Here are four photographs I took at the Botanical Gardens yesterday. I arrived at about 15h30 as I wanted to photograph fall foliage with sunlight as well as the lantern exhibition when it would be dark. I went with my old boyfriend. It was actually nice to do an activity together again. Though it still was a bit strange also. At the end of the day it got dark and the lanterns exhibition was very pretty. But I also got very cold with no more sun to warm me up and hungry. So I was happy to go back home at around 19h. They had a lot of decorated pumpkins as well as an Halloween maze for kids... A scary ghost too! Some beautiful fall foliage with nice soft white plants... The lanterns as the sun was setting... The main decorations in the Chinese Garden... You can view all of my pictures here...
I just watched a very nice and touching movie, it's called Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside). It is Spanish but I watched it with French subtitles. It's a beautiful story. And at the end I cried. I almost never cry with movies. But this one... I did. And I still feel sad. Very powerful movie. Today I went to the Botanical Gardens. I'll post pictures soon...
I am going to changing hosting companies! Hopefully the move will go well... I am scared about loosing emails but the change will be for the better. I will get more space. For less money. I will keep my current host also for an extra year as I just paid for that at the end of September..!
This morning I went to do some grocery shopping. But I forgot to buy the vol-au-vents to make my creamy sauce and lobster recipee! So I will have to wait until next week to eat the delicious lobster. After that I went to the World Press Photo exhibition to take a few photographs as a souvenir of my photo being there... The Parisian Laundry co building... My photograph upclose... The whole wall of photographs... Participants' names... The gallery... I went with a new friend. On the way back to the metro he gave me a really neat little thing... A hot pack... Some kind of Japanese thing! It was really warm and nice! Even hours later it was still warm. Also got some yummy chocolate! At around 15h30 I left home to go have my STM card made. It costs 9,50$ but allows me to save a lot on my monthly transport pass... Instead of the regular price of 61$ I get to pay 32.50$! Then I went to school and I did my oral exercises at the language lab and then had a class at 18h. On my way to school at the Concordia downtown campus and I noticed something new. Outside Hall building and the JMSB building there are yellow lines painted on the ground near the entrances. The lines form a big square, at least 10 meters x 5 meters. At first it puzzled me... Why the yellow lines... Then I noticed the sign that could read "Clean the air. This is a smoke free perimeter." I looked inside the perimeter and I saw at least 5 people smoking. I guess they were not yet aware of the new rule. I just searched the Concordia website and found this news article about the new measure. It says that this is due to Bill 112 which makes it illegal to smoke outside on school property within 9 meters of an entrance! Concordia security guards are supposed to enforce the new rule. They will have a lot of work to do as smoking outside the buildings' entrances is very popular! But I am really happy about this new measure. As a non-smoker I find it so annoying when I arrive at school and have to go through a cloud of smoke to enter the building to go to class!
5 days ago my mom told me she was sending my plane ticket in the mail as well as a piece of smoked salmon from back home. So I expected a bubble enveloppe or so. I got the paper in my mailbox saying the mailman had come by to deliver it but I was not home. So I had to go pick it up. I did so before going to class today at 12h30. And to my surprise the post office lady handed me a huge box! I asked her for a bag... And she had one thankfully. I brought the parcel along to school. On the bus I opened it... I was too curious to be able to wait! My mom sent my plane ticket but also a lot of goodies from back home. Sure I can get all of this in Montreal but these are special because they come from home, they were made by local people. There was in the box: 1 jar of lobster, 2 cans of crab, 1 jar of strawberries, 1 jar of mixed berries (black, red & blue) and 2 filets of smoked salmon! I ate half a filet of smoked salmon with an orange as soon as I got home from school. And about class... My photography Vision & Culture class annoyed me this afternoon. The teacher is so monotonous. Usually I stay only 30 minutes to hear about important things and the general direction of the day's lecture and I go home. But today the prof decided to hand us back our midterms only at the end of class. That meant I had to stay for the whole 2h15! It is interesting what he talks about. Today we saw things like old mugshots and body portraits, some very nice shots. But the way the prof speaks just annoys the hell out of me. He's very slow with words, monotonous and spells out all the names of photographers (even simple names like Henri). Geez. And then he lectured 10 minutes longer. And it took 5 minutes to get my midterm. So I was in there 15 minutes longer for nothing. I just wanted to go home! And tonight Italian class went alright! The prof is very entertaining. And engages the whole class, asking us questions. Sometimes it's a bit stressful when I do not know the answer but he is nice and explains it. I was a bit cold on my way back. So I put on my gloves. First time this "winter" I put my gloves on. I hate being cold.
So today was the last of 4 work days in a row. Thankfully because my ears are a bit sore! Well not really... But you get what I mean. At 20h30 when I finished work I went to the metro. On the corner of Square Victoria and Saint Jacques there were a lot of parked cars. Not unusual right? Well this was. It was all black cars. All the same model. And there were some cars with a driver waiting parked "in double" on the street. More than 20 cars total. It made me wonder what kind of special event was going on. Where. Who was attending. I am curious! Then in the metro I noticed a baguette bread all wrapped up in the paper bag just there on the seats. Someone must have forgotten their bread! Then 2 metro police guys entered. They stood near the baguette seat. A man also entered. He was surprised to find the baguette there. He wanted to sit on the seat so he placed the baguette on another seat. When the metro police left, the man grabbed the baguette from the other seat and held on to it. I guess the baguette had found a new owner! Somehow I don't think it's something smart to do. I wouldn't eat bread that had been left in the metro. Who knows what the baguette had gone through before being abandonned? But I guess it is still food... At home 30 minutes later I watched Prison Break, I love that show. I also recorded Trudeau Maverick in the Making, that movie on CBC. And I'm watching it right now. Tomorrow I've got my Photography Vision & Culture class and we'll be getting our midterms back, with our mark. I really hope I did well!
My student job involves a big call centre for a big company. I answer the telephone. I take orders for clients, help them pay their invoices, settle different claims they may have... I deal with customers from all over North America, USA, English Canada and French Canada. I will now go ahead and make a few generalized stereotypes about the different markets. USA: They like the cheap products, want the free credit (don't want to pay now) and are always happy with the free gifts they get with their purchase. English Canada: Mostly very polite, have their orders prepared and ready for me to take. One lady today was listening to Chopin! I didn't want her to hang up! French Canada: Similar to English Canada. But then there is the language thing. I love French. I love Quebec French. Most customers also love Quebec French and speak a nice French. But there was one lady today at work that really annoyed me. She wanted to order products but did not (want to) understand what I was explaining about how to get the best deal for the products. She commented on the free gift being "crissement laid" and used a lot of other typical Quebec swear words during our conversation. Swearing/joual is ok with me, it's very common in Quebec. But it does have a time and place. When you're talking to an agent that's trying to help you swearing is very rude and it annoyed the hell out of me. I sighed in despair... The lady heard it and said "I heard you breathing". I answered "Sure madame X, I breathe, I am a living human afterall!" And I got rid of her as quick as I could.
Yesterday Friday I worked from 11h to 19h30. Today Saturday also. Well actually... Almost 19h30. Here's what happened. The supervisor told me I could leave 15 minutes early. That meant 19h15. But it was 19h12. So corporate big box culture obliges you have to stay at your cubicle until 19h15. At 19h13 I get a phonecall. A lady wants to place an order. Great. And she's lost in her order papers. Great. And she does not order one or two products like most people. Nope. Great. She wants to order about 30 different products. The call lasted until 9h23. That's like 8 minutes past the 19h15! So I was mad. It had got me all happy to leave early and now it meant I wasn't leaving that early at all thanks to the stupid lady who decided she wanted to order. I know... It's not that much time... But it is when you're working 4 days in a row...! I need as much time away from that telephone as I can get! Oh and this morning when I went to work I didn't get off at the metro station when we got there! I was completely in the moon... I had to get off at the next stop and wait for the metro to come in the other direction and come back to the good stop! I felt like an idiot. But it happens I guess! So after work I went to the metro. I was going to a concert at the Spectrum, David Usher. Though I arrived only 15 minutes before the gig was supposed to begin I got a great spot! That's the advantage of going on your own. When I feel like sitting for a gig it's easy to find a really good single seat! The opening act was Matthew Barber, he did an alright job. And then David came on! He gave an awesome performance. The best was the chit chat between songs... Man... I'll have to maybe post a few clips... But he talked about a condom balloon that flew on stage, chatted on a fan's phone with someone that was on the line, talked about going out in Montreal... Nothing special but he was funny and really pleased the crowd. A great gig! And this time my recording turned out well! It's so annoying... Why did it screw up for Matthew Good and not David Usher? I suspect it has something to do with the venue... And my microphone level... And now I am home. I will go to bed in a minute. Well after brushing my teeth, washing my face, putting my pyjama on. Tomorrow I have to go to a group meeting straight after work for a school project! That'll be annoying... But it's got to be done! When am I ever going to rest? Spend a whole day at home doing nothing. I can't wait for my next completely free day.
Today I had my class at the Layola campus of Concordia Uni. I had my Leadership midterm and it went well enough I think! After the midterm I had a short meeting with my group members for 20 minutes, sitting outside on steps. We divided up the work. And we'll meet again Sunday after my day of work. I took a few photographs on the campus. It looks good, now the mix of recent architecture with old buildings, but it's just a shame the campus is far from downtown. I don't like going to the Layola campus because there isn't anything around. I call it the "coin perdu". New building... Main building... Nice window...
I have 1 hour left to study for my midterm this afternoon. There is so much information and cramping it all in my brain is difficult. I feel I have to make a choice in what really to study, focus on that and just read the rest once. That's what I've been doing. Because for me it's impossible to know absolutely everything by heart. Why? Because it's all these different models and theories which all are a bit alike but a bit different too! So it gets too confusing. Anyways... I think I'm just a bit stressed now.
From high to low... The phone call from my Aussie friend made me happy. Then I read on the Internet that one of my favourite bands has "broken up". That makes me a bit sad. "Broken up" for how long... Who knows? Not clear... Because of what? But it just sucks. Apparently the singer, Jeff Martin, just announced it without even telling the other band members first. He wants to go solo. No more Tea Party for a while. Good thing I have seen them 5 times in the past 12 months! It was the goodbye I guess...! Hopefully we'll still get to hear Jeff Burrows and Stuart!!!!
Tonight I got a phonecall! But not just any...! It was a good friend of mine. A good friend that's far far away... In Australia! He's one the first person I started chatting with online back in 1998. Over the years we've formed a great friendship. We first met up "in real" while both on European holidays in April 2004. And last year I went to Australia from September 2004 to January 2005. I spent 4 months in his beautiful country and about half of that time I lived with him and his family. I hadn't heard Andy's voice since the day I left at the airport, when he dropped me off. It was a very nice surprise! Hopefully we can meet again soon, maybe Europe 2006?
I got my mark back for the Intro to Canadian Politics midterm. And I'm dissapointed. I got 15.75/25, the passing grade. It sucks! I expected more. But the teacher's assistant was really hard on the marking of the essays...! I'll email her to know just exactly what criteria she used to mark the essay part of the exam. Hopefully I'll do much better on the second exam (beginning of November) now that I know more about the format and grading harshness! And now I have to go study for another midterm that's tomorrow and I'm not in the mood.
Last night I once again had trouble sleeping. I went to bed at 3h and it took be about 30 minutes to fall asleep. Then at around 7h I woke up, after only 4h of sleep! Somehow I was not comfortable in my bed, it was too warm and the blankets were all messed up. So I took my pillow and one blanket and went to sleep in the living room on the futon until about 10h. So I got 6h of sleep. And I need 8h usually to feel good! But I couldn't sleep more... Because I had tons of stuff to do! First I went grocery shopping. I bought A LOT of stuff, filled up the pantry, bought things like laundry detergent, etc. I had that delivered home of course. And it was nice because usually I buy about 1 big bag of groceries a week. But now I have stacked up supplies so I'll be easier in the next weeks for grocery shopping! I'm planning ahead! Matthew Good has put up some of my photographs on his tour archive page for Montreal (photos 2,3 and 4)! And I also have to read my Leadership book because the midterm is tomorrow. I have read 3.5/5 chapters. Now I have to study the big important parts. In that class we're doing a project in groups, my group is composed of 4 people total. Someone from the group called to borrow my book and photocopy it (2 copies) so that 2 group members will be able to study. I will lend them the book while I am in class this evening. But also the meeting we planned for tomorrow before the class (and the midterm) is now unsure, 3 members can do it after class but one member doesn't know yet. It's been very difficult planning meetings with this group. I don't know why, we're only 4 people! Anyways... I'll hear more about that when they come pick me up and I give them the book. I will finish getting ready for this evening's Intro to Canadian politics class. We will get our marked midterms back. Yay! Hopefully I did well.
Tonight I went to Italian class. I got my exam back, 95%! The prof said everyone did very well so I guess I was in the average! Then at 20h15 I left to go to the Club Soda to see Matthew Good. I got a nice spot 2nd row a bit to the left. The first band was Ladies and Gentlemen. They were alright. All dressed in white. Then it was Mobile. They were also alright. All dressed in black. And finally Matt came on! The set was awesome! My favorite was certainly Avalanche as well as the acoustic songs at the end of the set. The crowd was a bit annoying. Well not the crowd. It was 3 guys in particular. As always there are always 1 or 2 morons (this time it was 3)... There was a lot of energy! It was great! Somehow I'm having a tough time putting the evening into words...! So I'll let pictures do the talking... After the gig I waited outside near Matt's tour bus from 00h30 to 01h20. I was chatting with a couple of people. And these annoying guys were also there. They caused quite a bit of trouble, going back into the venue by the stage door and going on Matt's tour bus!!! One of the roadies really was pissed off at them and told them to go away...! Good! Then Matt came out! I got my In A Coma & Avalanche CD booklets autographed and I got a photograph with Matt! He was really nice... All the fans formed a nice row near the tour bus and Matt took time to meet each of them. After that I took a cab from St-Laurent street to my night bus stop. And then the night bus back home. It took me about 15 minutes total! I was home at 01h45. Then home I took a HOT shower to warm up a bit. It was a REALLY nice evening...! I want to do it again tomorrow night. And the night after. And the night after after. And the night after after after. And so on. My signed Avalanche CD booklet!!