I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Monday, November 23, 2009


I go to look at the van on Friday night and it's great. It dives like a new car and, other than a cracked windshield, a dent near the rear wheel well, and a vandalized passenger door lock that left the auto lock on that side not working (but still can reach over and lock/unlock manually) it's in great shape. So I leave a deposit with the promise to come back on Monday so she has time to take out the stereo and clean it her gear out. She won't get her other car till next week and I don't mind waiting, Christopher has loaned me his jeep for the weekend.

Saturday I take my time getting ready in the morning... I spend a couple of hours looking online for jobs... and then at about two in the afternoon I leave for the East Vancouver Cultural Crawl. A friend invited me and he and his wife will be participants. He lives in a building called The Arc, and it is owned by a corporation that wants to encourage the arts. So what they have done is convert a large industrial space with seven floors into about 70 loft apartments and then rent them out to people in the arts. It can be any sort of art.... visual, performing, music... and you have to audition to get in. Then, because they expect that you will use part of the space to work in, you get to write 70% of it off as working space. It's a great concept. Anyway, this building, and about a hundred other places, open their doors once a year for three days and the public is free to wander from space to space and view the art each person has put on display.

I wanted Ashleigh and Rob to come with me, I thought they'd love it being that they are both very artistic, but they have other plans. So I go by myself. It's times like this I really miss being half of a couple. It's just not anywhere nearly as much fun to do things like this alone. But, I put my game face on and make the most of it. And I really enjoyed it. I never made it to any other building than The Arc - it took me the better part of four hours to go through just that. The talent was amazing. There was everything from painters to potters to sculptors in wire, fabric art, an fx guy for the film business, a model sculptor for film, a children's entertainer, metalworkers, photography, jewelry.... just everything you can think of. It was a feast for the eyes and I really enjoyed it. Plus, besides Filip, the guy who invited me, and his wife - both whom I have worked with in movies, I saw the actress I just worked with in Victoria - she was there to look around, as well as a wardrobe guy and a fx guy who both live in the building that I have recently worked with. So that was really nice.

Sunday I start thinking about what I am going to do if I don't get any work and am thinking about the very real possibility of having to live in my van. I begin doing some research online and I find that there are quite a few people who have taken to living in their vehicles! I am so surprised. There's even a Yahoo group for them. I read through blogs and posts and looking at photos of how they did their conversions. There's everything from mini-vans to 1 ton box trucks. Some of the layouts are ingenious. But two things are apparent to me. Three actually. One; it's going to take at least $500 to convert my van. Two: I am going to need to drive south to a warmer climate for winter unless I want to be miserable for months. And three; I am going to need more money than I have. I will still need to pay for insurance and gas for the van, not to mention food, cell phone and incidentals. What I need is for either my script to sell or the insurance guy to call me back with a decent settlement for my fall. Or, if I sell everything I can't fit into the van, that might give me enough to live on for a while.

The thought of selling everything I own but what I can fit into a van comfortably is intriguing, kind of exciting, but scary as well. I have a LOT of stuff. Even after paring down drastically over the past year or so, I still have a LOT of stuff. And the thoughts of going through it all and trying to decide what I really need and what I don't is daunting. Hugely daunting. And, to be brutally honest, I am not the bohemian type. I'm not the sort to let my hair go gray and let it grow long enough to put in a pony tail for convenience sake. I don't need many clothes because, even though I have what I consider a lot, I go to the same favoured pieces over and over and the rest just hang there unless its a special occasion. I could pare down the clothes no problem. Shoes... yes but would still probably want to take more than could fit in the allotted shoe space. Books would be a problem. I have some I just won't part with. Same with my DVD collection. I wouldn't have TV so it would be nice to have them along to watch on my laptop (although I did see a setup where a guy had a flat screen TV and speakers set up on the wall of his mini-van in a panel he made to go over one of the back windows - ingenious!!). I have a few souvenirs I have picked up in my limited travels that I would want to keep, but they are all small. Also, I would need a proper mattress as my back wouldn't last without it, but I think that would work. A twin wouldn't take up the whole back, would it? I will have to measure and see. One setup I saw had the mattress on a platform with Rubbermaid drawers beneath the whole length and about three drawers high. Great idea.

I head over to Starbucks to continue my online browsing, as the internet is messing up at my girlfriends and keeps shutting down. I go to the one where I met a really nice man a week ago. The only comfy chair left was across from him. I asked if it was free and he said it was. I told him I had just gone to the other Starbucks down the end of the road but it was packed to the gills. I sat down and we got to chatting. He told me that his wife died about two years ago and that he lived in a condo in White Rock but was here to look for a house to be closer to his kids and to get a big garage for all of his 'toys'. Turns out he has a Miata, a motorcycle and his truck. He told me he had taken a trip across Canada on his bike this past summer. We had a great chat for about an hour and I really liked him. When he got up to leave, I hoped he would ask me for my number but he didn't, saying instead, "Maybe I will see you again. I am down here a lot." and, stupid me, I didn't offer my number. I am just not that forward. So now I am back and hoping he is here, but he isn't. And, today, this one is crowded so I leave and head to the one at the other end of the road.

Monday morning I spend more time applying for jobs online. It's soul destroying work. I apply at Starbucks to be a manager. I don't know if they will hire me for that position, they didn't want me as a barista when I told them I don't drink coffee. HA! Can't imagine why. But maybe as a manager it won't matter as much.

I send off an email to the PM for the show that is supposed to be back in the offices to day. He writes back saying that they aren't back this week either and he has no idea if it's even going ahead anymore, but if it is it won't start shooting until December 7th at the earliest. I am thinking it's time to call my friend and tell him I won't be taking the suite. It's a call I dread making.
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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