Thursday, May 31, 2007

Women in Art

This is kinda cool. It's 500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art. However, it doesn't have the John William Waterhouse's Lady of Shalott, my personal favourite female art, but I guess this isn't a portrait per se.

(I got to see the Lady of Shalott at the Tate Briton in London a couple of years ago, that was such a thrill for me!)

Monday, May 28, 2007


(I thought I'd never live to see the day when I put up a picture of Paris Hilton on this blog. Well, that teaches me to never say never!)

So we've finally booked our flight and hotel for our Paris trip! Whoo!

We booked our flight through Zoom Airlines, and believe it or not, we found it to be the cheapest, even cheaper than flying out from Seattle. Zoom came highly recommended to me, so I thought I'd try it out. The only apprehension I have is that we're not allotted a lot in terms of luggage weight, but I'd just rather pay a bit more if I go over. At least we're flying out from Vancouver.

And believe it or not, the $119/night, 4 star hotel that I found on was the Hilton in Paris! LOL! I'd managed to guess correctly before making the purchase that it would be that hotel, and read a few reviews on TripAdvisor. My main thing is that the hotel is clean, not smelly (especially of cigarette smoke), everything in the room works properly, and in a quite location. According to Google, it's not too far from the Metro.

Can't wait for August! Whoo hoo! Now to go practice my French...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Grouse Grind Redux!

Today hubby and I went up the Grouse Grind again. I was going to post my rules, but after a quick search through my old blog posts, I found that I had already posted this last year.

Today's time: 1 hour, 9 mins.

It seems that I can't break the 1 hour mark, but I really want to try. Hopefully I'll have a chance to go up again this year.

We got there at 8.30 (it usually opens at 6.30), and although I was afraid that the trail was going to be really packed, it wasn't. The trail only opened just last weekend, so I suppose that not a lot of people knew that the trail was already opened. That and they were afraid that there may be snow.

Yes, that really is snow behind me. There was a fair bit of run off near the top of trail, but it wasn't too bad. Still, it made the trail a bit tricky to maneuver.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

KOOKY: Professional Development

For the past three days, I've been at the UBC downtown campus taking a Project Management course. The reasons why I decided to take this course were:
  • I do a lot of small/medium/large-ish projects at work and I thought this would be a great way to learn how to do things properly
  • Management expects that I take PD courses, after all, they put aside money for me to use, so I'd better use it!
  • My boss strongly hinted that I should be taking PM courses
Needless to say, I really liked the course. My instructor, from my calculations, is in his early 70s. He's not retired by choice. He still teaches these courses several times a year, and he still does consulting work.

What really impressed me about him was that he's a very smart guy, his mind was still sharp, his memory is excellent, and most importantly, he's very tech savvy. He mentioned that he goes through a new laptop every couple of years, and during the course, he had a nice shiny black Mac Book that he used with no problems. He puts together his own power point slides, video and email are not stranger to him, and he Googles with practiced ease. He's more tech savvy than a lot of our users!

What I really liked about our instructor was that he's been in the PM field for close to 50 years, so he had a lot of experience to draw upon. When he taught the theory, he always had at least one or two stories from his past experience that he told to illustrate his point. I particularly like this as it showed me how the theory can be applied in real life practice and made the subject must less boring. I particularly liked his stories about the Sky Train project back in the 80s. He was the main PM for that project. That really blew me away!

Another nice thing about the course was that they fed us breakfast, lunch and lots of snack foods. At my last training course, I didn't get much of that. Granted, eating a lot of sugary and high-fat foods isn't always good for you, but it saved me from hunting down and paying for food, and that in itself is a bonus.

All in all, it was Faculty of Medicine's money well spent! =D Two thumbs up for my course!

(For those of you who know me in real life or through Internet-land, this guy also teaches this course at McGill and U of Toronto, so I can pass along his information if you're interested in taking the course.)

Monday, May 21, 2007


So after a lot of thinking, we've decided to go to Paris for our big trip. For reasons that I won't get into now, this could possibly be our last big trip for a very long time, so we decided to splurge and just do it.

I've been there once in 1994 for a couple of days, hubs has never been. We've been looking around for cheap flights and hotels, and let me tell you, my brain hurts.

Yesterday our friend T lent us his guidebook and phrasebook, so we are definitely prepared. Hubs and I also went to Chapters yesterday to look at the phrase books that they had there.

Until we get everything booked, nothing is for certain still, but I'm beginning to get stoked. Hopefully everything will fall into place soon! Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I have joined the dark side

My curiosity had gotten the better of me: I have created a Facebook account.

Let's see what happens next...

Some Excitement

Or not.

Yesterday, my dad had decided to make some soup. The Chinese way of making soup is to make your own soup stock by boiling some sort of animal bones for at lest half a day or longer (I've seen my mom boil things for a couple of days), then throw in your ingredients and boil more.

You can already possibly guess what's going to happen next.

My dad then went out with our neighbour and was gone for a good long while.

Sometime during the day, the other neighbour sees smoke coming out from my dad's place.

Fortunately, after two fire trucks, a smashed in window, bent window bars, a charred stove and pot and lots of smoke, nothing was too much damaged. I certainly didn't notice that anything was wrong when I got home, and until my mom pointed it out, I didn't even notice the smoky smell that was in the air.

My dad huffed and puffed about how he's getting Alzheimer's. Yeah, he's been saying that since he was in his 40s. I think he's just plain forgetful as this has happened a few times before in the past, just never something this extreme.

Sigh. At least everything's okay.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

So trying to be the good daughter, I asked my mom where she wanted to go for mother's day. My mom suggested that we call up my grandmother and ask if she wanted to go as well. Good idea, after all, Grandma is a mom too.

Well, I left it up to my mom to figure out where to go, since she knows better than I do what my grandmother likes to eat, and more importantly, what she can eat. Grandma is 94 years old, and I think all but one of her teeth are fake. Plus her digestive system ain't what it used to be. And realistically, I haven't a clue where the good Chinese restaurants are.

I was already prepared yet again for Cantonese food. Now don't get me wrong, I wanted to appreciate my mom and my grandmother, but please, Cantonese food again? And even better, at the same restaurant that we always go to?

I always find that Chinese people, especially the older generation (although it still runs rampant with people in my generation and the generation after me), tend to choose Chinese food over other types of food. Why choose that for every single frickin' meal out? What's wrong with Italian? Or Thai? Or Russian?

Perhaps it's comforting and familiar for them. Okay, I will give them that, but why not be adventurous and try other types of food once in a while? Why does Chinese food always has to be the first choice? Argh!

You know, eating the same things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again gets pretty boring. The same type of food gets ordered every time we went out for any family dinner since I can remember, certain since the dawn of time. It's no wonder why I can't see why other people get so excited about eating Chinese food, I certainly can't muster up the enthusiasm myself. In fact, over the years, the desire to have Chinese food has mostly been beaten out of me because of the sameness of it all.

So, being the good daughter that I am (and after ranting to hubby), I sucked it up and ate Cantonese-style Chinese food. Again. At the same Chinese restaurant that we normally frequent for family meals.

At least my mom paid for it. I was all ready to pay, but she insisted, so in the end, who am I to argue?

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and moms-to-be!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Someone at work sent this to me:
Some people are like slinkies.

Not really good for anything but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.

Friday, May 04, 2007

KOOKY: Promotion

So the big news I was alluding to is that, as of May 1st (that was this past Tuesday), I'm now "Weed, Team Lead and DBA, Web Team" (DBA == Database Administrator). Yup, I got promoted.

Not a lot of details really. My boss had been wanting for many months to have a team lead for my team so he can dump stuff off of that person instead of having to deal with the entire team. So on Monday, he sat me down and asked if I wanted to be Team Lead, and after asking him a few questions, I said "Yes!"

There isn't a lot of details to tell. I know that I get to move up a pay level (that doesn't mean I get a raise in pay, very complicated to explain, that). And he mumbled something about me doing performance reviews. Yikes! I'd never done actual supervisory stuff, well not at a paying job at any rate. So I'm going to start looking around for management courses. This will be interesting. In any case, I'm certain that I will hear more of what my boss expects of me in due time. That's me for not asking questions when I should have. Oh well.

The rest of my day was pretty much a waste. We now have 7 desks (not 8 as I first thought), in our room. And once one of the guys come back, we'll have 6 people squished in our room. It will be interesting in a couple of ways: 1) I finally have another female in the group, and even though she's not a techie, I need someone I can talk to girlie stuff to once in a blue moon. 2) Our room's become a little international. There's someone from Ireland, England and Australia. My co-op's from China, but he's been here since he was 11. Then there's me and my original co-worker. While I like the people who are in my room, at least two of them are very talkative (not to say that I'm not), but it's not always conducive to getting stuff done.

Someone commented in my last post that upper management should see how they like being squished in like sardines. While I appreciate the sentiment, my own Director has to share an office with someone else. You would think that someone at her level would have her own office, but no, that's not how things work around here. And trust me when I say she didn't have a choice.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

KOOKY: Sardines

Yes, they are packing us in like sardines. In my room, we currently have 3 people (okay, 4, but one guy's away on a family emergency). Tomorrow they are adding three more desks into the room, and at least two new people will now be living with us. That's a total of six, but they plan to squeeze 8 people in all together. I've already asked if we could get portable dividers for the room, not so much for privacy, but to absorb the increase in noise in the room.

I will not get any privacy whatsoever. There will be one person facing me directly, and another person directly to my left. I really don't know how long this will last. There are a couple of rooms across the hallway that is empty 99% of the time, but apparently, someone has claim over them, even though they weren't suppose to in the first place. And because these people belong to a different unit, we can't share.

Office space is always at a premium for us at the university. Because of the intense decentralization, if something isn't your, you can't share. Yup, what's mine is mine and what isn't mine, isn't mine. Even though we both belong to the same organization. Craziness. Tomorrow should be interesting...

However, if you think my situation is bad, it's not as bad as some other people's situations. Oh the stories I can tell about that alone. Sigh.

(I also have some awesome news, but I need to wait another day before I can let the whole world know about it. Stay tuned...)