Tuesday, September 29, 2009

first real estate bid

Stressed, I'm seriously stressed. I mean, it's just money, right? Who knows what the morrow may bring? I am to be dropping a deposit on a place (766 King Street West) tomorrow evening. My agent gave me the impression that my bid will be low, but I based the amount on comfort level and conservative estimates of what I can really afford (as well, to a lesser extent, what the mortgage broker said). So I guess there's not that much to be worried about. But shifting large amounts of money around does have a kind of toll on me. Not having had dinner is of little help.

Positives of the place? Close to work. Great kitchen, lots of light (skylight, south-facing), high ceiling, balcony with a BBQ. Negatives: No parking spot, no indoor bicycle rack. No amenities. A separate entrance would've been nice. I am not convinced that I want to live close to my work. Sure, it's convenient being able to walk to the office, but there's something to be said about working in one neighbourhood and living in another, to feel like one is "at work" or "at home".

Ok, well, we'll see. It's not likely that I'll win with my bid anyway. I guess it's back to gathering rosebuds while we may.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back from visiting cousins in New York City

Wall Street
I didn't bring my hat, which perhaps is just as well: the weather in New York was cloudy and wet. Drinking at night, sleeping in the morning, walking around the city during the day, resting in front of the TV and getting ready for the next night. Throughout it all I got to know my cousins a lot better, we not having much contact for the past, oh, 17 years? That's really the thing I take away from this trip.

Oh, sure, I took some pictures. There are a bunch of that High Line walkway, a section of raised train tracks converted into a park around a mile and a half long. It reminded me of that Ray Bradbury story, the one where the man travels back in time to shoot dinosaurs and accidentally steps on a butterfly, changing the course of history. Anyway, it was nice to see the park before it is inevitably ruined for everyone.

I have, somewhat against my will or inclination, been playing Civ3 again.

I had decided to not drink for the rest of September, but I have already rashly broken this promise to myself once and will probably do so again this Saturday.
High Line theater

The Polish Festival was this weekend! I went alone, forgetting to ask anyone if they wanted to pig-out with me. So I ate a lot of street food alone; ribs, pierogies, corn-on-the-cob, candy apples, smoothies, churros. And on Sunday I had my first anchovy pizza. Salty, oily, salty; I could barely finish a slice. I did however find myself craving it later that day, so maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Last thing to mention: I saw Youth in Revolt at the Winter Garden theatre, a somewhat magical place to sit. The film was excellent, likely to straddle that line of indie-golden-child and mainstream success.

This blog/webjo entry brought to you by an unlikely force.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Windsor

I was in Windsor, of all places. A wretched hive of vice and ramshackle buildings: spotless white casinos next to tenement complexes and boarded-up houses. I went to visit a friend, an old acquaintance from my Canadian Space Agency days. He has not changed in the least. We talked of our days at the CSA, of the work, of our bosses, of the astronauts. I enjoyed meeting the other Asians in Windsor; apart from some tourists, I think I may have been the oldest Korean there, which was very novel. However I'm not inclined to go again anytime soon. And next time I shall stay at a hotel!

A short work week, this one; I will be leaving for New York on Thursday to visit family. After this, I shall rest my liver I do so swear it. I do somewhat lament my accidentally booking for the 9/11 weekend, oh vey. I rather forgot that the date means something down there. On September 9th, 2001 I was in the living room watching TV and my mom kept saying, "Oh my God."

Spent a frantic hour this evening searching for my passport, which apparently expires February 23rd, 2014 -- my fears of it expiring completely unfounded. I wonder what's the current NYC fashion?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

digesting that cyclist killed by a panicked lawyer

So, like, what's the word, boyos? Tired of writing, that's the problem. No, gosh, what an awful start. I was thinking of putting down some thoughts on the recent Michael Bryant cycling incident, now that some more details have been leaked. The cyclist had left his girlfriend/ex-girlfriend's apartment less than an hour earlier, with police called in to handle the domestic disturbance. He was also possibly drunk, and may still have been drunk and upset at the time of the incident. Bryant or his wife, the passenger, made a 911 call during the incident. The cyclist likely died of injuries received while hanging on to the side of the car, although it's possible that he was also run over at some point.

What I wanted to say is that the situation is not that black and white. People panic in high stress situations, especially if they're not used to it. Perhaps Bryant's flight instinct kicked in, wanting to protect his wife from a belligerent stranger. Maybe the cyclist grabbed the steering wheel and caused the car to drive on the sidewalk or into oncoming traffic. I still vividly recall the two times I was in the car when my mom got into accidents (thankfully no-one was hurt) and how she became this strange zombie person, not really responding to anything I or anyone else said. I do agree that Bryant reacted in the wrong way; by using his car to blindly escape the situation he endangered everyone. It is easy to forget how thin the line is when it comes to the safety of following the accepted rules of the road.

I've spent an undue amount of time watching The Simpsons episodes; I found a foreign website that streams them. It asks for registration but I figured out a pretty simple workaround to it -- installing AdBlock Plus. E-mail if you'd like to join me in catching up on 20+ seasons of good times, in easily digestable 22 minute chunks.

What else... work! Right. Uhm, well, it's going. Busy, very busy. Meetings everyday. Still doing old my job, trying to find time to learn new stuff. Frequently stressed at how slow I'm learning. At least it seems slow to me. Woe! Oh, and a raise is coming.. but not for a while. WOE.