July 30, 2003


I ended up at the movie after all. Kev called me from the base of my building at about 9:15, and I decided to just forget about waiting for this fish tank guy to call. The way I figure, he already paid for it, so he's gonna call me again to get his purchase.... eventually.

The movie was really good. I had seen "the making of.." of the movie on ESPN, and it looked pretty impressive. They said it was first time they ever had footage so up close and personal to a horse race. I think it would've been better at a better theatre, but the story itself was very inspiring. Set in times of the great depression, a bunch of hard-luck guys get together by chance and put together one of the improbable horse racing success stories ever.

But.. I dunno if it was the theatre, or the direction, but I didn't quite feel the attachment that I think the director was hoping for. It felt great (umm.. no spoilers) when great things happened in the movie, but.. it wasn't.. I don't think the director did a good enough job to draw me into the characters.

Well, let me put it this way.. the great parts of the story didn't bring a tear to my eye.

Maybe I expected too much out of this one, since people were already saying this movie would get nominated, but I still give it an 8/10 but I don't think they should get best direction or best film. Maybe.. Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor?

July 29, 2003

movies :(

Today, a guy called me to come pick up our 180-gallon fish tank. He came last week but with 4 guys, they didn't have enough strength to carry it out (we used 6 guys to move it in). Anyway, I was supposed to go see Seabiscuit to day with Char and Kev. This guy called me and said he'd call me around 8pm and pick it up shortly after.

Well, it's 9pm now and nothing. That really sucks. I accomodated my time for him and he didn't even call me. Now I'm going to miss the movie which starts in 50 minutes. It's going to take an hour to move the thing. That is just wrong..

July 27, 2003

life lesson

Even though my dad 'lectures' me everytime i see him, and most of it goes in one ear and out the other, one of the things he said to me last time i saw him rings pretty true and i've been giving it a lot of though.

He was saying how we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, and 1/3 of our lives working/studying. Those two are intangibles of everyday life, Christian or not. But it's the other 1/3rd that God is going to ask us about. What did we do during the 'other' 1/3 of our lives. So far for me, that 1/3 has been spent majorly on playing video games.

It makes me realize think about all the time I have wasted, and how much time I have left in my life that I need to make better use of.


Anyway, onto today's events. Olivia drove me to church. Today was my first time at T3C without family. It was a weird feeling, singing and praying without them there. Yesterday night, they didn't call me, so I was a bit worried since I had asked them to call me every night. I kept praying that they were safe and there was a good explanation behind why they hadn't called. Actually it turned out there just wasn't any reception for my dad's cell phone. Apparently they spent the night somewhere in Nebraska (or in layman terms -- in the middle of nowhere). Today they were already in Utah, which means they should arrive in Nevada sometime tonight, even though they had planned to arrive their tomorrow night. I guess my dad drove REALLY fast..

After service I went with Kev and Char to go grocery shopping at the big No Frills up near PacMall. That place was packed! Kev and I talked about his Altima and how nice it was. It was really spacious, especially in the back. I was pretty impressed with it. We saw a 2003 2.5s too, and that looked even better.. Well, it's bulkier anyway.

I bought a couple of steaks, salad dressing, lettuce, breakfast bars, and a block of cheddar.

introducing: my grandmother

Later on the in the afternoon after I got home, I told my gramma that I would be cooking for myself for dinner. I think she understood (my chinese is pretty poor). But for some reason at 6 she told me it was time to eat, and she had taken out the food and had put rice into my bowl. Again, I stated my case, that I was going to eat later and that I was cooking for myself. She said she already cooked before, and that she had already taken the rice, and that I should eat with them. (For those of you wondering, she's a very stubborn woman).

Again, I told her, I am cooking for myself tonight.. and continued watching TV. At 6:30, again she told me to come eat (they hadn't eaten yet, for some reason they were waiting for me, even though they normally eat at 5:30. So again, I told her I was cooking on my own and that I would start cooking soon, and to just start eating. Finally, they started eating. It's weird that the whole time my grandfather seemed to understand what was going on, but didn't say anything!

At 7, I went to cook my steak and again she told me to come eat. At 7:10 after I'd finished cooking, she again told me to come eat. My bowl was still full of rice. I took my plate and brought it over to the table and started to eat my steak and salad. She motioned to me to eat the other food as well. Again I explained that I was cooking on my own, and that I had told her this 3-4 times and also before she had prepared the food. She was not a happy camper..

They finished eating and did their dishes, and left the food on the table for me to eat, even though I was clearly eating my own food (btw the steak was awesome).

After I finished, I did the dishes, and then did their dishes again (my gramma doesn't believe in soap). Then I went back to watch TV. Then, gramma comes back over to talk to me, as if to lecture me or something, I don't know what. She seemed flustered and asked me if I didn't like her cooking. Well of course I like her cooking I said. I explained to her that I need to cook on my own once in awhile (and I plan to do so in the future as well). I told her it had nothing to do with her cooking, but that I felt I needed the experience of cooking on my own. I'm 25, after all. She wouldn't listen. She insisted that I just didn't like her cooking.

At this point, I started getting angry. I explained to her again, that I had told her that I would be cooking, and then I had to tell her 4 more times, and why didn't she listen to me. Man, I was pretty frustrated, partly because of her, and partly because my chinese was too poor to get my point across. She winded up sulking, putting the food away and mumbling to herself.

I wish that either that she could speak english or that I could speak chinese more fluently. Even though she is a stubborn person, I still think this could have been avoided if we could see eye-to-eye.

July 26, 2003

I think I'm gonna be blogging a lot more, now that I don't have my brother around to hang out with on the weekends.. either that or I'll have to find some friends..

Even now I still feel sick from yesterdays eggscapade. My throat still feels shrunken.

Anyway for lunch I didn't eat until 2pm, and I had some instant noodles. For dinner I ate with my grandparents. They like to eat cooked salmon straight out of the fridge! I think that's a little weird.. it's really cold. I heated it up. We had cherries for dessert afterwards.

After dinner I was feeling a little bloated so I *finally* tried some winsor pilates. I did the ab workout, but I got about halfway and my abs were aching so I just followed along lazily after that. I definitely do feel better though. I think if I do this every day, I should be fit in a couple months. I'm also going to try jogging every morning.. err.. did I mention this already? Maybe I should start.. err.. next week.. heh.
I insisted that my family calls me at each stopover, so last night they called me to let me know they were safe! Praise God for that!

Yesterday's fellowship was pretty good. We had to describe with words, starting from A..Z to describe God. We got quite a large list! After fellowship, we went to have desserts. I had a think called a Flaming Alaska. It was ice cream inside a cake, with whipped cream around it. Then they poured alcohol on top of it and lit it on fire.

It was an interesting dish, and tasted so good. But after I was finished, I had an inkling that there was some serious amounts of egg in it, because my stomach started to ache. Turns out there was a lot of egg in it, because last night was one night I would like to forget. My chest started to hurt really badly, I couldn't swallow and tons and tons of phlegm was building up. I must have spat out about 500 ml of it.. I couldn't sleep because of the build up. Finally I just induced vomitting, which wasn't very good either because the egg had to come back up through my throat, and so my throat swelled up. (I guess because the egg was in its purest form by then).

Anyway, I am fine now, my throat is still a little bit tightened up because I still can't swallow much, but at least there's no more phlegm build up!

July 25, 2003

This morning it was hugs all around before I had to leave for work. Saying goodbye to my mom and dad was nice, they've left me in good hands I think. Despite all the responsibility, it should be alright.

But when it came to saying goodbye to my brother, the tears started to flow. I wept. And as he saw me crying, he wept too. My mom, upon seeing we were both crying, also started to cry and we all hugged eachother. I tried my best to give some life advice to my bro in between the sobbing, but it was too difficult..

Then, I said goodbye again and headed off to work. In the elevator I almost broke down again, but in fear of people seeing me, I cleaned myself up. In the subway it almost happened again but I was okay by then.. I guess the moment had passed.

But, I'm fine now, thanks for asking.. [sniff]

July 24, 2003

Oooh.. I had a short chat with a friend of Mikey Bustos, of Canadian Idol yesterday. To check out updates, take a look at http://www.mikeybustos.ca. All of us here at ebrian.blogspot.com are definitely cheering and praying for Mikey. I also got a chance to listen to a song that Mikey and his friend Lawrence Lam made. It's a great song, just the two of them, one singing one playing instruments. It's a pretty good job, considering the home-maded-ness of it.

Okay, aside from the fact that the US went into Iraq and took over the regime all based on lies (wrong data), I saw the released pics of Uday and Qusay just now. All I can say is... EWW!

Well, miraculously my parents are still here. There was a bit more to move and clean up than they expected, and so the Wednesday date was moved back to Thursday, and now to Friday. For sure they are going tomorrow though. They've already packed the car, so there is no turning back. For the few that are reading, please pray that they have a safe trip.

I've already said my goodbyes to that blasted dog that caused me many headaches and sleepless mornings. I will definitely miss him. He is too cute not to miss... :)

My fears of subsided a little bit. I have to just keep remembering God is there and that I have friends out there willing to help and support me if I need it.

Hey you know what's funny, my boss posted his own position up the other day. He suggested that I apply for his position! Wouldn't it be weird to be my own boss, but not really? That would be so cool. Praise God for giving me this opportunity, even if it leads nowhere. I still can't believe my own boss would push me to apply for his position while he goes and gets his MPA. That's certainly encouraging...

Good night all!

July 22, 2003

This past weekend was busy times for my family as they prepared to move. It makes me worried as that day gets nearer. I will have so many responsibilities once they are gone, and I don't trust myself to be able to remember all the things that need taken care of.

o The house still hasn't been sold yet
o My grandparents are staying with me, so I will have to take care of them, despite our huge difference in culture and language barrier. I can understand what they are saying to me only 50% of the time.
o The tenants in my condo are leaving, so I will have to find new ones. This involves posting it on a rental magazine, interviewing the candidates, drafting a new contract agreement, etc.. tons of legal mumbo-jumbo
o I will have no form of transportation other than TTC when they are gone, as they are taking the car with them.
o I will have to pay property taxes, hydro bills, insurance
o I still don't have a full-time job

Gawd, I know there's a lot more and already I can't even remember everything. It's a frustrating feeling.

Praise God!
With much disbelief and disappointment, I'm here to announce that one of my favorite shows from last season, John Doe, has been cancelled.

John Doe talked about a man who woke up naked on an island. He found his way back to the city and discovered that despite not knowing anything about himself, he knew the answer to any other question you could think of.

He befriended a few people, including a police investigator (he would help the police to crack the tough cases), a bartender at the bar where he worked as a pianist, and an ex-waitress who became his personal assistant and later died because of him. There were these crazy sign-language-using fanatics who were trying to keep him from discovering his true identity (that's how the girl died, they killed her).

Anyway, last season's finale ended in the cliffhanger when Doe discovered that the leader of the fanatics was none other than his good friend, the bartender! My brother and I, and another friend were all looking forward to the conclusion of that episode. But alas, the show is over.

It's hard to believe that some of the absolute garbage they show on television could get through but not John Doe. This is totally disappointing..

July 16, 2003

The people voting for Canadian Idol are on crack. One of the issues for me for this show is finding someone who is marketable enough that they can break through and actually make it big enough to be recognized outside Canada. Because really, who cares if you're the Canadian Idol? What I'd like to see is an American Idol -- born in Canada.

Anyway yesterday I watched Finding Nemo with my bro and mom. It was really good. I thought it was fun and entertaining. We watched with a lot of children in the audience, and that made it more fun because they would giggle at certain parts. The little girl behind me had no idea what was going on though. Something I thought was really interesting was in the very beginning when all the eggs and Marlin's wife was killed (eaten). It was a really sad moment, and the kid behind me goes: "mommy, why is he sad?". The kid had absolutely no concept of death. Imagine, Disney teaching your kids about death before you get a chance to explain it better to them. Again, near the end of the movie when Marlin thought Nemo was dead, the kid asked again "mommy, why is he sad?". Also, I felt that Dory spoke way too fast for young kids to understand. The movie was good overall, but probably not suitable for really young kids.

It's not often that I laugh out loud at the movies..

July 15, 2003

Canadian Idol was exceptionally bad last night. This group of 10 were people who shouldn't have made it this far into the competition. They were awful. Any one of the last 10 would easily have beaten out this whole group. It's a shame that Canadians will be forced to vote for 3 of them. Best case scenario -- no one calls, all 10 get eliminated.

There were no bright spots. It was like watching Pop Stars all over again. I actually switched to baseball (yes! BASEBALL!) at times because the singing was so bad.

What made the bbq the most fun was the people there. It was at the BA's (business analyst) place. Everyone on the team was there, plus my boss and his boss (and his wife). And the BA's husband. Their backyard is sweet. They have a pool, and a huge deck that surrounds the pool. Then further back they have their own little 15-tree forest, and -- a fire pit.

My boss' boss' wife is an unbelievable baker. She made chocolate chip cookies that I COULD NOT stop eating. They were unbelievable. I'm truly convinced that you cannot get cookies that good anywhere on this planet. On top of that, she made a 3-tiered chocolate cake which she didn't bring, because she unfortunately dropped it on her living room floor as they were getting ready to leave. That sucks. I probably would have still eaten it, lint and all.

These people -- my boss' boss and his wife, are as Canadian as Canadians get. The baker lady said it best: "Canadians are immigrants with seniority". That is so true. Anyway, they were telling us about how they encountered a bear while camping, on their honeymoon. How good does it get, to go camping on your honeymoon. That would be a dream come true -- basically free, totally romantic -- did I mention basically free?

It was funny the way they've encounter various bears and other wildlife. What was funnier was when one guy John, a China (mainlander) brought lichees and mangoes, and no one knew what they were. The baker thought the mango's tasted like pine trees, and my boss picked up the mango, peeled off the skin like you would do with a pear, and ate it like a banana. He literally had the mango clenched in his fist. I've never seen someone eat a mango so messily..!

July 14, 2003

On Friday night my brother and I went to see T3. I liked it a lot, it was pretty good -- the action scenes were great and the comedy was good. The people we were sitting with were awesome, they made the movie better (enthusiastic bunch). This one lady beside me couldn't stop laughing at times with the jokes Arnold made.

I liked the ending, even though if it was a little bit anti-climatic. Considering that the Terminator was programmed to keep casualties at a mininum, it was kind of cool that it was able to calculate the odds and in the end, outweigh the lives of those two over the possibilities of saving the whole world. And being able to hide the fact from them. That's pretty cool.

The idea that a machine could process incoming information and calculate the final result -- the result being a preservation of life for the two of them. You wouldn't expect a machine to be able to make that type of calculation. It's a nice ending to a really great movie trilogy -- a fresh idea that the heroes don't need to "save the world" in order to have a happy ending.

On Saturday, I spent the whole morning hacking a D2 character and trying it out on Act4 Hell, to see if I could anything. It was still nearly impossible, even with the best runewords equipped. In the afternoon I went with family to buy me a new mattress.

At 4pm, I went to a work-BBQ, at the BA's house. It was a good BBQ. I'll talk more about it later.

Saturday night.. err.. Sunday morning at 1:30am, the fire alarm went off in the building, and I took the stairs down. 32 flights down.. my legs still hurt even now! It was a false alarm though.. I lost about 3 hours of sleep from that.

I'm finding even after 2 weeks, I'm still a little bit sick. The cough still comes back occasionally.

July 11, 2003

My 5-week-long animatrix download finally finished last night. I watched the whole thing. What a waste of time. I should've been watching CSI instead. Sure, it was interesting, but after all the anime I've been watching, there was nothing impressive about it at all, and of the animators' takes on the matrix were a little weird, like the one of them trying to convert a machine to team up with them, that was so stupid. The only one I liked was the very first CGI one, the fight simulation between the oriental girl and the black dude. The girl was pretty decent looking .

Yesterday one of the guys at work took us out drinking because he'd gotten his contract renewed for another 6 months. I had a pint of Honey Brown. It was good.. Beer is definitely an acquired taste, and I think I've finally acquired a taste for it. However, due of my lack of regulated alcohol intake, after only half the pint I had hit phase 1 of drunkeness and felt like throwing up. So I had a lot of wings and nacho's, to get past Phase 1, finished off the glass and hit phase 2.

I am a calm person while buzzed, so that's good, and I got some dirt from other people as they tend to talk more while drinking. I got some great career advice from a lot of people :) I wonder what is better though, getting all red or not, while drunk. I don't get red, but everyone else seemed to. Is that good or not? Maybe it's a good gauge as to whether to stop drinking or not, on the other hand you look pretty stupid when you get all red, because people KNOW you are drunk.

I think it works out better for me. I know when to stop, and not looking drunk bodes well when you're sitting on the subway with a crowd of people.

Lakers got Payton earlier this week, and now Malone. I wonder if we can go unbeaten this season. Can we win 98 games straight? I think it's do-able...

July 10, 2003

Oohh.. on yahoo launch they played a song that i've been wondering about for a year now. "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John -- the song from my favorite movie, Almost Famous, from the scene when they're all on the bus after Russell had just gotten back from his crazy acid-almost-jumped-from-the-roof-into-the-swimming-pool performance. I love that scene, they're all sitting there reflecting what had just happened, and one guy just starts belting out this song that was either playing on the radio, or just not at all. But the point is they all start singing together, including Penny Lane, and the kid William Miller. Good times..
Something funny happened last week. My brother and I went to McDonald's for lunch on Canada Day. The McDeal is $3.99, which comes out to $4.27, but the guy charged us $4.82. We asked why, and he said there was a price change.

Anyway, on Thursday I happened to mention this at work, and one of my co-workers Ken, he was upset by this. After all, it is still advertised at $3.99, so how could they charge us more? By charging us $4.19, they were able to add the PST, making us pay way more because of that tax. Well, he was outraged by this!

So when we got back to the office, he called up McDonald's HQ, and complained, posing as me. I thought it was so funny, going through all that for just over 55 cents! Anyway he complained and we left my work number with them so that the manager could call us back for compensation. Then on Friday they called, so I had Ken pick up (this was all his idea, not mine!) and he demanded a free meal. The lady actually wrote down my name and said I could come in any time and claim my meal!

Anyway.. I never did go.. I was just thinking, as soon as I said I was "Brian Yao", they'd probably do something to the food.

July 05, 2003

Well now, it's been a while hasn't it.

It's Saturday. Today I treated my family for lunch because no one wanted to move. I was starving, and to get everyone to start moving I volunteered to pay and all of a sudden everyone was running for the car! We had pho. Yesterday my dad, bro and me watched American Werewolf in Paris, a pretty cheese movie, on television. It was fun though, first time we'd done that in about half a year.

I just tried about 45 minutes of the Diablo2 1.10 patch (beta). It was really boring, but it was single player. I really can't see myself getting hooked on the game again.

I feel like I'm just blogging for the sake of blogging right now, with nothing much to say, so I'm just gonna stop now.

July 02, 2003

The dinner went well. I was fairly sick that night but I was able to 'entertain' with my usual antics and great personality.. :O It was the first time anyone had been over to my place and I think it went relatively well. They didn't run into too many issues with the parking, so that is at least encouraging. Mom made awesome food.. I'm going to miss that! Then we watched CI, then For Love or Money. It was the first FLoM I'd seen -- I didn't really enjoy it that much. CI was pretty good.. it was nice to see the Mikey Bustos made it to the final 30.

Me, my brother, Raec and Hanki are definitely rooting for Mikey. And we're trying to find some relation to him.. I mean, I should be able to find connections with basically any chinese person in Toronto within 4-5 degrees of separation, so for now we're going to go along with "yes, I know Mikey through a friend", and leave it at that.

Yesterday I spent "canada day" in bed and on the computer playing Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (expansion pack). Yea yea, i'll buy it later. Right now it's impossible to buy it because it's sold out everywhere you look. Since I promised myself I would eventually buy it, it shouldn't matter to the makers whether I pay for it now or later right?

Anyway, it was really good. It took me a total of around 20 hours to finish all of the single player campaigns. The bonus campaign was REALLY good. I enjoyed all of the quests and optional hidden quests. The xpac brought a lot more to the game than I had expected. I won't spoil anyone's fun though so enough of that.

Last night was most depressing as I went to bed coughing, wheezing and sneezing. In the background I could hear booms coming from all over the city from the fireworks. Just below me there was a huge crowd at Mel Lastman Sq. I spent my my last 3 Canada day's in Ottawa, and now I'm lying in bed trying to block out the sound of the booms so i can sleep. What a contrast!