THE SLEEP REPORT

Friday night’s Sleep Report is brought to you by Josten’s. Take pride in your achievements and think Josten’s!

I stayed up until 4am reading random Wikipedia articles. The last thing I read was on James Dyson, the successful British inventor, known mostly for his cyclone vacuums. It’d be weird if he made Cylon vacuums.

After crawling to bed, I fell asleep almost immdiately. I awoke at 10am. Using integrals, I discovered I had accumulated only six hours of sleep. This was not enough. My bladder was full though, so I arose to urinate into the nearest toilet. After doing so, I return to my bed. I was completely awake. Not believing that six hours was enough rest, I tried going back to asleep. I managed to fall asleep again and awoke at 12:30pm.

Total sleep time was approximately 8 hours. This has been your sleep report.

THE CORRECT RESPONSE

There’s a phrase a man rarely hears from another man. That phrase is, “I love you.” Outside of family or perhaps a gay relationship, how many men say to that to each other? Not many… with the exception of geeks.

For those who don’t know, the correct response is, “I know.” The original line and its response was forever immortalized in George Lucas’ The Empire Strikes Back. This small bit of dialogue has stood out among a series of films that have not been know for its strength in writing.

The scene containing this small bit comes near the end of the movie. Our heroes have been captured by the evil Imperial forces. Han Solo is about to frozen in carbonite and no one is sure if he’ll survive the freezing process. Knowing that the end might be near, Princess Leia is forced to declare her true feelings for Solo. Rather than return the sentiment, Solo, replies with his cocky retort.

I myself have jokingly said this to two former SJC residents. Without any prior knowledge of what I was going to say, they both replied, “I know.” Just yesterday, I randomly text messaged one of my friends with simply, “I love you.” There was no freak out reply on the other end, simply, “I know.

Hmmm… I better not make it a habit of randomly telling people I love them.

DRAMA

Most of my readers didn’t know me when I was in my early teens so I believe this will make a good post. If you met me at SJC you might think I always this gregarious, outgoing and modest guy with impecable comedic timing. I was not, surprisingly, always like that.

When I entered junior high in grade eight, I was painfully shy and reserved. I had just moved on from a small elementary school to a huge (at least to me) junior high school that had grades eight to ten. Maillard Junior Secondary received grade eight students from at least four different feeder schools. I was perhaps a tad overwhelmed at all these new students and the older kids in grades nine and ten.

In grade eight, you only had one elective class to choose for yourself. You could either take drama or band class. I discounted band easily since I didn’t want to be one of those band nerds lugging around an instrument case. Plus, using anything that had a spit valve just didn’t cut it. The only other option was drama, so I marked it down for my elective.

I was deathly afraid of that class though. I’d heard from other students the things they made you do in Drama 8. I’d have to stand up in front of my classmates, basically all strangers, and do things. All eyes would be on me. For a small, meek grade eight student who just wanted to melt into the background, I was having serious anxiety about this class.

Being a first class nerd, I couldn’t let myself get a bad grade either so I had no choice but do my best. It was tough though at first. Our drama teacher would have us to class exercises like “be a tree” or “now you’re an orange”. I felt really awkward at first. Then came the individual assignments. One was lip sync a song. I nearly died when I heard she wanted us to do that. She wanted us to pretend sing a song in front of other people? I remember I didn’t even have a decent cassette player at the time. I practiced after school for about a week. I closed the door to my room so my family couldn’t see what an idiot I was. When the time came for my performance in class, I did the most nervous rendition of Like a Virgin you ever heard or seen. I think my face was red the entire time.

It got better after a few weeks and things took a good turn when the teacher asked us to do five minutes of stand-up comedy. I’d been watching stand-up comics since I was very young and this was something I actually was looking forward to. I tried writing some original material but most of it sucked. I wound up stealing jokes from comics I liked, including (no lie here) a young Jerry Seinfeld before his TV show days.

As the term wore on, I found myself enjoying the class a lot more and I was drawn to improv scenes and scripted scenes. The improv was fun and kept my mind sharp because you had to be to keep things going and most importantly to be funny. The scripted stuff was also great because I just loved to being someone else for five or ten minutes.

I remember one time I had a scene with another girl named Jeanette. I think we were some sorta old couple or something. We had briefly rehearsed the whole thing once and I took it really seriously even though it was comedic scene. I somehow adopted the attitude that even when you’re trying to make people laugh, you gotta be serious about it sometimes. Anyways, the time came for us to present the scene. It went really well but near the end, the script calls for Jeanette’s character to kiss my character. In rehearsal, we glossed over this quickly because I was concerned about our blocking. Anyways, when the time came for real, she planted a nice one right on my cheek. Drama or not, she became the second girl to kiss me and I couldn’t help break out of character. I totally reverted back to a 12 year old boy and my eyes widened in surprise and I forgot my line. Well, my drama teacher thought this was hilarious and started howling in laughter. I stumbled to recover and found the inner strength to finish the scene.

Before the end of the term, I noticed a remarkable difference in my social confidence. I was no longer shy around people. I also realized that, yeah, it’s pretty cool sometimes when everyone is looking and listening to you, and you alone. I think my family even noticed a big change in me as well. Since then, they’ve had to live with my complete fearless ability to act like a kid in public.

When Drama 8 ended, I wound up getting an “A” which was unthinkable when I started junior high. I wound up taking Drama 9 and 10, and they became my favourite classes in my three years at Maillard. There was some crazy stuff that happened in Drama 9 and 10, enough so that I might make a separate post about that.

I really have to credit that initial drama class for helping me be more social, less reserved, and more confident. It gave me the chance to be more expressive and I found out I like being expressive. It’s why I have no fear of making presentations, meeting people at parties, and speaking my mind.

It’d be interesting to see what I’d be like now if I hadn’t taken that class. I wonder…

A PROMISING SEASON ENDS ON MONDAY NIGHT

The Vancouver Canucks will play their last game of the season on Monday night when they will be defeated in regulation time by the Dallas Stars. The Stars will move onto the next round from being down three games to one. As far as 3-1 comebacks go, this one was rather routine.

Let’s the examine the facts here. The Canucks have been shutout three games in this series and have not scored a goal in over six periods, dating back to Linden’s winner in the fourth game. The teams have played two full games since then. You don’t win a playoff series by not scoring, especially for three games. Obviously when you don’t score for that long, everyone is accountable but you have to look at the players that you expect to score. The Sedins have one goal and an assist each. Markus Naslund also has the same numbers. Three goals in total over six games from the top players on your team does not set yourself up for success.

The Canucks have also put themselves in dificult situations. They have been very fond of taking penalties, especially in bunches. These aren’t even good penalties where a hook might have saved a goal. Most of their infractions have been errant sticks in the face or an undisciplined clear over the glass. Let us also not forget the ability of the Canucks to take penalties while on the powerplay. The same powerplay that has yielded only one goal in over 20+ attempts.

So how is it that Vancouver is even at a game seven? We can only look at goaltending as the reason. Roberto Luongo has been their best player in this series, giving his team a chance to win every single game thus far. Had he been fortunate enough to be playing with just a moderately powerful offense in front of him, the series would have been over already. Think of Ottawa who scored 3+ goals in four of their five games with Pittsburgh.

On Monday night, we’ll see a Dallas team with all the momentun on their side. They’ll be playing to win for a full sixty minutes and every one of their players knows they can finish the Canucks. Vancouver on the other hand, will be playing not to lose, fearful to not let the collapse be complete. Success rarely falls to the meek so I expect a near blowout in the score. There will be indeed sorrow in Vancouver tomorrow night.

JUST BECAUSE MORE PEOPLE ARE DOING IT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S A GOOD THING

There are more and more people in Canada like me. No, not mentally challenged people. According to a Bank of Montreal study, more young adults are staying or returning to live with their parents. Nearly a third of people between the ages 21 to 34 are still living with or have returned to ma and pa.

It’s easy to see why. Home prices have skyrocketed in the last five years. Also, it now requires a significant amount of education sometimes to get a decent paying job. That education can means lots of debt. Between the debt and high real estate costs, it’s causing some major suckage when it comes to living situations.

The study shows young people on average in Vancouver put away only 13.3% of their pre-tax income. I’ve exceeded that amount significantly while paying off debt at the same time. Still, I’m massively far away from what I would need to make a healthy downpayment on a condo. I’d probably have to live with my parents until I was 40 if I wanted a decent amount of cash in the bank.

I’m fully prepared to rent for the rest of my life. Or, I could move to a small town and buy a tiny house there. I’d change careers and be a short-order cook at a truck stop outside of Lytton. I’d meet a single mother, Marla, with two kids, Martin and Josephine, 5 and 2. Josie would love me almost immediately but Marty would need some convincing. He’d come around though and call me Dad about a year later. Marla and I would have one more child named Ben. When it would be time for Marty to go to UBC, Marla and I would drive him down to the Vancouver campus to move his stuff into rez. Before we’d leave, Marty would give me a hug and say that he was really lucky I became his Dad. Of course, I’d start to cry a little bit and but recover enough to tell him to use condoms. It would be a wonderful life and all because I couldn’t afford a condo in Vancouver. What the hell was in that muffin I just ate?

NO TIME

Well, as one can predict when you tape together a watch strap, I managed to lose my watch on the weekend. The plastic strap on my Swatch Chrono Skin watch broke about three months ago. Rather than go to Metrotown to get a replacement strap, I decided I could tape together the strap. Indeed, that did work for about three months. I’d have to retape about every five days or so but it did the job. I’m pretty sure I lost my watch at work or on my way back from work on Saturday because I sure didn’t have it on my wrist when I came home on Saturday night.

I really liked my watch. My parents got it for me for my birthday about three years ago. At 6.6mm in thickness, it was the lightest watch I’ve had in a while, if not ever. This watch kicked ass. I’ve only had to replace the battery once in three years and the cliche about accurate Swiss timing is no joke. My Chrono Skin did not lose a single minute in months of operation. I’d set it to match an online atomic clock and she’d keep pace right with those Cesium atoms.

I feel weird not having something on my left wrist. I like knowing what time it is at well… all times. Actually, more than anything it’s the missing weight on my wrist. I don’t know how people can not wear a watch. I got my first watch in grade three I believe. I worn a watch nearly every day of my life since then. It started off as cheap digital watches you’d get from places like Wal-Mart (Woolworth’s back then). They’d cost less than $10 each. The timing was so bad, it’d almost be five minutes off by the end of the day. There was a button for illumination. It’d power on a lamp that’d drain your battery dry if you held it longer than two seconds. Those watches also seemed to be water-absorbent rather than water-resistant.

As you can imagine, a kid can go through several of these a year and I did. Sometimes just washing my hands would do in a watch. Around when I was 14 or 15, my parents took the family to Hong Kong for the first time. When we were there, they bought me my first Swatch. It was water-resistant which meant I could wash my hands and get water on it. It was also shock-resistant which meant I could drop it on the floor and not break it. It also kept precise time which meant I only had to adjust the time for DST.

I think I wore that watch for about three years, only to start wearing another Swatch. Since then, I’ve had a few more. The only reason I stopped wearing one was because I just wanted a new model or that the material holding the strap pin broke off. The internal mechanisms were all still working.

This has been an excellent commerical for Swatch. I hope I find my watch or Swatch sends me a new one.