Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Election Day

As the election day is today in Canada, I am going to give it some room in my daily ramblings to discuss the importance of voting. I am sure most of you have seen the newspaper article from Korea that could not even identify our prime minister. On top of the platforms, the lies, and the scandals, I feel that it is necessary that our prime minister is visible both inside and outside of our country.

Therefore, here's a quick summary to the most shallow analysis of each candidate - based purely on looks.

Paul Martin
He needs to wipe that silly grin off his face if he ever wants my vote. Maybe he should tint his hair also - perhaps something drastic, like hot pink or something. That would definitely get him the votes from the younger crowd.

Steven Harper
Much younger looking than the other candidates, which is a good thing. At least his hair is not grey yet. Maybe he should get a fashion consultant with his proposed balanced budget if he wins.. definitely need to lose that suit/tie combination he's wearing all the time.

Jack Layton
As much as he looks like a grandfather or your favourite high school teacher, he does not look like he can run the country. He looks like he will get bullied around by the big boys from around the world, or he will start to act like the UK prime minister and wag his tail at the United States.

Gilles Duceppe
He looks too much like a French president, that having him run Canada would hint at the world that it will be taken over by France any time soon. Not good if you want to maintain good foreign relations.

Conclusion: I would abstain my vote if it were based on looks. Now only if they have Katie Holmes running for prime minister.. that'd be a different story..

By the way, I already voted earlier today.. and I voted based on a much more thorough analysis than what was presented above. However, being shallow is funny and entertaining, n'est pas?

Monday, June 28, 2004

Innocent Comment

Not much went on today. Went and did the usual thing on a Sunday afternoon, and then dinner with Tania, Chris, Gloria, and Kevin. At dinner, Kevin casually responded to a comment from Chris that turned into an akward moment for some.. in its full entirety, here is the transcript of the conversation.

[sitting around the dinner table, talking about our mutual friend Adrian]
Louis: Adrian is not desperate for a girlfriend.
Tania: He so is!
Louis: I think he stopped being desperate after his previous few relationships.
Tania: What about that girl in Halifax?
Louis: She's not available any more. Besides, I wouldn't, but that's just me.
Chris: But we all know that Adrian has weird tastes in women.
Kevin: You're the one to talk, Chris.
Tania & Gloria: .......

Silence at the table? You bet. The funnier part? Kevin didn't even realize what he said until I looked at him and..

Louis: Uh, Kevin, you just dissed everybody at this table except for me and you. You do realize that, right?

Hilarity ensued. Okay, at least for Kevin and me.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Jazz Fest in Downtown Toronto

It was the opening of the Jazz Fest in Toronto today, and their new title sponsor really made the event more spectacular than before. At least now the signage is much larger and clearer, and they spent enough money doing promotions on the television and radio that the general public actually KNOWS there is a festival going on.

Met up with the three sisters (Xania, Tania, and Sonia) and Eugene for a bit of Jazz fun near St. Lawrence Market, and ended up going to the Bier Markt for a group called L.M.T. Connections. Never heard of them, but not that I know many Jazz players. It was quite.. rock, to tell you the truth. Enjoyable though, since drinking was involved and the sisters got up to dance. I did not dance for obvious reasons (I don't pride myself in moving my bodies in ways that dancers do).

On the way home, Xania and Sonia were singing Avril Lavigne in my car.. causing nearby taxi drivers and bystanders to look.. one taxi driver even gave them a thumbs up. Mmm, maybe I should get the three of them to start a band.. hey, that's how Hanson started.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

Just came back from watching this controversial movie the day it was released, and I don't regret queuing up for it an hour before it started. Quite an interesting take that Michael Moore took in explaining the side of the story which the media carefully avoided. Despite the fact that the movie is extremely left (so is Michael Moore), it did present several good arguments that makes the audience really question the mentality of the individuals involved in the political turmoil.

Definitely something to see if you haven't yet.. I don't even know how long this movie will stay on the big screen given the pressure from both the United States government and the civil liberties groups.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Birthday Galore

There are so many birthdays bunched up in June/July, it makes me wonder if a favourite activity to keep warm is to tumble in bed during the chilly autumn nights. Just came back from Tania's birthday dinner/dance gathering, and no, I did not dance. A live jazz band was playing though, so it was rather relaxing. I feel so laid back lately, that I fear once the summer is over I'll have a hard time adjusting back to the hectic lifestyle..

Sunday, June 20, 2004


The day came as an anti-climatic end to my undergraduate career. There were a lot of pictures, my cheeks are now permanently positioned to smile in the most awkward way, and the speeches nearly put me to sleep. Still, it was a very surreal experience as I received the degree from my very own senior project faculty consultant. Thanks for those who showed up at my convocation, and thanks for those who sent me messages through my phone or e-mail. Chris was my cameraman for the day, and he stood in the sun taking plenty of pictures for me.

It was nice seeing everybody again.. now we all part in our separate ways.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Waiting at the Airport

I was sitting in the airport today for about two hours, because my dad's flight was delayed. It was a good opportunity for me to do something I haven't done in a while - people-watching. Some people wonder why I do it, and I always tell them that it's just something I do. I enjoy watching people, in a microcosm kinda way.

Anyway, I noticed two things that I wish to share with you today.

1. Unattended Package
Those that have traveled after the September 11th, 2001 incident in the United States would most likely have heard the public announcements regarding unattended packages. Whether it is in the airport, train station, or even the tube stations in London. Those announcements repeat themselves every five minutes or so, urging you not to leave anything unattended and anything that is left unattended will be removed and destroyed.

So I sat down waiting for my dad, and noticed a rather huge plastic bag with a box inside, sitting on the other set of seats across from me. I thought to myself, "Wow, unattended package.. " I wasn't too aware of it at first, thinking that the person who owns it must be steps away (there were quite a number of people around those sets of seats), and they must be keeping a close eye on their own stuff. However, people came and gone, and yet, nobody even walked close to check on the bag. In fact, the bag sat there for twenty minutes before I noticed that nobody is actually watching the bag! I got a little worried, so I moved and sat a little further away.

It wasn't until AN HOUR later that some traffic patrol at the airport noticed the bag, and called in for support. Umm.. excuse me, but if that was a bomb, and if it were to blow up, I would have been dead. Then they got two traffic patrol to 'watch the bag', but not warning people not to go near it, or blocking off that section until it's cleared. Oh no, of course not, those two traffic patrol were too busy talking to themselves.

It took them a little over an hour and a half before they sent a real security officer to check out the bag.. no safely precaution either, just opening the box and checking the contents with his bare hands. I'm not suggesting that it may be a bomb (it turned out to be two bottles of really nice wine that somebody probably forgot about), but what if it were?

During the half hour that the traffic patrol was watching the bag, the second event happened..

2. Woman Falling Off Escalator
So this woman decided that taking the elevator is too far of a walk (about 15 feet away from the escalator), and took her huge luggage with her on the escalator to the second floor. I was sitting right in front of the escalator when her luggage toppled over. She lost her balance (apparently she was JUST holding on to her luggage for support), fell backwards and hit her head on the steps. The escalator, of course, continued moving. I quickly ran and pressed the stop button on the escalator, and try to help the lady up. Again, it took the airport paramedic 15 minutes to show up in his little airport golf cart, that was moving much slower than my walking. He could have walked here and it would have been faster!

Why would you carry a luggage twice your size, that barely fits on the steps on the escalator? Especially when the elevator is a few steps away! Talk about laziness. What's even funnier, is that as they closed the escalator, most people would insist on carrying their luggage up the stairs beside the escalator, then to walk a few steps for the elevator.

Of course, as this happened, everybody's attention was on the incident and everybody just forgot about the unattended bag..

How's that for airport security?

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Running Errands

I have spent the past couple of days running errands around town. I finally got around to bringing my laptop to replace the defective HD, and cleaning up the house. Ladies and gents, you heard it here first! I actually cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom in my house.. it's sparkling clean now! The dust bunnies around the kitchen and behind the sink is incredible.

Why am I cleaning, you ask? My father is arriving tomorrow for my convocation, that's why.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Laying Blame

Why do people do it? Everybody loves to point fingers at each other, find the scapegoat, and wash themselves clean of all responsibility and consequences. I admit, I blame a lot of things. Avid readers of my journal can attest to that (I bitch way too much when I'm in school, or at work, or just in general). So lately there's been a lot of blaming and redirection of blames around me, and it really got me thinking about this whole thing.

Maybe we all need to start taking responsibility of our own actions.. after all, nobody is pointing a gun at your head.. whatever you do is your own will.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Being Unproductive and Lazy

Ever since I got back from Halifax, I have been doing absolutely nothing productive. I haven't even completely unpacked from my Europe trip, and not to mention that I still have quite a bit of errands to run before the week ends. Somehow I have found time to sit around and before I know it, it's dark outside and I'm ready for bed.

So today I decided to meet Kenneth at Square One, at least it's something to do and it does require me to leave my house. We went shopping for a birthday present for somebody, and I saw this really cool shirt I want to get. *sigh* I'm so poor after all the traveling though!

Later on in the evening I met up with Chris, who also just came back from a trip to Europe. We went to the new McCafe (yes, opened by the people who brought you the Big Mac and the Arch Deluxe - anybody remember that burger?). It was a pretty cool environment, but the most important part was to share our travel stories.. it's funny how everybody that visits a certain city always goes to the same places. The conversation went like this:

Me: So when I was in [insert city name], I went to [insert famous tourist attraction].
Chris: Me too! We spent [insert time period] there! It was really cool.
Me: Did you go to [insert another tourist attraction]?
Chris: Of course. It would defeat the purpose of going to [insert same city name].

And so on. This is the moment when I know that next time I travel, I need to go to more off-beaten tracks like I used to.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Two buses, a subway ride and a flight later..

Finally got back to TO.. and got home safely! After ringing some friends for help but to no avail, I took the bus downtown and then slowly got home on the public transit. It was a good week spent in Halifax, especially the chillaxing with Adrian watching stupid videos online and drinking at local pubs. A few days ago we went to Point Pleasant Park, which recently re-opened after the massive reconstruction due to the hurricane Juan last year. The damage is still very apparent in the park - especially near the coastline.

Haven't taken public transit since my last internship term in downtown, and I certainly miss it. I am a people-watcher, it's always so intriguing to observe each and every person.. it's almost like a little mini-story.

Monday, June 07, 2004

What Do You Mean The Stores Are Closed?!

The law still prohibits stores from opening on a Sunday in Nova Scotia? Are they for real? I sure hope at least restaurants are open today, otherwise I'll starve for the whole day.. mmm.. might not be a bad thing actually, given how much I ate this week already.

Watched the big hockey game last night with Adrian at Maxwell Plums, was disappointed with the loss but decided not to get too emotional about it. Let's hope that Game 7 goes better on Monday for the Flames.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

So That's How You Really Play...

Adrian took me to near the water front today for lunch, and we had some pretty awesome fish & chips with this "fried pepperoni" appetizer. If I stayed here in Halifax any longer, my life expectancy would definitely drop by a few years. The majority of the food here is grease-filled, if not fattening and contains an incredible amount of fat and cholesterol.

Just came back from playing bridge with some of Adrian's friends. I have never been so crushed and schooled before in bridge, and they really gave it to me. I don't pretend to be a good player, or even a decent one, but tonight really opened my eyes as to how the game is REALLY played. I also had some strawberry-banana-fusioned slushie (with alcohol, of course), and they were fabulous!

It was a rather chillaxing night, which is a definite change from the past few weeks of hectic traveling and wild parties. Too bad I'll be leaving soon, they seem like a real fun bunch to hang out with!

Friday, June 04, 2004

Go Team Canada.. uh, I mean Calgary

It was, by far, the most exciting hockey game all series! Especially when I was in a local bar, where people cheered loudly when the favourite team scored a goal unit. Having a Canadian team in the finals is already exciting enough, but the team is just one game away from taking the most coveted cup in hockey!

Went to the Halifax Shopping Centre yesterday, it was just like any other shopping mall back in Toronto. The stores are so generic that I could have mistaken this for any city.

Hanging Out in Halifax

The first night I arrived in Halifax, Adrian took me to Maxwell Plums for a drink. I had a poutine, it was huge and they used real gravy, which resulted in me being very full that night. Watched the basketball game, amazed at how Detroit bounced back at the last quarter to win the series.

Yesterday we went to Peggy's Cove, and saw the famous lighthouse-by-the-water and the rocks surrounding it. Took a whole bunch of pictures, including ones where I pretend to be a professional photographer and tried to capture the "scenic view". Afterwards, we drove about an hour to Lunenberg, where supoosedly they are famous for their lobsters and seafood. *sigh* Too bad I really cannot enjoy it! Still, I had fish and chips and it was excellent! Sure puts some of the places in London to shame!

Just came back from lunch at Smitty's, a local eatery that is similar to IHOP (in the US) or Mel's (in Waterloo). Probably going to spend the rest of the afternoon chilling before going out to watch the big hockey game tonight with Adrian.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

In Halifax

I have arrived in Halifax last night, but was too tired to update the blog. It was an interesting road trip for two days, especially as we drove through the different provinces and learn of their 'culture'. Several things came to mind:

  • In Quebec (and parts of Nova Scotia), they can have a railroad track crossing right in the middle of a major highway (with speed limit up to 110 km/h). Furthermore, the warning sign of such a crossing is placed 300m before the crossing, making it almost impossible to stop if there REALLY was a train passing through.
  • There are many animals that may cross the highway, so drivers must pay attention to them. They include deer, moose, trucks, and snowmobiles.
  • On some parts of the highway in Quebec, wind blows across them. They have a sign warning drivers that wind blows across highways.
  • Behind almost every road sign in Nova Scotia, there is a big red sign that says "WRONG WAY". Has it become that much of a problem that they need to remind people at every opportunity?

Before arriving in Halifax yesterday, we visited the Hopewell Rocks and Magnetic Hill. Hopewell Rocks is located at a corner in the Bay of Fundy, and have such drastic sea level changes between high tide and low tide that parts of the ocean floor is accessible during low tide. By chance we arrived when it was at the low tide, so we took a little walk on the "beach" - it was so surreal! About eight hours ago, the place was submerged in water!

Magnetic Hill was a total tourist trap. We arrived after they had closed, but they left the gates open so we just drove in and see what it was about. Found the hill that was supposedly "magnetic", and tried to see if the car will indeed move "up the hill". It did work! We were in quite a shock.. Of course, until we figured out how it worked. I suppose I won't disclose our theory here, and if you haven't been there, you should check it out for yourself.