Odd Transformations 21: Why Was It So Underattended?

My dream this morning (the one I really remember, because after I woke up and hit the bathroom, I came out here and typed the specifics) involved my dad and I going to my elementary school gym.

There was some sort of concert series going on, but it was actually a stand-up comedy series.

There were about ten people in the audience with us watching one of the best Jerry Seinfeld acts I had ever seen, and I was wondering "Why is there nobody here? This is a great show!"

The next night, we went back to see Jon Stewart perform. He had, as a guest for some reason, Ioan Gruffudd, the guy playing Reed Richards in the new Fantastic Four movie.

In my mind, I could see Jon Stewart playing it better, although I know they didn't want to go for a forty-year-old.

In my dream, Dad stood up and shouted how Stewart should be the character of Mr. Fantastic, and Jon wasn't too happy about it. At which point I woke up.

My second dream involved me being shrunk to the size of a mouse or something and trying to sail away from a bunch of big people trying to get me. Not too many details there...


Conversation: Bastardizing Literary Figures

Webhead says:

Hi Jago it's Mary

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

Hi, Mary. It's jago.

Girly Girl says:

How you doin?

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:


Girly Girl says:

Me too....zzzzzzz

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

Wake up!

Girly Girl says:

What? What? Where am I?

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

You're in Narnia.

Girly Girl says:

Aslan? is that y ou?

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

Yup. I'm Aslan, Lion king extraordinaire, and Godly allegory. Give me money!

Girly Girl says:

Didn't you die and come back to life?

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

Twice! Give me money!

Girly Girl says:

Why would a lion need money?

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:


Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

For beer, okay? Aslan needs beer.

Girly Girl says:


Girly Girl says:

Beer is bad

Girly Girl says:

for lions

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

You happy, girl? You happy that your king's an alcoholic?

Girly Girl says:


Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

Well GOOD! Now get me beer money! And let's never speak of this again!

Girly Girl says:

okay....sniff* sniff*

Girly Girl says:

what no talking now?

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:


Girly Girl says:


Girly Girl says:


Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

I tell ya, a lion's gotta drink what a lion can get.

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

No, I'm drinking soapy water? You happy now, kid? Hunh?

Girly Girl says:

Yes Only I am allowed to drink

Tea-tea Mong-Whore says:

Why I oughtta... Freaking kids. Don't respect their elders. I died and rose again! Seen Simba do that?

* * *

Yeah, I should really stop typing when I'm high on lack of sleep. Especially since this whole Aslan thing has bled into every other thing I'd done tonight...

Able to Drive and Nowhere to Go.

So it's been a week and a half since I last updated. This is because it's been a week and a half since I'd had a day off.

No, you're right. I could have update by writing in the evening. But I'm pretty exhausted these days due to idiocy and lack of sleep.

And it's the same old pattern.

In any case, on with the musings...

* * *

I picked up my car on Monday.

It started out by going to the licenser to get my plates. Apparently, Bob and Cathy misread the VIN, and so it took a little while to find the car on the database.

Issuer: So...you go this car in town?

Me: Sherwood Park, yes.

Issuer: Not, say, the States?

Me: No, it's Sherwood Park alright. Since the guy who sold me it is taking me to it after I get my plates from you, I certainly hope it's not in the States.

She looks up Cathy's name in the system.

Issuer: Wow. What are the odds that they've got two 1995 Ford Escorts under her name?

Me: One's a four door. The one I bought is a coupe, if that helps.

We finally figured it out, and I got a great plate.

I was considering vanities that said "Jago" on it or something. The issuer told me that they cost $200 (as opposed to under $50 for a regular set), and that some kids like to collect vanities by taking them off. And that it costs $75 to replace.

So I got letters that remind me of where I live, and numbers that, coincidentally enough, are the first three digits for my Grandpa's old phone number, the first Edmonton number I needed to memorize.

Good plate.

I went to Bob's office, and we drove to his place to pick up my car. It's in good condition. Although I really need to take off the big pick heart decal on the rear windshield.

My first drive? I had to get to girlone's office to pick up the official insurance papers, and to change the VIN so it actually looks like I'm driving the car I own, as opposed to an out-of-country car I might have stolen.

I remember her saying where she worked, but really only remembered that it was on the OTHER side of SP. Like, Saskatchewan-way...

I found myself nowhere near the office, but did realize that the last time I was in this area of Sherwood park, there was a huge church in the middle of nowhere. (And it was one we'd constantly attend for the Passion Play a family friend was involved in.) Now there's a huge church in the middle of urban sprawl.

I hit the Sobey's parking lot in search of a pay phone to call up girlone and get better directions. There's no pay phone in the supermarket, which is tres weird. I look down the sprawl. Blockbuster Video, Tim Horton's...

I consider taking my car, but it's only half a parking lot away. No probs. I walk into the donut shop. No pay phone. Video store. Nada.

I look down the way. Another strip mall. Reconsider going back for the car, slap myself for being a pussy. For the past few years, I walked everywhere. Eight blocks was nothing. I wasn't going to succumb to being a slave to my car to walk down to another parking lot.

There's no pay phone here either. What's down the street? Esso station. There's GOTTA be a payphone there.

I finally find one, after walking two blocks worth of sprawl. But I'm NOT a slave to the car!

I call up girlone, and she tells me she's on the OTHER far side of Sherwood Park (namely, north) so I trudge back to my car.

I tell her this story when I get to her office.

Girlone: You've only had the car for an hour. Wait a while. You'll get enslaved.

Me: I can see it tonight. "Well, Canton. Good night! I'm off to my room!" Vrooom down the hallway.

So since then, since my week and a half of constantly working, I've gotten to drive it thrice. Once to get lost in Sherwood Park, and twice to get to D!'s for wrestling.

Tomorrow, though, I go out to buy an extension cord for the block heater, and a scraper. And some gravel for the walk.

* * *

On Friday, I shoveled the walk.

Now, this is something that might be uncharacteristic. Because I hate housework. There's a reason I've got fond memories of my apartment (well, aspects of it anyway...); one of those was the fact that I didn't have to mow any lawn or shovel any walk.

But, I figured if Canton was planning on shoveling with his bad knee, I might as well do it. And man, it was a "feel the burn" moment. Once I hit the back fence, I said "Screw it. My car can take the non-shoveled part. This'll do."

* * *

So I'm not going to Mill Woods right away, since I'm apparently taking over managing Northgate while their manager goes on vacation. And then I might take over St. Albert while their manager goes on a two-week paternity leave.

I hope I get paid for this. Granted, I'm treating this as "Keep the store afloat, do the daily reports, sell," not as "Gotta revolutionize the store" like some people have in the past. (The Frenchman will remember when Christine took over Bonnie Doon for a while...) So I'm not expecting to do a lot of "manager work."

Good thing I've got a car.

* * *

I downloaded a bunch of Katamari Damacy tunes. SUCH a brilliant soundtrack.

Also, I realized how much I LOVE Outkast and especially, "So Fresh, So Clean."

Seriously, "I love who you are/I love who you ain't/You're so Anne Frank/Let's hit the attic to hide out for 'bout two weeks" is one of my favourite lyrics.

* * *

Remind me to tell you about falling in love with a barista girl while "personal shopping" for a customer. I even started writing a song about it...

* * *

Reading: Finished up Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore. And realized I only had two more of his books to read (Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove and The Stupidest Angel). Currently on Knight Life by Peter David.

Listening to: Katamari Damacy songs, the usual mix tape for the store, redone every few weeks to get fresher songs in.


Sigh. Sorry about the wait...

So, yeah. Haven't posted in a while. It's a matter of distractions, with Paper Mario, Prince of Persia, work, wrestling at D!'s, etc. Just been too tired to post for the most part.

* * *

So Safeway's got a new contest these days: Safeway Bingo. You win prizes by getting a blackout card with the numbers they give you.

The secondary contest is to get letters to spell out SAFEWAY and BINGO. You get three letters in your gamepiece.

I opened the gamepiece on my most recent visit, only to find the following letter combination. (And I couldn't make this up to save my life...)

B. S. E.

When I told Canton about this, he died laughing and said, "You should go into Safeway and shout 'I got Mad Cow Disease from Safeway.'"

I'm not sure if I'm going to cut the card up or not. I'll probably leave it the way it is.

* * *

I'm SO close to having my car now. Girlone's getting me my insurance ready for tomorrow, I get my plates once that's done, and Bob's picking me up on Monday to get the car from Sherwood Park.

Girlone and I have been faxing each other furiously with my drivers abstracts and plate histories etc. (Yup. I paid $20 for information I already knew: I've got a clean driving record in Alberta. Saskatchewan? Two accidents on my insurance.)

Girlone said I could fax the rest of the stuff to her so I would be set for Friday.

Me: Would a fax of a cheque work?
Girlone: Oh. Right.
Me: Hey! I could fax the same $20 bill again and again and really save money!
Girlone: Quiet.

* * *

I'm being transferred out of downtown to go to Mill Woods now. Good thing I've got a car.

The manager of Mill Woods is taking over Downtown and making it joint-venture, which means that he's in charge of salaries. Since he's bringing in his wife as his assistant manager, and he's not really willing to take on the salaries of two assistants, it's either me moving to a different store, or me taking a pay cut to become a sales associate again.

The good news is I'll still be with Chris, who I like working with. The bad news is I'm back to regular mall hours this way. No more kick-ass evenings off...


- The sheer amount of beauties who come into our store. We tend to be the closest mall for most university students by LRT, and we've got a lot of good-looking women who work downtown. So that's going to be a loss.

- The hours. Seriously, who doesn't love leaving a sales job at 5:30 or 6 pm instead of 9:30?

- Hitting Fat Frank's on the way to work. Granted, it's no longer summer, which was when the kiosk is a block away from the mall, but still...


- Barry and Kenneth, my co-workers. Good riddance.

- The low-rent customers we get. God, we got some characters. The mall gets the weirdest diversity of clientele.

* * *

That's really all that's new with me the past while. I'll leave you off with this, which seems to be the best English-German phrasebook ever.

Reading: The Island of the Sequined Love Nun, by Christopher Moore
Listening to: Jesus Christ Superstar, the original cast recording.


Albums I Bought Last Year

After I read Dev's Top Albums of 2004, I was thinking about what my favourite albums would be.

After realizing that my mix discs have been prominent in my discman, especially when I upgraded to a MP3 hybrid, I decided I'd say which albums I bought in the past year:

Steve Burns - Mighty Little Man

- In 2003, when I joined the Failure message boards, I heard about how that guy who was known as Steve, the guy in the green striped sweater on Blue's Clues, had released a rock album, my curiosity was piqued. I found that I was able to sample the songs on his site, and ended up buying the album in the first week of 2004. It was a staple in my discman for a long time.

Melissa McClelland - Stranded in Suburbia

- It was a matter of me hearing the title track on the satellite feed at West Ed, and trying to find the song on my file-sharing program. I found her website, where I was able to sample her songs. And then bought her album a bit later.

Franz Ferdinand - Self-Titled

- It was mostly "This Fire" that got me into this band. That and Dev brought up his copy of the album to play one day. Sort of New New Wave from a bunch of Scots? How could I refuse?

Cake - Pressure Chief

- The first time I heard "No Phone," I was entranced. It was classic Cake, which I've been digging for a few years, although this single included a lot more of electronica, and so I was intrigued...

Garden State Soundtrack

- After Matthew Baldwin of defectiveyeti raved about the movie and how well the soundtrack helped out with the feel of the movie, I thought I'd give it a listen. Some great stuff on that disc, although it's pretty mellow. Especially Iron and Wine...Mellow, but really beautiful.

U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

- I got this for Christmas, and it's a decent album. Not my favourite U2 album, mind you. As Dev told me, "I find it like it's a U2 greatest Hits disc from a parallel universe. It's like it's all stuff they could have recorded at different points of their career." I still haven't checked out the DVD that came with it. I guess I'll get around to it in the next few days...

The Postal Service - Give Up

- Also from Matthew Baldwin's recommendations, this was an album that I started out with one song. (Such Great Heights) Ammon, a co-worker, was so obsessed with the song, he bought the album and played it for an entire day in the store. I gave it to my brother for Chistmas. How're you liking it, Brade?

David Cross - It's Not Funny

- Not as long as his first album (a double disc, "Shut Up, You Fucking Baby," that I picked up last year), but still the angry biting humour that Cross is known for. ("Oh? Have you heard Evanescence? They rock. Yeah? You think so? you're right: they really suck, don't they?") He still says everything I'd like to say but am not asshole-y enough to say. (Say say SAY say say...)

Jakalope - It Dreams

- I found this, a Canadian-ish group of artists, such as producer Dave Ogilvie, NiN frontman Trent Reznor, and Calgary unknown Katie B, on the same site as Melissa McClelland. I like it, although it's sort of lite-industrial. Way better than Evanescence in my opinion, mind you. Also received this for Christmas, although I've been a fan since I heard it, which does predate the singles on the radio. That's right. I'm indie hardcore...

Otherwise, it's a whole bunch of singles I've put on my MP3 discs. I'm sure I'll be trying some of those albums in the near future. (Especially Lansing-Dreiden and Secret Machines. I found those gems on The Morning News.)

Any discs anyone think I should be getting? (No, Dev. Not Shatner...)


Why must others' pain be so funny sometimes?

At about 4:30, I was in the back room, eating my lunch, when I got a phone call from a customer who bought something earlier on in the day.

The customer had come when it's busy (but really, when isn't my store busy?), and asked the most useless staff member I have (sometimes that could identify a few of my co-workers) where he could find auto power adapters. Kenneth pointed him in the right direction, while trying to help others in the store.

The guy bought a cheap power adapter and took it home to plug in his portable TV into his car.

The TV takes 6 volts of power. The adapter puts out 12 volts. (A little electronics lesson for people who aren't really aware: Giving an electronic gadget twice as much power as it's supposed to have usually makes that gadget smoke, or even explode.)

So he's asking what my store can do for him.

I told him I'd get back to him after calling up my manager.

What I'm thinking is, "Look, ass-nuts. It's your fault for not checking voltage before you plug something in. I'm not sure if you asked Kenneth if it would work or what. I'm hoping you didn't ask him a single thing about it and just paid for the adapter. That would do two things: a) Kill any liability on our end. b) Keep me from killing Kenneth for another day."

Chris pretty much had the same reaction. So we decided to call my DM and see what he said.

Of course, I only got Mike's voicemail. And he didn't return my call.

Good thing Chris said he'd take care of it in the morning, because I'm not sure if I'd just flip out on this guy if he came to take talk to me or what...


Only in Britain...

I was on the Channel 101 boards, reading about the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trailer. Which is an interesting teaser. Nothing you'll see other than the world blowing up and the words "Don't Panic" on the screen.

(Apparently Axler squealed noticeably in the theater while watching the trailer before "Flight of the Phoenix.")

While I liked the books, I did see the "movie" that the BBC put out (which, really, was just the complete TV series reedited and given less frame of reference. Not as good as, say, Red Dwarf. Or, as I've heard second hand, Spaced...)

I was given a link to the guys who were put in charge of the new adaptation. They're a company called Hammer and Tongs.

While browsing through what they're done, I was, in a word, impressed.

Ever seen the R.E.M. video "Imitations of Life," where it's this whole mural of things happening that works together when played backward and forward while focusing on different scenes in the mural? They did it.

Ever seen the Blur video "Coffee and T.V.?" The story of a milk carton who goes off and has adventures within the city in search of a missing guy who's on the side of the container? If not, you're REALLY missing out...(it was voted Best Video of 1999 on MTV Europe, apparently...)

They also did the opening credits to the Ali G. show. (not that many of us have seen it...) And a really weird Beck video. And a great electronica video featuring an Eskimo who tries to melt ice by dancing.

In any case, they've got some great imaginations, and if you want to see whose hands they've put the granddaddy of Sci-Fi humour books, I think you'll agree that Hitchhiker's in some pretty capable hands...

When you open the page, click the Movies link on the top of the page. You won't be disappointed.


Update From the Year 2005!

Man, it's been a bit of a week. To the point that I've been neglecting my blog. Granted, that's what happens when you're doing something every night and working practically all the rest of the day.

My New Year's resolution is a simple one, but one I'm pretty sure I can handle: I resolve to write something every day.

It doesn't mean you'll be getting daily postings, because it would end up being a boring read. ("Today, I killed a co-worker in my mind. Again.") Sometimes I'll be working on Pirate Academy. Yesterday, I made up programs for the return of Justice City, the warped superhero RPG I'm running. Pretty much any kind of creative writing fits the bill for what I hope to accomplish...

So, I was able to go to my uncle's for Christmas, spend time with the Jago side, minus my family. It was a great time, spending some days with my relatives.

I was going to sleep on my cousin's floor, but Aunt Kim asked if I wanted to take a top bunk in the guest room.

"Who's taking the bottom bunk?"

"Kendra and Ben."

Hmmm...Spend the night on the floor, or sleep with my cousin and her husband...Does the awkwardness win over comfort? Nope. I chose the bed. After announcing in a little kid voice, "I'm having a sleepover with my cousin and her husband!"

I was awakened at about 1 am on Christmas by the front door opening. I took the time to hit the washroom, and bumped into Colin, Kendra's brother. He decided to pull rank and make Kendra and Ben take the couch.

I was okay with sleeping in the same room as Colin and his wife, Joanne. Maybe it's because I've had sleepovers with Colin before. It was a little awkward, but not half as much as sleeping with a good looking female cousin. And her husband.

The next day, while Colin and Kim made tourtiere for breakfast, I asked Joanne, "Um, was I snoring at all?"

"Oh yeah," she replied.


The dinner that night was the Uncle Dan tradition, prime rib. For about the past ten years, it's always been the best cut of prime rib Dan could find.

I love Uncle Dan's tradition. I'm a huge beef-ivore, and while I like my turkey, I'll tend to always take the cow over the bird. Even if my mom is a fan of traditional turkey dinners. I had that at Pseudo Christmas.

EJ liked the memory card I bought for her to supplement my parents' gift of a digital camera. Braden was confused about my choice of media for him (He's never heard of the Greg the Bunny DVD or the Postal Service.) Mom and Dad like their new Cranium board game, although Mom can never find herself a family member who wants to team up with her.

I've been watching the Eddie Guerrero DVD Braden bought me (5 hours of special features!), I've been playing the video game EJ gave me, I've been reading the book my aunt Marian gave me, and I've been wearing the fleece shirt Mom got me.

I had to leave my uncle's house relatively early, so I could prepare for hitting the store at 7 am on Boxing Day. It wasn't horribly crazy, although I was ready to crash about halfway through the day.

Good thing Canton, Deus Ex and I went to go see The Life Aquatic on Monday. I liked the movie a lot, but then, I'm usually in love with anything Wes Anderson does. Bill Murray did a very good job, and once you get to the pirates scene, you'll wonder if it hit "dream sequence." Also, salsa versions of David Bowie sound pretty cool acoustic...

I got D! hooked on Katamari Damacy, which I got him for Christmas. A night was spent playing that...

On New Year's Eve, I went to the Morris celebration. I learned how to play some new games, and I got a new reason for hating myself.

Reason 3,862 Why Jago's An Idiot

During the celebrations, one of Keith's friends, Monique was talking with me. She's cute, and teaches junior high.

After midnight, she was heading to another party with the Sherwood Park friends of Keith, and she asked, "Hey, Jago. Want to come?"

In my less-than-stellar mindset of not enough sleep, I told her, "You know, I'd like that, but it's hard enough to get home from here, let alone Sherwood Park. Thanks for the offer, though." Also, I wouldn't have known anyone.

About two minutes after she left, I woke up enough to scream at myself internally. "You IDIOT! When a good looking girl asks you if you want to go somewhere else, you say 'Yes!' It's the guy code! Your friends would understand why you left! Canton and Dev would understand you coming home late, if at all!"

* * *

Yesterday, we held the Third Annual New Year's Brunch at the house. As Dev put it, "Half as greasy as the first one, not as healthy as the second one."

I made my usual Eggs Benedict for Dev, Canton, Marauder, Anita, and Barber. Also consumed were mimosas, bacon, croissants, and chocolate fondue.

We followed up the food with a board game and a round of Justice City. I made sure they'd have something to deal with for the next game, and it was all pretty much set up. But, man, will it be a battle royal next time around!

In any case, it's time I hit Paper Mario's Chapter Three. Until next post...