Whether it be social, recreational, or professional, some of what represents me is here. Post a comment, or contact me at should you so desire.

The posts are in reverse chronological order, and are pegged by topic on the links to the left. For more of an introduction, please see the About this site page listed above.

Monday, 10 December 2012


Came home at the end of November, not too much has changed. Comforting to know that no matter how up or down life can get, no matter how busy, life at home remains much the same. Sure, sometimes that's boring, or can be annoying, but honestly, I found it steadying, and relaxing.
It was really nice seeing my family again. I have a great relationship with my family, and talk with them on the phone almost every other day, but it was nice to be in the same room again. Sometimes, I come home and everyone is so busy it makes me crazy. My family doesn't like to stay still for too long and can be very busy most of the time, and sometimes that frustrates me as I just want to come home, relax, and get rid of stress, not take any more on. But, things were good this time, and I spent the first week or so just planning ahead, peacefully.

First thing was to plan for my trip to Cuba! Last year, my parents presented the idea of us going to Cuba as a family for Christmas and foregoing the usual exchange of gifts and my sister and I jumped at the idea. We just love spending time together and usually have more fun watching movies together on Boxing Day in our pajamas than during Christmas Day itself, so this looked to be a great idea! My parents went to Cuba a year and a half ago with my uncles and had a fantastic time. They learned to scuba dive and I decided to follow suit (as it were).

My sister wanted to join me in learning but her doctor had some concerns with her ears and wanted to be absolutely sure before he authorized her to dive. She wasn't that disappointed though, safety is key, and she'll learn next year. I went through the dive lessons online and am excited to take my water tests and be certified. I've always loved staying under the water, and this is going to be just another cool thing to cross off my list, at least. I say at least because I think I'll probably enjoy it quite a lot. My parents are cute as they keep saying that if I ever want to be an astronaut some day, this training will help as some of the testing is done underwater. Either way, I'm treating life as a C.V. I wish to fill with interesting skills and experiences so learning to scuba dive is a great contribution to that.

Other than that, there wasn't much to do. Most of my stuff was still packed, from moving back from Edmonton, and all I really had to do was ensure I had the proper attire for Cuba and get the proper vaccinations.

My grandmother is coming on the trip, which surprised the rest of us because she's usually very content with staying in even when we want to go out for dinner. My cousin is coming along as well to take care of/keep my grandmother company as some of the activities will be a little too strenuous for her.

Once my stuff was settled, I turned my attention to helping my mom in any way I could. With my grandmother coming, my dad being at work, and my sister and I never before flying out of the country, my mom has a lot of planning on her hands. Appointments for vaccinations, packing for herself, my dad, my grandmother, and checking that my sister and I aren't packing too lightly, all that and a million things more, well, my mom is in real need of a vacation, conveniently enough.

I made the last week before the flight a little more difficult for her because I took off to Toronto. I needed to find a place to live once I moved back to the city and while I was planning on doing this after Christmas, my mom insisted I just go ahead, before we left for Cuba. Still, I know she not only missed me, but missed my help and having that extra set of eyes, ears, and hands at home.

Came back to the city, via Greyhound bus, the only eventful aspect of which was when a woman accidentally reclined her seat into my lap. The bus was dark, as most had decided to sleep and I had just decided to stop reading. We stopped at the Scarborough town centre, there to pick up/drop off some people and a woman rushes to the seat in front of me, sits down and reclines her seat all the way back, intending to take a nap, I guess.

So, I'm looking down at her, I clear my throat and turn on a light. She screams, bolts upright and profusely apologizes. Thankfully, my usual response to something like this is just to smile and shrug. Still, it was rather amusing.

Made it to Toronto, under cover of darkness, seeing the city lights and CN Tower for the first time in a long time. A smile lit up on my face in the same way it did when I made it home and saw my family's house as a shining beacon against the pitch black background of mother nature, the only other light being the fading light of stars long gone. Picked up at the airport by one of my closest friends, it was a casual, but exciting reunion. For years, my friend Mike and I had been almost glued to the hip. We lived together for almost 6 years and while our personalities can clash sometimes, we know each other so well that we can anticipate the other. In any case, it was refreshing to have someone who got most of my jokes, and I had missed that :)

Mike and his girlfriend Sarah were exceptionally kind and let me stay at their place for the week. It was kind of like a hotel room there for strays though as they were also taking care of Mike's family's dog, Arbe. (pronounced Arby).

I didn't tell anyone else that I was coming back to the city. The main reason was that apartment hunting was my top priority and while I wanted to see people, I didn't want to distract myself from my main task. The other was that I have been comfortable being alone again and I didn't want to just dive right into being surrounded by friends right away.

As the week went on, the prospects for apartments were better than I had feared. Finding housing in Toronto can be tough, not because there's a lack of housing, but because all the limiting factors can be quite, well, limiting. If you want to live in a certain location, for a certain price, in an apartment in a certain condition, things become bleak quickly. I keep telling friends that finding a place to live in Toronto involves taking anything you can find as soon as you find it, even without verifying that it exists.

But, in the end, I found a really nice basement apartment, which fits my budget and gives me the semblance of living alone. The only downfall of the place is the kitchen, as it lacks in size, but as long as I have my appliances and some counter space, I will be good to go. I'll post some pictures once I move in and set everything up.

In between apartment viewings and online apartment hunting, I did end up having a nice time in Toronto. I saw Skyfall with Mike and Pat, a friend I haven't seen in quite some time, he has a big beard now, it's quite impressive. I played D&D, saw Wreck-It Ralph with Mike and our friend Alex and it was, as they said, "full of feels" (full of emotion). I also had a chance to see a few more friends at a board game birthday party, which I'll go into a few more details in a moment.

D&D was fun, as always, and it was a really good game, mixing some older sessions/characters/campaigns with the new, and it was a night full of fun, role-playing, and kicking butt together in a fantasy setting. We had a Dragonborn Paladin/Sorcerer looking to end a curse placed upon him and refused to sit, even when we took him on a wagon ride. We had a Genasi Swordmage whose mysterious background was forgiven for the sheer amount of damage she saved us from taking. We had my character, Cyrus, a gruff but funny Dwarven Runepriest, saving people with the power of laughter and divine magic, and we had Hassim, the Kalashtar Wizard whose comedic outbursts and adherence to character were commendable and hilarious. I had really missed D&D and hope to play again soon!

Skyfall was quite good, and I liked it a lot more than the previous two Daniel Craig Bond films. While I haven't seen a lot of the other movies, I know the franchise and the character enough to know when someone or something isn't quite right. Plus, Mike's a huge fan, has all the movies, so I know a bit more than my own experience would account for. While the previous Craig movies lacked the true essence of Bond, in my opinion, Skyfall was great because it incorporated all of those missing aspects and presented some refreshing, new twists. Craig went from being cocky, to confident, showing me that he deserved to be Bond for the first time. The dialogue was suave, the action was intense and comical in a timely fashion, the villain was well-acted and interesting, Dame Judi Dench was brilliant as always, and the film had a lot of references to the series including an almost shot-for-shot of M's office from Dr. No. All in all, it was quite enjoyable and for anyone doubting or loving this current franchise, I would recommend it.

Wreck-It Ralph was quite good, and I was a little surprised. I went into it knowing it would make me laugh, but I didn't think it would make me cry. I thought I would only enjoy the video-gaming aspect of the movie, but it was surprisingly deep, and while the plot was simple, it was simply enjoyable. Something Alex pointed out which was quite interesting was that the relationship between two of the main characters, Ralph and a little girl named Vanellope, was interesting as it wasn't sexual (her being a young girl), it wasn't father-daughter, or brother-sister, it was just two friends. It's one of those points which is refreshing when you reflect upon its lack in other movies/books. A simple platonic friendship between two characters is actually a rarity, from my experience, so that alone was a nice touch. Again, a movie worth my recommendation.

Alex, Mike, and I joined up with Fiona and her boyfriend James to see what was known as Fan-Fiction Improv. The premise is that people find fan fiction about a certain book/movie series and portray it on stage, adding their own embellishments. Tonight's theme was A Game of Thrones. Fans of improv, the books and TV show alike sat upstairs in The Black Swan pub awaiting what promised to be a hilarious evening. And it was. The pieces ranged from a mere interpretation of a scene from the book/TV show, to re-imaginings, or cross-overs. We saw Sarah Connor in Westeros, Daenerys Targaryen signing a contract of consent with Khal Drogo (in a Fifty Shades of Gray interpretation) and watched as Loras decided what colours to choose from for his wedding to Renly whilst attending high school. The performers were quite excellent, the fan fiction was quite terrible, and the night was enjoyable. Plus, for $5 and access to the bar, you really can't go wrong.

The encore was a piece written by Shakespeare Hemingway about the blood-feud between Dr. Niles Crane and his brother Frasier. While not Game of Thrones themed, it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen, watching as Niles used his Jungian powers of psychiatry to literally beat up and take over the world.

I had not laughed that hard for that long, in quite a long time. My insides were sore, and so was my jaw, but I really look forward to going back on January 5th to see their take on Star Wars. The main comedic troop, Rulers of the Universe, can be befriended here: Rulers of the Universe.

Last night, I went to Steph and Dom's apartment, seeing it for the first time since they moved in. When we helped them move in, there were 10-15 people in the apartment and with the boxes and furniture just placed around the room, I was a little concerned about how much space they would have. My fears were unjustified, however, and I was quite impressed with the efficient use of space.

The party was really enjoyable. We played board games, video games, ordered food in, and had a really nice time. We also had some Skype appearances from some friends in the UK and it was really awesome just being surrounded by my friends again. My favourite parts of the evening were talking with our friends from the UK, and playing Clue. Due to the recent playing of D&D, I decided to become the character of Colonel Mustard and everyone else followed suit. It was really funny, suspecting people from a first-person perspective, but the funniest moment was when I suspected myself. "Aha! I find myself within the lounge. Well, I suspect...myself! Ahem, yes, I suspect that the wrench and I joined forces to take out Mr. Body in this very room. Can anyone disprove that?" To which the other players chimed in..."You're in that room by yourself, this house is huge, who is going to hear you?" Nevertheless, I will now always act out the role as it made things really enjoyable.

I now find myself getting ready to meet my parents at the airport. My time in Toronto, while short, has been quite enjoyable. I am really looking forward to spending a week with my family, and while I've been on planes before, (I even flew one!), I have never flown out of the country before. I look forward to getting my passport stamped, seeing my sister's reaction to being on a plane for the first time, seeing Cuba from above, getting settled at the resort, seeing the beautiful water, enjoying the all-inclusive food/drink, and trying scuba-diving. It will be an incredible week, and I will tell you all about it when I get back.

Also, I have some really interesting space news and thoughts to share with you, but that'll have to wait until next time.

-Merci pour votres temps!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. But the SPAAAACE NEEEEEWWWWWS!!!!!!!!!!!