Monday, January 30, 2006

Why I Ottawa...

Saturday evening, fellow McGill Improv members Chris Dye, Noelle and myself ventured to Ottawa to see the Carlton Improv Association (CIA) perform. We couldn't have asked for better weather. It wasn't cold outside at all and the road were completely clear.

After picking up our ride in Westmount, we made it to Ottawa by 6:30. Chris brought us to Parliment and gave us a little tour around the area. It was pretty cool to see the parliment building looking brand spanking new, since the last time I was in Ottawa (5+ years) the roof was still green, not brown, and the building wasn't as shiny.

By 7:00 we moved on to Carton University. As we entered the campus area, we immediately got lost. The first person we asked for directions just cofused us more. After following her directions and ended up reaching the exit on the other side of the campus, we turned arounda nd asked for more directions. I'm pretty sure the second person we asked didn't know english because she just looked really confused and didn't say anything when we asked "Where is the University Center?". Finally we figured it out ourselves and found ourselves at Mike's the tiny bar where the troup was to perform.

The show itself was good. The team had a total of 11 players at the show. To even out how often a player performed, Noel, the president, actually had a list of who would play what. They played a few games that either McGill Improv don't play or play differently. Don't worry we took lots of notes and are compiling a folder of Carlton Secrets. Now we will truley be ready for them when we compete against them at the Improv Summit. Which reminds me:

Friday, February 3rd at 7pm in the Shatner Building at McGill (SSMU/Student Union building) there will be an IMPROV SUMMIT! What is an IMPROV SUMMIT you may ask? Well a Summit is the top of a mountain (boring) but an IMPROV summit is a competition involving several improv teams. Ths year there are 4 teams - Carlton, Princeton, UQAM and McGill. The teams compete against each other in rounds and the winner of each round is determined by YOU the audience (yes every single person who reads this blog MUST attend!)

Friday, January 27, 2006

More Fun Filled Riddles and Games!

Today during my creativity class, we spent the first half talking about the 3 characteristics of the creative personality. These are:
1. The opening to new experiments
2. The personal, internal source of evaluation
3. The aptitude to play with concepts both physical and abstract

We then discussed each point. We had a 20 minute discussion about things we can do to change our daily routine. Answers included changing type of clothes, listening to different and changing you partner.

Then, she drew on the board

and asked us what we saw. The class saw a house, an arrow, a knife, a boat, a wooden bridge and other things when looking at it in different orientations (sideways, upside down). What do YOU see?

Finally, after the break, she gave us more logic problems! Before I go into them, by request, let me recap one from last week. Starting with nine dots in this formation:

you have to intersect all nine points while drawing no more than 4 lines, without lifting your pencil. Try it a few times. I included the answer below.

New riddles this week were:
Taking 6 pencils (tooth pics, whatever), arrange them in a way so each pencil is touching the other 5 pencils at the same time.

What is an ancient invention used to see through walls?

Starting with 9 dots (0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0), rearrange place them in a way so you can make five line composed of 4 dots.

She ended the class with this riddle:
There is a family of with numerous sons and daughter. Each girl has as many brothers as sisters. Each boy has twice as many sisters than brothers. How many children are there and how many are male, female?

As promised, the answer for the above:

The point of that exercise was to "think outside the box"!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Things Are Starting To Pick Up

After another long day at school, things are really starting to roll.

In Basic Design, we had the whole class to finish up with our exercise notes. Basically, using the various Illustrator tools to make th esame shapes as in the notes. Although each are simple and easy to make, they are quite cool looking:

All the above were made using the square and elipse tools, scale tool and rotation and refelction tools.

In Edition I we conitnued with our learning of Quark Xpress. Last week I had to go home and come up with 4 alternative layouts of a sheet our prof handed out.The whole thing was composed of 2 text boxes and 2 images, therefore, there wasn't much room for change except swapping the positions of the items. Out of the 4 layouts, I had to pick one and actually make it on the computer. I spend probably half the class trying to make something smart looking but when I finally showed the prof, he told me he didn't like that I covered one of the pictures with text (which was actually what took me the longest to figure out - how to put text over a picture). That being said, I had not choice but to completely scrap that and start over. On top of that, I had pretty aweful colors. When I was trying to fix things up, I came up with a pretty wicked layout I hadn't of thought of and the prof showed me a cool trick and I pulled off a pretty damn aweseom layout, given what I had to work with. I can't post the image yet since it's saved in a different format but when I have it ready, it's coming up on here!

This week the computers were all upgraded to MAC OS X Tiger. So, in Computer Techniques, we went over how to work with it and use all it's shortcuts. We also learnt something pretty cool. I now know how to change the image for a particular folder. When I get the chance at school, all of mine are going to be characters!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I was checking out the other day and decided to try out another tutorial. This one being a step by step instruction on how to create a gear from scratch.
Here's what I got:

Monday, January 23, 2006

Selections and Masks

Today in Digital Image Processing, we had the suprise to show up to class with all the computers having OS X installed! In your face OS 9!

We spend all day going over the different ways to make selections in photoshop. Selections are important because this way you can alter just a portion of your whole image. Using the various selction tools, you can get all sorts of shapes and sizes of the desired selection. The different tools we went over were the Marquee Tools (rectangular, eliptical, horizontal line and vertical line), the Lasso Tool (which allows you to make a selection of any shape), The Polygonal Lasso Tool (which lets you get a more precice selectin then the plain Lasso Tool, and the magic wand (which selects a color and any color similar to the selected color, depending on the setting used), which is great to remove solid back grounds.

The really interesting thing I learnt today, which I was dying to learn properly, was the Quick Mask function. By turning on this tool, you can then use a brush tool to remove or add more of the mask, thus geting a more precice selection to your liking.

Once I have these skills mastered, I'll be able to cut heads off of bodies and put them on other bodies more easily!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Fun-filled Fun!

As opposed to yesturday's very un-fun class, today's class was super awesome!
In my second Creativity class, we were asked to bring a giant pad of newspaper print. We were then asked to take a pencil and split it into 8 boxes. Then the prof said to draw whatever we wanted in box one. 5 minutes later she tells us to finish up and pass it to the person to our right. Then they had to draw something in box 2 and et a story going. After 5 minutes, we had to pass it on again, and so on. Six boxes later, the whole story was complete. Some made sense and some didn't. My favorite being about a horse:
Box 1 - Horse (head only)
Box 2 - Horse is in a fenced area
Box 3 - Broken fence, no horse
Box 4 - More broken fence and still no horse (the artist of box 4 must have had no ideas)
Box 5 - Pick up truck with Horse in the back on its way to a glue factory (my contribution)
Box 6 - Girl making a collage poster using glue
Box 7 - Poster is the center of attention at a party with other girls... and the horse!
Box 8 - They all boogie down!

We had to do the exercise again but this time we had about 1-2 minutes per bx and by the 4th box we had to add a conflict, then solve it and have 2 alternate endings. One story involved someone wind surfing but then gets eaten by a whale. Ending # 1 involved the person getting blown out if the whale's blow hole and was therefore free. I ended up having to come up with ending #2 which involved the wind surfer, still in the whale, finding Pinnochio.

After our break, we then proceeded the second half of the class doing logic games. The first one being you start with 9 dots in a square formation:
0 0 0

0 0 0

0 0 0

Now, without lifting your pencil, you have to run over all 9 dots making only 4 lines. I got it fairly quick but that was because I had done it a long time ago and the trick came back to me.

Another mind question was you have 6 glasses in a row. The first 3 are full, the last 3 are empty: F F F E E E
With moving only 1 glass, how do you make it so the line is alternating (fulle, empty, full, etc.)

Finally, our last challenge was:
If it takes 6 men 6 days to dig 6 holes, how long would it take 1 man to dig a half hole?

(If anyone wants the answers just let me know)

That concluded our class! Just fun and games! No theory, no homework! It was awesome!

Horribly Horrible

Today was the worst class experience I had yet. The course for today was entitled Graphic Design. We're going to be learning all about the processes used to create a graphic design element from client to printing press. Also the basic guidlines used ingraphic design, etc. Unfortunately, the Super Awesome prof who normally teaches this (according to several people I've spoken to who already tok the course) broke her leg a week before classes started. Her replacement came in today for the first class of the semester being last week, class was cancelled. I was so lost you couln't have brought me back on track with a map, a compass and rope to pull along! He seems like a vey enthusiastic professor ready to make sure that the students really excel in school and he's definitely has a master feel on the subject. The only problems are:

1. He doesn't speak english very well. I have nothing wrong with that. We are in fact in a french province but on several occasions when he got lost in what he was saying because he couldn't remember the words, he dropped the subject all together, even in the middle.

2. He loves the subject so much he kept going off in tangents like a blind man driving a car. It's understandable except he did it with such smoothness, we had no idea that he switch topics until he was done talking and then realized we were way off from where we started.

We had an assignment to do for next class. It involves the golden rule, which is a mathematical discovery of where things are placed naturally to catch people's eyes. It took him almost an hour to explain that all we had to do was make a rectangle with a specific contour of margins.

I totally understand that things will get better in the class once we start doing more hands-on stuff, but to ensure everythign is kosher, I went with Erica (girl in my class) to see the Director of the program and just make him aware of the fact that no one paid attention in class. He noted it and said he'd speak to the prof. On the way out, another guy from our class was waiting to talk to the Director about the exact same thing.

Hopefully next week will be a lot easier to follow.

Thats my too cents.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wednesdays are a BIG one!

So today I have finally had my first full day of classes. I had 3 in a row. The first one was 4 hours and the others were 3 hours each. My total time at school today spanned from 8am until 6:30pm. It was, however, a very packed day of learning.

My first class, basic design, was spent the whole time in front a computer. The prof gave us a handout and we had to follow the steps to learn some basic tools in Illustrator. The goal of the projects was to get used to how things work by making 4 different kind of fish using basic shapes. Here's the result:

(I added FISHBONE myself. Doesn't it look like the logo?)

Once that was done I moved on to the next project which involved manipulating squares and circles. I got as far as the first part which resulted in:

(Slinky, Slinky, Everyone wants a SLINKY!)

So far my teacher says I"m doing a very good job in class and I"m working at a good pace (OH YEAH!).

My second course was Edition I. This is the first class i had in the subject because the original prof broke her leg and they school had to figure out who would be the replacement. Basically, this class is all about learning the electronic layout program, Quark Xpress. It seems pretty simple. You use it to place text and pictures in the way that you'd like it to look when you print. It's what you would use to make a poster, magazine, etc. The prof handed us a sheet of shortcuts that we need to memorize to help us use the program more effeciently. Afterwards, he made us use the program to REPRODUCE the same layout online, which I though was quite clever. My homework for this class is to design 4 different layouts using the same elements. There's not much I can really do but I'm hoping I'll figure out something creative.

Finally, we ended the day with Computer Techniques. I had to fill out a tiny quiz to show my knowledge of computers. Questions included "Describe what is meant by Hardware?" "What is the difference between RAM and Hardware memory?" "Describe upload and downlaod.",etc. I was able to answer maybe 80% of the quiz and probably 50% of the 80% confidently, haha. The prof then introduced the concept of file and folder organization. My assignment for next week is to download a bunch of files from a specific site and arrange them in proper folders. Sounds as hard as counting to 1.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Bling Bling

Today I've been TOTALLY exhausted. I slept on the whole bus ride to school, the whole bus ride home from school and then fell asleep at the kitchen table while studying my notes... and I'm STILL tired! I think it may have to be from the weekend. Saturday night I spent a whole day with my improv bunch. I ended up going to bed at 3am. I didn't care at the time for, even though I had work the next day, it was only a 4 hour shift from 10am until 2pm. Wrong. I misread my schedule and my shift was in fact from 10am until 7pm, with my break at 2pm! Let's just say it was a lot longer a day then I had expected. Also, my boss decided it'd be fun to throw me in the fitting room section all day. It was my first time working there. I was actually suprised since it wasn't that bad. I got to just hang out a bit and chat with the other people working in 'the fits' as we call it. I basically spent the whole day opening up doors with a key. There's a good trait to stick on my resume. Skills - great customer service, knowledge of cash register, experience door unlocker...

Today at my Digital Image Processing class, we did a quick recap on the difference between pixels and vectors. We talked about resolution and it's importance with Photoshop. We also reviewed the different color modes: Gray Scale, RGB, CMYK, etc. The new material we dabbed into were the different types of files you can save your work under. these included PDS, TIFF, EPS, GIF and JPEG formats. It was quite interesting since I didn't know what made them so different and what advantages one format has over the other.

Everything was going great until we were asked to follow by doin gth esteps on the computer. While I wa doing my stuff, I missed a step and everything just collided. I was totally lost and we were just doing really simple things. However, due to that tiny mistake, I was behind on an offbeat. When the prof was saying "OK now close file A and open File B" I would have JUST opened file A. I kept asking Amelie, this girl in my class, where we were and eventually I got the common "Is everything OK Josh? If you have any problems just ask me rather then disturb your neighbour and the class" by my prof. *Sigh* Hopefully I won't be as tired on Wednesday when I have my next class.

On a different note,I've been checking out that site a lot. I find it's not a very good site in terms of structure since the tutorials don't really teach you how to use photoshop. Rather, it just shows how to do some realy cool things using photoshop. I browsed through a bunch of stuff and came accross a tutorial showing how to make a font that looks like it's diamond encrusted or 'bling bling'. Although I"m not quite at the stage to be able to reproduce the steps without consulting the original tutorial, here is what I came up with by following each step systematicaly:

Also, according to today marks Trogdor's 3rd birthday. In tribute, the creators compiled a really cool montage of all things Trogdor. Check it out HERE!

Friday, January 13, 2006


The class I had today was Creativity. It's the only one of my classes that is not in a windowless room with a computer. Couldn't have a picked a better day seeing that it's like SPRING OUTSIDE! (WTF is going on? I didn't know there were 6 seasons - Fall, Winter 1, Spring 1, Winter 2, Spring 2 and Summer...)

In this class we're going to be learning several ways of thinking and try to really push our imagination. The required materials include paper, markers, glue, scissors, exacto knives, paints and even clay. We have a project half way through where we design a hat (or something, didn't realy go into much detail). On top of that I have to keep an Inspiration Journal. She wants us to put inside it any creative ideas I get and include what inspired me - a photo, a color, a movie, etc. Her book had a bunch of paper samples, some stamps, a few drawings she did, and even a balloon.

I have no idea how my book will turn out but only time wil tell.

Two Down, 3 More To Go

After a day off from school already (I have no class on tuesdays) I was back at Interdec on wednesday which will be my busiest day in the future. I'm supposed to have 3 classes in a row from 8am to 6:30pm with a 30 minute break between the first two, but the teacher for the middle class broke her leg so it was cancelled this week.

My first class was Basic Design. It's an intro to design techniques using Illustrator. I think it's going to be a wicked class because it's using a lot of the computer. For the first class, we just went over some basic stuff that I already knew from learning on my own. However, I got to learn a few shortcuts which will prove very usefull in the future. Eventually we'll be doing cool projects including making up logos as well as wicked patterns. I can't wait.

The second class I had yesturday was Computer Techniques. Although not as exciting as the others so far, it will be a very interesting class. Basicaly, it's learning all the theory about a computer. What is inside a computer, how to arrange folders, understand the operating system (OS 9 and OS 10 for us since we're learning on Apples), etc. We started with internet connections and whats the difference between a router and a hub. Thats abotu all we got to do before we left. Although the class is 3 hours long, the reason we didnt' get very far was because our teacher went on for about 2 hours about how tough the course will be. He said we'll be eating, drinking, breathing and swimming in Graphic Design. If we have a girlfriend or boyfriend, we won't anymore because we'll never be seeing them. So if one day I just disappear, know that I am still alive! I will be using this blog as a communication device to the world.

A cool thing at the end of that class, though, was that the prof told us we should do at least 2 to 3 tutorials a week to learn a lot of different tricks and techniques. He recommended I check out I checked it out and it is really cool.

Monday, January 09, 2006

First Day of Classes

So it's official, I have returned to school. On friday I attended an orientation for my course. We were basically given the run down of how things work at the school. They want us to work hard and to ensure we keep our place, for every class I am absent from, I will lose 3% off my final mark for that course. Also if I am given back a mark I don't agree with I'm allowed to ask for a reevalutaion. After the reevaluation, if my mark does get changed to something better then everything is cool. However, if my mark does not get changed for valid reasons then I have to pay 10$! If I'm STILL not happy I can APPEAL the mark but fi I'm wrong this time, it's 50$! Hardcore...
After the few speeches, we did a tour around the building. I was given an agenda and I had my ID card photo taken. I was given a locker (#1234 oh yeah!) and an access card to the computer rooms.

Today I had my first class - Digital Image Processing. Also known as Photoshop level 1, it's the first of three photoshop courses. I was given a course outline and although its a lot of theory, our future assignemnts look like they will be a lot of fun. Today I just learnt a bit of basic theory. Mostly what's the difference between pixels and vectors as well as the different color modes that exist (grayscale, RGD, CMYK, etc.)

I have five other classes this week as well but I'm not sure what they are for my schedule was printed in french and some of the words are cut off. I can't wait to see what they are. Unfortunately, the teacher of two of two of the classes, broke her leg so she's otu of commision for 2 months. In the meantime, the classes are cancelled this week until they figure something out for next week.

On the bright side I'm still at Old Navy and have sealed the deal to work there at elast 15 hours a week.

Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the Improv shows that are happening on Tuesday at 4:30 at Gerts in the Shatner Building (just incase you were wondering...) BUT GO WATCH THEM ANYWAYS!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Deux Fois du Comedy

The Following is a Paid Advertisement:

For all you comedy lovers, my good friends Without Annette will be performing Not ONE!..Not TWO!.. BUT THR...No WAIT, they ARE only performing two... TWO SHOWS THIS WEEKEND! The first show is on Friday at 10:30pm at the very famous Comedy Nest locate don the third floor of the AMC/Pepsi Forum. The second show is on Saturday at 11pm at the ALSO very famous Theatre Ste. Catherine on, you guest it, Ste. Catherine street.

I've seen these guys before and I can tell you all you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year 2006!

It's another New Year fresh out of the oven! Many changes are to be expected. My work routine at Old Navy is slowly coming to an end and my return to the educational system will commence. With those changes, my blog will be affected as well. I'm hoping to continue to write about my day to day adventures that you all love to read about (yes you do! You just don't know it yet...) but I'm also hoping to keep a log on my progression through my time at Interdec College. That being said, I decided the new content should also have a new look (I got tired of staring at the same colors for the past 2 years).

This year, my New Years Eve celebration was actually a lot of fun. The night started at Radio with a few friends. It was PACKED and had really good music. By midnight I had already lost my voice. By 1am, Nadine and I decided it was time to leave and Shing accompagnied us out the door. We were on our way to a house party close by. Just as we're nearing the place I bumped into a few guys a knew from high school (havn't seen them in almost 8 years). Next thing I know it I'm at another party with a whole bunch of people I knew from high school, which coincidentally was next door to the original party I was headed to. As soon as I walked in with Nadine, my buddies Mike and Alex come up to us and start chatting. Afterwars, while sitting down, they corner me and start interrogation me about my status with her:

Them - "So, how long has it been?"
Me - "How long has what been?"
Them - "How long has IT been?"
Me - "What...?"
Them - "IT! How LONG has IT been!!??"

After what felt like 10 more minutes of that, I finally realized they meant how long have I been dating Nadine, with the answer being negative infinity, since we're just friends. Apperently they went up to her and did the same thing, possibly thinking she had a different answer. That STILL wasn't good enough and they tried (and failed) to get us to kiss for a photo.

Following my brief high school reunion, I ended up at this guy Mike Bashalder's party. He conviniently lives above where Le Swimming used to be. It was a giant loft filled with people. After polishing off a bottle of vodka (which I hid in the dishwasher) I was totally wired for the rest of the night.

I stayed up chatting with people until 5:30am and decided to call it quits. I cabbed it home (40$) and crash-and-burned in bed. I slept about 6 hours and just was wide awake. The only strrange thing is that I woke up with pain on my lower hips. I have NO idea what could have caused it. I do remember knocking my butt with Nadine's on the dance floor but I highly doubt her buns are made of that much steel.

To view pictures showing how crazy a night I had, click HERE! Jealousy can commence....
............ NOW!