Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanksgiving in Denver

I've been meaning to post about my trip to Denver earlier, but I haven't gotten a chance to do it until now.

It was a really great trip and an absolute hoot to see my family again. Although we were all in Denver to celebrate Thanksgiving, my bro Albert had a hidden agenda. What was the hidden agenda, you ask? Well let me tell you.

MY BRO IS ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm really excited for him, not just because he's engaged, but because he's gonna be marrying a really great gal. Her name is Abby, and she's an absolute gem. Here's the happy couple.

In addition to my bro's "secret" engagement (I knew it was happening, even though he didn't tell anyone), here are a few memorable highlights from the trip:

* Seeing Dennis and Liz. This is the first time I've seen them since I got the news that they're expecting. Although she's not showing, it was still awesome to see the future mother and father to-be and spend a few days with them.

* Meeting Abby's family. I've met Abby a few times before, but I've never met her family, and it's totally apparent that the apple hasn't fallen very far from the tree. I got to meet the parents, the grandparents, her brother, sister in-law, 2 nieces and 2 nephews. I got to have some really good conversations with Abby's Dad, who works for Nav Press and is currently pursuing his doctorate. I found out that Abby lives with her grandparents and helps take care of them in whatever way she can. In a culture and society that seems to marginalize and write off the elderly and see them as a burden and inconvenience, it was really inspirational to see how much Abby loves her grandparents.

* Walking around downtown Boulder. On Friday, we took a trip to the nearby city of Boulder. It was really fun walking around with everyone, taking in the sights, having some good laughs, and eating some baller ice cream.

* Bringing home 2 bags of coffee. There is a coffee shop nearby where Dennis and Liz live that has some of the best coffee I've ever had. One time, Liz bought me a bag of their beans, and I've been hooked ever since. A couple weeks before the trip, I emailed Liz and asked her if she could stop in and pick me up another bag, and being that fantabulous woman she is, she did. Unbeknownst to me, Albert had also gotten a huge stash of coffee from a friend who owns his own coffee shop that roasts their own beans. He got 3 bags, and said I could take one. So instead of leaving with 1 bag of beans, I leave with 2. Hyperactivity, here I come.

* Getting sick. Ok, this isn't really a highlight, but more of a bummer. The day I arrived in Denver, I found myself having a dry and scratchy throat. I chocked it up to the thin air in Denver, but it turned out to be the onset of a crappy cold. For the next 2 days, I was coughing and blowing my nose like a freight train. What made it worse was Albert and Abby started showing signs of a cold as well. I felt really, really bad. So far, the last 2 times I've been in Denver, I've gotten sick. I really hope this doesn't become a trend.

* Catching a basketball game with the boys. Albert went and purchased 4 tickets to the Nuggets - Warriors game. The plan was for the boys(Albert, Dennis, my Dad and I) to catch the game while the ladies(Liz, Abby and my Mom) to go do girl stuff. At first I wasn't all that keen on the idea, but it turned out to be a really great time. What could be better than 4 Chinese dudes chillin' at a ball game with pizza, pop, beer and hot dogs?

* Fooding like no tomorrow. Tis the season for gluttony. Along with a fantastic Turkey dinner with all the fixin's, I had some interesting eats. The first was a Buffalo ribeye steak. It was just that, the ribeye cut from a buffalo. It was leaner than ribeye from a cow, but still pretty tasty, although it could've used some seasoning. The second item of interest was a 'Jiffy' burger, which is a beef burger with bacon, provalone cheese and peanut butter. Yup, you heard me right, it had peanut butter. When I saw it, I was like 'NO WAY!!!!! I've GOT to try that!!!!!' So I did. I think I psyched myself out a bit too much because it wasn't as mind blowing as I thought it'd be. I mean, I tasted the peanut butter, but it was a bit more bland that I thought it'd be, and added a unique texture from the creaminess of peanut butter. Although I was hoping it would be a bit sweeter, it was nonetheless a pretty good burger.

Well, that's my 'Thanksgiving in Denver' update. Overall, it was a really, really great trip, although it's kind of a bummer that we don't see each other more often. I guess that's what happens when I'm in Hamilton, Dennis and Liz are in Charlotte, Albert and Abby are in Denver, and my parents are in Troy. But this trip made me realize how I need to savor the moment to the fullest and not take things for granted. I'm really excited for Albert and Abby, and looking forward to seeing them get married.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hockey Props

Found this on a sports site I frequent. It's a big article on Don Cherry. Some may be saying 'big whoop.' Well, the whoop is big because it's an article written by the US sports juggernaut, ESPN. What else are y'all Canadians gonna export?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


In the past month, I've seen my cousins more often in a span of 30 days than I have ever before. Why? Because they're moving to Thailand this Saturday. They are in the midst of packing everything and are under a lot of stress, yet made time to have dinner last night. For the last few times I've seen them, I thought it would be the last time I'd see my cousins for a while. Well, last night, that statement came true. As I prepare to leave for a week long trip to Denver this afternoon, my cousins will already be gone by the time we return.

Last night as we were saying our farewells, it was a very surreal moment. As we were passing out hugs like they were going out of style, I thought to myself 'alright, this is REALLY it!!' I think back to the last 7 or so years that we've had family nearby, and it has been an absolute blessing. But at the same time, I must honestly say that I have totally taken it for granted. For this situation I find myself in, the saying is spot on, where we don't realize the importance of something or someone until they're gone. This is how I feel about my cousins. I miss them already.

Why is this? Why is it so easy to think things will last forever? Why is it so natural to believe that things will remain the same? Is this a reflection of where our culture and society has evolved to, or is it something that I've got some serious issues with? I mean, in looking back at my life, I see this trend where every 4 or so years, I pick up and move. I've never really allowed any roots to really set in, and even if the do, I inevitably grab my chainsaw and rip up whatever has had a chance to grow. Is this self-sabotage?

Anyways, I will miss my cousins. To Anselm, Teresa, Kirsten and Chloe, I wish you all the best as you move to Thailand. Although you will be moving to a new country with a new culture, I know your joyful spirits, tremendous adaptability and deep love for one another will not only keep you all together, but will be an beautiful blessing for those around you. I love you all, and mark my words: I'm gonna come visit, yo!!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


The spiritual retreat this weekend was really great. Going into it, I knew everyone relatively well, or at least I knew their names anyways. But with the retreat in my rear view mirror, I know that I've come away with deeper relationships with many people who were there, and although I use the image of seeing the retreat in the rear view mirror, I know that I will be continuing my journey with the people, memories and discussions that I've been blessed to experience this weekend.

Since I'm lazy, here's a real quick summary from my vantage point:

* I really had a great time hanging out with Jason. Compared to many of the other people who were at the retreat, he was perhaps one of the few people I didn't know all that well. But after this weekend, I must say that I really like this guy. Of course, that's meant in the most platonic way possible, but it's so great to have spent the weekend with another fellow non-married, easy going, and tremendously beautiful guy. (I think I share 2 of the 3 above descriptions, and I'll let you, the reader, decide which ones they are.)

* I absolutely stink at bowling. We went bowling together on Saturday and I don't think my combined scores from both games broke 100. I don't think they even broke 90. I'm pathetic. And to make things worse, I have my own bowling shoes!! Picture this: Someone who has his own bowling shoes, but is a terrible bowler. Can you imagine the amount of mockery I received? I think I need bowling lessons, or at the very least, a new pair of bowling shoes.

* I think Louise is a lot of fun. Her and I had a pretty rough relationship, mostly because I act like a complete imbecile around her. But during the course of this weekend, I offered up a truce and asked if we could be friends. After much resistance and several bribes of toffee and star fruit, she gave in. She is very smart, witty, pleasant, and loves to smile and laugh. Thanks Louise for deciding to be my friend!!!!

* For the entire weekend, we spent our time looking at Luke 10:1-12. From this passage, we talked about a variety of different topics that ranged from community to globalization to missional ecclesiology. A great thing about having a retreat with 9 people is that we could pretty much say whatever we wanted, and this is what happened. A lot of ground was covered, a lot of thoughts were unveiled, a lot of feelings were shared, and I believe God was the center point of everything. Although it was a retreat, I believe that it was more than just about us. Actually, if a retreat merely amounts to a weekend of self-satisfaction with no greater good, then we should've just stayed home and made origami swans. All the models of the early church fathers and the monastic movement painted a picture of people leaving, but bringing something back for the good of the people. And I believe it wasn't until our current model individualism that things began to be less about us and more about me.

With that said, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this weekend impacts the FRWY community, how it impacts the Beasley neighborhood, and how the ripples of this weekend will affect the landscape as we know it, from Hamilton and beyond.

* To all my fellow retreaters: Pernell, Kathy, Jen, Amber, Miranda, Jason, Melissa and Louise, thanks for the great talks, the fun memories, and challenging discussion. I love you all, and look forward to journeying deeper and further into this little blip of eternity we call life.


Do these belong to anyone? I'm referring to the glasses, not the model. I found 'em in my car the other day, and since my glasses were already on my face, I knew they weren't mine. Besides, I think they're women's glasses. If you think they're yours, lemme know. But be forewarned that there's a finder's fee.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Man

Parking by my place can sometimes be a pain in the rear. We don't have designated parking spots, not do we have a driveway. All we have is street parking, and that in itself can be a challenge from time to time. There are days where people are considerate and park a bit closer to other cars to leave adequate room for other to park, but at other times, people become space hogs and have complete disregard for common courtesy.

Today, something out of the ordinary happens. Typically, when there isn't space on my street, I go around the corner and park there. When I awaken the next day and head to my car, I find this yellow piece of paper flapping underneath my front wiper. At first, I thought to myself 'Who put trash under my wiper?' Upon further inspection, I discover that it was indeed trash that some people would call a parking ticket. Apparently, there was a temporary 'no parking' permit put into play on the street I was parked on. This was unbeknownst to me as I did not return home last evening until 10:30pm, and by then, it was already really dark and whatever signs that have been put up were not visible. Needless to say, I get slapped with a $20 parking ticket for parking my car ON MY OWN FARKING STREET!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE CRAP, YO?!?!?!?!?!

Fortunately, I have a very great and knowledgable friend in Pernell who informs me that there is a place you can go to dispute parking tickets on Main street across from City Hall. After getting directions, I embark on foot from the cafe to this location that could potentially help me keep my $20 instead of forking it over to the man. At first, I couldn't find it, but fortunately, after blundering around like a tourist, I finally arrive. As I enter, I didn't know what to expect. I had psyched myself out to fight and argue and pound my fist on a table while screaming 'I DON'T DESERVE THIS TICKET!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE THE INJUSTICE IN THIS WORLD!!!' Fortunately, I didn't need to do this because the people behind the counter were uncannily friendly, chipper and kind. So after putting down my name for an appointment, I wait expectantly for my name to be called.

After about 10 minutes, my name is called and I walk through this big metal door and sit down across a stocky man who looks like he was about to turn his hand into a fist and put it through my head. Fortunately, he was kind, yet very stern, which I guess would be necessary if your job is to meet with disgruntled people who have gotten parking tickets. After I sit down, I hand him the ticket, and begin explaining my situation and why I should not need to pay the ticket. He looks on his database and sees that the street I parked on was indeed temporarily turned into a no-parking street. But I made mention to the fact that it was dark, and there was no real proper signage visible at 10pm at night. I don't know what did it, but he decides to show me some grace by saying 'I'll cut you some slack this time. Have a good day.'


Monday, November 13, 2006

Anything For A Buck

I found this article from a separate article I read on ESPN. Maybe I should sue Bobby Lee for looking like me.

Man who resembles Jordan sues MJ, Nike for $832M

A Northeast Portland man is suing basketball superstar Michael Jordan and Nike founder Phil Knight for a combined $832 million, claiming he's tired of being mistaken for Mike.

Allen Heckard filed the suit himself, June 29th in Washington County Circuit Court. Heckard said he’s been mistaken as Michael Jordan nearly every day over the past 15 years.

“I'm constantly being accused of looking like Michael and it makes it very uncomfortable for me,” Heckard said.

Heckard is suing Jordan for defamation and permanent injury and emotional pain and suffering. He’s also suing Knight for defamation and permanent injury for promoting Jordan and making him one of the most recognized men in the world.

Nike and Jordan have yet to comment on the lawsuit.

Nike signed Jordan to an endorsement contract in 1984, and built a major advertising campaign around Jordan and its signature shoe, Air Jordan.

Jordan, a former guard for the Chicago Bulls, helped his team win six NBA titles and is considered one of the best players of all time. He now runs a Las Vegas basketball training camp.

Heckard stands just over 6 feet tall. He is not 6 foot 6 inches like the real Michael Jordan.

But Heckard said many people seem to miss that. He does share a bit of resemblance to the real Michael Jordan. Heckard has a shaved head, an earring in his left ear, and is in good shape from working out, and yes, playing basketball.

“Even when I go to the gym I'm being accused of playing ball like him (Jordan)," said Heckard.

Most people would consider that a high compliment.

"Yes...don’t get me wrong it’s definitely a positive thing, because Michael, like I say is one of the best ball players that I've known to play the game. But then again, that's Michael and I'm me. So I want to be recognized as me just like Michael's being recognized as Michael."

Heckard agreed that not everyone thinks he’s a famous basketball player, but insisted a lot of people do mistake him for Jordan.

"I figure if I'm out in public and around a lot of people at least three or four times out of a crowd ...and like I was at the Blues Festival and you could see people they was pointing at me," he said.

My Week Part 3 - Euchre

On Saturday, I had my semiannual Saturday class. We talked through a leadership book called 'Aqua Church' and considered how leadership would and could look like in the different contexts we find ourselves in these days. Overall, it was an ok class, although I wish I could've stayed for the after class festivities. A few people in my program are expecting or have recently given birth to a new child, so we were having a baby shower for them. I am particularly close to one of 'em, and he brought his uber-preggers wife along, so if I am sad about anything, it's the missed opportunity to hang out with Chris and Terri one last time before they welcome their new son into the world.

After class, I found myself remembering that there was a euchre night at he Bucek's. I was originally not going to go because I thought I would be at the baby shower, but since I had nothing to do, I decided to go, and boy was that a good call!! I don't think I've laughed that much in a really, really long time. Honestly, I think in the entire 3 1/2 hours I spent there, I was laughing for about 3 hours, and catching my breath and stuffing my face for the remaining half hour. Here are a few memorables:

* Marshall hooking me up with some ginger beer. It was flippin' good!! Tasty, flavorful, and burned like hades in my mouth but made me wanting more. Thanks for the hook up, baby!!

* Being taught the rules of euchre by an amazing teacher and partner, Pete. We ended the night with a 3-1 record. Not bad for a guy who's never played before. (Actually, I have played once before, but that was 10 years ago. I had forgotten the rules and knew nothing about euchre strategy, so I think for me to say I've never played before wasn't really a lie.)

* In our first game, Pete and I were playing with Laura and Carolynn. We played with the rule called 'screw the dealer', where in choosing the trump suit, everyone was allowed to pass and leave it up to the dealer to choose the suit. I was the dealer, and Carolynn was to my right. Laura and Pete had both passed, and the buck was in Carolynn's corner. I don't know what possessed me to say this, but I look at her, lean in, and in my FOB voice say 'Das ok, Caroling. You can screw me.'

* I can't remember what led up to this, but apparently I was laughing so hard, I nearly fell out of my chair. In the process, I managed to pop the plastic seat section off of the metal legs. Fortunately, there was no permanent damage to myself or the chair.

* Jaci's brother Gary was there, and we had some good times playing with mints. I had some after-coffee mints in my pocket and offered it to some of the people around me. Gary took me up on the offer, but instead of getting up off the futon, walking 4 feet and bring it over to him, we decided that I should toss it and let him catch it in his mouth. I toss it, he opens up his trap, and in goes the mint. SCORE!!!! To one up ourselves, I had popped 2 mints into my own mouth, and for some sick reason that I do not remember, I find myself spitting the mints into the air in hopes that Gary would catch them in his mouth. Unfortunately, both times were unsuccessful, but we had an absolute blast trying. Because of our chemistry, we've decided to take our show on the road. Check your local entertainment guide periodically, as we may be coming to a town near you.

* Like usual, Rich always makes me both smile and laugh. That evening was no exception. But this time, he tells a joke that nearly killed me. This is what he said:

'What do Chinese people do when they have an erection?'

'They vote.'
(I don't remember if it was Japanese or Chinese, but for the sake of not insulting my Japanese brethren, I'll say Chinese.)

Wasn't that funny? If you don't get it, let me know and I'll send a chubby little Asian dude to your place and explain it to you.

* As the evening was coming to a close, I find myself being one of the last people to leave. After putting on my coat, I start looking for my shoes. It isn't long until I realize that my shoes have disappeared. I happened to wear my new pair of Puma's, and being the last person to arrive and looking at the assortment of footwear already present, I distinctly remember that mine were distinct from the others, so nobody could have taken my shoes home by accident. After a few grueling minutes of feverishly searching for my babies, I begin entertaining the possibility that somebody stole them, which made me really, really sad. As I look out the Bucek's front door, I see my car. Upon further inspection via the squinting of the eyes, I see an unfamiliar bump on the roof of my car. Being the great, great, great, great, great person she is, sweet 'ol Natasha runs out in the freezing cold to see what it is. Lo and behold, it was my shoes, one on the roof, and one on my rear bumper. Upon this discovery, mental fingers began to point. I wasn't sure who it was, but we all had our suspects picked out. On the drive back, I receive a phone call from the culprit. During this phone conversation, I discover that there was not only 1 culprit, but 2!! I shall not divulge the identity of these shoe thieves, but know this, keep a close eye on the obituaries, because you will soon discover who did this to me, for they will pay dearly.

I know that there were MANY, MANY more memorable times of that evening, but these are the ones that are most prominent in my fleeting memory.

Thanks so much for inviting us over for the good times, Bucek/Tilley family!!

My Week Part 2 - Mississauga

I've already blogged about my first trip to Mississauga this past Tuesday, so I'll skip to Thursday.

For the past few months, I've been meeting with a spiritual director as part of my program requirements for school. Although I started doing it because I had to, I have come to the point where I really enjoy our sessions. We talk about all sorts of things ranging from my self-inflicted pain from procrastination to relationships to how my world is being absolutely rocked by the book 'The Irresistible Revolution'. This past Thursday we had another really good session. We started by going through an exercise where he read a story from one of the gospel accounts and as I listened to the story, I tried to enter into the story and imagine the different sights, smells and emotions of the encounter as if I was actually there. The story he read was Luke 7:36-50. It says this:

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

As I listened, right off the bat I latched onto the 5th word in this story: PHARISEE. As he continued reading, I found myself stepping into the shoes of Simon and finding some eerie similarities between him and I. In the spirit of confession, and for the sake of being totally vulnerable, here's the side-by-side comparison I found between Simon the Pharisee and myself:

.:He was judgmental:. ... .:I am judgmental:.

I've noticed lately that I allow my visual perceptions determine my emotional response to others. In reflecting upon my internal attitude towards others as of late, I've discovered that I'm not as patient and understanding as I once thought I was. Instead of seeing people as they are, I allow my mind to tell me to treat them as someone who isn't living as they should. Instead of seeing the potential in people, I allow my mind to tell me that they've given up.

For example: I find myself spending quite a bit of time in the cafe. Just this week alone, I've been there pretty much every day, whether as a barista, or just kickin' it. There are certain people who walk into the cafe that I'm really excited to see. But there are others who come into the cafe that make me wish we were closed. For the people who fit into the latter category, these are typically people who I would consider 'emotionally draining', and because of that, I do my best to avoid them or make certain our conversations are either non-existent, or as short as humanly possible. The sad part is I didn't use to be this way. I think somewhere along the lines I've become jaded or just plain morphed into a jerk to these certain people. I think that just because these certain individuals are harder to get along with that I have the right to treat them like dirt? Why is it so easy for me to love certain people, but harder to love others? Where in the frig did pick up these lies? I hate where my mind has taken me, and I hate even more that I've given in to these lies.

.:He's embarrassingly prideful:. ... .:I am embarrassingly prideful:.

I think I know it all. Most of the time I hide it well because I'm a non-confrontational and intellectually reserved Chinese guy, but if you could spend a
few moments in my mind and see the sespool of junk that's spinning around, not only would you be horrified, but probably recommend that I seek professional and medical help. But that's the thing, I hide my pride well, but I know it's there. Although Simon seems to express is pride for all the world to see, that same pride is in me, and I just happen to have the personality type to suppress it, and I know that this doesn't make me any better.

That's was what we talked about in a nutshell.

Oh, one more thing. A couple sessions ago, I mentioned that after reading some of 'The Irresistible Revolution', I became convicted about the amount of excess I have, especially in the area of feet coverings. Instead of ignoring such convictions, I decided to do something about it, which amounted to me giving away a pair of brand new shoes that I recently ordered to a friend. Well, a couple weeks later, I find myself in possession of a new pair of shoes, except this pair wasn't purchased, but given to me. As our time together was wrapping up, I mentioned this to my spiritual director in a rather nonchalant manner and asked 'Are these two incidents related, or coincidence?' We didn't really talk much about this, be he did mention that there are some people who take the prosperity gospel too far. All I could do is agree and hope that it was a coincidence, because I really like these new shoes. (See? I do have an addiction.)

My Week Part 1 - Music

This week has been a good one, although not quite as productive as it should have been, but good nonetheless. I got a double dose of music and Mississauga, with a cherry on top in the form of euchre. To keep these posts to a bearable size, I'll post in 3 installments, the first of which will be on music.

Although I've blogged about him before, I have never gotten the chance to see him live, until this past Wednesday. All I can say is 'FRIG!!!!!!' I am an even bigger fan of Chisai Jackson than ever before. He was part of the 4 voices tour, and although the whole entire show was really great, I was kinda partial to him because I've heard his stuff before. I absolutely love the way he crafts melodies, the way he explores his vocal range, and the textured sound of his voice. On top of that, in one of his songs, he reproduced a bang on trumpet sound with his mouth!! When he started going, I literally thought to myself 'who brought the trumpet?' When I realized that Chisai was doing it, my jaw literally dropped to the floor. After the show, I got a chance to chat with him for a bit and I told him how much I loved his music, but even more, how much I respect him as an artist to have endured the games the music industry plays. During our brief conversation, it was absolutely evident that he is brimming with humility and gratitude for being allowed the opportunities he has been afforded. I'm hoping to check out one of his future shows, whether it be in Toronto or Hamilton. But know this, if he's ever at the FRWY again, count on me being there front and center.

I've also previously blogged about the other musician I saw this week, Carrie Catherine. Her performance this past Friday was just as spectacular as her last one at the FRWY, except the crowd was not only a bit thin, but rather interesting, to say the least. The songs she sang were spectacular, and her voice is both unique and sonorous, blended with class and attitude. To top that off, she is an amazing guitar player!! If a girl can play a mean guitar and has a voice of an angel, she's all good in my book!! The only unfortunate thing about the evening was the sparseness of the crowd. In total, I'd say we had no more than a dozen people in for a spectacular show, including the baristas, all of which left before she was done. With 2 songs left, there was just one customer, Kaelyn, Adrian, Reg and myself. To top that off, we had one person who I think was drunk, high, or just plain crazy come walking in and start randomly clapping and requesting songs that she could dance to. She kept saying 'Hey sweetheart, can you play something I can dance to? Can you play Mustang Sally? I really like that song.' I could tell that this was starting to not only kill whatever vibe was in the place, but bothering Carrie because she jokingly said 'It's nights like these that remind me to not take this music thing seriously.' After hearing this, I decided to play the bad guy and ask this heckling woman to leave. I felt really bad, but it needed to be done. Hopefully I didn't hurt this lady's feelings.

After her set, we got a chance to chat briefly after her show, and like Chisai, she was pleasant, kind and thoroughly enjoyable to talk to. Hopefully this experience doesn't taint her image of Hamilton, because it would absolutely thrill me to no end if she came back and played another show in the future.

Well, that's it for the musical portion of my week. Stay tuned for the next installment: Mississauga

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My Week (Teaser)

As the title says, this is gonna be a teaser post. I had a really great week, but it's late and I need to catch some Z's. I shall post about my week and all the craziness that I encountered, especially about the festivities and PRANKS at the Bucek's!!

(FYI, I know the culprits who took my shoes, and know that retribution is coming your way, suckas!!)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Kitties On My Feet

I still can't believe my amazing friend Tim brought these for me, and on his wedding day, no less!! I mean, how many people leave a wedding with shoes?!?! I've heard of people taking the center pieces and stuff, but this is a first for me.

Tim, you are an amazing brother and friend who oozes generosity, kindness, compassion and selfless. It shall be absolutely no surprise to me that you will be an amazing husband to Carrie, and one of the world's best dads when the time comes. Love ya bro, and can't wait to see you again!!

Tuesday Musings

Yet another day spent in Mississauga. Carpooled with Mel B again this morning. After dropping her off, I went to the community center to pump out some work. I thought I had 2 fully charged batteries, but apparently my spare battery was empty, so after milking my only charged battery for every ounce I could squeeze out, I opted for a change in venue. Every now and then, I stop into the Bluenotes outlet store in Sheridan Mall located on Erin Mills Parkway just north of the QEW in hopes of scoring some slick nasty deals. Once I was able to buy 3 track jackets for $10, but today, no such luck. I was feeling kinda sluggish, so I decided to loop around the mall to get the blood flowing. Well, it worked, and I actually found myself gaining more and more energy as I kept walking. But after a while, hunger set in, and I embarked on a mission to get some eats.

Attached to the mall wahttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifs a Dominion grocery store, so I decided to putz around to see if lunch was somewhere to be found within its aisles. Lo and behold, I was able to score!! I bought a banana, a pack of dried apricots, a chicken Caesar salad wrap with bacon, and a small tub of seafood salad. Then I went to the dollar store and picked up a couple cans of drink for $1, and off to lunch I went. Normally, I would've made my way to a park or something and ate on a picnic bench, but since it was cold and rainy, I was relegated to consume my sustenance within the confines of my automobile. Rather depressing, I know, but fortunately, I had my iPod to keep me company. After lunch, I went to a nearby coffee shop to get a hot beverage and score some free wi-fi.

If you're ever in the Winston Churchill/QEW area, there's a Timothy's World Coffee in a plaza near that intersection that has free internet available. It's quick, and has relatively nice decor, although I must say, it's not quite as cozy as the FRWY cafe. With an Irish Cream coffee in hand, I began getting my daily fix of internet surfing. While online, I got to talk to two of my favorite women in the world, Margie and Liz, my preggers sister in-law. Both brought joy to my day, and both I love very, very much.

When the time came, I took off to pick up the Burleigh from her educational domicile. On the drive back, we chatted about this and that, and made fun of one another about this and that. But what made this drive back all the more fun and memorable was playing the music game with her. I dunno if it's a real game, but this is how we played:

I have a playlist on my iPod with over 100 random songs. I would play one, and Melissa would have to try and guess the artist. The maximum number of points she could earn is 10 points per correct answer. If she could correctly identify the artist without any hints, she would get 10 points. But if she needed hints like the number of words in the artist/band's name, one point would come off from the score if she guessed correctly. I've heard Melissa describe herself as someone who doesn't keep up with the music scene, but after the way she killed this game, I must say that she is ONE SUPER LIAR!!!! Case in point: The song that started the game going was one by the musical group Arcade Fire. If someone says they don't keep up with music, but knows the group Arcade Fire is totally playin' you. Anyways, for the better part of the ride, my jaw was gaping open in utter surprise as she was getting song after song after song, and I was doling out high-five's like they were going out of style. A word to the wise: Melissa knows her stuff, so don't let her play you like a cheap 5 dollar fiddle.

After we get back to Hamilton, I go to the cafe and start my regular Tuesday shift. I say regular, but mean it very lightly, because it was everything BUT regular. Instead of working with Jen, I'm partnered up with my fellow ethnic minority, Adrian. Instead of watching the movie, I had the newly moved TV that now has cable hooked up to it on the Cavs-Hawks game, even though the regularly scheduled film 'Supersize Me' was playing in conjunction on the other 2 screens. Instead of the typical crowd that comes out to the Tuesday film nights, I get to share the space with Pam, Rita, Nicole, Kaelyn and Adrian. Instead of taking the normal 30+ minutes to close up, whether on a Tuesday or any other day I get to close, Adrian and I tear the cafe a new one and finish in 17 minutes. Instead of getting home at the normal 11:00pm, I arrive at 10:30.

All in all, today was a good day. What does tomorrow have in store? I dunno, but what I do know is this: I'm super pumped about the Wednesday concert!!!!! If you're free, c'mon out with a can of food and enjoy a free concert.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Weekend Part 2

Overall, the rest of the weekend was pretty chill. So far, the highlight of today was having dinner with my cousins who are moving to Thailand. They're moving in a few weeks, and tonight could very well have been the last time I would see them in a while. At the dinner table was my parents, my cousin Anselm, his wife Teresa, their 2 kids Kirsten and Chloe, Theresa's brother Patrick and his wife Matina and 2 kids, Amanda and Jason, and Theresa's parents. Not only was the food crazy good, but I had a really good time playing with the kids. Most of my time was spent hanging out with Jason, who I don't know all that well, but after tonight, we're pretty much butt buddies. For a 4 year old kid, Jason can totally talk up a storm and has an amazingly sharp mind. Of all the funny and witty things he said, the one that sticks out in my mind is when he used the phrase 'Private Penis' to describe his "boy organs" and how they're not supposed to be displayed in public. Oh, what a great kid!!

Finally, I realized that at my last wedding I managed to sprain my ankle. Fortunately, this time around I was able to get through the festivities without any incidents. Huzzah!!

I Do

This evening, I went to a wedding here in Toronto of an old family friend. Quick story of how I know the groom Tim: Our families have been pretty tight for a long time, dating back to my years spent in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In our family, we have 3 kids. In their family, they have 3 kids as well where the eldest were around the same age, the middle kids around the same age, and the youngest 2 around the same age. During the holidays, we would frequently take family trips together all over the place, which made for some really great memories. And today, I got to celebrate a special day for someone who is like family to me. Not only did I get to witness the ceremony and join in on the reception festivities, there were a few notable surprises worth sharing. Here they are:


Tim's wife, Carrie, spent much of her life here in Toronto before moving to Hong Kong. Prior to the wedding, I did not know that she went to a church where a bunch of my friends also attend. So imagine my surprise when at the ceremony, I look around the church and see people that I know!! I saw my friend Don and his wife (I've forgotten her name...I'm such a loser...), and Allen, Kay and their 8 month old daughter Kara, who was whipping up a storm with her excitement. That totally brought a smile to my face.


Up until today, I have never met Carrie, even though she was in Toronto the same time I was living in Toronto. Is that weird? I dunno, but I'm glad to finally meet the woman who has agreed to share life with my good friend.


I met some new people who were really nice and interesting. In many of the weddings I've been to in the past, I don't usually meet many people because I'm hanging out with other family members. But since the only real family I had was my parents, I didn't have a choice but mingle, lest be bored to death. I'm so glad I mingled.


I managed to get a pair of new shoes at the wedding!! Now, before you go on and judge me for being the sneaker pimp that I am, lemme tell you the story.

Tim happened to get a pair of new Puma sneakers from one of his clients from work. Unfortunately for him, the color and style wasn't to his liking, so he was planning on chucking them into the back of his closet and letting them die a slow, painful death. At around the same time, my parents were in Hong Kong and saw the shoes Tim got and very nonchalantly said 'Oh, Kevin would like those shoes. He likes crazy colors like that.' Being the amazing guy Tim is, amidst all the chaos and ruckus, he brought the shoes all the way from Hong Kong for me!! When his brother brought them out of the closet, it was love at first sight.

All in all, it was a really great evening seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and watching two people whose love for one another was so apparent make the public commitment to love, care and grow old together.

And finally, here are some pictures of the lovely couple for your viewing pleasure. (FYI, the last 2 pictures are from a traditional Chinese tea ceremony that is typical at Chinese weddings. Although Tim and Carrie's wedding was a "Western" wedding, they decided to include this into their celebration.)

Friday, November 03, 2006


I recently joined a fantasy basketball league that consists of some friends, and some strangers. This is the first fantasy pool I've joined, and so far, it's been a lot of fun. That is, until last night.

Of the 15 people on my team, only 3 of them had games. Statistically, two of them had absolutely horrible games, but one had an amazing game of 35 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 turnovers. I am talking about my boi Sam Cassell. As I watched his stats climb, I got really excited because it looked like I had potential to go from 4th in the league to 3rd. Sounds nice, right? Well, let me explain my dilemma.

Apparently, if one of the players on team is on the bench, their stats don't count towards the final tally. Being the rocket scientist I am, I had Sam Cassell on the bench. So all 35 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 turnovers was all for not. In fact, my mistake caused me to drop from 4th to 5th.

So check your fantasy team, friends. If you've got a player playing a game that day, but they're on the bench, then get that sucka off the bench and let him work for you!! I've learned my lesson the hard way, and I'm still kicking myself as we speak.


In my previous post, I put up pictures of my good friend Adrian and his "big hair". Today, I visit the antonym of such pictures and unveil what is the cause of much sadness that is pumping through my veins. Here it is, the before and after.

This loss has me in a very cold, cold state. Friends, will you mourn with me?