Dine Out Vancouver is here again! This is an annual event that happens for two weeks of the year where participating restaurants in Vancouver offer customers a special 3-course menu at set prices ($18, $28, or $38). If you wanted to try a restaurant, now would the time to do so.

I also have a new camera so I apologize for the blurry photos while I'm still learning how to use it.

This year I went to Gramercy Grill with a bunch of friends. Their Dine Out menu was $28 and they had a fair selection dishes and also add-ons if wanted. I thought the food was faily good. I really enjoyed the Seared Ahi Tuna as the appitizer. My friends said they enjoyed the other appitizers as well. We were a table of five and we each ordered different things to try. The Cream of Cauliflower soup looked very good and so did the Triple A Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio which was the other one I wanted to try out. The main course was Braised Australian Lamb Shank. It was very succulent and the meat just slid right off the bone. I tried a little of my friend's Wild Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto and it was delicious! For dessert I tried the Crème Brule. It was cold and the sugar was melted and only crispy in the middle but it did taste very good cold.

The food at Gramercy Grill was good but the portions may be a little small for some people. Customer service was another matter. We had to wait a LONG LONG time between courses. I don't know if it was just us because another table came about when we were just finished the main course and waiting for dessert and they finished around the SAME TIME as us! We had to wait about 15 minutes just to get cold desserts! Yes ALL of the desserts were cold or room temperature! It shouldn't have to had taken that long to bring out. Then after when were paying the bill, we told them what to charge on the individual credit card and they them took away only to return 10 minutes later to ask us the amounts again! Was it because we didn't order any extras or wine or coffee? It shouldn't matter. All patrons should be treated equally!

I don't know if I will be returning. Good food, if not paired with good customer service leaves a sour taste in my mouth. 

Here was their Dine Out menu if you want to ever try them out:

Appetizer Choices: 
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Hearts of Romaine Salad
pancetta lardons, crispy capers, grana padano cheese, roasted shallot & garlic vinaigrette 
Triple A Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio
truffle aioli, crispy capers & grana padano 
Seared Ahi Tuna
sesame seeds, seaweed flakes & pea shoots orange ginger vinaigrette 
Entrée Choices: 
Oven Roasted Sablefish Filet
miso, ginger & tamari cream roasted baby carrots & asparagus, vegetable spring roll 
Wild Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto
grana padano & mascarpone cheese 
Cherry Creek Free Range Chicken Breast  
green onion mashed potatoes,roasted baby carrots & asparagus, truffle tapenade
Braised Australian Lamb Shank
merlot jus, butternut squash puree, roasted baby carrots & asparagus, pickled celery & carrot 
Butternut Squash Agnolotti
sautéed spinach & tomato sauce, topped with grana padano cheese 
Angus Triple A Beef Tenderloin - additional $5
garlic mashed potatoes, roasted baby carrots & asparagus, shiitake mushroom merlot jus 
Baby Back Ribs & Blue Cheese Macaroni - additional $5
house made whiskey barbeque sauce
Dessert Choices: 
Lemon Tart
local berry coulis & whipped cream
Pecan Pie
cardamom caramel sauce & whipped cream
Warm Flourless Chocolate Torte
caramel sauce & whipped cream
Duo of Cheeses - additional $4
Crème Brule
At tomorrow 10:00 a.m. the largest earthquake drill in Canadian history will be taking place in British Columbia! My work place probably didn't register for this but apparently there are 420,000 people going to be participating.

There is always the threat of the "Big One" looming in BC, ever since more than ten years ago I think. And I had heard we were overdue for one and it was rather anti-climatic when none really did occur. The last earthquake we experienced was the aftershock from Seattle and that was back in high school. It was rather funny at the time because I felt it shaking before everyone else and I was looking around the classroom to see if anyone else felt it but the everyone was acting normally and the teacher kept teaching. I was tempted to raise my hand and ask if it was an earthquake but more tremors started up and my teacher screamed "OMG IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE!!!!"

So now everyone can practice drop, cover and hold on after all these years of going soft with no earthquakes. It never hurts to be prepared. Which reminds me that I still need to put together an earthquake kit.
You can find out more about the ShakeOut here at http://www.shakeoutbc.ca/.
The stray is actually quite pretty. She's very photogenic and very affectionate. Toward people anyways. She hates Sunny but she's learned to tolerate him a bit. It did take a long time for her to warm up to us too. It was all hissing and growling in the beginning.

It's been a long time since the last time I have drawn anything...When was it?...My last pic upload was winter of 2008! That's really too long I've been absent from the art world. I'm thinking of starting up again. I have a Tron themed pic floating around in my head. There are a few things a want to buy though. I'm thinking of purchasing Photoshop CS5 and upgrading my Wacom tablet. But I also want to some other electronics like a DSLR! Then there's the Kinect. Decisions, decisions...

Photoshop CS5 - US $199.00 on Adobe.com
Wacom Tablet - CDN $69.01 on Amazon.ca

Maybe I should just not delay and purchase them. I'm still waiting for the Canon T2i to come down in price a bit. Maybe next boxing day...or black friday.

The one-year anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games is fast approaching and there are events going to be hosted everywhere in February. One of these events is a film called With Glowing Hearts: A Vancouver 2010 Social Media Story. This documentary will talk about how social media had a huge and positive impact during and after the games for the people living in Vancouver by letting everyone tell their own story. For a limited time, tickets to the screening are free! Request tickets here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1203033305/?ref=estw

Watch the trailer here:

It seems that there are so many Groupon type sites popping up these days. Hmmm I wonder if I should get in this trend.

So this latest site is called The Daily Steal. And to get lots of people to follow them they are hosting a HUGE giveaway which started today!  All you have to do is sign up! http://thedailysteal.ca/?utm_source=uu2531
Make sure you use the registration code located in step number 2 because they will credit your account with $10 right away for you to use on their deals!

Here are the list of prizes to be won:
Day 1: $200 Memory Express GiftCard
Day 2: $200 BestBuy GiftCard
Day 3: $200 Metropolis GiftCard
Day 4: $200 Starbucks GiftCard
Day 5: $200 FutureShop GiftCard
Day 6: $200 Holt Renfrew GiftCard
Day 7: 7 Days in Paradise in Orlando Florida. (Value $3000)
Day 8: one Apple iPad every 12 hours
Day 9: one Apple iPad every 12 hours
Day 10: one Apple iPad every 12 hours

Sign up at The Daily Steal today and get in on the giveaway!
Taking pictures of baby kribs is very hard as they don't like the autofocus light and dart all over the place. My babies are so big now! They are about an inch long and their parents already have another batch of fry they are taking care of. Pretty soon they will have to go on to new homes. Watching them grow up makes me so happy!
Incendies begins with the reading of the will of Nawal Marwan (Lubna Azabal) to her twin children Jeanne (Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin) and Simon (Maxim Gaudette). Naval's last requested to her children is to deliver two letters - one to their father, whom they thought was long dead and a letter to a brother they never knew existed. This sets the twins off on a journey to the Middle East where they start to discover their mother's horrific and heartbreaking past and in turn discover theirs as well. The movie shifts back and forth in time following the twins’ journey to find their brother and father and Nawal’s journey to find the son that she was forced to give up. The movie just builds and builds until the shocking revalation at the end.

How to describe this movie? Incendies has me leaving the theatre reeling. Montreal filmmaker Denis Villeneuve draws us into the tangled story of Nawal Marwan and her children with great skill. It is not a feel-good movie but I cannot deny it is very good storytelling.

Incendies has already won a lot of awards and there are rumours that it will be up for an Oscar in February. 
So I started contesting after my sister started winning a whole bunch of things and she got me hooked. My prize list isn't as impressive as hers but it is quite a list. My winnings total up to approximately $3446! No trip or home theatre system yet but I did manage to win an XBox and who can forget my EPIC win: floor tickets to Lady Gaga concert! Here's to another year of wins. My goal is to win a Kinect.

I didn't keep track of any wins prior to April but there probably wasn't a lot of wins anyways since I didn't really start seriously contesting.

Apr 1
-Flip Mino from ScotiaBank: $199
-$50 iTunes Gift Card
-$100 Outdoor Gift Card

Aug 17
- Zaggfolio ($69)
- Canucks Poster (never received)

Aug 20
- Lady Gaga floor tickets for Aug23 show from Samsung Mobile (2x $99 + service charge)

Aug 23
- Double Screening Pass to Going The Distance from VIA
- Double movie pass to see THE LAST EXCORCISM from Georgia Straight

Aug 24
- $10 code for Threadless.com
- 2 tickets to PNE and 2 tickets to Playland from London Drugs

Aug 25
- InvisibleShield from ZaggDaily ($39.99)

Aug 26
- Longchamp bag from AirFrance $60

Aug 27
- Pack of Duracell batteries (x2)

Aug 28
- Pair of Vancouver Trolley Passes

Aug 31
- $100 Best Buy Gift Card (+ additional $100)

Sept 2
- Real Player Travel Mug ($5)

Sept 3
- Panasonic ZrO2 Couture Earbuds $59.99  (was supposed to be the $69.99 pair but was stolen)

Sept 8
- Killers Blu-Ray

Sept 9
- $5 Blenz Coffee Gift Card

Sept 13
- $50 PetroCanada Gift Card
- 2 tickets to Train at the Commodore Ballroom on Sept 18th : $40.00 x 2

Sept 16
- Double movie pass to see Buried
- 2 Double movie passes to see LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA’HOOLE
- 2 tickets to see Artemis Rocks! show

Sept 17
-two VIFF tickets to see The Woodmans or Waste Land (includes 2 VIFF membership $2 each)

Sept 20
- 2 tickets to Hanson at the Commodore Ballroom on Sept 25th MSP: $36.50 x 2

Sept 21
- double pass to the advance screening of Never Let Me Go

Sept 22
- advanced screening for two to NOWHERE BOY

Sept 27
- advanced screening for two to The Social Network

Sept 29
- advanced screening for two to Secretariat

Sept 30
- 3x free bread coupon from Nature's Own

Oct 12
- Elixar by Hilary Duff ($17.99)

Oct 13
- advanced screening for two to Hereafter

Oct 14 
- How to Make Peace in the Middle East ($28.99)
- 2 double advanced screening passes for Conviction

Oct 15
- XBox 360 Slim 250GB ($299.99)
Oct 19
- Halo Reach ($59.99)

Oct 20
- Grey Kobo eReader from Chapters/Indigo ($149)

Oct 27
- Alan Wake (never received), got Halo Reach instead

Nov 1
- Exclusive Faber Drive Concert by Samsung Mobile Canada
- Millenium Prize pack (Blu-ray/DVD combo of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire)

Nov 3
- Next Three Days advanced screening pass for two

Nov 4
- I Wear Your Shirt T-shirt, sticky notes, bottle holder and stickers

Nov 5
- 2 "lights on or lights out" stickers
- 30 music downloads

Nov 8
- LG Pop mobile phone from Rogers ($174.99 w/ no contract)

Nov 9
- Tangled advanced screening pass for two

Nov 10
- Rubber Duckie
- Dead Space: Ignition code for XBox $5
- BlackBerry Curve 3G + 6 months of $65 Unlimited Plan + 10$ unlimited data 

Nov 12
-127 Hours Prize Pack: screening pass, water bottle, t-shirt

Nov 17
- Tangled advanced screening pass for 4

Nov 18
- Born to Bark book

Nove 19
- House Brawl t-shirt and $10 code from Threadless

Nov 23
- Pink BlackBerry Curve 3G

Nov 26
- The Fighter Advance Screening for two

Dec 15
- 2 tix for deadmau5 in Toronto (no transportation provided unfortunately)

Dec 22
- Shapercise

Dec 23
- Room by Emma Donoghue
The Pepto-Bismol team has put together some hilarious commercials with Ken Jeong (The Hanover, Knocked Up). They say it's ok to indulge yourself; Peptol-Bismol's got you covered should you suffer any stomach problems! Mom to Bed by 8 is hosting a contest for a Peptol-Bismol party prize pack that includes a pink iPod Shuffle! It's super easy to enter so check it out here. Good luck!
First post of the year and I'm a week late. So it's a new year and it is the 7th year that I have started blogging on and off. Well I guess one of my resolutions will be to post more often. Cleaning up and redecorating the house seems to be another one of my goals this year. I'm in the process of cleaning up my aquariums and getting rid of the ones I don't need anymore. I've already sold my 20 gallon (that was a sad night for me). I have three more ten gallons and possibly a 5 gallon to get rid of also. Another thing todo is to go through and process my Europe and San Franscisco photos. It is quite a backlog. Finish playing Dragon Age: Origins, set up the XBox, play Halo: Reach, win more contests... Here I am rambling about boring things to do. I told you there is nothing juicy in my life. LOL well hopefully there will be more movie screenings and midnight launches in 2011 that I can blog about. I've already won my first screening of the year this week. So look forward to the post about it next week. I've also have to add up my contest wins of 2010. That will be my next post; probably tomorrow. I post about such boring stuff. Haha. Happy new year!