Bees, Dragons and Friends

June 19, 2007

Busier? A little. Fun? Some of the time? What was it all? The following:

First off, I had my final term hand-in the past Sunday for Animation Mentor, so I was busting a hump getting that looking good enough. Claire has also decided to take on a little more challenging work which she will hopefully love. Aside from work, we’ve also been trying to get out and about and see some of what Vancouver has to offer. Sunday was Dragon-Boat-Racing-Day. It was also Meet-Richard-Andrea-And-Gavin-Day. Also Half-Price-Pizza-And-Japanese-Beer-Day. Thankfully, we could do all those things together.

We set off down to the false river bay thingie for what is the largest Dragon Boat festival outside of China. Exciting, hey? Well, what they didn’t tell us was that it wasn’t necessarily the most CHINESE of dragon boat festivals in the world. Now, when we got there, I kinda felt like the guy at the work team-building-day who isn’t too good at sports. You know, the one who goes along, but doesn’t really take part. Apparently, dragon boating is something almost anyone can do.

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I imagine it’s pretty nice to watch you mum or gran “churning the water into a frothing frenzy”, but watching someone else’s gran do that is a little less fun. (Please note: I took a little artistic license with that description of the paddling). Now, one or two races is interesting in that its different and new and a race. So you can pick a colour (I’m supporting the pretty yellow boat-thingie) and feel good/bad when they win/lose.

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But I guess I just don’t get the intricacies of competitive Dragon Boating, because I got bored after 2 races. And there were well over a hundred of them. Also, you couldn’t spend your own money. you had to buy their money (Dragon-Dollars. Very clever) and then use that money to buy stuff. The catch was that you couldn’t buy real money with your Dragon-Change. Dragon-Weird.

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So we headed out to look at some flat’s that Richard and Andrea had found in the paper. Just to fill you in, they are friends of Jo’s (Claire’s sister) and moved to Van-Van from New Zealand to be architects. Fortunately they have Architecture degrees, because I think its hard otherwise. (Note: I will be refering to Vancouver as either “Van-Van” or “The Couver”. Please try to keep up, as I won’t be explaining this again). Their friend, Gavin, is putting them up until this hunt of theirs is over. It was quite interesting seeing what flat’s and shared houses cost down-town. It was also interesting finding out that many people share BATHROOMS! With people they don’t know?! And they don’t even save much money by doing that. I think that’s very odd. Maybe I’m lame.

 

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After bonding over a few Japanese beers and Pizza we had to head back to Abby (I’ll point out that I’m using the same convention I spoke about before to refer to Abbotsford). You can be pretty sure you’ll be seeing their faces in more of our photos. Exploring is a lot more fun with more people, afterall.

And just to keep up to date, “The Ford” offers some pretty interesting photo ops. Here are some of the local accommodations:

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Flora and Fauna

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Little bits and pieces I found interesting.

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Other random eye-candy. I need SOMEWHERE to put these things.

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That is all.


Grinding

June 13, 2007
grousegrind-7.jpg . We love a good grind.
Now, usually its a rich french roast, or a lighter, more perky Brazilian.
This weekend, however, we went for a Mountain Blend.

When I say blend, I mean a mix of terraced steps and rocky scrambling that made up the Grouse Grind. Okay, so the “blend” thing was a stretch, but I needed to make the whole “coffee” metaphor work somehow.

What is it?
Well, its another example of the fantastic outdoor variety that can be had on your doorstep when you live in BC.
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I handed in my assignment at 12pm, and by 1:30 we were Grinding.
What a pleasure.

Before we left, we hopped on their website to get an idea of what was coming. What we learned, about 10 minutes into the walk, is that we have no idea how to interpret gradient when its written out. For the benefit of those who do, its 2.9km, and climbs 2800 feet. Let me just tell you, thats even steeper than it sounds. An hour after starting, I thought I was going to bump my head on Mir if I wasn’t watching. . grousegrind-7.jpg

Okay, I exaggerate.

There was snow though. Amost froze my… fingers off.

me

Just a note to the rangers or officials or whoever controls the Grind. Don’t let small children climb it. Not because they won’t make it, but because they WILL bloody make it and make people like me feel damn lame! STOP IT!
Cute, no?

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I also got a nice idea for security back home:

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Then there were the men dressed in suspenders (and I can only imagine bras too… Come on… I wish I was a girlie?? No? Nevermind)

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Now, I’m not sure if it’s clear, but there is a crazy person at the top of this massive pole. He’s holding on using a rope slung around his waist, and some fancy soccer boots. Not if you paid me a million dollars!

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The view on the way back down was also not too shabby. Thats Stanley Park on the right, incase anyone is wondering.

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That is all.


Out and about in greater Vancouver

June 10, 2007

So last night we decided to go to the only night club in the “lower main land” (I’m still not entirely sure what that is). It’s called “The Vanilla Room” and its in Langley, about 30km away. Anyway as we should have learned by now, all clubs/bars/dodgey small town places in Canada ask for ID before they let you in. We have been bounced for being foreign for being dodgey looking, and my favorite – for looking so young:) All in Moose Jaw, all by the same short memory having bouncer. Anyway, so this being a “proper” club, they were even stricter, dress code etc. So they check your ID, scan it and take your photo before they let you in. I only realised once we were there that I had no ID, and for the first time since we’ve been here(Canada) I thought – hey I sound like a tourist, I can pretend I’m just visiting. So after the bouncers frisked Andrew and Chris and scanned their driver’s licences and took their photos, I just said, “I’m just here on holiday from South Africa, I’m sorry I have no ID with me.” The huge bouncer smiled and told me to have a good time. Hee hee.

Not such an amusing story now that I write it down, but it really is. I have been bounced so often since being here – drinking age is 19 and obviously I look 17 (I know I don’t, but I can dream, they probably just ask to irritate me) – and until last night I’d never thought of playing the tourist card. I’ll do it more.

Other. Please don’t go to your doctor to say you don’t like the look of the veins in your feet, that you had a spot on your arm last week but its gone now but you want to know what it was, or to ask what my feelings are about pharmaceutical advertising on TV. Please.

Photos will hopefully follow. It was a very nice club, could have been Jo’burg, it made me feel like we were in a real place again. Oh, and apparently shorts are okay to wear out again, as long as you wear heels. News to me.

Unrelated photo of me at the Tate in December ’06

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Catching you all up

June 7, 2007

Hello, faithful reader.  I hope you’ve all found your way over to this new blog site.  I’m sorry for changing locations like this, but you will soon see the reason.

So, what’s been happening with us?  Well, I’ve been hard at work making virtual puppets live.  It’s a tough job, sure, but someone has to do it.  But seriously, it’s been a super tough term.  Brett, my mentor, works at pixar, and there is noone I would rather impress.   All this is supposed to form the basis for a “sorry for the lack of news”, but I know noone is buying it.  “You sit around in your jocks all day!  That’s not hard!  BLOG ALREADY!”, you all say.  It’s true.  I should.  I feel bad.  So, onward.

Right.  We’ve been looking for somewhere to live.  Somewhere new and shiny.  Now, we really quite like Abbotsford, for what it is.  As I’ve said before, it’s very “east rand”, which is completely cool, EXCEPT we aren’t such east-randers.  Now, I believe it’s possible to live outside your box, but we all want a glove that fits, right?  Okay, so my metaphores got a little mixed there, but I think you know what I mean.  We want a young box.  A box with slightly fewer chrome spinners and more alfa romeos.

To that end, we’ve been investigating the surroundings.  Our first stop was Port Moody.  It’s “thing” is that it’s the “City of the Arts”.  Now, we haven’t really been through this, but every town/village/hamlet has a “thing”.  I guess it’s a motto or something, but I don’t really see what it’s for.  In Saskatchewan I think they do it to try fool the people who live there into staying.  I mean, we’ve seen “Best place on earth to live”, “Best city by a dam site” (you guessed it, it’s got a dam.  Genius), “Where good things happen”, “We’ll pay you money if you buy a donut”.  Okay, I made up the last one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes up eventually.

Okay, so back to Port Moody.  Being the “City of the Arts” is quite a claim.  I was really hoping for polka-dot streets and performing arts in the parks, but alas, nothing.  Perhaps we were just there between shows.  We’ll have to go back.  See, the mottos work.  I’m so convinced by it, I’m going back.  I wonder if you started a little village and said “only people named Dave live here” if it would eventually be true.  I bet it would.

Anyway, Port Moody looks like this:

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We stayed for a cup of coffee and a VERY eggy quiche and then moved on. Before we left, we did notice a rather large number of South African’s in town.  A lady in the running shop, a couple in the coffee shop, and 3 people with some locals learning about how stupid canadian cell-phone companies are.  It was quite surprising.

We might move there.  Its halfway between downtown and Abbotsford, so pretty convenient, but it’s not downtown OR Abbotsford,  so … well, you get the idea.  Next time, White Rock.  We already went there, but it’s late, so I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

That is all.