10 notes from a month into my Chessbrah internship in Montreal:
1. An obsession for perfection is what separates the very best players from everyone else- it becomes a constant in one's life, whereas discipline and passion will naturally fluctuate.
2. There once was a Canadian chess player who got so drunk before a game that he fell asleep in the middle of it, woke up, and pissed onto the board thinking that he was in the bathroom.
3. It always seems really impressive to me whenever I hear a child speak in French, even though its probably the only language they know how to speak.
4. Most poker tournaments aren't there to prove who the best poker player is. Most poker tournaments are gambling events where you might get 1st place. The strong poker players avoid playing against each other to prey on the people who play in those tournaments for fun.
5. You can get a case of 12 watter bottles for $1.99 CAD. Why is water so cheap here?
6. The Elo rating system is a great way to assess any skill you can think of. I'm a 1200 at cooking, a 1400 at Melee, a 1800 at pinball, a 1900 at design, etc. People with average ratings think that the next level is always slightly within reach. The higher Elo rating you have, the more you understand how wide each gap really is.
7. There are only 4 authors in Canada who can live off their published work in bookstores.
8. If you're from the US traveling to Canada, don't tell immigration services that you're self-employed, especially if you're staying for longer than a month. It just looks like you're trying to become a Canadian citizen illegally.
9. There was a period where you couldn't access Twitch.tv through one of Canada's major internet providers. So, yeah, that's what not having net neutrality does.
10. A conversation I overheard while I was at Westcott Books on its last day before it closed:
Are you sure you don't want any booze? For the occasion.
Beer or wine?
Red or white?
I don't know, I like red I guess.
Good or bad?
Bad, so I don't drink so much that I wake up hungover next morning.