The “whaddup” entry.

I returned to Montréal Tuesday afternoon. Aside from futilely searching at a Canadian Fire that evening for a fan for my stuffy, hot apartment (and a rubber flap for the bottom of the front door, so that that 1cm gap can be covered from when my annoying super sprays a half-can of air deodourizer every three hours), I didn’t walk back outside until this afternoon for some grocery-getting. I still haven’t even bothered to get my mail. I am a lame-head.

I spent nine weeks away from Montréal, and it is quickly apparent that doing this was probably the most therapeutic thing I could have done for myself. The where was secondary to the act of leaving itself. That I went to Seattle and not Toronto ends up being more of a technicality in my mind, even though it’s obvious where I’d want to be (though the fall-back was extraordinarily good to me, too). But that I was not in Montréal is what mattered most.

My return reminds me of my own negligent responsibility to a degree I don’t want. I have to submit content for four courses from fall 2009 that were given double-extensions following my accident. None of the work is research, but rather, more rote learning and method-oriented tasks. This is never what I signed up for. While I managed some of the rote reading and the data collection for one of the field reconnaissance courses, none of it is done, and now I have ten days left to submit something. But instead of being scared into doing it, I just feel more and more numb.

I have yet to register for fall 2010 courses, which I should probably do this week if I want to stay at McGill. I also have to send in my financial aid paperwork. Both of these should have been done a while ago, but again, no motivation or incentive to take out another $25K in loans. But if I must, I guess I’ll do so here in the coming days.

What came as a surprise, really, was that my return visit to Seattle was a genuine learning experience on levels both obvious and ineffable. On the obvious front, more of my friends now live there than when I last lived there in 2005. A return to that surrounding, even excluding my U-Dub friend who I came to know in Toronto at the UofT and is leaving Seattle next month, would still yield a network of people I never had before. With a careerish job to pay down loans, I could cope with living there for, say, a year, in order to make money. Then again, Seattle and steady, long-term employment was never kind to me. Even with a degree, the situation isn’t really that different.

Much photography was shot. In all, about 15 rolls of film — almost all of it Kodachrome — were exposed. For now, the first four or so pages on my flickr cover what was either exposed, scanned, or both during that time (as well as the year preceding it). I’m upping them as I can. It’s a fairly diverse mix spanning several geographies. I still have four months of shooting time remaining with Kodachrome, and I think I’ll be set from this point forward.

Things which have been mothballed over the last several weeks include Kodachrome Toronto: 1935–2010, which will be returned to hopefully once the fall term begins. The TTC apparel was shoved into procurement hell, where it has since languished and mummified. I also started playing with an à la carte idea of doing the same for Montréal, but taking as little credit for it as possible.

I know what I want to do: get out of Montréal, get to Toronto, and during the meanwhile, initiate my permanent residency paperwork. Perhaps that should be my incentive for staying at McGill: apply now while crawling through another year in a city that just loves to scowl at every opportunity it can get. My U-Dub friend casually suggested that she and I could marry, given her Canadian citizenship. Her next round of research, however, takes her to Detroit, and for the time being, her marrying me would not yet be beneficial for her green card. Also, the idea of me being in Windsor does not sound like a great one.

So the point of laying this down onto LJ is more for a forced reflection of where I am for the moment than it is an entertaining entry.

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