Highlights from the very first time I've been to Phil and Grace's:
Jeremy met me and Jon at the coffee shop, saying that all he and Ray talked about today was the price of almonds. Yeah, it's probably a good idea to eat them in moderation - otherwise, you'll get a lot of fat and not much energy / protein! Talked about Scrape (a heavy metal paradise near Kingsgate Mall), the meeting, our afternoon, the beer yesterday at the Whip (Fred's port and Scotch again?!), and much-needed naps. We figured he'd beat us to Phil and Grace's since we had to stop by the Broadway / Commercial Safeway to pick Tony up. (instead, we beat him by at least 5-10 minutes since he cycled on the hilliest route ever - ELEVATION MAP OF THE CITY, anyone?!)
Talked to Tony about the Darfur documentary (it covers genocide!) and letter-writing next week at Nate's after dinner, the bridal shower for Melia ("Phil's sister"), Warhammer
(Dungeons and Dragons
with tanks and ammunition!), Metrotown, and his NOT quitting since it's only till March. His parents and brother are coming in the summer, so it will be cool to see them! It's good to hear that his parents understand the dilemma he's facing about his relationship with God. Those work obligations he has to go through before school starts with a nursing practicum? Man, they just make life a bit harder... and they've offered to pay his tuition if that's the main issue with church and work.
At Phil and Grace's, Tony looked in the window and saw Martin / Raymond - that kinda works for letting people know we're here, but not really since we still had to knock on the door! Got a tour of the suite - it's certainly nice! Said hi to people, and settled down to discuss red / white wines, Old Ruffian barley wine, and buying birthday cards for the Fellowship - Dylan can't find them in his car?! (now I gotta go to the dollar store and buy 'em / give the receipt to Eric) Also talked about 24
and Season 7 (how can Tony Almeida come back from the dead?!), Christon's Lenting the Internet in general ("but I just HAVE to take this online class quiz!"), Dylan's resume and cover letters, submarines, and Szu-Wen's opera interest. Told Grace, Calla, and Szu-Wen that it was a refreshing change not being the only female, haha - they understood that I love the guys, but female company is nice too. (Like I said to Frances during a long-ago prayer meeting at Jason Y.'s: "Finally, my shot of estrogen is here!" Haha...)
Jon decided to put on some Southern rock (My Morning Jacket has a nine-minute song), using the desktop computer in the kitchen. "I love you! - Grace" is a cute Post-It note, and we discovered that Grace still has all the emails they exchanged during the course of their long-distance relationship. I myself used the computer for a few minutes to check my computer and friends page before dinner. Imagine my surprise when I found an email from someone calling me "[a] beautiful queen" and thanking me for "unconditional love and support." Aww, that's sweet! (we also checked the hockey score online... winning 3-2 in a shootout is good, even if I originally read the score wrong!)
Speaking of misreadings and such, Jeremy just realized that "medication" and "meditation" were only one letter off. We were looking at some list of healthy food on the fridge, which I originally thought was a grocery list. (I did have some prunes - discussed prune ice cream and Activia prune yogurt) Then we noticed a wedding thing on the fridge, and wondered if "Love" was this girl's real name. Puzzled, we asked Grace about it - it was short for some other long name, and caused Phil much confusion when he called her in Chicago once! "I was talking to Phil on the phone, and she walked by. So I said HI LOVE, and then Phil wondered who I was talking to! Haha." (I also saw something on the fridge representing "the Y___'s" when it should have been "the Y___s".... UGH!)
We also analyzed Daniel's leading worship this morning (high key on MY GLORIOUS - a new song), the ushers staying in the back for some reason after offering, repeating the chorus at least four times (Jeremy: "By the third time, I was like 'I don't care if he wants us to sing it again - I'm sitting down if we do!' "), Nathan sleeping in and missing church since he was sick, and more. Gave Nathan my Chili Lime sunflower seeds (Joe tried some), and he gave me a poster from an Aberdeen jewelry store in return. (Jeremy: "Jewelry store? Is there something you want to tell us, Nathan? [to me] You can use that as your kitchen god and burn it / burn incense to it!") Nathan also was true to form, and brought his laptop to do some work on his thesis: data collection, birthdays, emoticons, and hiring the teens for data entry!
Dylan (who brought two friends - one of whom looked familiar to me for some reason) said something dirty when Grace revealed that Melia and Angus would be going to the same place that she and Phil went on their honeymoon, and maybe even going to the same room. He said something about using the same mattress, which made us all think less-than-pristine thoughts... EW! Then Jeremy said something about a Biblical translation saying that "Adam knew his wife, and she bore him a son" - that gives the song "I want to know you [God] more" a whole new meaning! Since I was closest to him at the time, I playfully hit him on the shoulder while joining in the general "JEREMY! EW!" reaction. ("We don't want THOSE thoughts, so you can stop right now with that analogy!")
Harmony called Jon, so he was updating her on various things. Phil told him to say hi, so of course Jon said "Phil says you smell." Uh... very nice, NOT. Discussed her sleeping problem, insomnia, Saturdays killing her as far as a regular sleep schedule is concerned, the doctor, and more. When I got some more wine, Grace laughed and said that I sure could hold my liquor even if I turn red easily as Jon said! (I pointed a finger at Jeremy and told him not to say anything - he would know, all right!)
We spent a LOT of time reminiscing about our last two SLB outings: shattering the record with 35 steamers of six each, Tony still having the tally sheet somewhere, ordering vegetable dishes for our bowels' benefit (Jon: "Thanks for sharing, Sarne..." Hey, it's TRUE!), Shanghai Wind, Shanghai Wonderful, ordering too much food, making the waitresses think we're crazy because we order ten steamers to start off (Erin and Nathan are particularly guilty of this), and feeling like we were on drugs afterwards. Szu-Wen thought we were NUTS, while Tony appeared to waffle on whether he'd go on Valentine's Day or not! Martin and Raymond are in for it, I think - we emphasized that we would NOT go for breaking any records this time. That time last year was QUITE ENOUGH! Told Grace that I had to send her the pictures somehow - Facebook, it is!
Calla made eggplant with fish paste, winter melon soup with papaya and figs, tofu with fish paste, prawns, lots of BOK CHOY, and a custard dessert which took 90 minutes to set instead of ten. She said that it would be her treat, but after finding out that it cost her two weeks' worth of groceries, Grace and Jon were sneaky about collecting payment from everyone and then slipping it into her bag. As Jon told Nathan later, we'll see if she throws the money back in our faces on Friday! (the guys were also being geeky and discussing STAR TREK, the Klingon race, Blu-Ray discs, Nintendo Wii numbers, and more)
Joe told us how he was almost late for a sermon once, which prompted Calla to tell us about how she went first at her baptism - she got lovely warm water! I said that I'd gone first at mine, and got freezing cold water when I went down the stairs into the tub! Calla says that her eyes were full of water and she couldn't really see Pastor Glen or anything else afterwards - yup, that sounds about right. Tony says that a dog peed in the water at HIS baptism near a river in Hong Kong... yeah, that's good cause to relocate at the last minute!
Dylan apparently didn't believe Calla when she told him that there were posters of her and her brother's names at her house. I happened to overhear this snippet, and confirmed that they did exist since I was over once years ago and saw them. (Calla Lily, and Acer as a genus of maple - not the computer! - of course Uncle Cho Kai had a hand in naming them, as he did in my and my sibs' middle names) Calla says that there are more posters, and more feature her brother's name than hers - oh well, that's too bad. :(
We were talking about how an accountant has to be around when the financial statements from the church are being audited. (Dylan: "Martin can do it next year, since I don't want to do it ever again!") I brought up the time that we were driving home from Fellowship, and Steph sarcastically mentioned that her highlight of the next day would be auditing financial statements at Uncle Patrick's with him, Dad, Katherine, and others. Calla remembered my dad (Uncle Alan) nominating her dad as a financial reviewer back in October - maybe only because they were classmates, sure. ("I nominate Timothy S!" "I'm retired!" Jon: "Hey, my dad is ALSO retired..." Calla: "Yeah... maybe my dad will get payback in October!") Also discussed wine, Communion, restaurants, Quan, alcohol, Cordia, and more.
Since we were talking about AGM stuff, I told Calla (while Dylan was doing dishes) that Steph had taken a picture of Dylan sleeping during the AGM. Yup, he had a hymnbook open in front of him, but he wasn't really fooling anyone! She thought that was funny, then talked to Jon about some friend of theirs getting freaked out in the Downtown Eastside. At least she's grown up with Jon and Nathan, so trusts them - she's not as sure about Jeremy since she hasn't known HIM for years and years! We also discussed Joey and Steph doing MC duties for Melia and Angus' wedding: Joey told me this morning that they HAD to embarrass them REALLY GOOD. Calla would definitely want to be seated near the back at THIS wedding since Joey and Steph are both loud and hyper! (Jeremy: "The relatives and high-rollers get a seat near the front / head table, and the friends get shunted to the back near the corners!")
I told Jeremy that my grandma gets confused easily, especially since he alternates between having a beard and NOT having one... kinda like Eric! Typical exchange: "Where was Wu-So Lo at church today?" "He was just here talking to us!" "I didn't see him..." "... oh! He didn't have a beard today, Grandma!" Jer seemed amused by this, and asked me which part the "beard" was of his nickname. After I answered him, he said "Hey, I can just be Lo!" True, but there are too many of those around at church! At least Eric's nickname isn't dependent on a facial characteristic, haha. (he'll always be "White Little Brother" to her - just as Vivian S. will always be "White Little Sister"... gwai jai, gwei-mui
Talked about setting boundaries with someone (Georgianna and "fine young men"), and changing the subject / leaving five minutes into the conversation. Joe, Phil, Jon, Grace, and I discussed reasons for being very tired (she NEEDED a nap before lunch or else she wouldn't have lasted!); Wells (a small BC town where people get drunk before they go to the bar); personalities; papers; Lord's Love; "romantic" board meetings on Valentine's Day (hopefully it's not an intervention about Pastor Joe's lack of a love life!); dishes; blogging (Phil deleted The Theological Toddler since he has no time - I still blog regularly); relationships; communication (text messages / phone / MSN / letters); etc.
It's good to see that Joe's still driving the white half-truck. Discussed plans for Reading Week with Jon on the way home: I almost forgot that he did have that, so maybe I won't have to bus to the SLB place on Thursday afternoon. We'll see what happens, of course. Said that I might spam everyone's inboxes to make my YES reply to Valentine's Day SLB official: there are pros and cons to doing that, but it'll get people thinking! :P He might not get a chance to pick up the wedding MC book for Steph and Joey, so I may as well do that tomorrow after lunch with Karen. When we got to my complex, he commented that the people there certainly threw out a lot of trash! True, and it's a good thing it was getting picked up on Monday! I asked if he remembered what happened during the Richmond prolonged garbage strike a few years ago: there was a LOT of trash around the big blue garbage bin! (strewn EVERYWHERE!)
Labels: 24, alan, angus, calla, computer, frances, grace, jason, jeremy, joe, jokes, lily, maxed-out tags limit, meetings, phil, quan, raymond, slb, sunday dinners, tony