Atta Ikede

June 4, 2010

Sweat, shorts, foghorns

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 8:13 pm

I guess it’s an annual thing.

My windows are open and the thermostat says 80F. That’s 27 Celsius. I checked in Google just now.

The irritating thing is I still need a jacket when I’m out. I have Mr. Wind to thank for that. Jerk. So I wear shorts in my apartment and have to pull on pants before I go out.

Fog season has also rolled in. I kind of missed it! It’s a bit misty when I leave for work, and I can hear foghorns non-stop after dark. I seriously heard like 8 horns in the time it took me to type this post.

In other news, the “secret garden” house¬† across the street for me is undergoing a lot of construction. The garage has been wrapped in Tyvek for weeks, and there’s always a truck there with hammering going on, but externally very little has changed. I guess they must be totally gutting the place inside and rebuilding. Those nouveau riche, eh? Always splashing their money around.



Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 8:06 pm

Earlier this week, i went for a beer with my coworker after work. We ended up talking about happiness. What is happiness? You can’t even define it, so how do you know when you have it?

Walking home afterwards, taking my usual route past the scientology headquarters (they’re in the old transamerica building, right across from the new transamerica building), I found myself thinking about Mormons.

Mormons have been on my mind for a while now, ever since a family vacation to Salt Lake City in early May. The thing that gets me isn’t specific to Mormons – I’ve known religious people and actually have friends who have a similar vibe. I think I’m stuck on the Mormons specifically because (1) their temples were fabulous (2) Salt Lake City was beautiful. We actually went to check out their temple (weren’t allowed to go in, but we could go into the area and take photos and things) and were greeted by several missionaries there. The place was totally crawling with missionaries – i mean, you expect that. It’s their temple. These missionaries were all fresh faced young women. They all wore neat, pressed, modest clothing – knee length skirt, pretty blouses. Very little makeup. They had earnest smiles and they made eye contact and held it. It wasn’t possible to wander around their square there and avoid these missionaries – they engaged. They had name tags pinned to the upper left corner of their blouse. Each name tag included her name and her country of origin. (Side note: Interestingly, while the various missionaries all wore their “uniform” of skirt and blouse, it was pretty easy to tell where women are from. The girl from Korea definitely had a cutesy look to her and seemed to have some kind of anime hair tie. The girl from a country in South America had a bold patterned skirt.)

These women all had a specifically earnest look on their faces. Talking to them, it was clear they really believe what they’re talking about. They don’t have questions. If they do, they just suppress them or ask their elders for guidance. A lot of my religious friends are the same.

This ability to believe — just … fervently, believe in something. It fascinates me. On one hand, it scares me. One minute you’re a fervent believer, next minute you’re drinking the koolaid! It’s dangerous! But on the other hand, I’m kind of jealous of those people.

I don’t have fervent belief in my life. I don’t have an answer. I don’t think I believe in the afterlife, but I am not sure there isn’t one. It’s not that I don’t believe, it’s that I don’t know what to believe, so I just can’t be fervent about any one particular belief.

Hmm. I’m trying to figure out where this post is going.

I’m staring out the window.

Now I’m recollecting the serene and confident way that this Mormon missionary was explaining things to me back in Salt Lake City.

Now I’m realizing I don’t think I’m even capable of holding that expression on my face! I just don’t think my face can convey that expression.

I’m now vaguely feeling jealous that these missionaries can feel an expression that I can’t even make!

Sigh. I don’t know where I’m going with this. I think the only conclusion here is … I’m not cut out to be a believer. And I don’t think people like me will ever understand the unilateral believers. There’s just too much of a gulf.

May 9, 2010

There’s a Pittsburgh bar down the street.

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 8:51 am

I went on a family vacation to Salt Lake City / Park City in Utah last week. It was really beautiful there and our trip was very relaxing – we spent 4 days doing a bit of sightseeing and a lot of poker playing and hockey watching. We wanted to watch San Jose vs Red Wings, but they also showed Habs vs Pens so we watched those too.

My brother and I were rooting for the Wings and the Habs, though I did get a little obsessed with Joe Pavelski after he scored 2 goals in a row for the 3rd straight game. At least in those couple games I saw, that guy was taking credible shots every time his stick touched the puck! It was unbelievable. I’m now also obsessed with Halak. He’s my new hero. I mean yes, Pittsburgh has a great goalie, but Wikipedia tells me their goalie was drafted first in the NHL the year he started. Obviously you expect results there. Halak? Dude was 271st! My brother had the best analogy – he reminds us of Goran, a wildcard who came out of nowhere to win Wimbledon.

Anyway, there was another Habs vs Pens game yesterday, and I decided to walk by a sports bar in my area as the game was starting. I’ve walked by that bar several times – it’s on Columbus near Vallejo, so I walk by there at least twice a day – on my way to work and back. I’ve noticed that it’s a hockey bar, and often pause on the sidewalk to watch little snippets of whatever game’s playing. Most sports bars around here only show baseball, football and basketball. Same in LA, at least to the places I’ve been. Some bars will have hockey playing in the tiny CRT TV in the corner but have other sports on the huge TVs.¬† If you want to go out and watch hockey, you have to go to a place you know will show it. Since I was kind of bored yesterday afternoon, I figured I’d go check out the scene there on my way to chinatown for grocieries.

So all this time, I thought that hockey bar on Columbus was just that – a hockey bar. Well guess what. I walked in yesterday afternoon and asked a guy sitting alone whether I could grab a seat. He said yes. Then I looked around. The place is a hardcore PITTSBURGH BAR!!!!

First of all:

1. I’m amazed to find out pittsburgh is the kind of place whose native sons would actually go out and set up hometown bars in other cities. Pittsburgh!? It’s an industrial town! Can you imagine finding a Hamilton bar in BC? A Kitchener bar in Newfoundland? No.

2. they had a multicultural staff! and their staff were all hardcore pittsburgh fans! Yes!

3. Beers were fairly priced, the bathroom was clean, and the TV placement was really optimized.

It’s a great bar! Obviously they cheered like crazy when the pens scored and most of them were wearing pittsburgh clothes. lol. I’m not sure I’d ever be fan enough to wear a giant hockey playing cartoon penguin on my chest.

Note – It seems fine to stop by sports bars alone during the day, but don’t worry, I’d never do it in the evening. Also, it’s not something I’d do often. Strickly a once every 2 years thing.

May 6, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 2:18 pm

My cubicle at work got moved to a really loud corner of the office. The up side is I get a window spot. Natural light!! Some of my coworkers told me it’s a step up, but I had window spots at CIBC and at PriceMetrix, so screw that. In fact, at CIBC, I had a corner spot with a view of Bay and Front. I used to watch snowflakes flurry across bay street, swirling against the windows of the RBC tower across the street.

Note – this post is titled Rain because I’m listening to that song right now.

Glass Half Empty

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 1:43 pm

Today, while walking to the office restroom, I was reminded of something my friend told me.

She told me that one year, she had a summer job at the park on Toronto Island. She was one of the people who helps run the little rides there.

Me – “That sounds so fun! Surrounded by ice cream, fennel cakes and happy kids all day!”

Friend – “It sucked. I had to help chubby kids get in and out of rides all day.”

May 1, 2010

Wading in

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 9:27 am

It’s hard to blog these days.

I have 12 draft posts. Some have catchy titles like “NBC Olympic FAIL!” but no actual content. Yes, when I think back on the Olympics, I do remember quite a bit of frustration with the stupid NBC network. But I don’t remember any rant worthy issues, so i’m not sure what I was going to write about there. Other drafts have posts like “Taking chances”, indicating I was either feeling emo or had some human relations insights I wanted to share. That draft is particularly frustrating because it has one line: “I took the title of this post from this song <link to Abba’s Take a Chance on Me>”. What! Where was I going with that !? Then there are others where I started writing about places I visited, or things I did, but when I look at them now there’s not enough context for me to finish those original thoughts.

I can’t finish those drafts, but I can’t delete them either.

<I’m thinking. I’m at Oakland airport, waiting at Gate 23, using the free wifi. I love Oakland airport. Each gate has benches where you can plug in gadgets and sit and work on a laptop. It’s extremely civilized. Earlier I purchased a small coffee and a scone for $5 from a Peets outlet here. I finished the scone before I started working on this post. The coffee’s still hot and steaming next to me. mm. It’s fresh. There’s an old man next to me wearing a neck brace, typing away on a laptop. His cell phone just rang. He removed an old style flip phone (what! no smart phone! weird.) from his pocket and started talking to somebody. He has a coffee too. When he takes a sip, he has to tip his whole head and lean way back because the neck brace sits against his chin, preventing him from taking a sip in a normal way. I’m kind of worried he’s going to fall off the stool entirely. I just noticed there’s a hoochie mama in front of me. She’s wearing one of those “crotch dresses” (i.e. a dress that only and barely covers a girl’s crotch), 4 inch leopard print stilettos secured with an ankle strap, and carrying two Louis Vuitton bags. She’s been talking on a cell phone for like the last 20 minutes and taking sips from a Venti Starbucks beverage. Has this girl not heard of texting? I now notice she’s got acrylic nails that look kind of sharp. I don’t think you can text with nails like that. Makes sense now. I wonder if the LV bags are fake. She’s got her legs crossed. >

I’m done thinking.

I guess what I’ll do eventually is publish those drafts in one super-draft blog post.

Also, I’ve concluded that if one is to wear a dress that short, it’s best to keep the legs flat, next to each other. This leg crossing action just ends up revealing even more and making the look outright hoochie.

April 18, 2010

San Diego

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 11:06 am

I joined a friend, her coworker and one of her classmates for a semi-impromptu trip to San Diego.

San Diego: Hot bodies, short skirts, good times. It’s a small city, but more so than anywhere else in California I’ve been, this city is just a shiny bubble meant for partying and having a good time (You can do that in LA too, but it’s just so big it’ll take forever to get around). In fact, there’s not much to see or do here aside from ocean sports/activities, going to the beach, going shopping, or going out for food. When you walk around downtown after 8 on a weekend, you will see tons of girls in micro minis and heels, and lots of boys in jeans with untucked dress shirts, and it’s basically the typical club/bar scene overflowing uncontrollably onto sidewalks. It’s not cheap, but there are enough dive bars and local joints that I think you could still do a lot of the same stuff on a budget if you needed to. The people I was with here were really not the dive bar crowd, so we ended up spending a lot of money having “fun”.

All in all, it’s a perfect spot for a lazy weekend. I think next time I come here, I’m going to investigate renting a beach house or something. That would be perfect. We stayed in a resort hotel and while that sounds good on paper, in practice, this city is too small for that — it ends up being kind of isolating. Better to stay downtown and have the option of walking out for coffee and things like that.

[ Tangentially: I have to say, 2 years in San Francisco definitely made that scene seem very alien to me. Sure, there are a couple of places in SF where you can go in your stilettos, but for the most part, it’s a relaxed vibe. $20 cover and $10 drinks just to get onto a dance floor where I’ll be stepped on and stared at by guidos is just totally unappealing at this point! In fact, while I generally feel comfortable in LA, being here in San Diego definitely made me feel like yes, first of all, socal is a different planet from northern california, and for all its little drawbacks, I love SF. ]

April 9, 2010

You haven’t deserted me!

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 12:43 pm

Aw, guys, just got the warm fuzzies seeing my blog stats. Somebody’s still checking up on me! Thanks!!!

Wendy, saw your comment too! :)

I’ve had a weird and busy 3 months. Lots to tell you about. And yes, I will tell you where I watched all the other Canada games. Hehe. It was really fun, and let’s just say it all ended with me singing the national anthem in a bar full of Americans. Hahahahaha.

February 18, 2010

Watching Olympic Hockey in San Francisco!

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 4:54 pm

and cheering for Canada (silently) at 901 Columbus!!!!

1st period:

Watching hockey feels so good right now! Go Canada Go! The Swiss seem kind of aggressive though. Nervous! Thank god for Brodeur.

Canada up 1-0

2nd period:


I’m so happy to see the cutaway shots of the arena totally full of people in red, waving huge flags, cheering. Canadians do cheer for Canada! Yes we do! (I’ll give you some context on this later

Ok, they just showed the US coaches in the crowd. Dorks. Looks like they’re the only 2 people in the crowd not wearing red.

Other people in the cafe are kind of giving the TV a quizzical look. Hockey? A few of them glanced at me too, cuz I’m the only person sitting directly in front of the TV. That’s right people. We’re watching hockey. Deal with it!

2-1! Nooooooooooooo!!!!

Ok. Some good interceptions by Canada. All is not lost.

DIGITAL CABLE PROBLEM!!!! The screen just froze for like 10 seconds.

Oh god. NBC just did a flashback to the Canada vs Swiss game from 06. That was cruel.

2-2 in the last 10 seconds of the 2nd period. Geez! Canada was sluggish though – not completing passes, kinda struggling. If they lose here, seriously, I’m boycotting these olympics. This is just too tragic. Tragic tragic tragic.

2nd period break:

I got some chocolate cake and tea. The mexican guy at the cash, with whom I struggled with gestures and English for some time until we figured out I wanted to watch hockey on CNBC, asked me if hockey is my favourite sport. I said no, I’m excited about it’s cuz it’s the Olympics. Then he asked me where I’m from. He was really surprised when I said Canada. This happens a lot to me here. There could be two reasons:

1. Non-white 2nd generation people like me perhaps identify with their home ethnicity here. Maybe if I’d been both in the states, I’d describe myself as Indian rather than American?

2. There are a lot of Mexicans and Indians from India here. So many, that chances are if you talk to some random person who has my skin tone, they probably are actually Mexican or Indian. So therefore people are surprised to meet me, a Canadian.


3rd period:

Two british people just showed up. Girl says: “Canada’s playing hockey”. Guy turns around as score comes on screen. “oh shit”.

Ok, the brits have settled into couches near me. They’re also watching the game. Guy is bringing up the swiss upset from 4 years ago and bringing up how Canada lost then and is “losing” now. The girl pointed out that it’s tied. Now the guy is going on a really long story comparing this to some British game where England was down, something about David Beckham, etc. Now he just brought up the NFL. So confused.

His annoying accent is annoying me.

11:19 to go! Come on people. Score! We need a goal!

Ok, they’re finally on the Swiss side of the ice. Might have a chance…

Just saw a fake goal. I got excited, and so did the british guy, but no. it was just a near miss. Sigh. This has been an emotional rollercoaster.

7:27. Let’s go guys!

6:04. Hosers. Sinead OConnor is on the radio.

5:17. Just got a lecture from the coach. Sinead is still on the radio.

4:23. Puck just went flying into the air.

2:50. Wobbly attempt by Crosby. Sigh.

2:00. PASSING!!! Back to hockey school for you.

1:40. Nice try … kick it through or something!

0:32. Fans are excited. it’s now or never. The brits are excited. The cable car bell is ringing outside. Even the cable cars are cheering for Canada!

0:00. Just turned around to notice that there are a few other people here watching this including the mexican guy who changed the TV for me, the manager of this store and 3 other mexican dudes who might be contractors who are enjoying beers. Plus the brits.


Come on guys.

4:26. Swiss goalie got hurt or something. Somebody’s down. Replays. They just did 3 replays, and then 1 more from the goal angle, and one more from the top angle. 5 replays in total. Phew! He got up.

4.01. Starting to suspect the Mexicans here are watching the TV waiting for soccer or something to be on. One other guy just showed up and they started talking in Spanish. They probably hate me right now. Mental note: Learn Spanish.

3:45 “We’re not going to take it” just came on the radio. Fitting.

3:12. No progress, but I just turned to my right and noticed 3 hipsters with their macbooks and ear buds. They’re oblivious to the drama going on in this side of the room. Hipsters. They’re oblivious to everything except wayfarers, vinyl, and skinny jeans. <roll my eyes>

2:40. AGGRESSIVE attack by the Swiss on Canada’s goal. Brodeur saved the day again. The swiss are hungry.

1:30. The mexicans and british are louder than I am when it comes to going “oooh!!!” during the buildup and “awww” during the letdown.

0.04. I finally talked to the Brits. They’re sooo excited right now. Oh, and the Canadians just attacked the Swiss goal. Craziness.


I can’t believe it came to this, but here we are. An olympic shootout.

A thought just popped into my head. Where is Don Cherry? This isn’t the same without him.

They just did a closeup of Crosby. He looks pissed.

WE WON!!!! Yes!!!!!

Sigh. Ok. I can wear my Olympic Toque with pride tonight. I was scared for a while, but we pulled through. What an exciting game!

The british girl did cheer louder than I did, and in fact drew the attention of some other person in the cafe, who said “what’s the score?”.

February 2, 2010

iPhone crash and restore

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 11:58 pm

I have to confess I never really figured out iTunes. I don’t find it usable or intuitive, and as such I’ve avoided using it as much as possible. I still use winamp to listen to mp3s and vlc player to watch videos. I don’t buy stuff on iTunes either.

But when it comes to my iPhone, I HAVE to use iTunes. It’s the only way to make backups and to synch and update my phone. Naturally, I avoid and put off doing this for as long as possible because I always get software-rage when I load up iTunes.

I finally plugged my phone into iTunes today because I feel like it finally needs an update. Well, guess what. It’s been at least 6 months since I connected it, and it fried itself. I don’t know if it was just that the update was too huge, or maybe my version of iTunes is old, or what, but things didn’t “just work”. They got fried, and now I have to restore my iphone to its original factory settings :(

So i’ve lost all the photos I took in the last 6 months.

YES PB, I know what you’re saying. It’s my fricking fault for not taking more regular backups! I know!! But still, it hurts!

Bye bye photos of Mexico, my visits home to Toronto, Cambridge, and even little trips here and there I took like NYC, when Julie visited, when PB visited, and everything else. Sigh. It sucks! I really had some great photos from my Toronto trip last summer … a great one of a street car, for example.

The good news is that I don’t think I lost very much else … the notes, probably (hope I didn’t have any passwords in there!), whatever was saved in the few apps I’ve downloaded, etc. The photos are really the worst of it.

I’m kind of feeling depressed and annoyed now. To make matters worse, the silly thing has been “restoring” itself for like the past half hour. Has it crashed again? Is it just a hugely slow process? This is exactly what happened when I was trying to do the software update! This shit is supposed to work!!

Sigh. I think I might cry into my pillow a little tonight. And yes PB, I know what you’re thinking. BACKUPS!! BACKUPS!!!! BACKUPS!!!!!!!!!! I hate you with your organized backup strategies!! Bah! I wish I had that Jack Bauer sack and I could just reach in and pull out some amazing gadget that could solve my problems right now. Some kind of amazing backup -recovery – iphone gadget. Sigh…

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