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?”

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

My heart goes out to all the people who are suffering in Asia, and to the people who are miles away from their loved ones and fear the worst. To the people who have lost ones close to them, I am grieving with you, and my heart aches when I see the suffering and the pain. I am praying for all of you, for those of you here who are unable to reach out to family in Asia, and for those in the affected areas, experiencing what no one should experience. I hope that you will be comforted in your grief and held during your pain.

I am praying for you.


Monetary donations are crucial at a time like this. Here are several of the organizations that work with governments and other humanitarian organizations to bring emergency relief to affected areas:

Canadian Red Cross | American Red Cross
Save The Children Canada | Save The Children
Unicef Canada | Unicef

The American Red Cross also accepts air miles donations.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

I just woke up, and I’m currently eating Haagen-Dazs ice cream out of the container with a butter knife. First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR. It’s the first time I’ve said that all week, and it feels weird because I talked to hundreds of people last night (I was selling souvenirs) and I don’t remember saying happy New Year. When I saw my parents this morning, I said, “Wanna see the toque I got?” and that was probably it. So, Happy New Year, the glow sticks are two dollars each, and do you want to see the toque I got?

I hope you all had an enjoyable New Year’s Eve. Mine started at 3pm, and it was so insanely boring I drooled on the nice chairs in the CBC building. The day picked up when I went to the volunteer’s lounge and picked up six free Safeway sandwiches, two bottles of pop, and six mandarin oranges. I almost giggled when the lady packed it all in a box for me. I brought it back to the other volunteers in my office. Seriously, that’s what I did.

The fun began when I was taken from the Finance office to the souvenirs table, where I think I discovered another one of my callings. I was one hell of a souvenirs uh…seller. Without me, they would never have sold that many toques. Not to brag, of course. In the last part of my shift, I was paired with a guy about my age. He asked me if I wanted to watch the fireworks with him. I agreed. We closed twenty minutes before midnight and went back to the CBC building to count the cash. A minute before midnight we were allowed to leave and watch the fireworks while the staff kept on working. We sprinted down the stairs, struggled with the “automatic” sliding doors, and pried it open just as we heard the beginning of the countdown.

“10! 9! …”

We sped down to the crowd right below the stage.

“… 8! 7! 6! 5! …”

We flew down the stairs. It’s a miracle I didn’t trip and die.

“… 4! 3! …”

We joined the crowd.

“ … 2! 1!”

The fireworks began, the band started playing, and my heart exploded.

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