Stop the Meter Day of Action

March 1st, 2011 by erin

Stop the Meter Day of Action

Stop the Meter Day of Action

The other day I headed out with Open Media’s Digital Action Team to dress up like internet traffic police and spread the word about the Stop the Meter National Day of Action. We dressed up like the internet police and handed out tickets for internet usage.

For those of you that haven’t heard, the major internet service providers in Canada are planning to cap bandwidth usage and charge people who go over. While internet in Canada costs between 3 and 5 cents per gigabyte to provide, the internet service providers are planning on charging anywhere from $2-4 per gig.

That’s just too much. We already have some of the most expensive and slowest internet in the world. Any problems that they are currently having servicing people are due to their lack of investment in maintaining their infrastructure while they knew that people’s usage was increasing. Their plans to charge consumers extra without improving their service amounts to a) poor planning and b) price gouging.

So we hit the streets and gathered a bunch of signatures for our petition. It was freezing cold but a lot of fun was had by all.

Stop the Meter Day of Action

Of mice and eggplants

February 22nd, 2011 by erin

Further to my previous post: I suddenly had all this eggplant and didn’t know what to do with it so I took my question to twitter and got a bunch of very helpful and inspiring suggestions. I had intended to blog about my amazing eggplant cookery so far but I seem to inhale food far too quickly to take decent pictures of it.

This got me thinking though that this might be a fun thing to document sometimes, the challenge of dealing with a ridiculously large amount of a given vegetable or fruit, purchased in a dollar bag, dragged up Main Street and then lugged home on the Skytrain. If I was still working in the neighbourhood this could be a weekly thing.

Ah well…

Someone finally came about our mouse problem and put some traps out. It took a long time to come to this, not because of the landlord but because my roommates were for various reasons reluctant to bring it up. I found this odd because no one hesitated to freak out and call the landlord when ants invaded our suite.

But mice? Well, they’re different. And since I’m not technically on the lease where I live it wasn’t really my call to make. My roommates’ reactions were as follows:

“Well… I don’t know about contacting the landlord….”
“I can’t write English. Someone else do it.”
“I saw one in my room but I’m not convinced that they exist.”
“At least it’s cute!”
“Whatever, they’re not eating our food so no big deal.”

It was insane and it was driving me insane because they’re living in the walls and I could hear them scratching inside the wall beside my head as I was trying to sleep at night.

So here’s hoping the traps will work.

Eggplant week

February 21st, 2011 by erin

I spent yesterday downtown with the museum filming Moving Through, an event centred around dialogues about the City of Vancouver, architecture, planning and design. I’m probably going to be writing a blog post about it soonish so I’ll link it when I can.

I took some time afterward to wander around Gastown and the DTES because it was sunny and beautiful out. I kind of miss working down there and because I don’t I don’t really have much of a reason to pass through all that often so it was nice to have a few hours to wander.

I picked up some fabric at Dressew to make some summer tops clothes and was once again pulled towards really neutral greys and creams. I’m not sure why. I guess I’m just in a minimalist rut these days. I entertain the thought of having really amazing flashy style but when it comes down to it I tend toward the boring and safe.

I took a stroll down Pender to find that things are pretty much the same. The guys lined up in front of the Sally Ann still tell me I have a nice smile.

I ended up at Sunrise Market, one of my favourite little greengrocers. I used to go there all the time when I worked at the Police Museum. It wasn’t unusual for someone on staff to announce that they were making a grocery run and to take requests and for us to draw up a really random shopping list for them.

Sunrise has everything and it’s piled up in the aisles so much that you can barely walk through. People bump into each other and sometimes the staff wander around with machetes to hack rotten bits off the produce. It’s a really amazing place.

They have a bin of dollar bags of produce. It’s something different every time. Usually stuff that is going off soon that they really want to get rid of. They suck me in every time. I don’t need that giant bag of whatever but it’s in a bag and it’s a dollar! Inevitably I’m convinced that this is a good idea.

So that’s how I came to possess 10 lbs of eggplant. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with it all but I’d better do it quick.

Blue cardigan

February 17th, 2011 by erin

a sweater is born

Sometime during stitch and bitch tonight we heard a large bang somewhere overhead. It was loud enough that the ground shook and all the car alarms in the parking lot went off. It appeared to knock out all the nearby traffic lights too. I never saw a flash but if it was lightning then it was the loudest and closest I’ve ever heard.

I finally sewed the buttons onto my blue cardigan, which is big for me because I spend a lot of time making things but I rarely finish anything. I’ve been wearing the cardigan around the house for months, but with only one oddly-placed button I couldn’t wear it out in public.

Somehow or other I have misplaced the charger for my camera. I haven’t seen it in a few weeks and I’ve torn my room apart trying to find it to no avail. I have, however, been doing a lot of very overdue cleaning, vacuuming and decluttering so maybe it will turn up. If not, then I’m going to run out of easy things to clean and I might have to start scrubbing the walls with soapy water in frustration.

I really want to take some pictures. But until then, you’ll have to content yourselves with a bad webcam picture of the thing sans buttons.

Wild creatures of Canada

February 8th, 2011 by erin

just hanging out

This guy decided to pay us a visit today. It sat outside our house for quite a while and I walked outside to go take some pictures.

February started out with a whole lot of work and other engagements so I’ve been super busy. I made this video. The editing is a little messy but meh.

The other day at the office a coyote walked right up to our window, probably looking for mice. Finding some, I’m sure because he looked pretty well-fed and healthy. I mentioned it and immediately my office filled up with people.

One of my coworkers is Australian and she was excited because apparently there are no wild dogs in Australia anymore. Dingoes that escaped culling have bred with dogs so there aren’t any purebred, wild dingoes to be found.

Not in Canada, though. We have all these wild creatures roaming around all the time. Mye asked me the other day if we warned children about cougars in schools. I said no, but we do have earthquake preparedness days. She didn’t believe me that we live in an earthquake zone.


January 31st, 2011 by erin

I’ve gotten so bad at blogging that I forget to write things down. My life these days isn’t really all that interesting so ironically I find that makes it easier to forget the memorable bits.

Things like getting a new cat. She has been living with my parents for two months and she hasn’t been mentioned here yet. So here she is:

Her name is Emma. They got her by way of one of Mom’s coworkers who had a friend who passed away.

She’s timid but quite affectionate. She makes a lot of noise and sounds a lot like a balloon leaking air as she rubs up against your leg. I think she’s kind of a weird looking cat. She has the physique of a bulldog or maybe a tank. I’m not sure what she weighs because she hates being picked up.

My other cat doesn’t like her but she has been slowly getting used to having her around the house. At first they seemed to fight a lot but now it seems more likely that she just wants to play. Apparently her previous owner used to leave the windows open in the apartment and other cats used to drop in and play with her.

But Lou’s about a third of her size and has been acting like a grouchy old lady so Emma has to go play by herself. Poor kitty.

I’m planning on forcing myself back into daily blogging by joining thing-a-day, a big create-a-long where you make something every day for the month of February. I missed it last year but I enjoyed trawling through the blog and seeing what everyone made.

No tears.

January 29th, 2011 by erin

So there’s this restaurant in a neighbourhood we used to live in that my parents used to go to all the time before I was born. It has really good burgers and a casual atmosphere with reasonable prices.

They took me there when I was a baby and in spite of being fairly well behaved in restaurants I cried inconsolably and they had to take turns babysitting me in the car. The same thing happened the second time they took me there. They ran through the standard baby consolation checklist to no avail.

At every other restaurant we visited I was fine. There was just something about that one that didn’t agree with me so they concluded that it was cursed and vowed to never go there ever again.

I don’t remember any of this but the story was related to me multiple times and every time we drove by the place it was pointed out as the restaurant I totally hate.

Tonight we happened to be in the neighbourhood though and there aren’t a lot of dinner options so I suggested it. I was told that we couldn’t possibly do that but the speed at which we ended up there indicates to me that they actually wanted to go there. They never miss a good chance to publicly ridicule their children. They love us too much.

They told the waitress and I threatened to cry but I didn’t because I’m totally over it now.

Slashed tires

January 27th, 2011 by erin

My roommate decided that she wanted us all to go to a karaoke bar for her birthday but there was confusion though as to where it was. No one seemed to have the address so we wandered around the neighbourhood for a while. There are several karaoke places around but eventually we found it. Karaoke is fun though places never seem to have much music I actually like. It was probably the only time you’ll ever see me sing along to Lady Gaga.

But when we finally got back we were talking out on the lawn with a friend and she said that she’d sobered up enough to drive home. Are you sure? I remember asking her. I really can’t tell the difference between her drunk and her sober so the thought of it was making me a little nervous. She’d be fine, she said. She could take her heels off finally! She was going to drive slow, take the right lane and she’d make it home eventually.

I had a bad feeling about it though and the car kind of confirmed it. As she went to drive away from the curb it made a weird noise, ground into the curb then swerved erratically into the neighbour’s driveway. She hopped out barefoot and started circling the vehicle. And that’s where we realized that someone had slashed three of her tires. She was pretty upset about it. They were her winter tires. She couldn’t afford them when she bought them and she had a fight with her husband about it. She’d won on the grounds that it would be safer for their daughter. That was about three weeks ago.

It wasn’t driveable so we stood there for two hours waiting for a tow truck. She got into an argument with an aunt who seemed to believe that she should be able to drive 40 km home or at least park the thing on the road. Neither was possible. The rims just spun around in the mushy tires.

I’m not too happy that it happened right outside our house. It was totally random, the only one on our block.

Against U

January 22nd, 2011 by erin


I had to go to the library to rescue a book. I’d had it out before but I wasn’t able to finish it before it was due and I couldn’t renew it because I have way too many fines right now. So I had to take it back, wait a couple days for it to get reshelved.

It’s alright though. I already know how it ends.

“I didn’t realize The Last King of Scotland it was a book,” my mom had said, “Amin dies in the end.” Great, thanks for ruining the surprise.

While at the library I thought I’d take a bunch of books with odd call numbers and then stack them against a book called ‘U’. I figured that U was probably a catalogue of everybody’s favourite letter, documenting it’s appearance and usage throughout history, from it’s appearance in ancient times and it’s gradual separation from V, as well as it’s typographic treatments in various typefaces over the years.

I was going to take all the odds and stack them against U and then take a picture, see if anyone noticed.

But the library didn’t have a book called U. I looked for “You” and there was one but it was in another branch. Some sort of health manual. And then I checked for “Ewe”, which apparently doesn’t exist.

If it did I bet it would be about a woman experiencing a surprise pregnancy for the first time at 37 and coming to terms with faith and motherhood.

Oh well. I didn’t have my camera with me anyways. This is the second time this has happened. Maybe it’s a sign.

Wrong room

January 15th, 2011 by erin


I was late for class the other day and I walked into the wrong room. It took me a while to notice though because there were some people I knew in there and someone handed me a hand-out and invited me to sit down. But something was off. There were too many people I didn’t know and I stood there really bewildered before I realized that I was supposed to be next door.

The people in the room I was in were planning a conference or something. My instructor was there and someone else was teaching our class that night.

“You can stay if you want,” she said, but by that time I was mortified and I excused myself awkwardly.

We had a lapidary demonstration in our class. Faceting. The guy cut a standard round brilliant cut from start to finish. It was akin to watching paint dry so we talked a lot.

We paused to reflect on the absence of one of our classmates. She keeps talking about how she wants to learn to cut diamonds but I don’t think she really understands how much time that takes. Diamonds are even more tedious than the stones we saw cut today. I doubt she has the attention span for it.

I do lapidary too, but I mostly do cabs. They’re a little more exciting.

Conversation turned to the subject of women in the trade. They’re capable but not many do bench work. You have to keep your fingernails short and it’s hard on your hands.

Suddenly all eyes were on me. “How are your hands?” someone asked.

“Callused,” I replied, “like sandpaper.”

600 grit, I reckon.