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Bamboo Star

October 5th, 2006

Awful Offal?


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Two posts in a day! So close together! ‘Twas fun telling my consumption tales. Much more fun than complaining about the fact that Dave’s luggage has likely been lost for good thanks to bumbling airline employees dotted all around the world! :( Ten days worth of his favourite clothes etc. and a borrowed Jack Wolfskin convertible pack/suitcase gone. Poor boy’s been wearing random purchases he’s been forced to make to survive his stay hygienically. I would have lost my mind in his situation: constant work in uncomfortable conditions; a massive, unrealistic deadline that cannot be changed; very little sleep; none of the clothes, shoes, toilteries etc. initially packed for the trip; rude airline employees without answers; and little hope for adequate compensation. Bah.

Dave does report that the food is still good though. So here’s a different tale of consumption!

Let me be clear that Dave and I both deeply, deeply abhor colonization and its many horrific effects; but we have to admit that we do appreciate the culinary results. Oh my, Vietnamese bánh mì. Merguez sandwiches with harissa mayo on fresh baguette. Exquisite couscous in Paris? Mais, oui! There are too many more examples to list here. Also, I feel too guilty for admitting this! Ack! This is an entry for another time.

Unfortunately, it is not all yummy like Franco-Algerian fusion fare. Dave and his colleagues eat in the hotel every morning for convenience (and appropriate billing); while the food is certainly tastier than American continental breakfast at similar hotels in the States, it is not up to the Parisian standards outside of the hotel. Also, despite his familiarity with French cuisine, Dave had never run into an andouillette sausage before. An adventurous enough eater to thrive in a relationship with me, Dave is rarely phased by the food placed before him. One thing Dave does not like to eat, however, is offal. You know, miscellaneous meat innards. I’m the tripe fan in this pair. Tongue, heart, intestine? I say, “Yes, please!”, while Dave says, “Hells, no.” :P

Anyway, for some unknown reason, Dave went for the andouillette tonight and didn’t love it. He would have preferred it to be less chunky like other sausage varieties. He is still not a fan of innards. Whatever. More tripe for me! ;) There will be no fighting at dim sum. Ha!

October 5th, 2006

Naughty and Nice


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I don’t know if Santa Claus is going to pay me a visit this Christmas ‘cuz I’ve been a bit naughty. I could redeem myself by driving to school to hit my 4:40 p.m. class but since that would require lots of polluting and even more willpower, I’m staying put on my new Aeromat balance disc cushion. I was in class bright and early this morning and noticed when I hit the cafeteria for my morning cuppa that I didn’t have my wallet with me! Luckily I had just the right amount change in my pocket to cover the cost of my caffeine fix. That’s what I get for not allocating enough time in the a.m. for coffee and brekkie!

I had to head home after class to make sure my wallet was safely at home. Without the wallet I wouldn’t have been able to do much of anything during my 6 hour gap between classes. Yes, SIX!

Just as I suspected, my Ferragamo baby was sitting atop the wooden cabinet in the front foyer of the house. Phew.

I had left my wallet there last night after some more naughtiness. Yep, I went shopping. I was extremely exhausted after class yesterday and not looking forward to the prospect of heading home without knowing for sure that I would get to talk to Dave. Nothing is more frustrating than pining for your true love all day and night only to find an e-mail from him saying that you won’t get to chat until the next day if at all. To save myself from the possible heartache, I hopped over to Winners.

I went principally to search for a birthday present for cutie pie Isabelle who is turning 1! Check out this picture of that I took of Isabelle a few months ago! This is one of my favourite pics ever. This pic made me fall more deeply in love with her (and my DLSR) than I already had!

Happy as a Clam

I had gone to that very same Winners a few weeks ago and had run into an adorable Harajuku Lovers hoodie that would look hype on the wee one. I didn’t buy it last time because it was too expensive and not the greatest quality. Also, I have major issues with Gwen and how she objectifies Japanese women. They’re not dolls, Ms. Stefani. Let’s not talk about the L.A.M.B. princess’ appropriation of Japanese pop culture.

I hate to admit that I was kind of excited when I saw the little Harajuku Lovers’ hoodie still hanging on the rack. Somehow in my twisted mind a Hysteric copycat made for a mini-person still seemed appealing.

Don’t worry, I eventually came to my senses (you know, the ones that abhor visible brands on babywear) and found a couple of cute things for Belly. Those few things included a surprising amount of pink. I usually get excited about gender neutral clothing not because I think that girls should not wear pink; but because of the stupid gendered colour dichotomy and the social meaning attached to the different colours. Pink doesn’t have to equal “delicate” and “prissy” nor does blue have to mean “tough”. Babies aren’t tough. They are innocent sweeties ready to absorb our ridiculous assumptions about what boys and girls can and cannot do.

Also, I’m not into the whole pretty pastels only thing. I think that the babies I know really like bright primary colours.

So anyway, even though pink sneaked its way into the purchases, the clothes are stylish, un-branded (at least visibly so) and utilitarian. Huzzah. Yeah, I bought dark pink PANTS for the little girl. Deal with it.

And being me, I also had to pick up some books. Because it’s never too early to start reading with kiddies! Isabelle’s parents already read with her; and even though Isabelle tends to want to munch on the books while listening, everyone thinks that the books do her good. :D Seriously, I wish more people would read to their babies. I am so grateful that my parents read to me all the time when my mind was developing. Even though the book seriously disturbs me now because of its outdated gender roles and weird ideas about communication, I think it is really sweet that in addition to actually talking to my brother about my impending arrival so many years ago, my parents bought and read toddler Andrew the Berenstain Bears’ New Baby.

Even though I was on a mission to buy the baby bday gifty, somehow I ended up picking up a few things for myself. Again, more with the naughtiness! I like to think of them as treats for my health and therefore less evil but I know that’s a sorry excuse.

One of the “healthy” items was the aforementioned balance disc. I have yet to decide if the disc will allow me to avoid buying a replacement to my old “Executive Office Chair” that hurts my back thanks to a partially flattened foam cushion caused by years of service in Montreal. It does force me to sit in a more erect fashion, which is always a good thing.

The other treat was a new watch. Those who see me in person regularly know that aside from earrings and my ring o’ love from Davetron, I am rarely without a watch to match my outfit. Lately, my collection has been failing me because so many of my cheapie quartz time tellers have dead batteries. I should just get all those batteries replaced and put myself on a watch-free diet, but I could not resist this little Nike number: Imara Run. Mine is in the unavailable “Ice/Metallic Silver”. (Don’t you love how someone thought it necessary to add “metallic” to that description? ‘Cuz silver is not enough.)

I hate that it is Nike, but I am a sucker for good, functional design. The new watch is pretty, ergonomic and fits my needs. That doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly started running a lot. Nay, I am a gym rat but not a runner. My knees are thankful. Sadly, my knees are particularly thankful because I’ve been diligent about sporting my *cough* Nike patella band. What can I say? Naughty.

Naughty is the theme of the day. The coffee I bought in the caf? Not the available fair trade organic stuff. I just had to have the hazelnut-flavoured stuff!

On the other hand, the latest batch of beans I bought for home brewing is Kicking Horse, baby! If I’m willing to blow my student budget on a new watch, I might as well pass on my beloved economical Lavazza and just buy pricey ethical.

Since this post is looking to be solely about consumption, I’ll alert you to the fact that this household finally has a coffee grinder. It’s a cheap little Procter-Silex that is amazingly quiet. I guess I’m used to the loud Braun Dave and I had in Montreal. That grinder was so loud, I think it scarred the cats for life. I think the P-S grinder is quiet because it is less powerful. It takes about 4 X as long to grind the same amount of coffee to the same coarseness and doesn’t grind completely evenly, but it is better than nothing! :)

Last week, my mother also got me a new hair dryer. Usually, I look like a poofy-haired freak with a hairdo I like to call “toussled natural.” If I’m organized enough I rub in a dollop of Biosilk Silk Therapy and fry my hair straight with my super ceramic BaByliss Pro flat iron.

While in Montreal last weekend, I felt pressure to have more presentable hair since we were staying with the girl whose hair always look good (as evidenced by those pesky post-rehearsal pics in the previous entry.) So one morning, I snuck into Lydia’s walk-in closet and used her hair dryer after a shower. My hair was so soft and smooth afterwards, I thought I’d never have to plug in my straightener ever again!

I don’t know if the “ionic” bit is just a hoax, but I had honestly never achieved such smooth results with a home hairdryer before! So I remembered the model and asked my mother to look out for it the next time she hit Costco. She called me from the warehouse one day and said that she had found a “Conair 1875 Tourmaline” dryer. I kept saying, “Does it say ‘Ion Shine’ on it? Is it red?”

“No, but it does say ‘ionic’ on it. Tourmaline, child! Tourmaline! And it is purple, not red.”

I got excited and she brought the thing home. My hair, when I actually get around to drying it, is very grateful. I am a new convert to the traditional hair dryer!

I don’t know if the ion output or “ceramic technology” actually does anything or if it is just the high wattage that coupled with a concentrator that actually stays on the barrerl that makes the difference. At any rate, I’m ready to give away my old dryer (also a Conair) to any takers. I’ll likely lug it to Isabelle’s birthday party along with other random used goodies in case one of my girlfriends feels like taking my cast-offs.

For someone who usually just goes with the towel- and air-dry method, I own a lot of styling tools. I also own the Conair 1000 Watt Hot Air Styler and their Hot Air Curling Iron. Both have been used to tame my waves. I should seriously invest in Conair stock!

October 3rd, 2006

Fresh


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Lemme see…so this past weekend I thought a lot about blogging, but that last entry really did me in! Apparently it did you guys in too ‘cuz not too many of you made it to the finish. Thank goodness for pictures, right? :)

Other than sitting on my fat ass contemplating the many things I wanted to record for eternity for all the Internet to read, I baked. I made two dozen muffins to be exact. One batch went faster than the other because it was far yummier. That batch looked like this:

Peanut Butter (Chocolate Chip) Banana Muffins.
Fresh

I also went to a party. That’s right, this old lady hit a house partay. I arrived a good 1.5 hours after the official start time not because I am self-consciously cool and needed to be fashionably late but because late is my middle name. Also, I had to work my freeloader status a little bit more by dining uptown with the parentals and my Por Por. Who can pass up free dinner? Not me!

I think what made me really late was the fact that I was stupidly (and predictably) indecisive about parking and ended up entering a full lot (and paying for it!) after leaving the lot I had to eventually park in! ARGH. Why do I do this to myself? An extra $1.50 and 30 mins blown! Go me! I never learn.

I also had issues figuring out which Mickey D’s my friend lived above. Since I am one of those smug Spurlock-lovin’ boycotters, I could only think of one McDo in the neighbourhood and it was definitely not at the right intersection. So I called the host’s number and a sweet, unfamiliar voice answered, “It’s not right at the corner. It’s across from the liquor store.”

That sweet voice came from someone named Brian who left the party not too long after arrived but after giving me a good hard look and telling me, “Oh my god! You are beautiful!”

Hahaha! Something tells me that I should doll up more often and hit parties with an especially high attendance of gay men. As though this should be news to me, the girl who lived with the gay housemate on the gay street in the gay village of gay Montreal. Where has my mind gone? Seriously.

I guess I have been a bit unplugged from the male side of rainbow lalaland for too long as I was a bit taken aback by how much my gaydar was ringing the moment I walked in the apartment! Um, hello? How am I supposed to infiltrate these circles of hot men? Um, do I look okay? ‘Cuz gay men can be far cattier than catty women! Where are the hot women anyway?

Thankfully, I snapped out of it immediately and had many very pleasant conversations with some very pleasant people!

The strangest thing about the population of partygoers was age. Or rather, the glaring age discrepancy between the majority of the people (yes, those fine-looking men I mentioned two paragraphs ago) and the friends of the host’s boyfriend who had barely reached the age of majority! The ten year age difference between J & S no longer phases me because they are extremely compatible and have been together for over half a year (which is about 1,000 years in queer male terms.) What kills me is how young girls S’ age look and act! Nothing wrong with acting like a kid fresh out of high school when that is exactly who you are; but good gracious when did I stop looking and acting that way?

I guess I should have clued into the fact that I am in my mid-20s and act about 45 when I put on pearls (on neck and ears) before dragging myself out of suburbia in my grandpa-mobile. Heh. In response to my commentary on this very subject, J sweetly told me that pearls are young now. I eventually conceded that point since I was young enough to pair my pearls with buttery high-heeled boots and spunky clothes. Apparently I can still work it! Of course, I won my oldness argument by giving him (and some of my fabulous new friends) goodnight hugs and kisses, driving away from the party and the city’s lively nuit blanche activities at 1:30 a.m.

I see you.
Post-party self-portrait

In all truth, I think my old lady nature has a lot to do with this whole long distance relationship thing. While Dave and I can be homebodies, we can’t live without excursions for food, film and music. If he were here, we would have had our fair share of nuit blanche fun. Of course, we’d still probably schedule everything relatively early and not actually stay out all night long but at least we’d be out!

Less than a year before our lives will return to normal. Only this time Toronto will be our turf instead of Montreal. Less than a year and I won’t have to be harassing my friends to peel themselves away from their own partners to go to the opera with me! Oh yeah, my girls love Mozart opera more than my boy does, but they all want to share the experience with their own opera-loving men! Hmph!

Actually, finding a buddy to go see Così fan tutte with me shouldn’t be too hard but the fact that I even have to ask around is a royal pain in the butt. I’ve got a partner, he just can’t make it! :(

I think I’m just particularly annoyed about the situation right now because Dave is miserable in Paris–holed up in his crummy little hotel room in the city he wants so badly to visit with me, programming away at an uncomfortable desk before the big deadline without any of the clothes he initially packed because his suitcase has been lost by airline fools! To top that off, his paternal grandfather passed away a few days ago and he cannot go to Montreal to be with his family. ARGH.

It has been a difficult weekend. Baking, partying and all. There’s nothing I can do to help this situation. All I can do is be available to Dave in all ways possible. That has largely meant sitting by the computer waiting for him to be online so we can chat or I can call his hotel room. That has meant writing to Dave’s family, sending his father and mother my love and affection during this difficult time. That has meant cursing the airlines that bungled the delivery of his bag and hoping for a little magic. That has meant sending positive energy Dave’s way during my yoga class.

In the end, we’re surviving. Dave, my heroic wonderboyfriend, always sees the silver linings. The man is painting the city of lights silver from his tiny, suffocating hotel room. Afterall, we both see that despite all the bad cards he’s been dealt, he is in Paris with good people as part of living his dream and eating damn good food while he’s at it. And of course, he’s spending precious time telling me about it because that’s what we crazy little lovebirds do.

“It does suck, babe; but on the bright side, the rabbit I had today was really, really good. I wish you were here to taste it.”

Je t’aime, mon amour. I wish I were there too. Come home soon!

September 29th, 2006

Ohlala!


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Cleaning the bowls

Mon amour, known by some as “tonton Boston”, is currently enjoying the comforts (haha) of economy class on an American airline. Sadly, he’s not coming to visit me. Happily, he is making his way to the city of lights to show the project he and a few colleagues have worked on non-stop for several months, the RATP-commissioned “bus stop of the future”. They are showing the fruit of their slavery at Parc de la Vilette as part of RATP’s celebration of “Les 100 ans du bus”. Exciting, n’est-ce pas?

If you’re a design and/or architecture nerd, you’ll appreciate that this project was headed up by William J. Mitchell. The actual bus stop was principally designed and carried out by unpaid MIT Media Lab graduate students. Materials were purchased with RATP-funds channeled through the MIT Design Lab.

Even though I probably did more to derail progress by distracting Dave during my visit to Beantown a few weeks ago, I did do a little technical building stuff with the boys. Not-so-great photos are here. Once the design team gets their documentation together, I will send you to prettier pictures and attendant technical blahblah. :D

For now, you just have me whining about the fact that my man is going to Paris for 10 days without me. Boo!

If you survived the first few paragraphs, you’ll notice that I am back. Yes, I know, I’m prone to long absences. Somehow, sometime, I fell of the blogging bandwagon. I know, I know, that’s no surprise to you (if there are any of “you” out there left.) Anyway, I’m hoping that this entry marks a comeback of sorts. That’s rather noncommittal language, but I’m being cautious because I don’t want to come back with as much flair as before. I mean, I want to write with pizzazz, but I don’t want to spend too much time plopped in front of my glowing laptop screen reading and writing journal entries instead of keeping up with all my real world joys.

Real world joys have included meeting this guy
while he was in Toronto being slowly driven by his parents. ;P He was kind enough to wait for me while I fought evil suburban rush hour traffic to get to Pacific Mall and treat me to damn good Peking duck and family favourite, Chung King Garden. I do hope that he chooses to defect to Canadia-land soon so we can partake in more good food and conversation!

That fabulously fun meeting with Gino is testament to how un-creepy the Internet can be. Okay, so the Internet can be really creepy, but let me tell you that I have met many a wonderful person online. Even back in high school, I hung out with many hype folk whom I met on mIRC and ICQ, yo.

In short, I can’t unglue myself from the big bad blogosphere, especially when it allows me to connect with the lovelies so near and dear to my heart who are scattered around the world. So yes, I’m back. Hi! ^_^

I also participated in a scavenger hunt that my team won. As feminist law geeks, for the superhero challenge, we dressed up as the “Famous Five.” Our prize included $20 restaurant gift certificates and 100-levels tickets to a Yankees-Jays game at the Rogers Centre (more commonly know as the Sky Dome). I don’t usually like baseball, but it was fun to be at the Dome with friends at a relatively packed game. We did the wave and sang the Jays song. I was 10 all over again. Ha. Only when I was 10, the Jays were winning World Series Championships. :P

I also managed to travel to Montreal to see my honey and visit his family. Here are some photos for proof (’cuz that’s all you care about anyway, right? ;) ):

The Royal York Hotel in Toronto, taken before I hopped on the train to Montreal.

The Royal York

Un québécois et sa poutine. First meal in Montreal at Resto du Village.

Un québécois et sa poutine

Family Photos

Living Room Playtime

Father and SonThe As

Yawn!In the officeA grandmother's love

Three generations

We stayed at my belle-soeur’s house, which was more than a little stressant for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lydia, her hubby Jöel, Jöel’s kids C and Z, and new addition Arno le coco to bits; but I have problems dealing with all the pet dander in a house crammed with 3 cats and 1 dog. *Achooo!* And to think I lived with our beloved Buddy and Lucio before Hayden so graciously adopted them. Gah, the things you do for love.

In addition to the animals, there were the usual political discussions that grated on my nerves. This time things were worsened by “l’affaire Wong”. This blogger has hit some of the issues bang on the head. That Le Devoir cartoon says it all, dudes. Frick. Anyway, I held my tongue quite a bit until I read this horrible article in the latest French edition of Châtelaine that made my blood boil. It was called “Le Petit Chinois” and started off with the lyrics of a horrifically offensive song that called, “Si j’étais chinois”. You know something like, “If I were Chinese, I’d have slanty eyes like this (pull eyes into slits) and wear a conical hat like this (make triangle with hands over head) etc. The author, a Radio-Canada journalist doesn’t even problematize the song and only remarks that her child’s kindergarten teacher taught the song to the class before launching into a ridiculously patronizing story about a Chinese immigrant who made his way to Canada in life-threatening circumstances. I think the article is supposed to make you feel good, especially after she ends saying, “If I were Chinese, I’d want to be like him [immigrant dude she Others].”

God, I started flipping out and bitching to Dave, “Yeah, only if she were CHINESE would she want to be like this guy. This racist song is being taught TODAY in Quebec classrooms? WTF? And people wonder why Jan Wong said what she did in the Globe. This would NEVER be allowed in the English-language Chatelaine.”

Lydia read the article and didn’t fully understand why I was fuming, saying that the journalist, “didn’t mean it in a bad way.”

Dave and I turned to her and could just weakly say, “It’s not just the intention that counts.”

I’ll leave it at that since I’ve simmered down quite a bit after the weekend. I’ve had enough of talking about all this…for now. Believe me, Dave’s already heard enough about this as have other friend’s in the know. Darling Ewa, who met me at the incredible ArtJava on Mont Royal last Friday, shared my sentiments on the issue(s).

Our little nephew Arno is getting bigger and his mama has gotten quite a bit smaller (see photos above!) Lydia is down to her dancer’s figure once again, proving once again that simple science–eat less, move more–really works so long as you are the picture of discipline. The artiste could have been featured in one of those trashy tabloid features about post-pregnancy weight loss. The girl’s not famous enough to be the subject of such an article, but I do sometimes wonder if she’ll suddenly fall into a bunch of big fame (at least locally) with her many talents and picture perfect face.

Here she is with hubby, photographed in rehearsal in the Joe Dassin musical show in which they star. They are the main couple in the front of the shot, second couple from the right. Scroll down the newspaper article to see the photo. This is not the greatest scan and the shot is particularly unflattering of both, making them look way heavier than they are, but it is publicity!

As sad as it is, I know I’m going to have trouble falling asleep tonight because I won’t get to talk to Dave. Here’s hoping that he lands safely in Paris and knows that I’m thinking about him! :D

August 30th, 2006

Le Sigh.


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I don’t know what it is that is keeping me from writing these days. I really miss it, but there’s something about this particular space that is blocking me. Or maybe I am just tired. Sigh.

I am tired, but I’m also tired of just plopping down in front of my computer and just taking a few minutes to write, “Hi everyone, sorry for the boring ass blog entry but I’m a tired old lady.”

As a reward for tolerating my snoozetastic entries, here are some pictures.

First up is a wonky self-portrait of a spacey me:

Hmmmmm?

Next we’ve got some earrings that I made a while back but never bothered to photograph because of the aforementioned tiredness:

Lime Drops

Earth Mother

Since I am out of practice, I will just tell you a few random things that I’ve been meaning to share since pure self-indulgence is better than that whole tired crap I’ve been spouting lately:

    - Earlier this summer, a photo editor from the Wall Street Journal expressed interest in using some of my pictures of Singapore that she had spied on flickr. I got insanely excited and then didn’t push it enough. It wasn’t a sure thing anyway as she had to go to the big time editor for approval, but I suppose I could have been better at selling myself. I haven’t heard from them in while. Oh well.
    - Another person asked to use a picture from a fun karaoke night in Singapore for his book on karaoke. I gave a tentative yes but I haven’t finalized anything yet. I don’t think there is any $ involved in this exchange, but I will get credited.
    - A few months ago when I was riding the subway downtown with my luggage (before hopping on some form of transit to be reunited with my lover) I spotted some hateful graffiti on a subway ad. The ad was promoting the Toronto Transit Commission’s special constables as protectors of riders’ safety and the like. One of the models/constables in TTC uniform was black. The family with whom he and his partner were chatting in the poster were white. Someone took a sharpie and wrote “coon lover” over the little white girl. I quietly fumed in my seat for a few stops before I could not take it anymore. Not anywhere, but definitely not in my beautiful, tolerant, diverse city. Not on my turf. No. So I took out a pen and scribbled dark and hard over that evil loser’s cowardly script till it looked like I was the bad guy.
    - I use Spanish a lot at work when there is no cultural interpreter available. This is especially intriguing to recent newcomers who are like, “¡Joder, esa china pueda hablar español!” I kind of love that. :P
    - The weekend before last I participated in three separate social events on Friday night: dinner, drinks and a pub-based birthday party. This weekend I talked my boyfriend’s ear off on the telephone, went to the mall alone to exchange/refund crap, watched previously viewed DVDs that I bought at Blockbuster (In Her Shoes and Shopgirl, if you must know) with family, baked a dozen banana/raisin/nut/bran muffins and a buttery, fluffy Hungarian plum cake and worked on transfer memos from home using Citrix. Heh. Apparently I need to get a life.

In other, more current news, my back has started to bug me again probably because all of my muscles are extremely tight. That’s completely normal for me, but I need to stop talking about working on my flexibility and actually bust some tight ass. ;) I need to sign up for some yoga ASAP. This “home practice” thing isn’t really working for me.

I find that as much as I like working out to videos, I do much better when I stick to a rigid gym schedule. My workout routine has really fallen by the wayside this summer. The long hours at the clinic have been doing a major number on my body! I’m sure the lack of exercise is one of the biggest contributors to my constant fatigue. The caffeine addiction certainly doesn’t help.

Friday is my last day at work and labour day weekend brings me into the arms of my man. Thank all things good and mighty for that! Then it’s a happy return to school for one last hurrah. Slap me if I complain about school because I know I’ll miss it after I’m done. Sure it’s loads of work but learning is cool, fool! Plus, there are a lot fewer hours spent in class than in the office and manohman, I dig the free time. Crafting, reading, gymming and yoga, here I come! Wheeee!

Oh look! It’s bedtime! Time for the tired old lady to get ready for bed! Ha!

August 23rd, 2006

Romance 101


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My man really knows how to set my heart aflutter.

In a quick IM conversation, he casually told me that he bought me a 40 GB external hard drive. “BTW”, he began.

Hee. Yay for storage! Now I can actually organize and back-up my millions of files. *cough* photos *cough*

Oh my. :) That’s just what I needed on this busybusybusy, PMS-y day. Letters to write, memos to draft, faxes to send. Exciting, no? It’s all very important when one looks at the consequences of not following through, but there’s no denying that there’s a lot of tedium involved. Anyway, you’d be surprised how hard it is to fax things to Nairobi or courier packages to remote boarding schools in Uganda. Big picture thinking is where it’s at! Results, results, results!

Tonight my little kooky family hits an Ethiopian resto and dines in my honour. How fun! The planning was painful, but that’s what it takes to get my fam to step out of their comfort zone and into downtown weekday dining. No suburban Chinese restaurants tonight! ;)

That’s all I have for now as I have to get back to workity work work, but ’tis all grand. :)

Thanks for the wellwishes, I will try to reward you with some snazzy words and photos soon. Really.

August 17th, 2006

Yes.


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They were my first choice and I was theirs. And thus ended the madness of articling applications, interviews and that last, thrilling call day.

Union-side labour relations, baby. :)

Thank you, everyone. The fat lady has sung!

Now it’s time to get back into the groove. Smooth sailing from here on out.

Crazy that I have to wait a year to get started in my new position, but I’m sure it’ll be a good year. Last year of law school, here I come!

August 13th, 2006

Baden-Powell’s Wisdom is Not Forgotten


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The fabulously talented Leslie of The Paper Princess gave me the kick in the butt I needed to thrown down a few words.

Hello! Have you forgotten me? I don’t blame you. I’ve been very absent this summer. I wish I could blame my absence on something exciting like an adventure around the world, but alas I have just been busy with the most mundane things like eating, sleeping and working.

As I’ve mentioned before, work has actually been quite inspiring. Working with some of the city’s most vulnerable has really made me value my good fortune. My work has also given me the energy I need to push through this last year of law school!

That’s right, folks. I only have one year of law school left! Soon I will be able to apply my skills to help others, really bringing my reasons for going to law school to life! Huzzah!

The biggest time eater this summer has been applying for the jobs that will allow me to: (a) articulate my social conscience; and (b) get certified. By Wednesday I should know if I have to suffer through more articling applications throughout the school year. On Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. the job offers come out. Before then? Stressful interviews! Wheee!

I’ve got 8 interviews spread over the next two days. This is a wee bit overwhelming considering I applied to less than half as many jobs as most of my colleagues going through this crazy Law Society-regulated process. Some people in my office applied to 4X as many places as I did! Insanity. I’m pretty happy with my interview schedule: I have 4 on each day, with sufficient space between each one for transportation, snacks, coffee, loo breaks etc.

I’ve actually got quite a bit more preparing to do tonight before all hell breaks loose at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, but I’m allowing myself the time to ramble here. The lovely Leslie nudged me, remember? ;) Honestly, I think it is more important for me to feel calm, cool and collected than to be crammed full of canned answers. The blogging’s not going to get me to a zen state, but it’s got to be better than nothing.

Interview preparation has also had me shopping like mad. My VISA is still hot from all that swiping! :O

Yesterday, I spent 45 minutes in the hosiery department of the Bay looking for nude tights that looked, erm, nude. You’d be surprised how unnatural “natural” tights can look on my skin. FYI, pantyhose makers, some professional ladies aren’t white!

When “natural” or “nude” would be too light, I’d reach for “tan” only to find it too dark. Somehow “sheer” would also mean shimmer to some companies. Thank goodness I had my mother with me for moral support!

I now have my first complete suit. I’m throwing together separates from all different designers, but somehow it all works. I’m even planning on going to go a bit nuts and wear a real blouse on Day 1 of interviews instead of a simple camisole. (People, this hardcore professional dress is hard for me! I’m 24, damnit!) Honestly, I want to funk it up a bit because the boring real estate agent look doesn’t do it for me, but even the most progressive legal people want to see a little business attire on interview day. I’d better reel the funk in.

Speaking of funk, I’m afraid that I’m going to swelter in my black getup and end up smelling funky! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a particularly stinky person, but I’m a very paranoid one! I’m trying to avoid putting on the daily spritz of perfume lest I give one of the interviewers a headache, but I’m worried my unscented Mitchum’s going to fail me. I’ll find that happy medium…or I’ll just pray that it’s cool tomorrow! :D

Anyway, it’s time to actually prepare for the interviews. I think I’ve maxed out my de-stressing time, leading myself into the stress zone! Oops! Wish me luck, lovelies! I hope to be back soon with good news and more!

July 5th, 2006

Full Tilt


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Many thanks for the heartfelt words of support. ♥

I know that I say this almost everytime but I’ve been extremely busy. There’s a lot on my mind including evil articling applications that are due next Friday. That’s right. I’m applying for jobs that will define my entrance into the legal profession. Jobs that commence over a year from now. Insanity.

As someone wise said today, there is no point in stressing. I’ve just got to do. It will all work out in the end. It usually does.

I’m actually sticking to my guns and doing things my way no matter what my crazy competitive peers think. It is, afterall, my life. Naysayers be damned, there are at least a few supporters who’ve written me some mindblowing recommendation letters. God, I love unsealed letters! ;) Holy moly, is this how egos grow? :P

Anyway, let’s get to the more interesting stuff. Enough blabbling. I’ve got to sleep anyway. I’ve got a 12+ hour workday ahead of me that begins before 7! Y’all know that I don’t get along with early morning wake-up times!

Vacation pictures from the Boston area and NYC. They partially explain my absence.

First, some earrings that I made for Dave’s mother and sister who were also down in Boston for a visit.

For Diane For Lydia

3 generations enjoying an American diner brekkie. + Dave’s family along the shore in Nahant, MA.
Joy. La Famille

Me and D in Times Square.
Another view
:)

Tourist Trap @ Night.
Got His Charm On

Bagel shop and MoMA dorkiness.
Ouch! Art?

Carnegie Deli: hot boy and hot pastrami.
Can I help you?


Longarm Looooove
Love is in the Square Smooch!

More soon, I promise. XOXO.

June 13th, 2006

A Moment of Silence


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I am rarely at a loss for words. Now, the words are refusing to come out–choking me–as I try to cope. I am sick of gasping for air. I have to let my fingers do the talking.

My maternal grandfather — 公 公 (gung gung) as I knew him–was a man of few words so when he spoke, I hung onto every syllable. I hope I never forget those commands he gave, the comments he made and the conversations we shared.

公 公 passed away last evening mere minutes before I reached the nursing home to visit him. As my heartbroken aunt and strong big brother held his hands and comforted him in his last moments, my mother and I made a last ditch effort to increase his comfort by hunting a special medicated patch in all the closest pharmacies.

When I walked into the room, a wave of pain washed over me. Oh, how I cried out! The grief that coursed through my veins manifested itself in guttural sounds and tearful exclamations, “NOOOOO! WHY?!?! 公 公! I COULD’VE BEEN HERE!”

I wanted so very badly to rip my heart out of my chest so as to not feel all the emotions that possessed me.

God, I may have known about this eventuality for a while but I was not ready for him to go. How can one be expected to prepare for something like this? There is so much more to say and do. Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve. If only. If only.

I have come to understand–or at least rationalise–that in some warped way, everything was meant to unfold in this way. If I had not been sick this past weekend, I would have seen my dear 公 公 at his very worst. His state of suffering would have scared me. If I had left work earlier or even not made that extra pharmacy run, I would have been there when he took his last breath; but is that what I really want? To witness the very thing that torments me so?

This incredible man–this quiet, compassionate, hardworking, clever, funny, humble, wonderful man–will forever be glorified by our tight family. We wanted him to be here so that we could honour and celebrate him on Father’s Day. We wanted to show him all the wellwishes he and my grandmother had received in advance for their upcoming 60th wedding anniversary.

The circle of life is so bittersweet. 公 公 once cared for all of us–his loving wife, seven children and sixteen grandchildren. When we were eventually forced to swap roles, we were all distraught but heartened by real evidence of our unbreakable family bond and deep love for one another. We are your legacy, 公 公. Your family is hurting, but we are as strong as ever.

You did everything you could to make our privileged, happy lives possible: you ran and hid from Japanese soldiers during the War; you fled your small Teochew village to Hong Kong to pursue a better life; you endured and fought bitter poverty without ever being bitter about it; you worked hard at several jobs; you pushed your children in all the right ways; you followed your eldest children to a cold, foreign place; you took away the need for paid daycare by turning your suburban semi-detached into a place for goofy grandchildren; you loved us all in your quiet way right till the end.

I miss you so much already. May you rest in peace.