jeudi, janvier 31, 2008


So..i tried out the gocco today. It arrived in the mail on Monday. I made a little drawing to test it out.

Hmm...initial thoughts.

It's WAY easier to use than screenprinting! The cleanup is next to nothing and it's FAST. It's kinda pricey though. The starter kit comes with four bulbs and two screens, and it requires two bulbs (one-time use only) and one screen to make the screenprint. This means that you can only make two designs before having to order more materials from Japan. Thus, to make a t-shirt, it costs around 39 dollars ($20 for the shirt, $14 for the bulb+screen, $5 for the amount of ink). Despite these drawbacks, it's a REALLY great system!

I did some test runs and they went smoothly! Then, i progressed to a little coin purse/wallet thingy I had made this summer. I had botched the lining inside the wallet thing, so I wasn't afraid to use it as a trial for my print. It turned out relatively well. So, i decided to try it on an american apparel t-shirt I had gotten, specifically for this inaugural event.

TRAGEDY!!!!! i fully botched the t-shirt. it's quite DEVASTATING!!! This is my sad face:

I have an idea though, to redeem the t-shirt. I'll try it out tomorrow once I assemble my materials.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the little wallet I made. Not bad for a first run, i suppose. (p.s. if you don't recognize it, the skyline is the Montreal skyline.)

*edit: okay so I tried out the t-shirt today. I'm realizing that the right fabric choice is important in the process...but i think i'd still wear this t-shirt out of the house. maybe.

mardi, janvier 29, 2008

on cereal and other things.

you know you should eat healthy. based on this knowledge, you will choose one breakfast food--let's say, cereal-- over a myriad of other potentially good choices, say, maple smoked bacon and eggs. within your choice of cereal you can choose something like count chocula, which, realistically means that you could have eaten maple smoked bacon and eggs, because let's be honest, the calorie content is probably quite equal. or, you could choose wheaties, because they're marginally tasty and good for you. the calorie content is probably vastly low in comparison to either of the former choices, and hey, flush out those bowels while you're at it.

so you wake up in the morning, shower, brush your teeth, make your clothing choice, eat your wheaties and so forth. the novelty of wheaties is sure to wear off after the first day. after all, they are wheaties. so the next day, you wake up in the morning, shower, brush your teeth, make your clothing choice, eat your wheaties and run out the door. you have good bowel movements.
but the novel has long since become the mundane, and it needs to become a conscious choice to keep on eating those wheaties. you may choose to do this for a variety of reasons. richard simmons has perhaps been emailing you since the 80s beseeching you to eat your wheaties. obedience. or maybe they've what you've been eating since the 80s. tradition and habit. or you know it's good for you and you know that it is the best possible thing for you to eat and will yield the best results. conviction stemming from choice. with this latter choice, you can rejoice because you know that the mundane will not come back with nothing. you can fix your eyes by faith knowing that though you cannot see immediate wheatie-eating results, the certainty of the hope set before you is reason enough to keep on eating wheaties rather than fruit loops.

someone recently told me that i'm really hard to get to know, and that i'm a really closed person. at first, i was inclined to disbelief, because i used to be a pretty open person. i used to share life readily and easily. i used to cry without excuse.

upon reflection, i realized that that person was right.
i talked to another person today and realized that i'm not fully engaged with anyone anymore. i'm not fully engaged with Jesus and i'm not fully engaged with others. i'm finding myself in a time of restlessness. i eat my wheaties because i know they are good things, but i'm unwilling to take things a step further, to savouring the wheaties and enjoying their effects, because i'm constantly dreaming of a better cereal to eat.

i do a lot of things out of tradition and out of obedience. but i'm slowly realizing that this isn't enough to sustain life. the pharisees did a lot of things out of tradition and obedience. i'm sure they probably ate some derivation of wheaties for breakfast. but they lacked faith to make the leap from obedience to an engaging attitude with God.

my life is marked by a lack of understanding about grace and faith. i live it in the mundane, obeying, because i know i should. because i don't want to let people down. because i don't want to let God down. because i'm fearful that if i don't, i'll fall away instantly. but doing things just because i should and living life in the mundane isn't cutting it anymore.

i don't just need to eat the wheaties out of obedience. i need to eat them by faith.

dimanche, janvier 27, 2008

chow mein and green tea.

I remember. It was a silver thermos--the kind you heat up, then put food in, then seal to keep the food warm. Inside: the previous night's chow mein (fried noodles). They were a golden yellow, and green leaves of bok choy and slivers of char siu (or was it chicken?) peeked out from underneath them. Dessert was in a little tupperware container. Peeled lychees floating in their juice. I always liked my lunches. I secretly thought they were better than the soggy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches my friends would pull out from their lunch boxes.

It was grade four. A voice amongst the throng of students yelled out, "EEEW, Lydia eats worms and eyeballs for lunch."

That was the day I started hating my culture. I asked my Mom to pack me a sandwich for lunch the next morning.

Somewhere along the way, ever since then, I've held a bizarre resentment for Chinese people. Maybe it's because I never felt Chinese enough to integrate with the culture, but my skin dictates that I am too asian to fit in with "white" culture. Maybe it's because I never had the brand names to wear like my Cantonese friends did. Maybe it's because I hated the "tsk-ing" and looks of disapproval when I'd go over to their houses and their parents learned that I didn't speak Cantonese.

In the past while, I've come to love my culture. Partly. There are so many good things, that I really enjoy. I enjoy feeling at home in a chinese supermarket, or sitting and stretching noodles out to prepare them to boil. I enjoy sitting with a bowl of noodles and slurping them up, with my chopsticks guiding them into my mouth. I enjoy the slurping sound. I enjoy (though I make fun of it a lot) the culture of honour and yet, I hate it at the same time. I love sitting with a bowl of red bean ice cream and thinking about how great it is that even in Montreal, my people are here and have the opportunity to freely hear the gospel. (hmm, a lot of this revolves around food.) I love the close-knitted idea of family and community.

As an only child and a chinese child, I know that the responsibility for caring for my parents will fall on my shoulders someday. I once talked with a caucasian friend of mine, and he said he wouldn't even think of caring for his parents when they're old. He sees nothing wrong with a nursing home, and doesn't think that much about supporting them financially. While I know that not all of my Caucasian friends think this way, a vast majority of them do. I can't imagine thinking like that. It's not as though one way is better than the other. At least, that's what I ought to say. So maybe it's the confucianism talking, but I really can't imagine ever sending my parents to a nursing home, unless that home could provide better medical care than I could.

I think about these things a lot. I think about what will happen when my parents are old. What will happen when they can no longer feed themselves. What will happen when they die. I think I will be very lonely. I worry more than I think I do, and I rarely let it show.

My dad has accepted a job in Calgary. I'm apprehensive about this. I don't think it's a good move and I worry a lot. Mostly about my mum. I feel as though she will be feeling very lonely and very alone for the next while, and I wish I could be there to be with her. I know my dad can take care of himself, and that this is probably a good move for him. I don't want his life to be stagnant.

And it's times like this when I wonder how I can rectify how I was raised and the principles of taking care of my family, with my present reality of being almost 4000 kilometers away. It is one thing to embrace my culture, and make a decision to go to a Chinese grocery store so that I can make chow mein and eat green tea ice cream. It is another thing to think about how I can honour my parents and ensure that they are okay when I live so very far away. I wonder how the teaching of letting the dead bury their own dead applies to my life, and the teaching to honour my parents concurrently puzzles me.

I think I am more Chinese in thinking than I realize.

Today, I came home from church. I stretched some noodles and fried them till they were a golden brown. Green bok choy leaves and slivers of meat peeked out from underneath. As I ate, I remembered.

samedi, janvier 26, 2008

i should know that....

whenever i experience writer's can't possibly last for long, because the phone will inevitably ring and wake me up--i guess i shouldn't be sleeping at 9:30pm anyways-- and some sort of life-changing news will be told and i'll have to think about it and process.

so much for sleeping early.

writer's block.

have i run out of things to say?

samedi, janvier 19, 2008

i can't even begin to describe....

how great i think this is. (wynja.... haha there's even a section denouncing comic sans!!)

+ 5 good things that made for a good day.

1. i went to wal-mart today, and found out that they sell pocky, vitasoy, vita lemon tea drink and vita mango juice. ASIAN CENTRAL!

2. i just finished a long, overdue christmas present for a friend.

3. having an adventure with my friends Sha and G Michael.

4. splitting a Toscane and Perogy epicee pizza at Boston Pizza with my roommate.

5. now being equipped with Adobe CS3 Design bundle.

6. white people chocolate soy milk. SOO rich!

vendredi, janvier 18, 2008


yeah, i'm not gonna lie. i'm fully drooling over this journal.

(click image to be redirected to shop)

jeudi, janvier 17, 2008


I'm kinda irritated. Just semi. Not full out. Not angry. Just a little bit irritated. I REALLY like fonts. I REALLY believe that just changing a font can turn a full out crap newsletter/magazine article/website/poster/cereal box/ (insert any print media here) into crap or even semi-decency. If I spend an hour of my own time choosing fonts for work that I do, it's because I know it means the difference between a good piece of work and a great piece of work. People didn't invent fonts other than Times New Roman because they thought print was fine with JUST one font. Graphic Designers with a specialty in typography don't just sit and invent fonts because there's nothing else to do. There's a reason why companies choose different fonts for their logos and even go as far as hiring a graphic designer to design them an original font JUST for their letterheads.

Now of course, there's more to design than just fonts. But often time, the reason why posters that untrained individuals put out are crap is because of poor choices. Poor colour choices. Poor font choices. Poor alignment choices. At a certain point, it becomes a difference in stylistic opinion. Yet, there are STILL some rules that, for the most part, should be followed. I strive to not make poor choices. I'd rather spend the extra hour knowing I've made good choices.

So it
a) irritates me when people make fun of me for spending that time choosing fonts or colours.
b) irritates me when people who don't give two hoots about design ask for advice, then make FUN of me for deliberating over things and then don't take my advice.
c) irritates me that in the Christian community, so often, crappy work goes out because of "pleasantries" and "niceties". Because we want to value the person's work, we rarely do proper critique like in the secular world.
d) irritates me when others will not critique my work because they're afraid of offending me. How can one improve without criticism?

Anyways, this is my rant for today.

Addendum: CLIP ART and WORD ART are from the 90s. There is RARELY, if at all, an excuse to USE CLIP ART AND WORD ART.

mercredi, janvier 16, 2008

no skylight.

the roofers started yesterday.
i just went into the bathroom to fix my hair. i looked up. our skylight was gone. There is now just a hole opening to the sky.

i have an INTENSE need to go pee.

some may suggest covering the hole... which is possible now....but i am too embarassed at letting a whole crew of men hear me urinate.

alas, i do not know my neighbours, and i cannot wander far,the long awaited sofa is arriving today between 9-5 and i volunteered to wait for it.


addendum: errr, i knew they were working on my roof...but i didn't know they were allowed INSIDE my house........


oh, and i bit the bullet and bought myself a gocco printer....i'm so ridiculously excited.


Today was one of the first days that I've really enjoyed being on staff since being here in Montreal. I'm not sure what has happened. There haven't been any astonishing revelations of late. But I walked off campus today, and the sun was shining, my ipod was on and I thought to myself, "Today was one of the first days I've actually enjoyed being on campus."

I don't know what plans He has. I don't know where I'll be in five years. But being here isn't so bad, after all.

mardi, janvier 15, 2008

anticipation III.

so i wasn't home at all today, thus unable to keep up with the live blogs covering mac world...

but when i got home, i made sure to check them out...

and if you haven't already...

you need to check out Macbook Air.

it's hot.


anticipation II.

Today is macworld. One has to wonder.... what could they possibly come out with this year that could top last week's coming out of the new mac pro towers.... mmm, penryn octo... or last year's iPhone?

i know that i'm waiting in window-shopping anticipation.

lundi, janvier 14, 2008


there is something about the feeling of waiting in anticipation. Something about dropping off a roll of film and waiting for it to be developed. Something about holding the tiny envelope package and opening it to discover what's inside. Or something about putting the negatives in the developper and waiting while you shake the tumbler, hoping that the negatives will turn out. Or burning a contact sheet.

There's something about waiting in the unknown that is magical.

vendredi, janvier 11, 2008

lovely, dainty pictures.

remember this?

Well..this is what it looks like in my housemate's bedroom now....

oh, and today, when i got home, there was a massive yellow puddle on my computer chair and on my desk (narrowly missing my computer by 2cm).
i thought to myself, "hmm, i never peed my pants this morning."

and looked up. is now leaking in my bedroom too.

i'm moving out in July. final decision made.


In other news, I feel like moving really just had a dampening effect on any creative spark I had in me. The online arts&craft world seems to be so much more robust in Toronto (just try googling it!), but in Montreal much digging needs to be done. However, I feel this weird surge of creative energy flowing in me; last night, I spent a good hour tossing in bed, thinking up simple shapes I could screen print on t-shirts this weekend. I am also in love with gocco printers, and I cannot tell you how much I want one, and how much I am going to save up to buy one. I also realize that a revamping of my blog NEEDS to happen, and oh, how often I have been desiring to do so...but I also feel like my CSS skills have flown out the window and beyond!

Tomorrow, the start of a fresh wave of creativity will begin! I feel its commencement already! I start my first course towards a Photography certificate, and I have an appointment to go shooting (pictures, not guns) with a friend right after class! On my way home, I think I'll pick up a t-shirt from american apparel, and if i'm not tired, I'll get started on my screen template.

Oh, and I'm also VERY ready to use these:

That's right a set of 19 DIFFERENT FISKARS SCISSORS, fresh from the Christmas haul. And yes, they ARE on a little turntable!! WONDERFUL? BEAUTIFUL? YES!!!! I sense a little card making action on the go as well!

Life is good. Ministry is getting to be good. I've been looking at a place to live come July, and it is sweetness, let me tell you. Friends are beautiful, both new and old. I'm sitting here and thinking...I am ready to explore!

mardi, janvier 08, 2008

the two lines that made my day.

"I can meet, maybe, a Christian boyfriend!"

She shuffles to the left, to sign up for a discipleship group.

"Oh wait, they aren't co-ed?"


Poor girl. She doesn't know that I've been going to church my whole life, minus a couple of months during my rebellious stage, and have been in a co-ed DG and have been on multiple projects....

and i STILL have yet to find a boyfriend.


Though, i think she wants one more than i.

lundi, janvier 07, 2008

streams of water.

I step out of the house, heart not heavy and burdened, but not light. A fine mist is building, and fog surrounding lights, making things hazy.

Before I left home, I had finished up a conversation with a friend, a brother who is now becoming dear to my heart. He was going to spend time with God, to receive some healing that needed to take place, but was feeling anxious.
I too was feeling the need for heart transformation.

The sidewalk is gritty with accumulated dirt and snow. I am walking up the hill and I cannot see too far ahead of me. It is a hard trek up. I think about how this is what my life has been like, these past few months. His voice has been hazy and I haven't been able to see more than one step in front of me at a time.

"What is your will?" I have cried out, many times.

"what is your will?"

"what is your will?"

Only echoes.

I walk and walk, ipod in my coat pocket, ear buds in my ears. A sense of peace falls. Cooling mist wraps around me. It is a feeling I have not had in months. I know things will be alright. He is here. Somehow, healing has happened. Instantly. Blind eyes made seeing. Lame legs made well. From death to life. Instant.

I go to my meeting.

As I am walking home, rain is pouring. It drenches. I see swirls of water, rushing down the hill. I watch the downpour and feel the rain on my face, dripping from my hair, dripping from the heavens.

Waters have broken forth from the wilderness. He has come. He has saved. It will be alright.

samedi, janvier 05, 2008


It's been months and months of silence. I ask, "Has He forgotten me?"

Somewhere, from deep, I know the answer is no. Does it come from what I've read? From what others have said? Perhaps. But mostly, the answer comes from the faithfulness I have seen over the course of years and years. From history to the present.

Sometimes, I don't want to talk. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes, I do out of obedience. It is the same with listening. The soul, it is dry.

I see miracles in my life. I cry. I know that the soul has not yet withered up. I long for Him. Sometimes Most of the time I am not diligent with my pursuit. I give up a lot. But though I know I cannot FEEL him, He is there. It is something I cannot shake. Ingrained truth.

Reading through my journal, I browsed past this:

"Where are you? Do you even hear me?

Isaiah 35
The wilderness and the dry land
shall be glad;
The desert shall rejoice and blossom
like the crocus;
it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and sharon,
they shall see the glory of the LORD,
the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
'Be strong; fear not!"
Behold your God
will come with vengeance
with the recompense of God
He will come and save you!'

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes...."

Words that comforted me months ago comfort me now. It is not a depressing desert I travel through, but one of hope. Perhaps He is making me more faithful.

jeudi, janvier 03, 2008


When I think of thriving, I think of what plants need to thrive. Sometimes just a little water is needed, and other times a cocktail of miracle-gro, fertilizer and new potting mix is needed. In the past two months I have been in Montreal, I haven't really been thriving. I guess with any transplant, there comes a time of uncertainty. Will that plant atrophy and die? Or, will it respond well to it's new surroundings? The hope is, by cutting and pruning, transplanting and even risking shock, that the plant will blossom--ugh, i cannot believe I just used the word "blossom"--and flourish. Thrive. But the threat is that the plant will wither into nothing.

For the past few months, I've really struggled to discern whether the transplant to Montreal was worth it. Was it the right choice? Would things be better, had I stayed in Toronto? While I was so immensely grateful to be finished support raising, a weird version of loneliness and boredom seemed to follow me to Montreal. It was something I couldn't really shake. I had put my hand to the plow, but couldn't help but look back.

At Winter Conference, I nearly burst into tears every time I thought about how it would soon be over, and I'd have to leave to head back to Montreal. I know that people who are still doing MPD and even others will read this incredulously. I mean, I should just be grateful that I'm here and not complain about how hard things are. I don't want it to seem as though I am complaining, but I do want to be honest about how I've been finding this transition harder than I'd expected. Atrophy has set in, in many areas of my life.

It was during Winter Conference that I realized there needed to be some changes made in my life. I realized a part of why I enjoyed WC so much this year was because I was very busy. I thrive when there's pressure and when there's a lot to get done. It's when I feel most alive. When there's pressure, it forces me to be organized, to embrace structure and to take huge steps of faith; when I don't have many things to do, I become lazy and lethargic, and that laziness leads to depression, boredom and loneliness. For the past two months, I haven't really done much. Sure, I've gone out sharing and have been discipling one girl...but that's about it. I did more as a student than I had in the past few months and I wasn't really challenged and DEFINITELY wasn't proactive about challenging myself. I sat around a lot (read: napped) feeling bored and restless, lazy and apathetic. Sitting on the train back from Winter Conference, I realized I needed to make a change in my life.

Today was the first day that I can honestly say I felt alive doing my job. There are some changes going on in our staff team, allowing me to feel more ownership on campus, and some personal women's ministry decisions i've made (i.e. to try to recruit more girls and start another study) are really starting to excite me. As well, I've signed up for an arts program at Concordia. Something to do in my spare time as a creative outlet.

I'm feeling optimistic about this coming semester, something I can honestly say I didn't even think was possible, a mere two weeks ago. I am also feeling very grateful that our God is a gracious God. I'm slow to learn and listen. But He patiently puts up with me...which is very very nice and humbling indeed.

mercredi, janvier 02, 2008

Winter Conference 2007.

My friend Warren doesn't like the word "process". He says, and I quote, "I can't stand it when people 'process'." So, I am going to unpack Winter Conference 2007.

Heading into Winter Conference, I really didn't know what to expect. I did not have any official roles or responsibilities; my plan was to just be the go-between. The first year lackey. I arrived at the hotel on the 26th at 2am and I was completely tired out. As I was waiting in line, Ian arrived.

"How do you feel about singing?"
"I like it."
"In front of seven hundred people?"
"Okay, we'll meet at 10:30am tomorrow after the staff meeting."

I'm not sure what I was thinking exactly, when I agreed to singing in the band. I mean, I love singing, and I love helping lead worship, but when I arrived at practice the next morning, I felt FULLY and TOTALLY inadequate. Here I was, surrounded by AMAZING talent, and while I like singing, I also recognize that I am fully unqualified and not very talented. After practicing almost all day,with a break for lunch and dinner, I was still feeling really ill-prepared, and I remember sitting at the front, waiting for main session to start, and crying out to God to help me worship Him.

There are few things I remember from Winter conference. Most (read: almost all) of my time was spent with the band, practicing. But there are a few moments that really stood out for me this conference:

Praying in French in front of 600 people.
Having many Quebecois approach me and thank me for allowing them to worship in their native tongue.
Hearing Eric Rose talk, and realizing, once again, the huge need that exists in Quebec.
Standing in line on New Years eve, waiting for hot dogs, with the boys in the band (I was one of two girls on our team of eight).
Hearing students from a variety of nations pray in their own language.
Hearing a girl named Sammi pray in Mandarin and bawling.
Singing on stage after midnight and seeing 500 students worshipping God.
Practicing in the early hours of the morning and singing till the late hours of the night.

It was my favourite conference, not because of a great party or great speakers or great friends (although, all three things DID add to it), but because there's nothing like standing up in front of 600 people and realizing that the only way you can do what you've been called to do (i.e. usher people into the worship of our Abba) is if you take steps of faith and trust that our God is a powerful and mighty God, whose name is the only name which has the power to save.

mardi, janvier 01, 2008

back from winter conference.

still processing thoughts. the most enjoyable winter conference i've ever had.