Sunday, March 25, 2007

Julie 2's Birthday

Last night Jeff, Paul and I were invited to Julie's birthday, she works part-time as one of the waitresses in a bar on Mont Royal that we have been going to recently, and got to know her after a discussion about quality Rum's and Whiskey's. She's really cool, and a complete party warrior so when we were invited out to a resturant in Eastern Montreal called Jardin Tiki, we had to check it out. First a little background...

Jardin Tiki, is a Tiki bar/buffet resturant that has a distinct holiday camp vibe going on, if anyone has ever been to Pontins/Butlins or on a Package holiday you'll know what this place is like, there is one choice on the menu (buffet) and the price depends on your age bracket. The whole night was tongue in cheek, as the idea was for everything to be as cheesy as possible, so if you're prepared for that you'll be alright. The music was of the lounge room variety with the same band apparently playing there for over 20 years. You could feel that their enthusiasm and dreams of pop stardom had died along time ago.

Conga lines were led by Julie around the bar area, with grannies and children alike joining in, the service was terrible and considering all they had to do was bring us drinks as the food was self service it shouldn't of been too hard, but obviously not.

But it wasn't about quality hence the $15 price tag, infact that just enhanced the night, we only really knew Julie and a couple of her friends so the 3 of us felt a little awkward and the lack of alcohol didn't help us loosen up, but we all had that in common.

After Jardin Tiki, it was decided that we should find somewhere to continue the fun, and to carry on the theme of quality establishment we ended up at a tiny karaoke bar which turns out is 3 minutes from my doorstep, but I never knew existed, Jeff belted out "Birthday" by the Beatles for Julie and we planned a duet, but think that Julie's rendition of "Final Countdown" by Europe cleared the bar of the quality singers, except for one guy that sang an uncannyly impressive version of a Genisis classic, complete with extras.

Anyway... depite the theme of lack of quality, we had a laugh. More pictures can be seen in my album, so check them out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sorting stuff out...

So work has been a little hectic lately, got to keep reminding myself that I need to switch off. I think I've always found that hard, I have found myself not being myself recently, been a bit quiet, a little snappy at times. But I'm chalking that up to me being over tired, but hey... When am I not, I've always found it hard to get to sleep.

So much to do, and so little time to do it, I find my self procrastinating all the time, not in work, if anything that is how I distract myself. Small things like going to the gym on a regular basis always seems to get delayed, filling out my tax return (still not sure what I need to do for that), even paying bills always seems to get put back until next payday.

Basically I'm saying out loud that I need to get my head together and start making sure I get my priorities organized. The project is important to me, but not so important that I need to neglect everything else. I'm a loyal, hard worker I always have been, I'm one of those strange types that enjoys my work. Sure it has its dull parts but mainly it's good times, but I need to leave the office at the office from time to time, and enjoy my time in Montreal.

Starting with a trip to New York with Jeff, probably Denis, and the girls... I had been worried about the cost, but after walking home (my thinking time), I decided that what ever the cost, it's probably going to be one of the only chances I will get to go to NYC with them, and for the price we are talking, I'm sure I can cover it. Besides... ROAD TRIP, I'll probably drive if we get lost, Meh... Still funny, just a bit out our way. The girls work in the travel industry and they think that they can get some discounts somewhere, so I think that I have justified it to myself enough...

I want to really enjoy my time over in Canada, and as long as work doesn't jump in on my social life too much I'm sure I will, maybe it's more than just my apartment that needs a spring clean...

Monday, March 19, 2007

St Patricks Day

It's that time of year again, spring is nearly upon us, at least it should be soon. It's also time for all the Irish wannabee to show their faces, where everyone thinks that they have a little bit of Irish in them. This year was a subdued affair with all of us welcoming back Jolyne from her time in South Africa, at Tayna's place. Where instead of risking life and limb running around the various Irish bars Montreal has to offer we decided to stay in, eat Pizza, drink and play Pictionary???

I must be getting old now...

Anyway, Sunday instead of braving the mayhem of downtown, I actually went into work (I know... On a weekend as well...) but for a couple of hours inbetween, I joined everyone at McCleans for some Irish Stew and Guinness, although $23 for a pint and some stew is a little excessive, even if it was pretty darn good stew, what happened to cheap and cheerful?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Boarding at St Sauveur

I've been wanting to go boarding again before the end of the season, as not sure when I'll get the chance again, so when Jez started pestering me at the start of the week to rent a car, I didn't take a massive amount of pursuding. So it seemed like there was going to be a few of us, so went for the full size bad boy Impala, thinking that, that would fit a few boards, equipment and 3-4 people comfortablly... Of course it will.

So I pick up the car, have a little drive around to get used to it, and it's not long before I'm on the freeway (still want to call it Motorway!), opening it up hitting 150 kph without even thinking, of course I was in full control, I was just getting it out of my system.

I think the reason the car was so fast might of had something to do with how light it was because of LACK OF PEOPLE in the back. Jez, the guy that had been on my case all week to come boarding, not to mention on Friday night during cocktails, decided he would follow along later and not travel with us, not only that but the O-ROC (Nick), had kindly brought along a load of stuff for Jeff and I to borrow and didn't need the space in my tank. So it felt like I was trying to prove something, you know what they say about men and the size of their cars...

SO... Off we go at 7.30am needlessly poluting the enviroment in a tank that didn't need to be so big, you can kind of understand my reason to take advantage of the speed now.

We get to St Sauveur, Jeff fighting the need to sleep and keeping me entertained with his road trip CD, pick up some boots and a day pass for both mountains, St Sauveur and Avila, that had a variety of runs for the beginner, intermediate and expert. As well as a park for Nick to play in, with him pulling off some impressive tricks on the way down, maybe I'll try that next time.

Ok Nick and Jeff take me up to the intermediate runs, as they keep telling me that the beginner slopes don't help when you are learning. Fair enough I still fall over, but it's getting easier, got my falling leaf technique down now, even getting down one complete run without falling over until the very end and to be honest that was probably because I couldn't believe I had actually done it. Worked out that I am definately a regular boarder, as Nick thought I might be goofy (right foot forward), but turned out I felt a lot more comfortable the regular way.

Again Nick was great helping me out, taking time out from his fun to help me, but after a couple of runs, I was quite happy to do my own thing and work it out myself, him and Jeff had given me all the tool's I needed to teach myself now. I need to trust my instincts a bit more as everytime I started picking up any decent amount of speed I'd slow down. But as Nick said I just need to find a speed I'm comfortable with, not as comfortable on my towside turns yet, but managed it a few times so I'm confident that once my backside has healed I'll be ready to go again.

Jeff fell asleep at the table a couple of times, but will let him off as he hadn't slept, that 4 nights of drinking and the clocks going forward didn't help. The conditions where postcardable, and on the few times I've been boarding this was by far the most amazing, the blue sky's and sun at the top of the mountain had to be seen to be believed.

You can see more of the pictures from Sunday here, not that many, as kept forgetting to take them. Was having too much fun, but think I'll be paying for that in the morning
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Friday, March 02, 2007

Blizzards in the MTL

Again slow with the posts, but trying to catch up, a couple of Friday's back we had what I hope is the final snow of the season, well at least at the rate this snow fell, surely we don't need any more for a while.

But thought that I would share just how efficient Montreal is at clearing it up. The Quebec government, sends out their fleet of trucks literally before the snow has finished falling. So important is clearing the streets that these signs pop up everywhere, closing a side of the street so that the clearing crew can get involved.

You have to move your car, otherwise it'll get towed away, never to be seen again (or to the pound, where ever that is???). As you can see from the picture below, it snowed quite heavily, the clearing can happen anytime after 7 pm, so you get plenty of warning. But if you see one of these on your street good luck sleeping through it, as they will likely clear your street at 2 in the morning, very loudly.

But I still find it impressive how quickly they jump into action, first the little pavement clearing cat moves everything to the side of the road, then the daddy cat moves that and more towards the middle of the road then comes the huge empty truck and snowplough that churns up everything in site and spits it into the back of the empty truck, but where does the snow go? Back into the St-Laurent.

Just thought you might like to know.

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