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.

Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Christmas in Vancouver

I don't have much family. The family I do have, are overseas working. So I didn't have turkey dinner. I got invited over to a friend's place last night, and had dinner there, but no turkey.

Merry Christmas

Today I woke up around 11:30 with a terrible hangover. I planned to only watch movies and catch up on my tv programs this week. So yesterday and today I have watched:

Wanted - very unrealistic, spoiler alert: but why after finding out MF has been lying all this time, Angelina would blindly believe that their names came out on the weaving machine??? (I know it's supposed to be a non-realistic movie, but it's not even consistent within itself). Angelina looked friggin hot in this movie. It inspired me to change my makeup. You see her butt too. I don't know, it's kinda really small. I didn't think the butt was nice, but her tattoos, so beautiful.

Notes on a Scandal - very good. I love Cate and Judi.

Kung Fu Panda - entertaining, but I didn't need to see this.

Curious Case of Benjamin Button - I watched this today at the theatre in downtown. I can't even remember the name of the theatre, is it Scotiatheatre?? We wanted to watch the 4:30 showing but it was sold out at 3:30 so we watched the 5:30 show (forgot to go and feed the meter again, but no parking ticket - Merry Christmas to me!!) I love Brad and Cate and Tilda. I don't want to spoil it, I liked the first 65% of the movie, but didn't like the way it ended. Some movie reviewer said it was the best movie of the decade, but I beg to differ. I didn't think it was that great. It was good, I cried a few times but it wasn't like the best movie in the last decade. Oh, and what I thought was really weird was the way Mr. Button grabbed the baby out of the bassinet and the way he first was holding him after he grabbed him. Like he's carrying a bag of apples.

Since we had so much time to kill before the movie, we went to the Japadog stand in front of the Sutton Place. I had the Teri-Mayo dog, and my friend had the jalapeno cheese dog. I dont' like the Teri-mayo. I should have gotten the oroshi. A lot of people were taking pictures. They have a sign showing all these ads they were featured in, but the way it's set up, it looks like picturs from some surveillance tape. Anyways, as we were waiting for my dogs, I was close enough I could hear what the workers were saying. One of them was excited because someone left a four dollar tip. I wonder where they use the bathroom??? I'd hate to be working there if I had like the runs or something.. I don't want to be gross, but that shit happens right? (Haha, no pun intended)

At the theatre, there was this Asian chick there with her boyfriend. She was wearing a sequined purple evening dress (ended above the knee). She was in the lineup to get into the movie, and I saw her pouting to her boyfriend about something, and he went and got a chair for her to sit in in the lineup. Then she goes to the bathroom, and she takes off her jacket to go strutting all the way to the bathroom. A lot of people were snickering cause she thought she was like Paris Hilton walking the red carpet. Don't want to be mean, but she looked like an idiot. All the people around me were laughing at her, including me. It was just the attitude she had. Her boyfriend is an idiot too for getting her the chair. There were tons of old people in the lineup, they were standing like everyone else. I really wish I had a camera. But then again, she would probably think I'm like paparazzi.. Oh, and I saw some lady wearing a fur coat.. First of all, I'm like a silent animal rights activist, I wouldn't throw paint at anyone I don't think, but seriously, that's so tacky. Leave that shit at home, or donate it to a homeless person.

Afterwards, we were hungry, and there wasn't much open on Robson except for Blenz, Guu, Gyoza King, Hon's and some Korean restaurants. We tried to go to Guu but the wait was one hour unless you wanted to sit outside. No thanks. So we went to a Korean restaurant called Book Jang something. It's on 1638 Robson street. I'm not a big fan of Korean restaurants. Don't get me wrong, I love Korean food, but the service and food is usually inconsistent in Vancouver Korean restaurants. This place was no different. The service was good, but there was a hair in the food. I had a noodle dish. The noodles were really soft. I like my noodles firm. Al dente. is that too much to ask? And it wasn't even spicy. I like my Korean food spicy. OH MI GOSH. and the music. so annoying. It was like really loud pop music. They played Timbaland, Christina Aguilera, and some Korean pop. I don't mind that music, but I don't like listening to it over dinner.

Very funny story, but apparently I was so drunk last night I was dancing furiously to Christmas music. I'm just a slave to Christmas music. I don't remember any of that, but I know I woke up today with a bump on my head. Oh, and took a look at my camera, and there are definitely things happening that I don't recall.

Right now I'm listening to Tie My Hands - Lil Wayne

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why do I write this blog?

I write this “blog” as a diary. I know I don’t need to do it publically online and just do it in a word document, but something about putting it online is very thrilling to me. I don’t tell anyone I write it, but sometimes I think if I ever get framed for like a murder or something, I can use this online diary as like my alibi. And to be honest, when I get like a comment or something, it is quite exciting. I guess in some way I hope I can help someone whether it is picking a good restaurant or avoiding a bad one.

I have to sleep with the closet door closed. And I have to brush my teeth in a certain way and gargle in a certain way otherwise I can’t like sleep. So I can’t let anyone watch me brush, cause it’s probably a little bit weird. Never been a problem though since no one exactly begs to watch me brush my teeth. I'm glad I got that off my chest. It feels incredibly liberating.

The other day my co-workers were talking about some blog where some couple blogs about their dining adventures, they were remarking how this couple must have no life because they write that blog. I took this very personally. I didn't talk to my co-workers the whole day which is hard since I work in a small company of 12 and we tend to work quite closely together. I get along quite well with four of them. The others either just aren't in my age bracket (that's 29-45) or we have absolutely nothing in common. I don't hang out with any of them outside of work, but I do enjoy their company. I think people at work will say I'm a nice person, but have no idea what the heck I do outside of work except for the fact that I have a lot of pets and like to eat out a lot.

I'm listening to Keep on Pushing - The Impressions

Why do people say Vancity? Christmas gift update

I really hate when people say Vancity. Or people saying, the 604 (as in the area code) as if we’re in New York saying 212. At least 212 is cool, but saying 604 sounds so lame. And really, 0 is supposed to be pronounced “zero.” I also don’t like when people say, what’s the 411. I guess I don’t like when people use numbers to replace words. At least in Vancouver. Why do I feel like I’m the leading authority on how people should say things about Vancouver? Why does shit like this bother me. It’s ridiculous. I saw a show today about all these elephants getting killed for their tusks (ivory). I couldn’t watch it. It makes me so sad. If I watched the entire show, I would probably start some kind of crusade against people that buy ivory, or stores that sell ivory, but to be honest, around this time of year, I just don’t have that kind of energy. So I had to stop watching it for my own mental health. But really, the three minutes I saw was heartbreaking. All the dead elephant carcasses. Apparently China and the US are the top buyers for this. I am never going to get anything ivory. And if I see it in someone’s house, I’ll probably resent them and not talk to them.

Update: Costco Burnaby no longer has any Ugg boots. On Friday they had about six pairs of size fives left. They have tons of Ugg slippers for 74.99.. But please, if you want to get someone Ugg boots, do not get them the slippers instead. At that point, get the special Sex and the City DVD set with the wedding theme.

Winner's - all Christmas stuff is an additional 50% off. I got some stuff for next year. not too bad.

Book a flight through Air Canada or Tango up to December 26 (for travel up to May 2009) and get an additional 15% off with this promotional code: GF6V9EW1

Planet Earth DVD set - this is a safe bet with anyone. It's 99.99 at Costco, it can be had a lot cheaper elsewhere if you don't mind waiting till after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Beard Papa in Vancouver

YUMMY. I love them. It's a cream puff chain from Japan. Or as the Japanese call it, choux cream. The cream is very delicious, "It's like a flavor explosion in the mouth" (as the Japanese Iron Chef judge would say) it's not too dense nor is it too light. It's perfect. And I love the actual pastry part of it. It's a little crunchy, you need to eat it immediately. They are almost $2 each. Some people think it's too hyped. Well, I think they are better than any pastry you can get at a Vancouver bakery. I can't think of any bakery/pastry treat that comes close except for the Creme Brulee they had at Senses when they were still open.

There were mad lineups when they first opened, but now I never see them. In Hawaii I tried their breakfast puff, no good. The other flavors are not bad, I like the Royal Milk Tea one. I can't remember if I had that in San Fran though. I don't think they have that flavor in Vancouver yet.

I'm now listening to "Keep on Pushing" from The Impressions. It's on the Vanilla Sky soundtrack.

Costco Burnaby has Uggs. Winter tire shortage in Vancouver

Yup, they're real. They got the tags in the back and everything.
They just brought them out yesterday. They are $199 for the talls. I believe they are $160 at Nordstrom in the US, so the price isn't bad.

Winter tire shortage in Canada
Since it's mandatory in Quebec to have winter tires as of December 15, 2008 there is a shortage of winter tires. My friend just tried to buy some and was told she would have to wait three weeks, and pay $1,200 (for the shipping costs). At Costco last week it was a four hour wait to get your tires on.
funny ad

Everyone needs to slow down when it's snowing. I decided to drive over to Metrotown mall today cause I figured it wouldn't be busy, (I was right) and it was slippery as heck, and I witnessed three different incidents: a two vehicle accident, one car up on the sidewalk and one car that drove into a no-parking sign. (all in different places) I also went to the gym today (Fitness World) thinking it wouldn't be busy, and it was packed.

Let's see, what else is going on, I'm listening to "I Might be Wrong" - Radiohead. There's gonna be a sale at Bebe this Saturday morning. All tops are $29. They had this same sale a few weeks ago, and I totally banked. I got 7 tops at $29 each, and the actual value for all the tops was over $800!! I don't normally like Bebe because I always thought their stuff is for tiny people, but that's not true. You definitely need to try stuff on because some small tops fit medium-like, but some small tops are really tight. So I got a mixture of XS, S and M stuff. The tops on the website are the tops they have in the store.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Brentwood Mall

I come here once in a while if I need to pick up a gift or something, since it's a lot less intimidating then Metrotown. Over the years, it's definitely improved. It's lost some stores, but gained some decent ones. (E.g. Gap become Bryan's Bridal, American Eagle became Children's Outlet). Other than that, the stores that I'd likely go to here are Le Chateau, Kin's food mart, Aldo (crappy selection), London Drugs, La Senza, liquor store, and maybe the Naturalizer outlet cause they have some good deals. There's a postal outlet on the ground floor. There's also a Sears and a Zellers.

Generally I think this mall is pretty unfriendly in terms of sales staff. You can walk from store to store, and perhaps one out of five, you MIGHT get a somewhat genuine greeting. If you go into Bryan's, it's a totally different story, it's like used car salesman sales people. They are all over you. And anything you try on looks SOOOO NICE! Even if it is two sizes too small, and it's clearly unflattering, they'll say something like, ohh, just take off the shoes. There, there! look how nice you look now! umm, no. I would hate to work here, because you can tell it's very competitive in terms of sales. The moment I had something in my hand to try on, two women with the gaits of olympic speed walkers came rushing over to me to "start a dressing room for me"

I don't know what's better, getting totally ignored, or getting totally hounded, and told that you look so wonderful even if you come out looking like a sack of potatoes.

The food court is decent for a mall that size. It's nothing to write home about, there's a couple somewhat healthy alternatives, like the Mediterranean food stand, and maybe Roasty Jack for a turkey wrap (it rhymes). Other than that, it's got standard fare like A&W, KFC, Orange Julius.

There's a skytrain station there now. But if you plan on doing some Christmas shopping, I think you're better off going to Metrotown. There's much more variety. Or if you have a car and want to avoid the craziness of Metrotown, I would prefer to go to the Queensborough Wal-Mart and go to the shops there, like La Senza, Dynamite, Le Chateau outlet, Aldo outlet and much more.

Lululemon outlet in Burlington

I went to the Lululemon outlet in Burlington for the first time. It's about an hour south of Bellis Fair. They have other stores at this outlet. Some worth noting are the Gap, Nine West, and I'm sure some will like the Coach outlet there. For some reason I find this outlet a little sad compared to the Premium Outlets. This outlet center was recently bought by the Horizon Group. They gave it a new paint job, and although it seems a bit brighter, it does not have as many good stores as the Premium Outlets. I think it needs a few more clothing stores.

Lululemon OutletLet me tell you, even with the exchange rate, the deals were good. You need to look at the chalkboard behind the cashiers for the prices, because the price on the label is not necessarily the actual price.
A few things I saw that I thought were decent to awesome deals:
Nylon vest $19. (regularly priced $100+)
Yoga mat bag $10.
Bras $8-14. The $14 bra tops were, buy two, get one free
Dance leotards $4.
And the men's clothing is very reasonable. Lots of stuff from $10-$19.
The only problem is, the sizes, the sizes are either very small, like size 0 or 4, or very large. I think their stuff fits a bit weird. I can fit into some of their size six tops, and sometimes even size four tops, but when it comes to the tanks, I can barely get a size six top over my head. I wear a size eight for tanks.

Before you buy, do a check, a lot of the tops had foundation or lipstick on them. Some clothing were missing something, like a bra pad, or like a zipper cover. And you don't get the Lululemon eco bags here. Although that should be expected.

I don't think it's worth it to buy any pants or hoodies here. After the exchange rate, it basically works out cheaper to buy in Vancouver.

As for the other stores, the Coach and Nine West, they have what you could get at the Premium Outlets. I think the vitamin outlet next to Lululemon is pretty good too. They have some very good specials. Like I got a bottle of liquid Echinacea for $2.

Trattoria Italian Kitchen on 4th Ave

Trattoria Italian Kitchen on 4th Avenue is great. We tried to go there a few times, but it was always very busy. Despite how busy it was the times we tried to go there, I found the hostess is always super nice without any kind of attitude. And she doesn't give you the feeling that she doesn't care if you don't decide to wait.

We happened to be walking past, saw a long line, but decide to give it a shot. We were actually planning to get some fast food.. We got seated like right away.. I think the manager mistook us for some regular important customers or something cause he was all super nice and there were lots of other people still waiting. Which was kind of funny cause we were both dressed very badly. We were only planning to get fast food, but ended up walking past here, and thought we’d give it a try. I was wearing a dressy black coat, but I was wearing blue jeans that are too big and brown clogs. Oh, and a t-shirt I wear to sleep, that is too big. I looked really weird. Especially with the dressy jacket.
The guy I was with just finished at the gym, and was still wearing gym clothes. It was a little hard to enjoy our meal, cause I thought he would realize we were not the important customers, and tell us the jig was up.

Everybody else there eating is very dressed up and trendy looking. I liked the bathrooms there, I don’t remember why now, but I remember liking something in there, maybe it was the tile or something. Only thing is, it’s really far from the front of the restaurant. I don’t like walking through crowds of people like that. Especially wearing oversized blue jeans with brown clogs and a pajama shirt. I always thought Pajama is spelled “Pyjama” but my spellcheck is telling me it’s wrong. It’s also telling me I’m spelling spellcheck wrong..

The service was excellent. There was absolutely no pushiness when it came to drinks, and our waitress was very attentive. They give you a survey card to fill out in the end, and I had nothing but praise. You may be thinking we got good service because they mistook us for some important customers, but I noticed everyone aruond us was receiving just as good service.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Les Faux Bourgeois

I called several times to make reservations, but majority of the time, no one answered the phone and if they did, they were fully booked. Finally got a reservation here for four during prime time (7pm) on a Saturday! It was worth the wait.

I was a little bit disappointed by the music they were playing because it seemed a little cliché. They were playing the "Chillout in Paris" compilations.
One thing I didn’t like is that the names of all the dishes are in French. Like, “Fillet de Boeuf Grille” or “Steak Frites” I had a bit of a dilemma, if on a date, would it be pretentious to order using the French title, and risk sounding really dumb if pronouncing it incorrectly, or will it look “uneducated” to just say, “give me the duck”. Then again, if you are the kind of person that eats duck, you can probably say “Canard Confit” Anywho, I ordered the fish, cause it was the easiest thing for me to pronounce, and I knew I was saying it properly.

I find the décor a little cold, but it is pretty stylish. I think it’s the subway tile floor that makes it appear kind of cold. The waiters at Les Faux Bourgeois are francophones and service is pretty good.

The prices are very good for what it is. I was very satisfied with my meal. It was $200 for the four of us including tip and a bottle of wine and a couple of cocktails. This is much better than going to like Earl’s, or even worse, Milestone’s. This is a nice date place, but it is a little crowded in there, so it may not feel so intimate. If you’re single, this is probably a nice place to pick up women at the bar, I saw a lot of cougar types at the bar. Good looking ones.

Oh, and free bread!! Oh yes! It’s good too. And the napkins are awesome. You’ll know what I mean. Speaking of free bread, I met this couple that were on some tour through Canada, and they went to an Italian restaurant with the tour group, and they served free bread, and they thought that was all they were getting for their meal, so they kept eating it, the waiter kept refilling it, the food was running late, so when they got their meal like 30 minutes later, they were shocked, and couldn’t eat it cause they were full. Ahhh, cute tourists. Love it!

As for parking, there wasn’t anything on Kingsway, but there was plenty on Fraser street. I noticed at about nine pm, there were a few tables for two available, so even if you don’t have reservations, I think it would be worth a try to just walk-in, and perhaps sit at the bar if no table available yet.