Right then, let’s talk VCON

userinfosolarbird and I love us some Vancouver, and we hadn’t been up there since going to see my beloved B’ys last year for the Olympics show–so we were sorely wanting even the slightest excuse to scamper up there for the weekend. VCON handed us that excuse in spades. It turned out that the convention was great fun in its own right, and assuming I have enough spare vacation time next year, we are totally coming back.

I took this past Friday off from work so that we could go up on the morning train, which required us to get up at stupid-o’clock. This would have been easier if I hadn’t had to work for four hours on Thursday night, and if I hadn’t had to spend most of the train ride up working on this year’s employee review–but even given that, and even given that we were operating on four hours of sleep, it was still quite nice to roll into Vancouver. We were kind of silly about not planning the arrival better, as we wound up missing an opportunity to go to the HMV earlier than planned. But that was all good. We dropped our stuff off at the hotel and then went right back out again for two Extremely Critical Missions!

One was me going to the HMV in downtown Vancouver, which, as I’ve mentioned in my previous post, is my current Vancouver source for Francophone music. I was disappointed to not find the live Les Charbonniers de l’Enfer DVD, but quite happy to find the Le Vent du Nord Symphonique album! Along with that, as per the recommendation of userinfoscrunchions, I also grabbed En Famille by Mes Aieux, and Dara got herself a Barenaked Ladies album she didn’t have yet. AND! I grabbed the season 1 DVDs for Republic of Doyle. I really hope I like it, because I’m buying it sight unseen here, just to work my way up to Alan Doyle’s guest spots in season 2!

The second, even more critical mission was this: hitting this place for OMG SO VERY, VERY TASTY rosemary and rock salt bagels. Dara bought every single one they had available, which meant thirteen of ’em. Because SO. SO. GOOD. We are given to understand that these are in fact Montreal-style bagels, and that the shop was founded by a guy who brought that style of bagels to Vancouver. This pleases me immensely, because if Dara and I do make it to Montreal during the Trainventure, we now know to expect to find awesome bagels.

Then we settled down to the business of actually attending the convention.

Continue reading “Right then, let’s talk VCON”

Going to VCON, need new passport!

The last time I remember having my passport was on the way back from Vancouver last year, when userinfosolarbird and I went up for the Olympics to see Great Big Sea. We haven’t been back since, so I haven’t had reason to need the thing–but the problem is, I cannot find it for the life of me. Dara and I have looked in all the reasonable places it should have been in and many of the stupid ones, to no avail.

This is important because we want to go to VCON next month! One, we want another excuse to visit Vancouver, and the B’ys have not favored us with another Vancouver show on the tour schedule yet this year. Two, it’s a fairly tiny convention and we’re looking forward to attending a convention Dara doesn’t actually have to work. Three, we haven’t had a formal vacation this year, and don’t have one scheduled, so this’ll be a bit of a mini-vacation!

So I’m going to have to fill out the forms for reporting a passport lost and applying for a new one. Fortunately the courthouse down in Lake Forest Park takes the appropriate forms, AND they have Saturday hours. So I’m going to get that done and dealt with next weekend, and pay the fee to expedite a new passport, and hopefully that’ll get VCON all squared away. We have hotel reservations but we don’t have train tickets yet.

Anyway–yo, Vancouver peeps, if there’s any chance you’ll also be at that convention, let Dara and me know! It’d be nice to see you.

Today in Vancouver

So yeah, Saturday in Vancouver has failed to suck. Made it safely up here to Chez userinfocow, with hardly any wait time at all at the border. And today, we went out on various and sundry shopping sorts of excursions.

userinfocow took userinfosolarbird and userinfospazzkat and me over to the nearby HMV–which proved to be a way more fruitful visit this time around than on the two previous visits, because this time I actually scored an album by La Bottine Souriante! Also picked up one by the Punters, who I’ve been meaning to listen to anyway by way of introducing myself to more Newfoundland music; plus, this album has the magic words “Produced by Alan Doyle” on the back, so I’m figuring that’s a strong recommendation right there. Lastly, got one by the Rankins, since I like their track on Fire in the Kitchen.

Relatedly, userinfocow also gave Dara and me a copy of userinfohsifyppah‘s very first filk CD, Steel Cage Match. Looking forward to listening to this, in no small part because “I Fell Asleep (Reading the Silmarillion)” made me LOL, and also, I want to hear “Livejournal Shanty” too.

And, userinfocow snagged me a couple of loaner copies of La Bottine Souriante albums from the Vancouver Public Library as well. These shall have to stand me until I can acquire actual copies of these albums–which I have now ordered from Amazon, since apparently Amazon’s actually stocked up on La Bottine Souriante a lot since the last time I looked. To wit, bitchin’. Or should that be bitchin-ez moi?

Anyway, aside from all this musical love, we stopped in at Little Sister’s, which is Vancouver’s oldest queer bookstore. Which was kind of neat. I walked out with a novel called Salt Fish Girl which sounded interesting to me and SFnal (it mentions shapechanging and biotechnology), even though it doesn’t call itself a science fiction novel. I told the dude at the counter that I was a bit surprised that they didn’t have Tanya Huff in their (teeny) fantasy section, given that she’s a queer Canadian author and that she has a whole trilogy of books starring a queer boy, set in Vancouver even! He thought that was cool, so who knows, maybe they’ll stock ’em. Also, they had a big black Labrador-lookin’ doggie who reminded me a lot of Sheriff, the doggie who lives along the goat trail.

OH OH OH, also, they had a magazine on the rack there with a cover blurb about an interview with the actress Alex Hedison. Wait a minute, I thought, Hedison? She did look suspiciously familiar, so I thumbed into the zine to check the interview–and yep, that there was the daughter of David Hedison, my very own Captain Crane from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. And she’s not only queer, she’s the former partner of Ellen DeGeneres! That’s some pretty high-profile queer there.

And after that, userinfocow went back to his place while Dara and Paul and I proceeded to hop on the bus and head down to the Asian-heavy community in Richmond, where they have a couple of largish Japanese/Chinese/Asian-friendly shopping mails. That was neat. Quite a bit of flashbacks to Japan there what with the layout of the stores and the sorts of stuff they sold. We snagged a couple of gifts for folks, had tasty lunch and later on tasty yogurt, and eventually staggered back to Chez userinfocow for zzz’s.

We’ll be heading to Steamworks for tasty food in a little bit, and to meet up with userinfogerimaple and possibly also userinfoelfmaid. Which should be a fine closer to a pretty fine day indeed.