weird day

I had nothing to do today. Well not nothing, I have a long list of chores and errands that have been on hold all semester but I didn't really have any appointments other than a little meeting in the evening with the future president of my Toastmasters club. Having nothing scheduled really makes the minutes and hours slip through my fingers. I wrote a long letter challenging the decision to deny tenure to a prof at my school, typed up some class notes, did some Toastmasters stuff, exchanged some emails with a potential landlord in Seattle (fingers crossed) and next thing I knew it was 4pm. And when that happens I screw up my entire meal schedule. I had two soft boiled eggs for breakfast at 10.30am, a bowl of dumplings at 4pm, some Cadbury's chocolate, and a bowl of gai lan (Chinese broccoli) and a mug of hot Ovaltine for dinner at 10pm. Normally I eat a hell of a lot more than that but I just sort of forgot. Good thing though since I also failed to get my fat ass to the gym. But still I hope I don't eat this way when I move out and eat alone. The routine of making dinner every night for Simon kinda keeps us on schedule and away from consuming crap for dinner. When no one's around, like this week for example, I will eat eggs for any meal. If not that then cheese, mac and cheese if I feel like boiling water. Sometimes having a routine is good.


week off

So it's exam week in high school so I have a lightened tutoring schedule and haven't started my summer job at TeleNav yet so I've taken the opportunity to do some hardcore organizing, like the paper that has accumulated over the last 6 years. It took me a solid day to sift through my boxes of paper. I've also started posting to Seattle Craigslist in the housing wanted section in hopes that a landlord will look there first for super clean tenants before posting their unit for rent. So far I've gotten legit emails from a couple with a newborn wanting to rent a room in the SAME suite (that won't help me in my quest to average 9 hours of sleep per night), a 50-year-old bible-thumping Asian woman (I guess my cussing and explicit mention of no bible thumpers went over her head), and a woman managing real estate for another landlord who instantly tried to recruit me into this W0rld Leadership Gr0up scam (aka W0rld Financial Gr0up, W0rld Lending Gr0up etc etc). I'm not sure how people can still be duped into these stupid multi-level pyramid recruiting schemes. They take registration fees and force you to pay to go to stupid seminars and promise you will get rich if you can share the "benefit" with all your friends and family. I did a little bit of Googling and they have their agents or associates or whatever going to all the anti-scam sites to rebut all the explanations of how they are scammers. I'm not terribly surprised that most of the folks who get suckered fall for the "no experience required" bit because they have barely a high school education. Didn't you people learn your lesson from Amw@y in the 1980s?



I don't know how many trees I've killed blowing my nose now. I don't even feel like going out tonight even though it's a long weekend and I'm sitting around here with nothing to do. Simon mentioned that he heard on John Tesh's radio show that humming a tune helps to clear the sinuses but it doesn't work when it feels like yours are filled with cement. And what the hell is he doing listening to John Tesh's stupid show anyway? The only thing that helped me sleep last night was laying in bed with a bottle of Miller High Life which I used to wash down 2 Benadryls after taking one more huff on the inhaler and rubbing my throat with Vicks Vaporub. I got up to brush my teeth after that and reflected on how fucked up it is to be drinking malt liquor in bed. I'm sure John Tesh would not approve.


tenure for Vergara

photo taken from http://www.myspace.com/egambol
OK one more thing I'll remember about this commencement was the grassroots efforts put forth by the students in the Asian American Studies yesterday. There is a very kind, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and all around wonderful professor who is being denied tenure in that department and his colleagues and students are fighting to have that reversed. You see, professors join on as "assistant professors" in a "tenure track" position. After three years or so, you put together a huge application for tenure which includes letters of recommendation, student evals, lists of publications etc. If all goes well you get promoted to associate prof and you're pretty much set in terms of job security for life. If you are denied tenure, you have to leave the school the following year and in my mind it's pretty much like getting fired. It's a pretty weird process that I'm just learning about as a rookie in the academic world. Anyways, Professor Benito Vergara was denied tenure which is outrageous. The guy really helped me out when I got started on my thesis and was looking for support from the Asian American Studies department. I was floored when I heard of the denial but I was really impressed by the students yesterday who chanted Tenure for Vergara each time our school's president spoke. When it came time to collect our diplomas, they marched with a big poster stating the same message. Way to get the message out to thousands watching the commencement ceremony. I'm going to go write a letter of support for him now. If you are reading this, know of prof Vergara, and want to help, please check out the following links:


commencement '06

I am soooo ceremonied out. Most memorable piece of advice from my department graduation came from a prof that reminded us to always wear sunblock, floss your teeth and have lots of safe sex. Our keynote speaker at our school-wide ceremony this afternoon was the then assistant to Leo Ryan who went down to Jonestown South Africa to investigate a cult led by Jim Jones. Jackie Speier was shot 5 times and left for dead for 20 hours. Leo Ryan was shot dead on the tarmack as they attempted to fly out. She told the graduates (not in these words but I was too tired and delirious to remember them exactly) to live their lives as if they knew they wouldn't fail. Neil Young (yes the singer who is Canadian by the way) and his wife were also given honorary doctorates for founding the Bridge School for young people with disabilities. The only other thing I'll probably remember was seeing one of the deans hood one of the undergrad hood recipients. It was broadcast on a HUGE screen and it looked like he was going to kiss her on the lips and the whole crowd of students was like HOLY SHIT, HOLD UP! He ended up going for the cheek but it didn't look that way on the approach.



I'm going to bitch again about the health care in this country. I used to get strep throat and various flus a lot when I was little and that meant frequent trips to the local walk in medical clinic near my home. All we did was present my BC Care Card and I was in and out of there in a flash, no appointment and often at weird hours of the evening when normal doctors offices are closed. Now I'm sitting here on a Monday morning with an eyelid that has been swollen since Saturday morning. I've had eye infections before that usually just go away but this one got better towards the end of the day and worse in the morning after sleeping. So yeah, it's normal business hours and my medical clinic has no more available appointments for today, so I'm searching both Google and the Blue Cross site for walk-in clinics.

Alas there's no such thing outside of San Francisco. You either make an appointment or go to the hospital emergency with something that better be urgent. There is nothing in between, no after hours clinics, no walk-in clinics, nothing. Self-diagnosis is said to be dangerous and you should see a doctor bla bla bla, but what the hell are you supposed to do if the doctor can't see you? So http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-problems.htm is my last resort until I can see someone tomorrow at my medical center which is the only listed "urgent care" facility in town. Urgent my ass.


Bay to Breakers

I was so excited about doing Bay to Breakers. Seeing all the costumes and performances along the way I think would be well worth the getting up before 8am. But now it is raining out and it will rain all weekend. That means I would have to deal with two of my least favourite things - getting up early and being in the rain. I also managed to get in a collision with my coffee table yesterday and my toe is still a bit swollen. Looks like I might not do the run afterall. Dammit.


So I was listening to my friend Till's band Lapin Meta (download their MP3s there). And unlike a lot of little bands, they're actually really awesome and quite unique. I especially like "I Think We All Should Disagree." It kinda got me thinking I sure wish I had developed some musical skills when I was younger. I mean I had one of the best music programs in my elementary school where we learned guitar in grades 6 and 7. Then in junior high we had to take band and I chose drums and flute. Unfortunately, I never really kept with it because band practice was too early in the morning and I quit and now I can't even remember how to read music aside from recognizing quarter and whole notes. I think what I really wanted to learn at the time was piano but it's expensive and I was tied up doing gymnastics. But hey, I guess it's never too late to learn something new. Easier to learn an instrument at age thirty than to pick up gymnastics right? Anyone wanna exchange music lessons for gymnastics coaching?



Here's the reason why I will likely have to live alone in Seattle. I'm just not normal enough.


Oh yeah so I picked up my cap and gown today ($60 rental, what a fucking rip off. I think I need to start a cap and gown rental company). I was delighted to find that I did not get the smallest size robe. Nope. I got the 4'11" - 5'0" robe as the staff at the library laughed because I told them I was "five nothing." The smallest robe, however, is 4'7." Hell yeah, I didn't have to get the smallest one. However, I did discuss with my friend how shafted we get as professionals in America who are female, ethnic minority, and non U.S. citizen. Talk about triple glass ceiling. I reminded her that I get quadruple shafted for also being short. Who takes me seriously and sees me as an authority? Nobody!


semester end

It has been a hellish week even though I successfully defended my thesis last semester. (Yay) One of my two jobs at school is running a writing lab for the undergrads in my department where I help students polish their papers and check for APA formatting and... it's crunch time. Final papers are due and that means I have a line of students waiting for help.

After seeing some of the work students cobble together and call a college level paper, I can see why they're trying to force high school students to pass exit exams in this state. While the first cohort to go through this will suffer the most and it's a particular challenge for new English speakers, ultimately I think it's needed (at least for those who have reached a certain level of English proficiency). There are obviously students managing to graduate and squeeze into university via jr. college transfer who can barely construct a sentence and probably shouldn't have passed high school English. I think an exit exam will help administrators hold schools accountable for ensuring their students graduate with basic math and English skills. I know a high schooler who took the exam already and she claimed it was ridiculously easy. Anyways, I guess I'm just bitching because it's frustrating to see students go through the system having learned squat in English class. A select few would also get an F for effort and work ethic. That student in my friend's class spelled his own name wrong AGAIN for god's sake.

Many of the international students, on the other hand, have flourished over the semester and put together papers with depth and incredible organization. My hats are off to them for coming to a new country on their own, learning a new language, and succeeding in school. I don't think I could've done it at their age.

okay. enough complaining. I'm gonna go watch some more Bobby Lee skits on You Tube.



Just wanted to say congrats to my friend Will who just finished his first half ironman triathlon. His blog has some awesome pics and answers questions that non runners might have about when you eat, pee, and poo during a 7 hour race. I had no idea that some of you get buck ass naked during transition. Very educational. I also read a bit of Merrill's blog. I also had no idea some of you guys pee WHILE riding your bike. Do chicks do that too? What do you do if you get some on the other competitors?

my fun weekend

I had an action packed weekend including our department's year end party and impromptu karaoke after party on Friday night, a beach party at Great America all day Saturday, dinner at Korea House after that and on Sunday we did brunch, roller blading the Bay trail, and watching the hockey game at BJ's(no pics of that, sorry).

Oh yeah, Sharks fans, booing the Canadian anthem is neither classy nor cool. It's disrespectful. Shame on you. In fact, your two best players CheeChoo and Thornton, whom you love so much, are Canadian. You rejects were booing the top players of your own team. Oilers fans, you better take the high road. No booing!

Chul and Brent, a couple of our favourite profs at a karaoke in J Town after Bash. Yes that is a white man from the midwest singing Korean.

And out to Great America the next day

It was a beach party. That's Christopher Lawrence spinning back there, along with Donald Glaude and Mark Farina who played earlier that day.

And Korea House for dinner yummy

Check out this awesome egg sack we found in our seafood soup. Candice found it pretty tasty. This bad boy would be great on Fear Factor.


hold up

Three 13 and 14 year olds from Surrey (hehe) held up 7 banks in the greater Vancouver area. Some balls they got there. We thought shop lifting was a pretty big deal when we were that age. Thing is if I were a teller, I wouldn't want to take any chances but still it's not likely that they'd have a gun even if they are from Surrey. Guns are rather hard to come by up there (it's not Texas). I'm surprised they were able to get away with this many robberies before getting caught. I mean just seeing a group of boys that age at a bank is suspicious enough, you'd think they'd get caught on the second or even first attempt. Every time I go home to visit there are new tales of outrageous crimes, from drive bys to club shootings, hit and runs to home invasions. It makes me wonder if Vancouver's crime rate really is increasing or if it's just selective reporting and that mean world syndrome.

On an unrelated note, I am getting shit for sleep lately and it is driving me nuts. When we are blessed with beautiful weather I also get punished with allergies because apparently God, or whatever, hates me. I am starting to go through the medicine cabinet to grab fistfulls of any sort of pill sitting in a container with a label that says not to take it if I plan to operate heavy machinery. And I still cannot sleep. One night I decided to have a glass of port wine to knock myself out a bit but I'm allergic to most red wines including, as it turns out, the one I drank. The result was even more nasal congestion and some asthma. I sometimes think about doing a DIY tracheotomy just so I can breathe without keeping my mouth open all night.



It seems I can't walk from the edge of my campus to my building without getting approached by a long line of people who want to:

- give me a Gideon's bible
- tell me about the Socialist Party or whatever their organization is
- get me to come to some student party to raise money for whatever
- vote for some student government thing even though I don't know the role of student government or the platforms of any of the candidates

I used to be sympathetic since the shittiest job I ever had was coercing people to sign up for a The Bay or Canadian Tire credit card and it carried a quota. But this was a job in a store where people expect these things to happen. The people above are doing what they do because they want to tell people about their cause. I wish they used less annoying ways to do it though. I have to say "no thanks" or "not interested" about 5 times everytime I'm coming to school or leaving it. I've made a game of dodging anyone holding a clipboard. It kinda just adds to my mental clutter to have to deal with them. I want to be able to walk uninterrupted and hear the birds sing and enjoy the view of the grassy quad in the sunshine.


Napoleon and Bullet

Thanks to Cecil for sending me this link to learn the Napolean Dynamite dance. Now I have something to do over the summer :P

So update number 4 on the Magic Bullet. I returned our defective one to Target sans box. They took it and credited the Amex but didn't allow a straight exchange. Of course that makes no sense but I'm sure folks there don't get paid enough to figure out how to "over ride the system." The cashier wasn't exactly Chloe O'Brien. So whatever. This weekend we took the 20% off coupon for Bed, Bath and Beyond that comes in the mail every week and got another one for $48. I used it last night to whip up an egg and butter to make chocolate chip cookies. It was...okay. If the contents of the container aren't sitting right down on the blades, it doesn't do anything and you have to detach the container and shake it to settle your contents back on the blades. It's kind of annoying. The good thing though is that it's easy to clean and put away unlike the hand mixer I was about to use. I guess if you mix little bits of things or sauces really often it might work out for you if you can get past having to shake the stupid container every once in a while to settle the contents.

evolution of dance

I have to admit that one of my few talents in life involves emulating dancing club goers who either hear a different beat in their head from everyone else at the party, or have no shame in breaking out dance moves that people born in the late 1980s have never seen before. My specialities include the sprinkler, the lawnmower, the Nordic Track (you'll see this one at raves), the Roger Rabbit, and the running man (with particular attention to rhythmic head turning with each slide). And that is why I so appreciated this video that Jane sent me.


uni adventure

We saw sea urchin at Ranch 99 last night so Simon decided to conquer it. It was no easy feat. Who the hell knew it would spew red crap. Once he got in and split the thing in half I almost fell on the floor. I expected it to be full of that orange goodness like you see at the restaurant but nope. There were valves and jaws and slime and tubes and all this nasty shit. I screamed when I saw the inside. It was like something from out of a horror movie. The fresh uni tasted, I dunno, a lot more fragrant than the stuff at restaurants. It tasted kind of like perfume. To be honest, I like the restaurant stuff a bit better. The fresh stuff was a bit intense.

sea urchin

oozing red stuff


Simon spooning out the roe from the ugliness

all for this

hamster Jedi

Hamster Jedi



It's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! Time to set your Tivo to record some really great programming on your public TV station. If you don't see related programming during prime time on your local PBS station, write them a letter and cc: alerts@asianmediawatch.net. Some info about APAHM courtesy of Asian Media Watch.
Efforts to establish a national Asian Pacific American Heritage celebration began after concerned Americans saw that the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) were omitted from the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial Celebration. The month of May was chosen in recognition of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and of Chinese Americans who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad which was completed on May 10, 1869. It was also chosen to encourage educators to incorporate Asian Pacific American history into the curriculum while school is in session.
APAHM began as a one-week celebration enacted by Congress as Resolution 72 and signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. It was the result of legislation introduced by Congressmembers Frank Horton and Norman Y. Mineta (House of Representatives), and Daniel K Inouye and Spark Mastunaga (Senate). In 1990, APAHM was expanded into a month-long celebration annually recognized by Proclamation of the President of the United States of America, and later enacted into Public Law 102-450 on October 23, 1992 by Congress which permanently designated the entire month of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.


Colbert's speech at the White House and the video

Apparently the media didn't know what the heck to report about this so it's largely been swept under the rug.

my week off

Since my thesis is being read, my job this week was to grade student work (not hard) and lounge around and watch TV. Aside from everything on HGTV (other than the gardening and country style type shows) I've been hooked on Top Chef. Sadly my favourite Lee Anne Wong was cast off today. Guess they couldn't have an Asian woman win Project Runway AND its sister show Top Chef on Bravo. I truly thought she was the best. While Dave is my favourite personality on the show, he's probably the least experienced chef left. Because The Real Housewives of Orange County immediately follows Top Chef, I've gotten hooked on that too. There is something sickly addicting about watching a bunch of spoiled brats and their even more spoiled parents live their pathetic meaningless lives. It kind of makes me wonder if people who aren't born into money but become rich later in life will gradually turn into the shallow self-absorbed low lifes in this show. One of the women did come from more humble beginnings but she too was walkin' around with huge implants, bleach blond hair, and stupid ideas about what life problems are about. Even her mother was complaining about how she'd changed. After exhausting the good stuff on Tivo each day, I've been reading Cute, Quaint, Hungry, and Romantic: The Aesthetics of Consumerism. Great laugh out loud kinda read. Slightly pretentious use of language (learning those GRE vocab words a couple years back sure came in handy) but I'm finding that's what makes his writing so funny.


Stick It

So I saw the trailer for the MTV movie "Stick It" which is supposed to be the gymnastics version of "Bring It On." I'm not normally drawn to stupid teen comedies like that but I'll watch anything that has to do with gymnastics. Turns out there's a whole whack of real gymnasts in the movie including Carly Patterson, Bart Connor, and Elfie Schlegel. I tried to dig up the stunt doubles for the gymnasts to see if I know any of them but they aren't credited on IMDB for some reason. There's also a Canadian connection here. The lead is played by Missy Peregrym who was born in Montreal, raised in Surrey, BC (snicker snicker) and now lives in Vancouver. She's also 5'7" which is entirely unrealistic for a gymnast. I hate when they do that in movies. Be real already and cast a 5' midget like me. Vanessa Lengies, the co-star, was born in Montreal. At least she fits the bill at 5'2". Anyways, I have yet to see the movie. I can't wait.


I don't know why I'm filling this out but Dean and Sarah did. I'm going to be different and only do half of it because I'm lazy.

Finish the Sentence
I'm always: wondering what I should eat next
I love saying: my life sucks
I think flowers are: not permanent enough
My fav Beatles song is: Yesterday
My parents are: unaffectionate
I hate: bigots
I love: soft boiled eggs
I was born: a very long time ago
Sometimes I try too hard: to get things just perfect
I work well on things: when I don't have to work with a team of idiots
My childhood was: spent listening to ching chong taunts and ignorant questions about being Chinese
My school: has tiles missing from the ceiling and profs who make less than I did in the tech industry
I love to read books about: the experiences of Asian North Americans
I'm addicted to: being online
I drink too much: on the weekends when I'm not the driver
My earliest memory is: going to emergency after the window of our screen door slammed shut on my fingers
The last place I went on vacation was: Chicago
I think living far away from: sunshine, friends, and boyfriend is going to make me very depressed
I want to live closer to: Whistler
The President is: frighteningly dull
The Media: are what I research and analyze at school
Right now, I should be calling: Simon to see if he's lost money in Vegas
The glass is: too damn close to the edge of the table, move it to the center before it spills dammit
Kids can be: the devil's spawn
Kids were mean to me when they: poured something on the floor to watch me slip in the hallway my first week in junior high
Music companies are: too often the topic of undergrad papers I have to grade
I despise it when: ignorant people dismiss racism in the media by saying we can't take a joke
If I could go anywhere it would be: all over Europe, Asia, and Tahiti
I love to shop: in the bargain bin
Malls are a really fun place to: observe obnoxious teenagers making asses of themselves
I had fun when: I had a regular pay check that amounted to more than $400 and change



I can never sleep when (1) I've had a nap (2) Simon's out of town. Last night I managed to satisfy both conditions. Simon's out at Interop in Vegas and I fell asleep at 9pm for about 1/2 an hour. By the time I dragged myself to bed, I was wide awake again. I really wanted to go for a bedtime of 11pm but after rolling around for an hour and a half I did the unthinkable. I turned on the lights, went downstairs and made a bowl of oatmeal. I never eat in the middle of the night. I thought that was just something people do on TV. But after trying to eat low carb all day just for the hell of it, I was craving carbs. After the oatmeal I had some whole wheat crackers and cream cheese. Brushed my teeth, went back to bed, and turned on the TV. I watched some special on American Pie and what's come of the careers of all its actors. By the time that was done, it must've been past 1:30 am. So much for going to bed early. I'll give it another shot tonight, maybe after a nice nightcap, and something to take care of these allergies that came with the beautiful weather.

day without an immigrant

Never a dull day in this country. Today is "Day Without An Immigrant" and there are rallies and marches taking place in many major cities here. I don't know how many immigrants walked out in Vegas, but if they did, I wonder how the hotels are doing. I wonder how the farms in California are doing. I wonder what people looking for construction help outside Home Depot are doing without the hired help. I wonder how many Americans realize the contribution of these people to our way of life in America. I hope they realize that today and support the plight of these immigrants. I'm sure it wasn't easy for them to walk out, lose a day's wages, and risk detainment to demonstrate that there needs to be immigration reform. Critics argue they should just go about immigration legally. What these folks don't realize is that the immigration process is not what it was 30+ years ago. It's a ridiculously long and near impossible process. For example, "Siblings of U.S. citizens from the Philippines currently wait a staggering 23 years."

And in your conversation about the events today, be conscious of how you refer to people.

youth hate crime

How is this not a hate crime? I don't get it. They're only getting charged with aggravated sexual assault. How about attempted murder?

HOUSTON -- A Hispanic boy who authorities said was viciously attacked and sodomized by two white teens shouting ethnic slurs also suffered cigarette burns on his back and numerous other injuries.
The attackers stomped on his head with steel-toed boots, poured bleach into a patio-umbrella pole and sodomized him with it, tried to carve something in his chest, and doused his body with bleach, investigators said.