jazzfish: A small grey Totoro, turning around. (Totoro)
Feeling distant from everything. This is a known side effect of trying to get in touch with new people, especially in this city. It's still kind of alienating. And it comes on top of some other stuff that's sloshing around in my head.

Y'all still like me, right?
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
The tops of my thighs are serious about letting me know that they have been Used. Yoga this morning may have been an error in judgement; even on a good day 'powerful pose' is the devil incarnate, and today even the prayertwists were rough. Hoping for good things from the "continue to work/stretch those muscles rather than letting them freeze" plan.

Had my first dropped chain yesterday. I turned to head up a steep hill, shifted down to low gear in front, and couldn't figure out why I was pedaling and still losing speed. Walked up the hill, took a look, and convinced it to reseat on the gear with minimal fiddling. YAY I FIXED THE THING.

First ride in the light rain this morning. (Not that Vancouver really gets any other kind.) Rather pleasant, honestly. Kept me cooled down, kept me alert, feet didn't slip off the pedals too many times. Suspect I'm gonna want a rear fender sooner than later.

I spent some time yesterday and today studying the city's map of surprisingly comprehensive bike paths. Makes me want to get out and ride the seawall. Or Stanley Park. Or, hell, just through some of the more pleasant and interesting East Van neighborhoods.

condo get

Dec. 14th, 2016 02:19 pm
jazzfish: a fairy-door in a tree, caption $900/MONTH + UTILITIES (The Vancouver rental market)
Well. We took possession of the new place on Sunday, and saw it for the first time since the inspection in mid-October. And also saw it empty of other people's stuff for the first time.

It is mostly a little better than I remembered. I'm mildly annoyed by the medium-shade wood floor but only mildly; ditto the light blue walls in the living room. The kitchen's a tad roomier than I'd thought.

Some things are a little worse. The closets have been filled with awkward wire shelving instead of a normal hanging dowel rod. There are stupid mirrored wardrobes anchored to the wall in the master bedroom; two of those have been relocated. There's some ongoing discussion about whether to relocate the other two as well. The much-touted patio is a little smaller than anticipated. There seem to be small elephants children upstairs, and a wood-frame building means we'll get to hear them. Hoping that doesn't also mean we get to hear people going to bed above us. Maybe they'll have decent carpeting in the bedroom.

There's a stone head lying next to the gate to the patio. Between that and the plaster head that we're planning to hang in the hall, this house may be the Maison Defarge.

It's mildly interesting to compare where we ended up with the list of requirements that I sent to Rhonda back in August:
Location requirements:
  • Near (<10min walk) to groceries
  • Near (<10min walk) to Skytrain or a very reliable bus
  • In (<5min walk) an Interesting Neighborhood
Entirely successful. Grandview was our first choice of neighborhood. It's a little more than ten minutes' walk to the main Skytrain stop; I'll forgive it that, since the walk's pretty flat and has the choice of "interesting" or "quiet and tree-lined."
Housing requirements:
  • Under $650,000
  • Allows two cats.
  • Two bedrooms, both of which can comfortably fit a queen-sized bed and one of which can fit two dressers (or one with lots of closet space)
  • A balcony (small is okay), or at least a sunroom
  • Wall-space for bookcases
All successful. The queen bed is a little tight in the second bedroom and there's not quite as much bookcase-space as we might have wanted. Instead of a balcony we got a patio, which I think is an improvement.
Housing effectively-requirements:
  • Dishwasher and in-suite laundry. Not a requirement if everything else is perfect and there's room for a portable dishwasher/washer/dryer.
  • 850 sqft. Not a requirement, but given the bedroom and bookcase requirements, it may as well be.
Ha. Missed both of these. The place is pretty intelligently laid-out, which makes the 836 sqft acceptable (just). The lack of insuite laundry counts as one of the few things that may drive us nuts.
Housing nice-to-haves:
  • Under $625,000
  • Low-rise (six floors or smaller)
  • Windows that can make a crossbreeze
  • Den/office/third bedroom
  • Storage room, either in the unit or elsewhere in the building
  • Gas stove
  • Gas fireplace
  • Windows that slide open rather than hinging open
  • Built-in window screens
  • Overhead lighting / ceiling fans
  • Built-in microwave
  • Large bathtub
  • Allows barbecues
  • Not south-facing
About half:
  • There's no crossbreeze, which may be deathly in the summer; no way to tell until July.
  • The storage room is referred to on the floorplan as a "den" but is basically unusable for the purpose.
  • There's no gas, which makes me sad.
  • There's overhead lighting ... but the fixtures are set towards the backs of the rooms to maximise light during the day, which means that ceiling fans aren't an option unless we move the fixtures (ugh).
  • There's no built-in microwave or large bathtub. Redoing the kitchen cabinets is very high on the priority list, and we can get a microwave then; redoing the bathroom is a much larger project and will be undertaken next fall if we decide we're serious about staying here.
  • It's south facing ... but there are a lot of trees, which will hopefully mitigate the oppressive summer heat, and this place isn't a glass greenhouse like the last two.
Curiously absent from that list, in retrospect, is "A second bathroom," which is also lacking.

We move in next Monday. Ask me again in a month but I think we'll be reasonably happy there.
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
It's snowing.

It snowed once last winter[1], about this time. Traces of white on the grass and sidewalks in the morning, all gone by lunchtime. I don't think there's actually been a winter without any snow at all yet but the past few have been about like that.

13/14 had a really good snow, and 11/12 had the snowfall where I got to play native guide for [livejournal.com profile] papersky and Z. 09/10 was DC's Snowpocalypse, season of my heart, a reprieve from all the personal horror of that winter and spring.

It wasn't snowing in New West, which is why I didn't wear my fuzzy black boots. I got to break out my most excellent winter coat, at least. (Nice heavy dark-grey wool. Near as I can tell it's mostly an Ulster coat, though without cuffs or patch pockets and with only a decorative half-belt.) I rode the skytrain in through occasional stops and starts, and got off at ComBroad to catch the #99 B-line, my usual bus.

The bus line wound back into and through the station.

"Guess I'll take the slower less-crowded #9," I said.

The line for that one was around the block.

I grumbled a bit and got in the 99 line. Stood there for about five minutes while it failed to move at all (unusual; there's usually a 99 every two or three minutes).

Eventually I got tired of waiting and turned to the girl[2] behind me. "Where are you headed?"

"Um, school. Arbutus and 10th."

"I'm going to Oak and 8th. Want a ride?"

"... Sure."

So we walked a couple of blocks to the nearest car2go. I could have done without the slush (blame the lack of boots) but there is something deeply intoxicating about walking through a snowfall in a good winter coat and a hat. We crossed the bridge over the lower half of the skytrain station and it was unspeakably beautiful. The old train depot in New West does this in the snow as well but that's, you know, brick and slate-looking roof and generally appealing architecture. I hadn't expected a transit station and train tracks to hit me like that. But there it was: gently arched glass, steel rails, and a tranquil fluff of white covering the whole.

The drive in was remarkably pleasant. At least at eight in the morning there weren't enough drivers to make for any kind of traffic, and Broadway's flat and straight for most of its length. I stayed cautious and alert and mostly (mostly) didn't spill my tea all over. At red lights I got to marvel at the small drifts and at how much happer I get when the city's half blanketed like this.

We passed more fire trucks than buses. I have no idea why so few of the buses were running.

And now I'm at work, with terrible tea. At least it's warm. At least I can still watch the snow falling outside.

[1] To the devil with your ridiculous astronomical seasons, beginning on the solstices/equinoxes. I am mostly on board with meterological seasons that start on the first of the month containing the solstice/equinox. Erin has been lobbying, unsuccessfully so far, for the cross-quarter seasons, so that Midwinter is actually, you know, in the middle of winter.

[2] I use the word "girl" advisedly. I would have bet cash money that she was at least a college student, but no; eleventh grade.
jazzfish: an evil-looking man in a purple hood (Lord Fomax)
["Hydro" is Canadian for "power company." When we were first looking at rental apartments we kept asking 'is the power bill included in this obscenely large monthly price?' and the agent kept saying 'yes, hydro's included for this unit' and we kept saying 'It's good to know that water is included but what about electricity?']

ME: Hello, BC Hydro. Remember me?

BC HYDRO: *is suspicious*

ME: *sigh* *reset password* *verify email*

BC HYDRO: Hi! Welcome to BC Hydro! What would you like to do?

ME: I'd like to have electricity in my new house.

BC HYDRO: We can do that for you, sure! Would you like to transfer existing service, or set up a new account?

ME: Well, since I haven't been a BC Hydro customer for the last two years because the city of New Westminster has its own power authority, I guess I'm setting up a new account.

BC HYDRO: Oh, you can't do that. You've already got an account with us, from when you lived in the city of Vancouver before, and we can't create a new account that duplicates an existing one.

ME: In that case I guess I'm ... transferring service?

BC HYDRO: Sure thing! Just tell us where you're transferring service from.

ME: How about from having disconnected it two years ago when I moved away?

BC HYDRO: Oh, you can't do that. You need to have service before you can transfer service. You'll have to set up a new account.

ME: ...


ME: This is not a Friday kind of problem.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
All this week I've been coming into the office, turning on the light if necessary, unlocking my computer, and thinking "crud, one of the overhead fluorescents is dead, it's darker in here than it ought to be."

Then I remember that the overhead fluorescents are not actually over head but off to one side. I don't notice because I'm right up next to the big window, and normally the ambient sun makes up the balance. But between the autumn cloud-cover and the later sunrises, it's suddenly a bit of an issue.

Sunreturn may have a solid physical meaning for me this year, in addition to the symbolic.

Lots of good cloud on the mountains this morning. I'm going to miss the view from the tower after we move. Worth it, though.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Summer lasted all the way through September this year, all bright skies and shorts weather. The sudden reappearance of normal Vancouver on Saturday hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. Waking up was tough this morning but I think I'm readjusting. It helps that my light-clock went off turned on like it was supposed to, as opposed to three days out of five last week. (Scheduled power outage one night reset its clock; when I reset it I failed to notice I'd set it twelve hours off; and then I just forgot to turn it on once.)

I fight my undiagnosed SAD with vitamin D pills and a blue sunlamp that hangs over my monitor. It works, I think. I mean, I'm still here, I haven't completely withdrawn into hibernation or anything. Definitely gonna need a sun-vacation sometime this winter, though.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
When, twenty minutes before you were going to knock off anyway, you get a work email consisting of "There's a persistent odour of rotten eggs, so we're evacuating the building and calling the fire department, come back in an hour," it is clearly a Sign that I should stand up at my desk. I'm meeting [personal profile] uilos at 5:30 for dinner and movies anyway so this is just more time to amble slowly towards downtown.

I walked to the further transit station from work. Normally I would have continued on foot across the False Creek bridge but it's sunny and somewhere north of 25 ("80") degrees out, which is about the temp at which I start to melt. So I took the air-conditioned Skytrain across, intending to walk to the little park near the restaurant and theatre.

Aside: Emery Barnes Park is, I think, the thing that most exemplifies the Vancouver I fell in love with. It's a smallish (1x2 block) green space in the heart of downtown, surrounded by traffic on three sides. And it's got windy paths through grass, and trees making shade for benches, and playground equipment, and a water-feature / concrete creek running all down one of the long sides. It's designed well enough that there's very little road-noise, particularly if you're near the water, which I usually am. It is Good Urban Design. A year or so ago there was a movement to tear it up and build more generic condos, and if that had passed it might well have been enough to push me away from Vancouver altogether, because a Vancouver that will tear up its urban parks is not a Vancouver that I want anything to do with. (Insert generic rant here re Vision Vancouver, the local party currently in government, and their coziness with developers.)

I'm glad I took the Skytrain instead of walking, because there was a violinist playing "Air on the G String" as I came up from the station. I sat and listened to her for awhile, and dropped some cash in her case when I left, because I will pretty much always tip buskers that aren't using amplification and aren't terrible.

(I've been having this urge lately to reinvent myself as a musician. I think this is what they call a mid-life crisis.)

And now I am sitting across from the park enjoying a butterscotch-and-Butterfinger shake and writing this, because I miss writing (and reading) random-slice-of-life entries. Shortly I shall go out and sit next to the waterfall and read Le Guin until [personal profile] uilos gets here, and then we shall have dinner at Basil Pasta Bar and see a couple of movies at the Cinematheque, because these are also wonderful things about Vancouver.

Like the man sang, I can't complain but sometimes I still do.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Spring has come on with a vengeance, as someone or other once wrote. This is a mixed blessing in our south-facing greenhouse-like apartment but I do approve of the sunshine.

Still looking for an apartment, still not finding one. Rumour has it that the lack of rentable supply has to do with owners realising they can make more money for less effort with AirBnB and short-term rentals. Jerks. There are definitely fewer places available than there were two years ago, even accounting for price and location.

On the bright side we went to see a place out by Commercial-Broadway on Wednesday night, and while it didn't work out (mostly made of stairs, and the few interior walls had baseboard space-heaters) we decided that that's pretty much the kind of neighborhood we're looking for. Lots of foot traffic, lots of interesting restaurants and shops and grocery stores, lots of trees. Not really any hi-rises, which is okay. My new space at work has a third-floor balcony that overlooks a quiet street, and I've discovered that I rather enjoy watching people when I'm close enough to see *people* instead of brightly-coloured ants.

So now we at least have someplace to focus our efforts, and the knowledge that the general kind of place we want to live does exist.
jazzfish: artist painting a bird, looking at an egg for reference (Clairvoyance)
Words: 400ish
Total words: 988
Neat things: A new character, on the far side of a blazing inferno!

Progress, and at least I know what happens next. Eventually this will tell me why it's happening.

In email with Steph on Tuesday we'd decided to meet for pre-writing dinner at Deep South, the newish decent cheap barbecue place. Steph mentioned this to her coworkers on Wednesday and one of them said "i think they're closed." Yep, closed up shop earlier this week. (At least they're only relocating, and not gone for good.)

Luckily we had a backup plan: Jinya Ramen, across the street from the library. I've eaten there maybe a dozen times, and it's not great but decent. I arrived about five minutes early, and all the lights were out, and there was a handwritten note on the door to the effect of "We are temporarily closed for maintenance and cleaning." Immediately below this was another note headlined NOTICE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.

So we wound up at Original Joe's, the overpriced pub-food place around the corner. Maybe next time will go better.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Two weekends ago we went back out to Harrison Hot Springs for some time away. We took semilocal J-- and K-- with us this time, which worked out alright. We soaked in the hot pools and played games and wandered a bit and generally had a decent time. I'm not sure I'd go back out there again but I'm glad we went.

Last weekend a couple of friends were unexpectedly in town, so [personal profile] uilos arranged to meet up with them for buns and dim sum at New Town Bakery in Chinatown. Turned out last weekend was also the Chinese New Year parade, so we got to fight through some serious crowds, in the rain, to get to the food.

I'm very fond of Vancouver's Chinatown. The fact that there's not a lot of English makes me a little more comfortable, actually: means I don't have this background worry about whether I need to pay attention if someone is speaking to me, because they aren't. It's got a lot of character and some history, and it just feels *right*. I'm rather bitter that it seems to be the next target for overpriced condo developers.

Meanwhile we are continuing to not find an apartment, because we're super-picky and also the market is terrible. (Don't get me started about buying a place. How stupid is the real estate market in Vancouver? This stupid.) Something will come up eventually, I guess.
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
I can see the lights in the distance
Trembling in the dark cloak of night

(Though it's really just the fireworks over Surrey. Vancovites will take any excuse to set off fireworks.)

On my own tonight; E's gone out to a Night Vale show, someone had to be home to stick the cat, and frankly I'm looking forward to an evening By Myself. Plans likely include A Movie and probably Cat Cuddling.

The wind is full of a thousand voices
That pass by the bridge and me
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
The weather has cooled off this week. Of course it has: several months ago we picked this weekend to go camping, so naturally it started raining off and on yesterday and won't really stop until tomorrow. We would have gone out anyway, but between the impending rain, having to skip one of the big Celebration Of Light fireworks shows, and family illnesses (not mine, someone else's, although we hadn't gotten as far as getting anyone to come in to give Chaos his pill) have all combined to make it a better idea to just stay home. So we did.

I'm looking for jobs again. Have been for a few weeks now. I haven't done this for about nine years so I'd forgotten how annoying and soul-draining it is, and how much cover letters suck. I mean, seriously: nobody will read them and yet you're expected to slave over them and produce perfect jewels of marketing prose for yourself. Fiction-writing rejectomancy's got nothing on job rejectomancy.

So far I've had two interviews with staffing agencies, which is a new one on me. These are companies that handle the candidate-searching part of finding applicants for companies: they send "acceptable" applicants along for a potential interview. This seems like a waste of money to me but I'm not a company, what do I know? I've also got a short phone interview scheduled for Monday, with what is literally the first place I put in a resume at.

If nothing else this has been an exercise in the kind of job I don't want: I'm not particularly interested in being the only writer, or in doing marketing writing, and those seem to be the kinds of positions coming up. I'd also prefer a contract or part-time position but I'm not seeing very many of those available. Oh well. Something will come up, eventually.
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
The temp broke thirty ("ninety") on Friday, and looks to do the same all this week. Thank gord we bought a portable air conditioner a few years back. That's enough to keep the living room bearable, mostly. It's also enough to make the lights flicker.

The real problem -- one of the real problems -- AMONG the real problems with this apartment are that its wall of windows faces southeast, so it gets all the morning sun. It's large enough that if there's a breeze we can open all the windows and get some airflow and it's not too bad... but it turns out that's a big If.


Turns out I don't function well, or at all, in the heat. Since sometime last week I've spent most of my time at home sitting/lying on the couch, reading or poking at the internet, despite there being things I would really like to do: write, viola, email, planning, applying for jobs, all that stuff. I consistently sit down for five minutes, and then end up not quite dozing off but unable to get up the energy to do anything else. And then eventually the sun goes down and I think "oh, wow, i was actually way too warm, i should do something about that for tomorrow." I can't tell when I'm getting too warm, is the thing. It creeps up on me and I'm vaguely uncomfortable and sluggish but that's about it, and it slows my brain down enough that making that connection becomes difficult.

jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I am home, after literally twelve hours travelling. It would have been less but Delta's checkin system is incapable of understanding the concept of "permanent resident," and wouldn't check me in for a flight to Canada unless I could tell them when I'd be leaving Canada. I figured I'd better get there early in case their desk staff were as incompetent as their computer system. They weren't, so yay, except for the part where I sat around BWI for two and a half hours to go with the three-hour layover at JFK.

It's rainy and grey and just a bit chilly here. Feels like home. We got the obligatory couple of nice weeks in early May to lull us into complacency, and now Vancouver has said "FOOLED YOU!" and gone back to being miserable until the first of July.

I'm finding it easier to read printed books than ebooks. Not sure what's going on there; the physical item is just more attractive to me somehow. I may be objecting to the bright white "page" background? I dunno. But I blasted through a reread of Kavalier & Clay on the trip out, and am halfway through Jane Jacobs's Death & Life of Great American Cities after starting it in BWI around noon.

I'm finally getting around to reading the Jacobs because if I'm going to keep ranting about Robert Fucking Moses and the terrible things urban planning has done, I should at least know a little of what I'm talking about. (At dinner with Megan I went on a bit of a tirade. Apparently I have Opinions about cities, and automobiles, and urban development in general. Who knew?) The book is really interesting, by which I mostly mean "confirms many of my prejudices and preferences," but also feels very dated in parts. Like the bit where she's horrified, and expects the reader to be horrified, by the woman who won't let her kids, between the ages of eight and fourteen, go down and play "in the street" (on the sidewalk) outside their New York apartment.

Reading the book makes me think that the living environment I want is "New York, specifically Greenwich Village, in the late fifties." Which is going to be difficult. I am pretty sure there are neighborhoods in Vancouver that can sort of replicate that feeling: Commercial, Mt Pleasant. They'll just take some effort to find.

Meanwhile I need to unpack and sort and generally fall back into a normal yet useful rhythm. Today, I think, is a wash as far as scheduling and Doing Things (other than viola practice, which Must Happen) go. Tomorrow will be better.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I went out for dinner with a couple of writer-type friends yesterday. There was a huge brown cloud hanging over downtown, soaking up all the light. It looked decidedly thunderstorm-y, which is not a look we get often out here. I picked up the pace and got indoors before any precipitation actually started.

Steph and Kat showed up about ten minutes later, with umbrellas out.

"It's decided to precipitate, then?"

"It is *hailing*," Kat said.

Today about an hour ago we had an actual thunderclap (just the one). Right now there's pinging off the window behind me which is most likely just rain, but could be tiny hail pellets. Chaos, who's sitting next to me, is a little perturbed by all the Weird Noises.

Stupid weather. Bad timing for my parents coming to visit this weekend, too.


Dec. 20th, 2014 02:54 pm
jazzfish: Malcolm Tucker with a cell phone, in a HOPE-style poster, caption NO YOU F****** CAN'T (Malcolm says No You F'ing Can't)
Xmas is officially done. The hard part anyway, presents wrapped and shipped as necessary. I have had less enthusiasm for this xmas than for any in living memory. Even as a teenager shoved into a confined space with family for dozens of hours on end, I got kinda excited about finding/making the Right gift for friends. This year... meh. Meh all around.

But it's done. And the tree is up, and I've been listening to a bit of xmas music, and the light will come back soon.

Thursday night I tried halfheartedly to run my LG&S game but had no brain and low energy, and ended by calling it about halfway through. Today it occurs to me that I've probably had a low-grade cold since sometime Thursday. I've got what feels like a ball of snot hanging out in my back nasal passages, and I'm vaguely spacey.

If this stays at 'low-grade cold' level and doesn't blossom into a full-bore sinus infection, that will be the first time that's happened in a long time. I never get really seriously hide-under-blankets-with-soup-and-television-for-three-days sick, but I also never have just plain colds either.

The old apartment had a super-fancy hotel across the street. In spring & summer we made a habit of being appalled by the proms and weddings that got hosted there, and of watching the seagull chicks grow up on the roof.

This apartment has a hotel across the street, but it's much less fancy. It's also got an IHOP-style pointy roof, so I doubt it will have seagull chicks.

What it does have, or has for the past few days anyhow, is a bald eagle who's decided it's a great place to hang out. So that's kinda cool.

NYT commenter "Vin" from Manhattan, a couple of days ago:
Look, I can appreciate that it’s a tough decision to normalize relations with a police state whose police forces routinely murder civilians (and whose top political leaders have engaged in torture of prisoners with impunity), but Cuba did the right thing.
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
The in-laws left shortly before six this morning. They caught a taxi to the airport and from there are flying to Portland, O'Hare, and then Richmond VA. At least I hope they are, O'Hare had some fire-related shenanigans yesterday that have almost certainly spilled over into today. Last report was they'd made it as far as Portland and had a flight to Chicago for, mm, probably about nowish.

They're not bad people, but they're not people I would normally associate with, and certainly not for a week at a time. In addition they're not *my* parents, so a lot of the stress [personal profile] uilos has been under is absent for me.

I don't really feel drained. (There's an argument to be made that after the past couple of years I don't really have the perspective to say.) I just... don't have any interest in doing any number of things I'd like to do. A shame since the sun is out.

Since writing the above we've seen a tugboat parade down on the Fraser River, including several bored tugboats doing donuts while waiting their turn and a couple of them getting into a shoving match. We've also gone down and wandered around the Riverfest celebration a bit, and taken a brief tour of the Fraser harbour on a paddlewheeler.

So that was fun but now I feel even more like staring at the wall for a few hours. Hoping I'll have the oompf to get up and go out to see people this evening...
jazzfish: A cartoon guy with his hands in the air saying "Woot." (Woot.)
Important news first: we have a place to live. We're moving out to New Westminster, two towns over. The new place is thirty-one floors up and directly on top of the Skytrain station. It's a little less nice than the current apartment but only a little: electric stove & fireplace instead of gas, no awesome superfast internet, office space will be awkward to figure out. It's got a decent-sized balcony, which is nice, and a view of the Fraser river (and, on clear days, Mt Baker) instead of Stanley Park / North Shore, which is a slight negative. Most importantly it's saving us a grand a month in rent.

In retrospect I'm a little bit sad to be living *directly* on top of the Skytrain; I would have enjoyed a short walk home after events. More importantly, I don't know what living in New West as opposed to downtown will feel like. Most of the people I want to see are out there, but most of the stuff I want to do (shows, the independent/artsy movie theatres, Stanley Park) are towards downtown. Will try it for a year or so, see how it goes. I expect we'll be fine out there.

Lease starts in August so we have a full month of paying double rent (boo) and getting the move sorted out (yay).

Over the weekend my aunt Susan came up from Atlanta to visit. Rather, she came up from Seattle since she was already visiting out there, but close enough. She got roped into games on Satyrday, which she seemed to like pretty well, and then dragged out to Chinatown and Granville Island on Sunday.

I like Susan pretty well. She's... I was going to say 'prickly' but that's not exactly right. I don't know how to describe her. I think it's to do with having lived with a bit of loneliness for so long that you get almost but not completely used to it. Or I might be projecting.

Regardless, we had a really good time. We (well, she) found a store in Chinatown that I've walked past dozens of times and never stopped in, that's full of fascinating stuff. I'd call it a junk shop except that they know what they've got and want real money for it. Example: an old laboratory glass bottle of HCl, where the label is made of raised glass letters on the bottle itself (awesome!), for $35 (yow!). And we poked in shops and galleries and wandered all over the place, and talked about all manner of things, and avoided roasting in the heat.

We'd made plans to go camping this weekend, but the combination of "fire ban" due to weeks of heat and drought, plus "rain saturday through monday" made that look like a less good idea. Stupid weather. Instead, tomorrow we're going off to what appears to be a live-action version of Myst. Will report back.


jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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