Halloween at Bishop’s University

Halloween Plan A and Plan B quickly got replaced with Plan Random: last minute decision with some friends to head down to a party at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke (well, Lennoxville). Sure, it was an hour and a half drive – but it was worth it. oK, well at least it was different πŸ˜›

Halloween - Still White and Nerdy

So, what did I end up wearing? Keep in mind I still have a bunch of things back in Toronto and my resources and wardrobe are limited.

I basically took my ‘White Party’ outfit you see below and planned on adding 3 black cardboard cut out circles taped onto my shirt – thus going as a giant Domino! The belt would act as the middle line.

Clever? Fine fine. At least I tried…

Anywho, I ended up not having any tape or time to finish the dots, so I just went as shown, all in white. When asked, I labeled my costume everything from the lame “I’m sugar?” to “Inside of an oreo?” to “An incandescent bulb?”. Oh and don’t worry – I’m aware at how uncool those choices were (hence the ‘question mark’ at the end of each one). Still, it forced me to be creative and come up with something new with each question. Personal note: I never once resorted to “I’m an angel, of course” – ’cause, well, that’d be cheesy.

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Halloween Costume and a Few Pics

What the wear, what to wear.

Craziest day of the year – you can be anyone or anything you want. Originality is key, so is creativity. I’m finding more and more inspiration in life in the last while (actually, since coming back from France).

…So, what am I going out as this Friday? Idea finally kicked in for me tonight, but not sure I can pull it off. Stay tuned, and hopefully a cool pic of the outfit in the next day or so.

In the meantime, a couple of pics from this weekend with the Belgium couple friends:


More Belgian Partyin
Belgium Partyin

..and the fingers pointing to my head? Who knows. They seemed to have an amazing time in Montreal, so whatever πŸ˜›

Short Rest

…zZz

Been out being the tour guide for the past 5-days, and with my guests off on a bus to Toronto last night at midnight, time to catch up on some side projects again. I have pictures and cooler blog entries to post to this site ASAP as well as the all important ‘Halloween’ custom search. Last year, I think I was a cool vampire if I remember correctly… or was that the year before? I also have another website that I have to fix up and update as well.

Anywho, I’m also running on roughly zero sleep. All these super late nights coupled with early mornings trying to show every aspect of not only Montreal but of Quebec and Canadian culture, I think it’s caught up with me. Tonight, a good workout, relax and sleeeeep. Then I’ll start fixing things up here πŸ™‚

…zZzooom!

P.S.: Lame blog entry, with no pictures, no travel talk and really nothing new. Annoyed? There’s always going to be a slow day. Cut me some slack πŸ˜‰

Culture, Camping and Clubbin’

Long weekend, being the tour guide. Shown a lot of my city to my 2 Belgian friends. From art and culture, to the advantages of living within walking distance of St-Laurent street, to heading out into the wilderness cottage – and waking up to a dear feeding in the grass in front.

Pictures and more to come soon. For now, tired and time to do some laundry.

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Belgians, but no waffles.

INSAlien in Montreal again. Just this morning, an old friend from Belgium and her boyfriend arrived in Canada for the first time – and I’ve been given the cool job of showing them the town.

So far, only been a brief hi/bye before I went to work, but the important questions were asked: “Will we see any bears?” and “Can we go canoeing?”.

I answered the first inquiry in standard ‘lame-joke’ format: “No, but if you want to see wildlife, try St-Laurent at 2am?”**

**[note: on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being hilariously funny – I quickly rated myself a 2.1 for that attempt]

Belgium

St-Laurent, St-Denis, Plateau and MarchΓ© Jean-Talon

Work is more academic here, but the hours are consistent. I’m in and out at the same hours everyday (a big change from my last 2-months in Ontario). That being said, re-living in Montreal has it’s advantages that finally I can profit from: walking around and actually seeing my home town.

Lately, I’ve been going out on St-Laurent and St-Denis, but also having the random brunch in the Plateau on Mont-Royal and doing groceries farther north in the Jean-Talon area. Heard good things about the place, so figured ‘why not’! I realized in Toronto what I look for in a place these days, and that’s comfort and location. The place in Montreal could be decorated a little nicer, but 2-floors is ample space, with a large lawn and garden in front that brings that homely feel – while still being central for location; I can walk to my gym or to the clubs/lounges at night.

Stay tuned, and I might even bring out the camera in this big city πŸ˜‰

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Monkey-Trees

After a night out, what better way to celebrate than by climbin’ trees!

Went with a few friends to “Arbre en Arbre” up in Drummondville for the day for some quality tree climbing and acrobatics. Well, more balancing act than anything else. Getting up the ladder to those heights turned out to be the more challenging part for me. Once you’re up there, just don’t look down too much and you’re fine.

Kinda.

Monkey-business in the trees

[…You’ll have to click the link for the full-sized pic, and squint to see where we are up there in the trees…]

Atlanta-ness

Back from ‘business’ trip to Atlanta – and what a quality experience.

I’m finally getting the vibe of how everything works, and the dynamics of the group. This week, it was myself and all the other people in North America with the company that have the same job. Some have been there only a year, others over 20. Nonetheless, we talked and learnt all day, and went out as a good group at night. The golden rule: stay out as long as you want and go nuts, as long as you show up on time the next morning.

Now, time to eat!

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ATL

Packing again soon.

Atlanta

Montreal apartment is golden, and staying put for the next little while. However, business calls and a few days in Atlanta, Georgia are coming up this week. Annoying part? The flight has my flying to Toronto first, then to ATL. Ugh!

Anywho. Saturday night, and time to head out for part 2 of the evening.

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Night-Shift and INSAliens

Completed the 1st one here. Came off an 11-hour graveyard shift, going from 19h00 to 6h00 this morning. Wow – not sure I could do that all the time. Tonight I head out for another one of those before heading into the weekend.

Sleepy-sleep

**Note: Not an actual picture of me. I would never wear a shirt that green.

…outside of that, got word that another old school INSAlien is heading to this part of the globe. Timing is perfect actually, so they’ll get to see New York City, Montreal and even Toronto. Not too shabby. Good talking before the reunion later on this year.

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Stylin’ it up in Montreal

Well, still unpacking – but officially living in Montreal for the next few months. Place is more than I could ask for: 2 floors, perfect location, extra bedroom space for guests and the 3 most important things in real-estate are included, “location, location, location”!

Went out with some old friends on St-Laurent last night for someone’s birthday. Did the late supper lounge, walked across to the club and got home at the end of it all in under 4 minutes. You can’t complain about that!

I’ll post more info and scoop as the week goes on. For now, still more to do. First day at the plant here tomorrow morning, so best be prepared…

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24 Boxes x 32 Cylinders + 1 Highway = Trouble

Wowzer. Action packed day!

I head out 2 hours south to pick up a bunch of empty cylinder cases from some warehouse. There’s apparently going to be a lot of ’em, hence the forklift needed to load them into the back of my truck.

Well, long story short: boxes not loaded correctly, and about 30seconds after getting onto the highway, “Schlooooooom! Schloom! Schloom! Schloooom!”. Yup, that would be the sound effects of 4 boxes flying off the back of my truck, landing in the middle of the highway, and smashing open on impact – releasing, you guessed it, 32 cylinders each. Talk about a mess!

Tear-out-Hair

Aaaargh!

..lol, oh well, all part of the experience I guess πŸ™‚ So, how was your day?

The Decision: Back to the 5-Fs [Sorry, a tad long]

Confused?

A few posts ago, I talked about a ‘decision’ that was made. Here is the little story for those who care to read:

When I was about 20yr and had just completed CEGEP, I felt aimless. How to know what to do next in life, which path to choose, what degree (or not) to do – and when? We’re supposed to decide who we’re going to be before an application deadline approaches, and that was scary stuff.

Flipping back and forth between choices, I finally sat down one day and made a crucial choice in my life: to decide! Regardless of what I decided, the worst thing I figured I could do was not choose. I basically stood in front of a mirror, looking forward and seeing myself 2, 5, 10 and 20 years from now – visualizing who I would be if I continued down the current path. Would I be happy? Fulfilled? Or depressed and a typical Joe-Average? Then I re-did the same thing backwards, this time with no restrictions on what the perfect life would be for me. If I could do or be anything in the world, how would it look? How would I *feel*?

Believe it or not, I spent a long time that afternoon on this, and the excitement of who one could become turned into the realization that if we simply decided then and there what we wanted, and wouldn’t accept anything less, then the odds are in your favour. I’d rather attempt life at full force, and fail, then living a life of mediocrity. At least I could look back knowing I tried!

That day when I was 20 I created a little checklist I called “The 5-Fs”. They stood for: ‘Fitness’, ‘Future’, ‘Far Away’, ‘Finances’, and ‘Fear'”. I made it a rule that everyday, I had to do something (no matter how small) in each of those areas. In addition to that, I had to focus on one main one for each stage in my life. ‘Fitness’ became me doing martial arts full-time – 6-days a week and for about 3 years until I achieved the level I wanted. ‘Future’ was doing that Engineering degree. Coupled in there was ‘Far Away’ (which basically meant ‘Travel’, but had to start with an F right? ;)) – and I did the exchange in France. Finally, ‘Finances’, and the job I’m at now is definitely setting that goal in motion…

And ‘Fear’? I had to do one thing every single year that I was deathly afraid of. The first year I Skydived. Another year I stayed in Egypt even though the suicide attacks took place at the town we were headed to in 2 days. This year I headed out to Toronto all alone, not sure what it would mean to my personal life…

It’s been an amazing ride since that day about 8 years ago. I’ve reached brown-belt status in the mixed-martial art, I’ve completed my Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering, I’ve lived overseas for a full year and had the good fortune to have visited over 15 countries in that time period, and recently I’ve gotten a financially rewarding job that is actually good fun to show up to!

In the midst of all this, with all the main goals in sight, I’ve met some amazing people from all over the world. I’ve even been fortunate enough to have one of the greatest relationships with someone I never expected – and taught me a lot. Above everything, I learnt then that the best moments in life are not planned. Also, as amazing as something may be, and as much as we work hard to get it or to try and keep it, some things are just out of our control – and you have to release and let whatever happens happen. If you notice, there could easily be a 6th ‘F’ for ‘Female’, but that never comes into planning. I have a romantic side and I still believe that life in that area will unfold as it should, one way or another.

Today, this week, everything seems open and whole again. The ‘decision’ was to get back on track with the 5-Fs.

I hope everyone takes chances in life and follows their dreams, as we only get 1 shot at this world!

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Sad News to Report

In talking up old times with the INSA France crew, it was brought up that the famous postman (often a tad tipsy and frequently at the campus bar) is no longer with us.

Whlie alcoholism may have been a factor, he was still a friendly guy and will be missed. For what it’s worth, a Facebook group has been created in his memory and it has over 800 members with tons of comments on memories…

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Nanard - Le Facteur

Reunion!

It’s official: an INSA reunion is in the works!

Already about 15 confirmed, 25 ‘probably’ and still waiting on others. The quality party days of France – that’s what I’m missing.

INSAliens

Not that I don’t have a good time here in Toronto, but something needs to be brought back – a part of who I was during and right after that trip needs to come out again. School and the final year of engineering might have ’caused me some focus time, but it payed off with a great job and great lifestyle. Now it’s time to get back that mindset to full power πŸ™‚

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