Monthly Archives: October 2010


This past week I had a second job interview at company X. It was quite intense – the night before the six candidates including myself had a practise round and were taken out for dinner. The next morning, we had to go through a technical interview, a case study where we had 1 hour to read 22 documents and had to come up with the main issues, stakeholders, short and long-term plans and a strategic decision, and a group discussion where we represented various groups in the community and had to come up with a recommendation on how we thought company X should spend its social and charity donation money.

Anyways, I knew that I screwed up on the case study – one hour is not enough to process that much info let alone make a decision – and I may not have gone into the depth that they wanted in the interview. I knew that I could have done better, but once it was done, I was content to see what happened. In all honesty, I didn’t want the job 100% (I don’t know if I really want a job at the moment anyways) as company X is the same company my dad works for and a few other reasons, but I thought it would be nice to have the security of knowing that I have a job and company X is really a good company to work for in terms of opportunities, work environment, people and benefits.

So last night after dinner, I received this email from company X:

Dear Christine,

Thank you for your interest in pursuing a career with company X and taking the time to attend the company X Recruitment Day. We hope you found the experience to be informative and rewarding.

After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a suitable position at this time. As you are most likely making important career decisions at this time, we wanted to share our decision with you as soon as possible.

Kind Regards,

Company X

I was really disappointed. I know, I didn’t really want the job, so I should be happy that I wasn’t in a position that I didn’t really want. (We all know how well my internship went.) BUT it all had to come down as personal failure.

I know “we regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a suitable position at this time” could mean what it says – they had no positions in the areas I was interested in. However, I do know that they said that they would send out a similar email if you didn’t score high enough on the company X Recruitment Day activities. So does that mean I failed it? If I didn’t pass this one, what’s to say that I would pass another company’s rounds of interviewing? I’d like to think that I am a fairly smart person as I did very well in school and that I’m personable and overall a desirable employee, but apparently not. So, I’m more disappointed in myself than in not getting the job.

Of course, for me, this leads to all types of catastrophic thinking – what if I’m not supposed to be an engineer? What if I’m supposed to do something else?  But then I ask myself and God: “Why the heck did you make me so smart and able to do this engineering thing if I’m never going to use it?!” Don’t get me wrong, I know that you have to be intelligent and generally with it to do well in things like photography or baking, but it’s a different kind of smartness than getting a 3.8/4.0 GPA in your final year of engineering.

I know logically just because I didn’t get the job in my first go at interviewing since I started looking for jobs mid September, but I feel like I should have gotten it even just to prove to myself that I’m worthwhile and desirable. I know that God is most likely using this situation so that I can become aware of and work on changing my poor attitudes towards getting a job. I know this is a case where I should define my identity based on what God thinks of me and not on my behaviour or performance. I know I should be glad that I’m not getting into anything that I may not like in the end. I know that it means that when I get a job people will know me for me, not my dad. I know that in this market I should be happy that I’ve had a job interview especially since I really haven’t been looking that hard. But why do I feel like I’m a personal failure because of this?

I guess on the bright side I don’t have to worry about not being able to go to counselling or my next photography class because of work.

How do you deal with personal disappointments?


Filed under Life, Thoughts

Lottie Sitting

This weekend (and extending into week as Mr. Bean has been sick) Mr. Bean and I have been looking after my parent’s new dog Lottie. She’s also a Boston Terrier and hopefully she is more lucky than Lucky!

Lottie’s favourite thing to do is lie on Mr. Bean.

Her second favourite thing is to go ballistic when she greats you at the door or in the morning.

Her third favourite thing to do is to lie on the keyboard of my laptop.

The laptop's mine, Dog!

But overall, she’s a hilarious dog who we enjoy looking after. I’m kind of sad that she has to go back to my parent’s house but it’ll be good to go back to our boring “not taking the dog for walks every few hours” lives.


What do you like the most about your pet(s)?


Filed under Life, Photography

Bean’s Attempt at Gluten Free Pad Thai

I’m assuming that this isn’t your traditional Pad Thai. Why? First off, I’m not Thai and secondly I’ve never had real Pad Thai to compare it to (fear of non-gluten free soy sauce and an allergy to shellfish will do that for you.) So even though I don’t know very much about Thai food, I still want to share this recipe with you because it is delicious. Now I know why most people who have had it liked it – all the different flavours compliment each other so well.

Not is it only delicious, it’s pretty easy to make. The hardest thing was taking pictures with the weird light in my kitchen. Seriously. So, thank you Mr. Bean for encouraging me to try making it for dinner – I hope to add this into my dinner repertoire.

Gluten, Dairy, Egg and Shellfish Free Chicken Pad Thai

Based on this recipe.

2 chicken breasts
3 tbsp. gluten free soy sauce
3 tbsp. corn starch
4 cloves of garlic, minces
2 slices of onion, finely diced
Olive oil (or sesame if you want a more distinctive taste)
Chicken stock
Pad Thai Sauce*
Pepper to taste
Thai rice noodles – enough for two or three people
3 c. fresh bean sprouts
1 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
3 green onions, diced
1/3 c. peanuts, chopped
1 lime, sliced

  1. Cut chicken breasts into strips and place in a container with a lid.
  2. Mix together soy sauce and corn starch. Pour over chicken, put on lid container and give it a good shake. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and remove from heat. Add rice noodles and allow to soak until they are soft enough to be eaten but still firm and a bit crunchy. I accidentally overcooked mine, so be careful! Once they are ready, drain and rinse with lots of cold water.
  4. Heat up a bunch of oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the garlic and onion and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Add chicken. Stir fry until cooked. When the pan becomes dry, add a tablespoon or two of chicken stock to keep the chicken frying.
  6. Add the noodles to the chicken and add two tablespoons of pad Thai sauce (or more to taste.) Use tongs or two spoons to gently lift and turn noodles (like tossing a salad.)
  7. Stir-fry in this way 1-2 minutes. If you find your wok/frying pan too dry, push noodles aside and add a little more oil to the bottom (but no more broth, or the noodles will become soggy).
  8. Add the bean sprouts and sprinkle pepper to taste.  Add more sauce if desired. Continue tossing until noodles are cooked – they shouldn’t be hard, but sticky and chewy.
  9. Serve noodles into bowls. Top liberally with green onions, cilantro and chopped peanuts. Garnish with lime slices and if desired, squeeze limes over top.
  10. Enjoy!

*You can make your own Pad Thai sauce if you look at the original recipe – I couldn’t find all the ingredients for it, didn’t feel like trying to find an Asian or Indian food store and found a sauce that I could eat, so I just used that.

Have you ever had Pad Thai?

Do you have any suggestions on how I could make it even better? Thank you!


Filed under Food

Some Night Photography Fun

This evening in my photography class, we went up to the penthouse of one of the buildings on campus that gave us an excellent view of downtown Calgary and looking west toward the Rockies.

Downtown Calgary by Night

Calgary Sunset

Now for some zooming fun:

From our perch, we also had a good view of the C-train, Calgary’s light rail train.

C-Train and Cars on 10th Street

Painting with Light

And of course, the photographer!

Some Night Photography Tips:

  • Use a Tripod. Even amazing people cannot hold a camera perfectly still for more than a second.
  • Put your camera on manual: use a low ISO (100 or 200), a small aperture (f/11, f/16, etc.) and a long shutter speed. Use the light meter to expose properly or under expose slightly to increase saturation of colours.
  • Use your timer or a remote as pressing the shutter can create small vibrations, which equals blurry photos.
  • Use a small light to “paint” light like I did with the C-Train. Once the camera starts taking the picture, point the light towards the camera and paint to your heart’s content.
  • You can zoom, tilt, pan, rotate or just move your camera to create fun light trails.
  • Experiment and have fun!

What is your favourite thing about night photography?


Filed under Photography

Gluten Free Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

A couple of weeks ago, my sister who is now in Quebec, had a going away pot-luck party. I wanted to make a dessert that my mum and brother could eat as it was unlikely that they could eat anything other than fruit. (Not being able to eat gluten, dairy, soy, eggs and cinnamon will do that for you.) Having already made cinnamon buns (that my mum couldn’t eat anyways), I wanted to make something with a less sugar and more nutritional value. When I found  this recipe, I knew it would work. Everyone in my family loves almond butter and this recipe is so simple (and tasty!) – how could it go wrong?

Gluten Free Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 1/4 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. potato starch
1/2 tsp. xathan gum
2 c. gluten free oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. raisins
1/3 c. + 2 tbsp. canola or light olive oil
1/2 c. almond butter
3/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. rice milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together flours, xathan gum, oats, baking powder, salt and raisins.
  3. Cream together oil, almond butter and sugars.
  4. Add milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  5. Add wet ingredients into the dry and mix until smooth. The batter should be somewhat sticky.
  6. Spoon batter onto cookie sheets or if you want to roll batter into balls, place on cookie sheet and squish into disks. Balls should be around golf ball sized. Make sure to leave adequate space (about two inches) as the cookies spread a lot.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cookies are slightly browned.
  8. Remove from oven and let sit on sheet for about 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
  9. Enjoy!

Note: I did add less sugar than the original recipe called for but the consensus was that it was still too sweet. So, if I make them again, I would only use 1/2 c. white sugar.

What is your favourite kind of cookie?


Filed under Baking