Archive for August, 2008

One day to go… at least I got my laptop


Well, I officially have one more full day before I head off to Kingston for the next month for teacher’s college. My room looks like a tornado hit it with all the clothes strewn around! Packing can be stressful, especially if you keep on thinking that you’re going to forget something.

I got the biggest stress off of my chest on Thursday: I got myself a laptop for school, because God knows I’ll be hopeless without it. I initially wanted to invest in a MacBook Pro. But after careful consideration I thought that all that money the package would cost me was a bit too rich for my blood. The MacBook Pro is currently retailing at $2300 at the Apple Store (after my student discount), and they also have a free iPod ($419 for the Touch I wanted) + free Canon printer (about $100) promotion. Plus, I wanted to jump on the Adobe Creative Suite software promotion ($449 for Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign and Fireworks), get Apple Care ($279 for students) “just in case” and up the RAM in the computer to 4GB. So before all the mail-in-rebates I was looking at close to $4500. Did I really want to max out my credit cards and I haven’t even paid my tuition for school yet? Especially since there are rumours that there’s going to be a huge MacBook Pro update in the fall? No. So I went to Future Shop and bought a PC.

HP Pavilion DV9934CA LaptopAnd a sexy PC laptop it is. Not as sleek as the MBP, but boy is this thing shiny! I went with HP, since I’ve had positive experiences with them in the past (all three of my last computers were HPs). I got the Hewlett Packard Pavilion DV9934CA. I wanted to stay away from the 17″ laptops since they were “too big” for all the travelling back and forth I’ll be doing, but this model had the best specs for the best price ($1149).

  • 320GB hard drive
  • 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 8X DVD+/-R/RW DL with LightScribe
  • 17″ screen
  • Integrated Webcam
  • Integrated WiFi and Bluetooth
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8400M graphic video card with 256 dedicated memory
  • Lots of inputs including HDMI, SD, S-video, and 4 USBs

Not bad if I do say so myself. This is the first laptop I ever owned. So now I can look cool and head to Starbucks, sit down and publicly write on my laptop like the rest of people! It’s also the first time I’ll be using Windows Vista. At first I was kind of wary because of all the issues I’ve heard of others having with it, but it’s not too bad so far (but all those “are you sure” security authorization questions get kind of annoying after a while). It took about 2 hours so set up and create the Windows Vista recovery discs and a charge lasts about 2.5 hours. The video quality is great though… watching Flash Point on the 17″ screen looked great.

Future Shop was having a printer promotion as well, so I got a new HP printer/scanner/copier for $10 with the purchase of my laptop (anyone want to buy an older 990cxi printer? :D ) I stood my ground and stayed away from the $300 product service plan (those commission-based associates can be very pushy). Now all I need is to find a case/sleeve that fits it right (I think I’ll be creative and make my own). I just wish it would fit comfortably in the new Enyce bag I bought at Winners a couple days ago!

Let’s go to The EX!


The EX

It’s that time of year again. The Canadian National Exhibition opened last Friday, and I finally made my way down there yesterday. Great crowd (esp. because of the Canada vs. Jamaica soccer/football game at BMO Field). Of course my first stop was the Food Building, since I was starving.Wheelchair Basketball Olympic Exhibit at The EX Had a potato roti (no, I couldn’t afford the one with meat… lol), shared some fries & gravy with my friend and then we rolled out of there after we overate.

It’s a good thing the Olympic Exhibits are right outside the food building. After seeing some awesome trampoline work by some athletes, my friend and I tried wheelchair basketball which was a cool experience (check out my form :P ).

Then it was off to shop in the warehouse outlets housed in the Direct Energy Centre… got myself some nice deals at Stitches (can’t go wrong with $2.50 for a graphic T-shirt).

We missed a part of the Grand Illusion & Escape Artist show (featuring The EXKevin Ridgeway and Kristen Johnson), but we did manage to see her get submerged into a tank of water and escape from locked chains which was cool.

As the sun went down, we managed to sneak in a bit of the game by watching the giant screen just outside BMO Field (ended up in a tie game). Then it was time to call it a day.

I’ll probably be going again next week to get more Tiny Tom donuts. :D

Farewell Real World, Hello School!


I probably didn’t mention this in any of my previous posts as yet, but today marked my first day of Couchpotatoness AKA “I don’t have a job now because I’m going back to school to further my education”.

Yes, that’s right, I’ve said goodbye to a pretty decent job so that I could… *cue ominous music* TEACH HIGH SCHOOL. This wasn’t a rash, last-minute decision I made because I wanted a change of scenery and summers off. I actually had, what some would call, an epiphany while I was at my younger sister’s high school graduation last year. After seeing all the teachers make their speeches to the students, and seeing how positively the students reacted along with the bond they all seemed to share, it dawned on me: I’d make a pretty good teacher!

I’ve always had an aptitude for learning (yes, I even went to those “gifted” classes), and as I reflected on my years I noticed that through different experiences (whether it was helping my younger siblings, volunteering at summer camp, or training some of my co-workers) I’ve done a good job at sharing my knowledge with them and helping them to grow. Why not make this a profession?

Now, this isn’t a direct leap of career paths. At my now former job, I was a Web Producer (involving web & graphic design, videography and photography). My teaching stream will be Communication Technology (one of the 7 broad-based technologies in Technological Education programs) which involves the same thing. I honestly thought it was too late for me to start a teaching career in my field since I’ve been out of school for a while, but my 3 years experience at my last job actually helped my B.Ed application.

Communication Technology was my favourite course back when I was in high school (I still remember that “Sailor Moon” image I designed in Corel Draw back then). So after volunteering at my old high school for a while and sending my application in, I was pleasantly surprised when I got accepted to Queen’s University (tough loss for the other 2 I applied to). (Shout out to my former co-worker Sandeep for getting accepted to teacher’s college as well! :D ) For those of you applying for teacher’s college, don’t give up… things will work out for the best.

So, last week my boss (thanks girl!) and department got me this wonderful cupcake-cake (you know… the one that looks like a cake, but it’s actually a bunch of cupcakes smothered in icing so that you don’t have to worry about a knife and fork). It was delicious! Was all set to eat one last morsel when I came back from lunch, and to my surprise there was an empty platter on my desk! How 7 cupcakes disappeared from my desk in 30 minutes, I don’t know… not even a “thanks for the cupcakes I stole from your desk, Monique”. Never did find out who scarfed them down while I was gone… but don’t worry: karma’s on my side! :P

My Good Luck Cupcake Cake

So, now I got a couple weeks to prepare for school (I even have an assignment due on day 2, so lots of reading to be done). What really sucks now is that I’m not covered by my benefits package anymore. Looks like my wisdom teeth are going to have to wait 10 months till I get hired and covered again (heaven knows I’m not shelling out my laptop funds on my teeth)!

Hi-ho, hi-ho… It’s off to Kingston I go. Of course, I’ll keep you all updated. :)

Giant Explosion Shakes Toronto


I guess I’m glad that I slept through it, because waking up and looking outside my window to see a massive fireball illuminate the sky would have been quite the head trip. Even as I watch the different videos on YouTube documenting the blast, I’m still shocked that something like this happened so close to home.

In the wee hours of the morning, just before 4am a serious of explosions happened near Keele St. and Wilson Ave. Residents in the immediate area recall feeling the shockwaves of the multiple blasts and having the windows of their home blowing out. There are some amazing photos that display the magnitude of the blast. Check out this Flickr photo stream. Here’s a detailed video showing some of the explosion:

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As of this moment though, firefighters are close to completely extinguishing the burning tanks at the propane facility in the Keele and Wilson area, and I believe that the city is very lucky that this situation wasn’t more serious. Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in the area and blocks of the city (between the 401, Sheppard, Jane and Wilson) has been sectioned off.

Here’s the complete news story from, and I’m sure there are a lot of other media outlets carrying the news.

Update: One Toronto Firefighter has passed away battling the blaze. My condolences to his family and friends, and I commend all those firefighters who do such a dangerous job and risk their lives to save others.

Paris Hilton for President!


You wouldn’t be one to think that socialite Paris Hilton would have a political opinion, but at least she has a good sense of humour. Check out her spoof video response to the ‘celebrity’ campaign ad that presidential candidate John McCain (aka “wrinkly, white-haired dude”) aired a short while ago, in which he targets running-mate Barak Obama.

[funnyordie 64ad536a6d]

And in case you haven’t seen it already, here’s McCain’s video:

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That message is totally hot.