Thursday, December 17, 2009

ATM troubles - part one

One sunny Wednesday afternoon, I had to deposit some cheques and take out some cash. I took a pleasant walk to the bank and then evaluated the two lineups in front of me - inside the bank, about 20 people waited to be helped by the tellers, but at the ATMs there were only four in queue. After a short wait, I trustingly put my bank card into the machine. It took my two cheques, but when I asked it to give me 60 dollars, a flickering screen told me that the card was stuck!

So I waited.

I peered into the bank. Nobody was at liberty to help me.

I waited some more.

The ATM flickered on blankly.

I went into the bank, hesitant about leaving the ATM for too long. I caught the attention of the woman sitting behind a desk by the doorway. After I'd told her about the card ordeal, she suggested I get into the line up for a teller. "Well," she added as an afterthought, "they'll help you get your card back only if they aren't too busy. They look really busy, but you can line up and ask anyways."

What else could I do? I glanced hopefully one more time at the ATM machine, but it only continued to flicker at me apathetically.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Canadian Tired

Here is an epic three page tale of an epic fail for Jody and I.
Please do enjoy a laugh at our expense:

(please click on each page to view comic)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

another childhood memory

Please click on the image to see it full sized...irate comments instructing me on how to display my comics properly are also welcome.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Life on a Good Day

On the way home today, something very absurd happened.
I was offered a ride on a disability scooter.

Oh right, and it was free...what WAS I thinking when I refused?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Grouse Mountain tips for weaksauce hikers

This weekend I tried to hike up Grouse Mountain for the first time in my life.


However things could have gone smoother.
Here are a few tips I can pass on to anyone out there
who might need a bit of guidance too.

Tip #1:
While other hikers provide a pace you can follow
and a bit of competitive motivation, it's not advisable
to be smug about passing others on the path.

Because there's only one pathway up...
and remember, you're weaksauce.

Tip #2
Your bug repellent probably doesn't work.

But use it to your advantage, it motivates you to keep moving.

Tip #3:
Try not to listen to the sounds that other hikers make.

There is nothing more demoralizing than laboured breathing,
and feet smacking hatefully against the ground.

Tip #4:
Do push yourself beyond what you think you can do.

It sure is unrewarding when you wake up the next day with no sore muscles.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

another celebratory dance

My friend Jody and I moved into a studio workspace recently.

I'm sure that we make everything look easy, but I just wanted to dispel that myth.

Here's how it really went down:

(please click on the image if you would like to see it full sized)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's My Party...

It was my birthday yesterday; birthdays make me stressed out.

I used to begin looking forward to my birthday once August appeared on the calendar. It would give me secret pleasure to think that it would be my birthday in five days! Then four!...three!...two!... And then with all the anticipation, and expectations of birthday happiness built up - I would crash on the actual day. It was my party, and I truly did exercise the right to cry.

For many years, I would put on an uncomfortable party dress and strut about, expecting people to celebrate and be grateful for my existence. I believed that a birthday was a special day, and that things would be as I wanted it to be. And it never was.

This year, I decided to let go of all my expectations and be happy with however the day turned out to be.

Event's of the day:

12:01 am - A bird defecates on my right thigh.

8:00 am - I discover bad news sitting in email inbox.

11:46 am - Awful, angry words are exchanged between me and beloved family members

12:45 pm - Mini crisis moment - I ask myself:
  • What have I done with my life?
  • What should I have accomplished by now?
  • Am I ridiculous?"
1:30 pm - I treat myself to a tasty latte

1:35 pm - Sun shines liquid gold through the leaves of a willow tree, being freaking gorgeous.

8:30 pm - I eat a giant slice of a tiramisu birthday cake.

11:59 pm - I realize that the accomplishment of being able to accept exceptionally bad events as part of a lovely birthday is something to be very proud of.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

San Francisco and Me 7 - little moments

On the apex of San Francisco's steep hills, we saw some gorgeous views of the city and the water. But sometimes, at the bottom of a hill, a mysterious tower or rooftop would peek out at us, and I loved wondering what the rest of the building looked like as we made our way upwards.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

San Francisco and Me 6 - pride day

I secretly drew the backs of the heads of two people wearing orange afro-wigs
on the BART en route to the pride parade. A very shy boy sitting across from me
was smiling to himself and playing with the rainbow coloured lei around his neck.
Everyone was sporting cheerful rainbows, and the train was full of laughter.

I loved all the colours and the happy atmosphere!
I sure wish everyday was like pride day.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

San Francisco and Me 5 - the landscape

To me, Californian landscape is made up of scorched yellow hillsides and small, olive green bushes crawling all over them. I felt very thirsty as I took in this view.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

san Francisco and Me 4 - Muir Woods

I was most excited about going to Muir Woods, where I would see ancient redwood trees, some over a thousand years old. They towered over us and were wider than the arms could encircle. In an area called the Cathedral Grove, I understood the sacredness of the space - with all the majestic nature surrounding me, and in my ear, the ethereal sound of the wind tickling the leaves.

Interestingly enough, I decided to draw all the littlest things I could find.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

san Francisco and Me 3 - birds

These birds are San Franciscans! I watched them on the pier, and translated their chirping for your reading pleasure.

There's a story behind this scenario, I'm sure, but I didn't get to stick around long enough to find out whether the bird on the left ever got his girlfriend to tell him what was wrong.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

san Francisco and Me 2 - embarcadero

As I was drawing this on the pier, a gust of wind rushed by and grabbed the hat off of a fisherman who was standing beside me. I said "oh no", as he looked woefully down at it floating in the water. I considered-what could I say to make him feel better about his loss?
Before I finished this thought, he pulled up the fishing line that was dangling from his hand and tossed the hook out into the water, to try to snag the floating hat. This wasn't going to be a loss for him, hell no. After a few tries, he grabbed a longer fishing pole and cast it in the water. My mouth was agape, I couldn't hide the fact that I was rudely watching him. Finally after three tries, he got it! He pulled up and as his hands took hold of it, I clapped in delight and said "yay!". He was startled by this and almost dropped the hat, but then he smiled shyly and acknowledged the fact that yes indeed, he had just accomplished a pretty amazing thing.

Friday, July 3, 2009

San Francisco and Me 1

I've been in San Francisco visiting a friend for the last two weeks,
here are mini stories that came out of my wonderful trip:

I stayed in a very cute house in Millbrae, and as I relaxed on a patio chair
the first morning, I caught sight of a bee busily feeding from
the cone shaped flowers, sticking it's head into each flower with it's 'beehind'
wiggling all about. Then it would back away, hover there uncertainly
and then dive into another flower. Adorable.

This made me think about what I expect to see when I'm sight-seeing in a new city,
and how I've stressed myself out in the past, trying to take in all the most unique experiences
that a place has to offer. Meanwhile, interesting things are happening everywhere.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


This weekend I found myself at a memorial service/party and in the presence of two dancers from the Kokoro Dance group:

They performed - the two figures in a painstakingly slow manner, made their way towards each other.

I could see their limbs quivering, like there is an inner-struggle to maintain the pose and control of the body, repressing tension within.

Sometimes, they would pause in a contorted stance and it conveyed to me in those few moments, so much grief and yearning...and a bit of random beauty.

The two meet in the middle and move in harmony, but then slowly, heart-wrenchingly, they peel themselves from each other, stepping away backwards.

I found that at the end of the dance I involuntarily closed my eyes, I didn't want to let any new images into my head after that. I felt a bit silly, but when I opened my eyes I found a woman across from me just opening her eyes too.

I think Egon Schiele would love this kind of dancing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

things I live for #1


Oh, his beautiful music...this is what I feel like when I play it.

Too bad Chopin would probably be writhing in his grave
if he heard me butchering his work
with my clumsy fingers.

Friday, May 22, 2009

absence makes the heart grow fonder

I've been doing a lot of printing lately, and I desperately needed the help of someone who didn't only work in the realm of pixels. I went to a little print store near my house with a mess of files - "can you help me?!" I cried out as I popped through the door. The woman behind the desk looked at me dispassionately.

Coolly, she replied "sure".

She was indeed very helpful and spent more time than she needed to help me solve my printing problems. What a nice woman, I thought, maybe if I made some conversation she would warm up to me. I tried really hard to come up with interesting questions to ask her, but each time, she found a way to answer back with a single word. Oh well, I thought, not everybody has to like me...I give up.

One day, I popped in with a quick job and discovered a different being behind the desk, the woman was giggling and coyly hitting the shoulder of this man who was sitting beside her.

Oh. Interesting.

I told her that I would be back the next day, she looked grateful about it, so I quickly left.

When I did go back the next day, she was a much warmer person to me. Who would have thought that I would be appreciated simply for my absence!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I spent most of the last two weeks here and there, cat-sitting, puzzle assembling, working on an animation project. But actually, I wasn't really...there.

My mind was far off into the past, all thoughts zipped around everywhere but where my slumpy body was. This made me spill a lot of things, and unable to taste anything I ate.
I wonder sometimes how much time my head has spent in limbo-land over the course of my life. If I subtracted all that time from the total years I've been on earth, would that be my mental age?

I might only be 10.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

public apology to my brother

I am very sorry. And this is why:
(you can see the images in all its full sized glory if you click on them)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

She Knows Me

I like to treat myself to little things, three times a year. It was about time for one, so I decided on a quiet pair of earrings - glass with flowers encased inside it. Very pretty.

As I'm drooling over them, the sales lady comes up to me, she wants to take other things out of the display cases for me. "No, try this" she says, "that is not for you, this is. Trust me, I know. I know you - that is you."

She did have a point. The pair of earrings she suggested were beautiful, and twinkled nicely in front of my dark hair. They also matched a necklace that was very me. I must buy the necklace too, it is so me.

"What are you?" she asks, "Japanese? Korean?"


"You don't look Chinese." She's seen a lot of different girls in her store, trust her, I don't look Chinese.

This is the first time I've ever heard this before.

She is persuasive, she has expertise, she knows what looks good on people - she is now ringing in my necklace, the earrings, and a little carved stone box I have no use for.

"Really, you must be a mix of something else."

"Well, my parents are from Brunei...but I'm sure that all of my grandparents came from China."

"Brunei?!" her face exploded into a smug ah-ha smile. "You see? Brunei is a Muslim country. Trust me, you're not pure Chinese, I know."

She was the most incredible saleswoman! I almost bought that too.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hazelton Motel Experience - Part II

I was outside and shivering...where will I go? I was being nudged further away from the room by this invisible force. My friend is staying two doors down from me, so I knocked insistently on her door. Immediately she opens the door, but I could tell I had woken her up. I sputtered out, "I got pushed off my bed! And she kept pushing me out the door!" (How did I know it was a female?)

My friend, always one to help me troubleshoot with technical problems, pragmatically suggests, "Well lets see, have you tried...going back to your room?"

"Gee whiz", I say as I try to dig my toe into the carpet, "OK."

I'm dreading it, but I make my way back, and curl up tightly into a ball under the covers of my bed. And then...I wake up tightly rolled in the same position.

Did this really happen?!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hazelton Motel Experience - Part I

Motels and hotels always make me nervous. This time in Hazelton...the walls were thin, and I would hear running water so loud and clear, I could swear it was flowing from the tap in my bathroom. But when I got up to check, the taps were always off.

One night, I finally fell asleep in a comfortable fetal position but woke up because something was nudging me from behind. It became more insistent, and even began pushing me out of bed. I looked behind me and saw nobody there...but this nobody began to push me out the door!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Attitude Edition

My personal goal, when I was in Hazelton was to go without TV for eight days. It's easy to forgo watching it when I'm at home, I can watch clips from youtube instead...but not so, when one is staying in a small motel room that has nothing in it but a bed, an alarm clock and a television set.

So I changed my rule...television only in the mornings.

Which is not the best idea because most morning shows are the ones that could really rot the mind.

One morning, I decided to watch Extreme Makeover...Home Edition. In the show, a construction crew goes to South Carolina, to help four kids and their grandmother, living in a dilapidated trailer. The TV crew interviews each child, and sends the family off to Disneyland while they demolish the trailer and put themselves to work, building what looked like a mansion in that small lot.

When the kids come back, each one now has a themed bedroom. The ten year old boy gets a Spiderman room, with rope netting on the wall that he could climb up, and a closet full of Spiderman toys. The host of the show reveals a surprise: the family gets a free trip up to New York to attend the premiere screening of the Spiderman movie! The Grandmother and the kids scream, they cry, they are overcome with gratitude.


I always feel so manipulated by shows like these. Also, I'm skeptical about whether or not the Grandma could afford to pay the electricity bill for all the chandeliers and the big screen televisions they put up.

In the next scene, they visit the eight year old's room. Earlier in the show, when the designer asks him what he likes, he says "reading". Boy, he must regret saying that after seeing the cool Spiderman room, I think to myself. The host leads him to his 'library room': a junior sized bed and walls filled up to the ceiling with books. His eyes light up, he runs over to caress a heavy 500 pager, and yells "cool! books!!!". I don't know why, but this unravels me - tears stream down my face and I can't control it. Books are my weakness. And kids who genuinely appreciate them are even more precious.