Dear friends and family,
2006 has been a year of travel and transition.
After graduating in December 2005 from the University of Alberta, with my BComm in Marketing, I began working for my mom's company ManageWise Inc. I remained in Edmonton with the company until I had been selected for a position on AIESEC Canada's national team in Toronto.
So in May, I saw myself pack up my belongings, say goodbye to friends and family, and move out east to Toronto. I am truly enjoying my job and have now explored all the in's and out's of the new city. I have been lucky enough to host friends and family passing through Toronto.
Throughout the fall, my job has allowed me to travel to Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and of course back home to Edmonton and also my first trip out to the east coast!
In my free time, I have been taking guitar lessons, attending sporting events and concerts, as well as hanging out and spending time with my friends in Toronto!
Looking ahead to 2007, I have many things to be proud of: a healthy family, my sister and Cory's new addition to the family in March, a great relationship with Jen and continued travel (both within and outside of Canada).
I wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2007!
Friday, December 22, 2006
Dear friends and family,
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Ho Ho Ho!
I'm I the next "Dancing Matt"? I sure hope so...
Monday, November 13, 2006
Check out this website: http://www.globalrichlist.com/index.php and hopefully this will shed some light on this perspective.
Thanks to sending this to me Juan!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Unless if you have been to the east coast, or really understand east coast culture...you're probably wondering what 'fisticuffs' is all about.
Well, I had my run in with this fisticuffs sign while taking a tour of the Alexander Keiths brewery in Halifax, during my LC visit. I also got to smell the hops that they use to make beer - mmm!!!
Monday, October 30, 2006
Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.
Mmm...I don't know how accurate this is, but apparently that is what Dr. Phil thinks!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Jen came back from Kenya the last week of September, so we decided to rent a car and drive out to the Niagara Falls! I hadn't ever been out before, so it was definitely a good road trip! Maybe part of the reason it was so fun is because we stopped for free wine at a few wineries before actually getting there :) At Inniskilin, I ate a lot of the grapes right off the vine...shhhh, don't tell anyone!
I was in Edmonton on my Local Committee visit for AIESEC and got to enjoy my birthday with friends and family. On Saturday night, I had a few people over for dinner, had a bottle of wine and headed out to Brewsters and the Druid. After mixing numerous types of liquor….including beer, jaager, baileys, amaretto and numerous shots of tequila…I knew I was going to be one hung over birthday boy on Sunday.
Sure enough – it all became a reality. Sunday morning came and the room was spinning. After grabbing some ‘hang over curing’ McDonalds and had some Tylenol, I went shopping with my mom for a suit jacket for my birthday. That night I got to enjoy a great lasagna and ice cream cake feast with my family and Jen J. Just when I was starting to really enjoy my 24th birthday, this is when everything started going downhill.
I had to leave right after dinner for my Local Committee visit in Saskatoon. After checking in at the airport, I thought I was in good hands…but this was Air Canada…I should have known better.
After having my flight to Calgary delayed two hours, we find out that all along, the reason the flight was delayed was because they didn’t have a crew to fly the plane! So they cancelled the flight and rescheduled everyone to Monday morning. Of course, everyone else in front of me gets on the 7am flight and I end up getting on the flight at noon because the early flight is all booked up. This meant I wasn’t going to get to Saskatoon until 3pm, and only have time for a 27 hour LC visit.
Air Canada put me up at the sketchy Nisku Inn! How kind of them J. By the time I checked in after midnight to the hotel, I asked the front desk agent where I could go out and grab a snack or drink…the only place nearby was a truck stop 3 blocks away. I used my better judgement and decided to stay in J.
By this time, I was just trying to laugh it all off, even the snowfall that started to come down! Who would have thought that I would spend my 24th birthday at the Nisku Inn!
To end off this tale…I ended up getting redemption the next morning when I arrived at the airport to find out that the 7am flight to Calgary had been cancelled too! Hahaha!!! I got to sleep in and still got to Calgary at the same time as everyone else!
Monday, October 02, 2006
Their essay is about 'deep democracy' - a democracy that will actually involve and engage instead of simply carrying on the way we are today.
They hope that it is one that will empower ordinary citizens to play a more active, positive, and listening role in governing and making better their local communities. They invite and would like to encourage you to visit the site and read their essay - feedback to them is welcome!
(Disclosure: If you post and contribute on the site, they might have a greater chance of winning the CAD$2020 prize!)
Saturday, September 09, 2006
LC Visit Diaries: Visit #3 - Fredericton.
Thank you Fredericton! During my last night in Fredericton, Ken took me on a little tour downtown and he introduced me to the Bridge to No-Where. It basically is a pedestrian bridge over the highway.
The posts you see in the Saint John river behind us are from the old bridge that used to cross here (the new bridge is about 500 meters up stream.
Fredericton = What a beautiful city! And the UNB campus is AMAZING! All of the buildings are brick and it is situated on a hill overlooking the city. *Sigh*.
I miss you guys already!
LC Visit Diaries: Visit #2 - UBC.
Thank you UBC! My first evening in Vancouver, UBC was holding a going away dinner for their intern Pim, who is heading to Queens to get his masters. I also got to meet Marit, UBC's newest CEEDer from the Netherlands, as well as an AIESEC member from Korea!
The food was excellent! But I still wonder to this day why it was called the Afghan Horseman...hmmm....there wasn't any horse on the menu :s The chicken kabob's were sure good though!
I'll see you guys again in a couple weeks!
LC Visit Diaries: Visit #1 - Winnipeg.
Thank you Toba! Yeppers, Toba started off my visits in style with an all-expenses-paid dinner at the Royal Crown Revolving Restaurant overlooking Winnipeg.
Honestly, what beats free wine, delicious food and excellent conversation?!? Thank you Lovepreet for your restaurant connection!
JK loves Toba too :)
Saturday, August 19, 2006
I am thinking about...
What I should do to pass the time this weekend.
Very little last night at the bar.
I want to...
Call my grandma.
I could be with all of my friends back home this weekend.
The roofing crew repairing our neighbors house.
If I will still be sane when Christmas rolls around.
Like a dork...and I'm damn proud of it.
At the top of my lungs.
When no one is watching.
I am not always...
"On the ball"
To empty my thoughts on to paper.
My personal life with my professional life.
To start focusing on what is important.
I should try...
Things that are uncomfortable.
This at 12:17pm on Saturday morning - August 19, 2006.
I tag...Aine, Eldon, Melissa, Assem, Rosy, Alma, Kent, Aruna and Shirley (once you're back from IC!)
Friday, August 18, 2006
Sometimes I wonder if I know Toronto well enough....if I have really fully explored the city and taken advantage of what it has to offer. Have I been using my weekends effectively?
Then, I remember back to when I first moved to Toronto and I didn't even know what direction was north! And now, I could guide tours through Yorkville (vvvvvery fancy!), attend free blues concerts at the Harbour Front, buy farmers fruit at the St. Lawrence market or check out the best bars in the entertainment district.
So with this said, I am completely at ease knowing that I have explored the city and that this weekend will be for me to relax, play some guitar and read my book 'Leading with Questions'.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Oh, this is the pretty prize! To educate those non-hockey fans, the Stanely Cup is the trophy for being the best hockey team in the National Hockey League and it is awarded each year.
I wonder what they would have done had I just reached out and grabbed it? Hmmm...something to keep in mind for next time.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Happy Birthday Jen :) I know it's two days early - but I couldn't help it! These are some photos of my favourite places in around the office (the office isn't one of my favourite places though :p, that's an exception). I'll try and call you Saturday. Hope the conference in Nairobi is going well!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
It all started this morning, when ironically, I watched my CEED video on China. (Found at www.video.google.com - search 'CEED'). I had some good laughs and reminised about the good times.
Then ironically, this afternoon, I received an email from Amanda in Edmonton, telling me that the article she wrote about my CEED experience in China was published today on page 3 of the Travel section in the Edmonton Journal. (The online copy can be found at http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/travel/story.html?id=370fe636-5d9a-494b-ae13-ae1f24ba7e4e&p=1).
Then, to top off the evening, Shirley's mom is visiting from Michigan and took us all out for an amazing Peking duck dinner. While waiting for a table, I went shopping and bought 6 'street' DVD's for $20 :)
So for some reason or another - I feel like these events have all fallen into place to remind me not to forget about the impact that my experience on China had on me. The friends that I made. The funny and unforgettable stories I have. The memories I'll never forget.
xia xia ni.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Yes sir-ree. Imagine having 13 people on a busy street near the Parliament Building in Ottawa on Canada Day spelling out 'Canada' with their bodies. Random people started taking pictures everywhere! Everyone on the street in front of us just stopped, realized what we were doing and snapped photos. I won't lie...we loved the attention :)
1. Brunch at Colin and Sonia's. What amazing hosts! Being the Chair of the Board of Directors, Colin was gratious enough to have the entire national team all over for brunch on Sunday morning. We got to meet his lovely family, feast on homemade gooooooodness...(it was sooo nice to have a homecooked meal!) and just relax in the comforts of a family home. It was the ultimate 'zen' for all of our team...and we all absolutely loved the short 3 hours we got to spend with Colin and his family. Thanks again!
2. Driving! We rented a brand new Jeep Cheroke with only 8km. on it for the weekend. 967 kilometers later, we have returned to our house in Toronto. But having the chance to drive to Ottawa (and also a little joy-ride after returning to Toronto...hehe...) it made me feel normal again. The little things that I used to take for granted - now mean so much.
3. Partying at the Cabin. On Friday night, after arriving in Ottawa, Carolyn, Jean-Nic and myself headed down to a club in Byward Market called The Cabin. It was absolutely packed with other Canada Day celebrants from across Canada and it was just great getting to party in a packed bar and dancing until close. It definitely was something I miss from Edmonton and the atmosphere at this bar was so much fun!
Thank you Ottawa for an amazing weekend :)
Monday, June 19, 2006
Yes, that's right - Carolyn and I were RIGHT on the red carpet of the MMVA's. Going clock-wise from top-left: Hedley practicing before the show, Nelly Furtado, host of Canada's Next Top Model, Tori Spelling, Nick Lachey, Paris Hilton, Jay from America's Next Top Model, Rihanna and Carolyn and I. Talk about getting up close and personal with the celebrities! I also think I have enough photos to start my own tabloid :p
Imagine 9 crazy people being let loose for one full day at Canada's Wonderland!!! Roller coaster after Roller coaster, we got more and more soaked from the rain and had created killer headaches for ourselves! What a blast though! Now we'll just need to go back when it's sunny :p
Welcome one, welcome all....to my humble abode. Yes, I have officially moved in to 18 Ross Street in Toronto (and am loving it! We're central to EVERYTHING the city has to offer). My room is up on the second floor at the front of the house, so I get alot of the sunlight into my room and is still relatively quiet. Mmm - I like my room.
1. It's humid!
2. Living in downtown Toronto offers you anything and everything within a 10 minute walk.
3. Torontonians actually do cheer for the Oilers in the Playoffs!
4. Raccoons are creeeeepy little creatures.
5. How much I miss the sun going down at 10:30pm during the summer in Edmonton!
So it has been about one month since my last update, and WOW - this past month has been an absolute blur. I feel quite guilty that I haven't kept my blog more updated, but it is now 12:35am on Monday night and this is the only time I have found available to sit down and type. *Sigh*.
Since the middle of May, I have moved out of my old place with Conny and Mario in Edmonton, tried my best to say goodbyes before leaving, spending as much time with Jen as possible before we both took off for different continents, move to Toronto (which included sleeping on Assems futon for the first couple weeks - thanks dude), starting turnover and transition for my AIESEC job - 6 days a week, 10 to 12 hour days.....and trying to explore the city on the odd day off. So I've included a few photos above of highlights from this past month, but am really looking forward to getting started in my position as Regional Vice President and getting to see Toronto a bit more in July.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Ah yes, conference mode. We must always remember to present ourselves professionaly during the day and in front of the business community, but we must also remember to have fun. The second the music starts and the party begins - it's time to have fun.
*Disclaimer: Thanks to Jonathan Morgan for the 'tie-around-the-head' look. Your spirit lives on.*
These are photos of my new condo in Edmonton! They won't officially be finished until August, when I'll be looking for a renter (as I will be in Toronto). It's a 1 bedroom, 700 sq. foot brand spanking new building called MacEwan Gardens. Although the mortgage stuff has been a hassle, I can't wait to see it when it's all finished! www.macewangardens.com
After NLDC, but incoming and current AIESEC Canada MC teams had a chance to chill. After 3 hours driving north from Hamilton, we found ourselves at a lovely little cabin on the shores of 'I-don't-know-the-name-of-the-lake' Lake. From burning burgers on the bbq, to asking about MC life in Toronto and from stealing paddleboats, to getting to know my new team members, it was an absolutely fantastic four days.
As the excitement builds to leave for Toronto and my MC experience tomorrow morning, I'm literally exhausted. Ever since returning from NLDC in Hamilton, I have worked, moved, gone to many get-togethers, met with bankers, mortgage brokers, tried to meet with lawyers (without success), sold my car, said goodbye to friends, family and Jen. I have been waiting since February to land myself in Toronto and start this new experience - and now, with my departure tomorrow - I can't wait.
I'm tired of telling people where I'm going, how long I'm going for, what I'm doing while I'm there, what are my plans after....after answering it for the 16th time...it really starts to lose its lustre.
This past month and a half has been a whirlwind of tying up lose ends, but also attending a fabulous aiesec conference in Hamilton, Ontario, as well as a post-conference retreat, topped off with a random night of partying in Toronto. I also met up with some high school friends to watch some of the Oiler games and got to attend one! (Thanks Nicole and Cory).
I'm exhausted, but excited. I'm ready. I still have bags to pack before my 8am flight, but it has been a wild past 6 weeks. But on the up and up - I leave tomorrow :)
Sunday, April 23, 2006
A couple weeks ago, Jen and I just decided to randomly make some martinis. So using my expert bartending prowess - I whipped up the following FAB martinis. (Tried - Tested - And True)
2 scoops ice cream
1 oz. Kahlua
1 oz. Frangelico
Mix in blender. Garnish with chocolate sauce swirled around rim of martini glass.
2 diced strawberries
1 oz. Grey Goose Vodka
1 oz. Oyster Bay Chardonnay
3 oz. 7-Up
Shake strawberries, vodka, chardonnay and ice in martini shaker until strawberries broken up. Serve in martini glass, then add 7-Up. Garnish with strawberry.
Usually about 3 or 4 times a year, my family and I take a road trip down to Spokane, Washington to see my relatives. Easter, Christmas and summer holidays are the usual trips. People always wonder how my family can drive 12 hours there and 12 hours back. Well - just for the curious - here's what we see.
Woo-hoo! This is Sue and I at our Faculty of Business Graduation, celebrating the fact that we are finally done school! Yes - I have been done since December, but they put all of us into one big group. This was a night full of random shananigans!
Yes, that's right, Excel has become my new best....errrr, worst friend - depending upon how you look at it. I am trying to get all of my random shit ready before I leave for 2.5 weeks to Vancouver and Hamilton, so I have resorted to making lists for everything!
Let's see...I have a list for 1) Things I need to do at the bank 2) Things I need to do to secure my mortgage 3) Things I need to do before I sell my car 4) AIESEC prep work I need to do for NLDC 5) Things I need to do for moving to Toronto for my MC term.
Trust me...this is a lot of stuff to do. All stuff that I am pretty unaccustomed to doing. I am extremely excited to start my MC term in Toronto for AIESEC, but just want it to happen *now*. The build-up has been killing me...answering questions to friends and family about what exactly my plans are and if I have gotten everything done that I need to do before moving. (Then I go into explaining my Excel To-Do lists to them).
I read my horoscope today and it put a smile on my face. It said that 'Although life is hectic, don't stress out. Take time out for yourself and take everything one step at a time.'
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
From my last posting, I was going to make a real effort to write on a more regular basis...as you can see - that has not happened. I have come to the realization that this blog revolves around the pictures I post after each entry and to just start writing posts without pictures - just wouldn't be the same. Thus, I have come to the conclusion that these monthly updates with plenty of random photos, makes me happy.
Instead of recapping what I have done this month, I would like to tell you a little annecdote about a mind teaser that my co-worker sent me...
You've probably all seen these brain teasers before: get everyone across the river on a 2 person raft and only certain people can be left alone with others (ie. The criminal can't be with other people without the police officer being present). So last night, as I was killing some time, I opened it up and tried to figure it out.
This was my track of thought...
'Hmm - I can send the criminal and policeman across, then bring the policeman back. The criminal would be left alone, so he can't harm anyone. Then I'll just bring everyone else across after that. I'm genius! I've figured this thing out in like 20 seconds! *Policeman crosses with criminal and returns*. Shit. Now I can't send anyone else across to be alone with the criminal. Oh - the police officer will go back and take the dad with him. But shit - that leaves the mom alone with the sons. And if I reverse it and send the mom with the police officer, the father is alone with the daughters. Shit. Think John......It'll come to you. Just stare at it for a minute. *staring..........*. Shit.'
Then, randomly, the same night, after returning home from dropping Jen off and digging my car out of the snow in the back alley for the second time that day - I sat myself down in front of my laptop. I was exhausted. Tired. Ready to go to bed. But instead, I opened up the brain teaser and in a smooth and relaxed manner - got all my people to cross the river in 30 seconds flat.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
ASS = Alberta Saskatchewan Seminar. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is a small AIESEC conference put on by Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon (Toba - we missed you guys!). This year it was just outside of Calgary...and unfortunately I'm not in the picture...I was the photographer :(
Let it be officially known here - that AIESEC Edmonton won the Howie...errr, Cowie Competition for ASS 2006. FYI - this was a competition where each LC made up their own mean drink concoction and had other LC's vote to see who would be the Cowie Champion. Edmonton's drink consisted of over $100 of liquor and mix that was enough to fill two cooking large pots for drinking out of :)
Talk about one fucking amazing concert! (I wonder if that will get censored out...hehe). They had everything from huge yellow beach balls falling from the rafters to the lead singer taking someone's cell phone in the front row and singing to the person on the other line. Jen and I were in Vancouver to see them a few weeks ago...and can you believe it - they have decided to call it quits!!! They just announced last week at the Brit Awards that they are breaking up! Well - I guess this was a good time to see them in concert!
Who cares if it's January?!? If the sun comes out in Vancouver - you go to the beach! That is my rule of thumb :p
OK, so for those of you that don't know...Vancouver almost broke some world record for the most consecutive days of rain (I think they were at 28 days)...and when it stopped: this was the result. We had to go to the beach!
So I finally sat myself down after a month and a half of not writing anything and I typed away for about 30 minutes - just on everything that has happened to me since January 1st.
Well, this is where the story gets interesting....well, more frustrating actually. After I had everything all typed up, I hit the spellcheck button, and after having my norton antivirus block the pop-up window...my whole entry just vanished before my eyes.
It was like this huge 'writters block' had one last final laugh in my face. Rrrr. But there is no way I am leaving this computer without writting something to all of my devoted fans. Wait - do I have any fans?
Alas, I might be writing to myself, but it at least lets me look back and recap this last whirlwind of a month. It included passing an AIESEC SN Review Board, going on a trip with Jen to Vancouver to see Coldplay in concert and being selected to be the Regional Vice President for West and Atlantic for AIESEC Canada's Member Committee team 2006-2007!!! I had many other small accomplishments this month, like getting back to the swimming pool and trying to get myself back into the same sort of shape while I was in China last summer (it's hard with a completely different diet though! Especially a Canadian diet!) Work at Managewise seems to just get busier and busier...just when I think it is going to slow down, it speeds up.
And this past month has been really good for being with my family. My parents have been inviting us out for dinner every Friday in January and February and it has been so much fun to just sit down with them and joke about normal - everyday sort of things. Life and relationships with your parents only get better once you move out...seriously! The same can be said with my sister too when she moved out. I think it's a change in perspecitive and instead of knowing you are stuck with them all of the time, you start enjoying the limited amount of time that you actually get to spend together. *Sigh*....ok - that was my reflective moment for the evening. It's over now :p
That's all for tonight.....signing off.....
Note to self: Don't hit spellcheck.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
AIESEC Canada National Congress 2006: For one week over New Years, 240 AIESECers from across Canada got together to celebrate our successes, elect a new National President and bring in New Years with style. I was a facilitator at the conference and got to work with seven other great individuals (Christian, Llorene, Dalal, Jen, Eldon, Angela and Heather) who helped make this conference what it was.
Congratulations to our newly elected MCP - Shirley Ma!!!
China CEED Video: While in China this summer on my CEED in June and July, I filmed a video on my experience and have it available for viewing. If you are interested in seeing it, you can find it at www.video.google.com and search "CEED". This video was shown at the conference and really seemed to remind people of why they are in AIESEC...so if you are interested - please check it out and leave your comments for me.
Looking Ahead: 2005 was full of adventures across 3 different continents. I wish only the same for 2006 and may all of you be healthy and prosperous.