Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mum and Sister visit Montreal

With it being the start of summer, and Montreal being one of the best places on the planet to be during that time, Mum and Karen decided that they were going to come out and visit me here before it was too late, with all thats been going on lately it was another welcome distraction, and with it being Karen's first time in Montreal I was hoping that she would enjoy it as much as I have.

They were incidentally staying at the same hotel as my mum stayed in last May and I was hoping that they would have better luck with the people of Montreal than Andy, Sha and Saima did back in May.

I had been so busy organising things with my flat, and with work that I hadn't really had much time to organise anything for us to do and with me taking all of my available time off already I wanted to make sure that they had plenty to do, I needn't of worried as it seemed like the easiest solution was to point them in the direction of the nearest mall and set them on their way. I've never been one to really drink around my parents, but that changed last year when they first arrived in Montreal, so they were well aware of my habits the second time around, and after the first couple of nights of them being here, even though I was working I started to feel as though I was on a holiday too.

Karen seemed to be having alot of the same reactions I originally had when arriving here, and being an artist herself she was looking at every opportunity to take pictures, albeit mainly of wildlife... I had no idea she enjoyed bird watching so much.

The weather was perfect, not humid, not too windy but as Goldie locks once said "It was juuuust right" Mum was looking tanned as usual, and even Karen had caught the sun a little, and for Zadziuk's thats quite impressive.

One of the main things to do in Montreal is eat, and that we did, went to some great resturants, took them on a tour of my Montreal, and stayed away from downtown when possible that didn't need me around.

We had tried and failed to get Cirque tickets, turned out that they were sold out early April, and didn't fancy coughing up $200 - $300 for the 'cheap seats', so we decided that there was plenty of other entertainment, of course I've already mentioned the Comedy club, which still gives me shivers, there is a boat that leaves from the Old Port in the evenings called the Bateau Mouche, only in the Summer, but on this boat you get the 5 star VIP treatment, for $85 dollars a head (which is a really good deal considering) you get a 3 and a half hour cruise around the St.Lawrence, and a 5 course meal with one of Montreals top chef's. He is the same Chef that works at the hotel that John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their "Love In", maybe not at the same time, but you understand that this guy is pretty good.

Anyway, the food was amazing, the sort of meal that even when you've had enough you could quite easily have some more, just because it's THAT good. Ordered a really good bottle of wine thanks to the knowledge of wine tasting stolen from Andy and Sharon, this was one of those nights when you look at the city you live in, in a completely different light. Montreal really is beautiful, I've always known this but it's only really now that I've started to appreciate it for what it really is. Here are some of the photographs from their time here.

Having Mum and Karen out here was great, I'm pretty sure they had a good time as well, now it's on with my move and back to work... But it's alright, it's Canada day holiday next weekend, so thats a short week for me then.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Karen's first comedy club

The Just for Laugh's festival is warming up here and thought that it would be a good idea to take them to a comedy club, somewhere a little different. In the paper, Saima style we found a place right next door to an Irish Pub which instantly boded well for the type of comedy we were looking for. A little place called the Comedyworks on Bishop, they had 4 acts on that night and a compare, and for only $10 a head you couldn't really go far wrong. So in we go, and even my tee total mum decided to have a glass of wine to loosen up. I only just found out that Karen had never been to a comedy club before, so it was time to get some of those Zadziuk laughter lines on her face and break her comedy cherry. The first act comes on and it's an Improv Act, and who happened to be sitting not too far from the front... Yep that would be me and a random Irish guy on holiday in Montreal, Brilliant...

So up we get, our roles would require us to jump in during the story told by the comedian's and suggest the next part of the subject, innocent enough you would think. Yeah so did I, but bare in mind that I had had about 3 pints and not eaten at this point. So; I'm sat on a high stool on one side and the Irish guy is on the other, now at this point the compare had already noticed that I was English and the Irish guy was sat at the front, so we were already the but of several Quebec jokes laying into the Brits. The story starts and the Irish guy is tapped on the shoulder the end of the comedian's sentance is "Great to see you we should..." to which the Irish guy replies, "Go for a pint". Typically Irish and exactly what they wanted, I stick my hand up and explain that my mother is in the crowd and please go easy on me, which seems to get a laugh, but I was being serious.

The story gets to me and the sentance goes "Yeah it would be great to go for a pint as I can..." to which for some bizzare reason out comes "Give you back that used condom..." WHAT AM I THINKING!!!! I was trying to think of something funny and for some reason I lowered it to sex jokes, and the most comedy thing that came into my head was used condom. I'm moritfied! why couldn't it of been something else, but because I was thinking so hard against smut the first thing that came out of my mouth was that!!!! At this point I look over and see my mum and sister crying with laughter and the rest of the crowd seemed to enjoy it as well, this seemed to set the comedians up no end and sent us back to our seats with my face bright red. But at least I had my 15 seconds of fame, just never thought it would be like that.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

10 Year's in Quebec

The entrance to the party with Can-Can dancers.

Ubisoft Montreal has now been here for 10 years, fair enough I've only been here for 2 of them, but since we had our AGM today, they found that the best way to ensure that every employee attends was to give them lots of free alcohol and a big party afterward. No complaints from this guy.

The CEO of the company joining in, can you guess which one he is?

The 20 year bash last year, was amazing at the Cirque du Soleil school last year, and that was after the AGM, and with this year being a celebration of the Montreal Studio alone, we had high hopes for this one. The bar had been raised.

So straight after the AGM, I grabbed a beer, met up with Blake, Paul and Kris and headed down to the old port, could wait for the bus... Nah! It's a really nice sunny day, I'll walk down, beer in hand and beat the rush to the bar. Beat the rush we did, we ended up being some of the first there. But that meant we got the pick of the good spots.

Upon entering, we are greated by a guy playing electric guitar, nothing unusual about that you might say, but then when I tell you that he was doing backflips whilst playing it puts it into perspective a little. Random acrobats hanging from the ceiling, free runners playing on the scafolding, an arcade and of course the main ingredient to pull it all together and keep the party lubricated. Free bar!

The Can-Can dancers 'working' the room

It was great to have everyone in one place, work has been really hard recently so it was great to unwind, and never one to do things by halves, unwind I did.

I've uploaded some of the photo's onto my gallery, along with some I've found and been sent from various people, not sure when the next party will be, but this one certainly was alot of fun and should keep me going for a while at least.

Nic and Dean sharing a moment.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blogger V's Facebook

Ok so my blog hasn't been updated much of late, that's party to do with being really busy in work, not too much blog worthy happening and.... Facebook, some say it's evil, I've long been saying that it's stalking with permission.

I'm just waiting for the first case of harassment of a facebook stalker, for those of you that don't know what facebook is, it's basically an easier version of Myspace... If you don't know what Myspace is, well it's basically a diary, like this blog. Yes it's all completely futile, but finding that with living here a lot of old and familiar faces are coming out the wood work, old school friends, people I used to play basketball with in secondary school, even some people that I'd completely forgotten about until they gave me a 'poke' (that's how the facebookers get your attention)

The thing I like and dislike with equal feeling is the fact that you can go through someones list of 'friends' and find people you used to know, and vice versa. Now I do like this idea, but it does feel some what like you are compromising your friends privacy sometimes. I actually have my facebook connected to this blog, which in turn appears in facebook a couple of days/hours after I write this, as you all know my blog is connected to my website, which is in turn connected to my linkedin account which for those that don't know is my professional connections.

So yes it's my own fault for connecting all of these together, and will get to the point where instead of giving me a call people start communicating with facebook. I found it funny the other day when Brian said that he had contacted someone and left them a message though facebook instead of just calling, or talking to someone in the old skool way. It IS a great way of tracking down old friends, but I can see it becoming competitive. Now this post, on my blog will be in facebook soon, thus continues the circle of information.

Personally I feel like facebook is for fun, and this blog is informative (well at least I think so), I remember when you had to remember telephone numbers before mobile phones, that went, now you don't even have to ask for someones number you can probably track them down spy style via someone else's connections, and virtually follow them, I tell you it'll all end in tears. I've already experienced albeit semi accidentally the virtual snub on facebook, and I can tell you it's a strange feeling, do I get annoyed, do I get angry, did they even realise what they did, maybe it was a mistake?

Anyway it all ended up being sorted, but that's just an example of the power of the facebook, virtual slapping... It's a lot less painful than a real slap but stings just as much. Anyway, if you haven't joined the revolution it might be worth depending on what you are looking for, for those that haven't I'm sure it'll only be a matter of time before something comes along to replace facebook.

Monday, June 11, 2007

2 Years Today.

So today I have offically been in Montreal for 2 years, so much has happened met a bunch of amazing people and done some really fun and interesting things, most involving alcohol at some point. This second year has gone so much faster than the first, suppose the old saying of "Time fly's when you having fun" is true. Although that twinge for missing home has never really gone, but being here has made me realise what I really want, and what I need to do. Sure you'll all find out soon.

If you want to see some of the stuff that I've been upto over the past year you can always check the archieves on the right of this post or just skip back to last June, and go from there.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ubisoft Basketball gets real.

Giving a team talk during a time out

As some of you might know, I play a bit of basketball every now and again, alright to say that it’s more of an obsession is closer to the truth, but with that said I still haven’t played that much Basketball whilst I’ve been here.

Although, I did start the Ubisoft team, which evolved from pick up games and then turned into something pretty competitive, ok so very competitive, in fact probably a little too competitive for something that was started as a bit of fun, but then when you get Ubisoft Montreal against EA Montreal the other rival game company in Montreal playing against each other you can imagine the testosterone going through the building.

One of the EA players taking it to the basket against Sam, with me looking on.

So they challenged us to a series, best of 5, with a couple of pre season games. Well they thought they had a good team, we thought we had a good team, and we had a couple of referee’s just to make it a little more balanced. This was both a blessing and a curse as the series wore on. Ok so we won the pre season games convincingly, and then took the first game of the official series to put us up 1 – 0. But then EA won game 2 to even it up at 1 – 1. Then the unthinkable… EA took game 3 and led the series 2 – 1, these games had all been tight, with game 3 seeing us loose in overtime. Game 4 we had a full team back and were at full strength and it showed as we blew them out by 16 to even everything again at 2 – 2.

Taking it to the basket, around Suresh's pick.

Then comes the final game, by this time we are wanting to wrap it up and just start playing for fun again, EA had a tendency to foul as fouls weren’t being counted, this meant that they could nail us whenever we had the ball and it would stop us dead in our tracks, not being able to score. With team fouls not being counted, it meant that instead of us shooting foul shots after the 5th foul all that would happen would be that we would get the ball on the side line for another try; this would become the difference between the 2 teams.

Anyway, enough with the excuses, at the end of the day we both wanted to win and it ultimately came down to the scripted ending that of course I think we all knew would happen… OVERTIME, not just overtime, but the final shot with the score tied in overtime, with the score tied 72 – 72, EA has the ball with 3 seconds left and wouldn’t you know it, they get the ball inbounds and heave up a shot with no time left on the clock… Swish, EA win by 2… Gutted.

With the wind taken out of us I think that it’s easier to accept, the fact that it came down to the final shot of the series, we can hold our heads up as when a game is that close and you loose you can take comfort in that you took it down to the wire, sure I went over it in my head wondering if we could of done anything different, and being the captain of the team, of course I’m going to think that I could of done something else, but when it’s that close any 1 play could of changed the course of the game. So congratulations to EA, and I’m still proud of the team, we’ve come really far from nothing to what we are today. But would have been great to of beaten them DAMN IT!!!!

How Many Visits
Free Webcounter