Sunday, July 30


I've spent the last two weeks hobbling around on crutches, showing me just how wonderful it is being able to walk.

Still, things are looking much better. In the beginning they told me that I might have to wear a leg brace for the rest of my life [no joke!], and in the very best case scenario, that I'd be on crutches till the end of the summer. Yet a few days ago the doctor said that my knee is doing fine. I can start to put as much weight as possible on it, in order to build it's strength so that it can support me again when I walk. Right now it feels like it's asleep, as there isn't much pain at all, aside from a little stiffness. The problem is that my leg tends to collapse under my weight if I'm not careful, as I haven't used it at all in three weeks.

Some things that I've noticed these past couple of weeks...

I've been very surprised by how kind people are to you at times like these. Strangers have constantly been going out of their way to open doors for me, and to tell me their own stories of when they were on crutches, giving me advice of how best to get around on them. I hadn't expected people to take notice of me so often.

Crutches are a great work-out. My arms are stronger than they've ever been, and my good leg is also in great shape, from my having hopped around on one foot so much recently. Still, the feeling of being able to walk again is incredible, even though up to this point I still have to use one crutch as a cane. Hopefully I'll be back to full mobility in a week or so.

Today, I've started to move into my permanent apartment, which I'll be sharing with three others. Two of my roommates, Melissa and Lucie, are nursing students at McGill. The third is Lucie's boyfriend. My room is very spacious, with nice atmosphere to boot. It's shaping up to be one of the nicest places that I've lived in.


A few comments on current events...

One thing that really bugs me with the situation in Lebanon is how Israel refuses to take any blame for the civilians they kill. They recently killed over 30 children in one blast, and still refused to admit any wrong doing. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. There's no question about this. Israel says that Hezbollah is refusing to let civilians leave dangerous areas, using them for human shields. This could very well be true. But to look at Israel's logic on a smaller scale, consider someone who just robbed a bank, killing the teller in the process. This man is a serial criminal, very dangerous, impossible to reform. As he runs from the police, he takes a hostage, a ten year old girl. The police responde by shooting blindly, killing both the hostage and the murderer. They then refuse to take any blame in the killing of the child. If this would obviously not fly in the local scenario, why isn't it condemned on the much larger scale where this argument is being used by Israel?

Also, why is Harper aligning us solidly behind the U.S. and Israel? What possible gain is there in this? Well, moral gain, anyway. Canada should be working with every other free country in the world [well, except of course for the U.S.] in finding a solution to the crisis, not standing on the side doing nothing but pointing fingers and playing the blame game.

Monday, July 17


I've been laid up for the last week, as I tore my knee pretty badly last Sunday.

I injured it jumping down from about three and a half meters. Stupid. I should have known better than to get into a situation where I'd have to jump so far. When I landed, my knee popped right out of joint. I popped it back in on reflex before collapsing to the ground.

My friends took me to the hospital, and stayed with me while I was there. On the bright side of things, it didn't take that long to be seen. I didn't wait for more than half an hour in any one room without being seen. The bad part was that they didn't tell me very much. The doctor was a bit of a jerk, and after telling me that I might have to wear a leg brace for the rest of my life(!), refused to respond to anything else, saying that everything was just speculation. A lovely note to put me on when I'm leaving the hospital.

The hospital has called me back in a few times since, and the last doctor told me that eventually everything should be fine, and I should be back on my feet anywhere from the middle of August to early fall.

Getting around on crutches is annoying, especially given that Montreal is experiencing one of the worst heat waves in memory. Still, it would be much worse had this happened in winter. Walking on crutches on the ice would be completely impossible.

For the past week I've been staying with David, a Russian friend from university. He lives downtown, but his place is quite small, and the situation has been hard on him. Most of my other friends live farther from town, such as Simon, a friend from Laval who I was staying with for the past several weeks. The commute is just too difficult as things are now. So I've decided to sub-let a place downtown for a couple of weeks, so that I'll be relatively close to the places and things that I need. The apartment that I'll be moving into permanently will be ready at the end of the month.

I could comment on other things that are going on in the world, but it's so depressing that maybe I'll pass...

Monday, July 3

Journey's End

After leaving Halifax I spent a few days in Sheet Harbor, a small village on the east coast of Nova Scotia. It was mostly to see family, as my mother was raised there. Unfortunately, there are almost no buses going to the smaller towns anymore, and so although I was able to find one going there, there weren't any going out for another two days.

I tried to hitch hike, but didn't get anywhere. My plan was to go to the ferry terminal and to sail to P.E.I., but in the end I couldn't even get to the next village. In the end I had to wait till the next morning for the bus back to Halifax, and afterwards take another to New Brunswick.

My first stop was Fredericton, where my father's cousin Sandy and her family own a farm. It was nice to rest up for a little while, away from the pace of city life. I also went to Saint John, to the south, to see my uncle Patrick and his wife Patricia.

Last Wednesday I finally arrived back in Montreal. Unfortunately, the buses to Montreal from the east also run on a horrible schedule. There's a choice of either arriving at 1 am or 6:30 am. So for the first day here, I was pretty out of it.

I've been staying with my friend Simon in Laval since I got back, while I come in to Montreal in the day to look for an apartment. So far I haven't settled on anything, but it's only been a few days since I started searching.

Although I'm still planning on updating this every two weeks, I doubt that it will be about myself so much anymore, for the simple reason that my life probably won't be very interesting. My plans are to find a place to live, find a full time job, and live a quiet life for at least the next year. So I'll probably use it mostly to vent about things other...

The first is all of the hoopla around the one percent cut to the GST. It's a silly thing to do, as it amounts to little more than a tax cut for the rich. Those that will see more than a few dollars of savings have large enough disposable incomes to buy new cars and other such high priced goods. But with such salaries, a few hundred dollars in savings isn't likely to make a very big impact on their lives. Most of the necessities in daily life are exempt from the tax anyway, and the prices of the smaller things that aren't exempt [which also make up the largest chunk of the revenues from the tax] will likely be rounded up to compensate, as retailers like to have the final price as a round number, say $1.50, instead of the $1.485 that it would now be with a 1% reduction. So the real winners here might be the owners of the convenient stores more than anything else. As for the losers, it will probably be the majority of the country, as the lost revenue will probably be made up in income tax hikes once the budget surpluses disappear.

One interesting thing that's come out of this is that the war of attrition between [Canadian Prime Minister] Stephen Harper and the media is in full swing. Harper told the media, in slightly different words, to go fuck themselves earlier this year, accusing them of having a grudge against his government. This is completely ridiculous, as the media has been tearing down governments, both Liberal and Conservative, for about as long as Canada has been having elections. Without the media blowing the sponsorship scandal up to the proportions they did, Harper wouldn't have become prime minister in the first place. Yet he now thinks that he can beat them into submission by brushing them off every chance he gets. It's obvious that the media has been at this a hell of a lot longer than he has, and aren't going to be out done by such tactics. They're going to bide their time, and get in their shots when it will count the most. In the current situation with the GST, they immediately jumped on how horribly thought out the idea was, and pasted it on their front page. They might have done so regardless of what Harper said earlier this year, but now they're going to be all the more rabid.

Also, Israel has stormed into Gaza, giving the reason that they need to free a captured soldier. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that Israel is in the middle of a very long war with Palestine. I'm not trying to say who is the good guy or bad in this situation, and civilians are never, under any circumstances, legitimate targets. But soldiers are. War is horrible, yet when people insist on waging it, this is a simple fact. As such, the soldier is entitled to be treated in a human way until his release. If he is killed, Israel is justified in retaliating against strict military targets, avoiding killing any bystanders at any cost. But it's not a justification for the dozens (hundreds?) of Palestinian civilians that will be killed, either directly or otherwise, in Israel's military aggression. If Israel has another reason for invading, they should state it, and not use this.

To end on a more positive note, the rain cloud that's been following me for the last month seems to have finally gone away. I hadn't seen sunshine for more than a couple of days in all of last month, so it's a welcome change to see some sunny weather...