LATELY: VI (A reflection)

Here is a little recap of the great things that have happened so far shown by the few photos I was able to salvage from various sources since my phone died and all my photos were lost :c
A lot happened: I had the greatest ultimate Frisbee season with the best family of team mates I could ever ask for. I graduated. I had prom. It was all very exciting.

Whales United is our team. I can’t really express the love-hate relationship I have with this team. I hate everyone of these idiots to the extent that I am bursting with love. Does that make sense? I guess not. But the feelings are undeniably strong.

We worked and played and trained very hard together. All of them pushed me and annoyed me to the point where I became the best captain I could be. They formed me into the passionate player that I am. I fear much less when I am around them. There were games during the season where we were down buy a discouragingly large amount, but we somehow almost always pulled through and won by universe point.
I have never bonded so strongly with any other team. I love playing Smash Bros with them, I love eating with them, I love Nico’s home-made apple pies, and our exclusive sense of humour.
If I could re-do this whole season I would.

High school graduation and prom– events that are literally once in a lifetime.
I can’t say I had the time of my life, as everything that happened I had already expected, so I was neither elated nor disappointed. I am satisfied with how things went.
I am so grateful for all the people who have brought me to this point in life. It’s a curious thing to wonder how much of a different person I could be at this exact moment if even a single person never came into my life, as all who I have met have impacted me in some significant way.

It is a rather liberating feeling to be able to reflect upon these events and say to myself: what a distressing, terrifying, wonderful year.

Tacos at Tiff’s (March 16th)

To kick start the second week of spring break, my church youth fellowship and I organized a marvellous taco bonanza in celebration of my brother’s 22 birthday, and a farewell event to another friend who is travelling to the UK for the next four months. Honest to say, this is probably one of the best nights of my life. It’s hard to explain, but pretty much when you’re with the people you absolutely love, any mundane task can be made exciting. And with the addition of home made tacos, how could a night get any better?

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Here is a picture that does no justice to the exceptional delicacy that is the taco.
Home-made carnitas, slowly braised shredded pork, dripping with juices that run down your arms when lifted into your mouth.
Soft, over the stove warmed tortillas.
Pork beans.
Tangy mango salsa.
Sour cream.
Chopped lettuce and fresh cilantro.
Shredded cheese (that we thought was moldy but took the risk anyway)
On the side we made a kale and lettuce salad sprinkled with sweet craisins and roasted sunflower seeds, mixed together with a poppy seed dressing.
And the guac. O, the sad guac. We picked up a bundle of avocados that were terribly unripe, but having a taco night without guacamole seemed completely unacceptable, so we followed a YouTube video on “how to ripen avocados when you’re in a rush to make guacamole for taco night like RIGHT NOW” that had like, 301 views. We baked them. We boiled them. We microwaved them. The avocados kind of ended up with the consistency of mushy yams, and just became unripe avocados with a deceivingly brown exterior. They were beyond salvaging. I tear up just thinking about how pathetic our “guacamole” was. Anyway, the night went on, and the tacos were still delicious.

Did I also mention that on the day of the taco fiesta, Diary Queen was giving out free ice cream cones? While my mom and I went to go pick up my brother’s birthday cake, we also snagged some free ice cream. I like Diary Queen ice cream, but free just makes everything better.

After consuming copious amounts of tacos and ice cream, we played several rounds of a rhythm game. Well, it was more of a memorizing/fast paced/ exhilarating competition to test our wits (which were definitely not sharp due to the food comas). After settling down (or rather, hyping up), we played Carcassonne, which is a strategic board game much too complicated for me to explain. Quite frankly, I still don’t really know how to play the game, so if you’re interested just Google it. It was fun nonetheless.

All in all, thank you Tiffany for your hospitality, and the carnitas. Happy birthday, Andrew. See you soon, Trevor. And to all a good night.

OREGON

A summary of DAY 1

Waiting to cross the border.
Waiting to cross the border.

IMG-20140830-WA0035

Bed-head, closed eyes, glasses glare, and mom's peach?
Bed-head, closed eyes, glasses glare, and mom’s peach?
PIZZAZ
PIZZAZ

IMG_20140830_170240_706[1]

A montage of sleepy moments.

Sleeping on the bus Day 1
Sleeping on the bus Day 1
Sleeping on the bus Day 2
Sleeping on the bus Day 2
Bed-head.
Bed-head.
A silhouette of Sleeping Beauty.
A silhouette of Sleeping Beauty.

DAY 2: SAND DUNES

If you ever get the chance to go to the Oregon Sand Dunes, DO IT. We took a little sand dune buggy; it’s a merge between a roller-coaster thrill and an “I’M GOING TO FALL OVER AND DIE” experience. But the fresh air, the strip of ocean you see from afar, the massive dips in between each sandy hill, is surely unforgettable.
We had a chance to step off of the buggy and into a Restricted Area (our guide, Bob, was a sure badass). The moment the engine of the buggy shut off, you couldn’t hear a thing. It was so quiet, kind of like having the first snow fall of the season, and you wake up to a blanket of softness in the air. It wraps you up in a very comfortable, non-aggressive shawl of silence.

IMG_20140831_090212_491[1] IMG_20140831_091751_573[1] IMG_20140831_090315_823[1]

DAY 2: SEA LIONS (???)

We went to a sea lion cave, but turns out we paid twelve bucks each to see a vacant cavern of hard-to-see rocks. After paying our fairs, we learned once plummeting into the ground the distance of about a 12-story building, the guides ever so considerately informed us that the sea lions were out hunting for a few months and “probably won’t be back until November”. Thank-you. We were so desperate in spotting them that we almost convinced ourselves that a flock of birds was a sea lion. Oh well, the view outside was pretty to say the very least, and we left contented.

IMG_20140831_104549_174[1] IMG_20140831_104553_919[1]

My family.
My family.

IMG_20140831_101249_646[1]

IMG-20140831-WA0004

IMG_20140831_101447_376[1]

IMG_20140831_101443_358[1]

IMG_20140831_102421_850[1]
IMG_20140831_102542_506[1]

Friends & Fireworks

Hello friends,

I haven’t posted lately, much due to being busy (or trying to be busy), excuses, and more so a lack of creativity and motivation. I’ve been meaning to post another “LATELY” gallery, but frankly, I haven’t been out to do anything worth sharing. However, just last night, I went to go watch Japan’s Celebration of Lights fireworks atop a mutual friend’s apartment. It wasn’t on the beach, and  sometimes the fireworks were blocked by the silhouettes of buildings, but my, the show was much more than I imagined it to be. I can’t do the fireworks justice with my sorry descriptions, so I’ll post some pictures that I took of last night. I didn’t snap any photos of the finale because my poor camera couldn’t take all the bright bursts of light, and honestly, I was enjoying the spectacular aerial performance too much to really care of anything else.

It’s weird how chemically reacted explosives, the harsh residues of perchlorate chemicals and copious amounts of pollution, can be so aesthetically beautiful.

So today we climbed a mountain…

My friend and I decided to be tourists in our own city and planned a trip to Grouse Mountain to participate in the widely popular tourist activity, the Grouse Grind.
Excited and ready to break record time up the rocky incline, my friend and I were quickly and most shamefully defeated by the first twenty steps we took. We struggled, thighs burning, backs sweating, and hair matted to our foreheads to reach the 1/4 mark. “1/4? You’ve got to be kidding me. Only?” Breathless, soaking and sorry for ourselves, we trudged onwards. Looking back as I knead my aching quads, I have no idea why I thought clambering up the Grouse Mountain would be easy. I had done it before long ago and I don’t at all recall crying out to the sky for mercy, or scuffing my ankles along jagged rocks, or tripping over hopelessness and being deafened by my thumping heart.
“Oh my God, Jamie, I see the 2/4 mark…. The 3/4 sign is just ahead! We’re almost… We… Jamie we made…”
And alas, as my crumbling knees kissed the top of the unforgiving mountain, the refreshing breeze I so longed to touch purged my lungs, I breathed my last.

Okay, maybe not. But I am not attempting the Grouse Grind any time soon. As rewarding as it was, the company of my tea will do for now.