Celebrity encounters, hot tennis chicks, and McDonalds chess...

Spent an enjoyable evening last night with Nova and D!, watching Mystery Science Theatre DVDs. And went to bed too late, so I had a fun morning.

* * *

I was selling a customer a new receiver for his StarChoice satellite this afternoon. The guy, I'm thinking, was not quite all there. He and his roommate were, well, slow. So I internally laughed my ass off at the following exchange.

I'm looking down at something on the counter, helping him out.

ROOMMATE: You know,you look like that famous person.

ME: (vaguely paying attention, thinking "Here we go. Another Brendan Fraser lookalike...") Yeah?

RM: Yeah. You've got the same chin. And those big lips.

(I look up, with a mock glare)

CUSTOMER: Yeah. I see it. From that movie.

RM: I can't remember his name. But he's got the blonde girl at his side.

C: Do you have a blonde girl at your side?

ME: No, not really.

C: That's a shame. So tell me, if you look like this movie star, why aren't you in Hollywood?

ME: Dunno. I guess he got there first.

C: (laughs) Yeah. That's it.

RM: That's the movie! Maryanna Jones!

C: Yeah! That's the one.

ME: (in my head) What? I look like Maryanna Jones, sorry, Harrison Ford? That's a new one...

C: Yup. All you need is the blonde at your side.

RM: Yeah, you've got to get rid of the two redheads you've probably got at home.

I start laughing.

ME: Yeah, that's it. I'll just trade the two redheads in for a newer model of blonde.

I find this funny, because I tend to go after blondes the least. Brunettes/dark-haired women are definitely first, followed by redheads, and then blondes. 'Course, there ARE exceptions...

They leave, thanking me for the receiver. And I chuckle. Maryanna Jones. That's a good one...

* * *

Jeff called to Martin, my co-worker, by yelling "Hey, Martina Hingis!" I guess he just wanted to see if Martin would respond, which he did.

But not before I said, "You know, if Martin WAS Martina Hingis, it would be a lot harded to get any work done around here. I'd be lusting after him constantly."

Martina Hingis, is my opinion the most attractive tennis athlete ever! You can tell every guy who goes for the blonde buxom Russian lust-bunny that she couldn't hold a candle to the lovely Martina.

Martin goes for Jennifer Capriati, and I suppose he's got a point. But for me? Miss Hingis all the way...

God, I'm such a geek...

* * *

After work, I went to the Kingsway McDonalds, since I didn't have a chance to take a lunch break today. ($1600 personal sales...)

While reading A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, I noticed a whole bunch of older men at three tables, playing chess. I've never seen that before, but then, I'm rarely at the Kingsway McDonalds on Sunday evenings.

So I took a break from reading, just to watch. Some guys were speaking loudly, in another language every time they moved. Some were just playing silently.

It was cool, just discovering this group of older gentlemen playing chess. I wondered, just what do the workers think of them? Are they annoyances? Are they tolerable, as long as they buy something? I should have asked, but my bus was across the street, so I had to just leave it.

Maybe I'll go back next week or something...


Questions and answers.

Now's the time where I, Jago, open up the mailbox to answer the letters that, YOU (the reading public) has asked:

Hey, Jago! What's been happening in your life recently?

Well, today, I spent a great afternoon with girlone when we went to see Boygroove (finally!). Great performances by Matt and Andrew Bursey. Such a funny play.

Yesterday, I went to a Survivor Improv meeting at our new space. After some business, we played some freeform improv games. And found out that, boy! Are we rusty! Whoa!

Despite that, we had a gem of a sketch where I played this guy who was being completely overcharged for everything he bought. Fun stuff. But still, a rusty night. Can't wait to the improv workshops to start up...

Did you get that Journal job you applied for?

No word as of yet. I'm hoping it will come to an interview at some point.

But I did win a membership to a health club for two! I still have to call about that...

What exactly IS The Story of My Magnetic Nametag, The Store's Back Room, and Undressing to Find It?

On my first day back to work this week, I found out that we had some new magnetic nametags. These would stop us from poking holes in our dress shirts (a problem I managed to avoid about a year into my tenure at RadioShack when I got a chain to put my nametag onto.).

I go into the back room and take the magnetic back between my index and pointer fingers and go between me and my shirt.

Of course, the back drops down into my pants. I shrug, and undo my belt to fish the magnet out of my pants.

Of course, this is where Jeff comes into the room, with my pants at my thighs.

I look at him, and simply say, "My nametag...dropped...into my pants. So I had to...you know, take them off."

He just says, "Sure, Jago. Sure." And laughs.

End of story. The title was a bit longer than the story turned out to be. Sorry.

Hey, Jago! What's up? What happened to your journal? Are you okay?

Sigh. Justice, you of all people should know well enough to bookmark my MAIN page, not one of my diary pages. You've linked to a past page, and so don't get my updates past that point.

Granted, how do I know that you're here, and not at that page? I emailed you about this!

Why don't you call home? You're not a hermit.

Mom! We just SAW each other on Sunday! You know all the things that have happened recently!

Are we REALLY letters that have been sent to you? Or is this just a literary device?

You got me. I'm making these questions up, other than Justice's and my mom's frequent requests that I keep in touch.

I got it from Dave Eggers and the book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which I am reading again after getting it back from girlone.

And, hey, it works. Shut up.

So why are you keeping on with the questions, then?

If you weren't some voice in my head, you'd be dead by now.

Since we've been reading so much of your Fringe adventures, were there any plays you missed?

Many. Didn't see The Tunnels of Little Chicago, didn't see Glengarry Glen Ross, or Gallows Humour, Paranormal, or The Test. Still, I saw some good stuff, and made some new friends while I was at it. And I didn't see much Hoja. Although I did call them out.

You heard me, Hoja! Bring on the noise! Bring on the funk!

Where are you in Zelda these days

Wind Temple. Just got the Hookshot. Kickass!

Where are you in Extreme Warfare Revenge 4.0 these days?

Just started. I'm thinking I'll go with the Heartland Valley Wrestling promotion again, even though I'm SO not finished with 3.0's game just yet.

Maybe I should be another organization, just to be different.

Why do some people in your journal have nicknames, and some don't? What's your criteria?

Well, I started out with using straight names for my journal, until my friend Sarah asked me to not refer to her by her last name, like I did.

"So, what do you want to be called?"

"Anything. Just don't use my full name."

At which point, girlone asked if I could be discreet with her identity as well. I came up with girlone as a joke, commenting on the fact that everyone in my diary has to be anonymous.

Some, I get from screen names my friends put on Messenger (D!, Marauder). Some have evolved from jokes (MFJ), some I've actually been inspired with (Kit, Caboodle). Sometimes I'm just plain tired and give them stupid names (Canton). And some have such good names, I just use their actual names (Justice, Dev, Gary Coleman).

So, while not everyone has a nickname, not everyone needs one. And it works for me.

Besides, it's not like I have many readers from outside my friendbase anyways. Most everyone who reads this knows who I'm talking about. And I'll usually be open enough to describe background for anyone who cares.

Why does this journal exist, anyways?

To write, mainly. So I can keep in shape mentally.

Also, it's a very good way to vent. If I need to write, I'll write. If I'm close to my computer and I feel the urge, there it is.

And I'm an attention whore. Nothing says "Look at me! Aren't I special?" like an online journal.

As a side note, I seem to have inspired some other people to write just by showing them this site. girlone, Nova, Marauder: They've all said, "That's cool. How can I get one?" And now they all have journals...

So...Anything else?

Notihng I can really think of. I'm kicking myself for not recording the dream I have this morning. When I woke up at the GLORIOUS hour of 11:30, I was going to write about it. But I had to get ready for the afternoon with girlone.

I'm pissed off that some of my favourite online comic journals haven't been updating for weeks. Hey, buckos! You're drawing for MY benefit! Get to it!!!

Otherwise? Business as usual. If anything of note happens, I'm sure you all will hear about it eventually.


Going back to work, my cousin's wedding, and self-seclusion due to video games...

Another day of leaving the store at 10:30 pm. Why the hell am I still at this company?

Tomorrow, I hand in my resumes to the Journal, for those copy editing and reporting positions. Sure, they're only one year internships, but it would be fun to go for such a drastic change.

Going into my field of study. Who would've thought???

* * *

Ever have those times where you come back from a week of vacation, and wish you have a month to recover from that week?

The store yesterday was completely CRAZY! I ended up selling a DVD home burner and a laptop, both on the RadioShack cards, and got a 5 year warranty on the laptop. Final total for me? $2600, and $40 in SPIFFS (selling bonuses). The store demolished the daily sales goal, raking in $11,000 ($6666 more than last year). Yeah, the store was a bit busy...

Coworkers were complimenting my new haircut (I got it cut right before Fringe, with a six-month interval since my last cut. I was very shaggy beforehand...) and those that went to the Fringe complimented my Kow performance... My stockperson's husband, who had been busking at the Fringe, asked me "So, what are you doing working here? You guys could really work the Fringe circuit."

He thinks we could take off four months, and go from one side of the country to the other at theatre festivals across Canada. It'd be fun, but I'm not sure if we think we're able. Besides, it's hard to get that much time off work, especially for guys like Astro and Canton. Still, fun idea.

Maybe, if you (my reading audience) ARE good (How the hell does one conjugate that sentence? EDIT: Kit and I spent HOURS (well, minutes spanning hours) debating this...So this sentence SHOULD now be grammatically correct...), I'll tell you The Story of My Magnetic Nametag, The Store's Back Room, and Undressing to Find It some day where I don't have to worry about going to bed to get to work early tomorrow, as well as also dropping off my application, and doing the store's deposit.

* * *

Dev and MFJ go to Vancouver tomorrow for REM, Wilco and Radiohead. And I feel envious yet again. Why can't I go on trips? Sigh.

Well, the next big trip I've got coming is my cousin's November wedding in Jasper. And, of course, I have the option to bring a date.

Right now, it's not an issue, since Braden and I are both bachelors. (EJ, is bringing her boyfriend, Kyle.) But there's two months before it happens. Who knows what could happen in the time frame?

All I know is that it would be logistically awkward to bring one of my female friends along. Despite the obvious questions about our relationship ("No, so-and-so and I are just friends..."), there's the whole, "Hey, so-and-so! Wanna come to Jasper for my cousin's wedding? No strings attached!" question.

Sure, I could bring a friend no problems if they held the wedding in town here, but the thought of a hotel room in Jasper's a pretty big commitment in my POV. Would they sleep with EJ? Would we get our own room?

Mom's completely at ease with my sharing a bed with someone. (Well, not at ease...She'd cope, I guess... "What can I do? You're 26.") But she just wants me to do things the normal way. (So, having a child out of wedlock? Not so good...) But it's been one of my big hang-ups, thinking of my family having any knowledge of my sex life (or, in my case, lack thereof...).

Eh, well, MFJ said she'd go, if I needed to bring someone. Wouldn't THAT start rumours flying, both in my family and in my friendbase?

* * *

I'm not sure what will be my obsession for the next little bit: Zelda on the GameCube, or Extreme Warfare 4.0, the newest wrestling business simulator on my computer.

If you see me not answering my phone or mail for a while, you'll have a clue as to why I've gone into seclusion...


Fringe Journal, Part IV (final entry)

On Friday, Dev and I went to see Checkpoint Charlie, a very well done play featuring some improv friends of ours.

Steve Weller wrote and starred in a show set in Berlin during a forty-years span for the Berlin Wall and all the politics between Russia and America. Sharp writing, good acting and not much in the way of directing (in a good way) all contributed to this being probably the best show I had seen at Fringe. Dev and I were gushing to Steve afterwards about how much we enjoyed it.

No performances for Kow that day, and I was hoping to hang out with the Scorpio crew. I was invited along for their evening out on the town, but, unfortunately, I realized that the only way we could contact each other was to hang out on the Fringe grounds. They didn't know where I lived, we didn't exchange phone numbers (only e-mail), and so it didn't go anywhere.

Did have a nice time at the Transatlantia party, mind you. So the evening was by no means a waste.

Saturday, my parents had come up to see the show. We went shopping, which is something I'll elaborate on later.

So we did a fun set, and for some reason, my mic was SUPER live! I could hear only myself out of the monitors, even when I held the mic six inches from my mouth. So, it had a good blend.

My parents and my aunt enjoyed the show, so that was cool.

Today (Sunday) was the last day of the Fringe. Girlone and I stood in line before the Kow show to get tickets for BoyGroove. Of course, the venue was sold out about three people before us. So, no show for this. BUT! There are going to be other performances of BoyGroove this week, so we will eventually see it...

Our last show. First of all, we thought we were on the big stage, but we weren't. And we had told all our friends to go to the other stage. And my parents. So it was a bit confusing. We decided to go all out, and perform 15 songs.

There was a very attractive brunette in the third row wearing a bikini top. So I always had a default person to sing to if need be. And then she left halfway through. I wasn't the only member of Kow sad to see her leave...

It was nice to see the Scorpio actors there for the last part of the performance as well. It's great that we were able to meet a bunch of new friends, something that RARELY happens during Fringe. Usually, it's just me hanging out with my acting friends. But this was very cool.

So, final total for money grossed by Kow at the Fringe? Drum roll, please...

Just over $2500. I think it came to $2504.14, or something. So, a very successful Fringe by Kow. We'll have to do it again.

Dev was amazed at all Kow has accomplished over the past year. Two benefits completely organized by us, and a huge Fringe undertaking. Our profile has definitely gone up over the last year.

Still, I'm looking forward to a week of not singing...

We decided to go to Dunn's Delicatessen for some huge reuben sandwiches, and then all went to see the final show of The Curse of the Jade Monkey. And got to say goodbye to the Scorpio crew, and decline their invite to the Olive Garden. I had a pay-per-view to watch, and had already eaten out twice today.

Very long, but rewarding week...

* * *

Now, the parents stuff. Every time they come up, they tend to help me flesh out my palce a bit. This time, they had brought up a HUGE microwave to replace my smaller one, and a kitchen table and chairs from Grandpa's cabin at the lake. The table and chairs are circa 1950. It's got that kind of retro-looking pattern with the six-point stars and the like...

We then went shopping for cleaning supplies and cookware, so I wasn't without such handy things as glass baking pans and cake pans and the like.

Dad told me that they had decided to buy me a computer desk. I didn't mind this development, and was further pleased when he added, "And a TV set."

So I got myself a 20" flatscreen Samsung. With a few inputs, so I can steal back my GameCube from MFJ. (NEEDS my Zelda fix. NEEDS IT!) And component video inputs, so I can use my DVD player again, and ignore my computer's player. Funny thing is, I'm currently using a 19" flatscreen monitor, so my TV's not much bigger at all. Still, for $270? A very good deal.

And Dad and I were putting together the computer desk in my living room, when I heard running water coming from the kitchen.

Me: "Mom, what are you doing? DON'T do my dishes, Mom!"

Mom: "What else am I supposed to do? I can't help you guys."

Me: "Mom, please! It's not your problem that all my dishes are in the sink! That's my problem! Sit! Read a book! Do something!"

I had to run to rehearse before our concert that night, and when Dev and I came back at 10 pm, I find the kitchen immaculate, as well as the bathroom. Sigh. I love my mom, but she shouldn't have to clean my messes these days.

I couldn't find where she hid my dishes, though...


Fringe Journal, Part III

For some reason, I've been stuck on this first line for half an hour, trying to figure out if there's something I'm missing. So, if I remember, I'll be throwing it in later on...

Had a show yesterday at 5:30. It went well, because we're getting to the point where we're not afraid to speak up if something's wrong with the mic balance.

I had seen the Scorpio guys in the audience (or at least a few of them), and so I made sure to plug their show, in my ranting section of Spider-Man.

"If you want to see a good show, we've got some friends from the Curse of the Jade Monkey in the audience. It's a show that really kicks ass!"

I look to the right, and all the rest of Kow just looking at me aghast. I didn't realize until later it's because I said "ass" in front of a few six-year-olds sitting right at the edge of the stage.

Yes, I casually curse. I say "hell" and "ass" at the drop of a hat. And I even do it in front of children. Hell, it was my ambition to get Caboodle to say "bastard" as her first word. (Apparently, Kit just adds the words "Jago, you" beforehand, so that it can become baby's first phrase. Like I don't get my name cursed by enough people already, I need toddlers to do it?)

Side note: Dev and I have thought up a name for a kick-ass punk group: Civic-Minded Toddlers. It goes great in my list of other names for bands, like Byron Funk an old English teacher of mine...

In any case, decent show. Afterwards, I was able to hang out with MFJ, get some dinner, watch some Red Dwarf and Spinal Tap.

Dev, MFJ and I then went to see The Edmonton Sketch Conspiracy.

We had a fun time, despite the horrible reviews they've been getting. Granted, this might be because we're such good friends with the members of the ESC, and because we have very similar senses of humour.

In any case, they started off with Dev's favourite sketch, Morrissey, which involves D! singing non-sensical stuff like "Okay, I'll be your Squirrel King!" over top of well-known songs. D! really hates Morrissey.

Some good sketches, some I didn't quite understand. I loved Les Bucherons, a send-up of the old Quebec folk tales about Quebeckers that get challenged by the Devil, only to usually overcome the odds.

One thing I'd fix is Burke's delivery on Big Game Hunter, where he seems to rush through the monologue so you can't hear all the jokes. And Edmonton Playwright seemed to be off for some reason.

And THEN Dev and I got free comics! Whooo! Yay for Warp Two Comics and Edmonton Playwright! Madman kicks ass!

This morning, I was wakened by Canton calling me to ask "Want to see a play for free? It starts in half an hour." So I rush into the shower and boot for the venue. Or what I thought was the venue. Happened to be a completely different venue, but, fortunately, the play didn't start until 12:30, not noon like we thought.

So, we got to see The Power of Ignorance, a brilliant one-man show staged like a self-help seminar. I really recommend anyone who likes comedy to see this, since it's SO well done.

You find out over the course of this play the horrible childhood the character has lived through, but it's such a well-written monologue, it comes off as just part of the character's motivation. And he's SO ignorant, it makes so some very funny interplay between the actor and audience.

Plus, he knocks himself out for about fifteen minutes at the end of the play, but he's got a tape that comes on in case of emergencies like this. We were waiting for the actor to come up to tell him how much we loved the play, but he acted unconscious until some tech dragged him offstage, with the recorded track saying "Please, do NOT touch Vaguen. Thank you for coming, please leave the theatre."

Brilliant stuff.

Hanging in the beer gardens, I read some review in the papers. For some reason, ESC and Jade Monkey got bad reviews. (Stupid reviewers...)

In the ESC's case, there was actually a line that said, "Imagine if you were watching the worst episode of Saturday Night Live. Now multiply that by 100." Ouch.

So up comes the girls from Jade Monkey, and I start trying to console them about their one-and-a-half star review in Vue. In the review, the author pretty much says that a saving grace was Anna's looks. THAT made Anna feel SO much better. {/sarcasm}

Went to a barbeque, played with Lllloyd's infant, and drove home for the next Kow performance.

For some reason, the sound was having issues, but we persevered, and put on a very good show, in my opinion. And the guys agreed, for the most part. Sure, there was the occasional tuning issue on some songs, since we had no monitor volume whatsoever, but our energy made up for it.


Caboodle walking across the plaza during Little Red Riding Hood. So I decided to follow after her, dragging the mic along for the ride, singing to the toddler the entire time.

During Sixty Minute Man, the Jade Monkey crew had asked me prior if they could come and worship at Canton during the song. I said, "Sure. That'll be fun," And made sure to tell everyone EXCEPT for Canton. Priceless.

Me chanting lyrics from Red Hot Chili Peppers during the Spider-Man vamp. I look over to the rest, and ask "What? Doesn't everyone love the Chili Peppers?" before going back into the song.

During Basket Case, the group's singing Canon in D while Dev decided to "be sneaky" and tiptoe up to the mic to start singing the Green Day portion. Astro and I exchanged confused looks, and started hissing, "Dev! What are you doing?" while not interrupting the song itself. So it became this tug of war between the classical Pachebel parts and the Green Day parts that really worked.

So, to sum up, while it wasn't the greatest of balance, we were completely on performance-wise. The banter was there, it was quick, and it wasn't that rehearsed. And the improv bits looked polished. By jove, I'm thinking we're getting there...

It was good to see my aunt, uncle and cousin in the audience. They seemed to enjoy the set a lot. Saturday, my parents see me for the first time in a long time, performance-wise. I'm pretty sure Dad has never seen Kow live. And Mom's seen us back our first year, where we were reading all music sheets and just really rough, stagewise...


A few small questions (and sorry about the morbidity...)

I thought up some questions to answer on this site, just for fun:

I was reading the weathergeek's journal, and he was talking about how he'd want his obituary to read.

I had no clue what mine would read, other than it happening not too far into my life. And I'd be a successful writer/humourist. And I'd die in some awkward way.

I remember reading about an Israeli soldier who die when he got caught in a pizza dough maker in Jerusalem and was kneaded to death. And I remember it being a cool, but painful way to die.

And then I thought I could die post-coitus in a bed, but that might be too traumatizing for that lover, so that's out as well.

In any case, a flashy death would be cool. But it was the post-death plans that intrigued me: How would I like to go out afterwards?

Cremation. Most definitely. No worrying about a coffin or a corpse. Just a bunch of ashes, to be spread around. After I left high school, I figured I'd want some of my ashes to go into the stage at Peacock Collegiate. These days, I'd like some to be spread out in Edmonton somewhere. And if I ever became a writer, be it at a paper or wherever, I'd like some ashes to be mixed into the printing press, so I could live on in words.

Another question for my readers: Which celebrity do you get most compared to (either in personality or in appearance)?

For me, it's always Brendan Fraser. Always.

Not sure if it's the jawline, or the goofiness that both of us project, or what. But I've been compared to him more than enough times, most recently last night by Oksana, a new friend I met (yes, from Jade Monkey...).

I just want to know if it's the cool Brendan Fraser from the Mummy series and Encino Man, or if it's the nebbish dolt Brendan Fraser from Bedazzled and Dudley Do-Right...

Fringe Journal, Part II

Didn't have any performances today. Got to sit back and relax, play some Neverwinter Nights, and watch some plays.

Canton and I decided to take up the offer of our new Calgary friends to see The Course of True Love and the Curse of the Jade Monkey.

Fun little show (if you want to call two hours little) about a guy who works at a newspaper with a graphic design job with no excitement in his life, until he crosses paths with a mysterious girl who sends him a jade monkey. They fall in love, and he decides to leave his boring life for some excitement, getting caught up in the girl's treasure hunting.

Some pretty funny moments and a good script, even if it was a bit ambitious for a small venue. So many scene changes, some scenes ended up in the two minute range. Other than that, a show I'd definitely recommend for some fun acting performances, well-written characters and a good comic romp.

Afterwards, we hung out with the cast (not just Anna and Faith, but pretty much everyone who WASN'T driving back to Calgary for work the next day...). Found a hometown girl from Saskatchewan, Oksana from Coronach, so we started telling horrible Regina stories and the like.

Together, the (about) ten of us went to see DieNasty again, and were in line just talking until the show started. It started to rain, and Oksana had nothing to keep her warm, so I ran home for a jacket for myself and a sweatshirt for her. Yes, I can be gallant, although I just usually play the part of Goofus.

And before you think there was some ulterior motive for me giving a pretty girl something to keep dry with, she's married. Otherwise, you'd be completely right...

So we saw another uneven episode of DieNasty. Good points: Donovan Workun wrestling Cathleen Rootseart (complete with piledriver) and the creepiest Nathan Fillion (Yes, girlone: Caleb from Buffy...) performances I've ever seen... (Him eating the eyeball of another cast member, him seducing a barmaid under the influence of The Dancing Man, him breaking up with Julia Roberts in the Army and Navy Special K aisle...)

So Canton and I were able to get email addresses for the Calgary crowd and managed to get them to come for another of Kow's performances. They loved us the first time, and were asking when we'd get down to Calgary. And I need my sweatshirt back as well...

* * *

I need a bear-shark.

* * *

In the "God, I can be stupid" file:

I found out while on the computer that for some reason, I wasn't able to do anything. Any window I clicked on wouldn't come up. I'm thinking, "Jeez, my computer's frozen up. I hope it's not the new worm that everyone's getting. Because I've got seventy-two different firewalls running simultaneously."

I reboot the computer. No dice, still not working. I get a bit freaked out, because I don't want to lose my computer to a few weeks. (RS extended warranties are taken down to Calgary).

Then I find out somehow, it's just my mouse. My left button is broken. So I'm currently using the left-handed mouse option, where the right button is the main one.

Afterwards, I realize that's one task that I'm not left-handed in: using a mouse. So convenient to use my left hand on the keyboard, I guess. And I've been manipulated by the right-hand world in this respect, from the time I was about ten.

I guess this also explains why I can't use MS Paint or any computer drawing program to save my life, though. I can't draw right-handed.


Fringe Journal, Part I

Well, this has been quite the weekend so far. Seven shows in four days. And I managed to catch a few plays as well, so far.

I must say, the first time we went on the Journal stage on Friday evening, I was freaked OUT! I couldn't really explain it then ("It's the (flailing arms) and the (HUGE arms out) and the (sweeping arm).")

What I meant to say was HUGE stage, big amplification, and a large grass field to sit in makes it look like I was performing at Woodstock or something. For a group who does mostly intimate venues and small events, this was a big thing.

So far, so good. We managed to pay off the venue fee on the first day. And every performance gets us about $200 closer to a CD. So, yeah. It's cool to see relatively large crowds.

Friday was all about getting used to the outdoor stages, but we had fun with it.

Saturday was decent, although I almost missed out by arriving RIGHT when we were supposed to come on. I guess I should have left the wedding reception a bit earlier. COMPLETELY my fault. So, for the first half, due to running four blocks to get to the stage, I was pretty breathless.

Sunday's shows weren't the greatest. I managed to not sing the right notes a few times, my low range was shot, I couldn't hear myself in the monitor, the tech tried to add reverb and genereally wasn't in the booth, and the sun was beating down on us, making us exhausted.

We regrouped today, and gave a decent afternoon show. And then came tonight.

We were worried we wouldn't perform due to the huge winds that came out of nowhere ten minutes before we were to start. Things getting toppled over, sand flying everywhere. Not prime conditions for a concert.

We told the tech, let's give the show a shot. We could always cut early if the winds were horrible. So we went on stage in a new order, with me right beside the monitor so I could always hear myself.

Small crowd, mostly due to the wind...at least to start.I guess it might have been the regrouping, the new order, the lack of blistering heat...I dunno. In any case, we started to kick ass! Whoooo!

We built the freakin' audience. What started off as about ten people turned out to be something like seventy or eighty. We were firing on all cylinders. MFJ was saying that was one of the better performances she's EVER heard us do...

Okay, halfway through the week. Let's see how the rest of Fringe goes.

* * *

The first play I saw this weekend was DieNasty, the improv soap opera. Now, I've only been a recent viewer (saw them three years ago at the 2001 Fringe Odyessy), but it's not as good as the old days. The current director rarely thinks about the story, and usually only thinks about silly things to do. Too many side roads, not enough main plot development.

In the line waiting for tickets, Canton, Astro and I struck up a conversation with some actors who had seen the set we performed about an hour prior. They liked our set, and we just started talking.

Whee! New friends made in that time. They're from Calgary, their play was called The Curse of the Jade Monkey. So we watched DieNasty together.

Even though it was uneven, there were still moments that made my temples hurt, they were so funny. I just loved the cat-hoarding scene, and the running joke involving humping a hairball (really, a wig) was priceless.

Then I saw Pulling Down, Morgan's play (HA! I KNEW I'd get the title...). It was not what I was expecting (drama with the occasional light moment to liven it up). Instead, it was heavy themes with the occasional black humour to really take it down a notch.

Still, it was a very well-written play, and the two actresses, Amber and Jenny did a great job. Just amazing, the performances. And SUCH an intense play.

Tonight, I got to see The Ecstasy of St. Teresa, a play featuring some friends I know.

It's all about a Spanish nun during the Spanish Inquisition. Good acting, despite the occasional slip in lines by Ian (I don't think he'd be able to live down his use of the line "riding a nun" - should have been "riding a mule" - if it weren't a whole bunch of friends watching the play. Good thing about having actors in the crowd: If a line is flubbed like that, they'd be less likely to laugh at him...) The problem for me and Canton was the script.

I tseemed like a sort of history lesson, in the fact that we had to process all this information that we weren't familiar with. "Oh, the small nun is the YOUNGER verison of the older nun. Gotcha. Why is Ian playing this scene differently? Oh, it's a different role." And so on.

It's almost as if we were being drilled on this piece of history with no context because there'd be a test at the end or something. Couldn't get ito the script that much. Good thing the performances made up for it...

Still on the list, the ESC (Damn you, See reviewer Mari Sasano!!!), the Moose Jaw play,The Curse of the Jade Monkey (promised I'd see it. I have a problem saying no to attractive women), Boygroove (got a date to see it with girlone. Joy!) and Glengarry Glen Ross.


Who knew? Some things just make me laugh...

These days, I don't have much time to read the newspapers, and I don't have a TV, so I don't get broadcast news either. It's kind of scary to think that most of my prespective on world events is brought to me by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Granted, it could be a lot worse. At least the Daily Show is intelligent in its humourous spin on news. I could get all my info from Leno. (shudder)

Still, I was quite shocked today while walking to my store when I saw the following headline on a newspaper:

"Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction: Killer Dinosaurs!"

I mean, THAT is some shocking news! No WONDER the UN teams OR the U.S. couldn't find any bombs or nuclear warheads! They weren't supposed to be looking for that! They thought that Hussein International Jurassic Park was just some sort of amusement park, not the basis of WMD research!

Man, those Iraqis sure are a crafty bunch...

Thankfully, I'm steering clear of the Kobe Bryant case. And the less said about the California gubernatorial race, the better...

Actually, let me drop a thought on that:

I was going through my Daily Show videos, seeing what's been funny this week, when I find out about the Liberian chaos, or the Jakartan bombing, the American media decides to ignore the international stuff for Arnold Schwartzenegger's running for office.

As Jon Stewart said, "Wow. If Kobe was running, [the media] would be spilling man juice on their desks."

I laughed. A lot.

Also, Gary Coleman is running. D! told me a quote that Coleman used in his campaign:

His platform is . . . and I quote . . . "I'm the worst possible candidate for this job. If elected, I'll have to follow everyone else around in Washington, bugging them until I learn my job."

Now, I'm by no means an American, but my knowledge of the situation is as follows:

The gubernatorial seat of California is Sacramento. Why would Coleman go to Washington at all? For crying out loud! Whatchu talkin' about, Gary?

Also, the first gay bishop was ordained by the Anglican church this week. First of all, the headline Stewart used on his show was "A Taste of Schism." I fell from my seat.

"In all fairness, you should have seen the titles we didn't use," Stewart said. "Most likely, your TV would have filtered them."

Also, he used the story to crack the joke, "The Anglican church is also publishing a new book, Jesus Has Two Daddies."

It's sharp wit like this that has made the Daily Show the show I miss the most not having a television...


Plays I MUST see and a job I MUST take...

Starting my vacation, just in time for Fringe and countless Kow shows.

And man! Do I have a list of plays I want to see this week!

Going to see BoyGroove, Chris Craddock's parody of boy bands, starring my improv friend Matt. Girlone and I have a plan to catch this one.

The Edmonton Sketch Conspiracy involves a whole lotta Jagged Edge friends, inlcuding D! and Marauder. Plus, how can I miss a performance of Morrissey or Les Bucherons? A greatest hits of the ESC is a must-see.

Scott Sharplin's Glengarry Glen Ross is another I'm looking forward to. A dark comedy involving real estate salesmen written by David Mamet? SO there...

The Tunnels of Little Chicago is a musical involving Moose Jaw's sordid rumrunning history. I'm interested to see how that is going to be.

Of course, there's going to be Die Nasty every night. Some solid, solid improv soap opera action. AND it's free to performers, such as me!

Morgan Smith's new play (forgot the title). I loved last year's Cheerleader, so I'll be definitely taking this one in.

Gallows Humour is directed by D! So I'll either see it, or have him berating me for a while...

And I'll take in a Hoja show when I can. Completely new cast, three old members of Streetnix and a guy from MJ whose sister I acted with. Granted, this is a different crew from last year (Thank God), and a completely different crew than what's listed on their website. So I'm not sure if they're still trying to be a boy band, or if they're going back to Streenix's roots, which was a LOT better.

In other news, the Journal's hiring. Damn well better believe I'm applying.

The biggest debacle in American politics...

Do you know your alphabet? Yeah?

Well, think again, SUCKERS!!!!

The California recall is getting weirder and weirder by the second. And they have a new alphabet now, to boot!

Since there's going to be at least 115 people on the ballot when the election hits in October, the state has decided it doesn't want to give anyone an unfair advantage if their name happens to be, oh, Arthur A. Aaronson. Because some voters are apparently stupid enough to choose the first name on the list.

So, the state has decided to randomly draw an order for the ballot.

The new order? R, W, Q, O, J, M, V, A, H, B, S, G, Z, X, N, T, C, I, E, K, U, P, D, Y, F, L.

It gets funnier/more tragic:

We can't have John Randolph having an advantage over Bill Rook! EVERY letter is affected by this. So someone with "RO" would go before someone with "RE."

Confused yet? Wait a second, there's more:

They're using a rotation for each district. So in District 1, David Laughing Horse Robinson is the first name on the ballot. In District 2, his name goes to the bottom of the list, and Jeff Rainforth gets the top slot.

I've been an interested party in the political process since the late 80s. And I've become aware of the sad pathetic joke that democracy can occasionally become since Journalism School.

I thought it was tragically funny when one of the mayoral candidates in the '99 Edmonton election (a busker) decided to attack the A-Channel building and got send to Alberta Hospital for mental treatment. And his name was still on the ballot.

I shook my head during the American Federal 2000 election.

But THIS is one fucking huge mess. I think they should have to admit their mistake they made when they ELECTED GRAY DAVIS and LIVE WITH IT!

Am I the only one who wishes it was California that had a massive power outage, instead of our friends on the East Coast?


Not quite obsessed about this, but getting there...

So, on Friday, my manager Jeff calls me into the back room. And asks me point blank, "Are you in love with Sam?"

I ask, "What? Who said that? Jeff, I'm not in love with Sam. I'm attracted to her, but then who isn't?"

Meanwhile, in my mind, I'm thinking Who's the one who picked up my attraction? Am I that transparent?

(Sometimes, when I think I'm completely overreacting over something, that's when everyone else doesn't notice. And sometimes when I think I'm a rock, the most stoic man alive, that's when everyone can read my thoughts as if they were on the Commonwealth Stadium scoreboard.)

So then, on Monday when the Sears Marauder comes in to pick me up for lunch, he notices Sam. And asks me about her constantly over lunch.

"Man, she's cute! I know YOU can't ask her out, but do you think *I* can?"

I reply, "Sure, go ahead. She hasn't said yes to any of the customers who ask her out, though."

Today, I call up Sears, about to ask if the Marauder's available for lunch. The Avenger answers the phone.

"Hey, Avenger. It's Jago. Is Marauder there?"

"No, he's got the day off today. Might I tell you, you have quite the cute girl working at your store."

I roll my eyes. "Yeah, Sam's quite the looker, alright. When did you see her?"

"I went down to your store after my shift on Monday."

"Let me guess. You heard about her because Marauder was talking about her nonstop, right?"

Sigh. Yes, there's a very cute girl working at my store. No, I'm not asking her out, mostly because I'm leery of interwork relationships. Granted, once I leave RS, who knows? But she still is only 18. That might be very weird...



Got this song trapped in my mind going round and round. To try to exorcise it, I'm going to write the lyrics out. Otherwise, I might either go mad or have Kow do it.

You - flourescent candlelight
Pyramid in human disguise.
I, uncertain thief in the night,
Trying to read the prophecy in your eyes.
As I approach your vicinity,
I smell the smoke as I kiss the mystic fragrance of infinity.

Caress my burning fascination
You hold the key
To my insatiable Salvation

Now, you're moving closer to me
Awakening the blood rush within
Now, I feel the heat of your breath,
The pinprick of your lips against my skin
You're splitting hairs, getting technical
Hovering there as I stare into the blazing metaphysical.Completely
Caress my burning fascination
You hold the key
To my insatiable salvation
We'll ride these feelings of tranquility
Complete me

There. Maybe that'll help...We'll see come tomorrow morning's shower.


Channelling out the feelings of resentment I've got...

One of the things that gets me mad to the point of frustration is the feeling of missing out on something. It's been happening quite a bit recently.

I tend to work at least two evening shifts a week, so I get home at approximately 10:30 pm. While I'm more of a night owl than I used to be, most of my friends have normal shift hours, and so have to go to bed reasonably early.

And since Fringe is NEXT WEEK!, the evenings I do have off are pretty much going towards rehearsals.

So I feel I'm missing out on things because of my hectic week. Is it possible to feel jealous of an a cappella group? Becuse that's what it feels like I'm doing.

I'm regressing back to 1995, where I was jealous of Heath.

Back then, I had a job with my old camp, Katepwa, as a counselor. Living outdoors for a month, training kids how to live in Christ as well as doing fun stuff in the outdoors.

Heath decided to apply to Broadway North, a Prince Albert theatre company who was doing West Side Story. And he got in.

What could I do? I had committed myself to camp. And so I couldn't join him up in Northern Saskatchewan to do a fun musical.

So I was envious of him for getting the opportunity to try something new. And, I wasn't able to see him perform a major role, because I was halfway across the province working, and when I WAS able to see him, I wasn't allowed to drive the six hours to get to PA.

But, water under the bridge. Until I got accepted to the University of Alberta and he was accepted into the singing troupe Saskatchewan Express.

And I became envious again. Because I realized something that still applies today. I am the guy who needs to be prepared, having a fallback plan for everything I do. I am careful and cautious.

Heath, especially back then, fresh out of high school, was impulsive. He did things that appealed to him on the spur of the moment, not needing any sort of preparations. He was easy-go-lucky.

And I seemed to be drug back by my commitments, constrained by my forethought and preparedness. And I hated Heath for being able to do everything he did on a whim.

Our relationship was almost destroyed by my envy. We had a strained friendship for about a year and a half, something I didn't realize until after the fact, when Kaz told me Heath's side of the story. But I'm glad we've been able to repair that broken bond.

In any case, the feelings I am currently experiencing are scarily similar to the feelings I harboured towards Heath. And I certainly don't want any friendships to be severed due to my busy schedule these days.

As much as I love Kow and the guys involved, I don't want to lose touch with MFJ, girlone, D!, Justice, the rest of my friends. Because, sometimes, there's such a thing as spending too much time together.

Also, I'd like to take time off work that'll lead to rest and relaxation for once. Maybe once I get a new job I'll actually be able to go back to Moose Jaw for Christmas. It's been SUCH a long time...

* * *

I've had my current cordless phone since May, and only this past week did I realize that colour of the face was actually gray, not blue. Yup, all I had to do was remove the adhesive coating off the face that was there to keep the display from getting scratched up before being sold.

Sigh. SUCH a moron.

Deadpan delivery of the week...

Before the gig Kow had, the Barber and I went to Booster Juice to get some beverages.

Barber's deciding what to get. He picks his drink, and the Juice guy asks Barber what kind of booster he wants put in it.

Barber's looking at the choices, and I murmur, "Get the energy booster. You'll probably be needing something to wake you up."

He agrees.

The juice guy asks if Barber's allergic to bee pollen, since it's a main ingredient of the energy boost.

"No," says Barber.

The juice guy turns to me.

"What would you like?"

"I'd like the Very Berry, please. And I'd like an energy boost put in as well, thanks."

"Are you allergic to bee pollen?"

I look him directly in the eye, no emotion showing on my face.


Here are a few words from the author of this website:

"After I have a huge sneezing fit while typing at two in the morning, I immediately reach for my KLEENEX WITH MENTHOL(tm)! It's like an enema for my nose! One inhalation and my congestion is a lot more clean than with regular tissues! Thanks, Kimberly-Clark!"


"Are you allergic to bee pollen?"

I look him directly in the eye, no emotion showing on my face whatsoever.


He starts laughing.

"But you warned me, so you're off the hook," I end.

Listening obsessively to: My Love Is Like (Wo) - Mya; Double Team - Tenacious D, and to an extent, Rock Your Body - (sigh) Justin Timberlake.

Wanting to read: Hellblazer story arc by Brian Azzarello (but still on the Robert Jordan book)

Good thing I've got dry pants for tomorrow...

Rain falls.

And I was in the middle of it, walking back from the house to my apartment. Wearing only my dress shirt and pants. No jacket.

I liked it that way. No need to rush back home. Just take in the moisture, watch it make a camouflage effect on my grey shirt. It's not like I need to wear this shirt for work tomorrow. Feel my hair mat against my head and cheeks. (Yes, my hair's that long these days...)

And afterwards, dressed very casually, hnuched over in front of my keyboard, letting my place's warmth dry me, au naturel. And yet, of course, I sweat.

* * *

So today's Kow rehearsal turned into something MUCH bigger...

Dev picked me up from work today, and on the way over, I asked a question that would change the evening:

"Hey, do you know if we're still doing that fundraiser for that theatre troupe? Because if it's tomorrow, I've been scheduled to work..."

Dev: "CRAP! No! That's tonight!"

Me: "Wouldn't Canton have told us if that was the case? No, wait a sec. He's probably forgotten as well."

So we get to the house to rehearse. Canton shows up, and when we mention the performance, he's shocked.

"No, that's over the weekend, isn't it?"

Dev: "Nope."

So Canton phones up the producer of this benefit concert, and finds out, yes it IS tonight. And would it be possible to bring our sound equipment, just in case the sound engineer doesn't show up?

Joel and Gil haven't arrived to rehearse yet. When they DO get in, Gil needs to shower. But after that, we take our stuff and head to local bar The Druid.

We make up a set list on the fly, deciding what songs work and don't work on mics. In all, not a bad concert. Some songs we realize we need to polish before taking them to Fringe, and that Gil needs to get into the mic as much as he can.

The audeince was decent, considering there were a whole bunch of bar people who weren't there for the fundraiser, so we performed in front of a lot of people who haven't heard of us. Publicity's a good thing before the biggest set of concerts we've ever had.

* * *

I talked to my dad a few nights back and found that my dog, Piers, has glaucoma in one eye. So, he'll be getting surgery to fix it. Problem is, this means the dog will lose his eye.

I seriously considered asking why we don't just get the dog laser eye surgery. And then realized, "Wait a sec. I'm thinking of giving Piers surgery I wouldn't seriously consider getting myself?"

God, I love the dog. But I'll just have to live with it having one eye. Maybe he could get an eyepatch! And be a pirate!

Ahrrr! A pirate Pekinese, it be!

But seriously, the dog has pretty much turned out to be mine, even though I haven't really lived at home for most of it's life. Hell, we got it the summer before my Grade 12 year. So I lived with the dog for only two years continually. I haven't even SEEN Piers since Grandma Dokken's deathwatch in November 2001.

But whenever I come home, he runs to me. And is so happy to see me. He sleeps on my bed during thunderstorms, and goes on walks with me. Even if that was a few years back.

* * *

My new co-worker Sam came up to me during the shift and asked me, "Is it weird that I've been asked out on dates at least once a day since I started working here?"

I looked at her, and thought, Gee, because you're cute, small, young and really friendly? God forbid people are attracted to you!

But of course, what I said was, "Damn. Why do you get the numbers?"

Reminds me of Carey, the athletic blond intelligent cutie who was telling me one day about how her boyfriend would get her gifts.

At which point I asked, "Damn! They do all those things? Sigh. I wish I had a boyfriend..."

Carey laughs out loud, and the customer she's serving pleads, "Don't go there. Please."

"You know," Carey said, "girlfriends can do that for you too."

"Even better!" I exclaim.


Getting My Name Back

Menthol Jihad Diary

[August 7th] Bought up all the Kleenex with Menthol in the area. Started mailing campaign and leaving tissues in mailboxes.

[August 15th] Bought stock in Kimberly-Clark. The company's going to go through the ROOF!

[August 17th] Threw out mattress. Now sleeping in the corner of my room in a bunch of menthol tissues.

[October 23rd] FINALLY got out of jail. Who knew that forcing people on Whyte Avenue to blow their noses was an indictable offense?

* * *

My younger brother Braden came up for the weekend. Had a fun time with him, although we didn't spend too much time together. He came for the wrestling house show that happened this weekend.

(Rumour of the week: According to Marauder, the house show was a gauge for the WWE to see if it's viable for Edmonton to host a Pay Per View next year. It'd be a DREAM to get front row seats to that. Especially if it involved one of the bigger shows like Royal Rumble or Survivor Series. That'd be SO cool if it were to happen...)

Also, he brought up a powered mixer for Kow to rehearse on. So far, we've had one practice with mics, and it's going pretty well... Granted, anything's better than the less-than-brilliant performance we had at last year's Northen Harmony. That's what we get for not having any prior mic time. Talk about being out of our element...

* * *

In negative work news, Real, one of my least-favourite RadioShack employees, has been transferred to Kingsway to manage the Rogers store. Considering that a plus to transferring from Bonnie Doon was that I was getting away from him, I'm not that happy. Besides, the guy's already run ONE store into the ground (KGM's Battery Plus), so let's put him in a bigger store! Great...

In the "good news" section, Kiel's been promoted to managing his own store in Red Deer. I wish him the best, and also will welcome our new assistant manager with open arms. Hell, anything's better than being pushed into the role myself. Again. For the fourth time.

Since Kiel's leaving, I no longer have to use my last name. This will bring Independant Jago back into the world he belongs. Because I felt it kind of wrong to use a name that my friends use for me as a work name, where I want as little of my personal life being known to customers.

Also, the new hires look to be working out fine. Smart kids. They're catching on quickly. And the new girl, Sam, is cute!

That'll make my life easier. New AM, good young recruits. Whatever gets me out of more stress is good..,

Now if only I can get a job that pays a hell of a lot more. On Friday, I phoned up Convergys to leave a message to theiir Human Resources department. It could have gone a little better:

"Hi, my name's Kyle Jago, and my phone number is 909...Wait. Hold on. That's not my number. (Sigh.) Okay, sorry about this. My number's 909... No, that's not it. It's, ummmm.... I'm terribly sorry about this. It's 90-NO! 989! 4099! There! And I'm calling about, ummmm...APPLYING! (Yeah, that's the word) for a position."

If I had been any worse, I'd have banged my head with the phone a few times while Convergys's machine was still recording.

"Hey. I'm bleeding! Look at that! I'm bleeding because I decided to bang my head with the freaking phone! Well, doesn't that beat all? That's just FUC- Um, I'm still on the line aren't I? Just remember, Kyle Jago at 909- GODDAMMIT! (BEEP!)"

I was a little surprised when they called me back about a half-hour later. Of course, they're looking for people NOW, instead of next month. But so now I'm in the September potential pool. Here's hoping. I can really use the extra $400 a month...

* * *

I can really do without the irritated eyes. I get it already! While nothing like last week happened, it's just looking like I'm always sleepy since my eyes are half-closed and puffy.

And, I know, some of you might think that's how I always am. But now, I'm not enjoying the sleepy look...

Listening to: The Unforgettable Fire by U2.

Just finished reading: The first two Swamp Thing compilations by Alan Moore; the second Fables arc.

Plowing through: The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan


RadioShack: Life just got SEXIER!

My company has started to stock DVDs now. Apparently, we're trying to please everyone, but I'm thinking we're becoming a much more expensive dollar store these days...

(Eurgh. Lord, it's hot. I've currently got the fan a foot away from me at top speed, running on it's highest setting. Next time I get an apartment, I'm going for one with air conditioning. People say they get hot, but I get HOT! Granted, I've got overactive sweat glands and am the missing link between human and grizzly bear, so I tend to be hotter than most lowly mortals. In any case, back to the story...)

I was doing stock today, and, as such,was the first person to set eyes on our stock of DVDs.

First out of the box was Original Sin, an erotic thriller featuring Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie. And it wasn't any version, it was the UNRATED version.

So, pretty much, the cover screams "Hey! Wanna see buck nekkid Jolie? Buy me! You thought the theatrical version was full of Angelina's breasts? Think again, putz! Because THIS version is full frontal, all the way, baby!"

While I didn't open up the jewel case, I wouldn't be surprised to see explicit Jolie anatomy on the DVD itself. Yipes.

Then, out of the box came Showgirls.

Sigh. RadioShack's got all your softcore needs, for only $14.99!

PLEASE let me get a new job soon...

* * *

I experienced something that hasn't struck me for a while, but comes and goes quite often in my case.

I'm gonna be serious during this next paragraph. No joke:

I get premonitions. I often dream up entire scenrios that happen later on, be it a few days, weeks, or even years. I'm not sure if it's a gift bestowed upon me, or just my mind playing tricks on me, but I see portions of my future life while I'm asleep.

It doesn't happen to me often, but it's occurred enough thimes to be more than simple deja vu.

The first time I remember it happening to me was Grade 9, during an assembly, where someone asked me what time it was in a darkened theatre. So I pushed my watch's Indiglo button, and realized I had dreamed this scenario two years earlier.

It happened again today, when I was counting stock.

I was sitting on a stool in the back room, facing the door, Jeff at his desk to my left. I needed to call Marauder to arrange lunch.

"Hey, Jeff would you hand me the phone...book..." I stall, slowing my speech because I know what's happening. I predicted his next line in my head.

"I've only got the Yellow Pages," he replied.

"Yeah," I said, dazed, reading my words as they were being said, exactly as I had dreamed them earlier. "That'll be fine..."

The cordless phone rings in my hand. [Cue Mitch on the line], I think to myself. I answer the phone, "RadioShack, your answer store. Kyle speaking."

"Hey, Kyle. It's Mitch."

"Yeah. I knew. This has all happened to me before, in my mind when I'm asleep."

He jokes about my life being the Matrix, and I pass the phone to Jeff, replaying this in my head.

I find this really spooky, because while I never wake up from sleep thinking, "God, that was weird, a dream about work," it's always there in the back of my mind, a memory waiting to be unlocked.

* * *

I found the most amazing invention since sliced bread at Shoppers Drug Mart today. Truly a sign that God loves me:

Menthol Kleenex! The stuff is manna to my sinuses!

It's like every time I blow my nose, which happens a lot during colds, I'm inhaling a load of Vicks Vaporub into my nose, clearing the path for all the stuffiness to come out.

I am now a convert to this box of tissue paper! I will be John the Baptist, spreading the word of the Messiah's Kleenex! A zealot, waiting to ambush someone with this, this ambrosia!!

My life has PURPOSE! Buy Menthol Kleenex, or your life will end at my hand! Infidel Puffs! Begone! There's a holy fatwa, an edict from my lips, praising the name of Kimberly-Clark! And all other brands will be destroyed by ME! The cleric of Menthol! The abbot of clear sinuses!