Tags: vancouver


The Longest Cab of my Life

So, last night, I was at work, when I see some fellow waiting anxiously in the lobby. I didn't know him, but greeted him anyways. He asked how I was doing ("Cold, but well enough otherwise, I suppose", I responded), and asked him how he was.

"Just waiting for the longest cab of my life," he replied.

Now, obviously I knew what he meant. "Waiting for the longest-to-arrive cab of my life", or "Waiting the longest I ever have for a cab in my life," or somesuch. But I would not be me if I did not take the opportunity to be both pointlessly pedantic and melodramatic about it.

"At least sixteen or twenty feet, I should hope!" I responded, "One fit to dwarf every other cab on the road!" 

Gamely, he replied, "I've already sent back six of them for not being long enough! "

"I should hope so!" I responded, before launching into an oratory which ran - to the best of my recollection - like this: 

He stared at me, blankly, for a few long seconds, before making the standard mis-observation for this sort of situation, to which I responded with my standard disgusted tirade, before storming off, back to my office, to brood furiously.

Ming day and a plea for help from Vancouver-area folks!

So, after having been promised a week in which to move my stuff to my new place, it turns out that I shall in fact have but two days to get the job done; this Sunday and Monday. This is naturally a cause for distress. Nevertheless, the new place is just two short blocks from my current home, and so it seems to me that with the help of a few friends, easily-accomplished in that time.

And so do I ask you, oh Vancouver-area readers, if you have the will, the means and the opportunity to aid me in effecting this one-man exodus on either of those two days. In addition to the fine conversation to be had, those who take part will be richly rewarded with food and drink specially ordered from a business establishment of their choice! What wonders to behold!

Anyone who feels like they might have even so much as a few hours free on either day, let me know; I expect it to be more or less an all-day process both days, and any help would be appreciated.

The legacy of Vince: The drama continues to unfold.

As I had mentioned a month or so prior, as a consequence of the various misdeeds of Vince, the Parasite King, I’m being evicted from my home of six and a half years. The process is going... less smoothly than I might like.

For the past ten years, I have, over and over again, been forced to move, quite against my will, as a result of the actions or decisions of others. Each time, I have found myself thrust into a new living situation without very much control over where or in what situation I would end up. This time, though, I had thought? This time could be different.

I had spoken to a friend of mine who was in a similarly horrible living situation. While not wishing to air his dirty laundry, even anonymously, suffice it to say that at around the same time, it became plain that he would also be needing to move. He and I spoke, and agreed we would get a two bedroom place together for December 1st, and indeed, had begun looking at a number of prospective apartments together. Things were looking quite promising! And then, abruptly, he went silent on me. No phone calls, no e-mails, and no response to any of the same from me. Finally, on the night of November 1st, I learned from his mother that he had decided to get a place on his own.

This did not sit too well with me.

For starters, it meant that I had no room-mate, and insufficient time to find a replacement. And housing costs in the greater Vancouver area make a one bedroom apartment of the sort of size I would be comfortable living in prohibitively expensive. To say nothing of the personal offense, of which – again, out of a desire not to air his dirty laundry in public – I will not here speak. Secondarily, there was the creeping horror at the realization that there was a very real possibility that I would need to put out an ad on Craigslist or somesuch in order to find a replacement. This was the very dark path which led me to live with Vince in the first place, and there is no joy whatsoever in the notion of opening the door to that sort of horror once again.

I can afford a two bedroom place on my own for a month or two, though, and I hope that in that time, I can find someone stable and secure enough that I could in good conscience allow them to live with me, but this still represents a significant risk and significant inconvenience, relative to the “clear sailing” state I had looked forwards to existing in by now as of this time last month. And so I’m actively apartment hunting, hoping to secure something worthwhile by this weekend.

I figure I might just as well toss this out there, on the off chance that the fates might yet conspire to redeem this situation for me with nothing more than a few lines of text: Is there anyone among my readership who is in need or in want of a new home in the Burnaby/Vancouver area in the next two months? I find that I prefer the notion of finding someone with whom I stand the chance of having some degree of familiarity with prior to cohabitation to that of living with a complete stranger whose only connection to me is the quirk of happenstance which would have them reading my ad before I happen to accept someone else who does likewise.

Everybody stinks (except for you, the person reading this).

So, things have gone down more or less as expected. The meeting of the strata council came and went, and I was not invited to speak in my own defense. But as it turns out, this is a moot point, as it was not I who needed defending.

Rather, my landlord was apparently held to blame for not making any effort whatsoever to control his unruly tenant, Vince. I had expressed a similar sentiment, of course, pointing out how deeply I resented the fact that I had not had it relayed to me that Vince was doing all this terrible crap, and thus was unable to do anything about it. But my landlord simply did not care to become involved, and so let the matter fester.

And so the decision was made to kick out my landlord's remaining tenant - that being me - in order to punish him; he would lose the rent revenue, and need to go to the time, trouble and expense of preparing the suite for a future tenant.

The ironty here is that he was planning on selling the place some time next year anyways, and he likely views this as a blessing; he can now do so earlier, and get out of this landlording business that he had plainly grown bored of anyways.

And so, a punishment comes down solely upon my head to punish two people who will feel no ill effects from it, and who stand to learn nothing from it. Meanwhile, I lose my home of six years.
I can't pretend not to feel a little on the bitter side from all of this.

Another tidbit which has come out of this seems to serve as the final puzzle piece which reveals the whole puzzle to me; I'm told that Vince told someone on the Strata Council about the bedbugs before I did (which, it was suggested, might mean that I was trying to keep secrets and thus deserved to be kicked out on my own faults). This startled me as I recalled clearly going and talking to the noxious president of the council the very day I first learned I had them. So when did Vince have the time to tell anyone?

As it turns out, he knew about them long before I did, but never told me about them, but DID tell others about them. When I told him I had discovered them, he claimed not to have any in his room and affected surprise. Later, when exterminators came around, he still claimed to have none, and so there was no reason for them to enter his room. Later still, when I confronted him about their re-appearance, he again affected surprise, claiming never to have seen them.

During my cleaning out of his crap, I not only found nests of them in his room that plainly went back a very, very long time, I found dozens of empty tubes of hydrocortisone cream (which I may be mis-spelling, but I don't have a spell-checker at hand here and now). This is an itch cream.

It now becomes clear: He got them before I did, and did everything in his power to hide this fact for a full year and a half, even if doing so meant preventing them from being eliminated and meant constant itching for a year and a half.

It's never been more clear that he is actually mentally ill.

Now I just need to exterminate them all in the time I have left before I have to move, in order to make sure I don't carry Vince's curse with me to my new home. Because if even a couple of them cling to any bit of furniture I bring with me, I could continue to syffer from Vince's madness for many, many months to come.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Vince

It’s been a week and a half now since my erstwhile former Room-mate, Vince, vacated the premises, and believe it or not, the hits keep on coming.

I realized, naturally, that he would steal a certain amount of my stuff on his way out. Whether out of vindictiveness or simply out of selfishness and greed, he would take things he thought he might like. Naturally, I was correct, though the list of things that have gone missing is as mercifully short as it is baffling. I had recently acquired a large vacuum cleaner which I’m rather fond of, but retained my smaller, older one to get into the small spaces which my behemoth of an upright could not get into. Vince, in an unmitigated act of irony, decided that even though he had gone two years without ever so much as touching that smaller vacuum for anything other than his own bedroom (and only then when he was bringing a girl over), evidently decided that he was somehow more entitled to it than I was and made off with it. The other items I’ve found him to have taken – a couple of DVDs, my tube of toothpaste and one of my PS2 memory cards – are just small, pathetic acts, but in aggregate still serve to aggravate.

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I arrived home from work yesterday, worn out from my work week and ready for a stressful weekend at home, when, almost immediately upon entering the door, I noticed something … amiss.

Vince’s shoes were all gone from the front hall.

My heart leapt in my heart. Dare I hope? Dare I dream? I dashed about the apartment, and my spirit soared: His DVDs were gone (minus those I had set aside the day before so that he wouldn’t “accidentally” pack them when his belongings)! And on his bedroom door, the following note:

Vincent H-a-v-o-k (edited to evade Google), by the way, is his wrestling name. Have I ever mentioned that before? He’s a professional wrestler, and this is his wrestling persona. Yes, he signs stuff like this with his wrestling persona.

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On a separate-but-related note…

With Vince gone, I need to cover his share of the rent this month. I also need to pay for an exterminator. And a cleaner. All of which will come out to somewhere In the neighborhood of $1000. I’m not going to lie. This is a pretty heavy load for me to bear, and I’m not too proud to ask for help here. I’m therefore setting up a PayPal button below, for a “Cleaning Up After Vince” fund.

But let it not be said that I am asking without giving. No parasite, I! I pledge to come up with at least on new post each day for the next two weeks, and anyone who donates $30 or more will be entitled to ask me to produce for them a post of any type that I normally produce, which I’ll have up within a couple of weeks (depending upon how many such requests I receive!).

It's been a wild ride, folks, and I'm not going to lie: As much as I'm glad he's gone, there remains a small part of me which is almost sad that I won't have him to blog about anymore. The guy was scum, but as you all made abundantly clear in your comments, he was SUCH scum that he at least made an engaging antagonist in this grand drama. But all vile, horrific, unbearably unpleasant things must come to an end.

Silly little bird

So I was at work late last night. Graveyard shift, right? We're talking way the hell late at night. Like "Your life is crap if you're even awake right now" late.

And then I saw a bird whose life was crap. Because it was up just then.

That's not when birds are supposed to be up. Silly little bird.

So I see it there, right? And it's up against the glass door at the front of the building, trying to get in. And the friggin' little thing doesn't even get the fact that there's glass there. Also, that being inside the building probably isn't as great for a friggin' silly little bird as it thinks it will be. But it ain't quittin'. No, sir. It just keeps fluttering against the friggin' glass for like ten minutes.

Silly little bird.

So I go up to it, and I'm like, "Hey! Bird!" 

And it doesn't even look at me. Like it's better than me or something. Even though it's not.

Because it's a bird.

And I'm like, "HEY!" and then I pause for a second, and then I say "BIRD!" 

And this friggin' thing, it just keeps tryin' tp fly through the glass. Silly little bird.

I crap you not. This thing was friggin' stupid. Like, bird-stupid. The way birds are stupid, right? Like that. Because it was a bird.

So I takes this picture of it, because I knew you folks would never believe me otherwise. You'd be like "No way, man. A bird? Seriously?" And what could I even say? It would be my word against the bird's, and friggin' birds don't even friggin' talk. It would be friggin' mess, is what it would be.

So I gets this picture, right, and then I scare the silly little bird until it flies back to, like, where trees and stuff are. And it acted like I wasn't tryin' to do it right or something.

I'm tellin' you. Friggin' bird.


Tales of Vince: The fussy baby

I just got this letter in the mail earlier today.

It seems that Vince has decided that if he's being forced to go, there's no reason to have any dignity or composure about it, and to take out his frustrations with having received the just rewards of his own past bad behaviour with even worse behaviour. Perhaps he's decided he has nothing to lose, so why not? 

Oh, man.

Man, oh, man.


How well do you know your neighbors?

We humans are tribal creatures. We evolved in such a way that require the support of the extended family which is a tribe both for our physical and our emotional and mental well-being. And yet in this modern world, where so many of us live in these giant cities, such connections are in the traditional sense impossible. We live in clusters of people so enormous that it's impossible to know or feel any connection with them, and so we typically make no effort to. Most people I know make no effort to get to know their neighbors, and I'm as guilty as anyone on this count.

I don't think we benefit from this.

In part, I'm sure it's the way I was raised. I grew up in a small town where I know the people were reasonably friendly with one another, but my mother, who raised me more-or-less on her own, was from the big city of Toronto, and brought that alone-in-a-crowd mentality with her. I never spoke with any of my neighbors after early childhood, and neither did my mom, for the most part. Since moving to Vancouver, I've certainly never been more than a friendly acquaintance with any of my neighbors, at most, and that's not too good.

I keep meaning to go around to the neighbors I have in my building - those people on my floor and the ones above and below, and say hello. But it just seems so wierd, you know? Almost an intrusion. Almost an abuse, even, to impose myself upon the people who just happen to live near me and expect them to be friendly to me.

For the past year, Vince's presence has prevented me from acting on this impulse, anyways: I keep wanting to invite the neighbors over for a cup of tea and a bite to eat, be friendly, be "neighborly" in the classic meaning of the word, but it's tough to do so when you live with someone you refuse even to speak to. But soon enough, he'll be gone. I'm thinking of proposing a sort of pot luck dinner, inviting all of the neighbors over, and seeing who I can get along with.

The other day, I had to field a noise complaint from my landlord due to some noise Vince had been making late at night, and the absurdity of it struck me: someone living right next door to me went to the strata council of the building, who went to the building's owner, who went to my landlord, who then called me. Just think: if that neighbor and I were friendly with one another, they could have just come and spoken to me (or Vince), and dealt with it without involving all of these uninvolved people. But that's the ugly reality; we aren't friendly. We don't feel like we can just talk to each other. It's absurd, and I think I should change it.

Because the idea of living in an actual community of people who know each other and can speak to each other in a friendly, neighborly manner, appeals to me.

So what about you: Anyone out there friendly or even "neighborly" with their neighbors? Anyone have any thoughts on the topic?

Tales of Vince : The Middle of the End.

When last we left off, I had told Vince that he would need to move out, and that it would be a good idea for him to be out the door by the end of September, which he had agreed to do.

It was at around a week or so later that I gave some thought to the considerable amount of money he owed me, and how I was likely never to see a dime of it. A plan occurred to me, though, which it seemed to me might at least allow me to recoup my losses somewhat. I hadn’t seen too much of Vince in the week or so since that last conversation, though, and so it seemed to me that the practical approach was to leave him a note explaining my thoughts on the topic. I therefore drafted, printed, and taped to his bedroom door the following missive:

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