Long time since the last update, I really gotta change my backend code to show a set number of previous posts rather than the posts for the current month. Then I won't feel bad about long spans of time with no updates.
Last weekend Kim came up to visit and we had a pretty damn good time. Her bus was late on Friday (something about a gigantic multi-car accident on the 401) so we didn't do anything then other than get supper at McDonald's. On Saturday we went to the ROM and looked at a bunch of stuff. Kim really likes it there, and I had a good time too. The museum combined with Kristjan's website made me really want to go to Europe (ie. Rome) or anywhere that isn't North America. Hopefully once I finish school and get settled I'll have a chance to do a bunch of travelling.
After the ROM we got some Pizza Hut (sooo good, it's been too long) and then headed up to the airport (via TTC) to meet my friend KJ, who was coming in from a year long stint teaching in Asia (specifically China and Taiwan). While waiting we shared a $7 fruit smoothy that was really good (even though quite expensive). KJ was really surprised to see us and even though we only got to chat for 20 minutes I'm so glad we took the time to get up there. I really don't see her enough and it made me realize that I miss her quite a bit. I'll be seeing her again at least once before she heads back to the other side of the world.
On Sunday my mom (who was also in Toronto) came over and took Kim and I out to IKEA for $1 breakfasts. It was pretty good food for the price and afterwards we wandered the store for at least 2 hours. I was pretty tired afterward so I went home and relaxed for the rest of the weekend.
So, onto this weekend that is just finishing up. Mike came to Toronto to visit this weekend, and spent some time hanging out at Alias on Friday. I didn't get much work done as a result, but I did get to play some Xbox 360 for an hour, so I think it all balances out somehow. Friday was also the end of term lunch for the co-op students which means that I now have another Alias t-shirt. Sweet!!! Gotta love the swag!
After work on Friday Mike took me to the house of his friend Ya'el for a Shabbat dinner. It as pretty cool, lots of good food, about a dozen friendly people and multiple bottles of nice wine. I really enjoyed it.
On Saturday Mike and I headed off to Yorkdale mall for some Chirstmas/Chanukah shopping and just general mall stuff. I'd never been to Yorkdale before so it was pretty cool. In addition to several Christmas gifts I also picked up a new plain white button-up shirt for $19 (regular $70) at Club Monaco. Good times.
After the mall we went downtown and met up with Alex for supper at Spring Rolls. It wouldn't be a visit with Mike in Toronto without a stop at Spring Rolls. Fortunately their food is pretty good, so it's always a fun time. Later on we went and saw The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I thought it was really well done compared to the book and the graphics were more or less up to current standards. I have some minor internal conflicts with the whole Chronicles of Narnia stuff due to the intense Christian parables in the story (ie. the Lion, Aslan, is Jesus -- no, really, C.S. Lewis was intensely religous and did this on purpose). I don't have much use for organised religion and even less for Christianity. But despite all that I very much enjoyed the story in the movie. I think C.S. Lewis (and the creators of the movie) accomplished something very significant in their presentation of the whole Christian theme in a delightful and compelling way. This is not to say that I've hopped on the conversion train (next stop, self-righteousness and condescending attitudes), but it makes me wonder what the world would be like if the religious nuts throughout history were more open to creative manipulation and interpretation of the various sacred texts (despite the heavy Christian themes, there was much in the movie that could be seen as heretical). Hell, I wonder what the world would be like if the religious nuts were just more open in general. I also wonder if I would be more open to religion if religion was more open to anything else. Basically the movie just put me in a very thoughtful mood.
Please note that my use of the term "religious nut" in the preceding paragraph, is by no means a judgement on everyone who is spiritual...only those who proceed in religion with a closed mind. If I believe anything it is that we are meant to question everything and pursue truth in all aspects of life.
On a lighter note, today we went rock climbing! I love it! Mike and Alex and I met John and then got a ride up to a place in Newmarket. It was much better than the place in Scarborough that we went to a couple weeks ago, but not quite as good as the place we normally go to. It did have a really unique set of climbs though. They hand molded a huge wall of concrete to create a really realistic "chimney" section. A "chimney" is a section of wall that is closed in pretty tight on at least three sides. This one was cool because the molding made it like actual rock. They had some extra holds on the that part of the wall too, but it was also possible to do it without using the holds and just using the "natural" features of the wall. I managed to get to the top using only features and it was really amazing/fun. Totally unlike any climb I've done before. I would definitely be willing to go back there, just for the chimney section. I'll post some pictures later when I get them from Mike.
This has been a really text-heavy post, so I figured I'd end with a couple of fun photos. The first is an action shot of some pool balls being broke apart on the pool table at work. The other is just a macro shot of some of the random crap on my desk, featuring a Dreidel and a CD with some cool reflections. Enjoy.