Happy Boxing Day and Kwanzaa! The snow is turning to slush and tonight I'm going to Shabusen for all you can eat made to order sushi and Korean BBQ. Tomorrow I'm heading up to Whistler for a day and a night. Should be a good time if things all go off without a hitch.



There are many people for whom this should be required reading. If that's too much reading, at least read the final paragraph.


Why would anyone dream of a white fucking Christmas? I did not ask for this. All I really wished for this Christmas was to maintain my sanity and not have an aneurysm while visiting home which is already a big request. We haven't had snow on Christmas day since 1996 or something and here it is. Hoo-fucking-ray. You know what snow means for me? Seeing as I live on a steep ass hill and there are probably 3 snow trucks in all of the greater Vancouver area it means I get stuck at home so that my dad can make unwelcome remarks using his trademark tone of voice which is a unique combination of condescending, critical, and obnoxious. His choice of words also always manages to grate my nerves. There is no such thing as saying something gently for him. Oh and hockey, which usually keeps everyone facing forward and yelling at the TV and not at me, is not back on for a couple days yet. Snow please melt.


Had a fun night last night with my friends who were house sitting their cousin's condo down in Coal Harbour. Such a sweet place. We were originally going to karaoke but I didn't realize they'd forgotten batteries and didn't know that I had also brought my magic mic but whatever. Eating Beard Papas, 7-Eleven nachos, chips, cookies, and chocolates while chit chatting and later watching many episodes of Family Guy served us just as well. My friends who know my paternal cousins really well decided that, despite all of us cousins being only children, we have ended up manifesting the characteristics of siblings in terms of birth order. My older cousin is the rebellious one, my younger cousin is the silly laid back one whom everyone wants to take care of and give advice to, and I'm the complicated, frustrated, and misunderstood middle child. Not sure how we didn't figure this one out sooner because it's kind of true. Anyways, I ended up falling asleep and not being able to pry myself off the couch until 3:30 in the morning.

After the girls day over at Olympus spa in Lynnwood last week, I decided to see if there was such a place near my parents' house that I could go to to escape the constant lecturing, prying, and unwelcome commentary from my parents. I found this, JJ Spa Plus, right here in my neck of the woods and apparently the only Korean spa in the greater Vancouver area. Only $15 admission too. Might have to go check this out.

Anyways, Merry Xmas and all that crap that I don't really care for. Hope you didn't spend too much money buying a bunch of meaningless consumer goods from big huge corporations when that money is really better spent helping the sick and needy or at least sharing a meal with friends or contributing to a child's college fund, or hell contributing to MY college fund to pay for books and conference travel. (I mean, did you really need that new LV purse or ridiculous overpriced rags from *gag* Abercrombie? C'mon. Bah consumerism)



I'm watching a Hockey Night in Canada interview with Phoenix player Doan who grew up in a small town in Alberta. He played in the town of Castor and his team was called the Castor Raiders. Say that fast.



The end of Autumn quarter is always a weird one for me. I'm supposed to be on break but I've come to accept the fact it's hard to really get a chance to do nothing. Aside from Xmas shit, I actually have a long list of stuff I need to get done on this so-called break, part of it involves finished a couple projects to wipe out the incompletes I've taken on my professional development seminars, I've got a graduate students association web site to update, I've got a program of study to finish (and it's already late), my EndNote desperately needs updating, I've got old video to edit, my own web site to update, reference letter to write, books to read, exam reading list to develop, and a big mess of papers, handouts, and lecture notes to organize and file away. I also just got word that the panel that Robyn put together just got accepted to the Association of Asian American studies. Yay!! What that means though is that I need to magically turn my abstract into a full paper by April. Christ. That's a lot of stuff.

In other news I did take a day to head up to Steven's to try out my new Flow bindings which I'm thrilled with. Who woulda thunk that losing feeling in your toes is not a necessary part of snowboarding? Also took a morning this weekend to go to Olympus spa in Lynnwood to get naked with the girls from school. It was good fun to chit chat all morning while soaking in tubs of varying temperatures and napping in hot rooms with salt, charcoal and other good stuff. There was also a sweet steam room and a great Korean restaurant with fantastic bibimbop and fresh smoothies. I think the spa thing is going to have to become an end of quarter tradition.



This user showed up on my IM list a few days ago. Usually I need to grant permission for people to add themselves to my list but this one just showed up so initially I thought someone had just changed their handle after seeing Superbad. I did a quick google search and discovered this in a forum: "It's supposed to be some clever marketing for the SuperBad DVD... which was released on December 4th... thus the 12four (12/4) reference." If you think that is annoying how about this "found this annoying thing on my phone today. send it 'who are you?' and you get
Hi, this is McLovin, I am a Bot; I advertise for the DVD release..."

I saw the movie. I'll sum it up like this. Teen boys are charming, eager to get laid, but are innocent and have impressive feminist ideals. Teen girls are a bunch of morally depraved sex-crazed whores who want nothing but to get laid when they're drunk enough to be throwing up. On top of that the movie was actually rather slow and boring and unfunny. Not sure why so many people told me it was hilarious. While it had its moments, it was mostly annoying, sort of like that bot that showed up on my IM list.



This came from Blue Sunday. If you're reading this, you're tagged.

The Rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules.
3. Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag up to seven people


My Seven Random/Weird Facts

1. I have a slight phobia of chalk and chalkboards. The sound of chalk on a chalkboard and the feel of chalkboard chalk on my hands sends shivers down my spine and not in a good way. I had the overhead in my classroom pushed out of the way for public speaking so I was forced to use the chalkboard (no white board). Even my students noticed my awkward handling of the chalk.

2. I don't like talking on the phone. I've never been a big gabber and the awkwardness of talking without seeing the person combined with my short attention span and unstoppable urge to multi-task gets in the way of my focusing on phone conversations.

3. I've never been stung by a bee and have not yet been allergy tested for bee stings so I have a horrendous fear of bees. I'm also supposed to carry an Epi-pen in case I discover something new that puts me in some sort of anaphylactic shock.

4. My oldest piece of clothing is my SFU hoodie which is 14 years old. It's navy blue and has holes in nearly every seam.

5. My knees and fingers bend past 180 degrees the wrong way.

6. I have very vivid dreams, suffer from sleep paralysis, and (once in a blue moon) I have night terrors which cause me to wake up screaming bloody murder.

7. My parents used to make me collect stamps even though I had absolutely no interest in them. What is it with Chinese parents making their kids do something that seems intellectual or cultured. It's like they get bonus Chinese parenting points if their kids totally fucking hate it too. For most kids it was piano (I would have loved to take piano but it was too expensive) or violin or playing one of those ancient Chinese instruments. For me, stamp collecting. Stupid stamps.



I wish I could write about the specifics of what happened today but it could cost me dearly so I can't. But the gist of it is that I went to an important event at school today and witnessed the most outrageous and offensive Q and A session ever in my lifetime. It taught me several things:

1. Do not assume that senior (white male) faculty have even a rudimentary understanding of race and feminist theory, or any appreciation for the importance and urgency of it
2. Be prepared to defend critical scholarship that examines such topics as feminism, race or post-colonial theory because some people consider such research to be "irrelevant"
3. There is a good chance that many people out there, even other scholars, will believe that my life's work is meaningless and unimportant
4. I'm going to need to be mentally prepared to deal with all this

Right now I'm just in so much shock that I don't even know what to do next.



It's a bit early to do one of those end-of-the-year inventories of memorable events but so much has happened lately that I can't help thinking about it. Off the top of my head:

February - turned 31 (bleh...)
March - went to Hawaii for the first time, surfed for the first time
May - went to Michigan for the first time and presented at my second academic conference
June - finished my 1st year of a PhD program and got elected to the grad students assoc
June - watched the apartment 3 doors down from mine go up in flames completely
July - relearned how to read music and learned how to play piano
July - wrote for an encyclopedia -- potentially my first publication
August - ended a pukey mess of a long term (6 year) relationship in a rather dramatic fashion
August - spent 3 weeks living and reconnecting with my cousin in a cool part of town (Santana Row)
September - watched my best friends get married
October - met an amazing guy who makes me wonder what in the hell I was doing in that other relationship for 6 fucking years
October - went to Kansas City, MO for my first conference for people more senior than just grad students
November - presented at my first national conference
November - found out one of my closest friends is pregnant
November - had my car break down on the I5
December - drowned my car in a flood in my own garage

This was actually meant to be a bitchy moany post because that's what I do here is bitch and moan. But having survived fire, flood, breakdowns (of both the mental and automotive type) and a breakup this year, the number and intensity of good things that happened far outweigh the bad. Even if I did list all the times I've injured myself just navigating my own apartment or all the delays and foul ups I've put up with at airports, it would still pan out that way. Ewww this post is so positive and out of character and so lacking in colorful language that now I feel all gross and sell outish. I'll just compensate by saying fuck for good measure. There, fuck.



What. The. Fuck.

I didn't learn my lesson last year when my car narrowly escaped drowning in the underground garage you see here at my apartment. This time last year the drains were clogged but they managed to get the water pumped out pretty quick. Last night I got home late from K's house and saw some water gurgling a bit out of the drain in the garage. I figured that after that incident it couldn't be that bad. All the shit that was clogging it last year is probably cleared out.

I was tired and needed to go to bed and so I did. This morning I hurried off to catch my bus, a bus that did not show up. Neither did the second or third bus. 25 minutes later I caught the 4th bus and barely made it to school in time to teach my class. The roads were flooded everywhere and the bus looked like it was driving through a fucking river.

Oh and did I mention that today's class was taught outside in the pouring rain being blown sideways by the wind? Yeah, we're practicing our vocal projection for outdoor advocacy speeches. Being sane, I had the students each run through their speeches in groups and then ushered them inside to do TA evals before sending them off early. 11:30 am and I head on over to stats class.

I'm taking out my laptop when the phone rings. It's the management at my apartment. There is 3' of water on the street in front of the apartment (where Denny's car is parked) and the garage is filling up with water. Denny managed to wade to his car and move it and do the same with our other roomate's car. Mine however requires an alarm and a club key and when the alarm goes off the car doesn't start. So that is fucking awesome.

I had to skip out of stats, office hours and a job talk to go home and rescue my car. Actually since Denny had already done all sorts of swimming in dirty water to get his car and Jerri's car he kindly offered to wade knee deep to my car and drive it over to the grocery store parking lot. Damage was already done though. Cars are apparently not to be submerged even in 2.5" of water or you have the pleasure of scooping it out. Here are pics of my car.

I love my life.

So can someone tell me who I'm supposed to pay to suck out the rest of the water, spray anti-mildew stuff on the rugs, clean them and dry them? I imagine there is a right way to do this and a wrong way to do this and I want to make sure to not fuck this up.



Undoing. Can't wait until this movie premieres in Seattle. After living in SF for so long I forget how spoiled we were with entertainment. Independent films always premiered there (and LA and NYC) first, the film fests were huge, and big name DJs made very frequent stops. Seattle doesn't tend to make it on the short list for these things. It kinda sucks but, then again, had I gone to school in LA or NYC I think I'd be broke and flunking out of school with so much stuff going on in the city all the time. I'm definitely better off here.



That title was for you Norris. So my friend thought something was fucked up with my RSS feed causing my titles to be truncated to one word. Little did he know I do it deliberately and for two reasons. One, because long titles fuck up the tidy display of that table and, two, because it's fun to try to summarize the post in one word.

Tumbl Track

So I quit doing competitive gymnastics 15 years ago and since then a lot has changed -- the uneven bars are further apart to allow for bigger release elements between the bars, forward tumbling got to be the thing to do, the horse we used to vault on has evolved into a much safer and less intimidating vaulting table (aka the tongue), and every gym seems to have a Tumbl Track (60' long trampoline) for learning new skills.

I tried out this Tumbl Track at the adult classes at the gym I went to in Mountain View, CA two years ago but it requires a completely different approach from tumbling on a standard 40' x 40' floor because the latter requires a lot of speed that you then transfer into upward momentum for the big skill at the end of your back handspring series. When I tried to use the Tumbl Track it was sort of disastrous because I was expecting the quick push back that the floor gives. Instead, you get this delayed push that my body was not used to waiting for which basically fucked up everything. Back then I decided I was an old dog who wouldn't be able to learn new tricks, but last night I went to my first adult class here in Seattle and for the first time I was the youngest.

My 52-year-old Charles-Manson-looking instructor (he's actually super cool, just kinda scary looking at first) convinced me though that you can't do floor tumbling forever because it's just too hard on the joints. It took him a year to adjust to the timing of the Tumbl Track but he argues that it will allow me to do gymnastics into my 70s like he plans to. So last night was dedicated to making friends with this new piece of equipment. I managed as much as a running front layout, and a front handspring to front tuck. The second one was actually a 1 1/4 front tuck that caused my face to make contact with the crash mat leaned up against the far wall because I had too much forward momentum. But my nose remained intact and so did my pride since, as a washed up ex-gymnast with a gut, I have none. So yeah, I've decided I'm going to learn how to use this monster so I can continue to do geriatric gymnastics as we call it without fracturing any joints. Check out this guy's awesome video with all the cool stuff you can do on it complete with names of the skills. Watch until the end to see all the falls which are fun to watch. My goals (no deadline since I have until I'm dead to learn them now) round off back handspring to back full (full twisting layout), and if I can find a Tumbl Track that leads into a foam pit (like this one) I wouldn't mind going for multiples twists and some double backs.



I need to take a break from my work, which currently entails coding and categorizing 229 racist remarks. It's for a paper using content analysis that I hope to incorporate into my dissertation. Not exactly relaxing to read but I have to say I've gotten way past the point of letting the content disturb me. I've read so much of this shit that nothing really surprises me. Racist comments directed at me as an individual still catch me off guard and stay with me a while. It was only a few years ago that someone driving by in a pick up truck yelled "chink" out the window at me as I was going for a jog in my parents' neighbourhood. It was surprising... but then again, not entirely surprising. Anyways, comments anonymously posted online are just meaningless rants dipped in shit with a side of anchovies. Most of them are poorly written, illogical and often self-contradictory. Not exactly models of powerful rhetoric. But the task of coding each and every remark is getting ridiculously tortuously boring, like I'd-rather-be-looking-for-split-ends-in-my-hair boring. It's really hard not to take breaks to check out facebook, shop online for fun shirts and a new snowboarding jacket, cruise Craigslist for an apartment in Capitol Hill, read blogs and check up on the Canucks. Man I hate coding. I think for this reason alone I want to abandon this silly quantitative methodology forever and go back to critical discourse analysis.

Oh and in other news, I have abandoned all hope of understanding the Fahrenheit scale at cold temperatures. I learned it for temperatures 65 and above because I had 6 years of practice in California. But when we're hovering at freezing, it just makes sense to stick with Celsius so I know how many degrees above or below 0 (freezing) we are. Shove it, Fahrenheit scale!



It was a nice and restful long weekend. Wed night we went to Maharaja and then to the War Room for Denny's belated 30th. Thursday was gluttony day at K's friends' house in memory of white people's raping and pillaging of our native peoples (aka Thanksgiving). Black Friday we went to observe the madness downtown. I also picked up some Flow bindings at REI for $139 (woohoo!). This is a photo of the fireworks that went with the lighting of the tree and star or some crap over at Macy's. The cool part was trying to figure out which protester belonged to which cause. It's not always easy to tell. That night, stayed in and watched Knocked Up which was okay, not nearly as laugh out loud funny as I had expected but it was kinda of cute I guess. Saturday was a homework and work out day for me and then dinner was over at Sea Garden restaurant in the International District to see if the food is as good when you're sober and it's not 2am. It sort of wasn't. It was bland like most Asian food in Seattle. That night we saw what is supposed to be the perfect movie, No Country for Old Men. It was good. I wouldn't call it perfect but it kept me seated for 2 hours. Today was errand day which meant lots of walking in the beautiful sunshine down in Cap Hill. I can't wait to start looking for a place to live down here when our lease is up in a few months.



I got on the bus with my friend and colleague today. It was one of those long ass buses with the connecting accordion-looking thing in the middle. It was around 4 in the afternoon so it was getting full. We walked toward the back and I took a seat. The seat across the aisle from me was also unoccupied but this girl, about 13 or 14 years old, was sitting in the window seat sideways and she had her feet and backpack up on the aisle seat. I really hate it when assholes put their shit on seats so they have more space or to prevent people from sitting next to them. I glared at her until she moved her shit so my friend could sit down. Ah the power of a piercing glare.

That seems to be working lately. Over the summer this stupid woman in her late teens/early 20s left a table full of her trash at the food court at the mall. She also left her jacket on the seat. When an elderly couple arrived at the table, they called her back to tell her she had left her jacket. She was about to just grab the jacket and take off. But I shot her a look that said "those old people did you a favour returning your jacket, and if you think you're going to just take your jacket and leave them to clean up after you, you are one selfish bitch and I'm going to make a scene so that everyone knows that." I guess that thought came across loud and clear because she did a double take when she saw me staring directly at her and then went back and cleared the table. Who the fuck raised people like this? Jesus...



So I had a crazy week that bled right into a weekend without me knowing it since I spent much of it doing homework. Not because I had a lot but because it was stats and I missed a class and that led to me being totally lost when it comes to calculating ANOVAs and reporting the results. Add to that the immense anxiety I get when I'm not on top of my game which totally slows me down.

Anyways, I'll back up. I spent Wednesday traveling out to Chicago for my very first national conference. Until now I've only presented at regional or graduate student conferences so this time I got to play with the big kids and it was exciting. Aside from having to shuttle back and forth between hotels (I think there were 5000 attendees so they needed two hotels) and only being there for a day, I had a great time. My presentation went off without a hitch and got some great feedback from the respondent who was awesome, I got to have lunch with another Asian Am/Com colleague whom I met two years ago, and I met the author of a book I've read a few times over because she came to my panel. So Thursday afternoon was spent traveling back to Seattle.

On Friday, K (my new boy, who will from now on be referred to as K) and I went to see Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. It was pretty good. We saw it in an old theatre in Cap Hill so the seats were not like those in the Silver City cinemas back home which means I suddenly develop restless leg syndrome, ADD, and mania all in one shot causing me to squirm in my seat like a whore in church. All crime thrillers tend to be predictable at a certain point and this was no exception. Fun to watch nonetheless.

Saturday daytime was all homework for me. That evening was K's friend's birthday which involved a home in West Seattle, wine, cheese, and a game called Squint (No, no references to Asian eyes and no need to start a petition. It's another guessing game). I was on my best behavior and made a fine effort at suppressing my potty mouth. Oh and I learned that even white wine makes me kinda woozy, at least that glass I had did. After a couple hours we headed out the door and over to Kurrent to see my friends DJ. They did a fantastic job and it was fun to just be out the house even though the crowd was a bit too BellTown for me. The lowlight of that part of the evening was some fucking asshole who walked by and planted a huge fart that not only stunk and lingered but also rose like hot air up into the DJ area. What kind of loser farts in crowded places. Better yet, what is a good way to punish them?

Sunday was another homework day. :(

This week is a short week. Hooray for American Thanksgiving! I am 2 papers, 2 stats assignments, and 1 grant proposal away from finishing this quarter.



So I wasn't done blogging last night but it was late and I was tired. Now I'm pressed for time writing a paper, packing for the conference I'm going to tomorrow, and reviewing my presentation, the latter of which won't realistically happen until I wake up 2 hours into the flight. But I did want to recount some other bad shit that happened to me over the weekend just to prove to you that I was one fucking bad ass in my previous life and I'm paying for it now. Let's see. Ah yes, my powder compact not only broke but the hinge also came apart so the side compartment of my bag and everything in there is still covered in powder. The aerosol potpourri air freshener in my parents house got stuck and would not stop spraying until the cannister was empty. That was pretty awesome. It poured rain after I washed my car and now it is all muddy again. Al spilled boiling water on my leg while scooping some meat out of the hot pot for me. I forgot to register for classes and now some of them are full. OK I guess that's more stupidity than bad luck.


My life always seems to be full of unintended adventures. I often wish for a duller existence but that's just the way the cookie crumbles. This weekend's adventure actually took place on Thursday afternoon as I was driving north bound along the I-5 by Bellingham en route to Vancouver for my 4 day weekend (lecture was canceled on Friday). It was about 6pm and my temperature gauge suddenly shot up to hot and my check oil light came on so I took the first exit right onto a dark narrow road that led to a park-and-ride lot and a rifle range. As I slowed down I noticed smoke spilling out from under my hood and I damn near shit my pants. I turned off the engine and the smoke blew away so I was confident that running for my life away from both my car and the rifle range would not be necessary. After the car cooled off I tried to start the engine to get it to the gas station for some coolant, but it didn't want to start so AAA it was. They sent someone to tow my car to a nearby mechanic but in the meantime I had called my friends, one of whom is good with cars, to come see if they could get it running. I headed to the McDonalds across the street from the shop to wait for them to get there. Just a little while after I had spread out all the stuff I had to grade and gotten my cell phone plugged into the wall for a charge they arrived to rescue me from my own bad luck. Al diagnosed it as a cracked radiator since the oil was fine and the coolant was out and there was white crusty crap on it. We got a bunch of coolant and water and filled it up and hit the road. We stopped off at Fred Meyer a few miles up the road to refill it and pick up some beer and then made it all the way to Richmond BC. The next morning we brought it to my friend's cousin's mechanic. 24 hours and $657 later I got my car back with a new radiator. So that was my adventure heading to Vancouver. The visit itself was awesome save for the part where my dad lectured me continuously for creating a dangerous situation by driving in the dark. Keep in mind I left Seattle at 4:45pm, not 3 fucking am. But anyways, he blames me for everything whether I can control the situation or not.

Now on my way back I got adventure numero deux. I left my house at 11am Monday. Got to the border at noon. The sign that tells you the wait times for each border crossing wasn't lit and the line didn't look too bad. An hour and a few meters later, I decided I was wrong. It was really fucking obnoxiously bad. It was another hour before I actually got over the border. So that was 2pm. I had a meeting at 3pm with my classmates to do some content analysis stuff. Didn't look like it was going to happen, especially when I hit crazy traffic in Everett. I finally made it to my meeting in Capitol Hill at 4:45pm. I basically spent 6 hours in my car today. If I didn't have a full battery and many episodes of Weeds on my laptop I might not have survived the 2 hour border wait. I don't think I'm in the mood to visit Vancouver again for a while.

How come when Denny has adventures he gets invited to strangers' homes to play beer pong where he then drinks all the beer? My adventures are expensive and time-consuming and there's no free beer involved.



So today someone in my class mentioned the show The Scarecrow and Mrs. King. It was weird because I hadn't heard anyone name that show since it was on a long long time ago. I was telling Denny about this and we started coming up with other 80s shows that we remember that no one else seems to. For example, The Wonder Friends or The Electric Company or my favourite, Today's Special (where the mall closes down and the male mannequin comes to life and there is a Muppet-like security guard, a brown haired woman, and a mouse and they do a lot of singing and dancing). Well anyways, then I started to think of shows I saw in the really early 80s like Fantasy Island and CHIPS and Laverne and Shirley. I remember how the characters look and some of the theme songs or intro video but I can never remember the plots or even what the shows are about. And it dawned on me that the reason for this was not my age or poor memory because I remember other details fine, but rather the fact that I was still learning English. It's so weird to have memories of experiencing the world before I was able to speak or understand the only language that I am proficient in now.



So what I like about Seattle is its quirkiness. It's hard to explain what I mean by that except to share an example. So every year there is something called the Zombie walk which takes place before Halloween. And yes it is exactly that. People dress up as zombies and walk around the Fremont neighbourhood. It is even published in the Seattle Weekly under the event listings. I found out my former student likes to go to these Zombie walks and this year she even got photos of it. Here they are.



I guess I should recap Halloween. I won't say what my costume was as that might give away my identity and we don't need that. So the weekend before Halloween I went to a party hosted by a student in my department. Highlight of the night was watching a bunch of students from another program in our department come in thinking this was the party of one of their profs. Their prof must have gotten the email and forwarded it on to them, and they must've thought it was their prof's party and a great opportunity to earn some brownie points. What a disappointment for them. Ah well. And alas further suffering was had by them as they, the hands-on media production program people, had to hang out with us, the research and hoity toity theory nerds. Kinda like oil and water. I wish it weren't that way but it kinda is.

Saturday night I went to the house party of a MSFT employee and friend of a friend. It was a pretty good party with some great food and the house was very big and nice and all that. I was surprised to see not one drunk person there. I guess I hang with a different crowd. Isn't there usually at least one guy taking himself down?

The weekend after we threw a house party at my friend's place. There were 60 on the evite but I'm pretty sure way more than that came and went throughout the night. I was not in a groovin' social butterfly type mode. Instead I stood in the kitchen and devoured the veggie plate and then returned to my corner of the couch to perch and stare at people and look confused. I obviously opted for the wrong vice at this little shindig.

All in all it was a fun two weekends and I even got to introduce my new boy to a few different groups of friends and he survived despite Joe and Alex giving him the third degree at Maharaja. Oh yeah and I tried a cream cheese and Swiss cheese hot dog on the street in Cap Hill. It was delicious. Good times. Can't wait to head up to Vancouver this weekend!


Okay, if you are an undergrad this post is for you. There is something called office hours. This is the time reserved for students to meet with TAs to get help and ask questions on a one-on-one basis. Office fucking hours, got it? Please do not seek help using any of the following methods:

1. emailing your TA for feedback and help the night before something is due. we have no obligation to be on fucking call for you. we teach, we don't deliver babies.
2. hunting down your TA at the beginning of lecture so s/he can review your work during lecture while the prof is lecturing. not cool.
3. stalking your TA when s/he is going to the bathroom
4. cornering your TA in the locker room when s/he is half naked and trying to change his/her clothes

What office hours is NOT meant for, however, is getting a private tutoring session to cover the material you missed in the class you SKIPPED presumably to get raging drunk back at your little frat/sorority house. We're here to guide your learning, not to spoon feed you and wipe your ass. Be a little more responsible and a little less needy/demanding/spoiled.



Cubicles are inherently sad, but check these out, they're the saddest of the sad.

I don't think that open office floor plans are any better. It's kinda weird having to be face-to-face with your coworkers 8 (I mean 10-12) hours a day -- Observing every nervous twitch, hearing every sigh, watching as the fucked up ones cut their finger nails at their desk, or better yet cough phlegm into a hanky.

Man I so do not miss working at a tech company. Not even a little bit.



This from my friend C in the Bay Area.

A moderate earthquake occurred at 8:04:54 PM (PDT) on Tuesday, October 30, 2007.
The magnitude 5.6 event occurred 11 km (7 miles) E (88 degrees) of Milpitas, CA.
The hypocentral depth is 9 km ( 6 miles).

So what would you try to save (other than yourself) in the event of a small quake ?

Here's how it went down in her house (she's on a business trip in Atlanta but got the report from her husband back home):
C: i asked B if he ran to the doorframe
C: he said no
me: hahaha
C: he was holding onto the plasma...which is right by the sliding glass door
C: in his defense he said he was trying to save the souvenirs and pics on wall and then saw the tv
I guess with a TV that is close to the value of my car, I'd go and save the TV too.


So there is a joker in the class that I TA. He doesn't even appear to be enrolled in the class but he always takes the quizzes, this time using a bright green pen. We haven't figured out who he is since there are over 200 kids in the lecture, but he likes to entertain us with his quiz answers.


Q: Please rewrite the following sentence in active voice:
"The ball was kicked by the boy"

Of course the correct answer was "The boy kicked the ball"

His answer "The ball kicked the boy in the face"

Awesome. I love it.



Reasons why I need to go home for a visit:

- I miss eating at izakayas and good affordable sushi restaurants
- I miss my awesome friends
- both parents have their birthdays in November
- lecture is canceled on some Fridays
- I have more shit to retrieve from home
- last but certainly not least I need to hook up a sling box at my parents' house so that we can watch hockey down here. HNIC is only on Saturdays and CBC doesn't air any games on other days.
I'm thinking to head back the weekend of November 9th, leaving Thursday afternoon, returning Sunday night.



So you know when you go to register on a web site and you get a bunch of letters all twisted up so that you have to use your imagination to interpret what the fuck it says. Well Denny tells me that is called a CAPTCHA which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. It's one of those tests I often get wrong because evidently I'm not a human. I just installed Firefox so none of the sites that require login remember all my info. I was avoiding this for awhile because Firefox reveals all the code errors in my blog and web site and makes it look all jacked up because I'm too lazy to fix it. Anyways, that is not the point of this post. I'm writing because my CAPTCHA on Facebook was methadone and I thought that was cute. I would like my next CAPTCHA to be something along the lines of rimjob. I think that would also be cute.


match 2

Just thought I'd link to another blogger's commentary on lame match profiles because it made me laugh.

I have plenty more observations and have to admit I spent many evenings checking out profiles with my cousin when I was in San Jose in lieu of watching sitcoms. Far more entertainment value in poorly written profiles coupled with horrifyingly unflattering photos. But alas, I have a deadline every day until Thursday. So that post will have to wait... Until then, seriously guys, don't do the shirtless flexing in front of someone else's car thing especially with the tough guy douchebag expression in your profile pic. All I do with shit like that is circulate it among my friends so we can all laugh at you.



I have an exam to study for, a lecture to prepare, and a research proposal to write. What do I do instead? Go through 4 years of blog posts to delete photos of myself so I can finally make this blog as anonymous as I think it needs to be. I also bought a new down comforter online to replace my crazy heavy Chinese one that is great on cold nights, but my apartment is always way too warm for such a heavy comforter.

Telling myself I shouldn't care about grades at this point in my schooling is actually sort of demotivating. I've tried for my entire life to worry less and be more laid back about things but I'm wondering if this is really a good idea when it comes to school. I think I need the pressure. At least a little bit. Someone kick me in the ass. I need it.

In other news, the Canucks beat Columbus today. Yay!



So I'm finally getting over this little cold that I caught thanks to a couple days of rest at home. I spent yesterday studying and then headed over to a friend's house for a grad students assoc meeting and then to hang out. Headed over to Wallingford after that to watch Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited. I had my reservations about this film because though I didn't see the Royal Tenenbaums, I really hated The Life Aquatic because I found the dialog pretentious in a ha-ha-if-you-didn't-get-that-joke-you're-not-as-sophisticated-in-picking-up-subtle-dark/humor-as-I-because-I'm-the-shit sort of way. I also realized that I just cannot stand the sight of Bill Murray. But last night I was pleasantly surprised even though I don't like Owen Wilson and Bill Murray had a cameo. It was actually pretty funny probably because it makes fun of super rich white people trying to find their spirituality. Good nuf.

Anyways, back to studying so I can head out. We're going to check out Common Market at Chop Suey in Cap Hill. I know...me hip hop? But this isn't the misogynistic commercial brand of garbage that I despise so I'll gladly go to take a listen.


gum wall

I went to Theatresports in Post Alley Sunday night and got to check out the famous gum wall. Yeah, it's exactly what it sounds like it is. I guess they used to not allow gum chewing in the theatre so people put their gum on the brick wall. It's kind of gross and interesting at the same time. I'll post a pic later. I'm too lazy to download it from my phone. The whole wall is covered and some people got creative and wrote their name.

I can't believe tomorrow is Thursday tomorrow already. I'm starting to come down with something but decided that I'll fight this with a 2 hour nap, echinacea, a multi vitamin, zinc, fish oil capsules, oil of oregano and grape juice. We'll see if this works. I hope it does. Ok back to studying for my stats midterm.



I don't know why it is that every conference I get accepted to is taking place somewhere in the midwest lately. I'm writing from the lobby of the Crowne Plaza in Kansas City, MO where I'm presenting at the Midwest Popular Culture Conference. My next conference, the National Communication Assocation Conference, will be in Chicago next month, and if I get into the Association of Asian Am conference (fingers crossed for that one) I'll be making another trip out to Chicago in Spring. As usual I have counted fewer than 3 Asians since I've arrived. And I'm totally exhausted. I present in 2.5 hours and I'm severely sleep deprived. I took a 1/4 of an Ambien CR which knocked me out but I woke up at 2:55am when the thunderstorm started. After that I was just dozing on and off until my alarm went off at 9am (7am my time). I'm not too happy with the set up of the room either. I went to a panel this morning in the same room and what they've done is divide one big room into two with a curtain. Yes, a CURTAIN. So we could hear two speakers speaking at once and it was pretty hard to focus on either one, especially when one of them started playing a sound clip. I don't know whose idiotic idea that was to use a curtain as a room divider. And since I'm complaining incessently I will add that they have this lectern thing set up that I don't think I'm tall enough to see over. Even in 2" heeled boots. Anyways, I need to get back to prepping for this presentation and trying to stay awake. I can't wait to get home. It's raining harder here than it is in Seattle.



I must share with you the most awesomely funny match profile ever from a guy who is quite easy on the eyes. He winked at me. I'm blocking him and don't really intend to login to that site anymore. Anyways, read on:
I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging jerk.
I have to applaud his way with words. I love a good writer. Poor grammar is such a turn off even more so than disregarding social norms.



1408 was such a disappointing movie. The alternate endings on the Blockbuster DVD were even shittier. It's hump day. I think it's funny that white people call Wednesday hump day. In my head I picture people having sex all over the place in public all day. Anyways...

So I'm doing a good job of planning social activities so that my life doesn't completely fucking suck. Heading to an 80s night tomorrow in Cap Hill, Friday I'm having the girls over for Guitar Hero and then I'm going someplace Saturday night with Denny, Justin and friends but I keep forgetting the name of it. Now I need to do a better job getting up on the right side of the bed so I can work on my paper. Next next weekend is my presentation in Missourri at the Midwest Popular Culture Conference.



Why do people say "waking up on the wrong side of the bed"? It makes no sense to me. But yeah, I did that today. When you wake up and the first word you utter in that raspy morning voice is "fuck" you know you're destined to fall face first in shit or get run over by a bus or something spectacular that day. I think I'm going to print myself a t-shirt that says "misanthrope" so I can wear it on days like this. Only because my shirt that says "fuck you" would probably cause me to lose my funding. There is this wise cracking frat boy looking Phd student in Poli Sci in my class whom I wanted to throw my travel mug at today. Actually I would like to first fill it with rocks, and then aim it at his chiseled little jawbone. I am pretty sure of my ability to get vibes from people and his reeked of self-righteousness and conceit.

Alright so now that I got that off my chest, I'm off to watch Weeds on DVD. I cannot get enough of that show. Hopefully it gets me out of this foul mood hell. Although I have to say that my writing gets more colourful and that is at least one benefit of feeling like I constantly suck at life.



So I kicked off Friday with an afternoon get together with the girls from school. Later that night I had a date with a hot hapa dude who turned out to be a total tool who took 10 years to finish his degree because he got kicked out for engaging in some very questionable activity. He also lacked the finer points of going out on a date that most men over 25 who aren't idiots don't miss. You know, like not making me get out of the fucking car to see when the restaurant closes or complaining I slammed his car door when I didn't. Somehow he thinks we're going to meet up again but good looks only get you so far when you're a broke cocky loser who acts like he's 18. Oh well, the movie was excellent. We saw In the Valley of Elah which I highly recommend. Man am I ever glad I was able to salvage my evening by watching the first season of Weeds on DVD. Last night I met Denny's cousins at the birthday party of one of the cousins. It was a roller rink party 80s style. I brought my own blades and got to try them indoors for the first time. It was pretty fun and I managed to escape any injury. I even won a 3-lap race around the rink without pushing anyone into the wall. Just got back from a happy hour at Norm's in Fremont where appetizers were all $5 and beer I think was $3. They had good wings, bacon wrapped shrimp and brie. Not a bad weekend altogether. Could use another day though. I do have a goal to work towards though. We'll be heading out to Neighbour's in Cap Hill for 80s night on Thursday.


day 1

First day of school today and it was not a lucky day but I survived. I thought my spirit friend had left the apartment with my roomate who went to Shanghai for the quarter but last night after I double checked that my alarms were set for 8:45 am and not pm, the alarms were indeed not set properly this morning and I was lucky I woke up around that time anyways. I headed out to catch the 9:39 bus which gets me there a half hour before. No bus, the next one scheduled for 9:49 doesn't come either, and the woman standing next to me says she arrived to catch the 9:15 bus which didn't come either. Finally 10am rolls around and I get on the already packed bus. I arrive at 10:20 and don't even have time to go to my office to get my attendance list. I was lucky I had the room number scribbled on a pieced of paper from the night before. First class of the quarter and I had to wing it.



I spent the weekend in Vancouver for my best friends' wedding up at Westwood Plateau. The day was spent going from Burnaby to Stanley Park to the Wall Center in a big limo for photos. Drinking in the limo started at 11 am and continued until we arrived at the ceremony at 5 or so. The bride and groom did a fantastic job of keeping us fed and comfortable and all of us in the wedding party did a fantastic job of keeping them and ourselves entertained for the whole day...and night. It was only my second time being in a wedding party but I have to say this one really took the cake. I never had so many laughs (mostly at dirty jokes) and so much fun getting photos taken for 5 hours. Most memorable of the many funny things said in the limo came of course from my friend Dan. Tasha and I were showing off the incredible dexterity in our own toes while the others marveled. Dan says, "damn you girls could put a condom on a guy with one foot while making rice with the other."

Wedding highlights:

The first dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLgexf_irYs (woohoo Dirty Dancing)
The wedding party's dance routine (video coming)
The incredibly funny speeches
The videos
Good friends

I'm really not looking forward to seeing the photos and videos of me acting like a loud obnoxious asshole at the reception, although I have to give myself credit for not dancing on any tables and not falling down (like I did the other night last week when I came crashing out of a bathroom stall). Food highlights from the weekend: Dozo Izakaya in Richmond, the wedding food, the double teen burger combo from A&W at 2am that night, a great gyro from a place in Port Moody, and Kiyo for sushi in Richmond.

It was also fun to go on a mini roadtrip with my two closest friends in Seattle. Love you guys.

And after a couple summer months of being pretty much fubar more often than not, I'm feeling like it's time to tame things down a bit and drag myself kicking and screaming back into complete sobriety, at least for a week. I might even exercise or something.



It's funny how awkward and uncomfortable it feels to return to a big room full of my colleagues. Actually it's not an issue with my colleagues but rather one of being in a professional setting, sober, and attempting to be articulate after three months of using the word fuck as either a verb or a noun in every other sentence I spoke, sentences that were never more than 6 words long.

Today was TA orientation day. All the incoming grad students and returning students introduced themselves and listened to the talk about how our funding works and our responsibilities to the program. For whatever reason, I was just not mentally ready to be back in that building, in that meeting room, talking to all those folks, especially all at once. A little overwhelming. I've seen my close friends from school over the last two weeks but having 50 of us in one room staring at one another after being away for three months was just heart rate elevating in a not good way.

I need another month off. Seriously. There are seven boxes of my shit from Simon's house laying around waiting for me to stub my toe on them. I've got some new school year resolutions though. I am going to focus on not losing it. That probably entails scheduling myself time to exercise, watch Heroes, The Office and My Name is Earl, and even go out to see people. These things did not happen in year 1 of this program. I watched almost no TV except for the news during dinner and very rarely went out. Relaxing it was not. I'm determined to make this not the worst 4 years of my life. I want to have a life this year, just a little bit.


the end

Where did summer go?

I saw The Devil's Backbone (2001). Fantastic movie. By the same director who made Pan's Labyrinth. Also saw Hard Candy. Interesting story. Bit gory and hard to watch though, especially for dudes. Denny had to leave the room. Sorry D.

Week and a half to go until classes start. So not ready for school. My head's not in the game and I really don't know what to do to get it there.


17 days

17 days is a long period of blog neglect. In that time, I ended a long term relationship, moved completely out of an ex-partner's apartment, went to LA to party like a rock star for a bachelorette party, detoxed from the partying, unpacked, packed, returned to Seattle, unpacked, saw my therapist, and gave myself a couple of other panic attacks over other shit going on my life and now I'm here. Back in recovery mode. Again. Despite my wishes for stability all I ever find is another adventure I never signed up for. There is never a dull moment in my life but I quite often wish for one. Dull would be a fantastic thing right now.



I am battling an almost-cold, mostly nose blowing and phlegminess that I'm sure I'll get over soon. The bride has an upper respiratory infection. One of the groomsman is just getting over an illness from last week. But we're all going to suck it up because it's stag weekend. (to the Americans, stag = bachelor party, stagette = bachelorette party). Boys are heading to Vegas to see DJ Tiesto and the girls are headed to LA to see John Digweed. I've hooked up a preparty at Circus with seating, champagne and free entry and a line pass for the main event, the Digweed party at Avalon. Sunday is supposed to be a beach day but I have a feeling it's going to be a write off. In fact I'll probably need to be carried off the plane on the way back to SF.

I just talked to one of the groomsman and my only request was that they not get arrested or hospitalized. Luckily my older cousin is not attending so that reduces the chances of getting arrested.

OK time to finish my writing so I can get packed up.



Sicko the movie was great. Go see it. But I'm actually refering to me. I'm sick. I never get sick which is why I'm so pissed that I'm sick. I was slurping down that awful oil of oregano like crazy and still I ended up sick.


"and the such as"

If you haven't seen the video of Miss Teen South Carolina, you must see this version with subtitles.

Here's one child who was definitely left behind. (That's my cousin's joke, not mine)



So apparently there was a joke told late Saturday night that we all remember laughing at. But none of us were sober enough to remember what the joke was. Actually, I'll be honest, I don't even remember laughing at any jokes. I only remember eating a double double cheeseburger and it was fucking delicious.

After 72 hours of incubation, my briliant cousin has finally recalled the joke. It goes like this:

Q: Why do Canadians like to do it doggy style?

A: So they can both watch Hockey Night in Canada at the same time


Step It Up 2007

This year's event takes place November 3rd. Please go to http://www.stepitup2007.org/ to get on the distribution list and help fight global warming.


The weekend was eventful. I'm not even going to try to recap all the weird shit that happened to us during out ridiculous girls' night out on Friday but here is a taste. This conversation took place between us and two guys in line in front of us at VBar. C is my friend who did most of the talking in this situation. I was too busy turning around to yell at this asshole who happened to end up in line behind us with the chump ex-gf who still hangs out with him after he cheated on her a million times. Okay, so back to the drama in front of us in line:

Jackass: Oh perfect, four girls! Hey can you guys lend us $11 so the bouncer can let us pass the line? We don't have enough cash for the $20 to grease the bouncer, but we'll buy you drinks on a credit card when we get inside

C: What about us? How will we get in?

Jackass: You're chicks they'll let you in

C: We already asked, they wont. Plus what kinda job do you have that you wouldn't have any cash when you go to a bar?

[Jackass and his Asian friend produce business cards. Jackass is a manager at Bank of America, Asian friend is an attorney]

Me: you work at a fucking bank and you need to borrow $11 from us? Are you serious? Is this even your business card or did you take it from the bank?

[C looks at the business card]

C: You work across the street from me

Jackass: Oh do you work at Marina (a Chinese grocery store)

C: [steps up to Jackass and gets in his face] WTF??? Just because I'm an Asian woman you think I work at Marina? I work at _______ (software security company)

Highlight of Saturday night aside from seeing all my wonderful friends was eating a double double cheeseburger from Jack in the Box which I'm convinced is still in my stomach.

Oh and I saw Death at a Funeral last night. Great movie but don't read the description or watch the trailer before you see it. It took away from the plot and the laughs. Just go see it. It's great



Shit the notifications that I have blog comments have been going to my spam folder. I just discovered a pile of them. Sorry guys. And here I thought no one ever reads this. They are all published now



Went to Club One with my cousin last night. The place is immaculate and well kept. It makes 24 Hour Fitness look like a fucking bathroom in a dive bar in the Tenderloin. I noticed far less meat marketish activity on the gym floor but still the place is not without its characters. At one point I found myself walking to a piece of equipment at approximately the same rate as another guy. As we both approached the equipment I looked up at him and said "oh were you about to use this?"

The appropriate response for a normal person would be something like "oh you go ahead first."

But this guy just grunts "YEAH" and jumps ahead of me to use the equipment. I bit my lip to keep from blurting out "were you fucking homeschooled or some shit?"

After the workout, we were walking back home and my cousin says that some guy in the locker room was blowdrying his pubes in there and not even discretely. Awesome.



Yes I am still alive. I have not written because I have been blessed with more drama. Ah the life I lead. A couple weeks ago while Simon was at work, many issues -- not the least of which includes dishonesty, zero communication skills, and face-saving tactics that essentially trivialized our entire relationship -- prompted me to pack up my shit and move out. And did he call me to see why I packed up and moved out or to check that I was alive? No, he calls a friend to get the scoop and develop his latest PR strategy to make sure he exits this situation looking like this was his decision and what he wanted all along. What do I learn from this? Don't trust people who are so self-conscious that they can't open up and be themselves even around people who love them. Ego-saving will ultimately be prioritized over your well being.

Not to state the obvious, but we are not on speaking terms. Even after 6 years. What a shame.

Don't worry I am okay. In fact, I'm relieved and, for once in my life, somewhat optimistic. And so begins a new chapter in my life. Please line up the eligible single Asian American men (educated and over 5'6" please) at my front door...naked.



Having a messy house when no one is there to see it is one thing. Everyone has their tolerance for mess and dirtiness. Mine happens to be extremely low because seeing dirt, dust, or hair on floors and surfaces is actually nauseating for me and I get all sorts of anxiety about it and have a hard time staying at other people's houses overnight because of it. Okay enough about me.

Now having a big huge fucking mess for all your neighbours to look at every fucking day is certainly another thing. Please click on the photo to see it in full size so you can truly appreciate the detail:

So our HOA states that we are not allowed to have anything but plants, BBQ, and patio furniture on our patios. These losers have decided to use their patio as some sort of fucking storage. Let's play I spy with my little eye. I spy astroturf, a trampoline, an ironing board with an assortment of ugly ceramic fucking swans, bunches of fake flowers, a broken screen from a window, two satellite dishes, a kid's swimming pool, two exercise balls, a tricycle, a rug hanging over the rail, plastic shelving with more junk on it, a pretend lawnmower, cinder blocks, a hose, a broom and two ceramic elephants.

But hey at least they finally moved their couch back inside. I think I'm going to be an asshole and call the HOA to complain.



So AsiaSF used to be a place we enjoyed taking out of town guests. They had these fabulous drag shows with the girls doing elaborate lipsynch and dance routines on the bartop. The gender illusionists as the web site calls them are also your waitresses. So the person who booked the dinner chose a set menu so fine whatever. The waitress, who used to come and hang out, chat, take pictures etc., I think made one visit to our table with the drinks. Thereafter, the busboy brought our food out. They somehow managed to pack the restaurant with more tables than usual so it was hard to squeeze through the seating areas. And with all the people crammed in there, the place got super hot and stuffy.

As for the service, everything seemed to come at once so there was no room on the table for all the plates. Then the dessert started coming but our salmon hadn't arrived yet. We flagged down the guy bringing the food and let him know. Soon after, another busboy brought more dessert and then the check...still no salmon. Finally, long after the dessert had come out and the check was on the table, the salmon arrived. What the hell are we supposed to do with that now??

To top that, they had forgotten our chocolate volcano cake. So I flag down a dude in a suit who looks like he might be in charge. He offers to take one of the salmon dishes off the bill and bring a round of shots. He also goes looking for our chocolate volcano cake. After what seemed like forever, another busboy comes along with our cake and our shots. The volcano cake, which used to be my favourite of all time, was so overcooked there was no lava spilling out of the cake. Instead it was rock solid all the way through. And the bill for someone who didn't drink? $78 including tax and mandatory 20% tip. This place used to be fun and the food delicious. Now it's hurried, disorganized, over crowded, and generally not a good time. Just too bad. We won't be going back. I wish I could get my 80 bucks back to buy a pair of shoes. Damn them

giving tree

Simon and I are going to be buying a new backback full of supplies for two low income children in the Bay Area. If you want to help too, go to http://www.familygivingtree.org/b2s/Sponsorship.htm
There is a link there if you want to buy the backpack from the online store for the kids and a from to print out a tax receipt. Don't worry I checked it out and they are legit. They get lists of needy children from various schools and agencies. These are kids who are on free/reduced lunch programs and really need help. Just look at these pics and thank yous from them.



English pub food is something I really love to eat, especially sheperd's pie and fish and chips. There was a place called the Prince of Wales pub in San Mateo near my place. It was dark and dingy like a basement from the 60s. They hadn't changed the dirty pukey orange brown carpet or velvet red wall paper in decades. There were photos of people from the 70s who got their Polaroid on the wall for finishing a habanero burger. They had fantastic food -- fish and chips, deep fried pickles, and kobe burgers. Recently it changed hands. Now it is called the Swingin Door Pub. There are hardwood floors where the worn faded carpet used to be, all the photos of people from decades past and dirty framed newspaper clippings have been taken off the wall. The kobe burger is off the menu, ditto the deep fried pickles. Still an English pub with pub food but no more kobe burger, no more deep fried pickles, and a price hike. And the food really does not taste the same. No flavour. I took my out of town friends there today hoping to show them my favourite little hole in the wall but had to apologize for bringing them to a place with horribly bland soggy food. Too bad. I'm sure this breaks the previous owner's heart.


We were carpooling to Mountain View for lunch last week when conversation about who might become the next president came up. Our consultant immediately noted what a bitch Hilary is and how, at the same time, it was pathetic that she took her husband back after the Lewinsky scandal. I had to defend her. I'm sure she had some idea at the time that she might want to run for president in the future. I'm sure she must've come to the realization that being a woman is already hard enough in politics. I'm damn sure that no one would elect a single mom. So her decision to stay with Bill was strategic if nothing else. As for being a bitch. If a man displayed qualities like being tough and stubborn and demanding, he'd be called a strong charasmatic leader. When a woman displays those qualities she is labeled a bitch.

Related to this is a new finding that anger at work earns admiration for men but for women, anger is seen as a sign of incompetence and being "out of control." None of this is surprising to me. I'm generally angry. I'm angry about this, I'm angry about issues of race, I'm angry at the media, I'm angry that I spent years of my life working in the tech industry where testosterone fuels the workplace. What have I gotten for it? Well people attempting to flatter me have called me "feisty" or, worse, "spunky." I consider that demeaning, paternalistic, and sexist. Would you call a man feisty or spunky because they are authoritative or passionate about something? That would sound silly wouldn't it? Being feisty or spunky is cute like a puppy gnawing on your finger. Next person who calls me feisty or spunky gets a fist shoved down their fucking throat. To be honest, I'd rather you call me an asshole.


no fun city

Vancouver is apparently the best city in Canada to live in but placed dead LAST for nightlife.

With the "fake" lines created outside clubs when there is no one inside, unjustified cover charges, tiny boring unrenovated venues (and very few of them), asshole bouncers everywhere, mandatory measured liquor pours (ie weak overpriced drinks), and absence of celebrity DJs willing to include Vancouver in their tours, I am not for a moment surprised by this finding.

As for safety, I know more Vancouverites who have had their cars broken into/stolen than not.

Vancouver has been voted the best city in Canada.
Aug, 01 2007 - 9:10 AM
VANCOUVER/CKNW980 - That according to a survey out this morning.
Though it's probably not a surprise to most Vancouverites, the poll by Angus Reid Strategies finds aside from the overall best city rating, Vancouver is also seen as the country's best city to live in and the best city to vacation in. However the findings are not all rosy with Vancouver finishing much further down the list in categories such as best city to find a job in and best city to do business in. We also finished tied for seventh place as being the safest city and tied for last place in the category of best city for nightlife.



That was a long break from blogging that I never intended. I was busy at work and then took off to Vancouver for a week and a half and along the way started my adult piano lessons and got a used keyboard so I've been a little distracted. So I'm taking these keyboard piano lessons at a community center close to work. I went to class 1 and 3 but missed the second one because I was in Vancouver. I practiced like crazy to make sure I wasn't going to be behind for the third class but it turned out I had worked ahead in the book and now I'm a bit ahead of the class. I have mastered 3 songs with two hands - don't laugh - Jingle Bells, Going Home, and Merrily We Roll Along. I guess taking music all through elementary and junior high at school helped me learn a lot that I didn't realize I would remember.

In other news, the part for the dryer came and Simon figured out how to put the belt on himself, so the dryer is now fixed and we didn't have to pay the $137 for labor because we canceled the appointment. TV is still broken but Sharp is delivering a new one. It has been a bitch not having a TV in the living room. We have my old TV in the bedroom so we spent most of yesterday laying in bed watching TV. Laying in bed all day can, for once, be justified because there is no where else to watch TV. Last night we rented The Good German which is all in black and white. I liked Toby McGuire's character. I fell alseep 3/4 of the way through. I didn't really like it. I also saw Shooter while I was in Vancouver. That sucked. It was a combo of MacGyver, 24, and The Fugitive but worse than all three of them. The guy at Rogers said it was a better movie than Premonition so I guess Premonition really sucks.



I can blog about this now that my friend who is subletting my room knows about it (my roommate spilled the beans which is not terribly surprising). I was hoping my friend would be able to help prove that we are not imagining these strange occurances I'm about to share.

So about 6 months ago weird things started to happen in my Seattle apartment that I tended to dismiss as me being delusional, drunk, or otherwise as is often the case. Let me see if I can remember them all. I think the first was when I was editing some of my friend's wedding video. I was dragging the pointer thing on the timeline backward so that I could figure out where I wanted to cut the video. As I was doing that, the faces in the video all of a sudden turned into grotesque figures that looked like the painting the Scream. I attributed this to lack of RAM in my computer (and being delusional) and thought nothing of it, except that it was really weird that I could not reproduce it even after opening more applications to tax the computer some more.

Another time I was home alone watching TV when I heard a female voice next to the hall closet say very very clearly, "hey!" I actually thought maybe my roommate had come home and somehow opened the door without me hearing but nope. No one there. Another time in the middle of the night my clock radio which is always set to alarm to wake me up on weeknights turned itself on TWICE. I actually had to switch it ON then OFF and then back to alarm to turn it off. Then a half hour later it turned on again. It definitely was not on sleep mode and again I could not reproduce it.

Weird things happened to my roommate too. When I was out of town and she was alone, her GPS unit which was in her hand bag on the floor turned itself on and started giving voice directions. She got up and turned it off. Later that night it turned itself on again. On another occasion her clock radio, in the middle of the night, turned itself on and then off without her even touching it.

I have a friend who is able to sense certain things that most people can't. I won't get into the details but let's just say I don't doubt her. She came over and told me that the disturbances are being caused by a friendly spirit of a young girl who just wants to get our attention. One note of explanation -- ghost = dead person who is confused/lost and hasn't passed on and can be friendly or malicious. Spirit = person who has passed on to the other side and sometimes comes back just to mess around but tends not to be malicious. My roommate thinks this spirit has actually brought her a lot of good luck. I can't say the same but I have to agree that it's not as scary I expected an occurance like this to be.

Okay, so let's hear your thoughts and your stories of supernatural occurances...


Haier sucks II

So we paid $72 for someone to "diagnose" the issue with this piece of shit Haier Dryer. Turns out the reason the drum of this 3 year old dryer doesn't turn is because the belt broke.

Cost estimate (rounded off):
$137 Labour
$56 Parts

total $192.51 (~$260 total cost with the $72)

The dryer was originally $350 or so. One repair costs almost as much as the dryer itself so now we're trying to find another one that is no more than 22" deep.

Oh yeah the LCD TV we got in April is also broken, audio but no picture. Sharp forgot to send the technician the right parts so we have reschedule yet another repair appointment. We are having home repair and travel hell this month. Still waiting to get our fucked up toilet which is leaking and rotting the floor boards under linoleum fixed. And I wonder why my paper isn't getting written.


Air travel is always an adventure. We had a flight Friday evening to Vancouver. We called a Yellow Cab Express/International Cab based in Redwood City at 5:15pm since our flight was at 7:30pm. Let me first say I hate that cab company. These guys have hung up on me several times after I asked them to repeat themselves because I couldnt understand what they were saying. They are also known to distribute coupons that they don't honour.

35 min later he still had not arrived and we started to worry about missing the flight. The guy said he was stuck in traffic at Hillsdale (it takes me less than 35 minutes to walk from there) after we called back. Finally he arrives 40 minutes late and doesn't even get out of the car to get our luggage. Asshole. He gets into the far left lane thinking it's a carpool lane but it's not. It is the slowest moving lane on this section of the 101. Idiot.

Finally we got to the airport. Flight was delayed an hour. Checked in our luggage, passed through security and Simon realized his phone was missing (again... this is already a loaner phone for the one he dropped in the shitter two weeks ago). He had Alaska call the check in desk and they dont have it so he used this extra hour to retrace his steps. No luck.

An hour comes and goes and the plane is still going through some mechanical issues. The door is squeaky apparently. An hour after that they canceled the flight not because of the mechanical issues, which were resolved, but because too much time had passed and the crew was no longer allowed to fly due to safety issues around working hours. Fantastic. We lined up, got rebooked on a flight the next day, then refunded the booze at Duty Free, and headed to the luggage carousel to get the luggage back. What a huge waste of an evening.

7 am the next morning, another cab driver called to say he had found the phone. He said he would leave it at the cab office since he had to pick up another passenger and couldnt take us to the airport for our second attempt at getting to Vancouver. The flight went off without a hitch but we got in too late to make it to the wedding ceremony we were supposed to attend.

Anyways, Simon is now back in the Bay Area and called the company back to arrange to pick up the phone that guy left for him and also to give this fellow a reward. Guess what. The jerk-off of a dispatcher says he doesn't see Simon's phone there and he doesn't know the names of all the cab drivers so he can't put Simon in touch with this nice guy who said his name was Alfredo or something. Guess some other asshole who works there stole the phone after the one honest driver turned it in. The only thing more annoying than traveling by plane is taking cabs.



I came to the realization today that as of 2 days ago, I've been in the Bay Area for 1 month. I can't believe 1/3 of my stay here is already over. I also can't believe that I still haven't finished my stupid paper for the class that I took an incomplete for. There are 4 reasons for that:

1. Working all day from an office cubicle drains the life out of me. Even if the work is not terribly challenging in an intellectual sense, the fact that I'm in an overly air conditioned office with no sunlight for 8-10 hours a day I think is slowly killing me. Going about my business on campus for 8 hours does not have the same effect. Maybe it's because I am forced to walk around, talk to people, and get fresh air.

2. Hamsters. I have missed the office hamsters and I get to stare and poke at them and feed them all day.

3. Darts. We got a dart board at work and I cannot stop playing darts. We've played so much the tips are dull and we need to sharpen them.

4. Last but not least, Super Puzzle Fighter II. We got an XBox to play at lunch and after work and that game is like crack. In fact, I just installed a version of it on my laptop because I cannot get enough. It is almost 2 am and I just finished the 8 stages of normal mode but couldn't beat the final challenger Akuma.

I need to go to bed so that I am good and ready to kick some ass in Puzzle Fighter tomorrow.



No not me. I've never had a concussion that I can remember (that was a joke, get it?). So we headed out to see Blank & Jones on Saturday night. Aside from the fact that, looking at the crowd you'd think it was a creepy guys' and obese women's convention, it was a good party. Good old fashioned progressive, none of the dark bass-heavy stuff or weird trip hop. We went with a friend who went to roam around on his own for a while. We found him again at almost 3am leaning against the bar casually. He was touching his lip which was swollen. Turned out that someone sucker punched him on the dancefloor. He couldn't remember why or what the guy looked like or whether or not he fell to the floor. Obviously this happened without security noticing and no one coming to his resuce since he was standing around by himself in a daze. He had a missing tooth, a chipped tooth and a top tooth that had been pushed in by this guys fist (or bottle or whatever it was). Worst of all he had no memory of what happened. We left the club and he found his tooth in his pocket. He couldn't find his car key and then found it in a pocket and I took it from him. From there, he asked a list of questions every 2-5 minutes:

- hey how'd you guys find me?
- do you have my tooth?
- I can't find my key, does someone know where it is?
- how did I get here, did I drive?

I figured these were classic signs of a concussion (good old first aid training) and we took him to the hospital on Hyde. He went looking for the bathroom which was locked so we took him to a different one at the other end of the hallway. A few minutes later he had to go to the bathroom again and had already forgotten where it was and kept trying the bathroom with the locked door.

After a long wait and answering the same questions over and over again the doctor saw him. He got his vitals checked, got a tetanus shot, some Motrin and a prescription for some more pain killers. The tooth could not be saved. I knew you are supposed to put it in milk but we didn't exactly have that so I thought putting it in water would be the next best thing. Apparently that is not the case. (water is too much, put it in a wet napkin or your mouth eeeew). The patient in the next bed came in by ambulance for what I'm guessing is a meth overdose. He got impatient waiting for the doctor, stood in the middle of the room and started to cry. Then he put his trench coat on without first putting on his shirt, and wandered right out the emergency room door. The hospital staff didn't even bat an eye. He never came back. Meanwhile we got instructions to take our friend home and wake him up every two hours and to bring him back if he starts to puke a lot or walk wobbly, neither of which were the case when we checked in. Phew. Our friend is okay given the circumstances but now does not remember ever being at the hospital.

What a Saturday night. We spent Sunday laying on the couch and watching 24 on Tivo.



I've found myself so many times trying to explain why Caucasian is not a synonym for white, nor is it the polite way to say "white," as if that needed a euphemism. If you trace back a "real" Caucasian, as defined by scientists who failed to find a biological basis for determining race and then tried to define race by origin, you would actually only get a very small handful of people in this world tied to a very specific geographical region. I think this sums it up quite well:

The dominant use of the word ‘Caucasian’ instead of ‘white’ effectively hides
color behind a wall of pseudo-science. Despite a history of scientific
falsification, ‘Caucasian’ was adopted into American vernacular in the
mid-twentieth century as a means of reconsolidating whiteness as a biologically
distinct category of people (Jacobson 1998). (Reitman, 2006, p. 272)

In truth, the act of using ‘white’ only reveals to whites their own
privilege, the historical politics of whiteness. (Reitman, 2006, p. 273)

In other words, using the term "white," instead of the scientifically inaccurate "Caucasian," strips away this notion that "white" is normal or default or neutral and that people of color are inherently deviants of this construction of normalcy.



So I'm helping with some recruiting efforts to find a junior IT helpdesk person. In searching Craigslist, I've noticed some interesting things:

1. A lot of people have ridiculous spelling/grammatical errors in their resumes. Isn't that the most obvious no-no?

2. The backlash against hiring foreign H1-B workers has manifested in the addition of "citizenship status" on a number of resumes. e.g. "US Born Citizen -- Native English speaker" or "Status: US Citizen and French green card holder." This irks me. Companies purport to hire based on suitability and skill and not to discriminate based on race, religion, nationality, sex etc. but this demonstrates that people don't believe them. They believe, and probably rightly so, that American corporations prefer to hire not just citizens, but those who speak perfect English, nevermind the skills they might bring as someone with experience working in other countries, economies and cultures.

3. Some assholes are ethnocentric enough to demand that the people looking to hire them speak English well e.g. "I am accepting Phone Calls from the local 408 and 650 Area Codes ONLY. This is my Local Job Search Area. NOTE- You MUST be able to speak English clearly and distinctly." I kind of want to email him just to tell him to shove it.

4. Rather than use the title of the post to bring attention to the position they are seeking or the skills they bring, some people (ie the ones I would never contact because they just seem too dull) use their name or something like "APPLYING FOR SUITABLE JOB " as the posting title. See another example below, the best Craigslist resume post ever.

5. Some people are really too idiotic to deserve a job. Yes this is the entire posting, no there is no resume or any indication what kind of job this person is qualified for or seeking. I kind of want to email him to say "you're kidding right?"

Tony's Resume (redwood city) <--- this was the title of the post per #4 above. Brilliant Reply to: [deleted for the idiot's privacy]
Date: 2007-06-30, 12:31PM PDT

Looking for a job higher than entry level, in which will allow me to use my skills and abilities to my fullest potential

[yup, this one clearly takes the cake. Absolutely a waste of time and in no way deserving of even an entry level position in whatever it is he wants to do]


Haier sucks

Here we go again. Why does my shit always break? Why am I always on the phone with some sort of customer service rep idiot?

Dear Haier,

I have a dryer gdz5-1 purchased 3 years ago from Lowe's. Within the first couple months the fuse broke and I called Haier's customer service to find a person who services Haier products under warrantee. Back then, of the list of appliance repair companies your customer service person gave me, only one company actually serviced Haier products.

In other words the list was EXTREMELY out of date and almost all the companies I called said they had stopped servicing Haier many many years ago. A couple of them said they never remembered ever servicing Haier and shouldn't be on your list at all.

Now the dryer's drum won't turn and the one company that serviced it 3 years ago (Alegria Appliance repair in Newark, CA) won't come out to my area anymore because it's too far from them. I am in Foster City and at a loss for what to do next if no one fixes Haier around here. Please advise (and please dont send me that list of people who no longer service Haier as calling them the first time was a big waste of my time and so was trying to explain that to your customer service rep who basically threw up her arms and told me there was nothing else she could do).


So I'm on week two down here in the bay area. I've been working every weekday since I got here and trying to get used to cube life in a tech company again. My plan was to finish a paper after clocking my 8 hours but it's been hard because I'm still tired from the school year. The most I seem to manage is to look for more articles to reference and add them to EndNote. By the time we get home and fed, it's impossible not to plop down on the couch in front of Simon's new TV. Weekends are too sunny to stay in and work. This weekend we did all the car maintenance stuff on Saturday and spent Sunday at the Asian American expo, grocery shopping and watching a movie with a friend.

The paper I have yet to finish has been accepted to the Midwest Popular Culture Conference in October and another one I wrote in Fall was accepted to the National Com Association conference in Chicago this year so I'm pretty happy about that. Just wish those conferences were some place sunny instead of in the frigid midwest.

In other news someone's idiot dog escaped in traffic on the 101 this morning. A lot of drivers got out of their cars to try and chase it down. Not sure how that panned out. Ok it's my favorite time of day, bedtime.



So the night before I flew down to the Bay Area (last Friday), Denny and I were gettin' ready to head out for happy hour at Ivar's and drinks downtown. All of a sudden a really piercing noise filled the apartment. It was the fire alarm. Not just a smoke detector but an apartment wide alarm. All my neighbors headed out onto their balconies to see what everyone else was doing. We figured someone had pulled the alarm but the noise was so loud we picked up our stuff and headed into the hallway where I ran into a guy in jeans and a t-shirt soaking wet and smelled some smoke in the hallway. I asked him what's going on and all he said was "there was a fire but it's out." It took a while before I figured out that his sprinkler (heat sensitive not triggered by smoke) must've gone off. We headed down many flights of stairs and outside where most residents were already standing around asking each other what happened. It took forever for the fire department which is spitting distance away to arrive. Three trucks came and the firefighters went inside then came back out and went back in with what looked like vaccuum cleaners. Before long, they were throwing chunks of carpet out the window. Then the head firefighter guy announced that anyone next to the apartment or below them would have to find an alternate place to stay since there was likely to be water damage to all those apartments. It's still not clear what started the fire but that apartment is totalled. I have some photos which I'll post later.



Tonight I went to Cactus Club Cafe at Metrotown for a little mini high school reunion. Not my first restaurant choice by a long shot but I had to please people who don't eat Japanese food which is my staple when I eat in Vancouver. That reunion was fun and all that but one incident really pissed me off. See I was wearing my favorite t-shirt. It says on the front "I WILL NOT LOVE YOU LONG TIME." Get it? White boy waiter comes by and says, oh I like your shirt. My friend can't see the whole thing and asks me what it says so I read it out for her. Stupid waiter says, "no, but you have to say it with the accent." (%$#@ WTF??) I resisted the temptation to climb over the table and punch him in the face to wake up a few of his dormant brain cells. Then I resisted the temptation to say "fuck you" and instead opted for "FUCK THAT, what do you think I'm protesting with this shirt?!" I also bit my tongue before I ended that sentence with "you ignorant privileged frat boy piece of shit." He still didn't seem to understand what I was talking about because he responded to my outrage with this lame nervous giggle. Give it a few years I'll bet he becomes one of those assholes who goes on sex tours in Asia and doesn't see why it's a bad thing.



I'm taking my first "incomplete" in a university class ever. It's for a 1 credit class that requires I send a paper off for publication. This is the real thing, not some pointless exercise. I had a paper that just needed more massaging than expected and it'll take a little more time than the quarter allowed. Luckily all but one of the students in the class will be taking this incomplete and in fact it was encouraged but that doesn't make me feel any better. Neither does the fact that I left way too little time to take a break before going to SF to work for the summer. I always feel like I have to fill up all my time. Part of it was that I know Simon needs help at work and I want to get there to relieve him a bit. I'm in Vancouver now and too mentally drained to work on that paper and too wound up to feel like I'm taking a break. I dunno just being in Vancouver always feels so hectic. People making appointments and all this pressure to be places when I just want to sulk, lay on the couch, and watch Law and Order by myself. It doesn't help that I barely recognize my own city and it's just a constant reminder of how quickly time is passing and how little I've been accomplishing over the years.


jump street

Did you know 21 Jump Street happens in real life??

I always thought that was fictional. I mean how the hell can a 33 year old man pass as a 15 year old? The slang and mannerisms and music and culture and all that you can learn. But what do you do about crow's feet and receeding hair lines? I look pretty young at 31 but I don't think that even I would pass for 15.



Things to celebrate today -- one of my students got through two rounds of an annual public speaking contest and has qualified to compete with two other speakers at the final tomorrow. I've been accepted to contribute to an encyclopedia which will be published in 2008 (I don't want to reveal details because I haven't received/read the contract yet). I only have 19.5 more speeches to grade (I stopped halfway through the first one to blog, damn adult ADD). Denny made it safely to Eugene, OR on his solo move to Seattle. Upon last update, he was in a movie theater in Eugene, OR and was the only one in the whole theatre.



So I don't have many channels with basic cable. Most of them are home shopping channels for some reason. So if I'm taking a break I watch whatever's on and remotely interesting, usually it's on the Discovery Channel. Today I landed on a show that turned out to be Desperate Housewives which I've never seen before but have heard of. Maybe it was a rerun, I'm not sure. It would almost be a funny show had it not been for the repulsive stereotypes. Gabrielle has a maid/surrogate mother named Shao-Mei who, of course, speaks in horribly broken English. Of the few minutes of screen time for this character she is demanding (dragon lady) because she, as Gabrielle's surrogate mother, is able to hold the unborn baby hostage in return for making her boss reverse roles and take care of her. She complains that her meal served in bed does not come with crackers and throws a pickle on the floor. Gabrielle threatens to send her back to Shanghai where she'll "be on all fours in a rice paddy" as soon as the baby is born. Shao-Mei then disappears after stealing all of Gabrielle's clothes. Gabrielle goes down to a Chinese Restaurant looking for her and when the waitress doesn't cooperate, she threatens to send the authorities to "see what really is in the mushu pork." I can't even begin to count how many anti-Asian stereotypes were in this episode alone. There's no way I can watch another one. That was just vile. Fuck you Desperate Housewives.



So my students have started delivering their final speeches. This project is called the advocacy speech (formerly called the protest speech) and it involves motivating a sympathetic audience to take action. The speech is given out on Red Square which is a central area in my school where there is a lot of foot traffic.

So the students are graded partly on their ability to deal with environmental conditions whether they be seagulls flying overhead, hecklers, noisy airplanes flying by or what have you. Well my students sure got to deal with their fair share of challenges today. My first class had a mentally unstable homeless man walking around the area making very loud noises that I can only spell as "mreeeh." I saw him walking towards the speaker and I started to worry a bit but luckily he detoured toward the garbage can nearby, still making these loud noises. After that, another speaker was up. During her speech a couple of ducks, regulars in Red Square, decided to walk in front of her, down the steps, and for a little sight seeing around the audience's ankles, and then back up the steps in front of her. Damn they were soooo cute. Distraction #3 was the crowd of elementary school kids. They were actually not terribly noisy but one of the idiot teachers instructed them to run up the steps toward Kane Hall, right in front of my speaker. WTF?

In my second class, one of my students was doing a speech advocating that our state mandate the HPV vaccine. Just as soon as she said "teenagers are having sex" you could see the two crazy Jesus folks walk towards us with this HUGE, I mean like 12' tall sign held up in harnesses they were wearing. The sign said something like repent for your sins among other things. I'm pretty sure I remember seeing the word hell. One of those crazies decided to park himself right behind the speaker so we could all see his big huge sign. On top of that, some folks decided to set up and test an amplified sound system for an ROTC event to take place later that afternoon so that speaker got to compete with someone saying "test, test 1, 2" through a microphone.

I have to say nothing beats teaching. Everyday is different and usually pretty interesting in one way or another. You can't say that for most desk jobs.



A former professor of mine who is only a few years older than me sure had a big year. He released a CD, got engaged (I didn't even know he was dating anyone), bought a house, and got an awesome new job on the other side of the country. Man things sure happen fast when you hit your 30s. I am so happy for him. He totally deserves all of that. I like it when good things happen to good people.

Admittedly that also means I hate it when good things happen to bad people and when bad things happen to good people.