Thursday, April 24, 2008

Obama, Ferraro, Wright: ‘Postracial’ Meets Racism

I read a very good article in The Nation this week, and I thought I’d link to it here. (This is a bit late, but I’m always a few weeks or months behind, behind when reading The Nation.)

My favourite quote, in reference to the Rev. Wright “scandal”:

For while Wright’s sermons clearly shocked many whites, to many blacks his sentiments were as banal an addition to the dinner table as hot sauce.
Andrea’s favourite quote: “White is the new black.”

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nothing. Everything.

The good weather has arrived, and serna has been driving with his windows open. That’s good.

Roll up the Rim season seems to be over, or ending. That’s bad. If it is over, and I won’t have any more rims to roll up, then I ended the season at 10.29%. (I’ll post a summary post when I’m sure that it’s over.)

People are starting to ask me if I’m going to be doing anything for vacation this summer. That’s good.

I have no plans, and work is going to suck this summer. That’s bad.

Maybe Andrea and I will take some more light weekend trips. That’s… that’s neither good or bad. It’s sort of “meh”. I’d prefer to have a longer vacation, to allow myself to come down from too much work.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Anniversary—Part 2

As mentioned our anniversary—or rather, one of our anniversaries—was on Saturday. So how did we spend this momentous occasion? Well… not very gloriously.

  1. We slept in, a little bit, and then spent some time reading.
  2. We went out and distributed Bibles with our church in the early afternoon.
  3. We borrowed Andrea’s dad’s van, and brought some of Jehovah Shalom’s musical equipment to another church, since we’d be playing there on Sunday.
  4. We stopped at Home Depot to buy yard waste bags, and I got very distracted by the BBQs. I really want to get one, but will probably wait until the end of the season, so that I can get one more cheaply.
  5. We went home and spent a couple of hours filling up all of those yard waste bags, as well as a number of garbage bags, cleaning up all of the crap that tends to accumulate in our yard. (We live at the end of the street, and the wind tends to blow everyone else’s garbage into our yard.) We also removed a number of plants, because every time we clean the yard, we remove more and more. This would be the worst—and least anniversary-like—thing that we did to “celebrate” our anniversary.
  6. We decided that we would go out for dinner, even though we were tired from doing yard work. I asked Andrea if she wanted to go somewhere fancy or “regular”, and she said fancy. Which, I now realize, was a test, because Andrea never wants to go anywhere that’s expensive, so she didn’t really mean fancy. But luckily for me, I’m not a complete idiot, so I skipped the really expensive places. (I did some research on and Toronto Life, and they both gave an approximate price range, so I skipped over the restaurants that indicated that you’d be spending $150–200 for two people.)
  7. We went to a place that I won’t name—because we didn’t like it—and had a terrible dinner. Mine was worse than hers; she got a club sandwich, which you can’t really screw up, but I got a greasy, over-cooked steak.
And that was that. Now that the weather is nice, maybe we’ll go out for dinner again sometime soon, and have a better time.

Friday, April 18, 2008


It’s my anniversary tomorrow. Andrea and I are celebrating ten years together; on April 19th, 1998, we began the relationship. I was talking to a colleague, and she said that she doesn’t even celebrate her “real” anniversary (i.e. her wedding anniversary), whereas I celebrate our wedding anniversary, the day the relationship began, and even the day that Andrea proposed.

Now, I realize that I’m not like other guys; I’m smarter and better looking. Ha! No, I kid. I’m not like other guys because I keep track of three anniversaries, whereas the cliché is that most guys can’t keep track of one. But there’s a good reason for that: When Andrea and I began our relationship—and then when we got married—I got into a relationship with a woman who’s better than me in every way. In the normal course of things, I could never get into a relationship with someone who’s so far above my league, and yet somehow I did. And we love each other, and have a good relationship.

So of course, I celebrate our anniversaries. I’ve spent a decade with someone I don’t deserve, and, if things continue as they have, I look forward to the next decade. (And if things don’t work out… I’m screwed. Being with Andrea has set the bar too high—how could I settle for any other woman?)

Excuse the grumbling. (Or just skip this post.)

Yeah, yeah, I know. (Insert standard boilerplate text here, about the fact that I haven’t written anything in a while.) It’s been a lousy couple of weeks. Or has it been a lousy month? At any rate, it’s been lousy. I’ve been drinking too much coffee, eating too little food, getting too little sleep, putting up with too much garbage at work, and just generally getting very run-down. (And it’ll probably get worse before it gets better.)

I just started blogging at the serna Bible Blog again, after an absence, and hopefully I’ll keep that up. I haven’t written anything on the Book Blog in a while, because I haven’t finished reading a book in a while. (I’m currently reading two—one fiction and one non-fiction—and they’re both pretty terrible, which might be why it’s taking me so long to finish them.)

Some updates, about things I have written lately:

  • As it turns out, I have to bring back my new shirt, so, even though I didn’t like it, it all worked out in the end. When I got home from work and took it off, one of the buttons popped off. Now, I’m not the type of person who would return a shirt just because it lost a button, but when it comes off the very first time you wear it, it doesn’t bode well for the quality of the construction.
  • I’ve started using the Stuff White People Like site to calculate how white I am. It’s the most un-scientific use of number and statistics that I’ve ever undertaken, so I’m pretty proud of myself. (Also, it’s giving me a chance to use Google Docs some more.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New Shirt

I bought some new clothes for work, recently, including a bunch of dress shirts. I had to get a black one, because for me, that’s standard, but instead of a plain one, I got one with pinstripes. I wasn’t sure if I liked pinstripes or not, but I thought I’d try something new. Then, when I got home, I realized that it also has French cuffs.

Today is the first day I’m actually wearing it, and I’m definitely having second thoughts. The combination of the pinstripes and the French cuffs makes me feel like a British gangster. If only the collar and cuffs were white, it would complete the picture.

Stuff White People Like

I don’t normally link to sites that I like—especially because I tend to tire of them so quickly—but I’ll make an exception, and give a shout out to Stuff White People Like. If I had a “blogroll” of some kind, I would add this site to it.

Of course, the site is only devoted to a certain type of white person—I would say the urban professional white person—but if you know anyone who fits that category, then you’ll get endless hours of amusement from this site. And, if you are that type of white person, then you’ll probably have endless hours of entertainment in addition to the occasional uncomfortableness, when something hits a little too close to home. (For example, #82 Hating Corporations.)

Actually, I shouldn’t be so quick to assume that you’ll love the site. There are plenty of negative comments throughout, from people who don’t, so that probably indicates that there are people who don’t and won’t find this nearly as funny as I do.

Dealing With Stress

Suppose you’re having a lousy week. (Oh, let’s be honest: a couple of lousy weeks.) You’d like to put it all behind you, and spend an enjoyable evening. How do you do that? I have the solution! Follow the simple steps below, and you’ll be fine.

  1. Control the weather. These steps will only work if it’s a nice warm evening.
  2. Make plans to meet with Andrea after work, for dinner. (For best effect, it really has to be Andrea that you’re meeting with. Results not guaranteed if you’re meeting someone else.)
  3. On the way to the meeting, have your car windows open (see point 1 above), and have DJ Shadow playing on the CD player.
  4. Meet Andrea in the Yonge and Eglinton area of Toronto.
  5. Wander up and down Yonge St. for a bit, trying to decide where to eat. (See point 1 above.)
  6. Choose a Thai/Vietnamese restaurant, and go in.
    • Note: If you’re following these steps carefully, it doesn’t matter if there are two loud, obnoxious, über-yuppie women sitting behind you, having a conversation so high in volume that you can hardly have your own. It won’t have any negative effects on the evening.
  7. Order the mango chicken, and a Sleeman Cream Ale. (Alternatively, you can order some kind of pho—I think it was the dumpling pho—which Andrea has indicated is also very good. However, you may need to choose a different beverage, as the Sleeman Cream Ale wasn’t tested against the pho.)
  8. Since the Yonge and Eglinton area is pretty yuppy-ish, spend much of your meal watching yuppies walk by, out the window.
And that’s all you have to do. You will have a wonderful evening, forget your stresses and aggravations, and enjoy yourself.

Of course, you’ll have to go back to work the next day, and it will all hit you again. This is only a temporary reprieve for your problems, not a cure.

Monday, April 07, 2008

How serna Saved 3¢ On His Coffee

  • How serna Saved 3¢ On His Coffee
  • By sernaferna
  • Starring:
  • sernaferna
  • The Woman Who Runs the Till at Tim Horton’s
  • INT: Tim Horton’s. serna has purchased a medium double-double, and is poised to pay for it.
  • The Woman Who Runs the Till
  • $1.23, please.
  • serna
  • Oh, wasn’t the price supposed to go up today?
  • The Woman Who Runs the Till
  • Yeah, but I haven’t updated the cash register yet.
  • serna
  • Cool.
  • The End. Roll Credits.
Unfortunately, I had to pay full price this afternoon. A medium coffee is now $1.28. (I’m not complaining or anything—I can afford it.)

I wish I had things to write. But I don’t.

Once again, my blog has gone dormant. As have all of the blogs around me.

I loved Christopher Walken on Saturday Night Live. I always do. Something about his delivery makes for great, quirky comedy—and makes me wonder how he became an actor in the first place.

I had a dream last night that I rolled up my rim, and won a year’s supply of coffee, which equated to something ridiculous like 239,452 coffees. (Yes, it actually said that on the rim. I don’t remember the actual number, but it was huge, and it was precise.) I’m a nerd for two reasons:

  1. I had a dream about rolling up a Tim Horton’s coffee rim, and winning. (Simpsons paraphrase: “Which is odd because I usually dream about naked… Andrea.”)
  2. I spent a good portion of the dream trying to figure out how they came out to such a precise number. (And there’s no good answer. It’s just a dream. Assuming that I drink ten coffees a week—which is what I drink, on average—239,452 coffees would last me over four hundred and sixty years. Whatever the real number was, in the dream, would have still lasted me a long, long time.)
Work is lousy these days, but I won’t say any more than that. In fact, I’ve already said too much. In fact, I should probably delete this paragraph… but I don’t have the energy. Well, I should at least stop typing it, and making it longer.

Today is the anniversary of the day that Andrea proposed marriage. (In your face, everybody who’s not married to Andrea!) We may or may not celebrate. We don’t really care to celebrate things like that, usually, and yet, for some reason, I feel like celebrating. We’ll see what happens.

This post is feeling more and more disjointed with every word that I type.

I’ve still been playing with Ubuntu. I’ve got it installed on my laptop, and use it almost exclusively when I’m at home, instead of Windows. (And yet I still haven’t installed it on the home computer; just my work laptop.) Saturday I discovered a great tool called recordmydesktop, which allows you to take videos of your desktop session. I had played with this before, to try and do a quick video of what Beryl was like, but it was so complicated that I eventually gave up. So I was amazed at how simple recordmydesktop worked. I’ll probably revisit my idea, and do a quick video of Compiz Fusion in action.

More [probably disjointed] thoughts to come, as I feel like posting them.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Bridget Grey’s Letter to Hip Hop

Andrea sent this to me, and I enjoyed it. Hopefully you will too.