6.19.2008

activities

So I'm on a supposed break between spring and summer quarter but I've been spending it developing a course that I'll be teaching for 5 weeks. It'll be the first undergrad class that I teach standalone and it's on a topic that is right down my alley so I'm pretty excited but doing all the readings, developing reading questions, coming up with assignments and previewing all the videos I plan to show (plus making up questions to answer after the video) has been a lot of work. Fun but still time consuming nonetheless. To keep things interesting and to force myself to get out and get some exercise I've been going to ashtanga yoga once a week and will be registering for 12-week series with K starting July. I also started lindy hop lessons which are also once a week and, man, does that ever involve a lot of sweating. What I learned on day one was that the other swing classes I've taken in the Bay Area were definitely West Coast swing and not lindy. But I'm actually enjoying this a lot more. I never really got into the West Coast swing classes, it didn't help that I didn't have a willing partner at the time either. K is about 10 years ahead of me at lindy hop so I go on my own which is fine by me since he's out on his bike those days anyways. Maybe one day I can dance with him and not just in the living room. So there you have it. I'll be forced to get out and move my ass at least twice a week. I've already lost almost 4 pounds just doing all the walking around in my neighborhood, to the bus stop, to K's and to my activities.

6.16.2008

parents

My parents came to visit this weekend. They had to head south to fetch something they bought online from their PO box in Blaine so they continued down the I5 for a visit. Most people have normal conversations with their parents by the time they hit their 30s. Unfortunately, my parents' idea of communication is driving from the back seat (both of them, simultaneously) and offering unsolicited advice and annoying commentary on every. single. fucking. thing. I. do.

Here is an abbreviated list of things on which they commented/questioned:
- my place is too old and the landscaping unkempt
- front door is too squeaky
- why is there no in-suite washer dryer
- everyone has a covered parking spot except me and another tenant
- why do they have to swear in this movie
- organic peanut butter is too oily (it's separated and you need to mix it up, it's just like that)
- stairs to bedroom are too steep
- fridge is too big
- microwave should be tilted at a different angle
- curtain, which is temporarily covering my my storage nook, is too sheer
- not enough meat in the fridge
- bathroom tap is too hard to turn on
- there should be a strainer in the tub to catch hair
- where is the sugar, why do you put honey in tea
- why buy a knife set when I could take their old knives and sharpen them
- why so many cables near the baseboard heating
- knobs in the bathroom are loose
- why are there not more towel racks for guests
- I should mask when I paint walls (I DID MASK)
- I should have cable, it couldn't cost that much
- why are there no facecloths
- bus stop is so far away
- non-slip mat in the tub should be hung up daily to dry
- electrical bill too high for one person
- too many keys on my key chain makes it too heavy and will break my car's ignition

They were relentless and K had to listen to some of that, and also had to deal with me losing my patience and thus he deserves a large trophy.

The only peace I got was when I put on a movie Friday and Saturday nights. That bought me a total of 4.5 hours of them not criticizing me and how I live my life. After they left on Sunday afternoon, I collapsed on the couch and fell asleep for two solid hours.

6.08.2008

race

So I went to K's bike race in Ballard this weekend. It was pretty fun. I can't believe I stuck around all day. It was a crit which means they ride a 1km course on closed off city streets. The more advanced levels (category 1, 2, and pro) go around for 70 min, cat 3s do I think 50 minutes and his level, cat 4s and 5s do 35 minutes of continuous riding around the course. K got off to a bad start thinking his foot was clipped into his pedal. It wasn't, which caused him to slip forward and crotch his top tube. He didn't ever manage to get back on track, but at least he didn't crash like a couple of other riders in his category, one who broke his pinky finger and another who fractured his elbow and lost a bunch of flesh. Yeah, this confirmed that I will never ever take up a sport that involves trying to be faster than someone else.

I haven't watched a race since I went with my parents to watch the Tour de White Rock in BC when I was a kid. It was kind of like watching Indy (I went to Infineon a couple years ago to see Danica Patrick), all the excitement but without the noise and stink. Plus you get to stand right up close and watch them go by. Part of the fun for me was also seeing all the awesome dogs that people brought out with them. Seattlites love their dogs. One big black dog I saw was a 2 year old that was 120 lbs (ie bigger than me) and still growing. He made the retriever he was playing with look like a chihuahua. So cute.

Anyways, yeah, it didn't do much more than sprinkle a bit all day that day but I was wearing 3 layers under a down jacket to stay warm. The sun made an appearance today but the forecast calls for more rain this week. Yuck.

6.07.2008

seriously

This weather has got to fucking stop. It's June. This morning I had to turn on the heat. I could no longer stand wearing a fleece jacket or down vest INDOORS. My 5000 lux seasonal affective disorder lamp plus turning on the heat is not meant to simulate spring/summer for the whole year. By now we're supposed to have real, not simulated, summer. I'm starting to wonder if this is a climate that I can tolerate long term, especially when I'm so sensitive to lack of sunlight. Dammit California spoiled me. Then again, when I think about it, I was pretty miserable in Vancouver during shitty weather months too.

I got up at 10am or so today, had something to eat, and could not keep my eyes open. Crashed on the couch for 2 more hours for a grand total of 11 hours of sleep and I still feel like shit. I'm on my third cup of Red Rose tea which I made extra strong so I can put in a couple solid hours of reading for my exams.

Good thing I have to do something that involves leaving the house. Gonna watch K's race in Ballard this afternoon. In fact I should be getting out of my pajamas right now but it's just so fucking hard to get motivated to do anything. Winter, you need to go away really soon. My mental health and productivity are at risk here. I've already had to take most Cure songs out of my playlist for fear it will only sink me deeper into this weather-induced melancholia.

6.05.2008

hair

I don't know where the hell Owen Sound, ON is but if you do, please boycott Nathaniels Restaurant. According to this CTV story, a woman who worked there shaved her head to raise $2700 for cancer research and in return she got "laid off." The reason? She wouldn't wear a wig. How fucking backwards is this? It's is so wrong on so many levels. The most obvious issue is that she is being punished by her employer for making what I'm sure she imagined to be a sacrifice as it would be for most women. Secondly, how does her hair style affect her ability to serve customers? Does this mean that any woman with a shaved head would not get a job there? How about a woman who has no hair because she really has undergone chemo, then what? There is no way that could be legal. And finally, isn't the men-short hair, women-long hair expectation just a LITTLE bit stale? What is this 19 fucking 40? How does having a penis or vagina determine what length hair is socially appropriate? If some of the restaurant's customers agree with the owner, I don't think I ever want to step foot in Owen Sound or be anywhere near those people. I am glad this made national news, Nathaniel's owner and chef Dan Hilliard, shame on you. Asshole.

6.04.2008

Ruby

To Ruby Chow,

Thank you for being an inspiration.

Sincerely,
me

-------------------
From The Seattle PI

Gov. Chris Gregoire called her "the soul of Seattle" who "exemplified so much of what makes Washington great."

"She stood up for the underrepresented, especially Asian Americans, from the time she was a young woman. She was a role model for women of all backgrounds and a fierce believer in the importance of families. And she was a successful businesswoman and politician. Throughout her life, Ruby did what women do best. She built bridges, and because of that, she left our state better place for us all. We will miss Ruby, but her legacy will live on."

logo

(4:21:21 PM) me: btw did you see this logo? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1901656/OGC-unveils-new-logo-to-red-faces.html
(4:21:48 PM) K: pretty damn funny
(4:21:54 PM) me: how awesome is that
(4:21:55 PM) me: seriously
(4:22:15 PM) me: a government entity gets a logo of a guy jacking off. i love it
(4:23:07 PM) K: so good
(4:23:47 PM) K: did you see the one for the christian childrens home that look like Jesus was getting a bj from a kid?
(4:24:00 PM) me: HAHAHA no that is awesome. send me the link
(4:24:13 PM) K: they took it down
(4:24:16 PM) me: shit

(4:27:06 PM) K: here's one that started that thread a few years back, http://www.thelogofactory.com/2006_images/info-imgs/bad-logos1.jpg
(4:27:53 PM) me: that is excellent

(4:28:14 PM) K: http://www.blog4logos.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/funnylogos-2.jpg
(4:28:34 PM) K: http://www.frederiksamuel.com/blog/images/kuda.jpg

and one more:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/84/268480215_85b6fc0cc8.jpg?v=0

damn I can't stop, a few more:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_N_ukhicsi_A/Rl3sgiL6urI/AAAAAAAAABg/b3oC2iqAaaw/s1600-h/logo102.gif
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_N_ukhicsi_A/Rl3r3yL6uqI/AAAAAAAAABY/YTRz1PqlEgs/s1600-h/logo101.gif

ugh

Had a meeting with the department chair yesterday that made me want to quit school right then and there. Went in requesting support on an issue that jeopardizes basically my whole academic career, and got interrogated and blamed instead. If there were a department or nearby school to defect to, I'd be doing it but instead I'm pretty much stuck. All I do is service for the department. I keep my nose clean and stay out of trouble and in return I get unapologetically fucked up the rear with a chainsaw at every turn. The only allies who have any sort of power (i.e. tenure) exist outside of my own department. How pathetic is that? Now I'm not really motivated to do anything but lay on the couch in front of the TV...unfortunately the free cable I was enjoying decided to cut out today. Another fabulous day in the life of me. At least Obama won.

6.02.2008

bus

Lately I've been getting aboard a bus driven by a woman who, according to one of her many pictures posted in the front windshield, loves her job. Yup, there really is a little picture taped to her windshield that says, "I love my job." I like getting on her bus because there is always a bouquet of fresh flowers tied to the big bus fare collection machine. She also has a whole collection of puppy and kitten pictures taped to the windshield. When kids get on the bus, she gives them a little postcard to color. She also had doggy treats on hand for canine riders. She usually has someone up front to converse with but often she also opens her window or door at intersections to chat up other drivers and random people on the street. I like her. She's cool. She's also the one who yelled at a bunch of obnoxious teens who were bothering other passengers and blocking the aisle. Those teens then pulled the race card and called her racist (according to a conversation I witnessed between her and them on a separate occasion). Anyways, if you're being an asshole and get called out, don't pull the race card, all that does is trivialize REAL issues of racial discrimination and there are many. Don't cry wolf. Anyways back to the bus driver. It's cool to find someone who loves her job. It's a rare thing.

6.01.2008

eats

K introduced me to a couple good eats recently: Liberty where they do old-school pre-prohibition style drinks with good liquor for reasonable prices. Decent sushi there too. And Kingfish cafe where you get fancy twist on southern cooking. Not a place to go when dieting, especially if you're like me and cannot resist ordering mac and cheese, no matter what restaurant you're at. Man, I love eating. I realized the hobby that has replaced all the clubbing we did in our 20s is pub/bar crawling and eating. It's a particularly fine hobby in this neighborhood where food is served late at a lot of places and there's generally no cover so you can check out a different place for dinner, dessert, and drinks or coffee (and hot dog if there's room after all that). And the walking you have to do to get there, to do the pub/restaurant crawl, and then roll your fatty ass home helps to work off some of the calories. I think this beats partying.