suburban siberia

transitioning from Los Angeles back to Edmonton

Month: January, 2015

the boot

Not only is it impossible to tell the houses apart from one another when you visit my hood (other than the numbers highlighted on the garage doors), finding your way to the front door is impossible (it should be intuitive, but not in this case) and the parking locations are in strange locations. But once you navigate those three things you must then register your vehicle when visiting longer than 4 hours. If you do not register you are issued a ticket for $75. We never pay them because it cannot be enforced and I tell my friends to throw the tickets away. It is basically (for lack of a better word) bullshit.Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 6.56.40 PM

If you are a repeat offender or park in an access lane then someone in this neighbourhood has taken it upon themselves to be the regulator of enforcing the condo’s rules. Their solution is the parking boot which they call the ‘immobilizer’. It’s pretty hilarious and completely illegal. Plus it looks like you could break it off with a finger.

I have neighbours that are renovating a few doors west of me and they have been given the parking boot three times. The second time they got the boot was beside our unit where they had parked overnight without registering. I woke up from a mid day nap hearing the neighbour arguing with the ‘parking enforcer’. They declined to remove the boot and so the neighbour called the cops. The police said to release the boot because it is not in their jurisdiction to enforce. It’s not even legal for police to put a boot on vehicles in this city. The third time they got the boot a week later, the neighbour cut it off himself.

I’ve seen the boot enforced a few other times and luckily I was able to get a photo of one a few weeks ago. I’m not sure on the results of this show down, but as you can see the boot looks absurd and comical in relation to the size of the truck.

Because I don’t really have a lot of interactions with my neighbours, this is the best gossip I’ve got.  If you cancel your subscription of following my blog for lack of entertainment, I will not hold it against you.




In the same place this week some one wrote something in the snow! I wish I knew what it meant! Happy New Years? Maybe it says “John I couldn’t figure out which house was yours or where to park so I left”.


A few days later the snow-covered this message so some one re-wrote the message on a nearby snow mound.



snow day

I have lived back in Canada for a year now. As it snows outside my bedroom window and I type from my cocoon like bed along side a kitten we recently acquired, life at this moment is perfect. I haven’t spoken about winter yet this season so below is an attempt to describe how I think about my days lately. It’s tough because this is known information for most who live in Edmonton or other northern cities but this way of life is not everyone’s because the further you live from the equator the less people there are inhabiting the earth. Therefor, it’s not common knowledge.

Lately I been waking up before my alarm and I have no idea what time it is. I try to guess but I am at a loss. Is it midnight? 3 am? Do I have time to go back to sleep? I check the clock. Hell no. It’s 7:00 am. As soon as time passes the 5 pm mark this time of the year the sky looks almost the same until about 8 am. Dark. That’s because sunsets and sunrises this time of the year pass quickly so there is very little change in the darkness. Winter Solstice was on December 21 in 2014 (the shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere) so while we are now on an upswing for daylight extension, it is a long road to Summer Solstice on June 21st. Today the sun rose at 8:41am and will set at 4:35 pm.

If you pay attention to the landscape around 8 am things start to dramatically change because of the sunrise. Generally during the day the sky is grey and the snow is mostly white so the shades of grey around this time of year are truly beautiful. I think if you lived in the desert you would have the same appreciation for a monochromatic environment. But once you add a mix of sunrise or sunset, you can get some beautiful soft pinks, yellow and purples in there. Sunrises are a delight any time of the year, but the addition of bright colours in a climate that has a lack thereof during the winter is always a benefit.

Usually it’s pretty sunny during the day (Alberta is lucky that way) but today it’s a snowy overcast day. Only a few hours left until it reaches darkness again and the stillness of the night. The location of the sun this time of year is at a lower angle so the shadows are longer and move quicker because of the short daylight hours. Other than temperature, sounds and lighting vastly differ between a winter and summer night. The snow is a great insulator so sounds around you become muffled or crisp. The snow also acts as a bounce and reflects brightness into the atmosphere. So even though it is dark in the night-time, there is a purple haze/glow that you can see as your eyes transition from the snowy landscape to the heavens above.


7 am


8 am




game changer

New Year and new days.

Hopefully my break from blogging is over but frankly posting during a time of vulnerability always seems like a bad idea so I’m not sure if I’m really back. But I am blogging none the less because we are at the apex of winter and I’m beginning to see the error of my intentions as the blog is called Suburban Siberia. In short all is fine but I am a container full of dramatic feelings depending on the day, which I am not so sure they are based on reality. If you really think about it though, winter can be a depressing time and so my feelings are intrinsically tied to the season whether I want to admit it publicly or not. But also I have to remind myself this blog is more of a digital diary so I guess it’s my blog (party) and I can blog (cry) when I want to.

Mike Tyson says it best “Everyone’s got a game plan until they get punched in the face”.

Shane Mosely, Antonio Margarito