31 March 2006

class of 2006

[from L-R] rehan. glenn. daniel. michal. cecilia. sudhir. owen. teresa. debbie. mark g. uwe. sheila.
claus. iris. ryann. sam. gautam. mathew. peter. paolo. michael. simon. cheng. gm.

It all went by in a blur....

:: monday :: karaoke night at Take One Karaoke. funny how they asked for Iris's ID and I was like "whaaaaat?!? but she's waaaay older than me!" + the pig-out midnight snack: 50-piece chicken wings at Hooters on Adelaide St. :: tuesday :: steaks at The Keg at Sheppard Centre + belly dancing at Sultan's Tent :: wednesday :: gautam's chicken-filled dinner at the Biryani House on Wellesley (did they even serve anything without chicken?) + almost drowned in toilet paper while watching the Blue Man Group at the Panasonic Theater. The show was rather disappointing, though. Paolo, the Incredible Sleeper, slept right through it. Hahaha. + after-theater drinks with the EMEA folks :: thursday :: go-kart-all-you-can at the 401 Mini-Indy -- my goal was to beat Glenn and Mark T. (yes, I have lofty dreams :P ) + debbie almost dislocated her thumb, though :( + another pig-out dinner at the Mandarin in Mississauga -- I will always remember Peter as that guy who ate a whole plateful of Jello topped with blue bubblegum ice cream. Haha. :: friday :: 60 laps of go-karting hurts like hell! + the boys watched a Raptors while Iris and I went for a swim at the Harrison Pool + Dufflet cakes at the Queen Mother Cafe.

Someone spent the whole week at Brass Rails, though. ;)

28 March 2006


I went into
a spasm of panic
when I realized
that one day soon,
I will have to
leave all this

Perhaps forever.

I hate goodbyes.

27 March 2006

u.n. moment

Newcastle. Mexico. Manila. Cincinnati. Bratislava. Toronto. Boston. Schwalbach. Costa Rica. Geneva.

No, I'm not naming random places here. This is the participant list for our global face-to-face meeting, which is being held here in Toronto. I know sometimes I say my job is boring and all -- but times like these, I'm reminded how amazing it is to get the opportunity to work with all these folks. It's exciting to finally put faces to all the voices I've been speaking to over the phone for the past 2++ years.

Speaking of voices, we went karaoke-ing during the first night of the meeting. Hell, I have never seen someone* who sang so horribly enjoy singing so much! Hahaha.

And just to show you how very UN we are, I've done the honors of identifying each person's origin in my pics below. :)

*Name withheld because he is our customer, and the customer is king. Haha.

25 March 2006

subway stories

Friday night, I found myself taking the subway to the end of the Bloor line and being whisked off to Missisauga for Ari's birthday-party-turned-slumber-party. ;) It was a bit weird having to explain to everyone how I knew Ari -- we go waaaaaaay back, when I was a five year old with a Shirley Temple hairdo who lived a few apartments down from him. I must say, I have never partied with so many nurses in my life! Hahaha. I met a ton of fabulous people -- thank you all for making me feel so welcome!

The next morning, I bumped into Matt, an animator who whiled away travel time by sketching people on the subway. He was seriously amazing -- he drew the guy sitting across from us in the time it took for the subway to go from the St. George station to Osgoode (roughly five minutes). Too bad I didn't get a drawing of myself. Haha. He was going to draw me but I was suddenly hit by a fit of shyness, so he drew this guy instead.

Coolness. I've now got my very own subway souvenir. ;)

19 March 2006

happy st. paddy's!

"Happy St. Paddeeeeeeees!!!!", the girl right next to me screamed.

In front of us, a car honked loudly in response, the driver waving cheerfully to us.

St. Patrick's Day today, and everyone is out on the street watching the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. This being my first time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, I didn't realize how big a celebration it was. The street is filled with people in green, complete with green antlers, leprechaun hats, and even shamrocks stuck on their cheeks. (Of course, I had to wear my green sweater and green shoes! Ehe. :P)

The atmosphere was infectious! Before long, I found myself waving back to the people in the parade, laughing at the dancing beer glass beside me, and shouting "Happy St. Paddy's!" to everyone who passed by. I tell you, I haven't had this much fun in a parade since I was a kid.

Happy St. Paddeeeeeeeeees!!!

18 March 2006


One of the things I look forward to on weekends is heading over to Kensington Market to buy ingredients for my next attempts at cooking. There is something about this marketplace that completely fascinates me. On one end, old Victorian-style houses converted into shops sell racks of vintage clothing and other eclectic pieces. Nearer to Baldwin Street, the houses give way to small shops peddling foodstuff from all over the world -- bakeries, fruit and vegetable stands, creameries, cheese, spice, fish and meat markets, and all other tasty fixings you can think of.

You know how chefs on TV shows always say something like "Oh, I spotted some of these splendid at the market the other day, and I thought I'd make something to bring out their delicate flavour"? Well, walking through this market always make me feel like that-- everything looks so good that I go into an ingredient-buying frenzy, never mind if I don't actually know what to do with them. Today, for example, I bought some loaves of Lebanese-style pita bread, rice cakes, walnut brownies and Portuguese rice pudding from the My Market Bakery, and some splendid Spanish cheese (I think it was Coulommier) from Mendel's Creamery. Then, I topped the day off with a wiener schnitzel (a giant pork cutlet that was about 3/4 of my plate!) from the Hungary Thai Bar & Eatery.

Still in heaven right now eating that cheese -- tomorrow, I have to figure out what to do with all that pita bread. ;)

*Kensington Market is located on Kensington and Baldwin streets, just west of Spadina.

11 March 2006

a real saturday night out

i always thought my time would come.
little did i know, my time had passed.
- "I Decide" by Stuart Knight

The truth is, television, movies, and theatre today have become too commercialized. Producers rely on grand sets, elaborate productions, and a deluge of drama to attract audiences. Take, for example, the influx of reality shows that tackle people's insecurities and cosmetic surgery. Sure, shows like The Swan and Extreme Makeover are entertaining at times, but it disturbs me to think that these people feel the need to change everything about themselves in order to gain a sense of self-worth.

But I digress.

What I really wanted to write about is a little show called I Decide. In the midst of all the commercialism that surrounds theatre nowadays, there are still some gems that rely on nothing but raw talent and a brilliant script. I Decide is one such show.

The play runs every Saturday night at a loft on Queen Street West. The "theater" is simply a room with a makeshift stage and some folding chairs lined in front of it. It almost felt like one of those small-time school productions I watched back in college -- but I suppose that was what made this show more special. The venue is intimate, like you're sitting there listening to a friend tell you his story.

The play revolves around a man who is trying to find out who he is, by first discovering what he's not. Ah, life -- more drama, right? Quite the opposite. Stuart Knight, who wrote the show, was able to deliver his story in a light and immensely entertaining manner. He takes bits and pieces of everyday life, done through spoken word, song, multimedia, beatbox, and a little bit of audience participation. It's funny, it's unique, it's hilarious -- but, it hits you where it counts.

It's just like life, I suppose. Life, despite its many facets, should never be all about the drama -- it should be about living in the moment and basking in all those things that bring sunshine to your life. It's enjoying that stroll in the winter wind as the sun shines its rays gently on you. It's having that late-night conversation with a friend and emerging knowing that person a little bit more. It's finding solace in yourself in your darkest moments. It's squeezing every bit of juice out of life, no matter how humorous, poignant, or painful it may get.

Life is what you make it.

You decide.

07 March 2006

goodbye kevin & mark!

We bid a proper goodbye to Kevin & Mark T. today with dinner, bellinis (or alchoholic fuzzy peaches according to Mark), and speeches at Milestone's. (Yes, everyone gave a speech! Puro mga bibo tao dito! Kulang na lang si Elbert at Eugene! :P)

It feels weird to see these guys leaving. It seems only yesterday when I was learning the ropes of Supplier Portal (my team at work)... and now there are only three people left from the original team I worked with. And I'm one of the "old" ones now.

Time really does fly by, doesn't it?

Off-topic: Because everyone is doing it... fill out my Johari window! I wanna know what you think.

05 March 2006

market sundays

My first meal at the Richtree Market Restaurants (previously the Le Marche Movenpick) was almost three years ago, during my first trip to Toronto. The restaurant has the vibrant, colorful atmosphere of a Mediterranean market -- from the fancy interiors to the endless choices of food, the aroma of fresh ingredients cooking, and the cheerful chatter of people enjoying the place. Drinking water bubbles from a fountain, just like those you see in old movies (although you'd have second thoughts if you want to drink it. May lumot pa yung fountain. Hehe.) Even the washrooms are fancy -- antique sinks, each with different, old-fashioned faucets, line one wall, while gilded mirrors line the other.

So, three years ago, Carla and I went trigger happy and started shooting tons of pictures.

And today, I still couldn't help it. :)

04 March 2006

going down

After living for two weeks in our ritzy North York apartment, walking to work in the freezing cold, and hearing everyone ask why we're not staying downtown where all the young people are, we gave in.

We moved downtown.

Our new apartment is not as fancy as our old one. To be honest, it doesn't even compare --it's older, has no view (it's on the fifth floor and all I can see are the offices next door -- I have to keep my blinds closed most of the time so my neighbors don't see my heart and soul ;) ), and has no amenities except for a tiny gym with old, run down equipment (not enticing to work out at all, especially since people passing by on the street will see you in all your sweaty glory). But it's bigger.

And it's downtown.

So we gave up all the luxury to live downtown, where all the action is. I hope the trade-off is worth it. Haha. Now everyone is asking why we gave up all that for a downtown location. Oh well.

I miss the view, though. :(

02 March 2006

the space between

It's one of those days when it seems that nothing, no matter how hard you try, ever goes your way.

Tonight, the moon is a sliver in the night sky, hanging over the city lights in the distance. I stand here by the window, watching the stillness of the night. Standing there, alone, I realize how insignificant I am, a speck of dust in the universe. How the world is so large, and I, alone, am an infinitesimal being.

Sometimes, I gaze at the heavens and ask what I could have possibly done so wrong for things to turn out like this. I put on a mask and pretend that all is good and well; that I hold the world in my hands. I will look you in the eye, nod, smile, and say "Yes, I am doing great" and almost believe myself.

But tonight I am alone, and there is no need to pretend. It scares me that maybe it will always be like this.

I will forever be broken.