Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{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.”

{October 31, 2007}   The Bestest T-Shirt Ever

‘member a long, long time ago I bought a T-shirt from T-shirt And then I asked y’all to guess which one I bought? And then I left you hanging for over 2 months without telling you which shirt I bought? Well, wonder no longer – I finally got around to taking a pic:


{September 29, 2007}  

My friend James sent me a link to this over msn:

Do you think he’s trying to tell me that I’m the prettiest girl in the whole wide room, or definitely in the top three good looking girls on the street, depending on the street?

{September 5, 2007}   Wikipedialicious

As we all know, Wikipedia is the definitive repository of all knowledge in the known universe. In fact, looking stuff up in Wikipedia is so commonplace, it’s become a verb. It’s been verbed, if you will. Don’t know something? Wikipedia it.

I was at a workshop on social software the other day and the speaker showed us a graphic on what Wikipedia would look like if it were bound in a series of books, like old-timey encyclopedias. Keep in mind, this is just the English version (which contains nearly 2 million articles at present); just the current Wikipedia articles (not older edits); not the discussions; and it doesn’t include tables or pictures, just text. This is how big a bound copy of Wikipedia would be, as of August 2007:


While checking out this graphic, I then noticed this one, which breaks down what Wikipedia actually contains:

Source :

It’s funny ‘cuz it’s true.

A friend of mine posted this the other day on Facebook, and then I heard a DJ talking about it on the radio. 1500+ inmates practicing their Thriller routine. You just *have* to watch it!

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


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

wired rat

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

{July 10, 2007}   It’s Me, In Comic Form

I’ve been a fan of PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper) comics for a long time now. And this recent comic describes me perfectly. And this one is a perfect description of my life in grad school.

It’s like the guy who writes this comic follows me around and chronicles my life.

{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 11, 2007}   As Requested: Funny

As requested, I am now returning to your regularly scheduled funny. So I give you this photo I took recently at a store on Denman St:


{June 10, 2007}   Binaries

I was at a women’s health event on Thursday and we spent most of the morning talking about the defintions of “sex” and “gender.” Sex and gender, you may be surprised to hear1, are not the same thing.

Sex is a biological construct – based on our genes/hormones/anatomy/physiology, we are classified as “male” or “female,” although research shows that things are not quite as clear cut as this. For example, we tend to think of sex chromosomes as being XX = female, XY = male, but there are people with different chromosomal combinations (e.g., XO, XXX, XXY, XYY); similarly, we think of vagina = female, penis = male, but there are people born with indeterminate genitalia, or both sets, or incongruous external and internal anatomy.

Gender is a social construct, something that we humans create. We can think of “gender roles” (the way that society expects us to behave) and “gender identities” (what gender we personally identify ourselves with). We talked a lot about how there are many genders, not just “male” or “female”, and even within the groups “male” and “female”, there really are multiple “masculinities” and “feminities)2.

We spent a considerable amount of time exploring these concepts of multiple and complex sexes and genders, specifically regarding how this complexity affects our research.

What happened at the break after this enriching and thoughtful discussion really struck me as rather funyy. The women’s health field is, not surprisingly, dominanted by women researchers. The group at this event was made up of probably 100 or so participants, of which there were maybe 2 or 3 males. At the break, many participants, myself included, headed to the bathroom. As I walked down the hall, I noticed a large lineup of women at the door to the “women’s” washroom, and no one going into the men’s washroom. Hadn’t we just discussed that “male” and “female” is a false binary??

So I knocked on the door to the “men’s” room (because I realize that societal norms do dictate that it would be “strange” for a woman to walk in on a man at the urinal and that might make some men uncomfortable), and getting no response, I said something nonchalant to the women lined up for the “ladies’s room” and marched on into the unoccupied “men’s” washroom. I’m not sure if any of the other women saw the poignancy of my actions and certainly no one followed me. I guess it’s easier to talk the talk than walk the walk sometimes.

Wow, this posting turned out far more cerebral than what I usually post here. It’s almost like something you’d expect to see here or here or here. Perhaps I should nerdify it a bit by adding in a few more big words4 and post it on my “professional” blog… yup, I’ve started a professional blog for work/education purposes… I’m trying to inform others of the benefits of blogging for reflective practice/educational purposes/community building, so I figured that I should be practising what I preach and blogging my own reflections on my professional practice. But I’m not linking it to this blog which, if you know what I did for a living, would probably make a lot of sense to you.

1or maybe not, depending on your background.

2As an aside, this issue of “masculinities” and “feminities” got me thinking about how I have never really felt that I fit into any predefined gender roles – when asked “are you a girly girl or a tom boy?”3, I’ve basically come to the point of giving the answer “I’m a tom boy who likes to dress like a girly girl.” In many ways, I have some very stereotypically “male” characteristics. I love both watching and playing sports, although I think it is somewhat outside of the “male” gender role to want to bed your favourite NHL hockey player. Another example – I’m very career focussed, but I like to wear short skirts and high heels while I go about my career. Hell, I wore CFM boots to my PhD defence!! I like pretty, sparkly jewellry and wearing makeup, which I think contrasts nicely with my pig-sty of an apartment and my trucker mouth. We are all aware of my obsession with pretty shoes , but are you aware that I will wear my pretty shoes to watch action and horror movies but wouldn’t be caught dead watching a chick flick? It’s never actually bothered me that don’t fit into some stereotypically “female” roles, while I do partake of other “girly” behaviours that would make some feminists look down their nose at me… I actually like picking and choosing my behaviours regardless of what society feels I should do. But it was an interesting phenomenon to think about in a group of predominantly feminist scholars and strengthened my confidence in being who I am, regardless of whether mainstream society accepts it or not.

3Which I’ve been asked more times that you’d believe.

4and remove the part about bedding Taylor Pyatt.

If I had a kid, I would totally teach them to do this:

The best part is how the father tells the kid he loves her after she rhymes off the Canuck player names and referee hand signals. Like if she had got them wrong, he wouldn’t love her anymore.

{April 14, 2007}  

In my continuing efforts to disparage all things Calgarian*, I would like to point out one of their many grammatical errors:

I would love to stay and chat, but there is playoff hockey to go and watch! Don’t wait up!

*I would also like to point out that the Blogger spellchecker’s suggestion for Calgarian was “Vulgarian.”

{March 28, 2007}   I’m Not Making This Up!

My cousin’s wife, Christine, is pregnant and at a family party on the weekend my sister was explaining to my two-year old neice that Christine “has a baby in her belly.” My neice then looks at my dad and asks, “Does that mean Grampa has a baby in his belly too?”

{March 7, 2007}   Grad Student Humour

At Danielle’s birthday dinner last night, Sheila mentioned a Simpsons clip that a friend of hers had sent her from You Tube:

All I have to say is, “I’m 30 and I WISH I made $600!!”

In my search for that clip, I came across this other clip about grad students:

It’s funny because it’s true. I find it amusing that the professor in the clip has elbow patches on his tweed jacket. Why do they always portray profs as wearing tweed jackets with elbow patches on them in TV shows and movies? Eleven years of postsecondary education and I never met a prof with a tweed jacket, let alone elbow patches.

And then, as YouTube sucked me in, I also found this clip, which I have always found hilarious:

I’ve been known to use the quotation “there may be a boogyman, or boogymen, in the house!”

OK, I’ll stop now.

{February 23, 2007}   Moosecamp ’07 – Post #3

This blogging conference is being held in the Foresty Building at UBC. And despite what the signs would have you believe, it is not a logging conference.

et cetera