Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Seven Pounds

I ended 2008 watching this surprisingly good movie with Will Smith. I'd only heard bits and pieces of the film so I didn't know what to expect. Rather than spoil it for others, I will only say that this was an amazing performance that ALSO might be remembered come Oscar time. Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was also an amazing performance, and I'm glad I got to see both movies before the end of the year.

Forever Proud

Congratulations to the Montreal Canadiens, the greatest franchise in all of pro sports, for winning their 3000th game in their storied history. I've only been around for a couple hundred of them but they'll always be my favorite. Go Habs Go.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

With all the hype surrounding this movie, I figured I'd brave the snow and check it out. There's only so much you can do at home when you're not working. The film did not disappoint. Both Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett (especially her) should not be forgotten at Oscar time. The story was beautifully written.

Friday, December 26, 2008

December 25

Oops, I'm now 15 minutes late, but Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays) and best wishes to all. For me it's been an amazing year, with so many highs and so many lows.

Monday, December 22, 2008

White Christmas, Eh?

It looks like ALL of Canada will experience a White Christmas this year, the first time since 1971. Brrrr. Today the weather was actually bearable and the snow actually stopped in Vancouver. I hope everybody drives safely or not at all. Unfortunately my friends at Fraser Downs have no choice, hope they are well.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hurt

For 42 years of my life, I've been told I'm a nice guy. Jason's so nice, so easy going, always so happy-go-lucky at work. Well on December 17 I guess I decided to become a monster. What do I do now?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Road

It's so hard to travel down the road when there is no door in sight and you don't know exactly where you're going. I have so many choices to make. I could turn around and just stop travelling or I can continue on, but to what end?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Don't

Don't click on my profile page on Facebook and don't click on where it says I was tagged in a video (especially if you are drinking liquids or eating food).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

6am

Tonight was the first of the casino parties I'd planned on attending; it was the Fraser Downs party at Newlands Golf Course (yes ironically one night after my "guest" appearance as floor manager at Fraser Downs). I was fortunate to meet some people that I hadn't seen since I left Cloverdale. Afterwards a number of us went to sing karaoke at Gabby's, a bar in Langley. As usual I semi-embarrassed myself with my renditions of My Way and I Will Survive. When will I learn? And afterwards, a few of us decided to trek over to Cascades Casino for some poker (gee I hadn't done that in months). I lost $15. Somebody will probably be mad at me in more ways than one.

Yes, I'm ending my post at about 6:05am. Good morning.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

One Night Only

Last night I was called into work at Fraser Downs instead of my graveyard shift at River Rock. It was great to see the FD staff again after my transfer to Richmond. The night went by smoothly and I must say it was a nice change from the often endless hubbub of the Rock.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ideas

This year's Christmas shopping sure got a lot more difficult.

Ass

I hope Sean Avery never plays another game in the NHL again. He serves no purpose other than to take up space. He is the Paris Hilton of hockey. I feel truly sorry for the next NHL team to pick him up once the Dallas Stars get rid of this sloppy second.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Relaxing

I have four days off from work this week! Finally I'm beginning to collect on my "owed days" from Fraser Downs. It'll give me more time to spend with t.g.i.l. I still have a few days left of graveyard shifts before I go temporarily to mid shifts.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Twilight - Addendum

I Wiki-ed (is this the new term that replaces "Googled"?) the author of the Twilight series and was fascinated by Stephenie Meyer's story, how the idea for the book came in a dream. It got me thinking about my lifelong dream of becoming a famous author. Perhaps the story of how a 42-year-old loner who found love on the Internet would work.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twilight

There was a lot of late hype regarding this "teen" movie that had no well-known stars. After dinner at Earl's, Amy and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I could almost say that it was the best movie I saw all year. This was a wonderful twist on the age-old romance novel. I don't know much about the books other than the fact that four were written. I hope to see the other three become films as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Feelings

The passion is back at work. I feel wonderful. Yes, there are stressful times but back in the days of the COB, I thrived on stress. It was like a drug. And I guess I lost it a bit at Fraser Downs due to the lack of work. Now I feel great again.

This is all because a burden has been lifted in my social life. I'm in love. Does it sound corny and silly? Well, I'm in love, and with a wonderful girl too. We've gone through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but we're together. Now I feel great about my personal life just as I do about my work. Life is good.

Thanks baby.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Big Show Part 2

My second attempt at running the floor went more smoothly than the previous night's. Even though my feet were extremely tired in the morning from all the walking through the casino, it was worth it. All my past worries and paranoia are vanished, and it seems as if I've found that passion for work again that I've sorely missed. Tomorrow night I'm running the "weekend" floor, which means the casino will be packed. Hopefully things will go as well as they did last night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Big Show

After three days of shadowing, I finally got to run the floor at River Rock last night (well, early this morning) from 11:30pm-7:30am. It was quite an experience, as compared to running the floor at Fraser Downs at the old Casino on Broadway. My difficulty now is remembering all the pits and names of staff. I managed to get through the shift without any major errors. In terms of workload, I've always enjoyed the night/graveyard shifts. The lack of sleep is a different matter. I still have a lot to learn.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quantum of Solace

No, I was not at the premiere of the new James Bond movie, as I had to work graveyards. But I was off Sunday so off we went. As a 007 fan, I was looking forward to this continuation of the James Bond revitalization that occurred with Casino Royale. Unfortunately I must say the movie was quite disappointing. While I can handle the new rugged and more violent Bond that Daniel Craig is portraying, there were none of the other things that got me hooked on 007 as I was growing up; fancy cars, gadgets, even women. There were two "Bond girls" but they just weren't the same.

Madagascar 2

I forgot to post about watching this sequel with Amy. In terms of storyline, I preferred it to the original. I could definitely relate to some of the plot developments.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Listen to Your Heart

I know there's something in the wake of your smile
I get a notion from the look in your eyes yeah
You've built a love but that love falls apart
Your little piece of heaven turns to dark

Listen to your heart
When he's calling for you
Listen to your heart
There's nothing else you can do
I don't know where you're going
And I don't know why
But listen to your heart
Before you tell him goodbye

Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile
The precious moments are all lost in the tide yeah
They're swept away and nothing is what it seems
The feeling of belonging to your dreams

Listen to your heart
When he's calling for you
Listen to your heart
There's nothing else you can do
I don't know where you're going
And I don't know why
But listen to your heart
Before... You tell him goodbye

And there are voices that want to be heard
So much to mention but you can't find the words
The scent of magic, the beauty that's been
When love was wilder than the wind

Listen to your heart (take a listen to it)
When he's calling for you
Listen to your heart (take a listen to it)
There's nothing else you can do
I don't know where you're going
And I don't know why
But listen to your heart
Before oh... Before you tell him goodbye

Listen to your heart (take a listen to it)
When he's calling for you
Listen to your heart (take a listen to it)
There's nothing else you can do
I don't know where you're going
And I don't know why
But listen to your heart
Before you tell him goodbye

Listen to Your Heart
- Roxette

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Because I'm a Girl - KISS



A coworker passed along this video to me a few years ago and it has been one of my favorites. Even though it is in another language (I hope the subtitles help) it is one of the most touching videos I've ever seen. Is this what true love is about?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Road to Happiness

...is paved with crossroads and forks in the road. I only want to go across that road with one girl.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sometimes When We Touch

You ask me if I love you
And I choke on my reply
I'd rather hurt you honestly
Than mislead you with a lie
And who am I to judge you
On what you say or do?
I'm only just beginning to see the real you

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides

Romance and all its strategy
Leaves me battling with my pride
But through the insecurity
Some tenderness survives
I'm just another writer
Still trapped within my truth
A hesitant prize fighter
Still trapped within my youth

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides

At times I'd like to break you
And drive you to your knees
At times I'd like to break through
And hold you endlessly

At times I understand you
And I know how hard you've tried
I've watched while love commands you
And I've watched love pass you by

At times I think we're drifters
Still searching for a friend
A brother or a sister
But then the passion flares again

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides

- Sometimes When We Touch (Dan Hill)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Life at the Rock

My first three shifts at the Rock have been quite overwhelming. While I didn't have full access, I took time to "absorb" the atmosphere and it's such a big change from Fraser Downs. There is so much to learn (this is the same as my last post, isn't it?). Hopefully I'll be able to get everything down pat soon. Time is of the essence.

Monday, November 03, 2008

New Beginnings

Even though I've known for some time, I had to keep my impending location change a secret. But on November 2 at 2pm, I began my new "career" at the humongous River Rock Casino. It's definitely a big change from the much smaller Fraser Downs Casino. While I miss the comraderie and amazingly friendliness of all the staff in Cloverdale, I look forward to my new challenge at The Rock. Today was an overwhelming experience and I never really was able to grasp the enormity of the casino. It will take time, and I hope my staff will accept me.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Wait

25 years, it was worth the wait. While the sound at BC Place Stadium left something to be desired, seeing Madonna live is something I'll remember for a long time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Less Than 48 Hours

It's been a weird week, full of good things and not so good things. But all the feelings pent up inside will be let go at about 8pm at BC Place Stadium when I watch the concert with the most important person in my life. Through good times and bad, she is still there by my side. Thanks baby.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Countdown

3.5 more days until the concert I've been waiting 25 years to see. "Time goes by, so slowly..."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Newton

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". - Sir Isaac Newton
Jason's Corollary: "For every happy event in my life, something really pissy happens to counter that".

Friday, October 24, 2008

Road Ahead

The past month has been filled with such wonderful feelings, and the month will end with more changes, especially at work. It's amazing so many things have happened to me this month. Maybe it's fitting that the month will end with the concert I've been waiting 25 years to see, with the woman I've been waiting 42 years to be with.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vegas: October 17

Joe had to leave early (11am) as he had the early flight. So I got to spend a day alone in Vegas just absorbing everything that had happened to me, and to think about so many things happening in my life. I had lunch at the MGM Grand Buffet and just walked around. I spent my last few moments at Mandalay Bay, buying some souvenirs but disappointed that the Mamma Mia! gift shop wasn't open.

And then before I knew it, I flew home. Alas.

Vegas: October 16

SHOW 12: Price is Right Live at Bally's

Yes, we went again. And it seemed that some of the prizes were the same as the Tuesday show. We even got seats right up front. We were hoping that maybe this time. And then they called the four names for the last game. And then as if it was meant to be:

"Jason Feng, come on down!". It was like a dream come true. I couldn't believe it. I wish my Grandma were still here because she would have been so happy. Unfortunately I forgot the price of the tabletop wine cooler that WAS ON THE SHOW TWO DAYS AGO. They are $130 if anybody wants to know. And I would have been on Plinko too. Oh well, at least I got a T-shirt.

--
No show here, but I finally got to meet my friend Michael Shackleford, also known as the Wizard of Odds. He has by far the best website on casino information and odds on the Internet. Visit him at Wizard of Odds and tell him I sent you! We only met for a brief time as we had other engagements to attend to, but I'll be sure to see him again on my next trip.
--

SHOW 13: Le Reve at Wynn

While technically not a Cirque du Soleil show, this had a lot of its elements. The "stage" was water-based and most of the show involved the water, but there was also a lot of aerial performers. It was very well-done and as usual, the performers were amazing. This show was probably my favorite.

SHOW 14: Zumanity at New York New York

Thanks to Joe, we had seats at the very front, in couches. Thanks to Joe, this meant that we would be embarrassed twice during the show. Zumanity is a burlesque-themed Cirque du Soleil show. There was a guy in drag who was the host. At the pre-show, some Chippendale dude walks by us and says "oh the gay section". Wonderful. Then near the end of the show the drag queen said the same thing. Thanks Joe. But it was a very riveting show with the usual amazing Cirque du Soleil performers. Wow.

Vegas: October 15

SHOW 8: Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum at Venetian

I knew I would have a good time if the first figure I see at the front was that of Marilyn Monroe. Unfortunately there wasn't an Audrey Hepburn figure or I would have been in heaven. I took pictures with Jenna Jameson, Angelina Jolie and Madonna (see you next week!). There were some quite realistic looking figures (and some not so realistic).

SHOW 9: Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah's

Mac King was a popular magician years ago, and had appeared on the Tonight Show. He was from the old school of comedy and magic and his show was quite delightful. I commented to Joe that we'd had a lot of good luck with the cheaper shows.

SHOW 10: Mamma Mia! at Mandalay Bay (730pm)

Do I really need to review this one? I missed out on the show in June and I knew I couldn't do it again. Unfortunately we were in a bit of a rush and missed the end part where everybody got up to sing.

SHOW 11: Blue Man Group at Venetian (10pm)

We didn't realize Mamma Mia! would have taken so long but we had to rush to the Venetian to catch our next show. We were actually late by about 5 minutes but managed to get ourselves seated and not miss much. The Blue Man Group was a very interesting show, weird at times but overall very enjoyable. They are good at what they do.

Vegas: October 14

SHOW 4: Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas

After breakfast at Bill's we were pretty close to Paris so we decide to go up the Eiffel Tower and see what this whole awesome view things was all about. Wow! Although the tower is only a quarter-size replica of the real thing and obviously the sights were different, the view of Las Vegas atop the Eiffel Tower was breathtaking. As much fun as it was to go with Joe, I kept thinking how wonderful it would have been to be with Amy. That's all I was thinking of.

SHOW 5: Price is Right Live at Bally's

I go back in time to 1974 when my Grandma and I would religiously watch The Price is Right with Bob Barker. It was so much fun. Although this wasn't the "real thing" it was as close as possible. I was hoping so much to hear those words "Jason Feng COME ON DOWN!". It wasn't meant to be. But Joe and I enjoyed the show so much we decided we'd come back later in the week if it was at all possible.

SHOW 6: Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

Joe had told me a lot of good things about this so we went. It was a really nice attraction and worth the small admission fee (as opposed to the Secret Garden). I took some nice pictures which I'll either post here or on Facebook later.

SHOW 7: Phantom at Venetian

This is the only time that Joe and I separated, as he was off to get kissed by Marie Osmond. But I knew that this trip I had to see Phantom so after dinner he went to the Flamingo and I cabbed to the Venetian. What a beautiful hotel and what a wonderful theater. Even though I'd seen the show so many times, the Vegas experience is always the best.

When I went home I gave in and called Amy. We weren't going to talk to each other during this trip but there's only so much I could take.

Vegas: October 13

The day began at around 9am. We had breakfast at Bill's Gambling Hall (in fact, we ended up having breakfast/brunch every day here).

SHOW 1: Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden at the Mirage

There was nothing special about this, especially since we had to pay $15. There were some cute dolphins and some nice animals, but they were so far away I couldn't get a good enough picture of the lions and tigers. The Lion Habitat at the MGM was so much better (and free!)

SHOW 2: Greg Popovich's Comedy Pet Theater at Planet Hollywood

We couldn't find a decent afternoon show so we decided on this. It was actually pretty good. Greg Popovich was one of those old-school jugglers who could do amazing things with hoops and boxes and things like that. He also trained a lot of cats and other animals to do cool tricks. We got a good deal on the tickets so why not?

SHOW 3: Criss Angel Believe

It's bad when you step into a cab and when the cabbie asks you what show you're going to see and you say Criss Angel he pauses and says "Good luck". We'd heard nothing but bad reviews about the show so we went not expecting much. I guess if you are a fan of Criss Angel (which I am not) you might like it but the show was not much Cirque du Soleil and more Criss Angel. The best part was probably the pre-show where a number of Cirque performers entertain the crowd. I even learned a magic trick that Joe would also be more than happy to show everyone.

Vegas: October 12

Nothing much happened. I met Brett and Joyce at the airport and that was the last I saw of them. I called Joe, we met at the Carriage House (where we were staying), and by then it was 11pm so we went to FatBurger. Then I called it a night because I knew the next few days would be very hectic. And I texted Amy because I missed her.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mixed Feelings

I should be excited about getting away from work and going to Vegas for five nights, but I'd rather be here with Amy. Nevertheless, I think the trip is a good way for us to take a breather from an amazing two weeks. There is a lot to think about. I miss you already.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Get Well Stan

One moment there were twelve of us at Boston Pizza getting ready for our hockey pool. We had just chosen the order of picking and then my friend just started shaking. Thankfully one of my friends is a doctor, but nevertheless, before I knew it, my friend was having a seizure. It's one of the most scariest things to see, especially when it is happening in front of you. But everything turned out OK, the ambulance arrived and took Stan to the hospital, where he will stay overnight. He'll be OK. The pool was obviously postponed. Get well soon, Stan.

Yes

"I wondered if it was true, if in this 21st century reality there is a person out there who could possibly be your other half." - Amy Mak

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Neverending Story

1) She emailed me
2) I emailed her back
3) We met at Starbucks, then a movie
4) I asked her out to dinner, and she said yes
5) I looked into her eyes and she looked back
6) I held her hand and she didn't let go
7) We walked along the pier in the rain
8) We kissed and held each other under the stars
9) We fell in love

And now the story continues, and so far it's been the most beautiful story I've read. Thank you for coming into my life, Amy.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Search is Over



How can I convince you
what you see is real
Who am I to blame you
for doubting what you feel
I was always reachin',
you were just a girl I knew
I took for granted the friend I have in you

I was living for a dream,
loving for a moment
Taking on the world,
that was just my style
Now I look into your eyes,
I can see forever
The search is over,
you were with me all the while

Can we last forever,
will we fall apart
At times it's so confusing,
the questions of the heart
You followed me through changes,
and patiently you'd wait
Till I came to my senses,
through some miracle of fate

I was living for a dream,
loving for a moment
Taking on the world,
that was just my style
Now I look into your eyes,
I can see forever
The search is over,
you were with me all the while

Now the miles stretch out behind me,
loves that I have lost
Broken hearts lie victims of the game
Then good luck,
it finally stuck like lightning from the blue
Every highway's leading me back to you
Now at last I hold you,
now all is said and done
The search has come full circle,
our destinies are one
So if you ever loved me,
show me that you give a damn
You'll know for certain the man I really am

I was living for a dream,
loving for a moment
Taking on the world,
that was just my style
When I touched your hand,
I could hear you whisper
The search is over,
love was right before my eyes

Friday, October 03, 2008

Summary of My Night

In the words of Mr. Miyagi's dying father in Karate Kid II, "If I am dreaming, let me never wake. If I am awake, let me never sleep."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Glory of Love



My good friends know what special meaning this song had. But maybe it's time to let things go and move on.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm OK

Scarlett Johansson got married to Ryan Reynolds on Saturday. Don't worry, my friends, I think I can handle it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nights in Rodanthe

I'm a sucker for the tearjerker chick flicks so I decided to go see this movie tonight (yes with a date). I've always liked Diane Lane (trivia buffs will know that Diane Lane and I were in a movie together in 1993 -- OK I was an extra but the movie was Knight Moves), and the movie was based on a Nicholas Sparks (who also wrote The Notebook) story. While I preferred The Notebook (one of my all-time favorites), this film was pretty good too. Diane Lane is a very underrated actress.

BAILOUT

Why don't the CEO's who are responsible for most of this mess take a pay cut? You hear of severance packages that are ridiculous, signing bonuses, duh. Once again, the rich get richer and the poor get screwed. It's the American way.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Real Fab Four

I've been relaxing at home watching ABBA's All Time Greatest Hits. I usually make an effort to watch all ABBA-related shows (even if it's for the 1000th time). Watching and listening to ABBA always puts a smile on my face, because they take me back to a time when all was well in the world. It's scary to think that they've broken up for 27 years now. But their music will live on for eternity.

Wishing Upon a Star

Natalie Portman has broken up with her boyfriend. Call me Natalie, I'm available.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Once Upon a Time

I had dinner tonight at my uncle and aunt's place, along with my two cousins. While there my aunt showed me some recorded episodes of Oprah that featured a 16-year-old Filipino girl who had the voice of an angel. Her name is Charice Pempengco, and her story is that of a fairy tale. She was "discovered" on YouTube, and before you knew it, Oprah got a hold of her, got David Foster involved, and the rest is history. She was invited to Italy to sing with Andrea Bocelli and was invited ONSTAGE to sing with Celine Dion at the latter's performance at Madison Square Gardens. Fairy tales do come true. Many of her performances are on YouTube but I shall leave you her rendition of My Heart Will Go On. Enjoy.

An Angel Singing

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shopping

I have four days off in a row (is that possible?). I have time to use my GEM (Employee of the Month) award of $150 to get something nice. Oh what should it be?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Who Has the Biggest Brain?

I am looking back upon my 42 years of existence and trying to remember the dumbest things I've done. Once when I was in High School, I got up one morning, got changed, went downstairs and realized that it was Saturday and I'd set my alarm clock to ring for absolutely no reason. About fifteen years ago, I was getting ready to work (at the old Holiday Inn on Broadway). I hadn't been feeling well and probably should have called in sick, but I decided to work. I took a hot shower and grabbed a tuxedo shirt. I was still in a daze when I got to work. That's when I realized that I'd taken the PINK tuxedo shirt from my wardrobe. I had to wear a sweater all night.

Fast forward to September 20, 2008.

This morning was another one of those 4am shifts that I'd become quite accustomed to. Nevertheless I was running a bit late. I'd spent too much time deciding if my pink (diagonally) striped tie would work on my darker but also (vertically) pink striped shirt wasn't too loud. I suddenly realized it was already 3:30am and if I dawdle I would be late for work. So I said to hell with the shirt, put on my socks (which probably didn't match but since they're all black I could care less) and shoes and rushed to work. I got to work a wee bit late but all was well; except that something was bothering me. I kept thinking that there was something wrong. I unplugged the iron. Maybe I left a light on at home but that's not the end of the world.

Then as I was going up the stairs to work I looked down and realized that I'd worn two different shoes (I will wait 30 seconds here so you can wipe that drink you just spilled while reading the previous sentence)............now back in the "Holiday Inn" times I could have rushed back home (8 blocks away) and fixed my problem, but my drive to and from work now takes a minimum of 25 minutes. Could I torture myself with ten hours of incorrect footwear (well technically I was within the dress code since they were BOTH black)? It wasn't long before the staff realized (and so "graciously" spread the word to the other staff) what had happened to me. It was funny having staff see me and instead of saying hi look down at my feet and laugh. Even Surveillance found out and were paging me and asking me if I remembered to put on socks this morning. I managed to survive until about 9:30am and then I told Rick that I was going crazy with embarrassment and had to go for a drive. I managed to find Willowbrook Mall and found myself a nice pair of shoes at Rockport for $84. A lot of staff (that hadn't see my blunder) were disappointed when I suddenly appeared with matching shoes.

And then, as if the Guy Upstairs didn't have enough of a sense of humor, I discovered that I was chosen as one of two "Employees of the Month" at my location and got a $150 American Express card. So I guess I gained $66 for being a complete idiot.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Deposits

So let me get this straight. The American banks are losing money so George Bush is asking the "public" to save the economy by taxing them (or whatever he's calling it). So these people all deposited money in their banks and now they have to put in more? Hmmm....

Dear Mr. Bush:

I've had a tough few years and I've lost a lot of money. Do you think you could get the American public to help me out a bit too?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Burgers

I'm looking forward to my return trip to Vegas next month. While looking for items for the staff newsletter I came across the following article for the most expensive burger in Vegas. Enjoy.

Vegas Burger

Hole in the Wall

Lately the unimaginative American TV networks have been adapting Japanese gameshows for the North American audiences. Shows such as Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Game Show (and the early candidate Iron Chef America) were very popular in Japan. Tonight I watched Hole in the Wall and it is now my favorite show on TV! It is hilarious! If you want to get an idea of what it is like, search on YouTube for Human Tetris.

It's time to FACE THE HOLE!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

WTF

The gas companies say the prices are based on supply and demand. So explain to me why in the span of 2 days the price of gas has gone from $1.35 suddenly to $1.51, then back down to $1.40, back up to $1.51 and down again to $1.41. Obviously they just charge whatever the hell they want to. This is ridiculous. Barrel prices are dropping and gas prices are rising. BS

Monday, September 15, 2008

96 Hours

My owed days are being collected now. After my shift today I'll have four (!) days off in a row, and next week I'll have five (!!) days off in a row. The second week of October I'm going back to Vegas with Joe and hopefully Nav; I got a good deal for $164 total. Fatburger here I come!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A New Era (Again)

Today was my first afternoon/evening at our new location (upstairs). As expected, it was a lot busier than before. It is unfortunate that we have four less tables in order to still fit the slot machines in, but hopefully with our increased traffic we will be able to expand by a few more tables. I also got to wear my new Hugo Boss suit. The scary part is the pants are a bit tighter than I thought they would be.... and the pants are 36 x 32. Don't tell me my waist has expanded to 37. Maybe I do need to start....what's that thing called.... exercising?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Russell Peters x 4

Tonight I went to see Russell Peters for the fourth time, this time at the River Rock Theatre. It was a lot smaller audience than usual, as Peters has sold out both the Queen Elizabeth and Orpheum Theatres. As a result, the crowd wasn't as lively as usual but he was still enjoyable. His style of humor is hilarious, very adlib and spontaneous.

Seems Like Yesterday

It was on November 18, 2007 when Wayne and I worked together at the last night of the Casino on Broadway before our move to Fraser Downs. Tonight, it was a bit of deja vu. In this case, we were merely moving from our downstairs location to upstairs with all the slots. This will be a new and hopefully more profitable phase for the Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino. As far as I know it is still the only racetrack in BC which has both slots and table games. I'm not sure how many of these true racinos exist in Canada (there are a lot of racetracks with slots but few with table games as well).

Monday, September 08, 2008

Boredom

The Canadian federal election will be October 14, which is a little over a month after it was announced. The election will be over in one night. Meanwhile, down in the States, the election has been going on for what seems like an eternity. Just get it over with.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

zz

I was so tired last night I went to bed at 7pm and despite waking up a few times, managed an amazing 11-hour sleep. I haven't had a sleep like that in a long time.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The End of the Rainbow

I've written about it before but the last two months at work have taken quite a toll on me. From the 50-hour weeks to more than my usual share of night shifts, I've spent most of my time at home just sleeping. I've pretty much lost contact with my parents and a lot of my friends, for which I apologize. But things are back to normal, or as close to normal as possible. I should have more time to spend with my friends....maybe even a short vacation. There is a lot to think about for my future.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor

The last day of August (and the night before Labor Day) was very busy at work. I must have spent half my shift supervising. Despite my usual hatred of giving out OT to dealers, I had absolutely no choice tonight. And while I find it almost unacceptable to have dealers working 10 hours, it happened to a number of the staff, because it was just that busy. Some of them worked 10.25 hours. At 3:45am there were still 12 players playing (usually by this time there might be one if we're lucky).

Oh well, Happy Labor Day.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Zoom

One of my best friends in the world is suddenly out of a job as a flight attendant for Zoom Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy two days ago. I feel so badly for her but I know she will pull out of this momentary setback.

Friday, August 29, 2008

24 Hours Off

I just finished two night shifts. Now I have one precious day off before returning to work at 4am. I went to work last night with a headache and I was worried I was getting sick. But I took 3 Tylenols and it seemed to do the trick, even though I'm still feeling a bit under the weather. But I managed to run the floor fairly smoothly even though it was busy enough that there was some OT. I even had to have someone work 10.25 hours, which is .25 more than I have ever had an employee work. But I just couldn't close a table to send that dealer home.

Monday, August 25, 2008

iPhone 3G

Yes folks, I finally gave in and bought one. I got a really good deal on the phone itself (the 16G) version, but couldn't do much about the data plan. I got a limited time deal, 6G of data for $30/month (this is normally $100/month). There are a lot of nice games and applications (and of course the wonderful world of iTunes) to download which I will get into. I've downloaded Crash Bandicoot so far and it's a lot of fun. Remind me I still have to do work once in a while.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Minh and Mandy

I just got back from the wedding reception of my coworker Minh and his wife Mandy. I wish them the very best. It was great to meet a lot of the ex-HIB staff and it was very great to bring the most beautiful maiden of all, Syama, as my date. She looked absolutely radiant. And now I shake my head at the fact that I am one of only a handful of managers who have never been married. Is that good or bad?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

CityTV Idiots

Part of my morning routine has been to catch a bit of Breakfast Television on CityTV before I left for work. I'd always wanted to catch a glimpse of Tasha Chiu, one of the cutest faces on television. By the way, Tasha, if you ever get to read this, email me.....

I also enjoyed Dave Gerry and Simi Sara as the hosts. But, in the greatest blunder of all time, all three (as well as others) have been fired, because the station wants to show to go in another direction. Way to go CityTV, I guess by "in another direction" you mean the dumpster. You have lost a viewer. There really is nothing else to watch now. The programming at night sucked anyways and now there is no reason to watch in the morning. So goodbye CityTV, may you rest in peace. How do I take Channel 13 off my remote?

48 Hours

I have two days off! But now the upcoming schedule seems up in the air as one of the floor managers at another location was involved in an accident, meaning some of our shifts can't be covered. Will I work days or nights, 4 days or 5 (6??). Inquiring minds want to know...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ZZZZZZ

The last few weeks I've turned into somewhat of a hermit, pretty much limiting my existence to working and sleeping. I haven't hung out much with friends. I guess I'm just too tired to do much. But September is near, meaning my schedule will be a bit more normal. In fact it will be better than normal with some extra days off.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Your Madge-sty

How could I forget? Yesterday the amazing Madonna turned 50, looking better than ever. The most anticipated concert in my life is only two and a half months away. I can't wait.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Truth North Strong and Free

There's no better feeling than seeing your country's flag going up the rafters and hearing your national anthem. Congratulations again to Carol Huynh for Canada's first gold medal.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Clarification

Just so we're on the same page, I have not been trying in anyway to knock the Canadian athletes. They have tried their best and indeed have been close to a medal. I am knocking the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the government, for their lack of priorities in putting together the Olympic team. They went for quantity not quality, and it obviously shows. Why have a water polo team that's going to lose 12-0 to Montenegro?

To that end, I congratulate Carol Huynh for earning Canada's first medal in a couple of hours. Whether it is gold or silver, congratulations for making our country proud.

Embarrassment

Medal Count as of August 15, 2008:

Togo: 1
Mongolia: 1
Canada: 0

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Night Shifting

I ended up my work week with another rare night shift. This time I got to work with Wayne for I believe the first time since we moved to Fraser Downs. It was a relatively easy night, although I ended up having to hand out overtime. But with our staff shortages there was no choice. It's not like I could go to a table and say we have to close it.

Anyways now I get to relax for all of two days before going back to work at 4am on Saturday. Two more weeks of little sleep and finally I should be back to normal.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Racism

To the Spanish basketball team: If you think that taking a picture with all of you making a racist Chinese gesture is "fun" then I suggest you all go to Harlem and start yelling the "n" word. That would be fun too. I have no respect for you and your country and if you don't want to make a formal apology then you can take that photo and shove it where the sun don't shine.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Notes from the Olympics

1) Canada lost 12-0 to Montenegro in Water Polo.
2) Congratulations to that guy from Togo who won the gold in kayaking. Togo is now one medal ahead of Canada in the standings.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Holy Casting, Batman!

There has been some interesting gossip concerning the new Batman sequel (post-Dark Knight). Rumor has it that Christopher Nolan is trying to get the following people to appear in the movie:

As The Riddler: Johnny Depp
As The Penguin: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
As The Catwoman: Angelina Jolie

I really like the Johnny Depp possibility. While he's not replacing Heath Ledger (it's not even the same character), it's going to take a major performance to reach the level that Heath Ledger did, and I think Johnny Depp is more than capable. Phillip Seymour Hoffman can play any role. And even though Michelle Pfeiffer was absolutely gorgeous as the "original" Catwoman, Angelina Jolie has that vampiness that's perfect for the role.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Jets Suck

The New York Jets are now my most hated NFL team. I hope Brett Favre bombs miserably there. And of course I hope Aaron Rodgers brings the Super Bowl to Green Bay where it belongs.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hanging in There

I am in the midst of 6 days in a row at work. The first three, as you know, were a mixture of day and night shifts but I managed to get through them without any major problems (except we were quite short-staffed). Now I have three more day shifts before two days off on Thursday and Friday.

Work has been more enjoyable lately for some reason. I've found a lot of that passion that has been missing. I still wish it was busier and there was more to do, but I've taken on a lot more responsibilities so it's not that bad.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bed

After three days off I'm back to work on a tough schedule. It will be 50-hour weeks for a while, and I start with three "interesting" shifts: Friday NIGHT (rare for me indeed) 6:30pm-4:30am, Saturday NIGHT 1:30pm-11:30PM AND Sunday DAY 8:30am-6:30pm. So much for enjoying the sun after my usual daytime shifts. But I fully understand that around PNE time, this is going to happen. In the horizon I still see a fabulous holiday in October. There is also Russell Peters on September 11, and Madonna on October 30 to look forward to.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

007

This one is for all the 007 fans out there. They've just announced that the theme song for the new James Bond movie out in November, Quantum of Solace, will be sung by.... a duet! The strange bedfellows will be Alicia Keys and Jack White of the White Stripes. The song will be called "Another Way to Die". This should be interesting. Here is one of the news articles.

Way Back When

Via Facebook, I was sent an email from one of my classmates in Elementary School. After using my amazing math skills, I realized that I hadn't seen him in over 30 years. That is scary. But it was nice to hear from him. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with some other people from McBride, even the one that I had a big crush on (and who shall remain nameless for the time being).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Work....Sleep....Repeat...

One more day of work and then I have three days off. Normally that would be a weekly occurrence but it will be my last four-day work week for a while. But it also means down the road I'll have a long-deserved holiday which will probably be spent at that city in Nevada that never sleeps.

It was a long day at work and I can't wait for this last day tomorrow to finish. Then maybe I'll go see Mamma Mia again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mamma Mia! 2, The Dark Knight 1

I wonder what the final score will be for seeing two really awesome movies. I suspect Mamma Mia! will be the winner because it's such a "happy" movie. As amazing and awesome as Heath Ledger's performance was, the movie was very dark and ominous. Nevertheless, I'm sure I'll see it again. Right now it's hard enough trying to get tickets.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Winner Takes it All

I'd never been a huge Meryl Streep fan over the years. Granted, she is one of the greatest actresses of all time, but I'd admit I had many other favorite actresses. But two nights ago, when she sang one of the most touching and bittersweet songs I know, I became a Meryl Streep fan. Just when I thought there was nothing more she could do in the acting world, she proved that she could sing. And sing very well. I could listen to this song over and over again. Enjoy.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mamma Mia! at last

All is well in the world, because at long last July 18 has come and gone and I've gone to see the movie I have been waiting an eternity to see. Meryl Streep has once again astounded me with her abilities. Who knew she could sing so well? Her rendition of The Winner Take It All was chilling. In a strange way, I could say that it was as chilling as Heath Ledger's role as the Joker. Both were so good it was astounding. One wonders if there is anything Meryl Streep can't do in the acting world.

For all the tough times I'm having in my personal life and work life, tonight everything was perfect, even if for a short time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dark Knight (SPOILER ALERT)

I just came back from watching one of the greatest performances of all time. While some may argue that Heath Ledger's untimely death made his role that much better, I disagree. He was chilling, plain and simple. The test of a great acting performance is being so immersed in the role that you become somebody else. At times I could not believe that I was watching Heath Ledger. He was truly scary as the demonic Joker (as opposed to Jack Nicholson's comedic Joker). Kudos also go to Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two Face. His makeup was astounding.

For all intents and purposes, the Best Actor race for the Oscars is over. Maybe another performance will come along in the next 5 months, but it's going to take something short of miraculous to surpass Heath Ledger's performance.

And now I must sleep, as I must work in 5 hours. Tomorrow I will once again immerse myself in the movies. Anybody who knows me knows which movie I will be watching.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Grissom

I was saddened to learn that William Petersen will be ending his run as one Gil Grissom on probably my favorite TV show of all time, CSI. It's hard to imagine that it has been 8 years since the show started its run. I hope it continues on, but it's going to be tough without Grissom. I bet many people still believe he actually DOES work in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Greedy Athletes

Brett Favre: You are nothing but a greedy pig. It's quite obvious your retirement last year was a ruse so you could make lots of money this year. Do you expect people to actually believe that you were "pressured" into retirement? I hope none of the other NFL teams are stupid enough to sign you. For all Green Bay has done to you for your career, you sure know how to return the favor. And to think you were once my hero. Now you've gone the way of Patrick Roy and become nothing more than a has-been.

Hold the Sun



I found this picture via my friend Johnny's blog. It's a beautiful picture, isn't it?

Another Holiday?

For the next two months or so, I'll be putting in extra time at work due to staff shortages. The reward is that I'll get some extra time off afterwards, perhaps enough for another trip to Vegas (or New York, or both). I just have to remember to take time off for September 11 (Russell Peters) and that Madonna lady on October 30.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Air Hockey

Do you think you are the greatest air hockey player in the world? Do you think there is nobody that can beat you? Or are you at home with nobody to play air hockey with? Feast and enjoy...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Soundtrack

In my time of reflection I went out to buy the soundtrack for a movie that is coming out next Friday. It's not the soundtrack to The Dark Knight so I'm sure everybody knows which one I'm talking about. July 18 can't come soon enough, as hopefully watching the movie will get me out of the doldrums.

Peace of Mind

It's been a rough few days for me but now I have my three regular days off to relax and reflect on things.

In other news, they recently released a bunch of Madonna tickets for October 30, so for those that missed out the first time, don't miss out again.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wanted

I must have slept 15 hours today, as I think I've come down with a bit of the flu. Nevertheless, I was so bored I decided to go see the ravishing Angelina Jolie in Wanted. I was attracted by the rumors of "a shower scene", which turned out to be nothing to get excited over. The movie, while full of really well-done effects, had a confusing story that kept going back and forth. I've seen better from Ms. Jolie.

Get Smart

Instead of moping at home, I decided to check out this updated version of the popular 70's series that I was a fan of. I did not expect much because I really enjoyed the TV version with Don Adams and Barbara Feldon, but the film adaptation was pretty good. Anne Hathaway is turning out to be a very beautiful and gifted actress. I was also impressed because the soundtrack contained songs by BOTH ABBA and Madonna. How can you go wrong?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July 18

No matter how depressed I become, no matter how sad I feel, no matter how down I am, there is one thing that makes it all feel better. My friends, as well as my coworkers, know who my favorite group is, and which song makes me feel better than anything else in the world. And on July 18, the one movie that I've been anticipating for oh so long will premiere. I may have seen Mamma Mia! the musical three times, and I'm sure the story will be the same, but the world will stand still at the premiere of Mamma Mia! the movie. It may be silly to be so obsessed with a singing group, or with one particular song, or with one movie, but I could care less. I love ABBA and everything to do with ABBA, so be it.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Month End

June was an interesting month to say the least. There were problems at work, there was my memorable 4 nights in Vegas and there was my birthday yet again. There are personal matters at home, and there are other things too. I'm glad to see three days off, hopefully I can put them to good use.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dork

There's nothing like driving 35km to work for your 4am shift on Saturday and then discover that there was a change and that you were instead suppose to be at work 1:30pm.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

News of the Day

Tell me Barack Obama isn't exchanging emails with Scarlett Johansson.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Love Guru

I decided to enjoy a comedy with Syama and John today. This new vehicle for Mike Myers was better than I'd expected with some unexpected laughs. Of course it's a suspension of disbelief that the Toronto Maple Leafs would be battling for the Stanley Cup but Jessica Alba definitely didn't look too bad on film. Justin Timberlake was hilarious as the Los Angeles Kings goalie.

P.S. Good luck to Big John at the WSOP. See you on TV!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Congratulations, Danny!

Tonight we had a dinner for one of the staff members who is retiring after a long time. It was wonderful to meet a lot of people that I hadn't seen since the closing of the HIB. It was like a little reunion. I wonder when my time will be, hopefully soon. Perhaps I will win Wednesday's 6/49 jackpot of $30 million.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Vegas Trip - Chapter 5: The Accommodations

Thanks to Albert and Mei, I was lucky enough to get 3 free nights at the MGM Grand (hence my decision to go to Vegas). The room was very nice, with two king beds, two TV's and a sofa. The cleaning service was exemplary. I also got a chance to see Albert's amazing suite at the Palazzo (an addition to the Venetian), which featured three TV's and a dreamy view of the Venetian pool. The hotels in Vegas are so amazing; the size is just crazy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Vegas Trip - Chapter 4: The Gambling

Normally if I were to blog about a trip to Vegas I would be writing a lot about bad beats in poker and bad players on Blackjack. This time I kept my gambling to a minimum, of which I am quite proud of. Sure I still lost but I managed to take some time to do OTHER things (seeing shows for example).

I came across some interesting new table games (Ultimate Texas Hold'Em, Crazy 4 Card Poker) which were a nice pastime. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I would like to take a short 3 or 4-day trip to Vegas and NOT gamble at all. Joe and I have talked about taking such a trip and seeing how many shows we can catch.

All in all, this trip was wonderful. I did end up spending a lot of money, but at least it wasn't all on the tables. I can't wait to go back.

My Vegas Trip - Chapter 3: The Food

I managed to treat myself to a wide variety of food in Vegas. When we landed in Vegas and put our bags into the room it was close to midnight, but we knew of one place that was definitely open.... FATBURGER! For those who haven't been to one, you can guess what they serve. There were sizes from the BabyFat to the Double King. I managed to finish a couple of Double Kings during my trip to Vegas.

We went to the MGM Buffet which was wonderful (and filling). We also went to some smaller restaurants and cafes, and on the last night (after the Elton concert), Joe and I went to a seafood place called The Rosewood Grille...to eat steak! It was divine. I can't decide if it was better than the ones I've had at Gotham here in town, but it's pretty close.

We'd also walked buy a restaurant that served Kobe Beef, which we were going to go to originally (after Elton) but couldn't get back in time. That would have been a $58 meal but we also came across a restaurant that was serving some other kind of beef (can't remember the name) at an astounding $240 for 8 ounces. Wow. Maybe next time.

My Vegas Trip - Chapter 2: The Shows

In my four previous visits to Vegas, I have NEVER had to opportunity to see a show. I'd always gone with diehard gamblers who always preferred to gamble over seeing a show. But on this trip I'd promised myself that I would try to see a show or two. Luckily for me, one of my travelling companions was Joe, who shared my interest in Vegas shows. He managed to catch three himself, while I was more than satisfied with my selection of two shows. There were four or five other shows that I would have loved to have watched; maybe next time.

On Tuesday night I caught the newer Cirque de Soleil show, Ka, at the MGM Theatre. The theater itself was magnificent, and the show itself pays homage to the Cirque de Soleil type of show. Perhaps the only reservation I had was the storyline, which was a bit hard to follow at times. But the acrobatic feats and effects were breathtaking.

On Wednesday night, thanks to Joe, I was able to catch Elton John in concert at the theater at Caesars that had been vacated by one Celine Dion. Seeing Sir Elton had been one of my "goals in life", knowing his reputation as a performer. And Sir Elton did not disappoint, with a wonderful show that lasted just short of two hours. While it is impossible to fill the show with all of his hits, he had a great selection of past and present hits and a wonderful video display at the back. The defining moment of my trip was when I saw the image of Marilyn Monroe and I knew what song was coming up. You can call me a wuss or a wimp or worse (I really don't care) but at this point my eyes started moisten and I started to cry. While he sang Candle in the Wind, I was treated to a sad but beautiful montage of Marilyn Monroe pictures. She was such a beautiful woman and the song was so haunting when partnered with this wonderful video.

After the video Joe and I went to eat (see chapter on Food) and by then it was close to midnight so we decided to see....a movie. The Incredible Hulk was showing at 12:25am so we thought why not, one more show in Vegas! The movie was OK, nothing special considering all the Marvel movies I've seen.

My Vegas Trip - Chapter 1: The Sights

Las Vegas is one of those cities that never ceases to amaze me no matter how many times I visit there. I hadn't been back for three or four years but as the plane was circling the city I fell in love again.

Vegas reminds me a lot about those model cars I used to build when I was young. Everything is in detail but the actual size is much bigger. The inside joke going among my friends was "Hey we can see the hotel from here, it's not that far". You don't realize how far hotels are until you start walking and realize you've barely gotten closer.

How do I describe visually what Vegas is all about? From the lion at the MGM to the pyramid at Luxor to the grand majestic site known as the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, there is just so much to take in. For those of you who have never had the opportunity to visit, well, everybody has to go to Vegas once in their life.

Boredom

I returned last night from one of the relaxing holidays in a long time. Yes, I was actually able to relax in Vegas. My writeup will be forthcoming, in separate chapters too depending on what part of my trip you wish to read about.

Friday, June 13, 2008

RIP Tim Russert

Tim Russert was truly one of the greats in the political reporting arena. He was also a prolific author but was of course known for hosting Meet the Press. All day CNN (and other stations) have been pouring out their thoughts, from Wolf Blitzer and Larry King to even the presidential candidates. He was only 58, another life lost too early.

I Know My Kid's a Star

Is this show for real? These so-called mothers of future child stars are sorry excuses for human beings. They swear, they pressure their kids, and they are generally a bunch of bitches. Unfortunately it looks like Dina Lohan and Lynn Spears aren't the worse parents in Hollywood.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Soon

My holiday begins in three days and I can't wait to get away from the pressures of work. So much has been happening as of late and I guess I'll have to try not to think about things when I'm off in Vegas. Elton John, Ka, and hopefully another show awaits. The M&M and Coke Museums, my friend Dale at the Rampart Casino, and of course my pilgrimmage to the Gambler's Bookstore will take up a lot of my time that I just might not be gambling at all. But I'll try to make some time.

Kung Fu Panda

Jackie really wanted to watch this cartoon and I'm glad we saw it, because it was hilarious! What a concept, a cartoon with a great storyline...and awesome fight scenes? It was also fun to try to guess the voices. I knew about some of them but was surprised at some of the other ones.

Monday, June 09, 2008

What Happens in Vegas....

There are only 7 days before my long-awaited holiday to the City of Sin. A couple of dealers have joined in on the festivities so it should be a lot of fun. For me, I look forward to meeting my friend Dale who is a manager at the Rampart Casino, as well as The Wizard of Odds, Michael Shackleford. There are a number of shows I'd like to watch too, so we'll see how I manage my time. I can't wait.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Syphon

Last night I noticed gas was $1.41/liter. My tank was almost empty but I decided to delay filling up in case prices went down. Today gas is $1.46/liter. Yuk.

Busy?

It was nice to see the casino fairly busy today and even later on just before I left. Poor Tommy didn't stop working on roulette for his entire 8-hour shift. Way to go Tommy! It was unusually busy for a Saturday, so I hope the numbers keep up. I get to take a short little nap before going back to work at 8:30am.

In other news, only 7 days until Vegas with Albert, Mei, Edwin, and now Joe!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bad TV

So after what has seemed like an eternity, the Democratic primary "season" is over. This was the most boring TV series of all time. How long did it take to decide nothing? Maybe the Americans can take a page from the Canadian political system. One day and it's over.

Season 2 is the actual presidential election. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Monday, June 02, 2008

Thinking Cap

I wish I had more marketing experience that I could think of something to do with the situation at work with the lack of table game players in Cloverdale. How do we get the demographic of mostly retired people to play blackjack? As strange as it sounds I may end up doing work when I go to Vegas, seeing if I can learn anything from the way things are run over there.

Speaking of Vegas, it's been interesting watching the fares fluctuate for my trip from June 15-19 (or 16-19). The one-way fares have gone from $21 to $128 but is currently at $88. This is like watching gas prices.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Busy

And so ends quite the eventful month for me, and the coming months will hopefully be just as eventful. All I know is that in five months I will be seeing Madonna live in concert. I am so excited about it. In two weeks I will be going to Vegas, hopefully for a nice relaxing rest this time. I plan to catch Indiana Jones soon. In July my most anticipated movie, Mamma Mia will be released on the 18th. On the same night will be the release of The Dark Knight.

Life is good.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Listen to Your Heart

My cherished Madonna tickets have become quite the conversation pieces at work. There are those that still think I should sell them for an obvious profit. There are those that still think I should go see the concert from one of the best seats in the house. There are those that still think I should go see the concert and sell the other ticket for big profit. In the end I must do what I feel in my heart, and that is to take a friend and leave it at that. I'll always have a chance to make money. In fact, maybe I will come across tickets in the next five months. I can still try to sell those.

But to wait 25 years and not get the best seats that I could, I would regret it for the rest of my life.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dilemma

My cherished Madonna tickets can be picked up at the Ticketmaster on Wednesday. But today at work I've been stuck in a quandary. Here is my line of thinking and options regarding my two awesome seats for Madonna. Once again, with taxes, they came out to about $350.

Tickets in the same area are going on eBay for a total of $1000-$1500. I'm guaranteed to make money if I sell them (whether it's on eBay or Craigslist). I could probably sell them, buy two tickets for myself at a lower price (and obviously worse seats) and still make a profit.

Let's assume my love for Madonna transcends my love for money. I'll never get a chance to be 16 rows away from one of my music idols. So I decide to keep my tickets. Well, what do I do with the SECOND ticket? Perhaps by then I've found Ms. Right and we'll be madly in love and I'll have no qualms about treating her. After all it only cost me $175. But if I am still in the running for The Bachelor at that time, should I take a friend and charge cost for the ticket? Do I try to sell ONE ticket on eBay, and possibly even make enough to pay for my own ticket? But then how silly would it look if I went to the concert by myself?

Madonna or money?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Deal or No Deal?

After another unsuccessful night trying to win the Bad Beat jackpot at Edgewater (it's over $82,000) I had breakfast with Jackeline but by then it was 8am. I set my alarm for 9:30am and then made sure my laptop was working perfectly. At about 9:55am I went to the Ticketmaster website and waited and waited until the clock struck 10am. The website wasn't accessible until 10:03am but suddenly I saw in front of me two floor tickets in the 16th row for $165 each. It was an easy decision and now I have two tickets to see someone I've been waiting almost 25 years to see in concert. Next to ABBA, this is the one concert I regret not ever seeing. But on October 30, I'll be there.

Then again I could probably sell the 2 floor tickets and probably make $1000 IN PROFIT. But it is Madonna.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Back to the Edge

After dinner with friends last night I ventured to Edgewater and played some $4/$8 limit. I quickly remembered why I stopped playing $4/$8 at Edgewater. Generally it's a crapshoot. No matter how strong your hand is preflop, you'll almost certainly get somebody (often a few people) who stay until the river and more often than not outdraw you. I was down early but in the end managed to only lose $70 for about 6 hours of "work". I guess I'm just "training" for my Vegas trip next month.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Yee Haw

It's not too busy at work due to the Cloverdale Rodeo going on just across the parking lot. It seems the Cloverdale folks are more interested in the fair than the casino. As a result, it's been quite the relaxing day here. The next two days I have some rare night shifts before three days off.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lost Wages

Thanks to a very good friend, I get to stay in some city called Las Vegas for three nights at MGM FOR FREE from June 16-19. All I have to do is pay for my flight. I haven't been back to Vegas for a few years now so it will be nice to see it again. I can't wait to visit the Wynn for the first time, and then check out some of my old haunts: The Gambler's Bookstore, The Coca-Cola Museum, The M&M Museum. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see a show FOR THE FIRST TIME. And from what I hear, they have casinos in Vegas so I'll probably get to do some of that.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Greed is not Good

I returned to the poker waters last night when Jackeline and I decided to go to Starlight after dinner for some $1/$2NL. Cardswise it was miserable. I won an early hand (unfortunately it was from Jackeline) but really got nothing after that and my blinds just dwindled away. Once in a while I would pay to see a cheap flop only to see nothing afterwards. I made one mistake and it cost my dearly. But that's the way it is. Of course the fun part is I just got home 30 minutes ago and now must get ready for my 4am shift. Hee hee, just like the good ol' days. RED BULL.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sorry

I learned a harsh lesson tonight in thinking before you speak (or in my case, thinking before I text). Sometimes even the most innocent of statements can offend someone. So Brenna if you happen to come across this blog, I'm sorry I said what I said.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tragedies

My heart goes out to all the families and everybody in general in Asia. In the matter of a week they have gone through two absolutely horrific disasters. It is scary to think that 50,000 people have lost their lives in Burma and China.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

For all those trivia buffs, this is the 100th anniversary of the first Mother's Day. So to all those who are Moms or those who have Moms, HMD.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Desperately Seeking Madonna

It seems implausible to think that in all of Madonna's amazing career, she has never had a concert in Vancouver. That will change on October 30 as she loses her Vancouver virginity at General Motors Place. Next to the ABBA reunion that will never occur, there is no one on this planet that I would want to see more.

So now the question is, how much is she worth? The tickets will range from $55 in the nosebleeds to $350 floor seats. IF I am able to, I can pretty much justify paying for the best seats. The problem will be if I am unable to get the great seats before they are sold out (and of course they will be sold out a few minutes after they go on sale May 24). So I can only hope that the stars are aligned and I manage to get tickets to see Her Madgesty. This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime concert.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Iron Man

It took me almost a week but I finally got a chance to see this, the latest in the superhero movie genre. There was a lot of hype and good reviews and the movie did not disappoint. I've always liked Robert Downey Jr. as an actor and his performance was excellent. Gwyneth Paltrow was delicious as the assistant. The film reminded me of Transformers.

And in case you don't already know, stick around to the end of the credits for a little surprise.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Crystal Ball

My Hollywood predictions for the next 365 days, whether you care or not:

1) Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon will be separated and divorced
2) Miley Cyrus will be photographed at a dance club drinking something alcoholic
3) Britney Spears will be arrested for something
4) Lindsay Lohan will be back in rehab
5) Paris Hilton will not help children in Iraq even though she promised she would
6) Another 16-year-old actress or singer will get pregnant
7) The opening night for The Dark Knight will exceed all expectations as a tribute to Heath Ledger
8) I unfortunately will be watching Mamma Mia the Movie on that night

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Post Mortem

Now that I've had a good night's sleep I can intelligently reflect on the 2007-2008 season for the Montreal Canadiens. It was an amazing ride. At the beginning of the season they were picked to be near the bottom of the standings in the East. But they defied the odds and at the end of the regular season they were first in the East. One can argue they were too young for the playoffs, or that perhaps they needed a veteran goalie. To that I say whatever. Those boys played their hearts out and as a rabid Habs fan, I was impressed with the class that the fans showed after the Flyers scored the empty-net goal to "seal" the game. How often do you see a standing ovation for a team that squandered a 3-1 lead in the game? That's what being a Montreal Canadiens fan is all about. It's not about giving up, or jumping on and off the bandwagon, or spending more time insulting the other team instead of cheering your own team.

I can't wait for next year's playoffs.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Love Always

It was a love affair that started many, many years ago when I immigrated from Hong Kong in 1972 and was introduced to a game called hockey and a team called the Montreal Canadiens. It has been a great love that has gotten better with age. And even though the last few years my beloved Habs went through hard times, my love has never died. And, if it is actually possible, this year I fell in love with my Habs once again. It is true what they, to be a Habs fan is a religion. It was beautiful to hear the greatest fans in the world CHEER their goalie even after the fifth goal. This was because to almost everyone in that building, the last 6 months have been an amazing ride, and even though we fell short, we can believe again.

To Bob Gainey and Guy Carbonneau and Carey Price, thank you for a great season. Thank you for making me fall in love again.

Forever Proud

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Believe

The Montreal Canadiens are now down 3-1 in their series against the Philadelphia Flyers. While one can argue that they have actually outplayed the Flyers, they haven't been able to put the puck into the net, plain and simple. And now I go back to a few years ago when Montreal was down 3-1 against the Bruins. They managed to come back and win three in a row. Here's hoping history repeats itself.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Meanwhile...

...the story of the sick 74-year-old Austrian who kept his daughter locked up in the cellar for years and fathering children with her gets no coverage. Hail to the American Wasteland.

The New Slut

Our friends to the South haven't had much to talk about in the entertainment world ever since the Great American Hero Britney Spears appears to actually be turning her life around. Paris Hilton is back to her partying ways but at least she isn't driving much. Lindsay Lohan will be back in rehab soon but she's keeping it quiet. Britney's sister will be on maternity leave soon. All is well in the Land of Skankville.

And then, as if on cue, the world awaits the new issue of Vanity Fair featuring the 15-year-old Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana) in a series of "tasteful" photos showing her bare back. The pedophiles of the world aren't going to sleep much tonight. Vanity Fair will probably sell more issues than they have for a long time. Miley will begin her obviously planned transformation from Mickey Mouse Club member (oh sorry, Hannah Montana star, no difference really) into slut. In her next interview she will claim to not be a virgin. Pretty soon she'll be caught coming out of a limousine without underwear. She could possibly shave her head and perhaps she may hit cars with her umbrella. Gee, I swear this sounds familiar.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Yes, I went out for dinner and movie in the middle of a playoff game involving the Montreal Canadiens. But when your favorite team falls behind 2-0 for the third straight game you may decide to do other things. So I went to Earl's with Lily and then we went to see this comedy. It was your standard Judd Apatow comedy with some silly comedy but it wasn't as funny as Superbad or Knocked Up. Mila Kunis did look quite ravishing in the movie though.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Equilibrium

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction"; something about the Law of Equilibrium. Anyways, just a few weeks ago we got our Profit Sharing cheques from work, and it was very nice. However, this week I have to bring my beloved blue Honda Fit in for repairs, and it will pretty much erase what has been in my bank account for the last few weeks. That's the way it is.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Night Shift

I spent the last two nights on the evening shift, quite the rarity for me. If I recall, they were only the third and fourth night shifts I've had since the transfer to Fraser Downs end of November. I felt a bit weird as I had to get in the groove, but everything turned out OK. It was nice to see the night time crew, as I hadn't seen some of them in a while.

And now, back to Game 1 of the Montreal-Philadelphia series. GO HABS GO

Monday, April 21, 2008

Momentary Relaxation

What a game 7. The Habs win! And now I have a few days to relax before they play again (either against Philadelphia or New York). Today I remember what it is like to be a Habs fan. The scene at the Molson Centre was amazing. Past legends such as Jean Beliveau, Ken Dryden, and Frank Mahovlich were there. Even ex-prime minister Jean Chretien was there. And I'll have to say, probably the Forum Ghosts from the past were there.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nerves

It's mid-April which in Canada means the beginning of the NHL playoffs. My beloved Montreal Canadiens had jumped out to a 3-1 series lead but they've lost the last two games against Boston so the series is now 3-3. The seventh and deciding game is tomorrow, it's all or nothing. It was a big letdown for me yesterday in what was in all honesty a very exciting third period. But the end result was not what I'd wanted it to be. But now I have to forget it and pour my heart out again tomorrow. GO HABS GO.

Friday, April 18, 2008

88 Minutes

It was a tough choice for my movie this week, as previously posted. However, it seemed that Zombie Strippers wasn't out yet in Canada, so I decided to choose the Al Pacino flick. It was a standard whodunnit with nothing spectacular. Pacino played Pacino and that's about it. There were some decent supporting role performances from Leelee Sobieski and Debra Kara Unger.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Life in Richmond

I'm pretty much settled into my new place in Richmond, even though I still have a lot of unpacking to do. Currently I'm in the midst of building my Ikea MALM drawer, after which I will get some bookshelves. It's been relaxing so far and I look forward to my three days off. I'm enjoying the NHL playoffs (more so since the Habs are up 2-0 in the series). Things are cool.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Zombie Strippers

Maybe I'm looking forward to seeing the movie version of Mamma Mia! more than anything this year but the testosterone-driven male beast in me is surely waiting to see Zombie Strippers, starring (in her first MAINSTREAM role) the incomparable Jenna Jameson. Get the Oscar speech ready! I know what I'll be doing on April 18.

Forum Ghosts

And now, for all Canadians, the 3-month religious holiday known as the NHL playoffs begin. I am very excited this year as my beloved Montreal Canadiens are first in the East and have a good chance to be there in the end. My cousin has a nice bet from Vegas for Montreal to win, and of course I hope he does. I don't have time to rag on the so-called Vancouver "fans", instead I will ask the Forum Ghosts to come back and bring the Cup back to Montreal. I've already stopped shaving and won't start until Montreal is out. That could be three months from now so it will be interesting to see how I look.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Recuperation

I guess I should have been more prepared for my move, as I left everything to the last moment. As a result, the move was very stressful and tiring. But all is said and done now and I am writing from my new digs in Richmond. All is good in the world now. I got my tax refund and profit sharing from work on the same day. I'm very tired from all the work and lack of sleep in the last two days but I will survive.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

FANS?

What is the definition of a fan (in terms of sports)? Is it not someone who is fanatic or finds enjoyment in cheering for a team? So why is it that every time I go to a Vancouver Canucks game (or listen to so-called Canuck fans), all I hear are insults hurled at the other team? As stated I was at the Calgary-Vancouver game, and probably 80% of the screaming and yelling were just insults directed at the Flames. Maybe they should use their energy to CHEER for their team? Roberto Luongo is one of the best goalies in the league but the only praise you hear from the FANS is a spattering of "LOOOOOOO" after a save. But Mikka Kiprusoff kept getting "KIPPER SUCKS" throughout the game.

Don't claim to be a fan if you don't even know what that means. I have been a Montreal Canadiens FAN for 36 years. I cheer on my favorite team to victory, instead of making fun of the other team.

If I know the so-called Canuck "supporters" reading this blog, the first thing they want to do at this moment is make some insult about Montreal. Go right ahead, at least I'm a FAN.

Monday, March 31, 2008

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I don't care if it's "just wrestling", but right now I'm watching the "farewell" show to Ric Flair, the greatest wrestling entertainer of all time. With the possible exception of Bret Hart, there will be no one else like him. Yeah, all this wrestling stuff is fake and scripted but so are movies and musicals and soap operas. Just as people can idolize actors and singers, I can idolize a wrestler. The Nature Boy was an amazing performer. Thank you Nature Boy. One more time, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

"To be the man, you have to beat The Man" -- Ric Flair (and no one will ever beat you)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bandwagon

I was fortunate enough to be able to go the hockey game tonight. I got to watch Calgary against the on/off Vancouver Canucks. It looks like the bandwagon jumpers have hopped back on. I can never understand the Canuck fans. I bet if you did a poll around the league and asked which fans jump on and off the bandwagon the most, it would be the Canuck fans.

That's why I cheer for the Habs.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Family First?

So you are in the middle of a tight playoff race. Your wife just had a baby (C-section too) at 4:30pm the day before. You spend the night with her.... then you fly from Florida to Minnesota the next day just so you can play a game of hockey? And you lose 4-0? Maybe Roberto Luongo should think about what is more important in his life, LIKE HIS FAMILY? If anything it looks like he'll be spending the rest of spring in Florida because the playoffs sure don't look too good for the Canucks.

But who cares, the Habs are first in the East again! Vive les Habitantes!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Moment of Truth

Here is a TV show that demonstrates perfectly what is wrong with American society. What would possess a woman to go on national TV and admit in front of a whole country (and her husband) that she had an affair, all to try to win $500,000? And the funny and ironic thing is in the end she won nothing. Whatever happened to shows about family values?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Movies Movies Movies

It looks like my good friend Johnny and I disagree on our desires to see 21. That's OK, he's still cool (and always will be).

That being said, here are the movies that I am truly looking forward to see in 2008 (and listed in order of importance to me):


Mamma Mia!
How can you go wrong with a musical with all ABBA songs in the soundtrack?
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Welcome back Indy!
Quantum of Solace Bond, James Bond
The Dark Knight
May Heath Ledger rest in peace.

Who's in First?

Canada has always been one of the teams to beat in curling (that would be the sport as opposed to anything to do with one's hair). Other teams that have made great strides are Sweden, Germany, Norway and even the United States. But anybody who's watching the Women's World Curling Championships knows that the team that is 7-0 is....China. Who would have thought?

So Much For My Hero

Back in the mid 80's to mid 90's the Habs had a goalie in net by the name of Patrick Roy. While Ken Dryden had been my hero for a long time, it seemed that he'd been replaced. Watching Patrick Roy in the 1993 playoffs is something I'll never forget.

Fast forward to the new millenium. Patrick Roy's coaching has been questioned. His temper often got the best of him. And now, seeing what he told his son to do makes me sick. Yes, there is no proof that he told his son Jonathan to go after the other goalie, but let's not be stupid here. It's so obvious. To Mr. Patrick Roy, I'll never forget your performance in 1993, but unfortunately it will also take time before I forget your performance in 2008. Even though I don't condone what Jonathan Roy did, he only did what his father told him to. Mr. Patrick Roy, you make me sick. Mr. Ken Dryden, you are once again my hero.

LOLZ BECOZ LAR LAR

I think I could almost change my blog to some sort of a daily rant thing, but something has been irking me as of late (actually, as of a long time ago). Text messaging has become a way of life for a lot of people. I can understand that you may wish to keep your message short (to save money perhaps) and so you would use certain abbreviations. Shortcuts such as "lol" and "thx" have become part of language. Writing "lol" instead of "laughing out loud" does save time. But is it really necessary to shorten a word such as "because" to an ugly replacement such as "becoz"? Does saving two letters really change the world? And to confuse matters more, some folks like to put "lolz" instead of "lol". And permit me to take a stab at my own culture but please stop adding crap like "lar" and "lor" at the end of every sentence. If you're going to keep your email or text message short, don't add stupid combinations of letters that don't even make a word. Don't waste my time.

It's no wonder today's education is in such a disarray. Nobody can spell correctly now. I was once known at work as the guy who writes too much in his emails. I guess correct spelling and grammar is a crime.

Monday, March 24, 2008

21

It's not a good practice for someone to review a movie before he/she has seen it but I already have an idea of what this movie will be about. They are modernizing something that happened 20 years ago. I can't wait to see a bunch of yahoos come to the casino and try to cheat the casinos like Ben Mezrich et al ALLEGEDLY (still not proven) tried to do way back when. As much as I like Kevin Spacey as an actor, this movie will not be on my "to see" list (well maybe for a good laugh).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Farewell Vancouver

At the moment I won't be buying a place to live. Instead I found a place to rent in Richmond for the time being. This will give me time to shop slowly for my new home. My landlords are a very nice old couple. More details to follow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Who Cares Part 2?

What is wrong with America? The PROSTITUTE (or CALL GIRL -- whatever) is getting offers from stupidly greedy Americans. Why is she not charged with prostitution? It's a joke. That is why I will never live in the United States. I'm sorry to my American friends.

P.S. Somebody please remove Nancy Grace from the airwaves. Her show is nothing but a vehicle for her to spout her ridiculous views. Her stories are interesting but listening to her gives me a headache. You disagree with her and she ignores you. I used to respect her as a great attorney but now she is nothing but a skank. Maybe put her on The View and she'll make Rosie O'Donnell seem like Snow White.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Who Cares?

Here is a list of people and topics I really don't want to read or hear anything more in the news about:

1) Heather Mills (please go away now)
2) Britney Spears (you serve no purpose on this planet)
3) Paris Hilton (obviously you forgot all those things you promised to do after you went to jail; obviously you have no brain)
4) New York government officials sleeping around (is it that big a deal in this day and age?)

Just a rant before bed.

The Other Boleyn Girl (Again)

Avy wanted to see the movie so I went to see it again. You can't go wrong seeing Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson onscreen, even if the movie was average. I did enjoy the film a bit more this time as I was able to understand the characters more. Mary (Scarlett's character) was a virtuous person who meant no harm to anyone. Kristin Scott Thomas played a strong role as the mother of the Boleyns (maybe even a slim possibility come Oscar time).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Priorities

The rest of the month will be quite busy for me (aside from work). I have a lot of projects and other things that must be completed. I need to prioritize everything so hopefully everything will be done on time. I hope I won't be too terribly stressed. I came across a book, Crosswords to Keep Your Brain Young. Obviously it is a book about crosswords but it is also a book on how the brain works, and how one can keep it working throughout one's life. I found it quite educational.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Need a Holiday

I've been back a week from my unforgettable trip to the Big Apple. Everything has slowed down and it's back to the cycle of sleep-work-sleep. My 4am-2pm shift on Saturday was very tough (it probably didn't help that I was out until midnight the night before), especially the drive home. And of course we had daylight savings time so my sleep cycle is a bit out of whack at the moment.

I need a holiday.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

That's It?

And so one of the most memorable holidays in my life is coming to an end. It is back to work at 8:30am tomorrow. I've had such a wonderful time. I got to sit in a room with 700 other people sharing the same passion. Even though I knew that I had no chance of winning anything, it was a most enjoyable experience. There are a lot of people that I would love to meet next year. In the meantime, I have a year to "train" for the 2009 tournament.

As for New York itself, what more can I say but "WOW". I'll be back, hopefully very soon.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Definitely, Maybe

This wasn't my first choice for a movie but my date decided on it, so I decided to go. It was the standard romantic tale which seemed to have shades of Mamma Mia! in it. While the ABBA musical involved three prospective fathers, this movie involved three prospective mothers. That's all I'll say for now. I will add that Abigail Breslin is a very talented young actress who will go far. It was an OK movie.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

One thing I didn't get a chance to do in New York was to catch the premiere of this movie starring two very beautiful women, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. Even before the movie started I got a wonderful treat, the trailer for Mamma Mia! It was a pleasant surprise.

As for the movie itself, if you take away the two beautiful women, I'll have to say the film was a bit of a disappointment. The story was confusing and it was hard to decide who was good and who was bad. Eric Bana started as a compassionate Henry but then couldn't decide what to do. I respect Natalie Portman as an actress (and incredibly smart woman) but she didn't seem to belong in this movie.

Back to Life, Back to Reality

I have returned from perhaps the best vacation of my life. My result in the tournament was insignificant compared to the amazement I felt seeing 700+ people in one room just doing crosswords. It was a varied group of people from many walks of life who happened to share the love of one thing. I do plan to return next year.

As for New York itself, I think I truly like the city more than Vegas. And those who know me know that this is a bold statement to make. But just standing in front of Times Square I realized what an amazing town this New York is. I have to come back to see some shows, visit museums and explore the city in detail. I have actually figured out the subway system.

The downside to this trip is that I did take a hit in my pocketbook but a trip to Vegas would probably have done the same. Now I must go back to work and recover.

P.S. The link to the tournament is at Crossword Tournament

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Half Full or Half Empty

The current standings are up and of course I am nowhere near the top (and fairly near the bottom). Currently I am in 622nd place out of 727 players. I am also in 9th place among the foreign solvers, which sounds better than saying that I am in 9th out of 12 foreign solvers).

There is one more puzzle for everyone tomorrow, then the leaders faceoff in a final puzzle before the awards and closing ceremonies.

I also had a chance to have dinner with some people I met through the ABBAMAIL mailing list; Laura, Ron and Bill. We had dinner near Greenwich Village and it was delicious (although the service left something to be desired).

I must return to New York shortly, can it be I don't want to go to Vegas anymore?

So Far So Bad

Here's a quick update as Rounds 1-3 have just been completed. I knew from the start that I would have no chance of being anywhere near the top of the standings and today I proved my point. Puzzle had a 15-minute time limit. The pros were leaving the room (aka finished) after 3 minutes. I stuck around trying to complete the puzzle; I had most of it done at 7 minutes but spent 5 minutes trying to figure out one word. It's too bad I don't know my Jewish terms or I'd have filled in MAZELTOV instead of the incorrect MAZELTOF. Puzzle 2 was a mess and I (as well as many others in the room) were nowhere near finishing. I managed to complete Puzzle 3, but I had to guess some of the words so we'll see. The festivities continue in 30 minutes.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Things I Don't Like About New York

1) They have more Burger Kings than Starbucks. I walked about 50 blocks and found maybe four Starbucks (is the plural of Starbucks Starbuckses??)

2) NO HOCKEY ON TV

3) It's snowing

4) Everything is so bloody expensive

THE LARGE RED FRUIT

Today was my sightseeing day before the tournament, which starts tomorrow at 11am (8am for the Vancouverites). I stupidly wore my dress shoes (that's all I brought) and did a lot of walking which resulted in very tired feet as I write these words.

I started by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. For those of you who have walked across Cambie Bridge for whatever reason, the Brooklyn Bridge is about three or four times the size. And then I walked about 50 blocks to Times Square, taking in the sights and sounds of New York. As I neared Time Square I was reminded of the first time I flew into Vegas. And when I finally reached my destination I was awestruck. Wow. I never realized how big Times Square was. The lights were probably just as bright (if not brighter) than Vegas. I could spend two or three days here alone. Broadway had so many shows I wanted to see. I was impressed beyond belief.

As for the tournament itself, I am even more awestruck by the fact that I am entrant #688 out of an estimated 750 or so (so far). And I thought I was the only nerd. I don't know how many Canadians there are yet. Maybe I'll get a prize for that. I don't expect to be anywhere near the top but it's been an amazing experience that I will definitely repeat.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Air Canada Sucks

My flight to New York wasn't even on Air Canada yet I would like to vehemently state that the airline sucks. I know this because I flew on Cathay Pacific and I was quite impressed. From the easy checkin to how we were treated on the flight, I can say this is what customer service is all about. I did not take advantage of the free wine but just the fact that this was available was quite impressive. We all had TV screens in the seat in front of us. I started to watch Martian Child but ended up taking a nap.

Now it's time to relax and decide what I want to do tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Start Spreading the News

Well, my trek to New York begins tomorrow. I will be attending the American Crossword tournament on Saturday and Sunday, and perhaps find time do some sightseeing in The Big Apple (where do I find this apple anyways?). It will also give me time to relax and hopefully not think too much about work (because anybody who knows me knows I tend to do too much thinking about work).

My first task is to make it from the JFK airport to the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott without ending up totally lost.

Vantage Point

I am on holiday until the weekend, so I decided to catch this "intriguing" movie. I didn't know what to expect as the premise of the story was interesting. However, I quickly got tired of the "rewind" aspect of the film, and even though there were a lot of action scenes at the end of the movie, I must say I didn't enjoy the movie.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Be Kind Rewind

I don't know what possessed me to see this movie. I was never a Jack Black fan and even though the premise of the movie was interesting, I had a feeling I would be disappointed, and I was definitely right. The film made no sense and kept jumping everywhere. My other choice, Vantage Point, surely would have been better.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

After the Oscars

And so the Oscars end, and before 9pm too. Frankly the show is still too long. I don't mean to be disrespectful but do people really care about 80% of the awards other than "the big ones"? Instead of rushing people through their acceptance speeches, just let them talk and keep the awards to the major ones.

That being said, it was an OK show. I was very disappointed that Julie Christie did not win Best Actress. Her performance in Away From Her was amazing. I never saw Marion Cotillard's performance in La Vie en Rose but she did look quite fetching. The award for best dressed goes to Katherine Heigl. Julie Christie was radiant and Helen Mirren looked like a queen (I bet she gets that a lot).

And the Oscar Goes to....

I'm just relaxing at home watching the Oscars telecast. I'm posting this before all the major awards have come out. My predictions:

Best Picture: Juno
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis
Best Actress: Julie Christie
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem
Best Supporting Actress: Ruby Dee

Monday, February 18, 2008

Jumper

I hadn't gone out to see a movie in a long time, so I decided to check out this new movie. All I can say is that this was not a good start to my movie watching for 2008. It was a big disappointment as the film was confusing and made no sense. I guess the ironic (and I'm sure quite intentional) scene was when Hayden Christensen and Samuel L. Jackson were fighting and the latter pulled out some sort of a laser shooting device. I kid you not. It was Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu all over again.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Buy Smart

I've had time to think about my impending purchase of a home. Originally I'd wanted to move close to work, and in fact I'd found a place that was only three blocks away. Obviously that would make the trek to work a lot easier (from a 35-minute drive to a 10-minute walk). But with Cloverdale being 35 minutes away from Vancouver, that means if I wanted to visit family and friends it would take me that long on my days off to drive to town. So in the end it's a matter of what's more important: be closer to work or be closer to "civilization". After talking with my friends, one's life away from work is more important than work itself. And so I will now be concentrating my efforts on Richmond. There is still a lot of potential there.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Future is Now

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a mortgage consultant (or whatever they're called) at the bank. Hopefully I will be approved for a mortgage and then the next step begins. Unfortunately I screwed up the steps and found a nice place before I had a mortgage in place. Hopefully the apartment is still available. And then for the next 25 years...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

February 14

And so reach every single guy and girl's least favorite day. Maybe next year.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Dictionary

What does "accidental overdose" mean? You're OBVIOUSLY taking more drugs than you should be. I really don't understand it. Am I supposed to feel sorry because the overdose was ACCIDENTAL?

Heath Ledger was a good actor, I won't say great. He had a memorable role in Brokeback Mountain and his stint as The Joker in the new Batman movie in July remains to be judged. But the fact that he had a drug problem seems to be buried in the back of the headlines.

Flip Flop

I still haven't decided if I'm going to rent or buy in Cloverdale. There are pros and cons to both choices and it seems that right now it's right down the middle. In the long run having my own place is great because I'm owning something. In my retirement years (which are coming quite fast) I will need something to "live" on. Right now I'm paying off somebody else's mortgage as they say. But in the short term, renting is financially better for me. At some point in my life I will have to buy my own place, it's a matter of when. Is the "when" now? I need time to think; unfortunately there isn't too much time to do that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Huh?

Could they make the US elections any more complicated and drawn out? When the Canadians have their elections, it's all over in one night. In the US, well, some states you get all the delegates, other states you get a proportion based on who wins which county. Confuse me even more.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

18-1

Ever since the beginning of the season, when the New England Patriots were caught in "Spygate" I decided I didn't like the return. And then when they kept winning and winning, I hated them even more. I figured Green Bay, Dallas or Indianapolis (my three favorite NFL teams) would beat them either in the regular season or the playoffs. But it wasn't meant to be. And as Super Bowl Sunday started, I found myself not really cheering for the Giants to win but rather New England to lose. And they did. And that play by Eli Manning with 1:15 to go was perhaps the greatest non-touchdown play in the history of Super Bowls. Sorry New England, Miami Dolphins are STILL the only team to go undefeated in the entire season. Better luck next year. Ha ha.

And now back to cheering for the Habs.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Got House?

For a variety of reasons, I will be moving out of my current place and going closer to work. I've thought a lot in the past few months about financing my own place and instead of procrastinating until I'm in a wheelchair, I'm now in the process of seeing what I can do in terms of owning my own place. At the moment there is nothing in Vancouver that is affordable (and it wouldn't be any closer to work). But in Cloverdale and Langley the prices are a lot better and will certainly move up in price as we near the Olympics. So let's see what the future holds.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Patience

Last night we had quite a bit of snow (for Vancouver anyways) and it continued for a bit in the morning for my drive to work. Normally since I am driving away from the grain, it takes me around 35 minutes. But today it took me over 90! And as far as I know, the roads really weren't that bad but unfortunately there were too many bad drivers on the highway. Doesn't anybody know of the "slow drivers on right" rule? Some of them had no right to be on the road. Argh.