Current songs…

… on repeat:

Won Bin’s I Love You and I Love You featuring Miryo (Brown Eyed Girls)
(Miryo’s voice makes this song strangely addictive)

Hyuna (4minute) filled in for Miryo for a few performances. Her voice is definitely nice and softer but she received backlash for forgetting/messing up the lyrics… twice.


and

Lim Jeong Hee’s Would Never Be Real

Family get-together tonight…

… to celebrate Grandpa’s belated birthday!

My grandpa turned 77 on November 24, 2010, however, due to everyone’s hectic schedules, his birthday celebration was postponed until today.

Dinner consisted of pizzas, a salad from Mo Hai, fish maw and crab soup from my mom, home roasted pork (thit heo quay) from Cau Ba and a birthday cake from Cau Tu.  Yumminess!

My mom also handed out our Christmas dinner invitations for the family. Almost seems like we’re putting out all the stops this year, being formal and everything. A lot of planning and preparations to go through, but I’m sure it will be worth it. I love the atmosphere of a complete and joyous family during a festive occasion. The kids also picked out names for their Secret Santa.

For my grandpa’s birthday, I gave him a nice notebook. I often stop by to visit my grandparents and stay hours writing to my grandpa (who is deaf) updating him on everything going on in my life. Once I leave, he’s left with a stack of scrap paper, so I thought it would be nice to write to him in the notebook from now on. That way, he has an organized transcript of what we discussed and can make sense of it later on. Already used up a bunch of pages before coming home tonight! 😛

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICTURES!

Sorry, I know… Di Nam should’ve been to the left more, and my mom and Mo Tu should’ve been a bit to the right. Ahh!!! Can’t believe I didn’t see this until after 😦

Montreal trip on November 25…

… to visit Amin!

Hopped on the 7am Greyhound and made it there at around 9:30am. Love the Metro, the bus stop is attached to the main subway station – Berri UQAM. I topped up my OPUS card with a Daypass ($7) and headed out. Tried to visit Basilique Notre Dame de Montreal for a tour and to take some pictures but unfortunately it was closed for construction. Walked over to Chinatown hoping to browse all the fobby shops but they weren’t open that early. T_T Instead I went to Hoang Oanh to place an order for some Viet subs to pick up later that night.

I was supposed to meet Amin at around 12pm so I still had about an hour to kill. Luckily, I came prepared for this situation! The night before, I had Googled to find a recommended Asian hair salon. So, I got back on the subway and headed to a place called Salon Q (on rue Saint-Mathieu) for a haircut. Turned out to be a Korean-run salon and the lady was a dear. Her English was pretty good and we chatted as she worked away. At one point during my cut, an Asian guy, probably a bit younger than me, rushes in asking for a wash. All I could think of was, “A wash? Just that? I didn’t even know that was offered!” The lady told him that he would have to wait until I was done, which got him restless because he had to get to work. I told the lady I was in no hurry, she could go ahead and give him his wash. The guy got his hair shampooed and blow dried, then paid and zoomed out the door. Weeeird! Does he not shower? Haha

Met up with Amin after that and we went to go eat $3 SHAWARMAS. Why don’t they have that price in Ottawa?! Why!! And they were so very delicious! Argh. Jealous.

Other than Notre Dame, I also wanted to visit Mont Royal and Vieux Montreal, so those 2 were our next stops. Walked up to the Mont Royal lookout, I totally wish I had been there during sunset or the night! >< Vieux Montreal was super quiet but nice. I would’ve enjoyed it even more if I was a real tourist. Unfortunately, there was no point shopping for souvenirs.

Picked up my Viet subs and headed to the Eaton Centre. Tiredness settled in fast and my hate for shopping, especially in crowded places, made me super lazy. We ended up having dinner at the Eaton Centre (Indian curry ftw!) followed up with a text from my brother urging me to try and come home earlier because the weather was supposed to get really bad. Freezing rain? Bleh!

Said our goodbyes and was able to make it on the 8pm bus back. Got home safely, soo tired. Woke up the next morning to a sheet of ice covering everything. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long enough for me to get out my skates. Perhaps next time?

PICTURES!

On the way up Mont Royal

Up on Mont Royal

Vieux Montreal

Cool buildings near Vieux Montreal

Having no manners…

… drives me nuts!

In an earlier post about my super peeves, one of the things I mentioned disliking is the inability to apologize.

I recently encountered a situation that left me somewhat flabbergasted. About a year ago, I lent a friend my biochem textbook. Unfortunately, due to our schedules, we weren’t able to meet up for me to get it back. By the time I came back from Vietnam this summer, she had already moved away for school. That didn’t really worry me, she is trustworthy and told me that I would be able to get the book back from her brother.

And so… I tried, to no avail. -_-  Sent him a Facebook message asking to meet up and retrieve my textbook. Never got a reply.

Tried again a month later, knowing he was active on Facebook and should have obviously received my first message. Still no reply! What the heck!

I finally had to message my friend to get the wheels turning. Eventually I was able to get in touch with him and got my textbook back. However, not ONCE did he even offer a quick apology for never returning my messages. That irked me, a lot.

Sometimes, I just don’t get other people. If I’m borrowing people’s stuff, and they’ve asked for it back not once, but twice (and I ignored/didn’t reply to their messages)… I would not waste a second to apologize for the delay. “Sorry I didn’t respond to your earlier messages, I was caught up with school (or insert any other lame/reasonable excuse here),” would’ve been more than acceptable.

Am I being unreasonable? I found it so ridiculous!

As you may have noticed…

… there isn’t a “HOME” button on my blog, which was present during my previous theme.

So, in case you didn’t know, there IS a way to go straight to my home page, which displays my most recent entries. How do you do that?

Just click the title of my blog! Top left, “Sandra and the Works”

Being blog-lazy again… that will be all! Have a good night!

The short story of…

.. DBSK.

[Only DBSK fans will understand what I’m talking about… :D. So most people might want to skip this entry! Haha]

You probably know, the group known as Dong Bang Shin Ki (DBSK) in Korea, Tohoshinki (THSK) in Japan, and Tong Vfang Xien Qi (TVXQ) internationally is my ultimate #1. DBSK consists of 5 members, Kim Jaejoong (Hero), Jung Yunho (U-Know), Park Yoochun (Micky), Choikang Changmin (Max), and Kim Junsu (Xiah). Another group has yet to win me over with regards to vocal/dance abilities and stage presence/performance.

After establishing themselves as one of the best in Korea, they ventured into Japan, home of the 2nd biggest music industry in the world. Conquering and now fluent in the language, they are the first foreign artist to hold 8 number-one singles on the Oricon chart.

Among numerous other achievements, they also hold 2 Guinness World Records. The first one for having the largest official fanbase in the world, with over 800 000 registered and fee-paying fans in Korea alone. This record does not take into account unofficial fans in Korea or anywhere else in the world. They also hold the record for being the most photographed celebrity in the world (estimated 500 million shots for magazines, photo shoots, commercials, etc).

Unfortunately, good things never seem to last forever. It is well known that their agency, SM Entertainment, is an unfair slave driver. The entire story is way too long to even summarize, but here it goes!

Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu (JYJ) filed a lawsuit against SM for their excessively long 13 year contract and unfair pay (See full contract summary here). The court has temporarily ruled in JYJ’s favour, allowing them to pursue whatever activities they wish without interference on SM’s part. This led to the announcement of DBSK’s hiatus as everyone awaits the final verdict, and the creation of JYJ.

Since then, Yunho and Changmin continue to be active within SM, taking part in activities and events, while JYJ have completely ventured out on their own. In the meantime, fans continue to support all 5 of the boys as they pursue their current activities.

Below is an extremely well fan-made video that briefly shows tells the story of DBSK, as well as their fandom, known as Cassiopeia.

More entertainment…

… courtesy of YouTube!

AN OLD SIMILAR ENTERTAINMENT BLOG ENTRY HERE.

Some of these might be familiar to some! Especially if you’re a YouTube addict like me, or you’ve already been my victim of these videos! Hehe. I hope there will be some you haven’t seen though! These are some of my favourites, enjoy!

David After Dentist: Is this real life? Okay, now, now I … I have 2 fingers. I can’t see anything! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! You have 4 eyes. I feel funny… WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?! Is this going to be forever?!

Pygmy Jerboa: What my brother wants as a future pet. Bet you’ve never seen one of these at the pet stores before!

DEADLINE Post-it Stop Motion: I wish I had the patience and skill to do this…

Human LCD : Close Up Video (SOUTH KOREA): Even though this has been sped-up… it is epic.

集団行動 (Collective Action): Watch this Japanese group… their discipline, precision and team work… it’s almost mindblowing!

Vocal Point – Movie Sounds and Spider-man Theme: You only need to watch the first 20 seconds to know this video is pretty awesome.

Living Arrhythmias: This is probably not as amusing for non-science people… but I cannot stop laughing when I watch this. This professor is amazing, so amazing, his video doesn’t even need sound. And I can’t help but think the ‘UNSUCCESSFUL DEFIBRILLATION’ was just a blooper of the previous scenario.

ANYTHING WITH HAMISH AND ANDY, a GREAT comedy duo from Australia. If you’ve never seen anything, watch their Learn India with Hamish & Andy segment, it’s recent and hilarious. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5.

Dog meets Elmo: Elmo creeps me out, I can understand the dog’s fears!

Kseniya Simonova: Well-deserved winner of Ukraine’s Got Talent 2009. Each one of her performances is a masterpiece in more ways than one. The emotions she stirs is quite visible in the audience. The blend of music and her art of sandpainting tells a perfect story each time.

My Blue Card application…

… is finally ready to be sent off!

So, similar to getting a police check done here before you’re allowed to work in certain occupations, I need to have a Blue Card issued before I start my studies in Australia. Gotta make sure I can be involved in child-related activities!

The University of Queensland does an amazing job with not only providing all the forms you need, but they also include step by step instructions on how to fill out every section of the forms, with reminders to attach any necessary documents.

For this application, I had to provide proof of identity information (proof of citizenship, passport number, driver’s license number, etc). I also had to have that information sighted by a prescribed person who could be either a police officer, lawyer, commissioner for declarations (commissioner of oaths), or a justice of peace (JP).

I thought this step would be easy enough. There’s a community police station near my house, so I decided to drop in yesterday and meet an officer. He called the main office and confirmed his suspicions – police officers are no longer allowed to sight such documents without personally knowing the applicant. Apparently, I would have to see a justice of peace.

Couldn’t argue with that. Fortunately, the bus right outside the station takes me directly to the courthouse where I asked to meet a JP. I was politely turned down and was told that JPs are only involve themselves with documents pertaining to criminal matters… and mine were not. Try City Hall next door instead, ask to see a commissioner of Oaths.

Alright. So I did. Half an hour and a fee of $37 later, I finally got what I came for. And the lady helping me was wonderful… thank goodness.

Too bad for me, because I came home to finalize my application only to realize that I also needed her to certify the photocopies of my identification. Eff!!! I would have to go back, hopefully find her working (had to be the same person sighting all documents) and hopefully not be charged a second time.

I woke up to rain today. SO SAD. And the lady from yesterday wasn’t working today, even sadder. I must have been good lately though, because luck was on my side. Another lady assisted me, I was able to print off an extra copy and have her sight all my papers, at no additional charge. There weren’t other people in line so we even had a nice chat about why I needed this police check and subsequently, my future adventure in Australia. Lovely lady.

Despite the depressing rain, I happily stood under my umbrella to wait for the bus afterwards.

Morals of the day: Rainy days aren’t always depressing. Read instructions. Double check all your documents before and after you fill them out. When in doubt, bring extra copies of everything. Oh, and if you have a similar application, I guess don’t waste your time and just go to City Hall!

Pet peeves…

… I have many! Heh.

On a normal day, I have a lot of patience. I think I can be quite understanding, usually giving people the benefit of the doubt, and I’m rarely too quick to judge.

Sometimes though… I can’t help it. If I encounter any of the below (let’s call these SUPER PEEVES), I get irked. Rub them in my face, and I just might rip you apart… not literally of course. 😀

These are my top super peeves (pretty much just actions I hate):

1) SMOKING. I understand, it’s a personal choice, like drinking alcohol, eating fast food, etc. And sometimes, it’s an addiction that’s too hard to overcome. I get it. It is your body, I can’t really judge you for what you do with it. What I absolutely abhor seeing, however, are parents smoking around their kids. Are you kidding me? Subjecting your own children, who are too young to make their own decisions, to such filthiness? Especially when it’s more harmful towards them than you? Disgustingly selfish. There should be no excuse for that kind of action, and it might be judgmental of me, but it does make me wonder if such people are fit to be good parents. On the other hand, it doesn’t bother me as much to see smokers around adult-nonsmokers. I’m going to assume you are mature enough to think for yourself whether or not you want to inhale second-hand smoke. You can bet I would never hang around for that sort of thing. I also think fines for lighting up in no-smoking areas should be more strongly reinforced. Many people just don’t care!

2) LITTERING. I don’t get it why people do it. Is it really THAT hard to hold onto your garbage until you pass by a garbage can or get home? It is so disrespectful to everyone around you, not to mention someone will probably be cursing you as they pick up the trash off their property.

3) SLOW WALKERS/WADDLERS. I’m naturally a very fast walker. I don’t like to waste my time dawdling when I know I can get somewhere faster. I have nothing against people who walk slow or like to take their time. What I can’t stand are those who are slow and think they own whatever space they’re walking in. Get out of the way! If you’re going to stand still while being on an escalator, don’t block the entire way and move to the side so others can pass you. If you’re going to leisurely walk down the sidewalk, move to the side when you hear/see someone coming near. Worse: If you’re with a group of people and you like to go at a snail’s pace while socializing, NEVER RANDOMLY STOP WALKING IN THE MIDDLE OF HALL/SIDEWALK AND MAKE EVERYONE ELSE MANEUVER AROUND YOU. Geez!

4) REFUSING TO APOLOGIZE. This is just stupid and immature. If you’ve done something wrong, you apologize. It’s simple, a fact of life. How can you be a part of society if you can’t even take responsibility for your actions? One person I know, committed perhaps the gravest sin I’ve ever witnessed. When I asked him how come he never once made an effort to apologize for his actions, he answered, “Because what I had planned to happen, never went through successfully. Therefore, I have not sinned.” What the eff! So… a person being charged for attempted murder is innocent because the person he/she wanted dead is still alive?

This post is beginning to give off super negative vibes, so that will be all. Haha. In general, I pretty much hate it when people behave selfishly, without thinking about how their actions affect those around them, being irresponsible and immature.

*Rant of the week. Over.*

[Note: Pictures used in this post are linked to their respective sources]

The best selection of music…

… for me to study with, to relax to, and to seek inspiration from is hands down any piece by Yiruma, a South-Korean pianist who grew up in England.

To be honest, although I have been listening to his work for years, I don’t remember under what YouTube-context I encountered my first Yiruma song, ‘Kiss The Rain.’ I have a strong suspicion fanmade Final Fantasy videos might have played a role though…

Yiruma is well known across Asia and Europe, but I think he has especially gained popularity in the Americas the past few years due to his song, ‘River Flows in You’ being falsely attributed as Bella’s lullaby. Ugh, Twilight affiliation!!! (I really hope no crazy fans read this by chance… O_O, I don’t want to die so young)

All of his albums are great, each one unique with its own theme and story. Rather than make your heart beat faster with climactic waves, his music is very soft and extremely soothing.  His pieces seem to be conveyed through simplicity but they never fail to pull at your emotions.

I don’t have a favourite album (there are so many!) but I share with you my top 3 favourites pieces:

Kiss the Rain (3rd album – Poemusic)

River Flows in You (2nd album – First Love)

[Bonus: Sungha’s guitar rendition, best I’ve seen. He is my favourite young guitarist. If you don’t remember, I mentioned him in a previous post]

May Be (2nd album – First Love)

I hope you enjoyed them! 🙂 If you are interested, visit his official website (it’s mostly in Korean though).

Lots of pretty sights…

… around and inside the Parliament Building!

My favourite shots from our visit with Ong Ba Tam, Uncle Thanh, and Zach just last week. I think I will go back by myself one day to take better pictures. Preferably on a weekday so it’s not so crowded as well. The architecture is beautiful and for a short while, politics was of interest to me! 😛

(Hover for captions, click for larger!)

Earlier this year…

… I started using a piggy moneybank, specifically for one reason: My New Laptop Fund.

Since I’ll be studying in Australia for a number of years (where electronics just have to be much more expensive!), I’ve decided it’s essential to buy a new one before I go.

The collection started out in a mini sharps container:


Until I realized sneaking money out of the container to spend was backfiring on me. So, I started using a money-tin-can that couldn’t be tampered with. Yesterday, I finally caved and opened it… with a can opener. Haha


Guess how much I had saved?!?! A little over $760! I feel baller… just a little.

So now the question is: Mac or PC? :O

It’s always easier…

… to get stuff done when people know what you’re supposed to be doing!

Therefore, I hereby announce that starting tomorrow, I shall be an early riser! Don’t judge me! 😦 I’ve been waking up around 10-11am when I don’t have prior engagements, and this, is no longer acceptable.

Of course, I’m all for relaxation and chilling when you’re on ‘vacation,’ but my time in Canada is running out, and I still have too much to do!! If I’ve survived the majority of the past 5 years in university on less than 6 hours of sleep, I can certainly do it now!

Listen to me… trying to reason with my own brain! >.<

*Sigh. Sets alarm clock for 6:30am*

New dining…

… room floor!

Well, not new, more like… refurbished. Hahaha!

Another job done by Rick! It still needs to be touched up in places… but looks good for now! 😛

Edit: It looked good… but a thorough cleaning job wasn’t done after the sanding, so the finish was completely grainy. 😦 I ended up re-sanding and painting it myself -_-‘

Before:

After:

Next up: Our kitchen floor. We’ll finally be doing what my dad had been wanting to for years… replacing our linoleum (I think) floor with tiles! Those brown tiles by the front door will be replaced as well. 😀

Down with the ancient…

… and up with the new!

On October 2nd, Rick (my uncle Khuong’s brother in law), his brother, mom, and son tore down our old garage (yay). The poor thing was rotting away and probably could have collapsed had we not installed some support beams last year.

Tearing it down and neatly clearing it away took a few hours, thanks Rick (and family)! Man, I realized, our property is huge. With the garage gone, we could build another house if we wanted to!

Then on October 23, 2010, Rick was back to help us erect the new (pre-packaged) wooden shed we bought at Lowe’s (thank you awesome sales!). Trading in a garage for a shed? Well, yes. Why not? We no longer have a car, and even when we did, it was never stored in the garage. Our 10×12 feet garage should fit everything we need! Thanks Rick again for your work!

And then the weather became cold. And then it was rainy… for many days. Finally, the weather became nice enough to get all the painting done, a number of different interior/exterior coats over a number of days. HUMONGOUS THANK YOU to my grandpa who helped IMMENSELY… I couldn’t have done it without him!

Watch The Backyard Adventure!

DEBT…

… here I come!

Sooo… I’ve been able to secure 250K to finance my scarilyawesomeadventuretime in Australia, aka med school. GAH! I would be happier with 300K, however, with the addition of OSAP, I should be able to survive… hopefully!

If not… you will help me out, right?

Hello…? Anyone there? A friend? …Anyone?

*crickets*

😦

Remember…

the post I made about Rockin Johnny’s?

It’s time I made another similar one – specifically regarding the new Dollarama that recently opened in St Laurent Shopping Centre. It is located directly beside the mall entrance from the transit station. In other words, many people pass by it, many people see it, many people visit it. Oh, can’t forget, it is THE MOST popular dollar store in Ottawa.

What happens to be directly across from it? A convenience store that has been there for as long as I can remember, selling overpriced snacks, drinks, candy, etc. Unfortunately for them, Dollarama has stolen any of their customers that would’ve stopped to get something that is now available at Dollarama.

Every single time I’ve gone into the Dollarama at St Laurent, it has been to buy snacks on the go. And EVERY TIME I’ve gone to the cash, I look up across the hall to the convenience store to see the owner glaring back into the store. You can tell, he is fuuuuurious.

Dolllarama only recently opened, and obviously there are still items you can only purchase from the convenience store (cigarettes, magazines/newspapers, lottery tickets, etc), but one has to wonder if and for how long they will be able to stay in business. Good luck to them!

Inception…

… the best movie I’ve seen this year! I can’t believe it took me this long to watch it. 😦

[I can hear your “I told you so” ringing in my ears, Amin.]

Easily the most impressive, trippiest, (at times even funny) and well thought out movie I’ve watched in… a long time. This was totally my genre of movie, and the fact that everything made sense to me only made it more awesome. I especially loved the movie’s interpretation of dreams, the kicks, and how each layer meant an exponential increase in time. Life makes more sense to me now! Hahaha! The action sequences were awesome… floating in a hallway without gravity while fighting off bad guys is definitely something I want to do once in my life.

My siblings and I are tempted to rewatch this movie, soon. And we probably will. Heh.

JYJ…

… in New York!

Who…what?!

JYJ (Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu) are 3 members of my favourite group of all time – DBSK. I will not go into their history and how they’ve gone from DBSK to JYJ… that would take way too long and to be honest, I would not be able to do them justice.

They recently released an album called The Beginning… and for the first time in history, they are holding concerts in America (New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles) as part of their worldwide tour. Scratch that, they’re not concerts, but showcases, with around only 6 songs to be performed.

Oh, how I was so pumped to attend the NY leg of their tour. Unfortunately, I was slapped in the face with the price of around $200 per ticket, plus about $200 in transportation, and not including hotel and other expenses. I gave up, however optimistic that there will be another chance to see them in person.

Their NY showcase was scheduled to take place on November 12. The night of the 11th, I found out… their concert was now FREE. Remaining tickets would be given out on a first come first serve basis and those who had already bought tickets would get a full refund. ALKSDJFSLHJFDHGFDG!!!! That’s pretty much what went through my mind.

Why did it become free? Because for reasons currently unknown to us, JYJ were not approved for their Work Visas and instead of disappointing all the fans, many of whom were coming in from all over America, they decided to go ahead with it… at their expenses. How I love them. And how I lamented when I realized I COULD’VE gone.

But then I remembered, I had family visiting earlier that day, people who I rarely get to see. Would I have left them to hop on a bus to NY if I had found out earlier? No, I wouldn’t. 🙂

Super psyched to hear their showcase went well though. Thousands of people showed up for an event with only 3400 seating capacity. Tons of fans who couldn’t get in waited outside until the showcase ended to cheer on JYJ as they left. And the fan cams are aweeesome. Once again, they did not fail in showcasing why they are some of the most talented artists in Asia.

So my wish continues! To one day attend a JYJ (or even better, a DBSK) concert!!! 😀

In the meantime, I’m listening to the album… again!

REMIXES:

9. Ayyy Girl (S Tiger Remix) (This song sounds SO MUCH BETTER without Kanye West, IMO)

10. Empty (DJ Eon Remix)

11. Be My Girl (DJ Eon Remix)

Relatives…

… come to visit!

After much anticipation and planning on both sides, Ong Ba Tam (Ong Tam is my grandpa’s brother), their son Thanh and his nephew, Truong, drove up to Ottawa from Hamilton to visit our family (November 10-11).

Ong Ba Tam reside in Hamilton, Uncle Thanh flew in from Edmonton and his nephew was visiting from Vancouver. Ong Tam is very similar to my grandpa, both physically and personality wise. One can obviously see the physical resemblance of brothers, but even more so are their strong wills and thought for others around them. While my grandparents were happily prepared to do everything as hosts, Ong Ba Tam also did everything to deny such services, worried about being burdensome. You are never a burden!

The evening of November 10th was spent at my grandparents just catching up. The majority of our family came by to visit, including some family friends. The night ended late with Ong Ba Tam, Cau Thanh and Truong going back to their hotel to rest.

Our guests came back to my grandparents’ house the following day for lunch, my second uncle (Cau Hai) was there as well. Lunch was followed by a visit to Parliament Hill, including a tour (yay, I got to be a tourist too). Cau Hai also had plans for a boat tour on the Rideau River but unfortunately, the elders were tired. Instead, he drove us all back to his house for a short visit, then back to my grandparents’ house.

After a lovely dinner of rice with quail and watercress salad, the elders stayed home with family members coming by to visit. I had the chance to hang out with Uncle Thanh and Truong. It wasn’t too cold, so we had a nice stroll and chat down Elgin, through Rideau and into Byward Market. I had an awesome time and it was great getting to know them. I also learned from Uncle Thanh that Dunn’s is famous for their Montreal Smoked Meat… what?! As if the only reason I know Dunn’s and have been going there all these years is due to their $3 breakfasts! I am ashamed. Hahaha. We stopped in to check it out (yes, even after just eating dinner) and I have to say… delicious. Will be back!

Ong Ba Tam had already gone back to the hotel while we were still out so we went back to my grandparents house in order for him and Truong to say farewell to the family. They were on a tight schedule and would have to leave in the morning straight from their hotel.

The visit was way too short, but our family had a great time. I hope our guests enjoyed themselves too 😀 We all hope to see everyone again soon!

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICTURES
(I’m usually much better with the camera… I apologize in advance for lack of quality in these photos! :()

Goodbye old friend…

… you shall be missed!

On October 1, 2010, we finally had my dad’s van towed away – a blue 1996 Chevrolet Lumina. Although it had been faithful to my dad, it started acting up and giving us problems a few years ago. Quite a number of fond memories… The trips my dad took us on, the things we saw, the people we rode with, etc. The many times it just died on the street, like that one time when downtown construction workers stopped their job in order to help us push it off the road. And that one time it died while I was driving… luckily I was able to steer it into a parking lot! Ahhhh, the first car I drove after getting my license. *tear*

A month after my dad passed away, the plates expired. In order to renew them, we had to transfer ownership to my mom (costs $!) and have an e-test performed. It was guaranteed the van wouldn’t pass the e-test because the muffler (I think that’s what it’s called in English) was damaged. I had also backed out onto a glass bottle (who the eff leaves them lying around… ON OTHER PEOPLE’S DRIVEWAYS NO LESS) and punctured a tire. We tried to mend it a few times to no avail.

All in all, we finally decided it wasn’t worth the expenses to keep the van. My mom wishes she could store the van forever, in memory of my dad. But unfortunately (or is it fortunately) it’s not very feasible, so… she can keep the plates instead. 😛

Lots of updates…

… coming up!

Stay tuned, hehe. I’ve been blog-lazy the past few days, especially because I’ve been pretty busy. Hoping to churn out a few entries this weekend!

Have a great night and enjoy the lovely weather! ❤

Spot the fake smile…

… take the following BBC survey!

You’ll be given a series of 20 videos of different people smiling. You will only be able to play each video once, and then you will have to choose whether you think the person’s smile was genuine or fake.

I got 19/20, pretty neat!

CLICK HERE TO START SURVEY

Take a look around the site once you’re done, BBC has a lot cool stuff! 😀

Why…

… am I so poor?

With student loans and soon to be GINORMOUS bank loans? T_T Ahh, if only I bought lottery tickets and could win the lottery! >_<

Nick Vujicic…

… an Australian man who inspires those who hear his story while bringing tears to their eyes.

A while ago, I came across this young and incredible man on YouTube… and he made me cry.

Today, I share his story with you. Please watch the short clip below!

The challenges he has overcome, his positive outlook on life, his continuous drive to do what he loves, and his dedication to others and his faith… are all so very admirable. Watching his videos and listening to him talk, I feel almost guilty and ashamed for ever complaining about my struggles in life, which barely compare to his. He’s an inspiration for many people, including me, to always strive for the best given what you have.

If you are interested in learning more about Nick, visit: Life Without Limbs and/or Nick Vujicic.

I just made a huge…

… music update (:

Check out the tab above or you can CLICK HERE.

I’ve been reminiscing about the past recently, and of course, that includes music as it plays a huge role in my life. Although my tastes expand and I listen to a whole variety of music, once I like a song, I’m attached to it forever.

Tonight, I listened to all my old favourites and fell in love all over again. I’ve posted some in MUSIC ON MY MIND for you to check out. 😛 I’m sure there is something for everyone. Lots of oldies but goodies, some classics as well. Every song has its own appeal, whether that be its singer, the lyrics, the melody, etc.

Thought it would be a nice change with respect to all the Asian songs I’ve been posting! Enjoy… hopefully! 😀

The Paradox of Our Age…

We have taller buildings but shorter tempers;
wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints;
we spend more, but have less;
we buy more, but enjoy less;
we have bigger houses and smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;
we have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgment;
more experts, yet more problems;
more medicine, but less wellness;
we take more vitamins but see fewer results.

We drink too much;
smoke too much;
spend too recklessly;
laugh too little;
drive too fast;
get too angry;
stay up too late;
get up too tired;
read too little;
watch TV too much and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values;
we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner;
we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits;
we talk too much;
love too seldom and lie too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life;
we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

We conquered outer space, but not inner space;
we’ve done larger things, but not better things;
we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul;
we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice;
we write more, but learn less;
plan more, but accomplish less;
we make faster planes,  but longer lines;
we learned to rush, but not to wait;
we have more weapons, but less peace;
higher incomes, but lower morals;
more parties, but less fun;
more food, but less appeasement;
more acquaintances, but fewer friends;
more effort, but less success.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication;
drive smaller cars that have bigger problems;
build larger factories that produce less.

We’ve become long on quality, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion;
tall men, but short character;
steep in profits, but shallow relationships.

These are times of world peace, but domestic warfare;
more leisure and less fun;
higher postage, but slower mail;
more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are the days of two incomes, but more divorces;
these are the times of fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, cartridge living, throw-away morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. Indeed these are the times!

(Written by: Bob Moorehead, former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church)

So…

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment, for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

(Written by: Unknown)

Many things have been on my mind lately and these 2 pieces sum them up very well. Maybe reading them will make you think about certain things as well. (:

I know that I have made and will make choices in my life that I’ll live with until the day I die. What I put into life will directly correlate to what I can get out of it. My ethics and how I treat others will allow others to see who I truly am, whether I want that or not. Curve balls will be thrown at me, but I hope to be able to react to them appropriately and grow throughout the journey.

Many people inspire me to be a better person, I hope to always put forth my best efforts with the purest intentions, remain a good person, and never regret my decisions in life.

Learning about me…

… through recycling! Really, really!

Hahaha. So I was going through my Facebook notes and came across one I posted back in 2007, a quiz with 100 questions. I decided to redo the quiz (although many of my answers remained unchanged) and post it here! 😀

1. ONE OF YOUR SCARS, HOW DID YOU GET IT?
I have one on my chest, because I failed to make over the fence one time when I was little… fail.

2. WHAT DOES YOUR CELL PHONE LOOK LIKE?
Black, and very plain.

3. WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO?
I listen to a lot of fobby stuff these days – Korean, Viet, Japanese, etc.

4. DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME YOU WERE BORN?
No… do you?

5. WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW?
More time.

6. WHAT DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
Spending time with my dad.

7. WHAT IS YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?
I don’t really have any prized possessions. This blog is valuable to me though, contains many memories and thoughts I will definitely want to look back at on sometime in the future.

8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SMELL?
A candle after it has been snuffed.

9. DO YOU GET CLAUSTROPHOBIC?
No.

10. DO YOU GET SCARED IN THE DARK?
Not really. If you can’t see anything, what is there to scare you?

11. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOGNE / PERFUME TO WEAR?
My current favourite is Lacoste’s Pour Femme.

12. WHAT KIND OF HAIR DO YOU LIKE ON THE OPPOSITE SEX?
I like fobby hair. Messy but groomed.

13. HOW CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF BEING PROPOSED TO?
I never imagine this kind of stuff… let it go with the flow.

14. COFFEE OR ENERGY DRINKS?
Gross. Neither. I’ll take water any day.

15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING?
Pineapple and mushrooms… although not together.

16. IF YOU CAN EAT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Pizza?

17. WHO IS THE LAST PERSON YOU MADE MAD?
I don’t remember, but probably my brother, heh.

18. DO YOU SPEAK A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE?
English, Vietnamese, and French. I can also speak a tiny bit of Mandarin and Korean… thank you Asian dramas! 😀

19. WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIFT SOMEONE EVER GAVE YOU (OF THE OPPOSITE SEX)?
I don’t even remember what I did last week…

20. WOULD YOU FALL IN LOVE KNOWING THAT THE PERSON IS LEAVING?
Yes. Would you rather have loved than not loved at all?

21. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TELL SOMEONE HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU?
Give them a big warm hug… especially when they’re not expecting it.

22. A NUMBER FROM ONE TO A HUNDRED?
2… more months until I leave. 😦

23. BLONDES OR BRUNETTES?
Darkheads.

24. WHAT IS THE ONE NUMBER YOU CALL OFTEN?
613-560-1000

25. WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST?
Many things. I will make a separate post about my pet peeves post later on. Hah.

26. HAS ANYONE EVER SPIT ON U?
Do that and I’ll beat your ass.

27. YOUR WEAKNESS?
I procrastinate… way too much.

28. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
Paid? Gymboree.

29. EVER DONE A PRANK CALL?
Many.

30. WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU FILLED OUT THIS SURVEY?
Facebook.

31. IF YOU COULD GET PLASTIC SURGERY WHAT WOULD IT BE?
My toes… I have weird toes.

32. WHY DID YOU FILL OUT THIS SURVEY?
See above?

33. WHAT DO YOU GET COMPLIMENTED ABOUT MOST?
Uhm, how manly I am? Hahaha.

34. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF ALCOHOL BECAME ILLEGAL?
Good bye many tasty food dishes. 😦

35. WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?
A trip around the world… all inclusive of course.

36. HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU WANT?
2… maybe 3

37. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Nope.

38. DO YOU WISH ON STARS?
Sometimes.

39. WHICH FINGER[S] IS YOUR FAVORITE?
I don’t have one, they’re all fat and sometimes slow me down, lol.

40. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY?
Not recently.

41. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Yes I do.

42. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Polish coil.

43. ANY BAD HABITS?
Definitely too many. Procrastination is my #1.

44. WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING CD YOU OWN?
I’ve accepted that my tastes are not embarrassing, perhaps sometimes outdated. 😛

45. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I would like to think so…

46. DO LOOKS MATTER?
They’re the first impression.. you tell me, DO they matter?

47. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER?
Verbal spewing then silent stewing.

48. WHERE IS YOUR SECOND HOME?
It used to be the University of Ottawa, now I don’t have one…

49. DO YOU TRUST OTHERS EASILY?
Yes, and that’s usually because I don’t associate with those who are untrustworthy to begin with.

50. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD?
My kitchen play set.

51. DO YOU USE SARCASM?
Pretty often.

52. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A MOSH PIT?
No, and I would probably be too scared to get into one.

53. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GUY/GIRL?
If I ever fall for you, you will know. Although I’m currently convinced I want to marry a chef. A savoury chef would be awesome but a pastry chef would be awesomer.

54. WHAT ARE YOUR NICKNAMES?
Sand and Sandar come up a lot.

55. DO YOU UN-TIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
No, who has time for that!

56. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?
Mint chocolate chip.

57. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COLORS?
Blue and green hues. I also like black and red at times.

58. HOW MANY WISDOM TEETH DO YOU HAVE?
I used to have 4, now I have none.

59. WHO/WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST RIGHT NOW?
Didn’t we answer this question already?

60. DO YOU WANT OTHERS TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?
If they have nothing better to do.

61. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Would Never Be Real by J Lim.

62. LAST THING YOU ATE?
Pho ga (Vietnamese chicken noodle soup)

63. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My mom’s friend.

64. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE IN THE PREFERRED SEX?
Appearance, duh.

65. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Edmonton.

66. SCARIEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO YOU?
I don’t really recall anything at the moment.

67. FAVORITE DRINK?
Just water.

68. FAVORITE JOKE?
This is horrible, but baby jokes make me laugh…

69. FAVORITE SPORT?
Um, is sleeping considered a sport?

70. YOUR HAIR COLOR?
Dark brown, not black.

71. YOUR EYE COLOR?
Brown.

72. DO YOU WEAR GLASSES?
If I want to read something afar, yes.

73. SIBLINGS?
2

74. FAVORITE MONTH?
Spring months.

75. YOU LIKE SUSHI?
UH HUH.

76. LAST THING YOU WATCHED?
Legally Blond, it was on TV today.

77. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR?
Christmas.

78. ARE YOU TOO SHY TO ASK SOMEONE OUT?
It depends.

79.SUMMER OR WINTER?
Winter, always.

80. REALTIONSHIP OR ONE NIGHT STAND?
Relationship, obviously.

81. WHO DO YOU SECRETLY LOVE?
If I did love someone secretly… it would be a secret?

82. FAVORITE SONG AT THE MOMENT?
Would Never Be Real by J Lim.

83. LAKE OR OCEAN?
Definitely ocean, the vastness!

84. BIGGEST TURNOFF?
Smelliness, insecurity, cockiness.

85. LAST TIME YOU SAW YOUR BEST FRIEND?
I don’t have friends a best friend.

86. PET PEEVES?
Refer to #25.

87. LAST TEXT YOU RECEIVED?
A spam text from Amin.

88. DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH?
Does a celebrity crush count?

89. DO YOU WISH YOU CAN SEE ANYONE PARTICULAR RIGHT NOW?
Of course.

90. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NAME?
I particularly like Opal right now.

91. HIGH SCHOOL YOU ATTENTED/ ARE ATTENDING?
Immaculata High School.

92. WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
In our study room.

93. ARE YOU SMILING?
No… this quiz isn’t that smile jerking.

94. WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?
Pajamas, socks, and a sweater that belonged to my dad.

95. ARE YOU IN LOVE?
Nope. But I do love certain people!

96. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
It changes constantly but right now, Iron Man 1&2

97. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG?
Hmm, see above.

98. ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A RELATIONSHIP?
Nope.

99. EVER BEEN DRUNK?
No sir.

100. PLAN ON GETTING DRUNK SOON?
Hah, nooo.

 

 

Time…

… where does it all go?

Exactly 2 months until I leave for Australia, the day is coming faster than I ever imagined. Constantly busy, there are so many things that I still want to do!

My uncle reminded me the other day that everyone should try to make their lives less stressful and fast-paced. He’s right, I’m guilty of that too. As time goes on, we try harder and harder to fit more things into a day while stretching ourselves thinner and overall decreasing certain qualities of our lives.

Everyone should work hard, many enjoyable things in life are privileges earned through sweat and tears. However, the most fulfilling lives are balanced between work and pleasure – quality wise, not quantity. An hour of relaxation doing something one truly enjoys may be enough to fully recharge someone after a weeks’ worth of work, everyone is different.

Although work may be very important, sometimes, if you don’t enjoy life the way you want to now (enjoy, not abuse) there’s a possibility you may never be able to do so. That was one of the hardest lessons my dad learned closer to his passing. From the time he stepped foot on Canadian soil, working was his top priority. With pretty much only the clothes on his back, he threw himself into working to provide for his family, and to build for his children a strong foundation, making sure they did not lack any necessities in life. Not knowing the English language, he endured racism and discrimination, many times breaking down and crying during breaks. This only fueled him to work harder. He preferred not to eat out, rarely dared to take sick leave, even when he was extremely ill, and usually only took paid vacation days. Why? Because it meant more money to support his family. He loved the pizzeria near his work. A slice of pizza was only $2, but he hardly ever treated himself. And when he did, he would bring a can of pop from home, only to save his family that bit of money.This is the kind of enjoyment I hope no one is holding themselves back from.

By the time we had grown up enough for him to feel like he could start to relax, fate turned the tables on him. Diagnosis: liver cancer. The man who never wanted to make time for himself because he was first devoted to his family was time-robbed. At first, he couldn’t go out for very long because it was too tiring, but soon, he wasn’t able to leave home at all. As much as he wanted to eat the foods he loved, he simply couldn’t as the diseased progressed. We were sad, but he was sadder. He finally understood, and he was regretful, it showed in his actions. Despite his condition, he began to continuously encourage us to go out, eat and do activities we enjoyed. He didn’t do it enough, and now he won’t ever have the chance to do it again.

It’s definitely hard trying not to make the same mistake; life is a whirlwind and I constantly feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day. I was glad to hear my uncle’s reminder.

Take a break from your hectic schedules, clear your mind of work and school related thoughts, take some time for yourself and do something you enjoy 🙂 Have a great night.

I guess I should be sleeping…

… since I’m done!

But first, an update. Every time our family gets together for the death anniversary of a loved one, we hold a prayer session. My grandparents have been providing our family members with photocopied versions of the prayers recited, straight from the original book. However, because the original had already become worn over the years, the photocopies were faded and sometimes hard to read.

I had promised to retype the prayers and make new booklets, which I finally got around to completing. Unfortunately, a whole segment from one prayer was missing (oopsies, carelessness) so I had to reprint a few pages, but they’re finally done! Yay.

New light green and baby blue prayer booklets, enough for everyone at the next gathering! (:

Bedtime now! Accompanying my grandparents with my uncle for an appointment this morning… can’t be late,  no sleeping in! 😛