Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Happy Bonus Day!

Leap Day 2012Today is February 29th – you don’t get to say that very often, now do you? This year is going way too fast – as years seem to do – so I’m happy to have an extra day. And, since I’m 39, I’m especially glad that this year is a leap year, as it means I get an extra day to be a thirty-something! I also get an extra day to use my February transit pass (note to self: buy March transit pass.), which is nice because it’s annoying that the price of a February transit pass is the same as every other month despite it usually being 2 or 3 days shorter than the other months!

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t wish my cousin-once-removed, Samantha, a happy 6th birthday, despite the fact that she was born 24 years ago. I have a lot of cousins (14) and cousins-once-removed (10), and even cousins-twice-removed (4)1, so it’s hard to remember all those birthdays, but Sam’s is one I never forget ((I also remember by my cousin Kimberly’s birthday because she was born the day right after Samantha – I remember in early 1992 wondering if I was going to have two leap day babies in my family!)).

Image Credit: Posted by Dan Moyle on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

  1. Actually, now that I think of it, I have more cousins-once-removed and twice-removed, as these numbers only count those who are in the generations after me, but I also have cousins who are removed by a generation or two ahead of me, though I honestly have no idea how many people that would be! []

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New Food #1 for 2016: Cream Puffs

It’s almost the end of February and I’m totes behind on all my goals (And I just realized by looking at the date that it’s my Uncle Harry’s birthday and it’s too late (in Ontario, where he lives) for me to call him – Happy birthday, Uncle Harry!). Well, I guess I’m doing OK on one goal: bringing my lunch to work 75% of the time – I currently sit at 76%, so I’m on track for that goal so far! But I ended up being too sick to start training for the UBC triathlon and the Delta triathlon (in March & April, respectively), which means I’ve made no progress on my triathlon goal, very little progress on my run/bike/swim 1000 km goal, and no progress towards my sub-1:50 half marathon goal, plus I *gained* a few pounds instead of losing (thanks to not being able run), though the food poisoning seems to have taken care of those pounds, at least for the moment. I haven’t knocked anything off my 101 list, nor painted a room, nor done most of the rest of the stuff on my goal list.

However, today I managed to make one new food item that I’ve never made before, meaning that I’m 1/16th of the way through the goal of making 16 new food or drink items that I’ve never made before. Cream puffs!

Last night I made a steak and carrot pie for dinner, using half a package of puff pastry for the crust, which meant today I was faced with the eternal question: What should I do with the other half of the package? On Friday my business analyst at work was telling me about this place she went to that has amazing cream puffs, and I guess that was stuck in my brain so I decided to make some of those.

I know it’s a bit of a cheat to use frozen pastry dough, but I decided to make the custard from scratch, which I’ve never done before. It was actually surprisingly easy and it tastes shockingly good.

Cream puffs

The picture doesn’t really do them justice – I think they almost look like scrambled egg sandwiches! I use free range eggs and so the yolks are very yellow, which makes the custard very yellow. I guess if I’d used caged hen eggs, where the yolks are super pale, the custard might be prettier, but I much prefer free range eggs. And it tasted great, which is what’s really important. I think next time I’m going to try making the dough from scratch.

The custard required three egg yolks, which meant I was left with three unused egg whites. I used one of the egg whites for glazing the pastry, which means now I’m faced with the eternal question: What should I make with my two egg whites?

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Crazy Cat Lady Achievement Unlocked!

So I won a free photo collage mug. And I’m sure you can figure out what kind of photos I put on it!

Cats on a mug

Cats on a mug

Cats on a mug

Sorry the photos of the mug suck – the mug is really shiny, so you can see the reflection of me taking the photo in the mug. I’m a crazy cat lady, not a photographer.

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I Was Poisoned… By Food!

This posting comes with a TMI content warning!

I was on way to work on Monday and half way through my Skytrain ride, I started to feel nauseated, which is most unusual for me. I managed to sit through my 7:30 am offsite meeting for 2 hours1, got a ride back to the office from a colleague, and then had my (mercifully short) team meeting, but by then I was like “I am *really* not feeling good. I have to go home.” Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that I have to be practically on death’s door to call in sick to work2. I somehow managed to survive the Skytrain ride home and got into my apartment and then basically just dropped my bag, my coat, and my boots in the entranceway and crawled into my bed, where I curled up in a ball of nausea, foolishly thinking I could sleep it off. After awhile of suffering like this (combined with, for some reason, hands and feet that were freezing like they were made of ice), I got up out of bed, headed into the bathroom, and puked violently. Like, so violently my cats were starting at me in horror afterwards. I hadn’t eaten anything that morning, so the only thing I had to puke up was my morning coffee, which I’d consumed before the nausea set in. My morning coffee… and stomach acid. If you’ve never puked up the unholy combination of coffee and stomach acid, I don’t recommend it. It’s absolutely horrifying. It did, however, make the nausea come down quite a bit, so I was able to get into bed and sleep for several hours. I awoke briefly, talked to my mom on the phone3, downed some Neo-Citran in the hopes that it would help with my aches and chills4, and went back to sleep again until about 9 pm5. I was then awake again for about an hour, during which I talked on the phone and tried to each some soup – I managed to stomach about 5 spoonfuls – and then went to sleep again for another 10 hours.

So Tuesday, I didn’t feel nauseous, though my stomach felt off all day – at some points I’d say it was stomach pain, at other points it felt more just tender, and then at some point hunger set in to confuse me as to what sensation(s) I was actually feeling. I was also weak and still had a bit of the chills. I called in sick, and spent most of the day lying on the couch watching Netflix or reading6, with a bit of napping in there for good measure. At some point during the day, my back really started hurting, so I consulted Dr. Google, who told me that back pain commonly occurs with food poisoning, which supported my theory that I had been poisoned by food!
Stop Poisoning your body with food!

My guess is that it was from some leftovers that I ate on Sunday that were probably too old7, but since, depending on what bug is poisoning you, it can actually be from something that you ate several days before, so I guess I’ll never really know! I was in no shape to attend the Arts Council fundraiser that I was supposed to go to, which made me sad8.

At any rate, today I felt like 80% better – my only remaining symptoms were feeling a bit weak/tired and my brain felt a little fuzzy. I was scheduled to go to the first day of a two-day training session that I really wanted to attend, so I decided I was well enough to do that, but t it probably would not be safe to play my hockey game tonight9.

So basically, the universe is out to get me, given that I’ve had a cold for most of January/February, I *still* haven’t gotten rid of the cough, and just when I’d gotten back into a running routine10, I was hit with this nasty bout of food poisoning right when the weather got nice enough for more running! Fingers crossed that I’ll be better by the weekend, as I’m only 10 days away from my first race of the year!

Image Credit: Posted by Joseph Bergen on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

  1. Like a 2 hour meeting that starts at 7:30 am isn’t bad enough?? []
  2. A trait I inherited from my Dad. My Dad went to work when he had shingles!! []
  3. Because there is nothing, imho, so comforting as my mom when I’m sick. []
  4. Which it did. []
  5. Which meant I’d slept right through my strata AGM. Not that I’d have been in any shape to attend it had I been awake. []
  6. I read an entire book! []
  7. Though I also had some goat cheese which could have been the culprit []
  8. I was hoping to finally meet the mayor! []
  9. Tired + fuzzy brained + blades on my feet just seems like a dangerous combination. []
  10. I went for three runs in a week! []

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Just me talking about running again

all races except marathons

OK, that’s entirely not true but I thought it was pretty freaking hilarious.

Sadly, my running season has been off to an inauspicious start. As previously mentioned, my pathetic immune system’s inability to dispense with a simple sore throat/cold has severely hampered my attempt at starting the 2016 running season. However, I finally felt well enough to run and, in fact, I went running *twice* this week! On Monday I was working from home because I had a giant pile of papers to read and I find that easier to do in the quiet of my apartment with my wee fuzzballs nearby and big cup of tea; this meant that despite the fact that it was pouring rain out, I could go for a run on my lunch1. I briefly contemplated using the treadmill in my building’s exercise room, but then I remembered that I absolutely hate the treadmill and would, in fact, prefer to run in the pouring rain. And despite that fact that my running was slow – I know it will take a few weeks of concentrated running to get some of my speed back – I actually felt really, really good running in the rain. And then yesterday it was actually sunny out, so I went for a run on my lunch at the office – it was awesome to get back out on the seawall for a sunny lunchtime run even though, again, I’m not nearly as fast as I used to be. Now I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that my cold is actually gone2 and I can get back into a training rhythm.

Given all this, I’ve been thinking about what races I want to do this year. My goal is to collect 6 race medals in 2016, so here’s my tentative plan:

  • Hot Chocolate 5 km Run – You get a shirt and a mug and a hot chocolate and a medal that looks like a hot chocolate. I’ve already signed up for this one!
  • BMO Marathon Relay (13 km leg) – I’ve already signed up for this one too
  • Scotiabank half marathon – my friend Christina said she’s going to run this one, so I’m planning to do it too and since I’ll have trained for the marathon relay, I may as well keep training as the timing is perfect for Scotiabank
  • USA Half Marathon – this is a qualifier half marathon (for which I have achieved a qualifying time) in San Diego in November. I couldn’t do it last year because I had a scheduling conflict, but that shouldn’t be a problem this year

Then I just need to find another couple of races. I can’t do the Green Sock half because it conflicts with my hockey playoffs, but the Vancouver Rock’n’Roll 10 km in October is a likely one, as they always have really nice medals. I’ve never done the Eastside 10 km, so that’s another possibility.

Anyone know of any races with really excellent medals that I should consider doing?

  1. At work, there’s a shower I can use after going for a run, but I don’t have a hair dryer. Plus, it was so raining the my clothes were soaked by the end of the run, so it’s much nicer to just be able to throw them in the washing machine at home rather than having to carry a gym bag full of soggy clothes home. []
  2. I still have a bit of a cough, but otherwise feel fine. *knocks on wood* []

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Who Wants To Go To A Fundraiser?

The Arts Council of New Westminster1 is having a fundraiser next week and you’re invited!

When: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM (you don’t have to be there right at 6 –  you can show up anytime between 6 and 10 pm)

Where: MATCH Eatery & Public House (at Starlight Casino – New Westminster, 350 Gifford Street, New Westminster

What: Ticket includes Burger and Beer (or wine)

Join us for an celebration of the arts including a silent auction, live painting from local artists Danielle Bobier and Pierre Kaufman, music created by local musician, HARGOW. (Wes Koopmans), and visual projections by local artist Tetsuomi Anzai.  Funds raised at this event will be used to bolster the delivery of our outreach and education programs, including ArtsToGo and LitFest NewWest.

How:

LIMITED AVAILABILITY. ONLY 60 TICKETS AVAILABLE!
Tickets are $25 (+ $2.11 Eventbrite Fees)
TICKETS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. PURCHASE IN ADVANCE.

Go to EventBrite to get your ticket!

  1. Full disclosure: I’m on the board of the Arts Council. []

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I Have My Dad’s Cough

My Dad had a chronic cough, as far back as I can remember. To hear it, you would swear it was a smoker’s cough, though he never smoked a cigarette in his life1.

That sore throat I was complaining about decided to turn into a full on nasty cold late last week – I was all stuffed up and had a most disgusting phlegmy cough, which has now turned into a hard, dry cough that sounds exactly like my Dad’s used to. I don’t get sick all that often, but when I do, my phlegmy coughs generally turn into this cough and lasts a while and I find myself thinking “Am I going to have this cough forever, just like Dad did?” It also gets me to thinking – what is it, exactly, that I inherited that gives me that same cough as my Dad had? Is it something about the shape or physiology of my lungs? About the way my immune systems works? Did I just pick up his way of coughing as a behaviour?

It was four years ago today that my Dad took his last breath. And there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to hear that cough again.

I miss you, Daddy.

  1. I assume it was actually from working so much at the barn with the pigeons and the chickens and the various other birds and breathing in that barn air so much, but that’s just a theory. []

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This sore throat really needs to go away

Frog In Your Throat Box 1So I’ve had a sore throat for like a month and it’s really, really over stayed its welcome. It seemed to have developed right when I got back from the holidays, so I blame germy people on the airplane. When I said I was going to get back into my running routine, I was figuring that my sore throat would be gone soon, but it seemed to just keep sticking around, which meant that I decided not to go out running in the cold rainy weather we’ve been having for fear of making it worse. In the last about a week, it seemed like it really was gone, but yesterday it came back with a vengeance1. Or perhaps the old one is gone and this is a new sore throat. All I know is that I am not impressed!

I had briefly contemplated doing the UBC Triathlon in early March, which seemed like it was do-able if I started training in early January, but now it’s February 3 and I really don’t think less than a month is enough time to train for one’s first triathlon, and that would be assuming this sore throat goes away right now, which doesn’t seem likely.

Anyway, this is kind of a pointless blog posting2, but if a blog isn’t a place to put my pointless whining, then what is? Also, I really like that photo of the “Frog in Your Throat?” cough lozenge package.

Image Credit: Posted by Infrogmation of New Orleans on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

  1. By which I mean my throat is sore and scratchy again. It’s not like so sore that I think it’s strep or anything. But it’s annoying and I’m sneezing a lot []
  2. Unlike all my other blog postings which are *sooo* profound! 😉 []