I was on the bus today when these two attractive young women got on. They sat in the seats behind me. This is partly what they had to say:
“I am soooooooo lusting after that pair of underwear!”
“You know, the turquoise coloured ones… they have the butterflies on them with the thin clear straps on the side…”
“Oh those, you know you’d look good in the beige ones as well…”
“I just decided I can’t wear what I was going to wear to this party I’m going to tomorrow.”
“I just remembered there’s going to be children there and I can’t wear that skirt of mine!”
“What are you going to wear instead?”
“Um, I’m not sure now…”
A walk around UBC today revealed that many people are still away on their holidays. Both pedestrian and vehicle traffic was quite light all over campus. I got an almost ghost town feel. I’m guessing that everyone will be coming back sometime this weekend. It’s hard to believe that in less than a week, this whole place will be bustling with activity again with the start of the new term.
I guess, however, I am not the only one that noticed that everyone is away. Sometime on Wednesday morning, there was a break-in at my beloved former residence, St. John’s College. Apparently, someone broke into the main office and stole access cards and a master key. The audacity and nature of the crime surprised me. It seems the thief knew exactly what to get and this was not a crime of opportunity. With the access cards and the master key, every door is accessible to the thief. That means every resident’s room is essentially vulnerable. You can just imagine how some residents felt reading all of this on the e-mail list while they’re thousands of miles away.
SJC was in lockdown mode when I visited this afternoon to retrieve Picky, my fish. When I got there, some doors had been made exit only. Signs were posted everywhere, warning residents of the intrusion. I was later told that every room lock would be replaced eventually. I am unsure what they’ll do about the access cards. Because they’re computerized, I wonder if they can just change an internal code or something. I also heard that two security guards will now be assigned to SJC on a round the clock basis. If they want to be cautious, I’d restrict access to a single set of external doors and have the guards ID anyone that goes through.
Dangerous times over at good old SJC!
I might come off sounding like an idiot in this post, but oh well, here goes. I just checked the graduation requirements for my degree. As for coursework, it looks like I’m good there. I just need to straighten out one tiny detail (at least I think it’s tiny) and everything should be fine. Well, I also need to pass two more courses next term, but I’m assuming that’s going to happen. There’s also the matter of not having received my grades my last term yet. Yeesh, this is perhaps a little more tenuous than I thought.
Anyways, the biggest problem I have discovered is that I kinda forgot to form a little thing called an “supervisory committee”. This committee is supposed to be headed my academic supervisor (which I have) and one other faculty member. After one semester of coursework, I was supposed to give a presentation to them about the courses I had taken and will take. This presentation would outline the reasons why I thought I should be taking these courses and how this would fit into my graduate education. The committee is then free to make suggestions on course choices and we come to an agreement on what to take.
So, yeah, I kinda forgot to do this. And I’m about to enter my last semester of coursework. Don’t ask me how this happened. I have a little bit of worry, but I am not in a panic. Why? Well, because as I mentioned before, I still have one more semester to correct anything that needs fixing. Is it a lot of room to maneuver? No, but at least I caught this before the point of no return. My supervisor is also a really, really nice person who would like nothing more than to see me graduate and get the hell out of here. Also, I think it’s my choice who the second faculty memeber is on my committee and obviously I’d pick someone who is sympathetic to my cause. I already have the person in mind and I just hope he agrees to it.
Is there still a possibility for disaster? Sure, this is bureaucracy we’re talking about and even under the best circumstances when you follow regulations down to the letter, things can still go wrong. Clearly, in my case I’m forming my committee extremely late and I might run into a whole bunch of roadblocks. The one possible sliver of hope I have is that these types of rules, I believe, can be easily be bent if the people in charge like you enough. That’s a big if, because I’m not sure if I even matter a damn to my department beyond my supervisor. If you ask me though, the MECH department owes me after the whole TA fiasco.
The bottom line is, there is nothing I see that will absolutely prevent me from graduating in May. To get there though, I’m gonna need to fix a few things between now and then.
It’s been a fun couple of days at home with my family. It was good seeing my sister again. She was quite generous to me with Christmas gifts. I will be sure to make it up to her next year when I’ll be hopefully employed. What else have I been doing? Well, I’ve been hitting Bittorrent pretty hard. With UBC Resnet restrictions on Bittorrent traffic, it’s hard to get stuff at my apartment, but here in Telus-land, it’s been smooth sailing. I’ve done a few movies and some Mythbusters episodes. It’s been good stuff all around.
I have also done a lot of shopping, but I’ve been trying to keep to the essentials. I bought a router on-line from Future Shop. This is for setting up a home network at my parents’ place. A network will now be necessary since my sister is temporarily moving home to start a new job. I also went to Costco to buy things like a giant bottle of water, a giant bottle of juice, and one giant Coke bottle candy. After that, I hit Ikea to get a $5 frying pan and some other stuff. Tomorrow, I’m going to Wal-Mart (I know, please don’t send me e-mails about Wal-Mart) to get some cheap shampoo, toothpaste,
jock-itch powder and toothbrushes. When I look at it, I don’t think any of it was too extravagant.
I am tenatively scheduled to return to my own apartment tomorrow afternoon. I need to take care of a few things back on-campus, one of which is to get my crap together to prepare an application for graduation. I guarantee you that I will encounter the most horrendous UBC bureaucracy you’ll ever hear about. This will mean some interesting posts on this blog. Being back will also mean I’ll be on my own computer which is good since my parents’ computer is having some serious issues.
I will probably return to my parents’ place on the weekend to help my sister setup the network (if the router gets here in time) and to also re-partition this computer’s hard drive. For now though, look for the next few posts to come from the home office.
I woke up this morning with what my sister and I refer to as a “cut” in my hair. A “cut” is when some of the hair separates away from the head, forming a pseud-wing, and exposing a line of exposed scalp. I woke up late of course and my parents had a dim sum reservation to make. As my mother chided me for not even having my clothes changed, I decided I had no time to get rid of my “cut”. I went outside with the “cut” intact.
I was out in public all day with. I’m about to go to Future Shop. That is all for now.
Once again, it’s time for my annual holiday greeting. From all the staff here at www.erwintang.com, we’d like to wish you a happy holidays and a prosperous new year.
My love for kettle corn began one sunny afternoon in Seattle several years ago when EA trucked a few of us down for a Mariners baseball game. At first, I wasn’t sure of this popcorn that was cooked in large metal kettles. Why would popcorn taste any better because it was popped in a large kettle, I thought. Then I had my first couple of bites.
The addition of a little bit of sugar to regular popcorn in a kettle was pure culinary genius. I was immediately hooked by the combination of sweet and salty tastes. Each kernel that I was about to pop in my mouth became a flavour mystery. Would this be a salty or sweet kernel? I just didn’t know. The unpredictability of each kernel drove me to sample more and more of this delightful treat. Pretty soon, the bag was empty and all I could was look at my co-worker, Chris D. with dismay.
Since that day, I’ve discovered kettle corn is pretty hard to find in Canada. When you do find it, it’s expensive to buy and some of it really sucks. Most of the time, they don’t put enough sugar on it. Don’t hold back man, hit me with them pixie sticks!
On the weekend, I saw on the shelf at Safeway, microwaveable kettle corn. This was a new development to me from the people at Act II. I was skeptical of their kettle corn but I bought a box anyways. I popped a bag last night and I am happy to report that for a microwaved product, their kettle corn is pretty damned good. It’s sweet enough for me and I was surprised I got to the bottom of the bag so quickly.
Act II also has some other popcorn products, including Extreme Butter. I don’t know how it can be that extreme, but I hope to find out someday.
Wow, did I just write an entire post about popcorn?
I am really tired right now. Why am I not in bed and sleeping? I’m going to stay up a bit longer and try to figure that one out. As soon as I do, I’m going to bed.
Anyways, tomorrow I’m going to attempt to contact as many people as I can that I should contacted a long time ago. Whether you’re a friend or an acquaintance, I’ll be trying to either call or e-mail you. Don’t worry if you don’t hear from me tomorrow, it just means
you took candy from me when we were in grade five that I haven’t had time or I lost you contact info. Don’t take it personally.
I went shopping again on Satuday afternoon. This time, the crowds were not as sparse as Friday evening. There were more people milling about on the streets and in the mall downtown.
I did some street shopping for a bit before heading back into Pacific Centre via The Bay. As I was walking towards one of the doors I was right behind this lady. There was a steady stream of people using these doors at this particular entrance. As she got to the door, she held it open just long enough to get herself in, but not anyone behind her. I thought that was really rude of her.
With the crowds being what they are, I’d say nearly everyone I’ve been in front of has had the courtesy to hold the door open for me. I’m not talking about stop-walking-hold-the-door-for-me-and-let-me-go-in-first type of door holding, I mean the push-the-door-back-while-you’re-going-through-so-the-person-behind-you-can-get-through-too type of door holding.
I really surprised by her level of rudeness. I had to open the door all the way myself. When I got through the doors, I noticed she was going down a set of stairs that was divided by a hand-railing. She was going down the right side of the stairs. Quickly, I raced down the left side to catch up to her. Just as she got to the bottom of the stairs, I deftly cut right in front of her path.
I wish I could tell you that some more entertaining things happened after I cut her off, but that didn’t happen. I hope she got really, really, really annoyed for like a nanosecond. Yeah, I’m a bad boy. Take note ladies, I’m dangerous.
I think it’s been over two months since I’ve ventured downtown. Tonight, I changed that by starting my holiday shopping. As soon as my bus made it over the Granville St. bridge, I saw an attractive girl wearing a mini-skirt and white thigh-high boots by a bus stop. I took that as a good omen.
The crowds were extremely light and I easily purchased two gifts before it was even 6:30pm. I needed to eat, so I decided to go to my favourite pho place, Pho Van on Main Street. When I got there, I ordered a large pho tai. The steaming bowl of noodles that soon got to my table was intoxicating. My pho consumption has been quite light this term, something that I hope to rectify next term. It was as good as ever. The thinly sliced, slightly raw pieces of beef almost melted in my mouth. Oh delicious pho, I suckle at your brothy, sweet teat once again.
By this time, it had started to rain quite heavily and stupidly, I had not brought along an umbrella. Knowing it was about quitting time, I crossed the street to where my mother works. I was hoping that my Mom was still at work and perhaps I could borrow a brolly from her. As luck would have it, my Mom was still there along with my Dad. They were going to eat some dinner before heading out to play some mah jong. They were pleasantly surprised to see me. When I told them why I was there, they insisted I was join them for dinner next door at this Hong Kong style cafe. As I sat there watching them eat, they asked me questions about the exciting life that I lead. With dinner finished, I was loaned an umbrella and driven back downtown so I could continue shopping.
If there was post-dinner shopping crowd, I never saw it. I think in this Internet age, the days of jam-packed malls might be behind us. I went to a few different stores, looking for both myself and my family. I didn’t find any more gifts, but I did buy a pair of jeans from Old Navy. That place is great for cheap essentials, things like undershirts, socks, and underwear.
After that, I’d had enough, so I went back home. Tomorrow, I am going back downtown in an attempt to get some smaller items. Is everyone else done their shopping?