Tuesday, September 30, 2003

New resident in Outremont?
Okay, it took me a while, but I've really started to groove on Radiohead's Hail to the Thief. However, am I the only one who's noticed that, on some songs, he sounds strange like our favourite local crooner, Rufus Wainwright?

Monday, September 29, 2003

Smell that? Smells like...
winter. Its brisk taste entering my nostrils this morning. My over-priced winter clothing calling out to me, waiting to be taken out of storage for another 6 months. Rosy cheeks, stews, mulled wines, frost nip on the toes, cuddling for warmth, mmm, cuddling for warmth. The smell of ski wax. Stale air in the apartment. The smell of sweat in the air after friends come over to boulder. I love autumn, with its sense of anticipation. November, however, I could do without.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Entering the digital age
Say what you will about Pharmaprix, and their new store on St-Laurent, ya gotta love their photo service. For $9, they'll develop you film in an hour, give you one of those mini photo albums, and digitise your film.
I've been told that WalMart has been doing that for years, but at least this way I get to choose my own poison. So, I think I'll put off buying a digital camera for a while, and concentrate on saving up for this little vee-hickle.
I'll put some of the photos up on pbase soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

No honey, I swear, I did cum
Is it me? Is it something that I'm not doing right? Could I do something different? Please, honey, tell me. I don't want us to be like all those other Canadians.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Oh, the irony
So, the Combined Jewish Appeal is having its CJA Campaign 2003. However, having been indoctrinated in the Catholic faith, I was raised to believe that Jews ritually sacrifice babies and drink their blood. Oh, and that they killed Jesus. So, instead, I'm more likely to donate to Dans la rue.
Regardless, what's rather funny about the CJA's campaign is the slogan For Our Children. On the surface, it's just another platitude. Then again, take a walk through some of the poorer neighbourhoods in Montreal (and some not-so-poor), and you'll see the same slogan in French (Oui, pour nos enfants) graffitied on walls, remnants of 1995's Quebec referendum, when then-premier Jacques Parizeau, liquered-up beyond belief, tried to lay blame passively aggressively on the Jews for the PQ's failure to win sovereignty.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Something just don't feel right
Anyone ever get the feeling that, with certain pants, that your fly is down? I mean, I don't know if it's just me, but it seems that, with certain jeans, I'm walking around, hands in pockets, and I just get this feeling that a certain part of my attire is afraid of heights. This usually happens when other folks is around, so I'm stuck between reaching for my zipper to verify if it's up or simply risk going around with extra air conditioning.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Time wasters
I'm absolutely hooked.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Caillou is dead!
I never understood the phenom that is the little bald-headed one, but my dahling nephews sure seem to go crazy whenever I give them Caillou gifts. Anyhow, the voice of the English Caillou (we're all bilingual here, saviez-vous?) died yesterday. Time to find something new to give the kids this year, I guess.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

That'll learn ya
(Then again, probably not)
Many, many years ago, during my first week in Montreal, I was sitting out on the back balcony of my apartment, enjoying the sights and smells of this new home of mine. I happened to catch the goings-on in the alley, where a confrontation was taking place between three white, francophone thugs-in-training (they were around 10 or 11 years old) and a couple of Hassidim children. Being stronger and more vicious, the little whiteys soon got the upper hand, and chased the other two back up the alley, throwing rocks at their targets along the way.
"Well, that was interesting," thought I. "Things never change."
Not less than five minutes later, I see these same three mini-thugs come racing back the other way, terror apparent on their eyes. "What the...?" Ah, following close on their heels are about 10 Hassidim, coming to the aid of their brethren. The little hoodlums cowered in an old hangar (slowly and sadly disappearing from the inner-city landscape of Montreal: hangars, that is), begging for mercy, cajoling, suddenly learning how to whimper in English, trying everything to endear themselves to their former enemies, anything to save their hides.
This memory came back to me this morning while listening to the news, hearing that the "government" to the south is now asking for other nations to step in and clean up its mess in Iraq, all the while maintaining control of all UN forces. The sad part is that other countries will send troops.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Settlin' in
It's always a strange procedure, your first day at a new job. Besides the filling out of forms, you get to see your new cubicle, which you will share with four complete strangers. You go through the drawers in your desk, finding jetsam left by the previous peon in your position, or it may simply have served as a repository for someone else's in the cubie. (Hey, at least I've got buttermilk body lotion. "Honey, lock up the kids, we're gonna get lathered up tonight!")
You play around on your computer, which, sad to say, isn't anywhere near as powerful as your bottom-of-the-line home computer. Oh well, the company doesn't have any money to spare on upgrades.
Ah, but the best/worst part is knowing that any good stuff that may have been available in your workspace before has been pilferred away. The first thing to go is usually the ergonomic seat, so that you end up with the equivalent of a one-legged milking stool. Yeah, I've decided to no longer settle for crap like that. Walked around, found a great chair that wasn't being used, and rolled it to my desk. The fellow cubies looked at me in wonder.
Pissing on my territory, that's what I'm doing.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Ah, so that's why I have no septum left
Coming back to Canuckia on Wednesday night, I knew catching my bus back to Montreal from Magog would be tight, but wasn't really stressing. We were driving the back roads of New Hampshire and Vermont—militia country if you will—and ended up at the border in a small town called Stanhope.
So, we get to the border and Mark, my climbing partner, is having fits of ecstasy over how attractive he finds the border guard. (Mind you, we haven't washed in over a week, we look battered from over 9 days on the rock and in the sun and sleeping in the woods, and we both have week-old growths of salt-and-pepper stubble.) We're in a pick-up, he's got New York license plates, we're two states over from his home town, and we're heading back east via Canada. Enough to arouse some suspicion, I suppose.
The guard asks her usual questions, and seems obsessed with whether we have any guns. Um, nope. No drugs either, although we do have the remains of a bottle of bourbon in the back. The guard takes Mark's passport and my driver's license into the office, asking us to wait awhile. She comes back out, sans our documentation, telling us that this will take a few minutes. We figure that everything will be okay, and wait again. She then goes back inside, comes out and tells us to pull off to the side, because they're going to search the vehicle.
Wonderful, no way am I getting back to Montreal that night. Two more guards come out, Mark and I are told to stand in front of the truck where they can see us, and the guards proceed to go through the truck with some high-powered flashlight, taking everything out, opening everything, etc., etc. Now, two guys off on a road trip are going to have a lot of stuff, being at least two pack sacks each (one for camping, the other for climbing gear). Mark is a carpenter, so he also has all of his carpentry stuff in the truck as well.
Here's where it gets interesting: One of the guards calls me off to side and, staring directly at me for a reaction, asks, "Have you ever taken cocaine?" What?!? I'm freaking. Me: "Um, no sir, coke isn't on my list of prescriptions. In fact, what with a transplant and all, it might actually kill me." Guard: "Well, we passed your license under an ion scanner (or something, I wasn't comprehending much by then), and found traces of cocaine on your license. There's nothing we can do about it right now, but you should know." No idea how it got there, and I go back to standing in front of the truck, wondering how this could have happened.
After about 30 more minutes, the guard who questioned me tells the others, "nah, these guys are too active to be doing coke." They call us over, tell us that everything's hunky dory and, after commenting on all the gear we have, let us go. Get to Magog, where I'm sure we were followed, and after parting ways with Mark, I try the door of the bus station.
No more buses that night. Fortunately, my mom lives in Magog, so I give her a call, she comes to pick me up, and I spend the next day with the 'rents, who drive me back the next day.