Sunday, July 31, 2005
P.S.: For those who didn't catch the title, the references are John Denver and Bob Vila.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Annnd... I mean, I am, that's true. But you also make me feel guilty because: am I really going to write a blog about the boring parts? No, that would make me a whiner. So I post about the fun stuff and it makes it seem like it's all I ever do. So now, in the interest of balanced reporting, here's a rundown of the less blog-worthy parts of my summer:
- I work at the Québec National Assembly as a translator (see previous posts). Cool? At first. Now boring? Yes.
- Parliament was in session when I started here, which was cool, but now the politicians are on vacation, along with a lot of the bureaucrats. Too quiet? Yes.
- I've been mostly working on the book "La Procédure Parlementaire", translating chapter 7: "Order and Decorum". Then I get to move on to "Le consentement unanime et les autres moyens de dérogation au règlement". Hard, which is good. But does that sound exciting to anyone? No, it doesn't.
So I'm actually longing for May, when there were still laws coming in. And people, if longing for legislation to translate isn't an indication that my 9-5 could use some spicing up, I don't know what is. I've also included pictures of my office so you can note the marked lack of fun happening in it. (Click on them). See, I don't want to sound ungrateful, cause I'm really grateful for this job. But just to say, let's not get too envious, people. If my after-work time is occasionally interesting, it kind of needs to be for me to be able to make it through the next day at work, you know?
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Sweet hitch-hiking fashion, I know! Before thumbing it, I walked aways and came to a country craft sale, full of maple products, handmade soaps, pickled turkey eggs, country music and a quilt exhibition to boot! So I walked around the tables and talked to people who taught me all kinds of stuff about beekeeping, maple syrup making and quilting. Strangely enough, as I soon realized, almost everybody there was English. It turns out Saint-Gabriel-de-Val-Cartier is one of those rare anglophone farming communities out in rural Québec. So, bought some honeycomb, some pickled ketchup, an egg sandwich for the road, stuck out my thumb, and within 10 minutes a fireman picked me up. Yes, a fireman. He was going to Québec and brought me right to my front door! Every time I hitch-hike I end up feeling so good about human nature.
If you want to see the cottage and some quilts: 12 pictures here
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
From there, I followed a footpath up the cape to a field high up by the Citadel. And from there the whole Saint Lawrence spread out below me. There were maybe 30 white sailboats dotting the shipping lanes, and you could hear the faint drums from the band on a cruise ship reaching up. It was grassy and sunny and deserted and so peaceful. I could hear a flag flapping in the wind above me! Think of that. Not the flag, just the sound. This isn't nationalist imagery, it's a peaceful afternoon. Mmmm.
By the way, I took the picture of the clover blossom last week, not today. But it gives you the idea. I didn't have a camera with me today, which is bad for my blog, but good for my peace of mind. I tend to savour the scenery differently when I'm not trying to fit it all into a frame.
Monday, July 18, 2005
For those of you who want to mapquest it, I'm at #2 rue Saint Angèle, apartment 101, Quebec city, Québec. And not only do I have a house, I also have a job! And that's why I was out so late that night. Because I got home from work on friday totally exhausted. And so I fell asleep at 8pm that evening, and by midnight, I was wide awake and refreshed. So I got resteless and went out walking. The end.
As for where I work, I'm a translator at the National Assembly. That's the Quebec legislature. Why the "National" Assembly? Well, cause Quebec is a nation, as well as a province. That's as much as I'm going to get into it, I think. It's a full-time job, but it's only for this summer, which is good, because I don't think I could handle doing it for much longer. It's good experience, but it's not exactly.. exciting. Not exciting. Especially because all the politicians went on holiday June 20th, so there are no more laws coming in. ZZZ. Most of my time has been spent translating a new book on parliamentary procedure. Is that as boring as it sounds? Pretty much. Although I liked it at first. BUT, there are tons of perks, not least of which, the place is beautiful. Check this picture out. This is where I work, man.
But back to bus seating on field trips: oh, man. Those were wild and stressful days. Were any of you guys like really really cool in elementary? I feel like everyone I meet claims they were a misfit back in the day, but is that just because in retrospect being a misfit seems romantic? Where did all the cool kids go?
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Other highlights: chesnut spread from Ardèche, a bunch of concerts, delicious crêpes, talking about Nichiren Buddhism with Manuela, and singing along to "Eternal Flame" by the Bangles.
We're all laughing in the picture, because when the timer in the camera went off, it made a rooster sound! Weird camera.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Being a kid on the South Shore of Montreal, then living in Montreal, now in Quebec city, it's a funny feeling having grown up beside the river and never having been in (or on) it. When my mother was young, there was still a beach at the end of Pine Avenue in Saint Lambert and everyone would swim in the river all summer. This is the mouth of all the great lakes, plus Lake Champlain, plus a bunch of Quebec rivers and lakes you all haven't heard of. It's the largest estuary in the whole big blue world, and whales swim in it. Big old whales swim in this river. And it's the river of my life. So it was a great experience to get out on it and touch it and wade in it and paddle it and really connect with it for the first time.
Pictured: Quebec city seen from the stern of my boat. For those in the know, you can make out the Château Laurier and the Price tower.