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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Weekend of moving

The Chestnut era officially came to an end this past weekend when I moved all my belongings to my new home near Yonge and College. I hadn't anticipated a long move since I don't own any furniture, but I should have remembered what my old supervisor used to say about project timeline estimation: figure out how long you think it'll take, then triple it. The actual process of moving took well over 6 hours and required 7 trips in HM's car with Tiffy and Fred, whose physical strength is truly amazing. A heartfelt thank you to all of you!

I don't have many pictures of the new place yet, but right now there isn't much to see anyway because it's still very sparsely furnished. When the dust settles, I'll post another update.

Your Favorite Jerk

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I miss Mr. Rogers

If you have six minutes of free time, go watch this video of Mr. Rogers in front of a senate committee in 1969, arguing for the continued funding of PBS. I've never seen a man make a $20 million sale with such calm and articulate speech. I often wonder what I want to do with my life and who I want to be when I "grow up". Having watched this video, I can safely say that in an ideal world, I would like to find a job that can give me the same passion and joy that Mr. Rogers' job gave him. Better start learning how to make puppets.

Your Favorite Jerk

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The perks of being a lonely diner

It's that time of the year again. My meal plan is finished, and I'm left to fend for myself, a lonely man in a big city. Okay, it's actually not so bad. In fact, it's a bit of a boon for my tastebuds because I can eat whatever I want whenever I want. Last night I had an odd craving for fish congee, but when I sat down to order I developed a sudden hunger for fried chicken as well. This apparent dilema gave me pause for a moment, but I quickly realized to my delight that since I was dining alone, I was under no obligation to the tastes and fancies of others. I ordered both the congee and a deep-fried chicken leg, and the resulting meal really hit the spot!

This morning, while cruising the continental breakfast buffet, I had another epicurean epiphany. In hindsight, it was quite inevitable; I love Lucky Charms cereal and orange sorbet, so why not eat them together? Let me tell you, Lucky-charms-orange-sorbet is a product that's just begging to be sold. I'd eat it by the carton.

It looks like tonight I'll be going lone-wolf yet again. Burrito boys, perhaps? Reasonably-priced eateries beware! Here I come!

Your Favorite Jerk

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Trip to IKEA

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI'm moving to my new place in about a week, and today I decided to go furniture browsing with Tiffy at IKEA. Everytime I drop her off at Kipling station, I walk past signs pointing to a free IKEA shuttle. I've always imagined that this shuttle would be a shiny, white bus with conservative styling, similar to a large Volvo. Imagine my surprise when the real "shuttle" arrived and I saw that it was a modified Ford pickup truck with a cracked windshield, driven by a Chinese man with thick gloves and a large puffy vest. There were no IKEA signage anywhere on this vehicle, an absence I suspect was insisted upon by IKEA's lawyers to reduce company liability. The seats consisted of two wooden benches and a small folding chair anchored to the flatbed of the truck by four screws. I suspect this is the sort of bus people use to transport migrant workers along the Mexicali border. In short, the quick trip from the station to the store was eye-opening, but uncomfortable.

This whole experience has forced me to re-evaluate my former admiration for the Swedish furniture giant. But I suppose their shady shuttle buses shouldn't really surprise me in light of a recent article in the Economist that claims the whole IKEA operation is a huge accounting scam. Apparently IKEA is a owned by a tax-free Dutch "charity" devoted to advancing interior design. You can't make this stuff like this up if you tried. That a Swedish store, owned by a Dutch charity, can induce people to drive for miles for a chance to buy overpriced, flimsy, unassembled(!!!) furniture is a testament to Swedish genius. Incidentally, their green-herb salmon (pictured) is a delectable treat.

Your Favorite Jerk

That picture was taken with my new phone :)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Moutard can wait

My eyes catch a glimpse of the clock as it quietly passes 7:30PM. My friends have already started their monthly mussel and beer night at Smokeless Joe's, and I'm at least an hour and half away from the festivities. But I'm in no hurry. Tonight I'm having dinner with my aunt in Scarborough, and I listen intently as she recounts her life story to me while I finish my third bowl of her delicious wintermelon soup. It's a very relaxing evening and a welcome change from the hectic pace of things these past months. In the dimly lit dining room, I feel as if I'm getting to know her for the first time in my life. There is something unspoken about our conversation that suggests an easiness which I don't often feel with my elders--a symptom of being Chinese, I suppose.

I admire my aunt tremendously. She is one of the most kind-hearted, supportive, and caring person I know. But above all, her faith in God is so strong that she can see His work in even the smallest, seemingly insignificant thing. Listening to her recount the many tough choices she has had to make in her life to serve God before all else, including forgoing marriage, only makes me admire her even more. "God always provides," she tells me; and I believe her.


I passed my re-class exam on Thursday, and I'm officially a PhD student now!

I really really miss my Mom.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The following happens between 2:00pm and 3:00pm

24 hours to go before the big committee meeting to determine what I do for the next 6 months or 4 years of my life. If I were a television producer, I would make a show like 24 for grad students, following the 24 hours before a big committee meeting. There will easily be enough nail-biting suspense and Jack-Bauer-like outbursts to fill up 3 whole DVDs. Right now, I'm evaluating the feasibility of faking my own death to avoid the meeting. It worked for Jack Bauer--kinda.

Dee dee dee,
Your Favorite Jerk

Saturday, May 06, 2006

2 year anniversary of the blog

It's been two years since I started writing on this blog. 209 entries later, this blog has turned into a hobby as well as a habit. The past year has been a very eventful one, filled with unanticipated twists and turns. Things looked so different last year when I wrote my one-year blog summary: the things I worried about then would turn out to be irrelevent; the place I wanted to be would turn out to be where I was; and the girl I had a heated argument with at the local Korean BBQ restaurant would turn out to be the one person who would make me happier than I've ever been. As I reflect on the past twelve months, I realize that I have very little control over the myriad outcomes which together make up my life. All I can do is trust in Him, and go along for the ride.

Thanks for reading. I hope you'll be back.