Montreal Training

Only 1 more weekend left in Toronto, then it’s off to Montreal for the next few months.

…and, I officially booked where I’m staying. Classy joint, perfect location and spacious! Could not have asked for better. I’ll be sure to post quality pics when I get installed!

Go Habs Go!Go Habs Go!Go Habs Go!Go Habs Go!Go Habs Go!Go Habs Go!

Of course, now that I finally get installed and fully furnish and decorate my Toronto pad, it’s time to start all over. Oh well. There are worse things in life I suppose.

Allez, de retour Γ  la belle province!

Tuesdays Lifestyle: High Speed Chases and Rachel McAdams

Tuesday, of all days, produced some crazyness…

First things first:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2008/09/10/highway-shooting.html

Along my regular route home, where there is often slowdowns and some traffic, a shooting took place – on the highway! The 401 collector lane was shut down as a passenger in a car was shot several times while the car itself was motion, with the victim attempting to flee the car at the same time and as a result ended up rolling out into the oncoming traffic! The suspect being searched for is female, either the driver herself or another passenger in the same car. Had I not been chosen to stay and do more testing for that last client I would’ve easily been right in the middle of the action there, as the timing fits.

..and next:

Big sponsored after party at a local hotspot to feature celeb Rachel McAdams turned out to be pretty darn cool. First, hit up a private members only club called the “Spoke Club”, then slid next door to the “Century Room”. The place itself was nice, and definitely another ‘must go to’ place on my list for the city. Considering it was Tuesday and the place was lined up and packed by 23h30, that’s not too bad. In the end though, being a weeknight we left before the superstar showed up, but still had a great time. A very frou-frou crowd at the place – meaning stylish and generally classy looking people all thinking they’re better than you. Muhaha… good times πŸ˜›

Brad Pitt, Rachel Weisz and Van Damme!

Big names in town!

Obviously I didn’t connect with the Brad, and I missed the librarian from ‘The Mummy’ that is Rachel Weisz – but Jean-Claude Van Damme?! Is it possible I missed the coolest Belgian martial-arts movie star to ever reach the level of brown belt and excel in ballet? Dang it all!

On the first night, last Thursday, apparently his movie premiered in which it follows him as, well, Jean-Claude Van Damme. I think it’s somewhat of a documentary, but not really. I don’t know for sure – but I better his twin brother appears somehow in it.

…He does have a twin, right? He’s had 3 movies where a twin shows up. You can tell the difference always – one is clean cut and the other is more rugged. They were separated at a young age but for some reason meet up and join forces to fight off evil drug czars or what have you (often to protect the honour of some random girl).

The Real J-C?

Anywho, there was now rumours that he only appeared via satellite for the premier and he might not have actually been in town. This makes sense, because only Academy Award nominee Brad Pitt and winner Rachel Weisz, he’s got a busy schedule and rarely has time outside anything really.

Rewind: “Translation”

Ah, the classics! Sometimes, you just need to sit back and re-watch some of the classics.

Here’s one tossed around during the INSA days that was always good for a laugh:

Definition

deΒ·ciΒ·sion, [noun]: resolution; to cut off all other possibilities (from latin ‘incision’)

Every so often, I hit a venue where I’m forced to make the bigger choices. Doing ‘Martial Arts’ full time was one, choosing ‘Engineering’ as a degree was another, as was going to France for the year…

Well, here I am, after another big decision that was to accept a great “career-choice” job out in Toronto. Alas, another turning point reached and residing at the 3 1/2 month point.

Whenever I’ve made choices in the past, there was always a fear that I’d make the wrong one. Then I remember the first lesson I learnt back in the day when I was around 20 and I jumped into ‘Martial Arts’ full time. That lesson is that the worst choice of all is to not ever make one, to flip-flop through life. That’s bad news, and you follow a path of mediocrity never truly being fulfilled.

I saluted the world traveler in my last blog entry, and I continue to do so. Stepping out into the unknown alone (let alone flying across the ocean) is a brave and character shaping move – and I respect wholeheartedly those who ever attempt it!

Now though, the next phase in my journey and adventure begins.

…a big decision made.

Back to TO

The long-weekend comes to an end, as I head back into the long drive out west to Toronto. Not much time to write here, just to say that this Montreal weekend turned out great!

While I do still wish I was heading out on a cool overseas vacation or adventure myself right now, sometimes I forget that I’ve already had my an amazing year abroad and it’s the turn for others to have that experience. It helped shape who I am today, and I forget that sometimes.

I salute the world traveller and those who are willing to take risks in life! They are light years ahead of the rest of the people who are too afraid to go outside their own backyards, to leave their comfort zones. You have to take that risk to get the real reward – and boy, does it pay off!

One of my favourite quotes in ‘Lord of the Rings’ is from Bilbao Baggins and it fits perfectly here again: “It’s dangerous business, Frodo, walking out your front door”.

Allez! On the road back I go…

πŸ™‚

Second Apartment

…Dang! Just when I’m finally in the good stages of decorating and filling up my Toronto place, I’m already looking for another place to live. Well, temporarily at least. I have to do a few months back in Montreal come the end of September for work, so a long-term stay is required.

Went out and checked a few places today with it coming to roughly 2 choices: the first one or the last one. The ones in the middle were for the most part lame, but also overpriced for what they were. Too bad, ’cause the ‘Lofty’ one was pretty cool.

Anywho, not much else except that. Expect more info and scoop later on. For now? Back out onto the streets – only home a quick shower and change!

Laterz,

Organi-zized

Things are looking somewhat organized here for a change. I have not only a sofa and table, but chairs to go with it! Holy moly! I even have a picture or two (well, my 2nd picture I finally got is ready to go up, I just haven’t mustered up the courage to nail into the wall just yet for fear that I hang it in the wrong place and fill my wall with tiny holes.

..Bored with my lame-entry today? Well, how about another standard song that I’ve always felt would be perfect for a movie scene I had in my head. If you’re ever *really* bored I can always describe it to you πŸ˜‰

Anywho, here’s the song: “Street Spirit (Faded) – Radiohead”

Survived!

Presentation went off ‘decent’ enough – nobody ran out in a panic or fell asleep. I actually got a couple of laughs at my somewhat cool jokes. Actually, they were quality jokes! In the end, I survived and only felt self-conscious a few times.

Tomorrow, I head back to the ‘field’ and work up north with the front lines. Time to get covered in concrete and dirty again. Ugh. Oh well, when I went out east to a small town for work for 3-weeks, I was referred to as a “City Slicker”. Here, when I head up there a few hours drive, I’m labeled as a coming from the ‘land down under’ by the men at work.

In honor of that:

πŸ™‚

Presentation: 1st one tomorrow!

Nervousness? Yeah, somewhat. I’m sure nobody will be listening unless you screw up, right?

Still. There’s the fear that you go off on a tangent and start talking waaaay too much (or way too little) and next thing you know, you say something inappropriate, trip on the computer chord and nose dive into the floor.

…Hey, it could happen.

On the plus side, considering the competition out there on the bigger scale, I can’t be much worst than this guy:

w00t!

White Party

Last night we all went to an apparently annual ‘White Party’, in which everyone has to wear all white clothing. White shoes, white pants, white shirt, white whatever. That’s the deal. On a smart note, they only serve white beverages though. That helps reduce the incidents of spillage. I still managed to get bumped and water spilled all over me – but no worries.

At the end of it all, it was pretty cool. Leaving the place at the end of the night, a good 15 or so of us headed to Chinese food after in the standard ‘slightly-dodgey-part-of-town’ district. Of course, a posse dress entirely in one colour does cause some stares and confusion – but all in all, good times and good fun!

…Now, to find some way to sneak into a celeb party for next week’s “Film Festival” would be an accomplishment. I won’t hold my breath on the possibility of sipping wine next to George Clooney or the like though. Oh well..

France: Patisserie

Walking in the cool Yorkdale mall here, looking for some non-tacky shoes to wear for this upcoming ‘White Only’ party, I felt hungry. Sure enough, I happen by a bakery in the mall – serving fresh baguettes, croissants with little tables squeezed in the area to eat your little sandwich and drink… and I remembered once more what I love and miss about France.

Walking in the shopping centre across from the Part-Dieu train station, I used to always get some fresh pastries and a sandwich on the way home from doing some shopping (french version? “Faire ses ‘courses'”). Once a week at least, I’d stop by.

la-patisserie-viennoise.jpg

When I would visit other french cities, like Bayeux up in Normandie or Avignon or even everytime I’d end up in Paris – there’s always a little bread and pastry shop down the corner that serves the freshest and best tasting food you’ve ever tasted (and for a good price!).

Ugh! That’s what I miss. That’s what brings me back. Toronto has it’s own charm, and so does Montreal of course (don’t even get me started on what I crave about London). That little shop in Lyon though brings me back to my home base in France and spirals out to all the little cities and towns I visited and peaks with Paris.

oK. Enough memory lane! New adventures just around the corner πŸ™‚

A+!

Bad Work Day

Started an hour earlier.

Got a flat tire when I was 2-hours outside of anywhere, in where I’d like to call ‘Nowheresville’. Finally get back to our own plant, turns out we had a problem and we stay 2-hours later and finish just before 19h00.

..but why so early? ‘Cause tomorrow morning, we’re starting even earlier and they feel with my Toronto address and 1-hour commute in the morning, I probably want to head home. That’s actually pretty nice of them. Of course, tomorrow we start at 6h30am, so I have to leave here an hour before. Yeah. Good times! So glad this is not the division of the company I’m in, and it’s only training. Don’t get me wrong, the guys and the team are awesome – just the hours are killer sometimes.

Hey, on the brighter side of things, could be worse right? Like this guy:

Ooo la la! Time to eat this take-out sushi and lie down before my alarm goes off.

A+

Soccer + PS3 + Swimming…

Yup. I’ve actually had time to do all of those today, for the first time. No homework, no groceries, no packing or unpacking or buying new furniture. I actually had time to come home from work, shower, relax, make supper, go play soccer, shower, swim, shower and now play a quick game on the PS3.

Sounds boring and lame to some, maybe. But it’s a nothing day and it’s very relaxing considering where I’ve come from this past year or two of planning and planning, etc. Aaaah… feels good!

Anywho, perhaps a quick snack and head out onto the balcony while the weather is still good. Enjoy the evening all,

A+

Williams-Sonoma: Cook-er-ama!

oK, have you ever seen the stuff at this place? ( www.williams-sonoma.com )

There’s one in the main mall about a 15min drive from my place, and while the stuff is a tad expensive, it is quality – and get this, they offer a free cooking class every Sunday morning. Hazaah! I’m in.

Heck, even if it’s basic, extra info couldn’t help. Slowly, I’m getting the pieces needed to live and eat comfortably. Who would’ve thought, from the Kraft Dinner and ‘fried eggs and toast’ only skills to something else?

…I know, it scares me too sometimes πŸ™‚

The Pot