Monday, February 28, 2011

No Pants, Please

I could hear the dad explain to his son, while waiting in the line-up, about the process of obtaining a prescription from the doctor and filling it at a pharmacy. The son is this cute young kid with dirty blonde hair, big round eyes, bright red lips, and... an eye infection. Pink eye.
I take in their prescription and I ask all the questions I needed to ask. One included, "Is he allergic to anything?".

The dad replied, "Pants. Long pants."

I looked at the kid and indeed, in this zero degrees weather, he was wearing shorts.

The dad added, "If the prescription comes with long pants, I'm sorry, we can't take it. He will not have it."

The seven year old boy looked at me with cute, dejected eyes and didn't say a word.

The dad continues, "For some reason, he just doesn't like wearing pants."

"Well, you don't have to worry. I don't think this prescription comes with long pants."

Oh, it was the cutest thing.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winter Stroll

I love going for walks. Especially in the snow. Or, especially after a day of fallen snow where the snowing has stopped and the grounds are covered in sheets of white. Today was one of those days. Unfortunately, it wasn't sunny. It was a bit dreary with light rain. But I needed fresh air.

I bundled myself up and wore my mom's boots that are two sizes too big. My right foot is still a bit tender from the fall almost two months ago so I couldn't jam them into my own boots. I slung my dslr strap on my shoulder. Picked up my umbrella. And out I went. Loved the cool crisp air. Loved the quiet time on my own.

someone still has their xmas spirit hanging on their fence

Friday, February 25, 2011

Falling For A Gimmick

A few weeks ago, my brother and I took my mom to Ebisu. My mom loves Japanese food. Any form of it. So, I wanted her to try the different things on the menu. One of them was this flaming toro belly sushi. When my brother and I saw "flaming" and their photo on the menu, we were imagining that the entire thing would be set on fire. But no. Regular sushis were brought to the table, and the waiter lightly torched it with a torch. It wasn't even all that torched. I'm not sure why we would even want our sushis set on fire... but heck, we're all about trying new things. Next time, we won't fall for these gimmicks. 

In fact, next time, I'm bringing my mom to Guu. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Best Kind Of Help

I was asked to help.

 So while Ming was assembling the brand new coffee table and breaking into a sweat...

I supervised. (By watching TV).

Best kind of help you can get.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunny Day Off

I love aimless sunny days off. It's easier waking up early when the sun is shining. (Correction : Not early. Just earlier.) No big plans for the day. Just get up... and go. To wherever I want to. Sunny mornings on a day off are lovely.

Well, okay... it wasn't exactly to wherever I want to. Ming had errands to run. But I loved the morning car ride all the same. Not having to drive. Staring at all things going by through the window. Sun leaking through and spilling over my lap. At the same time, the air was cool and crisp when I stepped outside. I didn't care where we were going or what we were doing... I was relaxed and soaking it all in. The calmness and quiet are so precious when work days are chaotic. Ahh, it was nice.

The best things are always so simple. Who cares what the rest of the day was like... a simple morning makes my day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My New Love

Now for the weather to cooperate. Time to runnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Catching Up

My day off was spent catching up.

I caught up with my financial advisor. Her advice of the day : Sometimes, you just have to make that BAD investment. Because bad investments can turn into good investments in the long run.

I caught up with my shopping. Went to a yoga and organic clothing sample sale. Bought clothes and yoga mats. I'm excited about the yoga mats because they're terry cloth on one side and padded on the other. It makes for less slippage and doubles somewhat as a towel, but the best part is that I can throw the whole thing into the wash. Beats washing those rubber mats!

I caught up on some exercise. I hit the gym. It was so nice to be able to go midday when it was relatively empty. The sun was shining outside but it the air was still nippy so it was nice to be inside. Usually, I have my ears plugged. But of course, I forgot to charge my nano. What I did find though was, being able to hear the whooshing sound the elliptical made drove me to a hypnotic rhythm.

I caught up on movies. I wanted to watch Toy Story 3 and Social Network but never seem to get around to it. I need to find out the reason for all this hype. After brewing a cup of chai tea with Ming's Tassimo, I parked myself on the couch and ended up watch both. I heard Toy Story 3 is sad. I asked Ming beforehand if it's sad (since he's watched it before) but he didn't seem to think so.  But, he's a boy... The ending of the movie had me holding my breath and blinking back tears.

I also really enjoyed watching Social Network. I love stories of how great things come about. (Also in the book that I'm reading called "How I Learned to Cook" but I'll leave that for another post).  It wasn't suspenseful nor adorned with crazy special effects but it was good enough to keep me intrigued to watch on. Never knew about Sean Parker's involvement with Facebook. Anyway, I really enjoyed both movies.

I don't normally go to bed until late. But I also hardly ever watch two movies in a row. So, when I got home after the movies, I was surpisingly really sleepy. Maybe it was the gym earlier in the day. Whatever it was, I went to bed relatively early. And caught up on my sleep.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Clinic Days

After 3 days off and a wonderful road trip, I went back to work for Clinic Days. This means that I did not have to deal with the day-to-day chaos in the dispensary, but rather had much more relaxing days at work with one-on-one consultations.  Somedays, I dread it the days leading up to them because it's a lot of talking that I do (and I'm not always a talker), but I always come out of those days feeling good about work. ( I do feel for the regular staff at my store... heard it's been exceptionally chaotic this week compared to others).

I was situated at a different location today, and with a full clinic, I was talking for eight hours. How do doctors do it everyday? Nonetheless, I was feeling pretty good about a less hectic day, and was enjoying a rather long drive home with music playing in my car (in the midst of rush hour), when something changed my mood.

I was stopped at the intersection of Cambie and Broadway when someone crossing the road decides to come up and kicked the front bumper of my car. I looked at him mouthing the words, "What the heck!". He shot back an angry look as if I've done something to offend him. The kick was so loud that people standing on the corner turned around to look at what was going on. I didn't bother stopping the car or yelling or getting any more furious at how utterly stupid people could be... it's already done. If there's damage, it's only materialistic things. And it just wasn't worth it. I checked later and luckily, there was no damage done.

I was just glad that it didn't happen on a regular draining day at work or I'd probably end up in a doubly bad mood. The brighter side.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oregon - Day 3

Happy Valentine's Day!

Before we headed home, we were lucky and got to try several of the many many many food carts Portland has to offer. We found ourselves on a block full food carts... surveyed them all... ate from two of them... and continued walking only to find another THREE blocks of food carts. Wow! But, I was super satisfied with what we had so I didn't feel cheated not having surveyed them all before we took our picks.

We picked up some croquettes and other goodies from a Spanish food cart before we shared some Hawaiian pull pork. Now, I was a bit hesitant in ordering the Hawaiian pull pork but it was one of the most recommended from the menu. The other was a teriyaki type chicken but I wasn't feeling like something sweet. This cart was also recommended by Google ... but whatever that means. I remember the pork from the luau in Hawaii and I remember I didn't like it very much. I wondered if it would taste the same.

Fortunately, it was pull pork at its best. No sweet and tangy bbq sauce. It was simple, perfectly seasoned, and accented with green onions. It was unbelievably delicious. I was thinking of skipping out on the macaroni salad but it was equally addicting for some reason. We were all picking at it even though we said we'd only try a bite. Yum! Sometimes, the simpler it is, the better.

chairs and tables set along the street for convenience too

different kinds of chili for a competition

this cute window was definitely welcoming

After a bit of shopping, we headed to the next food cart site - their very first location. There was a crepe stand there where we decide on some dessert for our lunch. Although my go-to crepe is always banana and nutella, there were so many different choices that I decided to go for something else. We chose the walnut, honey, cardamom, and coriander combo.
It was distinctly cardamom and reminded me of Gurm's chai spices. It was yum.

With our tummies filled, we hit the road and headed home.

One awesome and relaxing road trip down in the books.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oregon - Day 2

free tram rides

crossing tram tracks

We woke up bright and early and all set to tackle Portland's transit system. We stayed in downtown which meant that taking the tram within the vicinity was ... FREE. (Tax-free shopping?? Free transit?? What more could you ask for??). Our destination was the areas of food carts. Ahh yes, it's always about food. You'd think, well, Vancouver has food carts too. What's the difference? Well, they don't just have a couple japadog stands here and there and maybe a Mr. Tubesteak on your way to shopping Robson St.. They have food carts all lined up in a row on four different sides of the block. And food carts of many different ethnicities. Not only were the menus eye-catching, but so were the designs of their carts. For more info, click here.

Unfortunately, we picked the wrong day of the week to check them out. They were mostly closed. Oh well. We still have Monday. So, we chose something a little more close to home to start off our day... Starbucks. I guess Portland doesn't have the green tea lattes, so I settled for their vanilla rooibos latte instead. The sun was out but the air was still crisp. Alice whipped out the map to circle all the places to go (she did all the navigating of the trip), while Gurm surfed his iphone (which he did whenever there was free wi-fi), and me... I stared out the window and people watched (as I always do at a coffee shop). I spotted a lady outside wearing the bright blue Vancouver 2010 fleece vest. I noticed Nordstrom the department store had taken out one of their large window displays and turned that window into a mini espresso bar/stand.

Afterwards, we took the tram to our plan B for food. To an area close to their Chinatown. We ate at a cozy breakfast restaurant called Bijou. We sat at the bar with me sitting in the middle separating the two lovebirds. I always crave mushrooms when I see mushrooms on the menu, so I got the mushroom omelette. Gurm had sausages, potatoes and eggs with his morning ceasar. Alice had a tofu scramble. All soooo yum. Great recommendation by... wherever Alice found the recommendation!

iron cast work in the area near Chinatown

Bijou's window

Gurm's morning caesar

Allie's tofu scramble

yummy brioche french toast

sitting infront of a bar with a mirror

Our stomachs were too full for the Voodoo Doughnuts just around the corner. So, we'll save that for later. We walked around the Chinatown and noticed their bummy areas aren't so bummy. And their homeless were mainly dirty but not doped up, high or even drunk. We walked by their well known haunted pizzeria (visited by Rachel Ray) and decided to come back for dinner. Someone dining at the pizzeria left their dog outside and I just had to take a picture. The owner ran out thinking his dog was bothering us... but we were just lovin' the doggie! Soon after, it began to rain. Good timing. We had a whole morning of cool breeze walking, and now time to pick up the car to drive out to Nob Hill.

Nob Hill is a street of mini shops and cafes. Reminds me a little of our Yaletown or Main St. We whipped out our umbrellas and took a stroll in and out of stores. I think the rain was making me a bit groggy so I didn't see much that was interesting... until... I walked into Paper Source. Inside, I felt like a kid at a candy store. Me and my paper and stamps and colours... sigh.
We drove out to check out a few more food carts but they were also closed. So, what else is there to do in Portland on a rainy day? Woodburn Outlets! By the time we got to the outlets, we only had two hours to shop. None of us really had anything in mind to get. But with the first store we walked into, Gurm picked up something within 5 minutes. Then, the next store, Alice picked up something within another 5 minutes. Soon, we were on a mission to do it all in the 2 hours that we had. Now that was what I called power shopping! In the end, we all came out with our own loots. Happy we were!

Then, we drove back to the haunted pizzeria... called Old Town. Read their story here. Of all the tables in a rather empty restaurant that night, Alice chose to sit around the corner from the kitchen at the very end right next to the elevator shaft. The restaurant was dark and dimly lit by candles. And the mirror on the wall next to our table was broken. Nice... Gurm walked off to order our food at the counter, while Alice walked to the elevator shaft to check out the crime scene... I sat there waiting for the chills to hit my spine. (It never did).

Honestly, the pizzas were just okay. I've definitely had much better pizzas at home. Nothing to rave about. Their spinach salad (one of Rachel Ray's favorite) was also one of our favorites though. It was good! Don't know what it was. The dressing? The cranberries? The sugared peacans? The bacon bits? The feta? Probably all of the above.
We made sure to leave a little room because we made our way back to Voodoo Doughnuts. The lineup was an hour long before and after breakfast food that morning... luckily, at night, the lineup wasn't as long. But, there was still a lineup at 10pm. Nuts. We picked up four specialty doughnuts. I just wanted them for a photo op. Who knew that some of them actually tasted surprisingly good... (because they look digusting).

one hour line-up infront of Voodoo Doughnuts all day long

Back at the hotel, we stopped by the lounge and had a drink before we retired back upstairs. I did my whole photo op thing with the donuts and my nightstand light while Gurm droned himself to sleep with the TV and Alice researched some more on things to do the next day (see the pattern?).  We all took a bite out of each doughnut and I gotta say my favorite was the Oreo and peanut butter one. Mmmmm...  The two laughed at my improvising with using a cup to cut the doughnuts because we had no knife. "Just use your hands and rip it apart!". Well, better dirtying the cups than my hands.

hotel lounge

fruit loops and sugar doughnut

the voodoo doughnut

mango jelly with orange icing doughnut

oreo and peanut butter doughtnut (my fave out of all of them)

By 2am, I had almost finished the book that I started the night before. Now that's what I call a good trip. When I get the time to finish a book in one weekend.