Tuesday, August 29, 2006


About 4 months ago, I got to babysit the Goodyear children and lived to blog about it. Today, I get to do it again. What does today have in store for me? More good times? Absolutely. A fierce bludgeoning to the gonads? Probably. More kids shows than you can shake a stick at? Definitely. Either way, I think it's gonna be good times.

I survived!!!! I had a fantastic time at the Goodyear's. I only got 3 punches to man business, so I think that's a sign that yesterday was a good day. The kids spent a good amount of time watching cartoons, so I found myself having some time writing one of my papers. When they weren't watching TV and I wasn't working on stuff, we were goofing around and sending MonkeyMail. If you haven't tried it, I must urge you to try it. It's something that allows you to send a customized message that comes from a monkey. The first time I saw it, I was doubled over laughing. After sending my first one to my brother, I ended up sending 15 more to other people in a matter of 30 minutes. Yes, it can be THAT addicting!! And judging from the kids' response, they really liked it too. Each of them customized their own monkey and sent one to their mom and dad. But on one of 'em, they collaborated, and this is what they ended up with.
At around lunch time, Miranda came by and played with the kiddos. It seemed like they had a really great time with her. In fact, I'm willing to wager that they had more fun with Miranda than they had with me. Probably because she's much cooler and prettier than I. Plus, being an Italian is so much more appealing to kids than an imported Mexicasian.
One funny thing that happened was watching Sam constantly asking what time it is because at 3:30, Natasha was supposed to come over and take her to the library. The first thing she says when I get there is 'NATASHA IS COMING OVER TO TAKE ME TO THE LIBRARY!! NATASHA IS COMING OVER TO TAKE ME TO THE LIBRARY!! I'M SO EXCITED!!' 20 minutes later, she asks 'what time is it?' I say '9:20'. 45 minutes later she asks 'What time is it?' I say '10:05'. Every half hour, she would ask what time it was, so after about 2 hours of this nonsense, I told her to look at the clock on the microwave. Although it was slightly on the annoying side, it really warmed my heart to see how much she loves Natasha.

Sam, Luke and Jake were fantastic kids who love living life. To see them enjoying life in their own unique ways makes me wonder why growing up means to lose such lust for living life to the fullest. Maybe it's the expectations society heaps upon us to "act our age" and view life as seriously as possible. Granted, there's a lot of crap in the world, but there's also so much to discover and wonder about. When kids approach certain experiences, more often than not they dive right in without and hesitation of consequences. Granted, this may get them into trouble, but imagine the joys they would have missed if they waited and assessed the situation before making their decision. Maybe us grown ups can take a small lesson on what we can learn from these kids, the same kinds of kids that Jesus found himself loving and absolutely adoring with every ounce of His being. Instead of replacing the mysteries, uncertainties and wonders of life, maybe going out and doing something spontaneous is a place we need to frequent. Instead of wondering what people may think of us, maybe we should simply go and start a conversation with a total stranger. Instead of caring about what we'll get in return, maybe we should secretly give away something that means a lot to us. Let's bring back the awe and spontinaity and mystery of life that society has done so well in siphoning out and see what happens.

Monday, August 28, 2006


I have absolutely no idea what's going on, but I'm feeling really, really mad. At what? I don't know. All I know is I'm feeling really angry about something. At the cafe today, there were a few customers who were being funny by making snooty comments and being "too cool for school". Typically, I would respond with a smile and be all cheerful, but for some reason, I decided to throw back a few curt remarks of my own. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have done that and need to be more responsible with my tendancy to be rude. Maybe I need to cut back on my coffee consumption.

***EDIT***: A few hours after posting this, I got a surprise visit that totally cheered me right up and made everything good again. We chatted, laughed, and went online car shopping. Yahtzee!!!


I am going to miss him. For the short amount of time I've know this guy, I've been challenged and encouraged in so many ways. Whether it was spending a week in New Orleans, or reading his thoughts and reflections, or sittin' around the cafe or the Goodyears, there has never been a dull moment. I'm going to miss his enthusiasm, charm, wit, compassion, and great sense of humor. Nathan, I wish you all the best as you head back to Sarnia to be a part of what God is doing there. I look forward to hearing about what you're up to via your blog. Whenever I go back to Detroit, I hope to stop by your hood and chat it up. Keep on rockin', baby, and continue stickin' it to the man by being you. Love ya, baby.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Shoes, people, procrastination. I think these three things will be the bane of my existence. As things are right now, I'm slowly falling further and further behind in finishing my assignments. Why? I can't seem to stop hanging out with people and shopping for shoes. Today, I had hoped to get a few things done: Write a paper, pick up my futon, and hang out with some people. Everything happened, except the paper. This is how today went down.

I wake up and start cleaning my room to make space for a futon that I paid for a few months ago. At around 1pm, I head over to the Goodyear's place to borrow their van. Natasha said the night before that if I needed a hand moving the futon to give her a call. Since I needed a hand, I called her, but not only did Natasha come by, so did Jaci. The up side was these two lovely women helped me move this piece of furniture. The down side is Jaci was originally over at Natasha's place to help her move, but instead, they both left what they were doing and helped me. My dear readers, these two women are simply fabulous, and I am one selfish, greedy little Chinaman. To return the favor, I am asking that anyone who is available tomorrow and next Friday to help Natasha and Jaci move. I know I'll be there, and it'd be a HUGE help if y'all could lend a hand.

Afterwards, I head up to the Starbucks on Upper James to meet Jen. The plan was for her to do some leisurely reading while I write a paper. She was able to do her reading, but I wrote about 3 lines of stuff. Why? Because I was distracted with a haze of flies buzzing all around me and landing on my seat and my computer. What made it worse was I think these were some horny flies because they would land on top of each other and do what I think was fly copulation. This grossed me out so much, I lost all focus and concentration and asked if we could go somewhere else. Jen, being the kind soul that she is, said ok, which caused us to move from one coffee shop to another. Can you guess where we ended up? If you guessed the FRWY cafe, you are a smarty pants!!

Upon arriving at the cafe, I quickly pull out my computer to check my email and attempt to chip away at the 14 paper pileup. No dice. Jen and I started talking about shoes, and before we know it, we're online, shoe shopping, and end up placing an order. As it stands, the shoe count is up to 9 pairs, none of which are mine. Shortly after this shoe craze, Miranda and Kristyn come to the cafe to begin their shift. I was so excited because this was the first time I had seen them since they returned from Europe, so it was great to see them in good health and hear some interesting stories, one of which included a pervert in Amsterdam. Are you curious now? If so, ask these fine, fine ladies about it.

After appeasing our lust for shoes, we decide to appease our appetites and order pizza. Typically, people either go to the store or pick up the phone. But in keeping with the online purchasing craze, we order the pizza online from pizza pizza. (Is it redundant to have the word 'pizza' 3 times in a sentence? I'm thinking yes, but I'll chock it up to poor Englishing skills.) Let me say that this was one of the best pies I've ever tasted!! We get a 3 topping pie with chicken, mushrooms and caramalized onions. Yummy, you say? Oh, that's just the start. Instead of the typical tomato sauce, we get an alfredo/garlic sauce, with pepper flakes on top. To describe the greatness of the flavor is impossible, except to say that this pizza was truly a party in my mouth. I urge you all to order pizza online. Not only is it fun to the max, but you discover that pizza pizza offer more options than you think. I was definitely pleasantly surprised.

Once done pizzaing, we head over to the Goodyear's place for some salsa making. I discovered that making baller salsa requires a few simple steps and is REALLY inexpensive to make. While making the salsa, Pernell puts in the movie 'The Inside Man', which is a really great movie. It's directed by Spike Lee, but is not your typical Spike Lee film, although there are a few scenes that have the Spike Lee touch, like certain camera angles and tricks, and different conversations that pertain to issues of race, police brutality, and blatant stereotyping.

All in all, this was a great day that followed on the heels of another great day, but I really need to get some papers written. I really need to stop letting shoes, people and procrastination get the better of me.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Today was a really great day. It started out with waking up feeling refreshed and ready to go. I leave for Mississauga to have lunch with my buddy Al. We chat it up over a tremendous spread of Japanese food that included baller sushi and wicked noodles. Afterwards, I stop by a Bluenotes outlet store and bought 3 track jackets for $10. Then I go to the FRWY, make myself a cup of French Press Freedom Fighter, head down into the basement and pump out a paper. To celebrate, I go watch Little Miss Sunshine with 5 other AMAZING people: Nick, Amber, Melissa, Natasha and Jen. Let me just say that this movie was just as good, if not better, than the first time I saw it. Afterwards, we go to Philthy McNasty's for some drinks and a bit of eats on their patio, where I find myself getting red in the face and a bit buzzed from half a beer. As we were having a great time chatting, we get shooed away by the employees because they needed to put away the chairs and tables to make room for the other patrons. Instead of calling it a night, we meander to the closest Tim Hortons and keep talking, swapping stories, and had great conversations that included topics such as hormones, wrinkly boobs, lice, drugs, robes, and tv shows.

All in all, today was a superb day. What does tomorrow have in store? All I know is I'm picking up my futon, and I still have yet to make room for that bad boy.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

One Down, Fourteen to Go

Just finished one of my 14 papers. To celebrate this minor accomplishment, I shall now embark upon my date with Little Miss Sunshine. Don't worry, we love company, so hope to see y'all there!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Lately, I've been having conversations with people about what I see myself doing after school. For some reason, I've been giving the same cookie-cutter answer: 'I don't know'. It's not that I'm very secretive about what I hope to do after school, it's that I really don't know!! Hopefully my lame-o answers haven't annoyed people, but the more I say the same thing, the more I annoy myself. When I keep saying the same things, I keep wondering if I'm avoiding something. Today, I found myself pondering this at the cafe, and I think I've perhaps arrived somewhere.

As I began thinking about my post-school plans and the lack of certainty, I realized that I'm still wrestling with things that have been on my mind for the past 2 1/2 years. The issue? Is my place to be in an ethnic-specific context, or a multi-ethnic context? As of right now, not only am I divided on the issue, but the more I think about it, the more torn I become. Here's my dilemma.

For the longest time, I've been part of a Chinese in Detroit. I started out as a punk kid in the youth group, causing havoc and being stupid. Over a 10 year period, I went from a kid in the group to going on staff and being the youth director for 2 1/2 years. During this time, I saw everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly of this thing we call a church. While on staff, not only did I learn a lot, but started wondering about why this church does what it does. Why is it only focusing on the Chinese people in the Detroit area? Aren't the people who live across the street from the church our neighbors as well? All the while, I found my awareness and passion for the area of social justice growing tremendously to the point where I realized that summer trips to impoverished areas and checks to social organizations just wasn't cutting it for me. With the combination of feeling inadequate as a 'leader figure' and wondering whether or not this 'calling' to be in vocational church stuff is for me, I venture off to Canada to get my bearing. Little did I know that along with learning a lot about myself and this Kingdom we're part of, I'd also end up with more questions and frustrations than before.

Since I've been here, I've gone through rejection, disillusionment, anger, frustration, exuberance, self-revelation, denial, triumph and peace all in a span of 2 1/2 years. In my experience, I've discovered that the church is a cold, cold place. From my semester spent in rez at Tyndale to the different churches I visited, I can't remember the last time I've ever felt so alone, ignored, and marginalized. Although it was a painful time, I've come to the realization that going through this has only made me more passionate about creating a community that is inclusive. It's so easy to live in selective community, where we choose who we're close to, but it's hard to love those who are different from you. Even at my time at the FRWY, I've found myself becoming someone that I used to hate with a passion. I remember one particular gathering where a whole group of 'noobs' visited the FRWY. Instead of introducing myself and getting to know them, I chose to stay in my circle and stick with the people I knew. As I think back at this time, I realized how easy it is to hate being left out, but when you're part of something, how natural exclusivity comes to a jerk face like me.

Something else I've learned about myself over these last 2 1/2 years in Canada is what my 'voice' sounds like. For the longest time, I found myself doing things for the sake of pleasing and impressing others, instead of trying to discover who God has intended me to be and what part my voice is to play in this Holy symphony. As I've learned more about how God has wired me and the things that make me tick, I find myself venturing in a different direction than the Chinese church I grew up with. Being immersed in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society, I feel that my being involved with an ethnic-specific community flows against the grain of my heart. At the same time, am I turning my back on my own cultural heritage? It's easy to scream at the top of my lungs when I'm surrounded by others who are singing the same song, but if I'm a lone voice singing a different tune, is this where I'm supposed to be? I feel the Chinese church that I remember is focusing on the immigrant population in North America and dropping the ball when it comes to being culturally relevant to future generations. In seeing this and feeling this way, is my responsibility to be a voice to a generation that is turning it's back on the Chinese church? I believe that when I learn God's response to this question, I'll have a better idea as to what the future has in store for me. Until then, I welcome the input of others as well as any prayers you could spare.


In completely random order, here's my completely random post.


Apparently, I look Mexican. According to our FRWY friend Jenny, she thought that I was from Mexico. From my recollection, here's how the conversation went down.

Jenny: I have this really nice bandana of the US flag.
Natasha(or Rachel, I can't remember): Nice. Kevin would like that. He's from the US.
Jenny: He is? I thought he was Mexican. (turns to look directly at me) Are you from Mexico?
Me: Um, I don't think so?
Natasha and Rachel: ***Muffled laughter at my misfortune.***

Not only am I the only Asian at the FRWY, I am also the only Mexican. Or as my fellow FRWY minority Adrian says, 'You're Mexicasian!!'

In celebration of my newly adopted ethnicity, I saw this t-shirt and had to take a picture of it. Ladies, feel free to do as it says.


I don't know what it is with me and rodents, but they seem to be everywhere that I am. First, I have mice at my place here in Hamilton. Then when I'm back in Michigan this past weekend, my dad and I find this squirrel/hamster/rat looking thing sleeping in our drapes and drinking the water from a nearby plant dish. This thing was burrowed near the middle of the drapes that looks like this, just sleeping as if it paid rent to live there. When my dad and I tried to catch it, it was hilarious. We kept thinking of what tools to use. One idea was to get two colanders to catch it. Realized that it was a dumb. An even dumber idea was to use one of the colanders and a laundary basket. You'd think that two engineers would be more creative and think of something better, but I guess rodent disposal isn't our thing. Finally, the course of action we decided on was for me to block off one side with a large wooden spatula, and my dad standing on the other side with a plastic bag. The plan was for me to chase it towards my dad, who would swiftly catch it in the bag. I found myself poking at it with a stick, and I honestly thought I saw this thing look at me and give the a 'what-the-crap-do-you-think-you're-doing?' look. After several minutes of poking it, the thing ran towards my dad and jumped into the plastic bag. He immediately tied it up and looked as it he was going to start whacking it against the floor. Instead, I suggested that I let it go outside. So off I went, setting this thing free into the vast land we call Detroit. Is it alive? Did it go into someone elses' house? This is all a mystery to me. All I know is that rodents suck.


I gave Jen a ride home this evening after our shift at the cafe. On the way back, she was telling me all about her new job and gushing on and on about how much she loves what she's doing. As she was talking about something relatively serious, I noticed this sign on the side of the road that made me begin laughing. She stopped talking and asked 'What?!' I said 'We just passed a sign that read 'We Wax Nose Hairs'. I then proceeded to turn around and drive by it again so she could see it. The sign was so awesome that I had to stop the car, get out, and snap a picture. Here it is.

I didn't know this was even possible, but apparently it can be done. Can you say 'OUCH!!!!!!'


On a day that was intended to be spent on writing papers, it was diverted to a higher calling. On this day, I've done something I have never done before. I purchased 6 pairs of shoes online today. The crazy thing is none of them were for me!! Is online shoe shopping the wave of the future? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Monday, August 21, 2006


After much conversation and deliberation, it has been decided that we would like to watch the 7:30pm showing of Little Miss Sunshine at the Upper James Cinemas. This is an open invite to anyone and everyone who is interested in seeing an absolutely hilarious film about relationships, death, drugs and redemption. If you would like to join us, we will be at the theater at 7:00pm waiting expectantly for you. Come, come, and bring your friends!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine...take 2

In an earlier blog, I wrote about the movie Little Miss Sunshine. Ever since I saw that movie, I've been dying to see it again. After checking one of the local online listings for movies, it is showing at Upper James Cinema's. Does anyone wanna go? PPPPLLLLLEEEEEEAAAAAAASSSSSSEEEEEEEEE?!?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Oh man, I'm in heaven. If only I could afford a pair of customized shoes. I guess I'll stick with my $15 eBay ones.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Don't Blink

I've seen movies about Dodgeball, Eating McDonalds, Dog shows, Nascar and Quadriplegic rugby. But a movie about a staring competition? Apparently anything is possible. Check out the trailer.

You can download the full movie here. I haven't seen the film in it's entirety, but my guess is that it's a mockumentary on a real organization, kinda like what 'Best in Show' was to dog shows or 'Spinal Tap' to rock 'n roll stars.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I haven't made much headway on the plethora of assignments I still have to complete. The death count currently sits at 16 papers to go. I've learned that motivation to do these assignments is as close to zero as it comes. But, I have discovered that I work best when I'm surrounded by people who are also doing something. With that said, is there anyone out there who has stuff to do, papers to write, books to read, that would be willing to be my study buddy?


Krista was at the cafe this evening. While we were chatting, she mentioned that I haven't updated my blog in a while, which got me thinking: I should post an update!! So here it is.

In the last 3 weeks, I found myself criss-crossing North America twice. I started out in Hamilton, drove to New Orleans and back, then drove from Hamilton to Detroit to hop on a plane back down south to Texas, flew back to Detroit, then drove back to Hamilton. If my calculations are correct, I racked up 5,765 Miles, which comes to roughly 9,278 Kilometers, for y'all Canadians. Is that a lot of traveling? Probably. But was it worth it? Without a doubt. Here's a "short" synopsis.

I haven't posted about my take on the New Orleans trip, but to sum it up, I must say it was more than I expected, but exactly what I needed. I'll have to give a dedicated post to the New Orleans trip which will hopefully come soon.
I posted my speaking engagements, but there was a lot more that happened during my trip to Texas. I was able to hang out with lots of friends, eat some phenomenal food, listen to sweet tunes, and drink some wicked tasty beer. A friend of mine has taken up the hobby of being a brewmeister. The last time I was in Austin, I sampled some of his brew, and it was hella good. This time, it just so happened that he brewed 6 more kegs of beer and was throwing a party. So I went and scored on some sweet nectar of choice hops and carbon. Unfortunately, I still don't have a liver, so couldn't drink more. But soon, I shall find myself in the ER for liver replacement surgery, and mark my words, Melvin, I will return for more.
While in Austin, I finally got to see my friend's band. I've been hearing lots of great things about them, but have never heard them before. The band's called Jadens Move, and their music is available on iTunes. Look 'em up, check 'em out. I promise you shall not be disappointed.
On my last night in Texas, I went to a restaurant called Saltlick with a group of good friends. On the menu? All you can eat BBQ with a spread that included brisket, ribs, sausage, and a whole assortment of fixin's to fill any gaps meat leaves behind. I must say, it was a meal and a half. The crazy thing was when I woke up the next day to catch my flight back to Detroit, I had the worst case of indigestion. In fact, I was afraid it would come out from both ends. Fortunately, it didn't. But what did come up was the nastiest case of burps I've ever had the pleasure of belching. It smelled and tasted like digested meats and sauce. Gross, you say? Well, it gets worse. That same evening, I find myself going #2 on the can, and to my surprise, the smells from the 'basement' were the same I had been getting from 'the attic'. That has never happened to me before, and I hope it never happens again.

After Texas was 5 days in Detroit with family. It was my dad's 60th birthday that weekend, so my brothers, Albert and Dennis, sister-in-law, Liz, and brother's girlfriend, Abby, all flew in to partake in the festivities. Dennis and Liz brought their dog, Rocky, which was a hoot. I was actually in Charlotte when they first got Rocky in February. He was this tiny little Bichon Frieze that was the size of a 6" subway sandwich. But now, he's grown significantly and has more energy than all the FRWY kids combined. One of the parties we went to was a BBQ at one of my dad's friends' place. They have this dog that probably has more bite than it has bark running around, and when we get there, Rocky darts out of the van and starts running around. Instinctively, this psycho dog goes running after Rocky and catches up to him. We didn't know what was going to happen, but it looked as if Rocky was going to turn from pet to lunch. Fortunately, the disaster was thwarted by a pack of screaming people running after Rocky and grabbing him from the clutches of Cujo.
Overall, my time in Detroit was pretty low key, but a great time none the less. It was really great seeing everyone again and hanging out with family. During that weekend, I realized that family is some thing that is so easily taken for granted. I remember there was a time that I got so sick and tired of being with family that I couldn't wait to get away. But now that I'm in Hamilton, my parents are in Detroit, my older brother Albert is in Denver, and my younger brother, Dennis and his wife, Liz, are in Charlotte, I find myself wishing that we all lived closer together. With this sort of sentiment, I find myself cherishing family get togethers all the more. Even though this past get together is still fresh in my mind, I'm already pumped about our next get together in Denver for Thanksgiving. In fact, I just booked my ticket today. Can you say 'Huzzah, sucka!!!!!'

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

A few weeks ago, I learned of a free screening for the movie 'Little Miss Sunshine' in Austin at the same time I was going to be here. I signed up to get free tickets for myself and 6 other people. Let me tell you, this movie was nothing short of amazing. It's difficult to describe this movie because I haven't seen anything like it, but for the sake of comparison, I would liken this movie to a rated R Napoleon Dynamite with smarter dialogue and some more mature themes. Throughout the movie, there is a gentle weaving of a coming of age story with experiences of failure, loss, self realization and spirituality. All the while, humor, good acting and great music fill any potential gaps of losing the audience.

It seemed to be the shared feeling between those I saw the movie with that this was one of the funniest and smartest films we have seen in a long time. What caps this movie off was the fact that it was ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!! They are still offering free scrennings all over North America, so if you're interested, check to see if it's showing in your city or a city near by. If you do choose to go, not only will you need to print out the email you receive after signing up, but get there early. The movie started at 7:30pm, and we got there at 6:15pm. By 6:30pm, the line was out the door. My suggestion is get a group of friends to go along and make an evening out of it. Trust me, it'll be an evening to remember.