Thursday, September 29, 2005


Ugh. I had to destroy my card today. Posted by Picasa


I am quite annoyed today--frankly, I'm pissed. I was gonna pay off some of my credit card balance today 'cause I had recently collected some money for my ultimate team's fees, which I had covered earlier. Right before I head off to the bank, I decide to check out my balance online. When I log on, I notice that my card is over the limit. Although paying for the team's fees wasn't cheap, I was pretty sure that I hadn't spent that much money. As I start scanning through the items, I notice some irregularities and some unknown charges. #$%&! Somehow, somebody duplicated my card (or somethin') and had been making gas purchases on consecutive days. Anyway, I end up spending 45 minutes on the phone with customer service and their fraud investigation department declaring that my card had been compromised. I had to answer so many questions so they could make sure that I hadn't forgotten about these transactions. (These gas stations that weren't even near my home!) Interestingly, they only used it at gas stations and nothing else. I'm guessing with the skyrocketing gas prices, people are resorting to desperate measures.

So right now I'm probably out around $400... argh... I'm not too worried about it 'cause I'm sure after the investigation, I'll eventually get my money back. It's just a pain in the butt though. I have to sign an affidavit, cut up my old card, get a new one sent to me, check that my other accounts haven't been compromised and probably follow-up with the bank a few more times. Who knows how long it's gonna actually take? Anyhow, it's a good thing I have a fairly low limit and the damage seems to be minimal... knock on wood... scary stuff...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Wedding #8 - Ian & Sandra

Me with the Happy Couple... Posted by Picasa

So another crazy wedding weekend has passed...

I've gotten to know Ian and Sandra fairly well over the last year. Ian joined the TCCC pastoral staff last September as the youth pastor and he's been serving extensively with the Kyrios teen fellowship. I know the teens love him--probably because he looks like one of them too. ;) Working with him as one of the counselors over the last year, I can see how much of his time, effort and heart he's given to help mold the youth. Having gotten a taste of it myself, it takes a great person to be able to commit that kind of energy to serve in youth ministry full-time. Sandra, I got to know through softball this summer as she played with my Sunday Night team. She was always a bit quiet and reserved, yet she always did whatever she could to help the team. Never complained, listened to others' advice and just played. A great teammate. Whenever Ian came out to support her, I could see how well they played off each other. They always knew how to have fun and make each other laugh.

Anyway, the wedding ceremony was pretty cool. It was a mix of Chinese and Filipino, and it had a bit of an African theme to it too. Memorable moments of their romance was in Kenya, so they wanted to relive that part of their relationship in their wedding. Ian's uncle also built this amazing tree (see below) from scratch to recreate the wilderness in Africa. It was incredibly life-like and must have taken a lot of time and love to put it together. (Apparently, the uncle isn't even an artist or sculptor!) I have to say it was strange to see Sandra all dressed up 'cause I usually see her only in softball gear or in sweats after Kyrios--but what a beautiful bride she was. The vows were sweet and reflective of the genuine people they both are. The reception at night was pretty fun. The games were good, but also took a bit too long to set up--they had a 'guess your husband'-type game, some animal calling (Giiiraffe!), a even a dance competition. The first one was pretty funny 'cause Sandra eliminated Ian really early and Ian ended up having to kiss someone else other than his bride. It was nice to also see some of the teens there celebrating this occasion with Ian & Sandra--many of them had worked closely with Ian over the past year. They were part of the rowdier bunch along with Sandra's NTCBC friends. I also had a bit of fun 'troublemaking' with a couple of the teens, well more like teasing--especially with Mat. They've graduated and are in university now, so I can treat them like adults, right? ;) One minor complaint though... although the food was standard Chinese fare and still pretty good, I actually found the service below par. It was ridiculous how messy our server was--he wasted so much of the shark's fin soup (!) and started serving us another dish even before we finished the previous one. I know they must have been a bit short-staffed and in a hurry to serve all the tables, but I've never seen a banquet table with so much stuff splashed on it. In any case, I had a great time--it's always nice to go to weddings where people do something a little more unique.

Somehow, I also managed to squeeze in parts of a bachelor party in between the ceremony and reception. Nuts. Albert is getting married in a couple of weeks, so the guys were 'roasting' him one last time on Saturday. Since I couldn't join them for the whole event, I decided to join them for some go-karting. I don't think I've gone racing in like 10+ years. After a couple of laps of warm-up, I don't think I used the brake pedal at all and using the gas all the way! We even got a couple free laps because they had to kick us off for some kid's birthday party. Let me tell you, it's dangerous to go driving after go-karting. On the way home, I had to resist the temptation to 'floor it' and swerve/pass other drivers on the highway.


After church on Sunday, I had lunch at a small French bakery, Bonjour Brioche (near Queen Street E. & Broadview Ave.), with Daniel, Maki, Charles, Tim and Faith. The baguettes were really good and the rest of the food was delicious too--I tried some kind of tart/quiche. On a funny note--well not so funny for me--I got totally shafted twice at lunch. First, Tim asked me if I went to Ian's wedding even though I had talked to Tim TWICE during the evening. Then to make things worse, Maki later asked me if I had ever met Faith before, even though I had dinner with her and others at Daniel & Maki's place only a couple of weeks ago. Man, completely dissed. Am I invisible? :P Tim blamed it on exhaustion, but I beg to differ. :) Anyway, after the laughs, Tim, Faith and I went to check out the "Word on the Street" festival at Queen's Park. It was pretty cool--a lot of interesting books and magazines--but I definitely didn't enjoy it as much as others. I'm not an avid reader, so I wasn't looking for anything in particular and I didn't appreciate the material that was out of there... Didn't do much else the rest of the afternoon/evening. I think that was enough activity for a couple of days. Just ended up going home and enjoying an extremely long, restful nap... ;)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ugh. (2)

For some unknown reason, my mom was making some food last night and she decided to go out to pick some stuff up. Of course, she didn't say anything to Alvin or I that she was leaving the house. As I'm sitting in my room at the computer, I smell something burning, but I just think to myself that someone is having a BBQ outside. After a few minutes, I realize that it wasn't a BBQ and my room was starting to get smokey. So I race downstairs and see that my mom had left a pot of potatoes on the stove at the highest heat. I had just caught it in time to see the pot light up on fire. Thank goodness I was able to put it out quickly! By the time I had gotten it under control, the whole house was full of smoke. I had to open all the windows and put up some fans just to clear it up. I ended up going out for a bit 'cause it would be a couple of hours before it became bearable again.

I was so mad. I was ticked off that the smoke alarms didn't do their job. I was annoyed at my mom 'cause she always nagging me about not leaving stuff on the stove unattended, yet she completely left the house and forgot about it. Most of all, I was just pretty mad at how dangerous the situation could have been. Funny enough, by God's grace, Jenn and I were bored enough where we decided to play some MSN games. :) Otherwise I probably would have been napping in the late afternoon. Who knows what might have happened then? The house could have been burnt to a crisp and so could have I...

Anyway, it's not something that I'm gonna get too worked up about. After going to a funeral on the weekend, I realize it's just way too petty to make a huge deal about this. Things like this happen. My mom is getting older now, so I have just be more aware of stuff. It's just good that nothing more serious came from it--other than the fact that my whole house smells like a BBQ now. :P

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sunday Night Slo-Pitch 2005

Back: Kenric, Ken, Ryan, Ameet, Ron, Andy, Gaston, Wilson
Front: Joanne, Sandra, Janice, Hung Ling
(Thanks to Janice for the pic and her photoshop work! :P) Posted by Picasa

With my softball league's playoffs, the past weekend marked the official end to my summer sports season. We ended the regular season 8-7-1, so truthfully I wasn't expecting a lot. On Saturday, we took care of business and avoided elimination by winning our first game 7-3. We then faced our archrivals and ‘nemesis’ Chaos/Anarchy in the semifinals--we had been eliminated by them in the finals and semifinals over the last couple of years. They're a great team--fun to play against and they raise our caliber of play as well. With some solid D, clutch hitting, and by taking advantage of some uncharacteristic errors, we finally managed to get over the hump, get that monkey of our backs and beat them in two games, 6-3 & 12-9. In the finals, as usual, our team played some more nerve-wracking ball. We won the first game 8-7, then lost the 2nd game 8-1. In the decider, it was another back & forth game and we squeezed it out 10-9! League champions! It would have been only sweeter had we faced/beaten our ‘sister’ team, the Isotopes, in the finals. Unfortunately, they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain by getting eliminated in the semis. ;)

Wow, this was such a satisfying conclusion to our season. We had struggled by being pretty inconsistent throughout the summer, but we managed to pull everything together when it counted. All the guys did their jobs with solid play and generally good batting, and some others played great defense even if their hitting was off. However, a special mention has to go out to all the girls on our team. Joanne and Sandra came out to every practice over the summer and really raised their level of play this season—learning new positions, improving their hitting. Joanne too for pushing through even after she hurt her ankle in the playoffs and making some great plays despite it--what a trooper. Hung Ling stepped up with her pitching--even though she struggled a bit with her control, she fought through it and did all that we could have asked from her. Most of all, a big thanks to Janice for coaching this season. She ran all the practices, admirably dealt with people’s egos, made adjustments when necessary and just held the team together—a true team leader. I’m really proud of how everyone worked together and fought 'til the end. Cheers to a great finish!!!

Pics below are of our celebratory dinner at Jack Astor's afterwards...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ultimate - From Last to First...

Des & Jenn @ St. Louis Andy, Me and Jimmy @ St. Louis
Me & Mike @ St. Louis Ken, Me, Andy, Heidi (dreads), Serena & Mike @ the Docks

My summer ultimate season came to a great end this week, as my Monday night team won our division’s finals. This time last year, most of us were still ‘newbies’ and we had just finished a 1-9 season. We were all still learning how to flick a disc and figure out what a ‘stack’ was. ;) After playing together over the last year, our play has slowly, but surely improved. The game was hard-fought and pretty intense throughout, but in the end we came out on top 14-10! As usual, the girls made the difference and secured our win for us.

Of course, to celebrate--as shown by the pics above, we all had to go enjoy some wings and drinks to properly end the season... ;)... I even got a nice surprise when we went to pick up our prizes at the Docks on Thursday night. As winners, we all received some long-sleeve shirts, another disc (woo!), and I got a $25 gift certificate to Sporting Life for my work as captain. Still, I wonder what that will actually buy me at that store--have you seen how much everything is? :P

Unfortunately, the Tuesday night team didn't fare as well this summer. Generally, the team had newer players, so they were learning a lot just like the team from last year. With a bit more seasoning, I'm sure this bunch will be just as good.