Archive for May, 2007

Game on…or water on, anyway

Posted on May 28, 2007. Filed under: Condo Things |

After posting about the hot water, I found a flashing red light — it happened to be on a box that said “Explosion Danger” which was a bit troubling, so I broke out the manual and found that I had to find the 120V power source (below the bold type that read ” if you do not follow these instructions exactly a fire or explosion may result”. And so I called the company and spoke with a lovely woman who took down all of my information and then told me to unplug the unit, wait 5 minutes, and plug it back in. And it’s working! Yay! First domestic problem solved — almost all by myself. And with no explosions!

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hot water?

Posted on May 28, 2007. Filed under: Condo Things |

There was one thing that was  not disclosed when I purchased my condo was the water heater rental. I just found out before I went on vacation — so a month and a half into ownership and was able to contact the company that the heater is rented through a week later when I got back (this week). It’s now been 2 months since the last owner likely hasn’t paid (possibly 3 if she followed the same route she did with the condo fees — I forgot, that was actually the first glitch — all of her unpaid things). I just sent the payment off today and I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or not, but I have no hot water as of right now. I didn’t really need any today, so I didn’t notice until now, but I went to do the dishes and…nada. The thing is, I’m thinking there’s really no way to disconnect the water heater from the outside of the building, is there? Well, I guess they could have cut of the electricity to it from the outside or something…but maybe it’s just a coincidence? And I can’t very well call them as the bill is technically unpaid now can I? Maybe I’ll just send a polite email to at least find out if it was them. Can they just cut these things off without notice? Hmmmm…tomorrow morning is not going to be fun.

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our trip — part one — san francisco

Posted on May 23, 2007. Filed under: The boy(s), Travelling |

After months of not seeing much of one another, Brian and I finally got to spend some quality vacation time together. We  flew to San Francisco about a week ago and checked into an old hotel called Nob Hill Hotel. It’s 100 years old and has so much character and charm. The staff were wonderful and the room was adorable and quaint. Definitely a hotel worth staying at. The first night we fought off jet lag by walking aimlessly around downtown. We meandered, looking for a restaurant that I could eat at, and stumbled upon a nice thai place near the Port of San Francisco.

Exhausted, we walked all the way back (uphill, I might remind you) and headed to bed. The next day was our touristy day. We went to Sears Fine Food for breakfast.  This is an adorable restaurant done up circa 1940. We actually had to line up outside, but the line moved quickly. From there we hiked across the city, visiting Coit Tower and it was a nice view of the city from the vantage point, but nothing spectacular. We stumbled across the Cable Car Museum on the way and it was very cool. You can actually see the cables being pulled and I had no idea that was how they worked — there’s actually a pulley/cable system beneath the streets that the car has to clamp onto.

From Coit Tower we managed to find our way to Fisherman’s Wharf and I had the best fresh crab ever at one of the oldest restaurants around.

Then, the main attraction: Alcatraz. We had been looking forward to this tour for a long time and were told that we had to book ahead through Alcatraz Tours to get a place and so we did. It cost about $90 Canadian for the two of us to get these tickets. We lined up with a few hundred other people and got seats on the top deck. The view of Alcatraz as we approached was eerie and cool. The view of the city was breathtaking. We couldn’t hear the audio in the boat because it was somewhat broken. But we managed to get over to the island in once piece. We got off the boat with the first 100 people and headed up 2 somewhat steep hills (or they seemed steep because our legs were wrecked from walking so much). The first thing the tour guide said to us was “does anyone have any questions?” Um, sure “what the hell is everything around us?”. He then talked about the movie The Rock and a Clint Eastwood movie for a bit before we continued up the hill. So far, we were both unimpressed.

But I was still excited.

We got inside and were given audios.

With 100 other people and a few hundred behind us we couldn’t really see much and the audio was very poorly recorded. I’m used to audio tours that either stop after they talk about the place you’ve been hearing about and then wait for you to press the button to continue, or are numbered. These were not. These tours seemed to be recorded by people who were not, nor ever had, walked through the things that they were talking about in the pace and time that they were speaking of them. Okay, it was neat to hear about everything in terms of the escape. But it was all that they really talked about and I was really looking for more than that. We didn’t learn any real history of the island. We kind of picked up the fact that it used to be a Military island, but that’s about it. All in all it was a terrible tour and really wasn’t worth the money. It’s cool to say that I’ve been there, but it was very disappointing all in all. I think the tour company needs to tweak a hell of a lot of it’s operations to give a quality experience. We decided that we’ve been spoiled by European tourist attractions, tours, and museums — they really have it right over there.

Absolutely knackered after the tour, we jumped on the Cable Car and made our way back to the hotel in no time. After walking across the entire city (also something I’m used to doing when on vacation, but it’s never this hilly nor this spread out) our legs hurt in places that we didn’t know we had. We ate at the Italian restaurant under the hotel and it was lovely.

The San Francisco portion of our trip came to a conclusion the next day when we tried to find a rental car, found one at Avis that was too expensive, left, and found that there were no other cars to be found in the city. So we rushed back to Avis only to find that the car was gone. BUT, they had a Suzuki Grand Vitara for way cheaper than the little car we were going to get stuck with. Not cool since gas was the most expensive it’s ever been in the US, but at least we had a way out. We also learned that Mondays are high car rental days. Who knew?

After briefly visiting Japantown, we fled the city and headed for the coast.

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stuck in downward dog and high heels

Posted on May 12, 2007. Filed under: Books |

I have never been able to wear high heels. Ever. Not even the little tiny ones that aren’t far off the ground. Suddenly, a few months ago I mastered a pair of massive heels — at least three inches and relatively skinny. And I was quite proud of myself.

I wore these heels on Tuesday to meetings downtown and suddenly realized that I could walk in them. All over the place. Not having much else to do, I gave this some thought and came to the conclusion that I must be able to wear heels now thanks to my yoga classes. My legs are definitely stronger and I have way more balance than before — perhaps yoga has more benefits than just relaxation, restoration, and health.

The irony of having this thought is that I also attended a book launch on this eye opening day for a new book called Stuck in Downward Dog. The launch was so much fun — complete with free cosmetic samples (loads of stuff that I would never think to buy — or could afford to buy — and now I get to try it all out). I think the book will be a fantastic read and I can’t wait to get into it.

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sonny rollins at massey hall

Posted on May 6, 2007. Filed under: Family, Music |

When, in my adventures listening to Jazz FM, I discovered that Sonny Rollins was coming to town, I immediately emailed my mom to see if the little bro might want to go. He also plays the tenor sax and is pretty good, but I thought that seeing a true professional play might be inspirational. I was surprised when she replied that she, my dad, and the little guy would all like to come.

So last night, we ventured down to Massey Hall and everyone was so cheery and happy, it was nice. We went to Fran’s and they had some dessert first and then we squished into the far-too-close-together seats and got ready for the show. Man can he play. I mean, of course he can, but it was amazing watching this 76 year old man, who was born in Harlem in 1930, to get up there and just become such a presence on the stage. Kevin was even amazed at his fingers moving along the instrument when he stated “wow, he plays as fast as Billy plays guitar hero”. I’m not sure if that was the inspiration I was going for, but perhaps it will become latent knowledge of some sort. Half way through the first set I realized that a friend from work was only 2 rows ahead of us. So random — out of all those seats and there he is. We moved into slightly better seats at the intermission and could see the entire band from there. The African percussionist was very cool to watch — I’ve told Kevin that I’ll have to see about getting him a bongo. He wants the entire African drum set.

My parents, who don’t like jazz, surprised me by absolutely loving the show. My mom said she could have listened to him play forever.

We haven’t had a family outing in a long, long time, and it was really nice.

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medieval help desk

Posted on May 6, 2007. Filed under: Books |

I saw this for the first time a few months ago – and it’s hilarious. And so true!

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coach house books launch

Posted on May 5, 2007. Filed under: Books, Friends, randomness |

In the midst of my week of books via sales conference, I managed to find a bit of energy to head back out to the Coach House Books launch. I met my friend Tom first at The Communist’s Daughter (very cute, cozy little bar) and then we strolled over to the launch at Revival. I had a fantastic time introducing friends from all of my different lives (SFU friends, Queen’s friends, publishing friends) and making connections. I have to admit that is my most favourite thing to do – becoming a social connector even for a brief moment. Especially when the levels of connections seem to be improbable and completely coincidental. The last time I remember feeling this way was when I had brought friends to a Craig Cardiff show in Vancouver. I had a fantastic time.

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maybe i just need a change

Posted on May 1, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Do you think that cutting or dying my hair will be enough of one?

In my experience hair change often is compensation for other things that you might want to change but either can’t, won’t, or don’t realize you want to.

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