Sunday, December 24, 2006


--wait. i just have to get this one little thing out of my system.

remember the good old days? when our ages still ended in "-teen?"

remember when we had so much uncontainable energy and zeal and fire and passion in us that it overflowed in everything we did?

remember when getting together to be with one another was such a big deal because it it took a lot of planning and effort to make it happen? remember when it seemed like a gazillion miles from scarborough to mississauga? or newmarket? :P

remember when everyone had crushes on everyone? remember when it felt like the end of the world if your crush didn't like you back? remember how people used to confide in each other and talk over the phone or icq and this used to draw people closer together?

remember when church activities were the ultimate social highlight? retreats, picnics, plays, Bible studies, carolling, gym day... and even planning and preparing for them were highlights in themselves? remember the kind of effort we put in writing each other Christmas cards or signing each other's yearbooks and handbooks because these things were actually meaningful to us? remember when we did all these things for each other and it didn't even feel remotely burdensome because we used to genuinely value each other's company and the time we spent together?

not to say that we don't now. but it really was different back then. the old adage "you don't know what you've got til it's gone" really does hold true... now that i can feel my youth slowly slipping away through my fingers, i would give anything to live out my youthful years again and do so with a much greater appreciation of life back then.

oh, right. merry Christmas everyone :)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

beating around the bush

so it's snowing here...... i can't remember the last time i appreciated a snowfall. i normally don't like precipitation of any kind, but gosh darn it, these days i'll take anything that's not rain!! it hailed on friday too... woke me up in the wee hours of the morning. anyway, H made a snowman at around 1am last night and i struck a pose with the handsome fellow.

i miss a lot of things back home. i miss my boots... the goretex army ones that keep water out. i miss my winter jacket. i miss having more socks to choose from in my drawer. i miss my bunnie. i miss large doses of sunlight. i miss (i can't believe i'm saying this) the TTC and the fact that it runs past 7pm. i miss driving. i miss homecooked meals. i miss my guitar. i miss... having power?! man, those two days without it were rough. luckily A bought a headlamp to light up our dark basement.

one piece of advice i would give to students who are tight on cash: don't. gain. weight. don't try to save a few pennies by buying food that's less nutritious for you because it'll eventually end up around your midsection and then you'll have to dish out more cash to get yourself new clothes that you can actually breathe in and don't cut off your circulation. of course, if you do manage to maintain your weight... don't go to the mall, period. now, if you wanna lose some of the weight you've gained, get H to cook you up an adventurous dish or two that'll guarantee to mess up your appetite ;) now, once you're able to stomach what it is you're actually eating, this method won't work for you anymore because believe it or not, these dishes are quite yummy!

aiy... in all honesty, it's been a really tough semester for me in sooo many ways. and it still is. God, help me to face all of it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


costco is dangerous. once you go in, it's almost impossible to come out empty-handed... you suddenly find yourself bombarded with a million items that you never knew you needed in bulk until that very moment... for example, a box of chocolates... or two... or three... or...

yah :P

my roommates, A and H

on the side... a lot of things are up in the air right now. for one, i may not go home for the holidays this year... and i'm not so sure how the next semester will play out. please pray for me if you can.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

CanIL chapel

today's chapel at ACTS was special... it was a CanIL one :) the Harvest Choir sang a medley in English, Gaddang (a Filipino dialect) and Korean, and we all dressed for the occasion. it was an honour for me to be able to wear the traditional Korean hanbok of a dear classmate of mine. with so much exposure to Korean friends, food, movies, songs, soap operas, CDs, language sessions, stories, prayers, scriptures, even homework, i feel like i am somewhat Korean already ;) what a blessing this culture has been to me here!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday, September 30, 2006

i saw the light

sorry for the lack of updates... been preoccupied with a million things. it's the last day of september already and i don't know whether i feel more relieved or terrified that the semester is that much closer to being over.

on a random note, i attended a service last sunday that was unlike anything i could've ever imagined. it was "country western" sunday at a church called The Loft, and i was invited by a friend who was invited by her landlord. the church is held on a farm/ranch where they teach kids how to ride horses... apparently, the church initially stemmed from that ministry (or something like that). it's just so strange to me, but i guess it's no different than... say a basketball camp for kids. they said the children's horseriding camp got to a point where they saw 100% of the children coming to the Lord. i dunno what to make of all this... anyway, the services are held in one of their indoor riding facilities which they've turned into a makeshift chapel. when we got to church last sunday, there were a few people riding around and arriving on horses... everyone was dressed up for the country western theme so there were cowboy hats and vests and boots and everything country western you can think of... i totally stood out in my regular jeans and t-shirt and flipflops. and my goodness, the worship...... imagine one of those lively worship sessions with people dancing and waving their arms about and shouting hallelujahs left right and centre... it was just like that, except everything was country! the band was country, all the songs were country, everyone looked and acted and sang and danced country... the one song i did recognize was "i saw the light" but only because it's on david crowder's collision cd... but if you've ever heard it on that cd, let me tell you that it sounded *just* like that on sunday! i wish i had brought my camera with me that day. anyway, instead of your typical choir performance, the children line danced to a song by randy travis. after that was the offering and then the message. the pastor's a great speaker... thing is, i was getting a whole lot of "prosperity" vibes and i didn't like that... but i won't get into that here. cowboy sunday at the loft was one interesting experience nonetheless :)

(no, this isn't the loft... just felt like including a barn pic (taken by A) to go with the post :P )

Monday, August 07, 2006


for all you superman [lana??] fans out there, i forgot to mention... on our way to white rock on friday, we drove through cloverdale... a.k.a. "smallville" :P i can't believe how close it is to langley.

yaaah... anyway.

(i'd probably care more if i actually watched the show!)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

white rock

went down to White Rock yesterday and gaped at the beautiful land seascape... how awesome it must be to live in a town that is situated along the beach like that! if i were living in one of those houses that faced the water, i'd be at my window 24/7...

so we made a little inukshuk along the beach and named him darren. then we replaced his head with a different stone and the inukshuk became very feminine-looking so we renamed her daryn after one of our TA's ;)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

shooting star!!!

i saw one, i saw one!!!

i've never seen a real live meteor before! i mean, i've seen it in movies, pictures, things like that...

but tonight i saw one with my own two eyes!!! standing in the middle of a field with the rest of my dormmates, on the outskirts of campus, around 1130pm, coming back from a walk in the woods, waiting for the train to pass so we could cross the tracks and get back to the dorms...

and then there it was. it was GORGEOUS :D even though it was just one lone meteor... imagine seeing a shower of them!!! dagnabit!!!


nothing to do with anything, but guess what i'm listening to......

tchaikovsky's first piano concerto :) FINALLY!! you know, ever since that time i blogged about hearing it on the radio and then telling myself i wouldn't change the station until i heard it again... well, i never did hear it again. i was really disappointed cuz i even requested the station to play it and they never did... or maybe they did but i just missed it. anyway, i was disappointed but i managed to put it behind me.

and then sometime last week or so, it occurred to me out of the blue that maybe i can find it on youtube! and lo and behold, i did. (there were a few videos available but i like the one with Kissin best.) this little discovery has made me soooo happy :D sometimes i forget how much i really love the piano... i guess i stifle it for the most part cuz then i get all bitter when i start dwelling on how i never had the opportunity to develop my playing beyond my one year of lessons as a child. for yeeeears, my mom promised me a piano...... *sigh* well, life is what it is. i suppose there are far greater tragedies than not having a piano :P though last week i did ask God (very seriously) if He could give me a piano in heaven. by then i'll have all the time in the universe to learn and be able to play my heart out ;)


today i was woken up by the loudest, most powerful thunderclap i had ever heard/felt my entire life. it happened around 530am... no rain, just thunder. (not until mid-morning anyway). it felt like the thunder was coming from *within* the building cuz i could feel it shake the very core of my being. it was awesome!

Monday, July 24, 2006


sorry, i know i haven't been updating... classes have been super intense and i'm doing everything i can to keep all the material in my head.


Sunday, July 02, 2006

bloody heel ^_^

i did a really silly thing today. i attempted to speed-walk about 3.5 km in my brand new white flipflops. (i shoulda gone with pink :P) other than sweating profusely, i wasn't in any kind of pain during the walk... i didn't even notice anything until i got back to my room. and really, i was freaking out more about my flipflops than my heel. i know, they're thin and not really meant for walking long distances, but i'd feel weird having to wear my runners or my ACG sandals to church every week! plus, the flipflops were actually pretty comfortable so i'm not sure what it was that cut me... maybe a small rock? anyway, the pic below is less graphic than the one i took of my actual heel, which was covered completely in blood. but no worries... after first scrubbing away at my flipflop (which now only has the faintest hint of pink but looks completely worn down) and then scrubbing the stains out of the carpet, i eventually got to washing my heel and the cut wasn't so big after all.

onto other news... the pastor that's been speaking on the da vinci code was away on a mission trip this week so we got a "normal" message today :) i also got a fairly good deal on some lean ground beef at the local IGA... buy one get one free, you can't go wrong with that! but that was also why i speed-walked back to campus... i guess it's true when they say that nothing in life is free. hehe.

i'm going to cultus lake provincial park in chilliwack tomorrow, so i'm pretty excited... hopefully i don't hurt myself!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

happy canada day!

today was relaxing. i slept until noon... haven't done that in ages. a few of us were gonna try to go to vancouver but it didn't happen. everyone had lunch together and then Nv, N, F, H and i walked over to fort langley to see what was going on there for canada day... it was pretty hot. we had ice cream and drinks at jaffa's which is this really cute old-style ice cream parlour diner kinda place... and then we headed to the fort. we got sidetracked at the "museum" before actually reaching the fort... it was just three barn looking buildings with stuff inside... farm machinery and what not. and there were tents set up but people were already taking it down, so whatever was there earlier, we had already missed it. i was pretty disappointed that we went all the way there to see nothing but old tractors, but then we heard bagpipes playing in the distance so we knew there was something going on elsewhere. just further up the street was the actual fort and the museum we were told about. the fort admission was free on canada day which was nice. i walked around and took some pictures and went to the museum. we hung around in the cool shade and eventually took the bus home. then i offered to make pasta for everyone, which i did quite successfully :) and now F and H are watching "be with you"... yes, i brought the movie with me and i'm making everyone watch it ;)

H, Nv, N, F

Friday, June 30, 2006

hiking (somewhat)

what a relief to be done the first set of courses...

i should backtrack. wednesday was great cuz it was the one time we had absolutely nothing due for the next day... so a bunch of us went for a walk. or a hike. something in between. we took off and headed towards the trail(s) behind the campus. it was quite an adventure, really... we encountered lots of brush, lots of insects, had some minor obstacles like a creek to cross and a muddy canal and some slippery slopes. but overall it was really pretty. i'm so pleased to have this kind of "access to nature" right in my backyard. there were a couple of pretty bridges and things along the way too... i took my camera along and took a lot of pictures. mostly the trees... next to the mountains, i'm just amazed at the trees here... they're so big and beautiful. gorgeous. and it was another beautiful day... anyway, we got lost and somehow ended up on this semi-residential street... and kinda walked down this street and that... passed by a trailer park... and we just kept walking and walking... then we hit the highway and started walking along it... ohh man. walking on a trail under the shade of trees is one thing, but walking along the highway is really not so pleasant. it was a looooooong and tiring walk up glover road, but we made it back to campus 2.5 hours later. i was exhausted. but it was good exercise... and i was using my ACG sandals that i got my mom to send me, and i could walk to the ends of the earth in those... i'm so grateful they came in time. oh yah! my package arrived on wednesday. my only regret is i wish i had sent for some shorts.

the "semi-residential" street

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

weather, good. garlic, bad.

today's weather was JUST. RIGHT. not a cloud in the sky... yet the sun wasn't scorching hot. it wasn't humid at all. and the breeze was cool. i just had to say that today was the perfect day.

oh. and i had another bagel mishap. i cut my thumb. i dunno how deep the cut actually was cuz i was scared to open it up. it hurt like a pinched nerve though. and the cut's about a centimeter wide. on the plus side, i cooked up some fried rice successfully! i'm progressing really well in the kitchen :D btw, if you ever buy those cans of tuna that come in different flavours, i don't recommend the garlic and hot pepper... the garlic is just WAAAY TOO POTENT in that tiny can.

my kitchen

Sunday, June 25, 2006

conditioner and sermon woes

i'm having a conditioner crisis. first of all, i bought pantene conditioner yesterday because i was absolutely fed up with my herbal essences conditioner that i got on sale for 1.99 at shoppers before i left. i totally chose the wrong scent! i shoulda gone with what i already knew... i mean, the shampoo doesn't smell too bad... and the conditioner seems alright if i'm squeezing the bottle to get a whiff. but as soon as it goes on my hair... yuck!! it's like they melted several wax crayons and mixed them into the conditioner. kinda like the effect of smelling a really yummy lip balm but then applying it on your lips and realizing it doesn't taste the way it smells... yah... so i'd had it with the conditioner and i told myself i'd spend a little extra on pantene to get something that smelled nice. so i bought a pantene conditioner at walmart yesterday and i used it this morning and i was like, WHAT THE HECK..... it's like someone decided to add a vial of strong cologne to the conditioner. the scent is borderline alcoholic... between something that smells like a wax crayon and something that reeks of cologne, it seems i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.


i was not pleased... again... with the sermon at FLEFC today. it was a continuation of the da vinci code series... i dunno when it began and i dunno when it'll finish, but i really hope it's not like this the entire time i'm here. i find it really redundant to try to convince a christian audience what it already believes...
maybe in a workshop or during fellowship or on an evangelical night or something... but not in a church service. i'm not feeling refreshed on sunday mornings anymore, other than the worship songs. today the pastor posted two scripture references on powerpoint and didn't even get to it til nearly the end. instead the entire sermon was accompanied by slides that were all quotes from the book and other famous ppl for/against whatever point he was trying to make about the book... too lecture-style for me :(


Saturday, June 24, 2006

mountains!!! *drool*

i saw mountains today!!!!

mountains are the prettiest things ever :D i remember when i was in vancouver years ago, the main reason i wanted to come back was cuz of the mountains... i couldn't get enough of them. on the plane, i was nearly drooling on the lap of the lady next to the window... but when i landed it was kinda cloudy and so i didn't see any mountains on the way to TWU. and then for the past couple of weeks, it's been pretty cloudy. and the few times i left campus, it was also pretty cloudy and i saw no mountains, so i just figured that we were too far out and there were no mountains to be seen around here. thankfully, i was wrong... we went into langley city today to do some walmart/safeway shopping and the sky was clear so i saw the mountains!!! waaaah!!! i could stare at mountains all day!!!

it is getting steadily hotter here as well. i'm glad i was able to go to walmart because i needed to buy a fan.

some mountains (between two stupid wires...)

Friday, June 23, 2006

got the rice down

i messed up my finnish mimicry test today... booooo...

K and D came over after class yesterday to help me cook my rice. it was a success!! D was kind enough to give us her noodles, and K supervised the rice cooking... yesterday's meal was good. i cooked up some chicken breast that turned out quite well. yaaay!! gonna try to cook some rice again tonight.


success! woohoo! S poached some cod and we had a lovely dinner. there was a lot of ruckus going on below us... i found out there was a birthday party going on at the Globe (International Students Program) which is located on the basement floor of macmillan hall. Nv convinced me to go down and meet some new people. the Globe is a nice hangout... as for all the people there, i didn't even get half their names... a very interesting bunch though. they seem really nice.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

summer days and rice-dough

this morning i got up really early... for the most part, it was cuz i slept way too early last night. and accidentally too. doing homework on my bed has always been risky business. anyway, it was still fairly dark when i got up around 430 and wandered around, but by the time i got back to my room a few minutes later, i could already detect a faint glow outside... enough to not need a light in my room. actually, it looked like the sun might have already risen on the other side of the buildings, but i wasn't sure, so i went to the weather network to get myself some statistics and had to settle for abbotsford, the next big town over. apparently we're getting about 16.5 hours of sunshine, which is about 1/2 hour more than toronto is getting. weeee... however, the sun is often covered by cloud so i guess that evens things out a bit. as i'm typing this, it is 501 on my laptop, and the sun is supposed to rise around 504... though as far as i'm concerned, it's risen already... but the most interesting fact is it is about to officially turn into summer in about half an hour... 526am to be precise. i'm kinda glad to be awake to usher in the event :)

welcome, summer!!! how i've missed you!!!


1140pm - wow, what a day. well... not really... except for the fact that i butchered the rice. AGAIN. the first time was kinda funny, but this time i was actually quite depressed and disappointed in myself. so i cooked two cups instead of one and put less water so it wouldn't be so mushy... but then... i dunno what i did wrong. maybe i shouldn't have stirred it so much. maybe i should've just let it boil and not keep checking the top layer and thinking it's still too dry and adding more and more water. aiy. to make things worse, i decided to "fix" it by frying it, thinking in my head that maybe the frying would help some of the water evaporate and make my rice less soggy. so i added some oil to the pot, and then i added the rice... and stirred... and stirred... and stirred... and then i thought adding a couple of beaten eggs would work, but i think that made the rice even more sticky... i also added a whole bunch of other things, but to no avail... i completely butchered it. the rice looked more like mashed potatoes or a stuffing of some sort.
i could've picked it up from the pot with two fingers... it was knead-able. and totally bland cuz i didn't put enough salt. and... ugh. S tried to rectify the situation and so she took some of the rice-dough and spread it onto a baking pan and put it in the oven, and it came out as a kind of rice cracker. heh. it didn't taste toooo bad... i saved the rest of my rice-dough in a container, though i doubt i'll ever eat it. and then S went onto plan B (which she casually joked about at the beginning since neither of us seriously believed i would screw up dinner... go figure..). her beef stir-fry saved the day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

blood jam and other profundities

today's sociolinguistics class left me a bit... "stirred." it wasn't just the one class, but an accumulation of stories and videos and testimonies from class and chapel and people here that are just rocking my worldview. and today was my tipping point. i can't explain it without going in-depth (and i won't be doing that here), but if anything, this little blurb will serve as a self-reminder for when my worldview began to shift yet again...... very different from what i experienced at tyndale.



saturday was a fairly non-eventful day for me. i didn't feel like going out, so i took a nap in the afternoon while S went into town with the others. Nv dropped by before going to work so we chatted for a bit... as part-time staff, she told me many stories about the TWU caf that confirmed my assumptions of the place. she also told me many stories about the TWU students, having lived in these dorms in the past. i was SHOCKED! it seems that immorality goes on in this Christian institution just like it does at any other university. it's not that i'm naive about such things... but the code of membership i had to sign to come to this school really threw me off. i found it conservative even in my standards. i just figured TWU would do a better job enforcing the students to adhere to the code. i dunno. and the worst part is, the non-Christian staff (in the caf anyway) see the things that go on and come to the conclusion that being Christian makes no difference then. Nv says the staff have actually said this to her. it's so sad.

dinner was good. i didn't cook any of it, that was probably why... sunday, i went back to the same church, except this time with more of the "macmillan gang" (our residence hall). it was a fairly nice day. i felt very underdressed... but i HAD to wear my runners. and as of right now, i only have one pair of pants to go with it, so... yah. i'm still not sure how i feel about FLEFC. but for now, i have no other choice.

we walked straight home afterwards cuz everyone had assignments to work on. we encountered a snake on the path... weee... and i've seen quite a few rabbits around too. they really make my bunnie look obese. anyway, sunday night was the first night i really battled to keep up with my schoolwork. i was up until 230am working on my paper, and i was THIIIIIIS close to just not finishing it and handing it in late. it's so hard with these intensive courses, there's no break at all... no days off... something's due everyday. and i'm struggling to keep myself disciplined about it. procrastination is a hard habit to break, it really is. thank goodness i did finish the paper... chapel worship was veeerrrry painful as i hadn't played in a while and D's guitar strings are really hard, and i gave myself huge blisters on my last three fingers while trying to practice on the wknd.

to top off my finger injuries, i had a little incident at lunch. i made myself bleed trying to pry apart a half frozen, partially cut bagel. i guess the ice numbed my thumbs cuz i didn't feel my skin ripping from the underside of my nail. i only noticed when i looked into the bagel to check my progress and saw RED all over. what a waste, i lost my appetite and ended up throwing the bagel, my thumbs hurt afterwards.

the past few days i've actually been waking up REALLY early... and it's not always such a good thing anymore. everytime i wake up, i panic thinking i've slept in cuz i know i didn't hear my alarm, and it looks like it's already 730.. but it's only 5am. and then it's too early to get up and start getting ready, so i continue to lie in bed, but i can't go back to sleep. by the time 830 rolls along i'm already feeling groggy, and by mid-morning, i'm fighting to keep my eyelids open. mondays are the worst cuz it's a 4-hour class.

this morning my mom called me at 530am. i dunno what she was thinking... but it doesn't matter, i was half-awake anyway, plus she's sending me a package, yaaay!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

mega update: hello from langley!

sorry it took so long for me to update my blog, but it's been... well... let's just say there are a lot of things i'm having to adjust to. hehe. and i've also run into a few little problems and interesting encounters here and there... no big deal really, but they do tend to add up. so now it's my first full weekend here and i finally have some time to just relax and lounge around. i did keep track of the past week's events on my laptop, so i'll post excerpts to fill you in on my first week here in langley.


sunday - june 11

it has been one crazy weekend! i was gonna talk about my crazy monday (crazy pedestrians and sales associates and ttc bus drivers) but i think i'm over that now. sort of.

let me tell you what really sucks about booking a charter flight when you're gonna be away for two months: LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE. grrrrrr!! they allow me a maximum of 20 kgs... each piece of luggage on its own (i.e. empty) weighs about 5 kgs. i started packing around 8pm friday night and i didn't sleep unil 8am the next morning... having to pack and repack and take out things and repack and take out more things and repack... ugh. i slept for about 1.5 hours. i was still a few kgs over, but i had already gotten rid of half of what i was supposed to bring. about 1130 (my flight was 230) i was complaining to my mom that i should've just packed my stuff in duffle bags and she was like, "well why don't you??" so she went to pick up a duffle bag from someone she lent it to and i was frantically unpacking once more. what a difference in weight a duffle bag makes!! anyway, i barely made it to the airport on time, and when i checked in my luggage i was 1kg over but they didn't say anything. good, cuz that woulda cost me $7. anyway, skyservice (the charter i took) had really good coffee, surprisingly. the flight itself was not bad... though not too good either, but it never is when you're sitting in the middle seat with strangers on either side of you. when we passed over the rockies, my jaw just dropped... i can never get over how beautiful the mountains are. i wish i had my digital camera on me to take pictures.

someone from CanIL picked me up and dropped me off right at my residence. the TWU campus was pretty empty. i was shown to my room and it was so spacious!! not in a good way though... the desks are so far away from the outlets. maybe i'll post a picture of how i rearranged my room. what else. i met two of my floormates and had dinner with them that night. they made salmon and rice... mmm... they're both decent cooks. one's from alberta and the other drove up from missouri. then i met another floormate who came all the way from norway and i joined her and a couple of CanIL staff to do some grocery shopping.


i was supposed to meet N at 9am to go to church... so i was up late trying to set up my suite and rearrange things and get settled in and stuff... oh yah, after making a huge deal about bringing a cable to connect to the internet port, guess what i couldn't find in my bag. the cable!! all that repacking and downsizing, i ended up missing a LOT of things. a pair of sandals. my running shoes. warmer clothes. the weather here is crazy unpredictable, but i'll get to that later.

so i hear this weird noise and realize it was knocking. omg, it's N!! i slept in. my first day and i slept in. i'm sooo in trouble. i got ready in 5 minutes and we left for fort langley on foot. (the bus comes every hour so if we miss it, we miss it. and we missed it.) about 40 minutes later we arrived at the church, fort langley evangelical free church. interesting. the sermon was on the da vinci code and felt more like a history lecture, but i haven't read the book yet so maybe it was beneficial for a lot of the audience? and then N introduced me to another friend Nv and she has an awesome place she's renting close to the church. i've already made up my mind to find my off-campus housing in fort langley. it's the only borderline walkable town close to the school. we were gonna take the bus to willowbrook mall but instead we walked back to campus where N made some tuna melts for lunch and we had a picnic on the lawn with his roommate M and this other girl named grace. (funny story, grace and i were caught up in a conversation for a while and then afterwards, she was like... "umm... uhh... ann? is it? sorry, what's your name again??" it was hilarious! i can't believe she forgot my name!) and then less than an hour later the weather went from hot and sunny to dark and rainy and thundering and hailing and then the power went out. it was scary how quickly the weather changed. oh yah, i learned another lesson other than not to book a charter flight if you're going away for a long period of time (and if you have to, use duffle bags with wheels cuz they weigh a lot less). that is, cordless phones don't work when the power is out. USELESS.

i soooo need to buy some shoes. one day of walking and my old navy flipflops are already beginning to fall apart... i shoulda brought my runners or sports sandals, grrrrrr... but they were too heavy! the soles of my feet feel like sandpaper, and my legs are cramping from the flipflops.


monday - june 12

so yesterday my roommate S finally arrived and i think we're gonna get along just fine :) she brought a bunch of groceries with her and i already made her promise to call me to the kitchen every time she cooks something. i learned she's an RN from saskatoon, which is really cool... so now i feel quite safe... hehe. my prof across the hall finally moved in as well. N cooked some stir fry chow mein thingy and invited everyone to have dinner at his place, which was nice of him since i was just gonna eat my leftover T&T buns from saturday.

so then we had some tea and went back to our rooms, and i was really hoping i'd be able to wake up on time for monday since i slept in on sunday. before i did, i had borrowed an internet cable from grace to see if i could hook up my laptop. long story short, the other bed in my room was blocking the outlet and i spent a looong time trying to get the cable in but it wouldn't work, so then i gave up and went to sleep. the next morning i found out i was sticking it in the wrong way the whole time. silly me.

i woke up an hour early because of the sun, which was already shining at 5 something in the morning... this is a good thing, btw. the CanIL building is about a 5-minute walk from our residence hall. there was phonetics class in the morning, and at 930 we had chapel break, which was really nice... saw the other students (commuters and such). the biggest and most pleasant surprise today was finding someone i knew from toronto!!! there were two worship leaders today, one on guitar and one on piano... i didn't recognize her at first, but when the piano player was introduced as C, the name stirred up something in my memory, and i was like... I KNOW HER!! so afterwards i went up to her and said, I KNOW YOU!! and her first reaction was... "ohh! yah! from UofT??" and i was like, "no... from Perspectives class!" honestly, what are the chances i'd meet her here?!?! anyway, there was an orientation lunch and i was able to catch up with her on top of meeting some other new people. i'm so glad she's here... she's a year ahead of me since she started the MLE program last year, so now i know at least one person to turn to for help or advice.

we had language and society class after lunch. compared to the morning class (articulatory phonetics), this is more discussion-based, which is a fresh change from all the memorization and analytical work that all the other linguistics courses entail. though funny enough, i think i'm enjoying phonetics more... anyway, at lunch i found out that i can get "free water" at the CanIL building, and they have coffee and food for a small fee (i.e. 25 cents for coffee) that we put into an honesty box. eeeexcellent.

after class i went to the bookstore and bought my textbooks... of course i couldn't resist looking at the Bibles. and i dunno if it's just me, but for a university bookstore, the prices seem quite a bit cheaper than tyndale or mitchells back home. and i have a feeling i won't leave TWU without a hoodie or zipup of some sort :P

aaand..... that's about it. their computer lab is really nice... the CanIL building is only a coupla years old so the facilities are really nice in general. i've never seen it used til now but they have those new overhead projectors that use a camera or something so you can project sheets of regular paper. all schools should have those! it drizzled today but i haven't been caught in a downpour yet so i can't complain. for dinner i had another leftover T&T bun. got one more for tmw, and after that, i'm gonna start on the instant noodles :P


saturday - june 17

it has definitely been an interesting week. let me backtrack to wednesday... wait, tuesday... so there was an orientation on tuesday after lunch that only a few females showed up to... i wonder why no males attended the event. there have already been a couple of jokes made about how TWU females outnumber the males 2 to 1. it ended up being just a couple of icebreaker games and a quick tour around the campus. the trees around here are HUGE! i love it. they have this challenger course set up in between the trees and i'm hoping i'll have a chance to try it out during the regular school year.

i was a very hungry individual by wednesday. for lunch S and i tried the TWU caf...... i was NOT very pleased at all. i ordered a single burger, and it wasn't very busy so i expected it almost right away... but at the same time there was only one person taking orders and making them on the spot, so it took a while... still, people came after me to order and it seemed the guy neglected my burger because it took him 20 minutes before he finally gave me the thing, and when i finally ate my burger, it was overcooked and dry and hard. awful. i vowed i would never eat at the caf unless i absolutely HAD to... i.e. i was even more set on having to cook for myself. after class i ran into C and D in the comp lab cuz sheila and i wanted to go into town on the wknd and i wanted to know how to get to superstore. in the end, C offered to take us to superstore which was really nice of her. we got a little tour around the city of langley (which is different from the township of langley... the township includes TWU and fort langley, for example. i think the two are feuding or something. i dunno.) anyway, we passed by a tim horton's!! now i know there's at least one of those around here. and they have one decent mall. yah, i think all of the stores i'll need they've got here so i can't complain... it's just a matter of getting there, cuz the bus routes won't take me to all those places. finally we arrived at superstore, and i honestly don't remember it being costco-ish from when we used to go in regina. the prices are AMAZING!! i was making such a big deal buying stuff at walmart or shoppers (with my brother's discount) back home... i coulda bought all of that here at the same price or cheaper!! we spent a good coupla hours inside and i went crazy... first of all, i was finally able to buy a pair of runners since i have been obsessed about getting a pair since sunday... and they were only $10 too!! wow. that'll do. and i know i went to save-on on saturday (i cringe when i think about the price difference and how much money i wasted at save-on) but i consider wednesday at superstore to be my first official grocery-shopping-on-my-own-and-for-myself day. i bought over $100 worth of stuff, enough to keep me fed for at least two or even three weeks. i am so grateful to carmen... she totally went out of her way to help us out.

and so that night i made my very own dinner... chicken breast with rice. of course i totally butchered it. even with directions from my mom. but anyway, i was starving so it still tasted great. i didn't have a bowl big enough to hold it all so i put it into a giant tupperware and added some jufran banana sauce and ate most of it.

thursday was our first dictation test. even for detail-oriented me, the vowels are really really hard to distinguish... but it went ok. friday we had a pizza lunch at CanIL, and there were games and a movie afterwards. we watched pirates of the caribbean which i had never seen, and i really liked it. oh yah, D gave me her guitar for the wknd so i can pick my songs and practice for monday. kinda excited... if i had known i'd be helping out with the worship, i woulda brought my own guitar.

this morning i butchered my eggs... i didn't think i could go wrong with eggs, but it turns out i'm wrong. in meteorgarden 2, when jerry was learning how to cook eggs, i thought it was so funny... hah, now i can totally empathize with him!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

11 days...

...til i take off for langley. i've been living out of my luggage for the past two weeks already. it's been pretty hectic [a major understatement] here at home with my grandparents' golden anniversary last wknd and relatives flying in from everywhere. of course i had to be the first to get kicked out. but i can't complain... my room's upstairs and our AC's busted. it's sooo much cooler in the basement, which is where i'm temporarily sleeping. for a few days, there were actually 19 of us in the house!! we're back down to 15 though. still, i can't wait for this household to go back to normal.

i'm pretty excited about the summer. i still gotta sort out a few things, do some last-minute runs at walmart and then actually pack, but i'm more or less ready to go. i was able to buy a laptop to bring with me :) i got it for an amazing price... $569.99 before tax. yeees, it was an open item... but it's perfectly fine! it'll do for school. anyway, i'm very pleased with it. i mean her. her name is emma ;)

i'll be keeping my current cell# for the summer, so feel free to text me. i won't be changing my number quite yet. i'll have a landline, but i'm probably gonna do most of my long-distance calling through skype. so yah... skype me!


my grandparents, their children and their grandchildren

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

the road ahead

i am contemplating whether to share more personal details about my life instead of just blogging away without giving a real sense of what's happening with me. truth be told, it's just so much easier to post random, light-hearted entries without much growth or depth to them :P i don't even know who reads this blog, save a few. in any case, since i will be going away and i have a horrible track record of keeping in touch with people, perhaps i will begin to blog in a more journalistic fashion and keep you all updated on some of the goings-on in this God-given life of mine.

so i was once again shown mercy this semester. i passed a course when i clearly should've failed. i am indebted to my prof... and of course, ultimately to God. how is it that i managed to get this far in life on His mercy without exhausting it?? i am seriously humbled.

i stumbled across the following poem/prayer by thomas merton while reading through a catholic prayerbook for students. (B, i think you've quoted from this before... or else something similar.) his words echo my own prayer.


The Road Ahead

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I'm going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I'm doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

what's the point??

i really don't understand why some businesses even bother creating websites if they don't include information about the services they provide. honestly. "hi, we're a studio and we do photos and videos!" (i thought that was a given, but ok.) "we do weddings and debuts!" (thank goodness?) "if you wanna know more about what we do for weddings and debuts, click on 'weddings' or 'debuts' to see a handful of sample shots we typically take!" (hmm... it looks like... oh, more or less the same basic stuff all studios do?) "in addition, you can view the random photos of strangers that comprise 99% of our website while listening to a nice instrumental sound file playing in the background that'll get you in the mood to do business with us!" (yesss... that'll do it.) "oh, if you wanna know how we do videos, you'll have to visit our studio for a demo!" (great.) "so here's our address, phone number and business hours so you can get in touch with us!" (ok... so then... wait, that's all you have to tell me on your site?? good grief, i know of ads in the yellow pages that can fit more information than that in a tiny little box...)

no prices, no options or packages, no equipment info, nothing...... sheesh. at least the studio has free parking. (again, thank goodness???)

pardon my sarcasm. the stress is getting to me.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

one way to look at things

a friend and i came to the conclusion the other day that relationships are very tricky no matter where you are in your faith. in fact, you can be deceived into thinking that you're better off just cuz your criteria's changed and you're looking for someone with a good heart instead of judging how hot they are. not to equate the two or anything, but check it out (i'm watching too much american idol)...... they bring about the same effect. like, "wow, he's hot and has a nice car and makes a lot of money... i want him!" vs. "wow, he's an awesome worship leader and he's involved in a gazillion ministries and has a heart for God's people... i want him!" either way, you get stirred up. either way, all these crazy thoughts come into your head, and if you let them run wild, you risk becoming infatuated and then you begin to wonder whether this may be the right person for you (even though a bunch of other people could qualify) and before you know it, bye-bye objectivity!! now, let's say both situations result in relationships... girl A begins to have problems with the hot rich guy cuz he spends so much time working (to make all that money) that they hardly spend any quality time together. at least her definition of quality, whatever that means... it's enough to know that his definition is a lot different from hers. boy, she didn't see that one coming. and then there's girl B who is also beginning to experience problems because her guy gets the calling to serve in southeast asia whereas she's convinced of her calling to serve in the local church. what to do, what to do?? she didn't see that one coming either.

the point is, no matter what qualities you're looking for, you're still taking a risk if you make that decision on your own. don't be fooled just cuz the qualities you're looking for aren't as "superficial" as they used to be. that doesn't make the other person any more right for you, nor does it make you a better judge of who is right for you. you gotta give it to God each and every single time, and more so if you think you're further along spiritually than you used to be, cuz it's so easy to get caught up in the "i-know-better-now-than-i-did-before" mentality. if you've ever been there, you'll know how tough it really is to truly let go of your desires and have to lay it before God every.single.time.

Sunday, April 30, 2006


the weirdest thing happened to me. i woke up from a nap this afternoon with the DIREST NEED to eat. it was the most bizarre feeling. i had lunch right before my nap so i can't explain it... and when i say dire need, i mean DIRE NEED. i felt like if i didn't eat right then and there, i was gonna die or something. so anyway, when i woke up, i sat straight up and felt the greatest urgency to eat and so i jumped out of bed and dashed towards my tostitos and salsa. within a couple minutes i managed to stuff, like, 30 chips and a quarter of the jar of salsa down my throat. and no, i had nothing to drink... i dunno how i did it but i did, i was that focused on having to eat something. and then i felt i needed a meal, so i rushed down to my kitchen but there was no 'solid' food around, so i ripped open a bag of plain buns and started eating one frantically while i took out my mccain deep n delicious stash from the fridge, and then i proceeded to shove about a quarter of the container into my mouth before i "snapped out of it" a few minutes later. how messed up is that?! and yah, i felt sick immediately afterwards... what in the world happened while i was asleep for a couple hours that drove me to stuff my face with food?? i must've been dreaming. the million-dollar question is, what the heck was i dreaming about?!

my mom says i'm stressed. a lot of people eat when they're stressed. perhaps i am, but as for the *real* cause of this afternoon's crazy food rampage... i guess i'll never know.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

i'm currently craving...

...tostitos. great stuff to munch on. i'm officially hooked. i recommend the hint of lime chips with the tomato salsa. the hint of jalapeno chips are also yummy... and they go better with the cheese dip. mmmmm.

you know what else is surprisingly yummy? peanut butter lindor. never even knew they existed til lynn gave me some. i was never a big peanut butter fan and i really hated it with chocolate (i.e. reese's pieces). but then a few years ago i found out a close friend of mine actually liked the combination. one time he chose it as an ice cream flavour, and i remember thinking to myself... if he liked it that much, then there must be something good about it! so from then on i made a conscious effort to be more open to the peanut butter-chocolate mix. and lo and behold, i now think it's... well, not bad :P i still don't love the stuff. but the peanut butter lindor tasted great.

on to other yummy news... my hebrew class had a "dessert night" and boy did i indulge! i was totally in the mood for dessert. everything tasted soooooooo good... mmmmm... and to top it all off, my prof made this swedish cake from scratch that was oh-so-yummy! i washed it down with some strong swedish coffee that kept me up til 5am. cuz yah... the coffee was supposed to help keep me up so i could finish my papers. anyway...

so my stereo's been set to classical 96.3 fm for the past coupla weeks. i've had such a hard time finishing my papers that i felt the need to listen to music without any words to distract me. personally, i think classical music is a great outlet. it covers a whole range of emotions... whether i'm feeling happy, sad, peaceful, angry, joyful, anxious, or anything (and everything) in between. very therapeutic. although... i must confess the underlying reason i haven't changed the station. shortly after i first tuned in to 96.3 fm, i heard tchaikovsky's piano concerto no. 1 (the first movement i think) and it totally fit my mood at the time. i LOVED it. and i wanted to hear it again. i mean, it's a pretty popular piece...... so guess what. i still haven't heard it a second time. i mean, i'm sure they must've played it... but i haven't been able to catch it. goodness, i think i've heard everything else at least twice. carmen, i probably heard a hundred times. they even played the E.T. theme. and i even heard some enya. gimme tchaikovsky's first piano concerto already! i refuse to change the station until i hear it again.

moving on... i was at tim horton's today when i noticed the price of their small iced cappuccino is now $2.02! goodness gracious. and... that's all i have to say about that.

one last thing. gmail displayed a quote by sam butler that goes something like "it's better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all"... taking the statement for what it is, i.e. without the fine print, i think it's absurd. just absolutely ridiculous. and... there's more i have to say about that, but i think i'll stop here.

Friday, April 21, 2006


my dad was telling me how someone asked him at work if he liked the LOTR musical.

he replied, "oh yah... gargamel was really good."

hehe... gargamel... heeheehehee!!!


here's an example of how keeping an agenda can backfire on you.

i had my hebrew exam yesterday. my mom normally uses the van so she was supposed to drop me off, but she wanted to study for her own exams so she told me to just drive to school myself. so i wanted to get there early, pick my seat, get a coffee, walk around, check out the bookstore, chat with some people... and then do my routine vocab cramming 30 minutes before the exam. i had just gotten my coffee and was trying to get settled in my seat when i realized that a LOT of people arrived early. it was only 1pm... the exam wasn't until 2pm. right?????

wrong... the exam was 1-4pm, not 2-5pm!! stupid agenda!! when the schedule changed, i had forgotten to update my planner. imagine if i had gotten to school "on time!" i woulda missed a whole hour of the exam. and getting there for 2pm was my plan all along, if it wasn't for my mom changing her mind and giving me the van to drive. man. so i was freaking out when i found out the exam was at 1pm. i wanted to leave the class to cram (cuz there was still a good 1/4 of the vocab i didn't know) and just write the exam 15 minutes late... but when i expressed my wish to do so, my prof wouldn't allow me to do it! i think this made me even more hysterical. of course i eventually calmed down... i was starting to freak out the people around me which i didn't wanna do, plus a part of me realized there wasn't much else i could do.

anyway, the exam turned out fine :)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

jaa, baby!

it's been about a year since i first raved about tony jaa and his sick, SICK moves in Ong Bak. apparently he has a second movie out called Tom Yum Goong that i'm dying to watch. i checked out a couple of the fight scenes on YouTube... *drool*... now that's my definition of eye candy ;) he's a great acrobat/stuntman/fighter, but it's his martial skills that i dig the most. if you're not already a fan or you've never had a taste of tony jaa, check out the following appetizer video that showcases some of his skills (though more on the stunt side... my favourite--just cuz it was my first time seeing him do it--is that superhigh kick of his where he kicks something at twice his height. i mean, it's hard enough for some people to touch the ceiling with their hands, but tony can do it with his feet! i'm still trying to work out the physics of such a move. and a lot of his other moves, for that matter.) anyway, the guy is so unbelievably awesome!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

how rude!

today was a beautiful day... but two unkind acts ruined it for me.

so i was enjoying the gorgeous weather while walking to work. i normally like to have a cup of coffee while working, so i stopped by tim horton's to get one. i only had a $100 bill on me, so i was courteous enough to ask them before placing my order if they would have enough change for my bill. since the tim horton's was one of those drive-thru ones, they told me that they didn't have enough change, but maybe i can change my bill at the gas station. so i went over to the gas station, but the sign on the door said they don't accept bills over $50 and that the till doesn't contain more than $100. i know they do it to discourage robberies, but i was frustrated because it meant they wouldn't be able to change my $100 bill. so i walked back to the tim horton's and i told them i wasn't able to change my bill, but would they accept my "free donut" rim plus some change? i had 90 cents in change. such a simple request, i figured they would give it to me. but you know what? they wouldn't! i couldn't believe it. i wasn't trying to cheat them or anything... i was honest with them about my whole situation from the beginning... and even if it is store policy to punch in a 'win a donut' as nothing other than a donut... fine, punch it in as a donut, but they can't afford to give me a cup of medium coffee?? how the heck does the store track coffee?? my goodness! it's not much! but it would have made the biggest difference if they had given it to me. and the fact that they didn't just ruined my afternoon. this is one of those examples where rules don't always have to be so black and white. c'mon people, show some kindness to a poor girl who wants nothing more than a cup of coffee to complete her afternoon! if i were in their shoes, i would've given me a cup of coffee. of course i realize i'm biased. i know i wasn't trying to scam the store. maybe that's what they thought of me. maybe the fact that i was carrying a $100 bill was shady to begin with. STILL! all that trouble for a cup of coffee, it was obvious that i really wanted one, and i was willing to make a fair trade of it by using my 'win a donut' and paying for the remaining difference. and they couldn't show a little bit of compassion? it's not like their jobs were at stake. i'm sure they drink coffee for free all the time. they couldn't spare a cup for me?? i'm still trying to get over it.

so i'm walking the rest of the way to work in a lousy mood and trying to figure out why people can't be nicer. i was approaching the entrance to the building where i noticed two people about to go in... i'm guessing a high school kid and his dad. the boy looked at me before going in with his dad... i was about 20 feet behind them. by the time i walked in the door, they were already in the elevator. let me explain this elevator that i'm so familiar with since i've been working in this building for over two years. it takes FOREVER for the door to close. without pressing the 'close door' button, i know for a fact that i would've made it to the elevator and still had a few seconds to spare before the door closed. so... take a guess at what happened. of course they closed the door on me! i was obviously heading towards the elevator, and they didn't even have the decency to wait. i was beginning to get angry... i raced up the stairs because i knew i'd be able to beat the elevator (which i did), and since the dental office is right outside the elevator, i waited for the elevator door to open and then i glared at the father and son for a couple of seconds before i walked into the office. now... i realize what i did was very immature of me. i didn't have to stoop to their level... exchanging one act of rudeness for another isn't going to make this world a better place, and it certainly doesn't make me a better person. i succumbed... sorry folks. i guess the point i'm trying to make is that the smallest things can make or break a person's day. if we only knew the impact that random acts of kindness can actually have on people, we would want to be kind more often.


3/30 - i got so caught up in the rudeness i totally forgot to mention the kind gesture someone made the day before. so i drove to school, and in the parking lot i pulled up to one of the machine dispensers to get myself a ticket for that day. i guess someone paid for an all-day ticket and left early, so that person was nice enough to stick the ticket into the coin slot so whoever finds it won't have to pay for parking that day. wasn't that nice of them?? of course, before i realized what i was holding, i had already inserted my money into the machine. and i couldn't get it back! so i just paid for my ticket and inserted the other ticket back into the slot for the next person. but it didn't matter that i still paid for a ticket... just knowing that someone was nice enough to give away their ticket to a total stranger had made my day :)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

i can't stand B's

hate seems too strong a word for something as measly as marks. but B's really do drive me nuts. 79% is the worst. it screams "almost, close, but not good enough!" don't get me wrong... B is a good grade. it usually means above average. sometimes i get a B and i'm ok with it. but only if the assignment was late and i got penalized for it. when i'm penalized for late assignments (and they almost always are), for some strange reason i can accept whatever mark i'm given. i can even take an F for not handing something in. it's the mark i would've gotten before the penalty that really matters to me. if i took the extra time to make an assignment better, handed it in late, and got a B for it (i.e. A before the penalty), i could live with that mark. but if i hand something in on time and i get a B for it, it drives me crazy! i know it's the same mark...... and actually, life would be a lot easier if i just handed in above average work on time instead of handing in great work that's always late... but then... i wouldn't be me. people wonder why i don't try harder to meet assignment deadlines... maybe it's cuz deep down, i can't live with the consequences of being "not good enough." there's no excuse to fall back on. at least when something's late, the tardiness becomes somewhat of a scapegoat that i can blame for giving me a "not good enough" mark. without a late penalty, the blame falls on me. *i* am "not good enough" to deserve an A. now, i acknowledge that my way of thinking is totally messed up. totally. at the root of all this is pride... so subtle, yet so dangerous because it's not obvious. conceit is the most obvious form of pride: "i'm the best, and both you and i know it!" what i have is a kind of pseudo-humility. i don't think i'm good enough... but it doesn't end there. let's follow my line of thought. i don't think i'm good enough... because... i have the potential to be so much better. because... i think i have what it takes to excel. these aren't bad desires in themselves, but they can be easily blown out of perspective. in my particular case, to have such thoughts indicates that deep down, i must believe i really am "all that." not cool. nothing to be proud of at all. my prof reminds me all the time, "grace, it doesn't have to be perfect, you know! just hand it in on time!" i know. alas, this is one of my inner struggles. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

that's grace-flaw #94237 for ya.

Friday, March 24, 2006

LOTR--the musical

i didn't realize the official opening night was only last night. i read a lot of the reviews that were published today and most critics don't seem to be too wowed by it. my family watched it a couple of weekends ago... personally, i enjoyed myself. i mean, the production had its ups and downs... i was visually very impressed, but the story adaptation didn't sit too well with me, and the character development was a bit lacking. but honestly, what else can we expect from a production that tries to fit the LOTR storyline into a measly 3+ hours when the movies can't even get it right in 10 hours? overall, it was better than i anticipated. and i did have my doubts. no avid LOTR fan wouldn't be skeptical of a musical adaptation! if you thought gollum was amazing in the movies, you should see gollum in theatre... absolutely brilliant. the stage, the lighting, the special effects, all the visual stuff was brilliant. the music wasn't a huge highlight of mine but i was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked with the story. the characters, though... aragorn and arwen, for example. their love story didn't convince me in the least bit. and there was no room for the faramir-eowyn love story at all. in fact, there was no faramir. what an injustice! one of my favourite characters in the series, and even in the movie they messed him up. he's as awesome as aragorn, people! he was nothing like his brother... i can't believe the movie tainted his image like that. but anyway... back to the production. so it was good for a first-time shot at it. i'd watch it again, but in a different theatre, with a different cast (that can portray the characters more convincingly?), a revised adaptation (that can portray the characters more convincingly? cuz i dunno whether the fault lies in the cast or the script), and a more spectacular frodo-gollum struggle (cuz the end-of-the-ring scene was so anticlimactic). also, i have to make sure i sleep well the night before so i'm not tempted to close my eyes like my dad did during parts of the production.

so i bought a t-shirt that night. and i'm still feeling a bit guilty cuz it cost so much. but it's LOTR! i love LOTR. and... it's a nice shirt :) all in all, if you seriously consider yourself a fan of LOTR, i recommend you watch the musical some time. i think it's worth it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


if you had to give up your senses one by one, which one would you let go of first?

not to be morbid or anything... but i've thought about it.

a long time ago, i would've said that my eyesight would be the last thing i'd let go. between that and hearing, most people consider those senses to be the most important. smell and taste seem to take a back seat... i guess cuz they're less relevant communication-wise? and people seem to take touch for granted. well... if i had to choose a communication handicap, my vocal chords would be the first to go. i know it's not really a "sense," but anyway... the world would be better off if i said less, i think. though i'd miss laughing out loud. but at least i'd still be able to laugh. and i'd definitely be missing out on one form of worship. but at least i'd still be able to hear music and play music.

next... i would give up my eyesight. it seems crazy, but i was just thinking... of all the senses, the eyes are the most prone to sin. the tongue comes close, but i'm giving that up first already. what i'll miss most about losing my vision is being able to marvel at nature. also, i'll miss reading... and maybe watching movies. i'll miss the active life, all the sports. but as long as i can still listen to nature, breathe it in and feel it around me, as long as i can hear stories being told, as long as i can still go for a walk outdoors... life would still be good. imagine all the things i'd be free from... vanity and narcissism, for one. and a big one at that. all the time, effort and money going to clothes and cosmetics and accessories and all kinds of useless stuff to improve my physical appearance and meet the ridiculous standards set by the media... ugh!! there are so much more important things in life. all that time and effort and money could be going to more worthy causes. i hate the fact that i succumb to this superficial crap. good riddance, if you ask me. better yet, i'd no longer be able to judge a person with my eyes. i try to do that now, but goodness it's hard. wouldn't it be great if people never judged you based on your outward appearance? actually, the answer's not so black and white. most of us spend a lot more time and energy on our outward appearance than we care to admit, and if appearance no longer mattered, we'd be left with just our "insides"... you know... the part of ourselves where we keep all the ugly things that we don't want anyone to know about. sigh.

alright, moving on. what about smell and taste? would i really give up sight before smell and taste? i had to think long and hard about this one. and the answer is YES. first of all, smell and taste pretty much go together... lose one and you essentially lose the other, so i'm gonna clump them. but what i'm really after is my sense of taste. how can i possibly live life without enjoying my food??? it's one of the few necessities in life that i can actually enjoy. i don't eat to live, i live to eat. i'd be absolutely miserable if i could no longer find joy in eating and drinking. simple as that.

the second last to go would be touch. i wouldn't live very long without companionship that's affirmed through touch. i can't explain it any more than that. and then the last thing to go would be my hearing.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

heavy stuff

[3/18 - decided to put the original post back up. i wasn't sure how well it would be received... it's a lot to swallow. but i'm grateful for the feedback even after i took it down. it's encouraging to know that others have the desire to see our church step out of its comfort zone... starting with simply being able to acknowledge our brokenness and our need for healing and restoration... and that we need to be continually transformed and renewed by God so that we're able to love each other more and more each day.]


my grandpa and i had a really good conversation in our kitchen the other day. he was having dinner and i dropped in to boil some water and make hot chocolate. i had no time for conversations with so many papers due, but i wanted to tell him about my retreat because it was held at a catholic retreat centre. (yes, my lolo is a catholic. and yes, i believe he has genuinely accepted Christ and is going to heaven.) a couple of weekends ago, he also went on a retreat with some of the men at his church, and he was sharing with me about it... some place in north york that used to be a hospital, but mike harris tried to make them do abortions and the sisters refused, so they shut down the hospital and turned it into a nursing home and used one of the adjacent buildings as a retreat centre. an order called Sisters of the Sacred Heart runs the place, if i remember correctly. anyway, i brought a pamphlet home from the retreat in case he was interested in knowing who ran the centre i stayed at (which was called Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre), so i showed it to him, and he was like, "ohh!! OMI, yes!!" and that took me by surprise. i guess it's like my grandpa travelling to australia and being invited to go to a church and then coming home and telling me the church was called hill-something. haha. anyway, the point is i'm not catholic so i don't know all too much about the different orders, but the Oblates of Mary Immaculate are apparently quite big. my mom's high school was run by OMI of the philippine province. and so we got to talking about orders, and how they work, stuff like that... i was genuinely interested in all he had to say. most of it was stuff i would never encounter or even bother to look up by virtue of my protestant upbringing. anyway, we somehow managed to steer the conversation to church history. all the stuff i learned just this year, he already knew! before seminary, i knew hardly anything about church history... and i still haven't taken a course on it, but i've heard enough summaries in other classes to be able to sketch a rough picture. oh, wait! now i remember how we got into church history. he mentioned how the centre he went to was ecumenical and i was surprised again. that he would know the term "ecumenical." i never even uttered that word in my life before this year. and so i responded, "my centre was, too!" obviously. i went with a tyndale class. they wouldn't have accepted a group like us, otherwise. so then he proceeded to share with me the passage that inspired them (the sisters? him and his church? the catholic church in general? i forget.) to be ecumenical. you know the one where the disciples go up to Jesus with the beef that other people who aren't a part of their "group" are casting out demons in His name? and Jesus responds with something like "whoever's not against us is for us." and i was surprised yet again. me, the outsider? of course! the possibility had never occurred to me. that's what a catholic who reads this passage would think. i'm sure that's what my grandpa had in mind. and i know he meant well... the emphasis of the passage is not that there's an in-group and an out-group, but whatever we do in the name of Christ is acceptable no matter who does the doing. that was his indirect way of saying that he accepts me. but STILL... i've encountered this passage before and it's always been the other way around. all in all, i'm glad to have experienced both sides as this has made me more aware of my own pre-conceived notions... one of them, anyway. i'm sure i have a lot more hidden inside me. but i wanna figure out what they all are and begin to break them down one by one.

i'm gonna digress. i just thought of something else. (i hope no one who goes to CECC gets hurt or offended by what i have to say.) i've always wondered why my maternal grandparents don't come to CECC. the rest of my household does. i mean, my mom gets them to come sometimes for easter or Christmas when there's potluck, but that's about it. and it's not simply cuz they're used to attending a catholic church, cuz they've attended evangelical churches in the past. my mom's a pretty 'convincing' person and usually she would try to get them to attend the (evangelical) church she goes to. and usually they'd go along. but not in this case. i think she did try, at the beginning... but then she stopped shortly after and allowed my grandpa to find a catholic home church and my grandma to stay home.

i think it's really sad. because i think i know why they didn't wanna come back, and i think i know why my mom stopped trying to make them. it's cuz they didn't feel accepted. not that the ushers didn't smile and greet them as they walked in, not that some people didn't try to say hi after service... i'm not talking about the motions of acceptance. i'm talking about the genuine sense of belonging and community that people are supposed to experience in the church, because that is what the church is supposed to be. i think they felt a big disconnect... during a couple of the potlucks, when i wasn't busy hanging out with the same people that i hang out with all the time, i'd glance in their direction and i would see their discomfort. but i didn't do anything about it. and no one really talked to them or associated with them other than my own family. everyone was like me, too busy being with the same people. i guess when new people come to our church, it's usually the one who brings them that introduces them to everyone. that's how people typically get to know one another in our church, when someone actively brings them into the group. but hardly anyone will go out of their way to go up to someone they don't know and take the time to have a meaningful conversation. heck, i'm so guilty of that myself. of course there are a few who go out of their way to do this, but they're soooo outnumbered by us passive ones. it's horrible, i think. anyway, i dunno if my mom ever tried to introduce them to people... maybe she didn't, and that's why they didn't feel welcome. or maybe she did. but even so... i think there's more to it. i think it's cuz they're not chinese.

there. i said it. but before go on any further, let me share how i got to thinking about this in the first place. i took a course called cross-cultural communication, and one of the topics we encountered was the intentionally multicultural church. i couldn't decide whether i was for it or against it. i looked at our church as an example. we are a chinese church, but not just any chinese... chinese from the philippines. pretty specific. if a chinese person from the philippines were to move to toronto, they ought to feel right at home at our church. they would find immediate community (ideally). in the past few years, we've gained a lot of mandarin members and added a mandarin service. and what we're doing is ok, right? i mean, if we were to try to cater to ALL kinds of nationalities, would we still be as strong-knit a community? but then i start to think... there is such a fine line between strong-knit and exclusive. and when it comes to church, i don't believe in exclusive. oh, but let's be realistic, now! look at all the churches around us. different denominations, different nationalities... those are the two big dividing factors. stuff like whether you're young or old, married or single, in school or working, prefer hymms or contemporary songs, whether you were born here or 'back home,' whether you prefer to worship in english or 'native tongue'... these 'lesser' diversities usually manage to be addressed and contained within a church. but korean and japanese?? chinese and filipino?? that's just asking for too much. well, maybe not... the tendency for 1.5 or 2nd generation, especially in canada, is to be more accepting of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. it's the canadian way. the older ones are the ones that have a harder time assimilating. they're much more comfortable in a community and environment that's as close as possible to the one they had 'back home.' dare we rob them of this? are people wrong in taking pride in their roots and doing everything possible to make sure that the culture is not lost in a new country?

i'm going all over the place. but i can't help it... i'm really confused. the intentionally multicultural church seems like a good idea, but i get the feeling that it'll only work with people of different ethnicities who have moved here at a young age or were born here to begin with, because they not only carry their ethnic culture but at least they have the canadian culture as a common denominator, having been raised here and made friends in a multicultural setting. imagine taking a bunch of new immigrants to form a church. what language would the worship be in? let's say english. ok, everyone's different, but we ALL know that we're united in Christ, and so on and so forth... how long do you think people will put up with each other before they begin to feel that they're not receiving anything? that their spiritual growth (the kind that can only happen in community) is being stunted? that they're not being touched by the message because they can hardly understand what the pastor is saying? that they're not getting any support or encouragement or accountability from other members because they can't communicate with others, they can't relate, they can't open up, no one knows where they're coming from, no one understands... what kind of community is this??

so yah, i guess especially for the older generation, churches need to be divided by nationality so that they can continue to grow. but it sure makes it awkward for the next generation. these kids who grow up in the church feel a lot of pressure to stay. but the next generation is always wanting to do things a little different cuz they have a different worldview. but they're not fully detached from the worldview of their parents, and so there's a constant tug-of-war going on. oh, here's another spin on things... if someone can't find community in one church, surely there are enough churches around that he or she will be able to find community there, right? so is it ok (or even better) for a church to focus more energy on retaining/defending a particular stance or cultural identity instead of trying to be so inclusive?

and so i'm torn. i look at the demographic of our church over the past 8 or 9 years that i've been there. we are (were?) primarily chinese from the philippines, but the mandarin congregation is steadily growing. we've had the odd chinese-other (whether cantonese or another dialect or caucasian or mixed or filipino or whatever else i never noticed), but most of them end up leaving. the ones who stay have a reason (i.e. because of *someone*--be it family, significant other, or good friend). when that reason no longer exists as a reason... yah. somehow i am not surprised that people choose to stay or leave a church based on the sense of community they feel. but rightly so, non? the growth a person experiences is closely connected to the community that person's in. so now i wonder... should our efforts go towards re-enforcing the unique community that we have at the expense of excluding others, or should we try to be more inclusive, but at the expense of our own identity and sense of belonging that we have built up over the years? there could be a third question... how to do both? maybe i'm just being pessimistic, but i don't think it's possible. i mean, let's take an obvious example. language. a lot of 'regulars' at CECC find community in speaking fukien or tagalog. doing so in the presence of those who do understand AND those who do not will bring about both kinds of effect. you bond with the one who understands but you rub it in the face of the one who doesn't. say the person speaks english instead... now it includes everyone, but if people speak english all the time, they lose the bond that particular language and culture brings, and a sense of disconnect begins to set in, especially if people are used to communicating in a non-english language when they're in their comfort zone in a community.

did i mention i was torn? ok... back to the beginning. i would love for my grandparents to worship in the same church as me, but the way things stand, maybe it's better that they don't. and here's the extra twist: chinese from the philippines, filipinos from the philippines. our church numbers are growing primarily because of immigrants from china and the philippines--mainland chinese and philippine chinese. why not filipinos?? is the divide so great between the two cultures that nothing even needed to be said for my grandparents to feel it? yes, i think so. i know that there are still parents and elders in our church who discourage marrying into a filipino family. but you know what, every culture has its faults... we're none of us righteous. i guess my worldview is particularly affected because of this, and the older i get, the more i see it and feel it and am hurt by it.

growing pains, is all. everyone goes through them in one form or another. each person has a different take on things, a different story to tell. this is a bit of mine. and it's not often i'm this transparent. but that's a whole other story.

i think i should take the owl's ways more to heart:

there was an old owl who lived in an oak
the more he heard, the less he spoke
the less he spoke, the more he heard
why can't we be more like that wise old bird?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


i was reading up to gather info for one of my papers and i got stuck on this story. it made me stop. and think. i was stirred. and left speechless.

read on, carefully and reflectively. the story speaks for itself.

(hope i'm not breaking any copyright laws by putting it on my blog. )



Walter A. Trobisch

On one of my trips I worshipped in an African church where nobody knew me. After the service I talked to two boys who had also attended.

"How many brother and sisters do you have?" I asked the first one.


"Are they all from the same stomach?"

"Yes, my father is a Christian."

"How about you?" I addressed the other boy.

He hesitated. In his mind he was adding up. I knew immediately that he came from a polygamous family.

"We are nine," he finally said.

"Is your father a Christian?"

"No," was the typical answer, "he is a polygamist."

"Are you baptised?"

"Yes, and my brothers and sister too," he added proudly.

"And their mothers?"

"They are all three baptised, but only the first wife takes communion."

"Take me to your father."

The boy led me to a compound with many individual houses. It breathed an atmosphere of cleanliness, order and wealth. Each wife had her own house and her own kitchen. The father, a middle-aged, good-looking man, tall, fat and impressive, received me without embarrassment and with apparent joy. I found Omodo, as we shall call him, a well-educated person, wide awake and intelligent, with a sharp wit and a rare sense of humor. From the outset he made no apologies for being a polygamist, he was proud of it. Let me try to put down here the essential content of our conversation that day which lasted for several hours.

"Welcome to the hut of a poor sinner!" The words were accompanied by good-hearted laughter.

"It looks like a rich sinner," I retorted.

"The saints come very seldom to this place," he said, "they don't want to be contaminated with sin."

"But they are not afraid to receive your wives and children. I just met them in church."

"I know. I give everyone a coin for the collection plate. I guess I finance half of the church's budget. They are glad to take my money, but they don't want me."

I sat in thoughtful silence. After a while he continued, "I feel sorry for the pastor. By refusing to accept all the polygamous men in town as church members he has made his flock poor and they shall always be dependent upon subsidies from America. He has created a church of women whom he tells every Sunday that polygamy is wrong."

"Wasn't your first wife heart-broken when you took a second one?"

Omodo looked at me almost with pity. "It was her happiest day," he said finally.

"Tell me how it happened."

"Well, one day after she had come home from the garden and had fetched wood and water, she was preparing the evening meal, while I sat in front of my house and watched her. Suddenly she turned to me and mocked me. She called me a 'poor man,' because I had only one wife. She pointed to our neighbor's wife who could care for her children while the other wife prepared the food."

"Poor man," Omodo repeated. "I can take much, but not that. I had to admit that she was right. She needed help. She had already picked out a second wife for me and they get along fine."

I glanced around the courtyard and saw a beautiful young woman, about 19 or 20, come out of one of the huts.

"It was a sacrifice for me," Omodo commented. "Her father demanded a very high bride price."

"Do you mean that the wife, who caused you to become a polygamist is the only one of your family who receives communion?"

"Yes, she told the missionary how hard it was for her to share her love for me with another woman. According to the church my wives are considered sinless because each of them has only one husband. I, the father, am the only sinner in our family. Since the Lord's supper is not given to sinners, I am excluded from it. Do you understand that, pastor?"

I was entirely confused.

"And you see," Omodo continued, "they are all praying for me that I might be saved from sin, but they don't agree from which sin I will be saved."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, the pastor prays that I may not continue to commit the sin of polygamy. My wives pray that I may not commit the sin of divorce. I wonder whose prayers are heard first."

"So your wives are afraid that you become a Christian?"

"They are afraid that I become a church member. Let's put it that way. For me there is a difference. You see they can only have intimate relations with me as long as I do not belong to the church. In the moment I would become a church member their marriage relations with me would become sinful."

"Wouldn't you like to become a church member?"

"Pastor, don't lead me into temptation! How can I become a church member, if it means to disobey Christ? Christ forbade divorce, but not polygamy. The church forbids polygamy but demands divorce. How can I become a church member, if I want to be a Christian? For me there is only one way, to be a Christian without the church."

"Have you ever talked to your pastor about that?"

"He does not dare to talk to me, because he knows as well as I do that some of his elders have a second wife secretly. The only difference between them and me is that I am honest and they are hypocrites."

"Did a missionary ever talk to you?"

"Yes, once. I told him that with the high divorce rate in Europe, they have only a successive form of polygamy while we have a simultaneous polygamy. That did it. He never came back."

I was speechless. Omodo accompanied me back to the village. He evidently enjoyed to be seen with a pastor.

"But tell me, why did you take a third wife?" I asked him.

"I did not take her. I inherited her from my late brother, including her children. Actually my older brother would have been next in line. But he is an elder. He is not allowed to sin by giving security to a widow."

I looked in his eyes. "Do you want to become a Christian?"

"I am a Christian." Omodo said without smiling.

As I walked slowly down the path, the verse came to my mind: "You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel."

What does it mean to take responsibility as a congregation for Omodo? I am sorry that I was not able to see Omodo again, because I had met him while I was on a trip. I just report to you the essence of our conversation because it contains in a nutshell the main attitudes of polygamists toward the church. It is always healthy to see ourselves with the eyes of an outsider.

I asked myself: What would I have done if I were pastor in Omodo's town?

From Walter A. Trobisch, "Congregational Responsibility for the Christian Individual," in Readings in Missionary Anthropology II, ed. William A. Smalley (South Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1978), pp. 233-235.