Friday, August 28, 2009

You've got me Winnipeged

I was at least a little sheepish about staying at my girlfriend's place because her landlord lives right upstairs, and all the laundry I was doing and vehicles I was parking had to go at least a little noticed. I needn't have worried. Winnipeg hippies are now living in a van in the back yard!

My favourite part is how they set up a tarp over the van and tied it to the fence. The boys who live in the middle (between Lindsay and the landlord) seem to be their hosts. They've been camping out for like a week now. This is actually how I expected at least part of my summer to go.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Phase 9: Vicarious Dog-Sitting

So Jordi and Shannon are in Burnaby dog-sitting for their friends. I've gotten three different gigs from pet-sitting so far, but this one is even better because I don't even have to do anything! I'm only a short walk from work, and I get a whole place to myself!

This is my August summary of expenses:

Insurance: $213 for both vehicles once you pro-rate the van.

Extra gas: $80

Net Vehicle: $293

Electrical Bill paid in the West End: $22

Storage: $75

Cutting extra keys: $2

Beer left various places $13 or so.

Total saved: $285

Monday, August 24, 2009

Phase 8-A: Camping

It's ironic when sleeping outside costs way more than one's current housing situation.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Phase 8: Mooching Off Your Girlfriend

So my dearest lady friend is no longer homeless. Normally I would never impose on her roommates by living in her place, but currently, both roommates are out of town at the same time. Score.

Friday, August 14, 2009

When Kitties Go Wild

Cats are really my meal ticket when it comes to staying in someone's place. I mean, people who leave town are very generous when it comes to lending their places. When they don't have cats, I feel like they're doing me a favour. When they do have cats, I feel like I have something to offer in return.

Amanda, in whose place I currently reside, was adamant that I am a cat lover and a cat person. She re-iterated time and time again the importance of this. She said they go a bit crazy. Well, she was right!

Firstly, there is the issue of the grate. This grate is for keeping them off the very high deck. They really can't be trusted with these kinds of heights. Fair enough, but during the record-setting heat wave, I had the patio door open with the grate in whenever I was home because it was a sauna in there. The problem came when one of them sprinted across the room and jumped clean over the grate in pursuit of a fly. He was even looking like he wanted to scale the railing of the deck when I grabbed him. No more grate.

This is what happens when I leave a small bag of mixed nuts out. They break in and they spread them everywhere! What cats like nuts? I know two cats who are nuts!

This is what happens when I leave a glass on the table with water in it before bed. They break the glass to get the water! Why? Their water bowl was fresh, clean, and full! They're crazy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Mistress of Satan: 1993 - 2009

From Dylan's Facebook, the final days of the van:

It looks like they broke the front axle! Not what I expected:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The East Van is no longer.

A few weeks ago, ex-Spinoffs members Sideshow Luke and Mark Metallic jammed with me, Scott, and newest member Skytrain Shane just for fun in our space. This happened after the band pretty much fizzled out into nothingness for a variety of reasons including lack of time to practice hard enough to be any good, my inability to write songs, and general disinterest in the genre. Will the band ever do anything again? Probably. I'd really like to write the perfect retardo album (for the record, the perfect retardo album is currently "The Backchannel Broadcast" by The Lillingtons, followed closely by "Invasion USA" by The Riverdales), but until it's at least half-written, there is no point in playing live to promote
nothing new. The Spinoffs are suffering from the law of diminishing returns; the more we play shows, the less people come.

One noteworthy thing is we all were once again with the van we purchased together in September of 2002. Here's what it looked like then:

Here is what it looks like now:

In seven years, the van has been a weird sort of constant for me. I used to drive it to work when I lived in the suburbs. We did two full tours with it. I've used it to move repeatedly, and to help others move countless times. This summer, as documented here, I've started renting it to bands. I had at one point five appointments figured out. Alas, Dylan Thomas Rysstad drove the last inch in Saskatoon yesterday. Four days from the end of tour, the axle snapped in half and the Mistress of Satan, as Mark named it the day we got it, was no more.

I'm really glad I bought that car.