Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The house that mint built

Ever since I was a kid, any time I got any kind of little burn, bug bite, or bee sting, my parents would give me some ointment out of a little metal jar that has a picture of a baby dressed up as a nurse on it. Judging by the label, the stuff was called Mentholatum, but I could never conclusively confirm nor deny this. It looks and feels more or less like thick Vaseline, and as you might expect from the (hypothetical) name it reeks of menthol and burns like it too.

Then, a few years back, my grandma got some of that deep heating cream for her feet. I was amazed to find that it too was made by Mentholatum, which I now understood to be a brand name. With a name like Mentholatum, though, it couldn't just be any brand name; no, it must be some kind of menthol monopoly.

Growing up in a Chinese family, I always thought that there were only two paths to a career in which you make money: accounting/business and computers. Of course, this might have to do with both of my parents working in computers, but I don't think this was an isolated case. Some of our family friends were recently very obviously proud of themselves for getting over their own reservations and finally accepting that their youngest daughter liked to draw and wanted to go to (and eventually got into) the Emily Carr Institute. Note that they didn't sound proud of their daughter, but proud of themselves, because it appears to be a real feat for old-school Chinese to accept things like that.

But as I grew up and became interested in computers again, the dot-com bubble burst. More than that, I started to see that a good portion of arts students don't starve after they graduate. Some of them actually make more than the not-so-sweet cash made by underappreciated code monkeys living with their parents. And they don't all become teachers. No, they find weird jobs not directly related to English/sociology/economics/political science, like rating porn flicks for the Film Board, or supervising sanitation of Safeways all over the province. I was aghast.

Consider Mentholatum. Three generations ago, someone in Wichita wanted to open a business. I bet (s)he grew up being told to invest in gold, or oil, or... no, probably oil. And yet somewhere down the line, this person decided that no, the family fortune would be built on mint. Does it sound crazy? (Maybe, I don't know what the state of medical science was at the time, but for the purposes of this argument, let's say) Yes. And yet they've grown into the (probable) world leader in menthol related ointments.

(What would it be like to grow up in that family? I imagine they have a very green-themed house. They don't settle for any crappy after-dinner mints, instead importing their own -- or even making their own! They drive their neighbours and visitors crazy talking about the soothing powers of menthol. Their kids rebel by dressing entirely in red and extolling the wonders of cinnamon.)

The moral of the story? People pay money for things other than accounting and computers, which is something new generations of Chinese should remember. Just ask Mentholatum: the house that mint built*.

* This title may actually belong to the makers of YORK Peppermint Patties, I don't know.

Current Music: Spoon - Gimme Fiction

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

What's Wang This Week

It looks like I'll be sitting in with a little informal jazz combo on New Year's Eve. Plus, they want to play some rock songs. I feel so professional. Unfortunately, feeling professional obligates me to be professional, so I guess I have to learn a few songs in the next day or two. Does anyone have a copy of "You Shook Me All Night Long"?

Tonight, after failing to find Derek, the rest of us LUGs strolled into town and had some sweet mussels from Brussels (thanks Victor) at Stella's, on Commercial. They also had some very fancy-sounding -- and good, mind you -- Belgian beers there. After drinking them, though, Jowen and I both decided that we'd be better off saving $6 and sharing one $10 Unibroue beer instead, such as the awesomely named La Fin Du Monde, or the almost-as-awesomely named Trois Pistoles. Those were some excellent mussels, although they've got nothing on these bad boys! (Picture me flexing as I say that, it works best that way.)

Then, miracle of miracles, Derek was there when we returned to his apartment. Thank you, Santa! In all the excitement of finding out Derek is still alive, though, I totally forgot that I had to return a DVD, and now my mom has late charges. Pfft, as if the guy who drinks $8 Belgian beers is supposed to remember that.


COME ON!



Current Music: Van Morrison - Moondance

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Xmas

We had both turkey and ham tonight for dinner -- we truly live in times of great affluence. Also, I remembered that you're supposed to add ice/water to ouzo which makes it more palatable.

I was once told that X is the symbol for Christ in Latin, which makes the "crossing out Christ" argument moot. I wish I were famous enough to have Bill O'Reilly slam me for saying that. I suppose it's impractical to wish for fame for Christmas, especially at this stage of the game, but maybe for next year.

Anyway, Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Olympic team announcements

Why were kids standing in for the men's players during the announcement? Were they the players' children/sisters/brothers/next of kin?

Good lord, did Gord Stellick get Botox injections?

Current Music: Spoon - Metal School

Okay, that's it

I don't have the energy to decide whose blog I like the best. I have to take care of this somehow.

You have three days to vie for position, by changing your name to Aaron Aaronson. Then: I sort.

Current Music: My Morning Jacket - Wordless Chorus

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What's Wang This Week

I just remembered I owe several among you cashews. I'll buy a big tub of them and have it with me when I see you, if you remind me.

I have to get a new passport, as my current one expires in April. It's a lot more work than I expected... well, no, it's about exactly as much work as I suspected. I hate paperwork. I can't even print out the forms myself because I don't have bond quality paper, which according to the website is a must. If I get to the office and find out that my form isn't valid because I crossed out the parts where I didn't print in block letters and because my signature doesn't stay in the small box on the 2nd and 3rd pages, I'm going to be pissed.

And why does it cost so damn much to get a passport? We're trying to exit the country; they should be grateful that we're consuming fewer Canadian resources.

After a week or so of planning we crashed Derek's place to force the issue and make him spend some time with people, and to use his GameCube. Unfortunately, he wasn't there. I'm still not sure why none of us even considered the possibility that he might not be there, but it just seemed like a given; don't we have egg on our faces.

I've also been watching a bunch of Arrested Development. If I had one of those "Dickolas Recommends" columns on the sidebar, I'd put it on there.

Current Music: Oasis - Talk Tonight

Friday, December 16, 2005

Disappointment

I just waited 50 minutes watching MuchMusic waiting for Green Day's cover of "Summer of '69" to come on. Just before the commercial break after which it was to come on, they played another bit of the video and I realized "Hey, that's not Summer of '69." It's just some song that rips off Bryan Adams.

I was genuinely disappointed. I really wanted to hear Green Day play "Summer of '69". I wouldn't care to hear their version of the Broco Auto Glass jingle though.

Current Music: Green Day - Jesus of Suburbia

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Poor Wade Flaherty

Today's casualty of the new salary-capped NHL is Wade Flaherty.

Flaherty, a relatively seasoned NHL veteran who took over the starter's job from Alex Auld last season in Manitoba, is stuck there for what looks to be the long haul. Why? Because he refused to renegotiate his contract to below $75000/yr, he cannot be called up and sent back down without being exposed to waivers. Because of this, the Canucks have been forced to use Rob McVicar as their backup during the oodles of time Cloutier has been injured. Wade Flaherty, meanwhile, is in Manitoba, aging.

Maxime Ouellet has now essentially replaced him on the depth chart so the Canucks no longer have to risk calling him up, killing whatever hopes he might have had of being claimed on waivers by another team. Now that Cloutier is out for the season, you better believe the Canucks and Flaherty would have been better off had he taken that pay cut.

Do we call it ego or principle that led Wade Flaherty to what has turned out to be such a ridiculously bad decision on his part? To his credit, I suppose I'd say principle, since I probably wouldn't like the idea of taking a 40% pay cut myself. However, it's funnier all around if we just say it was ego.

Good job, Flaherty. Hope Christmas in Manitoba is cold and unforgiving.

Current Music: Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better

Note to self

Don't forget Potsie's birthday.

Current Music: My Morning Jacket - Z

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What do TAs do during office hours?

I for one am blogging, as no one has come. I should have realized 10:00AM is early for graduate students.

At the beginning of this year, one of my students was shocked and probably not a little bit disillusioned to see her probability TA giving a huge wedgie to another graduate student.

This same graduate student (who mysteriously lost a piece of fish in my desk drawer) also was forced recently to do an online orientation in order for the stats grad student association to get funding. He answered C to every question on the final quiz and failed; he passed after going through and changing some of the answers to "Some of the above".

My probability TA last year failed the sexual harassment module of his online ethics course.

Last year my friend was my applied statistics TA, and he occasionally had to adjudicate tests for us. Recently I found out that most of that time he was chatting on MSN with his friends in Greece -- and here I thought he was doing some computer-intensive analysis.

Also, last year during our final exam, afterwards he came up to me and said, I have to tell someone about this: the guy sitting behind you in the test was picking his nose. Like, not just casually picking it; he was really givin' it, you know? (He demonstrated.) And he'd always look around before he'd do it, to make sure no one was looking... but I was. And then he'd eat the results! Later that day, the same TA referred to me as Robin to his Batman, and about a week prior he had explained to us all multiple times that PhD stands for Pretty Huge Dick.

I think I'll check out the daily Bullz-Eye girl.

Current Music: The New Pornographers - Sing Me Spanish Techno

Sunday, December 04, 2005

What's Wang This Week/Note to self/Note to selves

This morning I cooked up some bacon. My whole apartment smells like bacon now, which sounds like something that might have appealed to me two years ago, but no longer. Even my bedroom smells like bacon. I'm gonna have some pork-y dreams tonight.

Actually, it wasn't the morning; it was 1:30 in the afternoon. I slept in, which I am doing a lot lately on account of my working late these last few weeks to get the last (well, the only) of my schoolwork done and handed in. On top of that, I've gone a little overboard with my regained ability to read and I've read the first four Harry Potter books in the last 10 days, most of the reading occurring between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00AM. I've just bought the 5th, and at this rate I won't have anything left to read on the plane home. On the bright side, it's almost 1000 pages, so maybe I will. Even if there's nothing to read, I can still amuse myself with two games of Tetris in preparation for the Christmas season's pwning of all your asses.

Yeah, that's right. Snap.

After upwards of 9 years of good service, and a handful of close calls, my eyebath finally shattered today when I dropped it on the floor. Those of you who have lived with me will recognize this as the small shotglass-looking thing I would always carry to the bathroom in the morning and in the evening. I remember when I went to buy ol' Bathy, I was deciding between a cheap plastic one and a more expensive glass one. Even then, I remember thinking that I couldn't think of a single benefit of buying the glass one instead of the plastic one, and yet I still went ahead and did it... and I'd do it again. Maybe I'll try a plastic one this time, but I'm afraid that it'll have two little edges on the rim where it got snapped off of the plastic mold, like every other plastic thing in the world. Anyway, it was sad.

My flight home is next Monday. I'm looking forward to some rest, some relaxation, and some fucking Japanese food. I have been barely able to find one decent Japanese restaurant in Berkeley, and this will just not do. I ate at one place tonight and it was okay, probably the second-best I've had around here, which isn't saying much. But the chopstick wrapper said that this place had been rated Best Japanese Food in the city, as well as in the whole Bay Area. It wouldn't even be the best Japanese food in the basement of the Village!

Anyone know of any good concerts during the time I'm home? Anyone want to get together soon? Drop me a line, you know how to reach me.

Current Music: The Postal Service - Give Up

PS: Don't forget Jim's birthday
PPS: Look here

Saturday, December 03, 2005

... and now a random fact about Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is 1/8th Cherokee. This has nothing to do with ancestry, the man ate a fucking Indian.

Current Music: Destroyer - Your Blues

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What Was Wang This Year

Today I, Dickolas Wang is one year old.

Rather than trying to be clever (and succeeding, because I'm just such a card) with my anniversary post, I'm just going to reflect on some of my favourite blog-moments from this year.



If you have a favourite I, Dickolas Wang moment, I'd like to hear what it is and why. I really enjoy blogging, you know, and I'm proud of what I have written, so I'm grateful that some of you even enjoy me blogging too.

Who knows what craaaaazy adventures lie ahead? Well, I might have an advisor soon; I will no longer be a real TA with students who I am responsible for, so I can write WWTWs more; one of these days, I might even win a LUGs poker game; I've re-learned how to read, which can only help; and I plan to lead an attack on the Priscilla Platter. The possibilities are endless! Stay tuned...

... I know I will.

Current Music: Nada Surf - Blankest Year (Hey, I didn't even intend that. How about that!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I got band practice

Hooray for local advertising: I think I told some of you at home about the Berkeley Bail Bonds commercial that would occasionally run during The Daily Show. I can't find that right now, but this Copy Central commercial cracks me up just as much.

Angry customer: "Totally" is exactly what you said last time, and you were three days late!
Non-Copy Central employee: Well, that's a big order, and I got band practice [guitar wails] tonight, so... why don't you go over to Copy Central?

...

Voice-over: You can trust Copy Central. Totally.


In the interest of broadening the horizons of Berkeleyfolk as an exchange, anyone who can provide me with a copy of the Broco Auto Glass jingle totally gets a cookie.

Current Music: Datarock - Fa-Fa-Fa

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Journalistic excellence

Have you ever read the Canucks.com game recaps? They're really embarrassing.

From last night's loss to Phoenix, for example. Under "Numbers":
2 – seconds after the whistle blew to end the second period that coward Denis Gauthier ran Brendan Morrison hard into the boards.

Coward Denis Gauthier. Ouch.

From the game before it:
Next up: kicking the Coyotes.

Which, as we know, did not happen.

Hey Adam

Have a belated have a good trip.

Have a good trip!

P.S. I love you

Current Music: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - What'll We Do

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

First impressions

Today at the bus stop, some guy was talking on his cell phone very curtly. After some annoyed-sounding conversation, he says, "Okay, fine, I'll come find you. Bye," and hangs up, sighs angrily, slips the phone into the pockets of his shorts (because it's still warm here, bitches) and walks off.

My first thought: "That guy seems like a dick."

My second thought: "Those calves are way smaller than mine."

Current Music: Otis Redding - Sitting at the Dock of the Bay

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I have Pottermania

and I haven't even read the books.

This isn't healthy.

Current Music: Metric - Combat Baby

Sunday, November 20, 2005

If YOUR Life Was a Movie, What Genre Would It Be?/Word around the office is

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski


Although I'm pleased with the results, this is probably the worst-put-together quiz I've done yet.

Also, I can't stop laughing at this, which I found off Spencer's blog. Good times.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Now, that's a name I haven't heard in a long time... a long time

I was poking around TSN.ca just now and I came across a mention of Jason Strudwick. I always found Strudwick to be a sad character when he was a Canuck, because he was both an assistant captain and a healthy scratch every second game. This is, in retrospect, reminiscent of Li'l Brudder, or the Little Engine that Could (but couldn't, because he "Lacks offensive acumen. Doesn't have the foot speed or puck-handling ability to be anything more than a depth defenseman. Might be better suited to playing wing in a limited role, mainly because of his limitations.", according to TSN).

But you can still click here for all the Strudwick you can handle: straight outta 2001, Strudwick's own fan site, jasonstrudwick.ca (which isn't actually at http://www.jasonstrudwick.ca/). It even has an animated Flash splash screen.

This is the most obscure thing I expect to see in several days. If being Strudwick is like being Rudy, then being Strudwick's biggest fan is like stalking Peri Gilpin.

Current Music: Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Arts and Crafts Hour

Heeeeeeeeeeey kids! It's time for the semi-annual I, Dickolas Wang Arts and Crafts Hour!

Today, we'll be making I, Dickolas Wang mixtapes. Here's how!

  1. Obtain, by purchasing at your favourite music megastore/used record store/online music store or by other means1, the following songs:

    1. Crowded House - Weather With You
    2. Ron Sexsmith - Whatever It Takes
    3. Nada Surf - Blankest Year
    4. ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Another Morning Stoner
    5. AC Newman - On The Table
    6. Pinback - Fortress
    7. Stevie Wonder - Superstition
    8. Laura Veirs - Secret Someones
    9. Ron Sexsmith - From Now On
    10. Phil - Left Coast
    11. Blue Rodeo - Diamond Mine
    12. Neil Finn - She Will Have Her Way
    13. Beck - Girl
    14. Blue Rodeo - Lost Together
    15. Blur - This Is A Low


    Be careful when using the internet! Make sure you have parental supervision. (Parents: do not provide your credit card number or social insurance/security number in an instant message conversation.)


  2. Create a playlist in your favourite music player consisting of these songs, in the specified order.


You're done!

Now that you've made your mixtape, there are all sorts of things you can do with it:

  • Listen to it


Enjoy!


1 The Internet's Foremost Dickolas Wang does not support2 music piracy.
2 Officially.


Current Music: Various Artists - I, Dickolas Wang Mixtape

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It's like talking to Charlie Brown's teacher

I had two voice mail messages on my answering machine when I got home today. Here was the first one:

"Hi, this is Paula calling from the mrph club. This message is for Richard Laing. Any mrph mrph that will be easy to call from me, please contact me at 1-888-[six or seven digits of mrph]. Thanks!"

Sure, I'll get right on that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #32

She's fucking awful. Everything is a simile. "The wood was solid, like wood. WHAT THE FUCK?!

-- Travis Tanner

Bonus I, Dickolas Wang question! Guess who Travis was talking about? No, Travis, you may not answer. <wags finger, chuckles> Oh, you.

Current Music: Blue Rodeo - Lost Together

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Which Action Hero Would YOU Be? v. 2.0


You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight. As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

Batman, the Dark Knight

79%

The Terminator

67%

Neo, the "One"

58%

James Bond, Agent 007

54%

Maximus

50%

The Amazing Spider-Man

50%

William Wallace

50%

Captain Jack Sparrow

46%

Lara Croft

38%

Indiana Jones

25%

El Zorro

17%

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Fuck yeah.

Current Music: Rufus Wainwright - The Money Song

Friday, November 11, 2005

What's Wang This Week

Since Jowen demands it, and it's only logical that what's good for Jowen is good for everyone, perhaps it's time for a WWTW.

Unfortunately, since the thing I spend the most time on these days is work, and work is teaching, and I can't talk about teaching to people who are not my boss and not my students, that eliminates a good 40-60% of my potential subject matter. This is why I have not kept the internet well-apprised of What's Wang This Week.

Speaking of work, I've got a decision to make. I had been planning to stay on as the teaching assistant/grader of the continuation of the course I'm working on right now, the core graduate probability course in the stat department. I'm the first volunteer for the position, so I'm told. However, yesterday a professor who I spoke to on Wednesday about potential research projects offered me another TA-ship. This job is most notable for being, technically, the TA position for a class I am taking. That's right: I'd be my own TA. Moreover, it may require me to mark assignments for another class, which I have not taken nor plan to take next semester. I'm a little torn; working the core probability course has been great and through reviewing all the material again I've learned a lot, but this other job is with a professor who might well end up being my advisor, and it's less work. Above and beyond all that, for the sake of the awesomeness of the story, I suppose that I should take the job that would let me be my own TA.

I saw a Macy's ad for a Veteran's Day Sale yesterday. How is that a sale-worthy occasion?

I'm considering joining UC Jazz next semester. I figure if I practice enough over the holidays, I'll have Beginning Improv written all over me -- or even, cross my fingers, Intermediate Combo I, II, or even possibly III. Ordinarily I think a lot about these things and don't end up doing them, but this time I'm writing it on here so that other people will remind me of it and encourage me (or, I guess, discourage). I guess I'll work on my "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Misty". Any other requests?

They say in order to become a good writer, you have to write often. Well, that's ringing pretty true right now, so I better sign off now before I say something really incoherent. It's a vicious cycle. Before I do, though, I'd like to announce another addition to the pantheon of Dickolas Wang photos, a tribute to the photo. See it here.

Hot.

Current Music: Pinback - Fortress

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #31

And then we can have a code phrase, like "The mouse is in the house!"

-- Adam Pauls

Current Music: My Morning Jacket - Z

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #30

apparently there are 1000's of sexy singles online. Did you know about this!!??

i can chat thereby meeting with them now

-- Travis Tanner

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pimp my band

New Asbestos Concern merchandise!



Available now at Ye Olde Asbestos Concern Shoppe.

Mad props, as always, to Graham.

Current Music: The Police - Next To You

Monday, October 31, 2005

Ooh, shiny

I just took my clothes out of the washer and put them into the dryer. I was very careful to take all of the papers and tissues out of my pockets before putting my clothes into the washer, but a dime must have been hidden in one of them.

This is the cleanest dime I've ever seen.

Current Music: Spoon - The Infinite Pet

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Note to self

Don't forget Regan's birthday (like you forgot your mother's birthday, you ingrate -- although in your defence, she uses the lunar calendar and it changes every year).

Current Music: Spoon - Merchants of Soul

Saturday, October 29, 2005

THEY GOT PORKINS!



HHRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!


I'm sorry, that was tasteless, but I felt the need.

Current Music: Metric - Too Little Too Late

Friday, October 28, 2005

He didn't steal my bandmate

Dunning and I have been discussing for the last hour or so good band names for his new band. I, like the rest of you, am eager to hear their new material, particularly because I'm eager to see what Graham's post-Asbestos Concern work will be like. But before these songs can be distributed, and before Dunning is ta [sic] sex! merchandise can be created, the dynamic duo -- the terrible twosome, if you will -- have to decide on a band name.

We brainstormed. Dunning began with a TV episode theme, with names drawn from Buffy and Angel such as "Once More With Feeling". Actually, that doesn't really look right... Once More With Feeling. I, preferring something more obscure, suggested The 1989 Edmonton Oilers. Combining the TV, obscurity, and hockey ideas, I suggested Dave Hodge-era HNIC, followed by just Dave Hodge.

Feeling that something more indie, emo, and intense was required, I suggested The Lehrer Report, which isn't actually the name of Jim Lehrer's show but I was watching the Colbert Report at the time and it struck me as a pretty cool news/politics/intrigue-based name, á la Interpol. This begat the far more obscure and highly regional The John Report with Bob. (Dunning would be John.) Since I'm always reading a blog and if I'm talking to Dunning I'm thinking of dunning, dinning, and donning, I suggested Sometimes Y. Since we were both obviously on the internet, we also thought of some dirty ones.

Of course, none of this is a real decision, as Graham should probably have some say in the matter, but some of these ideas stood out, and Dunning has created a shortlist of these. So, because Dunning can't be bothered to put it up himself, I ask you, dear readers: please, help a brother out and vote for your favourite of the following (or suggest new ones)...

Potential Mike Dunning Band Names

  • The Mike Dunning Experiensss
  • Durnk
  • Once More With Feeling
  • Topanga
  • Behind the Mask
  • Hot Stove
  • Smile Time
  • Durnk (EDIT 4:57PM Oct. 31, 2005: Wow, I'm an idiot)


Current Music: George Harrison - I've Got My Mind Set On You

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Delayed Reaction: Boner

When I was a kid I watched Growing Pains and I also thought I was a dyed-in-the-wool Star Trek fan (it turns out I was just a TNG fan, but that's another story). I noticed that the dude who played Boner had the same last name as the dude who played Chekov, but I quickly forgot about it.

So imagine my (delayed) joy at finding, as I read this story about George Takei coming out of the closet as a 68-year-old man (now that's a delayed reaction) on Fark, mention of Walter "Ensign Chekov" Koenig's son Andrew... or, as he might be more familiar to you, Boner from Growing Pains!

I always wondered how they got away with calling him "Boner" on TV; I just assumed that it was a simpler, more innocent time and they didn't think twice about it. Just now, though, I discovered that his character's name was Richard Stabone. Clearly, this wasn't a coincidence.

Incidentally, I foolishly Googled "growing pains boner" just now. Amazingly, the first two pages of links actually had to do with Boner from Growing Pains. The day is mine.

Current Music: The Corn Dollies - Forever Steven

(Some of you might be interested by Little Hits, another link I got from Man vs. Clown!. Mr. Little Hits is putting up a song I've never heard of every day, and since it is my quest to one day hear every song ever written, I've been browsing, and I've found some interesting stuff on there. In particular: a track by a band called Razar, which sounds uncannily like a band name Strong Bad might have made up; and this, which made me realize that the classic tune "AIDS: You Don't Want It" might not have been so original after all.)

Current link count: 8

Happy birthday, Mak

I found you this link which I thought you might like. And I hope you appreciate my breaking of my no-political-anything rule for you. Because it was your birthday. Yeah.

(Thanks to the good folks (folk) at (where else) Man vs. Clown! for this.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ever heard of the show "My Three Dads"?

Yeah, it's called Full House, you dipshit.

(Link taken from vanmega.com.)

Current Music: The Bravery - Honest Mistake

What's Wang This Week

Um, not much.

How are you?

Current Music: Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine

Monday, October 24, 2005

Note to self

Look here.

Current Music: Guns N' Roses - Welcome to the Jungle

Saturday, October 22, 2005

First 200th post!
















cock



















(Thanks to the good (?) folks at Explosm. Please don't sue me.)

Current Music: Spoon - A Series of Sneaks

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dickolas Wang's wardrobe provided by Staccato Men's Fashions

As I sit here at my desk in sunny (well, cloudy now) California, I count my blessings for the internet. More so than usual, I mean. Thanks to the miracle of the internet, I am able to listen to Canucks games online for the low low price of free.

The last two years that there was hockey to be followed, I'd watch as many games as I could on TV. Of course, that's not exactly going to work out right now, but at least I can still listen to the call on CKNW. And what a call it is: John Shorthouse has to be my favourite play-by-play guy, especially since the only other one I can remember the name of off the top of my head is Jim Hughson. I remember when I first found out John Shorthouse was going to be the Canucks' play-by-play guy. I think I might have even been at a Canucks game that night, and was probably waiting for Graham's dad to get to the car, and there was Shorthouse's voice on the radio. Damn, I thought, I thought he was dead!

There's something comforting about Shorthouse calling the Canucks. Perhaps it's because he seems like a bit of a dork, calling a jock's game for the rest of us. Perhaps it's the local-boy-done-good thing he's got going. Perhaps it's the idea of a Vancouver boy landing his dream job calling a Vancouver team (and that's definitely something I keep in mind as I do my thing). Like the high school sweethearts who marry early not out of responsibility but out of wanting to (think Gord and Tracey from For Better or For Worse), it's a beautiful thing.

And maybe it's because it shows that it is possible to climb the ladder of your profession, which is something I also think about in my second year of grad school. This got me thinking about every 1990s Vancouverite's favourite sports show, UTV's Sports Page. (And make no mistake, it was UTV's Sports Page; they were never the same by the time Global bought UTV.) Discovering Sports Page was the best byproduct of the 94 Cup run for me.

Man, those were some good times. Those four guys -- Paul Carson, Don Taylor, Dave Randorf, and John Shorthouse -- were so much more fun than whoever the hell was on TSN at the time. I don't even remember. They were good, but they were local, so they could, say, mistakenly call the Mighty Ducks the Mighty Dykes, and they wouldn't be so professional as to not laugh continuously through the next 5 minutes of highlights, unable to stop laughing (or drown out the floor director's laughter in the background) long enough to, you know, call the highlights. They had comedic timing, too, the lot of them. No other sportscaster could call the balk "the second-most exciting play in baseball" like Taylor could. TSN would never subtitle Sergei Fedorov's name, after the Wings got swept in the Cup final, Played like Cher! None of them looked a day over 25 to me, but that's probably because my sister was only about 19 and the only teenagers I saw on a daily basis were the kind on TV; i.e. the ones that are played by 28 year olds.

And who could forget the plays of the month. I actually owe them a debt for introducing me to some pretty classic tunes. I had never heard "Heterosexual Man" until they played it for me while they showed me something like Youppi! getting hit in the junk by a foul ball. I had "You Wreck Me" by Tom Petty going through my head the other day, and I almost definitely heard that for the first time while watching baseball bloopers.

It was when Randorf left that it really hit me that every one of these guys (except Carson) would one day have to move on. They were a promising batch, but they just couldn't be kept together. They were big fish in a small pond, and larger spotlights beckoned. They were the Vancouver sportscaster equivalent of the 1994-95 Montréal Expos (who, I should mention, I was also introduced to by Messrs. Carson, Randorf, Taylor, and Shorthouse). (As an aside, this is an awful picture of Randorf, and that suit was certainly not provided by the good folks at Staccato.)

Shorthouse, of course, is doing pretty well for himself as the voice of the Canucks, and I imagine he will be for a good long time yet1. Taylor is back on TV and has made Sportsnet worth watching in Vancouver. It will be a sad day when there is no one on television to keep us apprised of the dreaded Erat-Orzaugh combination, or Antti Laaksonen's numbers ("scoring with regularity"). Randorf never looked the same as a correspondent on TSN, and I figured he'd just disappear. I did a little digging online, though, and apparently he's now TSN's lead 11:00 anchor. Whether this is true or not, the East Coast has dulled him, from what I've seen, and I'll be watching Taylor at 11:00 over the holidays.

But those were some halcyon days. I can't think of the Grizzlies or the Voodoo without remembering Sports Page.

All this nostalgia also got me thinking about ICQ. Remember when you used ICQ? Well I do, because I probably still have it in my chat history. Anyway, I still use it, if only to talk to Victor and Americans. What is it about ICQ that's so hideous now? Is it how it doesn't use a normal window anymore? How they pop up ICQ Today when it opens, which is like MSN Today only without my e-mail and without entertainment news? Or how they added all that crap that nobody used? And then ripped it all out and made the new version incompatible with the old version's settings?

That sound, too, that "UH OH!" sound. I don't think it's changed since the very first version of ICQ I downloaded. That sound is a relic of the early days of the internet revolution, a time when IM was new and exciting and the idea of a HIG2 never even entered the mind of a casual computer dork like me. Still, even though it's horribly intrusive and more than a little annoying, nothing says "You have a message!" like that sound. (And, arguably, nothing says "Here I am!" like the less-heralded knock-knock-knock.) We were livin' it up, popping up new windows for every message, sending URLs specially for some reason, wondering what a proxy setting was, and trying to figure out why we could send files to Victor but not to Derek.

As it is, I still use it, but I'd like to stop. Unfortunately, I still sometimes like to talk to Victor and Americans. At this point I'd like to encourage Victor and the Americans to at least try Google Talk, because it might not have any features, but you can (Google) talk. Of course, it won't happen, but what else is new?

In other news, I was just eating a chocolate bar, and I realized all of a sudden that I was full. I looked and I only had two little squares of chocolate left, but despite that, I wrapped it up and put it away instead of just eating the last two pieces. I think this is the surest sign yet that I've become an older, wiser, more mature Dickolas Wang. It's also reminiscent of how my father quit smoking, apparently, but that's another story.


1 Shorthouse's still got some comedic timing in him, too, as evidenced by this clip of Tom Larscheid calling a fight, getting a little hysterical, and winding up with a breathless "WHAT'S KEEPING HIM UP, SHORTY?!"

Two seconds pass.

"Heart."

2Human Interface Guideline


Current Music:
The Odds - Heterosexual Man
Tom Petty - You Wreck Me

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What kind of lover are YOU?/What animal do YOU remind me of?/What were YOU doing five years ago?

I haven't done any of these in a while.

First up:



The Slow Dancer
Deliberate Gentle Love Dreamer (DGLDm)

Steady, reliable, and cradling her tenderly. Take a deep breath, and let it out real easy...you are The Slow Dancer.

Your focus is love, not sex, and for your age, you have average experience. But you're a great, thoughtful guy, and your love life improves every year. There's also a powerful elimination process working in your favor: most Playboy types get stuck raising unwanted kids before you even begin settling down. The women left over will be hot and yours. Your ideal woman is someone intimate, intelligent, and very supportive.

Your exact opposite:
The Hornivore

Random Brutal Sex Master
While you're not exactly the life of the party, you do thrive in small groups of smart people. Your circle of friends is extra tight and it's HIGHLY likely they're just like you. You appreciate symmetry in relationships.




ALWAYS AVOID: The Battleaxe

CONSIDER: The Maid of Honor or The Sonnet


Link: The 32-Type Dating Test by OkCupid - Free Online Dating.


Next:



Write your name and

  1. I'll respond with something random about you.
  2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
  3. I'll judge your oral hygiene on a scale of 0 to squeaky clean
  4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.
  5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you.
  6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
  7. I'll ask you something that I've always wondered about you.
  8. If I do this for you, you must post this on your journal. You MUST. It is written. (But not by me, so go ahead and let it die out.)


Finally:



10 years ago I was: Wondering what the deal was with Big Country's weird balding pattern

5 years ago I was: Giving up hope in the Grizzlies

1 year ago I was: Bitching about how much the Grizzlies sucked

Yesterday: was Day 2 of Turkey Leftover Week

5 snacks I enjoy: ham; Lucky Charms in 2% cream-top organic milk (thank you Trader Joes); half a Hot 'n' Ready; the little kids meal thing with a Baby Burger and three onion rings from A&W; ham

5 songs I know all the words to: Happy Birthday; Undervolt (finally); Trogdor; Pearl Harbor Sucked and I Miss You; Helicopter; and wow I don't know the words to about 90% of the songs in my collection

5 things I would do with 100 million dollars: Buy a WHA team and name it "The Vancouver 1989 Edmonton Oilers"; hire people for a large Edmonton Oilers smear campaign (fucking Oilers); and with the remainder of the money I would do two chicks at the same time three times

5 places I would run away to: Toronto; Calgary; Seattle; SFU; Mike's basement

5 things I would never wear: My "Jowen Was Here" thong. I'll wear just about anything else for a laugh

5 favourite tv shows: Smallville (sadly); The Daily Show; Family Guy; Good Eats; everything else I can pick and choose the best parts from on GorillaMask.net the next day

5 bad habits: Facial tic; making old man noises and pissing Jowen off; eating Jowen's sandwich; checking for comments every 15 minutes; checking blogs that are not my own for comments every 15 minutes

5 biggest joys: Guitars; food television; internet humour; internet porn; ham

5 favorite toys: This computer; my old computer; my laptop; my old old computer; the internet

5 fictional characters I would date: (grown-up) Stephanie Tanner, everyone else takes a backseat to sweet sweet Stephanie Tanner

5 people I tag to do this: Whoever the top five people on my links list are right now, I'm too lazy to check

Current Music: Wolf Parade - You Are A Runner And I Am My Father's Son

Monday, October 10, 2005

Well happy Thanksgiving to me

Today is the first Thanksgiving/Columbus Day/Indigenous People's Day in my life that I haven't been home for.

I made

The Internet's Foremost Dickolas Wang's Stuffing (with thanks to Thomas)

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of herbed croutons
  • 15 little baby carrot sticks
  • Three celery stalks
  • One small yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • Two tablespoons of butter
  • Juice/drippings from one Safeway-bought roasted turkey breast
  • 250mL of chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper

Finely dice the onion and chop the celery and carrots. In a small saucepan, sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat, adding salt and pepper to draw out the moisture. As the onion becomes translucent, add the carrots, celery, and peas. Cook until the onions let out all their liquid, then pour in approximately 3/4 box croutons. Stir to coat. Pour in the turkey juice and stir while adding stock until the croutons have softened and crumbled to desired consistency. Season to taste.

Serves 3.

Current Music: Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To

EDIT (1:22AM, October 10, 2005): I forgot the peas, and Thomas. But not in that order

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Delayed Reaction: Colbert and Carell

I actually remember watching this sketch of waiters who are nauseated by food when I was a kid. It was one of the less subtle sketches on the Dana Carvey Show, so it made a decent impression on my 11-year-old self. Little did I know that the waiters in question are none other than Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell.

Bonus link-dump! I actually laughed out loud when I saw Mike Myers' first meeting with Kanye West post-telethon. And I thought, "Hey, I should Google this". But lo and behold, the good folks of GorillaMask.net saved me the trouble.

Speaking of Colbert, I should mention that if I could have been anywhere in the world today, it would have been GM Place. Instead I was stuck with a webcast of CKNW's game broadcast. On the plus side, I get to watch the Colbert Réport, which may or may not displace Everybody Loves Raymond from the Comedy Network's post-Daily Show spot. Seeing as they aren't showing The Adam Carolla Project, I have my doubts.

On the minus side, I am able to watch the Adam Carolla Project on TV, which to my knowledge the Comedy Network has spared you. By now many of you will have seen this video of Steve-O on the Adam Carolla Project (find "Sloshed Steve-O"; thanks Jim; bonus bonus link-dump!). As I watched it, I was mostly struck by how no one was laughing, and that's easily the funniest thing that I've seen on that show yet.

Current Music: Kanye West - Late Registration

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Note to self

Don't forget Dave (S.)'s birthday.

Current Music: Kanye West - Late Registration

Monday, October 03, 2005

I have EST

So today I was walking through the hallway on the way to the bus, and all of a sudden I could taste iced tea. But not good iced tea: I'm talking the syrupy sweet and lemony brisk iced tea I was raised on.

I looked up and there, sitting on a bench, was a half-finished bottle of Nestea.

Did I just blow your fucking mind?





































Well, I thought it was cool.

Current Music: The Chiffons - One Fine Day

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Unedited conversations (Stealing Ed's idea), provided without context

25/09/20059:41:09 PMAdamRichformTetrinet?
25/09/20059:41:13 PMRichformAdamHmmm
25/09/20059:41:22 PMRichformAdamOkay, a couple of games
25/09/20059:41:26 PMRichformAdamthen I should catch up on some reading
25/09/20059:41:30 PMRichformAdamGT?
25/09/20059:42:01 PMAdamRichformWhat does thatUh.
25/09/20059:42:02 PMAdamRichformSure.
25/09/20059:42:16 PMAdamRichformIf you want to hear my constant bitching.
25/09/20059:42:21 PMRichformAdamHeh
25/09/20059:42:22 PMRichformAdamYes
25/09/20059:59:16 PMYou have invited Adam to start Minesweeper Flags. Please wait for a response or Cancel (Alt+Q) the pending invitation.
25/09/20059:59:19 PMAdam has accepted your invitation to start Minesweeper Flags.
25/09/200510:02:26 PMRichformAdamgaedar


Current Music: Destroyer - Your Blues

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Get your motor runnin'

So today Graham tells me that, inspired by Jowen's discovery of Oregon Trail online, he's been playing an old DOS version of Cross Country Canada. The main things I remember about this game are:

  • I loved it;
  • I never made a successful delivery ever;
  • "I don't know how to [blank]"; and
  • the food you got at diners was always either greasy meat pie with greasy fries or tourtiére with poutine, probably depending on whether or not you were in Quebec.

Recently I was telling Dave S. about Oregon Trail online, and talk turned to this game I played when I was a kid. It was just a sub-game of one of those educational games, but it was a tonne of funne: the idea was that you are in some little room and you can grab all manner of logic gates (even buffers and flip-flops). On one side of the room there are four outputs that turn on and off in a certain rhythm, and on the other side you need to generate a certain rhythm. It's up to you to combine the gates in some way as to match the rhythm on the other side. In any case, I don't remember the name of this game, but I think that this game is the single most important reason for me eventually going into computer science. (Dave rightly pointed out that this is pretty sad.) Does anyone know what this game was called?

But back to Cross Country Canada. It's funny that Graham should bring this up tonight, because just last night I saw a rather amusing piece (click on the one called "Public Enemy Number One") on The Daily Show about... uh... trucking. Yeah, trucking. Somehow I don't imagine that Cross Country Canada knows how to "drop truckerbomb", but if it did, oh man I would send the programmers money.

As an aside, I'm still looking for a decent colour scheme for the blog. I changed everything to be darker, but it was a little too dark for my tastes and it didn't project the happy, welcoming image I've grown accustomed to. But now with most of the colours changed back, it looks too bright again; back to the drawing board. At least I'm getting better with the GIMP (it's like Photoshop, only it's free and legal) -- before you know it, I'll be cutting pictures of your heads onto pictures of barnyard animals and the pictures will be so realistic none will be the wiser.

I'm also considering, inspired by vintage stevekwan.com, putting a translucent image of myself right over the middle bit where the writing is. Wouldn't that be weird?

But back to driving and urine: Jimothy pointed me to this article on Conan O'Brien. It's really quite long but it's a good read, and on the third page it includes the line "Later, the NBC censors will prevent him from airing Chewbacca Stuck in a Glory Hole, and O’Brien won’t like that one bit."

Current Music: Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary

EDIT (1:25AM, September 29, 2005): I've got it looking approximately how I want it to look... in Firefox. Those of you using IE will have issues, but just out of principle I'm not going to fix it for you right now. I hate IE, and not just as a computer guy who has used Netscape/Mozilla forever: I hate IE as someone who has developed a website for money. I'll fix it if I feel like it. (I'll probably feel like it tomorrow.)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What's Wang This Week

Check out the new look. Isn't it lame?

Things are busy here, with TA work and my own classes to be working on. Solution: don't do any of it. Instead, Dave and I went to San Francisco followed by In-N-Out. While I was in San Francisco, I saw and played with an iPod nano for the first time. I've fallen prey yet again to Apple's products/marketing, and I have decided that I want one for Christmas. Anyone? Anyone?

Then next Christmas, I would like a Nintendo Revolution, although I think I can probably count on Derek or Mike to get one. However, in the off-chance they both decide to get PS3s/X-Box 360s instead, I guess it falls to me. How else will we play the next-gen Mario Kart? How else will Adam and I have lightsaber duels in my living room?

I've been having trouble with my Linux partition (and at this point about 80% of you are skipping to the next paragraph) because every time I boot into it, the clock is 8 hours off, because it's doing some bad compensation for time zones, even though the clock it's on is on local time. Today I accidentally booted into Linux, so I figured I'd try to fix it. After doing some digging, I realized that the system wasn't able to access the hardware clock, and the reason was that Debian doesn't compile the hardware clock's driver into the kernel. Now, I'm all for minimizing the kernel and putting things into modules, but doesn't that seem like a weird oversight? I think most people need the clock. Linux needs the clock.

Then, I discovered that it in fact had been compiled, but as a module (and yes, that 80% of you can skip this paragraph too without missing much). However, the system was not loading the module at bootup. Now, doesn't that sound like a huge oversight? Obviously someone must have already realized that you would need it.

I really gotta find me an advisor. Preferably one with lots of grant money. My officemate actually is part of a research group and they had extra grant money so they were trying to buy him a laptop. But he turned it down. He turned it down. Even his advisor was telling him to run with it, but no. At the very least he could have sold his current laptop, putting the proceeds into going into Sharks games with me (he's Canadian). Speaking of which, I've also discovered that one of the new students in the department is from Minnesota and is a hockey fan. This gives me two potential people to go to hockey games with, which would be great because it avoids the stigma of the man-date. Even better, my officemate is not a Habs fan despite being from Quebec, and the new guy isn't a Wild fan (understandably), so getting them to come to Canucks games with me will be easier.

I must also start looking on Vancouver's craigslist to look for Canucks tickets on sale over the holidays. Not all those 17000 season ticket holders can go to all the games, right? Right? Right?

Right?

Current Music: Sigur Rós - Ágætis Byrjun

Ass Piracy and Japanese Schoolchildren

Thanks Frances:

I am a Japanese School Teacher

I've barely made a dent in it, but you should read the first article. It's really something.

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #29

Some people brag about their cars or penis size

I brag about my graphics card

You gotta keep in mind...having a nice car or huge schlong is great and all...but my graphics card can render a far nicer car or far larger penis than yours

And it can do so with 8x anisotropic filtering!

Does YOUR dick have 8x anisotropic filtering? I doubt it


-- Steve Kwan

Current Music: Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To

Friday, September 23, 2005

Dickolas steals from Man vs. Clown!: Part 2 of an n part series, where n is large

Anything I say about this article before you read it will only spoil it that little bit more, so just jump right into it: Good Magazine's article

Palming Mark Kingwell

I stole this from Man vs. Clown! as I am wont to do. I highly recommend you pay Mr. Lynn an e-visit right now, because he has something you should all see right now, to get you back into the mood for hockey.

Current Music: Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

FINALLY you can SEE your meat

Last week some of us were talking about old SNL clips, and I realized that the two clips I remember most vividly from the early-to-mid 90's are:


Good times.

Current Music: The Decemberists - Leslie Anne Levine

EDIT (10:21PM, September 21, 2005): The links now point to where they say they point to.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Addendum

This talking-like-a-pirate thing isn't working so well for me; I don't know if I can keep it up all day.

I think I may have to settle for talking like the pirates from Overboard.

Current Music: The Decemberists - From My Own True Love (Lost At Sea)

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #28

What about the Hot Carrrrrrrrrrrrrl?

-- Graham Pollock

Current Music: The Decemberists - The Sporting Life

Wot be Wang Today

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. For the remainder of the day, I shall respond to -- in addition to "Dickolas", "Richard", "Rich", "dude", "guy", "man", &c. -- my pirate name, Mad Dog Cash.

I shall also suffix sentences, as appropriate, with "HARRRRRRR", "ARRRRRRR", "ARRRRRRH", or my own preferred "G'yaaaaaargh!"

I will also attempt to not consume any more vitamin C for the rest of the day, but I already drank a box of orange juice, so I guess that's not that impressive.

G'yaaaaaargh!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

An oldie... but a goodie

Click to enlarge:


Make no mistake: this is a Canadian blog.

(Thanks to Shankar for this.)

Current Music: Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy, Jr.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Things at home, and Things at home I don't miss at all #5

I've just decided to take advantage of my (currently on hold) 6-day subscription to the Vancouver Sun and get free access to the electronic version. What a racket!

Unfortunately, I basically go there and make a beeline (I almost wrote B-Line -- you can take the boy out of Vancouver, something something something) for the sports section. I am such a rube.

So it is only just now that I have heard about Adrienne Clarkson's announcement that she will create the Clarkson Cup, analogous to Lord Stanley's cup, only for women's hockey. Apparently there was no mention of which league it will be awarded to. This sounds suspiciously like something Puff "Diddy" Daddy might do.

Also, I heard that some kid got kicked out of Rideau Hall for asking, when hearing about our esteemed Governor General, if she was the woman spending all the money or something. Ms. Clarkson then apologized and assigned him an essay on the role of the GG in government. This made me ask myself: if the Governor General handed me more schoolwork to do, would I do it? I don't think I would.

Thing at home I don't miss at all #5: Adrienne Clarkson

As some of you know, lately I've been dangerously close to homesickness. Even the Burns Bog fire almost makes me wish I was there, so I could share in the experience and tell my hypothetical kids about the smell of smoke in the air, all the way in Port Coquitlam. However, my father has shingles, so I guess that's a good thing about not being there.

Vince, stop giving my father shingles.

Current Music: Broken Social Scene - 7/4 (Shoreline) (they gone done stole our bit)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Okay, that's it

There are too many links. I have to take care of this somehow.

You have three days to vie for position, either by sucking up to me or by improving your blog. Then: I sort.

Current Music: Sufjan Stevens - To the Workers of the Rockford River Valley Region, I have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Note to self

Don't forget Frances' birthday.

Current Music: The Decemberists - Picaresque

Saturday, September 10, 2005

What's Wang This Week

Isn't this a bizarre Garfield?


(click to enlarge)


It, quite frankly, is blowing my mind. I don't expect this brand of humour from Garfield; usually I expect this kind of humour coming from comics featuring poorly drawn characters and offensive dialogue. Seeing it come from these plush-toy-worthy drawings' mouths just fucks me right up.

The loonie is worth 85 cents right now. Never let it said George W. Bush doesn't care about Canadians, because he's doing me personally a pretty big favour.

For the third time in my life, I find myself in a position of almost-authority, as the new vice president of the Statistics Graduate Student Association. My first time I didn't do much, and in my second time, I did too much. I think I'm honing in on the right balance, although that's probably totally dependent on the president, since the first time the president did everything without asking for help, and the second time the president... didn't. Third time's a charm, right? Right? Right?

So my idiot friend Vince calls me up the other day and asks if he can come over to use my internet. He gets here (I'm still eating dinner, mind you) and plops down in my chair, and then says, "So I have shingles." What the fuck, why wouldn't you inform me of this before you got here? I know shingles isn't really contagious, and I have (quite memorably) already had the chicken pox, but still, what the fuck? Would you inform me if you had SARS before you came over?

I have now organized all my pictures, which was very cleansing. I feel like I've given my computer a good, thorough e-enema. I've been explaining to people a lot that Dickolas Wang has no good photos. No single good photo of Dickolas Wang exists. Richard Liang might have a few, but he's not telling. Well, now I'm not so sure that Richard Liang even has any good pictures, because my "Dickolas" folder has about 5 pictures (not counting ones that are filed in other places like Events->Math Club->Luncheon or Events->LUGs parties->Mak Visit 2005), and the "Me" folder has... one. And it's not very good.

Current Music: Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Note to self

Don't forget Thomas' birthday.

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #27

I'll swing that way if I have to.

-- Jowen Yeo

Current Music: Spoon - A Series of Sneaks

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Dickolas Wang Haiku Contest 2005: Results

When I posted my haiku contest, I really didn't expect so much interest. I was hoping for some good haiku, sure, but I had no idea I'd get 27 entries.

It's been a good contest, and you should all be proud of yourselves. I enjoyed all your haiku, and I look forward to next year's contest, which I hope will be an equally good display of creativity, tomfoolery, one-upmanship, and most of all, the Olympic spirit.

BUT. There comes a time when one must truly reward a job well done, and recognize the true standouts. So, without further ado, I announce the winners. Prizes will be drawn from this jar, or a similar jar acquired closer to the next time I see you, of whole cashews.



We begin with:

The Honour Roll


These entries were judged to be of a high quality, or were particularly enjoyable. Each haiku on the honour roll entitles its writer to one half cashew.



The writers of these haiku are, in no particular order:



From here, we move on to some of the minor categories. For these categories, runners-up receive one whole cashew:



and the winners receive three.



Best Phallic


It wouldn't be I, Dickolas Wang without a few penis jokes. It's in the name, after all. There were surprisingly few entries in this category, but the two that were entered were pretty darn good. Galen made a solid entry, which makes him the runner-up.

The clear winner, however, was Victor. His tasteful double-entendre set a new standard in elegance of dick jokes used in haiku. Congratulations to both Galen and Victor.

If At First You Don't Succeed...


The If At First You Don't Succeed award for persistence goes to Joyce, whose fourth (of six) entry was quite enjoyable, and incisive:

why was the haiku
contest held? of course it was
to increase comments!


(Oh no, she's onto me!)

Haiku Don't Have To Rhyme, You Know


Some of you made your haikus rhyme. I couldn't figure out why: you only have 17 syllables to make your point, so why would you add on yet another constraint? Still, I appreciate your efforts, so Thomas and Shelby receive the smaller half of a cashew that was split lengthwise.


(you get the smaller bit)



Here again, the clear winner was Victor, whose haiku manages to be both phallic and rhyming. Again, congratulations to Victor.


Before we get to the big important categories, I think now is a good time to list the Hall of Shame, entries that were for some reason or another disqualified from the contest.

Too Bad These Weren't Entries (for you)


Steve's entry was a haiku, but it failed to be about me. In personal correspondence Steve admitted to me that he had not read the rules of the contest, and he did not know it had to be about me. For this, Steve wins the RTFP award. An entry from a stranger named D.R. Gilbert also failed to be about me, but since I don't know if he RTFP, I'll have to go with Steve for this one.

Graham's entry failed to be a haiku: the number of syllables per line is wrong twice, and not only that, there's 8 syllables in the last line. For this, Graham wins the Farthest From A Haiku award.

It's a real shame that Jim's first entry had 6 syllables in the last line, because "fallow minefields tarry" is perhaps the greatest line of poetry anyone I know has ever composed. Since he did correct this entry and re-enter the haiku, though, I can only name him the runner-up for the Overall "Too Bad" award.

The winner of this "Too Bad" award is Jowen, for his entry:

My sandwich is gone
Where could it be? Dick has it!?!?
I am going to kill him

It had good flow, it was topical, and it was 100% Jowen. Unfortunately it wasn't a haiku.

While I did enjoy these haiku, the fact remains that they were not valid entries. To the writers of the Hall of Shame entries: for wasting my time reading these, you owe me one cashew each. (Except D.R. Gilbert, my mom told me never to take food from strangers.) And Jowen, since your entry was so tantalizingly close to being a great entry, it hurts just that little bit more and so you owe me a larger cashew.


The international "pay up" sign




An example of a larger cashew




We now finally come to the main categories. Runners-up in these categories receive three cashews, and the winners receive five.



Best Insulting


Ah, the insulting haiku. It's amazing how much hate the best of these packed into the three lines of their haiku.

Runners-up: David S. and Jowen Yeo (tied)

Our Dickolas Wang
He's like the Chinese Yao Ming!
So big he's jolly

David S. managed to throw in one of his best jokes as well as a reference to my jolliness, demonstrating a true adeptness with the form.


You are in my sight
My sword cuts of your head - ouch!
I win again - ohhhh!

Jowen's entry was pure Jowen. Classic.

The clear winner, though, was Adam, with his haiku that referenced our shared adventures as well as saving the punch for last so effectively that I was actually almost hurt. Kudos!

Best Flattering


The flip-side of the insulting haiku is of course the flattering haiku. These haiku provided an uplifting counterpoint to the above insulting entries, and were every bit as good.

Runner-up: Victor

Biggest Dick out there.
You will see it everywhere.
Gives you quite a scare.

Victor's versatility garners him another award, and another three cashews.

There was a clear winner in this category, too, and that winner was Li'l Devilangel. Congratulations, Amber: who knew you had the soul of a poet?

Best Neutral


Runner-up: Jowen

With his Richform hat
He looks so hot and sexy
I bought him that hat

While this is somehow flattering, I think the emphasis here is on Jowen, making this a neutral entry. And a good one.

There was again a clear winner in this category. Jim takes the Best Neutral award with this entry, mentioning both the calves and the Minesweeper.


Best Overall


The clear winners in the three main categories were also head-and-shoulders the best entries into the contest. These three entries form the three best overall haiku: this was a tough one to decide, but the ordinals are as follows:

3rd place: Adam

A fact you should know:
From Central Weed to South Weed
Nobody likes you.

For this very strong entry, Adam receives six cashews.



2nd place: Jim

Cal Berkeley beckons
colossal calves trek southward
fallow minefields wait

Jim receives eight cashews.



1st place: Li'l Devilangel

O garrulous Wang
A piquant wit among rubes
Hallowed be thy cock

The grand prize winner receives ten cashews.



I think I can say, without qualification, that this was the best haiku contest I have ever had. Thanks to all the participants, and see you in '06!

Current Music: The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

EDIT (Sept. 6, 2005): I realized too late that Li'l Devilangel's entry is also a phallic haiku. I thus name it another runner-up, tied with Galen's, in the Best Phallic category, since its phallic-ness is not the main thrust as it is with Victor's.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Reminder: The Dickolas Wang Haiku Contest 2005

You have 7.5 more hours to enter the Dickolas Wang Haiku Contest.

(Also, one more entry/comment will make 30, which would be pretty sweet.)

Awards will be determined sometime in the next few days; I'd say tomorrow but I might be busy. The prizes will be edible.

Current Music: Metric - Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The day is mine

Google "dickolas wang" (no quotes).

Notice anything different?

EDIT (11:29PM, September 4, 2005): Apparently it hasn't changed for a bunch of you, probably the ones in Canada. But I wasn't lying, I swear.

EDIT (11:03PM, September 5, 2005): So much for that. Now it asks me again if I meant nicholas wang. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Why didn't *I* think of this

Eric conveys an emotion

For example, the emotion of visiting http://www.emotioneric.com/ for the first time:


Or finding out that Soylent Green is made of people!!:


Thanks to Cecile for this.

Current Music: Belle and Sebastian - Tigermilk

Friday, September 02, 2005

Sweet, sweet retribution

Everybody, meet Brad (right click, "Save As", &c.).

He was such a good sport about it though, I almost feel bad.

Almost.

Current Music: The Darkness - Permission to Land

Random quotes from my past, provided without context #26

I've decided that all of my problems in life stem from not knowing kung fu.

-- Shankar Bhamidi

Current Music: The Decemberists - Her Majesty The Decemberists
Current time left in the Dickolas Wang Haiku Contest: Four days

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What's Wang This Week

Have you entered my haiku contest yet? Keep 'em coming, there's lots of good stuff already and they seem to be getting better and better. But you know what's missing? I would really like my good friend Li'l Devilangel to write a haiku. I would really like that. How about it, Amber?

It's been a busy week. I drove about 1000 miles. Then I found a piece of fish in my desk. I was reading today about how if a cat loves you, it will inevitably bring you a dead rat, regardless of whether or not you wanted a dead rat. It would have been one thing if the fish had been some sort of misguided welcome back gift, á la the dead rat, but sadly I don't think the piece of fish was a token of friendship at all (Brad says he remembers his dinner "mysteriously disappearing" one time), and I have no idea how I'm going to get the fish oils out of the wood. On the brighter side, I gave Brad three wedgies (the first two were lacklustre, but the third one actually elicited a choked "IRK" sound) and I intend to give him several more before the month is over. The fucker also owes me about $200 for phone and internet, so I'll put some extra zeal into those wedgies. If only I could harness my calf strength somehow.

I've been walking around way more than I did in the summer, and consequently my entire lower half is sore. If I keep this up and actually follow through with my idea to hike to my apartment a couple of times a week from campus (rather than bussing it), I might even lose a few pounds, which would potentially improve my abs even more than Graham, Vikram, and Jowen can improve theirs. This might help me as a judge in their Ab Improvement Contest, because when I think about it, if you were having a weight loss contest, you'd want Jared the Subway Guy to judge, not just some guy who was always skinny or some guy who was always fat. I mean, they don't just get random idiots to judge on American/Canadian Idol. No; they get Paula Abdul and that dude from Journey/Sass Jordan, who may or may not be idiots, but they're not random.

With the addition of Thomas' blog to my sidebar, my blogroll feels a whole lot more complete, with most of my tier I friends (or at least enough of them for a quorum) finally linked. However, with this addition, the links -- which I had previously complained were becoming unmanageable -- have become unmanageable. It may well be time for me to give up on all the lame jokes I have come up with for all of your links and give them names that are more reflective of you, or at least of your blogs.

Again, since this is a little too far removed from my theme of making fun of you, I may also resort to sorting them based on personal preference. The factors will include, as mentioned before, how much I like you and how readable your blog is, but also how active it is. Thus a blog such as Jim's will not fare well in the rankings, despite the fact that I like him and his blog was excellent.

Current Music: The Decemberists - Her Majesty

EDIT (2:47AM, Sept. 1/05): Her Majesty The Decemberists

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Dickolas Wang Haiku Contest 2005

Lately I've been thinking a lot about haiku. I was thinking about writing some, but before I did I found that Dunning had already written one for me. Before I knew it, Jim had another one.

Since I enjoyed these both so very much, I'd like to announce the inaugural Dickolas Wang Haiku Contest. I would like you (yes, you) to come up with a haiku about yours truly, and submit it via the comments on this post for all to see. You can flatter me, you can make fun of me, you can do whatever you want, just so long as it's a haiku, and it's about me.

From Wikipedia's "haiku" entry:

This is the article on the ancient Japanese form of poetry. For the BeOS open-source re-creation project, see Haiku (operating system). For the town in Hawaii, see Haiku-Pauwela, Hawaii.


More pertinently:

Haiku (俳句) is one of the most important modes of Japanese poetry, a late 19th century revision by Masaoka Shiki of the old hokku, the opening verse of a linked verse form, haikai no renga. A traditional hokku consists of a pattern of approximately 5, 7, and 5 morae, phonetic units which only loosely correspond to the syllables of Western languages. It also contains a special season word—the kigo—descriptive of the season in which the hokku was set. Hokku often combine different elements into a unified sensory impression, with a pause (the kireji or "cutting word") at the end of either the first five or second seven morae. Although rarely broken by Japanese hokku poets, these rules are often broken in the later, more "free-form" haiku movement, both in Japanese and in other languages.


Since I don't really know much about the actual form nor the inherent beauty of it, I'll decree that any entries in this contest should be of the typical haiku form we learned in school: three lines, 5-7-5 syllables. No breaking of words over two lines if they're too long.

I already have two entries, and the deadline for more is one week today: September 6, 2005. The categories and prizes are TBA.

Current Music: The Decemberists - Picaresque

Pet Peeve (or, What's Wrong With Wang) #6

I'd been driving all day and for most of yesterday when I finally arrived at my apartment in Berkeley. I was really looking forward to some down time, away from my car, where I could sit back, set up my computer, listen to some music, and wait for my buddy to call so we could go to In-N-Out.

As soon as I laid eyes on my kitchen, though, I knew those plans had to change. Instead, I would spend my time cleaning and pondering a few questions:

  • Who puts dishes back into the cupboards when they're not clean?

  • Why is there cooking oil in my laundry baskets?

  • What the hell was Brad cooking in my rice cooker?

  • Why would someone use paper bags for the kitchen garbage can?

  • What the hell happened to my stovetop, did he roast marshmallows on it or something?
But there was one question I pondered most of all, and that brings me to Pet Peeve #6:

Finding a piece of fish in your desk drawer

Three letters followed by an interrobang: WTF?!

I also pondered a few other questions:

  • Should I title the angry e-mail to Brad "Sweet Jesus, Brad" or "Jesus H. Christ, Brad"?

  • How big a wedgie does this entitle me to give him?
Current Music: The Postal Service - Clark Gable

Saturday, August 27, 2005

DunningJam 2K5: Seattle

Since we couldn't/can't be there for the actual event, Jowen, Wendy, and I had DunningJam 2K5: Seattle last night. There was beer and there were video games. Then we watched a movie. Sadly, Wendy's apartment is much much cleaner than Dunning's basement and lacking in the cat/dog hair that is its trademark, so it wasn't the true experience.

Jowen is currently better at Halo 2 than the two of us, but we expect that to change within one week, at which point we also expect Jowen to stop playing Halo 2. Jowen is currently in Jowen-trash-talk mode, so we're going to really enjoy it when he stops playing. Ooh, Wendy just fucked Jowen up; sweet.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

LUGs.com

Back in third year, Jowen, Victor, Derek and I were out to dinner as we often were. We sat, we ate, we bickered, we did what we do. Derek and Victor talked about Jennifer Love Hewitt; I unloaded some of my relationship problems on the guys; Jowen was busily trying to formulate foolproof get-rich-quick schemes.

Then lightning struck: Derek (I think) mentioned that as roommates in the coming year, we could set up a computer in our living room and have a live webcast going all the time. Since we're such compelling fellas, we were bound to achieve All Your Base Are Belong To Us-level internet fame (or at least Mahir-level fame). We would be sort of like The Real Life, only on the internet, and more Chinese. With this fame, Jowen would become rich; Derek and Victor could one day be presenters on the MTV Movie Awards, and present one of those huge surfboards to Jennifer Love Hewitt; and I could do the same for Jodie Sweetin, thus ending my forthcoming loneliness. (Love ya, Jodie!)

We would have a few features. One, the Mailroom, would be a weekly opening of fan mail. We expected to get at least a few boxes of anthrax and dirty socks, but hey, that's good e-television! We'd also have a system where we'd all keep a blog but agree not to read each others' blogs, so that we could write things like "Man, I wish Jowen would shut the fuck up!". Any time a friend came over, we would advertise it specially. "Tonight: Risk! With special guest: Brad!"

The kicker was our feature "Will Ed Do It?", where we'd take suggestions from our readers for things for Ed to do. These things included streaking at Pit Night, yelling at pregnant women at bus stops, and telling off Triads. Then we'd film Ed actually doing it. Now that is good viewin'.

What would we call ourselves? We were pretty lonely: since it looked like my relationship was in some hot water, three of the four of us were projected to be single in the next week, and Derek will always be lonely regardless. We were pretty ugly: well, except Victor, he was the cute one. "What the hell are we going to call ourselves, anyway? We're just lonely, ugly guys," I said.

That was it! We were the LUGs. We would call our site www.lugs.com.

The cast of characters? I don't remember exactly all our roles, but Jowen was definitely the cheap one, and I was the voice of reason ("This is a bad idea, guys. And it will never happen."). Derek was probably the grumpy one and Victor was probably the cute one, but I don't really remember. We talked about it all summer. It was going to be great. I had a spare PC ready to go and everything.

You'll notice that the link above goes to a site that is NOT about us. That is because it never happened. Nothing we talk about doing ever happens.

Fast forward two and a bit years, and that brings us to a few weeks ago, when we realized that we could do it. More importantly, we could do it with very little effort. We can't do the webcam anymore, which is a good thing anyway since that's just creepy, but we are proud to present to you:

LUGs.com (dot blogspot dot com)

Inspired by Beta Flight National (if you're reading this, Mr. Lynn, don't worry, I'm not a weirdo or anything, I'm just a big big fan -- although I guess that's what weirdos say), LUGs.com allows us a way to keep on keeping on, from wherever we are. Will it lose steam within a month? Probably. But until then, we'll bring you some witty stories and banter, we'll announce LUGs parties, and we'll bring you at least a few "Will Ed Do It?"s, featuring our good friend Ed "Will He Do It?" Chung.

Even more importantly, we'll bicker and make fun of each other (and possibly you) and you probably won't understand a lot of it. But we don't care. That's the beauty of the LUGs: we don't have anyone but each other.

And we hate each other.

Current Music: Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman (in my head)

P.S.: Don't forget to read the Random Quote right below this. It's really a good one.
P.P.S.: The blog can be found at http://lugsdotcom.blogspot.com/.
P.P.P.S.: While you're there, leave a comment, dammit.