The wit and wisdom of Nadia Yvette Chambers!

Today is my friend Nadia’s birthday. Nadia describes herself as a 37 year old transsexual atheist masochist kernel programmer who currently lives and works in the New York City area. I’ve known her for five years and I thought it would be great to celebrate her birthday by sharing some of her more entertaining quotes.

I quite like Nadia. she is one of the most intelligent, outlandish, and honest people I know. The world would be a lot less interesting without her!

She has a blog at

Nadia Yvette Chambers Infographic
Nadia Yvette Chambers Infographic


Here’s a birthday video that Nadia just posted to her YouTube channel! It was recorded in the New Jersey motor inn where she is currently staying.

Dollar store umbrellas!

Last week my friend Andrew went out of his way to buy me an umbrella at the dollar store. I had no idea that dollar stores sell umbrellas but thanks to the magic of one generous friend I will stay dry this spring.

East Hastings Dollar Giant
East Hastings Dollar Giant

Nobody in Vancouver seems to buy umbrellas anymore – every one I know steals them as quick as they lose them. I’m glad that at least one person in this city is doing their part to support umbrella manufacturers!

Here’s a video of the purchase:

Hastings-Sunrise is no East Village

I spend a lot of time with my friends in the East Vancouver neighbourhood Hastings-Sunrise. While so much of the city has been been swallowed up by condo developments Hastings-Sunrise still retains a certain gritty charm.

There are no major box stores or malls so area residents still shop in many of the delis, markets, and others small business along Hastings. When I went there last week, however, I noticed something different. All of the yellow “Hastings-Sunrise” banners had been replaced by banners that read “The East Village”.

The new "East Village" banners along Hastings in East Vancouver.
The new "East Village" banners along Hastings in East Vancouver.

Apparently the change was made by the Hastings North business improvement association who rebranded the stretch of Hastings from Victoria to Renfrew “East Village”. The neighbourhood, from Nanaimo to Boundary and Burrard Inlet to Broadway, still retains the Hastings-Sunrise moniker.

Patricia Barnes, the association’s executive director, wants to create a separation from the grittier Downtown Eastside and attract notice to a long-forgotten neighbourhood.She admitted there’s a hint of New York-style chic in the concept. “Of course, there are East Villages in cities all over the world,” Barnes said. “We’re not a Kerrisdale or a Kitsilano. This is about conjuring up a positive image for the little things tucked away that people don’t know about.” –The Province March 22, 2012

I think the name of an area should be decided by the people who live and work there – not a “business improvement association”.  There are many reasons why we may call an area a particular name but I don’t think it’s acceptable to rename a community so that it sounds more marketable. My friend Andrew, for one, is not impressed with the new name. Here’s a short video we did about the area:

Happy Thanksgiving!

My sleep schedule has been quite wonky this weekend. It’s gotten to the point I’ve completely lost track of what time or even day it is. As it happens, today was Thanksgiving but I had totally forgotten – usually Housemate reminds me of things like this but he’s on the Island celebrating the holiday with his mother.

I woke up to the sound of MSN new message alerts coming from my laptop. My brother Gino was going on about Thanksgiving preparations at our dear friend Steph’s house over in Nanaimo which apparently involved him deep frying bits of ham. Here’s Gino with Steph and her mommy:

My buddies and fabulous guest bloggers Jess and Mike celebrated the day with rotisserie chickens with savoury stuffing made in the breadmaker followed by rice pudding with pumpkin pie spice, pistachios, golden raisins, and maple syrup. Here’s the bread machine she used:

Jess's bread machine!

My friends got me all craving something Thanksgivingy so I resolved to cart myself to the Safeway and get a chicken or something.

On the way to Safeway, however, I passed by a Chinese restaurant that was advertising a Thanksgiving dinner for $7.99 ($8.90 with tax). I figure it’d be nice to not have to cook and it’d probably be cheaper than groceries so that’s what I got. Here’s the place I went:

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They gave me a decent amount of turkey and potatoes covered in gravy and aside from the appearance there was really nothing wrong with either. The vegetables, however, were sparse and slimy and the soup was a little thin and bland. There was no stuffing, cranberry sauce, or pumpkin pie. It was a real half-assed Thanksgiving dinner and definitely not good value. In fact, I’ve had far better Thanksgiving suppers at soup kitchens.

Here’s what I got:

Thanksgiving Fail

But all is not lost! It turns out I’ll be getting a Thanksgiving present from Housemate’s mother! Housemate told her how I always cut my fingers when I’m cooking onions for the Indian curries I made all the time so apparently she got me a this salad shooter thing. Isn’t that nice?

Salad shooter!

This year I’m thankful for all the nice people in my life.

Powerbrushing the cat

My buddy Jess drove all the way from Salem, Oregon to hang out with me. We had fun all week… cooking bacon, drinking tea, cracking dirty jokes, stuffing our faces with sweets and yelling at teenagers. She’s awesome! The highlight of her trip, at least for me, was watching her interact with my cat Khan. He absolutely adores her. Here’s a cute video of her giving Khan kitty-spa treatment.

Shantel and Nathaniel’s first new video in three years!

Back in 2005 my friend Shantel and I used to make tons of videos about everything we could from alcoholic dogs, posessed dolls and jilted would-be lovers.

But, life intervened and we put our filmmaking efforts on hold indefinitely.

Well, I’m pleased to annouce that we’ve reunited! Yesterday we made a brand new video for the first time in at least three years. The film documents Shantel’s decision to purge her closet of girly clothes that she’ll no longer wear.