I really hate scheduling shit. I would hate my job so much if I were a personal assistant or executive assistant or secretary or something. I'm in general exam oral defense scheduling hell right now. Everything is on hold because of some classroom scheduling issues for my co-advisor so we have to wait on that until I can settle a defense date which will enable me to figure out my written exam dates, which means I'll finally be able to use the cool countdown feature on my new Samsung 520 phone, or what I call iPhone for poor folks with its WAP browser and inability to synch with anything meaningful on my laptop. Anyways, blogging is light because I have been doing nothing but reading and notetaking in EndNote. I have been doing some cathartic writing though on Yelp. Look for me by my first and last name, if you know it.

Anyways, it was funny. I just met K's "twin" downstairs at the coffee shop. He's a white guy but has the same name, is also into lindy hop, lives in the same building, and has a gf doing a Ph.D.


hang up

I logged on to the Sprint web site to activate my new phone today. Obviously they have some kinks to work out in their activation system as my online agent's (Matthew) instructions to make a test call (which I made to K) got routed to another customer service rep at Sprint who told me she was doing a "welcome call."

So I had one agent on the phone and one on my live chat. Matthew, my online agent, kept telling me to hang up on the lady on the phone but she was...talking. He insisted it was ok but it was all a little weird chatting to someone telling me to hang up on the lady from Sprint who was talking to me over the phone in real time.

Here's how it went down on the chat. Kinda funny:

5:11:59 PM Customer Me
making test call
5:12:08 PM Agent Matthew L
5:12:18 PM Customer Me
it put me thru to sprint
5:13:03 PM Agent Matthew L
5:13:03 PM Agent Matthew L
One moment please.
5:13:48 PM Customer Me
she's doing a welcome call? wtf
5:14:20 PM Customer Me
now she says she is doing my activation. this is confusing
5:14:54 PM Agent Matthew L
That is not supposed to happen. You can hangup from the representative.
5:15:06 PM Customer Me
she's talking...
5:15:54 PM Customer Me
she's telling me about billing cycles
5:16:02 PM Customer Me
and reading me fine print
5:16:09 PM Agent Matthew L
Ok, but if the steps went through then it is working.
5:16:28 PM Customer Me
i guess i should sit thru her call?
5:16:41 PM Customer Me
like will i have to jump thru this hoop anyways?
5:16:44 PM Agent Matthew L
5:17:01 PM Customer Me
oh i feel bad...
5:17:04 PM Customer Me
is she in sales?
5:17:14 PM Agent Matthew L
You can hangup, if it got thru to sprint then it works.
5:17:23 PM Customer Me
gotcha. thanks so much
5:17:30 PM Agent Matthew L
Your Welcome
5:17:35 PM Agent Matthew L
It is my job to ensure that I have fully resolved the issues that prompted you to chat with me. Have I resolved all of your issues today?
5:17:42 PM Customer Me
yup thanks
5:17:50 PM Agent Matthew L
It has been my pleasure assisting you today !!



Grad students "always and never have the day off." That's what one of my friends said today about today being MLK day. She was right because the coffee shop where we meet to study along with a couple other women in my cohort was packed all day today. Yup I spent my "day of service" reading for exams for 9 hours and everyone around us seemed to be studying diligently with their big huge calculators and big huge law and physiology and engineering textbooks. It's going to be like this until April 3rd or so when I complete the oral defence for my general exams.



It feels like we get notifications of "criminal incident" at least on a monthly basis if not more often. Mostly strong arm robberies, which is pretty scary. This one though is just creepy.

Timely Warning Notification of a Criminal Incident

Indecent Liberties - Seattle Campus

The UW Police Department is investigating a reported case of indecent liberties that occurred on January 9, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. in a men's restroom in Odegaard Library. A male victim entered the 3rd floor restroom and noticed the male suspect loitering by the sinks. The suspect started a conversation with the victim describing his own height and weight, and asked the victim how tall he was and how much he weighed. He asked several flirtatious questions while approaching the victim. The victim attempted to leave the area, but the suspect would not move. The suspect again asked the victim how much he weighed, said "let me check," and grabbed the victim in several places. The victim stated that someone entered the restroom, which allowed him to escape. The victim was not injured in the encounter.

The suspect is described as a tall male with a dark complexion, approximately 6'3", with very short hair in a "buzz" cut. He spoke with a strong accent, origin unknown. He was also reportedly carrying a small black 8" toiletry bag.
Now I'm all for not racializing people since race as a biological concept does not exist, but when it comes to practical matters like describing a fucking suspect so we can catch the guy, I think we need to be more specific than "dark complexion." I mean what the fuck does that mean? Even if they are socially defined, I think "races" (the quotation marks are deliberate and used correctly) at least allow us to use popular ideas of what people might look like because, duh, it is visible. Do we often guess people's race incorrectly? Yup, for sure. But dark complexion tells me nothing. But black or Asian or Latino gives me at least somewhat of a better idea of what this guy looks like.



I got back from my two weeks in Vancouver (okay, actually Coquitlam, or what I call Shitquitlam, this shitty suburb of Vancouver where I grew up and my parents still live). I spent the first week totally snowed in. I'm talking over a foot of snow that I'd shovel only to have it come back the next day when my back was still sore from shoveling. So I gave up, hunkered down, and caught up on some reading for school. Apparently the BC south coast hasn't seen this much snow since 1971 which means it's the most snow my area has seen in my lifetime. It was pretty and all that but the novelty wore off quickly. Once the snow let up a little it was time to see friends for our favourite activity, eating. Just wanted to sum up for people in/visiting Vancouver the places we went to and the highlights (and a few lowlights):

Deer Garden. This place has the best curry brisket in the world, better than the famous Mui Garden curry. My parents get take out from here every time I visit.

Hon's Wonton House. We stopped at the New Westminster branch for some lunch and I got duck noodle soup (my favourite noodle order) for $4.35 with big huge pieces of duck. Delicous.

Rich Ocean. This place on West Broadway has awesome and cheap (before noon) dim sum. We ate until we were stuffed and even got dessert and it came out to barely over $25 for 4 people. Really awesome food. Can't wait to go back.

North Garden
. This is where the old Lone Star Cafe and before that Fuddruckers were located. The beef and gai lan was a bit tasteless, but you have to go there for the peking duck. It is amazing. I haven't had Peking duck that good in a long time. $28 for two dishes -- the duck skin with wrap and duck meat with lettuce wrap. The hot and sour soup is particularly spicey but K liked it a lot. If you like your soup spicey, definitely try it.

Kingyo Izakaya
. K and I walked down to Denmen from Robson to check this place out. Guu is still our favourite, but this place was excellent. Get the sashimi salad and tuna tataki. Oh and the black cod and also the crab croquette.

Rodney's Oyster House. Went here with some friends. Usually we try for the happy hour when oysters are a buck each but we came for dinner instead. It was delicious but pricey ($3.50 an oyster) so I'd stick to happy hour.

New York Fries. Kind of odd to go to a Canadian fast food place called NY Fries to get poutine but they make it well there and K was craving some so we did. Yum.

Blenz. This is kinda the Canadian Starbucks. Ubiquitous chain coffee shop, but the coffee is better than Starbucks. Definitely try the Belgian dark chocolate mocha. It was fantastic.

Ki Hon Sushi. We got a nice take out sushi party platter for 5-6 people for only $36 here. And that includes 15 pieces of nigiri and a whole bunch of rolls. Will definitely be back for my next take out order. Tekka rolls are only $2 and the other stuff is just as cheap and it's pretty good for a little tiny take out place. Definitely the cheapest party platters around.

Miki Sushi. I was just looking for a mutual location to meet up with friends the first night I got in before the forecasted snow storm. This place sucked hard. It had the decor of a 1960s mental institution including the pukey green wall color and shit generally falling apart. The fish roe sushi looked like food poisoning wrapped in seaweed so we didn't eat it (and they didn't take it off the bill). It was generally bad, dark, drafty, cold, and bad bad bad.

Finally, Taiwan Beef Noodle House. I didn't eat there because I was way too hungover from new years, but my friends had lunch there new years day and got food poisoning so I'm okay with never going there.

So I think I met my Chinese and Japanese food quota (as much as possible) while in Vancouver despite the snowy roads. Now I'm back in Seattle where happy hour rules but Asian food...not so much.