Pachelbel’s serial killer Eggs Benny: days 266 — 275

Weather has been pretty consistently sunny lately, with crisp mornings and warm afternoons, only a day or two of rain. I got a lovely view from Jericho Hill Centre after trying and failing to drop in Competitive; then, a week later, just before Intermediate, a lovely pre-dusk sky with half-shadowed trees.

That wasn’t really my plan. I spent most of that Sunday in New West playing board games with other queer gaymers, but I for to commemorate that with a photo just like I did a couple weeks before. Maybe it’s for the best since I don’t want to be too repetitive… but two lovely serene pics of the sky and distant trees and whatnot is just as repetitive.

Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. I do notice Sundays tend to not be good days, inspiration-wise, which makes sense since I don’t have a lot going on besides volleyball. But what am I going to do about it? Something? Nothing? The year’s coming to an end; I want to keep going in 2018, but also push my limits. That means planning ahead. I used to be worried my routine wouldn’t give me enough material, but now it may actually be happening after 9 months.

Then again, that’s not actually the case. There’s still an infinite world out there, I just have to look at it to see. But that does mean breaking out of my routine even more.

Maybe a solution is right under my nose. Of my last 10 photos, 2 of them have people in them. For me that’s a lot, I’m much more comfortable, photography-wise, shooting buildings or landscapes or whatnot. Pointing my phone at people feels intrusive—but more than that, it feels scary for me. Because photography is a interaction, unless I’m sneaking up on them from behind a bush, which means I’m exposing myself to my subject too.

And yeah, one of them is some friends and me in a serial-killer-themed escape room, taken by one of the characters. But another is of a musician friend playing a funkified version of Pachelbel’s Canon. That was a nice evening.

And speaking of hanging with friends, I had lunch with an ex-client at Daisy Sandwiches And Such the other day. That was the first time I’d seen him or the place, since June 30th—my last day at my previous job. I still miss the hell out of it, especially their scrumptious eggs Benny. Just wish it wasn’t so far out of my way to eat on workdays…

D Minus 100: days 261 — 265

It’s hard to believe I’m less than 100 days (as of this posting) from completing my 2017 photo-a-day challenge. 265 days, at least one photo a day. I can’t celebrate just yet, but I can see the finish line

Monday: what really caught my eye was a bunch of flower bits on Robson Plaza. Was there some event over the weekend? Probably. Or maybe during the day. I took this photo a little after 6PM on the way home from work. Oh well, it’s a mystery, and my job is not to solve it but just to document it.

One thing I miss about my old commute is walking through quiet, green-roofed Davie Village. (I mean, I still could, I just need to leave the apartment earlier, and go to the gym earlier. And I’ve taken to walking the long way home along the Seawall, as you’ve seen in previous photos). But the downtown core is beautiful in its way. Soaring skyscrapers, complex building textures, interesting views… you just need to find new perspectives. Case in point: Dunsmuir Street looks a bit different from one storey up.

Next day, another street from high up. This time Fourth Avenue, from Granville Street Bridge. I was on my way to the Storm Crow for quiz night ( first time I’d gone in months!) and took many, many pics of the views: a look back at downtown, some closeups of the half-finished Vancouver House… but this sight is what grabbed me, so there we are

Thursday I decided to go all the way to English Bay Beach and take a picture of the sunset. I started out a little too late, though. Maybe I shouldn’t have stopped by Cafe Crepe to enjoy a banana cheesecake crepe? Ehh, I regret nothing. The building on Robson Street were glowing gold in the setting sun; I would have liked to shoot the clouds lit from underneath, but alas that was not to be. When I got to the beach, the sun was already below the horizons and the clouds just had a few pink accents. I hung around anyway, taking in the the ripply water, the brilliant band of gold far away… and then rested my weary feet on a nearby bench. And there it was: everything I’d shot before, plus dozens of residents who had the same idea as me. Sometimes it’s nice to be part of a community with a common goal, even just for an hour.

Friday, another sunset, this time from Britannia Community Centre where I play vball. Nothing much to add, really. You got your tree silhouettes, you got your clouds, you got your fading golden light, you got your soft blue background… pretty standard, really. But no less beautiful for that

It’s because the days are getting shorter: days 251 — 260

I shot a lot of sunsets and twilight pics in the last 10 days.

First up, a nice view of False Creek taken from near Science World. That was a Friday, and also the start of my Vancouver Fringe Festival season. I’d just come from seeing Multiple Organism, a weird sexyish multimedia-slash-theatre performance at the Firehall Theatre, and walked my theatre-going friend to the SkyTrain. Instead of taking the train myself I decided to enjoy a little me time, take in the scenery, and walk the long way home.

I’ve been doing a lot of walking since I started this new job. It feels nice.

Saturday, more Fringe, this time at Granville Island: Slumber Here, an outdoor interactive choose-your-own-adventure riff on A Midsummer Night’s Dream (awesome) and The Man Who Sold The World, a pretty disjointed but engaging one-man show about innocence and authoritarianism. The guy’s American, and it’s not about Trump. Or, not just about Trump; after the show, he told the audience that the play was really born after 9/11, but he kept it on the back-burner until a friend told him last year to get it out there. It’s all right, but could have used some polishing. Or maybe there was no really good way to shoehorn those songs in the narrative Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World, and The Talking Heads’ Nothing But Flowers. Oh well, they can’t all be winners.

While grabbing lunch at the market, I considered taking a nice picture of Burrard Bridge, or maybe Yaletown, but I couldn’t resist this juvenile seagull next to a sign. I don’t remember seeing that sign before, and the gulls did seem unusually aggressive this summer. Guess the tourists have been feeding them too much.

Sunday, the first night of VGVA indoor play. My tryout scores landed me back in Intermediate after a year in Competitive and, not gonna lie, I was really disappointed. So, what the hell, I did what I’d been doing for years: dropped into Competitive and Advanced in the morning, and played Intermediate in the evening. And took this shot of the parking lot after play… I’m not really happy about it, but I hadn’t taken any pictures that day, and was worried I’d forget and break my streak. So, meh. Again, they can’t all be winners.

More Fringe on Sunday, this time at Studio 16 just a short stroll from Granville Island: ‘Tween Earth And Sky, a pretty good no-frills one-man retelling of several Irish fairy tales. Before the show I took several shots of the street, focusing specially on an outdoor sculpture of Emily Carr with several animal friends. I think they used to be her pets?

Speaking of walking, I’ve taken the very long way home from work a couple times, along the Seawall. One of these days, mark my words, I’m going to take the super-long way, around Stanley Park. Wonder if that’ll get me great sunset pics like this one?

Pivoting a bit: I need to hang out with more queer nerds. I’ve got nerd friends, and I’ve got queer friends, but there’s very little overlap between the two groups. But not for long! There’s this group that does not one, not two, but 3 monthly gaming meetups for LGBT people in the Lower Mainland. I went to their first get together at the Storm Crow, and had a great time. Played a bit of Epic Spell Wars, which I already knew about from Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop YouTube show. I’m still too much of a hermit sometimes, and groups like that are just what the doctor ordered.

Sometimes I really love the West End.

And sometimes I really love East Van. Especially when it’s advanced volleyball night at Britannia! Yes, another pic taken coming out of the gym, but I like this one much better.

And finally, I really love Granville Island. Especially when coming out of our last Fringe show of the season (Gutenberg: The Musical, Interstellar Elder and Chris & Travis). It’s the most magical time of day, isn’t it?

Mouse says “Thanks”: days 226 — 250

Okay, another not-planned break. Blame the Queer Film Fest, maybe, and blame the new job, which is still good and fun and WordPressy and hella challenging, but is not leaving me with much energy. I’d toyed with the idea of doing reviews as before, but turns out I couldn’t do that and my regular posts. Turns out I couldn’t do either, for a while. Oh well, this regular blogging stuff is still new. The important thing is to move forward.

As of Monday August 14 (day 226), I was still getting used to having blue skies again. So I took a picture of Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains. It’s nice. I love having a view of the North Shore that I can get to at lunchtime. Bad news, though: yellow skies came back for a few days, but I think as of today they’re gone. Amazing what a little rain can do. Today the air smelled all fresh and petrichor, instead of like a campfire.

On August 15 Gossamer Threads held a big clients BBQ, and I was asked to be a photographer. It was awkward—as it always is around strangers—and occasionally I’d disengage to look at some bees.

August 21, a solar eclipse! It was a pretty eerie experience, though honestly a little disappointing. The sky didn’t get nearly as dark as I expected from a 90% full eclipse, though it did dim somewhat, and the air got noticeably cooler. But then again, that might have been my eyes adapting to the gradually fading light, and I wouldn’t notice any big difference unless the sky was much more hidden? Huh, that never occurred to me until just now. What was cool was the light distorted into crescents, as you’d see by making a fist, or just looking at the shadows of leaves.

This was only the second eclipse I remember seeing, the first being a lunar eclipse in February 2008. Which was honestly a lot eerier. The moon turning to blood beats somewhat dimmer sunlight any day. Or any night.

Speaking of sunlight, I found an interesting spot the next day (on Cordova, just east of Burrard): having shamefully skipped the gym and taking the long way to work, I almost discovered how an ant must feel. I scoffed at the idea of that curvy building actually focusing enough light to be harmful… but apparently it does happen.

I could spend months just cataloguing the public art around. This piece at the Law Courts is not the first and it won’t be the last. Nitpicky as I am I had to take half a dozen shots until I was happy the bits were nicely concentric.

And hey, another train photo. Not my first by a long shot, even if you’re not counting this year. I took many, many pictures of the West Coast Express and assorted trains around PoCo Station. It felt like freedom, y’know? Trains must feel that way to most people, and after visiting Europe and taking lots of trains, I can see why.

Had another company barbecue the other day, where I made a stunning discovery. They grow a few veggies and herbs up on the rooftop deck, including Brussels sprouts. I had no idea this is how they grew! I’d vaguely thought that they grew like lettuces, each on their own. But no, turns out they grow like… tumours, on the stalk of a bigger plant. Weird. How did that happen? What do / did wild plants look like? Wikipedia says they’re related to cabbages, which isn’t that surprising, but nothing about their origins.

Not gonna lie, it can be a little embarrassing to admit to not knowing something… but then you learn something new, and that’s cool. Then you’re one of the lucky 10,000.

Speaking of learning… So the PNE has a special exhibition every year, with a different theme. This year, it was “Toytopia”. Games and toys over the decades. Board games, stupid old crap simple wholesome entertainment from before Kids Today ruined everything with their indie rock and their Yu-Gi-Oh, Legos (of course), train sets, action figures—oh yeah, I remember these babies, my brothers and I had them all. That little droid in the middle, the R5-D4? I loved that thing. I didn’t care (or remember) that we only saw it for one minute in A New Hope before it got fried, that little figurine was way cooler than R2-D2 in my eyes. He’s taller and orange, what’s not to like?

Anyway, games! The exhibit included a few old-school arcade games from when you had arcades, from when you put quarters in and games cost only one quarter. Although you didn’t put quarters into these games, that wouldn’t be any fun. I wanted to try Dig Dug or Ms Pac-Man, which I had rather enjoyed back in the day, but they were taken. So I chose Missile Command, which… I don’t think I’ve ever played before, though I’d watched it and knew the basics. It’s not too bad at first, but then gets overwhelmingly fast-paced. I wonder if there’s a way to predict where the bombs will go, just like I hear you can do in Pac-Man?

And I’ll end with a heartwarming story I only learned about from a poster: a lost cat that was returned to his human. I’d been walking around the Village looking for my daily pic and… well, there you go. I don’t know either of them, but I’m glad they’re together again.