Apathy University

5 03 2014



It’s yet another cloudy, threatening-to-rain day in Vancouver. At the bus loop at UBC, some buses sit idly in their respective parking spaces while others weave this way and that — some coming into the loop, others leaving. There is an abundance of STUDENTS getting off buses and walking to their classes, while other students wait in line for their bus.

A 99 B-Line bus is slowly pulling up to the stop, where a massive line of students are waiting to board. A WOMAN (19), short, Asian, is plugged into her phone, listening to music. She nears the crosswalk, where other students have stopped to let the bus pull up to the stop before crossing the street. The Woman continues on, walking directly in front of the moving bus.

The bus drive HONKS at her for several seconds. She barely flinches, doesn’t even glance at it — just continues on as if the road is her bitch and buses are shit.

Welcome to Apathy University, located in Vancouver, Canada.

An (failed) Evening with David Sedaris

12 11 2013

Finally. After years of reading his wonderful books, I finally got to see David Sedaris in person. It was beyond hilarious to hear his stories as well as his diary entries. It was such a great night.

I was surprised the reading itself wasn’t very long; it was about two hours in total. When he announced that he would be signing and answering questions outside, I ran in line. I thought I was near the back, but when I looked back about 15 minutes later, the line stretched all the way down the hall to the back. I was more in the middle of the line. Guess I can’t really complain.

I brought my copy of When You Are Engulfed in Flames, my favourite Sedaris book, for him to sign. I had rehearsed, in the hour and fifteen minutes while waiting in line, how I was going to mention that I am a writer and to get him to give me some writing advice. One of the young women in front of me was talking to her friend about how she was so nervous when she accidentally spoke to her favourite musician that she hung up. I figured I couldn’t be as bad as that.

When I stepped up to the desk to David smiling at me, we exchanged a normal kind of banter about the spelling of my name (I had written on the little now how “Aaron” is the only truly correct spelling) when he opened up the book and started writing my name. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: oh, I was wondering if you could give me some writerly advice.

David: Ah. What are you writing?

Me: Yeah, I’m in the Creative Writing program here at UBC. I mostly write creative non-fiction, but I kinda write a lot of different things.

David: What are you writing?

I realize I didn’t answer his question. I take a moment.

Me: Well, I’m in the process of writing a memoir about my life growing up in Vancouver as Chinese and gay, and my difficulties dating in a racist and divided community.

David: Wow. That sounds really tough. I’d like to read that when it comes out. Hell, do you have a publisher? Let me introduce me to your agent.

That was how the conversation should have went. Instead, this is what happened:

David: What are you writing?

I realize I didn’t answer his question. I think about the assignments I’m writing in class and how I’m not really working on anything big. But…

Me: I’m writing about my life. And how horrible it is.

David: Is it horrible?

Me: No, not really. But people are horrible.

David looks highly unimpressed, as if here’s this wannabe kid who doesn’t even know what the hell he’s writing. I silently agree.

I felt like such a dumbass after. My life and how horrible it is? Really? Fuck.

Part of it is me talking to bloody David Sedaris but the other part of me just saying unintelligent shit when I’m put on the spot like that. I can’t think quickly. And then I look like a buffoon. Case in point.

Ugh. I feel like I could’ve really gotten him interested/impressed if I told him about my book but I was a blubbering fool. Goddammit.

At least David took my idiocy in stride. “To Aaron, You should write a book about a [horse sticker] named Brian. -David Sedaris”

Thanks, David, for the advice. Hopefully I can impress younext time around.


24 09 2013

During a post-lecture, the TA for my Critical Studies in Sexuality class was explaining what the guest lecturer had talked about, since the language and concepts she was talking about were fairly sophisticated. As he was explaining in simplified ways, two students burst into the room. They were both holding boxes of candy that I had seen on a table at the lecture earlier.

“WHO WANTS CANDY???” one of them shouted, as if the class were a bunch of kindergarteners whose sole goal was to consume as much sugar as possible. She and her partner in crime seemed completely oblivious to the TA who was standing in front of the room with a surprised look on his face.

Since no one responded to the interruption and before I could scold them, the student continued. “We’re going to pass it around from the back, so the people at the front might not be getting any, haha.” Hilarious.

I have to give props to the TA for keeping his cool and not telling them off, even as the boxes circulated the room and distracted students searched the varieties of candies in the boxes, even as the crinkling and ripping of candy packages almost overpowered his words. I give props to the students, who obviously realized that more important things were happening, yet didn’t offer an apology to the TA nor the rest of the class.

It’s times like these that remind me that even though I’m taking a third-year course, a lot of these kids are only 19/20. UBC may be considered by many to be a good school (not including me), but the students — that’s a whole different thing.

I am not stupid.

19 07 2013

If I am not stupid, why do I constantly find myself in situations where I seem to be stupid?

The Hobbit, or There and Probably Not Back Again

17 12 2012

was a bit of a disappointment.  I’ve read the book and absolutely loved it, and, of course, I try to judge adaptations as a film by itself.  Yes, there are many additions to the film that isn’t mentioned in the book (and many felt extraneous and really dragged the plot), but there were scenes that were just silly and lame (*SPOILER ALERT!* like when Radagast tries to distract the Orcs and Bilbo and the dwarves try to run but they keep bumping into the Orcs and so many times almost get seen.  It’s comes off as slapstick and just really silly, but it’s not even laughable).

Also, there was a piece of what seemed like steel wool in my popcorn (and in my mouth).  Also also, I had no idea Metropolis had become overloaded with utterly laughable ads — even putting a serious ad about not creating waste during the gift-giving season followed by ad where featuring a typical, white family ripping apart loads of wrapping paper and opening boxes, all likely going in the garbage can — and ridiculous game-things before the movie.  That really put me off to ever going to a Cineplex theatre ever again.  Ugh.

Farewell to intelligence

12 09 2012

Woman: “One for ‘Farewell to Rome.'”

Aaron rolls his eyes.

Aaron: “Do you mean Farewell, My Queen or To Rome with Love?

Woman:  “Oh!  I got mixed up ’cause someone over there was talking about it.”

Aaron:  “Uh huh.”

Woman:  “So that’s for Farewell, My Queen.” [pause] “No no no!  I meant To Rome with Love!”

Aaron:  “Is that your final answer?”


16 05 2012

I made a mistake, one that I had vowed I would not make again.  But I did.  And the worst part is that I saw the choices in front of me, the cards spread out for me to see, and I still picked the wrong one.  Why do I keep doing this?

I think someone needs to give me a good punch to the face.

May 21, 2011: the end of the world

21 05 2011

Well, clearly not.  I wish I had the time to write up a bit more on yet another supposed day of doom to this world but I have to send some people an email about my availability for a short film my friend is planning on shooting and it is confusing — the scheduling, not the film.  Well… nevermind, yes, the scheduling.

I also want to quickly add that I find it surprising — but mainly amusing — that I get around 15 – 20 views a day now.  Cool beans.  🙂

Reading about things makes me angry

22 10 2010

Really, I just feel kinda sick.  Not flu sick but throwing up sick.  I wonder if it has something to do with the potential high amount of radiation this computer is giving off… or if it’s because I was just typing in a comment on a poll about gay marriage.  Nowadays, I tend to stay away from debates like these because it only infuriates me after reading some absolutely ridiculous things people have to say and okay, yeah, I could’ve avoided it this time too, but one of my friends had done this poll thing on Yahoo called “Ask America”; basically there are numerous questions ranging from serious ones like “Should we repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?” to who-gives-a-crap “Does Sarah Palin’s short messages on twitter affect something something?” (I stopped reading after Sarah Palin and twitter).

Perhaps I am naive in believing the majority of Americans do in fact want same-sex marriage.  I guess that’s why I was surprised why only 53% of people supported it while 47% were opposed.  And of course, I just had to read the comments, which included one particularly stupid one from one woman (maybe girl, I don’t know) who claimed she had “nothing against gays… only when it comes to relationships”.

Uh… what the fuck?  I don’t understand people who say things like that.  It’s easier to understand completely moronic Republican right-wingers who are obviously homophobic and therefore don’t want to see gay people married.  But it becomes something confusing, at least to me, when someone who claims to have no resentment and ill feelings for gay people to be against their relationship.  Who the hell are you to tell them who they can or cannot marry?  How can you be so contradictory?  Those people I don’t understand.

Anyway, I could’ve just let her idiotic comment speak for itself but then she went on to say, “it goes against my religion”.

Ha!  Oh, the old religion argument.  Well, of course it does.  I’m sure pre-marital sex goes against your religion too but hey, I don’t see you torturing yourself over it.  She was obviously unaware at how oppressive women are portrayed in the bible — they get stoned and abused for the most ridiculous things and yet we still don’t believe in that (well, Western culture anyway).  We don’t own slaves but that goes against your religion so what about that?  If you can pick and choose what you want to believe in and what you apply to your own life, why can’t you do that when it comes to gay, loving relationships?  Slavery and oppression — we can’t have any of that, no sir.  But two people who love each other?  “It goes against my religion”.  What a pathetic excuse.  The word pathetic doesn’t even begin to describe it.

So I got angry, naturally (like I’m getting angry now, typing it all up again) and I posted a comment with the 200 characters I was limited to, saying the following:

So you don’t have a problem with gay as long as they aren’t in a relationship? Discrimination is a choice; rather than questioning your religion, you ignorantly choose to accept its belief?

I would’ve posted another scathing comment but I decided not to.  Instead, I posted on the Yes side for gay marriage (there were columns for comments on both sides) and said, “Thank god I live in Canada.”

And yes.  I used a small g.  Mm-hmm! *snaps fingers*

Interestingly enough (or not), 54% of people want to legalize marijuana, which, as you can see, is a higher percentage than gay marriage.   Pot before love!  Wooooot!

Here’s the link to the poll:  http://askamerica.yahoo.com/?issue_id=gaymarriagerights&issue_topic=culturemedia