Thursday, September 29, 2005

welcome: from earlier wilcuma (n.) "welcome guest," lit. "one whose coming is in accord with another's will"

our arrival at our new apartment was, at first, a bit jarring. jarring not only in the sense that we had only seen the apartment once before--for 5 minutes at most--and it was not exactly the way we remembered it, but also because it was over so quickly. it took only about an hour to load up and to get everything into our new home. and's over.

we've waited for 3 months to get to this point. and now it's over.

we're home.

how did we get here? how did a young, "theatre" couple find a home in the "young, quiet, female renter"'s market?

well, i'm sure looking at over a dozen places helped and being willing to get out and do the searching was necessary, but i don't think we stumbled upon our fully-furnished, all utilities included, newly renovated place by our own hands. first of all, let me just explain what the renting market is like here in vancouver. out of a random 20 ads for rental places, about 8-10 will say that they're looking for a quiet, female renter. an additional 4-5 will state that couples need not inquire. the rest you will undoubtedly check out in person because anything you can possibly get, you will want to try to get. and out of those, maybe two will actually be worth applying for (although, maybe you'll apply for the others in the hopes that you'll just get something offered to you). however, you won't be the only ones applying. approximately 5-8 other parties will not just be viewing the place at the same time as you, but also applying for it. the chances that a couple, who are both employed (and i use that term loosely, perhaps work would be a better description) at a theatre are, to put it simply, not good.

so, really, how did we find a place where the landlord didn't do a background check or give us a contract to sign, but rather sat with us in her kitchen asking about what brought us to vancouver and requesting that we consider staying for around six months?

it sounds too good to be true.

now, don't get me wrong, this place has its i said, it was jarring to realize that we would be living in a place that's this small, and to come to terms with the fact that it's not exactly how we had remembered it. but, it's a home.

that may not seem like a very great welcome into a new home.

and our first few months here may not seem like a great welcome into a new city: 3 months of sleeping (and in some cases, i use that term loosely) in different beds, on different floors, of relying on a few (well, two, really) people for companionship outside of just the two of us, of feeling inconsistently but persistently homeless, alone, overwhelmed, and, ultimately, out of control.

but going through all of that to know that your presence in a place, just your coming, is in accordance with the will of The Creator of Everything is more than enough of a welcome for me and more than explains our good fortune.

Posted by Jacqui 9/29/05

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Island Retreat

This past weekend Jacqui and I went on a retreat with the Pacific Theatre Staff. It was on a medium sized island just off the Pacific coast called Bowen Island. It was about a twenty minute ferry ride over through these beautiful inlets and bays. Just gorgeous. It ended up being a retreat in the best sense of the word—a time to get away and relax, no major goals, no agendas, just straight chillin’.

Not a lot of people live on Bowen Island to begin with and the house we were staying at was on what felt like a more remote side of the island facing out towards the ocean. The house itself was beautiful, like something out of Martha Stuart Living. Simple, Clean, Oceany. Set about 50 yards back from the shore, it had an incredible view of the water; especially the room that Jacqui and I stayed in. We arrived at night so it was hard to tell how close we were to the water. I though maybe we were in the woods and that if you hiked for awhile you’d eventually get there. But when we woke up in the morning, sunlight streaming through the windows, it became clear that we had one of the best views in the whole house.

The people we went with were great too. There were 7 others besides Jacqui and I and we all ended up having a great time. The whole weekend had just the right mix of action and inaction. There was good coffee in the mornings, a warm fire place, clean air, wood floors, a beautiful, huge kitchen to cook in, a nice set of bocce balls, a comfy hammock, and plenty of other amazing amenities. Just a peaceful time of R&R and hanging out that felt much needed.

It was a nice way to start the week because this one is busy for us. Jacqui started her full time regular shifts in the PT box office today and at 5pm tonight I start full time rehearsals for The Elephant Man. I’m a little nervous, but more excited than anything to finally start the process. I have two smaller characters in the play, but most of the time I’ll be doing live percussion. The play has a circus theme running through it and I’m going to be a one man band character. The music director told me at the read through that she wants to get me a utility belt full of various percussive instruments—on top of this I think I might have and gongs and drums strapped to the rest of me. I’ve never done percussion before so I get a little jittery when I think about the fact that in less than a month I’ll be doing it in front of an audience, but for the most part I think it’ll be fun to learn.

In other exciting news we finally move into our apartment TOMORROW! It has been a long three months living like nomadic sheep herders (minus the sheep…and the herding) and we’re really excited to be moving it. Giddy is more like it. We keep saying things like:

“Hey guess what?”…


“We’re moving into our apartment tomorrow!”

Vigorous head nodding “Yep, yep we are!”

Simultaneously “Yay!”

Then we dance the dance of joy.

We’re thinking of turning it into a short play.

Anyway we’re just really excited. Please be praying for us though because although it’s a good transition, it’s still a transition and those can be unsettling.

We’ll keep you posted respectively on the percussion, new home, and shifts as a box office gopher* as they unfold.

*Closely related to the kiosk badger this illusive animal has been known to bite strangers, create intricate tunnels, and offer excellent customer service.

Posted by Ryan 9/27/05

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Are you ready for some foosball!?

Well, to update you all on last weeks football night cliff hanger of a post: We set out with the best of intentions, but like building a gingerbread house on an empty stomach, sometimes intentions are not enough to carry things through.

First, the 7-11 we were going to buy the tickets at ended up being sold out (that's right, slurpies and tickets to major sporting events-it's a potent combination. I can see it now "Hey folks, hurry on in and get 2 discounted passes to the next democratic national convention with every Big Gulp") and so we tried to get them at the door, but they ended up being too expensive. So, we thought optimistically "Well, let's get some dinner and then we'll come back to the stadium and try to hit up the scalpers."

Well, after a meal of fancy hamburgers at a local upscale pub (you know the type of place: dim lights, fancy sauces for things-like organic garlic Mayo for the burgers, vaguely European techno music... This place also had the oddest collection of melted wax sculptures. It was sort of goth. In any case it was hearty and slightly pretentious all at once) we headed back to BC Place again. In the end, however, the moderately priced scalping we hoped to take advantage of didn't really pan out as we'd hoped--seriously who would have guessed scalpers would be so unreliable?. So, instead the four of us headed out to find other adventures in the big city.

To introduce my traveling companions, first there was Mike: my new brother-in-law and a great guy, Robin: a quality man with a blunt sense of humor and an intensely charming German accent and Robin's pal Tommi: another quality man with a slightly less blunt sense of humor and an equally charming Finnish accent. So, there we were, four abreast and looking for adventure.

After traveling down a few fruitless rabbit trails trying to find a movie to watch, we ended up going to this old-fashioned bowling alley. We didn't partake in the bowling but did engage in other quasi-manly non-active "sports" such as foosball (We played Europe vs. North America), a few atrocious rounds of pool (I remember being good at pool at one time, but I think that was when I was like 11 or something) and finally that hockey game encased in a plexi-glass dome where you slide your men around with the twisty handles. I don't know the exact name. We'll just call it "Table Hockey" for the purposes of this recollection.

It ended up being a great time; although, while we were in the middle of our foosball tournament something weird happened.

We were right in the middle of an intense set of volleys and this guy sort of sidles up and stands about a half a foot away from the end of the table. This was sort of off-putting and caused me to be a bit self conscious about my shot selection (which was weird, I mean really, did I think he might be a foosball scout or something?). Then this guys slides a set of quarters onto the edge of the table. Oh, okay, fine he wants to get the next game-understandable. But then he continues to stand there absorbed in our international battle. Finally, we finish the points on our little slider marker thingees, but we ended up having a few extra balls to finish off in the little ball dispensing trough. We started to play these. Suddenly he says indignantly, "Hey! I was trying to reserve the next game! I put quarters down!"

We were taken aback, but we tried to calmly explain the extra ball situation. He was extremely put out and glared at us as if we had broken some sacred rule of foosball etiquette. "Usually around here we just play one game and then let the next people have the table." he sneered.

We tried to explain that we were having a tournament and therefore wanted to play multiple games. And, that we hadn't even known he wanted the table until he came up and hovered. This fell on deaf ears. We left the table with the unease this sort of social awkward moment tends to create and went to sit at a table about three feet away from the newly vacated foosball table.

Here's where the weird part comes in! As we're walking away he says, "Hey, where you going?! Do you guys want to play, or what?"

We furrowed our brows at the invitation to come back to the table we had just been shamed into vacating. We had assumed due to his belligerence and apparent need for extreme table fairness that after our exodus he would corral his group of rival foosballers and play the next game. Wrong. Apparently he just wanted to get in on the action.

This was weird because 1) we were already at the maximum amount of players 2) we were obviously in the middle of our own intense foos battle and 3) common sense would dictate that if you wanted to join a game you shouldn't ask the people you want to play with to leave. After our initial confusion we raised our eyebrows and offered a still puzzled and intensely awkward "Um...No thanks" all around.

But the weirdness didn't end there. Oh, no. It continued full force.

There we sat about an arms length away, while he, after a moment of silence proceeded to deposit his quarters into the foosball machine . He then adjusted the swiveling rods to set up the defensive end of spinning foos guys and finally, proceeded to take shots on the unmanned goal. Honestly I felt sort of bad for the guy-in a mild sort of way. We sat awkwardly watching him play by himself for about a minute until finally we all sort of slowly migrated to the pool tables. Weird! It was just one of those funny social/ human things that I can only shake my head at.

So, wherever you are weird foosball guy: I'm sorry, maybe next time.

Posted by Ryan 9/25/05

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Are you ready for some football?

This is my first blog post. Jacqui has been great at sending updates so far and I thought I'd finally get in on the hot blog action. Things here are well. Right now I'm sitting in a great coffee shop called Esquires Coffee. It's just up the street from where we've been staying and they have really good coffee and quality atmosphere. I'm currently being bombarded by an interesting mix of stimuli. First, we're sitting near an open garage door type entrance to the outside patio and I can feel the beginnings of some amazing fall air. I really like the air in the fall. There's just something about it. It's crisp. It's clear. It's delicious. I bet it's clouding heads everywhere with nice, all-American-esque thoughts like "I need to rake leaves into piles!" , "There's no apple pie like Grandma's" and "I need a puppy named Bo". It's the type of air that makes me want to work on a farm somewhere. A Cinnamon farm. A Cinnamon farm somewhere in New England. Yeah, I like fall air. The light is nice too here. It's about four o'clock here and it's getting sort of golden with nice long shadows everywhere. So on one hand I've got this nice, cozy, hot beverage, wool socks atumnal vibe happening. On the other hand I'm being lulled by the soothing strains of "Ain't no holla back girl! Ain't no holla back!" from the top 40 station the Esquires staff has chosen for this particular shift. It's an interesting mix. It makes me want to booty dance in an orchard somewhere.

In other quasi-fall thoughts, I'm going to a football game tonight. It's a professional game here in Vancouver, home of the B.C. Lions. The Lions are currently 10 and 0 and show no signs of slowing their victorious streak. According to a local friend possessing much more Canadian football league knowledge than myself "they could lose the rest of the games this season and still make the play-offs." I was instantly vicariously excited. That's the thing about most sports other than basketball--I have so little knowledge of them on my own that it's only when some one I know is rooting that I get exciting. But as they say " It only takes a spark to get a fire going" ("They" of course being a camp song I learned in 1991). Once I'm even remotely interested I often surprise myself by how much I end up caring about these teams that I previously had no interest in. Case in point: I know nothing about tennis really. I mean I know enough to fake my way through a casual conversation, but beyond that not much. Where was I July 2 this year? Sitting on a couch with my friend Dave (long time tennis enthusiast and, to follow the metaphor through, my tennis "spark") breathlessly watching the women's Wimbledon Championship. I may or may not have leapt into his lap at points. I was into it.

So, needless to say I'm feeling excited about the game tonight. All the elements are there for a good time. I'm even equipped with a little knowledge of football rules thanks to many years in close proximity to my friend Morgan. See, there are these things called downs, and punts and running backs. It's all very exciting. So off I go. I'll be sure to tell all of you about it post game.

In other thoughts Jacqui and I are doing well. We're getting excited to finally move into our new place at the end of the month. Theatre work is going well too. We start work in the Box office next week and earlier this week I had the read through for The Elephant Man, the fall play at Pacific Theatre. There's more happening but it will have to wait for a later post. I must be off to go prepare for the game-I'm still trying to get the right shade of "BC Lions orange" for my face paint. Also I need to fashion a giant styrofoam finger and I think we're all out of fresh styrofoam.

So that's all for now. We miss all of you so much and we'll post more soon!

Posted by Ryan 9/17/05

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


well, i thought i'd try to figure out how to post, this is ryan and i on a whale watching boat (yes, we went whale watching, but it was free). the building behind us is the empress hotel, which is a famous hotel. it's where the queen stays when she comes to visit; well, it's where anyone important stays when they go to victoria. the boat is sitting in the inner harbour, which is probably the most fun part of victoria, with buskers and artist and lots of cool little shops. i aparently was having a weird smile day....unlike my rock star husband... Posted by Picasa

Posted by Jacqui 9/14/05

Thursday, September 08, 2005

an end in sight for sore eyes

we have found a home. although we will still be continuing our nomadic lifestyle for the next couple weeks, since we don't move in until the first of october. so, for the next week and a bit we'll be with mike and rebecca again (or still, if you prefer), and then we'll move on to house-sit for our church friends' parents for a little bit. THEN we will move all 6 of our things into our fully furnished apartment in an area of vancouver awesomely (i mean that in the original sense) refered to as "kits"; "kitsilano" if you're feeling wordy.

so, yeah. ryan was going to write the next posting but he hasn't yet, so i thought i'd follow up my last complaint-posting with a wow-God-sure-does-come-through-when-you-ask-him-for-a-home- in-vancouver-bc-posting.

thanks for your comments...i am a new blogger and didn't really realize that comments were a part of this whole deal. it's pretty cool. the squirrels of vancouver thank karl for his words of encouragement that have brought such order to their lives.

well, i should get going, scott campbell (a former employee here at PT--pacific theatre for the wordy-inclined) and his improv team, the panic squad, are filming their very own dvd in the theatre tonight and ryan, mike, rebecca and i are all standing in as audience members. you can check out their dvd if you think i'm lying about needing to go and want to check out my'll be on this page once it goes on sale:

Posted by Jacqui 9/08/05