Four years ago

The other day, a friend of mine who takes amazing photographs, Chris Luckhardt posted something on his Instagram account that got me thinking about the horrible earthquake that devastated Japan. His post:

Chris Luckhardt (@chrisluckhardt) • Instagram photos and videos

Since you can’t read the full description that Chris wrote in the screen cap, Chris said:

“4 years ago, a devastating 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the coast of Japan and caused catastrophic damage across a wide region. 

#JapanQuakeTO was a charity fundraiser held in Toronto to support Japan and the relief efforts. The ad hoc event raised almost $10,000 for the Canadian Red Cross. I was the event photographer and ran a photo booth. 

A recent report confirmed 15,891 deaths, 6,152 injured, and 2,584 people missing across twenty prefectures, as well as 228,863 people living away from their home in either temporary housing or due to permanent relocation. 127,290 buildings totally collapsed, with a further 272,788 buildings ‘half collapsed’, and another 747,989 buildings partially damaged. 

On a personal note, my first trip to Japan occurred 8 months later (a 5 days whirlwind trip to explore Hashima Island) and I immediately fell in love with the country. I’ve returned 6 more times, lived in Kawasaki for 2 months, and have become friends with a few people directly affected by the tragedy. 

Stay strong Japan and I’ll see you again soon.”

It reminded me of something I read about and watched around the same time the earthquake hit; a story that still helps to remind me that there are great people in this world. While it wasn’t about the same natural disaster, it still reminded me of the same kind of people like those who organized, rallied, and supported #JapanQuakeTO. I’m glad I saved it somewhere so I can share it with you now:


Please click through to BBC News to watch the video of Mr. Yamada talk about why he wanted to replace younger men and women to clean up the sites contaminated with radiation; because the internet-produced photo above really does not do him justice and I can’t embed any of the photos I found of him speaking on my blog.

Disclaimer: I’m so done reading about all-the-horrible-things so from now on, I hope to write about the things that either restore my faith in humanity or make me smile and love life1. Not that I really need to explain myself to anyone.

What’s your favourite story that restored your faith in humanity?

  1. whether it is relevant to right now or not[]

Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, 2013!

Well, I guess that’s it. Isn’t it? This year is finally behind us. I’ve never looked forward for a year to end so much as I have this year. This year was the worst year out of all the years of life. And yet a lot of wonderful things happened1; I guess it just goes to show that there is always good that will come out of a bad situation. I just wish there had been more good this year than bad.

The things I wish to never forget about 2013:

1. That time I was in the pilot episode of a reality TV show called, Come Date With Me on the W Network.

Still from Come Date With Me Canada

2. Being auctioned off at Love a Heart2. Photo credit: Chris Luckhardt.

Facebook Events | Love a Heart

3. Stage Managing for Canadian Music Week and meeting #LeBeau, Garret3.

Canadian Music Week Stage Manager

4. Stage Managing for North By North East and meeting Sloan. Sorry no pictures.
5. Getting a brand new family member, Drogo.

Drogo Sy!

6. Having a custom vine made just for me by Cyrstal Light Canada.

Facebook | Crystal Light Canada | Weird & Wonderful You

7. Assistant Stage Managing for Pride and getting to meet and work with En Vogue.

En Vogue at Pride 2013

8. Going to Cunt Cottage and having an amazing weekend away from the city.

9. Working for TIFF and getting to see some stars up-close-and-personal-like. No pictures, because I want to be able to work there again in 2014.
10. Going on a boat cruise with Shannon & the gang courtesy of Crazy Uncle. No pictures because I have no idea what I did with the pictures from that cruise. Oops.
11. Volunteering for TEDxToronto4.

TEDxToronto 2013

12. Being in a feature film that won an award at TOIndieFF2013, was part of the official selection at DIFF2013 and reviewed here.

Unhappy Happy Still
13. Working on the 48 hour film project where our team won Best Ensemble Cast.

Hashtag Bougie Productions

13. Meeting and falling in love with #LeBeau’s two daughters5. No pictures, of course. They’re too wittle.
14. Celebrating Christmas with our families and getting 2nd Christmas with the girls. Also no pictures, because I’m a spoil sport like that.
15. Being able to celeberate my birthday & the holidays with some really awesome friends. Again; no pictures, because we didn’t take a group photo and there are too many great ones to choose from.
16. Getting to keep in touch with my wifey, Christine Estima even though she’s a gazillion miles away.

Last but not least…
17. Getting to do this fun photoshoot for Ford Canada with the ever-sexy, Ford Fiesta, Marie & Brock.

Date Night with the Ford Fiesta

Shopping fun with Marie & the Ford Fiesta

I’m not at all interested in re-living the past that was this horrible year, so I won’t go into any details about it. I would rather look forward with hope and excitement for what 2014 might have to bring. I can only hope that it’ll be a good year because if my own personal history has taught me anything 2015 is set to be another doozy. You see, there’s something about years that end in zeros and fives – they don’t like me very much. I had a terrible 1995, I can’t say 2000 was any better, 2005 was horrible, 2010 was another nightmare year… mind you, they were all bad for heartbreak but not much else.

Anyway, that’s a whole 365 days away. For now, here’s hoping that in 2014, I…:

  • …no longer have to worry about how I’m going to pay for groceries or laundry.
  • …can actually afford to meet up with friends at least once a week.
  • …find the energy to get off my ass and start exercising again.
  • …will visit my parents and cook for them more often.
  • …will stop worrying about things that I really have no control over.
  • …can reconnect with some old friends who I miss but have drifted away from, for no good reason. And stay connected.
  • …get to go camping twice – once with the family, and once with the man and/or friends.
  • …get to visit somewhere I have never been.
  • …write more for this blog.
  • …learn how to make a Filipino dish I have never made before, but love to eat.

And that’s about it. I had a longer list but I’ve cut it down some in an attempt to be a little more realistic with my resolutions. I didn’t make any resolutions for 2013 because at this age, I’m kind of over them. Since 2013 was such a bad year though, I needed some things to look forward to. And these are some of the more important things I’m looking forward to for this New Year.


What are you looking forward to in 2014?

  1. I met Garret this year after all[]
  2. an annual favourite[]
  3. Nope. Not his real name[]
  4. another annual favourite[]
  5. and finally having children in my life. wee![]