Sunday, July 30, 2006

Fireworks (part deux)

All summer long, we've been treated to amazing firework displays every Saturday and Wednesdays. They're launched as part of the International Fireworks Festivals, which is basically a festival where teams representing different countries strut their stuff by creating a fireworks displays that are meant to match a certain piece of music.
Last night was the last set of fireworks, so my lab partners and I decided to hit the town. Let me tell you: watching firworks with a migraine is not cool. But it was definetly worth it--thousands of people showed up for this display, and several streets were closed to accomodate the crowd.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love Montreal. The city seems to be in a constant state of celebration.

Next we walked through the Gay Village, where I naturally went picture-happy...

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Le Drugstore. Only in Quebec!

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So many rainbows! The entire Village is in preperation for the Outgames, not to mention the Divers-Cite festival that is also coming up soon.

And, of course, la Caleche du Sexe:

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You can't spit in Montreal without hitting a strip club of sorts, but I have to say this is the one with the most ridiculous name I've seen.

We then settled on a nice terrase for a few beers.

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Dana tells the best stories I've ever heard.

My lab partners are really great. I really managed to luck out on this one; they happen to be some of the finest people I've met at McGill yet, and I have the pleasure of working with them everyday. The fireworks outing tonight was to celebrate the fact that I'd finished my mock MCAT--whew!, and they've promised to take me out after the real MCATs too.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Aha! Finally something worthy of a little post.
Last night, I met up with my friend Alex, who wanted to know if I'd be interested in meeting Bob Cuddles and Margaret Fluffy-- his two giant African snails. At the thought of handling two enormous, slimy, hermaphroditic mollusks, I naturally quivered with joy and responded with an enthusiastic yes!

Let me tell you, those snails are awesome. They're pretty much impossible to kill (only need to be misted occasionally, and fed a minimum of once a year), quiet, and fun for the whole family. And they're cute!

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Awwww... look at its stalked little eyes. When you poke them they roll back inside its body. Have I mentioned that they're really cool?
Holding them feels amazing. I'm convinced that it must therapeutic. Basically, a giant muscle is crawling up your arm very, very slowly: the snail grips you, and slimes its way forward by generating waves of contraction in its foot.

...Mom, can I have one too?

Monday, July 24, 2006


Waugh, I'm still alive, I swear. It's been very, very busy around here.
Some little notes:
-The MCATs are less than a month away. It's crunch time!
-I got to see my family (as well as go to a wedding in France) two weekends ago. It was exhausting, but totally worth it (And it's true--french women know how to dress).
-For the first time in two years, I have a family member living in the same time zone as I do. This is proving dangerous; I'm getting these urges to call every five minutes just because I can, and because it'll cost me less than 2 bucks 50 an hour.
-I've been suffering from very bad migraines more and more frequently. Recently, they've become incapacitating, so I'm going to go visit an optometrist. I may become a four-eyes soon...

Hopefully I'll be able to post about something real soon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Funky Toque

I was startled to realize today that I have a hairdresser.

...It all started about a month ago, just after I came home from my amazing trip to Greece and Turkey. I'd been absolutely fed up with my over-grown, thick, damaged hair in Turkey and was just about ready for a drastic change. So jet-lagged, clearly unable to make proper decisions, I stride into a very trendy salon (with great student discounts) called Funky Toque.

I announce triumphantly that I would like a haircut, immediately if possible. This is a big deal. I hardly ever bother getting a proper haircut. I can't stop staring at the woman, who is the very image of trendiness: her hair is short, spiked, and dyed white and blonde. Even her eyebrows match. She is not fascinted by me however, and barely glances over her magazine as she mumbles that David will take me.

That's when I turn around and am faced with David-- who, yes, has great hair-- my fabulous, flamboyantly gay hairdresser.
"Hellooo darling! Come over here and let's discuss where you want to go with your hair for ten minutes."
I stand back, aghast. Discuss? It's hair. I don't know what to do with it!
"Honestly... go wild. You're the one who cuts hair!"
To my horror, I saw his eyes shine with excitement, and I realized it was too late to that it back. Seconds later, I was strapped into his chair, as he brandished a myriad of scissors, razors, spray bottles and gels. Round eyed, I explained that I never cut my hair, let alone brush it.
"Don't worry," he cooed, "this will look even better if you don't brush it."
I just gulp. David takes advantage of this quiet moment to spill out his life story to me. There's never a dull moment in his chair!

"So, I had my heart broken the other day. There's this guy-- perfect, spend the rest of my life with-- kind of guy. I was crazy about him. The only problem is, he's straight."
"Oh no! I hate it when that happens!"
"Yeah..." He heaves a monumental sigh and snips off a dangerously large piece of hair.
"How did you find out?"
"When I kissed him!"

So today, I went back to Funky Toque for a quick bang trim (they're so cheap!). I'm sent off to a hairdresser, who sits me down in his chair. As I'm sitting, I see David, who recgonizes me and says hi. My hairdresser just blanches and says "She's yours?" and sends me off to get my hair cut by him.

Once again I am subjected to the whirlwind that is David. He quickly snips at my bangs, musses up my hair, proceeds to tell me about a great place for first dates, and finishes off with:
"So when school starts you'll come back to get a proper haircut, mmkay?" Before I can respond, he's gone, with a flick of his hand and a "Ciao, bella!".

Monday, July 03, 2006


What a lovely weekend!
On Friday, I met up with one my travel buddies Marco and reminisced "the good ol' days" over a beer (Never mind that the good old days were hardly more than a month ago...).
For some reason, I've been finding it very hard to talk about my trip. So much happened in such a short span of time, there's so much to say that I honestly don't even know how to begin. And when I do, I can't help but feel that I'm boring my friends. I mean, who wants to hear me blather on about backpacking for hours anyway? So I've just been keeping silent, or repeating the same stories over and over again.

But on Friday night, all that changed. It felt so
good to be able to speak to someone who'd been through the same trip as I had, who understood the crazy situations I found myself in! What a release. I found myself telling him the story of how I (of course!) forgot my Lonely Planet on the bus, landed alone in an unknown city in Turkey at 5 A.M., and managed to find my way to the hostel, haha.
Then I met up with my friend Jon (astute readers will recognize him as friend-who-helped-me-paint) to celebrate his birthday in style. He's now officially two years older than I am, the geezer.
The next morning, his friend Cat and I had organized a rather hung-over brunch with all his friends at a fantastic brunch place in my neighborhood:
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Yummm! But the celebration didn't end there, oh no. We also undertook the task of making our very own, rather terrifying pinata, stuffed with the best of candy, naturally.
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Jon gets ready to strike (using a hockey stick, like a good Canadian)...
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...and we reap the spoils.
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Sadly, I had to spend the rest of the day slavin--I mean, studying for my mock-MCAT exam on Sunday:
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I did manage to take a break to watch the last 30 minutes of the France-Brazil game.
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As you can tell from the zombie-like faces, it was a pretty amazing game. ALLEZ LES BLEUS!
I live on the border of the Greek and Portuguese neighborhoods, so I wasn't sure how people were going to react when France won. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was quite the party!
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Alright I think this post is quite long enough. I like pictures, can you tell? More should come soon-- in particular pictures of the jazz festival.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A reply

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My, how civilised! This is why I like living in Canada.

So much to blog about, such as the amazing game between France and Brazil (Oui Barthez, ouiiii!), birthday bashes, et caetera, but all that will have to wait until at least tomorrow.
I have a mock MCAT exam to take o Sunday, from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., which I am not looking forward to in the least.