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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

So, my bike was stolen whilst I was downtown. I called the cops and made a stolen property report. The next day I wandered around Cracksville (main and hastings) untill I ran into it again. Then I called the cops and waited around for 10 minutes for them not to show up whilst the punk cycled off with my bike.

My faith in Canada's police department is very diminshed by this.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Recently I've been Jazzfesting, Blockpartying, Breakfasting, Being kissed by more random girls, meeting quarter natives and trying to work out when I can return this movie between all the other stuff I've had to do. Looks like this post is going to be another mini-epic. I did have a nice little filler post on my top 10 in vancouver, but so much STUFF happened before I could post it. So much more is going to be happening over the next week or so it makes my head spin.

I'll try and start at the beginning, I guess. On the sunday after the Alexander street blockparty I went on down to the Commercial Drive Blockparty. Which was the same, only bigger, louder and way way more awesome. It's all based on the idea of “Hey, let's take all the cars off one of the funkiest streets in vancouver for a day and see what it's like”. Loads of stalls, live music, entertainment and patio's from the stores on commercial just spill into the middle of the drive. Whilst I was there I saw a guy juggling flaming torches whilst balancing on a skateboard on the top of a pole, a seven year old girl rapping about 50 cent (that was CLASSIC), a guy who made things out of reclaimed leather who might make something I need (ask no questions, kay) and a girl who kissed me because I gave her some of my food. Crazy.

The next couple of days I went out, did more alcohol fueled antics. By wednesday I needed a break, so I went down to a hole in the wall diner called Bon's off Broadway. I remember it being recommeded at the backpackers lodge for it's breakfast, and for a good reason. It's a really solid, yummy grease fest. Bon know's how to cure hangovers. He also knows how to supply somone with way too much coffee (I had 6 cups >_>). I ran into Alexis herself down there, comiserated that she had to work and wouldn't be able to go to the beach.

I took the latter part of Wednesday to go to Dressew and buy matirials for my super secret project that I'm working on. I ended up spending $25 on goodies because it was just so amazing in there. It's like a creativity orgasm for anyone who is into making costumes. I got some crazy awesome trim for the shirt I want to customise (although I currently lack the shirt itself...hmmm, gotta work on that one)

Thursday I headed out to the opening of Duran's new Lounge in Gastown. I got to know him a little when he was running the Video monster store behind my appartment; it was pretty fun but I had to go to another SWAP pub meet. Ran into my scottish counterparts who where still holding on to a plan to build a Synagog in Vancouver.
Chatting to them, I finaly got talked around to the idea of making an “Unoffical” backpackers guide for Vancouver. Then I got distracted talking to a couple of girls from London (no, not THAT london. The one in Ontario, you know, the fake one) as I tend to do. Later still I tried to drunkenly explain to my companions why I can talk to girls in pubs with other things than getting into their pants on my mind without acctauly being gay or currently in a relationship and failed miserably. Next time I'll stick to the "I'm a gentleman and stuff like that is just not cricket" story.

Friday I was back at work during the day, the continued rising tempretures decided that I would be going out for a couple of beers for the evening at somewhere with a nice patio and work on my reaserch notes for the guide. Calling on the mighty powers of Serendipity, I went to the Backstage Lounge on Granville Island. BEST PLAN EVER. I was pleased to discover the barman there remebered me from my one visit months back when I had first arrived, the afternoon wore on and I considered hanging around for the evening show the “Zayne Project”. Another genius plan from spontinuity. Zayne and his cohorts, played an odd blend of Rock, Soul and Hip-hip with fun results. Zayne himself was a super excistable performer who liked to do all the moves. Although one of my favourite things about them was there ability to flow from songs to banter, to singing happy birthday back to songs again, with hardly any break. It rocked.

Later still and I got chatting to a girl called Kaila (prounounced Kay-lah). Wait...I need a new variation on that sectance. What can I say, I end up talking to a LOT of people. I end up doing a lot of stuff. Julia at the swap center mention how I get out and do a lot of “crazy local stuff”. I don't know why, I guess I just am. Perhaps I'm waiting for somone with the guts to pick up the phone and call me for once. Apparently, they aren't in plentiful supply considering the number of people I've met and swapped details with. We can call each other any time anywhere, which means it means EVEN LESS to call somone. Bah. Anyway, I'm not going to get into a rant about stupid modern social structures.

Where was I...oh yeah, Kaila was a quater native girl I was talking to (the third person that evening, acctauly) and very friendly. We spent the evening chatting between songs. She and her friends helped me locate my bike afterwards. Since I hadn't been expecting to have four or five pints I hadn't taken care to memorise where I left it. I made it home in the end without incident. Asside from getting a little lost after the Cambie bridge 'ahem'.

Onward to Saturday, a crazy deaf lady came into work and pushed the cup stand over when we wouldn't give her free coffee. I'm getting sick of the street people intimidating my friends at work, but I don't want to cause problems by being too confrontational with them. I am working on a plan to deal with her if she appears again, I think I need to borrow on my sisters nanny superpowers to let them know that throwing a tatntrum is going to get you sent to stand in the naughty corner.

I headed back home, when I got to Gastown I found that the jazzfest was in full swing. I stopped by a cafe and browsed the events list whilst drinking a smoothie (I was at my coffee limit already, sue me) and suddenly discovered that I had 1 hour to get to the Capilano Bridge to see the Wanda Norwiki quartet play live. Luck was on my side and public transportation wasn't evil and I made it with 10 minutes to spare.

I used those 10 minutes to go check out the bridge itself, normaly it costs $10 to get in, but thanks to the jazz fest admission was free. It was intresting, not worth $10 really. Quite a bit of fun, and the views are great (but then, they are great MOST places in Vancouver). It's about a rickerty as you can get away with making a modern bridge, I choose to show off on my return journy and walk along without using the handrail for support.

When I got to the gig Wanda recognised me strait away from our previous meeting at Seb's on Broadway. She's a real sweetie and offered to try and get me into see Neko Case (who I really wanted to go see, but can't afford the $30 admission fee). I've pretty much become part of the unofficial entourage and declared myself her first british fanboy. Her sister give me a lift back to the Waterbus station downtown too. They're playing at Sebs next friday, I'm half hoping to find somone to drag down there so I can share my discovered combo of great food and music with. Oh, and Wanda is a big bike rider too, she told me off for not using a helmet.

Whew, that's everything I think. I've written about 2 and 1/2 pages since I got home around 10:30ish. I wish I could crunch this down some more but I just can't think of anything else I could get away with removing. I haven't even talked about the AMAZING (but now getting unbearably hot) weather here. My plans to go to Seattle next month. The air Ballette I saw one day cycling home. How my manager Greg is acctualy a Liverpudlien in disguise. The big plans I have for my guide...So much for what certain sisters said about me stopping my blog when I got settled.

Incidently, the more comments I get, the more often I check my blog and update it. Thus the less loooong, time consuming posts you get. Not that I'm, y'know, hinting at anything.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I went to the Alexander Street block party yesterday. It wasn't that exciting, although I only arrived in the later afternoon and it rained shortly after. The good news is that the Radio cafe nearby was having a MASSIVE CD/record/book sale. I got a stack of 10CD's and a couple of books for about $20. Amoung these where; The Test Icicles album, Hot Night Crash, Eats shoots and leaves and a couple of other little gems. Which made me happy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I refuse to join the ranks of vultures. Technicaly I don't see anything wrong with going around talking to every cute girl until you don't get rejected. With the way the worlds stupid social structure that's the only way your going to meet somone. It's more the sort of mentality it seems to inspire. When you are rating every girl you meet on the basis of how good looking they are and how likely they are to sleep with you, your just a few steps away from the misguided belief that everyone else is thinking the same way.
I went out the the Royal again last night (anyone see a pattern emerging? >_>) and met a guy and couple of girls down there. They where hanging out with a group of afformentioned vultures down there. They where just lurking at the time, scavengers only show themselves around 11:30pm in Vancouver. They where nice guys, but insisted on dragging me out to talk to girls when it came to the time to go and pick the meat off the dancefloor.
Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike them for what they do. I just don't like to be dragged into it. Quit with the social pressure to come and make you feel more justified in what you do. I don't, if I try and force things in my life it never works out. I'll always be the one who ends up talking to the girl who has a big scary boyfriend, or the one who likes to lead guys on, or the one who is just greasing every guy they meet for drinks (I'm pretty good at spotting those though, for the same reason I can spot the vultures). It's a sign to remind me that what I'm doing is wrong for me.
Which is probably why I'm still single and always end up being the guy sat there to watch the girls bags whilst other guys run off and do the whole magic nightclub mating ritual with them on the dancefloor. Whatever, I'll keep with my morals. In my oppinion they would have paid off if I hadn't been dragged off on one of those stupid “let's get duncan laid!” excercises.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I ask too many questions, in my head. It's what gives me ideas and sets me off persuing random tangents. No matter how stupid they are. Questions like "could you write a musical about a stuffed moose" or "if I got in a fight, could I use this bicycle as a weapon?". Right now one of those questions is probably going to land me into more trouble (admittedly, it's going to be MY kind of trouble). Unforntuantly, I can't tell you about it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Oh what to talk about. Things have been pretty quiet for the past few days. I've gotten involved in a case of mistaken identity of nigh on shakespearian proportions, but it's not going to work out in any kind of colourfull humourous way because I'm NOT calling her back. No, uh uh. *eyes his mobile phone*. Sometimes I have to put my foot down and keep some parts of my life simple, even if it does mean life involves less making out with cute girls.

Other than that, mostly working. I went to the SWAP pub night on Thursday and got denied entry to The Cellar again. Apparently having the manual dexterity to use an umbrella and being a guide to a bunch of other "drunk" people suggested I wasn't nearly sober enough; unlike my companions, who where fine (if for 'fine' you read compleatly rat arsed"). I think the bouncers at the cellar have been taught to recognise the signs of drunken behavoir by a retarded gerbil.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I discovered a new Canadian cultural and polotical anomoly today called "Equalization".

On my days off, I've taken to going to a cafe and having a coffee whilst I read the paper before I set off adventuring for the day. Today was pretty patchy as about 70% of the paper was about America, Terrorism and Muslims. The other 30% was dedicated to this magical process called "equalization" and how nobody can agree about it.

The pretence is pretty simple. Equalisation is put in place to make sure that the poorer provinces of canada get a portion of the federal reserves to bring them up on level with the richer ones. It involes using a simple (but growing ever more complex) calculation of thier current wealth and income to work out which provinces need the larger portion.

It pretty much falls apart after that because none of the provinces representatives can agree on the calculation, and the cost of jetting the half way across Canada and back becomes tantemount to a very wearysome way of wasting the federal budget. Eventualy everyone will give up, and Steven Harper will just decide what will happen.

I still think it has to be one of the most sensible economic solutions to a lack of equity on a national scale. It just makes sense.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Duncan goes to Canada: The Video Game

Save Game Slot B.

Save Location: Gastown Safehouse
Progress: 27%
Level: 19
Job: NIN/BAR (Ninja/Barrista)
Class: Ecentric Brit
Times Deafeted: 4 (3 by hills in North Van :/, once by the Roxy when I arrived, lets not go there.)
Skills: Cycling (Novice), Drinking (Expert), Dancing (Don't go there), Dishwashing
Traits: Diabolicly British Accent, Eccentricity, Smart-assery
Number of Inn Visits: 47
Number of meals eaten: Lots :p
Number of times asked for "spare change": Too many, god danmit. All MY change is allocated.
Equipment: Folding Bicycle, Sketchbook, MP3 Player
Distance Walked: 500 km
Distance Cycled: 250 km (just estimates, probably off by a lot)
Money Spent on Transit: $260

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Vancouver in the rain can be nice. I went out on my bike on thursday and got to bomb around the seawall without having to compeat with umpty-ump joggers, rollerbladers, cyclists and god knows what else. It was pretty humid out too, the rain cooled me off nicely. I did quite a bit of cycling

The next month looks to be pretty intresting. Duran (the guy I know who runs the video store behind my appartment) is opening his new shop. The new JJBean store in North Van opens soon, I'm going there soemtime next week. Theres a new girl working in the back office at JJ's who seems pretty cool. I might be heading down to Seattle to do the full tourist gig at the end of the month.

PS: All my packages have arrived in the mail now. Yay!