Monday, December 12, 2011

Furnishing, Lack of

A couple months ago, maybe two, I walked down Spadina and saw this awesome green canvas sleeper couch on display that had storage underneath. It was perfect for my place--and it was the right price as well. I went in to check it out but for some reason, I thought I should wait before getting it.

Last week, when I went to buy the couch, I was told that the entire line was completely sold out. The last couch in this nasty steel blue colour was fully wrapped and ready to be shipped. I was inconsolable and vowed that I won't give my heart to another couch anymore.  But as fickle as the female heart is, a week has gone by and I have began looking again (this really isn't the first time a couch has disappointed me).

My apartment is still largely furnished with "hand-me-downs" (still eliciting donations--couches, coffee table, shelves, bookcases, flat screen tv, your soul, any crap you don't want) but some how I've managed to live for almost 9 months with the little that I have. Ironically, I'm mostly happy with my set-up. I get a bit embarrassed when people come over and have nowhere to sit, nowhere to eat, and see clutter from lack of storage space (also embarrassed that I don't have a couch for guests to sleep on, and no tv to entertain), but I kinda like living like this. It makes everything a little less scary in some ways because everything feels temporary.  I am starting to realize that I like impermanence--it's freeing.

BUT--note that it's not that I don't plan on furnishing at all, it's just that I've been doing it very slowly. I'll get maybe one piece every couple of months (I've added a lamp and a sidetable with an attached lamp so far), mostly from buying things on Craigslist and then reselling them if it doesn't suit my apartment. Maybe when Christmas is over, stuff will go on sale and I can really furnish. Maybe.

In the meanwhile, I guess I'll be spending Christmas alone in my empty apartment this year.
Life turns in funny ways.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Pseudopod: Come live with me and be my love

The Pseudopod: Come live with me and be my love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of th purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

- Christopher Marlowe

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dreamers vs Realists

"There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not, the opposite is true. See, the dreamers need the realists to keep the dreamers from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists? Well without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground."- Last night on Modern Family

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The office cafeteria in Suresnes, France has two coffee vending machines. If you want a coffee, it will cost you 25 centime. Therefore to have coffee, you will need change. When someone wants to break for coffee, they go around asking "cafe?"

Me: "Cafe?"
Coworker: "Do you have money?"
Me: "I have 10 cents!" picking up this yellow coin I have on my desk.
Him: "That's not 10 cents, that's 20."
Me: "It is! It says 10 cents on it!"

At this point, we were both confused...

Apparently when I went to the Carrefour (supermarket) this morning, I got a 10 cent Ethiopian coin disguised as a 20 cent Euro coin. 

Of course, after being here for a total of 5 weeks this year, I still had no idea what Euro coins look like...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Knife and Fork

Today I discovered that I use knife and fork like a western uses chopstick.
Yes, it's true.
As I watched the Europeans around me (French, English, Bosnian, American, Spanish) smoothly slice their lettuce and crepe, I noticed that my sawing is quite uncouth.
My goal this weekend will be practising the art of using a knife and fork.
Who knew it was a learned skill?

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm looking for her too

H: i am waiting for somewhat sane lynn to return. i think i last saw her in 2008; traces in 2009.

If anyone has seen her, please give me a clue as to where she is.
Reward to be expected.


It's been a weird and dreadful day.
Never had I spent a day trying to resolve disastrous situations with the same person over and over and over again. Just when I thought a situation has been diffused, another one arises. It seems like to end a conversation on a positive note has been impossible, regardless of either of our attempts.

It's been a cycle of: indignant treatment--> hold temper --> diffused; new indignant treatment --> hold temper -- diffused. Repeat.

On the one hand, i am proud of myself for having diffused the many problems.
On the other, i almost feel like the whole holding temper thing is quite useless, because if someone needs to feel upset, no matter how many times you try to diffuse the anger, they'll find something else.
It's defeating.

Perhaps the key to all of this is that if the person is in a bad mood, just shut up and let them be upset without saying anything, regardless of how unreasonable they are. And dont bring up stuff that's possibly going to upset them. Everyone has bad days right, i guess you just need to let them have it in peace, like they let you have bad days in peace?

I believe that's how men deal with their wives/girlfriends because these type of bad days happen to women all the time, much of it because they're hormonal. And although men also have bad days, they happen less frequently and very rarely due to hormone, so we tend to forget they also need patience.

This is hard. Which only means putting up with me is hard.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dear Air Canada


I just checked-in from Pearson Airport and received a really rude treatment from one of your staff. I noticed when I checked-in that my seat was a middle seat, despite that the travelling coordinator at my company paid a surcharge to allow seat selection. When I dropped off my baggage, I asked the service staff why I would get charged for seat selection if I ended up with a middle seat (who would pick a middle seat if they had the option, right?). Despite that I was being polite to her, she informed me that the reason why I got that seat was because my ticket was "cheap" and if I didn't pay that price, I would have gotten no seats, since the flight was overbooked. When I told her my seats were not that "cheap" as they were over a thousand dollars, she replied to me, in a quite condescending tone, "let's put it this way, there are many tickets that are way more expensive than yours."

I have the following concerns:
1. Whether her reasoning was sound or not, I implore you to see the problem with her attitude. Is it common for Air Canada staff to speak to a customer in this manner because she thinks they don't have money? I would have walked away without a problem had she told me politely that sometimes the surcharge is a way to ensure that you have a seat, since sometimes flights do get overbooked; however, she instead decided to demean me without a reason.

2. Is it really true that if I pay $1k for a ticket and you are overbooked, I would not be able to continue with my travel? If that is the case, I can hardly imagine that I would want to travel with an airline with operational strategies as such. I am sure that there will be plenty of airlines who would like to take my "cheap" $1500 and guarantee me a seat on the date of my travel.

Your disgruntled frequent flier,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eating Loss

I've always been the type that stresses for other people's lack of time management. When I watch people do things last minute, I cringe. I am the type of person that, when a project is due on a Monday, I will try to finish it on the Friday. If it's due on the Friday, it must at the very least be done by Thursday night. I cannot handle the stress of still working on something five minutes before it's due while fearing that it won't be done on time. (Yeah, I know, a load of fun to be with....)

When I'm in a relationship with someone, I have the habit of taking on their responsibility like it's my own. I hate having people work around my schedule, and i hate being the cause of anyone having to wait for me or cancel something because of me...and if I am a part of whatever time-management disaster that's happening, even if it is not my fault, i will stress. And the stress that adds to the existing stress is that i hate nagging. So if I see someone mis-managing their time, I'm stressed because they're mis-managing, and also because i feel a need to nag and i dont want to do it.

I think the most memorable incident that made me realize this was when I was in Seattle at the end of Adam's coop workterm. The plan was that his parents are going to drive to Seattle from Vancouver to pick us up. Adam was supposed to have packed all his things by the time his parents are here and we should be ready to drop off his rental car, get in the car, and leave.

For the entire week, before his parents arrival, I was nagging him to pack his stuff, offering to help him, provided that he tells me what he's going to keep, and what he's not. He was too busy. So the night before his parents came, we were scrambling to get him packed. The next day, his entire family waited for him all day until he was done packing and finishing running errands for his departure from Seattle.

The irony of this all was that he wasn't upset about making his family wait and no one in his family was upset about having to wait for him. The only person who was upset and stressed out throughout the entire ordeal was me. I was beyond angry with him about making his parents wait and about, frankly, waiting until last minute to do things. I absolutely despised that.

You would think that after learning no one else in the situation was upset, I would realize that stressing about things that were not my problem is stupid. But I don't. Throughout our relationship, this type of situation probably happened a million times. I'd be angry at him for not doing things at the time he said he would, or having to cancel on someone or something because he failed to have done earlier whatever it was that made him cancel.

Sometimes I think it's a guy thing, y'know. There are a couple of guys I know that seem to have this problem. They're good at doing things that are "important" on time, but when it comes to the little things in life that, to them, has room for readjustment, they will take advantage of it.

Not to say that I don't procrastinate...of course, I do; who doesn't? But I think fundamentally, the grey area is what is valued at being important for each of us. I am sure that I have procrastinated things in a way that pissed off someone else, who has a even more stringent timeline than I do.

The real issue for me here is two-fold:
  1. I take on the stress of someone else's mistake when it's not my fault and I shouldn't feel bad about someone cancelling someone else because of me if it's not my fault
    Why make a mountain out of a molehill when no one else cares and it doesn't affect me? I get it. I'll work on that.
    But what if I am the person that gets affected, do I still have the right to get upset?
  2. I volunteer to short-change myself because I am taking on someone else's stress (e.g., I can do the dishes if you have a lot of work to do at work, even though you played fooseball all day at work).
    This is probably especially bad for those around me, as Adam has told me many times that when I cut someone slack when I don't really want to, that someone will end up paying for the slack I cut later on anyway (i.e., him).
But #2 is slightly in the grey zone still. You have to cut someone slack sometimes for messing up their time management right? Sometimes a person will cancel on you or shed a responsibility making you have to take it on because they messed up. If it happens a lot, why wouldn't I get upset? If it happens just enough to irritate me, should I get upset?

Ok, yes, I realize this. Being upset is no good in general. Both my mom and Adam have told me that I get upset at these things because I put too much emphasis on fairness. "It's not fair that I have to do the dishes because you slacked off all day at work."

In life, there's no such thing as fairness, or so everyone else tells me. There is a concept in chinese called "eating loss" (吃虧). It's a very complex concept with a lot of implications,bBut put simply, the phrase can be used, really, any time when you feel like you've been short-changed on a situation. So the phrase can be used as such: "I hate going out with John because no matter what we do, I always have to eat the loss" (e.g., he's always taking advantage of me.)

When I was growing up, my mom used to teach me this adage all the time, any time I felt indignant: "Eating loss is the same as taking advantage" (吃虧就是佔便宜). It's a very buddhism-laced adage, as with most wisdoms in Chinese.

Being taken advantage of is the same as taking advantage? Honestly, it barely makes any sense reading it right now, how would it have made any sense to a five-year old child who is upset because your mom made you share your candy with your brother after he dropped his on the floor?

I won't get into how this phrase eventually made sense to me. But this phrase has also made me realize that the difference between fairness and pettiness is divided by a thin line. When you are eating the loss and you are complaining about being fair, according to Buddha or Confuscious, you're probably being petty.

1. don't be petty: cut people slack and be okay with it, it's okay to eat the loss for people you care about
2. don't stress about things that have nothing to do with you.

You can't control what other people do, and it's stupid to be upset at something you can't control. Logically,being upset at what other people do is stupid. All you can do is cut slack, be kind, and maintain an open-communication, especially when I know others are doing the same for me.

Monday, September 5, 2011


As an Asian, I don't have many eyelashes, so you would think that the probability of the scary scenario of living alone and having an eyelash go into and sting your eye without a person there to blow out for you to happen to me would be pretty low. Alas, that is not the case.

Living alone:1
Lynn: 0
Eyelashes on Lynn's eyes: -1

Cognitive Dissonance

Sometimes I feel like my lack of academic pursuit will be the biggest regret when I reach the end of my life. I loved every bit of the field I was researching while I was in school, and I've always felt like I have so much more to give.

Sometimes I feel like I'd fail miserably if I did pursue an academic career. Reading the papers of one of my favourite professors in Waterloo makes me feel so small, and realize that I'd have to put in 200% of my brain power and read and write academic papers everyday in order to be at 10% of his level.

I might as well not even try...right?

Saturday, August 27, 2011


When I was in Boston, I'd keep all my receipts and about once a month, I'd sit down and sort through them and enter them into my spreadsheet and see if everything balances and hits budget. I had an envelope for every type of receipt: furniture, groceries, eating out, household, clothing, gifts, etc. They were all neatly organized, placed in the bottom drawer of one of our nightstands.

Sometimes, i'd get lazy. I'd have a stack of receipts sitting hidden in my closet and it would take me months before I look through them, which is probably how I just came across a giant envelope of unsorted receipts stemming from the last accountable date of...a year ago.

Rather than just tossing everything out at once, I masochistically sat down and looked at each individual receipts before placing them in the recycling pile. Oh, this one is from Chicago, this from New Orleans, this from the airport before the family trip to Yosemite. Not to mention all the Walgreens, Starbucks, Stop and Shop, Margaritas, Qdoba, and Quiznos receipts. I can look at each one of the itemized receipts and still recall all the events associated with them.

One of the Stop and Shop receipts showed a bunch of fruits. I hate fruits; I never eat them. I remember that night when we went to Stop and Shop and he said he wanted to make fruit salad, in an attempt to be healthier. I protested. He promised he'd break the cantaloupes and melons, wash the grapes, and cut the pineapple--yes, even the pineapple. I was dubious. "Come on, you're just going to let those fruits sit there and rot and forget about cutting them." I was half-wrong. Two giant containers of fruits sat in our fridge, half of which rotted and eventually went into the garbage. It was a good attempt, nonetheless.

The only receipt I allowed myself to save from this giant pile is one of the many that were from Walgreens. On the particular receipt there was a nailpolish, a top coat, an illuminator, an eyeliner sharpner, and snickers ice cream. I don't remember what day or what month that receipt is from (although if i look more closely i can find out), but I recall that day being cold and I was bored at home and it was dark. So we took a walk to the walgreens downstairs, just to check it out, for the millionth time. I remember spending soooo long in there picking out make up on sale while he waited for me in the other aisles, and then feeling guilty about buying make up. So he offered to pay. I remember we walked home hand in hand and for some reasons we sat in the lobby in front of the TV and I remember telling him how happy I was and how it was one of my favourite days.

Getting rid of these receipts makes me wonder what footprints I left in Boston. If these receipts are gone, is there going to be any proof that I had a life there? Sure there are documents like my TN Visa, and my banking papers...but what about about the proofs of my day-to-day there and how i spent my time? In five years, when there are no more little relics and momentos that creep up out of the left field, will the last couple of years feel like another life altogether that I can no longer remember?

Does the past ever matter for our future?

One day, when I again must filter through all the paperworks I manage to horde over the years, I might come across this receipt again and realize that I no longer have a place for it. But for now, I guess it will stay buried among the pay stubs, the credit card bills, and tax papers.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cat Diairies

Today for the first time Rumi sat on my lap today for the first time while I worked.

Today for the first time he also pooped on the floor next to the litter box, and for the third time puked out yellow blobs that used to be my hairband which he is always stealthily stealing from me.

I vacuum three times a day to get rid of cat clay and cat hair on my floor.
My couches are also studded with cat claw marks.
I hate having to keep my bathroom and bedroom door closed all the time.
Scooping out cat poop makes me sick.

I don't think i'm ready for kids.

What floor do you live on?

I went downstairs to check my mail and got into the elevator going back up with two girls and guy in there. While hitting the button for my floor, I noticed that higher floor buttons were lit, and assumed that I was going to be the first one getting out of the elevator.

Elevator door opens and I get out of the elevator and so does the guy. I tell him that this is my floor, and he turns around and, this is 3, and as the elevator door closed, the two girls in the elevator also tells me that it's 3. Too late. The guy goes back into his unit happily and i am left to press the up button for the elevator, grumbling to myself about how those girls should have held the elevator door for me.

Luckily, the next elevator comes almost immediately, and as i exited on my floor, I hear giggling coming from my hall way. The two girls that were in the elevator got out on my floor, thinking it was their floor and tried to put their key in my door, as they lived in the same unit but on higher floors.

We had a good laugh.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


“In an environment where you can have so many choices, you own the outcome in a way that you wouldn’t have, had the choices not existed. If reduction didn’t exist, women wouldn’t worry that by not reducing, they’re at fault for making life more difficult for their existing kids. In an odd way, having more choices actually places a much greater burden on women, because we become the creators of our circumstance, whereas, before, we were the recipients of them. I’m not saying we should have less choices; I’m saying choices are not always as liberating and empowering as we hope they will be.”

Saturday, August 6, 2011

still learning

apparently the oven racks are supposed to come out when you use self-cleaning mode for the oven.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


This lamp is $79.99 at IKEA Canada. It is 59.99 at IKEA USA.

This make-up strip is $21.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto. It is $9.99 at Walmart in the US.

When I was little, I used to hear people drive all the way to Buffalo once or twice a year to shop, and I've always been incredulous...can prices be THAT different in the US? The thing is, it's not even the prices, but also the variety.

Ever since I moved into my own place here in Toronto, I've been looking for household items based on my previous experience home shopping in Boston. I was often online looking for things I thought would complement the house, while finding the cheapest prices. Buying things online were also extremely easy. No shipping fees, no tax, straight to the door, cheaper than actually going to the store.

Now? I have resorted to bringing a rather empty suitcase when I have a business trip to the US; drive down to a Target or a Walmart (and sometimes Sephora and Bath and Body Works) and find things that I can lug back to Toronto in my suitcase. Last time, I bought a bathroom shelf that goes behind the toilet from Target for $25 USD. It came dissembled in a box that just fit my suitcase and I lugged it back. If I were to have bought it at Canadian Tire, it would have cost me at least $60 plus tax.

These are the type of things I miss about living in the US...the convenience, the choices, the price. Yes, it's a country meant for consumers.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Coffee around the world

There's always a slight culture shock when you stay in a country for longer than a week, although it's never so much as a shock as it is just small jolt from having being pulled out of your confined understanding of normalcy (I still recall vividly my experience with buying ham in Boston). The last couple of days, I discovered something similar to how an American might feel when they come to Canada and discover that milk often come in bags.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this because I love drinking coffee, but I drink coffee most often with cream (most of the time flavoured) and sugar. The other day at the office, I wanted to have cream for my coffee, only to discover that it doesn't really exist. I walked into a local grocery store and found no such thing. A little confused, I went to McDonald's, thinking they MUST have cream, and not only did I find that they didn't have any, but that a girl next to me said she's never heard of "coffee cream". "Did you mean whipped cream?" She asked me in her charming English accent. Okay, fine, Starbucks should have it right? Nope, not even at their condiments counter. Surprisingly, Costa said they did when I went to ask. They gave me a small cup of it, and it was...really really creamy, but, as delicious as it was, it was not coffee cream.

Looking this up, it turns out that the cream that Costa gave me was quite common in the UK--for desserts. It's called single cream and it's about 20% rather than 12%. The most common cream here is clotted cream, which is approximately 55%-60%. Crazy.

I really shouldn't be surprised though, since I knew that condensed is the normal creamer for coffee in Thailand and Vietnam, so it's only natural that another country would use a different type of milk product as creamer. I don't think I could ever get used to putting milk into my coffee; I never liked cafe au lait and was never huge on lattes. I wonder what I'll be discovering at my next stop in Paris. Two weeks...I think I'll be really lonely.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What language do you use to talk to yourself?

Census Lady: how many ppl live here?
Me: Just me
CL: What language do you speak at home?
Me: ....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

There is no right answer

I have no window covering at the moment. Considering I live on the sixth floor and faces a building that hasn't finished construction yet, it's not a huge problem. At first I thought it wouldn't be such a big deal, but I have found it to be more uncomfortable than I thought. When the sun rises in the morning, I have trouble staying asleep, and surprisingly, even though the building im facing is contructing probably its 12th floor, there's people working on balcony plexi-glasses (e.g., today) directly facing my unit. Imagine my surprise when I walked out of the bathroom in my towel and then ran back in.

So window coverings...what are the options?
I can:
  1. Hire someone legitimate and professional and pay about $1-2k to cover it
  2. Hire a contractor and pay about $3-800
  3. Buy some blinds and find someone I know to do it, or do it myself, and pay about $2-300

The thing is, this is the exact same problem with every single decision I've had to make in general. I pay more to get it done right, someone tells me I got gypped. If I cheap out to do it another way, either it's not done right, or I have to spend triple the amount of time and ask people to help me to get it done.

Case 1: Blinds

When I discuss these options with people, I get drastically different opinions.

Me: "I think I'm going to pay the price and have a professional big company to do it"
Person A: "Why would you pay so much? That's a rip-off! You'd be so dumb to pay for that. You should find a contractor or do it yourself, it'd be so much cheaper"

Me: "I think I'm going to hire a contractor to do it."
Person B: "You should really be careful about these things, they might take your deposit and run with it, or do a horrible job. You really should do your due diligence and find a reputable person, but you don't even have time. Plus, why do you want to pay someone to install it? Why don't you just do it yourself or find someone you know to do it?"

Me: "I think I'm going to get the blinds and do it myself or find someone to do it"
Person C: "HA! You do it? That's more trouble than it's worth. You'd have to go get blinds, figure out the measurement, have it cut, get tools, and then either do a bad job yourself or owe someone a favour for doing it. You don't even have a car, how are you going to get the blinds? Just pay for someone to do it and you don't have to be so stressed out about organizing everything."

Decision: I got a contractor to do it. $500. He seems pretty sketch, and the guy he hired is not drilling in the holes upright. I had someone ask me why I didn't do it myself or pay someone more to do a better job or spend more time asking around to see if I can get a recommendation. But I did! His work cannot be judged until the blinds are done, but I'm pretty sure I'll have someone tell me I made the wrong decision.


Case 2: Mattress

I need a bed. This includes mattress + frame + a mattress topper of some sort.
I bussed up to Ikea in North York one evening after work and met with my mom there. They had a mattress for with a topper for $350, the frame I want for $250, and then tax + $70 delivery. If I did that, all would be good...right?

Mom: "Why would you pay $70 for delivery? I heard Ikea Mattress is horrible! You're wasting money and you're getting a crappy mattress! You should buy a mattress separately from elsewhere and then your brother and I can help with the frames and no delivery is needed. And you can buy the mattress topper from Costco, we have a costco card!"

Decision: Decided to do my mom's way. Sounds pretty on paper, huh?
On Saturday morning, I picked up the car from my mom when she was working downtown, drove through DVP traffic to North Scarborough to pick out a mattress from an Asian store my mom recommended. It took me four hours back and forth in traffic. The mattress was extremely firm but I had no other choice because I had no more time to keep looking since I needed this to be done over the weekend and this was my only day that I was going to have the car to drive (to Ikea or anywhere else). The mattress is delivered on Monday and after being unable to sleep on this hard surface, I realized I really needed to get a topper.

How am I going to get to Costco? What about my frame? My mom told me she's available on Tuesday to help me with it because she's not working. But the two of us carrying a queen-size frame is difficult, so I asked my brother. As usual, I get an ugly and rude response from him telling me that he works until 4pm, it's rush hour traffic, and that I'm wasting his time. No suggestion on alternative solution, just a simple "what a waste of time." I supposed to assume he said no and do it myself? Or assume that he wants to go on the weekend?

The following is through email:
Me: "Hey, do you wanna go to Ikea Tuesday to help us with the frame? I was thinking going to the one that's closer to downtown (etobicoke, 15 min drive from my place) to save time, since you're driving down anyway even if we're going to the one in north york"
Him: "I'm not going out west a weekday after will take an hour to drive there..what a waste of time."
Me: "Okay when are you available then? What do you want to do?"
Him: "I don't know. It's so much trouble to drive downtown on a weekday. I can't do it this weekend because of blah blah blah."
Me: "Okay? So is that a no? Why cant you just give me a yes or no?
Him: *explodes in a temper tantrum*

Maybe I should have just paid Ikea.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Survival of the Fittest

Some time this evening, after another eventful day of delays and panic, I told someone that I'm surprised I haven't been eliminated by evolution, since I clearly am unable to handle being out here in the big world on my own.

Not so surprisingly, when I took the Big Personality test ( just now, I scored the highest on Neuroticism.

"In the context of the Big Five personality traits, the term 'Neuroticism' relates to a person’s response to threatening or stressful situations. People with scores like yours may find that they often feel tense or anxious, and may well experience changeable moods."

Ironically, "some scientists have suggested that Neuroticism was beneficial in evolutionary terms. Early man may have found it advantageous to live in a population where certain individuals had a high sensitivity to threats to the group's survival."

This explains why I have yet to win the Darwin award; however, the keywords in the previous paragraph include "was" and "early man" (secondary words include "suggested" and "may"), which only means this award may still come.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I have all these little things i need to buy and i keep forgetting even now as i'm making this list...

Things to buy:
cling wrap
cutlery bin
garbage can for inside of kitchen cabinet
strainer + giant bowl for washing vegetables
blinds (in process)
frying pan
toaster/toaster oven
rice (+container)
a container for sugar
pepper grinder (i have peppercorn but no grinder)
cooking oil
storage bins
bed (mattress, frame, night table)
coffee table
more jars for spices
labels for jars
magnets for fridge
foreman grill
small vacuum cleaner

Things to do:
apply for mortgage (in process)
sort out my mail issue (in process)
check to see if anything is broken to fill out form
changes my addresses

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Face

Lately the new endorsements for big brands have been pretty fitting. My disposition towards the brand has a 1:1 relationship with my disposition toward the celebrities.

Gwenyth Paltrow --> Coach (tries too hard)
Angelia Jolie --> Louis Vuitton (ritzy, but not for me)
Jessica Alba --> Piaget (tasteful)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Politically Incorrect

This conversation made my day

me: ok, i need a HUGE favour lol
there's a girl on craigslist giving away moving boxes
i was wondering if its possible for u to help me out :D
so i have boxes for boston :P
and the money i save from the boxes can be many bags of kettle chips

H: u can use my car if that's good with u
u can buy me a drink ;)

me: lol ok

H: i want a bottle of cristal

me: um

H: though the economics of that might not work out for u anymore

me: lol i was trying to figure that one out too
how many boxes can i get with a bottle of cristal?

H: probably a small workshop of cambodians building u boxes

me: hahahahahahahaha i'm blogging that

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Easy Peasy on the Fifth

I'm not a clubber.
I remember in the first two years of undergrad, I went quite often, but I use the word "often" loosely. While everyone went to Tonic weekly in first year, and Afterlife weekly in second year, I would venture to say that I went on average of once a month. And then i went out with mike and we went clubbing maybe four times throughout our two-year relationship. The three single years between the two relationships, I could probably count with one hand how many times i went clubbing.

Below is evidence of how uncultivated i am with the "club scene." Whatever that i'm listing below is probably old news for most people.

Things I learned at Easy last night:
  • The crowd hasn't changed since the last time i was there (two years ago); they just aged
  • The crowd also hasn't changed since the last time I was dragged to another club (three weeks ago) because I saw too many familiar strangers from the other night.
  • There will not be a single night you go to Easy and you won't know at least 1/3rd of the crowd.
    • This time around, I ran into people i haven't seen from hs for 10 years, and people i haven't seen from elementary for 15 years
    • Apparently this club is a graveyard for ex-s.o.'s. You will likely meet at least two people you've dated in the past on any particular night. Thankfully none of my exes are now in toronto.
  • The aggressiveness of men correlates to the lateness of the night. By the time the lights turn on, guys will start to talk to any girl that doesn't look like they're going home with someone (even if they're in mid-conversation with another guy)
  • I used to think that if you go to a club and you're with guys, other guys will leave you alone. Alas that is not (or no longer?) the case, apparently they are now able to detect the difference between a girl going there with a guy, and a girl going there with someone they're seeing.
  • Don't leave a tab opened at the bar because you'll come back with a bill that makes you wish you bought that shirt you really wanted but couldn't afford from [insert expensive brand] instead
  • The bouncers and bartenders are actually really nice
  • I'm just not made for clubs.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The guy who never compliments

Andrew after I got off the phone with my mom: "Man I hate China Mandarin"
Me: "uh....thank you? I'll take that as a compliment...?"

The closest he will ever get to giving a compliment.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Lynn: I got a tattoo!!!
Justin: WTH?! Are you rebelling or something?
Lynn: Against what??
Justin: I dunno...the world? ...your age?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The thing with this tattoo is how "freeing" it makes me feel.

Not so much liberation as much as just a pure sense of freedom. The ability to have that choice with your own body. The fact that it is yours and that it's yours only, to decide what goes on it, stays on it--or not.

It is mine, and purely mine. And it will never belong to another person.

I like having choices, even if I don't end up exercising them.
Fundamentally, humans are made of free will. And without choices, there would be no free will.

Sometimes, to keep me happy, all you need to do is tell me I have that choice, without any conditions, even if you don't want me to make that choice

....and I will likely not make that choice, happily. All I need to know is that I have it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Getting Ready for Dirty Thirty

H: is this u trying to wrangle an LV bag out of me?
L: how do you think i get all my stuff :P
H: hahhaa... i still have no idea
L: lol
H: incredibly low standards? :P
L: hahaha....btw, i have no love for lv...i have yet to find a 2k bag i really want
H: good for u...u can use 2k for a lot more... like travelling...haha i don't get bags
L: in a way i kinda dont either.. i mean i like bags but i havent found one to me will be worth 2k cuz to me 2k bag will have to last forever, never go out of fashion, and i wont ever be bored of it, which is impossible
H: those are difficult criteria to meet
L: lol yeah, because 2k is a lot of money!
H: i don't know if anything in this world could ever meet that
L: you know what im gonan do? im gonna start a handbag fund. if i put 100 dollars aside a month in two years i'll be able to get something thats appx 2400
H: hhaha u could do it. i'd even elicit outside donors..start an awareness campaign
L: what if i just put that 100 dollars in a jar every month?
H: do u even want a handbag? u don't seem like the handbag kinda girl
L: well i keep talking about it like i talk about getting a tattoo...ive been saying for so long i want *one*....i have a lot of handbags tho
H: hahah what is this? lynn impulse era
L: hahaha i know everything i've deprived myself of doing, im gonan do it all at once
H: i feel like ur gonna get tattooed, jump out of a plane, and sew a handbag at the same time...take it easy, lol...ur not on ur death bed :)
L: lol...well i have a two year plan for my handbag!
H: i agree with the plan
L: although 100 is a lot a month... maybe i can do a three year plan
H: a nice 30th bday present for urself
L: lol wooo sounds like a plan!! although i already missed two months..

Monday, March 7, 2011

Coldplay - Viva La Vida

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
Once you go there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Letters from my miserable rainy day

Dear UPS @ 15 Toronto Street: Why would you close on a Saturday when you are supposed to be open, and notify me with a hand-written sign to tell me you're closed today after I get there?

Dear UPS @ 20 Richmond Street W: Why would you tell the website you're there, when you're really not?

Dear UPS @ 20 Dundas West: First, you are not at 20 Dundas West, in fact, you are in the Atrium at Bay, hidden at the bottom floor behind the bathroom. How do you expect people to find you.

Dear UPS: You should have dropboxes that fit boxes. A computer is not that big, why can't it fit?

Dear World: I know i've probably wronged you in some way, but can you at least let me know when the misery is going to end?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jon Rafman

LH: Does the internet subvert the idea of a ‘master narrative’?

JR: No, I think the master narrative was subverted way before the internet became popular. I think it had more to do with the failure of major ideologies.

But I also think that we live in one world and we are not so different from one another, and that a universal discourse exists. If I experience fragmentation due to being overwhelmed with data, it may well represent contemporary reality and consciousness. Perhaps our subjectivity changes over time, but it is ultimately part of our shared human history. We are narrative creatures. No matter what, we will create stories that have patterns and arcs and consist of a series of events that can be recounted.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

thank you


i have some amazing, amazing, amazing people in my life.



thank you.


btw, for those of you who don't know. i'm back in toronto.

my toronto number is the same. i have a plan now that includes unlimited txt msging and evenings and wknds starting at 7pm.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Back to December - Taylor Swift

Click to download

I'm so glad you made time to see me
How's life? Tell me, how's your family?
I haven't seen them in a while

You've been good, busier than ever
We small talk, work and the weather
Your guard is up, and I know why

Because the last time you saw me
Is still burned in the back of your mind
You gave me roses, and I left them there to die

So this is me swallowing my pride
Standing in front of you, saying I'm sorry for that night
And I go back to December all the time

It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you
Wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine
I go back to December, turn around and make it alright
I go back to December all the time

These days, I haven't been sleeping
Staying up, playing back myself leaving
When your birthday passed, and I didn't call

Then I think about summer, all the beautiful times
I watched you laughing from the passenger side
And realized I loved you in the fall

And then the cold came, the dark days
When fear crept into my mind
You gave me all your love, and all I gave you was goodbye

So this is me swallowing my pride
Standing in front of you, saying I'm sorry for that night
And I go back to December all the time

It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you
Wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine
I go back to December, turn around and change my own mind
I go back to December all the time

I miss your tan skin, your sweet smile
So good to me, so right
And how you held me in your arms that September night
The first time you ever saw me cry

Maybe this is wishful thinking
Probably mindless dreaming
But if we loved again, I swear I'd love you right

I'd go back in time and change it, but I can't
So if the chain is on your door, I understand

This is me swallowing my pride
Standing in front of you, saying I'm sorry for that night
And I go back to December

It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you
Wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine
I go back to December, turn around and make it alright
I go back to December, turn around and change my own mind
I go back to December all the time, all the time

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Roads in Boston: Part II

Now that you've seen part i, i assume part ii will be less shocking.

This is a fork in the road.

So is this.

So are these.

WTF. So are ALL of these.

Imagine driving down a road, and GPS says "in the next 5km, stay right" (you know, cuz it's a fork), and in 5km, you see the fork, and your GPS says "stay right." You stay right pass the fork, and breathe a sign of relief....nope scratch the last part, because you immediately encounter another fork, before the GPS has time to react to tell you if you're supposed to stay right or left. Last time "two roads diverged in a yellow wood," we "took the one less traveled" and got stuck in an underwater tunnel that was five minutes long all the way to the airport, and had to pay tolls to come back.

Here are a billion "Washington Streets" in and around Boston, Massachusetts. Did i mention that every little district have the exact same street names as another?

Did you catch that there are TWO Washington streets in Boston alone? I highlighted all the other districts to show you how close each area is. These streets are literally five minute drives from each other. Make sure you know your damn zip codes when you are looking up addresses because last time we tried going to School Street in Boston, we ended up on School street on the other side of the town.

Today, i was in Woburn, 15 minute away from Medford; I drove on a street called Washington street, and every street it passed, it was called "Washington Place", "Washington Drive", "Washington Walk"...WTF

If you are feeling brave, try searching on Google Maps for a few other names like Broadway, Main, Cambridge, Tremont...and see how many suggestions googlemaps will give you in massachusetts alone.

This seems simple enough. How to go from Legal Seafoods in Back Bay to an apartment building in South Boston.

This is what happens when you click on the reverse button to switch the directions on Google. Not much more that needs to be said for this one.

Btw, you think my explanation sounds bad enough? Actually driving on these roads with no signs, no arial view, with trees and houses covering the's about 100 times worth.

oh, and wait for part III

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Roads in Boston: Part I

This is an intersection in the Boston area. We live pretty close to this intersection.

Now, one might wonder, how does a road like this work? What if you want to get from Kappy's Liquor to the Coldstone Creamery? What would you do?

The red is the route you would take.The green? Well it's a quiz to let you guess how many lights are in that intersection
Answer: A hundred million.

You can imagine driving through this intersection, the amount of honking, emergency stopping, last minute lane-changes that exists.

Here is another intersection close to where we live.

Let's say you are on the west side of the this parkway and you need to get to Best does it work?

Oh what? You think we turned too early? You mean we can continue down that parkway and make a left at the next intersection? GPS certainly thinks so...but you are all WRONG. There's no left turn at the rotary...not even illegally cuz it's blocked. If you want to enter the rotary, you should have have entered it from the first intersection....

What happens if you didn't know and you missed the first turn? Good way for you to leave that parkway for quite a bit....

You tell me what that is.

Oh, and no, these are not one-off intersections and we happen to live in an area that has them. You can find these 8 way intersections and rotaries everywhere in Boston. Just check googlemap.