Before …

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The rollers that we used to paint our apartment

The rollers that we used to paint our apartment

One of the terms of our lease that we negotiated was that the maintenance man from our building would help us to paint our apartment. This guy is great. He’s very helpful and friendly, and he’s good at what he does, too.

So on Monday afternoon, he stopped by and showed me and Pickles how to start to paint our new apartment. What a great deal! Especially considering that neither Pickles nor I know how to paint. At all. Seriously. One of those skills that I never learned how to do when growing up.

The study, before painting

The study, before painting

When he came to give us our instructions, he told us that he wants us to do the “rolling,” and then he’ll do all the “cutting” on Friday. What that means, for the non-initiate (like me), is that we will be priming and applying paint to all the big surfaces of the apartment, and then he will come along and fix up all the edges and the small details that we can’t get with paint-rollers.

Our apartment is starting to look like a real-people home!

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-50,
    title = {Before …},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-07-30,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/30/before/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Before …" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 30 Jul 2009. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/30/before/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Jul 30). Before … [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/30/before/


New student card!

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My new McGill card and my old UWO card

My new McGill card and my old UWO card

Today I got my new McGill student card. I woke up this morning, and made sure to put on my nice white t-shirt and my nice white collared shirt, and I went to campus and they took my picture.

Look at the photo attached to this post. The first thing you’ll note is that the hair is gone, but then I also want to draw attention to the fact that even though these student card photos were taken 6 years apart (summer of 2003 and summer of 2009), I am wearing exactly the same clothes. Not just clothes that are the same style, but the very same shirts that I was wearing on my Summer Academic Orientation day in 2003 are the shirts that I wore today. And I’m okay with that.

When Pickles noticed, she said, “Guess what you’re getting for Christmas this year!”

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-88,
    title = {New student card!},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-07-29,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/29/new-student-card/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "New student card!" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 29 Jul 2009. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/29/new-student-card/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Jul 29). New student card! [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/29/new-student-card/


Chilli

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Making chilli in our new kitchen

Making chilli in our new kitchen

When we moved, the cooler opened itself up in the back of the truck. We had packed in there all the unused food that we had in London and planned to bring to Montréal. So when we arrived, opened the back door of the truck and saw a single jar of freezer jam fall out and smash on the street, we were initially very concerned about rest of the contents of the cooler – where had they gone? Were they oozing into our mattress?

Fortunately, the spill was very local, but all the meats that we had packed were thawed. That sounds like bad news, but what it meant is that Pickles has been busy for the past day or so cooking up lots and lots of chilli. This is good news indeed.

Our new kitchen is a bit smaller than the old one, but as you can see in the photo, we can fit our chest freezer inside it, which we couldn’t do in our old place. Also, we have a brand-new stove here, and a reasonably new and clean refrigerator. There is a little pantry just to the side of our kitchen, where we can keep food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, before we eat it, and so the fact that it’s a little smaller doesn’t mean that we’ll be too cramped in it or anything.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-30,
    title = {Chilli},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-07-28,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/28/chilli/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Chilli" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 28 Jul 2009. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/28/chilli/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Jul 28). Chilli [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/28/chilli/


Sketchy U-Haul place

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What we found at the sketchiest U-Haul place ever

What we found at the sketchiest U-Haul place ever

My parents rented a U-Haul truck to help me and Pickles take our things from London to Montréal. This was fantastic. We couldn’t have done it otherwise. Seriously. Hooray for U-Haul!

But when we tried to return the truck, some weird things happened.

First, I tried calling a local U-Haul location to ask if I could return the truck. They told me to call the 1-800 number on the contract, which I did. Several times. No one ever picked up.

So I tried calling the “roadside assistance” telephone number. Fortunately, there was an option for talking to a U-Haul representative about non-emergency issues. I spoke to an operator who told me to take the truck to a particular place that I won’t mention by name or give the address for, in case it’s a drug front or something. I will refer to it from here on as “Sketch-Land.”

Pickles and I drove to Sketch-Land, and walked into the side of an auto-repair garage. In it, there were a couple of boys working there who appeared to be 12 years old. I approached the only adult there and asked him if this was a U-Haul location. He shook his head, and said “No,” as if he were offended or something.

We left, and walked around the side of the building, where we saw a door with a couple signs on it, one that read “Ouvert” (“open” in French) and another that read “U-Haul.” Seeing these signs, we immediately thought that we must have just gone in the wrong door. We opened the door and found an empty office with a piece of paper on the desk that said, “Be back in 10 minutes,” followed by a phone number.

We waited a few minutes and looked around the office. Taped to the side of the desk was a card that said, “U-Haul Authorised Dealer” and then, presumably, identified the name of the man in the garage and that it was valid from December 2008 to December 2009. (I took a picture of this with my camera phone.) I called the number on the note, and asked if I had reached a U-Haul location. The all-too-familiar voice on the other end of the phone told me, “No,” in an increasingly annoyed tone of voice. Pickles noticed that she could hear the man on the phone through a doorway out of the office that led into the garage that we were in beforehand.

The man whom we had spoken to earlier was the same man who was on the phone, and he entered the office a few seconds later, and started yelling at us for coming into his office uninvited. I gestured to the “Ouvert” sign, which, in my experience, means that a business is open for customers to enter. I asked again if he was sure that he was not a U-Haul dealer, indicating the “U-Haul” sign on his door, and the card that we found taped to his desk, but that only made him more angry.

We left when he started to raise his voice in broken English, and phoned U-Haul again, who gave us the address of a local U-Haul dealer that was remarkably legitimate-looking in comparison to Sketch-Land.

If you’re ever trying to return a U-Haul truck in Montréal, let me know and I’ll tell you what place to avoid.

Update: I emailed all this to U-Haul, and they sent me a gift certificate! Hooray for U-Haul!

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-13,
    title = {Sketchy U-Haul place},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-07-27,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/27/sketchy-u-haul-place/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Sketchy U-Haul place" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 27 Jul 2009. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/27/sketchy-u-haul-place/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Jul 27). Sketchy U-Haul place [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/27/sketchy-u-haul-place/


The movers

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The top of the stairs at our new apartment

The top of the stairs at our new apartment

You wouldn’t think that our small apartment back in London would be able to hold very much stuff, but it turns out we filled a whole 17′ truck full of boxes, shelves, furniture, etc. I am very thankful that we started earlier than we had originally planned to. Not only that, but Nitro and the Mortons came to help out, which made the job of loading the truck in London do-able.

Our new apartment is on the 4th floor of an apartment building with no elevator. That’s a lot of stairs. Especially after loading everything into the truck, and driving the 8 hours from London to Stratford to Montréal.

So when we got here, and took stock of just how long it would take us to move everything up to the apartment, we decided we needed some help. My parents hired movers to carry our stuff up the stairs. Best investment of money yet. These guys had so much energy. They literally jumped up our stairs, two or more at a time, and slid down the bannister on the way back down. They carried all our boxes, furniture – everything up the stairs in about 2 hours. And they mentioned that they had already done one job that day, and were hoping for another.

We were marvelling at how intense the movers were for hours after they were gone. It was really something quite spectacular to see. Now, all we have to do is get all the stuff out of the boxes and put away.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-21,
    title = {The movers},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-07-26,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/26/the-movers/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "The movers" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 26 Jul 2009. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/26/the-movers/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Jul 26). The movers [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/26/the-movers/


Count your blessings

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The courtyard for our apartment

The courtyard for our apartment

These past few days have been a few of the most eventful of my life. We made it to Montréal, and at the request of many friends and family, I think I’m going to blog about it. I’m dead-tired right now, so I’m going to give a summary of a bunch of things that went really right, that easily could have gone otherwise. I will fill you in later with more of the details of what has happened recently.

  • We found our apartment in Montréal very quickly. We had allotted a week for apartment-hunting, but we ended up taking the 2nd one that we saw.
  • We negotiated a great deal on our apartment. And I mean a great deal. So good that our landlord called us back and called our demands “brutal.”
  • Our new apartment is right across the street from the Métro station, which puts us about 20 mins away from McGill.
  • When we got here, we discovered that we can actually see a grocery store from our apartment window. It’s just down the street from us.
  • We rented a truck to move our stuff to Montréal. On the U-Haul website, for an apartment, they recommended the 14′ truck for an apartment. Fortunately, the U-Haul people on Erie Street in Stratford were all out of 14′ trucks, so we rented a 17′ truck instead. This was good, because there was no way that all our stuff would have fit into a 14′ truck. No way at all.
  • I had a job interview the very day after we arrived in Montréal. (It was today, Friday, at 11h. I’ll write a post about how that went.)
  • When we arrived, we arrived a little bit before my parents, and the doorknob on the door wasn’t working, but we just happened to arrive at the exact same time as the man who does maintenance work in our building, and he helped us get into our apartment right then.
  • Just yesterday, when we stopped by Stratford to drop off some stuff, I got an email from McGill – I was offered a position as a Teacher’s Assistant!
  • We were originally planning on having my parents come by at 10h30 on Thursday to begin packing. Fortunately for us, they got the truck a day early, which meant that a bunch of friends could help us pack everything into the truck. There was a lot of stuff. It would have taken a long time to do it ourselves, and we would not likely have been able to do it all, and get to Montréal in time for my job interview.
  • Nicole had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the morning that we left.
  • The weather was overcast and cool, but it didn’t rain.

There are a lot of other things that went right when they could have easily gone wrong, but those are the things that come to mind right now. Post below if you can think of any yourself.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-3,
    title = {Count your blessings},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-07-24,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/24/count-your-blessings/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Count your blessings" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 24 Jul 2009. Web. 20 Feb 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/24/count-your-blessings/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Jul 24). Count your blessings [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/24/count-your-blessings/


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