I love jail bait. I can’t seem to find a link to a recipe for Jail Bait anywhere on the internets. I google searched “jail bait drink,” but you can imagine how that turned out. A Jail Bait at Nevermind was Stoli Razberi, peach liqueur and 7up. Good times.

{October 31, 2006}   Longest. Post. Ever.

This past week has been hellava busy. So this is going to be a hellava long blog posting. But I promise that it will be full of pics and debachery, so I think that’s a fair deal, yes?

On Tuesday I saw Sloan at the Commodore. Sloan was wicked good live… and I enjoyed the opening band, the Yoko Casionos, especially this one song that I believe was called “Loose Cannon.” I’d never been to the Commodore before, so it was pretty cool to finally go there. Wednesday was Aggie BBQ, as well as Ladies Night with some friends. Every Wednesday the Aggies make a big dinner, but this past week’s was the best – Indian food! Plus a wine tasting, where we learned about, and then got to taste, a Quail’s Gate Botrytis* affected late harvest riesling. Then it was off to Cafe Crepe, where the drinks are cheap, for some pre-drinking before we headed out to the Caprice.

The premises of Ladies Night were as follows: (a) no boys, (b) everyone wears a little black dress… as evidenced by this photo, taken in Cafe Crepe just before we took our tequila shots. And no, everyone in Cafe Crepe wasn’t staring at us**, why do you ask?

And here is a photo of all of our shoes***. Mine are the boots & the fishnet stockings. Yes, fishnet stockings.

And here’s a photo of me & my roommate, Danielle. We are bringing sexy back.

Thursday marked the beginning of Halloween week with pumpkin carving at Ag Sci****. In preparation for the big Aggie Halloween bzzr garden*****, a bunch of people got together to carve pumpkins to decorate Ag Sci. And this is a photo of me, playing in a big pile of pumpkin goo. Mmmm, pumpkin goo.

Now, I can’t even remember the last time I carved a pumpkin, but I have such fond memories of doing so during my childhood. Every year my dad would take my sister, Nancy, and I to the pumpkin patch and we’d each get to choose a pumpkin. Nancy would always search through the pumpkins for the smallest, roundest, most perfect little pumpkin she could find, whereas I would always choose the biggest one I could find. And then, as now, I was a tiny little kid, so the pumpkin usually ended up being close to the same size as me. This year, I decided to buck tradition and chose the smallest, roundest, most perfect little pumpkin that they had. And this is what I carved:

I think this Aggie bull is my favourite of the pumpkins that were carved that night:

And the next day (Friday) was the big Aggie Halloween bzzr garden:

And it was morphinomenal, thanks to appearances by the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers:

Other examples of those present at the party were: various women in uniform:

… a hobbit, V for Vendetta, and some bloody ax murderer character

… a dude in a plastic fro and Bob Ross******

… and even Che Guevara*******

And me? I was Lara Croft.

One of the coolest things about Halloween parties is that you always have an opening line to walk up to complete strangers and start talking. Like, “hey there, Indiana Jones, we are both archaeologists!” and “Hey there, why are there two popes? Is this some sort of schism?”

Oh yes, and did I mention that Aggie Halloween bzzr gardens feature a mechanical bull?

Before you ride the mechanical bull, they make you sign a waiver, so that if you get injured or die, you or your heirs can’t sue them. The thing is, pretty much everyone at a bzzr garden has been, well, drinking bzzr. I distinctly remember having a conversation about this with the person in front of me in the line up to ride the bull – I mean, how can you possibly sign away your right to sue when you are under the influence, right? So, in my wisdom that the waiver probably wouldn’t hold up anyway, I decided to sign my waiver “Lara Croft.” And they didn’t even notice.

Now you may have heard rumors that, later on in the night, when I was drunk enough to knock over a giant speaker, I answered the challenge of “Matt says he will ride the bull naked if someone will ride it topless.” I can assure you that such rumors are completely baseless.

Oh ya, and the police showed up and confiscated our hard alcohol, just because we didn’t have a license for it. When they first got there, people were going up to the cops and slurring, “hey man, cool costumes!” That probably didn’t set a very good tone. The cops didn’t look too happy at any rate.

In the end, I managed to find my way home on the bus and fall into a completely unrefreshing drunk sleep, wherein I wake up every half hour or so, certain that I am about to die of dehydration, manage to gulp down large quantities of water that I can actually feel enter each and every one of the trillion or so shrivelled little dehydrated cells in my body. And then, since I had promised I would, I actually got up in the morning and went all the way downtown to the Pan-Canadian National Day of Action march & rally against war, despite my ridiculous hangover! My hangover was so ridiculous, in fact, that I was still hung over by the time I got to the next Halloween party, at around 8 pm Saturday night. This party was a house party, featuring such noble traditions as the keg stand********:

I should have known that this would be a crazy party when the first thing I saw after I walked in the door was this:

Now, seeing as I was still hungover, I decided to take it easy (translation: no keg stands for me). And so I merely entertained myself with shooting people. Since I had lost one of my guns the previously night, I had to use a backup gun, the silver one shown here:

Also shown in the above picture above is Deanna, who is going to be my assistant coach when I become the coach of the Canucks. We have a foolproof coaching strategy to motivate the players.

A highlight of the night for me was when my friend Laura (the candy corn witch) and her friend, Little Andrew (Disco Stu), treated us to a performance of Jack Johnson and Radiohead songs. The two of them have amazing voices and it was just beautiful to listen to.

Here’s a picture of Laura’s friend, Geoff, listening to the music. Geoff has sponges stapled to his shirt – his costume was “self absorbed.”

So, that, my friends, is how I spent Halloween weekend. And I will leave you with one last photo: it’s me as kick-ass Lara Croft, standing on a table, with a sponge in my utility belt.

*Botrytis is a fungus that they put on the grapes, which apparently puts holes in the grapes, causing water to evaporate from them, concentrating the sugar and making the wine sweet. Mmmm, fungus.

**this was to be expected, as Cafe Crepe is on campus, so everyone else in the restaurant was wearing jeans and hoodies.

*** You may recall that I have a slight obsession with footwear.

****For the uninitiated, “Ag Sci” refers the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, of which my program (Nutrition) is a part. More correctly, it is the Faculty formerly known as the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, as they changed their name recently to the Faculty of Land & Food Systems (*cough* stupid *cough*). But old habits die hard, so we usually refer to the Faculty, the building in which the Faculty (other than the Nutrition & Food Science programs) is housed and the people within the Faculty as “Ag Sci.”

*****There is this strange rule at UBC that you aren’t allowed to advertise the availability of alcohol at events on campus, so Beer Gardens at UBC are called “Bzzr Gardens” instead (except the Pride beer gardens, which are usually called “Bqqr Gardens”).

******Bob Ross is my friend Dave B. He told me that I had nice guns. When Sharon started laughing at this, he innocently said, “That’s not what I meant.. I was trying to say something not dirty!”

*******My friend Jamie informed Che that it was highly unlikely that Che would wear a T-shirt with a picture of Che on it

********I friggin’ love that the picture of the keg stand on Urban Dictionary is a BRIDE doing a keg stand. That rocks.

{October 3, 2006}   A Completely Uneventful Weekend

My back is aching. As are my neck* and my legs. I also have a headache. Perhaps it was the 5K I ran yesterday. Or the ball hockey game that followed the run. Or the night of drinking $2 Coronas** and dancing. I feel like I’ve been in a car accident. Oh, wait, maybe it was the accident I was in yesterday on the way to the 5K… OK wait, I seem to be getting ahead of myself. Let’s begin at the beginning.

Thursday night found me at the MA defence party of a person I didn’t even know***. And I ran into a girl I know who I had last seen at a different Master’s defence party. Appparently the two of us just travel around Vancouver, celebrating defences. Friday consisted of a 6K jog (my last run before my 5K race), lunch with a friend, consignment store shopping****, a game of ultimate, and then dinner and drinks.

Saturday involved a sushi dinner and tickets to the Canucks game! It was the last pre-season game and it was great… up until they lost in OT. Which, coincidentally, was what happened the last time I went to a Canucks game. As is my custom, I offered my “willing womb to various Canucks as their on-ice performance dictated.” Specifically, after Daniel Sedin scored his second goal, I decided that I would, in fact, sleep with him if he scored a hat trick. And if his twin, Henrik, who had assists on Daniel‘s two goals, got the assist on this much-needed third goal, I’d sleep with him too. And that’s saying a lot, since you know how I feel about the Sedin twins! Naslund also had assists on the first two goals, but I decided I didn’t need him to get a third assist to make him sleep-with worthy*****. I think if Daniel had been made aware of my offer, he would have tried harder to score a third goal. The game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation time, and the stupid Edmonton Oilers scored in OT to win the game. On the plus side, I was quite impressed with the play of the back up goalie, Flaherty******, so hopefully having two solid goaltenders bodes well for the season.

Sunday started off with a bang… literally. I was on the bus on my way downtown to the Run for the Cure… I’m sitting there, reading my book and minding my own business when I hear some of the other bus passengers scream and then there’s a nasty crunching noise and the whole bus shudders. We were going along W. 4th Ave, headed through the green light and this car came barrelling along Burrard St., missing not only the RED LIGHT, but also apparently not noticing the BUS! How exactly you can not notice a bus is beyond me. According to the bus driver, the car was doing at least 80 km/hr… just booking it along the street and slammed right into us. And then a car that was driving parallel to the bus crashed into the first car and the bus as well. The whole thing was totally strange and not at all a good way to start the day! We had to wait *forever* for another bus to come along, as the 4 ambulances, 5 police cars and 2 fire trucks******* had blocked off the intersection and didn’t let anyone through for quite some time.

Once we finally got on the next bus, people were all taking about the accident and someone said that it was a Porshe that had run the light. I hadn’t actually looked at the car (I was more looking at the driver, who was bleeding rather profusely from the head). I even told a few people that the bus I was on had been hit by a Porshe, based on what the other bus passengers had said. As you can see from the photo, it was most definitely *not* a Porshe that hit us! I think this just goes to show you how reliable eyewitness evidence can be!

These photos really don’t do justice to the amount of damage that was done to the car… but they are better than no photos.

Despite the delay, since I had taken an earlier bus than I needed to, just in case there were any troubles with the bus, I managed to arrive in plenty of time for the Run for the Cure! First of all, I want to thank everyone who sponsored me in this run — it really meant a lot to me and the money is going to a very important cause! And thanks to everyone who sent me supportive good luck wishes and to Jason who came out to support me in person********, and to all my friends who also ran the run at various locations around the country. This was the first “race” I’ve been in since elementary school and I was surprised by how fun it was. I think I may be becoming addicted to running, as I’m now seriously contemplating a 10K and the idea of a half marathon now seems only slightly crazy to me. I finished the 5K in 27 minutes, which was faster than I thought I would be. After the run, it was a quick brekkie of Eggs Benny at the Templeton and then I had to run off to play ball hockey at UBC. Ball hockey involves a lot of running around and makes you tired even if you haven’t just run at 5K. Especially if you haven’t played ball hockey since last March! I’m pretty sure the sore back is ball hockey-related.

Then, as if that all weren’t exhausting enough (and as if I hadn’t already stayed up late on Saturday night), it was home for a shower, a load of laundry and then back to UBC for an Aggie trip to Roosters! Roosters, for the uninitiated, is a country bar in Pitt Meadows. Yes, you heard that correctly… a country bar. Now, I may never have mentioned this here before, but I dislike country music*********. But copious amounts of pre-drinking before we left (and on the bus on the way there**********) and the fact that Aggies are fun people made the country music palatable. Danceable even. They even played a few non-country songs and the band did a country-fied version of Blister in the Sun. Weirdness! There were some nice episodes of puking on oneself which left people in various states of undress (… I am pleased to report that I was *not* one of the pukers). We got back to UBC around 2:30ish*********** and crashed on the couches in the Ag Sci building. It was rather strange waking up at 9 am in a room where there are a bunch of hung over people sleeping on couches and then a bunch of students studying at the tables. But you only live once, right?

OK, so I feel like that was a lot of yammering on my part, and like I should somehow wrap this extra long posting up with some poignant observation. But since I have no poignant observations to make, I offer you this: Kalev and I watched Anacondas tonight and I’m thinking that my new blog title could be “I love science, but I love money even more!” With writing like that, I don’t see how the Academy overlooked this movie.

*can anyone say “A.R.M.”?

**not to mention the pre-drinking before we left.

***Fortunately, he turned out to be a super nice person, so I was happy to be celebrating his success.

****where I managed to score a lululemon tank for for $10 and an Armani Exchange top for $5. Go me!

*****In fact, I believe my exact words were, “I’d sleep with him even if he didn’t get a single point all season!”

******They had given Luongo the night off and Flaherty a chance to play.

*******It seemed like a bit of overkill, since the only one who was even remotely injured was the driver of the car who ran the light.

********and who missed actually seeing me cross the finish line and so doesn’t believe I actually ran the race.

*********Johnny Cash excluded, of course.

**********To my credit I did not take a hit on the beer bong… because I am a responsible adult, right?

***********At least, I think that’s what time it was. My time telling skills may have been lacking, given my state of inebriation.

{September 6, 2006}   Addendum

OK, so when I started writing my blog posting yesterday, there were two things I meant to write about that I totally didn’t include. I think it may have been because I was multi-tasking (read: trying to chat with too many people at the same time as writing my blog). Or perhaps I was just tired. Yes, let’s go with tired.

So, the two things are (in no particular order):

  • the return of ARM! at the PNE on Monday, about halfway through the SuperDogs, I noticed that my ribs really hurt. But I couldn’t figure out why. And then I noticed my neck was sore! But this was two days after my Saturday night at the Royal, not the next day. I think this is a case of late-onset ARM*.
  • I thought I invented a word by I didn’t. While having dinner on Sunday, I spontaneously came up with the word “nonline” to describe things that aren’t done online. As in, “I don’t have much luck with the boys I meet nonline” or “I was chatting nonline with my friend.” Drunk on the power of my previous Urban Dictionary submission, I trotted off the next chance I got to UD to add “nonline” and guess what I discovered? Someone else had just put my definition of nonline up on UDonly 10 days before! Isn’t that bizarre?

In other news, my Palm Pilot calendar on my desktop went berserkers and deleted all my records from July, August & September. But since I have such a terrible memory, I really rely on my calendar to tell me what I’ve been doing with my time. And when I tried to hot sync my Palm Pilot to get those records back onto the desktop version of the calendar, it erased the records from the Palm Pilot itself. And it told me that I had more than the maximum number of allowable records in the calendar and I should delete some. Since when is there a maximum number of allowable records? This is the first I’ve heard of it! I mean, it gives you an unending calendar for goodness sake! But then I added a few in and hot synced it, just to test it and it added them fine. So wtf is up with you, Palm Pilot??

And the bus I took on the way home from campus today made a wrong turn. Seriously. The *bus driver* forgot where he was going and turned right when he should have turned left. And so he had to make a u-turn. In a bus.

Is it a full moon?

*Dave, I would just like to point out that I tried to search your blog to find the original ARM post to link it here and your stupid Blogger Beta wouldn’t search your blog. Boo-urns to Blogger Beta!!!

{September 5, 2006}   Weekend at Rachel’s

While not as slapstick hilarious as Weekend at Bernie’s, I enjoyed a lovely long weekend at Rachel’s. We went with some other friends to the Royal on Saturday night – we had been on the guest list at Plaza, but apparently you can only get into Plaza if you are on the guest list, which means that “guest list” translates to “you are allowed to stand in the stupidly long line up.” Hence, we ended up at the Royal. We didn’t have to wait to long and once we got in the music was pretty good. So far, so good. We were dancing, having fun – Angie even danced in the cage* (completely sober, since we’d been in the line up at the Plaza so long that we effectively had no alcohol in our systems by the time we got into the club). I was fulfilling my contractual obligations as Rachel’s wingman** for much of the evening, but when I sat down from dancing it totally hit me that I was not well. It was very strange, because I’d only had 3 drinks and that was over about 3 hours or so, which should not be a problem at all. It was so sudden that I even recall asking Rachel “did someone slip something in my drink?” But I was drinking out of a bottle and my drink never left my hand, so I don’t see how that could be. I hadn’t really eaten much that day and perhaps it just hit me once I stopped dancing because I was sitting still for the first time in hours. Who knows. Long story short, Rachel took good care of me, got me back to her place where I could pass out in peace. And refuses to go out with me again unless I’ve eaten beforehand. Fair enough.

Sunday we spent on the beach. The weather was absolutely gorgeous all weekend, which is almost unheard of for a long weekend in Vancouver. We went to Kits Beach, which is within walking distance of Rachel’s apartment. But we went to the “ugly section” at the far end of the beach – we just really didn’t feel like dealing with the 90210 kids at the busy part of the beach. And I actually managed tone down my farmer’s tan by getting some sun on my shoulders and midriff. Just in time for it not to be summer anymore! Since I hadn’t brought any of the books I’m currently reading with me, I borrowed “He’s Just Not That Into You.” It was definitely an entertaining read and there were things in there that totally resonated with me (e.g., if he tells you he cheated on you because you are too fat, you should run, run away; and all men are basically cowards***) and other things that I just didn’t buy (e.g., a woman should never, ever call a man. Ever). Sunday night was spent just chillaxin’… well, I was chillaxin’, Rachel was flying a Cessna.

And today we went to the PNE. I’d never been to the PNE before – Rachel hadn’t either, although she had been to Playland. We went with a couple friends of hers who recently moved here from England. It was a nice sunny day and it was fun to be hanging out with cool peeps, but I can’t say that the PNE was all that impressive. We saw cows. We saw mushrooms. We saw a monster truck. I refused to go on the rides at Playland on the grounds that I am morally opposed to paying $9 for a 45 second ride. Especially one that looked so bloody tame. On the plus side, the poutine was vegetarian and we had mini donuts.

And then I came home. And Danielle is back! Danielle is the girl whose place I subletted for the summer and who is letting me stay with her until I figure out what I’m going to do with my life. Danielle is cool like that.

*conveniently (for her at least), she had the camera with her, so I have no photographic evidence to back this up.

**disclaimer – while checking out the the definition of wingman on Urban Dictionary, there seems to be a disproportionate amount of attention paid to the fact that the subject of the wingman‘s attention is “ugly,” so I feel the need to state unequivocally that the guy whose attention I was occupying so that Rachel could spend time with her boy was not ugly. About 2 and a half feet taller than me, yes, but not ugly.

***I’m totally kidding about that one. I think 😉

{August 11, 2006}   D-Day

When we last left off, our intrepid young doctoral candidate and her trusty PPP had just had dinner at the Eatery. As expected, I did not get much sleep that night, as I was waaaay too nervous to sleep. I did some last minute reading/cramming and even found a crazy typo as I was reading through my thesis*. I finally laid down around 3 a.m., but only to enter a continuous cycle of dozing off and the immediately waking up in a panic. Around 7ish I decided I may as well get up and get ready. I had a friend in my undergrad who always showed up to exams with her hair and makeup done and a nice outfit on (while the rest of us looked like we hadn’t slept or changed our clothes in days). Her theory was that if you were going to go down in a spectacular train wreck of an exam, you might as well look good doing so. In that spirit, I did my makeup and hair and dressed up all spiffy-like (even wearing my kickass boots, seen here). Sarah and I caught the bus (surprizingly, we had no transportation misadventures on the way) and made it to the Grad Student Centre, where the official doctoral exam room is, with plenty of time to spare.

Now, I mentioned in a previous posting that when your examiners show up to your defence in Hawaiian shirts, you know things are going to go well. My theory being that if the examiners wanted to fail you, they’d be showing up in a suit to exert their authority. So when examiners showed up in biking gear, my spirts were buoyed.

The process for a doctoral defence is that you give a 20-30 minute presentation on your research and then the examiners, who have all had at least 4 weeks to read your thesis, get to ask questions. They get 20 minutes each for the first round, then the audience is given an opportunity to ask questions, then another round of questions from the examiners (if they so desire). There are 6 examiners in total – 3 from your supervisory committee**, one from your department who is not on your supervisory committee, one from another department (also not on your committee) and an external examiner, who is from another university (the external doesn’t actually come to the defence – he or she just emails their questions and their ranking of your thesis). After that they kick you and the audience out of the room so they can deliberate and then call you back in the room to give you the verdict.

As for my defence, I thought that my presentation went quite well (some of the examiners even commented that they felt the presentation was well done and really made the findings of the thesis very clear), but I didn’t perform as well as I would have liked on the questions. Some of the questions I handled alright, but there were a few where I really did know the answer but couldn’t quite recall the details that I needed. I really think the stress was getting to me… I’m usually much better under pressure, but the stress of not just the defence itself (which is bad enough) but of all the many and varied personal and professional catastrophes I’ve been experiencing in the past year all seemed to pile up on me and the strain was just a bit too much for me to perform as well as I would have liked. But apparently the stuff I did answer, and my handling of the stuff that I didn’t know, was good because I passed! And with very minimal revisions to do! So now I just need to make those revisions, show my supervisor that I did what they asked for and I can hand it in and then I’m totally done! Woot woot!

After the defence, there were many congratulatory hugs, “I told you it would be fine!”s and photos taken. Then my supervisor took a bunch of my friends and colleagues to lunch at the Banana Leaf in Kits. After that I had to meet with her to go over the revisions, as she was leaving the next day for a week long camping trip. When I returned home, Sarah showered me with cards (from her and Dave, and from her parents) full of money*** and double Amaretto & diet Pepsis. I called my parents to tell them the good news, and then I called my sister, who, along with my neice, was in Halifax visiting her friend****. My sister said to my neice, “Say “yay Aunt Beth”! Aunt Beth got her Ph.D.!!!” To which my neice confidently replied, “Tomato.” As if to say, “Ph.D., Ph.schme. I would like to eat one of those delicious looking cherry tomatoes!” Leave it to a 20 month old to put things into perspective!

After the phone calls, there was lounging and chatting and then, due to my ineptitude (and probably the effects of the dA&dPs setting in), we missed the bus that was supposed to take us to meet Kalev by about 30 secs, so we had to walk 17 blocks (and it would be the first day it had rained on Sarah’s entire trip here!) rather than wait for the next bus, which wouldn’t be until 20 minutes later. Meeting up with Kalev on Broadway, we hopped on a bus to take us to the dinner that Sarah had organized (as I had refused to organize my own dinner, as such presumptious behaviour on my part would undoubtedly have jinxed me). Kalev & Sarah didn’t tell me where we were going and despite my valiant efforts at guessing, it wasn’t until I could actually see the restaurant that I figured out we were going to Habibi’s. Despite the fact Kalev had introduced me to this source of Lebanese deliciousness a mere week earlier, I got off the bus going, “Where are you taking me? There are no restaurants around here!” For the second time that day, I had Kalev ordering for the whole table (since we decided to order a bunch of dishes to share). There was a slight panic when we were informed that the keg wasn’t working and we couldn’t get any beer, but they later informed us that they’d fixed it, much to the relief of Rachel, who I thought might actually die from the shock of not being able to have a beer with dinner. The next big shock came when I was presented with a scrapbook – a brilliant idea of Shalu’s. It was full of all kinds of pictures from my friends (including a few pictures that I hadn’t seen before!) and which everyone who attended the defence and/or the dinner had signed and written stuff in. I was totally shocked when I opened the first page and saw pictures of me that had been taken right after my defence that morning*****! Also shocking was that I had no idea that everyone was sneaking out during dinner to sign my book, which was sitting on a table on the patio right in plain view!! I’d noticed people going outside during dinner, but hadn’t been paying much attention and kinda thought they were just going outside to talk on their cell phones… closer to the end of dinner I sort of noticed that someone was at a table outside writing something, but at that point it was kinda dark out, so I wasn’t even sure that it was someone from our group and, if it was, I figured maybe they were signing a card. So I was totally surprized – and very touched! – that my friends had done this for me!

After dinner, a bunch of us went downtown to find a club. Seeing as it was a Tuesday, there weren’t a lot of options, so we opted for the Roxy. Not the fanciest of clubs, but it had a lot of people in it, the music was good and, unlike Celebrities, the boys there are straight. Rachel bought the first round of drinks, which included Jager Bombs for all! Yay Jager Bombs******! And thereafter much dancing, drinking and debachery followed.

The next day was kind of a blur, but I do recall lunch at Sodas and a quick trip to the Liquor Store to procure some delectable BC wines for Sarah to bring back to Ontario. And then a cabbie came and whisked her away to the airport! =( And I missed her as soon as she was gone! Sarah, I can’t thank you enough for coming all this way to support me during my defence! You are the best PPP, post-defence-party-planner and friend that a girl could ever ask for! You rock!!!

The next day I got a lovely surprize – my parents, sister and neice had sent me some beautiful flowers! Check them out!

*In one of my citations I had referenced an article that, apparently, was published in 1007 (rather than 1997). Man, that’s one OLD article!

**You can have 2 or 3 from your committee… I had 3. And I will just add that I had the best committee ever, so I was perfectly happy to have 3… heck, I’d have had all 5 if I could have! (OK, not really… but I did really like all my committee members!)

***Money which is being put towards the digital camera I keep whining about not having!

****readers of Touch You Last will know her friend as the intrepid commenter, BRNQ

*****God bless 1 hour digital photo developing!

******for the uninitiated, Jager Bombs are a shot of Jag dropped into a glass of Red Bull. And they are currently my favourite drink.

Well, it’s been a whirlwind of a week! And since Dave wasn’t here to chronicle the adventures this time, I have to actually do my own blogging. Fortunately, Sarah has a photographic memory and, before she left, she wrote down a list of everything we did while she was here, otherwise this posting would read something like, “um.. we did a bunch of stuff… I remember going to the Eatery… ya, and some other stuff”.

Sarah’s transportation misadventures, of which there were several, started even before she got here. While she was supposed to arrive at 11 pm, she didn’t get here until after 1 am, owing to lightning at Toronto airport, where she had to transfer planes. Apparently they don’t like to have the workers out on the tarmac during storms, ‘cuz it would be a bitch of a lawsuit if one of them got struck by lighting. I whiled away the extra time waiting for Sarah by going to see some no-reason fireworks – the show, put on by the Czech Republic was, in my humble opinion, the best of the series. After her 11 hour trip (which followed a full day at work) and arriving at what was past 4 in the morning her time, Sarah was tired for some reason, so we went off to sleep, only to have to rise early the next morning for my practice defence session. After making sure that I knew how to use the Grad Studies laptop and projector and that my PowerPoint slides all worked (and getting feedback on my presentation from the people who came to watch), my friend Erika joined Sarah and I for lunch at One More Sushi in the Village. As One More is conveniently located near the campus Liquor Store, Sarah quickly rushed to buy as many cans of Granville Island Kitsilano Maple Cream Ale as she could carry (having brought an empty suitcase in which to return said cans to Ontario). Taking the bus while carrying 24 cans of beer made us look in no way like a couple of alcoholics.

After a much needed nap, we headed out to dinner at one of my favourite Indian restaurants, Indian Oven, and then downtown to meet Kalev and some of his friends at Celebrities, where we were horrified to discover that a new by-law means that the minimum price for hiballs has been raised from $2 to $3… Vancouver university students will now be 1/3 less drunk and will be none to happy about it. Other highlights from Celebrities included the bouncer requesting 8 pieces of ID and her T4 after he saw Sarah’s Ottawa-based ID, the amazing* entertainment, and dude in (and later out of) the kilt. Oh ya, and the guy snorting coke in the middle of the club.

The next of Sarah’s transportation misadventures occurred the next day on our bus ride to Stanley Park. Shortly after a women with a cart full of bottles got on the bus, a woman got on the bus in her scooter, declaring, “It’s my first bus trip on my scooter!!”. The bus driver informed her “it’s easier to get on the bus if you back in,” to which she yelled, “WHAT??” as she drove forward on the bus. Then it took her 20 MINUTES (no, I’m not making that up) to try to turn her scooter around to get properly placed on the bus. The whole procedure was complicated by the women with the bottles who was standing right in the way of the woman trying to turn around on her scooter. Apparently it didn’t occur to her that she was right in the way and it didn’t appear that she spoke any English and so couldn’t understand the bus driver’s requests to get out of the way (and apparently this woman is often on this bus, as the driver said, “Why do we have go through this EVERY day?!”). Also, the woman had taken her shoes off. That didn’t add to the complication of getting the other woman and her scooter on the bus, but it was just a weird thing to do on the bus. Then, to top things off, the woman on the scooter got off the bus a mere 4 stops later… it would surely have taken her half the time to just scoot there!

After this long and harrowing ordeal, we FINALLY got to Stanley Park, where we met up with Sarah’s friends Deepa and David (who were in Vancouver on a househunting trip as David is starting at UBC and Deepa is transferring to Van) at the Aquarium. After eating outrageously priced sandwiches at the snack bar, we marvelled at size of the sea lions**, ooh and ahhed over the adorable sea otters, and ran screaming from the snakes & spiders*** in the Amazon Rainforest exhibit. Once we’d had our fill of marine life, we checked out Prospect Point, which Sarah hadn’t been to on her previous trips to Stanley and which I haven’t been to since I was 17. That was followed by a ridiculously long search for a parking spot downtown, as we were meeting Sarah & Deepa’s friends Etienne and Eve at the Banana Leaf on Denman for dinner. Word to the wise: the Banana Leaf on Denman is no Banana Leaf in Kitsilano. When we proceeded to tell Etienne & Eve our story about the woman with the bottles on the bus, they sighed, “Oh, her.” Apparently she’s quite the fixture in the world of Translink travellers. We followed up dinner with coffee at some coffee place whose name I can’t remember where I had the surreal experience of sitting in a coffee shop in Vancouver with 5 people all speaking French around me. I believe this is the first time that 5 French speakers have ever been in Vancouver at the same time, let alone at the same table, and surely is one of the signs of the apocalypse.

The next day was Saturday and since Sarah needed to get more bus tickets, we stopped at Safeway and picked them up, along with some surprizingly tasty sandwiches that we ate on the bus on the way downtown. We met up with Deepa & David, as Sarah had forgotten her camera in their car the previous night. The Mac-Mc family doesn’t have much luck when it comes to not losing their digi-cams, so we were very glad that it had just fallen out of her purse in their car. After a quick chat with D&D at Starbucks in Gastown, it was off to the Vancouver Art Gallery to see Raven Travelling, an exhibit of Haida art. They also had some other exhibits, including an exhibit about contemporary prefabricated homes… now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking “prefab homes? wtf? that’s not art!” And you know what, you are right, it’s not. So we were glad that we spent most of our time on the Haida art, of which Sarah and I are both big fans. Dinner was at everyone’s favourite hippie hangout, the Naam. And since it was the last night of the Celebration of Light (aka the no-reason fireworks) we decided to add a little something extra to our diet Pepsi bottles and hop on a bus to Kits Beach to watch the show. Now, the plan was good. We checked the bus schedule. We knew that we needed to go quite a bit early because EVERYONE in Vancouver goes to the fireworks and EVERYONE takes the bus ‘cuz there’s no parking within a hundred mile radius of the beaches. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. The time at which the bus was supposed to arrive came and went. The time at which the NEXT bus was supposed to come also came and went. Finally, pretty much when Sarah (who had quite enough of her transportation misadventures by this point) said, “I don’t even want to go to the fireworks anymore!” the bus arrived. 40 mins late. On a route where buses are supposed to come every 20 mins. On a night when Translink claims they have extra buses because they know so many people are taking the bus to the fireworks. Pretty much everyone on the bus had a bottle of “pop” or “juice”. There were even a few people with “bottled water” that was an awfully strange shade for water. And Sarah was all like “I thought the stage in my life where I had to surreptitiously drink my alcohol from a pop bottle were over!” Apparently, not so much. On the way back we decided it was just easier to walk home than to wait for a bus, which gave me the excuse to stop at the Tim Horton’s on Broadway for a coffee. Where I impressed an American with my vast knowlege of American and Canadian politics****. And his friend was like, “Wow, this is one well-educated young lady.” Seeing as this was 3 days before my Ph.D. defence I was like, “Dude, you don’t even know the half of it.”

Sunday was one of the few days where we had actually made plans more than a day in advance. The day started off with a pre-Pride brunch at Kalev’s friend Craig’s place, where Craig made Eggs Benedict and wicked awesome champagne and Alize drinks (which I managed to spill on myself). Now, believe it or not, I’d never had Eggs Benedict before and, after trying it, I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on! After brunch we found ourselves a nicely shaded spot to watch the Pride Parade, where we boo-ed the Conservative Party of Canada car and cheered Hedy Fry, Jack Layton and, especially, the Celebrities float. After the Parade, we lost Kalev & Co in the throngs of people at the Sunset Beach Festival, so we headed back across the bridge to Kits, where we found ourselves back at Sophie’s for burgers. After that we headed back to my place to try to touch base with Shalu, with whom we had tentative plans to do something that night. After about six thousand phone calls in which we dithered and dithered and dithered on what we wanted to do, we finally decided to go to Andrew’s post-Pride party and then head over to Wild Coyote for FUBAR. By the time Shalu arrived, Sarah and I had broken into the bottle of port she had picked up at the Liquor Store. Port which I managed to spill on myself. We arrived at Andrew’s with a bottle of wine and a bunch of beer, so Sarah declared, “We BYOB’d” and everyone thought she said, “We brought weed.” Oh, Vancouverites. In a surprizing twist, I managed to spill my wine on myself. We got to chatting with everyone and before we knew it, it was totally late and we never did get out to FUBAR. But we had a great time at the party, so it was all good.

After our fun-filled Sunday, Monday hit me hard. Monday meant there was only one day left before D-day. Panic started to set in. Sarah entertained herself with my collection of Harry Potter books while I got in some last minute studying and practised my presentation for my defence. The day was punctuated with good luck emails and phone calls from family & friends and with Sarah keeping me from ever getting to full-blown panic mode*****. Lunch was some mexican food at Mexacali’s, where I had a passable meal and Sarah’s was inedible. We made up for the lackluster lunch by going for a late dinner at the Eatery. Mmmm, the Eatery. If you are ever in Vancouver, I highly recommend you go there.

OK, so this posting has gotten really, really long, and it is getting late… and I think the defence itself warrants it’s own posting, so I’m going to end this posting now (has anyone actually read all the way through this thing?)

*where is a sarcasm font when you need one?
**I actually know someone who works with those sea lions for her research
***OK, this might have just been Deepa and I. And we didn’t so much run or scream as just refuse to look and got the hell out of that exhibit ASAP.
****My vast knowledge consisted of “I dislike Stephen Harper because he is a fundamentalist wacko” and “I dislike GWB because he is a fundamentalist wacko.” When pressed for more details, I added, “He’s a war mongerer who cares more about oil than he does about human lives.”
*****henceforth Sarah was known as my PPP (personal panic preventer).

{July 17, 2006}   29.5 is the new 19…

… I believe that is the result of the new math.

So, now that I’m recovered from the par-tay, I can give you a brief recap of the festivities. But first I’d like to say that more people wished me a “Happy 1/2 Birthday” than wished me a happy real birthday. This may have been because I was pretty much hiding away from the world on my actual birthday, as opposed to blogging about/emailing about/talking about/changing-my-msn-messenger-tagline-in-reference-to like I did with my 1/2 birthday… but I could be wrong on that.

The evening started with dinner for 16* at the Rugby Club who, despite their best efforts to screw up my reservation**, did actually manage to give us our table. Food was delish, drinks*** were cheap. Service… not so much. But they brought me a free piece of chocolate cake with a candle when my friends told them it was my birthday! Unfortunately, I didn’t get my wish****… perhaps wishes don’t work for 1/2 birthdays?

After dinner, the old folks***** went home and the hip, young kids went to the Buffalo Club. The highlight of the journey was Deepak’s first bus ride since bus rides cost 75 cents. We were able to waltz right in ahead of all the people in the lineup because, due to my connections******, I had got us on the guest list. Since the dinner reservation had to be at 6:30 (apparently they didn’t have anything later than that), we ended up at the club quite early. After partaking of some Jäger Bombs******* and other bevvies, we noticed that the crowd in there seemed very, very young. Even too young for me (and you know my feelings on young-ness, so that’s saying something). Erika’s bf decided that he looked like “someone’s dad” and contemplated storming up to the first young couple he saw and demanding “What are you doing with my daughter?!!”… apparently, we needed to feed him more drinks, because he never did it (but I would have paid good money to see that!). By the same token, I did not dance in the cage, despite my claims that “one more drink and I’ll do that”. At around midnight, all the kids in the club inexplicably aged about 7 years and we felt much less out of place (although perhaps we were just more drunk).

As the night wore on, various people came and went********, and when the group had been pared down to 5, Nadia & her boyfriend Phil suggested we check out the Tokyo Lounge. Now, Phil is a man with connections. Not only did he get us right into T.L., but somehow he had a parking spot directly in front of the Buffalo Club and drove us over to T.L., directly outside of which he found a parking spot. I’m not sure how that is possible, but it happened. Once inside, he talked to the bartender and got us King Kong shooters and then any other drinks we wanted. And then I did something I haven’t done before. I turned down free alcohol!********* Perhaps it’s just the maturity that comes with being closer to 30 than I am to 29**********, but I thought “perhaps I have had a sufficient quantity of ethanol tonight.” I also remember thinking, “I would like to get through my 1/2 birthday without puking at any point.” Overall, I think this was a good move.

Also, there was something that was going on that was really, really funny, but I which will refrain from actually saying what it was here in the blogosphere, in order to protect the innocent***********.

Oh yes, on the A.R.M. research front — again, no A.R.M. In fact, it has been so long since I have had a case of A.R.M. that I’m beginning to question my experimental model…. odd. Seems like more research is needed.

Now, I’d love to show you some photos from the evening, but I don’t have any. This is due to (a) my lack of a digital camera, (b) everyone forgetting to bring their digital cameras, and (c) Alicia’s inability to work her souped up camera phone************. So instead, I show you photos from previous outings for which I never bothered to post the photos before.

This is a picture from Shalu’s birthday at Au Bar. I wanted to link to my melodious description of that night, but I discovered that I never blogged about it. D’oh!

This is a pic of us at the War Room in Seattle (which I most certainly did blog about). A few things of note about this picture. (a) We look remarkably sober in this picture, which we are, in fact, not; (b) that’s the same shirt that I wore to my 1/2 birthday party, so this pic is a reasonable facsimile for this blog posting; and (c) notice the hottie in the background? Somehow, inexplicably, that night, we didn’t. D’oh!!

Once upon a time an intrepid young blogger commented “We finished off the night at Au Bar where people who were not me danced up on the risers.”

Now, I can exclusively provide you with evidence that this is true.

*a few more peeps were invited but couldn’t make it, due to things like being in Victoria, being in Calgary, being in California, being in Copenhagen, or not responding to my email. Jerks.

**such screw ups included not writing down that I’d changed the reservation from 10 to 16 people, telling me that they can’t put together enough tables to accomodate 16 people, telling me that they had booked more reservations than they had space for that night, and telling my friend Ian that there was no reservation for “Beth” (despite having already seated people who showed up and said, “we’re here for the reservation under the name ‘Beth'”).

***I highly recommend the Chesterfield Rugby, a modified bellini, of which I had the same number as there are asterisks at the start of this sentence. BTW, Shalu, thanks for buying me #3! And for the bottle of Fireball!

****I’ll leave it up to your imagination what my wish was. 😉

*****You know who you are.

******And by “connections,” I mean my internet connection. Seriously, you just have to fill in the online form.

*******Thanks Deepak, they rocked!!

********mostly went.

*********I can just picture the look of disbelief on Sarah & Dave‘s faces right now — apparently, I am not a patriot.

**********ouch… when I put it that way, it makes the baby Jesus cry.

***********I know, I’m such a bitch to tease ya like that, aren’t I? oh ya, just so you know, it wasn’t me involved in this situation in question.

************altho I think she may have got one photo, but I don’t have it yet.

A while back, Jorge mentioned this guy Zanta*, who runs around downtown Toronto in a pair of shorts and a Santa hat, showing off his 6 pack abs and screaming at everyone. Guess who I saw while walking home from the movie yesterday?

Anyway, not really much to report on my trip so far (which is a good thing, as my goal for this trip was to relax and do nothing). The conference was good, my speech at the banquet was well received**, and I got to do some A.R.M. research on both Friday AND Saturday night (scientists are party people!). Interestingly, while I did not experience any A.R.M. on either Saturday or Sunday morning***, I had wicked A.R.M. on Monday! So, either drinking with scientists delays your A.R.M. or drinking at sketchy London, ON bars delays your A.R.M. Or possibly, I’ve developed a tolerance to A.R.M. and the Monday morning M was the result of this flu I apear to have. It’s hard to say, really.

My neice is the cutest thing EVER! Yesterday when my sister and I picked her up from daycare, my sister pointed to me and asked her “Who’s this?” and she said “Aunt Beth!” Yay!! She knows my name now! And then, for the rest of the day, she proceeded to call me Kim. Kim notwithstanding, she seems pretty darned smart to me, not that I know a lot of 1.5 year olds to compare her to. Although I’ve started to wonder if she ever gets sick of all the questions we keep asking her, “What sound does a dog make?” “Where is your nose?” “Is Mommy funny?” “What colour is this?” Like, does she ever think, “MY god, that’s like the 20th time you’ve asked me what sound does a monkey make! Why can’t you people ever remember this??!”Other than that, I’ve pretty much been just hanging out, reading, relaxing, walking around Toronto to check out the city. And running. I’ve decided that I really am going to do a 10K, so I’m running every other day now. Apparently they’ve installed hills in the city of Toronto since I was last here – who knew?

*I would link to this on his blog, but that entry doesn’t appear to up on his new blog yet… =(

**I managed to work in my cool shoes , Harry Potter and that fact that “I’m a scientist” is a great pick up line…. not bad for a speech that I wrote about an hour before the banquet, and revised while the other speakers were speaking.

***although I had a splitting headache and was doling out my ibuprofen to my fellow conferees, one of whom described his condition as “I feel like I just got kicked in the face!”

{June 4, 2006}   This and That

or Ramblings Thoughts of a (Slightly) Hung Over Bethie

  • thanks to Mary for posting this article about how being a prof is the 2nd best job around! Their rankings were based on stress levels, flexibility in hours and working environment, creativity, and how easy it is to enter and advance in the field, as well as pay and job growth. With my academic stresses of late, I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t have picked a different career, but this does remind me of some of the benefits.
  • thanks to Di from Stem Cell Technologies who heard my “cries of despair regarding the death of your favourite pen.” I am eagerly awaiting my new pen! Man, I love the internet!
  • Al Gore’s talk at UBC on Thursday was AWESOME! Not only is he a very passionate speaker, but he’s hilarious. The start of his talk, it was like he was doing stand-up comedy! I was very pleased to see that his new movie, An Inconvenient Truth, was in the top 10 at the box office this weekend, despite showing in only 77 theatres. If you have a chance to see this movie, I recommend that you do — if his talk is any indication, the movie will be well worth seeing.
  • I love consignment store shopping. There is no other way that I would be able to own an Armani shirt and a DKNY dress! I bought the dress for the conference I’m going to at UWO, where I will be giving a talk at the banquet and, therefore, needed a new dress. A new dress that goes with my beloved shoes.
  • and speaking of my Armani shirt and beloved shoes, I wore them out to Celebrities last night. On the plus side, there were plenty of hot men to look at. On the down side, they were all gay. Quote of the night was, “Why are there so many gay people in this gay club?”
  • I may have been a little drunk when I said that. As evidenced by the fact that I also said “this food is delicious!” when we were at Denny’s afterwards. Denny’s!! WTF?
  • And speaking of drunk, in my ongoing A.R.M. research, I did not experience any A.R.M. this morning, despite the binge* last night. Tentative conclusion: Denny’s food post-alcohol consumption prevents A.R.M. Side effect of this treatment: you have to eat Denny’s food.
  • I also conducted some A.R.M. research last Saturday (which I know I said I would write about, but never got around too). The pic of me in my sexy shoes is from a BBQ with my (extended) lab group… it was really nice to see everyone, as I don’t see them much since I’ve been writing rather than being in the lab lately. I started the day’s drinking there with a beer (despite the fact that I’m not usually much of a beer drinker).
  • Later that night, I went to a hockey jersey party** at some friends’s place on campus… I’m still waiting on the pics from that event (since I don’t have a digicam, I have to rely on the photos of others), but just picture me in a hockey jersey with that skirt (which is a bit shorter than the jersey) and those shoes. I may or may not have repeatedly told everyone at the party that I bought my shoes on ebay. I may or may not have repeatedly demanded that photos be taken of my shoes. I may or may not have demanded that video be taken of my shoes. I may or may not have told everyone in the room that I painted my toenails silver to match the silver on my Canucks jersey.
  • We played this drinking card game called Kings, which has a very complicated (and ever changing) set of rules, the worst of which is that the person who draws the last King has to drink the cup in the middle of the table, into which everyone has poured a bit of their drink***. When my friend Laura drew the last King, she said, “if drinking this makes me puke, will you guys look after me?” To which I replied “Don’t worry, I’m a responsible adult! I’ll look after you!” On a completely unrelated topic, click here for the definition of the word “irony.”
  • I didn’t experience any A.R.M. the next morning either… Sarah’s theory that puking prevents A.R.M. by removing the A from your system is supported by this evidence, except that I was definitely still drunk after the (relatively minor) puking incident. I’m starting to think that A.R.M. is a very complicated disorder that is going to require A LOT of further study.

OK, those are my rambling thoughts this morning. Now I’m actually going to go out for a run, which I promised myself I would do once I had finished up the thesis revisions!

*the accepted definition of a binge in the alcohol research community is “five or more drinks on one occasion.” Which, on my downward spiral into alcohol dependence and debauchery, doesn’t really seem like that much to me.

**tag line for the party: hockey jerseys required, all other clothing is optional

***Our cup had a mix of various beers, diet Coke & whiskey, ginger & rum (I think it was rum), and nectarine cider. Delish!

Just got home from dinner at a friend’s place… she lives downtown, so after our lovely dinner and a few bottles of wine*, I had to venture out to the craziness that is downtown Vancouver on a Friday night. Deciding that it wasn’t worth waiting for the 6 bus (that may or may not ever arrive) to take me up Davie St., I decided to walk it. So did another guy at the bus stop, so we chatted about being from Ontario** as we walked up the street. When I got to Howe St (where I could catch the 17 to get me home), he said, “Do you want me to write about you in “I Saw You“? “I Saw You” is this feature in a local paper, the Georgia Straight, where you can write a personal ad about the person you saw on the bus or in the grocery store or you made out with on the dance floor of some club but were to shy to ask for their phone number. I always read “I Saw You” in the hopes that someone would be so enamored with me that they’d need to write about it in the paper, but no one ever does. And this guy really wasn’t the guy I’d want to be writing about me. Boo!

So anyway, as I’m waiting for the 17, I start chatting with a couple of guys at the bus stop. They are from, surprize surprize, Ottawa, and they are giving a number of a company that hires people to teach English in Taiwan to a homeless person. Also, some random is passing a joint around. Anyway, we get chatting and the one guy asks me what I do and I say that I’m a scientist and he starts coming up with things that I should invent. Like a pill that makes your hair grow really fast, but your hair is pot. So you can cut your hair and smoke up. Then some other random on the bus (‘cuz the bus has arrived by this point) decides that the pill should also make your fingernails grow as rolling papers. Then he asks what’s the deal with us giving free crack to crackheads? And if we are doing that, why don’t we give out free alcohol? And free sex? You know, free sex clinics that give out whatever you like… like, a guy can walk in and say “Today I’d like big titties” or a girl can walk in and say “I’d like 8 inches today!” You know, I think he may have been on to something… but then again, I may just be drunk.

*Sarah, I’m starting to appreciate that you are right about red wine being an acquired taste.

**Pretty much everyone you meet here is originally from Ontario. I don’t think anyone actually lived in BC prior to 1997.

et cetera