So I'm back from Vancouver, and boy are my arms tired.
Actually, here are some thoughts about my second home to the north:
* Remember that old bit about your dad walking to school uphill...both ways? Well, in Vancouver, it's somehow possible. EVERY DAMNED PLACE YOU NEED TO GO IN VANCOUVER is uphill! It's like they've changed the laws of physics just to make sure Troy's fat butt gets some exercise. Well, thanks, Vancouver, but no thanks! I get all the cardio I need from lugging around my vast amount of testosterone.
* Sushi! I spend most of my time in Indiana, so as you can imagine, sushi is a rare, relatively expensive, and not particularly fresh occurrence. In Vancouver, however, the stuff is everywhere, and half the time it's still slapping its fins at you. I've found a number of great Japanese places with cheap but very filling and delicious sushi specials. I'm thinking of changing my name to "Fatty Tuna."
* One thing that burns my butt enough in the states, but cranks the flames up a notch higher in Vancouver, is the number of folks who meander in stores and other public places, getting in your way and being oblivious to the fact that you're trying to get around them. Newsflash, canucklehead: We're here! What is it with these people? Have the maple fumes gotten to you? Do you believe you're Peter Graves in Where Have All the People Gone?
* Loonie stores! Yeah, as I've said, most of them are not strictly a dollar, but they have a decidedly different collection of weird crap than our dollar stores in the States, and I rarely pass up a chance to give 'em a look. The last time I was there, I picked up a small statuette of a dog with a chicken riding on his back. It's proudly occupying a space in my living room even as we speak. A dog with a chicken on his back! Huzzah!
* I can do without the damned potheads cluttering up the art gallery area downtown. Hey, Cheech, put down the fried Twinkies and give it a rest! You could be spending your money on a natural high, namely the euphoric feeling you'll get from reading a copy of the Common Grounds trade paperback, available at fine bookstores and comic shops in the U.S. AND Canada!
* Baked goods! I'm able to find a great selection of the grainy breads I like at Vancouver's mom and pop bakeries, and at reasonable prices. For an added treat, try a Nanaimo bar or a butter tart. Mmmmmmm!
*Speaking of businesses, make sure you check out Big Pete's Comics, near the bottom of Lonsdale (I think around the 3rd Street intersection). It's a great shop, and Pete and his mom are the sweetest folks in the world. Occasionally you'll even see me doing a signing there (I'm easy to spot; there won't be any lines in front of me).
Anyway, Vancouver's a great city, but it's kind of nice to be back amidst the strangeness and corn, eh?