Monday, May 28, 2012

Tony's Birthday

It was Tony's birthday last week. We went to his house for a barbecue on Monday, Victoria Day. Tony and Iris invited quite a few people over. Some were from Tony's home church, others were international students and some, like me, were from the church he attends regularly.

In an unusual move for the birthday boy, Tony, prepared all the food (along with his loving wife, Iris) and manned the barbecue for the duration of the afternoon.

They had a variety of yummy eats (as they usually do). Tony even barbecued some home made sausages. He made two varieties. A regular one with pork and whatever other traditional filler you use and another one with Kimichi added for a spicy kick.

You couldn't have asked for a better day. It was sunny and hot without a cloud in the sky. We spent the afternoon in their yard chatting and enjoying each other's company.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tom's House

My friend Tom recently finished renovating an older, 3-storey  townhome on Baldwin Street in Toronto's Chinatown community. He completely gutted the inside and refinished everything with high quality upgrades. Among them were the custom staircase leading to the second floor made by a friend of his.

It's really a wonderful looking place. The east wall is exposed brick, a rustic look which contrasts the sleek, modern looking, stainless steel appliances in the kitchen and modern vanities in the bathrooms. As well there's a new separate entrance that he had dug out to go to the finished basement.

He just had it staged and it's up for sale now. I'm sure he'll find a buyer quickly as it's a great looking home.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pan Asian Celebration

Back on May 10th I went to see the Pan Asian Celebration at the North York Central Library Auditorium. A number of dignitaries including Senator Vivienne Poy and faculty members of York University spoke.

There was a poetry reading by professor Pricila Uppal, a musical performance by Alice Ho (on piano) and Chan Ka Nin (on his custom Ba Gua Qin, similar to a harp).

Little Pear Garden Collective entertained the audience with a number of dance performances. Most were choreographed by Emily Cheung the evening's MC. For the most part the girls were dressed in traditional costumes which were bright and colourful. Lovely to see.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cornerstone Sports Night - Angry Birds

Meet the Angry Birds (so named for our red jerseys). This is the Cornerstone Sports Night team I was on this year. Back row (from left) Sang Hee, Ellen, John, Chloe, Sam, Allan. Chung-Yen and I are in the front. Missing are Stephanie and Mike.

We started playing European handball last October. That lasted seven weeks. Next was volleyball for eight weeks. Finally we finished off with eight weeks of floor hockey.

Our team did well. Everyone hustled and played hard. We came first in European handball, first in volleyball and were runner ups in floor hockey. Congrats, Angry Birds!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Birthday Dinner

My friend Will organized a birthday dinner for me this past Saturday. My actual birthdate was the day before, but I went to Tucker's Marketplace for dinner with another friend. On this day we went to another buffet restaurant, Imperial Buffet.

Will invited Big Jon, Dickie and Lawrence. One friend, Richard, was unable to make it. I think this is the first time this particular group of guys has eaten together.

Needless to say, over the past few days I ate a lot of food. But it was good. I enjoyed the time I spent with my friends. Combine it with another one of my favorite pastimes (eating) and how can you go wrong?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hot Docs - The Job

One of my friends volunteered at the recent Hot Docs festival here in Toronto. For that she got a bunch of vouchers to see some films. So a few of us got together to go see a movie. The one we chose was called The Job.

Now, I have to mention one reason we picked this movie was because of the date and time it was playing. We wanted a movie on a Friday that was late enough so that we could meet up and grab dinner beforehand. As well, our first choice was already sold out... so we got what we could grab.

Basically The Job is a documentary from France which follows the group interview process of a number of applicants for a sales position at an unnamed company by a group of head hunters. In current times employers can choose to be bullies during the hiring process and get away with it since so many people are desperate for work. That's what we see here.

We see 10-12 people being grilled and tormented by the head hunter and his associates over the period of a few hours for a job that they know little to nothing about. They don't even have a clue how much they'll be paid (which turns out to be minimum wage plus commission).

This is done to see how they react under pressure because the job requires you to perform under duress I suppose. But, I think they took it a bit too far.

To get an idea of the treatment they received, after the first round of cuts the applicants who weren't considered for the job were individually asked to give the reasons they thought they weren't hired (in front of the whole group). As if learning they wouldn't get the job wasn't bad enough. They had to rub it in before they let them leave.

This went on for the entire length of the movie (which was around 90 minutes). If you have any sort of a heart it was kind of rough to sit through. You just felt so bad for these poor souls.

I guess that's the kind of society we live in today. Where people are treated as a commodity like cattle or sheep. It's all about profits and nothing else. How sad is that?

Friday, May 4, 2012

2012 OOTC Dishwashing Crew

This is a photo of our dishwashing group at the Out of the Cold program at Knox Presbyterian Church this year. Our regular group consisted of (from left) me, Harim, Yonni and Joe. I believe this was Sue's (to the right of Joe in the photo) first time. Ken (to Sue's right in the photo) has come a couple of times as well.

Harim has been helping for awhile now. She first started a few years ago. Though she disappeared for a year or so. It's good that she's been able to help out again. She's really fast.

Yonni started a year or two ago. She's been great working the dishwasher.

This is Joe's first year in the kitchen. When we lost Sam and Trevor he stepped in and has been great washing the dirty pots and pans. He only missed about three weeks since we started in November.

Without those guys life here would have been nearly impossible. I'd like to take the time to thank them all.

Hope to see everyone next fall.