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Jeff Werner

Designer in Vancouver, Canada. Secretary of the 221A Artist Run Centre, member of Fieldwork design collective, and former exhibit designer at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and the Vancouver Aquarium. Graduate of Emily Carr and University of Victoria, and worked in the Philippines, Indonesia and the Netherlands. Cycling advocate and race on the Garneau Evolution team.

Daily Activities

First Roast

Beans before roasting and after. My buddy Scott went to Costa Rica last year just as we were getting into coffee and he thought he'd bring back a little vacation souvenir to feed the growing hobby: coffee beans. Specifically green beans, unroasted, direct from the farmer. A couple pounds to play around with. He ended up with 20 kilos....

Bialetti Showdown: Aluminum vs. Stainless

The contenders. I always thought the aluminum bialetti left a metallic taste in its brew so my Lady and I switched our morning ritual to a stainless model over a year ago and never looked back. I’ve heard, and read, of others who felt and did the same, yet there’s always been that little nagging modern doubt: did you...

Classic Vancouver Cycling Routes

Looking over some of the classic road cycling routes of Vancouver I'm starting to see some patterns and shapes emerge. When I see the GPS tracks for these rides on a map I feel like calling them by their birds-eye views rather than their usual road / area names. Example: Rather than say "Let's take the Cypress bike route out...

What I'm doing this week

Riding Seymour and Cypress / submitting a patent application / washing my bike / building two websites / installing a window display / organizing a photoshoot / getting drunk / applying for EI / applying for jobs / meeting a friend's new girl / hanging out with a baby / creating a business plan / attending a magazine launch /...

Mistakes I Made Last Week

Lost the keys to a rental vanDidn't attack in the last lap for lack of confidenceCut off a teammateWent out to eat too often while on a budgetDidn't eat enough protein...

Rights I Made Last Week

Stayed in town for a gallery openingWent for a hike with the MomsPulled over before feeling too sleepySigned up for a friend's bachelor partyEncouraged high school art studentsCaught up with an old friendMingled with many acquaintances at a party instead of just close friendsWrote a testimonial for a mentorBlocked for a teammate, then drove a new break for laps, sprinted...

Mistakes I Made Last Week

Didn't check the race bike's rear tire thoroughly enough and then flatted in a raceWas too abrupt with someone who was having relationship troublesDidn't call a girl when I said I wouldSet a deadline for a client I couldn't keepHeld back too long in a sprint finish Didn't bring food on a long rideGot upset when asked to do a house...

Mistakes I Made Last Week

Sold an item on ebay for too little Shipped an item to a customer on ebay without insurance Went out drinking the night before a bike race Didn't go to a bike race Went on a date with a girl who already has a boyfriend Went on a different date with a girl who just wants to be friends...

Art around town

Mars Phoenix Is My BFF

Image courtesy my buddy, Mars Phoenix. 3:15 AM Jeffrey Werner Have you been following the MarsPhoenix on Twitter? It's so great. Possibly one of the best things the internet has ever done 3:15 AM The wha, no 3:15 AM Jeffrey Werner Ya, you know the Phoenix is over there right now digging up soil and ice and whatnot Well...

Anne Frank House

I likely first heard about the Diary of Anne Frank in grade school, though I don't recall reading the actual diary. I never gave her much thought again until I happened to walk past the Anne Frank Huis, now a museum and major tourist attraction, on my first visit to Amsterdam in 2003. At that time I vaguely understood...

Living With the Composers

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Utrecht Excursion

Spent the day (April 26, 2008) in this happening central Netherlands city with some fellow design students visiting the Dick Bruna Huis and the Rietveld Schröder House.

Design Academy First Impressions

Hi David, Jeff Werner here. How's things? Me: I'm in Eindhoven. Been here over a month now. Got a decent room in a townhouse with three flatmates, themselves from all corners of the globe and masters students at the Academy. My days (and nights) are filled with studies in the Public Space department and the Atelier module course, which is...

Umberto Eco's Intern

I walked up to him across the lawn of the stable, near the old red barn, and shook his hand. And Umberto Eco replied "You talk too much. In the car you were gossiping and gossiping with that man." Then he looked away, but in a manner that said he didn't mind me. He would tell me more soon,...

Nine Months of Sent Mail

These sent emails cover the period since I left Canada on April 23, 2007, and leaving Bali on January 26, 2008, i.e. nine months of sent mail.

I am not Shigeru Ban

A recent comment posted by Wendall Chin on the entry http://jeffwerner.ca/2006/06/shigeru_ban.html says: Hello, I'm reaserching [sic] my project on your Picture Window House. I'm in need of the entire landscape from the ocean to the tip of the hill. If you could provide a landscape site along with wide range of photos relative to the house, that would be great....

Petra Blaisse and Inside Outside

A design firm I toured recently through a friend. Blaisse's Inside Outside, located in an old school house in Amsterdam, consists of two studio spaces (one for Outside or landscape work and one for Inside, or interior design projects), as well as a meeting and supply room. Blaisse and her firm have completed work for the Seattle Central Library, Casa...

Important Keys

I pille a bottle of water on my MacBook Pro a couple month ago an ever ince three key on my keyboar no longer function, two of which, it turn out, are pretty uefull letter in the Englih language. It i truly making me crazy. I avoi typing a much a poible now, which partly explain the lack of upate...

Filipino Text Slang

So the Philippines is literally the text--or txt--capital of the world. More people send messages through their cellphones here than anywhere. The P1200 (approx. $27 CAN) used, ubiquitous (Nokia has sold over 1 billion) Nokia 1100 phone I bought from a street vendor in Baguio. Here pictured during a hike overlooking the Banaue rice terraces, the only place I picked...

Baguio Digs

Some pics of the provided digs for the past six weeks of my Philippines Internship, i.e. where I live: Narda's main building and factory in La Trinidad, where all the dyeing, weaving and business goes on. Narda's also rents office spaces on various floors. The guest apartment I live in is on the top right, right next to the tapestry...

I plug away in Baguio

On prompting, an update of my daily activities. The past two weeks have been pretty much like many other summer spent 18 hours a day on the computer HTMLin', CSSin', Flickrin', Blogin', Surfin'. Except I'm doing it in an office alone in a small weaving factory in Baguio City, Philippines. My meals are fairly regularly prepared by Malene, the on-call...

Strike

AutoCAD Final Project Soft Product Final Bag Ergonomics Midterm Ergonomics Final Assignment Report Core Studio Process Books Core Studio Lighting Image Boards Pack room shit for storage Pack school shit for storage Find summer roommates Pack for trip Cut my losses: Soft Product Final Bag Assessment...

Room for Rent

New posting, same place, for Summer 2008 I'm on internship for the summer and I'd like to rent my room to a kind person. If you've been to my place, which I share with three other Emily Carr students, you know what I'm talking about. If not... It is nice. It's got a front and back porch, free laundry, gas...

FreeCell Best Streak

My top winning streak in the solitary computer card game FreeCell and my strategy for avoiding essays.

Plows

Nothing like a little snow storm in the metropolis to help a small town boy feel special: City of Vancouver Snow Removal 27 plows $400,000 annual budget 2,000,000 people City of Nelson Snow Removal 4 plows $436,000 annual budget 10,000 people Sources: http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/streets/snow.htm http://www.city.nelson.bc.ca/html/snow.html Midnight outside my home in Kitsilano, Vancouver, November 26, 2006....

Whimsical Design: Copywriting

Note the disclaimer below the directions on this sachet of Lipton Cup-a-Soup: You don't have to add exactly 175 ml, it's not like a law or anything Also the No Spoon sign. Examples of superfluous, yet whimsical design. Not judging its effectiveness, but good to keep in mind....

Too Nice

Lunch with prof again: pork loin and sauerkraut melt on wholegrain, special mayo, side honey kettle chips, glass of Orangina on ice. Later: tea during paragraph breaks and URLs. Tagged along town earlier. Introduced to Neils (stern, tall, dark, Danish) at Inform; tour of new three-story, geo-thermal-heated store front with green roof. Side note: green roofs hardest thing to do....

2360 Larch is my new home

I now live with Tobias, Hamza and Nate at 2360 Larch in Vancouver. I am building us a website. We are busy people. We hunt craigslist for furniture when we're not all at the Emily Carr Institute. Things here are good. Hamza cooks us chicken curry often. Nate makes orange french toast and a Kentucky poridge. Tobias is good at...

Crunchy or Smooth?

I just answered an Unknown Caller phone call from a man I don't know and he immediately asks me: "Crunchy or smooth, Rob?" Because my name is Jeff and I do not recognize the voice I reply, "Beg your pardon?" He repeats the question. "Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?" "Erm, crunchy." Which is an outright lie because I actually like...

Muppets, Halifax

Like synchronized conmen two good friends of mine--who have never met yet both live in Halifax--have MSN'd me at the same time two Saturdays in a row now. At midnight. Drunk. I'm guessing, taking into account the East Coast time difference, that drinking establishments close around 3am there. And tonight, in-between the usual conversation (women, film) both made coincidental references...

RCMP Alarm

I wake up around noon or one o'clock these days so answering the phone in bed isn't unusual. I mean, the world works away while I'm resting off the grid, right, so it comes with the territory, these interruptions. So during a recent 8:30am the ringer's brrrringing and the call display is glowing a 604 prefix, which is Vancouver,...

Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban presented an overview of his work to an auditorium of Canadian graduate, accomplished and student architects yesterday evening at the RAIC College of Fellows Convocation in Vancouver. The most compelling areas of Ban's work were his criticisms of monumental structures, visual and physical transparency, respect for existing land use, notions of inside/outside, modular configuration and building on a budget.

The GDC Coudal Lock

Jim Coudal spoke at the GDC/BC Salazar Student Awards on June 1. It was pretty good. His design firm, Coudal Partners, has this new philosophy: to do less work-for-hire and more work for themselves. An example of work-for-hire is creating a brand identity for a major corporation. You get paid for the work—once--and you're not involved in its process (or...

The Wedding Invite Network

So I move around a lot and to keep things simple I get much of my mail sent to Tyler's on West 7th Ave. And I'm expecting this wedding invite to arrive from Alistair any day now, All-Star being one of my closest friends, he's getting married in August and I even seen the envelopes before they were mailed and...

Keeping it Put to Stay Mobile

What I’m talking about is using web-based instead of home computer-based software as much as possible. I’m keeping my life centralized online so that I can access it from anywhere, anytime. The following is a summary of what I’m currently using, how I use it, what it’s replaced, and how much further I’d like to take it.

Live Preview

I am going to write down ideas/things to do in real time here, as they come to me: Video: two people, interesting-looking, hand and body gestures, actions, obvious performing in front of camera. Slow mo for contemplative effect. Influences: new Cat Power video, Tokyo Olympiad, Aaron's man in the bush video, Stan B. masterpiece man climbing mountain. Are there certain...

Case of the Missing Toaster

Specifically, the Black & Decker TRO200 Toaster Oven, a classic of the genre. (Toaster not exactly as shown). The Crime Roughly 50 days ago I donated the above-mentioned toaster oven (in well-used condition, a personal family heirloom) to the Emily Carr Institute student body. I did this unannounced and of my own accord by placing it atop the general-use microwaves...

Island Introduction

(or) How to Show a Norwegian a Good Ol' West Coast Canadian Time. Since moving here in September Andreas hasn't left downtown Vancouver. For our week-long reading break I showed him around Victoria and Vancouver Island.

On A Roll (Expanded)

Oh man I had stuff stolen in January. Society, don't fail me so. First I got this nice hat for Christmas and wore it for about two weeks before it was swiped at school. I really liked that hat; a couple people even said it was pretty cool. A couple weeks later and a suitcase full of school audio equipment...

On A Roll

Possessions lost (and a few stolen) since September 2005. Actually, all but three of these were lost since New Year’s: toque (blue, Golden Key) toque (black, Adidas) cap (newsboy-style flat cap, beige with black cross stitching) Marantz cassette recorder, omni-directional microphone, XLR cables glove (right hand, neoprene Fox racing) glove (left hand, XC ski-type) sweater (grey, crew neck) ruler (metal,...

Imitation is a Sign

The image below looks very familiar. It is a screen grab taken on January 24, 2006 from the homepage of http://weddingsalacarte.com. It looks familiar because it is the design from my site—the site you are reading right now—copied to another website, with some text changed (much not) and a new menu inserted at the top. Familiar (ripoff) design. As of...

Back in the Saddle

Heya, here's what I've done so far this week, in case some of it might be of interest to you. 1. I just got into Sufjan Stevens. Sheesh, why didn't you tell me more about him? Illinois is a great album. At the same time I am also walking around a lot more with Death From Above 1979 on my...

Vacation, Education and Moving Plans

This is a notice about what's happening with me regarding changes to work, school and living arrangements. The short of it is I'm leaving on July 18 and when I return in September I'll be living in Vancouver to attend school full time. Any projects I'm currently involved in will be either wrapped up this week, truncated, or on pause...

Beer Collides With Keyboard, No Survivors

Scott, you left your Coronas at my place the other day. Like any good friend upon finding his buddy's beer in his fridge I dutifully set about caring for them. But just I was nursing one to my lips it attempted to escape! I know! In fact, this rogue beer committed suicide, flinging itself over the keys of my computer's...

Embarrassment, Despair, Car Repairs

I bumped into an acquaintance on 4th Avenue in Vancouver this weekend. I recalled he was just finishing (or had finished) medical school and congratulated him so, even calling him doctor, which felt weird to say to a guy I would consider my contemporary (he's a few years older). It was good timing, the Dr. praise, for he was just...

No Scheming To Sell Out

I was thinking about Chris Onstad during dinner tonight, that minor-titan of the online comic world and creator of its darling indy-child, Achewood. And I was thinking, what could Onstad do to make more money off his comic? I’ve been reading Achewood for the last half of its four-year run, thoroughly enjoying its consistency and unique mature humour. But does...

Holy Shit List: Computers

Inspired by the original Holy Shit List, this is my list of computer technology encounters that were so cool and influential that I can still remember the moment and feeling when I first laid my hands and eyes on them.

Clean Routine: Apartment

For best results follow directions in order. Do not clean until one of the following occurs: More than two people come to visit All other procrastination tasks are exhausted Ants Everything in its place: Move everything from desk to bed File papers in "round" folder Dishes Dust Move dust from desk and shelves to air Vacuum Ceiling Walls Tables Computer...

Up Yours Victoria Transit

I am so angry about waiting in the cold for an hour for a bus.

Classical Guitar Concert

imageMy brother performed in his second solo concert at the Conservatory of Music in Victoria on April 1 (but no fooling). Photos are now posted.

My New Showering Technique is Unstoppable

Tonight I tried to wash my eyelids with a face cloth covered in soap because I've never really washed my eyelids. And now I am in pain.

Toque and Flute

When Lisa and Alistair returned last Christmas from their extended stay and travels in Peru and South America they brought me a gift. Or rather, they left my gift with Scott until I returned to Victoria after the holidays. Come a February house party at Sarah and Kelly's and sure enough, Scott pulled through! So a belated thank you Allstar,...

Xmas Party 2004

Xmas Party 2004 Finally gotten around to posting some photos from my Xmas party.

2005 Phone Book

A brief comparison of the entry pages for "Werner" between the 2005 and 2004 Telus Victoria Area phonebooks.

Nickel on some guy's underwear

I finished a game of squash on Sunday (I lost 3-2) and entered the change room. I knew I had some change in the left pocket of my jeans as I took them down from the hook where I'd left them. But I was careless and grabbed the pants from the middle, rather than from the top, and yanked them...

On the desk

A photograph of my desk and what I'm working on, with descriptions. Just another form of procrastination, really.

Signs of Age: White Hairs

It's kind of interesting how they're coming in, my white hairs. The girlfriend's noticed them for a year. They really caught my eye in the mirror today. I think the static in the air made them stand out. There's no such thing as gray hair. It's either pigmented or white. It's the blending with your natural colour that makes hair...

Smashing Pumpkins

I was shaping up to be so lazy this past Halloween. The idea to dress a bunch of us friends up as Tetris blocks (I was to be L) never materialized. I didn't go to a party. All I had on plan was handing out 98 novelty-size chocolate bars to trick-or-treaters from the Oak Bay home I was house...

Open Letter to the Family

Hey you two, not sure how much time you have on this interweb-thingy, but if you have a few minutes take a surfey around my new website. It's the same address, http://jeffwerner.ca, most of the same content, but more rad both above and under the hood. So it should, I spent the last four months on it. Let me know...

On a Foggy Night

Night fog on Doncaster Street, Victoria - 11pm

Gone Fishing

Yesterday was sunny and warm. Today is windy and rain. So we're going fishing in Sooke. Back from fishing. Shawn was supposed to pick me up, then we'd meet Mark at the Colwood Timmy's. But Shawn went to a kegger night before. His straight forward, 5am email: Can not drive . Cannot go . So Mark phoned the marina for...

Fine Felt Stetson

I've never taken the #14 bus further than downtown, when in fact, for $2, you can take it across the freakin' province. By the time I got to the birthday party in View West---er Vic Royal---or is it Esquimalt?---I was ready to chuck my dinner down the stairs of the double-decker, so motion sick was I. But some jazzy...

Gmail Invites

I have a few. Those interested, email me....

Happy Birthday

Kites and Powerball

Recovering from the Best Potluck Party of 2004, I spent my Saturday with two friends flying kites (a kite boarding trainer and a regular two-line control one) and competing for the top score in Powerball: Preparing the Kite Board trainer after fixing one of its many string snaps, a consequence of bad knots, beginner control and the strong Clover Point...

Weekend Update: Moving, tomatoes, Gmail

Completed the annual move-the-girlfriend-to-North-Van this weekend: two car loads from Victoria and one U-Haul truck from storage. It's actually a lot easier to move someone out of a storage cubicle than in. And her new two-bedroom basement suite in Upper Lonsdale is pretty sweet: new fridge and stove, very spacious, good lighting, lots of windows, in-suite laundry. Met her new...

Dinner and Wildlife

After a nice ride around the waterfront this evening I was watering my landlady's plants (she's gone to a "fabric arts" fair on some Gulf Island for a few days). So as I'm watering these young geraniums or whatever, still hanging in some plastic support bag, this insect, or so I thought, comes leaping out from under the stream...

Water Slides: Serious Fun

A few weeks ago the Girlfriend took me on a surprise outing to the All Fun Recreation Park in Millstream, just outside Victoria. I used to ride/drive by this place, nestled in an active gravel pit, on the way to mountain biking, before the new subdivision and golf course put an end to it (the riding)....

Cars eat gas

The Girlfriend's car is eating through an exorbitant amount of gas these days. Even taking into account this summer's price hike at the pumps, the little red '86 Mazda 323 seems to have sucked up at least three $40 refills in the last 1000 kms. I remarked the car probably has an eating disorder, or as the Girlfriend figures it,...

Ceremony of the Flags

View of Canadian Sea Cadets firing the gun during the annual Ceremony of the Flags on the BC Leg. lawns. The audience was warned to cover the ears of babies and pets during the booms....

Red sun

With the first overcast (with polution?) sky in almost two weeks, the sun was red last night....

Good Dog, Peaches

Peaches, 1991-2004....

Moving the Home 02

Moms with home. Pilings in foreground, foundation exposed, basement studs, then first floor wall with kitchen windows and deck door. Foundation and pilings to be completely buried, and will have (the pilings) posts going up another story to support the first-floor deck. Second floor and roof not built yet. My hands, I now realize, could best be described on...

Moving the Home

Including taxes/fees, a flight from Victoria to Kelowna on Saturday morning cost me $78 and took 50 minutes (pictured: my view from seat 14A). The bus cost more and takes, well, 12 times as long. So it was straight from the plane to the Moms and her car. We bought two door knobs, some gloves and lunch in the...

Replacing awkward moments with awkwarder ones

There's those awkward moments, when mingling at parties, which are to be expected and tactfully diverted, yet will occasionally bubble over into all-out social miscarriages like a barroom brawl....

Summer To-Do List

An ever-expanding list of work, recreation and other things I'm gonna find time for....

Update: life in June

To fill some gaps between posts as I prepare some more comprehensive writings, some things I've been up to lately.

Hands back on the bars

Two weeks since bike crash. I'm commuting on the Gardin again, which needs a little derailleur and/or derailleur hanger re-alignment, some new bar tape, and maybe a new saddle, but is otherwise OK. The right knee is also OK until I try and swing it out to the side while adjusting my bits and pieces on the saddle. I'll have...

Fridge light

After a year without it, the lightbulb in the Sears Kenmore Coldspot fridge has been replaced. Its original lightbulb was removed to replace the one in the lavalamp. And so now when you open the fridge door, instead of murky darkness, everything is illuminated and you get the feeling you forgot to turn the light off last time and that...

On antibiotics, DuoDerm and socks

A gel-like, green substance was growing from the pothole in my left palm yesterday, which prompted the girlfriend to take clinical action. I was obliged to see my doctor, who hadn't attended to me since my last bout of road rash like four years ago. After a little local anaesthetic, some iodine-brush scrubbing of the infections and some x-rays of...

Speed bumps should be yellow...

...not black. Because I was hit by one today on my bike and didn't see it coming. Well, I could have paid more attention. In fact, I was actually preparing to dodge a nice friendly yellow speed bump in the Family Foods parking lot (McKenzie at Cedar Hill) when an ninja stealth assassin black speed bump attacked me. My hands...

Toe blister

I have a sort of four-tiered, multi-staged blister on my left big toe. Fascinating. I formed a blister a couple days ago playing squash, and then that blister got a blister, and this second-level blister got its own blister until the whole triple-decker came loose today, like pooled layers of velum, revealing some very red-with-blood, inner-most internal dermal. In other...

Free wire coat hangers

As a side note to my Bubba Ho-tep entry, as I was riding home this evening I noticed about 20 wire coat hangers clinking and hopping in the middle of the road under my tires as I powered up Cedar Hill X right across from that new senior home. And I bought a new shirt the other day and was...

UVic Grad party

Just completed attending the $20 ($5 for actual grads) UVic 2004 Graduation Party, theme: It's a Jungle Out There. Seeing as I didn't go to the 2003 party when I actually finished school, and the fact a friend invited me along tonight, and that I've been feeling overly corralled in my bachelor first-floor suite for the past two weeks ...

G.G. Cookies

Ate an entire box of Girl Guide Cookies today. Felt obliged and embarrassed enough to fork out the 4-bucks-for-a-good-cause at UVic yesterday when a couple of pretty young UVic students I know glanced me mounting my bike and so came running and smiling ecstatically in my direction. I assumed the two ladies simply couldn't pass up an opportunity to banter...

21 degrees of bike riding

It is 21 C outside, very little wind, very sunny and I went for one of the sweetest waterfront rides I've done in a while. Everything felt faster, smelled fresher, looked cleaner. All-Star and I did a hot lap in Bastion Square, coffee on the sidewalk at Il Torrefazione, watching the new flux of tourists. I was wearing shorts and...

Punctures

Got another flat - or as the Brits would say "a bloody puncture" - on the Gardin today, my fourth in half as many months. That's way up from my like 0.5 flats/year average over the last decade. I'm certainly not fatter or something. It's really a combination of less-than-steller replacement tires - which I put on after my high...

Limp

This noun/verb is mentioned in the tome I'm currently immersed in for a second time since like high school, D.F. Wallace's Infinite Jest, hailed by some as a modern classic US-Of-A hit in fiction lit., a claim I'm as yet undecided on except to say it's one dang interesting read from just a formalist, school-of-pop-culture, student-of-writing subjective perspectiveSo ya "limp"...

Phalange Neglect

I just poured boiling water over my thumb! Pretty much by accident. See I bought this 500 g little tub of Canada No.1 White Unpasturized Liquid Honey and I hate it when sticky food stuffs leak, like syrup bottles or 2-litre Cokes, and dribble down the outside of their walls and form tar pits of crescent-shaped residue on my counters/cupboards/desk....

Victoria Squash Tournament

Took in a good three hours (spectating only) of what I assume was the city's top Squash action on Saturday, the finals of the 2004 Victoria City Squash Tourney at the Vic Squash Club, 1811 Cook St.....

SETI anniversary

It's been 390 work units, 2777 CPU hours and exactly one year since I and my P4 1.5 signed up for the University of Berkeley's distributed Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program....

Mating calls / New Food

Is it mating season among the amphibious members of my neighbourhood again? The chorus of croaking is once more, uhm, charming the night air. The calls of thousands of what must be horny toads travels loud and far from the great pond on the Cedar Hill Golf Course and up the side of the little mountain my home is perched...

Bits and Pieces

Must learn more about Art Spiegelman, graphic novelist, 1992 Pulitzer Prize winner. Artists in Vancouver trade 2x3" cards. Want to make my own. Shoegazers: Adjective for distorted guitar emo bands. "Seen this one?" "Ya, too much acting." - Two lunkheads in a videostore, from BBC dark comedy series The League Of Gentleman. Eating at a nice restaurant on the weekend...

Leap Year Rules

Today is a very special day. The year is now one day longer. A lot of 100-year-old people are actually celebrating their 25th b-day (see below). Kids born today are falling into the same time bubble. Today should be a global holiday....

Multicultural Bus

Been riding the bus more than usual lately and have noticed the late evening #27/28 can be quite the rambunctious affair. The other night four very young, well groomed Mexican exchange students (two boys/girls), probably high on friendship and adventure, were belting out a litany of Spanish pop harmonies while humoring a happy old drunk who traveled two stops after...

Gardening and Hangnails

Doing some yard work for the girlfriend's parents this week. Wrestled for two hours today with a man-size ornamental grass bush. Suffered minor abrasions and a small, bleeding cut on my forearm. Victory was eventually mine by hacking away at its dense forest of two-metre tall shoots with a branch trimmer, then going for the roots with a combination of...

Transit conversations and Cereal DVDs

Standing with me on the 76 bus to the big boat on Friday were two first year rower jocks. Funny thing, snippets of their conversation were actually interesting. Definite keeper was when they described a friend of theirs who had recently undergone some hour-long erg, heart rate all 190, working himself so hard "his deodorant was foaming." Waiting with the...

Cleaning, Cooking and Squash

The Brother is coming over for dinner tonight. I'm de-thawing a 5lb lasagne and planning a fourth attempt at baking focaccia. Also vacuuming the furniture and floors and reclaiming the bathroom. The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1988) is not on DVD yet, so will try and rent Kurosawa's Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai) or my other must-see Japanese epic,...

A Good Pot of Tea

Actually, I'm asking: How do you make a good pot of tea? Mine always seems bitter and I've been using a quasi-scientific method of elimination to determine the cause, but no luck. I try steeping in fresh boiled water for two, three, five minutes, or just leave the dang tea bag in there. I usually use two cups of water...

Porch Renovation

There are currently two men hammering, pulling and all-together dismantling the large back porch of my bachelor suite. The landlady has come through with her promise to replace the entire balcony, which hovers six feet over steep jagged bedrock and sags when walked across. Around 10 am the deck looked rather carefree and daring sans railings, inviting me to enjoy...

Groceries and Martinis

Access to the g-friend's parental unit mobile (parent's car), combined with a basic lack of essential nutrients, led me to spend over $100 in an orgy of food shopping on Saturday. I even used a grocery cart, which I usually contend feels too domesticated and gluttonous, rather than a hand basket....

Bug exhibit

Took to lunch yesterday at Sam's Deli downtown with a couple museum chums of mine, one of whom works a few blocks away at the Royal BC. Had the special: tomato soup with egg sandwich, of which I only received one half of (the sandwich) from the counter girl. Fairly tasty nonetheless. Strolled back to the museum with said friend,...

Stormy plumbing

Awoke disoriented (and naturally, disturbed) at exactly 4:44 AM this morning and could discern the leafless tree outside my window, menacing and skeletal in the orange glow of the porch light, stabbing the air at 45, 75 and 180 degree angles. What actually awoke me, I soon realized, were the deep bemoans and gurgles emanating from the bowels of my...

Analogy: Love and GPA

Relationships are like classes; love is like your GPA: At first, each course matters a lot to your overall grade, but after a while a few bad classes don't make a big dent overall, and sometimes you take a bunch of easy courses just to try and boost your mark. This seemed like a good analogy at two in the...

HY'S Seasoning Salt

Hy's Seasoning Salt has been my favourite seasoning salt since childhood. Moms used to cover my green beans with its golden brown crystals. The red-capped, perfectly cylindrical bottle of Hy's (name on the black and red label in medieval lowercase cursive) was always on the mantle of the kitchen stove. It was a really old bottle, faded to orange,...

Big City: Emily Carr and Ikea

Spent the weekend in Vancouver with the girlfriend visiting the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design and the giant Ikea store. Soul searching ensues.

Vancouver weekend

Catching the #24 10:40 bus downtown to catch the #70 11:27 bus to Swartz Bay to catch the one o'clock ferry to meet the girlfriend and her little red car at 2:35. Bringing some books to read (currently Seor Vivo and the Coca Lord by Louis de Bernires (author Captain Corelli's Mandolin) and the Applied Arts Design and Advertising Annual),...

New Slang: Warm

Was MSN'n with a friend stationed in France today when the word warm was used describe hair style. Whoa, I thought, I better not let on I don't know about this trendy new Euro slang, which I figured was equivalent to like dope, or dang yo. But different from hot, which could also be the shit, or sweet, which aren't...

Cold-like symptons

Little sleep, too much squash and a sick girlfriend: I think I grew a cold last night. Stomach been groaning (which, to be honest, may be because dinners these past months consist of rice, canned beans and that's it). Felt the right nostril backing-up last night. Total clog in both canals now. Feel like a sack of grits, falling off...

Abnormal Sky Diving

MSN'd with the girlfriend tonight. She's currently studying abnormal psychology and today, whilst discussing psychopaths, her Cap College prof offered some sound advice: you want to avoid them at all costs. Though that sort of message maybe isn't stressed enough in school these days, it still seems pretty intuitive. Yet it turns out text book psychopaths are pretty hard to...

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