Wednesday, August 20, 2008


RIP Bernie Mac

Well, I know that this isn't breaking news anymore, but I have just now seen the memorial service held in Bernie Mac's honour (thank you youtube). And I've seen a few major funerals for entertainers on tv over the last few years (James Brown's being the most memorable), but this one was quite unique, especially since he was such a vivacious entertainer.

As one of the Original Kings of Comedy, Bernie had a very close relationship with DL Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Steve Harvey. The three remaining Kings each eulogized Bernie Mac, and what they said was quite touching and yet very hilarious; quite a tribute to the memory of Bernie Mac. What stuck with me is something that DL Hughley (of all people) said about identity:

The hardest thing for a black man to do is to be an individual, is to stand on your own and to say what you mean, and to not be influenced by anybody, to make your own mind up, and your own way... He stood on his own, he said what he believed.

The one thing that I've heard repeatedly about Bernie is that he was an individual. This does not only apply to black men, this applies to every single person, regardless of your race, gender or creed. The hardest thing for anyone to do is to discover, become, and accept who they are, and withstand the pressures of life.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Reasons Obama Can't Win

Paris Hilton for President?

Thanks to Funny or Die

Sure, it pokes more fun at McCain, but get serious. Obama has now been endorsed by Paris Hilton, Hamas, and a recently executed convicted murderer. Quite the impressive list. Being a celebrity rarely gets you elected. The only ones who it helped were Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan. But don't forget, they were both Republicans.

All jokes aside... her energy policy is actually the most sound. Who wrote her policy book? Someone hire that person. And when did we start using the term "energy policy" to describe how we are going to survive the "oil crisis". It's just as sneaky as saying "budget surplus" instead of over-taxation (it's a subtle difference with huge implications).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Travel Blog: Day 14

Has it really only been 2 weeks? It has started to feel like an eternity. A comfortable eternity. I actually just got back Victoria a couple of hours ago.

I travelled to Victoria yesterday with Kevin to commemorate BC Day on the steps of the BC Legislature. What do we call this holiday in Ontario? Simcoe Day? The Civic Holiday? Regardless, this is the 150th anniversary of BC's existence, so there was a huge celebration for the sesquicentennary (sp?). Stephen Harper was present, alongside the BC Premiere. The main impetus for going to Victoria was to see Feist, who was headlining the evening's performances. Sarah McLaughlin and Burt Cummings (The Guess Who) also played during the day.

If you were wondering, yes, Feist is eccentric, if not downright weird. Her performance was quite artsy, and not the best possible selection for this type of crowd, especially since most are only familiar with her one hit. But it was a great night, capped off by NO FIREWORKS! I simply don't understand that. You have this massive celebration on a public holiday, thousands, literally tens of thousands of people are out for this great event, and there were no fireworks. Quite the unclimactic finish to the evening, but a great show none the less.

Oh, and I got to see Devin. Woot! Going back to Victoria on Saturday morning for about 10 days.

Vancouver! Part 2

This whole time I'm staying at Jenn's apartment downtown, very close to Stanley Park. (Thanks Jenn!) The property situation here is similar, again, to Toronto's. A spate of new condos going up downtown, but more aesthetically pleasing ones, unlike the bland and unoriginal ones that keep on springing up along the rail yard in Toronto.

Thursday I walked down to Chinatown, and specifically to the Chinese Gardens. What a beautiful spot, and the guided tour was very valuable. Funny story #1: He looked, acted, and sounded like Radey Barrack. When I get the film developed, I'll post the pictures. Which leads into Funny story #2: I'm using an oldschool nondigital camera. Mainly because we (being my family) can't seem to buy decent cameras that won't break. I also explored the final two areas in the downtown core, Gastown (the "historic" district) and the West End where Jenn lives, including the Denman, Davies and English Bay areas. On Friday, I had a blast from the past for late-lunch/early-dinner with Henry, whom I havn't seen since elementary school. Exactly a decade ago!

Now Friday Night. What a crazy crazy time. It seemed like everyone was in for the weekend, and staying in Jenn's studio apartment. Tori, who was in Civil with me and will be working for Kiewit with Jenn and Cody, was staying the night with her friend. Kevin, also from Civil, was in from Victoria where he just started working. Cody also came across from West Van with his friend Josh. We started out at the Davie's street party, where they had blocked off the street for 2 huge beer tents. Once those closed down, the gents headed off to Caprice, a club on Granville, to finish off the night.

Saturday & Sunday saw another burst of activity, once I got over the hangover. Breakfast at O'Doul's, the Wine Bar/Jazz Club, a downtown stroll with Kevin, another visit to Surrey, and then to White Rock, then a trip over to Cody's in West Van filled up Saturday. Sunday was the parade, then Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium, then pub hopping to complete the night.

Vancouver! Part 1

Travel Blog: Day # I've Lost Count

Ok, so I haven't updated in ages.... Basically since I got to Vancouver over a week ago. Here goes a long update of everything that I've been upto.

Well, before I get to any details... Man, I love Vancouver. Soooo many reasons. I've thought about it for a while, and it boils down to the fact that it's a vastly diverse Canadian metropolis that isn't Toronto. It's not that I don't like TO, I love it, it's my favourite place on earth (next to Sydney). But I've gotten used to Toronto, and have been taking its many jewels for granted. There are so many events and neighbourhoods in Toronto that I simply ignore, or dont take the effort to go and experience. In a "new" city such as Vancouver, I'm inclined to go out and discover each and every neighbourhood, experience each and every festival or parade (yes I even did gay pride events).

I flew into Vancouver on Monday the 28th, and took public transit downtown. As is the case in Toronto, the Airport is nowhere near the downtown core. And there is no direct link either. I had to take 2 different buses to get to the core of the city. Unlike Toronto, Vancouver won their Olympic bid, and had serious impetus to extend the LRT system to the airport. We'll see how long it takes Toronto to do the same.

The next afternoon was spent discovering a few of the neighbourhoods around the downtown core with Cody, namely Granville Island (think markets and artisans) and Yaletown (condos and yuppies!). That night we met back up with my host Jenn and her friends for a birthday dinner at a Malaysian restaurant, before the girls headed off to a pole dancing class. Scandalous.

Wednesday was spent mostly in Surrey, visiting some family, meeting up with some "old" cousins, and meeting a "new" one. New as in I didn't know about her. She's 19, not a baby. I'm not huge on extended family, so I haven't really gone out of my way to discover the close to a hundred cousins that I have. Side note: My cousin Sabrina is what I call a "high performance vehicle." This girl is on a full ride at Stanford, doing track, and I went to her training session. Crazy stuff.

That night was the HSBC Festival of something or another at English Bay... Huge fireworks show and competition between Canada, the US, and China I believe. It was like the Benson & Hedges show that Toronto used to have. And might still have. Someone let me know if Toronto still has it.