February 25, 2010

I Believe

Lately I can't seem to stop humming the "I Believe" Olympic song. I've seen newspaper articles, blog posts, and people in general complaining about this song but I don't get it. It's a great song and it's got such a catchy tune. I love it!

Yesterday afternoon my wife had an eye appointment with a specialist because she had a hole in her eye. We actually weren't sure if the procedure would be performed right away or if it was just a check-up to ensure the diagnosis was correct. They'd have to dilate her pupils prior to any examination, so we knew she'd need a ride home.

Since the appointment was at Sunnybrook I had originally planned to take the day off so I could take here there and drive her home, but in the end her mom volunteered since it was closer for her. So the plan was to have dinner at her parents' house after the appointment/procedure.

Anything dealing with eyes makes me extremely nervous. Eyes are so important, and you've only got 2 of them. It's not like kidneys where you can survive with one. You need both eyes. When I was little I had this nightmare where my dad's eyes were expanding and stretching and he was in a lot of pain, I remember waking up in a fright and running over to my parents' room and hugging my dad.

So there I was sitting in the living room at my in-laws' house talking about Team Canada's chances against Russia with my father-in-law, when he received a call on his cell. It was my wife on the phone and they talked for a few seconds and dad passed me the phone. She told me that they had done the procedure and that it was all finished, the hole had been lasered and she could feel where her brain had been fried. Even if she was joking I was scared by that. I asked if she was feeling okay and she was.

For the next 30 minutes or so I sat their anxiously awaiting my wife to come home, while trying my best to have various coherent conversations with my father in law. Finally when I heard the garage door opening, I sprung up from the couch and waited at the door for her to come in. When she finally appeared I flung my arms around her and held on for as long as I could while she tried to wiggle her way out.

Dinner was great, the food was excellent as usual. There was only a moment of panic when the food was set on the table and I didn't see any rice. It's strange but as I've gotten older I've discovered that I really, really, like plain rice. Eventually mom-in-law brought out the rice and I immediately reached out to get some.

My in-laws have this tiny 12" TV in their kitchen and while we ate we were huddled around it to watch the first 5-10 minutes of the Canada-Russia men's hockey game. Games like these are absolutely great because the whole family is there cheering for the same team.

I had a friend text me from Vancouver to tell me he was in the arena watching from section 114, which sound like pretty great seats. I'm sure my friend had a great time, but to me, you can't really beat watching the game with family, there's no way to compare that with anything else. Plus he probably paid about $300 for those seats. There's just no way I would trade sitting with family (with all of whom are cheering and whooping it up), even on a tiny TV, for great seats amongst a bunch of strangers. There's just no way.

February 24, 2010

Foody Mart

I just noticed that I've been writing these blogs a day later and putting today's date instead of yesterdays, even though I've been blogging about yesterdays events.

Yesterday my wife and I sat on the train on the way home realizing we had no food left and the fridge was empty, save for maybe 1 portion of Indian leftovers. We were faced with either trying to scrounge around the house for whatever morsels we could find (usually junk food), go out to eat (she wanted to go to Shabu Shabu), or go grocery shopping for the first time in about a month.

As we often do when we're trying to make a decision, the conversation ended with my wife saying "you decide".

So as we left the train station parking lot I headed east to try out the Foody Mart which opened several months ago but we've never been to because the parking lot is always jammed packed. I'd heard some good things about the Foody Mart -- good prices, good produce, etc, lots of choice and people said it was as good as a T&T Supermarket.

As it turns out it's BETTER. The nearest T&T is *always* packed but this Foody Mart parking was decent on a Tuesday night. Plus it had just about everything, and it was significantly cheaper than the alternative Sobey's which we often shop at because it's so close to where we live. The produce section was huge, and the prices were unbelievably cheaper. For example Sobey's has broccoli crowns for $1.49/lb. Foody had it for $0.69.lb. That's one crazy discount. They had a lot of variety of vegetables that you don't always see at regular supermarkets.

There was an old white man asking around for kale, and looking really frustrated because from what I could tell none of the people working there knew what kale was. As he walked off angrily, I turned to another lady nearby who had overheard the commotion and told her kale isn't exactly a popular vegetable for asians. That being said it's a mental note for the next time I need to buy kale, which is more often than you might think.

Foody Mart had all kinds of goodies, including a whole section for noodles from all over the world. We were particularly happy to find those little bundles of noodles that Shabu Shabu usually provide for your hotpot. They also had the multi-colored "brick" of fish that you can cut into slices, also for hotpot. We bought some enoki and sliced lamb to complete everything we'd need for dinner.

We were able to re-create the Shabu Shabu meal at home, for much less money!

February 23, 2010

February 23, 2010

Yesterday on the drive home from work, I felt like I had something in my pocket that wasn't sitting the right way, making my "space" very uncomfortable. For those who kept up back in the day, I had been using the All-Ett Billfold wallet which is famous for a reduced thickness thereby keeping the wallet bulge to a minimum.

Ever since we got back from vacation 3 weeks ago, where I stopped carrying a wallet at all for fear of getting robbed, I had grown accustomed to not wearing a wallet. So I got this case that I've been using to carry limited amount of cards and a few folded up bills. Anyway, it's been pretty convenient but it does often get in the way of my keys, which are also in that same pocket. So sometimes the keys jab into my leg if the case is sitting the wrong way.

Usually I'll prop myself up and pull my pants down/outward to clear up the "wedge" area and give myself more breathing room. This time it just wasn't working. I thought maybe it was because I had to clear the snow off my car, and in my haste maybe my pants had been shifted one way and that was now making me uncomfortable.

Traffic was stop and go, (mostly stop) due to the 10-15cm of snow falling from the sky at the time.

People always drive so slow in the snow, I wonder if that's a good thing or not. I noticed the next day someone must have thought I was going slow without checking his speedometer. I was going 80 in a 60 zone and he zoomed right past me on the right lane. Maybe he had to go pee..

Anyway, so there I was stuck in traffic, trying to adjust my pants. I tried all the tricks that any guy would try, making sure any tucked in garments were out, shifting my underwear so that it wasn't within the sealed off belt tightened area. Twisted left and right, pulling outwards to leave crotch area aired out. Nothing was working.

Finally there was a red light so I put the car to brake. Fortunately with the snow and the heat, most of the windows were fogged up except for the front where I had my defrost thing going on. I took off my seatbelt, and then un-did my belt, expecting some relief. However there was none as it was still as tight as before.

I looked around to make sure no one could see me, and I undid the top bottom of the pants. That felt pretty good, but I needed more room. So slowly, I started zipping down. Each little tooth of the zipper felt great as they were released one by one, until finally, AAAHHHH.. that felt sooo good.

Then the light turned green so I quickly buckled up my seatbelt and put the car back into drive, and continued my drive home.

February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010

I have not cooked in about 3 weeks.

Three weeks ago my wife and I went on a cruise to the southern areas of the Caribbean. It was an awesome cruise. I would post some pictures, but in all honesty we rarely take pictures anymore. I think it has something to do with the hassle of carrying around a camera, and then the added hassle of asking people to take our camera and take a picture for us. We take mental photos now :)

When we got back, we hosted a Superbowl party and there were so many leftovers, that the food lasted us an entire week. Pizza, chicken wings, chips and dips!

The following week was Chinese New Year. We went to my in-law's for dinner along with my parents, and my mother-in-law cooked up a 10 course meal. There were so many leftovers, so we took a good 2 days worth of food home. That was on Saturday. On Sunday my own parents came over to our house and we made dumplings from scratch. That was a lot of fun. Note to self for future reference -- don't use lean ground pork. Use the fattiest stuff you can find.. it makes juicier dumplings. Anyway, once again there were tons of leftovers, another 2-3 days worth of dumplings, both boiled and fried. Mmmmm..

Fast forward to this past Friday where we ended up ordering takeout Indian food from Ambiyan, a place we discovered a months ago. They have 2 person special that comes out to around $50 after delivery costs, but is usually enough for 2-3 meals. You can order 2 meat dishes, 1 veggie dish and they give you two naans and rice in that package.

So yea, I haven't cooked in about 3 weeks.

What makes a blog a blog

When I first started this blog 9 or 10 years ago, it started as a journal. I wrote about my day-to-day activities, sharing about things I did, things I saw, things I was thinking about.

As the years went by the blog evolved. I had regular readers and I felt the need to enhance their experience by voicing opinions, making statements, talking about current events. It went away from events in my life to topical content. The frequency of posts began to rely on my mood. For example if I had a strong opinion on something, or maybe I was trying to get a rise out of my readers, or if I was trying to prove a point.

More and more I felt the need to appease my readers rather than just write the blog as a simple web log. Often I'd critique my own posts, pouring hours upon hours on a single post trying to perfect the grammar, and making sure each of my points were concrete, or making sure they were funny enough, or passed some kind of grade before I'd publish. I found more and more unfinished posts left in draft because I didn't think they were post-worthy. Soon, I was posting once a week, or less, once a month or less.

I was looking back today and also reflecting on whether or not other mediums have affected blog writing. Have applications like Twitter, Facebook and Buzz ultimately changed the blogging landscape?

The more I thought about it, the more I realize that blogs have their own niche on the information highway. Blogs tell the entire story. Not instances in time, not little updates or links to share, but the entire journey, from beginning to end.

It's this realization that I've decided it may be worth taking this up again. However infrequent my posts may be, I hope to once again tell a story.