Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Fill out my coffee survey and be filled with much joy

Coffee LOLMy classmates and I are working on a marketing project that requires us to do some market research and I just *know* that you want to help me out with this, right? (If you already saw my tweet about this, feel free to ignore!)

All you have to do is fill out a little survey about coffee. It will take you less than 5 minutes, I swear! And you will be filled with joy at helping me out, which really is its own priceless reward.

Go here for the survey goodness: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GFX25PP

Then I recommend you celebrate your generosity at helping me out by buying yourself a nice cup of coffee!

Image Credit: Posted by Javier Benek on Flickr.

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My Current “To Do” List for School

To Do List

Between that and my Dad’s upcoming surgery, expect posting to be a bit light around these parts!

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Priorities

Changed Priorities Ahead

As I’ve been spending the last couple of days organizing my apartment in advance of my upcoming busy year, I’ve been thinking more about how I’m going to stay organized once the madness hits. I mean, there are the small things I can do to be efficient with my time, as I mentioned in my previous post, but given that my life is already jammed pack with a ridiculous amount of things to do, I know that I’ll have to make some big changes in order to make time and space for classes and homework. There really are only 24 hours in a day and, as much as I am loathe to admit it, I am a mere human being. It’s really all about deciding on what my priorities are and finding a balance that I can live with. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and have made some decisions of things I need to cut out for the next two years.  Since I love lists so much, I give them to you in list form!
Things I need to give up:
  • freelance work – I’ve already passed up applying for a few contracts that would have been quite interesting and even turned down one contract for a very cool sounding project that I was approached about. Not doing contract work is going to hit me in the old pocketbook, as I quite like having the extra income, but I think in the long run getting the MBA will increase my income in ways that will more than compensate for that.
  • teaching new courses – I’m always on the look out for new courses to teach, because I *love* teaching, but I’m putting a hold on that for the next two years. I am going to teach the online course that I taught last year , since it’s all set up from last year and isn’t a crazy amount of hours (plus I plan to take vacation days from work to do my marking1). Truth be told, I need the money from teaching this course to be able to afford the costs of going to school, as my scholarship covers tuition fees, but not things like textbooks, pre-core prep courses, etc., which are quite expensive. But other than this course, I’m not taking on any other courses in other semesters and, like not doing contract work, it means I won’t have any of the extra money that I’m used to having to spend on extravagances like braces and laser eye surgery and extra lump sum payments on my student loans, but I think it’s a sacrifice well worth making.
  • half marathon training – I just can’t imagine having the time to do the long runs, which get to be 2+ hours near the end of the training, plus all the short runs and hill runs to train properly for a half. I still plan to train for some short races – the 8 km at the BMO Vancouver International marathon in May and the Zombie Run in August are the ones I’m thinking of – because some sort of regular physical activity is a must and I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t have a race to train for, I just don’t even getting out there. As for hockey, I’ve already paid for this season (which goes until March) on both my teams, so I’m going to continue to play my Wednesday games and any Sunday games that don’t coincide with classes. Happily, many of my Sunday games are in the evening, so even on weekends when I have classes, classes only go until 5 pm and I can head straight from class to the rink. Playing hockey will actually be a nice way to de-stress after a weekend of classes, come to think about it!
  • blogging on the Black Hole – unlike blogging here, where I talk about any old thing that comes to mind, blogging over on the science-y blog requires actual thought and research and thus, time. I’ll still try to contribute a guest posting now and again if I come up with a good idea or learn something in business school that might be of interest to that audience, but I won’t have time to be a regular contributor.
  • blogging here every day – even though I blog here about whatever comes to mind, it still takes time to write, edit, and proofread these postings2, so I’m not going to try to blog here every single day like I usually do. I won’t give up blogging completely, because I love it too much, but I think that blogging every other day or every few days will just have to suffice.
  • reading for fun – I’ve already purged my RSS feed so that I’m now only following the few blogs I actually read on a regular basis and have eliminated the ones I used to have in my RSS feed “in case I am bored some day.” I know I won’t be bored. Ever. I also don’t expect to have time to read much in the way of fiction3, though perhaps at the Christmas break I can fit something in?
  • socializing – I’m a bit of a social butterfly, so I know that I’ll have to curb some of my socializing. I’m not giving it up completely, because that’s not a sacrifice that I’m willing to make, but I’ll have to be more judicious in when and where and how long I spend time with friends. So apologies in advance to all my friends of depriving you of the awesomeness that is me over the next 28 months 😉

OK, so going through all of that actually makes me feel a little bit better about having the time I’ll need to devote to school! I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes once it gets going!

Image Credit: Posted by Addison Berry on Flickr.

  1. Which is a brilliant idea that my sister came up with when I was hemming and hawing about whether or not to teach it again. []
  2. I know, given the number of typos I always seem to have, you must be shocked that I actually proofread this stuff! []
  3. I remember being a PhD student and I don’t think I read any fiction other than the Harry Potter books in my six years of school. []

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The Unvegetarian

So I have a secret that I’ve been carrying around with me for a little while now. Well, it’s not really all that secret because I’ve told a bunch of people, but I can’t remember who I’ve told and who I haven’t, so I figured I may as well just blog it and that’s kind of like telling everyone. As you may have guessed from this blog posting’s title, I decided to stop being a vegetarian.

The reactions I’ve had when I’ve told people has ranged from grave disappointment to I-couldn’t-care-less to complete glee. On the glee end of the spectrum, I’ve had offers from many a friend to take me out for pho, sushi, things wrapped in bacon, steak, and, of course, marshmallows. And I have recently realized that the next time I’m in Montreal, I’m totally going to have a Montreal smoked meat sandwich!

Coto eatingYou are probably wondering how I came to this decision1. Well, it’s as simple as this: meat started to look appetizing to me. Which is somewhat odd, as meat has been very unappetizing to me for the last 15 years and I’m really not sure why or how that switch occurred. But it did. At first I thought, “Hmm, that’s odd. But I’m sure it will pass.” But then it didn’t. As time went on, meat continued to look appetizing and, since my primary reason for not eating meat was that I didn’t like eating meat, it only made sense to eat some meat. The whole process took about six months and I figured if, after six months, meat still looks appetizing, well, maybe I wanted to eat some meat. It was actually quite interesting to reflect on the process as it was occurring – I absolutely went through the “stages of change” from the transtheoretical model of behaviour change, with the “contemplation stage” (“meat looks yummy now”) turning into the “preparation stage” (telling some friends that I was thinking of eating meat) to action (“I’ll have the BLT, please!”). </nerdery>

So, as it stands, I’m no longer a vegetarian. I still eat a lot of vegetarian meals, in part because I like vegetarian foods, in part because it’s a habit after a decade and a half of not eating meat2 and in part because I prefer to eat good quality meat that comes from animals that have been treated decently while they were alive, so I don’t want to eat just any meat. But if you see me ordering the salmon the next time we are out for dinner, you’ll know why.

Image Credit: Posted by Tambako The Jaguar on Flickr.

  1. or perhaps you couldn’t care less. []
  2. i.e., I sometimes forget I’m not a vegetarian anymore! []

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There’s A First Time For Everything

Tonight, I was called “quiet.”

True story.

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Getting Back To A Normal Life

Apparently my ability to blog about anything but the game lasted all of one day.

It’s been four days since the game ended and I’m feeling both like I may never fully recover and like it was all just a dream! My physical injuries are all very surface – blisters and abrasions  – and I’m a fast healer when it comes to stuff like that and my sausage fingers only lasted for about a day after the game. I had dinner with about 25 of the players last night1 and many people have much more serious issues – groin pulls, toes that are still numb, etc.! But I also am still having trouble temperature regulating – I’m hot, then I’m cold – and I can’t seem to get hydrated. Despite the fact that I am drinking crazy amounts of water all day long, none of it seems to want to stay in my body2! I feel like I’m ever so slightly more hydrated than yesterday, but my mouth and my eyes still feel super dry! If we do this again, I feel like we should have physiologists follow us around to study the effects of insane amounts of physical activity3. On the plus side, I have regained the ability to sweat, which I lost around Day 5 of the game. So that’s got to be a good thing, right?

My main problem now is that I’m still suffering from the sleep deprivation – hence why I’m at home writing a blog posting on a Friday night instead of partying it up like a respectable 30-something should be. Now, I’m no stranger to sleep-deprivation. I usually only sleep about 5 hours a night during the week, so getting only 5 hours sleep per day during the hockey game wasn’t as much a problem for me as it was for some others… for a few days. But in the real world, I typically make up for my insufficient sleep during the week by sleeping 10 or 12 hours per night on the weekends, something I certainly didn’t do during the game! I’m also not usually physically active for 9 hours per day while getting only 5 hours of sleep per night, so the sleep deprivation *definitely* caught up with me. And since I went back to work the day after the game ended, I haven’t gotten nearly enough sleep to start catching up. In fact, I was in a meeting today and the chair asked us to talk about our goals for the meeting – her example was “By the end of the meeting, I want a consensus on this document so that we can submit it to the Director – and I said, “My goal is to stay awake for the next two hours”4.

My plan for the weekend is to take it easy – early to bed tonight, a day on the beach tomorrow and definitely sleeping in big time on Sunday. Hopefully by Sunday I’ll have enough energy to actually get groceries – something I just haven’t had the strength to do as of yet. Maybe next week I’ll even unpack all my stuff from the game, which is currently sitting in a giant pile in my living room!

  1. Big time props to Richport Ford Lincoln who kicked in a bunch of money for dinner! []
  2. I’ve also tried beer, but that doesn’t seem to work either []
  3. Yeah, I just suggested that we might do this again. Near the end of the game, when people would ask me if I’d ever do this again, I would say, “No way. I’ll volunteer, but playing in a 10 day long hockey game is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Now that we are a few days out, I feel like I might do it again if they were to plan another game like this! []
  4. Fortunately, my coworkers have a sense of humour and are sympathetic to my plight! []

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Countdown to Vacation!

I am a mere five workdays away from my first true vacation in a year and a half! I say “true” vacation because, though I have had time off from work, my last two trips have been to Ontario1 and trips to Ontario are not restful for me. I mean, I have a great time seeing family and old friends, but there is so much pressure to run around and see everyone that I really don’t get to relax at all. So my last relaxing vacation was my trip to the Dominican in January 2010! That is just waaaay too long ago.

So, I have to say that I’m *very* much looking forward to my upcoming eight day sojourn to Portland, Oregon. As I mentioned before, my sister and her posse are flying to Portland and I shall be driving Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car to meet them. Our plans for Portland consist of doing whatever the hell we feel like, whenever the hell we feel like it. Portland is supposed to be a super awesome city, so I’m sure we won’t have much trouble finding fun things to do each day.

Driving across the border on a long weekend, however2, is going to suck donkey balls, but my plan is that I’ll leave super early on Saturday morning, which hopefully means the border lineup will only be half crazy instead of completely batshit, and I can always entertain myself in a long border lineup by doing some studying. Then I can take my time driving down the coast (Sarah‘s suggestion is that I check out Mount St. Helens on the way) and then putter around in Portland until Nancy et al arrives that evening.

But before then – five more workdays3. So I should really get to bed so that I can get up for work!

  1. December 2010 and June 2011 []
  2. Especially a long weekend where the Canadian dollar is so strong []
  3. And about 10 days worth of work that need to be done in those five workdays! []

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Manning Park

Yesterday I went with my friends Rachel and Peter on a top secret mission to Manning Park. Manning is a provincial park located about 3 hours east of Vancouver1.

After our top secret mission, Peter continued on into the Interior, while Rachel and I made an ill-fated attempt to go for a hike before we headed home.

Day 334

Rachel and I at Lightning Lake. It was sunny, so we are squinty

I say “ill-fated” because, despite it being the May long weekend, Manning still has a fair bit of snow. We were just going to go for a walk on the Lightning Lake trail to check out Rainbow Bridge, but it turned out to be full-on snow covered and since we only had our running shoes on, we decided maybe it wasn’t the best idea to follow that trail. Of course, this was after I’d already gotten trapped in some snow!

On our way to check out the trail, we had to cross a stream. And sure there was a bridge over the stream, but did we take the bridge? Oh no, of course not. We decided to walk over the snow pack that had formed a natural bridge. Good idea, right? Yeah, great idea – that is, until the snow below my feet collapsed and I sunk knee deep into the snow! I managed to get one foot out, but the other one was stuck! In the end, I had to wriggle my foot out of my shoe and then Rachel had to dig down to retrieve said shoe2. So awesome. Thankfully, I’m very short, so even sinking knee deep into the snow, my feet didn’t hit the icy cold stream. I’m sure if I were a taller person they would have!

The other excitement on our trip was four bear sitings on our drive! We aren’t entirely sure if we saw four different bears or just two – as we saw two on the way up and two on the way back, in roughly the same spots. So it’s entirely possible that it was the same two bears, but since it was several hours apart, they could have been different bears. At any rate, it was easy to spot the bears because there were several cars pulled over to take pictures. Including one guy who was *out of his car* and shockingly close to the bear. Craziness!3.

  1. You may recall it as the place that we shipped all the snow in from for the Olympics. []
  2. And she broke a nail rescuing me. What a good friend! []
  3. Note to self: check the news to see if any tourists were eaten by bears at Manning Park this weekend []

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Buckley’s FTW

Woke up with a bit of a sore throat this morning. But, as you may recall from yesterday’s posting, I have a show to go to!

Tokyo Police Club tix

Tickets to see Tokyo Police Club at the Commodore tonight. You know you are jealous!

So, it was Buckley’s Mixture to the rescue. Seriously, that stuff is a miracle worker.

Also, I can’t take Buckley’s Mixture without thinking about this old blog posting that I wrote back in ’08: Buckley’s Mixture Looks Like Semen

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Four Day Weekend

Man, I love Vancouver when it’s sunny out! I mean, I love Vancouver all the time1, but when it’s sunny it is 27 times as awesome! And when its sunny on a holiday, I’m in heaven! Unlike a typical Friday, which I’d spend in my windowless office, hoping that someone will have found an excuse to bring in cake for afternoon break2, I spent today eating brunch, walking along the seawall in Yaletown, and then doing some window shopping along Robson. Despite the crowds of slow-walkers, it was pretty awesome.

Tomorrow night I’m going to see Tokyo Police Club at The Commodore, thanks to a contest that I entered on Miss604.com! And not only do we get to see the concert, but we also get to go to the sound check party! You know you are jealous.

I’m also sure I’ll throw a few runs in there3 and, unfortunately, I need to actually do some work4. Though working on awesome creative stuff in a coffee shop on a sunny day is not so bad, really.

I hope you are all enjoying the long weekend!

  1. Yes, even in the rain! []
  2. Which, honestly, happens about every other Friday. I don’t actually take coffee breaks unless there is free cake. []
  3. I think my long run this weekend needs to be 12 km. My least favourite number of kms []
  4. as I have a grant application due May 3rd that’s not going to write itself. Plus I need to do some work on my super secret project that I can’t tell you about because then I’d have to kill you []