I have jumped on the opportunity to do some housesitting for some friends in New Westminster. I am teaching, if it can be called that, a group of Chinese 11-13 year old students in Coquitlam, so it's good to be able to live closer to that job for time and money's sake, even if it's only or a week.
I don't know if I'm a good city-liver. I may have spent too many years out in the country to handle the traffic, but I genuinely enjoy using the SkyTrain to meander around the city. Tomorrow morning I will take the SkyTrain to work for the first time ever, and I might be practically excited about it.
I'm a transit dork. But transit gives me a chance to read, to think, to not stress about traffic, and a good excuse to walk from one place to another.
A few photos I took today:
The mosquitoes have been brutal up in Agassiz, so I've been doing my runs closer to YVR when I have the chance. I've found running a useful way to explore the cities so I can get to know them better. I've discovered a little foot bridge in Coquitlam, run back and forth over the Pitt River Bridge, and explored a series of parks in New West, all with running. I kind-of hope that this housesitting venture will give me my first chance to run the seawall in Stanley Park, although I expect I will be passed by numerous chiseled, svelte native Vancouverites.
And tomorrow I will return to my sparse classroom in Coquitlam to try to get these campers to speak and listen to some English.
My family's all broken up. A few days ago, my children moved an 11 hours' drive away, and I'm a bit of a mess. A few hours ago when I heard the phone ring, I literally jumped. In the meantime, I've misplaced my school keys and have absolutely no idea where they are. Clearly, my mind is complete mess and my anxiety's through the roof.
So a couple days ago, while trying to distract myself from my anxiety about their travels, I recorded this weird little cover of Taylor Swift's "Style."
Why "Style?" Because it's a perfect little pop song. It's self-aware in its shallowness and creates tropes where there weren't any before. Its melody is thick and it creates a sort of self-destructive image that makes me think of one of those Tumblr blogs that feature a series of disconnected images that create a singular, ephemeral sentiment.
I don't know when I first heard "Style," but I distinctly remember when it first stood out to me: I was at the Chilliwack Landing pool on one of their $2 Sunday night swims, and the "Take me home" section of the song echoed through the swimming pool, and I thought That's something special. I didn't know it was Taylor Swift, and I only narrowed it down to her a couple months later, when I was walking under some speakers outside a Shopper's Drug Mart and I thought That's really good.
Anyhow, I made a video. I probably should have changed the key to something a little more in my range. But I did it and it's done. And Now I need to find some other ways to distract myself from the fact that my kids are so far away.
Now where are those keys?
The Internet Archive
YouTube: ephemeral ideas