Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Different Generation

One of my past internship students came by to visit and say hi. I asked him how he's doing. He said, "I don't know what to do. I just finished my internships. And there's still another two months till the liscensing exam. So I'm really 'duck haan' (free)".

Me : "Maybe you should start studying for that liscensing exam."

Him : "I have two months!."

Me : "That's true. By the time I finished my internships, I had 3 weeks only. 3 weeks to study 4 years worth! I thought I was going to die."

Him : "Was it really bad? Hey, do you have any study materials to lend me?".

Me : "I graduated seven years ago. My stuff is old. But I'll look for it. I'll facebook you and you can come pick it up."

Him : "PICK IT UP??

Me : "Of course you're going to pick it up. Since you're so 'duck haan' ".

Him : No, I mean... you have HARDCOPIES of your stuff??".

Me : "What do you mean!?!? All my stuff's in hardcopy. Guess your stuff is all in pdf files and transmitted electronically?"

"Wow... you ARE old."

"Shut up."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's Been All About Babies and Doggies

The perfect family they say has 2.3 kids and a dog. Oh, and the white picket fence. People at the baby shower last Sunday had just that or were pretty close. Kids and dogs came along. So. Adorable. So. Cute.


Enjoying the chocolate cupcake


Chubby Wubby

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Baby Shower On The Island

Rachel is the first out of my close group of highschool friends to become preggers. It is such an exciting time not just for her and Greg, but for us too!  All her coworkers and her mother-in-law were asking us, "Is this the first?" (as in "Is Rachel's baby the first in our group of friends") and it's so exciting to say yes!

I have not seen any other mother-to-be as cool and calm and ready as Rachel is. Being around her relaxes me and I'm not the one who's about to give birth! Haha. When Bowie (her dog) pushed a toy underneath the couch, I watched her crouch down to fetch his toy. How did she do that with the bump? She's running up and down the stairs. You cannot even tell she's carrying a baby in her belly if it wasn't for the bump!

She was absolutely glowing. Sooo happy for you, Rach!!! Congratulations again!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Write Your Days Off

As I get older (and hopefully wiser), I've come to realize that life isn't all about collecting experiences and special events. It's not about how much money I can make. It's not about how many trips around the world I get to go on. It's not about how much I've done. I used to look back in a year and count all my "firsts". My first time on a dragonboat team. My first time falling into False Creek. My first time flying on a plane alone. My first time in Paris. My first (and only) time diving into a tank of sharks. If it's not that, then it's counting my achievements and my accomplishments. 2006 was the year that I diligently ran three times a week and signed myself up for six 10k runs. My next year was suppose to be a half marathon. And if I wasn't doing something or accomplishing something, I felt that life was at a standstill. Wasting time away even. It was unsettling.

But now, I've come to see that although these things are nice, they don't necessarily make up a good and happy life. I could go on thousands of trips and come home feeling enriched with culture and experiences, but I've realize that learning to appreciate and enjoy the "mundane" days in between is just as enriching. It is just as important to write days off.

Today, I had to drop off my car at a bodyshop because someone decided to do a hit and run and leave my front bumper cracked and scratched. These kind of mishaps don't really phase me anymore. Shit happens. On the brighter side of things, at least it wasn't a car travelling at high-speed hitting my car while I was sitting in it. So, a hit and run on my parked car while I was at work is pretty darn lucky. Anyway... the morning was beautiful.  The sun was out. The weather has been absolutely amazing lately.

I dropped my car off more than 40 blocks away. After a mistake on my part and not getting a courtesy car, my mom and I decided to walk home. I could have continued that walk all day with the fresh air blowing against my face. I can't even remember what we were chatting about. All I remember was how content I was. I called my dad to tell him about my mistake on getting a courtesy car so he decided to let us walk for a while before he took his car out to meet us halfway.

The afternoon was spent lazily milling around Richmond Center. I was on a mission to pick up some hand soaps from Bath and Body Works. I spent too long sniffing all the different scents and making a big deal (in my head) about how they don't carry their original scents anymore. I went home feeling ever more lazy and plopped myself infront of the TV for a movie. Prince of Persia. Entertaining but not the greatest. Jake Jyllenhall is way too clean cut for his role. I enjoy watching him all the same though.

After dinner, just as I was about to doze off into a food coma, my alert for a text msg went off on my cell phone and woke me up. Ming somehow managed to take revenge on me for waking him up from his nap earlier in the day. We decided to bum at Superstore, which I think was really Ming's ploy to buy time before going for bbt. (I had said I was too full for bbt). So, after walking up and down almost every aisle and looking for random things to buy... we headed out for bbt. I was still too full. But what the hey...

Somehow, as I keep writing about these ordinary days...

I've learn to appreciate that these kind of days are the best kind of days. So go ahead, and write your days off.


Okay, let's try the photos thing one more time.

You'd think, having a long weekend after a long stretch of work, I'd be booking myself silly with all kinds of things to do and partying it up. Maybe if I was five years younger. (EEK. I didn't just say that!). The thing is, I just want to keep it simple. I used to pack my schedules from Sunday to Sunday. I'd feel productive. Accomplished. Yet exhausted. And sometimes, unsettled. Because... I'd just feel like I need to keep it up and keep doing more. Not doing something back then meant not having a life. Or, not living to the fullest. Or, not experiencing it all. In the end though, it all just becomes a "been there, done that" list or stories to share for conversation pieces. Of course, it's not a bad thing at all. But, I've come to realize that taking it easy and not doing anything special at all is actually quite... special.

When Jen (probably jokingly) mentioned last Wednesday morning that I could doggysit for her on Friday, I thought, hey that's not a bad idea. Well, besides the fact that I've never owned a dog on my own... and leaving me completely responsible of a live pet may or may not be so smart. But, I thought it would be perfect for me for a Friday night. I wanted an easy going weekend. Yet, let's not be so pathetic to be home all the time.  I wasn't even in for the idea of putting on some real clothes like a pair of jeans for a simple dinner with friends. I wanted to stay in. In my sweats. So, this was the perfect way. I get to play with Barney, stay in my sweats, and not be at home.

Not sure if Jen wished and hoped that she could retract her words after I said "Ok, I'll doggysit.", but hey, the night turned out just perfectly fine.

Tired Barney out with a few games of fetch and tricks with treats, and then he spent a good portion of the night sleeping by my feet while I flipped through a magazine and sipped on lemon ginger tea. He's so adorable. So well behaved. I want to kidnap him.

 Meet Barney. The cutie.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Ming has told me good things about this restaurant but I've never tried. I love sushi. Good sushi. Mmm... we were craving it so I had a feeling it was going to be sushi for dinner tonight. Today marked the last day of my brutal schedule. I had only two days off in the past 17 days. With some alternating closing/opening shifts. And a 10-hour shift with no break. It was brutal to me. But anyway, today was the last. So, exhausted as I was... I was pretty happy and skippy all day. Sushi just tops it all off.

We got it as take out. We had... agadeshi tofu, yam tempuras, an "Awesome" roll, and a "Sushiholic" roll. It was my fault... didn't do it justice 'cause I took my time after work, so by the time we ate, some of the crunchy stuff was already soggy. But, the food was good. I don't know if it was me... or if Ming tampered with the sauces... but the agadeshi tofu's sauce seemed sweeter, the tempura dip had a tangy lemon flavour, and the Sushiholic had a bit of spicy sauce to it too. They were all really good. The "Awesome" roll was indeed pretty awesome. Again, I had to imagine what it would have been if it was fresh... but they had a very finely shredded deep fried yam ... I don't want to call it strings, more like thread... topping. Yum! I'd definitely try this place again.

If you want regular sushi or some special rolls for a decent price, I'd recommend that you try out Sushiholic.

(For a blogger, you'd think I'd always have my camera! Next time.)

We watched Salt. Angelina Jolie. There were angles where I did find her quite pretty. And other angles, quite scary. Action packed. You'd love it if you're in for just action. But the rest... just okay.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shopping For Baby

Jen and I headed out to West 4th in the morning to look for a baby shower gift at Crocodile. Everything in the store was so irresistably cute. It didn't take very long before we were completely overwhelmed with all the choices... we wanted to get everything. (I'm still thinking about that cute sleeping bag... so. cute.) We needed a lot of explaining. We had no clue on what most of the things were for... let alone how to use it. We shopped for a good 45 minutes. Picked things up. Put things down. Finally decided on a super cute diaper bag, a set of swaddle blankets, and a toy for the baby. Oh! The first baby in our close group of highschool friends. So exciting!

It was a beauuuuuutiful morning. I've been spending most of my time indoors and at work that I didn't even realize that it's not wool coat season anymore. I cooked in my jacket and had to take it off while strolling along the street. We took a quick bite at Capers before I went to work my night shift. I so didn't want to go to work. Let me stay outside and bask in this beauuutiful weather!

Sun + light breeze + friend's company = happy me.


As the title says, rummaging through simple pleasures...

So, I forgot but I must mention...

While we were driving to T&T, Ming rummaged around the sides of the cupholders... and pulled out a CD. Woooo hoooo! A CD mix for my car.  Even though it seemed like it took a lot of arm twisting on my part, and this is probably a once in an entire lifetime that he'd do something nice for me... haha...

I love the CD.

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mochi Ice Cream

Doing back to back shifts are brutal when you close the first night and then open the next. I tried lying to myself when I woke up this morning and made myself believe that I was recharged with a good sleep and full of energy. I felt pretty good at the beginning of my shift, but by mid morning... I felt like that wind-up toy that's seriously slowing down by the second. I started to yawn every five minutes. By noon time, I could barely keep myself awake.

On my break, I quickly scarfed down my food and practically ran to the couch in the lunch room. Before I knew it, I dozed off. That's the beauty of having an hour break. 15 minutes to eat. 45 minutes to sleep. I didn't care if I snored or drooled on my smock, I desperately needed some shuteye.

Usually, after a power nap, I'd feel a bit rejuvenated. At least enough to last the second half of my shift. Today wasn't one of those days. I was pretty lifeless. Maybe because one of my coworkers is sick... and she was passing her lethargy to me.

When I got home, I stared blankly at the TV. Kinda drones you. I was also chatting with a couple people online while I ate my dinner by the TV. I finally decided to peel myself off the couch to take a shower. Maybe it'll wake me up. Ming wanted to go to T&T, and I thought I had said "I'm taking a shower. If I'm not done by the time you want to leave for T&T, just go without me." I knew he wanted to leave pretty soon so I really didn't have the intention of going.

But after I got out of the shower, I found out that he was waiting in the car. Whoops. Maybe I did say that I would go. Who knows. Tired people don't know what they're talking about. Hah. Didn't matter. The moment I stepped outside, the cool air hit my face and I was slightly energized. I love being outside. (Do I keep saying the same thing?? hehe).

The time it took us to get to T&T and back home was so fast that I felt like I was on the amazing race. Good thing is, I scored a couple boxes of mochi ice cream that were on sale! I popped a couple in my mouth pretty much before bedtime. Ahh, it was good. But not enough to wake me up.

I was that tired.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Visitors At Work

Visitor #1

A black guy wearing a cap and an oversized jacket was standing at the pharmacy counter. A man stood behind him. Like a bodyguard. My coworker stared down the black guy... and took the courage the say, "Are you.... Nelly?". He tilted his head and gave an affirmative nod.

Another coworker stood in the back singing at a low volume, "It's getting hot in here...".

I went home and plugged in "Nelly Vancouver" into Google and found out he was in town that night for a concert.

Nelly, the rapper!

Visitor #2

An asian lady came to the counter and dropped off three prescriptions with the name "Eva Mendes" written on the top.

Pharmacist: "Is this for yourself?".

Lady: "No. She's outside and she cannot come in."

Pharmacist: "Could I see a piece of ID from her?".

Lady: "Hold on."

The lady took off and came back in about five minutes and handed the pharmacist a piece of ID.

Pharmacist: "Eva Mendes??? The actress?".

The lady nodded.

We all peeked down the aisle towards the front door. We can't even see the front of the store. So what were we all expecting to see was beyond me. As if Eva Mendes would be standing in the middle of the baby aisle.

Visitor #3

This one's rather funny if I don't say so myself. In the midst of the chaos of nearly buying a place, Gurm had passed along my phone number to a mortgage broker. He called me and we had a quick chat about when and where to meet up. I said to Gurm, "He sounds good looking. I don't know why but judging by his voice, I'd imagine that he'd be good looking." I said this of course NOT in at all any seriousness.

Gurm replied, "I thought the same thing! I thought he sounded good looking too."

Ok, that does sound kinda wrong coming from a guy... but hey, we both thought the same thing!

That day I met up with the mortgage broker, I remember it was early in the morning and it was bloody cold outside. I stood inside the Starbucks waiting for him. Outside, I saw a pretty darn nice car pull up in the parking lot, and out came a relatively tall asian guy in a long grey wool coat and a long striped scarf that was draped around the collar which was obviously more for looks than for purpose. He lugged what looked like a suitcase or a laptop bag. I stared at him thinking, that guy is pretty darn good looking. He walked towards the Starbucks and even then I thought he was just a regular guy getting his morning coffee. It wasn't until he stood inside looking around for a bit... that I realized he is the mortgage broker. Ha ha. Oh dear.

After our meet, I texted Gurm, "He is good looking."

But that was that.

Then tonight, while at work, I heard someone call out my name. I looked out to the counter and saw an asian guy about my age standing at the counter. For an instant, I couldn't recognize him but knew he looked familiar. He was dressed down in a hoodie and sweats. "You probably don't recognize me dressed like this."

It was the mortgage broker.

After a quick chat, I went back to the back of the pharmacy and my coworkers asked, "Who is he? He's quite good looking."

Ha ha.


I wish I was half as talented as these people I've spotted on YouTube. Seriously, a lot of musicians and vocalists you can find on YouTube are a lot better and way more talented than some big recording artists out there. I'm floored. I love love love what they can do...

Well, I also love love love music.

Check out some of my current favorites :

Jason Chen And J Rice's Tong Hua

Jason Chen and Cathy Nguyen's Perfect

Sam Tsui and Christina Grimmie's Just A Dream

Big Decisions

My posts have been a bit sporadic lately because I've been busy humming and haaing over making that big leap in purchasing my first home. I've been looking and following the market for three to four years now. And over that time, prices have shot so high that I sometimes wonder if it's even possible for me. One of my friends had done the research in stats and told me that my profession is ranked in the top 10% of the highest paying jobs in B.C. Sad, isn't it. Even with that, I can barely afford anything in Vancouver. It is ridiculously pricey.

Well, after almost 3 weeks of humming and haaing, I've decided not to make that leap just yet. The good thing is, through all this time, I've made an offer, visited the banks, and talked to a lot of people with the experience... which puts me at a much better position at buying a place when I am truly ready. I could imagine a pretty good life at the place I was looking at... but in the end, there are also a lot of factors that broke the deal because they're simply more important than me wanting what I would consider a luxurious life. That sounds silly, doesn't it... I'm not saying that I don't deserve it.  But right now is just not the time. Plus, my life is pretty good already.

My mom asked if I'm disappointed. First they're worried that I'm not financially capable and now she's worried that I'm in a major funk of disappointment. Boys and girls, it really takes a whole lot to disappoint me these days. Not buying a place right now doesn't mean I won't or can't some time later. This was all my decision. Of course I have my reasons to not go through with it... so if I had made the leap, with reasons not to... then would that not be more disappointing? Plus, to me... nothing is more important than health. If health doesn't change, then nothing about it is that big of a deal to me.

I wrote this year off as a spending year. For a bit there, I thought the house would be it. The big spend! But since I've realized that it is not, that just means I'm going to be shopping for some...

Well, you'll know when I get there!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Night at Deanna's

A lot of the recipes or food that I talk about on this blog were inspired or tipped by Deanna. She is one amazing cook. Everything is so easy and simple to her. I once said to her, "It's not that simple or easy if there's 15 ingredients in all your recipes." She said I was exaggerating. There aren't that many ingredients, she claimed. So, she took one recipe for example and started numbering off each ingredient. She stopped at twelve and said something like, "Yah yah...".

Anyway, today, I got the privilege to taste some of her cooking again. She said she'll make something easy. (Yes, Deanna's version of "easy"). Homemade pizza. Now, keep in mind that she's Italian. So this is the real deal. (Haha). Homemade pizza dough from scratch. Homemade tomato sauce. Crushing her own home-grown tomatoes and adding her own herbs and spices. It really doesn't get any better than this.

Oh, the aroma that came out of her oven made me so hungry. And the funniest thing to me was how clean her kitchen was. How does one cook with a spankin' clean kitchen like nothing was ever touched or out of place?? For me, I'll have bowls everywhere, utensils stacked high in the sink, and I'll spread everything out all over the counter. Mind you, I try to do a pretty good job of cleaning it all up afterwards. But, in the process...  I'm the tornado that blows through the kitchen. Deanna's kitchen was spic and span. It's like... magic.

She made a total of four pizzas (for the four of us. Yikes!). Ham and pesto. Spinach and Feta. Mushroom. And a pepperoni. Oh, I took the first bite and I surely felt like I died and gone to heaven and back. It was so. Good. The crust was light and thin. Chewy yet lightly crispy. It was perfect. I could have eaten that crust all day. All the toppings were finely sliced or delicately chopped. And the cheese was also a fine layer. All the ingredients seemed to balance. If I could say so... it was almost like an art.

My favorite had to be the ham and pesto. I don't know if it's because it was the first type that I tried. Or because I love pesto. If I wasn't so full after just trying one slice of each, I would have devoured the whole thing. Gee, I wish I had some with me right now. We sat around the dinner table with our pizza slices and chatted about shopping. What women do best. I sipped on  San Pelligrino while Deanna had her Perrier. It was really nice spending a night with my coworkers outside of work. We browsed a jewelry catalogue. Deanna pulled out some of her best finds in clothes. It was nice to have a girl's night.

Then, Deanna whipped out dessert. Margarita Freeze. We've been talking about this dessert for some time now. She's given me the recipe but I have yet to make it. So, she surprised us by making it for us. It's a mix of strawberry and orange frozen with cream cheese. It was so yum. Esp. with the graham cracker crust. Love those. We washed it all down with a big sip of delicious Inniskillin ice wine.

 Umm. Yah. That pretty much sums up a more than prefect night.

If you read this, Thanks Deanna!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

TV Night

Ming: Scan through them all and pick a movie.

Me: There's too many to choose from.

Ming: Just pick one.

Me: I thought you wanted to watch Tron.

Ming: No, we don't have to watch Tron.

Me: Hmm...

Ming: Okay fine. We're watching Tron.

Me: What?! I thought you said you're letting me pick one.

Ming: We're watching Tron.

Me: Why are you letting me choose one if you knew we're watching Tron??

Ming: We can watch Tron first, and then we can watch whatever you want to watch afterwards.

I didn't get to choose the movie nor did I choose the food. We had Bo Laksa for dinner again. I swear... any more Bo Laksa and I'll be feeling my heart burn and Ming will have have roti growing out of his ears.

We ended up watching Burlesque as our second movie. Yah, my choice. I like musicals and I thought it would be more about her making it in show biz, but it turned out more of a cheesy, love story. Didn't mind the music though.

Now,  my jacket smells like scented candles. Something floral. I guess better than it smelling like food.  You would probably guess it was me burning the scented candles, but nope, that was Ming. Girly things are his thing too I guess. But hey, not complaining... it does smell nice.

With Christina Aguilera's ballads, the flickering scented candle in the dark, and a comfy couch to lie on... Ming's bachelor pad sounds more like a spa.

Haha. Before he went to sleep, I said I wasn't going to blog about him. Not very often but there are odd times... when things I say aren't true!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken

When it comes to cooking, I don't generally use recipes. Even if I wanted to try something new, most of the time, I would scan a recipe online, try to somewhat imagine the flavours each ingredient would make, and then try to replicate it by memory. (Unless if it was a rather complicated recipe... but those I save for only special occasions).

So, my coworker, Deanna, had another recipe she recommended to me. I got her to write down all the ingredients and the approximate proportions. I read it through, stuck it in my labcoat pocket, and well... sorry Deanna, God knows where it is. But I made it anyway. A little bit of this. A little bit of that. Try it. How bad could it be? And if it's bad, you know for next time what to adjust... going by taste. Anyway, my point is... there is no recipe for this one.

I took out my ingredients. Dumped my thawed out chicken breast into a ziplock bag.

Doused about 1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar into the bag. Then plopped in about 2 tbsp brown sugar. Chopped up two cloves of garlic. Sprinkled in some salt and pepper. Chucked in a bit of olive oil. Tossed in a bit of seasoning salt. Then I shook the bag up really well...

Stuck the marinating chicken into the fridge for 4 hours. (Deanna said overnight... well, I didn't have the time. Nor did I want to wait).

After 4 hours, I whipped out my trusty indoor grill (everyone should have one!) and left beaaaaautiful grill marks on the chicken breasts. And ta da! Done! I could have used a tad more brown sugar I think... but it was so yummy.

Friday, March 11, 2011


The last time I had a chirashi was back in 2005 at the Fish Market in Tokyo. God knows why it's been so long that I've had  chirashi. I remember that moment too. It was a small, narrow restaurant on the side of the Fish Market. None of us knew how to speak Japanese but the good thing is their menu was all in photos. This restaurant seemed to make nothing but chirashis.

From wikipedia:
Chirashizushi (ちらし寿司?, "scattered sushi") is a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of sashimi and garnishes.

At first, I was a bit skeptical on how good raw fish would be on plain white sushi rice. I suppose it's not much different than from sushi other than its placement. But, there was just something about a chirashi that makes it so good. Maybe because that's all there was. Again, going back to to simplicity makes it best. Thick slices of the freshest raw fish placed in a shape of a fan on top of a bowl of rice. The fish was so fresh that it melted in my mouth. I remember it was my first time eating sea urchins. It looked disgusting. But, tasted so... so good.

The chirashi I had tonight looked very different. But the presentation itself was beautiful. Sorry, didn't have a camera on me. There were different kinds of roes mixed in with all sorts of sliced sashimi and unagi. There were also crunchy, sweet radishes and some sort of sprout. Oh, to die for.

I was trying out Kiyo Sushi on Cambie Rd. in Richmond with Geoff, Kia, and Patsy.. It was recommended by Geoff's mom I believe, but I've also heard a friend mention it before. It's run by Japanese people. Small. Simple. But busy on a Friday night. Geoff and Kia are in town for a few days. Even though it's been more than a year since their wedding, I could still see the honeymoon phase in them.

I was a 14 year old teenage girl when I met Geoff. And through all these years, we went through our own heart breaks, graduating highschool, graduating university, and then him graduating post-grad and changing his "Mr." to "Dr.". He also gave me my first sip of alcohol when I was only 16 and him 19. I still remember. Irish cream. It tastes good, he said. Haha. And now... having dinner with him and his wife and chatting about work.

Patsy and I go way back to highschool as well. Although I must admit, being in the same city, we don't see each other very often. But, to me anyway, who's counting how many times we see each other? As long as every time we do, we always have a memorable good time.

Meeting up with old friends for dinner on  a Friday night... oh, and chirashi... some of life's many simple pleasures.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cholesterol Test, Pho, and Inception

There is absolutely no correlation between any of those things except that it describes my night. I did have a relatively relaxing day at work testing people's cholesterol levels and promoting general heart health. Yes, another clinic day.

After work, since I was already on the west side, I picked up a couple bubble teas from Dragonballz. Ordered Ming's favorite, which I must say is different. Even the Dragonballz lady asked me twice if I was sure I wanted to order it. Kind of makes me wonder why they have it on the menu if she's surprised people would order it. But he likes it.

Ming said he'd take care of dinner and I was a tad afraid it would be Bo Laksa again. Not that I mind the food, but I might start to wonder if this is a growing addiction for him. But, to a pleasant surprise, it was pho. I was craving that last week. I must have forgotten all about it, not knowing what I'd want to eat... but with the smell of the aromatic soup, my craving came back so strong. Mmm mmm...  He took forever heating up the soup and cooking the raw meat. All of. Five minutes. Hah. Hey, after a day of work... a nice warm bowl of soup always gets me. And I couldn't wait to dig in. Mmm... Just writing about it now makes me want it again.

We took our usual positions on the couch and turned on the movie, Inception. I wanted to watch it. But gosh, I was confused from the get-go. Even though I had an idea already of what the movie was about, I was getting lost in certain parts. But, the concept was brilliant and with some explaining and better understanding, yes, it's a pretty good movie. It was a bit too much of a thinking movie for after work though. Enjoyed it nonetheless.

Oh, I took my kit from work to test Ming's cholesterol levels which I was so sure would be atrocious but ...

I suppose I should spare him and not write about everything on this blog. Hah.

Hawaii 2007

After looking at my upcoming brutal schedule at work, I started daydreaming of sunny vacations.

These photos were taken back in 2007. It was one transitional year where I went from living on my own (well, with a roommate) and feeling stable and comfortable... to moving back to my parents and re-learning to live with four other people and sharing space. I left my comfortable job with loving coworkers who became my second family... to restarting it all over again. I left my daily routines that I made for myself to losing that balance when I came home. Don't get me wrong... I moved back for family and friends. And they're a big part of me. No regrets. But, after a whole year of feeling a bit lost, I remember sitting at home on the couch with my laptop and without much thought, I went on expedia and booked a trip to Hawaii. For the following week. I looked up from my computer and said to my mom, "I'm going to Hawaii next week."

I was emailing back and forth with a friend who was living in Japan at the time. We decided to meet up in Hawaii. But, whichever day she chose to fly in to Hawaii, I decided I'd go before her to have some time to myself. And that's what I did. My parents drove me to the airport... obviously worried that I wasn't going with even a friend this time... (and forgetting my passport on the table while filling out papers at the airport didn't put them anymore at ease). I was glad to leave.

I sat between a man and a woman on the plane. The man was with the family across the aisle. I remember filling out this survey asking us how many times have we been to Hawaii. I watched him circle the "10+" option. The woman next to me started talking to me. "Is this your first time?". She must have looked at my sheet.


She said, "You'll love it. I'm from Hawaii. I'm just away for work." We ended up chatting for the rest of the flight. Mostly her prepping me for her homeland.

Sometimes, I wonder why people always take a photo out of a window of the plane. They generally look the same. But as I arrived at Hawaii... this is what I saw out the window. It was already amazing. The water so blue. The trees so green.

This was taken with a telephoto from the top of Diamond Head.

The afternoon I spent by myself at the Honolulu Zoo was one of the most memorable and best afternoons I've had. It was absolutely beautiful and peaceful in there.

Also taken in the Honolulu Zoo. I knew nothing about my brand new dslr at that time, but somehow I got the grassy background to fade out.

Also taken in the Honolulu Zoo.

On the same day, they had an art show right outside the zoo. So I checked it out. I love browsing art.

I ended up talking to a local artist and bought a couple paintings from him. Everything was so beautiful. Hard to choose.

This was one of many favorite photos from Hawaii. I didn't process this photo. The sunset was that vibrant. Sunsets there were absolutely amazing.

Hanauma Bay.

Snorkelling here was great.

I stayed across the street from Waikiki Beach. I spent the nights sitting on these benches facing the dark. It was quiet but people were still roaming the streets. Peaceful.
In the end, even though I wanted to be on my own, all I could think while I was there was wishing my family and friends were with me. To share in the view. The place. The experience.  All that time I wanted to be away on my own to organize my life in my head made me realize that everything is the way it should be.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I'm watching Kung Fu Panda as I post, and Master Shifu said something pretty wise, "The past is history, and the future is a mystery, but the present is a gift."

The present -

I took my parents out to try Faubourg in Kerrisdale today. We sat in a very crowded coffee shop sipping on coffee and tea and splitting different french pastries to try. The sun was beaming through the window yet the air was still very crisp outside. We each must have mentioned at least once that the weather was perfect for my brother's cycling expedition today. The place was bustling. My parents seemed to enjoy their drinks and food commenting on the coffee being not too light and not too dark and the tea perfectly brewed.

I went out for an early dinner at Pied A Terre on Cambie St with Jen, Karen and Ray. The food was excellent. Perfectly prepared french food. So yum. We split a bottle of wine which was equally as delicious. I was enjoying the food, that I know.. .but my mind was somewhat in a fog. There's been a lot for me to digest lately and I was sharing it all with my friends over dinner. I was more thinking than eating. But it was all in all, a good thing. I'm pretty lucky to have great friends to share dinner with, to share stories with, to share life with... Their words of encouragement tonight helped put my mind at ease.

We had an early dinner because we had a show to catch afterwards. We checked out Legally Blonde The Musical at the QE Theatre. Oh, it was a hoot! Quite entertaining. Was surprised Ray enjoyed it just as much with all the squeaky voices and overboard pink clothes and accessories. "Gay or European?". Haha. Check it out if you can.

The present is surely a gift. And I'm enjoying it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I once read an article written by a 90 year old man giving "Tips on Life". He wrote something that stuck with me.

"Life isn't fair. But it's still good."

I've been reminded over and over again just this past little while how life isn't fair. I could have so many reasons to be sad. And we all will. It's a part of life. But through it all, I have to stay positive. You just gotta.

Taken in 2007.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Good Start

After what seemed like a long dark tunnel, there's always light. I'm referring to my long, exhausting week of work.  But, work is work. All the whining and complaining that I may do about how tough a work week can be sometimes, I guess it's only in hopes that someone would understand what you've gone through. But, nobody ever really knows. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets exhausted from work. (Although being exhausted is an understatement this week). At least, at the end of it all, I'm given a little break. This is the start to my 3-day weekend!

I started my 3-day weekend early. Honestly, by the second last hour of my shift, my head had turned into mush. I got off a little earlier just to give myself some time before I met up with friends.  Sometimes I forget what a difference it is just to give yourself a moment. My face was all flushed partially from running around doing five different things at a time in the pharmacy and partially because it's cold outside and they jacked up the heat to accomodate the customers. Even with splashing cold water on my face, I couldn't seem to cool down. Ah well, I thought. It's cold outside.

Dinner plans were made at a restaurant just across the street from work. Yummy malaysian style food. Pretty much a hole in the wall. But the food is really ... really good. Ming had eaten there last week and enjoyed it so much that he craved it this week. Same thing with his friend so she came too. Ming texted me in the morning telling me that his friend was also bringing two friends. Hmm, now I don't know half the people, I thought. But hey, more people to share different dishes with. Plus, I was walking into work, already mentally preparing myself for chaos... I had no time to even really care who I was going to have dinner with.

So, after giving myself a half hour break after work, I walked over to the restaurant. The cold air was refreshing. Ming arrived second. Soon after, his friend arrived with her two friends.

"OH MY GOSH!!!!!". We both yelled at the same time. I know one of Ming's friend's friend. It was Pat!

"Hey, she told me we'd be having dinner with other people but I didn't know I'd be having dinner with you!", Pat said.

I can't remember the last time I saw Pat. Hmm, let me think. Elliott's summer BBQ last year? Regardless, it's been a while so it was really nice catching up. I probably could have gone on forever if I didn't start feeling bad that we were with other people too.

This world is definitely small. But it's certainly great. We all started off as strangers at one point. Somehow somewhere, we've met one another (through work, through school, through friends of friends, and randomly through the internet) and were able to share a dinner together tonight. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

The world got even smaller when I heard who Ming's friend is working for with her new job. A company with people who are also friends of my friends. Wedding photography business is big but not that big... you're bound to know someone.

Good food. Good conversations. Laughs. Great company (yes, I'm counting you too). What more could you ask for in a night after a long day's work?

A good start to my 3-day weekend.