Anthony Greene

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Archive for August 2006

Looking for a home remotely

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Preparations are being made for my move to Montreal.  I’ve found my place to live for the next year.  Though I’ve moved across the country several times now, and I couldn’t count how many times I’ve moved in total, this is definitely a new experience for me.  I’ve never had to find an apartment while not having the liberty to inspect places myself.
You can check out the original Craig’s List Ad for my apartment for my apartment.  It has a few pictures of the place.  If you follow the link and check out the ad, you’ll know absolutely as much as I do right now about the place that I’ll be moving into this Sunday.
I decided to get a 2 bedroom place.  Either I’ll start hunting on Craig’s List for a suitable roomate once I get up there (hopefully someone who can keep an eye on the cats when I’m gone at work), or just keep the whole place for myself so that I have a spare room for when guests come in from out of town.  And I really do hope you guys will come!   I’m trying right now to think of this Montreal move more as a one year working vacation, than as a permanent move to a new city.
I have to extend out a big, warm thanks to my friend Chloe for taking the time to go look at the place for me.  All I was looking for a was thumbs up.  So, when she said the place checked out, I signed the lease.
Maybe I should be a little more careful when making life decisions like these.  It seems that as I grow older I should become more cautious.  Instead, making life decisions with little information becomes easier every year.  I’m really hoping this makes me either enough of a Taoist that I simply trust the universe will place me exactly where I aught to be, or enough of a Buddhist that I just don’t worry about it.
The rest of my week here in Moncton is tying up loose ends, and figuring out what stuff I can fit into a car that is the most essential for my life in the next few months.  It’s an excercise of minimalizing and prioritizing that I would recommend to anyone to try regularly, whether you’re moving cross-country or not.

Written by anthonygreene

August 29, 2006 at 3:46 pm

Posted in the wondrous tao

Precious few moments of connectivity

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Well, I`m here in Montreal and it`s absolutely everything I remember it to be.  Except that I`m just remembering what a strange experience it is wandering around a big city where you quite literally know nobody.  I just went for my first job interview, and checked myself into a backpacker`s hostel, Auberge Utopik.  I`ve never much cared for spending too much on a motel room when all I really need is a bed to crash in, and a shower in the morning.  All I know is that the cost of the bed ($20) has easily been worth having a place to change and lock up my bag.  Today is just too hot to be wandering around montreal in a suit and tie, carrying a suitcase.  I`ve already spent about 4 hours doing just that.
Tomorrow I have a couple of interviews with CGI that I have big hopes riding on.  More and more, I am liking the idea of going to work for a huge, freaking consulting company.  While I`ve really enjoyed working for a small consulting group for the past couple of years, a change would be nice.  And both job interviews I`ve had in the past couple weeks have been with product companies, which is really driving something home to me that I never realized before.  I really enjoy consulting.  I`m not entirely sure if I would be happy working on software purely internally for a company. 
I don`t have much time here remaining on my 30 minute pay-per-use internet at this internet cafe.  But so far, if I have to say anything about how Montreal stacks up to how i remember it, I`d say that:
1)  Yes, the women are absolutely as beautiful as I remember them to be.  I still haven`t figured out how this city does it.  Maybe beautiful girls are offered tax incentives to move to the city.
2) If anything, Montreal has maybe TOO much style.  Almost every city block boasts some kind of work done by local artists, and in their bid to all outdo each other there`s almost a feeling of getting lost in it, of style overload.  I imagine the natives here don`t notice because they`re just used to it.
Nothing in my first couple hours of being here has pushed me towards or against relocating here. But I am looking at it from a slightly more sober, mature point of view than I have previously.  When it all comes down to it, it`s still a big city.  And it only took minutes of being back in a big city to remind me of the quiet charms of living back home in Moncton, NB.
Today I`ll just bum around Montreal for the rest of the day, hang out in parks and cafe`s, and maybe get some reading done.
If anyone`s reading this , pop in a suggestion on what i should do with my day here in Montreal.  I`ll probably come back here and check my email again sometime this evening.

Written by anthonygreene

August 10, 2006 at 3:48 pm

Posted in the wondrous tao

Off to Montreal

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It’s been quite the summer.

In the last week of June I was informed by my present employer, Derek Hatchard of Ardent Development, that he would no longer be able to keep finding me new contract work. I can understand that. Ardent used to make a tidy profit from nearshoring contracts from the US, but with the Canadian dollar doing so well (or the US dollar doing so badly, however you want to look at it), nearshoring hasn’t been quite the lucrative market that it was two years ago when I started on with Ardent. Also, the IT market here in Moncton is pretty tight, and it’s been a difficult situation having my employer find me contract work, instead of me going out and finding it myself.

So, with that bomb dropped on me, I knew that I had to start looking for new work. Pending unemployment tends to take the ease and relaxation out of summer. I managed to squeeze in the best week-long vacation in my life, in Southshore, Nova Scotia. Hopefully a post will come with photos from that trip.

–Edit. Check out the photo gallery I just uploaded (Summer Vacation, Southshore 2006) for pictures from just before and during my vacation. The lovely couple of ladies you see (lucky) me with are Adeline (redhead) and Sascha (dark-haired), friends of mine from Moncton and all-around troublemakers.

After about a month of looking, I hadn’t found the IT scene here in Moncton to be very promising, so I started to consider some alternatives to finding work in Moncton. Anyone who’s worked with me anywhere has had the chance to hear me whine, moan, and generally go on about how much I would like to live in Montreal sometime in my life. It’s been a recurring theme since I was first there at twenty-two, and yet strangely it never seems to work out whenever I try to move there. The longest I have ever lived there for was (if I remember) about 3 weeks, back in June 2000, when I had left my job at ITI to bum around Montreal and look for work, only to be pulled right back to Toronto with a job offer from Cyence International (then Cyence Group) that I just couldn’t refuse.

Now I’m off to Montreal again, six years later, for a couple job interviews. At this point I still have no idea at all whether I’m going to go through with this or not. I’m hoping right now that a fantastic job offer will help to make my decision easier.

Of course I (and people around me) am thinking I’m crazy to be doing this. I’ve only just now gotten my house finally in a livable condition, complete with appliances, furniture and all that good stuff. And the cats really like it here. And I have friends, and family. Oh well. We’ll just see how it goes.

Written by anthonygreene

August 8, 2006 at 11:19 pm

Posted in the wondrous tao