The Watercooler – The Choice For A Deal

Thank you Jonathan for joining me on this story podcast!

Picture credit: @Tamanna Rumee

Music credits: @ SlipySlidy @ SlipySlidy @ SlipySlidy

Edited and created by: Richard Lai

New Music Now – Healing Melodies

Thank you to Rob Fillo for guesting with me on this story podcast!
Rob’s Website:
Rob’s YouTube channel:

Picture Credit: Rob Fillo

Songs used:
Let Go – Rob Fillo
On My Own – Rob Fillo ft. ZuluPanda
Regular Girl [Someone to Hold] – Rob Fillo

Edited and written by Richard Lai

New Music Now – A Mental Rock

Thank you to Bulat Nasibullin for guesting with me on this story podcast!
Bulat’s Website:
Nela Records:

Picture Credit: Bulat Nasibullin

Songs used:
Smell the Smoke – Bulat Nasibullin
Jolene – Bulat Nasibullin (cover of Dolly Parton)
I Chose you – Bulat Nasibullin

Edited and written by Richard Lai


The Best Bubble Tea Places Near Metrotown

Undoubtedly one of my biggest guilty pleasures is a quality cup of milk tea with pearls added in. Trust me, I’ve had a lot of different kinds of bubble tea from all over the world such as Japan, Taiwan, and even on the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.

In my opinion, the best ones come from Taiwan, the birthplace and origin of this chewy drink. If you ever go there, make sure to try out some locally made tapioca pearl drinks. However, some bubble tea places in Burnaby around the Metrotown area are surprisingly very high quality and can certainly hold their own. This is due to the high density of drink shops that have popped up within the past 5 years, establishing lots of competition. With competition, naturally there will be an increase in quality in hopes to become the best around. These are some of my personal favourites.

Rainbow, Katie. ‘Bubble Tea’ 2021.JPG file. / Unsplash

My first pick is Café Eggstatic located in the Crystal Mall. Their specialty is actually not in their drinks, but their uniquely shaped bubble waffles. The combination of a warm crispy waffle and a cup of milk tea is the perfect afternoon snack. Both are easy to hold by hand, but if you order multiple drinks, they give out cartons to help hold them in place.

Next up is also another tiny drink shop also located in the Crystal Mall, named Shiny Tea. Their specialty is the fascinating assortment of bubble tea flavoured desserts! It can range from cheesecakes to ice cream to hot variations on cold days. With so many creative uses of the bubble tea flavour, they are definitely a memorable location.

This one is actually located within Metrotown itself, called Chatime. The standout menu item that I get every time is the Brown Sugar Pearl Milk. At first you might think “it’s just milk and no tea, I can make that at home”, but the star of the show are the brown sugar pearls. The flavour seeps into the milk creating a sweet combination that you are guaranteed to finish in record time.

What are your bubble tea orders of choice?

Jeopardy! – More Than Just a Game Show

The year is 2009, my preteen self is sitting in the living room at 6:30 PM sharp anxiously waiting for my favourite game show to come on. That show is Jeopardy! At the time, I could only get about two answers correct throughout the show’s 61 total questions. My parents who barely knew any English would watch along with me, saying that if I managed to get a question correct for that day I could get 1 hour of computer time. Even though I took a brief hiatus from watching Jeopardy! for a majority of the 2010s, I came back to the show in 2019 and fell in love with its captivating format once again.

The premise of the game show is very simple: 3 contestants looking at a board of 30 clues, from 6 different categories and 5 different money values. However, in the first round, also named the Jeopardy! round, there is one spot on the board which contains the Daily Double. This can be used to let the contestant double their winnings if they choose to, and accumulate a massive lead. Similarly, in the second round known as the Double Jeopardy! round, there are now two Daily Doubles hidden within the 30 clues. Finally, the last clue known as Final Jeopardy! is the concluding opportunity to double your score, given that your response is correct. Most people who play on Jeopardy! make relatively safe bets during these doubling chances, but there have been a select few who like to go all in. 

In 2019, an unassuming sports gambler began rampaging through Jeopardy! in ways that have never been done before. His name was James Holzhauer. He bet all of his money at almost every opportunity, and broke over 20 records in his 32-game run, nearly breaking the regular season money record. Currently at the time of writing, another super streaker named Matt Amodio has been making a name for himself by not only breaking James’ record of 32 games, but doing so in dominating fashion. Currently, Matt is on a 38-game streak.

Will he be able to beat the 74-game record set by Ken Jennings in 2004?




The Importance of Drinking Water

Before you keep reading this, I want you to get up and go get a glass of water right now. Nope, I don’t care if you’re already drinking one. Get more! Okay, now that you’re sipping on water, you should know that in the time that you got up to get a glass and come back to your laptop, your body has delivered oxygen to your brain, allowing you to perform that action of standing up in the first place.

You might have heard of people saying that we need an upwards of 3 liters of water per day for an adult body. But most of that water is consumed in other ways and hidden in our meals throughout the day. That salad you ate for lunch? There’s tons of water in that. The mushroom soup for dinner? It’s basically mushrooms in water. Despite all these water sources you’re ingesting, you still need to drink water separately in its pure form. In my opinion, there’s no real “fixed” amount you should be drinking per day. Just make sure you’ve got a jug ready and make a habit of emptying that jug by the end of the day.

Bluewater Sweden, ‘Tap Water’ 2021.JPG file. / Unsplash

The widespread benefits of drinking lots of water is well known, such as skin health, blood pressure regulation, and aiding our digestive system. But did you know that all water you’re drinking has existed ever since icy comets came to earth billions of years ago? Yes, the water you’re drinking may have been the urine of dinosaurs. It’s just been filtered over and over again. Don’t worry, our bodies are made up of 60% water so we have evolved to require it. So if you spat out water at that sentence, I am truly sorry.

One last thing: if you live in a place with clean water such as Vancouver, your tap water at home is perfectly fine to drink. No need to boil or filter – just drink it!

Today is World Teachers’ Day – Thank You Teachers

All around the world on October 5th, we celebrate World Teachers’ Day. The reason why this specific day was chosen is because back in 1966, UNSESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was adopted to aid teachers in knowing their rights to bring awareness to their importance in educating people of all ages. What makes someone a teacher exactly? By definition, a teacher is someone who educates another in any shape or form, it doesn’t matter if you have a PhD in Educational Studies or a 7th grade tutor, you are a teacher.

Mossholder, Tim. ‘Love to Learn’ 2019.JPG file. / Unsplash

Being a teacher means so much more than just simply educating others, they are role models. Children spend more than 6 hours at school, 5 days a week, which is more than 36% of their waking hours being in close proximity with teachers. They are essential to the growth of children all around the world are time and time again severely underappreciated. Especially in the era of online and remote school, teachers are burdened with the task of delivering the same quality content as if it were in-person, but without the joys of offline characteristics. The next time you meet your teacher in person or send them an email, just take some time to tell them how much they are appreciated, and let your peers know as well.

Currently, I am in post-secondary with a collection of wonderful teachers, and I could not have asked for more. I just wanted to give each of them a shout-out for their continued devotion to this program: Adnan, Brian, Gord, Dr. Ike, Kathryn, Kevin, Marlize, Martin, Paul, Rachael, Todd, and most of all, Dennis. You’ve all turned my education into quite an enjoyable experience and I certainly would not have stayed in the program if not for all the continued support from my teachers.

So thank you.

I Took Care of a Shiba Inu for 3 Days

When my father asked my family whether we wanted to help look after a Shiba Inu or not, I was reluctant. His friend was going on a Golfing Trip for three days and needed someone to look after their Shiba Inu, named Luna. I had never owned any kind of pet before and was wary of the responsibilities. But after I saw a picture of Luna, my heart melted at just how cute she was.

Lai, Richard ‘Luna’ 2021 JPG file. / Original Picture

Over the days of June 27 to June 30 earlier this summer, Luna came into our lives. Perhaps the biggest change in my lifestyle after having her in our house was waking up at 6 AM every day to walk her. Since I was responsible for morning walks, I had to get out of bed 3 hours earlier than I usually did during summertime. As we all know, when it comes to walking the dog, picking up after their wastes is a requirement as well. I won’t go into the specific details, but lets just say the record-breaking heat wave at the time didn’t help.

After getting home from a walk, we also needed to clean her paws before she could enter the house. During the day, we fed her 3 times and kept her water bowl filled at all times. There needed to be someone at home to look after her at all times, and almost everyone in my family was busy during that week. Thankfully, I was the only one who didn’t have any schedules during those three days I spent the most time with Luna.

All those tough routines that come with owning a dog are well worth it. Luna was so playful and cute, we would spend hours in the backyard just chasing each other around. After we returned Luna to her owner, I missed her so much. I think if I ever wanted to get a dog, it would definitely be a Shiba Inu.

The Ever-Growing Marvel Cinematic Universe (Or Multiverse?)

It’s the record-breaking movie franchise that nearly everyone has heard about: The Marvel Cinematic Universe. This unprecedented collection of interconnected movies has single-handedly revived the passion of waiting anxiously for a trailer to drop, or going to theatres with friends, and perhaps most important of all, staying for the post-credit scenes. At the time of writing, the MCU has released 25 blockbuster films and 4 TV shows streaming on their streaming platform, Disney+. They are slated to release 2 more films and 1 more TV show before the end of 2021.

“The worst-kept secret in Hollywood” – this is the term that fans have been using to describe some rumors regarding the upcoming Spider-Man film, releasing in December this year. Officially titled Spider-Man: No Way Home, it stars Tom Holland as the titular character of Peter Parker. However, ever since Disney announced that some villains from previous Spider-Man franchises were returning in this film (with the same actors who played them previously), rumors began rapidly circulating that previous incarnations of Spider-Men were appearing as well. These include Tobey Maguire’s version from the 2003-2007 trilogy, as well the Andrew Garfield’s version from the 2012-2014 The Amazing Spider-Man films. When the teaser trailer for the film dropped in late August, the rumors of a multiverse event taking place was all but confirmed.

The release of the Spider-Man: No Way Home teaser trailer broke the record for the most-viewed movie trailer in 24 hours, at 355.5 million views across all platforms. Previously, the record was held by none other than Avengers: Endgame at 289 million views. The previous two renditions of Spider-Man from 2003 and 2012 are not set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but with the help of some spells (and lots of money), the chances of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield appearing in this film is at an all time high.

Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe about to become a Marvel Cinematic Multiverse?