Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Finale of Twin of Brothers

Forget about the actual ending, it sucked. What I want to talk about is the love triangle between Yu-zhi-->Kau-jung<--So-ning. Half-way through the series, Kau-jung had to come to grips with the fact that there are two wonderful girls who are in love with him. He is in love with them also, but which one does he love the most? Which one would he choose to marry?

Near the end, he wants to find out for sure. He sets up these two dates. First, he takes So-ning out for a walk, and then they watch fireworks together. These are fireworks that Kau-jung arranged especially for this date.

Next, he takes Yu-zhi on a walk, and they sit down in the middle of a field and watch the stars.

Which girl do you think he loves the most? Think symbolically.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Conflict Mediation Services of Downsview

This is an organization that aims to help "people in families, workplaces, schools and neighbourhoods understand and resolve conflict. CMS-D is committed to restorative justice and the peaceful resolution of conflict in order to reduce violence and crime, and build healthy and safe communities."

For my friend's birthday present this year, I made a donation on her behalf to the CMS-D. I chose this not-for-profit organization to benefit from L.'s honorary donation because they have a program called Restorative Justice Initiatives. It brings the "victims" and the "offenders" together to foster an environment where healing is the emphasis, where everyone is treated with dignity. I believe that it should be under this environment that those who caused pain and suffering obtain forgiveness, as well as to gain a sense of hope for positive change. In turn, this could reduce the feelings of resentment and rage in the "victims" and their families, ultimately allowing them to heal from their emotional wounds. These initiatives are conducted in collaboration with the Crown Attorney, lest anyone should think that it allows "offenders" to get way with an offence.

I recommend this page that cites a case study, which will illustrate the positive and long-lasting impact of CMS-D's work.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Review: Twin of Brothers

Okay, please disregard the nonsensical English title for this Hong Kong historical-kung fu drama series. The story is actually very well written.

Characterization - The two main protagonists, Kau-jung and Zhi-ling are similar in some ways, but very different in other ways. They both care a lot about justice and friendship. Zhi-ling is more philosophical, more temperate. Kau-jung is a lot more ambitious and action-driven. One believes that he must not sacrifice his moral code unless the means does not result in causing others pain. The other believes that the ends justifies the means, even if an innocent has to get hurt. This plays out later in the story, and Kau-jung's lack of moral judgement continues to haunt him to the end of the story.

Theme - I like stories where the main characters have to make important decisions about how to face a problem and resolve a conflict. The main theme of this story is about a person's choices in life, not their upbringing or pedigree. For example, Wan-wan is a girl who was brought up by an evil witch. She was brought up to hate men, and to treat people disrespectfully. After she fell in love with Zhi-ling, a man who taught her about what is right and how to act on what is right, Wan-wan did learn from his lessons and turned good. She even sacrificed her own life in order to compel Fei-hun to show Zhi-ling how much she loves him, even if that means Wan-wan will lose Zhi-ling to Fei-hun.

Plot - The story is very exciting. It talks about war, which is usually a very boring topic for kung-fu dramas. This movie is able to make the historical aspects of the story important, relevant and meaningful to all the kung-fu you see being used. There is a struggle between good and evil, but how can the good be sustained if the government is corrupt? How can there be peace if there are wars constantly being fought? How does one fight wars and win? Not using kung-fu. The most powerful kung-fu characters are Kau-jung and Zhi-ling. But, unlike other kung-fu stories, these two are not allowed to use their powerful kung-fu because it is so devastating. They have to rely on their experience with strategy and leadership to achieve power, and bring peace to the land.

It has been a very long time since I've seen such a good kung-fu story.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Where to start?

I'll begin with a message of sympathy to the families of the 12 miners who died in Virginia, U.S.A. The emotional roller-coaster that the families have been put through is shameful. Although they may never get to the bottom of the false rumour incident, hopefully this will be a lesson to other organizations in a similar situation. The anguish and suffering is multiplied so much more when miscommunication of this type happens. My heart goes out to those families. I hope that these families will be able to turn to their spiritual brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers for support.

May God bless them.

Second item - totally unrelated. For the past 2 weeks, I've been having a sore shoulder, whose pain has been increasing over the holidays. I've been doing the shoulder rolling exercises, as well as the raised arm exercises. None of it worked. Mum said I am not doing the exercises enough. I didn't believe her. Last night, I slept on the other end of the bed, where the springs are firmer. This morning, I woke up and there is no more soreness. I mean it. None. Amazing! I'll have to have it turned over tonight before I go to bed.

Third item - Two nights ago, a visitor to my house told us that on his way over, he saw all these police cruisers at the major intersection nearest my house. Traffic was a big problem. He said that there were shootings. My family was horrified. Already? Only the 2nd day of the new year and there's a 2nd gun violence incident? We glued our ears to the radio, and our eyes to the T.V. to see if there was any news. It's been 2 days, and there has been no reports on what happened.

I asked my dad, who went grocery shopping at the time of the incident, and he said he took a detour to avoid the traffic jam. I asked him if he saw the yellow CAUTION tape? He said no. I'm suspecting it was not a shooting. Rather, it may have been something else that happened at one of the condominiums located at the corner of that intersection.

I doubt the police would cover up a shooting incident.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

I want to wish everyone a happy new year. Have a safe and joyous one.