I'm sitting here debating whether to head to an adult gymnastics drop in close by my house. This kinda thing is usually really expensive in the states and nowhere near home but my end of semester weight gain is what's keeping me from jumping on the opportunity because you feel every pound gained when you try to get airborn. Anyways, I was Googling for adult gymnastics to see if there were any mentions in the gym forums. What I found was a discussion thread on PK or Parkour. I'm thinking, what the heck is PK? I've heard of acrogym, tumbling and various circus related offshoots of gymnastics workouts but PK? The funny thing is that Chinese folks know PK to stand for Pook Kai which literally translates to "trip on the street" (or figuratively it means fuck you). Which is ironic because parkour, according to http://www.parkour.org.uk/ is some sort of underground "urban free running" activity that started in France and is spreading through the UK and I guess Canada since folks on the message board are practicing out at UBC and at Club Aviva. It was popularized by a couple of indie films that I have never heard of. Anyways, what people do is literally run through the streets balancing on rails, vaulting walls, and jumping between buildings. Here's some photos. Kinda crazy stuff that I could see leading to a hell of a lot of injuries if not practiced carefully, which I'm sure it is not by many. Hmm, anyways, I think I'm going to be brave and check out the adult gym drop in and see if I run into any traceurs (people who practice parkour).


lookin' for wifi

So I got to Vancouver Thursday evening and since then it's been nothing but wedding related tasks. Rehearsal Thursday night, packing a bridal emergency kit for Gi Friday, and of course the wedding on Saturday which was a blistering 30 something degrees Celsius. Yesterday I had to get Simon to the airport and after two days of sleep deprivation I could do nothing but go home and sleep. I even missed the wedding day-after party. Just couldn't do it. But last night I recuperated with a wonderful 12 hour sleep and ready to take on my next set of tasks - getting a new passport and revising my human subjects proposal so I can start on my thesis data collection here. I realized that the public library here in Coquitlam does not have wifi but I found this great site http://vancouver.wifimug.org/ Cafes with free wifi. Guess I'll be camping out at the Coquitlam Centre Blenz to edit and send out some documents since I dont have an ethernet port or whatever the hell you call it on my laptop which is holding all my important stuff.


worst case scenarios

Just finished my Pedagogy class which dealt entirely with how to teach at the college/university level. I tended to dwell on how to deal with potential worst case scenarios in the classroom and it became an ongoing theme for the class. I have to say it was the most entertaining and probably most practical class I took in grad school. I thought I'd share a portion of the self evaluation (ie what I learned) I had to turn in at the last class. It's kind of a collection of all the worst case scenarios I asked about or our instructor shared with us. They are pretty bizarre and mostly based on real life situations.

Worst Case Scenarios Handbook for New University Professors:

1. Outsider attends your class several weeks in a row and becomes a huge distraction for the class. -> Notify department chair and have campus police remove him from the class (you never know, s/he might pull a knife!)

2. Student stalks you and/or threatens your safety -> Notify department chair and campus police; have the student removed from your section.

3. Student comes to class sweating profusely and then takes off his/her clothing until s/he is sitting in class topless -> Dismiss him/her from class; refer him/her to campus counseling

4. Student has a nervous breakdown in your office, climbs up onto your desk, and fails to respond to stimuli of any sort -> call 911

5. Student confides in you for personal/psychological problems -> Express empathy but explain that you aren’t qualified to provide the help s/he needs; refer him/her to counseling

6. Students stands up just before break, tells you to fuck off (or some variation of that) and leaves -> do not allow him/her back into the class; explain to the class that that is inappropriate; send the student to the department chair for disciplinary action

7. Student delivers a thinly veiled death threat in a paper or assignment -> Make a copy; notify the department chair; have the student removed from your section

8. A colleague or superior makes unwanted sexual advances -> Notify the department chair (if the offender IS the chair, notify the dean)

9. A colleague or superior treats you unfairly, delivers incessant personal insults, and makes unjustified threats -> Document everything/create a file; Notify the department chair (if the offender IS the chair, notify the dean)

10. You come to class with your shirt inside out, everyone points and laughs -> Double check your appearance on the break; use this opportunity to illustrate your fallibility and demonstrate that you too are human

11. Student writes you a love letter -> Explain the inappropriateness of teacher/student romance; if s/he begins to stalk you see #2 above

12. Student reports to the department chair that you’re a terrible teacher -> Try to uncover reasons for his/her complaint and deal with them; if the complaint is unwarranted and you can’t resolve the issue, ask if the student can turn in remaining work to another teacher for grading

13. Students turn a class discussion into an invitation to openly launch personal attacks at other students -> Do not let the attacks continue; remind the class that the goal is to critique and evaluate ideas, not each other; prevent this from recurring in the future by outlining behavioral expectations at the beginning of the semester

14. Student turns in a paper that is indistinguishable from hate material -> Challenge the student’s ability to justify the hateful claims and grade accordingly; if the student challenges your grade, offer to have your chair grade it; keep a record of the paper in the event that the situation progresses to hateful outbursts or other behavior

15. Student spreads nasty rumors about you coming onto him/her (or something similarly nasty) -> address the student directly; ask him/her why s/he spread such rumors; direct him/her to tell everyone that s/he lied

16. A worst case teaching scenario comes up that is not discussed above -> Consult a more senior faculty member (chances are, it’s happened to someone already before)

dear KodakGallery.com

Dear Kodak,
The new look of the slideshow view is driving me crazy. In the past everything fit on the screen, now you can't add or even see the comments or photo captions unless you scroll down. Please make it fit without scrolling (by default) like it used to with Ofoto. Furthermore, it's rather annoying that shared photos dump you directly into slideshow mode. I prefer to see the thumbnails first and click to slideshow mode only if I choose to. Please bring back the old UI!! What the heck happened?

*ah* that's better. I always love sending letters of complaint.


counting down

Only about 48 hours until I get on a plane back to Vancouver where I'll be for 3.5 weeks. I haven't had a chance to think about packing because I have a big project yet to finish. I checked out the extended forecast and, surprise, rain. I don't even remember how to dress for rain anymore because when it rains here I stay home or park closer to my destination if I need to be out. I guess I need to pack more than just flip flops and flats and my favourite runners with the holes in the bottoms. That would not work out so well in rain.

Luckily I booked my flight on points because air travel suddenly got really freakin expensive. I have been checking for flights to TO (wedding), Calgary (for a Banff wedding), and Victoria (another wedding) and I swear the prices doubled or even tripled since I looked a couple months ago. What the hell is going on??


snotty brat

I was tutoring again today at the local public library. I was working with a boy who used to be in special ed (and probably still should be if the teachers in that program weren't so horrible). I'm pretty sure that kids at his middle school know he's a special ed student and I don't imagine that he has many friends since he's rather slow in social ways too. Sadly many students know of him because his little brother, from the interactions I see at the library after school, is very smart, charming, and wildly popular.

So I'm working with this kid and I see a table of girls about his age, 13 or so, snickering. I see them all the time and they don't do much but mess around and try to attract attention to themselves. All of a sudden the prettiest one in the group, a blond dressed in white capris, a pink top and matching pink scarf belt, comes walking over to me. With book in hand she leans over me, book touching MY arm and in a deliberately babyish voice asks "can you tell me what this word means?" I stare her down and respond "I'm not here to help YOU. There's a dictionary right there, why don't you get it and look it up?" I wish I could've shut down her attempt at teasing my student by adding "you arrogant little bitch. I hope you get knocked up and live in a trailer the rest of your life."



It was a crazy weekend that I had hoped would be a little bit more low key given the amount of homework under which I am buried. Friday night was a little grad student get together at Red Devil Lounge where I got a little more than buzzed because I hadn't eaten dinner. I had planned to be there only 7-9pm but I couldn't drive so we ended up at Tango Tango where I learned that it's really fucking hard to sing REM's "It's the end of the world as we know it" when you don't know any lyrics other than the chorus.

Yesterday was Gigi's bachelorette weekend (Canadians call em stagettes). My deep cleansing facial by Jill at Refresh was awesome. The shoulder/neck massage part of it was so good I fell asleep and a little while later snored myself awake. How terribly uncool. I hate when that happens. The other girls enjoyed their treatments as well and it was nice to be able to bring in a big fruitplate to share at the end of it all. Afterwards we headed to the Pan Pacific Hotel where we checked in and got Gi dressed up in her dominatrix outfit. The look on her face when we pulled out the spiked dog collar was priceless.

Dinner at Roe Restaurant (next to Thirsty Bear) was awesome. Tonnes of food and enough people to be able to order a bit of everything to taste. The partying that followed was wild. We were lucky enough to get a couple limos on the street to pick us up which was a huge bonus. All I'll reveal is that there was much pole dancing, bar top dancing, and posing with drunks, cops, firefighters, and cop cars. Now I'm paying for it with a big headache. I can't wait to hand in my last paper and sit on my ass for a while.


teaching philosophy

My final assignment for my pedagogy class is to write a teaching philosophy. What I value in teaching and how that affects (or rather will affect) my teaching style. I've been thinking about it on and off and I've realized this is almost as hard as writing a statement of purpose for university admissions.



Two of my classmates are doing a documentary on the use of stimulants to control ADHD in children. They're interviewing a couple of families who have their children successfully managing their behavior with ritalin and two families whose children have died as a result of taking the drugs (not overdosing, just taking as prescribed). I had no idea that the risks included death due to heart failure. What's really interesting is that they believe that ADHD is just a made up problem. That there's no such thing as ADHD, just a range of differences in our levels of stimulation. ADHD people are said to lack natural internal stimulation and are restless because they are subconsiously trying to keep themselves stimulated. My classmates think the diagnoses is just a scam that keeps the drug companies profitable. It's a really interesting topic for me because I was a really hyperactive kid and I know I have a really hard time keeping my mind focussed (which resulted in my running out of time on the GRE and having to take it twice) -- so do I have adult ADHD? Or am I just on the low range of the natural stimulation scale and need to work a little harder at focussing? I've actually considered getting tested but now what's the point if those drugs can kill you?


I like to do stupid stuff when I get overwhelmed with my homework. I either blog, read blogs, surf Craigslist, or search Google for silly information to take a mental break. Tonight I made the mistake of Googling for pics of Britney Spears to see if she was indeed pregnant. Big freakin mistake man. I was suddenly bombarded with pop ups which I attempted to right-click close. In doing this and clicking Xs where available (and when they weren't fake Xs that were actually links) I must've mistakenly clicked on something. It took AdAware, Microsoft Anti-Spyware, 2 reboots and Simon's help for half an hour to finally kill all that shit off. I'm pretty web savvy and don't get suckered into this garbage but those bastards are sneaky. There's just no avoiding it sometimes. Oh yeah don't forget to install the Google toolbar and turn on the pop up blocker.

Oh yeah, so I didn't manage to find any pics of a pregnant Britney.

I think I'll stick to reading blogs and surfing CL from now on when I get bored.



No I'm not talking about the Bay to Breakers. I had hoped to at least go and watch the race but the last week and a half have been nothing short of madness. Racing to meet deadline after deadline complicated by a huge thesis proposal rewrite that damn near killed me (around 30 pages, 42 if you include the appendix which also needed revision) and a bunch of major loose ends to tie up with Toastmasters as we head into officer elections. Add to that a bachelorette party that I need to figure out before Saturday and a wedding that I need to get on a plane for the week after that. To make things more fun, I have to resubmit my human subjects application form for my thesis and hope to get that all clear so I can begin doing interviews with import models in Vancouver. If I get rejected, I'll won't be able to do any interviews in Vancouver and that would totally suck. I thought things would slow down towards the end of the semester but shit hit the fan in a way I never expected and the party planning is taking more administration than I thought. I need a personal assistant.

I'm also not liking that I'm so busy before I head back to Vancouver for a month. I like to enjoy my time here because honestly, when I go back, I get homesick for the Bay Area. My twin size bed in my drafty old house where I freeze my ass off when I get out of the shower is kind of a bummer. I also miss the freedom to come home at odd hours without having to tiptoe everywhere so I don't wake my parents. Living out in the burbs where there's no one to carpool with also sucks and there's something I don't like about crashing at friends' houses. What's the point really if you're home to visit your home? Shit I guess the point is, unlike most normal people, I don't really feel like going back. I get really apathetic and I end up rotting away at home all day and night anyways. Driving into downtown Vancouver from my parents' place seems like a chore that I just cannot deal with. And when it rains, I don't even get out of my pajamas all day. I hope I don't get into my crawl into a hole and ignore the world routine again when I head back this month.



I'm not liking the fact that there are Chinese Canadians and Americans protesting against Japan. I realize the Japanese committed a number of atrocities many years ago, but these protests are really a step backward in terms of developing a united front as Asian Canadians and Americans in a society that doesn't really differentiate between Chinese, Japanese or any other Asian ethnicity when they discriminate. Our fighting each other weakens us when we need to support each other. It also creates hostilities against innocent Japanese Americans and Canadians. Most of the people guilty of the torturing, genocide, and other war crimes are no longer a threat (OK most of them are dead of old age). But these protests most certainly threaten the safety of innocent people of Japanese ethnicity. Sure the Japanese government could maybe cough up a stronger apology, but these protests in my humble opinion are doing more harm than good when we've got our own fights for justice on this side of the Pacific. Here's a (poorly written) article on one protest

It starts out with "VANCOUVER, United States (AFP) - Hundreds of Asian-Canadians... " -- Since when was Vancouver, BC, CANADA part of the fucking United States? Wishful thinking for some I'm sure, but TRY AGAIN !! WTF! Oh and one more thing, that crazy protest photo is really misleading - it's a crowd in Shanghai, NOT in Vancouver as you realize after reading the 6pt font. Bastards!



I finally finished this box of Smart Start cereal that is supposed to be good for your heart and all this other stuff. I had actually purchased it as a Costco size set of two boxes but ended up giving away one of them to the food bank after I opened the other. It was just soooo sweet, like I'm talking Frosted Flakes sweet. I couldnt imagine that crap could really be good for you. I had to start mixing it with Grape Nuts to unsweeten it a bit.

So on the weekend I headed to Trader Joe's to try out some new cereal since I've gotten sick of Kashi GoLean (it's only good for the first few boxes and then it gets a little tired) and will never again buy Smart Start. So I bought the Apple Cinnamon More and Less (more protein less carbs). I figure you can't go wrong with Apple Cinnamon and anything at TJs is usually pretty tasty. Man was I ever wrong. I have never tasted cereal more awful. It is low in sugar to the point of absolute tastelessness unless you get lucky and spoon up one of the 5 or 6 tiny dehydrated apple pieces included in the cereal. And when it mixes with the milk it ends up tasting and taking on the texture of wet cardboard, yes if you've ever imagine eating papier mache, this is what it tastes like. I hate wasting food so I'm going to have to pull my old trick of mixing it with a tried and true cereal like raisin bran or something.

Anyone want to warn me of other shitty cereals before I go trying them? (no kids' cereals, I never buy them anyways)


I'm not sure what the heck is going on. Everything powered by rechargeable batteries I've had in the last little while has been dying on me. First my laptop battery went, so I ordered a new one. That one came in the mail and it wouldn't hold a charge either. Then my cell phone. That needs to be constantly charged too. Then the Sony Clie I borrowed wouldn't hold a charge longer than a day so I switched to a hand-me-down, hardly used Pocket PC. As soon as I got the software going and the thing synced, that died yesterday too. I love portable electronics but they obviously don't like me.



OK I have to admit my IM conversation with a friend got me thinking and not in a good way. He asked "where are you in relation to where you once thought you'd be at this stage in your life?"

Well the short answer is, nowhere near where I thought I'd be. Let's see, even in my early twenties I would've thought that by now I'd be married, or at least engaged, making a bunch of money, and able to call myself a home owner. You know, kinda established in the career, a little more credibility, semi-settled. Currently I'm none of the above. Yes I made a conscious decision to change careers to do something that will make me happy in the long run but that doesn't mean I can't be miserable about the state of things right now. It seems like every month or so, a friend is getting engaged or married or about to buy a home. Feels like the closer I get to embarking on this 4 year commitment to my education, the further I get from these other life milestones. A friend who has been trying to get me to work at his company in San Diego once told me that a Phd is a road to certain poverty. I know there's more to it than that but all of this combined makes me wonder if I'm just going to end up like my aunt and so many other women profs I know of - middle aged, single, and renting (and in my mind miserable and lonely). I think the only thing worse than that would be working in the marketing department of a software company again. Actually maybe they're equally bad. Damn the dilemmas in my life. Why couldn't I just enjoy a career with a straightforward and predictable career path like, say, accounting.