Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baseball All Over the Place

My Uncle Tony was down for the weekend. Caught a ride with a couple friends of his, worked out quite well. We went to look at a house for sale Friday night but couldn't see one whole floor so that wasn't very helpful. Then we BBQed some chicken, that was helpful, for my belly.

Saturday we had a softball tournament. I did not expect to do well but we won our first two games! Then we BBQed some hamburgers. I brought my BBQ out to the park, not too difficult to get there but it was a bit of a pain to get together. The grease all over it made it a bit of a challenge. I still have the grime under my finger nails, not really because I cut them but I would if I didn't cut them. These days I have to cut them often because if I don't it's hard to play the guitar. Often I'll find that my left hand has nice neat groomed finger nails and my right hand has claws of death. I don't need to cut the right hand nails to play guitar.

So we were 2-0, the BBQ is going, we got way too much food and a 2 and a half hour break before our first playoff game. We practice a bit, eat, drink, it was fun. Then is started to rain, a lot. The first playoff games made it through but we were playing in the second bout of games of the first round and the rain wasn't stopping so they called it. The make up tourney is next Saturday but we'll be in Perth! Kate was quite pissed, so much that as one of the coordinators was running through the rain she wished her to fall in a puddle.

We did manage to play without rain last night and we won handily. It may have been the first game I ever played where I didn't make at least one out. I did hit a solid ball to the gap with the Sizzler though.

Today I get to study for another French test. I think it's going to be a tough one. Crappy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

French Is Getting Harder

I only got an 82 on my latest exam although I did lose 4 marks because I misunderstood a question. Still I wouldn't have got all of those 4 marks. Today we learn the dreaded Passe Compose, but on the plus side we get to have pizza at work because it's office picture day. Yay. I mean barf.

I've also got 2 assignments due today, they're not hard or anything it's just that there's 2. Things are really ramping up. I think I'm getting the hang of most of it but speaking in French is still very hard. For one I have to think of each word so I'm the slowest talked ever. Small children get frustrated with me and have kicked me in the shin on three separate occasions. I also have to ask people to repeat themselves a lot. I think that if French speakers spoke French as slowly as they speak English I would understand a lot more. They have to think about English so they speak very slowly but when they flip to French to 'help' me they whip through a sentence blurring the words into one giant word. I probably do that with English much of the time although I do try to make an effort to speak slowly with people I know who are still learning English, these people are far more advanced than I am in French.

I do enjoy learning it, the rules, it's like a puzzle. But that ends on the page. Once a conversation starts it's no longer fun. Maybe I should just carry a tiny tableau around and write everything on it to communicate.

One of the guys at work told me about a French sports radio station so I'm going to start listening to that. There's a couple reasons for this other than that it's a sports radio station. When you're listening to the radio there are names and places and words that aren't French. Kate for example can't follow a hockey game in French because she doesn't know if Komisarek is a French word that she doesn't know or if it's a player. Or she may be confused if they start talking about Le Igloo, do they mean a real igloo or is that another French word she doesn't know. I of course will be able to listen to French sports radio and I'll hear the names of players or teams and be able to concentrate on the French. If I'm listening to CBC and they're talking about politics then I'm totally lost. So that's one good reason to listen to French sports. Another is that if I do start knowing what they're talking about I won't be bored out of my mind, unlike for example: politics, or Oprah like call in shows. How disappointing it would be to listen to a station for a couple months trying to figure out what they're talking about only to finally realize they're talking about how to make a man not want to have fun once he's married. Boo that, sports it is! AM 730 CKAC.

Saturday we have an all day softball tournament. As usual this year when it comes to softball they are calling for thundershowers all day. We're going to get a tarp setup and bring food and beer, I'm going to bring my BBQ. Should be fun, the softball part too should be fun too, I guess.

I gave blood yesterday, I have A positive blood which is the second most common in Canada so they probably need lots of it. Plus it's a good excuse to leave work early.

Yesterday I learned that 'mise au jeu' is French for faceoff.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Canada Day Was um Interesting

The day itself was a typical day off. We took our bikes out to see if we could find a new patio somewhere. It was a sunny day, good timing after all the rain we've had, including today's thundershower warning and 80% POP. It goes from snow to cold to cold to cold to snow and snow to slightly warmer to cold again, then spring hits and it's cold and snowy and when it finally gets warm it's endless rain. Everything is very green and it is pretty warm, close to 30. I'll be happy when it breaks 30 everyday and it's too hot even for clouds, that's real summer.

So we rode east on Mont Royal, great part of the city if you need a new carpet or dryer so we came back west on Marie-Anne, one street south of Mont Royal. There we found a place with a patio and what looked to be great food although we didn't order any. Our food plans had been made for the day already, BBQ chicken and a salad from our vegetable basket which we were to pick up two hours after we found the patio. So we sat on the patio for those two hours and watched the food other people ordered. We will have to go back to the place but as usual I have no idea what it was called. We come up with our own names for places, that one will be the Canada Day patio.

The night before we saw Stevie Wonder open up the Jazz festival. It was a free concert. They had big screens in various parking lots near that actual stage so there was plenty of room. The only problem was the losers that opened up their umbrellas because three drops of water hit them, the umbrellas of course blocked our view. A couple of more bold people politely asked the few with rain fear to get those f-ing umbrellas down. Then some punks started slam dancing in front of us and another older woman was dancing and moving into us to try to get away from the punks so we left. We saw most of the show and we were ready to leave anyway but why not blame punks for everything. Not punk music punks but jerk kid punks.

Stevie opened by going on and on about Michael Jackson, how everybody was out to get him and we should buy his music not the literature about his life, which is surely going to be full of speculation. I agree with him really. I don't know if Jackson was an evil person, a mentally unbalanced person, or just an unlucky person with false accusations against him. To tell you the truth I don't really care, he was what he was, someone who made possibly the most profound impact on music since Elvis. I'm not a huge fan of his music but I am certainly not a fan of caring about what celebrities do when they're not doing what they are famous for. So I won't buy any literature about the life of Michael Jackson Stevie, I doubt I'll buy any of his music either though. In fact I'll probably do my best to ignore the whole thing. Now I wonder where Mike Komisarek liked to eat in Montreal before he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, anyone know if he's single? Or does he have any quirks I should know about? I'll just read about it on all the hockey blogs I subscribe to.

So back to Canada Day and the interesting celebration in the old port. For one they call it celefete. Fete french for celebration, I think, something like that anyway so celefete is like a play on the two words, the second one I've been able to identify since moving here. The first is a Tim Hortons breakfast ad that says Timatin, matin is french for morning. I actually laughed at that one. So during the Canada Day party, I mean the celefete, they had a wall of water with images that were difficult to see on it. It looked kinda cool but not seeing the images clearly kinda ruined the effect. Later they would spray a mist into the air and shoot lasers through it, other than getting wet from the spray that part was pretty cool.

There were kids everywhere, it's 10 o'clock at night and the kids are everywhere, welcome to Canada! They also had a beer tent that didn't ask for ID and they let you wander anywhere with your beer, welcome to Montreal! I wonder how many drunk underage people were there. After laughing about the beer and the lights and the kids we stop to pay attention to the stage. They're playing You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC, then a girl comes out and sings My Humps to the AC/DC tune. Strange to play one sing and have someone sing another in the first place but My Humps? I'm looking at maybe a couple hundred children as a woman belts out "my humps, my humps, my lovely lady humps" I'm laughing and then a dude comes out and sings the next part of the song "what you gonna do with all that junk, all that junk inside your trunk." Now I'm concerned for the youth of our nation. I assume few of them spoke English so they probably didn't hear the lyrics anyway. It was good to see so many people excited for Canada Day though, it certainly wasn't the show that had them going.

We didn't stay long.

Yesterday I had another French test, I think I did well on it. I'll find out next week. I nailed the boot verb part and I conjugated pouvoir and devoir like I was a French rapper. No I don't understand that joke either.

The exercise has all but ceased, other than my chin ups and push ups and Kate's daily bike ride, another other occasional bike ride, and the 15 flights of stairs I walk up everyday. Now we're switching to eating less. We don't eat poorly, no chips or candy or anything, but boy I can eat a lot of cheese and pasta. So we're gonna try and cut back on some of that. Boo. The liquid bread probably don't help either.

We have a visitor this weekend and a poetry event tonight, Kate is not preforming but I'm sure it will be interesting anyway.