Friday, August 15, 2014

July in review

July was a busy month, but in a good way. During the first half of the month I took twelve days of vacation, but didn't do much (at least it felt that way). The highlight was certainly the quick trip I took with my family to the Saguenay.

For most of the month the weather was generally nice, rather hot but with only a few thunderstorms. At least I could stop worrying about my garage being flooded since the city finally repaired the sidewalk (although it took a while: I directly complained to city hall on June 20th, they did the markings on the 26th, then they've cut the sidewalk a week later, removed the old sidewalk on July 8th, installed the formwork on the 11th, poured the concrete on the 17th, did the asphalt on the 24th and gave the landscaping finishing touch on the 30th! Six weeks! Our taxes at work… but, hey, I am not complaining since I tried for three years to get it done). Now, after a day-and-half of rain and then three cold and overcast days (around 15'C!), we are wondering if this is already the end of the summer…

The other notable events of the last month were the return of the family of cats in our backyard (the mother and her three kittens now called Chausson [Socks], Mitsou [Honey] and Kuro [Blacky]), a knee injury (I fell hard on my left knee: it was swollen for a few days, I limped for a week and now, several weeks later, it hurts only when I put pressure on it or kneel—the problem is that I have to often crouch or kneel at my job; however, I went to the clinic earlier today [a wait of 4.5 hours for a 2-minute consultation!] and it is apparently a bursitis, a prepatellar bursitis to be precise, so they gave me some anti-inflammatory drug and told me to stay off my knee for at least a week) and my wife and I went to visit the Fabergé exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The situation at work didn't really improved. I could never get use to such chaos, absurdity and inconsistency. It is sometimes so irritating and exasperating, even exhausting (with all the kneeling, running, box carrying and furniture moving—it feels like running a marathon and learn joggling at the same time: I just can't do it), but I must do my best to ignore it, shut up and endure because I can't change job for another year. Grin and bear it, as my wife says. Or maybe I'll just get used to it… Such unhappiness is not good for my moral or even my health. It's maddening! However, even if I fume and cry, there's not much I can do but wait and hope for better days. So I take one day at a time… and try to pour my energy into something else.

Luckily, it seems that reduced commuting time left me less tired, so I was able to write a lot in the last month. I wrote comments on a few anime & manga related titles: manga (Joséphine Impératrice vol. 2), references (Dico Manga, GraphoLexique du Manga, Anime Classique Zettai, Manga: The complete guide, and language (Chineasy). However, I wrote mostly movie-related posts as I was starting to prepare for the Montreal World Film Festival. A month or two before the festival, I like to start posting festival news (Fantasia's first, second and third wave of announcements, their Japanese line-up, as well as the MWFF announcements, programmation and Japanese line-up) and commenting on last year's movies (Blindly in love, Mourning recipe, The Kiyosu conference, and Case of Kyoko, Case of Shuichi; there are two more to come later) in order to help generate interest. Later in fall, I plan to shift my interest toward Japanese literature…

On the world stage, people's attention went mostly toward the situations in Ukraine (pro-russian rebels shooting down a commercial airplane) and in Gaza (Israel invading once more Palestinian territories). The latter is rather infuriating. I agree that it is a complex situation and that both sides bears the blame, but the arguments of self-defence (come on: tanks & missiles v. sling shots & homemade rockets?), human shields (they don't hide behind civilians: they are ALL civilians and must share the same tiny space as it is the most densely populated area in the world!) or “they started it” (it depends on how many generations you want to go back: to my understanding it all started when Israel refused to share what was BOTH their ancestral land) are rather fallacious. So, I don't understand why so many people would unconditionally defend Israel… On the opposite side, the fact that I call a spade a spade doesn't make me an anti-Semite. In a democratic world, criticism should be embraced not extinguished. I just think it is sad that a nation with such a beautiful and tragic history & culture would knowingly commit apartheid and genocide since they have lived through it themselves. It makes it even more morally inexcusable! If their god has send them wandering into exile as a test, I guess they have miserably failed as they have not understood yet that we are all brothers in adversity and that we must learn to share. After all, Earth is rather small (and getting smaller) and such lesson is fundamental to everyone's survival… Unfortunately, I fear that the only way to put an end to this would be for the international community to strongly interpose itself in-between the belligerents, to set new borders and make Jerusalem into an international city. But it's quite utopian. If not, we could always nuke both parties, because, the way it is now, it will only end with the total annihilation of either one nation.

Anyway, I found lots of interesting news stories (on technology, sciences, popular culture, local interests, etc.) and I am gladly sharing with you those 175+ links (scraplinking, remember?):

Anime & Manga related, Japan, Popular Culture
Apple, apps and mobile devices news
Books, Digital Edition & Libraries Economy, Environment & International/U.S. Politics Health, home & garden Humour
iPhoneography Local news Media, Culture, Entertainment & Society Movie Festivals Sciences & History Technology, Gadgets & Internet Union stuff & Montreal's libraries / Régimes de retraite

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