Bigotry Has No Boundaries

I read this article yesterday from the New York Times.  It’s written by Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star’s Editorial Page Editor Emeritus and a member of the Order of Canada.  I’ve always enjoyed reading his perspective on current events.  It’s worthwhile reading even if you’re not Canadian.

Perhaps I was too naive to think that this won’t happen in Canada.  The signs were there but I never thought it would go this far.



Kitchen Misadventures

I sent the picture below to J.  He immediately msg back “what the heck is that?”

Can you folks figure out what this is?  I’ll give you 5 seconds….

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

So I decided to try to make the “No Knead Bread” that was featured in New York Times years ago.  It got a lot of favorable feedback and one reader said the recipe was very forgiving.  I might have made some mistakes measuring the flour and water.  It looked kinda dry so I added some water (doubled it).  It proofed for about 24 hrs and then another 2 hours.  But it didn’t puff up into that neat ball of dough.

I gave it extra time in the oven because the dough was oozing water.  After it came out, there were still bits of raw dough although the bottom was starting to get very dark.  The taste was uhm… challenging.

J said it looks like a pile of ****.  For once, he might be right.  But my condo smells like a bakery though.



Focus and Discipline

It’s so easy for me to get distracted and turn a promising day into one of wasted opportunity.  Job hunting forces me to venture out of my comfort zone.  Networking doesn’t come naturally to me despite my strengths in working with people.  Talking about me is essential but I’d rather talk about others.  The only time I talk about me is here.  Asking for help, advice and insight can be humbling but I have no problem offering them when asked.

It’s easy for me to get distracted by all the stuff that’s going on in US politics.  The pipeline deal got approved?  I thought the refineries didn’t have any more capacity?  Is the oil for the domestic US market or for exports?  Facts vs Alt facts, illegal voters, NAFTA to be opened up for negotiation…

When I’m on LinkedIn, I’ll come across some interesting articles.  I feel compelled to read them immediately because it looks important to my job search.  I also want to carve out some time to write and improve my photography.  And let’s not forget going to the gym.  Oh and time for reading too.

But I’m going to instill more focus and discipline in my job search.  I’ll have to set aside most of my time for it because that’s my priority.  If I can dedicate some quality time to this, then the rest should find its time.

To deal with all the negative stuff going on, I’m going to focus on doing what’s good in my corner of the world.  I came across this quote.

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

It’s been wrongly attributed to John Wesley from my brief research.  Yes, I even spent time to make sure I could rightfully attribute the quote.  I haven’t been able to find who actually said this.  But I like it and will try to incorporate that into my every day living.



Gaysian Third Space

For those of you who like to read interesting stories about Gay / Queer Asian and Pacific Islanders issues and experiences, please check out Gaysian Third Space.  It only has 10 followers here on WordPress and it’s mirror blog of their main blog on tumblr which has about 500 followers.  Aside from the great writing, I love what they are doing in establishing a community of like minded bloggers.  Show your support and follow their blog, you won’t be disappointed.

While I’m plugging blogs on tumblr, you guys should also check out Letters to Charles.  He writes with a lot of sensitivity and passion.  My writer soul has a man crush on him.

The (too) Early Bird

One of the things that my Christmas cold messed up was my sleep pattern.  For some reason, my sleep can be vulnerable to many different variables.  I started to sleep late and wake up late.  Most days, I was getting up after 9 AM and on several days, after 10 AM.  My days felt wasted. This past week, I’ve been trying to slowly adjust my sleep and chipping away at this a half hour at a time.

I woke up on Sunday morning around 6 AM although I didn’t roll out of bed until after 7.  But it felt good and despite the very chilly weather outside, I bundled myself up and went out for a walk. But I had to take a quick nap in the afternoon which is something I don’t normally do.  Last night I went to bed around 11 PM and fell asleep quickly.  But then again, I had a big dinner at J’s place and I think it was food comatose.  I woke up refreshed and alert.  But it was just 3 AM.  I couldn’t get back to sleep and got out of bed just before 5 AM.

I’ve finished breakfast before 5:30. But now I feel like an early bird who can’t figure out what to do.  The worms haven’t woken up yet.

Oh, I’ve got to show up for jury selection this week.  I don’t know why I’m getting anxious about it.

p.s. it’s so friggin’ cold here but I saw 3 robins yesterday morning.

A Long Night

The emergency room was the busiest I’ve seen.  A steady stream of patients gathered in line for the triage nurse.  The steady sound of hoarse coughing filled the air.  Most of the seats in the waiting room were already taken. The ambulance bay door opened.  Amidst the swirl of medical staff, I could see patients inside being attended to. A paramedic wheeled a small, elderly lady into the waiting room and placed her in the line for patient registration. Her slippers stuck out from her night gown which in turn was covered with a institutional white blanket.  She looked scared and confused.  A long, dark green winter coat hung from one of the metal poles attached to her wheelchair.  It  looked several sizes too big for her.  She clutched a bag in her hands.  It took perhaps another 30 to 40 minutes before a worker from the registration desk attended to her and then wheeled her to a spot not far from where I sat.

She looked scared and confused.  Every so often she would vomit into a plastic bag. She never looked over to the entrance to see if a familiar face was coming in. She never got out a mobile phone.  She gestured to a trio nearby and a man came over.  He went back to and got a bottle of water from his bag and opened it for her. When her blanket slipped another man came by to readjust it for her.

8 hours later,  I was inside the ER keeping my sister company.   We had already told my brother to go home hours ago.  He was already fighting a cold.  I told him I would call if anything urgent came up.

My sister was waiting for the results from a second round of tests.  The first round was clean and the doctor was very optimistic. We sat with a group of about half a dozen people.  An attendant wheeled the same woman to a spot beside me and covered her with a couple of warm blankets. I thought she would fall asleep but she kept moaning.  She said to no one in particular that her pain was unbearable. She asked why was she here in the waiting area instead of the room with the bed.  I closed my eyes.  I have enough things to worry about.  After a few more minutes of taking, she started to shuffle her wheelchair to the hallway.  A nurse intercepted her. With a firm voice the woman asked why she was waiting and what was going on.  She was told that a doctor was waiting for the results of her CT scan before he could see her.  The woman muttered aloud that no one ever tells her anything.  Humbled and defeated, she let a man wheel her back to the spot beside me.

Underneath all that, I saw that she was trying to hang on to some shred of dignity.  She didn’t know why she had an IV line stuck on her arm.  She complained that part of her face was numb.  She hoped she didn’t have to stay up all night.  Someone remarked that it was already 4:30 AM.  Her bottle of water and her purse fell when she tried to adjust her blanket. I picked it up for her.

Despite the frantic environment of the ER, time doesn’t pass by quickly if you’re a patient. Eventually the doctor cleared my sister to go home. Everything was fine. The woman saw that and asked about her status.  He came back with her file and said her tests were negative and she can go.  But she needs to come back for follow up appointments.

While my sister went to get changed, the woman looked at me and asked about the IV.  I told her a nurse will take it out for her and she shouldn’t change until it’s removed.  Within minutes the nurse came by with her appointments and removed her IV.  She asked where the washroom was.  I told her I could wheel her there.  I pushed her wheelchair inside the washroom, pointed to the emergency buzzer if she needed attention and told her how to lock the door.

As my sis and I left, I told the nurse the woman was in the washroom and might need help getting out.  She thanked me for the heads up.  The sun wasn’t even out when we left the hospital.  On the sidewalk, I saw another wheelchair abandoned by the crosswalk.  The cold morning air of this new year tasted sweet.