The Mediocre Flood | Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Dear Eastern Townships,

I like you. - I really do. We've been together for nearly a year now. Sure, we've had our ups and downs. You might not be the best cook I've ever met. You send raccons rummaging through my trash. You don't like it when I roar around on my motorcycle - truth be told, I think you actively tried to murder me a couple of times.

All that stuff, though? It don't matter. I'll stick with you. Your rolling hills, your honest disposition, your no-bullshit approach to cheese curds... they've won me over.

But we've seriously got to talk about your mood swing. In the year since I've been with you, you've thrown countless cold spells at me, went through the worst ice storm I've lived in two decades, and now - in April - a pleasant combination of flash foods and flash freezing. I'll admit that walking on thin ice only to have it give way over two feet of water is breathtaking, but not in the way I want it to be. This time last year, in Montreal, I'd already been riding my bike for a month. I mean, it's April 16th today, and you've frozen over my entire flooded town like it were the endtimes. That' ain't no way to treat a good man.

Please, just try and work on these tiny little things, and I promise we'll be stronger than ever.

Con cariño,

Esteban


Language and Behavior | Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

An excellent explanation on some of the very real effects of speaking a futureless vs a futured language:

I speak English, French and Spanish - all futured languages. No wonder I can't make a long-term decision to save my life. Time to learn Finnish, perhaps.


Here we go again... again? | Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

An outdated Drupal install, a pool of spam comments, and not a peep in months. Lots has happened between then and now. I'll do some sweeping and start posting again soon, I think. 


Bike for sale | Monday, April 15th, 2013

(I hereby promise that this will be the last automotive/motorcycle-related post for a while)... 

So, I'm selling my wicked touring bike. This is the motorcycle I rode on my 12000+KM trip through Canada and the U.S. last fall; a 2005 Victory Kingpin.

Details copy-pasted from my Kijiji ad after the jump.


Great Big Rocks | Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Late last night, as I was driving back to my new apartment from yet another boardgame nerdfest, there was a large foreign object jus' chillin' rite thurr, in the middle of my lane. At first I thought it was just a snowball, but as I got closer, I soon realized that it was actually a near-bowling-ball-sized chunk of rock. I couldn't maneuver around it into the next lane because there was a white Mazda 3 with an "ARMENIAN PRIDE" sticker on the bumper, windows down, playing loud Armenian music, with two young, cute but overly made-up (make-upped?) dark haired girls - presumably Armenian - talking on their cell phones, completely oblivious to my plight. So, I decided to slow down as much as I could, and swerve away from it as far as possible without careening headfirst into the Armenian rave party happening in the next vehicle.


A Third Saab | Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

My dad was, in most ways, a creature of habit. In his later years he took some chances and let himself explore outside of his comfort zone a little more, taking up swing dancing, travelling more, making new friends, and trying new foods. It was only later in life that he'd let me start taking him for lunch, settling on an amazing little Indian restaurant in Laval as our go-to lunch place. Growing up, on the rare occasions we'd head out to restaurants, I always knew what the choices were: Bill Wong's [RIP], Harvey's or, on a really special occasion, Le Biftèque. On Sundays, after church, we'd all head over to the Montreal Pool Room on St-Laurent - comfortably nestled between a shady army surplus shop with blacked-out windows and a busy all-day strip club [sans blacked-out windows] - and impatiently wait in the car while my dad went inside to purchase hot dogs, fries and soda. He'd return with a big carton of the stuff, and my sisters, parents and I would sit in the Chevy Impala / Buick Century / Buick Century / Buick Century, parked right there on St-Laurent in the sweltering Sunday afternoon sun, eating greasy fries and steamed hotdogs, doing our best not to squirt ketchup or drop onion chunks onto the brown / burgundy / grey velour seats. After stuffing our faces with unredeemingly unhealthy junk food, we'd head up to St-Viateur Bagel to get a dozen (or two) freshly-baked bagels. Today, fresh Montreal bagels are at the top of my favourite foods list, but back in those days, the combination of the aforementioned greasy fast food and the raging sea-sickness induced by the yacht-like ride in my dad's car left me with a distaste for those fresh, warm, delicious bagels. Of course, the next morning, I would beg for them for breakfast.


Really home | Thursday, February 7th, 2013

"Hey, Chris, isn't that your dog?" asked the scruffy-looking guy to his even scruffier-looking friend.
His friends' gaze turned away from his grilling chicken breasts and towards me and Ryu. "No, wait... well, one second now... hey hold up man, where'd you get that dog? Is that my dog?"
"Nah man," I replied, gripping Ryu's leash tighter as I sensed him sensing my apprehension, "this ain't your dog."
"Chris, I think that's your dog, man." The less-scruffy dude started to approach us.
"Listen, guys, I can assure you that this is not your dog," I replied, my tone growing deeper. "He will be more than happy to convince you himself if you get any closer." That, of course, was an outright lie. Ryu would sooner roll over onto his back and offer up his tummy for rubs than defend me from brigands.
"Nah nah, that's not my dog, let'em go Bryce." He turned to me as I continued to walk away; "Sorry man, it's just that I've got a dog just like that."

Of course you do. Two mean looking brothers dressed in parkas and running shoes, grilling their dinner at 8pm in the parking lot of the Extended Stay Hotel here in Fort Wayne, Indiana, have a dog that looks exactly like mine. I was tired after a good 10 hours of winter driving from Steven's Point, Wisconsin - 8 hours of meandering around the Great Lakes, through Chicago Traffic, and getting hoplessly lost in Fort Wayne in that Hemi Dodge Charger with nothing but quick pit-stops. I was exhausted, impatient, and my tolerance for bullshit was near its all-time low - and I was certainly not going to get jumped, scammed or mugged.

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