February 9, 2008

Happy Year of the Rat!

Gong hei fat choi! ^__^ For New Year's Eve my Chinese friend and I prepared a small dinner for a few friends and it turned out quite well! On the menu we had cucumber salad, borscht soup, Peking duck, homemade dumplings, tea leaf eggs, and soy sauce chicken - I was quite impressed by what we pulled off! I took a bunch of pictures so I can show my parents... they won't believe it otherwise, haha.

This evening I was invited out to a new year dinner at a Chinese restaurant with a Chinese group I had just met. It was a bit weird for me though because they were mostly speaking Mandarin and Swedish so I couldn't understand anything unless they spoke to me in English o_O I was so fascinated though by how they just switched back and forth between Chinese and fluent Swedish, it was pretty cool. The dinner was my first taste of European Chinese food (something I had been really reluctant to try) but it wasn't too bad. The cuisine was more northern-China style so it was quite heavy and saucy, which I'm not used to.

So it's finally February, thank goodness. It felt like January would never end with all my endless nights slaving away in front of my computer. It was such a brutal month for me and I swear I almost turned into a zombie with the little sleep I had. But I did manage to squeeze in a few fun activities to keep my spirits up.

Dinner at Koh Phangan
For a friend's birthday we went to to a really great Thai restaurant called Koh Phangan. Right when you walk inside it feels like you entered a tropical paradise of beach huts, bridged walkways, waterfalls and caves. It even had a "rainstorm" in the middle of dinner. The food actually wasn't too bad. I just ordered a simple vegetarian plate of pad thai, but at $25 that was the most expensive pad thai I've ever had!

Colombian Night
My Colombian roommate gathered her Colombian posse over to our place one evening and cooked us a dinner of arepas, chorizos, and beans. Very yummy indeed. They continued the festivities into our living room by cranking up some Latin music and taught the non-Colombians some salsa dancing. That was great fun, but I was stepping all over people's toes :P

I attended my first symphony concert here watching the Stockholm Philharmonic one afternoon. It was so nice and I got all nostalgic for my symphony-going days with Christina back in Toronto. The repertoire they played that day was a modern set - very punchy, playful and oddly rhythmed, which is something I wasn't used to hearing but I thought it was so fantastic.

Hawaiian Pub Night
Every last Friday of the month my office holds a pub night. This time it was a Hawaiian theme to bring some sunshine to our dark and dreary Scandinavian winter. Some people acted as bartenders all decked out in Hawaiian shirts and mixed colourful fruity drinks complete with umbrellas and pineapples. The Hawaiian island music and leis were the perfect finishing touches... totally made me want to go to Hawaii!

Riga Cruise
Last weekend a group of us took a cruise to Riga, the capital of Latvia. It was an overnight boat trip and everyone was prepared to party and take advantage of the duty free alcohol prices, but our tiny boat was hit by a storm by 9pm. With the extreme rocking and shaking, most of us ended up with pretty bad motion sickness, including yours truly. We finally made it through the night though and spent the next day exploring the city. Riga is pretty small so we were able to see most of the main sites within the day. It still seemed pretty European though... I was expecting more of a Soviet feel. We boarded the ship again that evening and for the ride back we armed ourselves with motion sickness pills. The storm on the second night was actually even worse than the previous but luckily we were already lying down in bed by that time. What an experience... I'll stick with bigger boats next time to Finland and Estonia thank you very much!

Posted by mich at 10:42 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 24, 2007

One Confused Canadian

One of the ways that Canadians differentiate ourselves from Americans is our use of the metric system. But after living in Europe for a couple of months I've realized how much we still depend on the Imperial system. For example, even though we use Celsius for weather temperature, ovens use Fahrenheit. So when I used the oven here in Sweden for the first time I was scratching my head over how anything could bake properly if the dial only went up to 250°... it hit me later on that it was in Celsius, durrr! When I go grocery shopping all the prices are by kilos instead of pounds, and when people talk about their flat sizes in square metres, their heights in centimetres and weight in kilos I feel completely lost because I have no frame of reference those measurements. Even for shoes, girls talk about their 15cm heels. It feels like a whole different world out here, haha.

A friend gave me a great recipe for Mjuk Pepparkaka (soft gingerbread), but since it came from a Swedish recipe book the measurements use decilitres instead of cups. I bought measuring cups here (in metric of course) so now if I want to use my own recipes from home I'll need to convert everything to dL.

Anyway I tried out the recipe with Sandra and Fernanda and although it was a bit dense instead of fluffy (probably from over mixing) it tasted fabulous. The lingonberry inside added a really nice surprise to the gingerbread taste.

Mjuk Pepparkaka

100 g butter
2 dL sugar
2 eggs
1.5 dL sour creak
1.5 spoons gingerbread spice
1 tsp baking soda
3 dL flour
1 dL lingonberry jam

1. Preheat oven 175° C
2. Combine butter, sugar and eggs in one bowl.
3. Combine spice, flour and bicorbanate in seperate bowl.
4. Mix dry ingredients into the egg mixture and add in sour cream.
5. Mix in lingonberry jam.
7. Pour batter into a greased pan and bake 40-45 minutes.

Posted by mich at 12:06 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 22, 2007

Swedish Christmas

Christmastime in Sweden doesn't feel much like Christmas to me. The holiday is really family-oriented here and not nearly as commercialized or so in-your-face as in North America. I admit that the excessive commercialism of the holiday has gotten to me in recent years (especially now when Christmas decorations start coming out even before Hallowe'en), but I really miss seeing all the colourful and festive decorations and hearing Christmas tunes everywhere you go. Things here are really subtle; even in the darkest time of the year* everyone's house is just simply decorated with a 7-stick electrical candlebra that sits on the windsill or with a decorative star lamp hanging from the ceiling. That's it — no colours either, just the incandescent yellow of the bulbs. We don't even have snow yet and apparently it won't come until January :(

Back in the olden days, December 13 used to be the darkest day of the year, which was the day that Lucia Day was and continues to be celebrated. It's quite an important day in Sweden and here it marks the beginning of Christmas. I woke up early that morning to watch a Lucia concert, in which a procession of girls dressed in white and are led by a girl chosen to represent Lucia, who wears a crown of candles on head. They stop and sing Swedish Christmas songs and then continue their procession. At my office that day we ate lussekatter (saffron buns), which are traditionally eaten only during Christmas, and drank warm glögg with raisin and almonds. That particular glögg had 10% alcohol however, and although I only took about 10 sips, I was pretty much out of commission the rest of the afternoon, zzzz.

julbord. It was my first time trying Swedish food, which consists of a lot of cold salmon prepared in various ways, raw herring in different sauces, and cold cuts. There weren't many warm dishes but the meatballs and Jansson's Temptation were delicious. I did make the effort to try the fish dishes that I normally wouldn't eat. I didn't realize the herring was actually raw so it came as a nasty slimy surprise. I also tried the fermented herring, which is a very Swedish dish. I never though I'd ever eat it when I read about it before coming here, but it's not as bad as it sounds when you eat it with potatoes. I probably won't ever eat it again, but now I can say I've tried real Swedish food :P Later that evening the restaurant converted into a karaoke bar at one end and a disco on the other, which seemed pretty strange to me. People were going nuts in the karaoke area singing out of tune to cheesy Swedish 80s pop music. I've come to realize that Swedes LOVE to sing. I hear them singing out loud everywhere I go: subway trains, dinner tables, airports, bars, and especially at karaoke. The dance floor was no better; the DJ was spinning all Euro dance, which I can't stand, LOL.

Over the weekend I visited Skansen, which is an open-air museum featuring historical pioneer buildings transported from all over Sweden. You can visit each building and watch people dressed in costume demonstrating things like bookbinding, glass-blowing and weaving. My friend and I primarily went there to see the Christmas market and I picked up an English copy of a Swedish cakes and cookies recipe book that I'll be trying out this weekend. I think by the end of my year in Sweden my goal is to be able to read enough Swedish to buy myself a cookbook in Swedish :)

Good news on my housing situation: I got a new roommate from Germany, who's awesome, AND my landlady's finally moving out! Hallelujah! For a while she was being so wishy-washy about whether she was actually going to move out by the end of the month (her son had bought her a new flat, but she wasn't sure if she wanted to move there). But my roommate and I just kept persuading her with cheesy lines like her son will be so disappointed if she doesn't take the place, etc. In just a few weeks we'll be free to have pork, wine and boys at our flat, haha.

* The sun rises at 8:45am and sets at 2:45pm, depressing huh?

Posted by mich at 8:49 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 10, 2007

Let It Snow

Over the past few weeks here the weather's been miserable. It turned really warm but the sky's been constantly grey and overcast. In Toronto now the temperature is sub-zero but I'm so envious of the snow! Here's it's just been raining, bleh. I really hope we get snow before Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, for the first time ever, I started my Christmas shopping a month early, so now I'm done! All I have to do is finish wrapping and packaging and then ship everything out.

Every last Friday of the month my company holds pub nights in the office, so two weeks ago we had a Polish pub night. I saw the cupboards completely CRAMMED with alcohol - it was nuts. I tried some really good Polish food like breaded meatballs and a sort of coleslaw dish. Afterwards I left for a friend's wine and cheese tasting party. He's French so his mom mailed over TONS of difference cheese from France. I liked the milder cheeses, but I tried one of the stronger ones and I had a hard time digesting it. As for the blue cheese, I just stayed far far away from that.

I got together with a friend at her flat to make homemade Christmas cards and baked a mjuk pepparkaka. Unfortunately I didn't get to taste how the cake turned out but it smelled heavenly, and it must've been quite interesting with the jam mixed inside. A traditional Swedish holiday treat I did try though was glögg, a mulled wine with spices that we warmed up and added in raisins (you can also choose to add in almonds.) I actually quite enjoyed it — the alcohol was quite weak and the drink was nice and sweet. I only had a tiny bit of it yet I still felt like falling asleep while I was crafting... I'm so weak!

Posted by mich at 3:21 PM | return | dreams [0]

November 16, 2007

Daily Life in the Stock

It's been 2 weeks now in Stockholm and I'm getting used to the everyday routine of living here on my own. It hasn't been the easiest, but hopefully I'll feel more adjusted within the next few weeks.

Here are some of my thoughts about living here:


My colleagues are super nice and friendly so I really enjoy my work environment. Strangers however, sometimes seem quite cold upon first impressions but they are generally polite and friendly when you talk to them or ask for help. I'm still not used to salespeople in stores because they never greet or even acknowledge customers. They'll even completely ignore you and continue talking to their co-workers while blocking the shelf you're trying to look at. I'm told that this is quite common in Sweden since salespeople find the service industry to be beneath them so they tend to act snobby.

The thing that most surprised though is how pushy people are here. Multiple times, when walking up the escalator or walking along the people mover, people who wanted to walk faster (and everyone who's walked with me knows I'm definitely not a slow walker) would actually push me over the the right just to pass by. Like, what the hell? Who does that? Apparently lots of Swedes. The worst incident was yesterday when I was walking up the escalator and had to stop because there was a woman blocking the path. So I stopped too. But then a hand from behind extended over my should and pushed the woman and she fell over her kids! So then I turned around to the old man and told him he didn't need to push. And then he started to push me aggresively! Seriously, what's wrong with these people? Unbelievable! I wish I turned around and elbowed him in the face or something, but of course I did nothing.


My company enrolled me in a Swedish class so I started learning Swedish last week. It's fun, but it's pretty hard. My teacher is really good but she speaks only Swedish to the class so most of it still sounds like gibberish to me. I did learn some basic things like counting numbers, saying "My name is," "I come from," "I speak English," and so on. The pronunciation is the trickiest because things aren't pronounced the way they're spelled. For example the letter 'K' can sound like 'sh', so "Kina" would be pronounced "sheena", which means China. The city "Göteborg" looks like "gotburg" but it's really pronounced "yur-teh-boray".

The Swedish language is still kind of difficult for me to distinguish (it sounds nothing like the Muppet Chef!), so sometimes I can't really tell if someone is speaking Swedish or not. If I were in a different country and I heard Swedish, I probably wouldn't be able to pinpoint the language. I thought it would be a bit similar to German, but it isn't at all - it's much more soft and melodic. Also, everybody here speaks English (and they don't sound like the IKEA guy) so I'm never forced to bust out my phrasebook.


This place is freaking expensive! From the prices I've seen, many things are 2-3 times more expensive than back home. The most outrageous price I've seen was a puny head of iceberg lettuce for almost $8 yesterday!!! I almost dropped dead. I went shopping for running shoes since I couldn't find any sizes in the States or styles in Canada, and a simple pair of Adidas costed $200. Body Shop body butters were $30-$40 and books were double the price of the Canadian prices. On the streets in Stockholm, everyone sports a Canada Goose jacket, and even back home those cost a pretty penny, but here they seriously cost over $900!!! The most confusing thing is that full-time salaries are equivalent to those in Canada, but people here pay more income tax and sales tax and high living costs so I'm so confused how people can actually afford everything!

Fortunately, the prices at IKEA are cheaper than in Canada so I've already made 2 shopping trips there :) They also have a nice line of shower products and lotions so now I know where to go instead of the Body Shop!


I still haven't actually eaten out at a real restaurant since it's quite expensive. Pretty depressing huh? I've eaten a tiny plate of rice and chicken at IKEA that cost me over $10, and a food court meal, which also cost $10. Lunch time is when the best deals are to be had. That's when restaurants have fixed-price menus called Dagens Rätt offering salad, bread, entrée and a drink. I went to one place for lunch that had a huge selection of pizzas and I chose one called La Banana, which had curry, pineapple, banana, and ham. Sounded really unique and it tasted really good! The rest of the time I make myself dinner and lunch but It's usually boring stuff. I really miss good Chinese food. I did find a Chinese grocery store yesterday and bought some sauces and noodles... but... I don't know how to make anything yet :S


It's only been a week in my new place and already I've gotten quite annoyed with the 2 other women I live with: one is the landlady and the other is a Swedish woman and they're both middle-aged. My landlady is really nice and sweet but she's imposed some rules like no friends or visitors and no alcohol. There was a third rule I found out after I bought a package of spare ribs: no pork. She's muslim so she doesn't want pork around and made me return it to the store. I was pretty angry about that because I thought it was wrong for her to impose her own dietary restrictions on me. But being the softie that I am, I returned the ribs (surprisingly you can return meat...?) She's also been moving my stuff around in the kitchen and bathroom and comes into my room when I'm not home (and my door is kept shut all the time), so I had to speak to her about that.

As for the other woman, I had only met her over the weekend... sort of. She had gone travelling when I moved in and had returned on Tuesday. Her bedroom door was open and the light was on so when I passed by the door I looked in, but there was an old half-naked woman standing around! Yuck! That was awkward so I didn't say anything. The next day after returning to my building from work, the woman held the elevator door for me to go upstairs. I tried saying hi but she ignored me, so I thought she didn't realize I was living in the same place as her. But when we both got off on the same floor and she left the apartment door open for me after going in, it was obvious she knew who I was. Then I watched her take off her dirty shoes and throw them right onto my house slippers! That peeved me off but I didn't say anything. Later on when the landlady introduced us I said hi and smiled at her, but all she did was just look at me with a blank stare. No smile, no 'hi', nothing. Hmph, rude. The next day after coming home I saw her shoes on top of my slippers AGAIN. I wanted to say something to her but I didn't really see her come out of her room that night. So this morning I purposely put my slippers away to the side, pushed my two pairs of shoes together to the side of the shoe rack and made sure she had lots of space on the rack. But when I came home after work, there was an empty space on the rack and the woman's shoes were dumped onto BOTH my pairs of shoes!!!! *huff* I don't know what's wrong with this woman, but I was so mad I threw her shoes off of mine and off the rack. I still didn't see her tonight but I'm making sure I speak to her tomorrow.

Fortunately for me the Swedish woman is moving out in 2 weeks and the landlady is moving out end of December. There's a German girl my age coming in next month. Caaaan't wait.

Posted by mich at 3:14 PM | return | dreams [1]

November 7, 2007

First Week in Stockholm

After six days of arriving in Stockholm, I've already moved. So basically my first week here was spent unpacking, then packing, and then unpacking again! I'm now in Näckrosen so I'm now only 10 min away from downtown by metro. The flat is much better furnished and my room is really nice. I've got a bunk bed with a sofa underneath it, tv, dresser, desk and wireless internet - all these things I didn't have at my previous place. I can't describe how nice it is to sleep on a real bed and on a pillow that's not a pillowcase stuffed with sweaters.

I finished a week of work already at Tilgin. My office is in the area considered as the Silicon Valley of Europe. My company is actually located right next to Microsoft and Adobe. I'm not sure whether it's my company in particular or just the general work environment here but it seems really laid back. I haven't even been shown how our applications work. Instead my manager's written up a bunch of docs describing job functions, software life cycle processes, etc. and instead of having me just take an hour reading them over myself (they're extremely straightforward), he spent a total of 4 hours reading each line with me and describing things in even more detail. It was pretty boring to say the least! At my last few jobs I was just basically thrown into the project and and just left to figure things on my own. Here, it's quite the opposite.

Can't really describe more about work, so on to the office space. It's really nice and it's got the IKEA look with all hardwood flooring and blond birch furniture. Some office rooms have frosted glass that are used for writing on like a whiteboard, and it's pretty cute to see all backward writing on the windows. There's a nice homey feel as well since all of us share an office with 3 other colleagues so it's open concept but private as well. Instead of stairwells separated from the space, we have stairs in the middle of the office going through 4 floors. All the desks have a button underneath to raise or lower it. The odd thing is I find a lot of people raise it high in order to stand while working. The kitchen sitting area has a cafe look to it and the kitchen has a whole wall tiled by microwave, fridge and freezer doors. It looks pretty neat! Since the water here is super clean, everyone drinks water from the tap. The kitchen sinks have two separate faucets for drinking water: one for plain water, and the other for bubbly water (I know Christian would be so jealous!) We get fruit baskets twice a week, which I absolutely love. Now I just get all my fruit intake at work :) I guess a healthy lifestyle is pretty important here because my company also subsidizes for gym memberships and any other sports activities we want to take up. I heard badminton's really popular here so I'm trying to find a good badminton club to join.

My co-workers are very friendly, but it's hard to remember 100+ peoples' names (and even harder to pronounce many of them.) One guy has a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey on his wall next to a Swedish team jersey. And another co-worker's wife is actually from Richmond Hill! Small world :P Every Wednesday a handful of people play innebandy (floor ball) during lunch time at a nearby gym. It's the same idea as floor hockey, but the ball is super light and bouncy so it's much faster paced. The goals are also about 1/4 the size of a regular hockey net. Another indication of the laid back nature of the people here is that they'll take 1.5 hours to play and shower, but then come back to the office to take their lunch break! Even before I arrived, the company already sent invites for the Christmas party and just a few days ago they sent out information for a ski trip they planned in April! They really love to have fun :P

Posted by mich at 7:01 PM | return | dreams [0]

September 7, 2007

Summer, I Never Knew You

I can't believe it's already September. Where did the summer go? In fact, this whole year seems to be whizzing by. Well, technically summer's not officially over and the warm weather makes me happy still, but back to school always marks the end of summer fun. It especially sucks now commuting to and from work since the heavy traffic tacks on an extra 30 min each way.

Even though I didn't get to go away for the long weekend, it was still quite hectic, yet fun. I went to the CNE at night, which was my first time going to the Ex in probably 15 years. I've never been a fan of these types of fairs and midway rides, but all of a sudden I had the urge for Tiny Tim donuts and riding on the massive ferris wheel. I ended up having a great time: I rode the ferris wheel, which was a bit disappointing because it was quite slow, went into a cheesy haunted mansion, and then Christian forced me onto the big swinging pirate boat. My first and only time going on that kind of boat ride was when I was like 3, when I begged my dad to take me on it at Wonderland. It was a horrible experience and my parents claimed that my face turned green afterwards. Ever since, I had never dared to go back on that sort of ride... until last weekend. It was just as terrifying this time around and I was screaming like a banshee (I woke up the next morning with the worst sore throat), to the point where I got so tired of screaming that I wanted to stop, but couldn't suppress myself until the ride finally ended. The highlight of the evening was Aquarêves, an acrobatic and pyrotechnic street performance by La Compagnie Malabar. It was a mix of various acrobatic feats choreographed with stilt walkers and jugglers in alien costumes set against a gorgeous floating pirate ship. It ended with pyrotechnics, bursts of flying confetti, and a non-stop gush of foamy bubbles that blanketed the entire pavement. The whole audience ran into the stage area and just played in all the foam - it was fantastic!

The entire weekend mostly consisted of eating: junk at the Ex (butterfly chips, Tiny Tim's donuts, and deep-fried perogies), Italian dinner at Yorkville, Greg's ice cream, French brunch at La Palette in Kensington (must go back for dinner!), Japanese dinner with family, and breakfast at Chez Cora's with my sisters and almost-twin-brother, Jon :P

It was only on Monday evening when I concluded I need to go on a diet: I was putting on a dress I had bought in the beginning of the year only 45 minutes right before Eyal's wedding and came to the horrible realization that I could not zip up my dress! What was a girl to do? Naturally, I was freaking out. I tried on my sister's dress but it was a little too big, then I tried on my older formal dress but the fabric's started to pop out in weird places. My mom finally came to the rescue and with a little creative re-positioning and adjusting of the halter straps, she was able to squeeze me in. Whew, disaster averted. The wedding was great - it was a Jewish ceremony so it was quite festive and involved dancing, singing and lifting the bride and groom in their chairs. Quite different from the more reserved Chinese weddings I've been to! The food and desserts were absolutely delicious... which also did not bode well at all for my dress problem, shoooot.

Posted by mich at 6:30 PM | return | dreams [0]

August 25, 2007

Cramming Summer into 3 Weeks

I can't believe summer's already almost drawing to a close. I feel like I still haven't done many summery activities still — it was only over the last few weeks that I've been trying to pack it all in.

There was one week where Christian, my youngest sister, and my cousin visiting from HK all had their birthdays that same week, so it became a whole week of family dinners and pigging out at b-day dinners: all-you-can-eat Japanese, 3-course "Bunaglicious" meal at Bungalow Café, and a huge family BBQ dinner complete with Baskin ice cream cake. To work it all off Christian and I set off on a 20km rollerblading ride from Queen/Ossington all the way to the beaches and back. It took about 3 hours in total with a 1/2 hour break in the middle. I already developed blisters on each foot only halfway to the beach, but I still managed to truck along, but by the end I was in so much pain that Christian had to help push/pull me along. I fared much better though the weekend after when we rollerbladed around all the islands from Hanlan's Point to Ward's Island and back to Centre Island, where we played on the kiddie rides at Centreville. I can never tire of bumper cars or the ferris wheel! :)

Last week there was the Toronto Fashion & Design Festival, so on Thursday evening I headed down to Yonge-Dundas Square to check out the Highlight Toronto fashion show featuring Toronto designers and set to a live performance by King Sunshine, who were absolutely fabulous. It so was my first time seeing a real fashion show with a catwalk and everything I thought it was pretty cool. I was able to slide my way through the crowd to the very end of the catwalk, where I had an unobstructed view to snap away on my camera. It was too bad I missed the I Heart Kyoto: Ethical Fashion Show earlier that evening because from the photos I saw later on, it was wild: mohawks with punk/rock glam.


The next evening I went to High Park to catch the Shakespeare play A Midsummer Night's Dream. The set was like a steel jungle gym, which didn't really make sense to me in the context of the play, but the fairy costumes were colourful, bright and whimsical. The costume styles were set in the 80's and during the play some characters broke out into hilarious rap while still reciting Shakespeare's prose. Despite the rain that resulted in a 30 minute pause of the play, it was a highly enjoying evening.

I went to Buskerfest on Sunday with Christian and Lilly but we couldn't see any of the performers over the mass of heads crowding around. Instead we scoured the area for food stalls and picked up some scrumptious fried dumplings and 3 huge bags of kettle corn, which I'm now obsessed about. It's the perfect combination of salty and sweet. I only first discovered it this year at the Waterloo dragon boat festival, and I craved it when I saw it again at the London regatta but that time they closed up shop before I had the chance to pick up a bag.

On the subject of dragon boat, our team won gold in Division B at London! I actually thought we we were going to lose our gold medal because although we came in first in the final race, we received a 1 sec. penalty before the race even started, which would have put us 0.4 seconds behind the 2nd place team. At the start our boat came so close to the one in the next lane so we were trying to adjust our position, but since we were at the furthest lane the officials didn't know what was going on so he penalized us for wasting time. When we contested the call after the race, they changed their story and said we were trying to get a huge running start ahead of the other boats and were set on the decision. To officially contest the decision would have costed $50 so we didn't bother. However, during the medal ceremony, to everyone's surprise they announced Banana Boat as the first place team. We got our gold medal after all!

Posted by mich at 6:40 PM | return | dreams [0]

August 23, 2007

I Have a Minnesota Accent, Eh?

What American accent do you have?

North Central

What people call the "Minnesota accent." Sounds almost Canadian. You may have even been asked if you were from Canada before.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.
Posted by mich at 10:04 AM | return | dreams [0]

July 23, 2007

Harry Potter and FIFA U-20 Madness

Friday evening I ventured out to the Bay/Bloor Indigo to experience the Harry Potter "Midnight Magic" event for the release of the 7th and final installment of the series. I had never been to any of the other releases, but I figured that it'd be neat to check it out for once since it's the last time this sort of thing would ever happen. Bay Street was completely closed off to pedestrian, but we had missed the fun setups earlier that night like the bouncy castle and slides. Instead we got to see some live animals — some were cute, others not so much. I petted a soft barn owl, while Cass had a huge yellow snake sit on her shoulder, and neither of us dared touching the fuzzy tarantula. We didn't make it past midnight though since we couldn't even enter the bookstore without wristbands. According to the Toronto Star, that night the Indigo chain had sold 3 books per second and averaged 50,000 sales per minute.

I just finished re-reading the 6th book to refresh my memory and now I've started on the 7th. Unlike most other people who don't put down the book until it's finished, I plan on prolonging it as long as can, just a few chapters a day. I just don't want it to end! :(

Yesterday I was at the BMO field watching the final games of the FIFA U-20 tournament: the consolation between Chile and Austria, and the final between Argentina and Czech Republic. Neither of the games were as heated as the Thursday Argentina vs Chile game, but they were still lively with some brilliant moments. Argentina had undoubtedly proven themselves to be the most talented team of the tournament, and celebrated a 3-2 victory over the Czechs. It was fantastic watching the team jumping around on the field and climbing into the roaring crowds to celebrate with them.

The best part came when a crazy fan ran onto the field chased by several security guards round and round the field. He kept dodging each guard as they came towards him and at each narrow escape the crowd cheered and applauded. He would have made a great football (American, that is) player. I also finally got to see Craig Forest! He was commentating just above my section so people were trying to call out to him to show his face. Finally after the crowd starting chanting "Come out Craig, come out Craig!" did he peer over to wave at us.

Posted by mich at 10:09 PM | return | dreams [0]

June 22, 2007

There's a Party in Sweden's Pants, and I'm Invited!

My dream is coming true... I'm finally moving to Stockholm, ja!

These last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind for me. I had four job interviews: 2 for Toronto, 1 for Denmark, and 1 for Sweden. Unbelievably, I was hired on the spot for all 4 — I had never been hired on the spot before in my whole life. I had planned on relocating early in the fall but hadn't been applying anywhere in Toronto, so I was surprised to get called in for interviews for contracts. I couldn't pass up the opportunity for a project management role (that eventually leads to full-time), but the company was understanding enough to let me only do a short 4-month contract with them when I told them I was looking for jobs abroad :) In the following weeks, I phone interviewed with the European companies, who were initially looking to hire for Aug/Sept, but were willing to wait until November after the end of my contract. I was pretty torn between the 2 offers because the job in Copenhagen seemed a lot more interesting than the one in Stockholm, but on the other hand, I had always wanted to live in Stockholm. In the end I decided that I should go more for the experience than the actual job... and the fact that there's a party in Sweden's pants had a little something to do with it too:

Posted by mich at 3:17 PM | return | dreams [1]

May 2, 2007

Addiction to Bubbles

Boomshine is a highly addictive game that I encountered. There's a bunch of floating colourful dots and you have to use you mouse to place a giant bubble on the screen to capture the dots. When a dot hits your bubble, it expands and creates a chain reaction with any other dots it hits. The soothing music, pretty colours, and enchanting visual appeal make for a mesmerizing time waster.

Posted by mich at 12:14 AM | return | dreams [0]

March 6, 2007

I Didn't Cheat, I Swear!

I guess everyone now knows of my goal to move to Europe in the near future, particularly Sweden. I'm open to other countries and have considered a few others that I know I would love, but I thought taking this fun quiz would help me narrow it down, and it worked :P

Your Inner European is Swedish!
Relaxed and peaceful.
You like to kick back and enjoy life.
Posted by mich at 7:11 PM | return | dreams [0]

February 21, 2007

Oink Oink

Happy Chinese new year! I checked out my horoscope (rooster) for this year of the pig and it's quite funny how accurately it describes my current situation and the plans I have for this year.

In 2007 your energy levels rise. Roosters spend less time at work, yet remain very productive. If you have been considering a change of career or company, this year will be favorable to make the move. Remember to balance your words and frank observations with diplomacy and tact to avoid hurt feelings. Changes will take place in your life during 2007 that will set the stage for future progress. Free yourself of anything that slows your progress or hinders your joy. "Remember to forget" - your happiness is before you, not behind you. A favorable year for reunions, family matters, surprise gatherings and even some intercontinental travel.

On new year's eve I was supposed to have a big feast with my family and relatives, but skipped that for Christan's office Festivus party. "Festivus for the rest of us" as they say, but it's basically their Christmas party in February. The food was fabulous- we had leek & potato pure, roast prime rib of beef (the second best steak I've ever had), and vanilla crme brul. The party ended at 1am but there was an after party up in the hotel room so we stuck around there for a couple more hours hanging out and pigging out on junk food. I ended up getting home at 4am (I had been hoping to be in bed by 1), so the next morning when I had to wake up early to head to the temple for new year, it was a massive struggle. Gone are the days when I could handle 4-5 hours of sleep each night and still be alert the rest of the day... I'm totally slipping >_<

Last week Christian and I finally got to try out the Brazilian restaurant Caj on West Queen West and it was quite delicious. For appetizer we had camarao, which was shrimp sauted in garlic with a passion fruit & red pepper sauce. Christian had a great traditional entre called moqueca, which was a traditional Bahia stew, with tomato and coconut milk broth, sweet peppers, onions and ginger, served with Basmati rice, shrimp and fish. I, on the other hand, had a cashew marinated chicken with ginger and garlic paste. Definitely worth another visit!

Posted by mich at 10:49 PM | return | dreams [0]

January 8, 2007


Here's a time-wasting quiz I took from Jon:

1. How old will you be in five years?

2. Do you think you will be married by then?
Depends how much I've accomplished in my life at that point.

3. How tall are you?

4. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks?
Going to the all-nighter festival in Montreal in early March.

5. What's the last movie you saw in the theater?
Casino Royale

6. Who was the last person you called?
My mom

7. Who was the last person to call you?

8. What was the last text message you received?

9. Do you prefer to call or text?

10. Do you have any pets?

11. What were you doing at 12am last night?
Tucked into bed

12. Are your parents married/separated/divorced?

13. When is the last time you saw your mom?
This morning

14. What color are your eyes?
Dark brown (not black!)

15. What time did you wake up today?

16. What are you wearing right now?
Jeans and my new Abercrombie sweater

17. What's your favorite Christmas song?
O Holy Night

18. Where is your favorite place to be?
West Queen West, downtown, home

19. Where is your least favorite place to be?
Depends on how I'm feeling... sometimes home, sometimes work, sometimes Toronto in general.

20. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
Everywhere! Next up: Greece/Turkey, Antarctica, and Sweden

21. Where do you think you'll be in 10 years?
Back in Canada after lots of travelling, married, kids, and a great job.

22. Do you tan or burn?
Neither: I sunscreen

23. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
The wicked witch from one episode of Zoobilee Zoo.

24. What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Christina's phone call in the middle of the day about a "exciting news!"

25. How many TVs do you have?
3: I love our new 46" LCD!

26. How big is your bed?
Just a tiny single bed.

27. Do you have a laptop or desktop computer?

28. Do you sleep with or without clothes on?

29. What color are your sheets?
Blue and green

30. How many pillows do you sleep with?

31. What is your favorite season?
Winter & spring

32. What do you like about fall?
The colours and the crisp air.

33. What do you like about winter?
Snow! (Where is it now??)

34. What do you like about the summer?

35. What do you like about spring?
The weather and the smell of spring.

37. How many cities/towns have you lived in?
3: Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto

38. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet?
Socks and shoes

39. Are you a social person?

40. What was the last thing you ate?
Vietnamese sub

41. What is your favorite restaurant?
I used to love Hosu, until 2 cockroach experiences.

42. What is your favorite ice cream?
Can't beat Mint Chocolate Chip!

43. What is your favorite dessert?
Tiramisu, cheesecake, and ice cream

44. What is your favorite kind of soup?
New England clam chowder

47. Do you like coffee?
Nope, I only like the smell.

48. How many glasses of water, a day, do you drink on average?

50. Would you rather sleep with someone else or alone?
My bed's only big enough for the one of me!

51. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?
In the middle

52. Do you know how to play poker?

53. Do you like to cuddle?

55. Do you have an addictive personality? (what's with all the skipped numbers?)
Some say I'm obsessive compulsive.

58. Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you?
My cousin: We were born on the 12th day, 12 years apart and 12 hours apart.

59. Do you want kids?
2 or 3!

61. Have you ever gotten stitches?

63. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool?

64. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seats?

65. Do you know how to drive stick?

66. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
Travelling, books, cameras and film.

67. Do you wear any jewelry 24/7?
Ring and watch

68. What is your favorite TV show?
Arrested Development, How I Met Your Mother, Heroes, Scrubs, Ugly Betty, The Office, Veronica Mars

71. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
A big Eeyore!

72. What is the main ring tone on your phone?
Some fluttery tune.

74. What red object is closest to you right now?
My cell phone

75. Do you turn off the water when you brush your teeth?
Of course

76. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Closed. Even if I'm almost dozed off and I realize my closet doors are open, I will force myself out of bed to close them.

77. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
Bees. Everyone knows what happened to the grizzly man.

78. Do you flirt a lot?

79. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
BBQ sauce

80. What is your favorite food?
Can't beat Chinese (I need my rice!) :P

84. What is your usual bedtime?

100. Who was the last person to do something extra special for you?

101. What was the last note you scribbled on a piece of paper?
Phone number

Posted by mich at 5:44 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 29, 2006

Happy Holidays

Christmas Sugar CookiesHappy holidays everyone! This past week has been full of hectic baking, shopping and LOTS of eating. On Christmas Eve, I was invited to Christian's house mates' dinner gathering, where I experienced my first western-styled homemade feast complete with lit candles and the fun toy crackers. I couldn't believe how much food there was; apparently it took 2 days to cook it all, from the turkey and roast to the mashed/baked potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and an abundance of vegetables and salads (and there was even a bit of rice made for me)! I brought my yummy Candy Cane Cake, which was a great hit again, and some Christmas sugar cookies using a new recipe that turned out pretty good as well. (Continue reading for the sugar cookie recipe.)

Among some of the Christmas gifts I received were Designing Interactions (yes, I'm a geek), Cook This: Recipes for the Goodtime Girl, Quick & Easy: Meals in Minutes (hmm, am I supposed to take a hint?), super duper soft bathrobe and socks, and a cute Eeyore plush toy.

On Boxing Day instead of heading down to the Eaton Centre as I usually do each year, I headed to Yorkdale, and what a pain it was. The traffic was bumper to bumper on the highway just heading over to the mall, and parking was another story all on its own. After all that trouble I didn't come out with anything but a calendar. I really just had 3 specific things I was looking for that I had problems finding even before Christmas: the brown Aline Aldo bag, a brown RW&Co sweater in small, and the new wave of Disney Treasures DVDs. None of them were even sale items and yet they were all sold out. I did manage to find my bag the next day at the Aldo underground by my workplace- I was so lucky to have snatched the last one there :)

Coming to the close of the week, I'm so terribly exhausted. I really think it's all the food I've been eating that's making me feel sleepy all day, yet I still go to bed late. Eating out every day can really take a toll on a person, especially if there's 2 buffets in the week. I definitely need to go to the gym tomorrow!

Hope you all have a safe and happy new year!

Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill dough 30 minutes or until easy to handle. If using margarine instead of butter, quick chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time until 1/8 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake in a 375 F oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. If desired, frost with icing sugar.

Posted by mich at 4:41 PM | return | dreams [0]

November 30, 2006

Welcome to My Neck of the Woods

Ok so last week as I was taking a stroll during my lunch hour, I saw all this broken glass shattered everywhere a few metres from my office. I had no idea what it was about until Christian sent me this video of the incident:

The title is "drug deal gone bad" but it turned out that it had nothing to do with drugs; according to our building manager it was a crazy homeless guy going after the driver for apparently having stolen his coat, cell phone and money.

On another work-related topic, a couple of guys at my office made this animation in response to Kramer's infamous racial outburst. Watch it, love it, share it.

Posted by mich at 11:04 PM | return | dreams [0]

November 20, 2006

Dance, Food, and Santa

Friday evening was a girl's night out. Christina and I met up after work to have a scrumptious dinner at Il Fornello, where we split a pizza with caramelized onions,smoked chicken, spinach and roasted pine nuts, a pear and strawberry salad, and tiramisu. Although we were pretty full already, the tiramisu was so delicious that we just had to order a second one, haha, oy! After dinner we went to the opera house to watch The Sleeping Beauty ballet. The performance was so beautiful and the costumes were absolutely stunning. The dancer in the role of Aurora was spectacular, having done a really difficult feat of both strength and balance (as was explained to the audience in an informative lecture before the show). Apparently the principal dancer goes through 2 or 3 pointe shoes every show; just goes to show you how much stress and pressure their feet must endure. The most surprising thing was that I didn't realize the Disney movie used variations of the music from the ballet, so I could recognize a lot of different parts the orchestra was playing. It was really quite interesting to see how the music was interpreted so differently in the ballet and movie: most notably, a piece that was played with a really sensual, playful and jazzy tone during a cat dance was the same piece used by Disney that became evil and menacing during a witch scene. I was kind of expecting a big dramatic climax when the witch dies, but all it took for her defeat was a simple cut of her string from the spinning wheel- like, where was the part when she's supposed to turn into a dragon?! Haha, j/k j/k... but still, that "climax" was kinda cheesy. Aside from that, I had a wonderful time and the 3 hours just flew right by.

Saturday night was Tony's birthday dinner so we went to the new Wasabi Japanese buffet that just opened in Richmond Hill. The place was so jam-packed that it was a struggle to get around the food area. But the selection was quite impressive- they even had a chocolate fondue fountain! I ate too much though (especially desserts :X) After dinner I made Christmas sugar cookies from scratch, which turned out surprisingly okay, considering how disastrous the dough was turning out. The dough was so dry and crumbly that I had to add in an extra egg and water to bind everything together. In the end only half the batch was successful, as I had turned the other half into rock-hard discs. What a terrible recipe; I'm not even going to bother posting it up this time.

The Santa Clause parade was yesterday and I with some fellow dodgeballers volunteered to help Sick Kids sell necklaces and toques to the crowds. The weather was so cold out that day, and after walking around from 10:30am to 2pm yelling out to the crowds, my feet were so frozen that I was limping and my throat was so sore. I think overall we were able to raise a lot of money for the hospital so that all made up for it :)

Posted by mich at 9:30 PM | return | dreams [0]

November 8, 2006

Rockin' It Like Noooobody

During our lunch break today Christian and I went over to Active Surplus to to find some headphone extensions. Instead, we found two massive buckets of Personally Yours wallets, each sporting a killer combination of flashy fluorescent colours and your own name! So we spent the next half hour digging through the buckets of electric orange, lime green and hot pink searching for specific names for our friends. I found one for myself- misspelled and everything. Now we can all be tacky wallet buddies!


I tried a muffin recipe I found in the newspaper. It asks for blueberries but since those are like 5 bucks for an itty bitty box, I replaced them with apples. I'm not sure whether you can actually call them "muffins" since they don't even have flour, sugar or butter. More like... baked oatmeal patties? They didn't turn out very sweet, but they're actually pretty nice to snack on, and they're super healthy! Continue reading for the recipe.

Apple Banana Muffins

3 bananas
1/2 cup canned pears
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup apples (e.g macintosh)
1 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal

Mash 3 bananas with the canned pears in a large bowl. Add cinnamon and vanilla and mix well. Fold in apples and oatmeal. Thinly coat muffin pan with olive oil.

Pour batter in muffin pan and bake at 450F for 30 to 45 minutes.

Yields 6 muffins.

Posted by mich at 8:14 PM | return | dreams [0]

October 30, 2006

C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween, hey!

Does anybody remember that French Halloween song? I used to sing that each year from grades 4 to 6... oh, the nostalgia.

This evening I baked some Halloween sugar cookies, and my are they sweet (the frosting and sprinkles didn't help either). They were quick and easy to make. Well, I don't know if you can even call it real baking. I took a Betty Crocker package of cookie mix and mixed it in with some margarine and egg and popped it in the oven. Oh well, they're delicious nonetheless.

Did everyone have a fun Halloween weekend? I went to a party Saturday night, but didn't even have a costume until the very last minute. During the day on Saturday I had a floor hockey tournament and I was pretty beat and headache-y when I got home so I had to take a nap. Well, by the time I woke up it was time to head to the party... so I just went in my PJs. Cheesy? Yes. Was I comfortable and warm on that cold, blustery evening? You betcha!

Posted by mich at 11:53 PM | return | dreams [0]

September 8, 2006

End of Summer

On Labour Day, instead of going to the CNE for the last day of the Ex, Christian and I headed to the Toronto Islands for a day of kiddie rides at Centreville. We rode the log ride, played 9-hole mini golf (which I won!), went on the haunted house ride, and then played a horse racing game where you have to toss the ball into holes to make your horse move. My boyfriend finally won me a toy (instead of the other way around) :P We had a picnic of homemade sushi on the other side of the island, then tossed around the frisbee and wandered around the labyrinth. On our way back to Centreville I spotted people canoeing, and we decided to rent a canoe for an hour from the boathouse nearby. We paddled all the way to the end of Ward's Island and back, which worked up quite the appetite for a funnel cake with the works: icing sugar, strawberry sauce, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Mmm... heart attack on a plate :) Afterwards we went head to head in bumper cars and then rode on the ferris wheel. I love the ferris wheel- it makes me feel like a kid on a gigantic swing. I get the funny tingles in my belly and toes.

I brought my Polaroid back to life and played around with it on the island. I've already posted a couple of piccies here and here.

Posted by mich at 12:33 AM | return | dreams [0]

August 25, 2006

Back To Cleanliness

This past weekend I went up to a rented cottage on Lake Simcoe with a bunch of friends. It wasn't really what I expected- the place was very musty and dingy and furnished with the tackiest sofas and trinkets left over from the 70s. Camping would have been nicer; at least I would have been in a clean tent rather than sleeping on on sketchy mattress (thank goodness for my sleeping bag!) Both nights were a bit rainy, but on our second night we were so set on roasting marshmellows over campfire that we had a campfire regardless of the weather. Mmm, yummy marshies. Overall the weekend was pretty relaxing... actually a bit boring, considering there was nothing really to do at Sibbald Point Provincial Park besides a 30 minute hiking trail and canoe/kayak rentals were unavailable across the island. We amused ourselves with football by the beach and a frisbee game called Cups. The rest of the time was occupied by watching videos on the laptop, a long game of Trivial Pursuit, Poker, and cooking. And no, I didn't poison anyone with my french toast or omelettes!

Here are other events that happened since my last post:

Taste of the Danforth - I went down to the Harbourfront with my family and Lilly for a free boat tour on the Kajama ship, but it was all booked up for the rest of the day :( So we headed up to the Danforth for a late lunch and stuffed ourselves with chicken pita, pork skewers, watermelon, and ice cream crpes. I don't think I've ever eaten so much on the Danforth, or had such good food (thanks to Lilly, who knew all the good food stands)! We later went to the Eaton Centre where Lilly and I teared up the stores... we make good shopping buddies: we go fast! The evening invovled more eating; this time at New Sky restaurant in Chinatown (one of the only downtown restaurants that can rival uptown), where my parents treated Christian to a birthday dinner. What a day of WAY too much food!

Birthday party at Raq 'n Waq - The evening started off great; I was having a fun time seeing friends I haven't seen in a while and having JT played (just for Mike) :P ... until someone started having a little too much fun and I played babysitter for the rest of the night and the next day. *hai* No more birthday parties for him!

Oakville Dragonboat Festival - My team won another medal! This time we got gold in Division C. In our last race we shaved off a whopping 10 seconds from our first 2 races. We even beat the time of the winners in Division B! The most classic part of it was having our whole team go up and perform the Carlton Dance when we accepted our medals.

Visitor from California - Jason was in town last week so we got together and chatted over iced capps. I hadn't seen him in 2 years since my trip to California, so it was great to catch up. He told me he got a job in Hawaii (!!!!) that he'll be starting soon. I'm so happy for him! And now I have a place to stay in Honolulu :P

And finally, after having spent the enire summer looking for it, my mom's friend found my LeSportsac fanny pack at an outlet store in the states, and for less than half the retail price! It will be perfect for when I volunteer at the Film Fest. I'm ecstatic!

Posted by mich at 9:30 AM | return | dreams [0]

July 25, 2006

Brain Excercise

I've been working on this neat brainteaser for the past while.

Basically there are 30 pages but to access each page, you need to type the answer in the URL to get to it. The first one's easy- you just click on the link. And then for the second clue, which is "2", the answer is "3", and so on.

Posted by mich at 11:33 PM | return | dreams [0]

June 25, 2006

Batch Update

It's been a busy week leaving me with no time to write. So here it is.

Last Saturday I watched 2 World Cup games during the day before heading downt to Little Italy for the Taste of Little Italy. It was pretty fun walking down the street becuase of all the flags being waved by the football fans. Many of the Italian restaurants were jam packed with long wait times so Chris and I had dinner at Utopia for sandwiches and burgers. In the evening I skipped out on my dragonboat team's fundraiser event at Touch Lounge for Sam's farewell party at Up Lounge for one last get together before he left for Dallas.

Sunday morning Chris and I went to Little Italy for brunch at Sicilian Sidewalk Caf in Little Italy and to watch the match between Brazil and Australia. The game was good, but the service at the cafe was absolutely lousy: our waitress never brought the ketchup we ask for, she didn't bring the bill until 30 min after we had asked for it, she insisted that my hot water should be charged as tea, and then wouldn't give me back the proper change because she didn't have enough money on her. What is that?? Afterwards I went into a gelato shop for some tiramisu gelato- my first taste of frozen dessert goodness in over a month! It was heaven. That evening I took my parents and relatives for Father's Day dinner at Pacific mall, where we saw our old family friends from Ottawa for like the third time in a row. What crazy coincidences- that's the only place we ever see bump into them.

Monday night was my dodgeball team's last playoff game where we completely creamed our opponent. In the end we finished 3rd out of 11... not too shabby. After that I rushed home to watch the taped Spain game, which was absolutlely thrilling. Behind a goal in the first half, then a total comeback with 3 goals!

Tuesday after work I met up with Kris to go to Sandra's convocation. Afterwards we tried out the new Tibetan/Indian restaurant on Queen called Everest. We shared samosas, a Tibetan dish of tofu, mushrooms and other veggies, and a dish of butter chicken. We met up with Janine later for the TSO performance Last Night of the Proms. It was, without a doubt, the most fun and lively evening I've ever had at the symphony. The first piece was Mavis in Las Vegas, which was full of so many different styles, from big band jazz to wedding chapel music, as it took you on a journey through the many parts of Vegas. Happy Birthday was played in different variations of styles like Hadyn, Mozard, Beethoven, Wagner, 30s film, and Hungarian folk dance. Then came the ever popular Rule Britannia, which got everyone waving their British and Canadian flags, and even doing the wave around the whole auditorium. During Fantasia on British Sea Songs, one cellist used his bow to play a saw, which sounded like music being played underwater. It was so amazing to watch him play the saw so beautifully and be able to hit all the notes with such precision. Then came Pomp and Circumstance, which had the starting brass section playing so aloof, out of sync and somewhat off-key as if they were in a high school band. Sitting above them was the choir acting as bored graduates fanning themselves and throwing pieces of crumpled paper down into the orchestra. Then came the showoff solo clarinetist who got exasperated sighs from the band members before the orchestra finally went full force into the piece. It was such an unforgettable experience.

After work on Friday I learned how to play sqaush at Goodlife. It took me a while to get the hang of the non-bouncy ball, but in no time, I was a killah! Chris and I walked over to Caf Cinquecento for Cass' farewell dinner before she headed off to HK. Afterwards I dragged Chris and Cass to walk me to Union to catch the GO bus before they would head off to the Drinks Show with the rest of the party. But the walk was so long that they didn't want to walk all the way to the CNE, so we decided to hang out at the Royal York's Epic restaurant for drinks and dessert. Cass and I both ordered virgin strawberry cocktails, and the three of us shared a cake dish with 3 tiny portions of cute miniature cakes. One was this brownie tower that oozed out fudge when you pierce it, another was a vanilla mousse on caramelized waffle, and the third was a hollow timbit-like sugared pastry with chocolate coated on the inside. They were all so delectable!

Last night I went to the TSO concert with Kris and her friend Jonathan to see Shakespeare in Love. After that I met up with Chris to go to May's birthday party at Up Lounge, which was a pretty fun time. The DJ played too much hip-hop and reggae though and not enough house. Bah! Woke up early this morning and went to the Canadian Opera Company's open house event. I went on a guided tour that took us onstage and backstage to see the rich people lounge, costume rooms and ballet studio. The ballet company is performing Sleeping Beauty in November and we got to see the costumes- they're 34 years old and they still look impecable (and the dress for Aurora was worn by Karen Kain when she performed in the production way back when). Pictures coming soon!

I went home in the afternoon to catch the Portugal vs Netherlands game. Is anyone as shocked as I was with the events that unfolded? You thought the Italy vs US game was bad, this game was nasty. One player injured twice, 2 fight break-outs, a head butt, 12 people booked, 4 red cards, and a captain that may very well have to deal with FIFA sanctions after the game. Oy. Hopefully Portugal still has enough in them to send England packing.

Posted by mich at 10:12 PM | return | dreams [0]

May 26, 2006

Food Poisoned :X

On Wednesday evening I went out to dinner at East before heading to the TSO's Salute to the Tonys performance. Our seats were on the main floor so they were pretty close to the stage. The show was great and the conductor turned out to be a hilarious character who played along with the singers' antics. I'm not sure if I was a big fan of all the vocals though... sometimes they seemed to take away from the orchestra. The soprano singer was absolutely awful, and none of the singers or the choir could sing in sync (but I must say, the baritone and tenor were amazing singers on their own).

In the middle of the night, I woke up feeling reeeaaallly sick. At first I thought I was terribly dehydrated so I had some sips of water. But no. This was something bad. I ended up having to run to the bathroom throughout the night and morning until my stomach completely emptied itself out. It left me so exhausted I ended up sleeping most of the afternoon away. And what did I have for dinner? Just a simple dish of satay tofu and veggies... not even meat. I'm never going back to East again (and neither should you)!

Tonight I attended my very first baseball game. The game was... *yawn*, but I had a good time just chatting with Cass and attempting to be part of a wave. The Jays were actually winning, but I needed to leave early because my stomach was still in a bit of pain. On a day where I couldn't eat anything, I was surrounded by food stalls selling fries, pizza, ice cream... *drool* Waaaaah :( I ended up just eating half a sandwich consisting of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber but my grinding stomach later made me realize that raw veggies are much harder to digest than meat (which I was trying to avoid).

Posted by mich at 11:29 PM | return | dreams [0]

May 18, 2006

From the New World

Just came back from watching the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's performance called From the New World with Christina. It featured string pieces by Brahms, Joachim, and Dvorak. Although I wasn't familiar with most of the pieces, I was still impressed by all the intricate details coming together as a whole. It's truly remarkable to think how a composer can create a musical piece for *every single* instrument.

Before the symphony I had Indian dinner with Christian and Christina at Babur. Oh man, put those two together and you've got a recipe for giggles and hi-jinx and... making Michelle play victim, as usual. o_O

My latest time-wasting obsession is My Heritage. You basically upload a picture of yourself and they run a face recognition algorithm to match you with a bunch of celebrities that look like you. And yours truly's top matches were GUYS. WTH!! First of all... what's up with the dudes, and second, there were barely any Asians. Here are my top matches: Aki Hakala (some Finnish drummer?), a Bee Gee, the lead singer of Linkin Park, Larry King, Elton John, Eddie Murphy....?!?! Someone please tell me they're as baffled as I am!

Posted by mich at 11:52 PM | return | dreams [0]

April 11, 2006

The Return Of The Boy Bands

After a successful showing at last year's Fringe Festival, Boygoove is coming for a long-term run in Toronto. For anyone who didn't catch it the first time, you HAVE to see it. It's a musical spoof of the whole boy band fad and is just LOL hilarious!

Some random food for thought: Ketchup was created in China and was originally a mixture of anchovies, mushrooms, walnuts, and kidney beans. Yeeeuck.

Posted by mich at 10:23 PM | return | dreams [0]

March 26, 2006

Late Nights And Old Age Don't Mix

Friday night on the spur of the moment, Cass and I decided to go out for dinner. I had stayed late at work so I was planning on staying in at home that evening and sleep early since I was so exhausted from the Coldplay concert the previous night. We tried out Malaysian food at Coconut Cafe on Hwy 7 and Kennedy. I don't remember what the dishes we ordered were called but they were pretty good. The soup noodles were a bit spicy though, but our satay chicken appetizer was absolutely scrumptious. After we totally filled ourselves up on food, we headed over to a Chinese dessert place in the same plaza, where I ordered Kiwi tapioca, Cass ordered black rice, and we split an order of black sesame dumplings. So delectable! I can't stress how full we were after all that food, but it was YUMMY! Cass and I were talking talking talking, reminiscing about all the funny times we had at SSA and in Japan. It was only until we noticed how tired we felt and our voices started cracking that we looked at the time. I thought it was 11 or 12, but it turned out that we had been chatting til 1:30, oi!

Last night was the AIESEC GTA social at Labyrinth Lounge. I was really considering skipping out because I had a tummy ache the whole day and I didn't get much sleep, but in the end I decided to go. The dinner was supposed to start at 7pm but Dennis only came over to pick me up at 7. Since we were running late, he decided to skip out on going to the gas station that was right by my house and instead fill up when we got downtown. Unfortunately, the DVP was so jammed up we were going at a crawling pace, all the while watching the gas meter sink lower and lower. Apparently there's a rumour that the yellow light can actually turn red... I did not want to test that theory though!

We got to Bloor and DVP at around 7:30 and drove aimlessly around looking for a gas station (note to self: there are none in downtown!) It took us 30 min to finally find one at King/Spadina, and after that we had to go pick up Janine from her house. She had initially been driven to the wrong address that was e-mailed to us, so she went back home to call me. After all that driving around (and many many many wrong turns), we finally arrived to our destination at 8:30 to meet up with Sam and Cass. The veggie lasagna I ordered was a bit tough to cut but it was still pretty good and really filling. My favourite was the gigantic Reese's Pieces cookie they gave us afterwards *smacks lips*. We stayed there until midnight so everyone else could take advantage of the cheap $3 drinks, then headed over to Raq 'n Waq for Christian's friend's birthday. Socialized, danced, and played pool until 2am. We drove Janine home and had already entered the DVP when Dennis realized that the waitress who took his driver's license to book a pool table never gave it back to him. So we had to do a big huge circle back to to the bar to pick it up. We bumped into Chris, Joseph, and Katie again on the street, who had just finished grabbing a bit to eat after we had all left Raq 'n Waq. So in the end, we had really left the place at 3am; I was absolutely exhausted I almost fell asleep in the car. After we dropped off Cass, I felt bad that I was such poor company so I tried talking to Dennis, but I think I ended up asking him the same question like 5 times! Oops... and no, I didn't have any alcohol! Although, it does feel like I did because I have a massive headache today >_<

Posted by mich at 5:37 PM | return | dreams [1]

March 22, 2006

A Daily Dose of Randomness

How many times can you go awwww to these poor creatures or at these adorable quotes? My favourites: "I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones" and "When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you".

And what's up with this "spring" weather? Looks like winter and spring had swapped places this year. Apparently spring comes earlier and earlier every year... back in the day we all remember March 21 as the vernal equinox. Recently it's been happening on March 20 and soon, spring will arrive March 19... all due to our weird calendar system and imperfect crazy gravitational forces on the Earth. Now we all learned something today.

Posted by mich at 10:41 PM | return | dreams [0]

March 13, 2006

Take Me Back To Asia...

It seems like everyone around me is flying off to Asia this year: my aunt & uncle are on their way to Japan and China as I type this, my mom's going to HK and China in April, my sister's going to Taiwan & HK in June, and a handful of friends going at different points during the summer. And reminicsing about all the fiascos we had with Chris and Kris makes me want to go back even more! The closest thing to being part of the real thing is going to see the Mamechiyo: The Art of Kimonoshow at Magic Pony.

Speaking of shows, I'm pretty disappointed in myself for having missed the deadline for the Gladstone Hotel's call for submissions to this year's Contact photography festival. I had planned on submitting my entry last week but got so caught up in other work that it had completely slipped my mind. Another missed opportunity :(


So last night I decided to go for Korean food at Joon's at Yonge/Sheppard. They're known for their Joon's Special, a huge plate of meat and vegetables that cooks at your table on a portable gas stove. We ordered 2 specials: chicken and cabbage with rice noodles and mozarella cheese (yum!), and seafood with veggies and long noodles. We asked them to tone down the hot sauce (I swear, it was on practically every single menu itme)... however it turned out spicy in one and super spicy in the other. You won't believe how much my dad was complaining... if it's not Chinese or French it's no good. So we just ordered him bowls and bowls of rice. We also ordered a hot stone bowl of Bibimbob (beef, veggie, and egg on rice), and although we had specifically asked not have any hot sauce in it, the dish arrived when a huge section of hot sauce embedded in the rice. Needless to say, we could have all turned into fire-breathing dragons after dinner. But if you're totally into spicy food, their specials are amazing!

Posted by mich at 10:11 PM | return | dreams [0]

March 5, 2006

Strange Coincidences

Weird night last night of 3 random meetings with people.

I went to pick up the Austrian girl Janine at her place in Little Italy and we walked to Oasis for the AIESEC dinner that was supposed to be at 8pm. We got there 15 minutes late, but there was only one person who had arrived before us. People only really started coming in at around 8:45, most of whom were from York U. Later met a few more people from U of T, Brazil, and Germany, all of whom were so friendly and great to talk to. Because of all the stragglers, we only started eating dinner at 9:45. The meal was tapas, which is basically like Spanish dim sum, where you order a whole bunch of tiny dishes to share with others. There were quite a few interesting dishes, most of which were pretty spicy... unfortunately, Janine wasn't too big on the spiciness. She did have a great time though and got to mix and mingle with a bunch of people.

I, on the other hand, was so late for Branco's b-day at Raq n Waq because of the late dinner and because it took forever to get the bill sorted out. At College & Spadina I ran after the streetcar that had stopped at the intersection but it took off without me. So while I was waiting for the next one, I saw my sister's friend Mike, who I had met last summer at the Electronic Music Festival, walking towards the shelter. I was staring at him trying to figure out whether it was him, but because it was so dark, he looked kinda of scary. He started staring back at me, so I was afraid it was because I was staring for so long. But he recognized me too and we both started saying "Aren't you...?" It was so random too, because the last time we saw each other was in the fall when we were volunteering for the McLuhan Festival of the Future, and our encounter started the exact same way. It turned out he was heading the same way as me so I had company on my way to Branco's party. But when we transferred at Queen Street, a half empty streetcar just drove past us without stopping to pick us up, delaying me even longer. I hate the TTC.

Inside the Raq n Waq, I noticed this girl that kept staring at me. Finally she came up to me and said I looked really familiar and started asking me questions. Are you from Richmond Hill? Yes. Did you go to Bayview SS? No. Are you sure? You look so familiar...?? And then it hit me. It was happening all over again. Two years ago I was shopping at a store in Hillcrest Mall, and the cashier said she knew me. I had no idea what she was talking about, and when she insisted that she was my neighbour I thought she was out of her mind. But it turned out that she really did live on my street, and I just have no idea what my neighbours look like. Flash forward to last night, and it was happening all over again. The girl was the same neighbour! (When Christian asked me whether I know any of my neighbours and I answered no, he didn't really think that I REALLY don't know my neighbours). The funniest thing however, was that we knew random facts about each other, like my mom's name and what school she goes to (although we didn't know each other's names). As it turned out, the girl's boyfriend was one of Branco's best buddies. What a small world.

On the subway ride home, I noticed two semi-familiar looking girls from my high school. They were a year younger than me and I never spoke to them, so I wasn't really sure if I was just delusional. But once we stopped at a station and everyone from the gorup stood up, I saw one of my old classmates whom I hadn't seen since graduation. As she was stepping out, she saw me and started smiling and waving, but we didn't get a chance to speak. It was a fleeting moment, but it was kind of nice to see an old friendly face after many years.

Posted by mich at 9:23 PM | return | dreams [1]

March 4, 2006

Back To School, Again

Started my Advanced Flash course at Ryerson last week. I was the only one in the class that hadn't taken any previous Flash courses, but I basically taught myself enough things to create a whole website. Well, when I told the instructor that I hadn't taken any courses prior, he asked, "Are you any good?", to which I feebly responded, "... ummm I studied computer science..." which I guess was supposed to imply, "how hard can it really be?" Turned out that the next 3 hours of class was probably the most useless class I've ever sat in, since the guy was going over Actionscript basics, like how to declare variables and explaining what loops are. After that I realized I should have said, "Yes I AM good!", LOL. Man, was I bored out of my mind... I seriously considered dropping the course, but others have convinced me to stay just to get more practice in Flash by doing assignments and projects. And it will give me incentive to finish up the site for the fashion designer, and get me moving on building my photography portfolio site.

I just got the first magazine of my Maisonneuve subscription, woo hoo! I had ordered the special box set in December, which came with 6 past issues, a POP Montreal cd, and other cute trinkets packaged in a sweet wooden box. I've only read 2 of the past issues, and slowly working my way back... too much to read! Not to mention all those books I keep buying but remain unread on my bookshelf. Even though I have time to read on the GO train, I find myself catching up on the Toronto Star, or staring out the window at the scenery- which reminds me, I should bring my camera to work with me to take some shots on my ride.

One more week of my contract at work. I'm not sure whether they have any more projects they want to put me on, but I'm way ahead of schedule on my project (so I got a nice little bonus!). I'm keeping everything open in the event that I'll be jobless after next week. I have my second interview at Much Music on Monday. The first one went really well... I met with the supervising producer and art director and got to walk through the two interconnected buildings, which are pretty cool. The next one is with the producer again along with the technical manager and a designer, sooo wish me luck everyone.

Tonight I'm meeting with an Austrian girl that came to work here for a few months as an au-pair. One of my co-workers was looking for someone her age to take her out and around the city; I figured since a few AIESEC get-togethers are coming up, it'd be the perfect place to take her to meet with other international youths. It's kind of a weird thought to just pick up a stranger whom you've never met before at their house and take them out for the evening. We'll see how things turn out, but I'm sure it'll be fun.

In continuing my long mass-blog entry, I found these two neat websites: designbungalow, and minimiam. Enjoy.

Posted by mich at 3:06 PM | return | dreams [2]

February 12, 2006

It's An Indoor Rainforest!

Last Thursday Dennis and I stumbled into U of T's brand-spanking new Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building and oh my was the architecture stunning! Wide open spaces with splashes of vibrant colours, and... mini forests on the first and second floors. When you first step in through the doors you enter a bamboo forest through which you can meander. We had no idea where the time went but when we finally left the building, an hour had already passed. I'm a big fan of the Bahen Building but this pharmacy building puts it to shame!

That evening Christian and I went to a murder mystery dinner and show at Mysteriously Yours. The whole atmosphere was so nice and the dinner was pretty good! I had cream of cauliflower soup followed by herb roasted chicken with mashed sweet potato and veggies (yummm, but waaaay too much chicken!) and finished off with chocolate-cherry cheesecake (but it didn't taste very cheesecake-y). During the dinner the characters started coming out and introducing themselves, during which one character gave me a line that I had to say during Act II. The show was hilarious, and throughout it all they had audience members popping up with funny lines and actions. Aaand, I correctly figured out whodunnit!

Posted by mich at 11:13 PM | return | dreams [0]

January 30, 2006

Year Of The Dog

Happy Chinese New Year! Fellow roosters take note: "Your hard work, both mental and physical, may take a toll."

Vanessa came back from Montreal Wednesday night- her first time back for new years since she's been at McGill. Friday night I took her to Extreme to try out the Resist-a-Ball class since she hasn't been active at all. Omigod, was she a disaster! We had to balance on the ball and she ended up falling over the place. She was either chasing after her ball that kept rolling away, or she was bumping into me and making me fall. It was a riot; she kept laughing and made me laugh so I kept losing my balance too. Next came the sit-ups we had to do in partners, where we had to link our ankles together and meet each other halfway. Let's just say that I had no one to clap my hands with at the top of my sit-ups 'cuz someone was laying on the ground three-quarters of the time! Hehe, but it was a good time, I had fun. That evening, instead of heading downtown to watch the Wintercity opening ceremonies as I had originally planned to do, my family had a big dinner at home for the eve of new year's eve.

Saturday was another big day for food. In the morning my family went out for dim sum, cleaned all afternoon, then headed to Pacific Mall in the evening for dinner with the relatives. One of the dishes must have been contaminated with nuts though because Christian ended up with a terrible stomach ache after dinner :(

Sunday morning we went to the temple, which was absolutley packed. We had to park 2 blocks away and walk in the cold and rain. Inside was smoky and I got burned by the incense I was holding. I got my fortune on a piece of paper, but I have no idea what it predicts because my mom can't interpret what's written >_< I went out for lunch during which I tried Hong Kong french toast for the first time. Pretty yummy, although it would have been better with syrup or some strawberry toppings. All in all, new years was a nice time with my family, although it wasn't without any hitches. They say that on new years day you should always think happy thoughts, and anything depressing that comes to mind will result in a year of unfortunate events. I guess I totally jinxed myself... *sigh*

My mom had a day off today so we hung out on Bloor Street in the afternoon. We watched Eve & the Fire Horse, which was a beautiful movie about Chinese girl that is doubly cursed - being born in the unlucky year of the fire horse and being named Eve - who tries consolidating her parent's buddhist beliefs with her sister's Catholic views through a child's imaginative perspective. Later, we explored the shops along Bloor as my mom was determined to look for a pair of boots. She found a pair of walking shoes that she was about to buy them until she realized that it's bad to buy shoes right after new year (because the Chinese word for shoes sounds like "hai hai seng"). But we still ended up walking into every shoe store we saw even though my mom insisted that she wasn't going to buy shoes... that is, until we were met with the 50% off section at Nine West. My mom found a pair of boots that she liked, and coincidentally, they were the first pair of boots I tried on in like 2 years that I actually really really liked. Sooo we both bought the same boots :P

Posted by mich at 6:57 PM | return | dreams [0]

January 23, 2006

Put On A Happy Face

According to British psychologist Cliff Arnall, today is considered the unhappiest day of the year when you take into account the weather, debts from holiday shopping, the time since Christmas, and abandoned New Year's resolutions (and maybe since it's a Monday too). Throw in the federal elections into the mix and you might get a very unhappy Paul Martin by the end of the evening (but let's try to be optimistic, folks!) :)

I must tell you all about this new snack I'm obsessed about now: Terra Chips. I tried the Mediterranean flavoured exotic chips that uses a variety of vegetables like taro, ruby taro, sweet potato, yuca, batata, and parsnip. Mmmm, yummy and colourful! They have them at Loblaws, but when I saw them in Kensington Market for half the price I was all over them like a fat kid on a Smartie! We also dropped into Moonbeam Caf while strolling around the market and I saw Sook-Yin Lee at one of the tables. I'm pretty sure she lives in the neighbourhood, so it would make sense. But Christian doesn't think it was her. I just think he's blind. :P

I just found out today that Carl Zeiss is coming out with lenses for Nikon SLRs!! I am absolutely ecstatic. I'm a huge fan of Zeiss lenses; although I can't afford the Contax 645 and I can't mount my Zeiss lens from my Contax RTS onto my digital, this is the happiest news ever!

Posted by mich at 5:56 PM | return | dreams [1]

January 8, 2006

Helloooo Nurse!

I made a pretty darned good chicken noodle soup the other day for my poor sick baby. It turned out a bit too thyme-y but we'll just overlook that!

Last night Chris, Sandra and I had dinner with Kris, whom we haven't seen in ages! As always, upon seeing her she bursted into laughter within the first couple of seconds. We had dinner at a sushi place, during which Chris^2 unwittingly ingested balls of wasabi tucked into their sushi pieces, resulting in flaming red faces and tears. Value entertainment that can be replayed on captured video :P Good times, hehe! Later on we trekked up to Williams for yummy waffle desserts. There goes my one dessert for this week >_<

This afternoon Michelle hosted a lovely latke lunch for a small bunch of us. Her potato pancakes were delicious and she also filled us up with salad, cheese & crackers, sandwiches, and veggies & dip. After getting all stuffed, she hauled out a fruit platter and apple pie, omg! It was a great lunch and a fun afternoon, but now I don't think I have space for dinner :P

Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

2 cans undiluted chicken broth
2 large celery sticks
1 onion
1-1.5 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 skinless, boneless chicken breats
1 cup broad egg noodles or 1/2-in. bundle spaghetti
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsely or coriander

1. Pour chicken broth and 2 cans of water into a large saucepan or pasta pot and set over medium-high heat. Slice carrots into thin rounds, then add. Thinly slice celery. Finely chop onion. Add celery and onion to broth along with thyme. Stir. Cut chicken into 1-in. cubes, then stir into broth. Bring to a boil. If using egg noodles, stir in. Then cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. If using spaghetti, break into thirds, then stir in and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 min.

2. While noodles are cooking, chop parsley. Remove soup from heat and stir in parsley. Ladle into warm bowls. Great with pieces of french bread for dipping. Soup will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 4 days or freeze up to 2 months. Noodles will absorb liquid, so you will need to add more broth or water when reheating.

Makes 7.5 cups.

Posted by mich at 6:05 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 29, 2005

Random Tidbits

For all of you bored at work or home this holiday, here's a cute puzzle to try.

There's a guy who's been trading up his one red paperclip to eventually end up with a house. He's now up to a 3-day trip to Yahk, British Columbia... it's up for trade if you have anything good to offer!

I watched 21 Grams this weekend and it was pretty good. The movie was actually filmed in sequence but followed a non-linear narration. The ending scene had an interesting quote:

How many lives do we live? How many times do we die? They say we all lose 21 grams... at the exact moment of our death. Everyone. And how much fits into 21 grams? How much is lost? When do we lose 21 grams? How much goes with them? How much is gained? How much is gained? Twenty-one grams. The weight of a stack of five nickels. The weight of a hummingbird. A chocolate bar. How much did 21 grams weigh?
Posted by mich at 5:46 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday! Now it's time for me to make some brunch :)

Posted by mich at 11:09 AM | return | dreams [0]

December 8, 2005


Man I'm bored. For the next 2 weeks I'm attending the same meeting every day taking minutes of a discussion for the rollout of a new software product. It was pretty interesting in the beginning and I was actually making suggestions for their terribly designed UI (note: business analysts and sales people should NEVER EVER be designated to design UIs). I was just sitting there shaking my head at how they were organizing the screen elements; it was quite sad. Anyway now I'm sitting in the meeting room, but there's not structure anymore. There's either different conversations going on at the same time or everyone's just typing up documents... so I'm just left here blogging away. The nice thing about this place is they treat you well- yummy breakfast and lunches every day :P And I realized just how amazing it is to take the GO train downtown in the mornings; it's on time, super fast, and comfy! I never have to stress out like I do when I'm riding the sucky TTC.

Christmas is on the way! That means I need to: shop for Christmas tree ornaments, set up the Christmas tree, start Christmas shopping, make red & green Rice Krispie treats, go skating and watch fireworks at Nathan Phillips Square, and mail out Christmas cards. Yup, Im always late to do my Christmas stuff every year.

Posted by mich at 1:45 PM | return | dreams [0]

October 5, 2005

Update On My Boring Life

My life is so blah right now I don't even have the motivation to write about it on a regular basis. So now I'm doing batch updates :P

I volunteered a bit for the McLuhan International Festival of the Future that was last week. Not very fun since there wasn't a big turnout and because everything was super disorganized. The upside was that I got to go to the events for free and got to attend some really interesting talks and discussion panels.

As for the status of my contract with Princess Cruises, I was assigned to leave from LA on November 12, but I'll be deferring it again to start sometime in December. If my sis and I get assigned to the same ship that'd be pretty cool.

I just got a tutoring job last night through Sam to tutor grade 9 French twice a week, so I'll be starting that tomorrow. Holy cow, I can't believe I'm actually going to making some money, woohoo!

Two weeks ago I attended a fashion show by Amber Delicious to celebrate the opening of her store. Here are a few pictures I took that night:

Posted by mich at 10:47 AM | return | dreams [0]

August 2, 2005

I Said I Hated The Beach, But...

I'm hooked on beach volleyball now. I played it for the first time yesterday at Ashbridges Bay and it was so much fun. The only icky part was falling a bunch of times and getting sand stuck to my sweaty back. Played in the water, played some frisbee... good times :) After the beach, Christian came over and we made Vietnamese Beef and Herb Rice Paper Rolls for dinner. They turned out pretty well, but I forgot to take my food picture! The recipe is in the 'continue reading' section for anyone who's interested.

Hm, what else happened over the past 2 weeks? Went to the controller.controller concert at Lee's Palace, Summerlicious dinner at Innocenti, watched Kid Koala at Harbourfront's Dim Sum Festival (he was soooo amazing), watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on IMAX, Justine's b-day at Windy O'Neil's, lunched with Nelson on a stay from HK, BBT'd with San, Tony and Chris, casted a model for a fashion shoot, played at Centreville on Centre Island on Saturday (where I won a stuffed toy for both myself and Christian :P), went to the driving range on Sunday and had an evening of foosball competitions, and beach bummed yesterday. Whew.

Now back to learning how to Flash.

Vietnamese Beef and Herb Rice Paper Rolls

1 stalk lemon grass
2 shallots, sliced
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish or soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
500 g sirloin or fillet steak
1 tablespoon oil
12 rice paper wrappers
12 lettuce leaves, washed and dried
30 g mint leaves
20 g fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves

Other suggested veggies:
cucumber, bell peppers, bean sprouts, carrots

1. Cut off the thick bottom one-third of the lemon grass stalk. Discard the rest. Blend the lemon grass, shallots, garlic and sugar to a smooth paste. Add some fish/soy sauce if the mixture gets too dry.

2. Transfer to a bowl then add the remaining fish/soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, sesame seeds, onion and beef. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour.

3. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Pan-fry the meat on very high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until done to taste. (Instead of pan-frying, you can barbeque the beef on a table-top grill greased with oil.)

4. Transfer to a plate to cool. Once the meat has cooled, slice thinly.

5. Dip 1 sheet of rice paper in a bowl of warm water for 3-4 seconds. Remove and place on a tea towel, smoothing the rice paper with your fingers.

6. Place 1 lettuce leaf on each sheet.

7. Add some beef, mint, coriander leaves, and other vegetables you prefer. Fold one end over the filling, then fold the sides, and roll up tightly, pressing to seal.

8. Cut in half and place on a serving plate.

Repeat until all the ingredients are used up. Make sure the rolls do not touch each other or they will stick. Serve with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce.

Makes 12 rolls.

Posted by mich at 11:12 PM | return | dreams [0]

July 10, 2005

My New Toy

Haven't updated in a long time so this might be a long entry!

The big news first: I finally got a digital camera! The Nikon D70s.
Yup, I've crossed over to the dark side, but it's come to the point where I it's about time I go digital. Especially with the fashion photography course I'm taking, digital is the way to go.

Ok now let's recap on my last few weeks....

The last weekend in June I went camping at Algonquin Park's Mew Lake. I got attacked by vicious black flies, but other than that, the trip was fine and dandy! We got into the campsite at around 11pm Friday night and ended up having to set up our tents using the car headlights as our light source. The next day we rented canoes and paddled around Canoe Lake, then did a little hiking trip to an outlook. Unfortunately those were the only outdoorsy activities we got to do. Most of our time was taken up being iron chefs.

For the Canada Day long weekend Christian and I went to the nation's capital. We got in by bus on Thursday at midnight. We stayed at a cute B&B about a 15 min walk from Parliament. On Canada Day we checked out the events going on at Parliamnet Hill and Major's Hill Park, walked about Byward Market, and went to the National Gallery for the Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence exhibit. We took a lunch break at Byward Market for Chris' mandatory poutine meal, then headed back to the gallery to look at the permanant collections. At 3pm we headed back to the B&B to rest while it rained outside. Mr. Sleepyhead passed out for a couple of hours and left me to go off walking around by myself! When he came to, we had dinner at a Thai restaurant at Byward, then headed to the Hill to catch Sam Robert's performance and the fireworks. The scene after the fireworks was nuts. We were pushed and shoved around and packed like sardines walking down Wellington St. We made a pit stop for Beaver Tails at the Market before attempting to meet Thy at the Aristocrat Suite she was staying at for the night. Unfortunately, with a faulty set of directions we totally missed the hotel and walked all the way down to the Museum of Nature area. By the time we figured out where the hotel really was it was already 12:30 and we were beat so we just headed back to the B&B :(

On the Saturday we watched a bit of the changing of the guards on the Hill, visited the Museum of Contemporary Photography, made necklaces at Sassy Beads in the Market, and had a patio lunch at Black Tomato, where I had a tiny bit of alcohol with my meal. Big mistake. I developed a headache and was so tired after lunch that I needed a nap nap in Major's Hill Park. That evening we took the bus to Kanata, met up with Jon and we visited our old houses- they looked sooo much smaller than we remembered. The good ol' days... *sigh*! We went out to dinner with Jon and his parents at a Texan restaurant then retired early with plans to wake up at 5am the next morning (haha, yeah right!) The next morning we woke up at 6am and explored downtown during sunrise before heading back to the B&B for breakfast. We didn't do much else that morning before we had to head to the bus station back to Toronto.

This weekend has been quite busy as well. Friday night was the opening ceremony for the Toronto Street Festival. Chris and I checked it out at Yonge Dundas Square- we saw Great Big Sea perform and Les Girafes Urban Operetta, which was basically a parade of red elephants on the street. Not as impressive as the Malaya Winterfest closing performace, but still a fun spectacle nonetheless. Yesterday morning I had to wake up at 7am to make it down to Ryerson for our first fashion shoot with models and make-up artists. Everyone was split up into pairs except my group, which consisted of 3 people. More people to split up the time with the model plus a SUPER SLOW make up artist didn't leave our group members much time to photograph. I only got to start shooting after 3:30 (we were supposed to finish by 4). It was pretty stressful and that day only confirmed how uncomfortable directing and managing people. I did come out with some nice shots though... hopefully everything will go better during the next shoot. Later in the evening I went to the Harbourfront Centre's Electronic Music Festival with Chris and Mike, and later met up with my sister and her friend, and Tony. We ended up having Indian dinner in the eastern part of the city at 11pm. The food took FOREVER to come which was driving me crazy. To top it all off, I asked for my dish to be mild, but it turned out to be spicier than everyone else's dishes! It's official- no more Indian food for me EVER AGAIN! Five strikes. Thanks again to Tony for driving me and my sis home :)

Today my family and I went to E.D. Smith Farm in the Niagara Escarpment for cherry picking. It was pretty fun aside from the burning heat, my out of control allergies, and the 40 minute wait in line to get into the fields.

Posted by mich at 10:49 PM | return | dreams [2]

May 17, 2005

Bumming Around

Life as an unemployed bum is hard. Too much to do... I've become a busy busy bee. Aside from a full-time "job" of building my online art/design/photography portfolio and applying for jobs, a girl's got to have some fun too!

Last Tuesday was the CSSU handover dinner at The Keg, where I learned the hard way that prime rib is really steak instead of a rack of ribs (disappointment #1). The mashed potatoes were fabulous, but halfway through I decided to add butter. However, I had mistaken my small cup of horseradish for butter in the dim light. I mixed around the horseradish and practically choked on my first bite- it was utterly disgusting. I had completely ruined the rest of my scrumptious mashed potatoes (disappointment #2). After dinner a handful of us went to Dmitre's on Eglington for dessert. I was so tempted to get the strawberry milkshake, but learning from my lesson at the Keg for not diversifying from Chris' choice, I decided to try the strawberry smoothie. It was the WORST smoothie I ever had in my entire life. It was tasteless and SOUR. Should not have diversified (disapointment #3).

Wednesday, Christian came uptown to hang out for the day. We lunched with Chris, Tony and Sandra at Ding Tai Fong Shanghai restaurant at First Markham. Watched a few episodes of 24 in the afternoon and then made dinner for my family at night. This dinner was much more successful than our first attempt as we got no complaints from anyone (and had enough food for everyone)! The night's meal consisted of rice, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, BBQ spare ribs, and baked chicken breast. The rosated veggies and mashed potatoes were delish! Gotta love my Betty Crocker cookbook :) [continue reading for recipes]

Friday is known as couch potato day... really! I swear, Christian and I left permanent bum marks on the couch from sitting in front of the TV ALL day watching 24. Ok I exaggerate. We got up to make salad and perogies with onions for lunch. Then we plopped back down. 11 episodes in a day. 6 more to go!

On Sunday I was accomplice to a shopaholic spree at the Eaton Centre. I got to take Christian shopping for grownup clothes! He cleans up pretty nicely... from a bum to a lang jai all in one afternoon :P

'Twas a pretty long day today. Transported my bike downtown in the morning, grocery shopped in Kensignton with Christian for picnic lunch things, then prepared lunch. Early afternoon we went out with Joseph for a light lunch at a Tibetan restaurant where I tried some Momos (dumplings). On our walk back to Chris' place, a pigeon pooped on Chris' shoulder... yucky! (proof #1 that bad things happen to bad people). We took out our bikes and biked down Bathurst Street to Queen's Quay then along the lakeshore all the way to High Park. We biked around the park and in some forested areas then lunched on our yummy yummy sandwiches (I love that creamy Havarti cheese!). After that we visited Christian's best friend's family and socialized until the evening. During dinner, Chris sat on a stool that broke right when he sat down (proof #2 that bad things happen to bad people). Hm, I think I'm onto something.

Back to portfolio-ing.

Mashed Potatoes

6 medium potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper

1. Wash and peel the potatoes, and cut into large pieces. Remove the margarine from the refrigerator so it can soften while the potatoes cook.

2. Add 1 inch of water (and the 1/4 teaspoon salt if desired) to the saucepan. Cover and heat the boiling over high heat. Add potato pieces. Cover and heat to boiling, reduce heat just enough so water bubbles gently.

3. Cook covered 20 to 25 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. The cooking time will vary, depending on the size of the potato pieces and the type of potato used. Drain potatoes in a strainer.

4. Return the drained potatoes to the saucepan, and cook over low heat about 1 minute to dry them. While cooking, shake the pan often to keep the potatoes from burning, which can happen very easily once the water has been drained off.

5. Place the potatoes in a medium bowl to be mashed. You can mash them in the same saucepan they were cooked in if the saucepan will not be damaged by the potato masher or electric mixer.

6. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or electric mixer until no lumps remain. Add the milk in small amounts, beating after each addition. You may not use all the milk because the amount needed to make potatoes smooth and fluffy depends on the type of potato used. Add the margarine, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Beat vigourously until potatoes are light and fluffy.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Roasted Vegetables

1 medium red or green bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 medium zucchini
1/4 pound mushrooms
Olive oil-flavoured or regular cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves, if desired

1. Cut the bell pepper lengthwise in half, and cut out seeds and membrane. Cut each half lengthwise into 4 strips.

2. Peel the onion, and cut in half. Wrap on half of onion, and refrigerate for another use. Cut remaining half into 4 wedges, then separate into pieces.

3. Cut the zucchini crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Cut off and discard the end of each mushroom stem, and leave the mushrooms whole.

4. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray the bottom of the pan with cooking spray. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer in the sprayed pan. Spray the vegetables with cooking spray until lightly coated. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil.

5. Bake uncovered 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Turn vegetables over. Bake uncovered about 10 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender when pierced with a fork.

Makes 4 servings.

Posted by mich at 11:18 PM | return | dreams [1]

May 4, 2005

Back to Kitchen Madness

Now that school's out, that leaves some time for some cooking craziness :) So Christian and I made Chunky Broccoli Soup for lunch yesterday and it was marvelous! I've never had such yummy soup (except for New England clam chowder) :P

Continue reading for the recipe...

Yup I was a rabbit yesterday. The soup was so filling that I could only have a garden salad for dinner. We went out to dinner at Milestone's and bubble tea at Ten Ren's with Justine, Brad, Jon and David. Unfortunately, I almost killed someone with the pecans in my salad. Poor baby :( And all I can say about Jon and David is that... they're craaaaazy! :P

This week I'm gonna get so fat. I'm going out to eat practically every single night o_O I also found out that we have family friends from Ottawa coming in tomorrow evening to stay with us until Sunday for Jon's (not JD) graduation. So tomorrow we're going out to dinner for Mother's Day, since Vanessa is going back to Montreal on Sat., then dessert at Dmetre's with Darryl and Co., Friday is the CS grad BBQ (which means I miss out on dinner with our guests), Saturday is dinner with the CS gang, and Sunday is Mother's Day dinner with grandma. OK, I'm off to go jogging now... better start burning the calories off before they even arrive right?

Chunky Broccoli Soup

1 large or 2 small stalks of broccoli (about 3/4 pound)
1 small carrot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) ready-to-serve chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup half-and-half

1. Trim the large leaves from the broccoli and cut off any tough ends of lower stems. Rinse broccoli with cool water. Cut flower end from stalk, and cut flowerets into bite-size pieces. Cut the stalk into small pieces, about 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes. You should have about 3 cups of broccoli, including the flowerets, but having a little more or less is fine.

2. Peel and shred the carrot. Any size shreds is fine.

3. Heat the broccoli, shredded carrot, salt, pepper and chicken broth to boiling in the saucepan over high heat. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat just enough so mixture bubbles gently. Cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until broccoli is tender when pierced with a fork.

4. Mix the flour and water in a small bowl or measuring cup with a fort or wire whisk until the flour is dissolved. Pour this mixture gradually into the broccoli mixture, stirring broccoli mixture constantly while pouring.

5. Heat to boiling over high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 1 mintue, stirring constantly.

6. Stir in the half-and-half. Cook, stirring occasionally, until hot. The Soup should look hot and steamy, but do not let it boil.

Makes 4 servings.

Posted by mich at 9:27 AM | return | dreams [2]

April 29, 2005

The Arcade Fiiiiiiire

Last night was The Arcade Fire concert at Danforth Music Hall Theatre. One of the openers was Final Fantasy, which is basically a solo violinist who creates loops of musical patterns that are layered to create his own little orchestra background. Impressive stuff. The Arcade Fire was simply amazing and the whole crowd got into the groove... except me :/ I just couldn't get into the mood... I was tired, sleepy, and my legs were aching (I guess an afternoon of inhaling darkroom chemicals, then going to kickboxing class didn't really help the matter). But lately, I've found myself feeling quite unhappy sometimes; it's kind of like my early high school phase all over again. It's like this wave of moodiness that washes over me for no apparent reason- and it just hits me by surprise. But I digress. The band was so energetic and great... they ended up doing 3 encores.

In other news...... the CSSU Yearbook is *finally* done!!! It feels so good to have this huge elephant off my back. Now my summer can officially start. First few orders of business: houseclean & find new glasses.

Here's the rest of my summer to-do list:

  • :: *build online portfolio*
  • :: Japan trip scrapbook (yes, stiiiill!)
  • :: job search (for both summer and European work)
  • :: organize photographs from the past couple of years (and labelled of course!)
  • :: photography projects
  • :: make stuffed toy
  • :: take a summer course/workshop
  • :: trips to NYC, Ottawa and Montreal
  • :: start California trip scrapbook (am I being too optimistic?)
  • :: catch up on reading

If you all know me, you might think I'm being a bit over-ambitious here like how I was during Christmas break. But I'm gonna be good this time! I've got 4+ months! Just wish me luck! :P

Posted by mich at 10:14 PM | return | dreams [2]

February 9, 2005


Happy year of the rooster! One of the great things about being Chinese is getting to celebrate another holiday where you receive money and eat lots of food! *sigh* I really am getting old. I remember the last time it was the rooster year I was thinking ahead to how old I would be the next time it came around. TWENTY-FOUR?! Holy jeez, that's OOOOLD!!! And now here I am.

For all my fellow rooster compadres here's what's in store for this year:

The Rooster can expect some conjugal or family challenges this year. To come out well, take the bull by the horns and solve these situations with lucidity and aggressiveness, instead of burying your head in the sand. Remember that nobody can solve problems by fleeing or by pretending that they don't exist. It is all a question of courage. 'It's not because things are difficult that we dare not, it's because we dare not that things are difficult,' as Seneca wrote. Even though a solution may not immediately show itself, an optimistic, philosophical attitude could soften the cutting edge of any obstacles.

And more specifically, here's the forecast for the metal roosters:

Your self-confidence will prove to be your best ally. The stars will favor your professional success by allowing you to profit from superb opportunities. Heartwise, you'll have every reason to rejoice. Harmony will reign in your couple and, if you're free, you could very well meet your great love this year.

Posted by mich at 7:21 PM | return | dreams [1]

January 24, 2005

The Most Depressing Day

Apparently January 24th is the worst day of the year. And here's the formula to prove it!

( [W + (D-d)] x TQ ) / ( M x NA )

where (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.

From msn.com

No wonder I've been feeling so lethargic today... I slept the late afternoon/early evening away despite having an essay and quiz tomorrow. Oops. Ok back to work.

Posted by mich at 9:31 PM | return | dreams [1]

October 31, 2004

Happy Hallowe'en!

An uneventful Hallowe'en this year. Didn't give out candy; I just stayed in all day preparing for my capstone presentation that has to be 30 min to an hour long. Boooooo (not in a Hallowe'en spirit sort of way but a sucky boo).

Friday morning was pretty terrible. Aside from not having slept at all that night from preparing my seminar presentation for my landscapes class, I only got to start my collage assignment at 7am that was due later that afternoon. I slapped together a bunch of things together in a mad rush to finish by 8:30 to catch the bus. As if my morning wasn't hectic enough, the printer wasn't working so I had to try to fix it in order to print my presentation notes. I did manage to catch an early bus with a schoolmate, but on the bus I realized I was talking to him about my collage, yet it was nowhere in sight. I jumped off the bus at the next stop, bolted back home to pick up the piece of garbage that I'm passing off as art, then run back to my bus stop, and made it just in time for the next bus. By that time I thought I was going to faint, having neither slept nor eaten very much. It was rush hour on the subyway so I had to remain standing all the way to school- I thought I was gonna die. I almost fell asleep in both my classes, even during my seminar presentation when one of my group members was speaking. That was my first all-nighter of this school year, and hopefully the last. I'm getting too old... my body can't handle it any more! Luckily by late afternoon I got a second wind. After my last class Christian came back home with me to carve a pumpkin! He's got mouldy hair and super cute bear ears. I named him Winnie. He lights up in the dark. He's so cool!

Posted by mich at 10:24 PM | return | dreams [0]

October 30, 2004

Revelation of the Day

I'm Smitten

Posted by mich at 12:40 AM | return | dreams [0]

October 27, 2004

You Learn Something New Every Day

While doing my readings for a seminar presentation in my Defining Landscapes course I learned that one of the main reasons why the automobile became so central in the lives of post-war North Americans was due to the ruthless marketing strategies of General Motors. They designed cars with "planned obselescence" to keep people wanting the newest car models, and they bought up mass-transit companies only to eliminate them leaving commuters only one choice for transporation: automobiles. Interesting eh? :P

And yes I did learn something yesterday too. Did everyone know you can actually toast bagels in those pop-up toasters? I always assumed they could never fit so I've been employing toaster ovens for all this time. But yuppers, you can toast them in a real toaster... I saw it with my very own eyes today!!

Posted by mich at 9:26 PM | return | dreams [0]

Instruction #141

Go out and hug somebody!

Posted by mich at 4:46 PM | return | dreams [0]

October 17, 2004

No, I Haven't Fallen Off The Face Of The Planet

Oops, it's been a month... I guess I just got a bit lazy (and busy :P). But about a week ago I tried upgrading my Movable Type version and now I can't connect to my database, which is another reason I haven't blogged a bit earlier. Let's see... what's been up with me lately? During the gobble gobble weekend went to the Metric concert, went wall climbing and checked out the Danish Festival at the Harbourfront Center. But it was too much playing and I paid for it during the week. With a CSC 343 assignment, collage project and landscape project I got barely any sleep, pulling in 2 hours on Thurs. night :/ It's a wonder how I made it through the next day at school, took in the Hamlet play at night and stayed out downtown until 3am. I guess being in CS can turn you into a real trooper :P

Here's a pic I took from my installation I did on Wednesday at Nathan Phillips Square. I call it I call it "Beautiful Garbage"... basically I wrapped up garbage in colourful tissue paper and littered them on the ground among the garbage already on the site to raise environmental awareness. It got a few dirty looks, some puzzled expressions and a lot of hilarious interactions.

Posted by mich at 10:08 PM | return | dreams [0]

August 10, 2004

I Wub John Mayer

Saturday was a pretty busy day for me. I woke up at 6:45 am, had breakfast, and then went to Pearson's Terminal 1 to say goodbye to my grandmother. Coming back from the airport I headed to IKEA with my parents at 9am. I bought a new bed, wavy full-length mirror, and desk lamp. I had IKEA's $1 (!!!) breakfast, which consisted of scrambled eggs, potato cutlets, 2 breakfast sausages, and a mini croissant. What a deal! Everything tasted yummy except for the eggs... I don't even know if they were "real" eggs. After transporting everything home I went for a jog before heading downtown for the Taste of the Danforth with Michelle, Justine, Stacy, Brad, Christian, Yit and Mel. Despite the double breakfast, my jog had worked up my appetite for some pigging out at the festival. From 3-6pm we walked up and down the street savouring the delicious food. I had pork souvlaki, gyro, roasted corn, cashew baklava, and washed it all down with homemade lemonade.

That night was the night of the John Mayer concert. I met up with Tony, Mike, and Dennis at the Molson Amphitheatre at 7pm. Maroon 5 played from 8-8:40. I was quite excited for Maroon 5; they were pretty good, but I guess I was overexcited for them that the performance didn't blow me away. John Mayer was a different story. He played from 9pm to almost 11 pm and started off the night with "Clarity". Every song he played was amazing live and he showcased some impressive guitar playing. I couldn't stop humming the tunes after the concert; I was on such a high! After the concert Mike, Dennis, Tony and I met up with Chris to grab a bit to eat at Einstein's, where I yet another mosquito bite :(

Posted by mich at 9:03 PM | return | dreams [2]

August 6, 2004

Weekend Again *Yipee*

This past long weekend was a camping weekend for me. It was my first time camping since grade 10, making that about 8 years. Can't believe it was that long ago. It was different this time around because it was with a group of friends rather than being in a supervised group of Girl Guides. There were 16 of us staying at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, which is just a bit north of Algonquin Park. We started our trip at 3am from Yorkdale Saturday morning so that we were the first ones there at the office before it opened at 9am in order to grab the last 3 available non-reservable sites.

On Saturday I relaxed/read/slept on the beach, explored the rocky shore by the river, took a jog, and went hiking. In the evening I sat by the lake to watch the full moon and star gaze. Unfortunately that night I wore sandals and ended up with around 20 bug bites on my feet.

Sunday was canoe day. We headed to the northern part of Algonquin, which is more wild and tranquil than the southern end. With 6 canoes for our group we paddled out onto Kioshkowi Lake and for the next 5 hours it was just us alone in the wildnerness. It was simply amazing- an experience I'll never forget. I brought my Contax and Olympus cameras along for the ride and took many pictures of the gorgeous scenery. I'm getting the pictures back tomorrow; I hope they turn out alright.

I can't believe it's already the weekend again.

Posted by mich at 11:35 PM | return | dreams [0]

July 27, 2004

Calm After the Storm

I started the arduous task of cleaning out and re-arranging my room yesterday. I probably spent about 6 hours taking out everything from boxes and drawers and going through piles of stuff I've collected over the years. I still had an Ontario Place visitor guide from '94 during my visit to Toronto that summer. My room was a disaster last night- it looked like a tornado had whirled by. I could barely make my way through space without stepping on something. Today I spent another 5 hours chucking out hoardes of stuff and re-arranging the things I've kept in order to make more space for new things I'll accumulate :P Honestly, by the time I finished cleaning, I had over 25 pounds of recyclable material to get rid of (filling up a box and a bag), a bag of garbage, and 3 bags of things I didn't want to keep anymore but didn't have the heart to throw out. Looking around my room now, it looks so tidy and spacious. I LOVE the feeling after having cleaned for so long. Now I just have to finish vacuuming tomorrow morning before I head to work, and then move my computer up to my room once I get my new LCD mon.

Soon I need to head over to IKEA to look for a new bed frame and night table; the ones I currently have now are from when I was a kid, so they're all covered in stickers and scribbles LOL. This is the bed I'm eying from IKEA- it totally matches with my other furniture I bought from there. I adore that store.

All that cleaning has made me sleepless. I gotta wake up at 7am tomorrow. Yikes.

Posted by mich at 2:04 AM | return | dreams [0]

July 25, 2004

I Wish Summer Wasn't Going By So Quickly

Yesterday I went to a volunteer recruitment session for the Toronto International Film Festival with Cass and Jen. We signed up for shifts at the Isabel Bader Theatre right on the U of T campus for convenience. I'm quite excited- should be fun!

The session lasted for 2.5 hours after which I met up with Justine, Brad and Michelle for "lunch" for about an hour at Duke of Richmond. Michelle and Justine were going to go with me to the Beaches Jazz Festival but they ditched me! Justine went back uptown for her b-day dinner with family and Michelle went off to go shopping instead. I met back up with Cass and Jen, who had both gone shopping at the Eaton Center, because Cass said she was going to go to the Beaches too. But she ditched me too to continue her shopping. T_T

So in the end it was just Chris and I who went off to the Jazz Fest. We walked along Queen St. East and along the boardwalk and back up to Queen. After 7pm all the bands started playing outside stores and restaurants- many of them playing blues and country...?? I didn't understand that. We only encountered one band playing big band jazz, and we only caught less than a minute of their playing before they packed up! :( We had dinner at a Thai restaurant then headed to Elmocambo for the Emily Haines solo show. It was so unbearably hot in that place, but luckily I had my TIFF volunteer booklet to use as a fan. The show was pretty good- Emily came out at 11pm and played until midnight. The songs she played were slow and mellow and included a few Metric songs. It was just her pretty voice and the piano, which made for a beautiful performance. Too bad she was so shy... she came out blindfolded and barely turned around from the piano to face the audience. But at one point she stopped playing and started doing the robot on the stage, which provided some laughs.


I'm finally getting my LCD monitor tomorrow!! It's been almost a year since I've had my computer, yet I didn't have my own monitor. I've been using an old CRT mon from 1995; it takes up too much space so I've had to use my computer downstairs. Now I've got to clean up my bedroom to finally make space for my computer. Now comes all the distractions: TV, movies, music, MSN :O I hope I don't become a hermit in my room.

Posted by mich at 3:44 PM | return | dreams [0]

July 3, 2004

Canada Day in Toronto Depresses Me

Why? Because there's never any good celebrations here. But it didn't matter anyway since I had to work yesterday. We got our holiday today instead so that we would have a long weekend. I only had a half day anyway as my manager let us off whenever we wanted. So I went home to watch the Czech vs. Greece game. The game was quite boring; Czech had so many great opportunities, but they kept missing the goal. Can't believe that Greece got that corner kick goal. Ouch. So looks like the first and final game of the tourney will be Portugal vs. Greece. How exciting is that? But this time around it'll be Portugal to win :)

At night I went to see the fireworks at Ontario with a bunch of friends. They weren't that great (but I had low expectations for them anyway). After the show, instead of taking the streetcar back to Union Station, we decided to walk, which took about an hour.

Today I slept in until noon, went jogging, then headed downtown to go bike shopping. I wasn't successful in finding the right bike (they were either not comfortable or not available in my size). I saw the Norco lifestyle bikes at one store; I love the style but they didn't have my size. I tried out a mountain bike that drove pretty well, but I didn't find the seat to comfy. I met up with Chris a little before 5:00 and we went to a couple more bike stores, but I didn't see anything that I liked. Walked around Queen Street area, then watched Fahrenheit 9/11 at Paramount at 6:20. The movie was really good; comical scenes one moment, then you witness some appalling things the next. It was amazing how Moore found all that information and presented all the links between the Bush family and the Bin Ladens and the Saudis. After the move we had dinner at Korean BBQ, where we inadvertantly had some ox tongue :/ Hehe, but we couldn't taste the difference between that and the other meats (probably because they were all charred)! Later went to Milwaukee's to meet up with Michelle for Stacy's birthday, but we didn't stay long. Chris and I were planning to catch a fringe play called Fish and For Dessert at 11pm (this girl I worked with on the drama production just saw me on the street today and gave me a free pair of tickets), but it turned out that my dad wouldn't be able to pick me up so late from the subway station, so then I just went home. And that was my "holiday".

Posted by mich at 1:33 AM | return | dreams [0]

July 1, 2004

Pride, Football and Strawberries

Sunday went to the Pride Parade with Cass, Tony, and Chris; met up with Jon as well and had a great time. That night I went to dinner at Tundra with Ravit, Justine and Michelle for the Mirvish theatre package dinner. For starter we had belgium endive with st benoit blue cheese, peaches, toasted walnuts, raspberry vinaigrette, then I ordered grilled grain fed chicken breast with garlic whipped potato, green asparagus and roasted shallot jus for the main course and then we had strawberry and rhubarb cake. The dinner was quite yummy, but the blue cheese in the salad was so disgusting (what's up with the spiciness?).

Who watched the Portugal vs Netherlands game today? Portugal was awesome! I'm telling you guys, they're gonna win the EuroCup! *fingers crossed* Although the score was 2-1, Portugal ended up scoring all the goals, haha! And they were all really great goals too! Cannot wait to see the final game on Sunday... woo hoo!

Today I just found... get this... strawberry white chocolate cookies!! When I saw these, of course (being the cookie monster that I am), I HAD to get them. Pretty delicious; strawberry flavoured with morcels of strawberries and white chocolate. Mmmmmmmmmmmm *smacks lips*.

Posted by mich at 1:01 AM | return | dreams [1]

June 25, 2004

I Love Google

I just got Gmail yesterday; Hershey was nice enough to give me his account :) It's pretty nifty, although I have issues with parts of the interface design. But 1Gb of space... can't complain!

And who knew Google was a lot more than just your typical search engine? Check out these Google search tips. Calculater? Atlas? Department of Motor Vehicles? What more can it possibly be?

And as if we couldn't get any more of Beckham (aka cherry picker), here are some funny links:

Posted by mich at 10:31 PM | return | dreams [0]

You Know You're Growed Up When...

you start reading the Business section of the newspaper.

Posted by mich at 9:13 PM | return | dreams [0]

June 22, 2004

Yet Another Online Quiz

The Dandelion

The dandelion sees the magic of the world and is aloft in an overwhelming sense of union with the beauty of the universe. This is often translated into a fluency with the language, a poetic sensibility and an ability to see beyond the measure of the day to day. The inner beauty of the animate world often preoccupies the Dandelion, a sense that there is a union in all the life forms of nature.

Because of the ever-present reality of the abstract world, a dandelion may often seem to be living in a higher realm, or to be not-of-this-earth. Prone to fantasy and the imagination, Dandelion children often create entire legions of imaginary playmates. In an adult this can on occasion lead a Dandelion to imagine interior lives for friends and associates that are near-complete fabrications based on the Dandelion's fears or hopes for the future.

Source: Colorgenics

Sooo, in a nutshell: I'm crazy.

Posted by mich at 11:03 PM | return | dreams [1]

June 20, 2004

A Blast from the Past

Went to the Dragon Boat Festival this afternoon. Met up with Chris and we hung out around the island, which was pretty fun. I knew Maggie was going to be at the festival too so I was looking out for her. Thought she was racing, but turns out she was volunteering at the docking area where my youngest sis was also volunteering. I didn't see Maggie until I was on the ferry back to the city; she was standing right across from me and I didn't even recognize her. I was thinking that it looked like Maggie but not really, so I just let it go. But then she asked "Are you Michelle?"... she didn't really recognize me either! I hadn't seen her since grade 9. Amazing how much you can change.

Speaking of change, at the restaurant we went to tonight in Chinatown, I ended up speaking briefly to this girl who was asking me how long we were waiting for a table (we were waiting for an hour). Later on, I recognized Catherine from Ottawa, who I haven't seen since 1995. My mom and I went over to talk to her, and then realized that the girl I was speaking to before was Daria! We caught up on what they were up to; Catherine's doing her 3rd year in residency while Daria's doing her 7th year of her PhD. It's so great bumping into people you haven't seen in ages!

Posted by mich at 11:53 PM | return | dreams [0]

June 18, 2004

No Longer an Unemployed Bum

Totally unexpected. However, I'm super happy.... yesssss! Now I won't be bumming around the house all summer.

I went to visit Ironside with the good ol' PEY gang today during noon hour. It was Janice and Nelson's last time visiting before heading back to Hong Kong so we went around the office to see everyone. Well, it turned out that one of the current PEYs was leaving today, so one employee suggested that I come back in the summer as a replacement. My former manager had a talk with the VP, got it approved, and later on while I was out to lunch I received a phone call asking me to start work on Monday! After all my searching for a summer job, I ended up getting one within the span of an hour :)

Now I just gotta straighten out my sleeping schedule so I can wake up at a decent hour next week.

Posted by mich at 10:05 PM | return | dreams [0]

June 8, 2004

Site Going Down

I'm switching hosts so this site will be down for a bit... dunno when, dunno how long (hopefully not long). I just hope that nothing gets screwed up! >_<

Posted by mich at 8:58 PM | return | dreams [0]

April 19, 2004

Is It Finally Over?

*Gasps* Wow, it is... unbelievable! It seemed like school would never end. Even after classes ended, I somehow found myself working day and night (literally) on an assignment for another week... I can't even begin to explain how wrong that was.

I guess coming back from PEY I expected that going back to school full-time was going to require a bit of an adjustment... but I definitely wasn't prepared for all the turmoil I encountered this year. I took some CS courses during PEY so I wasn't completely out of the academic groove of things, and I figured that getting those courses out of my way would lessen my burden this year. I only had 1.5 CS courses this year with the rest being art courses. Ironically, this year turned out to be the roughest one I'd ever had. I think I pulled more all-nighters this year than in all my other years combined... like, jeez, in just the last 3 weeks of school (and the 1 week of non-school) I saw the sun rise 6 times. On the flip side though, I had a surprisingly fun year. I met a bunch of new people and participated in CSSU events for the first time I've been at U of T. I'm not one to get invovled in student unions and stuff, but I'm actually going to be on the CSSU next year, which I totally didn't expect myself to be a part of. So... something to look forward to next school year!

Here are some important things I learned this year:
  • :: Art projects take up a LOT of time.
  • :: I'm a slow worker.
  • :: The CS program is a lot more social than Visual Studies.
  • :: Don't work with anyone who says they're looking for hard-working group members... 'cuz they're most likely lazy and want the rest of the group to do their work for them. *ahem "superstar"*
  • :: Planned all-nighters are useless. You might as well have gone to bed.
  • :: 1 night of no sleep + 4 hours of standing + nasty darkroom chemical fumes + no food = siiiiickness
  • :: If you want to make lots of money from a date auction, auction off anyone that's not in CS.
  • :: If it doesn't work, switch computers.

Posted by mich at 3:56 PM | return | dreams [2]

March 29, 2004

I'm Surviving (Barely)

Last week was terrible, to say the least. To keep it short and sweet, I went 4 days with a total of 5.5 hours of sleep trying to finish my CSC 309 assignment. Not only did my partner and I hand it in a day late, the program still wasn't finished. To make matters worse, it was submitted 2 minutes after the late deadline... now we may get a 2 day penalty instead of 1. That was Saturday. I thought my bad week was over, but I was so wrong. My photography assignment was due today and last night I was reviewing my prints to see which ones I should hand in. To my horror, I discovered that my pictures were deteriorating!! My images were turning purple, brown, and squigly. *GASP* I almost had a heart attack. Why me?? Luckily, I spoke to the prof today and she's letting me hand it in next week. But now I have to spend an extra 4 hours reprinting everything in the darkroom. As if I didn't have enough time to begin with!

I'm having serious problems trying to concentrate on work with the Japan trip on my mind... I've been catching myself daydreaming a little too much. A little over a month left until I go but so much work and stress to go through beforehand :(

On a fun note, I finally got my own cell phone over the weekend. It's the Motorola V300. It's so cute, I luv it! :P

Posted by mich at 7:25 PM | return | dreams [0]

March 12, 2004

Amazing How Lack of Sleep Can Damage Your Health

I'm sick. Again. I went to the doctor today, but luckily it's not bronchitus again. I'm coughing and I'm starting to develop a bit of a cold, but I'm determined to go out tonight and have some fun!!

You know you're getting old when you begin to lose track of your age. That started happening when I was 21 I think, but it's gotten worse after I turrned 22 (it's such an unremarkable age, IMO). Sometimes I thought I was 21 and at other times I would think I was 23. Now that I've turned 23, it doesn't seem that much different considering I'm already used to thinking I'm 23 anyway. I think I'm just dreading turning 26... that's when you're officially old. I mean you're not even eligible to try out for American/Canadian Idol anymore! :P

Posted by mich at 12:21 PM | return | dreams [0]

February 27, 2004

99.99% CPU Bursts & 0.01% I/O Bursts

I made it... I'm alive! Today's horoscope in the newspaper pretty much summed everything up:

Don't be quite so attatched to your source of stress. It is about to leave your life, if only you knew it. The prerequisite is that you must be willing to let it go. Your future holds a wonderful sercret of unexpected adventure.

Well, I dunno about the last part, but the stuff I had that was due this week is finally over (for the most part).

So how was my week? I had the web programming assignment due on Monday, which was basically done a week ago, but I still stayed up late Sunday night to make some last minute minor adjustments. I had also came back from Montreal that day too and I was quite exhausted from the trip (more about that another time). Monday night and Tuesday morning I was studying hardcore for the operating systems midterm, which turned out to be pretty easy... so I wasted so much time preparing for that. Tuesday afternoon I worked a bit on the operating systems assignment that was due on Thursday. But I also had 2 art assignments due on Wednesday... I only had time to do one, so I decided to do the one which involved mini group discussions with the instructor, and leave the other assignment for next week. But in Wednesday's class, the instructor decides to tell us that she's extending the assignment that I finished to March 10! Just my luck... now I have to take a penalty on the assignment that I didn't do.

So Wednesday and Thursday was just one huge day for me (40+ hours in fact). I knew I was going to stay at school overnight on Wednesday so I packed everything I needed for Thursday, including all my negatives and photo paper for my darkroom booking for my photography assignment. However, I didn't get my last roll processed so I rushed to Loblaws in the morning to get the 1 hour developping. I went back within an hour and realized that the roll wasn't C-41, meaning I would have to go somewhere else to get real B&W processing (doh). I got to school at noon on for class until 3, then jogged to West Camera at Queen & Bathurst to get my negatives processed in half and hour. Got back to the lab and worked on the OS assignment, then went to my 6-9 art class. From 9pm to 8am I was working on the simulation part of the assignment but with no real progress. We were just staring at the computers and had no idea how the simulation was supposed to run. I can't believe I pulled an all-nighter and was still unable to finish the assignment. My darkroom booking was from 9am-1pm and the thing was due at noon. I only had 5% of the simulation plus the written portion of the assignment that was worth 55%. I figured if I had an extra day to work on it, getting a 10% late mark was still better than handing in what I had on time. So I went to the darkroom and printed out my photos for my photography assignment that is due on Monday. The negs I picked up the day before weren't cut so I had to do that myself. While I was cutting, my hand was shaking... I was so scared I was going to cut up my images! Breathing in those chemistry fumes for 4 hours, not having slept, and not having eaten anything since 4am can really make a girl sick. Anyway from the afternoon to 12:30am, we were just hacking away on the computers and finally got the simulations to run. I took a 30 min. nap on a makeshift bed (3 chairs) at around 3:30 and that made such a big difference- I was energized and never felt sleepy the rest of day. The amazing thing is, after the all-nighter, I would never have expected to (or even think that I could) stay at school and work until midnight. There is nothing I can't do now! Haha.

Last night I slept for 6 hours; my bed had never felt sooooo comfortable. I had the hardest time waking up at 8:30, but I had to go back to school to fix up some minor things, and finally submit the hard and soft copies by noon.

I'm applying to a job in Qubec, and I have a french resum and cover letter due today that I have to start on now.... I had planned to do it last night after handing in the OS assignment, but we all know how well those plans turned out...

Speaking of operating systems, I'm Windows 98. LOL Which OS are You?

You are Windows 98.  You're a bit flaky, but well-liked.  You don't have a great memory, but everyone seems to know you.  A great person to hang out with and play some games.

Posted by mich at 5:06 PM | return | dreams [1]

February 6, 2004

Interview Bonanza

Sooo, I just had 2 interviews in the last 2 days. The interview that went pretty well was the one today after lunch. It was was for a web programming position for an international semiotics journal. The interview was pretty short and informal... we just discussed what the website was for and how they wanted it to function, as well as my capabilities.

And yesterday was my interview with Microsoft. What can I say except for the fact that I knew I could have done better than I did. The day before I read the book How Would You Move Mount Fuji?: Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle How the World's Smartest Companies by William Poundstone for preparation. Didn't help. First of all, when the interviewer first called me in, he didn't introduce himself OR shake my hand. Instead he just told me to take a seat. I just felt like it was off to a bad start. Then he asks me questions that I already answered on my application form or that were specified in my resume like my majors, etc. He was really disorganized and shuffling papers around for a while (and throughout the interview he never really smiled). Then he finally got down to the real questions. He asked me to describe my previous projects I've done, long-term and short-term goals, typical questions like that. Then he asked me stuff like when is a product ready to be shipped and asked me to write testcases for the atoi() function. When I handed him my sheet of testcases I wrote, he studied it a bit and said "cool". I'm not sure whether that was a good sign, or whether he just said it because I had things written down for him. I also got a couple of puzzles, one of which I came up with a correct answer for but it wasn't the standard one he was looking for. Doh.

The interview lasted 45 minutes and after it was over I felt so much relief. But as the day progressed, I kept mulling over the interview and replaying instances of it in my head, analyzing everything that happened. Seriously, what are my chances of getting this type of job? I just need to learn to get over things after they're finished and done with, but it's so hard.

Posted by mich at 10:01 PM | return | dreams [2]

Bursts of Delightfulness in My Mouth

For lunch today I went to Monsoon with Cass and Christian. The interior design of the restaurant is simple yet gorgeous, and the food was excellent. I ordered baby greens in pappadum cup with yuzu vinaigrette and sunflower seedlings, grilled lemongrass chicken and ho fun shiitake noodles, sauted greens and fuji apple salad, and infused crme brule. Before we got our food we had these amazing yam chips (sounds gross, but surprisingly yummy!)... I want to know what they're called so I can get some for myself.

There was too much walking today with my platform heels. Not only was it really slushy with massive puddles all around, I walked around for 30 min. in circles looking for the darn restaurant! I can't believe I totally missed the street when I got off the subway. Below is an illustration of my wandering :P At least it wasn't as bad as yesterday, when I was wearing my 3 inch heels and walking around the icy campus. I slipped and almost fell! I screamed too which sent a bunch of my friends in peals of laughter. At the end of the day when I was walking towards the subway station it really felt like my feet were going to fall off... seriously it was like I was walking on my tippy toes! I won't be wearing those shoes in a loooong while, that's for sure!

Posted by mich at 7:45 PM | return | dreams [0]

February 2, 2004

Mouth Watering Good Food

Last night Justine, Brad and I went to eat at Filet of Sole for Winterlicious. I chose the Fried Coconut Shrimp & Asian Spring Roll for the appetizer, Lemon Fettuccine for the entre, and the Raspberry Ice for dessert. The coconut shrimp was surprisingly good, and the fettuccine wasn't as lemony as I expected, which is good! I was so full by the time we left the restaurant at 10 pm, but it gave me enough fuel while I stayed up until 4 am to finish my photography assignment :P

Posted by mich at 9:42 PM | return | dreams [0]

February 1, 2004

Hey Ya!

On Thursday night, after working on CSC 369 for the afternoon, I went to the CSSU Pub Night at the Peel Pub that just opened up near the campus. What can I say except that I had SOOO much fun! Here are the pictures (next time Cass, I'll definitely pose with the fob fingers, haha). It was a great night of music, games, and laughs and now I can never listen to Outkast's Hey Ya! without laughing!

My baby don't mess around
Because she loves me so
And this I know fo shooo..
Uh, But does she really wanna
But can't stand to see me
Walk out the dooo..
Don't try to fight the feelin'
Because the thought alone is killing me right nooww..
Uh, thank god for mom and dad
For sticking through together
'Cause we don't know hooowww...

Can't wait for next week... :P

Posted by mich at 5:10 PM | return | dreams [0]

January 27, 2004

Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Woo, so much snow's been falling during the last couple of days. Strangely enough the snowfall is crazy downtown but not up north in my area. Night classes were cancelled yesterday and today, but I didn't get to benefit from cancellations. They should have cancelled classes the whole day today... it was like a white-out today. Last night was the preview of Fefu and Her Friends so I was at school until 10 pm. The show was great. Even though it was my 4th time seeing it, watching it with other audience members gave it more energy so the time flew by.

On my walk back home today after school I saw 2 people on my street using SNOWBLOWERS. My question is: Why do people in Toronto need snowblowers?? It's only a few centimeters of snow on your driveways!

In other news, I got back home last night and checked me e-mail... I got a job interview with Microsoft!! Yippeeeeee! I want the job SO much. It's a summer internship in Seattle. I applied for 2 testing positions that are pretty similar to what I did during my PEY internship. I know I wasted too much time though on the resume and cover letter. I basically had everything done a few days before the deadline, but I kept spending hours on it making small changes and focusing too much on the little details. I doubt they even made a difference. Anyhow, now I should prepare for the interview. The competition is so stiff- the company' is recruiting from 63 schools in Canada and the US, including schools like Harvard, M.I.T., and Carnegie Mellon. Yikes! :O

Posted by mich at 6:39 PM | return | dreams [4]

January 24, 2004


After doing last minute work day and night on the drama production, there are only a few more days left before the show finally opens on Tuesday night... yes! I'm already so bored of the play- I watched it 3 times within the last 24 hours. That's 6 hours of watching the show!! I'm also quite concerned about my actor's costume. I did a lot of finishing touches today, but her skirt looks longer at the front than the back because the waistband keeps creeping up her backside (and it won't stay because of the shape of her body). I also had to reinforce some seams so that they don't bust open when she's rolling around on the floor. Plus, there's a dark mark that appeared on the front of the skirt from last night's rehearsal when a wheelchair fell on her. She's alright, but I don't know about the skirt... I hope the marks come out :O *sigh* Hopefully everything will turn out alright for the show opening... (fingers crossed)

[Shameless plug] Come see the show (and the lovely set and costumes)! It runs from Jan. 27 to Feb. 7 Tuesdays to Saturdays @ 8pm and tickets are only $8 for students :P [End of shameless plug]

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Posted by mich at 10:45 PM | return | dreams [0]

January 22, 2004

Happy Chinese New Year!

This year's the year of the monkey. Good fortune and prosperity for everyone in the new year!

Posted by mich at 8:48 PM | return | dreams [0]

January 13, 2004

Here Birdie Birdie

Badminton today at the AC with Cass, Christian and Tony was soooo fun! I haven't played in years. I was so rusty at first... all you could hear was *ding* when I was hitting the birdie because it was hitting the frame of my racquet! Hehe! I ended up scraping my knee from diving for the birdie (ouchie). Now I'm so sleepy and my arm feels like rubber. Can't wait to play again next week!

Posted by mich at 7:34 PM | return | dreams [0]

January 10, 2004

Bush in 30 Seconds

Check out this site: Bush in 30 Seconds. It's an political ad contest to best explain what Bush and his policies are really about. The site is now showcasing the 15 finalists in the contest, which will be judged by a bunch of celebrities and political figures. My favourite ads are "Polygraph" and "What are we teaching our children?". It really is scary what Bush is doing to the world.

Posted by mich at 7:21 PM | return | dreams [1]

January 3, 2004

Year in Review

In talking with Jason last night, he asked me to post the events that stood out the most for me in 2003. So lemme try to remember...

Skiing for the first time since 1995 (it felt so great) · seeing Saba have so much fun on the little baby hill (not even the bunny hill!) · getting bronchitus in March and May and having everyone think I had SARS both times · walking around Montral with my middle sister in heavy snowfall and walking right into le Festival Montral en Lumire by accident, where we then waited in line with little kids to go snow tubing · meeting Yvonne during her stay in Toronto · going up the CN Tower for the first time and enjoying at yummy dinner at the 360 restaurant · getting covered in streamers at the Blue Man Group performance with Justine and Brad · Dennis buying a shirt I wanted at the Coldplay concert to rub in the fact that I couldn't get one in my size · playing ping-pong with Tommy, Janice, and Nelson during lunch · visiting Las Vegas where I lost my camera and got so upset that I didn't get to try the Cheesecake Factory as planned · gambling for the first time at Luxor and having the dealer ask for my ID, then telling me where to put my money, and then telling me where to put the chips · experiencing two rounds of layoffs and an acquisition at Ironside · going out to dinner after the David Copperfield show with my youngest sister, Dennis, his "buddy" Kelvin (who had just met him a few days before), Kelvin's "friend" Vivien (who he had met a few days before as well), and Vivien's friend who we all just met that day · meeting with Lucy in Montral for the first time since 1999 · stargazing and playing Clue by candlelight during the blackout (and learning that my youngest sister is really a pyromaniac) · meeting Ryan Malcolm at the Mariah Carey concert · a night out at Einstein's with Jason and Jen (I won't go into the details :P) · waiting outside Roy Thomson Hall with Justine and Darryl for a famous person to walk down the red carpet, only to realize that we had just missed Nicole Kidman and Anthony Hopkins · pulling a gazillion all-nighters and suffering emotional breakdowns · getting into a nasty argument with our "superstar" · getting punked real good by my CSC318 group ("we're switching back to the fridge for the last assignment!") · trying Thai food for the first time at Purple Rice with Justine.

Posted by mich at 2:50 PM | return | dreams [2]

December 31, 2003

Happy New Year!

Happy new year! May 2004 bring happiness and joy to everyone. To quickley sum up 2003: it was a year of.... concerts! And lots of 'em! Nothing too remarkable occured this year. I started this site, got sick with bronchitus twice during both SARS outbreaks, finished up my internship (my first "real-life" job), I went to Las Vegas and Algonquin Park for the very first time, and I finally get to do my art major.

Here are some of the best things of 2003:

Music: Jason Mraz, Michael Bubl, Coldplay, John Mayer
Movies: Finding Nemo, Lost In Translation, Big Fish
TV: Canadian Idol, Alias, The O.C., Miss Match
Concert: Coldplay, Blue Man Group, Jason Mraz
House: My bedroom makeover

I've got loads of plans for next year... looking forward to 2004!

Posted by mich at 6:34 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 24, 2003

Deck the Halls

Merry Christmas everyone!

Posted by mich at 10:03 PM | return | dreams [0]

Christmas List

Things I love about the Christmas season:

    :: Pretty lights and Christmas trees
    :: Christmas songs
    :: Christmas movies
    :: Yummy treats
    :: Buying and wrapping presents
    :: Unwrapping presents
    :: Sending cards
    :: Time to relax
    :: Outdoor skating

Things I hate about the Christmas season:

    :: Long lineups in stores
    :: Finding parking at the mall
    :: Excessive commercialization
    :: Putting up and taking down the Christmas tree
    :: Obligatory gifts that have no meaning
    :: Scary elves
    :: Fruitcake

Posted by mich at 1:26 PM | return | dreams [0]

Liquid Turkey

Ever seen the new Turkey & Gravy Jones Soda? Apparently, they've been selling like hotcakes and now they have no more. Would you ever try it? It sounds quite nasty... I wouldn't know what to expect from a drink inspired by meat and fat.

Posted by mich at 1:01 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 22, 2003

Happy Winter!

First day of winter! 'Tis the season of snow and peppermint hot chocolate! Saturday night I went out to Nathan Phillips Square with friends to see the Strange Fruit performance and to skate. Strange Fruit did their Spheres performance (which is only performed at night) with big bubbles... I enjoyed this one better than The Field one that I saw two summers ago. I took a few pictures of them- I hope they turn out because there were some really spectacular colours.

I'm about halfway done my Christmas shopping... I'll be doing some more today and tomorrow. Hopefully I won't be running around doing last minute shopping on Christmas Eve like I normally do, LOL!

Last night I watched Swimfan. That movie was absurdly ridiculous... I couldn't believe I wasted 85 min. watching something like that! The plot was unbelievable and the acting was terrible. I don't understand why Erika Christensen would ever be in this movie after doing Traffic. Terrible... don't watch the movie! Another movie I watched was Waking Life. Now that's a really interesting movie. The animation style changes from scene to scene, and even though it's really stylized and trippy, there's a sense of realism. I think they filmed the actors and coloured them in to create an animated feeling to it. Not only was it visually captivating, but the things being discussed in the movie were pretty interesting- mostly about philosophy and dreams. I'm not a big fan of philosophy, but a lot of it really made me think.

At the moment I'm obsessed with Michael Bubl! Who is he, you ask? He's a 25 year old swing/jazz/blues singer from Vancouver who's got a smooth Sinatra-like voice. I love the songs Down With Love (which is a really cute movie, BTW!), Fever, Moondance, and How Can You Mend a Broken Heart. I can't stop listening to his album, it's soooo good! :P

Posted by mich at 11:07 AM | return | dreams [0]

Happy Winter!

First day of winter! 'Tis the season of snow and peppermint hot chocolate! Saturday night I went out to Nathan Phillips Square with friends to see the Strange Fruit performance and to skate. Strange Fruit did their Spheres performance (which is only performed at night) with big bubbles... I enjoyed this one better than The Field one that I saw two summers ago. I took a few pictures of them- I hope they turn out because there were some really spectacular colours.

I'm about halfway done my Christmas shopping... I'll be doing some more today and tomorrow. Hopefully I won't be running around doing last minute shopping on Christmas Eve like I normally do, LOL!

Last night I watched Swimfan. That movie was absurdly ridiculous... I couldn't believe I wasted 85 min. watching something like that! The plot was unbelievable and the acting was terrible. I don't understand why Erika Christensen would ever be in this movie after doing Traffic. Terrible... don't watch the movie! Another movie I watched was Waking Life. Now that's a really interesting movie. The animation style changes from scene to scene, and even though it's really stylized and trippy, there's a sense of realism. I think they filmed the actors and coloured them in to create an animated feeling to it. Not only was it visually captivating, but the things being discussed in the movie were pretty interesting- mostly about philosophy and dreams. I'm not a big fan of philosophy, but a lot of it really made me think.

At the moment I'm obsessed with Michael Bubl! Who is he, you ask? He's a 25 year old swing/jazz/blues singer from Vancouver who's got a smooth Sinatra-like voice. I love the songs Down With Love (which is a really cute movie, BTW!), Fever, Moondance, and How Can You Mend a Broken Heart. I can't stop listening to his album, it's soooo good! :P

Posted by mich at 11:07 AM | return | dreams [0]

December 13, 2003


It's 2 am and I'm studying for my exam on the main level of my house. A few minutes ago someone was rapidly ringing the doorbell and BANGING on the door. I got so scared and I hid behind my computer. I waited a while longer and the ringing and banging started again... and then again! I was terrified. I waited a while longer (by this time I was on the ground). Then I crawled to the hallway and looked around the corner to see if someone was still at the door. Then I bolted into the kitchen, grabbed the cordless and intercommed my parents. Then my dad ("why didn't you open the door?" -what?!) came down to check to make sure nobody was there anymore. So now I'm typing up my cheat sheet with the lights out. So creeeepy!!!!!!

Posted by mich at 2:07 AM | return | dreams [1]

December 12, 2003

Getting Into The Christmas Spirit

I just received my first Christmas card today... it's from my M.P. representative, haha! But the picture of the interior of the Parliament building all lit up in pretty lights is really nice! I can't wait until my exam's over so I can put up the tree and start my Christmas shopping! Hooray!

Speaking of shopping, last weekend I was in a store looking at some clothes. This salesgirl comes up to me and says "I hope you spend your husband's money!" Excusez-moi??!! Do I really look old enough to be married?? How insulting! :P Plus, you don't think I can actually afford these things myself that I have to depend on someone else for moolah? That girl needed to be slapped, hehe.

Posted by mich at 11:26 PM | return | dreams [0]

December 4, 2003

Eyeball Exhibit

There's the Eyeball Exhibit tomorrow night showcasing Visual Studies students' works. If anyone is interested in the party, it's from 6-9 pm at 1 Spadina Crescent. (Oh, and I'm going to be displaying some of my work too!)

Posted by mich at 10:07 AM | return | dreams [0]

November 28, 2003

Microsoft and Art

Wowee, Microsoft's got an art collection. Who'd have thought?

Posted by mich at 11:57 PM | return | dreams [0]

November 7, 2003

What I Learned

Today I had another art project (research) due. It took me forever to finish because I was handmaking (cutting, colouring and pasting) 30 booklets for everyone in the class. I thought for sure that I would have been able to finish by midnight... 2 am at the latest. My mom even helped me do some colouring, which probably saved me about 1.5 hours. Then as the hours progressed I kept thinking, okay I'll finish at 3:00... then 4:00... the 5:00, then 5:30. I finished at 6am (why do I always end up overshooting by so much?!) During the night I kept the TV on and played my Beauty and the Beast DVD twice (actually the first time I played it since I bought it last fall): the first was the special edition version of the movie, the second was the special edition version with commentary. Yeah, that was my fun night.

Sooo... I did my research on colour in 1950's consumer culture and here is what I learned:

  1. Doing your research at Chapters for 2 hours yields 10 times more information than 2 weeks of research in the library.
  2. 30 is a really large number.
  3. Mrs. Potts is really just a hopping head.
Posted by mich at 10:18 PM | return | dreams [0]

November 4, 2003

Sleep Deprived Yet Highly Amused

'Tis 5:20 am now... hm, looks like another all-nighter for me :| Today I've got 2 projects, an assignment, plus sketchbook drawings due... no wonder I'm not getting any sleep. And let's not even talk about my research project due this Friday! Well, I'm on an itsy-bitsy break right now, so I'll share this hilarious cartoon with y'all... dedicated to my fellow comp sci buddies :P

Posted by mich at 5:20 AM | return | dreams [0]

October 24, 2003

I'm A Bear Of Very Little Brain

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Hehe, I'm slow.... ?!

Posted by mich at 11:15 AM | return | dreams [1]

October 17, 2003

What An Ungodly Hour

What do you see wrong with this post??!

(I feel sorry for my budgie, he's still awake)

Posted by mich at 6:00 AM | return | dreams [0]

September 27, 2003

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A... ~Part 2~

I was thinking that after I graduate I would want to really live life, explore and be adventurous before I settle down with a job I'll be at for who knows how many years/decades. I think once I start my job right after graduation I'll never ever get the chance to go off on my own and have fun. And I'm not just talking about a little vacation for a few weeks- I want to venture off into far off places and exotic lands for at least a year and open my mind up to so many cultures and experiences. One of the things that I would really like to do is to teach English in a foreign country, preferably Japan or France, but Eastern Europe and other Asian countries would be amazing too. To have the opportunity to live somewhere outside of North America would give me a different outlook of the world and of life, as it's not the same as just visiting a place for a short amount of time. The only thing that I would be a tad worried about is something my mom brought up: after being away so long wouldn't it be harder to find a job since I'm out of practice (ie. my knowledge will be outdated)? Hmm.. I dunno. But there are so many people who take years off to explore on their own and I don't see them having any problems upon returning to find a job. What do you think?

Posted by mich at 9:58 PM | return | dreams [0]

September 26, 2003

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A... ~Part 1~

I guess as everyone's getting so close to graduating (or already have graduated), people are asking each other "what do you want to do"?! Some have just been studying in their current program because they can get big bucks in that industry (although they may not enjoy it). Others want to do something they love and don't mind making less money. I definitely want to be well off, but I don't want to hate my job. On the flip side, I see my drawing instructor creating art as a living but he has to teach in order to make ends meet and I don't want to be in that sort of position either.

Wednesday afternoon I was walking on campus and I was pondering these issues (though I have no idea what triggered this introspection). I realized that since I'm studying comp sci and fine art together, I should have a whole range of possibilities in front of me when I step into the real world. Commercial design or computer animation are things that I would enjoy doing while at the same time would allow me to make a decent living. If I had to choose between a great job with okay pay and an okay job with a great pay, I would definitely go for the more enjoyable job... I mean we're talking about 8+ hours/day of your life at the workplace for the rest of your life. But in the course of your life, you can have many different careers. Some may be great, others not as much. And all this depends on timing and chance. The really great jobs are the ones you don't expect and happen when the timing is just right. I have heard so many stories from teachers and profs (and even reading how celebs get their big break) where some event just happens and they land a great job that was unplanned for. Everything happens for a reason. If something doesn't work out well for you then it was not meant to be- something better for you will come later on. You just don't know when.

So, Jason, after reading your journal today (which, coincidentally, was on the same subject :P) it seems like you're in a double whammy situation with the not so great job & pay. I think since this is your first job, it shouldn't be too bad if you stick it out for a bit longer... it's only your first week. Things might look up for you- if not, then it's all for the experience. Any experience you will have acquired at this job will help you in getting another job that's bigger and better. And again, I think it's all about timing. Just don't despair- you'll find some direction soon enough :)

Posted by mich at 10:56 PM | return | dreams [0]

September 16, 2003

I Have Geekish Tendancies

Look ma, I'm 14.20118% geek!

[Brought to you by The Geek Test]

Posted by mich at 7:22 PM | return | dreams [0]

September 12, 2003

And So It Begins...

Well, I just completed the first week of school. I'm tired and I'm already stressing out over all the assignments I'll have to do for each course. My stage and costume design, drawing, and comp sci courses are especially going to be a lot of work. Not to mention the fact that I also have to be parting with another big chunk of money to buy the endless amount of art supplies I'll be needing for my projects. AARGH!

Today as I was on my way to pick up a book on hold at the World's Biggest Bookstore I passed by a used bookstore called BMV, which sells second-hand books, music and videos (hence the acronym). I spent quite a while in there browsing through the material and picked up some great buys. I got The Virgin Suicides for $10, About a Boy for $5, and Fodor's Exploring Japan for $4, all in really good condition!

Posted by mich at 5:41 PM | return | dreams [2]

September 7, 2003

Starry Starry Night

[Mood] Sleepy
[Music] Evanescence- Going Under

I went out to dinner last night at Penelope, a lovely Greek restaurant on King Street W. right next to Roy Thompson Hall. Over at Roy Thompson Hall there was a red carpet and a whole mass of people waiting around. Darryl and I went to see what the fuss was about and took in the scene before going to dinner. After dinner Darryl, Justine and I walked back past the red carpet and waited to see if anyone famous would arrive for the gala screening. It turned out that Nicole Kidman and Anthony Hopkins were right where we was standing not too long ago!! *Gasp* Quite exciting don't you think? ;P

Posted by mich at 2:51 PM | return | dreams [1]

September 4, 2003

Back To School (doh!)

Huh, it's already back to school?? Argh. This week was my only real week of summer... and it felt so weird to not be working anymore! Tomorrow's my last free day before classes on Monday so I guess I should make the most out of it. Lookie my luvy timetable.

Posted by mich at 2:56 PM | return | dreams [0]

September 3, 2003

Thought Of The Day

Shots suck.

Posted by mich at 11:02 PM | return | dreams [0]

August 20, 2003

I'd Like A Foot Rub Please

Yesterday afternoon I went down to Yonge and Bloor to meet my mom to go exploring. We set up Yonge Street from Bloor at 5:00 and looked at all the cute little shops and restaurants along the street. I stopped in this one store called Paper Ideas, where I bought 3 sheets of decorated vellum paper that costed me over $6 (*slaps myself on the wrist*). We ended up walking all the way up to Eglington and reached the intersection at 7:00. Fortunately there was a cool breeze blowing that afternoon so it was quite a pleasant little walk.

On a side note, I would just like to add that this week on Canadian Idol, Jenny Gear was simply amazing. She was definitely the best singer Monday night with her version of Gershwin's Summertime. I would like to know how Gary is STILL on the show! He's so utterly boring, and his rendition of Unchained Melody doesn't compare at all to Clay's. Down with Gary.

Posted by mich at 8:13 AM | return | dreams [0]

August 15, 2003


[Mood] Relaxed
[Music] Linkin Park- Faint

Well, what an interesting 20 hours! The biggest power outage in North American history started at 4 pm. yesterday affecting southern/eastern Ontario and the eastern seabord of the States. I was at work when the power went out in my office. Looking out the window you could see that the traffic lights were out causing a heavy traffic jam. Everyone figured that it would be a long while before power would come back up so us intern students ended up playing cards until after 5:00. Then we made our way down the pitch-black stairwell (luckily some of us were equipped with really bright cell phones!) to brave the zoo of cars. Fortunately for me, the traffic going in the direction I was headed flowed pretty well so I was able to get home in 20 minutes using the 407 (which I still had to pay for 'cuz they've got backup generators)!

Upon coming home, there was nothing to do so I worked on my scrapbook that I started last year. Yeah, I've been a bit behind. Dinner wasn't a problem for us. Our family uses a gas stove instead of an electric one so we were able to have a regular cooked meal in the dark. We actually have a lot of candles so we were burning them all and playing around with the wax for a good while... a great way to pass time. I think my sister's a pyromaniac. It was too bad for my sister though; it was her 16th birthday but it was like we were back in the 18th century (seriously, what did people do back then??). It was a good thing that the birthday cake was still cold.

What a starry starry night it was! My sisters and I went out to the backyard to do some stargazing and take photos of some constellations. At 11:30 pm we ended up playing the board game Clue, then went outside to our front porch to look at the moon and Mars until 1:00.

Although the radio broadcasts said that power would be resumed by 1 am, I woke up to another day without electricity. So in the morning I was just listening to the battery-powered radio, reading and scrapbooking until noon when we finally got back electricity (hallelujah)! I never realized how reliant I am on electricy... I'm usually using the computer, stereo or television. My life is quite boring without these things!

Posted by mich at 2:09 PM | return | dreams [1]

August 12, 2003


Go out and write a letter!

Posted by mich at 8:51 AM | return | dreams [0]

August 6, 2003

David Copperfield

Last night I went to see David Copperfield at the John Labatt Center in London, Ontario. We arrived in London at 4pm and went walking around "downtown"... there's nothing to see except the Thames River (which is really green and dirty). The city's so ghetto! Anyway, back to David Copperfield... he was freakin' awesome! He never ceases to amaze me, plus he's totally hilarious. There's so much audience participation in his shows where he actually goes out and hand-picks a person, or he throws around big inflatable balls, frisbees, metal(!) balls, and pickles for random audience members to catch (too bad nothing even came close to me). I was really impressed when he just made a 40's style Lincoln appear on pedastals on the stage, had audience members give him random "lottery" numbers and fortold them on an audio cassette that was locked up and hung from the ceiling before the show, laid himself out in a horizonal box then compressed it to a square while he was still inside, sent a guy to Hawaii, and made 11 audience members (including a Q107 personality) disappear. The guy's incredible! However, the show didn't quite meet my expectations because I was comparing it to the TV specials, which are so spectacular and large-scale. I was expecting stuff like water coming out of the floor and David making a girl float on the water! I know, a bit too much to expect I guess! It was still a great show, though!

-- "It's David Copperfield, not David Cop A Feel"

Posted by mich at 9:22 AM | return | dreams [5]

July 28, 2003

To Be A Kid Again

I was just sifting through some old e-mail over the weekend and stumbled upon this one that got me all nostalgic about my childhood *sigh*.

I want to be a kid again. I want to go back to the time when:

Decisions were made by going "enemy-meeny-miney-mo."
Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!"
"Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly."
Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.
It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.
Being old referred to anyone over 20.
The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn't matter.
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
It was magic when dad would "remove" his thumb.
It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn't an Olympic event.
Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.
Nobody was prettier than Mom.
Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.
Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare."
Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures.
No shopping trip was complete unless a new toy was brought home.
"Oly-oly-oxen-free" made perfect sense.
Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles.
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
War was a card game.
Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.
Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.
Ice cream was considered a basic food group.
Older siblings were the worst tormentors but also the fiercest protectors!

Posted by mich at 10:10 AM | return | dreams [1]

July 27, 2003

La La La

So I just got back from Justine's b-day celebration an hour and a half ago. We went to dinner at Il Fornello's then went dancing at Jai Bar, which was really fun. I hadn't been dancing since last August (I should get out more!) so it was great!

Til the early morn
Lets get it on
Lets get it on til the early morn'

... must ... sleep...

Posted by mich at 3:41 AM | return | dreams [0]

July 25, 2003

22 Going on 90

Last night before I went to bed I had a little bit of pain on the right side of my left knee. At 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. I woke up to excruciating pain in my knee. I couldn't bend my knee and I was just suffering in my bed. After I woke up my knee swollen and was still in pain though not as much as before. Is this arthritis or was someone using the Cruciatus Curse on me??

Posted by mich at 3:41 PM | return | dreams [1]

July 10, 2003

Ping-Pong Matrix

This is great!

Posted by mich at 4:27 PM | return | dreams [0]

Catch a Falling Star and Put It in Your Pocket

On the drive home tonight I just saw a shooting star! Amazing.

Posted by mich at 1:32 AM | return | dreams [3]

June 21, 2003

Happy Summer Solstice

First official day of summer. Looking forward to the heat and humidity (not)!

Plans for the summer:

Visit Casa Loma
Buy a new bike
Get a new computer
Complete my scrapbook from last summer :P
Re-decorate the powder room of my house
Finish a whole bunch of books on my reading list
See Blue Man Group performance
Visit Montral
Shop in Buffalo
Vacation in Europe or Japan

Posted by mich at 1:23 PM | return | dreams [1]