Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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What Have I Been Doing for the Past Month – a bulleted list

So now that I’m done making excuses for my prolonged absence from the blogosphere, here’s a brain dump of all the things I’ve thought “I should blog about that!” in the last month:

  • I did, in fact, have that belated birthday party I talked about having. I decided that since I celebrate Bethmas Eve, Bethmas, and Bething Day, it only makes sense that if I have a party after my actual birthday, it’s Orthodox Bethmas. The party was fantastic, if I do say so myself. I’m so lucky that I have so many wonderful friends and I love it that even though lots of my friends don’t know each other, everyone enjoys chatting and making new friends with my other friends. There’s also some of my friends that only know some of my other friends from having met at my various birthday parties over the years, so they get to catch up – lol! I also discovered that two of my very close friends, each of whom I have known for well over a decade, have never actually met each other! They seem to have just not had their paths cross before – even when they’ve both been able to make it to one of my parties, for example, one of them had come early and the other hadn’t come until later, after the other one had left. 
  • Rather than doing an elaborate house drink for my birthday party, which I often do because I love mixing cocktails, I decided to go with the simple Moscow Mule. This choice may have also been influenced by the fact that I had a bottle of ginger liqueur that I bought in Portland ages ago with the intention of using it to make Moscow Mules but hadn’t. At any rate, they were very popular.
  • Dr. Dan, and his grad student, Nic, visited for a while. It was great to see them, as always (I only wished I could have spent more time hanging out!). They got to come to my birthday, which was awesome, and Dr. Dan even guest lectured in my class at the JI!
  • I completely blew my weightlifting personal record (PR) that I set on my birthday out of the water. As you may recall, on my birthday, I back squatted 77.5 kg (171 lbs). By the time that particular program ended two weeks later, I back squatted 85 kg (187 lbs)! I also set PRs for trapbar deadlift (100 kg or 220 lbs!) and what I think are PRs for bench press (42.5 kg or 94 lbs) and barbell overhead press (26 kg or 57 lbs), but I’d have to look back at all my old programs to be sure.
  • We had a full day planning meeting for the Canadian Evaluation Society BC chapter executive last weekend and I have to say, I’m really lucky to work with such a dedicated and creative group of people. We’ve got lots of exciting plans for this year!
  • Work is crazy, as always. And that’s probably enough said about that!
  • On Thursday, my friend Alicia took me to see a performance of Much Ado About Nothing by an all female cast at the Cultch. It was hilarious! I’ve never seen or read Much Ado About Nothing before, so it was fun to get to see it without knowing what was going to happen. All of the actors were brilliant and the venue is so intimate – it’s quite a different experience than seeing places up on a tradition stage in a big theatre. It’s running until Feb 16 – if you can, I highly recommend you go see it!

How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!

Leonato, Much Ado About Nothing
  • In nine days, Scott and I head to Palm Springs for week. Given that the forecast for Vancouver for the next two weeks is highs around 0 degrees, I think that the Palm Springs forecast of highs in the teens sound pretty appealing. We are flying Swoop from Abbotsford to Vegas and then driving from there (because cheapness). It will be really nice to get a little bit of break (where by “break” I mean “doing course prep pool side rather than wrapped in blankets in my condo”)

Anyhoo, I guess this has been enough of a break for today – time to get back to my marking!


It’s Surprisingly Difficult to Take Pictures From a Moving Car

Along the Coquihalla highway, there are a series of signs with the names of Shakespearean characters on them. On the way up to Kelowna, I was all “I’m *totally* going to take photos of those on the way back and post them on my blog because they are awesome!” As it turns out, this was much easier said than done.

The first Shakespeare-related sign (when heading south on the Coq) is for Juliet – and I totally missed seeing it until it was too late to take a photo. “OK,” I said, “I’ll be prepared for the others.” I remembered that there were a bunch of non-Shakespeare signs between Juliet and the next Shakes-related one, so I dutifully waited with my camera at the ready and got a bunch of shots like this:


and this:


I think this might have been the one that said “Verona” or “Lear”1.

I did, however, manage to get a nice clear picture of this:


Thar. What the hell is Thar???

I also got a fuzzy one of a sign that says Duke:


And an even fuzzier shot of “Iago”:


Plus one with the “o” in Romeo cut off:


And one where you can see most of “Portia”:


(Look down below the more prominent “Boston Bar Creek” sign).

All was not lost, however! I got a good shot of the sign for Shylock Road:

Shylock Road

And, as a bonus, a shot of the bridge where Shylock Road goes over the highway:

Shylock Road

The little green sign on the bridge says “Shylock Road”, I swear!

And an OK photo of the sign for Othello Road:

Othello Road

Of course, all of this made me wonder why the hell there are a bunch of signs with names of Shakespearean characters2. Apparently, it all started with the Othello Tunnels:

You can tell I didn’t take this photo because it doesn’t suck3

Apparently, the Coquihalla is built on what used to be the Kettle Valley Railway, which included five tunnels cutting through the mountains – and these tunnels were called the Othello Tunnels. The stations along the railway were all given names from Shakespearean plays – Lear, Portia, Iago, Romeo, and Juliet – because either the engineer or the railway president – or possibly the railway president’s daughter – was a fan of old Wills.

Anyway, now I know. Which I believe, as Shakespeare once said, is half the battle.

  1. I missed both of them. []
  2. And, in the case of Verona, a location. []
  3. Here’s where that photo actually came from. []