Friday, February 29, 2008

Things I Don't Like About New York

1) They have more Burger Kings than Starbucks. I walked about 50 blocks and found maybe four Starbucks (is the plural of Starbucks Starbuckses??)


3) It's snowing

4) Everything is so bloody expensive


Today was my sightseeing day before the tournament, which starts tomorrow at 11am (8am for the Vancouverites). I stupidly wore my dress shoes (that's all I brought) and did a lot of walking which resulted in very tired feet as I write these words.

I started by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. For those of you who have walked across Cambie Bridge for whatever reason, the Brooklyn Bridge is about three or four times the size. And then I walked about 50 blocks to Times Square, taking in the sights and sounds of New York. As I neared Time Square I was reminded of the first time I flew into Vegas. And when I finally reached my destination I was awestruck. Wow. I never realized how big Times Square was. The lights were probably just as bright (if not brighter) than Vegas. I could spend two or three days here alone. Broadway had so many shows I wanted to see. I was impressed beyond belief.

As for the tournament itself, I am even more awestruck by the fact that I am entrant #688 out of an estimated 750 or so (so far). And I thought I was the only nerd. I don't know how many Canadians there are yet. Maybe I'll get a prize for that. I don't expect to be anywhere near the top but it's been an amazing experience that I will definitely repeat.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Air Canada Sucks

My flight to New York wasn't even on Air Canada yet I would like to vehemently state that the airline sucks. I know this because I flew on Cathay Pacific and I was quite impressed. From the easy checkin to how we were treated on the flight, I can say this is what customer service is all about. I did not take advantage of the free wine but just the fact that this was available was quite impressive. We all had TV screens in the seat in front of us. I started to watch Martian Child but ended up taking a nap.

Now it's time to relax and decide what I want to do tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Start Spreading the News

Well, my trek to New York begins tomorrow. I will be attending the American Crossword tournament on Saturday and Sunday, and perhaps find time do some sightseeing in The Big Apple (where do I find this apple anyways?). It will also give me time to relax and hopefully not think too much about work (because anybody who knows me knows I tend to do too much thinking about work).

My first task is to make it from the JFK airport to the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott without ending up totally lost.

Vantage Point

I am on holiday until the weekend, so I decided to catch this "intriguing" movie. I didn't know what to expect as the premise of the story was interesting. However, I quickly got tired of the "rewind" aspect of the film, and even though there were a lot of action scenes at the end of the movie, I must say I didn't enjoy the movie.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Be Kind Rewind

I don't know what possessed me to see this movie. I was never a Jack Black fan and even though the premise of the movie was interesting, I had a feeling I would be disappointed, and I was definitely right. The film made no sense and kept jumping everywhere. My other choice, Vantage Point, surely would have been better.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

After the Oscars

And so the Oscars end, and before 9pm too. Frankly the show is still too long. I don't mean to be disrespectful but do people really care about 80% of the awards other than "the big ones"? Instead of rushing people through their acceptance speeches, just let them talk and keep the awards to the major ones.

That being said, it was an OK show. I was very disappointed that Julie Christie did not win Best Actress. Her performance in Away From Her was amazing. I never saw Marion Cotillard's performance in La Vie en Rose but she did look quite fetching. The award for best dressed goes to Katherine Heigl. Julie Christie was radiant and Helen Mirren looked like a queen (I bet she gets that a lot).

And the Oscar Goes to....

I'm just relaxing at home watching the Oscars telecast. I'm posting this before all the major awards have come out. My predictions:

Best Picture: Juno
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis
Best Actress: Julie Christie
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem
Best Supporting Actress: Ruby Dee

Monday, February 18, 2008


I hadn't gone out to see a movie in a long time, so I decided to check out this new movie. All I can say is that this was not a good start to my movie watching for 2008. It was a big disappointment as the film was confusing and made no sense. I guess the ironic (and I'm sure quite intentional) scene was when Hayden Christensen and Samuel L. Jackson were fighting and the latter pulled out some sort of a laser shooting device. I kid you not. It was Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu all over again.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Buy Smart

I've had time to think about my impending purchase of a home. Originally I'd wanted to move close to work, and in fact I'd found a place that was only three blocks away. Obviously that would make the trek to work a lot easier (from a 35-minute drive to a 10-minute walk). But with Cloverdale being 35 minutes away from Vancouver, that means if I wanted to visit family and friends it would take me that long on my days off to drive to town. So in the end it's a matter of what's more important: be closer to work or be closer to "civilization". After talking with my friends, one's life away from work is more important than work itself. And so I will now be concentrating my efforts on Richmond. There is still a lot of potential there.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Future is Now

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a mortgage consultant (or whatever they're called) at the bank. Hopefully I will be approved for a mortgage and then the next step begins. Unfortunately I screwed up the steps and found a nice place before I had a mortgage in place. Hopefully the apartment is still available. And then for the next 25 years...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

February 14

And so reach every single guy and girl's least favorite day. Maybe next year.

Friday, February 08, 2008


What does "accidental overdose" mean? You're OBVIOUSLY taking more drugs than you should be. I really don't understand it. Am I supposed to feel sorry because the overdose was ACCIDENTAL?

Heath Ledger was a good actor, I won't say great. He had a memorable role in Brokeback Mountain and his stint as The Joker in the new Batman movie in July remains to be judged. But the fact that he had a drug problem seems to be buried in the back of the headlines.

Flip Flop

I still haven't decided if I'm going to rent or buy in Cloverdale. There are pros and cons to both choices and it seems that right now it's right down the middle. In the long run having my own place is great because I'm owning something. In my retirement years (which are coming quite fast) I will need something to "live" on. Right now I'm paying off somebody else's mortgage as they say. But in the short term, renting is financially better for me. At some point in my life I will have to buy my own place, it's a matter of when. Is the "when" now? I need time to think; unfortunately there isn't too much time to do that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Could they make the US elections any more complicated and drawn out? When the Canadians have their elections, it's all over in one night. In the US, well, some states you get all the delegates, other states you get a proportion based on who wins which county. Confuse me even more.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Ever since the beginning of the season, when the New England Patriots were caught in "Spygate" I decided I didn't like the return. And then when they kept winning and winning, I hated them even more. I figured Green Bay, Dallas or Indianapolis (my three favorite NFL teams) would beat them either in the regular season or the playoffs. But it wasn't meant to be. And as Super Bowl Sunday started, I found myself not really cheering for the Giants to win but rather New England to lose. And they did. And that play by Eli Manning with 1:15 to go was perhaps the greatest non-touchdown play in the history of Super Bowls. Sorry New England, Miami Dolphins are STILL the only team to go undefeated in the entire season. Better luck next year. Ha ha.

And now back to cheering for the Habs.