November 29, 2002

Wooohooo! I just failed my road test!

November 28, 2002

Those 9 hours of sleep helped a lot. I mean, I was still startled when my alarm went off, but I was a lot fresher than yesterday. Yesterday, I almost fell asleep after lunch. But today, i was fully alert. I did all my work too, and I even finished the work that Mark gave me within only half a day! I was pretty satisfied with myself!

I have my G2 road test tomorrow afternoon. (yes, i'm really 24). I'm pretty nervous, even though the last time when i failed it, it was with a van and now i'm doing it with a tiny little corolla. Still, i've only driven that car 3 times, hopefully those 'refresher' lessons will pay dividends.. they sure costed me an arm and a leg! I need to pass now though, not like before. If I don't pass now, the next available tests I've heard are in February. And if I fail that one, then it's really crunch time. Since my contract expires in May, I would definitely have to pass the next test in May, because I would definitely need a license if my contract wasn't renewed with the City (i take the subway to work). Even worse, if I failed again in May, then I would be in big trouble, because the rest of my family will be gone before the next test date, which probably will be some time in August or September!

I haven't practiced guitar at all this week. I played every single day last week, sometimes twice a day, and most times 2-3 hours at a time. I always do this. My callouses build up, and then I stop for a long time and then the next time I play again, I have to build up those callouses all over again. I want to master the accompanyment (?) for Sound of Silence (simon and garfunkel). Hopefully then I can find someone willing to play the strumming part to perform with me next week in my guitar class. I suppose there's always next week.

I've decided that I'm finally going to get me one of those wireless telephones that almost everyone I know has. I have been looking at the different plans available, and the different phones available. Wow, I can't believe that some of my still unemployee pals can afford these things! You gotta pay for the phone, then the plan. And, on top of that you still have to spend even more to make it look nice, with all those flashing lights and colors? Why oh why?

November 27, 2002

Did I mentioned I watched the 10pm show? All alone? How weird is that? A bunch of people were supposed to show, but never did. I bought the ticket, and actually considered getting it refunded since it was such a late show, but then I ended up seeing anyway, which I'm glad since it was so good. I did however end up finding the girl who organized the whole night, though that was after the movie when I was coming back out.

I sort of do regret going though, because I didn't get to bed til 1am, which cut out 2 hours of my usual and much much needed sleep. Luckily today for lunch my dad took me out for lunch, and I scarfed down as much tea as possible to keep me awake for the rest of the day. This is why I'm hitting the sack now, 10pm. Good night all.
Madonna's new song is really cool.. reminds me of when i was little and used to listen to music while covering up my ears and opening them up again, back and forth. I watched Die Another Day last night. It was awesome. Pierce Brosnan is getting old though, I dunno how many more Bond movies he can do, but he was great in this one. The plot was pretty good, action was pretty much non-stop, and the Bond humor was great too. Halle Berry confirmed my suspicions of being a really poor actress once again. Twists and turns, explosions and comedy -- all good! I thought it was a little weird when Bond discovers that Halle's character is actually a man, which is kinda sick since they supposedly had sex together earlier. Oh sorry bout the spoiler... HAHA.. i can't believe I just did that! Oh well. Luckily, that never happened.

November 25, 2002

It was my first day at work today. I got up at 7am, (and also at 6am, 5am, 4am, etc) to go to work. Got on my best shirt and tie, dress pants and dress shoes. Gel'd up my hair and off I went to take the subway with my dad.

Work was good. Same guys as before when I worked in the summer, so we were already acquainted and right away they had some stuff for me to do. I had congregation a whole bunch of data, figure out what was redundant and form (or get ready to prepare) database schema's for a database that they wanted to me to create. It was good times, reminiscent of the good times at school when we had to figure out various ways to optimize a particular database. Good times indeed. I worked pretty much non-stop from 9:30am til 5pm, when I left. I really enjoyed doing the work. It was nice to get my brain juices flowing again. Now if only I can remember everything i learned in my dbms course..

I found out that my temp position was really a 6-month duration rather than the year that I was expecting, but no matter, a job's a job! :) Perhaps I'll be rejoining the ranks of unemployment in 6 months' time.. Tho this just gives me more motivation to prove to them that they need me for much longer! I report to this guy Mark, i'm the only person working directly for him. And he reports to the director (Gord), so i often end up communicating with the director directly. Plus it helps that his office is just across the hall from my cubicle.

Hmm.. what else. There aren't any young people around, as far as I can tell. So these will be lonely next 6 months.. The IT guy for our floor wasn't in today, so I didn't get a computer account or an email account set up. And the lady in charge of access cards was busy all day so I didn't get my Metro Hall security card either. Well, luckily my dad can get me past security. They often sell Krispy Kreme donuts right by the elevators for charity. I got a taste of one today, as Gord bought two boxes for the whole floor. Actually he also gave me his double cheesburger from McD's. I think there's a deal now, 2 for $3. I guess he couldn't finish both.. Lucky for me, cuz the puny sandwich my mom made me for lunch wasn't nearly enough!

November 23, 2002

Today the TTC had a sneak preview to their knew Sheppard subway line. My mom and I went down to take a look. It was open from noon to 2pm, and it was totally free. I was pretty impressed. We came late so we missed the big speech by Mayor Mel, and we also missed the free cake. But I got around 15 packs of gum, free samples from Excel. There are 5 new stations now, Bayview, Bessarion, Leslie, Don Mills. Each station has its own interesting design, and they're all very spacious, similar to some of the asian subway lines (Shanghai, Taiwan, Hong Kong). Totally luxurious compared to the current Yonge or Bloor lines.

The Bessarion station is completely useless. We got off this stop and took a look around above ground. There was nothing there, no 'main' attraction, just a bunch of plaza's, a Canadian Tire, and an IKEA. Who'd take the subway the subway to shop at stores like Cdn Tire or IKEA?? What a waste of tax payers' money.

Leslie came up around the NYGH, which is nice. Also, along the walls there are 54,000 different hand written tiles, saying "Sheppard & Leslie" on each tile.

Don Mills comes up at Fairview Mall. Very convenient for me..

Bayview had some really artistic paintings on the walls. They were really neat, there's one that's a pocket watch, but half of it is on a wall, and the rest is on the floor, stretched out. You have to stand at a certain spot in order to see the watch in it's proper form. There was also one of a ladder leaning against a wall. It only looks right if you're standing at the right spot. That was really neat!

November 20, 2002

I start work this coming Monday, at Metro Hall, downtown Toronto. My official position is called Application Technologist. From what I understand I'll immediately be working on a couple of Access/VB projects, one of them a continuation of some stuff I did for them a year ago (summer job). It's kind of exciting knowing that I get to upgrade my video card soon [grin].

November 19, 2002

Happiness is..

.. to know the Savior (living a life within His favor, having a change in my behavior, happiness is the Lord)
.. having loving parents (and brother)
.. having friends who care about you
.. having a job*
.. being with someone you love
.. being full (loosen up that belt!)
.. being married with children (not the show!!)
.. a warm gun? (Beattles)

*Well, I can finally cross that one out. The 7-month wait is finally over.
Hmm.. Given the opportunity to think about the future today. I think I might be moving out next year. Not out of the country, just out of my house. I was hinted that today when my parents were talking (or joking) about something. I believe I am officially 'moving out' if I find a job, at the earliest, May of 2003.

Still, what does the future hold for me? More specifically, I started thinking today about why I really truly wanted to stay in TO when the rest of my family moved south. Why stay here?

Nothing's really holding me back here. I have many close friends in Ottawa which I never get to see, but I still keep in touch with them (you) electronically. I could always do the same with everyone in T.O. I'm finally settled into my church, and building relationships there. If I move, I can still do that, God will always provide me with friends to support me.

Life is so confusing.

November 17, 2002

I forgot to mention I saw Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets on Friday, before fellowship. I went down to Uptown theatres with my friend Chic. We got there about 2 hours early so we bought tickets and wandered around downtown through various clothing shops. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever start purposely buying name brand clothing, maybe as I become more mature in my dressing, or when I start making money. I can't see myself ever doing that (the clothes, or the money, or maturity for that matter), but it could happen. My father is always complaining that I still dress like a teenager.

Anyway.. as we headed back to the theatre at 3 (the movie was scheduled to start at 3:30) we saw that a line had formed outside so we had to line up. Suffice to say by the time the line finally started moving, we were close to around the 1/5 mark of the line, and there were around 30 people ahead of us. One funny thing was as we walked slowly into the building, the two girls who had been in line behind us all of sudden cried out, realizing that they were supposed to buy the tickets BEFORE lining up. D'oh..

I liked the movie. It was a lot scarier than the first, a lot more serious, a lot more stuff that could easily scare small children. The story was better though, less cute, more action. More sinister too. But there were also many funny moments in which the whole audience bursted out in laughter. I give it a two thumbs up!

November 16, 2002

I've been seriously considering cutting out my mp3s. I have way too many and I don't even listen to them all anymore. There's a lot of stuff I keep around 'just in case'. I dunno why, maybe I keep thinking that I'll grow back to the old me and listen to some of that old rap or pop music. Sometimes I think I should keep them around in case someone comes over and wants to listen.. but I haven't had people over in ages!

I bought a 180s today, for my poor ears that keep freezing up whenever I'm walking outside. It's funny but since I had some leads on finding a job I've been a lot happier, more like my usual self. I was so down and depressed I didn't even notice. Maybe part of the reason I was having trouble integrating at T3C was the fact that I probably wasn't a very pleasant person to talk to at times.. Sometimes when you're in a funk you get into this tunnel vision thing where all you see is the funk and none of the good stuff. Yesterday I was reminded of how great life was and all the happiness and excitement that I was missing out on. It also reminded me of what God does for me that I continue to take for granted, even though I'm reminded not to almost every week.
Yesterday we had Iron Chef at my fellowship. It was really fun! The main ingredient was pineapples, which is sort of odd since you can't really make much with pineapples other than fruit cups or things related with bacon/ham. But anyway, we were pretty creative. Our team split into 3 groups, one doing appetizers, one for main course, and one for dessert.

I was in the appetizer group. We made a pineapple smoothie, which wasn't smooth at all. When I looked over the recipe, there weren't any ingredients mentioned that would make this drink smooth. Pineapples, pineapple juice, ice. What about cream? Ah well.. The other thing we made was a hawaiin dip, it was a creamy dip with pineapples in it. We used this dip for the pineapple sushi we prepared. These did not taste good in my opinion, but the judges seemed to like it. We had sushi with rice on the outside and on the inside. The rice we used was still hot when we applied it, so the seaweed got all soggy. I've made sushi a couple of times and imo, last night's sushi was a total disaster =). I was fun making it though! We added a toothpick/skewer 'raft' above the dip bowl and a carrot carved in a shape of a man sat on top of this raft.

The main course group made pork wrapped pineapple bits, which were really good, plus they also made a salad, and a pineapple fried rice. I'll try to post up a picture when I get them. People in our small group have some crazy artistic talent. The food looked delicious! The food was arranged in such a way that it looked like an oasis. There were the trees in the back (salad), then a pineapple bowl of the fried rice, with the pork stuff in front of it. Then the rest of the plate had a blue goo simulating the water around the oasis. Again there was carrot man sitting on top of the rice.

The dessert group made a 'boat' out of pineapple shell, and filled it with balled melons and grapes. Since it was a boat, they made pineapple/melon shishkebobs that looked like oars for the boat. Then to top if off, they had blue jello surrounding the boat to simulate water! It was a really creative and beautiful arrangement! And of course the carrot man was on the boat.

For the presentation, one of the small group leaders presented the story of this carrot dude and how he came to an island on the raft, and then eventually was rescued by the giant fruit boat. We all wore colorful bandana's like they do on Survivor. I guess the judges liked how we had a theme and made the food depict the story, so we won!! Woohoo!! Check out a picture of the Noodleman Trophy (i'll post it when i get one).
I think the great thing Anabret has going for them is their mellow sound. It's crisp and smart, a great choice of eclectic sounds, very relaxing and entertaining at the same time. Their lyrics are poetic too, like from the song Until Morning:

Once more I’ll test my will
to keep standing still.
Another midnight on the way
will stumble into one more day.
`til morning brings the start of a day without dawn.
I hide between the walls until the hours are gone

They rhyme! It's almost pure acoustic. The type of stuff you hear from live bands in a bar. Because of this they probably will never get very big, but that's good as well, since many groups change their style of music to fit the norm in order to become more successful. I hope they come out with tabs soon!
Before I post about last night's fellowship, just want to quickly give another plug.

Last night i missed out on John Doe, so I went to the site to check out the episode info to see what I had missed. Anyway, clicking around I found a group that John Doe played (one of their songs). They're pretty good, and I think they're brand new. Check out their site. They have a couple full songs for download. Both are pretty good.

November 15, 2002

Check out a job description that just sent me:

Self-Motivated individual needed to work in a creative GAY
POSITIVE environment building template driven websites. This is a
perfect entry-level position for those looking to get their feet wet in
the world of web design.

.. LOL
Well, I just called my boss to follow up on my conversation with him last week, and it looks like there's a good chance I could get a job there. They're setting up the paperwork now, and then they'll have me come in for an interview. I guess from there we'll see where things lead. My hands still smell like onions. I even used my dad's construction soap, it's industrial soap man..
Today I made curry chicken using Moe's famous curry mix. It was great.. only very little leftovers and only because everyone was just too full to finish it. I have a problem now though, cuz I used onions, my hands got the onion smell. I've scrubbed them hundreds of times now, and they still smell like onions. It's a little annoying..

Not much else happening..

November 12, 2002

I ended up taking my mouse, my optical microsoft mouse to my small group to show everyone what a loser i was that this stupid pointing device actually represented my daily life. How sad is that. Some people brought things that meant something to them, and they were even able to tie these items in with their spiritual walk. Like one guy, had a stethoscope with him (doc), and he related how the rubber on the thing sometimes gets cold and so you can't hear as well, so you need to keep it warm. He then related it to his prayer life and how he needs to learn to listen to God when He speaks to him. Anyway, what was I to say, that the mouse's pointer was similar to me letting God point me in the right direction? Haha. Cheese..

It was an interesting experience though. I hate to share, but I've been learning that I need to force the things upon myself as they will make me a better person. At best I can say I don't mind sharing with 2-3 people, but we had 12, and it was an uncomfortable feeling.

I am really enjoying Sunday School, the class I'm taking is almost like another small group. We get regularly 8-10 people which is a decent size. The teacher is really gifted in teaching. He gets the point across while making it pretty interesting. Oh top of which, he gets us all thinking, and when needed, he scares me. After the first lesson about demons and evil spirits, I had to sleep with the lights on for a week. I was terrified. Not so much of demons, but of the possibility of demons. You know that saying, "there's nothing to fear except fear itself". I totally agree with that.

Mil was up in Toronto this weekend as we tried to hook up on Saturday but it didn't work out. She wanted to meet at Eaton's Centre, so I suggested the food court, and I just threw out a place "McDonalds" as a meeting spot. Unfortunately when I got there, there was no McD's in the food court, but one off to the side. I must've been there for about an hour, so then I called home, and my dad said she had called and couldn't find the McDonald's. Somehow my dad had the idea I had gone to the Bay, so he told her I went there! So then I had to wander through the Bay, looking.. that Bay is huge, it has 4-5 stories.. crazy!! I never did find her, after about 2 hours of searching and waiting, and I was late for my guitar lessons, so I went home. Later in the evening, Drew gave me a call and we went out for BT at a place called Tea Shop 168. I hear that there is one in Ottawa as well. They had a good variety of flavors, and were much cheaper than Ten Ren's. They had a deal where you could get a 'bau' plus a BT all for only $4.50. That's a pretty sweet deal..

My mom is back from Taiwan now. Praise God that she has come back safely to us!

November 07, 2002

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because[1] to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace." Hebrews 4:4-6

I've experienced first-hand of friend(s) losing their faith, straying away from God, denouncing their faith. Does this contradict with this scripture? Or do we need to look into more detail as to what "enlightened", "tasted the heavenly gift", "shared in the Holy Spirt", "tasted the goodness of the word of God" really mean? What if a person was saved because they went to an evangelistical meeting, and for that one moment when they were given the opportunity to ask Christ into their lives, they felt it was right, but then later on lost that 'feeling'? Wouldn't that count as being enlightened? What about a curious person who finds truth in the Bible, doesn't that count as tasting the goodness of the word of God?

I'm going to bring this up to a pastor and post their views here later.
Yesterday I went to bed at 4am, because I kept saying "okay, i'll go to bed right after this mission". I said this around 5 times. Game of the night: Soldier of Fortune II. I went to bed late, but knowing that I am an unemployed bum, I knew I could sleep in for as long as I wanted! Ain't life grand?

8:12am. The phone rang, I woke up pretty quick, because the ringer on my phone is extremely loud, and it's right next to my bed, AND I thought it might be a call from my former boss, getting back to me about the job possibility. It was a fax machine, so I hung up. 8:32am. Yeah, it was a fax again. I tried and tried to get back to sleep, but by 9am lost the battle and got up. 9:30am, my former boss actually did call. We discussed how I might be able to help with some projects that he was currently working on. I was a bit groggy though, I sincerely hope that didn't count as an interview!

In the afternoon I went downtown with my friend Max to check out the EXPO COMM tradeshow at the convention centre. What a disappointment -- $40 to get in!! So then we looked around the convention centre for other events. There was a holiday gift show, so we checked that out. Turns out it was a small room full of cheap Christmas toys! Sigh.. So that basically wasted my afternoon. Although it was nice catching up with Max, talking about job searching, school stuff, etc. I had McD's for lunch for the first time in months. I missed McD's, but afterwards, the stomach ache I got from it made me realize why I stopped having McD's. Haha.

Tonight's game was better than expected. I expected the Raptors to lose by 30 points, but they managed to keep it close, losing by only 14. I think Chuck Swirsky is an idiot by the way. It's like he's watching basketball for the first time. He has to be the worst basketball commentator I have ever heard. What happened to the black guy they had before? Meanwhile, Leo Rautins is getting better and better. If he puts on 40-50 pounds he might have a shot at getting a job with ESPN.

November 06, 2002

Here's the result of an online quiz I just did.

What LoTR Character Are You?

You are most like Aragorn. You have strong convictions and you stick to them. Although you are more of a recluse, you are extremely loyal to the few friends that you have. You are very serious about things, but you like having fun. Fame and fortune mean little to you, and you aren't concerned with being popular. Good for you!

That's cool. Aragorn was one of my favorite characters from the books/movie, so that worked out nicely.

I have to bring an item that either means a lot to me, or is very representative of me, to this week's small group meeting. I haven't got a clue what I'll bring.

I thought maybe my mouse or keyboard. It's something that is very representative of me, but doesn't mean a lot to me. Yeah, I spend most of my day in front of my computer, but it doesn't mean anything to me, it's just what I do. I could bring my guitar. Music means a lot to me, I find it soothing, I enjoy playing the guitar, and singing. But if I bring my guitar, people will ask me to play something... Maybe a picture of my parents? Family means a lot to me.

November 05, 2002

I've added a comments link courtesy of I don't expect anyone to write anything, but I thought it would make the page more complete as a whole.

The website for my company is moving along nicely. We don't have a domain name yet, but we're working on that. The company name hasn't been officially registered yet, so until then we will hold off on the domain name registration. It's currently being hosted on a spare computer. One of my partners has professional webpage experience, so he and I have been collaborating on the page. His layout experience has been a big help.

Today I gave my old summer job boss a call to see if he knew of any internal positions within the City that might be suitable for me. He said he'd get back to me some time this week. My father officially accepted the job in Nevada, so now there's the process of various paperworks that need to be filled in and sent back and forth. I believe he will be starting work sometime in either December or January. For now, the plan is to for him to work there for a full year, which means we will live here in Toronto for at least another year and a half. This gives me a little over a year to find a job, but I hope to be working within a few months.

I've been listening to a lot of Hillsong music since the concert last month. Since I spend a lot of my time working on my compute all day long, I tend to not listen to the words as much and moreso the tune and beat. In that regard Hillsong has been very appropriate, because that style of music seems to have less meaning, so I don't miss much -- i think..