Last night I went to the symphony.
A coworker had extra tickets so I nabbed one once I was certain no one else wanted it. I should have gone to the symphony long ago; The Orpheum is located across the street from where I live.
The setting was absolutely amazing. I was impressed as soon as I entered and saw the atrium. The atrium! Those chandeliers alone were artistry of glass. I’m glad I made sure to wear a nice suit and tie for the evening. Although I did see a few people who did not have the same commitment to culture and looked like they had just rolled in off Granville street and gotten confused as to where their nightclub was located.
The actual venue was gorgeous. I now have to pay more attention to TV shows to see which ones were filmed there. (According to MovieMaps, a lot of DC superheroes end up at the symphony.)
I was located on the lower balcony which I would not recommend for myself in the future. It is fine for other people, but let’s be honest; I’m tall. And a lot of that length is in my legs. And at that location the seating is more cramped than an airline seat. Other than that, the acoustics were fine and I had a great view.
It took me awhile to figure out the last time I was at the symphony, and I think it was when I was in grade school as part of a field trip. (I still remember the diagram showing the different roles of the orchestra; they were all tall cartoon mice.) So I am not the target audience. While I appreciate classical music, I am not a musical person.
The first piece was an original composition by the conductor. The second piece featured the Australian String Quartet doing a medley of several Beethoven pieces. After the intermission we heard the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in E Minor.
I have no regrets about going, but I do not remember the music. I zoned out for a lot of it. Occasionally there were snippets of melody that I recognized, but it wasn’t enough to enrapture me. I suspect the symphony is an acquired taste, and so I should work at acquiring it. And I mean that! It’s across the street, and I don’t have enough activities in Vancouver yet. Right now the highlight of my weekend is a nice nap.
Looking at the program there are a few upcoming performances of interest. However the Chris Hadfield show with its Science Fiction theme is when I am out of town for Thanksgiving. Maybe the Jurassic Park one in November?
I wish I could recall the grade school diagram more, because I do not know what the conductor does during the performance. It doesn’t look like anyone playing an instrument is paying any attention to him. And his arms aren’t even moving to the time of the music. I’m sure it is more than just a tradition, but I don’t see it.

Get Out

Long ago, while I still lived with my family, I had an idea, dare I say a plan.
I thought that when I lived on my own I would go out regularly to a coffee place, or a diner, order a hot chocolate and read a book. I imagined myself in a booth and bold women would approach me to ask me how my book was. It was a nice fantasy, but I never really tried to implement it. The closest I came was going to a Starbucks and doing some programming on a laptop.
My weekends here in Vancouver have been less thrilling than I am happy with. I generally do a run and then not much else, spending far too long wasting time on the internet with things that are not fulfilling. There may be a possibility of a nap.
So today, I decided to force myself to do something. Anything.
I had a book I wanted to read; one I had started over a year ago. (Progress has been slow.) So I grabbed it and went for a walk. No coffee place would be my destination! (Because there is one in my building so that is hardly a challenge.) I was going to go to a park and read. Last time I did that was with “Feet of Clay” by Terry Pratchett, and that was a long time ago.
I provisioned myself with a Blizzard and then headed out on Robson Street. When my family visited, we found Denman to be an interesting avenue, so I made my way there. Unfortunately, it was more interesting in my mind than in reality. But it deposited me on the English Bay beach. There I found a nice rock in a sunny place next to the water. I watched the waves, then read a few chapters of my book.
When I had had enough I walked home.
It is odd to walk along a route you frequently run. You can suddenly stop and “smell the flowers”. I could spend time checking out things I usually see in a blur. I could even take some pictures for my #AirWreckRuns postings. (Yes, I sometimes use pictures taken not on the exact run I post them, because sometimes I took a better picture on a day when something else more interesting happened.) I even explored a bit off the beaten path.
I would say I was high on life, but if I truly wanted that, I would have gotten some pot from one of the many vendors who had set up tables outside the provincial courthouse.

Dining Plan

Today, I decided I would go out for dinner. My restaurant of choice was Save On Meats. It would be a pleasant walk there and then have some good comfort food.
Along the way I had an idea. But first some background. When I started my job, nearly a year ago, I was given a gift card which let me go to nearby restaurants. To challenge myself, I made a pledge that I could not go to the same restaurant more than once in the initial period. That way, I would force myself to try a variety of places. It was a good idea.
So why have I never done that for other restaurants? If I go out for dinner I tend to always hit the same places. And there are a lot of options around here! So I should make a list of all the restaurants within two or three blocks of home and try and hit all of them at some point. That would be a nice plan for the future.
A future that became more present when I discovered that Save On Meats closes at 7pm. It seems like a style for late night munching, but apparently that is not to be.
On the stroll back towards home I thought about going to Chopped Leaf where I could get a nice salad. But then I recalled my idea and decided I couldn’t go to a place I’ve been before.
So tonight I ate at Hüngry Guys. (The umlaut makes it cool.) I got an acceptable, if forgettable, burrito. It looks a little too easy to get cilantro in your meal though. I would say it filled a void and that is about it.

Lack of social activity

I’m not happy with myself lately.
I live alone in Vancouver. My fiancé lives in Houston and is trying to recover from the disaster of Harvey. So she will not be coming soon. In 2016 I saw her lots. This year I think I’ve seen her for a total of five weeks. I talk with her everyday, but it isn’t the same.
Being in a long distance relationship is putting me in a bad position. The fact that I’ve moved here from Edmonton has made it worse.
In Edmonton, I had friends and a social network. I saw them a couple of times a week.
Since I’ve moved, I don’t go out. I don’t see anyone outside of work. Since I have a fiancé, I even have an excuse to not go out to bars that I never wanted to go to in the first place. I am becoming a hermit. With the new running program, I don’t even have the run group I used to see on Wednesday and Sunday. It wasn’t much but it was something.
I’ve lost all social outlets.
And with it, my social graces. When my family visited last weekend, I was not great. I don’t know if I was tired or stressed, but I was not in a good mood and I took it out on them at times. I did the actions to give them a good time, but my personality prevented them from truly enjoying it.
Part of me thinks it is because I haven’t seen them in so long that I am not used to my mother getting old. I think of her as having as much energy as I do and expected her to keep up with me. But let’s be honest, I’m a bad person to be around now.
I’d like to be better, but I don’t feel motivated to socialize.
And even if my fiancé comes back, forcing me to accommodate someone else in my life, I fear the damage has been done. This apartment is feeling like my place, and not our place. She will be a guest in my house. It won’t be her home. And I’ll have gotten stuck in my rut, and will be resentful of anyone trying to change it.
Hopefully acknowledging the problem will help stop it from getting worse.

Weekend Visit

This weekend my mother and sister came to visit me in Vancouver. So “Operation: Exhaustion” began on Friday night.
I picked them up from the airport and immediately took them out to sushi. They were tired after the flight so I let them go to bed afterwards.
On Saturday, I did my morning run and then grabbed a dozen fresh croissants for them to have for breakfast. Then we used the Aquabus to go to Granville Island. Apparently dogs travel for free as someone brought four dogs the size of great Danes onboard. We hit the Public Market first. It is an interesting place to go, but it is crowded and the fruits there are too expensive. I don’t think we actually purchased anything. We then wandered around the island for a bit.
In the children’s section, my sister convinced me to do the 3D virtual reality simulator together. Two roller-coasters. The first roller-coaster experience was the best; you went on a track that clearly did not have enough support and whirled through simulacrum of famous monuments; the Statue of Liberty was much more endowed than usual. The second experience was very similar to “The Beast” that I rode at the fairgrounds a couple of months ago. The scenery didn’t change much so it wasn’t as entertaining. But it did bring me back to memories of the Beast, which made it more scary. But the interesting part was that if you closed your eyes, you realized that there were no G-forces at work and your chair was just shaking a bit. The visual element is very necessary.
We then took the Aquabus back and I took them to “Provence Marineside” for a classy lunch. I let them take a nap, and then we went off to Sunset Beach for some ocean. My mother enjoyed herself, but she felt that the boats that were leaving through False Creek were making it smelly.
For dinner I took them to “Legendary Noodle” and they REALLY enjoyed that. My mother doesn’t even like pasta. She got some dumplings and declared them the best she had had ever had.
On Sunday, we drove to Third Beach in Stanley Park. I left them to enjoy the water while I did my morning run, in the forest for a change. That helped a lot on such a hot day. I then changed and joined them in the water where my sister and I swam out to the buoy and then back.
From there we crossed the Lionsgate Bridge and drove towards Squamish. We didn’t get there and stopped off at Horseshoe Bay where we had a lunch at a fish and chips place. Then we watched the water in the harbour and saw the ferries leave. We drove a bit more around the area to see some sights. I would like to try and get to Squamish one day, but I will need companions with more energy. I took them home and we watched a movie before going to dinner at “The Flying Pig”. They have a great pork roast on Sundays.
On Monday, we took it more easy. I ran in the morning and then we went to a waffle place for breakfast. “Le Petite Belge” was higher rated, but the waffles were too light. I think I preferred “Waffle Bant” which isn’t reviewed with high marks. We investigated a mall that would be air conditioned, ate lunch, and then went to the cruise ship terminal. There was a Disney Cruise Line ship there. It was enormous. You don’t really grasp how big those ships are until you walk next to them. We relaxed in the area for awhile and then returned home to watch another movie. Then the public demanded that we go back to “Legendary Noodle” for another dinner.
From there we watched the sunset on the beach.
This morning I put them on the subway to the airport and they got home safely.