Random Thoughts

June 27, 2003 at 5:46 pm (General)

* With this heat wave that we’re going through right now, I now find that I end practically all my sentences with, “In this weather.”
* Had lunch at Cirque du Soleil headquarters yesterday. Nothing better to keep your ego in check than being surrounded by really attractive, very fit young men and women walking around in body-hugging clothes, which is needed in this weather. Oh, and the food they serve is really good also.
* Whale Rider. Great movie. Go see it. Not only did I shed a few tears, I actually sobbed at one point. (The last time that happened was when I watched Dancer in the Dark. Oh, and Ponette.) At least the theatre had air conditioning, what with this weather.
* My appartment is full of cat hair. In this weather, the cat is shedding like crazy, hiding out under the dresser to escape the heat. I have tiny follicles hugging the bristles of my face. It’s driving me nuts. That and the weather.

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Drowning in nostalgia, wallowing in hope

June 19, 2003 at 4:41 pm (General)

I was riding my bike back from the Fringe festival today, along Sherbrooke St, when I got to the corner of St-Mathieu, where I was struck with a slew of memories. Mind you, this is a fairly non-descript corner, the only remarkable thing being La Maîtresse, a resto that serves passable French cuisine for about $100/2 people.
But that’s not the story.
About three years ago, I was leaving my job at the Montreal Mirror to work as a tech writer at Phoenix. On my last night out, there was a gathering at the bar across the street to signal my departure. Several Guinnesses into the soirée, my boss bought me a tequila, which I hadn’t drunk since my university days, when I used it as a lubricant to get into girls’ pants.
After awhile, folks started to arm-wrestle each other. A fellow reporter was up against my boss, and she seemed to be holding up quite well. Being intoxicated, I figured I could display my manly strength, especially seeing as how I had been climbing for several months. Of course, being blond and ignorant, I had failed to notice that my boss wasn’t trying as hard as he should against the her. Also, the last time I had arm-wrestled was approximately 25 years before.
When it got down to him and I, the struggle was close; I was nearly pinned, but he couldn’t get my hand down. My fore-arm was bulging, but I wouldn’t give up. Silly me.
There was an explosion in the bar, and I witnessed this look of horror in my opponent’s face just as he let my hand go. As I pulled my arm back, I realised that it came back crookedly. “Um,” I thought (drunkenly), “I must have dislocated my elbow.” I was about to try to hit my elbow back into place when I realised that the pain was coming from my upper arm.
You know how they talk about exquisite pain? This wasn’t it.
Long story short, I was taken in an ambulance to the hospital, where the doctors ascertained that my humerous had split apart on a spiral, cutting through the radial nerve, making my right hand useless. I was taken into surgery the next day, where a plate was inserted into my upper arm, attached by eight screws. The bone healed fairly quickly, but there were questions as to whether I would ever regain the use of my right arm.
As I said, I was starting a new job, but I also had to learn to use a mouse with my left hand, as well as type lefty-only. I had regular visits at the hospital, where they monitored what little progression I was making.
After the visits, I would walk down St-Mathieu, facing the possibility that I was either facing much more surgery in the future, or that I would have the face the future with only one arm.
To make myself feel better, I would stop by a store called Kayakqua (now RocZone in the Faubourg) where I would treat myself to a piece of climbing equipment. I never knew if I would ever get to use this equipment, but it helped. Three years later, most of my climbing gear comes from purchases I made at that time. The arm healed, I can use my hand.

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Hey chickie chickie

June 13, 2003 at 5:45 pm (General)

I admit it, I fucking hate the F1 weekend in Montreal. With a passion. With every bone in my body, those that are screwed or wired together and those that are still intact.
Every year, it’s the same: the downtown core is filled with overweight, middle-aged, middle-class white men, their pudendous bellies rolling over their leatherette belts and stretching against their WalMart/Kmart polyester-blend t-shirts, proudly strutting around with knockoff Ferrari or Benetton baseball caps shoved firmly upon their male-pattern-balding heads. Of course, those who have spent the next month’s beer money on VIP seats will also have their passes slung proudly around their necks.
They hang around Crescent street (evil, but good enough for the tourons), they hang around the subway, they hang around the Old Port, all engaged in one activity: ogling, stalking, and trying to pick up anything that walks and has a pair of breasts. Because, hey, we all know that Montreal girls are easy, right? The younger the better. My ex-“sister-in-law,” 15 at the time, was cruised more than Cathy Lee Gifford on a Royal Princess liner a few years ago.
This lasts a whole fucking week, culminating in a ridiculous spectacle of waste on a Sunday, where all us good Québécois bemoan the fact that our favourite son of the moment, that little piss-ant whiner Villeneuve, crashed his billion-dollar car on the third turn, only to jump into his private helicopter and get his bony ass outta Cheyenne.
Afterward, if you have the misfortune of being on the Décarie, you will undoubtedly be practically forced off the road by some testosterone-filled troglodyte in his souped-up Honda Civic racing his yo-yo-bro in his souped-up Civic-with-tinted-windows, both emulating their heroes from the Formula One.
Nothing but bread and circuses.
Well, that’s my rant.

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Mind if I play through?

June 12, 2003 at 5:45 pm (Climbing)

Okay, things are getting waayy ridiculous on Everest. Close the mountain down, I say. The BBC has an article today about a British climber who had an American climber fall on him near the summit. The Brit ended up with a broken leg. The American? Well, he continued on his merry way, because he had reserved a tee time reserved on the North Col, where he planned to hit a few golf balls.
My question is whether he replaced his divots.

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Lazy weekend in Mtl

June 10, 2003 at 5:44 pm (General)

I’m normally away at least one day out of every weekend, so it’s always kinda neato cool to waste two whole days in the city. Granted, I have the rest of the week to do the same thing I would do on the weekend, what with being sans job and all, but regardless.
Anyhow, Saturday the milliner circus freak and I hung at my place for a while, eating tomatoes and boccocini on the balcony, before heading off to meet her folks, who treated us to an amazing supper at Ouzeri. We then drove them down to the Old Port for them to see the Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion show. Got to hang in the VIP tent, drinking free booze and chewing on little crudités. Gosh, there are advantages to having a honey-bunny who works at the circus.
Sunday, I come home, do a bit of stationary cycling while the Tour de l’Ile is passing in front of my place, and then we head off for Ikea to look for furniture. Since it’s a nice day, I’m thinking that sangria would go down well. On further thought, we opt for margaritas, which turned out to be incredibly strong. Made tandoori chicken for supper, drank, made salty buttery popcorn, and settled down to watch “The 25th Hour.”
Yeah, I could get used to this.

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