Saturday, December 30, 2006


Hey, thanks for the comments everyone! I loooove comments. And I looove you! I also may be on painkillers right now. It happens! And also, makes J-Bird a very, very happy girl (wooo no pain!).

I feel like I should explain. For the past...hmm, week, say, I've had increasing discomfort because of something that has not officially been diagnosed. I'm pretty sure I know what it is, but I haven't been to a doctor yet (I know, that is ridiculous, but seriously people, do you have any IDEA how hard it is to get a doctor over the Christmas/New Year week? Do you? I promise I will go to one soon. Also, what I have does not look to be horribly evil. Excuse me, I must knock on some wood.). During this time, I have also come down with a cold/flu/pain in the ass, all of which have combined into demonic choir that sings "Jan gets tired after two hours of light activity and, irony of ironies, Jan cannot sleep properly! Oh no, sleep will not be thine! Ha! Suffer, suffer!" To which I respond by metaphorically cowering in a corner and whimpering.

But today, today I decided I would take pills. I am not normally a fan of pills, I generally figure my body should be able to take the pain, since I am young and in good health (generally). But today, I was wise enough to throw that crap to the side, and swallow me some meds. And can I just tell you, meds are fantastic. I would almost marry them. I really almost would. I looove meds. And they love me. Well, pain meds. Not malaria meds. Malaria meds make me have awful, scary dreams, where everything is crazy and I am doomed. Doomed! So the malaria meds are bad.

Any good/bad medicine stories from you guys? Tell us!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 In Review

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah, y'all! Hope you had good ones. I stole this year-in-review quiz from...somewhere, I forget, but here goes:

1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before? I went to India, Malaysia and Singapore. I graduated from University. I asked for a guy's number and called him.
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't really do New Year's Resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? A coworker did, to a tiny adorable girl!
4. Did anyone close to you die? No, and I'm very thankful for that.
5. What places did you visit? Taiwan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and if you count airports, LA.
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? A happy healthy relationship. If it doesn't happen though, I won't cry over it.
7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 24th - Walked across the stage of the Chan Centre for Graduation Ceremony.
June 28th - left for my trip
July 10th- 14th - Anna and Dieter's Wedding
September 2nd - landed in Vancouver

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? God, I graduated, travelled Asia, and developed a backbone, and you want me to pick one? You choose!
9. What was your biggest failure? Um...not hanging on to my camera? And also not growing a backbone earlier. I mean, hell, took me long enough.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I chipped a tooth and lost a toenail because of stupid basketball. Oh, and I wasn't all that mobile after climbing Kinabalu either. No serious illnesses though, thank goodness.
11. What was the best thing you bought? ...My plane ticket.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Lots of people! Anyone who made a decision they knew was a long time coming, including me.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? They know who they are.
14. Where did most of your money go? To Taiwan, India, Singapore and Malaysia.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My trip!
16. What song will always remind you of 2006? Ugh, I hate having to pick just one. Sadly, probably "Promiscuous". It was everywhere.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier (whooo!)
b) thinner or fatter? maybe a little fatter? Not sure.
c) richer or poorer? poorer (boooo)
18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Saving money
19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Spending money, stressing over stupid things.
20. How did you spend Christmas last year? Christmas Eve at Girly's, Christmas Day with the fam.
21. Did you fall in love in 2006? Nope, sadly.
22. How many one-night stands? None. Not my thing.
23. What was your favorite TV program? Why do I have to pick one?! Scrubs.
24. What did you do for your birthday in 2006? Hahaha, me and T had a pole-dancing class with the girls!
25. What was the best book you read? Hmmm...nothing's sticking out.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? That the Scrubs website publishes an episodic songlist
27. What did you want and get? For Christmas? Well the shirt Girly made me was pretty sweet, even if I didn't know I wanted it.
28. What did you want and not get? A winning lottery ticket.
29. What was your favorite film of this year? Um...favourite as in "best" or "most enjoyed"? Cause...most enjoyed = She's the Man. My head hangs in shame.
30. Did you make some new friends this year? If so, who? Yep! They know who they are.
31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I had a pretty satisfying year so I'm gonna go with nothing.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? Same as the year before...relatively simple, nothing too flashy. And since my trip, more pashminas are involved.
33. What kept you sane? Good friends, good books, and YouTube
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Fancy like have a crush on? Jim Halpert, from The Office (US)
35. What political issue stirred you the most? Oh god, so many. In Canada, Gay Marriage and Environmental Conservation
36. Who did you miss? Everyone who left me: J, Girly, Shakey, L.
37. Who was the best new person you met? Ask me again in a month
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
That not doing something because you're scared you won't get the ideal outcome is stupid. Simple, I know. I'm working on it.

Friday, December 22, 2006

One More Push

There's something about hanging out with new people, or people you don't get to see often enough. It's fun listening to new perspectives and new personalities, watching the dynamics in different groups. And different groups have different bonds, different ways of being supportive. I could not ask for a more perfect core group of friends; they're supportive and understanding and loyal; everything friends should be. I feel safe with them, and I know that I can tell them anything ask them anything, without worrying about what they think of me.

Christmas time, though, is when everyone comes home, everyone sees each other again. It's when you get to reconnect with friends you haven't seen in months, maybe haven't even talked to in so long. And you catch up on each other's lives, make up for lost time.

I don't know if it's because I've forgotten what this is like, it having been so long, or if there's just been something about the past few months, but I have loved this lately. The commiserating, the agreeing, disagreeing, advising from "new" sources, I come away from each brunch, party, and dinner energized. I think it's because these people push me in different directions than the people I see on a more regular basis. They have different priorities, and that bleeds into their personalities, and into me. They force me to look at parts of my life and myself I've been neglecting, push me to get over the fear and just. do. it. I'm terrified of jumping over a cliff, and they're all "look, it's not a cliff. It's like a curb. A tiny one. I do it all the time! It's easy! Just do it, you'll see! Seriously."

Somehow it doesn't seem so scary anymore. I think I will.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Recap: Serious Philosophical Discussion

So, as I mentioned, last night was L's welcome back party. We started out at the Cambie, the site of many historically significant conversations, and P and I had one of our own. It went something like:
P: So you look like the type that would get in fights a lot. Have you gotten in a lot of fights? (I should add that P is a hilarious guy, with a cute Aussie accent, and we are both joking. JOKING. We don't condone violence, or me getting into fights. Hi mom!)
J-Bird: All the time! It's like I'm a conflict magnet!
P: Really?
J-Bird: No. Actually, I've never been in a fight. Except you know, with my brother, but that doesn't count.
P: You haven't lived if you haven't been in a fight! You know, if you were to get in a fight tonight, I'd have your back. Just let me know who it is we're fighting.
J-Bird: Oh, yeah, well we wouldn't want you to accidentally hurt an innocent bystander.
P: Exactly. So, as it's your first fight, you want to make sure it's someone you feel confident you could beat.
J-Bird: Good point...let's scout for candidates.

Here are the stipulations we came to:
Not L (I felt it would be rude to beat up the guest of honour)
No couples (the other person might step in...always bad news)
No old guys. On the one hand, they have a lot of life experience. Some of it may be in ass-kicking. Also, if I should actually beat one up, they could need a hip replacement or something! Those are not cheap.

However, fitting candidates include:
People who wear berets unironically (and are not mimes or Green Berets)
Guys who wear disconcertingly fitted, looooow-cut vneck shirts (ew).
That dude that kept bumping into me on the dance floor. What, can you not see me standing right next to you???

I didn't actually get in a fight last night, we started dancing to awesome 50's and 60's music at Shine. But next time, my friends. Next time. After all, I haven't lived yet.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Time Management

Oh god, who ever thought Christmas was a "break" was clearly insane. I'm definitely busier now than I was in November. For example, this is a fairly accurate (but not exhaustive) view of my next week:

Monday: Go out for L's welcome back party
Tuesday: Hang out with one or more of Girly, C and Kaisha
Wednesday: Christmas party
Thursday: dim sum w/ L, and then family Christmas dinner
Friday: lunch and shopping w/ Shakey, and then hang out with Jojo
Saturday: pick up Tessa at airport, hang out, and drop her off at ferry terminal
Sunday: work. I know, it's Christmas Eve, and a Sunday. I'm about as impressed as you are.

Now I just need to figure out how to find the time to buy 2 more presents, sleep and shower, and I'll be all set! Yeesh. Stupid Christmas.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Note: All Christmas Shopping Will Be Done on Weekdays

I haven't actually tried to do any of my shopping on weekends yet; what with my "I work all weekend, every weekend" schedule, I haven't really gotten the chance. However, having tried to bus home from work over the weekend, I now know that shopping is out of the question. Buses are packed, with cranky, been-pushed-around-all-day shoppers lugging 12 bags apiece, all foaming at the mouth to get home. Bus drivers seem to be bearing it relatively well, although I think that's because they traded "packed with students on weekdays" for "packed with shoppers on weekends", so mathematically they've won.

Holiday Shopfest 2006 has affected the cafe though; for one thing, people tend to come in later, which results in me having to stay in longer. More annoyingly, people tend to be more stressed, which means shorter fuses and more complaints about nothing (seriously. Had one lady ask us why our tables were never clean. To which I - rather diplomatically, I thought - did not ask why she insisted upon sitting at the one table that hadn't been cleared, the previous occupants having left 30 seconds ago). On a brighter note, we had three of the happiest babies come in today; they were literally all smiles, and adorable. I love a happy baby.

There's another storm warning for tonight; hurrah inclement weather! Not. Time for me to finish up some wrapping. Catch y'all later!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Holiday Hodgepodge

Yesterday L and I went to Ikea, to pick up some Christmas-y things. L was trying to find a tiny Christmas tree, and while there weren't any to be found at Ikea (other than a Christmas tree-shaped plant that wasn't even a conifer), across the street at Home Depot, we found a little Norfolk Island Pine (my favourite tree, no less!) that would do the trick. We also found tiny little lights, which along with the tiny Christmas balls that we found at Ikea would go a long way into making the tree festive.

On the way home, we decided to make a project of it, and after picking up L's friend M and some popcorn, we headed back to L's where we made some hot chocolate and proceeded to get crafty. We made snowflakes and popcorn-garlands, and a tiny paper chain. By the end, the tree had a distinctly Christmas-like feel to it, which was exactly what we were aiming for! L dropped M and I off at home, after making plans to go snowshoeing today.

So at 10 am, we drove up to Cypress Mountain and went snowshoeing, which was really fun. Everything was white and winter wonderland-esque. The saplings that were bowed down with the weight of the snow looked like horses or dolphins or anything you wanted them to, and we even had music, thanks to L's phone. As long as we kept moving we were toasty warm, which just goes to show that Columbia snowjackets are efficient at conserving heat, since we were never going faster than a walk. But it was nice to be outside doing something active, and feel kind of like the outdoors is our friend again, as opposed to this thing that just makes us cold and wet. Hurrah for nature!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


It snowed. A lot. This being Vancouver, the entire city is somewhat incapacitated; buses were running on altered routes so as to avoid hills, cars were getting marooned in roads, and trees were splitting or just coming down wholesale because of the weight (yes, even our trees are ill-suited to snow).

The good news is: snow! Pretty!

I have to admit, the snow has made things more difficult for me; it made getting to the Stones concert difficult, getting to work (and home again) difficult, and getting to Laura's to make cookies (lemon-poppyseed, so tasty) difficult. But I still love it. The world is white, and clean, and so long as our furnace keeps working, I'm warm and toasty inside, looking at it all. Plus, it just feels like winter. I've gotten out my old Christmas CDs, and am listening to Mariah, Britney (I like it) and Bing Crosby Christmas songs. Once I find the Charlie Brown CD, I'll be listening to that. Christmas! Snow! Weee!

Monday, November 27, 2006


I went to the Stones concert on Saturday night, and it was spectacular. More later, when my brain works. Just know that I had no idea, and that I may now love Mick Jagger, even though he's really really really old.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Banking Relief

Yesterday I got a crash course in RRSPs and investing (thank you Tom of TD), and feel slightly more grown up, knowing how things work. I've also started saving up money, although it's not going into an RRSP, which after my concentrated learning session, now makes perfect sense.

I love going to the bank and actually getting something constructive out of it (and also not getting yelled at for being in debt. Ah, solvency!). Numbers are so straightforward, there're no surprises so long as you understand the terms. It's so...organized. When I walk out I feel like a part of my life has just been uncluttered, and I can just leave it to take care of itself (within reason, obviously). It's a great feeling. Now I just need to get more money so I can feel it more...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Faster or Slower

I used to babysit quite a lot. Now, most of the kids I babysat are getting to the age where they don't really need a babysitter. They're certainly beyond the age of needing a story for bed. But I remember one girl, who I used to babysit once a week; her "favourite" book would change up about once a month. I expect that for that entire month, she heard that story at least once a day, because when I read her her story, she sometimes knew what was coming before I'd even flipped the page. But she loved the book, no matter what it was. She wanted to turn every page, faster and faster, even if it I hadn't gotten the words out yet, and sometimes she was turning them in the wrong direction. And when I got to the last page, if she didn't think it had ended conclusively enough, she'd try to turn the page that wasn't there, and she'd ask "And then what?" She was chasing the end of the story.

I feel like I'm chasing the end of the story sometimes. Maybe it's just time to slow. down.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Water Issues

We're no longer allowed to drink tap water, here in Vancouver. It's a boil-only zone. Thankfully (for compliance rates, anyhow) it's easy to see why; turn on your tap, and a murky, brown-tinged liquid spouts forth. It's pretty clear that this would be an excellent time to travel away from Vancouver; sadly, I suffer a lack of funds. So instead I will trudge through the rain and cold here, waiting for the day when I'm not wondering if a shower will result in me being more dirty than I started. Although come to think of it, it's funny that I'm so concerned about all this; while I was in India, monsoons created rivers of what I can only call...not water in the roads calf-deep, and having no other option than to wade through it, I barely batted an eye. So how bad can this be, really?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Windy! And Money.

Here in Vancouver we've been having, as Pooh would put it, a blustery day. Honestly, I haven't noticed that the wind has been all that intense, but several downed trees, power outages, and one in-construction building-collapse indicate that it has indeed been quite the storm. As such, I will be sleeping on the couch tonight, so as to distance myself from the potential tree of death that stands outside my bedroom.

Well, I've dealt with the windy, now let's move on to the money. I'm 23. Being 23, I know that retirement is a long, long way off. That being said, I'm far too pragmatic to not be thinking about RRSPs. However, I know basically nothing about them. I know far more about the (irrelevant to me, because I'm not American) 401(k) plan, which, thank you Oprah, should I ever move to the US I know that I will benefit from your guestspeakers' tutelage. However, Canada has no Oprah, no one explaining to me how our retirement plans work. I've read some online, and I think I have the basics, but how does one choose? Is one bank better than another? Because sadly, the chances that the BMO website is going to tell me that TD is better are pretty slim. And can the bank make me contribute without really noticing? I know you ca do that whole "automatic monthly deduction" thing on a certain day of the month, but you know what? That doesn't really work for me. What I need is for you to automatically take out, say, 10% of every deposit I make. That way the money goes in, and I don't have the risk of pulling it out at an inopportune moment, like, say, right before that day when you're about to make your monthly deduction. And then I NSF. And yes, I did have a horrible experience with your deducting when I was 12, why do you ask? That red, negative number on my bank statement scarred me for life, and I blame my strange banking neurosis on that experience. And I hate you.

I have an appointment to discuss all this with a financial advisor next week. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Long Weekend

Remembrance Day has always been a strange one for me. I love that everyone wears poppies, although this year it seemed like there were less out and about...maybe what with the gross weather, more are getting lost? And I love that we have this holiday, because I definitely think it's important to acknowledge it. But you can't really say to someone "Happy Remembrance Day". It seems disrespectful. So what I want to know is how do we acknowledge the holiday in casual conversation that day? Other than wearing the poppy, going to a ceremony and observing silence, what is there? I feel like we need something a little less formal, something everyone can do within their family life.

This weekend has been rather successful. I've partied with friends, made dinner with friends, had several fun long distance calls, and today, I had coffee and hung out with a friend who just got back from Ethiopia (how cool is that?), and discussed books and movies, and also my apparent inability to notice other people's weight fluctuations (seriously, I am so, so bad at that game. It's pretty appalling).

I've also been reading a lot of quotes from Scrubs, The Office, and Arrested Development, while bored with nothing to do, and god do I need to watch all the episodes to those shows, right now. So, so good. Sigh. For an endless expense account.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Weather, The News, and 3 Birds

I'm thankful I'm not working today, because frankly, it is disgusting outside. Raining and cold in the most awful way. My brother is working, but I don't feel too bad for him, because he suckered me into giving him a ride there.

This week has been full of good news, especially South of the border; Democrats won both Houses (woooo!), Rumsfeld stepped down (woooo!), and Britney has turned back towards the light, somehow escaping the black hole of suckitude that is KFed (WOOOOOO!). Considering the headlines that have been running on this topic ("Britney Files for Divorce, Fans Weep with Joy"), I almost feel bad for him. No, wait, I really really don't. And yes, the Britvorce gets the biggest cheer; US Government may have a larger global impact, but the Britvorce is proof that you can change your mind on even the biggest of screwed up decisions.

A friend of mine is having a turducken (a chicken, stuffed into a duck, stuffed into a turkey), and I'm very excited to hear about it next week, because
a) I have no idea how one prepares a turducken
b) I'm even more confused as to how one carves a turducken
c) Until now, I always thought a turducken was just a myth. It's like seeing a dragon! Without the part where I get burnt to a cinder.
Anyhow, as a turducken consists of three fowl, when asked my "expert" (hers and my quotation marks, so I can't be offended) opinion on what wine to serve, I went with a Pinot Noir. Because even while trying not to drink the stuff, you pick up a few things.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I have a problem. Every time I put a book back on my shelf, I take at least one off of it. More often, I'll take two or three books off. By employing the basic math we all learned in elementary school, one can see that this leads to the number of books off my shelf growing with each interaction.

Now, to be fair, my bookshelf benefits from this greatly; it's been overflowing for months, and that's with a large number of the books being...elsewhere. However, the space of floor directly next to my bed (I lack nightstands) gets the short end of the stick. It rarely sees the light of day, thanks to my seemingly uncontrollable behavioural pattern. And does this make me want to get rid of my books? make some attempt to control the clutter? No! All I want is more books!

That being said, I've just finished reading Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde. It's a great romp (I'm not a huge fan of the word, but it does fit best, here) of a book, although I'd recommend reading the prequel, The Eyre Affair, first. I didn't know there was a prequel, so now I'm going to have to hunt it down; nonetheless, Lost was a very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oh. My. God.

Finally. Please let it be true, please let it be true, please let it be true.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Is it just me, or is this incredibly romantic?

Uh Oh

"...His mother, Vivian, noticed that whenever something upset him, Bob would head for the safety of his room in their modest, two-bedroom bungalow on Neva Street and immerse himself in books."
- excerpt from The Bureau and the Mole

According to this book, I'm well on my way to becoming a double agent, handing out national secrets like Domino's flyers.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Life of Late

Mom and Dad: Bye kids! Have fun at home for the next three and a half weeks while we traipse across Australia and New Zealand!
J-Bird and Bro: Bye!

four days later
J-Bird: Hey bro, do you smell gas? Can you call the gas company and have them test for a leak?
Bro: So the gas guy came. The smell? Less gas, and more the smell of meat one of us left out of the freezer, which the gas guy found. So...that was embarrassing.
J-Bird: Ha! I can't believe I missed that! Uh, we may want to keep this whole episode quiet, then. Mom'd freak if she knew we did that.
Bro: Not so much an option, you didn't let me finish. The gas guy decided to test our furnace anyway, and when he fired it up, it shot a two-foot long jet of fire out, right at the door. It was kinda scary.
J-Bird: You screamed like a girl, didn't you?
Bro: Maybe. That's not the point. Basically it was going to burn our house down, so the guy cut the gas off. We have no heat, and we need a new furnace. Oh, and mom and dad don't get home for three weeks.
J-Bird: Dammit!

intermittently, throughout the next three weeks
J-Bird or Bro: It's so freaking cold!

J-Bird: Hi C! Can I ask you a HUGE favour? ...can I use your shower?

Bro: I've decided to use the open oven to heat the house.

Bro: I'm going to [Girlfriend's name]'s house tonight.
J-Bird: I HATE that you have a girlfriend with a heated house.
Bro: You're just jealous cause you don't have a boyfriend with a warm house.
J-Bird: Yes. That was my point.

On my birthday
T and J-Bird: Everyone, we're taking pole-dancing classes!

Instructor: Hi everyone! Get yourselves settled, and then we'll get started!
Peek: Just so you know, I'm awkward.
Instructor: ...

Zelly: Does anyone else feel like our instructor is over-qualified for us?
Peek: She's my hero!

Robot Chicken
Dragon: I hope you can asexually reproduce!

On the phone, with Tessa, tonight
J-Bird: We just need to find a guy who can penetrate her shell!
Tessa: (snicker) Interesting choice of terms.
J-Bird: Huh? Oh. I'm tired! And also, I can't believe you caught that, I wouldn't have noticed at all if you hadn't said anything!
Tessa: What can I say? I'm twelve.
J-Bird: A twelve year old wouldn't even know what that meant. You're a frat boy.
Tessa: Well you should know.
J-Bird: Sigh. I know.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

...Toooo Meeeeeee!

I turned 23 yesterday! And so far, 23 is awesome.

Mine and T's birthdays are two days apart (although not of the same year), so we had a joint event, which involved the usual activities like dancing and drinking, but also pole dancing lessons. Which are too much fun for me to try to explain. Just know that it would take far more than one hour to make a proficient dancer out of me. We all learned some new moves (well, they were all new, really) and had a blast, though. Definitely the most-fun part of the night.

Pole dancing classes. I highly recommend them.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Thanksgiving rehashed

Half an hour before both Kaisha and I are meant to be at LM's for thanksgiving dinner:

Me, covered in flour, pumpkin, and other baking materials: Hello?
Kaisha: Hey, what are you and Peek bringing to LM's?
Me: Peek's bringing wine, and I'm bringing pumpkin pie. How bout you?
Kaisha: What? I have to bring salad! How come I'm the only one who has to do any work?
Me: Work? I just baked two pumpkin pies! From scratch! I made the crust and everything!
Kaisha: Oooh, you baked the pies. I thought you were just buying them. I feel better now. Sorry.
Me: Heh, whatever.
Kaisha: So how's the baking going?
Me: Apparently if the radius of the pie is one inch bigger than it says in the recipe book, it more than doubles the baking time.
Kaisha: Lame.
Me: Yeah. Hey, when you get there, can you tell Laura I might be a little late?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


There are too many books coming out that I need to own! Forever in Blue! Folio's entire line! Mislaid Magician! And now, Wintersmith! The sequel to The Wee Free Men and Hat Full of Sky, two of my favourite books. And this one comes out in three weeks!

Heh, I just realized that all of the books I just listed (with the exception of the Folio ones) are actually "teen novels". Arrested development much?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

We Interrupt You for This Important Announcement

Forever in Blue, the fourth Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book, is due out in January.

That is all.

Food Review: Bleu de Bresse

Today I went to my favourite local cheese shop, Les Amis du Fromage. Twenty minutes of harrowing decision-making later, I walked out with three never-before-tried cheeses, all from France: a double cream brie (I never turn down the opportuniy to have brie), a firm/semi-firm Tomme de Montagne, which I will taste tomorrow, and a soft creamy blue cheese, Bleu de Bresse, which is of course the subject of my review.

It should be known that I love blue cheese. I know, it has mold, blah blah whatever-cakes, but it is delicious. The blue cheese my mum and I (the only two blue cheese enthusiasts in the house) usually have is a firm, crumbly and very strong specimen. It has some serious bite to it, and you only need the tiniest bit of it, unless you're looking for a flavour overload. Which I sometimes am, to be fair.

Bleu de Bresse, in contrast, is soft, creamy and smooth (other than the blue bits, I mean). As opposed to my "standard" blue, which collapsed into crumbles when you cut it, BdB is more spreadable than cream cheese. This is an advantage, since I'm far less ervous about eating a coveted cheese if I'm not terrified that that the cheese-gold could fall off my cracker and be wasted. The taste itself is quite nice, but a lot milder than my standard (which I have decided to call Crumbleu). It has the same blue taste, but it's a lot more subtle than the Crumbleu. If cheeses were, say, cocktail bar patrons trying to pick you up, Crumbleu is standing on the table, all "Hey, look at me! I am HOT. Wanna go home with me?", while Bleu de Bresse is more subtle, making eye contact and smiling at you from the opposite end of the restaurant before actually approaching.

Of course, I don't put cheeses and (in my case) guys throught he same selection system. The Bleu de Bresse is dreamy, but my Crumbleu isn't getting the boot by any means. It's just lucky it's a cheese, and not a guy at a bar.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Random Thoughts from a Sinus-Addled Mind

I covet the soundtrack for The Last Kiss. Oh Zach Braff, why don't you come and be my personal DJ? And bring along a copy of said soundtrack, because I have no spare money with which to buy it.

Can you imagine how much that would cost? At this point in his career, more money than I've ever seen.

Sinuses suck. What do they do, anyway?

According to Wikipedia, lots of things.

I've been playing my entire iTunes Library, and am now listening to "Santa Can You Hear Me?" by pre-Fed Britney. And I'm not changing it, because I love this song. Oh pre-Fed Britney. If only you knew.

The Folio Society's new prospectus for the year includes Pride and Prejudice, and Cold Comfort Farm. I also covet these.

The Girls are going for drinks tonight, and I don't even have the energy to go downstairs.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I may have to wear a "uniform" shirt tomorrow. I have seen the shirts, and am dreading having to wear them.

My skin has been drier since returning from Asia than ever before. Household moisturizer use has hit an all-time high.

It's 9:00 PM, and I'm falling asleep.


It's 5:48 AM, and I'm awake. Not because there's something I needed to get up for, mind you. There's no fun early mornin plan, or even some sort of sadistic early morning work out regime. No, I'm awake because sometime between 12 midnight and 5 AM, while I was sleeping, my sinuses (my maxillary sinuses, specifically. Those are the ones on either side of the nose) have staged a coup, in a bid for total body domination. Actually, it's really only my right maxillary sinus. The left one is calmly waiting, ready to strike when needed. My sinus (and nose) actually hurt enough that I woke up at 5 AM. I don't think I've ever been woken up by getting sick. I've woken up at the usual time and found myself sick. I've also gone to sleep sick and woken up in the middle of the night feeling like crap and needing a cold cloth for my head, etc etc. But this is a definite milestone in the saga of illnesses in the life of Jan. I'm sure there's a party going on somewhere.

Possibly in my right sinus.

Kettle's boiling. I'm making tea. Wish me well.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tales from a Wine Store

"Do you have Castilla di [something Italian-sounding]?"
In my head - That sounds Italian. God I hope it's Italian.
"...All our Italian wines are just over there"

(Myself and Coworker) "Whaat the hell is this thing?"
"Oh, they're supposed to stop the drips from going all the way down the bottle to the table. Basically they're drip stoppers"
"What a stupid unnecessary $15...thing."
(Customer picks one up) "Oh my god, what a great idea!"
(Us) "I know, isn't it?"

"Have you tried this one? Do you know what it's like?"
"You know, I haven't had a chance to try that one yet, but I've heard great things." - Huh, so we have a red wine with a butterfly on the label. Noted.

"So, how's it going selling wine?"
"Well apart from the fact that I know nothing, have tried about 1% of the wines we carry and have no inclination to try anymore of them, fantastic."
"...Good times."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Now I'm watching CSI:NY. This show is waaay more chill. At least as chill as a show that features people dying can be. Ugh, why is nothing funny on on Wednesday nights? Why isn't The Office on on Wednesdays? Who does Pam CHOOSE?!


Say that word out loud, and you're making the same face I am as I watch the season premiere of Criminal Minds (I'm typing this during the commercial breaks). Seriously, I'm switching to Numb3rs, another crime-y show, to calm my nerves every once in a while.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Asia 2006, Part One - Taiwan

After gliding smoothly through my flights and connections on the first leg of my trip, I arrived in Taipei International Airport at the absurd hour of 6:00 AM. Immediately after stepping off the plane, the sher humidity of the air hit me. It was also quite warm, considering it was barely daytime, but the humidity was like walking in a wall of steam.

After going through Taiwan immigration and collecting my bag, I went outside and met with my aunt, who I would be staying with. She was happy that my flight was early, since it meant we'd be able to skip rush hour (a way bigger deal than in Vancouver, I later learned). The drive from the airport was kind of fascinating to me; it was the first time I'd been in Taiwan since I was four. It was surprisingly green, with palm trees and huge lush ferns, the size of my bedroom. And morning glories everywhere, but not white like in the endowment lands. Here, they were mauve running into deep violet. Temples seem to pop up almost randomly, bursts of colour with grand curving sculptures of dragons and lions. The occasional abandoned highrise crops up. Slowly, the green countryside fades into gray cityscape.

And this is one hell of a city.

Taipei is everything you expect from a large asian city; street markets, food kiosks, huge shopping malls, and absolutely teeming with people. Cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, it doesn't seem like any of the road is empty. The whole city is packed with things to look at and smells seem to radiate from every alley (thankfully, a good portion of these odors are at least not unpleasant. Some of them smell so good you want to chase them down). It's only gotten hotter out, and it's cloudy today; I can't imagine what it would feel like under open sunshine.

After eating as many lychees as my post-flight stomach will allow (my aunt had very thoughtfully bought crates of them in preparation for my arrival), I take a nap. It's only 10 AM when I wake up; it feels like I slept over night. I'm told to get ready; we're going to lunch with my aunt's friends.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Home Update: Week 1

I arrived back in Vancouver on Saturday the 2nd, at about 10 pm (well, I arrived at 8:30, but certain events meant that it was 10 by the time I got out of the airport). Since then, it's been a marathon of me seeing almost everyone I've missed over my trip, and trying to get a handle on my new job, as a retail associate at a specialty wine store. Because no one knows more about wine than I do. Except maybe everyone. Seriously, could I be less qualified for this job? I think I need to take a wine tasting course, because thre is no way I have a clue what is going one. Shiraz? Merlot? Cabernet Sauvignon? I can spell them without looking them up, but that (and the fact that they are reds and not whites) pretty much encapsulates me knowledge of them. Oh well. Here's to learning about something new!

Here goes nothing.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I May Be The Last One To The Party, But...

If you haven't yet, go see An Inconvenient Truth. Trust me, it is absolutely horrifying to see how glaciers have receded, lakes have dried out, and rainfall has changed and moved. But you need to see it, we all do. And while you're at it, go to Things are changing, and faster than any government, newspaper or television newscast seems willing to admit.

Monday, September 04, 2006


After 66 days away, I am finally back home. The trip was amazing, and since I enjoyed pretty good health the whole time, I have now come down with the flu/intense allergies/malaria. Only time will tell. I'll write more later, but right now I'm a little tired. But people, call me! I'm home, and my phone has lost a lot of your phone numbers!

Monday, July 24, 2006


So our group of 4 arrived in Delhi yesterday, and were greeted by the cool bliss of air conditioning. I'm not a huge heat wuss, but after being out in the beating sum the entire day, and then being plastered by bug carcasses on the train ride over, the mere idea of cold air and closed windows was somewhat akin to heaven.

After dropping off my entire backpack of laundry (seriously. I realized this morning I had nothing to wear), I went to bed. In the cool, bug free environment of the room. Sadly, it was a little too cool, and I woke up freezing. Goddamn temperature!

So far today it's just been shopping. And shopping. I now have way too much stuff, but it is beautiful, so hey who can complain? Possibly the airline people. Tomorrow we're sightseeing and the next day Linds and I are off to Chennai. Til next time, have a great week!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

In India!

Hey everyone, still around, but internet is sloooow here. Have to go get ready for a hike up a mtn, I'll hopefully write more soon, but leave a msg, I want to know what you've been up to!

Sunday, June 25, 2006


I leave in three days. Three days. I have so much to do. I have to buy a backpack. A headlight. I need toiletries. I need a money belt. I need...someone to just follow me around my whole trip and make sure I don't screw up/offend anyone/get robbed/forget anything/get hurt. I need to get the whole world's mailing addresses. I need to pack my yet-unbought backpack. I need to get my prescriptions filled. I need to say goodby to everyone. I need to see Peek. I also need to breather, because I am perilously close to self-inducing an anxiety attack.

But I'm still excited to get there. Yeee!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


While working at the cruise port handing out brochures on Wednesday, I offered a passenger a booklet, to which she responded "I grabbed one from the kiosk. God helps those who help themselves." In short, I offered her a coupon book, and she gave me a religious platitude. I responded with a surprised "...Right. Have a great trip!"

I was lifted from a blue mood yesterday by the discovery that I get my own tv screen on most of my flights this trip. And I get to play videogames! I love asian airlines!

I received my third and final innoculation against Japanese Encephalitis on Tuesday. Signs of an adverse reaction include swelling of the face and tongue and extreme itchiness all over the body. If I have extreme itchiness that is localized to the site of injection, should I be concerned?

I leave in 6 days.

Peek gets back in 6 days.

That is an example of impeccably awful timing.

I've eaten a ridiculous amount of food in the past few days. Much of it has been eaten with Cel (woo eating buddies!)

I've been watching lots and lots of Scrubs, and I love it.

Girly's gone, and I miss her. But then, I'm leaving soon too.

At dinner the other night (happy birthday miss j!) I realized that I probably went to the same chinese camp as my friend's boyfriend. Ah Chinese camp...I learned to play the chinese flute, to cook, to sew, do the fan dance, the ribbon dance, make the lion's mane for the lion in the lion dance...a weirdly low level of Chinese was learned, come to think of it.

Oh my god, I leave in six days.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

World Cup Fever

Currently, the lovely internet is blocking me from both of my email accounts, which is irritating at best. Thankfully th World Cup is here to dull the pain. And can I just say how much I love the Jose+10 adidas ad? I love the music, it's perfect. Whoever found it/wrote it for the ad deserves a promotion. Seriously though, love the ad.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Loving My New Lens

Hungry Bee, originally uploaded by Never Reason.

I have a new obsession; photographing bees and ladybugs. I knew my mom's intense flower garden had it's purpose! Click on the photo to see more (I dare you!)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Why My Friends Are Great

Because both A and I are more chatty in writing than in person.

Because Tessa is the epitome of rationality, and reminds me that usually I am too, and that maybe the fact that I'm not just now means I should get a grip (all in a very sweet way).

Because T tells me the truth unsimplified, even if it only confuses me more, and then patiently listens to me work through it.

Because Kaisha is always up for a dim sum, and loves the dessert tofu. And because she will fiercely defend her friends, and tells me what she really thinks, no holds barred.

Because Girly...well, read this. If you don't get it, then I can do nothing for you.

Because Cel and I can run into each other completely unexpectedly, and then make a day of it, going shopping, getting manicures, and having a very fun, relaxing time without planning a whit of it.

Because Peek is in Africa, having the time of her life. I miss the crap out of her, and can't wait til we have our "how was your trip?/have a great trip!" lunch/dinner at the airport.

Case of the Lost Lens

On Sunday night, I stayed at Girly's house. I wasn't expecting too, and while they fortunately had contact solution, a lens case was not to be found anywhere, so I put my contacts in cups with a bit of contact solution overnight. The next morning after breakfast, I go into the bathroom, where one of the cups is now half full of water and upon cloer inspection entirely unfull of lens. Upstairs, the investigation begins:

In the kitchen, with Girly and her dad
Me: I have good news and bad news. The good news is, my right contact? Good as new. The bad news? I think someone drank my left contact.
Girly: It wasn't me, I knew those were your contacts!
Girly's Dad: I don't drink water.
Girly: ...I'll go ask mom. (goes upstairs) Hey, did you drink out of one of those glasses? Jan's contacts were in them.
Girly's mom: How much do I owe her?

Case solved.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


5:58 am
cellphone: beepbeep! beepbeep! beepbeep!
J-Bird: Oh god.

5:59 am
cellphone: beepbeep! beepbeep! beepbeep!
J-Bird: Shut up.

6:00 am
J-Bird: Hey. It's six. Get up.
N: I hate you.
J-Bird: I hate me too.

7:15 am
N: Oh god, do you think they reuse the hats? I did not pay $20 000 for my degree and another $40 to rent my regalia to wear a hat someone else used.
J-Bird: "I graduated and all I got was lice!"

7:30 am
N: How's my gown look?
J-Bird: ...Voluminous?
N: It's so early! I want to take a nap.
J-Bird: Good thing you're wearing that comfy nightgown, then.

8:00 am
Marshall: ...and for all you ladies wearing higher heels than you ever have before. we have, at the bottom of the exit stairs, a gentleman known as a catcher, in case you should fall. This happens every ceremony at least once or twice, but we've never needed an ambulance.

10:00 am
President of University: I present you the May 2006 graduates!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Home Cooking

My mom is unable to waste food. Leftovers are always eaten. Every part of a vegetable/fruit/cut of meat that is remotely edible is eaten. There are no exceptions, and should there ever be, we would probably mark it down as the first sign of senility. This...tendency, coupled with her hyperopia, resulted in one of the funniest meals I'vee ever eaten at home. See, my brother moved back in after his surgery, and as my parents did the actual moving, my mom cleared all the pantries, the fridge, the cupboards, and then went straight into planning how to use the new ingredients. Two nights ago, she made pasta to go with some chicken and broccoli. However, her previously mentioned farsightedness kept her from being able to read the label. And so, with our lovely (and otherwise wholesome) meal, we were served none other than penis-shaped pasta. Which I have to say, was very surprisingly...faithful in its representation. It didn't taste too bad either, although I may have been slightly unable to tell, having accidentally eaten a chili pepper while I was laughing hysterically.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ah, Family

Today, on my way out, I noticed that there were several bags of chips stashed in the bottom of the coat closet. My mom is a huge proponent of the "everything in its place" philosophy, so it was a little surprising. Everything was made clear tonight, however:

My mom walks to the tv room holding a bag of chips
Bro: Hey mom, why are there chips in the closet?
Mom: Because I didn't want you guys to eat them all!

My mom is a chip hoarder! Honestly, you think you know someone...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Good News!

So my bro discovered earlier this year that he was born with a birth defect in one of the openings of one kidney (prior to the chain of events that led to this discovery, he apparently thought that the recurring, nearly constant pain was "normal"), and had surgery to correct it earlier this week. The good news mentioned in the title is that it seems to have gone well, and once the stent they implanted is removed, he should be as good as new! Good news indeed.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Quote for the Day

"[Talking to Jesse Jackson] is like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is."
-Stephen Colbert, at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Discussing Celebrity Disgrace

There's a question that's been in heavy rotation lately. Who's worse: Angelina Jolie, or Denise Richards?

For anyone who has managed to avoid the insane amount of entertainment gossip, I'll give some backstory. Angelina Jolie stole a very married Brad Pitt from his then-wife Jennifer Aniston. More recently, Denise Richards (who has been in the midst of a very sordid "he said/she said" divorce with Charlie Sheen) seems to now be dating the very recent ex-husband of her supposed best friend, Heather Locklear. So what's worse? The woman who breaks a home, or the one who gors looting at her best friend's house?

It's an interesting question, if only because it generates a lot of fairly intelligent discussion. On the one hand, Denise Richards didn't overstep the bounds of someone's marriage, Angelina. On ther other hand, your best friend, Denise? Really? You're an adulterer! But you're dating your best friend's ex! You were married to the creepiest man alive, Billy Bob Thornton! But you persist in continuing this "no, he's the worse person!" with Charlie Sheen! Oh my god, I can't decide!

Why? Because to me, they both did awful, horrible things. But what about Brad and whoever Heather's ex is (Richie Sambora, the imdb tells me)? What they did was equally awful. I mean, stepping out on your wife, Brad? And Richie, dating your ex-wife's best friend? You are both dead to me. But nobody talks about them. Why is that? Is it because they're men, and therefore get more leeway in their behaviour? Or is it because we just don't care about these men, who are in the middle of all this? Why do you think it is?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Completion and Relaxation

Well, it's over. My undergraduate degree is completed, assuming everything goes well (I'm not too concerned). It feels pretty good, on the whole. The fabulous weather on my first two days off didn't hurt at all; it was summer come early, and I even managed to whip out some summery clothes. Definitely a good-mood inducer.

The past two days have been great in general; just hanging out with friends and walking in the sunshine. Shopping when I shouldn't be, reading books I've just haven't gotten to, things like that. Of course, today the weather is dreary again, but hey, can't have it all, right? Plus, I got to go to dim sum with one of my babies before she leaves for Singapore, which was fantastic.

Book-wise, I read The Book of Dreams, by O.R.Melling, and A Scholar of Magics, by Caroline Stevermer. They're both sequels to books/series I've read already, and sadly, they weren't that impressive. Whioch isn't to say they weren't good, I just didn't love them like I loved the previous novels. But they still make good reads, and who knows? They may grow on me after repeated readings. Here's hoping!

Today was my last full day off until next week; I'm working tomorrow til Sunday, thank goodness (I need the money big time). Anyway, time to fit in some more relaxing. Heh. If anyone needs me, I am officially available for chill time.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Hey y'all. Sorry I haven't been around, it's been one of those weeks where everything from every angle happens, and because of exams I have no chance to deal with any of it. Things are stressful, and I want to just pretend none of it was going on including the exams), but I can't, so...I'll catch you on the flip side.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Numa Numa

So I'm guessing a lot of you have seen the original "Numa Numa" video. But have you seen the UBC version? Check it out, it'll make you sing along.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Quiet Time

I've decided to take the night off; I've rented 8 episodes of Scrubs, I have mini eggs, and I have a whole floor of my house, at least until my parents finish watching their latest BBC special. I am so excited. I had to get up at 6:30 am today, and then sit through class after class when I could have been watching storm the wall, and really, hanging out with J.D., Carla, Turk and Elliot sounds like the perfect night.

Ah, relaxation.

Oh, and Tessa wins the photo guessing contest. It's the bottom of a dasani bottle, through the top.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What Am I?

What Am I?, originally uploaded by Never Reason.

Alright people, guessing has begun; what is this? (Amanda, if you heard what it was in class, then you're not allowed to guess.) Oh, and there are more pictures if you click on the photo.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Rearview, originally uploaded by Never Reason.

This has been my favourite subject thus far. It's the rearview mirror of an old truck that parks down my street. I love the colour contrast, and the texture of the rust up near the top. It reminds me that sometimes things are prettier when you look more closely.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


How is everyone? I have no idea what y'all have been up to, except Amanda, cause she's in my photography class (hi Amanda!). So tell me! I'll start:

Saturday I had formal, which was good times, and everyone looked very pretty. Also, I have gorgeous earrings, which I always find exciting. And I was voted most likely to succeed! Always a nice feeling.

Yesterday Peter Mansbridge of CBC came and gave a talk, which was fun. It was a good speech, not too preachy, or congratulatory. I found the number of Mansbridge-worshippers a little surprising. Seriously, some people were crazy about him. I had no idea.

Finally, I went to Roosters, a country-themed br, last night. It was fun, and I'll never turn down 5 cent chicken wings, but topless mechanical bull-riding? So, so unattractive. Listen, girls (none of my girls, thank god): there are many, many other things you could be doing needlessly topless, if you must, that would look far, far better. Yeesh.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Activity Headache

You know when you have one of those days that is so full that at the end, your head hurts, but in a good way? That was today. This morning I got up, ate a hearty breakfast to fortify myself, then muddled my way though makeup (now y'all know it was a big day), and sprinted down the street to catch a bus (which I managed to catch, thank goodness). Why was I in such a hurry? Why, to make it for lunch with this woman, who in addition to being incredibly intelligent and a pioneer of memory psychology, is also surprisingly personable and fun to talk with. It was such a nice lunch, and I'm so happy to have been able to attend (Thanks, L!).

After lunch, I had class for an hour and a half (that was my break).

Then, the aforementioned researcher gave a talk titled Illusions of Memory, which had the most heated question period I've ever experienced in a psychology talk, and then, finally, a reception with (tasty) canapes and mingling. And I know that it doesn't sound like that much when you read it here, but activity headache, people. It was big. And I need sleep. Adieu!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Still Alive

Hey y'all,

I'm still alive, just been busy. Oh, and I wrote my last midterm of my undergrad degree EVER! Be back later, need to sleep.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Not for the Squeamish.

Ladies and gentlemen, the toenail is leaving the building.

Yep, after over a month of strange colours and varying pain, it has officially started un-sealing itself from my toe, the sight of which is both fascinating (to people like me) and extremely unsettling. I do find it fascinating, because the...shedding? of the nail is completely painless, and yet my nail is falling off. So as I sit here, watching a repeat of Queer Eye (John K., cutest little old man ever) I take little breaks to look at my toe.

The one negative is that this means I won't have a toenail for my last formal, so...closed toe shoes it is! Heh, it's an annoyance, but a small one, and at least my "Sekke! I'm not going to have a toenail for formal!" was good for a laugh.

And no disparagig remarks about me looking at my toenail. You're just jealous you can't see it.

Friday, February 24, 2006


In the car
N: Okay, so I'm just going to say it. I love Kelly Clarkson.
Jan: Oh, me too. I mean, I wasn't a fan of her early stuff.
N: I know, I totally thought she was crappy.
Jan: I know! And then I heard Since You've Been Gone, and never
N: turned back! I KNOW!
Jan: God I love her.
N: I know, she's my K.C.

On the phone
Jan: So what are you up to tonight?
Girly: I don't know, me and the boy might watch the movie we downloaded.
Jan: There you go squandering your money on useless luxuries again.
Girly: I know! Heh.

Playing Buddhism Jeopardy in class
Reader: The guy in the Heart Sutra, like higher than a man...
Guy: Bodhisattva?
Reader: Yes! But which one?
Jan: ...Av, Avalokitesvara?
Reader: YES!
Sekke: Seriously, Jan? What is wrong with you?
Jan: I have no idea.
Random: That's a two pointer, right there.

Sasha Cohen skates
Jan: You know, she annoys me sometimes, but damn can she act the skate. Too bad she fell.
Mom: I like her dress.
Jan: ...okay.

Shizuka Arakawa skates
Jan: Oooh, Ina Bauer.
Mom: Thats not a word!
Jan: It's a name, Mom. Ina Bauer
Mom: Oh. It's very pretty.

Irina Slutskaya
Jan: What the hell?!
Mom: What? She fell. Everyone's falling tonight.
Jan: But she never. falls. Never.
Mom: She did tonight.
Jan: Along with the rest of the world. This night of skating? Sucks.
Mom: I thought you liked the Japanese girl.
Jan: I did, she was beautiful. But this? This is crap. I miss Kurt Browning.
Mom: Kurt Browning is a man!
Jan: You miss him too.
Mom: I do.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Pop Quiz

ducky, originally uploaded by Never Reason.

What's the ducky saying? (Please select correct response)

a) Hi! I prove that you are in fact, Jan, and not some impostor trying to play Basketball on the sly.

b) You have a midterm tomorrow that you are NOT ready for!

c) I'm holding my hand up to show my jammed finger, and pointing at my black toenail with a pencil! Y'know, just 'cause.

d) I will never ever come off, even with dish detergent. No, really. It's been two days, and I'm still here. Okay, 'love ya!

e) All of the above.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Break is Over. Reading, Not So Much.

This is the end of Reading Break. Considering mine was so uneventful so as to cause swaths of it to be completely forgotten, I'd say it was a success! However, let's recap what I do remember, shall we?

Got hit on by a creepy old guy at work
Had coffee and dinner with Alex for Valentines
Went to a nice lunch with T
Had several chats over msn with Tessa (hi Tessa!)
Bought my plane ticket
Had a visit from Amanda at work (Hi Amanda! HUGE improvement over El Creepo)
Watched the skeleton races, and cringed for their entirety
Wrote one paper
talked with Girly on the phone

Yep! Definitely a success.

Friday, February 17, 2006


I bought my plane ticket yesterday. Asia, here I come! In a few months. Which is good, because now I need to earn some money so I can afford to be in Asia. But whooo! Now I can start the planning in earnest! I currently have about 6 tour books, and I got some of those little post-it tabby things, so I can make a note of things that I want to see/could be important. Thus far, I've only really decided that I'm going to skip Varanasi; holy city though it may be, the stories I've heard about the creepiness of the men there has put me off. Plus, there's so much else to see, why bother?

And, slightly related to the post title, my mom and I watched Oprah today, about her new "Debt Diet", which...seems to be sorely needed. 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck? I was surprised, and I was expecting a high number. It can't be much lower here in Canada, either. The three families that were the focus on the show were astounding. $7000 a year on hair? $100 a day on takeout food? I know it happens, hell I've been cutting back on food spending at school, because it's so expensive, but one hundred dollars a day is insane. The whole thing got me a little scared about my finances, and I don't have problems (knock on wood).

It just amazes me that we can get so wrapped up in looking like we have money. If you don't have money, trust me, buying a new car is not the way to get it. Even less the way to get it? Buying your kid a new car. A teenager doesn't need a brand new car, get a used one! I don't know if my first car will be new, and I'm 22!

The sad thing is, I think all of us are at least a little guilty. I mean, I've been going to starbucks a bit lately. The bad part is that I got so many of their gift cards that it seems like liquid money. And then you get in the habit of going...Yep, starbucks and food out are going to be my date diet. I'm pretty sure I can live without 'em, though.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

It's Got Me Convinced

I want a Magic Bullet.

Have you seen the infomercial? This couple that apparently collects moochers as a hobby goes through the amazing abilities of this tiny little blender system that can do everything from smoothies to salsa to soup to sorbet. And it even makes things that don't start with the letter "s"! More importantly, the couple uses ridiculously specific times in their commercials. It takes six seconds to make chocolate mousse. However, it takes eight seconds to make raspberry- mango sorbet. I also enjoy that the casting agent decided the male half of the couple would be Australian. This allows him to say things like "and just throw in some tomato, and one, two, three seconds, Bob's your Uncle, and you've got salsa!".

Who doesn't want a Magic Bullet?

(Note: I actually do want one. The ridiculous ad is just a bonus.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!

pomegranate, originally uploaded by Never Reason.

Not a heart, but something red, and yummy.

I had a great Valentine's Day. I got flowers from the kids I tutor (white tulips), and met up with an old friend for coffee and dinner. It was beautiful outside, and we walked along the beach just chatting and catching up. It got to be pretty cold out though, so we decided to head back to the car, and then to dinner. Every florist we drove by (and there were several on our route) contained at least 5 or 6 guys who'd obviously left their shopping til late. With them in spirit were men walking down the streets with bags from BeautyBar, and Hope Unlimited. A girl walked by, having clearly just indulged in a shopping spree for herself. The restaurant was packed, full of old couples who were completely comfortable, and new couples who were nervous.

And now I am completely full, and am going to spoil myself with some hot tea and a good book.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Planning! Whoooo!

So trip planning has officially begun. Not the flights, that doesn't count. I'm talking about the real planning, the "what to do once I get there" planning. And let me tell you, India? Incredibly confusing, even just in the guidebooks. But hey, I'm going to India. Who cares what else is going on?

You think I'm talking about this lots now. You just wait til I'm within 3 months of actually leaving!

Now excuse me. I have more planning to do.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I hate this feeling. It's nothing but melancholy, lonely tinged with sad. I don't know why it comes on; every once in a while, it creeps in, and even more occasionally, I won't manage to push it away, and I'll dwell in it, and it doesn't spiral. It just...settles, deep, like there's a place it fits just right, as if I've been in denial all those other times.

I wasn't in denial. There are other things that fit there too, and they don't hurt.

If I haven't found one by tomorrow, I'll let you know.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Restaurant Review: Banana Leaf

Banana Leaf Malaysian Restaurant - West Broadway Location

I went with Peek and T for an early dinner a couple of weeks back, and have to say, I was very impressed. It moved ito the location cleared by a restaurant my family loved, and while it redecorated a little, it didn't do too much, which is great because that place has an amazing internal structure.

As for the food, I had spring rolls (not bad) and coconut rice, which was exceptional, if a bit bland on it's own (which I should note is not how it's meant to be eaten. That was my decision, not the server's suggestion). Coconut rice in this case was like the Malaysian version of sticky rice at dimsum, but with less in it, and wrapped in a banana leaf. T and Peek had things that I could never hope to remember the names of, but trust me, they were good. I can't claim that Banana Leaf is super cheap, but it's definitely worth a visit.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Y'all Don't Even Know.

The past few days have been a trial.

Sunday was one of the most ludicrously busy days at work I've ever had the misfortune to experience. The kitchen was backed up 45 minutes (which, trust me, customers love), and in addition to this, my coworker had just been broken up with, and Ihad contracted a head-cold overnight. I got home, and pretty much went to bed at 9:30, after pretending to be awake enough to eat dinner.

On monday, basketball bit me again; everything was going just fine, and seven minutes before the final buzzer, I got my wedding finger jammed. It's now a lovely shade of green, swollen (but far less so than it was yesterday), and hurts. I still went to bed that night in a reasonably good mood, but...

I woke up at 6:03 am Tuesday, feeling...uncomfortable. Managed to doze of again, but at 7:25 am (I look at my clock a lot), I got up, ran into the bathroom, and hurled what little there was in my stomach. Violently. I then returned to bed, and dozed for another two hours, until it was necessary to haul myself to my first class to hand in an assignment, and then come back home for the day. Oh yeah, and in the meantime I dreamt that I was being forced to reorganize a closet, and was covertly stealing my books back from the evil lady who was making us do it.

Today, thank god, was better. My finger still looks ridiculous, and kinda hurts, but I registered for my photography class at the AMS minischool (yay!), and got some very nice letters from friends. And I can eat again, which is very nice. But I have an exam on Friday, and have just figured out that I'm missing a huge chunk of them, which is disconcerting. But happy letters! Whoooo!

Ow, it hurts to type. Bloody basketball.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

I had a very Chinese New year day today; Celeste and I went to Aberdeen Centre, and basked in the glorious New Year celebrations. We visited Daiso (everything only $2!), which was even more fun than you can imagine. From the frivolity of cupcake holders with chess pieces on them, to the necessity of stationary with "Happy Circus!" all over it, this place has everything. Including my new favourite beverage, Peach Water. We wandered the store for well over an hour, oohing and aahing over the merchandise. It was beautiful, and I just now have realized the deprivation I've been living in.

After Daiso, we though we'd explore the mall a bit more, but got sidetracked 50 paces along the path by Dragon's Beard Candy, which was being made right there. If you ever get a chance to see this process, stop and watch; celeste and I stood, in fascinated silence, as the candymaker turned a lump of sugar into thousands and thousands of tiny strands.

After buying some of the candy (we definitely had to eat some, after seeing it be made), we left the mall, and after some initial car trouble, got home. My mom had made an incredible New Year's feast, including fish, hot pot, stuffed tofu puffs, and of course rice. After dinner we had tea, and the dragon's beard candy, which, as it turns out, is excellent. Crispy and sweet and light.

And now I am incredibly full. So, so full.

Happy New Year! May you have a wonderful year of the dog!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Meet Pretty

Me and Pretty, originally uploaded by Never Reason.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have the honour to present...the new, the amazing, the fantABULOUS...

Pretty D50!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Snow, Cousins and Growing

Sunpeaks was beautiful. Pure white everywhere, and falling from the sky. Because of the basketball game of death, I wasn't able to do anything but snowshoe, but it was great to have an actual weekend, and snowshoeing was beautiful. In addition I had a chance to use Pretty (that's Pretty D50, my camera), and try out the various functions.

I also got to hang out with Peek, and my cousins, Jackie (just 7) and Stephanie (8). We played dress-up, as well as several games of Sorry! (I won both), Cadoo (kid's Cranium), and between me and Peek a game I think is called Teacher's Question, which is the most politically incorrect children's game I've ever seen. Here are some examples:

Q: If you're an albino, what colour is your skin?
A: White

Q: Obese people are all _____.
A: Fat

Needless to say, we were laughing hysterically.

The two cousin units are ludicrously cute. As evidence, note this conversation I had with Jackie on the ride up to Sunpeaks.

Parents in the front: We want to take the girls to Disneyland, but Jackie is an inch too short for most of the rides. mumblemumblemumble.

Jackie: Janice?

Jan: Yes?

Jackie: I keep trying to eat lots and lots, but I just can't grow that inch!

Happily, we measured her over the weekend, and she now only needs half an inch! Way to go Jackie!

So cute.

Monday, January 23, 2006

And then I Sez...

"I'm sorry, but pretty comes with an expiry date, and yours is up."

*Smart people go check my new pictures.*

It's the Twenty-Third

Y'all better be voting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Uh Oh.

A new TV show, Skating with the Stars, is starting this week. It's pretty obvious that it's a rip-off of Dancing with the Stars (networks don't even try to pretend they aren't copying anymore), and as such, I'd assume it's pretty stupid. Because frankly, the "stars" are all somewhat mediocre actors, in general. B-listers, soap stars, oldtimers...not the people you see on the cover of US Weekly. Also, these types of shows usually make me uncomfortable; there's always at least one judge that's a raging witch, and demeans people incessantly for no reason, which is unpleasant to watch (except for when you do it, Janice Dickinson. Tyra, why did you send her away?), and seeing people humiliate themselves in front of millions (okay, thousands) of viewers is excruciating. So I will not be watching.

However, Kurt Browning is one of the pros on the show.

My love for him knows no bounds. But I cannot watch this show.

Thank god for internet summaries.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

They Lied to Me About Basketball

It is a contact sport. Tonight we played two games, and I now have a chipped tooth (from being offensively fouled IN THE FACE) and a toenail that may fall off (that one was my shoes' fault. And to be fair, the offensive foul was by definiteion only; the poor girl clobbered her forehead on my mouth, I don't think it was terribly pleasant for her either).

The good news is, not only were my grad photos last week (thank god, as my lips are somewhat asymmetrical right now), but my dentist appointment was rescheduled to tomorrow morning, so hopefully they can do something about the tooth situation.

This is the most injured I've ever gotten during a sports event. My toe hurts, a lot, but it feels kinda cool to have an actual sports injury.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Grad photos.

So I got my hair done (it looked fabulous), and T did my make up (thank goodness. She makes me look lovely. I make me look...let's go with "odd"). So I looked very nice, relative to my everyday, and went to the studio. And now, thanks to Evangelos' on Broadway, there are pictures of me in a graduation front of a blue background. And "in" a library. And "in" a garden, a forest, a japanese palace, on someone's porch, in catacombs and leaning against a pillar made of foam. I'm holding a diploma, a diploma case, one rose, three roses, a bushel of roses, random books, and, in one priceless photo, my knee. We'll see how it goes when I get the prints back. And yes, I'm kidding about the Japanese palace.

But I'm not kidding about the catacombs.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


This is so cool.

I'm a sucker for a good gimmick.

I'm going to travel this summer; I'll make it happen. I want to go to India, and Malaysia, and maybe Taiwan. I want to See the World. I'm a little scared of doing it alone, but I know it's not impossible, and I know I may not get another opportunity to do it in the near future.

And you know what? I'm bringing an Orikaso bowl, dammit!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Restaurant Review: Hon's Won Ton House

Hon's Won Ton House, Robson St.

I went with Kaisha last week, since we were looking for something cheap and light. And cheap it is! Light not so much. It's a huge place, fluorescent lighting and at the time at least, crazy Christmas decorations abound. They serve a ton of different Chinese dishes, including the titular won tons, congee, and dim sum. Kaisha had congee, while I had some won ton soup, and then we shared a siu mai (pork dumpling) dim sum steamer. The soup was okay, but the dim sum was oddly salty. Basically it was your typical mediocre Chinese food, but with supersized servings (not the dim sum) and low low prices (again, not the dim sum). It was meh, but if you want to feel full for cheap, then it's worth your time.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Thoughts Like This

I'm listening to Iron and Wine's cover of "Such Great Heights", which - thankfully - s not just a regurgitation of the same song through different vocal cords. It's soft and peaceful and so much more restrained than Postal Service's original, which to me has always been irrepressibly joyful.

As it's 12:08 am, and my brother no longer lives here, I'm the only person who's still conscious in the house; my parents are in bed already. It feels so restful to be alone, I wonder if this is why all my friends end up staying awake 'til 4 am; it's the only time we have to be alone. This and while I'm enroute to somewhere else. Even then I'm surrounded by people, but at least my anonymity affords me some illusion of solitude. Of course, I'm spending my alone time writing on my blog, which ostensibly is to other people, so I guess I fail a little, too.

I'll list some random facts about myself, because...because I feel like it.

My favourite member of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is Bridget, and the third book, Girls in Pants, makes me cry. I think Bee is my favourite because most of the time she's fearlessly marching into her future, marshalling it into what she wants with pure will without even realizing it, but sometimes she's frozen behind a wall of confusion, doubt, and apprehension about this world she's made for herself. It may also be because of her long yellow hair, which I alwasy wanted as a kid, and would have, if it wasn't for the fact that I'd look ludicrous.

Some of my friends are surprised when I'm cynical, and some of them are surprised when I miss an opportunity to say something cynical and instead say something nice. My good friends aren't surprised either way.

T once teased me for liking Jon Stewart, saying I wanted to marry him. I replied that if he were younger and taller (and of course, single, rather than happily married with a child) all he'd have to do is ask me. I was only half kidding.

I'm scared I won't get into grad school, even though I know if at first I don't succeed...

I've had several people tell me that if I don't meet someone to spend my life with, I'll end up a crazy cat lady. Which is partially true (you really think I'd limit myself to just cats?), but fingers crossed, it'll never happen.

I miss J, Girly, Tessa, Shakey and Mranda. I wish they were here.

While at work today, a couple from Seattle came in with their (Vancouverite) granddaughter. They've come in a few times, and I love them (we always chat), and when they found out I was graduating soon, they were so excited and congratulatory. It was a really nice feeling, but congratualtions upon graduating from university seem few and far between to me; it isn't an accomplishment, in my world. It's just what you do, and that's sad.

I'm half dreading graduation. I'll have to decide what to do, I won't see all my friends every day anymore, people will start moving away, I might move away. I have the best, best friends, and I don't want to see them fade away. I know they'll never disappear entirely, but I also know nothing will be the same.

I'm upsetting myself, and I'm tired. I need to sleep, and maybe read something happy. 'night, all. 'love.

Friday, January 06, 2006

What in the World?

There is a grocery/bulk store close to my high school that makes salad rolls I love, for the very affordable price of $1.99 each. They contain rice noodles, lettuce, and tofu, and come with this peanut dipping sauce that is divine. Since they're no longer so geographically convenient, when I'm in the area, I tend to grab one. Today, it turned out I was in the area at the same time as current high schoolers were out for lunch.

A few of said high schoolers, all girls, went to get salad rolls at the same time as I did, and one of them, a mouthy little tween, opened two of the peanut sauce containers, poured one into the other, and then replaced the lids, taking the now-full one and leaving the nearly-empty one on the shelf.

...What? Are you serious? They sauces are already portioned, you little brat, and you basically just stole from the store, since it says right on the shelf that extra sauces are 50 cents. Why do you think it's okay for you to just re-portion one for yourself?

I keep having to remind myself about the delayed development of the prefrontal cortex. But seriously. Agh.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Paging Futurephoto

Dear Futurephoto,

In the past, I have very much enjoyed your services; you're affordable, I can send in the digital files over the internet and crop my photos however I like, and I can have my prints sent to the bookstore at uni for free, which means I don't have to take a half-hour trek to your store to save $5. All in all, you and I have had a lovely relationship of mutual reciprocity.

Until now.

I ordered my photos on December 14th, Futurephoto, and you promised them to me by Christmas. In fact, I had two days to spare before meeting your "no longer guaranteed by Christmas" deadline. But you disappointed me, Futurephoto. There was no notification of my pictures being ready for pick up, no beautiful photos in my hand, ready to be embellished into scrapbook oblivion. Instead, on the 23rd, there was an apology letter, and it wasn't even personal, Futurephoto, it was a mass letter. A mail merge. How could you? I don't care how much money you offer me (thank you for your $10), you can't buy back my trust. Or rather, you could have, if you'd just give me the damn pictures already. Seriously, we're approaching a month, now. Did you forget about us? Even when Mariah Carey's song is playing on infinite loop on every radio station in North America? Well fine, I'll just shake it off. You're dead to me, Futurephoto. Dead.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Restaurant Review: Mistral

Mistral is a new restaurant on Broadway and Vine, next door to such lauded establishments as Lumiere and Feenies (neither of which I've been to). It's a french restaurant, owned by the same people who once owned L'Emotion in West Vancouver, which was adored by my dad, but was never frequented by moi (I feel like using french words throughout, so I will). Anyhow, since we felt like going out to dinner (ie. giving maman a break from cooking), we decided to go check out Mistral.

With the appetizers, I...was not that impressed. As an appetizer, I had a plate of three different flavours of sauces/spreads. The anchovy-garlic dip was waaay too strong, and not in a good, anchovy-garlic way. It was supremely salty, and instead of having that great anchovy kick, you got a fishy aftertaste. Not pleasant. The cod spread was good on the croutons, but I could only take a very limited quantity of it. Like two bites. The olive tapenade, I'll admit, was awesome. The bro and papa ordered spinach soup to start, which was...really really bland. As the bro (who could only take about a third of the bowl) said, it was as if they'd blanched spinach, and then blended it. No seasoning, nothing. I would have been happier with some spinach sauteed with garlic.

The entrees were loads better. I had honey mussels in a saffrom cury sauce, which were amazing. The one drawback was that the mussels arrived already out of the shell. I personally love taking them out myself, but since I presume that it's meant as a courtesy, I can't really complain. The bro had veal, which also went down well, while my parents both enjoyed their entrees thouroughly (beef stew and...something else, I don't remember).

In the end, an okay dinner. To be fair, this is not an extravagantly priced restaurant (but it's not exactly affordable, either - $18 - $29 entrees), and the service was excellent, and hilarious (ah, les Francais). But if I were to go again, I'd skip the appetizers and go straight to the entrees.