Tag Archives: Random

Speaking in Public Gives me Bad Dreams

26 Apr

Image from weheartit.com

I’ve always had this fear and dread of speaking in front of a group. You would think that after many years of presentations and speeches from elementary school all the way through university and college, through countless client presentations in my working girl years, the nerves wouldn’t grip me so much at any prospect of having to make a presentation.

Not so.

This morning I had to lead a session at work. It’s this thing we have on a weekly basis, where the entire company (about 30 people) gather in the boardroom while we take turns each week presenting (2 at a time) to discuss creative, thought provoking ideas that exist out in the world to help inspire us in our lives and our work. It’s kind of like our own TED Talks.

My partner and I did our research, put together a Powerpoint presentation – or rather, she did, as I fail miserably at having to do anything Microsoft-related – and even did a practice run-through yesterday morning. Still, that helped in no way to calm my nerves.

Last night, I had a horrible sleep. My night was not restful at all, waking up quite a few times to check the clock to make sure that I hadn’t overslept and also to make sure that my alarm was set. The anxiety also caused me to dream about upcoming my day, in which everything was unravelling in a way that was so wrong. First, my train was cancelled which caused me to be late for my own presentation. A few minutes into the session, I realized that I had left my notes at my desk, which was a two-minute run – which of course was a slow and excruciating one because it was a dream – away from the boardroom. Returning to the boardroom, I realized that the notes I grabbed from my desk were the wrong ones, which meant that I had to do that run back to my desk with my leaden legs. By the time I returned with the proper notes, we had run out of time, and my partner pointed out to me that I had failed to put an important portion of the presentation in the slide show.

It was one of those dreams that was so ridiculous but felt very real, complete with disapproving remarks and looks from management and colleagues.

What did I discover about myself today? It’s not that I have fear of public speaking — I don’t think that’s what my problem is. I think that I speak well in public, if I’m prepared and I’m confident in my material. And that’s just it. It’s the fear of being unprepared, or forgetting/missing something, that paralyzes me. What’s worse is being perceived by the audience as being unprepared. Even thinking about what I would do if someone asked me a question to which I didn’t know the answer gives me those bad butterflies.

In real life, our session ended up being a success this morning — we got lots of positive feedback and everyone seemed genuinely interested in what we were discussing. Nothing went wrong — in fact, my train arrived 2 minutes ahead of schedule, which allowed me to stop at a coffee shop and treat myself to a latté. I arrived nearly a half hour in advance of the meeting time, which gave me plenty of time to set up, review my notes and take a few deep breaths.

I really had nothing to worry about, but I’m suspecting that this experience still won’t make it any easier the next time it’s my turn to lead the session.


These Days, I…

18 Mar

…am so fatigued that when afternoon arrives, I can barely keep my eyes open and they start to hurt. The contributors to my fatigue are DST and the hilarious little Jelly.

…am not complaining about DST. Though we are leaving in the morning when it’s still dark, we come home and it’s still light out. Prolonged daylight equals increased happiness for me.

…am not complaining about the hilarious little Jelly either. Nearly all of our free time is devoted to the tiny furball and it’s been incredibly exciting and fun to see her personality emerge, learn new things, and grow.

The Breakfast of Champions.

…am happy that everyone has been so eager to meet Jelly. We’ve had a steady stream of visitors since she’s come into our lives. We even had a spontaneous visit from my Aunt and her husband this past weekend, who live 5 hours away in Ottawa. It was all spurred by this photo that I posted on Facebook on Saturday morning, in which Jelly is playing with her new stuffed chocolate donut toy. My Aunt called me in a panic as soon as she saw the photo to tell me that I really shouldn’t be giving chocolate to my dog because it’s poisonous to them. Once we were done laughing over her mistake, she and her husband hopped in their car and came to stay with us for the weekend.

…am slightly mortified that my life has become all about this puppy and that it seems that it’s all I can talk about. I never wanted to become that person. I’m so annoying.

…think about my blog every day and feeling horribly neglectful of it. I started writing a post almost 2 weeks ago and have not been able to get back to it since. And now, though I really shouldn’t be doing this, I’m writing this at work.

…was so tickled to have seen our friend M., (actually one of The BF’s best friends from way back in high school) perform on stage two nights ago to be part of a new reality tv singing competition. It’s kind of like NBC’s The Sing Off, only the premise is of average Canadians forming “workplace glee clubs” that battle it out onstage for the charity of their choice. We went to the taping of their episode, and I was so incredibly proud and happy to see M. as one of the lead vocalists with his workmates, singing and dancing his heart out, that I actually got all teary. (shhhhh. don’t tell anyone. how embarrassing. I hope that wasn’t caught on camera). Also, it was a complete surprise to me that I ended up to be in the same room as Vanilla Ice that night, who is one of the three judges on this show. How is it that he is still around, and dressing the same way as he was in the 90s? The show will be airing in Canada later in the spring and M. will be getting lots of solo camera time. We were sworn to secrecy and had to sign waivers and all, so I can’t say what songs they mashed up, or who ended up winning the competition.

…feel like I’m having a slightly harder time adjusting to this “new” job than I thought. The BF asked me a couple of weeks ago if I was happy and I didn’t know how to answer. I’m mostly settled, but still feel slightly uneasy. My job now involves less stress, and almost zero drama which is completely different from my previous job. I will admit that this may mean that I feel like I am not so invested in my work because I have less at stake here. It’s not a bad thing, really, but after years of having fear, stress and anxiety as my main motivators, this is completely foreign to me: To work without being on the verge of a panic attack every second of my day.

…wish that spring would hurry up and come, and then stay a while. I am tired of wearing a coat and boots, and of making sure that I have gloves with me at all times. I am tired of wearing socks. I am tired of dry, parched skin. I am tired of winter.

…have been battling huge feelings of wanderlust. Since coming back from India in January, I’ve wanted little else than to pack my bags and just go, especially hearing about others traveling to Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, the Honduras and Italy just in the last couple of months. And it feels like India is a destination for many other people this year, including my cousin who is leaving in a couple of weeks to see her friend get married there and for Kay, whose blog I just discovered — she just left a couple of days ago and will be living and volunteering in India for a year. How amazing!

…made macaroni and cheese with spinach for dinner last night and have brought it for lunch today. I can’t wait to eat it.

…will get sorted eventually. I swear.

30 Things About Me

10 Feb
Photo by PetitPlat Food Art via flickr.com

I’ve been pretty bad at keeping up with blogging since the new year started. Chalk it up to the lack of interesting things going on in my life since returning from India. Everything just kind of pales in comparison to my experiences there. That, or I have a huge lack of motivation as a result of this frigid, dismal, snowy winter we’ve been having here in Toronto.

A couple of days ago, Courtney did a 30 Things About Me post. I had so much fun reading all the random facts about her that I wanted to soak up some of the fun myself and make my own list. I think you should try doing it too because it’s a fun — and surprisingly easy — thing to do. I’d love to learn more about you all too.

1. When I was about a year old, I was rolling around in my walker while my mom had gone downstairs to do some laundry one morning. She had closed the door behind her, but I somehow managed to open it and then roll down the concrete steps, landing at the bottom on my head. I wasn’t seriously hurt, but ended up with two black eyes after returning from the Emergency Room.

2. My first car that was handed down to me by my parents was an ancient charcoal grey 1983 Chrysler LeBaron that required ten minutes to warm up in the summer and let out a huge, sputtering, farting noise every time I turned the engine off.

3. Except for several goldfish, my brothers and I were never allowed to have pets when we were growing up.

4. Shamefully, I never had a reason to have a passport in my name until I was 25 years old.

5. In my early teen years, my dream job was to be the Editor-in-Chief of BOP! Magazine. I did end up working in magazines as my first ever real job after I graduated, but in the Art Department, not Editorial.

6. When I started University, my major was English. I ended up doing an extra year so that I could graduate with Honors, and with a second major in Mass Communications.

7. From the age of 18 to 25 years old, I dated two Jons in a row, and then three Steves in a row. That’s like a full house in poker.

8. I have not had long hair since high school. I’ve tried many times to grow it out, but it never gets past my chin before I can’t stand it any longer and have to shear it again.

9. Annie was my favorite movie when I was young. I also loved the Wizard of Oz, but not as much, because of the flying monkeys. They scared me.

10. I don’t know how to use chopsticks properly. And yes, I am Chinese.

11. I was teased for my thick, big hair and my full lips when I was 13 – I had not yet grown into these features. Some boys called me Tina Turner for this. I remember, and am scarred for life.

12. I have one tattoo on my back, near my left shoulder blade, of Winnie-the-Pooh.

13. It’s probably just in my head, but when I’m a passenger in the back seat of a car, I have to sit behind the driver. Otherwise, I get car sick.

14. I sleep with a night light because I’m afraid of the dark. I traveled in India with tiny plastic flameless candles so that I would always have light with me. It was probably one of my most practical ideas ever, because I didn’t have to plug anything in and I never had to sleep in the dark.

15. Since returning from India, I have been even more fascinated with Asia. I hope to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia next.

16. I love watching the show Arthur on weekend mornings. It’s an animated children’s show about an 8-year old Aardvark and his daily adventures.

17. I believe that people should not wear pajama pants in public.

18. I bring my lunch to work every day.

19. I rarely drink anything but water. Oh, except when I’m drinking tea. Or wine.

20. In May, I had gotten into a heated disagreement with my then boss. When I told The BF about it afterwards, he also became indignant about the situation and said to me “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” That made me feel better instantly.

21. I feel incredibly guilty about this now, but when I was in grade school, I would often throw away the “dessert” that my mom packed in my lunches. It was usually something like a Wagon Wheel, a Joe Louis or a Swiss Roll cake, for none of which I ever developed a taste. I suppose my juvenile mind thought it would be better if I threw them away rather than bring them home and hurt my mom’s feelings to know that I didn’t like them.

22. I have to cover my eyes whenever I see marionettes.

23. Drinking merlot makes my feet hot. And then it makes me pass out.

24. As I type this, I’m wearing a Snuggie. My youngest brother and his girlfriend got it for me for Christmas. The year before that, they bought me a Magic Bullet.

25. I don’t like taking baths. Ewwww.

26. I keep my old cell phone on my bedside table so that I can use it as my alarm in the mornings.

27. My alarm is set for 6:03 am because it feels way better than 6:00 am.

28. I don’t like air conditioning. I prefer to sleep with the windows open in the summer, even if it is suffocatingly hot and humid.

29. My parallel parking skills are superb.

30. I can hardly get through watching a movie without crying. It doesn’t matter what genre it is. Things that get to me especially are babies being born and adult men crying. I cried while watching Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. Yup, true story.

My Autumn Review in Pictures

5 Dec

Wow. Clearly I’ve been remiss. I was just clearing out the memory card on our camera in preparation for our trip, and there are pictures in there from September. Quite a few were taken specifically for my blog as I’d planned on writing around them.

So that I can feel a slightly less negligent, here are a few photos that I’ve just downloaded from our camera, just as we are heading into winter and Holiday season.

My brother’s and his girlfriend’s Westie-Poo. I heart this little fella and wish that I had one myself.



Leesh and me at the So You Think You Can Dance live tour in Toronto.

The cranberry-apple chutney I prepared for Thanksgiving dinner. Here is the delicious goodness cooking up all nicely.



And here it is bottled up for our dinner. So tasty and perfect with roast turkey.




Pumpkins at the farm market.



A cherub-like child camoflauged amongst a pile of pumpkins.



Our Halloween jack-o-lantern — Jack Skellington.

I wish I wasn’t so horrible lately at keeping up with my blog.


Catching up with Five Random Tidbits

11 Nov

­­I’ve been really, seriously, embarrassingly behind on my blog. I thought that I had good reasons for not being able to post over the last couple of weeks, but then they just turned into really bad excuses because I have come to the realization that may actually be due to laziness rather than being crazy busy and tired all the time because I feel like I’m crazy busy.

Actually, I’m not really that crazy busy. Just crazy lazy.

My brain’s just been slightly overworked with the processing of a big slew of new information, people and things to get to know. I’m like a sponge soaking everything up. So by the end of each day, I’m at my capacity. My brain is fried and I am exhausted.

I’ve had a hard time keeping up with my life outside of work. As I settle into this slightly modified existence, I’ve been forced to acknowledge a hard fact: I don’t adapt as well as I’d like to change. My routine has been shaken and as a result, I get all jarred and disoriented. Keeping up with simple things like keeping my sink clear of dishes every night or even making sure we have a proper dinner to eat have gone to the wayside. And this blog? Forget about it. So, to remind myself and you, if you still care, that I am still alive and kicking, here are five things that have been going on in my life outside of work.

one | I had a gloriously unproductive week off between jobs. During that time, I went on an overnight trip to Buffalo, NY with The BF and his mom to do some cross-border shopping for a slight update on my work wardrobe. I also got to hang out with Steph S-CO and Ai and their little baby girls that week, do some more shopping and search for a real bow-tie (not the kind that comes pre-tied – I had very specific instructions).

two | I finally did it. After long months of fantasizing about tweeting, snapping and uploading pictures and emailing on the fly (all functions that were very noticeably lacking in my iPod Touch), I got myself an iPhone 4. Sadly, I’m now addicted. Always on the lookout for cool new apps, that freaking Hipstamatic app was the first one I downloaded. Seriously. I can’t get enough.

three | Halloween was almost two weeks ago, yes, but I wanted to share a picture of our costumes this year. Can you guess who we are?

Though we always celebrate this in a huge way for his birthday, this year we went to a costume party held annually by one of his friends.

And look at how crazy crafty we were with the leftover stuff from our costumes. Using just a pair of scissors, a pen and some scotch tape, we put the CPKs in costumes too.

four | We leave in less than a month for our jaunt in India. Our itinerary is packed and set. After landing in Delhi, we’ll be spending a few days there to acclimatize and see some of the essential sights, including the Taj Mahal in Agra. From there, we’ll be off to Pune to visit some of his family, then we’ll be flying off to Goa for 4 days. I’m pretty sure that this is going to be one of the best highlights of the trip. Take a look at where we’ll be staying!

Photos from yabyumresorts.com

I wanted to stay in a hut, he was pushing for a resort. I wanted the genuine beach experience of Goa. He’s had that genuine beach experience there, having stayed in a beach hut six years back, and he kept insisting that I would probably not be able to stomach the less than ideal conditions. In other words: shared, filthy bathrooms, holes in the ground for toilets, creepy crawly bugs and insects, dirty bedding. We were about thisclose to booking a resort hotel, but as a result of my awesomely resourceful research skills, I found the Yab Yum resort on Ashvem Beach. We’ll be staying in one of their domes, which is kind of a hut-style accommodation, but with the security and amenities of a resort. It’s got the best of both worlds.

From our tiny beach vacation, we’ll be off to Mumbai, where this wedding is taking place. It’s a three-day event, including the Mehendi celebration (bridal henna ceremony), the wedding ceremony and the reception. We’ll be ending our time in India in Mumbai, touring some sights and sounds, and of course, spending Christmas here. Bollywood style, I hope?

five | I’m going to have to do without a Christmas tree this year, since we will be away over the holidays. As much as I try to find a work-around, I know that a tree just wouldn’t survive. I had to water mine once a day last year. I loved my tree last year. It was tall and full, and filled the corner of the room by the fireplace perfectly. I hope that our annual Holiday party can do without a Holiday tree too.

Thinking. Planning. Wasting.

18 Oct

Image from vi.sualize.us


There are two things that I’m kind of beating myself up over right now.

Next week will be my free one between jobs. I’d been planning to use the upcoming week to finally paint our living room. I really wanted to accomplish something that has been sitting on that checklist in my head. I just saw that Benjamin Moore paints are on sale until the end of the month. And yet that fan deck still sits in my drawer untouched. The universe is on my side here, and yet I still haven’t brought myself to choose some paint chips.

We’re about seven weeks away from our trip to India, and aside from our plane tickets, nothing else has been booked. I have no clue about where we’re going and what we’re going to see. I’ve been overwhelmed with my lack of knowledge of our destination and the vastness of it that I haven’t been able to effectively narrow down what I need to see. What do we fit in and how do we manage to fit it all in 16 days?

I used to think of myself as a big planner, but now I’m not so sure anymore.

I want to plan because all this lack of certainty in both matters is making me completely anxious.

But I know all it involves really is me being decisive. Something that I’m not the best at being.

Or, is this all stemming from a possible compulsion in me to always be doing something so that I don’t feel like I’m just wasting time.

I mean, it is a week off from work. Can it not just be a free week from work? And our trip to India is a vacation. Is it really necessary to fill every single minute with something to do so that I can feel like our time over there is worthwhile?

How can I learn to slow down and sit still without feeling the need to constantly rush to the next destination or action?

Forgive this stream of consciousness thing that just happened.

Well clearly, I’m also lacking focus for some reason.

Getting to Know You

22 Aug

I stumbled on this a couple of weeks ago, and thought I would give it a try today.

Looks kinda fun! Play along, and link up yourself here.

1. If you could host a Reality TV show, which one would it be? The Amazing Race. I just think it’s such a fun show, and I would get a chance to travel around the world. Actually, I’d love to be co-host, because Phil Keoghan is kinda hot.

2. Do you put your seatbelt on before or after you start the car? Only f I have to reverse the car, I’ll put my seatbelt on after I start the car so that I can twist my body freely to look out the rear windshield. Otherwise, I usually put my belt on before the car starts, out of habit, even if I’m a passenger.

3. Shave or hair removal cream? Shave. It’s more efficient.

4. What’s your favorite feature in a house? Windows. I love houses with lots of big windows that let in light.

5. What is your favorite “Fall” scent? Crisp air. I know that there are tonnes of Fall lovers out there, but I think it’s my least favorite season because it comes right after Summer. I wish it was Summer all year long.

6. What tv show are you looking forward to seeing the most this Fall?? Glee

7. Personal Shopper or Personal Chef? Chef!

8. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of “Fall”? Back to school. (Three first words. Oh well.)

Enjoy your Sunday.

Fill in the Blank Friday – TV Edition!

20 Aug

It’s a very special Fill in the Blank Friday, because not only is it themed around something near and dear to my heart – television – but also because it’s by the very special Leesh! Awesome job Leesh, you put together a great one. Play along too, and link up here at Lauren’s blog – it’s fun!

1. My favorite current TV show is Glee. I have so much fun with this show. For me, it’s total ear and eye candy – hello, Puck! I’m really looking forward to the Britney Spears-themed episode, and I hear rumblings that there may even be a George Michael/Wham themed one in the works?

2. The TV character I can relate to most is ummmm. This is a tough one. I guess now it’s Pete Campbell on Mad Men, only because I can relate to his role at work – forget all the drinking, smoking, sleeping with other women thing, and the fact that he’s a man – it’s the Account thing at the agency.

3. My life is like (fill in with TV show and why)…. My life is pretty unexciting, but sometimes I feel like it’s the Big Bang Theory when I’m hanging out with The BF and his buddies. There’s exactly 4 of them that get together on a semi-regular basis and they often hang out at our house. They’re not nerds, but they do bring out the geeky side of each other and become a little juvenile, but not in an entirely bad way.

4. My all time favorite TV show is Three’s Company, Friends, Lost, Freaks ‘n Geeks, Six Feet Under, Gilmore Girls. Apparently, I’ve watched way too much TV in my life and I can’t pick just one favorite all time show.

5. A TV show that is ridiculously stupid, but I continue to watch is The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, and now Bachelor Pad. Why people would actually put themselves in situations like this to “find love” and do it so earnestly escapes me. Though every season, I get hooked because of the characters, conflicts and ridiculous situations that wind up on this show. Pure mesmerizing entertainment and good material for water cooler chat the next morning.

6. My favorite TV couple is Amanda and Marc on Ugly Betty. Not a couple in the romantic sense, but they were the bitchiest duo of BFFs ever.

7. One TV episode I could watch over and over again is that episode of Friends called “The One with the Embryos” where they have the trivia contest, the boys against the girls to see who knows more about whom. We find out various random facts about the friends in the most briliantly hilarious way EVER. Joey’s childhood imaginary friend? Maurice, a Space Cowboy. Monica’s nickname as field hockey goalie? Big Fat Goalie. Chandler’s age when he first touched a girl’s breast? 19. It’s funny every single time.

Miscellany Monday #1

16 Aug

I’m trying something new tonight: linking up to miscellany monday, thanks to Carissa.

[1] On Friday night, The BF and I went to the Hot & Spicy Food Festival, which was being held this weekend at Toronto’s Harborfront. We sampled some really tasty sauces, and then enjoyed a hot and spicy dinner in the open air at a picnic table while watching this guy, The Rhyming Chef, do some cooking demos on the stage.

[2] Yesterday we had date with some friends for brunch. The BF will be DJing their wedding in September, so we also finally got to talk about their play list and get into the nitty-gritty scheduling details for their big day. The bride got really excited when she and I started talking about boy band songs of the 80s and 90s, and as a result of that, she’s put me in charge of that very special Boy Band Play List for the reception. We will be peppering the night’s festivities with some awesome gems. Maybe something like this?

Wheeee! We settled on a few definites, though I’ll have some surprise selections in my back pocket.

[3] On the subject of weddings, I have a big confession to make: I’ve been obsessed with looking at wedding inspiration lately, for no reason other than just because…

[4] I had an appointment with my Naturopath on Saturday and got a good couple of slaps on the wrist for falling back into bad habits and eating the stuff that makes my body go into revolt. Dairy, wheat and coffee are the big ones. She’s asked me to do another detox, which I am aiming to begin right after Labour Day weekend whether I like it or not.

I’m a Crappy Friend

11 Aug
Image from: vi.sualize

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bad, lazy friend. There are some people that I see as often as I can. There are some that I don’t see often. And then there are the friends that I would like to reconnect with, but for some reason or another, just haven’t had the guts to reach out to.

There are two people from my past with whom I’ve reconnected this week and have made plans to see. I’m looking forward to seeing both, but was especially glad to hear from my friend P this afternoon. I’d like to think that he and I had a special relationship – this feeling may not be entirely mutual, but speaking with him tonight gave me some extra super-duper warm fuzzies and brought a huge flood of memories. In a different life, I had met him through some mutual friends and had instantly developed a huge crush on him. Soon after that we were hanging out a lot. Clubbing. Movies. Dinners. Late night coffees when we had nothing else to do and he would pick me up from home. Once, he took me to a wedding as his date, and a year later, he came with me to my friend’s wedding when I needed a date. I liked him a lot, in such a way that I wanted to hug him lying down. Though as my own friends got to know him better, they began to suspect that I wasn’t his type. It actually got to a point that it was laughable and we would debate. DEBATE!

Fast forward 6.5 years. Today, P told me that he and his boyfriend are going to be happily celebrating their 4th year anniversary this weekend.

My friends were right. I have a seriously malfunctioning gaydar.

A little egg on my face? Perhaps, but after all these years, it’s been wiped clean. We’ve stayed friends and occasionally text and chat on the phone, and kind of make semi-committed attempts at getting together. Why do we let so much time pass and how do we get to the point where it’s too hard to pick up the phone to chat for no reason at all? I’m reminded each time we talk that it shouldn’t be that hard at all. Life gets in the way and blah blah blah, but we all know the truth that the hardest thing to do these days is to NOT keep in touch. Email. Text. Internet. Phones that go with us wherever we go.

So really, what’s my excuse?

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