Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Weekend

It's Friday and I'm off to the gala tonight!

Two words: open bar.

'Nuff said.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I had a coffee date first thing this morning with my manager-twice-removed to talk about my career development. What was supposed to be a 30 minute conversation stretched into almost an hour and I'm thrilled but terrified at the same time at the opportunity I've been given.

This project is another high profile one, so high in fact that our head honcho called it out recently as one of the big drivers for our company's growth in the next couple years - absolutely no pressure, right? And I've been given the lead to develop the strategy! Talk about stretching my skills and growing in my role!

After reviewing the opportunity, we talked about coaching and how she sees me growing into a more senior position in the next 18-24 there's some plan in mind for me...which is gratifying because my effort has been recognized. I worked for my previous SVP for 3.5 years and we only ever talked once about my career, and that was in reaction to someone else leaving the company and their direct manager asking for me to step into the role, so he wasn't necessarily interested in my new SVP has been with us for 6 mos and already she's articulated a career path for me.

We also talked about how I can improve my performance in certain more assertive and less deferential, particularly around male superiors and take note of people I can model myself after, i.e. study senior leaders as I interact with them and consider what I like or don't like about their leadership style and why that is and begin building a tool kit to reference. All very useful advice.

I was rather intimidated by her and still am to a certain extent...but I'm also a bit more comfortable around her too because she really does care and really is supportive. So the hard work begins! I just have to remind myself not to think about the profile of the project too much...if I did, I just might freak myself out.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lesson to Learn

I'm a sucker for all the pre-Oscar stuff because I like to see all the pretty dresses so I've been parked off and on for the last few hours flipping through all the pre-Oscar coverage and happened upon the segment on Barbara Walters' annual special and her interview with Anne Hathaway.

When asked to describe the last year, Hathaway said she learned that vulnerability is not the same as weakness. Vulnerability is not the same as weakness. This is something I definitely need to learn.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lady in the Red Dress

I caught David Yee's Lady in the Red Dress today and it was really good. The play, produced by Fu-Gen, a local theatre company dedicated to developing Asian Canadian playwrights, centres around the issue of redress for the Chinese Head Tax by the Chinese Canadian community.

Thousands of Chinese came to Canada between 1881 to 1885 as labour to build the Canadian Pacific Railway, but as soon as the railway was completed, the Canadian government moved to restrict Chinese immigration by imposing a $50 head tax on every Chinese that came to Canada. By 1903, the head tax was $500, which was worth about 2 years wages at the time, and to add insult to injury, Chinese were denied citizenship. Despite this, Chinese immigrants continued to arrive and in 1923, the federal government passed the Chinese Immigration Act excluding all but a few Chinese immigrants from entering Canada. Until the act was repealed in 1947, less than 50 Chinese were allowed to come to Canada. And for those that were here, they were faced with endless discrimination. I wrote a paper about this for my Canadian history class in university and remember images in the reference books of signs posted in storefronts that said "No Dogs or Chinese Allowed."

I must admit that parts of the play were difficult to watch because I found the racist depictions of some of the characters offensive...but there were also parts which were hysterically Ins Choi as Happy Chan, the one-man radio show and his brother Biff, who was equally skilled with the direction of his own one-man TV show.

David Yee was present for the performance and I would have loved to tell him how much I enjoyed it as I saw him outside the theatre, possibly having a smoke, but I've never had it in me to approach someone I've admired for their work like that. Oh well.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Candice on Oprah!

I caught the tail end of Oprah after work today and noticed that the fantastic Candice Olsen was on in today's episode kick-starting the Mighty Ope's "Clean Up Your Messy House Tour."

I remember Candice back when she used to be a guest on Cityline's Home Day. She, along with Steven Sabados and Brian Gluckstein first turned me onto interior design and I've been hooked ever since.


I went out for a Winterlicious dinner last night before the Raptors game at a (supposedly) finer restaurant that shall remain unnamed and was quite annoyed by the condescension and chauvinism of our server.

I happened to be dining with a guy friend and while I was clearly in the driver's seat in choosing the wine he offered it to my friend to taste. And later, our server tried to clear the table, ignoring the fact that I wasn't finished my meal, apparently because my friend was. Perhaps I'm being overly sensitive, or my expectations are too high, but I'd expect that at a restaurant where they charge a fair price for dinner they train their servers to observe silent flatware was placed at 4 and 8 o'clock on my plate, meaning I'm still working on it so leave me be until they're both placed at 4. If he hadn't irked me with the wine tasting earlier, I probably wouldn't have been so annoyed...but his immediate deferrence to the guy just soured the experience for me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Family Day!

WIP: My Bedroom

In my bid to procrastinate the real work of organizing my study which is seemingly overwhelming because I have so much stuff - I decided to take some pictures of my bedroom, which is mostly finished. The 4 Muchas posters I'd dropped off to get plaqued are waiting to be picked up and will be hung over my bed.

The colour on the walls is CIL's Lilac Duvet, appropriate for the bedroom, wouldn't you say? It's pretty bright in these photos because the sun was shining but at night, it's super cozy...actually, it verges on too dark because I find it difficult to read. Anyway, I'm looking for the perfect floor lamp to place on the right of my bed for reading...and I've got an armchair left still to be re-upholstered...

Remember these vintage dressers I picked up last spring? Here's one of them painted crisp and white with its hardware made new again with nickel-plating:

Because I like fungis

I stopped at the supermarket near my gym after my run and picked up groceries to make myself Valentine's meals...a mushroom soup for lunch because I love fungi and a crusty mini loaf:

The finished product, after a couple mis-starts with my food processor, which I'm still getting the hang of:

I also picked up a couple steaks - 2 because I didn't want anyone to think me a loser for picking up one lonely steak on Valentine's Day of all days. Here's the first one, which I had for dinner Saturday along with green beans tossed in olive oil and sea salt, and garlic-chives mash:

And the second one, which I had for lunch the next day:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

V Day


I recently heard of today being referred to as Stupid Cupid's Day on the radio - I wouldn't go that far...I guess I'm on the verge of being indifferent since I don't have a sweetheart to celebrate the day with.

So what's on tap for today? I'm heading out to the gym for a run since it's too cold out, off to Ikea for a few things, and spending the rest of the day *finally* getting started on really getting my study in order before making myself a yummy dinner. I made dinner for a friend's bday last night and it was a lot of fun despite the clean-up afterwards. So I'm going to make a real effort to actually use my kitchen and put my food porn cookbooks to good use!

Feeling the Heat

I've been head bopping along to The Heat, the RnB station on XMRadio at work with my headphones - the only place outside of the gym that I listen to radio through headphones and it's amazing how much more clearer the lyrics are when the outside distractions are cancelled out.

I don't really listen to the radio anymore since I drive my car so rarely now and reception is fairly poor through the concrete floors and walls of my condo so I wasn't fairly with many of the songs...but I did notice that the new (to me anyway) Ciara song featuring Younge Jeezy called Never Ever's chorus totally rips off Simply Red's If You Don't Know Me By Now, almost right down to the lyric: in Ciara's song, it's "If that boy don't love you by now..." and in Simply Red's it's "If you don't know me by now." The beat's slightly off but the melody is essentially the same. I wonder if it's acknowledged?

Take a listen yourself to compare:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Christmas came early...

My super left me a voicemail this afternoon to say that there was a package waiting for me and to come by and pick it up, he'd be in all evening. So I wondered what it was...was it the books from Amazon that I had ordered? Or the ones from Chapters? Could it be the cushion I'd ordered off Etsy?

I checked my mail and the latest issue of Canadian House and Home and Fashion were waiting for me. My super had the my books from Amazon. And when I went up to my place, there were 2 packages waiting at my door...I should really find out why some were delivered to my door and others to my super. Anyway, all my goodies arrived today!

I bought a cushion from Joom for my desk chair and look how pretty it was out of the box:

And here it is in the chair:

As for the books, I ordered them all on Saturday morning. Talk about speedy delivery!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Alexandria Link

My co-worker leant me her copy of Steve Berry's The Alexandria Link, a thriller about the search for the lost Library of Alexandria and it was an undemanding read I finished in a day - not because it was that much of a page-turner that I couldn't put it down, but precisely because it required little intellectual effort on my part.

My brain's tired and this was the perfect way for me to while away a Saturday in which I was feeling largely anti-social.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and it's just lovely. It's slow and sad to start but so hopeful and sweet in the end.

Monday, February 02, 2009


...managed to haul my lazy butt into the gym tonight for my first run of the year and it was pretty good. I was a bit of a mess getting ready for it though because I had to charge up my ipod and find my misplaced runners. If I hadn't found them when I did, I might have bailed, but it's a new month and I received a reminder email about the Sporting Life 10K today with a free online training program to get ready for the upcoming Sunday in a few months so this was it. Besides, with my latest project more or less settled, I didn't have the excuse of work to keep me from going.

In fact, aside from a morning of meetings and a few minor to-dos coming out of them, I was a bit at a loss in terms of what to do in the afternoon. I've been so used to being on the constant go the last month that it felt really weird to actually have the time to think about what to do next...I actually had options.

Funny too, I'd forgotten how hungry I get after running...something I'll have to get used to again with a more regular running schedule.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Etsy Finds

I was checking the status of my latest Etsy buys and ended up browsing a bit as I'm wont to do - it's hard not to stop in for a bit of a look-see once I'm on the site...anyway, I found these cute finds:

Poppy Pins by Foundling

Sweet Heart Necklace by LA Valley Girly
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