Saturday, November 09, 2002  


I've needed groceries for about a week now. The only food I've made myself lately is bacon and eggs. Even that ran out last night.

Today I went to Safeway with Lindsay and Francois. It was much needed. We picked up a whole bunch of crap. I came home with a roasted chicken, soup, hot chocolate, crackers, margarine, an apple pie, and some other stuff.

Even though I had dinner at 5pm, I ate some of the chicken at 8pm and even had myself a slice of pie. I didn't have lunch today since I had no food. Man, did that chicken taste good!

You know, people only get this desperate for food when they're students. Well, I suppose poor and homeless people get desperate too. However, it's only students who have enough money to spend thousands on tuition but can't buy a decent amount of food to eat.


posted by Erwin | 12:24 AM

Friday, November 08, 2002  


Yes, that's right, I need new footwear. I've decided the pair of brown oxfords I've been wearing from Roots for about two years is no longer acceptable. I should have decided this long ago.

Both shoes have soles which have split and cracked. Thus, everytime I step into a puddle, the water gets absorbed into the shoe, and my socks get wet. Believe or not, this happened a year ago, and I still wore them in this Vancouver weather.

However, it is clear this is no way to live. Everyone should have dry feet, no matter what the weather.

A few weeks ago, I went to the Roots store downtown. They told me my particular pair of shoes wasn't available this season. In fact, there were no brown shoes available at all. What the hell is that all about? How do you not sell brown shoes for an entire season?

I didn't think about going to any other stores, because I didn't know where to go and I was out of time. Today, though, I've realized I have to get new shoes. Where though? Where, I ask you? Where?


posted by Erwin | 12:21 PM


Today was a bit of a weird one. Stupidly, I stayed up way too late last night. I think I went to bed around 4am. I got up at 10am to go meet with my project group.

Luckily, when I woke up, I found out that the meeting had been delayed an hour. As soon as I woke up, I felt really gross. It was an odd feeling. I didn't feel tired, but I sure as hell didn't feel right. I felt off, or gross I guess is the best term. I don't think I've experienced that particular feeling before.

For about half an hour, I kinda just rested on my bed before I went to the meeting.

The meeting ended at around 1pm, and then I came back to my room. I still wasn't feeling tired, but that gross feeling was lingering. I crawled into bed, though it didn't feel like I was going to fall asleep. Ten minutes later I was fast asleep.

I woke up around 2:30pm. Wow. I guess the whole week had left me run down. I was fine after my nap.

All day I was wondering if the Aramark people were going to call me. They did not.

The long weekend is coming up. I going to do everything possible to get lots of work done. Though, I've been given lots of reasons not to. My parents are taking me out to dinner on Sunday. They're also bring me supplies from Costco. Yay!

Well, I better go and do something else... productive or not.


posted by Erwin | 1:38 AM

Thursday, November 07, 2002  


I got my Halloween pictures back tonight. I only had time to scan in one of them. More to come. Here's a preview:

It's me, Lindsay, and Francois. I'm actually in costume and so is Francois if you can believe it.


posted by Erwin | 3:37 AM


It's 2:30am and I've just finished stir-frying some noodles. I eat it and now I'm thirsty. I've got bottled water, but I want something with sugar in it. The vending machine down the hall has Five-Alive. It's not the best, but I don't want Coke as this time of the night.

I get to the machine and I put in $1.50. Yeah, it's outrageous how much it costs for a can of Five-Alive. I push the button for it. Nothing. Strange, the light wasn't out, so it appears it's got some more. I ponder the situation. Again, I push the button, increasingly feeling like some Pavlovian subject. Nothing again. Press, press, press, press, press.... nothing.

The soft drinks costs $1.75 so I put in an extra quarter. Now I start pressing the soft drink buttons. Nothing. More pushing, now randomly... nothing. Now I'm peeved. The electronic display mocks me now by showing how much money I've given it... for nothing.... $1.75 it flashes.

I try the refund button. Nothing. I swear that button isn't even hooked up. What company would ever want to give you back your money once it has it?

Now I'm standing there feeling like an idiot, an idiot who's still thirsty. I look at the top of the machine. A sticker proudly announces this machine is serviced by the Aramark Corporation. There's even a phone number, 540-7677. I burn it into my memory.

I do the angry walk back to my room. I am no longer Erwin the grad student, I am Erwin the peeved consumer. Once back, I grab the phone. I fully expect to get a machine where I can leave a stern, yet effective message to the fine folks at the Aramark Corporation, a multi-national giant of a company. To my surprise, a woman answers.

"Hello, one of your machines gladly accepted my money but did not give me my frosty, cold beverage," I say.

"Oh, whereabouts are you located?" she replies.

"St. John's College at UBC," I say.

"And our machine did not provide you with a product?" she continues.

"No, it took my money, which I believe is now part of a dividend being dispersed among your shareholders," I offer.

She mentions something about scheduling a service call. She asks for my name. I give it. She asks me to spell my last name. This is good.

"T-A-N-G, like the drink, like a drink I wanted to get just now, but couldn't, ha ha ha," I say.

She doesn't see the humour in the situation. My phone number is next. She tells me that someone will call me. I thank her and hang up.

I can tell you one thing, Aramark better call me... and offer restitution. I'm not a stupid consumer. All my life I've watched my dad go about complaining to companies in the wrong way. I've learned what to do and what not to do.

For example, a Swiss Chalet closed down near my house a few years ago. I complained to Swiss Chalet that I had to drive far now to get my chicken. They gave me two free dinners. That was nice. I've also received free gift certificates from White Spot because I wrote a letter to them stating their noodles weren't ethnic enough. True story.

I'm not a scam artist, and if I'm writing or phoning to make a comment, you can be sure something was wrong.

I'm interested in seeing how this is gonna all play out. I'll definitely keep you posted.


posted by Erwin | 3:11 AM

Wednesday, November 06, 2002  


I had a nice conversation on the phone tonight. Afterwards, I wanted to start some work, but I felt really hungry. I contemplated going to get some pizza, but I didn't want to go outside.

I looked in my fridge and I realized I had some bacon and eggs. I hadn't had that in a while. I gathered everything I needed and went up to the kitchen to cook it all up.

Ten minutes later, I had some great smelling bacon and egss in my room. Bacon and eggs do taste good don't they?

I remember one time in undergrad, I bought a dozen eggs and a pound of bacon. I ate that for breakfast and lunch for five days straight. It was so good and so bad at the same time.

You know I haven't done anything stupid in a while, but today I made up for it. I was using the online student service centre thingy for UBC today. I was moving some courses around and I intended to temporarily drop one course in term two. I mixed up the classes and I dropped a class from this term by accident. I didn't realize it until I saw this big, fat W next to the course listing. My mouth dropped wide open and I made this sound like when Doc Brown did in Back to the Future when the curtains catch on fire. Anyways, I tried adding it again, but it said I was already registered in it (which wasn't true anymore!). Apparently, you can't drop a course, and then try to re-add it.

Well, it's going to be fun trying to explain this one to the Registar's Office tomorrow.


posted by Erwin | 1:01 AM

Tuesday, November 05, 2002  


In my 310 class, George gave us our midterms back. George is the only prof I know who insists his undergrads call him by his first name. It's one of the things I like about him.

Anyways, we're sitting at the back of the class and he puts all the midterms up front. It's like a feeding frenzy. I was hesistant to go get mine because I didn't have a good feeling. I remember being quite stunned when the midterm was over.

One of the piles of midterms had thinned out with people. Curtis came back with his exam. He said that pile was S-Z. That was me. As I walked down the steps of the lecture hall, I remember thinking, I've done this walk many times. I've picked up countless midterms, always with apprehension. Some turned out to be good, some not so good. What would this be?

As I got to the pile, I didn't see mine right away. Then, I saw my mine sitting there. Wow, it's a marked midterm with my name on it. It's been years since I've seen one of those.

I look at the mark... 39... out of 50. Hmmm... it could have been worse. As I walk back to my seat, I'm relieved that I passed, but then I realized I missed an "A" by one mark. Now I'm slightly miffed. I look through the exam and they've marked really leniently. Lucky for me. I see also that I missed one of the true/false questions. I had a 50-50 chance on that one and I got it wrong. There, there was the one mark I needed to get an "A". Damn.

I don't know if I'm just being greedy. I would have been happy to just pass coming out of the exam, but now I'm thinking I should have an "A"!!! What a strange turn of events.


posted by Erwin | 1:11 AM

Monday, November 04, 2002  


We had a formal dinner on Oct. 24, 2002. I took some pictures and finally got them scanned in tonight. I just slapped it all together. It's pretty crappy, but I have to go do work.

Take a look here.


posted by Erwin | 2:46 AM

Sunday, November 03, 2002  


I love getting visitors to my site from all different places around the world. I've noticed lately that I've been getting visits from Yugoslavia... wink, wink.

Do I know you? Would I know who you are? I hear the mechanical engineers in Yugoslavia are very talented... wink, wink.


posted by Erwin | 9:11 PM
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