Half way there

No this isn’t a Bon Jovi reference. I’m more than halfway through the pregnancy now and each day brings something. Mainly the little one is now kicking harder every once in a while and the tummy is getting bigger and bigger. And every so often there’s a minor panic that I will have to go through labour in December.

Sorry no belly pics yet. They’re trapped on the SLR.

The nesting instinct is kicking in, but right now the room is Brendon’s office and we still need to find out if it’ll be a boy or girl. That will happen next weekend. So instead of buying furnishings Im buying clothes.

Today we stopped into baby Gap after tea (yeah I can finally stomach tea again). And oh I’m in trouble if it’s a girl. The boy clothes are cute, but Gap has an American in Paris line this year that is way too chic and cute. I may be buying pieces for next fall. But as I was fawning over the clothes, Brendon was laughing at me. He was getting a kick out of me being the typical girl and said that it was like I was dressing a doll.

In the end I got the cutest little white faux shearling lined fleece sack with a hood with little tiny bear ears. I expect I’ll get a bit of use out of it the winter. And I got a discount which made it even better. Too bad I didn’t know the sex yet otherwise I could have gotten the discount on more stuff. Oh well maybe next time.


Black History of Vancouver

So when I moved to Vancouver from the New York area, the thing that struck me was – where are all the black people  (same thought when we moved to Mountain View, CA by the way)?  You go to Seattle and you see black people, but for some reason the black population here is super small. It’s not like it’s lily white here either. There are loads of other ethnicities – Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Persian. And pretty much everyone gets along really well and everyone celebrates each others’ holidays – as long as it involves food.  So it might be a surprise to some that Vancouver does have a black history and should talk more about it.

Brendon’s reading Vancouver Special by Charles Demers and reading out the interesting and funny bits to me as he gets to them. (It makes for a lot of interruption because there’s so much good stuff in it.)  According to Charles, there’s a hidden black history in Vancouver and no real reason why it’s not talked about. Did you know that Joe Fortes was a black Barbadan? Or that Jimmy Hendricks’ family lived in the West End? It makes me wonder just how much more of Vancouver’s black history is hidden. Do they talk about it each February in school and I don’t know about it since I didn’t go to school here?  (February is Black History Month in the U.S. case you didn’t know.)

I have some reading to do…


Because the stakes are so small…

Reading some of the Vancouver blogs today there seems to be a little mudslinging going on over some personal squabble between two people that wound up online. Right now there seems to be only one side of the story out there, but from what it says it looks like both sides need to walk in each other shoes. But why do I bring this up?

When I left here for California in 2004, no one was really blogging. If you were, then it was like being employee #5 at Google. Of course as this blogging thing took off you’d earn more and more readership, your stock would go up and then you’d become “rich and famous” online. (At least in your topic area.) Easy to do then when there’s not much competition in what would become the blogosphere.

Fast forward to today. A lot of Vancouver bloggers are just that – bloggers about Vancouver. Maybe they talk about a particular scene, but they confine it to their city. Their topic area is fairly small. And so the number of people that know them is a lot smaller than, say, Daily Kos. Well, a few Vancouver bloggers that I’ve met seem to have an inflated sense of their place in this world. After meeting them, I’ve stopped following them or trying to talk to them. For some reason, the meeting was just as warm as if they were a movie star in a bathroom stall and I was trying to get an autograph.

They have a nice little following and attention in Vancouver. I don’t deny that takes dedication to your blog. But if anyone is honest, Vancouver is really just a big small town. Everyone knows everyone else. Everyone knows everyone else’s business. And if you’re an expert in something…most likely you’re the only one in town that’s the expert.  But they’re not the “rich and famous” of the blogosphere. They’re the popular kids of Vancouver. And well…like in any small town the popular kids can get a little bitchy.

And looking at today’s blogging gossip, I’m not surprised this is happening but I was reminded of a quote that is frequently attributed to Henry Kissinger:

“University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.”


Long time no post

This is a very long overdue post. I didn’t realize until last week that I haven’t posted here for nearly a year.

Three old books, studio shot

Well, last week I went to BookCamp Vancouver. It was good to be around people who’s lives don’t revolve around technology and social media. I felt like the overarching theme in the conversations had to do with how publishers can remain relevant when anyone can produce their own book and what do digital formats mean for copyright. Bascially, if someone had been at a newspaper conference 5 to 6 years ago you’d probably be hearing similar things about blogging.

I don’t have crystal ball. Maybe the publishing industry will go the same way as newpaper industry. Who knows. But as long as publishers are looking for ways to adapt, experiment and figure out how to take advantage of digital format – and learn from the newspaper industry – they might be okay.


McCain taking tips from eBay core values?

Watching McCain’s speech tonight and in the middle of the speech I hear “We believe everyone has something to contribute.” Hmmm…has Meg been giving him some tips on what to say? Meg Whitman that is. That’s eBay’s #2 core value. I should know. I wore it on my badge for nearly 4 years.  And as the speech progressed it sounded like he was building his own Republican core values list. But they didn’t seem so trusting and ideal as the eBay ones.  


Pottery Barn Kids Vancouver

Right now in Vancouver it’s incredibly hard to buy gifts for friend’s kids if you saw something you want to get at Pottery Barn Kids. There’s no Canadian website, no catalogue, and no store. So you’d have to call a store in Toronto, already know what you want and hope that they can ship it out to you. Because you can’t order from the U.S. And if I’m buying for friends in the U.S. I get dinged on the exchanged rate.

So I emailed them to ask what was up given that Restoration Hardware seems to have gotten it correct when they launched their kids line. Well it turns out they’re opening a Vancouver store in 2009.  

Thank you for your e-mail and for your feedback. I can tell you that there are plans to open a Pottery Barn Kids in the Vancouver-area in 2009. I apologize for the inconvenience that is caused by not having the catalog or Website available in Canada. I do hope you’ll be on the look out for us next year.

Yay! No more having to pay exchange rates for friends in the U.S., and I’ll be snag a fancy diaper bag to use as a laptop bag.


Sephora Coming to Vancouver

Yay! Sephora will be opening a store in Vancouver, but not until July 10, 2009. I had emailed them to ask because I heard some rumblings about it. And it seems like the big-brand retailers have finally realized that Vancouver is a pretty large brand-obsessed, shopping-addicted population.  So here was their response:

Good News! There is a Sephora store opening at Pacific Centre in Vancouver, BC on 7/10/2009!

It is not an exclusive event, so no hassle at the door, no lines to stand in. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on this store opening, make sure that you are signed up for our Sephora.com email blasts.

Besides getting the latest beauty news and trends, the most up-to-date detailed information for the store opening (including date, time, and any special promotions or happenings) will be sent to you about 4 days prior.


I would say that until then I’ll have to settle with hopping the border and going shopping down in Washington. But that’s just way too much of a hassle. I’m not one that does regular U.S. shopping expeditions. If you go for a day trip, you’re supposed to declare what you bought and pay import tax on it. Hopefully, they’ll get their pricing right and charge the same for the Sephora products as you in the U.S. One good thing now is that if you order over $120 worth of products online they’ll ship it to you in Canada for free. At least they ship here, unlike some other companies.

Note: I do NOT work for Sephora and this is not a Sephora website. I’m just a fan of the company. So PLEASE stop contacting me asking for a job there. I’m not going to email you back and say you have the wrong site.


Voting online

I wasn’t able to vote in the California primaries because I didn’t get an absentee ballot. But I was able to vote in the Democrats Abroad primary – online. First I had to register to vote by the week before. There was some identifying information that I had to give – date of birth, last 4-digits of SSN, last place of residence in US, etc. So I put in all this info. Then I was emailed a link with ballot number and PIN. So on Super Tuesday, the day online voting started for the week, I went to the local internet cafe and cast my vote. It was rather unceremonious. I guess it’s the same as if I sent in my absentee ballot, but I expected something a little more fancy than a grey java box with selections for Clinton and Obama. I guess my expectations for bells and whistles online has increased over the years.

Even if elections could be done completely securely, without fear of hacking or contesting results, I don’t know if I’d like it to be completely online. There’s a lack of ceremony to it. I could have gone to a local pub to vote online with other Democrats Abroad members, but was a bit too busy to get there. I guess people could hold voting parties, but then do you really want a bunch of drunk people thinking it funny to vote for the communist party candidate? Or would that not happen?


Heading home

The packers are here building box forts. We’ve booked a place to stay. And we’re heading up to Vancouver on Wednesday morning. Four years have passed so quickly (well this past year went by kinda slowly, but that’s okay). I’ll miss my friends here (and the Mexican food), but I’m sure I’ll see them again. 

So now we’re apartment and job hunting (long story), and looking forward to being closer to our friends and family. As crazy as it sounds, I’m also looking forward to actual winters, cooler summers when we can go hiking in the mountains without getting heat exhaustion and sunburn, and unpredictable weather. 70F and sunny gets a little boring after awhile.