You wouldn't like me when I'm hairy...

Well, the boring day I thought this would be turned into a pretty fun evening...

"Well, I've got two days off and so I can hang out with...No, they're gone. Or with! No, he's working. God, I'm bored."

And this was at 11:00 this morning!

I was able to hang out with Canton first, which is cool because I don't see him these days, with his constant working for 17-hour days...

We went to Southgate Mall (I know, a mall's not where I should be hanging on my days off. At least it wasn't MY mall, and at least I didn't go into RS.) After some shopping, talking and eating, I left him to work and went to Eaton Centre for a viewing of Hulk.

Whooo! That was a MOVIE! Ang Lee is brilliant, the casting was excellent, and the CGI was top-notch. Word of warning, though: If you want to see a superhero movie, or if you just want to see Hulk SMASH!, then this is not the film for you...

There is a bit of relief from the slow, methodical pace that Lee sets. Hulk taking on the army has some great moments, and there's something about how the Hulk is able to swat missles out of his way.

Granted, I've seen some people who HATED Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And, although I want to slap those people, I can see how, if they wanted a kung fu movie, they'd be sorely disappointed. It was a beautiful film more about the ballet of martial arts, not about one person getting their head kicked in.

So, D! and I loved Hulk. Edmonton Playwright described it as the "worst. movie. ever." So D! and I decided to take the bus home, since we were wanting to talk about how great the film was, not having to defend the movie to people who weren't impressed...

On the bus, D! leans over and says, "Your opinion of me is going to drop when I show you what I bought."

He pulls out a copy of Kingdom Hearts. I laugh.

Background: D! has recently started a relationship with a girl I'll name Oleander. When he was on the phone with her one night when I was hanging out, she asks to speak to me. D!'s puzzled, I shrug.

ME: Hello?

OLEANDER: Guess what D!'s going to do for me!

ME: I give up.

O: He's lending me his PS2 for a month.

ME: That's quite gallant of him.

O: AND! He's going to let me play Kingdom Hearts!

ME: He doesn't own Kingdom Hearts.

O: Oh, he'll buy it for me.

ME: I dunno. That's above and beyond the call of boyfriend duty. At least, in the first week, it is.

O: Did he tell you he was my boyfriend?

ME: Ummm... (realizing I just started a war of semantics with a female) No?

So for D! to buy Kingdom Hearts means that, three weeks into the relationship, he's going above and beyond the call of boyfriend duty.

Eh. I told him that there's nothing wrong with it. He's in a relationship again for the first time since I met him. Of course he'd do something like this.

"Hell, I probably would, too," I said. "If I were in a relationship like you."

This, apparently, made him feel better, since, when we parted ways, he said, "Sometimes, you're the right guy at the right time."

Wooo! Chalk up the friend points for me!

* * *

I feel envy towards some of my friends, who are able to take time out and travel.

Like Girlone, who's in Europe, seeing the sights that aren't Alberta. And Dev and MFJ, currently taking a camping weekend in B.C.

Sigh. If only I had a car, or vacations NOT spent doing other projects, such as choir or Fringe. To be able to even take a weekend to Calgary and see Rich and Perry again. Or Prince Albert to see Heath. Or even be at home for the first time in two years.

Well, there's still Kingston's wedding come March 2004. At least I get to go to Victoria to serve as a groomsman. An honour, to be sure...

* * *

I was on the bus home one night, and there was a patron in front of me that had the distinct smell that took me right back into my past, when I would visit my Grandma Dokken. Not exactly the best smell reminiscence, since in the later years before she died, I realized what the smell was:

Stale cigarettes and liquor.

Reading: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. (I know, this is supposed to be Harry Potter, but I'll wait until I can borrow the book from one of my many friends obsessed with Potter...)


Those of you who've spent a day at a mall with me have probably noticed my obsession with going into a toy store. Usually, I'm checking out Lego, but I'll take a gander at wrestling figures, action toys, Marvel super heroes, the whole bunch.

My question is, have toy makers always been pretty clueless, or has it really been a recent thing?

I came across a wave of Spider-Man action figures geared towards kids. I'm not sure if toy manufacturers are trying to get children into a "collect-em all" state, or if they've just lost all touch with reality as to the whole principle behind the character's mythos.

With this Spider-Man wave, it's all about Spider-Man in different costumes: Spider-Man as a policeman and "Deep Sea Exploring" Spidey, which contains a cute little doe-eyed dolphin. I let out an audible groan over that.

Don't even get me started on "Sea Serpent Venom"...

* * *

It's finally happened. I work for a manager younger than me. Jeff asked me how old he looked. I knew his wife was expecting soon, and so I said, as I thought, "I dunno. 26-27, I'd guess. About as old as me."

"Close," Jeff replied. "I'm 25."

"Ah," I said. And went back to cursing out the store for having cool Palm Pilots, discmans and general things I'd NEVER see at Bonnie Doon, because of the smaller volume.

Jeff's also getting used to my sense of humour:

After yesterday's district meeting, Mitch, my District Manager, was talking to Kiel about going to Cold Lake to put together a store. When Kiel asked what he should bring, Mitch said, "Yourself. And a change of clothes."

Of course, me being me, I sidled up to the counter and said, "Actually, Mitch'd prefer it if you forgot the change of clothes." I then went back to my tasks.

"Are you suggesting that I'm gay?" Mitch yelled at my back.

"Me? Of course not, Mitch! I know you've got a wife and two sons!"

So today, when Jeff was in a bay, remerchandising for the upcoming inventory, I went into the same bay to put some product away.

"I feel uncomfortable with you so close to my back, Kyle," Jeff said, jokingly.

"What? Is this because of what I told Mitch yesterday? Dude, I'm straight." I continued putting stock away. "Besides, I'd be gentle."

"Gaaaah!" Exit me, chortling...

* * *

I guess I should comment on the Apocalypse Kow benefit last week. Although it wasn't much of a fundraiser (We raised $100 for the SPCA. That can sponsor, I dunno, half a cat? Not sure which half, but I'm betting on the left one...), I think the entertainment was pretty good.

Let's face it, any performance where I can make Dev die laughing onstage is above par.

We were singing Jago-Man, my alternate lyrics to Spider-Man. Halfway through the piece, I usually have a bit of a rant while the guys vamp the background. Since it was a song about me, I decided to just be insane.

I turned my back to the audience, took a drink of water, walked to the front of the stage and yelled, "Jago-Man is the most seductive man EVER!" I then went back and drank more water calmly. Dev started to crack.

I ran back on stage and yelled, "All! Hail! Jago-Man! And all hail LordCo! (A reference to a tour running joke...)"

Dev lost it, and I jumped back in for the third verse of the song. If only I didn't go into autopilot and start back into the song with the original lyrics...

"Jago-Man's master plan, build his own little Spider-clan!"

At which point *I* started laughing my ass off...

So, as I keep on finding out, there's nothing funnier than a mock-angry, ranting Jago. Just because it never happens in real life...


After the move...

Well, I've made the move to Kingsway. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't this...

Keep in mind that Kingsway's supposed to be a flagship store. It has products that other stores can only lust after...It's a store that does almost 1.5 million dollars in sales per year.

So why does Bonnie Doon look so much more organized?

I was worried about rampant shoplifting at Bonnie Doon. heh. During a sotware count today, my manager told me that we found 100 (one hundred!) software boxes taken from the store. Not discs stolen from the boxes. The entire. Fucking. Software box.

Needless to say, I'm not sure what's been happening at Kingsway, but employees paying attention is NOT one of those things...

Other things I forgot I hated at Kingsway:

- International Stereo in the space beside us. I can't go into how much I hate feeling the walls vibrate and product fall off the floor for half an hour while they're testing their subwoofers. Maybe I should calmly walk in, and shove my size 13 work boot through a widescreen TV or two.

- Emmanuel. The guy I loathe working with. So rude to customers, lazy as well, because of a back problem, yet he can make $300 an hour...

I swear, it's like people plead for him to offend them. A conversation I heard yesterday afternoon:

(Phone rings)

EMMANUEL: RadioShack. Emmanuel speaking.

CALLER: (and I can tell this is what they're saying, because it's what they always say...) Is this RadioShack?

EMMANUEL: What did I just say to you?

Eurgh. Every time I hear him speak to customers, I can't help but cringe. And every time he talks to me, I snap back at him.

EMMANUEL: What are you doing?

ME: What does it look like? I'm trying to open a watch to change the battery.

EMMANUEL: Just tell her we don't have the tools. You don't have to do that.

ME: I want to do it. I'm being helpful.

I don't know. He just completely rubs me the wrong way.

And three days in, Kiel and I have to arrange something else for names. And, since he was there first, I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and go by Jago.

So, for right now, Kingsway's nowhere close to being home for me...It'll take some time, that's for sure...

Listening to: Good Weird Feeling - The Odds; Miss Jackson - VinesReading: Pure Dynamite: The Price You Pay for Wrestling Stardom by Tom Billington; Planetary by Warren Ellis



So I got the news on Sunday: I'm being transferred out of Bonnie Doon to the Kingsway location again. Since the store's having a sales loss, my District Manager is organizing a staff shuffle, just to shake things up and (hopefully) drive up the sales stats.

Why am I going to Kingsway? I guess it's because Mitch remembers how I used to work there (He'd damn well better, since he was my manager back then.), and he wants experienced people at KGM. It IS supposed to be one of Edmonton's top stores, after all...And, scarily enough, I'm probably the most experienced non-manager in the district. At least, I've been with the company longer than any staff member NOT managing a store...

So now, every time I call KGM, I'm getting asked, "So when do you come over?" So it's cool that they're eager for me.

And, of course, true to RS logic, I'm going to the only store that has a guy with the same name as me. Spelled differently (Kiel), but pronounced the same. So there's a pretty good chance I'll just start letting people call me Jago at work. Which is scary, because it's not a nickname I want EVERYONE to know. I like being anonymous in last name...at least to people I don't want a friendship with (95.7% of my customer base...).

So I'm making a list of pros and cons to moving to Kingsway once again:


- More sales. Kingsway is one of the biggest malls in the city. So, there'll always be customers.

- Less shoplifting. KGM doesn't have half the problem with lifters that BD does. Maybe it's because of the security, but mostly because of the next point...

- More staff. Bigger store, more employees. You'd NEVER see me closing a store solo for four hours at Kingsway. NO manager is that stupid...Since there's more hours, and a bigger sales margin, there's usually 1-2 more employees at KGM.

- NOT being in any position of authority. I haven't really been AM at BD since Krysta showed up, but I found that I'd be playing the role, since Krysta rarely did the work she was supposed to. Here, Kiel's AM, not me...

- Better product. KGM's a flagship store, so there's always cool stuff that other stores don't have...

- Being able to hang out with Scott, Rick, and Andrew, friends from improv who work in the mall.


- Longer hours. When I worked there two years ago, I'd have to get up at about 7 or so so I could be at the store for 8:30. I at least get to sleep in when I'm at BD. And don't even get me STARTED on Sunday's shift (2 hours longer)...

- Long commute. I'm looking at a twenty-minute bus ride or so, plus the five block walk to get the right bus. This is horrible at nights, especially, where I used to get home at about 10:30 pm.

- More customers = more morons. I rarely had any time where I could relax, because there's always someone at the counter.


- Short bus trips.

- Amy and the rest of the Bentley staff.

- MFJ at Safeway.

- Jeannie at Lewiscraft.

- Hanging out with the Frenchman, who's usually at the mall for hours on end when he's not working.


- Stupid kids who have nothing better to do than play on our computers for hours on end.

- Seniors.

- The customers who ask specifically for me. Since I have loads of patience, I tend to attract those with special needs : The blind, the paraplegics, people who tend to need tech help and those who generally just won't buy anything...

So, good and bad to this situation. And, who knows? I might find a better job later on in the summer...I'm hoping so, anyway...


What kind of company do I work for?

Sometimes, I've just gotta scream at the higher-ups in RadioShack. I'm completely convinced that you do have to lose a lot of sense to work as upper management.

Consider this:

Shoplifting at RadioShack Bonnie Doon is rampant! I NEVER had this much of a problem at Kingsway. I started feeling that I couldn't do anything about it about November of last year. So I've got a lot of impotent rage when I see a DVD player stolen right from under our noses.

I swear, the first person I actually catch shoplifting will be in for Rock Bottoms galore. And The Walls of Jago, just to make them squeal for mercy...

The reason for all the shoplifting, mainly, is that we are completely understaffed. And we have been for a while.So when we have one person closing by themselves, things get stolen. Because I can only help one customer at a time. And I'm the vigilant one!

So what does head office do this past week? Cut hours. We have too many staff, they say. One full-timer has to go. So Jason, who was hired back in the company only two weeks ago, (Old friend of mine from Kingsway when I joined in 2000...) will be transferred to Sherwood Park.

I *really* want a new job...

Second sign of idiocy: We got a fax last week saying head office wants us to power up the electronic (read: lots of lights and sound!) water guns.

AND (and this is the good part...)! AND! We should squirt customers, just to prove how cool these things are!

Because NOTHING says happy like a drenched customer who came in to buy a dish, or a computer. Ah, who am I kidding? They're picking up a $5 battery...

WHY? Why would our company insist we squirt customers? HELL! For that matter, what was the thought process behind bringing these stupid things in?

EXEC 1: "Now, it's summer. What can we bring into stores that will sell?"

EXEC 2: "Heart rate monitors?"

EXEC 3: "New remote control cars!"

EXEC 1: "Good ideas. But I want something more!"

EXEC 3: "Fans that don't work!"

EXEC 2: "Water guns?"


JUNIOR EXEC: "In an electronics store? You want to put guns that shoot water into a store full of things that don't really work when they're damp? Are you crazy?"

(Execs look at Junior a beat. Closest one smacks him.)

(Curtains down. Mad applause from the audience...)

So, after thinking up the latest chapter of Jago RadioShack Executive Theatre in my mind, I, of course, power up a water gun. Batteries, water, the whole nine yards. But something wasn't quite right...

I mean, it worked and everything. But there wasn't that coolness factor.

So I opened one of the new Laser Levels we carry these days. (Pretty much, a level for keeping things straight with a laser at the end so you can line it up.) I fasten it onto the gun with some wire ties, and all of a sudden, I've made a military-issue laser-guided Super Soaker. Which I then run across to Bentley right to show the girls...

I am a SUPER GENIUS! And the laser sight actually works, as long as you're shooting someone closer than five feet. That's when gravity kicks in...

God, scary things happen at that store when I'm bored...


I am SUCH a coward...

Why does it seem that my primary emotion these days is fear?

For a reason that I know all too much about, fear is the defining characteristic of 2003, or, at least the first half.

I'm currently standing at a crossroads. Either I face my fear and just get on with living (the option that every fiber of my being is screaming for me to choose), or to let this fear numb me, envelop me completely, take over.

Typing this, and by talking with so many of my friends about, you'd think the answer would be obvious. But the fear has almost taken over half my mind, reaching for the other half...

Fuck. I've got a Civil War raging inside me.

The thing is, I wnow that the right answer is, which door I should open, which pill I should take...

And facing my fear, no matter what the result would really help me later on, when I'm sitting at the same fucking crossroads. "Next time," my brain is saying, "it'll be a whole lot easier. You'll have faced it once before and triumphed."

And I know this, with every inch of my consciousness...

So, why is this decision so hard to make???

Mine my head! Give me cash!

Since this journal's all about putting thought on paper, and there are some moments of "brilliance" that come out over the course of a day that I don't want to forget, here we go...

(1) If there's a colour that looks worse on me than light yellow/saffron/whatever the hell it's called, I don't want to find out. Serves me right for leaving laundry so late that I've only got one clean dress shirt.

After work, I went to Chapters, and was found by D! I told him my concerns, and D! said it's different, but by no means bad. "Considering what you used to wear that you wanted to back when we started hanging out, the yellow looks fine."

Still. I'm an earth tone person. If it's not maroon, dark blue or dark green (like my journal for those who can see the colours...), I tend to ignore it, because it doesn't look that great on me...

(2) Walking from the bus stop to work today, I was laughing inside. I was surrounded by a whole bunch of seniors who were at least one and a half feet shorter than me.

Inspiration struck: If I ever get a TV sketch show, or film a video, I must redo the ending to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but instead of kids running out from behind Indy, it'd be seniors walking (very slowly) out behind me.

I just freed the seniors of the village, and the happy reunion would start. But first, they'd have to get there.

I just have this mental picture of me surrounded by seniors, all of them short, some with canes, the occasional motorized cart (of course). And this frame goes on for a while (MINUTES!) because they walk/ride so slow. Cut to happy families, cut back to me, getting impatient, while the elderly meander...Cut back to the families, cut back to the seniors in pretty much the same place they started in.

Now I don't toot my own horn that often, but I am a GENIUS! when it comes to thoughts like this.

Why doesn't someone offer me a lot of money for the thoughts going around in my mind? Instant goldmine, baby!



Music, of course, is a big part of who I am.

Between last decade's high school jazz choirs, swing choirs, concert choirs, honour choirs, and musicals, Kow, choir, and just the usual, I sing a lot. And listen to music a lot.

And there's the occasional song which transports me to a different place. No matter what, there is that song that will make me remember a specific moment that's happened, a memory that won't be erased.

I've got two, that I can really think of:

1. Tasmin Archer - Sleeping Satellite

This was released in 1993 or so. A mild radio hit, a one-hit wonder of a singer, although she's put out other albums.

This song will ALWAYS remind me of a Grade 10 jazz choir tour, where we went to Kenora, Ontario. My music teacher's parents had a cabin/island out there.

So, we're on a houseboat unter the stars in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. And we've got a stereo out there, just dancing. And Sleeping Satellite comes on. I'm dancing with Joelle McBain and Leah Tressel, two high school friends, under a dark, starlit sky on a houseboat in such a secluded place. It was magic.

2. Natalie Merchant - Carnival

Another dancing memory, this time here in Edmonton. I was on a night on the town with loads of my Lister floormates, and we went to this one bar where a hypnotist was performing. Beforehand, we're on the dance floor, dancing to Carnival. Not as beautiful a memory, but I can always remember it just as vividly whenever I hear the song these days.

Currently, no other songs come close to sparking such strong memories.