Thursday, May 24, 2007

Today was a good day. It was *almost* a day off as I worked for only four hours!!! I meant to set my alarm for 9:00 this morning but forgot to actually turn it in - oops. I woke up at 8:45 and rolled back over expecting my alarm to blare shortly. It didn't. And suddenly it was 10:15 and I woke up, gasp, actually refreshed! I had planned to do great things today, but didn't get them all done. My quests to clean both my bedroom and the bathroom were left un-fulfilled, but I did buy groceries. Working at the Delta has quite changed my shopping habits all round, food and otherwise. Keeping ridiculously busy prevents one from spending, well, almost any money. Keeping busy at the Delta means free food, especially when one works in the diningroom and/or kitchen.

Early this afternoon I walked through the new food court at the Confederation Court Mall. It's nicer than it was before... but it still looks kind of ugly. But obviously they couldn't tear down the ugly brick walls - the ceilings probably would have fell in or something. I didn't get anything, but I'm sure it's a nice alternative to those that purchase their lunches and work downtown. It's kind of interesting to think why Chef Gordon Bailey accepted the challenge or re-doing the food court after receiving rave reviews for his work out at high-class Dayboat. Quite a change going from $30 pieces of salmon to $6.00 sandwiches. Nothing wrong with his choice, just a bit curious to why he made it.

I did something I am actually quite proud of tonight: I made salad dressing! A "citrus vinaigrette" to be more precise. I took the receipe from Bahama Breeze's website. I was inspired by my bundle of romaine lettuce purchased last week that, somehow, was still good tonight. I ripped off a couple of odd looking, half-eatened leaves but the rest was fine. I recalled one of the best salads I ever had: Grilled salmon tostada salad from Bahama Breeze. It was, shock, grilled salmon on a salad (that had warm corn on it, mmm,) that was served on top of two small tortilla shells that had been baked with a sprinkle of cheese. I always got the dressing on the side (some chefs put a disgusting amount of dressing on salads) and it was also served with salsa and chimichurri sauce on the side. It was sooo good. Long story short, tonight I made the citrus vinaigrette they use. It's not the exact same as the recipe on the website as I forgot to buy one item (creole seasoning, which I don't even know if they would sell at Sobey's as it's a blend of other seasonings so I just made my own) and couldn't find one. I also put the ingrediants to make Apple Mango Salsa which sounds good. Unfortunately the OJ I bought tastes like McDonald's "orange drink". The stuff that was served at every single elementary school function at West Kent. It is orange juice, but it's reduced sugar and is partially sweetened with splenda instead. I used to drink reduced-calorie OJ in Florida and something similar in Edinburgh, but those both tasted the same as regular OJ. This stuff does not and will be used for recipes only. And possibly the odd splash or two in an unique martini.

(Completely unrelated: but it's really hard to say "an unique". "A unique" sounds better, but clearly breaks the rule for putting "an" before words that starts with vowels or 'h'. Can anyone help me out here or am I just a moron?)

Although not super hungry due to eating at work this evening (such a cost saver) I had to chop up some lettuce and try my first attempt at salad dressing. Munch munch... Success!! It was quite good and has a strong tangy and slightly spicey after taste.

I left my car downtown overnight on Tuesday and was smart enough to park in a two-hour parking spot. No ticket! I let my bike downtown last night and it was still there today so I was excited. No stolen bike! Life is good.

Our schedules at the Delta run from Thursday to Wednesday. I told them almost two weeks ago that I would not longer be able to work days during the weekdays and could work only two shifts a week. The schedule it would first apply to was the schedule starting today. I was originally scheduled for three shifts (almost two... close enough for the time being) but when I arrived today I looked at the schedule again and I had magically gained two shifts. I told my supervisor I would be unable to work them, which was fine with her. So that was good. I felt a bit guilty about being unable to pick them up, (and if I really wanted to I probably could have,) but I did have prior commitments and think I deserve a free evening every now and then.

Hannah just complimented me on my salad dressing. She has good taste.

I had only two tables this evening and still managed to make about $55.00 (I was especially charming and humourous this evening). If that had been breakfast, I would have made about $3.00 having only two tables. Plus I didn't have to wake up at 5:40 this morning. Probably the best reason in the entire world to work evenings rather than brekkie.

I'm still so proud of my salad dressing. Perhaps I just had a lack of things to be proud of lately? ;) Definitely true in the culinary world. I think the last thing I made that I adored was a scallop stir-fry in a mango sauce I bought from the grocery store. Considering how infrequently I have cooked in the past couple of weeks, that scallop thing was ages ago.

Today I learned that there is a big beer festival in Montreal next weekend. Guess I'm a bit late to make plans to attend. However, Toronto has a beer festival the second weekend in August. Basically I'm looking for a reason to go somewhere. Last year on the Thursday night before Memorial Day weekend I was packing to leave for Puerto Rico the following morning. The year prior I was in... either France or Belgium. The year before that we were settling into Edinburgh and exploring the city.

This year I am spending Memorial Day weekend (somewhat irrelevant since we are not in the States) working at the Delta. Hmm. Oh! And starting my new job on Monday :) :) :) :) :)

Today I went through a bun... Ooh! I just looked up a flight on Air Canada and am quite impressed with its new "Preview Seat Availability" feature! But yes, today I went through a bunch of old files on my laptop, deleting the unnecessary ones. I found some old blogs I had written in Florida when I wasn't connected to the Internet. I was so excited about being in Florida, so happy to be there. I am not going to say that I wish I was still there... But I still miss it lots. However, I like, say, not eating out 400+ times per week, not sharing my room, not waking up and walking into the livingroom to discover half-clothed Italians passed out on the floor, not having security follow you around as you go to parties, etc. I do miss the weather, the people, the nice tables at Le Cellier, meeting people from all over the world, having world-class attractions at my finger tips, the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon, going for one-dollar pints at Planet Hollywood after a busy night at work, staying at amazing hotels for a fraction of the cost, getting cheap flights, living in flipflops, having the outlet mall across the street, watching fireworks, etc. I don't really miss the job so much... I liked Le Cellier better than I like the Selkirk, but that's pretty much a given. But there are things at the Selkirk that I like faaaar better than Le Cellier! Examples: space, space, space, space, space, being able to eat at work without the risk of being deported, being able to drink the juice, being home mere minutes after my shift ends rather than waiting for the C bus, the people tend to be a bit more mature (duh, the are mostly older), the kitchen staff isn't nearly as stressed and don't make you feel like an idiot if you make a mistake, no DDP (hee hee.... although than no 18% auto grat, hmm,), no free ice tea or soda refills, no 6-minute, bus-reset rule, no one-minute greeting rule, no five-minute drink rule, etc.

Well, off to bed I go. Hard to believe just fourteen mere hours ago I was pulling myself out of bed this morning and now I get to go sleep again! Wow, exciting! I'm like me-and-Shan-in-Spanish-cady-store excited ;) (Excuse the grammar.)

La fin.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I love the sun. It's been nice here all week and I love it to bits and pieces. I feel like I've been waiting forever for the return of my beloved sunshine. It wasn't a terrible winter, weather wise, but it just wasn't my winter. Other than my great living situation, it was a bit rough factoring in the adios-Florida thing and the vanishing job act. Now the sun is out and I want to hug it I'm so happy. Unfortunately it's kind of dispearing for the weekend and we're dropping back down to single digits, but it'll be back, and I won't have to wait six months this time.

Today I put in my two-weeks notice at JA, which makes me kind of sad =( It was a fun place to work and the people are fantastic and work so hard to deliver programs to Island students. However, the job was only part-time, and, drumroll, I had accepted a full-time position!!! I'm quite surprised by me. I'm still a little nervous about commiting to time on PEI as I was thinking about hopping off after the summer, but it looks like I'll be around for awhile. I think. Hmm. I won't write anything about my future at the Delta as I haven't discussed it with them yet. Things are so much better now than when I first started. I think my first weeks I literally shed tears at night before my 6:30am shifts because I wanted so badly not to go to work there. I wanted my Le Cellier and would have chopped off my left arm to have it back. Although then I thought about doing the bread speil at least 10 times a night and I was oddly relieved at not being there =P Anyway, I'm quite excited about my new job. It'll be on campus, which is the second of my preferred PEI work locations, with the first being downtown.

Complete change of topic, but today I drove to work and felt guilty. I drove to JA this morning because I wanted to go to the gym after work. I went to the gym, followed by the bank and then went home. At about 4:00 I drove to the Delta to work my first evening shift (which went, in my own opinion, quite well although it was slow). In my own defense, by the time I finish at the Delta the sun is gone and I would rather not risk walking/biking home as sometimes the dinner server doesn't finish until midnight. But yes, I do think more people in Ch'town should be walking or driving to work. Or at least use the bus! The winter is a bit different, but with this nice weather now I should not be the only person biking to work. Seriously, I see very few bikes downtown. It takes me seven minutes or so to bike to the Delta. Mind you it's mostly downhill so it takes me longer to get home, but still. I know there are arguments and exceptions that makes it somewhat justifiable to drive (me today) but I think overall cars are overused.

Well, time for bed.
My alarm is going to go off soon. However, I have been up for quite awhile because the crack-head neighbours have taken to early mornings, rather than the previous late-night habits of the winter. So the past few mornings I have been awoken far earlier than I had planned. It's really not a good thing. The main problem is this old truck they have. The keep slamming the bloody doors and starting the engine, which sounds something like a dinosour purring, if dinosours had such talents back in the day. Point is, a very loud, deep growling noise. Oh, my nerves. Then the truck gets turned off, the doors are slammed some more, and heavy-sounding boxes are tossed into the back, then we start the engine encore!! What a fantastic morning!!! YAY!!! I like sleeping with my window open, so cleary that may have to end. At my parents' home I never slept with my window open because I was convinced a robber would crawl through my window. My window in Ottawa didn't open, I don't think, as I had a basement bedroom. My window in Scotland did open, but Scottish windows don't have screens so I tried not to leave it open *too* much. Ha ha, in Florida we weren't allowed to leaves our windows open. Seriously. Probably because of the random, almost-daily rainstorms that occure during certain parts of the year. Those Price Management security guards were a funny breed. "Sir, I have had stuff stolen from my apartment!" "We won't help you because we walked by your building yesterday and your window was open, although you were home. Bad. bad BAAAAD!"