December 31, 2003

Las Vegas, Days 7-11

It snowed last night and when I woke up the rooftops and front "lawns" (there's no grass.. it's just gravel) was covered in snow. My family had never seen snow in Vegas so it was a treat for everyone. Surprisingly I heard it's warm in Toronto today. As if the cold weather has made its way towards me and is chasing me.

Not alot has gone on since I last posted. I've finished 3 computers games. Halo, Tron 2.0, and I just finished Call of Duty a few moments ago. Of the three, Tron was the most fun and interesting.

It was Madame Toussad's, not Tussan. A-Mei was in town, she performed at the.. Rio? I don't remember now. I didn't go. For a brief 1-2 months I was a fan. But not anymore.

My grandfather went through some weird stages, a few days ago his face became very red and it was like he was having a fever, or possibly even a minor stroke. For a good 10 minutes he had food in his mouth and he wasn't chewing or even speaking, although he was still responding to us. Then yesterday he started crying when he wanted more milk. My dad was a little scared but he poured him some more and he stopped crying.

Yesterday we went to a sushi restaurant (buffet) called Blue Wave. $22/person (ouch!). My brother went there for his birthday a few months ago, and threw up afterwards because he ate so much. Since then he'd been raving about the restaurant and how I should go. So we went. It was really disappointing. It turns out that they "ran out" of salmon. Imagine, sushi with no salmon. How devastating!

I got a good pic of the vasectomy.com billboard. There is also another ad, that says 'reverse vasectomy'. The funny thing is it also says "guaranteed or your money back". Hahah..

There are a lot of Hummers in Vegas. I've seen at least 40. Also a lot of Cadillac Escalade's, you know, the big trucks that all the big stars drive. And quite a few Corvettes. No sup-ed up Civics here.

..

My heart sank when I received news of Eric. I was both surprised and deeply saddened. It didn't fully sink in until last night I was lying in bed thinking about how awful it must be for Nicole, I had trouble sleeping, thinking about how she must feel during this ordeal. For him, I pray he isn't in pain or turmoil. I have no idea what the person goes through during a coma. Is it a sleep state, or is it a dream state? Is he constantly trying to wake up and being unable to, or is he completely unaware of it? Mostly I pray for Nicole and his sister and parents. It is the worst feeling when you want to help someone and feel helpless because there's nothing you can do.

December 26, 2003

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Today we all got up pretty late (8:30am). We all wake up fairly early here because the house is brand new and there are no blinds, so when the sun comes out, it gets way too bright.

We went to The Orleans hotel to watch Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. It was pretty good. I cried a few times, all tears of joy. They changed a lot of things from the books, but it was still pretty good. The audience applauded after Legolas' big oliphant performance. Also just before the movie started a perky mom yelled out "MERRY CHRISTMAS" to everyone. Americans rock. There's no "happy holidays" out here. It's Christmas time, plain and simple.

Yesterday we went to the Christmas service at South Hills Church Community, where my family normally worships. It was a packed house. They rent out the gym at a school called Bill Carter. I'm not sure who Bill Carter is.. The service was quite good.. everyone was all dressed up. I was in my normally ghetto travelling clothing! Haha. Come to think of it, all my clothes are pretty ghetto. Maybe I need a change in wardrobe..

Anyway after LOTR we went to the Venetian hotel on the strip. My bro got us 4 free tickets to see Madame Tussan's Wax Museum. I'll post pics after I get home. They were really realistic!

By the time we got home, it was 6pm, too late to cook and my grandparents were starving. So we hurried out to the nearest place to eat. Unfortunately, it was Silverton's Hotel Casino. Their buffet has got to be the worst buffet I have ever eaten. I was starving, and yet when i got my plate and went to get food, I was totally stumped. It was worse than a school cafeteria.. $14/person for pure crap. That's US dollars..

Oh, for Christmas I got a new pair of shoes. Nike walkers.. pretty nice. They look a big goofy but they're really comfortable!

December 24, 2003

Las Vegas, Days 2-5

Las Vegas is a fun city, but really only *fun* if you're a non-believer going on a wild gambling, drinking and sexapade. Of course then for me, it's just the bright lights and being with family. And laughing at the hilarious sex billboards. One of them which I still haven't gotten a picture of, is this giant white billbard with the title "vasectomy.com", with the caption "it's easier than you think" underneath. Haha..

I saw Roy's buddy, (the white tiger) at The Mirage, The Bellagio, Caesar Palace, Treasure Island. They're all just hotels with casino's and expensive shows which I can't afford. Outside along the strip, there's funny little latino guys handing out "business" cards, which show naked girls and phone numbers. The Bellagio has a fountain that's supposed to move around with a song that is playing, but I went during the day and that show only goes during the night. Also at the Mirage there is a water/show volcano, which also runs at night. Treasure Island has a big pirate ship with scantily clad women dancing on it. Also at night.

I'm hoping to catch it all one of these days.. and get good pictures.

Oh yeah, I bought a new digital camera. Olympus Stylus 400. I was just going to buy the 300 but my dad told me "don't be cheap, Brian". I also got a 256 mb card for it.. The camera is almost the same as my old one, so no learning curve..

What else.. I went to a few buffets now. The food is really cheap here, but the food is also really bad quality. Whereas in Toronto when you stop eating at a buffet because you feel satisfyingly full, in Vegas you stop because you think you're gonna be sick (before you're full). It's a different sensation.

I saw Red Rock Canyon, on our way to visit my dad at work yesterday. It was breathtaking. Massive mountainss of red rock surrounded by white, and regular grey. While I was standing at one of the lookout points I started to sing "Wondrous Works". It goes:

Looking at His Wonderous Works
I stand, Amazed in awe.
How can any person doubt that
He is God?

Since nature sings out its praises
That I ought to know
To share in this grand worship to the Lord

Well.. those are probably wrong.. but close? My dad works in this tiny little shack, while his real office is still being built. The back of the office has a small jail cell. Pretty cool..

There are more "In-n-out" and "Jack In The Box" burger joints than McD's here.. Btw, in In-N-Out burgers are amazing...

December 20, 2003

Las Vegas - Day 1

The flight left a little late because they had to de-ice the wings. But all in all it was a good flight. I got a window seat and we got to see Santa Clause 2. Pretty silly movie, but it had a nice ending..

As the plane was landing, you could see "the Strip". The airport was right beside it.. I could see the big MGM Grand hotel, the big Pyramid thing. The city of Las Vegas was surprisingly larger than I expected. Going in I thought it would be the Strip, and then desert. But really there's actually a small little city here!

The first thing I saw when I came out of the plane was slot machines. Slot machines everywhere! People were actually using them! I couldn't imagine, how could you get off a plane and just start gambling right away. Or maybe when you're flying away you need that last *fix* before you leave. How silly is that..

It was big hugs all around when we met in the baggage claim area.

I dunno for me it was weird seeing the family again, and it was weird on the ride home, looking around and seeing the bright city lights. They had a lot of partial nudity on the billboards.. Las Vegas must be the most liberal city of the US. Also in the US, Mariah Carey, and Seinfeld. Too bad the shows are so darned expensive.

The weather is nice, it was around 10pm PST, and I had my head out the window as my dad was driving. Not for very long though, it's not *that* warm. Still, pretty nice..

When we got to the house, I realized what a big place it was. The house is a mansion.. I mean it is big. If any of you have been to my house in TO, it's nothing compared to this house. It could just be the architecture. It's much more "grandeur". It reminds me of Tim's house in Kanata, only bigger (but no basement, so all in all probably smaller).

My mom said that in Vegas if it rains for more than 10 minutes, there's a flood.. LOL

As I was saying, house is pretty massive. They have a giant screen tv, and all kinds of stuff. The place seems too big, like it needs more people. They should have at least 2-3 more people living here. Maybe me and my future wife.. hehehe. They built a bedroom for me, and the washroom has two sinks..

The water here is soft.. when you soap up, you can't rinse it all off.. it's so weird. My bro says they use half the amount of soap he used to use. It just doesn't wash off..

At night, it was super cold. They forgot to open up the heat vent in my room, and I was so cold. It was like camping, you know that feeling of coldness at around 4-5am? That's what it was like, all night long. In the morning I opened my door and went into the sitting room and slept there.. It was way warmer.

Today we're planning on going to the Strip at night. Actually I'm glad to get this outta the way. After all, it's Sin City. It's the last place I want to be. If it were my preference, I'd rather fly them all to TO and celebrate Christmas there. But this is how it's gonna be.. so I have to live with it.





December 19, 2003

Yahoo! Launch just played a song by Josh Groban -- very good voice.. If you look him up on Amazon.com, you can get a free download of his song "You Raise Me Up". It's quite good.. check out the lyrics:

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.
I went the Justis Kao concert yesterday. Justis definitely has a lot of talent, both in singing and piano. He's got a great voice and very creative talent on the ivories.. and he's very charismatic, not to mention a pretty good-looking guy. Hey, I'm not afraid to admit it! He and his team sang a lot of Christmas songs and stuff like that.

That style of music (RnB/Funk) isn't really my cup o tea, but it was still enjoyable nonetheless.

I ran into Can & Mylene there. I hadn't seen them since ages ago when I visited NTCBC. Our family left M3C shortly after Can resigned. It's interesting to run into people like that, who played a big part in a rather large transition of my family's church life. We reminisced for a bit and then realizing I had nothing else to say to them, I went back to my seat.

I'm getting to know 'Nita better and better as weeks go on. My first impressions of her are nothing like what I see now. She's so silly at times, and funny too. One impression that remains is that she is a very strong/mature Christian, and as I've been trying my hardest to surround myself with these types of people -- so this is a good thing. I think that God has really blessed me with the new relationships I've been making in the past year.

I feel the urgency to strive to surround myself as much as possible with disciplined, responsible, loving believers. This is just one of my goals that I wanted to shoot for, knowing my tendencies and the fact that my parents are far, far away. If there's one thing I lack, it's definitely the discipline factor.

Well, this is probably my last post in Toronto as I'll be leaving shortly after I get home from work tonight. My friend Keith will be taking me to the airport. I haven't figured out how I'll get back yet, but I'll worry about that later, I guess.

December 16, 2003

my stereo has this delay setting. i think it's specially there for jazz music, i don't know.. but anyway it makes norah jones sound really cool.. and all other jazz music in general.

without music my spirit grows stagnant. i deleted all of my mp3s the other night, deciding it was best to just delete them rather than "wait and see if i'll buy the cd eventually". so now, i've got nothing to listen to. i realize now how music affects my emotions so deeply.. music captures the very fiber of my being, my mood, my feelings.. it can grab control of me, takes over me. now that my collection is so tiny, my mood is very similar, in that i feel like i'm in a bit of rut, like i wanna do something but don't know what. restlessness.

on the subject of Urbana. i know i'm not too old to go. i also know that God hasn't called me to do missionary work at this stage of my life. things keep falling into place at work. if I was being called to do something else, God would've closed the doors on my current job.

Christmas. For some reason the last couple weeks when I was reflecting on the meaning of Christmas I kept thinking it was Easter. A couple nights ago after a reflection and prayer I found myself feeling a great amount of shame and guilt because my mind and wandered to the time Christ originally died for me. When I finished praying I was in tears, and then I shook it off realizing it wasn't even Easter time. Isn't that weird? Christmas time is a joyous occasion, and here I was thinking about the death rather than the birth. It must be the ADD...

December 15, 2003

re: baptism

I was just going to put this in the comments but it was getting too long.

The point I'm trying to make is that I believe it *is* black & white. In the Bible God commands us to be baptised as Christians. Just like we're commanded to love one another, worship Him, and spread His Word.

But I agree that one's own reason for getting baptised should be genuine and valued. When I got baptised, I did it because I felt it was the right thing to do. I knew that I believed and felt the next logical step was to get baptised. To me it is black & white, so as soon as my church felt I was old enough to get baptised, I did it. When my brother was contemplating his baptism, my parents urged him to do it. "Just do it. It doesn't matter whether or not you think you're ready." I was shocked by this response.

Although he and I are really close, we rarely discuss theology. I honestly didn't know if he had truly accepted Christ or if he was just going through the motions. I guess mom/dad know best.

December 14, 2003

Debut

Today I debuted in the t3c choir. People said we were good, although I swear some of the guys beside me were off, singing the wrong notes just like in practice. But there were so many of us, people probably couldn't tell. It was fun though, and the song was super easy. There were 6 baptismals (praise God almighty!). I know I've gone over this before about baptismals but I just thought of a really good analogy for baptisms and why people should get baptized. I believe strongly that once you have accepted Christ you should get baptized.

Think of a couple who moves in together but don't plan on getting married. There has to be some kind of conflict or problem that one or both of these two people have with eachother. It's like they're testing first to see if they can stand to be with one another. This to me is very similar to a Christian who doesn't get baptised. It's as if they accept Jesus, and but there's something wrong and they don't feel like they want to make the commitment. Maybe they're afraid, or waiting it out to just see whether this christianity thing "works out" for them. I dunno.

...

Right after church I headed home and then to the ACC with kenric. To make this story short, the Raptors played a very bad game, and the officiating was even worse. We lost the game, and our string of 'Raptors always win when we go to their games' was snapped. However, our string of 'Raptors always win when we get beer at halftime' is still intact. I didn't feel like drinking today, as it was an afternoon game, on a Sunday. Also our 'Raptors always win when we sit the Sprite Zone' record still lives..

I must sound the like a big geek. I'll stop now on sports.

...

Finally mr.loquacious returns with something for us to think about:

Why are sweet potato pie's called "sweet potato pies", and not "yam pies"? Aren't sweet potatos, the same thing as yams? And why is it that "sweet potato pie" sounds so much more delicious that "yam pies"? And get this, my brother (who likes sweets like me) likes potatoes, but not yams. Potatoes have no taste at all, and yams have the sweetie goodness (and softness when baked correctly). This boggles the mind!

CNN.com - U.S.: 'We got him' - Dec. 14, 2003

CNN.com - U.S.: 'We got him' - Dec. 14, 2003

Wow!

December 13, 2003

tired and full

last night i was up really late. after worship at church (whereupon i arrived late, by almost 30 mins) we went to congee wong's at first markham place. then afterwards i met up with some friends at the ten ren's downstairs. i made the mistake of picking green tea instead of black tea. (passionfruit green tea with lichee jelly) green tea is so bitter! i wondered to myself whether the girls working there would start to recognize me. i go there way too often..

i'm really tired right now. getting ready to sleep. and i'm full, for a change as well. in total this week i had 2.5 dinners. more like 2.1. yesterday at congee wong's i was planning to have some dinner, but they put an egg right in the middle of it, raw. luckily i was able to have one bowl of non-egg-ed congee, although it may have had a bit because i had minor pains afterwards and completely lost my appetite.

anyway back to the dinner tonight i had some leftovers from last night that the group was kind enugh to let me have, and dumplings. still, i've only eaten on average 1 meal per day all week long.. not good

i can see that i'm rambling now. hopefully no one read this one. haha.

December 11, 2003

Today at work, my boss expressed his disappointment that i was only able to get a 6 month extension from the City, and then he told me he pulling for trying to have me converted to a full-timer. Imagine me, a lifer with the City! Crazy!

When I see God's wonderous works in my life, it is simply amazing. I can't express in words how thankful I am for the way He's blessed me time and time again. A year ago when God gave me this job I told Him that I would whole heartedly commit myself to His will and follow His plan for me. Each time it was near the end of my contract, I never once worried that it might not be extended, or even if it wasn't going to be extended, I did not waver.

I think in my heart I've fully put my life into His hands and allowed Him to do His works to the point where I no longer feel like it's something I need to worry about anymore. My faith has grown and I know that He will open the doors that need to be opened, and close the doors that need to be closed. I think that this approach to life has brought me a lot of peace and joy.

People always ask me where I see myself in 3-5 years. I never really know what to tell them. Before, I had no answer because I just have no real sense of ambition. I've never set career goals like what kind of company I'd like to work at, what kind of hours I'll be working, how many letters come after my name, etc, etc.. All that stuff has never really mattered to me. But I think that at this point in my life it's not just a matter of not having vision or ambition, but more a matter of just not caring about stuff like that because I know in my heart that it's not important.

I know people will say that I can only think this way because I've been so blessed and if I were suffering like many of my friends are right now, I'd be saying different things. Maybe they're right, maybe if God takes everything away I'll be less faithful, more demanding and bitter. Maybe. Hopefully not.
i feel like i want to go see the movie again. it was that good. yesterday i tried to convince my friend it was an awful movie, just to see what happens to a person who goes in with low expectations. because i went with high expectations and was absolutely blown away. he didn't believe me though, and eventually i caved in anyway.

i'm really happy to have found K's blog. she's so wacKy. i remember i used to read her old page and it would cracK me up every time.

in 8 days i'll be going to Las Vegas to see my family again. i'm getting excited now. i can't wait to see my brother again, i miss him so much! i keep thinking he will be a different person now, all grown up like. i haven't seen him since July. It's been over 5 months, definitely the longest time we've ever been apart. i'm also excited to see my parents' new digs, it's supposed to be quite a house.. bigger than the one we have here. and i'll get to try driving stick on my dad's matrix -- that should also be fun. best of all, the average temperature there is 15 C during the day! whoop whoop whoop!

December 10, 2003

"epic"

Last night I went to see The Last Samurai with nathan, drew, kenric and sam. My favorite type of movies are those that are of "epic" proportions.

The Last Samurai was such a movie.

The Last Samurai was easily the best movie I have seen since Gladiator. The story was amazing, heroic, riveting even. The geographical scenes were beautiful, the acting was solid, and I have to say that I was at the edge of my seat through the whole movie. The protagonist went through a life-changing experience.

To sum it up, the directors/actors of this movie (set in Japan) took the best out of movies like Braveheart, Gladiator and Dances with Wolves and created a masterpiece!

Go watch it!

December 09, 2003

contract extended!

Today I finally got news of my contract extension. For those of you who missed it, on November 26 2003, my contract with the City of Toronto concluded. However, my supervisor had already put in a request to have me extended another year, so HR granted me a 3 week temporary extension while we waited for the paperwork to be cleared. This 3 week period ended today.

Because of the City's hiring freeze the request took longer than expected, and there was worries that it might not work out because of budgeting and political reasons. But today I contacted HR and after a few hours of deliberation, they've officially extended me until the end of June 30, 2004.

Congratulations, eBrian!

During this time of contemplating my future I've thought a lot about why/why not, why would I be extended and why wouldn't I be. The bottom line is, whether or not I was or wasn't was part of God's will for me. His plan, for now, is for me to stay with the City.

God is good? All the time.
All the time? God is good.

song

i heard this song on the radio and then saw the video on muchmusic. it's called Stacey's Mom. the tune is really catchy, and the words are absolutely hilarious.. check it out if you get a chance. it's about some kid who has a crush on his classmate's mom!

i've decided that i want to organize some kind of weekly or bi-weekly downtown lunch, for people in all our small groups. i think it would be really great, to have such a gathering. in Ottawa my friends and I would meet every week on a friday and go out for lunch and just fellowship. until now i hadn't realized that quite a few of us work downtown.

why, just the other day i ran into Zee, and i know that anita and eric both work downtown. That's already 4 of us.

today i chatted briefly with my dad and grandmother on yahoo. the first thing she uttered to me was whether i had a girlfriend yet. boo. me not like that..

December 07, 2003

today

i believe i've finally lost my mind today. yesterday, i spotted a bill i need to pay that was due today, and i made a mental note to pay it today. after 2 hours of searching, i cannot find this bill. is it possible i'm mixing reality with my dreams?

December 06, 2003

although i did basically nothing today, i'm so exhausted. bruce says it's because i'm getting old.

this morning i woke up at 7:50am, then again at 9:30am. i played computer, as usual, then at around 11:30ish i got ready and went to pick up Bruce from his place. we had lunch together at Asian Legend restaurant. it was yum-yum :) on the drive back to my place, i had to turn right, and there were a lot of cars, and no one was letting me in, until finally someone let me through. it was Karen! i waved hello to her, and she waved back!

the rest of the day was spent playing all my gamecube games, some more diablo, and just chatting. Bruce has changed a lot and seems to have learned a lot from his experiences of being unemployed, in a manner of speaking. as a graduate of comp. eng, driving a school bus for a living must be such a humbling experience, yet he does it, and serves food on weekends. i felt very humbled, almost ashamed while we talked, since i was living in such luxury. he described his bedroom, it was like the size of my bathroom :(

i know that i shouldn't feel sorry for God's blessings, but sometimes i feel almost embarrassed when i invite people over because of what i have. a lot of time jokingly i complain about little petty things, maybe to get a laugh or just cuz i feel like it. i really take things for granted and only really notice them when people point out to me that i'm so "lucky".

my cousin (roastduck) gave me some advice today. he said that rather than trying to change/improve myself in order to impress another person, i should only be worried about changing myself in order to impress God.
i hate that i'm such a procrastinator. people ask me, how's work going? I tell them, same old. the fact of the matter is, i have a ton of stuff due next friday, and i'm only a 3rd of the way finished. it's this crazy, live by the moment or die trying attitude that i have when it comes to getting things done. as if to think i'm actually going turn in quality stuff at the last minute. I'm not even a good finisher, or let's just say i'm not the type who "steps up" under pressure.

so to tell people i'm not really busy at work isn't true, i'm not busy because i choose to be *EXTREMELY* busy next week. so for those i've told that work has been uneventful, i'm sorry but i lied through my teeth.

i met up with gladys for lunch, we ate in the food court. everyone pray that she does well on her exam, she's got an exam tomorrow (err.. today). i'm still pretty confused about the whole thing but it's like her first of a bunch of exams for her CA. i wish you the best gladys!

i've got this friend named "xing", but we call him Bruce because okay, let me start from the beginning. at Mac, in my first and second years I lived in Edwards Hall. Now Edwards Hall was the only all-guys dorm. but wait, there's more. this building was the oldest building on campus. apparently it came with a lot of tradition, and with it, a history of insane, brutal hazing, and a naming ceremony. anyway, when were there the hazing was gone but the naming was still there.

basically as frosh we lined up and one by one, blindfolded and brought into a room. when the blindfold was removed, i found myself sitting on a chair, surrounded by about 12 huge guys, all formed or current Edwards "elders". they gave me a book to sign, which is on display at parliament (or so they said). they looked at me, then they huddled up, and then one guy (who's name was "Stick"), turned to me and said: From now on, you will be known as Long Duck. (the whole time I kept thinking they were going to gang up and beat the crap outta me, so i just said "ok")

anyway, back to the story, my friend Xing was named "They Call Me Bruce", or TCMB for short. Thus his name became Bruce. The funny thing is, his name isn't Bruce, but to this day everyone calls him that, even non-Edwards people.

right so tomorrow (today) i'm gonna be hanging out with him. without Bruce, i might still be in first year engineering.. he really helped me out a lot that year.

my back pains are still there. before i got them just when sitting in front of a computer, but now i get them non-stop, lying down, standing, walking. and they're not only backpains now but also pulsating sudden sheer flashes of pain up the front of my chest as well. i'm not sure what it is exactly, but goodness gracious does it ever hurt!

December 05, 2003

1:06am

at 10pm, i felt really tired and went back to my computer to check email. at 11:30pm, I finally went to bed. Yet, it's 1:06am and I'm wide awake. I was lying in bed, tossing and turning, unable to figure out why i couldn't sleep, so went back and turned my computer back on and here i am blogging again. tick tock..

1:08am

my back hurts. i think it's from the way i sit/sleep on the subway. i finally found a way that i can sleep without working that my body will fall over the person beside me. (i can't think of anything more humiliating and embarrassing, on a subway, than falling over someone while sleeping). i've had people push me back, or even wake me and tell me to stop. that's worst.. anyway, now i just bend forward and my head droops down to my knees. but because of the way my back arches, well i guess i'm straining it. anyway, my back hurts now.

1:17am

i'm gonna try sleeping again. good nite all.

December 04, 2003

today's PDL entry was textbook, trusting in God even during the tough times, and praising Him always, even when you are down. although it sounds hard to praise God when you feel like He's turned against you, to me it isn't hard at all. maybe the worst i've been in to end up praying pleading/questioning why it was happening to me, but i don't think i've been to point where i would stop giving Him praise!

after work today at 4pm, we had our Christmas party. it was good fun! I had a beer and some pretty good wings, enough for dinner which is what I was aiming for. I played a few games of pool, foosball, and hockey (no, not real hockey -- bubble hockey). my old boss who had left in September to get his MPA came back to visit us. it was great seeing him!

my current supervisor begged me to stay, because it was only 7:30 when i left. he told me that all the single ladies come out on thursdays, and i, a single guy, should capitalize on this. he pointed out it's not like my dad is at home waiting for me.

i don't know what's more pathetic, the fact that i was rushing home to watch Friends and Survivor, or that i actually considered his offer... LOL
i'm feeling much better today. healthwise i believe i'm back to my regular tip-top shape.

my grandfather doesn't remember anything from the last 2 weeks. remember, he had the stroke a week ago. so basically all the memory from the time he flew to Nevada is gone. when my mom told him he had a stroke, he was like: "WHAT?!"! Apparently he dreamed that he had been kidnapped, and was all tied up next to a tombstone or something.. pretty weird..

i've been thinking a lot about christian music (and all other music), on how it affects me on both a spiritual and emotional level. many times even just the music and not the words move me, which i guess is wrong, because only the Spirit should be moving me in those ways, and for that to happen, i should be focusing on the lyrics more than the tune itself. it's almost as if i should try to stray away from good sounding music, and just stick with hymns instead. to quote PDL:

"Real worship happens when your spirit responds to God, not to some musical tone. In fact, some sentimental, introspective songs hinder worship because they take the spotlight off God and focus on your feelings."

It goes on to describe 9 different ways that people draw near to God, taken from a book called Sacred Pathways (darn, i can't remember the html for lists):

(1) Naturalists, who are most inspired to love God out doors
(2) Sensates, who love God with their senses, and appreciate beautiful worship services that involve all 5 sense
(3) Traditionalists, draw closer to God through liturgies, rituals
(4) Ascetics, prefer to love God in solitude, simplicity
(5) Activists, who love God through confronting evil, battling injustice
(6) Caregivers, who love God by loving others and meeting their needs
(7) Enthusiasts, love God through celebration
(8) Contemplatives, love God through adoration
(9) Intellectuals, love God by studying with their minds

I think I'm I bit of all of them, definitely not 3 or 5 though.

..

tonight Kenric's mom went out somewhere so he was home alone. i invited him over so we could watch the game together. he brought his own food.. i don't think i'm good enough to start cooking for others yet. i think my cooking is strictly in the "experimental" stages (although i must confess last batch was DAMN good). Anyway, Raptors won, 105-95.

i was really hoping that once my grandparents moved down to the States with the rest of my family that I'd be able to have more get-togethers at my place, what with all the space. hopefully i'll get a chance to do this, maybe next year since everyone is so busy around this time of year. i am leaving, on the 19th to visit my family. i'll be back on 1st of January.

my only regret of my trip is that small group kinda just started and I'll miss a few meetings. i think the beginnings are so important in terms of the friendship and bonding, and i'll miss out on that. :( also i believe x-gen is having a Christmas dinner, which I'll miss as well. on the bright side, i'll have home cooking for a full two weeks.

December 02, 2003

i ate absolutely nothing today. not a bite. i'm starving and yet, i think it's for the best after last nights washroom escapades. i think i've said enough!

in my small group we are focusing on worship. not just your average sunday worship but everyday worship. it's perfect right now because PDL is covering exactly that, worshipping God. In fact, the first purpose they outline of our lives is to worship God. God put us here, so that we could worship Him.

i've been reading PDL every morning on the subway, and as a result I no longer read the "Metro", the free paper the Toronto Star puts out for ttc riders. because of this, and the fact that i've back on the Diablo 2 bandwagon, I have no idea what's happening in the world outside. The other day, at the Anita/Carrie dinner, they brought up the story of two teens who beat up and killed a younger boy, and apparently one of the older kids was related to the younger kid. I didn't even know what they were talking about!

Is it important as Christians to know what's going on around us? News like this is so depressing.. I'd much prefer to turn a blind eye at all the craziness and just bury my head in Big Guy's book. Is this right?

I saw Master and Commander today. I was expecting too much of this movie because I like Russell Crowe. It was a good movie, but not quite the "epic adventure" i was hoping for, a la Gladiator/Braveheart type of thing. Hopefully Last Samurai will be better. I miss big movies like that..

all my paragraphs have started with "i". but not anymore!

December 01, 2003

quick!

some quick update tidbits for the weekend:

Friday night

i went to Hosanna Free Evangelical church to visit my friend Alfred, who had been to Kazakhstan on a missions trip for the last year. It was very uplifting and seeing the ways in which he has changed from his mission, and the way God has moved him and all that, was great! Alf got choked up (i've never seen this before, or thought that it was even possible) at one point when he talked about how a girl broke down at an evangelical meeting and accepted Christ.

matt mark was there as well, and i met lydia for the first time. they came really late, like near the end of the alf's sharing!! afterwards we went out to various fast foods places. we were shut down a couple times before we found a burger king. i think i got sick from doing this. it was cold and raining.

Saturday

I learned that my grandfather had fully recovered. Isn't this interesting: people say that when you're in turmoil you pray to God, while when you're happy, you forget all about Him. I didn't even blog it when I found out grampa was okay.

i slept for most of the day, felt a bit sick from the night before.

went to Jack Astor's to celebrate Carrie's belated birthday, as well as Anita finding a new job. the food there was really good -- i hadn't eaten all day, so i had a huge rib dinner. after dinner was glow-in-the-dark putting, but i went home because i wasn't feeling so good.

when i got home, i got sick real bad. seems my stomach wasn't as happy about the food as i thought..

Sunday

i woke up at 8:30am, but felt horrible, so i went back to sleep. i knew i had to get to church because i had to pick up notes from Gladys for the small group I missed (by going to Alf's sharing). also i had to pick up Raptor tickets from Kenric, to sell to my co-worker because he doesn't want them.

got up again at 10:30am, went to church, picked up the tickets, but Gladys was gone already. went back home. i feel bad because i signed up for choir at t3c, but i've only been to 1 practice in the last 3 weeks now.

i was planning to make congee, but i never got around to doing it. had regular dinner instead, stomach hurt all night though.

Today

Officially, I'm sick. I'm at work, typing out this blog which I know is really bad, but pooh. My cold is at that point where it will either get better or get TONS worse. I just need to take care of myself tonight..

November 29, 2003

Another update on my grandfather.

He is talking, quite a lot now, but it appears his mind isn't quite caught up yet. God, please bless him through these tough times, and help him to find peace in his heart.

Grandfather's mind is basically gone. At times, he is perfectly normal, but at other times, he is all over the board. My mom said that he woke up one point and tried to "escape". He came up this conspiracy theory of how the japanese had tricked us all and were poisoning the food, and that is why this was happening. He kept trying to get out of his bed and make a run for it, but of course they wouldn't let him since he's connected to all kinds of tubes. He started to yell out, try to warn my mom of the danger. Eventually the nurses had to strap him down.

Grampa served in the army as all kids had to go through it, but when the war came they fled to Taiwan. The stories I've heard from my parents, about what the Japanese people did to the Chinese, are far more horrific than anything I've seen or heard about in the holocaust. I guess during that time Grampa must have had many vivid memories, and lost many friends. I really never thought much about this until just now.

However, the mind is "out there" somewhere and I pray that it comes back to us. Grampa always had important advice to dish out, both to me, and my parents. He didn't say much but when he did, it was either very funny (like to tell us he had farted) or something very sensible or appropriate for that particular time.

I guess in one sense it's encouraging, that the strength in his arms and legs have returned.

November 28, 2003

I have some good news on my grandfather.

Praise God! He was able to communicate yesterday, mumbling that he had to go to the bathroom to the nurse and then to my mother. My mom was overjoyed! His speech is slurred, but it's better than nothing! Thanks for your prayers!

They did the MRI already and are trying to determine what caused this, and whether or not it was even a stroke. He is staying in the hospital for the next few days while they perform tests and analysis'. Gramma is doing fine; at first she, being very strong-willed and stubborn thought Grampa was just being silly and was yelling at him, but when the paramedics arrived, she became very quiet and probably finally realized how serious this was. She was bedside with him from Wednesday night until yesterday evening, constanty speaking to him, trying to make him respond.

My mom told her that my brother and I were praying for him. I hope that some good will come of this tragic event.

Death must be so scary for people who think that once you die, there is nothing left.

November 27, 2003

I now have more information on my grandfather.

He is currently at the hospital and they are keeping him there for examinations and testing. He can move his hands, but he doesn't have the motor skills to be able to do anything with them. He can also move his legs, but doesn't have enough to be able to walk. He cannot speak. By brother said that when they try to speak to him, he just nods showing he can hear them, but when they wrote something to him in Chinese, it seemed like he didn't understand any of it.

They may put him through an MRI, because they are unsure if it is indeed a stroke. They performed 2 catscans, but were unable to find any symptoms of Stroke.

A few weeks ago he went in to check his prostate and they didn't find cancer. However, because of his prostate problems, they attempted to insert a tube in there to get the liquids out, but for some reason they couldn't insert it properly and he ended up just bleeding a lot.

My grandfather accepted Christ many years ago so on that note, praise God. My grandmother however never accepted. Thank you for your prayers, and please continue to pray, for my parents who stayed at the hospital with him overnight, my grandmother who must going through a nightmare right now, and of course for my grandfather.

November 26, 2003

Please pray for my grandfather.

I don't know how many people read this site, but those of you who do, please pray for my grandfather. He had a stroke tonight, and he is not doing well. He cannot walk, talk, possibly even hear. Thank God that it happened in the safe care of my parents. They took him to the hospital about 30 minutes ago.

Please pray for his health and that he doesn't suffer pain. Also pray for my grandmother. They are 85 and 84.

November 24, 2003

Today's devotion made the distinction between worshipping God for ourselves, and worshipping God for Him. I can't count the number of times I have come out of Sunday service, disappointed with the song selection or sheer "butchering" of certain songs. But after reading today's devotion, Day 8 of PDL, I realize how foolish my thoughts have been. We sing and we pray and we read, all for God. And to say that someone did it poorly is really not my call. God appreciates all forms of worship, regardless of its quality.

I guess in a sense when a song is butchered, I'm more disappointed because it isn't pleasing to my ears, and thus feel almost angered that a good sounding song was ruined. But in God's eyes, it's the effort and hard work that goes behind preparing, and playing/singing that song. All notes and tones uttered by His creations towards Him are awesome to Him.

Still.. sometimes it's like they didn't even practice the song..

November 21, 2003

I am making good progress with my devotions now, at the expense of not knowing what's going on in the world. I have been skipping out on reading the free Metro in the mornings to read my devotions on the subway before I go to work. This gives me a good 10 minutes to read it, spend another 10 minutes in prayer, and then depending on the speed of the train, another 20 minutes of napping. It's nice to be able to reflect. Sometimes it works out right so that I finish my prayer at around Rosedale, and sun shines on me as I open my eyes.

Today I spent the day at City Hall. I'm not sure why but my boss asked me to come to City Hall to work. They had a workstation set up for me to work there. I will be going there once or twice a week from now on. Anyway the reason they had this idea for me to go there is because I managed to crash the server while testing, and since I couldn't recreate that instance again, they want to keep a closer eye to my testing. The server is at City Hall, or, the guy doing deploying to the server works there.

Today's devotion talked about how this life is temporary. I knew all this but it really got me thinking about prioritizing things in my life. How I'm always laid back, and maybe this isn't the most ideal image I should be showing others, especially to my non-christian friends. On the one hand, I always felt that by not being worried or stressed, it shows the trust I have in God and the faith that I'll always be alright, no matter how bad things look. But on the other hand, it shows laziness and sort of a non-chalent 'who cares' attitude. Sure, the things that I come across in life are temporary and meaningless, but my actions will carry on to eternity. I should try to make the most of what I do, rather than just laying back and letting God do what He does.

~~

I've been giving some thought about this blog thing, what I can do with it, and whether or not it's worthwhile doing it. Maybe it's a complete waste of time. I was reading a friends' blog, and she was talking about "clicking". Of course as it turns out she was talking about relationships, and how a guy and a girl need to "click" for them to be right for eachother, and what her definition of "clicking" was. But before I read all that I thought the topic was about "clicking" in the sense that people are just a "click" away from eachother. Sometimes I feel like, I don't need to spend any time talking with a person, because I already know what's going on with them from reading their blog.

In that sense, this lifestyle of "clicking" is bad because it spreads us further apart. It's like the anti-fellowship.

Even when you think about it this way. When you see a long, long blog entry, do you just ignore it, or just scan through it because you don't want to waste your time? If that's the case, then it's almost as if, if I had approached you to talk to you about this, you would have shut me down, as if you didn't have time to hear what I had to say. I know for me, when I see a long blog entry, I skip over it too. I'll read the comments other people left them, to see if the entry was important or not.

This entry is fairly long. Let's see how many people actually read it and leave a comment.

November 19, 2003

A CORK radio station was running a competition - words that weren't in the dictionary yet could still be used in a sentence that would make logical sense. The prize was a trip to Bali.

DJ: "96FM here, what's your name?"
Caller: "Hi, my name's Dave."
DJ: "Dave, what's your word?"
Caller: "Goan... spelt G-O-A-N, pronounced 'go-an'."
DJ: "Hmm... You are correct, Dave, 'goan' is not in the dictionary. Now, for a trip to Bali: What sentence can you use that word in that would make sense?"
Caller: "Goan f**k yourself!"

The DJ cut the caller short and took other calls, all unsuccessful until:

DJ: "96FM, what's your name?"
Caller: "Hi, my name's Jeff."
DJ: "Jeff, what's your word?"
Caller: "Smee... spelt S-M-E-E, pronounced 'smee'."
DJ: "... You are correct Jeff, 'smee' is not in the dictionary. Now, for a trip to Bali: What sentence can you use that word in that would make sense?"

Caller: "Smee again! Goan f**k yourself!"
i find it odd reading my brother's blog. i never really noticed before but he's grown up a lot. i don't know if he's been that way all along, or that he's just started trusting in God a lot more since my family moved down to the States. Regardless, i'm thankful for that.

yesterday i joined the choir. as previously mentioned, i've not been part of a choir in about 7-8 years, and it's kind of daunting, my inability to read music. also of note, i've moved from singing bass to tenor. how could my voice be getting higher?

i'm going to my final wedding of the year this weekend. Stephen Tu and Laura Fung. I've known Stephen since around grade 10, but really got to know him through church as he came to accept Christ. he was the one who got me interested in the world of fantasy sports. since then he has grown so much in Christ, realizing his true calling in becoming as pastor. It's a great feeling i get whenever i look at the way God has molded many of my friends to turn towards Him and serve Him full time.

After about 2nd year when Steve stopped playing fantasy football, I lost touch with him. Probably my longest conversation with him since then was at Hypefest, a camping trip that my old church had amongst their college group, 3 years ago.

Laura, I have spoken to even less. I've known her since around grade 5ish, also through church. I remember she was the lone girl in sunday school for about 2-3 years. She attended the older groups' sunday school, which resulted her in getting teased a lot, because they were all boys. Despite us being the same age I attended the younger groups. My dad was teaching sunday school then; i didn't want to be taught by him so i purpose held myself back.. hehe

I had a crush on Laura in grade 10, she was just so very smart in our Electronics class. Of course, as a highschooler i had a new crush every other week. The last time I spoke to Laura was a few months ago when i happened to see her on the way from st. andrew station to Metro Hall. She was headed to school.

We used to tease Laura's little brother Howard. I'm not sure why though.. kids can be so cruel. I think it was the older kids, who used to tease Laura, they started picking on Howard, and I just followed along because I thought it was cool. Heck, I went along with anything as long as they weren't teasing me!

Oh yeah, both Laura and Stephen and I attended the same highschool. Earl Haig Secondary School.. arguably the best highschool in Toronto, if not Canada during those days.

the reason i mention all this is because my brother has grown up a lot as I was saying, and he reminds me a lot of Stephen back in those days. both were/are extremely intelligent, both have an excellent command of the english language both in speaking and writing, both began to truly grasp how much God loves them at around the same age. both are into sports, and both have had a number of girlfriends "so far".

It's interesting, thats all.

November 18, 2003

subways are down.. i can't get to the downtown area.. i can't get to work.. meeting this morning.. doh!

must .. find .. a way...

oh yeah, i'm going to join the english congregation choir. man i haven't been in a choir since highschool days, or even read music since then. i think it'll be fun!
yikes! i just realized that pocky thing was the first pink i've ever had on the site! ewww!!

The Purpose Driven Life has started up again, after some encouragement from my new small group, and the realization of how little discipline exists in my life. I am so reckless.. so disorganized.. well it's time to change that!

Day 3 talked about what drives my life, whether it is shame, or guilt, parents, gadgets, or God. God does drive most of my life, but there are still some loose ends here and there that I need to work on. I am lazy. I think it dates back to highschool when laziness was cool, so in turn I was lazy, and now I'm still lazy because I have enjoyed that lifestyle.

After 4th year one of my friends (drunk) made a speech at his birthday, and he went around the table thanking each person individually for how they impacted his life. When he came to me he mentioned something about movies (I downloaded a lot of movies in school) and he said that I taught him the true definition of being laidback and carefree.. Haha..

Everyone sees me as a laid back and happy type of person, a person without a care in the world. But deep inside, there's a lot of turmoil going on in Big B's little head (and heart).

Day 3 also talked about how we need to not worry about things that aren't important, and by reading this book we'll learn how to select what's important and what isn't, which will help to focus my life towards God's Purpose.

Wellz.. I gotta pay some bills before I go to work. ttyl!

November 13, 2003

interesting facts

In Toronto, the Number of Children at Home by Age 25 years and more, is 16.2%. This means 16.2% of the people still living with their parents, 16.2% are 25+. For my ward (23), the number rises to 17.7%, and in Scarborough, it's around 22%!

This means that one in 5 or 6 households they have full grown adult children still living with their parents!

Well, the fact is just about everyone I know at my age still lives with their parents and it shouldn't be that big of a surprise. Technically -- even I live "at home". The difference being that it was my parents who moved out, not me.

My mom is in town until Friday night, whereupon she'll fly back to Nevada, taking my grandparents with her.

I'll have the place all to myself, finally. Mixed emotions for this "momentus" occasion. The average non-christian would only dream of such an occasion, of having a massive condominium all to themselves, throwing wild parties and what not. But for me, this is place is far too large. Half of it I will never use.

Our Genesis fellowship at church booted us out because were too old, and we've started new small groups to get things going again. This time last week I had no idea which one to join, but upon reflecting and praying and talking to others, I am leaning towards taking the Worship one, which covers a book that studies how to worship God in our every day lives. The other choice would have been to join the small group that is covering the book I'm already reading, Purpose Driven Life.

Wow.. what a change in topic..

November 11, 2003

big surprise

My Rogers Cable tv -- is down again! Gosh, what a surprise! It doesn't get any better than this!

November 06, 2003

short!

Max Payne 2 seems awfully short. I played another 2 hours today and found myself in Part 3. I'm operating at about 85% now though, so that might have something to do with the speed at which I am playing it.

Yesterday morning, my grandmother barged into my bedroom to wake me up to go and pick up my mom from the airport, who was arriving last night. Boy was she embarrassed when I told her the ETA. Later on we talked and agreed they didn't have to come along to pick her up, since it was after dinner and they sleep pretty early.

When I got home from work, gramma didn't cook, saying we should go out to eat and then go pick my mom up. The flight arrives at 7:15pm, so I told her since they eat at 6pm, they should just eat now, and then we can go together, if they want to. Funny lady, Gramma stalled 30 minutes, and then came up to me told me it was too late to cook so we had to go out to eat!

I was cleaning the house of course, this whole time. The kitchen was a mess. It looks like someone spilled pudding, and instead of wiping it up, they just walked on it and smeared it all over the kitchen floor. Yeah I know, I should have noticed this earlier, but I've been avoiding the kitchen the last week or so because their rice and food stinks so bad.

Anyway, I told her to better start cooking or grampa will start complaining that he's hungry. So reluctantly she went to cook, fuming.

Grampa didn't want to go to the airport, he told me that. But 5 minutes later he came back all dressed up to go. He told me gramma wants to go and wants him to go too.

Gosh sometimes I think she is the meanest person in the world to grampa. Here he is, with a two bum knees, a person who takes 10 steps and has to sit down because of the pain, and his wife is dragging him out to a place he doesn't want to go. And this happens all the time! Everyday in fact, he gets dragged outside because she wants to have lunch outside, and to have her lobster.

Insanity I tell you. Insanity. Maybe it's to do with the women inequality. All those years of him leading the family and making all the decisions, and how that he's become more helpless, she takes over, making him pay for all those years.

Anyway, we went, and then afterwards we went back home, dropped them off, and mom and I went to have some dinner.

November 05, 2003

upgrade!

This week I upgraded my computer up to a 2.6 GHz P4. It's nice.. but there's still a ton of problems with it. I think there's an issue with my video card which I can't figure out, but I'm sure it'll get done eventually.

I got my own copy of XP off of eBay. The disc looks fantastic, with cool holographic images all over it!

Also yesterday I finally bought the Coldplay CD. This is a long time coming as I'd been listening to a few of the tracks on mp3. The price was only $9.99! So you see, there is SOME good in pirating music -- it forced them to bring the prices down. It was insane at one point, spending more than $20 for CDs. What they really should do is make it so that they are $10 after tax. I would buy so many more cd's at that price.

I also got Max Payne 2. So far, I've played that game about 3 hours. Starting at 11pm last night til 2am I played, and I'm on Part 2 already. I haven't played games like this in a while and I really sucked in the beginning. I'm probably playing at about 60% efficiency of how good I was a couple years ago at these First Person Shooters. It's either that my mind is slower now and I have slow reflexes, or the computer AI is way better. I'm thinking it's a little bit of both. Seriously, sometimes when i turn a corner the enemy will get a shot off at me before i shoot. It's kind of embarrassing..

October 31, 2003

roger's cable: a true story

When I moved into my new place in April, I had free cable. I guess they forgot to disconnect it, so I was getting it for free.

Several months later, I received the dreaded little red card from Roger's explaining they had cut off my cable service because I was a "new" owner of the unit. This was on October 16, 2003.

On the same day in the evening, I called Rogers to have it reconnected. They told me they would reconnect on Tuesday, October 21, 2003.

On Tuesday, I came home from work to find the cable had not been reconnected yet. I called to complain. Rogers told me their network was down and they could not contact any of their service guys to see where they were. It was 6pm, and they told me that the service people work until 8pm, so they might still be coming. I did not receive a cable connection on Tuesday at all.

On Wednesday, October 22, 2003 (6 days after I ordered cable) evening my cable was reconnected.

On Friday October 24, 2003 cable was out again. I noticed there was a message on my machine. It was fuzzy but I could make out the words "Roger's Cable". I called Roger's to complain. These people were surprised and shocked that I had been disconnected. To them, it made absolutely no sense that someone would come in and disconnect me. They were sorry and told me that they would reconnect me immediately the next morning (Saturday October 25, 2003). They told me I had to be there to get the cable, so I had to cancel my plans for the morning.

Saturday morning came and went. I called Roger's again. They told me that according to my file, someone was supposed to come on Saturday and they didn't know why no one came. They apologized for keeping me in the whole time and asked if I wanted to reschedule. The best they could give me was Thursday October 30, 2003 (14 days after I ordered cable). So I agreed.

Every day leading up to Thursday I started researching on alternatives to getting Roger's cable. Bell Expressvu, StarChoice, Look. None of these are an option for me for two reasons.

1) I'm not allowed to attach a satellite externally to my condo.
2) Even if I was, you need a balcony facing south (CN Tower).

On Wednesday while browsing through Roger's site, I came to realize a cool deal they had for digital cable. Rent a box for $8.95/month, and you still get whatever you ordered before, but then you can get extra stuff. Plus all the channels are free for 2 months as a trial period, and there's no commitment required.

I called Roger's to see if I could add this deal onto what I already had. The lady was nice, she said I could tack on the order for the digital box with (tomorrow) my current order. The difference is before I could just have the cable installed, whereas now I had to stay in so that I could answer the door and let the guy deliver the digital box.

Thursday night, the big day! 14 days after I ordered cable, it was time to get my order, plus digital too! 5-8pm, so I rushed home after work and waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Well, turns out cable was connected while I was home, but no one showed up to give me my digital box, so I had no idea cable had been hooked up. I called to complain once again. The guy checked my file, and found NO RECORD OF ME ORDERING DIGITAL CABLE! Unbelievable!

This is my account of dealing with Roger's cable. This is by no means a warning or anti-Roger's rant. After all, these bastards have a monopoly on cable, so even if you wanted to find an alternative, you can't! The friggin bastards have 100% share on cable, so they can screw around with you knowing full well you'll come back begging for more!

Even better is their lovely phone service. They put you on hold, reminding you to stay on the line because you are in a queue. 30 minutes later you hear a "click" and you've been disconnected. How wonderful! Another time I was on hold for 20 minutes, talked to a guy and give him all my information (home number, address and postal code, full name, the problem i'm having) and he tells me he's going to transfer me to someone who can help me with my problem. At this point 3 things can happen. I could be on hold another 15 minutes and then get the wonderful "click" again. OR, I get transferred to the other guy and this dude asks for my info AGAIN, and then asks me, why that other guy transferred me to him! OR, I get transferred again!

October 29, 2003

searches

funny searches yesterday that lead to this blog site..

"Internet+fragrance+mall+Honestly+yours"
"werewolf+woke+up+naked+buffy+gay"
"hands+on+a+hooker+joe+schmoe+show+pics"
"wtc+papparazi"
"joe+schmoe+finale"

To the person searching for:
"so+come+home+running+Chris+Tomlin+chords", the song's chords can be found here.

October 26, 2003

yay!

Yankees lose!

October 25, 2003

smallville

it seems like the show has changed to Wednesday at 10pm on City, instead of Tuesday's a 8pm. Weird.

Anyway, I missed an episode, last weeks, because Roger's didn't bring back my cable as promised (they brought it back a day later), then two days later, they stupidly cut it off again. What a dumb bunch of idiots.

Anyway, back to the show. Kristin Kreuk is really pretty, still.

One beef with the show I have is this. What happened to Pete? This kid gets virtually no air time, even though he knows Clark's secret and is Clark's best friend. Is this cuz he's black? That's so wrong. Meanwhile, I don't care as much as long as Lana gets more airtime.

Still, you gotta feel somewhat bad for Sam Jones III. He must've thought he was getting that "Big Break" when he signed on and read the part about being Clark's best friend and getting to be in the know of the secret powers. But he gets nothing. He more like just a recurring character on the show.

Give Pete more love guys. C'mon!

October 20, 2003

Riesen

We are having so much fun with this candy. I bought a package of it and we've been eating it. One guy won't have any, insisting it smells like shit. But it doesn't.. it's smooth chocolate, not too sweet, not too sticky like some other caramel candies.

He was saying how even if I gave some to a homeless man, he would not eat it.

Then we played with the words of course. One guy would say 'hey ebrian, give me one riesen', then i'd say 'i have no reason to give you a riesen!'. Then the guy who doesn't like them says 'even a homeless guy would have no riesen to live'. hahaa

October 17, 2003

mcdonald's

noticed someone searching my page for McDeal information. Here in Canada, here is monday to friday:

Monday - Big Extra Meal
Tuesday - Big Mac Meal
Wednesday - McChicken Meal
Thursday - Two Cheeseburgers Meal
Friday - Fillet O' Fish Meal

If you have a McDeal meal, it is $4.27. You can also just get the burger(s) for $1.39 that day. It's a good deal, in my opinion. Anytime you can fill your belly with a drink, fries and a burger all for under $5, that's a good deal.

My schedule looks like this:

Monday - Big Extra Meal
Tuesday - Big Mac Meal
Wednesday - McChicken Meal OR Manchu Wok ($5.97). I usually get the 2 items deal. Noodles, shanghai pork and either green bean beef or pepper chicken.
Thursday - Manchu Wok (5.97) or a Calzone ($4.27) from Mrs. Vanelli's
Friday - Often times Friday we go out together to eat. It could be Pho or Mamma's Pizza. Or just a random restaurant in the area. I could also have the lamb dinner or roast chicken dinner from the Friendly Greek, or a submarine from Subway. Submarines are a bit more expensive because I find that a half sub isn't enough to fill my stomach, whereas the full is too big. I can finish it, but end up feeling sleepy for the rest of the afternoon. Plus it's around $7. The Greek food is eiher $5-7, depending on which meal, or whether you get a salad or not. Or I could have another Calzone.

In a week I am spending around $25 on lunch food. I guess if made my own lunches, it would cost around $10/week. But then again, time is money and spending that extra hour on Sundays (or for some people who prepare lunch the night before) just isn't worth that $15/week, to me.

Right now I am limiting myself to spending approx. $100/week, as in that's all I take out per week. Some weeks I'll have $40 left, other weeks I'll have nothing left. So I figure as long as I limit myself to that amount, in the end I can only spend that much on average, per week. I'm spending on average about $150/month on various bills.

The other day I was calculating my expenses and realized that I'm not making much money at all. I think many people at work would be surprised I was making so little.. but then again it's only my first year of working. Then you factor in the fact that I'm living on my own but my parents paid for it, and how I really only paid 1/3 for my car. Plus most guys my age have a girlfriend, and since I don't one that saves me quite a bit too. All in all I am living a pretty good life.

Speaking of that my parents are constantly in my ear urging and guilting me into finding a girl and getting them some grandkids. Dad makes a good point that the older I get, the pool of good women gets smaller. This is a really good point. Less than a year ago my opinion on getting married was that the only point of getting married was to have children. I love children.. thus I always felt that the alternative to marriage would be adoption.

However, ever since my family moved away I have really started to cherish the times whenever I am with friends. I now value that companionship, so I think more about finding that special someone than I did before. Guy friends are one thing, but eventually that guy is going to look for a girl, and then he will have less time for me, eventually having NO time for me. Thus it brings me to my final point.

Living. Money. A job. God. I'm so close to "having it all"...

October 15, 2003

quick update

yea-yea, i've been busy ok.

i've travelled about 600 km in the last 3-4 days in my car. the agape retreat was far. but it was good. moving onto agape would be kinda scary seeing as my mom was going there just 5 months ago. but they are good people.

fantasy football has been rough.. i've gone 1-5 in the last two weeks.

after a whole week to do devotions, i'm only on day 3 of purpose driven life. i swear i'll be better! doh!

saw 'kill bill' yesterday. overly-hyped movie. is it just me or was this movie really *yawn* boring? okay, so people's limbs and heads were chopped off. so what? what about the other 1.5 hours of nothingness? qt - i'm disappointed. the toes part was funny tho.

getting fed up with my computer.. overheats all the time, especially now with heat turned on

my dad is coming back tomorrow! i'm so excited.. i miss him so much!

October 08, 2003

yesterday i read day 1 of the purpose driven life. i can't decide whether to do it in the mornings or at night. for now, i'll do it at night, but in the future (if i can ever catch up on my sleep that missed 3 weeks ago) i would like to switch it to a morning devotion.

it took me approx. 40 minutes to read, reflect, write and pray on Day 1's reading.

October 06, 2003

commitment

after a really challenging sermon this sunday, i've decided to make a commitment to making devotions part of my daily routine. i've been through this a thousand times, 'going back to daily devotions', but each time the urge has passed and dwindled.

this time, i'd like to post this up so that those of you reading can keep me accountable. i'm going to keep a written diary rather than computer, because i know from experience that i cannot keep myself from being distracted whenever i am on the computer. for now, i will read a chapter every day until i find a good devotional book. in my diary i will keep track of the chapters i read, date and time i read it, my thoughts on the scripture and also record what i feel is my level of spirituality at that time.

i think this is a step in the right direction. throughout my bad and good times, my faith in God has remained very strong. it's time i made a commitment towards not only having a strong faith, but also a great personal relationship with Him.

October 04, 2003

raptors

tonight we had a draft for raptors tickets. 9 teams drafted for season tickets (a pair). monchichi and i are sharing, and we got the lakers, 76ers, celtics, heat, and chicago (preseason). we were forced to take a preseason ticket because we got one of the top 4 picks. we got 2nd.

i'm excited.. i really like the Lakers this year, even if Kobe ends up in jail (more on this later), they still have Malone, Payton and Shaq. It's a stacked team and should be able to compete with teams like the Spurs or Kings, who are stacked as well. 76ers, another player I've always wanted to see is Alan Iversion. He plays with so much heart and desire. Sure he jacks up 30 shots per game, but it's the valiant effort that I admire. We got Celts too, Paul Pierce -- all heart and soul.

The Heat's rookie Dwyane Wade is my pick this year for rookie of the year. I think he'll get tons of playing time, and he's the only scorer on the team. All you need is a high scoring average to get an ROY. And yeah, it IS spelled 'Dwyane', not D'wayne like D'wayne Bates of the Minnesota Vikings..!

Finally I'm happy about the Chicago preseason game too, although I would have preferred the game against the Greek team, Chicago is Toronto's final preseason game, so I suspect we'll see maybe 1 quarter of Vince, and then a good 36 minutes of Chris Bosh.

Kobe. This is just speculation, but in my honest opinion, I think a woman gets a certain amount of unfair power in rape cases. If it's down to his word against hers, the woman almost always gets the benefit of the doubt. What if Kobe had sex with this girl, and afterwards she asked if he'd call her, and he said no way! Easily she could have been upset enough to claim rape, knowing that a guy with a high profile like Kobe (or Mike Tyson) would at the very least pay her off. Either way, she gets her revenge.

Hypothetically, any woman would have an easy time winning such a case.

The thing that has always bothered me about Mike Tyson has been that the woman called him in the middle of the night and asked him to come over to her hotel room. If anyone has seen or read about Mike Tyson, you know he's not exactly the type of guy you call over for some emotional or family crisis. This girl called him over for sex, plain and simple. Okay, so maybe he was a little rough on her? It still doesn't take away from the fact that she intended to have sex with him. That bugs me that he still gets, what, 5 years in prison?

Now if the same thing happened to Kobe, that would be a different story, because he's a nice guy who someone WOULD be call over if there was a family or emotional crisis. Also I read that this woman accusing him has mental instabilities and recently tried to commit suicide, twice. And she isn't going to be put on the stand. What's up with that? How do we know she isn't just doing this for the fame and money? A woman who is suicidal, could just be out for some attention and a big settlement.

Bah.. what bothers me most about all of this is that Kobe Bryant is my favorite basketball player. He's never said anything foolish or stupid that I've seen in his one-on-ones or post game interviews. He married his highschool sweetheart, he's brimming with talent. I know it's naive to think that this guy might be perfect and that he's probably not.. but i'm a believer.

October 03, 2003

the red team wins!

how many times did you guys get this question yesterday:

"are you voting tonight?" (I respond)
"why not?"

Why not? The simple response would be -- because Mike Harris isn't running. But that would only lead to even more questions. How about "because to me it's just red against blue."?

Regardless of which government runs the province, people are going to be unhappy. For me, every which way I will be affected both negatively and positively. I believe it's pure folly to worry about politics unless they are telling me I have to start paying to breathe, or that I can't pray in public anymore or read the Bible without paying a tax. Because outside of those things, I really could not care less. I'll take issue if my normal daily life is drastically changed, but otherwise I care as much about the Blues and the Reds (and the Oranges, Greens etc) as I do about whether or not "J Lo" is getting married again.
friendster

friendster.com was originally a place my friend told me about and I thought it was just stupid. but recently having added people to my direct friends' list, i have started to find it more interesting.

what's the point of this site? i believe the purpose is to meet people. this is a marvel of an idea -- meeting total strangers who just happen to know someone that you also know. cutting down the 4, 5, 6 degrees of separation down to 1-2. it's kinda neat. the coolest thing about it is clicking on one of your own friends, and then on one of their friends, and then seeing one of your own friends on a friends' friends' friends list. now THAT is cool.

blaster

damn kids..

i got hit with the blaster a few days ago. yea i know, why didn't i patch it? because i couldn't. microsoft thinks i have an invalid cdkey to my xp disc. okay, so it's true, but still, doesn't everyone? i was looking at the ms site the other day. xp pro is $600! are they our of their minds? their operating system is worth more than my computer, stereo, tv -- combined. that's ridiculous. and which of these is the least reliable? of course, the OS.
fellership

my fellowship at church is going through some drastic changes. we started out as a 19-28 age span, but this fall we are making a big change to it. the reason for the change is that many highschool graduates have had trouble transitioning into from the highschool fellowship to ours. the reason being there is a gap between the ages in the fellowship, mainly that it's a slew of people who are 23+ and then a bunch of 19-20s.

the age gap is inconvenient and not our fault; it's just that many church people that age have gone to schools outside toronto. as a result, our fellowship continues to get older, and the younger people find it less and less appealing to attend.

so, time for big changes. the fellowship "genesis" will no longer allow anyone 25+.

conveniently, we've had small groups throughout the year, and only the older groups have been attending. so we could just continue on with the groups, and just stop going to those large group activities that including the younger people.

however, we need new small group leaders.

i've been approached (albeit jokingly) to be a leader. i don't see myself as a leader. i've done leadership roles in my highschool fellowship and it just didn't really work out back then. i don't see that changing now.

i've been going to this church for just over a year now. i finally feel like a part of the "family". it's a big church, afterall. i am volunteering to be part of the welcoming committee. i couldn't do that before because i had no way of getting to church on time.

October 02, 2003

limbaugh vs. mcnabb

three points i'd like to make about this recent thing between these two people.

1) a bad team makes a bad qb look worse, and a good team can make a bad qb look better. in all cases, the team around him makes him look good or bad. take qb's like trent dilfer, troy aikmen, tom brady. these are all below average qbs who are a product of a good system, which make them look good when they really aren't that good. dilfer helped baltimore (a team known for its defense) win a superbowl. now some would say dilfer guided the team and a good solid qb. but a person in the know would realize that dilfer simply didn't make the mistakes he usually makes, and it's the defense that won them the SB. same goes for tom brady when the pats won it a couple years ago, and now clearly sucks. troy aikmen won quite a few SBs, but it a product of a good offense coupled with the one of the greatest runningbacks in the history of the sport. this "great" never threw more than 20 touchdowns in a single season.

that said, i don't consider mcnabb in this category of quarterbacks.

2) limbaugh was wrong, the media doesn't particularly want to see black quarterbacks succeed in the nfl. if that were the case, they would have made a bigger deal out of daunte culpepper last season, when he struggled mightily. aaron brooks is struggling right now, no one has said anything about him either.

3) the philadelphia eagles should have seen this coming. andy reid, and the rest of coaching staff, the gm, even the fans should have seen this coming. philly's offense is struggling and they're blaming mcnabb. hello?! mcnabb is all they have on their offense. you got last years' receivers, james thrash and todd pinkston -- neither of these two would be a wr3 in most teams. you got duce staley, who has had a decent career due to a good offensive line. chad lewis, one of the oldest tight ends in the league. realizing that you have an overachieving offense last season all in part due to your quarterback, and not signing anyone of any significance in the offseason -- THIS is why donovan mcnabb has struggled this year.

October 01, 2003

happy birthday!
today my lil bro turns 16. wow! happy birthday!

i suggest going for that driver's license and not holding off like i did. driving, to me, is a necessity but i still think it's overrated (just ask danny heatley and his pal dan snyder). but getting that insurance going early on will do wonders for you later on in life.

when i turned 16, dad took the day off to be with me. we were gonna see "virtuosity" the movie with denzel washington and russell crowe. when the time came i asked dad when we were gonna see it, and he told me, right after i mowed the lawn. what a great birthday that was! mom bought me the forrest gump soundtrack that year for my birthday.

September 30, 2003

useless information

Where does the egg come from on a chicken? Where does it 'come out' ? Ever thought about that?

I looked this question up on the internet and found answers like:

"it comes from its mouth"
"from its rear end"
"from its love hole" <-- love hole? LOL

The hen -- in fact -- has only ONE hole. It poos and lays eggs, from the SAME HOLE!

See here for a cool cross-section!
asbntr

gone. gone? gone. where'd it go? i wish i knew. :(

so long, alt.sports.basketball.nba.tor-raptors, it was nice knowing you.

:(
it's that time of year again. you can see it in peoples' faces on the subway, the gloomy eyes, the frowns. the bags building up under peoples' eyes. the weather is getting cold, people start remembering what their new years' resolutions were and how far away they are from completing them. it's Q3 for many them, big deadlines coming up. most people have used up their vacations already. some people realizing their lives aren't at the stage they expected to be.

there i was last night, lying on my couch, tired as hell but wired from coffee. i gave up on coffee months ago, but my boss bought be a cup today and so i drank it. coffee takes about 8 hours to kick in for me. dunno why. watched "fear factor". totally grossed out by the 'cave dwelling spiders', they looked more like.. i dunno what, but not like spiders!

watched "everybody loves raymond", and for the umpteenth time, wondered when they were planning to start writing *new* jokes? sipping away on my cup the precious nectar of berry fanta goodness. charlie sheen's new show "two and a half men" is a good one. that kid reminds me of my brother.

at 10:45pm, i realized that there was no chance the Bears would make a game of it. this team should never play on MNF. they are a terrible team and do not deserve to be playing in a nationally televised game. bring me the Chiefs or the Seahawks.. but the Bears? c'mon!

my clock said 11:15 am when i went to bed. startled by the stupid alarm an hour later. the clock said 7:30 am.

...another day...

September 28, 2003

goodness gracious! this stuff is awesome! it truly is the precious nectar of berry goodness!

i'm not joking people... the fanta berry flavor is amazing... i think i'm finally gonna use up that first tank of gas for my car, driving back and forth from the fanta store!
just a quick update on the fanta -- i tried the berry kind.

OMG!!!! It's unbelievably good!!
fanta

this is a marvelous drink. my romanian coworker repeatedly raved about this soft drink, to which i simply laughed and mocked him. but then after reading countless positive reviews (it was almost as if "fanta" was some kind of drink for gods) i decided to try it out.

i drove out to sheppard and pharmacy, to a store called "ABC Delicatessen", a romanian owned convenience/meats store. they had shelves and shelves of meat, and fanta. it was crazy, a huge lineup of people, all european, and i was the lone chinese fellow, standing in line amongst about 30 people, each with a slab of some sort of meat in one hand, and a bottle of fanta in the other.

it was then when i realized that fanta had some kind of weirdo cult following!

mind you, if you have tried fanta you probably had the north american kind. for some reason north american companies think that orange soda should taste like orange colored sugar water. if you've ever tried drinking crush or c'plus, you will know what i mean. it even stains your teeth like cheesies. this drink reminds me of Orangina only not bitter or tangy. also, Orangina needs to be served chilled or it tastes nasty.

european orange Fanta is by far the best orange soda i have ever tried. when i open the bottle a crack to let the gas out, it smelt like mandarin oranges. the aroma was so real!

i also bought a bought of the berry flavored fanta. i haven't tried it yet, but check to read a comment about the stuff, search for "fanta" on this page. I just love the part when they called it the "precious necktar of berry goodness".

berry goodness?

LOL

September 27, 2003

Yesterday my classmates came to Milestones downstairs for dinner, then came up to see the place. They were very impressed, and were making fun and teasing me about how huge the place is. Actually they made me feel pretty uncomfortable.. they made me feel ashamed of what I have been blessed with. I don't know if they meant to or not, but many words were hurtful to me.

I don't think of myself as "rich", just very blessed and thankful for the years of hard work my parents put into their careers just so that my brother and I could have a comfortable life.

I think it's a different kind of culture for them. These are the people who want to move out badly, not thinking really about the closeness of family and being more concerned about their own wealth and privacy. They all thought I was the luckiest man alive, whereas for me, I would trade it all for a 400 sq ft apartment if I could have you guys right down the street.

I guess they don't think about things like that because they take that for granted. Maybe they are less mature in that sense, still feeling like their parents are a burden to them, rather than realizing they are in fact the burden of their parents. It's interesting comparing these people with church people.

Church people, the instant I tell them that my family is moving to the States, they ask if my brother is going, or why I am not going with them. Whereas my classmates, instantly they ask me if I will have my own place, will I get a car, etc. I don't know if that reflects their priorities in life or what.

I think this directly correlates with what I learned about many christians and how they cut off their relationships with non-christians. This past evening has made me think about my classmates in a different light altogether. Are they my true friends, or just people I happen to know?

September 26, 2003

so tired today

i've been really tired all week. i think it coincides with me play wc3 all night, but i'm not sure.. but for some reason everyone at work has been tired all week too, and they're all too old to play wc3.

maybe it's the air, or the change in weather that leads to a sadness which leads to tiresome feelings.

i was a little stressed yesterday after i found i was being sued. but now i'm calmer, i didn't do anything wrong, i mean i didn't do anything wrong on purpose, so hopefully my wrongs can be overlooked for that. for some reason my body and mind freezes at the thought of my reputation going down the tubes. the thought of losing the respect of my peers, or losing my dignity, or losing face..

i've always thought that stuff like that doesn't bother me, but now i find it really does. i hate the feeling of being under attack, it's worrisome and because i shy away from confrontation it bothers me even more that someone would try to attack me. especially someone i considered a decent person.

well, i'm not going to go to court, i'll have my father represent me. hopefully everything goes well.. i guess we can only leave it in God's hands now.

btw, 41 days to go!

September 25, 2003

i'm lost, in translation

on tuesday i saw Lost in Translation with monchichi and marion. i remember marion possibly from many years ago like maybe 10-15 years ago. but anyway, on with the commentary.

the movie was funny. especially for us watching as asian canadians, there were parts that were so hilarious! the acting was pretty good too. the story also was good.

i keep thinking about how great a movie it was, but i can't pinpoint what was so great about it. most of my 'fans' are asian, so i encourage you all to go see it! support in the indie films!

there is minimal swearing and no real adult situations although there is one adultery situation. it's funny, has some meaning. there are some parts i feel might be way funnier if i knew some japanese.

i give this movie 10/10.
to the people who are spamming 15 times a day


Can you please stop? You're filling up my mailbox with 15 of these per day. It is too much.

Besides, this is a web-based email, they have virus checkers built in, so no one is going to fall for these stupid attempts anyway. Give it up already.

And go outside.. there's a beautiful world out there for you to enjoy! Do something useful with your life!

September 23, 2003

joe schmoe

i don't claim to be a huge reality tv fan, but i do happen to watch Amazing Race, and Survivor. i was also watching paradise hotel until i realized the whole thing was fixed.

joe schmoe is the reality show that is all fake. they took a poor average joe american and put him on a show called "the lap of luxury". they have him think he's on a reality show, where the grand prize is $100,000. but everyone on the show are fake. he's the only person who's REAL on this reality show.

and it's hilarious because they picked the perfect guy. the guy talks about boobs and how he wants to hook up with some of the contestants on the show... each of the actors/actresses play the stereotypical roles of a reality show. the "ass", the "bitch", the "schemer", the "best friend", the "virgin", the "homo", the "veteran", etc.

it's a great show.. kinda cruel at times, i mean you really start to feel sorry for "matt", last episode he absolutely broke down because someone got booted off. he cried so hard the producers started to doubt if they could continue.

first episode, the immunity challenge was how long you could stay in contact with a hoooker. the "hooker" was played by a porn star, and the funny thing is as soon as she went topless, "matt" recognized who she was. LOL. anyway it was all fixed, they would have him go down the wire with "the ass", but he let go right in the beginning (he was assigned to put his left hand on her right breast) and it surprised everyone, including the director, he was so shocked! and the actors too, they were like "omg!!"

so anyway.. it's a really funny show, you should check it out if you get a chance to!

September 22, 2003

i was just reading that the emmy's have been getting bad ratings lately, year after year less and less people are watching it. i have some theories on this matter:

a) people who grew up watching the current shows are getting older; more mature, and just couldn't care less anymore about it.

b) award shows in general are overrated. do you really need awards to feel good about yourselves? aren't the $1M per episode salaries good enough? i mean really, what should other industries start giving out awards for best manager, or best telemarketer? best phone answerer?

c) the two times i tried watching it, there was a black woman doing the hosting. she was terrible. apparently she has her own show! goodness, what were the networks thinking??

something that disturbed me deeply a week ago was when the metro (free newspaper in toronto available in the subway stations) had news of "J Lo" and ben affleck's relationship on the front cover, as the headline story. what the hell? who cares?!

September 19, 2003

john mayer

i bought the new john mayer cd last weekend. forgot to mention it. i bought it because i had his song bigger than my body stuck in my head for about 3 days straight.

this album has a different flavor from the first. room for squares was a more fun album, more acoustic stuff. while this new album is more.. almost jazzy. like he brought together a band and they just started jamming at a bar. what i mean is, the mind behind the music it is gone, like he didn't spend as much time delving into the music as he did the first album. just 'threw' it together. well, that's what it sounds like.

most of these songs will not make it on the radio other than the song i was hooked to, which means although it is a good cd, he won't make as much money on it as the first.

i'll admit that this cd took some time to grow on me. at this point, i'm really starting to like it alot (i listen to it all day at work), whereas at first all i did was listen to (track 2). it doesn't have the same feel as songs like 83 or 3x5 or No Such Thing, on the first album.

well, anyway i suggest only true john mayer fans buy this one, otherwise you might feel you were robbed of the $15-20.

September 17, 2003

isabel, among other things

The case I could have been jury on is all over the news these days. I never realized what a big following it would have, but lots of people are talking about it. I guess many people have thought that police brutality was an important a real issue. Possibly many people have felt they've been treated unfair by police because sometimes they unfairly use their power. Whatever the case may be, it seems this case will make a statement one way or another.

Canadian Idol ended yesterday with some dude named Ryan Malcolm winning it all. Will anyone remember this name 1 year from now? I mean no offense, I heard him sing and he's pretty good, much better than the other guy Gary Beals, but seriously will anyone remember this guy?

The way I figure it is this. It's not just about having a good voice, but also the marketability, good looks, and what I call a "hook". With a hook I mean some kind of theme that gets to you and makes you want to buy his cd, or see him on TV, or would make me want to meet him. Ryan Malcolm, has no hook. I guess it also depends on the music they feed this guy to sing. Let's see, what kind of music does Canada listen to these days, and what kind of music is Ryan Malcolm suitable for singing?

Hmm..


Meanwhile, the hurricane Isabel is coming along. Some of us at work are hoping that it will die down as it passes through States, and then miraculously pick back up again to Category 5 status again while it comes through Toronto. That would be so sweet..

September 15, 2003

close call
Today at court, we all waited impatiently to tell us they had picked their jury and so we could go home. They dragged it out til about 10:30am. I dunno why they had to drag it out so long.

We piled into the courtroom and sat and waited. The 12 jury members filed in. We waited some more. "All rise!", we rose. I'm not sure why they were wasting our time, I mean does it have to be so formal?

Then, the judge explained that one of the jury members had written a letter to him explaining how her mother was near the brink of life and that she simply could not serve the 2+ months of trial. The judge excused her and told us that one of us would have to replace her! DOH!!

So they started calling out at random the next panel. Judge said he'd call 10 people who would be brought to the back, and then one by one would be interviewed to see if they'd qualify to be the next juror. I was picked (argh..) 5th!

So we were all sitting in the back room, I was totally petrified. The bailiff came in and asked the first lady to come out for her interview. I was really scared at this point, because I knew the #3 guy was self-employed and would be able to cite financial hardship has a valid excuse not to serve. And the #4 guy was a student, so obviously he couldn't serve a 2+ month case!

So we all waited there. 5 minutes later, the bailiff came back in to get the next person, only instead she told us we were free to go home! Praise GOD!! They picked the first lady.. haha..

I was so relieved, I blurted out "HOLY CRAP THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE!" and everyone laughed.

That's my experience with jury duty.. and the best thing is, I'll be exempt for the next 3 years!

Here's the case if anyone is interested. It's kind of scary, thinking about it. This morning I was in the washroom and all 4 guys came in. I was thinking 'good Lord get me out of here!'. I was pretty scared!