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Monday, September 27, 2004

The roof, the roof is on fire...maybe

It's 3:45AM and I am in bed enjoying some well deserved REM sleep, when I'm awoken by a gentle but persistent ringing. It takes me mere minutes to realize that the fire alarm has gone off and since I live on the 26th floor, I decide to waste no time getting dressed so I can get a headstart to the ground floor. But, the neighbours are smart and I open my door to find about 20 groggy grad students clogging the hall to get down the stairs.

Grad students are the most creative people when it comes to cursing. Their imaginative use of metaphores and alliterative swearing allows them to chain together four-letter words into near works of art. And having to walk down 26 flights of stairs before the sun comes up on an early Monday morning proves to be an excellent source of material for my grad student floormates to work their linguistic magic. I have never heard of so many qualifiers before the words "false alarm" before.

We arrive at the "safety zone" across from the building just in time to see the fire truck leaving the seen. Apparently, this has been another false alarm. Some pothead probably went to bed without putting out his bud...let this be a lesson to the rest of you. With 900 sleepy students on the street in their pajamas and only 6 working elevators servicing 26th floors, the rush to get back into the building is an exercise in madness. Ironically, you are more likely to be trampled rushing back into the building after the alarm than coming out of the building during the "fire". I should send this to Alanis Morrisette so she can add this to her next revision of "Ironic".

So, that's been my night. Tell me about yours.

Your Favorite Jerk

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Take me out to the ball game

You can tell the local baseball team is not performing when you can get 3 pairs of tickets for free, just by signing up for their fanclub newsletter. Jonny and I managed to snag tickets for last Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and this post will describe what I saw at the SkyDome last week.

I must confess that I am not a baseball fan. In fact, I have never actually watched a baseball game from start to finish before last Thursday. I didn't walk twenty minutes from my place to the SkyDome to see Carlos Delgado or the O Dog -- players whose names I haven't heard of before -- I went to see the SkyDome itself and experience the joys of America's favorite passtime. Here's a brief summary of my thoughts: SkyDome was definitely worth seeing; The joy of America's favorite passtime...not so much.

The view of the CN Tower through the open roof of the SkyDome on a late summer evening is difficult to put into words for even the best writers, so what can I possibly say to convey its beauty? As for the game itself, I really didn't pay much attention after the third inning when the Jays went down 7 to 1. Thankfully, Jonny was there to explain the meaning of baseball stats acronyms like AB, BB, TB, RBI, OBP...OPP, CBC, KFC...whatever. The only stats I cared about were the number of runs "we" were down by and when I found out that 6 was an almost insurmountable number I quickly lost interest.

On Saturday, we went again but because this was an afternoon game the unforgiving sun gave us the roasting of the summer. I think I'm on to this "free ticket" scam. The ticket is "free", but they open the roof to maximum aperture and let the sun slowly dry the mouths of your "fans" until they have no choice but to drink 7 dollar beer. And because alcohol dehydrates you even more, you're forced to buy another 7 dollar beer, and another, and another...and soon the Blue Jays management has made back the lost profits of a "free ticket" and then some. Of course, this scam fails on us Asians who are genetically predisposed to refusing 7 dollar beer. I bought a 4 dollar iced tea and downed the whole thing in less then a minute. Sweet victory...take me out to the ball game, indeed.

Your Favorite Jerk

Sunday, September 19, 2004

On cloud 26

With all the moving in and settling down I've been doing these last couple of weeks, I've been a bit slow to post. Okay, I haven't posted at all. But all that is going to change because the next couple of posts will come in a flurry.

First off, let me tell you a little about my new place. I'm at the 89 Chestnut residence, formerly the Colony Hotel, in the heart of downtown Toronto. They've got me on the 26th floor with the other grad students, which I don't have to share a floor with hundreds of frosh. From this vantage point some 200ft above street level, I have a sweeping view of the Eaton Centre parkade and Dundas street, which is apparently a popular parade root (I've already witnessed one parade from my room). The price I have to pay for this breath-taking view is a five to ten minute ride on the elevator. In a building with 900 people and 6 elevators (two of which are perpetually "in service") it is rare that I can go from the lobby to my room without at least 10 stops along the way.

Long elevator rides notwithstanding, I quite like my room. I get unlimited local calls, ADSL, and cable TV with my rent, not too mention my own private ensuite bathroom. On top of all that I get a king-sized bed, which I didn't think I needed until I slept on it. Now, I wonder how I ever managed with my single bed back home =) The only downside of sleeping on a bed for two (rather large) people is having to roll over three times to reach my alarm in the mornings. Sometimes when I'm in that semi-conscience state right before I am fully awake, I can only managet to roll over twice before I forget why I'm rolling around in the first place and fall back to sleep.

Okay, I'm going to go for some dinner now. When I get back I'll post about the food here.

Your Favorite Jerk