A Night of Adventures.

Vancouver is Gripped! In! The! Icy! Jaws! Of! Snow! so normal buses aren’t running normal routes. But I still had to go to UBC tonight.
So I hopped a B-line and had the scariest bus ride of my life! The driver seemed to be racing some unknown demon, or maybe just liked the opportunity to open it up on the highway, and the bus fishtailed everywhere. I swear, the back end was in the other lane half the time. I wondered if articulated buses could actually jackknife, it was so bad. I was hanging on with both hands, and had my feet wedged in crevices for extra support. I thought about calling E to tell him I loved him, in case I didn’t make it home, but could not pry my fingers from their handholds.

But even stark terror comes to an end. The driver obligingly let me off somewhere near where I thought I might need to be. I basically bushwhacked through the snowdrifts until I got to the road I was looking for. That’s a lot of fun, and I think everyone should try it. I didn’t get eaten by coyotes, and I did get to walk through the heart of the frat house complex. It was beautiful and white and still, and from an open window, I could hear “I Shot the Sherrif”.

Coming back was another adventure. I got back out onto Wesbrook without incident and waited with about 84,000 other people for some kind of bus to come. Eventually, I got onto a 25, where, right next to me, a man sat down on the floor of the bus and started drinking a beer. Me, I was jealous.

I got off the bus with several other people, at Macdonald Street and we hiked through knee-high snow to wait for the 22.

It never came.

We amused ourselves by cheering on the drivers who were spinning their tires trying to go up the hill, watching drivers chatting on phones suddenly have to drop the phones to navigate, and asking for rides from cars going down. The funny thing is, lots of people slowed down. Some smiled. Some looked us over like we were hookers. Some looked alarmed, as though we might carjack them. But it took half an hour before someone stopped.

To the nice lady in the minivan coming home from the theater, who laughed and told us to pile in: I salute you. I send you thoughts of kindness and benevolence. I hope Karma comes to your house tomorrow with bounteous baskets of whatever you like best. I would come myself, with fresh, homemade chocolate chip cookies, but I forgot to ask where you live.

I’m a Winner!

I did it! Just now, I wrote the fifty-thousanth word of my novel. I think the word itself was ‘careful’. I’d like to think that meant something, but I fear it doesn’t.

I’m not even done the book, though. I’m at the stage where the good guy goes up against the second-in-command bad guy and depletes his strength somewhat, before calling on Inner Wisdom (or more firepower) to nail the bad guy.

What’s really cool is while I was writing this fifty thousand words (Man, that’s a big number!) I was also contributing every day (But three, I think) to my daily writing group, and managing to post on this blog.

Folks, we have a writer on our hands…

“Light” Cheese.

I have finally found a kind of cheese I don’t like.

It is ‘light’ cheddar, and it tastes of ass. Unholy ass. Ass of the very assiest nature of ass. Ass that has been farted on by cows, type of ass.

I bought it by accident. E tried to put some in a sandwich and said it tasted funny, so we examined the package, and, lo, I had committed the heinous act of buying light cheese.

This morning, I figured it would be fine melted.

Ha Ha! Joke’s on me! It melts the same way plastic does, becoming all puckered, with an unhealthy sheen. Quite frankly, I’m afraid to eat any more of it, but can’t think of what else to do with it. Doorstop? Stepping stool? Bookend?

Snowy Night.

So I finished crocheting a scarf last night and braved the snow to go get a celebratory bag of chips.

I’m stomping along,be-muffled, be-scarved, and be-hatted. I have tunnel vision. I am also marveling at the traction I get when I wear weather-appropriate shoes. Suddenly, I hear this voice. It’s challenging and happy-sounding.

“Hey!”

I look around. There’s no one but the girl on the other side of the street. “Me?”

She nods, the movement almost obliterated by her hood. “Are you ready?” She scoops up some snow. The gauntlet has been thrown down!

I scoop up snow. “I’m ready!”

She throws. Aim way off. I throw. Ditto. I am not an athlete.

She scoops again, but this time, her aim is a car crawling down the usually busy street at 10 mph. She misses spectacularly.

I laugh. Motorists have nothing to fear from her terrible aim. I throw another at her, which sails about four feet over her head.

She laughs and aims another one at an F-series pickup. Hits the bed. The driver opens his window and yells something, but we can’t tell what it is. He might be telling her off, but who cares? What the hell can he do, sailing along at a majestic 15 k? Hot cuppa Jack.

My erstwhile opponent jogs across the street. Under the hood, she has that kind of blonde hair that is mostly associated with women who get outside a lot, as opposed to women who go to a salon. She has blue eyes and is giggling.

I can’t help it, I start giggling as well. We are strangers, nothing in common but snowballs.

“Isn’t it marvellous?” She enthuses in an accent that sounds German to me.

“As long as we’re not driving.”

“Who wants to drive? Ever?”

I think about the guy in the F-series, battling the elements and pissed off that somene lobbed a snowball into the bed of his truck. “Not me.” I look at her. “Are you German?”

She scoops up some more snow, intent on missing another car with her snowball. “I’m Swiss.”

“Cool.” We both lob snowballs in perfect arcs that sail majestically over a Honda Accord.

I’m okay with my long snow-bullying yesterday. I’m okay wth everything, thanks to a laughing Swiss woman in the snow.

Lesson learned: Stop being a grump. Take the opportunity to have fun. And shut up and throw.

Snow Day.

Yes. It snowed in Vancouver. What this means is the city is completely incapacitated, like a small child confronted by a bully. A big, wet, cold bully. Today, I got bullied by the snow.

I had to go out to tutor at 59th and Oak. Between buses not coming and the slippery slush that makes everyone with bad traction shoes (like me) walk this slow, mincing grandma walk, it took me an hour and a half to get there. SO not impressed at the waiting thirty minutes and then having three Oak buses come one after the other. I couldn’t feel my hands when I got on the bus.

So I tutored my students, hoping I wasn’t dripping too much melted snow onto their Brazilian cherrywood floors, and went back out inot the bluster. The bus was a mere fifteen minutes late. Hell, I could still feel my hands. No problem.

I got off at Broadway and Oak, and immediately slipped and sat down hard on the slushy sidewalk. Yep. Wet bum for the rest of the trip. Wet bum+strong cold breeze=extreme lack of comfort.

Luckily, my bum dried in Safeway somewhat, and then I had a nice 20-minute wait for another bus. At least my chicken stayed cold. So I got home and changed my pants, and went out to shovel our walk.

Someone has stolen our snow shovel! Marilyn hasn’t seen it. Ted upstairs hasn’t seen it. We don’t remember seeing it for a long time, because in Vancouver, you don’t think about snow shovels. You think about umbrellas and whether the leaky roof is going to hold. So I shoveled the walk with Marilyn’s little camping shovel, which held about a liter’s worth of snow per shovelful. Luckily, the shovel’s only three feet long, so all the bending over and straightening up I had to do meant I stayed warm.

And won’t it be fun tonight when all the slush freezes? I, for one, cannot wait.

Got My Freak On.

And I am not talking about my sexual escapades, either.

Today was the annual PoCo Church Craft and Bake Sale. I have done this now for the second year in a row, and I must say, it is a fantastic way to get my Christmas baking done.

Yes! That’s right! I buy my Christmas baking! All, of course, except the shortbread. Even though I do not use the Recipe Sacred To My Family, I still have a shortbread hangup. Be that as it may, I was in the suburb of Port Coquitlam today and I can report with some authority: PoCo is full of freaks.

Church Freaks: These people were wearing festive Crhristmas sweaters with reindeer and snowmen on them. They had painstakingly crafted things like novelty lights in little jars, with some frou frou and little Christmas lights inside them. Also, baby stuff, so Em went Mental. Even her long-suffering spouse, J-Lo, picked out a baby hat with ladybugs on it. There was aslo some old guy (Think of Santa as a Teamster) at the cookie table, randomly stuffing cookies into bags. He wasn’t actually working at the table, but no one told him to stop, so I didn’t know what to think.

Craft Freaks: After the Church Bonanza, cookies and pies and tarts and squares in hand, we went to Michael’s, which is the Black Hole of Crafts. There were women in tasteful polyester ensembles and sweaters with kittens on, debating the merits between little plastic Holiday Figurines (Collect them All!) and Olde Tyme Christmas Ornaments, which were made of faux Carnival glass, made in China, and painted the most garish colours I’ve ever seen. Actually, a lot of the stuff was fairly stomach-churning. At one point, when J-Lo leaned over and whispered, “And you just KNOW that everysingle thing we see here is also in a home within a ten-mile radius of this place”, I lost my will to live.  Mostly due to Holiday Charm Overload, I escaped unscathed, although I wavered while looking at a tote bag with plastic pockets on it, where you could put photos of loved ones. Seriously. It was pretty cool in a kitsch kind of way.

IHOP Freaks: We were hungry after all our shopping, and what better place to go than IHOP? Let me tell you, it was Freak Central! There was the girl with the hood so big and fuzzy she prompted me to wonder where her tauntaun was. Her boyfriend was a bald and spotty youth with eyes that were too close together. There was also the girl with the T-shirt so low cut that I could tell the colour of her nipples (kind of a light cappucino). As well, there was the really scary guy with the tattoo on the back of his head. It was either a giant spider or the Joker. The fat folds in the back of his neck made it hard to tell. It was good people-watching, that’s for sure.

So, to sum up:

Kelly got the lip gloss that made me look like I’d been making out with clowns. It looks good on her.

Got baking done.

Learned that there’s more to humanity than my comfort zone.

Had a waffle.

All in all, a good day.

Random Community Ties.

So I just popped out to grab a couple things at our local convenience store. As I do most of the time, I took a book. It’s not raining, and I can walk and read under streetlights quite easily.

I crossed Fourth and a guy asked me, “You’re actually reading, crossing at a light?”

I looked up. “Sure. Lots of light.” I showed him my book.

He looked the cover over carefully. “I’ve been reading a lot of really ironic stuff lately. Is this ironic?”

“The characters are great. The situation is very ironic,” I said, wondering if he was going to work himself into a giant tirade, or was merely passing the time of day.

“Hunh,” he said. “Kind of like Vancouver. Look at us.” He pointed to the sky. “God pissed on us for two weeks of rain. Now we can’t drink the water. Are we the best city in the world, or aren’t we?” He shrugged eloquently.

He has a loose grasp on what I would term ‘ironic’, but he does have a point. If we’re in the best city in the world, the most livable city, why can’t we drink the water?

NaNoWriMo Word Count

41,345

I spent a lot of last night reading through and making lists of things to tie up. And hoo, boy, do I have a lot of things to tie up.

I will be taking my little scribbled notes to work and trying to think of something remotely plausible as an ending.

Stupid.

So. Vancouver’s been under a water advisory. So we haven’t been drinking the water. (We can if we boil it, but it’s a bit yucky.)
Knowing there would be none at my local corner store, I worried not. I was thirsty tonight, and  went out looking for tonic water. Hell, I thought, I can drink tonic water with lemon, and that’s healthy, right? So I bought a litre, and thought I’d have a quiet, early night.
Not. Note to self: Tonic water contains a lot of sugar.  I am squeetering high on sugar.

I hope the crash comes soon. I need to go to sleep.

I’ve Been Tagged!

The bounteous and beauteous Arwen has tagged me with a meme. Apparently, I’m supposed to come up with five things my readers don’t know about me. Because she ‘likes it when I get confessional’. Is that code for ‘drunk’, Arn?
Now, given the fact that I know most of you IRL, you know quite a lot about me. Unless there are hordes of lurkers I don’t know about. Which baffles me. Because, really, this blog is kind of hit-and-miss. Like if all the labels get washed off your cans in a flood, but then all you have to eat are your canned goods. Are you going to get Vegetable Soup, or are you going to get Fancy Feast? You just never know.

Anyway. If you’re lurking, say hi, so we can be friends instead of creepy lurkers, right? Right. And THEN I will tell you Five Things of a scatalogical or sexual nature. Your choice.

My Five.

1.) My favourite Beatle is Ringo.

He just always looked like he needed a little extra cheering on. I mean, my mom was always all, “Paul’s so nice, dear.” But Paul didn’t need the cheers. Ringo did. Hey, why was my mom pimping The Beatles, anyhow?

2.) I’m becoming addicted to Star Trek: DS9

It turns out it’s a soap opera. I mean, it’s always on in E’s room, because he hearts himself some Star Trek, but I always thought I was above it. Until Worf got married. Now I find there are relationships! And feelings! It’s so easy to get sucked in.

3.) I still have all my bellydancing clothes even if I haven’t danced for a couple of years.

It’s still a part of who I am. Even if I’ve outgrown my shiny turquoise bra. I can still put it on, and of I stand very still and don’t move my torso, it doesn’t show any nipple at all.

4.) There is an Arbutus tree I hug every time I pass it.

Arbutus trees are dying around here, probably due to Global Warming. They don’t grow in cities much, but this one is the biggest I’ve ever seen up close. So I give it a little hug whenever I go past, just to say, ‘I’m pulling for you.’ OK, mock me now.

5.)I’ve forgotten how to link again.

Really, for someone who grew up using cutting-edge technology (phone-cradle modems, for example), I am a hopeless luddite. Hell, I even figured out how to disable the timer my Dad had on the computer, when I was a teenager. (It was the same one as the Christmas lights were on, though, and I heard the click right beside the computer.)

Okay, since I’m not sure who’s reading, I don’t know who to tag. But if you want to play this game, have at’er!

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