Okay, that was weird...

So I've been noticing a lot of different people coming into our store. But yesterday was apparently a prime day for wackos/people who didn't have a clue.

First of all, in came a gentleman in a wheelchair who had our flyer in his lap.

After showing me this page he was looking at, he inquired about the computer on the page.

I looked at it. "Well, sir, that's an opened iNext computer, just so you can see the different upgrades you can get. If you want an iNext, we can get it for you..."

Customer: "So that isn't the price listed at the right hand side?"

Me: "You mean the TV card listed at $59.99? As a part that goes into a computer? No, sir, that's not the price of a computer."

Customer: "What's the cheapest one you have, then?"

Me: "I have one for $500 for just a tower..."

Customer: "Too high."

Me: "Sorry, sir. You might want to try a pawn shop or a used computer shop, then..."

Yeah, the guy wanted a computer for $60. Fat chance of that happening. Although the Frenchman did reply, "Hell, I'll sell him my Pentium 2 for that much."

The other interesting story that occurred yesterday deals with a gentleman who came up to me while I was already dealing with someone.

"Where do you keep your personal alarms?"

Me, annoyed: "Second last booth." And then I keep on continuing with the person I'm serving.

The guy comes up a few seconds later.

"What kind of batteries does this one take?"

"Sir," I said, "I'll help you out once I'm finished with the person I'm currently helping. Please, hold on."

After I finish up with my customer, he asks me to open up the alarm so he can see what battery it takes. So I do so.

Crazy: "Yeah, I need a personal alarm, so I can use it when the people start torturing me."

Me, at a loss for words: "Oh."

Crazy: "Yeah, they torture me and then kill me all the time, usually once a night."

Me, really freaked out: "Un-huuunh?"

Crazy: "Do you think I should make a statement about that? Get it on paper that people torture me and kill me?"

Me: "If you feel it's right..."

Crazy: "Yeah, I live in a nice town. Aside from all the torturing and killing."

Me: "Riiiight..."

And the guy insists he tries out the piercing alarm to make sure it works.

After he leaves the store, I go into the back to tell Dave about the freaky guy I just met.

"Oh, yeah. Welcome to Downtown. That sounds like it's the same guy who came in for a wiresless keyboard. You know, because the wired keyboards steal his thoughts."


* * *

Forgot most of today's dream, since it was during a catnap I had after my alarm went off and I gave myself another 15 minutes to sleep.

What I DO remember of it was hanging out at my MJ house with Canton and some others, and playing with my new baby brother Paul in the house's glass door garage.

Maybe it's just me, but I think I just stole Llloyd's kid, Ethan, made him my brother and renamed him Paul. Because that was Ethan, all right...

* * *

Today, I had a father and daughter come in for a digital camera that I had stole from another store. They came in yesterday, but I didn't have the box or cables fro the one on display for some reason, so I asked them to come back today.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the media card they wanted, so I said I'd bring that in TOMORROW for them. I'm pretty much bending over backwards for this guy, and it's not even a good digital camera. No optical zoom, but you get what you pay for when it's $150.

At the end of the shift, I decided to go to WEM to pick up a free piece of software I received for listening to a Microsoft trainer last month. It was sent to WEM, and so I decided today would be the day I get it.

I get to my old store, and there's only the new guy who's helping a couple of customers. I say, "Hey."

The customers turn around. It's my digital camera guy. Looking at the digital camera I'm to sell him. And paying money to the new guy.

Well, this is awkward. Even more so when I'm asked to demonstrate it to them.

I help him out, and he thanks me for helping him choose a camera. I ask, "So I guess this means I don't have to bring in the memory card for you anymore."

So, where's my software? I look around in the back room, and Deryk comes to the store about half an hour later.

"Deryk! Where's my game?"

"I put it behind the counter for you. So - Oh, god."

"What 'oh god?' Please don't play with me!"

Jen had sold it from the back counter, even though it had no RS stock number on it. Whoops.

I check the computer. Kingsway has a copy. So I bus over there in 45 minutes, and steal that game, billing WEM for the game.

Now I install Age of Mythology. Because I'm finished Prince of Persia. Drool. That was a well-spent $30...


Flying would be a hell of a lot easier if...

So I'm getting ready to go to Moose Jaw for a few days over the Labour Day weekend.

I'm heading out for a wedding (gee, who'da thought? That makes this the... seventh wedding this year (since September of last year). Actually, it's the ninth wedding I've been invited to, but only the seventh I was able to attend.). My high school friend Penny. So, this'll be the first time in three years I've been back to Moose Jaw that WASN'T a choir tour. Actually, if we disregard the deathwatch three years ago, as well as the choir tours, it'd be the first time since April 2000 that I've been home for a visit.

Yipes. I gotta visit more often.

In any case, I've been deciding how to get there. With my craptacular new schedule (well, downtown's great so far, but I'm talking about the whole 'six days of work' problem...), I really don't want to be taking a bus to Moose Jaw, since that's 26 hours of my life (round trip) that I'd never be getting back.

So I called up Dad to see what he wanted to do, and he said he'd pay for the return trip back on plane, if need be.

So I was caught between jetting it and bussing it. I decided to see what the fares would come out to either way...

Greyhound: Round trip from Edmonton to Moose Jaw - $215. And it'd be a thirteen hour trip each way.

WestJet: One way trip from Edmonton to Regina - $90. And it takes an hour.

So, let me get this straight: I can either bus or fly east. And it would be cheaper to fly? And I'd save myself approximately a day of travel? Gee, hard decision.

Problem is, the flights to Regina either fall when I'm working (10 a.m., 12 p.m. on Friday), or cost $302 for the 5 p.m. flight.

Dad suggests I try calling Brade, who's currently fixing up my aunt's house in Calgary.

I call him up, and see that he'd be leaving close to when I'd need a ride home. He'd be able to come up on Thursday eve, and we could drive down to MJ if I took my last vacation day until April. Done. No probs.

So, I don't need to worry about a flight to Saskatchewan. Only the one back. Not a problem. I go on to the WestJet website to arrange a flight back.

And I find out there's a seat sale that wasn't advertised. $50 one way from Regina to Edmonton.

BANG! I'M SOLD! GET ME A SEAT! Half price fare? A $50 ticket for a weekend in Saskatchewan? Plus some gas money for Brade?

So I'm booking my flight, and I KNOW there's going to be some unannounced fees added on.


Okay, the $10 Airport Improvement Fee, I've been paying for some time now. Ever since 1995 and I was flying back home from the Muni every chance I had. Still, you'd think after 10 years, they'd have enough cash to fix any airport problems.

NAV/INS Charge: $18. According to the WestJet site, they say that there can be anywhere up to $40 in NAV fees. Although they don't say what it is you're paying for. On the Air Canada website, they say they charge anywhere from $6 to $17 based on the distance travelled. "This surcharge is collected to cover the fees that Air Canada pays to NAV Canada to operate Canada's Air Navigation systems."

Okay. That's great. I still really have no clue what the hell NAV Canada does, mind you...

So I go to the NAV Canada site. Yup. Not much info there, other than figuring out that they're trying to improve the air navigation in Canadian airspace, and charge a crapload of money to do it.

I don't remember having to pay this when I went to Victoria for Kingston's wedding in March. Alas, I deleted the confirmation from my Hotmail account after I came back. Didn't think I'd need it anymore.

ATSC charge: $5.61. Just a hair under the GST charge. So 6% is going to what, exactly? Oh, it's an Air Traveller's Security Charge. Okay, what the hell is that? Googling it brings up this government page. Ah. It's a security measure that was broung in after 9/11. Riiight. Okay, then...

So, after all these charges and what not, my bill works out to (lessee...carry the ten, add this, multiply by 1/(my shoe size)) $88.39.

Like I said, I knew there were going to be hidden charges. But almost $40 worth? Yipes. Bad, BAD airlines! Bad, BAD airports! Bad, BAD, BAD government. Naughty, naughty everyone involved who isn't me.

Eh. It's still better than a $100+ Greyhound ticket each way.

* * *

Is it a bad thing that I'm STILL freaked out about walking down Whyte during weekend jackassery?

When the hell did the neighbourhood get to this point?

I mean, yeah, I was horribly traumatized by the mugging four years back. Hell, when I had bruises on my kidneys for a full month afterwards, I couldn't even THINK of what would happen if I weren't a 24-year old, 200 lb male, and was instead some girl or senior that was just walking around that October 30 night. (Yup, I even remember the time I happened. It's scary, being reminded every Hallowe'en Eve about just what happened...)

Still, I'd like to have my peace of mind back. That's something that really won't be coming back for a long, long time, I'm afraid.

Damn those drunk teenagers. I wish we DID find them, and that Axler's friends would have retaliated with interest, like Axler had offered.

Actually, I take that back. I wouldn't retribute that kind of cruelty to anyone...


Back to the daily grind...

So I'm loving this whole "working until 5:30" thing from Mondays to Wednesdays. It makes it so I can actually do stuff in the evenings.

Granted, I'd leave in a heartbeat if the Sun came a-callin' (which they haven't done yet...).

I've noticed that there are a LOT of good looking ladies who work in the area. I tend to say that there's at least one girl I could definitely go for every hour in this mall.

Unfortunately, they're STILL outnumbered by crazy people who come into the store.

This mall has the most disparate customer base I've seen, and I've been working here for 4 years.

Back at Kingsway, which is, honestly, the biggest low-rent mall in Edmonton, I'd usually deal with people who didn't have much money or were closeby to the centre of the city.

Bonnie Doon? College students and seniors.

WEM. Travellers and mallrats.

Here at City Centre? There's obviously the downtown core clientele, the businessmen and the like, as well as even lower-rent people than KGM, the cute girls, the crazies, and many more.

Still, I've been here less than a week...

I was shocked to see Crazy Larry come in today.

Crazy Larry's a guy I first met at Bonnie Doon. He'd come by every night, in his crazy hairdo, unbuttoned shirt, and sunglasses. He'd go into the stalls, pick out one small fuse or light or component, always under five bucks, and pay for it.

He'd do this every night 10 minutes before the store closed. Also, he'd shoplift something, usually, but we were never able to really catch him. We all knew he did this, but we'd never be able to get him in the act (although we really, really tried).

After us, he'd go to Safeway, where MFJ would usually have to deal with him.

(One time, after I closed up shop, I was standing in line with some groceries. I asked Jen, "So Crazy Larry comes in here all the time, too?" Jen was confused. "Who's Crazy Larry?" When I pointed him out, she laughed, "Oh, you mean Bob Dylan? Crazy Larry's a much better name.")

It became my obsession to close the store before he'd come in, because if he was around, the store would be open fifteen minutes later than it should.

One time, Bentley Girl saw me rush around, closing all the doors five minutes early. I then ran in the back room and turned off the lights. Crazy Larry came around, and knocked on the door for a good ten minutes, while I was hiding in the back, doing the daily reports. Bentley Girl laughed her cute little ass off that night.

One day, he just stopped coming by. I'd still see him on Whyte Ave., biking past the 7-11 or in my apartment's alley. But he didn't come back into the store.

It was really strange to see him after a year, with a new haircut and outfit, but still doing the same old stuff. AND he said "Thank you" to me.

* * *

I was at the bus stop today, waiting for the #6 to take me back to Strathcona.

When the bus arrived, I tried to get off my seat, but a clip from my backpack decided to fall through one of the bench's holes and get caught.

I finally got it after about two minutes, and tried to run after the bus pulling away.

Alas, I missed it. Curse you, backpack!


Last Fringe post of 2004, I swear. (Otherwise known as Part IV)

Yes, Frenchman, this'll be the last one...

* * *

Where was I? Oh, right. Wednesday eve was over and done. Although I now remember, we were a little over in time at this concert, which pissed off the father of the juggling busker family, since we took a bit of HIS time.

(Seriously, guy. You had the final show of the evening, so you could afford to go a bit over in your time slot. Besides, I've seen the show. People weren't missing much. As Dev had said on the first day of Fringe, "That's an outdoor stage show? When we got there, I was wondering who had given an audience member the mic!")

So, Thursday's show was not hugely memorable. No huge epiphany moment like the night previous, where something special was happening.

Still, a non-descript show is still a solid show where we had a small crowd, sold some merchandise, and ended up with a decent haul of cash.

No, wait. This concert was memorable because I sold the hoodie off my back afterwards. It was cold, so I decided to wear the hoodie again, but I also added my shiny green shirt to give myself the attitude I needed after so many shows. Time to start showing off my quirky side once again.

After the show, Canton yelled over to me, "Hey, Jago! This girl wants a hoodie! Can she have the one you're wearing?"

I said, "Sure. I guess. If she's wanting it, by all means. Does she want it NOW?"

So, I pulled it off, thankful I had an overshirt I could button up and use as a shirt instead of being half naked for DieNasty.

That afternoon, Canton, Marie F. and I went to Rigoletto's downtown for lunch. Pretty good stuff there. I had the Chicken Parmigiana, with a great side of steamed vegetables with sort of a spicy marinade.

That night, Canton, Marie F., D! and I went to Hudsons' for a mighty large plate of nachos for D! and I to share. And then I had the beef dip.

(Yeah, this quickly turned into the week of eating at a crapload of places I've never been. Jago's taking chances foodwise. Sorta.)

Friday afternoon, Canton and I went to Von's, a place he's never been, for a great lunch (New York Steak Sammich for me.), followed by a concert.

Then we went to see Waiting for Her Beau, a parody of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot written by a friend, Teri.

It was a good play. Not quite Real Time, but a fun play nonetheless.

My prodlem with the play stems from the source material.

Don't get me wrong, I love Samuel Beckett. Absurdist theatre is fun to read and did do new things on the stage.

Still, have you read some of his stuff? Like Krapp's Last Tape? If I had seen it, I'm sure I wouldn't have enjoyed it that much.

The thing is, absurdist theatre is SUPPOSED to challenge you. And I know the play Waiting for Godot, although I've never seen it. It's easier to laugh while reading it in thirty minutes than to watch it with all it's pauses and repeated lines in the space of an hour and a half.

And then the play is rewritten to be about two girls waiting for a guy to call a pay phone? A parody of absurdist theatre is STILL absurdist theatre.

At the 45 minute mark, I was almost falling asleep, thinking, "God, they've got another day to go through, and it's the same thing that happened the day before!"

So, good performances by the people involved, but otherwise, it was okay. Nothing special to really recommend, especially if you're not in the mood for nouveau Beckett.

Friday eve, we went to see Die-Nasty again, and before the show, A-lo was acknowledging me again. Which is a relief, since I had no clue if I had done or said something wrong between Rich's wedding and now, or if I had not said or done something I should have...

Sigh. In any case, nothing's wrong here. Which is something to be glad about.

Saturday: D! wanted to go pick up a new PS2 to replace the one that crapped out on him a few months back. And his mom was involved in the dragon boat races.

So we got to the river to see Maman D! cross the finish line in the rain with her team.

Afterwards, we decided to have a lunch. So D!, Maman D!, D!'s brother's fiancee and I went to Bistro Praha.

Now this was some great Euro cooking! The entrees were a bit pricey, so I went with a salad and some side pan-fried potatoes. The salad had greens, onions, tomatoes, and ham drenched in a lemon oil dressing that was to DIE for. And the potatoes were also excellent.

And the waitress was very lovely as well. I think I'll be going back there at some point.

Then D! and I went shopping downtown, he bought his PS2 and a shirt, I bought a new video game and some manila envelopes (both to be described a little later...)

That night was a late night concert after the stages were opened up after the rain had stopped.

It was a cold, dark, wet night. We got on stage and had about ten people in front of us.

Man, did we BUILD that crowd! It was very cool to see the audience swell to about eighty strong with us just rocking the house. Since there was really no point in doing things half-assed, we had no fear (a common theme throughout this Fringe) and just gave it as much as we can.

Girls were dancing on the side of the stage, Dev would jump out into the audience and dance with them, it was great.

At this point, so many shows into the Fringe, we had realized what songs were and weren't working, so we finessed our set into a bunch of songs that people wanted to hear more of.

Hell, on Saturday, we even brought out Sub-Zero, a song we haven't sung in years, mostly because I'm still dragging my ass in re-arranging the music for it to fit five people. I sang it in all it's campy goodness.

Then the rain started. But we still sang, and, for the most part, people stuck it out, either running to the gazebo or just standing where they were, getting drenched.

I figured we should end off with Spider-Man, just so we'd have a rocking song to finish with, and so I could run around and keep warm during it.

I ranted on about seeing the Spider signal in the sky, realizing it's just the spotlights for the Armoury, and ranting about how much I love having the crappiest nightclub ever a few blocks away from where I live. I ranted about how cold I was. It was just a really fun show to perform, and I think it showed, over than us losing our energy at some points.

And then we went to see the last show of the night. And found the members of Hoja, drunk as hell, in the line.

At this point, Canton's and my opinion of their behaviour plummeted. During the show, they'd yell out things to the actors performing, completely disrupting the show. And the fact that I was sitting directly in front of them made me want to lunge for their throats more than once.

Like the time where the lesbian European character and the goth girl character were acting, the guy behind me yelled, "Grab her boob!"

To which Sheri, the actress playing the lesbian, said, "Man, there's a whole bunch of drunken idiots on Whyte Ave. at this time of night, isn't there?"

Aside from the Ho-Jackasses, it was a fun night.

Sunday, our show was cancelled due to rain.

That, in a loooong winded nutshell, was Fringe.

So, how did Kow do? We beat last year's cash totals, with fewer shows. We got little in the way of publicity this year, other than our friend Dave talking us up on CHED radio with Leslie Primeau.

But we made a lot of new fans, sold a few t-shirts, sold OUT of the Kow hoodies (which was a great judgement call by Canton, although he knows he won't be making executive Kow decisions without the rest of us again...It was a gamble that worked, although Dev and I were skeptical that hoodies would sell in August in a hot time of year. Good ol' rain and Edmonton nights proved us wrong.)

And we grossed a good $400 more than last year, almost hitting the $3000 mark in busking revenue (not including the merchandise)

So, this year was another success. And the many shows really helps us out with the stage presence, as Ms. Jones had remarked to me later on. I'm looking forward to doing it again.

* * *

I have a new obsession, thanks to my impulse game purchase. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is one of the most addictive and easy to play games I've done in a while. It makes a worthy addition to my (mostly) Nintendo-centric GameCube library. [I've only got one other game that is a third-party game. That means, NOT made by Nintendo. That being Wrestlemania 18, of course. My other games I bought for the system? Mario Sunshine, Animal Crossing, Metroid Prime, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (including the bonus editions of Ocarina of Time that came with). All first-party games.]

Seriously, this game won Game of the Year for almost all the systems last year. And by putting it in my GC for the first time, I can understand why.

You run up walls, dodge spikes, battle zombies with your sword and dagger. Make death-defying jumps at every turn.

In the first ten minutes, in a battle against three villains, I disabled one of them, backflipped OVER the guy behind me, and before I hit the ground, I slashed him in the back, taking him to the floor.

I was giddy with excitement.

THEN! Later on, you get the Dagger of Time, a great weapon that, get this, lets you reverse time and replay the moment when you would have died. It's saved my life many a time, reversing the fall to my death I would have otherwise suffered, let me play back battles that I could have done better, etc.

I've only got a ten-second timeframe I can play with, and only so long as I have sand in my dagger.

Then I learn new moves like being able to slow-mo time, strike at enemies and freeze them in time, just so I can focus on the guy behind me with the pike who's about to impale me.

Oh, this is a game and a HALF! And I have fallen in love with it hardcore.

Axler watched me cry as I saw visions (which happens at every save point) of running over collapsing bridges, jumping from falling stalagtites (those are the ones that point down, right? Yes, they are. I checked.), and other various portents of me having to use the Rewind feature a lot. Oh, did I say a lot? I meant a lot.

Man, this is one game I'm glad I shelled out $30 for.

* * *

I sent in my resume and clippings to the Calgary Sun today. Here's having my fingers crossed for this job. Because I really would like to be able to use my diploma in the one field that I always wanted to get into.

I'll keep you posted.

But now, sleep, since I open tomorrow.


Non-Fringe related, for once...

So the Calgary Sun's hiring for an entertainment reporter.

I'll be applying for this one, regardless if it's in another city. I think it'd be worth it, and I wouldn't be SO far away. Only three hours.

It'd be nice to relocate for a while, I think. Hell, I have no clue if I'd be contacted or not, but it's worth a shot to be doing something I like instead of the whole retail sector.

So, yeah, I'll keep people updated on how that goes...


Fringe Journal 2004, Part III

Conversation with Marie a few days back:

Jago: So, seeing anything that you're looking forward to?

Marie: I'm going to see some friends from Seattle in a show.

J: Cool.

M: They're in the other lesbian pirate play.

J: What do you mean, "the other lesbian pirate play?" How many are there?

M: Two. And they're both about the same person.

J: There's TWO plays about a lesbian pirate?

M: Yup.

J: Wow.

* * *

Yesterday's show on the big stage went pretty well. Not the biggest of crowds, but those who were there were pretty into us.

We were a little disappointed when people left due to a sprinkle of rain. To the point where I said after a song, "Well, at least this way we know who are true fans are: the people in the gazebo. They're the smart ones."

It brought a laugh. And, we got most of the audience back after the minute amount of rain hit. Which was cool.

Hoja was on after us, and they were doing their sound check, they were asking the audience, "How did you like Apocalypse Kow? We'll have to have an a capella-off or something."

One of the other Hoja members: "Yeah, I bought one of their shirts! How much are your shirts, guys?"

We yell from the back, "Fifteen dollars!"

Hoja member: "What would the price be if I said you guys were a bunch of good looking guys?"

Me: "I'd say you'd be lying!!!"

He starts to laugh.

But, yeah, some of the members of Hoja want to challenge us? I say bring it on! I also thank them for being very nice in their challenge, because I know that if it were me challenging them,it could have been ugly...

Afterwards, Canton and I saw Die-Nasty with a bunch of Scorpio members. Cathleen was directing this one, with a relatively small cast.

It was pretty fun, seeing the supervisor of the Fringe get kidnapped and chloroformed, and replaced with Donovan Workum's stoner character in order to kaibosh the Fringe and make it unattractive to potential American buyers.

* * *

Today, I watched some Firefly on DVD, set up my stereo in the front room, and Canton and I went out to hash some details with Hoja about this battle of the bands.

Most of the members of Hoja were cool and wanted to do something. Trent, the eldest member and former StreetNiX-er, was hesitant.

Well, I'll go on the record and say, maybe, just MAYBE, Trent's chicken!

All I'm saying, Hoja, is Kow would be willing and able to perform two joint shows, or combine one time when we're on after each other again to have our battle.

Heck, you guys have nothing to lose, with your big, fancy A-Channel interview!

* * *

Saw Dreamy Matt Alden's play, Real Time today. Damn fine show.

Other than a few flubbed lines in the middle, this story of a nebbish who meets a girl with anger problems online has the most well rounded characters of anything I've seen so far this Fringe. (Keep in mind, I've really only seen three shows so far.)

It was Matt and Vanessa playing all the parts in the show, including one point where Matt's main character is held hostage by the ex-boyfriend of Vanessa's main character, also played by Matt. Just some great characters, some fun comedy, and an ending where I almost cried.

* * *

Then came our late-night performance at the small stage.

We were trimming out some of the lean parts of our show, songs we noticed people leaving at. Also, we bulked up our set since we saw there was no show after us.

This was a crowd filled with our friends, for the most part, which was good, but there were lots of people who we didn't know as well.

I almost made Dev choke on his water, and made him laugh at other times over the course of the evening.

During Spider-Man, I asked the crowd, during my ramble, if anyone's seen plays at the Fringe yet. I then threatened everyone who hadn't seen a play with a kick in the ass. (But, due to the guys crapping on me every time I say "ass," even used in a "kickass" context, I actually said "butt," "behind," and might even have used "posterior" once.)

Dev lost it when I, apparently, said something to the effect of, "You'll just have to turn around so I can give you a good kick."

Astro screwed up during one intro, talking about how he was going to sing a song about love, until I pointed out that the next song was a Newfoundland folk song instead.

After the Newfie song, I introduced "Uniform Grey" by saying something along the lines of, "Man, after a song like that, I really like to sing the next song." At which point, Dev choked on his water.

My intent as one of "After a fast song like that, it's good to sing a slower song," but I guess I was interpreted as "Man, after that crappy song, I'm moving along to the next one."

We premiered "Hey-Ya" at this show, but really started out pretty fast. Also, since Dev's the lead for that one, he does the Andre 3000 part calling out to the ladies and men.

Damn, we had a good crowd. When Dev asked, "Alright now fellas," like, EVERY guy in the place shouted, "YEAH!"

Dev: "Now, what's cooler than being cool?"

Every guy in the place: "ICE COLD!"

Man, I got chills. It was pretty fun, and Dev adds "Alright, now Jago..."

During rehearsals, I tend to just grunt and he'd leave me alone, comedy-style.

With all the energy we had from starting at a really fast speed to begin with, and getting such a crowd response it ended up being:

Dev: "Alright now, Jago!"


And I got right back into the bass part. Big laugh from the audience.

Alas, there was no solo Barber song tonight, because what we've found is that every show, "Wicked Game" blows whatever song we put against it in a voteoff. We wanted to sing "Uniform Grey" tonight, so we took it out of its usual spot (in the voteoff) and replaced it with "Faith."

Because "Faith" would be blown away by the audience wanting "Wicked Game" instead.

Ha HA! Apparently, not this time. Sorry, Barber...

So, yeah. Great crowd energy, great energy from us, we did our biggest set yet, due to the "no fear" vibe we had tonight.

Other than a weird key in Tribute, it went pretty well. Low money, due to the time, but we really had the crowd in the palms of our hands tonight.

* * *

After our set, Apples came up and asked me, "Jago, why don't you have a girlfriend?"

I've been thinking about that comment, and honestly, I have aucun idee why I have no girlfriend.

Every girl that I've been interested in recently, when I've tried to start something up, something seems to happen. For some reason, they just turn cold and distant towards me afterwards.

Nothing I can really do but grimace and take it. Other than directly confronting these girls about it, nothing I can really do but let the next move fall to them. And, all the while, we keep on getting more and more distant.

I'd like to say it doesn't hurt, but who am I kidding? It hurts. A lot.

Because then I wonder, "Is it ME? Am I doing something horribly wrong here? What's the deal?"

So, yeah. I'm in kind of a funk right now. Time to just not think about it by putting in the Summerslam tape I haven't finished.

Yeah, that'll work... (rolls eyes)


Fringe Journal 2004, Part II

Saturday's shows were pretty good, I guess. First show we had on the Journal Stage, which is my favourite stage, due to the layout and sheer size of the seating room.

You know, it's like a real stage, as opposed to the whole "In the Round" style they've got going at the TransAlta Stage. Most of our shows have been here so far.

Nothing huge to say about Saturday's shows, since I was still pretty tired and nothing horrible happened.

Two solid shows, I guess.

Apparently "Tribute" is turning into one of the crowd's favourite songs. We start by introducing it by way of saying that Dev and I like taking road trips all the time, but we never have a car to do it.

Once we get into the song itself, in the first bar, people recognize the guitar riff and start cheering. Not the entire audience (since it's mostly geared to the young teens/adults when Tenacious D does it), but a vocal minority.

Dan from The Dan Show came up to us after a day set and asked "Where's Tribute? I hear you do a great version."

So we told him to come down to the evening show. He came and bought a T-shirt afterwards. It's cool when we get along well with other Fringe acts.

I started salvo one against Hoja yesterday. It was kind of weak, since when I attacked them last time, the other guys freaked. I'm sorry if I said the truth that time.

But this one was attacking them because they were from Saskatchewan. Canton said, "Jago, YOU'RE from Saskatchewan!"

"Yeah, but I'm from Moose Jaw. Mu-uh!"

Oh, another thing that happened was I almost turned the audience against us again (ALMOST! I held back!) by saying after a song, "No that's cool. We can go across the street and count our-[Brain: For the love of God! Whatever you do, don't say "count our money."]- t-shirts."

At which point Dev breathes a sigh of relief, since he also was thinking I'd be so dastardly as to imply "Kow's a bunch of greedy misers who count the money you give them after the show."

I mean, it's true, but I don't want to give that impression to people who are watching us.

Canton and I, last night, went to see Breaking Face by Morgan Smith and Ryan Hughes.

It was a good play, although it wasn't as well done as Cheerleader! was done two years back. Similar script, but better the first time around.

It dealt with a group of friends who lived on Whyte during the period between 2001's Canada Day riots and 2003's Albert's fire.

Not as much character development as I would have liked, just mostly dealing with situations. Also, the stage it was set on was really wrong for it, as we were looking down on the set, instead of having the set right in front of us, like Morgan's previous plays have been. It was like we were distanced from the play by, well, the distance to the stage.

Still, otherwise, a good play.

Before seeing it, I ran into Sarah and Senor Burns. This was the conversation we had:

Sarah: We saw Beth's play today. Real Time.

Me: Oh, yeah. I'm going to go see it later on in the week. I hear it's pretty good.

Sarah: It's great. You should go see it.

Yeah. I will be seeing it. Later on in the week.

Sarah: It's great. You should go see it.

Okay. Tell you what. If I see Matt Alden around, I will make sure to force him to reenact the play right then and there. Because it's not on until Tuesday, right?

Senor Burns starts laughing at that point.

Of course, I see Matt later on, and demand that he do the play for me right then and there. He was a little confused, until I explained the story to him.

* * *

Today, I tried to sleep in, but I had accidentally taken the store keys home with me after Friday's shift. So I had to bring them back for Darryl to open the store.

At 10 a.m.

On a Sunday.

Which means I had to wake up at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday morning so I could catch the 9:15 bus to get to the Mall.

But, I was one minute late. And had to wait a half hour for the next bus to WEM.

I got there at 10:30, had some breakfast in the casino, bussed back, getting home at about 12:15 p.m. And promptly went back to sleep.

The show we had this afternoon was one of our tightest yet. Morgan said it was one of the best Kow performances she's seen, so apparently, we had the crowd for the most part.

In fact, we broke a Kow record for most money made in one show. $460 bucks. At the small stage. Granted, it was a Sunday afternoon, but we were firing on almost all cylinders.

I had no clue what to say during the Spider-Man song. I know, I usually just ramble on about something anyways, but today I actually rambled on about how I had nothing to say and made it longer than a speech where I DO have a plan.

Also, Stan forgot a verse in Mighty Mouse, and just sang about how he forgot how the song went. Man, the crowd had a fun time along with us, though. Which is all that mattered.

It was the kickass tech in the booth, Jamie, today. So we sounded good, and we could, for the most part, hear ourselves.

At the end of our set, when we were letting the audience decided which song they wanted to hear (Faith or Sweet Dreams), the audience started shouting, "Do both of them!"

I said, "I dunno, That's kind of up to our sound guy, Jamie. What do you say, Jamie? Can we sing both songs?"

Jamie held up one finger.

"One song? Okay, then."

The audience boos.

Me: "Hey, don't look at me. It's Jamie who has the final say on this. Blame him."

At which point the audience turned on poor Jamie, while I was almost busting a gut laughing.

Kow as a whole decided to go out to dinner afterwards, to keep us as a tight unit instead of splintering off into different factions like we did last year. ("No, I'll see you guys later. I'm resenting you so much I've got to get away from you for a while." became the subtext of last year midway through the Fringe. We needed our space at that point.)

So we went out to the New Asian Village. It was the first time I went to an Indian restaurant, and it was buffet time. If the other guys wanted to go, I was willing to try something new for unity's sake.

New Asian Village has the biggest selection of beer I have ever seen! They've got three coolers full of different brands of beer. I started off with a Granville Island Maple Ale, and finished up the meal with a Maudite, a Quebequois beer that tastes of mint. Oh, the boys were in heaven tonight.

The food was good. I wasn't blown away with it, in terms of it didn't give me a conversion experience, but it was definitely a good meal. I'm a pretty picky eater, and I found plenty of food I could handle.

But, yeah. The Fringe has certainly been worth it thus far. Especially since it's only three days in...


"It's a good thing you're cute, Jago..."

So I decided my Kow shirt needed to be washed, and I asked Canton if he wanted to put his in as well. So we threw some Kow shirts and some towels into the washer.

An hour later, I separate the shirts from the towels, because the shirts are going to be needed for right away, and they won't take as long to dry when they're not amidst a bunch of large wet towels.

So I go back upstairs. I decide to have my shower, because it's summer and I am one sweaty guy who really should shower every day. (I'm a cat that way...)

"Hey, Canton," I say, "I'm going into the shower now. The shirts should be done in a half hour."

Canton: "They'll need longer than that."

Me: "Nope. You see, I separated them from the towels so they'll dry quicker."

Canton: "Smart thinking."

Me: "Yep! You see, Canton, I was thinking about it before hand. After all, what needs the bigger priority? The shirts we're going to need in an hour, or the tow-"

I grimace with my "Damn, am I stupid" expression. And go downstairs to borrow a non-wet towel from Dev.

* * *

The CDs will take longer than we expected. There won't be mechanical rights for two to six weeks.


Fringe Journal 2004, Part I

First off, sorry to those people who came expecting to see a concert at 10:30 last night.

Yesterday, we found out that the City of Edmonton has a noise bylaw that kills any amplified music after the hours of 11 p.m. So, any outdoor stage that would have gone past 11 was cancelled.

We're trying to get shows to replace the ones we lost. (Yesterday's and Sunday evening's)

* * *

The first show was okay. Not the greatest.

We were trying to get used to performing outside again, and forgot about connecting with each other, connecting with the audience, and a few other key points.

Plus, we've got the jackass tech again who thought he'd try experimenting during our concert.

The noteworthy thing was my "little" adlib that apparently brought the crowd to a horrified standstill.

We were doing our voteoff where we asked the audience if they wanted song 1 or song 2. For some reason, they usually go with song 2, no matter what the choices are.

So I said over the mic, "Yeah, really you can put ANYTHING in the second slot and people will cheer for it. You could put in, oh, I dunno...dead babies in the first slot-"

Dev said that's when the rest of Kow almost seized up and same with the audience. I wasn't paying attention, due to the thought process that has just taken over my mind:

Holy crap! Did I just say "dead babies" as my first choice? How the hell am I going to top that?

Yeah, that's right. No problems with why I said "dead babies." Just 'what's WORSE than dead babies?'

Which led to what the audience heard over the mic:

"You could put, oh, I dunno...dead babies in the first slot-- and pit them against...dead-er babies?"

At which point I tried to shut up for the rest of the show.

(D! said it would have been a lot funnier if I hadn't come up with a second option. "I dunno...dead babies in the first slot against...You know, you can't get much worse than dead babies...")

After regrouping at the house, we decided to really try to connect with each other, bring the banter back that was missing the first time around. And to connect with our audience again. And bring back the mic check song.

So we started with the mic check song, So Much in Love, but only with improvised lyrics, like we usually do.

So everyone's checking their mics, and I'm noticing mine's not on. Which is all cool, I guess. I've got the last verse in the song, so there's plenty of time for it to be turned on.

When it gets to my verse, I start singing and sure enough, no mic. I'm trying everything I can: yelling, checking the mic cord, all while letting the guys vamp the song until it's fixed. It took about three minutes before anything happened.

And then during the show itself, it was really hard to hear myself the entire concert.

Otherwise, we clicked, made the connection with the audience, argued with a man in the audience about when to give Stan his solo. It was a good show with a nice turnout.

During Spider-Man, in my ranty part, I talked about how we were Apocalypse Kow and that we were from Edmonton.

"In fact, most of us live in that house right over there. No! Don't look! If I show you, then you're going to want to come over. Believe me, it's kind of a mess. And although I DID clean the bathroom today (I really did), I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the greatest of places for a party after the show. So please, don't visit."

Today, I start the Hoja callout.

* * *

Last night, Stan and I went to see the Scorpio show, Heracles: The Mythologically Accurate Adventures.

Last year, we saw The Curse of the Jade Monkey, but we thought this script was a LOT tighter. It pretty much went on at a running pace, not stopping for anything in particular.

Some very funny moments in this one, mostly due to the bald guy who's name I don't know. With the interaction we have with A-Lo, though, I'm sure I'll know his name by the end of Fringe.

* * *

So, two shows today, and I'll try to see someone's play tonight. Probably Morgan and Ryan's Breaking Face at 10:15 p.m.


RadioShack Ronin

Okay, so I AM getting a vacation for Fringe. All 12 glorious days of it, other than working a four-hour shift tomorrow. Whoo Hoo!

Also, I'm being transferred to another store after my vacation. I'm going to Edmonton Centre, deep in the heart of downtown.

Negatives? Slow when it's not business customers. The close proximity to RS district office.

Positives? Closing down at 5 on weekdays. Booyah! Shorter commute.

In the week I'm off for Fringe, I'm literally ronin. An assistant manager without a store. But, hey, I still get paid, which is all that matters...

Tomorrow's my last day at WEM. It's been fun at times, horribly aggravating at others.


Yipes. Just...yipes...

I found this on the Channel 101 message board.

It's scary to think (yet again) that this man is in charge of the most powerful nation in the world.

The best quote I heard about this was an improv comedian Jeff Davis:

"Listening to him talk is excruciating. It's like watching baby play with a steak knife."

Genius. For Jeff, that is. For Bush? What's the word again? You know, the opposite of 'genius'? Oh, yeah. Bush.

It's about time...

Okay, I was finished my post, and then promptly lost it due to a link sent to me. So, here we go, a second time, abridged, in headline form!

Kow Records Short Demo Disc, Should Be Out Halfway Through Fringe!

Apocalypse Kow T-shirts!

Barber's Parents Kick Ass!

A Cappella Groups Too Prolific, Says Teenage Girl

Jago Hungry, Wants to Eat Something

* * *

I can elaborate if more people are interested. Just not tonight, since I want to get something to eat...

* * *

Fringe Times:

Friday, August 13, 2004
4:00 PM TransAlta Stage
8:05 PM TransAlta Stage
11:15 PM Journal Stage

Saturday, August 14, 2004
2:45 PM Journal Stage
6:45 PM TransAlta Stage

Sunday, August 15, 2004
4:15 PM TransAlta Stage
11:20 PM Journal Stage

Monday, August 16, 2004
7:25 PM Journal Stage

Tuesday, August 17, 2004
10:15 PM TransAlta Stage

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
9:25 PM TransAlta Stage

Thursday, August 19, 2004
10:25 PM Journal Stage

Friday, August 20, 2004
5:40 PM TransAlta Stage

Saturday, August 21, 2004
10:15 PM Journal Stage

Sunday, August 22, 2004
3:50 PM TransAlta Stage

For those of you who want to find these places, the Journal Stage is located on the south of the Fringe grounds, beside the Walterdale Theatre and just north of the largest food fair. The Transalta Stage is located at 104 St. and 85 Ave.


The good news, the bad news, the ugly food...

I was cut off by D! showing up at my store so we could attend Chap's bachelor party.

To continue on from where I left off, I was going to talk about work.

As most of you know, I've been frustrated with Deryk and my store for a while now, finally something's been done about it.

Deryk took me into the back and asked if I wanted a transfer. He told me he's noticed how I've been asking for quite a few nights off right now (gee, I wonder why. Maybe Fringe???), and that maybe I'd do better at another store.

So, I'm off to Edmonton Centre come next week. The good news is, it's still a pretty busy store, due to all the corporate business we get, being downtown and all. I'm being paid as an AM anyway, so it's not like I'm taking a pay cut, other than maybe losing some commission.

The best parts? Very close to home (so many busses that will get there, and in under fifteen minutes), AND! The downtown mall closes at about 5:30 pm every night, excluding Fridays and the Christmas season.

So, I'm happy about that.

What I'm NOT happy about is the new work hours policy that RS has adopted.

After a few class action lawsuits against the company over unpaid hours, RS has decided to fix this problem once and for all. We now cannot work any more than eight hours in a row during a shift, due to "the quality of life" issue.

"Okay, Jago," you might ask. "Why would not working more than eight hours in a row piss you off?"

As an assistant manager, it's in my contract to work the full amount of fulltime hours allotted by the Government of Alberta.

44 hours.

So, if I'm not able to work more than eight hours a day, and I work 44 hours a week, I have to pull five eight hours shifts (40 hours) and a half day of four hours.

Yes, I just lost a day off every week. Because I can't, say, work nine hours a day for four days. That's illegal, and not in line with what the company has decreed.

Don't even get me started on what'll be happening come inventory...

* * *

I ran into an old St. John's friend, Tish, in the food court today. It's been five years since I've really hung out with her. Granted, that's mostly because we no longer live in the same residence any more.

She's married now. Good for her!

I just remember how many fun and thorough talks we had over the course of that year. I miss living in a residence for that sort of reason.

I guess that's one of the things I moved back into the house for...

* * *

Chap's bachelor party went off pretty well, although I kicked off before the trip (unbeknownst to him) to Showgirls.

We started the night at Hooter's, which is a place I've never been. I'm not really into having girls in hot pants and low cut shirts serve me because it's their job. I prefer it when they're wearing hot pants and low cut shirts because they choose to wear that in my presence.

The food there? Pretty bad. I can say those were some of the worst chicken fingers I've had.

Sorry, Hooter's. No longer can I approach you.

We then went to see Anchorman. It was D!'s and my second time to see the movie this week, but since we got in for free on Tuesday, we thought it was definitely worth it.

Steve Carell OWNS this movie. It's really worth the rental when it hits the movie stores come this winter. I can't wait to see what Carell will do with the role of Maxwell Smart (which he is rumoured to get...).

So, off to bed I go, since I'm to be at the store for 10 am tomorrow (today).


New journal, same old ranting...

So, for those of you who are new to my (Jago) journaling, welcome.

I started blogging/journaling just over a year ago when I moved into my apartment. I just wanted an outlet for my work-related stress, and I also wanted to practice my writing, for the day I finally get a job in my chosen field (journalism).

While I liked the Diaryland experience, there was just something more I wanted in my blog. Maybe it was due to the constant reading of such blogs as defectiveyeti, The Sneeze and mightygirl. Maybe it was due to wanting pictures and things I just couldn't do through Diaryland. Maybe it was not wanting to edit my entries in pure html.

In any case, I moved over here.

And for you newbies, yeah, it's pretty hard doing 133 entries in under a week. I decided to take my entire archive over here. So it might feel weird to see all these unedited entries and have no context. Hence, the archive.

And I tend to ramble when it comes to my journal. Those who know me in real life know that it takes me a bit to talk, but once you get me started? Take a seat. Bring some snacks.

But, yeah. New beginning.



My house is shaking due to the thunder. Car alarms are going off in the area. What the hell is wrong with the weather, Dave?

Odd Transformations 13.5

Sorry I haven't been posting too often. The moving, the Kow, the doing stuff, the thinking about moving shop to somewhere else...

They've all conspired against me.

So, without further ado: today's dream.

I had fallen asleep very quickly the night before (In my dream...) When I woke up, I found that my TV was missing, my DVD player, my computer.

Canton, Dev, and Axler all had things missing as well.

Apparently, they had gone out the night before and had forgotten to lock the door.

I was pretty suspicious of our new downstairs housemate, and I tried to call the police discreetly.

I get an odd sensation in the back of my head, a whole "Hey, dummy. You're missing something here. Something's not right."

I turn around to find a Christmas tree and a whole bunch of badly-wrapped gifts under the tree.

Yup. Our stuff.

And it seemed to me that it was my mom who had done it, and that the reason was of me not thanking her enough for helping me to move. Also, we were lousy kids who couldn't properly prepare a Thanksgiving dinner, she said.

Yup. My subconscious must really hate me. Because I'm positive I expressed my appreciation to my mom and brother a few times for helping me move back into the house...

Now, off to work, as well as sending out press releases.