Tuesday, November 07, 2006

-2 degrees Celcius - "No, it's not too bad"

That's what the weatherman said on local news this morning. I'm like, hmmm, yeah. Well, so far we haven't ventured out of the mall. Though the Yay-Area crew (the Berkeley folks and some College of the Arts folks we hooked up with) will be venturing to Whyte Ave tonight (the Telegraph Ave of University of Alberta) for one last hurrah before most everyone flies out tomorrow morning. Plus we need fresh air.

So far, I've gone watersliding and riding the indoor wave pool, went pistol shooting with a .45 semi-automatic (oh yeah, there's a funny story with this one), presented my paper and got good presentation reviews (I'm just glad I actually got up in time for the presentation since we went out last night), got some food poisoning from the continental breakfast's runny eggs (not fun, my body just cannot take eating eggs and bacon every day, plus food here is really salty), bowled 6 games on Toonie Tuesdays (Toonie - the $2 coin of Canada, a la the $1 looney).

We have yet to try our room jacuzzi. My coworker had a jacuzzi in the cheesy Polynesian floor where the water spilled over a faux rock wall, which I admit is kind of cool. Another coworker just moved into the Roman themed floor with the special decor (round bed, drapes around the bed and mirrors everywhere). Our floor is the Hollywood Floor complete with large neon exiting the elevators and black light through the hallways. Ours seems like a regular room with a jacuzzi. It was the smoking floor, so the hubby bought a bottle of febreeze and febreezed the hell out of the place, used up practically the whole bottle, but danged if it didn't work and we slept without the constant stench of smoke even though the room of "deionized".

I don't really go out and party with folks so much any more, but conferences are always a chance to since well, no one has chores, nor has to really drive.

We're skipping out on the Jubilation Dinner Theater where the show is a re-enactment of a Seinfeld episode (Jerry Steinfeld). Not all of us got tickets anyway and watching a re-enactment of a Seinfeld episode doesn't peak my interest. Now if it was Teatro Zinzani then maybe...

Tomorrow we'll try to make our way to the University of Alberta to check out the campus. Thursday we watch the Canadian National Rodeo finals (yee-haw!), and haven't quite figure out what to do with the rest of the week.

One of the guys from College of Arts practices Tai Chi and wanted to do push hands. Of course he asked to do push hands on a bridge near the "Pirates of the Mall" show at 1am after some drinking at the bar. It's an interesting sensation being fairly tipsy, trying to feel your body and the other person's body when frankly you're losing sensation of your body. I kept up a bit with him but he managed to get the better of me, we were playing his game afterall. I learned alot from the encounter, always fun to play especially when it highlights weaknesses in yourself you didn't understand before. There are many things about push hands I don't understand. He said there are many things about weapons he didn't understand. I realized that if one does not try to make the connections between things (internal to external, open hand to weapon, etc), then you get stuck in a box. The nice part about doing push hands with him is that I could see my box and I could see his box. If I can't even see the box that I'm in, how can I find a way outside of the box? So that in itself was enlightening.

The keynote speaker at the opening plenary was Brian Thwaits who calls himself a brain trainer. He was entertaining and discussed the brain, memory and process. It was a summary of alot of the information that is out there, but it was nice to know that 83% of us forget people's names and 63% forget faces, while 40% of us forget whether we've locked the door or not. Plus that our brains run at 1000 -25,000 words a minute, but that the average reader can read at 250 wpm. He ended the talk about how to increase your brain and increase your dendrites. Never stop learning/working, learn a new language, meet new people, learn new things, play with toys, have new experiences. So far, so good this week.

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