The one with the trip to Montreal (finally).

First, I want to address the reason why my website was under construction this entire time. I had turned on maintenance mode after that issue where posting by e-mail duplicated itself over 500 times. I had to shut off the website to delete those entries from the SQL database on the server – unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t have an option to mass-edit files. Anyway, it’s all fixed now… actually, it was fixed a while ago, I just forgot to turn it off. Since I was logged in, I didn’t see a difference. Sorry about that!

Anyway, on to the Montreal trip. I’m sure some of you are dying to find out what happened! Or not. ;_;

This is the Flickr photo album I took for the trip. I didn’t get much, but when you compare it to the “less than 5 pictures” I used to take, this is so much better. Having a cameraphone is handy. Anyway, it’s a huge post, so click on to view it in its entirety.

We flew from Winnipeg to Toronto early in the morning, where I bought the UK editions of Maxim and FHM, and had a decent breakfast. We then flew to Montreal and arrived in the afternoon. Once we landed, we got our car rental and drove off to Jennilee’s apartment.

We tried to, anyway. Brother genius got us lost for a bit, but we eventually made it.

Montreal – Jennilee's Apartment
A tour of Jennilee’s apartment. It’s pretty cramped, as you can see.

I was really tired all day. A Jamaican guy barged into the apartment to knock on the neighbor’s laundry room door. He even did the whole fist knocking thing with me, which doesn’t seem like a handshake, but is only cool when a rastafarian like that guy does it. Anyway, we ended up eating sushi for supper at a place called Wow Sushi (sorry, not related to World of WarCraft), and I fixed Jennilee’s iMac. We did something else, perhaps downtown, but I no longer remember – it’s already been almost a month. We went to Provigo to help her out with grocery shopping. I remember trying my best not to fall asleep.

Montreal – Cleaning Theme for Jennilee
Eugene playing on Jennilee’s acoustic guitar (which he bought for her) while she “swiffs” the floor. He’s out of practice. Scissor legs Cleaning theme, indeed!!

We hit downtown after some tom foolery. Trying to take videos of Eugene and Jennilee is so hit-and-miss, because they’re so spontaneous in their humor. For example, if I had taken the video a few seconds earlier, I would have caught the funny stuff they were saying to each other. They’re both dumb, but it’s humorous. We were on our way downtown when not even a couple feet away from the apartment building, a semi had stopped in the middle of an intersection, and this guy got out of his jeep and tried to provoke the semi driver into coming out for a fistfight, but the semi driver acted all smug like a real jerk. That was my first taste of Montreal. They also love to honk their horns. After a great lunch at Schwartz’s, we went to see 300 at the IMAX. Awesome movie. However, when we were trying to get into the theater, the usher girl told us that the theater was full and that we couldn’t go watch the movie. “Happy April Fool’s Day!” She exclaimed, or some other non-sensical crap. She was kinda cute, though.

Montreal – Downtown Driving
Driving downtown. I think we were on Sherbrooke.

Montreal – Downtown Driving Returns
Still on Sherbrooke, looking for Metcalfe.

The previous day, before or after the movie, we had went to the official Oakley store just down the street from the Famous Players theater, and I saw this awesome Kitchen Sink backpack for $200. It was an awesome backpack, but $200 seemed a bit much. I contemplated it for a bit (and searched eBay for a cheaper one). Meanwhile, we hit HMV on the same street and I bought the 300 OST, as well as the NIN halo 23 Blu-ray. After that, we picked up Jennilee from school and went back to the apartment to relax.

Montreal – Downtown Rain Battle
It was raining. It was dark. Jennilee was there. A lonely gray couch. “Oh, look!” Cried Ned. And then the kingdom was theirs forever, the end.

It started raining outside (well, obviously not inside). We went to eat supper at Hard Rock Cafe. The waiter there was this total French fucking asshole (say it with a French accent a la Peter Sellers) who was probably trying to steal Eugene’s girlfriend. Jennilee wasn’t feeling well (due to her earlier illness from the flu), so we dropped her off at the apartment and headed out to watch TMNT. Also a good movie, although Mako’s version of Splinter was somewhat disappointing (may he rest in peace).

Montreal – Saint-Urbain
More driving. “Where’s the Chinese shit?” Hehehe.

Hehehe, I am so racist against my own race, but it’s all in good fun. Nobody takes me seriously anyway, because they usually laugh (either that, or it’s killing them slowly on the inside, or they’re actually racist).

Montreal – Saint-Urbain to…
Driving from Saint-Urbain to Saint-Antoine, and finally onto Saint-Laurent. A lot of driving. All just to go to a guitar shop Eugene saw.

Montreal – Parking Stalls
Parking stalls on Saint-Laurent. The one cool thing I liked about Montreal was the parking stalls downtown. When you saw these blue posts, they signified paid parking. Once parked, you would go to the nearest parking meter and pay for parking in advance. No parking tickets to put in the windshield either. Neat.

Eugene wanted to check out a guitar shop. Eugene had contemplated buying an acoustic guitar similar to the one he bought for Jennilee, but he decided against it, since he would have to get it mailed out or claim extra baggage on the flight back. Anyway, we hit a place on Saint-Denis where I bought a new blue polo shirt. I love blue clothes. I had made up my mind to buy the Oakley Kitchen Sink backpack after agonizing over it for a couple days, so we went back to the Oakley store and I bought the backpack… as well as a few other Oakley stuff – jeans, a hoodie, and a belt. I spent $400 in that store. Yowza. Went back to HMV where I found and bought the HD-DVD of NIN’s halo 23. We wanted to catch a movie, but we couldn’t because the only other movie that was good to watch was Blades of Glory, but Jennilee is a big Will Ferrell fan, so we were gonna wait until Thursday to watch it, since she had the afternoon off from school.

Montreal – Mr. Ding Philosophy!
Our little anecdote on Mr. Ding Philosophy, as told by Eugene (because he tells it better than any of our family members, including me).

We went back to Wow Sushi because we couldn’t think of another place to eat. On a sidenote, I thought that if we were in a bigger city, we’d run into a Japanese restaurant that’s actually run by Japanese people. Alas, it was not meant to be. They were Vietnamese.

Montreal – Canadiens VS Bruins
Live footage of the hockey game between the Canadiens and the Bruins.

It was hockey time that night. Too bad you can’t take footage like this at a music concert. Like, what’s the big deal anyway? You can’t exactly make a video of an entire concert off a mobile anyway, because of memory and battery limitations. Only frakking idiots make these redundant rules.

I’m not a hockey fan at all, and this was the first and last game I’ll probably ever go to. I don’t see what the big deal is, really. At least there was a fist fight.

The next day was Wednesday, G3 ’07 day. I could hardly wait. We printed off our tickets, got our release forms signed, and plotted out our evening – when we’d leave and such. We had to meet a John Iverson at the box office at 16:00, so we decided that we’d head to the metro station at 15:00.

Montreal – Driving on Notre Dame
On the way to pick up Jennilee in Old Montreal. Little problem – Eugene forgot which street it was. As you can tell, he was a little frustrated.

I don’t remember what else happened that day, but I think it’s because now that I recall that day, I don’t remember much else except for the awesome concert. We walked over to Saint-Denis and took the metro to the Bell Centre, where we walked to the box office (too long of a walk!) and waited there. We ran into a guy who was there for a meet-and-greet with John Petrucci. Hmm. That would be a good idea for next time – meet-and-greet the other artists. Hehehe. After about 12 other fans and John Iverson showed up, he gave us our backstage passes and we had to wait for a couple guys who went to grab their guitars for Satch to sign. At the same time, one of the guys was late too. Anyway, John took us backstage where I had an AM moment – this guy came up to us and shook our hands, and he was rather familiar. Eugene later told me that it was Jeff Campitelli (Satch’s drummer). D’oh! So, we got led into a small conference room where we sat in student-style desks in front of a mini-podium. Moments later, Satch showed up, took a seat in front of us, and we all proceeded to chat with him, asking questions (some of which are actually answered in various interviews and such that can be found on the web easily). Still, it was a joy to chat with him, and he was a pretty laid-back guy. Even so, every answer he gave us was carefully considered and calculated, and he made sure to succinctly answer our questions with as many details as possible. One thing that bothered me, however, was the fact that Satch had agreed with one of the fans, who was an elderly guy, that had mentioned off-hand about the changing weather and how global warming, which he believed did not exist, had nothing to do with it. Obviously, neither of them have been educated or informed about the current crisis of this planet, but I didn’t want to bother mentioning it, since we were there to listen to Satch talk, not ourselves.

After the chat, he signed our stuff and we had a photo session. Pretty sweet. Unfortunately, I had nothing with me other than the backstage pass and the provided Satriani Live DVD – I should have brought one of my CDs or something, but that’s okay – next time. I might even buy a JS-1000 for the next opportunity. Hehehe. After that, we had a little over an hour to kill, so we left the Bell Centre, hoping to find a place to eat, and we did – at Baton-Rouge. Good food, nice restaurant. I was surprised.

When we returned, we got into the show and had the best freaking time of our lives. It wasn’t just the experience, but there were a lot of genuine fans in the front row, and we connected with a few of them. I hate how in many concerts, there are a bunch of lurkers who just go to a concert so that they can get high – none of them know the words or the notes to the songs being played, there’s no love for the music there. At G3, it was all about the music. There were no words (except for the G3 jams), so you had to know and feel the notes. Paul Gilbert was the first one on stage, and let me tell you, he’s almost on par with Steve Vai when it comes to his weird, melodical style and wild, commanding stage presence. He played music from his latest album, Get Out Of My Yard, and old Racer X favorites, and even tossed in the solo from To Be With You. John Petrucci is a picking machine. I swear, he must be some kind of robot. His picking is so fast and accurate. He’s not much of a showman, and you actually wouldn’t really notice him on stage if you didn’t know what he looked like (and actually, I almost didn’t recognize him because he grew his hair long since the G3 Tokyo DVD), but shit, that guy can play the guitar like nobody’s business. He played songs from his Suspended Animation album, but he also played music from Dream Theater – I haven’t really listened to Dream Theater yet, but I’m gonna have to make it a priority! Finally, Satch came on stage. He played a good set, especially my favorites, One Big Rush and The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing. I was a little surprised that he didn’t play Crowd Chant. However, his last song was Always With Me, Always With You. If anybody’s ever seen the G3 Tokyo DVD or the Satriani Live DVD, you’ll know that Satch has now incorporated an extended outro to the song, which is just awesome. However, a shocking surprise awaited us – John Petrucci came out during the outro and added his own flair to it, along with Paul Gilbert to end Satch’s set with a magnificent jam! The final jam of the evening was awesome, although I enjoyed the Hendrix jam a wee bit better than the other chosen songs. Also, Petrucci is pretty shy about singing, since Paul sang twice. Hehehe. Thanks for a great show, guys – I left a review on Satch’s official site. Next time, I will rush the stage to take a few pictures and video on my mobile. Security was active, but not active enough – I’m pretty sure I could’ve gotten away with it. >_<

I was hungry that night, so I ordered pizza. I had to talk to two people before I could talk to somebody who would stop pretending to not speak or understand English. Ignorant French people. Regardless, it was an awesome pizza – pepperoni and smoked meat. What a combo!

Montreal – Jennilee's School
Picking up Jennilee. This time around, Eugene knew where to go. We even had a spontaneous performance. Watch, laugh, enjoy.

The next day, we picked up Jennilee from school. Eugene didn’t get lost this time. Seriously, he should know better. Google Maps is the best, true that – double true!!

Montreal – Famous Players (Inside)
Inside Famous Players on the corner of Metcalfe and Sainte Catherine. It was huge. We went to watch Blades of Glory. Hilarious movie!

As noted above, we went to watch Blades of Glory right after picking Jennilee up. After that, we went to eat some Caribbean for a late lunch. OMG, it was awesome, especially the appetizers. It’s too bad I drank a smoothie, I felt nauseated midway through the meal, so that kinda sucked. Damn you, dairy products!

We went back to the apartment where I took a nap. Then, we took off to the airport. It was challenging, but we found our way back. The flight took us direct to Winnipeg. I napped for a bit, but I could barely sleep, for some strange reason. When we got into Winnipeg, we hopped in my car and headed home.

We reached Ashern with no problems. However, an hour after we continued past Ashern, we heard a rather loud noise that sounded like somebody under my car was continuously hitting one note on a xylophone, but really, really fast. We pulled over and it just so happened that a police truck was coming towards us, so it turned around and pulled up behind us while we looked at what our problem was. Unfortunately, my car’s exhaust system had fallen off its hinges and was touching the ground. The police officer that showed up offered to give either of us a ride to the nearest stop to call CAA. Eugene stayed behind with the car while I followed the police in the back seat. Unfortunately, when we arrived, there was no pay phone to be found. The officer radioed in to his HQ and had them call a tow truck for us. Unfortunately, because it was done that way, we weren’t eligible for CAA coverage. Oh, well, the tow only cost me $50, but the old man who showed up towed us to St. Martin Junction. There was nothing much else in sight except for a motel, a restaurant, and his garage. The guy suggested that we spend the night and then we could make some phone calls in the morning to catch a bus back home since his garage wasn’t open until Tuesday (due to the long weekend), and I was so tired that it almost sounded tempting, but Eugene refused to do that – his reasoning was that the engine still worked and the car still moved, we just needed to tie up the exhaust system somehow so we could get home. In the meantime, the guy offered to let us use his phone and washroom, so I called Mom while Eugene checked out the garage. Apparently, the guy also sold quads on the other side of his garage, and with that, quad accessories. We found some tie-downs, and Eugene figured that if they could tie a quad down, it could tie an exhaust system up. So, we did just that – after the old man left, we spent about 30 minutes in the freezing cold trying to loop several tie-downs together underneath the seats to wrap around the underbelly of the car. I cinched the tie-down from beneath the car, making sure that the metal hooks made contact with the exhaust surface (so as to not allow the rope to be exposed to any heat), and got the exhaust system lifted about an inch off the ground. We drove off like that, while I tried to get whatever sleep I could. However, an hour later, we heard the exhaust system being dragged on the ground again (xylophone?), so we pulled over and found out that the hook had been severed from the rope. It was a good thing we bought an extra pair of tie-downs, so we hooked a new one on the bottom and cinched it back up. This time, I got Eugene to double-check my cinching, and he got it lifted an extra inch off the ground, so that it was pretty much back in the same position it was originally. We made it back home with no other issues (other than the occasional xylophone note).

All in all, the trip was not that great – I could have gone to Winnipeg to do all the things we did with less rude people – but G3 was amazing. However, I won’t be going to Montreal again. Good grief.

This was a rather long entry. I’ll be surprised if anybody makes it this far. If you did, don’t expect a medal or something. I don’t have anything like that.


Additional Resources

The one with all the Lesson Reviews.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this blog ever since I started using Hummingbird last fall. So, I decided to try an idea of mine called Lesson Reviews. Essentially, it’s more of a “what I learned from X anime” than a review, but the thing is, there will be good and […]

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