Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s the vibe of the thing.

Or, A self-confessed bandwagoner weighs in.

A little background: My twin brother, Patrick, is brilliant. He says all sorts of smart things and he’s usually right about them, too. He can get a little sassy sometimes, but that’s a story for another day.

So anyway, the other day, Patrick tweets:

I don’t understand why some people are so vehemently opposed to the hockey buzz in the city. It’s a cultural experience & celebration.

“YES!” I shout. Or at least I would be shouting if I wasn’t lying in bed wrapped up in my blanket, with one eye cracked half open as I read my Twitter feed and try to convince myself that it’s totally cool, even wise to stay in bed for another 15 minutes.

But the sentiment is there. And telepathically I am shouting and telepathically Patrick knows because we are twins and we share that power.

I don’t understand how you can live in this city and not feel alive and exited and proud! Sure, I can see people not being particularly interested in hockey during the regular season [raises hand nervously]. Here’s a confession: I didn’t even know until about three weeks ago that there were different lines. I thought there were like, five star players and a whole bunch of backups. What can I say? I’m a football fan.

But I digress.

I can see people not being diehard hockey fans, and I can even see people being said that their favourite team didn’t make it. But to be “vehemently opposed” – and indeed some people in this city are – to the vibe in Vancouver, to the snazzy sense of community it’s creating, just because it has to do with the success of the Canucks? That I do not get.

I always smile at people, but now people are smiling back!

I always start conversations during awkward, silent elevator rides, but now people are engaging me, rather than getting off three floors early just to escape.

But this story is my fave, and I think it perfectly illustrates my point.

Last night, I’m at the gym at my office building and not Downtown freaking out with everyone else in Vancouver, because, well, I haven’t been very nice to my body these last few years, and it needs the exercise more than it needs to be Downtown. I’m the only one in there, literally, so I have the game on both TVs and I’ve just finished running on the treadmill, so I’m looking really hot. And not the rawr kind of hot, the gross, sweaty kind of hot.

The dude who sings the Star Spangled Banner is wrapping up the song and I’m finishing some shoulder thingies* and a guy who works in the building comes in to grab his biking gear. He kind of hums along to “and the hooooooooooooome of the braaaaaaave”.

ME: We might as well stay standing, it’s O Canada time.

HIM: I’ll sing if you sing.

So there we are, side by side by the shoulder thingie machine. He’s in his work clothes and I’m disgusting and sweaty, and we’re singing our national anthem together.

That never would have happened under other circumstances and it’s because something very cool is happening in the city right now. How can you vehemently oppose that?


*that’s the technical name of the exercise.



Karl’s been kidnapped… Part III

I circulated this Missing Snowman poster around the office to see if I could get any leads.null

Musique Du Jour: Doves – Caught By the River

I’m going to see them next week, and I’m very excited! It’s hard to pick one song that represents their sound, because their material is quite diverse. But, Caught By the River is my favorite Doves song TODAY, so here ya go :).

Musique Du Jour: Au4 – Paper Cuts from Paper Butterflies

To say that I was a fan of Stabilo throughout high school and most of university is an understatement–I truly reached levels of fandemonium, fansanity, fanaticism, whatever you want to call it. Though my tastes have somewhat changed, I still look back fondly at the memories of traveling all over the Lower Mainland to attend every all-ages show they had, and, when all else failed, booking them myself! The other great benefit is that the drummer, Nathan, and his brothers had (have?) a side-project called Au4.

I managed to catch them live a couple of years ago, and it was absolutely aurgasmic. Mmmm… All of the tracks from On:Audio are out of this world, but here’s Paper Cuts from Paper Butterflies.

They also have amazing visuals for each of their songs. My favorite (which actually accompanies Paper Cuts) isn’t available on YouTube but here’s another stunner:

RIP, brother


My favorite Ralph moment:

Chris: You have to exercise the cables once in a while so that the metal doesn’t corrode.

Ralph: Exorcise?

Chris: Yeah, exercise.

Ralph: Exercise or exorcise?

Chris: Exercise; like, wiggle them around.

Ralph: Oh! I was thinking you were wanting us to pray over them and ask God to send the demons out!  

Your heart was so beautiful, and you will be fondly, fondly remembered, friend!

It feels a bit rusty, but here I am writing again

Well what do you know?  She is actually sitting and typing something. 

I was finally inspired by my delightful weekend, and my friend Anya, who’s been having the experience of a lifetime in China.  She says her blog is boring, but I vehemently disagree.  Check it out.

I promised myself that if I started blogging again I wouldn’t talk too much about work, because when it comes to a large organization–or any business where Daddy isn’t the boss–one needs to be careful about what one writes.  But, let me just say this: I love my job.  I’m excited to come to work every day, I love being challenged on a regular basis, I thrive when busy, and I am thrilled to be part of this team.  For that’s exactly what it is… it’s a team where no member is undervalued for a second, where the chief physician knows the volunteers by name and where “secretary” and “assistant” aren’t demeaning terms.  I’m going to miss it an awful lot (this temping assignment ends mid-December).

Friday night eventually brought us to The Odyssey (via UBC, The Cactus Club, and the No.17).  A new experience for me, but a fabulous time was had by all, despite Leggy being a bit sad with me in the morning.  I’m coming to realize that it’s not about the places you go so much as the people you’re with.

Saturday afternoons I volunteer at P’s.  This week I spent the bulk of my time in the psych ward at a hospital across the street.  Again, I don’t think this blog is the greatest avenue through which to discuss these things… if you want to know more, ask!  I’d love to share with you what this experience at P’s has been like so far.  I’ll say this, though: the nurses and care aides in this field are better human beings than I can hope to be.  Or at least, very differently gifted than myself.

From Vancouver I met up with Shannon in Burkeville and we had a lovely dinner and catch-up at Elephant & Castle.  By this point, though, my contact lenses had begun to crust to my eyes, so I had to get home to remove them from my face, thus saving the temptation of Settlers for another time (hopefully soon!).

When I got home I found that I’d received a package from UBC IRSA.  Turned out to be the report from a conference I attended on fragile states last year.  Woot!  That will make for some fantastic reading later on in the week.

Sunday I went to my last Uganda meeting and had a good chance to reflect on what I’ve learned, and what I’ve un-learned since those four days so long ago.  I think I’ve finally come to grips with the emotional pain caused by the Incident, and wouldn’t you know it, as the emotions heal, so does the leg.  I feel like, five months later, I’m finally coming to debrief a little bit.  One thing that has stuck out for sure is the kind of person I was when I was in Africa.  I can’t pinpoint why it happened, maybe it’s because God is so present, so embraced over there, that I liked the Sara that I met when I was in Mpigi.  And you know what, dammit?!  I’m going to chase after that girl.

 Anyway.  Tedious post.  Brilliant weekend.

Writer’s… cramp.

Lately, the idea of blogging has looked a lot more like a chore than a pleasure.  I think I needed the entire summer to rebel against writing and the English language and all of the things I’ve had to be so careful about for so many years.  Things such as grammar, and “real” words.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to write, and I really do think that it was a break that I needed.  Looks like my brain’s turned to mush, but I’m back.  Maybe not with a vengeance, but I feel like I can–no, WANT to–start writing again.  Even if it’s just in this silly little blog.  🙂  Smiley face.