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.