Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{July 28, 2007}   Freebee Friday

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

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


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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

{July 25, 2007}   Polar Bear Porn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

{June 28, 2007}   Free Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

{June 17, 2007}   Watch These Videos

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

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

{June 6, 2007}  

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

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

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

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

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

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

{May 11, 2007}   The healing powers of magic

My foot appears to have inexplicably healed itself. This morning on my walk from the bus stop to my office, it hurt as just bad as it has the past three days. Usually it is fine when I’m sitting (with it elevated) at my desk, but hurts as soon as I get up and take a few steps. But on my lunch break today, it occurred to me that it had stopped hurting. Completely.

Now, I’m not sure how exactly this happened, but I have three equally viable hypotheses:

1. Hockey tape. The lovely shiny black heels that I bought when I first got my job have not been fairing well. In fact, the little rubber thingys* on the bottom of the heels had completely worn away within about two weeks of me buying them. Like, worn away so completely that the metal post** inside the heel was poking out of the bottom. I’m too cheap to take them to a shoe repair place (they only cost $30, so I can’t bring myself to spend any amount on fixing them) and I’ve been meaning to do a homemade repair job on them for ages. This morning, before work, I finally got the trusty old hockey tape out and put a few layers on the bottom of each heel to replace the aforementioned thingys. And now, after a few hours of wearing them***, my half-marathon foot injury has miraculously abated. Clearly, hockey tape has magical healing powers.

2. Alternatively, Shalu is magic. Shalu and I met up for lunch (as we work at the same site) and had gone outside in search of free veggie dogs, cake and chips.**** And it was while we were outside that it occurred to me that my foot wasn’t hurting. Clearly, either hockey tape, or Shalu, is magic.

3. Or, there is a synergistic effect of hockey tape + Shalu that is magic.

Of course, given the fact that my coffee ground vomitus-inducing stomach troubles also mysteriously cleared up with no help whatsoever from the medical profession*****, there is the possibility that the lab accident with the nuclear radiation, the genetically-modified spider, the particle physics machine and that goo from outer space has rendered me an invincible superhero*****, but I think there’s really just an outside chance of that being the case.

Update: I had written the above on my Palm Pilot, sitting in a coffee shop on Dunbar Street after work as it was far too sunny and nice to be at home. I thought it was a nice posting – brief, to the point, pithy. Yes, pithy, as in of, like, or abounding in pith. And accurate. And then life sent in a monkey wrench, as life is wont to do. In order to post this, I had to come home and sync it to my computer (as I don’t have wirelessness on my Palm). Coming home involves walking down a stupid hill (and just ask Kelly abou that hill!). And now my foot hurts again. Not a lot, but a bit. Boo-urns.

*I have no idea what the correct name of those thingys are. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

**Did you know that there is a metal post inside of high heels? I had no idea. Hadn’t really thought about what would be inside the heels, actually.

***Yes, I decided to wear my heels today, despite having an injured foot. Don’t judge.

****There was a celebratory BBQ at our work site where free food was given out. Good times.

*****No caffeine! As if!

******or super villian.

{April 4, 2007}   Cowtown

We our now in Calgary! I’m typing this on stolen wireless – there are about 15 unsecured wireless networks that I can detected in the friend’s place where we are staying! Go “default”!

When Sarah and I got to the airport, we were both pretty hungry, but the Timmy Ho’s before you pass security didn’t appear to make sandwiches, so we figured we’d go to the Timmy Ho’s that we know is past security instead. Which turned out to not be open. It was like 6 pm. ‘cuz no one goes to the airport after 6 pm, right? Our dinner instead: half a bag of jalapeno chips and a king-sized peanut butter cup each. I’m pretty sure that fits nicely into the food guide, right?

Our flight was uneventful, except for the fact that once we got here, our plane had to sit on the tarmac for about 20 minutes because our ground crew was de-icing some other plane. And we both really, really had to pee, but we were supposed to “remained seated with your seat belt fastened.” Sarah finally gave up waiting and went to the bathroom on the plane… and that’s when the plane finally drove the 2 ft to the gate.

When we finally got off the plane, we discovered (a) Dave‘s plane was delayed, so he wouldn’t be there for another an hour and a half, (b) they have temperatures in the minus here and (c) you don’t actually have to pay for parking at the airport. Apparently there are lots of things you don’t have to pay for in Calgary… parking at the airport, taking transit within the downtown core, cable TV. They have so much freaking money in this province, they don’t know what to do with it. They do not, however, appear to have any vegetables here.

{March 3, 2007}   A test of my will

The other day I was watching the Canucks game with some fellow scientists at Coppertank and Erika told a story about how she was burned as a young child when she spilled a scalding hot cup of hot chocolate on herself and she bears the scar tissue to this day. For some reason, this made me crave a hot chocolate*. And since Coppertank is right across the road from Timmy Ho’s and I was walking home from the ‘tank, I decided to pop in to satisfy that craving. And what did I discover when I entered Timmy’s?

It’s Roll Up The Rim To Win time. For you non-Canadians, RUTRTW is this promotion they have at Tim Horton’s where you can, not surprisingly, win prizes by rolling up the rim of your coffee cup. Your disposable paper coffee cup.

This is where the test of my will comes in. As I have mentioned before, I bring a travel mug around with me, as I prefer not to use disposable cups, destroying trees and filling up landfills unnecessarily. When I emailed my sister the pic from the Metro, her response was “And look at you sporting your environmentally friendly coffee cup.” It’s what I do. However, I also like winning things. Hence, my dilemma. You can’t very well win anything at Roll Up The Rim To Win if you don’t take the paper coffee cup. So, I’ve been to Timmy’s twice since RUTRTW started and used my travel mug both times, forgoing my opportunity to roll and win. But how long can I resist the siren song this is a chance to win an iPod**? And shouldn’t they have a contest that rewards the use of non-disposable mugs, rather than promoting those who continue to fill up our landfills??

Me, modeling with a disposable paper cup at Timmy’s (not a Roll Up The Rim To Win one, mind you) on a day when I was not practising what I preach. And yes, I always dress this nicely to go to Timmy’s, don’t you?

*I know. I’m weird.

**I know that I already have an iPod. But this one has more memory than mine!

{February 23, 2007}   Moosecamp ’07 – Post #1

I’m blogging in a blogging conference! How friggin’ cool is that?? The session I’m in now is called “Mashups for Non-programmers“… I’m learning how to use Yahoo Pipes. But the Yahoo Pipes site just went down… probably because everyone in this room has a laptop and everyone is on Yahoo Pipes.

Also, being a volunteer, I got a free cool T-shirt to appease my cool T-shirt fetish:

Props to the lady sitting beside me for taking this pic. Granted, it’s not as cool as the anal T-shirt, but it’s still pretty cool. And free. And you know how I love free stuff.

Also, here’s my name tag. The nametag has a place to add “tags” and I’m using mine to continue to propagate the myth that I am, in fact, a model:

And finally, here is the scheduling by group consensus session in action. See those colourful signs? Those are my handy work. Oh yes, I have mad Sharpie marker skillz.

I’m sitting at Calhoun’s right now, drinking coffee and availing myself of the free wifi*. I’m sitting on the patio. In the sunshine. Wearing sunglasses. No jacket. In FEBRUARY!!

I was lured out of my dark dank basement suite by the sounds of birds singing! I’m not making that up. Friggin‘ birds were friggin‘ singing outside my friggin‘ window. In the sunshine. In February. The Weather Network claims that it is 9 degrees out**, and Environment Canada would have you believe it is 8 degrees. This is complete bullshit. It must be at least 15. It’s gorgeous. I’m pretty sure this is a conspiracy to keep the rest of the country from knowing how amazing it is here, as we have no room for any more people to move here.

Also, I’m going to a blogging conference tomorrow – Northern Voice! It’s two days – tomorrow is Moose Camp, the unconference and Saturday is the more conferency part. I’m volunteering because I didn’t have the $50*** it costs to attend. I’m really looking forward to it – it sounds like there is going to be a lot of really cool sessions, and it’s sold out and so I’ll get the chance to meet lots of really cool people. My friend Phillip is going, so I’ll at least know one of the attendees. No doubt you’ll be hearing all about it from me over the next couple of days.

*Free because UBC made a deal with fatport where anyone with a UBC Campus Wide Login (CWL) can use any fatport in Vancouver for free. Apparently it is a one-year trial. Of course, being
UBC, they didn’t bother to actually advertise this, so hardly anyone I’ve talked to knows about it. I only know about it because I have connections.

**That’s 9 degrees Celsius. For my American friends, that’s 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

***Yes, I’m aware that $50 is a fantastic deal for a 2 day conference. But I’m ungainfully unemployed, so to me that it a prohibitive amount. Thankfully Darren & Cyprien, two of the organizers, took pity on me and are letting me volunteer.

{January 23, 2007}   Why Do You Blog?

Darren of fame has a survey going on about “Why Do You Blog.” If you fill it out, you can win stuff.

Go here to check it out.

And while we are on the topic, those of you who blog, why do you blog?

Well, the paperwork has all been filed, the forms filled out in triplicate. I’ve dotted all the t’s and crossed all the i’s. My thesis has been submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies! I have officially, 100% completed my Ph.D. I am officially, for the first time in 24 years, not a student! I am also officially “unemployed” and when the friend whose place I’m subletting gets back next week, I’ll officially be homeless too! I was planning to write a big emotional blog posting about how this has shaken my identity (who am I, now that I’m not a student?), but instead I’m going to write about the gong show that was my attempt to hand in my thesis. So, the deal with the thesis is that, after the defence, you have to make some revisions as suggested by your examining committee and then hand in a final, perfect copy to FoGS. Since I received a Category 2, I had one month to do my revisions and so I took a bit of a break after the defence to celebrate before I sat down to make the revisions (which were quite minor and didn’t take very long once I actually made myself sit down to do them). Anyway, when you actually go into FoGS to submit the thesis, it has to be perfect. They have a lot of very particular formatting rules that must be followed exactly. They check your table of contents to make sure that all the page numbers match up to each section, table and figure. They measure your margins. They double check that you spelled your own name correctly. So the clerk at FoGS starts looking at my thesis and says, “Your preliminary pages are supposed to be in Roman numerals.” Now, I know that the prelim pages have to be in Roman numerals. I put the prelim pages in Roman numerals right from the beginning. And I’ve printed my thesis a gazillion times (for my supervisory committee, for the examining committee, etc., etc.) and never once has Word* switched my Roman numerals to Arabic numerals. But this time it did. So I had to go all the way back to the printing place (on the other side of campus) and re-print (and pay for all over again) another copy**. So I go, I fix the pagination problem, fix the Table of Contents to match the correct pagination, I reprint, I bring it back to FoGS. And the clerk looks at the thesis and says, “Why does the Table of Contents have the “List of Figures” listed twice?” Now, this is something that I could never figure out. I used the Table of Contents feature in Word and whenever I re-generate the T.O.C., it always listed the List of Figures twice. I could not figure out what weird code I must have hidden in there somewhere that made Word do this, so I always just deleted one of the “List of Figures” from the T.O.C. after I re-generated it. But did I remember to delete it this time? No, of course I didn’t! So it was back to the printing place to re-print the T.O.C. Fortunately the T.O.C. was only 3 pages long, so I only needed to print those pages. And even more fortunately the printing place guy was kind and didn’t even charge me for those three pages. So then it was all the way back to FoGS (thank god it was a nice sunny day out, making the walk not so bad) and, third time’s a charm I guess, because everything was finally in order*** and they accepted it! But all the thrill that should have gone along with the submitting of my thesis had evaporated in the hour and a half of walking back and forth across campus and fiddling with formatting. And the whole thing begs the question: why the hell can’t we just email the damn thing to them anyway? Why the hell do they want a paper copy, seeing as they are just putting the whole thing directly on microfiche? And who the hell uses microfiche in the year 2006 anyway??

So, that’s the story of my gong show of a day trying to submit my thesis. But on the plus side, it was accepted in the end! Plus, I got a free FoGS pen (and you know how much I love free pens!) and a survey to fill out (and I love filling out surveys… second only to my love of free pens). The survey is from StatsCan and is called the Survey of Earned Doctorates****. And since I am now no longer a student and will never have to write another word for my thesis again, I felt that I needed to update my blog title, in the interest of fair and balanced reporting.

And even better than free pens and surveys and slightly modified blog titles, guess who asked me for my number when I walked by the house down the street from me today???

*Word has screwed up various other formatting issues when taking a document from my computer and opening it up on the computer at the printing place. But it’s never screwed up my pagination like this before. I’m not shocked that Word messed something up (that’s to be expected, quite frankly, knowing Word) but that Word is so inconsistent in what it screws up.

**And what am I going to do with the incorrectly paginated version, you ask? Oh, you’ll see. I have plans – stay tuned for that.

***If you would like a copy of my thesis (come on, you know you want to read 167 pages of thesis-tastic excitement), let me know and I’ll email you a copy. I would post the pdf but it’s too big of a file to post on Geocities, which is the only place that I currently have set up to post documents and I’m too tired right now to find another free site that will allow bigger files.

***I like how they point out that this is for earned doctorates — those ones you can buy off the internet just don’t cut it for this survey, bee-yotch!

{August 25, 2006}   Embracing My Inner Geek

Since so many people* were asking where they too could get a cool blogging shirt, I decided that it was high time I embraced my inner geek and joined the Affiliate program. Basically, what this means is that I’ve added a lovely graphic onto my blog (look to your right) and if you click on that link and then buy stuff from ThinkGeek, they give me cash. And it’s not like this is the first time I’ve touted the ThinkGeek stuff… you may also remember ThinkGeek from such blog postings as How To Turn Yourself OCD (featuring stuffed viruses) and Merry Thesis-mas (featuring the travel mug with the caffeine molecule on it). ThinkGeek has all kinds of cool stuff for your geekness needs.

I also added a link, right under the ThinkGeek one, to Jinx is a similar site (but more gamer/hacker oriented, I find, than the more broadly defined geekdom of ThinkGeek). If you click on that link and buy stuff, they don’t give me any money =( But they are going to send me a free sticker! I heart free stuff. When I signed up to put the link up, the form asked “how did you hear about” with the usual type options like “a website”, “a friend”, “an ad”, etc. And then it asked for a more specific answer, saying “what website? what friend?” So I wrote, “I heard about from a cute boy that I met online.” True story**.

*and by “so many,” I mean 2.

**true both that I heard about it from a cute boy that I met online and that I told that that was how I heard about them.

{June 9, 2006}  

Well, I’m about to head off to the airport, but before I go, I thought I’d share a few more things with you… you know, just to keep you entertained (I know you’d be bored without my witty banter).

First, many, many, many, many thanks to Di from Stem Cell Technologies. As you may recall, Di heard my lament over my dearly departed pen and generously offered to send me a new one. Well, when I receive the package in the mail, I was delighted to discover that she had sent not just one pen, but TWO pens AND a pencil!! And this is the EXACT kind of pen that had expired whilst I was working on my thesis! I can confidently say that having these pens and this pencil was responsible for me finishing my thesis revisions! Thanks, Di! You rock!!

You may also recall that I recently moved and, in the process, found the some cool photos. Well, I found a few other cool things, including:

  • this snazzy button that Jody gave me a million years ago:

Jody – I’m looking forward to seeing you when I’m in the T dot!

  • this little receipt, which JWo and Sarah should recognize:

OK, I’m outta here! Torontoians, see ya soon. Vancouverites, see ya in 2 weeks!

{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!

et cetera