Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sights & Smells

I was downtown today and I saw these crocheted bike-rack covers. Pretty crafty, Vancouver. You can read a lot more about it here.

Also, Waterfront Station has an amazing ceiling. That is all.

Wait, no it's not. Captain America has a fragrance. This is a thing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pho Sho

I can't decide if I should use this blog to only talk about my experiences in Vancouver, or if I should also be talking about the other goings-on in my life. Oh wait, nevermind I have nothing going on... haha...

But seriously, when I have nothing directly Vancouver related to blog about, I may start blogging about other things (politics, sports, music, movies, etc.) I haven't really decided yet though.

Speaking of which, nothing terribly exciting to report. I did eat Vietnamese food the other night when I was drunk (hence the super-weak title). I've had Pho before, so it isn't really something new or exciting to me, but I guess I would recommend it to other people. Except I always seem to bite my tongue when I eat it for some reason...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

You Wreck Me

I went to Wreck Beach yesterday, which I guess is rather famous for being a "clothing optional" beach. So yes, I saw a lot of boobs, but guess what? Old dudes love to get their junk out a lot more than attractive young women do.

I swam in the ocean for the first time that I know of. Maybe I did when I was younger, but I don't remember. I imagine a lot of the locals will make fun of me for calling the Straight of Georgia "the ocean", but I don't really care. I had fun. It was different than swimming in a lake or a river, I guess because you're swimming in something larger than your mind can really comprehend. It was also a lot colder than I expected, maybe from the mountain runoff.

The only complaint I had was that I got some dirty looks from a few of the people who chose to take their clothes off, which I didn't appreciate. If they want the right to get naked, why can't I have the right to be ridiculously self concious about my body and keep my shirt on when I go to the beach? I'm not some douche that went to the beach to stare at the naked hippies, I'm just fat. Get over it.

Oh yeah and trail to the beach is all stairs, I was pretty out of breath on the return journey. And no, I didn't take pictures. Perv.

Monday, July 4, 2011

This Time

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time. - Willem de Kooning

Apologies for the gap between posts. Honestly I haven't been doing anything really exciting lately, do to a severe lack of funds. I did however go out and get royally wasted on Canada day, thanks to some generous friends.
Met some great people and had a blasty-blast trying to win meat. I also tried BBQ squid, which kind of had the texture of biting your own tongue but without the pain. I don't think I'll try that again. Oh yeah, happy belated Canada Day.

Yesterday we went to Lynn Valley on the north shore, which was rather fun. Too many stairs and hills for a fat bastard like me, but I guess that's what you get when you go hiking in the mountains. It was good to get some exercize, and the fresh air was amazing.
Unfortunately we didn't see much wildlife, except for a Spotted Owl. I understand they're endangered, so I guess that's pretty cool.
We were going to cross the scary-assed suspension bridge, but there's only so many people allowed across at one time, and I just couldn't bring myself to stand in line to do something that scares the shit out of me.
I wish I could have brought my camera, because I'm starting to realize the one in my iPhone sucks. But it's hard to justify spending $20 on batteries for my camera when I can barely afford to eat.

I'd like to start making this blog a bit more interesting, for instance when I go to a new restaurant I could do a little review, and maybe get some actually good photos up. It will be nice to have something interesting to say instead of just whining about how poor I am. I realize the blog isn't very exciting, so please just bear with me untill I have something good to say or show you.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In Vino Veritas

I'm making friends. I got pretty drunk last night. I need to get a job though, I'm starting to run out of money.

Friday, June 24, 2011

No News Is Good News

I've had nothing exciting to tell you over the past few days, because nothing exciting has happened. I'm beginning to think that's a good thing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

... seriously, life?

Got in a car accident last night. I'm starting to have some misgivings. I realize it would be seriously weak of me to give up already, but this is a lot to deal with at one time.

I somehow managed to have a good day today though.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Night Moves

Last nigth we went to the Night Market in Richmond. Generally speaking it was okay. I ate some meat on a stick and a buttload of chow mein, so that was good times, and there is a lot of cheap crap to buy if that's what you're in to. But then we went to leave and my vehicle was gone. Turns out it had been towed, which is really the best of a bad situation if your vehicle is missing. I guess I had parked too close to a hydrant, though I'm almost 100% sure that there had been a sign blocking it, because all three of us saw the sign but not the hydrant when we got there, but whatever. It's a $120 mistake I won't be making again. The walk to the impound lot was an adventure as well. We saw rabbits and had to sneak through a saw mill.

Oh yeah, also at the night market they had Karaoke, but I think it was only open to Chinese participants. I titled this video 'Bad Chinese Karaoke', but he was probably actually doing an alright job. He took it pretty seriously too, at one point the music cut out and he just kept on going. Sorry about the bad quality.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

When You're Strange...

Today on the bus I overheard a young man wearing a dog collar and a fuzzy red tail say "That guy looks like a douchebag."

Vancouver is a strange place.

But I had sushi made by real Japanese people (imagine!!!), so that was cool. Except they didn't give me a fork and I was too embarrased to ask for one so I had to eat with chopsticks, which generally I hate. Why? Because. I'm a white guy that was raised to eat with a fork...

Thousands of years ago in the future...

Today I ate $3 bacon and eggs, went for a walk around what apparently passes for a lake in these parts, and played with a pretty awesome cat. Nothing too exciting, but I don't want to forget about this blog and have it die. Also I need to start taking my camera on these outings.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What a riot...

“Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines.” - Paul Brunton

I'm sure all of you have heard about the riots in Vancouver. Luckily I was far from the trouble, but still close enough hear the sirens and choppers, and to see this.

Pretty scary stuff. I'm trying to stay optimistic that not all Vancouverites are hooligans. I guess idiots live everywhere.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Now, Voyager

"I haven't a clue as to how my story will end. But that's all right. When you set out on a journey and night covers the road, you don't conclude that the road has vanished... and how else could we discover the stars?" - Unknown

For the majority of my life I have lived in a small town in Alberta. An 'everybody knows everybody' kind of place. I will never besmirch the farmers and working class people of small towns, nor their 'down home' sensibilites. Infact that's what I love about them. But I won't lie, when I got married in 2008 and my wife asked me to move to Grande Prairie, I was glad to leave.

Even though I hated GP immediately, I suddenly became a 'big city' person (something I have recently learned isn't entirely true). Keep in mind GP only has a population of about 60,000. Whenever I went home it was "GP this" and "GP that." I was too cool for my hometown now. I even bitched about the speed limit. "50 kph through town? you must be joking." I don't feel bad about it. Everyone changes when they move away, it's just how it is.

In the spring of 2010, my marriage failed. I'm sure most of the people who are reading this know the story. My 'best' friend, who called himself my 'bro', back-stabbed me in the worst manner you can imagine, and I'm sure you can imagine. With this I realized there was really nothing keeping me in Grande Prairie.

My childhood friend Jake has been living in Vancouver for 2 years. We'd been roommates before, and I'd come to visit him in BC a few times. I loved Vancouver, despite it's flaws, and decided thats where I wanted to be. So in June of 2011, I loaded up my car, kissed my dog one last time (on the mouth), said goodbye to my family and few remaining friends in Alberta, and headed west. ADVENTUUURE!

For some silly reason I had decided to leave GP in the afternoon, so I could avoid traffic when I hit town. It was dark before I hit Kamploops. And raining. It started to rain as soon as I crossed the border and didn't let up until I hit the outskirts of Vancouver.
The other drivers were scaring the shit out of me, though to be fair I was maybe being over cautious with my driving. They had this weird habit of getting right behind me but they wouldn't overtake, so I got to have their lights shining in my rearview the whole time. Fun stuff.
The first interaction I had with a British Columbian was a spectacularly rude gas station attendant. Normally I let shit like that slide, but it was bad enough that I went to a different gas station to fuel up.
There was road construction basically all the way from the outskirts of town to Jake's house.

By this point I was beginning to wonder why the hell I had decided to move to this godawful province. But then, at last I arrived in the city. It was getting light out. Holy shit, things in this city are actually green... I never noticed how brown GP was before. And flowers! Everywhere! Gigantic, pink effing things! And holy shit, is that a Coyote in the middle of town? And look at that huge black squirrel! And... Oh that's a dude walking around East Van with an axe at 4 in the morning... nevermind.

Right now I'm drinking cheap beer with a Mexican dude and a guy from Arizona. It's like a North America Party! And it's freakin' gorgeous out, and Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Play-offs is tonight (Go Boston! Or Vancouver, either way). I'm starting to actually enjoy it here. I feel good, and I feel good about my future.

I realize that I can't let a few bad incidents or my fear of the unknown hold me back. Am I going to have some bad experiences here? Yes. Am I going to miss my family and my friends and my dog? Yes. But I can't let that stop me from having a good time and living my life. It's up to me to make this a good experience.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” - Andre Gide