The delicate dance.

In June I moved into an apartment with a temperamental refrigerator. It makes noises like this:

nnnnnnnnnnnn ssssKKKKRRRRRsssggggzzzz KawEEEEEEEEEEEE

I continue to live in this apartment at great peril to myself. I suspect the refrigerator will explode at any moment. I try to appease it by not overloading it with stuff or asking it to be too cold. In fact, I let it not be cold and have had food poisoning 4 times. Apparently “chicken” is supposed to be kept “cold”. Anyway, it is a delicate dance (see what I did there?!) between not having the refrigerator explode and having foodstuffs that don’t make me vomit.

I like that I write these things just to entertain myself, but sometimes other people read them. This is what the internet was made for.


The vacuum and related events.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been fortunate to receive much wisdom from various people in the past couple of weeks. So I’ve decided to pay it forward by writing about some things I’ve learned in my own life. I begin with the story of the vacuum.

Once my older brother dropped a vacuum on my face. He was standing on a balcony, holding a large vacuum cleaner (as kids do), and told me to look up. He then pushed the vacuum over the balcony and onto my face. From this incident, I learned not to vacuum. Better to live in filth than to have a fat lip. This is my piece of advice #1.

The second piece of advice is that looks come and go, but paper bags are forever. When I went to school with a balloon-like face (due to falling vacuums), many other kids made fun of me. My dad said “soon, the swelling will go away to reveal a beautiful face and you just need to ignore those other kids for now! You are learning who your real friends are!”

The swelling went away, but my dad said “ah, guess I was wrong. Here is a paper bag.”

As such, buy a good paper bag.

You’re welcome. Pay it forward.


Having been unemployed for 30 years, the time has come for me to get a job. I was told that the suit I fashioned for myself out of spoons and elastic bands is “not a suit” so today I set out to buy a “real” one.

It was not easy. I learned a lot about my body proportions at the first place I went. All of the suits were either too short in the arms but fit elsewhere or the right size in the arms but too big elsewhere. The salesperson commented that “we rarely have this problem” and “you almost need a man’s suit”.

Feeling discouraged by the fact that I have gorilla arms but encouraged by the fact that I resemble Tom Hanks (obviously), I visited another shop. Now I started having a problem with pants. Sure they fit in the moment but what about after eating an entire pie?

Then I struck gold. I found an entire rack of suit pants with elastic-y waists. I was so happy. I took the entire rack to the fitting room. It was at that moment that the salesperson mentioned that a lot of women try to buy things ahead of time but sometimes it’s best to wait until you’re showing so that you know what will fit. Ah, I thought, I should come back when I’ve eaten an entire pie and my belly is showing. Good thinking. She later asked me when I was due and it was at THAT moment that I realized they were maternity pants.

Needless to say, I bought 3 pairs. Pregnant women are geniuses.

Repost: An Alphabetized Tribute to Canada

Tomorrow is Canada’s 150th birthday and I have never been happier for my beautiful country. Nobody deserves it more than you, Canada. Some years ago I wrote this poem for my one true love and I share it again now. Bonne fête, Canada!


An Alphabetized Tribute to Canada

A is for arctic, it’s damn cold all the time
B is for Bluenose, the ship on our dime.

C is for Canadarm that helped with the space quest
D is for donut, Tim Hortons is best

E is for Elizabeth, she’s our head of state
Americans may laugh, but haters will hate.

F is for Ford, the mayor who smokes crack
G is for goose, our bird that fights back

H is for heist, our syrup was stolen
I is for ice hockey, the sport we get gold in.

J is for John; A. Macdonald, that is
Who got the job done while poppin’ some crys

K is for Klondike, where we searched for some gold
L is for the love that I feel for my home

M is for maple, moose, maritimes, and Mountie.
Also for McCullough and his stem cell discovery.

N is for Nanaimo bar, haven’t tried it? A pity.
O is for Ottawa, our capital city.

P is for Pemmican, a First Nations dish
Q is for Quebec, separate? They wish.

R is for Riel, for the Metis he fought
S is for snowfall. It’s June, please stop.

T is for Trans-Canada, it connects all of us
BC to Newfoundland, certainly a plus

U is for universal, education and healthcare
V is for Vancouver, and the dim sum you have there

W is for walkie talkie, it made our lives better
X is for x-ray, who came up with this letter?

Y is for YAHTZEE!*

Z is for zed, yes we say it right
Oh Canada, I miss you tonight.

* invented in Canada


I am in D.C., living life, eating popsicles. Flying over the White House and thinking about who is currently occupying it felt similar to the time a window fell on my head. Not good, and surprised that you’re still alive given the circumstances.

I was giving a presentation today and wanted to fit in with all the movers and shakers so I wore my sole grown-up outfit. It’s easy to confuse graduate students with old mops, given our dress, hygiene, and (lack of) social skills. Today, though, I dressed like a real person. I felt very Michelle Obama-y until a homeless man on the street told me I should wash my shoes.

After the talk I explored a bit but apparently kept trying to enter “secure areas” like the “Oval Office”. “You’ll never silence Canada!” I yelled, as I fled the scene. I guess I’m on some kind of list now.

Sometimes when I’m alone visiting a city I try to make friends by finding a park and chatting with people but today a bird bit me.

This is my life now.



My friend, Jude Law.

This is the story of how I met my ex-best friend, Jude Law. I say “ex” best friend not with disdain, but with the reluctant acceptance that many friendships, like the old squirrel that used to live in the tree beside my house, will die. Or look identical to other squirrels such that I lose track of the original squirrel. In any case, I give you our story.

Back in my mid-years of graduate school (I have accumulated so many years of graduate school that I can now call some “mid”), I thought “this is seems hard and I like the Queen so I’m going to London”. I spent about a year in the UK, doing some researching and perfecting my now beautiful and not-at-all-offensive British accent. One night I was out for a stroll. By that I mean that I walked 5 blocks, got tired, and decided to take the bus home.

Because my legs were wary from those 87 steps I took, I sat down on a short brick fence as I waited for the bus (or double-decker as we Commonwealthers are wont to say. Hup hup cheerio.) Beside me was a homeless fellow with a dog. Like any good citizen, I strongly prefer animals to humans, so I immediately started to ask the man about his canine. As we were chatting, a youngish dude stopped in front of us and put a 5-pound note in the homeless man’s cup. I looked up. It was Jude Law.

Now Jude Law is a good-looking dude but there was also a cute dog beside me, so obviously I was all “meh, you’re kinda standing between me and this dog I’m going to steal so buzz off”. But Jude, ever the best friend, looked at me, paused in thought for a moment, and reached back into his pocket. He pulled out another something-pound note and tried to hand it to me.

At first I was confused. Then I quickly realized that he had made the mistake so many people had made before. Jude Law thought I was homeless. I told him that I was ok and held my hand out in a “no” gesture. Jude Law looked embarrassed. I started to explain to him that there was no need to be embarrassed. I started telling him that my own parents mistook me for a mis-shapen potato when I was 6 but as quickly as Jude entered my life, he left.

Erik Pevernagie, a Belgian artist, once said that “a fleeting moment can become an eternity”. That is not how I feel about my encounter with Jude Law. But I do feel that way about a donut I ate earlier today.

Hey, Jude.


My parents sent me these photos from home



And then I looked around at my view


I’m not sure I’ve made good life choices.