Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Spring has sprung!

Or, as my father would say:

"Spring is sprung, the grass is ris
I wonder where them birdies is!"

It looks as though Spring is well on its way here in Montreal. The weather's a lovely 12 degrees (that's about 53 degrees for all you Americans), the sun is shining, the snow drift are melting...
I love spring. I really do.
I love the first day the soil starts to thaw. I love the smells in the breeze. I love hearing the birds sing. I love lying in the sun and feeling warm.

Appearantly, I'm not the only one, either: Montreal undergoes a metamorphisis every spring.
People walk around aimlessly, smiling beatifically, blinking in the sun. Buildings I'd never looked at twice in January now catch my eye (I'd never noticed those stiars were purple!); Montrealers sashay around, dressed in their best and brightest clothes; others start impromptu frisbee games.

In this spirit of spontaneity, I decided to give my friend Jon a haircut on the steps of the Redpath museum, on the McGill campus. Sadly, I have no skills in hair-cutting whatsoever, and the cut I gave him is reminiscent of
Leonard Nimoy's. Woops! Well, at least hair grows back.

I've been in such a lovely mood. This makes me wonder if I'd ever be able to live in Canada permanently. The winter months can get so hard sometimes...

Friday, March 24, 2006

My oocytes! Noooo!

What a day.

Woke up far too early (could I get more than 6 hours of sleep one night? Please?) to renew my passport.
The American consulate is this imposing 20 story high steel and concrete monolith in the middle of downtown. Their website presents the following caption:

"Note: The following items are prohibited inside the U.S. Embassy/Consulate:

  • Food & beverages
  • Backpacks, bags, luggage, large purses, etc.
  • Weapons or tools of any kind
  • Electronic or recording equipment of any kind to include laptops, cell phones, tape/CD/MP3 players, pagers, keyless remotes, etc.
  • Oversized Strollers (I like how strollers and weapons are put on the same level!)
The Consulate does not provide storage facilities for these prohibited items. Please leave these items at home, or store them in your vehicle. "

Mind you, I have no vehicle, which means that my backpack stayed at home. By the time the procedures were over, I'd missed my class anyway.
I should have my passport by next friday, which is fantastic. What is not so fantastic is that now I have to find a way to drive back to the U.S./Canadian border, and get re-issued a student visa. After that's done I need to renew my Canadian Social Insurance Number with my new visa so that I can continue getting paid legally.

Have I mentioned that I hate paperwork??

On another note: I got no results at work today. Which means that my 12 hour shift on Monday was a total waste of time :( I get to start over on Wednesday!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Energizer bunny

Sorry again about the lack of posts.
I feel as thoughI've hardly had time for basic hygene, let alone blogging (joke, joke).

Recently I've been kept pretty busy. I've started my real project at work, which means I've started my 12-hour shifts. On one hand, it's sickening to be leaving the lab at midnight (especially when I have an early morning class the day after...), but I know it'll all going to my Balkan trip this summer, so it's all good.
I get to be in a dance show program! It's very exciting; it says: "Victoria Bond, tech". Woohoo! Slowly, but surely, I'm infiltrating myself into the drama scene, bwahaha.
It hit me today that not only is it Thursday (already! how does that happen?), but there are only four weeks of classes left.
In fact, one of my exams is next Tuesday. Oh, dear. This year's really been a blur.

I think I might tone it down next year. As lovely as this year was, I did end up burning out a bit too often for my taste. Next year's resolution? Take up swing dancing again. Stop working so hard (sheesh!).

Summer plans

Utter chaos; that's what my life is like at the moment. I think I'm conditioning my body to survive on copious amounts of coffee and very little sleep. Is good.

My summer is finally getting organized. Ha! My friend Heather and I decided, in a very spur-of-the-moment kind of way, to travel across the Balkans. More specifically: Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. In a month. That's right baby! We're going to be back-packing to the extreme.
Have any of us ever been to any of these countries? No.
Do we speak the language? No.
Do we know what to expect? Not a clue.
Are we excited? Heck yes we are!

We're going to be buying travel books this afternoon and sketch out an itenerary... not to mention read up a little on these places we've decided to visit.
After that, I'll return to my job in Montreal, and preparing to take my MCATs, the exam that may or may not allow me to go to medical school. My stomach tightens omminously at the mere thought of it.
As opposed to last year, this year alot fo my friends are staying in Montreal. I'm super excited; already we've made plans of BBQs on the roof, fireworks, jazz festival...

If this wasn't enough, I'm also thinking about planning a few road trips back to D.C. I haven't been "home" since I moved to Montreal, really, and I'm aching to go back. Even better, maybe I can go with my friends Sam or Nick (people from D.C. that I met in Montreal!) or show my city off to some of my quebecer friends.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Assorted pictures!


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My cousin Belinda and I.

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My friend Heather and I decided to crimp our hair. The 80s liiiiive!

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The lull

So I'm finding myself in the period I like to call "the lull". Basically, that means that the worst of the midterms/assignments are over, and that, apart from a few residual papers, I have a few weeks of quiet-time before finals. Alternatively, you could call this period "the calm before the storm".
My brain's responded by undergoing a complete shut-down. It's been a fantastically relaxing weekend!
My godfather came to visit Canada, and so took us (his wife, his daughter, and myself) to an Ethopian restaurant that I reccomended. Note to self: when reccomending restaurants to polite company, do not chose one where you have to eat with your hands! Apart from the messiness, the restaurant (called le Nil Bleu for you Montrealers) was amazing! The food was super tasty, and they ever have a nice vegetarian section. Everyone eats out of a common dish, and the atmosphere is great.
My cousin Belinda was also in Montreal for a night, and took me out to dinner (I've been eating well!). It was so nice to see her again! How bizarre to think that I might have seen her more this year (twice) than my sister, or father, for example. Belinda's a fashion designer, and was essentially on a world-wide shopping spree to scope out the new trends. She would spend a few days in every major city, shopping for up to 12 hours a day. Isn't that insane?!

Apart from the visits, I've been keeping myself busy from going to a multitude of plays and dance shows, and trying to reconnect with friends. The trouble is, just because I'm in a lull doesn't mean that my friends are! Most of them are still living at the library...
On a final note, spring is the air! It was ten degrees outside all weekend, and despite the fact that it was raining, everyone was out and about, enjoying the nice weather. I'd be lying if I said I didn't wear a skirt. Of course, this being Montreal, it'll likely be minus fifteen in two days, but at least we got to enjoy some hint of spring for a few days.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


This past week has been insanely busy. It's just been a flurry of exams, papers, things to do for work... And, like the typical college student, I've been surviving mostly on poor nutritional choices and lack of sleep. But now that it's over, I feel great!

This month appears to be the month of unusual visits.

Last week, my godfather's son Adrien came to visit Montreal for the weekend. Being the only person that he (sort of) knew in Montreal, he stayed here. The poor guy-- by the time he arrived, I'd been studying non-stop for a week, hadn't seen anyone, and was essentially a socially inept ball of stress. I was freaking out (with reason) about my week of Hell. So, like the great hostess that I am, we'd have breakfast and dinner together, but during the day he was on his own while I studied at the library. I made him a list of note-worthy places to see, and even an itinerary to follow on the map. He was super independent and didn't seem to mind, which I greatly appreciated!
At night, I'd show him around my favorite places, and make him eat Montreal's delicacies (read: Faramount bagels and Mondo Fritz Poutine! Sadly, we didn't manage to eat smoked meat sandwiches...). Despite the fact that he couldn't have come at a worst time, and that we were essentially strangers, it was a fantastic weekend.

On Saturday night, while we were waiting for the bus to take us home, we heard techno music coming from behind a few buildings. Intrigued, we went to investigate, and found... a ballet of snowmobiles! It was incredible! Three pure-white snowmobiles, driven by three men in white overalls. They pirouetted (in their own way), swirled around, followed one another's lead... It was so bizarre, beautiful and fun, all at the same time. We just stood there, mesmerized, until the encore was over. Only in Montreal...

Next week, my godfather, his wife, and their daughter are going to be spending a few days in Montreal as well. Then, my cousin from New Zealand! I can't wait!

Oh, and work finally seems to be going better. Since I started, it's been like a horrible first-day at work that would never end. But now I've finally gotten the results I need, and, it would seem, the hang of things. Things are looking up!