Thursday, January 8, 2009

Now that the snow is gone..Why was it so hard to get rid of the snow?

I guess this advice is not timely enough because by now the snow that may have been blocking your car has washed away..But for future reference, and in case one is ever stuck in a ditch.

Driveway Don'ts

I love this structure, so beautiful and modern amidst the beauty of nature.

I gotta bitch now. Why is the City of Vancouver so unprepared for snow. The City needs to review their response plan to snow. It will only get worse when we get more snow again. It was ridiculous. Most people I know were snowed in. Lots of people missed important things, like work, medical appointments, Christmas dinner (?)..

They couldn't go anywhere cause they couldn't drive through any side streets. People from Ontario and MANITOBA said that our city's cleanup of the snow is a joke. Sure, we don’t get as much so we may not have as much equipment, but guess what, we’ve pretty much been getting snow every year, and it’s always a major problem.

I can't begin to count the number of vehicles stuck, abandoned, in accidents, burst pipe issues, the number of people I saw walking in traffic because the sidewalks were unwalkable even around major urban areas like skytrain stations. It's ridiculous.

I believe the City's response plan is, let’s plow a couple major streets, and important areas like the west end. Then let’s just wait for rain. Forget the plows. We’ll operate them like maybe 10 of them for half a day. Let people slide and slip and get stuck, and wait two hours for a bus, only to pass them cause it's already full. Then let the buses get stuck on a miniscule hill because of the snow. “In the meantime, who cares cause I’ll be in Hawaii driving drunk and shit-faced”

And even dumber, people were getting ticketed because they had to park their cars in non-parking areas because their cars were stuck. These people should not pay their ticket. And people that got into car accidents should sue the city. We should be complaining to the City. Yeah, it costs the City money, but can you imagine how much money was paid to get our cars fixed, the wages lost, the tow fees.

Gee, I’m glad the City has such deep pockets to make improvements to ice rinks and such for the Olympics, but can’t do a little more plowing to protect it’s taxpayers.

It’s a disgrace. If it’s even half as bad when the Olympics are here, it’ll make Vancouver look like a joke.

Been noticing how weird some of my friends are...

I was at lunch today at Milestone's with my long-time friend Paul. Everything was going normal, I was enjoying my Eggs Benedict and we were basically talking about how glad we are the rain is washing away all the snow..

All of a sudden, Paul puts his fork down, wipes what appeared to be Mayo from the corner of his mouth, and it went something like this:

Paul: I was helping Jeff the other day in his garage. When he bent down to pick something up, I felt like grabbing the hammer on the counter and smashing it over his head. Do you ever get thoughts like this?

Me: umm.. (looking for the nearest exit and flashes of Jack Torrance in my head... all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy)....

Paul: Like yesterday at work, my co-worker was telling me about his new Ford truck, and I got an overwhelming urge to throw my book at him really hard in the head just to see what he'd do. Hey, don't tell Jeff what I said about the hammer, Okay?

Me: Umm, why would your co-worker buy a Ford?
Actually, I didn't question the Ford, I said: do you really think I would tell Jeff what you said? You want to smash a hammer into Jeff's skull for absolutely no reason. I can only imagine what you would do if you found out I betrayed you. By the way, I am moving to Guam tomorrow. (actually, I didn't say the part about Guam either)
Norman Bates

Yesterday I was eating out at a new restaurant. I was enjoying a very savoury soup but then I found a pig's foot in my soup.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Guide to Dine Out Vancouver

This year's Dine Out Vancouver starts January 14, 2009 and ends Feb 1, 2009.

I remember when Dine Out first started, there were some really good deals to be had. You actually got your moneys worth compared to if you were to just go to that same restaurant on a regular night and order from the menu.

Now it seems you get less food, or it simply is not worth it as the food quality and service suffer from the sheer quantity they are putting out.

I remember my experience at Joe Fortes last time. Literally they packed everyone like sardines, and they had like one person taking care of about fifteen tables. My wine glass still had lipstick on it. Not just the waxy post-wash lipstick, but FRESH lipstick. I could tell the busboy noticed it, but didn’t say anything and silently hoped I wouldn’t say anything. But come on, I don’t want some chick’s L’oreal all over my mouth too.

That experience did not encourage me to go back which I think is supposed to be one of the main points of the Dine Out from the restaurant's point of view. But I did end up going a couple months ago for a bday dinner, and the food was delicious, and the service was above par.. But I didn't go back based on my experience with Dine Out.

I remember when Lumiere and West were on there and the lineups to get in were crazy. At quick glance of the website (the website keeps going down probably cause everyone is looking at it now) I think the only thing that has the caliber of those two restaurants are DB Bistro Moderne (Formerly Feenie’s now headed by Daniel Boulud, - a Michelin chef and restauranteur also formerly sued for his questionable employment practices)

The menu for Ocean Club looks pretty good, and surprisingly, it's only $28.

I’m not sure what some restaurants are doing on there. I mean come on, Milestone’s? Hon’s Wonton house? Salt? The Old Spaghetti Factory?? Red Door? Fogg n Suds? Boathouse? Aqua Riva? I'm not knocking all of them cause a couple of them are actually pretty good. but, you can get those same prices any night of the week, or find the coupons in the Strait for the same price, or it’s simply not worth it to go. I would rather just go to Les Faux Bourgeois. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to Salt. Service is good, but the food. What a joke. I can just go to Save-on-Foods and get that same meal for free with their deli counter samples during lunch hour sans wine. Keep on walking past Salt and head over somewhere else.

I’m going to check out Trafalgar’s, Gastropod and DB Bistro Moderne. any other suggestions?

And the prices have gone up 20% from last year. Cut us a break. With the economy the way it is at least let the prices be..

My pet peeve about the DineOut is how the waitstaff push liquor sales. It's like, suggesting is fine, but stop being so damn pushy. Funny story, last year at a restaruant which name now escapes me, the person at the table next to me was pregnant, and the waiter was recommending all these wines with each course.. she finally told him she was six months pregnant. She looked visibly pregnant, and then he was like, ohhh, well, how about a virgin cocktail.

Small tip, don't just try to reserve through Open Table. I've had several experiences where the Open Table indicates it's full, but when you call, it's a different story.

Prix Fixe basically means set menu and it's pronounced Pre feex. I keep calling it prefix or grand prix.

Please be careful in the snow. So many people are walking on the roads since some sidewalks are unwalkable. People need to slow down. And the city needs to plow some more roads like in the residential areas. So many people still can't get out of their alleyways.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

I put so much thought into new year's eve, that when it finally rolled around, it ended up being very boring. I didn't want to pay $100 just to gain entry into some club or hotel for a cheap plastic cup of champagne. I think I'm just very jaded or something, but the thought of doing the countdown out loud, and running around hugging random people just wasn't my thing. Nor is partying with a bunch of 21 year olds. When I was 21, I would pay the $85 to go to some hotel wearing a slutty dress I bought from somewhere lame with really uncomfortable shoes and wonder why the 30 year olds are still going out. and think, I would never want to be like those "old peole". Now here I am in my 30s being a slave to my former 21 year old thoughts.

We ended up going out for dinner and drinks with friends, and then over to a really lame house party. It was boring. I knew as soon as we stepped into this downtown condo that it was not good. From the hallway, I heard no sounds or music, just smelled what can only be described as Bath and Body Works cucumber melon scent and Lysol disinfectant. I can tell by the shoes in the hallway it was going to be a bad party.

There was another house party we could have gone to, but it was all the way in Maple Ridge, and I wasn't about to go there. (I regret it now, cause I saw pics of this party we missed on Facebook, and it looked like a good party). So we walk in, and everyone's just watching tv, and eating the oriental party pack from M&Ms alongside of cheap liquor, you know, like the sour puss crap. About twenty minutes after we arrived, some more people arrived, and it seemed like it would get better, but the sour puss drinks got to me and I passed out.

I just watched this show on Lululemon and Westjet, and how they operate their business, treat their staff, etc. The founder of Lululemon is Chip Wilson, he's the same guy that started Westbeach, he seems like a good guy. But the CEO looks really bitchy even when she smiles.. Christine Day. She is the former CEO of Starbucks. I'm not a big fan of Starbucks. I can't believe they have the gall to charge what they do for a cup of coffee. When I read their sales were down, I was actually happy. I'm glad people realize when there is a recession, the first thing that goes should be overpriced coffee.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Abreva or Herpestat

My friend made me drive him to London Drugs today for two reasons.
1. He couldn't get out of his driveway because of the snow.
2. He has a big meeting coming up, and had to get some medication to get rid of his coldsore.

He said it's not herpes, and cold sores are what he gets when he's under stress.

So I pick him up and we head over to London Drugs and find the cold sore medication. There's two different types. Abreva and Herpestat. The Abreva is 19.99 but the Herpestat is 10.99. Clearly, the Herpestat is the better choice. But my friend doesn't want to go to the cashier to buy something called Herpestat, so he decides to fork out another $10. Who are the marketing geniuses behind the naming of Herpestat? Who would want to buy something with the name Herpes on it. That's like instead of buying "Summer's Eve" for *feminine* odor, I'll just buy some "smelly vagina stat". Couldn't they come up with a more subtle name then Herpestat? I think the extra $10 for the Abreva is to pay for the brains behind the people that came up with the name.. We buy Preparation H, not Preparation Hemerrhoid.

BTW, did you know you can use Preperation H for puffy eyes?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Boxing Day shopping in Vancouver. Coach store on Burrard

I actually went Boxing Day shopping on the 27th.. On the 26th, I was snug as a bug in my bed watching more movies.

The Coach store on Burrard (755 Burrard Street) is having like one of the best handbag sales I've ever been to in Vancouver. Tons of purses are marked down to $59. And a whole lot of them are 50% off. The sale was on Boxing day and the 27th, and apparently on the 28th and 29th as well. The salespeople said they will be REPLENISHING THE STOCK. All the goods on sale are on the right of the store. So don't even bother looking on the left part of the store.

I don't even like Coach. But my friend and I were walking down Burrard on our way to HMV and saw a big-ass lineup in front of Coach.
Coach sale
We heard about the sale the day before, but didn't know stuff would still be on sale after Boxing Day. We decided to wait. This was 2pm. At 3pm we got in. The lineup to pay inside was looped all around the store like a kids train track set. If you even strayed an inch from the line, one of the sales associates would correct your position.. It was another 1.5 hour wait. We browsed for about 30 minutes. I picked up three Coach bags, at $59 each. Which is nothing. I saw people with about 15. The limit is three per style. Some of the wallets were 50% off, some scarves were $19, shoes were $29. The regular price for my bags were $338 each. My friend bought three.
Coach Burrard location
And while you're in line, the salespeople bring out more purses from the back for your consideration, so be friendly with a salesperson when you walk in. I saw tons of people standing in line with several purses, but while they're slowly moving through the line to pay, they have second thoughts and put the purse on a nearby table, or hand it back to the salespeople, so keep an eye out for these too.

I took some pics which I will post later.

I went to a few other stores. Lululemon, Future Shop, Winner's, B2, Aldo, Aritizia, Mexx, TNA, Banana Republic. The sales were no good, in fact, they were kind of a joke. Perhaps they only had their good stuff on the 26th, which I somehow doubt.

I would recommend you check out the Coach store. Even though the stuff on clearance is last year's fashions, it really doesn't look like it. There's some really good staples, and excellent for a gifting.

One thing I need to remark is how polite all the customers were in the store to each other, I didn't experience any pushing or shoving, nor was there any grabbing. I heard the day before, there were a few catfights. I did see a few customers YELL at the sales staff. ohh, what was annoying was that the cashiers didn't remove the security tags, so every store we went into after that, we would sound the alarm as we walked in and left. We were a public nuisance.

I'm now listening to Amanda Seyfried from the Mamma Mia soundtrack. Something about her voice is very soothing.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I sometimes get depressed on Christmas

You probably know this song already, but just in case you don't, have a listen. Jeff Buckley drowned at 29. So tragic. I don't know why, but I often like listening to songs of people that have passed on. I also like to listen to Elliot Smith. I can hear the tragedy/sadness in his voice.

Sometimes I guess I wallow a bit on Christmas. Like today, I've been feeling like shit, so after coming home from the movies, I soaked in the tub with some Lush bathbombs that I got for Christmas and I cried and sobbed for no reason. Then I noticed a hair stuck on the ceiling, how the heck did that get there??? But the cry made me feel better. I love Lush products! I used to hate walking past their store cause of the strong smell, but after using a bathbomb and some of their other products, I'm hooked.

I think Christmas is such a commercialized holiday. I mean, once in a while, I get someone something they really want that makes them happy, but really, does your friend really need another hoodie or perfume?? Most of my friends have everything they need. I prefer to give to someone that actually needs it. I think we need to stop buying gifts for each other, and use that money to help those less fortunate. I wonder if I can start a, "stop buying Christmas gifts" campaign. I'm sure Future Shop and department stores nationwide would be all for it. We're only lining the pockets of some rich assholes. The weather's been so bad, and all these people are like taking the bus and going to crazy busy malls to buy some gift that the receiver will probably tire of. Buying a gift just for the sake of it. Next year I'm only gonna donate to charity, and make baked gifts (I don't bake though, so I will have to learn)

Merry Christmas and to all a good night.