Friday, August 13, 2010

Death by car

I'm driving down Yonge Street at 1 AM. The intersection is a couple hundred metres away and the light is green. I'm in the left lane. Left of me is a left-turn lane. Left of that is a concrete island. Right of me are another lane and a right-turn lane.

Suddenly, off of the island step three men. Why would they do that? They obviously can't make it across the street before my car arrives. One steps in front of my car, looks at me, and then walks casually into the right lane... he's still standing in the middle of the road.

His two buddies stand in the left-turn lane, also in the middle of the road, indecisive. I hate jaywalkers who act as thought they own the road - as though traffic has an obligation to slow down for them. One of the two takes a step toward my lane. I gun the pedal and zoom between him and his buddy in the right lane. I imagine the whoosh of air as my car races past his face.

I swear I can hear a faint whisper of, "Fuck you, man" through the glass window pane.

Fuck you too. I know where my car is, but the maneuver must have been risky because I notice my heart is beating faster. One of these days, my insistence on guarding my right-of-way will lead to one of you fools splattered against my windshield. I will regret the police charges that follow. Don't take that step.

In the words of Goose from Top Gun, "We regret to inform you your sons are dead because they were stupid."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Men are from Mars

The difference between the male and female mind:

You hear the word "absorbent" and...


Seriously, my mind was playing a little ditty that went,

"Bounty, the quicker picker upper!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kicked in the balls

...the bowling balls, that is.

Not too long ago, Brutus (Turtle), Sydney, and I went bowling. We were all a little rusty on our game: Brutus confessed he was a "terrible bowler." Sydney radiated more of the "hardcore" aura since she owned her own pair of bowling shoes. I personally am a somewhat schizophrenic bowler - I have, on occasion, been really "on" my game, and at other times, immensely "off."

Anyways, that day was decidedly "off." I came embarrassingly in last place in both games we played. Brutus, on the other hand, proved deceptively adept. He lost to Sydney in the first game then came up from behind and destroyed us in the second game with a whopping 130. Two strikes lined up with two spares and a plethora of one-offs. Beginner my arse.

I came home with a high score of 97. I didn't think it was that bad, but Sandlot, being the loving girlfriend that she is, instantly derided my score. "Wow, that's your highest? So low..." She claimed that thought she hadn't bowled in many years, her average score was probably around 120. I think she confused real life with Wii Bowling. In any case, I set my new goal to destroy my significant other in bowling when the opportunity arose.

So, this past week, Sandlot and I had our first ever bowling date night. All I can say is, if I was "off" my game that night with Brutus and Syd... I was off, face-flat on the ground, and six feet under my game this night. Playing in an unfamiliar bowling alley, it took me awhile to catch a decent stride in our first game, and by that time it was too late for me to catch up, even with a spare or two. Sandlot, the bowling goddess between the two of us, had landed a couple of strikes to secure her victory.

That's okay, though. We had agreed to play best out of three. All warmed up, the second game would be a shoe in, right? Gutter. Gutter. Gutter. Gutter. Seriously, but the end of my fourth of ten rounds, I had achieved the paltry and demeaning score of 2, that is, two. What. The. Fudge?!

I managed to pick up my game for the next few rounds, leading with a spare and following up with a couple of one-offs. Sandlot's game also began to falter a bit. In the end it came down to Sandlot's final shot at victory - the score tied at 55 to 55. Much to my chagrin, she managed to hit a SINGLE FREAKING PIN and gutter the rest. 56 to 55. I lost.

I'd like to say that with a pathetic and puny little score like 56, Sandlot is not really in a position to judge my now lofty looking 97. That's what I'd like to say, but I cannot. Broken and defeated, I can only admit that Sandlot, between the two of us, is bowling lord, lady, and goddess. She's also wonderful, intelligent, attractive, witty (in a punishingly sarcastic manner), entertaining, tall, and I want ass sausage.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quarter-life crisis

The term quarter-life crisis was actually coined to describe those among the younger generation who, given vast access to education and choices, emerged on the other side with little inkling of that which they wanted to devote the rest of their lives too - directionless and afloat.

Indeed, the term seems invariably to require some explanation when used, because unlike a mid-life crisis, you don't often see 20-somethings buying a Porche to recapture their youth. Yet, at the core of the quarter-life crisis is a similar problem. Where the 40-something year old pauses and exclaims, "My life is half over! What have I done with my life?!" the 20-something year old pauses and exclaims, "My life is a quarter over! What am I going to do with my life?!"

Of course, allowing the term quarter-life crisis apply to 20-somethings defines fairly implicit expectations. For instance, if you say a quarter-life crisis occurs at 20, we're expecting our youth to live to approximately 80. If you apply it to a 25 year old, you expect them to live to approximately 100.

This struck me recently as I was pondering the direction of my life. See, like most young people, I seldom stop to think about my own mortality nor to question my own longevity. I've always assumed as a young, healthy 20-something in the upper-middle class, I would live well into my 80's and possibly even 90's.

But as I stopped to think about my life today, I realized something. I'm stressed. I'm stressed all the freaking time. I stress out about the smallest and most inconsequential things in life. Then, when it comes to the things that I truly care about - friends, family, relationships, school, and my upcoming USMLE exam... I sweat buckets. I stress out constantly and chronically, such that I can feel the blood vessels in my brain contracting and expanding into tiny little aneurysmal pockets of joy. If stress ages you, I must be at least 35.

I started wondering if maybe I should be adjusting my life-expectancy downward, perhaps somewhere into the 70's. My new life plan goes something like this:
  1. School until 26.
  2. Residency until 31.
  3. Fellowship +/- 1-2 years.
  4. Work 30-35 years.
  5. Promptly die.
It's scary to think about, but if a killer illness hasn't claimed me by my 60's and 70's, there's a reasonable chance that my brain will be on its way to demented-ville.

I think I'm having my one-third-life crisis.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cooking with the Force

Some time ago, I blogged about my being potentially model boyfriend material. Unfortunately, these boyfriendly skills did not include meal preparation. Sandlot, as a caring girlfriend, sought to rectify this and bought me for my birthday this wonderful Star Wars Cookbook. This is, for all intents and purposes, a children's cookbook. One can only imagine that Sandlot thought this would be a good way to get me to cook for her place to start my cooking education.

Last month, I visited Sandlot in her current university town for a week. I decided to put my newly minted Force powers to work and spend the week cooking edible (hopefully) meal-things for her. It was, for the most part, a great success; though I am not a Jedi yet. Behold, the fruits of my labours:

As hot as the twin suns of Tatooine, the planet where Luke Skywalker grew up, Twin Sun Toast involved two eggs dropped into holes in a slice of bread and then fried. It was the first item I tried from the book, kicking things off with breakfast. I think maybe the bread slice needed to be wider and the holes bigger because the eggs wouldn't fry all the way through without flipping. As such, the fried eggs ended up looking mangled rather than two nice suns.

Greedo burritos, named after the bounty hunter slagged by Han Solo at the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope, called for black beans. We decided to omit these from our own burrito creations. Okay, so these soft tacos are actually Ol Del Paso fare and don't follow the recipe at all. Sue me.

Oola-la french toast, named after Jabba's head-tail adorned slave girl (who met an untimely end at the hands of his Rancor), called for a single egg and a variety of spices. While it may not look like much, it was damn tasty. So tasty in fact, that I made it twice that week and Sandlot later asked me for the recipe so she could recreate them herself.

Boba Fett-uccine, named after my favourite bounty hunter (who George Lucas made into a whiny little boy in his prequel films), was a vegetarian pasta. I could believe that the galaxy's finest headhunter would be eponymous with a food lacking meat, but the pasta actually turned out incredibly tasty. While I snub my nose at vegans and such, this fettuccine was surprisingly flavourful, owing in no small part to how great the broccoli was. However, I made way too much.

Wookie cookies, named after the race of hairy creatures from which Chewbacca hails, were basically just chocolate chip. However, owing perhaps to the cinnamon called for in the recipe, they had a very distinct flavour and were actually quite enjoyable. Sandlot played around with the recipe by introducing blueberries into a select few of the cookies. Most people avoided those.

Finally, this omelette was my own creation. Yes, padawans, it wasn't in the Star Wars cookbook. Four years of eating at the Queen's cafeteria taught me a thing or two about great omelettes, and I guarantee you these suckers were superb. I might have overdone it at three eggs apiece though. The whole week probably provided enough eggs (and cholesterol) for a month. I'll have to be a little wiser about what I cook next time.

Still, overall my first week of cookery was a whopping success. +1 for my quest to become a model boyfriend?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rice Nation Planet

E: I didn't really like the guy though. He was one of those people that liked to drive around in fancy cars with the windows rolled down blasting rap music.

A: Wait, I know what kind of car you're talking about... that's not a "fancy" car.

M: What kind of car?

A: You're talking about a rice rocket! That's not a fancy car...

E: Lol... rice rocket. But this guy was brown.

A: Well, I don't know, a curry rocket?

E: Haha!

M: Curry rocket?

E: Well, I guess brown people eat rice too...

E & A: Basmati rice!

E: Hehehe... Basmati rice rocket.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

TL; DR

Lately, I've cut down on blogging. I've set this new tempo intentionally, even refraining from blogging at times. It was my motive not only to save time for myself, but also to give some breathing room for those of you who read and comment.

It was to my chagrin, as I lamented on a post with a particular dearth of comments, that I discovered people desired a decrease in word-burden, not blog-burden. While I know that my summer entries have been far to skewed toward video games, Stewie presented another reason for the lack of commentary - TL; DR.

Apparently, this is an web-acronym for "too long; didn't read." /sigh

Maybe I should stick to a picture blog.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Window blindness

So my parents are technologically illiterate. This is especially true of my mother. In fact, I think it should be illegal for my Mom to come within ten feet of an electronic device. However, she's become accustomed to many of the latitudes afforded to modern society by this invention we know as the Internet (such as E-mail).

The problem is, she can't use a computer to save her life. She doesn't know what to look for when scanning a web page or a program window, she can't adapt to even the most mundane of unexpected events (e.g. yes/no pop-up prompts), and she looks to me to help her.

This leads to moments every day where my Mom comes banging on my door yelling the Chinese equivalent of "WTF?!" followed by something like "How come I can't print?" or "What's this thing? Update? Not update? This computer is stupid!" or, in this case, "What's wrong with the computer, everything is in French?"

Invariably, I have to haul myself off my ass, go downstairs for the umpteenth time only to glance at the page and click THE BIG FREAKING BLUE "ENGLISH" BUTTON on the incredibly sparse page. Seriously. No, seriously. This happens all the time.

Believe it or not, my Mom actually has a Computer Science degree. Of course, that was from back when wall-sized computers were programmed using punched cards.