Written on 11:51 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
Despite Montreal's 3000 city snowclearing vehicules, it is expected to take another 5 days to finish clearing the few 4736 km of road from the few 42 cm of snow that fell during Friday's snowstorm. These operations alone are estimated to cost over 20 million dollars to the city of Montreal.
Untill then, drivers have to be patient and keep their eyes open for any temporary 'no parking' sign because they could pay both a parking fine and their own car's removal (tow) cost!
Written on 11:28 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
With my parents moving to New Caledonia in January, it's good to see they will have some *ahem* 'company' when they go snorkling. If they were afraid to be bored or not see enough big fish, now they have something else to fear.
Great whites are notorious for their agressivity towards humans and have been linked to many fatal 'accidents'. For more information about great whites' behaviour, visit www.greatwhite.org
Written on 1:49 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
I spoiled myself a little today when I bought this very cool compact Oster espresso coffee maker. It is an inexpensive way of getting the great quality taste we love from a fresh espresso right at home and without cluttering the whole countertop space.
I officially inaugurated my espresso machine tonight and the coffee tasted great! I can't wait to experiment with different grains!!!
Written on 9:31 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
I received this mystery picture in my inbox today. Why 'mystery' ? Because it came with no explanation.
It came from my father. I believe the foot and legs are my mom's.
So what's the story that goes with this picture? Anyone has any idea? Was she attacked by a possum and the camera was all they could find next to her body? Or maybe she bought this new pet because she thought a dog was too much trouble...?
Written on 9:12 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
How many centimeters of snow fall would you guess we received Friday? 5? 10? or even 15?
25cm?... That's what we were supposed to receive... but on Friday only we got a huge 42 cm of snow, breaking the last record from 1969 (38 cm). That's a lot of snow! I personnaly don't mind *that* much because usually the weather's nicer when it's snowy. Altough I have to say that digging the car out of a parking lot every 2 hours is not my favorite hobby.
No doubt. Winter is here. Dec 21st or not, winter is definitely here. To celebrate it, Brian and I are attending a one-day dance workshop given by Zack & Maryse of Swing Connexion school, located near De Castelneau metro station.
Written on 3:14 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
Our beloved 'Nana' is currently at the ICU (intensive care unit), fighting against a couple of tumors blocking her airways.
Our thoughts are with her and the message I wanted to send her with this card is:
HANG ON! Don't give up! If someone is strong enough to beat this thing it is surely you, Nana! We're there with you. Hang on tight!
To send her encouragements, add a comment here.
Written on 4:45 p.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
6 months ago, I gave up trying to find a kind of fish that would survive my little terrorist, a red zebra cichlid female (as seen on picture to the left). For the sake of this story, I'll call her Bonnie.
So Bonnie had proved herself to be a very difficult tank mate for a few 8 other cichlids who were killed and eaten by her, 1 beta, 2 tiger oscars (american cychlids), as well as ate over a dozen snails. What else could I try? I decided that my friend Charles would receive a very nice red zebra cichlid female as a present for his very own cichlid fish tank. He had told me how aggressive his cichlids were and, to be honest, his cichlids were approx. 3 times the size of Bonnie.
So Bonnie spent 10 hours in a plastic bag on a bus with me from Abitibi, to move into what would become her new home.
Last month, I had news that Bonnie's size had trippled and that she was now attacking the leading male cichlid of her new tank and he was now paralysed from fear behind the jet of water coming out of the filter. Charles decided it was time to isolate Bonnie in a smaller fish tank where he only had a litlle guppy. Three hours later, there were no traces of a guppy in that tank and Bonnie was alone again.
In the meanwhile, I was on vacation in Australia and Charles was taking care of my fish. In this tank, I had 4 gouramis (1 pearl, 1 gold, 1 red and 1 blue), 1 shark, 5 neons tetras, 3 angels, a beta and a pleco. On my return, 2 gouramis(gold and red), the shark and the beta were missing. I bought a small eal and two yellow suckers to replace them. Since then, I saw my pearl gourami (as the picture to the right) attack the blue gourami to death, as well as the eel and one of the 2 yellow suckers... For the sake of this story, I'll call my pearl gourami Clyde.
So now that Bonnie had been controlled and isolated in this small fish tank with no tankmates to eat and that Clyde was terrorising my tank, I thought maybe these two belong together... One thing though: pearl gouramis are NOT supposed to be aggressive and cichlids are usually supposed to share a tank only with their fellow cichlids... So it is expected that Bonnie will attack and eat Clyde. Charles and I agreed that after so many killings, both of these fish proved to not be able to share their space with others and if one of them gets killed in the process, it will be 'death penalty' for serial murder.
Three possible scenarios now:
- Bonnie eats Clyde (10 against 1)
- Bonnie and Clyde bare with each other and tame themselves down (yeah RIGHT!)
- Clyde kills Bonnie (1 against 10)
Written on 2:30 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
Tonight's the big night at Montreal's best martini house, the Jello Bar (151 Ontario E.).
Featuring the great Cat Scat Band at 10PM, DJ Byron and a free dance lesson provided by Studio 88 Swing at 9PM, this rockabilly night is set for success!
Let's rock'n roll, let's jive and let's swing all night long! Hold on to your martinis because when lead singer Robert Lavoie and DJ Byron 'the comet' Alley join forces to bring you an exciting retro night like this one, it promises to shake the house up!
Written on 1:50 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
It feels so good to be back at balboa practice every Wednesday I had to write a few lines about it!
Thanks to Zack & Maryse, our energetic coaches who work themselves crazy for the development of their new Montreal-based dance school, Swing Connexion, while devoting their best to the new balboa team, Balboa Connexion, and their baby girl Camelia.
With so many plans and a totally new choreography to build, it won't be boring for anyone!!!
Written on 8:05 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
Mon dernier mois passé en Australie a gravé en moi des souvenirs inoubliables et je remercie grandement tous ceux qui ont fait de ce voyage un succès.
Maintenant que je suis de retour, il est grandement temps de me réinvestir du côté de ma carrière en ressources humaines / relations industrielles. Je suis donc de nouveau disponible et activement à la recherche d'un emploi à titre de conseillère ressources humaines (généraliste), dans la région de Montréal.
Pour plus d'information, vous pouvez télécharger mon curriculum vitae.
Tout conseil, question ou commentaire lié à ma recherche d'emploi peut être envoyé à .
Written on 7:43 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
This last month I spent in Australia will be preciously kept in memories forever. Thanks to everyone who made this trip such a big success.
Now that I'm back, it's time to get back to my career in human resources / industrial relations. I am now officially searching for a job again, as a human resources consultant (generalist), in Montreal metropolitan area.
You can download my curriculum vitae for more information.
Any hints, questions or comments related to my job search can be sent to .
Written on 5:42 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
I've started uploading a couple of videos from my trip in Australia.
You can download my videos from Oz here.
If you want to create a free account with SaveFile to store and link to your own files, you can do so here.
You can open these videos with QuickTime but I strongly recommend VLC instead.
Written on 5:32 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
Follow my journey in Queensland, Australia step by step right below:
Nov 2nd - Arrival in Brisbane
Nov 3rd - Cooloongata (Gold Coast) & Mount Cotton
Nov 4th - Dive in Stradbroke Island
Nov 5th - Walk at Point Lookout (Stradbroke Island)
Nov 7th - Going to South Bank by CityCat
Nov 8th - Surf lessons in Noosa (Sunshine Coast)
Nov 9th - Surfers' Paradise (Gold Coast)
Nov 10th - Tim Tam Challenge & Swing at the Carina Bowls Club
Nov 11th - Brian's leaving Brisbane & some watercolour painting
Nov 12th - Food Market & Mount Coot-Tha
Nov 13th - Teaching dad how to surf
Nov 15th - James Street Market & Balboa Class
Nov 16th - Chinatown
Nov 17th - Brisbane Museum
Nov 18th - Teaching the art of sushi making in Brisbane
Nov 19th - Swing at the Oasis
Nov 26th - Dive in Moreton Island
Nov 27th - Koala Sanctuary
Written on 8:58 a.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
Written on 7:39 p.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
Mom and Dad with Flipper
The pelican is a much larger bird than I expected. I said it a couple of times before but I finally took a picture that gives a better idea of what I meant by 'big'. The person is an adult...
A praying manthis...
One of these swam right between my dad and me when we were snorkling but I wasn't fast enough to take a picture...
Lots and lots of small fishies...
This huge fish (Queensland Groper) was approximately 6 feet long and was just resting under one of the wrecks. I had to dive 4 times to get this picture of him... Glad I did!!! But apparently that this fish has been linked to several fatal attacks on humans: I'm not sure I would have a picture to show you now if I had known this fact then!
Written on 12:07 p.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
The Oasis: an outdoor venue just like our 'Swing l'été' spot in Verdun, with a large roof over our heads in case of showers. In this case, the oasis is located in the middle of broadbeach (GoldCoast) in front of many restaurants, bars and pubs. Many pedestrians stop by when they hear the music and get more information about courses offered by Katz Korner at a table they set up before hand. Lots of kids jumping around, great variety of music, a bunch of cool dancers from the GoldCoast and Brisbane is the perfect recipe for success!
Here you can see some spectators as well as the registration table setup on the left.
Me and 3 friends from the GoldCoast. The guy on the left is a very good creative lead. I don't remember any of their names.
? & ? from Katz Korner Dance School on the Gold Coast. Both Jivers... (Jive here is called Rockabilly) the girl on the right knows Sophia Wolff from Viva Las Vegas.
Tessa & Drew. What a lovely couple! Tessa's a sweetest girl I met while in Brisbane and Drew's by far the best lead & teacher! When are we going to invite him to Canada to show us his tricks?
At 11pm, it's time to pack up... and go for a swim at the beach...
Beware of the sharks. They are more active at nightime.
We all had a blast.... except for the poor Tessa who didn't bring her bathing suit because nobody told her about the beach. She took a couple of good pictures though ;)
Great effect! This photo is a courtesy of Tessa. Who can guess the name of the guy on that picture?
Written on 10:47 p.m. by Cynthia Quenneville
Those of you who know me best know very well how much I love sushi and know that I've now established a tradition to organise sushi nights at home and have everyone contribute to the preparation of this delicious meal.
Being in Brisbane did not stop this tradition. So my parents invited two of their best friends over for dinner and a crash course of making your own sushi! See how it went below:
Step 1 - Making the rice. You need sushi rice or Calrose rice. Cook it according to the instructions and then season it with a mix of rice vinegar, water and sugar. Spread the rice on a cookie platter to cool down...
Step 2: while the rice is cooling, prepare the veggies. For the tempura vegetables, slice sweet potatoes, onion rings and zuchinis. For the maki rolls, cut carrots, celeri, zuchinis and avocadoes into narrow sticks.
Step 3 - Preparing the tempura batter. A recipe can be found here. Once the batter's ready, throw the veggies in it and then in the fryer untill a nice gold colour appears. Let them sit on paper towels to absorb the excess in oil and serve with tempura dipping sauce. Good job dad!
Step 4 - The nigiris. Nigiri means 'hooked on' or 'hung on' in japanese and refers to the piece of raw fish hooked around a small block of rice. You will need a bowl of water to rinse your hands between every nigiri and stop the rice from sticking too much to your hands. Press a small quantity of rice really hard in your hand to make it stick together and then, hook a sashimi (slice of raw fish) onto it. Repeat. You can use a tiny bit of wasabi between the fish and the rice to add flavour and make them stick better.
Step 5 a) - Rolling the makis! For this, you will need to find Nori Roasted Seaweed which can be found in every chinese or japanese supermarket and a bamboo mat to roll it. Place the seaweed on the mat, spread the rice on the seaweed everywhere with the exception of the last part to be rolled (see picture above) so the seaweed can stick to itself. Then, line up a couple of veggies and fish of your choice on the rice portion closest to you. You can also add some seasoning like a mix of wasabi and mayo or a mix of seafood sauce and mayo or some sliced marinated ginger to your roll before rolling. Roll the seaweed with the rice on the inside and make it stick on the end.
Step 5 b) - Rolling it inside out or 'californian style' with the rice on the outside! I won't try to explain it here but if you look at the pictures you can see it involves a celophan film and putting the mat after the rice is stuck onto the nori seaweed... Good luck!
Step 6 - Slicing the maki roll... make sure the roll is cooled down and the knife you're using is clean of any rice to make a nice cut.
Step 7 - Sit down, serve and enjoy!