That Stupid Song

First off… I hate that new song by Jason Derulo, “Don’t Wanna Go Home”. But why, you might ask? Party beat, vapid lyrics, and mildly catchy tune = instant pop hit. But yep, I hate it, mostly because it samples from Robyn S’s “Show Me Love”, a classic from 1993 which I remember well as the background music to our aerobics class at Paerdagat Day Camp. Ahh, Paerdagat Camp!



Another reason why I hate the Jason Derulo song – stupid and vaguely offensive lyrics like:

“And this girl in my lap, passing out, she’s a blonde”

And then also… he’s taking lyrics from the BANANA BOAT SONG?! Can you GET any less original?! Augh. I just can’t stand some songs on the radio! But they keep playing over and over again….

Anyway that concludes the bashing.

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…hot summer…

Omo. I’m actually glad that I’m working this weekend. At least there’s free AC in the pharmacy! And seriously… I thought we were up central new york to avoid this crazy kind of heat! Well… must wait it out.

Thought this seemed fitting. More f(x)! Not my favorite but it is definitely a HOT HOT SUMMER.

f(x) – Hot Summer


Honestly I think the song is kinda silly when I read the lyrics. What the heck does it mean about the foreigners and wearing long black outfits?!

DIY: Floral Head Wreaths

So Dong and I went to the Sterling Renaissance Festival on Saturday and while we were there I was instantly charmed by the headpieces they were selling:

They had all types, from dainty and cute to ornate and ostentatious. The prices were from $20 up… and being with my frugal hubby, I went away empty handed. Sigh. But of course, that didn’t mean I couldn’t take pictures with them… sooooooo….

Although I came home empty handed, my heart was full of passion – to make my own floral wreaths! Muhahaha! So after perusing some other diy’s online and gathering the basics at Michael’s, I was ready to start on my journey of head-wreathery.
Materials:
  • 18 gauge floral wire
  • floral tape (i got waterproof kind… but I think the normal kind is better)
  • fabric flowers
  • assorted greenery
  • assorted ribbons
  • gold and gold glitter acrylic paint (optional)
Directions:
1. Shape the floral wire into a “headband” shape, like a U. I also twisted the ends into loops, which I planned to put ribbons into. I also felt like the one wire by itself was slightly flimsy so I took another wire and wrapped it around my original wire to make it more sturdy.
2. Add silk flowers to your liking, securing them to the wire with floral tape. I didn’t want it to be overwhelming so I only put a few bunches on.
3. Add greenery, securing with floral tape. I tried to make it look as “natural” as plastic greenery and fabric flowers can be, hehe.
4. At this point, you could be very well finished with the headband and then you can just add ribbon streamers to the loops at either end, and call it a day! However, one of my favorites at the fair was a glittery gold wreath with little rosebuds… so I wanted to imitate that with gold and glitter paint. I’ll tell you now though, it’s annoying to paint those leaves!!!

UPDATE: I found that it’s a lot easier to paint the sprigs of greenery first with gold and glitter, let them dry, and then assemble as above.  Give it a day to fully dry so you don’t end up smearing paint all over!

5. Add ribbons in complementing colors to the loops. For each loop, I had an extra long ribbon that would be used for tying, while the others were decorative streamers.
head wreath GLAMOUR SHOT
And then that’s it! Wear and enjoy. They’re not exactly like the fair ones but I think they turned out okay. I also experimented and made a smaller coronet version:
Can’t wait to share them with my ladies and see how they look~!

f(x) – 아이 (Love) – Romanization and English Translation

I’m not a huge fan of f(x) but I was listening to their latest mini-album but one of their songs caught my ear:

f(x) – 아이 (Love)

So I had to get the romanized lyrics (B o o Y i . r A g A m U f F i N ™) and English translation. None of it done by me, but compiled through the wily ways of the internet.

I can’t say that the lyrics are particularly sparkling or thought inducing but everything just sounds better when you don’t understand it~!! One of my favorite parts is Amber’s rap near the end.

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Ottawa Adventure!

In a lovely stroke of timing, Dong and I had the weekend of July 4th off… and that means 3-day weekend baby! It would have been great if we could’ve had that Friday off as well, but I’m not going to quibble. Three still > two. And that’s plenty of time for us to go on a little Canadian adventure to Ottawa, the capital city of all Canada. That’s right… the whole country. It’s the Canadian Washington D.C.!
Okay true… when you think of Canada, Ottawa doesn’t exactly pop into your mind. In my mind, the order goes something like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec City…. etc. So I suppose you could say I went into the trip with pretty low expectations. But it really surprised me with how pleasant and scenic it was.

Otttawa is pretty close to Syracuse, less than 4 hours. Honestly, all that driving doesn’t even faze me anymore after all the driving one has to do for work. It’s just amazing that you can be in another country in such a short period of time! So after a fairly short 3.5 hour drive (where we almost forgot to bring our passports!!) we found ourselves in downtown Ottawa, navigating the underground basement of the Marriott Ottawa, where we would be staying. The hotel is pretty standard, although when we came it was pretty busy since everyone was checking in. Honestly it was a little hectic… and they didn’t have our room ready even after the guaranteed check-in time at 3:00…. so we ended up leaving our bags with the bellhop and going out to scrounge for food.

Unfortunately we came at that nebulous time between lunch and dinner, when restaurants have finished up lunch and have closed to gear up for dinner. Ahh! We ended up at an Eggspectations, which is apparently a chain restaurant in Canada that serves breakfast food all day. Kind of like a classier diner.
what is that thing peeking out?
the eggspectation
The food was pretty good, although I think at that point we would have been happy with anything! There were also a few Halal places that Dong really wanted to try… which were closed. HA! The huge spinning wheels of meat rejected us.
When we came back, our room was finally ready so we dropped off our bags, checked out the view (17th floor so Dong was very scared of the full-length windows) and then we were on our way! First stop was to get onto Wellington Drive, which contains many of the government buildings of Ottawa.
rental bicycles offered by the city
All over the city are these bicycle rental stations, where you can get a bike for $5/day or $12/3 days. We really should have done this but I was kind of scared to ride the bike on the streets. Plus there weren’t any helmets to rent… But really, Ottawa seems like a pretty good city to bike in. We saw plenty of people biking, the streets were well-paved and also pretty empty (might have been because it was the weekend), and we constantly gazed wistfully at bikers gliding by us while we slogged on by foot.
The Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada
the peace tower of parliament
view from Parliament Hill of the Ottawa River
On Wellington Drive, you can pass by the Supreme Court of Canada and Parliament Hill, which is composed of the Left Block, the Center Block (with the Peace Tower) and the Right Block. We had come the day after Canada Day so they had a huge stage still set up in front of the center block, which didn’t allow for good wide shots. Still it was a great walk the buildings are just so impressive!
The Fairmount Chateau Laurier
back view of the Fairmount Chateau Laurier from the Rideau Canal
Farther down the block is the Fairmount Chateau Laurier, one of the most famous hotels in Ottawa. It seriously looks like a castle! It has a great location right next to Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal, the famous canal which winds through the city. The Rideau Canal is used for water sports like kayaking and boating in the summer and in the winter freezes over into a long skating rink. So cool!
We walked over to the Byward Market, which is a busy downtown touristy area full of restaurants and shops. In the morning there are farmers markets with veggies and flowers, but by the time we came it was dinnertime and the streets were crowded with people seeking food. Our first night we ate at Play Food & Wine, a restaurant that I looked up on Yelp. Since we didn’t have a reservation we were seated at the kitchen bar, where we basically got to watch the chefs in their crazily efficient dance of food preparation. The restaurant basically does small dishes and pairs them with wines, but being teetotalers we basically focused on the food aspect. It was still… pretty damn good.
interior of Play
grilled asparagus with goat ricotta, prosciutto and almond granola
squid soup. what more to say?
bok choy with sesame and sriracha
pork belly with fruit curry with black eyed peas, cashews and cilantro
strawberry trifle dessert with maple, angel food cake and walnuts
the kitchen crew in action

 

It was delicious! Although they might have thought us strange for not doing the wine pairings. Anyway it was cool to watch them in action, and you knew that your food was totally fresh since they were preparing it right in front of you. Just awesome.
very popular pastry stand BeaverTails. Too many jokes here. The beavertail is the pastry of Ottawa apparently.
Busy area of Byward Market

After our meal we wandered the market a bit more, and finally made our way back to the hotel. It was seriously a lot of walking, and for two people who are used to driving to work and then maybe standing/sitting for 12.5 hours, that is a recipe for a good night’s sleep!

The next morning we got our food at The Scone Witch, specializing in obviously recipes with scones. A little pricey but it was intimate and cute, and the food was pretty filling. Scones! Just the word itself is great.
inside the scone witch
can you spot the scone witch?!
my blt sconewitch, with salad
dong’s creamy scrambled eggs combo. scrambled eggs were great!

And then off we go! We managed to catch the tail end of the changing of the guard (isn’t that the crux of it anyway?) and then we headed through Byward Market in the daytime to catch the farmer’s market in action. Close by Byward Market is the Basilica Notre Dame and the National Gallery of Canada, a huge art museum.

changing of the guard
statue of Laurier next to the right block of parliament
veggies at farmer market
Basilica Notre Dame
The National Gallery of Canada. scary spider outside is “le maman” = the mother

I really wanted to go inside the Basilica Notre Dame but seeing as it was Sunday at around 10:30 AM, there was a service going on and it’s just not right to snap pictures when people are praying. So we headed farther down to the Royal Canadian Mint, where we would end up dropping some serious gwap. That’s right… gwap.

We went on a tour of the mint, which now does commemorative coins rather than circulation coins, and learned about the coin making process. It’s pretty interesting, to see how chunks of silver/gold get turned into pretty shiny coins. And the design making process is pretty cool too. They also did the medals for the recent 2010 Vancouver Olympics! Nice. We weren’t allowed to take pictures during the tour, unfortunately. At the boutique store, we just had to spend money on coins… Dong sees them as a good investment for the future and I think they look nice.

the Royal Canadian Mint
A freaking solid bar of GOLD! and it is HEAVY. and there is a guard nearby and a chain attached to it so don’t try anything!!!

By the time we left the lovely air-conditioned goodness of the Mint and came back to the Basilica, the 10 AM service was done… and then the 12 PM service was happening. Doh!!! That’s called bad timing mmkay? So we decided to break at the Byward Market and have a quick snack and rest. It is really hot and tiring to play tourist, let me tell you. I really need to get my stamina up for Paris.

We finally got to go inside the Basilica. I really love going into churches… there is such a sense of peace and timelessness about them. Plus they are almost always terrific examples of architecture and they are very lovingly decorated. Say what you will about religion but they know how to make nice buildings.

After that…. well, at this point we were pretty tired. I guess I did not know the toll that all the walking around would take on us, especially on a hot July day. And my feet were getting blistery from my sandals… definitely not the ideal footwear for the enterprising tourist. So after a recon stop at Chapters (big Canadian bookstore chain with FREE WIFI!) I decided that we could go on a Lady Dive amphibious bus tour, which would get us off our feet while also informing us about the city. The bus was freaking hot…. but at least we were sitting while the tour guide chatted up front in French and English about the various charms of the city. We passed by a lot of what we had already seen, and then we crossed the Ottawa River to the city on the other side, Gatineau, and eventually we got to the best part – going into the river! Whee! Some nice shots from the river…. it was really pretty. The stiff breeze coming off the water was nice too.

view of Ottawa from the river
the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, apparently quite interesting
Back view of Parliament Hill

All too soon, we were back on land, and it was time to forage for our next meal. This time Yelp led us to an Asian fusion restaurant Taste that was very empty, maybe because it was that no-man’s-time of 4 pm? A nice late lunch followed by a trip back to the hotel… for a next pre-dinner nap. ZzzzzZZZzzzzz.

squeezing lime over pad thai
pork tonkatsu
nice sunset views of rideau canal

After that… oh god… so hard to wake up from a nap… We had to get up and find ourselves a nice late dinner. We ended up back at the Byward Market, where my original quest to find a restaurant from Yelp (mexican food!) was supplanted by our aching feet and rumbling tummies, so we stopped into Shafali for our Indian food fix. Eh, I can’t say it was much to write about. Pretty serviceable food and it was open late (we left around 10:30) so there’s no complaining. But geez we were tired. I think 2 days just about does it for us, hehehe.

Our last morning in Ottawa! And we spent the first part of it back in the Royal Canadian Mint, spending more money on coins. I guess we’re going to be coin collectors from now on…! And then finally breakfast, courtesy of Zak’s Diner in the Byward Market:

Phew! That’s it! A delicious end to a fulfilling and tiring weekend trip. Geez. Time to sleep……

Happy Canada Day!

Ooh I totally forgot that today is Canada Day! Our neighbors up north are celebrating today, yay for them! Especially in the city of Ottawa, where the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting. Man I bet they are throwing them one wild party up there.

The Royals arriving in Ottawa from popsugar.com

Dong and I will be heading up to Ottawa as well for the weekend. Time to spot the royals!

More 2NE1!

I guess since their new song came out, I’ve been revisiting my obsession with 2NE1. They’ve only been out for a few years but I followed them from their first song (Lolli-lolli-lollipop!) which was originally just a song for a commercial but became so popular that they made a single of it. And I can say in all honesty that I’ve loved all of their singles that have followed! I used to listen to their debut album on repeat, even though I didn’t know what they were saying… so then I would search for lyric translations, watch youtube videos with eng subtitles, etc. Ah sigh, the days of youthful obsession.

2NE1 – Stay Together – one of my favorites!


I love the lyrics too. Definitely the lyrics are a lot better than some of the repetitious booty-shaking stuff on the radio now. I’m trembling for you forever!

And just as another testament to their amazing live skills, here we have:

I just love how their live performances on the radio sound just as amazing as on stage. Plus their covers of other people’s songs are really good, and their English is truly impressive. Oh yeah, and Minzy can DANCE. And CL can RAP! And Bom can SING! and Dara can CUTE!