Category Archives: Montreal

Chopin – Waltz No. 19 in A Minor

A piece by Frédéric Chopin that I’ve been working on. Thanks to Matt Machini for lending me his microphone, Joel Bemis for helping me record and Helen Kashap for musical guidance.



Filed under Art, Friends, Montreal, Music

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,


Filed under Friends, Fun, Holidays, Links, Montreal, Science

Aeroplane Blues



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.



Filed under Family, Friends, Holidays, Life, Montreal

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

– Robert Frost

6 days baby. See ya soon Vancouver!

: – ]


Filed under Art, Holidays, Life, Montreal

Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

The Saint himself

The Saint himself

That’s right! Today is Saint Nicholas Day, a day of mirth and celebration. My family usually celebrates it with the old tradition of leaving out one’s shoe to be filled with candy, socks, vitamins and much more. I didn’t really know the origins of Saint Nicholas Day, so I consulted man’s greatest resource: Wikipedia. After some enlightenment I proceeded to open the package sent by my mom. It contained some swanky items indeed. Gloves, a must in the nippiness of Montreal. A cool dragon sun-catcher thang to optimize the Feng Shui of my abode. Some practical woolen socks in addition to some crazy colourful socks(I always need socks. Send more socks.) And last, but certainly not least, a brownish/gold jacket identical to my favourite jacket back in grade 9. It’s a wee bit bigger than my other one, but I am a wee bit bigger than myself in grade 9, so it’s perfect. I layered under it with just a sweater today. Pow! Pretty much dropkicked the cold square in the face. Happy Saint Nicholas Day to all! It’s sweet cause it’s like the appetizer before the main course, X-mas! And X-mas can mean only one thing: Vancouver! 14 days till I get to fly home, away from this strange and foreign land. Away from advertisements that are all in french! Away from the constant cigaretty scent of Downtown Montreal! Away from exams and school, free of syllabi for two glorious weeks! Back in the glory of the green, green West. But I mustn’t get ahead of myself – I still have 4 exams to write >.<”

In medical news, my surgery is almost completely healed over which is awesome. It was interesting seeing it progress over the last little while. Ain’t the body cool? Yes, yes it is. Four popped collars cool.



Filed under Family, Friends, Holidays, Life, Montreal, School




Today I received a very special trifecta of gifts in the mail. Firstly, my mom sent me a copy of Love You Forever. It was a really sweet gesture of her. Indeed, if I had to select my favourite child author it would certainly be Robert Munsch. Everything from The Paper Bag Princess to Mortimer to Thomas’ Snowsuit, it’s alllllll goood! Secondly, my mom’s students, in a characteristic act of generosity, sent me a black and red scarf in the mail. It is just beginning to get chilly in Montreal and my neck is oh so thankful. If you are reading this mom, please pass my appreciation along. Thirdly, my friend Sierra who is studying at a castle in England sent me a very very cool book of art by an artist called Banksy. He is a very talented, edgy and stylish graffiti artist who takes it to the streets of London! The picture above is just one of his many awesome works of urban art. For the benefit of anyone interested I will upload an extensive gallery of digital Bansky scans that I found on Demonoid. Enjoy!


Filed under Art, Family, Fun, Life, Montreal, Photography

A new quest

ipod headphones

ipod headphones

As I sit here enjoying my strawberry yogurt and feeling the bacterial cultures replenishing in my battered intestines I came upon a realization. My musical repertoire has ceased to grow! Since grade 12 I’ve pretty much been listening to the same small, yet rocking, little group of bands and artists. Indeed, if one were to look back upon the history of music which I listen to there would be clear and sweeping phases. I had my early, pre-teen Our Lady Peace phase, then I discovered the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a phase that exists to this day, then I had my Mars Volta phase, my Pearl Jam phase, my NIN phase, and most recently my Sufjan Stevens phase. I’m jonesin’ for a new phase, a new artist to memorize verbatim, read up on wikipedia, draw a picture of, and basically devote my undying fanhood to. So, I have decided to leave it to the experts and listen to every single album, start to finish, on the Time Magazine Top 100 Albums of All Time. I think it will be fun! Here is the list. Wish me luck, cause I am a picky johansen when it comes to my tunes. Those crossed out are albums that I have listened to already at some point in my eighteen years.

The List:

The Essential Hank Williams Collection: Turn Back the Years – Hank Williams
The College Dropout – Kanye West
Portrait of a Legend: 1951-1964 – Same Cooke
Elvis: 30 No. 1 Hits – Elvis Presley
The Anthology, 1947-1972 – Muddy Waters
Kid A – Radiohead
Stankonia – Outkast
Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea – PJ Harvey
The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem

Sunrise – Elvis Presley
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road – Lucinda Williams
Ok Computer – Radiohead
Time Out of Mind – Bob Dylan
Endtroducing… – DJ Shadow
(What’s the Story) Morning Glory – Oasis
Live Through This – Hole
My Life – Mary J. Blige
Ready to Die – The Notorious B.I.G
Slanted and Enchanted – Pavement
The Chronic – Dr. Dre
Achtung Baby – U2
Nevermind – Nirvana
Out of Time – R.E.M

Phil Spector, Back to Mono(1958-1969) – Various Artists
Ropin’ the Wind – Garth Brooks
Star Time – James Brown
The Low End Theory – A Tribe Called Quest

1980s: (This is gonna be painful)
Like a Prayer – Madonna
Paul’s Boutique – Beastie Boys
The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back – Public Enemy
Straight Outta Compton – N.W.A
Document – R.E.M
Paid in Full – Eric B and Rakim
Sign O’ The Times – Prince
The Joshua Tree – U2
Graceland – Paul Simon
Master of Puppets – Metallica
Raising Hell – Run-DMC
Legend – Bob Marley and the Wailers
Purple Rain – Prince
Stop Making Sense – Talking Heads
The Great Twenty-Eight – Chuck Berry
Thriller – Michael Jackson
Back in Black – AC/DC

London Calling – The Clash
One Nation Under a Groove – Parliament/Funkadelic
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols – The Sex Pistols
Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
Hotel California – The Eagles
Ramones – The Ramones
Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder
Born to Run – Bruce Sprinstein
Horses – Patti Smith
Red Headed Stranger – Willie Nelson
Call Me – Al Green
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones
Talking Book – Stevie Wonder
The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff and Various Artists
Blue – Joni Mitchell
Coat of Many Colours – Dolly Parton
Hunky Dory – David Bowie
Led Zeppelin IV (a.k.a Zoso) – Led Zeppelin
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
Sticky Fingers – The Rolling Stones
Tapestry – Carole King
What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
Who’s Next – The Who
After the Gold Rush – Neil Young
Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band
Moondance – Van Morrison


Abbey Road – The Beatles
Bitches Brew – Miles Davis
Stand! – Sly & the Family Stone
The Band – The Band
Astral Weeks – Van Morrison
At Folsom Prison – Johnny Cash
Lady Soul – Aretha Franklin
The Beatles(“The White Album”) – The Beatles
Are You Experienced – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You – Aretha Franklin
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
The Velvet Underground and Nico – The Velvet Underground
Blonde on Blonde – Bob Dylan
Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys
Revolver – The Beatles
Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan

Otis Blue – Otis Reding
Rubber Soul – The Beatles
A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
Live at the Apollo(1963) – James Brown
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music – Ray Charles
King of the Delta Blues Singers – Robert Johnson

Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
Here’s Little Richard – Little Richard
Songs for Swingin’ Lovers – Frank Sinatra
In the Wee Small Hours – Frank Sinatra

Needless to say, I have lots of work to do. Oh and I almost forgot, in musical news, I am seeing Sam Roberts this Friday night at la nationale! This will be my 3rd time seeing Sam Roberts perform, each time better than the last. The first time I saw him was on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Canada Day. The second time was at Pemberton Festival last summer. Unless something has gone horribly wrong, I imagine he won’t disappoint. Anyways, I gotta get going on these albums. I figure I will go from the 50s on, to get the chronology of it.

Tah tah,

*Update: Once I have listened to an album, I cross it off the list.


Filed under Fun, Life, Links, Montreal, Music