Nov. 17th, 2010

double facepalm
So, one of these scammers called our office today, asking for our machine's serial number. When I asked where they were calling from, they immediately hung up.

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Nov. 11th, 2010

tl;dr
I don't understand why people are so obsessed with saying "WHAT IS AIR??" right now when they find something funny.

I like getting into new phases with new and/or seasonal vegetables. Recently:

- brussels sprouts
- fresh artichokes
- butternut squash

Tea/Chinese pedantry

dong ma by zimba
Despite what you may have heard to the contrary, Pu'Er (aka Pu-Erh, although the H is superfluous [in Pinyin it is just Er so I don't know who added it] and adds no information regarding pronunciation) is not pronounced Poo-Air, but rather Poo-Ar (like the letter R) in Chinese.

Similarly, although people do this less now, Beijing is not pronounced Bay-zhing, but rather Bay-Jing. There is no "zh" sound (the s in 'measure') in Chinese, despite all the zh's and x's you see in Pinyin. There are zh's, q's, and x's because there are two j (as in juice) sounds, two sh (as in shirt) sounds, and two ch (as in cheese) sounds and they have to be differentiated somehow in Roman script.

The band "Xiu Xiu" in Chinese (because it's named after a Chinese movie) is pronounced something like shyo shyo or see-oh see-oh, but with very little emphasis on the "see" and compacted into one syllable for each Xiu. It's not Zoo Zoo. There is no "z" sound in Chinese, although there is a "dz" sound.

If you don't care about pronouncing the Chinese way, that's fine with me. But if you are trying, I'm just giving you a heads up.

Major tea success

dong ma by zimba
I joined 750 Words, because I haven't been writing private journal entries for a year or two now and it's good for my brain for me to do so. It emails me reminders every day (the site, not my brain).

Adam and I visited The Chinese Tea Shop on Columbia and Pender on Saturday afternoon. It was super awesome. I learned how to make Gongfu Cha, tasted some Gao Shan (High Mountain) Tie Guanyin and some Dragon Phoenix Oolong, and we were there altogether for about an hour. I bought an Yixing tea pot, a strainer, and tea cups, along with some excellent Tie Guanyin, a little bit of Bi Luo Chun, and some Silver Needle white tea for Adam. When we got home we seasoned the teapot right away and made some more gongfucha for ourselves. You're supposed to use just one kind of tea in a clay teapot, because it soaks up the flavour over time, so this one is for the Tie Guanyin. We had Josh and Mo and Justine over for dinner later and I made some tea for them also. I haven't had tea this good since I was in China.

The owner of the shop, Daniel Lui, is a bona fide Chinese tea expert. He totally knows his Pu'er manufacturers and the intricacies of clay teapots (which shape is best for which kinds of tea, etc). Friends who come to visit Vancouver are all going to be dragged to this shop as one of the must-see destinations (right along with Hon's and Stanley Park).

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Dawning of a new (tea) era

dong ma by zimba
White people problems:

Yesterday I finished drinking the last of my Tie Guanyin tea from China. I went there 5 years ago and I bought enough Chinese tea to last me that long. I think I may still have some bricks of the red Pu'Er, but the Tie Guanyin is by far my favourite -- it has its very own distinct slightly floral, slightly sweet-ish taste. I bought some at the Richmond Night Market this summer and it was utter swill. It didn't taste anything like it, had hardly any flavour at all, and wasn't even the right colour. I'm sure there's a specialty tea shop somewhere in the city I can find it, though. Maybe in Chinatown or something. But if not, I'll have to switch to a different green tea. My boss has a bunch of Longjing, so I'm trying that for today. It's okay. I could potentially bring in some of the Pu'Er too, I suppose. You have to hack off chunks from the brick of tea with scissors, which is messy (which is why I don't often drink it), but it sure is delicious.

I tried some Lapsang Souchong at a local cafe recently. It's a smoked tea, and it pretty much tastes like the smell of campfire. I didn't like it very much. There was no tea taste, just wood-smoke.

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Oct. 23rd, 2010

alien lois
The best thing about seeing Daedelus on Thursday night was when he sampled Björk's "Hunter", followed by some Dead Prez, followed by the fucking "Gimme Pizza" Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen song. Altogether he was fantastic. He lived up to the praise my friends were heaping on him before I saw him.

I'm getting tired of dubstep (especially excessive wobbles -- the novelty wears off after a while). I was saying to my friends that night that I like it when dubstep is actually techno.

Gaslamp Killer played that night too, but it wasn't nearly as good as the set we saw at 560 Seymour.

I read The Hunger Games and I really really liked it. I'm reading a Bill Bryson book (the history of houses, I forget the title) as a palate cleanser before reading the next one, because when I read books by the same author back to back, they tend to all run together in my mind.

Life is pretty low-key and uneventful these days. We're both low on money so we stay at home a lot. Adam has been making a lot of origami and studying chemistry (he wants to go to grad school once he gets his permanent residence). We've been watching Dexter together. I've been reading lots. Also eating squash and/or brussels sprouts at dinner nearly every night - yay for seasonal vegetables.

Zuul has fleas, and we've been trying to get rid of them since the summertime. They almost go away but then come back again. I just did a shit-ton of laundry today including all of our bedding, and I need to vacuum again today and get Adam to do all his clothes too. She's wearing a flea collar. We did put that Zodiac stuff on her a couple weeks ago, but I think they survived in the rugs and furniture, hence my need to vacuum. Anyway. If worse comes to worse, I guess we could fumigate.

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Oct. 13th, 2010

holy shit
Damn. The second half of season 2 of Dexter is intense. Adam and I just watched it in one sitting.

It's still not what I'd call an excellent show. It's a good show, with a lot of lazy and/or weird-ass writing. Still a lot of predictable plots. But still -- I found myself thinking some of the time in these last few episodes, "HOW THE FUCK IS HE GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS?! MUST KEEP WATCHING"

I am reading The Vampire Lestat. That prose is MAD purple, but I like enough of the ideas she plays with to keep reading for now.

Daid

alien lois
What does it say about Livejournal that often I'll have blog ideas, and if they're just short two-sentence things, I don't blog them over here anymore? I'll post it on Tumblr, or if it's really really short I'll tweet it. I have way more "followers" over here on my LJ, although a lot of them are probably inactive, but unless something needs to be friendslocked or it's a big long entry, I don't really bother over here anymore. 'Cause it's dead. Also, I haven't added a new LJ friend in at least a year. Just keepin' up with all the old blogs.

I have bronchitis, which is gradually dissipating. I'm reading Philip Roth and he seems pretty misogynist (despite being a great writer). I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner this Sunday, which will also be the family's celebration of my 30th birthday and any other family members' birthdays.

I've been listening to lots of old Slate Culture Gabfest podcasts, which are good, so long as you don't listen to too many in a row.

Adam update

alien lois
Adam went to the doctor. He has a hematoma (internal bleeding) in his leg, which sounds really terrible, but it's actually good that he didn't tear anything, because then he'd have to have surgery. The doc said he will need to lay in bed for about a week, and then do lots and lots of physio (you Americans call it physical therapy). He doesn't have to take any meds or anything, just ice it and rest a lot. I'm gonna rent some crutches from the drug store for him tonight.

Sep. 28th, 2010

double facepalm
Adam was hit by a car last night. He is okay in that nothing was broken, but he's still quite injured and is probably going to the hospital today (definitely not going to work). The driver ran a red light, like just wasn't paying attention at all, and if Adam had been one second further ahead, he might have died. Luckily he had many witnesses, and the driver couldn't have driven away because his bike was right under her car. So he got all her ICBC info. Also, our friends Stephen and Lacy happened to be driving by right then, so they gave him a ride home. The bike's pretty much destroyed, so he just locked it up at the scene.

In other news, I have a cold and I went home early from work yesterday. I'm still sick today, but they need me to be here, so here I am.

In better news, Trent was listening to some Gui Boratto in his car on our way back from visiting Kelsey in Whistler this weekend, and I am enthralled. I know so little about electronic music, and so many people like shitty shitty stuff, that it's hard to find the good stuff. Boratto is Brazilian and I guess it would be classified as minimal techno/house. It's so classy, I love it.

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