Sunday, May 28, 2006

All the Way to Glory!

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GO OILERS GO!!




Bring home the cup, boys!

Detente

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So this morning, immediately on the heels of my dear Hubbs having taken the car on a nerd road trip, I noticed that my right rear hubcap was AWOL. (If you happen to have a spare that matches the hubcap noted above, I am not too ashamed to ask for it. A car is ugly when it is missing a hubcap, sort of like a hockey player without some of his teeth.)

Anyway, we were having a heated debate about whether or not to go hubcap shopping immediately this afternoon, with me on the "yes" side and Hubbs on the "no" side of the issue. After I called my bro and he advised us of a good hubcap shop close to where we'd be heading, I sort of decided that we would take a little detour to the store. My man was not happy with the additional and unexpected stop, and was determined to be angry with me.

However, I found a great way to diffuse the situation! I (having felt some measure of satisfaction at having "won" the argument and being able to feed my need for immediate gratification) grinned
like the Cheshire Cat at him. I held this grin in steady fashion, gazing directly at him and making eye contact the entire time. Well, it took about 15 seconds before his anger dispersed and he started to smile, and then to grin, and then to laugh (at which point I began to laugh as well).

Immediate detente! It was brilliant, and a method I will be sure to put into practice again during future disputes (assuming I am in any mood to smile, myself).

May you disarm your "foes" with a smile today; it holds way more power than you think! =)



**Incidentally, the shop (which boasts the largest collection of hubcaps in the city) was closed today. Hence, still no hubcap, and still willing to accept donations!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hot Dog!

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What is it about these things that makes me want to eat them? They're arguably not even a real meat product, and they have been processed quite possibly more than any other processed food out there. They're shaped rather obscenely and wrapped with either a synthetic cellulose casing or animal intestines. They've been coloured a funny reddish-orange hue, although you *know* the natural colour of this concoction was probably some sickly shade of grey or brown. They've been loaded down with enough sodium to fill a small ocean. And yet, every so often I am lured towards this bastard of the meat family.

Oh, how I salivate when I smell the delicious aroma of roasting sausages after Fat Frank sets up his jolly weiner trolley on the corner of the street. How I enjoy sinking my teeth into that first bite of grilled hot dog and soft bun and ketchup! How I delight in the mix of flavours and textures blending on my palate. How I crave another hot dog even after my tummy has filled and my physical appetite, satiated.

Hot dogs with mustard or ketchup or relish or BBQ sauce, with onions or pickles or sauerkraut or peppers, with cheese or chili or anything else you want. Or even plain. It's good any way you top it off!


The Sweet Sounds, Sights, and Smells of Rain

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The rhythmic pitter-patter on my windowpane.

Earth's blooms greedily absorbing cool moisture for their parched, thirsty roots.

A wash of raindrops tapping gently on my head and my cheeks.

The smells of dirt and grass and tree and flower and concrete mingling with the scent of rain to create a brisk, refreshing breath of air flowing into my welcoming nostrils and my lungs.



The splashing of rainwater against tires and shoes and umbrellas and sidewalks.

The squeaky swish of wipers working vigorously against windshields.

The hurried steps of people seeking shelter from the wetness absorbing into their hair and their jackets and their skin.

The glorious, persistent pitter-patter of raindrops falling impertinently, oblivious to anything but their own steady song.





Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Uncharitable

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With the increasing temperatures and hours of daily sunshine has come one of many pests of summer: the squeegee people. Forgive me for sounding cold and callous, but I take issue with these intruders into my personal space and realm. Sure, maximum visibility from the driver's seat is great to have, as is an entrepreneurial spirit, but not at the expense of my freedom to choose to have a clean or a dirty windshield.

Being a dweller of the downtown region, I have begun noticing an increasing number of squeegee
people pouncing on vehicles unlucky enough to hit a red traffic light. These space invaders whip out their tools at breakneck speed and begin soaping down your windows before you even have the chance to reach over and lock your car doors. Then, after a series of soaping and squeeging (English is a dynamic, living language and I can make up new verbs if I want!) and the arrival of a green light, these people stick out their hands in expectation of a payout for their "service." If you generously fork over some change, they wave at you and let you go. Sometimes, they even smile at you. However, if you decide not to pay because you feel that it is an unsolicited violation of your space and your vehicle (or you happen not to have any cash smaller than a $20 bill), then you have to hope to God that the squeegee person doesn't a) whip out a gun and fire at you point blank, b) hit your hood with the hard end of their squeegee and dent your car, c) stand in front of your vehicle in protest of your stinginess, or d) make a big scene and cuss at you while you try to drive away as fast as you can.

Don't get me wrong; I admire people who do something rather than sit around and beg for money. People who busk or sell inner-city newspapers are actively and respectfully offering services and goods in exchange for some cash. The difference, though, is that these folks respect my space and don't impose themselves on me; they offer me the choice to buy their publication / listen to their music or simply walk away. They don't hand me the paper and then expect my money. The choice is mine. The squeegee people, however, eliminate my freedom to choose altogether by imposing their "service" on me and my car whether I want it or not. Then they are shocked or appalled when I exercise my right to not pay for this unwanted action.

Bottom line: Expect that I won't be paying for a squeegee at any point this summer or next, and heaven help that squeegee person who dares to work my windshield! Grrr!



The Operative Word is LONG

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I'm not complaining. Really I'm not. This long weekend was busy and felt really long, but it was also productive and fabulous. I'm so thankful for so many great parts of it, and so I'm going to share some highlights and thoughts ('cuz it's my blog and I'll do what I want to!). =P

******


There is something thrilling and intoxicating about having money in one's pocket and time on one's hand, traversing from store to store in search of goodies that one doesn't really need but would love to have anyway. That was me on Friday, wandering through the mall from shop to shop, exploring and trying on and buying and moving on, riding the high of having a long weekend in front of me and my exams and course behind me. In the end, the fruits of my labour included a new outfit and some birthday cards and gifts, and a feeling of elation and self-satisfaction at having spent over three hours in uninterrupted blissful surrender to my favourite past-time of all.

******

We (Hubbs & I) witnessed and celebrated two lives entering into one covenant relationship on Saturday. It was magnificent to watch the groom being given away by his entire family, and for the bride to come down the aisle with her whole clan in tow. It was beautiful to see the new bride and groom engage in a series of symbolic Hindu acts meant to represent their union, their future prosperity, and their commitment to one another, and to watch as their families came up to bless them with rose petals during these rituals. I was reminded that marriage is never a private, just-between-you-and-me affair; it is the connection of two families through two people, the bringing together of community as well as the shifting of relational dynamics within a community.

******

87 years of life. 87 years of seeing the world ch
ange and evolve and devolve, of experiencing global warfare as well as civil unrest, of celebrating the invention of the radio, the TV, vinyl records and 8-tracks and cassettes and Beta and VHS and laser discs and DVDs and mp3s, the typewriter and the computer and the PDA. What the world must look like to him, our great-uncle, who was born in 1919, and has seen so much of the world change and yet not seen any of the world at all. We celebrated (and continue to celebrate) his 87 years of life, and we look forward to the tales of days gone by that he will be able to share with us in upcoming days and weeks and years.

******

My superstar sister got engaged this past week, during her trip in Montreal. We celebrated by going out to eat (of course!), a customary tradition in both my family's and my hubby's families' traditions. It is exciting to think that my baby sister isn't so much a baby any more, but rather, an independent, smart, educated working woman who has found the love of her life with whom she will spend all of the happy and sad and angry and delightful moments of the rest of her life. I am thrilled for her, and scared for her, and anxious for her all at the same time; marriage is such a wonderful thing and yet takes so much more work and patience and personal growth and change than anyone could ever quantify or describe. Oh, but what a blessed and beautiful occasion that day will be! I am excited (plus, I can't wait to wear a pretty bridesmatron dress!).

******

My Hubbs and I had a "talk" this weekend. It was ugly at times, funny at times, and hard at times, both to say and to hear. However, I think that we no
t only survived the "talk," but came out of it a stronger and more united couple with a deeper and more insightful understanding of one another. I am very thankful for the ugliness of these "growing pains" moments, for they eventually lead to something far more glorious and beautiful. Or at least, they'd better! ;)

******

The season finale for 24: Day 5 took place last night, and there was nothing sweeter nor more cool than watching this edge-of-your-seat, blood-and-violence, suspenseful show with our 80-something year old grandparents, who cheered as loudly as we did when the good guys won and reacted with equal surprise and shock when the bad guys won, too. Nights like that will forever be etched in my memory as a cool bonding experience with Granny & Grampa, and I so very much appreciate that though their bodies may be in their 80's, their minds and spirits are as young as ours.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Three and only Two!

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No, I'm not talking about the Oilers and the Sharks (go Oil go!). I'm talking about my current Spring course, which requires that I write three exams and that I do so in only two weeks! This means I'm averaging about one exam every three week days. It also means I'm reading 10 thick long chapters every three days. It also means I'm becoming an ever more frazzled, stressed, and tense individual with each passing day.

Thankfully, the misery ends on Friday.

I am starting to think that although these spring courses are attractive given their brevity, they are actually not nearly as beneficial for long-term learning, since information takes time to process and get converted into long-term knowledge and understanding. The amount of detail I am cramming into my brain in such a short time means that it's highly unlikely that it will remain in my brain 4 months from now. It also means that at the end of the day, what they are really testing me on is my rote learning skills and short-term memory.

Anyway, I thought I should self-indulge in a pity party and post about this. I hate tests and I think that these in particular, are meaningless measures of my mastery of their learning outcomes.

BAH!


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Stupidstore

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The green giant of supermarkets has once again raised our ire, and as a result we will never shop there again. As some of you know, our last experience at Superstore was less than ideal (rude staff who wore MP3's on the job, dirty aisles, long line-ups) and thus, for the past year, we have not set foot inside one of their warehouses.

However, in an attempt to be more thrifty, I proposed an end to this boycott over the weekend. Although Hubbs was not keen on the idea of this, the thought of saving $10/week on groceries had enough appeal to convince him to go.

Well, what a character-building experience that was! Our trip began in the cosmetics department, which had me excited because of their seemingly immense selection of beauty products. However, the store did not sell my husband's type of facial lotion. Slightly surprised by this but still feeling excited about our potential grocery savings, we ventured on to the Pharmacy department, where we spent a good 5 minutes trying to locate Breathe Right nose strips. Next, my Hubbs headed to their crappy toy aisle while I tried to locate a cutting board for Mom. Neither of us found what we were looking for. Then, in the Deli department, we tried to find our deli meat, only to discover that Superstore does not carry rosemary ham (Save-On has it every week). Although we were disappointed that they could sell 6 different brands of cooked ham and not one of rosemary ham, we kept persevering.

We then headed over to the Dairy section to get our organic fat-free vanilla yogurt (also a staple at Save-On, and in our household). Well, imagine our horror to see that their *entire* yogurt section had been decimated, and there was only ONE container of vanilla yogurt left. Period. In all of Superstore. Of course, we also noticed that it was not organic; Superstore apparently does not sell organic dairy products. Super. We decided maybe we didn't need to have yogurt this week, since God only knows where that last container may have been.

Exasperated, we tried to put on a brave face. After all, we were going to save some money, right? Anyway, we realized that we hadn't grabbed any dishwasher detergent yet, so we had to navigate our extra-wide cart back through a maze of people and narrow aisles to the far right side of the store where their household cleaning agents are kept, only to find out that Superstore also does not carry Electrosol Green Apple liquid dishwasher detergent. In fact, Superstore does not carry any type of liquid dishwasher detergent, period.

At this point, I started to fume. What does a "Super"store carry, if not anything that we consume?!? What kind of sad excuse for a store is this?!? In one final attempt to finish off our grocery shopping, we steered our gigantic cart back towards the far left side of the store, where the produce was located. All we needed were a bag of Sunkist oranges and some berries (raspberries or blueberries), standard fare for most grocery stores. Well, apparently not, because they had neither. We were not surprised.

I think it was around this time that I turned to my guy and said, "Screw this! We're NEVER coming here again. I don't care if we have to spend an extra 10 bucks at Save-On; it is NOT worth this misery!" He completely agreed.

When we finally finished going through the check-out and packing our bags, I got the bill . It was approximately $40 MORE than what we would typically spend in a week at Save-On. We didn't even save our $10!!! Super.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Some Medium Large Funnies

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Taken from DrinkatWork.com:



Bad Hair History

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From aerodynamic fuzz to the "bowl" cut, to helmet head, to a quasi-mullet (and oversized old lady glasses), I've had quite a few bad haircuts. Luckily, my present-day hair is not nearly so bad. Oh, and even my worst hair doesn't compare to this: ;)

I love you Hubbs!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Weird!

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It took me a little while to realize this, but you know? I lived in HK through the whole SARS scare, and I'm still alive.

Wow!

An Answer to Prayer

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As I trolled around several other people's blogs over the past few days, I have noticed a common topic being written about: relationships. The majority of these have talked about how to/where to find the right significant other, or how people have chanced upon more frogs than the Pharoah saw in Egypt, when looking for a disguised prince or princess.

In reading about these misadventures in dating, I can't help but think about how lucky I am! I haven't had to kiss a bunch of frogs in my lifetime. In fact, I only had to kiss one (a particularly slimy, gross one, of course), before I found my prince. I haven't had to go through the cyclical dating hell of getting to know someone, going through a courtship, and then finding out he was actually a frog in the disguise of a man. I have been spared the heartache of getting my heart broken, or being disappointed, over and over again; I was able to escape the waves of self-doubt and insecurity that many suffer from after being broken up with. I haven't been subject to awkward blind dates set up by well-meaning friends, nor have I had to resort to hitting the dwelling of most bottom-feeders, the bar, in my quest for that right "fish."

Some might say that I got lucky, that I am a rare breed of individual who just happened to be at the right place at the right time. I would disagree. I remember very distinctly, at the young and naive age of 16, praying a prayer that God would keep me pure and keep my heart protected until He brought my future husband into my life in His perfect timing. I even remember praying for him, that still-yet-unknown future husband, that God would work in his life to make him a man of integrity and faith and patience and compassion.

And I believe God has answered my prayer. My "luck" in relationships has nothing to do with chance or good fortune; it has everything to do with me having asked God for something, and Him answering it in His own good time. And I thank God every day for my handsome answer to prayer; he is wonderful and sweet and funny and everything I had hoped for in a husband and more than I had ever dreamed of in a man. And I am so happy to know that I will grow old with him. Thank God for answered prayers!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The First Attack

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Hrm. It seems that my very brief reference to Coast Hills Church's sermons on the DaVinci Code have set off certain individuals! I received, and had to delete, a comment from my previous "Something New" post because the individual(s) who left the comment:

a) left an impersonal advertisement for their e-book (and I do not condone others to solicit on my blog)

b) left a rather intolerant comment that seemed to target most people who belong to an organized Christian group (and I do not allow hateful views of any kind to be promoted on my blog).

Anyway, the comment appeared to be linked to individuals who have some sort of Gnostic belief set, and who take issue with people who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture being an inspired work of God. I am not very surprised by the comment nor its contents which are meant to challenge my beliefs; I just started my devotions again this morning and many of my brothers and sisters in Christ will understand what I mean when I say that this is likely no coincidence that I am getting an attack already. (1 Peter 5:8).

It does affirm for me, however, that the God I love is the only One who stands apart as being truly
good. Many others out there who believe in other worldviews and religions promote hate and intolerance and vengeance and judgment (sometimes under the guise of being "enlightened" or "open-minded" or having "special knowledge"), but anyone who has truly looked into and studied Christianity will find that the God of the Bible encourages love and patience and forgiveness; in fact, His most important commandment to His people after asking them to love Him, is to love their neighbours as themselves (Mark 12:28-31). Whether His people always live up to that standard is another question entirely, but certainly He has established the expectations to be goodness and love.

If you are reading this, Seven Star Hand, might I challenge you to study the archaeological and historical evidence of and for the Holy Scriptures to test some of your own beliefs (just as you have invited me to do with my own belief set), and might I also challenge you to listen to Coast Hill Church's DaVinci Code sermons, the very ones that may have prompted you to comment on my blog in the first place? Furthermore, might I challenge you to prove to me the greatness of your god (or yourself as "messiah") by showing me the same love and compassion and patience that my God has called me to show you?