Thursday, June 29, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
This morning, an email and post from Pernell brought some awful news that is not only inopportune, but begs the question 'Why?' It's one thing to give or hear a message about not having expectations and trying to understand what God is doing, but when life takes an unexpected turn, words all of a sudden lose their luster and seem a bit too simple and easy.
In this time of mourning, may the healing and comfort of Jesus Christ fall upon Margie, Pernell, Sam, Luke and Jake.
Monday, June 26, 2006
I spent my first night at my new place. After about 3 hours of putting all my crap away, I was finally able to get some shut eye. This being a new place, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I must say, it was some good sleeps. Next on the list: but toilet paper.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I tried out a new buttermilk pancake recipe this morning, and I must say that I liked it more than the old recipe I used. They came out really fluffy and soft, instead of thick and chewy. I added blueberries to them which made them extra nice. With a side of bacon, one can only say 'Yahtzee'. The only bummer was that it got really smokey in Melissa's place, and when I picked up my carpool buddies for class today, they could tell that I had blueberry pancakes this morning. Hopefully the odors didn't stick to Melissa also.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Foretaste of Things to Come?
I moved the majority of my stuff from Melissa's place to my new place today. As I was unpacking things, I looked out the window and saw a white car pull up. The drivers side door opens and out comes this tall guy wearing a suit and sunglasses. He walks across the street, and all of a sudden I hear this banging on the front door. I hesitated for a bit because I wasn't sure if I should answer the door since the landlord wasn't around. But the banging grows louder and louder, and more frequent. So I decided to go downstairs and see what this guy wanted. When I open the door, he asks me if this particular person lived here. I said no, but I wasn't certain because I had just moved in and still don't know everyone else in the house. It turns out that this guy was a detective looking for someone who kind of had a similar name to mine. I tried to play it cool, but I don't know if I looked a bit too suspect because I was sweating profusely after moving a bunch of stuff into the house. Hopefully he doesn't set up a stakeout outside the house because he thought I was lying.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Good Fun and Good Friends
Today began like all would-be lazy days begin, with a shower and 8 episodes of Friends. I got to join Melissa for what I would consider to be a Friends marathon. I must say that it's not a show I would have found myself watching from week to week, but it was relatively entertaining when episodes were viewed back to back to back to back to...
After the Friends overdose, I head down to Gage park for the FRWY BBQ. I must say that it was a wicked good time. A few highlights:
* Getting my bum foot squashed by a lawnchair. Fortunately, it only hit the top of my foot and not the ankle part.
* Getting beat up by Madi and Caleb. I dunno what it is, but for some reason, I bring the beast out of these kiddies. Maybe I'm unearthing future racists of the world.
* Chowing down on some hella wicked sausages. Juicy, tender and flavorful would be 3 choice adjectives to describe sausages to die for.
* According to Sam Goodyear, it is possible to be 'Chened'. Yes, it sounds gross, but coming from a relatively innocent 8 year old, it's safe to say that it's not what you think it is. Regardless, I still don't know what it means, but apparently Sam finds it hilarious.
* Seeing so many people I've been missing over the last couple weeks. Thanks for stickin' around even after I arrived.
* A few photo memories.
After a long day of chillin' at the Gage, two amazing people helped me move 99% of my stuff into my new place. I'm sure they were tired and ready to go home and rest, but they decided to give a hand and help move my junk. To you, Mark Jefferson and Natasha Tilley, I offer you the utmost sincerest form of thanks and gratitude this gimpy Chinaman can possibly give. You are some of the most selfless and generous people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Oh, and thanks for the best drive thru experience I've ever.
Friday, June 16, 2006
One Step Closer
This evening, I picked up the keys to the place I'll be staying at for the next year, if not longer. I'd say that within a few days, I should be pretty close to getting all my stuff moved in.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
After doing in my ankle this past Saturday, I'm glad to say that the healing process has been much quicker than I expected. I had a meeting this morning in Mississauga and I wasn't sure if I would be able to drive being that I have a manual transmission. Aside from some stiffness, it worked out for the most part. On my way back, my ankle started to hurt so I popped some Ibuprofen and I was cheddar and have been riding on cloud 9 the rest of the day.
Although the drugs help, I'm still in a bit of a predicament. Right now, I've got stuff stored in Melissa's basement and Randy's garage. I'm supposed to move in tomorrow, and from what I remember, there's a serious set of stairs I need to climb in order to get to my place. With all the crap I need to move, it's gonna take me a while. Fortunately, Rachel has said that she could help me move, which is gonna be a HUGE help. I think I'm just gonna move ths stuff I need like my clothes and guitars, and once my ankle gets a bit stronger, move the rest in later. But this brings me to something I've been pondering these past few days.
I've grown accustomed to being relatively independent that I'm actually having a really hard time accepting the help of others when I can't pitch in. I have no problem accepting peoples' help when I'm pulling my own weight, but when I'm in a predicament that has left me incapacitated and needing to rely on the help of others, it feels weird. I feel like a failure when I'm helpless and unable to do anything. But as I've been thinking about this, I was reminded about the relationship humanity has with God. When it comes to the salvific and redemptive acts of Jesus through the incarnation, death and resurrection, we are all helpess beings. There's nothing we can do that Jesus has not already done except respond to His gestures of love and grace. I am reminded of what Martin Luther says about infant baptism. He says 'It was in the child to be baptized that the meaning of Evangelical faith became visible: trusting only in the "alien" justification granted by God; acting out of the "alien", the new conscience, and living on the intercession of others...Baptism only becomes a sacrament, a visible pledge of God's fidelity instituted by Christ through the promise He made [because] the "ignorant" child is not baptized because of its faith but because of God's promise.'
Because I am still wrestling with the need to let go of my inherent control-freak self, perhaps having sprained my ankle will teach me to rely less on myself and more on God and on others.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Although it was great to score some free internet, I would have rather traded that for an on time flight. I was supposed to arrive in Buffalo at 10:30, but the flight was delayed an hour. After all was said and done, my friend and I didn't arrive home till 1am. What made things worse was having to wake up at 5:45am for class. What double sucks is that I made my friend Chris lose out on sleep, and he drove to school this morning. Hopefully the lack of sleep won't take it's toll on him or I.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I'm at the Baltimore airport chillin', and lo and behold, there's FREE wireless internet!! What a major score for the Chenster. The trip home has been pretty good so far. On the flight from Austin to Baltimore, I was able to board early b/c of my bum ankle, so I got first pick on what seat I wanted. As I was boarding, one of the gate attendants asked if I needed any assistance after landing in Baltimore. I said yes, but asked if it was a wheelchair or a motorized cart. She said she didn't know, so I decided to wait and see. If there was a motorized cart, I was gonna hop on, but if it was a wheelchair, I was gonna walk. Just my luck, it was a wheelchair, so I walked on by. Fortunately, my gate wasn't very far away, so I didn't have to walk very far.
I was asleep for most of the flight, so it was pretty quick. But the only annoying bit was sitting next to a guy who really liked the arm rest. So much so, that his elbow kept spilling over and hitting my arm and side. This guy was quite hairy, so everytime I touched his arm, it felt like I was rubbing up against some furry animal. Fortunately, I'm not very hairy, or else there could have been a potential incident of our hairs interlocking into some sort of crazy velco action and getting stuck. Anyways, I kept readjusting myself to not touch him, but to no avail. There's just not much space on these aircrafts. Sometimes I have personal space issues, and apparently today was one of those days.
Posted new pictures today. Before you click, read this disclaimer:
THESE PICTURES ARE NOT PLEASANT.
The fortunate thing is that although my ankle looks absolutely nasty, it's feeling much better. I've gotten back about 60% of my mobility, which seems quite surprising for spraining it only 3 days ago. The only thing is that after the flight from Austin to Baltimore, my foot swelled up and I had a hard time getting my sandal on.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Ankle Update, and Then Some
Well, it's been over 24 hours since my ankle got owned yesterday at the wedding, and it's getting better. Unfortunately, it looks absolutely horrendous. There's some mad bruising all over the outside and inside of my ankle, and it's still relatively swollen. According to a physical therapist I spoke with today, he said that the bruising and reduced swelling is a good thing, so I think I'm on the road to recovery. I've been taking pictures of my ankle every day to track the progress of this bad boy. FYI, they're pretty gross. I gotta give some mad props to my friend Joyce who hooked me up with an ace bandage and a ziploc full of drugs. Everytime I pull out the pills, people give me weird looks, but hey, I'm not popping the pills for the approval of others.
This afternoon, I had my first drink of homemade beer. Joyce's brother, Melvin, brews his own beer, and he's got some wicked sweet stuff goin' on. Imagine this: There's an upright refrigerator in his garage with 2 taps on the outside. You pull either tap, and you get different types of beer, both of which are very tasty. Needless to say, when I'm back in Austin this July, I'm gonna have to stop by his house and score s'more of his home brew.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Nearly Perfect Wedding
My friend Gordon got married this weekend in Austin to a really great woman called Yvonne. The ceremony and reception was fabulous. Although it was an outdoor event, the weather wasn't all that bad. There was a gentle breeze breaking through here and there that brought some relief, so that was a good thing. I say it was a nearly perfect wedding because I had an incident about 10 minutes before we left. I was helping move some stuff from the chapel to the cars, and thought that there were 3 steps instead of 4. So after the third step, I take a dive and severely roll my ankle. Right now, I have a cankle and it's beginning to get some nice black and blue discoloration. It hurts like nobody's business, but hopefully it's only a high ankle sprain and nothing more. If things don't settle down by the end of tomorrow, I think I may need to stop by a hospital and get some x-rays.
Needless to say, I'm really pissed right now that I pulled such a boneheaded move and did in my ankle doing something as simple as moving a crate full of wires.
Friday, June 09, 2006
In the US, there's a store called Fry's Electronics. Probably the best way to describe it is Best Buy meets Costco. It's literally a gigantic warehouse of electronic goodies. While a couple guys and I were checking out the store, I came across 2 things that got me absolutely jazzed:
1) I've been looking for a rice cooker, and lo and behold, I find one for $20. Huzzah!!
2) In the cellular section, they have a whole bunch of phones on display. Most of them were plastic dummy phones, but there were 2 on display that stood out, mostly because they were actual working phones with service!! This was the first time I've ever seen a store have phones on display that could actually make and receive calls. So I proceed to make calls to some people in the US as well as in Canada. Double Huzzah!!
Since this past Saturday, I've been in Detroit, Michigan and Austin, Texas. It's really great to be back in the USA, but after being in Canada for a while, I've noticed that most everything here is absurdly large, especially the food. Allow me to elaborate.
I previously posted about a burrito the size of my forearm. I don't know why I ordered it, but I think I have to chock it up to peer pressure. At the table next to us, someone ordered a burrito as well, and we were all oohing and aahing at how big it was. When we asked our server what size it was, she said it was the small. When we heard that, we were left with our jaws gaping in horror of what the large looked like. I knew that I wouldn't be able to finish the large, but my friends said I order the large because they wanted to take a picture.
Here in Texas, the saying goes 'Everything's bigger in Texas'. Let me say that this is no lie. In most other parts of North America, a bottle of pop is typically somewhere between 20 oz. to 2 Liters. Here in Texas, the soda aisle is lined with rows of 3 liter bottles of pop.
In Canada, most restaurants don't offer unlimited refills for beverages. Here in the US, unlimited refills is a given. And here in Texas, some places offer unlimited refills on sides for your main course.
Needless to say, I think I've sent my body into shock with so much food. This is really weird for me to say, but I'm looking forward to going back to Canada so I can stop eating so friggin' much. I'm such a Fatty McFatterson.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
The frontman for the band Radiohead, Thom Yorke, has released a new solo album called 'The Eraser'.
My recommendation: Get it ASAP.
I've noticed that in the last week, sleeping hasn't been much of a problem anymore. I dunno what's happened, but I'm sleeping like a baby. Hopefully it stays like this.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
In a previous post, I spoke about picking up lucky number 13 that was waiting for me at my home in Detroit. Well, number 13 came and went like nobody's business. Instead of coming back with what I thought would be 1 pair of shoes and 2 pairs of sandals, I came home with 2 pairs of shoes and 3 pairs of sandals. Count it...1..2..3..4..5 new pairs of footwear. But what really served as affirmation for this shoe addiction was when I counted the total pairs of shoes I had in my possession this weekend. Along with the 5 new pairs, I had 3 others. The crazier thing is that I had more shoes than my 2 friends had combined!! I think I need to stop this madness soon.
Just got back from a wicked time in the D. A few highlights:
* Had dinner with my parents and cousins to celebrate their anniversary. Although I forgot about it, all was forgiven...I think.
* Went to Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids. Meh. Not for me. But Rob Bell was divine.
* Saw 2 guys who interned with the church while I was still on staff in Detroit, Rob Park and Ben Lin. It was SO great to hang out with them again and catch up on the 411 on their lives.
* Ate a burrito the size of my forearm. Got severely owned. Will be punishing the toilet in the morning.
* Got my oil changed sooner than I thought.
I've currently got a load of laundry in the dryer and am in the process of packing for my trip to Texas tomorrow. Yeehaw, suckas.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
In The D
I left this morning with a couple friends to spend a few days in Detroit. The drive itself was both fun and uneventful, but when I got home, I was greeted by my dad working in the backyard, my dog barking up a storm and acting like a little punk, and a stack of packages. As of this afternoon, I have:
1 pair of shoes
2 pairs of sandals
1 charger for my computer
1 package for Jason Church
1 package for Adam K
2 Packages for my bud Al
and 1 partridge in a pear tree.
After a brief Christmas in June with all the packages and school girl giggles, I head out to Target with some eats for her during her lunch break. When I get there, she says that she didn't know that I was coming home this weekend, and she asks if I'm going out for dinner with her and Dad. I say no because I was planning on going to visit my students who have their youth group gathering tonight. Then she says something that totally rocks me to the core. She says 'But it's our anniversary'. At that, my face turns completely blank and I say 'What? It is?', which sends my friends into this frenzy of laughter at my expense.
I, my friends, am an idiot.
This past Thursday, I decided to christen my new temporary place of housing at the Burleigh's with a time of eats and laughs with some FRWY peeps. Before I begin, I must say that I REALLY wished that more people could have come over, so if you weren't there, let me say that I wished that you were.
The day began and ended with food. In the morning, I got to make breakfast for Melissa. It was kinda fun b/c I used whatever was in the house to make some eats. There's a show called 'Doorknock Dinners' on the Food Network where a chef goes into some random person's house and makes a gourmet meal. The only difference between what I did and what they do on the show is that I'm no chef, and it was no gourmet meal. Actually, there's no correlation. Forgive my random tangent.
After Melissa left for work, I promptly went back to bed for a few hours. After I woke up, I went grocery shopping for the ingredients for dinner. On the menu was a meat lasagna and a vegetarian lasagna. I was cool with the meat one b/c I've made it before, but I was kinda worried about the vegetarian one b/c I've never made it before. But according to those who ate it, they said it was good. I guess I'll have to take their word for it.
Overall, I had a really great time cooking and hanging out with my 'new family'. It was so satisfying to know that a simple meal can bring people together to chat, laugh and insult one another. Thanks everyone for coming and making me feel like I belong here in Hamilton.