Category Archives: gh

Irish party

Graduate House held an early celebration of St. Patrick's Day. It was tons of fun watching stepdancers in person! =) Way cool. I got to talk to lots of other people, too. I like the way Graduate House organizes all these events for the residents. I should drag Calum to more of these events. He likes shooting events, but it's hard to take pictures at something unless you know someone connected to it. =)

After the party, Steve, Mike, Calum and I headed out to Mel's Diner for a late-night snack. We had a lot of fun talking about different things. Afterwards, Steve and Mike played chess with me. We were all almost falling asleep at the table, but we managed to play a good game.

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Random Japanese sentence:

「おまえはどうして、百匹のねこ、千匹のねこ、百万匹、一億、一兆匹のねこといっしょに、食べられてしまわなかったのだね。?」 How does it happen that you were not eaten up with all those hundreds and trillions of cats?

Noodle night

One of the wonderful things about Graduate House is that the Graduate House Council organizes a lot of social events. Tonight I enjoyed a free Singaporean noodle dinner in the common room. As food goes, it wasn't bad. I was there mainly for the conversation, though, and I wasn't disappointed. =D I had tons of fun chatting with Keynan(sp?) and Elizabeth (both Emily's suitemates). Andrew joined us too - he's the English major I played Scrabble with once. Stefan dropped by to tell me about the vegetarian cooking classes he found, but the only nearby one focuses on Indian cooking, and I'd rather have something more general.

Emily was impressed with my outfit. "You have legs today," she said. I had decided to wear The Miniskirt today because I just find it _so_ much fun to shop for computer stuff all dressed up. It confuses salespeople, particularly when I ask for Linux-supported wireless cards. ;)

Anyway, Emily told me that she almost always saw me in very pretty skirts, but this was the first time she saw me with a skirt that short. (Yes, yes, thank you Kathy for getting me a skirt I'd never have dared get myself. Come to think of it, where _are_ those barkada pics? Hmm...)

After most people finished dinner and left, I played billiards with Stairos (sp?) and Tarun. I'm still not very consistent in billiards, but I managed to sink a few good shots. After Tarun left, Stairos and I played table tennis. He likes smashing, and whenever he does that I tease him about being such a bully. I'm happy to report that I managed to make contact with the ball a couple of times - probably more by accident than reflex. Lusine joined us and we practiced for a while.

I'm not very good at table tennis yet, but I find it a lot of fun. My coordination used to be absolutely terrible, but after a while I realized that I didn't have to be able to think about how to intercept the ball, I just had to actually do it. For some strange reason, playing table tennis makes me feel like a character in a Japanese animation.

And yes, I did manage to get some writing done. Not much, though. I'll have to wake up early tomorrow to do some more work on it before the cooking workshop...

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Random Japanese sentence: テーブルに猫の足跡が付いている。 There are footprints of a cat on the table. Teiboru ni neko no sokuseki ga tsuite iru.

Graduate House

I went to the common room to study, and I heard someone playing "Speak Softly, Love" from The Godfather. It turned out to be Joe, whom I've seen at coffee night before. He's an oido: he plays things by ear, so his rendition of it was in a different key and was slightly different from how I remembered it.

I showed him the opening notes of "Speak Softly, Love" based on the arrangement my sister learned when we were kids. I knew the opening part because I annotated the notes with letters for her. We had a lot of fun chatting about his piano teacher's style. I thought the emphasis on learning the feel of the music made much more sense than the exercises my piano teacher made me do when I took lessons, and I wish my piano teacher had been like his. Still, maybe I can work on my ear, just as I've worked on my coordination and grace. <laugh>

We talked about computers, too. It turned out to be the first computer-related conversation he'd had in a long time, and he enjoyed being able to rant about the brokenness of Java and other geeky topics.

I didn't end up reading any more papers, though. <laugh> Tomorrow, I'm really going to have to work on my questions for the class and my summary paper. After my FIS requirements are done, I can throw myself into the reading paper...

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Random Japanese sentence: ところが今度は、あっちにもう一匹茶色と黄色のしまの虎の子ようなねこがいます。 And now, over there, he saw a cat which had brown and yellow stripes like a baby tiger.


Anthony and I went to a Korean restaurant. We had slices of beef cooked at the table. It was a great dinner. We had a lot of fun chatting about Japan and other places. I'm really glad that my parents took us on trips and that I had all these opportunities to travel. Those stories make it much easier for me to connect with people. =)

I can explain my research to other academics easily. All I have to do is talk about collaborative bibliographies and they immediately understand why social computing is just _so_ cool. Talking about my research made me understand it a bit more, too.

At coffee time, I ended up talking about Toastmasters with Brian, the pilot taking up biblical archaeology. Yeow Tong, Brian and I chatted about teaching, presentations, and other things about academic life.

I've figured something out. If I'm going to eat out, I might as well eat out somewhere nice, having something I can't easily prepare myself. It doesn't have to be extravagant, but a little bit of atmosphere and style would be good. Dinner today was much more of an experience than grabbing pizza somewhere. =)

That said, I'm still looking forward to learning how to prepare fancier meals...

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Random Japanese sentence: テーブルに猫の足跡が付いている。 There are footprints of a cat on the table.

Grill time!

Toastmasters from 6 to 8 means I usually can't meet anyone for dinner on Tuesdays, which is why I was surprised to get a call from Trevor at 8:30 or so. He invited me to a barbecue with Brian. The Kensington market I usually go to for meat had closed already and I didn't feel like chancing Chinatown. I also didn't want to walk to Dominion and being even _more_ late. Fortunately, I had some hamburger patties in the freezer. Hooray for the well-stocked pantry!

Although the weather was a bit cold (it snowed a little bit today! argh!), standing around in a coat and chatting with friends was worth it. I defrosted the patties in a microwave, put one away, and grilled the other patty under the guidance of Brian and Trevor. The potatoes I wrapped in foil and started grilling were nowhere near done by the time the burgers, porkchop and steak were done, so I took the potatoes off the grill. Brian thoughtfully anticipated that and included me in his calculations for rice. Awwww. =) (The man cooks rice with a pot! _Proper_ rice, too, not instant rice! Coolness. =) )

Keynan dropped by with a platter of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. She found the cookie recipe on the Net. I wonder if I can share Kathy's Top Secret Cookie Recipe with her - but then it wouldn't be Top Secret, would it?

I washed a number of their dishes to thank them for hosting me and teaching me how to grill, following the strange rules of my dinner-party etiquette. Also, it's kinda fun. Eventually Trevor took the sponge away from me and put it on the other side of the room. Spoilsport.

Keynan brought a DVD of Terminator. I finally got to watch the thing. =)

After the movie, Brian pulled a scary face to stop me from finishing the rest of their dishes. I couldn't help but laugh, which made him laugh, and then no amount of coaxing could get him to do the scary face again.

It's nice to have friends.

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Random Japanese sentence: ネコが車の下から出てきた。 A cat got out from under the car.

Backlog: Grilled again

I was planning to meet Calum for dinner, but I figured it would be a good day to try out the grill again, so I headed to the supermarket to stock up on meat. I ran into James, Mike and Mike on my way out, so I invited them to a barbecue at 7. I met Keynyn on the way back from the supermarket, so I invited her too.

It turned out to be a terrific potluck. I prepared vegetable kebabs and Caesar salad (store-bought dressing, but I made the bacon bits and croutons myself!). Keynyn brought mashed potatoes and cookies. James brought lots and lots of chicken legs. Mike and Calum helped with cooking and washing up. (Don't worry, they'll host some other time...)

The chicken legs were slightly dodgy as parts weren't completely cooked, so I think we'll do beef next time. At least, until we get the hang of this. Note to self: figure out how to properly grill vegetables so that they're nice and juicy. Also, buy a basting brush. Hmm, next Wednesday or Thursday seems like a good time to have another potluck party. (Psst! Kathy! I need tips!)

_And_ we even got to study afterwards! I much prefer studying with other people around. Today proved an interesting point. I'm a fraud of a computer person, really. I'm definitely not as geeky as Calum and Mike are. I find myself less into writing code than I'm into explaining things to other people, and sometimes I really do have to explain things to either people, stuffed toys, or my blog in order to get things straight in my head. Aiyah. How embarrassing.

(I say that now, sure, but when I'm in coding mode I can't pry my fingers off the keyboard...)

Anyway, it was a very good day.

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Random Japanese sentence: 彼女はネコをこわがる。 She is afraid of cats. Kanojo wa neko o kowagaru.