September 2006

So frustrating, being sick, especially since I’m on vacation now for the next 10 days. The cold has moved into my head and I can’t smell much or think clearly. Rather oblivous to my surroundings actually. My friends have to keep repeating themselves, and apparently, according to Dot, I even cut someone in line today, completely unawares.

Lacking energy and verve, I have had to cancel a number of plans this weekend (e.g. my desk partner Neil jokingly described it as “calling in sick” on watching a movie with him) and step out of certain routines, such as exercising. Attempted a brisk walk around the golf course this morning, but didn’t last beyond 10 minutes. With the cold, it’s smart not to push my body, but I am anxious not to be derailed from my efforts to stay fit. It’s very hard for me to reestablish a routine once I’m off it for a week or two.

In fact, I have gone off track ever since Labour Day. It all started with me dropping a bass drum on my right big toe. The cuticle clean tore off, which took a over a week to heal, and required me to wear open toe shoes (i.e. not the greatest support). And so I started having back problems. That’s why I was very keen to use the YWCA Open House as a springboard to get back into things again. And just as the momentum of motivation picked up, this blasted cold sets in. Aargh!

Part of this frustration has to do with facing my limitations, which I have difficulty accepting and working with. It is not only a psychological struggle, but also one of the soul, a sore point between God and me. But more on limitations on another day, when I’m better and my brain will have recovered its usual acumen.


Here’s your chance to paint like Jackson Pollock (whose work is featured in Mona Lisa Smile, not a great movie by the way):

  1. Click here.
  2. Start moving your mouse like crazy on the white background. The longer you linger, the bigger the dots you make.
  3. Click the left mouse button to change colours.
  4. Stop when you feel you have a masterpiece.


On my lunch break, waiting for the water to boil to make a pot of tea to help keep me warm. Am feeling much better from the head cold, though it’s freezing on the Lower Level today, even with 3 layers on.

Reclassified a book about Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul called Mr. & Mrs. G.G. : the Media Princess & the Court Philosopher this morning. Nothing exciting here. But with them being such intellectual powerhouses, I do wonder what conversation is like between the two of them. I’m sure they are nice, regular people; they are committed, upstanding Canadian citizens after all, but on surface I find them rather intimidating and a bit pretentious. Would hate to be stuck in an elevator with them.

Interesting piece of trivia: Adrienne has got Taishan roots. Don’t know if she knows the dialect, which my family can speak, but it makes me giggle to imagine her uttering sounds from this squawky, very unclassy language.

In one of the family dinners this month, I was taught, “Mm hu hac hee” (Cantonese equivalent “Mm ho hac hay”), a phrase used, in the typical Chinese self-deprecating manner, to assert protest when receiving gifts or being served. I thought Cantonese sounds pretty crude, but Taishan is much worse. If you offer me a gift, I’ll be happy to demonstrate for you.

Just found out that I lost my rental income. I was counting on this quarterly to treat myself to “something nice.” But no more major indulgences for me this season!! No new boots, and definitely no iPod.

Since I don’t own a car anymore, I’ve been renting out my parking space to a couple who lived in a ground suite two floors directly underneath mine (with exactly the same floor plan). They informed me tonight that they moved across the Square last week. The wife was also the strata council president, so I’m losing a handy connection too.

Not all that surprised though. I’ve always thought that my space is a bit squishy for two people. If there was a fight, going out would be the only option for one of the parties to get some space. Also, they’ve been having noise issues with the people upstairs (who themselves have noise issues with me) and I suspect that these played a part in the decision to move.

Out of fairness and for the sake of good relations, I offered back two months rent the couple had paid for, since they won’t be using the parking spot. But ouch!! Lacking foresight, I have spent this already. Even worse, I squandered it on things like the Miracle Shammy, Sweepa and a Micro Fibre Cleaning System, which I picked up from the PNE Marketplace earlier this month and haven’t even used yet (as my dad pointedly observed when he visited last Sunday). I didn’t feel like a sucker then, but I sure do now! (I know I’m mixing up some things here, but I’m allowed to be temporarily irrational.)

The other responsibility I’m not mentally prepared for is keeping my eyes on the parking space. Before I had rented it out, someone in the apartment picked up that I didn’t have a car and started it using it without my permission. I found out only when friends wanted to use that space but saw it was taken. Was only too happy to leave a curt note on the windowshield to stake my rightful claim (I admit I am a very territorial creature).

But such is life. Inconveniences (such as colds) and disappointments are part of the lot.

Anyhow, I will sleep this off. Know that whenever you come visit, you will have a well-positioned parking spot awaiting you.


If I had a house, I would plant these all around it. I can’t get enough of these guys, hence my yearly trip to Skagit Valley. Between now and mid-October is the time to plant flowering bulbs, since they require the winter chill to stimulate bulb growth. Hm, I might consider an experiment and force them in my fridge. Then I can have tulips for Christmas.

Still feverish, but I can’t sleep anymore. I need to do something to stimulate my brain, so I’m playing around with my pics and sorting out old email. Here’s something that my sister forwarded me from a co-worker:

“Here’s a fun game to play. The object of the game is to move the red block around without getting hit by the blue blocks or touching the black walls. If you can go longer than 22 seconds you are phenomenal. Reportedly, the US Air Force uses this for fighter pilots. They are expected to go for at least 2 minutes.”

Anita is “phenomenal” with her 23.936 seconds. I seem to average just over 10. No career in the military for me.

Sometime during dinner last night, I felt a sore throat coming on. Went to bed early and woke up at 3am with definitely a sore throat, swollen tonsils, and a slight fever. So I stayed away from work today. Something is going around.

I love being on my own, but when I’m sick, I tend to feel particularly alone and a bit sorry for myself (because being sick doesn’t excuse me from taking care of myself). When I lived at home, being sick was a relatively small inconvenience; I could maximize my time to rest and recover without much responsibility. But I don’t have that luxury any more. That’s one reason why I’ve been eating more healthily and exercising more diligently–to avoid this sad situation altogether, as much as possible.

dscn2119.JPGFortunately this time, I have a pot of stew to sustain me and relieve me from cooking. This past Monday was Simon’s turn to cook for R&R (as they are still adjusting to parenthood). He made a big batch of beef stew for them and saved me a portion. I am grateful; it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Can feel the cold moving into my head now. It’s somewhat bearable, but I do want to be well enough to work tomorrow and Friday, before my vacation starts. So lots of water today, and probably a nap later on this afternoon.

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