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.