Friday Boys Night

hockey pool draft night

hockey pool draft night

For the past 6 years, every Friday was boys night. Some nights we would rent out an ice rink and have a game of pick up hockey with 26 other buddys , some nights we’d go to Earls and have a few beers while watching the Canucks, but the majority of the nights were just spent chilling at my place downtown playing Xbox, everything from Gears of War to MotoGP to NHL 2k/EA (I challenge anyone to Guitar Hero…be ready to be pwnd!). To give you an idea of how much we played, we’ve gone through 4 Xbox’s and 3 Red Rings of Death…in 5 years. All you guys reading this are going “Aw hells ya, that sounds like fun.” and most girls are probably rolling their eyes at how gay we are.  But Friday was boys night and it meant that after a long week of working in our offices, dealing with targets and quotas and submitting expenses and managers meetings and having to listen to your whiny coworker talk about her sock fetish, Friday was here, and it was time to relax.

Now, you’re thinking. Why can’t you relax with girls too? Why is it just boys night? At the time we all had girlfriends and we hung out with them Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays to Thursdays, so Fridays was just chill night. Not that we couldn’t chill with our girlfriends, but it was different when you’re just chillin with the boys. You want to sleep in until 5pm? While your girlfriend is knocking on your door because ‘it’s a nice day and you shouldn’t waste it sleeping’, your boys don’t care, they’re probably still sleeping too.

boyz

My boys are like my brothers. As tight as a family could be, we are. We fight each other like brothers, bicker like family, make fun of each other, get pissed off at each other, and when it counts the most, we have each others back every time. Sometimes it’s to give 3 weeks of your time to help someone renovate their apartment and sometimes it’s having to call Popo on a domestic dispute because one of your boy’s ex girlfriends was over trashing his place and threatening suicide and sometimes it’s just to throw the football around. On the first of this month 2 of my boys moved to Austin Texas for work. Austin? Ya. Austin. What the hell is out in Austin? A whole lot of football apparently. It’s kind of weird not having them around. Shin’s been my boy since high school and was my roomate for 5 years. And Chucky I saw pretty much every second day for 7 years and gives awesome advice. Curtis has been my best friend since we were 20 (who the hell is that white guy singing a Chinese song at Mings??) He’s a Vancouver lifer too so at least he’s not moving. When you’re as tight with your friends as we are, you’ll understand that when you’re with your closest friends and family, you’re the most relaxed. They already know your worst traits, been through countless shitstorms and rock bottoms with you and they’re still your friend. There’s nothing else you could say or do that would have them renounce you, so you’re just…you. Not the you that’s the son, the daughter, the boyfriend, the girlfriend, the colleague. None of those masks are on, and there’s no one you need to be other than you. That’s pretty stress free.

Top 10 Things I’m Going to Miss about Living Downtown

After 5 years of living Downtown, I’m moving to Burnaby next month. It’s a bittersweet time as I’m sad to see the end of an era but I’m excited for new adventures. With 2 of my best friends moving to Texas and myself moving out of my home for the past 5 years, it’s definitely a time of change, but change has been a regular bulletpoint on my life list for the past year so it’s nothing that I haven’t become accustomed to rolling with. I’m not sure what Burnaby or my next year has in store for me, but I know that my past 5 years were great and full of some amazing times with some amazing people.

Here are my top 10 things that I’ll miss most about living Downtown:

blog00110. Everything within walking distance

I need a coffee. Go downstairs. I need a new shirt. Robson and PC are down the block. Movie starts in 20 minutes! Good thing ScotiaTheatres is 5 minutes away. Damn, I’m out of clean underwear, out of laundry detergent and have a hot date tonight. Booya, IGA has detergent (and there’s a florist on the way too. Girls like flowers right?).

9. Afterparties at my place

Clubs closed but the party just won’t die? So many weekends my little condo has been standing-room-only with boys and girls packed in the place downing more shots of Goose and Chivas with a slice of Johnny’s Pizza and Fritz in hand, music pumping on my 5.1 surround sound at 4am. As the sun starts to rise at 6, people start trickling home and dreading the drive ahead of them while I just walk into the next room and pass out. (Downside is the damn mess the next day and usually one of my buddys passed out on the couch)

8. I don’t know where anybody lives anymore

When I was in Coquitlam, I was the starting destination. I used to pick everybody and their grandma up on my way out to anywhere. Living downtown, I am now the end destination for about 80% of the fun times. Movie nights, dinner dates, weekend club benders, everybody comes to meet me at my place and I rarely pick anyone up anymore. It’s been a while since I’ve had to wait in front of my friends houses, patiently waiting for 30 minutes while they pick which shoes to wear.

7. Starbucks, Sushi Maki, and TD Bank

After living in an area for so long, you get to know the people who work at the places you frequent. While this happens everywhere, I’ll definitely miss the VIP treatment of a long time customer at some of the places that I visit often.

blog0026. Sunset Beach and the Seawall

It’s Tuesday. I just got off work and it’s sunny out. I hop on the bike and head down to Sunset Beach, sit on the grass and read for a bit, nap or just lay there, soaking in some vitamin D. The days stresses and trivial problems melt away. It’s Saturday morning. I walk down to English Bay and start my run around the Seawall, dodging rookie rollerbladers and trying to keep up with the cute girls on bicycles. It’s amazing when one of the best tourist attractions in North America is your literally your backyard.

5. 2am Ambulances, Car Alarms, and Random Screaming People

Ok this one is a love/hate. While the ambulances screeching out of St. Pauls at 2am with their sirens blazing wake me up every night to the guy with the Honda Accord who parks his car out front with the sensitive alarm pisses me off, it’s definitely a part of downtown culture that I’ll miss. Every Christmas I move back home to my parents for a week and I actually can’t sleep because it’s too quiet. Kinda creepy.

4. Vancouver on my BCDL

Growing up in a small town (when I was growing up it was a small town anyway), I’ve always wanted VANCOUVER on my drivers license and when I got it, it felt like I’d accomplished something on my life list.

3. Yaletown, Gastown, Coal Harbour, Denman, Robson and Bentall Districts

Six cultures within a stones throw. The yuppies walking around Yaletown sipping on lattes walking their punt-sized dogs, the hippies smoking weed on the corners of Gastown, the excessively rich and pretentious crowds of Coal Harbour, the Suits walking around the Bentall districts with blackberries and suitcases in hand to the young, vivacious and fashionable crowd on Robson, Downtown has it all. The most fun I’ve had was walking around all the areas in one day last year and seeing how different one city could be just by crossing the street.

2. Food

From Hapa Izakayas to The Elbow Room to Cactus Club. Downtown has so many restaurants to choose from and experience. From nice upscale restaurants on Alberni street to the mom and pop restaurants on Denman to the barrage of ice creameries and dessert houses, you can literally experience any type of food in any type of setting you wish. Vancouver is known North American wide for its quality of eateries and Downtown is the epicenter of culinary choices within our city. For about 6 months a couple years ago, my friend and I would try a new restaurant every weekend within walking distance. That was fun.

1. Ho Yeet Laoblog003

I love the hustle and bustle of downtown with all its local residents. Most downtowns in other cities might be 70% commercial and 30% residential but in Vancouver it’s the other way around. More people live here than work here. City lights, thousands of homes in hundreds of buildings. People everywhere each living their own lives but within the same vicinity. I look across at my neighboring towers and each condo is its own story, carrying its own heartbeat. Living life in a fishbowl, you realize that while you are people watching others across from you, you are also being observed as well. There’s something to being in the middle of it all, its own vibe that you don’t realize exists until you experience it firsthand.

I love this city and exploring is awesome. The past 5 years was fun. The next 5 should be interesting.

(My next Vancouver address will be somewhere west of Granville street…In a huge house on the West side with a 3 car garage and a swimming pool.)

circa 2000

Without the Bitter, There is no Sweet.

Without the knowledge that there is more to life

        Than what you know, there is no Hope.

Without the thought that ‘Somebody’s gotta do it’,

                      There is no drive.

If a person lived their life only for the moment,

         Is that bad?

All we have is the moment…

                What lies ahead is only a dream,

           And behind, only a memory.

This moment that we have is what makes the memories,

        And the moments that we live, dictate our Dreams.

With all the bad we endure,

          There is always good.

With all the good that we appreciate,

            There will always be a down.

Life is Fair and Life is not,

        Life is simply what we make of it ourselves.

Dirty Thirty

There’s never really been anything I won’t try out once and since 2009 started, I’ve been a ‘yes’ man to anything new. It’s been quite the journey so far with marathons, world trips, and I even upgraded my motorcycle to a 750cc. I went for a foot massage this weekend with a friend after a long day. I’ve had back massages, neck massages and the most memorable to date was the Spicy Grandma in China that murdered my neck and made me a parapalegic for 4 hours, but never foot massages before. We walked into the reflexology place and was greeted by two China grandmas. ‘OMG I’m going to die again’ was the first thought that crossed my mind, but then again, we were in Canada, and governed by actual laws so if I was paralyzed, I could sue this time. So I relaxed a bit and we started chatting in Mandarin and Cantonese. My friend couldn’t speak much so she sat quietly, nervously smiling, enjoying her massage.

The conversation somehow veered towards what we did, whether we were in school or working, to which I replied that we were both working. My massage Grandma asked me how old I was and I answered. She suddenly stopped mid press, her gnarly knuckles still embedded in my heel and her jaw literally dropped. It was as if I’d told her I’d set her house on fire and punted her dog into the flames. “Nooooo, you’re not 30. You’re… lying.” She said in slow whispered tones.

Since last week, I’ve gotten quite a few of those. From the guy at the liquor store when I was buying my regular 24 case of MGD’s to the 7-11 guy who I bought a lotto 649 from. Regular disbelief that I was really 30 years old. My friend who was with me at the massage, who is almost 23 (but looks 12 herself) also finds it hard to believe that I’m so *gasp* old. I feel young though, I think young and I act young. I’m definitely no where near the ‘act my age’ of my
cousin, who is only 7 months older than I. He’s married and looks his age.

Funny thing is on the card it says “Think Young” when I was still young. I didn’t get a “Think Old” card this year.

I could pass for 23.5 and am actually probably healthier than most 19 year olds. My very active lifestyle also doesn’t reflect that of a 30 year old, although I’d say it’s about half half. I still laugh at everything like a 10 year old; loud and quick to smile. I like to talk about everything from aliens in outer space to how to properly invest your money in today’s sputtering economy. I like to hang out with the boys and play video games drinking beer and I like to go to live jazz shows sipping on Reisling. I party until 5am, until I can’t remember much of the night before on weekends and I fall asleep reading English literature on weekdays. There’s nothing really wrong with this though. I love the balance I have in my life. I may act like a 20 year old most of the time, but my assets, education and career are that of a 40 year old, so 30 is a good happy medium, the best of both worlds.

There is one ‘issue’, however, that I’ve been told of recently by a great friend of mine.

I’ve heard quite frequently that age is just a number, that you are only as old as you feel, that you’re only as young as you act. I’ve been told that while my lifestyle is fine as a single guy, that I will have trouble finding a partner to keep up with me, or rather, one that I find interesting enough to take along with me on my life journey. I’d thought about this for a while, and it’s kind of true. My partner would have to be one that would be able to act a child with me, accepting of my dorky ways and immaturity. She’d have to be able to accept that while I am 30, I’m still 23.5 at heart and all of the pros and cons that come with it. On the flip side, she’d have to be able to keep up to my ambition, my experience and be able to keep me intrigued through constant conversation of both deep philosophical debates and simple ‘how was your day’s of mature adults. I’m not sure what my friend was eluding to, whether she meant I’ll never find someone like that, or whether she meant that I should change my lifestyle. She didn’t say when I asked her, she only said that I had to find out for myself.

I guess being 30 has it’s own new set of pros and cons. Gone are the insecurities of the teens, in the early 20’s every person struggles to find themselves and their identity in the world and in the late 20’s you get comfortable with who you are and really grow into being a strong individual as opposed to the conformity and social acceptance that we all strived for in our early 20’s. Individuality is sexy, independence is amazing. What’s 30 hold for us?

I’m looking forward to finding out.

The Best Time in Vancouver

Things to do this Summer (My Checklist):

-Launch the hockey site (July 15th: after 5 months of work)
-Close on the Surrey condo (July 8th: after 1 year of planning)
-Rent out the Surrey condo (July 12th)
-Run the Underwear Affair Marathon (July 11th)
-Find a Burnaby condo (Prior to August 15th)
-Pack up my stuff and move to Burnaby (August 15th- September 1st)
-Fix up and paint the Downtown condo (August sometime)
-Rent out the Downtown condo (August 15th- September 1st)
-Party w Shin and Chucky before they leave (September)
-Plan a camping trip to Bamfield (August sometime)
-Plan a family BBQ (August sometime)
-Plan a riding trip out to either the Island or to Mt. Baker (August sometime)
-Do something on July 29

Spend every sunny day doing something out in the sun, nothing wasted (no regrets come rain season)
-Run the seawall
-Run false creek/English bay
-Rollerblade anywhere
-Rooftop patio Sunday wet lunches
-Ride
-Saturday afternoon sleeps on the beach
-Bicycle
-Tennis
-Frisbee at Sunset Beach
-Beach BBQ’s
-18 holes of golf/Driving range
-Outdoor pool

Short Story #1: Happy Canada Day

Quick Story: I went to safeway today to get stuff for the bbq tomorrow and needed a cart. I didn’t have a quarter though, and I really didn’t want to lug around 30 chicken wings, 2 boxes of burger patties and 40 pounds of other stuff for an hour. I waited at the customer service lady to finish up with the person in front of me and handed her a $5.

“Can I get change please, quarters for the cart.” I said.

“Oh no that’s ok, I’ll lend you a quarter…” (as she opens the cash register and hands me a quarter) “…just return it here when you’re finished with it.”

I thought how cool it was that she would just ‘lend’ me a quarter from the Safeway till on promise from a stranger to return a quarter. It was a long ways down to my car and it would mean walking all the way back upstairs (Safeway on Robson), returning the quarter, and looping around to the exit and going back downstairs to the parkade, it was a good 2 minute trip to return a quarter. I took it, thanked her and shopped away.

I was picking out an apple when I thought about how lucky we were, to live in a community (and society) as trusting as ours. Recently back from China, you couldn’t trust your wallet in your pocket. A friend of ours told us that he had his $2000 SLR Canon camera in a case behind him walking through Beijing. When he got home to take out his camera, he found a bag full of stones instead. They’d lifted his camera and counter weighed it. He never even felt anything. It’s definitely something we take for granted at home.


After I loaded the watermelon and ice cream and the rest of the bags in my car, I did the 2 minute trip and returned the quarter. Happy Canada Day!

Somethings I’d Heard

I just got back from China and there were 2 things I’d heard there that really stuck with me.

I was in a scripture store where the artist himself worked out of. He was a student of Confucious and he did a painting of a man on top of a rocky mountain, fishing off of the cliff into air. There was no water, no fish, but he sat there with his bamboo rod and string hanging off the side of the cliff. The painting had the chinese characters “Goh Shan Chui Diu” which means ‘high mountain fishing’. The meaning of it though was that no matter the outcome, the end, you should always enjoy the journey along the way. The fisherman knew he wasn’t going to get fish at the top of the mountain, but he enjoyed the climb and view along the way, so it wasn’t a wasted journey regardless of his outcome. If we’re able to enjoy the process as much as the outcome (the design and fabrication of fashion as well as the finished beauty of the end product, the cruise in your car along the highway as well as reaching your destination, the run along the seawall as well as the physically fit body), if we can enjoy the journey, then we’ll be happy all of the time.

I liked the meaning so much I had the calligrapher write those 4 characters for me on a scroll.

On the plane ride back, I was watching a chinese movie, where they’re dressed in armor and fighting with swords on horseback. Crouching Tiger styles. Leon Lai (Lai Ming) was one of the actors in the movie. He was the last remaining warrior of his clan and now lived in solitude in the forest until he ran across a Princess who was being attacked by her enemies. He saved her, though she was shot with a poison arrow. He took her back to his camp and when she awoke he showed her around. He was building a blimp, to carry him high above the forest and so that he could fly. In those days, people coudln’t fly yet and he was trying a new idea. She said to him “You’re such a dreamer, you’re never going to fly” and he said back “Men need to dream, before dreams come true.”

Keep dreaming, and one day your dreams will come true. (it takes action too though!!) Enjoy the journey, enjoy life right now, at this exact moment that you are living it, because it doesnt ever get any better than the present moment…and find inspiration anywhere and everywhere, from a little old calligraphy shop to movies that you watch.