Canals and Kimmel and tacos, oh my!

flowersSo much beautiful flora.

Thursday morning we rolled off the couches early and hitched a ride with Hayley into Santa Monica. Most mornings she drives down Laurel Canyon and through Beverly Hills to get to work. It’s a gorgeous, winding drive with views of the city over pot hole laden streets. She kindly dropped us off on Montana and we set off in search of a coffee shop.

We found a cute place (whose name escapes me) around Montana and 20th and enjoyed coffees and coffeecake muffins while catching up on emails and staring at Bryan Callen (Bilson from How I Met Your Mother). After a few hours we walked back to Hayley’s work, dropped off our laptops, and hopped on a bus to Venice.

venice entrance

For those of you who haven’t been, Venice Beach is a really cool place. At the foot of the beach is a long pavement walkway littered on one side with sunglass shops, 99 cent pizza slices, and marijuana dispensaries and on the other, various musicians and artists with their eyes wide open for tourist dollars; (but this is still America – unlike many other traveler hotspots across the world, visitors aren’t haggled to their breaking points; the vendors are all polite and relatively mellow.*)

The day was still fairly young and the Venice pavement promenade still stirring, so we decided to wander over to the canals and then Abbott Kinney before walking the beach. I’m not sure which came first, the canals or the name Venice, but either way, it’s a beautiful sight (and more or less authentic with the water being just as dirty as Venice, Italy — actually that’s probably not fair to Italy). Despite the shallow, murky waterways, the Venice canals are by far (IMO) one of the most beautiful places to live in Los Angeles. We spotted a couple places for sale — one at the extremely affordable price of 4 million dollars. (Which for the location and size really isn’t that bad; or have I been living in Vancouver too long?)

* Maybe it has something to do with all that California green?


Nisha, me, and the mildly terrifying, territorial ducks with crossed paths with.

All the houses are very unique and have beautiful, eclectic adornments inside (from what we could see) and out; just my style. Although, if we’re talking dream homes here, I’d definitely rather be on the open ocean. After we were sated with enough aspirational eye candy, we walked a couple blocks over onto Abbot Kinney. Abbot Kinney is a hip little street complete with boutique t-shirt stores and coffee shops with no advertised names. There are also a ton of back alleyways and hidden shops to get lost in; but after a small feast of tacos and guac, we headed back to Venice Beach.

IMG_5023The clouds were being pleasantly sassy.

As we padded down the infamous walkway we spotted a “Palm Reading” sign and decided to give it a go. I bet the palm/tarot card woman makes a killing (at least enough to pay for her Venice Beach apartment) as we paid $10 and it only lasted a few minutes. It was, however, totally worth it. She even reiterated a few of the things the last person who read my palm (6+ years ago) told me. For example, she claimed that I’ll only have one marriage and it will take place “later” in life; (to which the question must be asked, what exactly does “later” mean?) She also said that I’m meant to work in a creative field in conjunction with people. As well, I need to learn to be more patient, more aggressive, and go easier on myself. (All good/important things to hear.) I think with wishy-washy (fun) things like palm reading, you just have to take what you want from it and already I feel like what she said has helped me out. (But, seriously, later in life… like, 30?)

7ZCtsW5Qm52i8B9WB5NVbsOOGjfDFqtsIwuDJSNMpJ0The tiniest, most adorable little dog at the palm reader’s.

Nisha also had her palm read (if you want her insights, you’ll have to ask her yourself) and we carried on. One of the attractions of Venice Beach is the Freakshow. That day they were filming for an episode of AMC’s Freakshow, so we signed the release forms and watched. It felt a little odd cheering and clapping but they all seemed pretty happy to be there. They had brought in a guy from Australia who is apparently a world leader in freaky stuff/things, I don’t know, but he stuck a heavily weighted sword down his throat and it was mildly uncomfortable to watch. Well, mildly uncomfortable for me and borderline traumatizing for Nisha. So we carried on without watching the rest of the show.

freakshowThe guy in the yellow vest was the sword/throat dude.

And thankfully we did because I checked my email and discovered that we’d scored tickets to Jimmy Kimmel Live! Even with two hours to get there we cut it super close. (Yay, L.A. transit!) But we made it and were probably the forth or fifth last people to be let in. It was a super neat experience but a little bit different than I expected. The studio is WAY smaller than it appears on TV, like, a third of the size you’d expect it to be.

IMG_2280Pictures are super not allowed, but Nisha snuck one.

The guests were lovely, (Chris Pine, Kevin O’Leary, Gregory Porter) but they really don’t interact with the audience much. I don’t know why, but I expected them to engage more. (I’m probably just bitter because Chris Pine didn’t wave to the back row.) Jimmy didn’t chat with the audience until after the second commercial break — I imagine he was using all his concentration to nail his monologue — but once he did he was engaging and charming, (particularly with a slightly eccentric French woman).

The whole experience was about two and a half hours. (Check-in, watch Jimmy Kimmel videos, warm up comic, more warm up comic/get to know the audience aka hear about the French woman’s familial problems, actual show, file over to the music room, sway, chat with nice interns – Hi, Nick! – leave.)


We decided to keep the tourist day going and hiked up to the Cabo Wabo above Mann’s Chinese Theatre for, you guessed it, more Mexican food! There was a photo wall for some sort of event (comedy night?) so naturally we took advantage. We had some interesting conversations with some interesting characters aka a young racist white guy and some lovely older black men (America!) and imbibed $2 pints of Strongbow (America!). From there we traipsed back down to Hollywood Blvd and took trashy tourist shots before heading home to bed.

hollywood blvdYes, those are our feet in Lucas and Spielberg’s shoes.

Fun times!

Here there be $2 tacos AND bottles of wine.

Wednesday started off the way every day should: with two breakfasts.

wednesday breakfast

Nisha and I walked a few blocks down Tujunga and stopped at a little taco stand that Google Maps tells me is called Cactus Taqueria #3. I had chorizo and Nisha had vegetarian and they were flippin’ delicious. After that wonderful appetizer we crossed the street to take in Aroma Cafe for the first time. (The fractured narrative of this blog may cause some confusion, but this was, in fact, my first visit to Aroma.)

If I recall correctly, my breakfast sandwich involved bacon and brie while Nisha ordered some sort of vegan plate which she claimed was delicious (and I took her word for it despite the fact that I’m gravely suspicious about anything involving fake cheese).

We enjoyed our breakfast on the patio, trying to make celebrities out of our dining companions. (Is that guy from The Eagles? *googles* Nope.) (Although I did definitely see an actor. But I don’t know his name and can’t remember anything he’s been in and then I went and IMDbed That Guy… movie and I can’t even remember the original guy’s face because all the guys from That Guy… have now blended into my memory.)

After our second breakfast at Aroma we waddled home to catch up on TV. (Sherlock OMFG!!! Amirite, guys?!) As well as New Girl, Mindy, HIMYM, Modern, and our weekly hate-watch of Super Fun Night. Then somehow we managed to extract ourselves from Narnia* and walk to the grocery store.

cacti walkAlong the L.A. River.

Have I mentioned that Hayley and Ryan live right beside the Los Angeles River? (I think of Chinatown every time I walk over it.) It’s dusty and kind of hideous, but it’s nicer than walking along the road. So after Nisha and I traded our money with the hard working people at Trader Joe’s for food and alcohol, we walked home along the river. Then we made Indian food.

riverSee, look: pretty and ugly at the same time.

Actually, Nisha made Indian food. I probably blogged read Vulture. Just as she was putting the finishing touches on the Saag Paneer Mozzarella and Butter Chicken Chickpeas, Hayley and Ryan returned home, followed by their friend, Dave, and Ryan’s brother, Matthew. We dug into the feast, chatted, and played Cards Against Humanity. It was really awesome to meet Dave and even awesome-r to catch up with Matt. Much beer and wine was consumed and even more laughs were had.

California, your people are great.   

* The oversized couch. Keep up, will you?

Tuesday at the Studio

Oh boy, do I ever love to eavesdrop. I’m back at Aroma Cafe; this place is amazing. Aside from the ludicrous display of baked temptations (today it’s a sticky bun), and the menu, packed bottom to top with savoury lunch and breakfast items, the true draw is the wraparound back patio. Wicker chairs, large wooden umbrellas with deep red covers, palm fronds*, antique lanterns and faux chandeliers, and every second person deserving of a double-take, “Wait. Do I know you from somewhere?”

To my left is a middle-aged woman bragging about how well the Universe is treating her these days; (I’ve gathered that it has something to do with her donating all of her shoes.) At my ten o’clock is a five o’clock-shadowed writer, complete with ball cap, v-neck, and cheap, worn down shoes. (He’s actually just reading a screenplay and not writing one, so the writer assumption is based purely on appearance.)

But enough about this place, let’s talk about Day 5!

So last year I graduated from the Writing for Film & Television program at VFS. (Yes, I realize this has been established; stay with me.) The head of that program is one Michael Baser. Now, Mr. Baser is married to a lovely woman named Barbara Stoll. Barbara happens to live and work in L.A. at Sony Pictures Studios as a line producer and was kind enough to invite Nisha and I to join her for lunch.

We left the house by 9 a.m. ensuring that we wouldn’t be late for lunch. (Actual travel time: 1 hour 40.) Thankfully Hayley and Ryan live quite close to a metro stop so we were able to hop on that and transfer to a second line, taking us all the way to Culver City. We were a little early so we popped into Trader Joe’s so Nisha could experience all its otherworldly glory. After some free samples, we walked a few more blocks, checked in, and walked onto the Sony lot.


I can understand how someone might get jaded quickly, but walking onto that lot for the first time was pretty damn cool. Everything is polished and manicured and a giant wooden rainbow streaks across the sky and the buildings are labelled with names like Garbo, Hepburn, Gable, and Crawford.

Barbara was kind enough to invite a VFS writing alumni to join us for lunch and answer some questions. Richard has been living in L.A. for three years and has been extremely successful working his way up as a sitcom writer. He reiterated that people want to read original scripts as opposed to spec episodes and seemed to attribute a lot of his success to being aggressive. (Maybe I’m misremembering here, but a theme that’s been standing out to me lately is BE AGGRESSIVE — more on this later.) We took a tour around the lot and Barbara let us peek our heads into the sets of Men at Work (TBS) and her pilot, The McCarthys. Then, our most wonderful host arranged for Nisha and I to sit in on a rehearsal of Men at Work; (and drove us to said rehearsal in a golf car. Highlight of the week!)


I’ve been lucky enough to sit in on a multi-cam rehearsal once before (Some Assembly Required in Burnaby, B.C.) but this was Nisha’s first experience. (Let’s be honest, though, still just as cool the second time; especially when Michael Cassidy is wandering around.) The sole voyeurs in the bleachers, we moved back and forth as the cast and crew went from scene to scene. Neither of us had seen the show before (it actually doesn’t even air in Canada) but it was a lot of fun to watch, particularly seeing Danny Masterson (Hyde from That 70s Show), Kelen Coleman (The Mindy Project, The Newsroom, and recently cast in The McCarthys), and the aforementioned Michael Cassidy (Zac from The OC). Also, to our confusion, we spotted Breckin Meyer on the floor, standing around, not acting. Turns out he actually created the show. Who knew! It’s always really cool to get a peek behind the scenes and we even got to chat a bit with one of the writers afterward.


View from the Universal City metro stop.

We then said goodbye to Barbara and hopped back on the metro. After a long journey, we arrived home, popped several bottles of wine, and had a lovely dinner with Ryan and Hayley.

* I literally have no idea what a palm frond is or if those two words accurately represent the foliage on the back patio, but it really rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Say it: palm frond. Ahh, yes, like a tropical ocean breeze.

L.A. Day 3 & 4


Sunday we woke up a little groggy, but that was quickly remedied with a delicious brunch at local chain, Jinky’s. Part of me wanted to run around and see the town, but Hayley and Ryan work really hard all week and wanted to take the day easy. I quickly melded into Narnia (their massive, incredible couch) and enjoyed a lazy day of snacks and TV. (Particularly awesome because I got to introduce Hayley and Ryan to VEEP and American Horror Story.) Then we managed to watch the Golden Globes (Jaquline Bisset!) before crashing for the evening.

And I’m super glad we took it easy, because Monday was a BIG day; my ankle is still recovering from all the walking. (Damn injuries and their long-term healing time!)

Monday morning I rode into Santa Monica with Hayley. She works on Wilshire Blvd so I hopped out there and make my way over to Montana. Montana Blvd reminds me a lot of West 4th in Vancouver, all boutiques, coffee shops, and women toting yoga mats to and fro. I had my laptop with me and was looking for the perfect to eat breakfast and surf the web. (So naturally I ended up wandering for hours.)

santa monica beach

I headed down Montana until I hit the beach. Santa Monica Beach is a beautiful sprawl of white sand, tall palm trees, and highway. With the pier in my sights, I turned left and walked down Ocean Ave toward the 3rd Street Promenade. I found the promenade (three blocks, on 3rd street, natch, between Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvds, of shops and restaurants) and moseyed around looking for breakfast. Long after my growling stomach demanded, I settled in to a little bakery with a pretzel croissant breakfast sandwich and a vanilla latte to send emails and read the post Golden Globes roundup.

Digression: no one uses the term “washroom” in America. It’s “bathroom” or “restroom”. Also, every store seems to have a public restroom. Great news for this small-bladdered tourist.

After breakfast I continued to wander, this time with a mission to find a field guide to the flora of Southern California. I searched Barnes & Noble (identical to Chapters), REI (identical to MEC), and TJ Maxx (identical to Winners), but had no luck. Alas, it was time to meet up with Nisha and her dad! I sauntered on down to the Santa Monica pier and found my little roomie and her pa waiting in front of Bubba Gump’s Shrimp (Tom Hanks’ restaurant chain). We decided on slightly more classy fare and headed into La Mare for lunch. A delicious lunch was had and our first celebrity (Lindsay Price) was spotted. We then bid adieu to Nisha’s dad, sending him off in a cab to the airport, and walked over to Hayley’s work.

Hayley had to drive off to see a client but she dropped us off in Westwood to wander around. At the base of UCLA*, Westwood is a cute little area with lots of shops and restaurants. Nisha and I debated going to see Her but decided to find some Mexican food instead. Margarita Monday! We enjoyed some nachos and margaritas and chatted about how exciting it is to be in L.A. That excitement mostly kept up as we navigated our way home — walk, bus, metro, walk — an hour and a half journey.

*Edited to say UCLA (not USC – thanks, Hayley!).


My little ‘chilla has gone home now. (Miss you boo!) But more updates of our adventures are coming soon!!

Comme il faut; (or, do I really want to live in Los Angeles?)

Comme il faut: everything as it should be.


Venice Beach

Well, Los Angeles, it’s already been 10 full days. Where did the time go? I’m writing this from a table on the street outside an adorable little cafe on Tujunga called Aroma. Its interior holds a display case of desserts so decadent, cakes and tarts so vast, my pancreas quivers at the very sight. Naturally I am indulging in a double americano and a chocolate peanut butter muffin (taste: decidedly less decedent than expected). It’s about 18 degrees and the sky is blue and streaked with wispy clouds. Shortly on the blog I’ll return to regaling you with days 3 through 10, but right now I want to talk about where I’m “at” i.e.: do I really want to live in Los Angeles.

But first, a digression (I would hope by now you would have come to expect nothing less):

Before I turned the wise old age of six I lived in four different countries, seven different cities, and ten different houses. A globetrotter before I could even spell the word, moving house (and continent) was old hat. But after my sixth (sadly lacking in champagne) birthday (Sept. 6th, mark it in your calendars), my family settled down…

Well, no, that’s not true — but my parents did pick a country and a province and they stuck to it. So for the last twenty years (also known as, the years I actually remember) of my life, I’ve only ever lived in British Columbia. (There it is; this seque does have a point.) While traveling is in my blood, B.C. remains my homey, homey comfort zone.

This all hit me last Monday as I was wandering around Santa Monica. I’ve been romanticizing Los Angeles for a very long time and have never fully digested the reality of actually moving here. I am extremely lucky to have solid friends and a smattering of family in this city, but those wonderful people aside, B.C. houses probably 80% of the people I love in this world. And, also, B.C. is AWESOME.

Vancouver, my home, happens to be one of the most incredible cities in the world. And while it will be several years before my own personal traveling experience can back that statement up, the good people behind magazine lists everywhere have confirmed this belief over and over again. It certainly ain’t perfect (and it’s damn expensive), but, Vancouverites, you got it good, (so less complaining, okay?).

Anyways, as I was walking around I thought to myself, do I actually want to live here? move here? spend multiple years of my life here? It’s so huge and hot all the time and everything seems so hard to get to.

It’s a scary thing when something you’ve been striving for and dreaming about confronts you and rings a little bell all like, “Heeeey! Guess what? You didn’t entirely think this through!” I dealt with this in my early twenties when I “gave up” acting. I had been half-heartedly pawing at that dream for several years when I had to ask myself, “Is this what I really want?” And it was hard to let go — I’d been aspiring to be an actor my entire life. But I’d lost the passion and the drive and was coasting on the fumes of a childhood dream. (I apologize for that last sentence, but ooh, it gonna stay.) I was chasing a career that I no longer wanted because I wasn’t able to let go. It was hard to accept that.

(Thankfully my high school yearbook achievement “Most Likely To Win An Oscar” wasn’t given for a specific category.)


If you’re skimming through this post to find more pictures because you’re sick of reading about my boring feelings… I get that. But, wait, now you’re wondering if you should you go back and read the entire post because it might relate to this ridiculous and hilarious selection of Cards Against Humanity cards?! (No, it doesn’t. Carry on skimming.)

So now here I am with the dilemma: do I want to live in L.A. because I’m supposed to want to live in L.A.? Or do I really want to live in L.A.? Or, if you’ll last with me through one more digression, is it not a yes or no question? In Kelly’s Redundant Life Lessons (That She Only Recently Realized) #1: Life is not black or white, good or bad, yes or no. For example, it’s okay to enjoy Miley Cyrus’s music and admire her tenacity and ability to shock while simultaneously being concerned for our youths and wish that she would put on a few more clothes. Headlines are made of extremes, everything is either THE BEST or THE WORST. We’re conditioned to love or hate. But the world is actually full of grey. I can love and hate everyone on GIRLS simultaneously. I can enjoy a 50’s rom-com despite all the misogyny. I can add bacon to my veggie burger!! We are human beings full of conflicted emotions and it’s okay to not pick a side.

So, yeah, Los Angeles isn’t perfect. It’s sprawling and polluted and full of people who are full of shit (or so I’m told); but I can wear shorts in the winter and explore a new part of town every weekend and… work towards the career I want; everything else aside, that’s the most important part. But, nothing’s “done”. Right now, this is still a visit. And who knows, after this month, I might return to British Columbia to live and work happily ever after the rest of my days. But I don’t think so. I think I’ll end up here. Here where I’ve met amazing people. Here where the wine is cheap. Here, not forever, but for awhile. And not because L.A. is the exact city of my dreams, but because it is the city of most of them.


More Venice Beach.

Who the hell am I kidding? L.A., omigawd, please let me stay!!!

Welcome to Los Angeles

Well folks, I’m exhausted; (and if you saw the liquor prices here you’d understand why.)

I kid. I kid… but it has been an exciting couple of days. For those of you who are unfamiliar with L.A., let it be known that it is HUGE. MASSIVE. GARGANTUAN. Geographically speaking, if you took all of Vancouver proper, plus Surrey, West Van, Burnaby, Richmond, etc., etc., it still wouldn’t match the size of Los Angeles.*

*This fact may or may not be accurate. I measured it with my fingers on Google Maps.

My flight was a piece of cake. It took off early AND I had an entire row to myself; and flying out in the pouring rain didn’t make it to difficult to say goodbye. I landed in L.A. to a beautiful sunset and the smell of heat and pollution in the air; (it reminded me of flying into Manila and it was glorious.) Hayley, freshly off work, picked me up from the airport and after brief jump-y-clapping and a long hug, we hit the highway.


Ryan greeted us at their place with a six-pack of wine.** Naturally we dug right into the wine and then ordered some Thai food. We caught up; we drank; we laughed; we half-heartedly played Settlers of Cattan.

** That is a bag custom-made to carry SIX BOTTLES OF WINE. Not wine coolers, full sized bottles. The cost of the delicious wine I’ve been drinking here ranges from $2.50 – $8. God Bless America.

The next morning, after an awesome breakfast courtesy of Ryan, Hayley and I took off for shopping and pedicures. For fuel we stopped at one of Hayley’s favourite Mexican restaurants, El Chollo. Mmmmmargaritas!

Mild digression… while wine/beer/liquor in California is a 1/3 to a 1/4 of the cost of w/b/l in Canada at a store, it’s often the same cost or more at restaurants and bars. (And I thought booze markups at home were bad.) That being said, the pours here are significantly more heavy-handed. (One-shot-measured liquor “guns”? As if!) Either way, Americans are getting slightly ripped-off at restaurants and Canadians are getting brutally ripped-off EVERYWHERE. But, hey, B.C.’s getting happy hour, so progress?

Back to our Saturday… we popped back to Hayley and Ryan’s house to get dolled up for the night and then quickly headed out to the L.A. Kings vs. Detroit Red Wings game. The seats were awesome (Thanks, Chuck!!) and we had a really fun — albeit stereotypically girly*** — time.

*** Read: selfies & ciders.


After the game we walked over to The Edison to meet Hayley’s friends, Katie and Courtney. Named after Thomas Edison, the building was downtown L.A.’s first power plant, but is now home to a swanky underground club. The line was a bit of a wait but we made friends with the (slightly bewildered at our overenthusiastic friendliness) girls in front of us. Inside was really cool, decorated all old-timey-power-plant-like and the place was packed with hip twenty-somethings dressed to the nines. We enjoyed the atmosphere and some heavy-handed drinks for a little while then decided to switch things up. Visitor’s choice, so naturally I picked the dive-iest bar in range and we finished off the night on a loud, Irish-themed, (sort-of underground) patio. Then we hopped in Courtney’s car and after a long foggy**** drive, we were home.    

**** I don’t mean that euphemistically; the weather was actually super foggy which is apparently really rare for L.A.

OK, update over for now. I’ll post more when I have time!

2013 in Review


Two thousand and thirteen has come and gone. And what I year it was. I was extremely blessed last year to spend eleven and a half months in school studying writing for film and television. Storytelling has been a passion my entire life, but, as they say, the path is not straight. There are times when I chastise myself for taking so long to figure out how to get where I want to go, but I finally understand that I’m exactly where I need to be. (If you can think of a less platitudinous way to say that last sentence, let me know.) Had I gone to film school earlier in life, there is no way I would have completed it as successfully as I did. I’m excited for 2014 like I’ve never been excited for anything before. (Well, except maybe flying to Paris for the first time.) But I am grateful for being exactly where I am and for everything it took to get me here (even all of those soul-sucking years of waiting tables). But this post isn’t about 2014, it’s about 2013, so here we go:

In 2013 I: successfully kidnapped zero dogs. My apartment got flooded with mud. I got a tattoo. I read my writing in public. I had my writing filmed. I spent three months on crutches. I went to Vegas. There were nights out: Lydia’s bday when we got bear-sprayed; fireworks when Lydia sweet-talked us onto a boat to watch; (that girl’s the best kind of trouble.) Dancing and drinking with my fellow writers. But, more than anything, I wrote. I’ll spare you the boring details, but after dozens of drafts, hundreds of hours, and thousands of words, I completed two feature films, two television spec episodes, two TV pilots, two web series pilots, dozens of film critiques, a short film, and a ten page reimagining of the end of Romeo and Juliet in full iambic pentameter. Whew. But that’s not very photogenic. So, without further ado, 2013 in pictures and only a few more words.

Vancouver, our glorious city, was extremely beautiful. The sunniest year in my memory, Vancouver showed us why it consistently places on the list of most livable cities.

Vancouver beaut 2

Making it all the more incredible, Vancouver is filled with amazing people. I neglected these beautiful weirdos more than I wanted to (see list of writing accomplishments above), but we still managed to spend plenty of time together, all of it ridiculous. Birthdays, drinks, concerts, random adventures, lazy board game nights, you name it. I couldn’t ask for better company. I love you guys.

beautiful weirdos

Between all the writing and semi-successful attempts at a social life, I also endeavoured  to keep my garden alive. It wasn’t as successful as 2012, but I still managed. Sweet peas, snap peas, kale, squash, tomatoes, herbs, and flowers all grew beautifully; my pumpkin, however, died. It is my dream to have a thriving pumpkin patch and I may have shed a few tears when my baby pumpkin rotted on the vine. C’est la vie. One day I will succeed!! (Can you grow pumpkins in California?)


In mid-March the trouble making Lydia invited me to try rock climbing for the first time. It was fun… until I fell and brutally sprained my ankle. The swelling eventually went down and, with it, half of the muscle mass of my right calf. It was certainly an ordeal, but I was lucky enough to have a ton of help to get me through three months on crutches.

rockclimbing evolution

Shortly after “the fall”, I hopped on a plane to Las Vegas to meet Hayley and all her beautiful friends for an amazing stagette. They all kindly pushed me around in a wheelchair and dumped me into the pool whenever necessary. After Vegas, we hopped in a couple cars and drove to Carmel, CA for the wedding. Hayley and Ryan Neimy are simply two of the most wonderful people you will ever meet and I was honoured to be there. The wedding was stunning and touching and unbelievably fun.


We drove into LAX only to fly out (a heartbreaking task), but, thankfully, upon my return, Vancouver continued its year-long (mostly) warm and sunny streak.

vancouver beaut 4

About a week after I was fully back on my feet, sans crutches, Bonnie and Erik fly in from San Francisco for a visit and solidified their place in my heart as two of my favourite people of all time. I showed them as much of Vancouver as I could and as quickly as they arrived they were off.

bonnie and erik

I think in 2013 I cooked and baked more than I ever have before. Perhaps it was a necessity of being a broke student, but more likely, it’s my growing enjoyment of all things kitchen-related. (Even cleaning. But, like, on a much smaller scale.) I ate far more pizza than necessary, but it was often topped with kale, making it acceptable. I made eggs benedict, pecan tarts, curries, all things Mexican, cinnamon buns, pad thai, baked squash, and all sorts of other dishes with varying degrees of success.


Oh yeah, the writing and the reading and the brainstorming; a lot of that was happening.

reading and writing

Sometime in the summer this crazy kook moved in. She brought with her approximately one thousand DVDs and the repeated, welcome presence of the lovely Farran. I have lived with dozens of people over the years — including almost all of my best friends — but Nisha just might be the best roommate ever. Together we’ve consumed more television, boxed wine, and homemade hummus than any doctor would recommend, but I’ve loved every minute of it.


Last summer was amazing (fireworks, BBQs, beach days and nights), but the Illuminares Festival was my highlight. Do whatever you can to get there next year; it’s incredibly beautiful.

public dreams

At the end of August we had a short break from school. My wonderful parents drove in from the Okanagan and took my brother and I to the Sunshine Coast. Gibsons has to be one of my favourite places in the world. While we were there I also fell madly in love with Davis Bay. Life goal: own a cottage there.

sunshine coast

And Vancouver continued to be stunningly beautiful.

Vancouver beaut 1

There were many other fun times. Some even, gasp, not captured by a camera.

fun times

One of the coolest parts of 2013 was seeing my brother break into the music world. He is hands down the hardest working person I know and deserves every ounce of success he achieves. He inspires me to chase after my dreams. (Cheesy; I know. But sorry I’m not sorry, it’s true!) I know 2014 is going to be huge for him; (after closing 2013 out DJing at BC Place, how could it not?) I can’t wait to watch him rise to the top.

sleepy tom

And, yes, Vancouver was still very pretty.

vancouver beaut 3

Save the best for last, right? 2013 would be nothing without all the incredible people I met at VFS.


For the first time in my life I was completely surrounded by people who wanted nothing more than to talk about film and television for hours and hours on end. I owe my year to everyone on that 4th floor. To the teachers, admin, my classmates, and all the other students wandering around, thank you. 2013 was more than I could have ever asked for and that’s thanks to all of you.

I could not be more thrilled for 2014. And, I think, a year from now when I do my next “Year in Review” I’ll be floored at how much things have changed. I’m ready 2014. Bring it on!