Seems like an odd topic, but I have mentioned T and T to a couple of people outside of Toronto and they always ask what it is. Here I am writing about it.
T and T is not your average grocery store. It was first open by a Taiwanese owner. The store targeted the large rich Asian population in Toronto. Rich because there are other Chinese supermarket, but T and T always have higher price tag.
My family still rather go there because it doesn’t smell bad and it’s very clean. They rather pay the higher price.
T and T is now own by Lablow and it has open many stores across the GTA.
Things they sell are asian products, Japanese candy, chinese soft drinks and Korean instant noodles.
Another great thing about T and T is that it opens late usually open until 11pm and friday and Saturday until midnight.
I think every city should have a T and T. After all it is an alternative grocery store.
By Andrew Kaufman
Kaufman writes high-concept modern fairy tales that bridges between comic book quirky and romantic touching. His latest novel follows five Weird siblings, all of whom were blessed at birth—one always forgives, one never gets lost, one never loses hope, one always keeps himself safe and one is just a little stronger than any opponent. When the blessings turn out to be curses, the grown-up Weirds must dash across the country to get unhexed. It’s a tear-jerking family drama with a dash of The Incredibles. (Available now)
By Alice Hoffman
In 70 C.E., nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the horrifically brutal murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and an expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power.
The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets-about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love (Available now).
Two estranged sisters must patch things up after their father goes missing. Did we mention that their father is a god, and their mother a sea creature? And that the sisters are former conjoined twins, and the process of separating them left one with an enchanted siren’s singing voice? Their worlds collide with ours in a violent and over-the-top climax that reads like a manga comic for grown-ups.(Available March 12)
I always thought Valentine’s day is just another day for retailers to sell chocolates. After New Years and Christmas the left over chocolates toss into a heart shape box before wrapping them up into colourful egg shapes for Easter. I do not recall ever having a good Valentine’s day. It is a day full of high expectations if you are in a relationship and a day of depression if you are single. One expects one’s partner to gives some sort of red and white gift or something cute (teddy bear, chocolates or roses… etc) Take one on a romantic date and put up afterwards. If you are married, you expect that your spouse do something nice or be nice. If you are single, you wish you can have a date or you will just stay home and get annoyed at all the Valentine’s day commercials – especially those diamond ones.
Then, there’s those of us that work on Valentine’s day which is not so bad. People seem to act nicer on this day towards people who are working.
Or you see those PDA (public display affections) couples while walking and you wish they would get a room or that you could join them (if they are hot) because deep inside you wonder when you will ever get married (or laid), so your parents will stop embarrassing you in front of the nice cashiers at grocery store.
Then few minutes later, you see a guy who is trying so hard to get “some” tonight. He is going into the subway with a giant bouquet wrapped in fancy papers that is blocking his vision. Carrying a heart shape chocolate box with a helium balloon hitting everything in its path. I can’t help but think how embarrassing and ridiculous he looks. Especially if he is taking a girl on a date then he is going to have to carry those gifts for her for the rest of the evening and I wish that balloon pops and he fall down the stairs because he can’t see through that giant bouquet. (Yes. I am just jealous. Whoever that girl is must be very lucky or very amazing to have boys do something like this for her.)
However, I give props to these brave men who conquer all odds on Valentine’s day to bring gifts to their woman.
I will end this post by sharing some funny Valentine’s day tweets:
Celebration for Chinese New Year consist of a series of social, media and family tradition. There are certain food, practices and religious activities that people practise in order to ensure they can best prepare themselves and their families for the coming year.
The Chinese New Year celebration traditionally consist of 13 days in total. Although due to today's busy schedule Chinese New Years have been shorten to 5 days, however, it does vary in different countries.
The mythology/tale believed to start Chinese New Year is the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian (Chinese: 年 aka. year). Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian.
Today, the colour red continues to symbolize good luck and wealth in Chinese culture. People hang red papers writing good wishes in Chinese calligraphy on their door. Use fire crackers and perform dragon dance (symbolize the nian beast) Making lots of noises.
Family Traditions/ Practice
- Red Pocket Money – adults will put money inside a red envelope to give to children. It symbolizes good wishes and luck pass from elders to the younger generations. Does not have to be for their own children as long as they are of younger generation.
- Friendly Gambling – This can be Mahjong, big two card game or throwing dice (parents will sometimes let their children gamble a small amount of their red pocket money to test their luck for the coming year – under their supervision of course)
- Saying good wishes to elders – children are expected to know many good wishes phrases to say to the elders or others. And they often hold their fist and shake them in front of their chest to say them
- Wearing new clothes – This is suppose to symbolize out with the old and in with the new.
- Feast – families always prepare for big meals during this time. Tones of dishes and unlimited supply of food. Never cook enough to finish always have left over.
- Visiting distant family members – going to grandparents or distant relatives' houses to visit.
- Visiting temples – People will visit temples to ask the gods to give them good wishes and luck for the coming year
- Vacation – A lot of people will take family vacation during the new years as well
Food (certain food are consumed for new years)
- Fish – so you can have left over savings every year
- Red Bean – Fertility – have children
- Egg Roll – Finding a Boyfriend
- Orange – Good luck and Good wealth
- Smoke Meat – Good luck
- Rice Cake – year cake
- Pineapple cake – good luck
- Pineapple – wealth to come
- Raddish or Raddish cake – grow old well – good progress
- Dumplings – look like gold plates – wealth
- Rice balls soup – fertility – have children
There are probably more
Media – TV will have special programs dedicated t0 New Year
Toronto prides itself in its dramatic arts, theatre and film locations. The doll house series remind us how it feels like sometimes when living in the big city. There are many unfamiliar social constructed behaviors and rules that restrict one's freedom. In today's society, it is easy to get lost and be turned into a puppet, a follower
– manipulated by media and social structures.
A woman's physical appearance is highly valued in North America. Media are constantly photoshoping images of women and men, making them look more perfect each time. Someone once said, “we ever noticed the beauty, because we were too busy trying to create it.” Perfection is never enough. Even a doll have its imperfection.
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