Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

By

It’s time for a bulleted list!

As usual, I have so many things I’d like to blog about and so little time, mostly because all of the aforementioned things taking up all of my time1. So, in the interest of getting all these things out of my brain, I give you this brain dump in the form of a bulleted list:

  • After a year and a half, all the hard work of the organizing committee (of which I was a member as a program co-chair) led to a highly successful Canadian Evaluation Society conference at the start of May. I’ll be writing up more specifics on the conference content on my other blog2, but I do have to say that I am so happy that the conference was extremely well attended and everything went off without a hitch. And also that I’m relieved to have a lot fewer meetings in my calendar going forward!
  • The week before the conference my team and I had to make a surprise move to a temporary new office space3. It’s just four blocks from my old office space, but it’s surprising how many new restaurants there are to discover that I never realized were so close by4! Also, one of my coworkers brought a breakfast sandwich maker to the new office and now I live in heaven.Breakfast sandwich maker
  • The temporary new space in which I’m working lacks a phone, so work is getting me a Blackberry. So now I live in 2006. Even more sadly, Pokémon Go is not available on BB (at least not in a very functional state from what I’ve read) (or else I’d be able to double my productivity when it comes to evolution binges when I have a Lucky Egg!).
  • Speaking of Pokémon, I have caught all of the Pokémon from the initial release in Pokémon Go that are available to catch in North America, plus the Australia-specific one5 + all the babies. The last of the originals that I caught was the one I wanted the most: this Flying Spaghetti Monster Pokémon: Tangela
  • Of course, before I caught all the originals, Niantic released a bunch more Pokémon, so I still haven’t caught them all! I have caught a fair number, including this tree: Pokémon
    This communist6 teddy bear: Pokémon and this thing that really needs to pee (both male and female editions. You can tell she’s a girl because she’s wearing lipstick) UntitledUntitled
  • And one more thing about Pokémon. Among the new group of Pokémon that were release, there were two that allowed me to test the question of “If there were a Pokemon that looked like a spider, would my fear of spiders or my love of catching Pokémon win?”
    Pokémon
    Pokémon Given that I’ve caught 151 Spinaraks and 15 Ariados, I think I have my answer.
  • I took a sewing class with Cath and Stephanie as my thing that I learned in April (towards my goal of learning 12 new things this year). There’s a whole blog posting on that which I have partway written, so stay tuned! I’ve also learned something new in May, so that will be another blog post!
  • I’m co-teaching a class in the summer intersession (read: a 12 week course that’s taught in 6 weeks, so I’m extra glad to be co-teaching it!). I don’t really have anything to say about it, but it’s taking up a bunch of my time, so I thought I should probably include it in this laundry list of random things.
  • I’m still loving Strong Side! I’ve just started my third program. The first program was 5 weeks of building a foundation, then there was 5 weeks of hypertrophy (i.e., building muscle), and my new program is 5 weeks of intensity that is probably going to kill me. I’ve only done the instructional week, where the trainers teach you all the exercises in your new program, but you don’t have to do nearly as many sets as the following four weeks. Thursday is my first day on my own for this program where I will have to do eleventy billion sets of all kinds of things that will surely make me exhausted. But I can really see some significant improvements in strength since I started going there, so I’m going to trust the program!
  • There was a provincial election in BC on May 9 and it ended up in a hung parliament. The BC “Liberals” (which I put in scare quotes because the party that goes by the name “BC Liberals” are not liberal at all – they are conservative) won, on the initial counting of the ballots on election night, 43 seats in the legislature m, which is one seat shy of a majority. However, there are more than 170,000 absentee ballots that weren’t counted on election night and some ridings had very slim margins that could easily flip based on absentee ballots – including one riding where the NDP won by just 9 votes! They’ve started the count of the absentee ballots and the NDP are now up by 101 votes in that riding, but there are still more that have to be counted tomorrow, so it’s still possible that the “Liberals” could win that one. If that flips to the BC “Liberals” and none of the other ridings change hands, there will be a majority government and things will continue on as they were before the election, but with fewer MLAs in the ruling party7. But if everything stays the same as the election night results, or if seats flip to the NDP, we could end up with BC “Liberal” minority or, if more seats flip to the NDP, we could end up with an NDP minority, and in either minority scenario, the Green Party holds the balance of power. Needless to say, we’ll be waiting with baited breath for those absentee ballots to be counted!
  1. In fact, as I’ve sat down to take these notes from my phone, where I’ve been writing this blog posting in bits and pieces on my Skytrain commute, I noticed that I haven’t posted anything March 31 and it’s somehow the end of May now!! []
  2. Which I am sure are far too boring for anyone to want to read! []
  3. I actually have two offices and to clarify, this is for my non-hospital office. []
  4. I bring my lunch to work most days, so it will take me awhile to try all the ones I want to try []
  5. I caught the kangaroo one that you can only catch in Australia when I was there last fall. I did not catch the Asian one when I was in Hong Kong (due to not having a data plan and there being very limited free wifi around) and I haven’t been to Europe since Pokémon Go started. Clearly I need to book a European vacation! []
  6. I keep calling that bear a communist because the crescent on his reminds me of the sickle on the Soviet flag. Scott thinks it’s more of a Turkish teddy bear. []
  7. Unless a BC Liberal MLA dies, crosses the floor, or resigns due to a scandal, and a riding is subsequently lost in a by-election. []

By

I *Never* Run Into People I Know

When my mom and sister were visiting, I said  “I *never* run into people I know”, which I always find surprising because I feel like I know a lot of people1 And, of course, about 3 minutes after I said that, as we were walking across Pacific Boulevard, a driver stopped at the light starts yelling my name. It was a former coworker of mine who just happened to be driving by. “So, what’s that about never running into people you know?” my sister said.

Since that time, I’ve been constantly running into people I know. This includes, in no particular order:

  • a former colleague from my previous job, who also has a new job in the same area of Vancouver as me, who happened to be on the 84 bus when I was taking the 84 bus
  • another former colleague who was walking down 8th Ave while I was walking the other direction on 8th Ave
  • a friend of a friend who was running west along the seawall by Olympic Village as I was running east
  • my friend Alicia who was sitting outside of Whole Foods while I was walking past on my way from work to Canada Line2
  • a professional colleague who was walking past a restaurant patio I was sitting on while having a beer with a friend
  • my boyfriend’s brother-in-law’s aunt, who I met at a recent family function, while taking the elevator at work3
  • two of my MBA classmates, who were in a pub that I was in with some friends before our book club meeting

That’s 9 people4 in less than 5 weeks! I don’t know how often other people randomly run into people they know, but I feel like I probably didn’t randomly run into 9 people that I know in the previous 5 years!

Extremely tangentially related: This song just popped into my head and now I can’t get it out.

  1. I have friends and acquaintances from 6 years of PhD school – including tonnes of people I met through the science outreach that I did – plus from 8 years of working in three different health organizations and from several hockey teams – and from playing in the 10-day long hockey game (where there were 40 players and dozens upon dozens of volunteers) – and a surprising number of people from blogging and then the 49 other people who I did my MBA with (plus profs and staff at the b-school) and then I know a bunch of friends groups of some of my friends. I’m one of the most extroverted extroverts who ever extroverted. []
  2. What was extra funny about that was that I hadn’t seen in her ages until the day before this, when we had gone paddle boarding. So it was funny to run into her the very next day! []
  3. This one wasn’t super surprising, as we’d discovered that we work in the same building while chatting at said family function; really, the surprising part was when we discovered we work in the same building. []
  4. And I feel like there might be more that I’m forgetting! []

By

Random Things I’ve Been Thinking About in No Particular Order

Here are some things that are too long to tweet, but too short to make into whole blog postings on their own.

I like to be annoying

One of my favourite things to do when I play hockey is to screen the goalie. I like to get right in her way so she can’t see, which means that when one of my teammates gets the puck, they can take a shot and the goalie will have a hard time seeing it (and I’m also right there to pick up a rebound, should one occur). Obviously goalies don’t like this and they often call their defenceman to come and move me out of the way, which is, to their surprise, difficult, since I’m so little. My little size is misleading though, because they totally think they should be able to move me, but since I have a low centre of gravity, I’m harder to move than you’d think. Which then means there’s both me and the defenceman who is trying to move me screening the goalie. The more the goalie and/or defenceman expresses their frustration, the more I know I’m doing a good job, and so it only encourages me to do it more. Anyway, I recently realized that I have an office equivalent of this – arguing with one of my coworkers for the sake of arguing. Things we’ve argued over recently include (1) this study (which he holds up as a reason to not to go out running – and to warn me that I’m probably going to die when I go out for a run on my lunch (he also enjoys being annoying) and I provide a critique of the methodological issues with the paper that makes me question the conclusions) and (2) what time of day does “evening” start.

The Bus Lane Bandit

One of my other coworkers got his first ever ticket – it was for driving in a bus lane. He was in an area he’d never driven before and he didn’t notice the bus lane sign and he was very offended that the cop didn’t just let him off with a warning. I have now dubbed this coworker “The Bus Lane Bandit” and refer to this incident as his “crime spree.”

Google Translate

I am currently working on the revisions to a journal article for which one of the reviewers suggested a few papers that I might find helpful to refer to in my paper – and one of those articles was in French, which, of course, I can’t actually read (beyond some basic high school French I learned more than 20 years ago). So I put the paper through Google Translate and was mostly able to get the gist of the paper, but there were some obvious errors. One such error was Google’s translation of a subheading in the paper that read: “Rencontres après les entrevues semi-­dirigées”. Based on my understanding of the journal article, this should be translated to “Meeting after the semi-structured interviews”, as that section of the paper talked about a meeting that was held after the researchers conducted semi-structured interviews. Instead, Google translates it to this:

Which has a whole other connotation entirely.

Another error I came across in Google translate is its translation of “I love my cats” into French. If you ask Google to translate just “I love” it gives you the correct “j’aime”. “Je” means “I” and “aime” means love and since “aime” starts with a vowel, you replace the “e” in “je” with an apostrophe to get “j’aime.”

But when you ask Google to translate “I love my cats”, you get “Je aime mes chats”.

Why Google Translate gets it right in the first instance but not in the second instance is a mystery to me. And it doesn’t matter what word you put at the end of the sentence – you can ask it to translate “I love my frogs”, “I love my mom,” or “I love job”, it still gives you the incorrect “Je aime”1. It also gives you “Je te aime” instead of “Je t’aime” for the translation of “I love you.” WTF, Google?

Octopus!

And finally, I saw this over on The Bloggess’ blog and it is the coolest thing in the history of ever:

  1. And I did check this with Daniel, who speaks French, to make sure that this isn’t some weird quirk of the French language – it’s actually that Google is crazy. []

By

This and That

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Well, not “beginning”, so much, as I actually put up my tree at the end of November.

IMG_0340

Kitties checking out the pieces of the Christmas tree before I assemble it.

Christmas Tree

I like the way my windows surrounding the tree reflect the lights. Not shown in the picture, but my big TV also reflects the lights, so it kind of looks like I have a forest of Christmas trees in my living room, all from one tree. So efficient!

But I also added a few extra Christmas decorations to the mix – specifically, I made a wreath (item #83 on my 101 list)1 and I got stockings for the kitties, since the frogs have stockings and I didn’t want Watson & Crick to feel left out.

IMG_0385

Watson checking out all the pieces before I assembled my wreath. He ended up covered in glitter.

My first wreath

My wreath!

Stockings

Stockings! From Left to right: Crick’s, Watson’s, mine, Copernicus the Third’s, Timbit’s, Tyrion Froggister’s, and Raspberry’s stockings.

Speaking of the kitties, for some reason they thought that the tree was delicious, and spent the first week or so that I had it up trying to eat the branches. Watson also decided that most of the ornaments were toys that were to be swatted out of the tree. Happily, he got bored of this after about a week, so my patience at taking ornaments that I found in various locations around my apartment – he liked to carry the ornaments around for a tour of the place before dropping them off in, say, the bathroom – and returning them to their rightful place on the tree eventually won out.

My big goal for 2015

So, I’ve said many times that my goal is to break the 2 hour mark on a half marathon. And then just as many times I’ve half assed my training and not met my goal. So I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t believe me when I said that I’m planning to break the 2 hour mark on the half marathon at BMO Vancouver marathon in May. But this time I’m really, really going stick to it. I’m good at doing the long runs in training so I can go the distance, but this time I’m going to do the hill training and interval training that are required to ramp up my speed to break that elusive 2 hour finish time. I’m emboldened by setting a personal best at the 10 km in November and I’m well past the MBA hangover that still lingered during my training for the 2014 half marathons in April and June.

Groupon-Based Fitness Planning

A long, long time ago I got a Groupon for the West Coast Hot Yoga studio in South Surrey and I loved it. I went virtually every morning before work and I was so alert after starting my day with some deep stretching and core work and so much sweating. Sadly, regular priced hot yoga is too expensive for my blood and, besides, I moved too far away from that South Surrey studio to be practical anyway. Since then, I’ve tried two other yoga studios via Groupon (or one of those other deal sites – I can never remember which one I’ve bought which deal on), both in New West, neither of which I liked. The first one to Bamboo yoga, and I didn’t really love the studio itself (it felt like being in a warehouse) or the instructors, and the second was Bikram New West (which very soon after became Hot Yoga New West) and I hated having to do the exact. same. routine. every. single. time. Plus some of the instructors were really militant, which I understand is intentional with Bikram, but which is totally not my thing. I guess it has been long enough since that experience though, because I’ve gone back to the Groupon well and got a one month of unlimited hot yoga at Oxygen yoga studio in New West. I figured that I could spend a month de-tensifying my muscles and working on core strength and balance and then I’ll be in tip-top shape when I start my half marathon training in January.

Speaking of which, I just bought a Groupon for a half marathon training clinic run by FitFirst in Burnaby, the same place as I did the running study I was in. I really enjoyed the clinics they ran for that study – the group running atmosphere is lots of fun and it basically means that I’ll always have people to do my long runs with. Long runs get very boring when you have to do them by yourself, so despite the fact that this means I won’t get to sleep in on any Sundays (as it runs every Sunday morning) from Jan 18 until BMO race day, I think I’ll be happy on the whole that I signed up for the clinic.

And speaking of good deals…

When I left my old job, one of the things I left behind was unlimited massage therapy in my health benefits plan. Being a hockey player, a runner, and a person who sits hunched over a computer all day at work, I made good use of that particular benefit to deal with my various muscles tightness and such. My new job, while amazing in many ways, has a much more limited amount of massage therapy benefits and since my 2014 limit was all used up2, I’ve needed to seek out a more affordable option to meet my massage therapy needs. Enter: the West Coast College of Massage Therapy. This school, which trains aspiring registered massage therapists, runs a clinic where students get to practice, under supervision of a fully qualified RMT, and where clients can get a therapeutic massage for a fraction of the cost. The cost is $40 for an hour long appointment – though only 40 mins of that is massage, with the rest being taken up by assessment before the massage and teaching you stretches to do at home after the massage – compared to $100 for a 1 hr massage with a fully qualified RMT. And as an added bonus, during December if you donate 4 or mor items to the Food Bank at your visit, your massage only cost $20! Everybody wins!

  1. Where by “made” I mean I bought the green wreath and then attached sparkly things I bought at the craft store to said wreath. Notice the drum at the top – I picked that one because it made me think of The Little Drummer Boy, which was my Dad’s favourite Christmas song. []
  2. Since the benefits plans of my old and new employer, despite being different plans, are somehow linked up in Pacific Blue Cross’ system, so they actually counted the massages I claimed under my old plan in 2014 under my new plan, which meant that my small massage allotment in my new plan was all used before I even started my new job! []

By

Happy BC Family Day

Today was a stat holiday in BC. Family Day to be specific. It’s only the second year we’ve had it and, I must say, it’s really nice to have a 3-day weekend in February. Especially because I had a 10:30 pm hockey game last night and it is sooo hard to get up in the morning after those late games. Actually, this weekend was pretty glorious in that I got to sleep in all three days! One of the things I hadn’t thought about when I joined the 12-week running study was that it meant I’d have to get up early every Sunday for 3 months to get to the group run! Now that the running study is over, my weekend running will be with my friend Alicia, training for the Hollywood Half, but at the moment we are doing those as Saturday afternoon runs ((As we get closer to the race, we’ll start doing more early morning runs, as the race starts at 6 am and we don’t want that to be a total shock to our bodies!), so sleeping in on the weekends is the name of the game.

Surprisingly, the kitties generally don’t wake me up to feed them – though Watson was meowing and meowing and meowing yesterday morning *after* I’d already gotten up (late) to feed them and then tried to go back to bed because did I mention how much I love to sleep? I never did figure out what he was meowing about, as they’d been fed, and had water and clean litter. What else could a kitty want?

Usually, though they don’t wake me up, when they hear me get up they come running into the bedroom (if they aren’t there already) to tell me they want breakfast, but this morning when I got up, they didn’t come in at all – so I went out to the living room and they were sitting side-by-side on the couch! It was so adorable and I turned to grab my camera, but they both dove off the couch and came running after me, because breakfast.

So yeah, I’m trying to remember if I actually had a point when I started writing this posting, but I don’t think I did. Instead, check out this photo of my kitties!

IMG_5123

And this video of my froggies!

By

Nothing To See Here

I didn’t have time to write anything new and exciting here because I spent my evening (a) running around a track over and over again as part of the running study I’m in and (b) writing over on my other blog. As part of my digital marketing class, I have to write at least 5 blog postings1 on my “professional” blog2. I’d already written up three (one on brain science, an interview with Tod Maffin from engageQ, and an interview with Dr. Dan from Farm to Fork). So tonight I wrote up two more – one that I just posted and another that I’ll post tomorrow after I proofread it. And I’ve got one more in my brain that I just need to type out3 before Friday (which is our deadline to have postings up on our blogs for the prof to mark). All this to say, you should go check out my other blog if you are looking for something to read, though if you are looking for pictures of hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats, you will be greatly disappointed.

  1. Because even though I’m done going to classes, I still have some assignments to wrap up. []
  2. For a “professional blog”, you have to actually do research and write something that adds value to the world, rather than just posting pictures of cats or hot hockey players with no shirts on or hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats. Please tell me there are photos on the internets of hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats… OK, I just Googled “hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats” and there are NO photos of hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats – at least not in the first few screens of the Google Image search results and, as I learned in my digital marketing class, nobody looks beyond the first few screens of any Google search results because we are all lazy. At any rate, clearly this is a blue ocean in the market and some entrepreneur should really get on that. []
  3. Since the app that reads my mind and types up the blog postings and various other brilliant ideas in my brain has still yet to be developed. Another blue ocean for you entrepreneurs out there! []

By

This and That and The Other

Where does the time go? I keep thinking about things I want to blog about, but then suddenly 9 days go by and I haven’t blogged a thing! I can give you all the usual excuses – work is busy, school is busy, being on my own means I now have to do all my chores for myself… but blah, blah, blah. Whatevs. I’m here now and in an attempt to get all the things I’ve been meaning to blog about out of my head, here’s a rapid fire blog posting of All The Things.

In The Latest Froggy News:

The final two frogs do, in fact, have names. As you may recall, I named three of my five new frogs: Copernicus the Second, Froggymodo, and Apricot. The final two frogs are named Count Frogula1 and Beyoncé2.

In the Trying To Be Healthy Department:

MayHealth is going swimmingly. It’s actually been quite helpful to me to be organized on these two tasks – meal planning and laying out my outfits for the week on Sunday – as I now don’t feel stressed out having to make these two simple decisions every day. Plus, my meals are much healthier when I actually plan them out, because I’ve given some thought to making them balanced, as opposed to making a decision solely based on BETH HUNGRY!

Training for my half marathon in June is also coming along. Due to the aforementioned omg-I’m-so-busy, I’ve really only been doing the long runs on the weekend, and maybe one other short run during the week. So I’m not expecting to break any records, but I’m sure I’ll be able to finish! I’ve done the last several long runs with Alicia, which has been awesome, because (a) it’s really nice to have company when you have to run for ~2 hours, and (b) Alicia is in much better shape than me, so I’m having to push myself to try to keep up for as long as I can. I’m not really great at pushing myself, so I need the extra inspiration!

In the Things-I-Missed Department:

Yesterday was my car-iversary! Little Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car is 4 years old3! They grow up so quickly.

In the Distraction Department:

Dr. Cath, when we were out for dinner and beers and absolutely no other reason whatsoever the other night, introduced me to an app called Rando. The idea behind the app is that you take a photo and Rando sends it off to some random person in the world who also uses the app. For every photo you send, you get one in return from some random person in the world. If said random agreed to have their location revealed, you will get to see where in the world that photo came from too. So far, I seem to be getting a lot of photos from South Korea, though I’ve also gotten ones from Texas, Brazil, and Paraguay.

In The Knocking Goals Off My List Department:

I’ve been slacking on some of my goals for the year, so to make myself feel better about that, I decided to use my May Health meal planning to help me work on my “make 10 new meals I’ve never made before” goal. So I actually made two new things I’d never made before last week alone! First, I made lamb shoulder chops on a George Foreman grill. Since I was being all organized and planning ahead, I even marinaded the lamb for 24 hours first. It was delicious. Next I made some bison stew! It was OK – the bison ended up a bit tougher than I would have liked and I thought that the stew itself could have been more flavourful (though putting in a bit of extra Worcestershire sauce gave it a nice little kick).

In the Colour-Me-Surprised Department:

There are some condos going up across the road from me and based on the drawings of what the building was supposed to look like, I thought that they were restoring the facade of the old ~ 6 story building that was there and then building a giant glass tower on top4. But apparently not, because they’ve completely demolished the whole building:

Untitled

I’m hoping that they are going to at least build it to look like the old building, because I quite like how this neighbourhood looks, with the classic old buildings along the street.

On the plus side, for the moment at least, I have a much better riverview than I used to!

In the Ongoing Saga of My Teeth:

I just realized that I haven’t updated y’all on my teeth situation. The last time I mentioned them, I’d just gotten my prototype crowns and veneer and was soliciting your opinion on them. The next step was to go back to the dentist and tell her the things I didn’t like, which she then fixed5, so now my teeth are beautiful! Except they are still prototypes, as she had to take impressions of them to send off to a lab in Quebec, where they will make exact replicas of these beautiful teeth, except out of porcelain, which I have to go back to the dentist to have cemented onto my tooth stubs.

My appointment to get this done isn’t until next week and it’s super annoying because the prototypes are held in with “temporary” cement, which isn’t super-duper strong. A few days after my appointment to fix up the prototypes, the veneer fell off. The veneer pretty much just looks like a press-on fingernail, which gets “pressed on” to your tooth which has been shaved down a bit so that the veneer doesn’t stick out past your other teeth, so there’s not a lot of surface area to do the cementing (as opposed to crowns, which cover the entire tooth stump, so there’s tonnes of surface area). The day it happened my dentist was at a conference in Seattle because dental emergencies only happen when your dentist is out of town, and I had to call around to find a dentist whose office was open on a Friday afternoon and who could take a random stranger in to fix their tooth. I found one and she glued my veneer back on… which then fell off again about three hours later, even though I was being very careful and not biting with my front teeth or anything. She glued it on again the next morning and that time it lasted about 6 hours. At that point, I gave up on her as a lost cause, spent Sunday without a veneer6 and went to my own dentist first thing Monday morning. She glued it back on with some slightly stronger temporary cement, which held it on for 8 days. She glued it on yet again and, knock on wood, it seems to be holding up7. Ever since the first time it fell off, I’ve been very carefully not to eat anything that require biting with my front teeth – I just cut everything up with a knife and fork and put it in my mouth on the opposite side to the veneer, all the way back to my molars. On the plus side, I’m eating less because eating has become so very annoying, which is helping me with my weight loss goal. Also, I can’t bite my nails, so my nails are actually growing quite nicely. Poor tooth structure = everybody wins! (I’m sure as soon as I get my permenant crowns and veneers next week, it will all go back to the way it was before, and I’ll have my nails bitten down and gain back the little weight I’ve managed to lose!)

In the I Haven’t Been on a Proper Vacation in More Than Three Year Department:

This is a biggie and probably deserves its own blog posting, but who knows when I’m going to get back on here, so I figured I’d better say it now. I haven’t been on a proper vacation since I went to the Dominican Republic back in January 2010! I mean, I’ve been on road trips and I’ve been to Toronto (and Montreal) to visit my family several times since then, but I haven’t been on a real fly-to-somewhere-and-see-the-sights kind of trip. And, as I’ve lamented before, I’ve never left the continent. But all of that is about to change! I’ve booked off three weeks in August and, thanks in large part to a very nice tax return this year, I’m using that time to go to Europe! First stop will be four days in London, England, where I will be hanging out with my mom and two of my aunts, before we hop over to Dublin for our 11-day tour of Ireland! I’m Irish on my mom’s side, so I think it will be fantastic to explore our roots together! After that, my mom and aunts are heading back home, but I’d staying on an extra week. I haven’t yet booked what I’ll be doing during that time, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to go to Greece and relax on the beach. Because after two weeks of running around doing all sorts of touristy things, a week of relaxing in the extreme heat some like just what the doctor ordered.

So, yeah, that’s some stuff that I’ve been meaning to blog about since forever. And now I’m up past my bedtime and will probably regret staying up to write this when the morning comes. But it’s Friday AND it’s a long weekeend! Now I’m off to hit the hay!

  1. Name courtesy of Dr. Dan, who earned the honour of being Count Frogula’s godfather for coming up with such a cromulent name. []
  2. To clarify, she was named after the performer and not the giant metal chicken. I feel the need to clarify, as I have been asked which of those two she was named after. *cough* Dr. Cath *cough* []
  3. She’s also fully paid off, which is pretty kick ass. []
  4. Which is how most of the buildings in my ‘hood are built, including the one I live in. []
  5. She just put some extra acrylic here and some extra acrylic there to add a bit of length to the ones that were too short and fill in the gap I didn’t like – and voila! []
  6. Translation: Hiding away from civilization so no one could see my horribleness. (OK, it actually wasn’t that bad, because it’s not like the hideous tooth stumps that are under my crowns. It’s just a bit too short and a bit far back compared to the other teeth and I don’t open my mouth wide when I talk or smile, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. But still). []
  7. It’s totally going to fall off again, now that I’ve said that. []

By

Why Is There No Collective Term for Nieces and Nephews?

I have one niece and one nephew. Why is there no word in the English language that would allow for me to refer to them together?

If you have a brother (or brothers) and a sister (or sisters), you can call them your siblings. If you have a mom and a dad, you can call them your parents. There’s lots of words to refer to your son(s) and daughter(s) collectively – they can be called your children, your kids, your offspring, your progeny, or your spawn1. But there’s nothing for “nieces and nephews”2!

I went to the all-knowing Google with this important question, and it turns out that (a) I’m not the only person pondering this deficiency of the English language, and (b) there’s been a word coined for this, though it doesn’t seem to have yet caught on: “niblings” (based on “sibling”).

I can’t decide if I like this word. I mean, it conveniently sums up what I want to sum up – a collection of at least one niece and one nephew – but it also sounds like you want to have them for a snack. Thoughts?

  1. Apparently you can also call them your scions (thank you, thesaurus!), but I’m pretty sure if you did no one would know what the hell you were talking about! []
  2. Similarly, there’s no collective word for “aunts and uncles”. []

By

Odd Thing To Write On A Box

Don’t ask me why I was reading the writing on the back of the box that the vacuum cleaner replacement filter came in, but today when I was reading the writing on the back of the box that the vacuum cleaner replacement filter came in and noticed this:

Odd thing to have written on a box

“Warning: Plastic bags can be dangerous. To avoid suffocation, keep this bag away from babies and children.”

It’s an odd thing for them to write ON A BOX!

Also, I’m pretty sure most of you are shocked that I own a vacuum cleaner.

By

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly parents will start talking about poo

Last night was 4 hours of stats class. Today was 4 hours of stats, followed by 4 hours of Econ. Needless to say, my brain = fried. I’m writing this on my phone while Skytraining home, so I hope you aren’t expecting a masterpiece today. Instead, can I interest you in this bulleted list of random stuff?

  • My table group in class today consisted of 4 dads and me. One of these classmates is a very new dad – his baby was just born on Thursday! And within about 3.2 milliseconds, the conversation quickly turned to poop. One of the guys asked me how weird it was to be at a table of guys talking about poop and the new dad exclaimed, “I would *never* have talked about this before!” And then they started talking about pee.
  • A few people in class today remarked that I looked tired. Which is odd, because since we’d had a break between the end of core and this weekend’s classes, I’m actually more rested than usual. But perhaps I’m just exhausted from my nonstop coughing.
  • I have a red coat that I absolutely love, but the zipper on it is not functioning right at all. It started off where it would split at the bottom, making it very difficult to undo. And just when I got good at jimmying it undone when it split at the bottom, it started splitting all along its length, which is really a rather inconvenient thing for a zipper to do. Anyone know a good seamstress? And what’s a reasonable price for replacing a zipper?
  • And speaking of service people, I *may* have found a cleaning person, which I’ve been looking for since we moved to New West. I got a recommendation from a co-worker. Fingers crossed that it works out, because having a house cleaner will make me the happiest person in the history of ever! I will keep you posted.
  • The Vancouver premier of Lace Bite, the documentary about the Longest Game of hockey for CF, was today. I’m choked I had to miss it because I had class. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see it soon though!