Yes, Thursday was indeed my 29th birthday, so I'll tell you all what happened in my usual mind-numbingly boring detail.
I got up around 9:30 a.m.-ish, and walked over to the couch, where I lay down for another 15 minutes or so, and proceeded to... erm... not unwrap but unbag my presents. You see, my mother doesn't wrap my presents, she puts them in bags, and stuffs the tops with paper mach�. What did I get? Erm... two volumes of the Cowboy Bebop manga, a book on New York and a book on oral accounts of September 11th, an optical mouse, a 365 Days of Doom desk calender for 2004, a bottle of Absolut Mandrin vodka and a bottle of Hakutsuru sak� (hakutsuru = white crane), a budget-priced truck-driving game which isn't quite the one I asked for but still decent, two pairs of black Levi's 550s (I used to be a 501-only guy, but 550s are a bit more comfortable), $200 worth of gift certificates to L'Equipeur (Mark's Work Wearhouse in Quebec) and a hooded Wind River sweater. I shaved and showered and spent... umm... a few more minutes than I would otherwise like to putting on the jeans. Oh dear... diet time, I'm afraid. But not on my birthday.
So I hurried to the car, and my mother tried to get to Ile Perrot station to catch the late-morning commuter train, since we wouldn't have made it in time to get to Pincourt/Terrase-Vaudreuil station. However, the parking lot of Ile Perrot station is by Highway 20, about 100 metres away from the actual platform, which is a little walk up a path up a hill. Considering the gates crossing Perrot boulevard were already beginning to descened as we were getting out of the car, I didn't think we were going to make it. We made a pathetic attempt at running, but to no avail. So, we had to call our father who was going to meet us for lunch that we were going to be a little late, since we'd have to take a bus from Pointe Claire. The choice of where I'd eat my birthday lunch was left up to me, but I really had no good ideas, though I did say to my mother that "Chinatown would be a little too far away"... well, not really, actually, it's just a little troddle down de la Gauchiti�re street from Central Station. I guess I was tired, so I wasn't thinking quite straight (well, I often think fairly straight but not completely straight, if you catch my drift). My mother told my father on the cell phone that I didn't really have any preference (well, I often don't quite have a preference, if you catch my drift), and my father apparently said something about Chinatown, so my mother said that he had read her mind. We drove to Pointe Claire, and my mother mentioned to me that she wasn't particularly bothered by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money on her little circumpolar jaunt with 60 Canadians, including rich Canadians like D�nis Arcand, staying at the finest Russian hotels and hogging military transport aircraft when we have Canadian troops ready to come home after their tour in Afghanistan whom are stuck on the tarmac because Mme. Clarkson's using the only available aircraft; she was saying this because Tommy Schnurmacher has come out strongly against Mme. Clarkson; I tend to agree with Tommy on this and most other things, but my mother's entitled to her opinion, I guess.
We got to Pointe Claire station and the parking lot was unusually full, so we had to park quite a ways down from the pedestrian tunnel. I like to call that tunnel under Highway 20 the "urine tunnel" but they seemed to have cleaned it fairly recently, so it didn't quite smell as much as usual. I don't normally like getting on the 211 bus at Pointe Claire because they're usually too full and I hate standing, but the bus that came along was an 1980s Novabus and not one of the more recent Novabus low-floor monstrosities with fewer seats and a low centre of gravity, so there were still bench seats available in the back. So I played Golden Sun: The Lost Age as the bus travelled downtown. At Lionel Groulx Metro station, my mother asked if there were any washrooms nearby, since there aren't any in Metro stations (for the public, at least) but I told her that I thought the closest public washroom was in the McDonald's on Notre Dame street two blocks south. But I told her there were certainly washrooms in Complexe Guy Favreau, a federal government building on the western fringes of Chinatown connected to Place des Armes Metro station, so she decided to hold it in until we got there. I played Golden Sun: The Lost Age a little more on a bench in Complexe Guy Favreau while I waited for her. (By the way, I'm at the point in the game wherein I've learned "grind", so I could get the ship past that rock in the strait and now I can explore the Western sea.) After she was finished, we walked east along de la Gauchiti�re, and, at the crosswalk, we spotted my father across Saint Urbain street, and we had to wave a few times to get him to notice us, as he seemed to think we were coming to meet him from the south.
We went to the Jade Palace buffet restaurant in Chinatown. We were seated. My mother had some difficulty being seated because there was a bag behind her chair. My parents thought it was from the Chinese party at the next table, so they got the waitress to speak to them, but it wasn't there bag and they just took it away. I was feeling a bit hot since I didn't get much sleep the previous night and I was wearing my Wind River hooded sweatshirt I had just received for my birthday. I had Won Ton soup with those little fried noodle things you soak in the water and it was very good. Then, for my main course, I had 2 slices (very thin) of seafood pizza, several chicken balls (they had the red sauce with pineapple chunks, but, for some reason, I decided I'd rather have them "plain"), a spring roll, a fried dumpling and a couple of regular dumplings... I skipped the chow mein this time. It was all very nice, though the fried dumpling was a little gooey, though I think it was meant to be that way. I sort of wanted a Coke or Pepsi, but never got around to ordering it, but the water was filling enough. After we had paid for lunch, we walked west along de la Gauchiti�re towards Central Station, passing the Maison Haunt�e theme restaurant with the fake demons hanging out the windows and this park made out of the ruins of an old church.
We parted ways with our father at Central Station, and I navigated my mother through the maze of tunnels of the underground city to get to M�tro Video in the basement of the former Simpson's department store, below the Famous Players Paramount cinema. I picked up my main birthday present, an uncut, subtitled Sailor Moon season 1 DVD boxset, which was just $125 (before 15% sales tax), not a bad price for 46 half-hour episodes and over 1000 minutes of animation (well, okay, since it's Sailor Moon, a fair percentage of that 1000 minutes is recycled transformation and attack sequences, but I digress), as well as a boxset of the 1st season of King of the Hill ($35, but that's only 13 episodes). At the cash, my mother thought she'd get the Sleeping Beauty DVD just for my sister, Alison (who shares my birthday, though she's 3 years younger than I am), but I mentioned that I had rented it a couple of weeks back and thought it was the most beautifully animated of the Walt Disney-produced Disney films, so she got one for me too. There was too much for one bag, so they put the Sailor Moon box set in a separate bag, and I decided to take that one with me to class, so I was doodling Sailor Moon as my teacher was explaining Aristotlian virtues and other ancient political concepts.
During my 2 hour break between classes, I needed to pee, so I decided to get some exercise out of this and I climbed up 9 stories of steps in the Hall building to get to the tenth storey washroom (yes, the gay cruising one...). After, I found that wacky thing about the Jewish conspiracy at Concordia which I told you about the other day. On the way down, I had a Pepsi in the 7th floor cafeteria, then I went downstairs and crossed under the street to the library building, since I had to look up some books on my chosen topic, "Natural Law", to come up with a rudimentary outline for my term paper in my History of Legal Systems class... should have done it before, but I didn't get to the library before to research, and there was nothing in the course outline that said the term paper outline couldn't be hand-written, so I got 9 titles off the computer, and then came up with a very barebones structure for the assignment (thinking I'll tie "Natural Law" in with Conservatism, Libertarianism and Capitalism, so it was easy to pull topic headings out my ass), and spent some of the class, when I wasn't taking notes, writing out my bibliography so I could hand it in at the end of class.
I went to Pharmaprix to get a couple of blank CD-RWs (and Sundae Smarties and a bottle of Vanilla Coke), and, since I didn't feel like waiting to take the 9:15 commuter train back to Pincourt, I took the 211 bus back to Sainte Anne de Bellevue where my mother picked me up. My birthday dinner which I had requested was pasta shells with a shrimp-and-bacon sauce (yes, sorry Jewish friends, I'm very pro-Israel, but I'm afraid I also like the taste of shrimp and bacon... please don't be offended) and I watched some DVDs and wrote in this blog and went to bed very, very late, as always, but I didn't have to be up early.
Ah, I wanted to tell you my ultimate "Sailor Moon on YTV" story, but it's much too late now. I'll see if I can tell you tomorrow evening, after I get back from my belated birthday dinner in Ottawa with my sister... we shall be eating at Red Lobster, which is a real treat for me since they closed all Red Lobsters in Quebec in the mid-90s. If you made it through reading all that, I congratulate you once again.