Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Blogger and my computer don't mix

I had a whole post written out. A good one too. But my work computer rejected it, or rejected Blogger maybe .. anyway. Byebye post.

What I wrote about was .. well I'll just re-create it. I have a conference to go to on the Island next month - just a short weekend thing. I don't have to pay for the fee, but I do "get" to pay for my transportation ($80) and my hotel ($120/nt.) Clearly not thrilling, but I accept that it's a necessary thing. There's much for me to learn about my area of law and conferences are great ways to absorb more. I just wish it didn't have to be so far away, given the cost. It was my plan to take an early ferry on the first day and be a smidge late for the seminar - thus saving on the hotel cost. For those that don't know, I'm very cheap. It may come from having been a student for a long time, or maybe it's just from being Chinese! In any event, I'm not a fan of spending a lot on stuff. I'm not RIDICULOUS or anything - I'll still spend money on Starbucks once or twice a week, and once in a while I even go out for lunch. And sometimes I buy clothes. But not expensive ones, let's not be silly.

So, back to the story, I got an email from the conference organizers about a dinner they have arranged for the evening. I had expected a dinner gathering, but thought it would be, what, $50 at MOST ... unfortunately - it's going to be $100. Does that not make your eyes bulge? Perhaps it's just me. But I have NEVER paid that much for a meal in my entire life. We did not even spend that much per person for our wedding reception, and unlimited booze was included in that event. It's some kind of a fancy restaurant. The hubby hasn't decided if he'll come to the conference or not, but if he does, there goes $200.

The hubby and I don't often go out to eat. We aren't fancy people. We's cheap people. It's true - I think we try to be generous with friends and such, but we are in general cheap. Our fanciest meals have been for $25/person at the Dine Out event... and sometimes we've said to each other afterward, "Hmm - I think I've had better food at [fill in name of inexpensive Asian restaurant]". Once in a while, I get a gift card for the Keg, and in the interest of saving money, we order one large size prime rib and share it - it's cheaper than getting two separate plates. (Are you rolling your eyes at me, Internet?)

SO - you can imagine my shock at opening this email. I don't really know what to do. It's sort of "expected" that I'll attend the dinner. Someone suggested that I make up a story about having to meet a friend, but I don't feel good about lying. I also don't feel good about ditching out and being the spoilsport. Among all the lawyers going, I'm surely the youngest (and the poorest!) - so I doubt they'd understand total honesty from me ("$100 for a meal!? What a ripoff!") Maybe I should suck it up and just go, and hope that the next time I have a conference to go to, I also have a higher salary.

Anyway. I shouldn't whine, I know, but seriously, I could spend that money soooo much better.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Winter makes me crave a warm bowl of...

I know winters in this part of the world are mild and really there is nothing to complain about.... aside from a little rain ... and we Vancouverites sure know how to rationalize the rain - "it makes our grass so green!" ... but I think secretly we all have times when we despise the weather and just want to curl up in front of the TV with a warm blanket. Well, I have already had two days like that and we aren't even really into fall yet.

Luckily I live with a master chef and he always makes me whatever I feel like for dinner. So tonight was congee night. I'm sure other people have this ability, but I don't, so I will brag about my husband's ability to take random ingredients and make something delicious. In less than an hour he had made a delicious pot of congee flavoured with chicken and dried scallops. I didn't even know we had dried scallops! No Chinese donuts (so clearly, that isn't my picture up there), but that's okay. We had some Costco dry ribs instead. Haha! Anyway, nothing cures my winter blues like a nice toasty bowl of congee. I don't like it so thick that a spoon stands up in it, and I don't like it too watery either.

I used to hate congee, actually, when I was a kid. I still have an aversion to congee with "weird" stuff in it (normal to everyone else - just weird to me) - like "pei dahn", for example.

Today was kind of a crappy day. I had to pick up my robes in downtown after work ... so I put in 3 quarters into my parking meter (= 18 minutes, what a ripoff) and the old fellow who works at the robes place is kinda slow. You know, as older people are. So I got my robes probably about 2 minutes past my meter expiry time and I sprinted/fastwalked (as best as can be done in heels) back to my car... only to see, as I was pulling out, a meter maid guy standing next to my meter, watching me leave. I expect a parking ticket in the mail in about a week or so. It put me in such a bad mood that I skipped the seminar I was supposed to go to.

It wasn't much better of a day AT work either. I've been feeling a little swamped lately, but it isn't always because I have too much work to do - it's more like I feel as though I know nothing at all. My boss said this is common to newbies, so I shouldn't worry - but I definitely still worry that I've forgotten things, or that I'll be such a royal screwup, my boss will fire me. It's the feeling of "Wow - I'm kinda stupid - wonder if anyone will find out." Let me tell ya - I'm not inspiring a lot of people lately.

Good thing, then, that there was congee tonight. I feel better already.

I suppose if the biggest problem I face is a parking ticket, I should really be more grateful for what God gives me.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hair ... such expense for dead cells

I hate getting my hair cut ... it isn't because I always want long hair or anything like that. It's more of the effort required. After my wedding, I sort of abandoned my previous hairstylist, as we had a bit of an issue regarding the wedding hair prices she charged me. I then embarked on a hair salon search ... and today I decided to go to a new place in Kerrisdale. I liked it there, except that the shampoo girl made me feel a bit awkward (they don't speak much English ... was she laughing at me? the way I look? Or just curious at the Chinese girl who can't speak Chinese? I'll never figure it out.)

Here's my "before" ... this was taken a few weeks ago during a camping trip. Considering the icy cold showers at camping, my hair actually doesn't look terrible here. (Side note: have I ever mentioned that I HATE public showers? Yuck!) Anyway, my hair here is long, mostly shapeless, and the bangs were really killing me.

And anyway, I decided to go for something shorter and possibly more professional looking. Here is the picture I brought to the hairstylist - knowing that my hair will never really look like this, unless I flat iron it every single morning and get highlights too.

And here is what I ended up with (typical webcam-style picture - I'm not even looking at the camera, haha):

Obviously it isn't Ally McBeal's hair, but I'm pretty pleased. Of course, it will undoubtedly not look too good when I have to wash/dry it myself. We'll see tomorrow.

Anyway. Shockingly I spent $50 today. I think that's the most expensive haircut that I have ever had. Ever! Ouchie.

This post doesn't have a real point.... but that's okay.... one day I'll write something more meaningful!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Saved - are you really?

There appears to be a lack of interest in books, judging by the underwhelming response to my last two posts ... I'll just assume that if you do read, you just aren't inclined to share your favourite tomes with me ... and if you don't read ... you're embarrassed that you don't. :)

Okay, so the other day, hubby and I went to the video store. We decided to rent this movie:

If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. It's a bit of a teen movie, but really quite eye-opening if you're a Christian. It made me wonder how often I've been a hypocrite, or have looked at someone with disdain, not knowing their true situation.

Christians seem to have kind of a bad rap in the media and to be honest, sometimes I totally agree with the media. I remember a few years ago, when a gay student was killed on a university campus in the States, there was a preacher who joined the protest, except that instead of standing up for gay rights, he held a sign that said something like, "God Hates Gays".

Our cell group was thinking of going to a lecture next month where topics of faith will be discussed. In particular what stuck out for me was the part about how faith seems to come out wrongly - either because it isn't accompanied by any positive good work, or because it is practiced in a coercive or violent fashion. Interesting stuff.

Praise God that he forgives.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More Reading

My previous post inspired me to think a little more about books that I loved and books that I hated...

Here's a couple of books about animals that I thought were fantastic as a kid (okay - maybe there weren't necessarily ABOUT animals, but they definitely involved animals!):

On the other hand, here is the worst book I ever had the misfortune of reading:

Ugh, what a snoozer! Sorry, Richard Adams, but a book about travelling bunnies? Hmph. Check out a sentence I found in a book summary: "The little band takes off across the countryside. Along the way they encounter many obstacles such as a stream, a bean field, and a road. " You're kidding me, right? I'm sure the bean field posed a terrific opponent to a pack of rabbits.

It doesn't help that I was forced to read this book by the worst English teacher in the history of English teachers. I can only hope that she has entered retirement by now, never to wreak her obsession with hearts, stinky perfume, and lopsided hair buns on the current generation of kids.

Here are some of my all time faves:

That's all for now, folks! Feel free to leave comments about books I should read.

PS: Captain Underpants - what a great way to encourage toilet humour!