So apparently you can now add ads to your blog and make some money off of them if your readers click on the ads (so long as you don't get all sneaky about clicking on them yourself or drawing specific attention to the ads - anyone remember the "fake surf" program for that stupid ad toolbar thing?). I was thinking, hmm shit, I could use some money. But right now I just cannot get myself to do it. I cannot bring myself to prostitute my blog for a couple bucks a month. Advertising is everywhere on the web already and it drives me crazy. If you have checked out Orkut.com or Friendster lately you'll see what I mean. I want to allow people to read my blog ad-free, sharing content for the sake of it, not for money. The only thing that might be interesting to see is what ads pop up based on the stuff I write about (ala Google of course). For example, would my blog below about how bad life sucks in your late 20s prompt an ad for anti-depressants to appear?


I went to empty my junk mail folder a couple days ago and noticed an ad for a Christian dating site. Sure if there's conservativematch.com, why not a similar site for all the God-fearing folks? So I'm deleting all this shit when another spam mail grabs my attention, it reads "Eliminate your debt the Christian Way!" There's a pattern here. In the early 90s, it was all about social issues marketing, we used everything from whales to rainforests to sell absurdly unrelated products like cereal and hair products. Now it seems that the marketing of God is really hot! I mean, how the fuck really do you eliminate debt the Christian way? Do you pray your way out of debt?Somehow I don't see Jesus coming to your rescue for pawning your wife's jewellry so you could make your poker debut on the World Poker Tour. I wonder what product they'll use God to market next. How about this - "Pray your way to natural male enhancement!" or "Say amen to new hair growth!"



Just realized that my "homework" for one of my classes entails 70 pages of reading and a 5 page paper due Wednesday so I gotta make this quick.

Friday evening we headed up to Cache Creek Casino for Will's bday. It was pretty awesome that we managed to get enough folks to head up there (85 miles north of SF, about 40 min east of Sacramento). We'd never done an out-of-town, overnight stay, casino bday party before. Some highlights:

- seeing that Denny travels with a tiny purple Pochacco suitcase (photo to come if he allows me)
- realizing that 40% of the suitcase is occupied by cups and dice
- getting upgraded to a really huge jr. suite after they messed up my specific request for two queen beds (since we were planning on cramming 5 people in there refugee style)
- Elena getting stopped by security for carrying around this heavy silver suitcase thing that looks like a bomb or a gun (it's actually her box of goodies -- dice, cards etc.)
- me getting locked out of the party room, calling simon to open the door, and then having to call him a second time because midway across the room he got distracted playing with Will's Transformer and forgot to let me in
- realizing that casino bday parties are not terribly social affairs since everyone is sitting by themselves at some smoky blackjack/poker table
- due to the point above, making a point to spend at least two meals together as a group
- really fresh oysters and yummy meatballs at the Harvest Buffet ($14.99)
- the whole casino is really really surprisingly nice and newly remodeled

So there ya have it. I hardly saw anyone at this bday "party" except from afar as we waved hi to them from across the casino floor but we made the most of the time we shared (during the pre-casino drinking and over breakfast and lunch).


good night

I normally don't like to watch late night talk shows. I find the guests are typically nervous, affected, or in some other way annoying. And many of the hosts are just terrible hosts who don't know what questions to ask to establish or maintain any kind of momentum in their interviews. But tonight was a reasonably good night. Sarah Chalke (Elliot on Scrubs) was on Jimmy Kimmel. The interview sucked because he couldn't stop asking her stupid questions about her boyfriend and whether or not he pays rent to live in her new house. But I found out she is Canadian so that was kinda cool. After her, Robert Smith came on. He doesn't interview too well as he seemed to be shaking from nervousness or general discomfort with the whole situation but it was good to see him on TV. He performed at the end of the show too. And then on Craig Kilborn (God that guy is annoying), John Cleese was the guest and then Morrissey performed. Can't wait to see him at the Now and Zen concert even though he looks like he's in his 50s (actually he's 45) and so many think he's nothing but a vain, egotistical wash up. I think he's just a victim of the press. Who knows, who cares. It doesn't really change the music now does it?


don't like match.com?

Try conservativematch.com! I had to collect a list of conservative media web sites to balance out the readings for that media lit class and low and behold, a big huge banner ad for conservativematch.com, "not simply another dating site...a real community of people who share conservative values." I was overcome with curiosity and had to do a quick search to see if everyone on it was white, carrying a big gun, and from outside of California, perhaps more towards the south and midwest. Unfortunately you don't see the photos 'til you join but, yup, no Californians in the preview list there. But they do provide a nice quote from Rush Limbaugh, "...despite the liberal lads you've been dating, there is hope out there." Yeehaw!

learning to teach

Today was my first day as a TA. I'm helping a very popular prof with an undergrad media literacy class. To say she is a little eccentric would be an understatement. Luckily she is eccentric in a very good, very funny way. We were talking about how the campus is becoming a totally non smoking campus but in years past she'd let some students smoke outside while "attending" the lecture through the window of our ground floor classroom. So basically they'd be standing outside and looking and listening through the oddly shaped open window. Ok, but that's not the weird part. All of a sudden she decided to demonstrate that she can fit through the this long narrow window. So she took off her clogs, got up on a desk, squeezed through the window, jumped into the bush outside in her socks and ran back in through the front door. The students walking by outside were probably thinking, why the hell is there a petite 50 year old lady in her socks climbing out a window of the creative arts building? After the initial shock, the entire class was in hysterics. So lesson one for me, don't teach with a stick up your ass. Be yourself, make the students laugh, and get everyone to relax a little. It's probably good for the soul too. Maybe I'll show everyone in my future first lecture the tricks I can do with my mutant hyperextendable joints.


My classes start tomorrow. Excited about classes and about TAing for the first time. Not at all excited about getting up at 7am so I can find free parking about a 6 blocks away and making the 10 minute hike to campus with a 10 lb bag. I've been regularly going to bed at 2am after a 9pm dinner and 11pm jog and getting up at 10am. This is going to hurt.


not-so-roaring late 20's

From reading the blogs of other folks my age, it seems there is an overwhelming number of people out there who are lost, sad and generally not satisfied with their lives. Even though fourty is supposed to be "the new thirty", we all know we've been around a while already and, on the same hand, the clock is ticking.

Most of us have a degree (or two) and about 5-7 years work experience which, on paper, usually means reaching senior manager or even director level in a corporation. Many of us, unfortunately, have not. Still toiling away as individual contributors, or worse, sitting on our asses unemployed. Office Space and Dilbert are frighteningly realistic reflections of our lives. To add to the pain, many of us missed the economic boom, only to catch the bust and watch thousands of dollars in stocks and options slip through our fingers. Bad bad timing.

And as we approach the big 3-0 and watch as friend after friend gets engaged and then married, it's hard not to hear our clocks ticking louder, reminding us that now is the time to find a mate and settle. But those plans are hard to firm up when the rest of your life is an emotional and financial mess as are your career plans.

This all makes me wonder if we're pioneers in this lifestyle. For the generations before us, life was a little more scripted. The men got a lifelong job at XYZ corporation working 9-5, the ladies stayed home and took care of the kids, upon retirement they'd collect their pensions and move to Florida. OK so it was a little tougher for those of us with immigrant parents, that is for damn sure. But still, they somehow had this collective optimism that people of my generation just don't seem to have. Maybe it's because we've learned that there's no such thing as "the American Dream", we seen too many instances of hard work going unrewarded or even punished, and we just don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are the jaded generation.


medal controversies

So American gymnast Paul Hamm, whom one San Jose resident interviewed on Kron 4 news last night refered to as a jerk, won the all around gold because the judges miscalculated the scores. The Korean gymnast actually scored higher. Hamm is refusing to give back his medal, even though the world knows it's not really his gold if he scored the second highest. Great article on MSNBC that discusses this controversy... but also ties in bigger issues about America's image, good will in general, and even the Iraq war. Very worth reading. Here's a short snippet:

It’s just incredibly bad luck that Hamm’s medal was won at the expense of a Korean. But in that country, it’s taken as proof that America is an arrogant and bloated monolith that won’t be satisfied until it owns the world and all the gold medals in it. That’s an absurd belief, but so are a lot of the things we believe in. The point is if you collected all the ill will toward America on the planet and wadded it up into a ball, it would be a really big ball. We can’t turn all of it into goodwill overnight. But if we can perform one selfless act on a stage that the entire world is watching, we can put a dent in it....You have to ask what’s more important, doing the right thing or having a gold-plated hunk of bronze that tens of millions of people are going to say from now until forever that you wouldn’t have won if the dumb judges — and, aha, one of them was an American — had been able to count? (Celizic, 2004)


I miss CBC

Having to watch the Olympics on US television really sucks. If the US team is not in the running in a given sport, they typically won't air the event. And the commentators are so blatantly biased. A stumble for an American gymnast would be called a "balance check" or "teeny wobble", the same mistake for an athlete from any other country would be labeled a "big miss" or "huge mistake". Same with the comments in the swimming events. The chest beating and self-backpatting from American commentators is so nauseating I can hardly stand to watch anymore. I just turned on the TV and caught a few minutes of the Nigeria vs. Germany soccer game and the commentators were not even talking about what was going on on the field! No, they were boasting about the intensity of the US soccer team's training methods. The US team was not even playing. I couldn't believe it. These commentators need to stop chanting U-S-A long enough to learn a little something about fairness, balance and maybe a little humility in their reporting.

I guess I better get used to it. Hockey season is coming and I gotta listen to more of this garbage from Fox Sports etc. I miss CBC and in a few months I'll really miss Hockey Night in Canada.


good stuff

Hooray for Blogger tech support. They pointed to my own faulty code for the crap that was showing up on my page, but then, my page was fine 'til they added that nav bar that I am beginning to get used to. But they were fast. And it must be a small office cuz the rep also passed along a hi from Tineybopper. So hi back to ya!

Anyways, stitches are out, mole was benign, got our tix for Now and Zen and booked our room for our upcoming bday getaway to Cache Creeke Casino. Was a semi-productive day.

Oh yeah, Clara is in town, tonight til 30th. What is going on the next two weekends?


what the hell

I don't like this blogger nav bar because all of a sudden my page looks shitty like this crap up top and my custom coloured scroll bars are gone. What did they do to my site and how do I fix this. Grrrr.


Are there any readers/bloggers/wallflowers out there who are ex-gymnasts or wannabe gymnasts? I need a buddy to go to an adult drop in with, or maybe take a class or two. Found a place called Twisters Gym where we can drop in for an hour and a half for $10 (Sat 12-1:30) in Mountain View. I will teach you cool stuff if you'll come with me. Last time I went to an open gym in Daly City I was working out all by my lonesome among preteen break dancers. So that kinda sucked.

Incidentally, Twisters has a drop-in rock climbing for $10 for a whole day pass which is quite a deal. They say on their site: We offer top-rope climbing to whoever knows how to tie a double figure eight follow through, belay with a gri-gri, and perform the safety checks for these systems. [$10 day pass]

Stanford might also have some adult drop in classes for I think $15, which seems to include instruction from some comp sci grad student.

C'mon, anyone?


days off

Finished my lit review which ended up a whopping 38 pages of blood, sweat and tired eyes. So I'm now officially on "vacation" til August 25th when classes start again, except that I have to tutor 1-2 kids per day but that's no biggee. Being the type A personality that I am, I have a list of things to do on my time off: help with G's wedding stuff, hem all unhemmed pants, sew a top I've been meaning to work on, file away all last semester's notes into binders, start doing some editing of the hours of video I've taken of various events like James' going away, and re-organizing our storage closet so I can get the golf clubs tucked away instead of hanging out in the living room. I don't think I can live a week without working from a to-do list. It's sad how scripted my day-to-day life is but it keeps me sane. As much as I'd sometimes like to be, I'm just not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda person.


now and zen

So Morrissey and Tears for Fears are coming to Golden Gate Park for the Now and Zen concert. $35. Debating whether or not to go. Partly because I don't yet know what the weather will be like and I recall once going to something along the lines of Arts County Fair or something at UBC in the rain. People started a muddy mosh pit and some just started rolling around in the mud. People were hammered and I was on the verge of getting trampled. But then that was a bunch of drunk undergrads. I imagine people who might attend Now and Zen will be about a decade older. But still, not sure if I want to risk going in the rain or getting stepped on in the "open seating" (ie big field and a concert stage) arrangement. But by the looks of Morrissey, who seems to have aged about 30 years, there may not be another chance to see him. And $35 isn't too bad. Hmm I think I'm leaning towards going now.



Sorry to those who have commented in the past. I used to use Blog Extra because Blogger hadn't yet come up with a commenting capability. Now that they have, bless their hearts, I'd like to kill the BlogExtra because it's a little messed up and some folks don't like the spawning of the additional window. So I'm going to kill all the old comments now. Please continue commenting with the nifty and searchable Blogger commenting tool below. That includes all you secretive blog wallflowers who read and don't comment...don't be shy, say hi!


all done

I gotta hand it to people in the medical field, even self-proclaimed "cushy" dermatologists. They do stuff that really grosses me out. Warning: the remainder of this post is graphic.

So the mole came off today so I thought I'd share the experience for others who might have to undergo the procedure, or who are just curious in a sick way. They laid me down and covered me up in sheets of paper like at the dentist, presumably to catch blood spurting out. So by this time I'm shitting myself. Nurse came in with a tray of instruments and a release form that says I agree that I may experience bleeding, infection and scarring. Great, that made me feel better. A needle was used to inject local anesthetic next to my nose. That kinda hurt, more than the "pinch" they said it would, and it took forever to inject fully. But it totally numbed the area and I didn't feel anything when he did the test poke. He then used a pen shaped cookie cutter like instrument and kinda stamped out and plucked out the mole and, I think, used scissors to snip it off. Then came the frantic gauze-to-face to stop the bleeding. Didn't feel a thing but it was really...weird. Then came the suturing. I didn't feel that either but it was really weird to see him pulling at the thread and watching my nose and cheek get pulled this way and that. That also seemed to take forever but he assured me that he wanted to make it "beautiful" so I wouldn't scar and the little line left would just tuck in next to my nose. Then the nurse slapped a dab of polysporin (not neosporin) on it, covered it with gauze and put this big bandaid (like the type for when you scrape your knee) right over it across my face. I was expecting a fancy small see-through bandaid, but nope, just a big plain bandaid. And that was it. Now it aches like a toothache. Will let you know how it heals and the biopsy results. Most likely negative I'm told. Stitches come out in 7 days so I'll have to look like Frankenstein for a little while.

driving distance

Driving from the sleepy suburb of Coquitlam all the way to Downtown Vancouver always seemed like such a long ass haul because the highway system cuts diagonally through greater Vancouver and leaves you to do about 10-15 min of city driving before and after getting on the highway to get to your destination. Here, the 101 is pretty efficient (at night), gets you real close to where you need to go (usually) and cops are lenient on speeding (120 km/80 miles is OK) so the distance you actually drive in the Bay Area is actually somewhat deceiving because you can get a long distance in a short time.

So I decided to do a comparison of the distances between home and downtown in Van, TO and here.

Si's old house to downtown TO (Yonge @ Queen): 19.5 km / 12.12 miles / 22 min driving time
My old house to downtown Vancouver (Granville @ Robson): 24.9 km / 15.47 miles / 26 min driving time (totally off, I'd say 35 min)
Our place to SF (1015 Folsom to be exact): 34.4 km / 21.4 miles/ 27 min driving time

I was right, we live a lot further from downtown now but it takes around the same amount of time to get there. I think if I had lived 34 km from Vancouver, that would put me somewhere in Surrey or Steveston :-/



I have been enlightened. There is a very long list of foods (many fruits, soy, melons, nuts) that make my lips itch and swell til I look like Angelina Jolie and also cause my mouth to itch and my throat to close in. When it's bad my ears itch inside too. And it seems the older I get the more foods I have to add to this list. It seems this condition is called Oral Allergy Syndrome. The only cure is avoidance. Sucks.


Simon's sister just got tickets for her and I to attend the TJ Maxx Tour of Gymnastics Champions in October after the team gets back from Athens. I think we got 4th row floor. I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to live in a city where artists and performers tend to make a stop. I remember what a huge big deal it was when someone like Oakenfold came to Vancouver. Here it seems like big name DJs are in and out of here all the time. And getting $35 tickets to see the Pet Shops Boys in a really intimate little venue like I did a couple years ago would be unheard of back in Van. Hopefully the Canadian cities will grow up and attain more international recognition so that it will be more bearable to move back...eventually.



Missed J's wedding in Thailand, just attended one in Toronto and so far for next year I've got 3 weddings to go to (among my friends, not counting Simon's). G's on 5/28, Tim's 6/18 and Josh's 8/20. I've talked to people who have 6-8 weddings to attend this year and half the bachelor/ette parties were out of town to add to the cost. Could the rest of you kindly space out your engagements to no more than 2-3 per year? thanks :) ps. as far as I know, I'm not even on the radar so you can count me out of your wedding budgets.


some TO pics

The girl that Jaffe was dancing with turned out to be Angela, a girl I competed against in gymnastics between 1987 to 1992. I got to know her pretty well because we went to a lot of out of town competitions and the Vancouver gymnasts were a lot nicer than the ones in my own zone (ie snotty white Christian bitches from Abbotsford and some bush party hosting hos from Surrey).
So here's a pic of what the Royal Ontario Museum will soon look like. They have destroyed the Asian and Egyptian wings of this historic building and are putting what looks like a sideways ice cube on top of it. Somehow someone with a lot of money and clout thought this would look nice. I have an open mind about modern architecture but this looks fuckin' ridiculous.

Rendering of the future ROM Posted by Hello


I have 7 days to finish a really big project for my summer credits so this will be my quick bullet pointed summary of Toronto highlights and lowlights:

  • eating bouillabaisse at Marche (Movenpicks) - awesome seafood soup they make right in front of you
  • eating his parents' home cookin'
  • meeting all of Simon's friends and checking out some of the clubs and lounges
  • reuniting with Angela, a girl I knew from gymnastics when I was little (she was the friend of a friend's sister and was stopping in TO en route to Vancouver)
  • eating hot dogs on the street in the middle of the night
  • shopping Queen street (think Haight or Granville with more boutique shops and less of the used clothing ones), reminded me a lot of the shops in Montreal
  • Beer Market
  • seeing the inside of Lucid Club which used to be Playdium, now a ridiculously large and beautifully decorated club. we went on a dead Thursday night but Simon's friend Nigel (DJ Sin) was spinning some really good old school 80s (i.e. mix of DM, Madonna, Prince, Rick Astley, etc)


  • Royal Ontario Museum had closed its Asian and Egyptian exhibits to build this monstrous ugly modern extension to its once beautiful historic building (photos to come)
  • initial unbearably humid weather
  • traffic from Caribana
  • catching a fish and having it get away while we were up at Hastings
  • coming out of a bathroom at Pearl Lounge, not finding my friends, figuring it would make most sense to meet them outside, getting locked in some stairwell while looking for an exit, then tripping and falling OUT of an exit door down two steps onto my ass in a lane as the door slams shut with one of my shoes behind it, then walking through the lane drunk with one shoe on and asking the bouncer for help retrieving my shoe (in front of a big line of club goers)

photos and details to follow next week after I finish my work and clean up our place.



In TO for Simon's friends wedding this weekend. Somehow Yahoo says it was only 25 degrees C today but the humidity made it feel more like 35 (that's in the 90s for the Americans). Toronto has grown to be a big happenin' city. Lots of lounges, restaurants, and more clubs than I could imagine. SF seems bigger on neighbourhood bars and dives. I guess there's a big population of young people in TO to create the demand for nightclubs. Anyways back to this weather. I have not broken out like this since I was in grade 7. I normally have pretty cooperative skin so I left my trusty little tube of Murad zit cream at home. But holy crap do I regret it. Also, people tend to say hot weather makes people lose weight. I am living proof that the opposite is possible. Places we go to eat tend to have a/c so I eat normally, perhaps a little more in quantity (and fat) since we're going out a lot. But once I'm back in the heat I go into slow mo so I don't burn the calories. In a day or two, my pants have gotten tight and I'm growing a gut. But going to the Royal Ontario Museum tomorrow so I'm excited about that.