I created a website as a comprehensive digital photo album several years ago, but have decided to recreate it at LowBrowsing. So, this section becomes something of a memoirs for me, especially given that I will be going through a major transition very soon - moving to Montreal to start my Ph.D at Concordia.
The first year in Montreal has been very lackluster and it shows through a deficit of photographs. I jumped back on Gears for two weeks. Didn't log many hours but I've still got it, lol.
the one thing that has been a great experience is my gym regimen. The Energie Cardio in Verdun is a great gym, that isn't too busy and has a lot of friendly people.
Metro Toronto Zoo
Maria and I took a trip to the zoo just before I left for Montreal. It was a lot of fun and there were a lot of babies to see. The weather was perfect, so many of the animals were active.
Lacey's Birthday at P's Family BBQ
When I got back from Montreal, Pedram invited me to his new house for a family BBQ to celebrate Lacey's birthday. Sobek was super excited to hang out with his old girlfriend. Saum is a big boy now and was having a lot of fun with the dogs. The BBQ was awesome and I had a lot of fun chatting with P's dad. The next week, P started coming to the gym with me and we played some squash after lifting weights. My new rule for him was, "lift, don't get lifted!"
Canada's Wonderland with Maria and Brendon
when I got back from Montreal, Brendon said he was going to Wonderland with Ali, so I decided to go as well. Most people bailed on me, but Maria came through in the clutch. We had an awesome time and when she left around 5, I did the whole circuit again with Brendon. Maria won a hat and I won a basketball - go Cavs!
Trip to Montreal to find a new home
Montreal was a crazy hectic week and I walked over 100 kms. I was there to find an apartment and after seeing twenty places, it was John's that from the beginning had been the best. I learned the city pretty well and got to practice my French. There was a little vegan bar in Hochelaga where I was staying. The girls who worked there were very sweet. I visited both campuses at Concordia and got a lay of the land. On the last night, I hit up Moose Bawr for Game 7 of the NBA Championships. It was one of the best games I've ever watched and there were these awesome Avocado fries that were killer.
Jordana's New Family with Zach and Zeah
My parents were in town in June so we had an opportunity to visit Jordana and Hans. A month earlier, I had reached out to an old friend from my Masters year just to randomly find out how her Masters application had worked out. She told me that she was accepted but had to declined and explained that she had had twins. Both babies' first names started with the letter 'A'. Then, the next week Jordana texts me with a photo of her babies, asking "guess who?" I was amazed to find out that she had started a new family. Both of her babies' names started with the letter 'Z'. All part of the grand design I'd have to say. My parents and I had a great time meeting the babies and seeing their new home (an incredibly dramatic converted church).
Superkick'd with Bostic and Ray Lyn
When I was in Pennsylvania for the IWC event with Scott Hall, I also met Ray Lyn. She has a lot of moxie and reminds me of the valets from the era of wrestling that I really enjoyed. Apparently, she is also a talented wrestler. Her partner in crime is Dylan Bostic and together they have a gimmick that generates some decent heat at events - The Platinum Tour with the Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus of wrestling. Of course, that gimmick only works provided that the inspiration is in the public's imagination. The event was loud as hell and had a heavy metal band that played a couple of sets. I tried hard to find someone to come with me but everyone declined citing that wrestling wasn't their cup of tea. Finally, Brendon came through in the clutch. We had a fun time and saw a lot of crazy characters in the crowd. The Bostic-RayLyn match was a good one and I made a video from some clips. It is definitely something I would do again in the future although we left halfway through the event this time.
IWC Night of the Superstars with Scott Hall
It was at the beginning of April that I drove down to Pennsylvania through Buffalo. I stayed overnight at a motel in Meadville. The event was very unique and for a moment I feared that the whole thing was going to be a bust. Quite the opposite was the case. I documented the event and the videos can be found at my Vimeo and in my list for the event on my Touchstoner page. Meadville was a typical tiny town in Penn. but I found a few interesting things to do with my time before the event.
The drive home was a living nightmare. I managed to catch my first ever speeding ticket and later had a unique experience at the border coming back to Canada. The only upside was that I did some shopping in Niagara Falls and got a ton of new clothes for dirt cheap. Meeting Scott Hall was the purpose of the trip and I would say it was worth it.
There are photos I have that I just can't figure out when they were taken. These are for sure from 2016.
Entr'acte - Gaming Caps
Gaming has always been a big part of my life, but 2016 was special because Brendon and I made our first game - Puzzle Art! We released it on Android in the summer. It is now my task to prepare assets for new editions of the game.
USA Trip to Viral, DC and Philly
The drive down to Virginia was a breeze until the very last leg. I drove through Pennsylvania and even did a stretch from within the Allegheny National Park. Once I hit DC, I ended up in severe gridlock on the highway. I was only 5 miles from Hector's town, but was moving inch by inch. When I found out what happened, it was absurd. A stowaway on a coach bus had managed to light himself on fire while in the cargo area. The bus decided to pull over to deal with it exactly where the express highway and collectors lanes merged fouling up everyone. I met with Hector and after checking out his place and meeting his family, decided to rent a motel room for the night. In the morning, I took off for DC. Washington has the most beautiful affluent area of any city I have ever seen, surpassing Oxford, Paris, Munich, Innsbruck or Rome. I was lucky to meet a woman in Chevy Chase who let me park at her house. This gave me an opportunity to do a walking tour of the city. I decided to take off before dark and bypass Baltimore. I arrived in Philadelphia during graduation weekend. The city was jam packed with students. Don't ask for direction in Philly because consistently I was given terrible ones. Bear and I found a place in the burbs to park and sleep for the night. In the morning we headed in to the city and I checked out comic con. The drive home took me through Stroudsburg and Scranton before I came across the bridge at Gananoque and headed home. The trip was only three days but rammed with events. If I am remembering correctly, this was in May of 2015.
Halloween at Cibo
For several years, I have tried to do original Halloween costumes of characters concocted from my own imagination. This is one.
Masters Convocation at UofT
My Masters was complete in August of 2014, but convocation was early in the next year.
Halloween at Trevor's Party
Maria and I went to Trevor's party which was chock-a-block sweet nerds. Wasn't totally our thing but when we headed home ran into one of the best costumes of all time at the poutine place near my house - Dr. Rockso from Metalocalypse!
Mom & Dad 50th Wedding Anniversary at Old Mill
We did a family outing to the Old Mill for lunch to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. The buffet was really good.
Grandma's 100th Birthday Celebration in Napanee
My Dad came back to Toronto for Grandma's 100th Birthday celebration. We drove up to Napanee and joined much of the rest of the family.
Lauren and Lucas Birthday at Kim's Place
More random photos that don't fit in anywhere else.
I like skulls as clothing designs and managed to find a pair of jeans with this cool subtle design imprinted on it and then a more overt design for a sweater. Those were my gifts for Maria.
The worst thing about communists is their absolute lack of a sense of humour. For Halloween, I went all out with three different costumes. One was an original creation for my TA class. The students seemed completely befuddled by a display of originality. But, that was topped the next day when I arrived as a parody of Charlton Heston's character Mike Vargas from Orson Welles's Touch of Evil. The Masters students in my cohort had been eager to lambaste Heston, Hollywood and older generations for Heston's "brown face" makeup in the film that sought to identify him as a Mexican. I thought their dogmatic objections were utter horseshit so decided to mock it with my costumed affront. I got flak for it. Big surprise. Then I was actually invited to a Masters party which almost gave me a heart attack. I went with a death costume and a bottle of absinthe. I got smashed, threw up in the washroom and have not gotten shitfaced drunk ever since. It was a terrible year with those guys so I enjoyed going into Halloween with absolutely no fucks given. The year never got better and their duplicitous behaviour only spiraled out of control to the point that they had alienated themselves from the best faculty members. On the other hand, I secured such great letters of recommendation that I was accepted into several Ph.D programs.
Restaurant at Getty Museum - notice the couple to the left (skipping work and/or adultery?)
Outside Getty Museum (panorama)
Metro Toronto Zoo
Maddie's 10th Birthday at Toronto Zoo
Award Ceremony at Innis College
Grey Region Waterfalls
Cayo Coco, Cuba
Metro Toronto Zoo
It was my relationship with Maria and Sobek (my dog) that really encouraged me to do fun things and get some photos while doing them. Prior to that, I rarely took photographs, so this set is a random mix of years. Bear was born in October of 2009 and I met Maria in September of 2011.