April 29, 2008

18 days remain

On a more serious note, I think I have been losing sleep over this so I'll blog about it. After booking all my vacation days for various things such as days leading up to the wedding, the honeymoon itself and Christmas holidays, I found that I only had 3 days of vacation days remaining.

This is something that Ina and I have been praying about, which is what to do with these remaining days. As most of you know, for the last 3 years I've been going up north to Longlac, to spend a week or two with a native reserve to help out and work with the children there. It's something that is important to me. I know that there have been people who would skip a year because of something big (like a wedding), but I also know people have gone out of there way to go even if it was a big problem (like last year Daniel going 2 weeks before Maki was due).

Something that I always wanted to make sure was that I didn't allow my personal life to get in the way of my ministries, these two things should either work hand-in-hand, or that Christ should take precedence. But lately I've also been thinking maybe I just want to be selfish and take some time for me, for a change. I'd like to think I earned these vacation days, and I keep spending them on others... when is it my turn? And is it wrong to think this way? Don't I deserve to have some fun too?

An added kink to all of this is that Ina will actually be out of town for the month of July on various business trips, so even if I stayed home she wouldn't be there. Although I would rather take a Friday off here and there and then fly out to see her for the weekend.

Lately I've just been feeling like my heart isn't in it. Like I just don't want to take on anything right now, just want a break. Longlac just seems like something a long way off. At Ishskwaday, although it was a good time and all, I felt a little alienated like an outsider looking in even though I was one of the organizers.

Anyhow, the deadline to sign up is tomorrow.

April 28, 2008

19 days remain

As our wedding day approaches, one of the things I've really gotten tired is the questions people ask us. It's the same questions over and over again. As the wedding nears, they come more and more frequent. Another I noticed was that work has really eased up.. I guess they know it's a stressful time. Anyway, here the list of questions we keep getting:

"How's the wedding planning coming along?"
"When is it again?"
"Wow, only __ more weeks. Are you excited?"
"Are you ready?"
"Where will you be living?"
"Your parents must be really excited?"
"Who am I sitting with?"

Rinse and repeat, these questions are coming at a rapid pace and I'm totally sick of it. It's almost like you know the question is coming when you run into pretty much anyone. And, after talking to some friends in other stages of life, the sad reality is that after the wedding, there will probably be a whole different set of questions..

April 25, 2008

22 days remain

Maybe it's just me being a pack rat, but something I've learned is that women don't keep things like men do. While moving and packing my clothes, I noticed a whole lot of pants and shirts that I hadn't worn in about a year. But they're still good clothes. There's no sense in throwing away good clothes right? I mean they still fit. Fashion is cyclical anyway.. within a few years most of these will be back "in-style" again, right?

Anyway, I've been packing suitcases of clothes to move over to Ina's place every couple of days, and it seems like every time I pull out one of these lesser worn shirts or pants, she's all like "Do you even wear that? When was the last time you wore that? I've never seen you wear that.". And then she neatly folds them and puts them in a separate pile from the rest of my clothes.

Which is cool because one thing I'm okay with losing is the freedom to choose what clothes I wear. I've never been a good dresser and I'm happy to admit it. I've noticed a few of my friends dressing noticeably better since getting married and I'm not only okay with it, I'm looking forward to it. As long as I feel comfortable in my clothes, that's fine. And if I look good and don't have to be the one who worries about it, that's perfect.

--

The Raptors finally won one last night. We got it done when it mattered, but the truth is games 1 and 2 mattered but they couldn't pull it off. I'll be at the game on Saturday.. I hope they can win.

April 24, 2008

23 days remain

Today is April 24, 2008. I'm getting married in 23 days... gasp! For the next little while, I'll blog a bit about my general thoughts as this day approaches, amongst other stuff.

Although there are some who have told me marriage is the best, the vast majority of people tell me it's not as great as you think it's gonna be. I've heard a lot of people say you have to really work hard at it. Maybe I'm crazy but I'm really looking forward to that hard work.

My general impression of wedding planning is that it's a bit too over-the-top. I think most brides would emphasize that it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and the biggest day of their life. Whereas some guys, myself included, would say that it's just one day. Why are we spending this much on ONE day?

That was me about 4-5 months ago.

I think weddings are a magical time for the bride so they are generally more involved in the planning process because they care more. The groom is kind of just there, making sure they don't spend too much, but also his role is pretty much to keep a hands-off approach but close enough to ensure his bride's happiness throughout this process. And providing reassurance that it isn't too much.

For me, I've been pretty much hands off for most of it. I've seen the wedding more as a formality, just something we need to get done for the sake of family, friends, God, and that whole official-ness of it. Many times we've actually both considered just eloping because of all the pain it would avoid. But in the end we're definitely both looking forward to this big day.

That's not to say I don't plan on indulging on this day, soaking in the moment and making the most of this once-in-a-life-time experience.

April 23, 2008

American politics

Can't seem to avoid this stuff, as it's brought up every day at lunch time in our lunchroom. If you're eating lunch with my co-workers, you pretty much have no choice to talk politics at some point, which kind of annoys me because it's not even OUR politics.

Anyhow, I came across this video that I'm sure many of you have already seen. It's called "Yes We Can" by Barrack Obama.. I thought it was pretty cool:



Hahaha... oops.. my bad. I am so sorry for that. Here's the real one.

April 22, 2008

Asparagus Mystery

There's something strange I noticed a few years ago while eating asparagus. It was around the time when I had dusted off the Hamilton Beach Grill I had. Someone had brought asparagus to a barbecue I attended and all they did was put olive oil and salt on it to season it.

It tasted amazing so I went home and did it myself.

The strange thing was, for the rest of the evening my pee smelled really gross. Kind of like rotten cabbage. I didn't think much of it until about a few months later, I was over at Pastor Vic's place for a BBQ, and we were all eating kabob's, and I offered Mike some asparagus, and he said "No thanks, I don't want my pee to smell funny afterwards."

Since then I've always noted the smell of pee after asparagus. It's quite a phenomenon. I even told my mom about it but she didn't believe me because it never happened to them.

As it turns out, asparagus has amino acids, whereupon if they can be broken down by your stomach enzymes, one component called "methyl mercaptan" really really smells. And only 40% of the world's population experience this.

Apparently scientists are split when it comes the actual cause of the smell (why some people smell it and some don't). Some believe that more than half the world's population lacks the genetic enzyme required to break down the amino acids to methyl mercaptan, while scientists believe that everyone can do this but only 40% of the world's population have the genes to be able to smell it in the urine.

This is pretty fascinating to me. This means that some scientists believe that two people could be standing side-by-side in a bathroom and one would smell the awful pungent smell of asparagus pee, while the other wouldn't smell a thing..

Does your pee smell especially worse when you eat asparagus?

April 16, 2008

Blog killer

Can a blog be killed? I think so.

How can you kill a blog? Take the blogger, give him someone better to talk to than a computer. Give him a friendship that lasts forever, someone to hold hands with, someone to love and who loves him back. Someone else to shares his deepest secrets with, his burdens and also his joys. When you can do this to the blogger, the blog dies.

This blog is nearing its end.

April 07, 2008

Blue Jays Drunkfest

I think they serve too much alcohol at these games.

On Friday we went to the Blue Jays' home opener at the Rogers Centre (it's not the Skydome anymore!) with the small group. Organized by one of the SG members who happens to be a big baseball fan.

The last time I went to a baseball game, it was with Euhan of all people. He had gotten free tickets at work and we went because he'd never been to Skydome before. We left around the 7th inning because it was so boring.

Friday's game wasn't all the different, except we were in the 500 level and apparently, it's all one huge drinkfest up there. Game, what game right? It's so far away from the field you can't really see anything.

They decided to honor Roberto Alomar before the game, which was nice because I don't think I've been a fan since those days. I couldn't help but feel a bit emotional as they played clips from the glory days. Robbie came out in his usual swagger/walk and thanked the fans. It was pretty nice. But then it just turned south after that. In a surprise move Paul Godfrey decided to also honor Paul Beeston. I have utter respect for the guy, but after you just did Alomar was this the right move? It took a little thunder away from Alomar in my opinion.

Before long the game was underway, and after about 3 hours, we were into the 2nd inning and Ina turned to me and asked "Can we go home now?".

Baseball is by no means a spectator sport. In my opinion, they should play the game with no crowd and record the whole thing, and then show it on television, edited to remove the boring parts. Then they could pretty much play it as a commercial because there's probably only about 45 seconds worth of good footage. I wouldn't mind if they played this commercial several times over the day to get plenty of coverage. But to have it on television, for people to have to pay money to go see this snooze-fest..

You find yourself looking at the scoreboarding every 4 seconds to confirm whether the last pitch was a ball or strike. They've got this board letting you know how fast the pitch was, and whether it was a slider, cutter, curveball, changeup, fastball, knuckleball. This was all they could come up with hoping to entertain you. You could have drinking games to the tune of what pitch was thrown. My monies on a curveball next. No I think it'll be a change up. Drink up, losers -- it was a SLIDER What the hell is a slider anyway? Look, it's Jerry O'Connell falling from the sky!

My biggest question about the evening was why they didn't have replay. It's bad enough that something exciting happens every 15 or 16 hours, but to have no replay means that you have to wait that much longer for something interesting to happen. If you missed it because you were asleep, or too busy reading the little tidbits of bio information of the player at bat, you're going to have to wait until essentially next week to see the next great play. Kinda makes you feel like the guy on Polka Dot Door, missing the Polkaroo for the umpteenth time. "The Polkaroo was here???!? AND I MISSED HIM AGAIN!??!?!?!"

I can't count the number of times we were trying to guess how fast the next pitch was going to be, and we heard the crack of the bat hitting the ball, some cheering, and you look down and realize you just missed the most exciting moment in the past 13 hours. In fact from where we were sitting, even if we WERE paying attention you can't see what is happening. The angle was off and the ball disappeared just below the front row of our section. Our reaction was pretty much based on looking around at the rest of the crowd to see how they reacted. They're cheering, therefore we must cheer! YA!! GO BLUE JAYS!!

Every hit looked like a potential home run from our angle. Every pitch looked exactly the same as the last. We just had to trust the scoreboard to be correct that it was a ball or strike.

Around the 6th inning or so, everyone stood up in our section and a few sections over to the left. Something was happening, only it wasn't on the field. A few sections over to the left, some shirtless dude was pounding away on a guy in a suit. FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! Meanwhile the game is still going on. Some sucker at bat is probably thinking we're all cheering for him -- as if anyone actually cares about the product on the field.

We started seeing rows of people chanting something at the ushers and cops as people were arrested. Then it all died down, and we resumed watching this incredibly boring sport.

About 15 minutes (or what felt more like 30 hours) later, all of sudden everyone was standing again and looking at this same section again. This time, there was a blond with a pink blue jays t-shirt on, standing up, with her hands by her sides getting ready to pull up her shirt. And she did. Boobies. Cheers from the crowd, drunk teenagers all whooped it up, and she pulled her shirt back down and then raised her arms in victory.

Ushers came running again trying to stop it and kick her out, but this time about 2-3 sections were protesting "LET HER STAY! LET HER STAY!". Memories of Growing Pains when Mike Seaver locked himself in his highschool with "Heck no, we won't go!" chants flooded into my head.

Eventually these poor ushers relented, unable to wrestle this girl, who was now hiding behind about 20 of her friends. Then the cops came finally and arrest her, along with several of her accomplices.

From all corners of the dome, people start throwing their "Rally Towels" onto the field. These towels with the old Blue Jays logo and the new logo on it. They gave them out prior to the game and now they had become ammunition for people to throw and protest how boring baseball was. Even the lower bowl got into it, throwing their freebies to the field. You would see an usher go and retrieve one, and just as he turned around to head back to the dugout area, someone else would throw another. This went on for approximately 45 hours.

Then we notice there were 3 ushers in our section, looking around for the unhappy towel throwers, we guessed. We didn't have a bad section with flashers and fighters, but we did have some raucous fans booing anyone who walked up the aisle wearing Red Sox clothing. We also had a lot of "BOSTON SUCKS" and "F___ you Ortize" chants. I even threw in a few of my own "VC Sucks" chants but not loud enough for people to hear, because I'm not a big guy.

Then all of a sudden an usher ran up to a bunch of 13 or 14 year old kids a few rows ahead of us. All through the game we saw them passing this large carton of Tropicana. Being the innocent people we were, we thought "hey look, those kids snuck in a carton of juice to the game, that's smart since the drinks are so expensive here". Turns out it was alcohol. The usher grabbed the carton opened it up and took a big whiff. You could see from his expression it was not freshly squeezed florida oranges in there.

At this point the raining towels were coming down in big droplets of 1 in every 5 seconds. It was really getting crazy.

Then, after another 30 hours of baseball fun, another roar from the crowd. I looked over to the troubled section but everyone was looking down. There were another 2 more morons who had jumped the wall and were running on the field with no shirts. A woman with a bra and a man. These guys are so drunk, they aren't even streaking the right away. The girl got stopped pretty quick but the guy ran out and deked out the guards pretty good. He may have potential as a future CFL runningback. Finally he was tackled by an usher. The crowd was loving it. More towels, bottles and cups go flying.

We put on our jackets and got the hell out of there.

April 04, 2008

One hurdle at a time

I find that I can't handle more than one big hurdle at a time. There are major things in life that I feel I need to get out of the way before I can do another big thing. Like for instance, a job opportunity came up about half a month ago. I've been just about "okay" with my job and I've been looking for changes. But with the wedding coming up, I feel it's too 'big' of a hurdle for me to jump over while looking for work at the same time. It's a fairly large undertaking to look for a job, apply, get the resume in order and all that.

Another one is planning for Longlac. I've been tasked or asked to lead at least a week of Longlac short term missions for the church this year. I haven't even thought about it for more than maybe 3 hours total in the past 3 months. I just don't have time for it and I don't feel like I can think about it until the wedding is done with.

So for now I'm stuck behind this wedding thing.

There are also different levels of hurdles. Little things would be like if I had to take care of an errand that might only take me an hour to do, but it was something I didn't really like doing, I might put it off until I have taken care of something else that is slightly more stressful. Like if I had to make a presentation at work, I might put off doing the dishes for a week. That kind of thing.

I feel like I need a clean slate before I can perform certain tasks, even if they are simple tasks.

I also feel like I often save tasks to the end, not to procrastinate but rather so that I can do things all together. I find that Ina is the same way when it comes to this. Like for instance I got one of my buddies address so I could send him an invitation, but rather than sending it I'm still holding out for another address. Instead of just mailling it, I want to do them all together. Which is probably a mistake because by waiting this long it will probably be too short notice for the both of them and then neither of them will come.

April 03, 2008

False advertising

...Photoshopping gone terribly, terribly wrong. This cereal is so great, it changes the pigment of your skin!