Thursday, April 28, 2011

What does it mean?

The second double rainbow of the week. It's so intense. Hopefully it's another good omen for Canucks like Tuesday's version!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

I am what a paramedic friend of mine once called a black cloud. That is, I often find myself witnessing situations which legitimately require a 911 call. Ever since I learned about the murder of Kitty Genovese in Psych 104, I promised myself I would always be the one who makes that call, since, statistically speaking, most people assume someone else will do it and don't bother. I counted, and in 2010, I called 911 something like 12 times.

Despite living on what must be ground zero for emergency responders in Grandview-Woodland and Hastings-Sunrise, I have only called 911 twice in the past 20 months for happenings in my own neighbourhood. Both were possible gunshots, and happily, I wasn't the only one to call.

Last night my dinner party was interrupted by one of the near weekly street operas that play out just below my balcony. This time it was a spectacularly loud relationship bust up, in which the woman swore she was "always f*cking faithful to [him]!"

Later on, when I was moving the open-windowed skunkmobile inside in case of rain, I was privy to a strictly verbal girl fight that was carried out with one woman walking down the middle of the street yelling at the other walking on the sidewalk. "Mary," one assured the other, "you do not want to get on my f*cking bad side!" With neighbours like these, who needs to go to the movies?

It must be the WASP in me who wonders why these people can't play out their dramas behind closed doors. That being said, I wouldn't trade my sometimes gritty, sometimes peaceful, but always interesting address for what I had in the 'burbs where people didn't seem to leave their houses, except to get into their cars.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A stinky situation indeed

Hello blog readers, (if there are any of you left). I had the best of intentions of posting last weekend at the latest, but I couldn't seem to make it happen. Chief among my excuses for this is the fact that everything I've done in the last week or so seems to have taken place either on the West Side (a day at Granville Island, the Smorgasbord show at St. Andrew's Wesley Church, and the Sun Run) or at old standbys about which I've already lovingly blogged (like The Diamond).

My other major excuse is that I've been spending a bit of time in Kits these days. If you know me in real life, you probably know why. I have to say, one thing I do not miss about Kits is the skunks. I don't recall ever coming across one in East Van, though of course they're here too. Unfortunately on Sunday evening, Murph and I ended our 5 year string of skunk-free luck in spectacular fashion. I have spent the last three days trying in vain to de-skunk the house in Kits into which he immediately dashed, my car into which we foolishly put him while we researched what to do, and even my own hair which received an indirect hit of the indescribably vile musk. So there you have it; I haven't been ignoring you...well, I suppose I have, but I hope you find my excuses legit!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I am a rather ardent fan of Groupon and all its many, many copycat enterprises. In the year and a half that I’ve been wise to these deals, I’ve saved a bundle on everything from windsurfing to wine making, and dog sitting to dinners out. Sometime last year, I bought a Groupon offered by Blue Olive Photography, an outfit whose work I had much admired in a previous lifetime when I was in the market for a wedding photographer. The deal was $75 for a 30 minute photo shoot, with 3 prints of your favourite image.

A&E, though loyal fans of America’s Next Top Model, and far superior “smisers” than I, were wary of being included in the photo shoot. As is my custom, I insisted, and Reilly made sure we had a fun time. Murphy the dog was less accommodating, but I think he did his best. It was definitely awkward walking around Gastown and fake laughing while being trailed by a photographer, but the end results were worth it.

Of course, they’re counting on you to purchase products beyond that, and purchase we did. The image here is my favourite, and it’s the one I chose for our free prints. If Blue Olive ever offers another of these deals or if you can swing their regular fees, by all means, take advantage of their talent and friendliness. You’re guaranteed to have a great time and you will love your photographs!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Vancouver!

Unless you've been living under a rock (or perhaps somewhere besides Vancouver), you've probably heard that today is our fair city's 125th birthday! By worldwide standards, we're positively brimming with youth! Of course, East Van is where it all began. Check out this article from today's Sun for a quick primer on our beginnings as a city.

One of the things I love so much about East Van, and Vancouver in general, is the mostly peaceful coexistence of architecture from every one of our decades. I really really can't stand all-new cookie cutter-like neighbourhoods. They have their place, of course, but I'm more than a little pleased to live in a city that has mostly managed to avoid them, in favour of building up existing neighbourhoods while maintaining the organic and historic flavour that makes them unique and interesting. In cities like New York, it seems like practically everyone lives and/or works in what we would call a heritage building here, but that doesn't make our history any less fascinating or important!

Here's to you, Vancouver, and your next 125 years!