say goodbye

to the little mole that sits next to my nose. It suddenly decided to bleed a little this week so I went to see a dermatologist. He explained how people in his line of work are cushy doctors who don't deal with anything serious, except skin cancer. He almost insisted on taking it off my face before I left the room but I explained that I have a wedding to attend out of town and I didn't really want to walk around with blue stitches sticking out of my face. He wasn't pleased about that but I made my promise and will go back in a week and a half. So for those of you who experience the same thing, go see a doctor right away. He emphasized that this is serious business and definitely not a wait and see kind of thing. I won't describe the procedure here but it sounds a little scary. But then I think back and realize I've gone through a skin graft inside my mouth, 8 teeth removals and a dislocated elbow. It couldn't be as bad as any of those. But still I hate needles and stitches. These will be my first stitches outside my mouth. Hopefully when they test it, it will be benign. Since it's an old mole that I probably just scratched by accident, it's probably nothing.

Canada vs.USA

This post is a take off from the comment left by Amabelley (ok partly cuz my comments are messed up and show up blank when submitted from this computer, but mostly because she poses a good question). Yes it would be cheaper to raise a child in Canada. Housing is a lot cheaper. Shaky, $500K USD gets you a starter home or, more likely, townhouse here in the Bay Area. It's ridiculous. But then I've heard that houses (real houses) are going for about that much in Vancouver and even Burnaby (just outside Vancouver). Of course that's in CAD though, but it's all relative to your income, which is a lot smaller in Canada, while income tax is a lot higher (yes higher than in CA).

Regarding health care. Yes it rocks in Canada. If you have a benefits plan from work you walk in with your medicare card and there's no co-pays for appointments. No hassle but you do need a referal for specialists unlike the PPO plan here. If you are unemployed it's something like $30/mo CAD max (I think less) for the same health care. Again no co-pays. When I first moved here I could not understand what HMO, PPO and co-pay meant. Oh yeah mat leave in Canada is ONE YEAR. But then I'm not sure there's as many American style mega-corporations like Genentech with their onsite day cares and stuff which are great. Unfortunately, I hear the health care thing is in some jeopardy and a co-pay system was being considered so that people stop going in to see their doctor for a damn hangnail.

As for education, based on what I see of the kids I tutor here and the hatred of some of the parents for their teachers/schools, I'd have to say Canada's is better. I think they allow a much greater budget for education so that teachers aren't trying to run a class while stressed about their own personal finances all the time. From what I recall there were also a lot of specialized programs for special needs, and gifted children back home. Maybe they have those here, but I'm not sure. It also seems like education is more inclusive -- learning about world events, Canada's history of discrimination, geography etc. I find the social studies program here is very US-focussed and I've read that a lot of the dirty stuff like the Chinese exclusion act and Chinese contribution to the nation's railroads, etc is glossed over/skipped to the dismay of minority students. 

University used to be way cheaper but the tuition freeze lifted after I graduated so I think it's comparable to state schools here, but the campuses are not nearly as run down as say SF or SJ State. My school (SF State) still uses a building that was slated for demolition after the '89 earthquake. Looks like such a shithole. Also, my profs back home never bitched about how little the school is paying them (I hear that a lot here, it gets annoying). But there seem to be more contemporary and diverse programs here in universities e.g. ethnic studies, industrial design, broadcasting etc.

But what is great here -- weather, career opportunities (just not that many companies in Canada by comparison), faster life, more ambitious people, more things to do socially (in Vancouver, you walk into a club/bar and you're mostly surrounded by 19 -25 year olds because people my age have started families), active arts community, larger population in general. Plus litttle things e.g. you order stuff online and actually get it shipped to your home, DJs and bands always make a stop in SF when they tour, there's a lot more variety in clothing and shoes here (shopping in Canada sucks so bad).



According to this MSN article it costs $250K + to raise a kid from birth to age 17 (doesn't include college tuition). From what I hear weddings costs $25-40K (on the low end), house around $500K or more, and kid $250K. That rounds off to, let's say $750K

And for some of us, we're still paying $20-30K for our graduate educations and must also factor in a loss of $70-80K for each year of lost wages and benefits due to unemployment and/or going to grad school (conservative estimate 2 years of lost wages).  I'm not even counting money owed on student loans from undergrad here cause most of my friends went to school in Canada where it was more affordable and scholarships were relatively easy to attain I found. So let's say another $180K down the chute. That totals close to $950K. 

No wonder so many of my peers are near/in their thirties and not able to "settle down". It's just completely inaffordable. How fucking depressing is that?

I should redesign that "Game of Life" with these new hideous figures and include ugly realistic things like long term unemployment, company filing chapter 11, visa issues, divorce, pathetic severance pay outs, tanking stocks, zero return on 401K/RRSP, increasing tuition, increasing gas prices.  

secret spot

After seeing some people fishing a couple days ago in Foster City, we decided to pack up and give it a try ourselves. Some other guy had posted something online before about a secret spot in FC close to a running trail (there are running trails all over the place) for fishing. We were there for a long time and netted some minnows and saw some fish but didn't catch anything for a long while. A cop showed up at 11pm. Super super nice guy. He told us he wasn't the game warden but you're supposed to have a license, special one for stripers. But he said he didn't want us to stop on his account, in fact he was just watching because he was jealous he couldn't join us. Gotta love FC cops. I guess he was just looking for some action because there isn't much to do here but cite traffic violations and look for lost old people. Anyways, we all went home at 11:30pm. Little disappointed. But J got this itch and went back. 1/2 hour later he called us to tell us he finally caught one. Here's the pics. I don't think they're really safe to eat though. There was all this frothy crap in the water.

Silouette of my friend fishing Posted by Hello

"34-36 inches long and probably weighs about 20 pounds" (I don't think that sounds right, 36" is 3 feet man, but hey it's a fishing story)
 Posted by Hello


my friend sushiflake

I have a friend a few years older than I, who is sometimes affectionately known by his close friends as Sushiflake, a play on his screen name which reflects his occasional flakiness and lack of committment.  I tend to look to my friends, most of whom are a few years ahead of me, for guidance, advice and leadership by example even if they don't realize it. Sushiflake has a few philosophies he has developed to guide him through life that I will outline here. Unfortunately I'm not sure how readily they apply to my life.
  1. If you're working for someone else, never give it your all. In fact, work as little as you can without getting fired - Unfortunately, I'm no seasoned engineer who does stuff management can't comprehend so if I were to have done that in my previous jobs, my laziness would have quickly been detected. People generally know how long it takes to write a messaging doc or brochure. But for him, this has worked out the last few years. See Squirl's blog for details. The problem with this also is that you lose passion for what you do if your main goal is to just not get ripped off. Sushiflake, you need to work for yourself!
  2. Light beer is tasty and worth the savings in calories - I used to be very calorie conscious but, damn, Bud and Amstel Light don't taste very good. I don't know how you do it. I gotta have my Fat Tire, Chimay, Vanilla Beer etc. If you're gonna drink, drink well.
  3. Avoid committment like the plague - Luckily you're male. Men can avoid all sorts of committment for a long time and not be seen as odd. Sometimes you gotta just take a chance before you miss the boat altogether.
  4. Being one of those guys on the airport tarmack who gets to wear a fluorescent vest and drive around in the little truck would be the best job ever -  I'd still rather be a gogo dancer :)

Check out Squirl, Eva, Hougee, Geeksploitation and Concept's blogs throughout the day to learn more about our good friend Sushiflake.



The strangest events prompt me to recall really obscure childhood incidents. Today, as I was waiting for my time-challenged student to come back from a 5 minute break, I recalled what my mom used to do before I had the sense to watch the clock. We had this old keychain thing with a timer on it. I think it went up to 2 hours. You turn the dial, kinda like on an old washing machine, and it slowly makes its way back to zero. When it does, it buzzes as the dial resets itself. I used to go next door or down the street to play after school. I wore this timer around my neck. When it buzzed, I knew it was time to walk home. How clever. In the future though, I'll probably just make my kids wear a GPS tracking device with some sort of alarm.

weekend and Harold & Kumar

Saturday was my only real going out night (and day). Headed down the street for a Toastmasters summer party where we ate, played pool, played with the host's toddlers and had a good game of Guesstures, which is pretty much charades. Her kids wore me out so bad I had to come home and nap before we headed to KT's housewarming which was nice. Just a small crowd of cool folks and it was close enough to walk which is refreshing after a few too many Crown shots. It's interesting how the nature of our get togethers is evolving. Most of her guests came during the daytime party for the guests with young children. By the time we got there at 10:30 pm there were only about 10 party goers left. Most had already scooped up their kids and gone home. It was nice to get together with friends at someone's house though. Cozy. Sunday was laundry and paper writing day.


Below are parts of an email distributed by Kal Penn (aka Kalpen Modi) and John Cho re: their new movie Harold & Kumar. (GO SEE IT, it got 2 thumbs up)

This film marks the first time a major studio is releasing a project with two Asian American males as the leads.

We don't have stereotypical accents, we don't passively tread through the story, we're not asexual or hypersexual, there are no martial arts scenes, one-dimensional cab driver segments.

By buying a ticket to "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle", you aren't just gonna get to see a really funny movie with two dudes who look like you. Nope. You're also going to be saying to media outlets, "I support accurate representation of Asian Americans and would like to see more." You have the power to change things simply by buying a ticket to a film that we believe you'll have fun watching anyway!
Please go to the theaters on the weekend of July 30th, and watch "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle".

This is a landmark opportunity for the Asian American community, and we are proud to be the faces involved.

With your support and the success of this film, we hope that it's only the beginning of many more Asian Americans on screen...
Enjoy the movie,

Kal Penn and John Cho
"Kumar"  and  "Harold"



I got abandoned at home again because I didn't feel like drinking, or going out to some crowded place with nowhere to sit so I could be sober and watch other people drink. I was hoping to make it a poker night at home or a quiet evening at Stinger Lounge nearby (where it's not packed and has much seating) but I guess no one else was in agreement.

Unless the music is great, I don't see the point in circling for parking, walking for blocks and cramming myself into some crowded sweaty bar, so we can pay more to drink and line up for the bathroom constantly. If the reason to go out is to see friends rather than just hear good music, why not gather at someone's home?

So here I am by myself, thinking maybe I can work a little on my paper but the God-fearing windchime owners next door have decided to have a freakin' karaoke party. Wonderful.

cleaning update

So I found the spray canister with straw which I used to blow all the dust bunnies out of my keyboard but my main concern was scrubbing the base and *sides* if the keys. Yes, you're probably wondering how they got dirty. Well for a while my keyboard was used by all sorts of strangers who used my computer as the visitor computer when it was left at E and S's loft while I was "homeless". That plus four moves to different apartments and it has collected all sorts of sludge from all over the Bay Area. I didn't think a Qtip would be abrasive enough to scrub off all the human scum so I used a paper towel sprayed with all purpose cleaner and scrubbed the shit out of every single key. I'm happier now. Other cleaning tips:

- keep a roll of paper towel and spray under every sink for quick counter and mirror clean ups
- Swiffer wet for quick kitchen and bathroom floor cleanups between major moppings
- wrap the butt end of a pen with thick paper towel sprayed with cleaner to get into the vents in your car
- Armor All gets excess wax off the black molding on your car
- keep nick nacks and stuff like perfume and misc bottles of stuff in a nice basket so you can pick it all up at once to clean the surface underneath it
- vaccuums work well on hardwood and linoleum floors too


I have an uncontrollable obsessive need to clean things. It's cathartic. (And dirt generally freaks me out). But there's some things I can't figure out how to clean. My keyboard is one of them. I've tried to shake and vaccuum the crap that falls between the keys, but what about the base part and the keys themselves, especially the sides of the keys. How do you safely scrub them without breaking the thing or dripping cleaner? I don't think Heloise included a tip for that in her big book of hints.

I think once I get my keyboard clean and my desk and monitor wiped down, I'll be able to get to work on my research paper. Yeah, that's the ticket.


white men dominate in TV

from http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/variety/20040718/va_tv_ne/tv_still_white_male_realm

This is disappointing. Maybe I should be changing my concentration from media criticism to media production. :-/

Info from the Director's Guild of America.

Devoid of diversity

The DGA singled out six shows as hiring no women or minority directors -- "Friends," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Navy NCIS," "Becker," "Less Than Perfect" and "Malcolm in the Middle."

Nine more shows hired no women directors -- "CSI," "Without a Trace," "Law & Order: SVU," "JAG," "Yes, Dear," "24," "According to Jim," "The District" and "Good Morning, Miami." And four did not use any minority directors -- "Law and Order," 'Two and a Half Men," "Judging Amy" and "8 Simple Rules."

The DGA also singled out "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Friends" and "JAG" for never hiring a women director over the last four seasons and "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Judging Amy" for not hiring minority directors during that time.

damn you neighbour

For the first time in a while I had no troubles getting to sleep last night. I was even dreaming about inheriting some old filing folders to use and I was really happy. But I was rudely awakened at 4 am by the neighbour across the greenbelt and down a floor. He was out on his deck talking to someone as though they were across the freakin' bay in Hayward. I don't even know if he was on the phone or if the other person just had the decency to speak quietly. I should've gotten up, hopped the divider on the balcony and hurled my other neighbour's windchime at him. Stupid idiot.


OK so all these other bloggers took this test thinking they had ADD and came to realize they didn't. I took it for fun and the stupid thing tells me I might have Adult ADD. Dammit, I wasn't even questioning the possibility. Now of course it's not a definitive answer and one would need a battery of other tests for a true diagnosis but I'm kinda in shock here. There are a few things that definitely tipped the scales but, shit, I didn't think I'd get a result like that. Scale tippers:

- impatient and low frustration tolerance
- chronically late or chronically in a hurry (it used to be the former, now it's mostly the latter)
- trouble sitting still
- restlessness
- easily bored
- negativity
- sense of impending doom
- tendency to worry needlessly and endlessly
- startles easily (I will turn around and slug you one if you touch me while in a crowded place or while I'm swimming)

I thought I'd pull up my score with the fact that I always did well in school/work and didn't wet the bed (what a weird symptom). Oh well. I guess that means I just have another disorder to add to the list of those I suspect I might suffer.

Y'know what would've been funny is if they had a big red panic button to press every five questions that said "I'm bored of this fucking test, get me out of here" which would invariably link them to the "you have ADD for sure" diagnosis page.


I wonder if there is a name for a condition characterized by getting so thoroughly engrossed in an activity that one neglects food, sleep and water. But exhibits the attention span of a gnat when it comes to activities one finds boring. Kinda like a bi-polar disorder as it relates to attention span, rather than mood.


trailer trash cuisine

Trailer trash cuisine is the best sometimes, especially if you make it with a twist. My favourite is mac and cheese. Last night I made it with added parmesan and a huge pile of sharp cheddar. Also stirred in pieces of grilled chicken, peas and sun dried tomatoes. YUM. For dessert I made something less trashy - fruit salad of lychee, kiwi and dragon plums (deep red inside, got them at Ranch 99). Unfortunately I discovered I am also mildy allergic to the plums, but not enough to be uncomfortable so I think I'll keep eating them.

Chinese chocolate

Watched Chinese Chocolate last night. It's great having these little indie films (and blockbuster ones too) available at the public library across the street.  It was shot in 1997 but chronicles the struggle of two women who come to Toronto from China in 1986. They don't know each other but eventually cross paths as they sacrifice themselves (to a series of men) both physically and emotionally just to keep their lives livable while they try in desperation to achieve landed immigrant status (they call it green card in the movie but that's not really what we call it in Canada).  Continuity errors and occasional cheeziness aside, the movie was quite memorable and touching (it managed to win awards at the Berlin, Tokyo and Palm Springs film festivals). Great story, though it probably could've done with more artful directing and generous editing. 



Someone brought over a big bottle of Clamato Sunday night. I haven't had this in ages. This stuff is the shit. How come Americans don't like this stuff? I know it's made in the US but was primarily marketed (successfully) in Canada. But they do have it here if you look.


windchime from hell

I'm not sure how many times I've blogged on this topic but my next door neighbour, who never say hi, have a windchime hung up on their balcony, which is connected to ours. It pisses me off to no end. On hot summer nights when all the windows are open, all I hear while I'm trying to sleep is their fucking windchime. I've been devising all sorts of ways to steal it, most of them unexecutable because I don't have any throwing stars or ninja-like abilities to scale walls. But we thought of a new idea this weekend. Revenge. Give 'em a taste of their own medicine. We'll just buy a huge ass gong from Chinatown, and whale on it at ~4am on weekends to signal our arrival home. If you live in a condo/apartment and have a windchime, do your neighbours a favour and take the damn thing down.

spinning room

I spent much of S's 29th bday bash in the ladies room at 111 Minna with friends, one of whom was in the process of losing her dinner, several times over. Elena and I had a very good debate going. She claims that if the room is spinning, you will need to puke. When the room stops spinning, that is a signal that you are done puking.  I argued, however, that even when one is done puking, the room could still spin without signalling the need to puke again. We tried to use C to test the theory. Everytime she hurled, we asked if the room had stopped spinning. She said no. (point for me). Then she puked again (point for Elena). We repeated this many times over (point for me, point for her). By the end of the night she felt she had emptied her stomach but was still spinning (point for me again). But I think she lost it at the Dumbarton exit (point for Elena). BUT no one was there to ask if the room was still spinning. So the debate rages on. :)

new bloggers

Just wanted to selflessly introduce a couple of my girly friends new to blogging and give 'em some exposure - Jenn, my dolly & craft making downhill mountain bike racing friend in Vancouver and Eva, my serious back crackin' (literally) friend here in the peninsula.


video game disability

I have a video game learning disability. Since getting this Game Cube for Simon for his bday I have discovered that games no longer progress in a linear fashion. By that I mean from left to right of the screen like Pit Fall and old Super Mario Brothers type games, from top to bottom like Tetris, or from bottom to top like Donkey Kong and Snow Bros.
I tried to play Eternal Darkness. I opened doors and books and windows and read all the little clues but I didn't know what the hell to do next. Where are you supposed to walk and how are you supposed to know? How come the bad guys that I see on the cover haven't come out to fight?  Gave up on that one.
Tried Mario Sunshine, I figured that couldnt be too hard. So there I was in the middle of some tropical place but I can walk in any direction and talk to people and jump and stuff. But what exactly is the goal and how am I to know where to go and what to do next? Actually I couldn't even figure out Hamtaro for Christ's sake.
I think game playing is now a social thing where you learn by watching others. And also cross-media, people read about game strategy online and in magazines. You can't just start the thing and know what the hell to do. Unless it's just me and I'm seriously just a video game retard.

Bush's Banzai

Some of you may know that I, along with many others, campaigned to get Banzai off Fox and then, more recently, off Comedy Central. The show was riddled with archaic stereotypes of Japanese people, but easily apply to other Asians as well since many Americans have a tough time differentiating anyways. We had the crazy screaming geeky old man doing martial arts and bad accents galore. It was a parody gone very very wrong. So when this arrived in my inbox from Asian Media Watch this morning, well shit, I'm speechless again. At least we can always rely on Bush to constantly shoot himself in the foot, when not occupied with putting his foot in his mouth.

Bush-Cheney '04 mixes psuedo-Asian themes with
political spin ad

What do a skewed Japanese anime cartoon character,
Banzai-like graphics, Asian gong , and presidential
candidate Senator John Kerry have in common?? They
are all plastered together in a scene from the newest
political ad entitled "Yakuza" from the Bush-Cheney
'04 presidential campaign.

Special to Asian Media Watch - Patrick Drazen, an
expert on Japanese popular culture and anime, and
author of the book "Anime Explosion: The What? Why?
and Wow! of Japanese Animation" writes in and

Read the full article at:


to my previous "why I read your blog post". Densetsu, no pressure to be funny because I don't think you really have to try that hard. Whether you know it or not, I think you were born with razor sharp wit. Amabelley, Bush bashing doesn't count as "too political" in my list of criteria. Partly because it also falls under "makes me laugh" and because it's not exactly a hotly contested debate that the man is a total fucking idiot. Oh, while we're on the topic, there was a joke on VH1 about what it would be like if Bush and Jessica Simpson sat down and had a serious conversation. A bunch of people did their little imitations but I didn't catch what they said because I was still laughing at the hilarity of the whole idea. So, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, I was clarifying the "too political/too serious statement". By that I meant topics like whether capital punishment is morally wrong, at what point a fetus becomes a baby and other very important but hard to digest (when looking for fun stuff to read) type topics.

Internet was down today, man did I ever get a lot done.


why I read your blog

Was just chattin' with jane and encouraging her to start blogging. She was reading my blog and asking which ones I like to read and why. And I thought to myself, good question. Well I like to read all the ones I link to on my site...but why? I think I have various reasons:

1. makes me laugh (densetsu the clear winner in this category) - people who just blog like they're talking and keep the tone casual tend to crack me up
2. interesting blog topics - sometimes mundane things, sometimes exciting, but interesting to me nonetheless
3. similar interests, lifestyles etc. - I like to read blogs belonging to people around my age, typically other ABC/CBCs. Kind of like seeing what other folks are up to and what their thoughts are about things
4. I actually know the blogger in person and it's a means of keeping up with what's going on in their lives, strangely though, this is rare
5. well written - content is key but people who have a way with words really draw me in

I also realized characteristics of blogs I don't like to read:

1. talk about God - I have issues with people who have to constantly make mention of God in their conversations/blogs
2. deal too much with politics or really serious issues - I read for pleasure, for fun, not for my education or to be swayed to think a certain way on hot topics
3. talk a lot about things that I try not to think about, namely babies - having them, caring for them, the cute things they do etc. this is a symptom of my clock ticking and my desire to plug my ears and not hear it because I have way too much other shit to deal with first
4. poorly written - Not really into the blogs that are all about inside jokes, sloppy writing, slang and cryptic abbreviations and symbols but this is more typical of the younger bloggers anyways, generation gap there...
5. poorly designed - Some people have their entries really strangely organized or use font/background combos that my hideous eyesight can't deal with

last samurai

OK, I admit. I'm really far behind in my movie watching. The last film I saw in a theatre was Kill Bill Vol.1. And I just saw the Last Samurai tonight on DVD. Most of you have watched it but I'm going to add my two cents anyways.

- gorgeous landscapes
- beautifully directed
- incredible choreography of the fight scenes
- some attempt at conveying the notion that Asians have qualities to be admired - bravery, honour, discipline, humility etc.
- the little boys were sooooo cute and great actors too

- typical Hollywood historical inaccuracies
- plot was rather predictable
- the emperor's character was a little too weak to be believable
- the American, Nathan, managed to learn to fight like a samurai in a year, while the Japanese samurais trained daily for an entire lifetime to develop that level of skill
- although I recognize the need to insert a fictional American protagonist so that the audience can identify with him and assume his point of view, it was just so contrived
- the unspoken romance between Nathan and Taka was something I predicted from the beginning but hoped not to see. the second they locked eyes, my stomach turned. can Hollywood not make a movie that involves an Asian woman without making her a Suzy Wong?
- it's reported that horses weren't harmed in the making of the film but they actually trained the horses to fall. horses don't fall normally and they don't do so gracefully. somehow it doesn't seem ethical.

Overall, it was pretty to watch but certainly didn't reach me emotionally. Definitely over rated.



I was, for some reason, exhausted Friday night so I didn't really feel up for the mission district bar hop that the guys went on. Decided to chill at home thinking stupidly that my other half would stay home with me, but instead he gobbled up the dinner I made and abandoned me. Whatever. Stayed in and watched
Rebels of the Neon God (directed by Ming-liang Tsai) which I borrowed from the library. It was twisted, gritty and emotional. Loved it. Can't wait to see his other films.

Saturday, we took Jaffe out dancin' at Ruby Skye where there were all sorts of cool performances going on. These female trapeze artists and two guys doing some serious cirque style balancing acts atop each others bodies e.g. one guy was standing on top of the other guy's head at one point. I expected a couple of bad gogo dancers swinging around on the trapeze but, no, there was some serious talent going on there.

Yesterday was all about cleaning. Washing and waxin' the cars, dusting, vaccuuming, scrubbing grout and tiles, mopping, cleaning hamster cages. All very therapeutic. Oh yeah, Fatty, my eldest hamster, didn't wake up yesterday. :( So now I only have 3 hamsters.


sugar, make my soul complete

rapture tastes so sweet. Heard that song before? I saw it performed live by the group IIO last weekend along with their hit "the end" at 1015. It was pretty awesome, despite the fact that they're two hit wonders. The other (very small handful of) songs they performed all sounded alike and they only had enough material to perform for about 15-20 minutes. DJ Dimitris was awesome though. The guy looks like he's having the time of his life everytime I see him DJ. Check out the pics on his site. BTW, 1015 is not the scummy, Asian gang infested tweaker club that some people seem to think. So the "renovations" weren't that spectacular but the crowd and vibe is pretty sweet. I gauge the crowd on the bump test. I'm small and people tend to run into/trample me whether purposely or accidentally. When I get a lot of "oh I'm so sorries" from people running into me, I consider it a good night and it makes me really happy especially if they ran into me because they're dancing madly. I collected a LOT of apologies that night. The second I set foot in a place that is booming hip hop (ugh), I practically get knocked on my ass every 5 minutes and no one says a word. That's when I get mouthy and risk getting pummeled. Hence, I avoid places like that at all costs.

Down with "Dodgeball"

From an email received today from Kai:

"Dodgeball was invented by opium-addicted Chinamen" in
a scene from the film "Dodgeball: A True Underdog
Story." The film shows Chinese men smoking pipes in
an opium den and throwing severed heads.

Read the full article

The thirteen year old I tutor said the movie wasn't funny anyways, but this scene is truly unfunny.


wing woman

Thanks to Johnny for this link. Someone made a business of this wing woman technique. If anyone cares to pay me $50 an hour, heck I'll take $40, I'll gladly be your wing woman. I'll even approach girls and tell them how much I looooove their handbag/shoes/hair as you casually stroll over and I initiate introductions.

lesson learned at Toastmasters

It was Toastmasters night tonight. One of the members gave a speech that started out with a story that is definitely worth sharing. She has a friend who is in his 30s who works on her house sometimes. She called him one day and he didnt return the call. Eventually she found out he was in the hospital. He had had an aneurysm that induced a stroke.

Let's go back here. The man is in his 30s, he's a carpenter (read: active lifestyle) and very fit. Now his mother has to drive him around since walking is about the best he can do, he can't work and he's now in the hole over $200K in medical bills because he didn't have health insurance. He won't be able to work for at least another 18 months so he's essentially disabled but also had no disability insurance. He has a child and a wife with whom he had separated prior to the stroke. Luckily they are working out their relationship now but this is one bad situation. He will probably have to declare bankruptcy and start over, physically, emotionally and financially.

Lessons learned? One, even if you can barely afford it and havent seen a doctor since you had chicken pox in grade 1, get health insurance. You really can't afford not to. It actually amazes me how I escape death each day. Two, live each day as if it were your last. Ok that's super cliche and most people would go overboard if they followed that to a tee but you get my point. Don't bitch about dumb shit might be a better way to put it (for me at least). Three, if you have dependents get life insurance. You wouldn't wanna leave them SOL just because fate dealt you a blow.


ice cream to die for

S brought over a tub of coffee ice cream the other day when he came over for dinner with his brother. I thought Haagen Daz coffee ice cream was good but this was seriously to die for. Hands down, the BEST coffee ice cream ever. Sooooo creamy and the flavour was rich but not too sweet or bitter at all. Starbucks brand, classic coffee flavour.

My other favourite is Horlicks flavoured gelato from Mario's in Vancouver or this place in Berkeley.


reading overload

This summer is all about reading. I have books piled all over the floor mostly on feminism, beauty, Asian American women, sex and power. All for my research credits. I think I will reveal my thesis topic at some point. Here's a hint, it has to do with import car racing culture.

so I read the Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf which was supposed to have been some huge big deal when it came out. It talks about how images of beauty are used to manipulate women. I found it really disappointing. I've never seen anything so poorly written or disorganized in published form. She makes many good, albeit obvious, points (stuff you learn in communication 101) but most of it is directionless ranting with little hard information to back up her claims.

Anyways, on top of that, I've assigned my tutorees summer reading - The Outsiders and Catcher in the Rye, which means I also have to read them. I had never read Catcher in jr. high. It sure beats the Outsiders. I didn't realize how cheezy it is.

bugs suck

What is more annoying than getting a huge bug bite on your knuckle? I have one on my pinky knuckle. It is so gross! I am so glad there are so few mosquitoes in the Bay Area. The few that happen to make their home here tend to find me somehow. I once read that eating bananas attracts them to you. Who knows. They find me anyways.



Saturday night we feasted on salmon kama, fresh crab and shrimp at home. Today was all about BBQ - lamb, kalbee, chicken. I don't understand how Atkins dieters do it. This high protein thing makes me thirsty and yeet hay. Yuck. I need a salad. Anyways, we celebrated a bday for 4th July since our Canada day was July 1st. Here's pics.


in my mersey paradise

It's a happy day. I just found an old CD I forgot I owned. The Stone Roses - Turns Into Stone. Describing music is such a dangerous thing because the people who think they're hard core will argue you're wrong and bla dee bla bla. For me, they sound like a late 80s-early 90s-esque Beatles/Simon&Garfunkel combo, with a hint of Teenage Fanclub whimsey. All I know is it's happy music for me and will hopefully keep me seated here long enough to compile some significant research. Man, I'm so behind.

no I'm not with them

If you think you've read this before it's because I just posted it as a comment on Amabelle's blog (about how people think we Asians all look alike) but thought it deserved a full post on my own blog.

What used to REALLY boil my blood was when I was at a grocery checkout stand behind some other Asian people I didn't know. The cashier would finish with their purchase, skip me and help the white person behind me. I'm like "what about me?" pointing at my food. And they'd reply "oh I thought you were with them" motioning to the Asians walking away with their groceries. This has happened far more times than I can count. The only thing that makes me feel better is when they look embarrassed, but most of the time they don't.


Happy Canada Day

Unfortunately it's a quiet one for me this year. Everyone already took off for dinner and drinks at the big SF Canada Day celebration at Kell's while I tutored my last student of the day and Simon worked late. Oh well. There were 500 on the evite who said they'd be going and somehow it doesn't look like there's parking for 500 people in north beach or space for that many in that little bar either. Hopefully I just saved myself from parking hell and from being trampled by happy drunk Canadians. *sigh* At least it'll be on a Friday next year and hopefully they bring it back to Kelly's Mission Rock. As for 4th July, we'll be BBQing but really for Shirley's bday. :)

pics of the orphaned hamster

Went down to see the orphaned baby hamster tonight at Simon's office. (see earlier post for the tragic details) It's much younger than I tought, about the length of 1 and a half quarters. Its eyes are not as scary red in colour as they look in these pics but the flash reflected the red in his eyes and pink in his skin. We've named him first name Lucky (for obvious reasons) middle name TN (short for Telenav, his company's product since it has become Televigation hamster).

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