December 13, 2011

Merry Animated GIF-mas

A snippet of decorating, as Kerry and I got ornamental Sunday night before getting our nog on. This year's star is a Fraser fir, a fine piece of coniferous-ness procured once more from the good chaps at Scouts Canada 66/67th Winnipeg A Troop in River Heights.

December 12, 2011

254: Felt Love

Kerry recently needle-felted these four birds.

I have no idea where they're headed next.

But I'm sure they'll land in the hands of loving recipients.

I'm just happy I had the chance to photograph them; give myself something constructive to do other than stare slack-jawed in amazement.

November 21, 2011

253: Vanity In Purple

I sketched this portrait of my now-seven-year-old niece (holy crap, it seems like only yesterday) in fits and starts over the last few days. 

I am rusty. It took me more than a few do-overs to arrive at the basis of something I could continue with. The source material was never in doubt: an incredibly brief moment I captured earlier this past summer at the beach. The reason for this epic pout long since forgotten, it's still a universal expression all kids learn to master – whether it works or not in getting what they want.

The layerings of purple, added digitally, come from an altogether different source of inspiration: my friend's three-year-old daughter who, like three-year-old daughters across this earth, is enamoured with all things purple and pink (despite her parents' consternation). But as the pinky-purply wash continued to accumulate, the more it began to take on overtones of summer storms around these parts – some of which even come close to matching the power of a little-girl tantrum.

Midway through creating this thing, Illustration Friday – that one-time bastion of inspiration for me in keeping this blog running – dropped in my Friday inbox their current theme of "vanity". I haven't dropped in on Illustration Friday in a year and a half, but am including it here since the whole creation would not have happened were it not for the brief moment of pouty vanity that inspired what you see here… which, you can click here, to see even bigger.

November 06, 2011

252: Hybridized

hybrid animals 2
In an attempt to even draw a little bit these days, I signed up to make an appearance with my friend Mary's Doodle Swap Project, which previously I'd only done once before... wait, no – twice.

So yes, I joined in, tasked with producing seven small cards to be sent out across the universe, in exchange for seven in return, from various locations within the same universe (one keener had already arrived before mine even hit the post office).

I realize I'm cheating a bit by resorting to found art for half the concept, but during our trip in Chicago we popped into a paper/craft store and I stumbled on a whole bucket of 90-cent old-timey bird identification flashcards. And I knew then what I had to do.

I had to draw fish heads on them.

hybrid animals 1
Shown here are six of the seven. I'd show the seventh one, but really, the gist is here. You'll have to trust me in that the seventh was of a bird, with a fish head.

I believe it was a rainbow trout.

November 03, 2011

251: What Happened To October

nesting instinct
In October, we went to Minneapolis. Went on an artsy outing to the Walker, and saw a man dressed as a frog in a canoe on the way there. I have a photo, but I'm still coming to grips with it actually having happened. We witnessed the splendour of Nye's Polonaise Room. Buried our feet in beautiful fall leaves.

lady in red
We went to Spring Green, Wisconsin, where my friend Erin took us under her wing. Arranged a reading for Kerry at the bookstore. Took us behind the behind-the-scenes at Frank Lloyd Wright's summer home, Taliesin. Sang Mazzy Star for us on karaoke night, and, a week later, displayed her own band's bad-assery at the Sh*tty Barn.

circus minimus
We went to Circus World, in nearby Baraboo. Off-season, the place was a shell of its bombastic summer self, I'm sure. But also, it was quiet and curious and serene, with the exception of a plays-for-25-cents monster calliope wagon. I bought a cap there. It says "Circus World" on it, and it's awesome.

…and later that same day, we saw whooping cranes.

We went to Madison, where my friends Tracy and Nate treated us like kings of all Wisconsin (or whatever they have there… governors, I guess, but they sure didn't treat us like the governor of Wisconsin). We drank local beers, ate some incredible extremely-local pancakes. Good, good people. Their cats were kind of meh about our visit.

rock lobster
Taking nowhere near our fill of Wisconsin, we also went to Chicago. In October, Americans do not celebrate Thanksgiving. But there's this thing called Columbus Day, and in Chicago it brings out enough pomp and lobster costumes for me to forget about turkey. Although later, I found a turkey sandwich for lunch.

In Chicago, we craned our necks for five days. Everything is tall in Chicago. And if it's not, it's probably big in some other way.

beer high
And in Chicago, at its absolute tallest, I had this fancypants glass of beer. And we watched the sun set, and Kerry and I rested our foreheads together and watched all the lights turn on.

In Chicago, we went to the Art Institute of Chicago. For eight hours on a rainy day. And for a rainy day, it was one hell of a rainy day. Maybe the most fantastic I've ever been a part of.

felted wiener
I celebrated my 36th birthday in Chicago. Kerry surprised us with a sunny-day jaunt on some Segways. And presented to me this needle-felted Chicago-style (no ketchup) hot dog.

September 29, 2011

Vile Bean

I wouldn't dare blame my mom for anything that's gone awry in my life – except my deep-seeded distaste for coffee.

My noob travels on Twitter this week informed me today is National Coffee Day. As a bespectacled, black-long-sleeved-shirt-wearing graphic designer, I should be elated. In fact, I should have known this weeks in advance. I should have sensed it, anticipated its arrival like a caffeinated Christmas. But no. I hate the stuff. I make no apologies. And it's all because of my mom.

When I was a tot I loved going places – as tots tend to do. Always wanted to be going. But like the ball-and-chain on an old-timey criminal, so to was my mom's slurgle of coffee.

Can we go now? Not until I have my slurgle of coffee.

Can we open our presents yet? Wait until I finish this slurgle of coffee.

It was excrutiating. First I'd wait all summer for it to get cool enough to go hiking in the Whiteshell on Saturdays. Then I'd wait for the Saturdays to come. Then I'd wait out the drive at the crack of dawn to get to the trailhead. Then all I'd want to do was find a piece of deadfall wood that looked like a Star Destroyer so I could run full-tilt down the path with the wood in front of me as it got pelted by X-wing fighter fire. And then bam! The slurgle strikes back.

Fast-forward to present day and I guess I'm still not over it. Mornings at my job with a cup of water, I head-scratch at the masses who. Can't. Work/Think/Talk/Blink. Until. They. Have. Their. Coffee. I visit coffee shops to meet about freelance and enjoy a delectable hot chocolate. Roll my eyes and gnash teeth at the stream of mindless Tim Hortons zombies in cars piled into the diamond lane. The coffee-lovers. The slurglers. They're everywhere. At work. On the streets. In my house. But they'll never get me.

Happy National Coffee Day? Humbug.

September 28, 2011

250: Don't Do What Donny Don't Does

no luring, baiting or feeding wildlife
I squeezed in a recent fun bit of freelance illustration for a poster concept, and while I hesitate showing the whole thing, these two excerpts were the best part – and an opportunity for me to get in some much-needed drawing time. The task was to illustrate four basic rules supplied by Parks Canada for tourists to abide by while riding the giant Tundra Buggies out of Churchill. I had nowhere to go but up; current "posters" plastered about the buggies are laminated letter-sized sheets simply listing the four rules aided by a bear silhouette.

no depositing garbage or littering on the ground
Pretty straightforward: don't litter. Don't harass the bears, or lure the bears. The fourth rule, though – no using devices that enable cameras to be placed under or beside vehicles – seems oddly particular. I was told this happens; enough obviously, for a rule. The buggies are high, I know that. High enough to keep juicy tourists out of reach from Earth's largest land carnivores. Remembering that ultimately this required sign-off from government, I shelved concepts involving a fishing pole or elaborate steampunk contraption, and rolled with my big-schnozzed fella simply dangling a camera tied to his scarf.

September 06, 2011

249: Sweet One Hundred

Our house – as well as a huge swath of the neighbourhood – is turning 100 years old this summer. When we bought the place and moved in, it was a sprightly ninety-four. The ensuing half-dozen years have seen one burst pipe (show me a centenarian who doesn't um, dribble, once in awhile), one replaced rotten window (dental work) and one backyard overhaul (a little cosmetic surgery). Other than that, the odd crack here, the odd squeak there, we've little indication this place has even attained a state of mid-life crisis; the house is a solid, slightly uneven, solid, creaking, solid piece of craftsmanship.

Anyone who has sat in their house and contemplated all the goings-on since its inception can attest to the daydreaming I've done of late. Somebody lived here during the Great Depression. Through WWII. A family perhaps, with a giant tail-finned behemoth parked in the back, set up an aluminum Christmas tree. Someone taped shows on their VCR. A spry young couple married under its roof. I have a hard time even considering the street as a shadeless suburbia, complete with spindly, evenly-planted elms and the occasional awoooooga-tooting Model T. But what I wouldn't give for even just a glimpse.

Kerry and I are celebrating the grand palace's 100th birthday. Ordered a cake, even. I spent time yesterday concocting this designerly ode to the house, having much fun in the process. Two weeks from now we'll do our darnedest to tear the roof off… without tearing the roof off.

August 31, 2011

248: Backyard 2.0

If I'm at loose ends, I no longer want to be sitting around the house. I want to be in our backyard with my camera, taking pictures of the beautiful things that weren't there before.

As much as we fell in love with our perfect house, it came with baggage: a not-so-secret shame, in a weed-patch backyard fit for the dogs – which our neighbour reported, was previously the case – surrounded by rotting scraps of mismatched fences. Four summers we tolerated it, an uneasy truce with the green menace out the window (sometimes, you know, it looked kinda OK after a mow, with dandelions evened out nicely with the patches of sharp grass).

Nightcrawlers bored canyons, neighbourhood cats pooped, ants erected sandy temples. A tentacled mystery shrub that took a hole two feet deep to uproot and ultimately halt. We eventually carved a happy patch of dirt for a few summers of happy tomatoes. We found a hotspot where they were foolproof.

first harvest
At the end of our fourth year we hid our secret shame from the outside world, erecting a fence – a wedding present from my brother. The ensuing winter, we could stand no more. Our hired landscaping crew brought in a digger-ma-jig one rainy day last June and scraped the whole damned thing clean. At work while the deed was done, I would love to have watched; I would have danced on the muck and gumbo left in its wake.

A few short weeks later the crew left, leaving behind a blank slate – a squeaky-clean mat of grass, patio and dirt beds waiting for a purpose. Already well into July, we stuffed the soil with garden-centre scraps and seeds. Things grew. The year was not a total gardening write-off.

haul, 2011
Neither was this year, not by the longest of long-shots. Raised veggie beds were stuffed – mebbe too stuffed (our bad) – with chard, lettuce, eggplants, beets, peas, beans, corn, basil, carrots, peppers, sunflowers and high, high holy mounds of atomic tomato plants. A spindly rogue of yellow Sweet 100s shot up between the beets and carrots, uninvited but wholly welcome. Yard beds were packed with raspberry canes, a start-up rhubarb, ferns, wild strawberries, lupins and a native plant community of prairie grasses, coneflowers, asters, false sunflowers and a purplish jobbie the bumblebees go ape-shit for.

And in and amidst all of this, we sit, drink wine and have dinners. Or read newspapers with beers, and look out on all of the beautiful things that weren't there before.

August 15, 2011

247: Sweet Nothing

Kerry and I were at a backyard dinner party tonight with friends, all of us in solid agreement: it's been the greatest summer in years. An unending spell of mosquito-dashing dryness, sunshine and heat has rolled into its eighth resplendent week. Glorious. This was no more evident than during a sublime week of pure vacation-based bliss the two of us spent at her sister's cabin up north near Flin Flon.

Sunday highlight: scurrying, panicky loons as Peter and I zip over smooth-as-glass Lake Athapapuskow scouring for Fishing Derby contestants – marking their good-luck spots on a map. Special highlight: epic nap.

that's a paddlin'
Monday highlight: shootin' cans with the Gamo (it's fun to shoot things!), paddlin' the canoe.

Tuesday highlight: Cranberry Lakes boat excursion, lunch in the bush and more wild blueberries to pick than you can bait a bear with.

Wednesday highlight: dusty gravel road with Duncan, biking to the creek and back with two stops – one, check out the Goose River dam and throw stuff off of it; two, poke at a dead snake with a stick.

Thursday highlight: endless bouts of Scrabble, Qwirkle, drinking, reading, side jaunt to Wekusko Falls (when you drive 1500 kilometres to get away from it all, 250 more seems a drop in the boreal bucket) and hotdog cookout.

Friday highlight: hopping in the kayak, wondering what took me so long (to hop in said kayak) – followed by neck-craning Northern Lights gawkery.

Friday night lights
Bonus highlight: this is what a loon jam looks and sounds like at sunset (below). Warning: video contains excessive doses of Canadiana.

August 12, 2011

246: Making Faces

Time spent earlier this summer with family was an opportunity for me to witness the amazing ability that kids possess to change emotions on a dime. Presenting Exhibits A (for apprehension) through E (ecstasy):

blue boy
Avery wants no part of being on camera. Too busy rooting in playground gravel. Hi Avery. Avery, lookit here. Looks up. Snap.

Cadence is grouchy; sufficient attention is not being directed her way. No one else is looking, I stick my tongue out at her. She turns away, even more sullen.

Avery wants a hot dog, plain and simple – that's all this look is about. It was forthcoming. And then instant gratification; he's a happy camper.

If Cadence is ever ready, on a moment's notice, to do anything – it's to make this face.

But of course, sometimes the ideal is when they're not paying attention at all.

July 29, 2011

Kid Video

Our past two weeks have been rife with family visits, and visiting. I write this now – as we say goodbye to one crew and prepare to set out with another – with only one evening to spare. So while we take leave for a week up north with more kin, I present my absolutely stunning and cuddly niece and nephew. And I pledge to you, I don't say this while peering through unbiased uncle eyes. At all.

Trying out the hoop, the boy shows his swivel technique. Needs to loosen up a bit, I think.

The boy, shouting it from the rooftops. Or at least from the patio. Loves his own lungs. Until distracted by a nearby carrot on a plate.

The boy, he loves to say no. Did I mention he likes testing out his lungs?

So I waited patiently. But in the end, there was no sneaking anything past this guy.

Meanwhile, the girl and I took the camera out for a spin and a choke-hold in the park.

Finally, my favourite. From our day on the Prairie Dog Central. I turn the volume off on this one, and promptly melt.

July 27, 2011

Might As Well Jump (On The Bandwagon)

There's been inevitable discussion among designer circles over the identity of the newly-refueled Winnipeg Jets. And for those equally passionate about both design and hockey, it's placed us in an awkward spot. Who do we pledge allegiance to?

My eyes are admittedly clouded somewhat by fandom. I can’t help it. I grew up watching the Jets, while also learning the skills of an artistic and creative trade. Travel back to the mid-90s, and my gangly 15-year-old self could polish off a pitch-perfect hand-drawn facsimile of the Jets' last active emblem. And before I ultimately pass judgment on the reincarnation, I'm willing to wait out the logo's most crucial test: its application on a uniform. But early on, I also can’t help but appreciate our new logo (asterisk at the ready, I pronounce this knowing full well there’s a little matter of the pro-league passable secondary creation, and that tertiary, wince-inducing script monster – we’ve all seen it, I’m not even going to show it, and you’re welcome).

Where this pleasure derives from, I’m not quite sure. The logo takes some of the basic principles of design and tosses them mercilessly off a cliff – and yet, if I passed it in a dark alley I’d probably smile and say hey, new Jets logo, what’s up, and be merrily on my way. Why can’t I just deride it outright, like a good designer should?

Perhaps because I know the baggage that comes with any union of design and sport.

When it comes to design – unfortunately for most of us – pro sport maddeningly abides by its own set of rules. It's frequently an uncomfortable blend of popular taste and crass commercialism, with a healthy dash of Vegas-style pomp. Team crests deemed classics are precisely so, not because there was any greater affinity for design in the good old days, but that there's been time for an entire culture to surround them. Like the BMW roundel or Coca Cola's loopy script, emblems of the Original Six have existed since before most of us were placed on this Earth – and because of this they are widely deemed iconic. Untouchable. The standard from which others are measured.

Consider the New York Yankees – owners of one of the most valuable and storied franchises in all of professional North American sport – represented through the years by an awkward, imbalanced union of N and Y. Then, hypothetically, consider the Yankees starting fresh in 2011. Would the my-kid-could-draw-that amalgamation of N and Y fly with fans and designers alike? Doubtful. But that's also baseball. In a sport symbolized in recent years with an asterisk, Major League Baseball operates – from a design standpoint – in an altogether separate universe (though tell that to the Blue Jays, whose new-ish script puts the Jets' wordmark to certain shame).

Early indications show generally positive reviews from the only folks that, in the eyes of the NHL and True North, ultimately matter – so I shrug my two shoulders and thank high holy bacon the powers that be didn't deliver unto us the next incarnation of the Mighty Ducks logo. On the surface it looks like I’m settling, but I also suspect that many designers in town who know a puck from a hole in a beautifully minimalistic white wall are thankful we didn’t get saddled with a mark that’s out-and-out embarrassing. Hey, the thing’s symmetrical. It’s got a subtle, understated colour scheme. It’s mascot-free. And it’s not awash in flavour-of-the-day gimmickry.

Are we led to believe then, that the line-ups around the block for a first crack at official merchandise equates to an endorsement of the design? Had the emblem been a Lightning-style travesty or nouveau-New York Islanders laughingstock, would the line-ups have contained flaming pitchforks over cash-fattened wallets? Probably not... too much. Any pessimistic bone in me thinks most folks in that line are giddily blind to any aspect of the design. But the fan in me is appeased for now. And the designer in me is glad we’re not stuck with the Coyotes, or the Canucks, or the Penguins, or the Hurricanes, or the Sharks...

July 11, 2011

Undoctored Spins

The Winnipeg Folk Festival once again performed admirably in the department of good times. This year's line-up was not aimed directly at my heart (for that, see Folk Festival, 2009). Nevertheless, it was solid. As it always turns out to be. Speaking of turning, this year I opted to record the experience through my camera's rarely-used video function.

Thursday night, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band had me quite instantly relaxed. Come. Dance with me. Gaze into my eyebrows.

Curses! Before you even get a chance, here's Kerry, stealing me away from you. Together we attempted the Folk Festival four-step. Not the most fluid manœuvre, but the weekend was young. We had plenty of time to hone our skills.

The next night, k.d. lang tore the roof off… were there a roof.

Sunday afternoon. I don't know if it was the heat, or the sun, or the drums, or the brass section, or the masked hula-hoopsters, but I found myself swirling in a whirling vortex of left-leaning, patchouli-soaked crazy madness. I had to be wary.

And then, come Sunday night, we perfected the jitterless double-team spin-o-rama. But at the expense of our very sanity.

July 03, 2011

245: Incorporating Monsters

I haven't been drawing a lot lately. And the chief reason for that is, I have been drawing a lot lately.

This spring I've been pumping up my freelancer muscles. That is to say, I am in the process of acquiring freelancer muscles, having, for years, not been very interested in the concept of work outside of work. How things change.

The bonus of it all is, of course, financial – otherwise, none of us would be doing this. But also, in the two-birds-with-one-stone category, I was able to overcome a massive lack of drawing following a year or so of taking photos. (Conversely though, these days I do not take many photos.)

So in the theme of work staying work, and this blog staying primarily about fun, I present a crossover of sorts, taking myself to a rarified place where stars and planets align, work becomes fun, and fun becomes profit. These two close-knit fellows above represent two of three characters I developed and incorporated into a weeks months-long freelance operation – one that was ultimately pretty darned rewarding. Having previously not spent so much time working away from work, I only needed to remind myself – which I did quite often – that here I was, at my desk with my pens and light table, drawing monsters for kids, and getting paid for it (soon).

It had been a long time since I reflected on my career choice, thinking mebbe I am on the correct path. I like to think these critters had something to do with it.

June 03, 2011


San Francisco | Fun this way! – by Connie Tsang, aka ardenstreet

I have a difficult time expressing just exactly what it is that makes me 'like' something. Take my time whiled away on Flickr since the summer of 2004 – it has taken nearly six and a half years to "favourite" 500 images on this site, a photo hub boasting well over five billion snaps. Now I am not a snoot; much like Ralph Wiggum, I like stuff – but my storehouse of Flickr favourites is a precious place. It's chockablock with now why didn't I think of that. Packed with I am not worthy. Stuffed with f**k that's funny.

Some pics don't make a lick of sense. There are illustrations flat out jaw-dropping or brain-jarringly simple. Most of all, there are 500 visuals that speak to me. Even while I can't describe to you why this is. But if you ever want to know me, check my 500 favourites.

Thanks, Flickr. Click here to view larger.

May 24, 2011

Parks And Recollection

In 1985, my mom took us on a vacation – the family road trip, one repeated too many times to count in this country – to the Canadian Rockies. I was nine years old, had never seen the mountains. Although this experience was checked off my kiddie-size bucket list just south of the border in Montana, it was time spent in the five iconic Rocky Mountain national parks (Waterton Lakes, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho) that set in stone for myself a lifelong fascination with our national parks. An oversized, dog-eared coffee table book on Canada's national parks arrived for my birthday soon after this trip, a gift bought with cash sent from my grandparents. I was hooked.

Our family vacation, taken after Labour Day in place of my first two weeks of Grade 5 – on a shoestring budget outside of peak season (kids don't care, and... ooh! the Lake Louise hostel has a pool!) – opened my eyes to the size of the country. Previously, any personal real-life grasp of Canadian geography extended to Manitoban day-trips and visits to my dad in southern Ontario. To his great credit, he took me to Point Pelee to satisfy my rapidly-developing childhood birdwatching jones, and to Flowerpot Island, to witness incredible quirks of geology.

Some of my greatest stick-with-me moments have happened in these places. My Crayolas, melting on our car's dash while I day-hiked with my family in Waterton (I got in shit for that from mom). A four-hour bike ascent to the base of Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper (and 30-minute comfort cruise back down). Beachcombing with Kerry and my mom – and a few hundred migrating sandpipers – at Kejimkujik's seaside adjunct (after sneaking behind the lines of trail closure signs). Leaping to high heavens as a frightened moose crashed from the bushes metres away in Gros Morne. Watching Kerry on the dock at Riding Mountain's Kinosao Lake, the entire scene quiet as a mouse. Kerry and I dropping from exhaustion after our trek to Crypt Lake. Playing park rangers together on a backcountry hike last summer. We would have gotten engaged on Bruce Peninsula, had a thunderstorm not rolled in and delayed my requirement for the perfect moment (which happened the next day in the unholy sanctity of – gasp! – a provincial park).

K., beach, Kejimkujik Nat'l Park (Seaside Adjunct)
I sometimes like to think, as well, that the parks even had a hand in my becoming a designer. I quickly became fascinated with the 1980s-era mini-brochures, that visitors would receive on entering any given park, themselves a take on the Unigrid-and-Helvetica materials of the U.S. Parks Service. I collected them, marveled in their continuity. I could draw the old beaver logo from memory, a symbol, in my mind, as much a part of Canadiana as the CN doodle or CBC burst. I'd wonder why the rest of the world couldn't adopt clean, common signage design like the brown-and-gold world inside a national park.

This year, the Canadian national parks service turns 100 years old. And I'm happy about it. There are not too many things that make me as openly patriotic. Gros Morne, Cape Breton Highlands, Kejimkujik, Fundy, Point Pelee, Georgian Bay Islands, Bruce Peninsula, Riding Mountain, Waterton Lakes, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho – that's my list. It should be greater, and it will be in time. There's too great a desire in me to watch waves crash in Pacific Rim, scan the expanse (and four trees, total) of Grasslands, or to somehow reach the high Arctic and truly get lost.

May 20, 2011

244: Going Coastal

Kerry and I went to Vancouver last week. I had never been (minus the airport), nor had she since she was a kiddo. Kerry was attending a conference, so for a few days we shacked up in a ritzy, gleaming hotel tower. The hallway mirror told you what the weather outside was like...

While she conferenced, I entertained myself. One day, I hoofed the paths at Lynn Canyon Park. The lushness of the place, I will never witness at home – no matter how long I accidentally leave the sprinkler on. If green was my favourite colour, I would have experienced bliss. As it was, I was content with scenic splendour to bask in. But I tore myself away from the place to join Kerry and see Bill Clinton speak – I had never seen a president before.

I rented a twenty-dollar bike and toured the coastline another day. Having recently received my pre-summer buzzcut, I was unprepared for the potential of a sunny day, and toasted my exposed forehead. It was worth it, even as my face peels as I type this. I located the Go Fish seafood stand, and ate the best fish-and-chips of my life. All told, we ate very well: Bin 941, Hapa Izakaya, Latitude, Burgoo, Nuba – no one disappointed. Toss in a Kurobota Terimayo Japadog, and I was a super-happy eating camper.

On another day, I toured the Vancouver Art Gallery – and got lost in Ken Lum's Mirror Maze with 12 Signs of Depression. When Kerry was finally set free we shopped, before striking camp and moving to cheaper digs in Mount Pleasant. I bought four shirts at the H&M.

small package
The rain set in the next day, but never enough to stand in our way. It actually kinda suited our excursion to the UBC campus for the trifecta of the Museum of Anthropology, Nitobe Memorial Garden and a wizzo forest canopy walk at the botanical gardens (with a peek in at Wreck Beach; no nudies). By the end, we itched for a warm, dry place. I had steaming macaroni and cheese for dinner that night. It was decidedly more palatable outside the next day, when we hit up Kitsilano and the Emily Carr University of Art+Design grad show (wow).

pile of frogs
Time to come home. One more beautiful morning, in Queen Elizabeth Park surrounded by more tulips than what is probably legal, and afternoon up and down Main Street, peering in windows, visiting with friend Kathy, quaffing final beers in the sun before our airport run.

We had fun. I knew we liked the place because we checked out real estate sites while we were there. But, we are decidedly not rich enough. We think.

hello otter
I am working on photos. I have these ones and more, here. And there will be more, soon.