I asked a girl to hide $5,000 in her bra for me and she did

You’ve got to watch this new movie called Napoleon Dynamite. This is going to be one of my favorite movies for a very long time. If I had the skills to make a movie, this would be the one I would make. If the Lord asked me to choose my life, I might choose the life of Napoleon Dynamite.

In school, drama was one of the most fun times. By grade 8 everyone wanted me on their drama team. We would come up with unique skits based on books like War of the Worlds or To Kill a Mockingbird. In high school I quickly signed up for the drama class but thanks to all the dope smokers that also signed up (thinking they would get easy credits) I swapped it for Art, which was such a much better decision. (I’m not kidding, one guy pulled out his wiener and peed on the classroom carpet during class, this is the kind of crap teachers had to deal with). I still don’t understand why I didn’t sign up for art in the first place, or both.

In grade school there was an art contest that I won, and my painting, as far as I remember, a very well done tree against a forest was displayed in one of Toronto’s major galleries. Schools from all over came to see and children were with their parents. Except for me, as usual I was without mine. It didn’t completely matter to me, by that time I was usually paying my own way and signing my own permission slips. I was so proud of my work though, nobody could tell that a mean girl scratched a line across the trunk of the tree with her black felt pen. I painted over it and still won.

About a year later the art gallery mailed the piece back to my school, my school mailed it to me (I had moved from North York to Malton by then) and my grandmother threw it out, saying that it was against our Muslim religion to have such art in the house. I reminded her that we recently were taught at our Mosque that the same Muslim religion allows me to beat her for being so disobedient to me, but that didn’t fair very well for me. :) Come on I was like 9 years old.

I would get used to this though, this thing where I would build something and the family in my life would tear it down for one reason or another. Everything was an uphill battle. Nothing was simple. I hear about these young business people who succeeded in a big way and I try to find out about their home life. What kinds of beatings were they taking each day, how many busted noses did they have to clean up right before school, how many times did they come home to see all their possessions gone, how often did 100% of their money go towards family expenses?

Do some art, it goes into the garbage. Buy some neat toy for myself, it gets sent to Guyana to more needy children. Build a business, all the money goes into the family expenses leaving almost nothing for my needs and nothing to reinvest into the business. There were many times that I missed school trips simply because all my money went to the phone bill or car payment or an emergency. When I was in grade 1 I would purchase candy from a convenience store at Bathurst and Finch, reselling it for a profit at school. One day my mom found my money stash and not only did I get a beating, but she took away the money. I couldn’t understand her deep stupidity – I wondered at the time why we bothered coming to Canada if I wasn’t going to get any opportunity – and this was in grade 1!

Once in a while I’d be able to afford both family expenses and mine and I’d sign my own permission slip and have a great day on a school trip. I was about 15 or 16 years old when I dropped out of high school. A few days before I dropped out I brought like $5,000 cash to school, profit I had made doing computer related consulting, and asked a cute girl in the library to keep it in her bra for me till the end of the school day. I don’t know why I brought the money, or why I asked the cute girl to do it. I wasn’t having sex or anything like that, I wasn’t trying to show off I don’t think. I just thought it would be an interesting thing to ask a girl for. She did it to, right in front of me. It was so awesome.

My guidance councilor found out about it though, and called me to his office during math class. He asked me what was going on, my grades went from 90’s to 30’s rapidly. And I told him. He then called a bunch of my friends to his office to gather more info and gain references. By that time I tried to shore up my grades by paying some of the girls to do my homework, and some others to come to my house and be my assistant in my home office and that worked out well. One time, age 15, I was eating a deliciously prepared lunch, watching the Flintstones, while one girl cleaned for me and another was outside changing the tire tube on my mountain bike. My high school councilor listened to these things, and the testimony of my friends made his jaw drop.

This brings me to why I really like Napoleon Dynamite so much. I wonder what life would be like if that was it. No real problems, no real situations, just wake up, feed your Lama, go to school, ride your bike. Or be Kip and talk to hot babes on the internet all day.

In the movie there‚Äôs this man named Uncle Rico, and that’s exactly who I’m turning out be. Uncle Rico is old and feels all washed up. He thinks about the 80’s and how far he could have thrown a football. “If the coach would have put me in the championship game, we would have won.” I feel like that’s the story of my life. Being able to do something, but never getting a clean opportunity. Uncle Rico would trade it all for a time machine so he could go back and do it all differently. I would to.

Or maybe I’d just move forward. Why? Jesus promises that this life will be very tough for a lot of people, in fact He promises that it will be just a brutal challenge for most of His followers. The glory, the reward, that happens later.

Napoleon got his happy ending, one day so will every follower of Jesus. Ours will last for all eternity.

Family Reunion

Lets start off with me venting then conclude with something good.

Have you ever tried to do something good, and have it blow up in your face? This happens to me often, and I never seem to learn, and chances are I haven’t learned this time either. I helped someone get an apartment by paying first and last, 6 months of rent, signing my name for the apartment and helping them to move in.

The moving in was fun, because something good was being done for someone with a baby. I’ve done this many times before, and I will do this many times again. The apartment was nice, it did need an initial cleaning as most do, and in a crawl space were many empty beer bottles. Eggbert, and I packed what seemed to be 500 empty beer bottles into my car. We saw some grouchy church people pass us by holding all the beer bottles, shaking their heads. Later I would learn that a rumor was started that Eggbert and I were having a fling and that we were both drunkards.

Now for those of you who have never done this you’re thinking “ah, he shouldn’t have put up the money.” No. It’s the putting up my name where I shouldn’t have. This person over the course of 6 months has turned the apartment into a pile of poo-poo, like literally. I’ll explain more after. It started with the landlord calling me at all hours complaining that the tenant was not home, and the 2 year old baby was alone, crying. I couldn’t believe this to be true so I would go over to get some answers. I would get further calls of noise and dirty smells coming from the (basement) apartment, I would go over and get some answers. This got worst and worst until I got a call that the tenant had left, and that I should come over to see the apartment.

I went over, with 4 other friends, the same that helped move her in just a few months prior. Well, what we saw is something we are still talking about, something we’ll be talking about for a long time to come. A 800sq ft apartment turned into a garbage dump. Dirty baby diapers piled up into the bathtub (HOW DID YOU SHOWER?) and garbage everywhere. I mean, everywhere. I mean really everywhere. We brought 10 large garbage bags with us, and I had to go to the store to buy 40 more. Yes 40 more garbage bags.

There were some items we thought to be in good condition; particularly clothing and baby items and so we took those over to the goodwill donation truck at the Westwood Mall. The intake manager was delighted to get so much stuff all at once. It was such a stressful night that after I took everyone to Mandarin so I could drown my sorrows in shrimp and honey garlic ribs. A few days later we would read in the paper about a Mississauga goodwill donation that had to be burned because it caused the staff to get sick. We jokingly laugh, with a touch of fear that it could have been the donation we made.

The worst part of this story? The landlord told me she trusted me when she took in this tenant, and now she doesn’t trust me. I do this thing all the time. This year so far I’ve paid for 3 peoples first and lasts, 2 turned out very well and this one blew up in my face.

And now to some good stuff as promised. My friends invited me to go to their family reunion. I jumped at the opportunity because I’ve never been to a family reunion. I’ve seen them on tv in movies, but my family doesn’t do that kind of thing. This started off with a drive out to the country. A farm, maybe 10 acres or more. When we drove up I thought “wow look at this massive property.” Turned out that was simply the front yard. The backyard was 10x bigger and had several crops growing including corn which we would later pick, roast and eat.

We arrived rather early, and just helped with the cooking and the setup. One of my favorite things to do is walk around, so I walked around. I walked up and down that country road, enjoying the absolute nothing that was out there. Back at the property people were starting to arrive, young and old. The children wanted to play so we did some Frisbee games. I sat on a tractor. I had conversations.

Now it was the conversations that made this family reunion so much fun for me. So many different generations of family, from babies, to grandparents and I think there was a great grand parent as well.

God does the same thing for us. He invites everyone into His gigantic family which consists of all kinds of people of all ages and all backgrounds. Strangers are welcomed in and treated as family. And there’s lots of food :)

We spent the time talking and talking more, taking photographs, laughing, telling jokes. Someone told me they were going to propose to someone else, and then that someone else asked me what that someone said, but I won’t tell. I will be at the wedding though :)

Ottawa visits

You should read my Adventures in Ottawa posts before this one. So 6 of my friends and I crammed into a mini van and took an impromptu day trip to -Ottawa. We visited cool places like Carlingwood Mall, some of my super cool Ottawa friends and of course took the Parliament Tour. I got a jumbo garlic pretzel with salt, as is my custom and then we headed back home. Fun day, and I don’t do these kinds of things often enough. There was no Ottawa magic for me on this trip, my wounds are still healing from last year, especially the fact that I had little to no real food for a few months towards the end. One month I ate mostly potatoes which I prepared every which way, and the next month bread and margarine which I purchased with my pennies. And finally hot peppers which my friends are still talking about, which I’m sure they’ll be talking about for many years to come, and rightfully so. What an adventure.

I chat with my Ottawa friends via the web almost everyday, and now I get to chat with most of my missionary friends online to. It’s so cool to not have to wait several weeks for letters in the mail. And we attach photos online to. Also I’m concerned that some of my letters have gotten lost in the mail, and some countries don’t even have reliable mail service, but internet is starting to become reliably available even in the harshest 3rd world countries, at least in major cities. One of my missions friends writes her letters to me on paper, then sends them with a team leader to the city, where the team leader types it up in an email and sends it to me. When she / they get back to Toronto though, that’s the best!

New bike smell

Ah that new bike smell, I went to Canadian Tire and got a new mountain bike. Cheapest one I could find, because with my luck it will fall apart right when I’m trying to impress a girl.

A group of friends and I have been riding our bikes along the Trans Canada Trail which is this super amazing trail that goes across Canada. There’s a website for it also. We meet a lot of people and take photos and bring our cameras and snacks to feed wild animals. We’ve fed deer and bunny rabbits and saw a fox.

The ritual is as follows: work hard during the day, eat dinner, clean up after the kids, tune up our bikes, wave goodbye to the kids, and then leave for a 20km+ bike ride. Along the creek at night time do you know that tens of thousands of animals come out to play? Including baby snakes. It’s almost frightening because hundreds of them try to cross the sidewalk while we are riding and we don’t want to smash any of them, but there are so many!

When we get back closer to home we get snacks like a medium pizza for $5 or ice cream from Licks or Mcdonalds. We got invited to play baseball with some strangers we met and so this is a really cool thing to do plus it’s helping me get into shape and relieve some stress.

What I learned from the movies this month: always check your car before you get in, there could be a monster hiding in the back!

I like spring time because of all the rain. The downside to this all the mud that gets tracked into the house.