it's wednesday and i'm sitting at the vegetarian Naam restaurant in Kitsilano, which every single person has told me is an establishment in vancouver. and it is, indeed, so totally vancouver. i'm dining with a bunch of out-of-work animators who are trying to find jobs in the animation industry in a post-tech bust job climate where nobody is hiring, no one at all. no one says the R word (recession). someone mentions the name Pixar and everyone's ears perk excitedly - apparently they are opening an office downtown and they may be hiring. they ask me what i do for a living. i tell them that i write research memos, and that it's not as boring as it sounds. they go back to talking about Pixar.
soon enough the food comes out. huge servings. every kind of flavour. not a single bit of meat. one of the dinner guests comment on how the words "vegetarian" and "delicious" rarely go together, but if you think about it, if any city can pull it off, it's vancouver. it's a good thing that the dishes were so savoury too - we had to wait nearly an hour to get seated.
it's raining, as usual. vancouver seems to be permanently twelve degrees and rainy. people assure me that warm weather is ahead, but i'm pretty sure ottawa is sunnier and warmer right now and that is discouraging. i have a long weekend coming up that i don't know what to do with. i'm thinking of becoming a temporary groupie and following the cross-country T.O.F.U tour through Seattle and Portland. lately i've been reading Chuck Palahniuk's "Fugitives and Refugees", a collection of writing pieces about Portland, and it's made me pretty curious. somewhere down there the ghost of Elliott Smith haunts the streets, and i want to meet him. according to Palahniuk, Portland is especially welcoming for ghosts.