Tag Archives: Vancouver

How do you survive without pumpkin pie?

18 Oct

Did you guys know that they don’t have pumpkin desserts in Australia? It sort of makes me want to cry for the whole continent. I had the opportunity last weekend to introduce an Aussie from my book club to mini pumpkin cheesecakes. She said “Thank you” and I said, “You’re welcome for changing your life”.

Besides my adventures in pumpkin, lots has happened since I last posted. I’m back in Vancouver, working through my last year of library school. The end is looming closer and closer, slowly but surely increasing my panic about entering the library workforce. But my anxiety can wait for another post.

Since I returned I have been enjoying my time in this beautiful city. Really, Vancouver is pretty spectacular. The weather in September and early October was gorgeous! My roommates and I went to the pool in September. Craziness. We’ve also been trying to hit all the neighborhood fairs and markets. Those of you who know me know I love being a tourist in my own town. We went to the RIchmond Night Market, and I was reminded of the many markets I visited in Asia.


Me, Mackenzie and the Biebs at the Dunbar Harvest Festival

I started a new job this year with a program in the UBC library called the Small Business Accelerator. It’s a free online business research resource for small businesses and people looking to start their own business in BC. I’ve been doing lots of design for the website and their promotional materials, which has been really fun. I’ve been putting all my Communication student skills to good use. We went to a conference yesterday, and I got to chat with lots of small business owners and other organizations about what we do. It was super fun and got me excited about our program all over again. My boss is great and I like the other grad student a lot, so I’m really enjoying this experience.

School is pretty good. Totally insane these last couple of week. I think I have self-induced amnesia every semester about how difficult the second month is because every October and February I find myself totally shocked by the amount of work I have to do. This term I’m in 4 classes: Children’s Services, New Media for Youth, Information Assets Management (aka Records Management) and Planning and Design of Libraries. Some day I will write another post about all my classes, in case any future librarians who are curious about what we study happen to run across my blog.

Well, I have lots more to write about, but I’ll save it all for future posts. It was nice getting back in touch with you all. Although I only have a readership of like 6 people, I always enjoy posting and feeling like I’m engaging with people in my life through this blog. So yeah. Thanks for reading.


A bed big enough for two

31 Mar

I won’t lie. It’s been kind of intense lately. The sum total of food in my house will tell you that I’ve been too busy with homework to do much else. Of course, probably two thirds of that time was wasted on simply worrying about homework rather than getting anything done. And if you were curious, here is the sum total of food at my house, excluding condiments and spices: one egg, a sleeve of saltine crackers, 2 strips of fruit leather, one packet of Oregon Chai instant latte powder, 4 carrots, a package of frozen cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, one mini-bag of microwave popcorn, half a bag of chocolate chips, and 3 onions.

Apparently, according to Molly, I’ve been pretty incognito as well. “I don’t call…I don’t text…” So I wanted to check in on the blog and let you all know I’m alive.

I’m entering my last week of classes–EEK! I can’t believe I’m almost halfway done with graduate school. That’s just seems so preposterous to me. Slowly, but surely, I am checking things off my homework list and beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Easter is coming up, which I couldn’t be more excited about. It’s not my favorite holiday, but it does have my favorite holiday candy. I am hosting Easter brunch at my house for (so far) 14 people, with hopes that they won’t mind sitting on the floor next to our golden retriever Mackenzie. The forecast predicts sun and, wait for it, 0% chance of rain! I didn’t think that was possible in Vancouver. Here’s the photo if you want proof. (51 Fahrenheit = 10.5 Celsius)


After school ends I will be doing a two-week practicum at the Vancouver Public Library. I am super excited to get my first real library work experience. Although I’m not sure they’re going to let me do much besides watch. At any rate, I’m stoked.

In other news, I bought a bed today. I’m marginally creeped out that I got it off craigslist, but I’m dealing with it. I was assured it comes from a clean, bed-bug-free home*. I’m looking forward to both a more comfortable mattress, and a big enough bed to have someone sleep with me. That sounds so dirty! What I mean is that when people come to visit, they can either stay with me, or in the case of a couple, they can share the bed and I’ll sleep on the couch. My first visitor will be my dear friend Angela, who is coming to stay for a few days and then make the long drive back to SLC with me. She has already told me she’s looking forward to our upcoming snuggle parties.

I’m doing my best to savor (or savour if I’m being Canadian–aka wannabe British) my last few weeks here. I’m thrilled to be going home to my beloved mountains, family and friends. However, I’ll be sad to leave this beautiful place. One thing I’ll miss is the crazy cheap insurance. I’ve been dealing with a mysterious back injury these last few weeks. Basically I couldn’t stand up at all for 2 days, and not straight for more than a week. Luckily, at only $10 a visit, I’ve become great friends with my new chiropractor, and I’m about to order my custom orthodics (a $300 value!) for free. While I remember all too well the torture of waiting for hours with Molly at the emergency room, the healthcare system here does have it’s benefits.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this photo I stumbled across today that I’m just in love with. Here’s the link to the original blog. I’ve always been a fan of this painted wall, and if I remember correctly, it is located in SLC in the courtyard behind Sam Wellers books.


*Do we have bed bugs in Utah? Until I moved to Vancouver, I had never even considered the possibility of anything being tainted with the vile little things. Even the library books here are infested.


13 Jan

It’s that time of year. The time where we all reflect on the past year and look ahead at what’s to come. 2011 was just the way I like it–lots of travel and many strange and wonderful experiences.

I enjoyed 6 weeks of vacation. I visited four countries and saw 6 states. I crossed the US border 9 times. I took 6 plane rides. I drove from SLC to Vancouver three times and  up the  California coast from San Diego to Sacramento. I visited great friends and had great friends come visit me. I rode a bike in the Netherlands and didn’t die. I went punting down a canal in England and was actually good at it. I drank cactus beer in Belgium. I became an immigrant.

I moved twice and spent the summer with the greatest roommates I’ve ever had.

I started two book clubs, each with moderate success.

I applied to, got accepted to and started graduate school. I got 1/4 of the way closer to becoming a librarian and found out I actually like it. I also discovered I might even be good at it.

I posted 45 times on this blog.

I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home. I made a turkey for the first time and enjoyed the holiday in October and November.

I ate the greatest hamburger in the world, made the best french onion soup, tried poutine, learned to make sushi, and discovered Tim Tams and Coffee Crisp.

I learned to share my twin sister and was truly happy for her on her wedding day. I gained two wonderful brothers-in-law and two amazing step-nephews.

I took out my first student loans.

I attended my first black-tie event and was grateful that my mom taught me good enough manners to blend in reasonably well.

I was pulled over for the first time and got my first speeding ticket.

I was rehired and quit my job at the law firm for (hopefully) the last time.

I went from being an animal hater to an animal hater living with a dog and a cat.

Looking back, 2011 was pretty alright. Although I’ve decided not to worry about 2012–I’m pinning all my hopes on 2013 to be my year–here’s hoping that the next 12 months are as interesting as the last. Or at least that the world won’t end.

A symphony of sound

31 Oct

What a great weekend. Other than the fact that I didn’t get anything done and I’m stuck with a mountain of homework this Monday… so worth it.

Friday: Bought a new computer. Still on the fence about it. I might take it back. Nightmare Before Christmas with the roommates.

Saturday: Slept in. Bread pudding for lunch. Dinner in Chinatown and the new Footloose with my roommate Jaime and fellow SLAIS-er Lindsay. Amazing that we found a restaurant that was open and didn’t get mugged on the street while searching for one. The movie was excellent. Just the right mix of modern updates with the classic 80s dance movie feel. Loved it.

Sunday: Found out that they give away free Cobbs bread at church every Sunday. For those of you not in Vancouver, Cobbs is a super delicious bakery in town. I’m not sure how I’ve been going to this ward for 2 months and never heard about it. It’s definitely an added incentive to go to church. I scored loaves of whole wheat and french bread and an assortment of rolls/buns.

I also saw Jack’s Mannequin with a school buddy. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this is one of their best shows I’ve been to. Definitely in the top two of the 5 or 6 times I’ve seen them. As always, Andrew McMahon was ah-mazing. He just has such a presence on stage. The venue was awesome too. The Vogue is a beautiful old theater, with great acoustics and comfortable seats. I’m also a sucker for a good neon sign.

The opening bands Lady Danville and Allen Stone were SUPER  impressive as well. Lady Danville was very chill and folksy. Who can resist a singer who can play the ukelele and harmonica at the same time? Definitely not me. The band took this picture of the crowd from the stage and posted it on facebook. Allen Stone was a last minute replacement for The Academy Is… who were supposed to play, but left the tour when they broke up like 3 weeks ago. Lucky me because Allen Stone was awesome. Imagine the powerful soul voices of Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin combined with the lyrical skills of the best of the 70s singer-songwriters. Got that? Now picture all that talent wrapped up in a skinny, long haired white kid with energy for days. That’s what Allen Stone brought to the stage. It seriously blew me away. He also led the crowd in an acoustic rendition of The Bare Necessities. I couldn’t get enough. Check him out.

You can kind of see me in the back right corner

So, as I now sit in the computer lab at school, facing a LONG day of work, I think you’ll all agree that my slacker weekend was most definitely worth it.

I guess I’m officially Canadian now, eh?

2 Sep

I’ve been in Vancouver for a whole week and now feel sufficiently ready to give you some initial impressions of my new home:

  1. Super confusing address system
  2. Super convenient public transit system
  3. Made of lots of neighborhoods
  4. Expensive
  5. Green
  6. Filled with artists and foodies

1. Super confusing address system. When my mom and I first arrived in the city it was dark and late. We had been on the road for about 14 hours and we just wanted to find my house and get to sleep. However, the streets here are super deceptive. Many of them are numbered, but the addresses don’t correspond with the numbered cross streets. For example, the addresses for the houses between W 41st Ave and W 40th Ave on Balaclava St. are not 40__. They are something like 1304-1386. It makes no sense to me. Even with mapquest directions, it was a pain to find my house. It doesn’t help that all the houses have huge bushes in front of them so you can’t see the house numbers. We ended up parking and walking down the street to find it. We were only 3 blocks off haha.

I’m getting the hang of my neighborhood more and more, but it’s still rough when streets end suddenly and then pick back up a block  up from where they left off. Luckily, I don’t really have to go anywhere and when I do I can use mapquest.

2. Super convenient public transit system. I just started using the bus system here, but from what I can tell, it goes pretty much everywhere. I have a bus pass from school, so I’m trying to take the bus as much as I can to save on vehicle expenses. It helps that I live in a particularly convenient part of town. I’m a half a block from the bus stop and it only takes me 15 minutes to get to school and 25 minutes to get downtown.

3. Made of lots of neighborhoods. If you look at a map of Vancouver, you’ll see that it’s made up of a bunch of different areas. Now that I’m here I can say they really are like a bunch of tiny little towns. Some are only a few blocks across. Each one has it’s own identity and stereotypes and sort of people that live and shop there. It’s been interesting to hear about each of them from the locals (at orientation and from my roommates) and to explore a few on my own. It’s also fun because you don’t really feel like you’re in a huge city unless you go right into the heart of downtown. It’s more like a collection of small communities.

If you’re interested, I live right between Kerrisdale and Dunbar. About a kilometer and a half up the street in Kerrisdale there are a bunch of cute shops and restaurants. The weekend I arrived was Kerrisdale Days. Apparently Utah isn’t the only place that has a celebration for every town. Half a km the other direction is Dunbar. It’s less happening, but there are still a few shops and a grocery store. All in all, I think I chose a great place to live. The rent is reasonable, it’s in a good location (i.e. safe, residential but still close to stuff, not super ghetto) and as far as I can tell my roommates aren’t ax murderers.

4. Expensive. I was prepped for Vancouver to be more expensive than SLC, but I still was surprised at how much stuff costs here. They have a 12% Harmonized Sales Tax on all non-essential goods here (basically everything but groceries, rent and utilities) which makes shopping and going out quite a bit more expensive. It doesn’t help that the US dollar is still pretty week and everywhere charges you fees to change money. The upside of my neighborhood is that there are tons of cute little produce and specialty shops nearby. The downside is that they want to charge $4.99 for a dozen eggs.

5. Green. Vancouver is a land of cyclists, organic cotton wearers, fair trade coffee drinkers, public transportation riders, recyclers and composters. Even the taxis here are Prii. (As in plural for Toyota Prius–look up if you don’t believe me.) So far I haven’t found too many hipster eco-snobs for my taste, and I appreciate the green focus of the city.

Along with being earth-friendly, Vancouver is also quite literally a green city. There are tons of beautiful parks and green spaces within the city, and the UBC campus is filled with giant treets. Perfectly green and manicured lawns however, don’t seem to be as important here. I think I’m just used to the vanity with which people in Utah regard their lawns. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some amazingly landscaped yards here, but I would say it’s much more a rarity here than back home.

6. Filled with artists and foodies. This is one aspect of the city that I love. Everywhere you go there are art galleries, delicious restaurants and shops selling stuff from local artisans. I particularly like the focus on supporting local companies, farmers, artists, etc. It’s something I wish more people paid attention to.