new template

I have stretched my Photoshop and HTML skills to the max with this new template which I'll also be using to relaunch my web site which is currently depressing as hell. Was kind of fun to fiddle with this stuff. I haven't played with graphics for a really long time. Everything here is a vanessa original including the funky striped background gif (thanks to the many free Photoshop tutorials available online). Question: since the blogger profile is determined by <$BlogMemberProfile$> does that mean I can't fix that stupid indent -->

new baby hamster

Looks like we're adopting another hamster under rather sad circumstances. Simon's coworker's cat came home and spat out a live baby hamster it decided to carry around in its mouth. Its mom was found dead out on their lawn. Apparently it's grey and furry and eyes are open but still really young. I haven't even found out if it's a big syrian hamster or a little dwarf like mine. Guess I'll know tomorrow unless it becomes a Televigation mascot and Simon keeps it at work.


All I have to say today is that D's blogs crack me up. You poor drama magnet. Glad you can turn it into a humourous tidbit for the rest of us to enjoy.


support the victims of anti-Asian hate crime in SF


Support the victims' families and the community's
demand for justice by attending the trial

DATES: Tues., 6/29 - Weds., 6/30
(or until verdict is reached)


BACKGROUND: In June of last year, five Asian teens were attacked and
beaten by a large group of white high school students on the corner of
Taraval and 19th avenue. The white attackers initiated the
confrontation by pushing, shoving, and accosting the Asian teens with
racial epithets and slurs. When the Asian teens tried to walk away, the
group of white youths followed, surrounded, and assaulted the Asian
teens. One of the attackers has been identified and charged with felony
assault and a hate crime enhancement.

notorious SF

I somehow came across this web site - MisterSF.com and it is exploding with interesting local SF info and details about bizarre crimes, complete with photos. e.g. the Church of Satan on California, the zodiac killer, the shooting at the Pinecrest Diner, the shooting at 101 California, the mass cult suicide by grape Koolaid in Jonestown, the body of a woman found beneath the civic center BART station which predates the remains of any other human found in the city by 100 years. 3 pages of this stuff too.

nothing beats a warm summer evening

Funny how our last few outings have involved drinking in a lane. That sounds bad eh? Couple weeks back we left the over priced, over crowded Bubble Lounge and walked up the hill in search of a cigar lounge we discovered had closed for the night. But we looked down one of the alleys and there was Bix. A live jazz band was packing up but the bar was just beautiful and the bartender possessed a rare combination of upscale, classy, comical and friendly. We ended up taking our drinks outside to the little make shift patio on the sidewalk. This Friday was much the same. We headed to Voda in Belden Place where, in the summer, all the restaurants set some of their tables out in the lane. It was nice to lounge outdoors on their big padded benches and drink dessert-like martinis away from the droves of barely legal obnoxious party goers who typically ruin my nights out.


And here's a view from the rear Posted by Hello

hamster life

Ah this is the life. Nothing better than laying on your back munchin on a sunflower seed Posted by Hello


I miss my income

I was driving home and thinkin', damn I miss going to adult gymnastics classes. I wonder if I still have the strength/guts/flexibility to do anything substantial. I haven't gone since I dropped in weekly at Gold Star in Mountain View after work. Now, no work, no gymnastics, no other gym membership for that matter. I realize that some of the best exercise is doable for free - hiking, running, blading, etc etc but it just ain't the same. It also requires being outside and enduring itching, asthma, sun damage and all the fun stuff that comes with outdoor activity. *sigh* oh well, I think I'll take a jog down to the dog park anyways (to see all the cute puppies cuz I can't afford to have my own). wah.

rose coloured glasses

People who see the world through rose coloured glasses need to take a huge dose of reality once in a while. To abhore and actively avoid all people, places and things that don't fit your recipe for happy perfection all of the time will only result in your blowing up in a huge and ugly way in the future. Duck and take cover.

going crazy in my sleep

I have had memorable nightmares, or at least really twisted dreams, everynight for almost 2 weeks straight. Last night I had another instance of sleep paralysis, moments when my eyes are wide open (or I think they are at least) but I can't move or speak. This time it wasn't quite so scary because I didn't really attempt to move or anything. But it was extra weird because I suddenly decided I was someone else. Before bed I had read the bio of the author of a book I'm reading (Woman Warrior). In the middle of the night it felt like I opened my eyes and thought to myself, I'm now Maxine Hong Kingston (the author). Then laid there for awhile and then went back to sleep. I think I'm definitely losing my mind.


JACL criticism brings racist backlash

Anyone who is naive enough to think that this country is generally free of racists (or at least blatant racists) should read this AsianWeek.com article. Scroll down to the emails and vmails left for the JACL if you want to get to the point. There's absolutely no doubt that we are viewed as perpetual foreigners in this country. If you think that the type of people who write these things make a distinction between Asian nationals and US born Asians, guess again.


personality disorder

Pretty crappy looking quiz but fun nonetheless


Which Personality Disorder Do You Have?

quiet time

I used to love going up to SFU really late at night to study in the WMX (if I wanted to be around other people giving off good study vibes) or the basement of the newer science building if I wanted absolute silence. These places were open 24/7. Anyone know of a place like this around here? There's a 24 hr area at my school but due to various strong arm assaults and perverts/flashers in the library, I'm thinking it's not safe for me to be heading up there alone. Even a good coffee shop open late that doesnt kick you out would be nice. I remember one of the profs at SFU was rumoured to have written his dissertation at The Grind in Vancouver. I need to be doing my reading away from my hamsters, TV, fridge, noisy neighbours, laundry that needs to be done etc.


Gmail bandwagon

Per my earlier post I don't much care for web mail but after seeing people selling/paying money for these accounts I figured I better take the one that blogger was giving away to me free. Great so now I have ~ 5 email addresses. I think I'll just use Gmail as an online drive, store shit I need to access without having to upload it to my web site and memorizing the path to it or creating a hidden page.

What country is Ontario?

Here's a good one for the This Hour Has 22 Minutes - Talking to Americans segment. Ray's friend went to rent a car at Hertz. He was served by the Hertz manager. He gives him his Ontario driver's license. Hertz guy looks at the Ontario license, looks at him, says I'm going to need your international driver's license. Kuen (sp?), in bewilderment, replies, "but I'm from Canada."

Hertz guy, "oh."

I could understand if the license said something like Nunavet, but c'mon, Ontario?? How can someone who works in the travel industry not know that Ontario is in Canada? Actually, how can anyone who lives in the country next door not know that?



McDonalds is asserting a trademark over the sentence "I am Asian" and has launched a website to market to APIs: http://www.i-am-asian.com/

I am beside myself. No one should be laying claim to "I am" anything unless that is what you *are*. What the hell is Asian about McDonalds? I'm not even sure what to make of this. On the one hand they are lending visibility and possibly sponsorship to our heritage month events and pointing links to some Asian American websites etc etc. but on the other hand, it's just so superficial, so contrived, so empty. And I really don't like this "I am" thing. Those are two very powerful words in self definition and self determination and should really be (theoretically since there's nothing stopping them) off limits to some mega American corporation with no real interest in Asian Americans except to capture us as a potentionally untapped market $$$.


Memory foam mattress pads suck

So Simon bought this memory foam mattress pad a month or two ago. He loves it. He finds it cushions his body better. I fucking hate it. I want to wet the bed just so we have to toss it. I grew up with sway back (ie. my back was unnaturally flexible so i was always standing with my ass sticking out in kindergarten) and this didn't really get corrected til I started ballet and gymnastics. I need a stiff mattress to keep my spine aligned. This space age body contouring piece of shit gives me no back support and I wake up sore like I just worked out. Oh yeah, it makes me hotter than hell too. I sometimes wake up sweating. Verdict: good for cold boney people whose bodies don't flex much, bad for people who need back support and get hot easily.


I love school

Met with the prof sponsoring my independent research project and our conversation made for some sort of epiphany for me. She really really liked my research proposal and 3 page justification for the project (the one I thought sounded too much like a blog) and has offered to act as the chair for my thesis committee. I'm still a year away from starting my thesis but this is HUGE. "I think you're onto something here" is what she said. Those words helped to cast away any doubt I had about ditching my career in software marketing and choosing a career in academia. Doubt that, quite honestly, sometimes keeps me up at night. I hope things just keep going this way. It will be nice to be excited about my career (and life in general) for a change. Now all I have to do produce something that meets her (now rather high) expectations for me. Time to read like a mofo.


I'm a jaded web mail user

Ever since google and others starting stepping the web mail competition up a notch, I've been getting upgrades to my Y! mail. I pay $19.95 a year so I can pop my email but now it also gets me 2GB of storage. What a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately I hate web mail. I have to have it pour into my outlook simply because I find webmail too slow to respond. And those damn time outs. I can't count how many times I was writing some long passionate (usually in an angry way) email and hit send, only for it to tell me that my session had timed out and I need to re-login. I hit back in one hell of a desperate attempt to retrieve what I had so carefully crafted and poof it was all gone. Never again.


on the topic of celebrity look alikes

I went here to see who I might look like (knowing there's probably only one or two Asian women considered "celebrities" here. It came back with (don't laugh) Yasmin Bleeth, Christy Turlington and Uma Thurman.

Maybe the black and white picture I used messed it up. So I tried a different photo, full colour and slightly different angle, and got Michelle Yeoh, Sandra Bullock and Yasmin Bleeth (again).

Submitted Simon's photo and got Tim Robbins, Russel Crowe (WTF?) and Orlando Bloom.

The company that put that demo up is called Optical Recognition Objectives and apparently they use this technology for criminal investigations. So who do you resemble?


no slanty eyes without goatee

The new Y! Messenger customizable avatar is pretty cool. I made mine with my very own skin and hair color, hair style, clothing and even nice almond shaped eyes. It even blinks on occasion and makes faces when you type hahahaha or enter a sad emoticon. When I saw Simon's avatar I gave him heck for being a sell out and choosing the big round caucasian eyes. Turns out he didn't have a choice. If you choose a male avatar with slanty eyes, you automatically get a super thuggin' goatee as well. What the hell is Y! saying about Asian men?

Van's avatar Posted by Hello

All you can eat

Just read on someone else's blog about a place with all you can eat shabu shabu and all you can drink for an additional $10. We'll have to check this out sometime.

Cafe Mum's
1800 Sutter St.
San Francisco, CA 940115
Specialty: All-U-Can-Eat Shabu Shabu


Simon's HK look alike ^-^

So Simon's coworkers in Shanghai see his photo in his MSN messenger and think he looks like a movie star from Singapore. We're not sure which and he won't ask even though I've begged.

But over the weekend Oscar informed us he also looks like a HK star named Edmond Leung. So, whatcha think? I think with a sharper nose he'd be a pretty close Simon look alike. BTW, it took me forever to find the ^ symbol on my keyboard to make that fob-style ^^ thing. It's supposed to be a pair of eyes squinting right?

more pics HERE.


blogaholic test

I scored 60% on this test. And now I'm blogging about it. God, I'm such a loser.

hooray for software upgrades

I must say I'm diggin' this new software. Word in Office 11 now has a "reading" view that blows up your doc and shows two pages at a time so you can read it quite comfortably right on your screen. Dreamweaver MX allows you to split screen so that you can see your code and layout WYSIWYG at the same time. Too bad my web page doesn't actually appear WYSIWYG. Oh well, ya can't have it all. Oh and Outlook has a new junk mail filtering folder that is catching about 5% of my junk while IE prevents any sneaky installs and pop ups by asking your permission first. It seems to work even better than the Google Toolbar pop up blocker.

Now for my beefs. When I create new folders in my IE favourites they put themselves at the bottom of my list rather than in alphabetical order. I have to manually re-organize them by clicking and dragging. That's such a drag. har har. And after I re-installed Outlook and placed my old .pst file where it asked to be placed, everything went well except that when I click "to" to select addies from my contact list, it can't open my address book even though I can see it when I click the big Contacts button. I clicked through all the help topics and haven't fixed this yet but what pisses me off is that I know this happened on my last re-install and I didn't think to write down what I did.


blogging at a research paper

There was a time in my life when I wrote nothing but academic papers. I improved my writing and vocabulary by leaps and bounds but I also started speaking the way I wrote. Like a big nerd. But that was OK since I took 6 freakin' years to do my undergrad. Perfectly appropriate for my environment. Then I started working and everything was about bullet points. Getting to the point. Benefits, efficiency, cost-savings, cost-benefits, bottom-line solutions. It made it hard for me to remember how to write and speak in full sentences. Now I blog more than anything. More than I speak even. I am a blog-a-holic. I just finished the first 3 pages of a research paper. And now I am shitting myself because I fear that it reads like a 3-page blog. This is not cool. Better have a drink and re-read it. Man, this is trouble. Maybe if I format it really well my prof will be impressed. No no, shit that was marketing, not school.
Not that many fwded emails make me laugh anymore. Not since the one that contained a link to mulletsgalore.com.

But the one I got today made me laugh out loud. It went like this:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

A tragic fire on Thursday destroyed the personal library of President

George W. Bush. Both of his books have been lost.

Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said the president was devastated, as he had not finished coloring the second one.


My friend Dan started a travel blog for his crazy trip to Thailand. Not sure if I'm supposed to post his url publicly but it's a dumb host anyways because each blog entry generates a different url rather than keeping it all on one page.

In any case, I have to share a quote from today's entry. "I'm staying at the Budget Inn right now, it's pouring rain so I think i'm going to get smashed before heading down to pak pong where they fire golf balls out of indecent places."

So I installed the newest Yahoo Messenger and it has this really cool LaunchCast Radio station thing where I pick my favorite artists and genres and they pump out music for me. Sometimes they play stuff I don't like but you can skip the song. The catch is you get a limited number of skips unless you pay for premium membership. So here I am listening to some cool shit 'til I hear this REALLY BAD rendition of I Believe I Can Fly. I could not believe how horribly off key it was. I maximized my Y! window and sure enough it was William Hung. That definitely deserved one of my very limited song skips. Holy cow it was worse than She Bangs a thousand times over.
The Taiwanese American Citizen's League is offering a summer internship to work with Justin Lin (BLT). I can't believe what an awesome opportunity that is. Too bad I can't really support myself in LA for 5 weeks. I need to be at home making money, not spending it. But if you know anyone interested, the info is here.
Finally my summer is coming together. I am enrolled in 3 credits independent graduate research which should keep me very occupied. On top of that I've got 3 very entertaining kids to tutor. I also applied for yet another campus job, this time as a writing tutor. We'll see what happens with that. If I don't get it no big deal. I will just have extra time to do some self paced learning - Premiere Pro, Photoshop, CSS, that kinda thing. I was going to take a digital filmmaking class at College of San Mateo but the syllabus looked a bit too watered down for my liking. A little of this, a little of that. Didn't seem like anything I haven't already learned or couldn't piece together from a book.

I'm also looking for some opportunites to volunteer as a production assistant for some indie films just to spend some time watching things happen. Finally, I might work with a fellow activist to research the topic of Asian Americans and ethnic humour in the media. Now all I have to do is stay focussed and not get lost in doing too many things at once.


Thought I'd post my response to an email on the ehclub list for further thought and reflection.

I grew up in coquitlam with a bunch of very ignorant white kids who were always asking me what sushi tastes like or how to say blah blah blah in Japanese or Chinese (probably thinking the two languages are one in the same). I learned rhymes like “me Chinese, me no dumb, me hang on to daddy’s bum”. I was so immersed in this shit that I didn’t know to take offense to it until high school or university when I actually met other Asian people who could speak English and finally began to get comfortable in my own skin. It was then that racial ignorance began to really disgust and infuriate me and I realized how ripped off I was living in that suburban hell. You folks who grew up in Richmond, Vancouver proper or Toronto are really lucky.

Back to your question: what do you think causes/incites our "people" to riot when we see stuff like this?

I can’t answer for everyone. Different things anger different people and since Asians are typically not ones to stir up shit and protest, it usually needs to hit a nerve. E.g. the stereotypes in Banzai were disgusting but for some who didn’t understand the social and political context weren’t pissed enough to sign the petition. For things like Details, many Asian men were personally insulted and hence the huge anti-Details support. Sometimes people “get it”, sometimes people don’t.

Luckily since the ethnic studies movement began in the 70s, in SF I might add, more and more students are learning about the struggles of early Asian immigrants to this country e.g. the late 1800s labourers, laundry owners, and gold miners and WWII internment camps. They are finally seeing archived films featuring very hurtful depictions of Asians (usually played by white actors). With more students knowing the history and understanding the social and political implications of seemingly harmless stereotypes, we’ll hopefully have more people driven to social activism. Unfortunately, as of now, I don’t think people get insulted enough. Hearing people say “you can’t take a joke” simply turns my stomach. I will one day have to write a long paper on why it’s not just a joke and have it ready for distribution. When something pisses you off… do something about it!
All right back in business with the Blog Extra comments. Thanks Ben. Goal for the summer, advance beyond uber basic html and understand the ins and outs of CSS. BTW, this is a temporary template til I come up with my own which first involves getting myself through some more advanced photoshop tutorials. I figure since I passed on learning Flash because Flash sites annoy the hell out of me, I ought to invest the time learning something beyond the baby stuff and unleash the artist within. (ok that might be an overstatement)


aaah. Reformatting a computer and installing all the latest versions of software feels like having a long hot shower after a day long hike in the woods where you get all sweaty and dirty. No more pop ups and mysterious application melt downs.
I always used to wonder how cab drivers tear around the city like maniacs and manage to avoid getting in accidents. Well this weekend I finally saw a cab in an accident and boy was it ever a stupid one. A big GMC limo was parked outside Bubble Lounge on the right side of a one-way street with one of its doors wide open. I'm assuming the door was open because the passengers were getting ready to climb out. All of a sudden a taxi comes driving down the street, not at break neck speed or anything but he completely misjudges the space between his car and the open door of the limo and practically takes the door with him. He stops there (as everyone outside the lounge goes to take a look and I snap a couple pics) and realizes he is stuck. He has munched the door of the limo with the right side of his car and can't drive forward any further without literally ripping the limo door off its hinges. To add insult to injury, the passenger in the cab gets out (of the left side of the cab) in a big hurry and hits a car on the other side with the cab door, thereby setting off the alarm. In the end, five guys pick up the back of the taxi and move it a few inches sideways in order to free it. The limo driver tried to shut his door but the damage didn't allow it to close properly. He's just lucky no one stepped out of the limo as the cab drove by.


Game 7

I was hoping I wouldn't have to watch it but the Flames left me no choice. Game 7 of the play offs, Monday 5pm Pacific.


testing out the new template. don't worry I'm going to customize it so it doesn't hurt your eyes so much. the code in these new templates is a little funky and hard to read though.
Ever since the Canucks got bumped out, I've forgotten to follow the playoffs. Once the Sharks were ousted, there was absolutely no hockey coverage on the news here. Doesn't help that our local/only sports bar here went under (again) recently.

Anyways, I went and checked nhl.com and low and behold, the Flames are one game away from bringing the cup back to Canada. Next one is this Sat., June 5 Tampa Bay at Calgary ABC, CBC, RDS 8 p.m. (EST). So be home at 5pm in front of your TVs and be ready to sing the national anthem loud and proud.


Surprises are fun but not when the surprise sucks. All day yesterday I was looking forward to eating a joong for lunch. One with big hunks of fatty pork and egg. I salivated just thinking about it. After boiling it a while, I untied the string with indescribable anticipation, peeled off the leaves, tore into it with chopsticks firmly clenched in my fists, and...shiiiiit, it was RBS. Red bean shit. RBS is a big dissapointment after big Chinese feasts, but when it's staring at me from the middle of a pile of sticky rice that is supposed to be lovingly embracing a greasy piece of pork and golden yellow egg, I could only wonder what I did to deserve such bad karma. I was so pissed I could cry especially because I was in a huge rush to get out the door and didn't have time to make something else for lunch. All I could do was close my eyes and stuff it down my throat so that I wouldn't starve to death between 4pm and 9:30pm. Later that night I came home and had edamame and a bowl of cereal waaaah.
Cool my blog is finally listed in Rice Bowl Journals. Scroll to the bottom. Now more people can hear me whine about life!

Surfing through the many blogs on that directory has become a new time waster for me. There are a lot of great, insightful writers listed there.


I have come to accept the fact that I am not of sound mind in the day time. I have been conditioned to associate being at home in the day with the stress of unemployment and/or pulling together graduate applications and waiting for acceptance letters. Just being here while it's light out causes me all sorts of anxiety that keeps me from getting anything done (other than watching interior decorating shows). But once night falls, there's a certain calm. The same calm that allowed me to be really superhumanly productive when I was slaving away for software companies. The same calm that now allows me to write in coherent sentences and read academic articles without feeling the urge to get up every 5 minutes to take care of some menial task. But, alas, there is a problem with this. My natural late evening calm and alertness competes viciously with this Puritan work ethic thing that has become a part of me. Getting up past 10 am overwhelms me with guilt that I don't get over 'til, you guessed it, nightfall the next day. And so I waste another day fighting both guilt from sleeping in and anxiety that I'm conditioned to suffer from not having to actually be somewhere and doing something important in the day. So should I fight the urge to stay up late and get stuff done at night in favour of being productive in the day like most humans? Or do I say to hell with this puritan work ethic waking up early bullshit and live the life of a night owl?


For the first time since 1998, I have cleaned out my Outlook folders. I can't believe I had so much junk taking up space. e.g. auto reply emails from companies I applied to in 2000. If it weren't for pop up ads and viruses from hell infecting my computer and forcing me to reformat my drive, this cleanup would never have happened.