At night...
"At night it's so cold, I can feel the universe", he said. It was in winter, I think we were about to say goodbye, in front of the entrance of a local Montreal watering hole, Else's - location which pervades many of this journal's (a bit outdated!) entries. Even with the lights from the city, a few stars were visible in the grayish black sky, between the white puffs of air that we breathed out. This was close to a decade ago (if not more!), and somehow that sentence still stuck with me. We had known each other for a couple of days, and this was about the last time I was to see him. Chance encounter really, just like a bright shooting star. Close your eyes and make a wish... Stay true to yourself, always, and maybe on the coldest night, the universe will warm you up. Thanks, Matt.

Another starry night - but this time we could see the milky way, and through binoculars, the colors of the stars - white, blue, orange... and shades in between. Every once in a while, a satellite would fly by my circular viewport. After a stroll on the beach, all of us watching a cloudless summer sunset from the easternmost province of Canada, a delicious dinner cooked over a campfire - feeling tired but not enough, and there it was, perhaps unknowingly, just for a moment, we had touched what is only dreamt in dreams, each in our own way.

The Return to LJ
Wow. My last entry in this journal dates back to February 28, 2006. Six years ago. I did not expect that my account would still exist. Well it is a pleasant surprise. I began this journal in July 2004! Where did all the time go? In any event, it was interesting to read through my own journal, left untouched those 6 years. I can clearly remember some of the moments I wrote about.

I checked out some of LJ friend's pages - most recent entry I could find was 2010.

So there it is, I'm back! Hoping to hear from old friends, and make new ones.

Today will be a quiet evening.

I just finished Haruki Murakami's latest book, "1Q84". For the readers and bookworms out there, I highly recommend. Do not be fazed by its 925 pages - I myself at the end wished for more of the story!

The cover jacket describes it as "A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell's..." I have never heard or read anything by this author before. Looking forward to discover his other books.

Movie for tonight: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes". If anything, it should be at the very least... entertaining.

Signing off and sending this into cyberspace, after 6 years of cybersilence.

Oh peace
Studying in Polyphoto's cozy office. Listening to music. The school is so quiet...

I'm in my little bubble here and feel so peaceful.

May this mood last for a while...

Music thought
Something I want to write down from last night's conversation with Kris -

"Playing music allows you to feel emotions that you haven't necessarily experienced."

I guess the same thing could go for listening in some ways, but in now way listening and playing music the same experience...

So today is concert day!!! :-)

31 - Thirty-one, trente-et-un, einunddreissig...
I haven't updated for a while, my life was so busy lately!

Most of last week was taken up by my personal celebration of the return to school. I did my minimal contribution to student life by participating in the pub crawl (but skipping the tube/funnel beer drinking events), my other nights were at Else's. The pub crawl was a riot - close to 200 students in the metro screaming, singing and yelling. Well you know got to do it, it's only once in your life! I had fun though, and didn't get too smashed.

I wrote a 6-page letter couple of days ago. Yes, a handwritten letter. Which is a thing of the past now. It was destined to Vincent, an ex-employee of Else's I ran into. He's a writer and just gave me something to read... "Here's something I wrote. Why don't you read it, and send me a letter telling me your comments. It'd be really cool to receive it by mail..." Instead of e-mail which has superseded handwriting, almost...

Last but not least, it's my birthday today. I'm turning 31! I spent sometime yesterday downloading music and putting it in my newly acquired iTunes (the best jukebox software, bar none!). Compiling a mix to play at Else's tonight.

I TryMacy Gray
ACDC - Highway To HellAC-DC
Sweet Dreams (are made of these)Eurythmics
Together ForeverRick Astley
Les Histoires d'AmourRita Mitsouko
AndyRita Mitsouko
C'est comme çaRita Mitsouko
Twist And ShoutThe Beatles
Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd
I Feel GoodJames Brown
Johnny B GoodeChuck Berry
ACDC - Rare Tracks - Johnny BAC-DC
Lose YourselfEminem
Song 2Blur
Girls & BoysBlur
I Don't Want To Miss a ThingAerosmith
Walk This WayAerosmith
Livin' On A PrayerBon Jovi
Ya RayahCheb Khaled, Faudel & Rachid Taha
Exit Music (For A Film)Radiohead
No SurprisesRadiohead
HallelujahJeff Buckley
Tom Traubert's Blues (Waltzing Matilda)Tom Waits
Cheek to cheekElla Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Die Männer sind schon die Liebe wertMax Raabe & Palast Orchester
Nighthawks At The DinerTom Waits
Moscow Nights

Yeah I know, my taste in music very eclectic. I make no discrimination! (Well, almost). I'd have put more French music in there, but it's difficult to find a good selection on the internet...

Gathering a few friends this evening to go have dinner in Chinatown (where you have the best quality/price/quantity ratio - if you know which restaurant to go to!), and then we'll finish the evening at Else's. Pretty much the whole staff knows it's my birthday, so I think there's going to be a good ambience!

Tomorrow, back to school - 2nd week. The (major) partying is definitely over...

Movie quiz

OK, since I am totally indulging in being lazy and doing fuckall this weekend, I got some time to do this movie quizz that's been migrating between different LJs...

Movie By Picture

1. Pick fifteen films you love/thoroughly enjoyed.
2. Find screen captures (stills) for each film, preferably from scenes you like. If you can't find a still, pick a new movie.
3. Post the pictures with the rules; let your readers guess from what movie each still is. (Readers, no cheating. No google, no looking at my livejournal interests or looking at the file names.)

*You can answer as many as you think you know as long as you avoid looking at people who answered before
Hint - movie buffs: quite a few of them are foreign films...

The screenshots...Collapse )
If you can get all 15, we've got to talk! :-)

Today was the welcome day (by the students) at Ecole Polytechnique. Kind of a prelude to initiation week which will start next Monday and run the whole week. The morning started with introducing ourselves to everyone else in the group, and then there was free beer (that was 9:30am). Then we had to create a team song, and team rally scream. And then we went in the big amphitheater all of us together - (all the engineering depts - civil, electrical, computer, mechanical, chemical) and then had to scream our lungs out to see who'd go for lunch first. We waited in line for almost an hour to get hot dogs.

Games and initiation...Collapse )

And yes, engineering is like hockey. It's a very, very heterosexual, male-dominated environment. Yeah, the kind that goes berserk when seeing two women kiss. While I won't say that it's to the point of  homophobia (at least not intentionally), some of those guys are still afraid of being tagged "gay", I'm sure: the first game in the morning could involve mentionning who was the cutest person in the room. There was only ONE girl in the room. The majority of them either answered "me" or went next door to pick a girl. A few were more daring and actually pointed other guys. The answer I loved the most was: "because I think he's like a teddy bear".  Incidentally the guy who said that was the one who *I* thought was the cutest. :-P But he has girlfriend. :-(

So the '05 mechanical engineering class is about 175 students, the whole 1st year - probably close to 400? I can't possibly be the only gay one in there, so it'll be interesting to seek out my own kin! But at that age, in such an environment - half of them are probably still in the closet...

Yesterday's "me" day was a success! As well as the photo shoot of it. Anxious to see them! It was just an ordinary day, really, but the fact that I had total liberty as to the when and where - that's what made it great. Because I usually always have something on my agenda (in the literal sense!). I went swimming. Came back home for lunch. Practiced piano. Went to see a movie. Went to Else's. Ran into Malcolm. No overdrinking, lots of mirth and laughter. Got home, dinner, fell sound asleep. A big groggy, but not hungover. It shall pass in an hour or so when I'm fully awake.

The movie I saw was Jim Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers". It won the Grand Prize at Cannes this year. Yet I have to say I was disappointed. It's one of those movies that just doesn't live to its hype. Sure, the premise was interesting, Bill Murray does a great job at acting, the characters are ludicrous and interesting - but it tended to feel a bit repetitive, and slow at moments. There is no ending. And that's what annoyed me. I understand that a lack of ending sometimes is an artistic license (i.e.: as in Before Sunset, where I thought that was the beauty of it) - but in this case, when I came out of the theater, the only question in my mind was: "What was the point of that?"  I think that there was a hint as to what the "ending" was - but it was too subtle. 6.5/10

Today - swimming, dim sum with Else's company, and then AlterHeros meeting. Speaking of AlterHeros, it's through them that I renewed contact with Joy, an old friend mine from my first years of university... the world is so small.

One week until beginning of semester - two weeks before the move out...

A must see
If you had asked what was the best movie I've seen this summer, I'd have said "Batman", unashamedly. Until yesterday.

I decided to take a day "off" after my exam yesterday and went to see a movie, "The Edukators" (Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei, dir. Hans Weingartner). Here's a synopsis that won't give anything away:
"Three rebellious German kids hoping to inspire societal change walk door to door to tell the rich citizenry that their days of free spending are numbered. But a love triangle and an "accidental" kidnapping complicate their idealistic mission. "

Although the director has been said to take a "romantic" approach to his movie, I thought it was a very true to life portrayal of what it is like to be in your early-mid twenties. You know the saying - "If you under 30 and not idealist, you have no heart. If over 30 you're still idealist, you have no brains." Or something like that. And the other one about being a socialist...

It is definitely an anti-bourgeois movie - rich people are perhaps portrayed unilaterally and almost cardboard-like, but they are more of a pretext than a target. The dialogue is thoughtful, smart and witty - and realistic. The cast is also great (I particulary like the sweet-looking boy-next-door Daniel Brühl), the characters believable, and lovable, as is the soundtrack.

But what struck me a lot was the friendship subplot - the friendship between the three of them, and also between the two guys, who are best friends. It's to be seen. It's very rare to see a movie treating true friendship (especially between two straight men) - it's always the bona fide love story - but The Edukators brings in a sincere, and yes, romantic view - of something people forget to look for and appreciate, along with the eternal pursuit for love: friendship.

Oh yes... the last song at the end is by Jeff Buckley. Wow. RUN see this movie!!!

(I got a free admission ticket - and will go see it again in a couple of days, once I digest it entirely...)

So long, farewell...

The Montreal 2005 XI FINA Championships are now officially over, as the FINA president Mustapha Larfaoui and Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay made their respective speeches. The FINA flag was pulled down and given to the Mayor of Melbourne, Australia for the XII FINA Champions to be held in Melbourne, VIC, in 2007.

On the screen: "Thank you Montreal 2005, see in you Melbourne 2007."

Although the closing ceremony was nowing as grand as the opening, it was nevertheless moving and inspiring.
Today also marked my last and 26th consecutive day of volunteer work! Over 150h invested in four weeks with no weekends - so I'm not exactly upset that it's all over... Sad, a bit - it was a unique experience to be involved in world championship. There was nothing this big in sports since the 1976 Olympics. I'll fondly remember these past weeks for the rest of my life!

Seeing all these athletes compete, be silly, rejoice, sometimes even cry, always striving for the best - gave me an inspirational boost for the upcoming start of the school year, my first year back in science since 1996.

Tomorrow I intend to return to the piano, music... and the pool. I still have to gauge how my semester will go, but I'd definitely like to include some good amount of swimming in there. Not that I plan to go to the Olympics or anything, but if I get to join a Master's Club of some sort by next summer - I'll be more than happy.

Grant Hackett won the gold medal in 1500m freestyle today - a ridiculous 6 seconds ahead of the silver medalist. He also won the trophy for Best Male Swimmer. Yay to Grant Hackett!!!!

And I'll finally have some more time to invest in this LJ!


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