Has it only been a week since I came back from Thanksgiving? Not even. I got back Sunday. What took this week so damn long to pass. I am looking forward to going for drinks with my cohort tomorrow to plan the "entertainment" for our department holiday as is the tradition. Yes the students who have been a part of the department for 10 weeks are in charge of putting on some sort of funny skit/show/entertainment for everyone else. I think what's supposed to be funny is just seeing what we can come up with seeing as we know barely a handful of the faculty and have just learned our way around the campus. Any ideas for work appropriate performances?

The last one I was part of was a dance routine at the Seagate Software Holiday party in 1998 which we did to the music from the Full Monty. It involved stripping down to shorts in a rather provocative way. All I know is I was so intoxicated that I almost for forgot the dance routine and my equally intoxicated friend took a bottle of wine "to go" when we left the party for a club. Incidentally the club bouncers did not let us in because we spilled out of the taxi visibly drunk. "uh uh, no way," he said. Actually was the wine stolen from the party or from the restaurant we ended up at... I dont remember.



What the hell is up with the city of Seattle? We're on day three of this weather and the sidewalks and side streets are still covered with ice and there is not a speck of salt or sand to be found. I have to literally skate in my running shoes to and from the bus stop and this is on a busy main street that is well traveled by pedestrians. I saw old women shuffling along on the ice with a cane in hand. Don't tax dollars go to things like salting roads and sidewalks so that people don't fucking kill themselves getting around? I thought BC was short on salt trucks and snow clearing resources but this is far far worse. I feel like bringing my own damn salt. I'm also going to complain of my own stupidity. I was vaccuuming and a corner of my 400 fucking thread count duvet cover got sucked into the vaccuum and now there is a big charred hole in the corner. Fuck, I guess I could stitch it up but my sewing machine is in SF.



So the memorial for my professor takes place tomorrow at school. We have one person in our class, the only class Deb taught, who will say a few words on our behalf. Here's my contribution and a nice obituary in the Seattle PI.

Coming to a "research 1" university from a teaching university was a bit daunting. We've been told that we'll need to learn how to take criticism and so I braced myself. I came here expecting professors to use praise very sparingly. I thought maybe they'd want to toughen us up and make us work harder. But I remember there were a couple times where Deb reserved a good amount of class time just to tell us how impressed she was with us, how we've really grasped the concepts we've learned in class, and how much she appreciated our effort. I was really touched that she made a point of saying these things to us. She truly was a compassionate teacher.


Getting around today really sucked. Half my students were stuck someplace where the bus didn't come or where the streets, like most, were covered in ice. Where the hell are the salt trucks? This is as bad as Vancouver. And Robyn, this is my first winter in Seattle but the weather tends to be similar to Vancouver's and snow usually comes only a few times a year and definitely not until December/January. I'm sure that this wacky weather is due to global warming making a mess of our enviroment. Why won't our world leaders pay attention to all this?


snow & bowling

Mother Nature caused my flight to be delayed 3 hours last night getting me to SEA past midnight, and me home at 1am which really sucks when you have a meeting in the morning. It snowed just a wee bit last night.

Now it's 5pm and as soon as I got off the bus, the snow started coming down like crazy in little snow balls about the size of fish eyeballs. Not as hard as hail but not as fluffy as snow. Here's how it looks RIGHT NOW. Good thing I don't have to drive anywhere because I'm pretty sure my car wouldn't make it up that incline you see there from the locked garage.

Snowy Seattle in November

Outside my place

In other news, my Thanksgiving weekend was fun. Lots of eating including fried turkey at our place and lunch at Shanghai Dumpling House in Millbrae which was delicious. I also coerced the gang to go bowling again and yes, I finally broke 100. So my theory is that drunkeness improves bowling ability to a certain point before it rapidly deterioriates -- I bowled 101 in game 1, 117 in game 2, and I scored 56 in game 3, an all time low.

Notice the impressive strike, gutter ball, strike combo in game 1.


distribution list

For the past couple months I've been part of an email distribution list that announces fun things to do on the weekend in the Seattle area. I've been invited to movies, potlucks at people's homes, concerts and even Thanksgiving dinner. The funny part is I have no idea who the hell these people are. Someone named Caitlin typically sends the emails and I have even clicked on the links to view photos from the events and I definitely don't know these folks. They're about 10 years younger than me and wear a lot of make up. At first I thought it was a nuisance and was going to email Caitlin so she could take me off this damn list. But I forgot to and kept getting these emails. Then the stalker in me found it kinda funny to know what people do on weekends. But the horrible grammar and the way she signs off the emails are getting to me.

e.g. "Don't forget to smile ;0) *Wink*"

Seriously. Is it necessary to type *wink* when the smiley emoticon is already winking? And it makes me want to puke violently when people sign off with some message about smiling. It's just. Lame.

I think I'll hide out on this distribution list a while longer before alerting Caitlin in case they write some more funny shit for me to share on this blog. God, I'm such an asshole!



I felt like living on the edge today so I went off to school in a pair of jeans so ridiculously worn that I ran the risk of being bottomless by end of day. They are incredibly soft and comfortable and don't make my ass look wide so I wore them. Partway through a meeting about fulfilling "methods" requirements and finding the right advisor, I felt like my jeans weren't fitting right for some reason. I reached down and to my horror felt the back of where my ass meets my thigh. Being fully clothed and reaching back and feeling your own flesh is kinda surreal. My trusty jeans had finally given in and a hole had formed below my back pocket. Luckily it wasn't as big as it first felt. The first thing I did upon standing up at the end of the meeting was put on my long rain coat. I think until my entire ass is hanging out I'm going to keep wearing these jeans. Probably not on teaching days or even to school, but they have not seen their final days. Not yet. Didn't people of both genders wear spandex tights under jeans full of holes back in the early 1980s? Maybe that look will come back. The 80s were good.


high school

I guess this thing would be appropriate since I spent Saturday afternoon reminiscing about (recalling the horror that was) high school.

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be. [I'm sorry but what the fuck is so fun about remembering high school. I'm doing this because it's sort of tragic and possibly entertaining/enlightening to other people]

1. Who was your best friend? I guess Caron A. but my circle of friends changed often depending on which way the wind blew. (i.e. who was doing the backstabbing that week)

2.What sports did u play? Gymnastics

3. What kind of car did you drive? 1986 Pontiac piece of shit hatchback

4. It's Friday night, where were you? Somewhere in the Edmonds Burnaby area hanging out with boyfriend and his friends

5. Were you a party animal? Does abusing substances while not at a party count?

6. Were you considered a flirt? What would've been the point. I went to a mostly white school long before it was fashionable to date/fetishize Asian girls.

7. Ever skip school? Not really

8. Were you a nerd? A bit but I didn't do that well in school either

10. Did you get suspended/expelled? Never, and what happened to #9?

11. Can you sing the fight song? What the hell is that?

12. Who was your favorite teacher? Can't remember his name but he almost sent me to counseling for coming in looking like I wanted to kill myself every morning.

13. Favorite class? I really hated high school.

14. What was your school's full name? Centennial

15. School mascot? Centaur

16. Did you go to Prom? It's not called prom where I went. It was called Grad.

17. If you could go back and do it over, would you? No, it was fucking lame.

18. What do you remember most about graduation? Riding there in a horse drawn carriage with my friends from gymnastics.

19. Favorite memory of your Senior Year? We called that grade 12. I didn't have a favourite memory. Although most vivid memories would be dealing with two suicide attempts by two different friends. One involved taking her to the hospital, the other involved helping a girl out of class to throw up the bottle of Tylenol she took and then calling her boyfriend to take her to the hospital

20. Where were you on senior skip day? Is this another American phenomenon? I don't know what this is.

21. Did you have a job your senior year? Coached gymnastics for 4 different organizations

22. Where did you go most often for lunch? On the floor in a hallway anywhere I could spot someone I knew. We had staggered lunch blocks which meant you didn't always get to lunch with friends. I guess that added to my isolation and hatred of high school.

23. Have you gained weight since then? Of course.

24. What did you do after graduation? Go to SFU where there was more than just a few token non-ESL ethnic minorities. Alas, someplace where I actually fit in.

25. When did you graduate? a long time ago

26. Who was your Senior prom date? my neurotic controlling bf

27. Are you going to your ten year reunion? This is obviously not directed to people my age if you talking about this being in the future. We didn't have a reunion because we were cliqueish and everyone hated each other. In a graduating class of 1000, if you didn't hate someone, you were either friends or didn't know them.

28. Who was your home room teacher? Jeez, I don't remember

29. Who will repost this after you? Whoever wants to demonstrate that their high school experience was more tragic than mine.


I went deep into hiding this weekend since I had Friday off while half my department headed to the National Communication Association conference in San Antonio. After a quick trip to Target Thursday after lunch, I packed up and got on I-5 North only to get stuck in a massive traffic jam in Everett where there was an accident involving a cement truck earlier in the day. It me three and a half hours to finally get home. I didn't really tell anyone I was heading up because this was to be homework bootcamp for me.

After dinner Thursday night, I graded speeches and assignments until I couldn't keep my eyes open. In between grading I reviewed student speech outlines via email.

Friday was reading day. I spent the entire day (which started late because I slept in) reading Hugh Miles's Al-Jazeera and finished by 2am that night. Man, marathon reading is really gonna progress my already atrocious nearsightedness.

Saturday morning I worked out an outline for my review of the book for my globalization class, then headed out for lunch with some friends from high school. As soon as I got back from my very very long lunch, I buckled down and started on the paper. Took a break for dinner and finished the paper by 9:30 pm which is record time for me. Stayed up til 2am again reading for another class and started to outline a response paper Sunday morning.

Today all I had time to do was pack up, head out for lunch, get gas and hit the road. Luckily the rain held up for most of my drive home. 15 min wait at the border, 1/2 hour to get my visa stamped (which is a one time thing), total travel time 3 hours. Not bad considering the stop off for the visa stamp.

Hooray for a three day week!


sad day

There's nothing more surreal than opening up your email in the morning and finding a message that says "I am sorry to report that Professor Deb Kaplan died in her sleep last night..." and then coming to school and seeing this on the front page of our school's daily newspaper. I've seen her twice a week the last 7 weeks as she was the prof for a foundation theory class all the entering graduate students take together. I almost feel like I'm watching all this happen as an outsider...the emails, the flowers, the grad students camped outside her door chatting and writing messages on colored paper to tape to her door, all the counseling and memorials our wonderful department chair and admin are organizing in one short day. It's like seeing it happen on TV. It's weird to think that someone you saw alive and well 6 days ago is suddenly not here. I realized I actually haven't had someone I see so regularly die before, not since high school when a number of my classmates got in fatal car accidents. I mean there were grandparents I saw very rarely and acquaintances I didn't know well, but definitely nothing this unexpected.

Aside from all this it also makes me wonder what "died in her sleep" means. Is that a euphemism? Is it really as painless, peaceful, and instantaneous as it sounds? People always say there's no better way to go but I always wonder if it really is as pleasant as it sounds. We're really not sure what the natural causes are since that covers a whole lot of stuff. I am pretty sure there were some underlying causes and things didn't just stop working (I think that only happens when you're really elderly) but still it reminds you just how fragile life is. I'm glad she got news of a book deal recently. I hope that she talked to some good friends, did something enjoyable, and had some nice meals last week. Makes me sort of think of things that you need to remember to do on a regular basis just in case your time comes unexpectedly. Talk to people, make time to do things that are fun, eat well, don't waste time stressing out or being a grumpy selfish asshole.

damn I'm tired

Ever stay up so late that you get too tired to actually pick yourself up off the couch to go to bed. That is me right now. Last weekend was a nice break and visit to SF where I went bowling (88 was my high score for the night), ate lots of good food, stopped at a friend's bday, worked out, and saw Borat (holy cow funny, sad, scary, and hard to watch all at the same time). On the way home I got stuck at SJC for 2 fucking hours because my plane was delayed in Denver. I hate that but it doesn't usually happen with Alaska Airlines (America West and Frontier, however, are the airlines I flew for work and they screwed me every trip and robbed me of many hours of my life). When I got back my garage was flooded with about 3" of water that I had to walk through to get to the door and up the elevator. That was a bitch. Since then I've been trying to play catch up since I was not doing a heck of a lot of work down in Cali. I'm going to hide out in Vancouver this weekend and try to get 1 book read and 3 papers written (yeah right). I have managed to find time for a little fun activity with my classmates. People call it stitch and bitch but we dont like the connotation of bitch so we call our group Purls of Wisdom. Knitting at a cafe in the UDistrict while discussing all the dense and sometimes hard to grasp theory we are learning in class. That's the other reason I need to go home. I need some knitting needles and yarn from my mom.


midterm report

I don't actually take exams anymore (except my comprehensive exams or whatever in a few years) but it is midterm time. So far I have survived this program without losing much sleep, literally. I've kept to my goal of 8 hours per night or more and still gotten all my grading, reading, and writing done. I even have time to make dinner every night. Although sometimes I just make a HUGE batch of something that serves as dinner, lunch the next day, and also dinner the next day (sometimes for me and my roomate when she's home). So with proper eating and sleep I've managed my schedule and stayed sane so far.

However, things have had to go. The only TV I get to consume is a bit of news or Discovery or hockey on CBC during meals or late at night on a weekend. I've also been out to hang out I think a total of 3 nights since I moved here (my department grad student pub runs don't count because I NEED that beer on Fridays). Blog reading and writing has been drastically cut down sadly. Exercise has gone to the shitter too. I know that's supposed to be as important as the eat and sleep routine but I can't figure out the logistics of bus commute and trekking all the way to the IMA (gym) and carrying all my work out crap on the bus along with my backpack and laptop. So I've worked out on weekends a couple times and gone running a few times on sunny days. Sunny days are no longer and I don't do cold/wet weather running because I'm lame like that. So next goal is to better integrate exercise into my life. I wish I could go to gymnastics down the street but it would be a bit out of my budget. Damn.



Being at home at strange hours in the day means I get to watch live press conferences on TV. Right now Bush is speaking (reading) and announcing the replacement for Rumsfeld. Oh my god, he still havsn't learned to pronouce nuclear. Watching him read is so painful. Despite my loathing for him, I can't help but feel a little bit embarrassed for him when he gets behind a lectern. OH man and now the spewing of rhetoric pertaining to enemies hating our freedom. Stop it already. They don't "hate our freedom" they hate you! Why don't people see through this?

long weekends

What I love about school is having a flexible schedule. I get a long weekend 3 weeks in a row. Veteran's day, the week after my department comes to a grinding halt with everyone away at the National Communication Assoc conference, then it's Thanksgiving. Yay! I'll be in SF this weekend and for Thanksgiving.

What I don't like about school scheduling is that next quarter I have the pleasure of 7 hours of back to back lectures 8:30am to 3:30pm no breaks. Doing 7 hours of any other work is normally tolerable but listening, learning, speaking, and taking notes for that many hours on end is no easy feat.



A couple days ago before the rain started, I was smelling snow in the air. It shouldn't be long before we can hit the slopes and apparently the mountains are not very far away from the city in the Seattle area. It will be nice to have such easy access to mountains again. So Seattlites, which mountain is closest, and which is the best? I found this site but it only lists the distances for a couple of the mountains.


So last night I went bowling. I haven't bowled in probably about 7 years. I think last time I went was at Brentwood Lanes. I didn't bowl even once in California because we spent all our off hours at bars and I know I suck at bowling. Seeing as drinking often goes with bowling we probably should've gone more often. Last night was supposed to be dinner, couple drinks at my house and an early night but somehow my friend, who is here for a 5 month internship, and I ended up tagging along with another friend and his buddies who were planning on heading to Sunset Bowl in Ballard. This place is open 24 hours and it was packed. I, as predicted, bowled the lowest score, 78, and did not get even one strike or spare. Still, I was pretty happy with my score and realized that if you have had enough to drink bowling is pretty fun. I actually wouldn't mind going again and trying to break 100. They actually have a bowling alley at my school but they don't serve liquor there so that kinda defeats the purpose.



What do you do when you've had a long ass week, a midterm essay due, student stuff to grade, and two big final projects that need tending to really soon? You come home, have a beer and surf online for a fucking Christmas time vacation package. Can anyone suggest a good online travel agency other than Expedia and Orbitz? I'm thinking a South America adventure, someplace other than Mexico but maybe not quite overseas...


For the first time in a long while I did not have a costume for Halloween. Actually I didn't really have a Halloween. No time, no money, nothing to do and several papers to write. Kinda sucks. I like Halloween too. There wasn't much going on at school either. I guess midterms and then getting drunk Halloween night is about all that is on the minds of the undergrads. I saw more staff/admin in costumes than I saw students. Best costume of the day was a woman's chihuahua with an awesome dinosaur costume made of green felt with big spikes all the way down the tail.