Category Archives: Holidays

Rêverie, op. 15 no.7 – R. Schumann

I’d like to dedicate a piece to my wonderful mom Alena on her birthday! I wish I was home to celebrate, but am sending my love. Needless to say, you da best!

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Sasquatch Music Fest

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This past weekend I had the pleasure of going to the Sasquatch Music Festival in the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington State. I camped with a bunch of old and new friends from Handsworth and had an absolute blast. This won’t be an experience I shall soon forget.
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Yellowpoint Lodge

IMG_0686This weekend I went on a picturesque excursion to Yellowpoint Lodge near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Needless to say, there was more than my fair share of natural beauty to be admired and adored. It was a lovely way to get back into the West Coast groove and reinforce what makes BC so unique in Canada. I had a great time with the family and hope my mom had an amazing Mother’s Day.

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Oh the wondrous mind

Today I arrived home from my restful vacation in Chicago, Illinois. Though an unfortunate inevitability, it is simply a fact of life that all good things, including vacations, must eventually come to an end. The trip could not easily be summed up and still done justice. Many thanks to mom and dad for helping pay for it. Thankfully I have tons of photos of the city with which to remember the time-honored architecture.

In an effort to avoid studying for my imminent microeconomics midterm on Monday I have been watching various interviews with the great minds of our time. I will include two of my favourites at the end of the post. It got me thinking about what I truly want to do with my education. Now, up to this point I have been pretty solidly convinced that a history major is the right choice for me. I have always loved history and literature and was intending to major in one whilst minoring in the other. However, watching these interviews with these great(albeit scientific) minds made me wonder if studying the past is really my interest. Despite my fondness for the narrative stylings of both history and literature I wonder if something more current is not worth considering. This year I have taken courses in psychology, philosophy, chemistry, French, east Asian film studies and economics in addition to my history and literature classes. Each has been an experience unto itself.

Psychology was a breezy course last term for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it is a very intriguing subject, the human mind and consciousness. Who isn’t interested in the inner workings of the mind? Nobody, that’s who. Also, the pseudo-science that is psychology(at least at the intro level) made for a very easy A+. However, despite the agreeableness of my prof and his entertaining lectures, psychology seems to me a science built upon soft ground. Despite PET scans, functional MRI technology and other various means used to satisfy the empirical burden of science, I feel it is far too general and inconsistent in many rights. Though, after watching the TED lecture(posted 2nd below) it seems psychology may have spiritual benefits worth exploring.

Philosophy and I did not get along nicely. Perhaps it was the 600 person class or the surprisingly closed-minded prof but it was not gellin’. I will probably take a political philosophy class some day down the road, but for now Plato can keep his forms.

French has been functional, but certainly not fun. I am undecided at this point whether or not to continue it next year. I thought I would be needing it more here, but due to the anglo bubble that is McGill it seems unnecessary. The only way I would truly improve my oral skills would be to immerse myself somewhere and 3 hours a week is simply not enough.

Chemistry and east Asian film are definitely not being considered for majors, those courses were just selected for interest’s sake (a condition they have thoroughly satisfied)

My first run in with Economics was with Milan in Canada’s Wonderland. While all the others were riding some hellish coaster he explained to me the principal of Supply and Demand using popcorn, if I recall correctly, as an example. I knew it wouldn’t be my last run in with the tricky stuff and although it is both interesting and useful, I simply do not wish to commit my neurons to a science dedicated to greed and moolah.

So really, history and literature do seem like my best options at the moment. Sometimes you gotta talk(or write) these things out to prioritize ’em correctly. Either way, I got time, time, time.

s $$ out,
sash

Very interesting videos:

Stephen Hawking being interviewed by PBS’s Charlie Rose:

TED Talk – Jill Bolte Taylor’s powerful stroke of insight


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Filed under Art, Holidays, Internet, Movies, School, Science

Feelin’ the Illinoise!

Feelin' the Illinoise!

Feelin' the Illinoise!

I am writing this post from the gorgeous and oh-so-gansgter Chicago, Illinois. It has long been a dream of mine to travel to this beautiful place, see the sights and bask in the glory of the Midwestern United State’s largest city. Being in America has been an interesting experience, especially after having studied US History extensively last term. The biggest difference I’ve seen between Montreal and Chicago, other than the pleasantly balmy weather we got goin’ on at the moment, is the urban-ness of this place. The houses, buildings, roads, and parks are jam packed in perfectly spaced rows. Flying in one could not help notice the grid that the city was built upon. Apparently it was rebuilt this way following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Either way, today is Dim Sum and I’s lazy day so we are sitting around Victoria’s place and chillaxing. I decided it’d be best to fill you guys in on our trip thus far. So here are the 5 best things about Chi-city so far!

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1. Victoria’s Place

Vic's Place

Vic's Place

The way Victoria described it certainly did not do it justice. This pad is worthy of a Tsar. The walls are lined with paintings, doodads. The furniture is comfortable and classy ranging from leather couches to a pillow-laden Chinese day bed. Best of all, there is a constant supply of delicious ingredients with which to make delectable snacks at any time of day or night. Last night, in celebration of Mardi Gras, we enjoyed Gwen’s(Victoria’s mom) sultry jambalaya followed by strawberry-iced vanilla cake. Needless to say, we are getting our fill. Only downside is that in two days I know I will be returning to res and its tiny rooms, destitute kitchen and barren fridges. Ah well, ’tis the life of a student.

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2. Downtown Chicago

Woah!

Woah!

Wowza!

Wowza!

The Bean!

The Bean!

After only experiencing the retro skyline of Montreal for the last while, Chicago is breathtaking. The buildings are so massive, prominent and breathtaking. We were lucky to go downtown on a breathtakingly blue-skied day which provided a stellar backdrop for the skyscrapers. They are truly a testament to America’s majesty. For those of you wondering what the Bean is, it’s an incredibly shiny aluminum bean in Millennium Park in the heart of downtown. Very strange indeed, but nevertheless an amazing sight.

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3. Deep Dish Pizza

Yum

Yum

Pizza just ain’t pizza unless it’s 3 inches thick. The sauciness, cheesiness and meatiness of that pizza will flavour my dreams for the rest of my days…

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4. The L-Train

Whoosh!

Whoosh!

Tracks

Tracks

At first, Dim Sum and I found the L-train’s roar frightening, obnoxious and far too frequent. Vic’s place is about 2 blocks from the stop at Diversey and Sheffield and so we get the pleasure of hearing it about every 2-3 minutes. However, it has definitely grown on me. After having experienced its convenience and comprehensiveness that sums up to the best public transit system I may have ever had the pleasure of riding I must say the L-Train is pretty wicked. Dim Sum and I have now grown accustomed to its groan and fall asleep each night to its iron lullaby.

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5. The Company!

Where? Oh Chicago!

Where? Oh Chicago!

Dim Sum has been an amazing companion during this trip. I am very glad he decided to come to Chi-City with the Sash-man and see the sights. Victoria has been a splendid guide and host helping us brave the ghetto, avoid the sketchy places and show us the beautiful underbelly of this otherwise concrete metropolis. They’ve made the trip as far as I am concerned.

Vic's feet

Vic's feet

Ooh lala

Ooh lala

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Alrighty, that’s all for now folks. Dim Sum, Vic and I are gonna go downtown and shop for some new kicks then meet her papa for steak dinner. Tah tah for now.

sash

Some more pics:

Wall of 9 Dragons

Wall of 9 Dragons

Cultural Center

Cultural Center

Dome

Dome

Millenium Park

Millenium Park

Diversity

Diversity

Dimsum @ Clayton's

Dimsum @ Clayton's

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Smooooooth Transition

Kitty catches some Z's!

Kitty catches some Z's!

Don’t you just love it when from the moment you take off to the moment you touch down in a trans-continental flight you are fast asleep? I sure do. This flight definitely contrasted my earlier experience with Air Canada a few weeks ago. In the future I may just have to always fly sleep-deprived, seems to work wonders. Sleep has always been a fascinating topic, we discussed it briefly in my Intro to Psych class(mostly the importance of dreams) I definitely have some crazy dreams. I was on Digg a few weeks ago and saw an article containing 40 facts about sleep you probably didn’t know. Here are some of my faves:

The record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses. We must fight to keep our kids off of rocking chair marathons. It is a chilling epidemic sweeping the Mid-West and portions of the South where handicraft-based artisan markets thrive and it is corrupting our children!

No-one knows for sure if other species dream but some do have sleep cycles similar to humans. Hmm, personally, and without any scientific grounds to base this upon, I declare that animals do dream. All who challenge my theory will face me at dawn in fisticuffs.

Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but lie down for REM sleep. I lie down for both.

Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain’s sleep-wake cycle. The human body is crazy.

Ducks at risk of attack by predators are able to balance the need for sleep and survival, keeping one half of the brain awake while the other slips into sleep mode. Finally, an explanation for why Psyduck was such a useless Pokémon except for when he used his other, psychicly awesome yet dosey, hemisphere.

Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet. LIES! Lies and slander I tells ya!

Anyways, in other news, it’s cool to be back in Montréal. As soon as I touched down the city retaught me the meaning of cold. In a relative sense, snowy Vancouver was like Hawaii over the break. So I hitched up my scarf and made my way back to res. When I arrived, I found a ghost town, not a soul in sight. Luckily my friend Emmet from Molson was around so he came over, we got Pitas, then played games and hung out. Hopefully more people come back to res soon so we can all hop on some rocking chairs and get the party started!

Till’ next time,
sash

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Aeroplane Blues

Aeroplane

Aeroplane

As I sit at gate C-51, prepped to take Air Canada 150 back to Montreal’s Trudeau Airport, I look back on my trip home for the holidays. Overwhelmingly, my desire is that it did not have to end so soon. It’s a cruel thing having to say good-bye to the place and the people you love twice in just a few months. I once again depart reaffirmed just how incredible Vancouver and Vancouverites are. However, life goes on and I do feel truly blessed to be able to live in Montréal and study there. So, I should really remain positive knowing that it won’t be long ’till I am once more in the company of old friends. Some highlights of the trip were:
– Laura’s birthday party at Jonah’s house
– Gaming with Kwang-Hee again. You have no idea how much I missed that guy.
– Hanging with Brenner, Peebles, D-Mac, Par, Wasy, Cole, Meri and all those great people.
– Seeing Robbie and Courtney – you guys never fail to amaze me with your love for me and eachother
– Capture the flag with Sclark, Brynn, Peebles, Brenner, Paul and all those Ians(and the Bolderdashing afterwards)
– Christmas, but that goes without saying.
– New Years for a few reasons:
1. Jorgen blessed me with his presence on this joyous day/eve
2. Seeing all the old drama folk at Ethan’s house.
3. Some much needed communication between me and a certain someone special(Thank goodness : – ])
– Sleeping until any time I damn-well pleased.
– The village in the wee morning hours reminding me of simpler days.

Those are just the ones that come to my sleep-deprived mind at the moment. It would be impossible to sum up all the great highlights of this trip. Everything from the evergreen trees of the West Coast to the unexpected snow made this a trip to remember. Overwhelmingly, this holiday confirmed two things to me. Firstly, that home is where the heart is. Secondly, no matter where I go or how I change, home pretty well stays the same. The former is a cliché that can’t properly be appreciated until you leave the nest. The latter is a new-found truth that will comfort me during the hard times that life alone presents. Thank you everyone.

sash

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