Sci-fi Symphony

January 31, 2009

We went to the symphony last weekend. The repertoire was lots of stuff from sci-fi movies and tv shows. The best part was that George Tekei (Mr. Sulu from the original Star Trek) was there to narrate! Talk about having a fabulously hypnotic voice. And, he was wearing the most beautiful dark brown velveteen suit jacket. All class!

I wore these shoes with a black wool dress, cream embroidered cardigan, and grey tights.

And of course I wore them on the bus!

Happy Chinese New Year!

January 26, 2009

These are the cute lai-see (lucky money envelopes) I gave away to my sister, little cousins, and little niece.

I wore a festive Chinese embroidered jacket to my big family dinner last night. We also carpooled. Praise living somewhere close to all the good restaurants!

Jelly fish, pickled vegetables, duck covered in this peanut sauce stuff... so delicious.

This is my handsome dad! He's the best:)

Shark fin soup.

Driving as a 'Right'

January 19, 2009

Thanks to so many of you who have responded to my last post about driving being a choice - it's so relieving to hear that Don and I (and a small, select group of our friends here) are not the only ones who think driving all the time is sort of ridiculous. It's unsustainable.

While trying to figure out why some people automatically think we're socialists (we have often been accused of being socialists... by people who obviously need a lesson in world history), Don and I were wondering what makes the car-bound population so incredibly defensive when they make unsolicited retorts to our alternative choices. One of the conclusions we've reached is that some people may view driving as a right they have acquired through years of being poor and having to take the bus (which admittedly, can take a long time depending on where you live). It's like after years of feeling as though one had to compromise, driving is some sort of affirmation that somebody has made it and now has the power to go anywhere they want, in any weather, and faster that everybody else. Overcompensation much? And seriously, this is coming from a girl raised in a west end suburb. I have chosen a life of multiple modes of transportation. And like many of the lovely readers of this blog I don't do it because I'm ugly or poor. I do it because it is active, convenient and fun.

Sigh. Although a car is handy for certain kinds of trips, whether it's universally better or faster is really relative to so many other factors. All I ask is that people give it some thought before resorting to driving all the time. It seems irresponsible to just drive because... one failed to think about the alternatives. And it's unsettling that I keep getting offers of rides out of sympathy. I don't understand how I'm giving people the impression that I need their sympathy... and sadly, realize the offer of rides is just an automatic courtesy. This is what we've come to!

Additionally, people often tell me they HAVE to drive because of certain commitments they have. At my work a lot of people tell me they have to drive because they have kids. Um... okay? I'm not saying I don't get it. I'm just saying it's not necessarily healthy to equate procreating to driving a car. Pursuant to this, I see so many parents complaining about the time and energy it takes to do certain things when signing their kids up for stuff like competitive hockey and year round soccer. Man... driving all over the city (40ish minutes to an hour one way) 4-5 times a week really doesn't strike me as a good time. This sounds awful because I know their kids LOVE the hockey and soccer but... that's just a lifestyle with parameters I can't get on board with. And, this is coming from a 5 1/2 month pregnant girl. Don and I have made a pact about kid activities that result in driving all over the place. We're not doing it. No thanks.

Funny, when I say this to parents who do the whole driving all the time thing they say something like, "Oh, my husband does it" or "That's what you say NOW..." What I find most frustrating is how these people must not take what I'm saying very seriously, and feel as though I'm going to cave or something because I won't be able to help succumbing to the whims of my kid or won't be able to withhold this awesome life of 'opportunity' from the kid. Or ironically, they assume I haven't given it sufficient thought to make a realistic decision about it! Bollocks. I've thought about it plenty.

Also, even if your partner is doing all the driving, that doesn't make it suck any less.

What I want to teach my kid is that driving is unsustainable. It's not absolutely evil, it's just not the only alternative and that's quite alright. Riding a bike over to a friend's place is fun and independent and doesn't have to stop when one has a driver's license. Taking a bus with lots of different people who may or may not be 'poor' is no big deal.

Now... if I can just get my parents to stop giving me grief about my future plans of biking with a kid and taking a bus with a kid:)

In the meantime, this is me before carpooling to brunch and a movie today - my day off! No point to arrive to a movie in 3 separate cars when after a little planning, 1 car can just make 1 trip. Also, living in a super convenient part of town means I'm always easy to pick up and drop off if needed.

And here's a cute picture of Dougal, just because.

Driving is a Choice

January 10, 2009

This is what I'm always telling my mom who insists on coming and picking me up or dropping me off when I arrive somewhere on bus. When I arrive on bike she just sort of bites her nails (fearing my safety and overall well being) while I ride off, usually after convincing her she cannot stick my bike in the back of her car and drive me.

It's just a habit. Driving is a habit. Strange because my mom grew up in the huge metropolis of Hong Kong. A place with trains and underground and busses galore. You just step out on the curb and a bus usually arrives immediately. Despite growing up in such a fast paced city where you get everywhere with your own two feet, after years of living in Canada she and most other Edmontonians are just addicted to driving. It seems so convenient... at least that's what my mom says. I find it ironic that she spends $15 some on parking downtown just because we had lunch and did some shopping. I used my Upass and the bus - it was free. And it dropped me off right across the street from our lunch place!

What I find interesting is how a lot of people who drive feel sorry for me when I get somewhere on the bus. They forget that I DO own a car. I just choose when I want to drive it. I don't drive it just because I have it. I'd like people to realize that driving is a choice. It's only one of the many ways of getting around.

This picture is of my neighbors' car. They were looking for a home in our neighborhood so they could walk to work, and they do! The car is often just parked behind their place and collecting snow (like my car). They drive it when they need to. And they don't need to drive it every day for every thing. Go neighbors!

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2009

Thanks to all of you who still follow the adventures of Sarah while I await the thaw. Happy new year!

May '09 be a year of bikes, trains, busses, and the navigation of urban spaces with thoughtfulness.

Many of our friends bussed over to our place last night for some new years celebrations. Good friends and good food always make an excellent combination.

This is my sister, Sable.

And here is the sleepy Dougal.

At 4 am, Miss Sarah was also quite fatigued. Good night!

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