>Last day of 2008- the end of a long tired dragged out, but yet accelerated storyline in a terrible movie- like Behind Enemy Lines 3 Columbia

>Workout- shoulders at 45lb military single arm press and 35 lb crossover

Well that was funny. The last month has almost been blogged completely blogged on my phone. Hooray for data plans. And the lovely bill I just got from Rogers.

Anyways so the last blog of the year. Well maybe. Probably, I don’t see me blogging anytime other than late nights when I have absolutely nothing to do, but refuse to goto sleep.

How has 2008 been? One hell of a year. And by hell I do not mean in the cool sense. The first half of 2008 saw the most rapid deterioration of my success as a person- in school, in academic performance, in my confidence and my pride. But perhaps most importantly, I was able to get back to my feet with my friends and family. And by get up, I mean I was knocked the shit out on the floor. And then some huge bitch came over and curb stomped my face. Lets call the huge bitch the admin in the Faculty of Everything at the University.

Luckily for me, I had a very amazing set of friends and family who helped me rationalize and pull through this difficult time. It did not help that one of my closest and strongest pillars of emotional support had upped and left the scene for school. Thankfully I was given the strength to move on and my faith was given one of its strongest tests in a long time.

I thank everyone who was here for me, and acknowledge those that weren’t. This was one of those times where I realized who my close friends were, and who was just there for the show. I don’t mean to get all high school here and say things like “friends 4 lyfe” or “brothers till the end” or “bullets/danger/dragons/thug lyfe” (reference to silly sad times on Asian Avenue), but I really do feel where my loyalties and devotions lie now.

I knew exactly who to call when the shit hit the fan. I knew exactly who would go out of their way to comfort and provide reason and a rock for my angst. And it strengthened my belief in our relationships. I also realized what it meant to have a friend, and how important friends were in my life.

But lets forget that terrible inkling in my life and move on- summer 2008 was a blast. I had some of the most terrible hair wrenching times from staff conflict and the political atmosphere, but at the same time, I developed some amazing working relationships and professionalism that I would not have experiences anywhere else. I am happy to have been through that unwanted but heavily needed part of my life. I developed assertiveness, character and confidence. I strengthened my path in life, my passions and where and what I needed to go/do to accomplish my goals.

I also went to Florida with my best friend and some other hoodlums. It was one of the best times of my life. I had a plethora of raunchy uncontrolled calorie laddened diet killing meals that simply made the most of America fat and Weight Watchers rich. And I loved it. I also learned the importance of a wing man, and the great awesome time of meeting people. Like really attractive people that I could not ever amount to anything because of large geographical barriers. Here are some highlights;

I’m pretty sure this is illegal. It’s a porcupine fish for sale in Florida for stupid tourists- its actually from the Philippines but unknowing tourists likely see it from the ocean and get excited about buying something from Finding Nemo.

Our cruise ship in Mexico

At an all you can eat seafood joint- honestly not worth the 40 cdn but if oyu only ate snow crab legs it would be a deal. I don’t like lobster personally that much, and so it was more for the fun of it.

During the Shrek 3D experience at Universal Studios

At the Universal Studios- yes I am really getting the pudge in the stomach from all the eating

K I just wanted to post another pic cause my gut is really huge here and it reminds me of what uncontrolled eating results in haha

Among the cooler things on the trip, seeing the shuttle come in on the news, then actually beign at Cape Canaveral to see it being towed in

And of course being Asian, we eventually had the hugest craving for home food after eating American diner cuisine straight for like a week. We found this Asian buffet place which served the most disgusting food I have ever had. It felt like a nightmare, to be unbelievably hungry, and have loads of delicious food everywhere, only to realize that rats had shit all over everything.

Kudos to Matt for posting every single photo he took on Facebook. I am pleasantly surprised that he joined the zombie nation online!

Summer was great, but an interesting thing happened afterwards. I was hit with classes that suddenly had no base for me to work with. My strength in school has been molded in rote memorization, a likely advantage for my interest in entomology, with many of the content strictly memorize and dump on a paper. I realize that some think that this had little to do with areas of critical thinking, but I believe that it is still a very important skill. I’m just not sure when I would need to do something like that realistically, say in comparison to taking information and applying it, but that’s ok. I loved it. I loved taking a big stack of papers, getting an XL dark coffee and just shutting the world off for 30 minutes.
I did not have those blissful moments this year. Instead, I was presented with little information, and tons of applicable scenarios. Worst of all, the content was terribly easy to learn. It was impossible to distinguish myself from everyone else in my class. Whereas the past allowed me to simply put time and effort to succeed and beat the curve, suddenly, time and effort did not amount to anything. Lets take for example, my Philosophy of Teaching final paper. I wrote that expecting an A+. I could not have written anything more perfect and neither could the professor. Well maybe not haha. But really I felt that the paper was damn good. I used a variety of good sources to back my claims and perspectives. I understood that even if it was your own philosophy, it should still be acknowledged and supported by other relevant professionals in the area. This is likely based on my biological sciences background, where so much emphasis lies on literature.

And yet when I got my mark back, I was given a pitiful 87%. I realize this isn’t terrible, but when Im in a class I take personal pride in, a class where I saw an intrinsic pull to the content, it was a terrible blow to me. This feeling was to be repeated throughout my other classes. Some of them didn’t receive the same passion and feel for, but I still worked my ass for them. And working my brains out was worth not the top 5 percent of the class. Not even the top 10. I think it was like top 15 percent. This was disappointing for me, but it was also a humbling experience. Especially Astro Physics. That wasn’t top anything. More like bottom tier class average. But you know what? For a class as subjective as education, and a subject as out of the blue like the Stellar Evolution, its ok. I have come to accept that my best isn’t necessarily better than everyone else. I can’t excel in everything I do. This was a lesson learned quite well in Winter 2008, one that I had hoped to avoid in Fall 2008, to no avail.

Probably one of the biggest time killers ever experienced was the discovery of Asian soap operas. I was in there with the best of them. Hanayome to Papa, Nurse Aoi, It Started with a Kiss..I loved them all. Recently I haven’t watched any, but you can bet your horses I will be on them like a fat kid on a smartie soon enough. I loved the love unfolding, the epic story line and how I managed to hook myself up to them so much I watched them btw classes. I brought my laptop to school just to watch them. And I hate bringing my laptop to school. Here’s to you Asian love dramas!

Another important thing that happened this term was the blow to my self esteem. I had reached my peak in the gym around September or so. I was benching 130 percent of my body weight for 72 reps, and I was bloody proud of it. I walked into my classes thinking of chewing my fellow pupils up academically and crushing them with my sheer awesomeness. Yes I was a little cocky. Not humble. And then in October, the stupidest thing happened, I broke my hand. Suddenly, my daily exploits at the gym came to a grinding halt. And slowly but surely, I became one of “them”. By one of them, I mean one of those unsculpted bodies that I had criticized all these years, bodies that I had looked with disdain. Ok I didn’t actually do that with such a dramatic flair, but certainly, I had always felt one of my assets was my achievement in the gym. And suddenly I didn’t have that. For 2.5 months I lived the American dream- to get fat and enjoy life. And I was immensely disappointed in myself. With no goals achieved in school or the gym, I felt aimless.

I finally managed to get back in the gym the day after my last exam, and the first week was terrible. But looking back, it was a needed experience, to humble myself and realize that I was just a person, like everyone else, and the fact that I went to the gym and dedicated myself to an image meant nothing. I won’t lie, I still take pride in my focus for physical fitness, but I now understand how frail my body is, just like life. The things you take for granted, the things you love the most can be taken away in an instant. This is reflected in the movie “The curious case of Benjamin Button”. This was a great movie. And it was a terrible movie. It made me realize more and more just how frail the things I care for and love so dearly will inevitably be taken away from me. My friends and family are not permanent. I can’t hold onto them forever. And it was this realization that made me incredibly sad. But also incredibly happy that I had people that meant so much to me, and that while I had this time, I still had the ability to make the most out these relationships. And make really damn good memories.

I hope 2009 brings me closer to my goals and a stronger love with my family and friends. I also hope my chest becomes really really big and I get a wicked six pack, but that’s ok if it doesn’t happen. Actually its not ok, haha.

Good bye 08, hello 09.

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