Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wedersehen, Adieu...

I am taking this opportuinity to bid goodbye to my readers. That's right, all four of you. Two weeks from yesterday, I'll be leaving for Provo, Utah to begin my mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Finland, and I'm pretty sure that blogging is not a sanctioned activity for missionaries. It is entirely possible that I might post again before that, but don't count on it. I think that you should all send me letters in Finland, so let me know if I can e-mail you my address. Also, if anyone's interested, I'll be giving my talk on October 28 at 2 pm, Royal Oak Chapel.
Tune in again April 2009. The musings will continue.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I spent some time this weekend remembering fondly my favorite comic books that I haven't read for some time, the Asterix Series. I remember them mostly because of their immense cleverness and prolific puns. And the fact that they take place in Ancient Gaul during the Pax Romana , which is unusual for a children's comic book. Some of my favorite bits are the names of the characters, as you'll see...
Asterix is the little one on the left. He's the smallest, most fierce warrior in the village. Obelix, the larger one, is a menhir salesman. Look up menhir and think of a synonym to see why his name is funny. Dogmatix, Obelix's little dog, is very stubborn and loves trees.

Getafix is the village's druid. He brews many magical potions, the most famous being one that gives the drinker "a fix" of superhuman strength.

Vitalstatistix is the chief of the village; the bureaucracy, if you will. His nosy and slightly controlling wife in named Impedimenta.

The village's bard is named Cacofonix, the only bard in ancient comicdom whose singing induces violent thunderstorms.

Also among the lovely cast: Fulliautomatix, the village blacksmith, Unhygienix, the fishmonger (whose wares are typically less than fresh) and his wife Bacteria, and the fat Roman centurion Gluteus Maximus.
For the full effect of these clever comics, read them yourself. The wordplay is astounding. Meanwhile, I'm off to the library to take out some of my old favorites.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Baking Bible

One of my favorite presents that I have ever received was Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. My then 12-year-old brother bought it for me for Christmas and since then, I've pored over it's pages and baked delicious brioche, award-winning key lime pie, cream cheese and chive biscuits, and my masterpiece lemon curd cake. I really love to bake.
I'd been craving a good baking session for some time, since my Dad got about 60 pounds of organic blueberries and we froze them. Today I finally got around to it and made 4 dozen delicious buleberry muffins. So thanks go out to my brother, who bought me the baking bible, the neighbours who lent me baking powder, IKEA for making such wonderful red-coloured measuring spoons and mixing bowls (that inspire me to cook whenever I see them) and finally, to Martha. You make me believe that I, too, can bake light, golden croissants and ice a devil's food cake with mint-chocolate ganache to perfection. You've taught me the difference between a rubber scraper and a true spatula. Who cares about the inside trading? You are my idol.

Friday, September 7, 2007

My Attempt at Environmental Commentary

I don't know how many of you know my feelings on global warming, but let me sum it up in these two observations:
1. An Inconvenient Truth was a farce. I couldn't take it seriously, especially after several graphs shown by Al Gore used techniques right out of the "Graphical Deception" section of my economic statistics class.
2. We know so little about the way that the world works that I believe that it is difficult for us to determine what effect we are having on the planet.
In conclusion, the planet may be warming up. It may even be doing so because of man's presence and because of their gas-guzzling cars. I don't know, and frankly, I don't care. What I do care about is people like Al Gore trying to frighten the general populace into submission. Read Michael Chrichton's "State of Fear" for an interesting perspective.
For now, though, I came across a great explanation for the phenomenon. Before you respond, consider the environmental consequences.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


One of my quirkier life's ambitions has been to see a Matchbox Twenty concert
This has caused me some consternation in recent years while Rob Thomas was off doing his solo thing. I had missed my chance to ever attend a Matchbox Twenty concert, which just about killed me, since they're probably my favorite band. I'd heard their new song on the radio, but thought it was another Rob Thomas sosol endeavor. Imagine my joy, my delight, when I was informed that they are back together! Now I won't have to wait for the reunion tour!

Sarcasm Is the Recourse of a Weak Mind

The UPS man thinks I'm crazy. On Tuesday, there was approximately a bijillion deliveries, which made me really happy. Taking deliveries, unpacking them, and checking them off on our ordering list is a way to break up my day. So when they arrived, I blurted out in my excitement, "Yes! Deliveries!" to which the funny British UPS man replied, "You really need to get out more." When I tried to explain, all he did was give me a funny look and say, "You need a drink. Or maybe to let all the ones you had on the long weekend get out of your system." Then he left.
Today, I saw the UPS truck pull up and was excited already. It's been a quiet day, you see. He brought them in, I was happy, etc. Then he came again this afternoon with one more package.
"Alright," he says "I have one more present for you. But this is the absolute LAST ONE. It's going to be tough, but I think you'll be okay in time."
Har de har har.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Why I Miss School Already

10.The neon coloured institute parking stickers.
9. Blogging in class (only in Dr. Yuan's classes. Yawn.)
8. Hanging out at the institute between classes, especially visiting with Sister Wahlberger.
7. Doing the daily crossword with Jane.
6. The beginning of semester dash for used textbooks.
5. Dr. Wen's classes. He was one of the best profs.
4. I finally just got honours status and my chosen minor in business. And now I'm leaving.
3. Random classes of learning for my electives (Art History, German, and Poli Sci...)
2. Other people who understand my economics fetish and even support it.
1. I just really love learning and school. Even tests, assignments, and studying. And I'm not ready for it to be gone yet.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Smilemakers. The Makers of Smiles.

A few days ago, my place of employment receiveda catalogue from Smilemakers, an emporium of cheap toys and goods given to children to make them feel like a visit to the dentist was worth it. I've been flipping through it, trying to decide what wonderful things we should order for our young patients. Which Barbie stickers? Glitter Barbie Fairytopia or Mermaidia Barbie? What about Wooly Spike rings?

Stretchy Silly Heads?

Basketball Glasses, perhaps?

Just a sampling of the junky toys athat accompany quality items such as tiny bottles of bubbles, rings so cool that I wish I had tiny child fingers, or these pencils.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Suit Up!

Some exciting news- apparently suits with midcalf length skirts are in! There were two different ones at Tall Girl downtown, so they even had matching blazers with sleeves that covered my wrists! Maybe we won't have to get all my clothes made after all.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Drinks on the Terrace

My parents' new house is brand new. As in surrounded-by-dirt, our-street-is-a-construction-zone kind of new.
For the last week, however, we've been getting some retaining walls and a patio put in, and already the yard looks great. Tonight I arrived home and noticed for the first time that we have grass! And trees!
My sister and I went out and sat in the yard. It was so easy to imagine a few years from now, when the trees have matured a little and all the flower beds and vegetable gardens are planted. The circular stone patio will be surrounded with flower and a few trees. It will be the perfect place for a quiet dinner for two on a summer evening, which I'm sure my parents will use often once we're all gone. The picture in my head reminds me of the photos my parents brought home from Italy and evoke images of little European sidewalk cafes.
I'm going to love my parents' yard.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


I have some very cute nephews and a niece. My niece and nephews all have blond hair and are really the sutest children in the universe. I spent several days with my niece and two of my nephews, and had a riot chasing them around, playing in the lake and the sand, and hearing about LIGHTNING McQUEEN! and SHREK! as well as endless "Auntie, why...?" questions.
The annoying thing about the English language is that there's no word for nieces and nephews together. When you have a group of brothers and sisters together, you have siblings. Other languages have words for a group of sibling's children in mixed gender. So our family created one. They are ibbi. My ibbi (consisting of niece and nephew) are crazy fun, tiring, and downright adorable. The only thing that bugs me is that other members of the family use ibbi in the singular. Would you say, "My sibling is being annoying"? Only if they were a hermaphrodite. So, family, unless you are referring to a group which includes ibbi of both genders, please use the gender specific terms niece(s) and nephew(s).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Mainstream Media and the Decline of the "Good Guy"

I've noticed something in lots of movies I've seen lately. Girls in movies like to blow off wonderful, charming, polite, responsible, and otherwise good guys for alluring, dangerous types that they think they "love".
Case 1: Catch and Release
Gray, and main girl, has an affair with her dead fiance's groomsman. He is a big jerk (if you had the misfortune to sit through this movie, or even the preview, you know how much). The dead fiance's roommate, Dennis, has loved Gray from the sidelines for 6 years. He is kind, sweet, and responsible. Guess who she chooses in the end? The arrogant guy from Californis. Not that I have anything against the sunny state, per se, but that seems to sum it up.
Case 2: Pirates of the Caribbean
Commodore Norrington is again, dependable, kind, good-natured, and adores Elizabeth. He would take good care of her. Sure, there's not the same pasion as there is with Will Turner, but that passion can fade. It's the kind of lasting affection that Norrington offers that you really want in the end. But does she make the wise choice? Not a chance. It's mainstream media, you see.
Case 3: Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement
Don't judge. There are parts of this movie that I adore. Namely, Andrew Jacoby, Duke of Kenilworth. He's a dutiful, hard-working man with whom Mia gets along very well. I am convinced that, had this movie not been created as a piece of GIRL POWER! propaganda, they would have been very happy together in the end. Nicholas, her chosen one, is described early in the movie as a womanizer, a lech. What person in her right mind throws aside Andrew for him? According to the media, anyone would, of course! She "loves him".
I heard someone say once, that, "You have to be careful who you fall in love with- you can fall in love with someone you shouldn't marry." I firmly believe this to be true. Feelings of love do not neccesarily imply suitabilty, and many excellent candidates may fall by the wayside because "there's no spark". As my English teacher taught, "Love is affection and attraction tempered by time. A growing, gradual affection shows true love. It arises as you discover suitability and admirable qualities in one another."
The media tries to portray these admirable qualities and beautiful relationships as silly, quaint, and old-fashioned. But don't fall for it! I bet if any of these movies showed the end result a few years after the final kiss, Mr. Dangerously Attractive is having an affair with the cocktail waitress.
So go for a good guy. He'll be there for the final credits. And beyond.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I Hate Stuff

After moving approximately enough boxes to populate China from my parent's old house to my parent's new house, I have come to the conclusion that I Hate Stuff.
Some of the more interesting things that we've moved over (that my Dad wouldn't let us throw away):
6 (count 'em, 6!) copies of Preach My Gospel (not including mine, probably the only one that gets used)
3 years worth of General Conference on audio tape- do we even have a tape player?
2 full boxes of VHS tapes that no one has watched since, well, ever (this does not include the full box of Disney VHS that my nieces and nephews watch when they come to visit) mostly dental training videos for obsolete techniques
4 swords- one giant wooden broadsword (for playing with, naturally), one smaller wooden rapier (so that the fighter with the broadsword can kick your butt), a samurai sword from Thailand, and a metal rapier from Italy. All my brother's.
6 oil drums, in which we will keep our 3 tonnes of wheat (probably more than a year's supply)
Now, I know that this is just my parent's lifetime accumulation of things, and I'm glad that much of it (having sentimental value) has been saved, but some of it could really be thrown away. I've determined to, when I grow up, live in a completely empty apartment, with no stuff whatsoever. Althoug, with no stuff, I may as well live in the street.
Oh well. I suppose I should think positive. At least we were able to ditch the 4 cubic feet of floppy disks this time.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Yesterday I began the arduous (as many tell me) process of learning Finnish. (As an interesting sidenote, there has been one person who disagrees with all of you as to the difficulty of the Finnish language. A patient at the office, who is a retired linguistics professor and a professional interpreter who speaks 58 languages, told me that pure linguistic Finnish is probably one of the most efficient and easy to learn languages in the world. Apparently it's just because Finnish is conforming to the expectations of most modern languages that makes it complicated.)
I now know the days of the week (Viikonpaiva) in Finnish. Today is Torstai. This Sunnuntai I wiil go to church. I had dinner with some friends on Keskiviikko this week. I'm looking forward to this Maanantai, when my holiday begins. Although, I have Perjantai off every week, so I guess it really starts on Lauantai. There's also Tiistai, which I couldn't think of a reference for.
See if you can sort out this mess and tell me the Viikonpaiva in order!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Boxes Up To My Ears

We're moving. Again. Albeit, this time to a newer, nicer house, but moving all the same. We drywalled the garage, my sister sealed the entire house worth of grout, and my brother is in charge of a room's worth of 40-lb. wheat bags getting over to our new place, my parent's philosophy being, "Why would we pay someone else do do jobs when we have kids?" To be fair, my brother and sister are getting paid a stipend for their efforts. There's just boxes everywhere.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Finland Finland Finland

The other day I got the big white envelope I've been expecting...
Destination: Helsinki, Finland!
Interesting facts about my soon-to-be home for 18 months:
1. Finnish is among the most difficult languages in the world. It has almost no traceable Slavic, Germanic, or Latin roots.
2. The Russian Czars used to vacation there.
3. The Finnish name for Finland is Suomi.
4. In the northernmost parts, the sun doesn't set for 73 days total in the summer.
5. In Finland's 338,145 sq. km, there are 187,888 lakes.
6. According to www.gofinland.fi, Finland is the official home of Santa Claus.
7. Of the 8 political parties with seats in government, about 6 have, in their names, some variation on the words "Socialism", "Left", or "Green".
8. There are more than 40 different kinds of mushrooms grown and eaten there.
9. Finland has more cell phones per capita than any other country in the world.
10. It hosts the annual Wife-Carrying World Championships, Swamp Soccer World Championships, the Rubber Boot Throwing Festival and Air Guitar World Championships.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Daddy Driving

Going on trips with my Dad always drove me crazy as a kid. He would stop at everything that he thought was interesting, from fruit stands to roadside plaques to Alberta history sites to the Hutterite petting zoo- always free, of course. We never went to the Enchanted Forest in BC, no matter how many times we asked. The 6 hour drive to Summerland usually took over 8 or 9 hours. What I never realized was that Dad needed a 5 minute break from the Astro minivan that held, among other things, 6 squabbling kids and their gear, 2 tents, approximately 4 inflatable beach toys of various shapes and sizes, a bag full of old scuba gear, a hammock, 4 decrepit Thai straw mats, 2 boxes of library books (Asterix comics, mostly- great beach and car reading) 3 apple boxes of food, a cooler, and depending on the year, perhaps also a kid that was about to be sick. In retrospect, my Dad needed those breaks more than we needed the extra hour on the beach.
I realized all this as I drove to Fernie last weekend in a car with no air conditioning. Sure, the Leitch Collieries might not be the most fascinating roadside stop, but it's a step up from my car at noon on a 35 degree Friday in the Crowsnest Pass.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Microwaved Pork Roast

The wonders of modern technology never cease to amaze me. This weekend I help to cook and eat an entire pork tenderloin cooked in a microwave. One of the most tasty pieces of meat I've eaten in a while. To be fair, it was a combination microwave/convection oven, but the meat was still cooked on a turntabe with a little "ping!" at the end.
And to those that heard another blog story about hotplates and countertop ovens, it may not be the same functionality, but it's darn close.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The False Alarm

Yesterday I went and checked the mail, hoping for a certain important document from Salt Lake City. In our little box (we live in the suburbs where your mail is delivered to a box on the corner) I found a key to the package box (where they put things too big for your little slot). I though, "Maybe there was a huge, thick envelope that they didn't want to fold in half!" I opened the package box, and alas, all it contained was a cookbook that my Dad ordered from Amazon. Alas. Although it is a pretty good cookbook, by all appearances.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

My Blankie

I have this comforter that my parents got me for my birthday when I turnd 15 or 16. It had kind of a tacky pattern on it and it was a little lightweight, but it worked. A few years ago I got a cover for it from Ikea. The cover adds just enough weight for me to take this blanket seriously, and it's a great pattern (dark blue with polka dots).
I don't think I had ever appreciated just how big this blanket was (queensize, by the way) until last night. Due to visiting relations, I was bumped out of my basement bedroom and onto an air mattress in the living room. My blanket is big enough for me to sleep rolled up in it, with half under me and the other half above. As you are surely aware, sleeping on an air mattress without some sort of insulation below you is not fun. My amazing blankie really can do all. Maybe I should start dragging it behind me and rediscover the joys of thumbsucking, a la Linus from Peanuts. I seem to remember enjoying the taste of my thumb at one time.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Biker Chick

I was told recently by a friend that since I often have spare time at work (because my co-worker never gives me stuff to do) there is no excuse for my infrequent blogging. I sincerely apologize. I really like blogging, but my life is ridiculously boring (or at least it seems so to me).
I've very much enjoyed riding my bike lately. At my old house I lived about a 20 minute, relatively flat ride away from work, so I rode almost every day. I thought I was pretty hot stuff, riding about 15k every day. I had the required tight pants, sporty windbreaker, and helmet, and honestly, I look good riding a bike. So when I moved back out to the burbs with my parents, I was thinking I was a good biker.
Wrong. The ride from the boonies is like death. There's hills, suicidal lane crossing, and other sundries. I rode to work and back (a grand total of 25k) yesterday, and I seriously considered living in the basement this morning so that I would never have to walk up a flight of stairs ever again. Eventually, I made it up for breakfast.
So here's to toning up those muscles and working my way up to the daily ride again!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Registrar's Office

I have had a long, emotional relationship with the registrar's office and related administrators at the University of Calgary. Between my 2-week stint as an engineering student, my quick transfer into the Math Sciences department (the only one that would take me two weeks into the semester), my requests for transcripts during my spell as a would-be transfer student to take Pharmacy in Edmonton, the addition of a minor in German and then a switch to the Management minor, my flirtations with the Haskayne School of Business, and my recent application to enter the Honours program in Economics, we have gotten along fairly well. It may take a call or two, but I always end up satisfied in my dealings with the U of C admin people.
While preparing to take a two-year absence from said university, I have become disillusioned with the efficiency and competence of the Registrar.
First I was told that leaving for two years would make me lose all of my credits at the university and I would have to start over again. That worried me tremendously, as you would imagine. I just completed most of my required core subjects this past year.
Then I was told that if I registered in two semesters that were two years apart (ie. Winter '07 and Winter '09, I would keep my student status but would have to reapply into my specific program. That also did not excite me, as my program is somewhat complicated (honours and a minor).
Then I was told that I would not lose all my credits, but would need to reapply if I missed two consectutive years (each year being a Fall and Winter semester). This messed up my plan of taking a summer evening course and then a Spring course when I got back (Summer '07, then Spring '09, and I wouldn't lose my status).
Finally, after using a few cumulative work hours on hold, I determined the truth (according to the Faculty of Social Sciences):
1. The last semester I enroll in before I leave (ex. Winter '07)
2. If I do not enroll in a class before the same semester two years from now (ex. Winter '09) I will have to reapply into the economics program.
3. I will not lose any credits.
4. Interestingly enough, it is the last pertinent semester is the last in which I am enrolled, no the last in which I finish a class. So technically, I can enroll in a class this fall, not finish it, and then when I get back, I will still be registered as an honours Economics student with a minor in Management and Society. No questions asked.
So the question is, is it worth the $400 and a W on my transcript to be able to pick up my schooling where I left of? Uncertain as of yet.

My Teeth Hurt

Earlier this spring, I went to the dentist and got talked into straightening my teeth with the new Invisalign system. Clear plastic trays that straighten my teeth as I wear different trays for a few weeks at a time.
"Great!" I thought. I've always kind of wanted to straighten out a few little things in my nouth, and here was a chance to do it for free, without all the ugly brackets and wires of real braces.
No one ever told me that straightening your teeth really, really hurts. I just started new trays yesterday, and I feel like I'm going to die. It even hurt this morning to chew my oatmeal. That's just wrong.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I rescind my previous statement regarding Facebook. It may not be the root of all evil, as previously believed.
Don't get me wrong, I still think that Facebook is a little silly at times, but it has suited my purposes very well. I was able to get in touch with a few friends that I haven't seen since High School. Not necessarily all ones that I miss enough to look up their numbers, but it's nice to find out what they've been up to.
Thus, I withdraw my previous rant(s).

The Joys of Public Radio

When did I get old?
The other day, while driving around in a borrowed car, I flipped through stations. This music was too loud, that too pulsating, the other just too annoyingly "cool", and that one bordering on completely inappropriate.
Until in dispair I pressed the button for 102.1. CBC radio two. Some wonderful piece composed by a person whose name did not include a hyphen and a number. It had flutes in it. It was followed by just the kind of jazz I love, heavy on the horns, a little easier on the piano. Which was followed by more and more music...
Why has no one ever told me that there is a station out there that has no commercials? Here I've been listening to radio ads for already what adds up to probably a full day of my life, and all the while there was CBC?
So, yes. I listen to classical music now more often than any other genre. And it has affected me in other ways. I feel myself wanting to go to plays and concerts and operas, to read classics in leatherbound covers.
And I'm okay with that. My copy of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment is already on hold at the library.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Bubble

I had to get a tuberculosis test today. Exciting times, let me tell you.
First of all, I thought that the clinic was on seventh at third southwest, so I got off the train at TD Square and looked around, bewildered, for a Calgary Health Region sign. Nowhere to be found. I checked the address I had written down, saw no discrepancies between the scribbles and my location.
Hence it was necessary to call 411 (racking up all kinds of charges on my cellphone) to get the number for aforesaid clinic. Then I had to wade my way through almost five minutes of automated voices before I could discover that the clinic was located on seventh at third southeast. Clever me.
When I finally arrived at the clinic (just barely on time), it was surprisingly hassle-free. I got needled under the skin and injected with some interesting liquid. It left a bubble under the skin on my forearm. It wasn't there for long, but it was morbidly facsinating. I couldn't stop looking at this crazy bubble. I wanted to touch it.
I was like a little kid with a scab.

Friday, May 18, 2007


I attended the first yoga class today at noon. (Yes, I am a slacker who doesn't work Fridays. The office isn't open.)
It was very enjoyable, etc. I feel relaxed, my muscles feel like they got some work and stretching, and I got to show off my lululemons. I just have a hard time taking the namaste seriously.
At the end of a yoga class, you put your hands in prayer position in front of your chest and give a slight bow to other members of the class, saying, "Namaste" (the light in me salutes the light in you or something like that). When I did it, I felt like I was going to giggle.
Why? It's a wonderful thing to say to other people. You're recognizing their humanity and divine nature, in a way.
I think that our lives sometimes become so conventional and contemporary that when we experience something archaic, foreign, or of old-world sentiment, we can have a hard time taking it seriously unless we're in the right mood. An example is antiquated English formal language of thees and thous or chivalrous old-fashioned manners. They seem so quaint and outdated that not only do these beautiful gestures fall into disuse, but they are mocked when in use. Which I would like to strive to change in myself.
So as I wait for gentlemen to stand on ceremony, I say, "The light that doth dwell in me doth salute that which dwelleth in thee".

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Didn't Knock On Wood

Darn. I jinxed it. It doesn't work anymore.


I noticed something very strange. On the right side of this page, if you open April's entries and click on "Eligibility..." parts of the page appear to be written in a different language. See if you can find them.
Bonus points if you know which language!
ps. I have no idea how this happened.

The Saga of the Ice Cream Sandwich

Last week I took the bus to work every day. I was feeling rather lazy and didn't want to ride my bike. On Monday, as I walked along 19th St. between 24th ave. and Morley Tr, I saw an ice cream sandwich on the sidewalk. It was a fairly new addition to the landscape because it was still melting. I noticed it and moved on.
On Tuesday, it was still there. Of course, it was now a puddle of dried ice cream goo spread around two cookies, but it was still there. I thought it was a little odd, and again continued on my merry way.
Wednesday came around, and this time I looked for the ice cream sandwich. It was still there, now squashed by a shoeprint, with a little smear alongside, where the guilty party had tried to scrape off the chocolatey goodness.
By Thursday, it was merely a dirty smear on the sidewalk. What was once a yummy treat had been demoted to mud.
Sad story.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I've decided that my job isn't really among the most boring. Today I got to duplicate x-rays!
It was noticably more enjoyable than calling people and saying (to their answering machine more often than not),
"Hi, I'm calling from your dental office to let you know that you're due to come in for a cleaning and a check-up. If you give us a call at ... we'll set up an appointment for you!" Fun times, let me tell you.
This job has risen to the task of proving to me that it is not all boring phone calls. No, it is also being shot by children who chose the "Nerf" gun as their dental prize!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Water, Water Everywhere.. and None of It To Drink

I read an article on my lunch break about bottled water. More specifically, about the declining popularity and chic-ness of bottled water. It is the "new environmental sin".
Not to mention ridiculous, from an economic perspective. Tap water is free, or next to it. Bottled water, which is very much the same, costs upwards of $2-3 a litre. What benefits do they add to the water that justify the additional costs? Really, not much, in terms of chemicla composition. The issue that the article fails to address is the reason why many people buy bottled water- at least, the reason that I have bought it on occasion.
It's all about convenience. Sometimes people don't want to search for a water fountain, or they've forgotten their Nalgene at home. At times, this justifies the purchase of bottled water to me. What I don't understand are the people who though it was chic in the first place.

Lovable Critters I Have Known

In the third grade, I had a bunny named Buttercup. He was a castoff class pet that I got to keep. About 2 months after we took him home, he ran away. Or got eaten by a coyote. We never figured it out.
A few years later, my sister got a fish. It's name was Aggy and its tank stank up our entire room.
Then, we finally got some good pets. Two dogs in swift succession, Ginger and Tavi. Golden Lab and black lab.
By far though, my favorite pet was Horst. Horst was a ladybug that found me in November 2005, in Craigie Hall C203, while I was in Introductory German, Part III. How Horst had survived into chilly November, I'll never know, but he also came with me to Introductory Macroeconomics and Brother Hill's New Testament class.
Named after my German prof, Horst was content to wander on my left hand for the few hours before I got bored of him and left him on a fake tree at the Institute Building. Ah, Horst. I'll never find another pet like him.
Someone told me yesterday that you can freeze bugs and keep them in the freezer for a long time before thawing them out. And that when you do thaw them out, they come back to life. Can anyone corroborate this? If so, I really wish I had frozen Horst. I could have kept him forever.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Happy Flowers

On my way to work this morning, I saw the first signs of dandelions in someone's lawn. Some may call them weeds, but to me they are the cheeriest flower. Imagine the embankments of Crowchild Trail without a solid carpet of them. Suddenly my drive out to my parents' would be less exciting.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

I Still Don't Like Facebook

Okay, everyone, calm down. Yes, I did get facebook. Of my own volition? No. Will I use it for much else than the use which made it mandatory? No. So stop mocking me. I still would prefer to not be on facebook.
However, I am going to be an EFY counsellor this summer. Are they able to give me all the information I need through email? Of course. Do they prefer to do it through facebook? Evidently.
Is it time to end this entry? Most definitely.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May Day

The first day of May always makes me want to dance around a beribboned pole. I used to do it every year in my childhood.
For those of you who weren't aware, I went to an "alternative" school. We learned about fairies. We celebrated pagan rituals and festivals like winter solstice and May Day. We also celebrated Catholic festivals like Advent and Michaelmas.
I kind of miss my unconventional school. The university is rather mundane by comparison.

Monday, April 30, 2007


Today is my first day at my summer job. My first "real" job, if you will. I'm a receptionist at a dental office.
There is one patient whose name I see quite often- her file is very conveniently placed in the filing cabinet so I see it a lot.
The reason I mention this is that every time I see her name, I get excited. You see, her last name is Burrows. That makes me think of Prison Break. I like Prison Break.
Like I said, exciting times at the dental office. Well, back to work.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Stampede is When?

I have a confession to make. I've lived in Calgary, Alberta all my life and have never owned my own cowboy hat.
Sometimes when I tell people this, there is no reaction. Thia is how you separate the lifetime Calgarians from the newbies. Most lifers, when there hear this shocking news, treat it as shocking news. Incredulous looks, scoffs, and wonderings: "Then what do you wear to the Stampede?"
Leading to my other confession. I've really never been. Okay, so there was the time I went with my cousins when I was about 12. But we went with my semi-militant uncle and it wasn't very enjoyable. Then there was the day I went with my nanny-child. But I was working that day. And I was with a 13-year-old. There was also the evening I went to see Emerson Drive in concert at Nashville North with a few friends. That was probably the closest I've ever gotten to the Stampede experience. But it was the sneak a peek on Thursday night and all we did was go to the concert.
Growing up, my family always took Stampede week to do all the Calgary touristy things that normally got crowded: the zoo, Calaway Park, hikes in Banff. We'd also try to hit as many breakfasts as we could (with 6 kids, you probably take every chance for free, no-stress food you can get).
Today I got my first cowboy hat. It's brown straw with a little band around the crown, with cowry shells. I really like it. I wore it all day while shopping with my mum and sister. Now I can't wait for Stampede! Even just to wear my hat to free breakfasts! (And maybe go to the real thing at last.)
Here's to lukewarm pancakes, sickly sweet syrup, and low-quality sausages! For free!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gratuitous Post

I'm just wondering if I actually can put links in my posts on a Mac... let's try this . Ahah! Macs really are the pinnacle of computing perfection!

One Reason Macs Aren't So Hot

Although I love Macs dearly, I've realized that among their many advantages, they also have some limitations in comparison to a PC. Most are no their own fault, but the fault of the software makers that limit their use.
Case in point: When I use blogger on my Mac, it won't let me put links in my posts. I find that rather inconvenient. What if I want to reference another site on the Internet? Apparently, I cannot.
So today, since I am posting from a PC at school I will put in a gratuitous link. For kicks and giggles. And here it is. Also here, if you prefer a more structured approach.
PS. If you follow the links and get a good one, post it in a comment so I can see it too!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Treasure Chest

Today was a day like none other. Why, you may ask? Well, you shall see.
I attended a friendly gathering of friends this afternoon. A Sunday Dinner in all its glory. Friends, food, controversial topics, current events, all were present. But today there was something more...
A cache of hidden treasure. A store of goodies beyond our wildest imagination, just waiting for us to blindfold ourselves, be spun around in circles, handed a stick, and swing with all our might.
Yes, my friends, there was a pinata.
Shaped like a treasure chest, it invited all to partake in its bounty- after we had beat it to a broken mess, a cascade of plenty burst from its seams, spilling over the carpet and across the room. Following a mad scramble, much candy was enjoyed, including magic rocks that turned into chocolate in the mouth (in the same manner as M&Ms do, but the package said they were magic).
Much thanks to that emissary of fun, that bearer of Mexican party tricks:
The bringer of the pinata.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Sweetest Exam

Around 12:25 this afternoon, I was sitting in my statistics exam, working away at an F-test to determine equal variance. I heard a rustling noise not far away and looked up to see my professor walking down the aisle between the desks in the gym where we were writing, with a bag in her hand. It looked full of something, and she was offering it all the students in my class. When she arrived at me, she held it out and whispered, "Take a handful".
It was full of candy.
The kid on my right, who was writing his Biology exam, looked at me with longing as I quietly opened a toffee. Suddenly his prof, who seemed very nice from all I saw there in the gym, paled in comparison.
I haven't filled out my prof's evaluation yet, but trust me, I'll be sure to now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Helpful Hands (They Know Statistics!)

Today I had to learn the Gauss-Markov Theorem. Technically, I was supposed to have learned it a few weeks ago in class, but on that day, I was really excited to plan out my tentative class schedule for the fall semester because the Economics department had just posted thier classes. So I didn't pay attention.
I learned it today for my exam tomorrow. It has a snappy acronym and everything. B.L.U.E. (Best Linear Unbiased Estimator). Plus, I got to make up a hand game to remember the assumptions. There's 6 of them, so they match up with my fingers. Please forgive the lack of subscripts:
1. y=b0+b1x+e (I have thumbs, Baboons do not. Baboon has 2 Bs)
2. e=0 (I shot it with my index finger in the shape of a gun, so it's dead)
3. e and y are homoscedastic (homo sounds dirty. It goes with my middle finger)
4. cov(ei,ej)=0=cov(yi,yj) (cov means covariance- co means with, my ring finger is empty, zero ring)
5. x is a random variable and must have 2 values (my pinky finger is random?)
6. e is normally distributed (when I fold my hands together with my fingers interlocking, it makes a shape not unlike a normal distribution)
I have two little hands folded snugly and tight... they are tiny and weak, but they know what is right! (Courtesy of the Children's Songbook)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Economics is Real... Part 1 of Many

I had a request the other day for a specific blog entry. Someone asked me how economics applies to real life.
Well, to all less educated in the ways of economics than myself and this individual:
In every way! Sheesh!
Thus follows today's discourse...
Actions should be undertaken if the marginal benefit is equal to or greater than the marginal cost.
Here's an example- I was doing a project for my Global Trading System class earlier this semester. There was one last question on the assignment that I knew was going to take me over an hour. This question was worth 5 marks out of 120. This assignment was worth 15% of my total grade. So, I could spend an extra hour (the marginal cost) to get an additional 0.625% in the class (the marginal benefit). Now, at ony other time, the hour wouldn't have been a big deal (ie. a large cost) but in this specific hour, my roommates were watching The Cutting Edge and I was missing it. An extra 0.625% is not worth an hour of The Cutting Edge. Maybe an hour of the rest of my life, but not a spectacle of ice skating set to 80's music.
I decided not to do it. Marginal cost exceeded marginal benefit.
Coming up next... Maximizing Utility Subject to a Budget Constraint! Or maybe the Phillips Curve!


The IRC holds an award night every year and gives out awards to people in several different catagories, some serious, some not so much. I was lucky enough to receive an award for "Most Eligible Bachelorette". Which got me thinking...
In this circumstance, what does Most Eligible mean? Is it really the person that everyone wants to ask out on a date, or is it the person who is most obviously single?
As my last real date was sometime in November and as yet, I haven't noticed any difference in the frequency with which I am asked out, I am leaning towards the latter.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

These are a few of my favourite things...
- My MacBook
- Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
- Indifference curves
- Tweed
- Old Hailey Mills movies
- Happy socks (in cheerful colours)
- Milton Friedman
- Panda bears
- The Year Without a Santa Claus (the Snow Miser song!)
- Getting my teeth cleaned
- Old spreading trees
- Coloured pens
- Asterix comics
- Matchbox 20
Plus, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Favorite Blog

I'm not sure exactly what my friend does for work, but apparently not much of it is work. Today I received an email with a link to his new 'blog' chronicling the "saga of Eyebrow Eve", complete with links to various eyebrow sites. The most hilarious thing I've ever seen. You know who you are. Now get back to work.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Whatever happened to Eyebrow Eve? What a sad state of affairs. Just for the record, I loved her.
Don't ask.

Monday, April 9, 2007

I Have Become a Clone

There is something I've always wanted... a status symbol so inherently full of it's own virtue... something that every girl wants, no matter how she denies it... an item so iconic that it may be seen everywhere one goes... the new symbol of wealth, health, and prestige to anyone of a certain income bracket... a pair of lululemon pants.
I bought a pair. Ninety-four dollars and thirty-four cents. It may seem steep, but it is actually a small price to pay for the magical pants that flatter any butt, stretch to accommodate any contortion of the body, and come in a 36 inch inseam.
Just owning these pants has inspired me. I came home and signed up for an Ashtanga yoga class offered through the spring by Campus Recreation. Anyone who is free Thursday nights from 6:30-8 pm is welcome to join me.
Now, wherever I work out or attend a yoga class, those around me will see the tiny silver ankh on my lower back and know that I too am a connoisseur of sportswear. A sweat snob, if you will.

Food Is What Makes My Day

Tonight my parents are taking me out for Thai Food... my favorite food in the entire world. This got me thinking about my favorite foods and my favorite memories of food...
Thai Food:
- my Dad used to make Kayatsai, a kind of omelet, when we were kids, usually on Sundays
- the restaurant on the beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand, where we ate shark
- having a Thai food party on a Sunday last year and having twice as many people as expected show up- but there was still enough food!
- eating satay from street vendors on Bangkok for about 5 cents a stick
- skipping my grad banquet for dinner at Thai Sa-on with my Mum and Dad
- discovering Brie for the first time at a school potluck in the 9th grade
- going to a fromagerie in Paris, seeing flies landing on the cheese, and then going to the hygienic supermarket instead
- getting a round of blue stilton in my stocking last Christmas and making a grilled blue cheese sandwich
- finding that great restaurant on 17th with Aurora and ordering mussels
- my Dad's cedar-plank salmon (the dish that we accidentally served to my sister's boyfriend almost every time he visited us while they were dating)
- eating the trout that we caught in Prince George
Ice Cream:
- Aurora and I making homemade ice cream about 5 million times in high school
- sharing a Vermonster at the Ben & Jerry's store
- going to Lic's on the last day of school every year in elementary and Junior High
Mmmmm... now I'm really hungry.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

I love zuccini

I never realized how much the people you spend time with influence you. When you're growing up, it's hard to see because you live with the same people all the time and you've never known anything different.
When I first moved in with roommates in September, I began to pick up on their habits and mannerisms.
One roommate often uses the phrases, "Let's be honest here..." and "I'm not even going to lie", preceding statements. Another expresses approval by saying, "I fully support that." A friend used to use the term "weak sauce" to describe something that was a poor excuse or exceedingly lame. These figures of speech quickly made their way into my vocabulary.
I recently began spending a bit more time with another friend, who often makes statements beginning with "Just", ex: Just a great night! or Just a funny movie! I noticed the other night that I have also begun to make similar statements.
One time I saw a pumpkin that had been accidentally cross-pollinated with a zuccini. It was kind of green and didn't look like a standard pumpkin. Just being close enough to the zuccini for the bees to mix things up had changed the pumkin.
The people that I'm around enough to pick up on their speech have changed me in other ways. I've also picked up on their attitudes and philosophies, generally for the good.
So thanks to all my zuccinis. You've made this pumkin more interesting and given it a little more flavour.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

My Crazy Family

Just played a great game of Phase 10 with my parents and little brother and sister.
Serenading them alternately with Mika's "Grace Kelly" and Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York"
My Dad winning three hands in a row- he must be getting senile, because i maintain that only old people are that good at cards
My brother giving me the card I needed to win- Love my brother!
Getting my phase 7 in the first turn
I love card games!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Time For Tea

Today I made a fantastic purchase. I went to Value Village, that emporium of wonderful goods, and found something so onderful, I wish I could include a picture. Only I don't know how.
Picture a teapot. It's bright green, with a short little spout and a curvy handle. It's a retro kind of shape, very round. Six bucks!
Suddenly I have these desires to have a tea party. With crumpets and marmalade, scones and clotted cream, and little cakes.
The last time I had a tea party party was with my five-year old niece. She brought her doll, I dug my old one out of the basement, and we used a tiny tea set that we got from Thailand. We baked tiny cookies and a tiny cake and made little tea sandwiches. We drank lemon tea and discussed all sorts of important subjects like kindergarten. Best Sunday afternoon in a long time.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


I've noticed from a few factors that people are reading my blog when they should be otherwise engaged on productive activities. I fully support this, as I am currently at work. One the one hand, those of you who are reading at work are getting a good deal. Your employers are paying for this. On the other hand, those of you who read this while in class are getting shafted. Your tuition dollars are paying for this.
Not that I don't play on my computer in a boring class (last semester's micro theory was a wash). There are so many wonderful diversions available on the computer.
Does anyone know where I can start a fantasy baseball team?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Crazy Eye Doctor

The optometrist stuck pieces of paper in my eyes and made me try to keep them open, with the paper in, for 30 seconds, each eye. I suppose that's what you get when your optometrist is nearing retirement.

So Many Stupid People

Professor X hates dumb people. He also hates people who don't listen or pay attention. He hates people who are late. He's made all of this perfectly clear.
So why, when he explains the assignment answers, do about 20 people all ask the same dumb question? A negative surplus is a deficit. A negative deficit is a surplus. You had the wrong answer. Just let it go.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

How Does One Become a Conspiracy Theorist?

That phrase was uttered by a very wise (and funny) friend of mine some years ago, during a discussion involving assorted conspiracy theories, including:
- The video of Neil Armstrong on the moon was actually filmed in Arizona
- No one has actually made it to Everest without oxygen
and my personal favorite,
- The band Prozac is actually just Fat Boy Slim, animated
Previous to aforementioned discussion, I had watched a documentary about the moon landing, and I mentioned one 'conspiracy theorist' who was on the show. After several possibilities (including a master's degree offered by and institute similar to the CMSS at the U of C) we concluded that there must be some sort of certificate at SAIT.
You see, I was sick on the weekend. Just before midnight on Saturday, I got what appeared to be a flu bug, with much vomiting, etc. Not too pleasant, but I got better soon. Upon returning to school yesterday, I heard of a few other people who were sick over the weekend. I figured that there must have been some sort of bug going around.
Today, I arrived at school, and learned from a friend that there were more than 20 individuals who attended a certain event, ate food, and were all sick on Saturday night at around 11:30. Individuals who attended but did not eat food remained in good health.
Food poisoning, you say? Well, there were a number of us who noticed members of our families/housholds with similar symptoms a day or so after we had them. Epidemic your current guess?
So now there are a few theories (perhaps conspiracy ones):
- The government is testing a new hypervirus
- The Calgary Institute was the victim of a terrorist attack using biological weapons
or the most likely,
- Dale finally got sick of us all.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Hiding Behind the Mask of Email

This afternoon I received an email that had been mass sent to my entire econ class. One of the students was dissatisfied with the instructor's performance and was trying to gain support for a mass dropout in protest. This email, which is automatically sent out to everyone in the class, including the instructor, through our online class forum, contained many rude and hurtful comments about the instructor. Seriously, the class isn't that hard. The teacher is great.
Since when is it okay to say things in a email that are inappropriate to say in person?

I Hate the IRS

I know what you're all thinking. She lives in Canada. Shouldn't it be Revenue Canada that she hates, not the IRS? Well, I recently got a job for a week in the summer as an EFY counsellor. I'm pretty excited- it should be a blast. However, since the Church Education System (my week-long employer) is an American company, they sent me 2 forms to fill out: the W4 and the I9.
I have become accustomed to filling out the Canadian forms. I know exactly what numbers to put where, how much tuition I can claim as a deductible, and all those wonderful inside tricks you learn from filling in the stupid things every time you get a new job.
I don't have a clue how to do the I9.
Am I a) A citizen or national of the United States, b) A Lawful Permanent Resident (Alien #) A, or c) An alien authorized to work until (insert date here)? As far as I know, none of the above.
Is a Social Security Number the same as a Social Insurance Number?
Are there any international accountants in the house?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Forum Fun

A list of some of our better Friday Forum speakers:
4. Brother Bancroft, talking about his trip to Saudi Arabia
3. Brother Heninger, talking about entrepeneuership
2. Sister Dalton, speaking on conflict resolution
1. My sister Katey, stepping in at the last minute to give a talk when our other speaker cancelled. Hooray for my sister!
And here's to the best friday Forum to come- the one that will never be bested- the CSIS recruiting session!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blogging Like a Crazy Person

I know that I've already posted twice today, but this blogging thing is seriously addictive. Hopefully it will die down as the novelty fades. The worst thing is that I don't really have anything to say. Well, this was satisfying.

The Curse of the Weblog

In the past semester, I have become increasingly dependent on my laptop, a beautiful white MacBook. I have a month's worth of menus planned out, my tasks for the week, Adobe Illustrator for graphic design when I'm bored, Quicken for my expense tracking, episodes of The Office that I download from my neighbour, Al, and most importantly, my homework, assignments for both Statistics and International Trade.
Last night, (right after I created this blog, by the way...interesting) my computer started to behave erratically. It would turn off or restart if it got nudged a tiny bit or when I set it down. By late this afternoon, I would start it up and within a minute or two, it would just restart for no reason at all. I took it into the repair shop in the basement of the University, and it will take possibly until April 9 to fix it.
How will I know what I'm scheduled to eat until then? My life will fall into unorganized shambles until I get my MacBook back. It really will.
Was it the blog that caused it? Perhaps. If so, this blog is cursed.
I have a cursed blog! Suddenly my life is still unorganized, but way more exciting.

Econ isn't just cool, it's funny too!

Can I say how much I love economics? It really is the best field of study I have ever encountered. So much so that sometimes I find myself graphing variables that I downloaded from CANSIM (Canadian Socio-Economic Information and Management Database) and calculating regression, just for kicks. But it wasn't until recently that I discovered that economics is funny, too. I was reading a blog of a friend of mine and got some great economics jokes:
What's the difference between a macro- and a microeconomist? The microeconomist is wrong about specific things, and the macroeconomist is wrong about things in general.
Well, I actually have a microeconomic midterm in 15 min. Let's hope I'm right about specific things- specifically the marginal rate of transformation.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Time to Join the 21st Century

Well, everyone else has a blog. So I might as well jump off the bridge, too. Ah, the three pitfalls:
1. Everyone else is doing it
2. Once won't hurt
3. No one will ever know
(courtsey of a Best of EFY session!)
And I should stop this now, since I have a midterm tomorrow.
Night, all! (This is, of course, assuming that other people will read this)