what matters most

December 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

I always struggle with the transition from dating (which tends to be structured) to hanging out (which tends to be more fluid).

A typical conversation …
Ex: You can’t deal with uncertainty.
Me: I have no desire to deal with uncertainty due to lack of planning.

Saturday, the plan was coffee (ideal temperature at fahrenheit), dinner (amazing smoked mackerel salad at hiro sushi), his friend’s housewarming party or some permutation thereof. The intention was to grab a bottle of chateauneuf du pape somewhere along the way. I tried to go along with it but the tension kept building up in my head (e.g. I can’t believe I’m dating someone who thinks it’s a great idea to randomly wander around in search of a potentially open LCBO). I couldn’t help but take charge of the situation (i.e. looking up store hours on the LCBO website and insisting that we go to the closest open location ASAP).

Today, I’m thinking: What’s the point of being hyper efficient with regard to things that don’t really matter and creating unnecessary tension in relationships, what matters most?

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365 grateful project (count=29)

November 29, 2011 § 5 Comments

bachelorette party :P

October 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

Sunday, August 21

Denise and I visited Stephen’s office. Very impressed. Lots of prettiness created by Teresa. What I’m most jealous of is the possibility that she might be spending a year in Paris. Can’t you just see me running around in Roger Vivier ballet flats and sitting on window sills? >.<

Followed by delish dinner at Le Canard Mort: Fresh Raw Oysters, Seared Crab Cakes, Rilette Board, etc.

photo from teresa-leung.com

photo from garancedore.fr

biking oshawa >>> guildwood

August 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

During the ten days following wisdom teeth removal, I basically sat on my butt and ate mushy food. Now I’m back to kicking butt and eating everything. Believe it or not, I miss exercising as much as eating real food.

On Wednesday, we spent 50 minutes in the condo gym and 15 minutes in the condo hot tub. While on the elliptical, I read about a new fitness trend: aerial dance. I saw Malaria Lullaby last weekend and was super impressed; not only the strength of the dancers but also the imagery.

On Friday, I ate roasted salmon sandwich from Montreal Bread Co for lunch and sticky rice potato pancake and bibimbap at Ka Chi for dinner. Maybe the recent stock market decline had a psychological impact on me but I can’t believe roasted salmon sandwich is ten bucks. Thank goodness for cheap Asian food.

[Interlude: When I made my first financial plan in 2007, I decided that I never want my public equity exposure to exceed 30% of my net worth. My thinking is that 30% decline in public equity is not unlikely and I’m comfortable with 9% decline in net worth. Recently, I was wondering if this 30% threshold should include my exposure to Manulife. I haven’t decided but, in the mean time, I’m speeding up my mortgage payments as much as possible and hopping into ING savings account.

I’m not endorsing ING. I would never put more than 100,000 in any institution. But ING allows you to do everything online. And they understand bunnies.]

On (non-slacker) Saturday, we took the Go from Union to Oshawa, biked to Guildwood following waterfront trail (55 km because we got sidetracked a few times) and took the Go from Guildwood to Union. Despite the industrial areas, the scenery was great.

After dinner, we took the ferry to Ward Island, satisfied our sweet tooth and enjoyed Hansel and Gretel. No, we didn’t eat Hansel and Gretel; S had praline ice cream and I had affogato (espresso + ice cream = keen) from Island Cafe. S is jealous of the cafe’s veggie garden. In the photo above, Freud is talking to the minstrels. No, Freud didn’t eat Hansel and Gretel either. In the photo below, S is playing the role of a telemarketer. Usually, they invite kids to participate but they asked S. He must look like a kid.

On the ferry back, we hummed Mack the Knife.

keen shoes >>> keen places

August 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

Last weekend was wisdom teeth weekend. S took me home after surgery and bought tonnes of baby food. Mum visited me after surgery and cooked all kinds of innovative mushy stuff. I felt specially cared for. But I miss the texture of real food. To cheer myself up:

1. I bought purple vans. My baby blue converse is falling apart.

2. I watched Lost in Translation. I had great expectations because I love The Virgin Suicides and heard that Lost in Translation feels like Before Sunrise and In the Mood for Love. But I felt empty afterwards.

I am reminded of Charlotte’s own claim in the movie that all girls pass through a stage of wanting to be a photographer, usually leading to lots of pictures of their own feet. Coppola composes ravishing images of her feet, but at a certain level, that’s all they are; even her cityscapes might be metaphors for her feet. When she really finds her feet, I have a sense that we’ll know it. I don’t think it’s quite happened, but I am eager to see her try again.”

3. I watched Waking Life. Again. I debated fear or laziness with S while drinking iced cap from Balzac’s.

4. I drank iced cap from Crema everyday before work.

5. I drank a bottle of Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling.

6. I drank a bottle of Yellow Tail Shiraz.

7. I wandered around pusateri’s, buying vodka sauce. I flooded my pasta with vodka sauce.

8. I ordered pork bone soup ramen at Kenzo.

9. I uploaded all my photos from Patagonia.

+1. I read 5 ways to beat the post-travel blues.

+1. I watched Kimi Wa Petto. Again.

+1. I read Matsuri Special. Yoko Kamio’s female characters have special skills. I think she is trying to tell us that we are all special.

from neverland to everland

July 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

A month ago, Denise and I had dinner at hiro sushi. A week ago, Benise (Benny+Denise), S and I went sailing. Yesterday, Denise, Stephen and I celebrated Stephen’s bday at tutti matti. (My favorite summerlicious menu.) I can’t help but notice that Denise has changed since her engagement. She has found her place in the universe and she wants to help others find theirs.

For me, relationships are not about finding my place in the universe. Here is my old lavalife profile.

I’m hoping to find a team mate for the next Amazing Race.

Me
1. Lived in China (Beijing, Shanghai), Australia (Sydney), Canada (Toronto, Waterloo) and US (New York, Chicago)
2. Good at dashing around in airports (I used to work in consulting)
3. Willing to eat anything (Although I prefer sushi)

You
1. ?
2. ?
3. Feeling lucky!

Now that I have decided that relationships are not about living in a different city every two years, I think relationships are about self improvement. Like everything else in life.

photo: color me katie

summer brunch 2011

June 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

We dragged our bikes out of our parents’ garages and into the condo bike room two weeks ago for ride for heart. Will make good use of them the next time we buy furniture. Inspired by Kyohei Sakaguchi.

In the mean time, making good use of them transporting groceries from T&T. We actually did two round of groceries this weekend: T&T (hot pot lamb, two kinds of tripe, petit cheese kitkat) followed by St Lawrence market (rosemary flat bread, salmon egg, pickled herring, chocolate/caramel/meringue cake from eve’s temptations). Because the parents are coming over for father’s day.

I have no doubt that S will be a good father. He vacuums. He does laundry. He takes care of groceries on week nights. Definitely above average. But I have doubts that I will be a good mother. I hate routine. People often ask me what I would be if not an actuary. The problem with most jobs is that you have to show up at the same time everyday. Can you imagine being a chef and arriving at the restaurant after it opens? As for me, sometimes wake up with work on my mind and get into the office before eight, sometimes linger in my starbucks at church/adelaide for an extra fifteen minutes and get into the office after ten (although I hate routine, I love watching latte making, the rhythm of the foam).

I have no doubt that having children will be a transformative experience. And I love transformative experiences. But I have doubts that I will transform into someone that does not crave constant change. My new theory is that volatile parenting is okay. Penelope’s son is perfectly okay even though she is clearly insane.

Dum spiro spero.

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