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.

After going weeks and weeks without seeing movies, I saw two new releases in the last few days. And here are my reviews:

Live Free or Die Hard

Great movie that could only have been made better by that ignorant moron NOT bringing their crying baby to the theatre. Who does that??


I never actually watched the cartoon when I was a kid, but I did play with my friend’s brother’s Transformers whenever I got the chance. I mean, they were cars or trucks, but then they transformed into robots! Who wouldn’t love that? So I was excited to see this movie! And it met all my expectations – great music, lots of stuff blew up, there was robots fighting and transforming and transforming while fighting. And the main army dude and the lead character1 were both hot. Well worth the price of admission. P.S., I ❤ Bumblebee!

1While looking up the links for these two characters, I noticed that one of the other characters was named “Jorge Fig”… as in “Jorge Fig.” wtf?

{May 24, 2007}   Things That Bite

I’ve always thought that sharks were super cool. Today I saw a news story that made me like them even more.

This got me thinking about how, generally speaking, I like things that bite.

Sharks. Snakes. Vampires. Zombies.

But interestingly, not spiders. Especially not the black widows that live in my shed. Ick. I saw one the other day, sitting above the door to the shed when I went to put Danielle’s bike, which I had borrowed, back in the shed. Needless to say, I have a little meltdown and Dani put the bike away for me.

And now, for no particular reason – an alphabetized list.

Movies I Like That Feature Things That Bite:

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 12, 2007}   Home Sweet Home

Yup, I’m back in the land of vegetables, mild weather and hockey teams that kick ass! A more detailed blog posting of my adventures in Cowtown will be forthcoming*, but for now suffice it to say that my view of the mountains from my office window is just as stunning, and my job just as fun, as when I left.

The reason that I don’t have time to post now is that I am off to yet another free movie screening. This time it’s Disturbia – a movie with the rather uninspired tagline “Every killer lives next door to someone” and which sounds like it may be a rip off of “Rear Window“. I’ve been hearing radio ads for it ALL DAY LONG, since it is officially released on Friday. It better be good! And I better win some swag. I’m still jealous of Kalev’s Touristas shot syringe.

*in the meantime, read Dave’s summary. He was a responsible blogger and wrote his blog posting, I’m assuming based on the rapidity of its appearance in the blogosphere, on his flight home.

{March 8, 2007}   I’m 55% Claudia Schiffer

I noticed that Kelly had a “My Celebrity Look-alikes” posting on Facebook. will put your picture through a “face recognition” program that will tell you which celebrities you look like. So, of course, I just had to try it out myself. They tell you that, for the best results, you are supposed to use a photo in which you are looking directly into the camera (meaning that my patented 3/4 profile with head tilt that I do in almost all of my photos wasn’t going to cut it). I found a few useable photos and the first one that I used gave me the most ridiculous celebrities that it claimed I look like, including, I kid you not, a 56-year-old bald man. Unhappy with the results, I did what all great scientists do – I scrapped it and did it over. Photo #2 gave me “no matches” – as did photos 3 and 4! Photo #5 gave me some more reasonable celebrities – and by “reasonable” I mean ones that I wouldn’t mind looking like*, not ones that I actually believe I look like. Judge for yourself:

Notably, there wasn’t a single person who matched up with my first photo that matched up with my other photo. I was starting to doubt the reliability and validity of this so-called “face recognition” software. Also of note was that neither list included the two celebrities who I’m always told I look like, Emily Watson:

and Kellie Martin:
This whole thing reminded me of a posting that Dave did ages ago. Dave, if only you’d waited, you could have used this “face recognition” software that would have given you a list of celebrities that you don’t really look like at all.

*well, except for Tori.

{January 24, 2007}   The Queen

So, The Queen is up for the Best Picture Oscar. I so don’t get this. That was probably the most boring movie I saw all year. And I only went to see it because I won free tickets. It was a “character study,” they tell you. “You learned so much about the queen’s perspective,” they tell you. Um, no. Really, it was a movie about how the queen didn’t go on TV for a week after Diana died. And then she went on TV. And we already knew she would, because it already happened. Ya, that’s Best Picture material.

{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.

{November 7, 2006}   Updates and Suchlike

Taylor Pyatt scored the winning goal tonight. Is there anything he can’t do? *sigh*

My good luck in the free movie department appears to be contagious – my roommate won tickets to see a movie (Little Children). I heart Videomatica.

It’s day 8 of the detox diet. I miss diet Pepsi so much. On the plus side, I’ve discovered that almond butter is delish on apples. I may or may not have a plan to celebrate the end of the detox that involves Nevermind, a portobello mushroom burger and a bellini served in a fishbowl. Yes, that’s 32 oz of bellini. And yes Nevermind, where they give free shots to anyone sitting at the bar whenever the Canucks score*.

Also, Shalu is my BFF. She knows why. I heart Shalu.

My mom and sister are coming to visit me in just over two weeks! Yay mom & sister! It is my mom’s 60th birthday in 6 days. I think that means I’m old.

*apparently I’m planning to re-toxify my body, which I spent 12 days detoxing, in the space of about 3 hours.

{November 4, 2006}   Detox

Since late August, I have won tickets to see sneak previews of three different movies (Crank*, The Queen** and The Last King of Scotland***) and a play (Life After God). Why can’t I have that kind of good luck when it comes to looking for a job??

I think we can all agree that after last weekend, I need to detox. So my roommate and I are doing a detox diet. My roommate is doing the whole herbal thing, whereas I am just following the diet. For the most part, it’s not that different from how we usually eat****, but dammit, I really miss my diet Pepsi. And for some reason, poutine isn’t included on the detox diet. We started our detox on Monday, so on Sunday we decided to eat all kinds of foods that we wouldn’t be allowed to have for the next 12 days… like peanut butter and honey, and candy and chips and cherry vanilla diet Dr. Pepper:

… and friggin’ good cheesecake with mango puree***** from Nyala:

Fortunately, I’m allowed to have up to 2 cups of coffee per day and all the green tea I can drink. And we’ve discovered a wicked good chai green tea, so between that and water with lemon in it, I’m surviving. And I’m addicted to potatoes cooked with garlic and onions. And rice cakes with almond butter, which are quite yummy. And which I have taken to smuggling into the free movies.

I’ll keep you apprised of my detox progress.. and will no doubt be writing next Saturday with a giant glass of diet Pepsi.

*I think the premise behind Crank is the perfect premise for an action movie – the main character has to keep his adrenalin up or he’ll die… a recipe for non-stop action!

**Despite the fact that everyone else I know who has seen it liked it, I thought The Queen was really boring. I mean, the whole movie was “when will the Queen speak publically about Diana’s death?” And we already know that she waited a week! Boooooring!

***This movie was phenomenal! My roommate had been telling me about it and how she really wanted to see it and that same day I got an email saying I’d won tickets!

****We are both vegetarians; she’s a dietitian in training and I’m a nutritional scientist, so needless to say that whole grains and fruits and veggies are already staples in our house.

*****We were actually waaaaaay happier to be eating this cheesecake than the picture would lead you to believe. But this was like our 5th try to get the photo, with previous attempts missing the cheesecake or cutting one of us off, since we were taking the photo ourselves. And by that point, we just wanted to eat the cheesecake already!!

{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.

et cetera