I am so glad the weekend is over. I’ll finally stop spending money. This morning I woke at 10am and got ready for dim sum. We went to Sun Sui Wah on Main and 23rd. I’ve been there several times over the years for dinner with my parents, but never for dim sum. It was also my first time going to dim sum with SJC people.

The place was packed and it was fortunate that Kiyoko made a reservation. There were eight of us, a mix of SJC residents past and present, plus one of Adrian’s friends. Adrian had a hard-core weekend, I’m so proud of him. Anyways, Kiyoko did most of the dim sum ordering. I did however, make some special requests, one of which was chicken feet steamed in black bean sauce. It seems to me, this is the ultimate test of a dim sum eater. I also happen to like chicken feet at dim sum. My mom and dad make fun of me because of that. They say only old women like that stuff. Oh well.

When the cart with the chicken feet arrived, I quickly motioned for the lady to give us a dish. As she put it on our table, I saw that everyone other than Kiyoko eyed it nervously. I said, “Come on everyone, this is the stuff that makes dim sum unique”. The responses I got were varied:

“No way man.”

“How do you eat it?”

“What do you do with the bones?”

“Why don’t you show us?”

I took one of the feet and plopped it on the plate. “You just put one of the toes in your mouth and bite it off,” I told everyone.

All eyes were on me which was weird since usually when I eat it, my mom and dad think I’m just eating normal food, which it is. I took one of the toes up to the second knuckle in my mouth, ripped it off from the foot, and worked it around in my mouth. I got all the skin off, and then I spit out the bones.

“There! That was great, now you all try,” I offered.

There was still some hesitation among the others (Kiyoko, who’s a dim sum veteran, doesn’t like chicken feet in general). To everyone’s credit though, everyone did try it and some liked it more than others.

The rest of dim sum was slightly less interesting, but nonetheless good and filling. On our way back to the cars, Evelyn wondered if we were interested in going for gelato at this place by Clarke and Venables. We all agreed and soon we were in this industrial warehouse area. Then out of nowhere is this gelato place with parents, kids, and cyclists out front. The store proudly proclaimed it had 198 different flavours. As we entered the store, we could see that this was no false boast. We sampled some weird flavours like roasted garlic, balsamic vinegar, durian fruit, and curry. The garlic is actually pretty damn good.

We finally got back to SJC around 3pm. I cleaned up a bit, did some dishes and I ironed four shirts which nearly took me half an hour to do so. It was so humid around that time. I did some web site stuff until dinner. Dinner itself was a bit uninspired, but then again I had been eating quite well the entire weekend.

After dinner, I noticed that I had a box of brownies in my room that I hadn’t made yet. I left my room to go pre-heat the oven upstairs when I ran into Misato in the hallway. Misato is unfortunately moving out of SJC. She’s a real asset to the SJC community and a wonderful person overall. “Erwin, do you want to keep my fridge over the summer?” she said to me. I said yes immediately because I knew she has a big, waist-high fridge and I have a little midget one.

I asked her why she was offering it to me and she said I was the first person she saw in the hallway that she knew. Sweet. I love random luck. Ten minutes later, I have Misato’s beautiful refrigerator in my room. It’s so awesome. It probably holds twice as much food as my current one. Misato cleaned it out meticulously too, so it’s spotless inside. I felt like shopping for food right then and there just to fill it up. I was so happy!

I remembered that I still had to make my brownies, so I went upstairs to that. After my baking was done, I went up to Dana’s room to tell him the brownies were cooling. He had given me the brownie mix and we agreed I’d make it and we’d split it. When I got to his room, he thanked me for baking them, but he also asked me if I wanted to go to DQ for some ice cream. DQ and gelato in the same day? Hmmm…. sure, why not I thought.

Some other SJC people joined us and we piled into Dana’s car for the trip to DQ. I had a shake which I thought had less fat than ice cream did, but I could be totally wrong on that. We had this really funny conversation about how we were all nerds in high school. I tried to convince them all that it was quite the feat for me to be “King of all Nerds” in high school since I had to fight off all the other nerds in a class of 1000 students.

So, the weekend has brought me to this post. Man, what a weekend. It was a lot of fun, but boy, did I spend a lot of money.


I woke up at 1pm today. I had about eight hours of sleep. I can’t remember the last time I got so much sleep. I immediately tried to think about where the Seattle crew were. They were supposed to be back at 2pm. Wow, I almost slept through their trip I thought.

I noticed it was a beautiful day but I tooled around in my room for about an hour. I cleaned, put things away, and did my dishes. Around 2pm, I left my room to go grab some lunch. There were so many people streaming down to Wreck Beach. It was a hot day.

I got back around 3pm and did some more cleaning. Around 4pm, I heard Adrian, Pat, and Kiyoko outside my room. They were back! I went out and greeted them. They all looked tired. They got into Seattle really early in the morning. I believe they hit Pioneer Square first, but it was kinda boring, so they went to the Pike Place Market. Nothing struck their fancy there, and somehow they wound up at the Marriott hotel for breakfast. On the way back, they made a little stop in Bellingham. They said it was all go go go during the trip, not a moment to rest. Adrian didn’t sleep the entire time. That guy is a machine. After I got their stories, I bid them farewell, and they went off in their separate ways to recuperate.

Then it was time to get ready for dinner. Dana had graciously invited me to join him and Ian at Cin Cin on Robson. I’ve wanted to go there for years. I’ve read about it so many times in the local media. I’ve passed it countless times along Robson and wondered what was up those steps.

We went for their prix fixes special, $28 for a three course meal before 6pm. It’s really the only way a grad student can afford to go there. I chose the bruschetta, tenderloin, and the gelato & sorbetto. The food was excellent. It definitely lived up to my expectations. The bruschetta was the best I’ve ever had. The tenderloin was superb. The risotto was almost too rich.

After dinner, it was still quite early, so I went to London Drugs and bought a Swiffer. I’ve needed one for months and I finally decided to take the plunge.

Dana and I drove back to SJC around 8pm. There was this police car chase show on Fox. I’m fascinated by these types of programs. When it ended around 9pm, I went and put my laundry in. I also vaccummed my room. Then I put my Swiffer together and cleaned my floors.

Around 10pm, I remember that Adrian said he was going to meet a friend tonight and that I should page him. Part of me thought he was going to be still sleeping off Seattle, but then again Adrian is super-human. I call his pager but I didn’t expect much. I continue to clean my floors, when 10 minutes later, I get a phone call. It’s Adrian! He says he wants to grab a bite to eat at Cactus Club and his two friends are going to join us.

Even though I should be saving my money, I agree to go with him. About half an hour later, Adrian meets me at SJC. He’s only slept two and a half hours since I last saw him. He’s good to go though. We go to the Cactus on Cambie. I limit myself to one drink and I split a plate of wings with Adrian. The first sign of restraint from me all weekend.

I just got home and I’m going for dim sum tomorrow. It’s going to be an expensive weekend, but like I’ve said before, you only live once.


It’s 3:30am in the morning, and I just turned down a chance to go to Seattle. Adrian, Patrick, and Kiyoko are going. They are going now… not tomorrow or Sunday… now… at 3:30am in the morning.

Let me back up the story a bit. I returned from dinner at the Naam around 11pm. I was expecting to get to bed early so I could recover from the long work week. In the hallway, I run into Adrian.

“Hey Erwin, we’re going out to a lounge in Yaletown, let’s go.”

I say no at first, but then I realize I’m not that tired and well, you only live once. I decide to go.

We get into Adrian’s car and it’s me, Adrian, Patrick, Kiyoko, and Evelyn. We wind up at the Opus Bar, the lounge in the Opus Hotel. It’s a bit swankier than us poor grad students are used to, but it was a nice place. I knock back three drinks in quick succession. We talk and drink, and before I know it, it’s 2am. I drop $30 for my three drinks. My earlier vow of fiscal restraint goes completely out the window.

On the way back from the bar, Adrian and Pat mention how energized they feel. Someone mentions going to Calhoun’s to finish the night / morning. Adrian and Pat are all for it. I’m indifferent. Then, out of nowhere, Evelyn mentions something which would change the course of the evening…

“Hey, why not go to Seattle?”

The boys start listing off the things they can do in Seattle. Pat says he’s never been. Kiyoko says the same thing. I’m a bit hesistant at this point. I turn and look at Evelyn. “I was just kidding,” she says to me.

We’re approaching SJC now and Adrian says he’s awake enough to get to Seattle in his car. There’s talk about passports and birth certificates. Part of me is now leaning towards going. I’ve never underestimated the fun of a road trip.

We get out of Adrian’s car and we start walking down my hallway. We agree to meet in front of Pat’s room in ten minutes. Pat, Adrian, and I pile into my room. I crawl into bed. I’m not sure about this anymore. The last two times I went to the US was to go to Seattle. I’ve been to the Emerald City lots. Sure, it wasn’t with these people though.

Adrian says he needs to run to his room in Totem. He leaves me with Pat. I tell Pat I can’t go. He attempts to change my mind. Kiyoko comes down and tells us Evelyn isn’t coming anymore. Then I find out that Kiyoko has both Japanese and Chinese roots. Neat. She tells me she speaks Cantonese. Using my limited Cantonese vocab, we start conversing. Pat just watches.

Minutes later, Adrian returns. I walk them to the car. They want me to go. I can’t go. I’m too tired. I don’t want to go through a 3 hour car ride each way. I’ve already been to Seattle many times. They’re also spending only three hours in Seattle before the have to come back. Three hours to get there, three hours in Seattle, and then three hours to get back. It’s just not worth it.

Of course, these are all lame excuses and everyone, including me, knows it. Road trips are fun, and not purely because of the destination, but because of the journey, and the people you go with. This is the kind of fun that I hoped to have when I went back to school. But I’m turning it down…

As everyone gets in the car, I tell Kiyoko in Cantonese that I’m old and tired. She responds by saying you’re only crazy and young once. I can’t argue against that.

They pull away from the curb as I wave goodbye. Adrian drives away for a bit and then does a u-turn. He rolls down the window, “Come on… come with us”. I tell him I can’t.

As I watch them drive away into the distance, part of me feels like I should have gone. Back in my younger days, that feeling would have bothered me. “Why didn’t I go?” I would ask myself. Now though, I’m just glad that I still feel regret, because it means I still care about being a bit crazy. If I didn’t feel any regret about turning down a chance to go to Seattle on a 3:30am whim, then I’d be concerned. I’d truly be an old man at that point. I do feel regret though, and strange as it may seem, it’ll make me sleep easier and better tonight.


I found out today I’m getting my first paycheque on July 8. July 8!!! My bank accounts are running on fumes. There’s nothing to be done about this because I started right in the middle of a pay cycle. All this means is that I’ll be instituting some fiscal restraint until pay day.

Hey, I won my first game of croquet on Wednesday night. We play in the courtyard after dinner sometimes. I’d never played the game until this spring. It’s a lot of fun actually. Some people might have this stuffy view of croquet, but it’s a game that anyone can enjoy.

I am so looking forward to the weekend. I stayed up way too late during the week. I had fun, but it makes for hellish mornings. I still haven’t made it to breakfast yet.

Well, I should head off to bed.


I’ve just returned from seeing the The Hulk. It was alright. The CGI Hulk did not look bad, as many people have said and written. The movie as a whole wasn’t as good as X-Men 2, but it didn’t suck either. In general, I find it encouraging that so many comic book movies are coming out, especially from the Marvel Universe.

I should be in bed, but I really wanted to test out the new posting interface on blogger. It’s really spiffy. I’d take a screenshot, but it’s past my bedtime.

Ok, time to roll into bed!


I’m posting quickly because blogger might be undergoing maintenance at 11pm.

Hey, if you use MSN Messenger, you might want to try out the MSN Messenger 6.0 Preview. It’s a major step up from 5.0. Take a look at a conversation window below:

You can see the profile picture of the people you’re talking with. They can also see your pic. I was goofing around, and I’m currently using a picture of my sister and myself from when we were kids. You can also change the backgrounds too. They’ve also added new emoticons and given you the ability to make your own.

*Try it out!

* is not responsible for any damages that may incur from users downloading, installing, and using preview or beta software that is linked to from this site… batteries not included, offer not valid in Quebec


On Monday, I started seeing some high school age students walking around campus. Given the time of year, I thought I knew who they were, but a quick look at the badges around their neck confirmed my suspicions. They were UBC Connect participants.

High school students, from grades ten and eleven, from mostly around BC are invited each year to sample a taste of university life at UBC for about a week.

They show up on a Sunday and are put in a first-year residence. During the week, they attend a plethora of seminars which aims to expose them to as many different departments as possible. The participants eat residence food and in the evenings are given time to explore campus facilities.

Over ten years ago, I myself was one of those high school students in the UBC Connect program. The week I spent at UBC had a big influence on my choice of university after high school. In grade twelve, I discovered that a lot of my classmates were going to SFU. It would have been closer, easier, and cheaper to go there myself, but I remembered how nice the UBC campus was. Also, being so far away from my parents’ home, I would have needed to move out. I guess I wanted a big change in my life.

In retrospect, the UBC Connect program is fairly good representation of what a first-year student faces when they get to UBC. You’re dropped off in res with all these new people that you don’t know. If you’re from out of town, then Vancouver is totally new to you, and on top of that, you have this big campus to deal with. As well, you live in this tiny room now, and you probably have a roommate. No more living with Mom and Dad. You start eating your meals off a tray now too. I won’t even start with the communal bathrooms. In the day, you’re rushing around to these seminars and I bet they put them all over the place so these poor kids have to hoof it on foot or else be late. In the evenings, there are dozens of social activities that try to pull their interest in different directions. And to top it off, they have to get to bed in a reasonable hour so they can attend the morning seminars.

I imagine the whole week might be a bit overwhelming for some, but it’s the reality of university life. The first year is really about rushing around, learning the ropes, and surviving.

What’s cool is that the one week they spend here might affect the rest of their lives. He or she might attend a seminar about trees and decide, “I thought forestry was interesting, but it’s just not my cup of tea, I’m glad I found that out.” Later on, they might go to a seminar about greek drama and find out that really interests them. They might not become experts in greek drama, but at least they have a starting point in their higher education.

Every year, they need to hire supervisors to make sure the kids don’t go crazy while away from the folks. I couldn’t apply this year because I already had a job, but maybe next year!


I’m watching Fear Factor right now. It’s in the background while I write this. I haven’t seen that show in a while. They have a lot more well-endowed female contestants than they did before. I’m not sure if they’re better at eating insects than less-endowed females, but I guess it works for the ratings.

Anyways, I was at the new Village market this evening buying some mangoes. There was this girl in the produce section with me. She looked a lot like this girl Kim that I went to high school with. I wanted to say, “Excuse me, but is your name Kim?”. I didn’t though, because I wasn’t really sure it was her and even if it was, I didn’t really know Kim very well. I wouldn’t really know what else I would say… “I went to high school with you…. um, I like your melons… you usually don’t see them for $0.75 a pound…”

At work today, I felt like I really accomplished something substantial for the first time. I got to change the dates on some assignments and then I posted the revised documents on the course web site. Yeah, I know, it sounds easy, but it was the most significant thing I’ve done on the site so far. This might not mean much to some of you, but did you know APSC 201 is being offered four times a year now? Back in my day, it was only twice. Now it’s year round. Apparently, there are people who are taking this course sometimes three or four times before they pass. It’s mostly non-native English speakers who do this, but man, that’s gotta suck.

And finally, I went on a stag over the weekend. I am going to write about it but I’ll some time to carefully think about what I will divulge. Stay tuned.


SJC was the site of a leadership conference over the weekend. One of the speakers was former Olympic rower and medallist, Silken Laumann.

The event was briefly covered by the late local news. In the picture below, you can see Ms. Laumannn speaking in our dining hall.