Thursday, November 30, 2006

Am I Balding?


Every so often the question pops up in my mind. Every so often I worry. The concern usually passes after a few days, but inevitably returns.

And when it does, I wonder if I have cause for concern. You see, I have long thick strands of jet-black hair. And I shed like crazy. As in, when I wake up I have about 10 long strands of hair stuck to me (and I know it's not Hubbs' hair because it's black and long and thick). If I gather my hair together and gently run my hand down the length of my pseudo-ponytail, I end up with a couple more strands.

This happens *every* day. I have to vacuum our carpets because of my dark long hair.

So, do I have alopecia? Am I going to be a bald-y?

The last time I asked a doctor, he thought I was being paranoid. Let's hope that is the case, but I'm not so sure! =S

Friday, November 24, 2006

So How Do I Get Rid of This?

At this very moment, I have a very intense and unrelenting craving for....wait for it....FRENCH FRIES. Yes, one of the ultimate diet-killers known to humankind.

I long for some delicious deep-fried golden goodness, be it battered stuff (DQ, KFC), regular cut (Wendy's), or shoestring (McDonald's). I feel like oinking out on a super-gargantuan-biggie-sized version of the stuff, until such time that I cannot fit another fry into my bloated, grease-filled body.

So how do I get rid of this malevolent craving? It has bombarded my brain and threatens to thwart my weight-loss progress. Even typing about it is making my mouth water and my stomach rumble.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

So Cold! ... And Why Hubbs Is Handy to Have Around Sometimes


For those of you living on the northern tundra with me, you know how blisteringly cold it was today. Unfortunately for me, in spite of the near-zero visibility and -26 degree Celsius (including windchill) conditions and black ice and 10 centimeters of snow, I was not able to sleep in and hide from the miserable conditions. I am a Study Buddy, and had a commitment to keep!

Anyway, our covered parking was not enough to prevent our vehicle from being completely covered (front and back) with snow. Since Hubbs was not going with me to the school, I had to fish out our snow brush (hidden deep inside my trunk) and brush off the snow myself. During my drive, even with the wipers going intermittently throughout, I wasn't able to get my windshield snow-free. My rear defrost was on high the entire time, but somehow my rear window never managed to clear either.

After my morning Buddy duties, I came out to my car, once again covered in snow. Once more, I was subject to snow-brushing duties, as well as ice-scraping duties on the rear window this time around. The roads were brutal, with thick mounds of unshoveled snow wreaking havoc for drivers everywhere. Many times my poor little car had a hard time accelerating against the black ice hidden beneath the snow, and just as many times those mini-moguls practically directed my car without my needing to steer! Thankfully, most drivers were slow and cautious, although there was always the occasional truck or SUV that decided to be stupid and drive beyond the speed limit on these treacherous roadways.

Experiences like these always make me thankful for the following:
-a remote car starter
-new tires
-covered parking

Hubbs is good to have around for many reasons, but here's a few winter-related ones:
1) He drives me around in the treacherous icy snowy cold conditions
2) He brushes off the car and scrapes the windows when needed
3) He will go and get the car and drive it up to the entrance sometimes when I'm not properly dressed to brave the freezing temperatures
4) He fills up our humidifier every night (those water jugs are heavy!)
5) He plugs in the car so that I have 30 extra seconds of warmth inside the vehicle before getting out
6) He pumps the gas so I can stay warm and sheltered inside the car
7) He carries the groceries so I can keep my hands warm inside my pockets

He's a great Hubbs. I'm glad he's mine =)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm Team Kelly on This One


So, in case you hadn't heard, Clay Aiken was guest hosting on Live with Regis and Kelly. And during an interview, he put his yucky dirty hand over her mouth, presumably as a joke to keep her from talking.

She didn't think it was very funny, and frankly, neither did I! Rosie O'Donnell went all Team Clay on Kelly, though, during a recent episode of the View, prompting poor Kelly to have to call in to the show to put Rosie in her place.

Personally, I think it was totally rude of Clay to cover her mouth, particularly since a) she was the host and it was her show, b) there's this thing called personal space that everyone should respect regardless of how famous they are, and c) this was broadcast live over many states and provinces, so Kelly had to be humiliated in front of a bazillion people! Though I realize he probably didn't mean to offend, the point is that he did, and he should probably apologize to her publically for his actions.

To me, the whole incident is tantamount to having a guest speaker come into my classroom and tell me (in front of my entire class) that my desk arrangement sucks. Or having a guest come into your home and tell you (in front of all of your friends and family) that your decor is ugly. Or inviting someone to sit with you only to have them put their hand on your knee. Entirely inappropriate.

Anyway, I have lost what little respect I had left for Clay Aiken now. And I love Kelly Ripa, so it's Team Kelly all the way!

The Best Char-Siu In the Whole Wide World

Okay, so I'm biased. And I might have already posted about this before. BUT, it warrants repeating. My dad makes the best Chinese BBQ pork in the whole universe. It's the right ratio of fat vs. lean, it's flavourful, and it tastes great on rice or in a sandwich.

(Okay, so this is not an actual shot of Dad's pork.
This pork is jealous of my Dad's stuff, which I did not
take pics of).

We were lucky enough to be blessed with a few Ziplocs of delicious, pre-marinated, frozen raw char-siu for us to cook at our leisure. Normally, my Dad cooks it for us, but this time my brilliant siblings convinced him to give it to us raw instead. That way, we can have fresh char-siu whenever we want, rather than have it get freezer-burnt after two weeks' time.

God bless my Dad and his most excellent culinary skills. It's little wonder why his kids have battled weight issues ;)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Great Thermos Flunkie

I've always prided myself on being somewhat of an intelligent, innovative individual, with the capacity to complete creative science experiments effortlessly. However, recently my attempts at a homemade thermos (for my Science methods class) have shown me otherwise - apparently, I am just a remedial Grade 20 student (yes, that really is how many years I've been in school).

Our task: create a homemade thermos using non-thermal, non-electric, non-glass materials to hold 300 mL of hot water and keep it equally hot for 40 minutes. The size limit is 8000 cubic centimetres.

My first and second thermos were abysmal failures owing to the fact that I created them using empty 330 mL bottles and expanding foam. When the foam expanded, it crushed the sides of my bottles and shrank their capacities to a mere 200 mL a piece.

Currently on my third attempt, I have used a double-lid plastic bagel bin, expanding foam, a filled 450 mL water bottle, and foil. Unfortunately, initial trials have demonstrated that my net loss is somewhere between 11 -16 degrees Celsius, entirely too many degrees for me to obtain a perfect mark for my thermos (the goal is 4 degrees or less). I've insulated the top lid (foam & plastic), insulated the initial bottle (foil and foam), and even extra-secured my overall container against radiant heat loss (foil and duct tape). Now on my 4th modification of the thing, I've added extra foam to the top of my bottle lid and am awaiting its curing before I do another trial.

When will the madness end, you say? I am near giving up. This stupid thermos has got me beat, and unless one of you has a brilliant idea to help me further insulate my monstrous concoction, I am (for once) going to take a less than perfect mark on this nightmarish project.


Friday, November 17, 2006

We is Spelled with an E, not Two ii's

I fear that, come Christmas time, Hubbs and I will lose what remains of our quality time together. The "We" days will be replaced by the "Wii" days at that point.

Yes, it's true. He wants another new game system. Not content with his current collection of the DreamCast, Game Cube, PS2, and Xbox (not to mention his GBA and his DS, plus a multitude of old gaming systems stored in boxes in his parents' basement), Hubbs insists on adding a Wii to his stockpile for Christmas. Personally, I don't get it. He hasn't even had time to mod his Xbox yet, so why on earth is he wanting to get another space-consuming game device that he has no time to play?!

He assures me that I will love this system, and that because it is motion-sensitive, it will be appealing to the controller-swinging gaming newbie like me. He also claims that this Wii has superpowers (note: he *may* be insane).

I assure him that I will not be buying this monstrous piece of time-kill for him this year or next, particularly since it costs a small fortune and quite frankly, I would rather save money towards my new car.

He plans to ask his family for it, for Christmas.

I plan to ask for a big entertainment unit with doors, inside which Hubbs can store (read: I can hide) his many wired toys.

Let's see how Santa decides to roll this year.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Little Bit of Everything (Mostly Vancouver Related)

I've been in Van-city, arguably the happiest place on Earth for me, so the absence has been lengthy this time round.

Here are some random things accumulated from experience over the past few days:

My friend Lee forwarded me the most touching tribute (printed in Sports Illustrated) featuring a man named Dick Hoyt, who deserves a Father of the Decade award or something bigger. You can read all about him here, but be warned that the video can inspire all manner of sniffles and tears.

I think Hubbs and I were the only two people in B.C. who did not know that the CFL semi-finals were to take place across the street from our hotel, at B.C. Place, on Sunday during our vacation. We saw the "Lions Block Party" tents and were dense enough to think nothing of this barricade in the middle of downtown, attributing it to little more than a healthy dose of fandom. When we returned from breakfast to find literal hoards of people dressed in either orange or green flocking towards the stadium, we figured there was a game, but were still too ignorant to realize that it was the semi-finals, and therefore, not just any game. In fact, it wasn't until we realized we were barricaded by police traffic controls from entering our hotel parking lot on either end of the street, that it dawned on us that this was more than just a run-of-the-mill football game. As a result of our ignorance, however, hotel staffers mistook us for Americans, which was embarrassing on a whole other level. We had to try and convince them that we actually were Canucks, although I don't think they believed us! ;)

It is still autumn in Vancouver, complete with golden yellow, rustic brown, ruddy red, burnt orange and leafy green maple leaves scattered along the sidewalks and pavements and roads. It was a beautiful sight to behold.

We had no idea that it would take us over an hour to drive from downtown Van to southeast Surrey. We thought the "burbs" were closer than that.

Drivers in Van are far more polite than those truck-driving speed demons in our depraved city. The Van drivers let all signaling vehicles into their lanes without either a) trying to race past them so as to avoid having the car "cut" in front of them, or b) honking or giving the signaling car the not-so-friendly finger. As such, the driving experience for Hubbs was a bazillion times less stressful than driving in our own city!

Richmond Sushi for all you can eat Japanese food. No limits, large cuts, and only $25/person. Of
course, we were in pain by the time we left, but every so often overgorging on sushi seems justifiable, non?

We really loved our stay at the hotel, the Georgian Court. It was relatively chic, centrally-located, and had a very nice whirlpool and steam room that was always unoccupied when Hubbs and I went down to use it. Our room was spacious and the bed (complete with feather pillows) was heavenly to sleep in. The hotel also provided designer Aveda toiletries, and even stocked extras of these in the bathrooms near the whirlpool! You know how it is with me and free stuff.....

Anyway, it's back to project time and trying to make a thermos for my Science methods course. Don't ask - I am on prototype #3 and have yet to determine if it even works. =S I'll be back once I have a handle on all of my upcoming assignments....

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Rambling on Months


I don't know why November feels yucky, but it does! There are mostly good months in a year, but a few odd ones are yucky. November, I fear, is just plain yucky.

January is yucky. It's like the coldest month of the
year and there are very few actual hours of sunlight, which makes me feel S.A.D. and totally despairing.

February has Valentine's Day, formerly a dark and gloomy day in my world but now one that is filled with flowers and food and lots of loooooove. ;) February also has my birthday, as well as the b-days of several VIPs in my life, so it is a time of much celebration, including delicious cakes and scrumptious dinners.

March is yucky, except for a special Mom-in-Law birthday. Everything is a dirty shade of brown, including my car after just one day post-washing. Unless Easter is early, there isn't an occasion worth celebrating (unless you're Irish, which I am not).

April has Easter, which is o
ne of my favourite holidays and reason unto itself to celebrate; it's also when the weather warms up slightly and the days get a little longer. I also love the goodie baskets the Easter Bunny has begun to leave me ever since I joined my Hubbs' family.

May is beautiful too, and fills my heart with hope for a warm and wonderful summer. The flowers start blooming, and the rains are refreshing.

June, ho
wever, is yucky. It's stressful and long and I just don't enjoy it, except for two other VIP birthdays (including Hubbs' B-day), which are very momentous and happy occasions that warrant celebrations of gargantuan proportions. However, the early part of the month is always blah.

July and August - well, those are the months of summer holidays so I always look forward to that time. Besides, many people host BBQs in the summer months, and for some reason the long days don't tire me out but give me extra energy t
o go on until the wee hours of the night. Oh, and my anniversary is in July, which also makes it special.

September is exciting, because it marks the start of a new school year (whether I'm a student or a teacher). It's got that whole "Back to School" feel and also kicks off my favourite season, AUTUMN. The sales are also pretty amazing for school supplies, and you know I'm a sucker for stationery. =D

October has Halloween AND Thanksgiving, so it's a very good month and one that gives people excuses to get together with family and friends, as well as to dress up in silly costumes and eat obscene amounts of candy and chocolate. As well, there is something cool and crisp and exciting about the air in October. It's thrilling.

November is the official month of blah. Of course, I would feel differently if I was American and had a lovely 4-day long-weekend to commemorate Thanksgiving with loved ones, but as a Canadian this month holds no sentimentality for me.

December is the best month of all. Christmas is in the air everywhere, and I get to hear my beloved Christmas carols playing inside every store I walk into. People are extra-generous, and everyone wants to share food with everyone else and give each other presents just because. I love December.

As such, I am going to close my eyes and pray that November flies by quickly so we can move on to glorious December, at which point I will close my eyes again and pray that the month slows down so that I can savour every sweet, beautiful moment.

What's your favourite month? Probably December, eh? Everyone likes presents.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Departed


Love, love, love it! Saw it last night with Superstarjo, Hubbs, and Space Max. The movie was not quite the same as the original Infernal Affairs (changed context, setting, ending) but it was an intense thrill-ride for sure. It was a tad gory/bloody but you know, I didn't have to look away all the time, the way that I had to for S.O.A.P., and the violence was definitely more part of the plot-line than it was for gratuitous shock-value purposes.

Of course, the movie was long and in some ways, I felt underdeveloped where character relationships were concerned; to really play up the surrogate father-son theme, the movie needed to deepen the bond of the two main characters and their respective "surrogate dads" a little more thoroughly. That would definitely have added impact to the story.

I thought that most of the actors did a stellar job in the movie (although I hear critics are torn about this); the only actor that I thought could have spiced it up a bit was Martin Sheen - he played his role a little too conservatively and mildly, and while this enhanced Mark Wahlberg's character effectiveness, it really made Sheen seem sort of bland and ineffective by contrast.

Overall, though, a great movie and one that is best seen on a big screen. I highly recommend it for an adrenalin-rush experience that will leave you wanting to grab coffee with your counterparts to discuss and debrief (which we did over apple pie a la mode).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Winter Blahs


I fear I have a case of the winter blahs. It's only November, I realize, but since winter decided to start early this year, the accompanying winter blahs also seemed to advance sooner.

There is snow on the ground. Blah.

I can see my breath when I walk outside. Blah.

It's cold even though I am wearing gloves and a winter jacket and a hat. Blah.

The skies get dark way too soon and don't stay lit up with sun nearly long enough. Blah.

I am getting sick of school. Blah.

I am perpetually feeling run-down and sniffly. Blah.

My momentum for the gym is slowing down due to icy walkways and darkened skies. Blah.

All I feel like eating is warm brothy soupy stuff. Blah.

When I leave home, I am so bundled up I can barely bend over. Blah.

I know it is a temporary feeling, and I just need to re-frame my perspective so that I can find something to get psyched about. However, Christmas is still too far away and thus I cannot quite get in the "spirit" of that yet, so for today, I will simply wallow in my winter blahs. =P

Amateur Card-Maker

Ever since my sis Superstar Jo introduced me to stamping and card-making at her Stamp It Up! party, I have been thinking about making cards.

When the scholarship thing happened, it became a grand opportunity for me to begin my card-making endeavours. Here are my products (the last being an anniversary card):

This last one is my favourite (and will be going to my parents for their anniversary) but I cannot take credit for the faux flowers, which was an adornment that came with a scrapbooking kit I once received.

Anyway, I look forward to getting in my order from Stamp It Up! and to begin growing my collection of "stuff" for card-making. It's actually not a hard process but it seems a bit expensive to start.

It is a ton of fun, though, and comes highly recommended by moi! =D