My dad was, in most ways, a creature of habit. In his later years he took some chances and let himself explore outside of his comfort zone a little more, taking up swing dancing, travelling more, making new friends, and trying new foods. It was only later in life that he'd let me start taking him for lunch, settling on an amazing little Indian restaurant in Laval as our go-to lunch place. Growing up, on the rare occasions we'd head out to restaurants, I always knew what the choices were: Bill Wong's [RIP], Harvey's or, on a really special occasion, Le Biftèque. On Sundays, after church, we'd all head over to the Montreal Pool Room on St-Laurent - comfortably nestled between a shady army surplus shop with blacked-out windows and a busy all-day strip club [sans blacked-out windows] - and impatiently wait in the car while my dad went inside to purchase hot dogs, fries and soda. He'd return with a big carton of the stuff, and my sisters, parents and I would sit in the Chevy Impala / Buick Century / Buick Century / Buick Century, parked right there on St-Laurent in the sweltering Sunday afternoon sun, eating greasy fries and steamed hotdogs, doing our best not to squirt ketchup or drop onion chunks onto the brown / burgundy / grey velour seats. After stuffing our faces with unredeemingly unhealthy junk food, we'd head up to St-Viateur Bagel to get a dozen (or two) freshly-baked bagels. Today, fresh Montreal bagels are at the top of my favourite foods list, but back in those days, the combination of the aforementioned greasy fast food and the raging sea-sickness induced by the yacht-like ride in my dad's car left me with a distaste for those fresh, warm, delicious bagels. Of course, the next morning, I would beg for them for breakfast.
Hanna Z. Mansour, 1939 - 2009
Update: The Funeral will be held on Saturday, January 2nd, 12:30pm at St. George's Anglican Church (1101 Stanley).
Today at 1:45pm, surrounded by loving family and friends, my Dad passed away peacefully at Sacré-Coeur Hospital in Montréal, at the rather young age of 70, following complications from a stroke he suffered in early November. Those of you who are close to my family probably also realized that 10 years ago - almost to the day - his wife, my mother passed away as well. The almost eerie timing of the situation has left us all with more questions than answers, but we're thankful for the time we spent with him and for all the lives he's touched in his time here. We're as grateful to him for everything he's done for us as we are saddened by his departure. He will be remembered as a good man who did good with his life to help others.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada will be greatly appreciated.
You may leave us a message below if you wish to do so (to be be published after moderation).
The Funeral will be held on Saturday, January 2nd, 12:30pm at St. George's Anglican Church (1101 Stanley).
I like trains. Well, not the trains themselves, maybe - but the idea of trains. Things on rails don't really ever get lost. And it's not that I'm worried about getting lost; some of my best memories are from places I'd never thought I'd find myself in. Rather, I'm fascinated by the idea of the tracks themselves - they are unidimensional. They have a start and an end, and everything in between is unyielding. Someone long ago decided that "this is where the first station will be, and the last will be over there." Entire nations have been built on this concept, trading posts and villages sprouting up like daisies along where the tracks briefly slide into a train station, only to disappear again into the distance. The rails are a work of art, like a sculpture designed long ago by some artist who would never have guessed that thousands upon thousands of people would one day be sliding back and forth in air-conditioned, web-enabled little cars. In my case, I was sliding towards the Hudson valley, across northern New York State, in this, the first part of a multi-leg trip across the United States.
Now that I got my camera back, I'm going to start posting more photos, and one neat way I've found to encourage myself to do so is by committing to a weekly-ish posting schedule.
I give you the first edition of NITWISPS - New Images This Week In Superb Photos by Steven!
My dad and my nephew Matthew, Matthew, Matthew, My Sisters, Marianne and Matthew, Marianne's apt., Marianne and Joseph, Joseph and Donut, Dominic and Donut, Kids, Vahe and his Mom, Vahe's sister and her friend, Rose's cake, playing Halo 3, I'm owning as usual.
Apologies for this slightly chaotic / 'en rafale' update...
You've gotta admit that we had a pretty great summer here. I was still ambulating around in a T-Shirt and shorts until just a couple days ago, and my sister was still swimming with my nephews in her backyard pool. Winter's right on our doorstep, and that's cool with me.
I've been enjoying all the work I'm doing right now; the projects I have lined up for the next few months are challenging, interesting, and promising. I long ago weened myself off my Drupal / Joomla / Wordpress dependency and the work I'm doing now reflects that evolution: more project management, more speaking, writing, more multimedia video / audio production, and less web stuff.
I also finally got my camera back from repair at Pentax Canada, and have been pretty shutter-happy as of late. I'm not posting many here, but there are some at the bottom of this entry. I'll hopefully also pick up a couple new lenses before embarking on some travel plans I'm making for November, December and January.
Other than that, I started watching, for the first time ever, japanese anime. I'd never been a fan of the form, but after reluctantly watching Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle (in English, so sue me!), I can really appreciate the genius that goes into Hayao Miyazaki's animation. There's something surreal about the artwork in these movies that I could never imagine being replicated using real-world or CGI effects, much like an oil-painting has a special quality that photographs can't match.
The other art form I've been getting back into (far too much, most likely) is gaming. I've realized that I'm a sucker for good interactive storytelling; as a kid I liked sitting around the campfire and listen to people take turns filling in part of a story, or reading fantasy or sci-fi novels and building worlds in my mind's eye with nothing more than the author's words to go on. In that sense, good games are closer to books than to movies â€“ they all tell a story, but movies don't let you fill in the blanks yourself. They don't challenge or dare you to construct parts of the tale like books, or, more obviously, games do... but that will be a post in itself.
PC and console games are the new books.