Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Step it up, baby!

I spent the evening having dinner with a girlfriend and her SO at their new place. We saw Step Up afterwards and oddly enough, her boyfriend wasn't at all interested in joining us. I dunno why...?

Compared to the teen-romance-dance movies that have come before it, I've got to say it's sadly lacking. It's no Center Stage, which I loved...nor Save the Last Dance which followed a year later. The dance scenes were pretty good, but the plot. Oy. The plot was brutal. What's up with killing Skinny? There's no dying in cheesy teen flicks. That's just not done.

I'm a suck, so I can always be counted on to cry during a cheesy movie. I'm not the only one though because my girlfriend cried too, only she was laughing at the same time because the cheese was so bad. That's not a good thing, is it?

In this publicity shot, Channing Tatum totally reminds me of Wentworth Miller, only not nearly as cute. And if you close your eyes and just listen to his voice, you hear Brad Pitt. Anyway. He was nyeh. I wasn't all that impressed with him and Jenna Dewan was OK. The acting was actually quite bad...I liked Drew Sidora who played the best friend though--she has the long sweepy-banged hairstyle I love and aspire to--only, not as curly because I have straight Asian hair and curling it like that is just too high maintenance for me.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm so excited!!!

But I don't want to be TOO excited so that I jinx it...I found out tonight that our hardwood guy may be able to start installation this Thursday rather than Saturday. How great is that? If it takes the week he expects, perhaps I will be back in my own bedroom upstairs in time for my birthday! Yay!

I'm not counting on it all being done by that time because that ain't gonna happen. The kitchen walls still need to be painted, and because the main floor furnishings are all packed in there, the hardwood must be installed before they can finish the kitchen. I still can't wait though!


The other news is that I will be presenting to our executive committee on the 8th. I'd been working on a project scoping out potential M&A candidates. We have a research analyst scheduled to come on-site this Thursday for the full day and the expectation for the 8th is that we will provide the EC with a summary of that day's findings....I'm slightly freaked out by the prospect, but my senior manager is very supportive and generous in providing me with opportunities to grow in my role. After all, it's not every lowly analyst that gets to present to the CEO. I just hope I don't make a complete IDIOT of myself!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I am so SQUARE!!

I've been searching for a square ceiling fixture for the last 6 weeks or so and was begining to think that I'd have to settle for something round, because that's what manufacturers seem to be making in abundance. I went to Union Lighting yesterday and found a perfect square, except that it was too big at 16"x16" and hung a little too low from the ceiling.

I was driving up Yonge St. after brunch this afternoon and the window of the Living Lighting store caught my eye so I decided to stop in. I don't want to get too excited but it seems that I don't have to settle after all.

The fixture I found is styled exactly like this one to the left, but imagine it 14"x14"x7" with a rod that is about 4" long so that it can be hung close to the ceiling. It's a new style, so new that it's not even in the catalogue yet. I ordered a couple and now wait impatiently for them to arrive.

I just knew I would eventually find what I was looking for if I perservered. I was proven right when I found my gold sandals, after all.

Perhaps my prince will come to me just as the light and sandals did--with a little patience and perserverance...HA!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Moody me

It's been a pretty uneven weekend for me so far. I had a 1/2 day yesterday and spent it with one of my best friends who's moved back from London, England. We met for lunch in the west end of the city before my 3pm hair appointment and then spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out around Queen West.

We stopped by the site of my condo that's presently just a big hole, and then browsed the bead stores since I'm sourcing sparklies for a necklace I'm making for another girlfriend.

We ended up having dinner at Jules on Spadina, a favourite that never disappoints. On our way to the subway, we stopped at Kiehl's where I was sampled up, and at Caban where I found a pair of lamps for my condo that were 40% off. I can't wait to furnish my place. I have definite ideas about what I'd like in the space--my den is already furnished in my mind--the details of the rest of the space are still rather fluid, but that's OK.

All in all, Friday was a good day.

Today was a different story. I'm ashamed to admit that I threw a hissy-fit this morning because I couldn't find my sneakers which my mother had stored away because of the renovations. She finally found them for me and I was able to head out to meet my friend for lunch.

We had plans to spend the afternoon shopping at Yorkdale but neither of us was really in the mood: the mall was a construction zone and it had been so long since I'd gone to a mall on a weekend day that I had forgotten how crowded it gets. The stores were busy and all the stock was a mess. Quite honestly, I can not shop under such conditions, so after some discussion, we decided to call it a day.

I got home and my mood turned darker. All I could do was complain about how bored I was with everything: food, shopping, living in the basement, the renovations. My mother finally told me to keep my negative energy to myself so I decided to give myself a pedi.

Is this the start of the birthday blues? Maybe. I just want my life back to normal. I want to be able to look in my closet when I want to find something to wear instead of digging in a garbage bag. I want to pull out my drawers when I'm looking for a t-shirt to wear instead of juggling drawers that are stacked one on top the other against the wall. Is that too much to ask????

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bitter start, sweet end

I started the day off this morning rather irked given that all the carafes in the free café upstairs were empty. I brewed some fresh coffee and cursed the inconsiderate cretins who were nowhere to be seen.

It was brightened a couple hours later by a long distance call from London: my friend who is moving back in a couple weeks after 5 years away called to chat, so we reminisced and caught up for a little while before work beckoned.

I went out for lunch—the all-you-can-eat buffet at Il Fornello. I’ve been extraordinarily hungry this week, so I decided to indulge a bit. Normally, I avoid buffets like the plague, but at Il Fornello, the buffet’s not really big, and there’s high turnover for the pizza in particular, so I don’t mind it.

Aside from being really hungry, I’ve also been really bored and restless at work, so the afternoon just crawled on by. I had dinner plans to meet an ex-colleague from my banking days at 7pm, so killed time at the Indigo nearby. Normally I catch up on all my fashion and gossip, but I’d browsed the latest issues last week so ended up reading a cheesy romance just for kicks.

We dined at Mimosa, and it occured to me how unexpectedly some friendships develop because I was never particularly close with this colleague when I was at the bank since we never worked together on any projects. It wasn’t until after I left that we started going out socially.

We caught up over duck confit, talking about things that inspired indignation on the one hand and laughter on the other, including the news of a sr.manager(!) at the bank who is so inefficient and/or lazy-ass that she's punted off all responsibilities save for this one measly report that she can't even produce correctly. The kicker is that both of us had been responsibile for this report at one point in our tenure at the bank, in addition to other responsibilities, yet this woman is making more than twice our salary and is doing about 1/5 the work. Where is the justice in this??

We talked about our anti-social tendencies, our laissez-faire parents, the dynamics of modern romantic relationships, and, most importantly, eye gel to ward off the first signs of aging. I was chastised for being lazy in its application since I'm on the (gasp) cusp of turning the big 3-0 and won’t look the girl-faced woman any longer if I have crowsfeet around the eyes. I don't FEEL old though, and since I've been blessed (or cursed on days when I have a zit) with oily skin and Asian genes, I feel rather immune to the worries of other women.

The evening ended with us sharing the ubiquitous, but oh-so-yummy, crème brulee and flourless chocolate cake. Our attentive waitress brought us cream whipped with a bit of red and white wine on the side which was meant to top off our dessert coffees, but we ended up just eating it as is. All in all, a sweet end to a day that started off rather bitterly. :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Devil, you say?!

My friend offered to do a Tarot reading for me tonight, and I’m always amazed by the cards and what they can tell me.

I like to think I have a very healthy skepticism about what many would consider airy-fairy-mystical-bullshit, but when independent parties* convey similar messages, you have to start wondering: what if these cards are right?

I’m not very close with this friend—she’s my mother’s age and that’s how we met, through my mother, but she’s very young at heart and fun-loving, so we get along very well. Anyway, the first reading was bang on about how I’m in the midst of a great deal of sudden change at work and that I’m considering leaving my company—all true, which she wouldn’t have known without me telling her. Spooky.

The really disturbing thing is that of the 78 cards in the deck, similar cards came up again and again—as they did the last time she read the cards for me. In this reading, the common cards were The Devil—which was luckily and thankfully mitigated in every hand by positive cards like The Magician, The Wheel of Fortune and The World—and The Ace of Wands.

I remember when I first saw The Devil I was freaked out—wouldn’t you if you saw such a scary-looking card? But the placement in the reading in relation to the mitigating cards was reassuring to me…so I have much to consider and work out in the next little while, particularly career-wise. And if there is anything to these cards, then next Spring will be a very positive, busy time for me, indeed.

* I went to see a Tarot/palm reader for the first time in Hong Kong just because I was curious, and the things she told me were validated a year later by my friend.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hungover, itchy and grumpy

I got home early this morning from the sangria party and was woken up at 10 by the contractors' arrival. I could probably have done with couple more hours of sleep but had to haul my butt out of bed to answer the door since it was fast becoming apparent by their insistent doorbell ringing that my brother wasn't budging.

My misery is aggravated by the 8(!) mosquito bites I got while we were sitting outside on my friend's deck: 3 on my left foot, 1 on my right ankle, 2 on the middle knuckle of my left hand, 1 on my right wrist and the last on the inside of my right elbow.

I spent the afternoon driving around visiting hardwood flooring suppliers with my mother and looking at light fixtures and window coverings. The man who will be installing the hardwood for us just left after coming by to take measurements. He won't be able to start work until the 2nd, so my hopes that this reno will be done by my birthday are pretty much shot.

At least I have a massage to look forward to tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Real Home Renos: We're doing what now?

Our home renovation project just keeps growing and growing. The latest and greatest?

We're replacing the hardwood, not just refinishing it; we're laying tile in our large foyer area; AND we're replacing the floor tiles in all the washrooms. The latter I wanted to do from the beginning because it's this icky pepto-bismal pink. My mother was of the mind to just leave imagine my surprise when I came home tonight to find that we were trekking out before dinner to pick out tile for the bathroom floors?

I've just spent the last 4.5 hours packing up the rest of my stuff and taking it down to the basement, where I will be living for the next couple weeks. I hope and I pray that this reno will be done by month's end...but I somehow doubt it...

TGIF tomorrow! I have a sangria party to attend so I spent the last 10 minutes prepping my fruits so they're suitably drunk for the sparkling wine. :)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lazy-ass coffee drinkers

Our company has a free “café” on the 3rd floor that serves 3 brands of coffee in 4 thermoses each.

We went up this morning and found all 4 thermoses of my brand out, so I decided to make some. Fast forward a few minutes and we’re sitting in the lounge area waiting for our coffee to brew. We see people come and go through the same routine: They check their usual coffee of choice. The first thermos is empty, so they check the second and find that empty too. They press down hopefully on the third: nothing. Same with number 4. With resignation, they turn to their next brand of choice. 1, 2, 3, 4. All empty. This scene is played out almost a dozen times. The one thermos with any coffee in it is the one serving Starbucks, so they drink that one dry. No one thinks to make any more coffee. They get their coffee and leave.

I was so irked by the inconsideration of these lazy-ass people. It takes all of 1 minute to prep the brewer and a few more for ready-to-drink fresh coffee.

To all you selfish jerks out there: If you’re too damn lazy to make coffee at work, you don’t deserve to drink it. Walk your ass down to the concourse and go buy your coffee instead. I hope it burns you with the first sip.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Real Home Renos: 1 step, 2 step, 3 step, 4

I am SO over stairs.

The contractors didn't come in today so I took the day off to pack up 20 years of accumulated stuff as they'll begin work on the the 2nd floor Friday. This of course means that my mother, brother and I will be confined to the basement for the next couple weeks.

I was overwhelmed by the task at hand so procrastinated a bit with Regis and Kelly before starting. I was about ready to quit about 1.5 hours in: I started by packing up the linen closets to take down to the basement. In hindsight, I should have worn my step-counter because I lost count of how many times I went up and down from the 2nd floor to the basement transporting stuff. My feet and shins are rather sore...maybe I'll call for a massage appointment this Sunday...mmmm.....

The good news is that the main floor should be painted by the end of day tomorrow. I'm loving the colours and have been studying them throughout the day to see how the light affects the colours. So far, I'm thrilled with my choices.

And the floors! They've torn up the wall-to-wall carpeting and the funny thing about this is that they revealed the family room floor first, and the hardwood was laid in a parquet pattern! I was surprised because I don't remember there being a pattern at all. I chalked it up to a faulty memory since I was only 9 when we moved in, but when they tore up the rest of the carpet, the floor was as I remembered, laid vertically...or horizontally....whatever...just no pattern. I wonder why the builder did that?

It's coming together...I'm happy...but tired. Very tired from the packing and trekking up and down and up and down and up and down again.


SO over stairs.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mimi is da Bomb

Photo courtesy of
Just got back from seeing Mariah Carey in concert at the ACC and she was amazing!

I'm not much of a concert-goer and hadn't planned on attending since I'm not a huge Mimi fan, but my friend had an extra ticket in the 100s and offered it to me, so I thought, why not?

I didn't realize how many of her songs I really enjoyed, and she covered the range of her discography, including Vision of Love, Hero, Make it Happen, Always Be My Baby, Heartbreaker, Fantasy, Dreamlover. Of course, the hits off her latest Emancipation of Mimi were performed. The encore was We Belong miserly song in the encore. :(

Trey Lorenz was on hand for background vocals so they performed I'll Be There. I was a bit annoyed by the hardsell since he's got an album coming out in September, so they kept announcing that.

That's all for now as it's a school night. More on Mariah at a later date.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

There ain't no flies on me...

...because they're dead! hahahahahhahahaha!, of late, we've had a problem with flying insects in the house. There have been a few monster flies buzzing about, and what seems like a gazillion little fruit flies ever since the renovations started. The doors/windows are left open with the contractors going in and out and painting, so it's unavoidable.

In the last 12 hours, I must have killed about a dozen dumb fruit flies (keep in mind I've been out of the house for 9 at work) fact, in the last 5 minutes, I've killed 2, and I just saw one buzz by my screen...if I catch it resting somewhere, it's sure as dead! I have no mercy for these annoying little buggers!

Seriously though. Much as I love short work weeks, I rather wish that this wasn't one of them because it's such a jam-packed one leading up to my first executive committee meeting Friday. Granted, I'm not presenting, but I did put the bulk of the deck together, so I'm just a tad stressed and anxious about it.

I just have to keep reminding myself to take deep breaths and to relax...breathe in...breathe out...breathe in...breathe out...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Yay for me

It's been busy-busy at work the last few weeks. But good-interesting-busy, not bad-tedious-busy. My manager called me into one of the meeting rooms today to tell me that I've "progressed" from a regular ol' analyst to a sr. analyst. Yay.

I dunno why, but it was rather anti-climatic. Nothing's changed work-wise: my work is still project-based so it's not like I'm assuming any more responsibility than usual. The only benefit is that I'm getting paid a bit more, which is always nice...not that I'll save more...I'll just spend more. And I get to order new business cards. Double yay.

I can't muster up any more enthusiasm than that...What's wrong with this picture?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Turn on the lights!

I "dropped" in to check out my friend's new condo. We ended up going out for dinner, me for some yummy bibimbap in a hot stone bowl and he for some bulgogi. But dinner was so late (around 8:45pm) that I just wasn't hungry anymore and couldn't finish my meal.

I got home late and after setting my bag down, made my way down to the basement to check on the progress. And was I ever pleased to see that they had started laying the wood laminate floor. But the best thing? They installed the wall sconces!

When I spoke with the contractors last night, they said that they'd install the sconces last to avoid getting them dusty, etc. with all the work that remains, so it was a pleasant surprise to see them up. And they're actually a lot bright than I thought they would be. I'm thinking of changing the orientation of the leaves, but that's a minor detail.

These lights will be in my brother's "study" and his opinion? They're too "fruity."

My wish tomorrow is to come home to a finished kitchen. Yup, you read right, the kitchen is still not done, and we started that way before the basement. The latest day was for the backsplash tile, but that's in now, so hopefully when I come home tomorrow, we'll have plumbing in the kitchen and the backsplash will be done...My fingers are crossed, as are my toes...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Brownouts and hunger pangs

There was a brownout in my office building today for about 10 minutes around 11 o'clock. We were hoping the power would stay out so we could call it a day but it wasn't to be.

I'm feeling rather blah...I didn't go to the gym after work because my aunt's invited us out for All-You-Can-Eat sushi. I know...very bad...I should be hauling my butt to the gym, but I just can't bring myself to get there...this heat just makes me tired and listless. Our dinner date's for 7pm but I'm STARVING.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Real Home Renos: The never-ending saga

Our renovations are ever-evolving and what was supposed to take maybe 6 weeks has now been extended another 2 at the very least. Transaltion: no BBQs this summer.

So what’s changed? The original plan for the basement was to just tear out the faux wood-paneling and replace it with drywall if it wasn’t already there, slap on some paint and call it a day. Instead, we tore down a couple walls making 3 rooms 2, discovered a couple minor cracks in the outer walls that needed to be repaired to avoid bigger headaches further down the road, and are now replacing the wall-to-wall carpeting with laminate flooring.

It’s now been 3 weeks since we started the basement project, and it’s only just starting to get really exciting because they put in all the pot lights and started painting a couple of the rooms. The creamy-yellow I chose for the walls combined with the pot lights brightened up the living area immensely. When my brother took a look this evening, he was taken aback by the dramatic difference: “Wow. There’s enough light that I can actually study down here.” Yay for me for picking the right colour and pushing for pot lights! I got to tell my mother "I told you so," since she wanted to keep the awful fluorescent tube lights that are common in office buildings. (Why we had it down there to begin with is beyond me...I was just a kid when the basement was refinished so had no say.)

And it’s another stupid-hot day. I was watching the evening news tonight and with the humidex, today’s 36°C felt like 47°C!! Stupid-hot. I abandoned my frozen lasagna dinner for wings at Duff’s and almost wished I had stayed behind in the cool comfort of my office because it was just icky-gross out there. I felt sorry for the guys in their pants. At least I had the benefit of whatever breeze there was underneath my skirt.

I didn’t particularly want to go out again after coming home, but my brother enlisted my help in finding furniture for his basement apartment…so I trekked out again into the H3 (hot, hazy, humid) weather to check out sofas.

I don’t know what it is with guys and ugly leather monstrosities disguised as furniture. We spent Sunday afternoon at Ikea and he had picked out this black leather sofa that was just eww. Since there’s no rush to buy furnishings with the renovations quite a ways from being finished, I suggested that we check out a few more stores before buying. So tonight, we dropped in at The Brick (where we spied a couple affordable candidates) and Sears Home (over-priced and…um…too “old folks” for my brother’s taste). With an hour left before the stores closed, we drove down the street and ended up at The Chesterfield Shop. (If my brother was alone, he would have completely bypassed it, not knowing that chesterfield is another word for sofa.)

I went in with no expectations of finding anything, and funnily enough, it was here that we found what we wanted: a modular sectional that is perfectly comfortable and just the right size. We’ll go back this weekend to make the purchase…and since it will take about 8 weeks for delivery, we won’t have to worry about where we’ll store it while the house is being renovated.

Now if only I could find my square-shaped ceiling light fixtures so easily. Perhaps I should just stop looking and when I least expect it, I’ll find them!
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