Tuesday, April 10, 2007

*~ s a k u r a ~*

i have officially fallen in love with cherry blossoms...... ♥

TWU courtyard - easter monday - 04.09.07 - 5:52 to 6:17pm pst

Friday, March 30, 2007

they're blooming!!! :D

down the road from home - thurs 03.29.07 - 12:23pm pst

Monday, March 26, 2007

sunday afternoon stroll

as i alluded to in my previous post, it has been a very wet and gloomy march.. and winter in general. yesterday was a precious day because the sun was actually shining for much of it. at church, i was invited by T to "go for a nice walk" out in the sunshine, and i'm ashamed to say that it took a bit of coaxing before i agreed to go. i was under the impression that we'd be going to a park of "miliken" (i.e. mccowan and steeles) calibre.. T had mentioned a lake but i was thinking of something pond-size. of course i had totally forgotten what province i was in! after a good half hour or so on the road, we arrived at harrison hot springs overlooking harrison lake:

and thus began our sunday afternoon stroll :)

Dn, T, R, Db

the sun was in a peek-a-boo kind of mood. one minute it would show its face:

the next minute it would hide behind a cloud again:

but hey, i ain't complainin'.. i'll take what i can get!
gimme some sun now! ;)

we enjoyed a lengthy sunny moment on the beach:

me, Db, R, Dn

an aside.. i'm seeing quite a lot of pink along the roads already...
it will only be a matter of time before the cherry blossoms are in full bloom! *sigh* :D

mountains and water and trees, oh my!

even from behind a car window and with the sun behind the clouds, the mountains *still* take my breath away ^_^

à bientôt, my wonderful sun-kissed harrison lake..

what a blessing you've been in the midst of my dark and dreary days:)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

sunsets (& sushi ;)

outside CanIL - sat 03.24.07 - 7:36pm pst

i miss my sun. i miss it very, very much.
thank God for a break in the clouds.. and for bright orange sunsets.

Monday, March 19, 2007


i was fuming at some point last week. i'd just about had it with the Nat'l Student Loans Service Centre (which OSAP is a part of).. all the calls i've made, letters i've sent, forms i've faxed.. visit after visit to the TWU financial aid office.. i had spent so much time and energy and money trying to rectify their record of my current situation that when they called my house (in toronto! even though i'd told them over the phone numerous times and made a note of it on my online account that i'm not residing there at the moment!) and left an automated msg saying that if i didn't call them back by a certain day they would take my case to a legal advisor, oh my goodness gracious i was ready to strangle someone! sometimes i'll call and get a competent customer service rep who actually knows what s/he is talking about and leads me one step forward, but other times i'll get someone who is completely ignorant of my situation or what needs to be done and they end up taking me two steps back. it has been a very trying few months... but there's not much more that i can do. i've done everything i could possibly think of. the NSLSC is a very poorly run system, but it is the only system of its kind. and i can't beat the system. i can't switch. i can't be picky. if anything, i should be grateful that such a system exists to provide financial aid to full-time students and allow them to maintain an interest-free status on their loans. what would i have done without my loans? my goodness. and they had even assessed my funding and reduced my debt load by a couple grand last year.. so who am i to complain? after all the help i've received from them, is it really right for me to call them out on their error regarding the (what seems now relatively minor) logistics of my loan status? no, it's not. come to think of it, who am i to receive such help in the first place? i've had a pretty self-serving attitude with this whole situation and i haven't been nearly grateful enough. and so... i was fuming for a while last week. but no longer. i'm just plain grateful now :P


i had a nice loooong walk with An yesterday. it was beautiful outside.. 14 degrees i think? spring is definitely in the air... i can't wait for the cherry blossoms to come out. anyway, i had decided to wear my nike runners that i missed oh so much and asked my mom to send me through L when she came to vancouver last wknd.. but i think my feet have grown here. the runners were tighter and not as comfortable as i remembered them to be. when i got home a couple hours later i realized that i had acquired a few blisters... hahaha... how ironic that the pair of shoes i wanted so badly precisely because i remembered them to be comfortable ended up giving me blisters after a simple leisurely walk!

during our walk we talked about some interesting things. i still remember this one line An used: i'm not looking forward to *not* having a washing machine to wash my clothes. in fact, i'm not looking forward to *not* having any clothes at all! we were talking about the struggle of having one foot in the present comforts of our current life and the other foot in the comfort-stripped life that we are ultimately preparing ourselves for. and.. that is all i have to say about that for now.


remember when i was venting about my TWU/ACTS application because i couldn't fit my whole name into the 'full name' field, yet there was twice as much space for 'given name' and so i had [Merry June Grac] under full name and [Grace (won't fit above)] under given name? i *finally* had the opportunity a while back to bring it up with one of the tech guys at enrollment services... apparently the software they're using doesn't allow for changes in field sizes, but they're hoping to upgrade/change the system by next semester to allow more space for full names. in the mean time, there's nothing anyone can do... but [Grac] was still bothering me cuz it was showing up that way on all my official documents and letters and class lists and stuff, so they took out the space between my first two names and now i'm officially registered as [MerryJune Grace]. much better ;)


L and C came to vancouver last week and it was fun hanging out with them for two days :) i ventured out of langley/walnut grove by myself for the first time... it was slightly nerve-wracking as i had to transfer three times to meet them halfway in burnaby. unlike the TTC, it is of utmost importance that one plans their trip ahead on the Translink website for maximum efficiency or else risk missing transfers and waiting a potentially long time for the next one. anyway, thanks to L and her friends we managed to not get lost or stuck anywhere :P i met up with L and C at Willingdon Church for their saturday night service, and then we headed to E Bei for sushi buffet. the following day we went to Dragonball where L introduced me to green tea ice cream bubble tea... it has since officially become a favourite of mine ;) oh, i suppose i should take this opportunity to thank L and C for the umpteenth time for bringing me a suitcase of meat from my beloved momma. so.. thank you! and of course to L's friend T who drove me home so i didn't have to cart around my luggage full of food in the pouring rain. what a pitiful picture that would've been eh? haha.. it's funny when i think about it :)

me, L, S, Lw, J, C

Friday, March 09, 2007

guy land w/ oyster sauce ;)

i've read a lot of hilarious transliterations in asian menus and restaurants, but it's been a while since i've been this tickled! E wanted to have lunch with a few of us, so we went to a chinese restaurant in langley (i forget the name of it already) and we were trying to decide what to order... i was looking at the dim sum menu (i think they spelled it "dim sun") and at the very bottom was "guy land with oyster sauce"... hehehehehehehe... i had to double-check what they meant by that! anyway, it's supposed to be chinese broccoli or "gai lan"... but it would've never occurred to me to spell it that way ;) and Cm was cracking me up too... with her "chicken fried balls" and "ketchup on sleep" ;) good times, good times.

Me, Ct, D, A, Cm, E

Saturday, March 03, 2007

a translink incident

i just wanna recount this story before it slips away from me... so a week ago, i was on the bus headed to langley city to see a tutee. i had only been to my tutee's house a couple of times, but i clearly remember an elderly woman who had a walker and got on at a certain stop because the bus driver had to help load her walker and all her belongings onto the bus and it was a somewhat lengthy ordeal. it was fine though... the bus driver was young (probably in his 30's) but very patient and polite, and the old woman was very kind and bubbly. anyway, this time around, the bus driver himself was fairly old (with his snow-white hair, he actually looked older than the woman) and we stopped at the same stop and there was the old woman again with her walker and groceries. the driver opened the door and the woman got in and asked if she could have some help bringing up her things. the driver got out and walked around to where she was, and soon i heard yelling... something about how the woman had a ton of things in her walker basket and it was too heavy, he wasn't gonna lift this up for her, she'd need a truck or something to lift all of her things... then the woman was like, "don't worry, i'm not asking you to carry all of this, just let me take my things out of the basket first and load them onto the bus!" so she takes a few plastic bags and goes up the steps and puts it on an empty window seat in the front row. she has to do this several times because she did a lot of shopping... all this time the driver just stood on the sidewalk and kept mumbling at her, and i could sense that he was really impatient and trying to rush her. finally she took the basket off her walker with a few things still in it, and the bus driver took her walker and brought it inside the bus... he asked where she wanted it, and she said in front of her seat near the window would do (so she could sit closest to the aisle). so he hurriedly folded the walker and shoved it in front of the seat and let it drop. in the process, some of her bags got caught and toppled over, and one of her boxes got crushed. he didn't even bat an eyelash... just went straight to his seat and sat down. the poor lady was scrambling on the floor trying to get her groceries and things together and rearranging her stuff on the seat, and she was like, "see now, my box is broken! why did you have to shove it in there like that? couldn't you be a little more patient? geez!" and the old bus driver just sat in his seat staring straight ahead. eventually the old woman got her stuff somewhat together, and she was barely able to sit down amongst all her belongings before the bus driver stepped on the gas and we were off again. she was still in that same uncomfortable position (half-sitting on her things, half-falling off the seat) when i got off the bus.

i was so shocked and angry when i saw this happening... i wish i had gotten up and helped her instead of being glued to my seat :( what was the bus driver's problem?! if anything, he should've been more understanding of her situation since he's pretty old himself. does he think he has more of a right to be rude because he's old just like she is and he shouldn't have to be helping her lift things? whatever his reason, it's an awful attitude to have and to take it out on a kind old lady who wasn't even the slightest bit rude to him to begin with.

of course, there are grumpy old ladies who ride on the bus as well... there's this one lady that constantly complains about students taking up all the room on the bus, and whenever a younger person gives up their seat so she can sit down, she never thanks them... it's as though she thinks that's the least they can do for her. i myself have "missed" the bus several times last semester because the bus is too full and the driver has to turn other passengers away... you have no idea how much of an issue this was for me. you see, the C62 passes by three schools: langley fine arts school (an elementary school), trinity western university, and kwantlen university college. it's a shuttle bus (as opposed to the regular long buses) so it only seats 20 and has a maximum capacity of 25. the earlier in the route or the closer you are after a school stop, the greater your chance of getting on the bus. i am a couple of stops before langley fine arts school, so by the time the bus comes at 8 or 830, it's full of LFAS students and sometimes the bus has to pass by my stop and i have to wait another half hour for the next bus. of course when the bus stops at a school, there's a massive unloading of students and the bus has seats once again. anyway, i've had to improvise a couple of times... walk further to a stop earlier on in the route, take a much earlier bus... one time H and i even walked to school (a little under an hour) cuz we figured it would take just as long if we had to wait for the next bus. so back to this grumpy lady... once in a while a driver comes along that is willing to bend the rules and let more than 25 ppl on the bus, and i was standing at the front of the bus with this old lady one day and she kept going on and on about these TWU students taking up all the room and how it was our fault the bus was always so crowded... and since we're a private university, it means we have a ton of money so what are we doing taking public transportation, the school should just have its own private bus for its students and leave the public bus for other people to use. goodness gracious!! i was fuming... she has no right to place greater value on some passengers and lesser value on others. who is she to make that kind of call?? a student has every right to get to their place of study just as much as she has a right to get to wherever it is she needs to go... when passengers are turned away, it is never fair, but blaming other passengers is not the answer either. i think i did end up saying something to her... nothing rude, but i pointed out that there are more than just TWU students who use this bus, and it is nobody's fault that everyone needs to get somewhere. i've thought about writing to translink about replacing the C62 shuttle with a regular bus to seat more people so we wouldn't have this problem, but i had a conversation with one of the bus drivers about this one day and there are cost issues involved... a bigger bus uses up more gas, and other than the "peak" times when school usually starts and ends, there aren't enough passengers to warrant the use of a regular bus and so translink ends up losing money.

anyway, i digress! my point is...... wait, did i even have a point? i think i just wanted to share a story... yah, that's what it was :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

tempus fugit // kimbap

i can't believe it... it's march already. this year's one-quarter mark is just around the corner. how terrifying!! a pox on all my march deadlines!!

so i'm currently on my reading break and taking a 5-day modular course on intro to theology. it's funny that after a whole year at tyndale, i'm still not exempt from having to take this prerequisite (which is evaluated on a pass/fail basis
and doesn't count towards my actual program). i'm not complaining though... i love these kinds of courses! i could probably sit in on this course year after year and the flow of the course along with the discussions would be different each time. it's always great to hear other people's perspectives on theological matters... if there's one thing i have to complain about, it's having to get up sooo eeeearly for class ;)

tonight i had the pleasure of dining with a korean family... we had kimbap :D (at first i called it 'korean sushi' because that's how i heard someone refer to it before, but then i realized how unfair it was to call it that just because the japanese term 'sushi' became popular first. imagine referring to sushi as japanese kimbap!) anyway, it was nice to be able to sit down and have a homemade meal with a family. i really miss stuff like that.

Monday, February 12, 2007

"i--am not--a man!!"

ahhh... gotta love that eowyn in Return of the King ;) a small cheer arose from the crowd when she uttered those words in the nazgul's nonexistent face right before she stabbed him.

i had such a blast watching LOTR a couple of weekends ago! there was an organized 3-day showing of the extended versions at CanIL... i hadn't seen the movies or read the books in a few years, so it was great to get all hyped up over LOTR again. and CanIL has quite a few hardcore fans, which made the experience even better :) it's awesome when i can hum the melodies, discuss both the movies and the books and what was added, changed or left out,
and swoon over aragorn and legolas and faramir with fellow admirers!

i took an english course in my second year at UofT called Science Fiction and Fantasy, and one of the books we studied was The Two Towers... it was my professor's favourite volume of LOTR and it eventually became mine. one of the characters i grew to really admire was faramir. TT had not yet been released at the time, and the whole class was eager to watch it at the end of the fall semester. you can imagine, then, with the book so clear in my head, my disappointment at how much they changed the story around in the second movie:

So were there any weak spots? Afraid so. I found myself utterly bewildered by the radical rewriting of Faramir, the brother of Boromir. I had heard something about this going in, but I had told myself that I'd just chalk it up to making the novel fit the screen. But it's just too much. Faramir's character was supposed to be the gentler, wiser version of Boromir who should have been with the Fellowship to begin with. Instead, we get an untrusting militia captain, who falls for the seduction of the ring nearly as hard as his brother did. Granted, the story still works, and still makes sense, but I always loved Faramir in the novels. Here he loses the charm he held in print by losing whatever characteristics separated him from Boromir. It's too bad, but it's not the end of the world. I guess if fans lived with the loss of Tom Bombadil, they can take a drastic change to another lesser character as well. Secondly, in the book, Faramir is able to easily resist the lure of the Ring. The filmmakers felt this would contradict their central premise, that no one can resist the Ring. The filmmakers realized that the encounter with Faramir, the only human they encounter in their journey, was the only opportunity they had to make the Ring a major issue in the middle film.

i can't remember where i got this excerpt from... it was part of an online review of the movie, but it expressed my sentiments exactly. anyway,
watching the movie again this weekend, i found that i still couldn't let it go... when faramir said he was taking the ring to gondor, i couldn't help muttering under my breath and shaking my fist at the screen.

but let me backtrack to the first movie.

i never liked boromir much, and i initially despised him after i first saw how the film misrepresented faramir's character. but this time around, watching boromir succumb to the temptation of the ring and try to take it from frodo... i found myself empathizing with him. he's human, you know? the great thing is, he realizes the error of his ways and repents. he loses his life trying to save merry and pippin... which is all he can do to make up for what he's done. and he's lucky, aragorn gets to him in time for him to confess what he's done, and so he dies with the peace of knowing his king has forgiven him and is by his side.

not everyone can be as lucky as boromir. some people leave this world never realizing how sinful they are... some do but are too proud to repent. some repent in their hearts but never get the chance to face those they've wronged to ask for forgiveness. some just never get around to it, thinking they have all the time in the world, but then some ill-fated event takes place and it's too late to say or do anything.

and so... the story of boromir is not so bad. at the end of the day, it's all about finishing well... finishing strong. when the filmmakers decided to make faramir 'more human' at least they got something right cuz he still finished strong...

...with eowyn by his side ;)

front row line up - me, A, K, C, J

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

¡feliz cumpleaños!

last month, my roommate A celebrated her birthday. i wish her all the best... and we both wish H were here to have celebrated with us. H, if you're reading this, know that we miss you dearly!

CanIL common room

p.s. template look familiar? out with the old, in with the older!

the meaning of human freedom (in the moderately Calvinistic model)

"What does it mean to say that I am free? It means that I am not under constraint. Thus, I am free to do whatever pleases me. But am I free with respect to what pleases me and what does not? To put it differently, I may choose one action over another because it holds more appeal for me. But I am not fully in control of the appeal which each of those actions holds for me. That is quite a different matter. I make all my decisions, but those decisions are in large measure influenced by certain characteristics of mine which I am not capable of altering by my own choice. If, for example, I am offered for dinner a choice betwen liver and steak, I am quite free to take the liver, but I do not desire to do so. I have no conscious control over my dislike of liver. That is a given that goes with my being the person I am. In that respect my freedom is limited. I do not know whether it is my genes or environmental conditioning which has caused my dislike of liver, but it is apparent that I cannot by mere force of will alter this characteristic of mine.

"There are, then, limitations upon who I am and what I desire and will. I certainly did not choose the genes that I have; I did not select my parents nor the exact geographical location and cultural setting of my birth. My freedom, therefore, is within these limitations. And here arises the question: Who set up these factors? The theistic answer is, 'God did.' "

From Millard J. Erickson,
Introducing Christian Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 125-126.

Monday, January 01, 2007


i remember the last time i had so much fun with a gaming console was during a brief period toward the end of high school when a friend got me hooked on tekken 3. i was obsessed with julia and in love with jin ;) but that didn't last very long. i think my real gaming streak ended in grade 8 with SNES and my favourite game at the time--street fighter II (loved that ryu!).

well... after reading and hearing about all the hype surrounding the nintendo Wii, i was very curious to try it out and immediately agreed when B offered to bring it over. Wii sports was all we got a chance to play. but that's ok, because Wii sports is more than enough to handle when you're completely out of shape and decide to play all the games anyway and with full force and motion as though you are actually holding that bowling ball or baseball bat or tennis racket or golf club or you're truly in that boxing ring and the only thing that matters is knocking your opponent to the ground...

i think there should be a big disclaimer warning people that they could injure themselves or others around them, not to mention damage whatever else is in the room. or maybe there is such a thing already and i just didn't notice. anyway, we're renovating the house right now so thank goodness the room was mostly empty because i found myself using up a LOT of floor space to move around. (btw, i should also warn you that playing the Wii on hardwood while wearing socks is not a good idea.) i was whining to my friend R about how sore my ENTIRE body was from playing Wii sports (even my ribs are bruised, for goodness sake!)... and it's the kind of sore i've only ever felt after the first few days of training hardcore again after an extended period of no martial arts. when R told me she was sore too, i flipped out because R is probably the strongest, fittest girl i know, yet she still managed to overexert herself playing raving rabbids. oh, and she managed to damage the tv at her bf's house when she was playing Wii sports baseball for the first time because she accidentally let go of the Wiimote on her first swing and since she swung hard enough for a home run the strap broke and the Wiimote flew into the tv screen and cracked it ;) the Wiimote left my hands a couple of times too but thank goodness i'm not that strong!

actually, bowling and golf are quite relaxing games. and baseball was just frustrating. i think it was the tennis and boxing that did me in. i caught myself doing unnecessary things such as ducking as though the ball was really coming toward me just so my doubles partner could get to the ball. boxing was a bit frustrating because holding the Wiimote and nunchuk and throwing a real punch doesn't actually result in that same move on the screen. i had to hold the controllers and move them in a slightly unnatural way to get the moves i wanted, and of course i can't remember how to do anything in the middle of a fight except move the way i've always been taught. ah well, it's still fun.

i could go on and on about the nintendo Wii... but i'll stop here. overall, i really enjoyed myself! at the very least, the Wii provides an excellent workout. and the pain is definitely worth it :)

happy new year!