Monday, December 19, 2005

Prompt Delivery, Pre hole-punched paper, Tech geeks, Mail, Highly Anticipated Phone Calls

Today I have gratitude for…

~Prompt Delivery: My previous experience with Scholastic book orders have been quite bad. It took over 3 weeks for my order to come in. This month’s order came in one week, so it was a marked improvement. I could give students books that they ordered before the holiday break. I even have books I can read this week in class too!

~Pre Hole-Punched Paper: I did all the photocopying for January today. The paper all goes into duo-tangs and my goodness, I now know that I need to buy pre-punched paper. With at a sheet of paper for each letter of the alphabet for all the students, I ended up using 3 packages of paper. I had to hole-punch about 1500 sheets, in total, for all the students in class all by hand. My hand was hurting so badly by the end of it all. I will invest next time in pre hole-punched paper. Lesson learned!

~Tech Geeks: A co-worker suggested using power point for the carol singing that I’m leading with 2 other teachers. Having watched the session of singing this morning, I now have an idea on how to improve make it better. It should be much more dynamic than using an overhead projector. It is much better than my experience of barely able to see the flip chart when I was little. I can’t wait to try set some standard to great carol singing.

~Mail: I got a Christmas card in the mail today. It was totally unexpected and was very excited to see mail that wasn’t a bill.

~Highly Anticipated Phone Calls: I don’t think I’ve had been so excited about any single phone call for the longest time. I emailed this new boy before the weekend, and sent a text message on Friday. He was in New York over the weekend, and apparently, he called me as soon as he landed at the airport. I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to get a response, but it was worth the wait. He called while I was tutoring, so I had to call him back unfortunately, but boy did that one phone call put a grin on my face. We have a date this coming Thursday.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Weekends, Orthodontist, Space Channel

Today I have gratitude for…

~Weekends: Not having to do anything in particular is so nice. Wake up when I please, and do nothing important. Love it. I ended up cleaning up my desk and organizing parts of my room. Not clean, but less cluttered now at least.

~Orthodontist: At the party yesterday, someone commented on my teeth. I thank the good doctor every time someone comments on them. The party guest who made the comment suggested I should do some modeling. Maybe I should do something to make some extra money in terms of my teeth.

~Space Channel: I was channel surfing and found a Star Trek movie playing. I hadn’t seen it in a few years, so fun! I’m going to need to buy/download some of the movies to watch them again.

Costco, Naps, Newsgroups

Today I have gratitude for…

~Costco: They have such a nice collection of books! And cheap too! I have to go more often. We bought a lot of paper products from them today…tissue, toilet paper, paper towels. All in bulk of course! I think we are set for the next 6 months!

~Naps: I can’t believe how nice naps are. Well, I do know how nice they are, the only problem is that I forget to wake up from them. I had a party to attend at 7pm. I took at nap at 2:30pm, thinking I’ll wake up in an hour and still do stuff around the house first before I get ready for the party. I woke up at 6:30pm! But man did it feel good! I had only gotten about 5 hours the night before, so this nap was much needed.

~Newsgroups: I found out how to speed up my downloads! It had been so slow lately because the ISP is throttling the download speeds. I’m glad I found a work around.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Fresh Snow, Winter Gloves, Party Invitations, Fast Taxi Drivers, Falling Asleep

Things I have gratitude for…

~Fresh snow: I had so much fun with my class outside playing in the snow yesterday. It made me very tired, but it was so much fun. One boy made a “snow tent” which was basically a hold he had dug in the ground and he lay in it. I think it was suppose to be more like a burrow than a tent, but he insisted it was a “snow tent”.

~Winter Gloves: While playing outside, a boy had not put on his snow pants correctly and it let snow get into his boots. As I tried to fix the problem, I had to take off my gloves and with the boy standing in the snow, and my bare fingers trying to fix the snow pant, my hands were basically in the snow. Even on a mild day, having my skin touch the snow even just for a few seconds made my hands so cold, it became unbearable very quickly. I’m glad I have winter gloves!

~Party invitations: I got to go to a party last night. I had such a nice time chatting with new people. Parties are so fun, especially house parties. Too many straights there, but it was manageable. I have another party to attend tomorrow, mostly straights I think. I will survive.

~Fast Taxi drivers: I was on the bus last night and I had fallen asleep. Someone woke me up as the bus was going out of service. I had obviously missed my stop at 1:10am! This is the first time it has happened so late at night. I had missed one stop before, but not to the point where I had no idea where I was! It was a bit freaky actually. I eventually got my bearings and found out the next bus wasn’t coming for another 20 minutes. It was damn cold! I wasn’t too far from home really, but not walk-able either. I called the taxi company I had put into my cell phone (in case of emergencies) and they arrived in about 10 minutes. I’m so grateful for cab that came so quickly and drove me home in 5 minutes. It was a $10 well spent!

~Falling asleep: Sometimes my body doesn’t feel tired enough to sleep, even though I’m really tired. I’m have gratitude for days when I’m so dead tired that I just lie down and sleep. It feels so good. If only I don’t wake up at 8am automatically!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Staff with Cars, Things Children Say, PD, More PD, Invention of Snow Blowers

Today I have gratitude for…

~Staff with cars: In a big snow storm, I’m so grateful to a staff member who offered to drive me home. It would have taken so long to go by bus. I drive people where I can when I have one, so I’m glad it’s like passing on the goodness 

~Things children say: Children are so funny. Today, there was bananas for snack, and some of the children recognized that we could sing the banana song. So the CD was put in, and a child said “that CD sounds just like you!”. Of course, the CD was made by me, and all the songs were sung by me too!

~Professional Development: the VP at my school is offering workshops on classroom management. Lots of things being talked about, and many things that are considered good practice, I’m doing, or at least know about. I’m looking forward to learning more strategies

~More professional Development: We had a workshop after school on bullying. It was fascinating, but really took me aback at how complex bullying is, and how it is not a simple solution to prevent and deal with these problems. Social bullying is so complex in its manifestations and solutions that my brain is beginning to hurt just thinking about it. I’m glad we will get more information on this topic.

~Invention of snow blowers: We have a lot of snow in the city tonight. I’m so glad someone invented them. I’m so glad we will be getting one! Too bad not in time for this storm though.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Alan Shore, E.A.s, Snow Boots, Food Network Search, Opportunities

Today I’m feel gratitude for…

~Alan Shore: I can’t get enough of this lawyer on Boston Legal. I really enjoy his way of dealing with life, and the strategies he use in court. Yes, I know, he’s a fictional character, but there is just something about him and the cases that he takes on that is just so appealing.

~Education Assistants: There was a lot of snow today, and I’m so glad that my E.A. was around today. By the time school started, only 7 staff was in the school. There was some havoc among the teachers, but everything went well without a hitch. Without my E.A., I can’t possibly help 27 students with boots and jackets. OY! There are just so many coats!

~Snow boots: with all that snow today, I’m glad I got a new pair of boots that are actually warm and tall enough not to let in snow from the top. I’m really looking forward to playing outside with the children tomorrow in the snow!

~Food network search: I needed a dip for the staff party next week, and all I did was type in “dip” and voila! I got 158 hits with just one typed word into the search engine. Simply amazing! I decided on “Grilled Garlic Eggplant Dip” and “Onion Dip from Scratch”.

~Opportunities for work: my VP today asked if she can recommend me to some principals for work in the afternoon. I was hesitant to say yes, because I’m still hoping for an afternoon position at the school I’m at now. Hopefully I’ll find out soon about any changes. *fingers crossed*

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Perspective, Afternooons Off, Parents who..., LED Lights, Teaching Parnter

Things I have gratitude for today...

~The child’s perspective: A girl in my class told me that there was too much paper in the toilet. So I asked her what will happen. She said “the toilet will choke”, as if it needed to breath. So cute!

~Afternoons off: Although working half time is a pain because of the lack of money, it’s also great because I have time to set up and clean my class (mostly my desk really) in the afternoons. I get some work done with the students not there, and put up art and set up for the next day. It just never seems to be enough time

~Parents who let their children put try to put on coats and stuff: It certainly is a time saver when the children put on their outside gear by themselves. I have to save 15 minutes everyday to get read for home. It takes about the same for all of them to get in the door too. Of a 2.5 hour program, 30 mins is gone everyday in the winter time. It’s quite extraordinary actually. Let your children try to put on their gear! It takes longer at first, but once they get it, it’s so much faster!

~LED Lights: I bought 2 strings of it for myself. I put it up by the headboard of my bed. It adds a nice atmosphere to the room, especially when the lights are turned off. I may keep them up all year actually. Very Pretty! Very Expensive!

~My teaching partner next door: She is so wonderful. We talk every morning and just debrief. It is usually nothing too important all the time, maybe to gripe about something happening, or share ideas about programming. I love talking to her everyday.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Music, My Mentor, Voice Mail, Friends Downtown, Sleep

Things I have gratitude for...

~Music: Went to hear Singing OUT, such great music all done by LGBTQ singers

~My Mentor: Koji invites me to all these neat cultural events for the arts. I really miss going to see theatre and shows, so maybe I'll start going more often when I make a bit more money.

~Voice Mail: As I got off the subway last night, I picked up my voice mail, thinking it was my parents calling to tell me come home early. To my surprise, it wasn't my parents, but rahter, it was Paul H, the boy I'm currently interested in. It made me smile to hear from him. I had sent him a text message earlier in the day.

~Friends Downtown: I finished dinner downtown and weren't ready to go home yet, so I stopped by a friend's place to hang out for a bit. No pre-planning, just called and stopped in. So nice that way. I can't wait to live downtown.

~Sleep: It feels so good to actually get a full night's rest. I have a problem sleeping more than 6-7 hours when I am still tired when I wake up. Naps have been filling in the rest of the sleep that I need.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Gratitude Journal: People Online, Computer Skills, Fast Bus Drivers, Excited Children, Walking

I heard about this from Oprah, from all people, and thought I should try it.

The idea is to write 5 things every day that you were greatful for. Lets see how long I can keep this up.

~Meeting nice people from online: I recently met a very cute boy from online, and maybe something will come of it :)

~Computer skills: I helped fix John's computer with some computer geeks' help. Feel very accomplished to be able to use DOS.

~Quick bus drivers: Getting home in under an hour from downtown with a quick bus driver at the wheel

~Seeing children excited: Worked at a holiday party where Santa was there. Watched every child go see Santa and have a beaming smiling face as they finish talking to her.

~I walked ALOT yesterday... my leg hurts now, but it was good excercise. Walked to get flowers, walked to get food from a variety of vendors... just alot of walking!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

the good and the ugly

It’s the beginning of November and I’m just starting to get my classroom really organized. I had scrounged around the school and found a drying rack available, so I put it in my room for paper. I am really excited that I have to have the huge stacks of paper in the closet somewhere, piled up on top of each other. It is extremely difficult to take out when in a hurry.

I even got my art centre all organized so that the students have easy access to all the creative tools in the classroom. A literature sorter from Staples helped lots with organizing smaller pieces of construction paper. I may need another one to provide options of materials. I even bought a large plastic drawer system to store scraps of construction paper and stuff.

Meanwhile, my desk has gone totally out the window with the amount of stuff I have on it. The past few days, I’ve been at school until 5:30 just reorganizing stuff. I have tried to make the student space more live-able and have been delaying my desk area.

Report cards are due to be submitted into the office in 2 weeks. I have yet to start them. The major obstacle is the fact that I can’t sit down for even a few seconds to access the students in my class. Today, I sat down for about 5 seconds with a student to read with her, and the interruptions from other students just started. The student I was with waited and waited, and I really never got back to read with her today. Last week, I had 10 students away, and I actually got 6 alphabet assessments done with them in one day. Now that everyone is in class, it’s nearly impossible to do any further assessments. I’ve requested some consultation with the VP for suggestions on how I can assess with such a busy class. I’m not sure how much help it will be, for it will provide very little time to compile the data I will need/want.

It’s actually quite frustrating in the class right now. Last week, we had many students away, and found that it was quite manageable and relaxing to be in the class. In comparison to this week, it has been very crazy the whole day and the attention seeking behaviours are extremely prevalent with 26 students.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Double Whammy

I just found out that my class will not be reduced in numbers this year. Some technical paper shuffling apparently prevented the school from getting an extra 0.5 teacher in the school. This leaves me in a position to really look for another job now. I was looking forward to doing the LTO in the morning and working in the afternoon, but now that is out the window. I would have had, at least, almost full time pay. Now the next step is to hope that when the LTO ends in December, a contract position opens up for January. Things just went from bad, to worst…

Tears to disappointment to relief

I didn’t get the job. AGAIN! The whole idea of having a full time job was so appealing, and it didn’t matter what the conditions would have been. It would have been a team teaching situation, so I wouldn’t have as much control as I prefer, but also would have provided time to really perfect a program. I talked to my principal today, and she was reluctant to let me go, which is a good thing. I will be likely taking a half position with a smaller class, which would be more ideal to work with.

The good side of this whole thing is that I get to stay with my staff and most of the same students. There is still a possibility of the LTO being extended after December, but that is up in the air. If something I loose the morning job after December, I would have to look to another school to take a half time position. It was one of my worst fears to be in a situation where I would have to commute between two schools.

Alas, the right job will arrive at the right time… things are just getting so complex.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tears of excitement?

Is there such a thing? Tears of excitement. I had an interview today at a school close to downtown. It is for a Kindergarten class that could be full or half time. I’m hoping for the full time. I was so excited about this interview that I was literally up at 3am this morning. There are complications of course. My current position is a LTO, so I’m allowed under the collective agreement to jump into a permanent position. The problem lies with reorganization. There may be a half position opening at my current school due to the large class size, but I haven’t heard anything official just yet. If a full position comes up, I will take it. If a half positions comes up at the new school, I will likely have to decline it unless my school doesn’t plan on hiring me on as the half teacher. Everything is up in the air until I find out tomorrow if the new school wants me as a full or half time teacher.

As I was leaving the principal’s office, we talked about references, and he actually knows one of my references personally. I almost did a happy dance right there. This reference is one of my mentor teachers who I just adore and can trust her experience and expertise. I called her immediately to tell her the news. She volunteered to call the principal at school to give her reference. After hanging up the phone with her, I got all teary eyed, because there is a real possibility that I could have a full time job starting next week! Crazy isn’t it? I will probably get a week to get things ready for the next teacher, and say my goodbyes to the staff, students and family. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but its hard not to think about it.

The principal in this school started as a primary teacher, and I think he likes the idea of hiring a male Kindergarten teacher. Not sure if the other candidates are male though. I was on the short list of 4, out of the 50 or so applicants. WOW…I know that people say it’s WHO you know, and I hope WHO I know gets my foot in this door!

I won’t be able to sleep tonight…

*Does a cautiously optimistic happy dance*

Friday, October 07, 2005

Hiring Drama

I am so excited. On Tuesday night, there was a new batch of job postings online. I didn’t hesitate to apply for them, though I did ask for input from my other teaching friends. Since I’m doing a LTO right now, I have the option to move into a contract position at any time. So today, I got a call from a principal asking if I would be available for an interview on Tuesday. I jumped at the opportunity. He did mention that even though it was posted as a full contract position, he might decide to make it a half position, as he currently has a really good LTO in the school. Here’s where the drama comes in. The school I am at right now might be opening up a new class because of the class sizes, and that will mean there will be a half time contract position at the school. If both principal offers me a half position, it will be a very difficult choice to pick one. If this new school offers me a full position, I would have to jump to the new school. So I’m excited to have this opportunity for a full position, I just hope I’m enticing enough to be a full time person at this school I’m interviewing at.

School now: 15 minutes away from home. I know the students already. I like the staff
Interviewing school: close to downtown, 1 hour away, new staff and students, close to my future home (see condo blog).

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I have been foiled once already by the union, and now maybe another time. I was suppose to attend a professional development conference for my other job as a facilitator in a father’s program. I had planned to attend this conference for months! My work in the school board however, foiled my attendance. I’m suppose to work 15 full days before I’m considered a Long Term Occasional (LTO) in the board. So right now, I’m technically a supply teacher who does everything. As of last Friday, it was my 10th day. If I had gone to the conference last Friday, I would have had to start my 15 days again. The major problem to this is the pay. LTOs get a lot more pay than supply teachers, I would be losing almost a month of extra money because of this. Of course, it is the union that has put me into this position. As unions like to have things stated very clearly and precise, and school boards have to sign off on it, there is zero flexibility at all. This coming Friday will be my 15th day, and there is a board wide workshop for all beginning teachers. I signed up for this workshop a week and a half ago, giving my notice to the administration to sort out a supply teacher. I was told today, that I would loose my LTO status if I decided to still attend. I understand the position that it is in the contract, but it defeats the purpose of these workshops if people who are suppose to be teaching a class long term don’t get the PD they are entitled to until they get this “status”. So frustrating! Working on a work-around though…

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Meet the creature night

My first meet the teacher night (now called curriculum night) was mostly successful. I have about 7 families show up in total. Not many questions for me, I guess that’s a good sign, I was thorough enough?? I felt I gave a pretty dry explanation of Kindergarten though…not really sure if they understood it all or not. I was done in less than 20 minutes with my little talk. As I let them all go, I realized I should have gotten them to look at the art in the room that we spent so much time working on! Drats! Next time I’ll remember! 2 extra hours at night, and 7 out of 27 families show up. Great.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Have you ever…

Have you ever gone to work and by the end of the day, wonder to yourself, why on earth am I doing this? What makes me really qualified to do this?? Why did I think this would be fun?

The realities of teaching has started to set in. This is the first day that the weather has not been sunny. It rained basically all day. My morning Kindergarten class were off the wall. I felt as if I had lost a degree of control over the class. With all my experiences, rarely have I felt this distress.

In the afternoon, I supplied for a grade 4 class, which was not any better. In fact, was much worst in terms of behaviour. I barely made it through the afternoon with my sanity intact.

As I prepare to start on my own on Monday, the class is still not set up the way I want it to be, nor do I have plans for next week. It feels as if all my years of training for this job is just slipping by and not sticking. I have some ideas, but at times, I feel as if I’m in over my head.

Even with the assistance of an E.A., the current class of 26 students is craziness as it is. Starting on Monday, I will get one more! The more the merrier right? Even if the class shrunk by 6 students, it would make a world of difference. There are enough children in the room already considering the age.

Do I have second thoughts…yes. Will I survive…I hope so!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Downtown living…signed and sealed!

So it’s finalized. The cooling period is now officially over, and in a little over 2 years, I will be a proud first time home owner of a downtown condo unit. Now, all I need is a steady job to pay for this sucker… still pending on permanent position.

Some options being discussed actually including renting the place out for an unspecified amount of time. This will hopefully offset some of the costs as well as facilitate the process of actually saving some money to start. Over the course of two years, I could save enough for a new car, or buy a parking spot in the building and a used car. Or I could put that money into savings. Even graduate studies if I wished, but that will require even more money to support myself while not in a salary earning position.

As exciting as having money is though, having freedom can also be rather exciting. Will I be able to survive another 4 years (instead of the planned 3)? Is the extra year going to be worth the wait in the end?

Like everything else…only time will tell.

First day of school

Although I didn’t have a class of my own to attend on the first day of school, I went to help out my friend Matt at his first class. There are just so many little things that need to be done and not enough time to do them, especially when only given a short amount of time to set it all up.

I had a blast working in Matt’s grade 1 class. It really is hard to work under pressure and still try implementing best practices. I gave many suggestions on how to make things run smoothly, but all of those were merely reminders to things he already knows already.

All the best to my fellow colleagues in their very first class.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Paper Chef 10

After a long, over-extended period of time, I finally got to hang out with PM again. Boy did I have a fun time. I had gone over after finalizing some things with the new condo with my parents and the developer.

PM told me about this online version of the iron chef and the requirements and I was instantly intrigued. We had spent the next 20-30 minutes talking over possibilities on how to incorporate the theme ingredients as well as how to present the dish so that it is as appealing as possible.

We came up with: Beer pork and shrimp ‘New Orleans’ Siu Mei

Here are photos of what we made:

PM's Blog can be viewed here.

Friday, September 02, 2005

And so it begins…

I will likely be writing about my work quite a bit now that I have some work to do instead of sitting at home, watching cooking and interior decorating shows!

I went in today for the first time. I got some memos to read and went over some students’ Ontario Student Records (OSRs) for the SKs in the class. I was really surprised that most of them hadn’t gone into childcare at some point or to a drop in program in the area. I’ll have to talk to the Early Years coordinators to see if that can change in this community. Students who have gone in to childcare or to a drop in program are much more prepared for school because they’ve had to learn social skills before going into school.

Then I found out that the class was going to have 27 students!!! OMG! Am I in for a shock or what!?! The good thing is that there will likely be an E.A. in the room as well. But still, a primary class with any more than 20 students are just a disaster waiting to happen. The teacher ends up just making sure everyone is safe and it is not a zoo, instead of doing any actual teaching. It will be a very interesting time, that’s for sure. The PM class will have 26.

I asked the principal what would happen if both classes remain this high, or higher, and she said she will likely need to open another class. I asked because I’m hoping I would get the half time position in the afternoon. Unfortunately, another teacher in the school has already put in her wishes for a Kindergarten class. My future is really up in the air right now, which does drive me nuts, but at least I know I’ll be working until December in the mornings.

I will NOT be working the first day of school though. The teacher going on leave will be settling in the students on her own, then she’ll call me in when she feels comfortable to have me around. I really wished I was able to be there the first day, however, I understand the teacher wants her own space. I’m really excited about seeing the students!

I helped the teacher set up a little in her room (a little bit, by putting up some corkboard paper), and tried to stay out of her way while she does her stuff. I got the grand tour of the school as well. My position is rather limited since I’m only there in the morning, but it will give me a chance to supply in the afternoon and get to know the school a bit better. I might even take up an Additional Qualifications (AQ) course during the school year, since I have the time. I would prefer to be working, of course, so I’ll have to see how that goes.

The trials and tribulations of a first year teacher continues…

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I finally caught one!

Getting a job is quite an exciting proposition. I finally got one! After months of work, rather, sitting, it has finally paid off. After 6 interviews, 5 declines, 1 offer and 1 acceptance, I now have a job for September. It is a long term occasional (LTO) position in JK/SK in the morning. I will be contracted to be there from September to the end of December, with a possibility of an extension. The sweetest part of the deal is that I don’t have to set up a classroom the day before school starts. The teacher going on leave has already set up the classroom and will even be there in class for the first two weeks! I’ll be starting the year with her and getting time to watch before I really start on my own. The principal did warn that the school is considered “inner city” meaning, the students and families can be more of a challenge than other places, and the class will be boy heavy. I forgot to ask about educational assistants, but it should be ok. There will be approximately 24 students. It is a pretty big class actually. I’m hoping that the numbers will go high enough to open a new class. But who knows. I will probably be taking some odd supply teaching jobs until I can find more permanent work within this school or other places.

This is the first interview that ended with the vice-principal chasing and calling after me to come back to the office to offer me the job! I thought that was quite amusing.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Pending pending pending

OMG…its so stressful. SO close, yet possibly so far away. It’s now up to my dad to agree to help out in this condo project. If he doesn’t agree to it, the whole thing might go up in smoke. He doesn’t think the condo market will last long enough. He think the real estate bubble will pop soon.

There just isn’t enough down payment available to get it off the ground. The anxiety is just too high these days. The condo being a possibility, the not being a possibility. Job interviews that all fall through. School starting in 6 days with no job in sight. Its so discouraging.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Condo Living

I can’t believe what just happened. My mother decided to purchase a condo downtown!!!

As of Aug 27, 2005, my mother signed the papers to purchase a condo. There is still 10 days cooling off period, where it could all go wrong. We have to wait for mortgage approval and such, but otherwise, it is a go! The condo is slated for residency for September 2007, but the floor I’m on will likely move in around January 2008.

There have been so many things going through my mind. Looking at the floor plans, and the model suites, I have started dreaming of design ideas for the space. I am soo excited! The options are quite endless and rather scary actually. I’ve been corresponding with Rachel, my boss, about design ideas and things to think about. I’ll probably hire her to help me pick colours and design a functional space for my purposes.

There are some major things I would like to change in the unit, but financial restraints might put a stop to those. One of which is to optimize the kitchen a bit better. Right now, the kitchen is gally style, which is fine, but the sink is on the far end of the gally, then the stove, then the fridge. I read that it is best to have the sink beside the fridge for easy produce washing, followed by the stove on the other side of the sink. This move could be costly because of the external vent to the stove, as well as changing pipes and cabinet design below. I’ll live with it if it comes to be, but I would be nice to have that change.

Furniture placement will be an interesting one, for there isn’t much wall space. Most of the space is taken up by the huge floor to ceiling windows in a 45 degree arc across the unit. I only have 2 walls in the living area to use for an office and entertainment. It’s a tight squeeze, but I’m sure some design solution will be found to suit the space.

I’m holding my breath for the 10 days to pass quickly and with no hiccups. It will be thoroughly disappointing if this fell through. Even though I had not expected to move out in 27 months, the idea of it is just too thrilling.

Fingers crossed for this project as well as a job…

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Condo Shopping

The idea of going shopping for a condo is so exciting. I’ve been dreaming of living on my own for quite awhile now, and today, my mother is going with me and a real-estate agent to look at a new development. It’s a one bedroom (I really want a 1+den) but who am I kidding, I’ll take what I can get for now! It’s a weird layout since it is on a corner and has rounded windows all around. It basically looks like a quarter cut out of a circle. Mom had to convince me of furniture placement before I would go ahead on it, because there is so little wall space, finding a good place to put my office area is a challenge. I need a desk and lots of storage space for books and stuff.

Its all in the works and there is always a chance it will fall through. Who knows what will happen, but the idea of it is too exciting. I’ve gone out this week and bought two interior design books to start getting ideas on what I would like to see. Before long (if this thing goes through), I’ll have to go to the warehouse to pick colours and fittings and appliances for this place! YIKES! I have already been doing some email consulting with my boss from one of the places I work. She’s just so helpful and fabulous!

Fingers, toes, eyes crossed!!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tedium to the extreme

For the past month I’ve been basically sitting at home doing not too much. Today, I actually woke up at 6 in the morning for no apparent reason other than not being tired. Sitting at my desk all day really doesn’t tire me out enough to sleep a full eight hours apparently. I’ve watched 3 movies today already! I’m trying to clear my hard drive of movies so I can make room for more!

This whole summer, I have felt as if I haven’t seen many of my friends often at all. With everyone working, no one really has time to hang out. Not really available in person, not really online either. I find myself talking to people who I don’t really know more than my friends now. It seems that most people I started talking to online have since gotten off the web altogether or are online so rarely that I rarely see them anyway.

Lost another job today also…the school found a better candidate, but the principal sounded very pleased with my interview and has promised to keep me in mind when other postings come up in the future.

I felt like baking cookies today and it turn out mostly burnt. I even used the silpat I bought months ago for the first time. Thank goodness nothing stuck, for the bottoms were all charred. I lost two batches to an over heated oven, but my last batch turned out quite nice. Next time I know… 350C for 15 mins instead of 375 for 10 mins! Very yummy chocolate chip cookies though! No one around to eat them with me though…

Monday, August 15, 2005

Ready! Freddy!... I think

It turns out that neither mister T or myself was completely ready to start anything in terms of relationships. He is dealing with his baggage and so am I. I am happy that we are still friends though. He brings a healthy and reflective element to my life. I have however come to a realization that I need to bite the bullet and just let the opportunities to arise. It is fun to play around. I think that seeing someone is much more rewarding, but I am still leaning to have an option for some degree of openness. I am not really sure where things will go. After two years of singledom, having two potentials that went into friendship, I find, it’s just a hard thing to find a good match.

Hunting for work

It’s really more like waiting for work to come up. The process of finding a teaching position is quite frustrating. No principles are working over the summer, so any phone calls or faxes won’t even be looked at. At two weeks before school starts up again in September, only a small handful of jobs are available. Most of these jobs are half time or in upper junior grades. The full time job I was interviewed for went to a classmate who would be a great teacher. I am happy that at least I lost a job to someone very competent, rather than some other Joe blow. I was interviewed for a half time position today and I am not certain if I will take it. Two of my teaching friends have suggested I holdout for a full time position. There are no guarantees that any primary positions that come up in the days leading up to September will be full time either. There are also possibilities of any position to be redundant due to unexpected lower numbers and attrition. In that case I could be transferred to another school with a grade I don’t want. Anything can happen in the next few weeks. The notion of not knowing what is going to happen is rather frightening. My fingers are crossed to find a full time job for September; otherwise, it goes to supply teaching and long term occasional positions. Some LTOs turn into full time jobs, but there are nothing that are for sure there either.

How many can you take at a time?

I was hurrying down the stairs a the subway station today and saw the man in front of me taking two steps at a time down while I took one. For some reason, I don’t feel comfortable enough to take that many steps going down. I can take two steps while going up though. How many steps can you take going down stairs?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Internet meetings

There is a new boy, T, in my life. Nothing concrete just yet but he is relationship track, super cute, has a career and seems genuinely interested. We had a very nice lunch and went to Milliken Park to walk around until we sat in a shady spot by the lake under a tree. We discussed our love for playing scrabble and going for excursions to the island. I'm cautiously optimistic about this one. He is the only real potential interest that has come into my life since PM. Mind you, I have just met T once so far. I am really excited about the potential. I'm hoping he will take my mind off PM too. I asked to kiss him in the park. It was so nice. I wished I had more time to spend with him. Here's hoping for a new stage in my life.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


In the current happenings around me, I found this article particularly interesting in content and timing.

Metro Article; July 5, 2005

Just ignore the blantant heterosexist examples.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Job foiled

I got a call around 9:30am that I didn’t get the job for the first interview. I’m a little bummed about that, because the school had what I wanted and was at a reasonable distance to my home.

Now I’ve set up my computer to send faxes to all the schools with any Kindergarten, Grade 1 or 2 or any combination of those out. It’s been a long time since I heard the modem go off, but glad I have one, because faxing over the internet costs money. Faxing is very slow, but at least its automated after I punch in the phone numbers.

Here’s hoping something else (better) comes out of this horrid job search experience. The fax machines are probably dying now, from the thousands of faxes its receiving from all the graduates from the faculties of education on this last day of school before the summer holiday.

Employment Opportunities

At around 11pm on Tuesday evening, I was doing my usual check of the TDSB hiring page, to see if there are any new updates. In fact, I check everyday, even though they suggest that the list for available schools won’t be out until the end of June. This time I was in luck. The page had changed finally, with a notice that the list will be up at 9am the next morning.

Of course my alarm was set to be up 10 minutes before 9, and even stopped all outgoing downloads to ensure I have the sufficient bandwidth to get the full speed of broadband internet available. I checked every 20 seconds from 8:55am until the page was finally changed. Only one list was posted, as the webmaster made changes with each refresh. The list I needed was up. I quickly opened the document and printed it off. With my highlighters and district wide school map on my closet door, I began my work.

I highlighted all the positions I was interested in, and all of them except for a few were full positions. Apparently, few schools needed full time Kindergarten teachers from the pool of new teachers. I noticed my previous elementary school was hiring, so I made a quick call to the principal that I knew. The call turned into an interview for 12:05pm later that day.

The interview went well. I dressed in a purple polo shirt with khakis and black shoes and belt. I came prepared with my updating teaching reports (that were not online, nor were we told to update them!), my philosophy of education and several copies of my resume (unstapled. I heard they liked them better that way, so they can see everything side by side. Even though I would have prefer to double side to save paper). The panel of teachers and the principal questioned me for about 30 minutes during their lunch time, and I think I answered them clearly and professionally. One of the teachers suggested she was surprised of how young I looked even though I had such a thick resume. I hope that was a selling point for me.

I am getting anxious as I write this next part because it is still all pending.

The principal suggested that he would be hiring that very day. He will call the person who is hired that day, and will start the next day (the last day of school), for an orientation of sorts.

I was in fear to leave the house. Even though I had left both my house and cell numbers, I think the school calls the house number first. Checking to see if I had a message every few minutes, just in case I had missed the call by accident. By 11pm, I began to think, perhaps they weren’t calling the unsuccessful candidates. I went to bed nervous and anxious for morning to arrive.

I called the school again this morning at 8:15am. The principal told me that he had sent the candidates name to be hired with the school board, but hasn’t heard back for approval just yet. He will call all candidates to let them know either way.

SIGH of relief! So now I will sit and wait…ALL DAY, until that fateful phone call. I will however, make other calls to schools, in case it does fall through. I hope it doesn’t though.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hugs and kisses

How does one decide who gets a hug only, and who gets a hug and a kiss with a greeting or departure formalities?

I have notice a discrepancy among my friends who initiate a hug only or a hug and kiss either on the cheeks or mouth. There doesn't seem to be a rule that I could figure out from the kisses I get and the kisses I see other people get from the same people.

Call me jealous, but I’d like equal treatment!!!

I'm not one to usually request for a kiss, it’s usually initiated by someone else. My ex, John, usually gets a kiss from me on the lips upon a departure.

What is the rule? Is there a hierarchy or kisses and hugs? Somebody fill me in.

House party

After work on Sunday, I went to a house party and had a great time with PM's friends. The host was extremely nice and let me use his shower. Conversation ranged from casual, serious, scientific to sexual. I was fabulous. We also sat outside the whole time, and really sparked a longing to have a nice outdoor space available in my condo to entertain outside on a nice summer night. Maybe it will have to wait for a house purchase for that to happen.

Pride 2005

This year has been something different in terms of pride festivities. I had spent the majority of the time serving beer at the 519. Having done the job last year before, as the tent supervisor, I got better at doing it this year. I think I had a better perspective of what needs to be done, how to make sure people know what they are doing, and giving mini training sessions that encompass everything the volunteers need before they start serving. It helped a lot that we had many that helped out both days for a few hours. By the end of the day, my voice was shot, my feet hurt and was damned tired. My pouring skills are still up to snuff as well, especially the double handed pour! PM has been mocking me the whole time since I don’t like to promote alcoholism and binge drinking. It does seem like an oxymoron, but it's the biggest fundraiser for the community centre of the year. I had sent notice to many people to come visit me at work, and a few did. It was so nice to see people I knew in the sea of people that lined up for beer. I was a bit disappointed that certain people didn't make an appearance though.

I had decided to work both days of pride in hopes I’d see some hotties. The only hottie I wanted was the one behind the bar at 5ive. None really caught my attention while I was serving beer though. I did get lots of thanks for not pouring too much head.

I could still use some more work on managing my volunteers. There was one that I had suspected of stealing tickets, but I wasn't sure until he just disappeared from his post. Friendly guy and kinda cute, so he was probably using it to his advantage. I also noticed a lot of the volunteers unhappy with the staff in charge because the volunteers felt the staff was pulling a power trip on them. At the same time, staff sees the bigger picture of what needs to be done. Very interesting observations.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Postal carriers a la car

On my way home today, I saw a postal carrier parked at the side of the street in his personal car. Sitting in the driver’s seat, getting his mail sorted. It was the first time I had even seen that happening. I’ve seen them in trucks, going to pick up mail from the service boxes, then walking to the required destinations. Never had I seen one actually drive to where they need to go. Unusual sight for sure.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Elevated elevator security

It seems that in the age of raised security, elevators now restrict the movements of its passengers. I was at a condo building in the Harbourfront the other day and the elevator required a RF key to get to the desired floor. In fact, residents can only access the floor they live on. Guests must be buzzed in and the elevator will only take you to the floor that corresponded with the phone number of the resident. It’s a bit crazy, since you can't even visit friends from other floors. Mind you, one could easily walk down a flight of stairs too. A concierge down in the lobby doesn't seem like such a bad idea after all, when given the options.

Written on Palm Notes

Picky Tastes

After eating in some of the city's finest restaurants, i have become quite the food snob. After convocation, we went to the gallery grill - on U of T campus for lunch. The food was not bad, although my sea scallops weren't quite done right. Then for dinner, we went to the David Duncan house, a fine dining restaurant with a very very dim ambiance. The fillet mignon was nicely done and had a great soft texture. On the other hand, the asparagus with hollandaise was disgusting. The asparagus was over cooked and terribly limp. The hollandaise was a nasty concoction that looked like it had just been under the broiler but almost as if the sauce had broke. The carrots were also very soggy. Yucky veggies this place produced. The server brought us dessert menus and essentially flung it on the table and the menus actually slid across the table a bit. Very unprofessional. I told my parents I’m taking them to canoe to see how service is really done.

Written on Palm Notes

Beach Volleyball

I went to watch beach volleyball today with PM. The main objective was really to gawk at the hotties with no shirts on. A few were in the crowd to drool over. A few for me, a few for PM. We saw a few friends around, and even some of my high school friends. Paul and i sat on the bench after cruising for a bit and just talked. Conversation was our usual mish mash of topics from politics to digital cameras. It was definitely worth the trip, even without the hotties.

Written on Palm Notes

Three dolla! Only three dolla!

On the way to convocation, we drove to a parking lot to park the car in Scarborough and take transit down to convocation hall. Parking all day only costs $3!!! Imagine that! The cost of parking downtown would have been $10 at least. Suburb parking is amazing!

Written on Palm Notes

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Jamie’s School Dinners – First Impressions

An interesting concept for a show… improve the quality of nutrition in school meals. A huge problem right off the bat was that the students were still very much attached to the junk food they had been offered in school before he arrived. He just started serving healthy food in the lunch room and to no ones surprise (but Jamie), only one student picked up his healthy food. Perhaps a bit of education for the students about healthy food would trigger more interest in the new healthy menu. Without the education piece, having healthy food is mostly a waste of money because children don’t like to try the unknown.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

MAC a la Yorkdale

A visit to the only MAC store in the world was quite an exciting adventure. Seeing for the first time a MAC mini in person has inspired me to think really hard to find a good justification to purchasing one. On top of that a very very lovely 30" LCD HD Screen induced an increased heart rate and drool from PM's heart and mouth respectively. I will return to the store again to gawk very soon.

Written on Pocket Word

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Moo Moo See, Moo Moo Buy II

More items added to the list of things I bought/used because of PM...

6) LG DVD Burner (I bought it about a month after him, cost me $20 less)
7) CD Storage Master (a great program for those who have many many many burned DVDs/CDs)
8) Blogging on the go (all because of his Axim - I still want one)

More to add later...

BAD = Good Poop

My game in badminton was the best I’ve ever played. I owe it all to a fellow player that has given me some practice on specific skills and empowering me to play a better game. It really is amazing how just a little coaching can do so much. I even broke a sweat while playing today...and I’ve never done that during badminton. It was very hot in the gym too today, but I think it was my game that is to blame for the sweat. Now I’m pooped!!

Written on Palm Notes

Life making me stupid

I went to do an interview with a teacher today at a school, for my internship paper. I arrived at 12:30pm. I was then told at the front office that the teacher had left for lunch because he waited until 12pm for me. It is then, that I realized my meeting was actually scheduled for 12 and not 12:30! Boy did I feel dumb! With only a day left before the paper is due I screw up the one chance I had to interview some teachers. This isn't even the first time I have been late half an hour for something since my internship started. I have been moving appointments 30 mins in my head for some strange reason. I AM getting stupider by the minute.

I think I’ll blame it on working from home too much and getting distracted by the comforts of my desk.

Written on Palm Notes

Sunday, May 22, 2005

When techies butt heads

I saw first hand, how a bunch of techies can be really annoying. Everyone trying to outdo each other’s techiness. Techies have a perception that they know EVERYTHING and can fix all things electronic. That, in and of itself is a good thing. To have a positive self esteem about that type of work is helpful to getting things done. BUT when there is a group of them together… OMG! A bossy techie thinks they know it all and their way is the right way. They will check and double check everyone else’s work, then make sure everyone tries it their way, even though someone else has tried it already.

In the end, when push comes to shove, one person figures it out and no one is willing applaud them for their efforts because each of the techies were trying to solve the problem first. The person who solved it gets an automatic smug smile on their face for they are happy to have solved the problem first, and all the other techies try to figure out what they did wrong to prove that they can fix it next time too.

Lesson learned: Keep the bossy techies away, they get annoying real fast.

To be noticed…

The whole notion of being noticed by someone that one is attracted to is extremely thrilling. I’ve seen him around for a few times, and was kindly introduced by a friend just a few days ago. He flirts like crazy, not sure if that’s his regular self or just with me. He is very touchy feely. He said he’s never seen me around before… maybe because I tend to blend in at first. I told him I’d seen him around a lot…he was apologetic for not seeing me sooner. He’s a real sports fanatic… he plays many many many sports and is quite a jock. Probably a first in my books, but there’s a hotness factor there somewhere. Not sure where this will all lead. This is really exciting. I can’t wait to see him again. See what happens next.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


The coaster continues to move. I thought I had gotten off, but alas…that was just my imagination. Back to the beginning, the ride goes up, just waiting for the inevitable time when it will all come crashing down. Cheap thrill I guess, I’d rather get off the ride now. Somehow, I can’t convince myself to do it even though I know it is best. Perhaps next time round I’ll get thrown off, that may just prevent me from getting back on.

Medications != Good?

Medications can be such a blessing or not so much. My running nose had prevented me from taking my allergy medication, which happens to be a nasal spray. If I spray, it comes back out because of the runny nose. Here in lies my problem. I typically start using my allergy medication before the season arrives to pre-empt any form of discomfort from my seasonal allergies. Since I was not able to take it for a few days, a problem has started. I started getting dry eyes, runny nose that won’t stop, sneezing that won’t stop. A solution! If I take some cold medication that will stop the coughing, runny nose and such, those symptoms disappear. However, since it is a decongestant, it also dries up my sinuses and disrupts the equilibrium of liquid in my head, causing constant dizziness. So now I’m left with only one option. Stay at home and close all windows and doors. In a sealed environment, at least I can deal with my cold bug without the allergies, but with the weather so nice lately, it’s hard not to open a window to let the “fresh” air in. Oh the joys of medication and the side effects. If only other allergy medications worked for me! Stoopid antibodies!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Moo Moo See, Moo Moo Buy

Items I have bought because PM has bought them
1) External Harddrive case
2) Ikea Knife
3) Silpat
4) Duplex printer
5) Staple-less Stapler

They are the best items and well researched :)

Monday, May 09, 2005


Being sick just sucks! After my night of feeling and looking great at AX, health just seemed to go downhill from there. I started to get a slight indication of a cold, so I loaded up on Cold-FX, which seemed to work other times. Not this time though. After taking the full 3 day regiment of pills, I was still not closer to feeling better. In fact, after the pills, it got worst. Much worst. I ended up in bed for the entire Friday, only waking occasionally to pee and watch an hour of tv, before zonking out again into bed. With no other medications in me, my body did the hard work of fighting off this infection while I lay in an almost comatose state. Good thing I only got worst after my site visits for my internship. I'm still not completely better yet, but at least I'm no longer constantly tired.

The question is... why would anyone really want to read about someone who is sick? If you've just read this, let me know. :P

Sunday, May 08, 2005

And now… this is art because…

I was with my friend IK in the distillery district going around taking photos on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Lots of people were there and many of the galleries were open as well. We stopped in to many of the galleries to see what they have. In one gallery, there was a woman there with two girls both around 10-12 years of age. This woman was telling the girls to look at this photograph and continued to tell them why she thinks it is interesting. Moving to the next photograph, she again, told the girls what she thought of them. In my head, I was thinking, why on Earth are you bringing children to look at art, if you don’t let them form opinions of their own? Yes, it’s one thing to offer suggestions on how to interpret art and model responses, but it’s going a bit far if there isn’t even an opportunity to make any comments. There is no point in allowing people to look at art if they can’t provide their own understandings of it. STOP telling people what YOU think, start asking other people. OY!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ago-massive change

The visit to this exhibit with PM was planned initially for the free day the local counselor organized it for the community. With a lost ticket, it was not a bad idea to wait anyway. The crowds were a bit much from the news reports. In the end, the Massive Change show is essentially used raises social consciousness about the world of design and function in the world now had some interesting ideas. A display of the progression of the Segway was neat since I was on one just a few weeks ago. The photo display with everything in the world either in the visible spectrum or not was well designed. Of course a great part was the staple-less stapler that both PM & I got. Here is a photo of the stapler and the results.

I have the black one.
Very neat idea...high on geek factor. Other products I have also purchased that PM has also:
1. Duplex printer
2. Staple-less stapler
3. I forget the rest… there are more.

Written on Palm Notes

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Pick me up baby!

I couldn’t believe it! After months of AX attendance and I finally got picked up, at least an attempted pick up. I thought I dressed well, looked good, felt great, it was all falling into place. Lots of friends in attendance, people to talk to, met some new friends. A whole slew of people from badminton was there. It was a just a fantastic night. There was this guy that was looking at me quite a lot, and he finally approached me to talk. He was a bit touchy feely, but this time, he was decent looking at least. His whole intent was to bring me home with him that night. I wasn’t about to go home with anybody, but he was quite interested. While he was trying to hook up with me, another man across the room came over and dropped of his business card in my back pocket. It’s so interesting how 2 guys gave me their numbers in one night. This never happens! Wow.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

lack of private blogs

This sucks...there doesn't seem to be an option to post a blog privately. :(

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mister Holmes

I saw this in the newspaper, so I went out and bought it...

Really, i'm not obsessed...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Drip Drip Drip

One would think that if you owned a home, they would care about it. After all there is a financial commitment and it is lived in everyday. I learned the sad reality that certain people just don't give a damn.

We have been having problems with the upstairs washroom occasionally leaking into the kitchen below for a few months. There has been talk of a renovation, but it was really all just talk. Yesterday my dad discovered a puddle of water in the laundry room. He insisted that i take a look at it. We took a look. It appeared to be coming from the attached storage room. We looked in the storage room. It turned out that the leak was not a minor puddle causing leak. It was actually BIG KAKA!!! A steady drip of water was coming off a pipe and into a cardboard box of miscellaneous paper and books. It didn't stop there though. This dripping water has essentially filled the entire box until the bottom had disintegrated and the water then dripped onto the floor. Looking at the source of the water, it appears to be water actually soaking into the wood because there is the tell-tale sign of mould. Mould not just at the sourced of the drip, but over a wide area of timbre that makes the joists of the kitchen floor. The water stains suggest MUCH more than just an annoying drip too. My dad did what he did best...he stood and watched while I took control. Many boxes were soaked through, the contents covered with black mildew. I grabbed the gloves immediately and changed into clothes I can get dirty in.

It turned out almost the entire contents of the storage room needed to be evacuated into the already messy and crowded basement. The removal of the mould infested, drenched useless garbage look quite a long time, and it took the effort of the whole family. I ended up spending today getting rid of empty boxes with Styrofoam pieces and plastic bags that came with various items we purchased in the past say, 10 years. I broke down enough boxes to fill 3 clear plastic bags full of them. Thank goodness tomorrow is recycling day. 4 black bags of garbage though.

Still lots to tidy up, there is at least half a room full of stuff that needs to be cleared out still, maybe by the next paper recycling day, we will get rid of it all!

Hopefully, we will have someone to look at the source of the problem soon. Hopefully, the job will be done well enough that there are no major problems. Though, I do wish Mike Holmes will come check me out…err…check out the work.

Written on Palm Notes

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sex with PM

It's amazing how eating can be so much fun. From 7:30pm until 11:00pm, PM & I sat captivated by the sights, sounds & smells of one of the most amazing restaurants in the city. Perigee's kitchen is the centre of attention for it is an open kitchen with built-in coves for the chef to interact with the patrons and talk about the dishes being served. For a restaurant kitchen, it was very quiet as the head chef and 4 other chefs danced in a carefully choreographed dance between the fridge, grilling and cooking stations and the server's alcove. A separate cheese and dessert chef worked in front of our bar seats over looking the whole kitchen. The seats surround the kitchen in sets of two, three all having head-on views of the kitchen, the tables for four sitting perpendicular to the work space of the chefs. A true foodie would only sit at the bar, for all the action is right in front of them. I looked intently at every dish being prepared for it could be what we will be served. Perigee is not your typical restaurant with a set menu, you see. We were offered strictly a tasting menu with the server recording any food allergies and preferences. The chef then creates an option of five, six or seven courses for you meal. We chose the seven course meal and actually got a total of ten individual dishes each to taste. I would have been quite pleased to have ordered a full fourteen course meal if it was allowed. Every course that came to our table was absolutely fabulous. The complex flavours, simplicity of the presentation, perfect cooking techniques and thorough explanation of the contents of each dish all made the experience great beyond words. The sheer amount of dishes and cutlery per person was astronomical with at least one vessel per course and a new set of cutlery for each course. The head chef was quite pleased with the vanilla bean we presented him and talked to us a bit food. He actually returned on several occasions to see how the meal was going, with both PM & I asking a variety of questions of him and the pastry chef.

We found out where to get the world's best chocolate, Verona chocolate locally. The chefs really know their stuff. I think we really got their attention with the kind of questions we were asking and were quite pleased to answer our questions with knowledge and professionalism. Being probably their youngest patrons and the only ethnic minority eating there, it was quite interesting. It was much like going to the club with John's family during thanksgiving a few years ago. At least I wasn't mistaken for being a server this time. All the minorities were dish washers or removed finished dishes from the table.

After having the frois gras spiced hot chocolate with frois gras donuts, PM said "This donut is better than sex!” I have to say it was pretty darned good!! Not better than sex though.

As all the courses were amazing, it is difficult to pick a favourite, yet my choice would have to be the duck Prosciutto. It tasted so wonderful...I will need to eat more of it.

-having beef tenderloin with just the outsides seared with the middle nice and red
-having a whole steak of frois gras with that tenderloin
-eating sqaw (which I learned is pigeon) I wouldn’t order it by choice, but it tasted pretty good to me
-eating a total of twenty different courses (PM & I saved a bit of every dish for each other to try)
-watching a professional chef, cook my entire meal in front of my eyes
-eating Morales mushrooms
-using up so many dishes in one meal
-talking food with a head chef

It was a great experience food wise and PM is certainly the right person to accompany me. He wrote down the contents of our dishes in the Axim while I took fuzzy under exposed photos. I’ll have to design a setup to take photos of the vanilla meals in low light environment without a flash.

I couldn't wait to write this all down...

Written with Palm Notes

Friday, April 22, 2005

Up By North Bay

I went up to North Bay with PM to visit his family, and he took some time to show me around his home up north. My first train ride started at Union Station and it took just about 6 hours in total. PM bought a magazine to read on the way up…I call it porn for foodies…

We watched one and a half movies on his Axim while sitting in the food train. The screen was a bit small to watch with two people, but we managed well with the setup. When the Bluetooth keyboard comes in, it will make it easier to watch because of the cradle. We had to set up a makeshift way to make the Axim stand so that the angle is viewable, and learned that PM has a great way with improvising ways to make the Axim stand up.

We cooked dinner for the family the next evening. We made blanched asparagus with hollandaise sauce, grilled flank stake marinated in garlic, rosemary wet rub, purple potato gnocchi with pesto sauce, flourless chocolate cakes and Longan fruit. I had a fabulous time making that meal, leaning how to make many of the items on the go. Our hollandaise broke while waiting for the other dishes to be ready, so we had to re-make it. It all turned out great and the family ate it all up. I can’t wait to make more food with chef PM. So fun!

One evening, we went down to the waterfront and were really surprised with what I saw. Masses of ice! A few pictures will say a few thousand words actually…

This one has the colours modified, but it looked cool.

Water frozen never looked so good. The water actually frozen into shards of ice in the shape of the tide….

PM, his sister Heather drove me to Sudbury and visited Science North (the Science Centre of Northern Ontario). The building is actually shaped like a snow flake. Kinda neat! The floors connected by a huge ramp provided interesting architecture on the inside.

I even slept on a bed of nails….

A trip to a closed exhibit on a slow day got us into the exhibit for the Segway. Lucky us got to ride it around for many more rounds than the typical public would have gotten.

While in the butterfly sanctuary, Heather and PM was discussing the colours of the beautiful blue butterfly and how it is likely a male because females have duller colours. PM then said “That’s why I am the better looking than you are…” Here’s PM saying it…

We got a ride back half way back to Toronto with a high rolling family friend of PM’s mom. We stopped by Casino Rama and caught a tour bus back to Toronto for $5. I showed PM the joys of playing slots, and he won $125 from a $10 donation to the casino. I lost $30. The high roller friends showed us around and donated some money for us to play on. I lost $70 in about 3 minutes. Slots are fun!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Why is my hour of time worth less than others?

I really don’t understand. I invite people to come over to my place when I have the place free. It’s nice to have company when I don’t want to go out. I go out often enough as it is. It’s nice to entertain once in awhile. When I do invite people to come over, some complain about the distance and time it takes to get there.

That’s just BS!

If you have a car, it takes 20 minutes from the downtown core to get here.

Transit takes about an hour.

I typically don’t drive, so I take transit. I make the effort far more often than most to spend the hour (each way) to go “hang out” with people. Why is it such a pain to reverse the process? I’m right on the transit line, it’s not too complex. It’s a train and a bus. On a good day, it only takes 50 minutes.

So pissed off!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I want some cut meat...

Talking of a course from GBC on how to cut different meats has really got me salivating. It doesn't fit in my schedule though. Maybe next year.

Written on Palm Notes

North North and away...

I’m going up to PM's home town this coming week to see the sights. It should be quite the adventure for the week. Lots of possibilities for things to do...will update when I get a chance. Two mini vacations this year...very interesting.

Written on Palm Notes

That's it. No more!

Friday was a date to be noted as the last class as a full time student in an institution of higher learning. For the past 5 years, being in academia has been an interesting, insightful and full of experiences that have changed my life. Having been in a program that was very career centred has been at times fun and others boring. Going on to a professional program afterwards was quite a challenge to try not falling asleep. I attended every class in the hopes of learning something new. I was pleasantly surprised at times, bored most of the time and disappointed at the ignorance some of the time. The worst is instructors that don't walk the talk. That really drives me up the wall.

I am thrilled to be done the classroom learning though. I don't think I’ll ever feel completely comfortable doing this massive task of being a teacher. It’s time to jump in to begin the real learning.

The feeling of being overwhelmed and not meeting all the principles of best practice really scares me and I’ve been told that no one can do it all. It is a little bit comforting to hear that, but the reality still stands...teaching is a very fine tuned art that will take years to gain any level of mastery...if that is at all possible. Parts of me have second thoughts of being a good teacher when people say I’ll be a great teacher. There is still so much I do not know yet. I suppose all I can do is do my best with the training I received for the past 5 years. It is more than what some people got from the one year B.Ed program. I actually felt quite comfortable leaving Ryerson and being a teacher, but now with another year of experience, I’ve recognized the massiveness of the job.

A bit scared, a bit excited. INCOME in my bank account finally! When I get a position...

Written on Palm Notes

The Ho-Mo show yo...

My whole intent on going to the national home show was to see Mike Holmes. OMG did I see him or what! He's everything I dreamed him to be. Strutting on stage in a tight white muscle shirt, black overalls (so hot)...

I stood mesmerized for the hour he talked with the audience about tips on renovations and future plans bringing his show across the country, having a cartoon titled Mighty Holmes targeted for children and having "Mike Holmes approved" homes. All those ideas sounded so wonderful. I'm not sure if I’m simply blinded by his presence or would believe and watch/buy anything he promotes. He ended the show with a series of questions from the audience, some legitimate construction items, some requests for hugs and photos. I only wish I had thought about asking for a hug and photo myself. Not completely certain if the audience would be happy with a guy giving Mister Holmes a hug, but I don't care!! They'd be more jealous than anything else.

A side note...there were staff walking around the show with brown overalls handing out fliers to see Mike's presentation. PM was handed one and got past by...TWICE! Sigh... getting overlooked again.

The rest of the show was not surprising, most of the same vendors showed up with their wares and cash boxes in tow. Actually there were far too many vendors selling very similar products with minor differences. PM and I spent most of the time looking at floor tiles, major appliances, shower models and closets. Even got a pamphlet about mortgages that will come in handy for PM as he will be home shopping soon, job pending. Of course this all adds to the level of jealousy towards him. We joked about me cleaning in exchange for rent.

A lovely end to the evening with burgers cooked at home topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms and purple fries with mayonnaise watching the food network.

Written on Palm Notes

Monday, April 11, 2005

Las Vegas from Jo

Here are the links to a blog Jo wrote up about the trip to Las Vegas.

Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four

Thanks for writing this up, JO!

Cloned Cows Yummy and Safe

Isn't the title of this article from WIRED fabulous?? Well, I think so at least.

Is it fate?

After reading this entry from Jason, I stopped to think about my bottle. Today, I was telling my some colleges at school about the story. By the time I got home today, my very own Nalgene had disappeared. How strange!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

You’re Cute…let me harass you!

I’m just wondering, but is entering a club basically asking to be harassed by strange men you don’t know? I was at 5ive tonight for Asian Express and towards the end of the evening, this young-ish Asian guy out of the blue introduces himself to me, so I did the polite thing to say hello and the usual greetings. He then shook my hand, held it, and handed my hand to some other older white guy to introduce. That was weird in and of it self, but it gets better. This guy then walks over closer and drops a complement. I said a gracious “thank you” and left it at that, since I wasn’t too interested. He continued to lay on some complements and started to run his fingers through my hair, then nuzzled his head in my ear. All throughout this physicality he was imposing, asking personal questions that I didn’t want to answer. At that point, I flat out told him “you are intruding on my personal space”. He seemed a bit shocked, and replied with a “you mean you want me to stand over here instead?” and pointed to a spot on the ground a meter away. His hand still around my shoulder, I said “remove your arm”. He then did the “did you hear what he said…” to the Asian guy who introduced me. He continued to say some not so nice things, like “how do you expect to get laid with that attitude”, “you are really rude”… the list goes on.

I’m thinking in my head, this is not the time or space for me to have a logical, rational discussion on the etiquette of club behaviour and reading uncomfortable body language. It was as if there is a unspoken rule that as long as you provide a compliment to a person you are attracted to, you are then allowed to physically touch you any way they like. Give me a break! If you want to get touched, go to a bathhouse, go to a strip club, go online.

I was rather proud of myself being assertive in this situation. There was a recent situation similar to this club experience during a party that made me really uncomfortable. I didn’t do anything at that point in time. This time I reacted. Probably not the most tactful way, but it was dealt with. Any suggestions on how else I would have dealt with this better for next time?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Let there be light

Over the past few days in the news, the stories that talked of the pope have had much world interest. Part of this intrigue I think is the mystery and ceremony surrounding the funeral and the upcoming conclave. A secret society electing a leader for the next decade or two. Even this professed agnostic took more than a few reads of the new articles of John Paul II. Still not convinced about the religion itself yet the intrigue continues.

I think after reading Angels & Demons by Dan Brown has played a part in this interest. Having an insider look at the Vatican is alluring due to its shrewd in mystery and secrecy. Let there be light!

Written on Palm Notes

Star sighting

I was having lunch with JT at Zelda's and saw the Designer Guys! I think the TV made them look much better than I anticipated. Cutie Steven Sabados looked sooooo old with grey hair and over tanned skin. What a huge disappointment. :(

Written on Palm Notes

Palm Blog

Blogging while standing in line for a restaurant is fun. It beats doing nothing at all and staring at the wall.

Written on Palm Notes

Nice on the outside

I went to a friends' place the other day, and the building down by the lake was just fabulous. It was one of those buildings that many envy to have while driving by on the freeway. Appearances can be deceiving... Once inside, it was the messiest place I have ever seen for a condo owned by an adult. It was verging on being messier than the place my grandparents reside in! OMG!!! If I lived in one of those buildings, I would just be ashamed to even let the place deteriorate to that level of messiness and unkemptness. What an eye opener.

Written on Palm Notes

Transfer of energy

I was at work today and was doing my music circle...and the energy was just not there. Some children decided not to participate and go play instead. What a difference to another program that all the children were active participants. Without the energy from the children to draw upon, I feel my work just isn't as good.

In the end, it’s a question of me programming more specific to the interests of the children in the group. It's a challenge that will be interesting to over come since I only see this group once a month.

Written on Palm Notes

CRASH went the PALM!

Since I have been on this kick on using my palm, I actually set out to do some work on it while on my commute into work. The system of reading documents had worked very well this past week actually. To be able to catch up on stuff and write blogs on the go actually saves a lot of time at the desk. So today I wanted to edit some of my work and it was going great until I decided to save the document...

In return for pressing the save button, I got a fatal error and a reset button that wouldn't go away. To make a long story short, it ended up resetting itself endlessly with the only option to do a hard reset which would mean loosing all my data. Either way I would have lost it all due to volatile memory and loss of power.

Erased palm and nothing to do...

Oh the dependence on technology...what would I do without a computer of some kind? What would I do???

Written on Palm Notes

Friday, April 08, 2005


There is talk to remove labels of students from the public school discourse. I am unsure if that is a wise move to make. I do see how labels sometimes can perpetuate stereotypes and generalizations. This however, does not in my mind counteract the effectiveness of labels to quickly give a person some possible ways to engage in a situation. For example, if there was a situation where a child wa autism was having difficulty win a class, there are some general strategies that are effective for use with children with autism. One could argue that effective strategies work with all children, and i will give credit for that statement, however, that is not always the case. If the label serve as a point of providing needed services, i think it is worth it to speed up the delivery of those services to those who really need them regardless of a label to identify an exceptionality.

Written on Palm Notes

Pan handling

I was giving an example of how people who give money to pan handlers only make the problem worst. If even one person out of 1000 gave money, the behaviour of pan handling will continue. That is why i would not give money to people on the street. The people who i was with had a strange silence after i said that. Not sure if it was out of shock or some social eueka moment. I give generously to community agencies that provide to people in need, and not to individuals on the street. I know that some people have too much pride to actually go to agencies for help, which is just fine. I can't justify giving on the street level.

Written on Palm Notes

Thursday, April 07, 2005

St. Lawrence Market Customer Appreciation

I really can't believe our luck! Wile at the SLM on Saturday, one of the vendors gave PM and I a ticket to attend the customer appreciation night. It's basically a free night of eating nice food.

We arrived early to see the public event across the street at the north market. They had many free items to try and it turns out some of the foods were pretty unique creations. VERY crowded though.

Across the street in the south market, the line was pretty long so got in around 15 mins after the official opening. Not a big deal since we spent some time watching an episode of good eats in line on PM's Axim X50v. Some in the line was fascinated with the machine, as I am. A young boy saw the show and showed little interest and later asked if there were other channels! So cute. It is only a movie file, not streaming TV...but oh the possibilities!

Inside, lots of people but not as much as the north market. Hank goodness it is a ticketed event! The food was delicious and all FREE! M vendors had a line, but it was all worth the wait. I even got to eat some more peameal bacon!!!! I love...LOVE that stuff.

We returned to the place where they made crepes, and we saw the Dennis look alike there... Here is a photo.

There were even samples of white fish caviar! They were my first taste of fish babies.

The meat place that gave us our invitations were giving out meat to eat, and of course we paid them a visit. They even had cow balloons! The nice lady there even gave me a few of the balloons to's a picture with her. Thank you meat lady!

By the end of the evening, both PM and I were too full to eat any more and walked slowly home. It was a fantastic evening spent. The best part of all was the price. I hope to be invited again next year! YUM! *rubs tummy*

Written on Palm Notes

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Tourist Blogging

I have been taking photos to post along with my blog entries, and as I carry around my digital camera where ever I go, I feel like a tourist, taking shots of everything in my sight. There are pros and cons to this ofcourse, being able to document my adventures, but at the same time, being tied to a camera. There are ome things better to be left to just words I guess.

Perhaps a tiny camera is in my future for the photographer in me.

Email Blog

Potato Bread

After eating some of this kind of bread at Pangaea, I have since been fallen in love with this kind of bread. PM made some with dinner the other night. Yummy!

Email Blog

The Amazing Pocket PC

After PM found a way to convert full size movies/TV shows to fit into his Dell Axim Pocket PC, I have since fallen in love with the idea of watching compressed movies on a machine that like while commuting to school. I can keep 3 TV shows on a single CF card, and that means I could catch up on TV during my typical hour commute into work/school.

But alas, I can’t afford a pocket pc at this moment in time. Maybe when I start work in September. As I find it useful now, I might not have the time to watch during work, since I am unsure of the commute time, and if I’m taking public transit or driving. It’s all up in the air at the moment.

I’m thinking that I could get one to use at work using a Bluetooth keyboard. That way I wouldn’t bring a laptop with me, just a small PPC and a fold up keyboard. I can see it happening…how practical it is, is another story.

In the meantime, I’ll dream about it…

email blogging is still full of problems :(

Food Expedition – Follow up

What a fabulous day! Minus the weather.

I have never had so much fun walking around a food market before. PM and I went to the St. Lawrence Market and did A LOT of looking and shopping. The original intent was to go and have some yummy food, but it turned out to be much more than that. A farmer’s market on the North side began our expedition.

We went in the doors and were flooded with lovely classical music from dual violins. Each vendor sold different things in the building including meats, cheeses, fruits, all in freshest quality and many varieties. There was a vendor that sold only apples in at least 10 different varieties! It seems that every vendor has the same level of variety to choose from. There was even a mountain of fresh asparagus!

A vendor that sells sheep milk cheese talked to us for a few minutes and gave us many samples. Very innovative names for the cheeses like “Eweda”. I love the play on words!

Here is a vendor in the south market that only sold mustards…

It seems all the vendors specialize in one area, which is neat because there is so much variety that is simply not available at a regular supermarket.

We walked around awhile until we got hungry…

We shared 3 different famous sandwiches from the market. This is a chicken sandwich. The texture is very similar to the pulled pork we had at the food and wine show.

Next, we had a peameal bacon sandwich. Now I have to say, I LOVE PEAMEAL BACON! I LOVE IT!!! We added honey mustard and mayonnaise…SO YUMMY! Just look at all those layers of bacon!

Here is the place to get this sandwich…

I was getting a bit full after this one, but we managed to eat a Veal Sandwich afterwards…

All of them were yummy, but I would absolutely return for a peameal one again and again without hesitation.
We went around looking at many more stores and vendors and eventually we came upon concentrated bouillon liquid. PM was VERY excited… he actually RAN to the aisle that it was in. Here is PM modelling his find.

By the end of the trip, PM had filled both our backpacks with groceries, mostly meat, to the breaking point. One of these slabs of meat was literally bigger than PM’s head…as illustrated below.

We had spent a total of 3 hours in and around the market, and spent over $100 on veggies and meat from the freshest place in town. It was time well spent! Thanks for taking me PM!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Food Expedition

Tomorrow, I will be going on my first food expedition with PM. We are going to St. Lawrence Market tomorrow. It will be my first time going as a foodie. The plan is to buy fresh food, and make something for dinner after we have a famous Peameal Bacon sandwhich. It's also going to a be another Good Eats Marathon day. We will be going on Season 5 I think. Very excited...

Email blogging

I'm testing this email blogging technique… it's faster than logging in manually.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

1lb success

Peter just told me that Pangaea has decided to purchase 1lbs of vanilla from him. I'm so pleased that it all worked out. I'm ready to eat some more yummy food for the sake of vanilla! PM, are you ready?

Married guys

What is the deal with married guys!?! In the past few weeks, there have been a number of really attractive guys that I have met that seem very friendly...and I wonder how friendly they are trying to be. Talk about getting wrong messages! They are all attached! It just makes things so complicated. There is one guy that is so nice, but I am very conscious not to get too involved, because I know the boyfriend. Grrrr..Where are the single guys?!? Oh that’s right, the cute single ones are not interested....Great! Sigh...


I was in Vegas over the March break. It was my first major trip that I went on without my parents with me. I am very happy I went with Flo, Jo & Jenn. More details of the trip is up and time to write about it all yet!

Blogging on the sit

The ability to blog while on the subway is an intriguing idea. After reading about PM's ability to blog on the run, I just had to try it out myself. The thumb keyboard I got for my palm works relatively well since I can get the words in faster than graffiti or hunting for letters with a stylus. I wish I had a Pocket PC now too, although practically speaking I don't need one. Would be fun though!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Foodie's Dream

Ahhh... a foodie's dream come true... (at least one part of it)

This weekend has been full of food in its many forms and full stomachs. It started with a Good Eats Marathon at PM's. In the end, we watched about 15 episodes...we are one episode short of finishing Season 5.

While our GOD was on the tele doing his wonderous works and explaining the food science of his cooking, PM made some lovely roast chicken with asparagus, sourdough croutons and potatos. Let me tell you this roast chicken was nothing but delicious... juicy and tasty...unlike my dad's boiled chicken in water and serve...YIKES! Chicken that has flavour was quite a treat! :) Now, this main was followed by a berry salad tossed in simple syrup and a bit of rasberry alcohol...made me drunk just thinking about it.

The next day we had a reservation at Pangaea, a fusion restaurant in the heart of the city. This is the first meal in the attempt to procure custober for Boku's vanilla business. The intent was to eat at a restaurant and by giving a vanilla bean to the pastry chef, he/she will want to buy Boku's beans. These beans ARE very nice! Soft and supple and full of sweet vanilla smell! YUM!

I ordered the following items:

Appetizer: Grilled handmade lamb sausages with goats cheese in filo, arugula, pickled red onions with black cadamom

Main: Grilled Ribeye Steak with portobello mushrooms in port, roasted vegetables, potato frits, green herb mayonaisse (yes, it looks like it has a wing...but it really didn't!)

and the fries...

Dessert: Banana Coconut Cream Tart with mango puree, coconut sherbet and carmelized bananas

PM had...

Appitizer: Rabbit Terrine with foie fras, carrot jam and melba toast

Main: Veal Agnolotti with bacon, leeks, spinach, grape tomoatoes, pommery cream

Dessert: Rhubarb Pillow with poached rhubarb between puff pastry, orange pastry cream and rhubarb granita

While we were eating our main dish, the pastry chef came out to talk to us about the vanilla bean I had sent back to her. She was most pleasant and seemed quite interested in the vanilla. We were quite pleased since we were starting to think that she was not interested in any new vanilla distributors.

I had some hot water with lemon as usual for dessert, and when the server came back, he brought back this...

Such a nice device...totally impractical, but cool to have. I was rather impressed with the crumb picker-upper too, but I couldn't get a picture of it in time.

After that scrumpcious meal... we actually walked over to a kitchen supply store. We saw so many cheap things to get for a kitchen! I think PM is going to get his bday gift from me there...(something for the kitchen)

Thank You Boku for lunch!

Here is Me and PM