Sat Jan 27, 2001 - My Life in Sidebars
Considering I've had internet access from home for about 5 years now,
it's a wonder that I hadn't played any games over the 'net until this
past week. I'm sick of WordRacer so now I'm playing Literati on Yahoo!,
which is sort of like
Scrabble. I haven't been adventurous enough to learn any of the complex
card games yet. I've just basically stuck with what I'm familiar with so
And guess what? After all these years, I still have yet to visit chat rooms. Can't say I even know how to exactly.
Our B.C. Hydro bill was $670 for the last 2 months. And the bill will rise again later this year. In order to conserve natural gas usage and hence money, my mom's decided to turn the thermostat down so that it's about 17 degrees Celsius in each room! Bring out the thick sweaters. Brrrr. The government may provide financial assistance to the poor because of this sudden and extreme jump in natural gas prices, but as usual, nobody's going to help out the middle-class. My parents even before the hike had moved out of their large master bedroom into my brother's smaller former room in order to save heat. That master bedroom and ensuite bathroom is now a refrigerator warehouse. And now, we're seriously considering selling this large monster house and moving into smaller digs. Maybe even a Vancouver Special on a 33 foot lot. That way, we can rent out the basement.
Blogs of the Day: Diarrhea Britannica- Bertie's a Harvard grad whose description of her past life as an investment banking analyst just vindicates my decision never to touch that field with a 10-foot pole. Nor do I wish to work for 'The Man', not that I know exactly what that is. Now if only I know what I DO want to do.
I heard someone crying in the house this afternoon (I wrote this Jan 21). It could've been the TV, or a tenant downstairs, but most likely it was my mom.
***I still don't know what this online journal is for exactly.
It's the 27th now. I wrote the sidebar on the 21st but didn't have anything else to say. I think I should subtitle my journal My Life in Sidebars.
This week I've been exercising pretty regularly. Monday: jogging, Tuesday: swimming, Wed: vball, Thu: tennis. I'm feeling old though. My muscles don't get warmed up quickly enough and my quads and hamstrings are sore afterward. Plus, my knees are hurting, though I suspect it's due to the way I sit cross-legged on my big chair in front of the computer.
Oh yeah, I signed up for a Modern Dance class. I'm kinda excited. I couldn't get into any Yoga class throughout the city though. And at this place in Burnaby, all the yoga classes for not only the winter season are booked but the ones for the spring are as well. Yoga is that popular. I guess I'll just have to get a yoga video.
Things I want to take in the future: adult beginner's jazz, ballet, hip hop, African dance, kickboxing, intermediate tennis lessons, advanced swimming for stroke improvement (and to learn how to flip at the end of the lane), yoga. And basketball. I was so bad in grades 8 & 9 that whenever I was on the court, the other team cheered. Seriously.
Why didn't I take any of these lessons when I was a kid? Because I was already in grade school when I came to Canada. We didn't have any money. When I finally could take lessons, I felt I was too old to be in the introductory classes with the kindergarten kids. As for swimming, I stopped taking lessons once I got my period. And tennis...I just got busy. I've just never kept at anything in my life.
I have an interview for that job I wrote about last time. I have to bring a writing sample and a couple of references. Maybe for fun, I should bring in my August 31 2000 entry as my writing sample instead of some technical piece ^_^. They're probably just trying to build a long eligibility list anyway. I'd like the job for various reasons like that it pays ok, it adds to my resume, it means my references are working, it gives me a confidence boost that people want me, and I need a reason to get out of bed early in the morning. As for whether I'll find the job interesting...doubt it. There are other things I'd rather do.
A very good friend of my mother's suddenly died this morning. She had high blood pressure but no other illness. She swam daily and seemed very energetic. It was completely unexpected that people couldn't believe it. My mom's friends were all planning to meet up for dim sum tomorrow with her too in celebration of the Lunar New Year. My mom had just spoken to her last night and she sounded fine. A friend had visited with her until 11pm too.
My mom thinks her friend either died from a stroke &/or brain hemorrhage (her son said he noticed blood at her nostril) or heart failure in the middle of the night. There's this Chinese saying, 'gik say' which means "vex to death". (My mom accuses me of doing that to her.) My mom and her friends believe that the reason she died so suddenly was that she was 'gik say'ed by the daughter-in-law, who lived in her basement.
Anyway, this woman was super nice, a former obstetrician in China. She was like the older sister that my mom never had. Everyone liked her, except apparently, her daughter-in-law. My mom's friend was very upset that the d-i-l was treating her so shabbily, ignoring her and not opening the door for her and so forth. The friend kept hitting her head trying to figure out why her d-i-l didn't like her. My mom suggested that the d-i-l wanted full ownership of the woman's house, and wanted the woman to move out. She couldn't come up with any other reason.
My mom and her friends had advised the deceased before her death to sell her house and move away from the son and d-i-l before the d-i-l 'gik say'ed her. Unfortunately, it was too late.
'Gik say' isn't just an expression. It doesn't just happen in those Hong Kong TV shows in which some elderly person clutched his/her heart and dies when someone informs them of something atrocious either. I remember when my uncle yelled at my grandmother really loudly and angrily one time. My grandmother was so upset that she immediately had a partial stroke. Luckily, it turned out to be temporary and she lived a few more years.
And there was this Chinese man we know who was a 'Paper Son'. He was reported to be younger than he really was and so he had to work past his true retirement age in order to qualify for his retirement pensions. He had barely retired when he died. His relatives say he was 'gik say'ed. His son had put the man's house on mortgage and then squandered all his money.
Some people feel that they have no way out of their quagmire, and their body and emotions work in tandem to end their lives. It's so psychosomatic. I truly believe that people allow themselves to be 'gik say'ed. They have such expectations of how things ought to turn out -whether it's the way family members ought to treat them, or how they ought to behave, etc. But you know, you shouldn't expect anything to turn out the way you believe they should. Just because someone's your family member doesn't mean they're going to love you and be loyal to you. Just because you're nice to someone doesn't mean they'll be nice to you. Just because you raise a person with your strong beliefs and values doesn't mean that they'll abide by them. And just because society portrays families as loving and happy doesn't mean that it's that way in real life.
My mom actually wants to confront the d-i-l. My mom claims there was no tinge of sadness in the d-i-l's voice after her friend's death, just like there hadn't been when the woman's husband passed away last year.
To be fair, we only have the mother-in-law's side of the story. I've never met the d-i-l.
I finally received a thank you card from my friend Jacklyn for her wedding gift. Seven months later. Yeah, she's busy with med school and there were LOTs of other guests. She had written in her card that I appeared in her wedding video. Uh oh. I hope it doesn't show me standing there refusing to sing in the church while everyone except the relatives who didn't speak English sang their hearts out. I remember the video camera pointing right at me then. In my defense, I felt it would be very hypocritical to join in and sing those religious songs during the ceremony because I'm not religious. How could I sing with gusto if I didn't believe in the words? I hope these religious people will understand. I hope this won't ruin the friendship...
Ah geez...this reminds me of the time I went to the Bay Area. I was staying with a gal at Berkeley who was even more fervently religious. Shiver...I thought it would be polite if I went with her to church on Sunday. But when we had to stand up and sing, I just stood there quietly staring at the pages of the hymn book. That girl kept pointing to the words, as if I couldn't find my place. I still refused to sing because I didn't believe in the words. And the girl kept 'finding' the words on the page for me! One day, on the way back from Monterey, I was stuck in the car with her and she insisted on listening to some religious sermon on the radio telling of how people who didn't believe in God and Jesus were sinners. Cue the cheesy dramatic music. When another friend (who was religious) asked to change the station, she refused. I was squirming and was a captive listener in that car! I just didn't know what to say. When I left for home, she gave me the New Testament. There were other cases in which she just wouldn't let up. Anyway, I tried a few times to maintain a friendship through email after the trip, but all she would do was write these long diatribes about converting to her religion in her replies. I became tired of showing tolerance to other religions but not having some religious people showing tolerance to my agnosticism. So, I stopped emailing her.
Anyway, my friend Jacklyn's more tolerant and more subtle. Sure, she's done missionary work in a Third World country and wants to become a missionary doctor. Her closest friends are fellow Christians and that's why I guess I may never become one of her closest friends. But she's nice and tries to lead by example instead of being a Bible-thumper. I hope she'll understand about my not singing during her wedding...
I've suddenly been receiving spam on my regular email account! I thought I was safe by having things other than my first initial and last name but they've found me! It's so frustrating. I may have to change email accounts. I hate these bastards.
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