Thursday, July 09, 2009

John Cusack was just five feet away . . .

I saw John Cusack. Eating sushi at The Eatery on Broadway. No, I wasn’t dreaming. But I thought I was.

Ever since seeing Say Anything five years ago, I've loved John Cusack - like a mad New Kids fan. I’ve movie-stalked him through 80s teen romances like T
he Sure Thing, Better off Dead, and Sixteen Candles. I've even followed him in his grown-up roles as angst-ridden killer-for-hire in both Grosse Point Blank and War, Inc., and as neurotic record-store owner, Rob, in High Fidelity.

But why like John Cusack? It's not like his roles have been groundbreaking or Oscar-worthy. I just like his brand of quirky humour mixed with his infectious earnestness. And fellow fans will agree: Anyone who genuinely loves John Cusack appreciates honesty, anti-consumerist ideals, romance – and Joan Cusack. Plenty of lovely, crazy Joan.

Say Anything for example. Here’s a great kid, fresh out of high school and pursuing the hottest, yet smartest girl in school. It’s obvious Lloyd likes her – a lot. And though he knows her dad’s a bit of a snot, he's dead honest about what he wants to do with his life. The best part: He means every word.
“I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.”

And after his girl Diane dumps him to please her father, he shows up with his stereo, playing "In your eyes" at her window. That's got to be one of the most iconic 80s scenes in the history of the universe (well, other than MJ's busting out the moonwalk to the world):

You'll understand why I love this movie so much when I say that only American Pie and its dirty spinoffs were the teen comedies that defined my youth. Say Anything was an refreshing teen romance – about perseverance and commitment.

So, when I saw him sitting outside, munching on sushi in my old neighbourhood, I was stunned, dazzled and drooling. I didn't have the guts to talk to him, especially not while he was in the middle of dinner and in talking to someone. I mean, what would I say? "Wow, it's you! Can I marry you? Oh wait, I'm already married . . . "

Ah well. I'm just glad I actually got to see him in person . . . even though he probably noticed us giggling like idiots in his perirphery . . . and hoisting pretend stereos above our heads, singing "In your eyes, the light, the heat . . ."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Five years in Vancouver - today!

Yippee for me, today is my fifth-year anniversary in Vancouver!

Driving into work today, I thought about what had happened since this day in 2004. June 18, I'm waving goodbye to my parents at the Ottawa airport. Less than six hours later, I touched down on this foreign, mountainous place where people hang out half-naked on the beach in the middle of a workday.

Before leaving Ontario, friends who knew I was a backpacking fanatic said I would love BC so much, I'd marry a mountain man and never come back. Love BC? Check. Marry mountain man? Check. Never coming back? Like on a runaway train on a one-way track!

So what has happened? Other than being offered crack on the bus and finding out my superpower is not teaching spoiled UBC students Shakespeare, here are some highlights:
  • Finally got my useless, but impressive-sounding Masters degree
  • Got my first paying job as an editor (nice to see my name in print!)
  • Met my uncle, aunt and cousins for the first time
  • Found the mountain man and got married
  • In doing so, learned to swing dance, west coast style. Still working on lindy.
  • Became a first-time aunt
  • Saw my bro get married and disappear into the 'burbs of good 'ol Mississauga
  • Found a great church; saw about 20 babies born within this time
  • "Studied" at the beach a lot, often while sleeping in the sun
  • Learned the Thriller dance with my favourite housemates
  • Kayaked among a pod of porpoises in the wild
  • Learned to drive stick - and love it
  • Moved six times and have lived in Richmond, Kits (3 houses), Burnaby, New West, then East Van.
  • Mourned the death of my 15-year-old Shih Tzu. Sniff. My dear little pooch!
  • Hiked and camped in the Coast Mountain, Cascade, Rocky Mountain and Sangre de Christos ranges
  • Shot a .22 in New Mexico
  • Learned how to play the congas and the djembe
  • Found that Once I Was the King of Spain. Moxy Fruvous' Bargainville never gets old even after 15 years of listening to it
Of course there's more, but my life really isn't that interesting. So I'll end by saying that I'm thankful for everything that's happened here - even the bad things.

I really wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Monday, April 27, 2009

let the wild rumpus begin!

If you don’t remember Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, you have to hop into your DeLorean faster than the Doc can say “flux capacitor” and visit your five-year-old self - now!

Not that most of us really want to be five again, but I saw the movie trailer for the book and I couldn’t help feeling all nostalgic and fuzzy inside. It reminded me of being introduced to the school library in grade one, just learning how to use the card-and-pocket borrowing system. I wasn’t quite sure if I got the instructions, but none of this mattered when our teacher pulled out this book full of colour and drawings of romping beasts in the woods. I dropped the copy of Red is Best in my hands. I was in love.

I think the common appeal of this book is that we can all identify with getting into plenty enough mischief and fun as kids. Though I didn’t have a wolf outfit, I did dress up like Dr. Doom (I have no idea why), ran around the house singing the Spiderman song, made forts out of the sofa and antagonized the dog. And unlike most girls who had Barbies, I only had She-Ra, who I introduced to my glue gun in a torso- and face-melting experiment.

So I sound like the creepy kid from Toy Story. My older brother wasn’t any better. At restaurants, he’d spit food he didn’t like under his chair, whip frogs at second-story windows, and terrorize squirrels with his slingshot. And most of his Transformers somehow ended up in He-Man’s Evil Horde Slime Pit.

And just because we were Chinese kids who played violin, cello and piano, it didn’t mean we were angelic virtuosos, either. I hardly practiced, and having little to no attention span, I hated sitting day after day at the piano bench. Most of the hour I was supposed use practicing was spent staring at the squiggly shapes that apparently float around in our eyeballs.

I guess looking back at myself as a kid, things haven’t changed all that much. As an adult, I’ve found myself getting into tinfoil-ball throwing fights in the office and have joyfully pranked coworkers when they’re away. I guess that explains why I still want to see this movie based on a picture book for little kids.

It’s coming October 2009 and is a live-action movie by Spike Jonze. Maybe the trailer’s just slick, but the style of the movie paired with Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” just about makes me want to cry . . . in a nostalgic kind of way. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out. It’ll make you miss being a kid again. [see below]

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

a vision so old it seems new

"It's hard for anybody in America to look at the first Christians and feel very proud about where we are now."

So Joash is making me read a churchy book before I can touch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Hm, book with invaluable wisdom versus Elizabeth Bennet and zombies? You know I want the one about the living dead wearing corsets! (And PP&Z also features Mr. Darcy with a band of ninjas weilding katanas!) Sigh.

The new what?

The book I'm supposed to finish is called the
New Monasticism, and no, this isn't another horror book, this time about cults. It's also not a book written by old men who wear robes and chant. In fact, it's by a fellow Gen-Yer, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, who began looking at the way we live today, asking if there's an alternative lifestyle that gives more room for the gospel to work through and in us, and truly exemplify Christ’s “city on a hill” to those around us.

His question has led him to explore a type of community living that challenges our self-centred and relationally-guarded way of life. While sharing a home with married couples (some with and without kids), singles and others from a variety of life stages, these new monastics are part of intentional communities in society’s margins, offering hospitality to those who don’t normally receive hospitality, building genuine relationships, and showing Jesus’ love.

But my stuff, my glorious stuff!
Now, before I was married, I had already experienced life in a community house. But when Joash first introduced this book to me, my first thought was,
You want me to share my newly acquired wedding gifts with roommates who will surely ruin my best teflon? Yes, I thought this. It's shallow, but true. And that, I suppose, illustrates what Wilson-Hartgrove is saying about our society and how isolated we have become. Even my silly response shows my individualistic nature and desire to hoard resources for myself, despite knowing that many in my neighbourhood face abject poverty.

Looking back to when I lived in community (a house of two girls and three guys), I didn't care as much about my possessions because I didn't own a whole lot. We shared pots, pans, utensils and other house things. The living room couch, which we probably found on Craigslist or someone’s lawn, was
our couch. And though I was a student who had no money, living in community kept me from focusing on myself. My vision was so much bigger then, and my heart more capable of giving because of our common delight in sharing our lives together.

Though I’m married now and only have my husband for a roommate, things are different. We earn two incomes and we buy more in attempt to “establish” ourselves as a family like our parents before us. Our daily lives revolve around each other, making food, earning money, hanging with our circle of friends – but very little of it is “missional” or open to hearing God speak about feeding the poor or caring for the downtrodden.

Yet, even when I lived in community, we weren't very missional. Sure, we ate together and prayed a little on Sundays, but it seems Wilson-Hartgrove's new monastics are more intimately involved in spiritual formation, while also sharing their lives and resources with the poor in their neighbourhood.

I like this idea, but it also frightens me. All I've ever known was this paradigm where you get married, have kids, work, throw some money at charities for your tax receipt, then someday die. To think there could be more to life than what we already have!

I'm not saying, though, that we’re jumping into this monastic lifestyle, but we're checking out what it means to live the gospel to its fullest, whether that means exploring what this looks like in our current lifestyle or rearranging the way we live completely.

Reader beware

Well, I haven’t finished this book, so no Jane Austen zombies for me just yet. I will say, though, that if you’re a Christian who’s asking,
Is this as good as it gets? give this book a try. It will definitely challenge your world view and ideas on the way things should or shouldn’t be. That being said, read with caution: If you don't want to risk being nudged by the big HS himself, then stick with PP&Z.

Zombies, apathy - same thing.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

what did I say about being a pastor's wife?

They pulled the ol' "pastors' wives go to heaven if they make stuff for us for free!" trick.

Just kidding. I did the Easter invites for Grace last year so they asked me to do them again. I have to say last year's was pitiful compared to what I came up with this time - after spending a year under the influence of the talented designers at work.

I'm rather proud of it. Though I'm sure any of our designers could have done this (and better) in a matter of minutes, it took me hours of tweaking, swapping colors and fonts for me to be okay with it. I don't know how they do it. Anyhow, Publisher only allows me to do so much, but this I calls purdy*.

If anyone reads this and is a real designer, I welcome your critique and suggestions . . . but please be nice! (*cower*)

*sorry, the pic I posted is pretty low res so it'll be grainy if you enlarge it

that's his job, not mine

With Joash making his way toward an assistant pastorship at Grace, people keep asking me what my role will be as a pastor’s wife. Those who know me know that I dread this question, because I really don’t know what to say. Smile, and say I aspire to have big hair and save the homeless?

Instead, I take these opportunities to politely state my intentions to lead Sunday worship while playing the drums and smoking a cigar.

The idea of the pastor’s wife holding ladies’ tea socials and being the unpaid assistant to her husband makes me want to hurl. Granted, there are women who want to do these things as part of their life’s purpose, but many pastors’ wives these days have their own jobs, their own interests and passions.

I am one of them. I’m an editor, web-addict, djembe drummer, swing dancer, and lover of Bollywood’s Thriller and DC comics. What’s worse, I suck at leading Bible studies and am terrible at making people feel comfortable during small talk. I swear when I’m mad and find theology boring. Nobody ever said a pastor’s wife couldn’t have such qualities or deficiencies. But some little voice tells me that being like this is inappropriate and unacceptable, that I should be proper, wise, the perfect wife and, someday, mother. Looks like I’m on my way to a big pastor’s wife FAIL.

Some folks definitely have an idea that the pastor’s wife is an unofficial position in the church. Expectations of her role can range from teaching Sunday School, leading Bible studies, hosting countless people for supper, singing in the choir to attending every Sunday service and taking in every word of her “brilliant” husband’s sermon. Some even expect the pastor’s wife to yield perfect children or be ready – whenever – to pick up the slack in the church with a smile. In such churches, it seems the pastor’s wife is under uncompromising scrutiny and duty.

Thankfully, my church has no set expectations on pastors’ wives and neither does my husband. And though I react strongly against the pastor’s wife stereotype, I understand that our marriage will affect my husband’s work, and his work will affect our marriage. That being said, I can’t completely separate myself from his work, especially being so personally invested in our church community.

What I'm saying is that I don’t believe pastors’ wives must fit into a specific mould or be given higher expectations than anyone else in the church. But I'm glad to help the hubster within reason (and our discussed boundaries) and offer help to the community I love. Yes, there is some duty involved, because that’s part of marriage and friendships, but most church stuff I do is a voluntary desire to contribute in ways that I can.

So if you take anything away from this long-winded rant, just remember to give your pastor’s wife a break. If the rest of the congregation can have unruly, smelly kids and have the freedom to take off on certain weekends, so can she.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

being amazed at basic stuff I should've learned in church but was too busy animating ninjas in hymn books

I guess it’s timely that we focused on the glory of God last Sunday night, providing that I haven’t seen anything “glorious” about God in a long time. Not that I don’t think he’s glorious; I just don’t feel entirely excited by it.

Perhaps it’s because I haven’t done enough hand-waving on Sundays, or because I haven’t visualized an image of God that feels like the “right” kind of glory. Maybe I just feel there’s no point and there’s no way out of this cynicism. The world is far too complex for anyone – even God – to fix.

Well, these were some of the lame excuses I’ve been prone to making these days. Really, I’ve been having trouble believing in the glory of God and I know exactly why. I’ve stopped reading the Bible and praying.

A part of me still wants to roll my eyes despite knowing better. It’s just the kind of answer I don’t like to hear or provide. It sounds so 1-2-3 Christian-y: “Come git yer pat answers to life, the universe and everything!”

Despite my aversion to things coloured with mysterious Christian code-talk and hunky-dory WWJD solutions, I have to admit the truth in this. Currently, I’m reading through the Bible with Joash and found it at first really, really hard to do. I hardly wanted to read about mass circumcisions in the wilderness and talking donkeys. We might as well have read The Wizard of Oz on crack.

And I hardly wanted to tackle things about the OT which made me uncomfortable – all those questions about holy wars, God’s frightening character and those culturally alien Levitical laws. (So what does it say about tampons?) It was easier to not read it at all.

I’ve only gotten to the book of Joshua so far, but already my perspective is changing. With a little help from my theologian-wannabe husband, I’m understanding more about God’s character in these stories, undoing my pathetic, picture-bible assumptions of who he is and how I expect him to be.

It amazes me that no matter how many times his people doubt him and complain, he remains with them. And it also shocks me when I read how easily he can destroy those who disobey him. As a product of a permissive society, I can’t help wondering if God could’ve been a bit more merciful, a bit more forgiving. But, as Joash pointed out, God is God. He is holy – and that means, as a part of who he is, he cannot tolerate sin. And my reaction to this shows me how I want God to be: God the Friendly Ghost, God the wish-granter, God the grandfatherly figure who spoils his little ones rotten.

God, as it turns out, is glorious in ways that make people tremble at the faintest afterglow of Moses’ encounter with him. He parts seas and rivers, and causes city walls to crumble. This is no couch-potato god who watches all of our joys, grief, misdeeds and longings with ambivalence.

Of course, I still have many questions and there’s still a lot about the Bible I don’t understand, but the consistent theme of God’s desire to reveal himself to us and his supreme holiness help me understand the gospel better and how I fit into the story.

Sunday evening prayer has been helpful too. When this all began, I didn’t want to give up my belly-filling roommate nights for an evening of prayer. My immediate thought was how boring. I imagined sitting in silence for an hour with my mind wandering off, and least undesirably, to my hidden collection of things about myself that I despise.

Now after a few sessions, I am fully convinced of the importance of these prayer times. Between silent prayer spent listening to God and active, corporate prayer, I’m beginning to grasp something that I’ve been afraid to hold on to: hope. Despite going to church every Sunday, going to small group and taking part of the church community, I had begun to find the gospel bland, hackneyed and mundane. The truth is, I forgot that the gospel is alive, relevant and working each moment of every day. Just this simple fact had been difficult to believe in the humdrumness of my routine, self-serving life.

With a little more hope in my pocket and a little less cynicism, I’ve found myself more attracted to God’s glory, when everything used to look so grey and irritatingly “Christian.” I’m sick of praying just for myself and talking at God with a grocery list in hand. I’m sick of ascribing to a type of Christianity that exudes smugness and offers only simple answers to difficult questions.

But when I reflect on this God who has chosen to intertwine himself with messy humanity despite his holiness, I see once again that the Christian life is mysterious, multi-faceted and filled with the indelible grace of a creator so unfathomably good and terrifying, I’m compelled to step away from my self-righteousness as the only thing I can do. I’m humbled.

So, though I’m still not yet into praying unceasingly whether on the can or on the road, I’m happy at least to be enjoying my Bible readings and the hard questions they bring about. And though I still need to be motivated to pray independently, I know that all in all, I’m off to a pretty good start.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

this is the drive

the skytrain stinks. literally.

especially commercial drive. it carries delicate notes of weed, mixed with the woodsy scent of mary jane, savoury BO and who-knows-what-but-it's-nasty. My favourite, I think, is the sharp scent of human piss that greets me when i ride down the escalators. yes, it's human because it carries spicy notes of whiskey, sweet earthy herbage and burnt undertones of nicotine. it's one hell of a smell, hardly a mark of territory but a scent that welcomes me home: hurrah for vancouver's lack of public toilets! olfactory graffiti of the best kind.

the best is when it rains. humidity leaches this intoxicating mix from the concrete and reinvigorates its strength ten-fold. sometimes if i'm lucky, yesterday's vomit becomes today's scent of the day. oh and on other days, the station aroma is enhanced with a dreamy blue cloud, laced with a hint of evaporating alcohol. like being hotboxed in the world's most amazing sauna.

i have dreams of this place, dreams of pigeon poop, trash, and piss giving me a loving hug on a wet day.

i've often heard others complain about the smell, calling it disgusting, revolting and other such nonsense. a violation to the nose. an atrocity, etc, etc. they say it should be cleaned up and sprayed out like it were some kind of infestation. bah! only kitsilano yuppies and yaletown schmucks would suggest that we ask the toilet-less population to kindly stop peeing. translink would never do it. they'd never have their station bouncers grab a firehose and start spraying.

outrageous. the smell that hovers around commercial station is an integral part of the drive itself. it marks by way of the nose, an identifying character of the neighbourhood. getting rid of it would wipe out the scented histories of the drive's unique life, from the goings-ons of coke-shooters, the homeless and skytrain passenger alike -
who in their right minds would want to do that?

Monday, March 09, 2009

watchmen: rated BBD

Whoever gave Watchmen its current “R” rating really should have rated it a new category called BBD, short for “Big Blue Dong.”

Yes, there was a BBD, and even multiple ones in different dimensions. Wacky.

Seriously, people who thought Doc Manhanttan’s little (or should I say, big) “buddy” was a necessary part of Alan Moore’s epic vision should take another look at Dave Gibbons’ drawings. Do I see panels of BBD? Nope. Not one page. Did director Zack Snyder think Mr. D would be distracting to the viewers? I have no idea what he was thinking. A penis is one thing; but a big, blue CG man bearing his BBD like a liberated animal is another.

Maybe I complain because I saw this on IMAX and could NOT help looking at it. So what? you ask. A dong is a dong. Yes, but when it’s blue and ten feet long and in almost every shot, even the most prudent of deniers would’ve sneaked a peek, cuz it literally looked you in the eye every time. There was no escaping it.

OK, that’s enough dong-talk for now because there’s much more to the Watchmen movie than the infamous blue willy. Being a fan of the comic, I thought Snyder did a great job translating it to film. I was wary at first, envisioning something like the Fantastic Four gone emo, just emoting with the same horrid acting and script-writing. Watchmen, however, was generally well-acted, with extra kudos to Patrick Wilson as a perfectly pudgy Dan Dreiberg and Jackie Earle Haley delivering a spot-on, psycho-licious portrayal of the fan favourite, Rorschach. It seems they got most of the casting right, though, I felt that Adrian Veidt, also known as "Ozymandias," was strangely miscast. They got some fella named Matthew Goode (not the band), gave him a Ken-doll helmet of blond hair and stuck plastic nipples on his suit à la Batman Forever. Voila, the "smartest man in the world"! As for Dr. Manhattan, well, you know my opinion of that streaker.

Sadly, the only female character, Laurie Jupiter (Malin Akerman), was a bit of a disappointment (though I’m sure all the nerdy single 30-somethings thought otherwise) because her acting, as a friend pointed out, was a lot like Drew Barrymore in her less finer moments. Don’t get me wrong. I like Drew Barrymore. I thought she was awfully cute in the Wedding Singer. But a babe in yellow spandex who sounds surprised every time she talks gets annoying real fast. Sorry.

Okay, so I make it sound like I didn't like this movie, which isn't true. The fight scenes, the characters' messed up human-ness and grittiness made for an impressive anti-heroic comic book movie. But because I’m squeamish and don’t like looking at male anatomy for 2 hours and 43 minutes, I was disturbed by the gratuitous gore, violence and sex made explicit in the movie. There were points where I felt we could get the gist of the violence going on, and didn’t need to see every stinkin' detail. Thank you, Zack, we got lots of that in 300.

So yes, die-hard fans of the comic book should see it; those who have no interest in comic books should probably stay home, or watch Akerman flounce around in 27 Dresses. The performance is about the same, just with lots of spandex and nekked peeps getting it on in a mechanical owl.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

why I love where I work

I love working where I work. Though I don't love everything about this ultra-conservative Christian organization, I do love the designers and writers I work with. They're funny, irreverent and wholeheartedly random. (Is that because we're creative or because we're deranged?).

At any rate, my favourite part of my work week comes from our daily (and sometimes completely crazy) email threads that include Youtube videos like "Jesus is a Friend of Mine" and musical genius and outer-space hottie, Mark Gormley.

So despite having a brain-numbing commute, at least I'll have the usual randomness to look forward to. Here, for example, is a thread that began as a vote for where to get lunch . . .

SB: Hi all,
do we feel like ordering in for our lunch thing on Wednesday? Any suggestions on places to get some grub?

KO: sushi

SS: No offense, anyone, but I really don’t like sushi (or anything that involves fish, seafood or mushrooms) – I can’t think of a strong preference at the moment, but I’m open to most other suggestions, though.

KO: I like steak if Dave pays, otherwise pita pit is nice.

DP: Steak is out I guess. Pita Pit is good . . . To be perfectly honest (I’ve been lying all the rest of the time) I eat anything in front of me, unless it is borscht.

MS: I love borscht!

SS: Beet soup? Or for that matter, beet anything? I dunno.
On the other hand, it’s started me thinking – there’s gotta be a Ukrainian Orthodox church around, with some little old ladies making yummy homemade perogies and cabbage rolls, from scratch. Man, I’d go for that.

DP: Man, if there’s one of those near here we should totally look into that. Boy do I love good perogies and cabbage rolls. I’m so skeeeeny. I need to fatten up.

KO: Dave you should eat lard, that will fatten you up.

DP: I DO! Nothing works!

MS: Do you happen to have a worm?

AL: Yes, he does, he told me about it

Me: Have you tried using an IV with your liquid lard? Ew. And yes, his tapeworm is named Bertha.

SS: Maybe we could lure it out with some homemade cabbage rolls, then put it in a bottle of tequila.

DP: First, you guys all need serious therapy. Second, naming a tapeworm Bertha is perfectly normal. Third, I believe luring it out with cabbage rolls is a spectacular idea. Fourth, why am I numbering these sentences? Fifth, Michelle’s wallpaper is pretty cool. It looks like a cool chart over a photo from this angle.

Yup, this is what we do almost every day. Do we get anything done? Ehhh, maybe. Well, at least the editors and I can say we've been building our vocab this way. Not long ago, we were looking up the many wonderful and colourful ways to say "barf."

Next: The technicolour yawn and the giant peach

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

i will be the biggest loser!

well, not of the steve urkel variety, but we're talking about pounds here, people. my ex-roomies, the hubster and myself are embarking on our very-own biggest loser challenge: championship round. who will be the biggest loser?

ME, baby- yeah! booyah!

so, i'm not "fat" but you know you've hit your late twenties when people start asking if that's a baby bump and you're not pregnant, or you notice your left side formed a roll in the shape of the donut you just ate. but hey, i'm asian and that usually means a pretty high metabolism.

there are seven challengers and only one biggest loser this time around . . . and the competition will be fierce! several obstacles stand in our way: genetics, lifestyle, rainy weather - and Christmas! Christmas will be the ultimate leveller in this challenge - all the treats and potlucks and pound-piling sweets . . .

but perhaps the most insidious of saboteurs we will face could very well be each other. i will be wary! distrust will be my only ally as the others, on roommate night, ask sweetly, "another helping of cream-cheese and butter mashed potatoes?" if i'm not careful, they may trap me in a room and force and IV of sweet, sweet caramel into my veins.

trust no one.

the challenge . . . is ON!