Hanging out with the Dokken side...

Conversation tidbit highlight:

I was talking with my high school friend Penny, and I was talking about the plus-degree weather I was experiencing. I started going goofy and talking about how weather works.

Me: When the temperature hits the zero mark...

Penny: Yeah, um, who won the science award back in Grade 12?

Me: Dunno. I was too busy making out with my drama, accounting, and math awards. Actually, replace "making out" with "polishing..."

Penny: (laughs) There's a difference?

Me: Polishing my awards...with my TONGUE!

Yup. I come up with some wild tangents sometimes...

* * *

So before Christmas, I made a list of things I wanted for gifts, since my mom was insisting I was hard to buy for. It's about 1/3rd down the page here (Nov. 28)

I was opening presents today. I got to my Uncle Clayton's gift.

Unwrap the gift. "Cool! The Red Hot Chili Peppers Greatest Hits and X-Men 2 DVD." Granted, the movie was fullscreen (one of my pet peeves: For the love of God, if you're going to transcribe a movie, do NOT pan and scan! You miss SO much!)

My brother murmurs, "Uh, oh."

A few gifts later, I get to my cousin Ian's gift.

Unwrap. "Cool! The Red Hot Chili...Well, hey, it's the CD/DVD combo! It's got their greatest videos as well! And, hey! X-Men 2! Fullscreen edition...Thanks, Ian!"

A few gifts later, I get to my brother's gift.

"Hey! X-Men 2! And it's Widescreen!"

Mom apologises, but she says all of the other movies I asked for were pretty obscure.

Tenacious D? Any Coen Bros. movie that's not "Oh, Brother" or "Lebowski?" Ric Flair's disc? Fiddler on the Roof?

Okay, then. So there are some things I need to exchange...

My sister, my cousin and my uncle all received DVD players. I asked for, and got, a VCR.

As I explained, I've had a DVD player for the past three years. In fact, for two years, I've had two players. But I've never had a VCR, so I was never able to play recordings of taped programs. Now, I do.

Also, today, my cousin's boyfriend proposed to her. So, that was cool.

In disheartening news, I found out that my Uncle Cliff and cousin Tara both had better digital cameras than me. 5 MP? 512 meg memory cards? Grrr! Only *I* may have kickass photography stuff!

Dad enjoyed his Led Zeppelin DVD I gave him. Mom loved her watch. Brade liked his shirts, even though one of them was too big. EJ liked her lava lamp. So i was good for gauging gifts this year. Yay me!

Am working at 11 tomorrow, so must be heading to bed soon.

Hope everyone had some decent times with their loved ones like I did.


Pleasant surprises...

I found out yesterday that I WILL be getting a day off before Christmas.

Jeff told me I'd be getting Monday off. I thought that was cool, as I could actually get some shopping done and just rest.

Then, ten minutes later, he called me, saying he switched the day off I'd be getting.

"You're off Christmas Eve," he said.

"Christmas Eve?" I asked, tentatively. I haven't had a Christmas Eve off yet since working at RadioShack.


"You sure?"


"You're insane, Jeff. I'm taking the day off, mind you, but you're insane."

Whee! Two days off in a row! Whooo!

* * *

Whenever I pop up at the main store, Jeff asks me who's over there. Since we have only three people at the toy store, Jeff wants to make sure that there's enough to handle the (frankly, meager) load.

When I went in today to drop off some product, I told Jeff, "Just so you know, I let both Amanda and Steve off for lunch. Oh, don't worry. I left the Robot Coin Bank in charge."

At which point, Jeff swung for me.

Damn Robot Coin Bank. Getting more sales than me...

* * *

Thursday's concert was pretty decent, all things considering. Granted, the fundraiser part was crap, since we had a net profit of twenty dollars. Just not too many people there tonight.

BUT! We realized the Stanley Milner theatre is a pretty good place to sing, especially with the kickass tech we had doing the sound.

And we have shirts now! It took us five years, but we finally have merchandise!

And we had some new faces there, as well as old faces who hadn't heard us sing in either a long while, or, in Stephen's case, never.

And we got a few bags of food for the Food Bank. And we had fun.

In all, good time had by me, at least.



I found out today that I'm going back to Bonnie Doon on January 2. As an assistant manager.

I'll have three months to fill out my paperwork from that date. If I do the test and the essay and everything, I'll be getting a $1000 raise.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about this yet.

I mean, the money's a lot better than just a lowly sales peon. I'll be getting around $200 more a paycheck, which will certainly help me out.

And I've pretty much been an AM for the past few years now in everything but title and pay.

But maybe it's the whole "This was supposed to be a temporary job until I found something in the journalism field" angle.

This is my fourth Christmas at this job. And I'm not very fond of it. It's getting tiring.

So, yeah. Good news: I have a promotion. Bad news: I have a promotion.

* * *

Went to see Return of the King tonight. Enjoyed myself, except for what unfortunately happened to Marauder.

Canton was able to get tickets due to his Bioware connections. And so a whole bunch of us bought tickets from him.

I guess he bit off a bit more than he could chew, though, since he was arranging for about twenty tickets.

Marauder's dad drove us from Kingsway for South Ed Common for the movie. I took my ticket from Canton yesterday. Marauder was going to pay him at the theatre.

I found Canton and said, "Okay. Marauder's waiting for his ticket in the lobby."

Canton: "Marauder's ticket..."

Me: "You DID remember that he was coming, yes?"

So Canton was trying everything to get a ticket for Marauder. He was going around to coworkers who might have tickets. He talked to the CEO of the company to try to get a ticket.

Unfortunately, no dice. So Marauder left in an understandable bout of anger.

Canton was beating himself up over it. It dimmed his (and my) enjoyment of the movie a bit.

I was wondering if I should have dumped the ticket I had and joined him for a different viewing or movie.

But there's no point in dragging myself down with "should've"s. What's done is done, and there was some miscommunication and

So, while there'll be a bit of hurt from Marauder, I'm sure that he'll cool down and forgive.


I'm currently so involved in work and buying gifts and general business, that there's not a lot of time for me to sleep.

AND I'm tending to relieve the stress of the holidays by my normal way: Sarcasm and humour.

So, if I piss you off or hurt you, try to remember it's the lack of sleep that's making me thoughtless.

Sorry for rummaging through the box of stuff, Dev.

And apologies in advance for the snake in your underwear drawer, Canton.

And SCREW YOU, AXLER! Anything I do to you is intentional!

Eurgh. Tired. Must go to bed so I can be all relaxed and ready for tomorrow's concert.

Currently listening to: U2's The Joshua Tree, one of my personal best albums ever made.

Currently reading: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens - a pretty fun read about the story of the Antichrist raised in the wrong home, so he's just a normal boy.

It's going to be a loooong two weeks...

I have finished Day 4 of a grueling 13 day work week. Yup. Since last Thursday, I won't have a day off until Christmas Day.

On top of that, it's not like these are eight-hour shifts. This week, I work 63 hours. And the mall has opened the mall an hour earlier, so I have to be at the store at 8:30.

A few weeks back, I told Jeff that I really need days off. At least one a week, even during Christmas rush.

His rebuttal was, "Come on. I'm doing you a favour. I'm letting you earn more money."

I explained that "doing me a favour" and "scheduling Jago for more than forty hours a week" are not the same thing. I like having the chance to relax, unwind. NOT worry about going into work at an early hour.

In fact, giving me days off gives customers a favour: They won't be subjected to a burnt-out Jago tearing their heads off if they cause him grief.

All I'm saying is, it's only been four days, and I'm already starting to lose it.

* * *

On the positive side, I had Amy come see me at the toy store today.

Amy was my friend who worked across the hallway from me at Bentley Bonnie Doon. A cute girl who was almost always pleasant and was a real pleasure to talk to on the slow days of BD.

When I got transferred to Kingsway, she was one of the aspects I really missed of my old mall.

Recently, she's been promoted to manager of a Claire's accessories store in Southgate.

So, I haven't seen her since, oh, August.

It was a surprise to see her walk into the store today, but something I didn't mind at all. We caught up a bit and then she left.

Of course, I completely forgot to mention Thursday's concert (Quick plug: 6:30 pm at the Stanley Milner Library Theatre: Apocalypse Kow's Kristmas Kabaret. Tickets are $10 with the donation of a food bank item. And yes, I'm aware that most of the people who read this are aware of it. So COME, dammit!) to her.

And, for some reason, my heart started dancing the Hurdy Gerdy in my chest. Damn, I need a girl.

* * *

Created a nation for NationStates, an online game Marauder found online.

I'm a theocracy, a religious nation, quite like, say, the Vatican City.

I don't know where it's headed, but currently, it's a fundamentalist Catholic-sort church. I think I'll have fun with it.

* * *

Jago sleepy. 7:30 is coming up quickly. Must justify leaving DeCosta in the midst of The Two Towers special features. (Boning up for tomorrow's viewing of Return of the King) Good night. Let's hope that come next week, I'm not raving about kicking consumer ass (in the bad way) or how I've lost thirty pounds due to stress.

I'm thin enough already.



I met Neil my first year at Katepwa Baptist Kamp. I would have been thirteen or so, and I didn't really know many people at KBK. (Most of the kids were from Regina, I was from Moose Jaw.)

He was about sixteen or seventeen, a junior counsellor and lifeguard for the camp. A goofy guy, with long curly auburn hair, in ringlets/dreadlocks down to his shoulders. He played guitar.

He'd make up funny songs on the guitars, and recruit a few guys in camp (me included) to be the Maui Maulers. We had our own theme song:

Are you sitting next to a Maui Mauler?
Are you sitting next to a Maui Mauler?
If you're sitting next to a Maui Mauler,
Then you'll die! Die! DIE DIE DIE DIE!

A fun guy to hang around with.

As the years went by, and I went from Grade 7 to Grade 11, Neil would still be at camp, progressing from lifeguard to full counsellor, to director.

He fell in love with a girl, Carolyn.

He started going to bible college at Caronport, a mere fifteen minutes outside of Moose Jaw.

When I was eighteen, I became a camp counsellor myself, under his direction.

Over the five or six years I went to Katepwa, Neil would be there. He was an example to me that you didn't have to kill your personality to be a Christian. You were a Christian in addition to all your traits. You could be a goofball, a crazy man, a completely zany, imaginative, creative guy.

He was the first person I knew who'd lobby for the right to play U2 songs as hymns during campfire because they were a very spiritual band. (40 - U2, from the War album)

One of the last times I saw Neil was when I was working at Boston Pizza back in Moose Jaw in 1998. Neil and Carolyn, living at Caronport, were being served by me.

In 1999, Neil and Carolyn had a baby girl, Madeline.

Rev. Neil McCall, youth pastor at Westhill Park Baptist Church in Regina, succumbed to cancer on Wednesday morning. I didn't even know he was sick. It was a pretty big blow to hear this news from my mom.

Neil, I'd like to thank you for helping this kid turn out to be the man he is today, independent in my personality, and unafraid in my faith. I know you touched others just as well as you did me so many years ago.

You will be missed.


All I want for Christmas is a load of stuff...

I'm in the second of two days off from work. Just the time to laze around and just be non-productive. I felt the burn to write something, so...

My parents asked me to email them my Christmas wish list. In the past few years, there's usually been one thing I'd really crave (Last year: Mario Sunshine. Year before that: A game system.) and then I'd be pretty noncommittal about the rest of the stuff.

But since I'm hard to buy for, according to my relatives, I actually found a few things I would like for Christmas. So, if you're buying anything for me come December, these are things I'm currently wanting:

Mr Show: The Complete First and Second Seasons
Space Ghost: Volume 1
Any Coen Brothers film that isn't Big Lebowski or Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou
Fiddler on the Roof
The Ric Flair Collection
X-Men 2
Jesus Christ Superstar
The Tenacious D DVD
Run Ronnie Run

Exiles: Volume 4 on
New X Men: Assault on Weapon X
Runaways (all available at a comic shop)
Mr Show: What Happened?

Steve Burns - Songs for Dustmites
The new Red Hot Chili Peppers
Any old Outkast discs. I only have the Greatest Hits and the new two-disc set
Strongbad Sings!

Bacon (On a side note, any clue why they'd be selling Chateaubriand beef for half off?)

A strainer/colander (So I can actually cook pasta or KD without losing half of it in the sink)

New twin bed sheets

There! Now Jago isn't so hard to buy for.

* * *

Found a funny weblog yesterday. Damn, I was laughing.

* * *

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Caboodle. I hope we find out what's wrong soon.

* * *

Kow's decided to hold off recording the CD until after Christmas. Too much busy-ness for the six of us (Kow, and our sound engineer Grank) to get together that often.

Reading: Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn. A strange book about a family of circus freaks. Finished Stephen Fry's The Stars' Tennis Balls, a great modernization on The Count of Monte Christo

Listening to: Andre and Big Boi Present: Outkast. Nope, still not off them yet. But I've thrown Streetnix's Ignition into the mix as well.


A dump of post.

My computer's been acting up. Instead of going into a sleep mode, it decides to go into a coma mode. After half an hour on non-action, it shuts off.

Oh, the power button is still lit up. And I've got the "sleep" light on my keyboard. But it doesn't respond when I push the wake button. until I unplug it and plug it back in.

Sigh. Looks like I might be without a comp for a bit.

* * *

Wow. Looking back on my last post, I was amazed I was able to write 2,000 words on my frustrations from one day.

Scary thing is, that's three times the size on my aborted NaNo novel.

* * *

Had a fun time at Elimination's birthday party on Friday.

D! and I went to WEM, and did a bit of shopping and visited Julio's Barrio for some nummy Mexican food. Ah, Julio's Nachos. Drool.

Then, with a whole bunch of friends, we went to see a movie.

Silver City's selection sucked ass, so we went to see what was in the second run theatre. Lost in Translation, School of Rock, The Rundown, that movie wtih Kate Beckinsale in leather as a vampire who's title I can't remember...All movies I'd have no problem with. And $5 ticket prices!

Just for kicks, we decided to try the THIRD run theatre, and found Pirates of the Caribbean playing. So we went to see that. But we had two hours before the curtain went up.

I found the kickin'est-ass dessert place which sold crepes. Seriously, if you're in the food court beside Galaxyland, go check it out. Some dessert crepes to die for.

(Kate's movie is called Underworld, methinks.)

After the movie, D! and I were getting a ride from Screech, who had parked at Misericordia Hospital.

But first, we had to get a ride to Screech's car by Edmonton Playwright.

For some reason, Screech couldn't get her car started (no power steering). So Ed Playright went in.

"This is not my Mustang," he said.

I chirp in, "This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife!"

D! and I start singing some Talking Heads until Playwright yells at us to shut up.

"Sorry, man. D! and I express stress differently. At least at this point of night."

As it was, Playwright had to drive us home due to Screech's car not starting.

* * *

On Saturday, I was able to spend some fun time with MFJ. We worked on some Kow PR, watched the Hockey Classic on my crappy reception TV, watched some Red Dwarf, played some Animal Crossing and went shopping. And napped.

And then we had a games night at her place. Nova, Dev, MFJ, me and Lady Def.

Fun times. We had a fun game of Battle of the Bands, where Lady Def's mom turned out to be a party animal drunkard.

The Whole Brain Game. Highlights include:

"Okay, Dev. Your topic is 'Why would Dieter (Deeter) impress?'"

"What? Let me see that card. DIE-ET-ER! Not DEETER!"

And a fun game of Pygmy Cannibals that lasted way after the ladies went to sleep.

* * *

Yesterday, I was coerced into going to the company's Christmas party. The only reasons I went were because I had people I actually wanted to hang out with this time, I won yet another sales award, and because Mitch was in charge of it. Otherwise, I would have gone to Kow rehearsal, and Ravenloft.

It was a decent time. Some good food (and quite a bit of it), some great jokes (including being amazed at Real's wife), and a pickup game of Battle of the Bands.

An excerpt of the banter:

ME: You know, I should just go around and pretend to be Jeff for a bit.

TABLE: What?

ME: As in, "Hi, I'm Jeff Ferris. Is this your wife? Hubba!"

JEFF: You ARE aware that almost everyone here knows who I am?

ME: That just makes it funnier. I can just imagine all the people who'd end up saying, "Man! That Jeff Ferris is SUCH a jackass!" OOH! Even better! "Hi, I'm Mitch Vik! Now, I know, I might be at the front of the hall, being the MC, but I AM Mitch." Or, "Hi, I'm Regional Manager Pete Scully! Groin! Grope!"

Laughter ensues.

Afterwards, I walked to the bus terminal at Northgate (thank God the weather was a lot milder), got on the 9, and and then promptly fell asleep on the bus.

I awoke to a residential view. "What the hell? Where am I? WHAT? Southgate Mall!?!?"

Yup. Missed my bus stop by 30 blocks. Whee! Got home at 12:30 am. And I got to open today! Joy!

* * *

Well, that about wraps up this update. Hopefully, I'll do better than a weekly post for the future. Just pray that my computer actually decides to stay on...


My own personal Survivor Series (or, the Workday from Hell)...

Last night, I learned a very valuable lesson:

A riding mower is not a toy.

* * *

A very long day at work today. It wasn't the worst day, thanks to the money I made ($1700 in one day is a pretty good sales figure.), but I wouldn't want it to happen again.

Some of my co-workers decided they'd go out drinking last night. That's all cool and such, but not when people who are scheduled to work the next day decided to bite off more than they can chew.

I opened the store with Emmanuel. Nathan was supposed to be there, but called in and said he'd be a bit late. Like an hour late.

So I had to open the store by myself. While Emmanuel opened the toy store by himself. I had only one task for him to do: Take down all the green sales tags that had expired the day before. Not a hard job. Certainly one even a slackass like Emmanuel can do.

It was busy. Nothing I couldn't handle, but I was glad when Nathan showed up at 10:30. He told me what had happened last night, and that he was suffering from a hangover. he wanted to get something to eat, so he could sober up some. I said, "Wait until Darren comes. I can't afford to be by myself in the store at this point."

Darren calls at 11. "I'll be a bit late."

"Why? Same sort of circumstances as Nathan?"

Darren laughs. "No. I just need to take care of some personal business."

"Okay, then. When do you think you'll show up?"

"1 pm." An hour late. Well, I'll cope, I guess.

Meanwhile, he's got some things for me to ship out. A video card to a store. More product to other stores. A 27" TV he sold to a customer and promised to ship the next day.

All I knew is that I was NOT going to go downstairs and get the box for a 27" TV that he sold, pack it up, ignoring all the customers in my store when there's only two of us working. Darren can deal with that when he comes in. If I can't go for some desperately needed change, I can't take care of a sale he made...

Terry shows up at 1. I send him over to the toy store. But before he goes, I make sure to tell him that I want all the expired green sales tags down. I know, it's an easy job, but Emmanuel rarely does work. He tells me he's got it taken care of.

I start to get worried when Darren doesn't show up. At 2:30 pm, a full hour and a half after he told me he was coming, I start calling his cell. No answer. I call Jeff on his day off, and tell him what's happening.

"Damn it!" Jeff says. "Why can't these people think before they get drunk, if they're working the next day?"

"You took the words right out of my mouth, Jeff."

Nathan's feeling woozy. But I can't afford to give him a break when there's only two salespeople in the store.

A woman comes in with a patch cord she bought.

"I'd like to get a return," she says. I look at the receipt. It was from August. A full three months after she bought it.

"I see you have the extended warranty. I can give you a new cable."

She shakes her head. "It's not working with the TV. My husband bought a new cord, and it's working now. I want my mnoey back."

"I'm sorry. I can't do that. The return policy is only 30 days. I can give you a new cable, though, if this one's broken."

"But I bought the three year warranty!"

"Yes. Which gives you a new cable. I exchange the broken one for a new one, free of charge."

"I don't want another cable. I just want my money back."

"I can't return the cable..."

She interrupts. "I don't WANT to return the cable. I just want my money back."

"Yes. You want to return the cable. I can't do that. I could have done it halfway through September. Not three months later."

"It doesn't say there's a 30 day limit on this receipt."

I turn over the receipt, and point out, word by word, where it says there's a 30 day return policy.

She glares at me. "I want my money back."

"I won't give you your money back. I CAN'T give you your money back. All I can do is give you a brand new cable."

"The boy who sold it to me said that if anything happened, I could bring my cable back..."

I finish her sentence. "And get it exchanged for a new one. Which is what I'm offering you. The three year warranty does not mean you can get your money back in three years."

She throws the cable at my chest and storms out. And storms back in, demanding her receipt back. Which I give her. And then she storms out again.

I almost leave at that point. Instead, I just sigh and help the next customer.

Nathan feels sick. He rushes to the washroom.

Emmanuel and I are dealing with the lineup. Nathan comes back, wearing his t-shirt. He has puked in the washroom, and has soiled his shirt.

"I'm going home," he says.

I reply, "Fine. If you go home, you have to call up Jeff and tell him you're going home. Because he's going to have to get someone to come in to replace you."

Darren still hasn't shown up. Nathan manages to get him on his cell. Darren's been at home, sleeping.

Nathan calls Jeff. Jeff calls me back.

"I got a call from Darren. He's not coming in today."

"Nice of him to tell me. So, you're coming in to take over the store, right?"

He said he'd call me back.

Four o'clock. Emmanuel's leaving. I ask him to stay until Rod shows up. Because I'm not going to be in the store by myself.

Emmanuel grumbles. "I don't get a break. I have to stay later."

"Join the club, Emmanuel. You can always quit, if you want. (In my mind: "PLEASE quit! It would make it easier for everyone...") But you're staying until Rod shows up."

Nathan goes to buy a shirt so he can still work. When he comes back, I follow him into the back room.

"You know, I'd be kicking your ass right now, if your body wasn't doing it for me," I tell him.

Rod shows up. Emmanuel leaves. Terry calls up, asking if he can get relieved so he can go for break. I tell him it will probably happen at about six or so.

Jeff calls up, saying Steve (glorious, glorious Steve!) will be showing up to finish the shift. And that Jeff and Martin will come into close.

I deal with a customer who called earlier about getting a Bell Expressvu receiver. I had clearly explained over the phone that he'd need a credit card to buy the dish, thanks to Expressvu's new crazy-ass policy. (In a nutshell, you have to sign a two year plan of at least $40 a month to get all the promotions given. You have to sign an agreement saying you are NOT stealing a signal from Bell. The retailer pretty much has to fill out a form with address, work number, creidt card, dish registration number, etc, etc... It's more work than a cell phone contract these days. You can't buy an Expressvu unless you have a credit card.)

So this customer was grumbling, saying I didn't need his information. Although I had explained it in detail over the phone prior to his coming in.

Six o'clock. I'm supposed to be off. Steve hasn't shown up yet. I call Steve's cell, asking him to PLEASE call me with his whereabouts.

6:20 pm. Steve comes in. Nathan can now go. I have to go to the toy store so Terry can have his break.

Terry has made a grand total of $150 at the toy store. It's so slow, he's been able to watch three movies on the TVs.

While I relieve Terry, I take down all the green sales tags that expired on Sunday. Because Emmanuel didn't do them. Terry didn't do them. Sigh. I am at the point where I'm calm. TOO calm. Eye of the hurricane calm. A dangerous calm.

Steve comes into the toy store at 7 after Terry's done his break. I am able to leave. But first, Steve wants to buy a Game Boy Advance and some games. So I have to ring that through first. It takes about fifteen minutes to do properly, because of some miscommunication between us. So I'm leaving at 7:30. But first I call Jeff.

"You're still there? Why?" he asks me.

"Just. Don't. Ask. Please."

As I am leaving, Terry answers a phone call. And asks me if I know anything about a 27" TV that was supposed to be shipped to a customer's house.

I laugh maniacally, and tell him to put the guy on hold, so I can tell him that since Darren didn't come in to get that done, it didn't get sent out. "So tell the customer that it WILL happen. But it will happen tomorrow. And it won't be me doing it."

I leave. Finally. Completely wiped.

* * *

I am so happy with the way that the WWE writing is dramatically improving. Raw is having some moments of brilliance these days. Yesterday, I called some matches at Survivor Series wrong. I lost the pool. But I was fine with the wrong choices, because they worked out in an unpredictable, yet plausible way.

"There's no way Stone Cold's team is going to lose. They're not going to fire Austin. Oh. Austin's team lost. Well, that worked out better than I had hoped...

"Yup. Triple H is back, which means he's going to take the title and push down all the talent that deserves it a lot more than the son-in-law of Vince McMahon. Oh, Goldberg retained the title. That's good."

Just some logical storylines these days. I won't bore you with the details of today's episode of RAW, but I was very pleased with how the writing's improved.

It's getting to the point that I can't call the plotlines in every detail before. Unpredictability in the WWE. It's definitely looking up.


Jago is...

From Googlism.com:

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jago is a magnificently two

jago is a man who can bring about heaven on earth

jago is a freeware contributed by rene grothmann

jago is equipped with a precisely working manipulator permitting selective sampling

jago is a

jago is conniving; carteri's desdemona is captivating

jago is appealing to people who have voted for the liberal/national coalition or the alp in the past to vote for him this time around

jago is within walking distance

jago is wedding kencd7? posted

jago is a pineapple grower

jago is wedding kencd7? that's right

jago is a seamless whole

jago is excelent tool for viewing and analyse go games

jago is beatiful and deadly

jago is founded on michael whelan's covers

jago is a young boy separated from his family and home and surviving as a street child in a war torn country

jago is frightened away

jago is suddenly jolted by a psionic backfire

jago is completely right

jago is able to load and save go games in xml format

jago is the phonetic spelling of santiago

jago is niet mijn naam vanaf mijn geboorte

jago is the 28

jago is a qualified mediator

jago is scheduled to arrive in wellington on its mother ship

jago is a programming environment that allows programs written in a subset of java to be run in a virtual environment

jago is able to bring to the committee remains to be seen

jago is a graduate of the prestigious royal ballet school in london

jago is the marketing director at seattle

jago is a client to connect to the internet go server

jago is a 1 year old black and red german male he has great drives and ability and temperment

jago is looking forward to welcoming new prospects to the team

jago is retired from corning inc and mrs

jago is participating in the programme on behalf of the max planck institute in germany and will be manned by a technical team headed by professor hans

jago is installed locally

jago is an christian mc that was born in oktober 1972 in gefle/sweden

jago is an ex

jago is a master of "tang lang" kung fu and an instructor of tai chi

jago is able to unleash people?s fantasies

jago is a member of canterbury christ church university college's centre for international studies in early childhood

Yup. Jago's easiest post, due to cutting and pasting.

Oh, wow. This is my 75th post. Not quite the landmark that girlone's at, but it's not a bad total for a journal that's been online for six months.

And, it's a pretty cool unintentional subject for such a number.

* * *

On another note, I've been participating in some political surveys along with some contributors to a message board I frequent.

It's pretty interesting to see where this survey ranks you.

My statistics are:

Economic Left/Right: -4.62

Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.15

Which puts me at the ideological equivalent of Gandhi, so to speak.

And, scarily enough, I'm the most authoritarian of those surveyed from the Failure boards. Guess I'm the least critical of government, as a whole...


Acting While Buzzed

I had a great release for this nightmare week of working today: I went to improv and just channelled all my aggression into cutting loose and acting.

It was to be The Monsters of Rock Tour (Me and the Wombats) vs. The Three Musketeers (D!, Marauder, Elimination). But yesterday I heard that Randy wasn't able to make it, and Paul was working a late shift.

Which would make the odds a lot worse, since the lineup would be me vs. three good improvisers.

I decided on a plan of attack: I'd get a sixpack of beer, come onstage dishevelled and talk about how the Monsters of Rock Tour had celebrated after our last victory.

Someone would reply back, "But that was three weeks ago!"

Me: "Yeah. They're fucked up. I'm the only one able to come out for improv."

As it turned out, Paul switched his shift so he could make it. But I decided to act drunk regardless...

I got what turns out to be one of Paul's and my favourite beers (Sleeman's Honey Brown) and we decided to drink it during the show.

And we decide that since we're going up against some very good improvisers, we'd let our minds run wild. Absolutely no fear onstage.

Sometimes it worked. We had a good brother/sister scene, where he was filled with jealousy and I with rage. It ended up where Paul took an aging potion to gain my birthright.

And the Scene Done Three Ways, set in a dance club, with me as a patron and he as a bartender, with me getting slapped by women across the room, and him trying to test new drinks on me.

And then the same scene done with "more sexuality." And then as a Western.

We ended up winning the competition, and had a lot of fun doing it.

Since we had very few people in the audience, we decided to forgo the usual elimination round in favour of a long-form love story: "When the Mad Scientist Met the Mermaid."

The first scene involved the mad scientist and his assistant. One guy named Adam jumped on as a hunchback, and I joined him. When the lights went on, I decided to reverse roles, and became the sarcastic grad student to his tenured professor.

When he asked me what sort of project I wanted to do, I replied, "I want to do some reanimating of Elle Macpherson."

Adam replied, "Elle Macpherson's dead?"

Me: "Well, not yet! But she WILL be!"

So my grad student turned out to be the most evil character around. And I had a lot of fun doing it: Basting Elimination in lemon to get eaten by a fish, cutting a fish in half three times, pretending to play the piano, selling out the professor, selling out the captain of the submarine, cutting Elle Macpherson in half...

And I died laughing when Edmonton Playwright turned his Elle Macpherson into Larry (L) Macpherson during a monologue. It made it seem like I was insane, mistaking a supermodel for some guy.

Some VERY fun times...

* * *

Got that freaking toy store computer working FINALLY on Wednesday. It only took me about twenty hours of labour. At which point OTHER machines started breaking down.

But today? MUCH less stressful.

Listening to: Speakerboxxx by Outkast's Big Boi. That disc has ALSO grown on me...

Must go to bed. Recording tomorrow...


SO much frustration, and ways to amuse myself in a bedroom with blankets and a microphone...

My plan was to write for a few hours tonight on my NaNoWriMo project, the story of a Seattle guy and his con-artist friend.

But real life decided to kick me in the head today, and so I just want to get to bed and sleep off my frustrations. After I vent.

The RadioShack toy store will be opening up in KGM tomorrow. So we've been getting ready for it. Setting up a new location. Counting 300 boxes of stock. Cleaning up the main store for a visit by RS CEO Brian Levy tomorrow. Pricing.

My job for the past while has been to set up the toy store computer.

It was a matter of installing the Point of Sale system and Unix as well. It wasn't a big deal until I found that I'd need to back up my store's POS and reinstall it onto the toy store comp.

We don't have a working backup. We haven't for a year. So, for a year, we'd been living on a computer system ,that, if there was a power surge, would lose all of its data. There would be nothing left.

So I had to backup the system onto another computer, and then reverse the process for the toy store computer.

So far, this task has taken me over twenty hours to do. And about ten hours to Calgary.

And I end up being frustrated, because there's NOTHING I can do to fix it. AND I have to stop to help customers. AND I have to answer questions from both inexperienced new staff members and dumb, unlearning old staff members. AND answer the phone. AND tell Jeff that I can't do any work on the computer because I've got four customers in line, and THEY come first.

At least i'm getting good sales due to Christmas shopping.

Today I was ready to throw in the towel, just quit without any notice. It's not the first time I've felt this way. But the last time was in February.

* * *

Last night, Kow started the process of recording a CD.

We enlisted the help and skill of our friend Grank, who has his own computer and sound recording equipment.

We went over to his house and found one bedroom converted into a soundroom, with blankets hung on the walls, and a microphone in the middle.

We'd start off by recording a base track, with all of us singing. Then each of us would record a separate track by singing along to the base track.

It worked fine with the first two songs we recorded (Little Red Riding Hood and Hitching a Ride). Once Coney Island Baby was decided as our next song, things got difficult.

Coney Island Baby is a barbershop standard that requires us all to watch each other and listen for blend. But there's so many pauses and rubatos and speeding up, we found out it's impossible to anticipate where everything is laid out during our separate stints in the sound room.

We had to stop and start five times, and Grank recorded them all. So when I was in the soundroom laying down my voice track, I was trying to figure out which one was the real one.

"Okay. This isn't it. Next part of the song."

Then I heard my mic cut out.

"I'm not hearing myself anymore. Am I just on mute? Or am I not singing? Hell, I'll sing anyway."

So I start and stop along with the base track.

At the end, I ask into the mic, "Okay. I think I should try that again."

Dev pokes his head in the bedroom.

"Did you just say that you should try that again? Were you singing the entire time?"

"Of course," I reply.

Yeah. My mic was off.

So I try again. But keep on screwing up.

The rest of Kow told me they knew we were done recording for the night "when we hear Jago cursing like a sailor."

Still, it was pretty fun and a big learning experience. Now we know what to do for the next session: Have everything planned out.

And Grank found out that he should keep the recording going all the time, because he loves our banter and doesn't want to miss out on a particularly funny bit that we just improv.

Well, I'm looking forward to next week...



Got back this afternoon from Jasper.

It was a fun time, although Friday was conspiring to kill me.

I was in charge of getting the computer terminal for the toy store all ready, which was taking a bit of time. My parents had left Moose Jaw at 6:30 (5:30 my time), so they'd be arriving at about 2 or so, a bit earlier than I had planned.

After MFJ got ready, it was about 4:30 pm. After eating some dinner, we set out for Jasper and got there at about 10 pm.

Some interesting roads on the way there, with the nice new snowfall Alberta got.

The hotel we were staying at was pretty nice, with a kitchenette, one bedroom, a loft with three singles, and a hideabed in the living room.

We watched some television, and MFJ and I stayed up and watched some late night shows.

The next day, we had plenty of free time, since the wedding was starting at 5 pm.

MFJ and I went exploring the shops, and buying a few things. I needed a swimsuit, we found a comic store, so I HAD to go in a check it out. Treats at Nutter's Bulk Foods. Fudge for MFJ's family.

Had a nice time at the hotel pool. The steamroom had some menthol added to the steam, which really refreshed me (I tend to go nuts for menthol and minty things. See the Kleenex rants a few pages back). And it was shocking to NOT be the hairiest guy at the pool. Man, that guy had back hair to overshadow mine, and I have 103% hair! ("Even my hair has hair!")

The wedding itself was very nice. My Uncle Dan was approached by Colin and Joanne to marry them, so he obtained a temporary license from the province.

Mom's camera was on the fritz, so I lent them mine. And I brought my digital camera as well, just so I could get shots. Dad was taking pictures, when all of a sudden, a HELP warning came on the LCD.

This was the FIRST time in five years my camera's done this to me.

So I pull out the digital camera. And realize I had forgotten my memory card in my USB reader back here. And it was a four hour drive.

So my sister EJ lent Dad her camera. Which promptly died.

Luckily, Dan had borrowed some digital cameras and a digital videocam from his work, and since Alberta Justice buys Canon supplies (at least in this case), I was able to steal a 128 MB CompactFlash card to use in my Canon.

The meal was AMAZING! There was a pretty good squash and Granny Smith soup to start off with. Then came a mozzarella and tomato salad that had the freshest mozza I've ever tasted.

The PRIME RIB with YORKSHIRE PUDDING and DOUBLE STUFFED BACON POTATO was my favourite part, of course. Guh. I was wanting more Prime Rib, and my aunt Kim was saving herself for dessert, so I got to have another half of beef. Yum!

MFJ's favourite part was the dessert. It was a chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis. MFJ was cutting off the circulation to my left leg by squeezing my thigh when she tasted the mango-peach dipping sauce that was included.

There was no official program, and so the dance actually occurred during the meal, while they were gettign the courses ready. And then a small thank you speech from Colin and Joanne afterwards.

I forgot how funny Colin could be until he started dancing these crazy steps that made everyone laugh. I got about 4 minutes of video through my Canon of some just silliness.

Then this morning, we were up pretty early so my parents could make the 12 hour drive back to Saskatchewan and still be able to function at work tomorrow.

* * *

Recently, the girl downstairs has had her boyfriend move in. So he takes my parking space without asking for it. Otto, my landlord, has talked to me about it, and I told him I didn't make any arrangements for this guy to park there.

Today, when my parents pulled into my space, he came up in his van and said, "Hey, you can't park there."

"Yes I can," I replied. "I live here."

"Do you live in that apartment?" he asked, pointing to the window below mine.

"No," I replied. "I live in the one above. Number 23. Which is the parking stall number."

"Well, Robin told me she owned both spaces."

"No. I own one of them. So it's okay for my parents to park in MY space."

We then headed into my apartment. Looks like I'm going to have to have a talk with Robin about this.



In retail, there are always going to be returning customers. In some cases, those customers are good ones who you don't mind seeing again. In other cases, you rue the day they stepped into your store and singled YOU out for psychological damage.

When I left Kingsway the first time, I was giddy at the thought of potentially not seeing these people ever again.

Now that I'm back? Guh.

I had the misfortune of seeing the two banes of my former stint at KGM enter the store today.

The first is Judith.

Judith is a paraplegic in a wheelchair. And she can't talk properly. And, I'm sorry, but every time she comes in these days, my blood turns to ice.

Because she'll ONLY deal with me.

AND because I can't communicate with her. (And if you know me, you KNOW how much I have the need to communicate. And how it frustrates me if I'm not able to.)

AND because it takes three hours to figure out what she wants.

AND because she's only going to return it the next day. And take ANOTHER three hours worth of time.

So I end up going into the backroom afterwards, ready to cry. Or scream. Or drink copious amounts of alcohol. Or all three simultaneously.

(Heh. Just picturing myself trying to hold down liquor while screaming and crying. Which makes it look like I'm gargling whiskey, for some reason...)

Judith came in today, and ever since I came back, I try to pawn her off on someone else in the store. Just so I don't. Because my patience is a fault in this case.

So today, it was Nathan's turn. I started becoming all busy, filling out waybills and rushing to the backroom. Answering the phone at every opportunity, and keeping talking into the phone after that person's hung up, so I can keep the illusion of "too busy of Judith" alive.

And I shoved Nathan her way.

After a while, he came up to me, and said, "Do you know this person?"

I tell the dead phone, "Hold on for a sec." And I nod at Nathan, still doing anything else to occupy my time.

She wheels over. "Aaaaaio. Aaaaaio." (Kyle. Kyle.)

"I'm busy, Judith. Nathan can help you just as well as I can."

She asks me, in her non-vowelled speech, about "movie machines," which I find to be DVD players.

I turn to Nathan. "Nathan, can you show her the portable DVD players?" And go back to work.

He sells her this small DVD player for $90. Which *I* strap to the back of her wheelchair.

And she asks ME a question, which takes ten attempts at deciphering.

I end up selling her a extension cord and a longer video cable, after about half an hour of trying to decipher what she says.

And I was right up beside her, and could sense the stench of the bile she coughs up. Almost twelve hours later, and I'm STILL retching over it.

So I send her across the way to buy a Lion King DVD. (Unfortunately, my constant attempts at breaking the Judith code back a few years ago makes me the only one who can really understand her on staff. And if *I* am the best shot at understanding her, it means I'm stuck with her a lot.)

And I go in the back room to vent.

Nathan's saying, "Dude, you deserved that for shoving her off onto me."

I look at Nathan square in the eye. "No, I don't. I put up with her for two years. I've paid my dues. THAT'S why I avoid her."

He looks astonished. "Oh. Two years? Okay, then..."

A few hours later, a Chinese man pokes his head into the store. "Kyle! Kyle!"

I furiously look for keeping-busy tasks. Damn. He comes directly up to me. "You're back here now! When did that happen?"

I mutter, "June."

This gentleman called me up a lot when he had problems figuring out how to locate his DVD player icon on the laptop sold by my manager at the time.

And so I became his computer help, receiving incessant calls asking for help. It usually led to tears of frustration and me yelling into the phone.

When I left, it wouldn't have been a problem. Until he somehow learned that I went to Bonnie Doon.

The phone rang one day.

"Good afternoon. RadioShack, your answer store. Kyle speaking."

"Kyle? Kyle!"

My heart sank. After I got off the phone with him, I immediately called up Kingsway.

"All right. Tell me the name of the person who gave out my new location to this guy. And that person will die at my hands."

So, yeah. Hopefully, this rant will help me ease out the frustrating time that today was. Good thing I'm doing stock at the toy store tomorrow, and then on my way to Jasper for the weekend.

Thank god. A break.

* * *

And man, looking at that last post, I really need to clean up my living room if I'm seeing that much stuff...Milk carton beside the couch? Must. Clean.

In parents news, mine are bringing me a dishwasher. Whoo! Another modern convenience I will cherish again!


Following a meme...

Interesting experiment for you to try out: (from this journal I found, who, in turn found it here.)

All The Brand Names I Can See While Typing Without Turning My Head:

Ocean Pacific, Compaq, RadioShack, Panasonic, Minolta, Canon, Reese's, Memorex, Fujifilm, Pepsi, WWE, Microsoft, Fox, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sony, Nintendo, Sears, EMI, Coca Cola, Nabisco.

When I look around the room, I quickly glance at Dairyland, Samsung, Snapple, Sprite, M&Ms, Black & Decker, Dell, Warner Bros (through DC), Marvel, Telus...

(Heh. For even MORE fun, let's see all the brands that have websites attached to them...)

Wow. Pretty scary, that. Stupid branding. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to bed. Still tired from last night's inventory and subsequent day at work.


Inventory Rant

I'm going against every instinct right now. Because I shouldn't write when I'm angry.

But it's currently 2:46 am (since I'm disregarding DST for the time being) and I just got back from eight hours of counting crap.

AND I have to be back at the store at 10 am tomorrow.

So I get about six and a half hours of sleep. Where I survive on about eight, and thrive on ten.

Even though we have a few more people than last time show up for inventory, it still took us a while to get the first batch of counting, because there were some people who have never done an inventory.

When we WERE done the first count, I wanted to leave so I could get some much needed sleep.

Jeff asked me if I could stay a bit longer. I said I'd rather catch my bus.

He said my last bus would leave at two in the morning, so could I stay an hour later?

I grudgingly agreed. Because I was tired and am too stupid to realize that the bus stops running from Kingsway to Southgate at 12:45. But goes North for another hour.

In fact, D! and I were burned by this last week. But, I was tired and stupid.

When I looked up the bus schedule, I just yelled, "FUCK!"

Nothing I could do other than wait for Jeff to give me a ride home. So I put on my headphones and started looking for wrong counts. (Thank God for Andre 3000's The Love Below)

Jeff saw that I was all quiet and counting. He told Martin, "Hey, he looks like he's doing all right. He's still counting, and he doesn't look mad."

Martin said, "Don't approach him. He learned that he missed his bus by staying late. He's pretty pissed."

What can I say? Even though I was pissed, it was better to listen to Outkast and just do work. Sulking and complaining wouldn't have done anything.

But, time for bed. So I can actually function tomorrow.

And, Dev, if you read this, I might be a bit late for Kow today. 6 pm is kind of hard to make when I work until 5:30.



My evening with Justice, better booking, and sweet hiphop action...

Spent an enjoyable evening with Justice last night.

It was supposed to be Dev, Astro, Justice and me. Unfortunately, Dev got sick, and Astro had forgotten about an evening at home with the wife.

So, just the two of us. I showed him my new place (we hadn't hung out for over a year), we watched some stuff off of my computer, we took off for some food and drink, and them played some multiplayer Gamecube madness.

We had fun even with meeting some people on Whyte, begging for money (of course). We thought these two people would hit it off fabulously together, one having just arrived from jail, and another who could do one-armed pushups.

They could go into the panhandling business together! Pushups and stories about jail.

Just one of the reasons I don't like to go on Whyte after dark. (Well, that, and the way my interpersonal dynamics with strangers completely went downhill after the assault...)

But, always a fun time when I hang out with Justice. And hopefully, it won't be another year before the next time we meet...

* * *

Paul Heyman's back in the WWE! WHOOOO! (This is the point where all you anti-wrestling heathens can scroll down to the next bit.)

It was a long time coming, with Heyman taking a break from on-air appearances. And he had a falling out with the powers that be, so his role in the fed was cut quite considerably.

But now he's back as Smackdown's General Manager! And already, the stories are improving.

Only one MacMahon on Smackdown, now. So a lot less of undeserved non-wrestler storyarcs. And not a hint of sewage jokes, like the past few weeks between Eddie Guerrero and the Big Show.

Nope. Just good ol' wrestling and old-school mentality.

Heyman books a match between the Undertaker and the combination of Brock Lesnar (WWE Champion) and the Big Show (US Champion). The stipulation is that if 'Taker wins, he gets to choose his next match.

So after the Undertaker pins Big Show, Heyman comes out.

"Oh, I'm so sorry! My first day on the job, and I make a mistake. I forgot to mention that this is a best out of three falls!"

He starts the match back up. 'Taker manages to get the two opponents counted out. He wins the second fall.

Heyman: "Oops! I did it again! I forgot to mention there are no countouts!"

Match starts back up. Big Show brings out a chair and hits the Undertaker with it. Undertaker wins by DQ.

Heyman: "Where is my mind today? I forgot to mention: no DQs!"

Match starts up again. 'Taker realizes that there is no DQ, so he uses a foreign object against both Big Show and Lesnar , and then wins the match.

AND there's nothing Heyman can do about it. Because no stipulation he threw on conflicted with a previous one. And it worked out logically.

Brilliant booking. Other than the Undertaker taking out the top two champions on Smackdown. So it has a bit of a way to go. Still, big improvements...

* * *

Picked up the new Outkast disc last night. Whee!

I love the way that these guys don't play by the hip hop rules, per say. They tend to experiment, and go out into new directions.

The new album, The Love Below/Speakerboxxx is both members putting out solo albums, and releasing it as a two-disc set. Some great stuff on there, including Andre 3000's "Hey Ya," a whole riff on the Beatles and Motown.

My only beef is that the last album by Outkast I picked up was their greatest hits album. So it was the top of their game. Some of the tracks on the new album don't quite measure up to the greatest hits. Which is understandable. But still...

* * *

Got to cut it short here, as I have to book for inventory at work. Fun times! The choir's Hallowe'en party on tonight, and I get to count how many batteries are missing. Wheee!


Two interesting developments, and a loss...

Yesterday, Jeff figured out a way to make me freak out completely:

Offer me my own store.

Not was the assistant manger, like I've decided to go for. The manager of my own store.

I was scared. And sweating. And thankful. But scared.

I declined the store. Jeff told me to convince him why I wouldn't go for the opportunity.

I guess I value the bit of free time I currently have too much, to manage a store where I'd be most likely working a lot more. Especially over Christmas.

Even if I had a bunch of staff like Nathan. Even with a whole bunch of help from Jeff.

I'll just be too busy with other stuff right now to take over a store.

Although I was amazed that Jeff and Mitch would think of me to take Westmount over, oh, say, all the assistant managers in the area.

Looking back on it, I think I would have taken a Rogers AT&T store if I were offered it, though...

But RadioShack? During Christmas? God, no.

* * *

I was over at the house last night, watching some more 24.

When Dev went to bed, Canton and I were watching a last episode before we called it a night. With ten minutes to go, I paused it to go to the washroom.

I do my business, and open the door. I said, I OPEN the DOOR! Stupid door! Why won't you OPEN?

Try as I might, I can't get the damn thing open.

Canton comes and tries to help me. We take the doorknob off. Try to tinker with the bolt mechanism. No dice.

Dev comes out. They're both trying to figure out what the problem is. I can't hear a thing, because the fan and light are wired into the same switch. The only time I could hear them talking is when I turned out the lights.

They pass through a set of needlenose pliers. I try to jimmy open the mechanism. Nope.

We consider taking me through the second story window. Not the greatest of plans, but.

OOH! The hinges! So I try to take the hinges off with the pliers. A bit of soap, and conditioner later, I get a hinge off. The next one comes pretty easily.

Hinges are sort of rusted to each other, so it takes a bit of manwork on Dev and Canton's parts to take the door out.

After half an hour, the door is off the hinges, although the house's landlord will most likely have to replace it. It's a little splintered at the knob and hinge areas. And they'll need to replace the rusted hinges and mechanism.

Stupid house.

Axler comes in to see me in the open doorway, and asks why we didn't try to pick the mechanism open. Once he sees how rusted it was, he just sighs and nods.

Yup. Stuck in the bathroom for a half hour. Always fun times at the house. Especially when I start yelling, "I'm stuck in the bathroom! Call my dad at CTU!"

* * *

Two days ago, I went to work, and brought my gloves just in case. (It's getting chilly here in Edmonton.) Or, at least, I brought my gloves with me on the bus. And promptly forget them there.

Damn. Those were some $40 gloves I got about five years ago. And they were nice and big and warm.

Looks like I'll be shopping for a new pair in a bit. Just another thing to buy when I've got money NOT earmarked towards rent.


Odd Transformations 7, and Hostage Pants

It's a dream like today's that makes me wish I'd either a) stop dreaming stuff like this, or b) stop jotting down stuff like this.

My dog was hurt. Bad. As in, he had some sort of disease or flesh-eating bacteria or something. I remember seeing him in the dream, and from then on, having to not look Piers in the face, because it was too traumatic.

My grandma's cat was suffering from something similar. I took them both to a vet, and they said it was terminal.

I remember asking if I sacrificed the cat, would my dog be well again?

And Caboodle was back for a cameo, trying to pet "Puppy." Which I couldn't allow, due to how bad the dog was sick.

Yipes. Why must I have traumatic dreams about Piers? This is the pet I've loved the most.

It's bad enough that he's got one eye these days, and that I haven't seen him in about two years.

Sigh. I miss my dog.

* * *

So I was doing some laundry on Saturday night.

My dress clothes needed to be cleaned for this week's work schedule.

When I was leaving for some hangout time with girlone, I couldn't get my laundry into a dryer. So I left it there.

Sunday, I woke up feeling horrible, and so I didn't go in to work. It was kind of a good thing, since I didn't have any dry dress clothes, and because I needed the rest to heal.

On Monday, I dragged myself to work regardless, and woke up early to put my stuff in the dryer.

Which is when I realized that my landlord locked the laundry room on Sunday, and hadn't been back to unlock it.

So all the was between me and dry clothes for work was a locked door.

My pants were taken hostage by my building.

Luckily, I was able to find a clean pair of pants and a clean shirt. And I scrounged up a mismatching but clean pair of dark socks.

Today, however, my laundry's going to be dry!

* * *

I had a fun talk with my friend Cricket last night.

Her MSN name was "I eat monters, burp!"

Which, of course, as I knew, was from a Dennis Lee book I read from a LOOONG time ago (and had the album on reel-to-reel). (Well, actually, I thought it was Robert Munsch at first, but Cricket corrected me.)

So it turned into a talk about favourite stuff from our childhood. Good stuff...


Dream Job

Yes, this would have to be my dream job.

Time to move to California.

And what the HELL was up with my dream about the musical and Nicole Kidman down a few posts? (10/07) Was I on smack?

Note to self: Stop dreaming those sorts of dreams.

I'd say something about just not writing down these dreams, but it's good in some respects to do that. Otherwise, they'd just leave my mind while I'm on my way to work. Although, it would make for a few less emails asking why I'm so screwed up...

Listening to: Outkast's new single (well, Big Boi's, anyway), I Like the Way You Move.

Reading: Some of Dave Sim's Cerebus (mostly Church and State). Finished House of Leaves.

"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Ranting..."

Picture the title line being sung to the tune of that well-known Christmas song, and you'll have an inkling of what I am about to go off on...

Yesterday was October 17th. Halfway through October. Two weeks before Hallowe'en. (Or, as I like to call it, "showing MFJ the subtleties of Jago family dynamics in action in a car heading to Jasper") Two months and one week before Christmas.

While I was running through the Bay en route to my store, I noticed that fake evergreens were placed everywhere. And there were ornaments on them.

Fuck. The mall has entered Christmas Overdrive.

My least favourite place to be is a mall during November. Because you can't escape retail's golden quarter. Every store will make sure that customers know it's time to hock their life savings to buy gifts for those special someones.

I love Christmas. LOVE it. It's a time where I can get together with family members I rarely see, and just have a good time with my loved ones.

I avoid malls like the plague during Christmas, usually taking three hours of one night to buy gifts and never coming back into the stressed-out environs of the concrete mass of retail goods.

It's kind of hard, though, when I work in a mall. The past three winters, I've worked in malls. So I grind my teeth and try to ignore it.

"Try" being the key word. It'll be a long two months.

* * *

Went out and improv'd last night. I enjoyed it immensely.

I was hoping I'd be able to make a team up with Dev and Canton, since the teams we assemble will be with us for the long haul.

Unfortunately, Dev was working last night, and Canton had tickets to the Eskimos/Blue Bombers game.

So I arrive at the theatre, figuring out if I wanted to go on a team, or just play in the elimination round.

I ended up on a team with Randy and Paul (the Wombats). And we had fun.

And we won. Whoo!

My fave scene from last night had to be the Shakespeare scene we were given.

Randy asked for his character's tragic flaw. "A lisp!"

So the way the scene played out, every citizen of the country (well, Randy as the king, and me as his servant) spoke with a lisp.

I ended up trying to mispronounce as many S-words as I could. "Sthall I sthlay him, sthire?" Etc. It was one horrible Daffy Duck/Sylvester cartoon, diction-wise...

It was revealed that it was a curse on the land that was broken when we slayed a demon.

So I tried it out. "Sally sells seashells on the seashore. My liege! It worked!"

The audience of six (sigh) seemed to enjoy themselves.

So an open invite to all my readers (who aren't already involved in Survival): Come see some fun improv comedy on the occasional Friday night! Dev, Canton, D!, Marauder, and I are all there busting our humps for some laughs, and it would be a shame to see the troupe die due to no audience.

I can give you details to shows as they happen.


Odd Transformations 6, hurting my ass, and the stupidest character on TV...

Dream from this morning:

I was with a group of friends, from all different aspects of my life. I recognized some people, others were just bit players in this dream, I guess.

We were taking a walk through some neighbourhood, and this girl that I have a thing for and some random jackass, who have been flirting ALL evening (you know when you have definite emotions happening in dreams, even when the dream starts halfway through? That's the thing here. I only recall this dream starting at this point. It's assumed they've been looking at each other for hours beforehand...) lag behind.

I get jealous.

Yes. Even my subconscious is against my lack of romance, apparently...

We start jibing the new couple, and I keep my jealous nature inside.

We go back to this house/public hall, where spatial relationships do not stay constant. Doors which SHOULD lead to such room, end up leading outside, etc. (I blame House of Leaves for this. Stupid subconscious assimilation of my reading...)

We start drinking in the main room of the house. At this point, all in attendace are guys. I recognize Sjoberg as well as Random Jackass. The party gets rowdy. I sit in a chair beside the front door, pleasantly under the spell of a few drinks, keeping to myself.

Cops come in. Smalltown cops, who decide to flaunt their authority. Sjoberg does not take well to this at all.

The cops start roughing up my friends. I keep seated, not wanting to draw attention to myself.

The cops are done beating up my friends. They're leaving, and one of them says something stupid as a farewell line.

I pipe up. "Was that supposed to rhyme?"

Their attention shifts to me. A beat passes, and then I bolt, the cops in pursuit.

We're running around the house, I look back, and the lead cop's got a glass jug of Kool-Aid, yelling how he didn't have time to prepare the torture he had planned for me (involving some of his bodily fluids), and how he'd have to improvise.

The last thing I remember before I wake up is the glass jug shattering around my legs, and my legs getting pretty torn up.

* * *

Was invited to a post-Thanksgiving meal by girlone, a gathering of a few friends at the Party House.

Delicious meal made by girlone and Kristus - Lasagna, caesar salad, garlic bread, and pie. (Sorry about all the mushroom remnants on my plate, dear. Not a big fan of that vegetable.)

Took some good pics of Caboodle, and just enjoyed the company of my friends.

The Jahns' came by, and JJ and I decided to take some pics of me and her wrestling. Well, *I* decided, and JJ played along.

So I gave her a Rock Bottom. Well, a few of them actually. Now I'm not for violence against women, but I'm a big fan of the wrestling, and JJ humours me by locking up with me in the ol' squared circle. Or living room, or outside, or wherever...

And we had to get the pics correct, and so I drove her into the couch a few times for the best visual. And then from HER angle, etc.

But the pics look pretty cool. Especially from her angle.

From my angle, it COULD be a Clothesline from Hell I'm giving her, instead of a Rock Bottom.

From the other way? DEFINITELY a Rock Bottom.

And I decided to pull a thigh muscle doing it. Yup. I hurt MY ass making sure that JJ doesn't get hurt after driving her flat onto a couch.

The things I do for comedy...

* * *

Is it just me, or is Kim Bauer 24's stupidest character? It's gotten to the point where she makes the wrong move on purpose just to get into more trouble. (This post is spoiler-free, JJ!)

These days, Canton, Dev and I make fun of her whenever she's on screen.

"Help! I've got my head caught in a bannister! Call my dad at CTU!"

I predicted she'd fall off a mountain, while Stan thought she'd be mauled by a bear.

Nope, the truth is much, MUCH stupider...


I am a hockey GOD!

Pulled into first place in the store hockey pool.

While Jeff has a pretty impressive selection of players, I'm just getting the goals more frequently.

At last count, with four days into the NHL season, here are the stats:

Jeff: 8 goals, 18 assists, 1 goalie win, 1 goalie tie

Me: 11 goals, 10 assists, 2 goalie wins, 1 goalie tie

(You score 2 points for a goal, 1 for a tie, 2 for a goalie win, 1 for a tie, and 4 for a shutout. Stupid Cechmanek was NOT in the net when the Kings got a shutout. No points there, dammit...)

The next guy is 11 points behind us.

Lord of the hockey pool. At least for today...

Life is good.

Reminiscences with a very old friend...

After a LONG night at work (Went in for six hours to renovate some walls) last night, it was a welcome change to have Thanksgiving dinner with my friend of 12 years, Heath, and his new girlfriend Pam.

Last time I saw Heath was a year ago, when he came up to see Kow perform at Northern Harmony 2002.

It's nice to see things don't change much, as was evidenced by Heath yelling at me through the closed doors of the store.

After a delicious dinner, we sat on the couch, and talked.

I feel sorry for Pam, who had to sit through a crapload of "Ooooh! Remember when we did that thing with so-and-so?" and then Heath and I laughing our asses off, while trying to explain the story behind that gem of a joke.

And there were a lot of things that Heath brought up that I had totally forgot about, such as the "Mister Flat Five" solo I was gypped out of back in Grade 12, because my voice decided to take a long extended vacation.

Or the parody of Guys and Dolls' "More I Cannot Wish You" that Heath, Shauna and I wrote back in Grade 12.

(Story behind this: I was in a jazz choir back in high school, one that was probably in the top ten in Canada in terms of quality for a few years, anyway...

We had gone to the Rocky Mountain Music Festival held in Banff and had Phil Mattson (one of THE vocal jazz arrangers in the world today) listen to our performance.

He came in to our workshop afterwards, and said, "It's so nice to not have to deal with the usual things a vocal jazz group usually have problems with. There's nothing I can really fix with your performance. Let's just sit and talk."

So we were talking to PHIL MATTSON!!!! about vocal jazz. And we were just awestruck.

Here was a guy whose songs we memorized, whose arrangements were notoriously hard, but sounded SO beautiful when done correctly, saying that we didn't have to worry about anything to change during HIS arrangement, and just talked about how we felt about music. One of the best musical moments of my life.

The next year, we got a copy of a song he was arranging (More I Cannot Wish You) before it went to the publisher, just because he wanted us to be one of the first groups to perform it.)

I remember the song WE wrote went a little something like:

Velcro I will miss you, you can do such neato stuff
Like tie my shoes and keep my zipper up
Velcro I will miss you, for you're awesome, swell, no guff
My leggings won't ride up...

Afterwards, the three of us took a walk down Whyte Ave.

I get to see him tomorrow, before he goes back to Prince Albert. Whoo!

* * *

Kit, thanks for the invite to last night's dinner. If I weren't up to the elbows in Panasonic video wall parts, I would have been SO there.

ESPECIALLY if pumpkin pie was on the menu...


Celebrity Rebublicans, Pools, and a Must-See Movie...

And so begins a new era in California politics when it was announced that Arnold Schwartzenegger will be the new state governor.

Granted, the vote on recalling Gray Davis was very close (something like 53% for, 47% against), which doesn't surprise me at all from what I know of the American voting process.

From all I've seen of elections down south, there is something that will never change: 45% of the voters will vote Republican, and 45% will vote Democrat. No matter who is on the ballot, if the Republican candidate is Jesus Christ and the Democratic candidate is Pee-Wee Herman, this ratio will always stay the same. ALWAYS.

So there's only a 10% margin out there who actually change their vote depending on the circumstances. And this margin is always who the candidates actively campaign for.

So the 45% Republican block voted for the recall (since a GOOD Republican would never think twice about voting a Democrat out of office), as well as an extra 8% of the swing vote.

8% of a voting public who were either caught up in a celebrity governor possibility, or who were stupid enough to endorse throwing out a governor who was voted on by the majority of Californian voters the first time.

I have two things to say on this:

1) If you voted the guy in, DON'T complain about what you get. You made the bed, now you should lie in it...

2) If the reason you were angry at Gray Davis was due to the overwhelming debtload he incurred and the crippling power outages, why would you ever actively endorse throwing some many millions of dollars on the costliest election in California?

2a) And why wouldn't you recognize the the federal government is to blame in some respect? Since they were the ones who decided to deregulate the power industry, which lost revenue for the state, as well as let the corporations throw the state into blackouts...

I'm just wondering how long it's going to take the Republicans to realize they have a governor on their side in name only. I mean, Arnold stands for a LOT of things that the G.O.P. hates.

I'm sure the only reason they voted for him is because it makes their party look good.

Eurgh. it's going to be a long four years in Sacramento...

* * *

I decided to join a hockey pool in the store that Jeff was organizing.

Now, while I am somewhat interested in hockey, I'm mostly a stats guy. I don't like watching the sport until playoffs hit.

Still, I like to think I know a bit about my picks, since I do follow the statistics.

And so, yesterday, after a long morning at work (Regional Manager visit, so I was there at 7:30 am), five guys decided to spend the afternoon doing the draft, in between helping out customers.

So there was a lot of, "Okay, Kyle's done selling that cell phone. Let's go to the back and get the next round done..."

I like to think that my unorthodox style of picking helped me out some. I decided to take a goalie in the first round, since my theory is, there's a crapload of good forwards, but a great goalie is hard to get.

So I picked Martin Brodeur first.

I was able to get a few good picks in (not such a hard thing with only 5 people in the pool): Paul Kariya (Colorado), Mats Sundin (Toronto), Ryan Smyth (Edmonton), Brett Hull (Detroit), Scott Neidermeyer (New Jersey), plus a whole lot more.

I think I did a pretty good job, considering I have no clue what I'm doing. I chose my second goalie on how frustrated I was when I heard his name out loud. ("Cechmanek SAVES!" was a mantra that haunted me and Canton whenever we played against Philadelphia in NHL 2002.)

I found this kickass website that does EVERYTHING in terms of pool stats...and for only two dollars! Whoo!

So how the hell did I become such a hockey nut in two days? A $125 pot, I guess. And competition...

* * *

Saw Jack Black in "School of Rock" this evening.

SUCH a good movie. It starts off with Jack Black being his Tenacious D persona, a jackass wannabe rock star.

When he needs money, he steals a substitute teaching job from his roommate, and thinks of it as a babysitting job, not wanting to teach the kids at all, until he finds out they can play music very well.

It turns into one of the best family movies I've seen in a long, long time.

Mostly because while Black is his usual hilarious self, he's not afraid to let the kids take center stage.

And the kids are great! All the rock music the kids play are actually done by the actors, and it's amazing how good these 10-year-olds are.

I saw the movie with Marauder and Dev, and all of us are now raving about it hardcore.

A movie I very highly recommend. Even if you're not a big Jack Black fan.

Listening to: School of Rock, an original song off the movie's soundtrack; Immigrant's Song by Led Zeppelin.


Wedding Angst, Thanksgiving Dinner and a New Hire...

So my cousin Colin's getting married next month, and I'm going to Jasper with MFJ for the wedding.

First of all, Colin's only a year younger than I, but I still feel that as the eldest of this generation of Jago relatives, that I've failed in some way for not being the first one to get married. Or, you know, even GET a girlfriend. (I hear that it's helpful to get a fiancee BEFORE the marriage part...)

I dunno. Maybe it's because I'm 26. Or because I keep on seeing people get married. Or maybe because I'm getting old. In any case, makes for some mixed feelings about Colin and Joanne.

And MFJ said that if I didn't get a date for the wedding (which isn't looking likely), she'd be willing to act as an escort. Have I touched on this before? (Yes, I did. August 28th, towards the bottom of the previous page... Gee, thanks, me. No probs.)

She's cool with it, and Dev's cool with it, and I'm cool with it. It'd be a lot less of an issue if it were in town, though, instead of a long weekend in a resort town.

Kind of daunting if I were asking someone I was interested in. "Hey, babe, I know it's kinda a weird first date, but want to go to Jasper for a weekend? For a wedding?"

But since MFJ and I are good friends, it's not a big deal, I guess. At least all of us are cool with it.

* * *

Looks like I'll be getting to have Thanskgiving dinner with Heath this year, since he's coming up for spend time with his Edmonton girlfriend.

And he's cooking a turkey, something he's never done before.

It reminds me of this one time when Heath, Rich, Perry, Kingston and I made a huge dinner of ribs and steaks at a place Heath was housesitting in either Regina or Saskatoon.

I was in charge of the garlic bread.

It was a good time, and a huge meal for five strapping young (20) lads. One fun evening, although I didn't think of it until Heath gave me the invite to this one...

* * *

Have a new hire, Amanda at work. She started today.

So far, she seems like she'll fit in.

I was doing some work at the computer for Jeff, who wanted me to proofread a letter he was sending to Rogers AT&T. (I am Jeff's goto guy for writing.)

Every time Jeff went by, he'd punch me in the shoulder, earning threats that I could, if he wanted, make the letter a incoherent mess of swears and gibberish.

So he's leading Amanda to the back, punches me in the shoulder and mentions, "It's tradition to punch Jago in the shoulder." (Did I mention I have an abusive boss?)

So she punches me. Hard.

"GAH!" I yell.

Later on, I'm taking lunch in the back room, and Jeff, Martin (came in on his day off to do some errands), Nathan and Darren are all in the back as well.

Amanda comes in. "Hey! Why are you guys all allowed to hang out in the back room? Why not me?"

Me: (looking dead serious) "Oh, maybe because we're all male?"

She glares at me.

Man, mock angry glares, unprovoked attacks...It's like I'm working with MFJ...

* * *

I've pretty much figured out my position at RadioShack.

I tend to be the old veteran, but also am the very sarcastic know-it-all.

Since I have so much experience, and know how to do alomst anything asked of me by my bosses, I can afford to be the flippant one.

Chris, my old manager at Bonnie Doon, used to mutter that I was karmic retribution for all his misdeeds in the company.

For Jeff, it's usually a matter of saying, "You know what? You can really be annoying at times. You REALLY frustrate me."

I figure that I'm more along the lines of the slave that Roman authority figures would have at their sides to keep them humble. The ones who kept on saying, "Thou art NOT a god. Thou are mortal."

Yup. That's pretty much me in a nutshell. Always there with the ability and opportunity to take someone out at the knees with my sarcasm...


Odd Transformations 5

Woke up in the midst of this dream (or selected highlights that I can remember):

There's a street fair in Moose Jaw, or a place that has similar geography. While this is going on, I'm participating in a 50's style comedy musical a la Bye Bye Birdie, but featuring time travel for sure, since I was able to go back through time to fix the end of the story.

Canton and Astro were definitely featured actors along with me, and there was a lot of dancers, to the point that they had some guys in drag to boost the numbers.

After leaving the show, I go back out to the Moose Jaw environment where I find Laura, MFJ and Dev. We talk for a bit.

Instead of going out to a cast party, I decide to hang out at Kit's house and interact with the party via Messenger. I definitely recall corresponding with Nicole Kidman, who was at the party...

I ask if the run of the musical ended today, or if it'll go on until Thursday. This is apparently bad, since I've got choir on Wednesday that I, along with Canton, will have to skip.

The dream ends with a VERY precocious Caboodle, who has gone beyond mere words and can speak complete sentences. And she's 22 months old.

She gets injured due to our roughhousing, and I spend the end of the dream taking care of Caboodle and wiping the blood away from her forehead.


Oh, that wacky gubernatorial.race...

I went over to D!'s place last night to watch some Smackdown. Befor the show came on, D! was watching the Game Show Network's "Who Wants to Be the Governor of California," the first (I kid you not) game show featuring candidates from the election. Six candidates: A porn starlet, a frat boy, a crazy old man, a performance artist who only wears blue, the son of a basketball player, and Gary Coleman.

And the prize was a campaign contribution.

I was shocked, but then I thought, "You know, that's a pretty good way to feature some candidates, who wouldn't get time in the media to actually distinguish themselves..."

So D! and I found the porn starlet to be the most annoying, because she kept on jumping up and down, and just acting like a porn star, not a candidate.

And sometimes, there is such a thing as too much boob...

Good idea, but, yipes. There are some crazy, attention-starved people running...


Geeking out.

After choir today, Dev told me he had broken down and bought the second season of 24, one of the best-written dramas on television. The continuity on the show is simply amazing, with the entire season taking place over one day.

AND the villains aren't written like total buffoons.

It makes me with that a similar approach was taken by the WWE in their storylines.

Just give the audience credit, already...

So, Dev and I walked MFJ home, picked up some snacks, and dropped on the couch, ready to watch the DVD.

Last year, when we watched the first season, it was the bunch of obsessed geeks, watching the television like our lives depended on it.

Canton would let out these gasps of "eek!" as well as pretty much screaming like a girl whenever any plot twist jumped out at us.

So Canton was on his computer, and he asked, "So you guys are watching 24?"

"Yup," Dev and I said.

"I'm going to my room, then. Catch up on some reading."

Seven minutes later, he comes out of his bedroom.

"I hate you guys. What's happened so far?"

So, we watched the first three episodes. When Jack shoots an informant for a big trial coming up to get over good with a terrorist, my jaw dropped.

"You know, George," Keifer Sutherland said onscreen, examining the body, "you're just the kind of guy who doesn't like getting his hands dirty...

"Now, I'm going to need a hacksaw," he finishes, staring at the corpse's neck.

I love this show...

* * *

Verbal exchange of the day:

Jen, our stock girl, said something sarcastically at the store today.

ME: "Wow. Jen's becoming quite the sarcastic girl today."

TERRY: "Well, a healthy amount of sarcasm each day tends to make your bones strong and healthy."

ME: "No, Terry, I'm pretty sure that's milk, not sarcasm."

TERRY: "Oh, right. I always get those two mixed up..."

* * *

Reading: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski; as well as Book Five of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.

I also finished up Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden recently.

Listening to: My mix CD I made a few weeks back. Doris Day, Stevie Wonder, Steve Burns, WHAM, and a bunch more stuff...


More Northern Harmony stuff...

Yesterday, I received the adjudication papers of our NoHarm set.

Some good criticisms (mostly tuning and balance issues they were commenting on) along with some good compliments about us.

Two of the judges were Heebie-Jeebies, and so have heard and seen us before.

So I laughed my ass off when I saw a note scribbled on Chris' sheet:

"More individuality?"

Now the reason I find is funny is because last year, the winners of "Audience Favourite" was a quartet of guys from Calgary, dressed up in sweater vest and singing very safe songs.

We weren't too happy with our own performance (no training on mics), and so it was this huge malicious joke, "What if we dressed up like No Assembly Required and sang Christian spirituals? Then we'd get ALL the awards!"

And so we did. Dress up like them in any case...It fit the mood of "Teddy Bear" anyway. And then we ripped off the vests for Viva Las Vegas, both because it was all about 70's excess for that song, and we were ripping off vests that didn't suit us. It was SYMBOLIC!

Another funny note was Ken saying, "Maybe you should lower the key of Uniform Grey a bit so Deving can hit those higher notes."

We actually raised it a key, just so Dev could hit the low notes. Also, it makes it a bit happier a tune in that key...

So while I appreciate the comments of the judges (how else are we going to improve?), if they had only knew why we did these things...

Ken loved Clocks as a selection, and one of the judges loved my take of Little Red Riding Hood, where I try to overooze with machismo and charisma. (Hell, I do that for every solo I have...)

Mostly, I and the others pulled off a good set and did it capably, which I think exorcised the ghosts from last year's performance. Singing onstage as catharsis. Gotta love it.

So I'm thinking Kow can go back to its normal performing style next year, just dress as ourselves, do a standard three song set, complete with banter.

Not go as 80s Hair Band rockers and punkers, not as a parody of a well-meaning bunch of guys, not try for an Ironman set to thumb our nose at the 12-minute time limit. Just be Kow, like we were our first year at Northern Harmony.

That year, we sang Sesame Street in a Japanese style, combined Pachebel's Canon with Green Day, and some ballad.

And we took third place.

Back to basics next year, I say...

* * *

Also in Kow-related notes, my friend Kit made a great fansite for us here. A stellar job, and she going to try to do relatively big things with it. (A comprehensive list of all the songs we've sung, since we started back in 1998, for example)

Thanks a lot, Kit. I (and I'm sure the other members) really appreciate you being one of our fans from the very beginning. Your support means a lot.


Get ready for a bucket full of update!

Okay, now I'm pretty much going to just type things that have happened during my internet hiatus, and there's not going to be much in the way of linkage. But it's news to my audience, so here we go...

* * *

Odd Transformations 3

I dreamed that for some reason, my store was relocated. Instead of being in the mall, we had our own building. It was huge! I mean, this must have been a Superstore or a Costco previously, because there was a ladder to the elevated offices, and standing on the ladder, I could see out in all directions.

I remember thinking, "Fuck. The store's eighteen times as big as the old location, but I'm still going to have to know where everything is..."

I turn around and look in a direction. "Is that lettuce? Do I see fucking PRODUCE in a RadioShack? Why the hell do we stock lettuce???"

So, yeah. Make of that what you will...

* * *

Sam no longer works at the store. She quit on Wednesday. I kind of saw it coming, I guess.

She says the reason was all due to her boyfriend. Because her boyfriend hates all the guys at the store. Darren, Martin, me (who he's never even met...).

She said, "he told me it was either the job or him." I don't think that's the whole story, but her boyfriend is quite the jackass. He always called the store while I was closing up, asking if Sam was there and how long she'd be before she left the store. Sometimes, four, five times in a half hour.

I usually was pissed off by the guy.

But on Tuesday evening, she told me, "I won't be at inventory on Saturday. I've got to sell merchandise at a concert."

I asked her if she told Jeff about that. Because I KNOW he wouldn't let her miss inventory. I had NoHarm that night, and Terry was going to Calgary for the weekend, plans we had both told Jeff about months before we knew when inventory was happening. For Sam to give notice a mere three days prior would NOT cut it at all...

So she called on Wednesday before her closing shift, asking if she could have the day off. Darren told her no, since Jeff had to go to Grande Prairie for a relative's funeral. (Inventory's been pushed back a month due to it.) So she came in and quit there on the spot. No notice, no nothing.

Even though I got along with her, and I think I was her best friend on the staff, even I couldn't consider rehiring her if she decided to come back. The no notice thing was just plain irresponsible.

Still, she was fun to hang around with at the store.

* * *

Thursday: A 16-17 year old comes in the store, approaches me about camcorder tapes.

"What kind of camcorder do you have?" I ask.

"A Sony."

"Oh, you'll need 8 millimetre tape then. Over here."

While I was getting it for him, his friends start talking to him.

"Dude, I can't believe she agreed to do this."

I start dying laughing inside.

A friend asks me, "How well will this tape do in candlelight?"

Me, barely concealing a smile: "It really depends on the camera."

So, yeah. I sold tapes to a kid planning on making homemade porn with his girlfriend, something I'm sure all his friends will be watching.


* * *

Saleswise, the store's doing great. I'm sitting at an average of about $150 of sales an hour. I hope to keep it up, because I get double commission if I'm able to stay over $135.

* * *

Marauder's fitting well in choir, I think. He's getting the music down and hanging out with my circle of friends.

And I'm pretty sure the girls will be swooning over him due to his new cleanshaven heartthrob status.

I'm so glad he joined choir this year. Another talent he's developing.

And I'm loving the Futurama DVDs he lent me. Such funny, funny stuff...

* * *

Can't really think of much else that's been happening. Going over to the house to hang out with the guys, playing Raw 2 on the XBox

Oh, and my voice came back about a half hour into my shift. So, yay!