Tag Archives: vancouver

about vancouver

this is many months late but vancouver was so fabulous, i didn’t really want to stop to provide updates till it was over.

my roommate turned fake husband, christal, was the perfect roommate for me; clean, anal, and not-so-closet gay boy.  perfect.  i ended up playing on her softball team (i know what you’re thinking) which was loads of fun and as a result, also instantly gained entrance into the otherwise hard to locate homo scene.  i only say hard to locate based on one past bad experience with katherine and chess. i stayed through pride weekend, had a jolly time and then jetted out of there hoping to return again soon.

the things i miss most about vancouver are the fabulous people i met, grocery stores within walking distance, wreck beach and being able to see the mountains whilst out and about.  oh!  and i also brewed my very first batch of homebrew – a hefeweizen which got good reviews from some semi-discerning palates.  i’ll take that as a good sign.


two weeks in the city

the past 2 weeks have passed quickly.  i’ve met a surprising number of new people and i’ve let alcohol knock me on my behind far more than i’m used to.  i will have to get that under control because being a fool in front of my bossman isn’t something i’m trying to do on the regular.  although, i’m beginning to suspect that hangovers could be the norm in this business.

this week’s brew day was similar to last week’s brew day.  it’s usually long but i like processes so for most part, i don’t mind hanging out.  brew day this week coincided with st patrick’s so (of course) we had to start the morning with a stout.  and then from there it was a blur of things and people stopping by.  we did not artificially color any beer although we did try a little essence of juniper in one of the beers which i thought added an interesting flavor.  but then again, i like gin.   yesterday, we distilled whiskey – another long process involving lots of sitting around once everything is set up and working properly.  which was fine with me because it was so gorgeous out.  more people stopping by.  more beer.

i got to check out the homo scene here in vancouver with what could become my new posse.  for now, they’re my roommate’s friends.  we attended an event called lipstick jungle at the heist lounge.  the cover was $12 which is a little steep compared to other homo events i’ve been to but the drinks were decent and the crowd was cute, girly, lipsticky, and given the name of the event, expected.  the music was just ok.  i was hoping for better but for that, we would have to go to a gay boy club.  which is what we did afterwards.  odyssey was steamy for some reason.  the dancers were cute and the music was marginally better.  or perhaps i felt that way because i wasn’t in the dancing mood.  it was packed which is always nice to find and as we were leaving, there was quite a good drum performance happening.  partying with the gay boys is usually a good time.  sorry lipstick jungle,  maybe next time we’ll get along better.

saying that i’m fussy about who cuts my hair is sort of an understatement.  i was stressing out about how to figure out which stylist in this city i’d have to take a chance with.  good thing james knows some people.  thomasina was his recommendation and i couldn’t be more pleased with somebody new cutting my hair.  and she works from her house so we got to watch some of the paralympics while she cut my hair.  extra bonus.  is jeffrey ever going to be replaceable?  i doubt it.  but until he decides he’d like to live where i live, i’m content with having thomasina in vancouver.

i’ve been trying to get through pride and prejudice but while trying to get through that, i finished reading a million little pieces.  perhaps that’s a sign that i should just give it a try some other time.  a million little pieces was a good book though with somewhat graphic descriptions of trips to the dentist and of injuries that made me cringe.  i’m pretty convinced that staying off drugs is probably a good idea.  now i need to find another book to read….

vancouver – day 4

the last several days have been pretty good.  i get to see the mountains on the way to work every day.  it’s been a little chilly but for most part sunny.  and work has been interesting.  the brewery is this weird mix of mad science, delicious beer, the occasional homeless person dropping in for a cup of brew and other not so homeless people dropping in to say hello.  and have a cup of brew.  when it’s nice outside like it has been the past few days, down time is spent sitting on the loading dock, chatting and drinking.  otherwise, there’s much to be done.  brewing, transferring beer, filling kegs, delivering kegs, cleaning….

it was my intention to explore the drive today but when i woke up, instead of seeing the sun, i was greeted with gray clouds and a god forsaken drizzle.  still, i got out of bed early-ish, drank some coffee that my roommate had made (coffee!), did some usual computer things and made some brunch.  when the rain seemed like it was going to stick around all day, i motivated myself to go out anyway.

i walked down the drive with the goal of finding a good used book to read on my days off, finding more coffee and a grocery store to buy more stuff for the week.

the small but stuffed to the brims bibliophile bookstore was cute and a welcome respite from the rain but being on a fairly tight budget, i didn’t feel comfortable buying a used book for how much they were going for and wanted to price shop a little.  otherwise, i thought it had a pretty good selection of books and perhaps i’ll return for a not so common title.  such as ‘a history of the world in six glasses‘.

next stop: santa barbara market.  i happened to walk by this small-ish grocery store and had to turn back to check it out.  i used my asian instincts which are: if a place is super crowded, it’s probably worth the check out.  though slightly claustrophobic, at least it seemed to be crammed with all sorts of interesting goods.  i was slightly curious about their house peanut butter for $1.99/lb or so.  but i chose to get the organic variety instead since it was on sale (and also better sealed).  maybe next time.  the deli was probably the most packed section of the store so mental note to check that out during their off-peak hours.  their produce seemed decently priced which is nice and an indication, at least in my opinion, of how they mark up the rest of their stuff.  so all in all a pretty good grocery store experience.  i will return for sure.

east end food coop was next.  are you starting to gather that i really love grocery stores?  i had failed to acquire some cereal so i thought i’d try at the coop.  they happened to have a bulk bag on sale so i got that and was on my way once again.

final stop: value village.  the size of this thrift store was amazing.  in total, i think they had 2 entire floors’ worth of stuff but i thought i’d save exploring the rest of their offerings later.  my focus was on getting a book to read.  and books there were.  fiction, non-fiction, childrens’, cooking, travel, vintage…anyways, i have always wanted to read the classics so i had to choose pride and prejudice (circa 1962) when i chanced upon a copy.  and for $2, even if i hate it, i’m not going to be too upset about it.

this week, i’m looking forward to learning more at the brewery and checking out more of vancouver.  there are already so many places i’d like to eat and drink at!  i’m also trying to look for a good place to get my hair cut.  katherine very kindly pointed out before i left that i may perhaps be approaching mullethood. and that is not one of the mid-west things i’m trying to hold on to.  that said, my 6 year relationship with jeffrey is not something i’m willing to let go of quite yet.  so, if you’re a hair stylist in vancouver who’s willing to deal with that and also not eff up my hair, please let me know.

more as things develop…

p.s. did i mention how much i miss my social life in baltimore?

first afternoon in a new city

after 2 plane rides followed by a bus ride, i was waiting on the corner of cambie and 12th ave for yet another ride.  it was nice to just stand there for a minute to take in the fresh air, the energy of the city and the pretty view of the mountains to the north. i was still nervous and excited about being here.  nervous about meeting the new roommate and about the apprenticeship tomorrow.  but excited to be in vancouver.

the good news is that the new roommate came by to pick me up as planned.  and she was friendly and nice.  we returned to the apartment – sparkling clean and cozy and she had even put a set of sheets on the bed for me.  nice.  now i just have to get through the next few days of awkward small talk and i think we’ll be good.

next, i went grocery shopping.  and i was able to walk there!  and though it was small, it was pretty densely stocked with most things you can imagine or want.  chinese take out?  done.  they even had a pretty decent asian ingredients section.  but what was i thinking?  i’m in vancouver!  i got to explore the neighborhood a little on the walk there and i think i’m going to like living here.  there seem to be a variety of international restaurants – chinese, vietnamese…there’s the grocery store and the winter farmers market is only a few blocks away.

i’m off to learn the ways of the beer world tomorrow morning and perhaps there will be more exploring to be had…


momentarily being back in vancouver has given me the freedom and resources and space to work on more creative projects like this matchbook notepad which i covered in washi taken from my mom’s stash:

my mom liked it (not an easy achievement!) and added her own touch – a varnish treatment for the washi so that it’s now slightly waterproof and more durable.

i got the fabulous idea from the january 21st post of design*sponge’s DIY section (i’m in love with the custom stamp kit that they used!).  reusing things is a hard practice to master because i think it’s likely to lead to pack rat-ism.  that being said, one of my goals is to become a more organized and disciplined kind of re-user.  we’ll see how this goes…


i’ve fallen in love with the public library system of vancouver.  in fact, i think i’m falling in love with the city of vancouver. 

i’ve spent many a summer in public libraries.  for most of grade and middle school, the library was my parents’ version of free day care for my brother and i –  dropped off at approximately 8.30 and picked up at 5 or 6 that same evening.  for 2 months straight.  i’ll admit that we didn’t spend that whole time being studious (my brother used the bean bags as pillows and i’ll bet there’s plenty of his drool on those things), but we did read a lot of books for free. 

then high school and college came…and i also spent many hours in the school libraries but used the space more as a quiet refuge to get some studying in.  i ignored all the wonderful knowledge that was on the shelves especially if they had nothing to do with whether i was going to graduate or not. 

i think the public library system has done a good job of reinventing its image or perhaps i’ve just come around.  i plan on visiting the vancouver public library many more times before i leave.  enjoying and savoring every word on my way.

travel plans change yet again

being spontaneous and having no definite plans and all, i’ve ditched plans to travel through south and central america for a different kind of exotic adventure. 

i’m back in vancouver visiting with the elderfoos but will be on my way to singapore and new zealand in a few weeks!  if thailand sorts itself out, that’ll probably be a stop too.  you know you want to join me…

in the meantime, chinese new year happens in a week or so and i’m excited about celebrating it with my parents this year which would be the first time it’s happened since the year 2000 maybe.  tons of asians in vancouver also means tons of festivities and food.  sweet ass sweet.