November 14th, 2013

PART II of what I was rambling about earlier…Image

Life continuously evolves, but the one thing I can say that never changed from my first entry up to this point is that I still want to – as cliché as it sounds – “do the right thing”.  I want to spread positive influence to everyone I care about.  I want to make a lasting impression.

I’ve made a few friends recently that have really improved the quality of my life.  I don’t mean that they’ve come in and  upgraded all of my furniture, I mean in the one way that it means the most to me.  They have made me happier and brought energy into my life.  Without a crystal ball, I can’t say right now whether they will be around me forever, but the purpose of writing about them in my blog is to thank them.  To remind me when I look back at this a bajillion years from now from the skies, that there was a time these girls lit up my world.  I won’t call them out, but to remind myself later, I’m just gonna call one of them Juliette and the other one Beb.

*Real names may be hidden to protect the identities of those who I talk about*

It’s interesting when you look back and see how quickly you can become friends with someone.  I once had a best friend whom after only knowing for 3 days we fooled the world together into thinking we were childhood friends.  After having him been accepted into the group by my other best friend, we quickly formed a tripod.  It was an awesome no-homo triangle until one day he just up and left with no explanation or reason.  This taught me a harsh lesson in life.  You never know what is going to happen, so don’t throw all your eggs in one basket.  Accept the moment for what it is and use it to improve your own life, because that is the only life that will stick with you until the end. 

So years go by and this year a new person sneaks in.  Don’t ask me how because I don’t know how.  She just did.  It doesn’t really matter how anyways, because what matters is that she did. 

In life you’re going to come across lots of people.  There are gonna be some you just can’t stand and there are gonna be others that just click.  Well, this one Lego’d.  I’m not talking Duplo.  I’m talking a 2,000 piece interlocking structure of complex art.  Fine, that sounds a little too intense or extreme.  Maybe you’re right.  All I’m saying is we get along and I can’t be any happier to find an awesome friend like her.  We complete each other’s sentences; despite the fact that I’m usually almost always completely off from what she was trying to say.  She always has my back and puts up with all the retarded things I say or do.  And the best part is, she gets along really well with my best friend.

I was going through my old posts when I was cleaning this blog up and one of my old entries caught my eye.  I wrote somewhere that I wish I had a girl best friend and it kind of made me laugh.  I don’t know if I laughed because that sounded kind of lame, or if it’s because I no longer need to wish that anymore.

So although I’m not your Romeo, thanks for being there Juliette.  I won’t be throwing rocks at your window, but be sure to check for my emails next year.

Friends tend to come and go, and I totally understand that you can’t hang on to all of them.  It’s life and people drift; nothing personal.  I used to get offended by it because I never really understood it.  I would try so hard to hold on to as many as I could and get upset when people wouldn’t reciprocate the effort.  Today I understand the reality.  If we’re friends today and not tomorrow, I get it.  It’s just life separating us.  I try not to be mad at that, but there are always going to be a handful I’ll wish to hang on to as long as I can.  Juliette, I hope, will always be one of them.

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November 7th, 2013

It appears as though the time lag between entries have been increasing.  To the point that I didn’t even realize the old host Xanga had gone through some major renovations and almost trashed everything of mine.  I’m lucky I was able to snag it all in time, so if you’re actually reading the older entries prior to this date, there may be some inconsistencies, or even things that won’t make sense (especially if they pertain to features from the old site). 

Every time I dust off the old page’s URL to take a peek at what my life was like in the past, it kind of makes me laugh a bit.  I can actually see the changes I’ve gone through and that makes you realize how much you’ve grown.  Am I finally that fully mature adult I’ve always thought – and slightly feared – I would grow to become?  Hell no.  It’s like I’m still 19 years old, but with a little bit more chin-stubble and less weight. 

Okay fine, so I have matured a bit over the past decade, and I am taking life a little more seriously.  I do think more about the future and I am taking steps and planning out how to achieve my goals.  I’m at the point where I’m tired of waiting and pondering and I just want to start being a man of action.  Yes, a man.  A man who in the slightest dark corner of his mind still has this tiny window of hope that at 30 he may gain some unforeseen superpowers; but that is our secret.  OUR SECRET.    

I think maybe it’s this mentality that helps to keep us all young at heart.  You see, I’ve learned a lot this year.  About life, death, and love.  About growing up and about moving forward.  Hell, it’s been over a year since I’ve written in any sort of journal.  I mean I should have tons to say right?

This entry is about to get really long, and I’m not going to apologize for it, so brace yourself.  (Hey, I did warn you).

Let’s talk about life and death.  Well, okay let ME talk about life and death. 

It hit me pretty hard in the face this year.  My grandma whom I will refer to as Poh Poh, passed away this year, ironically on Mother’s Day.  I tried my best to stay by her side during this entire ordeal and it was not easy.  Of course everybody knows it never is.  I never realized how brave she really was.  On one hand, we were fortunate to have been given some warning signs, but on the other hand comes the debate on whether or not it’s better to be able to see the clock.  Either way, man did it happen fast.  I did and said as much as I could before He came to take her away.  I tried to spend all that time with her, with no regrets. 

No Regrets.

It would be nice if we could all live this way, but then again, I believe it is just a theoretical and realistically impossible way to live life.  It is just a fantasy that could never be cast into reality.  I believe in order for a person to truly live life with no regrets, they must either be very selfish and thick-skinned, or they need to be able to control the events around them for every outcome to roll in their favour.

Anyway, my point that I was moving towards was that the above occurrence has had a part in bringing a change in me; to remind me to try not and sweat the small stuff and just move forward.  So you learn to let go of some things, and embrace others.  This time around I’m also learning to embrace opportunity.  I’m training myself to not be afraid, and enter into an area of darkness.  One by one I will attack the things I do not know.  I want to become that person who has a very all-round experience in life.  I don’t need to be perfect, but I need to have some foundation in every area as to eliminate as much surprise as possible.  I want to instill this philosophy into my business life as I do in my martial arts. 

Just over a week ago, I received my black belt in Jiu-Jitsu.  Later that night when I was alone in my room, I just sat and stared at it with it stretched out across the floor in front of me.  When I was young, I always dreamed of being a Black Belt – but not just any Black Belt – a Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt.  As a youth, it was for the silly reason that Batman was a Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt.  But is it a silly reason? 

It gave me something to look forward to and strive towards.  It was positive motivation for a greater good.  Despite how silly it is that I still idolize a superhero at my age, I won’t stop doing so any time soon if it continues to propel me in the right direction in life. 

Then it got me thinking – what does it mean to be a Black Belt?

I think on the outside, there isn’t a whole lot of difference from when I was a brown belt, 3 ½ hours prior to when that piece of fabric was wrapped around my waist for the first time.  I’m the same person, just a lot more tired.  My skills haven’t changed much after a test lasting roughly the same amount of time it takes to watch The Dark Knight Rises.  So what is it about this belt that pushes so many people to strive for a better self? 

Empowerment?  Confidence?  Giving back?  I don’t know.  I don’t know what the correct answer is, but I do know my answer will continuously change over the years, the more I learn.  For me when I put on this belt, I feel it is a reminder.  It reminds me of who I am, how I ought to act, and who I want to be.  Not only am I referring to my skill set, but my values and my personality.  It reminds me that I need to take what I know and share it with those who don’t know. 

Let’s pause here, considering this entry is already late and days after I initially started writing…

TO BE CONTINUED.

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September 12th, 2012

So here I am again out west, although I’m not AS west as I was 3 weeks ago…

I’ve been sent on a business mission again.  Typically every year (or even a few times a year) I’m to tour the Manitoba and Saskatchewan territory to make sure all our customers have been taken care of and all new opportunities have been sought after.  I do my best to save the company money by staying at the shadiest places possible.  I have to say, last week I learned that there are just some places that are way too shady. 

The Knights Inn in Regina, Saskatchewan turned out to be much more ghetto than the pictures online and the reviews that were posted.  Upon arrival it was the kind of 2-level motel where people die in movies and tv shows.  In fact, right when I walked into my room I think I could count about 7 ways to die:

1)  The wall lamp that was screwed so loosely to the wall it was ready to drop at any moment and knock me out

2)  The exposed wire clusters where I plugged my iPhone in to charge

3)  The rusty nail sticking out of the doorway between the bathroom and the room carpet

4)  The bathroom light switches that were practically IN the shower

5)  The fumes and smells coming out of the ventilation system definitely did not appear to be the same stuff you’d find in a Glade scent plug

6)  The front door that didn’t even seal the cold properly and the dinky little chain that was apparently my security system to keep murderers out

7)  The gigantic fridge standing at the base of my bed looking like it was a gateway from hell (I refused to open the fridge during the first night of my stay, in case there was actually a body inside)

 

When I left Regina and arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba I decided maybe I ought to spend slightly more and get myself into something a little nicer.  Considering I was going to be in Winnipeg for about 5 nights, I decided that a Holiday Inn would have been a good fit.  The price was still under a $100 per night and yet it was a palace compared to the last place! 

So as my luck would have it, I was woken up by a 2:30am fire alarm on the morning of my only day off.  The entire hotel had to evacuate, and before I knew it I spent the next couple hours standing around in the parking lot outside the lobby in my pajamas.  Apparently the sprinklers on the 6th floor had been running for so long that the entire floor had flooded.  Conveniently my room was on the 5th floor and not 7 or above.  Did I mention there were about 11 floors and so I had a 50% chance I could have been unaffected?  Of course I had to be on the shittiest end of the stick.  I mean it wouldn’t have made sense any other way.

From the lobby entrance, you could see the water pouring down the elevator chutes and out into the lobby like it was some indoor rain phenomenon.  On top of that, I heard that in room 506, the ceiling had caved in and collapsed.  Well it’s a good thing I’m in room 507. 

A few hours later when the firefighters deemed it to be safe and free from any flames, we were allowed to go back to our rooms.  Fortunately for me my room was actually dry.  Although I was offered to swap to another room, I decided to say fuck it and just keep this one.  I was so tired and I wanted to sleep so badly I was willing to die. 

The good news is that I lived!

Although I still have a few more days left, I think I’m ready to go home.  Minus the few days I was home in between the west coast trip and this trip, I feel like I’ve been away for almost 5 weeks now.  For some reason, I just thought that stories only occur on vacations and not on business trips.

Today I learned that although cheaping out and saving money may not always be a good thing, to the contrary, spending more also does not ensure a better living experience.  Life is all about probability, and with me I need to start reminding myself that my numbers are usually much shittier than the average person.

At this point, all I’m hoping for is that nothing else is going to happen before this trip is over.  My fingers are crossed so that I won’t have to update this place with another entry before I’m home.

See you all soon!

 

-Kelvin

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August 8th, 2012

Captain’s Log:  British Columbia is the most beautiful place on Earth.

MISSION COMPLETE.

So it finally happened.  I completed my Canada Road Trip that I had started about 5 years ago.  Due to certain events that had taken place (please refer to a few journal entries back for East Coast Road Trip), it took quite a number of years to build back the confidence (and scramble together vacation days) to finish up the drive West to have driven across the entire country.  I can finally proudly say that I have driven across the entire country! 

I must say that of this entire drive, the most entertaining was through all of British Columbia.  There were always twists, turns, elevation changes, and tunnels within an abundance of greens as well as rockies to keep a driver alert and entertained.

I may have to think hard about what route to take heading home.  Of course, I have about 10 days to not think about this…

In fact, I will need to think of great ways to keep myself entertained for the drive back…

Thanks for reading and enjoy your days!  After this, I won’t need to enter new entries (at least until August 17th or 18th – when I start the drive home).  I am excited to see as many friends as possible and old spots to reminisce about.

You’re welcome to check back periodically to see if my photos show up!  Thanks!

 

-Kelvin

 

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August 7th, 2012

No Captain’s Log for the day.  I decided not to continue my journey west. 

You see, today has been a special day.  As awesome as everything else has been, hanging with Han and meeting his girl, something really amazing happened today. 

I was born in Hong Kong.  It wasn’t until I was about 5 or 6 that I had come to North Vancouver, BC.  We were there for only a few years before we moved to West Vancouver, BC, and shortly after, Toronto, ON.  And the saddest part out of all that, was losing my friends. 

Since I was older when we moved to West Van, I was able to retain more of my friends there, but it was the North Vancouver friends whom I had a hard time keeping in touch with.  Before I knew it, they were scattered and long gone.  I always dreamed of finding them all again, but even with Facebook search results, there were a lot of results and I couldn’t really tell which ones were my lost friends.

One fateful day while I was on business, I was traveling with the Vancouver sales rep and we pitstopped for gas.  The attendant working that day looked like he could have been a couple years yonge than myself.  It was a long shot but I asked anyways, about where he went to school.  Turns out it was the same elementary school as me.  So that was when I decided to name-drop.  It was that moment I realized, he actually had some of my old friends I’ve been searching years for on his Facebook page. 

Ever since that day, James Clarke has been one of the buddies I dug up, but it wasn’t until THIS VERY DAY that I had not actually seen him and reconnected with, since we moved.

That was pretty much the highlight of my trip.  Thanks for reading!

 

-Kelvin

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August 6th, 2012

Captain’s Log:  Speed limit laws apply outside of Ontario as well, and just because a speed posted is “suggested”, does not make 211 km/h OK.  In fact, NOWHERE in Canada is 211 km/h OK.

So the day began with a good start.  I woke up really early, had a small breakfast, and jumped right onto the road.  I was hoping for a quiet day like yesterday, but my judgment got the best of me. 

I made pretty good time crossing through all of Saskatchewan before 3pm because I found a car heading in the same direction as me to drive with.  In fact, he was going a little too fast.  In trying to keep up, I eventually got a little ahead of myself with all the excessive speeding, and by the time I got somewhere between the Saskatchewan/Alberta border and Medicine Hat, AB, it was already too late.  That was when I discovered why having the wing on my trunk is actually a big detriment. 

I was driving with this guy for a good hour or so clearing a good part of my route, when shortly after the provincial border, as I was catching up to him, he suddenly pulled to the right lane and slowed down significantly.  That was when I realized my wing was blocking the view of someone on my tail.  Holy shit. 

A very kind Alberta police officer was nice enough to catch up to tell me on paper how fine my car was.  In fact, $124 worth of fineness, but no bonus points for all my hard work.  In retrospect, it was really quite stupid of me.  I totally deserved it.  I mean even if it wasn’t wrong of me to speed like that, I’m still an idiot.  Who did I expect them to nail, given the choice between a low-key, unsuspecting plain black Chevy Cavalier, or the loud, modified Mercedes-Benz sports car with all the stickers and decals? 

Now my next step is to figure out how this affects my insurance. 

I guess this gave me something to write about…

When I got back to my route, I totally forgot all about a car’s limitation running on a finite amount of fuel.  In fact, it wasn’t until I got to a crazy-long stretch of nothingness that I realized my gas light had come on already.  That was when I started to panic.  I had roughly 50-60 km worth of fuel left (based on my calculation), and according to the GPS, the nearest gas station to me at that point was 55 km away.  I was praying to dear god that it wasn’t another phantom gas station that didn’t really exist. 

I have to say that felt like one of the longest 30 or so minutes of my life, jamming on the clutch pedal at every downhill and saving gas only to get me up hills.  After 10-15 minutes had gone by, I was already sweating like a pig, not just because I shut off all the AC and closed all the windows to maximize my fuel and aerodynamics.  All I needed to do was get as close to this – hopefully real – gas station as possible.  Even just within 5 km from it.  I already had it planned out.  It’s either a 20 minute run, or I jump on the back of one of those horses I saw in the fields along the way. 

I finally made it to the gas station, with the needle already lying flat.  Thanks to the huge downhill stretch just before civilization, I probably would have made it even if I ran out of fuel slightly before pulling in.  Fortunately for me, my Visa didn’t work, most likely due to the tape holding the cracked part of the card together.  Thankfully I didn’t spend my entire paycheck yet and there was still a little dough left in my debit.

I was finally on my way into Calgary when my asshole of a buddy told me the address I entered didn’t show up properly because he was actually in Edmonton. 

I almost passed out.

…but he was just playing.  He just bought himself a piece of poop in his fridge when he goes to work.

So we just grabbed some food and called it a night, and now here I am Kelvin Cheong – Keyboard Warrior.

I will probably skip tomorrow’s entry because I’ve decided to stay an extra day here in Calgary.  Aside from Han and my family friend Janice, I have a 3rd friend living here.  My friend James Clarke is a friend of mine that I met in elementary school.  I’m talking 6 year-old Kelvin.  I actually lost contact with him for years!  I haven’t seen him in 22 years and I’m gonna be meeting up with him tomorrow (well technically today)!!

That is probably gonna be the highlight of my day, or even my trip!

Anyways, thanks for reading!  If not tomorrow (well, today…), then I shall be back here on August 8th, 2012.  Take care for now!

-KeLvIn

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August 5th, 2012

Captain’s Log:  Excited to say I have nothing to report.

Is it a little ironic that I’m excited to report that nothing crazy happened today?  Woke up and went through my day according to plan for once!  At one point I almost shafted myself trying to make a run without filling up, but after the last two days’ events, I convinced myself to turn around and drive 10-15 minutes to the last gas station I saw.  Had I not done that, I might have been caught in this long stretch of forest where no gas stations were around for the next 200km.  Yay for not risking it.  In fact, I even got to Brandon, MB a little earlier than I had anticipated.  Despite the one-hour time change, there was still daylight to spare! 

Though I did discover yesterday that the wing on my car actually came handy in blocking the high beams of vehicles (trucks) tailing me.

Anyways, day 3 was a success.  Let’s hope tomorrow runs smooth as well!  I think at this point I’ve driven over 3,000km already, and tomorrow I will be adding another 1,100km to that list, driving from here to Calgary, AB.

Once I fight off my urges to run to the McDonald’s next door, I’m heading to bed so I can be completely certain nothing crazy can get added to tonight’s entry.

Thank you for reading!

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August 4th, 2012

Captain’s Log:  Look around the hotel room before you take your shirt off and jump into bed. 

So the day ALMOST went smoothly like the normal day I was hoping for. 

You ever go on a really long drive and find someone driving in the same direction as for almost as long as your trip?  You kinda start to develop this bond like you’ve known each other forever.  Yet no one says a word to each other.  In fact, you feel almost as if you know what each other are thinking.  Like you are communicating through telepathy. 

Well, that was me today.  Me and a 54′ flatbed truck. 

It was perfect because without any cargo, I could see perfectly around the vehicle.  We drove together for almost 8 or 9 hours.  I mean that’s longer than some of my chill sessions with my best friends.  It was like I was driving with Optimus Prime and he was protecting me from any road critters or forest beasts.  If you’ve done these long out-of-city night drives, you know how scary it is.  A moose runs out and its game over.  Well not for me tonight.  This truck was ready to plow through anything that tried to jump out.  It was like I had a meatshield traveling with me.  I even gave the truck a name.  Otto.  I felt so fearless around Otto.

Kinda wish I could keep you around for the rest of the drive through Canada.  I guess all good things eventually have to come to an end.  You finish your mission wherever you’re heading buddy!  Good luck and god speed.

So I finally arrive at the hotel here in Thunder Bay and this time it’s actually open!  But of course the day always has to end off with some weird shit happening to me.  

I get into the hotel and the front desk conveniently gives me access to the wrong room.  I’m so drowsy from all the driving and the room was pitch dark so I proceed to take off my shirt and just as I’m about to jump into bed, I realize there’s an old lady sleeping in it.  WTF.  Seriously?!  So I run out of the room before the old couple wake up and bitch me out.  As I’m running down the hall towards front desk, the reception guy runs past me going “Oh shit did you wake them up?  Why are you running?”. 

Seriously?  Are you really asking me that?  I don’t want no rape-attempt charges.  When I asked for adventure, jail was not what I had in mind.

Okay, I’m tired.  I’m going to bed.  Let’s try round 3 for a normal day tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll have better luck then…

Tomorrow:  Brandon, MB!  No more weird shit!

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August 3rd, 2012

Captain’s Log:  Always call the hotel before you get there, even if you won’t be getting in late.

So today the West Coast Road Trip Adventure began.  I know I called it an adventure, but I never actually intended for it to be one.  Unlike the last road trip (heading to the East Coast as I had written about a few years ago), I was kind of hoping that this journey would have been smooth and mellow.  So why does that never happen?

It all started when I left Richmond Hill for North Bay.  It was 2pm and I had to make it for class at Shihan Chris Marceau’s dojo by 7pm.  No big deal.  GPS says I’ll be there by 4:45pm.  That leaves me tons of time to spare.  Right? 

Wrong.

The moment I jump onto the 400, it is bumper to bumper freeway traffic.  OH CRAP.  LONG WEEKEND.  GENIUS.

Long story short, I was shafted with bumper to bumper all the way to Barrie.  As time went on, the clock ticked away so fast.  When I got out of Barrie, traffic kept switching between smooth and bumper to bumper. 

In the end, I BARELY made it to the dojo right at 7pm. 

So Shihan Chris was kind enough to let me train at his dojo with his students and I had a wicked time.  Spent some time grappling, worked on some side kicks, and by the time it all got dark, we were kicking back at his place with brewskies, putting all those calories we had burned off right back into our bodies.  Yay!

When it was time to crash, I made my way to my hotel, with my new friends kind enough to guide me the right way.  When we finally got to my hotel, we noticed the lights were out.  OH SHIT.  Here we go again…

So it turns out the hotel was closed and the lights were out. 

No worries, I’ll just check the “late-arrival” box.  Nothing.  GREAT.

We left to go look for other hotels.  The first 3 or 4 hotels we drove by had no lights on.  When we finally got to a Best Western that had its lights on, I found out it was full.  AMAZING.  So I snagged a few numbers of other hotels.  I called two and they were both sold out.  SCREW YOU MARIANAS TRENCH!  You just had to have a concert tonight…

Finally I managed to find a Comfort Inn with smoking rooms, and so here I am writing this first entry, breathing in the fumes of the previous hundred thousand smokers.

Hope you’re all doing well everyone, and thanks for reading!  Just remember, if anything happens to me, tell my story…

 

-Kelvin

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April 13th, 2011

I think I’ve gone overboard with Kelvin 2.0.

In trying to be a more confident person, I might actually be turning into more of an asshole. I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Not that I didn’t use to…

I’ve been teaching myself to be more selfish lately – to not care so much about anyone else. To the point that I may have crossed the line.

There are certain people in this world that, although I’m trying to care more about myself, I should always remember to look after. ALWAYS.

I don’t know if it’s just been much more in the recent days, or that I may have just been too blinded by frustration and anger to see that I’ve bullied my brother too much all these years.

Often I’m bordering between trying to establish higher ground because I’m older, and going too far and crushing his self-esteem with my flawed logic.

It’s not right, yet I lose control of myself when my temper flares. I’m so weak-minded that it consumes me. I say things that I shouldn’t and I do things that may not be right.

I never meant anything bad. Honestly I just want the best for him and whenever he makes a bad choice it kills me inside, so I usually end up handling it the wrong way. I’d give up everything in a heartbeat if there was a way you could be healthy and successful and I take your place in the slumps. If that was the trade off for you to be living happily with a family and kids, wipe my mind and throw me to hell for eternity.

When I was young, I wanted to learn martial arts so badly that I could protect people from bullies, and ironically I’ve become one.

Maybe he was right when he said “you either die trying to be the hero, or you live long enough just to see yourself become the villain”. Finally, the quote makes sense to me.

I wish so badly we could play like we did in the old days. When everything was innocent and nothing else mattered. No one else, just the two of us. Except this time, you be Mario, I’ll be Luigi. You be the good guy, I’ll be the bad guy. You drive the faster car, I’ll drive the slower car. You play with the newer toy, I’ll take the older toy. You score the points, I’ll be the goalie. You eat the bread, I’ll take the crust. You run the company, I’ll sweep the floors.

I’m sorry. When I’m not mad and saying mean things I actually love you a lot more than you think. You mean the world to me and you should always know that.

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