Attack of the Nerd!

Okay, I realized whose car that was last night, if only for the fact that they were waking me up at 4:30 AM saying goodbye to whoever lives in the apartment complex and decided to let them have my spot.


* * *

I'll go on the record and admit it: I am a geek. I hang out with geeks. We do geek things.

Roleplay, watch wrestling, play cards, watch DVDs of television seasons, etc.

I am friends with geeky people.

BUT! At least the guys I hang out with and I are social enough. While I wouldn't say we hide our geekish tendencies (hell, I'd say we tend to flaunt them), we were accepted for who we are and have friends from all different walks of life.

Still, nerds freak me the hell out.

I had one kid who must have been about, I dunno. 19 or so, who came into the store today and started asking me about games.

Nerd: "Do you sell Gamecube games?"

Me: "No. We just sell PS2 and Game Boy games."

Nerd: "So why do you have Nintendo racks, then?"

Me: "For my Game Boy games."

Nerd: "What was in the empty ones?"

Me: "I dunno. They change from month to month. We put whatever game we get in stock in the cabinet. And then we sell out of some."

It went on fro a while from there, with him asking me about the sales of Donkey Kong Country, and other stuff I had no clue about.

He FINALLY leaves, and I just roll my eyes at Deryk.

The nerd comes back about 15 minutes later.

Nerd: "So do you play games a lot?"

Me (just trying to get him out of the store): "No, not really."

Nerd: "Here's a question for you. Who's tougher: Wario or Bowser?"

I couldn't BELIEVE I was hearing this. And I REALLY didn't want to get in a debate about such a stupid context with a guy I could care less about. (Although I'd definitely do it with friends. Answer: Bowser. In one punch.)

I mumbled something about not being able to answer that, since I was busy, and he finally got the clue.

Yipes. I get some strange guys in the store.

As I was telling Crazy Eight when she came in for a visit, that was a reason I could never work at a gaming store.

* * *

Hey, I just came back from doing some voice work for the ESC show tomorrow.

I was playing the part of a child who's brainwashed by German expressionists for some taped lines.

So, since I'm now involved, anyone's free to come join Dev and I to watch the ESC's show tomorrow.

8 pm Friday and Saturday. 11516 103 St (a block south of NAIT. Two blocks northeast of Kingsway Mall). $5.

It'll be fun, and not at all an inappropriate venue, like the Kow Christmas Cabaret. This time, it's not Christmas time, so any sacrilege they do is for fun.

Whoo! I gots me a car!

Guys, it's SO cool!

I got a coupe! It's got one rad metal spoiler and decals from audio installers on it! I'm not sure what colour it is yet, since I've only seen it in the nighttime.

I think it's a midnight blue.

But anyways, I now own a car!

At least, I'm assuming so. There's not really any other reason why said car is IN MY PARKING SPACE!

* * *

So I'm being driven to drink at work. Well, okay, it's not THAT bad, but I'm really missing having two days off.

For those of you not in the know, assistant managers in my company are supposed to work 44 hours a week.

When I was working at Bonnie Doon, I just added an hour to all my evening shifts, which usually did the trick.

At WEM, under my boss Deryk, I get to work an extra half day! WHOOOOO!

I mean, hey, why should I get a full day off? I mean, what's with that? Two days off a week is for pussies!

While I'm ranting, is it too much to ask for Wednesday eves off, so I can rehearse with Kow? Hell, it's not like I'm doing the old choir routine, where I had to take Saturdays off as well as Wednesday evenings.

Am I being a hardass by asking for a four hour block off, especially when I seem to be working every other day anyways?


* * *

Just so this isn't a completely negative, bitter post, I might as well say what's making me happy these days:

Nonstop Buffy and Angel. Ever since Sarah gave Dev his Season 3 of Buffy back, I've been catching up to get to the point where I can borrow Dev's Seasons 4 and 5.

And Canton, Dev and I are going through the first season of Angel as well, with me screaming every time future events in Buffy (from my POV, being a half season of Buffy behind, chronologically) are mentioned.

Eh, at least Canton's further behind me in the Buffywatching...

Also, Canton and I saw Shrek 2 on Monday. Whoo Hoo! I liked it better than the first, after a day's reflection. More original story, and Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots steals the movie away.

Don't worry, K-Dell. My first screening won't hurt me going in the next week with you. I'd see it again.


Ranter from the Year 3000! (with echoes!)

First off: Pentax, a camera manufacturer, has really pissed me off with their new trademarked slogan:

"The Official Digital Camera of the Internet"

When I heard about this, I had to vent to girlone and Kard, whether they understood what the hell I was talking about or not.

Okay, for one thing, how can you justify such a claim?

Coke can be the official soft drink of the Olympics, mostly because there's a governing body (The Olympic Committee) that says, "Hey! Coke wants to give us money if we say that they're our official sponsor. I think we should let them give us millions of dollars for this."

If Nike wants to be the official shoe of Canada, let them throw money at our government. At least some money's being thrown around for the privilege of saying that.

Last I checked, there's not really a governing or regulatory body for the Internet (no matter what Al Gore wants us to believe...). It's all fine and dandy to say, "Hey! Our camera? Offical internet camera!" but there's NO WAY to qualify that.

The internet as a whole is not being paid for this. The internet as a whole can't say, "Yeah, We love Pentax SOOOO much! Show us the money!"

Hell, if that's the case, I'm "officially" the "Sexiest Man Online™!" It's OFFICIAL! I SAY SO!

Jeez, this is like Fox News trademarking "Fair and balanced" all over again.

Jackass corporations.

* * *

Hey, guess what? I've got a plagiarist for a premier!

AND! He used to be a journalist in Calgary! Wheee! I live in the best province ever!

* * *

Channel 101 is the best site I've found all month.

It's a website featuring a lot of small five-minute movies, all based on television ideals.

Some hilarious stuff on here, although not for everyone.

For everyone, I'd recommend Time Belt, The 'Bu (featuring Sarah Chalke, mother of my future children), or Twigger's Holiday.

If you want something, um, different, try Second Time Around, or The Harper Twins Mystery Files, or Six Months to Live.

Second Time Around is the story of a 30-year-old guy who falls in love with a junior high teacher. Problem is, she keeps on falling in love with her students. So the guy decides to enroll back in junior high and pretend to be a preteen.

The Harper Teens are like Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, if they were into incest.

Six Months to Live is a musical show about three friends who are all terminal.

Also? Sockbaby is the best no-budget martial arts fighting I have ever seen.

The site's the brainchild of Rob Schrab and Dan Harmon, previously known for the comic book, Scud: The Disposable Assassin.

Every month, new shows are screened, and it's up to the audience to vote shows into the next month. Picked shows are given another episode. New pilots pop up to replace old ones voted off...

Please, check this site out. Although you have been warned.

* * *

Do you remember a time when there wasn't such a thing as fashion? And you were able to wear whatever the hell you wanted?

I miss those days, but I was reminded of them when I saw a four-year-old kid in the mall wearing the big black rubber boots. No shame involved, just a kid clomping around.

When I was younger (no, not just last week...), I tended to be a little nudist in the house and backyard. Some embarrassing pics, let me tell you. Especially the one of me nude in a box, playing some board game.

* * *

Stupid act of the month:

When I was in Moose Jaw during tour, I decided to use my brother's computer to download pics from my camera and burn them to CD. Just so I wouldn't have to walk around with photos from Kingston's wedding in March.

So I burned them onto disc, and gave them to Sarah, saying, "The pics of Jeremy's chalk drawings are on here."

She can't open them. Odd. I'll take them home and see.

So on Wednesday, I throw the disc in my computer, and, surprise! The disc's blank! I never burned it.

Well, okay. I might have left them in a folder on Brade's comp.

Ah. Braden can't find them. Did I delete them after I "burned" the disc? Yes. Yes, I did.


There go all my pics of Royal Roads College, the most beautiful school ever. And there go my pics of Kingston and I dancing the "Kingston," the best dance ever...

* * *

Quote of the day (from a venting session girlone and I just had): "I'm sorry you don't understand technology enough to know that water plus electronics equals ruined."

* * *

Dev and I had a brunch at Denny's today, just talking in general about Top Five lists in preparation for this month's book club. It was a fun afternoon, although we're not sure if our waitress will be showing up at our doors saying she's pregnant with our child. (She kept calling us "Sweetie" and "Honey." Nothing else happened. I swear.)

* * *

Reading: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. The book club's doing it on Monday


The week that ate Jago

So, in the space of one week, I've worked at three different stores. It's made for some tiring, tiring shifts. Especially since I only got back into my usual sleeping patterns yesterday, as opposed to my waking up at 7 thanks to choir tour.

On my first day at WEM, I sold a laptop computer on the RadioShack card with three year warranty! Whoo!

Then it was off to Sherwood Park, where the manager's on vacation and so assistants have to go in and babysit the store. I recieved an entire order in one afternoon.

It was pretty crazy on my seocnd SP shift on Friday. It wasn't too bad for the first part, but after 7 pm, it went insane!

I was getting a cell phone from the SP Rogers for my coworker. When I come back a mere ten minutes later, there's eight people at the till.

So I'm shoving through as many people as I could. I then had this one crazy woman who was talking about how a satellite installer flipped out on her. She was talking to me for ten minutes, while I was saying, "Look, I'm not the manager of the store. Although he WILL be back on Monday..."

Ended up making $1800 for the company that night. Followed by waiting at the mall for girlone to pick me up so we could go to Morris' birthday.

I ended up making a song about it, set to the tune of Mandy by Barry Manilow.

Oh, girlone. You came to pick me up so tardy,

You know I was quite concerned,

But girlone, you eventually came by, no problems...

At Morris' birthday, I was introduced to "Subjective Guess Who," which uses the normal Guess Who board game, but with really subjective questions.

None of this "Do they wear glasses?" crap. I was asking questions like, "Has your person ever acted on Broadway?" or "Would your person survive in an Elizabethan court?"

Morris was so astonished that I was able to win two games of Guess Who using completely subjective questions. Apparently, I am master of Subjective Guess Who.

More-ass decided to take me on, which led to two stalemates. Although it led to such great questions as, "Would I sleep with this person after seven beers?" (Answer: Well, the guy was pretty rugged. And it IS More-ass we're talking about here...)

I got home at 3 am, all ready to go to sleep and wake up for that 45 minute bus ride to WEM. And get there at 9 am. Eurgh.

Afterards, Dev, Marauder and I were getting REALLY into Tiger Woods Pro Tour 2004 for PS2. And I mean, "Hey, let's have another game of Stroke play. It's only 1:30 am."

I am the most inconsistent golfer ever. It's like, I go from four over par on some holes while the announcers mock my inability to hit the analog stick in a straight line, and on the next hole, I chip in a shot from the rough onto the green for an eagle!

Or my hole in one which made Marauder, Dev and I scream.

So, in a round where I SO didn't win, I still was able to bring in $40,000 by sinking some impossible shots. And bought some new clubs because of it.

Which leads to today. Not a bad day at work. Steady stuff, including a lot of foreign travellers buying things like the one Norwegian who came in and just up and bought a GPS unit. And then after I rang in the sale, his friend come up and says, "Me too, please."

In any case, going to the house to hang out some. And eat. And do laundry.


How'd I get here?

So I call up the store on Sunday after I get back from tour. So I can figure out my schedule now that I'm back.

Jeff answers the phone, and says, "What? You haven't heard?"

Me: "Heard what?"

Jeff: "You're going to West Ed for a month."

Me: "What? Why didn't they tell me this???"

So, yeah. I'm the assistant manager at West Edmonton Mall for the month of May (the smaller Phase I store, not the huge Phase II store...).

The reason for this, according to Mitch, is that Ted was freaked out by the $10,000 inventory loss that happened since last month's inventory.

So either Tom was fudging some numbers and I was helping him, or Tom was fudging some numbers and I was none the wiser. (I'll let you guess which way I'm thinking...)

At which point Mitch realized that I didn't have the proper training, so he sent me off to a store that could help me out with that.

Ted wanted his AM in the BD store, so they could get things worked out in the system he likes. Then, apparently, I'm heading back.

So, I'll be at WEM if anyone wants to visit. Maybe for only the month, maybe for a lot longer. Who knows?


Back from tour

So I got back from tour yesterday. I would have updated then, but I locked myself out of the house on my way to the house last night, and slept over.

So it was my last choir tour. And my last year of choir. And yet, I wasn't completely bowled over by it. No huge waterworks from my last concert.

I was choked up, sure. Hell, after giving nine years of your life to something, you'd have to be a stone not to feel anything. I got a bit teary, but that was pretty much it.

Maybe it's because I knew it was time to go on.

For the past few years, I've been feeling that my time would be up. I was part of the old guard. (Hell, I was part of the old guard five years ago. Canton, Wang Chung, Barber, Father Dave and I were defined as old guard back then.) But I made new friends and quickly became part of a new kind of guard. Which has become old guard again.

All of a sudden, I wasn't attending a whole bunch of choir events. Granted, that might have been because every major choir social event this year has been unfortunately scheduled for when I'm out of town or doing inventory after mindnumbing inventory at the store.

But a lot of the people I was used to hanging around with were gone. Girlone, for instance. Kristus, Beth, Blonde, Morris, etc. So many to name.

It was pretty much down to having our own small group that occasionally interacted with the younger crowd: Canton, Barber, Dev, MFJ, and me. Interspersed with Grank, Dell, 'Fro and a lot of others.

I was losing touch with what seemed to be the main bulk of the choir. Or maybe it was just that there really wasn't a main bulk in choir anymore. Just a whole bunch of splinter groups.

I don't know. In any case, it was time to leave. The anniversaries for choir are usually sort of purge years. People tend to stay around for a landmark and leave.

So many people are leaving this year: Me, Canton, Barber, Dev, MFJ, Father Dave, Ken, Carly, Ed, Sarah, Wang Chung, Erin, along with countless others I'm probably forgetting.

Grank was pretty worried about being one of the oldest members once we've left. He told me he wasn't looking forward to filling the shoes of his friends who are leaving, since now he'd be a five-year veteran, something not too many people can say next year.

I wrote in his program that he wouldn't have to fill anyone else's shoes. He'd just have to fit into his own.

It's a way of thinking I've had for a while: Who cares about the comparisons people will make about you if you're doing the job someone else used to do? If you do things your own way, and things get done, well then. You've made your own niche.

Ever since high school, when Heath was president of the student body the year after the omnipotent Chad Waughtal, he was furious whenever someone tried to compare the work Heath did to what Chad did. It was just that Chad was more of a glory hound, and so you always heard about what he did. As opposed to our year of student government, which was more of a collective.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, Grank shouldn't be worried.

Sure, choir's going to be different next year. After such a huge shift with outgoing members, how could it not be?

But as long as you recognize it as a completely different entity, it's not a good or bad thing that things have changed. It's just different.

* * *

So, since the past week has been so huge, I'm just going to throw down my most memorable moments of tour:

* Moose Jaw: It's been three years since I've been home, and there have been changes. The Joyner's building burned down. New businesses are coming in. My family renovated the basement.

My dog, Piers, hasn't changed much, despite lsoing sight in one eye. He still ran to the steps once I called for him. He still sniffed everyone who came to the house for a chili dinner. He still whined at 4 in the morning, waking up MFJ, and therefore, me.

The concert was supposed to take place at my old high school, Peacock Collegiate. Now that would have been fun. Coming back to the auditorium that I practically lived in for four years.

But, for some reason, the school board cancelled our booking, even though we had it for about two months!

Luckily, another school jumped in. Ecole St. Margaret's. My old elementary school. So that took me even further back.

People were amused to see my Grade 8 grad pic on the wall. The principal was my vice principal 13 years ago. She didn't recognize me. Maybe it's because I changed my glasses since then.

The morning after, we DID perform at my old high school after all. Just as a school concert. Still, I was running around the auditorium getting things ready. Jumping off the stage as I did so many years ago, my patented Centennial Auditorium one-handed side vault. It was just like I had picked up just like I left it ten years ago.

LJ, my drama teacher, was ecstatic I was there. He was telling some of the choir members about all my hijinks from my days there.

So Moose Jaw was a lot of fun.

* Jokes: Like the one that Dev and I came up with in Glasgow, Montana.

One member was trying to figure out who the tallest member in choir was, so they went to Dev and me. Neither of us had a clue for them, so we tried to figure out who the tallest people in choir were. After listing off some names, I said, "Canton...MFJ..."

Dev laughed, and tried to explain the logic. Apparently, Canton and MFJ are giants. About nine to eleven feet tall. Unfortunately, our brains can't process that sort of height, and we shrink them to a manageable height of 5'5".

I asked Dev, "So how are they able to get into places? The doors are too small!"

Dev: "They duck."

At which point we both die laughing.

When Barber and I were being billeted in Glasgow, I decided to do some laundry. I threw in our tux shirts, and Barber wanted to put in some t-shirts, including a blue one.

Since the tux shirts were in there, I threw in a little bit of bleach. Not a huge amount. But when I told Barber, his eyes went wide.

I said, "Look. If it gets faded out, I'll buy you a new shirt, okay?"

When the wash is done, I pull out the blue shirt, looking for patches of white. Nothing. I'm about to tell Barber his shirt's okay, but I get a horrible thought in my head. I take out a white shirt, taking it into the living room, and say, "See? No problems!"

He almost had a heart attack. I almost died laughing.

Unfortunately, the bleach did spot the shirt in some places. So if he does want a new shirt, I'll buy one for him.

* Meeting some new people:

Barber's and my billet partner, who I'll name Sweet.

He's a bell ringer, and a pretty fun guy.

During our "Be Your Billet Partner Day," he was portraying me. I was playing Barber. Barber was being Sweet.

On the trip to Moose Jaw, some people mention the fact that my sister's hot. Sweet replies, "Hey! Shut up! Hold on...How old is my sister anyway?"

It gets a huge laugh from our section of the bus. Dev, playing his brother, says, "Oh, Barber. Did you want me, Graeme to beat on him, Jago for you?"

* Weird coincidences: While staying the night in Preeceville, a small town in eastern Saskatchewan, I'm billeted with Canton and Wang Chung.

I'm downstairs undressing from the concert, when I see a picture on the wall of a very cute girl, who most likely would be the billet's daughter.

I curse the fact that she's not here, since Rule One of Billeting, according to Dev, me and a few others, is that all hot daughters must be one the premises.

During the concersation happening over a late snack, I tell the family that I'm from Moose Jaw.

"Oh, really?" says the billet. "Our son-in-law's from Moose Jaw."

Inwardly, I wince, since it means their hot daughter's married.

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yes. A boy named Thiessen."

"Yeah, there are a lot of Thiessens in Moose Jaw. I might know him."

"His name is Chris."

My jaw goes slack. "Chris Thiessen is your son-in-law? I went to school with him! We were in the same grade!"

He pulls out the wedding picture, and, yes, it's my friend Chris, standing with the absolutely smoking girl from the picture.

So not only is Rule One broken, they had the gall to marry her off to an old friend of mine.

* Hot tubbing with beer at my Lethbridge billet's house on the first night of tour.

I had a huge leg problem on the first day, and was really tired from the inventory at my store that ended three hours before I got on the tour bus.

I was walknig to the bus stop towards University when the 6 zoomed past. I started to run with 50 pounds of luggage on my back, when I pull my calf muscle.

And after a long bus ride, it didn't really help any.

Before we left the chursh to go to billets, MFJ tells me, "Now, as soon as you get there, I want you to go to sleep!"

I protest. "But he's got beer for us there! I wouldn't want to be an ungracious guest!"

"Okay," MFJ says. "One beer, and then off to bed."

"Okay," I mutter.

"No! You must promise!"

"Fine. I promise I'll go to bed after one beer."

When we get to the house, he tells us about his hot tub. The four of us choir members grin.

So we're in the hot tub, drinking beers. Bob shows up, since he's a friend of our billet's. Bob brings his daughter, Christine, and our friends Father Dave and Carly. Carly and Christine join us in the hot tub.

After I open up every new beer, I tell Barber, "MFJ's going to kill me."

When I look at my watch and see it's one o'clock and my billet George has just put a fourth beer into my hand, I say, "Yup. She's REALLY gonna kill me."

Luckily, the hot tub straightened out my pulled muscle.

* Staying in a massage parlour in Montana.

Our billet in Malta didn't have enough rooms to fit Barber, Sweet and I, but he did own the house next door. So we stayed in there, surrounded by the oh-so-relaxing smell of mint.

It was pretty comfortable considering I was laying on a mattress on the floor.

Those are all my huge memories from tour. As it is, this has been a pretty big entry.

I guess I'll just finish it up by saying I really enjoyed myself on my last choir tour, and I'll never forget the last nine years and all the friends it's brought me.

One more thing: On tour, I got to know a girl I'll call Innocence. She's the sister of one of the tenors, and she joined choir this year.

We were friendly all year, smiling and the like, but we never really talked much. We hugged every now and then.

It wasn't until the end of tour that I have her a hug and asked her how she was doing.

She seemed VERY responsive to my hug. After that, I'd see her looking my way every now and then.

Innocence is a very nice girl. Cute, sweet, and has a great smile. Christian, hence the Innocence tag. And she's eighteen. Which is why I really just kept it at the hugs.

I've fallen for a few younger women. Amy from Bentley's only nineteen. She was seventeen when we met. But that's just been a friend situation, since she's devoted to her boyfriend.

Innocence is single, and she seems to be interested in me.

I can usually see it when someone's interested in someone else. When it comes to me, though, I tend to second guess my instincts. Just in case it might be me seeing too much into it, or having an imaginary ego boost.

I guess it's mostly the age difference that keeps me from getting it any closer. I tend to find that young girls just out of high school don't have much in the way of life experience. And she's younger than my sister.

From my point of view, I have no problems being friends with Innocence, so I'll still keep that going over the summer. She asked for my email address, and I gave her my real one, not my hotmail one.

Still, I'll see where this takes me. At the very least, I'll get a good friend out of it. And after I get to know her, then I can decide if I want to take it any further.

Whoo! Maturity! Ain't it grand?