Monthly Recap: September 2016
Autumn seems already to be in full swing here in Vancouver — it’s pouring rain outside as I write this and I’ve got the fireplace blazing, a vintage mohair blanket over my lap, and a cup of Earl Grey tea at hand. But it’s kind of nice to be home; I put on a lot of miles during September, heading out of town for a few days nearly every weekend with a lot of driving. I took two band trips (Fashionism went to Victoria, then The Orange Kyte headed to Alberta the next weekend) and attended 1.5 scooter rallies.
Where I Went
Victoria, British Columbia
Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta
Kelowna, British Columbia
Mount Robson. This mountain just inside the British Columbia border is a perennial favourite and my must-stop spot on the Yellowhead Highway between Edmonton and Kamloops. It looks beautiful in any season, but particularly so this time, shrouded in mist and just beginning to show its fall colours.
Riding scooters in Kelowna. I’d never spent any extended time in Kelowna, and really enjoyed the three days I spent there for the Jaguars Scooter Club Weekender. The itinerary was pretty packed, so my explorations were limited to what was scheduled. But that wasn’t an issue; we went on lots of very scenic rides through the hills, stopping at places like Carmelis Goat Cheese (where the goat’s milk gelato is to die for—I had the strawberry cheesecake and chocolate hazelnut), the Bohemian Cafe (best breakfast I’ve had in a long while – try the half-avocado filled with salsa <3), and Fernando’s Pub (the $7 fish tacos were ace). I took a break for a sunset stroll along the piers and watched as a herd of gigantic catfish (?) blubbed loudly at the surface. Even the drive out from Vancouver was lovely—I took Highway 97C from Merritt, a more direct route than I’m used to and it went by super fast.
Receiving my scooter club patch 🙂
Being presented with a scooter club patch. It means a lot to me to formally join this scooter club — a tight group of friends with common interests and values, with whom I’ve shared so many great times and laughs over the past four years. There will be many more in the future.
Spending time with my mom. My Victoria trip happened because Fashionism had a gig at Logan’s Pub, but I went over a day early to spend some time with my mom since her birthday is September 3. I stayed at the Waddling Dog Inn, just down the road from her place, and I really loved the Tudor-style rooms; they were unique and really felt European, which was a nice change in Canada. The two of us hung out in Victoria, poking around downtown and enjoying a breakfast at the absolutely fantastic Rebar, then walked the beach by her place searching for sea glass. She showed me her silversmithing workshop in a shed behind her luxe trailer home. We later stopped in at Michell Bros. Farm and wandered around a pumpkin field, and I ate one of the best apples I’ve ever tried in my life. I also saw where my mom & her partner Michael work (they’re artists selling their handmade jewellery at markets around town, including Bastion Square Public Market).
All the shows I played this month. The Orange Kyte’s first foray into Alberta was unexpectedly a huge success, with great turnouts at the shows in both Edmonton and Calgary. I can’t wait to go back. And Fashionism’s first time in Victoria was wild too, maybe the best show we’ve played to date.
Local loves. Despite how little I was in Vancouver, I spent lots of time enjoying local favourites this month, including Cartems Donuterie, What’s Up? Hot Dog!, Queen Elizabeth Park, and other random wanderings and bike rides. Vancouver really is a beautiful place.
New records. We received hard copies of the Fashionism “Subculture Suicide” 7″ on Dirt Cult Records. The Orange Kyte’s new single is something I’m happy about too; the video captures our trip to Alberta in a quick 4.5 minutes (watch the video below). Lots of Western Canadian scenery and favourite spots like the Palomino and Recordland in Calgary!
$$$$$$. Same old stuff as last month. I’m still struggling to get a firm grip on my finances, and because so many of my trips were driving-oriented, there wasn’t exactly a lot of time to do work in September. Hopefully October will help me remedy that.
The state of the world. The news has been getting me down a little lately, as it no doubt has with anyone who reads. We’re doomed as a species, but even so, it’s key to stay positive and I’m doing my best at that.
My last day at Hits & Misses Records
Change. Hits & Misses Records closed down on September 11 and it was a sad occasion for me. It marks the end of a long career of working in record shops; I’ll probably never do it again. It’s nice to be back to 100 percent self-employment, but I still feel a bit bittersweet about that chapter of my life coming to an end.
Most Popular Post
PayPal Mobile Payments Hit Vancouver. I attended a really great event in September to learn about some of PayPal’s new app offerings, and the future of mobile payments looks bright.
Beam Me to Vulcan, Alberta – A quick side trip to the capital of kitschy Star Trek tourism: Vulcan, Alberta.
Lille: Hiking to an Alberta Ghost Town – This one had special meaning to me, as I visited the long-abandoned foundation of a hotel my great-grandfather operated in the early part of the 20th century.
Castle Mountain Sunsets – Some gorgeous sunset photos from Castle Mountain, Alberta, where I attended a wedding this summer.
Most Popular Instagram Photo
I took a lot of great travel photos this month, but it looks like you all liked my new haircut even more!
Aren’t following my Instagram? Well, you should be 😉 Find me at instagram.com/quitthistown.
What I Read This Month
Very little, sadly. One of the curses of being time-poor these days.
I’ve turned a few pages, though, in the Dalai Lama’s classic The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living. An old favourite that helps keep me thinking positive and reminds me of the importance of living with compassion.
What I Watched This Month
I’ve finally been dipping into the Planet Earth series on Netflix. So far, I’ve really enjoyed the Caves episode – the unexplored corners of the world are spectacular.
What I Listened To This Month
Once again, I’m coming up with a blank. I listened to a lot of tunes in the car – the Equals, Soft Boys, etc. We also played with some cool bands – a cool girl band from Edmonton called Bad Buddy and an oi band from Victoria called No Heart are the ones that stand out – but I didn’t really buy any records aside from the old hold pile I got out of the way from Hits & Misses, which included records by White Fence, John’s Children, The Music Machine, Syd Barrett, The Cortinas, Eater, and others.
Coming Up in October 2016
October is markedly more relaxed than September was, as I have no major travel this month. I may head out to Edmonton for Thanksgiving weekend to see my grandparents, but other than that, I intend to enjoy my time close to Vancouver, doing some hikes and getting in some outdoor time before it gets crappy out. We’ll see! I’m looking forward to a month of chilling out and writing hard.
What were your September highlights? What do you have coming up for October? Tell me in the comments 🙂