from Toronto, Canada

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New Blog on Japan Travel!
I (finally) made another blog and this entry will be my last update here. Jugem is getting harder and harder to work with so I am switching to Wordpress. It will be mostly about travelling in Japan. I moved my old contents and will be adding new stuff from my recent trip. See you there!
Happy new year!
This is not cool. I'm referring to YOU, evil influenza viruses. Last year on New Year's Day I had fallen ill with possibly the flu, and this year I became sick again right before New Year's. Next year I am getting the flu shot! On a brighter note, pharmacists in Ontario are now able to give flu shots, so possibly I'll be immunizing myself?

Anyhow. Happy new year ! How disappointing the world didn't end in 2012! I'm not one to fantasize about apocalyptic events but wouldn't it be cool if humanity had ended and millions of years later the new inhabitants of earth discover our fossilized remains and theorize plausible explanations of our extinction like we do to dinosaurs? But I guess life goes on.

I had an awesome Christmas with a lot of shopping and I quietly stayed home for new year's. Johnathan got me a Kobo Glow (which I love) and my folks got me a Tim Hortons gift card for Christmas lol. I don't really want to start documenting my new year's resolution, since my resolutions last year have been completely disregarded . In the recent future, I DO want my own space rather than living with my folks, and I want a cat, a bunny, and an aquarium with lot of fish. Those things require money so I guess my resolution should be to somehow make or save more money? I also want to read more, but knowing how much I dislike plowing through heavy reads I'm not sure if I'll stick to this one.

Gifts for my co-workers
Such nice gift-wrapping Neiman Marcus did!

Gift for Johnathan
Me want him to dress cuter

Yes, I know. I have been absent for a long time . I wonder if anyone is still reading my blog anymore? Life for me has been... well, sometimes so amazing I don't even notice myself smiling from ear to ear, other times so horrible that it makes me panic, and I am always lost in a cloud of jumbled insignificant memories whenever I try to look back.

I've been working at the same place since I graduated from school, and I really don't have much to complain about my job. I've also started taking a liberal arts course at my university for personal interest. The prof is very engaging and I've enjoyed each lecture despite the excessive amount of readings. Some of my not-so-happy moments are associated with the feeling that I want to do so much more with my life, and sometimes those things seem quite unattainable. I feel very alone in this because I think I am the only variable in the equation. Other times I am baffled by my relationship with my boyfriend. As time goes by, I am growing more and more attached and dependent on him, to the point where I don't know if I can make it without him. Probably not. Yet I have occasional doubts about whether he's the one and whether our relationship has a strong enough foundation to support us for a lifetime. It's a very baffling, conflicting feeling. Today I went to a friend's wedding and seeing the picture-perfect couple look into each other's eyes so happily only amplified my feelings of doubt in comparison. I wonder if everyone experiences such moments of uncertainty or does this signify a problematic relationship?

What I really want to say is, if you are reading this, save me. Somehow. Perhaps just a word or two can turn things around?

petty thieves & new camera & Pizza Hut

FML I had a horrible Family Day. My wallet and keys were stolen from my purse while I was on the subway . Since then, I have been fully occupied trying to minimize the financial loss and risk of identity theft. I had to cancel my credit cards and debit card, change the locks on my door, replace my driver's license and health card, and report the theft to the police. I foolishly kept my citizenship card and SIN card in my wallet, which will take many painful months to replace. In my wallet was also my most recent pay cheque, and I had to ask my boss to go through the trouble of cancelling it immediately. Along with my home keys I also lost the keys to the pharmacy I work at. Since whoever stole my wallet can identify where it is from my pay cheque, my boss decided to change the pharmacy locks to prevent theft. Changing the locks cost him $525 which I feel terrible about. I also have to call TransUnion and Equifax to prevent anyone from applying for credit cards using my SIN card (but as a result I would end up having trouble applying for new credit cards myself). For all this trouble on my part, the thief gained a whopping $50 in cash and a used up Coach wallet. What kind of low-life scum bag would steal from defenceless girls on the subway anyway Some people take the subway cause they can't afford a car and you steal from such people  I hope one day this pond scum of a person will spend time in prison and learn some basic social responsibility. Ahhh 

Based on my infuriating experience, I just want to warn everyone that Toronto is not as safe as one may believe it is to be. It is a good idea to always keep a watchful eye on your belongings. And it is unnecessary to carry your SIN card and citizenship card with you. Lastly I hope the bank is going to mail me a new credit card soon because life has become noticeably difficult without it.

On a brighter note, if anyone has noticed that the pictures in my most recent blog entries are slightly improved (I hope) , it's because I got a new camera!!

Sony Nex-5N Yay

Food pictures I took in Pizza Hut :

Pizza Hut caesar salad

Pizza with stuffed crust  Mmmm

I have been using the Canon S90 for about 2 years. It is a portable, versatile, and user-friendly camera, but I was not fully satisfied with the image quality and speed. Thus, I decided to jump on the mirrorless-camera bandwagon and get a Sony Nex-5N. However, although I am an avid photo-taker, I'm very much a newb with minimal photography skills and knowledge. I have only been able to use the auto mode so far I love the camera, but I find the white balance quite horrific in auto mode. The pictures look extremely yellow under incandescent light and I always have to fix it using Adobe Light Room. I think I've yet to figure out the proper usage of my camera . I'm glad I didn't get a DSLR which I assume would've been an even greater challenge for a newb like me .

P.S. On a completely unrelated note, according to Urban Dictionary, the term "newb" differs from "noob" in the sense that a "newb" is a beginner who wishes to become better, whereas a "noob" is the aggravating counterpart that lacks the will to learn...

Toronto's Ultimate Travel Show, Korean Food, Bailey & Tico
Hi hi  
I stopped by Toronto's Ultimate Travel Show last weekend. Vendors gathered here to promote exotic getaway destinations and eye-opening foreign cultures. I collected 2 bags full of awesome travel guides and pretty brochures  Wouldn't it be awesome if one day I can visit all those places?

Almost half of the booths were sunny beach escapes like Dominican Republic, Aruba etc,  which became slightly repetitive after a while.  

Japan booth  

pink patio chairs
How out of place do I look in my winter getup?  And OMG I hate my hair I look like a witch .

Me making a TV appearance
I got asked randomly to pretend talking to the lady about some kind of Taiwanese tea, and I bet I sucked cause the camera made me quite awkward
Toronto's Ultimate Travel Show website :

Korean Town dinner  pork bone soup

Some kind of beef and tofu soup which was delicious
Thumbs Up Korean Restaurant:

Introducing 2 new friends : his name is Bailey

How cute

This is Tico  
Markham Fair, Disney On Ice
I have some back logged pictures from Markham Fair 2011. Markham Fair is like CNE except it is smaller in scale and focuses more on farm animals / farm products. There is also an amazing display pictures from an annual photography competition

I love cute bunnies  

miniature horses

horses in some kind of weight-pulling competition

I also went to Disney On Ice before the new year's. The characters were cute but the show was definitely more for little kids than someone like me

Peas in a Pod and Mike Wazowski
T&T food court , NEW YEAR'S!!
Happy new year   
Hope everyone had a nice new year's! I had a rather relaxing one. I got plenty of time off from work and had some very hearty, delicious food (although on new year's day I had fallen ill possibly due to some kind of flu virus...but all better now). I have lots of pictures to be posted later on  

I wonder how many people actually end up keeping their new year's resolution, but I guess it's always good to have goals whether it's new year's or not. I'm extremely embarrassed by the fact that at this age I still don't know how to drive or swim (last time I tried to learn how to swim the chemical-ridden pool water caused my hair to fall out excessively so I never went again ). Serious effort is required in learning these skills this year so that I may catch up to the majority of the population, even if it means I will have to wear some kind of hair-protecting cap thingy. Also, as a pharmacist, I get asked a lot of random health / drug-related questions at work. I think it's super important to be up-to-date on medical and drug knowledge in order to provide the patients with accurate, reliable answers. Since I haven't been updating myself at all after I graduated in June, it would be nice if I can make time to read about these things regularly.

Never the less, whether these resolutions are kept or not, I think the most important thing is to be able to make goals and take action to achieve them, to strive towards something better (aka 向上心 in Japanese but geez why do I sound so corny and uncool lol). I have been very laid-back and worry-free recently, so I hope that in 2012 I can muster the motivation to work a bit harder

T&T food court yaaaay !!!
I love the congee and especially the dough stick!! It's very greasy so not to be eaten regularly but it's sooo crunchy and tasty   

Takoyaki / octopus balls at T&T food court. This is like Joyce's favourite thing ever but I don't really like the ginger in it.
Holiday Shopping at Eaton Centre & Fast Food
Merry Christmas !!  
I have not been very productive lately. I've been stuck in a phase of lassitude and excessive money- spending . Ever since I got my pharmacist license, it's as if I lost my goals and motivations in life and everyday when I'm off from work I allow myself to waste all my time and not engage in anything productive. Next year I hope to find some goals and get moving more.

I've been hanging out at the mall a lot and so here are some graphical evidence to remind myself to better control my shopping impulse.

Disney Store at Eaton's
They are going to close down for good on Dec 26. I was last there on the 24th and the store was almost cleaned out.

Salad King's green curry

Salad King's golden curry
I had no idea Salad King serves Thai food instead of salad . The curry was very good. Plus, they are within walking distance from Eaton's. I now believe in the hype 
Salad King website :

The Xmas tree at Eaton's being assembled

Ta-da! The finished product.

The Grandma Burger at A&W. Doesn't look particularly appetising in this picture but it's delicious! My favourite burger

Xmas gifts I got for my co-workers. Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams for the ladies and a tie for the guy. Hope they like it.

Glasses for Johnathan which he did not like. Stop being so fussy

Gathering with girls from high school at Crazy Wings at Yonge/ Finch. Every year our gathering becomes smaller . Yunjie and Jasmine have left us for Japan.

Wings and Yukon chips!! I thought it was pretty good, but Maggie didn't like it at all. Maybe I'm just not picky.
Go For Tea
I had a little gathering at Go For Tea with the girls from Pharmacy    Everybody's found a stable pharmacist job not far from home. Life seems significantly better as we are no longer under enormous pressure to excel in school (or sometimes just hoping to pass) and search for jobs. What a difference in our lives in just a year

Guess which is mine hehe

I've been told that the grey drink here looks gross

condensed milk toast and the grotesque grey drink  

some kind of pork dish

My beef noodle
I love noodles these days
Horseshoe Resort Adventure Park
I went to Horseshoe Resort Adventure Park in Barrie. This was the only outdoor adventure I atempted this year. In conclusion : I am no adrenaline junkie. Once per year is beyond sufficient.

Me doing mini golf  We were all newbs but it was a lot of fun

Treetop trekking

Rock climbing 

Where you climb up a tall tower and zip down on a chair... I did not attempt this due to my fear of heights  I sat in the chair on top of the tower and had a mini panic attack

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