Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Overheard in Rogers Video

A young male employee processes the two DVDs I brought to the counter while his colleague discusses their plan to see a movie that night.

"Why don't you bring your friend?" she asks, and it's obvious that she means a female friend.

"No, I don't like her."

"Oh come on! You should bring her."

I stop paying attention to their conversation until I'm almost out the door and I hear him say loudly and seriously,

"She's very attractive, and she smells good, but she's just SUCH A TERRIBLE PERSON."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Time magazine reports that the state of waking up in the morning is so stressful for our bodies that "many heart attacks occur between 6am and 8am."

Just in case your mornings aren't stressful enough, you can now wake up to a bomb threat. Introducing DANGER BOMB CLOCK, the clock that wakes you up with the sound of an explosion, and features three wires that must be connected in the right sequence to stop the alarm. The sequence is set randomly every morning.

are now being taken for this clock, which will ship on March 17. I recommend investing in the pharmaceutical industry right before it ships.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

You know what I really need?


Meet Clocky, the alarm clock that runs away and hides when you don't wake up. You get one chance to wake up, but if you snooze, Clocky jumps off the nightstand and runs away.

Now, this is what happenes to alarm clocks on my nightstand:

So Clocky has better run fast.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

iTunes is a Terrible Mother

My iTunes has trouble recognizing my iPod, and this has been going on for quite a while. There's no pattern to when it will recognize it and when it won't. I've read all the articles on apple.com, and I've tried troubleshooting my own way, which involves restarting iTunes and unplugging the iPod.

You know what this is equivalent to? This is equivalent to a mother not recognizing its child!

Friday, January 05, 2007

lI'm sitting in my living room right now, and even though only three walls lead to the outside the wind sounds like it's gushing past all four sides. At one point it was so loud and forceful that I feared for the structure of my house.

I checked the weather network, and sure enough:

Wind warning for:

Greater Vancouver



This morning it snowed. Later on it rained. Now a wind warning is in effect. What is Vancouver trying to do? Be Calgary?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

So, it's been a while. 20 months to be exact.

Some housekeeping things:

The old email (avocado_the@yahoo.com) no longer works. I checked so infrequently that Yahoo decided to shut me down. I'm now with Gmail (avocado.the@gmail.com), which is a lot cooler, and I set it up so that it forwards to my everyday email.

This site is a big mess. All the ads, links, and random groups and notifiers need to go. I'm afraid to go into the chaos that is The Template, because as much as I'd like to tell myself that I'm conversant in the basics of html and css (since I own a book on the topic, wow), I really suck at it. However, if I decide to write more regularly, it needs to look neater.

I've been up to a lot of things. More on that later. It's nice to do this again.
I got my first electric toothbrush last week.

I've wanted to try one ever since I became an obsessive plague remover many years ago, but my dentist is of the opinion that you can achieve a better clean with a regular toothbrush. She claimed that if you're doing the motions yourself, it's easier to feel around the edges and successfully brush your 'trouble' spots, i.e. in between teeth, and around oddly shaped teeth. Everytime I asked her about electric toothbrushes, she'd tell me how she uses the sample ones she receives in the mail to spot clean her laundry. But what about those uber-expensive-ultra-sonic-vibrating-twenty-years-of-research ones? They're all inferior to conventional toothbrushes. Alright then.

So I completely defied her and happily accepted the electric toothbrush my parents bought me. It's a Braun Oral B something or other. I'm like some kind of rebellious dental patient, except I'm also everyone's favorite because WOW PLEASE OBSERVE MY LACK OF PLAGUE. And also my lack of gum from over-flossing.

First of all, the good:

1) It gives me one more reason to look forward to brushing. One cannot have too many reasons to look forward to brushing.

2) The little buzzing noises it makes is kind of cute. All BZZZZ BZZZZ and stuff.

3) I get to charge it in a cute little stand up charger. I like charging things.

4) It spins a lot faster than I can ever make my regular toothbrush spin. Sorry regular toothbrush.

5) The correct way to brush is around and around. I tend to brush around and around, then up and down, up and down, up and down. That is bad. Electric toothbrush is all round motions. That is good.

Next, the issues I have with it:

1) How are you supposed to get enough toothpaste to go on the tiny toothbrush head? I usually use so much toothpaste that I foam heavily around the mouth like a crazy person and need to spit about four times. No 'pea' sized amount for me. Any toothpaste I put on the electric toothbrush head usually flies off (physics grad students, here's a thesis idea for you: the centrifugal motion of electric toothbrush heads). What doesn't fly off doesn't get distributed evenly. My routine involves doing a quick toothpaste sweep around my mouth with my regular toothbrush and then switching to my electric.

2) How hard are you supposed to press? I find myself doing the same motions I do with a regular toothbrush, because holding it in one place feels so lazy, and I'm terribly afraid that I'll press too hard and all my enamel will come off, and that I'll live the rest of my life dependent on Sensodyne, and since that shit's expensive, that I'll never be able to afford a house.

3) Does water get into the electric system? I'm a little worried about that.

4) The cute vibrating noises I mentioned earlier? I'm afraid it's killing my brain cells.

4) Is it normal to have so many issues with your electric toothbrush? Maybe I should stick to a conventional one.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tea Bags are SO Last Year

It's all about tea leaves and tea infusers now!

Note: Behind the tea maker you can see a bowl of dough. I'm baking bread using an amazing recipe I found online. My first time was extremely successful. I'll share the secrets with you soon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am applying for the park leader position. I would love to have the opportunity to work with kids, especially the younger ones, because they take directions better and are easier to intimidate. As you can see from my resume, I have had a variety of experiences working with kids, and I have learned valuable skills from those experiences, such as which poop jokes make the kids laugh hardest, and where to poke so it really hurts. I can confidently say that I’m friendly, outgoing, fun, and encouraging.

In terms of CPR and first-aid training, I was recently certified by St. John Ambulance. Being in a room full of dummies and other potential applicants for two days really gave me the energy and determination to keep myself alive in that suffocating gym. I guess you can say I saved my own life there. I also saw how incompetent the other applicants were, and how much could be put at risk if you were to hire anyone else but me.

Sir or Madam, I sincerely believe that with my nature and my experience, I can be an invaluable asset to the community center. I will work to the best of my ability to ensure that the children’s time at the park is worthwhile, and that they wear SPF 60 sunscreen at all times, because premature aging is a real issue these days.

I would love to hear from you soon. Call me.


Saturday, March 12, 2005

Hanging in There

As you may have noticed, you devastatingly wonderful readers, The Avocado is on a hiatus. Things are a little hectic right now, and just so you don’t check back here all the time hoping for some kind of miracle post, I thought I'd tell you that there will be no updates until the end of April.

Before I go, I'd like to pay my deepest condolences to Socar Myles, who lost her friend Stella (a giant rat). Socar, I am so sorry for your loss. Big hugs from another Vancouverite.

For those of you with a lot of reading time on your hands, I highly recommend Socar's website. I also recommend all the links on my sidebar. I would like to give you a passage from the website of Mr. Skot Kurruk, who is, regrettably, already taken:

One morning I began to cross (with cars oncoming but down the road a bit), and I failed to correctly judge the outlandish speed that one small car was approaching at. The next thing I knew, the damn sporty little can had squealed to a screeching halt mere feet from my knees, scaring the helpless loafs of shit nearly right out of me. (Bear in mind that the bloody assholes are supposed to stop anyway.) Then--then!--the tiny little silver fucking douchecar emitted this unbelievably horrible noise--BLAAAAAP!

The fuckette--for it was a woman--was honking at me. For crossing the street. At a crosswalk. At which she was hurtling at barely subsonic speed. Well, that was it. In a truly reptilian display of limbic outrage, I wheeled on the car and let fly with my lit cigarette at the windshield, whose trajectory was remarkably flat for such an aerodynamically challenged item. It bounced off the glass feebly, and I screamed, "FUCK YOU!" I was dimly pleased to see the woman flinch, probably fearing that I was going to crawl into her car like a mythical, horrid onramp incubus and violate her in some awfully specific way.

I felt bad about this later--a little bit--I mean, freaking women out is not something I strive for on a daily basis. But maybe this one deserved it . . . a little bit?

I like this passage because the cars and trucks (especially the trucks) on campus drive around oblivious to the fact that people (real people!) are walking. My close encounters with big trucks have not made me appreciate the fact that I am alive, but rather, they have created the urge to use my middle finger on more than one occasion. If I had my Frisbee on those occasions, many windshields would have been broken. I do not scream ‘fuck you’ as often as you might imagine. Every time a big truck comes at me with no intention of decelerating, I want to shout, "Watch it! I have expensive textbooks in my backpack! Plus $75 worth of allergy medication! Plus Armani glasses! You bastards!"

You take care, okay?

(A quick note: If you have seasonal allergies (ie hayfever), and have a runny nose and brutally itchy eyes, over the counter eye drops will not alleviate your symptoms. In my experience, they've made it worse. Go to your doctor and ask for prescription nasal sprays and eye drops. They work like magic, and you no longer walk around looking diseased and hung over. I've never tried oral antihistamines (ie Claritin), but I've heard that they work for some people, and control overall symptoms as opposed to targeting a particular one. So if pollens irritate your skin as well, you might want to give those a shot. A friend of mine recommends herbal medicine (a brand called Nu Power, which I was unable to find), and claims that it's effective enough by itself. One last word of advice: DON'T RUB YOUR EYES.)

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Like Mace, but Without the Damage

I’m not a shopper. I go only when I must, like when I run out of moisturizer. Last weekend I went to purchase underwear, and as planned, I finished in less than fifteen minutes after arriving at the mall. This is where I’m embarrassed to admit that I did not go straight home. I wandered. I walked around the mall at ten in the morning, when the only other customers are old ladies with little handbags, and I, ahem, shopped.

One of the things that annoy me when I go shopping is the number of sycophant employees I have to deal with, smile at, and touch. Yes, touch. I can’t count the number of times I have been grabbed (albeit gently) by employees from the Body Shop, Origins, and those carts in the aisles. They would take my hand, squeeze the “latest thing in the cosmetic industry”, and start rubbing it into my skin, all the while standing a little too close for comfort. Being touched by strangers? Not my thing.

Once, when I was searching for a present at Origins, the makers of the Ginger Soufflé, I was somehow talked into trying a salt scrub. How does one try a salt scrub inside the Bay? The Origins girl took me to a large, modern sink two feet away and immediately started stroking my arm. I immediately felt uncomfortable. After she rinsed and dried my arm, she continued to massage it. I noticed her perfectly manicured nails. It would have been impolite to pull away, so I didn’t. She almost, almost talked me into buying a forty-dollar shower gel. Some of you, after reading this, will probably rush to Origins for some “inappropriate physical contact”. Have fun.

Another time, I was at Lush, the cosmetic store that looks like a grocery store and smells like horse manure. I had heard about a certain conditioner, so I went to check it out, because I’m a sucker for Things That Smell Good. A girl my age rushed to my side almost instantly, and started talking non-stop about how great the conditioner is, how it contains strawberry, and why I must buy it. I can tolerate people as long as they’re not touching me. She lifted the bottle to my nose and told me to smell it. I couldn’t smell anything in that place. All of your senses die when you walk in. So I told her that, and she laughed, even though I wasn’t joking, and handed me a jar of coffee beans. It calms your senses and neutralizes all the smells, she told me. It did, but as soon as I pulled the jar away and went to smell the conditioner, my senses were once again destroyed. I still can’t smell anything, I told her, but I’ll take your word for it!

Years of shopping and many containers of moisturizers later, I have discovered the single most effective way to defend yourself against store employees: cell phones. As soon as you enter a store, call someone, anyone, and pretend to be having an important conversation as you try moisturizers at your convenience. What else are you supposed to do with your 200 minutes, call your mother?* Most employees won’t talk to you if you’re on your cell phone. You can throw your phone at the ones that do. This might not prevent the counter ladies at the Bay from spraying nauseating perfume in your direction, but at least they won’t talk to you. If you’re fast and wear protective gear made by NASA, you might even avoid the perfume.

I have tried it, and it works every time.

*Yes, you should use the 200 minutes to call your mother, you heartless jerk.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I was writing something in the style of a letter, with a ‘Dear so-and-so” opening, and when I hit enter, my computer stopped responding. It started again four seconds later with a paper clip appearing at the corner of my screen. It had a speech box that said, “It looks like you’re writing a letter” and it raised its eyebrows like it was flirting with me.

Dear Mr. Flirty Paperclip:

Thanks for offering to help me with my letter. I don't need it at the moment. I think I'll click“Just type the letter without help for now.

And oh, one more thing: I THOUGHT I DISABLED YOU A YEAR AGO.



Friday, January 14, 2005

“If I keep my mouth open long enough, maybe my saliva will freeze” – the author of this website

Last week, I don’t remember the date, my father said something to me as I walked down to the kitchen for breakfast in the morning. I’m not very alert in the morning, or ever, for that matter, and did not understand what he was saying. I answered, “Yes” because that is what one does. He repeated what he had said, which was “It snowed.” Like a computer from the nineties, my brain buzzed and shook, processed the information with no hurry whatsoever, and with a final ZZZZD!, finished the task. With that, I leaped over to the nearest window and almost broke the string on the blinds as I yanked them up. I shoved my head in the glass, smudging it with my greasy face, and screamed, “Snow!” And then the entire neighborhood woke up and began to plot my death. But the snow, the gorgeous, gorgeous snow distracted them, and so here I am today, alive and telling you this story.

I cannot tell you how happy and surprised and pleased I am with the weather. If the weather was a dog, I would pat it on the head and say, “Good dog.” The weather has been amazing. When it snowed on the first day, I began to miss it as I soon as I saw it. Vancouver rarely snows, if ever. When it does, it usually does so for five minutes so the weather network can have some dignity and tell its listeners, “We’ve been telling you that it’d snow for two weeks, and look! It snowed! We are the awesome. The awesome are we.”

I looked at the fresh layer outside my home and was sure that it would be gone by noon. On the way to school, it began to rain. I sighed, made a face, and told myself that it had snowed, and that was enough. After my second class, the first thing I saw when I went outside was people shoving snow into each other’s faces. “Sweet!” I thought. And then I saw the big snowflakes falling from the sky and several weaklings whimpering about the quote unquote “assbitching” cold in a corner. “Sweet!” I thought again. And so, to my utter surprise and delight, it snowed and snowed, and although it has stopped snowing, the last time I glanced outside, there was still a lot of snow on the ground. Unbelievable. For the next several days, I couldn’t stop squealing. Like a hamster, but without the hair and the tiny poop. Every time I went outside, and every time I traveled from class to class, I would go on and on about how wonderful the snow was, and how it was just so beautiful. I couldn’t stop pointing at trees and telling people to look at them. And look, that car has snow all over it! Ha Ha! Let’s dump snow into the garbage cans! Ha Ha! That person just tripped and fell! Ha Ha!

What else can I say? Snow is great. I don’t like to talk about the weather much. When other people bring up the weather, I think, “Yeah, so?” and quickly change the topic to something interesting like the fact that I’m going bald. When buying my daily supply of sour candy from 711, the woman behind me talked to me about the traffic and the horrors of driving in the snow. What a downer, I thought. So I flashed her my metallic smile (the braces, remember?) and talked to her about my hair loss. I’m kidding. Sort of.

The crisp and sparkling surroundings have also raised my tolerance a little. I was trying to do some reading for school, but ended up glancing outside for reasons unknown to me. The playground was empty save for a girl and a boy, clinging to each other like wrinkled saran wrap. On normal days I would have made puking sounds and promptly turned away, but I don’t know if it was the snow or the fact that the boy was rather good looking, I continued to stare at them. The girl giggled in a nausea-inducing way, pulled away playfully from the boy then got pulled back, several lip-locking episodes ensued, and so on. I don’t know why I kept on looking. Maybe I'm turning into a pervert.

So, about the weather. It’s great, eh?

You can read what Socar Myles wrote about the snow here, and view some pictures here and here.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

I was born in December in an area that reached the minus double digits in winter. Whenever people in Vancouver donned toques and mittens in mild weather and complained about the cold, I would scoff. I never wore scarves and other head warming gear, I could handle the cold. Besides, I found them scratchy. So when reports indicated that Vancouver was having an unusually cold winter, and when people on the street started wearing eight layers and gave muffled complaints behind their jackets, scarves, neck warmers, animal fur, and Starbucks mugs, I was absolutely thrilled. This winter was made for me. I will rejoice and walk around bareheaded and barehanded! Bring on the cold weather!

Last Tuesday was the first day of classes after the winter holidays. I had stored my bike in the basement of a building on the edge of campus, and woke up half an hour earlier than usual to pick it up and ride it to class. This was prior to the arrival of the gorgeous blanket of snow that currently covers Vancouver. The day was rainless, and bitingly cold – my kind of weather. Past experiences biking in the cold have taught me that if I want the skin on my hands to remain on my hands, I should wear gloves. So however tough I like to pretend I am, I wore gloves and a toque that day.

As soon as I started to bike, I realized that it was very, very cold. I was going a lot slower than usual, with the added pounds from unrestrained holiday consumption and whatnot, but the wind felt like a thousand pins gleefully sticking themselves in my face every second. Every breath I took burned. I pulled my toque down to my ears, but when my ears were covered, the top of my forehead was not. A tug of war began. I would cover the ears for a while, and then tug the toque down to my forehead. I biked with one hand on the handlebars and one hand on my toque the whole trip.

Wind flew down my scarf-less neck into my jacket, and I felt the wind at my ankles. I suddenly wondered why I always wear low ankle socks. I had a mental image of Britney Spears and her ridiculous leg warmers. “She had a message there,” I thought to myself.

After a while I warmed up and stopped grimacing. I don’t know what I looked like during the first excruciating moments. I might have looked constipated. I think I was also talking to myself. In the middle of the coldest moments, I spotted a runner slightly ahead of me. He wore red shorts and a thin long sleeved cotton shirt. He was running so he must have also felt the cutting wind. However, he did not look like he was dying. And he was wearing shorts. Without a jacket. In a thin cotton shirt.

I almost screamed, “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?”

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