7.31.2003

tomorrow is my second shot at getting a decent score on my GRE but I got suckered into watching another documentary. To Have and Have Not talked about how China might change as a result of new membership in the WTO. Really good one. Partly showed how all the glitz and glamour of Beijing and Shanghai was a front for impressing the rest of the world, while the country's majority still lives in poverty in the farm areas. Even getting from the farms to the city requires crossing a border that's as bad as INS. They don't want migrant workers going to cities. But rice farmers are continuously getting taxed so their livelihood doesnt enable them to support their families. They end up sneaking into the city and working for low pay at city construction sites while their daughters go into prostitution. While they're there, they live where they work, on those construction sites. China is one fuckt up government. Some argue that WTO membership will revitalize the country and a country doing better economically thru trade will naturally improve things like human rights abuses and dealing with poverty. Others say that the gov't has never admitted to these abuses and never will, so they won't be making efforts to improve anything in that area. There's enough Chinese around the world now. We really should be helping the poor people back "home." Man, I haven't written an Amnesty letter since 1997...probably time to start again. Guess my career blinded me for a while.

7.30.2003

not sure what kinda coverage the SARs benefit concert got in the states but it was pretty awesome here. canada's premiers were flipping burgers and it appeared to go off without a hitch. that's a really big deal for an event with 450K people. whoever conceived of the idea and planned the whole thing out should get a medal. what a great way to get people pumped, raise money and awareness, and to pay tribute to the health care workers. apparently the artists themselves only get to split $500K among them (15 groups of musicians) and did it as a favour. the funniest part was probably the fact that justin timberlake got pelted with water bottles. quote of the event from justin "if i were here to see ACDC i probably wouldn't want to see me either." hahaha
The web for me is the ultimate time suck. I have that special talent for spending up to 8 straight hours online through heat, cold and hunger. Often avoiding doing things that would make me a more balanced, healthy, productive and happy person. If only web surfing could burn calories and earn me an income, I'd be the fittest, richest person in the world. I just discovered a few other activities that keep me glued to my monitor aside from matchmaking and reading absurd profiles on Friendster. Reading and writing reviews on Epinions and Citysearch. As if it weren't enough to assume that everyone wants to read my blogs, I gotta go out there and offer my opinion on everything I buy and every restaurant and club that I frequent. I wonder if I really could turn a job of doing nothing but reviewing stuff. But who'd listen to me? I wish I were one of those ladies on that new Canadian show, Shopping Bags. All they do is go and try out things like blenders and roller blades. I could do that. What a fun job. Wanna read my crap? my User ID on citysearch and epinions is vau604.

7.29.2003

It doesn't get scorching hot, ie 38 degrees, like it does in Cali during a heat wave but Vancouver heat gets the upstairs of my house all stuffy. It might only hit 30 here but it's the stuffiness that results indoors that kills it.

I end up abandoning my studies and doing dumb shit like playing matchmaker on friendster or searchin the web for old high school friends to see if they're in as shitty a situation as me. Gradfinder.com no longer gives even a condensed view of people's profiles...just names. You gotta pay for anything more.

7.25.2003

Gettin' killed on my GRE is putting a damper on my vancouver visit cuz now I'm retaking it on my second to last day here. Oh well, at least the weather is nice and warm during the day and night too.

It's funny that I figured out that I only live 25.4 km or 16 miles from downtown Vancouver. While Foster City is 22 miles from SF. But with a road system fit for a small town in the Yukon it takes me 45 minutes or more to get home to Coquitlam and only 25 minutes at night to get back to Foster City on the 101. With the olympics coming and more growth into our suburbs, something is gonna have to be done to get people in and out of the city faster.

7.20.2003

oh man, exam time is in t minus 34 hours (+/- a few hours cuz i suck at math so bad I can barely add). I'm scoring consistently in my practice tests but there ain't nothing like the real thing to mess with my attention span. I used to be a superstar test taker but my Kaplan practice gave me so much anxiety I couldnt figure out where in the booklet the test started. I started on a question and realized I was doing the sample question (duh, what the fk?).

OK, totally unrelated, my parents obviously aren't used to me being home because my dad just walked by in his underwear (not boxers). I've totally lost my train of thought now.
After so many of my business flights on America West, Southwest and Frontier, Air Canada felt like Airforce One. The attendants were friendly, the seats were spacious, there weren't any crumbs on my seats and I didnt even feel any springs going up my ass. And the French safety instructions were like music to my ears. Once I arrived, the Canadian customs agent greeted me like an old friend. A far cry from the rudeness and arrogance we put up with from the INS.

The one thing that the states does better though is build efficient highway systems. I nearly forgot what a pain in the ass it is to get downtown from Coquitlam via Lougheed "highway" which allows break neck speeds of up to 65 km per hour, 70 on this one stretch east of Brentwood mall. I see they increased that bit by 5 KM. I caught myself hitting 80 on more than one occasion and remembered that, although the traffic cops here won't beat the shit out of you like in some American cities, they will politely reward you with a several hundred dollar fine.

I went out to Sonar last night to see Doc Martin. Great party, mature mixed crowd that was really into the music. Too bad the management was too cheap to turn on the damn A/C. Vancouver was surprisingly hot and humid and the cloud cover and low winds (unlike SF) kept it toasty over night. Clubs are open til 4am now but I was outta there by 1:45, it was just too hot to stay. Even the floors were getting sweaty and slippery. Oh yeah, and my friend Josh bought me a Bavaria beer. It was yum. Apparently they have really racey commercials I have yet to see.

Anyways, got up this morning and, surprise, it was raining. I havent seen rain in a really long time so I guess it's OK. Helps keep me home and studying anyways.

7.18.2003

So I'm sitting here Googling for some parties to hit in Seattle. Checked Spundae to see if there were any Seattle events...nope none. Checked Groove tickets - the big cities like NYC, DC, SoCal and Bay area were listed, even Tenessee, Alaska and Texas were listed but no Seattle. When I searched for Seattle club listings, half the parties listed were actually Vancouver events. Yeah, the party scene is so bad that people trek 2 hours to north to party, of all places, in Vancouver. I didn't think the party scene could get much smaller than Vancouver. I guess there are a few small but fun parties - Lotus, Rowing club parties, Drink on Fridays and all the nice lounges - but I didn't think that it'd be more happening than Seattle. Sucks!

7.16.2003

I was so shocked at one time when an American dude asked me where Vancouver was. I told him above Seattle. He wasnt quite sure where that was. I said directly above Oregon, and he wasn't so sure about that either, which is really pathetic since he's from California. Also, a coworker of mine didn't know how to pronounce Calgary, while another colleague was not sure how near or far away Vancouver was from Niagara Falls.

Well, I was shocked once again by Americans' lack of understanding of the geographies outside the United States. Ben K found this .

7.10.2003

It's almost time to pick up and move AGAIN. Rents all around us seem to be dropping but since our apartment is the newest one around they seem to be able to continue charging rents well above market price. Sucks, we have soooo much crap to move and the move in was really painful. Hopefully we'll find a nice place that we can live in for more than a year! The requirement for in-suite laundry, patio and top floor suite makes it tough. If only it were convenient to move to sunnyvale where there's been a mass exodus of former tech workers. But it's so damn far south :(

7.07.2003

I have been slacking so bad and now my practice GRE is coming up on Saturday...gotta put the job hunt on temporary hold and focus on studying. Been having too much fun barbequeing and fishing to hit the books.