Monday, December 12, 2005

~*...the grrlz bday...*~

i woke up early sunday morning to go to movie church. yes, i actually went to church two weeks in a row, and i did so by choice! crazy eh? it was the second part of the series god@the movies: the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. i met thalia and her friend janelle at the theater and we found ourselves a spot to sit. i really love the way pastor bruxy carvey approaches his lessons. he does so in a way that is not so in your face, a way that allows you to glean whatever lessons you hear from his message without judgement or prejudice.

they showed a clip from the bbc movie when the little girl met the faun in narnia. the faun invited the girl back to his place for toast and sardines, and cake! the little girl obliged. when the clip was over, pastor bruxy said "wow, all it takes are sardines and toast to get little girls to come back to your place. that definitely won't work with my kids, but hey, i guess things were different in the uk back then." good on ya bruxy, ya hit it dead on, dealt with it, and then moved on to something else.

even edmund was tempted by the white witch with turkish delight and power. all it takes to get a little boy to come back to your castle is turkish delight and the promise of royalty.

the sermon got me thinking about who god is. actually, it was my conversation with my mother the week before that got me thinking. ok, i'm always thinking about who god is to me. in the movie what the bleep do we know, one of the scientists said "trying to describe what god is is like asking a fish to describe the water in which it lives."

i think the problem with most people's definition of god is that they believe that he is some entity that is separate from us, deserving of our time, our worship, or penance, in exchange for a reward of eternal life that they will receive when they die. do i believe that god exists? of course i do. to me, god is the part of all of us that we believe is greater than us...and there are an infinite number of ways to create god. she's not just in some of us, she is in everyone. by believing in something greater than us, we become greater than who we once were.

pastor bruxy said "your kingdom is the range of your effective will." i kinda liked that. thy will be done. if you think it, if you believe it, then you are it. "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." why wait for some promised land when you can make heaven a place on earth...oooh heaven is a place on earth!

after movie church we went to the dairy queen at union station to pick up a birthday cake for thalia and karen. they both share the same birthday, december 12, and funny enough they were born in the same year too. thalia and janelle went to zelda's in the gaybourhood for brunch while i stopped off at darryl and isa's to drop off the cake. karen then came and picked me up and we headed over to zelda's to meet up with thalia and company.

zelda's brunch buffet is fabulous, just like their restaurant. thalia had a good turnout of friends, and my friend terri even showed up to share some good company and a great brunch. and c'mon, all the sausage and bacon you can eat! who could ask for anything more?

after zelda's, thalia, karen, janelle, and i went to the science center to see gunter von hagens' body worlds exhibit. it is an anatomical exhibition of real human bodies that runs until february 26, 2006. the primary goal of the exhibit is health education through the use of a preservation method called plastination.


The invention of plastination is an aesthetically sensitive method of preserving meticulously dissected anatomical specimens and even entire bodies as permanent, life-like materials for anatomical instruction. The body cells and natural surface structures retain their original forms and are identical to their condition prior to preservation, even at a microscopic level. The specimens are dry and odorless, and remain unchanged for a virtually unlimited amount of time, making them truly accessible. These characteristics lend plastinated specimens inestimable value both for training prospective doctors and for educating non-professionals in the field of medicine.

the exhibit was mind blowing. looking at bodies that once lived, just the vessels that once housed a soul. or does the soul still exist in the body even after a person is dead? no matter what you believe, the exhibit was beyond educational. it was a trip! looking at brains after the person had suffered a stroke, or the lungs of a person who smoked cigarettes, or a woman who was pregnant with the fetus still inside her when she died. it was fascinating. slices of human life right in front of you, preserved for your educational pleasure. they were pieces of art.

this skateboarder was actually in this position, with nothing else holding it up. if you touched him, he would have fallen over.

many of the pieces had parts opened up so you could see what muscles were being used. they even had a camel that was plastinated.

if you get the opportunity, go see this exhibit. it will teach you what's beneath your skin. it will remind you that in the end we are all human beings, despite what colour our skin is or what religion we claim. if you want to donate your body for plastination, go here. those crazy germans *lol*

thanks to my friend andrea gurekas for hooking me up with passes for the exhibit. i only wished we had more time in the science that place is fun. i think the last time i was at the science center was in 1997 for the citrus rave. yup, we raved inside the science center...and they had all of the exhibits open too. they had two parties there. i still can't believe we partied there. i remember there being five fire alarms during the night. all it took was one raver to light up in the building, cigarette or otherwise, and the fire alarm went off. 10,000 people outside of the science center freezing, waiting to get back was just nutz! and raving!

after the body worlds exhibit, we ended up at darryl and isa's for dinner and the finale of survivor. survivor used to be a weekly thing at darryl and isa's. i have many fond memories of yelling at the television every thursday night before little v arrived. after 11 seasons though, i&d kinda lost interest. maybe it had something to do with a new baby, or maybe because jj abrams decided to go head to head with survivor by putting alias on at the same time. whatever the reason, it was good to be in darryl and isa's new place to watch the finale.

umm, can this baby be any cuter? well, looking at her parents, you just knew their offspring were going to be deadly gorgeous.

karen had also just got her new snowboard gear delivered that week, so we took the time to put it together at isa and darryl's place. even baby valentina helped with the installation. she's starting to feed the extreme part of her personality before her first birthday. that's a good baby.

dani won survivor. we ate chicken wings and cake. enjoyed some lifted spirits together, and darryl and isa gave me a christmas present...fear the power of darth tater! together he could rule the universe as father and spud!

happy birthday thalia and karen. thanks for your hospitality isa and darryl. i will miss you guys like crazy!

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~*...aggressive shredding...*~

on saturday, my boy alex treated me to an amazing day on the slopes at moonstone. it took us just over 90 minutes to ride all of the runs they had open, then spent the rest of the afternoon in the park.

i love snowboarding, and riding with someone who is aggressive on the slopes as i am is a hell of a rush. alex pushes it hard on the hill, and also has no problems throwing himself off jumps in the park. i also got to try out his new stick. he's riding last year's burton t6. holy shit man does that thing rip down the hill. its goddam fast! a bit too thin and short for my big ass feet, so the toe drag sucked, but overall its a sexxxy board. it felt really good in the park, and in the air.

we ran into my friends alex and erin on the slopes too. always good to shred with more snow addiktz.

after an incredible day on the slopes with alex, i passed out in preparation for a very intense sunday. i will gladly give up saturday night shenanigans in exchange for a day on the slopes. snow is priority.

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

~* at queen's park...and darth vader...*~

on friday i rode my bike through my first snowstorm on my way to queen'z park to hear my mother sing in the civil service choir. the snow wasn't really snow, at least not after it hits the ground. in the city, snow is dark grey slush, and its not very pretty. riding a bike in it got me where i needed to faster than if i walked, but i got splashed a few times and my clothing bears the battle wounds of a slushy day in the tee dot.

i really enjoy listening to the civil servant's choir sing each year. even though my mom is a retired civil servant, she still makes an effort to be part of the choir each year. singing christmas carols inside of queen'z park is also kewl. not too often do i get to hang out inside of queen'z park, yet alone sing christmas carols.

the lieutenant governor of ontario, james bartleman, was the honoured guest. when he arrived, they introduced him with god save the queen and oh canada! what the hell does the lieutenant governor do, besides being the queen's representative. what is he lieutenant governing over?

either way, james bartleman read his yearly christmas welcome, and then we got back to the singing. at the end of the concert, they invite audience members to come up and sing the hallelujah chorus from handel's messiah. i love this part. it gives me the chance to sing with my mom, stand on the stairs of queen's park, and totally sing off tune ;)

my friday night was a repeat of the week before...a night in playing video games with graham. my job was to get beer, more specifically the extra strong ale from the amsterdam brewery known as avalanche. man, this beer is 8% alcohol and kicks you in the teeth! the amsterdam brewery is located at king and portland, or as i was soon to find out, used to be located at king and portland. the saving grace of the amsterdam brewery is that the beer doesn't get any fresher than when you buy it at the brewery, and most importantly its open until 11pm on friday and saturday nights. when you missed the 9pm closing time of the beer store, the amsterdam brewery saves lives.

so i walked to the brewery from kensington market only to find the doors locked. on the door was a sign saying "we've moved to 21 bathurst street" with a little map. it didn't look that far. boy was i wrong. they new brewery was in an old abandoned warehouse at bathurst and lakeshore, which took me about 30 minutes to walk to from their old venue. the new space is huge, and i'm happy that the freshest beer in the city now has a new and larger home to bring amsterdam goodness to more people...but holy shit is it ever far. okay, maybe just farther away from my house than they were before, and in winter that's a big deal. whine some more norm, whine some more.

i cross the bridge over the train tracks and make it to the new and improved amsterdamage brewery. the dude workin the store rekognizes me and i continue my whine about the move, how its so far from my place, blah blah blah, poor me. it also seems as if the amsterdam brewery no longer makes avalanche beer, which only intensified my already whiney demeanour. sometimes i can be such a queen. as i moaned about how much of an effort it was to get beer that's not even going to be brewed anymore, the guy working there gave me a coupon and said "here's a free six pack coupon that you can give right back to me now and grab a sicfor any of the other beers we do brew". my world and perspektive completely changed direction with the random gifting of free fresh booze *aaaah* thank you so much for the free booze dude!

randnorm gifting. heh, how can i normify everything? normurai. phenormenon. normaste - i honour the norm in you that is the norm in me ;)

with a free six pack (and $12 more in my pocket than i thought i'd have), i took a cab home. we picked graham up along the way. he had just bought our dinner from the bellwoods cafe, home to the 1lb hamburger and fries for $5. it is a challenge eating a pound of ground beef in a single sitting, but possible none the less. graham and i have learned to eat only half of the burger with all of the fries (covered in gravy of course), and save the other half for later. playin vidz, drinkin beer, and puffin rootz can definitely give you crazy munchies.

i had joked to graham earlier that i would give him a present if he bought dinner. when he agreed to buy dinner, i said "kewl, wait, now i have to buy you a present. oh well, the dollar store is on my way home." that was before my journey to a far away land to find free dutch ales *mmmmm* so after dinner, i told graham that i didn't get to stop off at the dollar store to get him a present, but i did have a card for him and that he wasn't allowed to look as i signed it in front of him. then i gave it to him with this bowl i had picked up for him earlier in the evening at roacharama.

graham had recently lost his glass bowl, and this bowl was affordable and wanted to be loved. when the woman who sold me the pipe dropped it on the ground by mistake and it didn't break, i knew this pipe could take the beatingz and the love that graham would share with her. graham was so stoked, and he immediately packed it. i said merry christmas to him, then i said "but wait, i wasn't gonna buy you a christmas present anyways, so this is just a random gifting."

we spent the rest of the night playing star wars battlefront 2. man this game just gets better and better the more you play it. as an elite pure bred clone of the 501st brigade, also known as 'vader's fist', this game lets you live the battles you saw in episode 3, and even the movies after (before) that. you get to fight alongside the jedi, then when order66 is given you get to storm the jedi temple and kill every jedi in sight (and jedis don't go down very easily). but the best was playing the battle that opened episode 4, a new hope: capture princess leia and retrieve the stolen death star plans. many bothans died to bring you this information :p

after all these decades, you finally get to play as darth vader, and in the role in which he was first introduced. slicing through rebel scum with his lightsaber, force choking helpless foes from across the room. this game kicks some serious ass.

darth tater kicks some serious spud.

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