Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tour bus fun.

Many silly things happen on a tour bus. Like somebody wearing a fake bare bum over his pants and running up and down the aisle. Or impromptu vocal stylings. Or random outbursts from a guy wearing loud headphones and not realizing that the one question he wanted to ask the person next to him was heard by everybody on the bus.

Here is a random silly that I was involved in, but sorry - it needs some context first.

Recently a few of my friends have discovered or rediscovered lolspeak. So we send many texts dat cud be kind of weerd 2 reed. The joke is starting to wear a little thin but honestly it depends on the subject matter, and cats and pirates (yes this lolcat is part of the context) are always good.

So I was napping on the bus. Lying across two seats, with my feet on the seat across the aisle, using my friend's pillow, I was happy. Then the friend I borrowed the pillow from decided to sit where my feet were so he could listen to music with the person sitting in that window seat.

So I decide to leave my feet there. Cuz nao I has a futwarmr. Iz gud. But I was pushing him around a bit with them at first until he very animatedly said "No! You're not a cat!!" It was entertaining. I then fell asleep. One of the best naps I've had on tour...until he gets up and my feet get cold. This is the conversation that follows via texts:

Me: Mah futwarmr left. I was havn hapy naps.


Me: U laf at mai pane
At leest I stil has gud pillo. Is comfee.

Guy: hehehe no I laf at ur lawlspk

Me: Lol I no. I'ze jus bean ovrdramatiks.
No. Iz mine. I haf commandeerd an iz mah booty.


Me: Xcuse me? I was told dere wud be wenches an rums?



Yes, it's silly. Yes, we were tired. This was the end of the last leg of the last tour. Home now. Need groceries. Will put up more tour stuff later.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I need home for a rest!

I know I seem to have fallen off the face of the earth, but after having the luck of being picked up by a ship powered by an infinite probability drive, I have made it home safely. There were many adventures had in the interim, but due to the classified nature of many aspects of them, I unfortunately can't blog about what happened.

In other news, I was on tour again! Touring is both good and bad, in the same way that my friends are both good and bad: decisions are more easily made, for better or worse.

Actually scratch that, touring just makes bad decisions easier.

For example: "Let's drink."

Or: "Let's drink again!"

Or: "Even though it's really late we should order pizza and watch a movie and drink more!:

Then there's the incredibly sneaky: "Taking a night off because you've drank the last three nights? But it's Friday night! You can't do that!"

There are also more subtle means of helping bad decisions along.

"Let's get blizzards! It doesn't matter since we're eating crappy all tour anyways, so you might as well enjoy them now!"

"Well, since McDonald's is the only thing open at this time of night, let's go get that!"

"I heard there were free drinks!"

Ok well maybe that last one wasn't quite so subtle, but I think you get the idea.

Ironically enough, on our second day of tour, some of us ended up going out for martini's (cause it was martini night at the place we had dinner, which was good.) then were convinced to go to the bar attached to our hotel afterwards. I managed to get my friend on the dance floor, since the song playing was "Home for a Rest". And thus we knew early on what kind of trip it would be.

I made out better than most of my friends, being able to resist blizzards and too much pizza and actually not drinking a couple of those nights. But it still adds up. 6 days on the road. The first 5 of those were traveling AND concerts. Too busy to have time for ourselves until after the concerts, when we'd get back to the hotel and stay up until 1 or 2. Get back on the bus at 9 or 10 the next day. I've only been home 2 nights and a day and already I'm feeling great. I think it's the sleep. Even though I worked last night until late (and got free drinks while there! Have I mentioned that I love my job?) and we watched a movie after (but no pizza, and only one gin and tonic), I've still had way more sleep in these past 2 nights than I got in any 4 of the nights we were gone.

And now I'm back. And have 3 days off. Well, 2.5 now that I've slept through the first half of one. Then 3 more days of work and I get to go on tour again! I'm sure this next one will be so much more laid back, since it's the last one and we're all so tired. No one will feel the need to make the most of our last trip out of town at all...

*Insert ominous music and tolling bells here.*

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Guys don't like snakes.

I don't know what it is, but the last few times I have come across snakes, all the guys have freaked out. Then they usually ask why girls like snakes. Of course, not all girls like snakes, so maybe not all guys hate them.

I like snakes. They're kinda neat. I think it's mostly because I don't see them very often, so it was always very cool to actually find one as a kid. It might also be because I only ever come across garter snakes which are harmless and little and kinda cute.

Still doesn't explain why guys don't like them. Like my downstairs roomie and landlord for instance.

This is what just happened:

I hear an obscenity from downstairs, then silence. A couple minutes later I hear the call of distress.

"Hey guys, can you come down here? I really need some help with this! Right now!"

I come downstairs to find Landlord wearing oven mitts and wielding a frying pan with a panicked look on his face. He was also in kind of stance you usually see in nature videos when some creature is trying make itself as large as possible in a last desperate attempt to defend its life.

His voice had an edge of hysteria. "There's a snake in my bag!"

I look down to see a backpack in the middle of the floor with a pile of computer wires beside it.

"I pulled out that bunch of wires, and one of them was a snake! Did you hear me freak out??"

In all fairness to Landlord, that would be extremely surprising. Like something out of a horror movie, or a bad dream - picking up something innocuous and discovering creepy crawlies. Not fun.

But that part was done. The snake was underneath the bag, and now just had to be dealt with.

"I was thinking that if we corral it into this frying pan, I can take it outside. Or maybe I should go get something with a cover, maybe that would be better."

"It it just a regular garter snake? Little guy?"

"Yeah, I think so, but it's under that bag! I don't want it getting away in my house!! If we go from either side, then between us and that wall, it's not going to get anywhere."


"You ready?"

He lifts up the bag.

The snake sits there.

I go pick up the snake.

"OH my gosh."

I go to take it outside.

"Wait, I need to get the camera."

"It's crawling up my sleeve!"

"Yeeeaaaghh! Never mind, I'll get the door."

"No it's ok, I stopped it. They just like dark hidey holes."

"Ok, I'm getting the camera."

Picture is taken. Snake gets put outside. Landlord resumes breathing.

"Oh my gosh...I hate snakes. I have to go call my fiancée now."

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I saw two movies last week.

This in itself is unusual, since that's about the number of movies I average in a year - not including ritual rerunning of things like Monty Python, Princess Bride, or A Muppet Christmas Carol.

Even more strange was the fact that I didn't really want to see either one and was pleasantly surprised by both.

The first was "Date Night". Now I am immediately put off by anything that has "date" anywhere in the title. I'll admit that's a little judgmental, but in my experience - it's for the best. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It started out as a date and turned into a crazy adventure. This is always a good thing. I'd like to think that if I ever end up going on a date, it will involve some sort of randomness like in that movie. Hopefully not involving a crime syndicate or anything though.

Also it's Tina Fey - and she's pretty awesome. Watching some of the outtakes at the end made me realize that quite a few lines in the movie weren't really scripted. That off-the-cuff kind of thing is really what made it work. It was...funny! And not really a romantic comedy after all. Yay.

Movie #2 - not so much. Clash of the Titans. Do I really need to say more? It's a terrible movie. I saw the version from the 80's a while back, just to laugh at the animation, and I guess the CG in this version are better. But it's really just...kind of lame.

Oh, did I say I was pleasantly surprised by this movie? Right. It was nice, for a see the guys wearing shorter skirts than the girls. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Yet another caucasian moment on vacation

K: We've done a lot of wine tasting, how about we go shopping this afternoon, you know, just to break things up a little.

S: Breakin' it up! [starts beatboxing]

Me: That's "Breakin' it down" Steve...

S: I am so white....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vacation days 4-whatever.

As I mentioned before, I am terrible at keeping things on schedule and doing things that I am "supposed" to be doing. Hence it taking forever to post again about my vacation. With several installments, and a set order, even a vacation is not random enough to keep me interested in writing about it!

But anyways, I did promise to at least write about the exciting part that happened the next day, so I guess I'd better do it.


Yeah. I can't really describe it here cause I need too many motions and sound effects. But if you ever have the chance to go, even if it means driving 2 hours out of your way - DO IT. Just a thought.

Then we drove to Eureka. Lots more windy roads and bridges which I actually didn't sleep through. Must have been too wired from the dune buggying. We crossed the state line and somehow thought that being in, you know, California, we might get some use out of all the sundresses and tank tops we brought, but no. Still cloudy and even a bit of rain this time.

Eureka is a funny little town. I can't really describe it any other way. It had a strange, almost eerie feeling to it. Partly it might have been our hotel which was straight out of the 1800's (ok, it had phones and a tv in the room) and almost dead silent. Maybe it was the gloomy weather, or the many closed vintage shops that made it seem out of another time, or maybe...maybe it was just weird.

But we had a good time, and I'd like to go back. Aside from the subtle strangeness, and maybe even because of it, Eureka is a neat little town. There was an old bearded blues band playing (surprisingly really well) for an old bearded audience that was grooving along outside in the town square. We saw a whole bunch of seals off the boardwalk and so many neat little shops we would have liked to spend some time in, had they been open. It was kind of good that they were closed, since we were going for a run through town to work off at least some of the absurd amount of dairy we ingested the day before.

Also cool was the little place we had a late dinner called "Bon-Bonniere". Really neat 50's diner kinda thing going on, excellent fresh food and (what looked like) killer desserts. Katrina and I even went all girly when we saw the Shirley Temples on the menu and had to have them. They were as sugary and pink and full of maraschino cherries as we expected. It was a good night.

The next day's drive took us through Redwood National Forest and we took the scenic route "Avenue of the Giants". Wow...I've always loved Cathedral Grove on the island, and this was...amazing. At Steve so succinctly put it: "Those are big trees." Walking through them and looking at some of the massive redwoods, I didn't wonder why things like dryads and ents are a part of our collective mythology. I wanted to stay all day and just sit there, but we were on a schedule...and the next stop was a big one.

The Napa Valley. It was what everyone (else) was waiting for. It was a heck of a long drive, with the last stretch being the slowest and most winding. I think our top speed for the last couple of hours was about 40km/h. But we made it and went out for a most amazing dinner at Zuzu Tapas. Again, the restaurants were the highlight for me. We did three wine tastings the next morning, and although I enjoyed that a lot, and the wineries and buildings were beautiful, my favourite part was dinner.

At one winery, the lady who was serving our wine also happened to be a chef, and was recommending pairings to us for each wine. For one of them she happened to mention Thai food and when all our ears perked up visibly, she told us of a restaurant we had to visit.

It was called Little Mango, and there was a sous-chef for another restaurant sitting at the table next to ours. You'd think a so-called amazing place where chefs eat would be expensive, but I think the special was 16 bucks. Most things were around 10. It was amazing...and I know I say that a lot, but when you have 4 talkative people at a table, not saying a word for 5 minutes at a time - you know it's good. We usually share our food around so that we can all try more things, but no one suggested it this time. We were too busy eating.

Phew! Almost done. Napa Valley for a day and a half, then on to San Fran! I slept in the car again, but only for an hour. It's apparently a short drive to San Francisco, and I woke up in time to see us getting on the Golden Gate bridge. It's actually kinda orange. Which I guess is a lot closer to gold than the black or grey that most bridges are. Our hotel was close to the bridge, but not ready for us so we parked the car and went to check out nearby Chestnut Street.

It was fun, some little shops for the shoppers to enjoy, teletubbies wandering for to enjoy and just generally a good feel. As soon as I stepped onto the sidewalk I said to myself "Yeah, I'd come back here." We found another great restaurant called the Grove which was fast and furious and fun. You pay and get your number, try and find somewhere to sit then and wait until the servers find you. They've got a short menu of maybe 4 sandwiches, 4 salads, 4 mains but everything was excellent so there's something for everybody. Fresh squeezed orange juice made my day. They claim the best bacon in the world, and if they're not right, they're not far wrong...and they actually DO have the best macaroni and cheese in the world. Or at least that we'd ever had. Ok ok, I know, enough of the food!

Once we put our stuff in the hotel room, it was back to wandering. We split into pairs again since Katrina and I tend to travel in a very random way (surprise surprise) just picking a general direction, or having one goal in mind and then happening across whatever we happen across, while Steve and Karen are far more specific and want to get to the things they want to get to.

Anyways, our hotel happened to be on Lombard St which had the block known as the windyest street in the world. It took an hour to get to that section of it, but we didn't care and yeah. It was pretty windy. We thought our drive to Napa was bad! But this block was basically a car length and a half of straight road before making a switchback in the other direction. Yeah, it was a steep hill. Even the other side of it was a steep climb to get up to that point. Later, we checked out our total distance of the night (7 miles) and with the hills we considered it a workout.

Next stop was Chinatown! Well, we didn't really plan to stop so much as move with the massive flow of people down the street. Yup, sure was a chinatown. Lots of produce shops, fish shops, dried everything shops, tourist traps, take out food...etc. It was anything special per-se but it was just so...condensed! Like taking Vancouver's chinatown, multiplying it by 10 and putting it in a space maybe twice the size. We wandered into a dried everything store just for the heck of it (and to see if they had a specific tea I like) and one of those EVERYTHING IS HERE AND MOST OF IT IS A DOLLAR AND IF YOU EVER THINK YOU WILL NEED SOME KIND OF JUNK YOU WILL FIND IT HERE stores, since Katrina had never done that. Then we ended up having some really good really cheap dim-sum at another random shop.

After that, we headed down to Union Square, which would have been a shopping heaven had it all been open. As it was, we made it Macy's and Katrina nearly had a seizure trying to look in every direction at once when we got to the shoe floor. It's probably a good thing most things were closed, since she stopped at every other massive expensive name brand window on the way back, looking like one of those commercials at Christmastime with the kid looking in the toy store.

We went back to the other extreme of prices on our wander back through Chinatown. By this time it was dark, so we got to see the other side of it. Lanterns across the street, musicians playing "Yankee Doodle" on traditional chinese instruments, tourist trap shops brightly lit up with bright gaudy shiny things. I almost got sucked in by a nice sushi dish set. Glad I didn't because I saw the same ones back home.

Didn't make it to Fisherman's Wharf, since it was so dark and late and we needed more food. (It was sushi, and yes it was again, really good. Hey don't knock it - I have the most amazing instinct for finding good food on the road) We had been thinking about going for Karaoke, since we saw a place open on our way out, but I ended up being a little too tired at 10pm after those 7 miles, and a little too worried about finding a way to the airport for me to enjoy it, so we just went back to the hotel.

And that, my friends, is that. The hotel had an agreement with a shuttle service, so I had no problem getting to the airport for my 7am flight back home to Canada. My 2 bottles of wine also survived the trip in the cargo section and were enjoyed thoroughly by all who imbibed. My week in Vancouver visiting family and friends was excellent and now I am back in Victoria, hard at work.

Yeah, really hard at work. Played 5 games of pool this morning.

I love my job.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Scene: hotel room. Middle of great vacation. S is on laying apathetically on the bed, with iPhone again.

K: Wow, you sure look enthusiastic. This vacation must be so depressing.

S: Yes, I'm horribly horribly depressed and everything is terrible. I hate life. I would kill myself except that I'm too lazy to get off this bed. It's ok though. There's an app for that.