Mom’s Vacation Day 4

Today I took my Mom to Tojo’s for lunch so she could meet Lee Fodi and his girlfriend Gabriella. We had a great meal and a fun time … even if I did misjudge the distance from my home to the restaurant and convinced my mom to walk. Sometimes I forget that not everyone enjoys as long a walk as I do, and this may have been one of those times. As always, my mom was a good sport about it.

After that, we picked up Conan and took him to Kits beach. Once there, we stopped off at Starbucks for fraps and then found a comfy bench with a great view. Conan had a blast, as is evidenced by his collapse into deep sleep by 9pm tonight.

After yesterday’s blog, it seems people are surprised that I cooked for my mom. Yes, there are a few dishes that I can do, and I can do them well. One of those dishes was tonight’s meal.

I BBQ’d spare ribs, and french fries. We also had Greek salad as our vegetable. (Oh, okay! The fries and salad were leftover from our take-out yesterday … but the ribs were all done by me!)

Pets Need Homes

Living in Vancouver and being a pet owner is tough. Landlords all over the city have a blanket “no pet policy,” citing reasons from “animals are too loud” to “animals damage apartments.”

Even my own home is now “no pets allowed.” When I first moved here, it allowed dogs and cats. Most of us had small dogs, and we knew each other from walks and our dogs playing in the courtyard. 

The building was friendly, and it attracted a nice quality of tenant.

Now my dog is “grandfathered” into my lease as new tenants are not allowed pets. The neighbours I knew are all gone, and no one knows anyone in the building. Correction. No one knows everyone, but everyone knows me. Why? Because when I’m walking my dog, people feel comfortable to say hello and start a conversation.

The fact is, anyone with a pet that destroys an apartment will be a nightmare tenant even without the pet. If they don’t have a dog that barks at 2 a.m. unchecked, they’ll have a stereo blasting at 2 a.m. If they don’t have a cat that urinates on the hardwood floors, they’ll have a party where guests … I think you get the idea.

This law is doing only one thing. It’s punishing law abiding, responsible citizens. Actually, it’s doing two things. It’s also crowding the SPCA with animals from people who had to make that ultimate choice: live in a home without the pet, or on the street with it.

On paper, the landlords sound as though they have an iron clad case. In practice, however, their case falls apart. Several years ago Toronto adopted a law that forbade landlords from discriminating against tenants with pets. At first there was the typical outcry, but eventually landlords discovered there was zero increase in problems due to allowing pets.

If you live in Vancouver and want to make sure pets always have a homes the online petition.


In a cross-country effort, three Canadian authors are joining hands to celebrate writing for young people by promoting their books on the weekend of the release of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

“Other people write books too, you know.” That’s the message James Bow, an Ontarian writer of fantasy novels for young people, hopes to get across with his one-man picket beside the midnight line-up of fans waiting to get their hands on the last book in the Harry Potter series.

Bow, wearing a wizarding hat and a “will write for food” placard, will be stationed outside the Toronto independent bookstore Another Story, as it opens at midnight to accommodate eager muggles. He will return the next day at noon to read from other novels and sign his own.

In Vancouver, authors James McCann and kc dyer will launch their latest novels at the Summer Dream Literary Arts Festival in Stanley Park “in defiance of the Potter juggernaut”.

“As a writer of books for young adults, I know how much my industry owes to the imagination of J.K. Rowling,” says dyer. “I discovered Harry just after the second book was published and am a huge fan. But we’d like to use this occasion to bring attention to some of the other wonderful books that are being published for young people in this country.”

Both McCann and dyer are affiliated with Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC (CWILL BC), an organization that helps promote writers and illustrators of books for youth in British Columbia.

These tongue-in-cheek protests, are designed to bring attention to Canadian books children and young adults could read once the final page turns on Rowling’s Harry Potter epic.

Who:James Bow, author of “Fathom Five” (the Dundurn Group)

kc dyer, author of “Ms. Zephyr’s Notebook” (the Dundurn Group)
James McCann, author of “Pyre” (Simply Read Books)

When: Friday, July 20, 2007 – 11:59 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. EDT (James Bow)Saturday, July 21, 2007 – noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT (James Bow)

Saturday, July 21, 2007 – 1:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. PDT (kc dyer, James McCann)

Where: Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto (James Bow)

Summer Dream Festival, Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley Park, Vancouver (kc dyer, James McCann)

Car Bomb

You expect to hear about car bombs in places such as Iraq or London. As a Canadian, I never thought I’d experience one while working at my computer in what should be the safety of my own home.

It was nearing 10 pm and I was hard at work on putting together books for my students. Suddenly I felt a large rumble beneath me, and I heard an earth-shuddering bang! I stopped what I was doing, thought “Huh. That can’t just have been the neighbours,” and listened. A few seconds later I heard a woman scream “Fire!” and, a few seconds after that, the fire alarm went off.

Unlike previous fire alarms, this one was definitely real. The first thing I grabbed was Conan, the second thing I grabbed was my laptop. Then I left the apartment and went outside. My neighbours were all hanging out chatting with one another, each of us speculating what may have just happened. The firetrucks showed, the police came, and we all knew that something was definitely up.

At first, all we knew was that a car had exploded in the underground parking. When the police interviewed everyone asking if they had seen anyone running out of the parkade, we all knew it was bigger than we thought. It turned out that someone stole a car, drove it into the underground (the gate has been broken for months), and set it ablaze. It was done purposefully to make an explosion, but no one knows to what end it was intended.

If I hadn’t been home my dog would now be dead. The smoke was so bad in my apartment that, when I first tried to come home, I couldn’t see. He would have died from smoke inhalation, and I would have come home to bury him. I’m very thankful that I chose to stay home tonight to get some work done rather than go out to a movie.

I personally won’t be sleeping easily tonight. Knowing that someone wanted to hurt someone so badly that they were willing to hurt everyone else in the process isn’t easily forgotten. It’s hard to believe that there are people in this world that live with this threat every day.

Pyre Due Date

Alas, but Pyre won’t be shipped until June 20th. This means he won’t make it in time for the Spring Book Hatching (drat those vampire defenders!), but I will have some fancy posters to give away and (if you haven’t already) you can always pick up your copy of Rancour!

Here is a reminder of the event: