Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflections of 2009

On the eve of the busiest day of the year at the casino I have a chance now for some peace and quiet to reflect upon the last 365 days or so and what it has meant for me.

On the relationship side I am with a very understanding person who has put up with my torturous schedule and mood swings. Somehow we've managed to make it work, and although there are ups and downs, I guess that's part of a healthy relationship. I'm nowhere near perfect. I have a lot of things to work upon. But she is still beside me (well when I'm not working). She taught me to be more positive about life.

As for work, well I guess it's my other relationship. It's a relationship that I've had for more or less twenty years. I first met "her" thinking it would be an autumn fling but twenty years later I'm still stuck with "her". Sometimes "she" makes me happy and other times it's nothing but stress. It's funny, people ask if a relationship should be based more on love than on security. What's more important? I should be thankful I have a job in these tough financial times. Is there something better? Who knows. Of course I would rather be lying on a beach every day but realistically that won't happen unless I match all the lottery numbers.

In the meantime, I can say with my heart that I work with a wonderful crew, from the managers to the supervisors to the dealers. Sometimes we have to put up with the toughest of circumstances and I wish I could do more to make things easier. But all I can do is try to put a smile on everyone's face once in a while. I wish we could all be happier. I wish there was more that I could do.

To the wonderful people at Fraser Downs, I miss you all. I haven't done cards with Deryck in eons. I haven't looked across the track in a long time. I hope you all have a great holiday time.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

The original plan after dimsum was for me and Amy to see Avatar. I'd thought that because it was Monday and it was after Christmas (and even Boxing Day) that Metropolis wouldn't be as busy and that there would be no problem seeing my favorite movie this year. Well I was wrong. It took us about 15 minutes just to find a parking spot, and by the time we reached the lineup to get tickets we were already thinking about a second choice. Lo and behold, tickets for Avatar were sold out so we went with Sherlock Holmes instead.

The movie was not exactly what I expected. The beginning was horribly slow and other than seeing Rachel McAdams I found the story rather boring. The action did pick up a bit in the second half but I guess I was too disappointed in missing Avatar than enjoying the movie. It wasn't bad but I guess it wasn't fabulous.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


It just so happened that there was a spot available at 6:15 for this restaurant tonight on Christmas Eve. I'd heard pretty good reviews for this place downstairs from Stonegrill. The restaurant was somewhat retro and the view was awesome as I remembered from the days of Anderson's.

Amy had a prawn bisque and the main course was albacore tuna. I opted for the Christmas Eve menu, which was four courses (technically six but more on that later). I started with a scallop appetizer followed by a salad. The main course was a prime rib eye of beef with a little meat pie on the side. Everything was excellent. What I enjoyed most was we also got two "Amuse", little palette cleansers. The first was an awesome slice of raw tuna (which actually tasted better than Amy's main course). The second was a pre-dessert (?) of a chocolate soup of sorts. Yummy! For dessert I had my classic creme brulee (vanilla bean) while Amy had a date pudding. Highly recommended restaurant!

P.S. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009


My shortened review of the movie: WOW!

I did not expect too much from this James Cameron "epic". There was so much hype and secrecy surrounding it that I didn't think it would be that good. Boy was I wrong. Mr. Cameron you have outdone yourself. The 3D effects were nothing short of phenomenal and groundbreaking. I believe I said "Holy shit" 4 times in the movie. The time he spent on this movie must have been astounding.

Happy Holidays (Really)

From a lot of my past posts people think I really hate Christmas. This isn't true. I guess for me Christmas has always been a time for reflection and peace, as opposed to maniacal (is that a word?) shopping and craziness. Even though my family is not Christmas crazy, I still enjoy the holiday because it's when I try to think of all the good things that have happened to me. I'm in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful person. I have a good job, even if it is stressful at times. Life is good.

I have some goals that I would like to accomplish in 2010. Inspired by a friend's blog, I will be writing a future post with my Bucket List, things I would like to accomplish hopefully within the next year. But for now, even though it's still a few days away, I hope everybody who believes in the holiday has a Merry Christmas. And even for those that do not celebrate the holiday, I wish you and your family peace and joy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Staff Christmas Party 2009

Yes it was that time again for the River Rock staff to get together to drink and be merry and hopefully not make a complete fool of oneself. As usual I didn't get to win anything even though half the people it seemed weren't around for the draw. Rats.

As for making a complete fool, well, it was Billy Jean that came on first. I managed to get Alex's hat and did my best to imitate the great Michael Jackson. Anyways, unfortunately a few songs later they played YMCA. I hope my impending YouTube video gets less airplay than Susan Boyle. Who knows.

But when all is said and done, this party was a great release from a lot of stuff happening at work. If only I'd had enough sleep beforehand...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Waazubee Cafe

This week's brunch adventure brought us to Commercial Drive, and a nice restaurant called Waazubee Cafe, a nice simple breakfast for me and chorizo omelette for her. The best part...the coffee! We both had an Americano which was of course better than the usual standard coffee. It's too bad these aren't bottomless.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Festival of Lights

Every year at this time, Van Dusen Gardens is transformed into --you guessed it-- a festival of lights. Amy and I went with Andrew, Suzanne and Cathy. We braved the cold (thankfully no snow) and enjoyed the beautiful presentations. I'm just glad my day off wasn't greeted with any snow (the stuff that fell earlier in the day doesn't have to count). But based on the rather cold weather that was there, I don't know if my "no snow" wish will come true.

It's Over for Now

And so ends a long and stressful week in the world of casino life. I can't say anything went wrong today at work, because thankfully I was working with two great managers. But perhaps I was just stressed that something WOULD go wrong (a great chessplayer once said "The threat is stronger than its execution"), especially near the end of the shift when I had to do something that involved a lot of money shall we say. But when all is said and done I'm at home and I think everything went OK. Sorry if I yelled at too many people today.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What Day Is It?

I can't wait for this week to end. For me, that means a whole day off on Friday. I don't know what the word weekend means. Most of the time I don't even know what two days off (in a row) means. Sometimes I don't even know if it's AM or PM.

Either way it hasn't been the best of times. Lack of sleep, stress at work, lousy Richmond traffic and the impending cold. And I can't even say I'm saving a bundle on my car insurance (whatever happened to that commercial anyways?).

OK enough whining. I just want to break 200,000 in Bejewelled Blitz one of these days.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Blind Side

It looks like Sandra Bullock is coming back to the acting world after a short hiatus. While her last vehicle, All About Steve, was less than spectacular, this movie based on the true story of Mike Oher was very good. Sandra was excellent in her role as Mom to "Big Mike", and the little boy who played SJ was also very good. Perhaps there is room come Oscar time, since next year the Best Picture nominees have been expanded to 10 (is this a good thing?).

Cafe Barney

Today our brunch adventures took us to another spot on Main Street, right across from the unfortunately burnt down Slickety Jim's. The pretty one had a sausage omelette and I went with a salmon and mushroom Benny. I found myself addicted to the potatoes (wonder if they were cooked in duck fat?). Yum yum.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Baker's Market

Before work, Amy and I went to the annual Baker's Market, a small little room with a variety of baked goods. We got to sample some yummy breads and chocolates and other delectables. I wish it was a lot bigger but it was neat, something I never knew existed. Is there a Prime Rib Market somewhere? Hee hee.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Best of the Year

I haven't put together my list of favorite movies, songs, memories, etc., of 2009 so for now I'll leave it up to all my readers. What were your favorites of 2009? Off the top of my head:

Best YouTube video: Well the very first time I heard Susan Boyle sing I was mesmerized. I still think she should have won Britain's Got Talent

Favorite Meryl Streep movie: Well it was Mamma Mia last year. This year it was Julie & Julia (well this is probably my favorite movie). Is there nothing she can't do?

Most Annoying Celebrity: Ooh tough one, but I guess Jon & Kate (are they really celebrities?)

Biggest Waste of CNN: Balloon Boy be continued

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Miss Scarlett

Iron Man 2. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. No more words are necessary.

Who Cares?

I want to hear about Tiger Woods' affairs just as much as I want to hear about George Clooney's golf game. But this is what the American public wants to read about. If I were to boycott newspapers and TV until they stop reporting about Tiger's NON-GOLF news, how long would it be? I DON'T CARE.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Twilight Saga: New Moon

Is that the official title of the movie? I hate it when I go see a film and I don't know what the title is. Well, what did I think of Part 2? I'm 43 and not a teenager anymore, and I'm a guy. So I didn't ooh and aah. The director was different and the whole movie was different from the first one. While I'm not saying it's a really bad movie, this second chapter of THE SAGA was OK, nothing special. I did see a trailer for a movie called Letters to Juliet which looks really nice.