Tuesday, December 18, 2007

don't try this at home

Phase one December madness (bargaining, exams, teaching) is over. Phase two December madness (holiday parties, shopping, baking, crafting, family time) is upon us.

Saturday night saw us heading down to Paul's running club's annual holiday dinner, which this year was held at the Rowing Club near Stanley Park. Paul's parents live about a 5 min stroll away, so we figured we'd stop in there for a drink on the way to dinner. We took the bus town town and figured if we went up for one quick drink we'd arrive at our function fashionably about half an hour late.

The out-law's live on the 17th floor of a high rise building, so in to the elevator and up we go. A little more than half way up, Paul, who recently watched the movie Elf on tv, turns to me and says, "hey, you know what we should do?" and jumps.

The elevator stops.

And stays stopped.

We look at each other for a few moments, try pressing a few buttons, and then realize this is really happening. There is an emergency phone at the bottom of the elevator which connects us to an operator who tells us she will page an elevator technician to come and get us out, but in the meantime just relax, but if it starts getting stuffy or we start getting panicky, call back and they'll send the fire department to get us out right away. We hang up, sit there for about five seconds, and then Paul calls them back and requests the fire department. The poor guy doesn't do well in confined situations like small airplanes and elevators at the best of times, and this definitely wasn't the best of times.

After a few minutes went by we had Paul's parents and the building concierge trying to be helpful in the hallway, telling us to try to pry the door open, etc. Nothing worked. The fire department showed up after we'd been in there for about 30 min and they were able to get the exterior doors open and again suggested we try to pry open the interior door, but we couldn't do it. They were able to pry both doors open on the other elevator, but ours was stuck between floors so a safety mechanism was in place which only the elevator tech could release. I guess they probably don't want people prying doors open and accidentally falling out or something. I couldn't believe the bucket heads couldn't even get us out. So, we sit on the floor and wait. The fire men and Paul's dad were having a good laugh in the hallways, and telling us jokes through the door. I was finding the situation totally hilarious, and was trying my best not to laugh since I knew Paul wasn't finding things funny at all. Rather, he was lying on the floor with his eyes closed concentrating on deep breathing. His face was red and flushed, and his hands were cold and sweaty. Poor guy! After we'd been stuck in there nearly an hour, the elevator guy finally arrived. At first we heard a lot of banging and prying on the door, but nothing happened. Eventually he headed up a floor and was able to get to us from above, working his magic and releasing the inside doors. We were told to stay at the back, pass our stuff out to the fire men, who then quickly lifted us out. They told us that sometimes the elevators drop, so they've got to get people out as quickly as possible.

So, after being trapped in there for an hour, we were out safely, and rather than heading up to the folks place for a drink, we were on our way back down and racing towards our dinner. We arrived fashionably late, just as dinner was being served.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Waz going on?

In brief . . .

My arm is on the mend - thanks for asking. It's still pretty painful now and then, but I'm back at work, and doing practically everything except for lifting some heavy things. I have minions for that.

Classes are done, exams are looming. The big scary Chem final is exactly one week away. I have a lot of studying to cram into the next six days.

Our collective agreement at work expires Dec 31st. We had planned on starting bargaining in early January, but just last week we were informed by the employer that there is a PSEC mandate for us to finish bargaining before the current CE expires. Not only that, but the parties must reach an agreement by Dec 10th, and then ratify prior to Dec 31st. I'm the chair of the bargaining committee, so this means that over the next six days, four will be spent at the table, and we may go around the clock for the last two.

Did I mention I need to study?

Also there is my regular job, and the end of semester/beginning of semester shiz that goes on. Busy times.

Plus, because I'm completely insane, I agreed to teach a Lifesaving Instructor crash course which starts two days after my finals are done. This means I will also have to recertify my IT status prior to then.

So December 18th I'll be ready to start my holiday baking, crafting, and shopping. If my head hasn't imploded by then.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Apologies for the lack of posts lately, and the lack of posts to continue for a little while.

I fell down the stairs at work during a power outage - I was running down them to get to the filter room and isolate the system, and I hit a patch of shampoo or soap or something that someone had spilled, and went flying. I landed right arm out, and have mangled the tendons in my hand and arm, jarred my shoulder and neck, and bruised my ribs. It hurts.

So no repetitive motion, including typing (I'm using one hand here . . . slow progress), no lifting, no fun. I'll be back posting like crazy as soon as I can. Maybe in the meantime I'll post pictures - I seem to be able to drive the mouse with relative ease.

Friday, October 19, 2007

the pumpkins

Over the summer when I actually had time for such things, I read the 100 Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon. For those of you who haven't read it yet, do. It's a lovely read, beautiful writing, and it's not at all preachy, rather, it presents as an experiment, and the inspirational and at times heartbreaking or hilarious results. The 100 Mile Diet isn't for me - I'm not willing to give up my vegetarian ways, and until rogue farmers in the lower mainland start growing soy or garbanzo beans, I'll have to out-source my protein. While the strict 100 mile radius isn't for me, the concept is: eat locally grown and produced food to reduce carbon emissions, boost local economy, save farmland from development, and ensure the family farms aren't taken over by big evil factory farms. Food starts to loose nutrients as soon as it is harvested, so a tomato you buy from a farmers market which was picked that very morning at optimum ripeness is not only going to taste infinitely better than a tomato which sat on a refrigerator truck all the way from California, but it's better for you too.

I was lucky enough to read the book while I was on my summer holidays, where we grow quite a lot of food on our property. All I had to do most days was trundle down the terraced garden and poke around to see if I could find any potatoes in the potato patch, if any of the yellow zucchini was big enough for picking, if any beets were crowning through the soil announcing their readiness for harvest. I could pick peppery arugula, lettuce, and nasturtium blossoms for a salad. Beans, peas, plums, apples, and blackberries also grow on the property. Many things we didn't grow ourselves could be found from the little (9 acre) organic farm a short trek into town, where the stunning produce (I've been banned from further discussion on the adorableness of his eggplants) is simply bunched and priced and laid out in a roadside booth with a drop box for cash or cheques. Organic free range eggs could be found in a variety of driveways where families simply have chickens hanging out in their back yards and sell whatever they don't consume themselves. While I'm not much of an egg person normally, I ate these eggs nearly every day (the local protein source) and they tasted like no egg I've ever had out of a supermarket box. I was on the five mile diet(give or take), and loving every moment of it.

Coming back to the city was depressing, but I've tried my best to keep up with the local food. One rainy weekend Paul and I headed back to Gibsons for some R&R, and much to my delight I discovered we still had zucchini and beans growing. I harvested everything, knowing that whatever I left behind would soon succumb to autumns soggy rot, and processed most of the zucchini to be frozen and later used in baking. While Paul was out for his Sunday long-run, I headed into town to see if my favourite organic farmer had any produce out. He did! Mostly peppers, but the variety! Green bell peppers, jalapeno, red hot cherry bomb, and something they had thought was going to be an Italian pickling pepper but ended up being bright multicoloured streaked peppers, some mild, some hot. I grabbed a bag of green peppers and a bag of the jalapenos, and then started heading back. It was then that I noticed another little farm on the side of the road with a hand painted sign advertising u-pick pumpkins. I pulled into their driveway and saw the pumpkin patch on my right, and a little covered stand with a drop box and a sign that said, "all pumpkins $5" on my left. I looked into my wallet and realized I only had a $20 bill, or a cheque. After a moment of contemplating how they might feel about me leaving a cheque for a couple of pumpkins, I just up and decided I'd get four. So I slogged into the soggy pumpkin patch, and spent about five minutes wandering around in the rain trying to decide on the four most perfect pumpkins, and then called my mom and told her not to buy any canned pumpkin for the Thanksgiving pies.

Two of the pumpkins have been chunked up, peeled, steamed, pureed, strained, and turned into pies. The other two are waiting to be processed - they will be roasted and then the flesh scraped out of the skins and pureed - I realized after the fact that this would be much less time consuming - and the pumpkin puree will be portioned and added to the collection of grated zucchini, roasted, skinned, and seeded jalapeno puree, and blackberries we've got in our freezer.

I love knowing exactly where my food came from. Remembering the rainy day I picked the pumpkins, chatting with the farmer who grew the adorable baby eggplants (I'll post pictures, you'll see) and the awesome jalapenos. I know I could have spent $20 on canned pumpkin from the supermarket and it would probably have been more pumpkin and definitely less work, but I supported a local family farm, I got to see and choose my pumpkins, I know how nutrient rich they are, and I reduced carbon emissions and packaging while I was at it.

Last week I volunteered at the UBC farm helping out with the fall harvest. We harvested over 500lbs of butternut squash (some had been harvested the day before, so their crop must have been over 1000lbs) and then scrubbed them clean and dunked them in a 10% bleach solution to eliminate any fungus or mold spores so they could be stored in the greenhouse and wouldn't contaminate any other produce. It was a sunny day October day and I got to hang out in the fields and then by the farm hut and chat with an agroecology student who actually lives on the farm, and a hkin student who wandered around in bare feet and wore a straw hat with flowers stuck in it. It was an awesome day, and I left with hands raw from the bleach, a sore back from lugging crates of produce around, and a backpack full of butternut squash which had been gnawed on by rodents so was unsaleable at market, but still perfectly fine for eating. It made awesome soup. I think I'll definitely go back and volunteer some more at the farm - it's such an oasis, I didn't even feel like I was in the city, and I think it will fulfill that getting my hands dirty and being connected with food part of me that has been missing in the city.

Eat local!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

staying out of the red

September has come and gone faster than I ever thought possible. And that 'summer' we supposedly had? Feels like a million miles away.

I was worried about September and the financial burden I knew it would be, but I'm happy to report that I managed to get through and pay my rent, car payment, car insurance, tuition, textbooks, misc bills, and actually live a little all without going into the red. This is thanks mostly to the awesome under the table business I've got going on the side, and the rate at which it continues to grow while seeing a steady stream of return business. With out the biz I wouldn't be able to afford any of the little extras. Huge props go to my littlest sis (who is considerably taller than me), Pamela, who helped get it all started and is my biggest source of free advertising.

So to celebrate making it through the month, and also cause I've got a few peeps who need a visit, I've been on the lookout for cheap flights to Calgary. I was checking flights every day for a couple of weeks, watching the price go up and down and up and down and up and down and down and down and OMFG I'VE NEVER SEEN PRICES THIS LOW!!! BOOK!! BOOK!! BOOK!! And since I booked I've been watching the prices every day go up and stay up, and am satisfied that the deal I got is the best deal of all time. Good things come to those who wait.

Now I have to go deal with my pumpkins . . .

Saturday, September 29, 2007

love, life, and the institute of marriage

I spoke last night with an old friend, whose phone calls I have, unfortunately, been terrible at returning. Finally connecting, he told me, among other things, he is splitting with his wife. This means the first three friends of mine to marry are now also the first three friends of mine to divorce. This is an unsettling trend.

Paul and I have been together over four years now, and while we have no plans to marry, neither do we have plans to not be together forever. We know several couples who have been together for a shorter (sometimes significantly) period of time than we, who are married - are those relationships more valid than ours? It depends on who you ask. I've certainly felt the 'unmarried shun' from some people, like the invitations addressed to 'Paul and Guest' (what, you think he's going to bring someone other than his common-law partner?), or the uncle of mine who didn't bother to include a picture of Paul on the family tree wall at a family reunion (not that Paul minded - I quite frankly would have liked to escape the wall myself).

Then there was my mother, who, when we made a comment about how the uber catholic grandparents would have been happy only if we had slept in seperate tents while camping, said, "even now that you're married?", and when I reminded her that we weren't, said, "oh yeah. I just feel like you are.".

I know being married is no more a guarantee of longevity in a relationship than not being married isn't, my first three friends to wed a perfect example. I know I don't need other people to validate the bond between Paul and I, and I know a piece of jewellery or a certificate isn't going to increase the strength of that bond. We don't need to stand in front of a crowd of people and profess our love in order for it to be real, but incase our lack of matrimonial status is confusing for any of you, here it is, pure and simple; I love Paul. And Billywilly. And the Bogowogo Man.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

you'll have to excuse me, I'm not at my best . . .

I keep thinking about doing a blog update, but couldn't seem to find the time, until now. I'm recovering from my first cold in over a year which has really flattened me more than I thought it would. The last two nights I went to bed at 7:30 and 9pm respectively, and I think one more night of solid sleep may get me back on my feet.

So, what's been going on? Well . . .

I've started classes at UBC. It's such a different experience than the last three years I've been taking classes at Langara. I feel generally much more relaxed. It's very serene to finish work and then leisurely stroll to classes in buildings I can literally see from work - much different than the mad dash across town, eating while driving, parking then running to class and maybe getting there on time. I don't think I realized how hard that was on me until I stopped doing it. I have, however, developed a bad habit of just working right up until 5 min before my class starts, which means I'm putting in close to an hour of overtime each day. I need to stop doing that. I also need to stop walking back to my office after class, where I inevitably get stopped and asked questions and end up working for another 1/2 hour or so.

The department I'm in is small, only about 1,200 including undergrad and graduate students. It is close knit, and a lot of work is put in to fostering a sense of community - weekly dinners where you hang out with fellow students and professors being just one example. I feel awesome about being in this department, it feels like the right fit, like coming home.

Sitting in lecture halls with 200 - 350 other students, rather than in small classrooms with 40 students max still feels bizarre to me. And I'm paying twice as much for this? Mmmmkay.

So what else?

I got a haircut which I hate. I think there were two problems; my hairdresser and I had our wires crossed when we were discussing the cut, and she was in a rush to get out of there. I was her last appointment of the day, and the person who went before me changed her mind about what she wanted half way through her cut, meaning I was sitting with dripping wet hair waiting for my turn for nearly an hour. Also meaning that my hairdresser, who just returned from mat leave, ended up working much later than she was supposed to and wanted to get the hell out of there and get home to her baby. Anyways, the result is hideous to me. A week has gone by and I still hate it. To me it looks like I had short hair which grew out badly. Anyways, it'll grow and I'll get over it. Pictures will NOT be posted.

And also?

Paul and I celebrated our fourth anniversary together! We did it up proper and went out for a fancy dinner, which thanks to a generous gift certificate from my old calculus tutor, Muna, didn't really break the bank at all. Afterwards we went out dancing and had an awesome time. Good times had by all.

That's pretty much it. Back to studying I go. Chemistry.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

glorious summer holidays

Aaaaaahhhh, the long awaited blog update . . .

The calculus exam over, Playland conquered, and rest and relaxation on the menu, we packed up and headed to the blissfully tranquil Sunshine Coast. The majority of our time was spent chilling at our property on Soames Point, just a few km away from Gibsons, BC. My family has an acre of waterfront property (which my Grandfather had the foresight to buy a long, long time ago, athough he did not, unfortunately, buy the property next door due to it's hefty pricetag of $500.00) which has awesome views of the mountains, harbour seals slapping away out front, easy beach access, good training grounds for Paul, great vegetable gardens, fruit trees, blackberries . . . needless to say, I wish I was still there. I didn't accomplish much, other than reading three books; the final installment of the Harry Potter series, the 100 Mile Diet (which should be required reading for every human being), and Charlotte's Web. We also picked more blackberries than will fit in our freezer (most are still in the deepfreeze at the cabin), drank copious amounts of beer, and ate more doughnuts than I'd care to admit. I woke up every morning and made a cup of tea, then wandered down the terraced garden to check on which vegetables had ripened overnight; peas, beans, beets, zucchini, a variety of lettuces, potatoes, lots of fresh herbs. What didn't come from the garden came from a neighbour's garden, or from the organic farm just past town.

We took a two day respite from the cabin to travel further up the coast than we'd been before. We headed off to Earl's Cove (I drove, and Paul rode his bike the 84km of non-stop hills) where we hopped on another ferry and glided into some really unspoiled paradise. After just less than an hour on the ferry we arrived in Saltery Bay, where we camped for two nights. It was so fantastically awesome, so relaxing, so beautiful, I felt overwhelmed with joy on a number of occassions. We pimped up our camping gear with a new delux queen-sized air mattress, so the sleeps were perhaps more comfy than in our bed at home.

This vacation, along with some choice reading material, has really made me desperately want to live somewhere I can grow things. Paul and I had some pretty serious talks about the possibility of living on the coast in the future, and either making work happen from there or commuting to town. We can figure out the logistics later.

Some pictures of the glorious holiday:

The view from the house.

On the ferry to Saltery Bay.

A feat of extreme engineering - our campsite.

Some wine and cheese on the water at Saltery Bay.

Soooo gorgeous!



And the cutest dog in the entire universe.

Friday, August 17, 2007

girl vs math - it's a draw

I remember practicing my multiplication tables with my dad when I was little. He made up flash cards with problems on each side, we'd sit in the living room and practice them each night. Before too long, I realized that the answers were written on the opposite side of the card; printed oh so faintly in pencil, there they were. Once I figured the system out, it was easy enough to convince him I knew what I was doing, so I didn't have to practice so much any more. I somehow fumbled through most of highschool math without ever really getting a firm grasp on the basics. I flunked math 12 in glorious style, really failing it good and solid - none of this 49% bullshit. It didn't matter anyways, I was going into fine arts, I didn't need math, so I systematically dismantled my calculator outside on the field behind the school at the end of grade 12, never looking back.

Not, that is, until over a decade later when I made the foolish decision to go back to school and pursue a science degree. A science degree? What the heck was I thinking? Face to face with my old nemesis, I had two choices: write a math proficiency test and get placed somewhere in the math program, or start at the beginning. I chose the latter. Starting at the beginning meant I had the opportunity to relearn the basics, and I do mean basics. My first classes were about adding and subtracting and multiplication and long division. No calculators allowed. I took a total of seven math courses spanning from roughly grade four all the way to calc II. I remember a point near the beginning where I was thinking to myself what complicated math I was up to, and my tutor asked if she could buy my textbook when the course was done. She thought it had good exercises she'd like to use for her grade 9 students. Grade 9. There were several points where we learned something so bizarre I thought surely this wasn't in the highschool curriculum when I went through it, but I was informed otherwise by people in the know. Apparently I have some serious mental blocks when it comes to highschool.

The last 12 months I ventured further into math than ever before. Past all the upgrading, past highschool, for the first time with a firm grasp on the basics I faced the dreaded calculus. Calculus to me is like puzzles - sudoku that mean people make you do. I actually quite enjoyed differential calculus, having a fantastic teacher who actually cared about her students and spent time practicing and when she looked out into the class and saw puzzled faces stopped what she was doing and went over it time and time again until people got it. Who got upset when her students didn't do well on tests and quizzes, and asked questions like, 'Is it me? How can I help you do well on this?' and had this fantastically dry eastern-European sense of humour and made each and every class a pleasure to attend. That is high praise for a math teacher coming from a math-hater like me. I enjoyed each and every class. Integral calculus was a whole nother can of worms. Couple the much more difficult and fast paced nature of integral calculus with a young arrogant instructor and chuck that mix into a class that goes all the summer long. Not enjoyable at all. I'm not going to dwell on this jackass or all of the ridiculous things he would say and do, or how he whipped through the material so fast he actually stopped teaching (if you can call what he was doing that at all) three weeks before classes ended, ceremoniously smashed all of the chalk in the room and considered his job done. No, I'm not going to dwell on it, but rest assured the head of the math department will be getting some constructive feedback from me pretty soon.

What I will say is that I made it. I look back on all this math like I had a starring role in some sort of epic war movie. I fought a lot of battles, and sure, I got my ass kicked along the way. I'm coming out of it with broken bones, tired spirit, and bruises-a-many, but I made it. I would like to thank three individuals without whom I surely would have perished:

First off, my mom, who when she saw me struggling and my stress level elevating, offered to pay for a tutor. I never would have been able to pay for a tutor myself, and I wouldn't have made it without the tutor. My mother is a giving and generous soul, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

Secondly, Muna, my tutor. Muna first came into my life when I was in grade 9 and she was a student teacher in our math class. We (not me specifically) were so mean to her, she finished her education program but decided not to become a teacher. She told me the experience was so horrible that had her visa allowed it, she would have dropped out of the program. She has three engineering degrees and an education degree, and tutors people in all levels of highschool and university math, chemistry, and physics. She is not only brilliant at those three things, but has a gift for figuring out sources of confusion and teaching the truly confused. She is a wonderful teacher in a one-on-one setting. Muna told me last year she planned on working only until the end of this school year, and then packing up and moving to Nelson with her husband, seeking cleaner air and tranquility. I had this one last calculus class to get through, and she said she brought me this far, she didn't feel right about leaving me with just one class to go, so she stayed in the city a couple of months later than she had originally intended just for me. She is truly one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the privilege of getting to know - I would have wanted to spend an hour and a half with her each week math or no math. I won't miss the math, but I will miss Muna.

Last, but certainly not least, comes Paul. This sweet man of mine is a math genius, and without him at home, my frustration level would have been exponentially higher. He was endlessly patient with me, checking my work, pointing out problems, explaining the laws of ln for the gazillionth time. He put up with multiple math-related temper tantrums, tears, throwing of textbooks and other irrational behaviour. He took the pencil out of my hand and replaced it with glass of wine when he knew I'd had enough, and he stayed out of my way when he knew that was best. In the last weeks he did all of the cooking and cleaning, and didn't take it personally when I was spazzing out. And he stayed true to himself, harassing me and playing practical jokes intermittently at inappropriate times. I truly couldn't have done it without him.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

postsecret movie

Every morning I sit with a cup of tea and do my usual email and blog check, and every Sunday I look forward to the release of new secrets on postsecret.com. This week Frank has released a postsecret movie, and it is amazing. The secrets are, as usual, beautiful and haunting and sad and touching, and the movie is set to one my favourite pieces of music. Enjoy.

Monday, August 06, 2007

long weekend not long enough

After recovering from a nasty stomach virus that knocked me off my feet for about 48hrs, I headed up to the glorious Sunshine Coast for the long weekend. I've only got one more week of work before my wonderful holiday from work and (once the calculus final is over with) school. The long weekend was like a delicious appetizer which left me hungry for more! Highlights included:

  • hanging out with my ENTIRE immediate family, which only happens a handful of times each year
  • crashing the after-party of a neighbour and childhood friend's wedding and hitting the open bar hardcore
  • lying on the beach
  • having a loooong talk with my mom, which we don't often get the chance to do
  • floating on an over sized inner tube and holding onto Paul's feet as he swam around doing his "pull" workout
  • water skiing behind our BRAND NEW boat
  • eating food from the garden
  • drinking lots of beer

All weekends should be long weekends. Five more days of work, and nine more days of serious studying to go. Holidays here I come!

Friday, July 27, 2007


Have you looked at the ticker lately? Holy shit man, that final is a-stormin' towards me. The good news is that my most recent midterm went really well, which hopefully bodes well for the final. The trick? Crunching numbers for close to eight hours a day, every day. I've let my poor old brain relax for a couple of days, and I'm about to hit it hardcore for the final. Don't be offended if you don't hear from me at all over the next 20 days, I'm not dead, I don't hate you (ok, well that depends on who you are actually . . .), I'm just integrating the shit out of those motherfuckers. My final ends at 3:30pm on Aug 15th. I plan on being inebriated by 3:35. Would it be wrong to drink hooch from my coffee mug during the final?

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I have pre-ordered my copy of the last Harry Potter book, and hopefully it will arrive early next week. I have promised myself I will not read a single word of this or any other book until after my calculus final on August 15th, so will be lending my copy out to keep it safe (from myself) until then. If I read even one word of it I will surely become hopelessly addicted (history has taught me) and stay awake for 36 hours straight reading and fail my final. If ANYBODY tells me ANYTHING about the book, I will tear you limb from limb before feeding your parts to he-whose-name-shall-not-be-spoken. Mmmkay?

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Facebook is out. I'm not caving. I have the willpower. This decision is inspired partly by stubbornness, and party by a conversation I had today about the meaning of being blocked/deleted by someone on Facebook. I just don't think I need it. Maybe I'll start an anti-facebook for recluses like myself and Cam. We'll call it Assbook.

Also, an introduction; although he denies it, I believe my sweet sugar pie is posting comments on this blog under the alias billywilly. Blog friends, meet Paul. I mean billywilly. I mean Paul. It's all just so confusing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Here's the deal-ey-oh

Basically, I'm completely sick of all the music on my ipod, but I'm too busy/lazy/inept to deal with finding new music to shove on. If any of y'alls are so inclined, send me a mixed cd and I'll dump it on there. I guarantee that I'll a) listen to it all, probably over and over again, and b) send you a thank-you prezzie in the mail.

Also, I've been more and more tempted lately into signing up for facebook. I've been resisting, but it's seeming increasingly futile. Can anyone give me five uber good reasons to join?

Back I go to my life of integration and alcohol.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

uh . . .

So, if you took a graph of a curve, say, y=2-xsquared, and a graph of a line, say, y=x, and you took those two graphs and rotated them about an axis, like x=2 for example, such that the graphs then formed a three dimensional shape, then you took a slice from the middle of that 3-D shape, or say, a thin strip of the crust that would form around the outside, what would the volume of that strip or slice be?

Um, who fucking cares?

Please send smart math vibes my way tomorrow between 3:30 and 5:30pm. Or liquor. Lots and lots of liquor.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Ecoholic

I've been reading this book called the Ecoholic - a guide to the most environmentally friendly information, products and services in Canada, by Adria Vasil. It's amazing. It's freaking blowing my mind. You should all RUN, not walk, to your nearest bookstore and pick yourself up a copy - I have so far purchased 6 copies, and I think more are to come. EVERYONE should read this book. The book its self is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper, totally chlorine free, and produced in a mill which uses biogas for fuel, and vegetable based inks were used in printing.

I'll share some of my favourite tips in the weeks to come, but for now a story. Last night Paul and I rented a DVD, and went to Dairy Queen for a blizzard, as we sometimes (okay, often) do on Sunday evenings. I always take my own to-go mug with me if I'm going out for a coffee, and have started taking my own take-out containers with me if I go out to a restaurant, so I figured why not take my own container to DQ for my blizzard? I announced this to Paul, and he told me I was being a freak and he would not go in with me if I did this. This only fueled my fire, so I selected a large cup from our kitchen which had it's volume clearly printed on the bottom. As we arrived at DQ Paul sprinted off ahead of me so it wouldn't look like we were together. He had already ordered and paid by the time we got in there, and as he was leaving he slipped me some money (it was his turn to pay) all sleuth like, as though he was slipping me drugs at a night club (uh, at least I think that's what it would be like . . .). I made it up to the front and asked the girl if she could make my blizzard in my own cup. I showed her the volume measurement on the bottom so she would know what kind of blizzard size to charge me for. She gave me a strange look (as I'm sure did most of the other people waiting in line, but I didn't bother turning around to check), and then checked to make sure the shields they put around the cups for blending would fit. They did. They had to stack two shields in there to make my cup tall enough for the machine to work, but it worked. I marched out triumphantly with my blizzard in my reusable cup and found Paul, who was hiding half a block away. He was pretty jealous of my blizzard, and ate about half of it. I'll definitely take my own cup next time, and I figure if I do it enough times it won't be so weird any more, and if I do it enough times maybe other people will see me doing it and decide to do it for themselves.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

When I'm Old I Shall Wear Purple

When I'm old I shall wear purple.
I shall sit on the sidewalk and spit!
I shall pick flowers from other people's gardens.
When I'm old I shall wear purple.

That isn't the full or correct version of the poem, but it's the way my grandmother would recite it endlessly. Last June when I visited her in Halifax, her memory was getting so bad she would hardly have finished it when she would turn to me and ask, "do you know the poem . . ." and I would blow her away by reciting her version of it seamlessly. "How do you know that poem?" she would ask. She almost always wore purple, and though I never saw her spit, she could let out one heck of a belch for an elderly British lady. She could also trick people into bringing her more glasses of sherry than her medication would allow like nobodies business.

Today she passed away.

For Valerie Morrison, 1917-2007:

When I'm old I shall wear purple.
I shall sit on the sidewalk and spit!
I shall pick flowers from other people's gardens.
When I'm old I shall wear purple.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

okay, okay, I'm okay.

Thanks to those of you who emailed or called gently prodding for updates on my health situation. Long story short, I'm fine. There was a small clot, then it was gone. The venogram showed nice clear veins with good blood flow and no residual clotting. I visited with my vascular surgeon today, and he says I get to stop treating my belly like a pin-cushion with all those sub-cutaneous anti-coagulant injections, and just wait and see if anything happens. The doc is a laid back kinda fellow who does triathlons and understands the active lifestyle, so I feel reasonably confident in his diagnosis, and somewhat relieved that he neither wants to yank out my extra rib or put me on long term blood thinners at this point. Although I do recall a story where someone does something interesting with a rib . . . crafternoon anyone?

It's 3:50pm, which seems like a reasonable time for a cocktail. I'm off!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

completely unrelated to previous post . . .

When I was around 10 or 11 years old, I woke up one morning and I couldn't straighten one of my legs. It was stuck bent at the knee such that I couldn't walk without the help of crutches. This was completely unexplainable; there had been no trauma, no illness, nothing had happened that should make my leg seize up like this. The grown-ups started panicking. I thought it was cool to actually need crutches rather than just playing with them for once, and was a little bummed out that I didn't have a cast or anything people could sign. X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests were done. Pediatric oncologists were consulted (there was worry I might have leukemia). Major string pulling was done by my mother. After days of this, and probably thousands of dollars spent by our health care system on diagnostics, I remembered the previous week after my swimming lessons I had slipped while dancing in the showers at the pool. The whole thing was a strained muscle. People were mad, I felt like an idiot.

The afore mentioned episode, I think, is why when my arm was gigantic and blue in September '05 the whole time I was having diagnostics done I was lying there thinking how ridiculous it all was and how I was probably wasting the systems money and time, and how someone was eventually going to figure out I had done something stupid and I was going to get in shit again. It wasn't until the vascular resident explained the size and seriousness of the blood clot in my arm that I started to feel as though I actually belonged in the hospital, and not until after I was discharged did the seriousness of what had just happened hit me.

The afore mentioned episode, I think, is also probably why even considering my history of a massive DVT and subsequent diagnosis as a thrombophaeliac, I still waited over a week to go in and see my doctor when my arm started bugging me again.

But wait! Don't judge! It wasn't blue this time! It has been slightly swollen, turning numb, feeling very cold (only a sensation on the inside, not actually cold to touch), and getting pins and needles. I showed it to my mom on Wednesday and she told me to go to my own doctor right away. I made an appointment for Friday. I got in to see her and she didn't want to be the one making any decisions about what this was, so sent me on my way but told me to keep my cell phone on cause she'd be calling my vascular surgeon and then calling me back with further instructions. She called me in the middle of grocery shopping and told me the v.s. wanted me to go in for an ultrasound, so I had to go into emergency where I would be fast tracked through via the vascular ward. So I finished my shopping and then went home and unpacked the perishables, quickly filled Paul in, and took off.

After about an hour of hanging around VGH emergency (which was FULL of crazy people, let me tell you), Dr. Baxter (henceforth referred to as D-Bax), the very nice and VERY cute vascular resident showed up and started a flurry of activity, most of which involved me following him through the hospital as he walked very quickly through all sorts of places that were supposed to be off limits to me and batted his eyes at people in various departments saying things like, "I know it's 5pm on a Friday and you're about to go home, but I've got this patient who I really need to get an ultrasound done on because of this history . . ." and whaddya know, lickety split, I was having an ultrasound done. The radiographer was a very lovely lady, and took a great deal of time taking images of the veins in my arm, chest and neck, and showing me cool pictures on the screen and letting me listen to the blood moving through my veins. After a while she left and brought the radiologist back in with her for a consult, and then D-Bax reappeared and they all got to chatting about what the heck was going on with my arm. There was one patch where there was a small vein, a brachael vein they think, which just won't compress where all of the other blood vessels around it will. This indicates the vein has something hard in it, or that the vein walls are hard for some reason. There was also some stuff they could see in the vein which indicates some clotting. The question is; is this an old clot that my body has adapted to (if you get a clot somewhere small and non essential, your body adapts by branching off new veins around it) or a the beginnings of a new acute clot. This question can only be answered with a venogram.

D-Bax is struggling to figure out what the heck to do with me. Option one: keep me in the hospital over the weekend and repeat the clot busting procedure I had last time (heck, it was fun the first time!). Option two: treat the clot with anticoagulant injections. Option three: I give myself injections over the weekend and come back on Monday for a venogram. I was voting for option three. D-Bax was asking if I was supposed to be doing anything this weekend, and informed him I was supposed to be accompanying my sweet sugar pie to Oliver on Saturday afternoon, because he has a race on Sunday morning. He sticks me back in the waiting room at emerg while he runs around and tries to figure out what the heck to do with me. Eventually he reappears with Dr. Fry in tow, who is my vascular surgeon's partner, and also an old geezer, who also knows my mom. They agree that I can leave if I get my first shot in the hospital, and if I come back first thing Monday morning for a venogram. Finally I'm on my way.

Heading to the pharmacy to fill my prescription for seven days worth of injections at the low low price of $207, and on the phone with my mom filling her in on the situation and convincing her to NOT get on the next ferry and come home from the cabin. I'll probably be fine for the weekend, but I have agreed that if anything gets worse or changes, I'll head straight back to emergency. I'll have the venogram done on Monday, and there I'm convinced they'll discover whatever stupid thing I have done, and I will get in trouble. Surely this is a waste of everyone's time and money. Surely.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

remember . . .

Remember 2 summers ago when I had my bi-annual back-attack and could hardly walk and could only stand at a 45 degree angle and took in one mouthful: 2 tylenol-3's, 2 extra strength robaxacets, and 2 (illegal) vioxx (all that under the guidance of a doctor who is also my mother (who also smuggled me the illegal vioxx)) which didn't do jack for the pain, or knock me out whatsoever, and I was in the middle of teaching an NLS course which I couldn't get out of and so had to teach it in a back brace?

I was having more fun then than I am now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

death by integration

I have my first integral calculus midterm on Thursday, and it might just kill me. I am not expecting to do particularly well, mainly because I did not crack my textbook until this week. This is a habit of mine at the beginning of each semester - pretending I am still on break when clearly I am not. This is not to say I haven't done any work - my beloved tutor Muna and I got cracking on this course two weeks before it even started - It's just that I haven't done any work on my own outside of the one-and-a-half blissful hours I spend with Muna each Monday (and Saturday and Wednesday this week).

I find integral calculus (well, calculus in general) pretty meaningless. I can memorize how to do the work and go through the motions and figure shit out, but it's pretty much like a more torturous form of sudoku if you ask me. Paul claims this stuff is not only useful, but he actually uses it on a daily basis. I guess since I'm not in a field nor do I intend on ever being in a field where I'll have to use the limit definition of the integral to find the sigma of f(x) delta x as n approaches infinity, it'll continue to be Greek to me. The thing I find the most frustrating about calculus is how I can spend literally nearly an hour and pages and pages of writing one one single problem only to end up with a zero or a one as my answer. All that work for a friggen one! Give me something more profound! Although according to Paul, one is the most complete number there can be. It's why he always tells me he loves me 'one'. I love him 'one' too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

blog challenge debunked

Yep, I suck. I debunked. I quit. I threw in the towel. Wanna know why?

I had an insanely busy couple of days trying to juggle work, school, getting prepped for Paul's birthday party, throwing Paul's birthday party, recovering from Paul's birthday party (just in time for . . .), Paul's Dad's birthday party. Blogging just fell to the wayside.

I have committed to not blogging on the company dime, and have hardly touched a computer outside of work of late.

I have felt extreme rage and did not feel as though this blog was the appropriate medium for venting.

I have started another secret blog* where I can safely vent all I like, and have continued the blogging challenge on said blog without informing anyone as to it's presence or whereabouts, thus have not (in my mind) really debunked at all, rather just changed location. I'm sure this is in violation of the blog challenge rules, but really I don't give a flying fuck.

*if you can find it I'll give you $50 fo shizzle.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

11/30 - sorry no pics yet

The hair is cut, and I don't have any pics. It's basically just a bit shorter than it was before and with a few more layers. My regular hairdresser, who I have been seeing for the past 13 years, is on maternity leave, so I was seeing someone else, which I hate doing. This other lady also cut my hair in August and did a good job of dealing with my long/thin/curlyish hair, and I was equally satisfied with her work today. The annoying thing was this:

Super Skinny Hair Dresser: So, what are you studying?

Me: Food science. Ultimately dietetics.

SSHD: Oh, you'd be a good person to as then - what's the best way to lose weight?


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

10/30 - hair today . . .

Tomorrow I am getting my hair cut. I haven't had it cut since August, so I am well overdue. I had hoped to get the cut over with while Paul was away, but life happened and I didn't. The haircut is a secret from Paul because he always totally freaks out in the days before my once or twice a year appointments - he thinks all girls should have loooooong hair, and even the teeniest trim for split end management should be outlawed. I'm not sure I'll do something dramatic, but I'm sure a small amount of change is in the air.

I'll leave you all holding your breath with anticipation for what tomorrow may bring. Pictures are promised!

Monday, May 14, 2007

9/30 - my boyfriend's back and I'm gonna get in trouble. . .

But only cause he's decided this is a 'treat week' and he's going to drag me down with him like he always does. It's so good to have him back! I woke up early this morning and saw my calculus tutor before heading to the airport to pick Paulie up. He's home, he's stoked to be back, and he brought some awesome Australian wine with him (some of which we've already been into, so apologies if the spelling isn't quite what is should be).

Arrived in the mail today was a US Triathlon mag, with an ad featuring Paul in a race he won earlier this season. It's his first spread in a mag, and I think it looks awesome! They sent us several copies, so if you know us in real life you might get so see one. If you're awesomely computer savvy and you can tell me how to get the image from an adobe file to a jpeg file so I can post it, then let me know and I will!

Back I go to enjoying my man.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

8/30 - gah!

Omg, it's 11:15pm and I haven't done my post for the day. Good day today starting with a blissful sleep-in (all the day to 9am!!!), yummy whole grain french toast with organic maple syrup, visits with friends, produce shopping and other little chores. Watched the Survivor finale (guilty pleasure) and vacuumed and tidied the place up during the commercial. Paul arrives home tomorrow and will probably mess the place up within 30 seconds. What I wouldn't have to have that bike grease spreading chocolate stealing high maintenance pain in the ass home right this moment . . .

Off to bed I go!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

7/30 - made it!

Long week over, and aside from a quick CPR recert tomorrow and some studying, I actually have mostly a whole day off. Amazingly in spite of the loooong days I've just had, I feel good and energetic rather than frazzled and exhausted and cranky. I think that trying to stay fueled with good for the body food and positive thoughts for the mind has made a huge difference this crazy week. Tomorrow I get to sleep in!

I can't think of anything else to say. Off to bed I go.

Friday, May 11, 2007

6/30 - long days

Today is day four in a series of five very long days involving various work and school commitments which mean I don't get home till close to or after 9pm, which sadly is bedtime for me. Today and tomorrow are going to be the longest days, with work, more work, work, and then a first aid course I'm teaching as a part of my side business, all with very little turn around time in between. Today I had planned to work through my lunch break and go home a bit early for a nap between work and going back to work for more work, but typically I ended up working through my lunch break and still staying an extra half hour. I did have a brief but very enjoyable visit with my one school friend from Langara who is also transferring to UBC, and I did manage to steal a half-hour half-nap while listening to the food network. I'm stocking up on nourishing food to get me through the next 36 hours, rather than relying on the 1/3 crust 2/3 cheese pizza I know will be waiting for me at work when I get back. I had another positive day at work, and worked through some interesting challenges while once again dazzling folks with my mad skills with the filter tank. They don't call me the queen of the filter tank for nothing!

Also putting a smile on my face is the lightening bolt I shaved into my pubic hair out of boredom the other day. I have a good giggle every time I see myself naked or go to the bathroom. You should try it. Seriously.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

5/30 - happiness, in brief

Briefly again tonight, since it's waaaaaay past my bedtime (it's 9:27pm. sad, I know.) but I don't want to let those down who I've committed to these 30 posts in 30 days.

Yesterday I went to my doctor to have a conversation about stress I've been experiencing at work. I primarily wanted it to be documented, just in case for the future. The talk was much more helpful than I had hoped for, and although I have decided not to discuss work stress on this blog, I'll mention a few of the things I found to be particularly poignant;

-Not having negative discussions about work, at work. This a) brings morale down, and b) also can release negative stress hormones in your brain, both of which simply perpetuate the situation.
-Setting boundaries and leaving work at work.
-Recognizing that I am choosing to stay, and the reasons why.
-Realizing that the things I have no control over, I have no control over whether I stress about them or not, so making the choice to not stress about them.

I had such a glorious day at work today! Looking forward to the challenges tomorrow will bring. In less than eight hours. Off to bed I go . . .

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

4/30 - shoutin' out!

Today's post is a shout out to my sister and brother out-law, Cammy and Tim. Two of the coolest people I know, and I'm lucky enough to be able to call them my fake family. Big congrats for being almost new home owners, you lucky bastards!

Fifty word min, exactly.

Including the above statement. This explanatory line takes me over the min, and makes me feel more like a real blogger. Ahhhhhhhh.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

3/30 - it's a mad mad mad mad class

I'm sitting in calculus class, first day. Somewhere to my left is someone very stinky. To my immediate right is a small girl who looks to be about 16 years old. One of those young math whizzes, I suppose. She has long scraggly hair pulled back into a pony tail, a bright colourful knit sweater, jeans about six inches too short with a cellphone stuffed in one pocket and a wallet bulging out of the other. Pink fabric disappears down the back of her jeans which I initially assume is a tucked in t-shirt, but later discover to be granny style underpants rising up armpit high. Her backpack takes up most of the space on the table we share, and she takes out a gigantic electronic pencil sharpener and an un-sharpened pencil.

The class begins and the prof begins passing out handouts. He passes them to whoever is on the outside of each bench, in my case, this Strange Little Girl (SLG). She doesn't pass them along. I, confused, ask the prof for another copy of the syllabus, to which he replies he's already handed them all out and indicates the pile next to SLG. Eventually she passes them along. He begins the lecture, discussing what this semester is going to be all about, his expectations, etc. SLG takes her pencil and pokes it into the electronic pencil sharpener. A loud WHIRRRRRRRR ensues. The prof pauses for a moment, and then continues. WHIRRRRRR. Pause. WHIRRRRRR. Pause. WHIRRRRRR.

The prof asks, "is that thing working?" "Not very well." replies SLG. The lecture continues.

"WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR," goes the pencil sharpener. "WHIRRRRR." Snickers trickle up from the back of the class (I'm in the front row, obviously). I pull a spare mechanical pencil from my case and lean over to SLG. "Why don't you borrow this one?" I ask. She takes it from me and begins to examine it, systematically dismantling it and then putting it back together. She puts it down beside her backpack and pokes her stubby pencil back into the sharpener.


"Does she need to borrow a pencil?" the girl to my left whispers, "I've already lent her one." I reply. WHIRRRRRR. WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

The prof looks at the class and asks, "am I supposed to say something here?" "YES!" roars the class. The prof looks at SLG and says, "could you, you know . . .?" and she puts the stubby pencil down. Thirty whole seconds go by. Pencil resumes position. Whirring resumes. Lecture goes on. Snickering continues.


"Could you just use the pencil I lent you?" I ask, "this is very distracting." This ceases the whirring for another thirty seconds or so.

(please note that at this point we haven't taken any notes yet).

The class breaks for five minutes, and SLG goes at 'er hardcore and sharpens the heck out of that pencil. Phew! Other students congregating in the hall commiserate about how annoying the first hour of the first class has been. My mechanical pencil is returned to me unused.

Class resumes, and by the grace of some magnificent force, there is no more whirring. Work starts, and the class is feverishly writing notes, with the exception of SLG who has taken out her textbook and has bent over the table firmly pressing her forehead into it. Her fingers travel in and out of her nose. Suddenly, a new, much quieter noise is coming from SLG. bzzzzz. bzzzzz. Her cell phone is ringing in her pocket. She fishes it out, opens it up and very quietly says, "call back later, I'm in class." pause. "NO! CALL BACK LATER, I'M IN CLASS!"

Giggling is coming from the back of the class. Thirty seconds passes, the prof is forging on with the lecture.

The cellphone comes out again. "I SAID CALL BACK LATER, I'M IN CLASS!!!!" SLG shouts into her phone.

Full scale, uncontrollable laughter comes from the back of the class. I am sitting very still, and trying with every fibre in my body to remain quiet. A girl apologies to the prof for laughing. He says not to worry, and then asks SLG if she needs to leave the room to make a phone call. She says no.

The rest of the class was fairly unremarkable, with the exception of this strange forehead pressing into textbook thing going on beside me. SLG didn't write a single word with her sharp pencil. Not-a-one.

This is going to be a long semester.

Monday, May 07, 2007

2/30 - Melancholy

Posting every day? I already feel as though I have bitten off more than I can chew . . .

Paul has been gone for nearly two weeks, and it is one more week before he returns. It feels like forever. Last time he went away it wasn't for so long and he wasn't so far away, and I was in the midst of midterms and paper writing, so his absence was a bit of a relief and it was nice to be in very quiet and very tidy space. This time he is gone for a week longer, and has missed most of my break in between semesters. Work has been stressful, and afternoons have been boring and melancholy. But good news! Integral calculus starts tomorrow!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

30 days of blogging, and an introduction

So Christa and I have challenged each other to a post a day for 30 days to spice up our little blog-o-sphere a little. We haven't worked out any specifics of the challenge, like whether there has to be a minimum amount of words (100?) or what our official start date should be, but it looks like today for me.

I'd like to congratulate my dear friend Harmony on the birth of her first child, little Kai, who arrived on the 30th of April at a whopping 8lbs 6oz. I'm following the trend I started with my cousin, and posting a picture of the little guy without parental consent. (Tro, let me know if you want me to take it down).

Check out little Kai - isn't he amazingly gorgeous? Obviously, since he came from amazingly gorgeous parents!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

bring your own bag!

I was super stoked to happen up on this article about how San Francisco has banned the use of plastic shopping bags, as has a small town in Manitoba where failure to comply with the new regulations will result in a $1000 per day fine. In San Francisco, grocery stores will have 6 months to comply with the new regulations. The city legislator who introduced the bill, Ross Mirkarimi, said that up to 200 million plastic bags are used each year in the city of roughly 740,000 people. By cutting 100 million plastic bags a year the city will save 1.5 million litres of oil, and eliminate 4.2 million kilograms of carbon dioxide.

Awesome. I ALWAYS take my own bags grocery shopping. The checkout people groan when they see me coming when I do my big once a month grocery shop, cause my bags are harder to pack than the disposable ones which fit in their bag holders. I usually help them out with packing my own bags in order to speed things along.

I have three gigantic sturdy bags I made by sewing some nylon webbing to a cheap rag rug, and then sewing the sides of the rug together. I also have a bunch of canvas bags my dad bought me from Lee Valley, and I think they were $3 each. Safeway has reusable bags which are made from recycled plastic bags. They sell them at the customer service desk (but you can also ask for them at the checkout) two for $1. These won't last quite as long as the canvas ones, but they say they should last you at least 50 shopping trips. You can also buy more expensive but funky bags from BYOB, a Vancouver company that makes funky shopping bags out of organic cotton. They have cool designs and awesome slogans on them. I might be a sucker and pick one up for myself - I especially like their 'cheeky' bag. Which is now in the picture up a the top of the post, which I can't move or make go away.

So do your part, get yourself some reusable bags, and remember to take them with you shopping. Keep a couple in your car or backpack for those impromptu trips to the grocery store. I have a rule for myself where if I forget one, I either have to carry all of my stuff out with no bag, or I have to buy a reusable one.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ice bath

Yes, those are ice cubes floating in a bathtub of freezing cold water, and yes, that is my sweet fella sitting in there like a crazy man for 15 minutes, no more, no less. And no, his naughty bits didn't make it into the picture, so quit looking so closely, you pervs.

The ice bath became a regular thing during this build for the Busselton Half Ironman, near Perth, Australia. Paul says the ice baths made the difference between doing a crazy six hour bike ride with repeats up and down to the lookout on Cypress Mountain, and being able to train the next day or not. I've always said he was cute, I've never EVER said he was sane.

Term 2 (Jan - May) is normally a rough term for us a couple, with me seriously feeling the burnout from the work/school combo, and Paul working on his PhD project equally hard, T.A.ing an extra course, and of course, building up to the start of his race season. The result is usually two very tired, very cranky, and very snappy people who are apt to take out their stress on the closest person - namely each other. I'm happy to report that this year term 2 followed more along the lines of the open-communication-giving-each-other-space-to-be-cranky-and-being-supportive-where-we-can-all-the-while-recognizing-this-is-simply-stress-and-not-taking-it-personally turn our relationship has taken over the last six months or so. It only took us 3 1/2 years to get to this point. I feel like we should get a certificate of achievement or something.

So Paul is off to the land down under on Friday evening, where he will compete in this third triathlon of the race season, and this the first really prestigious one. After he races he'll meander to the other side of the country for a conference on paper physics on the Gold Coast. Lucky boy presents on the first day, so will be able to relax and enjoy being in Oz after that. When the engineering physics geeks wrap up their gig, he heads north to the Great Barrier Reef for some r&r, before returning home, hopefully in one piece (although this I have my doubts about since he JUST found out the drive on the other side of the road . . .) and hopefully with Tim Tam's and red wine a-plenty.

I will be staying home, holding down the fort, bringing home the bacon, and starting my summer semester in which I will tackle the last calculus class I'll ever be required to take. Hopefully. Famous last words.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

something to blog about

I'm coming up for air in the midst of a calculus studying bonanza to share some exciting news . . . I got in to UBC!!!

Several people, upon hearing that news, have looked blankly at me and said, "you don't already go to UBC?" No! You tools, I've been taking classes at Langara for the last three years. Pay attention! I had to upgrade a bunch of crap I either never took or failed in highschool, and I've also been plugging away slowly at relevant courses since they're soooo much cheaper there.

Anyhoo, I have applied to UBC three times, and been rejected twice. I applied into arts out of highschool, and was turned down (went to UVic, which had been my first choice anyways, instead). I applied to arts again about four years ago, and was turned down again. Boo. But totally understandable, since my grades in highschool sucked, and I totally fucked around my third year at UVic, didn't even bother finishing some final assignments, so transferring those courses over didn't seem so appealing to the nice folks at UBC.

Third time's a charm, as it would seem. I've been working hard, busting my ass at science and math classes I swore over a decade ago I'd never ever take again, and finally there is some pay off. I didn't tell anyone I'd applied, because I didn't want to have to tell people if I got turned down again. I got home today and saw the package in the mail with the huge YES! splattered across the front of the envelope, and immediately burst into tears. As I opened the envelope and read the letter congratulating me on my acceptance (acceptance resulting from my "outstanding academic performance", no less!), the tears turned into this shaking/laughing/crying combo which continued for the better part of an hour. I managed to get ahold of both of my parents, and my mom started with the leaky tear ducts when I told her, which sent me off again.

So, starting in September, I will be an undergraduate student working towards a Bachelor of Science in Food Nutrition and Health. It'll be another couple of years before I'm ready to apply to the Dietetics program, but getting into the faculty is the first step. It's a big step, and for me a huge personal accomplishment, the scale of which I can't possibly describe. I am excited, and terrified.

Watch out UBC . . . I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the ticker, the math, the pursuit, and my smokin' hot fella.

I'm getting on the ticker bandwagon. No, I'm not knocked up. It's the countdown to the end of all math. All the math I'm required to take, not the end of all math, period. That would be ridiculous. The universe would cease to function. There would be chaos.

I'm blaming my lack of blogging of late on my academic pursuits. Calculus is kicking my ass right now, and trigonometric differentiation is holding me down so it can beat me like it means it. The end of math is in sight. I can do it. Also I had to write a stupid paper, but now it's done, cited and everything.

In other news, I've been contemplating a slight change of direction with the whole higher education thing. My passion still lies in food, there is no questioning that, but exactly what I want to do with food is up for debate. The dietetics program has caught my eye, particularly since it has recently been changed to include a fifth year clinical practicum. Previously it was up to graduates to find an internship of their own, which proved to be near impossible and so many people graduated but never got their R.D. Now everyone who finishes the program will automatically get the practicum, and thus their R.D. designation (assuming you pass licensing exams). It will take the same amount of time as if I were to do the education thing, and the first two years of the program are virtually the same as the Food, Nutrition, and Health one I have been working towards, so I won't have lost any ground if I decide to switch, and I've got a comfy amount of time to decide. The appeal of doing dietetics and becoming a R.D. is the flexibility the field offers. I could work in a hospital, as a community dietitian, or I could be my own boss and have a clinical practice. The longer I work in aquatics the more appealing being my own boss becomes. So, big decisions, but lots of time to figure things out.

Oh, and today is my three-and-a-half year anniversary with my smokin' hot fella, who I fall more and more in love with as each day passes. And he's out of town, so I am getting the carpets cleaned! Hurray!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I'm still fairly new to the world of the digital camera, so my question to those of you with more experience is this: how do you store your pictures? Do you worry about your computer crashing and losing all of your photos? Do you chuck them onto a CD and keep it somewhere, or on a USB stick, or are they floating around in cyber space? Where are they safest?

I have a flickr account, but in order to fit many photos on there they have to be shrunk, so were I to print those photos the quality may not be so great, from what I understand.

Help me!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Maxwell David

Congratulations to my cousin Julie, and introducing Maxwell David, born Feb 4th, weighing in at 7lbs 7 oz.

Mad propz also go to her husband Lance, who accidentally included a juicy pre-labour beav shot in the photos he sent out to over 200 people, including friends, family, and business associates. I'd post it here, cause quite frankly it's pretty hilarious, but I think the pain meds are near wearing off and Julie is about to get pretty pissed.

Welcome to the world, Max!

Monday, January 22, 2007

birthday smirthday

My birthday is on Friday. I feel fairly ambivalent about the whole thing, however, after much deliberation I have gone to the trouble of trying to plan a casual celebration of sorts. There will be cake, and I will eat it. If no one shows up, there will be more cake for me, and Paul and I can sit at home and get drunk just the two of us, and I might even get lucky. If people show up, fun will be had by all. It seems to be a win-win situation.

Reasons I'm looking forward to it:

-My actual age and the age I tell people I am will be the same finally (other than people at work . . . my actual age and the age I tell people at work I am will be the same never). For some reason I had a mental birthday in August (August 19th, to be exact), so biologically I'm just catching up.

-I have a lunch date with one of my favourite seniors from the pool, Tina, and fellow birthday grouch, KD.

-Paulie is taking me shopping for new clothes! And he's going to come with and be my wardrobe consultant! Fun!

-I'm giving myself a long weekend from work, so some sleeping in is bound to happen!

-Some of my favourite human beings of all time have committed to coming over and helping me celebrate, as well as some new friends and some newly reunited old friends.

-It's an excuse to wear a party dress, although more likely than not you'll find me in jeans or stretchy pants (stretchy pants = more cake eating capacity).

-Did I already mention cake? To further that, I'll be making desserts that require the use of a blowtorch!

Reasons I think my birthday is cool:

-I share my birthday with The Great One (if I have to tell you who that is, hurry and come over so I can smack you one).

-Myself, my brother, and my grandmother have our birthdays 3 days in a row. My youngest sister also has a January birthday . . . my parents were BUSY in March!

-Two of my favourite people of all time, each named Kim, also have birthdays within 10 days of mine. We're going to have a special birthday outing just the 3 of us called the K-K-K birthday extravaganza! Inappropriate? Yes!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Introducing the newest member of our family . . .

The Koga-Miyata 100% carbon fibre time trial frame. This would be bike number four (five if you count my dingy old bike, forced to live out on the porch braving the elements while the others bask in the warmth of the living room . . .), though I'm told one of the others may be put up for sale soon.

To Paul this light weight beauty means taking actual minutes off of a 40k time trial, and who knows how much at longer distance races. See the height difference between the seat and the drop bars (soon to be replaced with carbon fibre TT bars, no doubt)? Can you see the crazy aero position that would force the rider into? And with a lightness and strength offered by no other composite material? This, along with renewed sponorship* from Asics, his favourite shoe people, and a great mental grasp on the style of racing he wants to do (draft legal vs non draft vs short course vs mid vs long course . . .) bodes well for a fast season. With big races coming up in Florida and Australia, this is a good thing.

To me it means more bike grease on the living room carpet.

*We are thankful for all of the wonderful sponors. If your company is interested in sponoring Paul, please contact him directly through his website. All sponorship offers will be considered.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Helluva Holiday

Hello blog readers! Welcome to 2007! What do I have to say? Not that much, but in the interest of not getting killed by Miss KD or punched in the face by Rebecca, I had better put something down.

I enjoyed some much needed rest over the holidays, and other than excessive amounts of family time (both mine and Paul's), basically became a hermit, stayed in sweats or pyjamas and watched a kazillion DVD's. And ate chocolate. A lot of chocolate.

We rented and watched seasons four and five of Six Feet Under and watched them all in a matter of days. I am being as sincere as I know how to be when I say that this was hands down THE BEST TV series I have ever watched. It was created and co-written by Alan Ball, Oscar winning writer of American Beauty, and there are certainly some of the same elements from the movie popping up through the series. The series finale was, in my opinion, the best, most satisfying end to a series of all time. We watched it, bawling uncontrollably by the end (well, I was . . . I'm not convinced that Paul has functioning tear ducts - a theory I may test in the future by punching him in the nuts as hard as I can . . . oh wait, I want to have babies . . . scratch that), and then immediately watched the last five minutes over again, and then watched the last episode over again with the Alan Ball's commentary, which was also great. Now I want to buy the entire series and start watching from the beginning again. I've been scoping ebay for some sweet deals.

Santa came, and was good to me. A little too good, if you ask me. I got a Le Creuset french oven:

which I absolutely freaking love. It's cast iron coated with a porcelain enamel, so it heats evenly, can get up to and safely retain super high heats, and can go from the stove top to the oven to the fridge to the table. You can even bake a cake in it. These things aren't cheap, so it's my Christmas AND birthday present from my out-laws. I also received some great new frying pans to replace my crappy non-stick ones, and a Calphalon stainless steel frying pan, which I never knew I wanted but now can never part with.
New Years was awesome! I hate New Years, and the last three that Paul and I have spent together have all resulted in massive fights and starting the new year completely pissed off at each other. I refused to lift a finger to plan anything for this year, and Paul is inherently lazy, didn't make any real plans and kept changing his mind about what he wanted to do until it was just too late, so we stayed home watching movies and then watched the countdown on Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve, and were in bed by 12:15. Best New Years Eve ever!
Resolutions? Last year my resolution was to no longer support Starbucks. I am proud to say that I have been Starbucks free now for over a year. I had considered loosening up on it after the one year mark, mainly because when friends want to go for coffee and I tell them we can't go to Starbucks they look at me like I'm completely insane (which usually goes away once I explain my reasons), but I truly don't think that Starbucks needs or deserves my money. Maybe if they start using a biodegradable or recyclable cup, or make the incentive to bring your own mug a little better, or stop popping up on every street corner, I might reconsider. For 2007 I'd like to try to put more of my energy into me, and focus on good mental health.