I caught this movie this afternoon with Brian and Jenn upoon the recommendation from Nicole. First, it's a visually stunning documentary. It's pretty amazing that the director was able to capture life in Antarctica over 12-13 months. It's one of the coldest places on earth, yet it still such a beautiful land. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the film shows the journey of emperor penguins from the sea to the innermost land, to mate, hatch an egg and nurtue/raise their chicks. The director tries to portray it as a love story, but I think it's just about survival. It's crazy what these birds have to go through--blizzards, wind, -50C weather, starvation, predators, etc. It's incredible the number of things that have to go right just for them to make it--it was sad to see how some of the baby chicks died. My only minor beef about the movie was that it had very little scientific information/background. I guess they wanted to keep the it as family-friendly as possible. Still, a very enjoyable movie watch. Highly recommended.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
"The heart has its own reason which reason does not know."I've known Jeanne for about 10 years now. We dated for a short time back in high school, but it wasn't meant to be--just two immature kids. :) Despite our history, she has truly been one of my best friends over the years. I'll be the first to admit that it is unique to stay such good friends with an old girlfriend, but I realize that it's one of the friendships that I will always be forever grateful. She has always been there to offer good advice, listen to my venting, and held me accountable as my sister in Christ. Although I haven't gotten to know Channing that well, the time I have spent with him and Jeanne, I have really been impressed. He has such a kind and generous heart, always looking out for her friends and never thinking about just himself. She has definitely found someone great to spend the rest of her life with.
- Blaise Pascal
The wedding itself was pretty eventful--well mostly for us helpers. We got to the reception early, and found out that the A/V guys forgot to leave cables to connect the laptop to the sound system. We had to call them up again, and they ended up charging us another $50 to come back to deliver it. One of us also had this bright idea to include pictures of the wedding in the slideshow, so we had to upload pictures from a digital camera. Unfortunately, none of us remembered to check if Joanne's laptop had the appropriate drivers. First, we tried downloading it through a 56K modem (remember them?), but it took so freakin' long, we decided to crash Christina and Tom's place so we could use their cable. Nuts. Joanne and I ended up working through most of dinner trying to get all the slides done. With just a few minutes to spare, we put the finishing touches to the slideshow. Of course, that was just the beginning. Channing also had a DVD video that his friends from HK made to send their best wishes to the happy couple. Of course, we didn't check to make sure that Joanne's laptop could play DVD's. A couple of people ended up rushing frantically back to Channing's place to grab his laptop and hurry back to restaurant. Thankfully, everything turned out fine in the end. Everyone enjoyed the slideshow and vides, and Channing and Jeanne were great despite our 'technical difficulties'. At least, my table was nice enough to save me some food. Unfortunately, shark's fin soup, lobster, not-so-crispy chicken, and steamed fish just doesn't taste as good when it's cold/lukewarm. Anyhow, I was able to enjoy it with a glass of red wine and unwind the rest of the evening.
Still, the night was a memorable one. Joanne and I enjoyed quite a few laughs, despite some of the stress we were going through. I found a 'wing man' in Will. (Ah, don't ask...) It was also good to see a bunch of the old ACI crew together again--Christina, Doris, Frances, Evadne, Karen, Suzanne, Yolanda, and even Ms. Hommel (my English teacher!). Afterwards we went to a bar and enjoyed some more drinks and laughs together. It's interesting to see where people are now, yet everyone is still much like I remembered them.
Anyway, against my better judgement, I ended up staying out until 3 AM and had to wake up a few hours later for church. Yikes. Sunday was a long day--helping out with ushering, teaching Sunday School, going to the Welcome Luncheon. I ended up crashing in the afternoon and managed to wake up again for a softball doubleheader. Luckily, I decided to take Monday off and finally caught up on some sleep...
Congratulations again to Channing & Jeanne!
Friday, August 19, 2005
I just spent the last 3 hours trying to 'wet-vac' everything. I probably won't be able to get everything cleaned until at least Monday. I need to make sure everything is dried off first. My room looks like it's been hit by a tornado. Still, I'll look at this as a blessing in disguise, because now I'm FORCED to clean up my room. :)
Sigh. There were so many other things I should have been doing tonight too--go to Kyrios, pick up some stuff for Jeanne's wedding tomorrow, and going out to celebrate Jimmy's birthday with a few drinks. $#!+!!!
Monday, August 08, 2005
Sunday, August 07, 2005
The ring boy at YeeLee & Stan's wedding was hilarious. For some reason he had to remain standing by the other groomsmen through the whole ceremony. What a mistake. :) He was so restless--he kept pacing back and forth, moving up and down the steps, twisting around and dropping his bible. It was such a distraction--Daniel, Maki and I couldn't stop laughing.
Dinner was good as usual, although the chinese banquets are getting so predictable now. The menu is always about 80% the same. At least this time around, I ended up sitting with some people I knew. :P It's so much easier to make conversation! And it probably helped that I had quite a bit to drink--4 glasses of red wine and some Jack Daniels too! :D
Anyway, on a more serious note, one difference about YL&S's wedding from the others I've been to so far this summer was that it was definitely very evangelical in nature. Their ceremony included quite a bit of worship & prayer, and the exhortation and vows reached out to non-believers. Even at their reception, they shared a lot about their friends in CCF and church, and what effect that had on their lives. Plus, their bombonieres (a music CD) included their personal testimonies. I don't think it was overbearing--it was refreshing to see how convicted they were by their faith. On their special day, they shared with all their family and friends about their love for God and their hope for others to seek it. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure if I could do it myself. It takes a lot of courage to do that with all your family, friends and co-workers. You never know how others may react to it. I guess this is me talking after working in the government environment--everything you do or say has to be 'politically correct'. Anyway, it does make me appreciate YL&S that much more for being so open and honest about their faith.
Monday, August 01, 2005
A: Hey... Is your offer to help still on the table?Without totally thinking it through, I offered to give Allan/Grace a hand with their wedding stuff a little while back. Of course, I should have known that they would actually take up my offer. :) Anyway, I ended up waking up at 6:30 AM on Saturday morning and drove out to Grace's place by 7:15. My responsibility that morning was to drive the bride and the bridesmaids back and forth from the hairdresser, while they took turns doing their hair and make-up. Luckily, Hung Ling's mom (the hairdresser) didn't live too far away. After getting over my morning crankiness, it actually turned out to be pretty fun. In addition to getting some breakfast and coffee, I got one of the first glimpses of the bride (before the dress too), caught up with Grace's brother Euson who I hadn't seen much in years, and laughed at Courtney (Hung Ling's youngest) as she pouted to me about not getting enough attention from her dad and her sister. :)
K: Ummm, sure. What do you have in mind?
A: How early do you think you could get up?!?!
K: Are you SERIOUS?
The wedding and reception themselves were actually really good. It wasn't as 'fancy' as some others I've been to, but it was probably the most enjoyable one I've been to this summer. The games were pretty fun--Allan was a really good sport as they exploited his goofy admiration for "Napoleon Dynamite" and his dancing abilities. (Gosh!) The speeches were all good--not too many, not too long, they made sense, had just enough humour, but definitely sincere/touching. Allan and Grace were great too--Grace's speech was pretty emotional and heartfelt, but Allan complimented her perfectly with his great sense of humour. The only slight downside (for me anyway) was that I ended up sitting with strangers at the dinner. Weird 'cause I really didn't know them at all. Ah well, I can imagine how difficult it is to plan the seating--especially if you have 'uncles' who don't like each other. ;) So no big deal.
Anyway, I've known Allan and Grace for many years now, but I met them at different times and through different people. I got to know Grace through Children's Choir and Kyrios. She has this great laugh and always knows how to bring a smile to your face. Allan, I also met through Kyrios, but I've gotten to know him much better over the last few years through softball and ball hockey. Just as Wes pointed out during the ceremony, he is someone who generous to a fault. Funny enough though, if you had asked anyone 5 years ago, I don't think anyone would have pictured them together. They were seeing different people at the time and didn't seem to be each other's 'type'--Allan even claimed that Mandeep thought that Grace was 'out of his league'!. :D But you know what, seeing them now, I can't imagine them with anyone else. They compliment each other perfectly and bring out the best in each other. It's just an interesting observation--the person that you think you should be with right now may not be the same person that God ultimately has in store for you.
Getting through Sunday was TOUGH. Well, it was totally my own doing. :P I was responsible for teaching/leading the Sunday School class, but as usual, I totally procrastinated. I had started doing some prep earlier in the week, but I didn't actually put everything together until the weekend. I had to squeeze in a bit of work in between the ceremony and the reception, did some more work after the reception and ended up waking up early on Sunday morning to finish it up. I didn't realize how much I had to do--doing some research, referencing my sources, etc. It reminded me too much of university--which is such a poor example for the teens that we're teaching. :P My own stupidity ended up giving me such a headache throughout the rest of the day. Anyhow, by God's grace, the class actually turned out ok. I was worried earlier that I wouldn't have enough material to fill the class, but I guess when it comes to money--we were talking about financial stewardship--you can go on and on. Some of the teens had some more questions well after the class, so it looks like they found it interesting. I wish I left some more time for discussion and Q&A's.
I hope I've learned my lesson for my class in two weeks. I'm even more worried about that class--we'll be talking about peer pressure, dealing especially with sex & drinking. Oh boy. Talking about these kind of topics is usually a bit taboo within the Christian circle, so I hope we'll have a good discussion. Plus, that weekend will be packed 'cause I'm attending (and helping at) Jeanne's wedding, and I'm helping to organize another community outreach for Kyrios. Yikes. Pray for me. ;)