guess who i saw today

I saw Prime Minister Harper today. Twice, to be exact. In a pale yellow shirt and a dark jacket, he stopped to shake hands with a few citizens as he was escorted out of the hotel and again when he returned. There I watched from inside the store – the perks of working inside the Intercontinental :)

^ The Conservatives’ bus was parked outside the hotel when I finished work, so I decided to take a picture of it. I waited forever to get this clear shot without people in it.

After working here for almost two and a half years, my senses have learned to pick up on the diluted atmosphere as soon as I set foot into the hotel whenever there is a VIP checked-in. I call it a “diluted” atmosphere because it is neither intense nor is it completely calm. You usually see a full team of hotel security scattered throughout the lobby for at least half an hour before the VIP makes his/her entrance or exit. If a sports team is in the house, then the lobby is infested by reporters. Sometimes, these guests come into our store to shop (or browse) and if we catch them on a good day, we can usually have a good chat with them.

Speaking of sightings of “well-known” people, we had a special event at Chapters this past Monday evening. Christopher Paolini, popular author of a teen fiction series, was at our store for a book signing. I believe it was the only book signing event he would do in Canada for his new book, Brisingr, and that’s why it attracted a lot of people.

Apparently, we beat the New York event with over 800 attendees. People actually starting waiting in line outside the store at about 11am, even though the event didn’t start until 7pm. it was actually kinda cute how they brought their own fold-out chairs to sit on. I stayed after work that night just to see how everything rolled out for the event (and to skip class!). It was mostly out of curiosity because I’ve displayed so many copies of his books so many times over that I’ve always wondered WHY people were so crazy over his writing. By the time the event began, the line up for the book signing ran around the store and all the way downstairs. It was like another Harry Potter book launch all over again.

It turns out Paolini is just about a year older than myself and has already written three books. He also seems like a pretty nice guy (that’s judging by the fact that he promised to sign books for EVERYONE at the event, as well as an extra 100 copies for the store). I didn’t stay until the end, but I heard that he left just after 11pm without taking any breaks in between (and he’d been signing since 7:30pm). What a trooper!

The Moon festival just passed recently and I’ve been happily indulging myself in moon cakes over these past few weeks. I absolutely LOVE moon cakes. I like mine with lotus seed paste and double yoke. They’re so tasty. I wish they’d make them all year round, though I’m sure it wouldn’t be healthy nor would I enjoy them as much if they were plentiful. Cupcakes are my second love. I don’t get them often either, but once in a while I like to treat myself :)

how about a quickie

I’m going to make it quick today. A couple months ago, I came across this at a store and thought it was pretty cool. It’s called “The Ex Knife Set” (no joke there). If I had my own home, I would totally get it just because it humours me heheh ;)

Another thing that’s kept me entertained are videos of the Chinese gold medalists’ visit to Hong Kong. The gymnasts performed during their short stay in HK and they just seemed to have so much fun. Li Xiaopeng was so funny hehehe It’s so cute how he joked around and stood on the parallel bars lol Have I ever expressed how much I love the way Xiaopeng styles his hair?? :D

Ring Master Chen! His adorable smile makes me want to smile with him :-) He seems like such a softy but mmmman, look at those muscles!! That’s hotness beyond words lol Yang Wei always reminds me of Popeye for some reason. Does anyone else see the resemblance?

Alrighty, gotta get back to work. I’m currently in the midst of planning a cruise wedding. Will talk more in the next post.

fall is definitely here

I can almost smell it in the air. My birthday usually only serves as another reminder that we’ll soon see the pretty colours of the Autumn leaves. Speaking of which, I enjoyed a fairly mellow birthday this year. I would’ve happily enjoyed spending the day sleeping in bed (I like doing that when it’s rainy and gloomy out), but the bestest wouldn’t allow me to spend the day alone. After what seemed like forever in thinking about what to do and where to go, we decided to go for afternoon tea at the ROM.

It was our first time at the c5 Restaurant & Lounge. I loved everything about it…the design of the restaurant, the atmosphere, the colours, the comfy chairs, the sparkling clean tableware, and the food!! (Mmmmm) Their knives were interesting too; the handle was 90 degrees relative to the blade, so when the knives rested atop the tables the blade was standing vertically while the handle laid flat.

The people who worked there were so polite and classy. Vanesa pointed out that the waiters were going through the tables and cleaning all the glassware that were already set up on the tables in order to keep them dust-free. Their meticulous care in keeping everything clean amazed me. Despite it being a bit foggy out, we still had a pretty nice view of the buildings in the area. I wondered if that’s the kind of feeling I’d get when we go to Madrid in the Spring.

So that was a nice little escape for me on my birthday. I’d love to go back there one day. Vanesa wanted to go dancing that night, but after our walk downtown we were too tired for anything. We ended up going home and I was just happy to see my bed again :)

Today was an exciting day…I finally got a new printer!!

It was actually last night when I made the executive decision not to put off buying a new printer any longer (I’ve needed a new printer since May). Just like how I’ve been putting off getting the laptop, new iPod and new cell phone, buying a printer was an extremely daunting task for me because of the amount of research involved in selecting the right product.

Deciding between inkjet and laser was just the first step. Colour laser or mono laser? A basic printer or an all-in-one? What brand? Do I want speed or quality? Get an okay machine with cheap toner or a good machine with expensive toner? Or did any of that even matter if it’s a business expense?! (Now do you see how difficult it is to buy a printer? lol)

After 3 hours of researching, I basically said “Screw it!” and decided on the Canon imageClass MF4270. So I went out and bought it today on my day off and was really proud of myself for assembling the printer, as well as successfully hooking up my new wireless keyboard and mouse without any problems.

One down, three to go. I’m sure if you give me a couple more months, I’ll get around to finding that new laptop, iPod and cell heheh ;)

6 movies in one week

Classes began this week and believe it or not, I’m actually excited to be cracking open those textbooks. Don’t try and figure me out :P

Besides going to work and classes, I’ve spent a lot of time this week watching movies. I’m not sure if it was at all about the movies themselves. A large part of me thinks I just want time to be alone, away from reality. Indulging myself in someone else’s life while curled up in my chair is rather satisfying.

For one reason or another, I didn’t get the chance to see Sex and the City in theatres, so I finally picked up a copy of it the other day and watched it alone. I loved it, everything about it. (But coming from a SATC fan, I suppose that’s no surprise.) I still can’t get over how closely my life resembles Carrie’s. The part where she was in Mexico reminded me of times when I felt that way. Anyway, I’m just glad Carrie ended up with Mr. Big :)

What Happens in Vegas was exactly the kind of movie I was looking for. A romantic comedy that had it’s fair share of good laughs along with an “awww, that was so sweet” kind of ending. Yeah, I watch a lot of chick flicks lol

Joy McNally: “That’s just the topping I wanted on my popcorn. I know the box said its movie theater butter, but you guessed it. What I really wanted was Jack’s Sweaty ballsack flavor!”

Jack Fuller: “We got robbed. All they took was the door.”

Jack Fuller: “Richard Banger? So your name is Dick Banger! Dick Banger!”
Banger: “And yours is Jack? Jack off! Jack off”

I had wanted to see Definitely Maybe ever since I heard about it. I thought it’d be a really sweet story…and it was, in a way. But somehow it just didn’t really capture me the way I thought it would. I liked the message behind the movie though; sometimes it takes being with the wrong person to find out who the right one is.

Will Hayes: [rehearsing his proposal] “I wanna marry you because you’re the first person that I wanna look at when i wake up in the morning and the only one I wanna kiss goodnight, because…the first time that i saw these hands i couldn’t imagine not being able to hold them but mainly when you love someone as much as i love you [pause] getting married is the only thing left to do, so… will you… [pause] marry me?”
April: “Definitely, maybe… i have to think about it. “

White Chicks was hilarious!! I know the movie’s almost 4 years old, but I was laughing my @ss off from beginning to end. Too many classic lines to name. You have to watch it! lol

This one is also an older movie but Vanesa recommended Accepted, so I thought I’d give it a try. I had a good laugh watching it.

I just finished watching P.S. I Love You. It’s another movie I’ve been wanting to watch ever since it came out. I didn’t expect it to be so sad. I started crying half way through the movie. Let’s just leave it at that.

this weekend was about the friends

I spent most of my Friday just relaxing at home since I had the day off. Then at night, Edison and Dennis came to pick me up before dropping by Kevin’s. We went to visit Brandy (Kevin’s puppy); she has grown so much since the last time we saw her back in June, and she’s only 6 months old!! Dennis wanted to try the signature dish at this Japanese restaurant called Aikoku Sushi & Ramen Bistro, so we met up with Jacky there for dinner. It’d been 6 months since I last saw Jacky. That was when he came back briefly from his studies in Tokyo. It was a nice reunion/farewell, though the Poo Family was not complete without Winnie’s presence.

After dinner, we went back to hang out at Jacky’s. It was a fun night for us before Kevin’s departure to New York. He’s now in NY with Winnie. If Jacky decides to move to Vancouver, he’ll be the 7th friend to move this season. With the group scattered, I’m going to miss all the good times.

I’ve realized what great friends I have. Like the Poo Family for instance, I don’t see the group very often and most of the time they’ve been in a different part of the world. But when we do hang out we always have a good time. They’re always taking care of me, whether it’s making sure I eat when we’re out at dinner or making sure I get home safely. They’re like family to me. Now I can only look forward to our next ‘family’ vacation.

I was feeling a bit crappy on Saturday, so I called up Vanesa to see what she was up to. We ended up going to Pacific Mall. I don’t remember the last time I was there on a weekend, and now I remember why.

When we got hungry, we picked up some treats. Can you believe it’s been a year since I had egg tarts?!! (Vanesa and Tim brought me egg tarts last year for my birthday because I was craving them.) Oh, and I bought 10 movies. I figured if I don’t end up going away or doing anything this upcoming weekend, I’ll just stay at home and watch movies. That’ll be my treat to myself.

So anyway, Vanesa and I ended up at karaoke and just relaxed with our drinks and music. It was a good “let’s just bum around” day. I realized just how nice it feels to make time to spend with the bestest :)

* * *

Sunday was a slow day at work, so I called up Georgia in Spain and had a good chat with her. I finally figured out what it was about her departure that made me feel such a heartache. Of all the friends who have moved away, Georgia was the one who I spent a lot of time with over the last year and a half. I saw her almost weekly this year, we traveled/cruised together, we went on road trips together, we shared stories and exchanged rants often. She became a part of my life, just like how I became a part of hers. And suddenly, she’s half way around the world in a country that’s foreign to her. For as much as she’s trying to adjust herself to Spain, I am trying to adjust to life here without her. It still feels weird.

I’m excited though for Vanesa, Susie and I to go visit Georgia in Madrid this coming April. If it goes as planned, it will definitely be a very nice vacation. And by the sounds of it, we may be bringing Georgia back with us at that time, so I’m even more happy about that! =)

yessss!!! two days off! :)

It’s 1:21am and it’s really really windy out. I can hear the wind screaming and water buckets getting blown around outside. It’s actually kind of eerie.

So I’m happy that I have Friday and Saturday off this week AND next week. It seems that might be the weekly schedule from now on. I made a point to book off the day of my birthday. I decided that for the first time in 4 years, I am not going to be at work or school on my day. Initially, I planned to take myself somewhere out of the city, like spend a day in Niagara Falls. But I’m not sure I want to do that anymore. Even if I spend the day sleeping in bed, I think I’ll really enjoy it.

Lately, I’ve been frequently feeling nauseous (no, I’m NOT expecting). It might have something to do with my bad eating habits again. At least I hope that’s it. My body’s been aching a lot too, but that could be simply from my clocking in 8-9 hours of sleep every night.

I finally saw the best friend tonight. It felt like I hadn’t seen her in a long time. Two weeks. That’s a long time. We caught up over pho, followed by Starbucks. I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to hang out with the bestest. She said I’ve been acting strange lately and I know I have, though I’m not really sure why. I think it’s from the stress I’ve had to endure and keeping to myself isn’t improving the situation.

Anyway, Karl later joined us. They wouldn’t believe me that ice cream is actually pretty good on toast. I’m serious. Try it! :)

more relaxing in september

So now that the Olympics are over, I guess I can shift the focus back onto me.

I think it’s safe to say I didn’t have a summer at all this year. For the most part, I was either at work or at school. Occasionally I saw a friend here or there, but it rained a lot too so it didn’t help the circumstances. By the time the summer semester concluded, it was August and I literally only had one day off each week throughout the month because my boss and co-worker decided to go on vacation at the same time. Needless to say, I ended up with more days at work than I would’ve wanted.

August was also a month of many departures. Many of my good friends moved out of the city. Susie was the closest; she moved to Waterloo for school. Charmaine moved back to Vancouver, while Winnie and Kevin both moved to New York. Georgia moved to Spain last week (I miss her dearly) and Teresa will be moving back to Hong Kong to take care of her mother. Toronto suddenly seems drained of some happy souls. I guess on the up side, I can look forward to doing some traveling to visit them.

It was completely dead at the store on Friday and Saturday, so I decided to crawl out of my shell and call up some of the girls. I called Georgia on Saturday morning to see how she was doing in Madrid and was really happy to hear that she’s enjoying it there very much. She claims I’ll love it there. I can’t wait to go visit her!

After catching up with Vanesa, Georgia, Pam and Adrienne, I realized that reconnecting with people really isn’t that hard. It’s just a matter of making the effort to do it.

* * *

MARKS ARE POSTED

I’m happy to announce that I got A+ for both my summer courses! :) It’s been straight A’s so far, but this coming semester may be a bit difficult (I’ve got Retail Travel Industry and Travel Geography II to battle). I just hope to pass them both.