500 Words Per Day

Friday, September 29, 2006

How to End My "Survivor" Viewing Habits

Merge the racial tribes.

That's it. That's all you gotta do.

In a shocking but not wholly suprising twist, the 4 racially separated tribes on this season's Survivor were disbanded and rejigged to form 2 racially mixed tribes. Say good-bye to Team Cracker; bid adieu to Team Fried Chicken; so long Team Chico and a nice knowin' ya to Team Delicious Bowl of Steamed Rice.

As any diehard Survivor fan (do they still exist?) can attest, the merging of competing player tribes is a fundamental convention of the game. But to merge all four tribes after only 2 episodes, which amounts to less than 10 actual days of the game was a foolish and gutless decision. I don't know about you, but once I got over my mini-outrage at the whole race concept, I was eager to see how each of groups would fare.

While there is a logistical reason for consolidating all the players into two main tribes, I still think the producers could have taken that into account when planning out the season. Namely, they should have allowed for larger tribes in the beginning. Team Taco and Team Lazy had already lost a member each, leaving them with a mere 4 members apiece. Should either of them face tribal council again, it would have made for some awkward voting dynamics. Stalmate anyone?

STILL. Why didn't they just bump up the number of contestants? The entire franchise is on the decline anyway, they may as well pull out all the stops to revive the show. Now I'll never get to find out which race reigns supreme. The Cook Islands will now play out like any old season of Survivor, which completely runs counter to all the pre-season hype. All that talk about conducting a grand social experiment the likes of which have never been seen is just that... deceptive marketing BS.

There's no more reason for me to tune in. Even the babes are nothing to write home about. I had high hopes for Becky, the Korean princess allied with Yul, but she's turning out to be uber boring... and actually not really that hot. Everytime she comes onscreen, I think of her as a cousin or the little sister I never had. I just feel... nothing. And Parvati. She's actually not bad, despite having a bit of a clown face. Her body is tight, befitting a "boxer/waitress" from West Hollywood, I suppose. Unfortunately, she has a rather high opinion of herself what with her whole spiel about working her irresistable feminine charms on all the men in her new tribe. Please. Although her giant clown mouth is strangely alluring, she ain't nuttin' compared to many former contestants on the show.

I guess I should thank Mark Burnett and co.. I've always disliked scheduling my life around TV shows, you know? "Ooooo, I have to get home by 8pm to watch so and so" or "Oh, should I do [insert productive activity here] and record the show or just watch it when it's on?". Fuck that. I now have an uninterrupted block of time each Thursday evening, free to do with as I please.

Survivor = Gutless

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lu Lu Lemon Solidarity

Posted almost a week ago, I didn't realize this attractive Vancouver blog existed until I stumbled on Rant Vancouver's blogroll.

They posted a little something on the Stuff Sausage phenomenon, certainly old hat to readers of 500WPD, but I did quite enjoy the image they had attached to the article.

Check it out!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Things that Irk Me

1. Awful, tone-deaf e-mail conversationalists
I have been engaged in an exchange with messages with a mystery girl since, oh, the middle of the spring and it's wonder I am still firing off mail to her a few times a week.

My penpal, who I'll refer to as Meow, is probably the worst e-mail writer in existence. English is clearly her second language, but her messages are usually quite clear, concise and understandable. Furthermore, she is a university student and has been living in BC for somes time. It's more of a content issue here. If you routinely enjoy the interplay of light banter, asking questions, receiving answers to said questions and having relevant questions asked of you in return, then you need NOT have anything to do with Meow. Pleasant as she is, it's been frustrating to think out a reply to her messages, follow up with some comments and questions of my own, then get something like this as her response:

"hey, how are you doing? just got back from school, anything new? hope you have sunny day!"

Yes, she often sounds like she's 16, instead of 26. But did she even read my message? I told her what was "new", I told her what I was doing. Aside from someone forgetting your name, it is even more annoying for someone to be clued out of your conversation with them, whether it is in person or online. After several exchanges like this, I started whipping off very short messages back to her, seeing as she obviously puts very little thought into what she writes. You know what? Her style still annoys me. It's like having completely separate conversations.

"Hey, what do you think of X, Y, Z?"

"Oh hi. How are you? I did, A, B, C today. Bye!"

There is a plus side and that is, of course, the very minimal effort it takes to maintain e-mail contact with Meow. Just a sentence or two will do. It doesn't even have to be remotely related to what she wrote in her last message. Just tap something out and send. Wow, the fucking wonders of modern fucking communication.

2.) Vancouver drivers who won't stop hitting my car
Barely 2 weeks after getitng my car back from the shop, complete with brand new front bumper, I come out of the supermarket and notice a crack on the left side. Judging from the lateral streaks just below the crack, someone had obviously brushed against it with their own car and, knowingly or unknowingly, driven off.

ATTENTION you shitty, fucking drivers in Vancouver: Stop Hitting My Camry. Just cut it the fuck out. Stop. No really. STOP.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Survive THIS

For those who watched episode two of Survivor: Race Wars... O.M.F.G., was that not the FUNNIEST tribal council you have ever seen? My hat goes off to Billy for being in an obscure metal band and being completely out of touch with his own reality. Man, I have to say I started rooting for him when he tried to pull a last-ditch attempt to save his ass from elimination but Odin's Taint that thing about finding his true love was straight out of left field! Candice? Shit, I was howling when the perky blonde strumpet threw out her "We love you" like so much discarded tissue paper. This is the same girl who made up some cockamamey excuse to snuggle up next to petulant, all-American boy, Adam. What was Billy thinking? The ensuing comments from Sneery McSneerson (JP) had me bawling with laughter. Oh boy, good stuff I tell ya.

In the end, emerging spicy conchita, Cecilia, decided not to side with Cristina and instead helped cocky-ass Ozzy vote out the Fat Guy. That's Fatty #2 voted off the show, the first victim being another musician, Sekou, from Team Lazy. Have to say the show's producers have done a great job so far of casting people who do not represent overweight people very well.

"Are they slovenly?" - Check
"Are they lazy?" - Check
"Are they of barely average intelligence?" - Check

On a brighter note, Team Math & High Grades (Punta) placed first yet again in the immunity/reward challenge. Asians have so far been portrayed as humourless, smart and able to work well as a team. Hey, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

New Body Type Inductee on 500WPD

I was on my lunch break the other day and was unfairly subjected to some eye poison while eating my panini at the nearby cafe.

Two older women, one with child, were at the adjacent table from me and I could not help but notice one of them as she stood up to pour herself some more water. I guess women of a certain age, of a certain body type and having undergone the minor miracle of childbirth, either develop in one of two ways. They can either recover from the trauma of squeezing a human body out of their tummies and get back into shape, or the birth is just the beginning of the slippery slope down into doughey flabberdom.

As a man, I can't say either of those options are right or wrong. It is certainly quite commendable when a woman can squeeze out a couple rugrats, tones back up and achieves bonafide MILF status. I would say that is the exception to the rule, with the rule being that most women sacrifice their youthful firmness once the family gets going. A similar effect happens with guys. They are energetic, dashing cads when single. Once they get married, the gut kicks in and they start getting schlubby. Many guys in LTRs don't even bother waiting for the wedding bells and begin nurturing their flabby love handles right from the get-go. See, who said generalizations can't be fun?

But I digress. I'm in the cafe, shoving salmon panini down my craw, and my eyes are drawn to this mother's body. She, unfortunately, has not toned up after spitting out her cute little boy. Fair enough. But... she was decked out in Lulu-like workout clothing and the Stuffed Sausage effect was in full bloom.

I was presented with her body profile which resembled a soft, molded grip of some kind of handle. Sort of like the handles you find on lawn equipment or power tools...except fatter. It's this series of consecutive body humps that has lead me to introduce a brand new body type...



It's not entirely accurate -- the bottom end is a bit too big in the drawing -- but it gets the message across, no? Lovely lady lumps they are not.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It's a Small Online World

Tonight was probably the first chance I had to retire to bed earlier than usual... but fuck it. I probably would have konked out 15 minutes early, big deal.

So there I was at another one of these massive group dinners last night. Having first started off in May, the bi-monthly dining events have grown in leaps and bounds. I went to my first one in early June, which included about a dozen diners to one long, cozy table. Monday's dinner at Ouisi Bistro numbered at least 40 attendees.

I waltzed in fashionably late as it has become my habit since my third outing and the place was already hopping. Our group dominated the rear section of the restaurant and there were a scant handful of isolated seats remaining. I picked one of the tables on the elevated platform, away from some of the familiar faces, with the intent to meet some more new faces.

I must have sat there at one end of the table for a good 5 minutes, greeting my adjacent diners, before I did a subtle double-take at the other end. Hmm. Chinese girl, attractive, older... something about her looks so... Oh, boy.

In late June I met a Lz. through a dating site and we met for a first date coffee. Everything was alright after that. I didn't exactly feel the sparks scorching up the air between us, but I had better reserve judgment... right? Truthfully, I had put the shenanigans with W. first and foremost already and wanted to see that through, so I didn't want to put much hope into this thing with Lz. The W. gets pulled out from beneath me and I spend the weeks leading up to my Montreal trip moping around and not thinking about girls. Once I returned, I can't say I had the most burning desire to reconnect with Lz., despite sending her an e-mail telling her how I wanted to meet again, and getting an enthusiastic enough response back from her.

Think it was the last week of July I gave her a call and asked her out for a real date. She was busy and I made plans to call her again... and I never got around to picking up the phone again. Call it lack of motivation or my unfounded bias against "honger"-style women. I just couldn't be bothered to pursue. I was willing to let this one slip away.

In case I haven't yet telegraphed the ending of my story yet, Lz. was at the group dinner, sitting at the other end of my table. She recognized me immediately, even with my glasses on, which puts to rest any debate on whether the Clark Kent/Superman effect really works. She came over, we chatted and the whole situation was suprisingly free of excruciating awkwardness. Seeing her again that night actually rekindled my interest and made me think, "I wonder if I can salvage my oversight".

At night's end, we chatted a bit more and she gave me a hug before encouraging me to find her on MSN to chat. I have never seen her available while online and that she has delusions that we have chatted over MSN in the past leads me to believe she's been going pretty hard on the online dating. My mouth, before I could stop it, one-upped her and promised her a phone call. Oops. Or rather... yay?

I wanted another shot at this girl, right?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Team Rickshaw Reprazentn'

Although I do NOT plan on documenting the entire run of this season's edition of Survivor, I thought it noteworthy to at least chime in my two coppers on the premiere episode. And what an episode! Probst! The stunned ethnic faces! Probst! The chickens! Cao Boi! All the insightful comments about the race wars theme! Probst!!

The Survivor lustre has worn off long ago and this new season doesn't do much to restore the old excitement. What did I tell you?? True to form, the producers wasted no time in making Team Lazy (the blacks) look ineffectual and they crowned a King Lazy (Sekou, the jazz brother) in record time. Usually they will wait at least a few episodes to really start entrenching those stereotypes, but given that they have 4 groups of ethnicities to juggle, they figured that they needed to establish things on a even tighter schedule. But wait, I smell an underdog story arc brewing with this tribe. Or maybe, that's just the smell of....

Victory! I have to say, for a bland bunch of folk, Team Rickshaw (Punta.. or Puta in the show) made an impressive debut, taking first place in the reward/immunity challenge. Reprazent! Actually, no one in the group represents me all that well. They're all American and consisting of two Koreans, a Flip, Vietnamese and a Flip/something else mix. Cao Boi, the "eccentric" hippy-type nail salon manager has stood out as the true character of this tribe, cracking racist jokes before even landing safely ashore on the raft. And that scene with him curing metro-dude's headache with some down-home traditional remedy hoodu voodu was quite funny, if only to see Cao Boi actually fix the headache and not look like a complete crazy old coot.

As for everyone else on Rickshaw... MEH. We got two soft-spoken, chiselled fit guys who seem intelligent enough to handle those Challenges. The Flip girl is pretty boring but she looks buff, so again, good for those physical challenges. The Korean hottie girl... well, I already get the feeling she will be a whiner and possibly dead weight. In order for her to survive (and to keep my interest in the show), she will need to start prancing around in a ripped up bikini and hope Cao Boi starts getting on everyone's nerves.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"Whoa" - Body Sparkles are HAWT

So I'm watching this TV show after dinner, something called, Dancing with the Stars. In its 3rd season already and very much a product of the mid-00s... in fact all these reality contest shows will be looked back on in ten years as being "soooo '00s!!!". Whether you pronounce "Ohs" or "zero zero" would be entirely up to you and your future self.

I've never watched this show before. The most noteworthy feature of Dancing Season 2 was former WWE star, Stacy Keibler and her glorious, endless legs. I still didn't watch the show for her, but I spent enough time trolling the celebrity gossip and horndogg weblogs to get the gist of it.

So, there I am watching and a few things were readily apparent: some of these dancers are pretty hot, and I had no idea Joey Lawrence is still, or ever, considered an actor. Sporting a chrome dome and admittedly, a pretty chiselled physique, Mr. "Whoa" from Blossom was paired off with Latin dance expert, Edyta. Edyta is Polish and smokin'. She's got a weird, narrow face but that's forgiveable because of her tight rump and nice legs. She spent a lot of time wearing these gigantic leg warmers, however, which really detracted from her overall hotness. Points deducted. Oh yeah, their dance routine was okay, I think...

Later on, some retired NFL legend and dancer, Cheryl Burke took to the stage to do the bunny hop or cha-cha, or whatever... and my mouth was watering. Burke, along with Drew Lachey, is the Season 2 reigning champ and it didn't strike me until then how someone can look cute and sexy all at once. Well, she pulls it off. Petite, funky hair and all smiles, Cheryl Burke is the picture of cuteness. Then I realized that outfit of hers that made her look half-naked (that's what happens with those backless dresses) and the ample bosoms liberally sprinkled with sparkle dust. Uuuggghh. Yeah, that's the sound of me drooling. Man o man. The guy who invented sparkle dust for girls deserves a Nobel Prize, right next to the guy who invented high heels. The world recognizes your contributions to mankind, good sirs.

Bonus round: Burke and NFL guy really impressed the judges, so they will advance at least into the next week. Hot diggity. Next episode, they perform the tango, with Burke wearing nothing but sparkles. Now that's dancing!

Update: The time-wasting, ratings-grabbing results show aired tonight and what do you know, there was an encore of the cha-cha with Cheryl Burke and Emmit Smith. They cloned last night's dance step for step, but I didn't care. Cheryl was wearing the same backless dress, which looked uglier tonight since actually noticing all the yellow tassel, frilly things. But dayooom, she still looked tasty. Definitely a fine balance between the Large Parts and LMB.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Outside Looking In

I was hopelessly bored and groggy last night and perhaps because of this I found myself reading W.'s Blogger blog again. Don't bother asking why I still had her blog bookmarked; it was likely my subconscious knowing that I'd want to save her page for a rainy day. Turns out all I needed was a night of boredom to spur the curiosity machine that is my tired brain.

So I scanned the homepage of her blog and lo, I found the jewel post I was obsessing over for that week after we stopped seeing each other. She had made an official announcement back in mid-August that she's been going steady with a guy and recounted the time in late June/early July when they first met.

Bingo, just as I had suspected. Turns out she was deciding between me and this other fella in that 2-3 week period after all. In case you need another reminder, the other guy, referred to as J-, won the dating sweepstakes. I read the entire post and felt... mildly happy. W. is obviously very happy with her love connection. I, while not immune to fits of envy, could only feel (cue sappy music) a sense of closure. It's reassuring to know that I saw through the BS break-up speech she gave me on Canada Day. All the gibber-jabber about her intuition and gut instinct was really just the old gloss-over. I'm not faulting her for that actually; realisitcally there wasn't a better way she could have done it. I'm glad she at least made the effort to let me down easy.

To her credit, she also made it seem like it was a real choice she made... although in the back of her mind her choice of words was perhaps steered by how she probably still remembers that I know where her blog is and oh... maybe I check back on it every now and again. Anyway, here's my vague 15 seconds of fame on her blog:
It never rains but it pours in that I went on dates with two boys and both - for once - were very decent. I thought my head would burst keeping their histories straight and even faltered once or twice. (I attribute the plenty to reaching - finally - true comfort and acceptance of being single.) It soon became clear that in an absolute sense, one boy seems to be the very picture of what I'm looking for. Besides, we hit it off right away.

So now, I advocate entertaining all your opportunities to meet people. Every story of a meeting is beautiful because it involved both of you.

So... you maybe get the impression I'm still hung up on this girl? Only a little. She is definitely the one that got away this summer. In hindsight, I was a little too cautious when I spent time with W.. Perhaps spent a little bit too much effort feeling out the situation instead of really living it and giving myself over to it. But what was the problem? She was cute, intelligent, active, a great conversationalist and had a really nice blend of that sweet/naughty dynamic that I seem to go for.

In the end, it probably wouldn't have mattered. She clearly met someone a lot more compatible. It just would have been nice to rule out some factors on my own end. This time, I was the one window shopping and got caught out in the rain, gazing longingly through the glass store display.

Blech. Now this totally reeks of me not having moved on yet... but I have! Really! Alright, alright, the proof is in the pudding. I'll stop sulking now...

Literary Spam

Have a rare treat for you guys today in a form of a double issue! Two posts! Wow!!

Now settle down and wipe the drool off your lips. I want to talk about a somewhat tired topic: e-mail spam. I don't get a whole lot of it drifting into my work e-mail account these days. It wasn't that long ago I'd open up my mail reader each morning to find half a dozen tantalizing offers for penis enlargement and I would wonder (sometimes aloud), "How the hell do they know?" My current account at work is by no means a fortress of security, but the junk mail gets filtered surprisingly well. It's rare that I get even an isolated spam message sneak through our defenses, but it still happens.

On Wednesday, I had one such interloper appear in my inbox. It was sent to me by one JeffreyWoodard. His message was titled "yeast", and it was a odd pairing of sales pitch and... prose. The pitch opens up wtih some blah blah about a company's new financial reports and recommending your purchase of some bogus company stock portfolio. Right below this, is a good solid 3 or 4 paragraphs of prose, resembling an excerpt of a really, really bad short story. Here's a sample:
This was about twelve oclock, I should think. She raps or taps upon the walls,the ceiling, the floor, with fine rhythm and cadence.
De Morgan observes that after the seances with Mrs. But, said he, what you tell me isvery singular: I shall go myself to Mrs.
I workedfor them part of the time, and part of the time I boarded and went toschool. She increases their weightor lessens it according to her pleasure. I dont think I shall hear anything from anybody, but if Ido I shall find out the trick. I did not know what to think ofit, it seemed so strange and unaccountable.
At the house of friends withwhom she went to stay she was persuaded to sit at a table with others. I workedfor them part of the time, and part of the time I boarded and went toschool.
I did not know what to think ofit, it seemed so strange and unaccountable.
One evening, about bedtime, I heard therapping.
I heard it a number of nights, as I slept inthe bedroom all the time that I staid there. Myers, in the presence ofProfessor and Mrs. My warping bars were in their chamber,and I used to go there to do my work.
It may briefly be stated that of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICANinquirers the secretary, Mr. I told him not to go outdoors, for perhapssomebody wanted to get him out and hurt him.
He said she was a powerful medium through whom he intended tomanifest.
Ok... what the hell was that about? These shysters... always up to no good!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Race Wars


*Sniff* *Sniff* You smell that? *Sniff* Smells like controversy. No... *Sniff* Smells like racism. Hmm, getting closer. *Sniff, Sniff* Ah, now I know. It smells like the new season of Survivor.

The stuttering grandpapi of reality junk TV is back again, pitting prize-hungry camera whores against each other for the chance at a million dollars and the title of Sole Survivor. The next installment in the long-running reality series will take place on the Cook Islands (a bunch of tiny islands in the South Pacific, near New Zealand). Yes, another watery, beachy locale... nothing new here.

What IS new (sort of), is the introduction of yet another attention-grabbing "twist" to the standard rules of Survivor canon. The contestants, 20 in all, will be divided into their starting tribes based on race, which means that... well, it means the game is, err, sort of made um... it''s like this, it drastically affects the way the challenges will be, um.. okay, I give in. Let's be frank: this does nothing for the series, it does nothing for the game.

Douchey douchebag host, Jeff Probst, solemnly espouses the new twist as some kind of grand social experiment. First off, I feel there was already plenty of racial (and gender) tension in previous seasons of Survivor. If it didn't come "naturally" from the actions of the contestants, it was quite easily fabricated by the show's producers, with their hyper-manipulative editing of footage and interview sound bites. If you're gonna pull off a controversial stunt like this to reinvigorate your long-in-the-tooth reality show, at least be honest about it.

Just come out and say, "Hey, we know race is still a sensitive issue in America. And if you don't think so, then hell, we'll MAKE IT a sensitive issue. Come and watch regular folks like you make racist on a remote bunch of islands while they build shitty huts, cook shitty rice and race through 26 shitty obstacle courses through the shitty jungle." Their shameless audacity would disarm me out of my pop culturally programmed stupor and I would respect and love them for it.

The 4 tribes are separated as follows: Team Cracker, Team Taco, Team Rickshaw and Team Lazy.

If there's one advantage to this whole race wars concept, it's that they're not longer limited to painting the token black guy as The Lazy One. Now they have entire team of lazies to work with. Look... I've watched my share of Survivor, probably 5 - 6 full seasons and I've stumbled on the more recent iterations while channel surfing in the past. There's always a black man or woman thrown into the mix of contestants. Without fucking fail, the black man is always portrayed as someone who is lazy or someone who's a quitter. Every damn time. The women are usually painted a bit differently, but hardly any more flattering. The black women I've seen on the show are always portrayed as obnoxious complainers or incorrigible gossip fiends. It's actually quite disgusting how consistently the show does this.

Having said all this... I am VERY tempted to tune into the premiere on September 14th. Being Chinese, I could have some fun rooting for Team Asian Persuasion: they seem to have a pretty interesting mix of personalities. The new cast also features 2 hotties, one asian and the other on Team Wonderbread. There are only the two, but you know you'll see them in bikinis and/or scanty rags at some point and the environment is always condusive to nurturing a nice, albeit bug-bite pocked, tan. Sooo... those are the hooks for me right now.

Damn you, Mark Burnett. Your show has reached new lows, but sadly, you've seduced me into tuning in for at least one evening.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

This Long Weekend

I scrapped the ClinTicker for the last week since, quite frankly, not a whole heckuva lot has happened in the personal realm.

Sure, work has been a touch frantic. Due to a certain hurricane named John and its direct course right into my company's main locale of business, the shit has been rapidly piling up, quite ready to hit the proverbial fan. Since you can't negoiate with Mother Nature, we've been left to quelling undue panic and working the damage control. Oh yes, and re-doubling our efforts to get our other venture rolling in another part of the world. There's something to be said about that cliche about having all one's egg in the same basket.

So the Labor Day Weekend struck and I jumped on the opportunity to game like a madman; I've been dicking around with the timeless Neverwinter Nights and recently fired up the gloriously mindless shooter, Painkiller. The boys dropped in Friday night to record a banging mix on my mega system. I quite enjoy hosting these spin sessions; my guests bring the booze, everyone gets nice and sauced and the good tunes get cranked out all night.

Back in May I was boasting to a few people that I would do the Grousse Grind once every weekend for the entire summer. I sure hate it when my mouth signs cheques that my ass can't cash. At least I finally got my butt up onto that rocky Stairmaster this morning. L. and I tackled the Grind in exactly 2 hours... a rather pathetic time but to completely absolve myself of any shame, L. required many breaks on the way up and I didn't want to leave her behind. L. is the cute, innocent girl from the cafe that I asked out maybe a week after getting back from vacation. Today's Grind was our 3rd date and I am still waffling about her. She is obviously a very sweet, very perky young lady but it's almost like I want her to have more of an edge. At times I feel like I'm her big brother or something, instead of a guy she's dating. We are getting along fine so far but I'm not finding a lot of common ground.

This is classic me over-thinking everything to do with girls. Still, that spark hasn't been lit up yet with L.. What does it say when I'm out with her and I catch myself scoping out other girls? For one, it may mean that I'm a superficial prick. But there's something deeper going on too. Baahh... I shall give it some more time.

Is it just me, or my posts getting more and more asinine?