Friday, February 09, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
(Ask me later and I'll deny it!)
Ahhhh. So much ground to cover. Where to start. So much to tell. My Mum and sister left just before Christmas. Leaving me with an awesome FLYING MONKEY DOLL (It flies, and makes screaming noises and...flies!) and tickets to go to Games Design Expo. As well as some money that went towards my new laptop. I went over to Shana's house for Christmas on her parents insistence and spent Christmas day with their family. I spent New years over there too, Matt and Adam came and we sat and played Raving Rabbits until midnight.
Spent the few weeks after that coming under increasing pressure from just about everyone to find some way of not leaving whilst simulantaniously trying to make preparations for just that. My room is (for the most part) back to it's blank white state it started as. I bought a laptop just after christmas with family gift money and my bonus cheque from work. It pretty much lives at Shana's house because I don't have a bag for it yet.
On the 19th of Janurary, everything changed. The previous weekend, I had been at Games Design Expo. Of the two days, one had been dedicated to sampling some of what Vancouver Film Schools games design program had to offer. From what I saw, a hell of a lot more than anything I had looked at in england. Unlike most of the other places, VFS acctauly seemed to be part of the games design community. Additionaly, the course was one year, saving me two years of getting behind on industry standard tec without finding a job. So I spoke to an admissions person about enrolling. Less than a week later I put together a portfolio of my pixel art and some old game demo's dragged up from the Abyss of my old computer and I was in...or nearly.
There was the small question of the $40,000 fee. Between a parental loan, selling all my stuff, living off oxygen and prayers for the next year. I think I might make it. If I don't come out of this with a decent job. I'm hooped. Which brings me to the REALLY bad news.
The seriousness of what I'm about to take on pretty much stopped this being an adventure. At least, not the kind I want to sit down at the end of the day and write about. This blog was created specifically for my adventures in Canada. So whilst I'm still going to be infecting Vancouver with my eccentric British antics for another year. I'm not going to carry on writing about in in Duncan Goes to Canada.
The good news (asside from me not having to return to a contry run by a grinning maniac that worships the ground George Bush walks on) is that I am going to be starting not one, but two new blogs. The JJNinja Chronicles will continue to cover my antics in the city of starving artists, some kickass expresso (of DOOM!) may be involved at some point. A second, yet unnamed blog will look more at games design, because I'm a games design nerd, and I love it.
From now on, I'll be taking a quick Q&A session. I'll try to answer any questions anyone still has about anything I didn't acctauly explain fully(ie, most things). Get em in before February 20th. As of February 26th, the start date of my course, D.g.t.C is officially over. It was fun folks. Peace out.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Sunday, December 17, 2006
My family arrived last Wednesday (the 6th) , I managed to get off work in time to book it down to the airport in time to meet them fresh off the plane. Which was nice, not to tough of a journey either (about 45 minutes on the bus). Both my mother and sister where pretty disorientated and tired. Kim Campbell very kindly gave them a lift down town to where they where staying, adding to the huge list of things I'm thankfull for her doing. Apparently we're going out to dinner on Sunday with the Campbell collective.
Wednesday became a pretty disjointed mess for me. I had work in the morning, went home to tidy up enough that I wouldn't get sarcastic comments from my family if they decided to drop by. Then went to the airport (Keep in mind I had been up since 5am to work and it was now about 4pm, 5pm when the flight came in). After going through various introductions, getting into the apartment, dealing with semi-awkward exchanges (about the morality of using someone else's net connection, apartment prices, the usual stuff), trying to take in a greater amount of information than you actually have the capacity for and all that jazz... it was about 7.30pm. I threw some food together for them and then made tracks home, as I had to work early on Thursday.
Next day at work was pretty crazy. Not exhausting, thank god, but busy enough to make the time pass fast. Talk of the day was about the audit, which apparent had happened the previous day after I had left. I voice the opinion that there really wasn't point in discussing if we had failed and what on until we had received a report telling if we failed or not and what on. Apparently, I don't have the right attitude. Worrying about things you no longer have control over is the correct way to deal with such issues. Perhaps I'm just bitter because I found another stupid note on the oven this morning.
I called the place where my mum and sister where staying (to be known as "the fam" short for "the family" for simplicity's sake). They where feeling pretty good, and ignored my instructions to take the bus to where I worked and walked. It took them longer than they expected, which as I explained, was why I told them very carefully how to take the bus. I smacked my head against the table in dispair. We made it anyway, I finally cashed in on my free drinks at work, whilst doing the introductory rounds. I also grabbed them half a pound of fresh coffee.
After we hit commercial drive together (via Value Village, I bought a new bag) mostly for looking and seeing, and a quick snack stop at Juicy Lucy's. Never been there before, they had good grub for under $5. We took the Sky Train back, although the view wasn't as good as I had hoped, I did a little explaining of the various sights. Once back we walked back and crashed for a bit and watched a movie (Dodge ball, it kicked ass AND it had a Pirate, booyah!).
Later I hit up the VM lounge as I usually stop by for the video game night. Kinda annoying tonight. Only the XBox to play, no new games, Duran failed to get any nex gen consoles for the night. On the top of that, a man I know only as Hosay (or, that annoying wanker) kept on going on about playing Fifa, which we didn't have. Someone had brought it for the 360 the previous week. How people fail to grasp that XBox and XBox 360 games are two different things is beyond me. In the end I left him flailing around the XBox menu, absolutely CERTAIN that he could get Fifa 2007 working without a disc (or an XBox 360). Hopefully he broke something and Duran yelled at him.
Outside that, I got a couple of games of Donkey Kong and Mario War. Wanted to play Gauntlet and mebbe Golden eye. Although the former was giving me emulator trouble and the latter ended because I gave my controller up to said Hosay, who sucked horrifically and nobody wanted to play him. Next week I'm going to rent some games myself.
Anyway, I gotta run. I'm sitting at home, it's about midnight and I still have tidying to do. I may have to lend my place to someone else overnight and want it to be cleaner.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Also, for those of you who enjoy my random musing and will miss the end of them when I've finished with this little adventure of mine (the end could be relatively nigh, my visa expires on Feb 22nd) fear not. It's my intention to start another blog, probably with a differant theme I'm intrested in when I get home.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Two weeks later, after many phonecalls, texts, wasted time online and so on, I final resorted to getting up a 7am (on a day off T_T) to go to an internet cafe so I could talk to the tec support in england (office hours 1am-9am pacific time) and pass them the various bits of information I had gleaned in my spare time. My props to the person on the end of the line for being pleasent, respectful and very very helpfull. Never the less, it was still a fucking trial. That was just to get accsess back to an account I already owned.
So now it's 10am. I've still got the nightmare of setting Shana up with her own account. I've acctauly taken RBC up on thier offer of a pre-approved card JUST so I can charge an EPassporte up untill HSBC (the worlds local bank, who apparently no, can't help me with speeding up any transactions in england even though they have branches here *headsmack*) send my card paperwork home, and then it gets here, then I fill it out, sign it and send it back. There will be complications. The stupid thing is, I don't want credit. I hate credit. Square Enix, however, are dead set against anything that isn't visa or mastercard.
In short, I got up stupidly early this morning to bring a stupid convoluted chase to a close. I'm tired, but mildly satisfied. So now I'll talk about the rest of my week that DIDN'T involve making repeate phone calls/emails/complaints to my family/bank/video game company.
On Sunday I went to The Grates gig at the media club. Just as, if not more awesome than the Limerick Junction gig I had seen a few months ago. The Grates are the cutest thing to come out of New Zealand ever. I rant into a work friends roomate and an Aussie guy (they get everywhere in Vancouver, it's something to do with Whis-lah :p). I also picked up thier CD, really really cool. Best box art I've seen in years. The tunes are pretty good. Although thier live work is supirior. Theres nothing quite the same as seeing how crazy, bouncy and smily thier lead singer gets on stage. Also, the band that oppened for the, TV Heart Attack, where pretty good. If not a little generic.
Monday, I was supposed to go to the poetry slam but skipped out. I wanted to take Shana but she wasn't in a people mood. Apparently it was Triple D Day at the arcade (don't ask me, danmed if I know) and the place would be packed. Instead I sat around at home and played Katamari Damancy.
Toosday was Jen's gig at Limerick Junction. A little jam session with a few other people on the vancouver music scene. A bunch of JJBeaners went, Sophie (the cute french one), Jordan (the one who wears too much denim) and Meg (the dangerously well adjusted one). Together, we had waaaay to much to drink. Sophie and I had plotted to stop Meg from going home to her boyfriend, but that fell through. I went and rescued her from the ladies washroom, a rather daring move for me I think, and we leaned on each other back to the skytrain station. Apparently, I'm the only one who doesn't have girl/boy problems right now. Or at least problems I hadn't fully expected to come up against.
Wednesday. I checked in at the re-opened Video Monster loung (Duran's chef ran off. I think he owed somone money) and found out Duran was throwing a gaming event on Thursdays. I got a couple of people to show up (Matt and the Gaming friends and one attached girl). Although as usual Duran was kinda patchy and it took about an hour to get the gaming going. It was still pretty awesome though. I'm going to discuss it with Naomi to see if theres much I can do to help ship the event cos I think it rocks.
I also managed to find time to book an appointment at Joji's to get my hair cut. I have this alergic reaction to people holding sharp objects near my face; but feel marginaly safer with a student than just a cheap barber cut. I do have semi-difficult hair. Either way, I'm going to be shorter and lighter soon. But I do have a couple of photos of the mop of black I have right now. I just haven't gotten around to copying them off my camera.