Not To Be Trusted With Knives

I generally like to start my Christmas shopping around Dec 23.  Living across the country from my family means that I can’t really do that, so I generally do my shopping around Dec 18, buying everything in one frantic day and then praying to the FSM that Canada Post will deliver in time for Christmas.  This year, however, I’m going to visit my family in late November for my wee niece’s 4th birthday, so I’ve decided to be responsible and do my Christmas shopping before then so that I can bring all my presents with me to Ontario.  This may also have to do with my cheapness responsible frugality, as bringing presents on my trip means I won’t have to pay the exorbitant shipping costs I usually face come Christmas time.  Thus far, I have purchased a grand total of two – count em, two! – Christmas presents, as well as a few things for my niece’s birthday.  So, yeah, still a ways to go, but it’s a start!


Disclaimer: Dan, you probably shouldn’t read this posting. I know you will, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Scene: I’m walking down the street and see a toy shop and remember that there is something in said shop that I want to buy.  I also notice that there are an insane number of really large spider decorations in the window.  Some of which have yellow stripes on them, which somehow made them a thousand times worse!  But I really, really want to buy something in that store.  It’s like a galactic battle between my desire to shop and my arachnophobia1.  Score one for shopping. I go in the store.  But I run in with my eyes averted.  And I discover, to my absolute horror, that there are more giant spiders hanging from the ceiling. Like right above my head, ready to jump on me!  Trying to keep my terrifying squealing to a minimum, a scurry to the back of the store, where the product I want will be. I find said product.  But I have a question about it.  And both the salespeople are standing at the cash register… which is right in front of the window full o’spiders!  Do I go up there to ask the question?  Do I wait until one of them comes out from behind the cash.  No, I can’t wait all day.  So, I make my way towards the cash but… I can’t do it. I can’t stand that close to that many horrible, horrible spiders.  Even if I have my eyes closed, I’d still know they were there.  Hell, if I had my eyes closed, I wouldn’t be able to tell if these inanimate monsters suddenly came to life and started crawling at me! *shudder*

So this is my solution: stand within view of the salespeople, try to look at them without looking at what’s just behind them and… ZOMG, that salesperson has a spider ON HER HEAD!  OK, OK, don’t panic. Look at the other salesperson. Get her attention.  Shout across the store, “Can I ask you a question about this… but over here, away from all those spiders?”  Try not to be too ashamed in the face of their laughter.  Fortunately, the salesperson is willing to humour me, including coming over to answer my questions and taking my credit card over to the cash register, ringing up my purchase there and then bringing me the receipt to sign, far, far away from the den of evil.  And then yelling “run, run quick” as I left the store.

And that, my friends, is why I shouldn’t leave my house around Halloween time.

1I think it’s a bad sign that even seeing the word “arachnophobia” on the screen kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies.  Or the screaming habdabs. The howling fantods, if you will.

Does anyone know of a good place in Vancouver to buy a wig that (a) is relatively inexpensive and (b) doesn’t look too cheap?

Because, you know, it’s Halloween coming up. And I’m going to a Madonna concert next week.  And wigs are fun.

Photo credit: Miss Wendy in the Flickr Room with a Creative Commons license.

{October 22, 2008}   Battle of the Gum Packages

For some unknown reason, I’ve been a wee bit enthralled with gum packages lately.  Both of these, in particular, caught my eye in the grocery store:

I’m not sure what the “5” is supposed to mean on the “Cobalt” gum packages. And is it coincidence that “5” and “S” look so much alike?  Um, probably.

When you open up the package of the Cobalt gum, it’s got funkalicious circles inside. And it kind of opens up like a cigarette package, which I like, although I know I shouldn’t.

Cobalt gum scores points because I like the funky blue colour and the intense minty goodness, but it loses points because it was the culprit in my recent tongue injury.

The Stride package also kinda feels like a pack of smokes when you open them:

But see the part on the inside of the package that says “A ridiculously long lasting idea”?  Makes you think that this will be gum with long lasting flavour, no?

No. This gum loses its flavour more quickly than any other gum1. Longevity FAIL!

And thus concludes my thoughts on gum packaging.

1except Double Bubble. But Double Bubble loses its flavour notoriously fast. Plus, you are happy when Double Bubble loses its flavour, because its flavour is barfy.

{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!

{September 13, 2008}   What’s a Blog?

So I was shopping on Broadway today and happened to go into this shoe store. As I am wont to do. And I was perusing the Hush Puppies, one of the clerks said to me, “What makes you ‘bloggable’?” For I was wearing this shirt1.  I laughed.  And then the one said, “What’s a blog?”  and his co-worker said, “You don’t know what a blog is????” and the first guy said, “It’s some kind of website thing, right?” and his co-worker was all, “Yeah. And like some people write lame personal journals and then other people blog about actual stuff that they are like interested in” and then then the first guy was like “‘Blog’ is verb?” and then the second guy was all, “oh yeah, it’s a noun, it’s a verb, it’s everything… <pause, then asks me> What do you blog about?”  Which, you know, is really hard to answer when the words “lame personal journals” has just come out of his mouth.  And so I went with my standard reply of, “I blog about everything except my work.” And then the first guy was like “Are WE going to be on your blog?” and then I was all like, “You are now.”

Clerks in the shoe store on Broadway.  Guy on the left is the one who didn’t know what a blog was. Guy on the right was the one who laughed at guy on the left for not knowing what a blog is.

1Actually, I was wearing that shirt in brown. Because I have two bloggable T-shirts – one from Northern Voice 2007 (purple) and one from NV08 (brown). I just don’t seem to have a photo of the brown one handy and I’m too lazy busy to take one now.

On my recent trip to San Fran, I found myself yet again flipping through the SkyMall magazine. While I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t have any new products as good as the branding iron for your dinner or the all cookie diet or the tailgate party slings, it was still rife with ridiculousness. The guy sitting next to me on the plane seemed to think I was quite strange, sitting there laughing to myself and ripping pages out of SkyMall. See the things I do for you?

First up, we have these toys:

Extra points to that one for referring to the mobility-impaired elderly using the word “cripple.”

Tired of not looking like an idiot when you sleep? Why not try the Spacesleeper Travel Pillow?

It’s like sleeping with a zero IQ!

Have way too much time on your hands and no friends? Why not spend the next year of your life trying to solve this crossword puzzle?

Also from the land of ridiculously large things, there’s this inflatable TV screen:

Because, you know, if a TV screen can fit inside your house, it’s just not big enough.

And this next one is just dirty. Dirty, dirty, dirty.

And finally, from the Humiliating Your Pets category, we have such fine products as:

Doesn’t this dog really look like she’s “enjoying her privacy”? No, really. She doesn’t look like she’s serving 25-to-life. Not at all.

When not trapping your dog in an undersized jail cell, why not let her look through this lovely porthole:

I’m sure the other dogs won’t laugh at her.

And finally, there’s a solution for those of you who have been wishing that your dog could take a shit in the house. Seriously. I’m not making this up.

{August 20, 2008}   The Science Tattoo Emporium
DNA ankle tattoo from the Science Tattoo Emporium

DNA ankle tattoo from the Science Tattoo Emporium

While emailing with my friend Dan about (a) his new birthday tattoo1 and (b) his lack of luxuriant flowing locks preventing him from joining the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists™, I was prompted to search out a club that the tattooed scientist can call home.  And now I share with you:

Discover Magazine’s Science Tattoo Emporium.

Those scientists have some pretty awesome tattoos, like this DNA ankle tattoo on a molecular and cell biology instructor at a University in Atlanta.  If it weren’t for my (a) crippling fear of needles and (b) remarkable fickleness which would result in my being bored with any tattoo I chose before the ink dried, then I too would want to join the Emporium.

Also, while checking out the Emporium I noticed an ad for “made with molecules” – a company that makes jewelry that looks like molecular structures.  I totally want this dopamine necklace.  You know, in case you were looking to buy me a present.

1The Greek letter “gamma” (Γ). Dan is a statistician and has the goal of covering his body with tattoos of all the Greek letters and so far has sigma, psi, delta, pi, gamma, and xi.

{July 10, 2008}   I need a power suit

OK, maybe I don’t *really* need a power suit, but I feel in the mood for some new work clothes. I’ve worn all of my work clothes soooo many times and I’m kind of bored of them. Also, I’ve noticed that despite that fact that I own no fewer than 3 pairs of brown shoes1, I own a grand total of zero, nada, nilch in the way of brown skirts or pants. Or dresses.

And speaking of dresses, one of my co-workers was wearing a really funky dress yesterday and it made me realize that I don’t have any good work dresses. I have a few fancy dresses and a few summer dresses that are appropriate for, say, a walk on the beach. But nothing that is really suitable for business. No business dresses. And dresses are so handy because you only have to make one decision – “hey, I want to wear this dress” – without all the nonsense of having to pick a top and then *also* having to pick a bottom to go with the top. Which is also why a suit is good – when you pick the top, you are also automatically picking the bottom.

Oh yeah, and the pic of me? That’s from back when I won an award for my doctoral research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Back when I had longer hair and fewer wrinkles. And I’m using that photo here because it shows the only suit that I own. The skirt of which is a bit too short to be all that comfortable. But at least it’s a suit.

Anyhoodle, the point of this whole posting is really to say that I need to get me to a consignment store, stat!

1I realize that this may sound a wee bit excessive, but they are three distinctly different types of shoes. One is a pair of flats, another a good solid pump, and the third a pair of strappy heels. So, really, they would all serve a different purpose, if only I had some brown skirts or pants to wear them with.

Saw this in Shopper’s Drug Mart earlier today:

I don’t know about your father, but I don’t think blush would suit my dad.

{May 23, 2008}   She Has A Name!

It’s just a week shy of her 1st birthday and I’ve finally given her a name.  I hadn’t thought about her lack of name in a while, but yesterday morning as I left for work, the perfect name just hit me, right out of the blue!

She’s full of useful information and constantly gives me reminders of things I should be doing.  And so I have decided to name my Palm Treo Smartphone: Hermione.

{May 22, 2008}  

As if it isn’t bad enough that I can’t eat delicious, delicious Mini-Wheats due to their gelatin-containing (and my gelatin non-eating)  ways, now they are tempting me with a free Indiana Jones “Adventure Spoon”.

And I could really use an “Adventure Spoon” to liven up my breakfast, what with the no Mini-Wheats in my bowl.

OMG, I just ordered the *coolest* new shirt. I can’t wait for all y’all to see it.

Well, in truth, I *have* to wait. 11- 21 days, to be specific¹.

But I’m sharing this info with you so that now you, too, can be thrilled with the anticipation of my new shirt. I promise that photos of said shirt will be produced here on NTBTWK. And in much better time than the last time I bought a cool new shirt.

¹Damn you, international shipping!

{March 25, 2008}   Off To The Great White North!

This afternoon, I’m off to Yellowknife!

In honour of my trip to the great white north, I bought a hat. A hat to replace the one I lost on the subway in Toronto on my trip there over the holidays. I have a matching pair of mittens, but the mittens are on a string… you know, like 3-year-olds have, so they won’t lose their mittens. Seriously, I lost the hat because it wasn’t on a string that was attached to my body.

Anyway. I really, *really* liked that hat. And, fortunately, the place I bought it from still had them, so I was able to get a new one:

Some random facts about Yellowknife:

  • Population: 18,700 (compared to: GM Place holds 18,630 people for a hockey game)
  • Average high temperature in March: -11.2 degrees Celsius
  • Margot Kidder (better known as Lois Lane in the Superman movies) was born there.

I also wanted to share with you this cool animation I found on Wikipedia,showing the evolution of the provinces and territories of Canada:

I was surprised to see that, at one point, much of our country was part of the Northwest Territories!

Image credit: From, republished here under the terms of this copyleft license

{March 1, 2008}  

So, I totally forgot to blog yesterday. I realized it at around 1:30 this morning, just as I was about to go to bed. And so my daily blogging streak for 2008 ends… an entire *month* earlier than it did last year¹! In my defense, yesterday was Feburary 29… that’s not really a real day².

Now, that it’s March, it seems that spring has sprung here in the ‘couve³. It was gorgeous and sunny today and so I went on a nice long walk to do some shopping on W. 4th and Broadway. The two main things I went out to buy were: (a) new headphones for Marla, because the ones I had spontaneously stopped producing sound in the left earphone and (b) new running shoes. And the reason that I was on a mission to make these purchases? Because it’s time to start my training for my next half marathon! You may recall that my last half marathon was less than ideal, but I’ve learned my lesson and I’m bound and determined to train properly this time. Also, from talking to the salesdude at the Running Room5, part of the problem leading up to my foot injury may have been that my shoes were worn out. So, $200 later, I’m the proud owner of a pair of Asics Gel-Nimbus running shoes:


They are like running on a cloud.  Seriously.

Other, more spontaneous purchases on my shopping spree included: 2 skirts & a top at a thift store (total cost $15!); various card making supplies and some much needed oven mitts from a dollar store; a bluetooth headset for my cell, which I’m returning because it totally sucks; a pack of stamps at the post office; and a veggie dog from a hot dog vender. Mmmm, veggie dog.

¹When I imported my blog into WordPress from Blogger, I didn’t set the time zone to Pacific before I did the import, meaning that it imported everything at GMT instead of PST. So here in WordPress land, it looks like I did post on March 30, 2007, but if you look on my old Blogger site, you’ll see that that posting was actually on March 29, 2007 at 8:21 p.m. PST when I originally posted it. Similarly, I did actually post every day in 2008 until yesterday, but here in WordPress land, it looks like I didn’t because the ones I imported went under GMT. Anyhoo, I’m sure I’m the only person who cared about that and now that I’ve bored you to tears with the world’s longest footnote, you may return to your regularly scheduled blog post, already in progress.
² Speaking of which, happy belated birthday to my cousin Samantha… she turned 16 yesterday, on her 4th birthday.
³ One of many annoying nicknames for Vancouver including, but not limited to, Vancity, the V-dot4, and, my least fav, Vangroovy.
4Which, I will point out, makes no sense and is only used by people from the T dot.
5And this wasn’t like a salesdude who was trying to upsell me into buying some news shoes. I brought my old shoes in to the store to compare them with new shoes and he was able to show me just how worn out they were.

et cetera