Category Archives: Hilarious

19 Again

Christmas mimosas – it’s what’s for breakfast.

For those who follow my Twitter account1, you’re likely already aware of the fact that I had a bit of an incident at the liquor store yesterday. Nothing crazy of course – I made no scene, there was no need for security to be called. Regardless, something happened; something that was a mix of amazing and surreal and ridiculous and hilarious.

I had sauntered over to the liquor store early yesterday to pick up certain key ingredients for the traditional Christmas morning mimosas. Surprisingly the store wasn’t very busy when I arrived, so I only had to wait in line behind one other person. I placed several2 bottles of Christmas cheer on the counter and pulled out my bank card.

Could I see some ID?

I was only slightly surprised to hear this. I’ve heard this request before and I’m sure I’ll hear it again because I realize that I look younger than my 38 years. Further, the staff of the liquor store are required by law to ID anyone that looks 25 or younger. The legal drinking age is actually 19, but the law is in place to honestly, I have no idea what the intended purpose is. 

You might be asking, do I look younger than 19? Unless you are visually impaired, drunk, or high, I’m going to guess no. I’m not even convinced I look 25. However, the liquor store employee decided that she needed my ID.

I happily passed her the ID I’ve been using for the past 10 years.

I’m sorry, but this has expired.

I stared blankly back at her, not realizing what she was saying.

I can’t accept this. Do you have another piece of ID?

I didn’t. I told her so.

It was at this point that I realized what she was getting at.

It was at this point that I realized she wasn’t going to sell me the booze.

It was at this point that I realized that Christmas might be ruined.

I tried explaining that it was the same ID I’d always used. I never thought to reiterate the fact that I’m almost 40. I just kept staring at her assuming that my impressive powers of persuasion and my out-of-date ID would convince her that I was worthy of the bottles placed before her.

I clearly was not. Instead I had to pack it in, sad-faced, empty-handed, and convinced that Christmas was ruined. Denied at the liquor store at the tender young age of 38, because I apparently didn’t look old enough to pass as someone of the legal drinking age in this province.

But don’t worry folks – all was not lost. My little brother dropped by later to buy the necessary mimosa ingredients. That’s correct – my little brother bought me Christmas cheer because apparently I’m not old enough to buy my own.

It was a weird but wonderful Christmas miracle.

Merry Christmas everyone.

1 @thedangillis

2 Read 3.

Happy Pi Approximation Day

Dinosaur Comics – go there. Read them. Laugh. You shan’t be sorry.


In honour of Pi Approximation Day, I thought I’d offer you this most awesomely awesome comic from Dinosaur Comics that approximately honours the approximately awesome awesomeness that is Pi Approximation Day.

Of course, I realize that I’ve offered this comic before but I enjoy the last panel far too much not to share it again.

“Failure is just success rounded down, my friend!”

Now if you don’t mind, I have some pie to rub on my face.



Also – There Was Pie

Also, there was pie. Mmmm, pie.

So it’s been a few days – and by a few days I clearly mean more than 7 – since I last wrote something here at Consumed By Wanderlust. I could probably give you a list a mile long as to why I’ve been so tardy, but the truth is rather simple – weird stuff happens.

True story.

In this case, the weird stuff has all been good. Really good in fact. So good that I often have to remind myself that yes, this in fact is my life. 

Where to begin?

When last we spoke I was in the final stages of a fundraising campaign for the Farm To Fork project. With only a few hours remaining and having raised slightly over  $14000, I won’t lie, I was a wee bit stressed. Of course, I didn’t need to be. With all of the amazing people out there we managed to surpass our goal. In total, $15116 were raised.

If you want to know more about the fundraising campaign, you can check out this  interview by Ethan Perlstein of Microryza.

The interview was conducted on the Monday following the fundraising campaign. Ethan has also written up a summary of the campaign here (including some stats – which you all know I love).

All of this, however, didn’t quite define the weird in the weird stuff that happened. The weird came a little later in the week.

First up – I was asked (a number of weeks ago) to write a blog post for RunKeeper. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been an avid user of the RunKeeper app for some time, and I credit the app with helping me become a healthier version of me. Anyway, my post went live on the RunKeeper blog on May 28th. Since then it has been read by I don’t know how many people, liked at least 130 times, and retweeted more than a few times. Crazy. If you’re up for extra reading, check it out here.

But that’s not all. Around the same time that I was asked to write a post for the RunKeeper blog, I was also asked to do another interview. To put this into proper context, I awoke one morning to find an email from the fine folks at RunKeeper. The email, which I initially assumed to be a standard update about my running stats (or possibly an update on global RunKeeper statistics), was actually to ask if I’d be willing to be interviewed by CNN.

Seriously. That CNN.

My reaction went something like this.

What the hell?

Is this a joke?

Wait, was this actually meant for me?


Of course, once I realized that this was in fact a real message intended for me, I quickly replied with a dignified HELLS YA.

Anyway, the story was officially released today. You can check it out here.

Beyond all of this, my week also included celebrations related to the pi-anniversary of my PhD. That is, my PhD officially turned ~3.14 years old earlier in the week. Naturally I celebrated with pie.

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My Life Is Weird And Wonderful

So apparently I was a model for a day.

Just when you think life couldn’t get any more interesting and bizarre, someone asks you to be a model.

You know, if someone told me years ago that at some point in my life I’d be walking a runway, strutting my stuff, being all that and a bag of chips, I would have assumed they were insane, or possibly whacked out on crack. And yet there I was, only a few weeks ago, shaking what my momma gave me.

Okay, I may have strutted and I may have sauntered, but I wasn’t shaking anything. At least not intentionally.

The night – hosted by my friends Beth and Joel – was surreal and a lot of fun. It helped that I got to spend the evening with a bunch of great people, and getting dressed up in some sweet clothing didn’t hurt either. For those of you who might be interested, there are a couple more pictures below.

Of course, you may be wondering where that sweet clothing came from. Well, dear readers, it came from Grey Rock Clothing. If you’re in Guelph, you should go there and buy all of the things. Every piece of clothing sold there is ethical. That is, no sweatshops were involved. At any time. Ever.

Modelling. I guess I have something to fall back on if this Assistant Professor and Statistician thing doesn’t work out.

All of the best models giggle as they strut. True story.
This is my “deer caught in headlights” look. Apparently.

Conquer Your Fears Or Die Trying

Yes, but silly bird – jumping off a ledge is easy to do…

Dear readers, this post is to inform you that I am about to do something really stupid. Again.

I know, I know. I get myself into stupid situations all of the time. How is this any different?

Well in this case I might die. Literally. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of melodrama, but in theory it could happen. Whatever does come of my next challenge, I’m not going to be the same man I am today so in some sense the current version of myself is going to be dead. The hope is that the current version of me will be replaced with a new and improved, stronger and more kick-ass version.

That or I’ll turn into a blubbering pathetic half man.

Regardless – I will be changed.

You see, thanks to the Twitter I’m about to tackle my last irrational fear. I had two. I used to be afraid of heights. That is, I was afraid of heights until I jumped off a 30 foot cliff. Now only one irrational fear remains, and if you’ve been reading along you’ll already know what that is. That’s correct, folks – I’m about to go one on one with my fear of all things eight legged. This will be an epic battle of good and evil. I’ll leave you to decide who fights for which side. Hint – spiders are evil incarnate, and I’m made with pure wholesome wholesomeness and the most innocent of innocence1.

With this impending battle in mind it should be obvious that the probability of me turning into a quivering mass of half man is non-trivial. As evidence, you should be aware that my heart skipped several beats while looking for an image for this post. Not because I purposely googled spiders, but because by googling fear I inevitably ended up with random photos of eight legged creepers mixed in with other fear related images. Excuse me while I GAH.

So when will this epic battle happen? The plan is to conquer my fear sometime during the eve of March 1, 2013. And for those curious, I will have all of this filmed for your entertainment. You’ll either observe the birth of a man without fear, or watch as my psyche is broken into a million little pieces. Either way – the entertainment factor should be through the roof.

Of course, given the potential entertainment value of this endeavour, I’ve decided to turn this into some sort of charity event. Details about this will follow as soon as I figure them out.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to forget all the images of spiders I just saw on Google. GAH.

Special thanks – I think – to Morgan Jackson (@BioInFocus), Nichelle Lomas, and Andrew Young for helping to arrange this. Morgan is a PhD student, Nichelle is doing grad work in the same lab, and Andrew has already completed his degree. For whatever reason the three of them enjoy spiders. I assume this means that the spiders have already taken control of their brain stems. That’s what spiders do, right?

To Dr. Beth – know that I’m not joining their side. I’m only doing this so that I might infiltrate their ranks and take them down from within. If I die, remember me as a sexy sexy patriot and avenge my death.

1 I can hear your laughter as I write this.

Moose And Norm

My new roommates. Dr. Beth sent them to me through the mail. Thanks Dr. Beth. You’re awesome.

Due to the awesomeness that is Rogers1, this post is going to be short and sweet2.

When I got home from the office today I did what I always do. I checked my mail before making my way to the front door (where Elliot is always waiting3). When I opened up my mailbox, what did I find? My hydro bill, a bank statement4, and a package from my friend Dr. Beth.

Surprise package from Dr. Beth! W00t!

Inside the package were my Christmas gifts: the mascot that she developed for one of her MBA projects (D2NA Moose), and a stuffed Standard Normal Distribution. I call them Moose and Norm for short5. With names like that, you know they should probably have a prime time television show named after them. I imagine they’d be like Starsky and Hutch in the sense that they are bad-ass crime fighting undercover cops.

Yup, Moose and Norm. Totally bad-ass.

Thanks Dr. Beth. Thank you long time and repeatedly.

1 Pfffffft. Awesome – riiiiiiiiight.

2 For fear that the Rogers provided interwebs will be down again for several hours.

3 Don’t judge. You’d probably be waiting for me too if you were pretty much guaranteed treats and a belly rub the minute I walked in the door.

4 Weird, because I could have sworn I’d switched them over to electronic bills.

5 I’m creative like that.

A Gathering Of Nerds

Celebrating a very nerdy holiday at Baker Street Station. Photo by Jasper Tey.

Tonight’s post will be quick because I just finished a half marathon as part of Goofy training. To say that my body is a wee bit tired is an understatement. I probably should have eaten more prior to running. Live and learn. I’m just hoping that the Running Elves repair my body overnight so that I can get in my last long run (I think) of 2012 tomorrow. Running Elves are a thing, right?

I digress.

Today the nerds1 descended on Baker Street Station to enjoy some delicious food, some nerdly discussions2, and a lot of laughs3. While we aren’t always able to get together as often as we’d like due to some rather major life changes in the group – children, marriages, new jobs, new homes – I’m always appreciative of days like today when calendars align and nerd-caucus can be called to order.

After several hours of chatting and eating, we eventually had to call the meeting to a close. Being the holidays, everyone had places to be and other people to see. Hugs and high-fives were handed out, as well as talk of future meetings. It was a little bittersweet to be honest, but I know we’ll get together again soon. Nerds are nothing if not organized.

Following the meeting I chatted with Rick as we headed over to our friend Manon’s place for a quick visit. We agreed that one of the best things about nerd-caucus is that no matter how far apart we are, how much our lives have changed, we always pick up where we left off. We take the time to catch up on the life that has happened between visits, but then we spend most of our time laughing and carrying on as we always did when we were in school together.

I really am fortunate to have such an amazing group of people in my life. Being surrounded by people that are not only intelligent, but caring, thoughtful and well-rounded is inspiring. Thanks nerds for making today amazing. I can’t wait to see you all again.

1 Listing clockwise from where I sat: Rob, Rick, Jenn, Warren, Kian (Jenn and Warren’s baby boy – who is surely going to be a nerd given the nerdly nature of his parents), Steph, Jasper, Lorna, and me.

2 About math pedagogy no less.

3 Which are very nicely documented by Jasper in the video embedded below.


Two Deadly Sins In One Day

Ethiopian deliciousness – get in my belly.

In honour of my friend Mark’s 37th birthday, we1 drove into Toronto today to wander the city. And by wander, I mean we sauntered about stopping often to sample various foodstuffs along the way. And while we walked a lot, I don’t feel that it was enough to work off the food I ate. Instead, I just kept stuffing more and more in my gullet. At least, that is how it seems to me. I guess in retrospect I only ate a half order of fries (with dijon gravy2) and a latte before heading to the African Palace for dinner.

And oh what a dinner – vegetable samosas and a platter full of delicious Ethiopian cuisine, followed by fresh roasted Ethiopian coffee.

After so much gluttony, I currently find myself somewhere between oh-so-full and painfully-full. I really should have known better. Don’t misunderstand – I don’t think that I should have eaten less3, I simply mean that I should have worn my eating pants.

Despite the pantal-distension, the gluttony was well worth it. Better still, the company was fantastic and the day was filled with much laughter.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pass out on the couch while watching a movie. Because why stop at gluttony when I can throw in sloth for good measure.

1 We being me, Mark, and Julie.

2 Holy hell why haven’t I ever had gravy and dijon mustard together before? Deliciously delicious.

3 Not only does my Goofy training demand the Calories, but I’m a light eater at the best of times.

After The Scotchening

Mmmm scotch. Photo courtesy of Nick (@Merc_Media)

On my rather slow walk to campus today, I couldn’t help but be amazed that my body hadn’t decided to stage a revolution on my brain.

You see, dear readers, it was my brain who decided that I should get myself involved in the Goofy race. My brain was also responsible for my love of scotch – although I’m going to have to point an accusatory finger directly at my stomach for enjoying it too. As it turns out, despite what my body might think, it usually has to tag along and do whatever my brain decides it wants to do.

Yesterday my brain almost went too far.

As part of my training for the Goofy race, my body was forced by my brain to run 24 km; this after having been forced by my brain to run 12 km on Saturday. If my body were more aggressive, it might have just had enough cause right there to punch my brain in the face.

After forcing my body to run 24 km, the normal course of action would be to spend an ample amount of time stretching, and stretching, and stretching some more. One might also be inclined to hydrate given the amount of water lost during a 2+ hour run.

My brain of course, had other ideas. I mean, how could I stretch and hydrate when my condo was about to host Scotch Night 2012? Your body can wait argued my brain.

Amazingly, my body didn’t argue. I mean, why hydrate when one can drink tasty delicious scotch with friends? Scotch has water in it – that’s almost as good as hydrating, right?

Sigh. Sometimes my brain is so stupid.

Despite my present dehydrated, exhausted, and slightly achy state, yesterday was awesome. Part of that is due to staying on track with my training (because I did consider abandoning my training run given the scotch-filled evening I was about to have). But mostly yesterday was awesome because I got to share the eve enjoying food and scotch with an awesome group of guys. So a huge thanks to Danny, Mark, Nick, Bang, and Greg. Scotch night was a huge, hilarious, sometimes inappropriately hilarious, scotch-filled success.

And now I’m going to go drink some water because damn I’m dehydrated.

For the record, scotch night included samples of the following:

  • Lagavulin
  • Wemyss
  • Ardbeg
  • Glenmorangie
  • Té Bheag
  • Bruichladdich Organic
  • Glenrothes
  • Oban

Wonder how scotch night progressed? Here are several tweets to give you an idea.


And The Golden Moustache Award Goes To…

And the winner is...everyone!
And the winner is…everyone!

And just like that the contest is over. We can all wake tomorrow knowing that most of the moustaches we see today will be replaced by freshly shaven faces. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on the individual sporting said ‘stache and your own personal facial hair preferences.

Anyway, after some rather intense competition we have the winners of this years MoContest.

Insert drum roll here

Congratulations to Justin – with 47% of the vote – you have been voted by ConsumedByWanderlust readers as the man with the manliest of manly moustaches. You have, in the eyes of the readers, done men everywhere proud. As such, you have won a $100 donation to your Movember campaign. Great job sir. You may celebrate your manly victory by scratching, belching, drinking beer, drinking scotch, eating wings, watching football, or whatever other stereotypical thing you feel that manly men do.

Congratulations also go out to Adam – with 61 % of the vote – you have been voted by ConsumedByWanderlust readers to receive the Heart was willing but the follicles were not award. While your ‘stache may not have been the fullest or bushiest, we respect your attempt to strike fear into the heart of manly cancers. For that you have won a $35 donation to your Movember campaign (courtesy of @common_st). You too may celebrate your victory. Of course, you may want to scratch extra hard, belch extra loud, and drink an extra dram of scotch or two in order to prove to the world that you are a real man, despite what your follicles might imply1.

Thanks again to all of the contestants. You guys rock. And thank you also to @common_st for once again donating to this hilarious contest.

We’ll see you again next Movember.


Click here to donate to Justin.

Mid month
End of month


Click here to donate to Adam.


1 I only mock because my ‘stache would, after 30 days, look like this.


Time To Choose

Holy hell it’s already the 29th. That means we have one day remaining in Movember – the month where those who have the follicular ability sprout whiskers of awesomeness in support of men’s cancer research. Since I am what one might call follicularly challenged, I have once again opted to support my Mo-bros by holding a wee contest. The idea – figure out who has the manliest of manly moustaches after the Movember challenge has ended.

The prize? A $100 donation to the man who sports the pornstachiest moustachiest manliest manly moustache of 2012. For extra fun, however, I am not deciding who wins. That, dear readers, is up to you. And so, I offer you the following manly specimens of manliness. Your job, pick the moustache that you believe exemplifies the moustache of 2012.

But that’s not all. We also have a donation of $35 (courtesy of @common_st) to the man with the Heart Was Willing But The Follicles Were Not moustache.

The man with the most votes by 8pm tomorrow night (in either category) will win. Good luck to all of the entrants.

Contestant 1

Nick (@Merc_Media)

Click here to donate to Nick.

Contestant 2

Click here to donate to Justin.

Mid month
End of month

Contestant 3


Click here to donate to Matt.

Contestant 4


Click here to donate to Jorge.

Contestant 5

Click here to donate to Kevin.

Contestant 6


Click here to donate to Adam.

I Love Randomness

Happy face is happy.

Do you know what’s awesome? Spending over 12 hours on campus, running around from meeting to meeting, sitting for hours reading papers about multinomial regression and other statistical bric-a-brac, drafting potential mathematical formulae, scrapping reams and reams of paper with discarded mathematical attempts, sketching ideas over top of other ideas on a tiny whiteboard, consuming far too much coffee, and forgetting to eat both lunch and dinner, only to follow that up with more meetings, and ending the day with yet another meeting that ran long.

Okay – maybe all of that isn’t awesome, but getting home just now and still having a smile on my face – that’s amazing.

Of course, the smile on my face may also be influenced by the fact that I randomly  got to spend the eve with several very excellent people. You see, as I was walking home from the office with multinomial models swimming through my head, I ran into my friends Danny and Erin – who just so happened to be shopping for shoes at the mall. Because we are the type of people to seize random opportunities, we decided to head to Moxies for a quick drink. Before long, and thanks to the power of the Twitter, we were joined by Dr. Julie and Dr. Mark. Hilarity and such ensued.

What makes tonight extra awesome is the fact that while I was walking home from the office I realized I was completely drained. It was a long day and I was tired and all I wanted to do was get home, put on my comfy pants, and do pretty much nothing. Instead, I found myself in the company of friends, sharing laughs and ridiculous stories.

It’s currently 11:55 and I find myself completely energized and ready to take on the world.

Thanks friends.

Hulk Smash!

Pfffft. My arms are way bigger than that.

Apparently this week has turned into one of those weeks. You know, the kind of week that was busy to start, but then out of nowhere is crammed full of eleventy-billion extra tasks that can’t be ignored. I feel a mighty rage building. And the worst kind of rage. Worse than road rage, or academic rage. We’re talking Meeting Rage!


But I digress.

I’m fully expecting tonight to be a long night. Same goes for the rest of the week. Weeeeeeeeeee! Wait, not Weeeeeeeeeee! The opposite of that. Boooooooooo!

Regardless of how insane this week has become, and specifically how many more hours I need to put in today to complete the things I need to complete so that I won’t feel like I’m drowning when I get to the office tomorrow, I’ve made the executive choice to head to yoga.

First and foremost, I really need to go to yoga. My body is feeling rather un-bendy and that just won’t do. I didn’t like how old-and-creeky I felt when I woke up this morning and yoga should surely correct that situation. The non-old-and-not-so-creeky version of Dan is far happier than the old-and-creeky version. Old-and-cranky Dan is an angry Dan.

Second and just as important, I need to make sure that I take time to relax, quiet my mind, and breathe; failure to do so will leave me far more on-edge than caused by delaying my work to take this much-needed break. Relaxed Dan is far less likely to be a danger to himself or those around him. He’s far less likely to suffer from the most common varieties of aforementioned rage.

Third, I’m supposed to be training for the Goofy race in January. That includes getting bendy as often as I can so that I can keep up my running schedule. Running makes me happy. It also prevents me from gaining so much weight that my shirts and pants rip apart when I flex my very manly muscles1.

For all of these reasons and more, it really is in the best interest of society that I go to yoga despite my overcrowded to-do list. Clearly if I don’t, we risk the ever-present possibility of awaking the raging man-beast inside. I can’t have that on my conscience.

1 Ha!

A Small Taste

As was the case when I did the Edge Walk in August, I came away from my most recent experience1 feeling exhilarated and more than eager to take on my next adrenalin seeking adventure2.

I also came away from the adventure with a pretty wicked-awesome video. And because the technology exists, I have performed a little You-Tubery for your viewing pleasure. That is, dear readers, I have spent countless seconds uploading and embedding the video via the combined magic of computer-geekery and the interwebs such that you might get a small taste of the thrill that is walking the edge of the CN Tower.

As good as the video is (and I take no credit for that whatsoever), it really doesn’t do justice to the sense of wonder3 that overtook me as I stood with my toes hanging over the edge while the wind whipped around me.

Truly, this is something that you really need to try if you have the chance. And if you are going to do it, let me know. I’m sure I could be convinced to take a third trek onto the edge.

1 Friday October 26, 2012.

2 Although I do not, at this point, know exactly when that will occur, nor what it will be. Minor technicality.

3 Mixed perhaps with fear, insanity, and butt-kicking awesomeness

Now I’ve Seen Everything – Maybe

Muppet Hallowe’en!

I just saw a Slutty Swatch.

I’m not really sure how else to explain it. Basically I saw a woman walking down the street with her friends – all dressed up for Hallowe’en: she was wearing pretty much nothing save for paint swatches and high heels. Hence, a Slutty Swatch.

Update: it just dawned on me that she was probably dressed as 50 Shades of Grey. Clever, I guess.

Anyway, I was downtown this eve enjoying some dinner, drinks, and excellent conversation with my friends the Lady, and the Warrior Princess (also known as Susi and Aqleema, respectively). To be honest, I had forgotten that it was Hallowe’en weekend; this despite the fact that I wandered around a pumpkin “carving” display at the mall this afternoon. My skills at connecting the dots are apparently lacking these days.

Regardless, after dinner and drinks and some more excellent conversation we decided to head home. In the short drive from the restaurant to my condo I saw the following:

  • A Slutty Swatch (a.k.a. 50 Shades of Grey).
  • A dude wearing a green one-sy (my eyes are still burning).
  • A couple of guys dressed as plush versions of the Winnie the Pooh characters.
  • A slutty zebra. That’s right. Zebras are apparently slutty.
  • Statler and Waldorf of the Muppets.
  • Jason (of Friday the 13th fame).
  • The Dude (of the Big Lebowski fame).
  • A guy dressed as a suitcase.
  • Some creepy person dressed as the girl from the well from the movie the Ring (at least, that’s what I think she was dressed as).
  • Some guy in a tutu.
  • Zombies galore.

Hallowe’en is weird. Part of me wishes I was still downtown to take in the sideshow, but to be honest I’m glad I’m home. I’m going to dress myself up as someone who’s going to bed with a glass of scotch. Because Hallowe’en isn’t Hallowe’en if it doesn’t include a scotch. That’s a rule. You should write it down.