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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Seattle-Iceland-Faroe Islands-Denmark-Cologne-Budapest with C.


Ulaanbatar pony trek with Mom
Ulaanbatar-Moscow via Trans-Siberan Railway (99.5 hours of chugga chugga choo choo) with Mom.

Home (via A-dam, London?)

May-July 2011. Amazing!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

So, those punks on the beach I met a few months ago? They certainly did become a part of my life, especially B, who is suddenly one of my best friends and--if we get our act together--going to be my roommate in September along with his awesome girl T and maybe another one of B's friends. Plus his awesome pitbull.

Strangely, in a lot of ways we have very little in common, though we often balance each other out, but he's the kind of friend who can hear me say 'I'm so lonely but I can't be around people right now,' know exactly what I mean, and invite me over to just be around someone that loves me without needing to interact at all with him. It's a weird thing, but something I love. I don't have to be anything around them, and the more I feel it from them, the more I realise how sort of rare that is.

And partly--OK largely--because of them, and the people and places (and music!) they're introducing me to, Vancouver is, for the first time, OK. I'm maybe even enjoying it. Bizarre! So...I'm taking advantage of not feeling a burning desire to run away and staying here--moving in with my friends, and trying to get a little bit more school done. It's a bit of a race against time to get tuition and registration in place, but I'm hoping to do another independent design class as well as another anthro requirement or two. We shall see.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Facebook and twitter are simultaneously hooped--site maintenance and sad whales, respectively. I find myself compulsed to update the world on this ridiculous state of affairs, so here we are. Oh dear.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I've been loving the Ataris a ridiculous amount recently (thanks to the beach boys for letting me know about them), especially Saddest Song and In This Diary, which have some amazing lyrics, and took half an hour to chill in a playground, swinging and singing recently. It was so much fun! Swinging is AT LEAST as much fun at 23 as it was at 3, and when you're belting out (badly) lyrics as great as these:

"Here in this diary,
I write you visions of my summer.
It was the best I ever had.
There were choruses and sing-alongs,
and that unspoken feeling
of knowing that right now is all that matters."

(In This Diary)

"Only two more days, until your birthday
Yesterday was mine
You'll be turning five
I know what it's like, growing up without your father in your life
So I pretend, I'm doing all I can
And I hope someday you'll find it in your heart

To understand
Why I'm not around
And forgive me for not being in your life"

(Saddest Song)


""We Are the Champions" playing out on the radio station
Everyone sing along with these anthems of our generation.
Cruisin' down Pacific Coast Highway,
Put the top down, crawl into the back seat.
Let's create anthems of our own tonight."

(Summer '79)

It's probably even better. Though a guy turned up with his dogs halfway through my private concert and, though I don't think he could hear me from where he was (for his sake, I REALLY hope not), he kept staring at me. I reckon he was jealous. I would have been.


PS. Ataris in Vancouver August 1. I'll be there. can't wait for the epic!
I have more time on my hands these days since I can remember. The summer between grade 12 and York, probably. It's...weird. On the one hand, I love that I can go to the studio with the beach boys, or the beach, or out for coffee, or to a movie (SATC2 was every bit the amazing ridiculousness it was meant to be), or whatever, whenever...on the other hand, I hate being bored, and not being 110% booked up is a good way to become bored. Especially when the weather is shiiiite as it has been recently.

I've had more time to read and watch documentaries and stuff though recently, which has been nice! I recently saw No Impact Man, which is about a family of three in NYC who decide (well he decides and she goes along with it; the 2-yr-old doesn't really care) to live for a year without making a net negative impact on the environment. This includes 6 months of living without power, not using paper (including toilet paper), shopping for unwrapped food so as to not create any garbage, only using foot and pedal power...pretty intense and interesting. She works for Business Week and he's not a *total* hippy, so it was interesting to see them asking the questions around what we 'actually' need to use/consume/etc. Of course, they blogged about it all once he borrowed a solar panel to power his laptop (but not his fridge), this man has his priorties straight!

I also saw 'RiP: A remix Manifesto', which was almost as interesting for the fact that the director grew up on Gabriola of all places! It looks at the development of copyright and its current state, and how we need to move on to copyleft. Interestingly, it looks in pretty great detail at one of my favourite DJs, Girltalk, who samples and remixes dozens of songs into each track. To do it legally, he would have to pay some $284,000 per song to buy the licensing rights, even though he only uses a second or two of each track. Crazy. In contrast, the whole documentary is copyleft/CC and open to remixing. [film homepage]

Reading-wise, I finally decided to get to Siddartha, given to me by a dear friend before I left Japan, who told me that I was 'on a journey and needed to read it.' I know I'll be re-reading it soon, but I'm glad I did. There were some great things about loving and listening in there.

Continuing a strangely Indian theme, I'm also working my way through Shantaram right now, which is a 900+ page memoir-style novel about a semi-fictionalised decade in India. Written by ex criminal/drug dealer/arms dealer/prison escape artist/etc. etc., Gregory David Roberts, it's well worth the time. Apparently he's working on two other books to make it a trilogy and the movie rights have been bought, though there's no way a film could do the rich description of this novel justice, so I don't think I'd go see it. (Plus I think it would be at turns depressing, gruesome, scary, and stunningly gorgeous and I'm not sure I can handle all of that plus Johnny Depp all in one sitting). I have 650 pages, or roughly a week, to go, and I'm already mourning the end of this book. Here's hoping the sequels don't take the 13 years this one was rumored to take to write.

Happy reading!

Monday, May 03, 2010

[post 400!]

Today's topic: How I spent my summer vacation. Or: How Grampa and I turned a pigeon coop into a house.

One of those 'has potential' places TLC so loves to cover on Saturday afternoon specials.

It's defining feature was 14 years (and wheelbarrow loads) of crap. Which we hauled away to find a very structurally-sound place, luckily! Even some torn ligaments weren't enough to stop construction.

This was BY FAR the crappiest part of the whole reno. If you can avoid it, I highly suggest you NEVER insulate a ceiling. In the end, though, it was totally worth it!! I'll find some other pictures later, including some of the other end, which features a teeny tiny kitchenette and a little bitty desk.

Semester over. GPA helped. yay!! luckily my teacher loves mobiles, so that worked out rather nicely indeed. Huge project though. Besides the mobile (which is actually a giveaway self-promotional piece), there was a 20 page booklet, box, mailer, and small poster to do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm in Starbucks, doing a bit of work and listening to the conversation beside me, where a woman is talking the ear off a poor guy about how her whole life changed when she started to ride her bike everywhere (good for her), and then another pivotal moment where some acquaintance invited her to a movie at an environmental film festival (not as a date, from what I can gather, but a shared interest in water conservation), and she goes.

"Well OF COURSE, this is WAY out of my comfort zone! I mean it was at 9 pm on a FRIDAY. I don't go out at night, never mind to movies across town."

I started to mentally scoff at the ridiculousness of that statement, as it wasn't like he invited her to a rave or something, but then I realised there are plenty of things I don't do either, like strike up conversations with interesting looking strangers or go out for drinks if someone I've just met randomly invites me. I'm far more likely to protect myself (from who knows what) and make up excuses not to go, no matter the situation.

So I'm glad I didn't last week, when I went to Kits Beach and took some photos. Of the sunset, the logs, the washed-up boats, and a couple of guys having a couple of drinks and playing their guitars. Sure, I snarkily tweeted about them on my phone along the lines of: "stoners, beer, and indie music, ahh kits beach." But then one of them came up to me and asked me to email him my photos, and then they invited me out for dinner across the street, and I went. And had a great time. Until nearly 3am. And now I have two friends that I've only met once but feel like will be a part of my life for awhile, if only for lazy afternoons spent on the beach this summer (another thing I don't usually partake in, for who knows what lame reason).

There's no particular point to this, except that I guess it's kind of cool to expand your horizons, in whatever little way. Movies at 9pm, impromptu, incredibly emotional jam sessions in parking lots, moving away. Whatever.

Back to work.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I got my camera! I am very much in love but have been far too busy to take any pictures that don't involve Elliot in bed at midnight. Hopefully soooon!

In the meantime, I've been working on a school project to redesign a newsletter into a magazine. I'm really enjoying it (this whole course, actually), though I find I'm constantly behind it in. I think what happens is that I decide to do all of the stuff I don't like first, because it feels like too much of a treat to be doing design, and then it's suddenly a week (or a weekend) away from being due! And this is a 6cr. 400-level course, so good marks would be nice in order to help out my poor GPA a bit!

Anyway, all that to ramble that it's been really interesting to see just how DIFFERENT every page of a magazine is. BAB is so set on a template that I'm totally used to that, and the other magazines I read regularly/semi-regularly (WIRED, Esquire, Dwell, print, Communication Arts, T+L, Conde Naste, etc.,) are all, I'm finding, actually very unique page to page. It's been an interesting challenge to work out what makes a magazine hold together when it's so different. Wired has a general style around their design (I do love them!), and used many illustrations in a similar vein, so that helps there. But some (many) use a variety of typefaces, two/three/four column grid layouts, colours, and who knows what else over the course of the mag. Granted most have 65+ pages to work with (compared to my 16), which might help? They certainly get more space! I'm jealous of the 5 pages of contents/masthead many seem to have. I'm giving myself 1 and a quarter, with the quarter already feeling a bit cheeky.

I do love magazines, though! It's been a challenge not to read every single one I've picked up for inspiration over the last several days.

Back to it...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I'm blaming the roughly 150F my room reached last night before I realised there was a heat vent above my bed, the landlords were cranking the central heating, and that for someone who keeps the heat on the 'don't freeze the pipes/3C setting' it was basically a desert.

But as I was falling asleep I had a minor 'wtf am I thinking?' panic attack regarding my trip. I think it had something to do with reading a 'how to live in Pakistan blog' full of all sorts of warnings just before bed (not that Pakistan is on my to-do list), and deciding at 4am in that weird semi-sleep state, that I was going to get raped and pillaged, not make any friends, get bored (!?), and all sorts of things while away. Even as I was falling back asleep, I knew I wouldn't feel the same in the morning--and I didn't--but I anticipate a fair few more 'uhhhh WHAT am I doing?!' moments between now and my ETD of September 10.

In other news, I sold a camera lens today--for my asking price :)--and between that, a bit of an unexpected check (gotta love them!), and the toonies I've been saving, I can *almost* buy a new camera! Hopefully I can trade in or sell my old body for the difference and get a new one soon. Like next weekend? Ohhh tempted!

I'm going to be getting a micro 4:3 camera. They're a new type of camera that fits somewhere between the dSLRs (great, but big, heavy, and bulky) and compact digital cameras (good for snapshots, can't interchange lenses, no real control, limited zoom). They also shoot HD. They're still relatively new, so there are only two major models--one from Olympus that came out in early '09 and one from Panasonic/Lumix (not sure when this one hit the market).

I'm leaning towards the Olympus with the 14-42mm kit lens (think 28-84mm) for a few reasons--it's cheaper, about $400 so, than the GF! and for me, the only difference that is a difference is the lack of a built-in flash for the Olympus (I know, right?) That said, I was thinking about it today, and I'm reticent to use my flash as it is--it's always a distraction/annoyance somewhere like a museum, you don't need them outside in anything approaching decent light (and a fill flash isn't going to fix a big lack of light on something far away anyway), you can't use them at sporting events, they're not useful at concerts, etc. I end up turning off the flash ALL THE TIME. It's not like I'm going to be setting up a studio shot that often, either, and there are other cameras in the house I could borrow for that if needs be. The one time I can see using a built-in fill flash--at a party/dinner party/club, I'd still probably have my pocket Olympus on me 80% of the time instead, since if that camera gets beer splashed on it or is broken or stolen it's a massive annoyance more than a $700 loss.

You can also buy an external flash for about $150, which still means your net savings isn't negligible.

It also has a WAY more awesome design. I'm in love with the retro look (there's a silver and black body, as opposed to the one in the link above, that I'd be getting).

It's pretty hard--there's no clear winner I don't think. I'd love to be patient enough to wait a year or so and see what emerges as the leader, but...!

mata ne!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I seem to have itchy feet again. Travelling feet. Drop out of school, buy a ticket to Iceland, and see what happens feet. So that's what I'm going to do--I hope--come September. It's exciting and terrifying, and at the same time a huge list of things to do, and nothing at all (buy a ticket and go, what could be easier/harder?)

The weird thing about me is that I've always hated change with a passion (as any good Capricorn should) yet I'm never satisfied with staying put. In 23 years I've gone to 2 or 3 preschools, french immersion, 2 different montessori schools, private elementary and high school, home schooled (twice), unschooled (briefly), checked out an alternative high school, graduated from public high school, and then promptly went to three universities in 4 years of school. I've lived in eight cities in three countries, some of them more than once, and tomorrow I move into my 23rd place of residence in as many years. Not exactly the model of stability!

Currently, I'm living in Vancouver, spending weekends in Victoria, and working in Japan. Supposedly, I'm finishing my degree at SFU, but it's really not doing it for me at the moment. I'm spending a relatively large amount of money to go to classes that aren't interesting me, and with no real motivation to finish. I don't feel like I'm getting smarter by going to school, and with a job that I love now, no plans to have kids or settle down any time soon, and a laundry list of places I'd love to see, it seems a bit ridiculous to keep on keeping on, just because I'm "supposed to."

So with a great Herculean effort I'm forgetting everything I ever learned at GNS about being a successful human being, applying for a British passport, and in May, if things go according to plan, buying a one-way ticket to Iceland.

The plan, so-far, is to go after Saanich Fair (priorities, priorities!) and fly one-way from Seattle to Iceland to join a two-week volunteer trip, spending a week in Reykjavik and a week around the rest of the country, photographing and plotting the GPS coordinates of ocean debris too large to be removed by humans alone. On September 29th, I'll be getting on a ferry to Denmark (via the Faeroes) and then...I have no idea! Probably figure out a way to Holland to hang out with Hoka for a bit, and then hopefully volunteering at the World Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam at the end of October. After that, I really have no idea.

Christmas comes up pretty soon after that, which is a bit of a wrench in it as I CAN NOT/WILL NOT miss Xmas with my mum and gramps. Maybe I can convince them to come to Europe for Christmas there!

I'm planning to keep my job, as I have the BEST BOSS EVER, who supports me completely in running away from school and jumping in with two feet to an adventure of random detail. I could potentially live off that, but probably not too easily, if I also want to be travelling and whatnot, so I'm hoping to do some placements, pick up shifts in youth hostels, or even pull pints. Work off half my board on average, or something like that. Who knows? Half my family doesn't, haha.

Anyway, back to work now, but good to be blogging about an adventure again.