Saturday, February 25, 2006

Another Reason Vancouver Rocks ;)

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I'm spreading Vancouver love all over the place, yes.


One reason why I love that city is that it is very multicultural, and also very open-minded. As I was reading Superstar Jo's post, I did a quick comparison of her experiences in GP with mine in Vancouver, and I'd have to say it was entirely opposite! Not only were there no stares at my very Caucasian hubby and my very Asian self, but there were in fact a LOT of mixed (predominantly Asian-Caucasian) couples wherever we went! It was actually sort of neat, because these couples had the most adorable little kids, and it made me think about how cute my little babies will be one day . . . far far FAR down the road (don't get any crazy ideas, people. That's how rumours get started!).

And just how cute will our little darlings look? Well, judging from how happy their parents look, I'm guessing these kids will be all smiles!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Vancouver Rocks! Here's the Run-Down:

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Ah, Vancouver. What a blessed, beautiful city. What fresh glorious air, and green green grass, and exciting things to see and do!

We had an *amazing* time, and here are the highlights/lowlights/recommendations:


**Granville Island Hotel - Room #321 is the most unique room there, and we got to stay there again this time around. The room is very spacious and the king-size bed is almost *too* big for us. Location is PERFECT though, especially if you want to walk near the water.

**Death by Chocolate on W. Broadway - Remind us never to have the big sampler platter again, following another meal of any significance. It was delicious, but boy, were we stuffed!

**Gastown & Robson Shopping - Never wear high-heeled boots for such an occasion, no matter *how* sexy you might look in them. My blisters are still healing, and new shoes aren't always on sale! ;)

**Joe Forte's - Another fine-dining/casual experience =) The food was good, but we had a server who must have been new. He gave us the wrong forks for dessert (and his more-experienced colleague came by and quickly grabbed our dinner forks and had them replaced), and he gave me the wrong kind of tea that ended up curdling my creamer. Again, his colleague came to the rescue. Our server was also mildly offended when we chose a dessert that was not one of the ones he had recommended. Poor guy had a seriously *off* day.

**Tojo's - Great food, but if you are going to have omakase, you need to a)save up a lot of your money, b)save room in your tummy, and c)make reservations ahead of time (and try to go at obscure hours on a non-weekend day). The fare was definitely high-end Japanese fusion cuisine, and the menu was a tasting menu (meaning lots of "small" dishes), but the restaurant was packed and we felt a little like sardines in terms of our proximity to other tables. Also, none of the dishes we tried that night look like the ones on the website; I think they change up their tasting menus pretty regularly.

**Paul's Place: The Omelettery - One of our favourite places to go for breakfast! It's relatively inexpensive and another busy, packed place, but the breakfasts are very large and incredibly tasty. My recommendation? The grilled cinnamon bun. YUM!

**Stanley Park - A great place to exercise and go for a walk! We walked the entire perimeter of the park and enjoyed the gorgeous views of the water.

**The Sandbar - Tasty fresh seafood on Granville Island at a hip, dimly-lit restaurant. I enjoyed the strawberry pina coladas...a LOT. ;) Also, their pan-fried oysters were delicious. My hubby thought he saw Marg Helgenberger (from C.S.I.) there, but I think that it was a different lady because a)she was talking to the server *behind* the till (not something most customers do) and b)she had the "Marg from season 1" haircut, not the new one.

**Aberdeen Mall, Richmond - I totally overhyped this place in my head. It's a 3-storey mall that definitely contains all-Asian shops (including a dessert place that sells those egg waffle balls that my hubby so dearly loves!), but most of the stores are pretty specialized and not somewhere a person would go to just window-shop. One particular 2-storey shop sold mostly plastic goods and stationery from Japan, Korea, and HK, and if you want some gift bags with grammatically-incorrect "sayings" printed on them, this is DEFINITELY the place to go. Also, they have a fountain that lights up and plays classical music in the form of a "show" every hour or so.

**Milestones @ YVR - Bellinis are awesome.
So yes, our trip wasn't terribly eventful, and there was a lot of eating involved. However, we had a marvelous time and it was definitely a memorable way to celebrate my big b-day =)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Fire!

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What an adventure-filled day! While I was working on my previous blog post, a loud beep suddenly began to sound. At first, I thought it came from my hubby's computer, but I soon realized that the sound was blaring from the hallway of our home. When I exited the computer room to take a peek, sure enough, our fire alarm was going off. The blue light was flashing, and we realized that we needed to quickly exit our home.

I dove for my jacket and purse, and my dear hubby went straight for our wedding album! Sweet, I know! Then he grabbed his jacket and wallet, we located our keys, and out the door we went. I smelled the distinct (albeit faint) smell of smoke in the hallway of the floor, so I figured that the fire or smoke was not originating from our floor, and I decided to leave my laptop (as well as a few other precious things) in the apartment. We walked very quickly down the several flights of stairs, until we were in our lobby. Our neighbors had also come down the stairs with us, and we were all confused as to what was happening. We all congregated outside the building, on the pedway/bridge, watching as four fire trucks came quickly to park themselves in front of the building.

Several firefighters went in immediately, followed by the Fire Rescue Team (who weren't wearing protective gear). These men entered and exited the building a few times, but no water hose was pulled out. We quickly concluded that whatever set off the alarm was not a blazing fire, especially after watching the rescue guys pull out fans and a giant cord thing to set up in the lobby. We still had to wait outside, though, for what felt like 15 minutes or so. When we were finally allowed entry into the building again, we gathered in the lobby to await further instruction.

Finally, after another 10 minutes, we were permitted to return to our homes. Apparently the alarm was triggered by someone on the 7th floor who had left food burning on their stove. Although I never saw any flames, we definitely got a good strong whiff of smoke when we passed by the 7th floor.

Anyway, the interesting thing about this "fire" incident is that it made me think about what I value most in my home, and in my life. What means the most to me? Are there possessions that I wouldn't be able to live without? My hubby obviously valued the wedding album that represented our memories of our wedding day. Many of the other residents brought out their pets. However, few people gathered armfuls of their treasures, likely because they didn't think this was a significant fire. But what if the fire was a big blazing one, one that threatened to take down the entire building; what then would I have taken with me? What sort of things would you have taken with you?





Farewell, Great TV!

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It is with much sadness that I bid farewell to one of the funniest, smartest, most cutting-edge sitcoms ever to air on TV.
Yes, Arrested Development is dunzo. Thanks to lacklustre ratings and lots of poor choices on the part of the people at Fox, the show has ended with a shortened third season.

I am very very sad that this show was cancelled, and yet, I realize it was an inevitability, given that it did far better in DVD sales than it ever did on air. Still, I can't help but wonder if this is a reflection of the degeneration of social intelligence. Stupid shows like "The Surreal Life" and "Stacked" get to remain on the air, but a well-written one with subtle as well as overt humour gets canned. Maybe it's because smart intelligent educated people don't watch tons of cable TV; they only buy the good stuff on DVD.

At least C.S.I. and 24 are still going strong.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!

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I have some serious issues, but I am not allowed to tell you what they are. You see, I just finished the first week of my teaching practicum. As per the rules of professional conduct and etiquette in my profession, I am not allowed to speak ill of my peers and colleagues, and if I have a beef I have to go to them first, and then the administration, and then up the hierarchy.

However, I AM allowed to say that my first week was very enlightening. It was interesting to observe that so many of the theories espoused in my classes are not actually being implemented in the classrooms I have been privy to. Many of the management techniques that researchers deem to be effective and pro-social are also not being favoured over traditional reward/punishment paradigms. I can see wher
e some of the newer ideas on learning are being incorporated into lessons piece by piece; as a whole, however, social constructivism and authentic learning have not been universally adopted, and the boring pen-and-paper method still seems to predominate, at least where I'm at.

Looks like this is going to be a long practicum. Since I am required to follow pretty closely with the management strategies outlined by my mentor teacher, I don't get a lot of freedom to change things around to be more consistent with my worldview. Wish me luck, folks! It sucks when theory and practice are so far removed from each other!




Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Wedding Album is HERE!!

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I realize that for many of you, it's not a big deal. You have either seen the DVD show or seen the images online. However, it means a lot to me that I can finally show off my wedding photos in a big beautiful album. It's here! It will be in my hands by 6:00 pm tomorrow evening.

Here are some images to recap that great day in history:

My family gettin' down with the music (one of my
favourite pictures!



During a toast


The cake-cutting