Monday, September 17, 2018
I flew on Elvon’s points, which are easier to use than to have transferred. I wasted enough time on that to know. I got routed through Calgary, which wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t get to Montreal until midnight, and I had left the Lodge at 8:15 am. The United points algorithm allocated me seats at the very back of both planes, so I upgraded them to Premium Economy for about a hundred bucks, total. This gave me more leg room, and, in both cases, a free seat between me and my seatmate on the aisle. If you pick a row, where one of the aisle or window seats is taken, and book the other one, odds are no one is going to pay for the middle seat. If you are a couple, pick both of them for the same result. Don’t say this blog isn’t educational.
Hertz gave me the choice of a Corolla, or a mini-van, and I picked the Corolla. It’s a good bit bigger than the one I had 20 years ago. Nice. Montreal is still a full-blown construction zone. The Turcot interchange is downright scary at 1:00 am, with almost no one on it. It’s a little like a roller coaster, without the rails to keep you in line. You have to do that yourself and it’s not easy. You can’t go the way you want to go, either. I managed to get on Decarie, where I was expecting to have to cross three lanes in a hurry to get on to Sherbrooke, one of the stupider traffic circles in the entire world. Well, I guess they are fixing it, because I was past Sherbrooke when I got on and had to cross three lanes of traffic, in a hurry, to get off at the next exit up, Côte St-Luc – Queen Mary. Then Côte St-Luc was blocked, so I had to take the service road to Queen Mary, ride that east to Victoria, and come down on my destination. I know the territory, and Adam had generously ceded his parking spot, and called Westmount for permission to park on the street. We are close to downtown, right in Victoria Village. Parking on this street, and all the ones around, is 1 hour, overnight by appointment.
I crawled into bed and slept like a log, until woken by a client at 10:10am. Dealt with her request, as best I could, greeted Adam and Judy, got on the Internet, and sent out all that I had been writing on the plane. The important thing was to get my schedule out to my Montreal friends.
Then I went to see Paul Terni. He is dying of cancer, and has elected palliative care, at home. He’s very weak, but still as sharp as ever, and still my manager. His nephew, Peter Aglaganian was there, having lost his job of 38 years. He managed three large datacenters for CGI, one if the biggest Canadian firms in that field. But companies change, new management teams get control, and next thing you know, you’re out looking for a job at 50. I asked him if he knew of Roslyn. She got me good people when I was DP Manager at Direct film, and she got me my job at Tandem, when that fizzled. She also brought Paul a lot of good people for the places he managed. Roslyn’s a hard ass, but she knows her job, and she doesn’t mess around and waste your time.
Peter thanked me and said we could take this off line in a day or so. Paul, who you would have thought was sleeping, said “Call her now”. So Peter’s initial interview was played out over my speaker phone, in front of Paul. It seemed to please him immensely to be getting something going from his deathbed. He has no illusions, whatsoever, and is ready to meet his fate. After all, no one gets out of here alive. His daughter, Jennifer, missed her calling as a nurse, she’s fabulous. I’m sure she prefers her real career, though. Her email signature reads, in part: Jennifer Terni, Ph.D., Associate Head, Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages, Associate Professor French, University of Connecticut.
I stayed a couple of hours, picked up some pastries, sadly not from the Patisserie de Gascogne, which is no more, and three warm dead birds, from Chalet BBQ, with fries, sauce and coleslaw, and pointed the car towards Cornwall.
Mine is a very small family and these are most of it, my cousin, Rosemary, her husband, Nick, their son John, his wife, Joanne, and their daughter Lily. John’s two sisters live in Kingston, and his daughter, Sarah, is off in Nova Scotia, at a super private school. Cornwall is a very working-class town, and they didn’t think much of its educational possibilities. Joanne’s parents live nearby, so it’s all good.
Traffic getting out of Montreal was hideous, and it stayed so most of the way off the islands of Montreal and Ile Perrot. It took me two hours to get to Long Sault, arriving at 6:30PM. Out came the wine, duck liver mouse, cheese ring, crackers, and Sancerre, Elvon’s favorite wine. We toasted him, and I loved the idea. I’ll be buying Sancerre, myself, this trip. The warm dead bird was its usual nurturing self, and Rosemary was happier than a clam, not to have had to cook. We don’t drink like we used to, I am sad to report. I was in bed by eleven.
Wednesday, September 18
Since I hadn’t touched the computer in three days, and I had travel business to attend to, I spent most of the day on the computer, apart for an exercise hour and a 20-minute walk. Next thing I knew, it was cocktail hour, and I hadn’t even started this diary. We dropped some of Elvon’s ashes, from their dock, into the St. Lawrence, opposite the Eisenhower Dam. He always liked it there.
Lily’s birthday was coming up in a couple of days, so we celebrated it early. I love this picture of Lily and her father with the plastic cake form.