12.19.2008

christmas tree ornament

In spite of being Korean, I only began to eat kimchi (the cabbage kind) on a semi-frequent basis about a year ago.

Recently I made kimchi chigae (soup) and kimchi fried rice for the first time. And now I have ambitions to make my own kimchi in the new year!

12.14.2008

view from door

It snowed!

And I finally finished my first pair of knitted socks! (I started them back in September) I'm wearing them right now, and they're going to make their public debut tonight at our house holiday dinner of past and present housemates.

12.10.2008

Our house got a Charlie Brown Christmas tree tonight and decorated it. It's been ages since I've had a Christmas tree.

12.04.2008

Last night I cooked dinner for my house for the first time. I baked breadsticks (I recently started to bake yeast breads finally!), cooked up a pot of black bean soup, prepared a green salad with shredded carrots, sliced mushrooms, and cucumbers, and made no bake bumpy peanut butter nuggets for dessert.

For music I put on the soundtrack to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (the old kiddie movie with Burl Ives). When I mentioned I had never actually seen the film, one of my housemates enthusiastically suggested that we watch it after dinner so we did!

11.28.2008

One of the things I love about living in Vancouver is riding the ferry. At least a few times a year I go on trips that require riding the ferry to go visit one of the numerous islands off the coast of B.C. or up to the Sunshine Coast. Yesterday I rode the ferry to the latter.

The views of the mountains and the ocean from the ferry are simply stunning. Whenever I behold them, I'm filled with awe and gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy their beauty. Even when the weather is gloomy and rainy (as it was while I was there), the seascapes and mountainscapes remain striking.

Although I hate the constant rain, I realize that it's the reason the western coast of B.C. is so gorgeous.

11.25.2008

I've been really looking forward to Advent, which begins this Sunday. Not only does it usher in the Christmas season, but it also marks the beginning of the new year in the Church calendar.

I'm especially excited to observe Advent in Vancouver because I know that the church I'm attending has a kick-ass Advent schedule in store that is going to be a feast for the eyes and ears.

But what I'm awaiting the most is Lent, which I've been eagerly anticipating since the last Lenten season ended.

11.24.2008

The first half of this month was spent frantically looking for a new apartment. Finding a rental is so bloody competitive in this city. Anyway, I'm relieved that I finally did manage to get a new place. I'll be moving into a co-op house and living with 6 other very cool and interesting people. I'm very excited about my new home, especially because I'm planning on staying there for a very long time if it works out. I've lived in a co-op living situation before and enjoyed it immensely while it was good.

So now I'm packing again (ugh) and dread moving day, but I'm pretty certain that the temporary annoyance of schlepping will be worth it once I settle down in my new, cool house.

11.06.2008

I cannot believe that California's Prop 8 passed. WTF? Are we still living in the bloody Jurassic era? And it's California, for crying out loud!

I feel devastated on behalf of my friends and the gay community at large. Y'all should just move to Canada, especially to Vancouver!

11.04.2008

Wow, America actually did it. I seriously thought the US was still at least a century away from electing a black president. Well, I'm glad it's Obama and not McCain because if it were the latter then Canadian hostility towards Americans would just reach an unbearable level. The last time I moved to Vancouver it was right after W was re-elected, and I got pretty tired of all the shit Canadians were saying about how stupid Americans were. Although most of their remarks were true, it was still my country they were ridiculing, and I just didn't want to hear it. My response was, "Well, at least you don't have to live in the U.S and have Bush as your leader."

Now that I think about it, each of the three times I've moved to Vancouver happened during a presidential election year.

10.30.2008

Well, it's election mania here in Vancouver, too. The Canadian federal election came and went without so much as peep this month. And the civic election is coming up next month. But folks here are too enthralled with the US presidential campaigns to give much attention to their own elections. I guess Canadians are more interested in the US election because not only is it more entertaining, but who gets elected does affect their livelihood.

Obama fever is widespread here as well.

10.29.2008

I played badminton for the first time last night! And I had a blast! Although I was a total newbie fraught with performance anxiety, I managed to get over my fears and insecurities and jumped into games with really, really good players.

The physical and mental benefits were felt immediately, and therefore, I'd like to continue playing. My allergies and now the onset of SAD have caused me to be very sluggish. But physical exercise is such a mood-lifter! And I was grateful to discover that I can still manage to be active in spite of my oppressive allergies.

10.28.2008

I've been thinking about my Halloween costume since the summer, and it finally came together last week just in time for the Parade of Lost Souls on Commercial Drive.

On Saturday night, the Dude and I put on our coordinating costumes (I was a cougar and he was cougar bait), and we joined the revelers on The Drive. Some noteworthy costumes I saw at the event were Jesus on the cross (the guy was on stilts so he inevitably stood above the crowd), a Ghostbuster, and the stock market plunging.

10.20.2008

The weekend was spent at a west coast swing convention - 3 days of dancing mania. Unfortunately, I couldn't really get into it because of my allergies. A couple months ago I developed a new allergy to perfume and scented products on top of my other allergies. Being inside a ballroom with no windows left me pretty much miserable as I was constantly exposed to people's perfume. One of the side effects of my allergies is that it makes me very tired and sleepy so I didn't really feel like dancing much.

Medication is totally useless. Although I've made my apartment as scent-free as possible, I have reactions nonetheless to something. It's so bad right now that I just want to stay in bed. This is not good when I desperately need to spend as much time as I can looking for a job.

10.16.2008

I got my first piece of mail at my new address today, and it came from my former fabulous church in California. Seeing the envelope with the familiar logo brought a small moment of cheer in an otherwise gray, rainy day in Vancouver.

On the topic of church: I recently visited a local Anglican parish in my neighborhood. It's very, very small (the complete opposite of All Saints' gargantuan congregation). But like All Saints, it's an inclusive church and allows everyone to participate in the Eucharist (two features that are extremely important to me). It also focuses on matters of social justice (I can't imagine being part of a church that doesn't!). I think I'll stick with this church, especially because I strongly prefer to be part of a local parish.

Finding a church and getting plugged in is a priority for me since I'm currently lacking community. I'm not here as a student as I was on previous occasions, so school is out as a source of community. And I don't have a job yet, so I'm not able to find community in the workplace either. But school and work were hardly ever significant sources of community for me. I currently have friends scattered throughout the city that I've known in former contexts, but what I really need is a community in which we're bound by some common experience or activity.

Although I've only been away from this city for a little over a year, moving back has required some readjusting. It's funny how easily I become a creature of habit and when I find myself in a new setting, although a very familiar one, I struggle to acclimate nevertheless.

10.14.2008

10.03.2008

I'm now in my new, wonderful apartment, and as I settle in I can't help but be amazed that I ended up in a living situation way better than I foresaw. This will be my first time living all by myself for more than a month, and hopefully for many more months to come.

Now I have to work hard to find a job so I can afford to live here indefinitely. I was pleased to discover the other day that the Canadian government has made it even easier for employers to hire temporary foreign workers in B.C. However, the problem is that most businesses do not seem to be cognizant of this new labor law.

Circumstances seem to indicate that I've made this move at the right time. Yet, I can't help but worry that I may not find a job. I suppose it's situations like this that present the opportunity to exercise my faith.

10.01.2008

I haven't been doing much dancing as I was hoping to do once I arrived mainly because I've been feeling under the weather and my favorite dance partner, the Dude, has been battling a tenacious cold.

My allergies have gotten so bad lately that I sometimes can't go about doing normal, everyday activities. Living with physical discomfort on a daily basis has been very frustrating and discouraging, especially because I do my best to lead a healthy life, yet for some unknown reason my body is a wreck. And I wonder, how could my health be in such a decrepit state when I'm only still in my 20's?

Oh, in regards to the vegan lasagna that I cooked in the crockpot: it overcooked. But it tasted very much like the real thing, and overall, I'm happy I can eat lasagna again. Next time I'll only leave it in the crockpot for 4 hours, rather than 8.

9.30.2008

There's an almost vegan lasagna cooking away in the crockpot. All the cheese ingredients had to be replaced with non-dairy substitutes. I hope it turns out good in spite of the changes.

9.23.2008

Stop - Hammer Time

It's random, funny things like this that make Vancouver a very interesting place to be.

I finally found a place to live! Apartment hunting has been, needless to say, a pain in the ass, and I'm glad the search is finally over. My new digs will be far from my normal stomping grounds but I think I'll enjoy living in the eastside. I especially look forward to having quicker access to The Drive, a colorful, offbeat, multiethnic, and hippie neighborhood with the best vegan bakery ever.