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.