Friday, March 4, 2011


I have floaters.

They are pieces, strands, and bits of organic cells and tissue which float around in the vitreous of my eyes. I don't know why they're there, I don't remember when they quite first appeared, but they've formed sometime in my past and is irreversible.

Having floaters is not a vital part of who I am, but nevertheless it is always going to be part of who I am. I cannot, however, let my floaters distract me. They will--but I should never give them too much concentration.

If I distract myself with things that float by in front of me I may lose focus and probably will trip on stairs, drive over someone, run into walls, or walk into street signs; I need to see past it all and focus on what's really in front of me now.

Although this does not mean its not real, or not important; the truth is it is less important, and there are other things of real importance I have really in front of me.

(On a point of technicality: It is possible to "fix" my floaters...I can surgically replace the vitreous humour and risk more floaters, I can surgically remove both eyes containing the floaters and give up sight, I can request a lobotomy and forget altogether what floaters are!)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Painted White Door

A man is approached by a painted white door. He is intrigued. Perplexed. He examines every slight ridge and indentation left by the roller, every bulge of excessive drops of paint, every smudge incurred before it fully dried, dust and fibers forever sealed into the paint, the occasional scratch, the occasional hole. Aghast is he--having never noticed the so much more to the simple painted white door. How will he be, if he ever sees what's behind.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

People Who Were Never Born

Teri showed me a cartoon on her laptop two nights ago.

The cartoon is illustrated by Dan Lacey (signed on the left) who goes by the name Faith Mouse (

As soon as I saw the cartoon my body stopped and a thought cycled through my mind.  I stood still, staring, for five to ten seconds as, what felt like, an entire movie played through in my head.  Its hard to explain as I can't put it into any short series of words yet, but I will give it more thought and eventually write it down--hopefully before I forget it, but it doesn't seem like an idea I can easily forget.

I don't know where the statitic comes from, and I don't know if its true.  But I find it incredibly powerful how this cartoon can bring me a hollow feeling of sorrow and sadness inside evertime I see it--even now still.

I don't now how the process works--if its done chemically through injections, physical extractions through the canal, or surgical extraction--but my more inquisitive question is what happens to the fetuses.  

I imagine like all organic human parts, they can't be simply thrown in the trash; perhaps they're burned.  Burning something is quite an effective way of completely breaking it down, afterall, but is there threat of airborne infection if the tissue is diseased?  Is it standard practice to be cautious of potential airborne diseases from burning?  If it is possible?  Do samples have to be couriered off to specific contained facilities for these sorts of things or is it done in the basement of the clinics, labs, and hospitals?  How long does a fetus survive outside its host?  A few minutes? Hours? Days? Does it die in extraction?  Transportation?  After being discarded?

Does anyone know?  Has anyone else ever asked these questions?

My second thought to inhabit my mind was phoning the Royal University Hospital and possibly asking, 
"Hi, I was wondering how you, er, do your abortions."
"Er, are you asking for personal consideration?"
"Er, no, I'm asking for a friend of mine."
I don't think it is within appropriate social etiquite to ask someone what they do with fetuses.  I haven't had any result asking female gendered friends of mine either.

Eventually, though, I want to write down this idea that's been developing in my mind.  Maybe a book, maybe a movie screenplay, maybe a list of questions.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Best Wedding Toast Ever!!!! (Amy's Song)

When was the last time you saw a public speech break out into song and dance outside of a Family Guy episode? Right, those are getting harder to come by.

But on April 28, 2007 a young couple, Amy and Brad, got married and here was the toast to the bride and groom!

Best Wedding Toast Ever!!!! (Amy's Song)

Note: It took me a while to decide which version to embed into this blog post, but decided on the one in Metacafe. I like to give credit where credit is due, and although the original post may have been on AOL video, the individual(s) responsible for getting this video online eventually added it to Metacafe where they have been paid $1472 as of today (Metacafe pays per 5 bucks per 1000 clicks or somehing like that). Its a small way to reward the people's ingeniousness of the whole ordeal to.

The world is a good place to be

This discovery commercial does a very good job of summing it.

There isn't anywhere else I'd rather be.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

10 minutes, 29 seconds

I've never been much of a long distance running...more like the asthmatic trying to keep up at the back.

Something told me to go out for a run in my neighbour hood tonight. I grabbed my watch, started the chrono timer and started running with thoughts of the 12 minute/2100m from back in grade 9 and 10 (I only complete it once on my last attempt--with only 14 seconds left to spare).

Running in the cool night felt nice. Prepared for the impromptu occasion with canvas cargo shorts, keys and phone in pockets, and casual walking shoes I ran with 3 goals: 1) to run non-stop, 2) to run for 10 minutes, 3) not to have an asthma attack and prevent myself from completing my other two goals. Without a decisive plan or path, I cleared my mind and created my route with each step. I ran an estimated 1300 metres on roads, sidewalks, in zigzags in the park, and in dark alleyways (not advisable to do in shadows of nearly absolute darkness, especially if you can't see the difference between gravel/pavement/pot-hole/etc).

There's an art to be discovered for me in running. It is a weird feeling--being focused, yet not having a single thought in my mind. I ran carefree, periodically checking my wristwatch to check the elapsed time, but was entirely focused on my body's movements and reactions, my breathing and wheezing (woo for asthma). The only three thoughts to have crept in my mind were: 1) where I am running towards next, 2) how dark and unsafe it was to run in an alley where I could not see the floor, and 3) the distraction I stumbled across in the shadow of a tree on the hill in the park where two couples (I could not see until I was 4 feet away from them) seemed to be star gazing--in the shadows of trees and bushes in the park at 12:00 am.

Other than that, the 10 minutes and 29 second non-stop run felt incredible (asthma makes non-stop running difficult somedays). Of course I was wheezing and barely breathing as I walked into the door of my house, and it did take a whole 10 minutes for my asthma to settle down to a stable condition (without drugs thank you very much) as I stood drenched in dripping sweat (my sister was not impressed, but I wasn't breathing so I definitely was not going to be moving), but I never imagined running to be such an easily achievable recreation for any time (12 am?) for any duration.

Freedom, refreshment, determination, and accomplishment--all to come back to me in the morning all at once.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blond Haired Boy

The indescribable feeling of being in a situation in an important time and place but able to do anything to help.

Monday, November 12, 2007.

I was with my family shopping at Dollarama on Circle Drive one day. The family restaurant is only closed one day a week, this was the only day we could have gone shopping. I can't remember what exactly we purchased, but I would have gotten things that could be broken down into raw materials for one of my projects. We finished, paid, and walked out the door and was walking into the parking lot when a young mother, crying and yelling, carried her infant boy into the dollar store.

I followed in to see the situation. The mother and the boy were on the floor of the entrance way--the mother was crying and panicked, and the boy was looking around lifelessly. Her son was having a seizure. Her son was blinking and seemed to be looking around, looking at me, and was starting to foam at the mouth. The mother explained that her son stopped responding to her suddenly when they were in the car, not even when she was screaming her son could not respond.

I stood there trying to rationalize what should be done in such a situation. The mother was crying in confusion, panic, and despair. There was another lady, a customer of the store, who was calming the mother--She also has a boy who has regular seizure episodes. One of the cashiers ran to get a small area rug for the boy to lay down on. A different cashier had already phoned 911 and an ambulance was already being dispatched.

All I could do was stand there. I looked around, I looked at the boy who was looking back at me, I didn't know what could be done. Within the collective knowledge of everyone present there was nothing that the 20 or 30 people in that store could do to help--myself included.

I kept looking at the boy who would look around at the faces in front of him, then his mother would hold him up or move him to his side to clear the foam frothing from his mouth. He looked back at me, and I looked into his eyes. I stood there frustrated that I didn't know what to do, frustrated that I couldn't do anything, he looked back at me with a very calm expressionless face--blinking. My eyes connected with his once more as he lay motionless looking at me without expression--until he stopped blinking. I checked for breathing--he was breathing normally, but now he's unconscious.

Within two more minutes the ambulance could be heard from the distance coming fast. It pulled into the parking lot and I remembered running to hold the outside doors open waving at them signaling that this was the right store. The truck pulled up and the front passenger went to grab a medical bag from the back of the ambulance. She came into the store and as she passed by me I let her know the boy had lost consciousness about 3 minutes ago.

I left the store shortly afterwards. The feeling of uselessly not able to do anything in the situation sat deep in my chest. I walked away from the store towards the car regretting that I couldn't do anything for the boy. Uttering a silent prayer and leaving my hopes with the paramedics, I left for home with a heavy feeling of unease in my heart.

During the trip home my Mom shared a story from her childhood in Vietnam which I have not yet heard before. She had a younger brother which also had a seizure episode. Both my mom and her younger brother were shopping with my grandma when my mom's younger brother went into a seizure. Rushing him to the hospital was a challenge without the availability of cars or ambulances. My mom and my grandma carried him by foot until they asked a merchant pedal bike or some similar bike to take him to the hospital.

Shortly after they got to the hospital he was revived and my mom remembered talking to her younger brother. He would have been only a couple years old. Both my mom and my grandma were relieved. Hearing that lit a smile into my face too, and I marveled at the advancement we've made in medicine to save lives. My mom ran home to tell the family everything that happened, and that everything was going to be alright. After my mom finished explaining my grandma followed into the house; after my mom left the hospital her brother had another episode and the doctors weren't able to revive him--he passed away shortly after my mom left the hospital. My mom to this day wonders why things turned out the way it did. She wonders what would have happened if she stayed a while longer, to talk and play with her brother in the hospital, would he have been alright? How could someone be lost so easily in a modern hospital?

I don't know why things end up happening the way it does. I pray for the blond haired boy who I met that day, but don't know who he is, where he is, or what happened after I left that day. I marvel at "our" societal advancement in medicine and saving lives, but there is a greater truth--the truth of the unknown: the truth that one can never know the end.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


The other night there was a retired gentlemen that came in to dine with his wife at the restaurant. The two of them were the last customers to have come in and that allowed me to give them more attention. From recommending soups; discussing the future of arts, music, theatre, literature, and education; talking about his drop-out education; talking about her career choices of secretary, nurse, or teacher; to sharing stories of good ol' Larry Klapoushak, we shared a wonderful conversation.

All three of us were about to leave the night having enjoyed our evening. The gentlemen came to the front to pay for the meal. He gave me a toonie and asked me to split it in half and give him back just one, "...let's make that your tip, I wish I could have given you more." I split the toonie into two loonies and decidedly put both coins in his hand. He didn't notice it.

Being a retired gentlemen likely to have no income, he wanted to give me the loonie as a token of thanks for my services provided that evening. If that's true I'm content with just the thanks.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Push-Ups for Life

Modern-day society [of developed nations] is lazy. Its not that we want to be lazy, but the society deems it necessary. We do a little as we can "physically" to maximize "productivity."

Stop what you're doing and do 10 push-ups every 15 minutes.

Whether you're at work, if you're studying, or if you're performing almost any given task on any given day a lot of time is spent sitting, or standing, in one place. If you've worked too long or have studied too much you can go lie down to relax and take a break. The mind is restless and the body rarely stops resting. This is, sadly, what our lifestyle and our society deems necessary.

Every 15 minutes stop what you're doing and do 10 push-ups.

When it comes time to shift from neutral to drive, the body takes time to warm up--just like a car in a Saskatchewan winter. If something sudden happens, like needing to move an extremely heavy box into the house, the body's engine revs up and the dormant muscles experience high strain to accomplish the 10 minute task. After the dust settles, the body is promptly placed back into hibernation as the heart lowers the revving and the muscles cool down. Isn't this being a slightly-incredibly harsh on the body? Is it possible to train the body to be in a state of always-readiness?

Take a break and do 10 push-ups every 15 minutes.

It takes time for the heart to "warm-up" and ready itself, it'll pump away during physical activity, and it'll cool off and slow down when inactive. Assuming that the more times the heart readies itself the more efficient it will be at doing so, and assuming that increased blood circulation is beneficial for muscles as well as many organs of the body, the heart can be trained to attain a permanent state of readiness.

Regardless of what you're doing, stop every 15 minutes and do 10 push-ups. This will take anywhere from 5-20 seconds [the time it takes will also significantly shorten after a few days, though for some it will lengthen after the first few hours before shortening). In a standard 14 hours day 560 push-ups can be completed, you'll use nearly every muscle in your body but significantly the ones in your arms, the efficiency of your lungs will increase, and more importantly your heart will have the chance to start-up/perform/cool-down 56 times. Eventually [me thinks] your heart will build towards the pattern, reach an always-ready state, and possibly lower your performance bpm to your warm up bpm. I wish to scientifically experiment and collect data on this hypothesis in future. I'll definitely blog the results whenever I get around to it!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Poutine Kids

There were a group of kids whom had visited the family restaurant frequently in the summer of 2006 and 2007. Though I can't say I miss them, not having seen them at all this summer, I can never forget them and can't help but wonder where they are or how they're doing.

One memory I have tells of sometime last summer. There were 3 of them. One of them we saw waiting outside, another two entered the restaurant and began walking their own separate but determined paths within the small crowded restaurant. One was stopped by my sister as his eyes began searching around the room.

"What do you want? Is there something I can help you with?" my sister asked him. He probably would have plowed through my sister and pushed her aside if she didn't say anything. "Can I have some water?" was his reply as he changed course towards the fridge, cups, and water pitchers. A little rude if you ask me, but it was evident he was coming from a low income family and seemed to be have been payed little attention to.

The second boy, they were both roughly 10-12 years old, locked his gaze in the direction of the cash register as he slowly walked his way up to the till. "What can I do for you?" I asked, to which he mumbled an incoherent reply without taking his eyes off the till. "Is there something I can do for you?" I asked him again, but he wasn't responding to my questions but rather repeating his mumble which sounded something like "ooteen, ooteen, ooteen..." I had no idea what he was talking about, he wouldn't look at me or anything except for the cash register. I made my way to the cash register and from behind the counter looked down at him and asked him again, "What can I do for you?" only to have him repeat his mumble again. Without looking up at me, while looking around at the items placed on the counter at till I finally understood what he was asking me, "Do you have poutine."

Poutine? In a Asian restaurant? Not completely out of the question, but I'm sure a 12 year old would know not to ask for poutine in an Asian restaurant. "No we don't. Is there anything else I can do for you?" I asked him as his eyes continued surveying the items around him.

"Oh." was his reply, but still he stood standing and scanning with his eyes. By this time my father had made his way out to the dinning room and had gotten impatient with the kids. I can't remember what he told them, but it would have been along the lines of a modest "we're running a business, not a poutine business, and we can't keep having you guys come in here to ask for water or mints or candies every other day."

I always remember them running away from the place in a hurry though. It is almost as if they felt that they needed to run away each and every time they left the restaurant, but not before they would shut off all the light switches in the entry way plunging the whole dinning room in near-absolute darkness.

Sometimes they would come in twice in the day. In one of those days they came in, asked for water, didn't finish their water, hung out by the donations envelop for the opportunity for the disabled chocolate stand, and left. Later they came back, bought a pop, paid for it, hung out by the donations envelop for the opportunity for the disabled chocolate stand, and when we weren't looking, ran away without their one can of pop (I assume it was to be divided between the 3 people).

I'm actually not sure any more whether or not I miss them. I certainly remember them and do not want to forget them, regardless of the memories I have of them, but I can't help but wonder some days where they are or how they're doing.