YEAH FRIDAY! SOME FREE TIME TO DO WORK

Geez, this term is a lot more work than the last. Fridays actually mean something to me now. Oh blessed Fridays, the signal to a brief respite from the toils of school and work.

Hey, you know what I got in the mail today? A pirated copy of The Lord of the Rings : The Two Towers. It’s not important who sent it to me, but I’m very grateful to them. Anyways, this bootleg is pretty good in quality. It’s not one of those camcorder jobs off the movie screen. The source material was a “screener” DVD sent to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members for purposes of Oscar nominations (see image above). These screeners are not supposed to be not distributed beyond the members possession, but it happens all the time.

Well, one of these got out to someone who knew how to encode it into the .avi format. As I said, the quality is good, but no where close to a real DVD. The movie is split onto two CDs, three files on one disc, and the final one on the other. The audio volume is really low in parts even though I have the levels turned up. I’m not really sure what is going since the audio was encoded in stereo, which was a nice touch.

You know the movie industry is all worried about piracy and everything, but I still think there’s nothing to worry about. Honestly, even with the great source material, these discs can’t compare to the theatrical presentations nor the eventual legitimate DVD release.

Well, that’s all I have to say about that.

NO TIME, NO TIME

Sorry for the lack of quality postings, this week has been especially bad for school work. If I can just make it to Saturday I’ll be fine.

Hey, does it mean you’re gay if like listening this song all the time?

DEAN’S VACATION

University can be a crazy place and it can make people do some crazy things. You usually never hear about half the stuff, but with the advent of the Internet and the desire of UBC to cut down on such incidents, one can find out a lot.

UBC just recently published the Student Disciplne Report for the last calendar year. Some of it is pretty boring stuff, your typical cheating crap, but there are some interesting incidents to be read. Here are but a few:

3. A student was present and in an intoxicated state while in the company of 3 other students on top of a University parkade when a plastic road barricade was thrown from that location onto the roadway below.

DISCIPLINE: a letter or reprimand.

14. A student was involved in an altercation that led to a physical assault of another student.

DISCIPLINE: a letter of severe reprimand (Ed. – severe reprimand? what’s that?)

17. A student broke the terms of a restraining order.

DISCIPLINE: existing suspension from the University extended for an additional six months and student required to continue with professional counselling.

54. A student was responsible for a bomb threat that disrupted an examination being held in the Henry Angus Building. The same student denied being involved in a similar bomb threat that disrupted an examination in the Buchanan Building.

DISCIPLINE: a suspension from the University for 24 months.

100. A student allegedly authored a series of anonymous and harassing letters and telephone calls that were directed towards a Faculty member.

DISCIPLINE: the allegations could not be proven by the available evidence and was dismissed.

If you’re interested, the whole report and many others are located here.

14-2

Um, so yeah, that was the score in our ball hockey game today. I don’t have to tell you what end our team wound up on.

When you get shelled like that, you can’t really expect too many positives from the game, but surprisingly there were some. I’ll go into those later.

As for the game, I knew we were in serious trouble in the warm-up. I looked over to the other team and watched a guy shoot the ball. It was a fucking laser from nearly half court. I instantly knew they might be going into double-digits. The other team had clearly played ball hockey last term, while on our team, some guys hadn’t played hockey period.

Max volunteered to start in goal, but he took so long to get his equipment on that he couldn’t warm-up. He started the game cold. He was also wearing shitty gear that didn’t help.

Here’s where it got incredulous. About a minute into the game, we actually scored the first goal. Kent scored a beauty in close. I was on the bench and I thought it was a mistake.

Then reality set in. They notched the equalizer about a minute after our goal. Then they went up 2-1. I think they scored another one soon after to go up 3-1.

Kent then got in alone with the goalie and made a helluva forehand-backhand deke to bring us to 3-2. That would signal the end of our scoring.

After that they just came at us in waves. Guys were missing defensive assignments left and right. We left the other team alone out front and their pointmen were sending in bombs with impunity. It seemed like everything was going in.

Mercifully, the half ended and we talked about getting our defensive responsiblities together.

It didn’t really matter as they continued to score unabated for the second half, but we definitely cut down the amount of chances they had.

By the time it ended, the score was 14-2. I played poorly in my mind, though I was only a -3 which was pretty damn good. I didn’t register a shot on net, though I knew I was probably going to have to play defensively the entire game.

At the end of the game, there were two amusing anecdotes. When I was picking up my student card from the official scorers table, I overheard the stats guy and the ref in a middle of their conversation.

“Man, you only hear of games with a score like this…”

I looked at the scoresheet that the ref had handed in to the stats guy. It was a piece of paper divided in the middle into two columns. Each side showed what player on each team had accumulated how many points. The other team’s column was littered with numbers and check marks. I don’t think a single guy on their team was with out a point. Our column was clean as undriven snow. Out of our two goals, only two players registered a point on those plays. It was awful looking at that.

The second thing happened as we were shaking hands with the other team after the game. I overheard one of our opponents ask one of my guys, “So, what team are you guys?” He asked it in a way that you would ask your friend if someone was mentally-challenged. I figure he didn’t want to start bragging if we were some “special education” group that was being studied at UBC. I think what he meant to say was, “So you guys wear the helmets when you’re not playing hockey too?”

Well, here come the positives, how small in number they are. I think overall the team improved in the second half. For a bunch of guys who never played together before, it could have been worse… but not by much. Individually, Kent and Steve were our best players. They definitely should be linemates. With their skill, it only makes sense. Aseem had a wicked shift near the end where he broke up two scoring plays and kept the ball hemmed in at the other end.

Well, I’m not sure if it’s going to get any better. My biggest fear is that the team we played today was the 2nd worst team in our pool. Whoa, what if that was true?

THE PRACTICE

I alluded to this earlier, but the ball hockey team I’m on is called Les Boys. It’s not exactly a name that strikes fear into the hearts of our opponents.

Also, it doesn’t look like anyone wants to get custom made jerseys for the team. This is something that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing before. Usually everyone chips in $20 or so and we get a set of custom made set with our own logo. Each person has their own size, number, and name bar. However, this team doesn’t seem to be “serious” enough to warrant cool threads.

Instead, we’ve been stuck with these God-awful SJC t-shirts from the SJC admin office. In a stroke of genius, they ordered virtually every t-shirt in Large or Xtra-Large. I assume they wanted to prepare for the case that SJC would populated by fucking giants.

So, I got stuck with an Xtra-Large t-shirt as my jersey. The kicker is I have my custom made Whistler Brewing Company ball hockey jersey hanging in my closet. Anyways, this dress t-shirt hangs down to my knees and I look like a child in it. I’m not sure if these things fit anyone on my team.

So, some people got word of our team name and our dress-like t-shirts. Here were just a small sample of the comments:

“You should wear bicycle shorts and cinch the t-shirts with a big belt at the waist… like a big girl’s belt from 80s”

“Yeah, the bicycle shorts are good, but you should twist the loose end of the shirt into a ball at your side… that would look nice”

“Even better, you should take the front end of the t-shirt and loop it through the neck… you know, like how those slutty girls and gay men wear their t-shirts…

Excellent. We’ll be the most effeminate team in the entire league… including the women’s division.

With that in mind, five of us ventured out to the parkade next to SJC to practice our skills. It was myself, Francois, Aseem, Nic, and Maxime. Tellingly, none of us wore our SJC t-shirts/jersey/dress. I wore my old ball hockey jersey and Nic was in a Russian national team jersey. We didn’t have a net, nor a proper ball hockey ball. We barely found two tennis balls.

We took a few shots at the wall to warm up. I was the only one to have played Bodin Ball Hockey before, so I explained some specific rules (3 second rule, no offsides, no body contact) to everyone there. We then tried a 3 on 2 drill. This was the most fun. We set up a make shift goal for the offensive guys to shoot at. There was a lot of running involved and I think everyone found out how fit there were.

I was leaning on my stick at times, but I think I’ll be quite alright for our first game. Everyone at practice was ok too.

My biggest concern is the lack of involvement from my other “teammates”, the guys that didn’t show up for practice. We have about 10-11 guys on our roster and only five showed up for practice. Assuming we’re the dedicated types, it leaves us with two defensemen and two forwards and one goalie. That’s the minimum you need to field a team, however… that’s with no line changes.

I’ve had the misfortune of playing an entire game without going off, and it’s just about the most painful thing you could consciously decide to do. By the end, you’re just standing in one place, weakly waving at guys as they blow by you.

The rest of my team better be damn serious about showing up. I already think there are a few wankers who live here, I better not be adding to that list.

Our first game is on Sunday (tomorrow). We’re playing a team called Operation Infinite Justice.

Operation Infinite Justice vs. Les Boys

I ask you, who’s the one dropping the soap in this matchup?

ANOTHER BRUSH WITH GREATNESS

Well, I didn’t have this one, but fellow SJC resident, Francois did. He lives a few doors down from me and we’re both on the SJC Les Boys ball hockey team… more on that in a later post.

Anyways, Francois was at the Virgin Megastore downtown on Wednesday night about 10:30pm. He went upstairs to check out the video games, when to his great surprise, who did he see? Mike Myers! He himself was checking out the Gamecube games. Francois mustered up the courage and went up to talk to him. He got to shake his hand and they had a brief conversation. Francois told Mr. Myers how much he enjoyed Shrek. He said thank you and told Francois that he hopes he’ll enjoy his next project just as much. I think he might have been referring to The Cat In The Hat. Francois said he was really cool about the whole thing, which is good since a lot of much smaller stars can have a really bad attitude.

So does anyone know why Mike Myers was in town? I saw him on TV during the Canucks-Predators game. It was weird, he was sitting in the lower bowl, like an average joe (who can afford an $80 ticket). Why he wasn’t in a box is beyond me. Apparently, people were coming up to him for autographs and he dutifully signed them all. Good for him I guess.

Ok, so this wasn’t a great brush with fame, but who can beat Paul Katcher watching skanky strippers with Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter?

DELIVERY IS IMMINENT

In a feat that even surprises me, I did not order pizza, or any other delivery food last term. If you knew me in undergrad, you’d find that hard to believe. For those uninitiated in the life of university students living in residence, ordering pizza at night is somewhat of staple of life. Everyone does it at least once.

I’m not really sure why I didn’t do it last term. It wasn’t like I had so much food here, there were some nights where a pizza would have been nice. I guess I was also put off by the fact that I didn’t know where the hell the delivery guy would deliver the food. We have a million entrances to the residence here. What a stupid reason not to order food. I’m a moron.

Anyways, there’s no way in hell I’m not ordering food this term. It’s just something that has to be done. I’m considering ordering from Sasamat Pizza for nostalgic purposes, but I don’t think I could handle it anymore. “Sas” as it was called was known for its cheap prices but also for the price it took on your body. Those who had “Sas” before, knew to drink water before, during, and after comsumption of the pizza. Those who didn’t dried up like dessicated fish sometime during the evening. I’m not sure what they put in the pizza, but it was worse than salt. Their choice of toppings was also top notch. I remember ordering a pizza with “italian sausage” once. Little did I know their version of “italian sausage” was beef weiners. My pizza came topped with half a package of Schneider’s.

I’m probably going to order from Johnny’s Pizza. This is another well-known establishment among UBC circles. I have fond memories of ordering from Johnny’s if only for their insane operating hours. They’re open for delivery until 4am!!! I didn’t realize this until one night in my third year of school. It was 2am in the morning and I was starving. I had no food and I wasn’t about to be satiated by vending food fare. Rifling through some loose menus, I came upon Johnny’s. Open until 4am. I didn’t even expect anyone to pick up when I called, but sure enough, I placed my order for lasagna. By 2:30am, I was eating pasta out of an aluminum delivery container. It was at that point, I realized I just might be living in the greatest civilization this planet has ever witnessed.

Oh what delectable treasures await me again!

AND SO IT IS AGAIN

Much to my surprise, I’m playing ball hockey again with UBC Intramurals.

Max decided to form a men’s team this term for St. John’s College. The next thing I knew Arash was asking me if I wanted to join. I said yes instinctively.

Over the next few days, I just realized what I said yes to. Most of the people here at SJC aren’t from North America. I’m not even sure if some of my teammates have played hockey before. Now, I’m not saying I want only to play on a team full of superstars, but I’m concerned about the welfare of my teammates. I’ve played intramural ball hockey before, and it can get really chippy out there. Especially, if we’ll be playing frat teams.

I have no hesitation in saying that frat teams are the worst. For some reason, they take every opportunity to cast aside good sportsmanship and common sense. They play dirty and they play without regard for the other team. I absolutely hate playing frat teams in intramurals. Every time I think this might be the one time I play a frat team that displays good conduct, I am sadly disappointed. Is it a wonder the only time I was involved in a bench-clearing brawl, it was against a frat team?

So, I was hoping to avoid playing frat teams entirely, when I found out what pool I was playing in. To my dismay, there are three frat teams in our pool. Not only that, two of those teams are from Fiji. A renowned frat for being total jerks in just about everything they do.

I’m hoping somehow, it’ll all be good clean fun, but I’m concerned about how “green” our team will be. I sure as hell don’t want anyone to take advantage of us. If need be, I’ve already promised two guys I’d jump in if they got into any trouble, which is ridiculous since I’m usually the smallest guy out there.

Oh by the way, someone named our team, “Les Boys”. Please, please, please, pray for our safety.

A BORING MONDAY AND A FREE (ALMOST) HAIRCUT

So we’re into week two of the term. I realized today I haven’t figured out how to fit my life into my schedule. By that I mean, I haven’t figured out when I should sleep, when I should eat lunch, and when I should be working. Last week, I totally had it wrong. I have these classes which are sprinkled throughout the day, which means I have to sandwich lunch in there somewhere (no pun intended). I didn’t do that really well last week, so I was hungry a lot during the day.

My Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are very similar, and I think I’ve worked out how to make those days productive. The other days are more flexible, so I can kinda go with the flow on those days.

It’s important to get on a familiar routine when you’re doing school, so it doesn’t seem like you’re fighting to get things done.

Well, enough of that rambling. Hey, I’m giving away a prize here on erwintang.com. Here’s the story: My sister went to get her haircut at one of the Axis Salons downtown. The dude that cut her hair gave her two 50% off haircut coupons. She said the guy did a great job on her hair. Unfortunately, my sister lives in Victoria and can’t use the coupons. Neither can I since I get my hair cut by a different person. So, I’m giving away these coupons. This is a great deal. My sister said the guy is only a junior stylist, so a cut won’t set you back any more than $30. With the coupon, that’s $15 if my math is right. That might seem a lot if you go to Tragic Cuts or Choppy’s, but let me enumerate the benefits of going to Axis. They have a beautifully appointed salon with nice decor. When you’re waiting, I can assure you, you won’t be sitting next to snot-nosed kids and grandmas, reading a year-old issue of Hillbilly Living. You’ll be offered tea, coffee, or water, and the latest issue of Maxim. When you sit in the chair, you’ll be given a fabulous scalp massage. If you’ve never had one of these, then this is worth the price of admission alone. After that, they’ll shampoo your hair and they’ll actually listen to what you want done to your tresses. After the construction work is done, they’ll rinse you out. Then, they’ll dry your hair and style it using their own line of products. Last, but not least, there’s some serious eye candy that work at Axis, so if that strikes your fancy, it’s another reason to go.

The coupons expire at the end of January, so you have to act quick. It’s first come, first serve, the first two people that e-mail me here get the coupons. By forewarned, I’m not personally delivering these tickets to your door. Either you come and pick them up from me, or at the very best I can mail them to you.

Good luck!

I was told the name of the movie would not appear on the hotel bill