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.