One down, many to go

One of my new year's resolutions was to complete a 10k run in under 90 minutes. I know 90 minutes is a fairly relaxed goal, but I just needed a goal to get me started on endurance training. So after my exams last month, I signed up for a 10k training clinic with Running Room. The format consists of a clinic night (where various speakers come in to educate us on a topic for 20, 30 mins) followed by a short run, and open practice runs on Wed evenings and Sun mornings.

When I showed up on the first day, I discovered I'd unknowingly signed up for the Advanced 10k clinic (vs. a Beginner 10k), which is intended to condition 10k runners and prepare them for moving onto a half-marathon. And I'd find out in the following weeks that the other runners in the group either worked their way through the clinics (Learn to Run, 5K, then Beginner 10k), or had already been running 10k or halves. So I came in last *every* time, 3 runs a week, for 5 weeks straight. But at least new (and proper) shoes solved my knee pains. The runs have been getting easier (and less torturous) each time, and I enjoy running with the group.

This morning, we ran our first 10k route (actually it came out to 9.7k). Despite a sore hip flexor and IT band, I made it back to the store in 1:12:47. Not toooo shabby! Now I just have to work on finishing pain-free. :D

I've already signed up for 2 races:
  • Golden Ears Bridge Run (7km)
    The grand opening of a new bridge in the Lower Mainland. Open to pedestrians in mid-June. Just a little taster for races, and to check it out. Later next month, the bridge will open to cars. I believe that the first month will be free, but afterward a toll of $2.85 will be charged.
    [Editor's notes:
    - Turned out to be 8.6km. Finished in 55:31. :)
    - News article about the GEB.
    - Pictures from the GEB run.]

  • Canada Day ROCK Run (10km)
    This is the race this clinic is geared for. The race will take place in White Rock (hence the name), aaaand, there are 3 chances to win... a ROCK! Yep, a diamond! (But it's more like ONE chance, for the Average Joe.)

There are also the Squamish Days and the Terry Fox runs that I might be interested in running, but we'll see how this body holds up! :)

我今年的新年決心之一是 90 分鐘以內跑完十公里。 我知道 90 分鐘不是一個很炫燿的目標,但我主要是要有個目標給我一點動力開始運動,鍛鍊耐力。 所以上個月考完試之後,我就報名加入 Running Room 的十公里的跑步訓練班。 它的格式是每週請不同的講師來談某個話題,然後去跑步;週三和週日練習跑步。

我第一天去的時候發現我不意中加入了 10k 進階訓練班,給 10k 賽跑者加強訓練,讓他們能順利接著半馬拉松的訓練! 然後經過幾週,發現他們大部分都有照著訓練班練起來 (新跑步者,5k,然後 10k 基礎),或他們曾經已經跑過 10k 或半馬。 於是我過去五週,每週跑三次,每次都跑最後一名。 但至少買了新布鞋 (專業店員幫我挑的),膝蓋不會痛了。 每次跑步越來越順了,跟第一次比起來好很多,然後也蠻喜歡跟一群人一起跑步 (當然都會散開)。

今天早上,我們第一次出去跑十公里 (其實跑了 9.7k)。 雖然髖屈肌和大腿外部的肌肉有點痠疼,但 1:12:47 跑完,回到跑步店。 不賴吧! 接著要繼續訓練才能無疼痛地完成它。 :D

  • 金穗大橋 (Golden Ears Bridge) 賽跑 (7公里)
    大溫區的一座新橋,六月中正式開幕,開放給行人。 用來嚐試一下比賽的感覺。 下個月底會開放給汽車;聽說第一個月免費,但之後要收 $2.85。
    - 結果賽跑距離 8.6公里。 55分 31秒鐘完成。 :)
    - 金穗大橋開幕的新聞報告.
    - 當天拍的照片。]

  • Canada Day ROCK Run (10公里)
    我們的訓練班就是針對這個比賽的。 比賽地點在大溫區的 White Rock (才會如此稱呼)。 還有,有三個機會能贏... 一顆鑽石! 酷吧! (一般人可能只有一個機會吧。)

之後,我對 Squamish DaysTerry Fox 的比賽也有興趣,不過先看看這臭皮囊能不能撐得了! :)


Just peachy

It's funny, some of the things we hang onto. A couple days ago, I opened a bar of 20-year-old soap. I kid you not.

I even remember exactly who gave it to me: 2 girls whom I barely knew (and haven't seen since) who were friends of my friend. It was ultra-nice of them to get me a gift (Body Shop fuzzy peach soap and a really nice scrunchy) for my birthday, considering they didn't know me, and especially in Grade 6 or 7 when money isn't exactly abundant!

Anyway, the fuzzy peach (which Body Shop doesn't carry anymore) smelled soooo good, that I never wanted to use, so it just sat on my shelf for 2 decades!

The peachy fragrance has worn off now, so it was time to use it. That, and I'd run out of soap. :P

有時候,我們留下來的東西很有趣。 幾天前,我終於拿了一顆廿年前的肥皂來用。 認真的!

我還記得是誰送我的:兩位不見過 (而之後沒見過幾次) 的女生,我朋友的朋友。 覺得她們非常 nice 送我生日禮物 (水密桃香皂和綁頭髮的髮勢) 因為她們也不認識我,而且小學年紀哪有什麼錢呢!


現在香皂已經不怎麼香了,所以就決定拿來用。 並且,我肥皂也沒了。 :p


A nice quiet bday

I'm afraid that I went through a bit of a cranky mood last night. A couple friends were asking how I was going to celebrate my birthday, and I got a little frustrated and let the pessimist take over. Everything that made me happy, I'd lost in the past year. There was nothing to celebrate.

[As a side note, though, my friend came over and helped me reset my whole wireless network, getting me a step closer to setting up an FTP site. That was the bestest present. :)]

Anyway, I woke up early and in a more neutral, non-murderous mood. I just wanted some quiet me time, so I decided to go to Deep Cove. It was gloomy, so I dawdled leaving the house, but by the time I arrived, the sun was out.

I love that the walk itself seems different every time. Benefits of a failing memory, haha. I just enjoyed the smell of the wet trail, the trees, the creeks along the way.

As I was nearing the end of the trail, I became aware of a tapping sound. I thought it might be sounds of construction that got carried into the forest, but I started scanning the trees. Sure enough, I saw a woodpecker tapping away at a tree! I could only see its red mohawk and a bit of white neck, so I'm guessing it's a pileated woodpecker. I tried moving to snap a picture, but then it was gone. :(

I stood quietly to see if the woodpecker might reappear, and while waiting, I heard a low drone. Flitting around a couple trees away was a hummingbird! It was a plump little thing, not very tiny (but still smaller than my fist). It wasn't bright aqua, green and red, like you often see in pictures, more like a female Mallard duck. But it was still a wondrous sight to see. :) It's just too bad I didn't get a pic of it, either! Bugger.

Anyhow, after the trail, I wandered a neat shop at Deep Cove (had fun ice cube trays and party ware, among other fun stuff), then tried out a what-I-thought-was-new sushi place near home.

But the woodpecker and the hummingbird were what made everything okay. :)

昨晚心情有點差。 有幾位朋友問我要如何慶祝我生日 我就開始frustrated,開始悲觀。 在過去的這一年,我失去了所有使我快樂的。 根本沒有什麼好慶祝的

[不過,我朋友昨晚有來我家,重新設了我的無線網路,讓我更進一步設 FTP站。 這可是最棒的禮物。 :)]

今天早上起床的時候,心情就比較正常了,沒那麼兇殘。 想要自己安靜一下,所以決定去 Deep Cove。 天氣陰陰的,有點拖著出門,但我到了那邊的時候,太陽就已經出來了。

每次去那邊走走,感覺都不一樣,我很喜歡。 可能是年紀大了,記憶力變差的好處吧,哈哈。 我就慢慢享受 Deep Cove 下過雨的小道,的樹,小溪。

快到重點的時候,我聽見輕敲的聲音。 本來以為是附近施工的聲音,但仔細看附近的樹。 結果,的確有一隻啄木鳥敲敲敲著樹! 只看得到牠的紅色摩霍克髮型和白色的頸子,但我猜是大啄木鳥。 我試著走近一點拍照,但牠就不見了。 :(

我靜靜地等著,看牠會不會再出現。 然後就聽到一個低沈的嗡嗡響聲。在前方輕快地飛有一隻蜂鳥! 牠肥嘟嘟的,小小的 (雖然不是及小,但還是比拳頭小)。 牠沒有顯眼的色彩,不像常看到的照片裡的藍,水綠,綠,紅色。 不過,還是覺得很驚奇。 但還是沒拍到! 真可惜!




Catch and release

Those who've been keeping up with my blog know that I have a thing about mosquitoes. Yelch!! Well, a couple of hours ago, as I was putting away some laundry, I noticed a huge-a$$ mosquito fluttering about in my room: its wingspan was a good 2 inches! But then I lost it when I ran out to get my spider cup! (Yes, I have a transparent cup that I use to catch spiders!)

Well, I was getting ready for bed just now, and caught sight of it at the bottom of my door, camouflaged against the dark paint! I opted for the larger pitcher in the laundry room, though. (I'm ultra-squeamish.) Luckily, it's one of those big and dumb mosquitoes that are really slow. It didn't even notice as I placed the pitcher over it, until I slid a manila envelope over the opening. I let it go out the front door.

I am sleeping easy tonight. G'night! :)

以前看我blog的朋友們知道我對蚊子的恐懼。 噁。 當然是因為每次都會被釘得好慘! 前兩個鐘頭在收拾乾淨的衣服時,在我方間看見一隻特大的蚊子:翼展有兩英吋吧!但當我跑去書房拿我的"蟲杯",回到臥房就找不到牠了。 (是的,我有個透明塑膠杯子專門用來專蜘蛛和蟲類的!)

剛剛要換衣服準備睡覺的時候,剛好又看到牠,停在門的下方,隱蔽在暗色的油漆。 不過我去拿了洗衣房的大水壺。 (我對蟲類的很敏感!) 幸好牠是那種大笨蚊子,飛得很慢的那種。 我把牠蓋住,牠都沒反應。 我用牛皮紙信封把水壺口蓋著,把牠帶到前門外面把牠放走。

今晚可以安心入眠。 晚安! :)


Have a little consideration

My dad and I went to see my mom this morning, a day-early Mother's Day visit. As we were sending our thoughts to her and offering fruits, a group of Chinese were there talking, laughing, and being oblivious to the fact that other people were around. Seriously? It's a mausoleum!

This example was the latest in a series of observations that when Chinese people congregate, they become loud and noisy and are inconsiderate of others. They tend to go off in their own little world and forget that their own little world is disturbing other people, and that maybe 40dB is an inappropriate volume for a place where others are visiting their late loved ones.

And when I say "Chinese," I'm not distinguishing among those from China, from Taiwan, from HK... I mean Chinese descent.

Oh, and while I'm venting about Chinese people: when you migrate to a new place, make some attempt to assimilate and learn the ways of your new home. While society does help new immigrants adapt to their new environments, we don't bend the society to suit your every need. We didn't ask you to come. So at least try to learn a few words of the language, and maybe don't bring all your bad driving, spitting and litterbug habits from the old country.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not against immigrants. I'm against immigrants who are here to freeload, and don't make any attempts to adapt to society. I'm sure that there are other ethnics who fall into that category, but Vancouver sure has a lot of Chinese types of those.

Make a little effort here. Have some consideration for the people around you.

我和我爸今天早上去看我媽,提早一天去祝她母親節快樂。 結果,當我們在拜她的時候,有一群華人在旁邊聊天,笑,完全不知道吵到別人。 真是的,在陵墓耶!

這個範例只是最近發生的。 已經就以來發現當華人聚在一起的時候,真的很吵,一點都不考慮到別人。 他們聊自己的,都不想到他們會打擾到人家。 很沒禮貌。 我指華人不分大陸的,台灣的,或香港的...。

既然在抱怨華人:當你移民到一個地方,是不是該試著適應一下,學學新家的習俗。 雖然社會會幫助新移民的人來適應新環境,我們不為了你而把社會折灣來配合你每個需求。 我們又沒逼你來。 所以至少試著學幾句話來溝通吧,還有不要把駕駛,吐痰和亂扔垃圾的壞習慣待過來吧。

請別誤會:我可不反對移民喔。 我只是討厭那些來享受這裡的福利,不勞而獲的人,那些一點都不試圖適應新社會的人。 我相信有很多其他種人也會這樣,不過溫哥華這種華人可多了。


Ba-da-boob, ba-da-bing

Just got home from the 4th Annual Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, which was fabulous. I saw an ad for the festival in The Vancouver Sun, and thought it might be interesting to check out. Something different. So I got tickets to The Cheesecake Burlesque Revue, a group from Victoria, BC.

For a mere $13, we got 2 hours of glittery ruby red lipstick, sparkly eye makeup, costumes and wigs, and of course... titty tassels! Beautiful women of all shapes and sizes, perfectly comfortable in their own skin - and comfortable with showing their skin.

The performances themselves were quite varied and entertaining. Several wardrobe malfunctions (unsticky tassels!) only stoked the supportive audience even more. They also got some audience participation, which was lots of fun. In the first half, they had 4 women go up on stage and take turns shimmying (think Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie") to win a T-shirt. In the second half, they got 4 guys to go up and remove their shirts, and have a try at nipple tassels! HahAha! :D

Granted, burlesque is not for everyone. Even I thought it was a little long, because even with costume changes and different music, they all end up stripping down, so the best performances were those that had some creativity. My favourite? Bunny Ruffles' performance as a tired "entertainer". Hilarious song, coupled with appropriate hand gestures, it had me cracking up! :)

All in all, though, I thought it was terrific! I may not attend the festival every year, but I'm definitely glad I went to check it out. :)

For those interested, the burlesque fest runs until May 10, the coming Sunday! :)


Dressed to the nines

My dad and I put together bags of clothing for donation, and in the bags was a long coat of my mom's, pictured right. My dad had told me about it a few months back.

My mom made this coat. Yes, one of her many talents. Waaaay back when my dad was studying in the States, and before any of us were born. My mom was really, really excited: they were going to go to Las Vegas. So my dad went with her to pick out a pattern, and my mom worked on this project for many nights, all spread out on the kitchen floor. (And this would've been after a long day of waitressing!)

And then she wore it once. The night they went to a show in Vegas. And it's been in the closet for the 30+ years since.

The coat is beautifully made, with lining and everything. The pattern is a little loud for my tastes, but I'm sure it was perfect back in the '70s. It doesn't fit me anyway (I'm a little broader in the shoulders and back)....

I hope that someone else will enjoy it, because it was made with a lot of TLC. :)

我和我爸整理了幾袋舊衣服,準備要捐給慈善團體。 其中的袋子裡面有我媽的一件長外套。 我爸幾個月前跟我講了它的故事。

那件大衣是我媽親手做的。 手藝很好吧。 很久以前,我爸在美國讀書的時候,我們都還沒出生。 我媽非常的興奮:他們有計畫要去拉斯維加斯。 我爸帶她去挑紙樣,然後我媽連續好幾夜撲著廚房的地板在做她的project。(而且是餐廳裡工作了一天之後!)

結果她那件大衣只穿了一次。 就他們去看show的那一夜。 從此就吊在衣櫥,吊了三十多年。

那件大衣做得很漂亮,還有內襯喔。 花樣當然比較鮮亮,但它是經典70年代的顏色。 不過我穿不下;肩膀背部比較我媽寬 (更不用說三十多年前的她!)。

希望別人能好好享受,因為那件大衣可是我媽用很多愛心做出來的。 :)


Sugar-coated past

One of favourite candies from my childhood is Wonka Runts. Fruit-shaped fruity hard candies! I liked getting each flavour and melting them in my mouth....

I saw them at Superstore the other day, and a wave of nostalgia inspired me to purchase a box.

Well, I should've just left the past in the past. They taste awful - just pure sugar, in a packed powder form. They're absolutely disgusting!

Some memories, you just don't mess with.


Iron Ring irony

After our run this morning, a woman in my running group commented, "Oh, you're an engineer, too," indicating the Iron Ring on my right hand.

I always say that the stainless steel Iron Ring on my pinkie is a reminder of the hardest thing I've ever done: the many years of suffering through my engineering education. It's true. Those were some very gruelling years. I think I must've developed my people skills during university, in order to beg, borrow, and steal my way to that parchment. :P

The Iron Ring reminds me of the oath I took (goofy as the ritual was) to do my best in all my endeavours, and to mind my humility.

That's what I tell people.

But, today, something made me pause.

Subconsciously, I probably wear my Iron Ring because it's the only thing I've ever toughed out, the only major accomplishment I can be proud of when I look back on my 32 years. Even if engineering wasn't the right direction for me, sheer determination got me through and earned me the "right" to wear this ring.

Ironically, I regret not switching career paths looooong ago; in fact, I shouldn't have ever entered engineering, not to mention finished it. The only major achievement of my life, and I regret it. Ironic, eh?

The irony of my Iron Ring.


Could you repeat that again?

On my way home from campus a few days ago, I stopped off at Timmy Hs to grab some coffee and replenish my bagel supply. When I got to the counter, I placed my order: "Medium mocha with decaf, and half a dozen blueberry bagels, please."

The cash register rang up "1 Lg mocha". The woman behind the counter looked up at me and asked, "What size?"

Me: "Medium. With decaf, please."

She corrected her entry. "Anything else?"

Me: "Uh, yes. Half a dozen blueberry bagels."

Punch punch punch. "Half a dozen bagels. Just assorted?"

I looked at her in disbelief. "...Blueberry."

And then my cafe mocha came, and I confirmed, "It's decaf, right?" (Decaf is important; I have trouble falling asleep that night if I have coffee after 3pm.)

The cashier looked at the assistant supervisor, and said, "She wanted it with decaf."

He replied, "You have to enter that [into the machine] next time," and off he went to make another.

I guess she was a trainee (though she didn't have a trainee name tag). She must've required all of her concentration on finding the buttons to punch in the order that she simply wasn't able to listen at the same time.

前幾天從校園回家,順路到 Timmy Hs 買咖啡和補充家裡的貝果。 到了櫃檯,我就點了:"中杯無咖啡因的摩卡,還有半打藍莓。"

收銀機顯示被輸入 "大杯摩卡"。 櫃檯女士抬頭問我:"什麼大小?"

我:"中杯。 請用無咖啡因。"

她改成中杯。 "還要其他什麼嗎?"

我:"要啊。 半打藍莓貝果。"

按按按。 "半打貝果。 綜合的就可以?"

傻眼。 "...藍莓。"

摩卡來了,我就確認說:"是用無咖啡因做的吼?" (無咖啡因這件事很重要;下午三點後喝咖啡我晚上會睡不著。)


店長助理回她:"那妳下次要 [在收銀機] 輸入。" 然後跑去重新弄一杯。

看來這位櫃檯女士是新的員工 (雖然沒有帶著受訓者的牌子)。 她可能真的需要她百分之百的專注力,找收銀機的按鈕,完全無法邊輸入邊聽人家在講什麼。