alien visitor

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm covering for reception lunch right now. And there's a guy who just walked in and his eyes are pointing in different directions. He's complaining about a headache. Keeps asking about things like Christmas hampers, and free dinners and stuff. Wants special assistance. The pastoral care pastors aren't in right now. I hope that Pastor Keith Preston shows up soon...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

life feels so large
when you share it
freely, generously
i'm lifting offf
i'm spinning free
never felt so good
to be me

new phone!

Monday, November 27, 2006

finally.... we got a new phone. our last phone was pretty crap. oi. we had battery problems from the start which we recified with a car charger for a little while. but then there was no hope - and that was about a month or two ago that it started. just would die in the middle of a conversation although it would say that it was full battery. you'd turn it back on and then it would say it was still full battery. stupid stuff like that.

now we have a lovely nokia 6265i just like my sisters. we're a trio now. the phone is seriously so fun. what's cool too is that it has bluetooth connectivity so he can take pictures and video and deliver it wirelessly to his mac. when i performed that trick for the first time Gonzo cheered and applauded. for real.

okay, i'm so tired now, and it's 10pm. i'm officially OLD.

over the language barrier

Sunday, November 26, 2006

cooking the dumplings
Originally uploaded by kathy photo.
Today was one packed day of enjoying people. Got up, cleaned the house for a bit, but then skyped with Tom. So great that communication overseas is way more accessible now (for me). Phones are so 1986. It's hard to know when people are home, and if you can catch ten minutes here and there and just catch up on people's lives, it's just so different. You actually feel like you're in touch.

Afterwards, I went to the gym with Margaret. First time that i have worked out in about a year or more... Gonzo and I are going to work on signing up at the Y this week. (Now that I've written it, it has to happen!). I've got about 150 cookies sitting on my diningroom table, so I'd better join the gym otherwise there could be a major change in clothing size.

the main event for today was hanging out with a new family that we met at church. The parents were attending one of our satellite churches and that is where my parents met them. My parents had a neat time of connecting with them when the father was sick and in the hospital. This was about a year ago. Then, by chance, we met their two daughters (they are actually three - like us! - but the eldest one is still in China). We just hit it off. They're hilarious. The daughter Lois has been in Canada for seven years and is settled quite well here. She's got a good job down at King and Bay, programming for some company. The daughter Cindy (in the picture) just arrived about a month ago to take care of her father (her mother went back to China to receive some special treatment for her vertigo). She speaks no English, but she is so eager to learn. She's already learned a whole lot in three weeks (from the first time we met her).

So, today, the Cheng family invited the Lim family for dumplings. There was this massive misunderstanding about whether ir was lunch or dinner. Whether we were making dumplings together, or just showing up for them. Etc. But we had a great time. They are very different people. The father is super-educated. And brilliant. A few times in the evening, if he felt moved by whatever was occuring at that moment, he'd announce that he's going to write us a poem, spontaneously. (There is some kind of style of poetry in China like this). And his poor daughter Lois had to translate. (She translated for everyone the whole evening - me to Cindy, Cindy to the rest of us, her father to us, us to her father. She was the bottleneck for communication. She's gotta be beat by now). At dinnertime we toasted with styrofoam cups of coca-cola. You just know that these people live a very different life back in China.

It was an amazing time of bonding of two families with completely different backgrounds and current situations. But the warmth and sincerity was unbelieveable. We're gonna take Cindy downtown to sightsee 'cause she really hasn't seen anything yet.

Oh yeah, for probably about an hour and half, I created flashcards for her to build her vocaulary in English. I drew about 25 pictures with the corresponding English word. I haven't drawn in forever, and I was amazed that I still could. We had so much fun. I also learned A TON of Mandarin tonight. So much came back to me.

I am so tired now, but such a full and satisfying day.

butter event

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Originally uploaded by kathy photo.
juanita and i work together. we love food. we talk about the dishes we made recently and how delicious they were. food, food, food. talk, talk, talk. we kept talking about how we should have a cooking day together and stuff. well, as it is very typical in Toronto, you talk about getting together but somehow making it happen is a different deal altogether.

about a month ago we were talking about how i can't bake. and how i made these flat banana loaves, not able to make them rise more than an inch and a half. i had given up about over a year ago on baking. well, that's all we needed: a goal. juanita is an avid baker (although both her children hate sweets.... weird...), and so who better to learn from?!

so, today was the day. i went over to her house, bringing my sisters along (well, actually christine brought us because i had no car) and made 4 kinds of cookies - all with similar shortbread type batter. i even brought my kitchen aid mixer that i never use 'cause i gave up on baking, remember? we made cookies with pecans, ones with icing, ones with chocolate chunks, and ones with chocolate chunks and cranberries. these were seriously easy. i didn't know baking could be so easy. they only had 4 ingredients each. that's fabulous.

juanita baked her batch, with christine as her assistant (TEAM A), and margaret and i worked on ours. we made over 350 cookies between 10am and 3pm, using 6 pounds of butter total today.

to the gym tomorrow.


looked at puny negatives all day.
this is the fourth night i've been out in a row.
i have been non-stop full since sushi last night.
now i have two cups of bad coffee in me.

i'm also full of good times and stronger connections to the people i love.

however, i'd better go to sleep.
i've got a butter-event tomorrow morning, and dumpling event on sunday. i'm gonna be lucky if i'm alive on monday.

Wiser Night

Friday, November 24, 2006

Mango Mix
Originally uploaded by kathy photo.
This blog is for you. :-)

We had such a great time tonight. Tonight was the one proper time all week that Wiser has been home that we've been able to get in a GOOD HANG OUT. And tonight we got that fix, for sure.

Started with Sushi on Bloor. I had a hard, hard time getting my dad and myself downtown. I was on Bloor for a total of 45 minutes. Anyway, after that, we had such a great time. Dad and I arrived, and Christine's already got like 15 items written down on a napkin, and Wiser's like, "WHAT ELSE?" As if this were going to be the last meal he ever had on earth. In good fashion, we almost didn't make it... but we brought in some good eating power (THE LIMS) and every last maki was gone.

Afterwards, we went to CD Replay and they were having a wicked sale. We got Matrix Revisited (the making of The Matrix I), Peter Gabriel "So", Whale Rider Soundtrack and "Gold" by Cream [2 disc] for $30.

AND... after that, we brought our pictures from our travels and shared them at the newest, coolest spot in town: Destiny Tea Cafe. Yeah, yeah, i know that it's the third time in two weeks, but it's so great there. Next week, the 'regulars' are planning on eating there. I really want to try the food. Looks so good.

We have one more hang out with Wiser tomorrow, then he's back to school. :-(


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

oh... i just finished the crappiest design task i have every month: the church monthly calendar. it's just amassing tons of information and organizing it neat rows. i always have a crick in my neck when i'm done. now i'm done. and i have a crick in my neck.

i'm just waiting now for joseph sullivan to pick me up so that we can go home to gonzo and ana and have swiss chalet for dinner. i'm looking forward to a boring white meal. :-) sometimes chicken soup is just the best thing for a stressed day. crazy thing is that i've got more tomorrow. and i still haven't figured out how i'm gonna get to the chapman's studio on friday. they work outside of the TTC reachability. maybe i'll check out VIVA. although in the past when i've tried to check the website, it's been down. i hope i don't have to take a taxi. i'm not too keen on climbing into a car with a perfect stranger. i know that it's perfectly normal and not-crazy to call a cab, but.... i don't wanna.

okay, so facebook is definitely my new obsession. the feature that i'm sold on is the fact that there is a summary of activity that all your contacts have made that day. that's very fun. and it's way better designed than myspace. that's why everyone clammers to customize their page... it's so ugly! facebook - i don't mind the way it looks. i'm fine that you can't change it.

joseph's here. gonna go now.

john mayer

Friday, November 17, 2006

i'm in love.

cool new spot

cool spot
Originally uploaded by kathy photo.
Christine took us to Destiny Tea House on Silver Star Blvd, just north of the church a bit, tonight. It's absolutely beautiful. All wood, with all this crazy Chinese lattice designs. It's obviously a popular spot among the 'real chineses'.

One of the greatest and coolest things about Toronto, that I absolutely love, is the ability to really experience a real taste of another culture. Like, I am Chinese. But I really don't know anything about Chinese culture outside of a Chinese family experience. I don't know what Chinese people do for fun. What young adults go out and do at night. Well, one of the things that I found out tonight is that they go to these bubble tea houses and play cards, like the person in this photo is doing with his friends... (he's wearing green). So, our plan is to go next week, and do the same. Me, Beka, Gonzo and Christine are going to go there and play cards. Like the real Chineses.

business card

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

thought i should show you the business card that i made up for Gonzo. i ended up having them colour copied, although that was definitely the last resort. i asked my trusty print broker and when he heard my timeline he told me he'd colour copy it. i proceeded with hesitation but i trust him, so i went ahead with it. they actually turned out pretty good. but i'll get them done up for real, on offset press in the near future.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Today i am in stress because I'm trying to see where I can get really good quality business cards printed for Gonzo for Wednesday. Yeah, most places aren't even open today. I don't want to go to digital printing as that definitely won't be as good as offset. I've called a bunch of places to see if they are able to meet the deadline - leaving messages. Hopefully someone will call me back tomorrow and give me some good news.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

*Sigh* had a nice time connecting with the Massimis tonight. Me, Gonzo, Jonathan and Erika went out for dinner and a movie (The Departed) tonight. We had a nice time catching up and getting to know one other (particularly getting to know Erika - she's the new addition). They're cool. I hope that we have more times hanging out.

We might go to Ottawa together. That's exciting! We've gotta pick a weekend over the next month, and see if it'll work out. I'm looking forward to it. I LOVE OTTAWA. I doubt there will be any leaves on the trees by the time we get to go. I'd love to see Ottawa in full FALL FORCE. That would be beautiful for sure. It'll be a good time. I'll talk to Gonzo tomorrow about what weekend to go on.

Getting older is definitely funny. I don't know why some people dread it so much. I love it. It's a little scary sometimes, especially all the transitional parts, but for the most part, it's so exciting and fulfilling and ... indescribable. Of course, there are so many questions that you have to ask yourself along the way, but isn't that what is so cool? That you live with yourself your entire life (yes, it's true), and you have to get to know yourself -- just as much as you have to get to know someone else that is outside of yourself. Anyone who thinks that they know themselves fully at any point in time are only fooling themselves. Or, they're not having any new life experiences. These new experiences are unearthing stuff out of me all the time. Makes me angry sometimes, makes me laugh sometimes, and overall, I think that I'm ridiculous. But hey, I'm lucky to have people around me who can still stand me. :-)

Okay, to sleep!


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

On Sunday, I called Tom in Germany. On that day, I've been in the search of a microphone for my computer. See, Tom introduced me to Skype -- although I was aware of it, I was only aware of it in the capacity that Hans uses it, but I didn't know for what. In case you also don't know, Skype is so you can chat with your friends online, like msn, but with the added capability of 'voice' chatting. At first I was like, okay, that's not that big deal - especially we have this thing called PHONES.

However - it turns out to be super-fun. Even if it's just chatting like msn. I like the set up way better than msn. You don't have a trillion windows open and having to keep track of who you're talking to, which is sometimes a big problem for me. (All you people who speak to me on msn regularly know that this is true). All the chats in Skype show up on one window, and then when you have more than one person that you're chatting with (with your fingers) you'll see a red circle with a number of how many entries you're behind in reading. Pretty great.

With the voice chatting thing - you can call REAL phones, which is great for people who are computer-inadequate. That would be amazing if it stayed free. It's going to go to a paid service at the end of the year. However, super-cool, it's free to call each other on computers forever. I think.

ALSO - there is video conferencing. I guess iChat is also available, but I don't think that is available on pcs. And unfortunately many of my friends are on pcs (I was about to write 'most' of my friends... but most of my friends are on macs!). Anyway, I don't want to have to buy an iSignt rig.... $200. If I happened to have an iSight (like on the cool new iMacs and macbooks), that would be ultrafun.

So, yeah, I bought a mic back on Monday night and I didn't know that macs didn't have a 'regular' line in port. I thought the other port that looked like headphone jack was a line-in, but I guess not, since I had purchased a pc mic (for $6), and couldn't get it to work. I told the people at the store that it was defective since I tried it on both my macs, but they tested it in the store and proved me wrong. Works on a pc! Oh heck. So I had to buy a $40 one from the mac store if I wanted to chat with my friends overseas for free. I guess in the long run it'll be cheaper than calling. Plus, for some reason, in today's world, if it's something attached to the computer, you'll do it way more often. Like, I would never pick up the phone and call Germany 2 or 3 times a week - not even ONCE a week. But so far, I've spoken to Alice and Tom three times this week. It's so different. Weird eh?

On another note, I bought the new John Legend by the Doctor's recommendation. So far, pretty sweet.