Friday, October 19, 2007

Blogging Vancouver

Ah, at long last, I have a vacation. Last full week off was in January in the bitter cold climes of Eastern Ontario. My job provides me with 20 days of vacation a year, plus four other personal days, so that is plenty good. But actually taking vacation is necessary for it to be enjoyed.

So here I sit in my old friend "Frobisher's" kitchen in Kitsilano. Hitherto, I have identified Frobisher as IM, but he ... by his own admission "sarcastically" ... invites me to call him Frobisher. I think it sound a little like an eager wet black Lab, but he thinks it sounds like an intrepid explorer hacking his way cross-country in the far ago past, looking to discover some great river to the Pacific.

Frobisher demands that I note that we had real genuine bagels ... made the old fashioned way by boiling and baking in a stone oven here at Siegel's Bagels ... with Winnipeg cream cheese and lox, and a homemade soy cappuccino. That, along with the welcome drizzle, was quite a hello.

I am looking forward to blogging a trip. (My friend LB at his Downstairs at NoeHill blog has written fascinating travelogues about his trips to Amsterdam, and I think you would be repaid with a fascinating read for a visit.) In the past, I have written to myself about various trips, but there is no publication pressure, and these little logs tended to be incomplete and fragmented. Blogging, like photography, makes you observe in a different way. That is to say writing for an audience ... no matter how opaque to the writer and accidental by way of the medium and tiny by comparison to the vastness of humanity ... enforces a different set of strictures than writing for yourself. Art, or craft, or just trying, starts with the strictures.

Blogging also means that I will have to try to do more than just wander about and mull over matters of the world.

Two notes: the International part of Vancouver airport is alone worth the trip. Amazing public architecture. I will try to get to the airport early on the way out next Thursday to do it more photographic justice. And the book that I am reading on this vacation is Jack Weatherford's Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. If I manage to finish that, I will take up with Joy Carroll's Wolfe and Montcalm: Their Lives, Their Times, and the Fate of a Continent.

With the regard to the first book, this is what it is like being one pedant in a 33-year friendship with another pedant. I said "Genghis" with a hard "G". Much conversation and one rather ancient dictionary later, Frobisher had established that it is "Jenghiz" with a "J". Now I will never know which way to go, so I think I will call him Mr. Khan, in the style of the New York Times.

Photo by Arod.

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