Tuesday, January 21, 2014

return to the poutine routine - part iii


berri uqam station was filled with people on their way to igloofest. i was dressed for it, i had my board strapped to my back, and a part of me really wanted to join them! but partying while sore wasn't going to work.


i woke up jet-lag early (why did i not think to use my melatonin tablets?!) to an email from the accountant informing me that it appears that i owe a large sum of money to the tax authority even without the fine for late filing. considering my status as unemployed and trying to keep everything together long enough to get a job offer and pass the french exam, that was quite unsettling :S

he asked for a couple of other documents and i was looking for them when i discovered a digitization of something related that i'd forgotten i'd made before leaving... he responded with an apology for such a bad start to the day and with an update that it now looks like they owe me a sizable sum. that just made my day!!!

i finished watching the first episode of downton abbey, and i now understand why everyone loves it so much. why can't all series hire good writers? the characters are wonderful and the plots satisfyingly subtle. nice!

a guy i went to school with came over to pick up something his mother had asked me to deliver; he told me he didn't have time for coffee or tea, but he apparently did have half an hour to stand with me in the foyer talking uncomfortably loudly. a part of my discomfort concerned bothering my neighbours, and another part his pride in generally being a bit dodgy.

i headed to godmother's to print, sign and scan what i hope is a final piece of the tax authority puzzle (hooray for technology! he says sarcastically), then met up with horseman for subway and starbucks. happily he's keen to speak to me in french, but that really did make things complicated...

on the metro to have drinks and play carcassonne with vfmp's brother (mustwin) who's recovering from an appendectomy, i sat across from a guy who looked familiar. i didn't recognize him even after he told me where i know him from, i was embarrassed... but not as embarrassed as when i exited the car and it all came rushing back to me - we trained a fair amount together, talked quite a bit *and* he's friends with gg :$

i beat mustwin. i was prouder of that than i'm proud to admit :P

i made an inefficient choice when taking the metro to the fight night, but it afforded me an opportunity to help a little old lady with some heavy lifting. i think i managed to hide my limp as i lugged her baggage up the stairs :)

the fight night was great! firstly, i didn't make the mistake of taking a date along so i got to really focus on what was happening in the ring. the guy i sparred with before i left was doing security, he took up a position next to me and so we shared running commentary. the guy i really went to watch, who lost his first fight, came out strong in his second and was deservedly ecstatic when he stepped out victorious. the guy i was sure would get knocked out was knocked down twice in the first round and the referee called a stop to it; he really wasn't ready. certainly not ready enough to be coming in with a nickname like "the hebrew hammer", you have to win a fight before you get cocky, bro...

our coach had accepted a fight last-minute the day before, and it was interesting to finally see him in action. i'll be honest, i kinda expected more but it was a good fight nonetheless and he had a tough opponent. exciting shit happened in the ring, overall it was satisfying.

vfmp made it for the last three fights, afterwards we went to aux vivres for dinner. the conversation went deep into zombie-theory territory, and i wished i'd been recording because he was playing devil's advocate and i couldn't keep track of all the questions that i should definitely answer if i do end up writing a book.


oh, couch, i love you! i was too tired to shower, i barely had strength to brush my teeth before flopping down fully clothed and waking up feeling like a new man in the morning. i spent the morning figuring out french exams and courses and things, then shopped, ate, and passed out for sleep so deep that i almost didn't make it to the clc french communication mix!

being half asleep combined with the temperature dropping ten degrees in one day (-12 not counting the evil wind) and walking in the shade was very chilly indeed. once inside and "settled", i was cornered by a bunch of strange women asking me questions in french and i cursed my subconscious for adding "sweating profusely" to my discomfort. what a stupid response! :(
once the initial wave had somehow been fought off - my french may be bad and horrifically slow, but it's at least understandable - my system calmed down and i (literally) chilled a bit. after an hour and a half i realized that some of my french is surprisingly decent, some of it shameful. i'll be back at the language center again next week.

i rushed through the freezing cold to get home. the first thing i had to deal with was an email from bell regarding an update to their terms and conditions.

right after impressing me with their #bellletstalk campaign, they sent out an email with new terms and conditions "as part of [their] ongoing efforts to improve [their] customer experience" to counter the aforementioned show of goodwill:
"To provide the Services, Bell may have to use, reproduce, adapt, transmit, display, publish, perform, distribute and create compilations and derivative works from your content. In accepting the Bell Services, you waive your moral rights, and you authorize Bell to perform these activities in relation to your content anywhere in the world, only to the extent that Bell needed to provide you with Bell Services."
please explain why i should be okay with my internet service provider taking full control of my content? the "only to the extent" seems just a touch ambiguous. i called the number listed on the email as being for inquiries, and after getting through the menu system and being put on hold for ten minutes i was informed that only online chat assistance is qualified to help.

well, shit.

i went off to the gym, eventually decided to test out my ankle by taking the boxing class. of course this didn't score me any points with the coach... i finally came up with a response to his jibes at the end of the class and i suspect i may have offended him because he got defensive. one of my fellow students made a snide remark to which i responded in a joking fashion, but i now worry that he may not have realized that i was kidding so i'm going to have to apologize to him next time i see him just in case :(

my ankle was hurting but not too badly; after the class i spent an hour or so instructing a girl in our class (army brat) in technique. it intrigued me that while we were working the pads she suddenly shrunk back and said "i'm scared" when i told her how to strike them - i wonder if she was responding to my officer voice?

after training i sat down to my traditional salad dinner and two episodes of downton abbey, then decided to call it a night.


i slept with french talk radio in the background, and i think that was a good idea. i got up early and was going to buy coffee at the further supermarket before sitting down at starbucks to write these posts, but it was so insanely cold (-23, not counting the wind) that i stopped at the starbucks and decided to worry about the coffee another day. it was so cold that i didn't remove my super-warm sweater the entire time!

i stopped to go to the gym and meet vfmp for boxing instruction: the same thing i'd done with army brat, only he has even more unlearning to do. by the time we left we'd both learned some pretty cool things; i was rather excited because i'd been trying to teaching him what to do with his hips when he throws a hook and suddenly noticed that a cross had been taped on the floor right where we were standing, i figured out that when you throw a hook you're essentially just switching stance but without moving your feet. thank you, taekwondo, thank you :D

vfmp joined me for tea while i ate lunch and we watched total rubbish on youtube (projected on the wall, of course), and i got back to finishing this. horseman's now on his way for some more french immersion, and then i'm going head back to the gym and see how i handle kickboxing. i might not. i'm not planning on doing anything stupid...

over the course of the past few days, i have finally understood the correct way to eat skittles!
partially crush a few of them until they form a solid mass, then suck. it's stupidly enjoyable and each handful lasts at least five minutes :D

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