Monday, May 07, 2007

More proof that I'm getting old

I will be turning 43 in a couple of months, an event which I have no problem with whatsoever. Being Chinese, I hide my age extremely well (it's no wonder that, according to an old Doonesbury strip, us Chinese are "an extremely tricky race"). I'm moderately fit, having to go to the gym a couple of times a week and teach tai chi on most Monday, Wednesdays and Saturdays. And I pretty much had my middle-age crazy phase when I turned 30.

But as I get older, I'm finding out that my body doesn't want to do things. I twisted my ankle about three months ago and it has still yet to be completely healed. I caught a cold a few weeks back which took about a week for me to recover from it (whereas it used to take two days to get over it). And I get tired easier these days.

The real kicker for me took place over the weekend. My friend Joe Hoss and I decided to head down to Casino Niagara to watch the De La Hoya/Mayweather fight on Saturday night as it was billed as the last great boxing match. We decided to head down for 9 pm, gamble a bit and then sit and watch the fight, which was showing all over the place.

Everything goes off as planned. I drop some money playing the slots (unable to find a machine with bonuses to my liking), had a couple of drinks and then we managed to find a couple of chairs in the middle of the casino to watch the fight, which finally started around 11:30. So here we are, watching this fight right in the heart of the casino, which is really hopping and it happens: I nodded off during half of the fight!!

It is now official: I am now getting too old.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Pivot Questionnaire

It's been a while since I have the opportunity or the inspiration to write something on this blog. But now that tax season has calmed down, I will try and be more diligent in my writing which I have neglected for a long time. I hope to start up my movie reviews again and posting it here.

So in the meantime, I am tagging any fellow bloggers or readers who have stumbled upon this site to answer the Pivot Questionnaire, created by Bernard Pivot and made famous by James Lipton who asks this on Inside the Actor's Studio. Here are my answers:

1) What is your favourite word? 'Yes', 'GOOOAAL!!' and 'Break time' (I know it's two words)

2) What is your least favourite word? 'No'

3) What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Laughter, music, good friends, great conversations and the love of a beautiful woman.

4) What turns you off? Negativity, stupidity, ignorance and people who screw up the lyrics to songs.

5) What is your favourite curse word? Rat soup-eating muther-fucka (props to Rudy Ray Moore for that one).

6) What sound or noise do you love? Laughter, light rain.

7) What sound or noise do you hate? Alarms/sirens, people screaming in anger.

8) What profession other than your own would like to attempt? Film directing, music teacher or historian.

9) What profession would you not like to do? Retail sales at a large book store like Chapters (been there, done that, have the scars to prove it).

10) If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Your father is anxious to see you.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Variations of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'

Of all the classic Christmas specials shown on the telly this time of the year, my all-time favourite is A Charlie Brown Christmas. I don't know if it's the story, the Vince Guaraldi jazz soundtrack, Linus' explanation of the meaning of Christmas or the loopy dances that each character does, I can never get tired of watching this program.

Anyways, in the past few years I've seem some truly inspired remixes of this show. Last year was some indie production house that made a cult video for OutKast's "Hey Ya" using parts of the cartoon. This year, I stumbled onto a great little short when going on the blog by Televisionary that featured A Charlie Brown Christmas voiced by the cast of Scrubs. You can see it on by clicking here.

Hope this puts you in the Christmas spirit.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I'm simply stunned by what happened today.

Earlier, I was dragged kicking and screaming by my sifu into into participating in a martial arts tournament sponsored by my club (Wushu International out in Burlington). I really didn't want to compete mostly because for the past year I have been instructing more than training (thus my tai chi skills have deteriorated to, in my opinion, a sub-par level).

By the end of the day, I ended up getting three gold medals and somehow becoming Grand Champion in my age group.

All I can say is "What the f@#*?!"

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Gone to the Motherland

An opportunity came my way and I was able to visit China for two weeks at a ridiculously good price ($2000 CDN which included travel, hotel and food). Even though I can barely understand Cantonese and my Mandarin is even worse, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit the Motherland, even if it meant participating in two lion dance competitions through my martial arts club.

My trip took me to Hong Kong, Fo Shan, Wuzhou, and Beijing and all I can say to those who have never had the opportunity to visit, it is a totally different world over there and I'm not referring culturally. It's not an issue about the weather or the crowds of people but the lifestyle. It's fast-paced, aggressive and very materialistic. No wonder the Communist Party have brought in capitalism for the masses - give the people the opportunity to make scads of money and they could care less about what's going on.

Anyways, two weeks there isn't enough time there (that could barely cover most of the sites in Beijing alone) and I know that I will have to go back when the opportunity presents (I still have to try and climb the steps to reach Shaolin Temple). I guess I'll have to start some Mandarin classes.

Anyways, here are a few thoughts and observations about China:
  • The smog/pollution factor is quite bad, so much so that it was on my day before I left that I could see clearly beyond three or four blocks.
  • For some reason, the Chinese really love the song "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music. In my two weeks there, I managed to hear the song five times. Also, one TV channel in Beijing was showing The Sound of Music in one hour parts over three days.
  • In the south, a motor scooter is essentially a vehicle for a family of four. I couldn't keep count of the number of times I saw entire families travelling on vespas and other types of scooters. (for those trying to figure out how everyone fits, usually the father is driving, the eldest child is standing and holding onto the handlebars, the mother is on the backseat with her arms wrapped around her husband and their baby is between them.
  • The south also features the largest flying insects I've ever seen (the humidity must help make them grow big).
  • The traffic lines on the streets are there merely as a suggestion for drivers to follow.
  • Getting your hair done in China, be it a cut or just a shampoo, includes a full body massage. However, there is no frontal release (for those naughty readers who were curious)
  • Bartering is a way of life there. If you're out shopping, don't show any interest as they will drop the price for you (and then you bargain it down further). Incidently, except in the major cities, they don't speak English but they do communicate via calculator.
  • Be warned that salespersons are very aggressive when customers come near their store. At one point I was watching this Korean woman trying to leave a shoe store, and the salesperson was holding onto her arm wanting her not to go. The same can be said for street hawkers.
  • Everybody smokes (NOTE: of the numerous cigarette brands there, the one that stood out for me was "Double Happiness Cigarettes").
  • If you find yourself at any banquet where you're a guest of honor, be prepared to get drunk. Those in attendance will go out of their way to get you pissed by giving toasts with Chinese rice wine. That stuff could probably strip paint off boats.
  • In the north, you can eat scorpion-on-a-stick from street vendors. (NOTE: wasn't brave enough to eat that, but I did manage to eat praying mantis and another giant insect whose name escapes me).
  • The Forbidden City features 9999.5 rooms, which apparently a half-a-room less than how many there are in heaven (so it was believed).
  • Apparently you're not a real man until you climb the Great Wall. Incidently, the Great Wall at Badaling (there are three areas where you can drive to reach the Wall) also features a gondola ride and a mini-rollercoaster.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Lucky Day

For some odd reason, this past Tuesday (June 27 for those of you scoring at home) ended up being a lucky day for me. That day, I collected $130 for my third place finish from the Stanley Cup office pool (not bad considering I didn't even follow the regular hockey season and made my choices at the last minute), I won a couple of contests at work (including choosing France to beat Spain in the World Cup) and a girl from my past emailed me asking me out for tea.

Being the pessimist that I am, I'm certain that the law of averages will catch up to me and I'll get hit by a car or something.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Got Tagged

3 Names U go By: Robert, Bob, Ken-Ting

3 Screen Names U Have Had: Big Poppa, Bobemite, Bobcat

3 Things U Like about Yourself: Quick-witted (in my opinion), ability to size up a situation, determination

3 Things U Don’t Like about Yourself: My teeth, my gut (molson muscle), my snoring.

3 Parts of Your Heritage: Canadian, Chinese (Cantonese)

3 Things that Scare U: Stupid people in charge, getting a terminal illness, global war

3 of Your Everyday Essentials: Shower, deodorant, food

3 Things U are Wearing Right Now: White t-shirt with Beijing Olympic logo on the back, blue jeans, black boxer-briefs

3 of Your Favorite Bands or Musical Artists: Duke Ellington, U2, Bruce Springsteen

3 of Your Favorite Songs: "The Nearness of You" by Sarah Vaughn, "Jungleland" by Bruce Springsteen, "Big Poppa" by Notorious B.I.G.

3 Things U Want to Try in the Next 12 Months: Get my teeth fixed, get my contract with the Feds extended, Go to China and/or London

3 Things You Want in a Relationship: Independence, passion, being completely comfortable with each other (when not in passion)

2 Truths and a Lie: Have performed with Paul Anka, had a beer with wrestling great "Classy" Freddie Blassie, Spent New Year's Eve in Times Square and watched a guy get pelted by bottles after peeing on a crowd atop a bus shelter.

3 Things about the Opposite Sex that Appeal to U: sense of humour, good conversationalist, breast size

3 Things about the Same Sex that Appeal to U: sense of humour, good conversationalist, breast size

3 Things U Just Cannot Do: Abandon my family, commit murder, vote Conservative

3 of Your Favorite Hobbies: Watching movies, playing sports, reading

3 Things U Want to do Really Bad Right Now: Fly out to Victoria, BC to talk to a certain person, fly out to London and get a ticket to see Arsenal play their last game at Highbury, relax on a beach

3 Careers U are Considering: Tai Chi Master, Writer, Movie extra

3 Places You Want to Go on Vacation: China, London, Paris

3 Kid’s Names: Emily, Conrad, Cassie

3 Things U Want to Do Before U Die: Achieve double happiness, visit the homeland, find the right woman

3 Ways U are Stereotypically a Boy: Watch sports, love women, fall asleep during the ballet

3 Ways U are Stereotypically a Chick: Religiously watch Gilmore Girls, love fashion, can be bitchy

3 Celeb Crushes: Alyson Hannigan, Judy Greer, Lauren Graham

3 People U Would Like to Complete This Quiz: See line above (most people I know have already done this quiz)