Where Are They Now? I

So I was at work yesterday afternoon.

I'm in the back room, when the phone rings. Sitting at the desk, I throw it on speakerphone.

"RadioShack, your answer store, Kyle speaking."

"Is Kyle there?" was the question, spoken by a woman with an accent.

I remember dealing with a French woman who speaks very little English. And she was waiting for a CD-ROM to come in. I switch over to Franglais.

"Oh, oui. Ton, um, Say-Day ROM est arrivée hier. C'est dans le magasin maintenant."


I think to myself, stupid speakerphone. And proceed to speak slower.

"Ton CD-ROM est dans le magasin. Tu peux le ramener chez vous. Il est arrivée hier."


Me, practically yelling: "Ton Cee Dee ROM! Pour ton ordinateur! C'est arrivée hie-"

"Can't you speak English?" the woman on the other end asks.

"What? I'm sorry?"

"Is Tyler there?"

I almost knock myself unconscious by ramming my head against the desk.

"Hold, please."

Nope. One of my coworker's customers, who doesn't speak French, but has an accent.

* * *

While talking with Jeff, I was reminded of one of my friends from high school who has made it big in theatre in the past ten years.

You know him. Most likely not by name (Dean Balkwill), but you've definitely seen him on Canadian TV.

I knew Dean as my friend Scronk's boyfriend. He lived in Regina, and he was part of the Campbell Classics, a vocal jazz group we envied.

He was a very friendly guy, always took the time to talk with me and whatnot. He'd appear every second week or so. Cool guy.

His claim to fame then (for me, anyways) was for the story that went around my circle of friends as to his and Scronk's tryst en route to Regina.

Yup. While driving to Regina. In Scronk's car.

It's how I got the phrase, "No, hold on. In a Fiesta??? But it's so small!!!"

He's since been in productions of Rent (Canadian, a touring company, and on Broadway) and The Lion King (Toronto).

I tended to see him in commercials, mostly at my residence. For a while, you'd get to the point where I'd be watching, and all of a sudden: "GAH! DEAN! TV!"

He'd eat a Pizza Pop as a sped up slacker. And, of course, probably his most famous role: That of the one office worker, who, after eating some Trident gum, starts singing.

That's right. I know the "Filin'" guy.

Needless to say, when I saw that commercial, I pretty much freaked.

So, thanks, Jeff, for helping me to remember that.

Stay tuned for more stories of "Famous People I know But For The Life of Me, I Can't Get Ahold Of..." in the near future.


Odd Transformations 9

I went back to Moose Jaw to visit my parents in my latest dream.

I got a call from Kingston to go see an indy wrestling show that night, and I thought "Great! Let's do it!"

Heath also came in and was looking to go for some dinner, another idea I thought would be good.

For some reason, I was taking up too much time, and realized I couldn't go to the wrestling show AND dinner, since there was about 15 minutes before the show started.

I ended up missing both events, while Kingston and Heath went for dinner without me. This, of course, was bad news, since one of my biggest pet peeves is being ditched.

After Heath came back, we found that all the North of Moose Jaw was up in flame. Then, in my dream, I realized that Moose Jaw was part of Edmonton, because north of Moose Jaw was St. Albert, where the fire was really hitting.

Heath and I were torn, since we really wanted to help out combat the blaze.

It was about that point where I woke up.

* * *

The pyjama-as-long-john experiment is working out magnificently! No frozen legs for me while going out! Ha ha!

Super genius!


Warm in here...

A few things have happened in the past week.

First of all, Justina quit. Without notice.

Good. I am happy.

An inventory happened, and while it wasn't good, it wasn't bad either. A horrible percentage of wrong counts (16%), but there was a lot of stuff that WASN'T in inventory.

What kind of jackasses did Tom have working for him since November? Hopefully, that ends now.

* * *

I recieved an email from Justice today.

Okay, let's see here. Jago has a choice between an Edmonton PPV with **CHRIS BENOIT*** headlining in April...

...or going to choir tour.

Last I checked:

Number of choir tours Jago has gone on: 15,000

Number of Edmonton-based WWE PPVs Jago has attended: 0

Number of Edmonton-based WWE PPVs that have ever existed: 0

Chance of there being an Edmonton based WWE PPV next year: 1%

Chance of there being a choir tour next year: 100%

I don't want to have to come to your house and beat you unconscious to go with you to the PPV. Just remember that.


I laughed. Because I realized that I have the chance to both eat my cake AND roll around in it naked.

Yup. Backlash is the weekend BEFORE tour. I am SO getting tickets. Now I just need to decide who to go with...

* * *

I realized today how well my pyjama bottoms work as long johns when going out in -40 degree weather.

I was at home, with the book club I'm a part of cancelled due to the cold (Good. I'm on page 37 of the book.).

I called up D! and asked what was up, with Monday being our ritual RAW night.

"Are you sure you want to come down?" he asked.

"Sure," I decided. "Why not?"

I put on a t-shirt, sweater, pyjama bottoms, jeans, boots, my dual-lined coat, toque, scarf, and gloves. And then went outside to brave the cold.

Man, I was warm out there. Cozy enough to sleep outside, if necessary. So warm, only my eyes were not covered. And my glasses were fogged up by my breathing through a few layers.

So I slipped. A few times. It's excuseable, since I had no vision...

Still, gotta remember to bundle up if necessary.

* * *

FINALLY saw Otto shovelling the walk. First time I saw him in the building since before Christmas.

I am SO relieved that Otto is still in charge of the building, and not Scary Painter Guy. Whoever the hell he was. Jeez.

* * *

Shout out to Dev, who's doing his Grad School app this week.

I hope you get at least a 4, Dev. I'd kick your ass if you went mental and wrote a 1.

Just a friendly warning.

* * *

Link of the week: Who knew that Charlie Brown was mad about hiphop?

Reading: The Red Tent, after finishing the Left Behind series.


Could it be? L-U-V?

My heart is fluttering with anticipation. I gaze in admiration to the beauty that has entered my house. I caress her supple curves and say that everything will be all right.

But I'm going to take it slow after tonight.

I think it will be better in the long run if I keep it that way.

It only has a one year warranty, after all...


Got myself a sweet deal on an HP Deskjet 940c. Thanks to my store's Discontinued sale (25% for customers, 40%(!) off for employees), I got it for $55. Almost brand-spankin' new! With extra ink thrown in, just in case!

And, because I could afford it, I bought myself a Game Boy Advance for $60. Gotta love those store deals...

So now I can actually print out stuff, instead of worrying about sending it out to a printing place, or trying to see if Canton's comp and actually print out the things I make. (I tend to work exclusively in pagination and photo-editing software. Quark XPress, Photoshop, etc...)

Ha ha ha haaaaa... I haven't felt this happy in a while!

(Which begs the question? Am I that much of a tech freak? Was I this way prior to working at RadioShack? And should a new-to-me printer really stir such feelings, EVEN if it has PostScript capability?)

* * *

I'm starting to get replies back from last column. Thanks to all who have taken the time out to tell me that they read my stuff. Too bad I already knew about them...

And, no, I can understand some basic things about my audience.

Yes, Red. I know that I write in a not-so-serious tone, which does make for people finding my rants pretty funny.

And, apparently, a flipping-out Jago is inherently funny, according to Dev.

Still, I'm not retracting the "sickos" label...Just like I'm not retracting my thought that I am a whore.

Some things are just that simple...


Biting the Hand that Reads Me

So I went into work yesterday, and met the new guy who works at my store, Jeff.

"Hey, how was Calgary?" he asked.

"Fine," I replied.

"And how are Faith and A-Lo doing?"

I stop and look at him kind of shocked. How did he know who I was meeting down south? Is he a stalker who knows intimate details about my life.

At which point, I realize that Jeff is part of the Scorpio crew. And that A-Lo was telling me he was working for a store there.

He and I were talking, and he was telling me that most of the girls read this journal. Which made me realize, Hey, I don't write in quite the vacuum I think I do.

I mean, sure, I know about a few of the people who read me. Obviously, people like girlone and a few other diaryland members/choir friends. The Frenchman. Heath. Ka down in SF. A-Lo. Kingston. Justice. A few.

But, just for my benefit, I'd like to know who's reading this that I wasn't aware of.

So, for my sake, send me an email telling me that you read this journal. My email address is on the left hand side of the page. Go on. I'll wait.

This also made me think, "Should I perhaps lock my diary?"

Which I then decided against. After all, I wouldn't say, "Go read my journal!" if I weren't such a whore.

But, yeah. Gotta remember this stuff for later...

* * *

A lot of my friends on diaryland tend to write up things about me.

A random sampling:

- "A funny read."

- "Always funny."

- "Funny rants."

- "Corporate whore."

Which confuses me. Which diary are they reading?

Or do they find humour in the way I run off after windmills? Rage against the darkness?

Or are you all just a bunch of sickos who get off on my misery? Jackals!

So, my journal, in order to get a lot funnier, will go into even more inspired rants.

Yup. You asked for it, sickos! Jago's about to get meaner!

* * *

Some people have been asking about any resolution over Crazy Scary Painting Junkie.

Here's the scoop. After I wrote that post, the guy came in my room, and killed me.

A lot cooler than the truth, yes?

* * *

On my way to work today, I had some kid at the bus stop ask me what happened to the glass that went missing out of the bus booth.

"Not sure," I say, earbuds turned up to max so I won't have to deal with him.

The kid keeps staring at me, like I did something wrong, coke bottle glasses making his stare all the more unnerving.

"I don't. Know." I say. And run for the bus that pulls up.

God, what's the deal with crazies around me?


Odd Transformations 8

My dream today MUST have been from my brain downloading the events of this weekend, since it smacks enough of Old School (which I saw on the bus) to make me think it was caused by the bus ride home.

I remember that I was moving into a house, and it must have been really close to this downtownish area of some place, probably not Edmonton. It could have been sort of Whiteish, I guess, but it more reminded me of, say, Moose Jaw's industrial core, with higher buildings.

For some reason, I seemed to have an apartment at the start, but as the dream progressed, I was taking up more and more of the house.

The first part's a little fuzzy (I'm showing my place around to some girl), but I remember the house party that was thrown in my honour, and how people who weren't even involved in my life were showing up, like the guy who lived in a basket on a telephone pole outside.

I started realizing the party was getting out of hand when two punks came down the stairs with my computer in their hands.

I freaked out, saying, "This isn't for you to take! Who the hell takes a computer home from a party?"

I try doing damage control, throwing every party member out of my place.

I woke up at the point where my house was empty, and I started walking a girl home afterwards.

Nothing too huge or weird, but odd enough that I rememberd most of it...


Everybody's Wed-ding for the Weekend...

Just got back from my cousin Kendra's wedding in Banff/Canmore. A list of thoughts from my trip down south:

Entered Calgary on Friday afternoon, and was fortunate enough to see the Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, at a playhouse there.

The reason I went to the play is because a few of the Scorpio crew (the Calgary friends I made at Fringe. Check a few pages back...) were involved.

Almost was for naught, as the tickets were sold out. Luckily, Steve was closing the doors, saw me, and let me in.

Faith did a good job directing, and the performances were very well done.

Was able to hang out with A-Lo and a whole bunch of people at a downtown pub afterwards. Much fun was had by me, including taking my first alcoholic shot. It was one of the actor's birthdays, so A-Lo picked up the tab for a round of some greenish fruity cough medicine drink.

I'll stick to beer and wine, thanks.

* * *

The wedding itself was a fun one. VERY Pentecostal, with its worship time beforehand, a very down-to-earth minister from Ben's bible college, and general holiness.

Reminds me of my time at the Hillcrest. Something I should do is find a church here in Edmonton to attend.

After the ceremonies, my aunt had to ask the Jago family en masse, "Why was it funny when the pastor said Ben was reading Song of Solomon?"

(Answer: It's the Bible's love poem chapter. About the love between a man and a woman, not about a man and his god. So a whole bunch of quote-unqoute erotica, at least in fundamentalist terms. A cool chapter to read, regardless...)

* * *

I've usually got a rule about family weddings: I don't usually dance. Mostly because I'm kind of standoffish around my family. Dancing's something I do around my friends, not my brother and sister. Just like swearing and flirting.

So I was doing a pretty good job of it until about ten minutes before we left. Not dancing, that is. Abstaining.

But then the opening beat to Andre 3000's Hey Ya came on. And if there's one song I can't help but dance to, it's that one. It was a shock for my family, who's never seen me dance before, to see me go on the floor at that point.

Damn Outkast. Love them so much...

* * *

On my way back from Calgary via the Greyhound, I was happy to see the effects of an ice storm on Highway 2 from Calgary to Red Deer.

Now, as much as I hate ice and how it makes for bad driving and walking, I love the effect that a tree entrusted in snow and ice makes.

There's just something about a white glass tree for miles that makes me happy. And also sad that my camera doesn't work through bus glass so well.

So yeah. In all, a pretty fun weekend. And the next wedding's in over a month. In Victoria. Gotta remember to book that time off. And get fitted for my groomsman's tux.


Blood Run Cold

So after I finished up my post about my evening last night, about 12:20 a.m., I had a knock on my door.

"Who would be at my door at this hour?" I asked myself. No one buzzed, so it was probably going to be someone from my building, or Otto, my caretaker, who I haven't seen since Christmas.

I open the door, and there stands a guy in a housepainter's smock, holding a paint roller. He loos like a cross between a VERY young Nick Nolte and Donnie Wahlberg as the adult patient from The Sixth Sense. And he had the mannerisms of the scary 80's Keith Richards.

Me: Hello?

Creepy Painter Guy: mutter mumble painting ceilings murmel mutter mutter

Me: (scared shitless) Okaaay.

CPG: mutter mutter know who lives?... In that apartment? (stares off into space)

Me: No. No, I don't.

CPG: (mutters for a bit, and then smiles) You know what I'm saying. You understand me.

Me: Right.

I promptly close the door and lock it. And make sure it's locked. And consider moving my couch in front of the door.

I then get the phone and dial my landlord's number.

"Hey, Otto. It's 12:30 in the morning. There's a guy who's out in the hallway, and he seems Fucked. Up. And I mean FUCKED. UP. And I'm not sure if he's supposed to be there, or what. All I know is he's trying to paint the ceilings, and he's drugged out of his mind, and I've got the crap scared out of me. Please call me back. Thanks."

I then see if anyone's on Messenger, just so I don't break down and can just unload all my fear and terror about this guy.

Luckily, Canton answers, and says I can sleep on the couch if I feel the need. I'd have taken him up on it, but then I'd have to leave my apartment and maybe walk past the guy who scares the hell out of me.

It took me about a half hour to calm down and stop shaking.

I don't think I've been that scared in a while. Hell, when I was assaulted, I wasn't scared at all by the drunked punk teens. I was pretty contemptuous towards them, but not scared in the least.

All I know is, it was the least safe I've ever felt in my place. Seriously, the doors on the apartment complex are to keep people who don't belong out.

Which made me come to a couple of conclusions/angles that might explain this whole situation.


a) The guy was hired to do the job. In which case, I'm sure he worked cheap if he was drugged up and doing it at 12 fucking 30 in the morning.

b) The guy happens to live in my building, and in a drugged state, decided to paint the ceilings. Unlikely.

c) He's some derelict who was able to get in, and just happened to be wearing a smock and painting ceilings.

Or, d) (my least favourite, but more likely option) I haven't seen Otto since Christmas. I have no clue if the management company has replaced him, and brought in this guy instead. In which case I should get the fuck out of this place. Because THAT is SO not good.

I mean, hell, Otto tended to unnerve some girls, but as a 6'2", 200 lb guy, I'm not really bothered by him. Sure, he's odd, but he's a nice enough guy.

Hopefully, Otto will return my message soon, and I'll know what the hell's going on. And maybe feel safe in my apartment again.

If not, the basement suite at the house is open...


My Secret Curse...

Spent an enjoyable evening at the movies with Girlone, Kristus, Sarah and Senor Burns. Saw Love Actually, a pretty good movie with some way excellent parts. Hit the heart a few times, it did.

After the movie, when Senor Burns and I hit the washroom, he found out one of the quirks of being Jago. Something that I don't understand why it happens, but it's a curse I've gotta live with.

Hand dryers do not work for me.

I know, it's a matter of saying they're an inconvenience. No. It's not that I can take them or leave them, it's that they don't. work. for me.

I am a ghost when it comes to hand dryers. They do not acknowledge my existance. To them, I am a ghost.

Senor Burns watched with interest, as I went from one dryer to another, trying to get some hot air, explaining the curse to him.

After five minutes, I went to the paper dispenser. And found it empty. And so I tried to dry them under the blowers, to no avail.

Sigh. Why must I not get along with the hand dryers? I get along with most electronics, but this one perplexes me...

A mystery for the ages, I guess.

* * *

This weekend, I go down to Banff for my cousin's wedding. Sister of November's groom in Jasper. So I made sure to get time off once again.

This time, I'm going stag. No friend to keep me company. Looks like it'll be Brade and I, solo brothers, fending off the millions (and millions!)... and. millions. of ladies achin' for the Jago experience.

The things I do for my family.

Also, I'll be able to hang out with Anna, Faith, Stevie (the Scorpio friends from Fringe) in Calgary. I gets ta see a show, since they're all a part of a mounting of The Glass Menagerie this week. Whoo! Yay, friends in different cities!

* * *

Get used to less frequent posting, since my computer's acting up again.

Stupid computer! Why must you shut down on me? Why is your "sleep" mode more like hibernation, since I can't turn you on without unplugging you from the wall first? WHY?!? WHY???

Must be going to bed. Stupid New Age work training tomorrow...





Let's try this again.

I just read on the Sun's Wrestling site that the WWE is bringing Backlash, April's pay per view to Skyreach Centre (sigh) Rexall Place.


Now, my thoughts on this:

First, it's going to be a Raw brand PPV. This means that:

* Barring any moving, Chris Jericho will be there!

* Trish Stratus will also be attending

* Most likely, Triple H will still be World Champion (although I'm hoping this isn't the case...)

Also, the way they schedule pay per views, this one should be on April 25, 2004.

Ut! That's during choir tour! They can't DO this to me!

Now the thing is, I might be missing this year's tour regardless, since I'm going to need to take vacation days off to go to Ryan's wedding in March.

On the other hand, this year, the choir's going through Moose Jaw again...

So I'm wondering: Do I go on choir tour somehow (probably via a leave of absence from work) and get to go through Moose Jaw?

Or do I NOT go on my last year of choir's tour, something MFJ has pretty much said she'll kidnap me for, if necessary. And get to see a (probably lame, but just the EXPERIENCE of being there) wrestling pay per view to see an honest-of-god title shot again! And maybe make my way down to Moose Jaw to sing in that show regardless...

Let's put it this way:

I have seen, since I became a wrestling fan again, almost every single appearance the fed has made to Edmonton since 1998.

The first house show I ever went to was in 1995 or so in Regina, with my friend Perry and his dad and brother. Meh. I wasn't really into wrestling at that point.

The first Edmonton house show I was at (at the then-Northlands Coliseum), I was in the third balcony, and my highlight was being probably the ONLY one in the crowd cheering for the mega-heel-bad-guy, The Rock.

The second one, I don't remember much of. I was a bit closer to the action, I guess. I brought my camera with the ultra long lens, so I could see the action very up close. Some decent pics from that show.

Then came Smackdown, my first television taping. Austin was the champ at this point, and Jericho and Benoit (both Alberta residents) were challenging him up and down Canada for the title. An awesome main event that the crowd was SO hot for, Benoit ended up losing the match to Austin. Upper seats, so we could actually see the action pretty well. Behind the main camera, so we weren't on TV.

D! and I made some pretty kickass signs for that onwe, mind you.

The last one I attended was a Raw from last year, just after the brand split. I was disappointed that Jericho was on the other roster at that point, but enough plot was forwarded on that show, that it wasn't a big concern.

I had managed to get fourth row seats from Justice, but away from everyone else I knew in attendance. The cameras picked up the guy in the Jericho shirt every now and then, so I can freeze frame a point in the show and say, "Okay, now see under Undertaker's arm in this frame? The guy in the shiny shirt? That's me! Next frame, well, that's not me..."

It was also noteworthy for an Eddie Guerrero/Rob Van Dam Intercontinental title LADDER match! Whooooo!

The last time they came through here, I didn't attend. It was a Smackdown house show in August, and I thought, "Once I've been to a TV taping, I can't go back to the house shows."

Apparently, it was a test for Vince McMahon to see whether or not Edmonton could support a Pay Per View.

And, also apparently, we passed.

So, it's decision time for me. Good thing I have about three months to decide...


Year in Review, Night in Review, Work in Review

So 2003 was a year, mostly like any other, but filled with some interesting developments.

- I lost my last surviving grandparent this year. Grandpa Jago died of surgery complications back in March. It was pretty unnerving, to say the least, to see him get his cancer removed, and for Brade and I to see him in the hospital, a weaker version of himself, but yet still the same old Grandpa. It was a shock to learn that he passed away a mere two days.

- The first family member of my generation got married. Colin set a trend that I know will just make my mom's grandmother urges kick in. And me not even leaving the starting gates. Because in my opinion, to have a child, I first need to get married. And in order to get married, I should at least find someone who I could spend the rest of my life with.

- I moved out on my own for the first time ever. Yup. First time that Jago hasn't either lived with roommates or lived in residence. And somehow, I've lost weight because of it. (Well, I know exactly why I've lost weight. Less and less impetus to eat heartily when I get home at 10:30 pm from work shifts.) Granted, I think I'll try to find roommates for this upcoming year. Really keeps the expenses down...

- Participated in the Fringe this year, with Apocalypse Kow. Man, this is the year that we've started working on mics, so our sound has become quite a bit better. Because now we can hear our mistakes and actively try to fix them. And now my bass can be heard. But, yeah, this has become our breakout year in some respects. Constant rehearsals. Big concerts. Things to work toward. Money in the bank account. Looking forward to Kow's future...

- I started this diary. Which is a step in the right direction for me to get back into the whole writing thing. Dev was saying yesterday that I should start volunteering for some small community papers. Which is a good idea. But since story generation is my least apt skill, it's intimidating to think about it.

Otherwise, not much has really changed. I'm still at RadioShack. I'm still getting sales awards. I'm still as sarcastic as ever. I'm still pretty complacent.

Well, let'sa see what 2004 brings for me. And what I bring to 2004.

* * *

Had a fun time at the Party House New Year's last night. Was able to talk well with Liz, who I rarely talk to much these days, and Red, who I rarely SEE these days, with her not in choir and busy with work and school and life.

In fact, Red and I must have talked for about two and a half hours, starting with my discovery of the new LEGO board game(!) and Constructionary.

It then veered into such subjects as death, hair, LEGO, photography, weddings...The sheer gamut of talking that we did. Well, put two conversationalists onto a couch that haven't seen each other in a long while, and...

The party didn't go half as wild as they have been in the past, which is sort of a good thing. Girlone was pretty stuffed up, so she wasn't quite the life of the party she normally is, but you can't blame her for that.

I was considering walking home at about 2:30, when I realized, "No. That's a bad idea. Walking down Whyte Ave by myself with all the drunkenness around me when I'm still pretty emotionally scarred from my mugging three years ago is NOT a good idea."

So I waited until Dev and MFJ came back from Big Sugar's Last. Concert. Ever. and then walked back home with them. Whew. Thank goodness for friends who understand my neuroses.

Today? Some gaming and hanging out at the house, or, barring anything exciting going on, a reprise of last year's decadent homemade brunch. Must bring bacon and hollandaise sauce to the house today.

* * *

I started at Bonnie Doon earlier than expected. I took a few sicks days to recover from the exhaustion that was the Christmas retail season and the illness I picked up that way. My first day at BD was on Tuesday.

Yipes. I didn't realize what sort of mess I'd be walking into. Tom, the manager, going away for a funeral in Calgary. Staff members leaving at the end of the week. The sheer amount of maintenance that store needs. (Renovations, Mitch. NOW!)

Yeah, I knew it was bad when I left. Fixtures simply falling apart. Problem computers. Etcetera. It's declined in the seven months I've been missing, I guess. Tom's morale's been fading ever since I left, apparently...

Didn't realize how good I had it at Kingsway.

Reading: Cerebus - Latter Days. Man, this is a comic that you have to plough through. It's almost the end of the comic, and this is a lot of Cerebus reading and interpreting the Torah. Heavy stuff.

Listening to: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Greatest Hits. Nuff said.


A Rant Unlike Any Other...

So, I'm not liking the store transfer (big surprise...).

Ever since I moved back to Bonnie Doon, I've just been regretting every minute of it.

The store's a mess. Fixtures are falling apart. Stock is not where it should be. The store's reeling from a former worker who decided to steal money and product. Staff are quitting like there's no tomorrow. The store is horribly understaffed.

I don't like Justina, the third in command.

The first time I talked to her was last Sunday, when I called the store at 11 am to see when I worked.


Me: "Um, is this RadioShack Bonnie Doon?"

Her: "Yeah, but if you want to ask any questions, I'm not answering them. The store's not open."

Me: "This is Kyle, your new assistant manager? Yeah, I was just calling so I knew when I worked on Tuesday. So, if you wouldn't mind checking the schedule for me."

So, yeah. Bad first impression.

My first day at the store, I had a customer call me up for complain about Justina. Apparently, she had muttered "bitch" under her breath in front of the customer.

On Friday, she came in late. And told me she wouldn't be in to open the store on Saturday because "I'm not a morning person."

I wasn't asking her to be a morning person, I was asking her to work the schedule she was assigned.

So she showed up three hours after the store had opened. I was alone for the morning, on a Saturday. You know, when most people come into malls to shop at my store.

Today, she didn't even show up. Or call to explain her absence. So I was alone in the store for six hours. Couldn't go in the back. Couldn't get a drink. Couldn't get change. Nothing.

Needless to say, I'm not impressed with her attitude.

When I try to call my boss, Tom, there's no answer on his cell phone, the way I can actually interact with him, if he's away. I haven't heard from him since Tuesday.

I'm feeling like I'm the only one on a ship, trying to navigate it while being distracted by rocks and weather and birds.

There's no support system for me right now. My co-workers are unreliable. My boss is incommunicado.

Why did I decided to take this promotion again? Oh, right. More money. Money I won't see for another three weeks.

I want to go back to Kingsway.

* * *

When talking to my parents tonight, I found out that my sister won $2,000 in the lottery. From a Super 7 ticket she recieved in her stocking.

Good for her! She's getting a payment for her tuition!

Still, I can't help but think that my stocking was one place away from hers. And I got one measly number out of 21.

That could be a whole lotta credit payments. Or a few great roast dinners.


Tradition is Good

For the second year in a row, we went to the house of DeCoSta for a New Year's Brunch.

Last year, Canton, Dev, Barber and I cooked a smorgasbord of sausage, bacon, Eggs Benedict, and hash browns. Our brunch didn't start until 6 pm, due to all the cooking we had done, but it was quite the feast.

We decided to keep on with the idea this year, adding Axler and Marauder to the mix. Unfortunately, Barber had other plans this year, but it turned into yet another good meal.

A bit healthier this time, with less meat and more fruit. But the Eggs Benedict, bacon, and hash browns were still made.

Canton and I had so much fun cooking, mostly because Canton doesn't usually do this much cooking on such a scale. It's a novelty.

So we resolved to keep the DeCoSta New Year's Brunch going for as long as we could...