I love this image & street art. It’s a hidden gem.
June 15th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Sometimes you have to look really hard for something good. Really hard.
Tonight Emile and I attended an underground dinner party. As you’ll recall, the one we signed up for was a social one, meaning nobody there (aside from if you signed up with a friend) knew each other. There were nine attendees in total:
All people from varied and different backgrounds that shared a common goal – to meet new people and experience something a little different.
A couple days before the event, we were emailed the location details – which until then were just known as “Gastown”. It was held in an apartment featuring art from local artists and where the host lived.
Dinner was fantastic – pulled pork & guacamole appies and then followed by corn & bacon chowder, lemongrass chicken, roasted cauliflower with whipped goat cheese, smashed potatoes, walnut sweet beet salad, and ribboned spicy carrots. I think I covered everything. Dessert was sweet buttermilk cream with rhubarb strawberry topping. It was family style so it really felt like a group of friends together for a meal. Everyone brought wine to have with dinner.
Kristen, the host, was quietly in the background taking care of all the details, cooking in her personal kitchen, and serving us. Helping the conversation roll when there was quiet moments – though there were very few.
What I liked about the evening is how I felt – inside the pulse of Vancouver, trying something different. Someone who knows the hip spots, the places to the be.
So try it, you’ll be happy you did.
May 17th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: In the heart of it all, in Vancouver.
I wake up early. Not as early as some, but early. As the summer season starts to swing into action, tourist season begins. As someone who recently was cruising, seeing the cruise ships sail in and out of the port is pretty cool. They are usually pulling in when I get up. And then pulling out after their port of call in Vancouver when I get home from work.There is something special living in a tourist destination. Sometimes I hate the crowds, but other times, I feel smug that I live somewhere that people pay money to visit.
May 9th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: I am somewhere people want to be. That’s worth remembering.
A gorgeous day and a forecast of more to come. I awoke determined to find both more items to throw out of my warehouse AND to get outside to run run run. I did the first while I waited for my running partner to get out of bed and get ready. Emile is good at being on time and reliable, but given a fluid schedule, he is the best futzer I have ever met. He could stretch anything into a 4 hour event. But nonetheless we finally got out of the house.
I should mention here that I changed my rules for my running month of May. I am not going to run every day – honestly Self! You are a Materials Manager you are busy – but instead run a cumulative amount for the month. This seems more realistic as I can definitely spend more time on weekends exercising then I can on my 12 hour days spent commuting and working. So, my goal for the month is 130 kms.
But back to Saturday. What a Day! Sunny. No Humidity.
But the Sea Wall was crowded. Really Crowded. I took a picture to show you:
Okay – that actually was a picture of my view at the Vancouver Sun Run, but you get my meaning. There were a whole bunch of people pouring of off the cruise ship and everyone was out enjoying the weather. It made it feel like a race picking your way around people. But I got in 9.2 kms.
Okay – that is another lie. I am a liar. I cannot claim 9.2 kms today. My shins. My poor poor shins. They hate me after pushing through the Sun Run and having recovered yet. So, I probably ran about 6. or 7 and then had to walk – at a lively pace – but walk nonetheless for the rest of the day. There comes a point that pushing yourself is stupid if it is going to result in injury or longer lasting pain.
But it was such a beautiful day that we decided to register for the BMO marathon on May 5th. Because we could. Because we were right there.
Okay – that is another lie. God – what is wrong with me?! There was never any intention of signing up for the marathon or the 1/2 marathon. Instead, we were going to do the 8k, but for some crazy reason whoever was in charge of the race – and it must not have been a sane person – scheduled it to start at 6:30 am. Wha?! The only thing I do at 6:30 is get out of bed into a hot shower. So sorry BMO – and all the charities that you fundraise for – forget it. I am keeping my shins in bed along with my 50 bucks. Because I always sleep with my shins and 50 bucks. Always.
But – the best part about not signing up for the BMO marathon was enjoying the “Expo” and getting free things like health bar samples, yogurt, weird BMO gloves that look like those gloves you buy for exfoliation in the shower rather than real gloves. I must say the Vega booth was pretty cheap on their samples though – you had to go up and request that they cut a little piece of a bar or give a little sip of a drink. If you are giving free samples – then don’t be cheap about it. That’s what I say! Put them out there – share your stuff. Don’t make them beg for it!
Any hoo, back home where somehow it was already 4:45 pm (I blame Emile with his futzing not my walking) to shower and eat healthy things like kale.
Another LIE! I am out of control! Instead, we used my hidden credit card and coupon to buy $2 sweet fries at A&W and since we were there you can’t not have a diet root beer or apple turnover while sitting in the sunshine. (not that I have a hidden credit card normally, it was just tucked away in my running shorts).
So, off we ran to see “The Manor” all the way across downtown as part of the Doxa film festival. It was good – but I found it hard to watch sometimes as I wonder how the director was able to show his family warts and all. (including his own warts). The filmmaker was there, and we joined in a lively discussion after the movie to learn more of his story, and went for drinks with the producers after the show.
Okay. Yep. That too is a lie. We left immediately afterwards – alone – and headed to Chill Winston’s (best location in Gastown), sat outside, had a beer and wine and shared a pizza and watched the world go by.
And that is no lie.
May 4th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: The best day of my life! Okay. No. Really, what I mean, is there are no regrets moving to Vancouver today. And Oh! That heat lamp at Chill Winston’s was pretty freaking awesome with the sun setting and the temperature dropping. And the wine was excellent.
Run Today: 6.5 kms
Cumulative Total: 16.3 kms
“Well, look up into the sky tonight and if you see blue streaks, you’ll know what I am saying.” That is my grandma told me tonight when I called to wish him good luck for Game 2 of the Shark and Canucks series. When my grandpa watches a game he is either sleeping in his chair or cursing at the TV. There is no in between.
I enjoy a game of hockey – like cheering for the home team – but I am not a rabid fan. Or a fan really. But it’s this time of year that I want to buy a jersey just so I can cheer along with everyone else. Most of my updates come from the television in my building’s elevator. But I checked the status of game 2 on the internet, and watched the sky for blue streaks. Bit my nails during the OT – hoping that in my grandpa’s life time the Canucks would finally get a Stanley Cup.
May 3rd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: My grandpa says it is all over now. I wonder if he is right.
Run Today: 5.6 km
Cumulative: 10.1 km
I watched “Super Size Me” before any one had ever heard of Morgan Spurlock. I enjoyed the ridiculous debate in a dozen locations within in Europe all claiming to be “The Centre” of it all. I watched with concern and skepticism the “World according to Monsanto“. I wondered what was wrong with Americans in Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” and “Roger & Me“. I got sucked into Al Gore’s message in “An Inconvenient Truth“. I fumed and shook my fists at the idiots who destroyed the financial stability of the world in an “Inside Job“.
I am a sucker for a documentary. Everyone can relate to the human condition, and yet every person has their own story. But in all my years in Ontario, I only ever got to Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival once. So, when I saw Vancouver had a smaller, but similar festival coming up, I bought tickets immediately. For some reason, watching documentaries make me feel like I belong in the educated world where gossip is shunned, and ideas are examined. Possibilities abound for a better world.
If you’re looking for me, here’s where I’ll be (because I took into account some of Emile’s tastes too):
April 29th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Striving for Self-Actualization in a movie theatre. *Love* a documentary!
One of my favorite pictures – I love the movement, and how it captures the essence of Granville Island.
Emile’s first trip to Granville Island, Vancouver in 2004.
April 24th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: I don’t know where that boy is today (he’s probably not wearing balloon animals on his head), but we still are good friends with Colin & Alison in there in the back.
Today was the 2013 Vancouver Sun Run – a 10k run through Vancouver’s downtown and Kitsilano areas. I signed up about 30 days ago, certain that it would motivate me to get running and exercising. It didn’t. And since all I have been doing during the last week is blowing my nose or coughing, I was uncertain of my ability to join the run and actually make it through without stiffened sleeves due to . . . well, wiping my nose the whole time. (sorry about the graphic image)
I was still toying with skipping when I awoke this morning, but cheapness and knowledge that I would regret not making it spurred me out of bed to the longest and hottest shower I could stand. I took a Drixoral, ate some oatmeal and greek yogurt, had a sport drink (with caffeine), blew my nose for the 15th time that day, stuffed my pockets full of kleenex and hit the road.
I am glad I did. I can’t explain what it feels like to walk from your house and see almost everyone around you sporting numbers indicating they are doing the same thing you are. It’s like this weird sense of community that makes you say “Hey! Me too!” to everyone.
I’ve only run a 10K once before and logged in about 1:22. But I was determined that I was not going to break the rules of my colour which was runners between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 minutes. Could I run that fast with my snotty nose slowing my pace? My strategy was to make up a lot of time in the early part where most was downhill, then I could slow up and walk during the other portions.
I use an ap to track my pace and generally it is fairly accurate – it lets me know every 2 minutes and every 1/2 kilometer what my pace and time are. So, as I bolted out of the starting gate – well, it felt like a bolt – I was blown away to hear after two minutes that I had a pace of 3 mins 40 seconds. What?! That’s crazy town. Maybe I did bolt! Look at me go! Then as I passed the 2 km mark, my ap announced that I had moved 2.5 kms. Sigh – little GPS problems somewhere I think.
The sport drink I had consumed earlier now wanted out, but I would be damned if I was going to wait in a line and hurt my time, so I held it for 8 kms.
False information, kleenex stops and full bladder aside, I pushed through and did feel a twinge – well, wave – of sadness passing the 5K mark where I usually would be finished. Oh, god, I have to do the same distance again!
My left ankle hurts, my right shoulder hurts, my shins hurt, I have a headache, and I am starving (yes, weirdly I get hungry during and directly after exercise). Surely, I can’t be too far now. Oh, good, here’s the last bridge.
I have a rule in all races or runs I undertake – I have to run across the finish line or the end regardless of how I feel. So, as I came down off Cambie Street bridge and could see the finish line in sight, I spurred my aching body on. For the first time in my life, I felt nauseated due to exercise and I thought I was running on a sprained ankle. I think I had a bit of a bladder accident too, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to cross the finish line running.
April 21st, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:
The Vancouver Sun Run: Vancouver, British Columbia, April 21st, 2013 (10K)
Time: 1:01:24 (current personal best)
Gender Overall Finish: 9089th
Category Finish: 822th
Time: 1:14:53 (current personal best)
Gender Overall Finish: 11535th
Category Finish: 1122th
And now for some sweet cream and rhubarb ice cream.
It’s been a whirlwind year for us and I get asked often if I am enjoying Vancouver and we are. But it is a different as you can get. I miss the snugged in feeling you get on a cold winter’s night and the need to suck up as much summer as possible in July and August lest you miss it. I love the ability to go out and rarely worry about road conditions and feel the sun on your face frequently.
April 3rd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: I’ve had the best of both worlds.
I walked from Yaletown to Gastown to get my nails done. They convinced me not to go with the plain French manicure as I always do, but instead to do something different. So I ended up with a French-like manicure with silver sparkles on it. It might be too much. I’m not sure, but I missed out on pretty sparkly nails and the like due to retardedness in all things pretty growing up. So, I am catching up I supposed. (and using the word retarded in the proper sense here – as in my progress in pretty things was retarded by lack of knowledge and confidence. But do crimping irons count? I was really into that!).
Emile walked down and joined me and we headed to South Granville to do some furniture shopping. Afterall, I am still sleeping with a mattress on a mattress on a floor. But did we buy anything? No – why? Because we are cheap now. I used to be a person who bought things when I wanted without concern – but Emile broke me. Alas.
We then walked back from South Granville to Yaletown to look at my latest favorite shop – Cross Design. Which inspired me for a new look in our living room – not new new, but new and fresh. I’m tired of our things – it’s time for a change. But yet am value conscious – see above – so could be trouble here. I am thinking greys, whites, Provençal with a splash of red? Hello, Craig’s List.
Bought berries in Yaletown and then back home to Gastown.
Dinner was with old friends – our next door neighbours when I was a kid – where we participated in a strange family tradition where our berries and cream were served before dinner. “Uncle Rod” lived next door my entire life before I went to university. He’s 81 now and a little balder and doesn’t see as well, but Uncle Rod was thrilled to see me after almost 10 years.
March 30th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: 12+ kms, nails that sparkle in the sun and reconnection.