Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese


Pandemic Playlist

You know how some songs just resonate with you at a given time based on whatever’s going on in your life? Maybe it’s a song you’ve heard a million times before, but a lyric just jumps out at you in a different way because of where you are at the time you hear it?

Since the pandemic started, I’ve actually gotten (a little bit) back into running. You may recall that after a decade long (very) amateur half marathon running career, I stopped because I sprained my ankle, which led to (excruciating) hip bursitis, and even after my hip got better, I never went back to running because my ankle never fully healed and I’ve been terrified of getting hip bursitis again. Well, not being able to play hockey or go to the gym was making my antsy. I’m doing at home workouts, which are good for me physically, but I don’t think have the same mental health benefits as my usual exercises, especially since I’m doing them in the same place where I now spend my entire workday, my evenings, my weekends…. So I decided to give running a try again. Just to see how my ankle feels. And not super long distances. And really paying attention to my form so I don’t overcompensate and put stress on my hip again. And did I mention not for super long distances?

Anyhoo, getting back into running means I’ve been listening to my Zombie Running app – which is still really great storytelling, but I have to say that listening to a story where you are a character running missions during a zombie apocalypse was maybe not the best choice in the early days of living in a viral apocalypse – and interspersed through the story you listen to music from your playlist. And as I listened to these songs that I used to listen to on the regular, but haven’t listened to in more than three years, more than a few of them jumped out at me with a new resonance. (There have also been a few things I’ve heard listening to the radio or to various Spotify playlists that have had similar effect). And so I give to you, in no particular order, my pandemic playlist (I reserve the right to add to this list later as the pandemic is ongoing).

Evacuate the Dancefloor by Cascada:

Untouched by the Veronicas:

Contagious by Avril Lavinge:

Poison by Groove Coverage1 (particularly the line “your lips are venomous poison”)

Don’t Stand So Close to Me by the Police2:

Break My Heart by Dua Lipa (particularly the line “I should have stayed at home):

Breathing Underwater by Metric (particularly the line “Is this my life?”, which I find myself asking myself a lot these days. But also knowing that COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that, when severe, causes pneumonia, which causes fluid in the lungs making it difficult to breath, well, the title also works).

  1. Yes, I know this song is originally by Alice Cooper. But I have the Groove Coverage cover on my playlist. []
  2. Props to Cath for point this one out []



And just like that, NaBloPoMo is over. Where did November go, exactly? And along a similar vein, where the hell did December come from???

So, yeah, I managed to write a blog posting every single day1 Interestingly, I didn’t end up using hardly any of the ideas that I brainstormed before the month started 2 – once I got going, I seemed to come up with things to blog about every day.

Also, I just looked at how I’m doing relative to my 2016 goal of writing 116 blog postings this year and I’m happy to see that as soon as I click “post” on this one, I’ll have 101 blog postings for the year – just 15 to go! So I just need to blog every other day in December, though now that I’m on a roll, I think I’m going to see how long I can make this blogging streak go!

And now, even though it’s unrelated to anything, is my new favourite song, which I heard on an old episode of the Caustic Soda podcast (I’m listening to older seasons that I hadn’t listened to yet):

  1. And only had to backdate twice – once because I was writing late and it got past midnight and the other time because I was writing and got distracted and forgot that I hadn’t posted it until the next day. []
  2. I had planned one for my Mom’s birthday and one for my niece’s, and the Meta one was in draft, but I think that was it for brainstormed ones. []



So I wrote that previous blog posting on the Skytrain and only just posted it with 3 minutes to spare before Nov 1 turned into Nov 2 and then I would have failed at NaBloPoMo before I even started it. I blame the fact that I teach on Tuesday nights and I ended up staying even later than usual after class because I got into a great discussion with a student about mastery, autonomy, and purpose, and then when I got home I had to submit conference proposals that were due on Nov 1, and then my cats demanded that we play with the laser pointer, then it was really late. But now it’s after midnight, so I figure I may as well get my Nov 2 blog posting done while I’m sitting here at my blog. And given that I talked in the last blog posting about how I’m going to write all my blog postings for NaBloPoMo with one-word titles, I have this song stuck in my head:

and also this one:

Maybe you have them stuck in your head now too?


Dumb Ways To Die

This song is totally stuck in my head, which may or may not be due to my nephew wanting to view this video over and over and over again:

And playing the video game.


Irish Music

One thing that every person I’ve ever talked to that has ever been to Ireland raves about is the music. There is music everywhere you go, from live bands in every pub (often accompanied by Irish dancing and *always* accompanied by lots of the audience singing along) to the buskers you’ll see both in the cities and way out in the countryside (at places that tourists like to stop, like Ladies’ View or the Cliffs of Moher). And honestly, the buskers are so amazing – I didn’t see a single one that wasn’t exceptionally talented.

One such exceptionally talented musician was Tina (who I mentioned in a previous posting plays at the Cliffs of Moher). Tina came to play a private show for us at the Connemara Coast Hotel:


Tina has an incredibly singing voice and plays the harp beautifully. At one point, she told us that female harp player is called a “harpist”, whereas a male harp player is called a “harper”. Being that my entire tour group was Canadian, we were quick to tell her what we think of the word “Harper”.

The next day, we saw Tina playing again – this time at the Cliffs of Moher.


There was one thing about Tina that kept bugging me though – everyone just called her “Tina”. Even the CDs she was selling just said “Tina” on them. Did this woman not have a last name? Anyway, I did some digging and discovered… her last name is Mulrooney! Given our reaction to the word “Harper”, I could see why she might not have wanted to tell us her last name1!

Here’s another busker we saw – this was a guy who was playing on the street in Killarney. I believe his name may have been Scotty.


We told him we were Canadians and he said, “I’ll sing you a famous Canadian song!” and proceeded to sing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Well, the first  couple of verses of it anyway – turns out , he didn’t know the rest of the words!

Here are some more musicians in Killarney – specifically, a band that was playing outdoors at Buckley’s Traditional Pub:


And here is Declan. Isn’t he adorable?


Declan was playing the uilleann pipes at Ladies’ View in Killarney. Uilleann pipes are Irish bagpipes that you inflate by pumping a bellows with your arm, instead of by blowing into them2. We were chatting with him about the pipes and about County Kerry when one of the people in my tour group said, “Hey, were you at Buckley’s Pub last night. You walked in and handed someone a bag?” It turned out that this musician, who we just randomly ran into at Ladies View in the middle of the Ring of Kerry was, in fact, at the same pub as our group the night before. And the guy on my tour who recognized him? A retired cop3.

Another place we heard some good Irish music was at the Marine Bar in Dungarvon in County Waterford:


The place where we enjoyed our pints of Murphy’s:


We also enjoyed the music of Christie O’Neill, the pub owner and musician:


We also saw a few performances of Irish dancing, like this one at the Arlington Hotel in Dublin:


And then we saw more music and dancing at the Abbey Tavern in Howth in County Dublin:


And we even got to get in on the dancing!



When talking about the music on my trip to Ireland, I would be remiss if I did not tell you about what turned into the theme song of our tour. It’s actually not a Irish song, but rather a song that hails from the Irish capital of Canada: Newfoundland. One of our tour mates, Ed, sang us a song called Diddle Dee and Duddle Dum. And then we demanded he sing it over and over and over again at every opportunity. Because it was awesome! Here’s Ed singing it to us at the Marine Bar:


It doesn’t appear that Ed has his version up on YouTube, but I did find someone else singing it:

Now, I mentioned earlier that there was lots of audience singing along in the pubs. I think this is facilitated by the fact that (a) beer and (b) everyone sings the same six songs, at every pub, every single night. I went to Ireland not knowing the words to any Irish songs4, but before the trip was done, I was sing all the “No Nay Never No more” and “Cockles and Mussels Alive, Alive, Oh!” like a true Irish lass!

And now, some classic Irish songs for you!

Molly Malone5:

Wild Rover:

Danny Boy:

Red is the Rose:

If You’re Irish (Come Into the Parlour):

All of Gods’ Creatures Have a Place in the Choir:

  1. For my non-Canadian readers, check out #18 and #22 on this list to get a hint about what I’m talking about []
  2. I couldn’t find any Youtube videos of Declan – possibly because I never did find out his last name – but here’s a video of some other random playing the uileann pipes. []
  3. In case you are curious, it turned out that the bag contained CDs. Because, of course, we asked! []
  4. I was surprised when we first got to Ireland and my mom and my aunts were singing along with all the songs right away. Turns out, their dad used to play Irish music all the time when they were little and they still remember all the words! []
  5. This song is so famous there is actually a statue of Molly in Dublin! []


*Could* have been?

So, I’ve been listening to Rihanna’s song Man Down, which I quite like, but there’s one line that drives me absolutely crazy:

‘Cause I didn’t mean to hurt him
Could’ve been somebody’s son
And I took his heart when
I pulled out that gun

*Could* have been somebody’s son? *Could* have? Is it possible that he wasn’t somebody son? What, did he spring from the foam on the ocean? Erupt from a volcano? Materialize out of thin air? Why the hell would anyone write such a line? Did no one at any point in the production of this song point out “Um, yeah, that doesn’t make any sense.”?


My Nephew’s Favourite Song

This is the song that I sang to my nephew when I was on vacation with my sister and her family in Portland this summer. Sure he was only 11 weeks old at the time, but he totally loves Metric.


T-Minus Two Weeks Until My Next Half Marathon

Two days from now I leave for my vacation to visit the fam. Two weeks from now I will back from said vacation and running a half marathon! My training for this particular half marathon has been rather lacklustre, so I’m not expecting to set another personal best like I did last time. At this point, I’ll be happy to (a) finish the race, and (b) not set a personal worst.

In preparation for the race, I emailed Dan and Rick – knowing that they are both runners and both have excellent taste in music – to ask for recommendations for some new music to add to my running playlist. I already had a fairly extensive playlist, but given that my long runs are now into the 2 hr range – meaning that I listen to a lot of songs on each run – I’ve started getting kind of bored of it and felt that some fresh songs would help keep me motivated. And not only did they give me some great suggestions, but Dan also introduced me to, a site that suggestions songs based on the pace you plan to run!

Today is my last big long run before the half marathon1 and I have to run 20 km. So I got a bunch of songs – or added songs I already had in my main music library to my running playlist – and I’m going to test them out on today’s run. The ones I like running to will end up in my playlist for the big day2! This is my playlist for today’s run:

  • Rolling in the Deep – Adele
  • Take Me On The Floor – The Veronicas
  • Hello – Martin Solveig featuring Dragonette
  • Set It On Fire – My Darkest Days
  • Combat Baby – Metric
  • Backstabber – Ke$ha
  • Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne
  • Till The World Ends – Britney Spears featuring Nicki Minaj & Ke$ha
  • Firework – Katy Perry
  • Blow – Ke$ha
  • Monster – Lady Gaga
  • Contagious – Avril Lavigne
  • Price Tag – Jessie J
  • Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
  • Bulletproof – La Roux3
  • Tik Tok – Ke$ha
  • Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • I Can Do Better – Avril Lavigne
  • Womanizer  – Britney Spears
  • More – Usher
  • Tightrope – Janelle Monae
  • Dangerous – Cascada
  • Gold Guns Girls – Metric
  • Kiss N Tell – Ke$ha
  • Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis
  • Whataya Want From Me – Adam Lambert
  • Only Girl (In The World) – Rihanna
  • Telephone – Lady Gaga
  • Soundsystem – Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Untouched – The Veronicas
  • Marvellous – Dragonette
  • Closet Freak – Stef Lang featuring Ray Black
  • Teeth – Lady Gaga
  • Evacuate the Dancefloor – Cascada
  • Let’s Play – Kristina Maria
  • We R Who We R – Ke$ha
  • My First Kiss – 3OH3 featuring Ke$sha

As you can see, it’s pretty heavy on the cheesy pop music, which is my favourite stuff to run to! Now wish me luck as I go out to run almost a half marathon today!

  1. We get to taper down in the last two weeks []
  2. Some of these were already on my running playlist, but have been just recently added so I’m not yet bored of them []
  3. Props to Kalev for this one. []


The Return of The Cursed Chocolate Bar

Long time readers of NTBTWK may remember the tale of the cursed chocolate bar. For those who don’t, let me explain. Back in the NHL playoffs of ’07…. oh hell, here’s a cut-and-paste job from my blog posting at the time:

I nearly had a heart attack watching tonight’s game! It had been very frustrating to watch my boys lose the last two games, where they could have ended the series, but didn’t, resulting in tonight winner-take-all matchup. Then it occurred to me what the problem was… my chocolate bar was cursed. Two games ago, I was watching the game with a bunch of friends at two of my friends’s apartment and during the intermission between the third period and OT, a couple people decided to go to the store for snacks and I got a big bar of dark Swiss chocolate. It was quite delicious, but certainly more than I could eat in one sitting. We lost that game in OT, and then we lost the next game. I had eaten some more of the chocolate bar over the past few days, but still had quite a bit left when this game started. I started to have an inkling that my chocolate bar might be cursed, preventing the Canucks from winning, but when Dallas scored first in tonight’s game, I decided it was time to take action. I ate the rest of the bar. And shortly after finishing said bar, the Canucks scored. Did I ever mention that I’m supersititious?

Thanks to me devouring the cursed chocolate bar, the good guys prevailed and the bad guys… well, they got sent back to Dallas.

Fast forward to this year. The Canucks are up 3-0 in their series against the hated Chicago Blackhawks and then they lose game 4… and 5… and 6. Things look dire. My sista from another prime minista is worried. The following conversation occurs on Twitter:

twitter conversation

That’s right folks. ANOTHER cursed chocolate bar! And this one was *hiding* from me – it’s just *that* insidious!


This is not a photo of the ACTUAL cursed chocolate bar, but rather a photo of one that looks like it that I found on Flickr, because I thought you all needed to be forewarned about possible chocolate bar curses. I didn’t waste any time photographing the actual cursed chocolate bar as it was CRITICAL that I devour that item as quickly as possible. Also, I didn’t want anything of that cursed chocolate bar to exist – not even a photo! I wolfed down the remainder of that freaking chocolate bar so fast that I thought I would barf1! But I knew that barfing was not an option, as that would mean the chocolate was not destroyed. Barfing was not an option!

Mercifully, the destruction of the cursed chocolate bar worked and my beloved Canucks triumphed over the evil Chicago Blackhawks last night! And the city rejoiced2!!

Also, while talking about my superstitiousness3, I should point out that there were two good omens yesterday that foretold of the glorious Canucks victory.

First, there was a freaking double rainbow in Vancouver4!

What does it mean?

What does it mean? It means Canucks victorious, bitches!

The second was an omen that was revealed only to me. Earlier in the day while at work, I was listening to the radio and the song Combat Baby by Metric came on. I even tweeted it: “♫ Combat Baby! Said you would never give up easy! ♫” And as I listened to that line, I realized that my Canucks would never give up easy. And, knowing that my iPod is sentient, I got it in my head that I needed to hear Combat Baby as I drove to Alicia’s place for the game. But I couldn’t intentionally play it – it had to show up in my shuffle. And would you believe that not only did my Bellatrix5 play Combat Baby for me while I listened on shuffle, but it played it when I was 3 minutes and 32 seconds away from arriving at Alicia’s! As I was driving up Davie Street to her place and Rihanna’s Only Girl in the World was coming to an end, I said aloud, “Come on, Bellatrix! Play Combat Baby!” And no word of a lie, at that exact moment, Combat Baby started. True fucking story. And I knew at that moment that my Canucks were destined to win.

Image Credits:

  1. Granted, I was so anxious about the game even before I found the chocolate bar, I felt like I was going to barf []
  2. Honestly, I watched the game at my friend Alicia’s place in Yaletown and the atmosphere in the city was exactly like when we won the Olympic gold medal in men’s hockey last year! There was yelling and cheering and horns honking and it all went well into the night []
  3. Yes, I am a superstitious atheist. And no, that does not make any sense. Your point? []
  4. Full disclosure: I didn’t actually see the double rainbow, but read about it on blogs and Twitter afterwards []
  5. Bellatrix being my iPhone’s name []


Tokyo Police Club at the Commodore

As I mentioned the other day, I won tickets on Miss to the Tokyo Police Club show at the Commodore on Saturday. I took my friend Lianna with me and, in addition to the show, our tickets also got us into a Meet & Greet backstage with the band1.

Before the Meet & Greet started, Lianna and I grabbed some dinner – and I was quite disappointed to learn that The Commodore won’t serve you a side of fries. Seriously. They make fries, but you can’t buy them only their own – only with their burger! What gives, Commodore? Fortunately, Lianna happened to get the burger, which was ginormous and so she couldn’t finish her fries – so I did! Next we met up with my friend Theresa and her friend (as it just so happened that they were also at the show), but then Lianna and I went off to the Meet & Greet and after we were done that, we didn’t see them again, which was not all that surprising given that it was a sold out show, so the place was packed!

For the Meet & Greet, we were told to meet up at the door to the backstage, where we were given “Special Experience” badges and let in to the backstage area2. The band seemed like a pretty nice bunch of guys, but holy awkward situation Batman3. No one had any idea what to do, so everyone just introduced themselves and made awkward chit chat (during which I, of course, insulted the Toronto Maple Leafs – given that they are from Toronto – and they conceded that yes, they Leafs are, in fact, beyond all hope) and then we did some awkward photos and got the hell out of dodge.

Tokyo Police Club - Backstage Meet & Greet

Me and Lianna and Tokyo Police Club. That’s the San Jose Sharks game on the TV in the background.

The one thing I did learn from the Meet & Greet was that after this tour, the band is going to stick around Toronto to work on their next album. They haven’t decided what studio to record it in, but they all live in T.O., so that’s where they’ll be writing. So, yeah, you heard it here first, y’all.

The show itself started off with opening bands Toronto-basedDinosaur Bones:

Dinosaur Bones at the Commodore

and then Vancouver’s own Said the Whale:

Said The Whale at the Commodore

both of whom were pretty good. Note: I am not a music critic and “they were pretty good” is probably the most insightful review you can get out of me. For what it’s worth, I did just go to iTunes and buy Said the Whale’s album. So that’s something.

Then Tokyo Police Club came on4 – and I really liked them too.

Tokyo Police Club at the Commodore

Tokyo Police Club at the Commodore

For the encore, TPC came out with this giant cat:

Tokyo Police Club (with a giant cat) at the Commodore

And then k-os5 showed up too and they did a cover of Kayne West’s Runaway. Here’s a video of it that someone else took and put up on YouTube6:

  1. We were supposed to go to the Sound Check, but I got a call earlier in the day to say that they couldn’t do that anymore, so we were invited to a Meet & Greet backstage instead. []
  2. FYI – The backstage area isn’t nearly as nice as I would have expected! Pretty boring, in fact. []
  3. I later talked to another woman who was also at the Meet & Greet and she said that she’s been to several of these and they are always awkward []
  4. I would like to point out that my photo taking was less than ideal, such that I didn’t even get one good shot of all of TPC on stage. I was spending more time enjoying the music than worrying too much about photos though, so I think that’s OK. []
  5. Who I also didn’t managed to take a picture of, given my aforementioned half-assed photo taking. []
  6. The sound’s not the greatest, but what can you do? []