So I came back from Calgary this afternoon, after shopping, the wedding, hanging out with a very cool woman, and sleeping a whole bunch.

On Saturday, I called up Heath to see if there was anything I'd be able to do.

Apparently, no. They seemed to have everything under control, he said. But I could call Perry or Rich for anything.

So I called Rich. I asked who his groomsmen were.

He sounded kind of embarrassed. "Um, Heath's the Best Man, and then it's Mike, Perry and Conin (not sure of the spelling of this...)."

Me: "Ah. Well, that's cool."

I couldn't say I wasn't a bit hurt, since back in high school? It was Perry, Rich, Heath and I. Granted, when I moved to Edmonton, and Rich and Perry moved to Calgary, we kind of lost a bit of touch.

Heck, even when I was in Edmonton, and Rich was in Moose Jaw, OR when I was in Moose Jaw, and Rich was in Saskatoon, we kind of lost a bit of touch. And don't even get me STARTED on the hell year that was '97...

But, as times go by, new friends are made. Rich had good reasons for everyone who was up with him. And I don't condemn him for it at all.

If I were pressed to make a list of my groomsmen for a wedding, it would be a tough call. How many is too many? I've got my MJ circle of high school friends, the old guard. I've got my Edmonton choir friends, some of whom are pretty much like brothers to me these days.

It happens.

In any case, I had time to kill before the ceremony. I knew I needed a gift for Rich and Leah, so I decided to steal EJ's station wagon (ah, the joys of pulling family rank...) and tried to find Chinook Centre.

After getting EJ's instructions on how to get there ("Follow Crowchild until Glenmore. It'll be right off Glenmore."), I decided to take a impromptu tour of the greater Calgary area by freaking out and losing my way and missing the only turnoff I needed to make (or making turnoffs that shouldn't have been there).

Fifteen minutes and about four kilometres later, I found the way to GET BACK to Chinook Centre.

God, that mall is schitzo.

I mean, sure, I work at The Mall That Eats People, but at least the architects know what they needed to do to have a mall that is cohesive, if horribly, horribly gaudy.

The first thing you see of Chinook is the polar ice caps that signify that you aren't in Kansas anymore, although the Paramount Cineplex will try its' damnedest to fit Kansas into itself.

While walking through the mall, I couldn't figure out how to get upstairs at all, got lost in the north end, and ended up wondering how I was able to enter The Bay on the east side of the mall on the second floor, only to arrive on the west side of the first floor.

God, that was one strange mall. Decent food court, mind you...

So, for the wedding gift, I thought, "What would be a good gift for Rich and Leah?" I had never met Leah before, but I know how much Rich likes to wind down after a day and just relax on the couch.

So I thought, "Might as well get them a nice fleece blanket for snuggling on the couch together. And let's get them a huge tub of popcorn kernels and a DVD for those stay-at-home nights." (Oh, HO! Thoughtful wedding gifts from Jago! All the women reading this entry must be kicking themselves now for not nabbing THIS catch!)

(Especially you, blonde girl from Elite Luggage in WEM, whom I see on the bus every now and then. Oh, yeah. I know how much you want me, by the way you walk in front of me all the way through Phase I. Don't deny it, babe!)

I go to the Bay, and find a good fleece queen-sized blanket for $30. Well within my price range, even with the movie I was to buy.

I take it to the cashier. Who asks for $16.04. Half off? Even better!

(I'm not sure when this sale ends. But $15 for a queen-sized fleece? GO! GO!)

I go into HMV, looking for a DVD copy of Fiddler on the Roof, a play that I performed back in high school. Although Rich wasn't involved that year, he had a lot of memories of that musical.

AND I find Young Frankenstein for $15! AND Guys and Dolls, complete with re-mastered sound for $10? Bam! I bought those too...

I follow that up with a kickass wedding card involving very nice photography.

And so, I get to the wedding, a mere 15 minutes away from my aunt's house.

My thoughts on the wedding?

It was decent. Although I wasn't a big fan of the pastors presiding over it. They seemed to not really have a set plan for how the wedding was going to go. And the wife of the team was just rambling during the sermon.

It was like, well, let's just put it this way: have you ever watched It's A New Day?

It was, in my mind, a lot like the opening segment of that, where they just ramble on about anything.

When I heard they were in from Moose Jaw, I pretty much thought, "Which church? Because I will try not to attend that one..."

Okay, that was my nitpicking about the wedding. Other than that, and besides the fact that I was sitting by my lonesome, because I didn't know too many people there, it was a good wedding.

RIGHT after the ceremony, I was able to help by pretty much being there for Rich and the boys, doing odd jobs, like making the church into a small hall for the toasts and speeches. There was no real reception, but a barbeque in a nice park afterwards. So, the toasts and whatnot.

It was pretty much the only time I'm sure I'll be singing the "Winnie the Pooh" theme during a wedding celebration. Especially when it's in the middle of the Best Man's tribute to the groom. It was the groomsmen singing the song (it being one of our old in-jokes, since Rich's only contribution to the song is doing the echo: "Winnie the Pooh - POOH!") and Heath called up a S'toon friend Keegan and I to help sing.

I declined saying anything when it was an open mic, although I did have something prepared.

So I'll say it here, since I found it to be better written than said just to give the couple the impetus to kiss:

Rich and I have known each other since Grade 9 back in Moose Jaw. We happened to be very good friends in the group that was the guys in those days.

Rich and I, back in Grade 12, shared an Economics course, in which we made the following bet:

The first of the two of us to make a million dollars first wins.

There was no ante per say, just a friendly competition in who would becoma a millionaire before the other.

I was planning on going to business school and becoming an investment banker. He had his sights set on pharmacy and engineering a drug that would cure the world and make him money.

I must admit, Rich seemed to take a strong and commanding lead when I dropped out of business school after two years. Especially when I figured I wanted to try journalism for a career.

The playing field became level again when Rich dropped out of university, and decided to go into bible school. Heck, I might have theoretically shot ahead in leaps and bounds after this development.

We still honoured the bet, even if it was going to take us many lifetimes to become millionaires. It could still happen, if I took over the CTV Evening News, or if Rich got into tele-evangelism.

Now, ten years later, Rich and I are in jobs we didn't think we'd ever aspire to, both of us managing in the retail/service industry. Him in Wendy's, me in RadioShack.

It will now take eons to make our bet anything more than a huge pipe dream.

Still Rich seems to have found someone to share his life with, a companion and lover for many future years.

And that's something he, and I, would be willing part with our filthy stinking riches for.

God bless you, Rich. May you and Leah have many memories and happy times in the years to come.

I love you, man.

* * *

A-Lo wasn't able to get out of work for the ceremony/speeches. But she was able to be my date for the barbeque afterwards.

So I drove by my aunt's house to get the present and change, then went to pick up A-Lo.

She had given me directions to get to her place ("Take the left at 24 Ave. Turn right immediately, and I'm right there."). Now, I'm decent getting around, and I can follow directions pretty well.

But I thrive on landmarks. If A-Lo had simply said, "You can turn right at McMahon Stadium. You know? Where the Stampeders play?", I would have been super good-to-go. Instead of straining for a 24th St. sign and almost missing it.

Since there WAS a Stamps game (against Saskatchewan, which definitely explains all the green and white t-shirts I saw in Chinook Centre that morning), parking was horrible. I just parked in the back of the house, hoping that is was, indeed, A-Lo's place.

She answered the door, so, yes, I was at the proper address.

She looked stunning in a brown summer dress. Of course, when she asked me if it was appropriate, I was taken off-guard, and said, "Yeah. You look fine," instead of properly complimenting her.

I'm such a spaz. Eh, at least I wasn't all, "Damn, girl! You look FIIIINE!" I'm an understated spaz, as opposed to an overstated one.

We went for gelato before going to the barbeque.

It took us a bit of time to find the parksite. We had to do a bit of walking from the car, since I forgot which site number we were going to.

I had changed into a black T and my Jerichoish shiny green overshirt. Seriously, we'd have missed the campsite if someone hadn't noticed the huge Bay box I had under my arm. Because you certainly couldn't tell by my attire that I had been to a wedding.

At least I had A-Lo as a distraction.

"God, who the hell's the spaz in the shiny gree- DAAAAMN! The girl looks FIIINE!"

It was a fun evening, with A-Lo and I mostly hanging out with the people I knew: Heath's girlfriend, his sister and occasionally, when they weren't doing stuff, Heath and Perry.

Seriously, judging by their expressions, it was a pretty long day for the groomsmen. Apparently, they had been crapped upon for nobody telling them they were in charge of getting ice for some reason or another.

Ah, yes, a saving grace to not being part of the wedding party. (Although my time as a groomsman has been pretty smooth. At Kingston's wedding, the guys just hung out for a while beforehand. Heck, I even had time to walk down Victoria and get a haircut. Seriously, my only obligations seemed to be "Be there for Kingston if he needs anything. Dance with any single girls at the reception. Hang out with some very cool people in the wedding party.")

It closed up pretty early, mind you. No dance, and people were leaving at 10:30.

"Pfah!" I thought to myself. "What the hell's this? I came from an Irish wedding last week where I got home at 3:30 am? And now everyone's leaving while there's still light?"

A-Lo had other plans, though. A friend of hers, Erinzona, was in town on vacation. And was having a party in an Irish pub downtown.

Erinzona, conveniently, was living in Arizona. I only called her that due to A-Lo writing in her day planner: Erin - Arizona - phone number

Me: "Hey, you should just change your name to Erinzona."

Her: "No thanks."

Me: "You could do it subtly. Add Zona as a second middle name."

Her: "What?"

Alas, I wasn't able to explain my plans for adding my grandfather's middle name to my own, just so I could be Kyle Robert Edwin Jago. Or, as spelled out my my initials, backwards, JERK. As it is, I'm already JRK. So, really, adding Edwin in there isn't too much of a stretch.

Also, which driving around with A-Lo, I seemed to have my driving groove fully functional. Yup. I haven't driven in a full year (and it's been four since I've had a full-time car), and I was still able to flawlessly parallel park on a one-way Calgary downtown street, right in front of the gelato place.

Got home at 1:30, crashed, and woke up with EJ saying, "Let's go. I can to go to Edmonton early."

Seriously, there's nothing more adrenaline-rushing that drving with my speed-freak sister on the highway. Travelling at 140 kph, with her reaching into the backseat for her makeup kit.

I was trying, subtly, to get into the driver's seat, once she started drifting into other lanes on the highway.

"EJ, do you want me to drive?"

"No, I'm fine."

Damn. Okay, how do I NOT beat her over the head and commandeer the vechicle?

(There. Now you're not the only family member I mock on this site, Brade.)

Got in to Ed safe and sound, though.

* * *

Horribly, HORRIBLY pissed off at my boss today, when I found this week's schedule. (Is this starting to become a recurring problem? Is there a time when I'm NOT beating this into submission?)

There was a note today saying, "Anyone who booked this Friday and Saturday off have been denied. I'm expecting a very busy weekend and need everyone at the store."

My reply? "Look, fuckwad (okay, that was in my head). I've missed a family wedding for your scheduling already this month. When I told you about these weddings A MONTH AND A HALF AGO, and MADE SURE TO WRITE THEM ON THE CALENDAR, AS WELL AS CONSTANTLY REMINDING YOU that these are NOT just larks and that I want Saturdays to sleep in, but that these are IMPORTANT weddings I am going to.

Now I am going to go to the wedding on Saturday. The wedding I'm photographing. That my friend has asked me to do a year ago.

What I am NOT going to do is try to find a replacement for the shift that I booked off a looong time ago. If you want someone to work a shift I booked off, you can find someone yourself.

Since this long weekend has been in the books for an entire year, you should have told me you'd deny my day off a lot longer than the week beforehand.

There's two options: Either you can find someone to come in on Saturday, or you can run the store with three people. Either way, I am NOT coming in on Saturday.

If this constitutes a reprimand or whatever the hell you call your screw-up, so be it. I'm tired of this shit.

It happened at the bginning of the month. I missed a family wedding. It happened last week, and I found someone to work for me, even though I shouldn't have had an obligation to do that. If it's happening again this weekend, you can find yourself a new assistant manager."

A little more polite, I guess, but that was pretty much the message I left on his cell. I'll be talking to him tomorrow about that.

* * *

I've been thinking about killing this journal.

Not in the terms of letting it die, but about moving towards a full blog instead of a Diaryland shell.

Like Mighty Girl or Defective Yeti.

Anybody hear any feedback on Blogger.com?


Supposed to be tidbits, but turns out to be a whopping two items...Damn you, Mind-Like-A-Sieve!!!

I was just sitting on the bus to Calgary, listening to music, reading, looking out the window.

During my thinking and zoning out, I realized there were things I wanted to comment on, but had forgotten about.

So, here goes:

First off, on my way to the wedding last week, Canton and I found Edmonton's worst-named business.

So, another round of Jago's Cultural Mini-Tour of South Edmonton, Specifically Involving 97 St And 34 Ave:

It's a dog grooming shop. It's called Little Arfin' Annie.

Once you stop banging your heads against the wall, we'll continue.

* * *

All of a sudden I'm blanking on what else I was going to talk about...

Eh, I'm sure it wasn't too important...

EDIT: Right! Remember what I was going to talk about...

I weighed myself at work today. It was another situation of not having this scale on display, so I decided to power it up and try it out before displaying it.

So, I took off my shoes and stood on the scale.

202 pounds!

202 pounds!I haven't been 202 since, I dunno...1997? About there.

Now I tended to think that about 210 (the last time I weighed myself) was pretty much my ideal weight. You know, not so much I can't see my feet, not so slight I'd be mocked by my friends.

Yes, Dev, I'm looking at you with your "Stephen Hawking" comment. Jackass.

But 202? That's slight, in my opinion. I hope it doesn't go any further than that. Otherwise, I turn into Axler.

And as much as I love the guy like a brother, I don't think I'd be able to cope with his "dark moods." I have enough problems being his friend in those times...


The deadliest joke in the world (for me, at least...)

Well, it's a slow day at the store tonight, and even though I've got stock to put out, I've already taken care of four boxes worth, and I'm ready for a break.

Besides, I probably won't be able to type out a pre-Calgary post in the narrow window of time between the end of work tomorrow and the bus ride.

So, a few things that are on my mind...

* * *

First off, let's start off with a joke my friend told me, and I can help but tell it without a lot of malicious glee about how bad and punny it is.

Seriously, FOREMAN would kick my ass about this joke. Most of the people I've told it to have fallen between the extremes of laughing their asses off and lunging for me with various objects within reach.

Such a polarizing joke HAS to be told, doesn't it?

There's two friends from different nations: one man from England and one from France.

They've got a healthy friendship, but it's always tempered with a really big competitive streak.

Part of their rivalry deals with their pet cats, whom they love. They keep on comparing their cats to the point of obsession.

The Englishman's cat is named "One, two, three." The Frenchman's cat is named "Un, deux, trois."

The competition is so fierce, the two friends decide to settle it once and for all by pitting their cats in a swimming race across the English Channel.

Both cat owners throw their cats into the Channel. My question to you readers is:

Which cat won the race?

* * *

I swear, the entrance to the casino in my mall is SO low rent. ("How low rent is it?") It's SO low rent, it'd be Baltic Ave. in a Monopoly game. (rim shot)

I was to be picked up by D! after work on Tuesday so we could go and watch the pretaped Raw from the night before.

While waiting for him, I saw a whole bunch of native kids jump into a ratty car in the parking lot. The car didn't move. About ten minutes later, the doors open, and the smell of marijuana is so strong, it's bowling me over about twenty five feet away.

One of the native kids notices me, and comes over to talk to me.

Stoner: "Hey! Whatcha doin'?"

Me: "Waiting for a ride."

Stoner: "How long you got left to wait?"

Me: "A very short period."

Stoner: "I was wondering if you could do me a big fuckin' favour."

I say nothing.

Stoner: "I was wondering if you'd be able to buy me a forty pound-"

Me: "No."

Stoner: "Oh. Well-"

Me: "No."

After that, I move away from my position on the corner.

And realize, "Did he just ask me to buy him forty pounds of something?"

I mean, okay, a forty ounce liquor, sure. Forty ounces of pot, whatever. But forty pounds?

Sure, I was going to say "No" to whatever he said, once he began with "Could you buy me..."

Seriously. Who puts the bank deposit boxes in the lowest rent section of the Mall? I'd be willing to go to the hotel to drop it off. Anywhere other than the casino...

* * *

FINALLY got my hair cut yesterday. It's only been, oh, since March since I got my last trim. Not even a real cut so much as a trim.

Yeah, my hair's been pretty long for a while now. Made me sweat like a racehorse in the heat we'd been having.

My hairstylist, Melissa, is the most willow-like person I know. Not as in "pertaining to Willow on Buffy, who really shouldn't be playing with dark magic in Season 5." (Once her eyes turn into black orbs like the creepy guy who gave Dawn the spell to bring her mother back from the dead, you KNOW she's heading down a really bad path...) (Yeah, Canton and I are plowing through our DVD watching like there's no tomorrow...)

I'm talking willowy, as in, a slight breeze could snap her wrist like a twig.

Now, she's not quite as willowy as Mrs. Johnny W. (Hell, that's a completely different category...) But still.

Granted, since Melissa is queen of head massages before the cut, and she does a pretty good job on my hair (before I destroy it due to lack of styling), I'm willing to let it go.

Still, my head feels a lot lighter, and I can actually feel wind on my neck again.

It's sort of a catch-22, since I like having my hair sort of long. Hell, it makes for great headbanging, as evidenced on the dance floor at Foreman's wedding last weekend.

But my body tends to rebel against it, making me overheat and suffer delusions, as people who read my diary know as to Saturday morning's freakout.

So I tend to keep it as long as I can, while keeping my brain cool.

For those of you who don't see me much these days, I'm sure some of you'll see at Rob and Reag's wedding NEXT week, or at the very least, at Fringe, since EVERYONE'S coming to see Kow then. Right?


* * *

So, who won the swimming competition?

The English cat did. Alas, the "Un, deux, trois" cat sank...

And before you throw that lamp at me, I'm logging off. See you guys on Sunday, when I tell you about the Calgary trip in between bouts of moving out.


One down, two to go...

Had Foreman's wedding today. Looong day, which started out with an extremely hot apartment and me trying to swing a ride with someone to the choir rehearsal.

After MSNing Beth, with no answer, I MSNed Sarah, with the same result.

My heat-addled brain starts making paranoid fantasies. "Why aren't they answering? Am I getting silent treatment from them for missing the last two rehearsals due to work?"

I call up Kristus. Her brother answers, saying she's gone to rehearsal, but maybe I should try her cell phone.

No answer on the cell, I'm just being routed to her voicemail.

Stupid paranoid brain kicks in: "Sure, it COULD be that her phone's turned off, but it could ALSO be that she's hit the 'ignore' button of her phone when she sees my number..."

I calm down by preparing my digicam for the ceremony, charging batteries, downloading pics from the memory card, turning on the display...

Wait a sec. Why is my LCD screen white with a black mark? Is the LCD cracked? It IS! THE LCD IS CRACKED! OH, GOD!

What am I going to do? I'm supposed to take shots for the guestbook, but I've got no camera to do so.

Will my Visions extended warranty fix this? Oh, crap. This is SO not the time to have this problem. My friends hate me and won't answer me, my $700 camera's broken, and might not be able to be fixed...

Okay, Kyle. Calm down. Go to Canton's place, and bus with him down to the church. You'll just have to miss singing at the wedding is all...

I golf a bit, calm myself down, and Canton and I bus down to the church.

Forst of all, though, we need food/drink. Problem is, we're on the Mill Woods sprawl, with only bars and sit down restaurants in the immediate area.

We find a grocery store, and go into it, hoping to find some drinks and snacks.

Hello, culture shock! Holy crap, this Hindu convenience mart is so not what I'm used to.

Where's the pop? Oh, over here, with names I've never heard before. Duke's Cola? Limeina? What the hell?

A woman comes over and asks us if she can help us. I ask, "Coke?" She scrounges through and finds a two litre Diet Coke. No thanks.

I find a solitary can of Canada Dry, and go for that. Now i must leave the place that has food I can't pronounce and movies I've never known to exist.

We walk to the church, and I find out that everyone in the choir has tried finding me, and had no clue what my phone number was or anything, so they weren't able to reach me.

Okay, my mind an hour prior was really screwing with me, I know...

The wedding itself was nice. The reception was fun, if long.

Favourite part of the evening:

During a looooong speech, the wall beside my table decided to pump up the air conditioning.

Girlone, beside me, starts shivering.

Since we're in the middle of a father pouring out his feelings towards his daughter, none of us are going to ask out loud if she needs a jacket or something.

So most of the table starts miming instead.

The gist of our body language is, [Girlone? You okay? Do you need something?]

Girlone: [No, I'm fine.]

Sarah: [You sure? Jamie's dinner jacket's free.]

Girlone: [No, it's cool.]

I let a few seconds pass by. You know, to get the correct timing on what I'm about to do. Lull girlone into a false sense of security.

She shivers again.

So I start miming.

[Hey. Want my pants?]

Girlone almost breaks up, but thinks wiser of it, since the father is still talking...

[No, seriously. If you're cold, I'll give you my pants. Check it out. I'm unbuckling them right now.]

Girlone is closer to bursting out laughing. But doesn't.

Heh. I love being a jackass...

In any case, since it's now 4:28, and I'm assuming I work tomorrow (Yes, I do...), I am heading to bed.


Two conversations

Okay, before I start this, yes, I was in the West Ed Mall when it decided to have fun at customers' expenses on Sunday.

My store was not hurt in the last, but that's because we're on the second floor, kind of hidden away compared to, say, the lower RS, which was shut down for a few days and recieved at least $10,000 worth of damaged merchandise.

* * *

These days, I'm getting ready for the three weddings in three weekends. First up tomorrow is Foreman's and the Amazon's.

Then I go down to Calgary for Rich's wedding.

Then comes Reag and Rob's. And then I move out of this place back into the house...

But so I'm making sure that everything's cool for my trip down to Calgary, arranging plans with my date for Rich's wedding, A-Lo.

On Wednesday, I call her up.

A-Lo: So, what did you want me to wear for the wedding?

Me: Well, something dressy, I guess. It's not like I'm asking you to blow away every other woman who's going.

A-Lo: You don't want me to blow away every other woman?

Me: Okay, I said I'm not asking you to do that. I never said I don't want you to...

A-Lo: Okay, then. Pleather it is.

Me: Hey, whoa. I have no problems with you dressing to kill, but don't be overshadowing ME.

A-Lo: [laughs]

Me: Because I'M the one who'll be dressing in pleather.

At which point I realize, A-Lo's doesn't know the story of me and pleather, that one time at improv where European model Jago hosted.

Later in our conversation, A-Lo asks me if I remembered telling her about my sister's boyfriend, Kyle, who works at a Starbucks in Calgary (and who, coincidentally, A-Lo helped to train).

A-Lo had moved to a new place a few months ago, and one day she had lost her cat. So she was trying to find it, and two houses down, ran into Kyle mowing the lawn.

Me: Wait. So you live on the same block as my sister and her boyfriend?

A-Lo: Yup.

Me: Wow. Crazy.

After getting off the phone with her, I realize that I might want to call up either my aunt Lorna or my sister, in the hopes of finding a place to sleep for the weekend.

The next day at work, I decide to call up Lorna first, because I know she has just a little more room in her huge house than EJ has in her one bedroom apartment, which is about two thirds the size of mine.

The phone is picked up by a young woman whose voice I don't really recognize.

Girl: Hello?

Me: [confused] Sarah? [wait a sec, wasn't my cousin still in Halifax?]

Girl: [sort of annoyed] No...

Me: Well, then, who is this?

Girl: Oh my god.

Me: EJ? Is that you?

My sister: Yes.

Me: What are you doing at Lorna's house?

EJ: I live here?

Me: Since WHEN?

EJ: You didn't know? Kyle and I broke up?

Me: How long ago was this?

EJ: I dunno. Four months ago?


EJ: Yeah.

Me: So how long have you lived at Lorna's then?

EJ: A month.

Me: Seriously?

EJ: Yeah. Really? Mom or Dad didn't tell you about this?

Me: It never came up. Besides, I get most of my news from Brade, and you know how well he prioritizes.

EJ: [laughs] Yeah.

Me: Did you hear what happened after Tara's wedding reception?

EJ: No.

Me: I'm talking to Brade about it online, and so I ask, "Hey, how was the wedding reception?" He answers "We had ham."

EJ: [and I shit you not, this is what she actually says...} Let me get this straight: "How was our cousin's wedding celebration?" "There was pork?" [For those of you not quite getting it, go down the page until 07.05, the paragraph above my Spider-Man 2 rant. See a coincidence? I'm positive the reason my sister and I fought so much in our younger days was due to our having almost the same sort of mindset...]

Me: What? What did you just...? Never mind. So, I was wondering if there'd be some way I'd be able to stay over, since I'm going down for next weekend's wedding.

EJ: Well, the family will be gone, but I'll be around. You can stay hre for the weekend. Wait a second: Isn't Mom and Brade going up there next weekend to help you move?

Me: Yeah. But they'll be coming on Sunday afternoon, the same time I head back.

EJ: Oh. Okay.

Me: Well, cool. This means I don't have to call you and Kyle and ask for a place to stay. My, that would have been awkward...

So, to recap: My friend A-Lo has moved in a few doors down from my sister's ex. Which is good I found out, since dropping off A-Lo after the wedding and going to two houses for convenience's sake might have been a little strange, considering that I have no clue about EJ's and Kyle's relationship...

* * *

Yesterday, I won my first tour in Tiger Woods 2k4. $300,000 straight in my pocket, after blowing away the competition by more than eight strokes.

Kyle Jago is one Nike whore in that game, let me tell you....Good ol' sponsorship money...


Crap. I forgot something...

On my way to my lunch break today, I was walking through West Ed Mall when a guy starts calling my name. I turn around and see this guy with stubble and a ball cap, with two little girls.

"Is this guy a customer?" I wonder. "It would explain why he knew my name..."

All of a sudden, it hits me. It was Beau Smith, a guy from my journalism class so many years ago.

He's still with a paper on Vancouver Island, still living with the girl he left his wife for (during our last year, no less, with a girl from our class).

We start talking shop. Who's at what paper, is so-and-so full time at the Sun, etc.

All of a sudden, I realize...

"So, this, here must be your daughter."

She looked shyly at me, this four-year old.

I tell her, "The last time I saw you, you were this big," while miming holding a small newborn.

It made me realize how much I miss being at school, trying to get a diploma in something I thought I loved. (Remember, this was before my whole damned Redwater experience...)

Also, I sold something to Georges Laraque today. A caller ID blocker I'm ordering in from Saskatchewan for him.

When he comes in to pick it up, I'm going to ask if he can give Stacey Smyth a note for me. (Remember, I went to high school with her...)

Not the only time I've served Georges. Once back my first year at Kingsway, he came in for some phone cable.

I asked his name for the receipt, and he declined.

After he left, Matt was like, "Dude! You didn't know that was Laraque?"

"Of course I knew," I said. "I thought I'd give him the opportunity to decline having his name on the reciept instead of me saying, 'So, Georges, what's your address?'"


"Yes! Your haddicab id dad you are a shiddy drubber!"

So, dere's ad ebbisobe ub Bidder Show wid a skedge where dis bad id playig, whed all ub a suddeb...

Hode od a biddit.

(Blows nose.)

That's better. Thank God for the wonder of Kleenex with Menthol. (More on that later...)

So, there's an episode of Mr. Show with a sketch where this band is playing, when all of a sudden, the band is interrupted by an ex-band member. (The band is an "Up With People" sort, with all these people with disabilities...A drummer with no arms, a guitarist with no arms, a flautist with only a head, and a woman. They reveal themselves to be not handicapped. Well, the girl's still a girl, I guess...)

So this ex-band member with only one arm comes onstage, and tries to turn the audience against the band by proclaiming he was kicked out of the band due to his one arm.

The leader tries to explain that the reason he was kicked out of the band was because he was a bad drummer, not because he was handicapped.

But the ex-drummer can't understand this and tries to re-state his point.

"So, you're saying I was kicked out because I only had one arm?"

"No, I'm saying that you were kicked out because you were a bad drummer."

"So, I was a bad drummer due to my handicap?"

"NO! I mean, yes, you have a handicap, IN ADDITION to being a shitty drummer!"

This goes on for a while, with more and more people trying to help out in the debate, but only getting the wrong point, and making the leader more and more frustrated.

I am reminded of this sketch with what happened at work today:

At about 7 pm, a woman called in, having problems hooking up her VCR to another VCR to record something.

I, being the freakin' cable-attaching genius I am, start to help.

Me: "So, you've got two VCRs, right?"

Her: "Yes."

Me: "Okay. Which one's already plugged into the TV?"

Her: "The first one."

Me: "That will be your RECORDING VCR. And the second one is your PLAYING VCR. Okay?"

Her: "Right."

Me: "Now, what kind of cables do you have?"

Her: "What?"

Me: "The red, yellow and white three pack? Or the screw on kind?"

Her: "The screw-on kind."

Me: "Okay, co-ax, then."

Her: "What?"

Me: "The screw-on cable is co-ax, the three cables are called RCAs."

Her: "Oh."

Me: "Now, VCR A is plugged into the TV, right?"

Her: "Yes."

Me: "And you're able to see a picture on the TV if you put a tape in?"

Her: "Yes."

Me: "Okay. Plug the coax cable into the output of VCR B into the input of VCR A."

Her: "Which one's B?"

Me: "The one that's not plugged into the TV, right?"

Her: "What?"

Me: "The playing VCR is B. The one that's plugged into the TV is A."

Her: "No, it's the other way around."

Me: "What? No you said-"

Her: "You've done this before, right?"

Me: "YES! (deep breath) Yes, I've done this before. I know what I'm doing."

Her: "I don't think we're going about this the right way. Can you make it easier for me?"

Me: "Okay. Two VCRs. Bob and Jim. Is Bob or Jim the one plugged into the VCR?"

She hangs up.

Honestly, I wasn't trying to be sarcastic there. I was being totally sincere.

After work, she calls again. I keep asking her to please take out a piece of paper so she can make the diagram I'm telling her.

She apparently thinks I'm calling her an idiot. But I do best with diagrams.

HER: "The way we did this last time, we had the second VCR record, and the first one play."

ME: "Please, trust me. The first VCR records while the second one plays. Let me put it this way: You're recording Friends from the TV. Now, normally, the cable from the wall plugs into the input of the VCR, and the output goes to the TV."

HER: "We don't have cable. We have an antenna."

ME: "But it's plugging into the VCR, right? Into the output?"

HER: "What?"

ME: "Just unplug the antenna, and put the second VCR cable where you unplugged the antenna."

HER: "We're using the RCA cables."

ME: "Why?"

HER: "Look, I'm sure we had it set up a different way last time."

ME: "Seriously, it wouldn't have worked if you had the first VCR playing and the second recording. It only works one way."

After a half-hour, in which I was trying to close the daily reports, she left me go, problem still unsolved.

If only she had come in so I could have done the damn diagram!

* * *

I worked a twelve hour shift today, apparently so my manager could hang out in the back room, talking on the phone with other managers.

And, I'm sick, so I was blowing my nose every three minutes.

And I missed an essential Kow rehearsal. (Fringe is only five weeks away!)


* * *

So I went to London Drugs in the mall, looking for my Kleenex with Menthol.

They don't carry it. I sense a conspiracy here...

After work, I got on the bus at 10:15 pm to go home (due in part to the stupid call about the VCRs...). At University, the bus was out of service. So I could either wait 15 minutes for another bus, or start walking home, with a stopoff at Shoppers Drug Mart and Safeway for some cold stuff. Sit in the damp with a cold, or walk in the damp with a cold. I walked.

At the Earl's intersection, a car stopped by me and asked how to get to Calgary from where they were.

I told them which way to go, and slapped meself as they drove off, since I should have asked for a ride to the Safeway on the route I told them. Damn.

When I got to the SDM, I went down the Kleenex aisle, and (gasp!) found my freakin' Kleenex with Menthol. I took it to the till, holding it in my arms like it was a baby or a thermonuclear device.

At my turn at the register, I ask the cashier, "Do you know how hard it is to find this stuff?"

She replied, "What?"

"Seriously, you guys are the only ones who carry it."

She looks at the box. "I didn't even know we carried menthol Kleenex."

I deadpan, "Best. Kleenex. Ever."

All of a sudden, she really picks up the pace, rushing me through the till. I must have scared her.

Man, it sure was nice to open the box and inhale the menthol, clearing my sinuses before blowing.

I think I'm going to marry this Kleenex.

OFFICIAL KIMBERLY-CLARK WARNING: Do not marry our Kleenex. Having relations by putting menthol on your privates is really not the way to go. Kimberly-Clark has no liability in the case that someone's stupid enough to try this. Thank you.


Spider-Man 2 has single-handedly ruined comic book movies for me

But first, let me tell you why I really need to document my dreams right after I have them:

I had this dream on Saturday morning, but when I woke up, I really had to rush to get to work. As such, I did jot notes on my screen, in order to preserve it so I could write about it when I got home. (How many personal pronouns are in that paragraph? Jeez, talk about me much, me?)

I now remember bits and pieces, but I can't make a coherent narrative out of it. Here, verbatim, are my notes:


*My birthday.

*Backyard from home, but owned by a different landlord.

*I rented out top floor of house. *Spatial probs.

*Skydivers chose backyard to land.

*Friend came over for huge party.

*Hot foreign girl (Heidi Klum type).

*Girls went to shower, I waited for Heidi.

*Four studs came out of boiler room, chased them off.

*Tables, sleeping in backyard.

Yup. Not really a cohesive story out of those notes.

* * *

I'm currently talking with my brother online. The family came to Alberta over the weekend for my cousin's wedding reception. (They had the wedding itself in the tropics a few months back..)

I, unfortunately, was managing the store in my boss' absence this weekend. I wasn't able to make it down.

My brother's and my conversation five minutes ago:

ME: "How was the weekend?"

BRADE: "Pretty good."

ME: "Anything noteworthy?"

BRADE: "Uh, we had roast pig."

ME: "'How was our cousin's wedding celebration?' 'There was pork.'"

BRADE: "I don't know..."

We then go into way more detail about the WWE show in Regina yesterday.

Good to know my brother and I have our priorities straight.

* * *

So D! and I saw Spider-Man 2, during one of the only times I wasn't at the store this weekend. (Crazy aside: As manager from July 1-4, I was not 'not in the store' at any point the store was open. As long as the mall was running, I was working. Scary.)

So D! and I saw Spider-Man 2. I was looking forward to it.

Spider-Man was on my top five super hero movies. Most likely Number 2, easily. (#1? Disney's The Rocketeer, rounding out the top five: The Mask, X-Men 2, The Hulk)

However, there were some problems with it. I liked Willem Dafoe, but wasn't a fan of the Green Goblin. Norman was fine, Goblin was too static. Stupid mask.

The CGI was pretty staticy, in the fact you could tell it was generated. When Peter pulls of the mask in the frist one, you can tell it went from CG to live-action.

Niggling points like that.

I was really looking forward to Spider-Man 2.

You've got Alfred Molina playing Dr. Octopus, and they decided to use actual mechanical arms, instead of CGI (leading to one of the coolest teaser posters I have ever seen - seriously, if anyone wants a present idea for some holiday or just because I'm me, I'd really like a Doc Ock movie poster).

They brought in the writers from Smallville, as well as Michael Chabon, the writer of Wonder Boys and The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

Everything was building to a damn good movie.

So, after watching the movie, I've got one statement to make:

Spider-Man 2 has forever ruined my memories.

When I look back on the first movie, which is, like I said, my second favourite superhero movie, and see how flawed it is, compared to its sequel, what the hell am I supposed to think?

When it was all done and over with, D! and I sat in our seats, staring at the blank screen, gapemouthed.

I just muttered, "Holy fuck."

I have never, NEVER! wanted to go to a movie directly afte seeing it like I did on Saturday.

Finally, I can understand how people can go back and see a movie (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars) in the theatre five, six times at least.

The movie kicked my ass six ways to Sunday. There were few things wrong with it. It transcended the comic movie genre, and I'm afraid there's not many other films that can compare to this one.

Sorry, Rocketeer. You're down to number two.

Needless to say, I'll be going back and definitely buying the DVD once it comes out...