Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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I guess this is what it must feel like to be a whale, if a whale lived in a vast ocean of work instead of water

Illustrator whaleI feel like I’m coming up for a short breath after being submerged for a really long time, knowing that I’m shortly going to dive back down. I guess this is what it must feel like to be a whale, if a whale lived in a vast ocean of work instead of water.

The things under which I’ve been submerged recently include, in no particular order:

  • finishing up the course I was teaching this semester, including grading all the final assignments, calculating participation grades for the semester, and submitting final grades to the school
  • completing revisions for the new edition of my textbook1, including proofing all the revisions we did
  • submitting a grant application2
  • working on another grant application that is due May 1
  • my presidential duties
  • my actual day job, which is getting crazy busy as a Really Big Thing is about to happen and we have to be ready for it

But the textbook revisions and the marking are all done now, and those were two really time-consuming things that I was having to fit into my weekends and evenings, and the time available for working in the evenings and on the weekends were abbreviated due to the fact that I’m dedicated to doing my three days a week at the gym (which really is a big part of what helps me decompress when I’m so busy!) and I’ve been working longer than normal hours at my actual day job, due to all the work of preparing for the aforementioned Really Big Thing. So now I feel like I have a few days where I can actually breathe. By which I mean “write a blog post about how busy I’ve been”.

Of course, this is just a short reprieve, as I’m about to dive back down into the deep ocean that is work craziness. As, I mentioned above there is a Really Big Thing happening at work soon. This Really Big Thing will involve my team (a) providing data to monitor the progress and/or outcomes (good or bad) of said Really Big Thing (translation: lots of people will be wanting to see the data we produce daily) and (b) having to provide support 12 hours a day, 7 days a week until such time as the Really Big Thing settles down into just a Big Thing and we can go back to our regular work days and hours. Which means that I’ll be working some early mornings and some weekends and also, since I’m the lead of the team, should any crises happen, I could potentially be called even when I’m not on site. All that stuff happens starting April 28th.

Also, I’m going to have some house guests around this same time! Dr. Dan and one of his students will be staying with me from May 2-8, as they will be in town for important work things, and then from May 8-13, my mom and my Aunt Wendy will be staying with me as my Aunt has an important conference to attend and my mom is coming along to visit. I’m very excited to see all of them, as I think it will be good for me to get some quality time with family & friends to keep me grounded when I’m not at the hospital doing my Really Big Things.

Sperm whale starting a dive #2

Image Credit: Whale illustration posted by Steve on Flickr with a Creative Commons license and whale tail photo posted by Vilmos Vincze on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

  1. I don’t think I’ve mentioned here that we are putting out a new edition. The original came out in 2012, which is like a million years ago in textbook years, so it was due. Nutrition is still a pretty young field, so there were a fair amount of things to update! It should be ready by the end of the month and everyone should buy a copy or 12. []
  2. Which I was just a co-investigator on, so I’m not saying I did the most work on it; was it was a team effort of a bunch of people and lead by someone else, but it still took up some time. []

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I’m Highly Contagious with Zombie Eyeball Disease

In the latest instalment of Beth’s 2016 health woes, apparently I am now infected with the highly contagious adenovirus. Because apparently having a cold, which this year comes associated with the “100 day cough1 and then having food poisoning wasn’t enough. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last Wednesday night, I played hockey. I felt completely fine, other than my little cough, which I knew was just a holdover from my January cold, and suffering this devastating upper body injury:

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It’s not as bad as it looks. There was no damage to my nail bed – I only broke off the fake nail part.

It was the first time I’ve broken a nail playing hokey. I went home from my hockey game and decorated some mini-cupcakes that I’d baked to take the work the next day for a wee tea party we were having for my boss’s birthday. Then I went to bed and realized that my hands and feet were pretty cold, which was reminiscent of my recent food poisoning, but I didn’t feel the least bit nauseated, so I didn’t think it was that again2. I had trouble getting to sleep and I thought I was having weird anxiety thoughts about work that were keeping me up – which is really unusual because (a) I rarely have trouble sleeping and (b) no one should ever really get that worked up about Agile software development – but the next

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They were so pretty!

morning I realized that I actually had fallen asleep and was having crazy fever dreams. Because I had a fever. I actually got up and got ready for work thinking, “I’m sure I’m just tired from being up late last night due to hockey and cupcake decorating and not being able to fall asleep” and then “Hmm, I think I’m a little bit warm” followed by “But I need to bring these cupcakes in to work – they are so pretty!” I finally decided to take my temperature and it was 39 degrees C – not extreme fever, but definitely a fever.

And then I thought about the idea of getting on the Skytrain travelling all the way to work feeling like crap and who knows what I had that I could be spreading around to everyone on transit and who the heck wants to eat cupcakes made by someone who is fevered anyway and so I called in sick. And thank goodness I did, because I got back into bed and then continued to have that fever for the next day and a half, alternating between the chills (like I was wearing full length yoga pants, a t-shirt and a hoodie and big fuzzy socks and a toque and was still cold under my duvet) and sweating and chills and sweating for the next day and a half. I didn’t get out of bed longer than it took to either go to the bathroom or boil water to make Neocitran, for a day. On Friday afternoon my fever broke and I finally managed to graduate to sitting on the couch. By Friday evening I was feeling considerably better, other than the appearance of a slightly sore throat and, of course, the cough. I decided I must have had the flu and now I was getting better.

Saturday was the Hot Chocolate 5 km race and I since it was sunny and since I had been stuck in bed for 2 days, I decided that since I was feeling better, I would go, but I’d be responsible and just walk it rather than run. It was only 5 km and the fresh air and stretching my legs would be good for me3. It was actually quite nice to get out for a walk like that AND I got my first race medal of 2016 AND I got a delicious hot chocolate.

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First race medal of 2016. I think this is the shiniest medal in my whole collection!

I took it easy the rest of Saturday, but Sunday my throat started to be more sore and I decided that while a walk was one thing, a hockey game was an entirely different beast and maybe I shouldn’t push myself and instead should rest up and try to get 100% better for the playoffs. I also decided that if I still had a sore throat in the morning I would go see my doctor because maybe it was strep throat?

So today I went into work and called my doctor’s office as soon as it opened and got an appointment for 11:45 am and almost every person I saw at my office before I left to go to the doctor’s office said “What the hell is wrong with your eyes?” (or something to that effect). Because Captain Oblivious here managed to get ready for work – including putting on my makeup – without noticing that my eyes were the most bloodshot eyes that have ever been bloodshot. When I got to the doctor’s office my eyes were also the first thing my doctor commented on and she said, “You’ve got adenovirus”. Or more specifically pharyngoconjunctival fever caused by an adenovirus. Apparently this starts out with the whole fever and sore throat thing (when she looked in my throat she said “I can see ulcers in the back of your throat”) and then progresses to a conjunctivitis, a.k.a., pink eye (though in my opinion “pink” does not really do it justice), which will probably start to get all disgusting and goopy in addition to looking like someone filled in the whites of my eyes with a red Sharpie marker. Since this is a virus, there’s nothing I can do other than wait it out, though thankfully it’s a self-limiting condition. Then she said, “Adenovirus is highly contagious. You really shouldn’t go to your office this week at all.”

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Zombie eyeball

There’s some about being called “highly” contagious that seems so much worse than just “contagious”.

Of course, I’d already taken transit into work, had a few meetings at the office, and taken the bus to the doctor’s office. So my apologies to anyone I may have crossed paths with – I didn’t know I was highly contagious and then once I did, I did my best to touch the bare minimum of things I needed to touch in order to transit my way home. And now I’m stuck in isolation in my apartment until Friday. Which is like the worst nightmare of an extreme extrovert such as myself.

Before I left my doctor’s office I did ask two all important questions: “Will I be OK to play my hockey playoffs this coming weekend” (Yes.) and “Can I give my highly contagious adenovirus to my cats?” (No.)

My doctor did also tell me that sinus rinses have been shown to help with the cough, so I picked some of that stuff up along with some eye drops and enough groceries to (hopefully) last me the week4. So I guess I have squirting some liquid up my nose to look forward to before going to bed. Which is actually what I’m going to do right now because how the heck did it get to be 11 pm already?

Here’s hoping that I get a good night’s rest and that my eyes aren’t glued shut with zombie eyeball conjunctivitis goop in the morning!

  1. My doctor told me that people are having a chronic cough for like 3 months after a cold this year and so everyone’s been calling it the “100 day cough”… though when I just googled that, apparently that nickname has already been taken by pertussis, a.k.a., whooping cough. []
  2. And I hadn’t eaten anything suspect since the food poisoning, since I’m being careful to not get food poisoning again. []
  3. I was supposed to do the Hot Chocolate 5 km race last year, but after I signed up I found out it conflicted with my hockey playoffs and I couldn’t do it. And I didn’t want to miss it again this year. []
  4. Apologies to anyone I crossed paths with in the grocery store – not really much I could do that as I needed medial supplies and sustenance and I live alone – still haven’t trained the cats to do my grocery shopping #SadLife. – I did my best to touch only the minimum amount of stuff to buy the things I needed. []

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To Gum Graft or Not To Gum Graft?

ToothSo the verdict is in from my dental insurance company and they are not going to cover a gum graft because apparently they want my teeth to fall out. As I was pondering on The Twitter (and consequently The Facebook, since all my Twitters go to my The Facebook)about whether I shoulddrop $1400 out-of-pocket on this apparently painful procedure, a friend of mine suggested looking into something called the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST), which is apparently a new alternative to gum grafts.

So I googled and found the website of the guy who invented the Pinhole Surgical Technique, which I learned involves making a hole in your gum, shifting the existing tissue around a bit, and inserting some collagen strips to promote the gums to grow some more collagen and then you end up with your gums being in the correct place. It’s less invasive (you don’t have to have tissue cut out of the roof of your mouth, have your gums cut to have that tissue put in there, and then have a bunch of stitches holding it all together.). The guy who invented it has been doing it since 2006 and published the procedure in a dentistry journal in 2012.

So my problem now is – how can I tell if this really is as good as it sounds? Obviously the inventor of this procedure is trying to sell it – both to clients (to create a market for it) and to other dental professionals (to pay him to train them). I don’t know anything about dentistry, so I don’t even know if the journal in which that study is published is really “one of the most respected journals in dentistry”, as stated on the PST website.

Through further googling, Ihave discovered that there are some people locally who do this procedure, so I suppose I could go to one of them for a consultation, but I feel like they are just going to say I should do it, since they will make a bunch of money if I do.

Does anyone know any good dental professionals that would be able to provide some unbiased advice on this?

Image Credit: Posted by Luke Siemens on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

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Academically Promiscuous

It’s September, which means the start of the school year is upon us. This is, of course, rather meaningless if you aren’t a student, a parent of a student, or some sort of instructor… Now, don’t worry, I haven’t enrolled in any new degree programs1. But I have picked up a new teaching gig.

As you know, I teach an online stats class at the Justice Institute, but that is offered in the January semester. I haven’t taught a face-to-face class since before I started my MBA and, honestly, I’ve been missing the in-person interaction with the students2. I really enjoy working with students – it’s so rewarding to be able to help them learn new things, to see the moment when a new concept or skill just “clicks” for them, when they start to connect what they are learning in class with things in their other classes or their work, and I always learn new things from my students too. So when the opportunity to teach a class that is in my exact area of expertise came up for this semester, I jumped on it!

As you also may know, I have three different alma maters3 and I’ve taught at two different post-secondary institutions4. But now I’m adding yet another school to my repertoire, as the university I’ll be teaching at starting next week is Simon Fraser University. Now, you may recall that a few years back I got an Adjunct Prof title at SFU. In that capacity I’d done some grant writing with a colleague and supervised some practicum students, but this has been my first opportunity to teach a course5. And I’m pretty stoked about it.

So now the number of post-secondary institutions where I’ve taught has caught up with the number that I have degrees from! I know some academics who are academically monogamous (*cough* Dr. Dan *cough*), but apparently I am academically promiscuous.

Anyway, writing this blog posting has been a wee bit of a break from preparing my slides for next week’s class, but I really should get back to that! In the meantime, check out this adorable image that I found while looking for Creative Commons licensed or royalty-free images to put on my slides6!

L'il Devil

Image Credit: Post on Flickr by Darren Bell with a Creative Commons license.

  1. I’m still sticking by my claim that I’m not going to do any more degrees! []
  2. While doing my MBA, I often thought about how, though I really enjoyed all the cool things I was learning, I kind of liked being on the other side of the classroom better! []
  3. McMaster – the best university in the history of universities! – for my BSc(Hons), University of Guelph for my MSc, and UBC for my PhD and MBA. []
  4. UBC and the JI []
  5. This is the first time that they’ve needed an instructor in a class that I have expertise in where the class wasn’t during the day. I can only teach night classes, since my day job is, well, a day job. []
  6. For the record, the slide on which I’ll be putting this image is during the part of my class where I’m talking about group work and, in particular, the importance of having someone be a devil’s advocate, so you don’t get stuck in groupthink! []

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Doing All The Things!

So apparently I’ve decided to do all the things, which means that I have eleventy billion things to blog about and no time in which to write said blog posting1, which can only mean one thing. It’s time for a bullet list! List all the bullets!

  • Both my teams’ winter hockey seasons have come to an end. My Burnaby team got knocked out of the playoffs yesterday, but we made a decent showing in both of our playoff games and besides, this was a rebuilding year. My Coquitlam team made it all the way to the finals and lost a heartbreaker in OT.
  • Speaking of hockey, remember the beginning of the NHL season when I joined a fantasy hockey league? As it turns out, I abandoned all gimmicks after week one and actually changed my picks each week (it’s the kind of pool where you get to pick new players each week) and would you believe that actually putting effort into it, rather than being goofy, resulted in me winning the pool? Now I am the proud owner of all the bragging rights!
  • Also, speaking of hockey, I’m taking another set of hockey lessons. I signed up for a class called “Shoot to Score” and based on this description: “The Shoot to Score program is designed for adults wanting to exclusively improve their scoring ability. The program will incorporate skating, passing and puck control but a major emphasis will be placed on developing a players wrist shot, snapshot, back hander, slap shot, one-timer and shooting while in motion“, I made the silly mistake of thinking that I’d be learning to shoot the puck. Instead, the class is being taught as “forward” class, with the other half of the rink being “defenceman” class and then at the end of the lesson they put the two groups together and run drills against each other. I’m a bit disappointed, because I really wanted to work on my shot, which is terrible, but I am learning a bunch of stuff that I think will improve my game, so I’m still going2.
  • Speaking of lessons, our salsa dance instructors told me that I’m good enough to move on to level “Intermediate 2”3! We are just at the start of our third set of “Intermediate 1”, so I think that’s pretty good, as they actually have 4 different sets of “Intermediate 1” classes that people can go through. The problem, however, is that our instructors don’t offer “Intermediate 2” on a night that we are available, so we have to hope that in the next set of lessons, they switch up the nights or we may need to find a new dance studio.
  • Speaking of working on stuff, I’m just 17 days away from my next half marathon4! Since my usual running partner, Alicia, isn’t running this race with me, I decided to sign up for a Sunday morning running clinic that was set up to train for the BMO half, so I’d have people to run with, as the long runs start to get a bit boring by the end of the training if you don’t have company. The group is run out of Fit First in Burnaby (the same place I did my running study) and I’ve enjoyed having company to run with5.

    Here’s a photo of my running clinic group – aren’t we a good looking group?

    I have more to say about my training, but I think that I’ve got a whole blog posting on that (spoiler: there’s a spreadsheet involved!), if only I can find the time to write it. I will say that my ambitious goal, which I’m not sure I will be able to achieve, is to run a sub-2 hr half marathon, which has been on my “to do” list since forever and is currently sitting my list of goals for 2015.

  • Speaking of my “to do” list, I’ve completed yet another item off my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days: #64: Go on a Paddle Wheeler cruise down the Fraser River). Daniel and I went on this cruise last Friday and we had a really good time. We tried to take a selfie that I could put in this posting, but could not get anything even halfway decent (at least in part because I didn’t think to take a photo until after we’d gone out on the ship’s deck in the rain and my hair becomes a complete rat’s nest at the slightest sign of a drop of water). Also, by sheer coincidence, a woman from our salsa dancing class was there with a bunch of her friends, and while there was no salsa music, we all had lots of fun hitting the dance to some old school tunes mixed with some current hits.
  • And speaking about my 101 list, I’ve also knocked #7 – “Be written about in the New Westminster Record” off the list, with this article about the Arts Council of New West, where I happen to be on the board of directors. I really like the photo we had taken:

    For the record, I didn’t know everyone else was going to be wearing black, grey or blue when I chose a red shirt!

  • And also speaking of my 101 list, I have just booked a trip to Halifax in May, which will knock #46 – “Go to Nova Scotia” off that list and will leave me just one province short of having been to all the provinces in Canada6. I’m going to a conference in Halifax to present some of my research, which will be fun. I’ll also get to stop by Toronto on my way home to visit the fam for a few days, which will be awesome. And, as it so happens, I’ll be there for my nephew’s birthday party, which will be doubly awesome!
  • Speaking of trips, Daniel and I have registered for the Montreal full and demi-marathon, respectively, in Montreal in September. So I’ll get to see some family then too, as I have family who live there and my mom plans to go there while we are there too.
  • And speaking of seeing my family, my sister is coming to present at a conference in Vancouver in June and my mom is going to join her for the trip. The kitties are very excited to see their grandmother again and to meet their Aunt Nancy!
  • And finally, speaking of people visiting, I get to see Sarah on Sunday, as she is going to be in Seattle, so I’m going to drive down there to hang out! So excited!

So, as you can see, I am clearly doing all the things and I haven’t even talked about, you know, work, teaching, and various other gadding about that I do. I also hear there’s this cool thing called “getting enough sleep” that I’d totally love to check out someday, if I can only find the time!

  1. As a microcosm of my doing all the things, while writing this blog posting, I’m also doing laundry, doing dishes, baking cherry squares for the bake sale that my office is having tomorrow, watching the Winnipeg Jets v. Anaheim Ducks playoff game and being kneaded on by Crick. Oh, now I’m being climbed all over by Crick. Crick is really turning into quite the lap cat, especially when I’m trying to type something. []
  2. Incidentally, if anyone knows of any good classes where I can actually learn to shoot the puck, let me know! []
  3. Daniel’s done Intermediate Level 2 before, so it’s just been me that needed to develop my skills a bit more so we could move on []
  4. The BMO Vancouver []
  5. Though to be totally honest, I really miss running with Alicia! []
  6. Newfoundland, I will conquer you one day! []

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Bethmas Weekend – A Recap

Hey, remember that time when I was born? That was a pretty fortunate thing to have happened as all the other things I’ve done since then would have been rather difficult had it not. Serious props to my mom and dad for having me on a cold and snowy day in 1977.

And since that cold and snowy day was 38 years and two days ago, I spent my weekend celebrating the holiday known as Bethmas! On Saturday I had a fabulous Bethmas Eve party. The great thing about having a party is that I get to see a whole bunch of friends, many of whom I haven’t seen in awhile. The less great thing is that I don’t get to spend as much time catching up with each friend as I would like ‘cuz there are just so many people to chat with and only so many hours in an evening. Happily, all my friends are made of awesome and despite many of them not knowing each other (or not knowing each other very well, having only met once or two at previous parties I’ve held over the years), everyone was chatting and getting to know new people and seemed to have a good time.

As I discussed with Cath that night, due to my family’s tendency to make way too much food for any event, I have an inability to make appropriate amounts of food for party1 due to my unnatural fear that someone might ever go hungry at my house. Saturday was no exception. I did have fewer leftovers than I usually do, but only because I usually have enough leftovers to feed *two* armies. As well, I had been inspired by Cath, as it so happens, who had made some fancy, delicious foods for our book club meeting last week, to find some fancy new recipes to try. Googling “party appetizers that are easy to make but look fancy” yielded some excellent results, as did asking my sister for ideas, and I ended up making 5 new food items, along with some of my good ole standbys2

Combined with the fact that I made homemade sour mix for the house drink – as it turned out to be impossible to find sour mix anywhere5 – and I made chocolate butter cream icing for the first time for Daniel’s birthday cake earlier this month, I’ve now made a total of 8 new food or drink items towards my goal of making 15 new things in 20156!  The house drink was also new, but since I enlisted Kalev to make the drink as I was running late, I can’t claim to have made this drink.

I also made chocolate cupcakes from scratch, which I have made before, but this time I mad them using a recipe from my Aunt Lynn, who gave me a recipe after I said that I’d never found a recipe for cake that turned out as good as a cake mix. And I have to admit, they were pretty good! I think I’d need a head to head comparison of it with a cake mix to tell which is best (as it’s hard to really compare without having the two at the same time), but even saying that means this is the best cake I’ve ever made from scratch!

Sunday consisted of going for a run (because half marathon training knows not of birthdays), cleaning up the party mess (thanks Daniel for helping with that task), watching a kids’ hockey team earn its first win of the season (no doubt in honour of my birthday), and a lovely dinner out. I may also have eaten my weight in leftover cupcakes (which I kinda forgot to put out before a number of people had left the party, so they didn’t all get eaten by those who remained after I remembered to put them out).

So, in conclusion, birthday celebrations rock and I highly recommend you have them when the anniversary of your birth comes around. Speaking of which, you now only have 1 year and 363 days until my birthday for which I will be going on a surfing trip where it is hot in January, like Hawaii or Australia7, and not somewhere where it is freezing cold in January, like I did on my last milestone birthday that ended in a 0. So that gives you 729 days to save your pennies if you want to come with me!

  1. Or just, like, a regular every day dinner. []
  2. Like potatoes wrapped in bacon, veggies and French onion dip, and spinach dip in a sourdough bread bowl. []
  3. This was supposed to be cucumber cups with salmon whip, but I decided to make some with dip whip so that the vegetarians could have some and then I ran out of time to cut the cucumbers into 3/4 inch slides and then scoop out a bit of the seeds to make it a cup, so I just put the whip out in dishes and served them with cucumber slices to dip in the whip. []
  4. This recipe was from my niece, as my sister told me that my niece has been making cheese puffs that are the best thing in the world, which I thought was a bit of a tall tale, but turned out to be pretty true. []
  5. Thanks to everyone on Twitter and Facebook who pointed out how ridiculously easy sour mix is to make when I tweeted to ask if anyone knew where I could buy some. []
  6. i.e., I’m more than halfway done and it’s not even two weeks into the new year! []
  7. I’m leaning towards the former. []

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Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End

Last week was a bittersweet one1. Sweet, because I started my awesome new job. But starting my awesome new job meant first saying good-bye to my awesome co-workers at my old job. I don’t generally talk about my work here on ye ole blog, but I will tell you that for the past five years I’ve had a really good job where I’ve done some meaningful work that I’m very proud of and I’ve had the pleasure of working with some really fantastic people. I’m really going to miss seeing those guys every day!

As my final day of work approached, the admin assistant in charge of timekeeping annotated my last ever timesheet:

Timesheet

On my second last day of work, my coworkers threw me a little farewell at the pub near our office. They also showed that they really know me well, as they gave me a farewell card in an envelope addressed like this:

Farewell Card

Which included a gift certificate for a brewery tour for two:

Brewery Tour gift cert

Like I said, these guys know me really well!

On my last day of work, I decided it was time to finally wear my “I am not an epidemiologist” shirt to the office. I had this tshirt made awhile back after being introduced as an epidemiologist one too many times2.

Last Day of Work

At the end of the day, after I’d handed in my ID badge and my keys and made my rounds of the office saying “bye” to everyone, my coworkers with whom I shared an office – a room affectionately known as “The Observatory” – played this song for me:

I managed to avoid crying. Barely.

photo 2

Final farewell photo with my Observatory buddies! (Left to right: Christina, Salman, me, Geoff, Diana, Rahul).

My last day of that job was Tuesday and since there is no rest for the wicked, I started my new job on Wednesday.

When I’d told my mom that I’d gotten a new job, the first thing she said was that I needed to have a new pair of shoes for my first day at a new job. And who am I to argue with my own mother? I went out and bought this pair and then had to wait very impatiently for nearly a month to wear them3:

New Shoes for a New Job

They were totally worth the wait. Both comfortable *and* stylish!

My first three days on the job have confirmed that I made the right decision in taking this new position. The project that I’m working on is a major one – it’s going to be fast-paced, challenging work and it’s going to be having a major impact in the lives of a large number of people. I spent my first three days in many meetings to meet many people working on the project, getting the lay of the land and figuring out what pieces of work I’ll be needing to do and thinking about how I want to build my team to do them. All the people I’ve met have been fantastic – a brilliant group doing some amazing work and all so friendly and helpful! So exciting!

I also spent some time doing the usual administrative things one needs to do when they get a new job – setting up email accounts, ordering a laptop, completing copious amounts of paperwork to ensure I get a paycheque, and getting an ID badge. To do the last item on that list, I had to go to a location that wasn’t at either of my offices. In fact, I had to go to this building:

Doctors Residence

And, of course, I couldn’t resist snapping that pic! It’s my residence! (Also, shouldn’t it be “Doctors’ Residence”?)

And, yes, I did say “either of my offices”, because I have two of them. One of them is technically a cubicle, but it’s so much bigger than the desk I was sitting at in my old job, that it feels like an office. And I even have a view of the mountains:

View from one of my new offices

…if I lean back and look around my cubicle wall.

My second office is an actual office – with walls and a door and everything! The view isn’t quite as nice as office #1, but I’m honestly happy to have an office *and* a window!

View from my office window

If you look close, you can see the pigeon spikes on my window ledge:

Pigeon spikes

I haven’t yet had a chance to decorate either office, but I did make sure to bring this to put on my desk:

New Beginnings

My friend Sarah gave me that when I left Ontario for BC and it’s seen me through a number of new beginnings these past 14 years. I have kept in on my desk in every job I’ve had during that time and it continues to make me smile to this day.

Footnotes:

  1. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the quote I used as the title of this posting, which I know from the song “Closing Time”, is actually a quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger. Which seems much more sophisticated than being from the lyrics of a song about being kicked out of a club at the end of the night. []
  2. Not that there’s anything wrong with being an epidemiologist. Some of my best friends are epidemiologists. But, for the record, I’m an evaluator. Which is a completely different profession from epidemiology, though it shares the similarities of (a) starts with the letter “e”, (b) deals with data, and (c) no one outside your field knows what you do. []
  3. I had to give a month’s notice at my last job. []

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Framed

One of the many ways in which I was spoiled by my mother for my MBA graduation was that she bought me a frame for my diploma1. But not just any frame. No, I needed a fancy pants Sauder School of Business frame. In my defence, my PhD is also from UBC and I already have a fancy pants UBC frame, so I wanted something that would make this degree look different than that one.

Anyway, while my mom was here, we ordered the frame and then I dutifully waited 10 business days for shipping… and it turned out they sent the wrong frame! Well, technically they sent the right frame with the wrong mat. Instead of sending me the mat with the Sauder logo and the Robert H. Lee Graduate School wordmark – I was in the graduate school, after all – they sent me one with just the Sauder logo. Like as if I were an *undergrad*! The horror!

I emailed the company that sells the frames and they quickly shipped me a new mat and then I waited something less than 10 business days and then all was right with the world. Here is my newly framed MBA:

MBA frame

And here is a close up of the Sauder School of Business logo *AND* Robert H. Lee Graduate School wordmark:

MBA frame

It also came with this swanky Sauder logo medallion at the top:

MBA frame

Also, I was surprised to discover that the frame was made in Canada:

MBA frame

Except then I noticed that the frame was made in Italy:

MBA frame

So I guess the “made in Canada” refers to the mat and/or medallion? At any rate, I have a lovely frame for my hard-earned degree. Thanks, Mom!

Perhaps hanging things on walls should be my task for this weekend?

  1. Being that I’m the type to lose and/or spill things on important documents, I wanted to get my diploma into the frame to protect if from me. []

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Reviewing My Goals for 2012

Just one day left in the calendar year, so it’s time to check in on how I did on my 2012 goals. (Note to self: I really should check in on my goals list before day 3651, so that I can actually do something about the ones I’m slacking on before it’s too late.) Anyhoo, let’s tally the score!

2012 Goals Achieved(y/n) Excuse
score 12 points on one of my hockey teams N This was not a well thought out goal, as I have missed the lion’s share of my hockey games this year thanks to school2. Moreover, since these are calendar-year goals but the hockey season crosses calendar years, I had to try to sort through which goals were scored in which calendar year. By my calculations, in 2012, on the Blazing Blades I scored a measly 4 points (2 in 7 games3 I’ve played this season and 2 at the end of last season4 ), but for the Snipers, I can’t actually tell how many I scored in 2012, as that league doesn’t give me the breakdown of when points were scored in previous seasons. Regardless, I didn’t come anywhere near 12 points even if you added my points on both teams together, so we can chalk this goal up as an epic fail.
go to 24 yoga practices N I actually haven’t a clue how many yoga classes I’ve gone to this year, since it appears that I neglected to track them (d’oh!). I know that I’ve gone to six yoga classes on the Groupon that I got for the yoga studio near my apartment – because they use the old-school passes where they just write in the box on a little card every time you attend a class. But I have no idea how many times – if any – I went to the old hot yoga studio near my old place, because the pass there is the kind that’s just a barcode that you scan when you go in, so I can’t see how many classes I’ve used on that one. I’m reasonably certain, however, that I didn’t go to anywhere near 24 practices, though I have been doing some yoga-like stretching on my own time.
run 240 km Y This one I solidly accomplished, putting in 295.51 km – and nearly 37 hours(!) – of running in 2012!
knock 24 items off my 101 list of things to do in 1001 days N Yet another fail! I managed to knock 7 items off the list – a mere 29% of my goal!
run in 3 races 2 out of 3 One zombie obstacle course race. One half marathon. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
make $100,008 Y If you count my scholarship – which I totally do – then I finally surpassed the $100K mark. Granted, a huge chunk of that now goes to pay for tuition, textbooks and various other school-related bric-a-brac, but still – goal accomplished!

So, there you have it. I succeeded in 2.67 of my 6 goals5!  But given that I spent 735.62 hours on school6 and I published a textbook in 2012, I’m OK with this.

Next up, a posting about my goals for 2013!

  1. I nearly wrote day 364, but then I remembered that this year was a leap year! []
  2. One of my teams plays only on Sundays and I have class roughly every third Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm. I can play if games are ~6:30 pm or later on class days, but this season in particular, games on class days all seemed to have been smack in the middle of class time. []
  3. One of which I actually got in today’s game! []
  4. I had a total of 8 points in 2011/12, but only 2 were in 2012. []
  5. Which is actually better than I did last year. []
  6. Which, if you are interested, works out to 30.65 DAYS – or 8% of the year – at a ratio of 1.33 hrs of homework for every 1 hour of class! []

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And Back To Work I Go

And so ends my glorious, glorious vacation. Before my vacation started, I knew that I was in need of this time off, but I don’t think I realized just how much I needed it. I’d been going pretty much non-stop since the beginning of January – with work and school and teaching and top secret projects and moving and losing my dad 1 – well, it all took much more of a toll on me than I’d realized2. Now that I’ve had some time off to decompress and smell the roses and do my homework in various exciting new locations after not having worked at work all day, I feel so. much. better. I realize that in the weeks (months?) leading up to my holidays, I was really just getting through the days. I wasn’t able to be as efficient as I normally am3 and I was just all around run down.

Frustrated Computer User
Me, before my vacation

But now I feel rested, exercised, mentally alert, and excited to get back to work and tackle the many awesome projects that I have on the go4 ,5! I’m excited to plan out my meals for the week6, and pack my lunches7 and pick out my outfits for the week8! Speaking of which, it’s 9 pm – I better go pack my lunch and pick out this week’s outfits!

Image Credit: Frustrated computer user image posted by Proposed Solution on Flickr.

  1. I still think about him every day. []
  2. I hadn’t really thought about how that was more than half a year of insane levels of busy-ness and stress without any vacation! []
  3. Meal planning? What’s that? Let’s just throw a frozen pizza in the oven! Deciding what I want to wear in less than 20 minutes? That’s not possible! I just can’t figure out what to put on my body! And omg, why do none of my clothes fit? []
  4. Both the A.W.E.S.O.M.E. project itself and other projects that are awesome in the conventional, as opposed to acronym, sense []
  5. Though I am a bit terrified to see the state of my inbox. I’ve resisted the urge to check my work email while I’ve been on holidays – and I’ve had the urge several times – because I really, truly wanted to have the break that I knew I needed. It was at Inbox Zero when I left two weeks ago- I’m betting it will be in the few hundred range when I arrive at the office tomorrow morning. []
  6. Nerd alert! []
  7. Rather than end up wandering the grocery store on my lunch break thinking, “What should I eat??” []
  8. Also heading back to work tomorrow is my friend Sarah, though she’s been away for two YEARS rather than two weeks. However, she’s far more organized than me – she always has been, but having two small children means that she’s taken organization to a whole new level! I’m curious to see though, Sarah, how many unread emails you have in your inbox! []