Friday, December 24, 2004

I <3 Holiday

I've been too busy to write since I got home, so sorry for the lack of activity but no worries it's been fu times.

Kalei picked me up from the airport on wednesday afternoon, after a little confusion over which terminal/baggage claim/airport I was at. Needless to say, it was wonderful.

Since then, I've done a lot of relaxing, christmas shopping, exploring, driving, singing jazz duets wtih Kalei, and basically enjoying myself. I went up to Mt. Baker over the weekend with my dad, Nicholas, and his friend Dwight. That was really nice - we stayed in a little cabin not half an hour from the slopes. Unfortunately, it's been a bit warm so the snow wasn't spectacular but whatever it was great. [continued]

On that note, I hear it's about -39' F in Montreal (with wind chill?). It's hovering around 45 here. Joy.

As of this morning, I'm totally done with Christmas shopping, and as usual I'm close to broke. But it's worth it - I'm giving good stuff this year. I'm not about to go over everything I've done this week, because I think that would take a while, so I'll just mention the last two days.

Last night was incredible. I got all dressed up, grabbed some flowers, and picked up Kalei (looking spectacular in her black dress) for a night out at the Nutcracker. It was at the new McCaw Opera House.. so much fun. We were the nicest dressed people I could see. I was a little confused, though. I've seen the Nutcracker once before. I was much smaller, but I still felt like I could remember most of the story. However, the ballet I saw last night had little or nothing to do with what I remember. Since when is there a Pasha, Chinese Tiger, or Peacock? I remember Sugar Plum Fairies and candy canes, and much more conflict with the mice. I guess there are several interpretations? And who wrote the original story? Tchaikovsky? Hoffmann? Mmmm.

After, we tried to go to a little Italian place that we love in Pioneer Square, but was closed. Instead, we hit up the happy hour at Ruth's Chris, and for $20 we got two ceasar salads, a quarter pound cheese burger with fries, onion rings, bbq prawns with potatoes, blackened chicken skewers, and three drinks. Not bad, eh?

Today, I picked up Matt and we finished my Christmas shopping, before heading over to Seattle Center. We hoped to see the Bob Dylan exhibit at the EMP, but I had had no idea how much their tickets cost. Twenty bucks! Ridiculous. So instead, we went to the Pacific Science Center, and smashed all my childhood memories on the rocks. I used to go there all the time as a little boy, and I thought hit was sooo cool. It's so ghetto now! For that matter, all of Seattle Center is run down. Very carny-esque.

Anyhoo, now I'm off to see Meet the Fockers with Kalei and Lisa. I'll try to make a better effort to keep up with my writing after Christmas. Until then!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Good Morning!

Good morning, I'm about to get on my plane for Seattle. Bit of a bumpy flight into Chicago, I'm afraid. At least this time, there's no snow. Anyways, I'm home in five hours! Can't wait. Till then.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


The last two days have largely been spent studying... and eating. I had my Sex Ethics final this afternoon, which I believe went at least as well as the midterm. I'm in a wonderful mood at the moment, mostly because in less than twelve hours I'm on my way home! Right now I've got a load of washing on, and I'm about to break out the massive duffell bag that I have to lug home so I can lug it back with skiing equipment.

Sunday morning, I went to the little restaurant Santropol with Janet and her sister. Seth was supposed to come too, but he's nocturnal. Absolutely incredible place... had to be one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. It was simple - smoked salmon, cream cheese, lettuce, red onion. But so good - it had to be five inches thick. The bread was freshly baked, brown as anything but much tastier than your average whole wheat. I had a nice big cup of hot apple cider to go with it.

Yesterday, I was introduced to two bands that I wish I'd heard sooner: the Books, and God Speed You Black Emperor! (GYBE!). The Books draw from a massive library of recorded sounds, pulling it all together with some original recordings of guitar plucking, violins, banjo and occasional vocals. The result is beautiful: seemingly random loops of sound form rythms that feel classically Americana. You can't necessarily understand all the lyrics, but their meaning comes across clear as day. The music feels like a raw expression of emotion. Try any of their tracks, and you'll understand.

GYBE!, on the other hand (or GY!BE as they are apparently called these days), I can't really explain. They're from Montreal, a full orchestra that weaves together massive soundscapes that last forever. I've got the F#A#oo album, which is three tracks each around twenty minutes. I think part of "East Hastings" may have been in 21 Days Later. Every time I listen, it feels like a new soundtrack to a completely different movie. Every listen has a storyline. That's easy to feel, as they mix in long recordings of apocolyptic street preachers to drooping guitar.

Alright, well I need to go grab my washing. Tonight I'm off to the Upstairs Jazz Bar for another night of free jazz student music. Next post, I'll either be at home or on my way!

Friday, December 10, 2004


I must let out some frustration. I cannot stand immature, self-involved, disrespecting college students. Evidently, everyone's been told that college should be the one time that life should be lived selfishly. This is fine, but not to the extent that I see all around me. I'll just stop there.

It's been snowing all day, and the city is beautiful again. Went for a walk up the mountain (see today's pics), saw plenty of little animals and nice winter woods.

There's not a whole lot else to say about my day without getting bitchy and frustrated, so I'll just end by saying that last night, I discovered Neil Young's After The Gold Rush, and I've hardly stopped listening to it since. An acquired taste, indeed.

Tomorrow, never see the things that come today.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Shish Taouk.. and BMH Food Poisoning

I've spent quite some time tonight thinking about food (nothing new there, I guess), so I figured I'd write a bit about the best new thing I've tried since arriving in Montreal: the Shish Taouk.

For those of you uninitiated, I'll explain. It's Lebanese. Basically, a thin pita wrap (not the gyro kind) with marinated chicken, lettuce, tomato, crunchy radish, and garlic sauce. It might sound simple, and it might sound like any other Middle Eastern wrap you've tried, but no - it's better than that. They're filling, they're yummy, and I'm addicted. These days, I like to get them delivered from a placed called Boustan, where they come with a drink and rice or garlic potatoes.

I was first introduced to the Shish at Sailing team - there's a little Dep (commonly known as the "Paki Shack") across the road from the yacht club where we'd snag them before hopping the bus back to town. For four bucks, it doesn't get much better.

And in other news, my suspicions about the dorm cafeteria are coming to life: several people on my floor have spent the last two days embracing porcelain. The alleged culprit: cottage cheese. The problem: food that sits on the buffet line for days before being eaten. I can't wait to have my own kitchen!

Tonight, I think I'll go swim laps and then probably talk to Kalei till I can no longer keep my eyes open. Am I waking up too late in the morning if she, three hours behind, has to call to wake me up? One alarm doesn't seem to be enough. I think tonight, I'll set two.

Ice, Christmas, Nicholson, and Lynch

I saw ten people fall while walking today. We've had freezing rain for the last two days, and for the first time I can remember (being from Seattle and all), it's actually sticking, and there's now two or three inches of ice everywhere on the ground. Beautiful sometimes, but scary when you have to walk a steep sidewalk down to class.

It's been an incredibly relaxing week: staying up late talking to Kalei, waking up past noon to the grey light of a cold day, in general taking my time and enjoying it. I've done a bit of Christmas shopping - downtown's spectacularly done up with lights and wreaths and such, and everything's festive. It's wonderful shopping for someone I know so well and love so much.

Yesterday, I tweaked the site even more, and I think I'm approaching a finished design. There's still a bit of code I'd like to add, however.

I watched part of As Good As It Gets last night with Kalei, and we finished it this evening. Beautiful characters, and we both decided that some day we'd get one of those dogs. I think that Shatze would be a nice name.

Ah, and earlier this evening, I watched the David Lynch movie Eraserhead with Janet, Seth, Dan, and Andrew from the dorm. Not for the queasy, I'll tell you. It involves an awkward man with tall hair, a hysteric daughter with a hysteric mother, a girl with puffy cheeks who lives in a heater, and an inhuman baby that looks like a skinned rabbit. It seemed to have a lot to do with (Lynch's?) discomfort with sexuality, women, and childbirth especially. Lots of symbology involving little sperm/fetus/worms. Reminded me of an article I once read called "Monstrous Mothers" by Marina Warner. If you feel like something trippy, uncomfortable, and low-budget, then check it out. Otherwise, I say Lynch can keep his issues to himself.

Not much else to say for now. I'm home in a week, and I couldn't be more excited.

Oh, and anyone reading this should check out Calexico's "Feast Of Wire" album. Americana mixed with mariachi at its finest.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Dead Week

Ah well, it's dead week at McGill, and these days I only rarely glimpse m neighbors, on their way back and forth between here and the library. I'v somehow managed to avoid the suffering, with only one exam that isn't for week and a half, so I'm probably not anyone's favorite at the moment

I'm spending my time reading, wandering the city, christmas shopping, and setting up this site (a goal of mine that I've had for a while). I'm grateful for the chance to relax, but at them same time I'm straining to go home. Home sounds fantastic right now.

Not much else to add. It's getting cold, the snow has fallen, and I'm wondering where the squirrels and pigeons will go when it becomes too cold to live (can't be too long now). Do squirrels hibernate? What about pigeons? This is not a city in which to live without a home.