Sunday, November 23, 2008

Drunk Assholes in Vancouver

On any given weekend in downtown Vancouver, you get the young 20-30 something exiting from the clubs at about the same time. Of course lots are drunk, and some are acting like idiots.

A girl friend and I were walking along Granville street and we see some drunk guy with his friends terrorizing a homeless guy. They were kicking his stuff, and yelling at him cause he asked them for spare change. We were waiting for the light to change, and by the time we crossed, those guys had walked on.

When we approach, the homeless guy is crying, so I give him some money, and he starts sort of shouting about the assholes that were kicking his "bed" and his stuff. One of them heard, comes running back, and gets in his face all menacing. I was really mad. So I just blurted out, "what's wrong with you, why do you have to pick on someone lower than you, just leave the guy alone, pick on someone your own size." he says, Bitch, mind your own business. I was getting scared, cause the guy was big, and if he's such a loser he needs to pick on homeless people that are like 60 years old, then he's obviously got issues. So I just started walking away, and he comes after me, and pretends to punch me in the head. I said to him, "Fuck you idiot, why don't you go pick on someone in a wheelchair" He then mumble-shouted some other stuff to me relating to our female parts, and when my friend turned around, she saw he was giving us the finger like a little kid, so she shouts to him, "come over here and do that why don't you," so he comes running across, and lunges at her like he's going to punch her out.

Some guy across the street saw this happening, and he comes running over to help, and I'm not joking, the drunk is obviously scared because this person is a guy of his size. I'm getting mad just writing this now, looking back, I wonder if I had called the police they would have done anything. I'm kinda glad we stood up for the guy, but I'm kinda thinking we should have just ignored it cause it could have potentially been very dangerous.

There's nothing I can't stand more than people picking on people lower than them. Or treating other people like garbage for absolutely no reason to "impress" others.

The last time I was in front of Chill Winston, I saw a homeless guy ask a couple of early 30's guys for a cigarette, they told him, if he got on his knees and begged, he would get one. The homeless guy got on his knees and begged, and the guys laughed, and threw a cigarette on the ground to him. Seriously, if I was a guy, and I was built like, oh, I don't know, Jason Statham, I'd kick the shit out of them, then make them beg for mercy. I'd also humiliate them and make them say stupid shit. I'd then pull out their wallets, and give the money to the homeless guy, and then I'd put their IDs and credit cards in a pile of crap and make them fish it out with their mouths. I'd make sure it was videotaped, and youtube it, and show all their friends and colleagues. But I barely weigh 120 pounds soaking wet and I sometimes listen to the Carpenters. Oh, and I sometimes listen to 103.5 FM.

My shitty experience with ICBC. Bad drivers in Vancouver, and the new casino in Burnaby

So last week I’m stopped at a light and some 19 year old kid in an $80,000 car (BMW) decides to change lanes at the last minute going about 120 k. I did not suddenly stop or anything. In fact, I was stopped for a good 30 seconds. But being such a dumbass he hits my car, and doesn’t realize there’s a TRUCK in the next lane, and hits the truck as well. I was so stunned. Pieces of our three cars were all over the road. The BMW driver was immediately on his phone to his friends who all ‘raced over’ in their BMWs. Really awkward and unnecessary.

We exchange information, and I actually felt sorry for the driver, cause the truck driver was freaking out on him. I thought he was gonna kick the shit out of him. He somehow calmed down, and we all got each other’s numbers and license and registration information.

So I go to the new casino in Burnaby since we are meeting friends there, although I felt like going home and drinking a bottle of wine and watching lame reruns at that point, but I couldn’t not show up, cause I’m not like that.. anyways, my bumper was hanging off my car, so I parked, and my friend picked us up.

I call ICBC at approximately 2 am, and I speak to a really dumb call center rep. He asks me for my driver’s license number and license plate. I give him the information, and he tells me my license plate number is incorrect because it’s not in his system. So I repeat it, and he still says it’s incorrect. I used the military alphabet (Alpha, Charlie, Bravo fiiiive threee sixxxxx) to spell out my license plate, and he still says it’s not in his database. He suggests I reversed the numbers and letters, so we try 536 ACB. And he asks me, “Are you Joyce D Nord?” UMM, idiot, he should ask ME what my name is, and confirm whether or not it matches what he’s got in his system, he shouldn’t be releasing this kind of info as it’s a matter of privacy. Anyways, I’m like, NO, that’s not me. Also, I’m thinking, he has my driver’s license number, he should KNOW my name is not Joyce. He tells me to go outside and check the number. I was like, I KNOW my license plate. But I go and check it, and sure enough, I gave it to him right the first three times. So I tell him, he enters it again, and he goes, “oh… there it is, I musta pressed the wrong key” whatever. That’s fine, so I tell him what happened, he kept asking if it was the guy in the truck’s fault. It’s like, umm, NO, it was the guy in the BMW. And then he was like, oh a BMW truck?

During this time he’s yawned twice. Okay, understandable, he is working a shitty shift, and it’s 2 am, but really, this is ridiculous. ICBC should not offer a 24 hour service if they can’t even get a semi-professional person working there. They might as well have Miss Carolina working there. So he asks me if there are any injuries. I tell him my passenger appears fine, but I was bleeding and part of my body is stiff. While he’s listening, he’s yawning again, but he doesn’t even try to conceal it. I am sure he hears about accidents all day, but still, he should be at least somewhat capable of being a little compassionate, or at the very least, NOT FUCKING YAWN. So then he tells me he can’t give me a claim number because something is wrong, and someone will call me back the next day. By the way, his tone was very condescending, and I can tell he was rolling his eyes when I was telling him my license plate information.

The next day a rep calls me and this person is very professional, empathetic, and obviously intelligent. She asks me to repeat what happened, and she then tells me the information she has on her screen is different. The dumbass I talked to the night before wrote that it was the truck driver’s fault. &^@*$. She tells me I need to wait a WEEK to meet with an ICBC rep regarding the accident. I was like, I can’t wait a week. My car is undriveable, I need to take it to a bodyshop right away, and get a courtesy car. She tells me because of the personal injury, I need to go to see an adjuster. I was like, I’m not waiting a week, I don’t even feel that bad, so forget that. I’m not claiming personal injury. I’m sure ICBC is happy with that. But honestly, I just don’t want to deal with the hassle, and I knew I would feel okay. I’m sure I could have milked it, but I’m not like that. I don’t even take sick days… yeah, I’m a humble motherfucker with a big ass dick. Just kidding. I’m a girl. So I don’t have a dick. But back to the story. So she tells me if I’m not claiming I can take it to any approved ICBC repair shop, and she’ll email me a list. She also tells me the BMW driver has not reported the accident, and that I will have to pay the deductible. To which I argue as it’s clearly not my fault. She tells me unfortunately, that’s just the way it works, until he calls in. WTF??????? So I say, so he can just not call and be off the hook, and she tells me, no, they will send him letters and try to call him to get him to make a report. A fucking letter? A phone call? Judging by the demeanor of him the night of the accident, I doubt he’ll even read the letter, nor would he answer a call that would show up on his call display as ICBC. But whatever, my goal was to get my car fixed and get a courtesy car in the meantime.

I take my car to Craftsman Collision (they are awesome) and I have to drive a sweet Toyota corolla that says Craftsman Collision on every visible surface. Okay, this is mean, but normally I AVOID corolla drivers, cause there’s always some very slow driver, or bad driver sitting in the driver’s seat. Especially the beige ones. But my courtesy car is silver.

Three days later, I call back ICBC to ask if the BMW driver has reported the accident, and he still hasn’t. I’m fuming now. If I hit someone and it was my fault, believe me, I would call ICBC immediately, apologize to the people I hit for the severe inconvenience I am about to put them through, I would not sit around touching myself and avoid calling.

So I am fucking mad. I want to sue the guy now for being a dick. So I call back ICBC, and let them know I want to be compensated for:
-the half day I had to miss from work
-the fact that I have to drive around in a car that is a downgrade from my usual car for two weeks
-the fact that I was supposed to go the US the next day to go shopping, and couldn’t nor can I the whole time I have my courtesy car and I normally go fairly often
-that now when I sell my car, it loses value cause it was a pretty bad accident.

I am only wanting to “sue” because this ignorant jerk that can’t even take the time to be a teensy bit courteous and call and report his mistake. The response I get from ICBC. “If you have to line up for a long time at the bank, do you expect to be compensated for that? So why would you expect to be compensated for a little inconvenience. You didn’t have to take time off work, you could have gone before, or after, or during your lunch hour” Umm, first of all, I don’t wait in line because I use the fucking ATM and they offer alternatives like online banking. Also, some banks offer like $5 if you have to wait more than ten minutes, and the bank I go to, if I ever have to go in, I never line up for more than ten minutes, and there’s tvs to watch while you wait.

Well, so I decide I am being dumb to bother sueing, so I just fume some more. I actually have the guy’s number, but when I polled people about calling him, it was pretty much a resounding NO. But I’m mad, and I call. It turns out the guy (no longer a jerk) called to report the accident. I ask him for the claim number and I call back ICBC, and they say, ohhh, sorry, sometimes our system overlaps (whatever that means) and it takes awhile to relay. So yeah, he did report. Umm, okay. In this day and age, where you can get information in like a millisecond, ICBC can’t afford a better system?

Anyways, I dealt with five different ICBC reps, two of them were for just very basic questions, and I only got one really bad rep, so they’re not all bad. Two were excellent, two were average, and one was like below average. It left me with a bad taste. I’m gonna look into other options. I have driven over ten years with a perfect driving record. I have never even gotten a speeding ticket. I have tons of parking tickets, but that’s a different story.

Okay, so here’s this. I don’t know this for sure, but I’m pretty sure the actual road test has not changed much in the last 15 years, and things have really changed in Vancouver in the last 15 years in terms of the number of drivers and cars on the road. Yeah, I know there’s this graduated licensing program, but come on, I see these N cars at all hours of the day. BTW, I find it annoying, when they try to be cool and put it on the car sidewasy.

We have a lot of people here from other countries, and even if they can’t speak English, they can get their license. I have no problems with that, but the rules for driving here are different compared to other countries. There are lines to follow, and rules to follow.

Here in Vancouver, your cousin can teach you how to drive. A cousin that thinks it’s okay to drive like an asshole as if he’s auditioning for a role as a stunt driver in the Fast and the Furious. In many other countries, it is mandatory to go to a professional driving course. In Denmark, potential drivers need to take a first aid course.

It should be a lot harder to get a driver’s license. There are so many bad drivers in Vancouver. It is not uncommon to witness more than one accident in a month. Once a week depending on the route you take to work.
My friend told me she knows a girl that pays a premium of an extra 400% and she just hit a pedestrian, yet her license does not get taken away. Driving is a privilege, not a right. The government needs to do something about this. There are way too many accidents here in Vancouver.

I was in Japan recently, and I did not even see one accident, and you should see how many cars are on the road, how much traffic, and how fast people are going, and how narrow some streets are. Same as in Italy, did not see one accident, and I was in the car for like at least five days straight going from one region to another.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Voya lounge in Loden Hotel

I got a chance to check out the Voya Lounge in the Hotel Loden on Melville street.
Service: From the doorperson to the hostess to the waitress. Excellent.

Clientele: Trendy, and a dress to impress type crowd. Mostly a 30s and up crowd, but there was some younger too. Including an Ed Hardy wearing couple. And some guy that was too cool to take his sunglasses off even though it was dark in there.
It wasn't that busy. Perhaps there was a hockey game on. Good place to take a date perhaps. Maybe on a non-busy night in the lounge area though, or else you'll be elbow to elbow with strangers.

Drinks: Cocktails are expensive but very good. $10 and up, with the average cocktail around $14. At that price, I'd rather pay half, and just get a good drink, or a very nice glass of wine.

Food: Only had some appies, and they were good. The chef used to be at Lumiere. Not Rob Feenie, I believe it's Marc Choquette.

Decor is nice, but for some reason, I got this feeling of loneliness in there. Maybe I felt out of my element. I thought the location is a little bit strange too, like in a residential condo area. I don't think I would suggest going here again.

Although the service is good, you get the feeling that you better be getting bottle service, or ordering drinks constantly, and not the cheapest thing on the menu either. My friend was supposed to meet us there, I'm so glad he didn't show up, cause I would have felt embarrassed for suggesting the place. It just seemed like a very cougar place to invite someone.
I'd prefer to go to the Italian Kitchen Trattoria and have drinks and food there instead.

RocknRolla at Tinseltown. Movie theatre mistakes. Why I don't like going to the theatre anymore.

I watched RocknRolla tonight at Tinseltown theatre. This is the new Guy Ritchie movie, and I thought it was weird as the night before I watched his ex-wife in concert, but anywho, during the movie, there are a few scenes (four or five) where the characters speak in Russian, and it is subtitled.

The projectionist did not frame the movie properly, so you could only see like the very tops of the subtitles. Just enough to know there were subtitles, but no way of knowing what they said. Also, you could barely see the beginning credits, E.g. you could only see the words, "Directed by" and no name, cause Guy Ritchie's name was underneath.

VERY VERY frustrating. I wanted to go out and complain, but I didn't want to miss the movie either. Well, by the third time a subtitled scene came on, I noticed a lady storm out to complain. But the next Russian scene, you still could not read the subtitles. Finally on the fifth scene, you could see the subtitles clearly.

My complaint: Why the fuck am I paying good money to watch a movie that isn't even framed properly? I don't know what's going on, but the last few movies I've seen in the theatre, there's been technical issues. Let me list them:

-Metrotown, the sound was off. Like no sound completely. Then the screen was so out of focus, I thought it was supposed to be some weird drug trip sequence, but that wasn't the case.

-Fifth Avenue cinemas, during a foreign film, you could only see the top 60% of the subtitles, so you had to try to figure it out.

-Downtown, the sound was off from the picture. so annoying. plus it was like 28 degrees in there and all I could smell was BO. Okay, that's not a technical issue, but still.

-Tinseltown (again) I could see the boom mic. Another framing issue.

Back to RocknRolla, I found it hard to enjoy the movie because I knew I was missing a piece of the movie. At the end of the movie I went to complain, and she told me I could get a refund, but I would have to LINE UP to get it, or she could just give me a raincheck to watch a movie another time. I took the raincheck option. It took her awhile to "authorize" them, and in the meantime, only two other people complained. I thought that was weird. There was at least a 150 people in there. Does everyone else not mind?? Do you see nothing wrong with paying for something, and not getting what you paid for? It only takes like two minutes.. And the more people complain, perhaps next time they won't screw up cause they know that people actually care about enjoying the movie in its entirety. Please people, complain. I'm sure Guy Ritchie spent endless hours editing scenes, and kept in important scenes, only to be undermined by the movie theatre who isn't even paying attention to frame the damn movie properly. If not for the director, then for the sake of getting what you paid for. I'm not being cheap, I just want what I paid with my hard-earned money.

When I watched Ironman, literally, the entire theatre missed out on the first five minutes of the movie, and the sound was cut out about 10 minutes of the movie. I swear, only 6 people complained and got vouchers. I actually went back and watched the movie again, I don't think I should have to pay money again. Plus I had wasted time the first time I watched it.

These are my main reasons I don't like going to the movie theatres anymore:
-People talking during the movie.
-People that forget to turn their cell off. Or even worse, I had some asshole sitting a few rows in front of me and answer his phone, and exclaim how boring the movie was.
-Theatregoers that munch loudly.
-During a full movie, being asked to move by the theatre staff to accommodate late people. I got there 30 minutes early to get a good seat, why the fuck do I need to feel bad if I don't agree to move five seats down so some couple that came in at the last minute can sit together. Fuck them.
-Movie watching technical issues (see above)
-Sitting in front of a bunch of 15 year olds that put their foot right behind your head and giggle about nothing.
-Sitting in front of someone that puts there feet on the back of your chair and shift a lot, or just kick the back of the seat every so often, you know, just enough to be reminded you are not in the comfort of your own home.
-The cost. For two people to enjoy a movie with some refreshments and some popcorn, be prepared to spend close to $40. At that price, I'd rather just BUY a DVD. I could even get the Blue Ray option.
-Paying money so I can sit through twenty minutes of commercials, including commercials for like cars and soda. WTF? I don't mind a commercial for a soon to the theatres movie, but for a fucking cell phone plan?

Best Theatres to Watch a Movie in Vancouver Area
Fifth avenue cinemas - most people here are serious about watching a movie, so you don't get the Fast and the Furious crowd. And the concession stand has a pretty good selection. But the seats are not comfortable.
Tinseltown - for the comfortable seats, and free parking considering it's pretty much downtown area. There movie selection is not that great though. And I find it really dark in some areas. Plus the escalator from the food court area to the theatre is pretty damn scary.

Worst Theatres to Watch a Movie in Vancouver Area
-Metropolis - Metrotown station. Especially opening night of like, 2 Fast, 2 Furious.
-The movie theatre in Surrey. Can't remember the name of the theatre now, but some 16 year old Eminem wannabe called me a bitch, because I shushed him since he was literally talking at normal volume during like half the movie. It was a horror movie, and I think he was scared, so he was trying to be cool.
-Silvercity in Richmond - depends on the movie, but a lot of people texting during the movie. If you don't mind seeing the bright screen of someone's cell, as people repeatedly check their phone for their latest text message, than this theatre is for you.

I think I'm going to avoid the theatres for awhile. I so much enjoy watching a movie at my home, and being able to pause it when I use the bathroom, and kicking my shoes off, with the close captioning on so I catch every word. And getting to skip through the commercials. I really can't think of the pros of going to the theatre right now.

To any movie theatre people. Please pay the projectionists more. I don't care paying an extra dollar if you are gonna treat your staff right to make the movie theatre experience better. If you get a hundred people to watch each screening, that's an extra $100 plus all the money you must make from pop/corn sales and from advertising for cars and soda. You can afford to hire someone to make sure the movies are projected properly, and there's no assholes making a nuisance of themselves, and asking people in the beginning of the movie to turn off their cells and to shut the fuck up when the movie starts.

Sample shoe sale at Shriner's hall on Wayburne

So I checked out the sample shoe sale in Burnaby located on 3550 Wayburne Drive. It is only from October 31-November 2. Well, I got there October 31 at 11:30 am and there was some very anxious shoppers and a very long lineup. Surprisingly it moved pretty quickly. But it was not worth the short wait. The brands I saw a lot of was
-Marc (not Marc Jacobs, but using the same font)
-Arturo Chiang
I can't remember what else, but really nothing worth noting. It was not cheap. In fact, I was looking here, and saw the same shoes for under $50 which they were selling at the sample sale for $50. But I saw people with bags and bags of shoes.. So I don't know what I was missing.

The lineup to pay for shoes was ridiculously long. I found some cute Marc shoes for $40. Again, I will state they are NOT Marc Jacobs. They were not worth the lineup. My shopaholic friend also did not think it worth the wait. Some of the shoes were brutally ugly. Like one looked like it was made of pasta. On top of this, I was hot hot hot.. I had my halloween costume on, and I felt silly wearing it, so I was wearing a long trench. and couldn't take it off. Plus I was hungry, so maybe that's why I just was not in the mood to shop. But seriously, I did not see anything that caught my eye.

Madonna concert in Vancouver October 30

The ticket indicated a 7:30 start time. My friend told me that since this is her first concert in Vancouver, it was best to get there early to buy a t-shirt that said, "vancouver" on it (a mere $45) I'm not really big on concert t-shirts, unless it's a really vintage shirt, I feel kind of silly wearing them. But my friend was eager to get one, so she wanted to get there early before they sold out.. and she drove... so we were there at 7. Surprisingly, there was a huge line-up just to get in. and the line ups to buy $7.50 beer were all at least a 10 minute wait.

Madonna did not come on stage till 9:25. I've been a Madonna fan since 1986. In fact, I performed as her at Airband when I was still in school. I did a version of Jimmy Jimmy (from the True Blue album). I have every album of hers. I admit, the Hard Candy album I have is a copy, but every single other album I own of hers is an original. Plus I have her singles, and I have two of her records, and True Blue album on cassette, and CD. I even have the freaking "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" CD single. But I was not happy with having to wait almost two hours. To keep 55,000 people waiting that long is rude. If I knew she was going to be that late, I would have had dinner somewhere.
The concert was okay, but I was sitting so far, it was like watching it on a small television. In fact, I used binoculars to watch the big screens. That's how far I was. I may as well have been sitting in GM place.
My favorite parts:
-How the show opened up with her sitting on her chair.
-Video backdrops were amazing.
-La Isla Bonita
-When she had EVERYONE in the stadium singing Like A Virgin with her. How amazing to hear over 50,000 people singing together, "didn't know how lost I was until I found youuuuu"
-The video about change. Powerful.
-Get stupid video
-The video for the Like a Prayer segment.
-Surprisingly, I thought the video segments of Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and various others singing worked really well. it didn't seem "cheap" that they weren't there. Although I did have faint hope that one of them would make a special appearance.

Besides the fact she was late, I did not like:
-The lip-synching
-Her costumes (looked like she was just wearing shiny gym clothes.
-Sometimes her movements/dance did not match the beat. Perhaps I was sitting so far, the sounds didn't match her moves. Kind of like thunder and lightning.. the further you are, the further out of synch they are.
-I couldn't get the fact that she was 50 out of my head. And when I was using the binoculars on the big screens, I noticed how veiny her hands were. They looked like a detailed map of the Tokyo subway system.
-The fake Kanye West.
-The freaking venue.. I know it was necessary, because she is a HUGE star, but come on.. BC Place is not the place for a concert. The people on level four might as well have been watching a 14 inch television from 30 feet away..
-How hard it was to get OUT of the stadium at the end of the concert. You had to go through the revolving doors because of the unique stadium roof, there can't be any open doors, otherwise, the roof will deflate. Imagine if there was a fire in there, I shudder to think.

Today I was talking to my friend, and she said they said on that horrible radio station which will not be named, that she was not to appear till 9pm.. So I guess that's what I get for not listening to that horrible radio show. The one that rhymes with Dave. Oh well, I'd rather wait two hours for Madonna, then listen for even one minute to that station. anyways, i guess she was only late 25 minutes. And she's one person I am willing to wait half an hour for.

I would love to see her again, but next time, I am going to go at a smaller venur, and try to sit much closer to the stage.. Not sitting Miles Away from her.