Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Regal Feast

Located in a rougher part of downtown Vancouver, the Regal Hotel is home to some of the city's low-income residents, many of whom stay at the hotel for months at a time.

My girlfriend's mom, Catalina, has worked at Regal since 1993, then as a cleaner and now as the hotel's manager. Since 2005, she has organized an annual holiday feast for the Regal residents, who all anticipate the serving of lechón - a roast suckling pig that is a popular dish in the Philippines.

Here is the whole roast pig, carried by a Regal resident standing next to Catalina:

Along with lechón, 2009's feast included turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, roast duck, pancit noodles, macaroni salad, mixed vegetables, multi-layer cakes and a trifle dessert.

The feast was held in the hotel's small hallway, where the food was handed out by Catalina, my girlfriend MJ, and Hector (a chef and former resident of Regal Hotel):

To celebrate Catalina's charitable soul, I crocheted this trophy of her and her famous roast pig dish:

We surprised her with the trophy during the feast, captured in this video:

It's fun to recognize someone who has never sought recognition for their kind deeds. Every holiday season, Catalina is purely happy to provide a regal feast to those who appreciate it the most.

With that spirit of generosity, I hope everyone's new year is full of charitable acts, both given and received. Happy 2010!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All Thumbs

As a teenager, my favourite TV show was "Siskel & Ebert". Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert would debate the pros and cons of a film before declaring their ultimate rating: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down.

Ah, if only I could review my everyday life in the same simple way....

Now I can!

This is the All-Thumbs Portable Reviewer. Thumbs Up on this side:

Thumbs Down on the other:

And here are my Woo Reviews!

The movie "Up": Thumbs Up

The movie "Fired Up": Thumbs Down

My local yarn store, "Black Sheep Yarns": Thumbs Up

The Staples store that accepted my online order for an office chair, then mistakenly delivered that chair to an Alan Wu (even though our last names are spelled differently) before forcing me to visit the store in person—twice—to receive my refund for the now out-of-stock chair: Thumbs Down

Jalepeño chips: Thumbs Up

Parking tickets: Thumbs Down

Stepping into my shot: Thumbs Down

Long-term effect of the 2010 Olympics on the Vancouver economy: undecided

Our finite existence in the infinite universe: Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down

Regular readers of the blog, including my girlfriend, my mom and you: Thumbs Up!

...and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Eye See 3D

After 3 weeks of steroid drops, my left eye has recovered from it's blurry situation and I can see clearly now.

The rain is gone.

Hopefully, it will be many years before I return to the eye doctor. Until then, I made this eyeclops guy for the eye clinic:

He now lives on their front desk, next to a plastic eye toy:

I love seeing in stereo vision again, and I appreciate my overall eyesight even more. To celebrate my 3D vision, I'll enjoy a 3D movie this weekend.

If you'd like to join the 3D fun, bring out your 3D glasses (I bought mine from here or you can make your own) to see the eyeclops in an eye-popping way!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Sin of Fin

MJ and I recently watched a documentary where fishermen sliced off the fins of sharks, then tossed the bodies back into the sea to drown. The brutal practice of shark finning is fueled by the high price that Chinese restaurants can charge for shark fin soup: $30 to $40 per small bowl.

Outraged, MJ resolved to never drink this popular Asian delicacy again. I agreed.

A few months ago, MJ and I attended my cousin Ray's wedding, where they served shark fin soup. It didn't look exactly like this:

Despite insistences from my relatives to "eat it, it's good for you", MJ politely yet firmly refused to drink the soup.

Bravo, MJ! I'm proud of you for standing up against shark finning.

What did I do? I'm embarrassed to say I caved to peer pressure and finished my bowl.

But from now on, I will follow MJ's example and skip the shark fin soup. I will listen to Sherman the Shark:

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