What a weekend

Well, for the first time since I got here, I can honestly say I had a really busy weekend. It’s not like we haven’t had stuff to do or that we haven’t done those same things, but it always felt like we were sitting around doing nothing for at least part of it. Not this weekend.

Friday was like any other workday: we got home and sat on the futon and watched a couple of movies and other random things to keep us from falling asleep at 8pm. We threw the idea of going out back and forth between the three of us, but in the end we all made the decision to just stay home thanks to the long weeks we’d all had.

Saturday morning, however, found us all awake around 8 or 9am. If you know me, you’d know that on weekends, seeing me up before the crack of noon (without assistance) is damn near unheard of. Even more so for Hazen. Yet here we were, bright and early Saturday morning, sun is shining, and for a change, we’re all awake to enjoy it.

We all decided to make it to Saturday brunch around 12:30 at Bistro 12, along with 5 other work guys and their girlfriends. We eat and talk about everything non-work related in an attempt to preserve any semblance of sanity from the previous week. Of course if you put 6 geeks in a single confined area, the topic of conversation will naturally flow back to computers, which meant that we all found ourselves quite upset, quite quickly, and realized that we needed to get our minds off anything with a keyboard for a while. We hummed and hawed over what to do. Finally we walked down to The Little Theater (yes, that’s its name) to check if there were any tickets to the new 007 movie left. There were. We payed.

I promise to only digress just a teeny bit here. Going into 007: Casino Royale, I was a little nervous about Daniel Craig as Bond. Not that he isn’t an amazing actor (you really should see Layer Cake if you want to see him at his best), but in my head, I’ve always had a picture of the dark haired, slick-as-an-oil-spill, debonair Bond. From the moment I heard that Craig had signed on, I was a bit apprehensive for a few reasons.

1. He’s blond. No, hair color shouldn’t matter, but blond (to me) just screams beach-volleyball-playing, surfer dude; not sophisticated special agent.

2. He’s never been in a role on the “good side” before. In movies like Layer Cake, Munich, and even Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, he’s always been on the wrong side of the law, and he definitely fit the bill. He was rough, scruffy, and was able to get the job done, even it meant using brute force. Becoming James Bond would require a transformation to a much more refined role; one that would require less brute strength and more cunning.

After seeing the movie, I found myself not only relieved of any misconceptions I might have had previously, but also wanting more. Craig was amazing as the latest double-oh-seven, and I cannot wait for the next one (which has already entered the production phaze).

Being that Casino Royale was about Bond becoming 007, the first scene didn’t begin with the trademark gun barrel and flowing blood. The movie begins and we find out that James has only had one kill in his entire SAS career. Within minutes, he has number 2, but I’ll leave that to the viewer to determine who dies and how. The fact that he doesn’t begin as a double-oh also explains the lack of Q and his nifty gadgets that always seem to save him just in the nick of time. A lot of people I’ve spoke to about the movie weren’t aware that this was the “prequel” to James Bond and as such were disappointed by the lack of traditional bits from the Bond universe, but believe me, it’s well worth it.

You see Bond (and perhaps since it was his first Bond movie, Craig himself) put between a rock and a hard place many a time, being forced to prove himself without any magic lasers or exploding gum, flying cars or voice replicators; he simply has his body, his trademark Walther PPK pistol, and a lot of ego.

I definitely recommend it to anyone who has ever had an interest in Bond films. It definitely brought the franchise back down to Earth (at least as far as Bond movies go) with some real emotion, and some great acting.

Now back to the weekend. Saturday night, Monbill (one of our co-workers) was having a Thanksgiving dinner, being that he’s from Boston. Instead of the usual turkey, he had turducken. Now for those of you out there who are lucky enough to never have tried or heard of turducken, let me explain what you are absolutely not missing. Turducken is quite simply duck, stuffed in a chicken, stuffed in a turkey. *barf* I’m pretty sure that starving children in Africa would turn down turducken just from the smell alone.

After the turducken was cleaned up, deserts were served which ranged from pumpkin pie, to ice cream, to all kinds of things really. We sat around for just a bit longer, before Georgina (a.k.a. “G”) showed up with her……wait for it…….ACCORDIAN.

“I’m sorry, what now?” Don’t feel weird if these were the first words out of your mouth. They were mine too. Thanks to the fact that 95% of ACT is made up of east coasters, singing drinking songs like Home For A Rest (by Spirit of the West) and Liquor and Whores (by Bubbles of Trailer Park Boys fame) is apparently the hidden national treasure that Bermuda was waiting to unleash upon the world and—No, wait. No they’re not. Not even a little bit. Getting 15 east coasters to drink their asses off while singing drinking songs is something like watching a drunk baby with a bucket on their head; for the first little while it’s entertaining, but sooner or later they just start going in circles, and break everything within arms distance.

Now I’m sure at least for a second, you wondered why I picked “Home For A Rest” and “Liquor and Whores” as examples of the names of the songs that they played. The problem was that those were the only two songs sung all night. Now I can hear you now: “2 songs? Justin, that’s not so bad, you’re over-reacting.” Yes I would be over-reacting if they’d only played each song once. Or twice. Or nineteen times. But no, I was subjected to accordion renditions of those two songs back-to-back-to-back-to-back (ad nauseum) from 8:45pm until somewhere around 3am. No stoppages in play, no smoke breaks, just six hours and fifteen minutes of the same two songs over and over and over. It was like the universe was burnt on a scratched CD, and was stuck on repeat. I really used to like “Home For A Rest”, honestly I did, but I swear to Ayesha that if I ever hear it again, the DJ will very promptly and very swiftly receive a crowbar to his face.

We woke up yesterday (Sunday) morning around 10am, angry that the sun had risen and poked its way through our eyelids. Cursing the stupid gravity that keeps our planet in orbit with the sun, Matt and I slowly started to get ourselves mobile (Hazen was called into work even earlier to deal with some massive system fault, like a screensaver not working or something equally as stupid) and went outside to surf the internet in the sun. After an hour or so of that, we decided that we would clean the house as it hadn’t really had a good one since we moved in. Out came the broom and cleaning supplies and we got to work. An hour and a half later, the house looked genuinely clean for the first time since we moved in, which prompted us to reward ourselves with an afternoon at the beach.

We got to Horseshoe Bay around 1:30pm after a good 35-40 minute scooter ride (it’s on the other side of the island; about 25km from our house) and laid on the beach while we waited for the usual weekend crew to show up and play beach volleyball. After waiting for a half hour or so and no one familiar walking by, we realized that our bodies were starting to get a bit crispy so we ran into the water and made the best of the 5 and 6 foot waves by body surfing them.

Body surfing (for those of you who have never had the chance to try it) is actually incredibly fun, but takes a lot of practice. You stand facing the shore, but watch behind you for a decent sized wave. When it gets to about 10 feet behind you, you start paddling toward the beach as fast as you can, and then straighten out and go stiff as a board when your feet almost reach the crest of the wave. It’s really hard to time, but if you can do it properly, you can ride a wave 100ft or more.

We body surfed for a couple hours and after realizing that our arms had maybe become a tad over-worked, we left Horseshoe and took the scenic route through the city and made the impromptu decision to stop at the Aquarium at Flatts Village. Unbeknown to us, the aquarium is also connected to the Bermuda Zoo. So for 10 bucks, we were able to see a ton of fish, and the cutest monkey of all: the golden lion tamarin (click here for image). They are maybe a foot tall, bright orange, and the cutest little faces. Matt and I are actually going to see about getting one as a pet because it would A) be freakin’ cool, and B) possibly be able to fetch us beers. It’s a double whammy. :)

After our bodies were sufficiently worn out from body surfing, we made our Jello-armed way back home where we proceeded to veg out long enough to find ourselves all very hungry. Rather than cook actual food, we decided we’d take Matt out for dinner to The Swizzle on the last night on the island before leaving for the real world this morning (Monday). The lucky SOB apparently wasn’t hot enough, because as of this morning, he’ll be spending a week in sunny Miami, Florida for some HP training.

And that brings us to today. Sore and sick of newfie songs, I sit here in my work chair hoping that no one asks me to do anything today because for the first time since I arrived here a month ago, I really just want to go home.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I ended the previous sentence with “I really just want to go home.” For those who didn’t catch it, it was a play on words, being that previous to the go home sentiment, I explained that I had arrived here a month ago, which would hopefully instill in the reader that the two were related. They are not. When I say that I just want to go home, I mean in the sense that I would like to ride the 10km back to my house so I could go back to sleep and possibly regain some feeling in my arms. That is all.]

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