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Showing posts from September, 2008

Stuff White People Eat

I came to a realization this weekend, when necessity forced me into contemplating my week's menu choices for the fourth time. (We've just resumed communal cooking & groceries, which requires less work in the end, but also requires planning ahead so we have the necessary ingredients).

In my search for a dish that we've not yet eaten, I decided that as a white person, I am limited to, essentially, 40 different dishes. I've boiled it down (pun intended) to the following main ingredients: meat, starch, and sauce. Vegetables don't count because they're a minor thing, and they vary greatly within region, but not so much within house.

So our formula is currently M(eat) x St(arch) x S(auce) =V(ariety)

For meat, you have: chicken OR pig OR cow
Starch: potato OR rice OR pasta OR dough
Sauce: tomato-based OR white OR meat-based (ie broth/gravy)

V=3 x 4 x 3

Of course, there are variations that give me more freedom. I could eat seafood. Or veal. But these are too expensive…

A Dream & A Nightmare

Night #1: I am traveling with my family. A boy I know shows up (of course he is there too - apparently this is where he lives now!) and he is clearly interested in me. This is amusing to my family, and flattering to me. Until I wake up and realize that no, he doesn't actually like me. And I'm not somewhere on another continent with my family.

Night #2: I am back in the hometown. My parents are away for a few weeks, and I have their car. And one of their cell phones, which happens to get news headlines texted to it. I receive a headline that says Baptist Woman Slain By Husband and somehow I know precisely who it is. She is from my parents' church. So I try to call them, let them know so my mom can come back for the funeral. But I can't get through. Then I remember that they have changed their area code because they've moved or are away somewhere for an extended I try the right code (250, in case you're wondering), but still no luck. Then I wake up, this…

Conclusion. (Post Case Study Synopsis)

Aren't you glad you're almost done reading this all? I'm sure glad I'm done writing...

Several things stood out to me as I was reading and writing.

1. Communication. We avoid vulnerability and are afraid of risks. I understand this. But if we're talking about well-adjusted adults here, the chances of a well-timed conversation bringing relief and peace to an uncertain situation is high. I'd guess 75% or more.

2. Girls. We don't always know what we want - whether it's the boy or just the attention. Sometimes we don't know til we're asked out (I speak from experience on this one). Sometimes we don't know til after we've been on a few dates (I speak from experience on this one too). But if we're relatively mature, we will still treat you with respect. And you will gain our respect for even broaching the topic of "where do we stand." Because if you've thought about it as a boy, we've probably been thinking about it for thre…

Case Study No. 5 - Seinfeld Non-Dating

Girl and guy know each other. Girl finds guy interesting. They bump into each other on occasion and he asks her to coffee. They have a good time. She's interested. Subsequently, she feels like he pulled a Seinfeld, indirectly asking her out on multiple non-dates, but nothing solid. 3 months later she's fed up with mundane interactions and feels like maybe it's time to have the DTR talk. Should she have the talk? Does she have reason to believe that maybe he's still interested but just immaturely avoiding?

I think a conversation is needed here. She should probably not come in guns blazing and shoot you down like the Gestapo. Either a) Guy is still interested but for some reason gun-shy or b) Guy is not interested but not able to transition to some sort of mature interaction. I don't think it would be out of place for her to say, "Hey, can we talk...?" Of course, some girls might not say anything because they are waiting for the guy to figure out what he…

Case Study No. 4 - Best Girl Friend

Guy's best girlfriend decides to hang out with Guy and his friends because she really has nothing better to do. Over the course of a couple months they spend nearly every day together. Guy has huge adamant respect for her, although he doesn't think he likes her romantically. He suspects that there might be more going on on her side, but doesn't know whether to breach the topic, or what he would say if she breached the topic. Also, almost everyone tells him that he should date her. He's actually considered it on occasion. What should he do?

"Best girlfriend" is a phrase I am sometimes confused by. Apart from romantic interest or a complete lack of female friends (which I think is a massive red flag in a girl's maturity), I can't understand why a girl would hang out with the same guy every day. Everything in this scenario says that she likes you, Guy. And while I am a strong proponent that you should not date someone just because everyone tells you…

Case Study No. 3 - Co-Worker

Guy has a potential crush on one of his co-workers. They are both working in the same place for the next couple of years and they go to the same church. He considers her a good friend but doesn't get any sense that she's particularly interested in him. He wonders if he should tell her how he's feeling or ask her out, but is fearful that doing so could make the next couple of years complicated and threaten their friendship. She also treats him like a "close guy friend" and even talks about other boys she's interested in on occasion. This is a bit confusing for him. Should he push the envelope here?

Wow, Guy. You get a lot of crushes! Oh wait, you're not a real person, just a conglomerate of many men...still. You know how to work the ladies.

Should you ask her out? I don't know. See, I'm not sure what the difference is between a "potential crush" and a good old-fashioned "regular crush." But I do know that girls sometimes tal…

Case Study No. 2 - Roommate's "Girl"

Guy's roommate and good friend spent the whole last 2 years being madly in love with this girl called "Enid". Guy always found Enid attractive but never really thought much of it because of his roommate's affection. It didn't work out between Enid and roommate and that recently became official. At the same time Guy and Roommate started living in separate residences. All of a sudden Guy notices a lot of attention from Enid, including her calling him and the occasional long phone conversation. Guy likes her but the risk is obvious in terms of relationship with roommate. Does he proceed?

Guy. Way to let your roommate have the girl. Enid likes you. Or is, like in Scenario No. 1, a fan of your attention. Enough reason for you to talk to her. How do I know this? Girls call boys to get their attention. Girls have long phone conversations with boys because they want to bond emotionally.

BUT The issue here is not actually about Enid. The issue is about Roommate. What…

Case Study No. 1 - Best Friend's Sister

Over the course of a really great and awesome best friendship, Guy has noticed that he is pretty seriously attracted to his best friend's sister. As far as he can tell, she's not particularly interested in him as opposed to anyone else, but she is always friendly and often flirtatious. Guy is a bit nervous around her and clams up now and then, but he sees going out with her as a reward worthy of taking a bit of risk. He concerned about the fallout with the best friend and the best friend's family though, to whom he is very close with. If anything goes wrong he'd hate to have those relationships suffer. He goes out to coffee with her once and they email now and again but nothing substantial. Does he spill the beans?

Well, Guy. This is what I see.
1. She is flirtatious.
2. She is otherwise unattached and seems to at least be favourably friendly.

My short answer is No. My long answer is Yes. This is why: I don't think you necessarily need to "spill the beans&qu…

Boyz 2 Men (Read Me First)

The Background:

In my last post, I used the word "boys" instead of "men" when referring to my male peers. Someone corrected me, and then I replied: most of the "men" in my life are actually more "boy" than "man."

A great discussion ensued. Someone else asked if that was a loaded statement. I confessed that it was and that it was related to the lack of initiative I often observe in the male species. Many other side trails were visited. I've promised a follow-up post and from various sources I have been given case studies to work with.

Where do I even start? My thoughts are far too...non-linear. And a caveat: I may be wrong. Feel free to disagree with me or correct me in these thoughts. I have no credentials to say any of this. But the beauty of the internet, is that I can anyway. And the beauty of me, is that I will.

The three areas of life that I look at when considering maturity are how people handle
a) finances
b) conflict
c) relation…

Toy Trains & Deep Thoughts

Intro: I think about relationships & boys on a fairly regular basis (If you doubt me, just do a quick search of either of those words on this blog). And this past week has been no different. Scratch that, this past month has been no different.

Body: I can fully admit that I've been living through various friends in differing stages of relationship, gleaning from their experiences and filing away thoughts. It's funny - it seems like many friends come to me for advice, which is ironic, since I don't actually have a huge success rate with relationships in the typical sense, and my last attempt at a relationship ended in what one of my friends called a cosmically unavoidable trainwreck. Or maybe it was the other way around - an unavoidably cosmic trainwreck. Regardless. My friends share their stories, and maybe it's meant more for me to listen and less for me to advise, yet I advise anyway. I have offered thoughts recently on:
what to wear on a first datewhat to write on…

Everything is Illuminated (For Someone Else)

This has been one of those weekends. I conquered the rain by wearing a baseball hat. I conquered my cold (I hope) with lots of sleep. I conquered TV by watching four movies. I conquered social interactions with a bonfire on Saturday night, and church & lunch on Sunday. All good.

I feel like neglecting my blog, which is generally a sign that I have lots going on and my mind is working at 6 miles a minute, but I'm avoiding the heavy stuff. When life is good-good, I have lots of fun thoughts to share. And when life is boring, I always find ways to waste time by blogging.

Anyway, one of the movies I watched this weekend was called Everything is Illuminated. I've wanted to see it for about a year and a half: since I first saw it on the shelf at Blockbuster and though, Oooh, Elijah Wood! But I have limited success in choosing fringe/indy movies for viewing, and the cover - with many, many sunflowers and a sleepy looking Elijah. But after finding it at the library and thinking, A …

Shake It.

So I first heard this song on the radio, and it was catchy. Then I saw the music video and I adored the dancing. Then I downloaded it so I could listen while running (not that I've run all week). THEN I discovered the lead singer of Metro Station is half-brother to the infamous Miley Cyrus, and therefore, son of Billy Ray.

Now I'm not sure what to think. Can I keep listening to it? Or does my distaste for Disney's pop-crafting machine extend to people who, through no fault of their own, are vaguely connected to Hannah Montana and the like?

I don't know. For now, I'm watching that video again. The nerd with the bowtie is amazing.

A Bit Premature

So today, I kind of bought a wedding ring.

I can hear you now: Beth, isn't that a bit early? You're not engaged. I didn't even know you were dating someone...

I'm not. See, that's the "kind of." It's not really a wedding band. Just a plain silver band designed to look like a wedding band.

I can hear you again: Beth, isn't that a bit deceptive? And won't that kind of hinder you in all your marriage hopes and dreams?

I hope not. There's a very specific purpose to this ring. It is designed to hinder, yes. My plan is this: I'm going to be traveling a fair bit this next year. And since some of the places I'll be going to (including the planes) tend to be places women get hit on more frequently, I've got a plan to keep myself safe.

Hence the ring.

I can still hear you: But Beth, are you going to lie? You aren't married!

You're right. And no, I won't lie. If someone says, "Oh, you're married?" I'll say, in all h…

Help Me, Douglas!

I saw a movie last night that I enjoyed less than the trailer I'd seen for it. Maybe because I wasn't expecting the two closest-to-likeable characters to die, since it was billed as a comedy. Maybe I just don't have the right sense of humour. Maybe it was just not as funny as it could have been, but since the makers are famous, I'm sure it will do just fine.

But then my $12 was redeemed. Because we had a star-sighting. Yes, right here in Vancouver at the 5th Ave Cinemas. Which shouldn't be surprising, since we are in Vancouver, and 5th Ave is one of the best independent cinemas (maybe they aren't independent, but they don't say CINEPLEX or GALAXY out front).

Anyway. We stood up at the end of the movie. We turned to the back of the theatre, watching the sold out theatre melt into a crowd.

Wendy said, "Is that ---------??? No. I'm that person (who sees famous people everywhere)."
Me: "No, that is definitely him. Wendy, this is the moment you…

Funnier AND Cuter!

My amazing friend Karen is visiting, and she is a source of all things wonderful and internet related. She introduced me to this site. I am contemplating doing all of my Christmas shopping online this year. At this site.

She also showed me a clip that everything in me tried to resist (because it is just so stereotypical), but consummately failed.

A laughing baby made my day, folks.

Is it creepy if I start hoping my children are like a YouTube video?

"Poetry in Motion"

Today has been a good day, for a number of reasons. Namely, every meeting I had today was positive and encouraging, I went for my first jog in a good two weeks, and when I got home at the end of the day, I had dinner AND flowers waiting for me.

And now, I am laughing hysterically at a ridiculous game show called Hole in the Wall.

Oh, and tomorrow, I get to go to the Space Centre and go on a Mars Simulation ride. How exciting!!


Originally uploaded by bethaf. I love the texture of these clouds. This was the view out my window tonight, and it made me happy. Real colours, folks. Real colours.


My little brother got his wisdom teeth out on Thursday. I haven't heard from him since, so I don't know whether it was easy as pie, or whether he was flat on his back for four days.

But since I find this amusing, and to join with him in his suffering, may I present a photo from my own wisdom teeth removal experience. I believe this was Day 3 Post Surgery.

A Duplicate From the List Blog

I'm feeling like I'm hitting a bit of that September slump.

I attribute it to:
- lack of time spent with God (this could be unpacked in so many ways)
- excess of time spent socially
- uncertainty of my schedule for the next few weeks
- others' stress that I tend to take on

Sympathy, Empathy - What's The Difference?

Which is worse: saying a permanent goodbye to a spouse of 62 years after an illness, knowing what is coming? or saying an indefinite & partial goodbye to a spouse of 3 months with no warning?

Yeah, I wouldn't want to choose either.

In the past week, I've seen the grief of a spouse, and it is a deep and exclusive thing. I don't fully understand it, and I don't think I will until I have to experience it myself. But definitely the hardest thing about being home this time has been watching someone mourn without being able to offer any solution.

Standing by my Grampie's side as the casket is lowered into the ground, tears on his cheeks and mine. Watching Lalo drive away as Sarah cries, not knowing when they'll get to live together again.

I can't help but note that the grief, although incredibly sad, is a beautiful thing because of where it stems from: mutual love. A love that is deeply felt and shared between two people is perhaps one of the most lovely things t…