Observations On My Way Back Home From Smackdown!

1. I feel very naked when I'm not walking with my backpack. Seriously, that piece of fabric filled with my essentials has become a part of me. To the point where my balance is off if I'm not walking with it on my back in winter.

2. I really should have said something to the girl I was following down Whyte. Or even the cute cashier at Safeway. As usual, I didn't...

3. A half block away from the house, there was a big tomato or something on a tree. In winter! Upon closer inspection, it was a fake apple, along with a rubber snake entwined up the branch. Very cool, although pretty odd...

* * *

I was talking with my sister today. Apparently, when I sent my family's presents via Purolator, EJ's present got unwrapped. Luckily, Dad was able to scoop it out before she saw it.

EJ: That makes it easier for me to snoop. Maybe not more fun, but a lot less work.

Me: Why would you snoop at your Christmas gifts?

I was reminded of the last time I snooped at my Christmas gifts. I guess I must have been eleven or so, and I was SO busted by my mom.

Granted, when my mom came into her bedroom to find me on a chair in her closet, there wasn't much I could do to deny the facts...

EJ: I've been snooping since I was four.


EJ: I've never been caught. I'm rarely surprised.

It took a little bit of brain wrapping to actually consider that for the past eighteen years, my sister's been sneaking peeks at her Christmas gifts. I haven't done it since I was caught SO red-handed, and so I couldn't imagine being able to do it every single year since!

In any case, I work tomorrow, and need to go to bed. Then, tomorrow, off to Beaumont to spend Christmas with the Jago side, not including my family...So I probably won't post until after the craziness that will be Sunday at work.

Merry Christmas. I hope everyone has a great Christmas Day, and hopefully you all will be able to spend it with your loved ones.


Anagrammatically correct

Lord, I'm stuffed. I participated in the Pseudo-Christmas some of my friend decided to organize.

It went really well, other than the girls losing power in the church hall we rented for three hours during a monstrous windstorm (I'm blaming you, Dave!) this aft.

Since everyone was asked to bring some pot-luck food item, I thought it was time for me to whip up a bunch of Yorkshire Puddings for the event.

My mom sent me a new recipe that makes the puddings NOT turn out like hockey pucks. (Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff regardless of its shape. But my family's Yorkshires never fluffed up like they were supposed to.) Problem was, it was supposed to make 9 puddings. And there were going to be a lot of people at the dinner.

So, I sextupled the recipe. A dozen eggs, 3 litres of milk, 3 litres of flour, a bit of salt and some melted butter. Made for a crapload of baking for the afternoon.

But, man! The new recipe makes the puddings rise, that's for sure! Hot damn! So I was able to make about 36 Yorkshires using my recipe. Apparently, I'm making them a little heavier than what they should be. Although Canoegirl, herself a Pudding fanatic, gave me some tips to make them rise even more.

It was a fun time, seeing some people I haven't for a while: The Hamilton Morris Couple, Mel and Doug...And some people I've seen recently that I never tire of: Girlone, Canoegirl, Crazy Eight, etc...

It was a good meal and fun gathering. Thanks for inviting me this year, girls. Let's do it again next time...

* * *

Those of you who read this journal will most likely know that I'm a fan of writing and literature. And my close friends know me well enough to know I like parodying writing and literature even moreso.

So when I found this site, which imagines what poetry and prose would be like if the title of the poem was an anagram of the author's name, I laughed my ass off.

Also, browse Modern Humorist for some great things, such as the Jim Morrison flash game, or the Positive Prank Calls.

Melodramatic Office Theatre

A conversation with MFJ from a while back. As always, I am in green...

Jenna says:
brb faxing (again)
Transferred... says:
Always with the faxing!
Transferred... says:
Maybe you should MARRY the fax machine...
Jenna says:
lol Leave me alone, *SOB!*
Transferred... says:
I'm sorry! I just always see you...and it..
Transferred... says:
And I'm afraid I'm being left out of the equation!
Transferred... says:
So...I'm giving you an ultimatum.
Transferred... says:
Me! Or your PRECIOUS fax machine...
Transferred... says:
And before you make that decision, let me say this:
Jenna says:
Transferred... says:
I can do anything that fax machine can do.
Transferred... says:
I can hook up a phone cord into me and digitally send a picture anywhere in the world.
Transferred... says:
But the fax machine has me beat in one respect.
Transferred... says:
It can love you a lot more than I ever could...
Jenna says:
Jenna says:
And why is that exactly???!!!
Transferred... says:
You see, my dear. That fax machine is a cyborg. It has a human heart.
Transferred... says:
Granted, I'm a cyborg, too, but my heart is made of silly putty and transistors.
Jenna says:
Jenna says:
[In shock. Not sure what to say...]
Transferred... says:
I think is was Thoreau who said, "Hath not a man a soul, so he can love?"
Transferred... says:
I have no soul. Therefore, I cannot love.
Transferred... says:
So, that fax machine IS the better choice. Go on, and marry IT. While I will cry like there's no tomorrow over having lost you...
Jenna says:
Jenna says:
I love you, Jago!
Transferred... says:
But the fax can love you back!
Jenna says:
No. *sniff* No, it can't! It's not the saaame!!! [wails]
Transferred... says:
No, my dear. It's for the best this way. Leave me with my non-existent soul and my silly putty pseudo-heart...
Jenna says:
[sobs] If that's the way it HAS to be...
Jenna says:
I will try to resign myself to this pining...
Transferred... says:
And I will go off, always thinking about you, and the times we had, and wishing, someday that I could have a soul...
Transferred... says:
And although I want to RIP! the heart out of that accursed machine, and shove it in my endoskeleton, I know that it wouldn't be right....
Jenna says:
But...but it would! And we could run away together! Far from this accursed place!
Transferred... says:
You're doing it again, aren't you? You're feeding paper into the machine, and sending it across the airwaves?
Transferred... says:
Jenna says:
Um, well...yes...
Transferred... says:
Fine! I know that must be done.
Jenna says:
But I swear it means NOTHING to me. Nothing!
Transferred... says:
[storms over to the fax, tears out the toner cartridge]
Transferred... says:
Jenna says:
Transferred... says:
[Camera shot from above: Jago looks towards the heavens, with an unconscious Jen at his feet...]
Transferred... says:
Jenna says:
[wistful violins starting softly, then swelling to a crescendo as the camera, looking down on the scene, zooms up beyond the clouds...]
Transferred... says:
My hands are black, tainted with the soul of this fax machine! Why! WHY, GODDAMN YOU!!!?!?!
Transferred... says:
[Fade to black]
Transferred... says:
Narrator VO: And there ends another story from Office Theatre.
Transferred... says:
Melodramatic Office Theatre, maybe...
Jenna says:
Jenna says:
Oh, my God. I've never had quite so much fun on Messenger before.
Transferred... says:
Pshaw...You just have to be in the right mood...
Transferred... says:
Although I thought you might have picked up on the fact that, by feeling jealousy and sorry, I would HAVE to have a soul...
Transferred... says:
Ah, well...
Transferred... says:
Yup. This was one for the transcripts all right...


Work issues that irk me.

Well, one for sure. But first, let me tell you about the wonderful work day that was yesterday.

These days, with the mall being open longer, I'm usually closing the store, and can afford to show up at 11 am instead of 9 am. So I get to sleep in a bit.

Chris, however, seems to be getting burnt out. I can understand why, since I'm getting there, too. The store is so insane every day, and this is both Chris' and my first Christmas in management positions. So it seems that nothing ever gets done because everybody's helping customers. On the other hand, my sales are doing pretty well.

So Chris' dad came into town for the day, and Chris decided to head out early. It was also Barry's day off, but he had a customer who was getting a stereo sent to her house, so he needed to come in to arrange that.

Unfortunately for me, Barry's idea of "arranging things for this customer" was to drop it in my lap.

"Okay. She'll be home at about 4 pm, so you can send it to her house at that time. Also, let's call a cab company to do it, since our courier service is really sucking."

So, at 3:55, I get a call from this customer, who doesn't speak English all that well. "I'm home now, so you can send me the stereo."

I'm about to call the cab company, when I realize it would help if I had an address to send it to. I look up the receipt, and manage to find it only due to how foreign her name was. Barry, the guy with excellent foresight, didn't leave me a name or address.

Unfortunately, the address on the receipt is #9116 107 106 St. Which, if you live in the area, and are familiar with the efficient Edmonton way of gridding everything, you'd know does NOT exist.

There's no 107 106 St. Unless she lived in the oil refineries. Or the highway.

I call the phone number on the receipt. No answer. I call again. No answer. She must not have given us the right phone number, since she SAYS she's home, but not picking up a ringing phone.

4:30 pm. I get a call for her, asking where this stereo is.

Me: "Okay, I needed you to call back, because I don't have your address."

Her: "Apartment 9116. 107 106 St."

Me: "I'm sorry. That's not an address."

Her: "I live on 106 St. And 90 Ave."

Me: "So do you live at 9116 106 St? Or 90 Ave? (decides to go a different way with this) Tell you what. Can you give me your postal code?"

Her: "It's T6x 0x0. (I'm forgetting this, obviously)"

Me: "Okay. If you'll hold on a second, I'll find out where this postal code leads."

Her: "So I can hang up?"

Me: "NO!Pleasedon'thang(click) FUCK!" (I'm obviously in the back room when this conversation takes place.)

Okay, the woman's obviously an idiot. But I can't call her back, because I DON'T HAVE A PROPER PHONE NUMBER!!! So I look up the postal code. And find out that she WAS wrong, and that it was 9116 106 St. So the apartment MUST be 107.

So I call up the taxi, head outside with this HUGE stereo, waiting for the cab. When it comes, we start loading it in, and I give the guy what meager directions I have for him. Meanwhile, a security guard throws a young woman out of the mall. This leads to a great piece of outdoor performance art. Which the cabbie and I decide to watch, while holding this 50 pound stereo halfway into a cab.

"Fuck YOU, you SHIT! I'm doing my fucking CHRISTMAS shopping! You fuck! You fucking piece of SHIT! Kick ME out of the fucking mall! Fuck!"

Interesting story all by itself. If ONLY that was the hardship of the day. BESIDES getting repairs that have been sitting for a few weeks out. And then THIS phone call:

Me: "RadioShack Downtown. Kyle speaking."

Girl: "Is Chris there?"

Me: "I'm sorry. He's left for the day."

Girl: "Well, isn't that brilliant?"

Me: "Pardon?"

Girl: "I called earlier today because we got a USED iPod. And he was supposed to get me a new one."

Oh. Right. I remember Chris grumbling about this before he left. One of our salesguys sold an iPod that we had to get in from Kingsway. When it comes to stuff from other stores, sometimes people are idiots.

In this case, as well as some others I could share, we asked if they had a new iPod. They confirmed they'd send a new one. It comes in, we give it to the customer. And of course, it turns out not to be new. (Variations on the theme: Selling a "new" computer monitor, bringing it in, only to find out there's a repaired TV in that box. I'll tell you later...) But it's matter of us taking their word for it, and customers yelling at us.

Me: "I'm sorry. I'm not aware of what's been done about this."

Girl: "All I wanted to know is if I could get a new one today. And he was supposed to call me about it."

Me: "Ah. (I check my watch. 4:45.) I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be able to get one for you today."

Girl: "Well, that's an answer. Not the one I wanted to hear. But it would have been nice to have heard an answer beforehand."

Me: "I'm sorry-?" (asking if an apology was good enough from the guy who has no clue what's going on.)

Girl: "I wasn't really happy with the way he treated me this morning. I'll tell you that I'm going to write a letter to your head office about this."

Me: "Okay. If that's what you feel you should do."

Girl: "What's your manager's name?"

Me: "His name is Chris."

Girl: "That's it?"

Me: "That's the name he goes by, yes."

Girl: "Well, it could be short for Christopher, or Christian."

Me: "(chuckling) Well, it's not like I'm giving you an alias. Chris is his name. Last name McCrea."

Girl: "You don't have to be defensive about it."

Me: (about to say "I'm not being defensive." Which, of course, would be defensive in her eyes.) "Okay."

Girl: "Because if I'm writing a letter to head office, I'm going to need his name. My mother's coming in on Monday to return this iPod. And she's not as nice as I am."

Me: "Okay. Thank you."

I hang up. And immediately think, Man, if her mom's half the bitch that this girl is, I'm staying the hell out of the store on that day.

* * *
So, yeah. Yesterday was not my best day. I decided to unwind with some wrestling and beer with D! and Elimination.

My beef TODAY is about Kenneth, one of our new hires. He's bad. Not just Anthony-autistic bad, but bad.

He doesn't learn, takes half an hour to sell a phone that a customer wanted when they came in, and talks too much for his own good.

Also, he doesn't "trust the products we sell." Which really pisses me off, because if there's a product I hate, I try to recommend one that I like. If a customer asks me which phone is better, Panasonic or Nexxtech (our crappy house brand), I tell them point-blank, the Panasonic. Better phone, higher price. And it's worth the higher price.

But what I DON'T do is badmouth our products, like Kenneth does.

There's now a list of things I forbid Kenneth to talk to customers about. Today, he forced me to add cell phones to the list.

A cute girl came in asking about cell phones, and she got Kenneth. Guess which store she won't be coming back to. (First of all, I'd definitely help cute girls all the time, especially when it gets me the revenue cell phones give me. Second, I was too late to stop Kenneth. So I decided to listen to his spiel.)

Turns out that only way he could have done any worse would be to say, "You know, cell phones give you cancer." Or "Do you know how many children died in a sweatshop to make that phone?"

Granted, it wasn't much better. It was all I could do to not throw the heaviest, most blunt product I could find at him.

Kenneth: "One way where the cell phone carriers get you is in roaming fees. If you're traveling through a place that doesn't gave reception for your cell phone, you can get dinged a LOT of money, even by three or four different carriers."

Me, while pulling my hair out and considering slitting his throat with an ExactoKnife: "Kenneth, that's only in the States! The only time she'll have a problem is if she leaves the country. Here in Canada, Rogers has reception EVERYWHERE!"

Kenneth: "Still, you can lose a LOT of money through roaming fees."

Me: "KENNETH! Rogers doesn't have any roaming fees within Canada!"

Too late. The cute girl has left. And, surprise! She didn't buy a phone from us.

And I really had to control my temper and refrain from giving him an outright beating.

Sigh. Maybe it'll be better tomorrow. At least I got a RadioShack Card sale on an iPod today. Unopened, this time...


Odd Transformations 20

Man, if my life was a Cerebus comic, 7.5% would be these dream issues...

My dream today was that I was back in Moose Jaw, hanging out during sort of a Heritage Days period.

I remember a lot to do with horses that could turn into humans at any time (sort of like Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series), and that one of them was tolerating me riding her. Because when it comes to horseriding, I can't even do it properly in my dreams.

Also, some generic friend was falling in love with one of them (in human form, of course). And when we left one of the horses in the front yard, a nosy neighbour from next door decided to Christmas wrap it.

Otherwise, not too many details stick in my head.

A one-act, written last week


Jago: the narrator
Grank: friend of Jago
Jago's Brain: Jago's brain.

Setting: Jago's house, at his computer. Grank, on Messenger, has just finished reading Jago's journal.

Grank: So, this girl on the bus. Please tell me you talked to her and gave her a good "get in her pants" line.

Jago: Sorry, I didn't.

Grank: Why not?

Jago: I was too into my book and music, I guess. Besides, I was going to D!'s for some wrestling action, and I couldn't very well stand him up.

Jago's Brain: [inner monologue] My GOD! You did WHAT? What the hell did you do that for? That's it. I'm leaving! (Footsteps, door slamming.)

Jago: (to Grank) Besides, I was a coward.

Grant: (laughs) That's an explanation that's closer to the truth.

Jago: I guess I'll be stalking the Manulife Place bus stop for a while now, waiting for her to come back...

(Lights down. Scene ends.)


Neat Little Link

This website shows what the skeletons of famous cartoon characters would look like.

Pretty neat stuff.

If I could be vain for a tic...

So I got a haircut before the Kow shows.

My usual stylist wasn't in, and I got a girl who didn't know me. Melissa, my usual stylist can tell what I mean by "short on the sides and back, not so much on the top."

I didn't realize until the end of the cut just how short Jessica had cut it. It looks GOOD, mind you. Just not what I was expecting.

Then she took out a straight razor for the back of my neck. And did a very good job of hacking away the old growth back there. I made sure to give her a good tip.

So, yeah, my hair's currently the shortest it's been in about three, four years.

I have, however, noticed more women checking me out these days. After I hit Swizzlesticks, I was walking to the LRT, and some good looking coeds would smile at me.

Granted, maybe they were previously, and I just had no peripheral vision to see them doing so.

Last night on the bus after work, there were no seats left, so I was standing (as I tend to when no seats are available) in the back doorway.

I was sharing this door space with a cute girl off her work as well, I assume. Slightly Asian features, black hair. You know, the kind I go for. And every time I'd look up from my book (Fluke, by Christopher Moore. Read it!), she be looking at me with a closed-lip smile. And so I'd smile/smirk back.

Short-haired Jago gets the chicks. Why didn't I know about this earlier? (And, if you guys say that you DID tell me this earlier, I'm going to ignore you...)

* * *

One of the reasons it's taken me a week to post was partly due to preparing for the concert Kow had on Saturday.

Before the show, all of us were frazzled to our wits ends, due to people not showing up where they were supposed to, mistaken directions, us sending someone for MFJ, who had decided to take a bus instead, etc...

So, we were a little late and a little unprepared for our first set.

It wasn't bad. We sang well, and junk. It's mostly a matter of we lost the stage presence we had at Fringe, mostly due to us being shellshocked.

The ESC did a decent job yet again, even though due to the technical side being all screwed up, no one in the audience could figure out where skits started and stopped at some points.

Also, having three interrogation scenes with similar character names really threw us for a loop.

Two White Guys, jugglers, did a good set. The Wombats are also funny, if long, in their improv. D! and some ESC members were grumbling about how long they took, and how "bad" the improv was.

Sure, the improv itself wasn't great, but they had the audience entertained, which was all I, as a host, cared about.

Father Dave, as always, was a great storyteller. The singer we got wasn't so great, as she kept on trying to embellish and failed doing so.

The part that sticks with me the best was, of course, the part that hurt me the most.

The show was going a little long, and Kow was finishing up with their last set. After we left the stage, the audience cheered for an encore.

We walk back onstage, and I do my usual encore schtick, lifted from the Spinal Tap episode: "Thank you, Springton. There will be no encore."

I turn on my heel and fake walking off stage. The audience boos, the rest of Kow's watching me act pompous. I turn around at the curtain, turn on my hell to walk back to the mic, and I find myself flying in the air. Apparently, there was some dust or something on the floor, and I wiped out. Huge.

The audience laughs, I bring it up again during our Hey Ya encore. ("Okay, now Jago!" "Um, I slipped." Beat. Back into the song.)

It wasn't until the next day that I realized I must have fallen onto my left arm, since I wasn't able to support any weight with it for the next few days. I went gimpy, and it hurt like hell afterwards.

* * *

Two days ago, I went over to D!s for some virtual wrestling action, and to hang out with Morgan and Ryan. I decided to bring over a 12 pack of Sleeman's, and put it out onto the porch for a quick cool.

The next day, I went back for some Smackdown, and forgot that we had left the beer on the porch.

Now, I'll admit, I stopped taking chemistry once I graduated from high school, and we were pretty tired when I left the previous day. I forgot that, while some alcohol has a lower freezing point than water, beer isn't really one of them.

So we had six Sleesicles in various flavours. I decided to let mine thaw out by putting them in D! cavernous sink and a tubful of lukewarm water. D! decided to open his and drink around the hunk of ice. At which point, we had a beer volcano happening on his coffee table.

D! decided to wait for one of my thawed beers.

* * *

Reading: Finished up Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw by Will Ferguson, a great travelogue of Canada. In the midst of Fluke.
Listening to: My MP3 mix. Although we're forced to listen to Christmas music at work, so I'm going to have to bring down some of my non-traditional music for the store so I don't go insane.
What's Trapped in My Head: O Christmas Tree, sung by a bunch of synthesized cats and dogs. Kill me.


Odd Transformations 19: When Aliens Attack Choirs!

Brief post dealing with the dream I just had. And then back to sleep.

I dreamt that Kow was having a workshop with some college jazz/show choir. It might have been in Edmonton, but we were all touring on the same bus around to other places to hold joint concerts.

There was interaction between us and the other choir, and they even had their own Erin Q. or something. I felt obliged to mention to her that there was an Erin Q. in our old choir.

We were at one school, and were sleeping on some classroom floors like choir tours of old. We never slept in the dream, but I do remember laying my stuff on the floor in order to change and prepare for workshops/concerts.

At one point, we were getting ready for a dance between the two groups. Because I remember Dev and I in a friendly competition to pick up some of the girls in the other group.

In the end, before a concert. we were attacked by large aliens, ones that would hurt you with eye beams if they looked at you and decided to strike you down. I guess the best way to describe these things would be to say "Ever seen Neon Genesis Evangelion? They were sort of like pint-sized Angels, and just as deadly." Because there was nothing scarier in my mind as me off the bus confronting one in the parking lot, only to watch as ten more descend to the ground.

It was really one of those "The choirs are doomed" thoughts racing through my dream-self's head.

Also, after one of the choir members got struck down by one of the "Angels," I found out I had the power to consume any type of matter, since I was eating the virus off her face to save her from being infected.

So the moral of the story is, I guess: If you don't want to have dreams connecting dark sci-fi anime and choir tours, don't make a dozen Yorkshire Puddings before bed.