ham video game

One of the best things I've seen on You Tube. Live action hamster video game.


Yay, I finished the book I need to read for the Asian American Cinema class I TA this quarter. Perpetually Cool: The Many Lives of Anna May Wong took me for-freakin-ever to read despite the speed reading skills I developed this past quarter (8 books/course readers in 10 weeks). I think it was because it was both a biography and a somewhat of a dense lesson in Chinese/Chinese-American history and I was desperately trying to retain the bulk of that info. It was also just really interesting and I didn't feel the urge to skim and scan at any point.

So yeah, I haven't gotten out of my pajamas (and this is the third day this week, though not in a row, that I've done this). I get like this when I'm at my parent's house. Finding the motivation to do anything but surf the web, watch TV, or read is akin to moving a mountain. I don't even have an appetite for food which tends to surprise people. It's almost as though the house that I grew up in swallows me whole and I re-live all that adolescent angst and apathy. I really wish my parents would move to a different house in a different neighborhood so I don't have to deal with this every fucking time I visit. Seriously, it's getting stupid. Their incessant nagging and other forms of annoying dysfunctional communication don't help any. At least now I'm old enough to drink my dad's stash of beer. In fact right now I'm having a nice Sleeman Amber Ale which is tastier than the Honey Ale that I had before this. Hopefully this will remedy the insomnia that also plagues me during these visits home.



How come no one told me my blog looks totally messed up in the latest FireFox. Dammit, one more thing to fix.

Dec photos

This is what the wind storm did to my parent's house. Good bye fence!

Here's the siding that ripped off my apartment in Seattle. Some of it got wrapped around a tree. And here I was cowering under the covers thinking that I was just imagining my home coming apart at the seams. When the hell does a wind storm qualify as a hurricane man?

My older cousin at our Xmas afterparty at his friends house

Alex admires the 64 oz. flask I got him for Xmas.

The recycle bin at CTV


not so merry

So Xmas always goes like this. I get nagged at all day to get dressed and go to my aunt's house. Then my parents bitch some more that I'm going to make us late for my grandpa's birthday cake cutting and he's going to get all pissed off. This year was no different. I think he even turned 93 again. I swear he's turned 93 the past three years. We get to eat this Chinese type fruit and cream cake with this awful chestnut shit that my older cousin always offers to take off my plate for me. Thanks! After that we go into the other room to watch movies while the grown ups talk in the other room. (ie my uncle talks about Jesus a whole bunch and then they break into gossip and shit about who's dating who, how ugly/fat/pretty they are, and why Vanessa is such a fucking unmarried loser).

We turn up the volume some more and keep watching or do some gambling. Since there's been a falling out in the Au family, one of the cousins and her parents hasn't shown up for Xmas for about hmmm 9 years so that makes the gambling less fun and we do that quite rarely. Anyways, as soon as the gifts are distributed we make the parents carpool home and we cousins go out drinking or to a karaoke. This year we had to hit a bar first because we had time to kill before heading to a friend's house. Not many were open. We ended up at Pub Med in Burnaby near my cousin's house. We find a seat out on the patio by a heat lamp and I head back in with my cousin to get a pitcher. He asks the bartender in his cheery-I-can't-wait-to-have-a-drink voice, "hi, could I get a pitcher of ____?" (can't remember the beer).

The bartender stares him down like he's going to jump the counter and stab us both many many times. He says coldly, "you don't talk to me like that!"

Drunk white dude sitting at the bar by himself says with a giggle, "he's having a rough night, man. He wants you to say please."

At this point I'm waiting for my cousin to (a) mouth off at the mother fucker and get us all out of there (b) do the opposite and ask REALLY nicely. He chooses (b). I read his mind. There's no other bars open in the area and he's thirsty. I'm disappointed but also glad that we didn't create any drama. The place looks family owned and family was outside at the patio and it could've gotten violent and ugly. But still I'm steaming mad that they could be like that to customers who are coming in on a slow night to bring them business. It's not like we owe them anything and it's not like my cousin was being rude. He even left a nice tip (I dunno why). So yeah, Pub Med, fuck you.



So I'm back from my California/cruise adventure. We spent last Saturday driving down to Santa Barbara where we stayed one night at the Harbor House Inn. Very nice little place with a mini kitchen and living room and a basket with juices, tea and fresh baked pumpkin bread. We spent that evening at a sports bar on State street drinking and watching the Canucks game, and later the Sharks. It was at this bar we met another hockey fan who told us he was the GM of KTVU for years. We Googled him when we got home and found out he is a racist son of a bitch.

Sunday we headed down to LA and checked into a hotel in Century City. We shopped down in Santa Monica and had a nice dinner at BOA steakhouse. Monday we headed down to Long Beach where we feasted at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. I've heard so much about this place but since I'm not a huge fan of fried chicken or waffles, it just didn't seem that great. After lunch we dropped off the car at a coworker's apartment and he gave us a lift to the cruise terminal. The 4 days of cruising were great. It's basically a 24 hour buffet for 4 days. We were assigned to a dinner table with a funny couple about our age, both of them in the Air Force. One works in finance and the other handles the contracting of projects to the private sector. It was fun hanging out with them and learning about the benefits they get and the kinds of things they do. To be honest I don't know anyone in the military.

The downer of the cruise, aside from catching a cold on the second to last day, was that our head waiter told us that he works 12 hour days, 7 days a week, 6 months at a time. Then gets 2 months off and is back at it again. He said it was fun when he was young and single but after 9 years he's tired and misses his kids. I decided to sniff around a bit and see if he was exaggerating to get bigger tips but .... I found this. And also this. And now I'm not sure how I feel about going on cruises. It's kind of like buying clothes at the Gap and Old Navy. I know they don't monitor the working conditions in their factories as well as they claim they do but then where can someone with a limited income buy clothes? Even if you buy from an independent designer who makes the clothes herself or you attempt to sew your own clothes, who knows under what conditions the fabric was manufactured (my prof in my globalization class brought that up and stumped us on that one).

I think I have more leeway to make sound decisions on where to spend my few vacation dollars though. I'm not sure I can in good conscience do this again knowing that the workers make less than $5 an hour if you count all the hours they actually work. I'm sure there are ways to explore the world without putting money in the pockets of big corporations and robbing the workers in the process. This fellow in Newfoundland has done a lot of writing on the cruise ship industry if you want to read more.

Anyways, time to tidy up and get ready to head to Vancouver tomorrow to spend the rest of my break.


holy wind

It is ridiculously windy out here. I just got my cable back. Somehow the weather messed up the cable TV and Internet. The lid to the dumpster at the foodbank keeps flying open and closed. I have to spend my this afternoon watching my students deliver advocacy speeches in red square. I feel like I'm gonna need to anchor myself to one of the heavier students to prevent being blown away. This shit is kinda scary. I can't wait til next week. I'll be headed to LA this weekend and then will be laying around on a cruise ship headed from Long Beach to Catalina Island and Ensenada.


web stuff

Dammit I hate the new Blogger beta. I have to friggin sign in twice and then I get this sloppy ass console and I can't go back to original blogger. Ah shit.

Anyways, I finished my last two papers today. I still need to do a proofread and sanity check and list of references but I'm otherwise done. I even had enough time today to update vanessaau.com and www.hammies.com.

And now I'm going to sleep for a very very long time. Tomorrow I'll send in that last paper, hit the gym and buy some groceries. It's going to be nice.


distribution list II

Thought I would post another email from Caitlin, the person I've never met who sends out lame emails with annoying emoticons and atrocious grammar to this distribution list that they put me on by accident. Yes... there are rules for dim sum. How cute. Does anyone really go to dim sum with expectations other than of little baskets of delicious greasy goodness?

Hello Friends,

Here's the schedule for this Saturday event as follows:

WHAT = DimSum
WHERE = The New Kowloon Seafood Restaurant (it has parking garage!)
RULES: = Have fun. No expectations. Go with the flow. Bring a friend or friends!

We'll decide together as a group to play SPORTS, watch movies, and go bowling at night.

Oh and the other cool thing is they sometimes send out photos from the events in the emails. Turns out the party with the girls with way too much make up on were probably not part of this crowd. They were from a party they attended.

final week

One more week, 1.5 more papers to write, 29 more speeches to grade, and my first quarter will be over. What I've learned this quarter:

- 10 weeks goes by really fast
- the selection committee rocked because I love my cohort. Typically there's some abrasive asshole in the class, or the chick who can't stop talking because she wants to hear herself talk, or the "not the sharpest tool in the shed" student(s) who somehow slipped through during the selection process. None of those characters is in my cohort. What a far cry from my master's program. If Maya is reading this, I'm sure she is nodding and/or laughing.
- I'm not the smartest kid in the class anymore, not like back in elementary school where there wasn't too much competition. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I'm the dumbest. But everyone seems to be claiming that everyone else is smarter than him/her (including the insightful and articulate one who already has a book contract, jeesh). In any case, being a part of this program has been very very humbling and I have much to learn from my peers
- when you do not try to do a million things at once and just focus on one thing, that one thing is easier. I've managed to get through school without losing too much sleep but have sacrificed having a life.
- when you don't have a life and take the bus daily and eat at home and pack a lunch, you can live really really cheap
- it is possible to read 6 books, 2 huge reading packets, and other miscellaneous assigned readings in 10 weeks
- it is possible to write 11 papers in 10 weeks
- when someone dies (ie my professor) people gather to recall funny stories and say nice things about that person. I think people should do more of that when people are still alive to hear it.


H0H 0H0

It was funny that this story on the urban legends web site popped up on my home page via RSS. I actually remember writing letters to Santa and addressing it to him using the Canadian postal code H0H 0H0. However, I don't remember him writing back as it's claimed he does now. I think my parents took the letter and promised to drop it off in the mail but never did. I wonder who has the job of writing back to all these kids and who pays the postage for sending these letters.

And a couple updates. 3 of the 4 members of the missing Kim family have been found. Hopefully James Kim is found alive soon too. Less important update. I have put in an order to switch to Cingular so I can finally get a new phone (LG CU500) and not some piece of shit hand me down, and no I did not change my phone number.

Oh and I wanted to share something that made my day. One of the little multiple choice quizzes from my students came back with a little drawing up top. Yeeeeah, I rock.



I've decided I've had enough with T-Mobile. I changed my plan online and it wasn't shown in my bill, nor did the web site have a mechanism to tell me that I did not qualify for one of the business plans listed as my options. When I emailed to complain about poor reception in my home I got no reply. When I emailed to complain that existing customers get a smaller discount on phones when extending a contract than do new customers, I got no reply. They have great cheap plans if you rarely use your phone (like me before I moved to Seattle) but at the $39.99 pricepoint or higher, I have to say that Cingular has a better plan and cheaper better hand sets.

The billing rep grew concerned about my frustration and passed me to an account rep to try to swing a deal to keep me. But as a customer for over 4 years, I've felt pretty unrewarded. Now with this number portability it's easy to switch....but my number has a Bay Area area code so I'm wondering if I should switch to a local Seattle number now.

The pros: my apartment will let me hook up the local number to the front door thing to let people in. People who actually use a landline won't have to call long distance to reach me. I might get a really cool number with 8s or that spell something memorable.

The cons: I have to change all my records and get all my friends to record my new number. They all use cell phones so it's just a hassle and makes no difference in terms of paying to talk to me. I might get a shitty number with 4s and shit in it. And there's one last one. That symbolically means I'm not a Bay Area gal no more. This would make me a real Seattlite and I'm not sure I'm ready to give up my 650 area code.

What to do?


Find the Kim family missing since Saturday when they were last seen in Portland en route to SF.


and an updated article here after a sighting in a Denny's Restaurant




I haven't been able to follow the elections from down here but based on reading the backgrounds of the two people battling to lead the Liberals, it looks like Dion is the right choice. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061203/ap_on_re_ca/canada_liberals_2

I can't wait to send Harper packing. Damn the Conservatives for pitching the idea that we needed a change from Liberal leadership and selling it so well to those who vote based on emotionally charged TV commercials.

I hope Dion is as fiesty as Chretien.