Wednesday, December 25, 2013

a good goodbye weekend

i've been separating out the last few days into individual posts, but that's not so simple... so this is just going to cover the weekend. the weekend was incredible! i'm praying that this isn't my last in montreal... what makes me nervous is that even though i'm legitimately here and have permission to stay until 2015, the border officials don't have to let me back in.

but if this was my last weekend, then it's the one that's made the best impression so far. hands down!

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friday:

once again i enjoyed sleep that can only be described as heavenly.

having arranged to pay aota a visit, i called her up to let her know that i was on my way.
"you don't understand the state i'm in. i can't see people."
"i'm not people!"
i braved the ridiculous snowstorm (it was really pretty)*, had an amusing ordeal at a local coffee shop** and spent an hour or two with her. by the time i left she was feeling much better, so i was glad.

while i was there i sent an email to the cto asking for my job back. he hasn't responded yet, i'm pretty sure that means he's not interested. oh, well. i had nothing to lose.

* i can finally understand people running when it's super-cold! the previous week's temperatures had conditioned us all to much worse, so everyone was relaxed and warm enough.

** the girl behind the counter couldn't find the soy milk.
"us vegans are such trouble-makers!" i joked.
"nonsense! not at all!" boomed the rotund, smiling owner, stepping out to the front from whatever he'd been doing.
an indian man walked in wearing nothing but a sweater.
"did you really go outside like that?" asked the owner.
"i work a block away, it was fine."
i chimed in with my previous observation, and that began a conversation that moved from the weather to accents to south africa, mandela, crime and politics. i was impressed that my coffee was still warm when i eventually explained that i had to leave. while i put my coat back on, the owner came over and put a piece of delicious-looking cake on the table.
"for you, my friend. merry christmas!"
i refused the cake, explaining that i'm vegan. he didn't seem offended but i kinda felt bad about not accepting it... later i'd feel doubly bad because i could totally have taken it to aota!

what a schmuck i can be :(

...

on the way to meet horseman for coffee i walked past a man busking. i tossed him $2 and got a happy clappy christmas song stuck in my head in return :S
horseman and i had coffee, i joined him on his mission to get chinese and then left him for friday night training.

vfmp arrived without gloves, so we did some basic footwork and then joined the jiu-jitsu class. it was a good class, i learned a lot and even more from vfmp's runtime commentary when we continued drilling afterwards. one of the guys in the gym (the guy who farted on me a short while back) warned us that he'd heard a report that we were going to experience freezing rain the next day. after getting home, i checked the weather report and everything seemed fine, snow was predicted. i stopped worrying about it.

when saying goodbye and leaving the gym, the girl wire's into was working the desk.
"sunday's the last day of your membership? but you're leaving wednesday? don't worry about it."
*taps on keyboard*
"you can come in on monday too, if you like," she said with a smile :)

i put on my boots on the mat at the entrance, sitting at an angle with my legs just jutting into the doorway. as i leaned over to tie them someone almost walked into me. i jumped back and apologized, looking up in gsp's face. again?! how embarrassing!

at vfmp's, we enjoyed a decent fake minced-meat and lettuce dinner - i don't usually approve of fake meats, but this wasn't bad and it's high protein. his brother joined us and we played thunderstone.
the game was great, but we realized too late that the barkeep should be bought early on! between that and the town guard the buying strategy got a bit crazy.

i was flattered to hear that vfmp and his boyfriend have agreed that if i have trouble at the border then his boyfriend will marry me in order to get me in. that's the second last-chance offer i've received (aota's was the first), and they've planted the idea of "mail-order husband" in my head :P

...

i stepped out into the post-snowstorm night with solid groovy trance and found it hard to contain the stomping and dancing that's been building up inside and pushing at the boundaries of my body. i can't wait for new year's!

...

i was planning on training the following morning, but on my way home realized that i was tired, it was late and i'd need to drive in harsh winter conditions. i figured that maybe it wouldn't be a good idea.

---
saturday:

i woke up early, checked the weather report. freezing rain, ice pellets, sleet. shit. no way i was going to brave that, so i called up the rental agency and cancelled my reservation. the guy on the phone sounded irritated by he was efficient and didn't give me any grief. i messaged the guy i was going to travel with, and turned in for another couple of hours. the next day i would learn that the weather had actually been easier to drive in than the next day, which wasn't so bad.

*sigh*

when i woke up i decided to hit the gym; if i wasn't going to be able to snowboard, then i definitely wanted to make the most of what remained of my membership! i arrived around the same time as vfmp, but he was doing the jiu-jitsu gi class which i couldn't join. so i watched enough to get a sense of what they were doing and then focused on shadowboxing and the bags. the kid who hits too hard was around, so i asked if he wanted to spar. after the experience [mentioned here] i was feeling really good as i walked out of the gym.

vfmp waited for me while i showered, and we headed downtown for lunch and supplement shopping. the first meal was at liquid nutrition, their protein shake was oddly purple and delicious! the second was at cafe verdure, which has a nice atmosphere and all the food is vegan and gluten free. and also delicious! we even had desserts: the doughnuts were tasty but the texture was weird, the cupcakes were fantastic.

when i got home i decided it was nap-time. i tuned in to a french radio station which soon began a reading of the translated charles dickens - a christmas carol. what a win! and because i'm basically familiar with the story, i understood a little more than i might have otherwise.

i'd somehow scratched my forearm during the day, close to where my elbow is still recovering from the recent damage. the supermarket was warm, as usual, but when i stood in line at the cashier the scratch began to burn, and heat from it spread like fire throughout my body. i left my stuff on the conveyor and rushed to a bench to strip off my jacket and sweater... when i got home i found an old tube of antiseptic cream (expired a year ago) and rubbed a generous quantity on the area. a few more of those over the next day or two and everything seems okay now. only earlier this evening i managed to scratch the other arm in the same place! i don't know what's going on :S

...

there's nothing like pulling warm dry laundry out the dryer on a cold day.

---
sunday:

after talking to sq, i called the israeli tax authority to find out why they think i need to fill out an "annual form" for 2011 if i don't have a "file" open.
"there was some anomaly during that year, so we opened a file for you and we'll close it as soon as we figure out what happened. sorry, but an annual form has to be filled out."
"okay. so how do i do that?"
"sir, i don't care about the what's and why's. you have to fill out an annual form."
"yes, i got that. but *how* do i do that?"
"sir, i just told you. i'm not going to repeat myself."
"you didn't explain a thing to me, i don't understand how to submit an annual report - especially not from outside the country - and i want you to explain the process to me!"
"sir, i'm sorry, i'm not going to repeat myself. have a nice day."
*click*

oh, israel, how i miss you.

...

fortunately my ranting online had an old friend put me in touch with an accountant who seems eager for my business. i've signed and sent him power of attorney forms and i'm hoping he'll come back to me with positive news...

---
after three and a half hours' sleep i woke up, quickly readied myself and joined icarus outside. getting out of my road was a mission and a half with all the snow: first time i've shovelled any! the drive wasn't too bad but we needed to seriously heat up the inside of the car in order to stop ice forming on the windshield. that was kinda uncomfortable :(

my mind was on the morning's conversation all day, and i had paul simon - graceland in my head. we arrived at saint sauveur, i grabbed a cup of coffee while icarus rented his helmet (by now he's paid enough times that he could have bought his own with that money), and we headed out.

1. on the green run, i worked on switching and i'm now doing it at much higher speeds than before. awesome!

2. not as awesome as my last run. i'd had a really fun few hours on the slopes, mostly on black diamonds. for the last run i picked the route that i'd hurt myself on a few weeks ago - this time it was covered in giant moguls. i hit them at high speed, and not only maintained the speed but was navigating them instinctively; my mind was only registering what my body was doing just as i was doing it, and by the time i reached the bottom i turned around to look at what i'd been through, unable to figure out how i'd done it. i was on a serious adrenaline high, and although i'd been thinking of getting in another day before leaving i decided on the way out that *that* is the memory i want to travel with.

it was glorious!

the drive back was a little easier than the one there, and we returned to montreal just about when we'd intended. i posted what followed here.

...

bell's warning message that i'd reached 90% of my data plan was most welcome :P

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