Heartmaps: An exploration of time.

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.

Albert Einstein said that, apparently.

Broadway and Cambie

…Actually – my friend’s ex-boyfriend said that, but I found out that Albert Einstein actually said it first. He liked to take credit for other people’s thoughts, jokes and experiences (the boyfriend). But that’s another story.

I don’t quite understand the quote. But maybe I do.

When I’m walking around this town I don’t really see things as they are.

Yes, I’m looking at my phone(which is a problem in and of itself), or daydreaming, or looking at the ground,

But then I look up, and it’s several years ago and I’m on a first date at Biercraft.

It’s Easter, it’s raining – we took the Canada line, which still looked kind of new (it’s looking a little grungy now). My date smiled a lot and listened a lot, and paid. I later found out that we went to Biercraft because out of the things he knew about me, he knew I liked drinking…I was doing my practicum at the time, and also working as close to full time as possible. There wasn’t a lot of time for fun, and when there was, I tended to overdo it.

I’m going to eat lunch with some friends. We are on Alberni street and the sun is out, walking past a school I used to work at…then it’s 2007.

I’m working in the language school. My stuff keeps getting stolen from behind the desk. The other admins and some of the teachers friendly to admins (such a divide sometimes) would go down the street to eat at a restaurant. The restaurant  rotated it’s name and cuisine every six months or so. At Christmas, Agent Provacateur opened up, and parked a bizarre van with windows on all sides, with a model wearing their lingerie, and blasting Santa Baby (or equivalent) for hours on end. She would go through poses. People would stop and look at her.

On non – van days, sometimes the Provocateur employees would come up the stairs and yell at the school Director because students were smoking in their doorway and getting cigarette smoke into their store and onto their lingerie.

I’m back.

I have a mobius strip tattooed on my arm. I choose it very quickly, because when I got the tattoo, I was essentially playing a game of chicken with my best friend. We kept talking about getting tattoos for about six months, but a week before I was due to leave the country for Australia, it was a now or never situation. I chose the mobius strip because I liked the idea that wherever you were going, you were always going home, looping back to the start.

mobius strip

It’s been more than random nostalgia and time travel through place these days. It’s also been about people.

First, it was running into an old, old friend in a bar, through a series of events that ordinarily would have never have had us ending up in the same place at the same time.

Then a party, where walking through the door I realised I actually knew half of the party. Somehow – we had all become friends of the same friends over the past decade.

…The people that were oddballs in high school are the type of people you really want to know into your twenties and thirties, p.s.

Finally, walking home from the grocery store, admiring the tattoos of the shirtless man in front of me, wondering if I’d ever be the type of person that could strike up a conversation with a stranger over their tattoos (which does come up more often than you’d think – it must be a tattooed person thing). Of course this person was actually another old friend from high school. And he lives on my street.  And the tattoos were spells to protect him from harm. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to get into their individual meaning.

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what this all means.

Obnoxiously. To the people that care about me.

My mom said – You’re the one with the mobius strip on your arm! You tell me.

So I’m trying to.

Which gets into the actual nature of time.

I might be getting this wrong.

Time moves forward. This is the arrow of time, or the second law of thermodynamics, but… time also makes as much sense if it is moving backwards. Forwards or backwards, the math will work.

Ok …

Then there is the entanglement principle. I’ll put in a picture. Because this was the only thing that helped me:

As a hot cup of coffee equilibrates with the surrounding air, coffee particles (white) and air particles (brown) interact and become entangled mixtures of brown and white states. After some time, most of the particles in the coffee are correlated with air particles; the coffee has reached thermal equilibrium. Image: Lidia del Rio

As a hot cup of coffee equilibrates with the surrounding air, coffee particles (white) and air particles (brown) interact and become entangled mixtures of brown and white states. After some time, most of the particles in the coffee are correlated with air particles; the coffee has reached thermal equilibrium. Image: Lidia del Rio

This is from a good Wired article you can find here. 

The present can be defined by the process of becoming correlated with our surroundings…

We can discuss the fact that an hour ago, our brains were in a state that was correlated with fewer things,” he said. “But our perception that time is flowing — that is a different matter altogether. Most probably, we will need a further revolution in physics that will tell us about that.

So our present as we know it, and experience it,  correlates directly with our past, and how we knew it, and experienced it.

My take away is – we live in a soup, of present and past experiences.

So what does it all mean?

Everything !

and Nothing.


29, we’re all fine !

Email from Mary:

Hey dude,

They are writing about us.

Also, this video, shared by Hester :


My birthday cake this year looked like this:


Seriously, my name is even on it.

So, 29 what’s up?

I’ve been calling it my bonus year, to everyone that asks what I’m doing with my life, or if I’ll ever get married, or when I think is too old to have children. Actually, I tell the people that aren’t asking deeply personal questions as much as I tell the group above, that 29 is my bonus year.

I’m not alone in thinking that 29 is a special time in a young woman’s life – forget motherhood or the start of menstruation (ha!) nope – it’s turning 29,

Like most people of my generation, I’m quick to say that my 20s, frankly, kind of sucked. There’s a cultural consensus that modern post-college twentysomethings are in a strange extended adolescence, full of “the contradictions and anxieties that come with being over-educated, minimally employed, mostly single, and on your own,” according to the Tumblr turned book F*ck! I’m in My Twenties. What’s less acknowledged is the moment when it all starts to turn around.

Ann Friedman’s article, aptly expresses a feeling that myself and many of my cohorts seem to be feeling, that, by 29,  “you give way fewer fucks.”

I think it is easy at this juncture to lament the friends getting married and starting families, and attempt to focus on 29 as this amazing time in life for single women to focus on themselves.

But then, are you doomed to become that obnoxious single woman bragging about jetting off to foreign countries, and crying into her Merlot on Friday nights? Or the one that’s decided to devote her life to cats. Or the one obsessively online dating, trying to find someone, anyone?

Truthfully, if you’ve made it this far – through the tunnel of self doubt, over the “there’s nobody left” abyss and the “what am I doing” mountain – you’re left with you.

And, whatever happens, its a great time to become a better friend to yourself.

By now, you certainly know what won’t make you feel happy and fulfilled – and it’s time to start seriously looking into what will.

A job you don’t really like?

Toxic relationships?

Hobbies you don’t actually enjoy?

Probably not going to uplift you and make you feel good about life.

If you are alone, it’s more difficult to hide from yourself and what you really want. Not that the magic of 29 doesn’t or can’t affect everyone – it’s just that if you are getting/ married and/or have children – there is a lot of different “magic” in your life, and other things that might be taking priority. It’s a different set of fewer fucks given when you have a two year old, or are supporting a husband through law school.

I love my married friends, and my mom friends. We are doing different things. But, another example of just not giving an f – bomb, just because you are doing something different, no one is winning or losing. I know that you have your own struggles, and sometimes it’s hard too.

We’re all really just doing our best.

So that’s it.

29 is reaching a point when you are learning to be cool with yourself and the majority of things in your life (or kicking them to the curb), and you really start to treat yourself as a good friend that you want the best for.

29 – I’m really, honestly, feeling pretty fine.



Two Month Anniversary (with Vancouver).

On top of the Lions, in culturally appropriate clothing.

So .. Vancouver .. Here we are again.

Did you hear that I’m not leaving?

Yeah, I know. I had set some pretty firm plans in motion.

Again, Vancouver, again.

Do you remember our first time around? I know I grew up in Poco, and spent my undergrad at UBC, but this was always one foot in and one foot out. We know Poco and the city are not the same.

Our first real try at a relationship was post undergrad, in 2007. I had just finished at UBC, and gone to Indonesia for 3 months. It was really hard to find a job in the city, and then it was really hard to find a place to live in the city. I ended up living in a very “colourful” house on 19th and MacDonald. Aside from the mould in the bathroom, the one creepy roommate, and the filth of messy people all living together (to which I do take 1/4th of the blame) this was a blast. All I can remember now is the house parties, and finding the accumulated possessions of roommates past (a very dramatic series of letters from a girlfriend in Japan, accompanied by ultrasounds and a failed attempt to keep a daily journal which ended on January 4th.

But we did break up, Vancouver and I. My boyfriend at the time wanted to go to grad school, and I didn’t want to be left behind, alone with you. Vancouver, you and I were friendly, but not enough for me to stay. I didn’t want to be stuck and have regrets down the road.

So, I went to Turkey for two years.

Our second attempt at a healthy relationship, you and I, was in 2010. I was going to school. I was transitioning to living with roommates and drunk neighbours – from my own two bedroom massive apartment in Turkey’s capital city, transitioning from working and having an income, to working for free and having a very limited income. Apparently, the first place I lived had been a meth lab. It didn’t look nefarious when I moved in, but there was a big hole in my ceiling for the extent of my time there. That winter I would hole up in my basement apartment room with an electric heater, which I hid from my roommate, because I knew the electricity bills would rocket, and drink winter ale and watch streamed movies. This was prior to netflix, and megavideo would cut you off after a certain amount of time. There was a lot of frustration. I watched a lot of tv with my unemployed friend. It was during this cold and dreary winter that I wrote the lyrics to “We Hate this City” (to the tune of, We Built This City”) It’s easy:

We hate this city

Da na

We hate this city

Vaaaaannn Cooooouuu Veeerrrr.

My bad attitude towards the weather winter 2010/2011 ultimately extended into a bad attitude to just about everything. Let’s just say, my dating life was sporadic, confusing and ultimately doomed.

I did work at it though. I called it “the Vancouver hustle”. Living in a city that so many other people your age also want to live in, well educated, friendly and attractive people – makes it competitive for everything from apartments, to jobs to dates. I managed to find all three. It wasn’t enough though.

When the offer to move to Australia came up at work. I took it. I took it and moved my boyfriend half way across the world. I was distracted by the beaches, year round warmth, interesting animals and adventure of Australia. It really turned my head.

At the time, Vancouver, you just weren’t good enough.

We know now that didn’t work.

Where do you run when you are uncertain? Although perhaps counter intuitive, living overseas is far more stable in many ways than living in your home city. Housing, friends, work, money – you’ll have these within a few weeks if you have a decent job overseas. At home? You have no idea how the four will pan out.

But here we are. Sometimes the bigger adventure is going back and trying again.

So lets try this again, home(y). You’ve been a gracious host this summer, with all the sunshine. Please be kind through the winter, and either commit to snow on the mountains OR a respite from constant rain. Maybe don’t drop to – 17 again? Also, if you want to send me some jobs and dates, well, I won’t say no.

I’m not alone. It seems all the nomads are returning to town. Are we picking up on some subconscious vibration? Is the world going to fall to pieces in the next 6 months? I hope not.

But at least we will all be together, working at this thing called home.

Waiting for Sunrise in Egypt

From Kath or Kate

kath or kate


I have been thinking about Egypt.

A few days ago, a tourist bus exploded in the Sinai, en-route to Israel from St. Catherines. The militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has warned all tourists to leave Egypt “before it is too late”.

The Australian government has advised potential tourists to “Reconsider your need to travel” for Egypt overall, and warned “Do not travel” for the Northern Sinai region.

Prior to the Arab Spring, or Egyptian revolution, while I was working in Turkey – a group of friends and I decided to go to Egypt during a one week break from teaching. From the US, Canada and the UK, we ranged widely in interest and travel experience. Our itinerary included a few days in Cairo, to see the Pyramids and then a Bedouin led excursion in the Sinai, followed by a trip to Mt. Sinai and St. Catherines, Dahab and Sharm El…

View original post 2,011 more words