Kith & Kin

The Laid Back Crew VS The Uptight Duo

It has been two nights since further drama ensued between the Jenbert combination and Patrick and Leeman. I contemplated on whether I want to post my thoughts up or not and for the better of me, I didn’t want to because I feel that I am defending myself against an unnecessary foe. I eventually chose to because I dislike being stepped on and I dislike twisted reasoning.

I’ve only seen Patrick ‘blow-up’ three times in my life knowing him. I know he’s blown up at least one other time in Japan. During the Saturday talk with Albert and Jenny, he eventually blew up and kept saying, “Wow.”

Yeah, wow indeed.

Since as far back as I remember, which is pretty far back, I have tried to avoid drama. If an issue arises, I deal with it on the spot or if the scenario was not ideal, on another day in the very near future. I don’t particularly like to hold grudges and my grudges on Roger continued for roughly a year and lingering vexation and anger popped up every now and then after that, which trailed off to nothing less than two years after our falling-out.

I was just on the phone last night with Erica and told her there was an incident a few years ago at Laura’s where she got drunk and I stuck my finger up her nose and in her mouth. Laura told me the day after, she was upset that I did that to her and the issue was solved on the spot. I got her a strawberry slushy from Dragonball, dropped by her house, apologized and since then, never even did anything remotely close to that to her.

Saturday evening was pretty much the last straw for me. This is basically what I had to put up with since February this year…

It’s super long, so you can skip to each section by clicking the following if you wish:

1) Albert was admitted to the hospital for appendicitis
2) Forgetting Jenny’s Birthday
3) Ryan’s Friday Drinking-fest
4) Going out on a whim
5) Enjoying the view, slowing down, the lack of common sense on our part again
6) Apparently, communication is pointless
7) Being late and being early
8) Hanging up on Jenny and ignoring her
9) Tour De Patrick IV – why did I ride so far ahead
10) Why do we like Ryan?
11) Albert suggested we aren’t so laid back
12) Summary

Albert was admitted to the hospital for appendicitis

    Jenny called me up that Albert was admitted to the hospital for surgery. I recalled back on my dad and my brother’s appendicitis surgeries and I don’t remember visiting my brother at the hospital. He just called home, told my mom and he went home after it. He then showed us his surgery marks a few weeks later.

    Jenny told me about Albert’s thing and she asked what I was doing. I told her and she said, “Oh in that case, don’t worry about it.” and I said, “No, I’ll drop by and leave them at the restaurant.” Then she said, “But we don’t know when he will go in or if he is already in.”

    In the next few lines of conversation, I said, “How about this, when you get a time or anything, just give me a call or if you need anything else, just give me a call.” She didn’t call back.

    If I had appendicitis and was admitted to the hospital, I wouldn’t make a freakin big deal out of it, especially one that I’ll stay 1 or 2 days overnight. I’ll go in, do my surgery, stay at the hospital for a day or two, go home, rest up. If anyone calls, I’ll tell them I can’t go out. If they ask why, I’ll tell them why and that would be that. When I’m at the hospital, friends seeing me is the least on my list of things to think about. I may expect my mom or dad to be there and if my love interest cares about me, then she would be there too, but that’s about it.

    Hell, I even called and texted Jenny to see if they need help with anything after Albert went back home, thinking he would be in no condition to do grocery shopping and such. Alas, apparently, during the Jenny Birthday fiasco, Albert told me that Jenny was so pissed off at me for not showing up, that she didn’t feel like replying back. Mhmmm…

Forgetting Jenny’s Birthday

    Two weeks of arguments between Albert/Jenny and me. He expects that I remember his and her birthdays and by doing so, it means they are important in my life. If I forget about it, it upsets Jenny because it means I am inconsiderate of her feelings.

    Laura and I celebrated Jenny’s birthday in 2007 when Albert and Jenny were ‘separated’ briefly. We did it mainly to cheer her up. Prior to that, we never did anything for her birthday.

    For Albert, we just do things very casually. Pick a day anywhere between June and August and take him out for an easy dinner. No hassle, no fuss, no arguments. I love it back in the day, when someone would one day suddenly remember my birthday and send me a happy belated birthday to me. In some cases, take me out for a drink. Keep it simple. No fuss. No hassle. No drama.

Ryan’s Friday Drinking-fest

    I admit that it was bad timing that I brought up Ryan’s birthday to Jenny, right after we forgot hers. However, what really annoyed me was that Albert kept insisting that it is planning if any form of communication is involved in trying to get people together. He sees it as black and white. I see it in shades.

    Albert and Jenny was upset that I ‘remembered’ Ryan’s birthday but not Jenny’s. On top of that, they were upset that I was ‘planning’ Ryan’s birthday ‘celebration’.

    First, I’ve said this a billions times already in the past – Alison Facebook emailed me and a notice was sent to my regular email. To reply, I had to log into Facebook and reply to her there. On the sidebar, it said, “Birthday Reminders: Ryan Lacey (date)”.

    To confirm the weekend snow shoeing, I called up Patrick on Wednesday. Then an idea came to mind as I talked with him about snow shoeing. “Hey, you want to take Ryan out for a drink or two on Friday?” His reply: “Sure.”

    I called up Ryan on Thursday, asked him if he would be attending snow shoeing since he didn’t reply to any of our emails and he said he couldn’t. He then asked me if I would be free on Friday and I asked, “It depends. What’s going on?”

    After a brief conversation, he asked me to ask Albert and Jenny. Without thinking, I called up Albert and Jenny. BAM, big mistake on my end. I ask Jenny and she asked me, “Did you set this up or did Ryan set this up?” I answered, “I did.”

    She became upset and passed the phone to Albert. She started crying and became angry and Albert tried standing on her side and basically pushed me to a corner again and over emails the next day, I apologized followed by a long explanation. Apparently, reasoning is not good for her nor Albert, so more emails ensued followed by two phone calls.

    To cut a long ass tiring story short, I apologized in the end for everything because I didn’t want more crap to drag on.

    Since then, Jenny has develop a dislike towards Ryan and Albert on the surface is indifferent to him.

    During this whole fiasco, I also called up Jonathan and his straightforward words pretty much relieved me of all the stress I was going through. Other supporting casts were my mom, Erica, Laura and a couple of others.

Going out on a whim

    As pretty easy-going people, we often do things on a whim. After a few spontaneous activities, we usually set up a big group event for everyone.

    For example, Jason would call up Pat in the morning and then do something for the day together. Sometimes, Pat would call me up and watch a movie at his place. Sometimes, he would ask if I want to go take pictures with him. Laura calls me from time to time and after literally weeks and months, we would finally meet up. I don’t think I have been alone with Ryan yet. He might take advantage of me in a fit of drunken rage.

    In fact, sometimes, my dad asks if I want to go dim sum with him. My mom asks me literally 2 minutes before going out, “Do you want sushi or rice for lunch?”

    Back in the day, Albert would call me up and ask if I want to go watch a movie with him at UBC. Sometimes, I would go. Sometimes, I won’t. Back in the day, Albert would email me if I want to do the Ditchmond 40k. Sometimes I would, other times I won’t.

    Do I go to everything that Jason, Patrick and Ryan goes to? No I don’t. Jason, Pat and Ryan did a hike at Lynn Valley sometime in April and I didn’t go. Jason and Pat went biking last week and I didn’t know about it until Pat and Jason told me about it afterwards on separate occasions. Pat and Ryan went hiking last year in September and I didn’t go.

    Actually, if you look at all of the communication that goes on, the only times I go out is when someone else contacts me first. Occasionally, when I am in the mood, I would contact someone else, but that is like once in a blue moon.

    Regardless, Albert and Jenny feels we are deliberately segregating them from our activities.

Enjoying the view, slowing down, the lack of common sense on our part again

    Apparently, since this group was founded in 2006, we had been riding like lazy, junk food eating, take-our-sweet-ass-time-to-enjoy-the-scenery at 5km/hr while singing happy songs – type of people, but only recently, did we ride like maniacs.

    I seriously don’t really know what the heck Albert and Jenny was going on about Saturday evening after the ride, but I have always rode my bike as fast as I could. Uphill riding, 12km/hr to 24km/hr. Downhill riding, 35km/hr to 60km/hr. Flat road riding, 25km/hr to 30km/hr on average and up to 35km/hr on good days.

    Patrick and Jason rides faster than I do. They normally go at 35km/hr. I go at 31km/hr. If I am dragging behind, I yell out, “Hey guys, can you two go down two or three km’s?” 3 second communication and they go slower. Problem solved.

    Albert and Jenny on the other hand apparently felt that it should have been common sense for us to slow down because:

    1) Jenny couldn’t ride as fast.
    2) We would obviously want to ride at 15km/hr to 20km/hr to enjoy the miles and miles of farmland scenery, that we couldn’t enjoy riding at our optimal speeds.

    His reasoning is that if we’re riding for exercise or a sport, then riding around in circles in our neighborhood would suffice. I didn’t rebuttal him then because he isn’t someone you can use any reasoning with if it goes against his own. He will try to corner you with a dizzying series of questions and justifications until you either a) sigh and give up and submit to him, or b) sigh and ignore him.

    When he said that, I thought of the Tour De France. What’s the point? They should have just made everyone ride an exercise bike at the hardest setting for hours and see which biker can last the longest. [sigh]

      A new member asks, “So what are some of your interests Li?”

      And I reply, “Oh, I like anime, games and outdoor stuff like light hiking and riding an unmoving exercise bike. Nothing like dust and warm stale air in the afternoon. To add realism, I print up pictures of far-away places and tape them to the wall in front of me and blow a fan in my face.”

    Anyway, to counter the two points above, here is my take:

    1) Jenny couldn’t ride as fast. – In the week prior, we did the Tour De Patrick IV which is a 54km ride. For the first half of the ride, Albert and Jenny was about 30 seconds to a minute behind me while Jason and Patrick stayed behind with Jay, Kristina and Ryan. Since I knew they were in good hands, I went on ahead.

    Since Albert insisted last year that Jenny could ride the Epic Cove with us without many problems, I assumed Jenny would be okay to ride such an easy route. Plus, they were close to me for the first half of the ride.

    When we were riding on Saturday, Pat and I rode the same/similar speed we’ve always ridden which was between 25km/hr to 30km/hr, averaged out to 28km/hr.

    I would look back every now and then and they would be about 30 seconds to a minute behind us. Every time we stopped at an intersection, Albert would catch up and tell us where to go and we’ll go where he told us to.

    Once back in Richmond, we rode up #5 Road and for the first quarter of the way, Albert and Jenny were behind us somewhat, so we continued going up. When we reached the high school, we looked back and didn’t see them on the road at all. We stopped for a few moments and Pat asked, “Where the heck did they go?”

    I said, “They probably took a different route up.” So we continued to ride. I told Pat to take Williams because there were bike lanes there but we took Blundell instead.

    As we were stopped at the red light, Pat asked, “You think they are trying to race us back to my place?”

    I replied, “It’s possible. They probably took Garden City up!”

    Pat then said, “Ah those bastards, let’s double time!”

    So we rode as fast as we could for about 10 seconds, then Pat said, “Man, I’m tired.” So we cruised down Blundell the rest of the way.

    Amazingly, we arrived and Albert and Jenny wasn’t there. So we sat at the grass area and waited.

    Roughly 10 minutes later, they came and he parked his bike right to me and I said, “Wow, that’s amazing!” and he asked, “What’s so amazing?”

    I answered, “That you two were going so amazingly slow.” I said it with a smile on my face. That’s when all hell broke loose.

    Albert’s words to me was, “What is your problem?” This was directed to me. Other words he used was, “You changed man.” and “You’re amazing” followed by a very condescending smirk and shaking his head.

    That moment topped it off. There was no longer a point to talk with him. He kept asking questions and I no longer felt like answering him. I shrugged it off and gave simple answers, “I felt like it.” and “Yeah, because I am an inconsiderate bastard.” and asked, “So what are you going to do about it?”

    He continue to smirk condescendingly and shook his head. I stared at him as he did to me and I knew at that moment, I didn’t want to continue this friendship with him.

    What was ironic was when Jenny said something along this, “People think we’re petty, anal and over analyze everything, but people don’t understand that we aren’t the cause of these problems.”

    So apparently, it is the fault of Leeman, Patrick and Ryan and the entire world but more so with me, because apparently, I have changed for the bad since two years ago.

    2) We would obviously want to ride at… – Apparently, it takes Albert and Jenny more time to enjoy the miles and miles and miles of open farmland scenery that they couldn’t do when riding at faster speeds. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I saw quite a bit of the scenery in the roughly 40 minutes of riding at 28km/hr. There were the mountains from far far away. There were the miles and miles and miles of fields all around us. There were the blue skies above us. There was the clean air all around us. I found it quite relaxing and enjoyable.

    I believe Pat and Jason’s reasons to buy road treads were stupid because if we’re just doing joy rides like lazy grannies who want to ride at 15km/hr or slower, then we should all have invested in Hybrids or Comfort bikes. Screw road bikes and mountain bikes! Who wants to sing happy songs with me!?

      I see trees of green…….. red roses too
      I see em bloom….. for me and for you
      And I think to myself…. what a wonderful world……

Apparently, communication is pointless

    Albert strongly believes that there is no point in telling us to slow down, because it should be common sense to slow down for him who wants to look at miles and miles of farmland scenery that he couldn’t while riding at optimal speeds. Albert also strongly believes that there is no point in bringing up his problems with people because they will never change, just as he never change as well. Why should he? He is almost always right and we’re always wrong.

    It is the world versus Albert. Apparently, the world and everyone in it has a distorted view. His view must be the standard!

    Jenny also never communicates with us directly, because she can’t defend herself when someone fights back. So she communicates her frustrations with Albert and Albert lashes at us.

Being late and being early

    This annoyed me quite a bit because Albert brought up that I’ve been late a lot in the past but they hadn’t said anything. He also said there was no reason why they had to show up on time because the bike pick-up place wasn’t far away.

    On every other day, when they are late, I don’t really give a shit. I just joke about it with the others. Even make bets when they would show up. However, for Tour De Patrick, Kristina had to be home by 6pm to pick up her mom from the airport. I did not know how fast she could ride and I also had to take other things into consideration like if anyone popped their tires, chains fallen off, injuries, etc. So I was estimating a schedule to meet her and the ride to, around and from Stanley Park back to her place.

    Apparently, Jenny could not understand why we rode so fast to meet up with Kristina. I didn’t want Kristina to be late in picking up her mom. We had limited time.

    Now I know what type of bike Kristina rides and how fast she can go. I also know how fast Jay goes too.

    As for the Tacobell ride, whenever we have to meet a certain time with negative consequences if we miss our checkpoints, I like to make enough time for everyone, in case something happens. We have never ridden south and we’ve never taken the shuttle service. Until we cross the tunnel, I didn’t want to miss our pick-up.

    Well, we missed our pick-up.

    So we waited around for two hours and did our ride finally. This also meant that our exploration of Point Roberts and Tsawwassen was cut short by two hours. We also don’t know how long it would take us to get back, in case there were any problems, like a flat tire or train crossings, etc.

Hanging up on Jenny and ignoring her

    I called up Jenny at around 10:20am and she told me that she was trying to take a dump. She was mumbling on the phone and couldn’t hear her clearly. It trailed off to more mumbling and I said, “Okay, fine, whatever.” and hung up.

    Clearly, I was at fault for hanging up on her for mumbling about her poo to me. Later, Albert told me that Jenny had told me that the distance from Pat’s place to the shutter service is only 7.4km’s. I didn’t hear that at all. I heard something that resembled a woman with a sock in her mouth.

    On the way riding from Point Roberts, Jenny and I stopped at the red light and she asked, “Why are you guys riding so fast?”

    How would she like me to answer that question?

    “Erm, because bike riding is a good sport and exercise that conditions our legs and lungs?”

    Going back on the speeding thing back up there somewhere, all she had to do was be direct with us, “Hey Li, can you guys ride a bit slower?””

    My answer would have been, “Sure. Why don’t you ride in front then?” or if Pat answer, I’m sure he would have said, “Hey Jenny, just ride upfront. We’ll go at a pace you’re comfortable with.”

    Nope, instead of a simple less than 10 second communication, they let their feelings ferment until we arrived at Pat’s place. Apparently, direct, easy-going communication is NOT the way to go. Damn, we’ve all been doing it wrong everyone! We have to learn ESP and FAST!

    How much do courses cost these days? I probably can’t afford it since reading minds isn’t exactly something available just any where.

Tour De Patrick IV – why did I ride so far ahead

    For the first half of the ride, Ryan, Jason and Patrick were riding with Kristina and Jay. I knew they were in good hands. Albert and Jenny were right behind me.

    Let’s say it was the other way around. Patrick and Jason went far ahead of us, I would have stayed back with Kristina, Jay and Ryan instead.

    Simple as that.

    On the way back, why did I ride so fast up with Jason? Jason was itching to ride really fast, so I caught up to him knowing the majority of the group was behind with Patrick. They were in good hands.

    I also rode up ahead, to check distance from King Ed. I was going to ride up to King Ed, rest and head back to check up on Kristina. Not even 2 minutes later, I saw the main group ride up. I even yelled back, “King Ed is up there.” Someone then told me Kristina took off already.

    I thought, that if we were getting late, I would ride back and map out a different route and escort her to her home while everyone kept going. I did the volunteer job of a scouter.

    So what’s the difference between Kristina and Jay versus Albert and Jenny in terms of ‘speeding’ and ‘riding’ ahead? We have no idea what Kristina and Jay’s stamina and strength, as well as gear were. We know what Albert and Jenny’s were. We also knew that Albert was able to ride as fast as Patrick and Jason. We also thought that Jenny was able to keep up, since he was able to at Tour De Patrick and since Albert said she could do the Epic Cove. We also knew that we would eventually stop somewhere and let them catch up. Eg: where we usually stop across the Arthur Liang Bridge.

    At Tacobell, when in Richmond, we knew the Albert knows his way around Richmond. The goal was to get to Pat’s. Pretty simple. If it was Jay or Kristina, we would escort them because they don’t know Richmond nor familiar with Pat’s place.

    Speak of common sense eh?

Why do we like Ryan?

    – he’s laid back and easy-going
    – we can joke with him and he’ll joke back
    – he maybe tactless at times, but with other easy-going people, his tactlessness just allows me to be tactless towards him at the moment – mutual humor
    – he reminds us of a little boy who has a simple outlook on life
    – he may express macho-ness and is soft on the inside, but that doesn’t mean he is pretentious, he is “What you see, is what you get” no bullshit
    – he is open minded to many things
    – like everyone else, he adds his own flavoring

Albert suggested we aren’t so laid back

    If defending ourselves makes us not laid back, then fine, believe whatever he wills it. It seems that for people to be laid-back, we have to be submissive and allow others to step all over us. That’s not being laid back. That’s being passive.

        /ˈpæsɪv/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [pas-iv] Show IPA
      1. not reacting visibly to something that might be expected to produce manifestations of an emotion or feeling.
      2. not participating readily or actively; inactive: a passive member of a committee.

      8. submissive, unresisting.

        /ˈleɪdˈbæk/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [leyd-bak] Show IPA
      –adjective Slang.
      1. relaxed or unhurried: laid-back music rhythms.
      2. free from stress; easygoing; carefree: a laid-back way of living.


    Albert once remarked that he is not a controlling person and that he is pretty indifferent to Ryan. He also said I changed for the worst this year. He also feels that we’ve been segregating him in our rides and hikes. He also thinks that all the little tiny things are a big deal to him and Jenny. He also insists that direct communication is pointless. He insists that we are wrong in our ways.

    When I first reunited with him after years and years since elementary school, it was pretty cool. I knew he was a tense person, but he was a cool guy with a lot ideas. He had a hot temper but was silly at the same time. We could talk for hours on everything.

    Unfortunately, as his schooling took a toll on him, as his work took a toll on him, as his relationship with family, friends and even his girlfriend took a toll on him, he became even worst in temper, became even more anal, even more petty, even more controlling, continued to insist that everyone else is at fault but himself, continued to justify his choices that even Jenny were stressing on. As his once close-friends went their own ways and his newer friends stopped getting back to him, he still insisted that they all go screw themselves.

    I’ve stuck with him for eight and a half years, but the last couple of years made that connection tense up too much. February and March of this year, initiated a spark that topped my tolerance level but fortunately, I just brushed it aside, thinking it would be cool between us from then on.

    Alas, no. The dust in my world, are tiny and they get blown away easily. Yes, there are aspects of Pat, Ryan, Laura and a slew of my friendships that irritated me every now and then, but they are all pretty laid back people who don’t try to corner each other, who don’t ask a billion questions, who aren’t paranoid about every little thing, who gives each other space, who contacts each other to see what’s going on, who somehow can take my apparently selfish and inconsiderate personality.

    That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Albert and Jenny won’t agree with probably most and if not, all of the things I’ve said here, but it doesn’t matter any more. They will always try to corner everyone and force them to submit to him, that he is right.

    What a miserable way to live life.

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11 years ago

It’s too bad Lee. Albert was your best friend along with Jon and Patrick. You two had a good thing going. I always thought and told Angela that you two will make big things together either spiritually or in business. I remember you used to tell me how much that connection meant to you. Knowing you though, pettiness isn’t something you tolerate and reading this, you really brushed it off for too long. I wanted to meet Albert, but there is no chance now.

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