January 19, 2014

  • It’s like a Top Chef challenge

    So the apartment has a full-kitchen. I was really excited about having an apartment with a full kitchen for a whole week ON THE WEST COAST!! You know there’s gonna be a lot of seafood cooked in this apartment. But after having cooked my first dinner here, I gotta say, it’s quite the challenge.

    Full kitchen!! Yay!!!

    First, there obviously isn’t a stocked pantry. All I have at my disposal are two little salt and pepper shakers, and few bags of sugar that are actually for coffee (but I used one bag in tonight’s meal). So when I went to The Market on Yates, I had to also pick up real salt (I bought I nice oak smoked salt), garlic, shallots, etc…not just the main things I wanted to cook. The funny thing is when we got back to the apartment and I started to prep the food, I realized I FORGOT TO BUY THE BACON!!! I wasn’t planning on buying a cooking oil because I was just going to cook the fish in bacon fat.

    Luckily, Chinatown is really close by so we walked over and picked up some canola oil. While we were there, we also got some legit Asian instant noodles. Because you never know when you’re going to need instant noodles. And since we could, we bought some fresh rice noodles and soya sauce.

    $0.69 for the Mama noodles, and only $0.39 for the Nissin Black Garlic noodles. Damned good stuff.

    Back to dinner. So at The Market on Yates, I wanted to find a fresh fish that I can’t easily get at home. I will go to the The Fish Store sometime this week, but it was already closed by the time we went shopping so I had to settle for the selection at The Market. The only fish I didn’t recognize was the grey cod. The lady at the fish counter was nice enough to show me each piece I asked to see and then agreed to cut a piece for me when I indicated that they were all too big. This $8 piece of fish should be enough for both my mom and me. I then picked up some Brussels sprouts and grape tomatoes as the side.

    I didn’t have any red wine vinegar, so I bought grape tomatoes. Honestly, this dish could’ve used a bit of bacon. I really wish I hadn’t forgotten to buy bacon.

    Do you know how challenging it is to cook with *only* serrated knives and a non-functioning hood fan? Especially with a heat-activated sprinkler head RIGHT ABOUT YOU? Let’s just say there was a lot of me walking out to the balcony with a screaming hot, stainless steel pan because I didn’t want to flood the unit. I’m sure the people in the back alley were wondering what the hell I was doing, standing on the fire escape, flipping sizzling rice noodles.

    If that wasn’t bad enough, I didn’t realize that we didn’t have any paper towels in the unit. But luckily, I still had a pack of utensils from my Air Canada flight, so I opened it, took out the napkin and made do with that to dry the fillet.

    And the knives? They’re all serrated. ALL OF THEM. Mincing garlic, dicing shallots…even halving Brussels sprouts… SUCH A CHALLENGE!! It was like a Top Chef challenge, on Guy’s Grocery Games. Improper tools, less than perfect cooking environment, and limited (non-existent) pantry.

    Anyway, I’m not posting a recipe since it really was a make-it-up-as-I-go-along type of affair. But my mom (who is so damned picky) really enjoyed it…and more importantly, I didn’t set off the smoke detector…so I’m calling it a success. ;-)

    Just looking at it makes me want another piece of fish.

October 31, 2013

  • Just shoot me

    I can’t believe that this was even a freaking question.

    My boss asked me to print out a single page from a 200-page pdf. A pdf to which he has access. I am not an admin assistant. And I’ve repeatedly said I am adamantly opposed to doing these menial tasks. But whatever. I printed it and threw it on his desk without even responding to him.


    He asks me if I could take the sheet of paper to the multifunction to scan and email it to him.

    The original document is an unlocked pdf. We both have Adobe Standard which means we can manipulate the pdfs. WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU ASKING ME TO SCAN AND EMAIL YOU A HARDCOPY WHEN WE ALREADY HAVE IT ELECTRONICALLY!!!

    YOU IDIOT!!!

    And if he had just said, “I need only this page to email to someone,” I would’ve sent him the one page electronically instead of killing a tree.

    AND WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU ASKING ME DO THIS ANYWAYS!??! If you say you don’t need an admin assistant, then do it yourself! Cuz I’m not your admin!

    I hate working here. I really do.

    Source: http://is.gd/5kL4Jc

October 28, 2013

  • T-16

    These days, I feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. So many things to do…so little time.

    Booked 2 contractors so that Home Reno phase 2 can hopefully be done before the end of 2013. Sorted out the great contact lense debacle and got 5 free pairs in the meantime. Confirmed hiking boots were delivered. Travel Clinic appointment this Saturday. Gotta buy non-medical travel insurance and sew Canada flags on my backpack.

    I think all the prep is going well…but still lots to do.

    Picture the Alice in Wonderland white rabbit panicking…I sorta feel like that…but in a good way.

    Source: http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110816111508/

    T-16 days until Operation World Domination!

October 22, 2013

  • Roast Pork Chops

    I don’t usually buy whole pork loin roasts, least of all ones that are already frenched. But it was on sale, so I thought, sure…why not.

    Usually if I have a whole roast, I brine it, but I opted for a dry rub this time. In my dry rub, I used kosher salt, brown sugar, fresh cracked pepper, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, dried mint and oregano. I covered the whole loin with it, drizzled some olive oil on it, covered it with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 2 days.

    Before throwing it in the oven, I set it on the kitchen counter for 2 hours so that it comes up to room temperature.

    Source: http://instagram.com/p/fv4wpNuq68/

    I preheat the oven to 500 F turned it down to 275 F as soon as I closed the door after I put the loin in the oven. I let it go for an hour because 275 is pretty low. Opening the door unnecessarily would make the cooking process painfully long.

    After an hour, I checked the internal temp. It was at 45 C (yeah…I used the C thermometre instead of the F…that’s roughly 113 F). For perfect, it needs to finish at 63 C/145 F. So I rolled the loin onto it’s side so give the bottom some heat and threw it back in the oven at 300 F for another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the internal temperature was 55 C. I turned it back so that the rack was on the bottom and finished it at 325 F after 15 minutes.

    Source: http://instagram.com/p/fwMXuSuq5P/

    It came out at 60 C, which means after 20 minutes of resting, it’ll be a perfect 64 C in the centre.

    And yup…it was pretty close to perfect.

    Source: http://instagram.com/p/fwRpL3uqwW/

    I roasted the whole loin so that I could put it in sandwiches or take it for lunch over the course of the week. But if you were serving this for your friends/family at dinner, you can pair it with a nice mushroom and thyme gravy (well…that’s what I would pair it with) and serve it with roasted root vegetables.

    Bon appetit!!

September 26, 2013

  • I didn’t like it

    I might be the only one, and judging by the speed at which everyone leapt to their feet for the standing O, I probably was, but I didn’t like it.

    Before all the Itzhak Perlman fans scream in uproar, let me start with the fact that I truly believe he is a great violinist. However, everyone has less than stellar performances, and music is quite subjective. So while everyone else in Roy Thomson Hall may have loved Itzhak’s interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, I did not.

    Source: Violin

    This is a piece to showcase the violin…the soloist. But I felt like the entire orchestra was held back, suppressed both in volume and speed to the point where they sounded bound and gagged. The piece didn’t flow lyrically with grace and ease, but dragged cumbersomely with odd pauses in some spots and awkwardly rushed passage to catch up. There were times, too many times, when the orchestra was out of sync with the violin. This was even more noticeable when the violin solo had its “dialogue” with the flute solo and clarinet solo. It was, as the Chinese euphemism goes, like a duck and a chicken trying to have a conversation.

    Source: Duck & Chicken

    Many things about tonight’s performance threw me off. Aside from the over all timing being messed up, there was also the matter of odd volume drops from the orchestra. This concerto already has very few full orchestra passages. So when the orchestra passages are being played, I expect that they should be prominent. Instead, the first bar came out the way I expected, only to be suddenly stifled for the remaining bars as if Peter Oundjian had shushed them.

    Source: Metronome

    Source: Shush


    Maybe I just went into this expecting too much. It’s one of my favourite violin concerti, and I listen to it every Sunday with my morning coffee (in place of going to church…yes, I know, I’m a bad Catholic). So yes, I did bust out the iPod on the subway and listen to the Joshua Bell version of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto…just to make myself feel better. This night wasn’t supposed to go this way. And as much as it pains me to have to say anything bad about the TSO, I have to be objective. I can’t say it was good if I didn’t like it. I just can’t.

September 23, 2013

  • Sometimes, artists say the stupidest things

    Glee’s Cory Monteith Recalled In Emmy Tribute

    Yes, I get it. Your craft is what’s important to you. The skill with which you are able to pretend that you are someone else and do it so that it’s not just believable, but emotional, for your audience is of the greatest import. But you know what? If no one comes to see your show, your craft isn’t worth anything. I hate to be the one to tell you the brutal, cold, hard truth, but there it is.

    So some people are pissed that Cory Monteith received an Emmy tribute for his “potential” rather than his actually “achievements”. They say that it lessens accomplishments of other actors/directors that received a tribute and insults the ones that did not – all this, just to “pander” to a narrow demographic of attention-deficient teenagers and young adults.

    Honestly, where do they get off being so high and mighty that they don’t need to “pander” to young people? You know who unabashedly panders to young people and is incredibly successful? McDonalds. No one does it like they do. And they are not ashamed of it.

    You are the entertainment industry. Your job is to entertain. Your industry is fickle because that’s the world of show business. Without fans (ANY fans), you will either be serving me a latte at Starbucks or playing an extra on that obscure TV show that is paying you with lunch.

    I’m not saying Cory should have been included. I’m not saying he *shouldn’t* have been included. I’m simply saying that words like,

    “It’s an insult and it really seems typical of this youth-centric culture that has an extremely short attention span and panders to only a very narrow demographic [of young adults]” ~Adam Klugman

    can only come from a hypocritical snob that has forgotten the fundamental reason film, tv and music industry people even have a career at all.

    Without the fiery fandemonium of the youth, tv shows are worthless. And all the talented and gifted actors, producers, writers, and directors associated with these shows will be rendered worthless too.

    Source: http://www.emmys.tv/sites/emmys.tv/files/photos/LAA2013.jpg

June 21, 2013

  • That awkward moment when…

    This morning, I got up, grumbled about random aches and pains (physical and psychological) and hauled my sorry ass to work.

    I got to the office approximately 15 minutes early, so I went directly to the food court to pick up a little bit o’ brekkie. As I got closer to the food counter, I heard the customer in front of me say, “At least it’s Friday.” And I thought to myself, it’s Thursday. Oh…she must be taking tomorrow off, so it’s her Friday.”

    After I ordered and paid, the cashier handed me my change and said, “Have a good weekend.” My auto-response mechanism said, “Thanks, you too.” But I was thinking, “They’re closed tomorrow? No…they can’t be.”

    I walked to the pick-up counter and waited for my breakfast. When the girl making my sandwich passed it to me, she said, “Thank you, and have a good weekend.” Now, I was thoroughly confused. Is it really Friday? It’s not Friday. Is it?

    You know when you’re having one of those really vivid dreaming and you’re absolutely convinced that what’s happening can’t be real, but it feels so real? Yeah…I was having something similar but I was completely awake.

    Source: http://euge.ca/2013/06/16/nightmare/

    So I took my sandwich and walked to the elevator bank. In the elevator, two women were talking to one another and since I don’t eavesdrop, I don’t know what they were talking about. But one phrase caught my ear… “Well, at least it’s Friday.”

    At this point, I couldn’t take it anymore. It can’t be that so many people are thinking that today is Friday if it’s really Thursday.

    So I pulled out my phone.

    I pressed the power button.

    And what did the home screen say?

    Source: http://messick.edublogs.org/files/2013/03/keep-calm-its-friday-43-2dnlq4a.png

    Yeah…I’m slowly going insane. Please, someone make the voices stop.

    Source: http://blogimages.thescore.com/mlb/files/2012/08/happy-friday-hand2.jpg

    I know…I’ll just put on some Joshua Bell music and be done with it.

    Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uoyVMDC1A40/UUrfazv5aRI/AAAAAAAAGSQ/YAt2-gZ4bzQ/s1600/funny-friday-quotes-1.jpg

June 13, 2013

  • Overachieving

    You know, I try to be nice.  I always try to be diplomatic, especially when talking to Leafs fans.  I don’t hate the Leafs.  I’m completely indifferent.  I don’t care whether they win or lose.  The only teams I hate in the league are the Bruins and the Flyers.  It’s not a personal disdain for the cities…I have no issues with the cities.  I just hate the teams.

    But Leafs, well…everyone talks about the big Habs-Leafs rivalry…but to be honest, in my lifetime, the Leafs have never performed at a level that made them a significant rival.  I’m not the kind of Habs fan that yammers on about how many cups the Habs have won, but I do point out that in my lifetime, the Habs have won 4 Stanley Cups.  And the Leafs?  Yeah…I didn’t think you’d want to talk about that.  The only reason people even still talk about a Habs-Leafs rivalry is because both fanbases are mildly *cough*ridiculously*cough* insane, and they’re physically close enough to have large quantities of rival fans in their own barns.

    As an ex-pat Montrealer who has spent almost 80% of her life in Toronto, I’ve become quite the diplomat when talking to the crazies (not all Torontonians are crazy Leafs fans…and not all Leafs fans are crazy, THANK GAWD!).  I’ve never been into trash talk…in any sport.  I’ve played competitive sports.  I watch sports.  I don’t engage in trash talk, because quite frankly, I don’t think that’s good sportsmanship.  If *you* like trash talk, that’s fine.  Go to town.  I don’t care.  Just be respectful and understand that I won’t participate.  HOWEVER, if you piss me off, I have no problem decimating your ego with the hand of my rage.  You brought it onto yourself.  Consider yourself warned.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with idiot co-workers.  The last guy, slammed my team *and* hometown.  This guy was just over-the-top arrogant even though there wasn’t a good reason to be.

    Jerk co-worker (JC):*eyeing my Habs lanyard* Oh, so you’re a Habs fan.

    Me: I’m from Montreal.

    JC: So they’re just the default.

    Me: No, it means it’s in my blood.

    JC: Habs overachieved this year.

    Me: Well, we didn’t have any big ticket superstars, if that’s what you mean.

    JC: I watched them play at the beginning of the season and said to myself, ‘This team isn’t even going to win 5 games.’

    Me: The lockout messed up most teams. No one was really putting up spectacular hockey at the beginning of this season.

    JC: But the Habs were exceptionally bad.

    Me: I think that’s just your Leafs’ fan bias.

    JC: You know what your team needs?

    Me: *starting to get annoyed* No, but I’m sure you’re gonna tell me.

    JC: *mocking tone* Your team needs more French players. Your team was better when you had more Frenchies. Because everyone knows that’s what makes for better hockey.

    Me: I don’t subscribe to that philosophy.

    JC: But isn’t that what you think your team needs? More hometowners?

    Me: That’s not what I think.

    JC: But look at the decisions your team makes. “French French French.” It all sounds like “blah blah blah” to me.

    Me: *getting really annoyed* I don’t make decisions for the Habs. And I have yet to receive the memo that tells me I have a say.

    JC: So you agree that French isn’t an asset, right?

    Me: Well, in life, I guess there are some people who think being unilingual is awesome. But having been trilingual all my life, it’d be pretty hypocritical for me to think only being able to grunt in one language was superior.

    JC: *confused* Uhm, right. So you don’t think your team overachieved?

    Me: I don’t care if they over- or under- achieved. They’re my team and I love them no matter what. Being on top for a large part of the season is just icing on the cake.

    JC: *smug* The only thing that counts is that they didn’t get as far as the Leafs in the playoffs.

    Me: Uhm, you know both teams were eliminated first round, right? The Leafs didn’t get farther.

    JC: Yeah, but we got to game 7.

    Me: *pissed* And in typical Leafs fashion, they gave it all up to the Bruins in the last 35s after being up 3 points for most of it. And they did it with all their key players uninjured and intact. *That* was a HUGE achievement. I’m pretty sure, even the Habs couldn’t be that stellar…at shitting the bed.

    JC:   *mouth gaping* *no audible, coherent sound*

    Me:   *sweet smile* *cutesy voice*  Have a great day! *walks away*


June 10, 2013

  • Do you even know me?

    Sometimes, I’m convinced that my closest friends don’t really know me at all.

    BFF:  Oh my! She’s getting married already?  Good for her!

    Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y3zi1iJyzW0/UKuRuzdPdoI/AAAAAAAAKXY/sSmBFvUQzk4/s320/

    Me:  Well, yeah.  She’ll be 36.  She has to get a move on.

    BFF:  LOL!  Whatever…no rush!  But the guy has to be a willing partner too.

    Me:  Phht!!!  That guy would’ve proposed after the 2nd date if he thought there was a chance that she’d say yes.

    BFF:  LOL!! I’ve been hearing that line a lot lately…I guess it didn’t take long after that.

    Me:  More like people are more desperate as they get older. 

    BFF:  Now now.  Be nice.

    Me:  Phht!  I’m gonna be a spinster for at least 2 more lives.  I don’t have to be nice to *anyone*. 

    Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/

    BFF:  No, you’re not!  You have to keep your eyes wide open!

    Me:  Give me a break.  I’m seriously not interested.  I like coming home to my dog and a quiet, empty house.

    BFF:  Ok, what if he looked like Leo[nardo DiCaprio] and live in Monaco?  You could just quit and play with Elfie and shop all day!

    Source: http://acculturated.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/leoandtheswan.jpg

    Me:  I love Leo, but when it comes to relationships, he’s a superficial model-chaser.  I don’t want to live in Monaco because, quite frankly, while beautiful, it’s boring.  Nothing to do there.  And as for shopping, you know I’m not a huge fan.    But nice try.

    BFF:  I didn’t say his superficial must haves, but I know there’s someone you could tolerate to be with…even common-law.  :)

    Me:  I’m not Charlotte Lucas.  I don’t want to live with someone that I have to tolerate.  I’m Elizabeth.  ‘Only the deepest of love will induce me to matrimony.’
    Reference: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    BFF:  Obviously…you need love.  Without that, you couldn’t tolerate anybody even with just good looks.  And even with the deepest of love comes tolerance and patience.  Never a win win situation.  :)

    Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rim0_8iSZDQ/UGcO0q0B7kI/AAAAAAAACXg/

    Me:  Well, looks or not, there’s no one I love enough to marry, so I don’t have to burden myself with tolerating someone.  I’d say I’ve got a win-win right now.

    Honestly, I love her…and I know she means well, but I’d be more than happy if married people would just back off.  Not everyone has to get married.

    I have enough earning potential to live comfortably and still save for retirement.  I do what I want, when I want, without having to explain, negotiate or justify my choices.  And I’m indifferent on the subject of having children.  So really, the “issue” of being a spinster is a non-issue. 

    And while we’re on the roll of being honest, let me just lay down the heart of it all.

    I’m not saying that I would slam the door in Mr. Perfect’s face if he deicded to make an appearance.  I’m just not searching under every rock and behind every tree to hunt him down.  While I wouldn’t mind having a significant other, I don’t need one.  And the cold, hard truth of the matter is that I could probably get along better through life without one.  So to be induced into entering into a relationship, I’d have be really impressed with him…because basically, I’d be sacrificing a lot to be with him.

    Source: http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Perfect-Men-Little-Miss/dp/084317689X

June 7, 2013