Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bintan

I officially booked my first holiday, yippee!! Ed, Teen and I are going to a small Indonesian Island for the September long weekend (which here is September 10th). I had to do a strange online payment, or hold, or something, since they never gave me an amount but did get my 'nets' card number. Banking is different here. I haven't got an actual credit card yet, but when you get assigned a debit card (called NETS) it says VISA on it, and has an expiry date. I was confused. Apparently you can use your card AS a credit card, yet it has no credit. Basically, it pulls the money directly from your account like debit, but you can use it for online purchases. Which is actually quite a brilliant idea. If you have money.

We will be taking a ferry from Singapore that takes about 45 minutes to the island of Bintan.


Chug-along-chug-along. Then we arrive! I booked the shadiest place I could find cause it was cheaper and stuff. Indonesian islands on a long weekend ain't a bargain. We managed to get two bedrooms, so it says.



I hope it'll be fun. James and Victoria went and had a good time. There are monkeys so it can't be all bad.

I'm going trip crazy right now! The November Brunei trip will be booked today or tomorrow, and I'm extremely stoked about this one. Probably more than anywhere else. Partly because I know nothing about Brunei, and hadn't even really heard of it before now, so it will be super exciting AND we're sleeping in tents IN A RAINFOREST! OMGZ.

For Christmas I'm planning on going to Krabi, Thailand. It has a million billion outdoor activities, climbing, hiking, scuba, kayaking, elephant bathing (this will be sweet), the full moon party and the island from "The Beach". I'm trying to book a place on Railay Beach in this place.


Awesome. Plus it has this epic guarantee:

"Refunds are provided for natural disasters. If a natural disaster occurs and your cancellation notice has expired, we will provide a refund of 75% of the booking, or reschedule your booking. Natural disasters are limited to Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, comet strikes and the end of the world."

At LEAST if the world ends, I'll get 75% of my money back, cause I'm totes gonna need it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Updates

The last few days haven't been anything epic. Work, work, work. I realized I've become a little rusty on my full body character animation and acting. Boo! That's what two years of talking dogs will do to you. Note to self: Don't do that again. I went into work on Saturday to get some good animation time in. Usually my days have been consisting of an hour of work, an hour of meeting, half hour work, lunch, two hours of meeting, one hour work, one hour meeting... you get the idea. Lots of meetings, hard to find your flow. Saturday was great and I got a lot done.

When doing shot assignments last week, I kept finding more fun stuff *I* wanted to animate, so I kept taking it (as lead, I get to choose whatever I want hah). However, I technically have no quota, yet I took a full quota of work. I am having reservations about this now... I think I'll have to hand some back. No need to overload myself when I can just focus on making a few really nice pieces.

I'm heading over to James and Victoria's tonight, with about 6 others, for a dinner party! Vic is making lasagna so I said I'd make ceasar salad. This is tough, however, finding all the things I need (I want to make the dressing from scratch). When I went to my local little grocery store they only had one romaine lettuce and not enough of everything else I need. I'll have to do some exploring and find a bigger store. In fact, I better get on that asap as I have to leave in about two hours for the party.

We (James, Vic, Teen and I) are also going on a trip in November so we have to sort out those details and book. I think the plan right now is to go to Borneo (Malaysia). Or Brunei which is a tiny country right between. Ah here's a map.



So the area is sweet, and has weird things like this:

Interesting architecture.



Charming residents.



Unique flora.



Strange fauna.



It will no doubt be a magical experience.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Heart Sandwiches

On Sunday I went over to James and Vic's place for a little hangout. Their place is super sweet and posh (but they pay for it...). We had a nice swim in the pool for a while, which was refreshing cause it was a really hot day, and then decided to go downtown for some Thai food. We found a place that said it was Thai, but in fact didn't have pad thai. They convinced us something else on the menu was it, but they lied. At least the green curry and veggies were delicious!

We then wandered around in search for ice cream sandwiches (as if we hadn't eaten enough already). In Singapore the ice cream sandwiches are strange. There are carts around the city like hot dog stands. They basically pull a block of icecream out of the freezer (it's suuuper cold) and wrap it in a piece of strange pink and green dyed bread. You can choose from many flavors of ice cream, but it all goes in this weird bread. You then hold and eat it like any other sandwich. The ice cream was good, but I must say the bread scared me and wasn't my favorite, but it was worth a try.

Also, James, Vic and I came up with an amazing idea. "White Night" where we will get together and make white food to make us feel more at home. Certain foods here are harder to find, like beef, north american type food, greek or italian food etc. We will be making the foods that are harder to find around here to help keep us from getting too bored with this food. I'm very excited. First on the list is Lasagna with garlic bread and ceasar salad, mmmmm!

I went home and brushed up on my Star Wars, re-watching episode 2 and 3. I love Natalie Portman.

Clone Wars Sketches

Right before I left, Peanut and Ellery got me this awesome book. How to sketch Clone Wars! Great, now I will impress everyone with my sweet skills at work. No problem, right?



Here is an example of how good I will be after using this book.



So now I draw Yoda. Wow. That's magical all right. What's with ol' wonky eye?



Now I try Anakin. It may not be the worst drawing ever, but I had to stare at the book in order to even make it look like this. Clearly drawing faces is not my fortay. Well, that was day one. Hopefully in a while I will be able to create my own poses!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Apartment go good?

So I just met with my agent and signed a letter of intent for renting an apartment I just looked at. I really like it so I hope it goes through! Renting here is almost as much of a hassle as buying in Canada, minus the banking. The paperwork through the agents is pretty weird though. My agent, Sean, put up the deposit for me until I get my bank sorted out next week. Very nice!

If this link works, there are some pictures here of the building:

I don't know what that random pink building is, but it's all the other photos. Ignore the pink. For the price it costs at least it has like 3 pools, tennis court, gym, ping pong, pool table, BBQ pits etc.

For Ellery, here is where we are in relation to the world:



Also here is a photo of the Clone Wars figures when you enter the doors of work. This was the only thing in the studio we are allowed to take pictures of, but since I don't have the cord to my camera, I just found one online with this random guy who I don't know. Replace him with me, and that was my intention for this photo!



Yay!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weekend!

Sorry my blog posts have been so wordy and not picturey enough. Teen accidentally took the wrong camera cord to Vietnam with her so I can't upload anything!! I did a little (terrible) drawing session with my Clone Wars book so I'll have to update ya on that later. El - no matter how bad you think you are, remember I'll always be worse ;)

So I made it through my first week! And I sent in my first shot! Despite only really getting 3/4 of a day of animation time in, I got my 8 second shot submitted. Granted it wasn't very difficult, but I was proud nonethless. Also, I was told I can approve my own work haha. I got the other lead to look anyway until I'm more comfortable with the show style, it's always good for someone to check out your stuff with an objective eye. Rob and I decided to run some of our stuff past each other for that reason. Anyway, shot submitted. I also had to interview someone already, yikes! The interviews are kinda nerve racking for everyone cause there were four of 'us' (Rob, myself, a recruiter (Meiting) and our associate producer Tim, interviewing one guy. I got a few questions in but mostly just observed how the whole thing went to get more comfortable with it. Interviewing can be almost as scary as being interviewed. I would've tried to prep a bit more but we had 2 hours notice for it and we were in another meeting right before!

After work a bunch of us headed down to Chinatown (right by where I'm staying) to have dinner and some beers. I'll give you a short rundown on the guys cause I'll probably mention them throughout the year.

This is Paul. He's a senior animator on my team. An Aussie.



This is Brad. He's on a different project at work, also an animator, also an Aussie. Him, Paul and Neil (below) worked with Rob in Australia. Brad is funny and hairy.



This is Neil and his girlfriend Alaine. He is an animator on Rob's team. Also Aussie. Very nice guy. He's actually buddies with one of my AM bud's as well.



You guys probably know James and Victoria. They're from Vancouver. Oddly enough, Victoria is actually from Trail, BC where Bryan's girlfriend Kailey is from, and of course they know each other. Small world! James is the FX lead on our show, and Victoria works downtown near Chinatown.



And of course you guys know Rob and Janette!



There, now the pictures are taken care of! So we all went down to Chinatown last night. Had some gt's, some laughs, some food, and some creepy guy went into a bathroom stall with James and tried to hit on him. Later we saw the guy sitting in a corner alone. I went home around 10:30 cause I'm lame and they no doubt partied it up later!

Today I got up to get my employment pass! My alarm didn't go off (because I hadn't set it properly) so I was scuttling around this morning to get out in time. I struggled with finding a taxi because I forgot they mostly just pick you up from Taxi stands which are littered about the city. Once I got to one I found a guy right away. What a ride that was. He was telling me how there are no God's and that people just made it up. Then later he talked about going to heaven and all you have to do is love. All that matters is love, hope and... something else, and without love you are... hopeless (looks at me in the rearview mirror) "hahahahahahahahahahah!" People here are weird sometimes. Then he proceeded to show me a two page laminate of a newspaper article where he hit a bad guy with his car and held him down for the police. Apparently this bad guy was hired to chop chop people up, and God went within the taxi driver to give him superman strength and stop the bad guy. After all, I probably could've walked to the e-pass office faster than we drove, but it was an interesting experience anyway. I got some photos taken, had 18 attemps by a trainee to take my fingerprints, and went off on my way, approved by the ministry of manpower to work and live in Singapore!

I was supposed to then find a certain bank, the DBS Bank, to open an account so I can proceed to the other tasks of getting an apartment etc. I looked and looked and found EVERY other bank, even the obscure ones, but couldn't find DBS. I came home, checked online, and went back out. Again, no DBS. I did find a subway and a nice coffee shop so I got some nom noms and came back home, defeated again by my poor direction sense, and had my subway. I'll have to go to another branch on my way to work Monday.

I finally spoke to my apartment agent, he lined up a few places for me to look at and we're heading out in an hour or so. I'm excited, and hope I find one I like! Unfortunately, since I didn't open a bank account (they're only open from 9-1 on Saturdays) I might not be able to put down a deposit as soon as I'd like. We'll see. At least I'm getting out there!

That's it for now, I'll keep ya posted on how the house hunt goes!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Likes and Dislikes

So according to my relocation guide I should be in the 'honeymoon' stage of culture shock. It is described as: "Everything is new and exciting. You are excited about being in a new place where there are new sights and sounds, new smells and tastes. You feel ready to take on new challenges!"

I feel like I'm moreso in pre-honeymoon stage (which apparently doesn't exist in my guide). I'm partially excited about the new place, and partially feeling homesick, missing people, a little panicky that I'm actually here for a whole year etc. I'm adjusting quite well, but when I think about it I feel slightly trapped (also since I found out if you leave early you have to pay back your relocation fee, first month housing fee, and airline ticket... so I'm totes here for a year).

Work is great, I love it. I made friends quickly, am settling slowly and easily into my role and enjoying it a lot. There are some things that are a little more difficult outside of work however. Here is my first week analysis of the transition period.

Likes

1. I am not hot inside anymore. My house at home was very, very warm at night and sometimes hard to sleep.

2. Food is extremely cheap and very accessable.

3. Transit is also cheap and convenient.

4. We are so central in Asia. There are cheap and easy flights, trains, busses and ferries to countries nearby. Go travel!

5. I already have a couple buddies here, so I don't feel as lonely as I might otherwise.

6. For some reason my shoulder pain went away as soon as I got here. I guestimated that it was due to humidity, but Teen mocked me. I really have no idea, but they went from daily bothering pain to none at all.

7. The maid cleans 3 times a week, she makes the bed and does the dishes. Nice maid.

Dislikes

1. Renting an apartment is insane. It took me all week for an agent (required) to get back to me. It will apparently cost me at least $2,500/month for a place, plus a 1 month rent security deposit, plus the agent fee which is also equivalent to 1 month's rent. There is also some other random fee which I forget... but basically it costs at least $8,000 to move into a place. No wonder they gave such a big reloaction allowance!

2. Them not accepting Teen and I as a couple is really screwing up our plans as far as she's concerned. It's stressful for her to have to come in and out of the country, so we'll have to figure something out there...

3. Amazingly I'm already missing 'white' food. The white food here isn't actually cheap, it's around the price at home, but once you pay $2.50 for lunch then $15 seems insane. I miss salad, Whole Foods, sandwiches and home cookin'!

4. I miss my bed! I love my bed at home, it's so comfy. Here the bed is a lot harder and the sheets aren't very soft.

5. Not that I'm planning on getting one, but cars (an average, honda civic type) cost $80,000!! Plus insane registration and licensing fees. Good luck with that one. MRT it is.

Interesting Tidbits

1. Apparently to 'alight' means to get off/out of a vehicle. On the MRT they say 'please alight at the next station'. I'd never heard this phrase before, but dictionary knows best.

2. It doesn't appear that the rules I was scared about have much affect on the general population. I even chewed gum here (inside the studio). As I mentioned previously there is j-walking everywhere and people smoke on the street. There are barely any police (I've only seen 1). I don't dispute that these rules exist, but I don't know how strictly they are enforced.

3. People say 'la' at the end of many sentences randomly. I don't think it has a particular meaning, but is likely something along the lines of 'eh'. "This is pretty cool la?" or "Look over here la." It doesn't have to be a question. Odd la?

4. On that same note, people also say "blah, blah, blah" after sentences often. Even in semi-professional situations like work meetings, they'll partially read something 'If you require medical reimbursement blah blah blah...' Come to think of it this might be a problem...

5. A GECKO ALMOST FELL ON MY HEAD TODAY! While walking home to the MRT, along a treed sidewalk, a loud thud occured on my right. I looked down to see a stunned gecko beside me. I then looked up, got worried, and hurried along. I will not look up again, in case it falls in my eye. If one does land on me however, I will name him la la and he will be mine *forever.

*remainder of contract

I'm sure there's more but it's 10pm now and way past my bedtime. I think over the next month once I have all my employment pass, banking, new home set up I will be able to settle down and relax a bit more. I'm gonna get planning my September long weekend trip with Ed and Teen this weekend, where oh where to go...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Settling In

Things have been getting a little more routine, well... today. I finally made it to and from work without getting even the slightest bit lost! Very impressive to me. I am still waking up early, so I got to work at 8:30 this morning before most of the animation team. I'm gearing up into my lead duties, and got a taste of it today. Meeting, meeting... dailies, quality control, meeting, 1 hour of animation time. Phew! Rob bought a little electronic light that he's gonna click on, shining at the post behind him, which indicates he's available to review work. I'll probably do something similar, because having a line-up of people sporatically through the day really hinders your workflow. I had a big rundown on the pipe and Maya tools, which actually is fairly straight forward so I should get the hang of it shortly. My biggest fear is dailies, where I have to stand in front of 15 animators (my team) and watch their work on the big screen while giving them notes. Public speaking is not my friend, guess I have to get used to it!

The day actually went by really quickly, and it's nice to break it up with different tasks. The morning meeting I had was cool, and I got to give some input into tool development which was nice. I kinda missed that about being a lead, getting a little more say into how things are run. I met all the leads on the team today as well, lighting, fx, comp etc. Overall, good day. I started on a shot as well but it took me a while with interruptions this afternoon. Still nice to get animating again!

At lunch it POURED! I mean, really came down. The stairs in the courtyard were literally a waterfall, and the entire area down there flooded. They have these trap doors in the ground which they open up to take in the water. I had some Mexican for lunch today just to mix it up, and they gave me salad! Oh how I love salad. Even though it was basically just lettuce with vinegar, it was the best salad ever. There is a dude at the food court who collects the dishes after we've used them who everyone calls the 'take take' man. He's this old Chinese guy, who basically budges into your table to take your plate. "Take, take... you eat, I take, mmmmmmmmm hahahaha!"

It was hilarious.

Anywhoo I think that's about it for today. Oh, Ed called last night at 1am. He woke me up. I barely remembered the next morning, but then received an email from him stating that it was in fact 10pm. I'm always asleep by 8:30 so I guess I was mistaken. He's gonna come visit in the next few weeks so hopefully we take take a little trip to Indonesia or something. Excited! Teen is off to Vietnam tomorrow for 10 days, so I guess I'm on my own! I've made some new buddies though, so I'm not too concerned. Three guys from Australia, and of course Rob and James. Us whities are going out Friday night to have some beers near my place.

Next update soon!
*hearts*

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day!

I had my first day at LucasFilm yesterday. Information overload! We had an intensive orientation, that continues over to the first half of today (I'm writing this at 6:30am... we've been passing out by 8:30pm and waking up around 5am due to jetlag). We learned all about the history of the company, got to watch some sweet videos, then the run down on all our medical plans/vision plans/dental plans, how the company runs, all the department heads, a cool tour and meet & greet. It's amazingly well run, I'm very impressed. They have cleaning staff basically non-stop keeping the place perfect. They have free photography/sculpting/life drawing classes every Wednesday nights which I'll try to take advantage of from time to time. My desk (which I haven't really been able to work at yet) is in a corner of our glass building and I can see planes taking off and landing. I sit beside Robby! We went for lunch across the street where they have a food court and a few restaurants. I had a huge Indian meal that I couldn't finish for $5. Overall it was a very good first day, everyone was super friendly and accommodating. It was nice meeting Meiting, the recruiter I'd been speaking with for weeks. She was very friendly and cute.

We are staying in Chinatown, as I think I've mentioned, and work is by the airport. It's about 55 minutes on the MRT (mass rapid transit) which is basically exactly like the skytrain. It's very well run, very cheap, and goes all over the city on about 7 different lines. I bought a pre-paid card so I just tap it at the gates upon entry to the station and again upon exit and it charges based on the distance. Teen walked me to work because I'm horrible with directions. We made it fine, the only semi-confusing part is about a 15 minute walk from our apartment to the skytrain station. It's in the middle of downtown, quite busy, and the streets aren't laid out in perfect grids like Vancouver. They wind around, and it can be difficult to find places to cross. On the way home I got completely lost. I had no map, no cell phone. It was like the olden days. I started to have a semi-panic, but then managed to find a place to get a map. With about 20 minutes of wandering around trying to find a place to cross a street, I finally got onto a road I recognized and back to Chinatown. Le sigh.

Teen and I went for dinner down the street from work, we had this yummy mutton curry with rice and... sort of vegetables. Also a cheese roti, which was delicious. One thing that's hard about Singapore is they DON'T EAT VEGETABLES. I love vegetables. I see them in the market, oh yes, but never do they make it to the plate. They give you like three tiny pieces of pickled zucchini or something. Then about 90% more carbs than you need, and the rest meat. Everything has been really tasty though. I got Teen to get some carrots and tomatoes so I'm gobbling them at home. I'm gonna try to find a more western place today, it's been a lot of Asian soups and curries so far.

Other things I've noticed:

- People DO j-walk. A lot. Probably because there is no where to cross the street!
- I saw two sets of lesbians on the train home yesterday. One looked at me and I got uncomfortable.
- It's way nicer when the clouds cover the sun.
- People are obsessed with the merlion.



I dunno.

So I'm gonna head off to work! I'll keep you guys updated on the strange land of Singapore. I miss you :(

PS - I changed the BG Ellery! I agree, it was hard to read.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Singapore!

Phew. That was a long day... or days. With the time change, and the way we flew, it was actually daylight the entire time. We left around 3:30pm Vancouver time, and arrived at 7pm Hong Kong time. That flight was fairly good for the most part. We were on a giant double decker plane, with nice seats near the back. I got the window, which always makes me feel safer somehow. If I can see the wing, and it's not on fire, success. Around the 6 hour mark I started to get a little anxious and antsy. Too long sitting in one place, and we were only around halfway to HK. I had to take a few deep breaths and try to relax. Then around the 9 hour mark, some fairly rough turbulence started, and was on and off for the remaining 3 hours. That really freaked me out, it was the worst turbulence I've had, but I'm sure there is much worse. I'm clearly not the best flyer. Teen didn't even seem to notice it, except the tightening grip on her knee. We played multiplayer pong on the plane, watched 3 or 4 movies, a few TV shows, and had some decent meals. Overall, a pretty good flight. Then we had a quick change over in the Hong Kong airport to fly to Singapore. This was a smaller plane, and luckily our 4 hour flight had a tailwind so ended up being 3 hours 20 minutes! AND it was fairly empty, so Teen and I moved from our separated seats we were assigned to, to another pair of window/aisle seats. This flight was fast, smooth and easy. We were both so exhausted by this point it was a struggle to sit, and Teen ended up passing out, mouth open, twisted awkwardly with her face in the seat.

Customs and immigration was a breeze, and a nice Singaporian man, Bobby Lim, picked us up and drove us to our housing. PS - I saw the bill, this place is over $5,000 a month. Wtf.

Here are some photos of our nice place! Thanks Lucas Animation!









This morning we woke up before 7am (which is around 4pm home time) which was still a little early after our 24 hours of being up the day before. We were really excited to check our the neighbourhood. Being a Sunday morning, it was pretty quiet around here at 7:30am. We are in Chinatown currently, so I'm sure it's a little different to the other areas of town. We walked up a few blocks of 'Hawkers Stalls' which are basically just little food carts, with some restaurants. We had breakfast at a cute little restaurant nearby. I had a pork bun, Teen had some little dumplings, and we had some nice little Kopi's (coffee). It was $4.20 Singapore, which is around $3.75 for both of us. We then went to a market, full of fruits and veggies, meats and other goods. We just bought a few things, 5 bananas for $1, 5 eggs for 90 cents. Singapore dollars are about $1.30 to our dollar, so we basically just consider 75% of the Singapore price is Canadian dollars. These things were pretty cheap. Milk, bread, butter etc. are more equivalent to the prices at home. Also, surprisingly, meat is pretty expensive. Produce, however, very cheap.

Well, it's 10am, I'm gonna call Rob now and hopefully meet him and Janette for lunch!

Miss you guys, hugsies and kissies!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gearing up for the Big Move

This is a strange process. One I've never really experienced before; especially of this magnitude. Sure, I've MOVED before, almost as many times as my years but not like this. I'm packing my life literally into a backpack, and it's not even full. The house feels weird now, all the art is gone and almost everything left is the plain, personality-less furniture and items I have to leave. It semi doesn't feel like home anymore, and I haven't even left.

Of *course* the washer/dryer had to break 3 days before we go. It's very convenient bussing my wet dirty clothes around the city to finish the loads. Last night was spent, from 11pm until 1am, waiting for the LG service line to respond so we could get someone out here before we take off. To no avail. This morning we set the alarm for 6am to try again. Teen attempted first and they convinced her it was some random maintenance we had to deal with, so I called back, with an unwillingness to accept this. "FUCK YOU!" I said. In my mind. They should be arriving Thursday...

Today was spent searching for the perfect laundromat. One so incredible Kings would pledge allegence to it. One with pink decor, perhaps a swan as a mascot. And by George did I find such a place, only blocks away. And I called it, and it was $50, and I said "so be it, this laundry hath no place on my bathroom floor". I was instructed that the Queen would return my peasant-like request at her convenience. I received her response an hour later, with a myriad of very necessary and rational questions like "What is the quality of the building you live in? The exact address is needed so the staff can examine it's history of potential bed bugs or disease." It must of course be a certain level of prestige for my common folk laundry to intermingle with royalty. Her CHILDREN work there, for God's sake. Her 27 year old CHILD. Just a wee babe, prone to contracting potentially fatal diseases from this strange laundry from a foreign land.

What a psycho. When I obviously withdrew my request due to her insanity, she told me "Hun, sweetie, I'm only looking out for you and your best interest, I don't want you to come crying to me, like so many before, when your clothes get bed bugs if I'm not careful with them. DOCTORS use my services. I hope you understand. If you need to talk, I'm telling you as a mother, you can call anytime."

Wow.

Anyway, there's an even better, cheaper, less insane laundromat at the corner of Denman and Barclay. Please go there instead.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

I got this from one of my favorite blogs; Marc and Angel Hack Life.

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?
12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
22. Why are you, you?
23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
25. What are you most grateful for?
26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
30. What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
32. If not now, then when?
33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
50. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Unofficial Burger Review

I have been on a search for the best burger in Vancouver, since I was disappointed that Fat Burger reigned as my favorite. Surely some local establishment can out beat a chain! I had the idea of making score cards and doing a weekly burger outing to rate the contenders in best burger. Though I haven't had the time for that, I have spent a few lunches trying recommended burger places nearby. Here are my unofficial results (unofficial due to lack of score cards and too few rated burgers).

Splitz Burger

This Main Street location was set up pretty neat, lots of options (buffalo, turkey etc.) with a large selection of sauces and condiments. I went for the buffalo. I would say this was a very decent burger, but it didn't question my 'best burger' title. I believe I gave it an 8. My friends Mel and Bus Pass agreed, with similar rankings of 8 or 8.5.

Market Grill

This was highly recommended to me by Megz. It is situated in the back corner of the Granville Island Market near the water. Just a burger stand in a food court-like area. It was, however, the successful overtaker of Fat Burger, when it beat out all other past contenders for the best burger title. Mel, Bus Pass, Teen and I agree - so far this is the best burger.

Romer's Burger Bar

This is a new place at near 4th and Burrard. It has some cool burger selections, great fries with different types of mayo dips, and comes with an olive and hot pepper on the side. The burger itself was pretty good, thick, interesting toppings, but again not in the running as 'top burger' for me or the others I went with. I would probably rate this around 7.5-8, but the fries were a 10, probably some of the best fries I've ever had.

So there you have it folks. Please continue the burger search while I'm away, but check out Market Grill if you get a chance. Delicious is it's first name.