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.