Sunday, July 30, 2006

Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills

I started playing a game of Endless Marathon at level 20 on Tetris DS at 2:30. Minus a few short pauses to burp babies, answer phones, and open doors, I played until two minutes ago, amassing 3750000 points and getting to level 135.

How am I still single?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What's Wang This Week

This little guy is What's Wang This Week. Little Thomas has really become the centre of our universe in the last week or so. Actually the week has felt like months, because it goes by in three-hour chunks: Thomas wakes up from a nap, Thomas plays a bit, someone feeds Thomas, someone burps Thomas, Thomas takes a nap. I find the little guy to be infinitely entertaining, and if you're wondering why I'll be talking to you on MSN and then disappear without warning for about 15-30 minutes, it's because I've gotten a chance to grab him away from my mother and feed, burp, or play with him. If you're wondering, the harness in the picture is a Jolly Jumper, a time-tested contraption which allows babies to hang suspended by a spring from a doorframe so that they can learn to jump and build their leg muscles. Every time Thomas gets in the thing, he looks at us as if to ask, "Why am I standing up? What's going on? Why are you doing this to me?"

I've become obsessed with getting him to smile at me. He unfailingly smiles for my mother and grandmother, but whenever he looks at me, he sort of blankly stares at me for about 2 seconds, then looks away. I don't think he likes me very much. I have become pretty good with burping him, though; I find that he will now stare at me and make a certain high-pitched bleating sound (think of R2D2 under duress) when he needs to be burped. I hope that somewhere deep down, while he may be utterly bored of me, he might have a certain respect for my presence. My sister says that he seems to associate me with eating now, anyway, and that's alright. One day, I'll take him to Memphis Blues.

Thomas is a very cute baby,

but he's also very very large for his age. Today we went to a barbecue and there were babies there that were 6 months old and one year old. Thomas is younger at only 4 and a half months, but he looked bigger than the one-year-old. The one-year-old was definitely sizing Thomas up, giving him the ol' up-down. I could see it in his eyes that he was thinking, "Yeah, I could take this kid." Well, kiddo, you better get your licks in now, 'cause when all is said and done Thomas is gonna be about two times your size, and he's gonna fuck you up. Bitch.

It was also my birthday last week. Ordinarily I don't mention my videoblogging, but I edited together some videos from my birthday dinner and put them up at The reason I mention it is because this one took a fucking long time to edit together with the little video editing tool that came with my camera, and it saves me from spending even more time writing about my birthday dinner. I think I need to try out something like Cinelerra. Does anyone have experience with this?

My parents gave me a Nintendo DS Lite, which is pretty awesome. My first purchase? Tetris DS, of course. As you probably know, I am a bit of a Tetris nut (Tetrinut) and so I was a little worried that this new version, as with many new iterations of old premises, would be watered down and too easy. I am happy to report, though, that Tetris DS is fucking hard. You wouldn't believe how good the computer plays in the head-to-head competition mode. Sweet Jesus.

It's about this good.

My friends also got me some great stuff. Victor got me the novelization of Snakes on a Plane. ("One plane, hundreds of passengers, thousands of snakes -- what are the odds?" the tagline asks.) I'm afraid to read it lest I ruin the ending. One thing's for sure, though, they better get those snakes off the motherfuckin' plane! Graham and Caity got me Ron Sexsmith's newest album Time Being, which comes highly recommended, and a vinyl copy of my favourite XTC album, English Settlement. Balin got me a book called Flatterland ("like flatland, only more so" -- fuckin' eh). Ray got me a kite with a picture of one of the animated versions of Batman on it. A Batkite.

Which brings me to today, when Jowen and I attempted to fly the kite at Spanish Banks. It flew, but either the wind wasn't strong enough to keep it up, or we just suck too hard. We ran around in circles over and over trying to get it to stay up. Finally we decided the only possible way it would ever work would be if Jowen pulled it along while he biked. After a failed attempt where the kite only dragged along the ground, fell apart, and got chased by a dog, he got it going pretty damn good. Unfortunately, as he let the string out, he also swung a little too close to a tree, whereupon the kite got stuck in the tree and the string broke. We tried to throw a rock at it to get it out, but we were too afraid to hit people by accident. In the end I think both of us knew all along that the experience would likely end this way, and we left the kite in the tree, figuring it to be the most artful ending to our day.

Of course, if anyone happens to be at Spanish Banks West near the Anchor and sees a Batman kite in a tree, it's mine, and if you can get it out I would greatly appreciate its safe return.

My sister also brought me some nice food from France. Typically she'll bring me a jar of foie gras, and I am always too hesitant to eat it as I don't want to waste it. Then it expires. Well fuck that -- this time, I ate it right on the spot. (Well, not the whole thing, because that's just gluttonous.) She also brought me some nice chocolates, which all melted in the crazy heat.

Speaking of which, it's pretty fucking hot around here right now. Google Weather has been forecasting highs of about 33-35 degrees Celsius for Vancouver the last three days. Port Coquitlam, being inland from Vancouver, has actually observed highs of 30, 37, 35, and 33 degrees Celsius. (In Fahrenheit, that's toofuckinghot degrees.) As a result, the whole family sort of lies around on the floor of the only air-conditioned room in the house, the living room, near Thomas' makeshift bed (a towel and a couple of throw pillows), as if it's a carpeted tatami room. I feel so Asian.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Today is the first day of the rest of my life

The big plan for my first full day as a 24-year-old:

I'm not going to wear socks today.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Inside the Blogger's Studio, with Peter Lynn

As you may have read, last week when I was in Toronto, I met Peter Lynn of Man vs. Clown!. This was a big deal for me, as I've only ever met one person in real life that I first knew from the internet, and that guy was a family friend of Vikram's, which doesn't count. He's already described what we did, and I vouch for his version of the events.

If that was really him, that is -- I never did demand to see ID. I'll just assume it was the real deal though.

What he didn't mention was that at the time I had barely any voice left, as I had been felled by a virus that went around the dorms at Cornell on my last day. Of course, he didn't know what my voice sounded like to begin with, so now he just thinks I sound like Bea Arthur after 40 years of smoking. Also, he might not have realized, but I drank my raspberry wheat ale (very tasty) perhaps too quickly and was having a little trouble walking straight to the bathroom.

He had an awesome t-shirt that said "The Dude Has Got No Mercy", which I later found out was an Achewood t-shirt. I was wearing my Homsar shirt too so it was like we had an internet humour theme for the night, which is appropriate for a meeting with a now-professional internet humourist. (Also, both our first names were -- well, are -- slang for dongs, which I'm not sure counts as a theme for the night but is still amusing.)

I was also expecting him to be kind of scary: the kind of guy who would, say, beat up a crippled kid. However, he was most affable, which warmed my heart just a little bit.

My one big regret, which only occurred to me the next day, was that I never did actually buy him a beer -- he paid his own tab. On the other hand, I suppose that makes it less of a man date. Next time, Peter. Next time.

What's Wang This Week

I'm at home now, after a couple of weeks at Cornell. It was fun, although I missed the amenities of home, like a kitchen and a bathroom that doesn't remind me of high school. The thing about Cornell was that we were staying downhill from our classes, so we had to hike up a reasonably daunting hill every morning, and then the closest restaurants were about 20 minutes away (including an incline). We were sharing a fridge thirty ways, too, so I never really got beyond the yogurt-juice-bananas stage of grocery buying.

I also played a lot of soccer. It was definitely fun; unfortunately for me there were lots of Europeans there, and they actually know soccer, so I spent a good deal of time in the backfield hoping nobody would yell at me. Also, I played after this ridiculous thunderstorm, and the field (the pitch, for those of us in the know) was all muddy. The next day my shoes were so encrusted with mud I couldn't even get my laces untied.

They got washed clean on my last day in Toronto, though, where I headed immediately after Cornell. I chose the worst possible day to hoof it to Chinatown, and my dinky-ass umbrella (which I bought because I didn't want to pack my good-ass umbrella from Berkeley) didn't cover my backpack, so everything in my bag got soaked. Unfortunately that includes the autographed beer coasters I got from Peter Lynn. Fear not, though -- I took a hair dryer to them and now they're as good as new, although they are a bit flaky now. Think of it as adding character.

Which brings me to perhaps the most exciting part of my trip to Toronto: meeting Peter Lynn. That, however, is another post.

Besides Mr. Man vs. Clown!, Toronto was a blast. In an effort to make sure Potsie never ever speaks to me again, I stayed for two days with Mantek and two days with Jim, and they were very gracious hosts. I saw the CBC building, the MuchMusic building, the CN Tower, some of U of T, Ryerson, Toronto Island, and I walked through the underground walkways and rubbed shoulders with a bunch of Bay Street business types. (I was the one wearing the Homsar shirt.)

I could easily have spent a couple more days there. I never got to see Niagara Falls, for example. But overall I am satisfied with what I did while I was there. Besides, remembering the old adage about guests and fish, I figured Mak and Jim had had just about enough of ol' Dickolas. And hey, I got this:

Now I'm home. More excitingly, so is my sister, and with her my little nephew Thomas. He's a cute kid. I'm not convinced that he actually recognizes me yet. When he first saw me, I had overgrown hair and glasses. The next day I got a haircut, and put in my contact lenses so I could see what the hairdresser was doing to my hair. When I came back, he looked bewildered. Now I've got short hair and the glasses, which will just confuse him even more.

He also never smiles when he sees me. I don't think he likes me, actually; I'm pretty sure that to him I'm just a beast of burden who will let him look out the window, give him water, and burp him. This could have something to do with the fact that any time I get to carry him, my mother is at my shoulder grabbing his attention. She's almost as hyper as he is. Unfortunately, she's so eager to play with him when she's holding him that she never actually does things like, say, giving him water or burping him. I may have to make like Kathleen suggested and tuck him under my arm like a football and run away from my mom until he starts to recognize me. That might just make him hate me even more. It would certainly make my mother hate me more.

Probably my sister, too.

Speaking of Kathleen, a bit of an embarrassing moment: a few weeks back, she sent me an e-mail out of the blue, after 6 years of radio silence. She was bored and had Googled her own name. Imagine my shock (well, imagine her shock, really) when she told me that the first hit was a post I wrote mentioning her about a year ago. I of course was mortified that my guise of anonymity had failed, but then it struck me:

I have become the Internet's Foremost Kathleen Pennykid Resource.

On a related note, Jowen informs me that if you Google "Leah Kimura Coquitlam Now", I, Dickolas Wang is the second hit.

I've been cranky of late for a few reasons. First, the other night we went to a highly regrettable strip club and due to some misunderstandings and rudeness, the waitress was a complete bitch to me. I could have been more polite, but then again at no point was she ever exactly killing me with kindness either. Second, my picture (along with the rest of the LUGs') was regrettably put on, without our permission. I personally specifically told our friend not to do it, but he did it anyway. I keep bitching to him about it (you know, little things like invasion of personal space and lack of regard for the wishes of your friends), to which he tells me that I'm just being uptight, and to "hold your comments until the ending" because "it all worked out in the end". He doesn't get it. He's not sorry at all, either -- in fact, he's pretty proud of it, which chaps my hide even more. Maybe I'm being uptight, but then again not unusually so.

Yeah, no.

At least he used my "Dickolas Wang" picture. I would really have hated it had he used what I thought to be a good picture and it got shat on.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What did YOU do yesterday?

I met Peter Lynn, of Man vs. Clown!

More to follow when I get back to Vancouver.

Oh no, the CHINAMEN

I stumbled upon an Indian buffet at lunchtime today on my way to some promising-looking Chinese/Thai places on Dundas. After a short deliberation period I changed my plans and sat down for some buffet. I was consciously not piling my plates too high, so as to not appear gauche (I was clearly the youngest, poorest, and least classy person in the place), but also so I wouldn't be too full for a third plate before dessert.

By the end of my second though, I was already getting full -- shameful for an experienced all-you-can-eater like myself. Defeated, I decided to just get dessert, and then be on my way. At the same time, a big party was forming around me that took up five tables. I offered my waiter to move tables so he could move them closer together.

He just looked at me and said, "You're not done yet?"

I left with a little swagger in my step.

Pet Peeve (or, What's Wrong With Wang) #7

When my laptop doesn't go to sleep like it's supposed to and the battery depletes overnight, permanently damaging the battery.

Whoever invented lithium ion batteries is not in my good books at the moment.

Addendum (6:09PM EDT, July 11, 2006): Whoever wrote the "Energy Saver" code in Panther's System Preferences is not in my good books either.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What's Wang This Week: Well Happy Canada Day To Me edition

After much ribbing from Shankar because last year when he was here it was 40+ degrees Celsius the whole two weeks, I arrived at Cornell last Sunday. I am here for a two-week summer school, which is half over and so far has been alright aside from the awful humidity of the first three days. I didn't really sleep at all on the flight over here, and it's my first time in the Eastern time zone, and my sleep schedule already sucked, so for the first several days I had some serious issues with keeping awake in class. Things have improved for me since then -- I've even got up at 9:30 Eastern Time both days this weekend. That's, like, 6:30 My Time.

For Canada Day I toyed with the idea of tapping a maple tree on campus to celebrate. I figured I might get arrested though, and also it might damage the maple tree, which is not something one wants to do on Canada Day. Furthermore, I was not equipped at all (turns out you need a drill and shit; I was sort of just planning to plunge a long thin knife into a tree and maybe jam a drinking straw in there), and I found out that the tree I was considering tapping was in fact a sycamore tree, so really the whole idea was just a bust right from the get-go. Better news: pitchers of Labatt Blue are under $8 here. It really was a taste of home (sort of).

Next week I go to Toronto for a few days. I realized that it would be easier, cheaper, and not much slower to take a bus than to fly, but I couldn't cancel my flight without incurring $130 in penalties, and the remainder of the amount would only be good with US Airways for flights in the next year. So, I am keeping the flight but I will suffer the whole way through knowing that it was not What Jowen Would Do.

While in Toronto, I will be catching up with a few people, which will be fun. Also, I will be meeting Peter Lynn, of Man vs. Clown!. This promises to be very exciting, but I also am afraid that as I have no idea what he looks like (I keep picturing some kind of combination of Peter North, Bruce McCulloch, and Anthony Michael Hall), he could send someone else to meet me and I would be none the wiser. On the other hand, this would make a great MvC! post.

Current Music: Brian Wilson - Smile