Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{September 26, 2008}   More new shoes

Shocking, I know.

My friend Therese is in town for her cousin’s kids baptism, so we met up for dinner (poutine at The Templeton) and shopping (for shoes, of course). First we went to the Aldo liquidation outlet on Granville and I found a super hot pair of red boots. Marked down to $70, plus 50% off. How often do you find boots for $35?? The only hitch – they didn’t have my size!! The horror, the horror!

Not to be deterred, we headed next door to the new Payless store, where Therese got two very cute pairs: one a shiny brown pair of flats, the other, an adorable open toe pump… in tweed! For serious!

As for my shoes, despite trying on virtually every heel they had in my size, I ended up with this pair:

Which I quite like. So cute! So comfy!

P.S. Don’t forget to scroll down to my previous post and let me know who you think is the hottest NHL hockey hottie!

{August 22, 2008}   Nom Nom Nom at the Naam
Sarah at Tsunami Sushi

Sarah at Tsunami Sushi

Ah, the Naam.  One of my fav restaurants in Vancouver, and one of the places that Sarah gets to at least once (and sometimes more) on every trip to Vancouver. This trip has had us eating at not only the Naam and the Eatery, but also Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe (great veggie burgers), Tsunami Sushi (not highly recommended), and Cactus Club (yay yam fries!).  Nom nom nom.  Also, we went to see Tropic Thunder, where Sarah used a variety of Famous Player gift cards and I used Scene points, so the grand total for both of us to watch the movie was $2.30.  Our frugality rocks!  TT was a pretty friggin’ funny movie – best part, in my humble opinion –  (quasi-spoiler warning here): the movie trailer at the beginning with Robert Downey Jr & Tobey Mcguire.

So, yeah, Sarah and I have been having an awesome time just chillin’.  Since Sarah has already done virtually every touristy thing in Vancouver on previous trips here, and since we hardly ever get to just hang out (given the 4000+ km between us), we’ve had a nice time just hanging out and catching up.  Going for walks. Hanging out by the water.  Having tea. Eating at various eateries. Endlessly riding the #7 bus.

Also, I had my one week post-op check-up to see how my eyes are doing since my laser eye surgery.  My optometrist was very impressed with my eyes, saying things like “Wow, you must be a really good healer!” and “Your eyes look like most people’s look after a month, and it’s only been a week!” and “You are the poster child for laser eye surgery.”  I do have an unattractive looking subconjunctival hemorrhage, which I noticed looked worse last night than it had the previous day, but my optometrist explained that it’s normal for subconjunctival hemmorrhages to look worse before they look better.  Essentially, it’s like having a bruise, caused by blood vessels bursting due to the suction used during the surgery. But since your eye is clear, it’s bright red instead of being black & blue like a normal bruise.  The reason it looks worse today is because gravity is pulled the subconjunctival blood down, where it sort of pools near the iris.  It’s harmless and will go away over the next few days.  But, because I’m me, I decided that you all would want to see a picture (quasi-grossness warning here).

My eye lashes are kind of clumped together due to the sticky lubricating drops I put in every two hours.  I’m sure that it’s religiously sticking to my eye drop regimen, as well as wearing sunglasses at all times when I’m outside, that is helping me recover so fast.  Well, that and the lab accident involving a radioactive rat that happened when I was in grad school, giving me superhuman healing powers.

{June 25, 2008}   Summer

And speaking of grad school, when you are a grad student, you don’t really get vacation.  Sure, you might not run experiments over Christmas holidays and you get to go to the occasional conference, but you are still working.  Or, if you are goofing off, no one’s paying you to do so.  But along with my big girl job comes such things as benefits, like vacation days.  Here’s how I’m planning on spending some of those days off:

Well, I’m not actually taking vacay days for the August stuff (I don’t work Fridays, so I’m doing my lasers in my eyes on a Friday and am supposed to be fine to be back at work on the Monday.  But it still looks to be quite an eventful summer!

So, I’m feeling much better today – my jaw is only a wee bit achy so I’m off the T3s which were making me all loopy and unable to type properly all day yesterday.

My adventure at the oral surgeon’s office started off with the unpleasant discovery that they lied to me about the cost. I was told that my insurance covered most of the cost, I just have to pay the specialist fees1 – they had gotten a pre-approval for the cost of what an extraction would be if I went to a regular dentist and for the deep sedation. They told me that since the sedation is through my extended health benefits, rather than dental benefits, I had to pay the $190 for that upfront (despite the insurance company pre-approving this, they said they “didn’t trust” that the insurance would actually pay for it), and then they would pay me it back once they got the money from my insurance company (as opposed to the rest of the cost, which is covered by the dental benefits and so they would just charge to my insurance directly, trusting insurance would cover it). But when I go to pay for my part of the fees, I notice on the receipt that they’ve charged me $375, not $190 as I’d been told. And when I asked them about it, they are like, “Oh no, the insurance covers all except $190, you have to pay that. But we charge you the full amount and then reimburse you the difference when we get it from them.” And so I’m like, “That’s not what I was told and, in fact, I have it written down on this piece of paper exactly what you guys told me and that was that sedation costs $190 and my insurance will cover it.” So they begrudging apologized that I “was given the wrong information” and so I told them that I supposed that it’s too late to do anything about it now, but they should make sure they aren’t giving people incorrect information like that, because $200 is a lot of money to suddenly be out of pocket.

Then I went and sat in the waiting room and caught up with Rachel, who I hadn’t seen in ages, and it was good that we had the chance to do that because I couldn’t talk much after the surgery (although the poor other guy in the waiting room sure got an earful about all my drama and our ensuing analysis of said drama). They finally called me to go into the surgery room and then I got to act like a big baby about the fact that they were going to be stabbing me with a needle. And putting a blood pressure cuff on me. I hate those, they make me feel so confined! And why, when you tell a nurse “I’m afraid of needles” do they always say “it’s not that bad. It’s just like a little bee sting”? Is this really supposed to make me feel better? I mean, seriously, am I supposed to say, “Oh good! Bee stings tickle!” So I say, “Um, I’m terrified of bee stings too. But thanks.” So she takes my blood pressure and that gets me all freaked out and then even putting the little heart rate monitor on my finger freaks me out, so they strap my arm with the blood pressure cuff on it to the arm of the chair “too keep the blood pressure cuff in place” (translation: “to keep you from flailing around, you big baby”) and by the time the surgeon comes in and puts the tourniquet on and tells me to open and close my hand to pump up my vein2, I’m literally curled up in a fetal-like position (except with one arm strapped to a chair and the other arm raised as I make feeble attempts to open and close my hand without totally passing out from the queasiness of it all and saying, “how long until I can be unconscious?” and “I promise I’ll be more compliant once I’m asleep!”

The thing with me and needles is that I have to watch the needle go in. My imagination of how big the needle is, and my terror at not knowing the exact moment they are going to stab me, make me more of a basketcase than just watching it happen. So when I say, “I have to watch” and the surgeon literally turns my face away, saying “look at this lady over here,” I wanted to scream “you paternalistic bastard, I know myself and I have to watch”… but I restrained myself and left out the part about him being a paternalistic bastard. So the needle goes in fine and doesn’t hurt too bad and then he says, “This will feel like a cold drink being poured into your hand when I put the medicine in,” and I say, “Yup, that feels cold”, followed shortly by, “that feels really uncomfortable” and then the next thing I know is some vague feeling that something is going on in the bottom left side of my jaw and then they are telling me to wake up, it’s all over, get the hell out. OK, maybe they didn’t say “get the hell out.” It was more like, “we are taking you to the recovery area, be careful, you’ll be pretty wobbly.” So I stumble to the “recovery area,” which is literally a bench, and they bring Rachel in and she’s like “I can see why they insist on an escort, they really rush you out of here. You were only in there for 20 minutes.” And that had to include 10 minutes of blood pressure taking, needle stabbing and my being a big wussy baby. Then the nurse proceeds to explain a bunch of instructions to us and thank god Rachel was there for that because I was so doped up, I totally felt like I was extremely drunk and the only thing I remember was some vague comment about not having caffeine. Of course, even in a drug addled state, I pick up on the caffeine comment. At this point, I can’t feel my face, because of the local, but I notice that my hand, where they IV had been, was killing me and, despite the Dora the Explorer band-aid, is covered in dried blood. So I put some pressure on it with my opposite hand to try to lessen the pain a bit and that takes about all the brain power I have at the time.

We get a cab to the Shopper’s Drug Mart by my place so we can pick up my prescriptions and the pharmacist is like “There are several people ahead of you, it will be at least 15 minutes and Rachel is like, “She just had her wisdom teeth out, can’t you possible let us jump the line” and the pharmacist is like, “No. Besides you have 3 prescriptions.” And why the hell does it take so long to fill prescriptions? I mean, you have to count 8, 15 and 18 pills out big bottles and put them into little bottles. My 2 year old niece could do that! So anyway, Rachel decides to bring me home and she’ll come back for the drugs, ‘cuz it’s just a few blocks. I decide to buy some juice in Shopper’s ‘cuz the nurse said to try to get some sugar in me as soon as possible, since I wasn’t allowed to eat since midnight the night before. And as I take the change back from the cashier, I realize that my hand, with which I’d handed over my Shopper’s card and my cash to the cashier is covered in dried blood, from having used it to put pressure on my IV wound. It takes a minute for this to register as my brain is still all messed up on the sedation and I feel really bad for the poor cashier, and a bit surprised she didn’t say anything like, oh I don’t know, “Um, you are covered in blood.”

Anyway, Rachel gets me home and gets my drugs and I take my Tylenol 3, which was quite challenging because they said to take it when the local starts to wear off, which you will know is happening because your nose will feel tingly, but at this point your mouth and tongue are still frozen and I have trouble swallowing pills at the best of time. But, after several attempts, I manage to get the pill down somehow and spend the rest of the day in the following routine: take a T3, try to email or chat or read blogs but go all loopy, then get all drowsy and fall asleep on couch with laptop on lap, wake up when someone calls/texts/pings me on msn/google talk to see how I’m doing, feel better, watch something on the internets, notice my jaw is sore, realize that I was supposed to take another dose of T3 an hour ago, so then take another T3. And repeat. Always repeat. Oh yes, and rotating ice packs on my face – take one out of the freezer, strap it to my face, replace it with an alternate when it loses it’s coldness. For the entire day. During one of my less loopy phases, where I could actually figure out how to send an email, I emailed Rachel to find out what exactly they had said about caffeine, and it turned out that they said to just not have caffeine in my first drink. Which is a relief, since I was afraid they were going to have said, “don’t have caffeine for the next week”. Or something equally insane.

I end up watching 2.5 movies and a bunch of clips of Stephen Colbert, catching up on most of my blogs and even watching an episode of good ole Young & the Restless. My friend Clayton brought me pudding in the evening, because I discovered that the pudding mix I bought to make for myself had gelatin3 in it and I’d somehow missed that when I read the ingredient list when I bought it and somehow noticed when I took it out of the cupboard to make it. I had taken a T3 just before Clayton got here and apparently I was in my loopy phase, but didn’t know it. I totally thought I was acting normal until he said, “You are on T3, aren’t you?” And I was like “Why? I am acting weird?” and he laughed “Yes.” But I really, totally didn’t think I was! The T3 seemed to make me act like I had ADHD or something – I’d be like “I really should write down that I just took that T3… hey, what is that shiny thing?” And I also didn’t notice that there was blood on the hand towel in my bathroom, which may have been from my IV wound, or possibly from when blood was dripping out of my mouth, but most certainly was not appropriate to have hanging on my towel rack when someone was over!

I took my other meds with my dinner (mango pudding), which is what the nurse had said to do. My other meds are an antibiotic, which apparently “should only be used for serious infections because infrequently there are severe, rarely fatal, intestinal problems,” (which seem like an odd choice for a prophylactic antibiotic) and a corticosteroid, which may decrease my immune response (which seems like an odd choice for someone who is trying not to get an infection) and may stunt my growth (which is an odd choice for someone who is clearly due for a growth spurt any day now). And I followed Ann-Oni Mouse’s advice and sprayed my gauze with Chloraseptic, which seemed to work well for killing pain and I’m hoping will contribute to infection prevention.
I took my last dose of T3 just before I headed to bed with Stephen Colbert, at about 12:30 am, figuring I would wake up about 5 hours later in need of another dose, but I slept right straight through until 11:30 am. And my jaw only had a dull ache, which seems to be the most prominent in my lower left side of my jaw, which is appropriate because that’s the only place I remember feeling anything happen during the surgery, so I’m guessing that was the most difficult one to get out. Anyway, since the pain is fairly minor, I haven’t even taken a single T3 today. I figure I’ll be careful about taking my other meds as scheduled (I set the alarm in my Palm Pilot to remind me when to take it and then record that I took it… I’m kind of like that guy in Memento), gently clean my teeth as my surgeon recommends and keep my fingers crossed that I don’t get any infections. My mother thinks I have inherited my father’s propensity to heal really fast. I think that time I accidentally stabbed myself with that needle contaminated with rat blood in the lab, I took on the rat’s super immune system capabilities4. Because we all know that super powers are gained by science lab mishaps.

I spent most of today sitting in the sun, either goofing around on the internet or talking on the phone (and then having my landlord make fun of the amount of times I used the word “like” in my conversation with Sarah… “not that I was listening in on your conversation, ” he says, “but I counted that you used the work “like” 75 times since you came outside on your phone. Stupid, really, that everyone uses the word “like” so much.”) Went for Frappuccinos with Kalev, who came to hang out a bit after he finished work and before the movie he was going to.

And to top off my crappy week, I did some laundry, during which I pulled the genius move of putting my bluetooth headset through the wash. Like I said, genius. I’m going to give it a few days to completely dry out before I try turning it on again. Which I’ve heard works for when you dump an entire bottle of water into your purse and soak the hell out of your cell phone5. But August 2007 Crapweek started last Saturday, so I figure that it’s scheduled to be over in 7 minutes6. And, so long as I still feel as good tomorrow as I do right now, I’m hitting the town with some friends tomorrow night. ‘cuz I so need a night on the town right now!

OK, probably time for little Bethy to take her med (need to check my notes to remember which one!) and hit the hay. Beth sleepy. Beth has comfy bed with soft, freshly laundered sheets in which to sleep.

OK, I just went to take my night time meds and discovered that I took the wrong med earlier today. I’m supposed to take my antibiotic three times a day (like morning, midway through the day, and night), and my steriod twice day (morning and night). But, for some unknown reason, I took my steroid in the middle of the day instead of my antibiotic. I think I can kiss that growth spurt goodbye.

1I figure if someone is going to be messing with my face, it’s really worth the extra money to go to the best of the best.
2For the record, just typing that out made me queasy.
3Since I’m a vegetarian, I don’t eat gelatin, which is made from horse hooves and cow bones. Ick.
4Lab rats seems to have ridiculous awesome immune systems.
5For the record, this was
not me.
6It was 11:53 pm on Friday night when I typed that.

Sometimes I have stuff I want to post, I jot down the idea in a draft posting and then, for some reason or another, I don’t get around to posting it. Sometimes it’s just a quick snippet and I figure I’ll have something to add to it at a later date. Sometimes it turns out to be an idea that just doesn’t work, and it ends up deleted. The following two snippets were from conversations back in March when Sarah was visiting Vancouver that I guess I just got too busy having fun with Sarah to actually complete a post on. I came across them today as I was cleaning out my old, unposted draft items and they made me laugh, so I thought I’d share them:

Sarah: Do you know what the first state in the union was?
Me: Nope.
Sarah: It was Delaware. Do you know how I know that?*
Me: Because you know everything.

Etienne: But my English is terrible!
Everyone Else at Dinner: Are you kidding? Your English is great!!
Etienne: Sometimes I have thoughts in French and I just can’t articulate them in English.
Me: That happens to me all the time. But I don’t speak any other languages.

*I can’t remember now what her reason why was she knew that. But anyone who knows Sarah will know that she really does know everything.

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 3, 2007}   Calgary-bound

Tomorrow, we leave for Calgary. We’ve spent a chillaxed few days in Vancity, doing such things as drinking Dirty Girl beer and getting our hair cut. I know, party animals, right?

We also patronized the following establishments: The Naam*, The Fringe Cafe, The Reef, Cactus Club**, The Eatery (where we got to have my favourite, Fat Elvi***), Bo Kong, Bellagio’s Gelato and probably a bunch of other places that I’ve forgotten.

I have to go to work tomorrow and scramble around all day to get stuff done that needs to get done before I leave. I had to go in early today to do this extremely boring orientation****, so I can go home early tomorrow, which will make it a little less rushed to get to the airport for our evening flight to Cowtown. My luggage is pretty much all packed, except for a few things that I need to use in the morning (like my hair drier). Our instructions for Calgary are to bring “winter boots and bathing suits. Both for use on the same day.” Should be good times.

Don’t wait up.

*The only place Sarah has been on all of her trips to Vancouver.
**That was more about the company at dinner than about the restaurant. Although the $6 double margaritas and the cute waiter were also nice.
***Elvi, of course, being the plural of Elvis.
****Thank god they had free coffee – I couldn’t possibly have stayed awake otherwise. On the plus side, I now know what to do in case of a fire alarm, because surely after 11 years of postsecondary education, I’m not qualified to react to a freaking fire alarm.

{April 2, 2007}   I <3 Hydration.

So I ran 18 freaking kilometers today. All the way around UBC campus on SW/NW Marine Drive and all along the beaches there. In 2 hours, 1 minute and 43 seconds. I couldn’t believe it. Last week it took me 2 hours and 5 minutes to run a mere 16K. How did I improve so much? I’m pretty sure that it’s due to the fact that I actually brought water with me on this run. I hate carrying things when I run, so I bought one of those water bottles that comes with a belt and a holster so you can wear your water bottle. It’s amazing what a little water can do on a 2 hour run! I also had a Power Gel that Danielle gave me to try – after the 1:50 mark, my legs were starting to feel like lead and I knew it was it was time for a little glucose action. I really liked it – it was vanilla flavoured and tasted kinda like pudding. Mmmmm, pudding. I think it also helped that it was beautiful and sunny out, there were so many people out running, biking, walking their dogs, and I was just totally pumped up for a good run. Something tells me that things won’t be quite so nice when I do my long run next week out in Calgary (wait, scratch that… I just checked the forecast… while it is currently -3 degrees C in Calgary, they are predicting +11 and sunny for next Sunday… that won’t be so bad!). Plus, when in Calgary I have a promise that mixed drinks will be waiting for me at the end of my long run

In related news, I discovered when I got home from my run, that my training program actually called for me to do 12 km today, not 18. D’oh! Oh well, it was a great run! Perhaps I’ll scale it back to 12 next week instead.

Also, Sarah & her friend Deepa went to Bowen Island while I was doing my long run. I’ve never been there before, but I hear it is beautiful. Can’t wait for them to get back so I can hear all about it!

{March 30, 2007}   Western Canadian Hijinks

As I write this, Sarah is in a cab on her way here from YVR. We spend now until Tuesday in Vancouver (I have to work on Monday & Tuesday, but I have tomorrow, Sat & Sun to goof off), and then on Tuesday night we fly to Calgary, where our plan will land within minutes of Dave‘s flight from Ottawa, and then our friend Justin will whisk us all away to stay for a week at his downtown abode. I am told by pretty much everyone I know that has lived in, or ever even been to, Calgary that we need to go to Cowboys.

I’ll keep y’all posted.

Oh ya, and big props to my boys, you have clinched a playoff spot. I can practically taste the Cup.

Update: SARAH is here!!! (Apparently I’m a slow typist!) And you’ll never guess who was on her plane! David. Freaking. Emerson!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!

{March 26, 2007}   Quick, But Legitimate, Post

Did a lot of running around today. Both literally (i.e., 16 friggin’ kilometers!!) and figuratively (after my run, I had to shower, grab some fruit to get my blood sugar back up and water to re-hydrate, run off to a meeting for the study that I’m participating in, then back home, grab a quick dinner and touch base with Sarah about her trip*/nylon delivery service, and now I’m quickly writing this before I head off to GM Place to watch the Canuck game! Live! Row friggin’ 2!!** I know you are jealous. And I know that you know that I know you are jealous. Word to your moms.

*yay! only 4 more days ’til she’s here!

**I’ve never watch a game from the lower bowl of GM Place before. So stoked!

{March 23, 2007}   Five Somewhat Related Things
  1. I did my 16K run on Tuesday, because I really didn’t feel up to it on Sunday, and I had a late work day, followed by a dinner meeting, on Monday. I have been ravenously hungry since Tuesday. I feel like I’ve done nothing but eat since then.
  2. Speaking of eating, a friend of Danielle’s came over last night and made us the most delicious dal for dinner. So. Freaking. Delicious.
  3. Speaking of delicious, a new Tim Horton’s has been built that is even closer to my place than the one on Broadway. They build those things ridiculously fast… on Saturday when I went by there, there were construction workers inside building the place, and it was open by Monday. It has been open since Monday and, would you believe, I haven’t been there yet? And did I mention that it is right next to the liquor store*?? But that’s OK, I’m pretty sure that I’ll get there soon because…
  4. … it’s only 7 more sleeps until Sarah gets here!
  5. Then it’s only 5 more sleeps until we go to Calgary. Dave is meeting us there. We are staying with Justin. I am assured that hijinks will ensue.

*i.e., one stop shopping

{February 15, 2007}   Spoiled

Tamara brought me this necklace back from Thailand:

And this bracelet from Fiji:

We also think she may have brought back dengue virus, but we aren’t quite sure.

{February 14, 2007}   Jealous

Danielle’s best friend, Tamara, has just returned from traveling to Fiji/New Zealand/Thailand and is staying with us for a few days, before she heads off to Cuba for her sister’s wedding. As I write this, she is having her first hot shower in a month.

Danielle is heading to Belize for Reading Week on Friday; Kalev & Kyle leave for Hawaii shortly thereafter; Jason heads to Bolivia in March. And don’t even get me started on Sarah & Dave and their 15 cruises per year.

I really do need either a job or a sugar daddy so that I can go to cool places too!

{January 30, 2007}   New Blog Title?
After much yammering about it, I think it’s high time I changed my blog title to something non-thesis related. But I’m still not 100% sure what to change it to. So I’m trying one on for size – and I may try other ones in the coming days, sort of a multiple blog-ality disorder. Or I may get distracted* (ooh… that dog has a puffy tail!) and leaving up whatever title happens to be there. We’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out. For the moment, I’m not going to change my URL, as I don’t want to lose any of my readers.

OK, so first up we have the new title: Total Perspective Vortex. Astute readers will know this is reference to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For those of you who already know all about it, feel free to let your attention wander freely for the rest of this paragraph.** The Total Perspective Vortex is summarized by Wikipedia thusly:

the most horrible torture device to which a sentient being can be subjected […] it shows its victim the entire unimaginable infinity of the universe with a very tiny marker that says “You Are Here” which points to a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot.

Most people go mad from being shown how utterly insignificant they are. Only Zaphod Beeblebrox has survived it unscathed, as the TPV was “simply telling him that he was the most important being in the universe.”***

Anyhoo, I thought that Total Perspective Vortex would be a good (if nerdy) name for my blog because all indications given on this blog are that *I* am the most important being in the blogosphere. The drawback to this blog name is that some other guy already took the URL… he wrote a grand total of 3 postings back in June of 2004 and then abandoned the venture. Clearly, he was not the most important being in the blogosphere.

The only other name I have thought of comes from this photo, taken at Capliano Canyon last April:

Photo courtesy of Dave.

One of my pet peeves about Capliano, aside from the fact that they charge you nearly $30 to cross a friggin’ bridge, is that they have all these signs that tell you what to do. Like the “Kodak Photos Spots,” where they tell you “oooh, this is a good spot to take a photo! then you can have a photo that looks like the photos taken by every other tourist that’s ever been here!” And like this sign that actually tells you that it is a good place to do some thinking. And so I couldn’t resist doing this pose for a photo. And it wasn’t even a “Kodak Photos Spot”! So I was thinking that “The Thinking Spot” could be a good blog name, because I could use this photo. Except that anyone who has ever read this blog knows that very little thinking is going on here****.

*I’m very easily distracted.

**And that was a reference to Dumbledore in one of the Harry Potter books.. I’m pretty sure it was the Goblet of Fire, but don’t have the books handy to double check it.

***Of course, he was in an artificial universe that was created specifically for him so he actually WAS the most important thing in that universe, but that’s beside the point.

****Also, has already been taken too. Sigh

So, a while back I promised to blog some more about my graduation ceremony. And since I took soooo many photos during grad, and during my mom & sister’s trip in general (they were here for my grad, plus a few more days after that), I figured I can do a lot less typing if I just show some pretty pictures. I’m lazy like that.

You already saw a picture of me and my mom at my grad. Here’s one of my & my sister:

This was before the ceremony, where they make you pick up your grad gown an hour and a half before the ceremony, so that you can then stand around in it doing nothing for a long time, before the part where the grads all had to line up in order (i.e., the previously described gong show).

This next one is me walking across the stage during the grad ceremony. Damn, I’m short! Of course, it doesn’t help that the Dean (the guy standing at the podium behind me is about 6’8″ tall!). He was actually one of my supervisory committee members, so it was kind of cool that he was the one reading out our names.

Here I am shaking hands with the President of UBC. He said, “Congratulations, Doctor. All the hard work is done!” and I said, “Ya, thank god!” Which made him laugh. He must get bored saying “congratulations” over and over and over again.

What you may notice in the above picture (if you zoom in really close) is that I have awesome shoes. Let’s take a closer look at those shoes, shall we?

Damn, those are some fine shoes! I bought them at the Salvation Army thrift store. Yes, the same Salvation Army thrift store where the crazies go on Wednesday morning. But these weren’t in the Wednesday window, so I could just hand over my hard earned $6.99 and walk away with the shoes, unscathed.

This next photo is of me with the macebearer. He bears the mace.

Here is a photo of Kalev, me & Danielle. By this point in the night, my hat (which is way too big for me) has really started to weigh down on my head. So it looks even more ridiculous than it did at the start of the event.

Since it was raining pretty hard, we snapped a few quick picks and then I returned my robe so that we could head off to dinner. And forturnately, I remembered my parking level! Go purple turtle*!

We went to Indian Oven for dinner, since Indian is my absolute favourite food. Each graduate only gets 4 tickets to the grad ceremony (so my mom, sister, Danielle & Kalev were able to attend), but I invited a few more people to dinner. As evidenced by this photo:

This picture represents the first picture that Erika and I have where she actually has her eyes opened. Big time red eye from hell, yes, but at least her eyes are open!

After dinner, my sister really, really wanted to try a deep fried Mars bar. So we headed to the Templeton, which is conveniently located next to a sex shop:

And here is the deep friend Mars bar. ‘Cuz nothing says, “I have a PhD in Nutrition” like deep fried chocolate.

Doesn’t that look digusting??

After dessert, my mom, sister & I retired to our room at the Fairmont Waterfront. Here are my sister and I in our luxurious Fairmont robes**.

We spent the next day shopping*** and then went to the Body Worlds exhibit at Science World at Telus World of Science****.

Here are my sister & mom – don’t they look happy to be at Science World at Telus World of Science???

And here’s me. I saw a sign that said “stay off the stage.” So, naturally, I jumped on the stage and said, “Take my picture!!!”

The reason I’m all dressed up in this photo was not that I felt the need to dress up to see dead, plastinated bodies, but because we went to Lumiere for dinner. It was my mom’s 60th birthday earlier this month, so we***** wanted to take her somewhere really nice. And since my mom loves celebrity chefs, I thought Lumiere would be perfect. We didn’t tell her we were going there and thought it would be great surprise. When we get there, I’m all excited… and my mom has no idea what Lumiere is. I’m like “Rob Feenie! Iron Chef!!” and she’s like “Nope, never heard of him!******” But the food was unbelievably good, so it didn’t matter. We didn’t take any pictures in Lumiere because it’s mostly rich people in there and we didn’t want to let on that we are poor people in a rich person restaurant*******.

The next day we headed to Victoria, because my mom wanted to go to the Empress for Afternoon Tea. Yes, we drove half an hour to the ferry terminal, took an hour and a half ferry, then drove another half an hour into Victoria… to have a cup of tea. And some sandwiches. And strawberries and pastries. On the plus side, Victoria wasn’t under a boil water advisory like Vancouver was. Of course, we were having tea, so this is rather a moot point.

Here is me, eating some strawberries which had, presumably, been washed in E. coli-free water:

And here are all three of us:

And, for the record, I bought that shirt at the Sally Ann thrift store. They have some really good stuff for cheap (as long as you don’t mind dealing with the crazies there).

Then we went on the ferry back to Vancouver. And it was rush hour. So it took us twice as long to get back to the hotel from the ferry terminal than it did to get there in the morning. And my sister and I went to Tojo’s for dinner. And I got them to make yam tempura rolls for me, even though they weren’t on the menu. Because I am special like that.

And the next day, my mom & my sister flew back home. And it was lucky that their flight was in the a.m., because that night was had a blizzard and flights were delayed/cancelled out of YVR. Because it was my neice’s birthday party in Toronto the next day and it would be highly disappointing if her own mom was stuck in Vancouver!

*We were parked in the Rose Garden parkade. Which evidentally thinks that we need cute cartoony animals to help us remember where we parked. We were in Purple Turtle. Not to be mistakend for Pink Bunny Rabbit, or Blue Hippopotamus. And Yellow Elephant never forgets his parking level!

**Those robes were so not luxurious. Highly disappointing in the luxuriousness department.

***Not very exciting, other than that my mom bought me a new coat (mine had a hole in it), a new purse (as I was, apparently, carrying a summer purse around – the horror, the horror!)

****No, that’s not a typo. That’s actually the real name. I can just see a board room full of suits sitting around saying, “I think we need to include the word “Science” in their twice, so they know it’s science-y… but then we’d also need to include the word “World” in there twice too!”

*****And by “we” I mean, my sister, as I have no money.

******Of course, when she got home and saw a picture of him, she knew who it was.

*******I’m pretty sure they knew.

et cetera