Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{November 23, 2008}   Pig Party!

Today was the day of my niece’s pig-themed birthday party!


The menu included “pig slop” (a.ka. soup) and pigaroni and cheese.


with a pig-in-the-mud cake for dessert:


The birthday girl blowing out her candles!


And gets to enjoy the pig cupcake!


Happy birthday, little piglet!



150 years ago today the Colony of British Columbia was born!  Mind you, the Colony of Vancouver Island was born earlier than that (in 1849) and the two would join together in 1866 to become the creatively named United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.  But, no matter.  It’s Happy 150th birthday, British Columbia anyway!

Resident historian, Sarah, passed along the link to this article in the Globe and Mail – well worth the read if you are interested in the origins of BC.  It’s all American miners flooding into BC in droves for the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, wars with the “Indians” and “headless corpses float[ing] in the Fraser River.”  You know, as opposed to the severed feet we are used to seeing these days.

Me, enjoying the splendour of Joffre Lakes, BC

Me, enjoying the splendour of Joffre Lakes, BC

Fun facts about British Columbia:

  • the province covers 944,735 km2
  • we’ve got quite a variety of climates: from the coast of the mainland and Vancouver Island, which are temperate rainforest, to our desert regions in the Interior
  • our provincial flower is the Pacific dogwood
  • our provincial tree is Western Redcedar
  • our provincial bird is the Steller’s Jay
  • our provincial mammal is the Spirit Bear (a.ka. the Kermode bear)

{August 14, 2008}   Happy BDay, Almost Dr. Dan!

A long, long time ago I found the perfect birthday card for my friend Dan.  Dan, who you may remember as the “Gillis” in Snow, Snow & Gillis (2007), the groundbreaking paper entitled “The relationship between childhood attitude towards The Count and mathematical ability later in life: A thirty-year retrospective study.”  I didn’t actually know when his birthday is, but figured that was a minor detail.  Facebook would tell me, right?  Yeah, Facebook told me today… that his birthday is tomorrow.  He lives in Guelph, Ontario.  So, since mailing the card is not an option, I’m going all Web 2.0 on ya – here’s your birthday card, Dan!  Hope you have a good one!

{April 7, 2008}   Hockey Tournament Recap

This is our goalie, Megs, at dinner on our first night in Vegas. Her shirt (and she had those shirts made up for everyone on the team because she *totally friggin’ rocks*!) pretty much sums up our weekend at the Lady Luck Cup hockey tournament in Las Vegas.

Highlights of the trip:

  • the U.S. border guard who asked us to explain what a “hockey tournament” is. Seriously.
  • these randoms from Ottawa who met some of our team on the Thursday night showed up to watch our game on Saturday morning. Apparently when it’s 6 a.m. and you are still in the casino after a night of drinking and gambling an idea like “hey, we should go watch those girls play hockey!” sounds like such a good idea that you wake your friends up and drag them off to the arena. Unfortunately, these dudes ended up at the wrong arena¹ and after a $100+ cab ride trying to find the arena, they showed up after our game had ended. We let them ride back to the Strip on the bus with us² and I’m sure that at this very moment, they are bragging to all their friends “… and then we were on the bus with a hockey team full of hot chicks!”
  • Speaking of $100+ cab rides, one of our players accidentally paid $109 for a $10 cab ride by mistaking a $100 for a $1 bill³. She more than made up for it, though, by winning $2300 on friggin’ slot machines!
  • The buffet at Paris was so ridiculously awesome. Crème brûlée4 to die for!
  • Picture this: there’s about 2 minutes left in our first game, we are down like 9-0 and our one an only fan yells out at the top of his lungs, “There’s plenty of time left!”
  • Apparently the other teams in the tournament, all of whom were from Canada btw5, went to Vegas to actually play hockey. We, however, thought the competition had more to do with maximizing the consumption of alcohol containing beverages while minimizing the number of hours slept. Thus, things like going to the arena, putting on our gear or moving in such a way as would result in skating-like motions/stick handling/shooting pucks anywhere near the opposing team’s net were not among our favourite events of the weekend. Some of our more stellar moves in the tournament included:
    • when our two defenceman were fighting over who had to go and get the puck: “No, you go and get it.” “No, YOU go and get it.”
    • the defenceman who would just stand and wave at the other team as they went by on a breakaway. Buh-bye!
    • the way the goalie would break out into laughter every time the other team scored. She was to explain later that her thought process was something like this: “Oh hey, there goes a puck. Wait, I was supposed to stop that, wasn’t I?”
  • At the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay5 they let me touch a stingray!

Lowlights of the trip:

  • Nuh uh! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so you aren’t getting any of the good dirt from me here!

I’m relatively certain that I’m forgetting a tonne of other things (some of which I’m not even intentionally leaving out to protect the, uh, innocent), but I’m way exhausted and must go to sleep RIGHT NOW! If I remember anything else of note, I’ll post an update. Srsly, must sleep now!

¹Who knew that Vegas had more than one arena. Or, as they like to call them, “ice centres.”
²Which may or may not have been because they bought us a couple of cases of beer.
³Stupid American money that all looks the same!
4No relation to Gilbert.
5Seriously, we went to Vegas to play teams from BC and Alberta. There was a team from Saskatchewan in the women’s division, but we didn’t play them.
6Check out my photos from the Aquarium, including some person dipping their 5-year-old into the tank to touch the sting rays, here.

{March 17, 2008}   I have been remiss!

March 16 was my grandpa’s 85th birthday and I neglected to blog it!

Just think about celebrating an 85th birthday- 85 years is a long, long time! Born in 1923, he’s seen 14 of the 22 Canadian Prime Ministers¹ in his lifetime. He’s had 6 kids, 9 grandkids, 10 great grandkids and 1 great, great grandkid. And counting. When I was born, my grandpa was only 52 years old, a full 10 years *younger* than my dad is now. And am one of the youngest of his grandkids (7th of the 9). Stuff like that just blows my mind. Especially since I live so far away from my family and only get to see them every few years, I forget how much everyone has aged. When I think of my family, I picture my parents in their 40s and my grandparents in their 60s. They were considerably older than that when I left Ontario, so I have no idea why these are the ages that have stuck in my mind.

Some fun random things about my grandpa (if you can believe his tall tales and my shoddy memory):

  • one of my fondest memories from my childhood is tobogganing with my grandpa on my birthday (although it might have been my cousin’s birthday… or possibly some random, non-birthday day). He got me and all of my cousins these orange Howard Johnson toques (he worked at the HoJo at the time)
  • Grandpa is blind in one eye from bovine tuberculous, which he contracted when he was young. He wanted to fight in WWII and so he memorized the eye chart in order to pass the eye exam part of the physical. It worked, but his dad, who had fought in WWI, including at Vimy Ridge, ratted him out and so he never went to war.
  • Grandpa tells the same jokes, repeatedly. Apparently this trait is genetic, as a number of his children and grandchildren do the same thing.
  • Fortunately, longevity runs in my family. My Great Granny (my grandpa’s mom) lived to 98 years old². So I look forward to celebrating my grandpa’s birthday for at least another 13 years =)

¹Speaking of which, I haven’t forgotten this week’s installment of my prime ministerial series. It just got preempted by hockey playoff action. It will run in tomorrow’s blog and then will resume its regularly scheduled Sunday spot this weekend.
²Or was it 99?

{January 16, 2008}   Meet Marla

As you know, I experience great difficulty in coming up with good names for things. But when I got this smoking hot new iPod for my birthday1,2, I came up with a name rather quickly. In honour of my third annual 29th birthday, I watched Fight Club, one of my most favourite movies ever, and it became clear that my iPod could have only one name. Allow me to introduce you to Marla:


Since I now have about sixty trillion terabytes of space on my fancy new iPod, I added a whole bunch o’podcasts:


But I still have fifty-nine trillion, nine hundred and ninety-nine billion, nine hundred and nintey-nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine terabytes (give or take), so if you have a favourite podcast that you think I should check out, let me know.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go print up a label with my name and phone number on it to stick onto Marla, in case she goes missing, so that whoever finds her can return her to me. And I will be printing said label on my fancy schmancy printer. Which I need to review here in blogland soon. I don’t want to spoil this upcoming printer review, but suffice it to say, I’m disappointed that the printer doesn’t attach to my vibrator.

1Along with one of those adapter thingys3 that you plug into your iPod and then you can play your iPod over the car radio, which is wicked awesome for when I’m driving to hockey games.
2Thanks again, Giver of Birthday Gifts.
3Not one of these iPod adaptor thingys.

{January 9, 2008}   T minus 3 days….

When I was in Ottawa, Sarah and Dave gave me this envelope, which is not to be opened until my birthday1:

After shaking it, squeezing it, poking it and holding it up to a light, I have determined that it is not a kitten, a puppy or a Smart Car. Beyond that, I’m not sure what it could be.

In other news, having three jobs, while playing hockey once a week and having a one-night-a-week ski pass2, makes a person very tired. You heard it here first, folks.

1I tried to open it when they gave it to me, but Sarah was having none of that.
2I haven’t even used my ski pass yet, but I’m going to tomorrow, which means that I’ve been scrambling to get my lecture ready in one less day than I would otherwise.

{December 21, 2007}   I Have A Lot of Cake in My Life

Did I ever mention that my niece is the most brilliant, most adorable child ever to walk the face of the Earth?

Last night she told me a story. “Once up on a time there was a little girl named Aunt Beth and she had blue eyes and a black and silver shiny necklace. And she had a zipper that went up and hid her necklace and then down and you could see her necklace.” Then the up and down of the zipper part of the story repeated for about a half an hour. I think this may have been related to her desire to avoid bedtime.

She also told me about the three birthday cakes she had this year: a flower one at her party with her dad, a Scooby Doo one when they went to visit my aunts & uncles in Montreal and a horse one at her party with her mom. “On my next birthday, I want a cow cake. And the next one, I want a sheep cake. And the next one I want a moose cake. And the next one, I want a snowman cake. [thougthful pause] I have a lot of cake in my life.”

Staying at my sister’s new place, my bed is a futon mattress on the floor of my niece’s room. My sister said to her, “When you get up in the morning, be careful not to step on Aunt Beth.” “I won’t step on Aunt Beth’s bones,” she says, “It’s not nice to step on people’s bones.”

When my niece finally went to bed, she wanted everyone else to go to bed too. We told her we wished that we could be so lucky as to go to bed, but we had to stay up and do laundry. Oh poor us! We may have neglected to mention that doing laundry involves about 30 seconds of work and 3 hours of Guitar Hero1.

1I have never played Guitar Hero before and I must say that I suck pretty bad. It took me about 27 attempts to get past the first song2. My sister, on the other hand, kicked Slash’s ass in a battle. Rock on, Fussness Business3.
2I did, however, rock at “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
3“Fussness Business” being the name of my sister’s band in Guitar Hero. My band is named “Rogue Scientist.”

{May 3, 2007}   Sushi Party!

Just got home from a sushi party. Wanted to post pics, but my computer is taking FOREVER to upload them to Flickr and I’m sleepy and want to go to bed RIGHT NOW. So suffice it to say that my girlfriends ROCK! We made delish sushi (not to mention Ali’s marinated strawberries and chocolate ice cream cake!); had good wine; talked about food, boys we are seeing, boys we are not seeing and decided we need to have an aphrodisiac party*. Too sleepy to post more now… I’ll post pics tomorrow, k?


*Yes boys, that is correct. A house full of hot women were discussing our need to have an aphrodisiac party in Sheila’s bed. Everything you ever thought happened when girls get together really is true.

If you were at a certain birthday party on the beach today, you would have heard the following exchange:

Person #1: So, are you guys carbo loading?
Person #2: Do bellinis count?

Guess which person was me in that conversation?

{March 6, 2007}   23 Reasons Why Danielle Rocks

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

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

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

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

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

5. She’s bringing sexy back.

6. She’s a vegetarian. Vegetarians rock.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy birthday, roomie!!

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

{January 29, 2007}   My New Calling

Today, I had my first pole dancing lesson. First of all, props to Alicia for giving me such a freaking cool birthday present! Second, a shout out goes to Tantra Fitness, where you can take lapdancing or cardio striptease classes, in addition to learning how to work the pole.

There were a lot of people at the lesson, so Alicia and I had to share a pole. Having so many people there also meant we only got to learn two moves, as the instructors came around to check out each person’s form individually…. you know, because as we each “got to know our pole,” we need individualized instruction. Once Alicia and I had perfected the first move (a swinging around the pole kinda thing), which seemed to be quite a while before the instructors got around to everyone, we decided to try it out going in the opposite direction. At first I thought I might not be an ambiturner, but I soon got the hang out it.

The second move we learned was a “transition” move. It totally threw me for a loop until I discovered that I was taking my first step with my outside foot instead of my inside foot. Silly me. After that, it was pretty easy. This move was one where you spin around so your back is to the pole, and sort of peel your body away from it, looking as sexy as you can. FYI, we discovered that having a confused “what the hell is the next step?” look on your face really takes away from the sexiness. Once we had that move down, we practised our ambiturning and combined our two moves into one natural flowing routine.

Also, as it turns out, I am a natural at pole dancing. When the instructor came around to check out our form on the first move, she told me “You are actually doing something very advanced. Most people are never able to cross their feet over like that.” So I’m thinking that I should give up on this whole scientist thing and become a pole dancing instructor. Anyone want to spring for the $100/hr it will cost for me to take pole dance instructor lesssons? I think I’d also need my own pole installed at home… you know, to practise. That’ll cost about $600 – donations to the cause are welcome!

OK, I’m going to shut up about my birthday pretty soon, seeing as it was a week ago. Those of you who know me know that I do like to be the centre of attention, so is it really surprisingly that I celebrate my birthday for a whole week? I mean, really, would you expect any less from me??

So, the last thing I want to say about my birthday is this… I got the coolest, most thoughtful gifts EVER! They included (in no particular order):

  • a laptop from my parents and my sister. Since I lost custody* of the laptop I used to own, I have been a freak of ridiculous proportions**. Case in point: I’m currently designing a website for a group at school and when I showed up to our meeting they were all like “where’s you laptop?” and I was all like “I don’t have one” and they were all like “?????” Apparently my parents spent my mom’s entire Christmas bonus on it… a bonus that they were thinking of using to buy themselves a big screen TV. Isn’t that sweet and selfless of them? They must really love me! So, anyhoo, welcome me back to the 21st century. Now I too can watch downloaded TV shows and blog in bed, instead of having to be at my desk with me ole desktop.
  • an adventure to be named later. Since my life is *still* up in the air, with no idea when I’ll end up with a job or where that will be, Sarah & Dave are going to provide me with some sort of adventure, where either they will fly me out there, or they will fly to see me here, or we will all fly to some other location to do adventerous things… things that we will figure out once I get somewhat settled. Did I ever mention that Sarah & Dave rock?
  • an “Official Young, Single & Fabulous Kit” made for me by my friend Erika. I’m going to leave it up to your imagination as to what was in this kit, but I will say that I am really, really going to enjoy these items!
  • a pole dancing lesson from my friend Alicia. We are going to go together to learn how to pole dance! How freaking cool is that?
  • This cool magnet:
  • OK, I’m probably forgetting something and am going to feel like a total jackass when I remember whatever it is that I’ve forgotten!

*Yes, I’m still bitter about that. But I decided that it was more worth to me to not fight about it than it was to have that laptop.
**Not having a laptop made me just slightly less of a freak than my not having a cell phone.

{January 17, 2007}   Surfin’ in Tofino

Cast of Characters (in alphabetical order):

Alicia: friend of mine through school and through science outreach work.
Beth: um, this is me. But you knew that!
Danielle: my awesome roommate and former hockey team captain!
Jasmine & Jesse: Danielle’s friends. It was Jesse’s birthday too, so they have a bunch of friends coming on this adventure too.
Kalev: friend of mine through school, sort of. We worked together on a project once, ended up in San Fran together and the rest is history.
Kim: friend of mine through my and Danielle’s hockey team.
Kyle: Kalev’s boyfriend. He’s a physicist.
Sheila: friend of mine through Danielle. We all play ultimate together.
Bunch’o’people, most of whose names I did not catch: Jasmine & Jesse’s friends… I didn’t catch most of their names, other than Brice who drove us around.

Vancouver –> Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal in West Van –> Departure Bay ferry terminal in Nanaimo –> Tofino!!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007. At 6:25 am on a normal day, you are far more likely to find Beth just going to bed than you are to find her up and ready to go for the day. But there she is, showered, fed, full of coffee and on her way up the icy hill to catch the 6:35 am bus that will take her downtown to catch another bus to the ferry. And she only had to set three alarms and be slightly panicked that she wouldn’t wake up in time in order to achieve this. Danielle is already over on the island and Sheila is taking another bus downtown, but everyone else gets on Beth’s bus and make it downtown without incident. Alicia informs Beth, to her delight, that her birthday present is that they will be taking a pole dancing lesson! Sweet! Meeting up with Sheila downtown, they all hop on the bus to the ferry terminal, taking over the back of the bus and being rather rowdy for such an early hour. Their rowdiness continues into the ferry waiting area and the annoyance of the other early morning travellers (and their relief that we aren’t getting on the same ferry as them) is palpable. Once on the ferry, someone inadvertently flips Sheila’s off switch. The group soon (OK, two hours later) arrives and Beth declares that getting them to Departure Bay was the end of her responsibility insofar as knowing where they are going is concerned. She also declares that Departure Bay is inappropriately named, seeing as they have just arrived. Beth likes to declare things.

Danielle, Jasmine, Jesse and crew arrive to whisk the group to Tofino. That’s “Tofino,” not “casino” as Beth’s, Kim’s and Kyle’s mothers all thought they were saying when they said “I’m going to Tofino this weekend!”. “Whisking” involves a 3-hour drive, a Tim Horton’s lunch break and much pondering on the snowiness of the surroundings, given that the group is on a surfing trip. As they near Tofino, Kalev declares that we should not pick up the hitchhiker, because he is “not nearly hot enough.” The group scopes out the beach, checks into the cabin (Beth’s crew) and suite (J&J’s crew) and then heads to the surf rental shop. They discover that they are too late in the day to do a 4-hour rental and have to do a 24-hour rental instead. Seeing as it is only $5 more and it means they get to surf on Sunday morning in addition to Saturday afternoon, everyone is happy with that. Wetsuits are struggled into, and, at the end of it, they all look like Navy Seals. Kalev & Kyle have elected to stay at the cabin and Alicia and Kim have elected to act as official photographers and surf support team. Surf support team duties include picking up the surfers’s food & booze & extra towels (because the surfers use up all the towels!) while they shower and struggle out of their wetsuits. Oh ya, and on Sunday morning it involved combing Beth’s hair for her. Seriously, I’m not making that up.

Off to Chesterman Beach they go, for skimboarding, boogie boarding and surfing in the most spectacular sunset they’ve ever seen. Everyone marvels at the beauty surrounding them, thrills at the fun of diving through waves to get our far enough to then try to catch a big one and, with any luck, actually make it to some sort of standing-like position for falling off. Despite the cold weather, the wetsuits are so good that the surfers are warmer in the water than the surf support team is on the beach. Beth is thrilled that she actually managed to get up to her knees and catch a bit of wave… not too bad for a first time surfer! Beth decides that this is officially the best birthday EVER!

Once the sun is set, the crew returns to the cabin and the surfers shower and get out of the wetsuits while the surf support team performs their aforementioned food & booze retrieval duties. Cabin activities include, but are not limited to, watching the Canucks kick some Leafs butt (w00t!); calling Beth’s dad to taunt over said Canucks victory; eating a communal dinner of chips, more chips, other snacks, various meal-like items, cookies and so forth; a variety of games; the eating of the birthday cupcakes. In a strange twist, Beth declines to consume alcohol, deciding that she consumed sufficient quantities on her actual birthday.

Sunday, January 14 , 2007. Sunday morning involves getting into the still-wet wetsuits for more surfing. All those things that were said about “wow, it’s not even cold surfing in the winter!” are taken back. As is Beth’s early morning comment of “how could you forget to duck & cover when you fall off your board?” Beth proceeds to blame her “head injury” (sometimes cited as a “brain injury”) every time she says or does something stupid for the rest of the trip. Fortunately, Beth is relatively unharmed, making her mother’s predictions that she get hurt while surfing and end up in a watery grave unfulfilled. However, ever the trooper, Beth continues to surf and actually does manage to get up to a standing-like pose on the board for at least a half a second before falling off. As a result, she contemplates a career as a pro surfer. After surfing to the point just shy of hypothermia, they group piles back into the vans to race back to the cabin to try to shower and pack before check-out time.

Beth learns that she shouldn’t offer to take the last shower in a cabin of 7 people, as this results in the water going cold before she’s even out of her wetsuit. This, combined with the fact that she got the crappy surfing gloves that morning and her hands were frozen to the point of nonfunctionality and that she didn’t get to dry her hair as the group was already running late, resulted in her being freezing cold for the remainder of the trip.

The drive back to the now appropriately named Departure Bay ferry terminal at Nanaimo was fairly uneventful, mostly because Beth slept so as to escape sensation that she was freezing to death. She did wake up long enough to take a picture of the cool clouds by the mountain through the car window. Hitting *five* red lights in the home stretch to the ferry terminal leads the group to be 3 minutes too late to buy ferry tickets. Despite the fact that they could have easily run up the ramp to the ferry before it left, the ticket seller refuses and they are force to wait *two hours* until the next ferry. But such is the temperament of our intrepid group that they enjoyed their unexpected two-hour delay by meandering through a grocery store, consuming Timmy Ho or Quizno sandwiches, pretending to be sad about their delay, and taking a nice brisk walk back to the ferry after their food gathering adventures.

And after a two-hour ferry ride (during which they try, but never succeed, at throwing a chocolate covered raisin into Danielle’s mouth), a very, very, very full bus ride and another bus ride, they were home again!!

And a good time was had by all. And not just a good time. An wickedly, amazingly, fantastically awesome time in fact. I wanted to do something exciting, something memorable, surrounded by great friends to embrace my 30th birthday and to start to make 2007 the fantastic year that I know it will be. That I will make it be, if it kills me! Life is, after all, what you make it.

So mark your calendars (and start saving your pennies) for January 11th, 2007 – my 40th birthday. The plan (subject to change over the next decade) is to go surfing in Australia or Hawaii. I’ll keep you posted as plans develop 😉

Note: The complete set of photos (all 200+ of them!) from the weekend, in their out-of-order splendor, can be seen on my Flickr.

{January 16, 2007}   Tofino Sunset

Didn’t get a chance to write up a summary of my Tofino adventures today – had to catch up on actual work I didn’t do while I was away for the weekend. Nearly didn’t make it home in time to post before midnight… had a meeting this evening that ran long, went to the grocery store on the way home and then got distracted by a stop sign at an extremely weird angle that I just *had* to photograph. Thank goodness for the bus luck I had, not having to wait more than 2 minutes for both my buses on the way home.

OK, for today’s post I want to share this with y’all… it’s my favourite of the 200+ photos we took this weekend.

Surfer Beth, walking into the Tofino sunset.

et cetera