Recently in Dreams Dreams Category
J'aurais dû m'en douter que les Perséides se voyaient mieux dans l'hémisphère nord. La constellation de Persée ne se lève qu'après 22h à la latitude de Hong Kong.
Vendredi soir, le 13, je suis sorti prendre une marche de minuit dans la jungle de Lamma.
Derrière le stand à tofu-dessert, j'ai pris le chemin qui longe le champ d'aubergines qui va jusqu'à la plage de la centrale électrique, car elle est juste à côté justement d'une central électrique (au charbon) qui alimente une bonne partie de la ville. C'était difficile de voir les étoiles, tant les lumières de la centrale scintillaient. J'y suis resté quelques instants, et j'ai repris le chemin vers l'autre plage, celle aménagée par le département du loisir.
La route entre les deux plages était en béton, assez large pour des camions (quelque chose que Lamma n'a pas, en général, sur ses routes), mais sans lampadaires. C'était ma première fois dans une jungle, la nuit, je me suis dit. Pas la jungle profonde, mais quand même. Une chance que j'ai amené ma grosse lampe Maglite, laissée dans l'appart par le locataire précédent.
Il y a trois ans, j'étais allé voir les étoiles au Mont St-Hilaire pour la fête de quelqu'un que je ne connaissais pas. C'était une belle soirée, même si j'ai fini par dormir sur le sofa de la cabane du centre de recherche/retraite McGill louée par l'amie de mes amis. Probablement que ça a été la meilleure récolte de tous les temps en étoiles filantes...
Hier soir, j'ai eu de la belle visite sur Lamma. Les amis avec qui j'étais venu sur l'île pour la première fois étaient de retour pour célébrer la fête d'une de nos amis. Ça me donne l'occasion d'émettre la réflection très profonde que, wow, les choses ont bien évolué en une année. Il y a dix mois à peine, je venais d'arriver à Hong Kong, sans emploi, pas certain si j'aurais une chance de revenir à mon ancienne job à Montréal. Et aujourd'hui, je pourrais me dire que, quoique ce n'a rien de la stabilité à Montréal, j'ai quelques assises solides sur lesquelles bâtir.
Je pense que mes amis savaient que j'aurais aimé que tout le monde reste, comme tout le monde savait que notre ami américain voulait ses smores. :D Mais bon, je pense que sur toutes les choses qu'on voulait collectivement, il y en avait certaines qui n'étaient compatibles avec les désirs de tous et chacuns. Le problème des groupes nombreux...
Ce « bon temps » comme la chanson des Cowboys frigants chantent, c'est peut-être maintenant et plus jamais ? Peut-être qu'en vieillissant, on devient moins flexible, moins ouvert sur notre conception du bonheur, des bons moments de la vie ? Un peu trop heavy là.
C'était le premier vrai get-together chez moi, en tout cas, je voulais dire. Et comme c'est pas si facile que ça se rendre à Lamma, je suis quand même content d'avoir pu rassembler tout le monde pour voir ces fameuses (ou foutues) Perséides, même si elles ne se sont pas du tout pointées, à cause surtout des lumières intenses des bâtiments autour de la plage publique (toilettes, etc.). On a quand même allumé un petit feu, qu'un gars qui travaillait p-ê pour le département du loisir nous a crié quelque chose qui nous a fait comprendre que c'était interdit et qu'il était la personne en position d'autorité icitte.
Le monde a quitté sur le ferry de 23h30, le dernier qui sort de Lamma de la nuit, avant celui du matin à 6h40. C'est dommage qu'il n'y ait plus de traversier de nuit, comme c'est le cas pour d'autres îles extérieures plus peuplées. Comme j'ai oublié mes clés prêtées à un de mes visiteurs, j'ai dû attendre le retour du ferry à 1h, quand un matelot me les apporta. Avec une note qui dit que c'était pour 沈先生 (M. Shen), une faute commune sur mon nom de famille, qui est 岑 (Cen -> Sam).
Je suis rentré chez moi à 1h10, épuisé, plein de sable sur toutes les parties de mon corps, et j'ai pris la douche que je voulais prendre une heure et demie auparavant. Je suis ensuite allé sur mon toit, chasser les étoiles filantes. Et j'en ai pas vu une seule, puisque le voisin shinait ses grosses lumières sur sa terrasse en brassant quelques parties de Mah jong.
Finalement, je pense que la conclusion serait qu'on a eu du bon temps, malgré le manque d'étoiles filantes. Quand je suis rentré, j'ai pensé à cette chanson populaire québécoise. Le band de garage de mon frérôt la joue, mais qui est probablement marquante pour les gens de notre génération, et étrangement (ou pas) aussi pour nos amis anglos néo-montréalais.
(Peut-être je me souviens de ma conversation en juin à Montréal avec une amie, qui en conclusion aurait pu se terminer sur la pensée que plus on recherche le bonheur, moins on le trouvera... Alors, eille, faut juste chiller un peu plus. En tout cas, c'est une réflection qui sera bonne pour plusieurs!)
My last dream portion consisted of a junior hockey game where some pranksters dressed up monkeys as players. The chimps were hard-hitting and gritty, sending more than one human kid bottom on the ice. I'm not sure if it has a relation with my lack of interest for the second round of playoffs (I only watched the Ottawa-Buffalo game behind my shoulder, which finished with a baseball score - 7-6 - and none of teams with a lead of more than one goal).
Also, I realize that sleep, b/c of renovations (always someone at least talking loud nextdoor, if not hammer-banging or electric sawing), has been extremely bad for four weeks, and most probably another three weeks. Not bad to the point of falling asleep on days I actually need to wake up, but just an accumulation of slightly bads that makes everyone in this house greatly appreciate that day every two weeks when noone is working.
I was thinking about food, and thought that I should perhaps attempt to make zongzi, those Chinese rice dumplings that aren't the same thing as the lo mai kai from dim sum. This seems like the most straightforward recipe found online, and could do, one day when my mother has her back turned and when I'll have assembled the ingredients (bamboo leaves?). Or perhaps, I should ask my own grandmother, who cooks Chinese exclusively, but never very fancy things, except those chicken legs stuffed with glutinous rice and shark's fin (an emulation of something she and grandpa ate in one of those trips back to HK, I may've heard them say). But as far as I know, recipe-keeping is not something we do in the family, and the cooking skill is not really passed on from one generation to the other (bare the BBQ) - as both grandmothers didn't really cook until they emigrated.
But I seriously lack motor skills, and it showed when I tried making xiao long bao with friends, and never quite managing to make the appropriate folds. So, I can almost predict that while making rice dumplings now sounds easier to make (seems like you need to hold the leaves to form a cone, and fill it incrementally with rice on the periphery and filling in the middle), I could manage to mess it up - oil leak, rice leak. Although it would also seem like a very fun lazy afternoon activity to sharpen my dexterity... Man, I'm hungry now. :/
As we do renovations on the second floor of our house, it was uncovered that the conduit (going towards my room) for heating was semi-detached. Which explains why when comes the great winter cold, I get the impression that I am freezing my ass off every single morning for as long as I've existed (a deadly combination with the winds blowing on my side, the sun *not* -and never would- shining from the north).
We're done destroying walls that needed to be destroyed. Breaking the tiles (with a pike-like weapon) in my parents' bathroom is the most rewarding thing ever. Now we're in the process of reconstructing. Our new bathroom is still at the skeleton stage, but should be ready by Monday or Tuesday. Cannot wait to have at least that done; we've been affected in our daily routine and everything.
A house party (at my house, no doubt) with conversations stretching into the night, guests drinking red wine, and Cantopop - 'best of' CD of all four Gods of Cantopop in shuffle mode.
I was dropped off at around 4:45 near Metro Atwater, and spent the next hour and a half waiting in the cold or taking various methods of transport. Two musical notes, that kept me warm: Mara Tremblay's extremely mellow acoustic folk album of 2005, and the first three, four or five (actually 7-8) songs of the CBC Podcast #34 (includes tunes by Raised By Swans, The Arcade Fire, Metric, and the rest of it).
I guess that Canada is like a forced marriage, or marriage of convenience, some might say, but you gotta think of the children.
I (guess I) would've liked sharing the time spent walking on the sidewalk of Atwater Street under highway 720. I also guess that hanging out at the coffeeshop is a cool thing to do, especially on a Saturday evening, with two sofa chairs facing towards the full height windowed corner of the coffee shop, which gives on one of the busiest street intersection of the whole city. So many 'nice' moments alone like this, which would of course just remind me of the sways of solitary adventure in the urban jungle of Hong Kong. And how much I wanted "her" to be there with me, how infinitely etherical such wish (dream) is. In the end, you contemplate morbid ideas, such as seeing an expo on melancholy (and vanitas) in a city like Paris.
Forecast for tomorrow and this week: skies clearing up, temperatures are expected to drop to -17C. By mid-week, it's supposed to go back up to a whooping 10C.
The lesson is that this is a narcissistic generation, and if we;re not finding each other, it's b/c we're still only looking at ourselves.
I'd like to go to Ticino, mostly b/c my computer at work is named "ticino" (our lab's computers are named after Swiss cities and resorts - while one of the other labs in the same centre has theirs named after LoTR characters - 'cause their supervisor is a Newzealander) and Switzerland sounds like a good place to go to if one's going to tread on Europe next summer. It is very probable that I travel to Europe next summer, per the fact that my cousin is getting church-married in Paris, or her hometown of Toulouse. In either case, if I'm not constrained by work, I'll take the opportunity to visit Europe, and not just France + Barcelona, like in 1992). The wedding's going to be September 2nd...
Wooh, after a dip in the low 96's last week, it's now closing on the 98 yen per dollar mark. I'm buying a ticket for the 2006 sakura viewing if it goes above 100.
When stressed, this is what I do.
(And it's funny they put "sugarless" between quotation marks. It's sweet alright, but unlike aspartame-sweet. Pleasantly sweet, but it lasts for only a 3-5 minutes. The overall taste of the "fresh mint" amounts to the taste of ordinary mint, but also, when you take your first bite in one piece, that weird taste of the banana-flavoured antibiotic I had when I was a child -and which I used to adore too-. All good-weird in a goodly-weirdly way.)
[music: Fiona Apple - Oh Sailor (Jon Brion Version)]
Let's see... The Japanese yen is almost 1-to-1 with the Canadian dollar/cent?! o_O (a dollar is now worth 97¥, compared with 85-ish ¥ when I traded my dollars to go to Japan in March - and compared with the 75¥ I was getting in July 2002) You know where I'm planning my vacation... Hokkaido, that's right... ... But indeed I wanted to do Tokyo, b/c so many things missed - and perhaps some China on my own, versus the stupid organized tours from HK - Shanghai, or even Beijing, but most importantly the back-country: Sichuan, Yunnan, Tibet, Xinjiang... In my dreams.
Most probably un-screwed my sleeping hours... With the usual side effects of when I usually try: waking in the middle of the night. There was this time, a year or two ago when I'd constantly wake at 3-4AM no matter what, for like two weeks (my mother does wake up every night at 3-4AM-ish, I've noticed that during my past month or so!). It's 6:45-ish, and went to bed slightly after 1AM. Will read up on the stuff that drained my daytime energy (something on Wikipedia on Java Hibernate, ha-ha), and then wrap up this night of sleep for good. Today (Monday) is such another beautiful day: 26ºC, with the full sunshine. So expect me to be whizzing downtown as soon as possible!
Food-wise, I declare myself king of congee and bak choi (白菜) cooking in this household. Perfectly good congee should be smooth, and at least cooked overnight. Dip the rice in a oil, water and salt mixture (people say it shouldn't be water - but it has produced good things so far). Cook in the rice cooker for a few hours. (And have a parent add chicken for you to the soup ^^;). I called my grandmother up to ask about how she makes good congee (she lives nearby our house, so took the opportunity to have me over and dumped me some delicious beef backbone in a ginger and foo yu sauce, along with some of the fish meat - you know, whatever they use for stuffed Chinese/Cantonese peppers/foo gwa). So basically, for good chicken congee, prepare a chicken breast-based soup stock, and use it instead of water. And for good bak choi? Certainly use more garlic and don't cook it too much. Stir-fry it, don't boil it. (More to go below)
Yeah! I'm flying for Japan/China/HK again this Fall! Becoz the exchange rate is just so awesome: 1CAD equals 85.6USD equals 6.64HKD; and 1CAD is now 95.3JPY! omg, I'm going to faint (the Hakutsuru does good).
[music: Hi-Posi - Namidai Bourokyu]
I made a serious attempt to sleep early (4:30AM) and failed miserably. Therefore I'm fighting fire with fire, and skipping my turn tonight... Usually that works to unscrew me, while causing me to experience jet-lag-ish symptoms. Anyways, I've got work to do. :P (Let's see if I can last a full day)
(Chomping on cold crisp grapes found in the fridge - hope they were not somebody's...)
There is an unspoken rule that, if I am still awake when either one of the other members of my family wakes up, we must not talk to each other. It's ackward. It's like talking with dead people, or people from a different plane of existence. It's not something you do, point.
[music: YUKI - Sentimental Journey] (that's just one weird music video)
For the good reason that I almost slept 12 hours, but at least slightly intercepted twice or thrice by random noises in the house (like father + brother going to work at 8AM and mother going to work at 9AM). I do a good job repressing. What usually upsets me in real life, instead comes to upset me in dream life. So this is all good, b/c dreaming something upsetting and then waking up, is somewhat better than dreaming something that you like and realizing all along that it was a dream. And then I guess it's like contemplating that picture of Mount Fuji with some sakura branches in the foreground; or that empty field in the middle of nowhere/Iwate; or that impossible certainly Photoshopped view of the Pyramids (b/c you don't see tourists, nor city of Cairo blocking the view). I do a good job repressing. It's a change in attitude that I need/needed. You know, things are never as bad, and you're the only one who can make it worse (by consciously thinking about it in a bad way).
Sleeping 12 hours is always a bit strange, like a special thing that only happens once or twice a year (although it must've happened several times already this year). There was no particular reason why I was going to sleep 12 hours, just that I felt extremely bleh all the way from Ile Ste-Helene to home. I might have slept 6-7 hours the nights before, but I'm not making an effort to do anything hard during my days. In the end of this, I'd like to find some job that I like and can spend entire days on.
In the "letting go" category, I've stopped answering daily affairs issues on the CTF mailing list... That must've been a realization made somewhere during my stayaway in Asia. I only reply to various occasional geekish, joke-ish stuff that passes on the list, even if once in a while I feel like saying how little tech-g33kness there's left in that group.
The trip in Asia lasted four months and a half (19 weeks and a half), including a 3-week hiatus in Egypt, of all places. It gave me that much time leaving behind Montreal and everything else that the change in the landscape/weather would be the best imagery to describe what it felt like (departing as the city was covered in white, but starting to melt, as per the not-so-cold temperature, and then coming back home when we're well into the beginning of the end, with everyone in town wearing shorts, and our house A/C'ed to the max).
S called me a second time for the picnic on Ile Ste-Helene... And I was in the neo-FFVI part of my dream. Right after my characters transferred to the other side of the portal (in Civ3 mode, no less), I followed randomly suspicious monster-dude/Great Evil Lord around into its dungeon, just to find myself in a battle with the boss music, and my party stuck defending a Rosa-lookalike (it was a white mage, that I can be sure), forming the line behind her, while the Great Evil Lord took shape (in all its neo-FFVI splendor).
Whatever neo-FFVI means. All the FF have been bleh to play since FFVII. Maybe the next great thing will be on a portable system?
(Neo-FFVI means using this sort of FFVI-sprite-based video game, but in better resolution. Like a sort of 8-bit Theatre, if rendered into a game in PS3, say... You know, like that Mario Paper or Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga retro?)