Saturday, November 30, 2013

rocked out - part ii


so... sparring with the beast. firstly, i was in trouble for arriving fifteen minutes late. secondly, i hadn't had time to get any caffeine in my system beforehand. thirdly, i was hardly recovered from the day before and finally, i'm just not at his level. his thirty-pound muscle-weight advantage was irrelevant.

the positive? i lasted four rounds with him, and even though it didn't help me overcome all the other obstacles i've definitely fixed a lot of elements of my game: my movement's better, i'm flinching less and i don't let my opponent stand in front of me for a second without throwing something at him.

the negative? my chin's still too high because i back away every time i'm hit, and in addition to the many strikes he landed (as opposed to my many strikes that didn't land) he also set me up beautifully so that in order to avoid one of his punches i slipped right into a spinning backfist.

two things about that backfist: the first is that - and i only learned this afterwards - it's entirely inappropriate and disrespectful to use that technique in sparring, especially with someone a lower level than you. the second? while he didn't put power into it, even his soft strikes are rough and i added to it with my momentum. there's not much that compares to the experience of seeing the gym spinning around you and hearing "ooooh! there's the knockout!" from the corner...

i'm not sure if my eyes rolled, i do know that i came back swinging and i'm happy with myself for that. the slight headache i've had since (it doesn't hurt at rest, at least) is on the other side from the big punch, so if i do have a concussion it's possible that it's from all the other shots he hit me with...

... later on i went to jiu-jitsu but the class was even (why does working in three's bother me?) and i was late (there's always something that holds me back a few minutes, every time :S ) so i decided to try taking the kickboxing lesson easy. i worked with the slow guy but even so my body was working so hard that i sweat as much as if it was high summer :/

i had a long talk about what happened with our kickboxing instructor, badger and a couple of others, and they've all convinced me that a) i shouldn't spar with the beast until i've made up the gap and b) that i need to rest my body a little and avoid any further head shots for a week or two. i was scheduled to spar with the guy from boxing and the boxing instructor was not impressed with me for bailing :(

i spent the evening watching ufc fights and once upon a time, it was a real struggle to get up to make dinner and even more of a struggle to eat it. i was exhausted and sore and everything felt... foggy...


i watched the bbc documentary on sir gawain and the green knight: i'm pretty sure his is the translation i read three years ago. out loud, to myself. because it's bloody brilliant. the documentary was nice, but not particularly inspirational. at least i finally used an icepack on my damaged left knee and shin (minor compared to everything else :P).

i went to bed around 2.45 and slept a little better. i did sleep late, though, which i obviously needed quite badly. i've spent the day resting and not doing much of value. now, to correct for that, i'm off to watch a foreign film (hah! it's israeli) with vfmp and his boyfriend at the gay film festival. and the birthday wishes have just begun flowing in... oh, boy...

the harshest news of the day: ian watkins, the singer in one of my favourite bands, lostprophets, has admitted to the charges against him. the charges are completely insane, there's more detail over here. be warned, it's pretty disturbing stuff.

art may be separate from the artist, but now i'll be trying not to have an aneurysm every time i hear one of their songs. idwtlotpa :(


in related news, bikers against child abuse is very cool indeed.

rocked out - part i

right, i'm entirely unmotivated to do anything at the moment. including post. or read. or watch something. it might be related to the headache and exhaustion i've been nursing that may or may not be indications that i received a minor concussion yesterday during sparring.

monday night:

i finally tried out the stanley parable demo, which is as clever as it is uninteresting to me. it has left me with absolutely no idea what the game is conceptually and so i'm uninterested in spending cash to find out. if it's that hard to present, why not simply make it free and then charge in-game to continue after a certain amount of gameplay?

things got exceptionally meta when my battery died as i approached the "exit the demo" area for the second time, when i plugged in my computer and continued it stop-started for a bit and then locked up. i can't tell if that's a bug or intentional, which i guess sums up the experience quite well.

it was late enough for me to call my apartment insurance company, but they weren't answering their phones and they don't call back internationally. i sent a desperate email, which got a response about two days later to say that they'd already cancelled the insurance. thanks for letting me know!

now to repeat the experience for my life insurance :(
[oooh! great idea! FML-insurance :) ]


i was unable to wake up, even for the dentist when i was already in his chair. he explained to me, looking very awkward and uncomfortable the entire time, that the army filling appears to have caused a crack and that any pressure on the connected cusp is transferred to the nerve that's already walled in by (calcium?). he need to bring out the giant model tooth and my x-rays before i kind-of got what he was saying. as a last-ditch effort to avoid root canal surgery, he tried drilling through the cusp to add a buffer filling. i can't say that i understand the logic but he's the dentist, so i gave the okay as i didn't want to uproot the entire nerve.

it only took about two days to be absolutely certain that that didn't work, and now i'm scheduled for the root canal on monday. i'm looking forward to it like... like root canal surgery. i'm now on antibiotics because it's supposed to reduce the nerve inflammation and make the procedure less traumatic, which means that the celebratory weekend (my birthday and sagirl visiting) will not include any drinking :(

and to think that the cause for all this was to correct a minor irritation at not being able to floss properly.


i went home and rested the anesthetic off, spoke to aota (who sounded better than she had on the weekend) and made sure that i'll still be covered for the dental work, then called up yang's contact to verify that he'd received my resume. i got through to his answering machine, and pushed through my discomfort to leave an introductory message. fortunately i received a positive response later on, so that's cool.

i headed downtown for my french chat session, which was good, and then came home to get ready for training. i had time for a quick chat with my mother, who informed me that in the face of his mother's passing my brother's managed to be a complete asshole to his siblings *again*.


it's SNOWTIME! (said like a mangalore)
properly snowing ^_^

i was surprised to arrive at the gym to find too many shoes at the entrance, but then i walked in on gsp teaching the class and it turned out i was the only person who didn't know we had a surprise guest instructor coming in. getting personal advice from the dude was way cooler than awkwardly getting out of his way when he's training :P

badger and i were partnered for impact training, which was fun, and we followed that up with excellent sparring drills. i was hurting and tired by the time i got home and i actually needed a cup of tea just to have the energy to make dinner. eating it took forever. during that forever i met a cute girl online and we exchanged numbers, but i think my lack of interest in sms conversations offended her somehow because since saying good night she hasn't answered the phone or responded...

once upon a time's incessantly surprising stories and twists on fairy tales is captivating and wonderful. i'm thoroughly enjoying it!


i slept really badly, my body was sore and i was overheating. after two nights of that i'm thinking i need to invest in a thinner duvet, last night i struggled with the heat and when i finally got up to crack the window at -10 degrees outside i discovered that it was still open from a few nights before :S


waking up in the morning, all three times, was really tough. i trudged through the slush to the gym to meet vfmp to drill jiu-jitsu and sparring, which was pretty good. then i noticed a cute blonde girl sitting on the edge of the octagon, and when we were done - *ahem*, when *i* was done because i couldn't breathe anymore - we walked past and i realized that she was the first girl i sent a message to when i began with online dating! i knew she was into kickboxing, but what are the chances of her training in the same gym as me for the past seven months without our paths crossing?

my gods, she's even sexier in real life. she never responded to that email, though, and i wouldn't dream of harassing her during training. i probably wouldn't have anything to say even if she wasn't.

anyway, i finished my workout with punching bags, weights and the elliptical machine. the last of those is MEAN, man, it's been two days and my legs are still really hurting. i thought i was taking it easy by only doing ten minutes, but i guess ramping up the level to 17 (out of 20) on my first attempt was a bit ambitious.


i was soooo tired when i got home, i forced myself to eat lunch and then went back downtown for a good coffee chat. then i went back to the gym.


muay thai? i was powered out but we had a good drilling session.
boxing? my body was feeling weak and by the end i was very glad that the beast didn't rock up for our scheduled sparring. i assured the guy i was partnered with that i'd happily spar with him the following evening.

the shower when i got home ended too quickly! i tend to forget that in addition to it being a nice apartment, reasonably priced, close to metro and close to the gym, one of the biggest reasons to put up with the occasional shit is the hot massage-power shower at the end of a cold day of high exertion :)

quick chugging of vitamins, minerals and protein and i hurried out to the pub to meet kgb. i was soooo tired, i love the pub but i had no appetite for the greasy fries i ordered and was surprised when i realized that i'd finished my pint of guinness. it amused me that the one thing that really got my attention was arguing the nature of reality, the technical stuff we'd met to discuss was interesting but kgb didn't have an actual plan, just a super-high-level ideal with nothing to implement and i had to sell my idea because he didn't really get it at first.

i returned home hawking up lung butter and worrying about swollen glands: i don't think it was my glands anymore, i now think it was just very tender muscles :P

i had to do the dishes just to make a protein shake and i was feeling so very lazy. that feeling hasn't gone away yet :P
it was around then that i knew for certain that my tooth was definitely screwed up.


another sweaty night, but better. i got up early and stepped out into a gorgeous, uplifting bright blue and white -9 degrees. i had my first coffee while just listening and trying to understand my study partner's french.

i visited the dentist to make the appointment and was sent off to the pharmacy to begin taking the antibiotics immediately. gods, i hate taking antibiotics and i hate the fact that i've had to take so many courses the last couple of years :(


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

french beginners complete

after an odd dream about walking into a reunion nude (i wasn't embarrassed, but i couldn't figure out what had happened to my pants and i did feel obligated to find some) i then experienced serious in-dream deja-vu, as if i've already had this dream before:
aziz goes through the tunnels and is followed by a man with "child molester eyes", beats him up and is then arrested. the older guy in the group comes out and sees a red flag one of the other arrested men had thrown as a warning, hurries back locking the door behind him. eventually the authorities break through and enter, but the old guy sneaks out behind them as he had been hiding under a pile of dirt inside a giant metal wheel. some of us manage to run around the back of the buildings to warn the last group but it's too late. a meaningless hard-boiled egg fight ensues, i break a friend's nose with one and almost get hit by quite a few.

writing that down reminded me of something real i can relate it to...

we used to have play-fights outside the synagogue, my fellow primary school brats and i, and they involved picking up large hardened shells that had fallen off the trees and throwing them at each other. i was so gifted with accuracy that at some point the teams disbanded and it became everyone on me. for weeks on end i would arrive and immediately have to start running as whoever was around would chase me around the buildings until i'd eventually give up and run inside to hide. while outside i'd still be on top of things, though, dodging like a champ and returning fire that was consistently on the mark. this would upset everyone even more and make them target me even more, and i certainly wasn't having any fun.

the end of the berry wars took place at a weekend camp soon after we all entered the seventh grade after consolidating with the grade sixers from the other jewish primary schools. the campgrounds became a war zone one afternoon and this time i wasn't alone; one of the other team's leaders (one of the guys who used to chase me around the synagogue) and a bunch of his buddies climbed into a tall tree and were using the their altitude advantage and direct supply of ammunition to full advantage. unfortunately for them, i found myself in the little clearing below and sent up my little bullets so hard that i gave one of them a nose-bleed.

i was not counted a hero that day. strangely, since then i've never been able to throw anything even remotely close to a target.


i began the day planning my visit to london - i've now contacted four out of six or seven groups of people i'd like to see while there. considering the fact that i'd like to do london-ey things at the same time, that's going to be interesting... it's exciting to be making plans!

my tooth is really hurting me. anything that touches it sends painful electric shocks deep into the core of my brain :(
fortunately my next appointment is in the morning.

i finally did some studying for the french class exam, but my heart wasn't in it. since completing the poem i've been working on i've found myself more and more obsessed with it (getting the performance element just right, i'm going to film myself doing it soon). you can read it here.

i got a grade of 92 for the french exam and enough knowledge to continue alone, though godmother suggested i try the institution she went to. i was amused by our teacher's interest in checking out tristar - i think he wants to be friends :P
almost all of our out-of-class discussion was in french, and i gotta say i'm quite proud of myself!

i got home and was planning on hitting the gym but then suddenly didn't feel good. i decided to chill and watch lots of once upon a time instead.
*pats self on back*

Monday, November 25, 2013

first french finale - part ii

[... continued]

why does battletoads give me such an intense sense of deja vu??? and what's with the havana nagila soundtrack???


it was too late to comfortably get home so we continued playing and i crashed on the couch. my back and neck were already hurting and vfmp's couch is really, really horrible :(
i had a shitty night and woke up early to take the bus home. when i'd left my place the night before it hadn't been so cold and i knew i wouldn't have to wait long outside so i didn't have a second layer under my jacket, but in the morning the wind came up and the bus was late. i was cold. so cold that i didn't mind the bus being overheated.

the screen in the metro described the air quality as "bonne" with a temperature of -2, i had to smile in spite of my misery.

i showered and crashed, waking up later still feeling exhausted and super slow. after doing some chores i went to the subway for lunch and almost got run over: if you can't keep your attention on driving then don't get behind the wheel! some idiot pulled off from a stop while i was crossing and i had to jump out the way to save my legs. i stopped and stared angrily while her husband / father / whatever gestured frantically at her and she stared expressionlessly straight ahead through her giant dark glasses.

i returned home to continue the week-long fight with the caretaker: why don't i get a functioning toilet? i had guests coming and i'd have to explain to them how to manually fill the tank to flush :$

i don't know why i was being a hero, i got through most of the day without caffeine and it was partially due to that that i was stuck on the couch for a lot of it. i downed a cup of coffee just before horseman arrived and we talked and tekkened for a bit before heading out to walmart - which was closed. so we stopped at wendy's instead.

fcmg, who was going to be bringing the food for the evening, called to cancel at the last minute; when bnw and her husband arrived we agreed to order chinese and that turned out to be a pretty good idea. the night was fun, we watched some invader zim in spanish and then good will hunting, which made me tear up even though it's the third or fourth time i've seen it. i did have a bit too much to drink, though, and i managed to say something to bnw's husband that came out all wrong and might have properly offended him :(


my body was sore and i still had to clothe the bed. that sucked.


it was a lazy sunday morning until my doorbell rang and i shot up to let the caretaker in.
"i never work on sundays, but you're right and for you i'll make an exception."
huh. maybe i will give him a christmas present after all.

there was something deeply satisfying about successfully cleaning and tidying after the previous night had left my kitchen and living room looking like american college students had had a small party. i headed to aota's to spend the afternoon with her, newk'd and newk'd's girlfriend. and drink coffee, a fair amount of ron abuelo rum and eat aota's crazy delicious version of pad thai.

she was all depressed - and i mean really depressed - and i tried to talk to her about things. we ended up arguing a lot and by the end i was ready to give up on her, she's really in a shitty situation and she doesn't have a lot of options. i kept telling her that she at least needs to be kind to herself but when you're in a rut it's hard to see out. when i got home i sent her a message apologizing for lecturing...

i watched some more once upon a time, did some arbitrary online stuff, contacted some friends and family in london to make arrangements to spend some time with them and started posting. i think i'm about ready to pass out now.

philosofly - hip-hop homophobia: the sound quality is absolute rubbish, unfortunately, but i suggest trying to hear what he has to say anyway. this is the piece that won the finals for toronto team.

i've almost completed the poem that i've had slow-roasting for the last while. it amazes me how much i've gotten into my own head with it and how much it's changed as i've progressively learned more lines by heart.

first french finale - part i

oh, wow. it's sunday night. i should be studying for the end-of-course french exam tomorrow, but i haven't posted since thursday and i have shit to get off my chest.


at 2.30am i finally sent in my homework assignment. in spite of that i woke up feeling good. i totally zoned out on the metro. we began the french lesson with a great guided conversation. my french partner was very confused and went to the coffee shop to meet me twice even though i'd told him three separate times that we weren't going to meet that day.

yang got a contact for me to send my resume to, but something particularly stupid that he said really bothered me and triggered interview anxiety: that was when i realized that the rage that i didn't feel when i was fired was simply suppressed. this makes the specialist's suggestion that my laboured breathing might be psychological even more plausible as it's the same kind of laboured breathing that i remember from my mini-anxiety attacks in 2010. if that's the case, it's a completely unintelligible message from my body :(

one of the things that's been really bothering me is that i haven't been able to accept that people like megaman exist. afterwards, when i spoke to my mother she suggested narcissistic personality disorder and "these qualities are usually defenses against a deep feeling of inferiority and of being unloved" does a good job of settling the issue for me. when i spoke to aota this afternoon i learned that his inadequacies have been thoroughly exposed since i left, and that darn has become an office joke to boot.

told you so.

i hit the health store near vendome. i learned that the vega antibiotic scare really isn't anything to be concerned about and that clif builder max is not available for canadians :( (the assistant was more disappointed to find that out that i was)

the beast had left me a long voicemail message to remind me to go spar, and i was sorry to arrive with only twenty minutes of his session left on the clock. apparently this was fine by him, but the coach got an emergency phone call and the beast had to take him to the hospital so i worked a bit on the bags, did some weights and went home.

kgb called me up and asked me if i was familiar with the leap. i admitted that i own one and haven't taken it out of the box... he proceeded to pitch an idea so remarkably similar to mine that we're gonna meet up on wednesday and figure out how to proceed :D

i passed out, and as usual half-woke to my alarm with no energy to go to the gym. i forced myself up, chugged an energy drink and would have been horrified if i'd missed such an important session! (erm, and knew what i'd missed, of course)

although i walked in to the kickboxing class with a suddenly sore back - i don't know what the hell caused it, and it's still bugging me - i not only had a great class, but when entering the octagon afterwards to spar with the beast it was with badger sitting in a corner and coaching us. me, mostly. the beast was only too happy to oblige and our kickboxing instructor came out from the beginner's class every once in a while to observe and throw comments.

it was an extremely humbling experience, but i pushed through and i learned a lot. i walked out of the ring feeling uplifted.

i did dinner math and headed downtown for a tofu meal to precede the spaghetti i was going to prepare when i returned home. after the meal, though, i was totally stuffed and everything slowed down while my body dealt with the excess of deliciousness that i'd consumed. it was all i could do to get home and fall into bed.


i sent off my resume to yang's contact (why does that take so long each time?) and left for class without having done the homework. i was in a dark mood because my back was hurting me, the weather was raining miserably and i was deep into tool - triad when suddenly a man on the pavement stepped into my path, forcing me to stop. i gave him a dark look and he began to speak to me; i was dimly aware that his comrade was standing on the edge of my blind-spot and my defenses shot up in spite of this being canada. it was just a homeless guy trying to bum change, but either way i was already so fired up that it took all my energy just to speak relatively politely as i forced him (with my body language) to step aside so that i could continue.

it was in that mood that i received news that my older siblings' mother had passed away that morning.
*rubs temples*
i shouldn't be proud of myself that i remembered to send my brother condolences even though our relationship is up to shit, but i am. i think that speaks volumes.

my french must be improving, i'm unwittingly mixing in hebrew. the look of incomprehension on the teacher's face was priceless :P

i went for a quick haircut and then hit the chinese place again for lunch. it's the first time i've seen their lunch menu and i was excited to get corn soup with my veggie plate. i love corn soup!

my fortune cookie told me "you will soon get a promotion". uh, huh.

my back was feeling slightly better and i headed to walmart to pick up laces (for my mr. price '99 specials) and a new laundry basket. one of the workers in the shoe section made a two-foot throw of something into a trash can and his co-worker sarcastically told him how amazed she was... i walked up having overheard and said "hey, man, i saw it from over there and it was really impressive!"
i can't tell if he appreciated my joke or if he was offended :P

i left walmart in an evil mood. i stalked home and watched some of ufc 145: the schaub vs rothwell fight. each replay of schaub vs the invisible fighter was more disturbing than the last.

ugh. it's bad enough forgetting to air out my wraps every once in a while, but two days in a row?? this time i didn't have any other laundry to do... what made matters worse is my backup "adult sized" everlast wraps are too damned short. i have learned an important lesson about bringing cash to the gym...

there was a sense of the weekend in the gym on friday afternoon, and i was actually sorry i had plans for saturday night because the boxing instructor finally saw fit to invite me to watch fights with him and his crew... i was so proud when he was so pleased to see me sparring!

my first two rounds were against a really tall brazilian guy who taught me what it feels like to get hit at that perfect spot on the jaw so that your mouthguard pops out - i managed to catch it with my teeth and suck it back in, but i was quite shocked that it had happened and surprised that it didn't actually hurt!

the third round was against a southpaw who was so much better than me that he toyed with me the entire time. i did land a couple of punches, but i took so many that i one point i almost jumped out of the ring in frustration. the fourth was against one of the guys i'm friendly with and i was surprised when he connected with a fairly powerful (for him) shot. i remembered what badger had said the day before about respect, that whether you want to or not you need to increase your power if you want your opponent to chill out or he'll disrespect you. even though i was worried that things would escalate, i hit him harder and he did back down.

people, man. people.


the boxing class afterwards was fun and tough. a couple of us had a long debate about ufc scoring, and i feel pretty strongly that if a ufc fight goes the distance then it should be counted as a draw. points don't mean a damned thing! if it was real life, one of the combatants would at some point have to call it quits: "hey, dude, we'll have to continue this another time - i have better shit to do". to count points is to completely devalue a fighter's ability to take a beating and make a comeback.

i hurried made pasta - perfectly! - and wolfed it down before heading to vfmp's for carcassonne. we repeated the previous debate about draws and i discovered the angry nerd in me when we talked about iron man 3.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

mass celebration!

i have consistently been 91 kilos for a few days now! i'm very excited ^_^

on a related note, tonight's training was pretty cool - i wasn't great during muay thai (although the quick taekwondo demonstration a couple of us did at the end was a lot of fun) but boxing was awesome. at first i could barely raise my arms, but at some point something clicked and my punches felt soooooooo good, like my arms were tightly wound springs! i hope that stays...
i worked with a guy who's an absolute animal, a real powerhouse and i had to teach him which punches to relax in order to increase his responsiveness and maintain momentum. i was feeling very proud of myself until we did body sparring with each other and he showed me what he thought of my earlier lesson by repeatedly driving his fists into my upper arms as well as my gut. that's one heck of a way to make friends :(
i did impact training with the dangerous girl again, and it was a lot of fun - i took it better even if she did properly knock me down towards the end; i managed to hit her hard without hurting her this time, although there were a couple of unfortunate misses because she's all hips and breasts.


i was smart enough to avoid weight training afterwards :P

i got really lucky this morning because there was enough space to do homework on the metro - i simply ran out of time before i had to leave the apartment.
the weather? beautiful. a sunny minus five and i had to exercise maximum control to not sing along at top volume to tool.

the french class was comfortable and amusing, and during the private lesson later it became apparent that there's a vast improvement in my pacing. we even had a meta-discussion about french particles! it involved some confusion and lots of repetition, but my half hour just flew by and i was actually a little disappointed :P

before lunch i did a quick walmart run to pick up creatine and b12 tablets, on the way home i was stressed by another opus card fail when i thought that the train was coming and the guy ahead of me at the info booth was asking for complicated directions that weren't metro-related. the israeli in me was jumping up and down and i was feeling bad for not having the patience to wait my turn. which i ended up having to do anyway.

online dating: i sent a message to an apparently beautiful and interesting girl and she responded by informing me that my profile made it look like i didn't really care. huh! i made a bit more effort to change that, but it's possible it's just a subconsciously executed expression of how awkward online dating makes me feel.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

shaky cam to ice and snow

i went to bed late over bullshit*, and was so tired that my eyes produced a shaky-cam effect that was most disturbing. i slept well in spite of long, busy, epic dreams involving being in the army and for some reason stationed in a hotel.

* and sweet and spicy crunchy almonds. continuing to look at rubbish online was actually an excuse to keep eating them.


i woke up pre-alarm and i wasn't feeling too sleepy. i arrived on time for the metro but it was delayed by about fifteen minutes - in addition to the discomfort of the intense crush of people all the way across the city i was also rendered late :(

i felt fine and was doing pretty well until about halfway through when my brain decided it was time to return to dreamland. i spent the following hour and a half fighting it (mostly unsuccessfully) with my mind decidedly not with the program and my eyelids feeling like ten pound weights. perhaps it was the lack of oxygen in the room? i did feel better when i stepped outside and breathed some frozen air.

i'm not sure how i feel about lunch, i was excited to find couscous and salads in the berri-uqam food hall but it was kind of... not amazing. and then my stomache started complaining :(
i passed out on the metro, almost missing my stop. i was upset when i arrived at the clinic to discover that i'd been told that i had an appointment when there are no such things as appointments. i would have to wait another hour to see the specialist, which i spent in and out of consciousness in the waiting room. i was groggy when i finally went in for the consultation. apparently i seem fine, he seems extremely competent and i was upset when he got defensive because i think he mistook my frustration with my inability to communicate my symptoms clearly as frustration with him :(

anyway, he's sent me off to see a couple of even more special specialists and parted with a suggestion that it's possible that my issues are caused by emotional stress. i really like that man, i hope he's right and i'm going to be giving a lot of thought to that.

i returned home and lay down on the couch for some of that dead sleep that was almost impossible to wake from and aside from getting up at one point to open the damned balcony door because the heating had gotten unbearable i kept snoozing through my alarm until i really had to make a decision about going to gym. i was exhausted but i knew that i would regret not going...

i'm horrified to think of what i wouldn't have known i'd missed if i hadn't chugged an energy drink and headed out! instead of joining the jiu-jitsu class i went to advanced kickboxing and did a good job in spite of my breathing, and afterwards a few of us took over the octagon for some jiu-jitsu exercises and then sparring. i worked with the demotivator again but this time had a coach on the side and i learned a hell of a lot!
on a different note, the beast was in class and he let me know that i'd completely forgotten about our arrangement to meet for sparring with tristar's most respected muay thai coach on thursday! he was cool about it but i felt really bad :$

so after watching the end of ufc 156 i found the art of flight on netflix, and i watched that with an icepack on my leg until i realized that i've run out of night again :( [the snowboard documentary is breathtaking]

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


i was so very tired this morning, my post-snow body was in dire need of enjoying such perfect sleep-in weather!

french: there's a noticeable improvement, i'm now comfortably writing what i want to without oversimplifying and sentences, while slow, are forming noticeably quicker.

i sat down at subway for lunch and was horrified when, after my credit card payment was declined, my debit card failed as well. that freaked me out, but when i went to the bank a bit later (what productive member of society has time for this shit?) i found out that the card reader was screwed and that my account is just dandy. i just got off the phone with the credit card company, the agent was super helpful and not only did they explain the situation and reverse the over-limit charge but they're also sending me a new card without the restrictions that were placed on my current card because i had no credit history when i first applied.
as far as the system is concerned, i'm now an official member of the north american mass-consumption community! and in good standing!

i spoke to the dentist's secretary, changed my plans accordingly and then received a call from them to inform me that they needed to reschedule.
the dentist was very nice about everything and this time definitely did enough filing. after a week of constant sharp pressure and pain on the left side of my mouth it now feels oddly empty :P

i was exhausted when i arrived at cafe depot to trade lessons, and i was as disappointed to hear they'd run out of soy milk as the manager was embarrassed to inform me. he actually went next door to see if he could get hold of some, but eventually i had to settle for an americano. it wasn't bad, but i *like* my latte, man!

newk'd sent me a message in the afternoon to let me know that he's been laid off... it looks like there's only one of our original team left. my theory that megaman wanted to replace us with his own team from the get-go appears to have been definitively proved correct.

i almost forgot dinner with godmother! i remembered just before getting ready to hit the gym, and i hit the supermarket instead in search of flowers. i picked the prettiest ones i could find and took them to the cashier, but just as the cashier was about to pass it through i had second thoughts and put it back. i'd rather go empty-handed than take a shitty bouquet. i told godmother the story and she agreed :)

[international family issues. really?!]

the poem i've been working on the past week is mostly complete, i'm really happy with the first half even if the second half might score itself a complete rewrite. i'm really feeling the first half, though, and the more i recite (to myself) the better it feels and the more i like it :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

big weekend equals sore smiles

there's not much that feels better than a hot bath after a day on the slopes ^_^


on thursday night i went to bed with a headache again. i took tylenol and it relaxed enough for me to sleep, but it returned later. that plus a temperature spike to six degrees celsius plus our building's heating saw me waking up hot, sweaty and not in the best of moods.

then i, half asleep, fired up penny arcade's gamers vs evil to take my turn and i deleted my best card by accident; there's no undo feature, i was really unhappy :(

french class: i was asleep at the wheel. i did have a proud moment where i realized that the voir / avoir / savoir and prendre / apprendre / comprendre share a relationship that makes them easier to remember: first you see, then you take, then you have, then you learn, then you know and finally you understand.

bone: there's been a definite reading improvement, i've been re-reading from the beginning and getting very comfortable. bone was definitely a good choice!

i rushed home to look for my x-ray referral. you know that weird moment when being too well organized leaves you in complete disarray? i'd put it in a convenient place and proceeded to search everywhere else :S

the x-ray procedure was simple and efficient and it turns out i don't have pneumonia. i had a long wait for a doctor (it was a good opportunity for a nap, i think i needed that) who then sent me to another doctor who decided that unless i want to try codeine i should see a specialist. so i'm doing that on tuesday and hoping that they will have some idea of how to fix this labored breathing bullshit.

the bus back to the metro took forever to arrive (should have walked) and then i remembered that it was rush hour and the metro made me feel a bit claustrophobic.

i didn't have energy for training or for housekeeping so i finally gave myself a rest. during that rest i was invited to a big sports bar to watch with a bunch of other tristar guys and gals, so we agreed to join forces and suddenly we had reservations! very cool :)

in 2012 there were two snow white movie remakes. while i enjoyed both mirror, mirror and snow white and the huntsman, it wasn't nearly as much as i did the first two episodes of once upon a time. it reminds me of the alice miniseries even if it's a little less jaw-to-the-floor.

on my way to vfmp i sat down next to the elbow tugger on the bus and we had a pleasant conversation. i'll still be avoiding him in the gym, though.

we enjoyed a couple of great games of carcassonne and i *just* caught the last bus home.


i finally got around to sorting out papers and dishes and other stuff that's been bugging me for a while, put some more work into my poetry and played zork. achieved a personal best, too! (i've always been quickly eaten by a grue, this time i did stuff :P)

i spoke to my toronto cousins and we discussed a possible visit within the next couple of weeks, after which i walked to the starbucks to work on my comic script. first, walking through a quiet neighbourhood in the sparkling sunlight - it was ten degrees and somehow, even with a cool breeze, it still felt like how i remember cape town summers used to be. second, i finished translating my sketches into a proper script and finally moved on to the next chapter. it's so exciting working with someone who will read my text and completely handle the illustration!

on my way to the other supermarket: an elderly couple, both bent over with age and she was guiding her blind partner to cross against the light on an intersection with heavy traffic (O_o)

i was in a hurry to get to bnw's so i picked up a falafel subway and ate half while walking and half while riding the metro (i could have said subway). i waited on the second eating, though, because the first car i stepped into was filled with little kids screaming and a bunch of other passengers eating food with aggressively loud smells.

i was pleasantly surprised to find myself arriving precisely on time, perfect metro timing! unfortunately, the other metro line was having trouble so fcmg came much later. the great news is that bnw and fcmg got along famously ^_^

i couldn't stay longer than our scheduled time because i had to get to the sports bar... the place was packed and i was disappointed to learn that our reservation was in the smoking section. also, our screen was teasing us by coming alive for only a few seconds at irregular intervals, so we had to watch ones further away :S

i was also disappointed when vfmp and his boyfriend arrived and they'd had dinner without me (not according to plan), so i was the only one who hadn't eaten and all i could go for were french fries and onion rings. which was fine until vfmp's boyfriend informed me that the onion rings weren't vegan.
well, they weren't exactly healthy anyway. at least i got a good baked potato off the menu.

on another note, our waitress was also tristar which was awesome :P

the fight night itself wasn't great. three of the main card fights bugged me: first, evans did not look satisfied with his win. i realize that he didn't really want the fight, but still... second, watching mcdonald not doing anything was painful and gsp vs hendricks? well, if you've been hiding under a rock then SPOILER ALERT: i agree with the outcome, i don't that anybody was robbed. but neither of the two really won, to be fair, and that's extremely disappointing. they were both fighting defensively and we should expect more from champions. it occurred to me that at some point george "rush" st pierre became plain old george st pierre. he's still awesome, but i was upset every time he connected and then let hendricks reset. if he'd kept pressing forward i'm confident he would've kicked his ass... massive injuries or no massive injuries.


late to bed and early to rise... i got ready pretty quickly, a friend (icarus) picked me up and we headed off to saint sauveur for the day.
shock number one: $300 for a locker for the season?! sod that. i'll keep getting some exercise.
shock number two: my feet were really hurting me and eventually i decided to bite the bullet and toss $20 to rent boots. i was busy filling out the form when one of the guys who works there pulled me aside and showed me that almost all snowboard boots have insteps. i removed my insteps and they immediately fit well. sorted! and for free :P

i spent the day getting progressively more comfortable, by the end i'd returned to decent form and had some really good rides through the moguls.

we stopped for lunch at the worst possible time, because as we were finishing it began to rain. we stopped at the bar for a pint after which i decided that i HAD to go out for one or two last runs - that was a sodding good idea! [see what i did there? i returned sodden.]

the ride back in the rain combined with the music he was playing to put me to sleep. i wanted to buy a rammstein album when i got home but either apple or my bank have screwed up the billing somehow :(
after bathing and watching once upon a time and some fights, i went shopping and started blogging. now that i've covered the weekend, it's late and i haven't even looked at my homework. i'm bombed. and very, very pleased with how this weekend went.

Friday, November 15, 2013

new blast part ii

[... continued]


i've realized that i'm not a winter person, i'm a montreal winter person. it's not miserable perpetually grey winter, it's very cold but mostly sunny and pretty.

fcmg brought me her initial sketches... amazing! i'm really pleased ^_^
as we were leaving we were discussing a complex rape scene that i expanded from a single line and she was excited by the imagery i employed - i feel that our conversation might have seemed a little inappropriate to the cute british girl waiting to meet the teacher as she didn't have any context... it's kind of like leda and the swan.


another girl from our class asked me about saint sauveur and travel options, there's a good chance she and her husband will join me so that we can cut our costs :)

i went home for a quick lunch then returned for another french / english session. it amused me that my partner developed a headache when it was his turn to struggle because that's precisely what happens to me after too much french :P

training: i finally went back to the gym! i've decided i need to get those lung x-rays done as i was out of breath just from the jog there. muay thai was good though i spent more time coaching my partner than drilling. boxing wasn't bad at all, but i strained a muscle in my upper leg / butt and i got home in need of some serious stretching.

it was strangely warmer outside when i left the gym than when i'd gone there. i'm no meteorologist and that shit confused me.

i watched some ufc 2011 highlights and then made the mistake of starting fanboys when i had homework to do. it's a great film and i couldn't stop it before it was over.


a quick chat with nystire during which he reminded me of how badly the army mismanaged my pension funds. while we were talking all i could think of was bruce willis' voice from the fifth element saying "thank you for reminding me".

the homework took a while and i was as tired as it was late before i finally went to bed.


a scary dream of a temporary sojourn in britain gone wrong. something about videogames and stopping a train to toss unlabelled contraband, then being caught by their outrageously ubiquitous security cameras and being interrogated by a terrifying older woman.

a second morning of endless snoozing.

french class lesson: try not to be an asshole. i found myself unintentionally condescending and was not impressed.

after class i went hunting for a sports bar i could make a reservation for saturday at, but either the places were fully booked or they weren't allowing reservations on such a big fight night. i returned home and tried to figure out how to watch pay-per-view on my ps3; i couldn't locate the live events viewer that everyone talks about and i'm not confident that the youtube experience will be good... so i guess that's a last resort if we don't find seats at a pub.

i was so exhausted that i cancelled the french practice session. exhaustion for the unemployed means a solid nap, though, so that was good. i woke up and hurriedly began posting, and almost finished but ran out of time and rushed off to jiu-jitsu. it was a good class and i learned a lot, though when it came to rolling my technique's so shoddy that i relied on power which isn't fair when you're partnered with somebody several weight classes below you. and that makes it even worse when they manhandle you with technique :P

i followed up with kickboxing and was incredibly disappointed by my breathing. at one point it got so bad that i could feel that my brain wasn't functioning correctly due to lack of oxygen. i tried the ventolin afterwards but it didn't help at all.

vfmp came over and i made dinner, we ate while discussing relationships and communication then played a game of carcassonne. it's now past my bedtime, he's just left and i have a decidedly difficult french assignment to complete... and my body's screaming for some r&r. a massage would be nice :P

news blast part i

it's been a good week, and so busy that i'm now trying to post this as quickly as possible before heading off to the gym and then entertaining. this is a particularly difficult task because i've just gotten up from a long and desperately needed nap and i'm still groggy. [failed, had to wait until after training, dinner and board game]


i tried the mustache thing for movember before showering and going to bed, and decided that i simply cannot leave the house looking like a used car salesman. i decided that i'll have to find another way of spreading awareness. i was thinking of just stopping random strangers and asking "excuse me, sir, when last did you have a professional insert a finger up your bum?" but considering the fact that i'm spending most of the rest of the month either in the village or in a fighting gym it doesn't seem like the wisest of plans.

since tuesday my toilet's been busted, and i have to manually control the tank refill every time i flush if i don't want my bathroom to flood. this is properly annoying and the caretaker is dragging his feet as usual :@


real winter has begun! we're expecting another spike on the weekend, but other than that we've been exclusively sub-zero and it's awesome :)

note to self: the problem with good gloves is that if your hands are cold before you put them on they'll stay cold even in your pockets.


class: wow, i have zero patience for people who don't make an effort. it's so obvious that the weakest link isn't making any effort outside of the class and she's doing a fantastic job of wasting our time.

on a completely different note, i'm finding myself (almost) addicted to the tiger balm i'm using for my neck. rubbing it on my nose to shield me from the stench of smelly girl takes me back to the days of deeply inhaling it on ecstasy, even though in that context it was much more pleasurable.


the homeless one-armed man at guy-concordia set his begging cup on the slope of the escalator, removed his prosthetic to use as a barrier and was playing skeeball with a large collection of pennies. this would have been funnier if he didn't scream curses every time he missed because the constant stream of people on either side kept freaking out.

on the way out of the station some activist noticed me looking at his posters (it wasn't clear what he was on about) and when i continued walking he shouted "okay, just stick with the opinions you've been fed by the media". when i called him out for being pretentious and condescending without knowing anything about my opinions he told me "you don't have to take it the wrong way".

"is there a right way?!"


my new fillings were all wrong, so i had a painful lunch while waiting for the dentist to return and then climbed back into the chair feeling as if monday night's visit hadn't ended. he did a lot of filing but now that two days have passed i think i'm going to have to go back again. :(


i sat at cafe depot drinking coffee and reading bone (it's a great way to get comfortable reading!) and was joined a while later by the guy from saturday. it's official: trading private english lessons for private french lessons is a jolly good deal!

there was a man sitting next to us who i overheard saying that he'd come for the poetry last week. i unfortunately didn't get an opportunity for a random discussion with him...

... speaking of which, after the slam finals on the weekend i've been inspired to write again, and i've spent a fair amount of time working on a couple of the ideas i've had since. hopefully i'll be ready to share soon [vfmp just reviewed one and it made him laugh, it can't be all bad].


i had dinner with godmother. the evening was pleasant but yang was behaving really badly and i felt progressively less comfortable. there's something very wrong with that kid, he makes a great case for setting boundaries for one's children.


over the course of the day i learned a very important lesson about not eating while wearing my new sweater: i'm not materialistic at all, but i've become really attached to it and it's so bright and loud it needs to be kept totally clean. when i got home i rushed to scrub the front with dishwashing liquid (my answer to everything) and chuck it in the washing machine so that it'd be done before they locked the laundry room. success! it came out all shiny :)


facebook: a flood of meh to counter the intriguingly insightful and interesting week before, but i'm still spending a stupid amount of time reading my feed. i really need to quit that.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

musical chair

pg just reported back on the alter bridge performance in vienna, i'm not a little jealous. that prompted me to purchase the two most recent albums of which ab iii is definitely awesome and fortress seems to be the kind of album that grows on you.

on a related note, after watching wayne's world the other day i've had the tia carrere cover of private life - touch me stuck in my head. there's something about the sound i like more than the original, and it's sad that there's no available recording on the internets.

first snow and slamming poetry

as i begin writing this post the anaesthetic from an hour and a half of dental work is beginning to wear off and the strain from keeping my mouth wide open for most of that time is making itself felt. everything's tingly and distracting, which i feel is the perfect time to begin reporting on my weekend.

and what a weekend it was!


shortly after posting, vfmp came by with his boyfriend and we put on the avengers, pausing only to debate whether torino mousse chocolate is vegan because while the ingredients and kosher certification proclaim it so, it still contains 7mg of cholesterol... that's a heck of a lot for something that's supposed to be plant-based :S

that didn't and wouldn't stop me, but i feel i must note that eating that chocolate in the dark saw me covered in it afterwards :$

a couple of vfmp's friends (well, i guess the couple are now my friends too) joined a bit later and the guy turned out to be able to bring some pretty solid tekken. we didn't get too many games, though, because it was decided that a mission to wendy's for their baked potatoes was in order. that *is* a good baked potato.


before going to bed i had a chat with my mom and was pleased to hear that my uncle who's been suffering post-op psychosis for the longest time has finally been sent home and is feeling much better. i just hope he stays on top of things.


vfmp was going to call me to join him at the gym in the morning, but he didn't and instead i lay in bed feeling good; calm and at peace for the longest time watching cartoons play on the backs of my eyelids. the beeps and bells and buzzes of my phone were like a knock at the window which i managed to ignore until i was ready to get up :)

on friday i'd invited fcmg to join me and newk'd and his girlfriend at the poetry slam finals, but by the time she'd decided to come with there were no more tickets available. it's not my fault that happened, but i feel bad for inviting her and getting her hopes up :(

i plucked up some courage and headed downtown to my first french meetup. it was incredibly intimidating, crazy awkward, deeply embarrassing... and ultimately far more successful than i'd expected! at first every time someone spoke to me i'd begin sweating profusely and get stuck on things i know, later a senegalese guy arrived who wanted to learn english and the help he gave me really boosted my confidence, so i'm happy to trade him for english lessons :)

i'll be doing that again.

there was supposed to be a free french documentary that we were all invited to and we walked a long way in the cold only to discover that it the movie itself wasn't free but the lecture beforehand was. hooray. i bailed and walked into subway for a quick bite; i would have ordered a foot long but i remembered that i still had the previous night's six inches in the fridge so i had that when i got home instead :P


someone told me that montreal appears to suit me: i tend to agree.


i returned home for a very short rest and protein break, then headed out for the slam finals.

i arrived at the rialto on time, it's an awesome theatre and even before they opened the doors the crowd looked groovy. newk'd and his girlfriend arrived about twenty minutes late, which gave me ample time to stand outside and enjoy the first flakes of snow of the season. it was awesome :)

it seems like canadian time and israel time aren't too far apart, as we had to wait about an hour before the night actually got started. not that we didn't keep ourselves amused during that time, but still.

the evening opened with a native american elder speaking and singing in a mixture of french and his native tongue while beating on a drum: every word sounded like solid gold, heavy and beautiful, but what the heck was someone like me supposed to do with them?

what followed was a guest of honour with a stunning voice and perfectly performed yet pretentiously patronizing poetry, but holy words! the poetry slam itself started with a bang and managed to get progressively better. amazing!

there was a lot of incredible stuff, very little meh, but it was philosofly ftw. what he brought to the slam made this look like amateur night - i'm hoping he'll make a video of his performance or the text itself available [i just asked, he says he will].

overall the evening was utterly inspirational.


i got into bed knowing i'd need a good couple of hours' sleep in order to wake up early to go snowboarding. instead ninja words kept sneaking in to leave words and phrases that would keep my mind spinning all night. i felt complete for the first time in ages.

in spite of that i was up and ready to roll by 5.30am with adrenaline surging through my veins - only to discover that the "snow" weather forecast turned out to mean "slush from above". i was not impressed! i went back to bed an woke up five hours later... the current conditions and forecast were set to "snow" and that was verified by a call to saint sauveur. alright!

i finally checked out communauto and established that a car to the mountain for the day would cost about the same as the bus, so while it's cheaper for multiple travellers it would be smarter for me not to use it alone. i got my shit together and got on the bus which was practically empty. the route was longer than i'm used to but it was a comfortable ride spent reading bone and relaxing.

it was only when we hit saint jerome that i became super disappointed: it was raining. the closer we got the more it looked like the day would be a (literal) washout, and when we finally arrived at the village the driver handed me my board with a smile full of pity and the words "no snow today"... i couldn't have extended my ticket to continue to tremblant even if i'd wanted to so i was stuck there for the next three and a half hours.

having learned that the weather forecast and the updated condition reports are completely useless (and so i should only go when the temperatures are below freezing), the constant light drizzle melted my hopes for an awesome evening but i chose to walk the fifteen minutes to the mountain anyway even if only for a beer or two; i was just thinking how in spite of the unnecessary expense the little trip wasn't such a bad way to spend a sunday when i turned a corner and saw a slope not only operational but with a fair number of skiers and snowboarders on it!

i sped up a little, quickly changed when i arrived and headed out for the last runs of the evening - in spite of the weather the open route had been kept in great condition and i've now had an excellent opportunity to try out my new bindings and remind my muscles who's boss...

especially exciting was short-circuiting a massive wipeout after landing an accidental mogul launch right onto another mogul :)

not a bad day at all, i feel like i earned my aprés-ski pint ^_^

late 90's house mixes were the perfect post-piste soundtrack! i had the biggest smile on my face on the way back to the bus. i had time to wait so i sat at mcdonald's for tea and fries (amiright?) and one of the staff and a 16 year old took an interest in my boarding... the kid was also interested in practicing his english so we traded conversation until the bus arrived. it was kinda weird giving advice to someone half my age on how to quit smoking and doing so partially in french...

both on the bus and the metro rides i was primarily occupied with my thoughts. it was quite pleasant.

i tried watching the avengers in french while i ate dinner (eh, not so helpful) and afterwards decided i was far too tired to do anything except go to bed early.


shit, i'm such an idiot! that meant that i didn't do the french homework so i had to rush it this morning.

thought for the lesson: you'd think the not-so-bright girl would at least make up for being obviously slowest in class by revising a little - it's just pathetic. is it mandatory that every language class have one of those? we had one in the classes in tel aviv...

after class i picked up the builder bars i'd ordered and tipped the rest of the boxes over on an already hard-to-reach shelf :$

i returned home, ran laundry and called bell to ask about the bill i received. not only was the guy helpful, but he also informed me that there's a promotion on and for no additional charge i can up my data plan to 2gb. alright! i'm very pleased, that means i can stop worrying about reaching the limit.

bnw called to cancel our beers this evening, which i'm kinda glad she did as my dental state wouldn't have made it much fun.

the dentist: an hour and a half? damn. i'm not sure whether i or my dentist and his assistant deserve more pity. my jaw's still tender from keeping it open for so long and at one point i couldn't stop nodding off - aside from relaxing my jaw i kept losing consciousness with a start... weird. and dangerous :(


i just took a break to have dinner - oh gods, the new filling isn't sitting right *and* the tooth's suddenly super-sensitive :'(

and on that note, homework. i'm ready for bed again. this feels like punishment for enjoying the weekend so thoroughly :D


doesn't this history of israel make you want to rush over there to be a part of the story?


lie detecting neck tattoos: anyone who understands the basics of lie detection knows that galvanic skin response is not an indication of a lie, it's an indication of interest or excitement. whoever wrote this piece is a moron or a troll, likewise whoever wrote that application.

the age of research is dead! long live the information age!


to this day is shane koyczan doing a very special spoken word piece for ted. excellent stuff.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

closet space

i just watched ash beckham on defining closets and closet-behaviour. you, whoever you are, need to watch this.

bon hiver!

last night's protein shake was thwarted by the cleaning lady having thrown out a necessary but otherwise useless little grey cap. i'm not happy about this.

i woke up really early to call my insurance company and then remembered that it was friday already and the israeli work week was over...

... i subsequently had trouble getting back to sleep. eventually i did sleep a little, and dreamed of trying to take two dogs for a walk and that action somehow becoming complicated. suddenly i was on a bus and a boy referred to the banana he was eating as meat (freud, you there?) which sparked a debate with another kid over the ethics of battery farming. i ended it by saying that even the bible tells us not to be cruel to animals. i woke up feeling dirty.

before class bnw called me up to invite me to her birthday party tomorrow night, which is unfortunate because i already have tickets for the national poetry slam finals. we agreed that i'd come visit on monday (which is her actual birthday), and that we'd have beers to celebrate but not discuss work. i'm down with that, but at the same time concern is developing that we're not making much progress.


after class i had coffee with fcmg (french class myth girl) and we spent two and a half hours discussing the project. so far she seems like the best fit of everyone i've met, she's really enthusiastic and she even appreciates my script! that was quite flattering. what was really sweet was her tearing up when i described the background of the story being told - to be fair, she's pregnant and emotional, but she didn't tear up when it would have been inappropriate :P

so now she's digging into the mythological texts and my script and once she's returned to me with her version of the storyboard we'll arrange to introduce her to bnw so she can compare notes and match styles where necessary. a part of me suspects that she'll be taking over some of bnw's work at some stage.

during the class i used tiger balm not only to relieve my neck (the area around my slipped disc is inflamed and i can feel it now that the rest of my muscles have relaxed a bit) but also to mask the scent of the girl who arrived last and so allowed us to be absolutely sure that it's her :S

regarding the french level: i should have found an intermediate class, but this is still helpful. my groundwork is much stronger and it's been quite a confidence boost; i'm reading bone with a dictionary but the experience is still pleasurable. also, tomorrow i'll be joining a french meetup with strangers. this should be interesting!

it's gonna snow this weekend - so i phoned mont saint sauveur to verify that i wasn't confused... the slopes are officially open for the season!!!

i'm pretty darned excited, i'm gonna go up on sunday ^_^

after reading more bone and taking a nap i went to walmart to pick up some folding chairs so that my gaming guests will have a place to sit tonight. i deposited the chairs at home and went to the farther supermarket to pick up chocolate for bnw (okay, and myself and my guests tonight) with a groovy house mix accompanying me through the chilly evening air. that made me extremely bouncy and maintained the big smile on my face that the rest of the day had so kindly placed there.

i stopped at subway for a quick bite and the guy advised me to try the jalapeños - good one! i was paying for six inches when he suggested that it would be a shame not to get the whole foot for another dollar, so while i ate he made the other half for me. nice!

i decided to post this while waiting for the guys to arrive - i think that was a good idea because this weekend should be pretty crazy :D

Friday, November 08, 2013

random slippage

i thought yesterday's headache might be caused by dehydration, and i compensated so much that i started worrying i'd overhydrated. then i went to sleep with the headache still bothering me and it eventually got so bad i took something for it. that seemed to do the trick.

i woke up a bit woozy and with a tender forehead (still tender, wtf?), but was otherwise okay until a sudden, inexplicable neck spasm caught me and ruined my day completely. well, not completely... i guess spending the afternoon and evening on the couch wasn't the worst way to get through it. and i did get to use the neck pain as a cover for my reactions to the agonizing inability of one of the girls to perform basic pattern matching ie. learning. she's a doe in headlights, entirely passive and appears to believe that one can get through life without mental effort. i'm not being overly judgemental, am i?

on the way back home i ate a decent asian lunch, found a good-sized tin of tiger balm and found a great bookstore at the berri-uqam metro station; i was hunting for french comics and a triple-volume translation of jeff smith - bone served as an excellent value-for-money alternative to tintin or asterix. there was a fun-looking french almanac filled with riddles and puzzles that's a possible next purchase.

i finished elana gomel - a tale of three cities.
gomel has created a simultaneously dark and colourful world populated by intriguing characters at the brink of disaster. fascinating conceits explored with excellent execution.
her characters' exploration of the nature of reality while dealing with their individual demons, the construction of mythology and religion and the constant questioning, kept me on my mental toes for most of the reading. the only detractors were typos, and even though they were relatively few at least one of them was significant enough to stall me. overall? brilliant read. and especially satisfying for one of her students :)

i've watched wayne's world again because i couldn't find the sequel on netflix and i couldn't remember how much i enjoyed it. i followed it up with ufc 153, did the french homework and am now mentally preparing to get up stupidly early to fight with my insurance company who wouldn't accept the proof that the mortgage was paid. bastards.

omg so much awesome stuff to link to:

the images are amazing, but watching this little piece on richard renaldi's touching strangers really puts the project in perspective

clever animated gifs of banksy's art

the paper kites - young music video is truly excellent.

i'm still wiping my eyes after reading unfortunate publishing layouts of our time

Thursday, November 07, 2013

the cure

my method for dealing with a headache? a shot of coffee and muay thai. i still have the headache, but i certainly feel better about it :) [except for the sore leg... that just keeps getting worse. always a slightly different part of it, too. this time it's the shin bone itself.]

as one of the guys said, even historical warriors were more civilized than we are - they didn't train to fight every day. did they? hmmm. too lazy to google it.


my *niece* is thirty! omg. in my head she's still a kid and up to no good :P

early morning exercise: the baudry station escalators are a magnificent engineering showcase that demonstrates how something that's supposed to make your life easier can actually be hard on the body. they're flat instead of steps and the angle ensures that you're either standing putting pressure on your ankles or walking up / downhill. that's if they're operational, but they've been off for two days now.

after a good french lesson i realized that i wouldn't have enough time to get to the afternoon jiu-jitsu class. instead i ate lunch and watched some ufc fights. i took the opportunity to get my glove repaired.

based on a yelp recommendation, i stepped inside and handed them my torn boxing glove.
"is this a rush job?"
"that depends on what's possible"
"i can have it ready by thursday evening..."
"oh... when can i bring it that it'll remain with you for the shortest time possible?"
"it's going to take the same amount of time whenever you bring it."

my face fell.

"how long can you be without it?"
"i use it every day."
"alright - come back in an hour and a half. is that good?"

that's brilliant!!! they did a great job and it cost me all of $10 ^_^

the area around jarry station is quite lame. i took a long (and picturesque) walk to find a coffee shop and eventually gave up and sat down in a diner. it wasn't a bad experience, though the bottomless coffee would have been nicer if i'd been given an option to not refill and the plate of average fries less than two hours before kickboxing was NOT a good idea. i tasted those fries for most of the class :(

i thought that meeting one of my fellow students on the metro to trade notes wasn't too crazy considering the time constraint, but i'm glad she declined as the idea was totally stupid during rush hour. there wasn't much space to sit, stand or even breath.

i rushed into walmart on the way home to pick up a small speaker for my laptop; i was fast, but the minutes sped by faster than i figured and i ended up a bit late. no matter.

my boxing and kickboxing instructors have spent the past six months telling me that i need to relax. they're totally right. as i'm eligible for one of the last custom tristar shirts even to be ordered i was considering putting a nickname on it and i thought that "tension" was a good mix of "cool" and self-deprecating in-joke. when the instructor told me once again to relax i told him what i was thinking, and he laughed and came up with a better one: "the stiff".

the guy ordering the shirt laughed, but suggested i stick with just my name :P


the beast went to train in vegas for a while and had just returned so we spent a satisfying hour and a half really pushing each other.

afterwards the guy who usually demoralizes me while sparring - he did that again, i feel like i've taken a couple of steps backward - and i were asked to stay behind for the beginners' class to help out by training them to check kicks. it was a lot of fun (and good for us, too) but i took a lot of hard knees to my feet and shins and i only realized afterwards that i'd been a giant doofus. i should have worked low kicks only because they're beginners.


it didn't help that i forgot to apply frozen peas. my mood when going to bed wasn't improved by my need for a humidifier and the fact that mine's only kind of working.


in lieu of icing my leg last night when i had time, i did so in the morning for about half an hour while playing tekken. which turned out to be not-so-smart because "just one more fight" went on ten minutes too long. it's hard to turn off when you're winning in survival mode.

my heart jumped when i checked the weather and saw that sunday it might snow. please snow!!!

the baudry escalator fast-walk left me breathless. i walked in to the class breathing heavily; the girl who i thought was responsible for the yeast infection smell wasn't in and it was worse than ever... but now i think i know who it is for sure. is there a tactful way to let a girl know that she needs to take care of that? i mean, more obvious than covering my face as much as possible and keeping my nose in my coffee mug?

my french for the day: "j'ai raison avoir peur de parler en francais". after basic greetings the shopkeeper asked "c'est tout?" and i thought "i can handle this!". i responded in the affirmative and what followed was a barrage of french that left me lost. turned out she'd noted that i was purchasing the same item as the day before and wanted to let me know there was a special on clif builder bars.

the girl i was going to trade notes with? turns out she's an illustrator. and she's obsessed with mythology. hah! we'll meet on friday and see if she's willing to do some of the intro material :)

i'm struggling with the idea of relocating. i'm learning french so that i don't have to and i think that in the short term it's smarter and easier to be in montreal, but everyone's continuing to make a big noise about the political situation with such a racist party in charge and every time i get an offer from outside the province it pushes me a little even though the industry i'm looking to get into long term is here.

newk'd sent me some info and we now have tickets for poetry slam finals on the weekend. awesome!

the cleaning lady was here and i went out for lunch, but i was too tired even for starbucks so i returned to crash on the couch. we ended up having a long chat before she finished up and left and then i passed out for a while. i met with a rep for bestia fighting gear at the gym but the shorts she brought me to try didn't have slits (the muay thai instructor told me i could have just cut them myself - for forty bucks?! yeah, right.), and i was kind of relying on them for training so i had to impulse buy another pair. fortunately the gym had a sale on under armour which were decent and considerably cheaper...

class was great even if i did get hurt, wire and i partnered up and the drills took on an element of conditioning. it's always nice to get advice you know is good.

i wasn't up for another class so i did some weights instead, then called it a night. i used ufc - bad blood as an excuse to ice my leg for a long time, and now that i've written this i reckon it's a great time to do my homework assignment and get into bed.

either my standards are dropping or everyone on facebook is posting really insightful and interesting things. i think i lost an hour. one of the better time losses was watching a friend of mine performing on "the voice". he's been sending links to the videos for ages but they weren't accessible outside of israel until now. i won't say which friend because i assigned him one of the more embarrassing nicknames ;)

on that list is a cover of a britney spears song; it's a good performance but as i told him, there's an issue i have with that. it's the principle of the thing!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

late halloween and relaxing

i actually managed to do very little yesterday and i felt really good about it! today's highlight was catching my second wind when i'd already left the gym. tomorrow...

saturday evening:

frankenstein's monster make-up fail: first, it took a long time to apply the fake skin and the grey base. the package didn't include half the things that it required. the bolts that attach to your neck? yeah. not so much, even with the fake skin.

second, after i kind of got it decent it became the saddest costume ever because i couldn't change my facial expression without the fake skin peeling. so no smiling back at the poor girl standing at the entrance to the metro, and holding back a sneeze on the bus actually made me tear up. at least it was still okay when i entered vfmp's place (with the fake teeth doing a good job all by themselves), so after that i relaxed a bit and let my mask shed.

as i walked outside i realized that i'd need gloves and my tuque - the weather dropped back to around freezing which was heartening ^_^

the beginning of the party was a bit boring, minus the awesome giant cackling witch at the entrance to the apartment. we watched a bit of scream - gods, what a horrible movie - and then played a bit of tekken but the xbox controls didn't work correctly so it was disappointingly random.

the werewolves of millers hollow is a fun formalization of a game i learned about in the army. we played a lot and it got progressively more entertaining as the night wore on.

i decided to leave thunderstone there as that's where we usually play. i hope they don't forget to invite me to join in :P

the guy who gave me a ride was so stoned he forgot about me and had to return, but our chat on the way to my place was surprisingly sober and interesting.


i enjoyed a late sleep with loads of chained dreams and woke up to do very little. i spent the afternoon reading, playing games, eventually doing laundry and homework. then horseman came over and four hours flew by, some of it in crazy games of tekken where i got taught a thing or two before getting some revenge. both of us had sore hands by the end :)

i prepared dinner and sat down to watch an episode of futurama. it seemed familiar but i didn't care, then halfway through i realized it was a movie and not an episode: bender's big score the second time was still entertaining. my brain was mostly off anyway. the dinner kind of sucked - i don't know why but while it tasted good it didn't feel like it was going down properly. i ate the rest as leftovers this afternoon and it seemed fine so i don't know what that was about.


going to bed, i was reminded of how much i abhor putting a duvet into the cover. couldn't someone just make a duvet cover with buttons on TWO ends?!


waking up to scraping outside when it hasn't snowed? swak. the weather app said -6 with a five degree jump due within the hour. wtf?!


i wasn't just on time this morning, i was early. the class was cool, though i still can't handle those hours and in addition to being tired my stomache wouldn't stop making loud noises. what was amusing about that is that nobody knew whose it was for the first while, everyone including me wondering if it was theirs :P

i discovered that one of the girls is an illustrator after finding out that we're both fans of marilyn manson and jhonen vasquez. hah!

i finally went to the jean talon market to pick up builder bars, the only boxes they had were so well hidden that the junior staff had to ask after it :( i've requested that they order some for me but i suspect i'm going to need to find myself another dealer...

i got home and crashed on the couch. what followed was meta epic dreaming about my father and being told (in dream) that i was doing so just so i that i could experience him dying repeatedly. when i woke up my memory was so destabilized that it was an effort to remember burying him.

muay thai drilling was great but left me with sore arms. i watched the wrestlers afterwards (i think i'm going to join them next time) because i wasn't up for boxing, then returned home to relax with frozen peas as my leg isn't healed yet and got all sensitive when i hit the bags. damn this fragile biological body!



okay, french homework and bed.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

a good saturday

thunderstone last night was really cool, but i'm unhappy that my cards are getting damaged... i need to get plastic covers...

i don't usually listen to "gentle" music on my ipod, but i left my apartment in awe of simon and garfunkle's lyrics in "leaves that are green (never really thought about 'em before) and smiling at paul's under african skies.

then i walked into starbucks and i am a rock was playing. no way!

i picked up my copy of codex seraphinianus, which is absolutely stunning! i should note that ups has finally sorted some of their shit out! they didn't manage to deliver it but instead of holding it outside of montreal, they left it at the closest ups store. bravo, ups, bravo!

i was next to starbucks so i had coffee and sketched a few more comic panels. i returned home to help my mother with an iphone problem ("have you tried turning it off and on again?") and am now certain that clif is an american company and that it's bleedin' impossible to order builder bars to canada :(

i spent the afternoon checking out aerena (i'm not so sure how i feel about it yet) and redoing hero academy challenges. then i settled down to practice calligraphy... well, not exactly. but writing carefully with nice pens is as satisfying as it is painful - i'm not used to pressing vertically. i was quite pleased with my efforts until i made a mistake when i was almost done: why is there no "undo" button on paper?!?!


anyway, now to apply frankenstein makeup and head to the party.

apparently vega powders have been contaminated. what the hell, vega?! now i'm praying i haven't been affected :(


mama hill is pretty darn inspiring.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


last night i pulled my '99 special pants out of the (clean) laundry basket and the lace snagged, dragging it halfway around the back and after wasting a fair amount of time and energy - destroying a needle trying to be clever - i gave up, took it out completely, tied a knot in it and began rethreading. it was a big job, but a good excuse to spend three hours this afternoon watching life of pi and after porn ends.

the former is a good movie, not a great one. if it was cut down by about an hour it would feel about right. the latter? meh, whatever. my fingers: sore. my pants: sorted! i'm pleased even if i'm shocked at just how much effort that took. lesson learned: tie knots in both ends just in case.

last night i got into bed and only then realized that i'd forgotten to shower and brush my teeth. the former provided me a good excuse to shave in the morning in spite of my early morning sparkiness, the latter gave me an opportunity to down another protein shake before bed. i felt like my body needed that.


in general i had better timing this morning. but it was too hot!! the temperature shot up overnight and it was warm and rainy. i was sleepy and in need of good stretching the whole class - though some of it was fun - and at one point i was so tired that my brain refused to allow new words in :(

after class i met vfmp at starbucks, where i tried and failed to order my coffee in french. which is sad, because a soy latte in french is a soy latte. after chatting and finishing it we did some costume shopping, which was more fun when not alone, stopped for a lecture about incense by a cute indian girl and then had lunch at propulsion. it was a bit expensive but absolutely delicious!

i was totally weirded out before we left because the radio was playing an orchestral version of the angry birds theme. really?

i didn't have the energy to shop for builder bars so i came home to nap, which didn't really happen. the rain turned into crazy winds halfway through the day and large sections of the island have lost power, so everyone's on their way here for an evening of thunderstone.

a decent excuse to tidy up a bit :P

i just read an article on office jargon and it amuses me that this is precisely how megaman talks.

Friday, November 01, 2013


grass, the 1999 documentary narrated by woody harrelson. here's a link, don't watch it if you don't want to see 20th america as a bunch of morons in their very own version of the dark ages.

gods, i'm so glad to be living in an age with internet. no, it doesn't prevent the world's being run by insufferably small-minded megalomaniacs but at least we have access to data! next step, people learning how to use the new tools.


there i am, sloshing home in my too-warm winter boots because it's raining and i don't want soaked footwear, carrying two heavy shopping bags and grateful to six months of boxing training because i'm now strong enough to hold an umbrella *and* heavy shopping "in the holster" for a while without taking a break (and manoeuvring the umbrella against the wind, of course). the entire walk home i cursed the fact that it's not cold enough to be snowing yet...

for all of you who think i'm crazy for loving the cold weather, tell me this: do you need to take an umbrella out when it's snowing? NO, YOU DON'T. do you need to worry about wetting everything when you step inside? NO, YOU DON'T.
come on winter, BRING IT ON!


just as i got back to my building, i noticed for the first time what's written on the umbrella pg left me that i've been using for the past six months:

too damned right. what crappy trick-or-treat weather!

i should be posting more - part ii

[... continued]

i had a quick shower, heated a frozen dinner and chatted with k-twang before heading out for drinks with kgb. we hit a french version of an irish pub which is really cozy, and talked non-stop until it was late for both of us. it's weird talking to someone with so many similar and similarly weird experiences.

i was having difficulty deciding between vfmp's halloween party and seeing neil fight. the two excuses for doing the latter were not having a costume (mandatory costume party) and not being sure that the party was really happening, but vfmp assured me that there are spare outfits and that everything's proceeding as planned so oh, well, i'll dress up and party :)

today i actually managed to find a reasonably priced frankenstein make-up kit so i guess i'll be fine.


after last month's excess i'm now a little more cautious about my internet usage. i'm also rather shocked to discover that in less than a week i've blasted through 35 gigabytes... i'd like to blame that on setting up a new pc, but i doubt it had that much effect. is it netflix? i just dropped my settings from "auto" to "medium", we'll see. is it the failed ios update download? that's certainly a factor... the fact that the download cannot be resumed is insane. it turned out to be safer to perform the update directly from my phone. i hope my phone didn't switch to 3g or i'm in for a really big phone bill :S


after the last couple of training sessions, today was definitely laundry day. i was absolutely exhausted for most of it, two strong cups of coffee in class didn't really help me much. i walked out of there desperately hungry - thank you subway - i passed out on the metro and then crashed when i got home. not before putting in the load of washing, and each time i had to get up for that was harder than before.

eventually i balanced out a bit. i started watching eddie murphy - raw because i'd never done that. it's outdated, but even then it was nothing but pandering to socially accepted stereotypes and the humour was no more elevated than making fun of people for being human. it's misogynistic and homophobic, uninspired and unintelligent, and i'm kinda glad i missed it. comedians (in my world) are supposed to hold a mirror up to society, murphy was holding up a megaphone instead.

i got ready to go to jiu-jitsu class, figuring i would only do that as it's low intensity. i was a block away from my apartment (running in the rain) when i realized that training was not a good idea. i started returning, hesitated, walked a little further and then decided that i definitely needed to rest. or eat something, post this, go to the shops because i'm out of food, and then rest.

shane koyczan and hannah epperson - remember how we forgot is an experience you probably don't want to miss out on. just saying.

i should be posting more - part i

truth be told - as always - i've just been too tired. like really tired, like exhausted to a zombie state. particularly because i'm seriously in need of recovering and instead of resting i've continued to train hard. plus, i strongly suspect that the meds the doc gave me are working but at the cost of weakening my system. tonight's the last night, i believe they've done their job and i should be good to go by the weekend.

on a related note, i was discussing my shortness of breath with an "expert" (my kickboxing instructor) who claims that he's trained with someone who beat his asthma by training hard. quite frankly that makes sense, if i'm not training while sick. and i'm pretty sure i won't make that mistake again.

forgotten notes from monday:

i suddenly realized i haven't been reading my rss feeds in ages - i have a lot of catching up to do. my first time going through parc station and not being on my way to work felt strange. i have arrived at the conclusion that i'm a windows person. also, that if i have to choose between real privacy (which is a right, not a privilege!) and the convenience that storing all my shit in the cloud provides, i'll go for the latter. it's shameful that the american government has become so un-american regarding freedom and rights, but i'm not going to let paranoia distract me from things i actually care about.

i needed a pre-muay thai nap and i didn't have time for one. i managed anyway. huh.


oh gods, waking up super early for french classes :(
in theory the decision was to make my afternoons easier and more flexible, but in practice (granted, probably only this week) it's meant returning home and sleeping until hitting the gym :P

watching the puscifer - what is trailer pre-coffee wasn't a good idea. it did get me to purchase a bunch of the project's tracks and get me excited to see what happens.

props to the man on the metro wearing shorts at -3 celcius: that is a statement.

the french class is definitely good for my confidence. it may not be the level i need, but it's a good kick in the pants and the teacher's pretty good at mixing it up and customizing.

i arbed around downtown looking for halloween outfits, ate lunch underground and passed out when i returned home.

beginner's jiu-jitsu was cancelled... because only two of us showed up and we both passed the exam! LEVEL UP ^_^
my passing the exam was a big achievement considering i had to demonstrate everything on the nightmarishly flexible girl. i definitely earned *my* spot :D

next step: not feeling totally useless on the advanced mats. the two of us were not being amazing, it was only after the class was over that we realized that we both needed to be good with the forward roll. there's something crazy about having firas zahabi himself clapping me on the shoulder and telling me "not to worry, you'll get it".

anyway, i'm not able to tell anyone in the gym that our performance was un-bear-an'-bull because i'd probably get slapped. [the move we were learning is called "bear and bull"]

kickboxing was satisfying, although i used my right leg which is still healing and while i didn't do anything extreme that still wasn't a good idea :(

i left with a bit of a belly ache but i was desperate for food and hadn't gone shopping; chinese it had to be. i decided that i deserved a celebratory double-dinner and i thoroughly enjoyed it :)
during the feeding frenzy i suddenly broke out in sweat. what the hell?! all i could think of was how strange it was to feel so good and so broken simultaneously.


on the way home i wondered at how quickly i've acclimatized to zero. bring on the snow already!


i dreamed of a successful move to somewhere near ottawa; something very political. then
my mother was driving and the road
follows a cliff with no barrier.
she drives on the edge to scare me
and it works
i freak out and i'm upset telling myself
i will not forget i will not be her passenger again
ahead a missing bridge that we'd need good speed
to clear
but she ups the stakes and brakes

and i woke up as the car plunged into a deep black chasm. what the hell, brain?

second day of classes, still late because i don't get the metro at rush hour even if i did pick a better route. one of the girls arrived after we'd all sat down and with her a smell of... yeast infection? i don't know, but it was a very loud "down there" smell and i surreptitiously kept my nose in my coffee mug as much as i reasonably could.


it's strange being teacher's pet.

after class i went straight home to lay about. i watched a lot of kiss of the dragon which i'd remembered enjoying but which made me go "meh". then i got in touch with aota and we sorted out my telephone contract - bell not only made the process simple and painless, but my contract's so good that after we were done aota set herself up on the same deal :)

as a side note, i'm glad that i now officially have a credit rating and it's positive :D

another side note: i have unlimited calls "nation-wide". aota and the representative both laughed out loud when i asked if that means all of canada or just quebec.
"we haven't seceded yet!" said aota.
"not only will you be able to call all of canada, sir, but you'll also be able to call quebec!" quipped the agent.


i chatted with pg and i'm very glad that she's doing well. she's enjoying her work and the lifestyle it affords her and she seems happy; we chatted over text and i laughed a lot. even though our breaking up was good for both of us, i do miss her.

i went to muay thai even though my body was feeling stiff and sore, and during the warm up i developed shin splints. that was really annoying, i proceeded as gently as i could and fortunately the class was a) easy on the legs and b) exactly the class on clinches i'd been waiting for.

surreal misogynistic moment: working with a ridiculously sexy girl and doing a hip throw that involved me thrusting my hip (nothing else, you pervert) into her groin, looking down into her shirt (unintended, but enjoyed) and then throwing her to the mat.

what followed was the unsexiest thing ever: rotating partners to practice all the clinch techniques we'd learned. i've never been so drenched in other people's sweat before and i suffered a lot of chafing around my collar bones and neck - i had to half-shower before boxing (fortunately i'd brought a spare shirt) and i still spent the class worrying about ringworm.

the boxing class was pretty good and ended on a very satisfying note. after a long time talking about it, i finally got to do conditioning with the girl who terrifies everyone: firstly, i can't describe in words how hard she hits. after months of conditioning i'm now pretty damned tough, and even her soft "preparation" shots hurt. her big shots? holy shit! she knocked me down a few times before she decided to be merciful, that decision slightly embarrassing me even while i was grateful for it. one of her shots felt like my liver had touched my left shoulder. it was intense.
then it was my turn, and after a few warm up shots to establish the correct amount of power i caught her with a perfect liver shot... she was hurt, and although everyone (including her) had a good laugh about it i still felt bad.

her usual partner came up afterwards to thank me for giving him a break - i'll happily take over next time too :D