March 19, 2004

perceptive pedestrian people

it's last night, one a.m., and i'm standing in front of the taco del mar on granville waiting for a bus. these two girls are walking south on the other side of the street, being very loud and most probably drunk. one of them spots me and, without pausing, yells:

"yo! whadddddup?"

and then seconds later:

"dude! you're so... ... alone!"

Posted by michal at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2004

nostalgia, already?

last saturday was my first ever 90's party. ryan, ayma and i hit a value village in the afternoon to do some retro-mining... and we struck grunge gold. ryan did the seattle-throwback look, complete with faded jeans, flannel shirt, under-the-bridge-style dirty down vest and cobain-style hair. ayma did a northern blossom, with wool socks over tights and a short dress with the appropriate layers underneath. i had the army shorts, docs and nine inch nails t-shirt over a long-sleeved nine inch nails t-shirt.

apparently the 90's were really cold, 'cause all those layers get really hot when you're indoors.

the party itself was a lot of fun; sebastien and sarah take their jobs as party-army legionnaires quite seriously. i took over dj duties at one point in the evening and had some good crowd energy going until i sorta-half-accidentally cut in halfway through a biz markie song with my bloody valentine's "only shallow" ("whoops... did i just? ... heehee... stupid windows"). some people cheered, at least.

the most popular look was overwhelmingly grunge, though gareth and jhod (east-coasters!) did the kris-kross backwards hip-hop thing, and one girl came out to represent the candy-raver scene.

anyway, the party was a perfect end to a day spent coming up with top ten lists and listening to nirvana and ministry (the late 80's are practically the 90's!). and if you ever wanted to see closet ace of base fans bustin' moves, this was definitely the place.

also: at some point in the evening, i had the pleasure of meeting evan symons who, in addition to being a pretty hardcore rock guy, has one of the most inspirational websites i've ever come across. well worth checking out.

Posted by michal at 03:49 PM | Comments (1)

March 08, 2004

escape from black mountain

at around this time last year, i went on a snowshowing trip with an intrepid handful of webct employees. dave, geordy, jesse and i packed some food, a shovel and some homebrew beer (jesse == teh best) and proceeded to hike out to the elfin lakes in garibaldi. we dug a snowcave, slept in it and came back the next day, all without dying.

given the spectacular success of that trip, it was inevitable that a reprise would be forthcoming. though it's kinda odd that i was the sole returning member of the original expedition, what with no longer working at webct and all, i joined erin, justin and dan for what i thought would be a far less monumental trip out to black mountain. or as i prefer to call it, the black mountain... of DOOM!

the trip in was pleasant enough: a bit chilly, some light snow, plenty of visibility. it only took us two-and-a-half hours to reach our intended camp, which was good time compared to the four-plus hour slog that team webct endured last year. upon arrival, we immediately set to the task of building our accomodations; dan and justin dug out "the kitchen", erin started to pat down the tent area and i got to work hollowing out a snowbank for the sleeping cave.

up until the digging part, everything was going according to plan. what happened last year was: four people took shifts digging out the cave, and i changed into warm/dry clothes after the digging was completed. this time, with really only dan and i digging the cave, i became really wet and really cold while digging, so much so that i had to change into my backup fleece gear before the cave could accomodate two. so now, wearing just fleece, i couldn't dig because i'd just get soaked again, and the cave could only fit one person. asi stood there, not digging, it dawned on me that i'm still getting progressively colder and that things were not liable to get any warmer anytime soon.

the situation called for some immediate decision-making; do we stay and risk losing the urbanski to hypothermia, or do hike back and risk getting lost in some combination of darkness and blizzard? after some brief deliberation, erin and i opted for the latter. we packed up, figured out how the borrowed headlamps worked and sadly bade dan and justin good-bye.

we made the hike back in what must have been record time. it was barely dark, and barely snowing when we reached the cypress ski lodge. at this point we were wet, tired and hungry, which is the perfect combination of attributes one needs to enjoy the best poutine ever. after demolishing said poutine, we emerged from the lodge to find the mountain ensconsed in an absolutely ridiculous combination of darkness and blizzard. huh. some comments expressing happiness at not being out there and moderate concern for dan's and justin's welfare were expressed, and then we got the hell out of there.

i like to think that justin and dan had as good a sleep as i did that night, but it's kinda unlikely.

some further remarks:

the "jesse lyman award for heaviest pack relative to body mass" went to erin. at probable fault was the two-week supply of trailmix... but damn, it was good trailmix.

dan and justin got the "snow carpenters of the year" award for their awesome work on the snow kitchen. benches, a roof, even cubbyholes. nice works, guys.

and for me, the "david wilson award for most inappropriate footwear", as i had left my good boots at home because the new insoles i bought especially for this trip resulted in pain after as little as two minutes of regular walking. next time i'll be prepared, really.

Posted by michal at 04:27 PM | Comments (1)