Sunday, November 25, 2007

Everybody Has Aids

Well, since over the weekend two people mentioned to me that thay still read my blog it has inspired me to write a few (hopefully not too long) posts.

First I'd like to start with what I did LAST Saturday. My brother convinced me to go see this band called Me, Mom and Morgentaler. The story goes that in the late 80's at a Marianopolis College variety show, a bunch of people got together (about 10) and formed a band. The name Morgentaler is reference to Dr. Henry Morgentaler a controversial abortionist from the 1970's.

The band made one record - Shiva Space Machine. They put on many amazing shows (as quoted from my brother) but never made it big and eventually broke up in 1994. In 1999 they reunited for a show and that was the end of them.

Now, 20 years after the release of their only album, they decided to reunite for the last time and re-release their album. Originally, they had 2 show dates but it sold out so quickly they put on 2 more. I saw them on their third night.

I only had listened to a few songs earlier in the week and hardly had time to really get into them, but let me tell you, that concert ROCKED!! (unlike another concert I recently went to...)
These guys are all pushing 40 but had SO MUCH energy on stage. They all came out wearing white uniforms of all kinds (chef, tennis player, suits, etc.) and PIG MASKS. After the first song, the masks came off, but the expressions on their faces showed they were really having a good time.

Their music was very ska/punk-ish and a Mosh pit formed, which Lorne and I joined in by the end of the show. Lorne couldn't believe the number of young people who were there. He thought was pushing it, but there were 18 year olds floating about.

Halfway through one of their songs, the singer, Gus Van Go (who also manages The Stills) introduced the Funky Ass Soul Punches, which was when all the members played a note at the same time. Then they beat their record with 182 Funky Ass Soul Punches!

During the encore, Gus jumped into the crowd and walked to the center and told everyone to sit down and relax while he sprawled across the floor and started talking to us. I was amazed how everyone listened and were just chilling.

Finally, when the show ended, Gus told the audience he wanted to greet people at the front and BODY SURFED his was to the front of the venue.

Lorne and I left with bouncing energy and a copy of their CD which I enjoy quite a lot.

UPDATE: I just found a clip of the smae show I went to on youtube:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Budman Update

I lost track if anyone reads this blog. I guess I've also lost interest in writing on here. I'm usually writing about things I've been doing which aren't always that exciting. I"m not saying my life is boring, just that I've got into a routine:
I work Monday to Friday, 8:30 - 4:30.
I joined a floor hockey league and attend games every Wednesday. I'm doing pretty good actually and have scored at least one goal per game except one.
Weekends I pretty much spend with Aurit or my family.

This past week, although wasn't really too bad, just felt like ass. Bad, sweaty ass.

I'm been tired every day this week. I haven't sleep well for some reason. Some afternoons at work were brutal. I'd be at the computer and my eyes would feel so heavy. I had to work on something and new mistakes kept appearing. I finally finalized the thing but at the very last minute. At least I got it all out of the way to enjoy the weekend. Unfortunately, my boss told me of a little project he'd like me to tackle that is due Monday night or Tuesday morning. I can tell right now I won't be able to do it all in one day, so if I want to impress my coworkers I should move my ass and work a little this weekend. Oh how I was looking forward to relax...

Well at least tomorrow should be a nice relaxing day. I got McGill Improv workshop and at night I"m seeing this band Me, Mom and Morgentaler with my brother Lorne. I don't really know their music but they have been getting a lot of buzz for their reunion and re-release of their only album.

THis will make it my second concert of the week, the first one being BON JOVI.

I'm sorry, I will admit I like a few of his older songs and big hits, but i"m just not a huge Bon Jovi fan. For some reason some people just can't understand why. They put on a good show but I just wasn't loving it. On the other hand Aurit (and 10 billion other women) were just screaming their heads off. I've never seen such a reaction from a man in his 40's shaking his hips.

Ok I've had enough of the waking world for tonight. I must delve in to a deep sleep in my warm bed or it may happen here before this cold, cold computer.

Budman out.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Improv Summit Ottawa Edition

Last night marked the first edition of the Carlton Improv Association (CIA) Improv Summit in Ottawa.

Having participated in several summits hosted by McGill as well as one last year in Toronto, I was delighted to fight out that the McGill Improv team were interested in participating in Ottawa's competition.

This year has been a turning point for McGill Improv because of the great turnout of new members. over the past years, more and more members were leaving and not many new members were staying. At one point we had more alumni than actual students in the club. Last year, even though I had already graduated from McGill for 3 years, was still performing in the shows. However, this year a bunch of new people with some experience have joined our ranks and after only a few workshops and no real shows, decided to band together and tackle a summit! I was excited to, for the first time, watch as a bystander, the fury that McGill had to offer.

Overall the night was a success and I had a lot of fun (as the rest of the audience did) but I felt some things could have been better.

*DISCLAIMER: I had a fun time at the summit but have some feelings on the way things were run. In the following paragraphs, what i write is by in no means supposed to offend anyone. In the end I hope that whoever reads this can benefit from it for future events. If any CIA members read this, I love you guys and know that I myself couldn't have done a better job so please don't take my rant too personally.*


We were 2 cars, 10 people - 7 performers and 3 supporters. 5 of us were supposed to stay overnight while the other car was to head home after the show/after party.
We left after lunch that followed our weekly Saturday workshop and arrived in Ottawa around 6:30pm. The show was to start at 7:30pm so we had plenty of time to settle in and for the performers to warm up for the show.

My buddy Owen, a former member of CIA had come to watch and it was really good to see him. I felt really bad when I had found out he had planned a whole night ahead for me to accompany him to a mutual friends birthday party but had to decline since i came into town with a bunch of friends and felt awkward ditching them. Owen, you're still welcomed to Montreal anytime!

It turned out one of the teams dropped out last minute so the competitors ended up just being McGill, Toronto and CIA.

The show was being held in a room in a residence building which brought a large size of an audience (~50) which was slightly full for the size of the room.

7:30pm came along, the room packed and one of CIA's members, came on as the host. The format of the night was for each team to perform a 30 minute set and at the end the audience voted, ranking the teams from 3 to 1 (1 being the best). The order of performance was McGill, Toronto and CIA.

I've been to more than one summit and other kind of organized events and know from watching that the job of a host is to warm up the audience and get them excited for what they are about to watch. I didn't feel that at all with our host. After a quick introduction, she introduced the first team. Everyone cheered!... and then waited. McGill was warming up and no one got them to tell them the show had started.

After a few minutes of silence, McGill Improv came on full of energy with large thanks to Jeremy. He then transferred his energy to the audience by doing typical warm up/introduction bits like "on the count of three yell out a biblical name!".

During the set (and all the other teams sets) there were lots of laughs. Because there were no mikes, the players had to pause between laughs or else no one could hear them. I am not sure if this is always the case or because the room was small and the crowd was big, that the players had to do this.

McGill did a bunch of interesting games and ended on freeze. Things were going really well during freeze until all of a sudden the host yelled freeze, totally confusing everyone, came on stage and said that their set was over... I felt that McGill should have a had a better time warning so they could concluded their set properly.

I felt McGill did a good set and got a lot of laughs but after speaking to a member of the team, she was a bit disappointed stating that the scenes weren't so developed and that a lot of the laughs were due to cheap gags. That may have been true but after watching the entire show, I can say that the crowd was one that really liked cheap gags and sexual humor. There were no real great scenes that really stood out from the rest. However, going back to McGill, for a team who performed a show for the first time with those members, I thought they did a pretty damn good job. I'm sure they will learn to grow better with every next show they do.


After a 5 minute break, it was Toronto's turn. Toronto only had TWO guys. They decided to do ONE single long scene for 30 minutes. Now don't get me wrong, I laughed a lot and thought it quite amusing but also felt it was totally unprofessional what they did. It was basically the two of them just fucking around on stage. It felt a lot like in movies when there is a scene between actors and the scene has no point to it except that it was fun for the actors (like in 40 Year Old Virgin when the 2 guys are doing the "You know how I know you're gay" bit).

The two guys came on and sort of explained what they were going to do and then just kind of joked with each other. One guy was drinking an Arizona Ice Tea caned drink throughout his entire scene and even the "all-star" scene that happened 30 minutes later. Throughout the whole show, CIA members were awarded audience members candy for suggestions. These guys came up and just started throwing candy everywhere like it was no body's business.

The scene they ended up doing was about a Canadian journalist who was doing a story on a Ukrainian boy at a summer camp. The whole scene had sexual innuendo, implying that the Canadian was a pedophile and that the Ukrainian boy, Uri, had no idea and loved the man. Uri wanted to go back to Canada with him but couldn't for the obvious reasons that pedophilia is illegal in Canada (and every else in the world). This basically went on for 20 minutes, until they started talking about a book the journalist could write about. While talking about this book, which was basically a recap of everything we had just seen, the actors were talking about how the book would end, implying how they themselves would end the scene. An actual quote was "Maybe we can do a flashback!", followed by a flash back scene. The ending was very clever but then CIA told them they still had TEN minutes left, so rather than ending there, the characters were back the "writing the book" scene and came up with a couple of other alternative endings. It was quite funny but I think I appreciated it more as a performer than other audience members would have and I doubt I could sit through that again.

After another 5 minute break, it was CIA's turn to shine. They did a good set as well using a bunch of games they stole from McGill from the many times they've watched them perform (haha - it's an ongoing joke McGill and Carlton have, even though it's true).

After everyone performed, it was time to vote. During the counting of the votes, there was a short set with 2 members from each team doing a questions only game.

The moment of truth finally came when Carlton counted the voted themselves (which probably should have been done by an outside party):
McGill came in 3rd place, followed by CIA and the winners, Toronto.
I don't think anyone on McGill Improv really cared for coming in 3rd since they had fun and got a good reaction from the crowd, but I was surprised when I heard that Toronto beat Carlton. You'd think Carton people would support their own team (the whole crowd was just Carlton students) and Toronto's set wasn't that much funnier.

After the show we discovered there wasn't really much happening except the performers going for a beer at a local bar so we decided not to stay the night. We went to the Barley Mow, had a couple of beers, chatted with other players and even had a small run in with suicide. Suicide chicken wings that is. One member of CIA ordered them, ate 3 of them and then let others try them. I put one in my mouth and before even being able to swallow my bite, my mouth was totally on fire.

By midnight we were on the rad heading back to Montreal.

I think with a better turn out in number of teams and a bit better organization of the actual event, the CIA summit could continue to grow better and better in the upcoming years.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween 2007 - Making of the Beaker costume

Since 2000 I became obsessed with making crazy Halloween costumes.
Those being:
2002 - The Incredible Hulk
2003 - A ghostbuster
2004 - Optimus Prime
2005 - Doctor Octopus
2006 - Cobra Commander
Past pictures of the above can be found in these links:
link 1
link 2

This year I out-did myself and decided to dress up as Beaker from The Muppets. I give 100% credit to IAN BARRET for suggesting that character as my costume for this year.

After spending a couple of weeks getting all the materials and a good few nights putting it together, here is the result:


I was so focused on building the damn thing I never organized any plans for the night! I almost didnt' have a party to go to, but in the end went to two house parties.

Every year I put together a cool costume but I never got a response as this year. I got a bunch of comments including:

"You are the most amazing costume maker int he world" - Andrew Ladd
"You are the king of Halloween Costumes" - Guong Le
"I think you're too old to be dressing up" - Josh's Mom

A lot of people asked if I had bought my costume. The answer is no, i made it completely by myself (with a little help from my mom - she sewed the nose).

Like all my past costumes, I got a lot of help and inspiration by looking online to see what others had done. So, I decided to share with the internet how I made MY costume:

My costume is made mostly of foam, cardboard, fabric and tape:

I started with a big square of foam I bought from Fabricville (a sewing supply warehouse).

I apologize for the lack of photos but basically I took a baseball cap and cut the visor part off. This was the base for my head support. I then took a cardboard box and cut a large squarish piece which I then folded many times to make it bend and wrapped it's base around the hat. After tapping everything in place, it basically looked like a one of those straight chef hats. This piece was then covered with a larger piece of foam (so it started at the top of the cardboard but extended pass my forehead all the way to my shoulders. The foam was then wrapped in pink fabric that I bough tand secured temporarily.

From here on I had a hard time figuring things out because i wasn't sure where to place stuff along the base and could see anything while wearing it. Most of it was done by "guestimation".

I moved onto the eyes and nose.

The eyes were basically two plastic decoration balls I found (for what purpose they are for I'll never know). Unfortunately, I found the hard way that they were two small in proportions to the rest of the mask. To fix this problem I wrapped them in foam and tapped the ends shut:




















For the nose I bought a piece of styrofoam:


and then wrapped that twice in foam to get the right size:
























I was starting to get somewhere:


With help from my mom (last years Cobra commander costume needed a LOT of sewing which my mom did - this year I just need help with the nose) I got the nose covered with orange stretchy fabric.

I attached the eyes and nose to the mask by basically cutting holes in the fabric/foam/cardboard and farcing the ends of the
nose/eyes through the holes. To keep them from falling out, my mom sewed the nose onto the foam/fabric and on top of that I had attached string to the ends of each piece which I then ran across through the mask and tied to the other end of the cardboard, like so:

Since I pretty much had once shot with everything, I didn't want to cut the string and tie it off yet so I lef tit lose and throughout the rest of the building process, the left eye kept popping out...

SO i had the eyes and nose done but needed a mouth. I took more cardboard and taped it onto the hat going downwards, below my forehead (this time only folding it around the front half of the hat). Then I cuta frown though the fabric, foam and cardboard and made it so it folded outwards:


Now I had somewhere to see!

I sewed some black fabric onto the eyes for pupils:


Now that I had an opening to see, I didn't want people to see my face, so I covered the hole with half black fabric and half mesh so I could still see:


As an added effect I took some fishing wire and attached it to the mouth so I was able to open it by just pulling on the wire:



















The last thing needed was hair. I cut the cardboard on to and folded it and the foam down and added a few stiches to close down the top:


For hair, I bought two bright red boas for Halloween:


They were mostly feathers but I couldn't figure out any other alternatives to making the hair the size I needed. I took the boas, wrapped them around the top and stitched it all over to keep it secure.

The final result:


The rest of my costume was basically a REALLY big blue shirt. I knew i"d never find a shirt with a 25 in collar so I took the biggest I could find and made my own collar. I had a tie and I wore a lab coat.

Beaker was ready for damage!

Monday, October 22, 2007

FIRE!

Last week at work, an alarm went off. It was the first time I heard such an alarm. It was basically a loud ringing noise followed by a recording saying that an alarm was activated and the situation is being looked at and that we should wait for further instructions. Following that alarm, another message came on shortly telling us to evacuate the building.

In the end it was just a drill.

Today, the alarm went off again. This time it was for real.

I was in my office and thought I smelled smoke. My first thought was "Oh yeah, I borrowed the glue gun from work. I better take it out of my bag". Then the alarm went off and I realized that I REALLY had smelled smoke.

My office didn't even wait for the evacuation message, we left during the investigation message.

Soon after, the rest of the building followed.

Turns out a dumpster on the main floor int eh back garage caught on fire. I'm guessing from a cigarette and the smoke just traveled to through the vents.


We're all okay and a=now it's back to work.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pop Montreal

Right now, Montreal is being flooded with all kinds of concerts in part of an annual event called Pop Montreal. I think the bands are usually more independent, underground types (someone correct me if I'm wrong), but I know they get some big names too (this year Patti Smith is in town).

My friend Sean runs a music blog called Said The Gramophone and was presenting 3 shows this year. One of them I attended last night. There were three bands: Yeasayer, Plants And Animals, and Grizzly Bear (they played in that order). Plants And Animals are a Montreal band while the other two are from Brooklyn.

I'm not very good abut explaining music, but I thought the show was really something. Before Sean even mentioned the show to me, I had never heard of any of the bands. The quick knowledge I got of them was from this link.

The show was at the Ukrainian Embassy located near Hutchison and Laurier. The place was pretty small. The inside was like a cheesy auditorium. There was a second floor balcony.

Overall the three bands were really good. I felt that the first and last band were more similar to each other than the second band, but each were unique in their own way.

Grizzly bear were really dynamic and in turn I decided to support them and by their acclaimed album Yellow House. I'm listening to it now and it's GREAT rainy day music.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday = Family Day

For some reason today, on such a beautiful fall day, happened to be spent completely with family.

The day started with my pop and I going for breakfast at Chez Cora's. Afterwards, we both wanted to do something but didn't know what that was. That something ended up being shopping because that's what we did. I was interested in buying more mature looking sweaters for work since I own about 7 hoodies and I figure I should look nice at work every once in a while.

I had a chance to visit Old Navy and got to see my former manager Craig, who I hadn't seen since i quite back in May. It was good to see him again.

I ended up at Sears where my dad and I bought matching sweaters (yes we're weird like that, but to quote Will Smith from Men in Black - "I make this look good"). I also got my own sweater for 50%, so yay me.

We had a quick coffee break and ended up back home. I had wanted to watch a movie this afternoon since the weather looked shitty when I woke up but when I returned home it was so nice, I convinced my mom that we should go outside and do something. She suggested we go to Mont Royal and walk around. My dad was tired so he stayed behind.

The mountain was pretty busy but really nice to be at. We parked the car at Beaver Lake and walked around. We walked around the lake and saw all kinds of animals. My mom pointed out a squirrel that was right near us. As I pulled out my camera to snap a photo, my mom tried to move out of the way but the squirrel started to chase after her instead. Luckily for my mom, an infant saw the squirrel and chased after it, thus saving my mother's life. Thanks little dude!

I didn't realize how close the lake was to the summit of the mountain, so after a 120 minute walk we ended up at the lookout. What a view!

I was a little disappointed that the leaves hadn't changed colors yet. At least this means I have a reason to come back again sometime soon.

After dinner, I ended up hanging out with yet another family member, my brother Mark. We played this pop culture trivia card game he got for his birthday from my other brother Lorne. The point of the game is to get 20 points to win. You get 1 point for every right question. I was being clobbered by Mark but ended up winning 20 to 19.

All in all I think I spent ore time with family today than I have in a really long time.

For those who have Facebook, you can find pictures of Mont Tremblant and other things I forgot to upload of things I did over the summer. So add me as a friend if you havn't already or join Facebook if you aren't a member. Get with the times people!

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm glad that's not me

The other day I ordered a bunch of custom labels from a company in the states. I've dealt with them before and aside from one major problem (I asked for white text and they sent me black text) they seem competent and my contact seems like a very nice person.

When I called this time, she was delighted to hear form me and assured that the job I had asked was a piece of cake and she took not of all the specifications I asked. One very important one, which i failed to ask the previous time, resulting in a last minute panic on my end, was to make sure the colored parts of the label had white in the background. the reason for this is because the labels are clear and if not "backed up by white" the color is too see through and is difficult to notice especially on a dark surface. She told me not to worry and that they can definitely provide me with what i want. I was informed I'd receive them today.

Low and behold they came in today! I excitingly opened them up and discovered that they were perfect!... except I soon found out there was no white behind the color. So I call up my contact and am put on hold for several minutes. The secretary finally tells me she can't find Ruth, then she says "wait, she just walked in". Our conversation went a little something like this:
"Hi Josh how are you!?"
"I am fine Ruth, I hope I"m not disturbing your lunch"
"No, not at all, I just have a CRISIS on my hands that I'm trying to fix"
"Oh.. well... I hope I'm not adding onto it but the labels arrived and you guys didn't do what i asked"
*Long amount of silence*
"Ya... I don't know why we didn't do what you asked... I'll get back to you on that.... Thanks"
*click*
Thankfully I'm not on a super deadline but this does push things back a bit...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Lost Post - Weekend at Tremblant

It's the Jewish High Holidays and since i had the day off work and not much is going on tonight, I wanted to update my blog and discovered this post I never posted.

Enjoy!

--

I'm still under "trial" at work so I'm not entitled to any vacation time at the moment. Instead, Aurit and I decided to spend the weekend together somewhere and under much recommendation, we were up north in Mont Tremblant Village this past weekend.

We left Friday evening and came back home Sunday evening. The weather was beautiful the whole time.

On Friday we arrived around 7pm and checked into the Homewood Suites by Hilton. Let me tell you the hotel was NICE! We stayed in the smallest least expensive room and it was still HUGE!


It came with a kitchen and even ha a balcony. From the balcony I was able to see the Gondola so we were pretty much on the top end of the village.

We checked in, ate home cooked grilled cheeses (made by yours truly) and then hit the town.


For a short while.

We were pretty tired.


Saturday was PACKED with things. We slept in until 9:30am and caught the free breakfast the hotel offered. Then we hopped on the gondola (with free passes given to us by the hotel) to the top of the mountain.

At the top, we got a great view of our surroundings. We then took a trail around the summit. It was a lot more fun then I had expected with parts of it going in and out of the woods. It was FREEZING on top and I was suffering since I had asked the cleaning lady at the hotel if I needed a sweater and she said no.

After our little tour, we went to watch a bird of prey show. It was great! They had an owl AND an owl! (That ones for you Chris Dye)











There were other cool birds to look at, as well, like a hawk and a bald eagle.

We headed back to the city and went looking around.


Aurit got a chance to go shopping and we decided to take a walk a bit out of the city to relax at the beach! NOt beiong prepared to go swimming (and the fact th ebeach was kind of dirty) we made our way to the hotel to get our bathing suits and went to the swimming pool complex (which we also had free passes to) and hit the hot tub. It was SO GOOD!



Afterwards, we went back to the room to eat and grabbed a couple of beers at this bar that was a micro brewer. We had spent a long day gallivanting and were exhausted.

On Sunday, we slept in, got free breakfast and checked out. We decided to spend the afternoon at this zip line/tree jungle gym called Acrobranche. Basically, it was an obstacle course between trees where you had to cross some sort of bridge in high up in the air to get between 2 trees. Along the way were zip lines that were super fun.



All in all the weekend was awesome!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Summer Update

I know it' sbeen a while since I've updated.
Long story short, i've had a wicked summer which involved a weekend getaway to Mont Tremblant. I've also been in Ottawa for a wedding. Now I"m in Toronto for an engagement party. Soon (hopefuly), I'll put up pictures and the like of thigns i"ve been up to.
For now I'll leave you with what my dad asked my uncle who was surfing the net on his computer:
"Tell, me Barry, is this internet thing accross Canada?"

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

Since my post this morning, it turns out i did have a very interesting birthday.
All day I knew it was my birthday, and co-workers were wishing me a happy birthday but I was really tired from the show and had a lot of thing son my mind that it didn't feel like any special day that was different from any other day.
Throughout the day I kept getting tons of happy birthday wishes from all kinds of friends (new and old) on Facebook which started to give me that feeling that today could be different.

Things really picked up after work.

I got home as my parents left to go out for a friend's dinner. Eventually Aurit came over with a cake box (which I couldn't open yet), a card and a present.
She ended up buying me The Game of LIFE - Simpsons Edition! It's pretty damn cool. We played it right away and she totally kicked my ass (She made 1,154,000$ while I had a measly 852,000$. Then my parents and my brother Lorne came home (they picked up Lorne from a baseball game) and we had cake, which happened to be chocolate cake with chocolate sprinkles and icing and cookies and more chocolate!



Everyone was right, this day was special.

Can't wait until Saturday night!

Happy Birthday Day To Me

Twenty Six years ago at 6:45am on this day, I was born.
Today's date, also being the age I turned, makes this years birthday a "Champagne" or "Golden" birthday. I.e. It's supposed to be a special one.

So far so good.

All of last night was spent was spent with the police. No I wasn't in trouble for breaking the law, for I was with THE Police!

Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland.

I didn't write "saw The Police" because it was quite difficult to see them from where I was sitting since the ticket I was given by my brother as a favor for helping him with his house/birthday gift was for the seat that was PHYSICALLY the furthest distance from the stage possible. I was in the last row of the blue (highest) section, directly opposite the stage at the other end of the stadium.

No matter, I had binoculars. Too bad the show sucked....

NOT!

It was FREAKING AWESOME! I sat with my sister in law, who was closer to my age when the police were popular the first time around, so she weas so into it. She kept making me get up and dance. I've been listenign to the compelte box set (Message in a Box) all week, so I recognized all of their songs minus one or to.

They opened with Message in a Bottle, followed by Synchronicity pt. 2, and Walking on the Moon. What a great start to a great show. I think they ended with Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, took a 5 minute break, came back and did Roxanne, So Lonely and Every Breath You Take. Then it was over....

Then they came back on AGAIN and finished it off with Next To You!

I woke up this morning EXHAUSTED but managed to sleep in an extra 20 minutes and somehow still ended up at work at the same time.

Then as I got to work, the elevator doors opened ontheir own before I could even push the button.

Hopefully the rest of my day will rock.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pranked!

Totally out of th eblue some chick called me and said "Mr Budman? Is your refrigerator working?". To which I replied "No, it's off and I'm sitting naked in it." Lots of laughter ensued from what I'm guessing were 3 or 4, 12 year old girls. Then they hung up.

Nice going guys!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Movie rental from hell

So about 3 weeks ago I rented the movie Night Watch. It's the movie based on the book of the same title which I happened to have read recently. The movie was horrible but I had a 7 day rental on it so I didn't rush to return it.

A few days ago I remembered that I rented a movie and never returned it... I recalled that I last saw it on our stairs and then on top of some books. I ask my mom if she returned it and she couldn't remember. I ask my dad and he had no idea what i was talking about.

Since both my parents couldn't remember if they returned my movie or not, I went to the video store and they confirmed I still had not returned it. Well at least I knew that it wasn't at the video store! So where the heck was it?

Books... movie... books... library...! The books were books my brother borrowed from the library that my mom was returning for him. To the library, in St. Laurent! I called them and I was right, my mom returned a VIDEOTRON DVD RENTAL to a LIBRARY.

So it wa at the library! NO! Turns out they decided to return it themselves, and they did, to the "Videotron video store in St. Laurent", as the person on the phone told me. I looked on line and there were TWELVE Videotron stores not too far from the library. I called the nearest one and they told me they didn't have it.

I called the Dollard store and told them my story. They said I could just go and pay them 6.99$ as if I bought the movie used and forget about returning it. Otherwise, my late fee was already at 8.99$.

I was going to just do that, but a couple of hours later, the St. Laurent store called me back and said they found it! Today I picked it up and returned it to the DDO store. The guy was nice and after hearing my long and complicated story only charge me 5$ instead of the 9.25$ it had accumulated to.

The moral of the story? Don't rent crappy movies.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Perils of Living in the Boonies

Last night I went to go see a kick ass show by an Australian band called The Cat Empire. I always have a hard time explaining what kind of music they are since they fuse all kinds of styles togther but I read in an article recently that they are jazz, funk, ska, latino if that makes any sense.

The show was at the metropolis and was 100% better than at the Bell Centre. I went with Dan whom I had met while looking for a job through JEM. He's a cool, very funny Jewish guy originally from Hudson. I guess you can say it was a man-date.
We were both pretty tired from the rest of the weekend so we both agreed on sitting on the second floor. We had a gret view of the stage and I got to rest my poor, weak, chicken legs.

The opener was a guy by the name of Jeremy Fisher. Although it was the first time I ever heard of him, I quite liked his music. He sounded like he could be Paul Simons and Bob Dylan's bastard child (and even looked a bit like Dylan). I think I'm goign to check out some of his music.

The Cat Empire came on shorlty after and kicked ASS! One thing they like to do it seems, is just go all out. You know how at shows, a band may go into crazy solos for their last song or in the encore? Well they did that at their 2nd song of the night! They repeated that formula throughotu their set.

Or th epart that I saw rather...

I completely didn't put together that Sunday night concert + work monday morning + living so far away= big trouble. Halfway through the show I started thinking and realized that I if I stayed until the end of the show (~11:00-11:30) Id get home by 12:45am! so I left at 13:30 and got home at 11:45pm and hoped into bed at 12:20am.

Surpisingly enough when I woke up this morning I wasn't too exhausted, just regular exhausted.

AUGH!

My current task at work is to spray paint some clear bottles to a shiney metallic blue.
The process involves:
1. spray painting the clear plastic wih a gray primer
2. Spray painting the primer with the metallic blue paint
3. Sparaying the paint with a shiny gloss

Simple enough, right?

Wrong.

The gray primer was super easy to apply. The blue paint was a bit more difficult (different brand we got) but still manageable, except that I screwed up a spot on one and had to rub apiece away and reprime it. The lastley, just adding the gloss. Howvere, nowhere does it say that the gloss EATS AWAY at the paint! At least, as far as I can tell, while the gloss is still wet, the paint easily comes off, because I accidently dropped on of the tubes and the paint completely smeared off. On top of that the last tube I did, as soon as I put it down, I accidently just nicked a tiny part with my finger.

The whole painting process takes 5 minutes but I have to give 2 hours to dry. Now I have to redo a couple of tubes and I still have at least 6 more to do. The worst thing of it all is that my "studio" is a huge carboard box that I placed in the hallway. I was told by my boss to go do it there, yet everyone else keeps telling me it smells too much ad that I better be careful or the president of the company (who is on vacation for a week, thank god) will kill me if he sees even a spec of paint on the carpet or wall. I'm too young and sexy to die.

AUGH!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Budman meets the White Stripes

Friday night I went with Ian to go see the White Stripes perform at The Bell Center. The performance itself was phenomenal. I had tickets for the floor which was a standing area. We managed to get all the way to the front, so I had a great view of both Jack and Meg white. Their aesthetics were truly mind blowing. I've heard that Jack White strictly makes them wear only red, white or black but this was ridiculous! There was a giant red back drop, all the speaker boxes and organs were red. Jack's guitars were red and white. They wore red shirts and pants. All the mic stands were either red with a microphone that had a white wire or vice versa. All the crew members wore black suits with black ties and bowler or pimp hats with red feathers in them. The strobe lights were even red! There was also a platform behind the band with 3 staircases that when Jack walked along, white smoke would rise behind his foot steps.

As for the music, it was kick ass. They opened the show with Blue Orchid and ended the show with Seven Nation Army. They played equally as many songs from Elephant as they did from their new album, Icky Thump. They even teased us a bit by playing riffs from some songs but never playing the actual song, instead leading into a different song altogether.

The only down fall of the show were a bunch of guys totally off their rocker on drugs. They were really pushing people, screaming in people's ears, forsing others to let them body surf (which is prohibited), and totally screaming absurd things (like "Meg White is the such a hot bitch!". I like their music, but Meg White is not really that good looking...). After all that, the security guards didn't do anything at all. All they did was stare at them and give them false warnings. I'm never going to watch a concert at teh Bell center on the floor again.

I left with a smile on myfae though because I bought a kick ass White Stripes shirt! It's a picture of a skeleton ribs and a heat (as if it were my own) completely made up of buttons.

More Drama

Wednesday I met up with Emilie. She is now in New York for the summer before she returns to Montreal for Law School at McGill in September. We spent the evening chatting over food and beers at Else's. First time I was there. It's a cool place I will admit. This was followed by a quick game of pool which I lost, this time legitimately (a.k.a by not scratching the 8 ball).

Emilie complained that I wasn't writing enough drama on my blog so here goes:
After pool, I left Emilie and headed to the metro. There I met 5 really hot chicks from Sweden looking for a nice tall jewish guy with curly hair and glasses who could be their tour guide for the night. Even though I'm dating someone and had to get up early for work, I couldn't say no to 5 hot Swedish chicks! So we hit up EVERY SINGLE bar on St. Laurent. by 2 am I was throwing up on EVERY SINGLE street corner on St. Laurent. On my way to the hot Swedish chicks' hotel, with 2 girls in each arm and one on my back, I bumped into Aurit on the street. She was not pleased and kicked me in the balls, right in front of the hot Swedish chicks. I wanted to apologize, but I was with 5 hot Swedish chicks! So I crawled my way to the hotel room where we had lots and lots of sex.

I hope that's enough (completely fabricated) drama for ya Emilie!

Have a good tiem in New York City!

So How Is Work Going?

Every one wants to know how things are going at my job. Short answer:
GREAT!

I really like it a lot. So far I keep getting to do different things. I started with just adding French text to already existing labels. Then I was asked to create a label using an existing design to accommodate a new fragrance. Recently I graduated to designing labels completely on my own. It's fun but also a challenge. Sometimes I get a reaction like "Wow that is great! I really love the design!" and at other times I get "Oh.... well, I hope you have other ideas". The main thing is not to get discouraged and especially not to take anything personally, because my personal tastes don't really count, it what the client wants that counts.

The coolest thing about my job is that sometime in the near future you'll be able to buy the actual products with the labels I've designed in stores such as Pharmaprix and Jean Coutu. Soon enough, my room will be filled with womens beauty products.

Canada Day in Montreal

While my weekend in Ottawa was spend mostly relaxing, my Canada day weekend was spent entirely being slave drived.

Saturday I was home helping my mom stain our backyard fence. We didn't get too far for my Aunt and Uncle arrived from Toronto to stay with us for the weekend. Saturday night I hit the Jazz fest with Aurit. We saw a couple of shows that were quite good. We then went to St. Sulpice to meat up with my buddies Mike and Zain, who was leaving the next day to move to Ottawa. The last five times I saw Zain, he was either moving away or back to Montreal (all within the last year or so). Make up your mind already! St. Sulpice was a lot of fun. We ended up being a nice sized group (~10 people) just chatting away. Aurit had a drinking contest with Mike and realy showed him up. She topped it off by finishing his beer before we left.

The most interesting part of the night had to be the metro ride home. I had parked my car at Namur and by Vendome Aurit was telling me how she really had to go to the washroom. We were on the second to last metro of the night and I had to think quickly. Earlier that week I met a friend at a bar, Finagens, located right across the street from Snowdon Metro, so I suggested we stop there for her quick rest stop.

We get to the bar and she runs to the bathroom. The bar is dead. The only ones there are the owner, someone chatting him up at the bar, and a table of about 5 drunken people. they see me standing all alone and ask me if I"m there for Karaoke. Next thing I know, they convince me to sing Macho Man by the Village People. So I did. Half way through, I look up and see Aurit pissing her pants laughing. The other patrons went wild! Most random karaoke ever!

Sunday, was spent helping my friends Maryam and Sean move into a new apartment. It took ALL freaking day, but the free pizza dinner made it all worth it. Aurit met me there and even helped clean up a bit before we headed to the Old Port for Canada Day festivities. Note: NEVER drive to the old port on Canada Day! It TRULY SUCKS! We finally found parking and went to the stage. We got there just in time to watch Jeff Marting, former lead man for the Tea Party, and his set was AWESOME! For one song, there was a crazy acrobatic doing tricks on a giant ring hanging from the ceiling of the stage. The fireworks that followed were tons of fun to watch and some were just gigantic, like the whole city was being swallowed up!

Monday was no day of rest either, I spent the day painting the fence again. Aurit came over and helped so that was fun. It started to rain though right before we finished so the back wall looks stained except for 2 small parts. The fence kind of looks like Alfred E Newman's smile.
After dinner, Aurit and I went to Lorne's house to watch a movie. We ended up watching the 1989 classic Say Anything starring John Cusack. I highly recommend it.

St. Jean Baptist Weekend in Ottawa

In typical Budman style, I spent St. Jean Baptist weekend in Ottawa and was in Montreal for Canada Day.
What brought me to Ottawa you may ask?
The answer, this guy:


Who's that strapping young fellow? Why one of Carleton Improv Association's finest, Owen Hewitt.

Owen had invited me out to check out the last CIA show before the summer as well as spend the rest of the weekend hanging out. And that we did, lots and lots of it.

Friday night I arrived in Ottawa by train, just in time for a kilt clad Owen to pick me up and drive me to Mike's Bar, the graduate bar at Carlton University. I met the other players and soon discovered that I was going to be in the show when I was given a set list of games.

The was fun to do and it was the first time I performed with all those guys, but unfortunately hardly any one showed up. On the bright side, those who did really enjoyed themselves and free drinks were being given out because the bar was closing for renovations over the summer.

Saturday was a really great lazy day. I slept in, had a great home cooked breakfast (Owen's parents are awesome hosts!), then sat outside for a while. Have you ever just sat outside and enjoyed the weather? I started to observed all the ants scurrying about on his patio stones. Now that is something fun and interesting to do. Watching all these ants run around and doing stuff.

We went to the local corner store to pick up some lunch where this young (~19year old) girl who was selling flowers started to chat us up. The 3 highlights of our conversation were:
1. I mentioned how I was the "comedy relief" and she corrected me stating it's "comedic relief"
2. She INSISTED we both add her on facebook
3. She liked when she heard my name because she's also dating a Josh

After lunch, I took a nap and then went for a dip in Owen's pool. The water was SO cold, that I even though I was in it for abotu 10 minutes, I was shivering for a couple of hours. After the quick dip, we watched the 3 hour miniseries of Battlestar Galactica. I have to admit that that show is GOOD! (well the miniseries at least). I can't wait to start watching some episodes.

After a scrumptious dinner, we hit up the town. We met up with a friend of his, Vicky and headed to a bar in town. There were hardly any people there but that didn't stop us from having fun! I got a few drinks in my and they were real cheap as well. I also got to witness some chick bring a guy to the bathroom to have sex. Twice. And each time it was a different guy. And the two guys knew each other. Skanky.

Sunday was spent relaxing at the house again. Owen and I spend most of the day checking out old shows found on tv-links. Ah, Red Drawf, how I still enjoy your British humor. I then returned to Montreal at 7:30pm.

I spent most of the day on Monday with Aurit. Monday night, however, I went golfing for the 3rd time in my life. I was with my brother Lorne, his brother in law Dan, and Dan's brother in law Guy.

It was fun to play with the guys since I quickly discovered they were all completely different type of golfers:

-Dan was the most professional of us. He had the proper clothes, nice set of clubs, goes about 15 times a summer and can really golf.

-Lorne on the other hand, likes to be very technical. He was there stretching before each swing, measuring to make sure he's standing in the perfect distance away from the golf ball, etc. and then when he actually hit the ball it most likely not go far or where he intended at all.

-Finally, Guy's mentality, being a fairly big guy, was just to knock the fuck out of the ball, Happy Gilmore style.

I think I was somewhere in between Lorne and guy. In the end, I played a pretty good round of golf and really kicked ass in the putting part.

The Misadventures of Joshua Budman

This past couple of weeks I"ve been really busy doing lot's of fun and exciting stuff. Unfortunately I was way too busy (lazy) to write about them while they were happening. So, now that I have a couple of hours before bed, I decided to start catching up the blog with my latest adventures. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Budman's got a new book

The other day it was so nice outside I took a bike ride with my brother Lorne. I suggested we go to Chapters because I was in dire need of a book. I got tired of buying Rolling Stone magazines.

Here's a quick story on the book I ended up buying:
When I lived in Australia, I was in a theatre and saw a trailer for some crazy effect movie called Night Watch. It said that Night Watch was the first story in a an epic horror/fantasy trilogy. I had never heard of it but the movie looked really cool and reminded me of Constantine. Unfortunatley I forgot the title of the movie and only rediscovered in on a web site about last year when the DVD came out. Turns out the movie was in fact a Russian film that Sony PIctures bought the rights to Distribute in North America. I wanted to watch the film but the video store guy told me it wasn't very good because it was a low budget film and it was in Russian. I totally forgot about the movie until a couple of days ago when I saw a trailer online for it's sequel Day Watch. I had a sudden interest in the story again and afte a quick search on Wikipedia, discovered the movies are actually based on books writte by a Russian, Sergei Lukyanenko. There are in fact 4 books, Night Watch, Day Watch, Dusk Watch and Twilight Watch. I ended up buying Night Watch (translated in English) and so far so good. I'm a slow reader but I read 100 pages since yesturday! For me that's awesome.

As for the story, the book is based in modern Moscow and unknown to humans, there are a race of Others that have super powers (some are magicians, vampires, werewolves, etc.). The others are divided into Light and Dark and after years of fighting made a truce. In order to keep the truce, the Light side has a 'police' force called the Night Watch and the Dark side have the Day Watch. The first book is apperently the story of how something (I dont' knwo what yet) is going to happen that screws up the balance.

It's a real easy read with not much detail (not like some authors I've read who spend like 10 pages describing a room) and most of the book is in first person from the main characters point of view which makes it interesting for me.

Well, I"m off to go read!

Getting the feel of work

Yet again, I"ve been lagging on current posts. I can't help it. It's just now that i have a job, I spend at least 8 hours a day in front of my computer, so I don't really have the urge to sit in front of it at home and write in this blog. Why now, you ask? Well... I'm kind of bored.

Work is going really well. I like it a lot and there is always something to do. I have a lot of deadlines coming up. The only crappy things is because it's all new stuff and some people were away on vacation, things have been a tad disorganized. I've been working on lebels for a specific line of products and I've almost completed them. However, I went over the final drafts with my boss and said something along the lines of "Now that i"m done with this stuff, I should go and do -*some task pertainig to the labels*-" and she gave me a look of death because it turns out I should have done that in the beginning. Oops... Well, now I know for next time and although I now have to go back adn alter everything, it shouldn't take me too long.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Discharched from the Navy

After working at Old Navy for just over one year and seven months, Thursday marked my last shift ever at Old Navy. I made sure to use as many discounts as I could before they took my privileges away, and purchased a couple of shirts from Old Navy and new pair of pans from the Gap. I'm looking tres hot.

Had I not caught a cold, I think my last day would have been more exciting, but I was feeling pretty shitty. the shift went by really slow and felt much longer than a normal 7 hour shift.

The highlight of the day was when a customer asked me for help, stating that there he couldn't find the size of the article of clothing he was looking for on the floor. Taking his word for it without checking my self, I discovered on the computer system that we indeed had stock, so I went to get the staircase to look in the storage area on top. Meanwhile, my boss Scott came by and offered his services by looking up there for me. He couldn't find anything. That's when I decided to check on the floor myself, and low and behold they were in fact all there, so in the end I made Scott go up for nothing. The customer thanked me and started to walk away. However, as he was walking away, purely as a joke, Scott loudly and in a fake angry tone yelled at me saying "That's it! This is your last day here!". I missed it but apparently the expression on the customers face was as if he had seen a ghost. Priceless!

The coolest thing about that day was that when I had started my shift, The Arcade Fire's No Cars Go was playing on the Old Navy CD. When I took my lunch break it was playing again. Finally when I punched out and walked out from the back room for the last time, it was playing once again! Freaky!

Goodbye Old Navy, it's been a blast!

Joshua Budman, Employed Graphic Designer

Wednesday, I was my frist day at Jets, Sets and Elephants. The office is located at the corner of St Laurent and Cremazie Ouest. Not being familiar with the bus route and due to the bus strike, I got up really early and ended up getting there extremely early - before 8am. I went for coffee but by 8:30am I got bored waiting around and went upstairs.

Once inside I got a tour of the office. It's quite nice with many little offices and a few cubicles. there is a giant kitchen with a fridge and not one but two microwaves. They also like to brew coffee continuously throughout the day, so I think I'm finally going to get hooked on the stuff (for years I've been convincing myself I dont' drink "coffee" since I usually have fancy coffees like mochachinos or caramel machiatos at Starbucks).

I got to meet everyone at the place and they all seem very nice. I soon discovered that I have my very own office with a brand spanking new mac computer, a huge monitor, my own phone with an extension number and even my very own kleenex box!

I didn't know what to expect on the first day, but my new boss got me started right away! We sat down with he marketing person and we discussed what is planned for the company, how they want to produce about 17 different lines of products marketed for all kinds of people. Then I was given my first little project deadline, which was to fix up a particular label set on the computer, print them out, cut them and paste them onto bottles to have a mock up (sample) of the real thing. I was really surprised that when my boss came to check up on me and we ended up playing with the label file together, that when I gave a suggestion on something we should try, that she actually took my advice and tried it out, instead of giving me a speech like "well you're new and I've been doing this for 15years so your input isn't good enough" or something.

All in all, my first day was great.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Growing Up Way Too Fast!

I've noticed a lot of changes have been happening in my life, all for the good, but still they are changes.

I finished school in December and didn't really know what to expect in the new year. In the past few months I've gotten pretty frustrated looking for a professional, trying to figure out what I wanted to do, got booted out of my room while my brother, sister in law and nephew were living with us and at times even felt lonely.

However, things are starting to look up. I started to crack down in my job hunt. I've been preparing the past 2 weeks for a networking party held on Thursday. The agenda of the party is to give a 1 minute speech about myself to an audience of about 150 companies. Following the speeches, we are then given a chance to talk to all the employers who are interested in us and swap cards, info, etc. To prepare for this event, I totally redesigned my resume (making it more graphical looking than a simple word document), created a new business card, and am currently designing my very own website.

Today things got even more interesting. I had a second interview with a new company that is starting a new label for beauty/toiletry products. They are looking to train someone just out of school and seem to think quite highly of me. In fact, it freaks me out a bit since now I feel the pressure is on and I"m really going to have to work at it to keep this image they have of me as true as possible. I"m not exactly sure on my specific work tasks but I'll be working under the art director who will act as a mentor and really get me involved in the beauty/fashion/marketing realm. I'm also going to have to work with the team and not only listen to what ideas they have to offer, but offer my own ideas as well. I get to use my chemistry skills of researching journals for experiments by researching for trends in the market - what's hot, what's not, etc. It sounds very push-pull. I'm going to get my own office with a brand spanking new Mac!

With that in mind, I'm going to have to quit my job at Old Navy. I'm playing with the idea of maybe working on Sundays, but only time will tell.

I've also noticed a change in my need for going out. I've started to slow down a bit. While in Australia, I went out almost every night (of course, I was on vacation). Now I go out maybe twice a week and I've hardly been drinking. I haven't gotten drunk in the longest time. This may partly be due to my getting older in age. I think the fact that I"m dating someone is also a factor. Yes you heard correctly, I'm dating someone. I really don't want to go into detail so here's the answers to the obvious questions:
-It's been 3 months
-She's Jewish
-We met through the Internet

Since dating someone, of course I've been spending a lot of time with her, and also driving more downtown, hence the decline in drinking. Plus, instead of going out partying all the time, I've come to enjoy just staying home and watching a movie.

So as much as I can only hope for more positives changes to occur in the future, my plan right now is to handle all the current ones and see what happens.

Getting older sure is scary!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Night Improv at Théatre Ste. Catherine

For the longest time I have known about the weekley workshops held on Sundays at Théatre Ste. Catherine but have never had a chance to go. Tonight I finally had that chance, and went.

The actual workshop was form 5pm - 7pm. I got there a tad earlier and bumped into Dan, who is a regular at TSC sunday night improv, and a (former?) member of McGill Improv. Inside I saw Anders (from Uncalled For) as well. The workshop itself was quite different from the McGill Impov workshops. You literally have to run up to get in a scene. Also, the "director" will stop you if need be and give you pointers/suggestions/add elements to the scene, etc. They try really hard to push technique and knowledge and try to build a scene, putting being funny on the back-burner. We went over basic terminology. A few of it I was familiar with and a lot of other stuff I never heard of, but am now aware of it.

After workshop there was a 1 hour break followed by a "Survivor" improv game. The way it works is that all the participants get a number and are randomnly called onto stage to play a game or do a scene. After the scene, the audience votes on a scale from 1 to 5 - one being the worst, five being the best. The players in that particular scene each gain the points the scene made. Then they have 2 elimination rounds and when it's down to the final 2 people, they play this "hat" game where both performers do a straight scene but anytime during the scene, when someone reaches the other's hat and grabs it off their head, they win. If they attempt to reach the hat and miss, they lose. Best 2 out of 3 makes you the winner of the Survivor game.

I was nervous when I volunteered to participate in the game, but I gave it my best and it was worth it since I ended up second.

After the show, there was a small discussion on how well they show went. Overall it was well liked. The director said he enjoyed a lot of the scenes that didn't get a lot of laughs a lot more then the ones that did. All the scenes I were in did well but I think it was a lot of gag laughs, mostly due to my part. The one thing that was brought to my attention during the discussion was that I played a panicked person in each game. Little did the director know I wasn't acting (I was hyper ok!) .

In the end I really enjoyed performing with new people and trying different things. If I get a sunday off work again soon, I"ll make sure to hit it up.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pitch Black

Tonight I went out for dinner with Norm, Lauren and Aurit. The restaurant being O'Noir. The whole thing is that you eat your meal completely in the dark. Also, all the waitstaff are 75% to 100% blind.

Our reservation was for 9pm (they have meals set up twice a night). We walked in and each got to choose 1 entree and 1 main dish and 1 desert from a list of about 4 choices for each part. On top of the choices given, there is also a "Suprise" dish option. I didn't really like any of the entrees they had to offer so I decided to live dangerously and ordered the supirse entree. OFr the main dish I chose marinated shrimp with rice and chocolate cake for dessert.

We then met with our waiter, Guillaume (who was wearing sunglasses) and he instructed us to put a hand on the shoulder of the person in front of us and in a chain like motion, we were led inside the dark, to our table. Except for a faint light coming from the exit door and sign, it really was pitch black. In the background was nice chill music. When we got there they had Lamb playing which would eventually change into some moe upbeat stuff that reminded me of the Love Boat. Finally when dessert arrived the music had switched to St. Germain. All in all it was very relaxing.

After several minutes Guillaume arrived with our entrees. I tried eating it with my fork but quickly started to use my hand to feel what I was eating (since it was a suprise) and to help guide food onto my fork or into my mouth. I immediately recognized the salad with cucumbers I was eating but I had some squishy fish smalling thing. I tried it and it tasted okay but I kept thinking it was squid and decided not to eat it (turns out it was shrimp and scallops, which I love, so I guess not know what you're eating really puts thoughts into your head).

After chatting a little I finally started to relax (for some reason as soon as we hit the dark, I tensed up). Our main dishes showed up. My shrimp were delishious.

Dinner was followed by dessert which I found was more difficult to eat because I kept using my hands to help and there was melting ice cream all over my plate, thus making my fingers extremely sticky.

Judging by the noise we heard, there were probably 3 or 4 other groups of people there with us.

After who knows how long, we finally called over Guillaume so he could lead us to the exit so we could pay.

Even though Aurit didn't want to eat any of the main courses, they were kind enough to let her join us at the table and only have dessert. Each meal was 30$ but she got charged only 7$.

In the end, it was expensive, but definitely something worth trying once in your life. It's a totally different experience to eat and enjoy the company of others when totally in the dark.

A night with David, Usher that is

Last night I went to see David Usher (former frontman of Moist) with my brother last night. THe show was really good. It was at Club Soda. It only cast around 25$ and was a very intimate show. Him and his band had a lot of energy even though some of his songs are slow.

They mostly played songs from his new album, Strange Birds, and most of his hits from his other albums (I believe he's had 5 now as a solo artist). On top of those, they played 2 Moist songs (Push and Ressurection) which really made me happy and they did a very interesting cover of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. It couldn't of sounded any more likea David Usher song when they were through with it.

There were two encores and for the finale David Usher let tons of girls (~30) sit ont he stage while he sang in the crowd (earlier he was walking around as well with no security at all!).

He really has a great voice and sounded no less better than he does on the records.

Budman gives this show 2 thunbs up.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why my life should be made into a sitcom - Reason #243

It came to my attention taht today was a job and training fair at the Palais de Congrés. Although it didn't seem like it was something specific for graphic designers, I decided to give it a shot and attend. I went and printe dmy CV, dressed all nice, brought business cards and even my portfolio.

As soon as I got there I realized I had made a great error as all the booths were more for specified jobs (the Army, Home Depot, McDonalds, etc.). I figured, though, since I was there, maybe I could talk to a few booths and see if I could get info on their graphic design departments. I start walking around and decided to approach a booth:

Booth guy: "Hello"
Me: "Hi"
BG:"How are you today? What can I do for you?"
Me: "I realized that this fair is not really for me, but you see, I"m a graphic designer looking for work and I saw on your sign the word 'marketing'. I know that marketing and graphic design are related so I was wondering if I could get some more info on your company"
BG: "It's telemarketing"
Me:"oh... right..."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Way You See Me

A few weeks ago I went to a confidence building workshop called "Know it, Believe it, Sell it!" for tips on how to keep up my spirits and not get discouraged while looking for a job. One of the exercises we were given was to choose a bunch of words from a list that I thought best described me. The next step is to get people who know me to choose words from the same list that they think best describes me, and then compare them with my results.

The point of the exercise is to find out if others percieve me different in ways that I see myself (both good and bad) and if so, maybe i should try and change things (or not change things that I think I need to).

So faithful readers (friends, family, creepy old guy) I ask you humbly to look at the following list of words and post an anonymous comment with the words you think best describe me. Please answer truthfully and seriously:

Focused
Serious
Creative
Honest
Planner
Energetic
Dependable
Aggressive
Opinionated
Down to earth
Pragmatic
Effective
Balanced
Judgmental
Expressive
Reserved
Helpful
Generous
Responsible
Calm
Assertive
Objective
Giving
Anxious
Go-getter
Selfish
Tired
Thinker
Outgoing
Worrier
Organizer
Flexible
Artistic
Arrogant
Passive
Untrustworthy
Leader
Carefree
Sensitive
Procrastinator
Kind
Scatter-brained
Unreliable
Fascinating
Concerned
Happy
Controlling
Cautious
Follower
Shy
Dreamer
Frustrated
Social
Hard-working
Excitable
Antisocial
Nervous
Self-centered
Fair
Sad
Adaptable
Rigid
Spontaneous
Gentle

Thank God You're Here!

Monday night i watched NBC's newest improv show called "Thank God You're Here". The premise is that every episode there are 4 "celebrities" that guest star per episode. Each celebrity is brought back stage and given a costume they have never seen before. Then they are brought back up front where host David Allen Greer directs them through a door which leads to set they've never seen. From there, they have to improvise their way through the whole scene with actors who have set lines and whose first line is always "Thank God you're here!". The scene goes on until judge Dave Foley (who got SO old looking) hits a buzzer.

After each guest does thier scene, the final scene is done with all 4 together. Finally a "winner" is chosen and receives some plastic award (The Summit awards are way cooler looking).

The episode I saw had Wayne Night (better known as Newman from Seinfeld), Bryan Cranston (the dad from Malcolm in the Middle), Joel McHale (some guy I don't know) and Jennifer Coolidge (Stiffler's mom from American Pie).

I'm not a professional improv player but after doing it for 4 years I could tell some of it, although funny, was pretty bad improv. For example, Wayne night was dressed in a white medical jacket and was plummeted into a scene where he had to promote some sort of pills. When asked certain questions, instead of accepting everything he was given, he was blocking pretty badly ("Actually, I'm not a doctor at all, and those aren't vitamins, their supplements to vitamins"). Although he got some laughs, I felt that it got tiring after a while.

Also, after 1 episode, I feel like i had enough. The rest of the episode wasn't too bad, neither was the 2nd episode they aired afterwards, but I dont' know how much of that I could really take. It was funny, but the way it's set up, it's as if the actors are always leading the scene and just allowing the celebrity guests to "insert joke here", and after a while it gets boring. The only person I saw to somewhat break from that was Bryan Cranston, who immediately got into character and was trying to push his way through the scene which I think truly made him deserve winning the episode.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's already April!?!

Either i'm getting busier and busier or I have less improtant things to talk about but I notice that my posts are getting further and further apart.

So what have I been up to that's been keeping me so busy?

Not a whole lot...

but lets see:

-Since December i've been done school and looking for a professional job in graphic design (anyone know of someone hiring?). It's been so tough with everything going on (distractions, work, losing interest, etc.) but I'm trying hard to stay focused. I've been meeting with councelors, going to workshops and sending my CV out on the itnerent almost everyday. I may be in luck. A teacher recomended me to her friend whom I'm meeting on Thursday. I'm not too sure what he does or what he's loking for but let's hope for the best.

-I"m still working at Old Navy which is becoming more and more fun (surpisingly). I've been there a year and a half!

-In March I was busy getting involved with McGill Improv. We had Vaganza at the beginning of the month and The Summit at the end. I've been busting my balls to get the summit website (http://improvsummit.com) updated but it's so time consuming. I promise really soon there will be photos from the event, which was a BLAST by the way! McGill Improv didn't make it to the finals but I had the honor of participating with member from Sherbrooke, UQAM and U de M against members of Ottawa, Toronto and Carleton for the All Star Round.

-Right now it's passover. Last night was the first sedar and it was a typical family dinner here at the Budman house. Both my brothers were over with their wives (and son), although my brother Mark and his wife connie and son Charles live here, so they didnt' have far to go for dinner (just a long walk up the stairs).

-It's really hectic around here with the extra people in the house, but my brother put an offer on a house and may possible move out to it in May! I can handle a month (originally it was for July!). It's been great hanging around with my nephew though. He's the cutest kid ever (And the craziest). I taught him to say "awesome"!

-Also, today happens to be Emilie's birthday. She's now 23. Although I've only known Emilie for a short time (since the summer) she's got to be one of the coolest, hippest, interesting (and possibly craziest) chicks..er I mean "girls" I know. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Montreal Parking Meters SUCK!!!

I'm currently downtown waiting for the others to show up to practice improv the summit on Saturday and I'm totally bummed! I had the chance to use my brother's car ro drive downtown but unfortunately I got to learn how shitty the meters here are!

First I put in 1.25 and it gave me about 25 minutes. I went to get 5 loonies and went back. I added 3 loonies and it only gave me an hour! Then I thought maybe I needed to do something special to add time to what I already put in and I hit cancel.

That was the worst mitake.

Not only did I soon discover that no matter what it would just reset what I already paid for, it DIDN'T give me back the 3$ I just spent. So I put in 2$ more and only got 40 minutes! Now I have no change... BOO!

Is it like this elsewere because this really sucks...

The fun side of an (semi) unemployed person

Yes I've been looking for a job but that hasn't stopped me from having FUN!

In the past month or so I've gone out at least once a week. At the beginning of the month I partook in Vaganza 7 and it was awesome! I stood up the whole 24 hours and performed improv almost every second hour.

With work, I went to a sugar shack a few weeks ago. I volunteered to watch a couple of kids from a community church while they were bused to a sugar shack for the first time. I had 3 kids, 2 girls and 1 boy and they behaved greatly (both girls were 11 and the boy 8). It reminded me of the time I worked at Sunny Acres Day Camp. There was a part when the kids were entertained by a guy singing who was teaching them songs to sing and dances to dance. I participated as well and realized I was the only adult having as much (or more) fun then most of the kids.

Two weekends ago, I went out with my friend Emilie. I hadn't hung out with her in ages. We went to see this show spearheaded by Jason Bajada. I never heard of him but he was one of Emilie's favorite musicians and the show was quite good and chill to listen to.

Last week I went bowling with a bunch of people at Sharkx. I actually
bowled pretty damn well. In my second game I got a turkey (3 strikes) and scored a total of 164.

This past weekend was also loads of fun. Saturday was not only St. Patricks day but it also happened to be Aurit's birthday. The night started with dinner at 3 Amigos with a whole bunch of her friends followed by drinking at Thursday's.

Yesturday I went skiing for the first time in 3 years. I went with my brother Lorne and my friend Arvind. We went to Mont Broment and it rocked! I had SO much fun and the view was beautiful. The weather wasn't too cold, it was icy but there was also lots of soft snow and we skied from late afternoon well into the evening (9pm) so we got a bit of day and night skiing in.

Who says you can't have fun when you're not working?

Life of the (semi) unemployed

As most of you know, I graduated from a Graphic Design program in December 2006. I still work at Old Navy part time and have been spending my free time looking for a professional job. By "looking for a professional job" I mean "kinda sort of" looking.

I will admit I have been putting in more effort than before. I joined 2 organizations that aid in teaching skills to help find jobs. Both of them have excellent workshops I've attended and I have a counselor in both who also give great advice. I have about 4 websites I check for job postings and have been sending out my resume a few times a week. I even cut my days available at Old Navy so I could spend more time concentrating on the job hunt. I fixed up my resume and even printed some business cards.

I'm also building a website for the improv summit happening this saturday (March 24th) - http://improvsummit.com
It's not finished yet but when it's complete I'll have something non-school project to put in my CV.

Although I've done all these things it doesn't seem like it's enough. I still need to put my portfolio on the web, make my CV more graphical (it's only in word format now), start researching for companies in the field and start concentrating on cold calling. Cold calling is basically calling a company without knowing the person you are going to talk to. The whole point isn't to call asking for a job but just to learn more about the company/industry. The outcome to put your name out there while also discovering more about what it's like to work in that field.

I will admit I've been a bit distracted as of late (for example I didn't do anything this morning because I went skiing yesterday and I'm completely exhausted).

I'm going to keep trying to update this blog but as you can tell the posts are more spaced out. That's because lately I find it so hard to be structured while not having a concrete schedule, which hopefully will occur in teh next month or so.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Vaganza 2007 - 24+ hours later

Vaganza is OVER! It started yesturday at 12pm and concluded today at 12pm. Due to a meeting I had with a counselor at JEM, and partly due to the snow "storm" we had, I was only able to make it to Vaganza at 12:30pm. After a quick bite, my first performance was at 1pm.
For the most part, until 7pm, there were probably at most 5-10 people in the audience who were not improvers. At 7pm, Uncalled For, the first special guest, took the stage and the audience had definitely grown to 20-30 people. This stayed like so for most the night, with some traffic of people coming and going. 3am marked lock-down with this years theme being After maybe 4am, all the audience members left and remained that way until 11am where a whopping 2 people showed up. It sucks that we had such a a bad turnout due to the bad weather.

In the end, we all had fun, I managed to stay awake the whole time (by 5-6am I was having a great difficulty doing so) and we raised about 200$.

For pictures click HERE!

After Vaganza I went for lunch with my mom in which I found myself blacking out mid-sentence several times. I promise never to make fun of my dad again (who has a sleeping problem).

Until next year!

Also, don't forget the OTHER big improv event: IMPROV SUMMIT! It's on the Saturday, March 24th. Universities involved include Carleton, McGill, U de M and UQAM.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Best sense of direction EVER....

Friday night I was driving down to Laval. By accident, instead of heading North, I went South. Unfortunately, I didn't really know which direction I needed to go specifically, I just knew by sight that I hit the wrong exit. That being said, I knew I just needed to go the other direction (but did not actually know which direction I was going not, which was South). No problem. I just needed to get off at the next exit, turn around and go back on the 13.

Not so sweet.

I got off at the next exit but ended up on another highway (250) heading West. Ok, so I was now going back towards my house, no biggie. Just get off at the next exit and turn around... The next exit was Dorval! I drove past the airport! Finally, I got off at Cardinal dt. turned around and ended on the 520 est. I was getting somewhere!

And then more lost...

When I hit the 13 yet again, I accidently went South. Again. This time I didnt' even know it and I drove all the way until the highway stopped existing and it turned into the 20. Again I got off the next exit, which was Lasalle!

Anyways, 45 minutes total of driving, I finally made it to Laval.

On the way home it took me 15 minutes.

ON the bright side, I'll never forget to go North to Laval from now on.

Friday, February 23, 2007

VAGANZA 2007!

That's right. McGill Improv's annual 24 hour spectacular is back!

Click the picture to read all the info!

For those who don't go to McGill, it's in the Shatner (SSMU) Building located at 3600 McTavish way up the hill on the left.

When you're done with us, there's Nuit Blanche, an overnight festival happening all over Montreal. Sleep deprivation of 48hours! Hooray!

Note: The word Vaganza was chosen for the sole purpose of it being a shortened version of the word Extravaganza and has no affiliation with the word Vagina (although they look/sound the same). That being said, I had no intentions of a pun when I put down "Unlimited re-entry" (in fact I only realized this after I printed it)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Job Hunting Sucks

I finished my graphic design program back in December. At first I used the holidays as an excuse to dick around. Then I sort of looked around for jobs but was getting so many leads from my recruiter, was busy working on stuff for my client and was working a lot at Old Navy.

Now it's almost March, I haven't had an invitations for an interview, haven't heard back from the 2 interviews I did have, stuff with my client is on hold and Old Navy cut down everyone's hours. This leaves me with tons of free time, and I"m bored out of my mind. I know, I know, you're probably yelling at your computer monitor now wishing that you had nothing to do because you're so sick of work/school/killing hookers and burying them in your farm, but a lot of nothing to do gets boring after a while. I've been going out a lot lately but don't feel I deserve it because I spend my days either in front of my computer (reading Dr. McNinja comics), watching tv or a movie on TV or going downtown.

On the bright side I did start to apply to more jobs. On the really shitty side, I just discovered today I had 2 spelling mistakes on my CV from DAY ONE! Unfortunately I don't own a copy of the program I used to type up my CV (Quark Xpress) on my PC at home (actually I downloaded a ripped version. It worked fine and I was completely surprised until I realized I can't save for some reason...). So, I have to go to school to fix it up. Would someone night hire you for misspelling urgency as ergency?

I did go to a YES (Youth Employment Services) orientation and learned that networking is key. Anyone need a graphic designer??