Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

something in French!

Uh, yeah. I hate to admit it, given my "heritage" and all, but Kristine is way better at French than I am now, so I'm not even going to try. Hohn honh honh! Je veux des chemises... avec le... vert... fuck.

Anyhow, hi! Been a while, I guess. Sorry about that; work's been pretty hectic for the last few weeks, and I just haven't really had the time. I'm starting to get the hang of things a little better right now--at least in that things suck slightly less than they did four issues ago--but this is still turning out to be a lot more work than I bargained for. It's nothing in particular, really; this week, Sean is taking some time off in Vancouver, so it was just Lyle and Mike doing all the production on a 64-page paper, which it turns out is near impossible, judging by our failing to have the paper at the printer's even by 9pm last night. And when production is behind, editorial slows down substantially, which resulted in my having to pull a very old-timey Gatewaysian long-haul shift on Tuesday, which saw me get into work at 10am and head home around 3am. Bleah. All told, I worked close to 40 hours in the first three days of this week, which clearly, is more than I'd like.

Ah well, if nothing else, at least all this extra work has paid off in my having moved up to a new jeans bracket. After my last pair of Gaps blew a hole right in the ass a couple months ago, I was all like 'fuck it,' and decided to start getting what I paid for. Just got back from Gravity Pope with a hot new pair of $280 Diesel Zathans under my arm, and to answer your question, yes, there is a little part in the back of my brain that screams at me for being retarded. But that part's getting smaller. You know, since I'm a millionaire now. Wait--millionaires are the ones that live in one-bedroom basement apartments, right? Okay good.

So yeah, today was nice; the internet at work was down when I got in, on account of the Telus strike, I imagine, so I just did one or two things and then turned right around and went back home. Chilled out for a bit, played some GTA, and then my mom picked me up to take me to my second appointment with the doctor about that nerve thing. He said that he had a look at those near two-dozen x-rays they took last week of my back, neck and chest--and the conclusion? Inconclusive.

The x-rays confirm that the second through fourth vertabrae in my neck are indeed pinching the nerves that go between them on the right hand side of my spine (which would explain why I first started feeling this thing in my right thigh, I guess), perhaps due to some mild arthritis, but he's not sure. So he asked his neurologist buddy, and he said he didn't really know what's up either... well, my doctor did mention that the neurologist said he might have thought it to be the onset of multiple sclerosis if I wasn't so young and in perfect health and I'm not showing other outward signs of MS, in that I'm not experiencing any neurological disruptions or loss of bladder control or incontinence. But yeah. Thanks for bringing up MS, there, pal. Puttin' my mind at ease. So at any rate, it's still probably no big deal, but they're going to run a few blood tests and throw me into an MRI machine sometime next week just to rule some things out.

So I'll keep you posted, y'all. And, uh, Go Oilers.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ce sont seulement quatre jours qui reste

Yep, in four days I'll be on my way to the airport. Strange, strange, strange—I can't believe how fast this trip went. I just wish I didn't have to spend my last few days doing ridiculous amounts of homework, but I guess I did come here to "learn French," or something.

Anyway, yeah. Good call on the store credit thing, Iain. They have these crazy machines here that you can stick bottles of various sizes and materials in, and they keep track of how many you've inserted. When you're done, you just hit a button and they print you out a receipt for so much in store credit. In total, Sakate made $7 on Friday, which wasn't bad, considering how ridiculously cheap beer is here. (We found a store down on rue St-Jean where you can buy three 750ml bottles of Unibroue for $12—c'est incroyable!) So yes, we had a long, productive weekend of heavy drinking, which took us to such places as Kashmir (some relatively dive-y place that had $2 bottles of Molson until midnight), Chez Son Père (yet another bar with live music, but that's about all I remember about it), Sacrilège (this fantastic little pub with this crazy sunken patio in the back, surrounded by apartment buildings—I stole one of the coasters, which tells you to be quiet while you're outside since people are trying to sleep), and some shisha bar like that place in Edmonton whose name I can never remember, where we smoked strawberry-flavoured tobacco—I figure being in Québec is as good an excuse as any to try stuff I'd never get the chance to at home. It was actually kind of fun, as you get that buzzy nicotine high without the gross taste and accompanying nausea that I get from smoking cigarettes. The weekend also took us back to Chez Ashton, where I finally (and drunkenly) worked up the courage to try the Hot Dog du Lac, or "hot dog with fries on it," as we would say back home. I have some lovely pictures of this event, which I'll post as soon as I get home. Fuck, I'm going to miss that place. If any of you reading this are aspiring entrepreneurs, for the love of God, open a Chez Ashton franchise on Whyte Ave (or in any Anglophone Canadian city, for that matter) and you'll be one of the richest people in the country, guaranteed. Best. Poutine. Ever.

Speaking of poutine, my friend Ben in Montréal told me that the ultimate Québec experience was eating poutine by the crazy fountain next to the old train station here. I had no idea what he was talking about until Saturday, when Wildcat and I wandered down to the waterfront for the first time (yeah, I know—I've been here for a month and I haven't seen the waterfront yet) and accidentally stumbled upon the train station. I'll post photos when I get home, as I can't really describe it here, but it was this fantastic 19th-century building with this huge fountain out front—again, not the greatest description, but just trust me on this one: it was one of those things that makes me really sad to be from Edmonton. I hate to gush, but I've never fallen in love with a city like this. Not even—and I can't believe I'm about to say this—London measures up to Québec City (well, actually, it does, but there's something about being in a city this rich in culture and history and ambience and still being in your own country—it makes you appreciate Canada as a much more interesting place than most people give it credit for).

Right. Anyway, enough enthusiasm. It'll just make me even sadder that I'm going to be back in Edmonton in four days (not that I don't miss all of you—I just want you to come here rather than me coming home). Otherwise, not much else is new. Jon and I had to write a report on Bonhomme last night (we had to pick a famous Québécois personality to write about—we figured Bonhomme would be much more interesting than, say, Celine Dion), and we ended up either using an internet translator or cutting and pasting large sections of French websites for it—I figured that as long as we were learning while we were doing it, it's not technically plagiarising. Plus, we started last night at 8:30 when it was due this morning at 8:30, and it probably would have taken us about six hours to do otherwise. In conclusion, this was clearly justifiable.

Anyway, time to go do homework, as a bunch of us are going on a cruise down the St. Lawrence this evening (this will be the first time I've been on the river, so I'm really looking forward to it). I'll probably post again before I leave, but if I don't get a chance for whatever reason, I suppose I'll see most of you in a few days. Strange strange strange.