A few of us here at SJC have decided to go to Victoria for reading break next month. We’ve decided to stay at cheap motel near the downtown core. Bryan and Sarah get their own room and I’ll be sharing a room with three other ladies. We plan on only being there for a weekend.

I mentioned our plans to a friend of mine. He immediately had some questions.

“So, um, have you ever shared a hotel room with three other females before?”

“Well, this one time I was daydreaming I was at this bikini convention and…”

“How well do you know these ladies?”

“I consider them good friends.”

“How comfortable do you feel around them?”

“Well, they’ve seen me in my PJs, most of SJC has too, so there’s a level of comfort there.”

“You’re a guy right?”

“It may not be used very often, but I have all the right equipment.”

“Erwin, have you ever burped, farted, or scratched yourself?”

“Um, why are you asking me this?”

“Do you think you could go all weekend without doing any of those things?”

“Well, I could I guess, but there’s a strong chance I’d blow up like the Hindenburg.”

“Dude, we’re guys, we like to fart, burp, and scratch ourselves whenever we please. If we can’t do it in public, we wait until the very first second we’re in private to do so… you won’t have a second of privacy the entire weekend.”

“I’m not a big scratcher myself, though I do get kinda itchy on the legs right before I go to sleep, it’s a weird thing I have.”

“Erwin, the second you scratch one of your legs in bed, your friends will be thinking you’re going for the meat and two veg.”

“Oh please… and I can just close my mouth when I burp. If I need to let one rip, I’ll just go to the bathroom.”

“You’re telling me if you need to de-pressurize the main cabin, you’ll go to the bathroom each time? What if you’re in bed? What if someone is in the bathroom already? What if you need to let a string of ’em go? You’ll go each time?”

“Excuse me, what finishing school did you say you went to?”

“Look, all I’m saying is that you’ll be enjoying the trip a lot less than you think you’ll be. You’re going to pay the price for being a guy.”

“Don’t women have to do those things too?”

“Probably not the ones you’re going to be rooming with.”

“I really don’t know.”

“Hey, isn’t your sister living in Victoria?”


“How comfortable do you feel around her?”

“It is not uncommon for us to discuss the nuances of farting and burping.”

“So there you go, you should probably just spend your nights there, so you won’t be persecuted for being a guy.”

“Hmmm… I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it.”

“Oh my God dude, I totally forgot! What if you have to go do number two while you’re there??!?!?!?!”

Well, it was right about there that I ended the conversation. Nevertheless, my friend did bring up some very important points. I don’t consider myself a pig or a slob, but hey, let’s face it, I’m not exactly an upper-class female socialite either.

I’m going to open up the floor for discussion, please feel free to comment.


I have to be up at 8am tomorrow. I wish I was sleepy right now. I wish I could be like Boo. Unfortunately, I’m wide awake and feel like doing some work. I’m going to be a mess tomorrow morning.


There is this shirt that I like. I had it laundered last week. Somehow, some dirt got on the lapel before I had a chance to iron it. Back it went into the wash last night to get cleaned once again.

Minutes ago, I went to iron it. I noticed a small stain on the left front of the shirt. It looked like an oil stain. Tiny, but not so small to go unnoticeable. I said screw it, I’m ironing it and wearing it.

Why oh shirt of mine

Have you become dirt magnet?

Perhaps you be clean?


I simultaneously ran out of toilet paper and laundry detergent this weekend. I saw it coming for weeks, but I didn’t do anything about it.

For some reason, my father prides himself on getting me 30 rolls of toilet paper at a time. I really appreciate it since it saves me the hassle of buying the stuff myself and I can’t easily lug around that much TP. I haven’t been home in a while, so I haven’t had a chance to stock up.

When I ran out on Friday night, I had an emergency plan in place whereby I secured myself a single, new roll of TP. It wasn’t the greatest in the world and I swear it could easily be used as sandpaper, but it did the trick. On Saturday night, Chris drove me to Safeway and I picked up a 20 roll pack. That was a much needed favour from him.

I did my laundry tonight and I had to borrow a scoop of detergent from my neighbours, Stephen and Nenagh. That I’ll probably need to buy a box of Tide real soon.

The weekend of missing these consumables made me think about how much money we spend on them. You have TP, laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, toothpaste, garbage bags… the list goes on. Back when I was working, I wouldn’t think twice about buying laundry detergent if I needed it. Now, as I get poorer and poorer (and hopefully more educated), I really think hard about where I can stuff for free.

I haven’t paid for a single garbage bag since I’ve moved into SJC. And no, I don’t use recycled Safeway bags for it. I use new, made-for-garbage-bins garbage bags. I won’t say how I get them, but it’s quite handy. All I will say is that I don’t steal them.

Lately, I’ve been getting free dishwashing soap as well. I ran out about a week ago and I really didn’t want to go out to get some more. My dishes were dirty and I just didn’t have the time. Again, I’m not stealing it either.

I think you can save a lot of money if you’re just resourceful around university residences. The key is to be resourceful. There’s a fine line between that and stealing. There’s no honour in that.


I have a new pet peeve that is annoying. It kinda started last year but I’ve seen enough of it to raise it to the status of “pet peeve”.

Last year, I took an undergrad com sci course. Part of the course tools was an on-line discussion board. It’s a useful place to post questions, discuss homework, and communicate with classmates and the lecturer.

More than once, students were referring to the lecturer as “Proff. SoAndSo”. This went on several times through the semester and more than one student did it. Let me point out what’s wrong with calling the lecturer Proff.

First, the formal abbreviation (at least to me) of Professor is Prof. Where the hell one gets an extra “F” is beyond me. Proff.??? That’s just plain stupid. It makes CS students look dumb.

Second, it is completely wrong to assume a lecturer has the status of a Professor. I don’t think I’m the most anal person in the world, but sometimes you have to understand that certain segments of life consist of hierarchies. If you choose to live in the academic segment you should be aware of what that hierarchy is. Not everyone that teaches a class is a “Professor”. Like any organization, the academic department of any faculty divides their teaching staff into ranks. At the bottom usually are the lecturers, sessionals, or instructors. These people may or may not have job security, are paid less, and may not have a Ph.D. Next up are associate and assistant professors. These people almost always hold a doctorate, are paid more, have job security (usually tenure track), have money to work with, and have power within the department. Next up are full-fledged professors. These people always hold a Ph.D, are making the big bucks (for academics at least), have bigger sums of research money, have a lot of clout, and have been recognized for their academic excellence. If you’re an academic, you’ve done quite good if you can reach this level.

For a student to call any old lecturer or instructor a professor would be like calling a middle manager the CEO or the Chairman of the Board. You can be wrong. A person teaching a class is lecturer, because hey, that’s what he or she is doing… lecturing. You can’t go wrong with that. If you want to afford them a little more respect, you can refer to them based on their education level. If they hold a Ph.D, call them Dr. They have earned that right. If they only have an undergraduate degree or a Masters degree, a Mr. or Ms. is your only option. They are only a professor if they hold that title.

I’ve only been instructed by people holding Ph.Ds, so I’ve refered to them as Dr. SoAndSo when speaking to them or referring to them specifically. I might say, “I have this professor who gives easy exams…”, but only if I knew they held that rank, otherwise, I might say, “I have this instructor or lecturer…”

In all my years at school, I’ve actually never heard anyone say out loud, “Professor…” I think that’s the realm of movies and TV.

So there you go, another little thing that bugs me as I grow older.


Adam, remind me to be around you more when you’re drunk. That’s entertainment.

Hey, have you ever seen someone who’s so messy eating watermelon you had to put a tarp down? Yeah, I haven’t either.


I actually made it in time for breakfast this morning. Yeah, amazing, I know. Wait, it gets better though. I went to a meeting and came back before breakfast! That’s the most I’ve done in a morning in a long, long time.

I think I’m going to take the rest of the day off.


Tuesdays are my bad days for this term. I’m in class for about 4.5 hours and I wake up at 8:30am. That’s early for me. I don’t come home until around 6:30pm and by then I’m usually starving. I was today.

After dinner tonight, I felt beat. I was really tired. It was the kind of day that made me want to be done with school. Next thing I knew, it was already 8pm. Despite having a lot of work to do and being exhausted, I managed to bake some cookies. I did the rounds of delivered them to some fellow residents. No one is unhappy to see a person bearing a fresh batch of cookies.

With that done, I managed to get some work done. I even made a breakthrough on this assignment I’m working on. If I had an extra hour or so tonight, I’d probably be done almost all of it. I had to stop though. Why? I have to be up at 8am to be at this weekly lab meeting. It’s going to suck getting up tomorrow morning.

You might be asking why I’m writing here given I should probably be in bed. Well, it’s because you can’t spend all day doing things for other people and not do a single thing for yourself. I like writing here, so if this is the last thing I do tonight before I go to bed, I’ll go to sleep at least somewhat content.

And with that, I’ll leave you with a “person on the street” type story. Enjoy!