Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Audio Blog from the North Bay Outback

this is an audio post - click to play

Update: Honestly, don't even bother listening to this unless you can understand Charlie Brown's Teacher. It is totally and utterly incomprehensible.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Drip drip drip

Sorry All,

I've been under the weather with a terrible cough/cold/flu since Monday and just came back to work today. Still feel a little ripe but can't avoid the work or emails accumulating on my blackberry. I will likely not post until another weeks time as I am heading North on Monday to North Bay to visit RB's mother.

The in-laws.

Not sure what to think, but I am trying to prepare myself. In my ignorance, I asked RB if there were any Asians there other than the token restaurant owner, but he doesn't know. I will be out of my element and in a cold place, so wish me luck. You'll more than likely get an AudioBlog Post from me, so until then, be well and take care my friends!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Osteopathic Fixes

The body is truly an amazing thing, something we take advantage of far too often. I have mentioned in the past that I have a number of joint and muscle problems such as Ankylosing Spondylitis, and fibromyalgia. I've lived with it for many years and you sort of get used to the daily pain and fatigue. This morning wasn't any different. I was sore and completely fatigued as I was unable to sleep well the last 3 days due to my sciatica. I went to work and was not feeling well, intending to head home to rest after lunch.

I've tried many different therapies, but it was only when I met Rib Breaker that I began to understand how intricate the body worked and how your mood and disposition could easily be affected by what was happening to it. RB, being a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) would often tell me to do certain things to promote better health and strength. RB has been instrumental in teaching me more about the body and we both went to look at the amazing exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre called Body Works as part of this continued education. It was an eye opener and I would highly recommend the trip to go see it.
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
The one thing RB has been pushing me to do, was to see his Osteopath. I was hesitant, as I tend to be cautious and a bit cynical when it comes to treatments. I've seen Physiotherapists, Chiropracters, doctors, rhemotolgists, gastro-enterologists, etc, and my general conclusion is that they have all been useless. The pain is always there and all they do is poke, prod and examine you, telling you the same thing you have always known, followed by prescriptions to some COX 2 inhibitor NSAID.

Well, the cynic finally has nothing to complain about, and that in itself is an acccomplishment. In fact, after seeing this Osteopath, I have energy and a sense of well being. He manipulated my muscles, joints and re-aligned my body and I feel great. The procedure was unique and I didn't expect to hear my body crack and pop as much as it did, but despite the shock of it, I am glad I went. It has been a while since my body has told me that it feels good. Today it is telling me I am great.

So, thank you Doc for this and I hope to see where this will go.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


No thanks to Myke, I have been tagged to dish out more crap about me. Baaaah, "Wok the heck", it's a rainy day and I have nothing better to do anyways.

Two Names You Go By --
1. Alex (friends and family call me this)
2. Sasha (long ago I was called this by Jewish bubbe's in my neighbourhood)

Two Parts of Your Heritage --
1. Shanghainese (people from Shanghai, China)
2. Hakka Indian(Chinese people from India)

Two Things That Scare You --
1. Blatant ignorance
2. The inability of some to think for themselves.

Two of Your Everyday Essentials --
1. Coffee from Starbucks
2. Clean pair of tightie whities

Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now --
1. Black underwear (couldn't find said clean Tightie whities, and Black is not my preferred colour choice).
2. Vintage T-shirt for the movie Superchick.

Two of Your Favorite Bands or Musical Artists (at the moment) --
1. Franz Ferdinand
2. Simple Plan (My happy cute boy band group for the moment).

Two Things You Want in a Relationship (other than Real Love) --
1. To be taken care of, as much as I like to take care of others.
2. Somebody to talk to about my dreams, fears, worries and desires.

Two Truths --
1. A single word can deliver a life altering message. In my case it was "HIV+". You can either wallow in self pity, anger and regret, or fight the battle, look forward with head high and be strong. I chose the latter.
2. I have generally always been optimistic and happy.

Two Physical Things that Appeal to You --
1. A person, who when they smile, it shows in their eyes.
2. The look and feel of a man's obliques and that fleshy bit called the love handle (moderate).

Two of Your Favorite Hobbies --
1. Painting and drawing
2. Writing

Two Things You Want Really Badly --
1. To travel the world and "live" life.
2. To swim with dolphins

Two Places You Want to go on Vacation --
1. New Zealand
2. Australia

Two Things You Want to Do Before You Die --
1. Travel and see the world
2. Make a difference somehow...To become the man I believe I can and will be.

Two Ways that you are stereotypically a Guy --
1. I like the outdoors and getting dirty.
2. I hate shopping (despise)

Two Things You Normally Wouldn't Admit --
1. I can become emotionally cold to protect myself from hurt.
2. I had a crush (still do) on Julia Roberts.

Two Things You Are Thinking About Now --
1. Why this questionairre has taken me almost 90 minutes to complete.
2. That Christmas Carol "Let it Snow"

Two Stores You Shop At --
1. Grocery stores
2. Art supply store (Curry's)

Two people I haven't talked to in a while --
1. Catherine (lost touch, no fault of hers)
2. My parents (they are in New Zealand)

Two bloggers who may now dislike you for passing this on to them --
1. Earth Mother: The Goddess Hopeful
2. Greg the Surly

Bonus (sorry, Myke added this and I feel like pissing more people off today so I decided not to remove it) of 2 more bloggers who may now be ticked off at me --
1. Dantallion
2. Mikevil

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hey there copper, mistah crime stopper

A long time ago, when I was about 17-18, I had a run in with the law. Well, run-in isn't quite the word, but it sounds more exciting. Like I'm an outlaw or something.

I was with my old high school buddies, driving home at night around 2 am. We had been relaxing at Life Over Easy's (LOE) home in North York, and it was past 2 am when we decided to leave. It had been a rather long night, but Life Over Easy had kindly offered to drive us. The 4 of us piled in the car, with our school bags and notebooks in tow.

We chatted and listened to The Cure as we drove North along Yonge Street. It wasn't particularly busy on the streets, and we made good time. As we closed in on my neghbourhood, we noticed a police cruiser stopped at the red light going West bound on Elgin Mills Road. As we passed the cruiser, it suddenly veered into the North bound lane on Yonge street, following us. We slowed down thinking the cruiser was on a call and about to pass us, but there were no sirens or signals for us to pull over, save the fact that the cruiser was now tailgating us with the highbeams on. Just as LOE signalled to turn right into my neighbourhood, the cruiser lights came on and we were signalled to pull over. We waited about 3-5 minutes before 2 cops came out of the cruiser to approach, one to the drivers side, the other to the rear of the passenger side. It did not go unnoticed that both were armed, with their hands on their holsters.

The officer tapped on the drivers window, his flashlight in our eyes, and LOE rolled his window down. This is how the conversation went.

Officer: Drivers license and registration.
LOE: Uh, Yes officer. Here (passes to officer)
Officer (looking around in the car): Where you boys coming from at this time of night?
LOE: From my house. We were studying, and I'm driving my friends home.
Officer: Is that right? And where would your home be?
LOE: xxx xxxx in North York.
Officer: Have any of you been drinking?
LOE: No sir. We don't drink.
Officer: And who are you driving home?
LOE: Umm, well, him first (pointing at me, behind driver).
Officer (looking at me and tapping my window): Lets see what's in the bags. Let's have a closer look in your bag.
Me (opening my bag): Yes sir. They are just text books.
Officer: Let's see your identification or drivers license.
Me: Yes sir. Here.
Officer: Right. Stay here.

The officer stepped away to his cruiser and we waited for about 15 minutes for him to return. While we waited another cruiser pulled up and 2 additional cops came out and stood around LOE's vehicle. We were nervously concerned as we had no idea what this was all about. It felt odd and rather uncomfortable.

Officer (to LOE): Here's your registration and license.
LOE: Thank you
Officer (to me): So where did you say you were coming from?
Me: LOE's home in North York.
Officer: and what is his address?
Me: xxx xxxx address.
Officer: And where are you going? What is your address?
Me: Ummm, the same as the one on the Drivers license at xx Woodstone Ave, just down this street on the left.
Officer: Uh huh. And what's your name?
Me: Umm, Alexander
Officer: Do you go by any other names?
I look around at my friends who offer "Al" as an answer.
Officer: No, do you go by any other names?
Me: umm, such as what?
Officer: Why don't you tell me.
Me: Sir, I have no idea. Ireally don't go by any other names.
Officer: You mean you don't ever go by Kun Phuc Yi?
Me (hearing "Kentucky" as in Fried Chicken): uh, I'm sorry what?
Officer (more loudly): Kun Phuc Yi! Kuuun Phuuuc Yiii. Do you go by that name?!
Me: Um, no. That sounds like a Vietnamese name and I'm not Vietnamese.
Officer: uh...hmmm. Well, according to our check you match the decription of Mr. Kun Phuc Yi.
Me: Well sir, I'm sorry, but that really is not me. I don't know what to tell you. Umm, out of curiosity, may I ask what this is all about and why we were pulled over?
Officer: well, uh, we are following a lead with a description of a ... similar car with Asians in the car matching your descriptions, who are ... uhh ... trafficking stolen weapons.
Me: You could see us in the dark to know? Well, wouldn't you like to look in the trunk then as well?

The cops finally let us go, with a parting comment that we "boys, be sure to get home quick". I'm sure there was more said, but we didn't want to stick around.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Flanders Fields

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

A heartfelt thanks to those Veterans and the highest respect to those who lost their lives. We would not be here today without your sacrifices.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play


Thanks to Sticky Crows, I absolutely love this idea! Not as a sexual or gratuitous display of our bodies, but as a celebration of it, as art, as something we love and are comfortable in. So starting at the bottom, here we go. And no, it's not a fetish.

My foot in China

Manitouwabing Feet

Muskoka Feet

Muskoka Foot

Sunset at my Feet

Friday, November 4, 2005

Grandpapa Act Three - lessons learned.

While were on the discussion of family...

My grandfather, whom I have written about previously was one of those men I always was wary of. His mannerisms and personality were dependent upon the company he kept, and I found him to be insincere and rather disingenious. I know those are harsh words, but just because you are blood, doesn't mean you have to love someone. My grandfather was a man with 2 different personalities clearly separated by the public and the private image, and this made me very uncomfortable.

Out in public he was a kind and serene, well-respected and well-known Evangelical Reverend who hob knobbed with the likes of Billy Graham and other Christian fundamentalists. At home, it was a completely different story. His temper, impatient and demanding nature were volatile to say the least and I was often the brunt of it. The fact that he was also incredibly hard of hearing meant he would end up screaming at you, no matter what the situation. In addition to these lovable traits, he also drank several pots of coffee a day, with heaping spoonfuls of sugar (4 Tbsps to be exact) in each cup. In otherwords, he was continuously wired and would often wake me with a start at 2-3am on a school night, to tell me to fix his VCR or turn on the television. With lights glaring in my eyes, he would start to spit and drool all over me as he tried to speak without his dentures.

No dentures + 2 pots of coffee + sugar + deafness + impatience = Downright Crazy

God, those dentures still give me the heebie jeebies.

The nightmares also stem from his nightly routine of using my toothbrush to scrub his dentures and then wiping them on my towel and placing them in my cup in the washroom. Why he did this I have no idea. I simply began to hide all my stuff in my own room. If he needed to brush his dentures now, he could use the toilet brush for all I cared. You can't imagine what it was like, finding bits of meat and food on my towel and tooth brush.

I think the most "memorable" experience was the afternoon I returned home with 3 of my best friends in tow. These were all old highschool buddies whom I still keep in touch with to this day. Life Over Easy had driven us to my place and we had planned on chilling out and listening to music. As I entered the foyer with my friends, I could hear that my grandfather was home. His bedroom TV was blaring and there was a very loud and disturbing sound echoing through the foyer.

Ooooooooooo, aaahhhhhhhhhh!
MMMMMMmmmmmmmmm, ohhhhhhhh,
nggggghhhhhh, uh huuuh, oh yeah! Oh Yeah! Baby! Oh god! Oh GOD! Oh GOD! OH GOOOODDDDD!!!!!

Oh God indeed! The dirty bugger was watching porn again. I grabbed my bewildered friends and pushed them into the Family Room and turned on the radio to drown out the echoes of several females in the throes of orgasmic release. I ran upstairs and began knocking on his door.

No answer.

I knocked harder.

No answer.

I had no choice but to open the door and do something about the situation. What I witnessed, I would never force even upon my worst enemy. It was as though I had seen that video tape in The Ring and my life changed forever. I remember telling my mum & dad and ratting the old man out that evening, and forcing them to deal with the situation. In Chinese culture, a son (grandson) always puts family first and will be the filial dutiful son even when they don't want to be. Respect comes before anything, and with my grandfather I was losing it. He preached about the decrepid state of morality in society and spoke against all sorts of so-called "immoral" acts, and on the side he was watching Debbie Does Dallas.

It was at this very instant that I began to see the hypocrisy in peoples' lives and the way that the world really revolved. Growing up as a teen is difficult as it is. Adding all the complexities of being gay, with a low self esteem and general confusion fueled my anger that religion could have such a strong grip on dictating what morals should be put out there, when they were often the perpetrators of such heinous and dishonest crimes like paedophaelia and ministries for profit (prophet?) like Benny Hinn (not to be confused with Benny Hill).

Whether this was misdirected teenage angst or not, I am thankful to my grandfather even if the actual lesson were not his intention or a direct result of him having taught me.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Parental Phone Calls: Part trois - Freedom 65

Both my parents are now 66 and retired about 5 years ago and the wonderful thing about my parents being retired is that they finally get the chance to relax and travel the world and do the things they always wanted to do. The bad part is that they get bored when they are in the city, calling several times a day to ask how I am or what I am doing. If my father calls to talk about my mother, my mother will then call me back to talk about my father, and vice versa.

I've written about these "unique conversations before here and here

My parents left for a 3 month trip to China in September and will also extend their travels to Australia and New Zealand. When they go on trips I rarely hear from them. Sort of like, Out of sight, out of mind. They just forget were here, but if we kids fail to call them, we hear no end of it. So I finally hear from them on Sunday.

ring ring
Me: Hello?
Dad (crackling in background): Hello?? It's Dad.
Me: HeyDad! How are you? How are things going?
Dad: I don't have much time. My card is running out so you have my number on your call display?
Me: Uh, yeah. So how are things?
Dad: So you have the number right? Don't lose it, ok?
Me: I have it, don't worry. So how are you and mum.
Dad: Good. Here.... (silence)
Me: Hello?......Heelloooooo?
Mum: Hello?
Me: Mum? oh, hi.
Mum: Hi! How's my doggie?
Me: She's fine (ahem) and so am I.
Mum: Oh, for goodness sakes! Your father always tells me to tell you something while I am trying to talk to you! Dad's tellling me something. Hold on.
Me: Mum, this is long distance and expensi....(dial tone)
Hang up

After 20 minutes I realise that "My card is running out so you have my number on your call display?" was actually my Dad's way of telling me to call him back.

Ring Ring

Mum: Hello?
Me: Hi Mum. We got cut off, so I wanted to call you back.
Mum: Good good. Have you seen your brother and his wife? They were both sick when they left us in Shanghai. You tell them to listen to what mother says and to visit that Chinese doctor. You know, I was coughing for so many months and then I went to see the Chinese doctor and then I was fine! Can you believe that? Isn't it great! But now I am here and it is very dusty in the apartment and we couldn't get a maid to help us clean and cook. Imagine that! Here in China, unable to find someone. So now I have to clean.
Me: Well, I will be sure to tell them to see your doctor. How's the family? How are the Great Aunties and Grandfather?
Mum: They all have full blown dementia. Poor things, they have all gone down hill in the last year.
Me: Oh, that's so sad.
Mum: By the way, check the Agenda Dad sent you. He keeps interrupting our chat to tell me to remind you that we're leaving Friday for Sydney. Which reminds me, how is my computer? Can I use it in Sydney?
Me: Umm, I have your new computer but haven't hooked it up at your place yet.
Mum: Did you get a new flat screen for me like you said you would for my birthday?
Me: Ah, not yet, but soon.
Mum: So I can't use my address book?
Me: Your address book? what do you mean?
Mum: How do I get on the Internet and send emails if you haven't put my computer stuff in the new one?
Me: You can't access your PC from Sydney, mum. You will use the PC or Internet service local to you in Sydney.
Mum: But, how do I know the email addresses of everyone I need to send to?
Me: Just go into your online address book like I showed you with your Yahoo account.
Mum: I don't understand. How can I do that if my computer is not set up properly.
Me: Mum, this is a very expensive call. Don't you think we should be talking about other things?
Mum: Ok. I guess I should let you go then. Give Kalyx my sweet puppy a hug and tell your silly brother to see the doctor.
Me: Ok. Bye. Love you and have fun.
Mum: Bye.

I love them like crazy, but imagine getting this type of call 3 times a week or more when they live in the city. Happy trip Mum and Dad! Enjoy your vacation, because I am.