Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{April 23, 2007}   Biz-ness

A few items of business. Because I know you all love business, right?

Remember back when this used to be a blog about thesis writing, and the similarity between writing a thesis and the seventh layer of hell? Well, my final paper from that thesis has now been accepted for publication in the journal Bone. For those of you not from the world of bone science, Bone is a pretty sweet journal to get published in. My other paper from my thesis is also there, so it’s nice to have this one in the same journal, as it really does stem from the first paper. As an added bonus, we get to have one of the figures printed in colour – for free! Ordinarily it costs about US$1000 to get a figure printed for free, but they grant one request per month for a free colour image, as long as the colour is scientifically warranted. Which of course mine is. It also happens to be waaay prettier in colour than in black & white. But absolutely scientifically warranted.

I got my business cards last week. I would post them here, but as I discussed before, I’m avoiding mentioning where I work here in blogland*. Suffice it to say, they are wicked cool and you should be jealous of me.

In terms of my health, no one seems to know what’s wrong with me. I am H. pylori negative, but that doesn’t tell me why my tummy still hurts, or why I was vomitting coffee grounds***. I went back to the walk-in clinic, but the doctor I saw seemed to not really know what was wrong with me, and just wanted to criticize what the first doctor had done, despite the fact that he hadn’t even opened up my file before he walked into the room and had no idea what was going on. He also told me that I need to completely eliminate caffeine, despite the fact there really isn’t any scientific evidence to support that****. I need to find a real family doc and not rely on the walk in, because clearly continuity of care is not their strong point. I think I need a referral to a gastroenterologist to find out what the heck is going on. My plan is now to contact the (absolutely wonderful) doctor I used to see at Student Health***** to see if she knows of a good family doc that is accepting patients right now, and hopefully they will give me a referral, as well as a prescription for a proton-pump inhibitor, as I only currently have a sample package, and that will run out soon.

And finally, I really should get back to work. I’m working on revisions to a systematic review that I’ve been working on for ages (it kind of got sidetracked as my co-author, who is normally in Australia, went to Zimbabwe for a while and didn’t have much access to the net**). It’s due later this week and I’m hoping there aren’t too many revisions (although I’ve had the reviewer’s comments for a week, I got sidetracked with my health and haven’t really looked at them up until now). There really is no rest for the wicked.

*not that that stopped a co-worker from Googling me and finding my blog!

**kind of like Field, BC.

***fortunately now it is just stomach pains that come and go, and no nausea or vomitting since that one time last Sunday.

****Had he suggested a trial period of caffeine elimination from my diet to test if that was causing trouble, I might have been willing to play along. But telling me to never have caffeine EVER AGAIN (which is what he said to do) and being completely dismissive of the fact that I’m experiencing withdrawl symptoms did not impress me in the least. I mean, I have tags for “coffee,” “tea” and “diet pop” on my blog… I think I just might be a caffeine addict!

*****I can’t go to Student Health anymore, as I’m not a student. =(


Thoughts on my day:

  • because there was a chance that I might have to stay late for a meeting this evening, I decided to get up early* to go for a run before work as I didn’t want to run in the dark after getting home late. Apparently someone is unfamiliar with the concept of “spring forward.” I got up at 6:30 a.m. and it was pitch fucking black. But, being the resourceful person that I am, I decided to have my breakfast/make my lunch/do the dishes/pack my bag for work before I ran, thus giving it time to get light out. And I got into work by 9:30 am, which is half an hour earlier than I had expected to.
  • Apparently there is a reason that “free coffee” isn’t a listed benefit. I discovered today that apparently the kitchenette on my floor has a coffee maker that is just for show. My hallmates** informed me, when I inquired about the coffee making situation, that “it’s just for desperation” and the coffee maker in the main office, three floors below us, is much better… well, you would have to be quite desperate, not to mention very creative, to make coffee on our floor, as there are coffee filters, but no coffee***. So I went to the main office for my morning coffee, but their coffee maker is quite small and since I’m sure that satisfying my coffee dependency by continually making pots of it is not in any of the support staff’s job descriptions, when I required an afternoon caffeine jolt****, I made the trip to Timmy Ho’s. It’s a long, convoluted, subterranean route to the Timmy’s… a series of tubes, if you will, not unlike the internets.
  • I’m hoping that walking through said series of tubes to Timmy’s, as well as taking the stairs up and down to my 6th floor office a few times a day will counteract the nonstop sitting and snacking that comes along with a computer-based office job, so that I won’t gain 50 lbs a minute.
  • I’m listening to the Canucks game on the radio as I compose this posting and this brings up two things: (a) I saw on their website that the Canucks have called up relative cutie Nathan Smith from the Manitoba Moose, and (b) the Canucks are playing the Wild and I can’t hear Shorty or Larscheid say the name “Carney” without giggling. I keep picturing a carnie rather than Carney.
  • while waiting for the bus this morning I learned that, apparently, Matt (whoever Matt may be) is ripped and has 3 nipples and someone else “luvs to spooge”:
  • After two days at work, I’m interesting in learning how the hell anyone gets anything done when they are working 8 hours a day on things unrelated to blogging and emailing? Anyone have any idea?

*Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are.
**Is that a word?
***There’s instant, but I won’t dignify that by calling it coffee. Hey, does anyone remember the brief period when Tetley made instant tea? What was up with that?
****as my early afternoon diet Pepsi just wasn’t cutting it.

{January 11, 2007}   Cozy

Is there anything better than sitting at home, drinking a nice hot cup of tea, listening to the radio where everyone is calling in talking about being stuck in traffic because of this unexpected blizzard* we are having? 30 car pile up** here, traffic backed up for hours there. Apparently the RCMP have issued a statement about the driving conditions saying, “It’s not pretty.” Cars are sliding everywhere, everyone is cold, and you are toasty warm and cosy?

OK, I’m back. As I was writing that, my landlord came downstairs*** and asked if I would mind shoveling the steps for him. My landlords are older and can’t really do that sort of thing. And it really isn’t safe for them to walk on snowy, icy steps, so I said I would be happy to. Serves me right for bragging about my toasty warmness. Fortunately, the snow is that not heavy and, seeing as I was never made to shovel snow as a kid and have spent the last 12 years living in apartments where I haven’t need to shovel snow, it’s still novel to me and so I enjoy it.

Now, I’m actually going to head out into the snow, so I can see the carnage first hand. I’ll bring my camera.

*I went for a run earlier in the day, but it was just a light snowfall and it was actually quite pleasant to run in.

**In truth, it was probably a 3 car pile up, but you know how people like to exaggerate things.

**I live in a basement suite, FYI.

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.

When we last left our heroine*, she was stuck in the world of detox diet, eating apples and rice cakes and totally jonesing for a diet Pepsi. Before I started the detox, I thought that the whole idea was bunk. After having tried it, I’m thinking it’s bunk. On the plus side, it kept me off the sauce for 12 whole days. Also on the plus side, we made some wicked delicious foods.

Now, my roommate and I are totally foodies. We once spent an entire evening at her friend Sheila’s place talking about nutrition and trading recipes. We once made her little brother walk around a grocery store while we read nutrition labels on all the food packages… for fun**. So we spent our 12 days of detox coming up with new and exciting dishes. I felt like I spent the better part of the week chopping vegetables, as seen here:

But check out how good these foods look!

Green beans, carrots and almonds. Seven-layer veggie casserole. You know you are jealous.

And even crepes made with spelt! And roasted apples, pears & berries!

By the end of the 12 days, I was pretty much just sticking to the program out of sheer stubbornness***. But I did it – 12 days with no black tea, no alcohol, no added sugar or salt, no bread products, no mushrooms, no tropical fruit and no sweet sweet diet Pepsi. At 12:07 am on Saturday, I ate a dark chocolate Turtle**** to celebrate the end of the detox. Saturday morning meant a trip to Cobs Bread for breakfast. And a Timmy Ho coffee. But the big retoxification began at dinner… as you may recall, the retox plan involved Nevermind, a portobello mushroom burger and a bellini served in a fishbowl. Apparently Nevermind didn’t receive the memo. My hopes were dashed when the cute waiter told me, “the bellini isn’t frozen.” So I had to make due with a Surfer on Acid*****, a Jail Bait******, a Strongbow cider and, of course, the precious precious beer, courtesy of Taylor Pyatt. Unfortunately, he didn’t actually purchase said beer himself. For you see, he was playing hockey at the time. And I was watching said hockey game on the big ass screens they have a Nevermind. In addition to big ass screens, Nevermind also has a “player of the game.” And if said “player of the game” scores a goal, everyone in the bar gets a free beer. And guess who was the “player of the game”? And guess who scored a goal? That’s right, Taylor Pyatt contributed to my retoxification, and he hasn’t even met me. Yet.

You can see me drinking my Taylor Pyatt beer and gazing intently at Taylor Pyatt here:

*not our herion.

**her little brother most definitely disagreed with us on the funness level of this activity.

***I have been known to be somewhat stubborn. In fact, when my PhD supervisor was considering taking me into her lab, she called my MSc supervisor to ask what I was like. Apparently he told her I was stubborn. Fortunately, she considered this to be a good thing and took me in anyway.

****We were watching Into the Blue at Kalev’s house and he generously donated a Turtle to the cause as I had left the Ferrero Rochers that I bought for just this purpose at my house, thinking the movie would be over and I would be home well before midnight. Thanks Kalev!

*****While this link to will tell you that a Surfer on Acid is Jäg, Malibu & pineapple juice, a Surfer on Acid at Nevermind also includes Red Bull. And you know how I feel about Red Bull and Jäg.

******or two. You know how I love jail bait. I can’t seem to find a link to a recipe for Jail Bait anywhere on the internets. I google searched “jail bait drink,” but you can imagine how that turned out. A Jail Bait at Nevermind was Stoli Razberi, peach liqueur and 7up. Good times.

{October 24, 2006}  

Once upon a time, I defended a Ph.D. And at that time, some wicked cool awesome people gave me some money to buy myself a digital camera in celebration of said defence. Well, I’ve finally gotten off my butt, done some research and figured out which digicam I wanted. And I bought it on the internets, which was actually cheaper than buying it in a nonline store. Isn’t it beautiful?

And here is the first photo that I took with my new camera*:

Note: I’m still waiting on the high speed memory card that I ordered to go with the camera, so there is a bit of a delay between the time I press the button and the time at which the camera actually takes the picture. Just enough time that one’s roommate might lift her cup of tea up in front of her face, for example.

In other news, I’ve surpassed the 10,000 hit mark on my blog! Now, I know that some of you hit the 10,000 marks AGES ago. Some get 10,000 hits a day. But I’m still happy with my 10,000+ hits and I thought I’d give a shoutout to the lurkers who read my blog but never comment** and to the randoms who stumble onto this blog accidentally… those people who I only know come around here thanks to my trusty StatCounter. Like the person from Nice, France who was googling for “sarah mautalen”… I’m sorry you wasted 24 seconds on my blog, I don’t know who Sarah Mautalen is. To the chap from merry old England who googled “Oilers gong show” – I couldn’t agree more***. And to the person from Nanaimo, BC who was googling “picutres of Leanne Domi,” – yes, she does, in fact, look like Belinda Stronach’s twin… glad I could be of some assistance in your search. To the individual in Switzerland who googled “shoes destroy” – I just don’t even know what to say to you! And to the person from Surrey, BC who wants to know if Taylor Pyatt is married…. he is. He’s married to me and I am having his babies – so back off!

And, finally, I have been remiss!! It is now October 24th and I haven’t yet posted a birthday wish to Therese! And her birthday was October 22nd!! I suck!!! Fortunately, she was off galvanting in England, so hopefully did not notice my remiss-ness. So now, I offer you 30 birthday wishes:

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Happy Birthday, Therese!
Happy Birthday, Therese!

Yay! It was Therese’s Birthday!

Hope you had a great day, EZ-T!

*The popping of my camera’s cherry, if you will.

**You should comment, dammit! All the cool kids are doing it!

***Unless you had googled “Calgary Flames gong show”… then I could agree more!

{May 16, 2006}   I Want Cookies

It’s past 3 am and I’m still up working*. I am bound and determined that I will have my chapters 2 and 3 finished and sent to my supervisor before I go to bed. I’m almost done proofreading chapter 2 and then will proofread chapter 3… which means I probably won’t actually go to bed tonight, as I actually do have to get up and go to campus tomorrow morning. And for someone who has spent the majority of the past week wearing her PJs and chained to her computer into the wee hours of the morning, that will actually be a little weird, having somewhere else that I actually have to be. This is the state of my life right now. Two words: gong show.

Earlier this evening I was totally jonesing for some tea and, to my chagrin, I had run out of soymilk. And I just can’t abide tea without soymilk. Or at least regular milk. Some kind of proteinaceous milk-like substance, of which I had none. So I made the trek to the grocery store, got my soymilk (which was on sale! Go Safeway!), lugged it all the way home, and by the time I got home, I was too hot for tea and decided to have a diet Pepsi instead. I told you, my life right now = gong show.

However, now it is many hours later and the desire for tea reared its ugly head, but this time I was prepared for it! So now I am sitting here, writing this blog, drinking my tea with soymilk and totally jonesing for some cookies! Did I think to get cookies when I was at the store? No, of course I didn’t!

Oh yea, I should probably also let you know that the few times I’ve found excuses** to leave my dank, mouldy basement apartment during the hours in which the sun is shining over the last few days, I have worn my new shoes! And they are spectacular! I LITERALLY stopped traffic in those shoes. LITERALLY! I was waiting to the cross the street (not at a crosswalk) and a car stopped, right in the middle of the street, the driver gesturing for me to cross the street as if to say “let me stop here so I can take a good look at those spectacular shoes!” And a woman on a patio*** at a restaurant on Broadway that I walked by stared at my shoes — she actually turned her head to continue looking at my feet as I passed by… it was pretty funny. Oh yes, I think I’m going to enjoy wearing these shoes all summer long!

Update: It’s 5:24 am and I just emailed chapters 2 and 3 to my supervisor! Woo hoo!

*OK, so by virtue of the fact that I am writing this posting, I am not, in fact, actually working. But I have been working and will return to working once I finish this post. I just needed to give my brain a wee break and thought that spilling all the random thoughts in my head out into cyberspace might be a good way to do that.

**Excuses like, my printer ran out of ink and I must buy more. Or, I must have a bag of chips RIGHT NOW!!

***Vancouverites are ecstatic that patio weather has finally arrived!

et cetera