Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MCATS: The Mmusical or All's Well That ESL's Well

So a little bit has happened in the past few days (or is it weeks? I can't really tell anymore). I applied for two jobs: one teaching an MCAT class for a prestigious prep-course and the other being a student monitor for an English school. I just recently was informed that I had job offers from both that I quickly accepted. One job will have me re-teaching organic chemistry to potential pre-medical students and the other will have me ensuring the entertainment of students enrolled in english courses. One day I will be explaining the properties of Buckminsterfullerene and the other I will be playing soccer with a bunch of kids. There is obvious room for overlap, which is a nice plus when having two jobs. I will now go into a bit more detail regarding these two employment opportunities.

The MCAT position requires me to relearn a whole bunch of organic chemistry that I should have learned in undergrad. I could blame Frank, Alex and Harald (my old professors) and I think that's what I will do. So thanks for nothing guys. Hemiacetal? They never even TRIED to teach me that. 
Before that job offer, I was given two tests to take to make sure I "knew my shit" as the company put it. I was super excited at the prospect of doing some chemistry because my atomic muscles had not been flexed in quite a while and I wanted to get the bats out of the Boron. So I pulled up my sleeves, turned on Star Trek and set to work on the General Chemistry quiz. It took me a while to complete but some of the answers I wanted to be absolutely sure on so I took the long method as opposed to my gut chemical intuition. There were also some questions that I should have known immediately because they are taught in high school. 
So I did pretty well on the general chemistry, it didn't take me that long and I managed to make educated guesses where I was unsure. Now onto Organic Chemistry.
Well, let me tell you. It was like signing a lease to live with your significant other and then finding out the first day you both move in that they are cheating on you and want to break up and date this other person. However, you are roped into a lease so you have to pay until it expires but you don't want to move out and pay rent at another place. So you are forced to live with your ex and his/her new love interest and pretend not to hear the sounds of sexual exploits emanating shamelessly from their bedroom while you try to watch television, eating a raw onion so you can explain the tears. In short: it was fucking BRUTAL. 
I had to look EVERYTHING up. I was even looking up definitions for words I already knew. That's how shattered my confidence was.
" 'In a Friedel-Crafts alkylation of toluene, the toluene acts as:', okay. What the fuck is 'Friedel-Crafts'? What the fuck is 'alkylation'? What the fuck is 'the'? Oh wait."
So it was tough but I submitted my tests and later on I was informed that I would be the next Organic instructor for the biological sciences portion of the prep-course. How that made any sense I don't know. So here I am, frantically relearning various things that sound like I should know, "Aren't hands super-imposable? So how come these molecules are different?" and many things that seem brand-fucking-new, "The internet is on computers now?"

As for the other job, I think I will mostly be hanging out with kids and making sure they are having fun and speaking english outside of the classroom. So I am getting paid to play with kids. I keep thinking that one day I will have to clean the oven and as I am half inside, they push me in, shut the door and cook me for supper. I am also scared that some other type of "catch" is involved in this job, but I will keep you all posted on that as time goes on. 

Long story short, I will now have something to occupy my time and I can start making some bling so I can buy and sell your sorry ass. Look out, world. Here I come. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gross Grindhouse

So yesterday I was coerced into climbing Grouse Mountain and I figured, "How hard could it be?" So I put up little resistance to the idea. Initially, my climbing colleague and I found many hardships in the public transit that would lead us to the monstrous mole-hill but after about an hour of waiting for buses, farting around downtown and aimless wandering we eventually found ourselves at the base of the behemoth. We looked around for some kind of information and saw a large sign that said:

Admission rates
$34.50 Adults
$20.00 Children/Seniors
$10.00 Toddlers
(Please note: These prices are not accurate and in no way reflect the actual ridiculous pricing at Grouse Mountain. For more information, please refer to the link above or just ask the person nearest to you if they know the rates)

I'm not ashamed to say that I almost turned right around and walked away despite the insurmountable amount of effort that was put into simply getting to the mountain. But it was like 35 bucks. I could just use my bus passes (a net spending of ~5-7.50 dollars if I had enough time to get the appropriate transfers) and say that I SAW the mountain and was impressed and leave it at that. However, my partner-in-climb was not so eager to give up just yet (he didn't have any bus passes) and we proceeded to walk around looking for some kind of way to get into/onto the mountain. We walked up one path only to be greeted by a couple descending the path who informed us that this was not the way to get onto the juggernaught of dirt. After a little more aimless wandering in the parking lot (we have two bachelor degrees each, just to put things in context) we decided that the lady sitting in the booth below the "information" sign wasn't just there to get a sun-tan, rather she was put on this Earth for the sole purpose of providing people like us with the information we so desperately were craving. That and having a funny accent (she had a funny accent). Our booth-bound saviour providing us with vital information on how to get to the base of the mountain we were about to climb. As we approached the path entrance I saw a lot of people drenched in sweat, coming out of the entrance. I was worried for a split second before I realized that all these people were either: old, overweight, slightly overweight or polish and figured again, "How hard could it be?"
My companion and I stood before the entrance onto a path and on either side hung large signs detailing how by entering the pathway before us we absolved the province of British Columbia from any liability should we get hurt, lost or stub a toe. We both agreed to keep the usual frequent but hilarious stupidity on the "down-lo" for the duration of the hike and we set off. 

Before my tale goes on I will share some factual information with you. The general trail up the mountain is referred to as the Grouse Grind. It is pronounced gre-ow-ss (thats gre as in "great", ow as in "Ow! Mommy I hurt my toe! Call the doctor for fuck's sake!" and ss as in "Oh no mommy! Doctor says you need a hysterectomy! Stop using your uterus for fuck's sake!" and grind as in "Grindhouse was better when it was two movies in one". However, I was calling it "gross" grind and no one said boo besides one particular agitator and one particular ghost, both of whom shall remain nameless (the ghost remains nameless mainly because the ghost was the Nameless Ghost of Kentucky who says "boo" to me frequently and sexually). 
Some other info is that the average person takes 1 hour and  30 minutes to climb the Grouse Grind and it is not a Tom Cruise type climb, more of a very steep walk accompanied with some moments of climbing like a doggy (on all fours, like a doggy). 
Furthermore, radioisotopes are sexy.
Okay, now you have that information we can get back to the story. 

So we set off on the trail of the Grouse Grind and begin our ascent. At first it wasn't anything too strenuous, just a bunch of steep steps but overall it did take some effort. About a 1/4 of the way up I stopped to tie my shoe and told my climbing companion to go ahead without me. He went on and when I was done he was far ahead. Eventually I saw a briefcase along the path and stopped to look inside. I noticed that it contained one hundred million dollars in uncirculated US currency. I was a bit taken aback but couldn't react before a team of expert thieves caught me. They informed me that they intercepted a US Treasury helicopter that was transferring the money in the briefcases to the bank of America. The thieves opened fire on the helicopter from the base of Grouse Mountain and the helicopter crashed somewhere on the mountain, scattering the cases throughout the mountainside. The thieves needed professional help finding the cases because they were not used to the intense terrain. I was forced to help them clib the Grouse to find their money. I was bound with ropes and chains and had two guards on me at all times. I had no choice.  The suitcases had tracking devices in them and the leader, Lithgow, had a detector (like in Dragonball). 
We got to a cliff and Lithgow informed me that there was a case on top of it. I was forced to climb the cliff and retrieve the case, alone. I climbed the cliff (arms still bound) using only my legs and teeth and got to the top. When I was there I immediately broke free of my restraints and attempted to throw away the money so the thieves couldn't obtain it. They opened fire at me and the resultant gun-play caused and avalanche (it was snowy on the mountain despite it being the beginning of June). They presumed me dead but I had cleverly disguised myself amongst the rockface, unharmed of course despite them shooting at me with AK-47's. I needed to find the cases before them! I used my advanced knowledge of nature and my climbing skills to scale the mountain faster than the thieves. I called upon my animal friends to help me locate the other two cases. Farafax, the Eagle, located one case at the top of the tallest tree on the mountain. I made my way to the tree and began to climb it. It was 1,000 feet tall but it would have only taken me 30 seconds to climb except that one of the thieves was there too! We had an epic battle while climbing the tree, him with a gun and me with no weapon. I would catch whatever bullets I could but he had an automatic rifle (an AK-47, if you recall). Eventually, I broke off a tree branch and threw it into the barrel of his gun, blocking it completely. The thief tried to shoot but the blocked barrel caused the gun to explode, blowing off his hands. The thief was shocked and slowly brought the bloody stumps up to his face so he could see what had happened. "Need a hand?" I asked as he screamed and lost his balance and fell backward, off the tree into the dark chasm below. I found the case and discarded the money. 
One to go.
Neobar, the Grizzly Bear informed me that there was another case in an ice cave near the peak of the mountain. I thanked him and reminded him that I could beat him in a wrestling match and he responded, "No Grizzly would dare face you, Warren-san". We bowed to each other and I was off. 
I entered the ice cave and located the last case but another thief (only one) found me! He was the second best of the group and had gone ahead. We had an epic battle in the ice cave but it wasn't as cool as on the tree. We used icicles for swords at one point because he ran out of bullets (I would just like to point out that the cave was no more than 3 meters in diameter, so there was very little room to dodge bullets but I did it anyway. Like a pro). I think we awoke a sleeping dragon, so I had to fight a dragon as well as this thief, who was also a cyborg-ninja with 4 arms. I slew the dragon (by biting off his head) and knocked the cyborg ninja on the ground into a corner with newly grown icicles from the ceiling. The thief fell in a spot that had a little bit of water and it froze, holding him in place, with an icicle growing from the ceiling directly above him. I had no choice but to watch in slow horror as the icicle grew longer, sharper and longer and pierced his chest. Several days later the icicle pierced his heart and then several days after THAT he died (he didn't die from blood loss after the initial piercing because it was such a slow process that his blood was able to clot with more than enough time). 
I was powerless to save him and I remarked, "Chill out". 
I had the last case, however, so I left the cave in order to dispose of it only to be surrounded at the entrance by all the thieves. They all had AK's and rocket launchers on me and the cave had sealed itself because I beat the level (that's why you can't re-enter levels in some video games, because it happens in real life. After an epic battle or some laborious puzzle solving inside a cave of some kind, the entrance always gets sealed up. Video game designers know this and put it into the virtual world as well). Lithgow stood on a rock, triumphant, and milliseconds before he could order them to fire I threw the briefcase at the semi-circle of thieves. Since I am also amazing and throwing things, the case hit and killed every thief because I threw the case like a boomerang. Lithgow jumped out of the way just in time. The case returned to me after the last thief was dead (they were all robots). Lithgow and I then proceeded to fight. He with a gun and me with a steel briefcase full of uncirculated US currency. I knocked the gun from his hand and he knocked the case onto the edge of the biggest cliff on the mountain. We fought some more and he reclaimed his gun. I was out of options and had nowhere to run. Lithgow laughed and began shooting at a school bus full of orphans, elderly and endangered animals. I pleaded with him to stop to which he replied, "I will always be evil, there is no chance of redemption for me!" Followed by fits of uncontrollable and highly evil laughter. He began walking backwards to retrieve the case, whilst radioing for his robot-helicopter to come get him. He began trying to pick up the case without looking down fearing (and rightly so) that I would disarm him the second he looked away. He wanted to keep me alive long enough to know that he had won. As he tried to pick up the case he lost his footing, dropped his gun off the cliff and began to slowly fall backward. I shot over and grabbed a hold of his jacket using both my hands. I started to say, "Death comes for us all, Lithgow but something much worse comes for you. For when you die, it will be-" I couldn't finish because in the blink of an eye, Lithgow threw a concealed knife at me. I instinctively caught it before it could hit me in the face but as a result I had to let go of one side of his jacket. He fell backward and spun due to my one-handed grasp on his jacket which led to both his arms slipping out of their sleeves and he plummeted over the edge. As he began to fall, his helicopter appeared beneath him. I could only watch as Lithgow tried to shield himself to no avail from the spinning propellers. The cliffside was instantly stained crimson like the result of an exploding red paint can.  The helicopter then lost control because of the impact and crashed into the mountain, exploding on impact. 
As the smoke settled, an eerie silence fell over the Grouse Grind. I bent over and picked up the case and whispered, "-without honour". 
Shortly thereafter I reached the top of Grouse Mountain and the authorities were there. I handed the case over to the authorities and the head officer said, "What happened to Lithgow?"
"He had to split" I replied and ordered a round of drinks for everyone at the top amid their laughter and praise. 

This whole adventure took about an hour and a half, I would have gotten to the top sooner if I hadn't had to stop the bad guys.
All in all in was a great experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the area. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gimme a job (the money kind, not blow, hand, foot, sandwich, oyster, gerbil, nose OR Hand with a capital H)

I've been trying to find a job for a while now and its getting pretty tedious so I am toying with the option of:

Returning to work at a certain electronics retailer.

Initially it was my first choice but was met by harsh criticism and even some death threats from critics. I don't see what's so wrong with the place but perhaps I am missing something. So lets do this thing analytically by weighing the pro's and con's.

1. I've already worked there so there is a higher probability that I will be able to obtain employment unlike my applications to Costco and Blockbuster. Yeah, that's right. Two degrees can't get me a job that the companies want to pay monkeys to do because its so easy (the legislation is still getting passed on that). GAWD.

2. Discounts on electronics. I have been meaning to get some kind of gaming console since Rebecca lives like a grown up and has no device for entertaining persons who are yet to achieve maturity. What's that you say? I have a computer and can just play vids on there?
I would rather die. Not being dramatic, just honest. Although Bex does have a mouse so I wouldn't be limited to a mousepad.............okay so the jury is still out on that one.

3. Easy. The most I have to think at this job when I have a problem is what manager to call. Critical thinking out the window and hello conformist, hivemind-like, corporate, assimilating type thinking (thinking is used loosely here). Not too berate or take away from the ability to be promoted in that company or insult the people I know and still talk to who still work there BUUUUT its easy work. 
Fulfilling? No. 
Soul-crushing? Sometimes. 
Supporting the consumerist mentality by selling average people shit that they don't really need? You bet. 
A job that has higher officials that take the job way too seriously? Definitely. 
A job that when I make a mistake, I feel bad about it and try and perfect my work so as to not make that same mistake again? Not really.
Easy? Yes. 

1. There are none

So I think that I will go ahead and put out an application, who knows, I probably won't get it and be stuck in job limbo for a little while longer. 

Although I have been tutoring and it has reminded me of what a joke biology is. A bad one that promotes the teaching of incorrect chemical concepts. Stick to poo, monkeys and Darwin (which are all connected anyways, each for different reasons) biology and leave the real science to the other, superior disciplines like women's studies. Oh wait, I meant to say Chemicology, the study of chemicals. Yes, stick to studying "bio" and leave the real brunt of science to the scienticians of chemicology; with their abaci of doom and their pocket protectors of chastity.

With all this knowledge of chemicology and teachingology you'd think I could AT LEAST get a job at Blockbuster. I guess I will just have to start performing various odd-hand jobs to get some money priming poles or waxing wood or stuff like that.

If you want to send me money please feel free to do so! Stop being such a cheap bastard! 

Monday, June 1, 2009

That's right, I started a blog

Wanna fight about it?
I figured that this would be an efficient and inexpensive way to keep in touch with people while I am out galavanting on the West coast. And as I am sure many people don't want to hear about what I get up to (it can get kind of "blue") I have discovered a medium that allows people to check or not check at their own leisure and convenience. 

I am making the transition from Facebook to here because what I initially intended to do on Facebook in the form of notes was basically a blog anyway and I figure that this is a good test run for how well the blog works/how often I update/how many people enjoy it/how long the internet is around for (I think its 15 minutes are over). So I will be a "blogger" for the summer and then perhaps into the fall if I feel so inclined. 

So this is it, this is everything, this are you?..I am good.

I already wrote an update on FB so I will probably not get a meaty blog for a little while but I may also use this as a conduit to express my:
1. Opinions about various things
2. Hopes and dreams
3. Fears and ways that I would prefer NOT to die
4. Turn ons and ways that I WOULD prefer to die whilst on a date
5. Information about science and technology
6. Information about religion and technology
7. Music reviews
8. Film reviews
9. Various witty remarks that are made when no one is around
10. My bigoted and prejudiced views on all races that end in "ish", "an" and "ese" and all religions that end in "ism", "lam" or "ity"

I won't keep you in stitches any longer because I need to read the book Wicked, so I will leave you to ponder the consequences and repercussions of me having this blog.

Being a burden on you from across the: country/ocean/universe,

What is that you say?

And so it begins...