I brought my Montgomery Jr. High yearbook and we went through it to jog our memories about who we've run into or heard news about lately or figured the whereabouts of thanks to Google. It was kind of weird how we might look a little different but our voices and mannerisms largely stayed the same. After we got caught up on the last 8 years or so careerwise and relationshipwise, it was kind of like old times. It was nice to get some perspective on some of my current issues and worries from people who can be objective because I haven't seen them in forever, but who also know my character well enough to give sound advice. *sniff sniff* thanks guys. Many people we talked about still live in the Coquitlam area (I think I would've lost my mind if I did) and I'd say most are married, some with a kid. It was kind of interesting to trade stories. Although it would never be in my character to stick around my hometown and settle down so early, the fact that most of my peers have gotten married and even started families really makes my life seem unstable and unfocussed in comparison. Maybe that's why I've chosen to move to a place where there are so many ambitious unmarried thirty-somethings. Somehow they make me feel less "behind" in life. I guess my NY resolution will be to find some degree of balance day-to-day and worry less about things falling into place because worrying doesn't make it happen any faster. That said I'll be 30 in a little more than a year and I want to see some progress in my life by then!
On that forum where people were talking about Jet Li, a number of arguments also erupted. One guy asked everyone to send good thoughts. He was blasted by some Christian who said they need prayers, not good thoughts. That person was lambasted by someone who noted that God allowed this to happen on Jesus' birthday and then went on a rant about how there is no Christian God. Interesting how that discussion evolved. I have to agree with the person who said that you can pray, send thoughts, whatever makes you feel good, but what people really need to do is send money. There's at least some sort of guarantee you'll be making a difference.
One other person on the forum submitted this link to an article on a Russian web site. It suggests that these natural disasters might actually be the work of humans. i.e. geophysical experiments by the US military in inducing natural disasters. Here's a snippet from the article. I find it a little hard to believe, OK really hard to believe, but ya never know:
It is well known that the USA and the USSR concluded an agreement at the
end of the 1970s. Pursuant to the agreement, scientific developments in the
field of geophysics for military purposes were banned. All the works in the
field became secret too. However, the works continued anyway, despite the signed
document. It was simply conducted under the disguise of the scientific research
or the development of the double-purpose technology. The point and the purpose
of those developments were rather vague and even mysterious. A lot of
specialists and scientists believe that a special American program HAARP is one
of those developments... It is an open secret that the USA (probably, not the
USA alone) has already constructed high-frequency transmitter facilities. Those
devices can heat the earth environment up to the state of plasma by means of
pumping ions. This makes it possible to control the environment, which might
show considerable influence on the atmospheric phenomena. The owners of this
weapon are able to program floods, twisters and storms, even earthquakes in any
region of the planet.
Today the plan is to go for oysters at Rodney's Oyster House in Yaletown. There's a special between 4-6pm or something. The skies are so clear it'd be so nice to be boarding but there was no snow last night. Which means whatever was on the mountain is just getting harder and icier. Pleeeeeease snow!
After that Ray (Stan's brother) picked up me and his friend Pearson to go for dinner at Daimasu before hitting Barnone. I had a weird "I know you but I don't know how" moment with this guy Pearson. I went to high school with his big sister but we couldn't figure out the connection otherwise. Does anyone out there know how I know this guy? This "I know you but I don't know how" feeling continued at Barnone after I saw piles of people I knew from somewhere somehow. Luckily Joe, who has a better memory than I, re-introduced me to some folks whom I used to party with (no wonder I couldn't remember) and then more people showed up who've been a part of my life at some point in time. I felt like I was on Sesame Street, or was it the Muppet Show, when they do the "this is your life" skit. From ex-bf, to ex-bf's friends, to SFU classmates, to UBC friends, rave buddies, studying friends, friends' exs and friends' younger siblings, to my most recently-acquired Vancouver friends who now reside in SF. They were all there and it was really really eerie. Lucky I was sober enough (not entirely but sober enough) to know what was going on. Note to future visitors to Canada, well drinks are super watered down. Stick to beer if you don't want to get ripped off, or order a double to get something equivalent to a drink you'd get in SF. Squirl was on something like her 9th or 10th and her speaking volume had not increased in the slightest. Willy had something like 15 before he publicly announced that he was "finally drunk."
Not sure what I'll be up to the rest of this week aside from praying for snow, eating, sleeping and watching junior hockey (and any other hockey they put on TV to satisfy the needs of NHL-deprived Canadians across the country).
So anyways, I decided that since my high school didn't have an organized 10 year reunion, I'd stalk out some of my old classmates and organize one myself. I've got a handful of phone numbers and emails and will start making calls tomorrow I guess. For some reason, it's really nerve racking to call people I haven't seen or spoken to in 10 years. I guess I wasn't the only one wondering what my old friends are doing. I got an email through gradfinder.com from a guy who went to my elementary school. He married another friend from junior high. Hopefully we'll all get together for dinner and drinks next week. 10 years is a lot of catching up. I was browsing through gradfinder.com and many of my classmates have 2 kids and almost half are married. Not sure where that leaves me. Career-oriented, overly ambitious, immature, slow or all of the above. Then again I'm not so sure I can compare. I'm one of few Asians from my school and I moved away. Many of the people I went to school with stuck around the lower mainland, some even stayed in Coquitlam and almost all of them are Caucasian. For some reason they tend to have kids a hell of a lot earlier than my Asian friends. Hope this all turns out and doesn't just drive me to reconsider the course of my life so far.
The survey conducted by Cornell University also found that Republicans and
people who described themselves as highly religious were more apt to support
curtailing Muslims' civil liberties than Democrats or people who are less
Researchers also found that respondents who paid more attention
to television news were more likely to fear terrorist attacks and support
limiting the rights of Muslim Americans.
The one and a half hour nap on the plane and two hour nap at home just didn't make up for a night of lost sleep so I turned down a couple invitations to go out and stayed in to wrap presents. I'm suffering from some major Bunny induced asthma. I'm just not used to having such a large furry animal in my presence constantly. Still I am suffering from my usual lack of motivation to go out. I have measured my drive into Vancouver and it's shorter than my drive into SF from our place in Foster City but the highway only takes me part way before I have to endure about 1/2 an hour of shitty slow city driving. Maybe it's that, maybe it's the fact that I have to drive out alone all the time and maybe it's the weather. I have a real hard time getting out of the house here. Just not a holiday spirit kinda person.
I am so damn full right now. Time did not allow for a hearty breakfast so I got a huge burrito when I got to school. I had wolfed down about three quarters of it when something told me there would be trouble if I continued. The rest of it is sitting on a desk behind me in my prof's office. I'm hanging out here killing time until my class starts. Having to kill time is kinda nice. Much preferred to not having enough time. 2 days til I have to head back to Vancouver to grey skies and rain. I have to get new shoes just for the occasion. Ghetto as it sounds, I have a hole in the bottom of the shoes I wear most. I have only had them about a year but I walk funny so I wear my soles down practically til I'm barefoot. OK this was the most boring post ever. I'm gonna go now. Oh last thing, Eva could you visit my hamsters while we're gone? :)
I'm writing to you to let you know of a horrible sighting of hate speech this weekend at the River Hills Mall. A decal store called custom now (located in the herberger's wing) is selling a bumper sticker that reads, "Save a hunter, shoot a mung." (Yes, spelled m-u-n-g). When I tried to educate the management of the store by explaining the difference between usual bumper sticker politics vs. advocating violence I was essentially thrown out of the store. My efforts to have it taken off the shelf have failed so far.
It's obviously referencing a recent incident that involved a Hmong man who shot several hunters after being taunted with racial slurs in Wisconsin (not that killing for any reason is excusable). I just did a quick google search and found a press article on this too:
What the hell is going on in this country?
BTW, if any of you including those I don't know in person get into the holiday spirit and feel the need to buy me a gift, check out my Amazon wishlist. :-)
I didn't want to spend money on anything because of my obvious lack of it, but my current pair of Asics I realized are worn down through the sole such that the cushioning part is exposed on the bottom. Yes that bad. How ghetto. While trying on shoes, it became evident that I'm no longer a size 6. I suspected that my feet have been growing and this confirms it. My big toe hit the end of every pair of 6s I tried on. Luckily we're past the era of foot binding and such. I would be a horrible embarrassment for my family at size 6.5-7 and only 5' tall. How messed up is it that my feet are growing at my age? (I checked and I haven't gotten any taller, just grew longer feet). Isn't it true that our ears continue growing after the rest of our body stops, which is why old people have huge ears? Can anyone confirm that? It seems for me it's my damn feet.
new stove and microwave - the delivery guy said they'd come but didn't show on the daythey said they would. This tends to make a mess of my day. When they did show up, they said that our old microwave and stove were not the type that they can remove for me (even though the delivery manager assured my landlord they'd do it). Those guys left my place with the old appliances still in tact and the new microwave and stove sitting in a giant box in my f*cking living room. My landlord called Lowe's and raised hell. Second pair of delivery guys came and scoffed at the guys who said they couldn't do the job and ripped the old appliances out of the wall in minutes.
new washer/dryer - the delivery guy said they'd come but didn't show up. This happened I think about 4 times (Simon stayed home a couple half days waiting for them) until the delivery manager realized that our appliances had not yet arrived from Europe where they were made. They didn't finally make the delivery until 2.5 weeks after the original date promised and we spent many days waiting for the damn delivery as they kept promising it would come the next day, the next day, the next day.
new fridge - said they'd deliver Monday and even promised between 10am and 1pm. no show. Simon called and the delivery manager said they had no deliveries at all scheduled for that day. Apparently they got the dates mixed up. They actually meant Tuesday but assured us Monday. On Tuesday when we called to confirm again just to make sure they didnt fuck up again, the deliver manager (whose job I assume is to look at a calendar and schedule stuff constantly) asked Simon what the date was. WTF??? He finally agreed to noon to 1pm that day, while a voicemail on my phone said between 2pm - 4pm. After much yelling they showed up at noon.
If you totalled all the missed work hours waiting for these idiots from Lowe's these appliances would cost a hell of a lot more than a few hundred bucks I tell ya. NEVER buy anything from these idiots unless you plan to bring it home in your car. I'm quite convinced this "delivery manager" is just sitting in some back room on a pile of papers listing the week's deliveries smoking a huge joint.
Reposting an email from Asian Media Watch.
Jun Zuniga needs your support of his petition to have Burlington Coat Factory remove three offensive Asian-themed t-shirts from their stores:
The petition includes links to images of the t-shirts and an account of his correspondance with a company representative.
- The t-shirts are novelty t-shirts marketed to teens and young adult. They are sold for $4.95 under the house brand "GI Apparel" and feature derogatory references to Asian people, culture, and religion:
1. “Get Lucky By Rubbing Buddha’s Belly” - This t-shirt depicts the religious figure, Buddha, while making a sexual reference to "getting lucky"
2. “Madam Wong’s House of Tang Good Eats Guaranteed Fresh” - This t-shirt contains a repulsive sexual innuendo (the slang word 'Tang') while referring to Asian women as prostitutes. 3. “Red Monkey - Who Flung Poo Chinese Food Delivery” - This t-shirt depicts Chinese food delivery people as monkeys and Chinese food as dirty.
- The t-shirts are reminiscent of those sold by Abercrombie and Fitch in 2002 that triggered a nationwide protest by the APA community and were symptomatic of the company's bias and lack of diversity in employment and marketing practices ( related articles http://www.asianmediawatch.net/news.html#17Nov04a and http://www.asianmediawatch.net/archive.html#14Jan04a )
Herpes lip balm
So most of my days this weekend have been really unexciting, homework, papers, presentations. Lucky for me, somehow Adobe Acrobat crapped out on me. The only thing I can think of that I installed recently that might have messed up my Acrobat is Adobe Indesign. Yes another one of their products. I'm guessing at a potential software conflict here only because I can't fathom what else I could've done to my computer that would cause this. Since then I haven't been able to open PDFs. So tonight I uninstalled Acrobat Pro 6.0 and just installed the free reader. Still doesn't work. Shit. I'm going to have to read an article on my laptop I guess but still, this is not a good long term solution since my printer is hooked up to my desktop.
My evenings actually allowed me to escape a bit. Friday night we headed to a couple bars I wanted to test out for a bar hop with the other grad students next week. Steff's was really dead but the guys got to eat corndogs. I realized why I don't like those things. The batter is corn bread. Duh, I didn't realize that the corn in corndog stands for corn bread and I don't like corn bread. Something about the sweet and gritty combination. We headed to House of Shields where they usually have a DJ but they were charging cover and we didn't feel like coughing up $5 for a bar so a we headed over to XYZ strikingly underdressed and drunk. But I have no pride so we got our Chimays and grabbed a seat downstairs where we ran into Keith and Enlai. I believe from there we just headed back home and stopped at some pizza place in San Mateo for some nasty salty all meat pizza. Maintaining my homeostasis on the way back on the 101 was really challenging. Sitting in the back seat of a car while buildings pass by made me awfully dizzy.
Saturday night I flaunted my poker skills by splitting a pot with Eva first round ($25 each) and taking the $10 second place in the second round to Oscar (even though I was kicking his ass for several rounds dammit). The big gamblers were the first ones out. It's the recklessness I say.
Back to putting together some presentations for this week in both my classes.