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Even though I got plenty of sleep last night, I still find myself very drowsy. As I was driving home today from school, I nearly fell asleep at the wheel, so I am going to take a nap and hopefully I will feel better...
It looks my my comments link is currently broken. Hopefully it comes back, but if not, I'll find another way to handle comments..
Right now, I'm both going to school and helping my friend get his start-up off the ground. It's a tough juggling act, especially when my first class is at 730am every morning. It'll be better when I move to San Jose, and then I can walk to school rather than commute to school. I haven't been able to make it ontime to class yet, but on the plus side, at least the professor recognizes me...
School starts for me tomorrow. Going to be strange to be hitting the books again.
I managed to pack up the rest of my books today. I'm a bit less emotional today than I've been in the days previous, but moving to a new city still scares me. I assume I'll adjust to life there, but sometimes I feel like a balloon set adrift to the sky, floating from one cloud to another...
I've been cleaning the apartment, packing everything up in the boxes. I really hate going through this stuff, as I do tend to get quite emotional as the apartment feels emptier and emptier. I should be happy that I'm moving, but I've spent 6 years in this city, and I'm really going to miss it.
You're the sad smile,the one that regrets nearly everything and is constantly wondering about what could have been.You're not happy with your situation and usually blame yourself because of the bad things that have happened.Cheer up.
I've had several flashes of deja vu since leaving Blizzard. That scares me, because some of them occurred in Vancouver and some in the Bay Area, in places that I've never been. It always makes me wonder if the reason that deja vu occurs is because the moment is a particularly important one. A crossroads where reality can split, and futures are determined. The other reason it scares me is that they appear to be getting more frequent -- I wonder sometimes if what is happening is a dream, as it develops that light airy intangible feel which I associate with dreams. I wonder if my life is someone else's dream... that I should wake up one day and think that I was simply dreaming of a man who lived at the beginning of the new millenium. Everything these days seems so unreal...
Even after 8 hours of sleep, I'm feeling more tired than ever. There's only a few more things left on my to-do list, but the big one -- packing and moving will be there for a while. Packing and moving is never easy for me, but it has to be done in the next couple of days.
I'm actually a bit annoyed at myself right now for being me. I wish that I could be someone else, but I can't. I'm just plain and simple me.
What a chaotic year this has been... and it isn't over yet.
I am incredibly tired. So tired that I was afraid I was going to fall asleep, and wind up in a ditch somewhere or smashed along a freeway divider. I did make my way safely home.
My sister was late for her flight, so she ended up taking the next flight, which left an hour later. So I ended up waiting at the airport for her (since I was at the airport by the time my mom called to tell me that she missed the flight). I really hate waiting in the airport. I don't know what it is about the place that just makes me want to get out of there as quick as possible. Maybe it's the countless hours I've spent in them, waiting...Waiting to board, waiting for people to arrive, waiting to be picked up, waiting to check-in. The air in the airport always smells like the recycled air that you breathe on the airplanes.
After I picked up my sister, we checked into her room -- it's a 2 bdrm apartment shared by 4 people. It was the most through check-in I've ever seen, but I think that's because the apartment was leased by the university, and not university property (unlike most dorms). I made the mistake of taking her to Target before eating, and we spent the next 2 1/2 hours there... meanwhile I starved to death, having eaten nothing that morning but a bowl of cereal.
I figure I'm about 20 years too early to be helping someone go through the process of relocating.
I took her to the campus afterwards (I didn't get my books, because the bookstore closed), and we had a very late lunch (it was 5pm) at a japanese place near the school, which was followed by grocery shopping and a stop at the mall (having forgotten to purchase a pillow at Target).
Today, The sun was out, and it started raining... it reminded me of Vancouver and Cat.
I just realized today that I've been up here for 10 years now, and I still haven't been to Alcatraz Island. I'm sure there are still many many more famous tourist attractions I haven't seen yet. Is it any wonder why I find it so hard to leave this place?
This morning, as I was preparing for my meeting with the publisher, I got a phone call from the blood bank asking if I had the time to donate, because they have a transplant patient who needs A positive blood. Summer is when they have trouble getting donations, since people go on vacation and the like. Since it's been a while since I have donated, I naturally agreed to donate blood after my meeting. I was a little worried since I recently left the country, but they said it wasn't a problem. Today was a good day to donate too, since I had a very large breakfast and a decent sized lunch. (The last time I donated, I hadn't eaten beforehand, and as soon as they pricked me for the iron test, I immediately felt lightheaded and they sent me home). But the donation today went really well (I filled the bag in six minutes). I'm supposed to eat a hearty meal for dinner tonight, so I suppose I'll eat out tonight, since my dinners tend to be quite light. As much as I like sushi, it's not nearly filling enough.
My sister arrives tomorrow, so I'll go to SJSU and buy my books for the semester.
Uh-oh - you are "Stop blowing holes in my ship!" You're a little bit edgy, honestly, and it's getting in the way of your natural charm. We understand that life can be hard, but take a deep breath and have a drink. Relax.
Because I haven't had an angst filled post in a while:
Sometimes I feel like I'm on a walking on air, high above where I should be, and then sometimes I feel as if I am falling into an endless abyss of emptiness. Sometimes it seems the higher one flies, the longer one falls. And I have been flying high for quite a while. It makes me wonder when someone will snatch my wings away...
I'm probably just tired. I need to get some sleep tonight. I have a meeting to go to tomorrow.
I've been up since about 5am today, working on various things. I'm pretty darn tired, but all that needs to be taken care of is the packing of the apartment (and the stuff that falls on specific days). In a way, this very much reflects the way my life is -- either everything is happening at once, or nothing is happening at all. Two extremes. I wish I could have more balance.
It occurred to me a little while ago that Aug 13th, 2003 marked the 10 year anniversary of my arrival in the Bay Area. If things had ended up differently, that day might have been my last day up here as well. As it turns out, it seems that my destiny lies in the bay area (at least for one more year). This week will be a busy one for me:
Getting new house stuff squared away, i.e. Electric, phone, cable, DSL?, etc.
Meeting with prospective game publishers on Wednesday.
Picking up sister from the airport on Thursday.
Picking up forms and books from SJSU after picking up sister.
Renew Car registration
Find out if buying a second car for daily use will reduce car insurance.
Pack up the majority of the stuff
Reserve a moving van and/or a storage area
Get the car washed (it's been almost 2 months).
Fill out forwarding address stuff.
Sort out stuff to recycle/donate.
Hmm... list is getting long... eating and sleeping needs to fit in there too, and I'm positive there's a lot more...
Well, I just came back from San Jose and signed the rental papers. So, I will have a new place to live in two weeks. The landlord was kind enough to take me on a little tour of the surrounding area, so I know a little about the area now, including where the new Martin Luther King Jr. Library is. Apparently this new library is a joint venture with the city of San Jose and San Jose State University, and it's huge.
The place is only a few blocks away from SJSU, and the downtown San Jose area. Here's a small list of the places around San Jose that I'll have to visit.
A little about the place: It's half of a old Victorian-esque looking house, with hardwood floors. It doesn't have a dining area, but it does have a nice sized living room, which is where I tend to spend the majority of my time anyways.
Looked at more apartments today... including one that's way out in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Although it's located alot further away, it's pretty nice. It's right in the middle of a forest, and has some truly spectacular views and things to drive through. I worry more about driving my car through the dirt filled roads more than anything about the apartment. It's one of those times where I wish I had a 4WD vehicle or a truck instead of the Celica. Maybe I can trade in the Celi for a WRX STi?
I also succumbed and purchased a printer today. Not just any printer, but a Color LaserJet 1500L printer. I know, not really much need for a Color Laser, but knowing the trends of computer printer prices, I know they don't really fluctuate a whole lot, and as time goes on, you get more features but the price stays the same, and I didn't want to get to the point one day where I needed a color printer, but still had a b&w laser. Until this one breaks I'll never need another printer again.
I spent the day looking at apartments today. I think I found one I like that I hope to move into. I'm used to dealing with apartment managers, not landlords, but he's a likeable fellow. He interviewed me this afternoon and seems to like me, so hopefully he'll rent it to me. The only issue I have with the place is that the kitchen ain't great, but it's serviceable. I'll be meeting up with him again on Sunday (and hopefully he'll decide to rent it to me). I saw some really nice places, but I'm trying to find a place that's not too expensive, but still livable.
I spent the day wrangling errands and fantasizing about where to live and what to do. I may just end up and do the "sensible thing", living with my parents for a bit. I love the San Francisco Bay Area, but it is enormously expensive to live here, and it is not something I want to do without a job.
They cashed in my vacation time for vacation pay last week, which fattened my olde bank account up a bit, which rather surprised me when I made a withdrawl at the ATM today.
I'm sure it's no big surprise to you that your romance is The Princess Bride. A heartwarming tale of "Twue Wuve" that has giants, Spainards and swashbuckling. You really do think that love can overcome anything. You may be a touch naive but your heart is certainly in the right place. You've probably got one of those relationships where proper nouns have been replaced with "Snookums" and "Pookie Pie". Eww. Beware a cuteness overload.
Today Cat, her sisters and I went to the H.R. Macmillan Space Centre, where we watched an interactive show and a planetarium movie. Before the planetarium movie, I smacked my shin on one of their seats, which hurt like hell...
We stopped in Chinatown afterwards at a Chinese Bakery and bought some food and Tapioca drinks. We got back to Cat's house at around 5, and promptly left for the airport. I arrived a little before 6pm, and made it through customs just before the plane left without me. It was really close...
I've never gotten sick over airline food... until today. Never eat airline chicken or salad... that rule has just been added to my dietary rulebook.
When I arrived in San Francisco, I lost my sunglasses... I know when I lost them too... sucks. And then the shuttle never showed after 45 min, so I ended up taking a taxi back to my apartment.
Tonight, I fly back to San Francisco. I'm quite sad to be leaving Cat and Vancouver. As always when leaving a place, it feels like my stay here was far too short. The life in San Francisco I left behind a little over a week ago now seems like a faraway dream. The time I spent with Cat always seems to pass far too quickly, but I have enjoyed every moment together with her here.
We started out late this morning, as we discovered that the family car was in bad need of having the brake pads replaced, so Cat and I were forced to take public transit to our destination.
To diverge from the travelogue for just a moment, I want to point out that unlike Los Angeles and San Francisco, public transit does actually work in this country. They have bctransit which is their busline (Cat has a bus stop conveniently located across the street from her house), as well as the Skytrain, a BART-like elevated light rail system. The trains arrive every few minutes, and the busline tickets are also good on the light rail system. Part of the effectiveness of their public transit, I feel is due to the lack of a comprehensive highway system. That is to say that their highways don't crisscross across the city, nor are they wide lane highways as we are accustomed to seeing in California.
We arrived at the Burnaby Village Museum a little past noon, and spent the next three hours touring the grounds. Burnaby Village is quite an interesting little attraction -- it's basically what the city of Burnaby was like in the year 1925 -- they have restored and replicated old homes, old stores, the farms, the schoolhouses -- and filled them with the items appropiate to the era. I have never seen anything quite like it. In the music store, was one of those automated punch pianos -- we deposited a quarter and listened to it play.
As we exited, we took a ride on the old-time carousel. To my great dismay, they did not have the golden rings that I had read so much about in those old stories set from that time period.
We had lunch at the Cactus Club Cafe, which I can only describe as an Asian-fusion sports bar.
We walked around Brentwood Towne Centre for a little bit, and we visted the bookstore Coles. I was rather impressed by Cat's reading selections -- she confesses to be an avid reader, something I quite admire.
Today Cat and I toured the Queen Elizabeth Park -- it's quite beautiful, and it started raining while we were walking through it. There's a rose garden as well as Bloedel Conservatory, which is set up very much like a lush tropical rain forest. It's quite small, but quite lovely... Cat and I took a few pictures in there of us, the flowers and the birds.
Afterwards we went into Chinatown to have lunch at a HK style diner called "The Boss". They have quite a lot of dishes there to choose from, and we spent the time telling scary stories. Apparently, today is Chinese Halloween -- the one night of the year where the gate to the underworld is unlocked, and the spirits let out to visit the world above. For this reason, we're not supposed to go out tonight, as we may meet some wayward spirits (which is nothing like the kindred spirits in the Anne books).
I really love Chinese bakeries -- I think their breads and cakes are the best. And they're so cheap here -- It's like a dollar canadian for a slice of cake, which is 75 cents U.S. Show me a place where they have 75 cent cakes slices and I'll show you a customer for life =).
Cat took me to La Casa, an italian ice cream place with 198 flavours of gelato and sorbet. They even have those weird Asian Flavors like Durian and Lychee. I ended up getting Mango ice cream after sampling about a dozen different ones. It's the largest ice cream shop I've ever seen.
We were going to go to Burnaby Village, but unfortunately they closed after we got back from La Casa.
First, we went to Brentwood Centre to throw some old clothes into the Salvation Army receptacle there. After that, we drove down to Commercial Drive, which is lined with little independent shops, where Cat's sister Terry bought a gift for her friend. We had some gelato at this little shop before heading to Granville Island to pick up tickets for Anne of Green Gables.
After leaving Granville Island, we went to the Vancouver Art Gallery, where an exhibition of drawings from around the world was being held. At the exhibition, there was everything from the Renaisance era to modern day. Unfortunately, we only had an hour to view everything before the museum closed for the day. Afterwards, we went to Bentei, a Japanese sushi restaurant that Cat likes. The rice they use for sushi here is a little unfamiliar to me -- reminding me of the sushi rice they use for those bentos that you can find at Safeway. Later, we drove down to Lawnsdale Quay to watch the finale of the Celebration of Light. Without a doubt, the Chinese pyrotechnics were the best (what else can you expect from the culture with a thousand year plus advantage?).
I also learned that they don't allow V8 engines into Canada. Their speed limit is much lower here, so I have little doubt that I would end up with a stack of speeding tickets.
Today we went to Fort Langely, which was once a small trading outpost in the 1800s. Used primarily by fur traders and trappers, the Fort grew to support those on their way for the gold rush of 1858, and then later was dismantled ... only one building of the original fort still stands, the rest are reconstructed reproductions. Fort Langely is also the place where they first made British Columbia a province, so it's important in that respect as well.
We went to eat at a place called Fortune Garden for dinner with Cat's whole family and her grandmother. In the midst of our meal, we found some tiny cockroaches on some of the plates. A few of us lost our appetites.
Cat and I went to go see the Anne of Green Gables musical at the Theatre Under The Stars (I love the name of the venue). We were originally going to try and see Mamma Mia, but the only tickets that were left were 79 dollar obstructed view tickets. The Theatre Under The Stars is in Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park -- the seats are completely outdoors, and the area is framed by nice evergreen trees. You really can see the stars above from your seats (although you are more likely to see helicopters and airplanes overhead).
Looking up at the stars tonight, they seem farther away here than they do in the Bay Area.
There's only a few more days left. I'm going to miss being in this city, but I'm also going to miss hanging out with Cat and her family. It's kinda funny that our two families share a lot of the same idiosyncracies.
Thursday, we went to Science World, had lunch at White Spot, then went to Chinatown, and visited a Classical Chinese Garden -- it was almost like stepping back in time. We rode the skytrain to the Waterfront, where we visited Canada Place, and watched a movie at the IMAX theatre there. Afterwards, we rode back home on the skytrain, getting lost a few times, but making it home in time for dinner, which was homemade potstickers.
Friday, we walked through Stanley Park, looking for a restaurant called "The Teahouse". Stanley Park is quite beautiful, with lots of hiking trails through the woods or bordering the water. It started drizzling a little while we walked around, but luckily Cat had the foresight of bringing an umbrella with her. Apparently, in Vancouver, if there are any of clouds in the sky, the rule is to take along an umbrella, as the chances of rain are highly likely.
We had lunch at the Teahouse (which was once an Officer's mess hall in the 50's, and later renovated and leased by the current owner in the 70s). The really ought to call it "The Greenhouse", though, for all the windows that encapsulate the patrons within. Afterwards, we walked along the shore of Second Beach, before taking a small ferry boat to Granville Island. (the ferry boat was about half the size of those boats that you ride on at Disneyland's Jungle Cruise). After visiting Granville Island, we took another ferry to Yaletown, which is one of the more recent developments in Vancouver. We then visited the Plaza of Nations and BC Place (which is their huge hamburger shaped stadium, which also reminded me of the Yokohama stadium in Japan) before heading home on the skytrain (and getting lost again).
It's easy to take things for granted sometimes -- travelling around has always made me so aware when I return home of just how great things are at home. I'm one of those people who can live anywhere, and be sad when I leave, of not taking enough time to really enjoy and appreciate everything there.
What a whirlwind of a day. I'm pretty darn tired, as we did alot of walking today. First we took a tour around SFU, which is Cat's old school, then Cat and I, along with Liz and Richard went to downtown Vancouver, over near Gastown, which is this old historical section of Vancouver. We had lunch at Cafe Crepe, and afterwards walked all along Robson Street down to English Bay, where there's a beach. We took some pictures and sat there for a bit. We then drove down to Richmond, got some boba, drinks, had dinner at a Shanghai Restaurant.
Being 3 CBCs and 1 ABC, we decided to try to first attempt to read the Chinese only menu, but failed, resulting in us ordering one of those dinner sets made for multiple people in a large group. Dinner for 4, with 6 dishes -- Peking Duck, Steamed pork buns, Spinach Soup with Duck, Rice and Chicken wrapped in Lettuce, Shrimp in lobster sauce, and Sweet and Sour Fish. By the time we got to the fish, we were all stuffed with food -- we each only took one spoonful before we declared ourselves defeated by having eyes bigger than our stomachs. For dessert we had a baked pastry with red bean filling.
Then we drove down to Kit, where we watched the Celebration of Light fireworks.
Even though Canada is still so close to the U.S., I am still experiencing a bit of culture shock, and not just from the English way of spelling or the conversion from english to metric. People don't use highways here, preferring instead to use the surface streets.
Yesterday after picking me up at the Airport, we went to UBC, and then walked around Cat's neighbourhood (Yeah, that's the Canadian spelling -- they also spell check cheque and color and flavor with an extra 'u'). The weather here can be just as moody as the Bay Area, gray and overcast in the morning, and blistering hot in the afternoon.
Anyways I'm really glad to be here with Cat, and tomorrow is museum day. There seems to be much to see and do here... so much that a week does not seem long enough to do and see everything in store.
Getting ready to leave for the airport now. Got 3 hours of sleep, but I'm hopeful that I'll get some more time to doze on the plane. Eating breakfast in the form of a bagel. I know I'll have some airport food later. I'm so excited I can barely eat.
10 hours from now, I will be waiting in front of my apartment complex for the shuttle to pick me up.
12 hours from now, I will be waiting to board the plane at the airport.
15 hours from now, I will be holding Cat in a warm embrace.
Gluttony shall be the death of me. Yeah, I know what you're all thinking: skinny little guy like Mike? He eats like a bird! This is and isn't true. It is true for most American fare -- hamburgers, french fries,most anything with a heavy grease/fat content. However, put me inside an all-you-can-eat restaurant, and I transform into this person who is determined to get his money's worth out of the business. I discovered a new sushi restaurant today called Masu. They just opened on 4th Street a few weeks ago, but today was the first chance I've had to visit. To my surprise, they are an all-you-can eat sushi restaurant. For 9.95, you get all-you-can-eat sushi brought out to you one plate at a time. My biggest grievances with most good sushi restaurants is that typically, one runs out of cash before one is full. And all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants don't typically have the best tasting sushi either. Not so at Masu! I found myself pretty much getting my money's worth in the first roll, the "Lion King Roll", a tasty 8 pc. roll consisting of crab, asparagus, avocado and shrimp, with some creamy wasabi sauce drizzled over for flavor, as well as to add a touch of elegance to the roll. The selection of rolls and sushi is pretty large, considering they are all in the form of rolls -- classic favorites like California Roll and Spider Roll are there, as well as some rolls that I have only seen offered once or twice before, like the Beef Roll or the Chicken Roll.
I ended up eating a total of 5 rolls there -- which at a regular sushi restaurant should cost me in the ballpark of $30-40. But, it was good food, and easy on the pocketbook. I still have to wonder though, how they will be able to stay in business, as I'm sure there are those who will be able to eat twice what I was able to eat there. Perhaps the 9.95 is an introductory price, and slowly they will begin creeping up to the 19.95 mark. I walked out of there stuffed to the gills with sushi, and happy as a clam. A part of me wonders if they aren't just a front for a money laundering scheme or something... how is it possible to run a all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant without hemmoraging money?