Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Anita Mui

TheStar.com - Anita Mui loses fight with cancer

I grew up watching you perform and listening to your songs. You are part of my childhood memories.

This is yet another reminder that life is fragile.


Saturday, December 27, 2003

Medieval Times

To continue the day's festivities, we went to Medieval Times for a dinner show. It was fab! The food was pretty good and the show was quite entertaining. Finally I was free to eat with my hands and not get yelled at for being 'messy'. The best part of the night? Our server. She walks up to us at the table, and proceeds to say, "Hi, my name is Amy. I'll be your wench for the next two hours. You can call me Amy or you can call me wench."

I giggled to myself profusely. (after Evelyn explained to me what a wench was)

Oh and when the princess said, "Blue Knight, attend me." I felt like I was watching some medieval romance story. Heh.

Boxing Day Shopping

Let me just mention how crappy boxing day shopping is this year - to start off, I didn't buy anything. NOTHING. Woke up at 7:00am and drove Evelyn + parental units to Yorkdale for 8:00am (when the doors opened). There was already a huge line-up in front of Timberland, but none of us were interested so we just passed by. Evelyn bought a nice Guess? bag for $15 - she's so proud that she found a bag for that price. Nothing was really on sale for me though, I think they don't even bother slashing prices for guys, because we would buy anything we want regardless of the price. On the contrary, women LOVE their bargains. The more 'worthwhile' they perceive the object, the better its price and they will buy more (even if they don't need it). That's my theory on why Boxing Day Shopping is never really geared towards guys.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to all :) Hope your holidays are filled with joy (and not sickness).

Sickness, again!

I picked the worst day of the year to get sick - on Christmas eve. Here I am, slept for 4 hours already, and barely have any energy to walk down the stairs. I can't sleep for too long though, because I tend to get really bored so being online is the best solution. I think I got it from my brother, since he's just getting better from the flu he got a couple of days ago... I have this stupid fever that's about 103 degrees..

What's worse is that there is no food in my house, and most restaurants/eateries are closed for the holidays. Nobody offered to bring me food yet.. :( home-cooked meals, anyone?

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Christmas Spirit

I can certainly say that I feel the Christmas Spirit today after lining up to buy ONE freakin' book from Indigo. Line-up time = 15 minutes. Isn't that insane? I don't even want to start mentioning my drive home, which took 45 minutes (when usually I can make it in 15 if I'm lucky, 25 if it's heavy). I don't even want to think about tomorrow, or Boxing Day.

Which reminds me, I need to map out the mall, send recons, and plan the mission tomorrow.

Please refer to this article for more details.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Still slugging away..

Most people have gotten off their work placements already, and yet I'm still here working away. In fact I'm going to be here for a long while (probably until school starts again). Today is the first day of winter, and as a Chinese tradition, families get together for dinner to welcome the arrival of winter. I wonder why people would 'welcome' the winter, it's so cold!

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Lisa's Big Christmas Bash

It was so much fun!!! I would have to say that this is probably one of the best organized parties Lisa has put on (and probably the biggest). Arrived at Lisa's place around 3:30pm, and sang karaoke with her friend Joyce in Lisa's newly-renovated home theatre room for a good 45 minutes before we gave up the room to other people. Lisa even invited friends that DJs - blasting music in her basement, with mahjong tables and pool table waiting to entertain. The food was awesome too.. everybody brought something, and we ended up leaving a lot of left-overs.

Lisa's mom was so nice too - she knew that I was allergic to shrimp (actually all sorts of seafood), so she made me a special batch of salad that had no shrimp in it! I was so touched!!! (there was this incident a couple of years ago when her mom didn't know, and I had a big allergic reaction to the salad..) Lisa also had a draw with presents that she bought.. I swear, she should start charging admissions next year. It was a rocking party, there's no doubt about that.

In the middle of the party, I went out and picked up Evelyn from the airport as she was coming back for her Christmas vacation. I also picked up another friend of mine on the way, as he finished his co-op term down in San Diego. By the end of the night, I had pretty much talked to everybody there (there was at least 50-60 people) and had a great time. I didn't end up leaving the party until around 2am..

Friday, December 19, 2003

Christmas Party

I went to my company's Christmas Party last night! It was a lot of fun, and definitely the biggest Christmas Party I have been to! It was held at The Carlu, inside College Park in downtown Toronto. It had different 'themed' rooms, and many food stations scattered across the entire floor. I would say that there were at least 1000 people at the peak of the party. Food catering was done by none other but Sen5es - the same catering company who did the catering for the luxury car unveiling event I went to a couple weeks ago. The food quality was still excellent - I had a taste of this MINI-Hamburger which tastes every bite like a real cheese burger, but bite-sized! How cool is that? (I had like 9, hehe)

Did I also mention it was open bar until 9pm? I definitely took advantage of that (they gave taxi-checks for all the employees, and I was smart enough not to drive to the station yesterday morning). Drank about 5 glasses of wine and lots of shots/cocktails. Had some smoked meat, dumpling, salmon (it was so good), and tons of finger food. It was really fun chilling with my co-workers! I always knew they were very fun and dynamic, because they were so young and full of energy. Of course, being stuck in an office all day dampens the spirits a bit. However, after a drink or two, the 'wild' side started to emerge and before I knew it, everybody was having a blast!

The rest of the night was spent chatting with co-workers, dancing, and drinking away. Shared a cab to go home with another co-op, and found out the cab driver holds a Master's degree in Economics.. oooookay.

For those who have been to Christmas parties with me, knows about my theory regarding company Christmas parties. I shall not reiterate here since it is seen as 'weird' by some, but let me re-assure that it is the very fact and it happened again last night. Maybe one day I will reveal my theory - after writing a BOOK on it! (hence copyright my idea)

Thursday, December 18, 2003

When you feel that your motivation is wavering..

Have you ever had a time when you feel that you are losing motivation? You have an exam tomorrow, but your friends are out partying it up? What should you do?

Fear not, my young apprentice. Follow this and you will succeed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Genius Advertisement

Take a look at this.. I think this is absolute genius. I haven't really seen such well-orchestrated advertisement in a long time. I figured it out the moment I saw it though.. just goes to show how much of a geek I am! :P

If you can figure this out within 30 seconds of seeing it, comment on this entry. (unless of course you've seen this before, then you'd be cheating!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Passive Sales..

Since the beginning of November, I always see these World Vision booths on my way to work. They are situated at places that people just cannot avoid - right at the bottom of the escalator, the only pathway between the food court and the other building, etc. I think they are doing the whole sponsor-a-child thing. In any case, I thought they would be really pushy. They are always standing quite far away from the booth, holding their clipboards, and with that look of desperation on their face.

I'm no stranger to these 'booth salespeople'. In fact, I used to be one of them. So naturally, I know how to avoid being approached and put on the spot. "Hi, would you like to sponsor a child in a third-world country?" Who could refuse such a face on the little picture card they show you, and then they move in for the kill. "For only less than the price of a cup of coffee per day, you can feed and shelter this lovely child. You could surely give up a cup of coffee a day, right, sir?" Then you're totally suckered in.

Now I have to make myself clear on this part. I am in no way unsupportive of what they are doing. On the contrary, I really appreciate them trying to persuade people to sponsor and give back to the global community. We should be grateful for what we have, and that we never have to worry about not having water or food. However, giving money has always been a skeptical issue for me, since I can never be sure where that money is going. Besides, I'm a starving student after all. I don't mind volunteering and raising money though.

In any case, day after day I walk by these booths. I walk by them at least 4 or 5 times a day (going to get coffee, lunch, afternoon tea time, etc.). Not once have I seen them approach anybody and talk to them. I have heard some weak "Would you like to sponsor a child?" going towards people that walk closer to the booth, but they have never walked towards anybody to even attempt to talk to them. All they have been doing is standing there patiently, as if they are waiting for people to walk towards them.

They are, by far, the most passive sales I have ever seen. Ironically, I think it's working. Now that I walk by them, I feel a little shameful for not even talking to them. They look so desperate! All these little cards with the child's picture lined up on the booth, and the two people sit there from at least 7:30am (when I get to work) to at least 8:00pm (when I left work one day). I am starting to feel that perhaps it's not so bad to talk to them (knowingly to get suckered in).

Anyhow, the whole point of my convoluted entry is that I am starting to feel really bad about walking past them each day without even giving them an acknowledgement. A smile, a nod, or even just a glance. Heck I do that to people who serve me coffee! (but I do visit them a whole lot) Maybe that's their tactic - guilt. Maybe that's why they are so passive. Mmm..


I got sick today - decided not to go to work since I feel dead and my limbs are all out of control. It sucks because the project at work needed me there to verify that things are still okay, but I couldn't do it. Sent an e-mail off to my boss but received no reply, hopefully that's a sign that everything is taken care of, and not that I've been fired. :(

It was great being home though, since I had a lot of time to think. For those who know me on a personal level, should know that one of my biggest compliants about growing up is the lack of time to sit down and think. Perhaps I should blame my social life - now that I'm no longer isolated as I was in high school, I always have somewhere to be other than in my own home. In result, I don't really reflect on my life and other things I have done.. which leads to my poor temper and lack of patience towards life.

Asked my brother to get food for me - turned out that he still hates me and only doing it because he feels obliged to. I admit that I haven't been treating him well myself, and I just don't know how to fix that now. I've tried being nice to him, only to be snubbed and talked down to. Doesn't stop me from trying though.. although sometimes it gets discouraging. I guess you can't really 'make up' for your mistakes..

Monday, December 15, 2003

Snow.. what a crappy day

I'm sitting at work right now, because I have to work through the weekend. The project I was in charge of went live this weekend, and now I'm here waiting for a file to reconcile the implementation. Fun stuff.

First real snowfall of the year here in Toronto proved to be less fun than I thought. On my drive down to work, I was averaging about 40 km/h on the highway, and kept 120% of my concentration on driving. (I even turned the music off!) I had so many close calls for an accident.. took me about an hour to get downtown, which would have normally taken me about half an hour.

I can't even begin to imagine my drive home.. ugh.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

歌詞 Part 2

記不起 甚麼驅使我喜歡你
看在眼裡 看你熟睡多麼美
圍著這裡 柔和天氣
我願隨風 無聲遠飛
仍相擁 也不等於我了解你
決定放棄 再去接受自已
曾做錯了 仍然不生氣

若是我記得你 亦是無須緊記
習慣一個人 沒有傷悲
而無論舊時說愛多美 再過半天你便記不起
若是我要等你 亦是無須等你
縱愛理不理 縱隔千里
誰預知將來 或再一起 再戀上你

Friday, December 12, 2003


當初喜歡你 其時你有別人
完全都因為我 才完結過去拋低了他
下個他 不過接替我當天那位置
情外情 轉了對象 別要太驚訝

沒有他 都會有別人
你我避免不過 混亂間將彼此錯過
有幾多故事最後 愛人仍然同一個 看清楚
誰都背叛過 誰亦曾被騙過


也許該反省 不應再說話 被放棄的我 應有此報嗎
如果我曾是個壞牧羊人 能否再讓我 試一下 抱一下


藍褲子很殘 也許它就快爛
這幾年來的撕磨 它終於沾滿汗斑
從前多得你 給它補上花瓣
但是褲腳並未破爛 愛已經不對辦

還可以 著甚麼 你我之間差了甚麼
有一天你若和誰亦是著它 它記得我
如今你 著甚麼 我已不必跟著甚麼
但要是來日竟偶遇我 願你沒有嫌它 穿不破


I love these google-bombs.. "Miserable failure" in Google and hit I'm Feeling Lucky, then proceed to laugh out loud.

Heh. True dat, true dat.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003


So I thought some problems went away.. but it didn't. Somebody just got really good at hiding it. Not that I didn't know either, but I think I chose to ignore it and hope it would go away. Sort of like hiding under the blanket, and secretly hoping that when I wake up, it will be all gone. Only if life worked that way, I'd be much happier.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

What? It's been a week already?

This week sure went by really quickly.. it only seemed like yesterday when Evelyn surprised me at the airport. Today I'm back at the same airport, but this time sending her off back to school. I guess time flies by when I don't notice it.

I really need to slow down on life - sometimes I think I need to shut everything off for two days just to catch up on my spiritual being..

Friday, November 28, 2003

Lion King

I finally saw Lion King.. this is my second Disney musical I have seen thus far, after Beauty and the Beast (that was almost 8 years ago!). Took Evelyn to Il Fornello for a rushed dinner - got there at 6:00pm, didn't get seated until 7:05pm, left the restaurant at 7:45pm. That spoiled my plan for a "leisurely enjoyable romantic" dinner. In any case, the show was fantastic. I was especially amazed at how much theatrical technology has advanced since I saw Beauty and the Beast at the same Princess of Wales Theatre. They even had a halogram! Way cool. The costumes and props were very well done too. Of course, the singing was astounding, as usual. Overall it was a very well-done production!

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

More Music

Another night of classical music - Boston Pops, to be exact. A lighter, less conservative side of orchestra music. Ranging from the theme of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to a more traditional piece from Tchaikovsky, they played a wide range of music to entertain us.

It's been wonderful since Evelyn came back, because now I get to do a lot of things that I was not able to do alone. (get your mind outta the gutter!) We had dinner in a fancy restaurant downtown, we went to a concert, and we are going to see Lion King on Thursday! Tr�s cool. Too bad the happy times always seem too short, as she's leaving on Saturday already. :(

What Irrational Number Are You?

Hahaha.. differentiate me!
What Irrational Number Are You?
You are e

Of all the irrational numbers, you are the most intense. By nature you are powerful, although sometimes you can spiral out of control. You are good with money; the interest seems to just compound whenever you are near. When someone uses the word "exponential" they are probably talking about you.

In some ways you and φ are a nearly perfect match. Not to mention how attractive φ is. But then, there is the remarkable π...

Your lucky number is approximately 2.71828183

Shiny Lemur
Straif's Blog

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I claim 42!

Numbers to be patentable

I am going to file a patent application for the number 42, as it is the answer to the ultimate question. While I'm at it, I should also patent the number 69. ;)

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Oh and there's a twist..

Thanks for proving to me that the world *is* scheming something towards me! It was a nice evening on Friday night - dinner with some friends over great food, chatting away about everything under the sun. When suddenly 'a friend' called Lisa, asking her for a lift from the airport. Coincidentally she didn't drive! Guess who was asked for a 'favour'? Me. Knowing the fact that I wouldn't refuse to help somebody in need (not in a million years!), I was 'deceived' into going to the airport with Lisa to pick up her 'friend'.

Well, to make a long story short, Evelyn came back and surprised me. It was a classic moment at the airport when I saw her walking out when I was expected Lisa's 'friend'. Now looking back, they dropped so many hints and made many blunders which I should have caught. Hey, they say hindsight is 20/20!

These friends know me so well.. to the point where they can predict my reactions to everything. Sorta scary if you think about it. So now Evelyn is back for a week! So happy that she decided to come back even though she's busy with her studies and research.. hehehe.

Friday, November 21, 2003


I really enjoy music - in all forms of it. Whether it be singing (I have a terrible voice), or enjoying a musical piece. Unfortunately, I still cannot play any musical instrument. My parents never made me learn piano or violin when I was little, and it never occurred to me to learn. To say I'm regretting this decision is an understatement. I wish I had at least learned the piano or something.

Went to see the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Lisa tonight, and enjoyed a night of Beethoven and Mozart. We got cheap tickets (similar to LiveRush in Ottawa) and sat right behind the orchestra, at the choir loft. It is certainly interesting to be watching a performance from this angle! I especially liked the Concerto between the violin, cello, and the piano. I never would have thought that these instruments that sound distinctively different individually would should so good together!

Looking forward to see another show next Tuesday. So glad to have found Lisa who also enjoys this type of stuff. Now I have a "Classical Music" buddy to attend these concerts with!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

High Society

So today was an interesting day, since I was invited to a pre-launch event for a new line of luxury car. Seeing that I'm not a big car enthusiast, I invited my brother along since he loves this kind of stuff. I told him to dress nice - after all, it's a luxury car they are showcasing. Boy was I ever glad.

It was held at The Distillery District in downtown Toronto, in a small building called "The Fermenting Room". As we stepped in, we were greeted with the car sitting on the right of the stairs. I must comment on the fact that the car looked amazing - very luxurious, leather interior, and all the bells-and-whistles to go with it. With its 12-cylinder engine, capable of outputting 420hp.. okay, I'll stop here. The price tag, you ask? $126,000. I can almost buy a condo for that amount.

We were served martinis (eat your hearts out people, open bar!) and small h'or derves - peking duck wraps, small cucumbers with some exotic spices and spreads on top? I admit I don't have much experience with these 'upper class' h'or derves. As my brother said last night, "If it were me, it'd be pineapple and sausages!"

Then they brought on more food. Tandori Chicken Skewers and Lamb Chop with Sweet Potatos?! Whoa. Still unlimited drinks (unfortunately I had to drive home so I only had a few drinks), and now they even have dessert and coffee! My brother kept lamenting how this is such a 'rich person' event, as they all know each other or something. I felt like I was finally accepted into the high society (AS IF). Looked around the car some more, and watched a video about their factory in Germany, then the main entertainment began...

They invited - Chantal Kreviazuk - to perform for us. I was ecstatic. Not only is she one of my favourite female artists, but I was standing not fewer than 2 feet away from her while she sat at the piano and sang. She first sang the song "In This Life" from her new (not so, it's been a year) album. Then she talked about her pregnancy (8 months already!), and then she dedicated her next song to her soon-to-be-born baby boy. Quite funny how she changed the lyrics of "Before You" to "Baby, before you, I was a size 2.. " Afterwards she sang "Feels Like Home" and her famed "Leaving on a Jet Plane" with a soul/jazz touch. At least she ended her set with "What If It All Means Something".

She had such an incredible voice! Makes me even more ashamed of my own singing, and the fact she can play an instrument and sing is already astounding. As we were about to leave after her set was over, the servers were walking around with her latest CDs for each person there. I quickly (*keyword*) snatched one, and waited for Chantal to come and sign it for me. Remembering that it was Evelyn's birthday, I decided to forego my opportunity to have my VERY OWN PERSONAL AUTOGRAPHED CD of Chantal Kreviazuk and said, "Could you write it to Evelyn? It's her birthday today." So now Evelyn has an autographed CD from her, for her birthday present! (as a side note, Evelyn really likes her songs too)

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Evie! Hope this year will bring you even more happiness and bliss.. and no more worries. :)

Monday, November 17, 2003

Thanks for all the fish

It has been nothing but a turbulent ride these past two weeks - disappointment in myself, mixed with an embodiment of jealousy and hatred, a sense of loss and found; Inspired, put down, inspired again. I suppose without experiencing the multitude of emotional challenges in life, I wouldn't have lived at all.

Thanks to those who stuck by me, and showed me many kind words of encouragement. Thanks for the 'tough love' - although it's not something I needed to hear at the time, it truly provided an alternative outlook to living.

Although, I cannot say that I have fully recovered, knowing that there are people who will sit there and listen to me rant is more than enough for me to continue ranting. In time, my friends, the ranting will end - eventually.

Sunday, November 16, 2003


I feel like I'm drowning, and instead of fighting for my life, I'm just letting myself sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Perhaps it is a good time to give up.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Remebering.. or not

Something else I'll Remember

It bothered me to read that some companies are even banning the sale of poppies on their premises. In a pure business perspective, I don't even see how the sale of poppies will reduce sales or diminish their corporate image. Now that the story is out, I wonder if their well-guarded corporate image is tainted?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


To those whom I worried, I apologize. I did not intend to alarm anybody.. I think I'm in the state of mind where everything bothers me. Come to think of it, I barely understand myself. Heck I don't even know what makes me happy, or makes me sad. Seems like I have a lot more to learn about myself before I start complaining.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Wavering.. back and forth..

Sometimes I just know that history likes to repeat itself - and it's happening once again. Perhaps it's just me, I am the type to induce trouble in my life. Seems like nobody understands me, or even tries to..

Perhaps I am better off dead.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Monday, November 03, 2003

Weekend Festivities

It's the usual weekend with a bit of a twist.. had a birthday celebration (a week late) with my classmates. It was fun seeing everybody again, talking about how the final work term is treating them, and catching up on life in general. Had dinner, played some games, and cut the cake. Got a really nice present from them - a bottle of Armani aftershave! Whoohoo! Time to try out something new. :P

I also got a book that was on my wish list - thank you so very much. I didn't know people actually looked at my wish list!

I went shopping for a pair of trousers on Sunday, but didn't find anything suitable. Saw Kill Bill with Chris and Tania at night - it was cool. Blood splattering everywhere. Mmm. Martial art goodness.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Microsoft Employee Fired Over a Blog..


So this guy was fired because he posted a picture of several Apple G5s being shipped to the Microsoft Campus in Redmond. Big deal. If the intent is to stop the spread of this 'news', then the management made a big big mistake. The news is now all over the world (even /.ed), and there is no going back.

Unless they want the world to know that Microsoft likes Apple G5s, then that's another story.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

How to Date a Geek

I think all girls should read this.. ahem :)

MSN Dating & Personals - Loving your geek, tolerating his hobbies

It's so true.. so very true!


I originally didn't want to post this, thinking it might reflect bad on me. However, this is *MY* space. I want to remember that I was here at one point in life.

On the night of my birthday, I felt a little restless knowing that I'm supposed to be out celebrating my annual 'day of aging'. Yet I was studying for my GRE at home. Decided that I need to live a little tonight, I called up my friends in town to have a small celebration while studying at a coffee shop. I thought, that's gotta spice up my evening a bit.

So I bought three pieces of my favourite chestnut cake, brought a candle, and prepare to have the smallest birthday celebration ever. Two friends were supposed to join me, but I ended up eating two pieces of cake and blowing out the candle with only a friend.. who went out and asked the smokers outside Tim Horton's to light up the candle for me. (must have been embarrassing, thanks dude)

I can't say I'm not a bit disappointed.. but I guess it starts the year with a bit of bitterness. Perhaps it's a rite of passage.. time for me to move on from worrying about petty little things like this to bigger things.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Happy Birthday to me!

Today also marks the second anniversary of this weblog. Looking back to a year ago when I made a statement that I need to pick myself up. Funny, because it seems that I have gone around in a full circle and landed in the exact same spot as last year, if not worse. I have grown, oh yes I have, in terms of 'reality checks' and what not. I learned more about the 'dark side' of human beings, the 'deception and lies' that some of my so-called 'friends' make up, and even witnessed betrayal of trust and loyalty. One of my old friends from high school was right when she told me, "What goes around comes around".. I guess it's my turn now. Retribution - how appropriate at this moment.

There is also this I wrote on my birthday last year also. The phone call I got last year from that person, no longer recurred this year. (perhaps our 'relationship' was much better in previous year than it is currently) Instead, I had some real friends who traveled distance (and I really mean traveled) to wish me happy birthday last night over dinner, and for this, I am truly appreciative. Some friends even made an effort to call me, even if they are half way across the country.

And then, there is the special someone who have always remained by my side, who probably had been thinking about today since a year ago :P I don't think I would be here today without the support I received from her.

I have another 15 hours to enjoy *MY* day - and I'm not going to waste a second of it. :)

Conquer the tower.. maybe.

Today I went to 'conquer the tower' - the CN tower that is. I participated in the stair climb today, and it was more waiting than climbing. I blame it on the poor organization of the event (or just the abundance of morals in some of the people I was with, since we could have.. ahem.. "enhanced our position in the line up" but it violated somebody's moral standards.. grr).. overall it was fun. I think the best part was having lunch after the event (at 3pm, mind you). That was probably one of the better meals I had! Just the thought of food made me salivate.

It also feels good that I gave something back to the community - I miss this feeling of charity, of generosity.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Wish List

Just a quick note that I have added my Amazon.ca Wish List on the bar to the left (at the bottom, after all the blogs I read regularly). I don't really expect anybody to buy me anything, but I feel that it might give you a better glimpse into who I really am..


I find that I need to learn more about self-contraint.. It seems that I lack a little in this department of 'personal development'. Regardless of what I am doing, I am always heavily 'tempted' to deviate from the set plan. For example, if I'm studying, and it's 11:30am, I feel the need to worry about what to have for lunch. Or if I'm in a heated argument with a friend, I would use all possible knowledge to try and prove my point, without having any regards whether those 'proofs' are appropriate in the particular situation.

Perhaps it is part of my personality that I am straight-forward, say what I mean, and mean what I say. I have to be careful though - as this could get me into a lot of trouble.

Maybe it's better if I keep my mouth shut at times.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Amber Alert

Ontario put on its third ever Amber Alert yesterday after a 9-year-old girl had suspected to been snatched from her own home between Sunday night and Monday morning. Click here for the news article in today's Toronto Star.

I hope she's okay.. it saddens me to hear stories like these. I wish I could do something to help!


Another quote for you.. "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." - Milton Berle

I despise people who believe in pure luck, and believes that if the opportunity is to come, it will show up eventually. These people are blinded by believing in fate. I feel that opportunities are earned, and not granted. If opportunity comes, it is because I have already planted the seed for it somewhere down the line. My fate is that I worked hard to create myself the opportunity, instead of sitting around waiting for it to happen.

Go on, build yourself a door. Opportunities will come knocking.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Where did the weekend go!?

I didn't even begin to enjoy the weekend yet, and I find myself back at work already. I went karaoking with some friends (becoming a weekly activity now), killing our eardrums with slightly-off-pitched tones. Other than that, I cannot honestly say I did anything that was remotely productive.

Need to start writing down things I absolutely must do. Ever since losing my PDA, I haven't been able to pull myself together. Am I growing so old that my memory is failing me, or am I just relying on technology too much?

Back to my trusty paper and pen (more like trusty electrons).. let's write down what I need to do.

  • Find a place to live next term (yes, this time I cannot rely on Evelyn)

  • Scam money from the government.. ahem, I mean, apply for OSAP (*laugh* x 1000)

  • Try to scam more money from the school (*laugh* x 100000000)

  • Clean up my room/house/dump I call home

  • This is almost as sad as my "New Years Resolution"..

    Saturday, October 18, 2003

    Funny Quote

    I read this while riding the elevator to the 54th floor for a meeting today..

    "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog, it is too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

    Think about it. :)

    Friday, October 17, 2003

    CNEWS Weird News - Slang crosses up GM

    CNEWS Weird News - Slang crosses up GM

    Sorry, one more article. :) Hehehe.. I'm on a roll today. Imagine driving one of these, and somebody asks you what you drive. What do you tell them? "Uh, I drive the GM 'Masturbator'.."

    TheStar.com - Traffic swamps music service

    TheStar.com - Traffic swamps music service

    It must be the same people who programmed the University of Waterloo online systems.. :D I remember the day that the web-based ACCESS was launched, it crashed within hours of the first posting of co-op jobs. Also, the day when the rankings came out.. ACCESS crashed also. Oh and who can forget QUEST, the online student information system that allows us to view our marks and register for courses? QUEST goes down more often than .. .

    C'mon people, you'd think that by now you would have figured out that scalability is very important in a large-scale implementation of software.

    TheStar.com - 2 teens arrested in flying rock attack

    TheStar.com - 2 teens arrested in flying rock attack

    Why do people do things like this? It's not even a directed attack - random acts of destruction?! I still can't understand the motive behind this.

    At the end of the article they mentioned Michael Vytlingam - a classmate of mine in high school. Bumped into him a couple times at house parties throughout my high school years.. We didn't have much in common (me = nerd; him = cool guy who drives a nice car and gets all the girls), so I didn't really know him on a very personal level. I still remember lending him my homework to copy in Grade 10..

    Tuesday, October 14, 2003

    Just Like the Good Ol' Times..

    Although there were no drunkenness this weekend (think I might be getting too old for that now), I felt really happy hanging out with some old friends. Meeting up with Jason and Esther again was tr�s cool, as we caught up on our lives since we met last year. Funny how we can just pick up where we left off, without missing a beat. Esther dressed up (!!) and didn't look like a punk kid anymore - I guess university changes people.

    Hung out with the boys on Monday night (Adrian, Chris, Kevin, and Jason).. ate at Le Biftheque (some amazing steak, IMHO), and then chilled at D&B for a couple of hours. Settled some old scores (hope you enjoyed your dinner and your drinks, Adrian), and ready to start some new ones (hockey pool, here I come).

    Reminds me of the good ol' days when I didn't have this many responsibilities and lived carefree..

    Sunday, October 12, 2003

    FIFA World Cup Football

    Not that I supposed Canada should win (the United States DO have a better team), but it was really nice when the score was tied 1-1 after the first half. Knowing that we did stand a chance in defeating the winner from the last World Cup, makes me proud that Canadians don't give up very easily after being defeated in the first game against Germany.

    It was a cool afternoon, chilling with Adrian and Chris at the Ballroom. We drank, eat, watched the game - no pretence, no 'I-think-you're-fake' conversations, and definitely none of the backstabbing that I have grown accustomed to.

    Saturday, October 11, 2003

    Long Weekend

    FINALLY! It's been too long since I've had an extra day off, and I am definitely going to capitalize on that. Two visitors are arriving in Toronto this weekend: Adrian, who just started graduate school in Halifax; And Jason, my buddy from Vancouver I met during my trip to Taiwan several years back. This should be an interesting weekend :)

    Met up with Adrian after he arrived, chilled at a snooker hall with some friends.. somethings never change (ie. Adrian is still as mouthy as ever). It feels good though, knowing that there's something in life you can count on, even when all hell breaks lose.

    Friday, October 10, 2003


    Been feeling really anxious lately - no particular reason either. Just feels like everything is falling apart and I can do nothing but sit here and watch it crumble. You ask, well then, why don't you do something about it?

    I am. Perhaps I need to put a little more effort into it.

    Tuesday, October 07, 2003

    The Weekend

    The weekend was fun, as I was hanging out with friends but yet had some time to myself to wind down a busy and hectic week. Very briefly, I had dinner with some lovely ladies on Friday night, sang my hearts out with some friends, had dinner and drinks, and relaxed at home.

    I've been noticing the trend about the type of activities I do, as to what constitutes 'fun' for me. In my younger years (making me sound so old now), what defined 'fun' was the number of people came out to the gathering, and whether the activity was exciting or not. I'm talking about doing stupid things even, running around in a park at 2am because we were too drunk to do anything else.

    Now that I've aged, I enjoy the finer things in life. Food - I'm talking about GOOD food, like gourmet food. Or even an hour or two, sitting down with a couple of drinks and talking to friends about everything under the sun. That may sound a bit snobby, but you can take away the martinis, take away the lounge atmosphere too. What defines 'fun' now is the fact that I have a few friends that would sit around and share their thoughts, and sometimes even have heated arguments. (we can't possibly agree on EVERYTHING)

    Perhaps I have grown older so I cannot justify getting plastered and running around, acting like a teenager anymore. Or perhaps I have finally discovered why I always felt like there was a void in my life, everytime I go home after an outing with 16 of my 'poss�'s back when I was in high school.

    Evelyn told me before.. "It's not the quantity of friends you have, but the quality. I'd rather have one true friend than thirty so-called friends. They are more like acquaintances." I should listen to her more often. :)

    Friday, October 03, 2003

    Election Day

    ** Note ** I have decided to delay the publishing of this blog, so that the election results would be old news. This is purely my own personal opinion, and have no reflection to any political affiliation.

    I voted today. Yes, for the first time in my life. Since becoming eligible to vote, I had missed three elections (one provincial, one municipal, and one federal). My rationale for not voting (translation: excuse) is that I didn't know enough about the issues to make an educated judgment. Fair enough. Now that I'm much older and wiser (some of you will dispute the latter part), I feel that I have seen enough in the politics to make an informed decision.

    Some people have told me that I may not know the issues deep enough to cast my 'educated vote', or that I am too naive and simplifying my ideas too much. My response to that is, well, tough. The fact that the government trusts us young people to vote, shows that our thoughts and ideas matter. Surely I may be naive, but there are issues that I feel strongly about, issues that perhaps nobody else cares about. In a democratic society, we should vote based on our own opinion on the issues, and not follow what the rest of the society defines as "Key Issues of This Election".

    I care about education in this province, especially the funding that is given to schools (not just universities). Yes, it is because I am a student and I care about my tuition going up 15% every year, while the quality of teaching and resources diminish rapidly. I want my government to represent me, not Joe Doe down the street. Selfish, you say; I say that's exactly how democracy is intended - if it works for me, and it works for more than 50% of the population, then that's the way it should be done. In the unfortunate case that I am in a minority group, that's just too bad for me.

    As I cast my ballot, I felt a sense of empowerment rushed to me. I am participating in a democratic process - I am making the system work for me. I am exercising my right as a citizen of a country that believes in democracy. In the end, my vote didn't matter (yes it really didn't), but I felt damn good about what I have done today.

    Thursday, October 02, 2003


    Sometimes I just want to pick each part of my life apart, and re-examine the old wounds and glory that came with it. Revisiting previous parts of my life, recognizing what failed and what worked, and maybe fix what is broken. When I end up doing this, I get greatly depressed. Not because of the number of failures I have encountered in life, but the fact that I repeat history every couple of years. It occurs in a pattern, even though the exact events that occur are not necessarily the same, the outcome is strikingly similar - I get totally depressed and it simply adds to the cynicism I already possess for the world.

    Why Do Men Cheat?

    Top 10 Reasons Why Men Cheat

    This is a pretty good read actually, and it sounds very reasonable to me. (but understanding does not equate to condoning the act) In my opinion, cheating boils down to an escape - trying to escape from the current situation by not dealing with the problem directly. Many people fear facing the problem, and so they seek temporary solutions..

    Wednesday, October 01, 2003

    Toddler survives three weeks alone on ketchup, dry pasta

    CNN.com - Toddler survives three weeks alone on ketchup, dry pasta

    Many people must have heard this today in the news.. some people just aren't fit to be parents. That kid is damn smart though. Just goes to show you that when it comes to survival, it's the basic instincts that matters most.

    Wait a second, I've been living off that crap for the past four years too. :P The kid had it easy, I don't even have ketchup at home!

    Monday, September 29, 2003

    Long Distance Driving

    This weekend I embarked on not one, but TWO 11-hour driving marathon - all for the lovely sweetheart of mine. (aww...) It was a horrible drive, especially after work on Friday. There were times when I thought I was going to die because I would fall asleep at the wheel and crash. After I got there though, everything was worth it. :P We ended up just spending the day driving around (yes, more driving) and walking around. Left U-C around 12 noon on Sunday, only to get back to Toronto a little past midnight. *yawn*

    Who says LD relationships don't work? Both people have to put in the effort, and it boils down to one word - trust.

    Thursday, September 25, 2003

    Support for Universities

    The Globe and Mail - Support for Universities

    This is an open letter from the president at the University of Waterloo. It makes me angry that my education is at stake here, and the government is busy picking fights with other parties. Tax cuts are nice, but I remember Larry Smith (economics professor extraordinare) once said in ECON 101, "Society wants tax cuts, and society wants social benefits. It doesn't add up!" Show me the balanced budget - I don't mind paying for it, if I can see my money going somewhere.

    October 2nd, I have no idea who to vote for. In fact, I don't think it matters - students are often shafted by the government anyway. I guess this explains the general apathy in the new generation of young adults..

    Rush, dash, run..

    First of all, I might have offended some people when I said that nobody wants to listen - well it was 6am when I posted that. :) Most of my readers would be sleeping at that moment.. plus, it was more of a symbolic metaphor that came out wrong. So I apologize to those who sent me angry e-mails.

    It's been non-stop action for the past couple of days! With graduate school scholarship applications, and full time job searching, I'm up to my neck with work to do. Plus I haven't been sleeping well (see previous post), and been realizing that none of my friends really like me for who I am, it fuels to my frustration and short-tempered behaviour. (as if my usual short-temper is not bad enough)

    Feels like I'm running a marathon, but with no end in sight. *sigh*

    Monday, September 22, 2003

    Sleepless in Toronto

    I'm still wide awake, at 6:20am. Haven't been able to fall asleep for the entire night.. Too many thoughts. Things are definitely bothering me, and I feel so out of touch with the world. I haven't been acting myself lately either. I just want to talk to somebody about it - but nobody wants to listen.

    Guess I should get ready for work.. *sigh* Hope I don't fall asleep during work - my boss is coming back from his vacation today! (Yes, he's been away since I started, so I'll be seeing him for the first time today)

    Friday, September 19, 2003

    Hurricane Isabel

    When did they start naming hurricanes anyway? I wonder what this personification does for the public. Does it make the media much easier to identify for a personified object, so they can refer to it as if it had feelings and emotions?

    Isabel hit North Carolina, and the US government declared a state of diaster for those states that were affected. Couple of people died already. Ugh, scary stuff.

    Surprisingly, there was still sunshine when I left the house this morning. It was coined "The Storm That Never Was" this morning on the radio show, but looking outside the windows, it looks like it finally came.

    Thursday, September 18, 2003

    Being fake

    So I was told that some friends of mine think I'm fake. Me? Fake? I suppose it's the level at which you are looking at it. We all put on a show for others to see - some better at it than others. You cannot expect me to pour my heart out at you when I (a) barely know you or (b) you put on a face for me to see also. Perhaps it's due to the fact that I listened to X-Files - "Trust No One", but I have had one too many incidents where people backstabbed me. So pull that knife outta my back and then tell me I'm fake.

    The ironic part is, I think those people who think I'm fake, are even more fake than I am. If they cannot even come up to my face and say it like it is, then they are just as fake as they perceive me to be.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2003

    BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV and Radio | Charge over Blaine box incident

    BBC NEWS - Blaine box incident

    This whole David Blaine thing has gone on for long enough. People throw golfballs and food at him, use laser pointers to point him (which he thought was from rifles), even as far as sending a hamburger up using a remote controlled helicopter. Some girl even flashed him, or stripped naked underneath his cage. Why don't people just leave him alone? Better yet, the media should stop hyping it up so much. If he wants to stay in that plastic box, suspended over London's Tower Bridge, then so be it. Why do we care - or better yet, why SHOULD we care?

    It's a personal challenge for him, and he feels that it will be a rewarding experience. Good for him. I have nothing against him, and I admire the fact that he is doing what he feels is right for him. Now let us all just carry-on with the rest of our lives.. there are much more important things to do in life than to stare at a man inside a plastic box.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2003

    languagehat.com: RDIAENG.

    Since everybody is posting this, I might as well help spread the fire.

    languagehat.com: RDIAENG.

    I couldn't believe my eyes when I started reading it! I suppose from now on I just have to make sure I get the first and last letters correct for the words in my blog.. haha.. forget about the spell check. :P

    Reading Blogs

    While eating lunch, I had this wonderful thought : Let's expand my horizons and read some other blogs. Sure enough, I found this one..

    I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. I was lost in your eyes

    Makes me wonder if any of the full-timers are thinking the same way towards me.. NAH, I work in a bank and I am an engineer. :P These things, my friends, *ONLY* happens in movies. (and apparently in other people's lives)

    Monday, September 15, 2003

    Weekend in the city

    This is the first weekend I had while I was in Toronto, and honestly I never thought it would be *this* packed with activities. Starting with a bit of design project meeting first thing in the morning, it wasn't my idea to start the weekend that way. In any case, it was done and over with quickly (so I see my group members share my feelings toward academic work during internship periods). Had wonderful lunch with two lovely ladies from my class (props to Lisa for getting us a table with her 'connections'), then off to karaoking. My throat still hurts from singing for 6 hours.

    Kim (one of Evelyn's high school gal pals) recently moved to a bigger apartment with her sister, and held a house warming party at their new apartment. By the time I got there, a couple people were on their way out, and the rest of us decided to head downtown for a night on the town. One girl suggested this latin club.. uh.. drag club. I had some bad experiences before, but not wanting to be defeated by my own fears, I tagged along and saw the show.

    It was definitely worth the line-up, the cover charge, and the risk of being picked up by another bloke. These 'women' really know how to put on a good show. Still, I prefer real women. :)

    The rest of the weekend was - sleep, rest, relax, lounge in my home, doing nothing. I miss times when I could actually do this - back in high school.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2003

    Internship Again..

    So now I'm sitting in my office, staring into the 19" monitor on my desk and blogging. Productive huh? Finally got my security pass (with the ugliest picture of me), and now I'm drinking Timmy's while reading the company intranet. Not very productive at the moment, and the work seems relatively simple. Perhaps it's because of the knowledge I gained from my last internship?

    The work environment is definitely a lot calmer than on the trading floor though. :) This is a good thing - it's giving me a perspective of the whole business, while giving me an opportunity to learn new things.

    Monday, September 08, 2003

    Orientation Week Finished!

    Finally it's over - a full week of activities ended with ComEng, Comedy Engineering night. Adding to the memorable week is my colour group's victory over the other 9 groups for frosh week! Go Grape Scots! We surely had some amazing frosh in the group, always very enthusiastic.. cannot forget about the other leaders who led the group much better than I did. (afterall, it was my first year as a frosh leader) I'm glad that frosh week ended this way. :)

    Now to get ready for first day of work tomorrow.. *sigh*

    Sunday, September 07, 2003

    Orientation Week Day 4/5

    The Scunt was a lot of fun! Despite the fact that I didn't participate in any of the events, it was great seeing that at least 30-40 of them showed up. They participated in compeitions against other groups, such as 10-way Tug of War, Duct Tape Sculptures, etc. I wonder who would win Scunt this year?

    Today was the final event of orientation week, and one that many people have been waiting for - The Toga Party. I was surprised at how many people actually showed up for this event, even when it was rather cold outside. I was doing security all night, until I got really sick because I forgot to bring a jacket. :(

    Friday, September 05, 2003

    Orientation Week Day 3

    Finally I got to sleep-in today! The frosh wrote their ELPE (English Language Proficiency Exam) today, and they have the rest of the day off until the evening event. I took the time today to sleep and recover from the previous sleepless nights. For the Monte Carlo Night event, I signed up to be a dealer! It was definitely a lot of fun, and now I know that being a dealer is not easy. Keeping your eye out for any suspicious behaviours, knowing each player's hands, and having the ability to count very quickly (I was dealing Blackjack all night).

    Tomorrow night brings the Engineering Scunt (Havenger Scunt), and Saturday is the Toga Party! I have never been to a toga party on campus, so it will be interesting to see how it will turn out.

    Thursday, September 04, 2003

    Orientation Week Day 2

    I forgot to mention about Single and Sexy, a play that the drama department puts on every year during orientation week. It illustrates all the 'potential' situations that could occur to the frosh entering university, from sexual harassment to AIDS, and they obviously plug the services that the university provides (Health Services, for example). The funniest thing from the play is the Chinese guy, which they have every year, represent the foreign student that is trying to fit into the society. This year, the foreign student is from Hong Kong, and in the middle of the play he started speaking Chinese. He said something along the lines of "Now that I'm speaking Chinese, nobody else will understand what I'm talking about except for those of you who understands this right now." Also, in the scene where his roommate got drunk, he screamed "Sei gwai lo, yau yum jui jau".. those of you who understand Chinese will realize how funny that is.

    The second day of orientation was a little more toned down (at least I didn't get dunked into a mud pit again). It started off with Junk Yard Wars, where each colour group needs to build a machine using scrap wood, cardboard, and nails. This year, they had to build a machine that picks up aluminum cans, and a machine that destroys other group's tower of cans. My group was not very successful, but they had a lot of fun designing and I can really see some group dynamics going on between them.

    The highlight of the day was Meet The Tool, the mascot of Waterloo Engineering. My colour group put on a skit, an reenactment of the war scene from Braveheart. (since we're the Grape Scots and all) I was so happy to find that my group came up with pretty much the whole idea, and planned it amongst themselves. As a result, we were allowed into Federation Hall first - hence closest to the Tool!

    At night it was the Lunar Luau, a joint-faculty event with Mathematics and Environmental Studies. I ended up walking around and chatting with other leaders, while keeping an eye out for any trouble. Some EdCom was doing what they do best - taunting singers at the karaoke bar. "Frosh, I want to see more dance." "Frosh, put the microphone down and step away from the stage." It was a hilarious sight.

    Now to get some sleep..

    Wednesday, September 03, 2003

    Orientation Week Day 1

    Having to wake up for breakfast at 6:30am is painful, but not as painful as the breakfast not showing up until 8:30am. The flood of first year students arriving at the colour group HQ started around 8:45am, as they lined up patiently outside waiting to crawl through the 'maze' we constructed. They are so young - some even as young as 16. Sure makes me feel old amongst them!

    The group started off relatively quiet, and it's totally understandable given the fact they barely knew each other. I felt the same way during my frosh week too. The leaders taught them a few cheers, and we mingled with them for a bit. The first activity was Meet EdCom - the Education Committee. I won't go into the details, but I can see that my group is getting pumped for the rest of the activities during the day!

    At the department lunch, I took the first years that were in Electrical and Computer Engineering to the designated area. I feel that my department is the most.. economical. While other departments have pasta or outdoor barbecue, we were stuck with tiny sandwiches. Not only that, but there weren't enough to feed everybody there. So then there were about 30-40 first years without any lunch. *sigh*

    The afternoon consists of Earn Your Hardhat, a tradition that's been passed down through generations of engineering students. The freshman will earn their hardhat by completing the tasks of the Five Principles of Engineering: Integrity, Teamwork, Communication, Organization, and Leadership. The most memorable event for any colour group leaders would be the Leadership event, and I shall expand a little more on that.

    As leaders, the three of us had to kneel on the grass, wearing a hardhat with nails sticking out from them. The first years will line up, water-balloon in hand, and break them over our heads. After the water-balloon supply is depleted, sponges were soaked with water and thrown at us. When the group of first years finish drenching us in water, we had to crawl - on our stomachs - across a tunnel formed by the first years joining hands. At the end of the tunnel, we were to throw ourselves in a pool of mud water. We were then given our leader hardhats, of course, with mud water in them and poured right over our heads. Yum. I feel as though I have been finally accepted into the engineering fraternity, haha.

    Showering after that was my favourite event of the day. :)

    Tuesday, September 02, 2003

    Orientation Week Day 0

    I don't know how I came up with Day 0, but since the frosh is not arriving for the faculty event until tomorrow, I have another day to make sure everything is ready. The room now glows in purple, everything in the room is purple. We now even have a mascot - Nessie! It looks more like Barney, but that's beside the point. Everything seems to be ready for the big day tomorrow. A couple of leaders sat down and thought up some cheers for tomorrow.. I am never a big cheering person, but I think I'll need to lose my timid side and step up to the challenge!

    Monday, September 01, 2003

    Orientation Week Day -1

    Today was another day of hard work to prepare the Grape Scots headquarter. It's really coming along - Andrew and Matt (the other two Huges along with me) built a tunnel with tables stacked on top of each other, so that the frosh can climb through. The room now radiates with purple, ever since we covered the lights with purple celophane. Other leaders came by and said that our HQ is by far the most innovative one. I sure hope the frosh will think so too.

    The campus-wide leader social was more of a drink-now-because-you-can't-drink-during-frosh-week event for the leaders. I left early because I didn't know too many people at the event, and I would like to catch up on some much-needed sleep.

    Sunday, August 31, 2003

    Orientation Week Day -2

    I don't remember if I mentioned that I was involved with orientation week at my school this year, but in case I didn't, well, now you know. :) Today was the first time I met with all the orientation leaders in my group in the "HQ Room". Each group is designated a colour, and we need to come up with a theme. Our theme is the Grape Scots - sort of like "Great Scots". Anyhow, we raided the city of everything purple, from fabric to balloons, and even a handbag. (what we are using that for, I have no idea)

    Two more days until the incoming students arrive on campus! I can't wait for the day to come - it will be so exciting to witness the feared 'double cohort', and hopefully we'll be prepared enough to handle them!

    Wednesday, August 27, 2003

    Adventure on Greyhound

    Last night I took the late bus to leave Champaign for Chicago, where I would take the bus and return home. Here is the bus ride, in summary:

    1. Champaign -> Chicago
    Just a regular bus ride - quite a bit faster than I expected, only took about 2 hours to reach Chicago downtown.

    2. Chicago -> Michigan
    The driver was a 31 year veteran in bus driving, and he went on the announcement to brag about it. I must say though, he was efficient, and did his job well. Got us to Michigan two hours before the scheduled time. Not that it matters - because I still had to wait for the connecting bus.

    3. Michigan -> Windsor
    Got the most disgruntled driver who complained about everything from the delay at the terminal to the drivers on the road at 6am. I wish she would just shut up and do her job. Went past the customs where they asked us to get off the bus, then get back on. Huh? Why can't the customs people just come on the bus to ask us questions? We crossed the tunnel at Windsor, and about to embark on the journey, when suddenly..


    The driver ran a red light, realized it half-way, and slammed on the brakes. There was a green pickup that slammed into the side of the Greyhound - literally T-Boned. Looks like the truck suffered much more damage than the bus! Oh and just in time, it started to rain. What a great way to start the day.

    So we all got off the bus, waited for another bus to take us onwards to the London terminal. The bus came, and me and this other guy (Matt, a drummer from England whom I met on the trip from Chicago to Michigan) didn't have a seat. Originally we were going to sit on the floor, and the driver said he would let us ride for free. Then some Greyhound admin came by and said he would send us off to London by taxi. TAXI?! From Windsor to London, on the highway, takes about 2 hours. I am not going to argue, since I don't have to foot the bill.

    Got to London, caught up with the connecting bus to Toronto, and got there only an hour behind schedule. Considering all that has happened, I didn't think the delay was unreasonable. Thanks to Adrian who volunteered to pick me up - I was about to fall over when the whole 17 extended hour of travelling ended.

    I hope there is some compensation on my suffering and time-wasted though. I didn't pay to have the driver run a red light and cause an accident!

    *sigh* Things like this only happen to me.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2003

    Last Day in C-U

    Tonight I'll be heading back to Toronto on Greyhound - 15 hours of bus ride. I wonder what it would be like - or if it would be half as comfortable as sleeping on the plane. Had some amazing Italian food at a nearby restaurant in CampusTown, bookstores are giving away lots of freebies (I already got a t-shirt and some pens!).. reminds me of my own frosh week in university. I suddenly feel so old surrounded by all the 17-18 year olds..

    Monday, August 25, 2003

    American Iced Tea != Canadian Iced Tea

    I have learned something else here - never order iced tea. American iced tea is literally just iced tea. Non-sweetened. I actually figured this out two years ago, at the Chicago O'Hare Airport. Since then, I have forgotten and keep ordering this blasted iced tea here numerous times. Ugh. Must remember for next time.

    Living here is awesome, except for the fact that I have to climb up and down the stairs to get into bed, and the apartment is seriously built for Evelyn. I nearly hit my head every time I climb the steps. There is barely any entertainment in this town, unless you (a) belong to a fraternity or a sorority and (b) likes to drink and party everyday of the week. No wonder this university is ranked in the top 5 partying schools in America.

    Thursday, August 21, 2003

    Life in C-U

    So today Evelyn is in orientation for incoming graduate students, and I found out that there is wireless internet here at Borders :) So I'm sitting here, sipping my Latt�, and surfing the net. Unfortunately it's only free for one day (some promotion they are having).. so I have to pay for my next daypass tomorrow if I want to come back.

    It is not impossible to live in C-U without a car, but if you want to buy anything or do any kind of grocery shopping, a car is almost a must. We rented a car for the week (damn expensive too), so we could shop for her apartment without too much trouble. Probably go on a weekend trip before I head back to Canada, and before her semester officially starts.

    Everything in America is bigger. Even their supermarkets. Meijer stuns me with their size (and prices). Everything is so expensive here too. Collegetown is cool - something that I know I'll miss when I go back to Waterloo. A much better student atmosphere here, and it seems the town is built solely for the purpose of the students here.

    I'll recount more adventures as the week goes on. :)

    Tuesday, August 19, 2003

    Arrived - and moved!

    Driving a big truck is very annoying. Not only that you have to watch the overhead clearance, you cannot go through drive-thru, cannot park regularly at a parking lot, and all the cars give you the most recognized sign language on the face of this planet when they pass you. Thankfully, we got to Champaign-Urbana right on time and got the keys. The move from ground floor to third floor is HORRIBLE. So I have learned three more things in life:

    1. Don't rent a place on the third floor when you have 20+ boxes to move.
    2. A utility dolly is useless when moving up and down the stairs.
    3. Evelyn is stronger than me now.

    Took us a little over 4 hours to move everything from the truck into her apartment. All the boxes barely fit into her very very small apartment - and I mean VERY small. I am starting to question whether she can live there for five years..

    Monday, August 18, 2003

    On the way..

    I would like to thank Chris, who volunteered to drive Evelyn and I down to the Greyhound station despite the chaos on the streets. Evelyn and I couldn't get any sleep the night prior to the move - who could, knowing that there is no way to tell whether we have a truck to move, or even if there is power in MI, where we were staying overnight. Calling U-Haul yielded no result - the customer service rep hung up on me! Finally catching a bus into Waterloo, we found a truck that we could use, picked up all the boxes from storage, and off we go.

    We got stuck at the border for about an hour and a half because of Evelyn's student visa, but everything was smooth afterwards. After checking in at the hotel near East Lansing, we hurried off to T.G.I. Friday's for dinner. Little did we realize, we haven't eaten all day! (it was 10pm) I suppose I would be a bit worried about eating out after the blackout - who knows if the food is safe to eat or not.

    After the blackout, I realize that as a society, we rely on technology. Are we still the master of the machines, or have the machines taken over control? (Oh no, this is starting to sound like the Matrix)

    Sunday, August 17, 2003

    Farewell Party (Part 2) [AKA the Blackout Party]

    Okay, so there was the big blackout on Thursday - on the day of Evelyn's farewell party at Lisa's place. Many people could not have made the party because they were stuck in traffic, but thanks to those who actually showed up and bid Evelyn farewell, we made the best out of a bad situation. Luckily enough, we decided to do a bit of BBQing that night so at least we had FOOD to eat. (something that a lot of people can't say on Thursday night)

    Unfortunately, the lights didn't seem to want to come back on anytime soon, so we left shortly after 8:00pm because we fear that with no street lights, the chances of an accident is very high. Everybody seemed a bit teary-eyed when Evelyn said goodbye. Trekking an hour home with NO traffic lights was not fun at all. We saw a lot of regular civillians directing traffic, even in the heat wave that stroke the city around the same time as the blackout.

    At least it was memorable :) We will always remember Evelyn's farewell by the blackout of Summer '03..

    Tuesday, August 12, 2003

    Farewell Dinner (Part 1)

    More driving today - from Toronto to Waterloo for Evelyn's farewell dinner with her friends in psychology. We had dinner at Marbles, which in my opinion is overpriced and next-to-nothing selection of entre�s. Should have gone to somewhere decent if I were to pay that much for a chicken club sandwich. Ah well, at least it was good times for Evelyn, saying farewell to all her friends that are going to different places when the new school year begins.

    I wonder, in a year, how many of them will still be talking to each other?

    Sunday, August 10, 2003

    Shopping.. ugh.

    Today I drove three ladies to shop in Buffalo - most blokes would consider this extremely lucky on my part, since I get to accompany three gorgeous ladies trying on clothes. Other than the fact that I really enjoyed seeing Evelyn try out different pieces of clothing for me (no, not at Vicoria's Secrets), the drive was exhausting and I didn't buy anything. The girls talked from the way down all the way to the Walden Galleria, then talked all the way back. It's so true that when girls gather, they talk and talk and sekInDgly have no end to their conversation - I can attest to that!

    Friday, August 08, 2003


    Although my performance on the last exam was sub-par, but I just couldn't care less when I walked out of the exam. It's all over :P (well, at least for four months)

    Thursday, August 07, 2003

    Still here..

    Barely though. I've been here since early morning, and I will probably be here until early morning. I promise, this will be my last bitching entry for this semester, but I just need to get it out of my system before I explode.

    Wish me luck for tomorrow.. 9am.. *sigh*

    Wednesday, August 06, 2003

    [profanity] this [profanity]

    I [profanity] hate this [profanity] [profanity] [profanity]!!!! How can I be so [profanity] [profanity] stupid and [profanity] up the [profanity] [profanity] exam?! I'm such a [profanity] [profanity] [profanity]!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tuesday, August 05, 2003

    And so, the battle continues

    Three more days (including today, unfortunately) until I'm free - well, at least for another four months. Lately I have been increasing the amount I procrastinate, like right now. It's good that it's finally over, I fear if this were to drag on for another week, I would have lost all motivation to study and just fail out or something.

    Another final this afternoon, hope it goes well.. after that, it's the final stretch (and seemingly, always the longest). Sometimes I wish I could just wake it and it'd be Friday, but then I worry how I would have done given the amount of stuff I know right now. :P

    Sunday, August 03, 2003


    Consistency can either be good or bad. Being consistently bad at something means you're not improving at all, but being consistently good means you are always good at what you're doing. I don't know whether I can accept the fact that I will continue to improve - there is an upper bound on everything. (yes, I just wrote my Digital Control Applications final this afternoon) To draw an analogy from the exam today, a stable system (referring to us), given a bounded input (finite amount of effort and time), the output is always bounded. This agrees with what I believe in - there is a certain 'plateau' I hit, sorta like my 'talent bound'.. I simply cannot achieve more than my upper bound.

    So I would have to say that my performance on the exam today was.. consistent.

    Sorry for the rambling. I have been stuck in the library from 8am-3am everyday for past week, and sometimes when I procrastinate I think too much. :P

    Saturday, August 02, 2003

    Another one bites to dust

    Well there goes another final exam that I don't think I did very well on. Ah well, I have learned over the years that the feeling when walking out of the exam has virtually zero correlation with the final mark of that course. Even if I walk out of there feeling soreness in my behind, I learn not to feel so bad anymore. It's just another exam - how many challenges will one face in one's lifetime? Probably more than what my final is worth. There's some food for thought.

    Oh and some people are complaining that I am distancing from them. Great. Refer to my July 29th entry please.

    Thursday, July 31, 2003

    Yet again!

    Yep, this time even earlier. I didn't get home until around 2am last night, slept at 3am, woke up at 7am, repeat.

    Who made up the final exam schedule? Why would you put two math-oriented courses together, seperated by 24 hours? Do they want to see us suffer and die?

    It must be a conspiracy.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2003

    Oh the humanity..

    Why the heck am I at the library at this hour of the day? Furthermore, why did I wake up at 6am this morning to drive back to the Water-hole? Why am I still online complaining when I should be studying?


    Inspiring blog from Gai On's Blog. Touched me quite a bit actually. Over the past couple of years, I have been complaining about one thing or another, and never really appreciated what I really had with me. Sure, a lot of things don't go my way, but I seem to have neglected things that do. The fact I'm still in school and struggling seems to strike me as the luckiest thing that could happen to me. Perhaps it's time to count my blessings, instead of disgard them and take them for granted.

    Oh.. one more thing.

    I hate when people brag, especially when they make themself seems more important than people around them. I'm sorry, everybody gets opportunities to take part in big things, there's no need to engage in 'downward social comparison'. (as Evelyn would phrase it)

    To respond to whisper00's blog, I completely agree with you. I perform that experiment every school term (not on purpose, but by circumstances), and it's funny how many people actually call or e-mail me to show that they care.

    This had been one of my toughest semesters by far (again, I know I am to blame because I did pick the courses), and a little encouragement doesn't hurt. In fact, I can *count* the number of people that were by my side and say 'go for it!' when I needed somebody to lean on. True friends huh? Those are few and far in between.

    Time to Study

    Projects have been completed and submitted, and classes have ended. There goes another semester. Now is the time to buckle down and study.. hahaha.. yeah right. :) I still have to drive back to Toronto tonight to sign my offer, then back so I can cram as much as possible in the next two days for two hardcore exams back to back. Yay, what a life.

    Friday, July 25, 2003

    More all-nighters

    Still in the lab. Of course, where else would I be? Technically I haven't pulled an all-nighter this week yet.. but late nights. REALLY late nights. I'm talking 5am late nights. Looks like tonight will be another one. If I have learned anything this term, it would be that writing documents is not fun. I now feel for those technical writers who do this for a living. They are probably pretty underpaid too.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2003

    More Fourth Year Project

    It's almost 4am, do you know where I am?

    In the lab, of course.

    This is one of the few rare occasions that I am here working on something that's not due in the next 12 hours, and still here at 4am. I don't make much sense now, but I am sure I will read this tomorrow morning (read: afternoon when I wake up) and have a good laugh.

    Fourth Year Project Again..

    What I meant tomorrow is today. I didn't notice that by the time I posted my last entry, it was already Tuesday. Anyhow, the demo was quite successful. Our consultant seemed really pleased with the work we have done. So now all there is left to do is the report. The bad news is, he wants to see it by tomorrow morning. So this means an all-nighter for me. *sigh*

    Tuesday, July 22, 2003

    More Fourth Year Project Work

    Once again, we went to the garage for a good part of the day to work on the project. Tomorrow we are showing our faculty consultant the work we have completed, and hopefully get a decent mark. After which we have to finish writing our final sign-off report which is due this Friday.

    I was soaked afterwards from pushing the vehicle back to the parking lot, in the rain. I don't know why it's so special, but it just feels weird knowing that I will get wet and willingly walk outside in the rain. A bit sadistic if you ask me.

    Monday, July 21, 2003


    I completed the project on Saturday with my other two teammates - total manhour ~ 70 hours. Not bad for a final project in the course. Although we might have made it a bit too simple, but who cares, we're done. There are more things to attend to.

    Decided that I needed a break, I took the day off on Sunday and went back to Toronto. Met up with Evelyn's friend for dinner, had some laughs and heard about stories from their high school days. Makes me wonder why I lost contact with all my high school friends. *sigh*

    Saturday, July 19, 2003

    Early Morning

    Yeah you're reading the time right. I'm already at the lab working on a project. How insane is this? On a Saturday morning too.. ugh.

    Maybe not..

    I take the last post back. It's not so lucky afterall. Just found out a supplier that we were getting an essential component for the 4th year project from, well, did not receive our orders. I have no idea why, but they just didn't. So now we have a week (wait, less) to find a replacement and hopefully still finish on time!!!


    Whoa, I just went to get gas and as my tank filled up, it stopped when the tank was full. (if you fill up your own gas, you know what I'm talking about) It stopped right at $30.00!!! Not a cent above or below - and I wasn't even watching the meter. I know this is silly, but it's never happened to me before. Must be my lucky day!

    Friday, July 18, 2003

    Tiring Day

    I just got home from working on my fourth year project. If I haven't made it clear in my previous rantings, during our final year we have to complete a 'project with significant design experience' in order to graduate. So here I am, spending every spare second I have to finish it. Today I worked on the wiring, and feeding the wires through mazes of electrical components. Then me and my teammates debugged our system - it was quite fun sitting there, the three of us, with three laptops. The room was dim, and the lights from the screen reflected off our faces making us look ever paler than usual. We finished off with a team meeting - in my car, for an hour after we left (which was 2am BTW).

    Which reminds me, I still haven't had lunch/dinner.. mm.. seems to be a continuing trend. Oh yeah, Evelyn is in Toronto. She usually reminds me to take meal breaks. :)

    Off to bed I go. Maybe sleep will cure hunger. (if that actually works, ppl in third world countries should sleep more often)

    Thursday, July 17, 2003


    Why did people suddenly stopped updating their weblogs? Not that my life is particularly interesting, but I still like to record my almost-daily ramblings. So to those of you who have vanished off the planet - wake up and start blogging. Tell me all those juicy details of your life. (or how boring your life is) I'm in University of Waterloo for crying out loud! People, enlighten me here! There's gotta be more interesting lives out there!


    Today our fourth year design project group made a presentation to the stakeholders of our project. Essentially, our 'customers' that is sponsoring the project. As if that's not bad enough, these are police officers, city officials, and our faculty consultant. Luckily, we didn't quite make a fool of ourselves (I spent the entire morning planning the flow of the presentation). Of course, thanks to my group members who prepared the budget and demonstration. Except for a little glitch (the simulation didn't run on the laptop), they seemed to be impressed with what we have done so far. Our faculty consultant gave us some more hints and suggestions, so we'll be working on those in this coming week.

    Somehow, I feel that my presentation skill still needs some tweaking. Oh well, live and learn. :)

    Wednesday, July 16, 2003

    Busy Busy Busy

    The word "busy" no longer describes the state I am in. Who said fourth year was easy? I suppose it would be easy if you really only care about 'passing', but what's the fun of just scraping by? :) Life without a challenge is not worth living, that's what I always believe.

    Surprisingly, although I'm always in a peeved-off come-near-me-and-I'll-bite-your-head-off mood, and stressed outta my mind, I am unusually calm. Calm as in not in my usual end-of-term panic mode. Perhaps I have grown accustomed to the stress, or I simply don't care anymore. I hope it's the former and not the latter.

    Sunday, July 13, 2003

    Gloomy Days

    Yet another gloomy day. *sigh* The weather's been pretty bad the past few days, rain, sunny, rain more, now cloudy. I couldn't drag myself outta bed this morning so I was late meeting my group for a project. Now I'm sitting in the lab, working away. Seems unfortunate but this is how I am going to spend the rest of the day perhaps.

    No point in complaining about it though, since what needs to be done has to be done. :)

    Thursday, July 10, 2003

    Paddling Backwards

    Lately, I feel that I am paddling backwards against the current (and may I add, a damn fast current). Things in my life are zooming past me, and yet I cannot help but feel helpless. I feel out of control with a lot of things. The more I want to assert control, the more it seems to be loosening the grip I had on it. Perhaps I need to learn to let go, and just let things flow..

    Wednesday, July 09, 2003


    Not so fast, I say. So I took my graduation picture (which warrants a whole blog to itself, maybe later), took my class picture today, even know the date for the grad ball and IRS.. but it's still a good 11 months away. Which equates to at least 9 more final exams, 5 more midterms, an entire work term, 2 major reports, 3 presentations, and a whole bunch of time.

    I always wonder, what if I don't graduate. That would be real embarassing. I have done everything up to this point in preparation for next June, but what if it doesn't come through? What if I decide to say "Screw it" and take off to backpack Europe?

    Tuesday, July 08, 2003

    Yet another weekend

    Hahaha.. what a weekend. I cannot possibly imagine myself slacking off this much during a weekend - yet I did. Adrian visited Waterloo on Friday, since it was his long weekend (independence day). Not very many people would actually drive in to visit, let alone after driving for nearly 9 hours just to get home. Thanks dude. Now that's a true friend, unlike those who never even bother to say hi, let alone visit.

    Took the time out to go for dessert with Evelyn and Adrian, with the rest of the gang, in Toronto. Yep, it was some decent cheesecake. Took the early bus back into Waterloo (thanks to Adrian, again, for driving us down to the bus station), only for the Engineering Orientation Leader Retreat. Spent some time with other leaders coming up with ideas and cheers for the week. Should be an awesome week :)

    Watched Harry Potter:The Chamber of Secrets with Evelyn on Saturday night, spending some quality time with her. Sunday was a write-off too! I helped Evelyn move some of her boxes into temporary storage until she moves down to Illinois, then I just lounged around at home, whining about the heat.

    Friday, July 04, 2003

    Loss of Motivation

    Quite frankly, I just don't give a crap anymore. I have a quiz in, oh, say 1.75 hours. I have not finished studying. I went to bed early last night (any time before 3:00am is early). I simply don't care.

    What is with this loss of motivation during the middle of the school semester? Am I already burned out, or is it just my laziness surfacing itself?

    Somebody help me!

    Wednesday, July 02, 2003

    Long Weekend

    Happy Canada Day! :)

    Four day weekend - a dream come true for many of my classmates and me. Time to relax and catch up on the work that we neglected over the past two months. On Saturday I went to karaoke with a couple of my classmates, and had dinner with a couple of them afterwards. I also found out that they opened a Honest Lawyer in Toronto!!! :) :) I really enjoyed that place when I was in Ottawa, and now they have one in Toronto! Have to go drink with a couple of friends the next time I go back to Toronto.

    Sunday was a full day of working on the design project.. at least we are making some progress. We only have about three weeks left!

    Monday was relaxing and taking time out to clean the house a bit. Watched Private Parts and Harry Potter with Evelyn.. hehe.. I still remember watching Private Parts with my high school friends back in the days. *sigh* Now I feel so old.

    Now I am working on assignments, then tonight I will be going to watch the fireworks with Evelyn. Hopefully it will be a nice clear night.. :) Canada Day is always so exciting!

    Saturday, June 28, 2003


    I feel like a zombie today. I ended up finishing the report at 9:30am this morning (still another 2.5 hours to spare), and went for breakfast. Didn't feel too well so I didn't end up eating. Went to class (and didn't fall asleep), took notes, and then crashed for three hours before waking up and working on my design project with my group. Making some great progress though! :)

    Friday, June 27, 2003


    This is my third all-nighter I'm pulling this term - seemingly high at this point. I usually pull no more than 4 or 5 a term, but reaching three and it's only week 8 sort of scares me. Strangely enough, it feels good to be up this late. As I was ranting before, I finally feel like I am really utilizing my knowledge that I have been accumulating over the past few years. Everything is starting to make sense, pieces are fitting together, and to that I regret not heeding the advice of my seniors. Never think that something you learn in year 1 is not useful - they will show up where you least expect them to.

    Who said after year 3, everything is just a stretch!? To me, this is just the beginning!

    Thursday, June 26, 2003

    School Schedule

    It's been a while since I have been up at this hour (yes, I know it's 10am). Thankfully, one of the perks of being in your final year is the ability to choose your courses - something that other students had since first year! (cough.. cough.. Evelyn.. ) Not that it's a problem to wake up early in the morning, after all, I woke up at 6am every morning when I was working in London. Having a choice of not waking up that early is definitely welcomed :)

    Actually, the reason why I am awake at this hour is because of my control systems project. Ugh. This seemingly never-ending quest to obtain a higher mark, when will it end?

    Wednesday, June 25, 2003

    Job Offer

    Got my job offer today and signed it - now I am officially owned for four months. The idea of an employment contract scares me - even after taking law class. Surely, a contract has to have an offer and an acceptance, also consideration. So I see the breakdown as follow:

    Offer - "Here's a job for you and we will pay you"
    Acceptance - "I will take the job"
    Consideration - "I have to work for them"

    Unfortunately, nobody dictates the amount of consideration in a contract. As long as there is SOME consideration. So literally, they can work me like a dog and pay me minimum wage.. wait, that sounds like co-op. :) So my fear is justified.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2003

    Back to normal..

    After my long hiatus from blogging, I'm back to regularly boring my audience. Worked on the design project today, verified that some of the parts that were installed in the Matrix worked! YES! Now I'm sitting in the control laboratory working on the course project. This term is a little stressful, but strangely I don't feel drained of energy. Instead, I feel the same motivation I had when I first entered university. Hopefully this will carry me far into the term :)

    Sunday, June 22, 2003

    Centre Island Outing

    Today I decided to take a break from school and go to Centre Island with Evelyn. It was a lot of fun, because it was the international dragon boat festival and there were millions of things happening on the island. It also coincided with Tania's birthday, so we also celebrated her birthday. Chris was so nice as to prepare the picnic (we feel so bad because we didn't bring anything). Played a bit of Frisbee, then decided that it was getting really boring so we went to see the Concert for Toronto. This is pretty much the highlight of the day, when I got to see BNL, Diana Krall, Sarah McLachlan, and the HIP!!!! :) Totally cool! Hehehe.. haven't seen Sarah McLachlan on stage in over four years now. Her performance is still superb.. I hope she comes out with a new album soon.

    Saturday, June 21, 2003

    Retroactive Update

    This is a one-blog summary of everything that happened in the past two months :

    - Work report. It tortured me like it always did. I could go on, but you can just refer to all my previous blogs about how horrible of an experience I have while completing it.

    - 4th Year Project. Starting was a little rough, with hundreds of pages to submit every week. It is starting to feel more like a writing assignment than a design project. Thank goodness it's all over. Of course, our team pulled an all-nighter to finish the interim report, and I caused my teammates to all get a parking ticket. Sorry people :)

    - School. As mentioned previously, it's a horrible thing. Taking more than I'm supposed to really hurts. When they say 4th year is easy, they mean if you do BARE MINIMUM and pick your courses correctly, it will be easy. Now I'm in the lab all day and spend most of my weekends awake at 9am, I don't think it's *that* easy.

    - Convocation. Not me, but Evelyn and my wacky friends. Pretty pictures were taken, parties were attended. Now they are all doing their own thing. (maybe except for Evelyn, but she calls "Sleeping and bumming around" a real job)

    - Co-op. I didn't get any jobs outside of Canada this time. Kinda sucks if you ask me, since I really really wanted to work in the US at least once. Oh well, guess I'll be saving some money living at home.

    That's all folks. Now, back to your regularly scheduled blog posts. (YAY!)

    Blog Season?

    Okay, so I know I haven't blogged in over two months. What have I been doing? Other than catching up with Evelyn on the time we were apart, it's been school school school all over again. Nothing else happens to me other than school. They lied when they say two things are certain in life - death and taxes.. school is also a certainty!

    Tuesday, April 29, 2003


    Today is a full day of travelling. From Amsterdam -> Brussels -> London -> Toronto. Full 26 hours en-route, in-transit. Why am I going home so early, you ask? To surprise Evelyn :) She thought I was going to Italy, when in fact I have changed my flight so that I could see her a few days earlier. HEHEHE.. hope it works out!

    Monday, April 28, 2003

    Amsterdam Day 3 - Daytrip to Utrecht

    Took the early train to Utrecht to meet with Tzeo-Inn. This whole trip is draining me out massively. Utrecht feels like Waterloo, just a small town in the middle of no where. :) Apparently it's a really big city, but I suppose all European cities look like this when they are not the big metropolitans like London or Paris. Tzeo-Inn and I went to have Chinese dim-sum for lunch. (funny how I eat so much Chinese food while in the Netherlands, I guess they really don't have a national food). The food was excellent! Haven't had such good food since leaving London.

    Speaking of food, they have these vending machines here that sells hot food. Burgers, fries, this fried-pastry-type-thing they eat. Hot food and vending machine just doesn't go. I think the store is called Fabu or something like that. Ugh.

    After lunch Tzeo-Inn took me around town to see where she works, and nearby her work there was a windmill! A real one! I quickly took the opportunity and snapped some pictures with it. I was so excited to see one. To this day, I don't think any of you have any clue why I am so excited to see windmills. Ahh.. long story. Maybe I'll elaborate when I have a little more time.

    Tzeo-Inn actually lives in a town about an hour away from Utrecht (yes, she commutes an hour everyday to go to work). Her parents invited me for dinner and I gladly accepted, seeing I haven't had a nice home-cooked meal in four months (possibly more). Her town is REALLY small - we biked around the town centre, visited the local windmills (YAY!), and even stopped by the town hall and the castle that *was* the town a few hundred years ago. It is exactly how I envisioned Europe to be, small roads, everybody knows each other, it was SO cool. There was even a water pump that supplies the locals with drinking water! :) Tzeo-Inn's father drove me around, showing me different houses and how people live in the country. One thing about the Neterlands is - FLAT. I could see miles and miles and beyond. It's so crazy! We also took this boat for cars.. sorta like the ones in HK, where you park your car on a boat that carries you across the river. Dinner was tres fab. :)

    After returning to Amsterdam, I prompted went to bed.. as tomorrow will be a full day of travelling.. LITERALLY.

    Sunday, April 27, 2003

    Amsterdam Day 2

    Since I have decided to visit Tzeo-Inn's town on my last day in the Netherlands, I only have one more day to spend in Amsterdam. To start the day off, I visited the Heinekin Experience - where the Heinekin Brewery used to stand. Although no beer is actually made in the brewery (since it's now a tourist attraction), plenty of beer is served through three 'bars' throughout the tour. There was an opportunity to buy tons of Heinekin merchandise, but I had to resist the temptation to bring home lots of stuff because my backpack is approaching the critical mass of explosion. At the end of the tour we even get a really nice glass.. Definitely worth the price of admission! :)

    After getting all tipsy at 10am in the morning, I met up with Tzeo-Inn and visited Anne Frank's House. Even though it was raining, the line-up extended past the front of the building towards the side. It was the original house when Anne Frank and her family hid for two years during the Nazi occupancy of Holland. The bookcase, where the secret entrance was hid behind, was there in plain sight. It felt so chilling to walk through the house, to their living areas, and even the bathroom and the original posters that Anne had put up on the wall herself. By the end of the tour, I was almost crying from listening to the excerpts from the diary and all the videos of people that knew the family. I think it's time I re-read Diaries of Anne Frank...

    Right outside of Anne Frank's House is the Homomonument. Literally, it is to remember all those who have been prosecuted and mistreated due to their sexual orientation. It was three triangles, formed in a.. triangle, on the ground.

    Despite the rain, Tzeo-Inn and I decided to visit the Museumplein, where the museums are centralized in Amsterdam. Riksmuseum, and the Van Gogh Museum were on the list that I really wanted to visit. The admission fee to Riksmuseum was outrageous, and since the only things I really wanted to see was Nightwatch and The Milk Maid, I passed on the opportunity and visited the Van Gogh Museum instead. Seems like people in the Netherlands don't mind the rain, as we had to wait in the rain for a little over an hour just to get in. Just goes to show that Van Gogh is still regarded as one of the greatest painters. Three floors of paintings, sculptures, and other art forms that Van Gogh attempted throughout his life is displayed here. The famous Sunflower, is one of the more prominent pieces that attracts thousands of visitors every year.

    We stopped by the Van Gogh Cafe (no relation to the museum) as we wandering around, and they hung several replicas of Van Gogh's paintings on the wall. Mmm.. it felt like I was a cafe in Paris, sipping my latte and chatting with an old friend. :) We ended up walking around Leidesplein, an area filled with nightlife and dance clubs in Amsterdam. Even at 5pm, the place is already buzzing with people. We stopped at Wagamama (yes, there is one in Amsterdam), had some udon and dumplings, before walking back to the Centraal Station.

    Near the Centraal Station there is a Sex Museum - literally. All things about sex is there. From sculptures in ancient times depicting sexual acts, to the modern day pornography, it's all there. They even have a giant penis for tourists to take a picture of (I got Tzeo-Inn to take one with the penis, hehe). It was an interesting experience, as I had NO IDEA that even in ancient Roman times, pornography was already so.. explicit! :)

    Tomorrow I will be leaving Amsterdam for Utrecht for a day trip. Should be fun. I can't wait to see windmills!

    Saturday, April 26, 2003

    Amsterdam Day 1

    To maximize my day, I took off from the Brussels-Midi station at 8:00am on the Thalys to Amsterdam. The train is really comfortable - almost comparable to the Eurostar. Paying the extra little bit is worth the comfort. It took a little less than three hours to arrive at the Centraal Station. The station was a very busy place - bustling with passengers and commuters to different parts of the Netherlands.

    The first thing I had to do, of course, is to locate my hotel and drop off the backpack. It wasn't very far at all! It took me about fifteen minutes to walk from the station to the hotel. They are not lying when they say the stairs are STEEP - I looked up and it seemed like it was 30 floors up. The story is, residents had to pay property taxes based on the width of the lot - so they built their houses as narrow as possible, resulting in long steep staircases.

    I eagerly ventured to Dam Square, the most famous meeting spot (and people-watching spot) in Amsterdam. There, it stood their national monument which is phallic shaped. Not surprising. In fact, a lot of things in Amsterdam is phallic shaped. Hmmm..

    What trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to the red light district?! It was still in the afternoon, so I didn't expect to see too much. How wrong I was. There I was, strolling along the canal, when I noticed the streets that are lined with windows with doors. Inside those doors, women are dancing and 'strutting their stuff' in skimpy clothing. Nothing could have prepared me for this. Sure, we have all heard stories about how Amsterdam is famous for this, but it's one thing hearing about it. Experiencing it firsthand is definitely a shocker. It is such a contrast to the calm and peaceful canal that surrounds the streets.

    Strolled along the main streets and the shopping area for a little longer, and Tzeo-Inn called me to let me know that she's on her way. She's a friend I met from the 'Baby Boat' trip a couple of years back. Of course, I wouldn't miss this opportunity to visit her and reminisce the good times we had in Taiwan. We went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner (of all places in Amsterdam), and it was surprisingly good. From what she told me, the Chinese population in the Netherlands is larger than I thought. Although it's nothing compared to major cities like Toronto or New York, the influence of the Chinese community is still significant.

    After dinner, Tzeo-Inn took me to walk around Remebrantplein, the central clubbing/coffeeshop district. She said that although there are tons of coffeeshops around the red light district, they are geared more towards tourists. It is here where you will find the 'good stuff', if you catch my drift. :) It was only 8ish and the area pulses with action. We visited a Bruin cafe, which the name suggests that it's quite brown inside. The name is coined from the fact that tobacco smoke stained the wood and ceiling over the years, and now they are permanently brown. We had a couple of drinks before walking around to explore more of the area.

    It was getting rather late, and we were planning to meet up early the next day. So she took the train to Utrecht where she's staying with a friend, and I returned to the hotel to write this up. :)