Here I go, off to schoork. Oh. I'm already here.

I'm at school/work. Schoork? Schwoork? Thta is the weird part of having a job on campus: it's like you freakin' live here. I'm getting used to the thirteen hour Monday marathon but it would be nice if I didn't have to see the same placid faces floating around. This college is too damn small at times. Looking forward to tomorrow night - fencing! I think we are doing some other, more complex, attacks.

L and I picked up Kill Dr. Lucky over the weekend. We haven't tried it out yet. Since I may not have schoork tomorrow on account of an impending strike, we might just play it then.

Tried a superb red wine from Chile last night, courtesy of K, that had a tremendous flavour I will never forget. It was very deep, very dark, with an intense earthy taste that suggested tobacco and chocolate. The fruit, as described by the bottle's label, was like strawberry and plum, but I definitely received a very rounded plum aftertaste that lingered on the palate. I reckon another tasting is required to get a full compliment of flavours. Heh.


New news

I suppose I should write something before I do something really foolish.

Ahem. Vancouver is currently under seige by a non-stop barrage of rain (admitingly, the rain has ceased. For now!) and wouldn't you know it, a couple of days ago the ceiling in our office leaked. The closet was drenched, as well as the corner near the window. L mopped up the water and moved the bookshelf that was situated in said corner into our bedroom. I just spent the last hour and a half putting books away, sweeping the floor, reorganizing the office closet and rearranging the bedroom. Actually, the new set-up looks awesome.

This morning, the landlord came by to wag a finger us, well, me actually, and berated me for making too much noise. Appparently, walking around in our home during waking hours causes emotional grief in our downstairs neighbour. Also, we are supposed to pay twenty percent of the gas, even though we (a) have our own independent electric heater that warms the water (b) the baseboard heaters are electric and (c) of the two vents in our flat that exudes heat from downstairs, only one works and the other can barely heat a paper bag's interior.

There is talk of another strike (the current strike in the Lower Mainland over wage increases is on a rotating picket, so students don't get too screwed over) since talks have supposedly broken down. The first strike was no fun; four hours of walking around the campus in the freezing January morning, surrounded by people I don't know (minus two, one of whic showed up near the end, but it was fun hanging out with I and chatting about comics. We did talk to one student who didn't know about the strike and gave us a lot of support. It was only one person, but it made my day) so I'm not really looking forward to another round.

For sociology class last night I wrote an arguement for a in-class project and got a small applause. Nice. All my classes are totally fun.


A whole bunch of stuff! Make some coffee!

This weekend was pretty fun. L's clan arrived on our doorstep on Saturday starting with her cousin D and his lovely lady-friend J (not me!) who were on their way home from Toronto. Then, L's folks swung by and had lunch, and they headed out with A to see Million Dollar Baby while L and I stayed home and played mancala. We got phone call from D saying they missed the ferry, so the hauled their carcasses back to our house, where I was brewing up hot toddies for everyone. L's parents had to stay also, since the highway seemed pretty treacherous for driving. D and J took off this morning, and L's folks are staying another night and then they are heading for home tomorrow morning. It was a real treat having so many guests over, playing games and eating good food.

I did, in fact, get a lot of homework done. Monday is my very long day. I work from nine to twelve, then I work on school related stuff for seven hours on campus and after that I have an English class from seven to ten. That is thirteen hours at school. At least it gives me an opportunity to finish my monologue and my readings.

I've decided to hold back on buying a video game and I plan to funnel my cash into books, comics, and board games. I also will be putting money aside for archery gear, aikido lessons (lessons are held at another community centre on Saturdays for beginners. Luckily, I already own a gi from my previous lessons) and of course, the Emerald City Comicon. I already have accommadations set up and some money buried on a deserted island (well, not really "deserted", it's more like "unoccupied" during the tourist off-season. The joy of living near a chain of islands that are popular tourist destinations) for this trip. I am totally excited! Friends reading this here blog should email of they want to make the trip as well and get something going on.



A quick note: new images from Titan.



When onto LiveJournal and this is what I got:

Our data center (Internap) lost all its power, including redundant backup power. We're currently dealing with bringing our 100+ servers back online. Not fun. We're not happy about this. Sorry... :-/ More details later.



For those of you interested in writing about comics, this has to be one of the best pieces I've come across so far. Concise, professional and damn well insightful. Achewood is one of my favourites.


I shouldn't work in a place that houses computers, I will never get anything done. Last night C and I were going to see the bad movie known as Electra. There was a mishap though; the movie was playing in Metro Town (Metrotown? MetroTown? How is that word spelled?) rather than downtown. So, we went out for coffee and talked comics and such. A good time was had.

I finally shared my three plot ideas with my playwriting class today. My third idea, which I admit was far more developed than the other two, got a good reception so I will roll with plot number three. Basically, the story centres around a mediocre performer who runs into his ex-girlfriend. I know, it sounds exciting, doesn't it? Well, I will flesh the story out in time.

I'm at work until three or four and then I have class inside the big lecture theatre, and that is cool!

Fencing class so intense on Tuesday. The new people joined the warm-up session with the rest of the experienced fencers, and I was dizzy for few moments. My thrust needs a lot of work though - my body twists in three different directions when I reach (head to the left, the butt to the right and my feet splayed out) and now I spend my free time slowly moving through the action to correct my mistakes. My posture totally needs work. The Alexander Technique is one way of doing that. It's too bad the treatment is expensive as hell.


En guarde!

What!? Another student loan to cash in? I forgot they come in pairs. I got a tax return today so I can deposit that and cash in loan number two. Just about finished my homework.

I also remembered that I have fencing tomorrow night. I am pretty excited, my first lesson was really fun. We learned the stance, walking (both in small steps and in long strides), basic maneuvering and some history of the sport including the equipment used. There are three styles - foil, epee and sabre. For the next twelve lessons we will be learning the foil, since the methods apply to the other two styles. Most fencers specialize in one style, and since I'm a beginner that decision is far in the future. I spend my free hours going over what we learned in class, or inbetween study sessions. I find working out in the gym really helps develop areas that are, well, underappreciated.

Fencing has totally inspired me to reconnect with other activities, like aikido and archery. I was into archery when I was in junior high, I really enjoyed it at the time and I regret selling my bow to pay my rent many years ago. I vow to return to archery! Let the trumpets sound!

Get Off The Internet

The weekend was semi-productive. First, my library fine was reduced, on account that patrons of the Vancouver Public Library are given a one time waiver of their fines. Readers take note! The books that L renewed for me, but were listed as overdue, were erased from the record. I still had to pay the fine for two books that were not renewed plus the $15 fee the library so graciously charged me for handing my fines over to a collection agency. Oh well.

Student loan was cashed on Saturday, so I'm expecting it here this week. My mom sent my grandma's card, like, a week ago. Canada Post, I'm severely disappointed.

I downloaded Bleeding Sherwood from Cheapass Games awhile ago, and last night I actually made the effort to print out the cards, cut them out and read the sort-of-clear rules. The game is pretty fun, but it definitely becomes a better game with more than three players. I love the philosophy at Cheapass - games are too expensive, so make them cheap by getting folks to use their own pieces, dice, etc. I also made a funky casserole with carrots, eggplant, green pepper, onion, rice, and lentils, then covered it with a crust (breadcrumbs, yeast, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper) then baked for twenty minutes. It was tasty.

I did some reading yesterday, and I will finish my homework today. Then English class at seven until ten, PM that is. I start work tomorrow if the strike doesn't pan out.

No money, so no new game. The game wishlist:

1. Project Nomads
2. Frag
3. Zombies!!!
4. This game C introduced me to, where players build their kingdom by placing tiles down. Plays like dominoes, kind of.

Also, some long term plans.

1. Snowshoeing with L, K and T. Possibly others.
2. Celebrate Chinese New Year with K and T.

Now to get off the internet.



Student loan papers came in today, so in five business days I will return to the world. However, my union has put forward a strike vote. I will know by Monday if I will be standing out in the cold getting pelted by rotten vegetables and making $20 a day. Also, I just rubbed my eye after dicing some chilies for dinner. My eye hurts.

Other than that, all is well. With some money comin' my way and a semester of super-fun classes, plus the drama of labour politics, if I complain a fiery meteor should plummet into my bedroom just to smite me. While searching admist the burning debris, rescue workers will wonder why only my half of the bed was smashed to bits.


Must. . .go. . .outside. . .

Oops, having a black background doesn't exactly help in making the last post clear, but the two colour bars on the far left are black. Just so you know.

I have to apply to UBC this week, maybe even today. L and I have yet to settle my fines at the library (L is coming along to help, she is a great advocate and sometimes I am lousy at these sort of things. Bureaucracies can be difficult waters to navigate.) but luckily, I have thirty days to to dispute the fine. This situation has had ramifications in my life already: my application for a credit card was denied, and I reckon my association with a collection agency was a factor in the bank's decision. I will get my UBC application form today, either from L who can pick one up or I'll just download it. Either way.

The snow is still falling and public transit is having problems. I take the train rather than a bus to get to school, so I can make my anthropology class today. My weekend looks like this: swing by the community centre to watch the fencing open, finish my homework and maybe get some comics or. . .a video game! Yes, I have a love for semi-obscure, unpopular games like Project Nomads. The game looks like fun - with a mash-up of genres like fantasy and steampunk you really can't go wrong. Although, steampunk sometimes incorporates fantastical elements, I find the best steampunk stories keep it to a minimum (future apologies to C and his project, which is a notable exception to my critique. His project is unique in it's narrative approach to the genre.) It takes me forever to buy stuff, I'm just not that fanatical about owning anything. Most purchasable stuff out there will always be available in some way. I can order it online or spend a couple of hours hunting around. My biggest gripe with "geek culture" is the focus on possessing as many material goods as possible, like hunters displaying deer heads in their living room. So, some of things I'm into fall within the "geek" category, like comics and video games. Well, with the folks associated with Halo 2 making as much money as George Lucas, and McSweeney's issue thirteen edited by none only than Chris Ware (and devoted to talents in the industry) I can confidentally hypothesize that "geek culture" has infiltrated the larger cultural sphere. No surprise there.

Did this awhile ago, ready to share.

writing is love
brought to you by the isLove Generator


Snow day.

Dear God, I have another, no wait, two really long evening classes. One today, and another on Monday. I got most of my books and now I ready to receive some cash for comics and food. I'm just sittin' around, emailing and checking out boingboing and reading the text for my sociology class at four (society and the environment). And, it's snowing! I woke up early, with my little tuxedo cat curled up beside me, and there were huge, fluffy flakes slowly descending to the ground. When I got up I looked out the window, sipping a cup of miso, and watched this little piece of earth get blanketed with snow. Later, L and I are going for a walk to check out downtown. I remember while growing up in Toronto my parents and I would take the trolley downtown and see the Christmas lights and storefront displays, so whenever it snows I get sentimental. I can't wait to head home.



I finished my first class in the new year, and I'm already a little dizzy from the demands and shouts emanating out of the world. It seems funny that as soon as I stepped back into my adult life all those obligations swoop down on you like starving vultures. It's not that bad though - my playwriting class was fun and I sense it will be demanding, with the assignments, workshops, meetings (we need to attend two one-on-one meetings with the instructor during the writing process) and exercises. But, this is a chance to write something creative rather than academic, and I have tried writing a (two?) plays before. I love listening to conversations and yes, I can be rather dramatic thank you very much. And this is only one class! I still have anthropology (religion), sociology (society and the environment) and English (fiction; it's an intro class so I'm thinking modern) and I have to get my work hours. So,

1. Get student card
2. Get books, paper (recycled), pens and pencils
3. Maybe get a new notebook

The biggest problem is money - my student loan hasn't arrived yet and I'm running on fumes. I have like $20 in my account. It looks like I'm borrowing cashola from L until the loan/bursary/grant/paycheque is placed in my sweaty palm. And check this out: I got a letter from a collection agency, on behalf of the library, reminding me to fork over $56.40 in overdue fees. This is totally out of line. I know I returned those books, and according to my library account those books have no record of return. Cripes. I am heading to the library today to dispute their claim.

To add another bruise to the day, comic book legend Will Eisner died yesterday. I can't give this guy any justice, so I will let this article do the work for me. I know, very un-Eisner of me. Tonight, my first fencing lesson!