A Couple A Couple

We've covered the when-is-a-date-a-date issue, so the next logical step is ... when is a couple a couple? That is, when would you be considered "official" (i.e. boyfriend/girlfriend)? Obviously, there are some possible categories of "triggers": a certain level of commitment to the other person, a promise of some kind of exclusivity, and a certain amount of intimacy (mental, spiritual, and/or physical). But in your opinion, what defines those levels of commitment / exclusivity / intimacy, where that's when you decide you are official? (No. Don't jump to conclusions, people.)

Collective Consciousness

I guess this "when's a date a date" question has been asked by many bloggers! I've even seen it covered recently by someone I don't even know. Maybe there is something to this collective consciousness idea. See here for a brief discussion about it; I still believe it's judged by intent and follow-through.

Sandwiches taste better when they are cut diagonally (into triangles) instead of straight across (into rectangles). Maybe it's the way you can hold it in your hand, or the way you get more outside surface area, or just the shape of it that allows very easy access to the middle part (which usually holds the most filling) if you're trying to avoid the crust. I don't know why, but they just do.

My latest fad: Friendster. It's like a 6degrees.com thing, but you have to actually know someone to add them as a friend (except if you're adding a friend of a friend). And there's even a mechanism to allow you to play matchmakers! Kind of a fun thing, but I expect this to lose interest quickly and become like 6degrees. In any case, it's fun right now, find me and add me as a friend please!

Note to self. Chocolate, fat, and cheese are enemies to my delicate complexion. They should be eliminated.

I like her. We can still talk about our ex's openly; it's no big deal, just like when we were normal/good friends. I do have a small fear about Matt, though, because Matt seems to still be in love with her; he screwed her over royally so she won't take him back. But it's a little unnerving to know that she thought she would marry him and he was the one. Yet, I guess that's the same as me and Gigi in that we thought the relationship would culminate in marriage and the "happily ever after". And Gigi and I are no more, so if that's any proof that this can happen, I should be able to accept that hers is the same.

The only thing we haven't talked about is us. We haven't explicitly talked about us and our relationship: where we really are, where we might be going, what our concerns are. It's been implicit, though going very well, and we'll have to hit those topics up one day. In the meantime, we're still talking about plans on where would be fun to go, what trips to take together with friends, tactical daily things, that kind of life stuff. Eventually, the important things will need to be openly discussed -- that was the basis of how we grew this way, after all -- but I don't want to damper the bliss and halo that surrounds us at this point. Not quite yet.

And now that I'm closer to her, I get the feeling that my "market value" just increased. (One estimate claims by 50%, though you may wish to take that with a grain of salt.) And that increase is really the opposite of when you need it, huh. Like that old concept that married men are somehow more attractive (though not morally). Or like trying to get a loan -- you can't get one when you actually need one, and when you don't need one, banks are more interested in lending you money! Life is funny that way, huh?

Ah, a blissful state of mind. Apparently, I am "dreamy". Yay! Though that's not the first time someone's used that word about me. I wonder if that's a California thing, or if there's a "dreamy" quality about me. What would a dreamy quality be, anyway? Whatever it is, it must be doing me favours; I'm enjoying its results!

A good plan gives way to a great start, which in turn is half the battle towards success. Now is the time for execution and follow-through -- chores to be done before the partying!

There is much to be planned. The big items are in place, but the devil is in the details. Events that should occur must be arranged so as to appear coincidental or casual. Things that should not be seen must be hidden or discarded. Pieces of the jigsaw puzzle shall be positioned, and the motion of all of them orchestrated to merge into the big picture: a fantastically wonderful weekend. But, much planning must take place to be successful.

The facts.
1. The weather here has been absolutely amazing.
2. Monday is a holiday, making this a long weekend.
3. My boss is in town from Sweden for one week.
4. He had a sore throat and lost his voice yesterday.
5. He called in sick today.

I dunno ... I mean, he's a really hard worker and very dedicated to his job, but ... all those things put together ... is he really sick? Or, the more important question is, should I have called in too??

You know what gets me? People who don't hold the chef's knife properly for cutting / chopping. In my opinion, there are more than two ways: one of them I consider right, one I consider okay, and the others I consider "wrong". This is based on techniques I've read about and watched from a variety of sources. I mean, I think I do it right ... and hell, I'm a guy without that much cooking experience. Here's what I consider the right way:

Holding. Take the knife, and hold it halfway up; your index knuckles and thumb should "pinch" the blade near the handle.
The middle finger, not the index finger, is supposed to be against the bolster. (The bolster is that thing that sometimes looks like a finger guard, where the blade and handle meet.) Then wrap your other fingers around the handle.

Reasoning. Holding the knife this way puts your hand a little higher on the knife, closer to the blade. The position gives you more control and balances the knife better for weight.

Cutting / chopping. The main contact point for cutting (green onions, let's say) should be near the middle of the blade, depending on the shape of it, but closer towards the handle. The remainder of the blade (towards the tip) provides leverage and "grounding" for the next cut. I'll elaborate. Slice down in a "pushing" motion, then lift the knife while keeping the tip on the cutting board, and pull back. You want the weight of the knife and the ease of pushing to do the cutting for you, unless you're slicing delicates like sashimi -- then you want the weight of the knife to cut as you pull, but that's a whole different thing then. And you continue, pushing as you cut, hinging the tip and pulling back up. The blade shape should be curved so that this motion is fairly smooth.

Anyway, that's what I consider the right way, but not many people hold it like that ... not even some friends whom I thought were experienced in the kitchen! Is it just me, or does no one really care about that? I've found that correcting the technique has easily doubled my slicing speed and definitely improves accuracy. My current knife is an 8" chef knife from Target (Michael Graves line), which they no longer make in this style. Ideally, I will graduate to a Wusthof 8" chef as a primary tool, but I can't justify it right now.

I have a happy glow about me. The kind of glow that propagates to those around you, gives light to darkness, and brings music to somber silence. The kind that shows in an aura, boosts the inner flow of qi, and energizes the body and mind. I like it.

Why are sausages always curved? I watch the Food Network a lot, and whenever they have a machine that makes sausages, they always come out curved. This is normally not a catastrophic disaster, but sure makes browning their surfaces evenly a hard task to do! Unless you are browning more than, say, three of them at once, you are basically stuck with two browned surfaces and the rest might be raw.

Seeing the machine, I can't figure out why it has to be curved all the time, except that perhaps the plastic tubing just isn't manufactured totally evenly. And, knowing the kind of anal science that goes into all types of foods to make the taste / keep / cook better, why not put some effort into creating straight sausages?

Of course, my interim solution is to (1) buy fully cooked sausages first, so I don't kill myself eating raw sausage meat; (2) microwave them before browning them, so they cooked from the inside; (3) scoring at a slant throughout, to let the heat penetrate faster. Still. I think they should put a little thought into straightening out the sausages.

I took a "Which Honda Are You?" quiz, and they told me ...

"You are an Accord EX-V6. You're not quite plebian, but you're a comfortable and conservative sort of person who keeps a balanced view and level head during a conflict. You can be rather demanding at times, but it's all in a pursuit to keep things mellow."

I ate too much at lunch today. My belt is strained to capacity. My belly is overflowing my pants ... gurgle gurgle. It's oozing all over my seat ... ooze ooze ooze. I'm a fat slob ... gurgle gurgle. Food coma in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... [conk]

Ah, I just love weddings, don't you? :-) Enjoy.

Everyday progresses better than the previous. The fog of uncertainty and fear lifts more and more, letting rays of sunshine in to shine from above. Life just gets better, and I hope my high never comes down. Big smiles all around. And the sound of gleeful laughter in the background.

Wanna know something? In the men's washroom/restroom/bathroom at work, when someone flushes the toilet, you can hear a gurgling from inside the drain pipe (in the floor). Wouldn't you hope that the wastewater pipe from the toilet goes completely isolated out to wherever it goes (and I'm sure it's here in stinky Milpitas)? It's not comforting to hear that open-air gurgling after a flush. This is how diseases spread. Gross.

We just hired an IT guy at work. I hope this doesn't hinder my IM and surfing. That would suck. Guess I'd better schmooze with him and make him my new "best friend". He's pretty cool. Seems easy going, but you never know with them; could turn out to be power-trippy.

I just won the auction for my camera case! Yay! (I even forgot that I had bid, since it was a few days ago.)

I feel like I'm in high school all over again! I'm not drunk, though that huge-ass Remy shot should have done the trick. But I will say that I'm intoxicated. In a good way.

Where are all my online friends? My Trillian is looking rather sparse, and it's too late to start doing laundry tonight. So, with my brain's extra cycles, I ponder ...

Whenever I'm in the washroom at work, standing at the urinal, the same question seems to pop into my head. Where and how should I direct my pee in the urinal, so as to minimize the splash and splatter? Not only the splatter that could possibly come back at me and my pants, but also to minimize the splatter to the inside of the urinal itself. In short, the smoothest fluid flow. I have a few approaches on this so far.

Wanna test drive a C and have some fun? I've already reserved a spot, yay!

Did I ever mention that I love Honda for their ingenuity?? And apparently, only one second of CGI was used ... the rest is all real! (Here's the actual original link from Honda.)

There's a fuzzy line drawn in the sand in front of me. It's a line I've wanted to cross for some time now, and I stand before it, poised to make the shift ... and yet, for some reason, I cannot bring myself to pick my foot up and step onto the other side. A light breeze blows, and before long, the line will be no more for me to cross. I will be left standing again in the middle of a smooth, featureless beach.

If I stand there and draw the line behind me, I really haven't changed position, and I'm only fooling myself, aren't I? The point of stepping over the line is to shift where I am relative to the world and other things around me.

The breeze is neither good nor bad; it is simply the winds of time, blowing across the sands of time. The two constants that are forever changing, opening and closing doors for us to pass through, creating and erasing lines for us to cross.

Oh, snap! The dullest blog in the world is pretty interesting! THAT was what I was trying to do, interspliced with some more personal thoughts of mine. I'm attempting to keep a balanced mix of brain farts and mind explorations.

Just read that we're going to have a total lunar eclipse tonight! The NASA webpage says we can see it from California, though Vancouver will probably only see the partial eclipse. Europe have a great view of this. Snap those digicams, people!

I'm just floatin' on a cloud ... it's cloudy outside, but sunny inside! (No, I'm not on drugs.)

Just got home from watching Matrix: Reloaded (pre-screen viewing). Some things are getting a little out of hand, but the fight scenes are pretty amazing. And another revelation is uncovered that changes the viewer's understanding of the Matrix, the machines, and Zion. A little too "tribal" in some parts, but otherwise a very entertaining movie!

I'm erasing the Ideal GF blog, so I've transferred the pertinent data over here. And I've added a few, so even if you've read the other one, you may want to skim this part again.

Activity. Sport. Include skiing/snowboarding, rollerblading, working out. Positive attitude about it is important.
Activity. Leisure. Enjoy clubbing, drinking socially.

Physical. Height. Comfortably rest her head on my shoulder.
Physical. Height. Comfortably nuzzle to or near my neck. (Hey, I like that, okay.)
Physical. Height. Holding hands without strain.
Physical. Height. Kiss her on the forehead without strain.
Physical. Height. Not taller than me.

Values. Relationships. Highly value family and friends.
Values. Law. Minimal harmless substance use is okay. No convictions!

MSG without Diet Coke seems fine. No problems. Next trial: Diet Coke only, no MSG.

I think the combination of MSG and caffeine creates a terrible aftertaste in my mouth. That's too bad, particularly since it's likely from the cheap Chinese lunch for $3.60. Or maybe it's just a combo from MSG and aspartame -- I'll have to try with non-Diet Coke next time.

No games, just life. Well, just a few games, but fun ones; it's way better that way.

My archives are working again; I didn't know I had to republish them after I changed my template and such. Oops. And the frequency of the archives is higher (weekly) while my postings will be getting lower. Expect more cryptic messages in the future. :-)

I'm taking it slow; this kind of thing deserves as much time as it needs.

I'm walkin' on sunshine, whooooo ...
I'm walkin' on sunshine, whoooooo ...
... and don't it feel good!

I guess May and June are popular visitor months for me! I've got some really close friends coming down for Memorial Day weekend, then my parents for the two weeks there, and then my sister and Steve at the end of June! And, of course, I'm back in Vancouver in mid-June.

Huh. That's going to put a damper on my workout schedule. Ray's going to pull away with his lead over me. Dammit. New rule: all visitors' schedules are subject to my workout schedule. And my workout schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday evenings after work. (Some exceptions may apply.)

Wow, it's Monday and (for once) I don't hate it!

Question. Those toilet seat protectors (you know, the thin paper thing you place on the seat before you plop your butt on it) have a smooth, shinier side and a slightly rougher matte side. Which side goes where?? Or does it matter? I mean, was it designed a certain way to be like that, though?

Heh heh, it's your birthday!

Information is power. Things get exciting when information is disseminated and power shifts.

I don't feel like working. Maybe I'll just leave. Unmotivated to work today at all. Blah. At least the weather's nice.

You know what bothers me a little? I'm not really good friends with my ex-gf's. Some friends are still close with their ex's, and I think that's great. Some people say it shouldn't matter; they're gone. But isn't it a shame to have opened yourself up to someone so much, for someone to know you so well, and then to have them out of your life completely? Those should be the makings of a really good friend! But alas, when things end "wrong", such friendships are hard to rekindle; it's a defensive mechanism against possibly getting abused / hurt again. I can understand that.

Rice Boy

What will my future nieces and nephews call me?? Damn that branded food; they've ruined it for me.

"Question cool." I don't know why that suddenly popped in my head, but I saw that sentence scribbled in chalk on the concrete wall in the Rotunda area of SFU, maybe about 8 or 9 years ago.

But it's an interesting statement, to incite one to reflect on what society or environmental pressures (i.e., peers, cultures, etc.) are pushing us to believe is cool. Maybe not what is right or wrong, but what is cool. The problem arises when we realize that our decisions on these judgements are themselves influenced by cultural / peer / societal pressures. So then, how does "questioning cool" really do anything?

Maybe it's just a statement that encourages the reader to think twice about what really is cool. That implies that people often do things without thinking much, or they base their actions on the first impressions of what is and isn't cool.

Or maybe the chalker is an idiot and really meant to comment on other graffiti found on that wall ... "Cool question."

I changed my background template, so that it wasn't so close to Mike's. Still playing with the colours.

Nothing like a gorgeous sunny day, great music, and doing fun stuff to make a Friday absolutely phenomenal, eh?

I'm home now. Got my S400! Battery's charging, but I'm not going to stay up for 2 hours to wait for it. I'll take pictures of the packaging tomorrow and such. Yay!

We all know that being friends and being closer than friends can be just a thin line, and yet a world apart. My ex couldn't understand this; she had a fear that I didn't know that line as well as I really did. Another ex never told me, but I know she had an issue with that too, particularly with Karen. (Actually, seems like Karen will be the downfall of all future girlfriends who don't believe I can behave myself around fun girls.) Anyway, back to my original point.

The thin line. They say you should spend your life with your best friend, and I've always believed that "friendship first" concept makes sense; just like I think finding a girl/guy as a "friend's friend" is the ideal way to go. But I think my personality and behaviour can become completely different if I ever cross that line and become a boyfriend instead of a friend. And how does one step into that world without changing the nature of the relationship, the one that got you two along so well before? I mean, one treats a girlfriend more special than treating a regular friend, right? But we usually hold our friends dear anyway!

So, an invitation to any who have become more than friends with previous friends ... I don't know the answer. Just wondering.

S400 Delivered

UPS shows it's delivered. Leasing office will put it in my living room (since they're closed by the time I'm home). Sweet!

Read about Nike weartesting just now. Worth a shot, why not, right? Oh, wait, it says "athletes"; then I definitely ain't qualified.

Just a partial list of the things that urk me sometimes.

People who use sayings grossly incorrectly. They try to express themselves with sayings and idioms and colloquial phrases, but mess it all up in the end. Just sounds dumb. Like Biff in Back to the Future ... "Why don't you make like a tree and ... get outta here!" "Stuck between a rock and a really difficult position."

People who can't get the difference between "your" / "you're" ... "its" / "it's" ... "would have" / "would of" ... I mean, seriously. Isn't English knowledge mandatory in schools nowadays? Pay attention in class!

If you want to get by someone, say, "Excuse me." Otherwise, be prepared to wait.

People (like at Ranch 99) who leave their carts in the middle of the aisle while peering off somewhere. I don't care if you're just stopping to read a label off a can, or if you want to stand there and pick your butt. There are people behind you who have stuff to do too, and there's no reason you can't pull your cart over to the side.

The fast lane is for fast cars; if you're not, don't be there. Here's a hint: if two cars pass you on the right, you should be on the right.


Guys who hang out in the workout gym and spend 10% of their time working out, 15% oggling the girls, 20% flexing in the mirror, and 55% of the time just resting from a barely-existent set. It's not a lounge; it's a gym. Finish your workout, and go hang out somewhere fun instead.

If you bump into someone, it doesn't take but a second to say, "I'm sorry." Or, "Excuse me".

You're not stuck in traffic: you are traffic. So stop rubberneckin' at the flashing lights on the side of the road that have absolutely nothing to do with you (sometimes even on the other side of the highway), and you lookin' over there might cause another accident! Morons. Don't you have somewhere to get to? You're on the highway, you know.

I hate when my protein shake has lumps in it, even after I've been shaking for a minute.

Games. Not boardgames, but people games, mind games.

Whew. Okay, that's off my chest now. I feel much better. :-)

Now this is what I wanna do with my S400. Obviously, this photographer had some serious equipment with him, but it's still a Canon digital. I hope mine inherits some of those genetics. :-)

At the suggestion of Kevin, I'm going to just intersplice my blogs with IGF comments. It's all part of my train of thought anyway.

Another quality of the IGF (ideal girlfriend) is that She (yes, capital "S") should be someone I can dance with at a club, but not necessarily need to be babysat. If we go together, She should be able to spend time at a club with and without me, without being all pouty and needy. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to avoid her, but I'd like a little "boys" time too. (Hey, it ain't like that. It's harmless. Really.)

Oh. Wait. I forgot what I was going to write.

Talking to Ray last night. I never thought I'd be where I am today. Five years ago, I never knew life could throw so many things at me; not bad things necessarily, just twists and turns that I bounce around and bounce back from.

I never thought I would ...
... be single from a long-term relationship.
... live in California ... with two girls!
... be taking so many vitamins and protein supplements.
... see the underside of 150lbs again (though short-lived).
... be clubbing every week, even getting totally drunk at times.
... have tried and done drugs (still no hard stuff).
... make such good friends as the ones I had through school.
... say "hella" and "dude" and be all ghetto.
... miss Vancouver so much.
... be able to laugh so freely at myself.

Life is funny that way, you know? I'm not depressed or reminiscing ... just seeing how different life can be, no matter how much you plan. It's not a bad thing; keeps everything exciting.

Wanna hear something funny? (Well, gross funny.) I think my sock fibers are tugging at the little hairs on my toes. Doesn't sound like much, but it's frickin' painful!

A Date A Date

At what point is a date a date? For instance, two people (let's say one guy, one girl, for the majority of sexual preferences) head out to dinner. Let's even say they go for a movie. Is that a date? I draw the line based on the intentions of the event. I'd say that if there might be a romantic intention, then it's a date; if there isn't, it's just two people hanging out.

I know one of my ex's considers ANY guy+girl going out to be a date. No matter what. So I'm thinking, wow, so basically hanging out with your platonic friends constitutes dating, and dating outside while you're in a committed relationship could be considered cheating! Ah, but she draws another line in that some dating is okay. I'm still not sure where that line would be, but I gave up. (The conversation clearly was going nowhere good.)

The wait is killing me. Stupid UPS hasn't updated their tracking details for a while now, and I'm sitting here wonder where my baby is! I think people are getting tired hearing about where (exactly) my S400 is at this moment. One of these days, they're going to make me shut up.

Hmmm ... how conceited are we bloggers, really? I mean, who the heck do we think we are, that we should keep an online journal? Exactly who do we think wants to read our kind of crap on a regular basis? Are our lives that interesting that we have to post more frequently than many of today's hit sitcoms and TV series air their episodes? Seriously, huh.

I am chicken sh!t. There's no why or how about it. I just am.

ETA is T-minus 3 days. DELL customer support is awesome. I'm all giddy! (But Desiree confirmed it was indeed my call that spurred an "expedite order", which got the camera going.)

But DELL Small Business is now offering the same thing for 20% off; just go to the link, click on the S400, and the discount shows when you checkout. Effective final price: $400, free shipping, no taxes.

"Hope for the best, expect the worst." So, in the end, what happens with all that extra planning? If you keep planning for the worst (which is like me packing for a trip), don't you end up with all this extra work that goes for naught? Downside risk is the key. What kind of "unplannedness" am I willing to live with? Am I spontaneous enough to accept that not everything will go my way, as much or little as I plan? Am I open enough changing plans on a dime, just for the fun of it?

Two years ago, I would probably have said no. Today, that is my life. Is that bad? Certainly not. It makes for stories for my grandkids (and some not suitable for them).

"Life is funny." That's the mood I'm in today. Life is just funny sometimes. A mixed bag of nuts, a melange of sweets and bitters, of happiness and of uncertainties. Within the same day, within the same hour, life can take twists and turns.

Hmm ... I just said a whole lot of nothing, didn't I? (I tend to be good at that.)

Life is better with fresh underwear.

Karen and I agree that Sundays are just too short. It's the one day where you have to (1) recover from Saturday, (2) get leftover this-n-that done, (3) wind down the weekend, and (4) prepare for another work week starting "tomorrow". So I propose that Sundays be longer, and Mondays shorter; let's make them 36 and 12 hours, respectively. That way, you get more of the lead-up time, and less of the dreaded Mondays! Heck, why not just abolish Mondays altogether and make it 48-hour "Sundays"! Then we can start fresh each week with a Tuesday! Before we know it, it'll be Wednesday, and then off to the weekends! Yay!

A snail climbing on the other side of the window looks like an alien pod. I'm not sure if a slug would look more or less like an alien than a snail.

Normally, sitting indoors and staring out at sheets of rain coming down is rather depressing. And yet, there's a certain comfort to me here (albeit in the office) watching it rain down hard outside. Maybe it reminds me of home. Maybe it is the feeling of being safely sheltered from the wetness that is outside. Maybe this is just a mindless musing.

Whoohooo! DELL shipped it today! See? Well, they have a tracking number, but "in transit" status means it left DELL and is on its way to UPS. Heck, I was so happy I had to post on the www.DPReview.com forum!

And just when I was considering the Canon SD100 (announced yesterday)! But I'd rather have the 4.1MP resolution and the better CCD, even if it's larger and heavier. And I think CF cards are still cheaper than SD anyway. :-)

Dammit. Some people on DPReview ordered AFTER me, and have already received the camera! AND ... they got it for ($24) cheaper, too! I wonder if it's my CF card that's slowing it all down. I called DELL and asked them to look into it. Desiree helped me with that; she seemed nice, and my estimated shipping date happens to be her birthday (June 18)! I'm supposed to get a response back in a few days from her personally on this matter.

Okay, I've made another blog now that contains all the "Ideal GF" specs ... at least, that's under development. It's right here.

You know what? I think a girl around 5' 5" to 5' 7" with shoes is a good height match for me. I'm around 5' 8" or 5' 9" with heeled shoes. So when we're barefoot, I'd be around 5' 7" or 5' 8" and she would be like 5' 2" to 5' 5". Plus or minus an inch or two. Yeah. That's good.

Well, the really high level requirements are that I don't want her to be taller or even equal. Short enough for me to kiss her forehead (without tippy toeing) and tall enough to hold hands and hug comfortably. Oh, and kiss too, of course, without feeling like I'm doing deadlifts!

Some nights I just feel like crying. Nothing in particular, nothing in general. Just feel like something needs to get out.