Monday, July 28, 2008

Lucky 13

Today is an unusual day for me. An anniversary of sorts.

It doesn't have an official name in my mind. I don't always react very strongly to it or even remember it. But along the lines of my birthday or wedding anniversary, a very important life changing day indeed.

Thirteen years ago today I was diagnosed with cancer.

Some years I get very emotional. Some years I forget the day until it's passed. Some years, like this year, it's just another day...

Thirteen years ago today was a day that changed myself and my life forever.

And really, if it hadn't been for that day, this blog wouldn't exist. Where I am today would be a completely different place... A completely different me.

Luckily, for the most part, I like this me.

It's unusual to be able to look back at a thing like cancer and say 'I'm glad that happened.'

But oddly enough... While maybe not glad... I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Sunday, July 27, 2008

Barack on the Beach

Last night, we went to see Twelfth Night at Vancouver's summer Shakespeare festival "Bard on the Beach." There are two giant tents (and lots of little ones) where they put on 4 shows each summer right on the waterfront. It's one of those quintessential Vancouver things that we'd never actually managed to get to...until last night. It was intended to be my birthday celebration, so we splurged and went for the Bard-B-Q and fireworks package, so we got not only the show, but also a salmon bbq (which totally wasn't bbq'd, but oh well) and great seats for the Celebration of Light. the CoL is another quintessential Vancouver experience - a four-day international fireworks competition. Three invited countries (sometimes including Canada) each put on a 30-minute music-choreographed fireworks show, then the fourth night is the grand finale, featuring pieces from each show. Last night was the US's entry. We were expecting lots of red, white, and blue, stars and stripes, etc., but alas, not so much. I think the (poorly executed) theme was love...

But the funny part came as we were leaving the site, walking out with the huge crowd. We overheard a group of older patrons behind us joking, as we had been, about the lack of red, white, and blue and the lack of an outright Obama endorsement in the soundtrack. Since I obviously missed the day in preschool where they taught us to never talk to strangers, I turned around and said, "My husband thought the finale would spell out 'O-B-A-M-A' across the sky." They laughed, and without missing a beat, one quipped back, "Well, we were expecting him to come out walking across the water!" LOL. I haven't laughed that hard in quite a while.

I think there's something about being in Canada that leaves us with a bit lighter perspective on the whole thing...
Sunday, July 13, 2008


shiny little red orbs that pop into juicy goodness when i bite into them. CRACK! the best kind of summer candy. organic and local. got to enjoy them while they last.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Joys Of Moving In Vancouver

So rather unexpectedly, we've found that we have to move.

This was not a planned thing on our part... We had been fairly certain we'd spend at least the next few years here. We've enjoyed the last year here and if there's any one thing I hate above all else on this planet... It's moving.

Well, ok. Maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration... I mean when you can choose things like big evil corporations, pollution, etc, etc... Maybe moving isn't so high on the list.

On a personal level though, I hate it.

At any rate, the owners of the house we're in suddenly sold it. Vancouver real estate market being as ridiculous as it is, they didn't even mean to sell it and it was gone.

So we were on the hunt.

Let me first reiterate that last comment. The Vancouver real estate market is ridiculous.

We have no intention of buying here. Ever. When a condo in our neighborhood starts in "the low 800's", you know something just isn't quite right.

Plus there's the whole BC to Bergen thing... You know how it is.

The problem with the real estate market being as ridiculous as it is means that the rental market is just as bad. People can't afford to buy anymore... so the whole rental market turns into a head hunt.

It's harder to find a place to live in Vancouver than it is to find a job.

When you think about our huge homeless problem in the city and you realize that even two respectable professionals (as are we) have issues finding a place to live... the people that have no money don't stand a freaking chance.

At any rate... today we found our place.

It was probably the 30th we've looked at in the last two weeks. I've never had to do a search like this. I often say that I choose my home the same way I buy my pants... I walk in, I try them on quick, I pay, I leave. No window shopping. No store to store. No checking the brand.

I like it, I buy it. 'Nuff said.

Truly though, this hunt was different. The places that are available are in two categories... Too expensive or never meant to live in.

Too expensive speaks for itself. There's only so much of my monthly income I should have to put towards lodging.

Never meant to live in... Well... A lot of that comes to houses that were never meant to have basement suites... Places where the ceiling height is only 6'5", if that, because they were meant to be basements... places where stuff was stored as opposed to places where people live.

Then you also have the worst of both worlds... The too expensive, too small, not fit for a jail cell, never mind a place to live. The 500 sq foot apartment.

I don't take up much for space. I live relatively lean... however... even when I was single... 500 sq feet would not have been enough for me.

The one other thing is because of the shortage in affordable housing... everyone and their dog is fighting for the same spaces. Well... except for the fact that there's no pets allowed. So their dog is out. Every place you go to, you get a line of people waiting to see it. Then they ask things they aren't even legally allowed to know... but you don't really have a choice but to answer as otherwise you won't get the place. I've had job interviews less intense.

It comes down to who looks best of course... I have to say we come off as respectable, but I've never been a fan of popularity contests.

So i repeat to myself, we found the place. The stress of the last two weeks is done. We're going back to apartment life... but it felt right from the second we walked in. Gorgeous view of the city... Balcony... Outdoor pool... Looked like a very cool building and hopefully somewhere we'll fit right in.

The best part... we don't have to hunt again anytime soon... and I'm most definitely going to keep myself away from Craigslist.