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Friday, December 24, 2010

A Day

A day, strangely ordinary, looking through a few hours to Christmas eve. I stumbled home from a work party, drunk and loaded with gifts. It was a karaoke party, and I had resolved not to take pictures because my phone was running out of juice, and I wanted to fill my head with memories.
Sara and Clare had arrived late, because they had baked Christmas cookies with cheerful stars and tree shapes. Johnson was there too, but he had adamantly refused to sing anything, and taken up a corner, texting all night. Sparkly effervescent Julia bought everyone a round of shots, and was howling along with me to the songs she knew. Quiet Irene smiled and finally relented and ended up singing some Avril and Spice Girls. It was funny how Yui just took the backseat, but she joined us eventually in devouring the plates of popcorn chicken and fries. The true stars of the night though were Doreen, all clad in her Indian Goddess-ness, Braedon, our Broadway Star, and Shimbo the dancing King.

I am grateful for this day.

Monday, October 04, 2010

A Big Fish and Three Bibs

So I had to go to the US before october 9th, as that was the date that my DSA pass would expire and the US Department of Homeland Security. I decided to hit Seattle October 1st-3rd to celebrate my new apartment move (I moved Sept 30th to my fabulous new place) and everything else fell into place. Even my awesome boss appended two days off to this, bringing my total vacay to 5 glorious days.

So south we drove, enjoying a leisurely sun drenched friday afternoon. We ended up outlet shopping at the tulalip outlet stores, and I walked away with two pairs of jeans from the Gap, at $25.99 each. Then we headed down to the Crab Pot on the pier behind Pike Place, to eat crab and different kinds of mussels and clams, armed with mallets and wet wipes. Totally worth it!

The next day Kevin brought us to this cajun crawfish place, Crawfish king. I had never had either crawfish or Cajun food, so the spice was almost too much for me. Kevin and Alex offered moral support as I managed to squeeze a pound of hot spicy crawfish past my swelling lips, though I spilled a lot of spices on my second bib of seattle. We walked around the Ballard Locks (Ballocks for short?) afterwards. It was so fascinating to watch what Kevin called, boat tetris, while Alex jumped around looking at the salmon ladder.

On the way to dinner we took a wrong turn and ended in the parking lot of Bigfish games! We had an amazing meal at Shiro's sushi where I had the best fish of my life while Alex ate half a sea urchin in it's shell. Whew. We rolled out of there and had some ice cream, then Kevin had to leave for a house party.

We decided to do even more exploring on our own, and hit the pubs in Belltown. Not so good.

Third bib of Seattle was at another pub/roasthouse on Pine Street, whose baby back ribs were so good I forced myself to eat all of it. They had random Seattle memorabilia hanging from the ceiling and the super friendly servers were very attentive.

Seattle is my new foraging ground for food!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Walls, Speed, and Boxes

I packed my first four boxes today in preparation for my move on September 15th. It's beginning to feel more official now. I get the keys in 7 days.

In the meantime, I have just discovered Criminal Minds, a tv series about the Behavioural Assessment Unit of the FBI. Note that I spelled Behavioural with a u. Sooo Canadian now, eh? The past few days have been spent watching season1 and 2. Can't believe that they're on their fifth season and I never even noticed. It's interesting, and makes me want to take up psychology. It also makes me paranoid, what with the women being grabbed off the street or their homes broken into.

Alex talked me into going rock climbing with him tonight, and I got certified (conditionally) as a belayer. Yay!

More soon!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August in Vancouver

I know I haven't been blogging in a while, and I guess that's just because life got in the way. I promise to blog more often!

Here are some pics since I was last here:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

So, Anna Torv is outside my Starbucks...

She's laughing on the corner of Smythe and Granville with some crewmen between takes. Alex and I are walking around and I see her. She's one of those absolutely gorgeous glowing people, the kind that makes you stop and think, whew. We walked past her, and I was struggling not to squeal because I was so starstruck. A few feet later I turned to Alex and gasped, "OMG She's so beautiful!"
Alex replied, "Who?"


Friday, January 29, 2010


I bought the marrow bones about two weeks ago from a Korean grocery, missing the oily cholesterol-laden goodness of Bulalo (Beef Marrow Soup) which I last had in Manila almost three years ago. Three years! My mom refused to cook it for us on the grounds that it was disgustingly unhealthy and there was no beef marrow to be had. I haven't seen any Filipino restos that might serve it here, so I decided to do it myself.

First I poured water into a pot, threw in some salt, pepper balls, half an onion, and four marrow bones. Seemed fairly simple enough. Except the oil began to bubble up almost immediately, radiating yellow bursts of artery-clogging goodness. Mmm. Then I realized that we had no beef- except for a giant slab of steak. Okay. Steak it was, I thought, as I threw the meat in.

In between trips to the laundry room in the basement, I kept boiling the stuff, adding water, adding salt and pepper, and adding more water. The mix was now half oil. I started draining the oil, first with a spoon, then with paper towels, blotting them up until there was half of the liquid left, and zero flavour. Oh no! So I went through the fridge looking for beef bouillon cubes, but we were out. Instead, I found some miso soup base. In the soup went a spoonful, spoon included.

My dad once told me he went to a remote town, and he noticed that while his hosts were boiling the beef for soup, they dropped in a teaspoon. "It softens the meat faster," they explained to him. My dad thought it was some kind of superstition based on the scientific principle that the metal spoon would bring the water up to a higher temperature then the regular boiling point, thus enabling a quicker cooking time.

After three hours and two status changes in Facebook, the meat was tender enough to fall off my fork. Yay! So I waited for Alex and Yasuko to get back. Then Rob showed up, and tasted my soup and pronounced it Awesome! Then my parents showed up. Bulalo is always a community event anyway. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Growth and other Options


I think God gives me slightly more than I can handle just so my capacity for greater things gets a little bigger each time. I also think that I am exactly where I need to be right now.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Last Day Of The Year

One year ago I was reeling from the shock of being fired from a job I absolutely hated, and looking with fear at the year ahead. Emotionally unstable, and mentally exhausted, the big question in my head was, how do I get through this?

January I found myself back at Starbucks, at a job that has a love-hate relationship with me, surrounded by awesome coworkers and really sweet customers, just trying to get my head back together. This was the first time I had ever seen snow deeper than my ankles, and I loved it! Of course, I didn't have a car, so this was probably why.

February had some heartbreak, some goodbyes, and lots of new friends as well. It was really when I had started cheering up again and learning to be more relaxed. Work wise, I had begun talks with my manager on wanting to be a shift supervisor. I also realized that it was time to either move up or get out.

March- Kiwis Denden and Eric came to visit. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go snowboarding with them, but we did get almost arrested in the park. Burnaby was now mostly melted, so daily treks home were very muddy and squishy.
In April, I moved to another store and got Spore for my birthday (from my brothers!) Also, I met SOMEONE. It's funny how life happens when you least expect it.
Yes, it seems I have a preference for smart funny guys with glasses and dimples. Hrmm.

And now it's December 31st, 2009. I am almost late for work, having not yet showered, battling a cold that I have infected others with, that I acquired in California.

Yes. I am so looking forward to 2010!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How I Got My Tourist Visa

I got into a taxi at 8:30 AM on Davie Street, worried that I was going to be late for my 9am Visa Appointment. The taxi driver was *surprise* a korean, and he was very chatty and excited for me when I told him where I was headed.

I got into line behind a lot of Korean girls who were toting their oversize purses, and a man who was chattering away on his cellphone. There was also a Chinese couple with their daughter, also carrying purses. When the security guard came to let us in, she announced that purses and other electronic equipment were not allowed, and they had to get out of line to find a place to leave their stuff, propelling me to the head of the line. Honestly, there were instructions in the appointment letter, and I'm glad I followed them.

The staff there at the US consulate seemed really grumpy. No eye contact, harried looks, and super sharp voices as they herded people from one line to another. I guess if I had to work there, I'd be frustrated too as a lot of people did not follow instructions all the time, despite the LARGE and REPEATED signs and videos on the walls for them. On the other hand, 90% of the visa applicants were not speaking english (from what I could see) so this could account for that.

Four lines later, I was in front of this awesome woman who was really nice and friendly. She looked at my letter of employment and said, "Starbucks Metro Towers? On Seymour? No way! That's where I live! How come I've never seen you before?" Small world, eh?

So now I have to wait a couple of days before I get my passport in the mail. It wasn't the ordeal I thought it would be, but I am sooo glad it's over now. San Francisco in December, yay!