Monday, December 19, 2005
~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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
~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: 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
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
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
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
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
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
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Friday, September 16, 2005
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Thursday, June 30, 2005
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.
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
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.
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
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Written on Palm Notes
Written on Palm Notes
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Written on Palm Notes
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Written on Pocket Word
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
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...
Written on Palm Notes
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
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.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Monday, May 09, 2005
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
Thursday, May 05, 2005
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
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
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
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
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
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
Written on Palm Notes
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
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
Sunday, April 10, 2005
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
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
Written on Palm Notes
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
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
Written on Palm Notes
Written on Palm Notes
Thursday, April 07, 2005
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 take...here'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
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.
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 :(
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
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
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
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