Canada's dollar

Canadian dollar is stronger than ever. Since I live here, all that means is that I can buy less stuff when I visit home. But, still, hooray for Canada!

Bullet update part three: I called Target and they said I can return the whole thing even without the original packaging. We'll see if the person working there tomorrow is of the same opinion. We're gonna go for the exchange and give it another chance.

bullet update

So I got a bunch of comments/IMs/emails from friends who have been considering the Magic Bullet but didn't want to buy one until someone else recommended it. *hi Dan, I didn't know you still read this :) *

Well here's the update. On the weekend Simon put all the pieces in the dishwasher and threw out the box. Wasn't until yesterday that one of us found the time to try it. I wanted to make cheese cauliflower soup and thought it would be a quick way to grate the cheese. Well, I'm sad to report the damn blades didn't even turn. Not even one revolution. I'm sure it's due to my bad luck that we got a defective one. So now what? I found the receipt in my purse (Simon you're so lucky I always hang onto them for a few days) but we have no box for it anymore. So we need to (1) get someone else's box (2) try and return it to Target sans box. Pain in the ass. I also have a semi-functional desktop computer and PDA, a broken IR keyboard, and busted speaker in my car. Things that require a battery or power cord always break on me. I should just become ahmish.


private activities

I was in a class today and witnessed something horrifying. An older student sitting next to me took out a nail clipper and, yes, started to clip her finger nails right there during lecture. It's not even a big class. There were maybe 40 people there. The instructor talks really loud so she didn't hear it (or somehow managed to ignore her). But I was absolutely disgusted and traumatized....yes traumatized. Clipping your nails is a PRIVATE activity that you do, not only in your house, but in the bathroom. There is nothing more disgusting except maybe public nose picking, phlegm horking, or farting. So anyways, this woman was clipping away for a good 5 minutes leaving the clippings on a sheet of paper. I thought, okay well at least she's going to take that paper and dump all that nasty shit in the garbage can, but just as soon as she was finished she picked up the sheet and tossed her nail clippings on the floor next to her desk. Holy shit, I recoiled in horror and damn near went into convulsions when I saw her do that. You know how gross it is to see nail clippings on the floor all curvy crusty and yellowish? But that's not all. She decided to finish off her in-class public manicure by filing. I don't know about you but the sound of filing makes me cringe. In my mind the sound is closely related to chalkboard scratching and I had to resort to plugging my ears as discretely as possible. After the break, I could take it no longer and moved to a desk on the other side of the room.



Except for dinners out on Friday and Saturday night, I didn't go out this weekend. It was nice to get 11 and 9 hours of sleep because 8 just ain't cutting it lately. I really think I operate best on 10-11 hours of sleep. I spent Saturday morning on my thesis and then we hit the gym and ran some errands. With our ten percent off coupon, Simon managed to come home with two goodies from the As Seen on TV corner at Target - the The Magic Bullet and Smart Spin Stackable Containers. We'll see how these hold up. Right now our "set it and forget it" rotisserie has a broken hinge and our vaccuum sealer no longer vaccuums and seals.

That night our Entertainment Book coupons took us to Matsusono for all you can eat hot pot, grill, and sushi. The vent system was impressive. Unlike Hot Pot City, you don't come out of there smelling like your dinner and attracting all the neighbourhood's stray cats. They had prawns, sashimi, eel, huge oysters, kalbee, beef tongue, halo halo and all sorts of goodies. A very confused looking white couple came in and didn't eat anything except fruit for a good 20 minutes. I think they were waiting for someone to show them what the heck to do with the appliances on their table and a buffet of strange raw meats and seafoods. Unfortunately the people sitting in their line of sight was Simon and I and we happened to be sucking the brains out of about 20 prawn heads at the time. I'm sure that was more disgusting than helpful for them. After stuffing ourselves silly, we headed home, watched Cinderella Man, and then I spent the rest of the night on the can. Damn you Matsusono. If their restrooms were any indication, they probably need to tighten up on the sanitary issues there. Something was definitely not right and I shudder to think of what it might be that caused my "digestion problem."

Sunday we did a Top Chef marathon thanks to Tivo (could anyone be more in love with himself than Stephen the sommelier?) By afternoon I had recovered and we hit the gym again where I ran my 3.5 miles (42 minutes) which is a big deal for me being very much on the chunky side lately thanks to campus visits and too much restaurant eating. I totally could've done 4.5 but the place was closing. Next time. And now it's past my bedtime.



Not to get ahead of myself, but the current draft of my thesis contains a big blank page on page V. That's where you're supposed to write your acknowledgments. This reminds me of high school when I had to think of something to write for the yearbook in grade 12. It seems so serious and...permanent. I'm really at a loss for words. I don't want it to sound like a bad Emmy acceptance speech. Can anyone direct me to some acknowledgments that are interesting, clever, maybe even witty and memorable? Or perhaps you can suggest your own in the comments here.


roomate postings

So I'm starting to browse roomate postings in Seattle again. Not because I really want to get into that situation (unless I can find someone just as anal about cleanliness as me and cool with my friends and bf visiting), but because the ads are so damn funny. The "we want a CHRISTian roomate" postings have lost their novelty but there are still many that crack me up. Some tidbits from one I just read and flagged for best of. That last bullet is very true of one person I know who was always insisting on QT (quality time) with her roomate which was totally not in the rent agreement!
- You have to not do drugs. Yes, this includes pot, just because it's easier to say "No Drugs Of Any Kind" than to say "Mayyyybe" and get a bunch of potheads explaining to me how they're "totally functional" and by the way can they pay in bud?
- You have to not be a LOUD drunk with LOUD drunk friends. You're welcome to come in a 2am blacked out and end up sleeping in the shower because you "can't find" your bedroom, as long as you don't do it loudly.
- You have to be relatively clean. I don't mean you need to walk around with Kleenex boxes on your feet, but don't leave your dishes in the sink the entire week, rinse your pubes out of the bathtub when you're done showering, etc. Your room can be a total sty (we'll just spray Frebreeze under the door or something)
- You have to be somewhat friendly....Yet please don't be annoyingly needy and like bang on closed bedroom doors because you're lonely.

Jon: Modeled his personality during his formative years off David Spade and Chandler from "Friends." Works as a publisher downtown. Kinda metro but no-doubt likes the ladies. Can fix your computer, give deep-tissue massage, cook you dinner, recommend a good book, and beat up that drunk guy that followed you home.
Logan: Laid back homo. Thrives off of laptop, iPod, anime. Dead pan sarcasm. Likes beer and burgers. Frequents coffee shops to get work done. Enjoys the occasional bar; gay or straight. Gets along best with girls but can blend in with the boys. Insane crush on hugh jackman.

bake sale

I was headed to my meeting on campus today. There was live music at Malcolm X Plaza and tables set up all over the place for some sort of Multicultural AIDS Awareness day. It was a warm beautiful sunny day and I love it when there's live music on campus. As I got closer to the action I noticed the College Republicans club had a booth. I remember, they had some posters advertising their presence yesterday. They decided to be funny and host an "Illegal Immigrant Bake Sale" staffed by the privileged white boys in the club (and one very confused Asian kid). The ad read "legal immigrants $1.00, illegal immigrants - free." Ah, very funny. Free baked goods/free ride for illegal immigrants. I get it. I wanted to jump over the table and go apeshit on those Abercrombie wearing motherf*ckers but I noticed that there were many students peacefully holding up signs supporting immigration. They stood side by side quietly and effectively blocked the booth from plain view. The sight of those students demonstrating by standing in front of the Republican booth warmed my heart.

In other campus news, my school's president had 10 students suspended for protesting military recruitment on our campus. What kind of message is that sending?

I'm glad to see social activism alive and well here. I don't think I witnessed this much protest back at Simon Fraser. I definitely never saw the police called in to physically "mediate" conflicting groups like I have here on several occasions.


quake and grading

I don't have my meeting with my chair until tomorrow. I expect her to give me feedback that'll take me a solid week to address before the final version of my thesis goes out to my committee. So, until then, I'm going to sit here on my ass and do absolutely nothing so I can rest my grey matter. Right now I'm watching some History Channel special on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It's a really good one. Bit of trivia here for ya. The banks here in SF burned down to the ground and the money kept in fire proof vaults had to sit for days to cool off or they'd risk spontaneous combustion. But there was a one Bank of Italy owned by a guy named Giannini located in North Beach. He didn't have vaults like that so he took his horse and buggy and cleared the cash out of his bank (I guess before the whole building burned down around him). He covered up the money with oranges to thwart thieves and headed to his home in San Mateo (where I live!). He later brought the money back up to the city to set up loans for people and was clever enough to begin importing lumber from Oregon to start rebuilding San Francisco as well. It was said that, without him, San Francisco might not have gotten back up on her feet. His bank became what is now Bank of America.

In other news, one of my friends from school was grading papers in the lounge today. We were laughing about the quality of some of the stuff students turn in. We have our bad days too and sometimes what we turn in isn't publishable shit, but it certainly isn't this bad. The highlight in his pile of papers was a long run-on sentence constructed by stringing together a series of fragments, none of which made any sense on their own. But the winner by far was the student who spelled his own name wrong. We double checked. His name is definitely Jeff, not Jiff. There really should be trophies for this kinda thing. I suggested circling his name with a big red marker, but he chose not to embarrass the student any further. I totally would've done it.


Happy Easter

Down here in the US it's school/work as usual. No 4-day weekend for Easter like in Canada. Hope you have a good Easter (or Passover) anyways. Remember that bunnies are NOT good gifts and they usually end up being abandoned and sometimes having to be put down (or worse, set free in the wild) because people don't realize they're not really caged pets and not beginner pets for kids. They need to walk around like cats and can be trained to go in a litter box. They cannot live in a cage. That also means having some furniture/moulding chewed up. If you want to give someone an Easter gift, give chocolate instead. Here's a photo of my Bunny (now resting forever peacefully in my parents' backyard after living to age 8 last year) and a photo of a really really big 22 lb. giant continental rabbit. In comparison, my Bunny above was about 6 lbs.

10 best jobs

Check out this video talking about the 10 best jobs in America based on salary, opportunity for advancement, employee satisfaction and other stuff. #1 software engineer, #2 college professor.
I guess that means if I can actually find employment post-Phd, I'll be in a pretty good position. I'm mostly looking forward to long summer vacations, not the typical 2 weeks off a year.

damn you Canucks

I have seen more than half a dozen Canucks games. No, that's not a whole lot but in Vancouver they were really expensive and down here they don't play the Sharks that often. I have yet to see a winning game. I had to un-designate myself as driver to deal with this tonight. Damn you.


what a week

I turned in a draft of something that resembles a thesis today. Needless to say I'm brain dead. But tomorrow night I'm going to see the Canucks redeem themselves at the Shark tank. I'm designating myself driver so they had better win. I won't be able to drown my sorrows. I mean, dropping from 1st to not making it to play offs?? Okay, it's late, I'm tired, allergies are bugging me. I have nothing much else to say. Oh, except that I watched Wake Up, Ron Burgundy which is made up entirely of deleted scenes from Anchor Man. The plot is a little weak (obviously) but it's pretty twisted and definitely funny.


hot prof

I went to Google a prof at my school (Dina) to find her email address and stumbled upon this article about the benefits of being an attractive prof. It's an older article and not all that well written but it's kinda funny. My favourite part is this:
The good news is that looks are just one of many factors that affect student evaluations. In addition, the bar for beauty is probably low for academics (beautiful professors are about as rare as genius members of the World Wrestling Federation, says the University of Chicago's Mr. Kolb), so clearing it may be easier.



We did the unusual and went out on a Friday and not Saturday. We were planning to go celebrate a friend's birthday on Friday but he never returned calls and was obviously hiding from the inevitable because he had gotten completely sloshed on Thursday too. Oh well. We were already on the road so we did a little Polk Street barhop starting at Vertigo, home of cheap drinks. That night it was 16 oz. mango or raspberry margaritas for $5. We also got a "volcano" that feeds 5 for $18.50. the middle part has a bit of 151 which is lit on fire to look... well you know. The highlight was my friend Will (already quite drunk) snorting the last bit of 151 into his right nostril with a straw. We headed to the much talked about Grubsteak for late night eats after hitting R Bar (frat boy bar from hell, a little piece of the Marina (eeeew) transplanted on Polk and a place I will never ever go to again because I got unholy flashbacks from high school where I was one of few English speaking ethnic minorities among 2000 arrogant, ignorant, narcissistic white kids) and Blur after that. Apparently Will was throwing up (through his mouth I hope) until 2pm the next day.

Yesterday was productive. Had lunch, worked on my thesis at the library while a jack rabbit outside the window sat and stared at me for over an hour, good work out at the gym and the whole hot tub steam room routine, friend over for dinner and a movie. We watched Chronicles of Narnia which I thought was dreadfully boring. Actually I fell asleep and not just because of the 4 glasses of Manischewitz Wine. Watching only the evil characters die (with absolutely no bloodshed because it's Disney) and the "good" characters repeatedly triumph over evil with nary a scratch was gross and annoying. And the ending where they all get crowned king and queen and have a bunch of talking animals bowing down to them was too much cheese for me to handle. Sorry for the spoiler but who fucking cares, it was such a lame movie. I don't know. Is this the kind of fantasy that goes through the minds of stupid kids?

Update: I didn't realize Will already posted a blog about Friday. His is better (though weirdly reads a lot like mine) and has photos of the now infamous 151 snorting. His memory of the evening is blurry though. I did not dare Simon to drink the middle of the volcano. That would mean consequences for me, like carrying him upstairs. I'm sure one of us dared Shannph or Will and Will being Will took the offer.


my ghetto dinner

Last night was a Toastmasters night which means that I get home at 9:30 (or later if we go out for drinks afterwards) and Simon works late and goes out with friends for dinner. But since I'm chained to this stupid computer working on my thesis, no post Toasties drinking and eating for me. So I had THE most ghetto dinner ever. I just got back in town Sunday night so there are no groceries and I hate grocery shopping so I rummaged around for anything edible to eat before I headed to my meeting. And what I came up with was a can of Spaghettios. Okay, so it wasn't actually even Spaghettios. That would be too classy. It was more like Target generic brand cheesey tomato O-shaped pasta and the price was still on the can. Yup it was a little something I must've picked up from the bargain shelf to store for emergencies (like not having any food in the house) and the label read $0.47. I had a forty-seven cent dinner. Beat that!

I think Simon found that kind of pathetic so he came home tonight with pork tenderloin, salad, sharp cheddar, fresh sourdough, and wine. He's cookin' as I type this. Now the wine he got isn't any old wine. It's Manischewitz Wine. He didn't know what the hell it was but apparently it's Passover and there's all this Jewish stuff on sale at Safeway so he picked up a bottle. We got the one with Concord grapes and it is TASTY. Not only is it tastier than some fruity wine cooler, it has twice as much alcohol (11%). Hell yeah. Grape juice that gets you ripped for $3.50! I gotta stock up!


May 9th

That's the day I need to defend my thesis. I learned that defence is spelled defense in America. I'm having a really hard time writing today. I've eaten half a Cadbury Bar and had two cups of instant coffee (those International Coffees from a tin...my coffee maker is stored away somewhere due to lack of use but I am longing for it now). There are a few things that would make this next month a lot easier for me:

1. personal assistant to do laundry, cook, and clean
2. not requiring a minimum of 9 hours sleep (any less and I can't navigate my apartment without walking into walls)
3. not having to work (tutoring is really draining, especially with students under age 12)
4. having lots and lots of Ritalin readily available over the counter and free (for me, not my students... okay maybe for them too)

I read an article that more and more kids are diagnosed as ADHD simply because kids don't get enough exercise so they're all pent up and can't concentrate. The article said that some kids are getting off their meds by incorporating more exercise into their lives which helps them focus. Seems to make sense. I did really well in school as a child probably because I spent all my off hours scaling large trees, jumping off my sundeck (and almost breaking my arm), and generally running all over the damn neighbourhood until I was a big sweaty mess. Since I don't have a ready supply of Ritalin to help me get this fucking thesis written any faster, I decided to submit to the torture that is cardio kickboxing led by an instructor who is really genuinely fit (and not just fit to stand there and call out instructions.) Now my ass hurts, my abs hurt, and my arms hurt, and I STILL can't concentrate. What the hell is going on here.


Commonwealth Games

So Canadians living in the US will have no idea that the Commonwealth Games even took place because pigs will fly before American networks will think to broadcast the event. So it turns out we came in third in the medal standings after Australia and England. If you wanna see the details, or are just curious as to which countries make up the commonwealth, click here.

dotted line

I signed on it today. I've officially accepted my offer at a particular university, and just finished sending emails to York (Toronto), UC Irvine, and UI Urbana Champaign to decline their offers. I was on wait list for NYU but I'm not going to wait to see if I get on as a second round pick because the offer won't likely come with funding if I'm not a first round pick. School starts in late September so for now I need to focus on...graduating %$@ and will likely spend my summer working at Simon's company helping out with some marketing and what not. Since my assistantship is only 9 months per year and I won't likely get a teaching gig over the summer of my first year, I hope to come back here to do independent study, which means probably vacating whatever apartment I'll be inhabiting for my first 9 months in Seattle. I decided I'm going to have all inflatable and/or disposable furniture to make my move easier. I think that'd be kinda funny don't you?

OK, gotta get back to work. My acceptance is, of course, conditional upon my graduation with a MA which requires not spending all my time blogging.



So now that I'm out of that hotel and any weirdos reading this cannot come to stalk me, I'll reveal that the place I stayed at the last few days was the Travelodge. What a DUMP. I will never stay at at a Travelodge again if I can afford not to. My minimum requirement is no dark nasty stains on stuff like lampshades and chairs. Thank goodness for the nice leather seats, fireplace, flat screen TV, and free Wifi at the QFC grocery store in the U-District or I would've had to spend my evening hours at that Travelodge trying not to touch anything. Ugh.

Anyways, yesterday Jane and Joe came all the way down from Vancouver to pick me up. I took them on a campus tour and then we headed downtown to do some shopping. I took them out for seafood at Elliots Oyster House at Pike Place Market and then we made the long haul back to Vancouver stopping only for a flat of beer at the Duty Free. Apparently a $17 flat at Duty Free costs about $40 in Canada because of our liquor taxes. I've almost forgotten about that since we get our liquor ghetto style from the bargain bin at Albertsons.

I'm home now catching up on email and hoping to get some work done and will head back out in a couple hours to meet my friends new baby nephew, go for dinner in Yaletown and drinks at a lounge down there somewhere. And dammit I brought the rain back to Vancouver (again).