On the street corner, I pause. My Canon Rebel hangs heavy around my neck, apparently feeling the weight of the dreary day as much as I am. We came out on this walk specifically for the purposes of photo hunting, my camera and I, but have yet to find a muse.

Nobody said these 365 day challenges were supposed to be easy.

I’m about to push the button for the pedestrian-controlled light on Burrard when I happen to look back at the last storefront I passed. A recently defunct bath and kitchen fixture shop whose vacant interior I had initially dismissed after a cursory glance. But now that I look again, isn’t there something strangely pleasing about the dated tackiness of the white wrought iron staircase that leads to the store’s second level? Don’t the retro lines just somehow seem to *pop* amid the green profusion of leaves reflected in the window?

I backtrack from the curb, taking the lens cap off as I move, and get to work framing my shot.

I’m just snapping my first photo when a voice hacksaws through my concentration. A rough, grating, carrying voice that makes my spine itch. You know the kind. Like the owner’s vocal cords have done time in a cement mixer. The Voice of a Hundred Thousand Marlboros.

“HEY, LADY!” caws The Voice.

I ignore it.

The Voice could be calling out to anyone, after all. I don’t need to assume every Tom, Dick and Harriet yelling salutations to ladies on the street is referring to me. And besides, I’m busy. I bring up the preview of my test shot in the viewfinder and then fiddle with my camera settings.

“HEY, LADY!” repeats The Voice.

Against my better judgement, I sneak a look out of my peripheral vision. A woman in a beat-up red Toyota Corolla is leaning out the driver’s side window with a cigarette hanging from the corner of her mouth, staring in my direction.

She clearly wants me to go push the button and change the light for her.

But she’s going to have to ask, and ask politely. I don’t respond to “hey, lady”.


I don’t respond to “yoo-hoo” either.


I feign deafness and continue snapping photos and adjusting settings.

She tries everything; whistling, flailing of hands, more calls of “hey, lady” and “yoo-hoo” and even a “HEY YOU OVER THERE!”

Everything except “Excuse me,” “I beg your pardon, but…” or “If it’s not too much trouble, could you…?”

Funny how those expressions aren’t in some people’s lexicons.

The Voice wastes at least two full minutes trying to talk AT me instead of to me. I take more photos than I could ever possibly need, just to rankle her. Finally there’s a natural break in Burrard’s six lanes of traffic, and she zooms off across the intersection, having learned absolutely nothing.

And I stroll over and push the button for the light.

Compiling creepiness: someone’s gotta do it.

True story: you should all go check out Part One of Gina’s slightly horrifying compilation of creepy guy stories over at Endearingly Wacko, which may or may not contain a piece by yours truly. Go. Read. Shudder. Feel a little dirty.

You know you wanna.



Six more weeks of bitter.


Ah, the 2nd of February, the day when we are just demoralized enough after the dreariness of January to entrust our weather forecast for the coming months to a large, notoriously unreliable rodent who would much rather just be sleeping.

Word has it that Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow today, meaning there will not be six more weeks of winter.

This didn’t surprise me in the slightest, because what fucking winter?

Yeah, yeah, my fault for living in Vancouver, mild climate, blah blah blah, but still. I’m tired of leaving the rink after my Wednesday night skating sessions only to feel like I stepped off the ice and into the tropics.

I crave snow. I crave cold. I crave being able to spend more than two minutes outside without ending up drenched in sweat and having to take three layers off because silly me, I dressed for a season that apparently doesn’t exist anymore.

Is winter still a thing in Antarctica? I’m seriously considering picking up and moving there, assuming it hasn’t melted yet.