Tomodachi

For the past few months, I’ve been volunteering at an aquarium every Saturday morning, even if it meant not sleeping enough.

After last week’s shift, I ended up feeling rather dejected. Mostly (if mainly) because of how I didn’t seem to have actual friends there despite previous repertoire.

Of course, that’s not true. It’s just the feelings talking.

There’s this elder lady (Nikki) whom I would ride on the bus with on the way there. We would talk about things, with her asking me how my week went.

She was also thinking I was in high school given how young I look. Well, I am a vampire.

Today was unusual, in that it was unusually quiet with unusual absense. Even though the Work Experience people have left (except for two, judging by their shirts), there was still an air of absense. There were seven of us for the morning shift, and only one for the afternoon.

This past Thursday I was at the Aquarium for their evening adults-only event. That and today allowed me to live up to my fantasy ideal.

When you watch shows like GARO and Arrow, you’d end up feeling inspired to be a hero. Fortunately I am not crazy enough to go out beating bad guys, but helping people get somewhere, in some tiny way I get to be a hero.

During my break, I was sitting with two fellow volunteers (Jack & Victor), both of whom turned out to be about a decade younger than me, and both of whom knew someone I had met at a day camp eight years ago.

I wasn’t expecting them to be in high school, they weren’t expecting me to be as old as I was. And I had known Victor for a while at this point.

Before I went back to my volunteering, I was talking with Nikki and Jack. Three people having a conversation regardless of large gaps in age; truly, human connection has no bounds.
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After the shift, Jack and I went to see the filming of the Deadpool sequel. Twitter wasn’t being particularly helpful, so we went on our own, from one part of downtown to elsewhere (which had nothing) and back.

And it was a good idea to come back.

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I didn’t notice that we were walking past Cable but when I did, I took pictures. Thankfully, I got to take better pictures.

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I later learned that it was (apparently) a stunt double on Twitter. I don’t particularly know the actor, so I’d have to take the word on it.

Jack and I got to know one another during our adventure. And we vibe pretty well. He thought I can pass off as a juvenile student. I’m not kidding when I say I’m a vampire.

It’s always nice when you can get along well with someone, because they can be your friend for life.

Last week, I felt dejected. Today, it’s good knowing that I have good relations with fellow volunteers.

And it’s the perfect reason to come back every week.

Time is too fast / Library woes

Already, it’s April. Time surely is going by way too fast.

Whether you’re wasting your life away,
Or you’re actually doing something with it,
Time goes by.
You can’t really win.

At the very least, it’s better to live having things to do. Because you can look back and say, “Yeah, I did some cool things.”

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I don’t want to rag on the Richmond library, because they seem like decent people. But hot dang, why have I been having such a hard time getting DVDs to borrow? Burnaby library looks incredibly competent by comparison.

Recently, I had a Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation DVD on hold. Let’s say two days later, it was still not ready for borrowing. And adding insult to injury, that particular volume was supposed to be at the branch I had it on hold for, supposedly free for borrowing.

Going there myself was even worse: I couldn’t find it anything of that particular iteration of Ninja Turtles. I wound up going to a different branch and found a copy there.

Just last night, I went there to borrow the original Beauty and the Beast. Library said they had it, but I couldn’t find a single copy. I went there again today (Saturday) and still couldn’t find a single DVD copy, and yet somebody was able to borrow one (How????). There were two Blu-ray copies, so I borrowed one.

By contrast, the Burnaby library, when you put something on hold, it comes as fast as possible. Because of this consistency, you develop an expectation for libraries of other city districts. The only drawback is having to travel long distance.

As for the film, I liked it. Why is a guy like me watching Beauty and the Beast? I’m seeing EMMA WATSON ❤ the live-action film Sunday.

And why is a guy like me watching something like Beauty and the Beast? I’m a real man who likes Disney.

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[Friday]

I’ve been working on a secret project which involves me taking screenshots off the episodes uploaded on the official YouTube and saving them. Here’s an idea:

After that, I went to the Burnaby library to return DVDs of Arrow; I can’t say I want to add more to my $9.60 fine. Then I went to Chapters.

This past week I’ve been cruising through ULTRAMAN up to its latest volume (Vol. 8 comes out in May). I like thinking there are two splinter timelines after the original TV series, one that has the Ultra Brothers and all that stuff, while the other doesn’t have any more Ultraman protecting the Earth and thus creating their own.

Later that night, I watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine, except it took longer because the film kept lagging. Library DVDs don’t always have the greatest playback, but I particularly suspect it’s the VLC player’s fault; a known issue you can actually google.

I live and breathe this stuff.

Long day II

Sunday: I had trouble sleeping, so I chose not to attend a church service.

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The snow decided to make a return. I didn’t welcome it.

Is it because of the people’s stress rubbing off on me? I would say it’s because it’s not December therefore it has no place to be here.

When I looked out of the window in the modern church caféteria in the afternoon, it was dreary to see the thick snowfall.

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Last time I had pizza at the caféteria, I enjoyed it. So I went for it again.

It wasn’t the same type, but it was good enough.

The snowfall didn’t deter the people I normally ate lunch with from coming to church. Except we didn’t go particularly anywhere; we stayed at the caféteria. Personally I would have liked to go somewhere (and we almost did) but I guess the snow was too much to bear.

This weekend, a Christian festival took place in which a controversial figure was speaking at it. I wasn’t there so I can’t really comment on him, and I don’t feel like it’s particularly my place to comment on him without a more thorough look at him, but based on what I was informed of his speaking: If you’re going to denounce technology and fashion as if they’re mortal sins, I cannot take you seriously.

I didn’t have much of an afternoon with church people, and not long after, I had time to kill in solitude until the evening. I was thinking of staying at the library but both bathroom stalls were taken, so I went to the mall (Metrotown) and stayed there.

Chapters sells ULTRAMAN, which I had been wanting to (re)read (and continue).

Despite its namesake, it’s not something for children to read. The graphic language alone (“holy sh*t” “son of a b*tch”) is a clear indication.

The evening had the… let’s call it Real Life Fellowship–the bi-weekly Christian discussion meeting I attend. During dinner, we were to describe ourselves with two words or something.

For me, I am a man of integrity, and I am a maniac.

We were also asked of our favourite romance film: I didn’t state my favourite, but I mentioned (500) Days of Summer at first. I later remembered The Phantom of the Opera (2004), which would have made a better answer.

You know, both of these films don’t end happily.

So what’s my favourite romance film, you ask. I pick this:

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I’m serious.

Banquet has good food

This past Saturday was the Chinese New Year banquet that was supposed to happen earlier this month. But because of the snow, it got postponed.

I was one of those who were late for my driver was picking up someone else (and her daughter) who had something to do until 6pm, and I decided to stick with the plan of being picked up by him.

Not that it was a big deal.

When I arrived there, I sat at a rather awkward spot.

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Everyone was facing towards the TV, and I had the unfortunate seat of facing my back towards it. That area was also where people spoke and such.

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Overall, the food was great. Though I would have liked the shrimp and celery reversed.

As someone who doesn’t like vegetables, I decided to eat the celery anyway. It wasn’t bad the first time but it ended up losing its flavour.

Though the meal was great, it wasn’t filling. Personally I would have liked more of that mushroom soup and a second round of mashed potatoes and steak.

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After the dinner, there were group games–one I participated in–in which it was a mix between puzzle and sentence-forming. Another one was Christian-song-guessing-pictionary where I actually had an idea of what one of the song was but chose not to say anything; I’m a shy individual, who was surrounded by people guessing in Chinese.

There were also prize giveaways. I didn’t win anything (was my name even part of it?).

Despite not knowing a lot of the people there, it was nice being with them.

That’s the thing about being with the Cantonese Ministry, or just being part of a church (at the right ones); everyone is a friend to one another, even if we don’t know each other. The Cantonese Ministry in particular, they have certain welcoming aspect to them.

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Long day

Every Sunday morning, it is my ritual/routine to watch Ultraman and Kamen Rider back to back.

And I realized that I take it pretty seriously; I can’t really start my Sunday without it.

It’s not unlike how years back, I took church so seriously that I couldn’t miss a week. In fact, if I had done this ritual back then, I would have foregone it if I was running tight on time and got ready for church instead.

Does that mean I don’t take church seriously anymore?

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No.

People change, viewpoints change, but faith remains the same regardless of change.

Upon leaving the building, I had officially acquainted myself with this middle-aged lady after seeing each other enough times. She is one of the staff there, as I later learned on their website.

Meeting and befriending people. That’s the life of a traveller.

snapchat-88511487After service, I went to McDonald’s for a small meal for I was hungry. Then I headed to the modern church. Usually when I meet people, at least most of us would be bunched together in one particular area of the gymnasium-converted-for-a-church-service. But on this day, people weren’t so gathered.

Though certain people had commitments, we were able to have lunch regardless at a Korean restaurant.

Let it be known that I’m not a fan of vegetables, so imagine if I was dating a Korean miss and was eating with her family.snapchat-2025744733

After that, we split 5:2 so the five of us met at the mall nearby.

At one point, four of us (one chose not to go in) went into the Disney Store.

If I was by myself, I wouldn’t be walking through the Disney Princess section lest people notice me and wonder why a young Asian man was in this girly section. But because we had a lady in our group, I was able to go through it with her. Granted, it was us three guys and one lady so it was still a bit odd.

After our mall session, my day still wasn’t over yet. There was that twice-a-month discussion meeting between us Christians in the evening.

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Except the bus took way longer than it should have to arrive; let’s say it was over half-an-hour late. By the time I arrived at the smaller church, they were still having their dinner and individual sharing, so overall, things were well.

EDIT (02/16/17): I forgot to mention this.

I had a pleasant surprise at the classic church.

I never would have expected this song to be performed in any church, let alone the classic church.

Lack of a weekend

This past weekend was going to be rather eventful, but mostly because of the snow, everything got postponed.

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There was going to be a “Christ-Centered Relationships” discussion event at my home church on Friday night that got postponed because of snow.

There was going to be a Chinese New Year banquet that got postponed because of the snow. Same church, different set of people.

There was going to be the twice-a-month discussion meeting that I always attend that got postponed because “quite a few can’t make it.”

What was going to be an eventful weekend became yet another quiet one.

Well, it wasn’t too quiet.

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Long story short, I had lost interest in attending service at my home church (a large modern church; a megachurch). Instead, I’ve opt to attending service at classic churches (with the stain glass and organ). Why? That’s an entry for another time.

This weekend’s sermon topic involved death, so for the first time in forever, I actually attended this service.

And…

Ignoring my not being awake for the whole thing, it was a waste of time.

If you’re a new believer or have otherwise benefited from this topic, then that’s good for you; everyone grows differently. But as for me, not only was it elementary no-brainer material, but you really can’t speak the same about death for those whose loved ones aren’t Christian, especially when they have already passed.

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We went to Pho afterwards, except the place we were going to eat at was closed, so we relocated to another Pho place.

As you can see in the second picture, it snowed (again), and it got rather heavy-looking.

The weather had calmed itself, so by night, there weren’t things falling from the sky on you.

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