April 29, 2005

Best movie ever?

I had a coupon -- a 2-for-1 deal at any Cineplex Odeon theater. The expiry date was last night so I had to use it. So Kenric and I went to see a movie called Millions at the Sheppard Grande.

As with all indie-type films, I didn't expect a great deal of it. Usually films like this hit more often than miss, but you never really know. Kenric and I are both big fans of these types of movies. I guess you could call us "artsy" but I prefer to call it "selective".

There are good movies and then there are great movies. And further, there are special movies. "Millions" fits in the Special Movie category. I wouldn't say it was as good or better than my all-time favorite movie ("Forrest Gump"). But I think it just became my #2 all-time favorite, toppling "Almost Famous".

You can read the synopsis on the website I posted above.

I would recommend it to anyone. 10/10.

April 27, 2005


Check out this chat I had with a friend today:

April 25, 2005

Most wonderful scent

This morning I put on my jacket and I was overcome by a wonderful aroma. I was almost taken aback, and I immediately disrobed it, exhaled fully, scrunged up my jacket into a ball, and thrusted my face into it. I took the biggest inhale and -- Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....


I love pho. It is my favorite food, better than anything that I can think of. I love the very idea of pho -- noodles and beef, lots of beef. And it's cheap too.

It's the total package -- tastes great, filling, cheap. And to top it off, the smell soaks into your clothes and that aroma lasts for days.

It is pretty much the only food that I can still have a craving for even though I just had a hunking bowl of it. You can get me to do anything for you just for a bowl of pho. I'm salivating even as I type this. Sigh.. I better stop, can't concentrate!

April 22, 2005

NBA Predictions


MVP: Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns

There's no question in my mind that Steve Nash should be the MVP for this season. Yes, Shaq has made a difference in Miami -- but it *IS* the Eastern Conference. Miami was already a playoff team last year, whereas Phoenix was a 50-loss team last year.

Rookie of the Year: Ben Gordon

I called this one last year before Gordon was even drafted. It really comes down to him and Okafor. It's hard to argue because Okafor averaged a double-double. Although Gordon beat him in ppg. Bottom line here goes to overall record and how much they affected their team. Ben Gordon is responsible for why the Bulls are in the playoffs. He led the league in scoring in the 4th quarter -- this not just a stat among rookies, he beat *everyone*.

Coach of the Year: Rick Carlisle

Rick deserves this because he was devastated by injuries and suspensions, and still managed to lead this team of misfits into the playoffs. He rejuvenated Reggie Miller, lost his best player in Ron Artest and was missing Jermaine O'Neal for half of the year.

Executive of the Year: Danny Ainge

Ainge had a fantastic year, putting together first of all, an amazing draft by getting Al Jefferson, Delonte West and Tony Allen. Then he went and traded for Antoine Walker, and gave Boston something to cheer about as they won their division.

Sixth Man of the Year: Ben Gordon

On top of the accolades I have already mentioned about Gordon, he also led all scorers of players coming off the bench.

Most Improved Player of the Year: Grant Hill

Injured over the past 3-4 years, he finally put together a healthy season, and although not quite the Grant Hill that once made him my favorite player, had a really solid season.

Defensive player of the Year: Andrei Kirilenko

Missed half the year, but those numbers he's got.. he averaged, 3 blocks per game, 2 steals? He's a phenomenal player. Unlike other defensive specialists, he also averaged 16 ppg.

All-NBA Teams

First Team
C: Shaquille O'Neal
F: Dirk Nowitzki
F: Tim Duncan
G: Lebron James
G: Steve Nash

I have seen Lebron listed in some places as a guard, and sometimes as a forward. If he were a forward, I would Tim Duncan down to the Second Team -- that's how good I think Lebron is. And actually, Duncan has been listed as either a Forward or a Center.

Second Team
C: Amare Stoudamire
F: Kevin Garnett
F: Tracy McGrady
G: Allen Iverson
G: Kobe Bryant

Since these lists are based according to how good they are at their position, Kobe makes the list. Otherwise he wouldn't make the Fourth Team! To continue on Lebron's alternate position, McGrady would fall to the 4th team. If Duncan were a Center, he would have fallen to the Third Team. Amare Stoudamire would not be as good as he is without Nash, but with Nash he is a beast.

Third Team
C: Yao Ming
F: Vince Carter
F: Shawn Marion
G: Ray Allen
G: Gilbert Arenas

Yao Ming would not make this team if Duncan was a Center. I hate seeing Vince here but he has had a great year since being traded. He seems to be his old self now. And from what recent articles suggests, I hate Rafer Alston.

Here are my predictions for the 2005 NBA Playoffs:

Miami over New Jersey in 4.
Washington over Chicago in 6.
Indiana over Boston in 6.
Detroit over Philadelphia in 4.

Miami over Washington in 4.
Detroit over Indiana in 4.

Detroit over Miami in 4.

Phoenix over Memphis in 5.
Dallas over Houston in 6.
Seattle over Sacramento in 7.
San Antonio over Denver in 4.

Phoenix over Dallas in 6.
San Antonio over Seattle in 4.

San Antonio over Phoenix in 7.

Detroit over San Antonio in 6.

Btw, I will be cheering for Indiana in the East and Phoenix in the West.

I Thirst!

I have been ultra thirsty the last few days. I think on average I've had about 1L per day for the past 3-4 days. (Yes, I know that we're supposed to be drinking a lot more than that, but realize that I used to drink maybe one cup of *fluids* per day).

As a result my bladder has been going haywire. I could barely survive the subway ride home, and then while I was getting my haircut I had to go so badly.

Ooh, at the haircutting place, they had some magazines. I read one that was talking about Shrek, and they said that there are two more on the way -- Shrek 3 and Shrek 4! w00t! The next one will be about Shrek meeting King Arthur and the knights of the round table, and then the one after that will be a prequel about why Shrek lived in the swamp.

Also, they said that Chris Farley was originally supposed to do Shrek, not Mike Myers. That's pretty amazing, considering how Myers' career has pretty much taken off as a result of this "gig". It could have been all Farley.. if he hadn't OD'd. And let's face it.. his career pretty much sucked. What a shame.

My haircut -- I'm completely bald. There is more hair in my eyebrows than on my scalp. After they cut it, I asked them to shave it with a razor. It's pretty nifty but my head feels really cold all the time now. I might have to wear a toque to work tomorrow.

By the way, work is better now. I am enjoying it again. That March thing was a killer for me, February and March dragged so much that I was thinking about quitting, but it's passed now. I'm really enjoying it.. I feel like I'm making a strong contribution each day and sometimes it really tests me which makes it that much more enjoyable.

Also, I talked to my boss about my planned vacations and he seemed okay with it when I mentioned possibly 3 weeks in June or July. I mean, if he's okay with 3 weeks, then when I tell him it'll be 4 weeks, he won't flip out.. at least I hope not. The City operates minimally in the summer, because everyone is on vacation. That's probably the only reason I could get away with doing something like this. (Taking an entire month off). I'm not bald btw. It's way too cold right now for that. Maybe in the summer.

April 18, 2005

Happy Birthday, Bell

Tonight was Bell's 125th birthday. 125 years is a really long time if you think about it. That's over a century of business.

Anyway, to celebrate, the employees of Bell within the Toronto were treated with a live concert of the Barenaked Ladies -- free I might add -- and I was there to celebrate with them. Thanks to Ben, who's friend at work didn't want to go so he had a pair of extra tickets for Kenric and me.

What can I say other than BNL can really flat out entertain. They are a hilarious bunch of guys just having a great time and helping everyone else have a great time.

April 16, 2005

Spring is finally here!

I *love* having hardwood floor. I've been rollerblading all over my condo for the past 2 hours and having fun doing it. I cook while blading, play guitar, watch tv, etc. It's great.

Check out this hilarious video I found.

April 13, 2005

Always one step ahead

Do you ever feel like God is always one step ahead of you? I mean yea, He's God, why wouldn't He right? But still, sometimes I find it so frustrating. Every time I make a haste decision, or stick with a certain viewpoint, it seems like God puts me back in my place. And He always gives me time to reflect on it, almost like He's waiting for it. And then, BOOM! It dawns on me and I curse at myself for not seeing it. Another life lesson.

He's like a parent that every teenager dreams of having, the kid who says: "Dad, why can't you just let me learn from my own mistakes?". That's God.

This week's chapter in Seizing Your Divine Moment is called Advance. We *should* have done this chapter last week but we did a bible study on Prayer instead. Not that Prayer isn't a worthy topic either, it's just that the timing seems off for me.

The next day I went to MissionFest and got absolutely nothing out of it and came away disappointed that I didn't receive some kind of a sign. I had prayed basically that if God wanted me to go, that I would be presented with an opportunity, or that something would jump out at me and I go for it. But I got nothing out of the Fest, and went home somewhat dejected.

As I spoke to a friend about it, about how I tend base my decisions on emotion; so my contention was that since nothing happened, that perhaps God was telling me that my mission field is where I am. "Just stay home."

The first line in this chapter says "go unless you get a no". What bugs me is that I also read a bible study, while prepping for last Friday, that had a quote:

"God does not respond to our prayers. God responds to us: to our whole life. What we say to Him cannot be separated from what we think, feel, will and do. Prayer is communication from whole persons to the Wholeness, which is the living God. Prayer is misunderstood until we see it this way."

It's just sad that I didn't see this or remember it until today when I was reading the book. McManus writes: "many times when we claim we are waiting on God, He is waiting on us.". And therein lies the answers I've been searching for. It was just that kind of awakening where I thought to myself "Damnit Bri.. why did we read this last week?"

April 12, 2005

Track 4

All I Need Is You - Hillsong United

Left my fear by the side of the road
Hear You speak won't let go
Fall to my knees as I lift my hands to pray

I got every reason to be here again
Father's love that draws me in
All my eyes wanna see is glimpse of You

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord
All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord

One more day and it's not the same
Your Spirit calls my heart to sing
Drawn to the voice of my Savior once again

Where would my soul be without Your Son
Who gave His life to save earth
Rest in the thought that You're watching over me

Mini Bridge:
All I need is You
All I need is You
All I need is You
All I need is You

You hold the universe
You hold everyone on earth
You hold the universe
You hold You hold

April 11, 2005

Get better

It turns out that Hillsong United has 6 CDs. I have 4. For the first 3 albums, they went under the name "United Live" and then the last three as Hillsong United. The first 3 each have a header of "Hillsong Music Australia". I guess they wanted to make sure people knew they were Hillsong.

Anyway, what struck me most about the six albums is that they progressively get better and better. It's not just that the style of music goes from modern worship to praise rock. At first, that's exactly what I thought they were doing -- just changing their music to cater more and more to the young people; reinventing themselves.

I suppose it is a little bit of both. The first CD "Everyday" is mellow, almost like a more recently done Hillsong album. Compare that to the reaction of our english congregation to the youth leading worship with songs like One Way or All Day from Hillsong's 5th album "More Than Life". It's like shell-shock.

But I guess what I'm trying to get at is that they get better. Musically, the guitarists, and the singers, get better.

Maybe this seems obvious to you, but to me it's a big surprise. I'm really curious about it, did they take lessons to get better? Or did it just take practice? Or maybe they listened to other music and tried to figure out how to do it themselves?

air filter guy

Every 6 months, a guy goes through the building replacing air filters for every unit. I remember this guy because last year when he came in he saw my electric guitar and told me about how he had started to take guitar lessons after going on a retreat with some of his buddies and one guy was just a wizard on the guitar.

Anyway, a follow-up, he was making his rounds again this weekend so I talked to him again about it. He'd made large strides since we last spoke. He now owned two electric guitars and was planning to buy an electric acoustic -- but his wife wouldn't let him. He was taking lessons still and was getting pretty good. For a minute there I dreamt that we'd just start jamming right there and then.

This guy had no musical background and had picked up basic guitar theory. That really impressed me. Also, he was at least 40 with two kids, and still found the time to persue his dream of guitar playing!

I guess next time I see him, I'll try to catch his name :P

April 10, 2005

May 20

As some of you know, there is an upcoming conference on May 18-20th for those of us who are involved with worship ministry and/or just really like it. :)

The Unite In Worship conference is organized by unite productions and features tons of workshops taught by many of our favorite Christian songwriters, musicians and worship leaders: Noel Richards, Paul Wilbur, Marty Sampson, Joel Houston, Vicky Beeching, Brian Doerksen, Phil Dooley. In other words, about half of the authors of the worship music you've sung in the past year will be there =P

I am planning to take both days off (May 19-20) to attend this conference. Anyone who's interested please let me know before April 20 (early bird deadline).

May 20th is the last gathering/concert. It starts at 6:30pm. Hillsong United, Vicky Beeching, Noel Richards, Phil Dooley and Something Like Silas will be performing and I think it'd be cool to go as a group. $14.95.

Vicky Beeching

Who's Vicky Beeching, many of you are wondering. She's one of the hosts of one of my favorite things on the web, the New Song Cafe on worshiptogether.com. New Song Cafe invites an artist in to play one of their hit songs, and the host asks what inspired them to write the song, and then the artist plays it once and teaches (us) how to play them.

Anyway if you check it out right now, you'll see they do an April Fool's joke where Vicky interviews herself and she teaches her song "Yesterday, Today and Forever". Pretty good song if you ask me, although her guitar skills are uber and I still can't play it.

April 09, 2005


I went to MissionFest today.

I spoke to some people, but I felt nothing. I felt no urgency, not eagerness. No spark, no fire. Nothing. Maybe there's something wrong with me. After praying all week for discernment and an open heart, I left feeling numbness and frustrated.

If there's more to this life, it's not here. My questions have been left unanswered -- or rather, the answer I got was not something I expected.

So I'm back to square one. Still feeling like I want to get away, still feeling bored of this life, still wanting more. In fact, I started to feel like I had to get away WHILE I was there, which prompted me to walk back to my car and drive home, without even saying goodbye to akt. About all I got out of the festival was a bunch of pamphlets and the new Hillsong United CD "Look To You".


April 08, 2005

Recover post

Haha.. anyone else notice the new blogger feature? I bet it's there because of the thousands of complaints on the forums about lost posts! Hmm.. Did it really take 24 hours to implement this feature?

Recently been listening to Mariah, albums 1-5. It never ceases to amaze me the kind of range that she had. She had 4-octave talent. Think about that. I can sing maybe 4 octaves, but a couple of those octaves are either whimpers or falsetto's. She could sing (no) -BELT- out 4 octaves. FOUR OCTAVES. This is why, despite what she has been doing in the last 10 years, I still love Mariah.

MissionFest is tomorrow. Or rather, it's today and tomorrow but I'm going tomorrow. I'm going. I've been praying all week about it, praying for the ability to discern thoughts going through my mind, between which thoughts are mine and which are what the Spirit is feeding me. Or, maybe that something in me will spontaneously push me forward and just do something. Last year I came real close. Before, I'd just walk past people and smile at them. Last year I picked up pamphlets. And I spoke to a few people.

It's weird going to these things, as opposed to job fairs where the ultimate goal is to just get whatever freebie they are giving out. Mission booths aren't giving away free pens, mousepads, or stress balls. They're giving out opportunities in life to please God. So my approach to each booth is entirely different. It's a lot scarier, because they are essentially looking to take a freebie from me -- my love, my will -- instead of the other way around. I dunno, I find that incredibly daunting.

Anyway, I'm late for small group.

April 06, 2005


If you haven't watched tonight's episode yet, do not read any further.

No television show has made me cry like Lost did tonight. I remember shedding a few tears when Cheers ended. I cried when Will Smith's father abandoned him for the second time on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But nothing could have prepared me for tonight Lost episode when Boone died. It was the single most sadest moment of television I can think of.

I guess in some ways we can all relate to Boone. He was kind of a loner. He didn't have a really important role on the show. He was kind of lost, searching for meaning in his life. He didn't have much purpose but what kept him going was his loved ones. He was in love with someone who would never feel the same way in return. The sacrifices he made for his sister, they were reckless but he did them anyway. I dunno, I really felt sorry for the guy.

So when he died, or when he told Jack to just let him died, I bawled my eyes out. It's just a sad story, when a person is ready to give up on his life. Jack was ready to amputate the dude's leg and just regained consciousness, enough to tell Jack to "let go". And then with his last breath, he asked Jack to tell his sister "tell Shannon.. tell Shannon.." and then he died.

It's like.. when a loved one dies, it's sad. But the flip side of it is when you die, you are losing your loved ones. I guess I see now, what it would be like without Christ, knowing that if I died and that was the end, the finality of it.

I don't even watch this show all that regularly. I guess it was either really good acting or really good directing, or a culmination of both. It moved me.

Then afterwards, I was filled with joy when Claire had given birth to her baby boy, and then Jack, faced with the beautiful child and then seeing Shannon returning from a romantic night with Sayid, only to find that her brother was dead. And that Jack had to be the one to break it to her.

Man it was brutal, I cried again there, probably harder than Shannon did.