Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sometimes I think that if I check the blogs again they will magically update.

Quick Update

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Okay, see if the song works for you now...

Yesterday was Juan, Gonzo's dad's, birthday. It also happened to King Street's Volunteer Appreciation Night. And it also happened to be the night where Phil Aud and band (Dom Russo, Joey Goodwin and Jon Manafo) were the special music. Got to catch up a bit on some of my old college mates. Crazy - everybody's a parent! Trippy to say the least.

Today, went to check out the Super Walmart they just built over by Warden and Eglinton. I picked up my mom to see the spectacle. We walked through the front doors, and just stood there for a little while 'cause we didn't even know where to start. It's like its own mall.

Made plans to hang with Justin Comber this Friday (still yet to be confirmed).

Today, finished up the annual report in about an hour. That makes it about 4 hours total for over 50 pages of layout. I've come a long way, baby.

Oh, and let me know if that link allows you to hear the song.

Let me know

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hey - let me know if the mp3 below doesn't work. Or if it does work for you. Christine told me it didn't work for her. Boo.


Okay, people, do you remember your elementary school song? I do. And it was lame. Or wait, maybe I don't... I only remember it as lame.

Alice, one of my friends in Germany, is doing her internship at a school for mentally challenged kids, and was put in charge of writing a song for her school named "Frida Kahlo". With my other German friend Tom, a pianist, they wrote the school song together and recorded it at a studio owned by a teacher at the school's husband. They all recorded the song together, with Tom playing all the instruments. It turned out awesome even though I haven't a clue as to what they're saying. Check it out below.

Go ahead. Feel free to send Tom comments at mail (at) tomwahl (dot) de. This is da bomb.

One story before bedtime...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Okay, it's 2:30 am. Got home from Adam's farewell tonight, and got inspired to do a little bit of webwork. And you know - when the inspiration's kickin', you'd better just take advantage of it. Anyway, I've had a good fruitful time. Now, I'm tired. Yet, I still have to write this blog.

Earlier today, while we were tidying up for dinner, I heard a knock at the door. I don't know about you, but when someone knocks on my door, I find it a little exciting... good-exciting, and bad-exciting. Of course, that all depends on what is waiting for me on the other side of the door. I look through the peep-hole, and I don't see anyone. I keep looking, and looking, and finally a woman steps in from the edge of view, and then I can see her. I open the door - it's a neighbour from the 10th floor. She proceeds to ask me if a woman with curly hair lives "here".

ME - No
HER - Oh.
ME - Are you looking for a friend of yours? {stupid question: if she were a friend of hers, she would have addressed her by name. AND known that she lived here or didn't.}
HER - Oh...no, no, no. Okay, see... a woman with curly hair a few minutes ago knocked on my door and said she lived here, she was frantic, and nervous saying that she just got a phone call that her mother had a heart attack, and she needs to get to Barrie, but her husband is working until 2am so she doesn't know what to do. She asks if she could borrow some money so she could take the bus there.
ME - Oh my goodness... is she okay?
HER - Well, see, my fiance offers to drive her there, and she declines saying that she would want to do that to us in this weather. So, I gave her some money. It wasn't much - just fifteen bucks. But...
ME - You think you got scammed?
HER - Yeah. After she left, I said to my fiancee, if she was from the 14th floor, seems like a long way to come down to the 10th. Then I just had to see for myself. I didn't give her much, but if she does this to even ten people...
ME - that ends up being a lot of money... UGH! that's awful!

I learn her name, and become a little frustrated about this little sociopath that has just preyed on her. We wonder why people are distrusting, and unfriendly to strangers. This is a classic example. People that prey on the good natured-ness of people... ugh. I could just KICK THEM!

Happy Slip

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Today's youtube.com treasure bit is from Happy Slip. She's this youtube phenomenon where in 4 months she has something like over 130,000 subscribers. She's internet-edly famous! People like her get to stay home and allow blogging to pay their rent, groceries and other needs in life. Crazy to think that. Anyway, she's got 13 videos to her name, and this one is my 'fayboret'. Kinda close to home.

The end of the trip

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We went to Montreal for the day on Sunday. What sucked was that we woke up late, and then didn't get there until something like 2pm, spent most of our time looking for a place to eat lunch, and then shopped on Ste. Catherine for like an hour until everything shut down. We had a fantastic dinner at St. Paul Steak et Frites, where we had an amazing steak and fries (duh), with great bread and salad to start. After that, we went home. Wasn't super-eventful, but always nice to get to Montreal. It was only an hour and half away so we couldn't pass it up.

Monday was cool - just walked around Byward Market looking for something for our parents, and explored outside of downtown Ottawa a bit. What was a big surprise was dinner. We went to Lone Star Texas Grill which is just this chain of restaurants that seems like a Kelseys with a Texan bent. The first one we tried to eat at was down by Byward Market, but the wait was more than a half hour. Gonz had spotted another one out by where we were 'exploring' so we went to eat there. The wait was also a half hour, but what were we gonna do then? But it was good thing that we waited because we had the best fajitas that I can even remember. What made them so good was that their tortilla shell is home made (by a weird machine, but still...). They were kind of like some roti I've had. SO good. We had an awesome server too. Now, I definitely want to find another one around here, if there are any.

Oh, and yesterday (that would be Tuesday), we checked out of our hotel at around 10:30, grabbed breakfast and headed home. We were very pleased that we left early 'cause we started having to drive on and off snowstorms which were leaving the highway unnavigateable (is that a word, dave?). Gonzo was driving at this point, and that is good 'cause he's a much more careful driver than me. What undid our happiness was, however, a truck that jack-knifed perhaps about 500 metres in front of us that blocked all lanes of the 401 (out past Cobourg East). We weren't standing there for more than 5 minutes when I told Gonzo to shut the car off to save gas. Good thing too, 'cause we were on the highway, parked there for more than 2 and half hours. BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTAL. We could have been home at something like 3. We didn't get home until after 7 (after some errands/grocery shopping, etc.)

It was a nice time away. A bit disorganized, but Gonz said he was a bit happy about it. He said that when we vacation I tend to have stuff planned for everyday which makes it a bit tiring (I didn't realize this!). Anyhow, it was good. Had a chance to do some thinking, some planning ... all in my brain. I want to be a little less passive in life - instead of letting life make me just eat, sleep, play and work. There is something about causing change in my own life, my family's, in others... But it requires so much intention, and purpose. When you're zooming through life, just being busy all the time, the intention is overlooked, and all those things you thought you'd like to help with... the opportunities grow stale. For instance, I've been wanting to support a child (i.e., with WorldVision, Childcare Plus, etc.) for a while - since I got married. Two years have passed me by and I still haven't done anything about it. Stuff like that. It's time to get on it.

Ottawa: Day Two

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday, we wandered over to the Quebec side... Gatineau! It's so crazy... just cross a bridge, you're still in Canada, but everyone around you is speaking French. We went to an all-day breakfast joint that we found (mainly because it was one of the few things open in the little neighbourhood that surrounds the museum that we were going to spend most of the day - not many things are open in Quebec on Sunday), and our server hardly spoke English. It's weird - but I like it. I like it 'cause it's Canada. Also, it was somehow way colder on the Quebec side. Geeeeeez, it was cold.

Canadian Museum of Civilization
What made me want to go to the museum was the special exhibit they had on "Petra". In case you don't know, it's this crazy old city where all its 20,000 inhabitants lived in desert rocks. Their irrigation system, pathways, and "architecture" is ... mind blowing. It's always amazing to me that people that existed much earlier than our own were capable of so much despite not having technology that we have now.

The museum itself is humungeous. There are so much to see there. We went through the special exhibit real carefully, reading every single posting under reach artifact and/or photograph. When we actually got to the rest of the museum, we hardly had any attention left. One could say that we had attention deficit at this point.

After running through the postal museum, the first people's exhibit, the hand craft exhibit, the Canada Hall (1000 years of Canadian history), my brain was pretty full. That museum you definitely can't do all in one day and really take it in. It's really well done and definitely a great resource to students in the area.

After that, we just took it easy, went back to the hotel to figure out what to do... and we decided to walk around the Byward Market, but most things were closed. We ate a Japanese restaurant that we forgot we didn't like the first time we visited it (the first time we went to Ottawa a couple of years ago).

At this point, we're starting to get tired of spending so much money eating out and visiting things, we went grocery shopping and got some breakfast type stuff and snacks. That proved helpful over the next few days. It definitely would have helped if we had a refrigerator and/or microwave in our hotel room. That always opens up huge possibilities for saving money.

Pan's Labyrinth

Friday night we ended up watching a movie by a Spanish director, Guillermo Del Toro which was a perfect follow up to our great Spanish dinner (...I don't know... Gonzo made that comment). I didn't know a thing about it, or even heard about it, which is my faaaavourite way to watch a movie. (The only other time that happened was The Matrix - pleasantly surprised). Movie was beautiful and so different. Perhaps one day my husband will update his movie blog and write something about it.

In Ottawa

Friday, January 19, 2007

parliament, originally uploaded by kathy photo.

Hi everyone! We're in Ottawa. :-)
We left last night soooo late. Gonzo got out of work late. We still had to pack some last minute stuff. We had to go to the bank and take care of some money stuffs. We got stuck in traffic big time. When we only hit Whitby in about an hour of driving we figured we'd just stop and grab a bite to eat. No point in crawling on the highway when we're hungry and should be fed anyhow. After our gourmet dinner at McDonalds it was go, go, go! Driving conditions were great. No snow. No ice. I drove pretty much 150 km/hr all the way, and got to Ottawa in just under 4 hours. Weeeeee!

Pretty much finished our first day in Ottawa. We just had a low key day: we had Tim Horton's for breakfast (we are in Canada, after all!) that is located in the lowest floor of our hotel. Nice! Then explored our surroundings (again - this time winterstyles), did a little bit of shopping at the Rideau Centre, took a nap, and then had ourselves the most wonderful Spanish dinner at Don Alfonso. I was searching and searching and searching online for a different dinner place. Gonz actually gets sick of Asian food once in a while (it's the best food you can get for the cheapest price!) so Asian food was out of the question. We decided that we'd look to see if we could get some Spanish food and I found several, but the first was way too close to the University of Ottawa so one review complained of too much of that crowd (which is totally fine usually - but we were looking for something quiet). The second most complained that it was just too expensive and wasn't worth the food. I gave up, and went to take a nap, Gonz found our pick for the night in five minutes. Teaches me to leave researching Spanish outings to the Spanish guy. DUH.

So reading my post over, I can't believe how much of it is just about dinner. I think that is probably one of my favourite things about traveling: it's about trying new food/restaurants. Sure, I'm still in Canada, but there is something about traveling that makes me try new places to eat. When I'm home, I eat at the same rotations of restaurants 'cause that's home.

Anyway, Don Alfonso is a nice little quiet place. We found it on www.restaurant.ca which is this awesome little website anytime you're looking into restaurants while in any major city in Canada. It lists restaurants by cuisine, ambience, price range, and other features. VERY USEFUL.

What we ate for dinner :-)
Gonz had steak, and I ordered the Prix Fixe. My order was crazy: Choice of Soup (had Cream of Vegetable), Salad (which I donated to Gonzo), Choice of Entree (had the Tilapia in white wine, capers and lemon), Dessert (Pears St. George), with Coffee or Tea. Gonz chose Flan (Creme Caramel) for dessert. I definitely couldn't turn down that deal. Turned out to be an amazing dinner. Too bad we live way too far from this restaurant.

(click on the above photo to take you to my flickr account to see some photographs of today, and yesterday).

We're just about to run to the theatre to see a movie. Not sure what we're gonna see yet, but just having a nice relaxed time.

Last Minute Vacation

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I've known about my 3.5 days of vacation days leftover from my 4 years of employment at APC, and I needed to get rid of them before January 2007 was out. Otherwise, I'd lose them. I was thinking this entire time that we'd go the last weekend of January -- but Gonzo's dad's birthday is that weekend. Oops. So that makes it ... THIS WEEKEND that we have to take a holiday.

Planning this little holiday has been a little bit disorganized. I got my dates approved on Monday. Gonzo got them approved today. But since he didn't get them approved until today, I couldn't book a hotel ... UNTIL TODAY, and we leave after work tomorrow. [ enter Wiser ]. He scored us the Crowne Plaza on Priceline. If you have never heard of Priceline, you've got to check it out the next time you need to book a hotel. You get to bid for what you'd like to pay for a hotel. Of course, you might get it accepted, or perhaps not. You bid based on star-ratings and area. Anyway, we ended up landing a 3-star (or some sites say 4-star) hotel for less that what we'd have to pay for a two-star (Days Inn, Comfort Inn, etc.) hotel. Right in the heart of downtown. This is going to be nice, nice getaway. My friend is obviously da bomb. I will pretty much never book a hotel without his help ever again. Next time, Wiser, I'll give you more notice. :-)

Where am I going you ask? Well, I am certainly not going to publish THAT on the internet. I'll tell you after (all of you people who are in my weekly circle of life, you know anyway).

Beka is coming to take advantage of our away-edness again. She works just south of where we live so it takes her a fraction of the time to get to work than usual (she lives on the far east end of Scarborough). Glad that she can benefit from us being away, and I get the benefit of a house-sitter. LOVE IT.

Well - I DO have one half-day of work left, so I'd better get to sleep. OH, and I have my staff review tomorrow. Eek!


Monday, January 15, 2007

last night we went over to dave stone's house for a mini-birthday party and season premiere of '24'. both christine and kaylee are overly-empathetic media consumers [see picture of christine above, watching television while turned the wrong way]. adam was getting mad. dave kept giggling. that was a good time. good gathering of old friends and new friends.

down with __space

Thursday, January 11, 2007

because __space is losing so many people to ____book, they now have to pay people to hang out with them.

A blog, instead of a comment

Because Kaylee's blog made me laugh so hard, I'm posting my comment here. I know that she'll find it anyway. :-)

Yes, dear Kaylee, I have been quite sick over the last couple of days. I actually had food poisoning. But let's not talk about this too much at church because someone there brought me some lunch and therefore rendered me useless Tuesday to Wednesday night. Which, also, allows me to make a new announcement:

It's been so long, I honestly forgot what it felt like. It was shocking. It was scary. It was like two hands wringing out my stomach causing everything to shoot out of my mouth in a solid (though liquid) tube. [ insert gag by Christine here ] Oh, and something else I didn't remember either is the way your saliva tastes in your mouth just before you barf. It's like a warning signal: pull your hair back woman, 'cause it's not gonna be pretty.

Anyhow, I'm much better now. What makes you knowing that I was sick so funny too is that I never told you - you found out through facebook. Do we really need to see each other anymore since we can catch up on each other's lives simply through notes left all over the internet? ...OH DEFINITELY, we still defintely do...

...that way we talk about all that we found out about each other by leaving notes all over the internet. ;-)

Okay, your story about the Amanda-Becca mix up was absolutely hilarious too. What the heck? You get mistaken for someone and then you mistake them right back? (amazing: i just used 'mistake' as a verb). Another reason why we should still get together: while that story was great in the blog, I'm sure, somehow, you would have made that story twice as hilarious in person. You good story teller, you.

Again, would love to help you jazz up your blog. Hmmm... OH! send me like two photographs that you'd like to use for your blog, and I'll try to come up with something wikked-awesome.

this new template

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I love this new template. The main reason why I changed it was 'cause my other one was so narrow it limited how large I could post my photos. This one is so much wider and now I can post pictures that take up significant space. :-) After all, the people I post up here are just that - significant. :-)

Bye, bye Chapman

Bye, bye Chapman, originally uploaded by kathy photo.

Our friend Matthew Chapman is leaving for Zanzibar, Africa (what part, unsure - Tanzania-ish), for seven months to teach. What a cool opportunity. Hopefully the time moves fast and Canada is able to have him back. Definitely one of a kind.

Saturday Night Gathering

Monday, January 08, 2007

Rehearsal, originally uploaded by kathy photo.

Church was so fantastic on Saturday night. To be honest, for a few months, SNG (Saturday Night Gathering, our Saturday service), was feeling a bit ... hollow...? I mean, all the elements were there -- just seemed like the congregation was slow to respond.

We - Margaret, Dave, Matt, Carmel and myself - are at SNG week after week to lead the songs. These songs are about God (of course), and you would think that we were singing songs about logs, grass and other inanimate objects (minus all humour), based on the looks on the people's faces. If God is so amazing, shouldn't we be filled with gratitude and awe as we sing the songs we sing?

Anyhow, we had a mini-impromptu meeting in December talking about how it could be better - what we could take into our own hands. So we've been implementing small things along the way, and I think that it's working. The anticipation and involvement of the congregation was so fantastic - everyone seems to be so excited about what this year holds for our church. With our small efforts, and the 50th Anniversary, we should see SNG grow.

MY dream last night

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Beka posted her dream from last night - and now, so will I. I never remember my dreams so even feel like I had one, so this is quite a moment!

I dreamt that the Chua Family Christmas was traveling from Toronto to Batavia for some reason. For all of you who know us well, the Chua Family Christmas is usually in Batavia. Oh yeah, and it was summertime. Sweltering hot. We decided that we were gonna take the scenic route, all nature-y and stuff. We stopped lots because we were with little Aden and he needed breaks. Every time we stopped, however, we bumped into Bobby McFerrin. Bobby McFerrin! I have no idea how he got into my dream since I don't even have any of his music and I don't remember the last time I was talking about him with anyone. Well, towards the end of my dream I asked if I could take a picture with him since we bumped into him so many times I felt like I had enough of a mini-relationship that I could ask him for a picture.

I took it. It was a bad photo of me.
The End.

My other man

Saturday, January 06, 2007

first day at the gym

Friday, January 05, 2007

first day at the gym, originally uploaded by kathy photo.

today, gonzo and i went to the gym for the first time since we signed up for our memberships back on tuesday night. actually, as a couple, this is the first time we've exercised together - of course, i mean, aside from the resonate soccer game, and a couple of times i managed to drag him out for a walk.

so, i've been bugging gonz for many, many, many, many years now, the very important need to exercise. he just hates the idea. he's totally okay with playing sports - just as long it involves some kind of ball to chase, it's not 'exercise'. this year, i just had it. i was tired of feeling more and more out of shape and i put my foot down and said, 'ok, this is really important. we need to get active.' and for once he didn't put up a fight.

he was, however, hestitant.
at dinner, we even prayed that he wouldn't get hurt at the gym.

i thought perhaps it was because he is chubby and thought of him being surrounded by uber-macho guys just appalled him. at least that was what i thought it was. no. of course not - with gonz nothing is thaaaaaat simple. he has this mental correlation that gyms are on the same level as night clubs. he'd feel as uncomfortable at a nightclub as he would at the gym. it's too narcissistic for his appetite. OI.

MEANWHILE... i take him out to Winners to buy some shorts to work out in on Thursday night, and I direct him to the athletic wear section while i stand in the customer service line for 20 minutes to return our niece Elizabeth's too-small plush jumper. i finally get everything taken care of, and he's got a full outfit picked out: adidas dry-fit-type maroon soccer shorts with matching maroon top. i am like...

"it's for when i play indoor soccer..." (with the guys at church).
"You are gonna look retarded. You'll look too serious about it."
"No, I'm gonna goooooooood."

Needless to say, I didn't let him purchase "the outfit".

So tonight was the first try at the gym. I told him, okay, what we're gonna do is we're gonna start off warming up on the treadmill for 10 minutes, and then you'll go on the bike for 20 minutes. We'll stretch after that, and we're done. Let's go easy the first time we're back in some serious activity! I gave him my mp3 player, and off we went. I hate the bikes, but i he wanted me to go with him so i went too on the bikes. we set up ourselves on the random hill program and did our twenty minutes.

i'm watching gonz intermittenly and he's looking a little upset. and a little blank. i'm not sure how he's feeling about it. he's funny sometimes - i can't tell what he's thinking.

there were too many people in the stretching room, so i told him we'd stretch when we got home, which we did. what surprised me was all the way home in the car, he's talking about how THAT WAS FUN.


it totally went better than i thought. i am on cloud nine.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

if today was yesterday
and if i could see what i see
what is it that i would have done

The Y

Gonzo and I have done it. Started down the road to better fitness. We looked at the calendar, and planned which days we would go, and then went to the YMCA and signed up last night. So... now to actually go. I think that we'll be pretty good 'cause I'm really into not wasting money. :-)

Lyndsay also signed up at the Y, so at least I've got someone else to also go with too. It'll be good if we can come up with a rhythm of going - then it'll be a no-brainer. Looking forward to feeling less out of shape.

Happy Birthday Margaret!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Margaret's Birthday, originally uploaded by kathy photo.

Today, the first of the year, is Margaret's birthday. Margaret summoned the Smith family, the Lim family + Lyndsay Mokund and Bex. We ate lots and lots of good food - Asian Legend is so great. Afterwards, we went back to my place and played Mah Jong (well, I watched, in between rolling a ball of yarn, changing my blog template, and watching the Seu Jorge & Ana Carolina DVD again - however, I declare that I will be more in to games this year.)

It's fun to see everyone grow up. Love that Lyndsay is back. A brilliant, beautiful and hilarious girl. We're gonna join the Y together tomorrow. Excellent!

Tomorrow - I am planning on being at work at 8am. Gonna start with that and work on being consistent with that. Last year, I kept trying for 7 am - baby steps, Kathy, baby steps.

Life is good.
I was blessed huge last year -

  • Gonzo got to do a presentation for Easter with awesome friends
  • Resonate's U2 night
  • got to fly to Winnipeg for a day, to run media for Pastor Smith's presentation
  • got to fly to Cape Breton for a weekend to shoot some video
  • got to make a few videos for General Conference
  • got to celebrate my parents 30th wedding anniversary by treating them to a trip to Montreal
  • moved my childhood piano into my home
  • celebrated my second wedding anniversary
  • got to meet some more of Gonzo's family
  • got to have a vacation in Europe
  • got to see my friends Tom and Alice
  • had the opportunity to help lead Resonate
  • visited Wiser in Cali
  • became Beka's friend
  • Juan is healthy again

    I'm sure so much more happened that I am leaving out right now - but I wasn't very good at journal-keeping last year. It was year that I know that I got to learn more about myself - about my strengths, and more importantly, my weaknesses. It hurts sometimes to admit some things to yourself, but you have to if you're gonna look forward.

    On to 2007 - and by 2008, I hope that you are all still with me.