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Sunday, April 30, 2006

sweetness delayed

green cubes
of joy
to the souless plastic
that is the bottom of a cup
discarded by the world
sweet jelly

- david, from the bubble tea drinker's anthology (2006)

Friday, April 28, 2006


I like being the underdog because the underdog's failures are muffled even as his victories are amplified. But there's a fine line between being an underdog and a longshot. When I saw the list of committee members sitting on my reclass exam committee yesterday, I immediately went from being the former to the latter, and with that my outlook for the next two weeks went from cloudy to stormy. It's going to be a fight all the way, folks.

And that brings us to today's inspiration message, curtesy of Logan from Veronica Mars (Tiff made me watch it, and it's not half bad): "Adversity is the diamond dust with which Heaven polishes its jewels."

Your Favorite Jerk

Monday, April 24, 2006


I just indulged in a rather guilty pleasure, and I must confess I feel a bit terrible for the giddiness I'm feeling at this moment. Don't worry, it was nothing raunchy or otherwise untoward--just a little something that made me smile, even though a really mature person probably wouldn't have.

My neighbour is a music major, a lover of sound, and apparently a woman full of laughter--loud, high-pitched, constant laughter. Don't get me wrong; I don't dislike her as a person. Every time we've met, she and I have been nothing but cordial with each other, and there is nothing to suggest that she is in any way unpleasant. But I've not been a great fan of her flute playing, music blaring, or irksome laughing at odd hours of the night.

For the most part, I've come to except this arrangement, save for the one night when I had to call her to cut short her game of who-can-laugh-the-loudest with three of her closest friends at 1:30 in the morning. I've always been too afraid to start anything unpleasant with the person living less than four feet away from me by being too confrontational. But secretly, I've always hoped that someone else would tell her to be a bit more considerate of her neighbours on my behalf one day.

It turns out today is that day! Late this evening, I heard a loud knocking on my neighbour's door. Being both curious and timid by nature, I shuffled quietly to my own door and looked out through the peephole to see what all the commotion was about. I soon discovered that it was the don-on-duty wanting a word with her about her noise problem. I've always thought that maybe I'm the one who has been unreasonable and that no one else had a problem with the noise. But I was vindicated when I saw the look of absolute disdain on the don's face as she struggled to be heard over the music with a good five minutes of door banging.

I must admit that it was quite satisfying to witness (from the safety of my own room) the don's giving my neighour a little comeuppance for creating such a ruckus during quiet hours. Am I childish and immature for this episode of schadenfreud? Absolutely. Am I unreasonable for thinking that my neighbour is too loud? Apparently not :-) I love the sweet smell of vindication wafting in the air tonight.

Your Favorite Jerk

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Not quite home alone

Rainy weekends tend to bring out the nostalgia-seeking side of me, especially when I'm faced with looming deadlines and stressful assignments. My all-time favorite nostalgic film is, without a doubt, the 1990 holiday classic Home Alone, starring future Michael Jackson confidant Macaulay Culkin. I came to Canada in April of that year, and Home Alone was my first real introduction to the North American celebration of Christmas.

It was nice to share an afternoon with Tiffy, watching this classic. But the real highlight of the day was our discovery of the old NES Home Alone game, which I must admit is very addictive. The object of the game is to run around the house for 20 minutes without getting caught by bitmap representations of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern (Harry and Marv from the movie). It may sound like a simple concept, but the game is far from easy. Despite several viliant tag-team efforts by the two of us, the longest amount of time we were able to elude the crooks was under three minutes. We had better luck playing NES Jeopardy...okay, actually it was Junior Jeopardy because the real thing was too hard for us--pathetic, I know.

Your Favorite Jerk

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Chalk full of flavor

I finally had a chance to break open the 99% Lindt dark chococlate I got last week, and now I'm ready to give you my uneducated and uncultured review of this bitter confection.

Before I cracked the seal on this chocolate bar, I carefully read the conseil de dégustation and was fully prepared for--nay, eagerly anticipating--a strong hit of bitterness followed by an explosion of cocoa flavor before being lavished by a fruity bouquette to round off this gastronomical journey of indescribable delights. My conclusion after eating two pieces of the chocolate is that I want whatever the Lindt marketing guys were smoking when they wrote that guide. Maybe I just have a very unsophisticated palette, but the only real thing I could taste from this chalk-like chocolate was bitterness.

Actually I just had another piece and this time I could really feel the cocoa kick near the end. It seems the trick is to let the melted chocolate linger a bit in your mouth before swallowing it all; it's like the sugary plum treat you get after you down a bowl of Chinese medicine. So maybe it's not so much a case of too much of a good thing being bad, but just that it takes time to learn to appreciate good things. It's still bitter as heck though. Seriously.

Your Favorite Jerk

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Older and wiser?

Thanks for all the birthday wishes earlier in the week! My departmental student seminar--the one where all the Masters students give a talk summarizing their work to all the other students and professors in the department--was scheduled for the afternoon of my birthday, so needless to say, I didn't get out of bed in a celebratory mood. Thankfully, the talk went exceptionally well (one of the reviewers said I gave the clearest talk in the history of the seminars) and I handled most of the questions with enough confidence to walk out of the room feeling pretty relieved. Thanks for all the prayers and well-wishes from everyone before the talk.

Afterwards, Tiff gave me two awesome gifts: I got a t-shirt she made with Brick (Steve Carrell) from Anchorman saying "Loud noises!!!", and a set of personalized stationery graced by a hand-drawn picture of Bunchkin on every page. To make the day even sweeter, I got a steak dinner with escargot and calamari. I'm ashamed to admit that Tiff totally out ate me, but in my defense I was wearing some exceptionally tight pants. Had I been wearing my sweatpants, the outcome would have undoubtedly been in my favour. Maybe I'll take that lesson to heart next year, when I'm older and wiser.

Your Favorite Jerk

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Prose before hos

Tiff will probably blog more about this on her site later, but here are some pictures of her newly discovered hobby, t-shirt painting. I don't know much about the process except that it involves exacto knives, paint brushes, and ironing equipment. But I do know that I'm now the owner of a beige t-shirt that sports a bust of the Bard and the words 'Prose before hos'. The design is inspired by an exact replica of a shirt we saw on Busted Tees a while back, but truth be told, Tiff did make the stencils and letters herself from scratch. Good job, Tiffy!

Your Favorite Jerk

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Vivs sent me this Lindt Excellence 99% Cacao Noirissime from France a week ago, and I just got it in the mail today. Wow! I've seen 80% in Canada but I've yet to encounter a 99% dark chocolate. That is hardcore. I think 99% is the highest amount of cocoa you can stick in a bar without needing written approval from the FDA and maybe even the DEA.

This thing is so hardcore it comes in an airtight jewel case and a strong warning to follow the Conseils de Dégustation (tasting advice) enclosed in the package. The science of tasting this thin 50g bar of chocolate is so precise that it even comes with a graph showing the intensity of various "notes" of the chocolate over the course of the tasting. Not surprisingly in a 99% cocoa chocolate bar, the taste of Cacaoté (or cocoaness, I guess) is the most intense over the long haul. Although, without looking at the graph, I bet you wouldn't have guessed that Acidité would be the initial forerunner.

I think I'll bust this thing open and enjoy it "...avec un café afin de faciliter le développement d'un bouquet d'aromes cacaotés" when I finish my assignments. Let's hope it will be opened in celebration rather than self-commiseration. Merci beaucoup, Vivo!!!!

Your Favorite Jerk

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Quotes from real life

Sometimes real life beats any sitcom. You really can't write this stuff even if you wanted to. Here's a brief snippet about Ted's neighbour. Wow.

Me: maybe she's just moving furniture
Me: you never know
Ted: ahahahahahah....i don't think she names all her furniture johnny ;)

Your Favorite Jerk

Monday, April 03, 2006

It's in my head

Okay, I'm obsessed with the Office; I know. It's getting to the point now, where I just laugh out loud sporadically during the workday when random quotes from the show pop into my head. Here's a list of some of them:

"In the wild, there is no healthcare. In the wild healthcare is 'Ow, I hurt my leg. I can't run. A lion eats me, and I'm dead.' Well, I'm not dead. I'm the lion. You're dead."

"My maternal grandfather is the toughest man I know. In World War Two, he killed twenty men and then spent the rest of the war in an Allied prison camp."

"I am both a night owl and an early bird. So I am wise... and I have worms."

"Presents are the best way to show someone how much you care. It is like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, 'Hey, man, I love you this many dollars worth.'"

"One time we were out and we met this set of twins and Packer told them that we were brothers and so you know, one thing led to another and we brought them back to the hotel and then Packer...did both of them. It was awesome."

"You know what, Toby, when the son of the deposed king of Nigeria e-mails you directly, asking for help -- you help! His father ran the freakin' country, OK?"

"Abraham Lincoln once said, 'If you're a racist, I will attack you with the North,' and these are the principles I carry with me in the workplace."

"Toby's with human resources, so, technically he's corporate, so he's really not a part of our family. Also, he's divorced, so he's really not a part of his family."

"Is someone making soup?" (this is said when everyone's huddled outside Michael's office trying to figure out who placed a steaming pile of dung under his desk during the night"

There are so many others. I think this might be one of the most quotable shows I've ever seen.

Your Favorite Jerk

The Office

I had a stressful couple of days, but watching the Office and eating steak has really helped relieve some of the stress. Thank You, God for constantly demonstrating your amazing grace and faithfulness through these little signs that you're watching out for me.