Monday, February 23, 2009

I try to do these things Sunday night, but last night we re-did our wireless Internet and couldn't find the roommate that had the password for it. Bah, whatever.

Work is still going well. Besides the fact that I'm discovering strange cuts and small burns on my hands that I don't notice until a few hours after my shifts are finished. They guys that have been working the “recruit area” (dish pit) for a long time say that you eventually build up a tolerance to the scalding hot water, but I'm sure I'm pretty far away from that benchmark.

Went to Janice's house for dinner and to watch the Oscars. I think this is the second time in my life that the winner for “Best Picture” was a movie that I had already seen. In this case, Slumdog Millionaire. The last one was “Return of the King.” I was pretty satisfied with the show overall. Hugh Jackman is the sort of guy that is cool when he's killing things with his fists *or* doing a song and dance number.

Since I don't have much news this week, here's an awesome video:

The Dark Black Knight

Also sometime this week I'll start fiddling around with blog settings to make this not look like crap.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I constantly smell of oyster cups!

Fairly eventful week, for a change. Dad and I went car shopping, and we, after painstaking research which involved a colour coordinated spreadsheet, decided to go with the Mazda3. The price was right, and the colour was “Galaxy Grey.” Pfft, forget that noise. I've seen this colour and it is GUNMETAL grey, punks. Now all I need is money to actually buy gas to drive it.

On Thursday Mom and dad came down from Ft Mac to celebrate Janice's birthday. We went to Jubilations Dinner Theater to see “Corner Gassed,” a dinner theater production based on the hit Canadian comedy, “Corner Gas.” Yeah, I know. But it actually turned out to be pretty good. One of the cool things: the lady playing Tracy (the character based on Lacy, yeah I know) went to Westwood. She and I were in Midsummer Night Dream. Cool. Now, dinner theater takes some getting used to at first. Your severs are all acting in some sort of character. I saw a dude walking around in a red shirt with a white star on it doing a full on Homestar Runner act all night. Nice.

The highlight of the night was when they announced that somebody was having a birthday and one of the actors brought a sparkler to someone at the other end of our table. Janice looked up at mom and said “Well I'm glad you didn't tell them it was *my* birthday.” At which point a different actor came out of nowhere with a sparkler and a song for Janice. There's something about naturally occurring perfect comedic timing that makes me feel all warm and happy inside.

Valentine's Day was decent enough for me. I was all set to play Star Wars with the guys, but apparently they all had Valentine's day plans. What the crap!? We're playing pen and paper RPGs. This is supposed to prevent things like girlfriends. So I just finished the last few episodes of Heroes Season One while eating “Chunks Ahoy!” cookies and drinking chocolate milk until I had a tummy ache. Best Valentine's Day ever! Plus: next year if I have a date for Valentine's Day (pfft, yeah right) somehow I can work it into the conversation that the previous Valentine's Day I had a Heroes marathon and ate cookies and milk.

Had my first few days of real work! And, wheesh, it is work. Like, work work. Working the dish-cleaning station is like playing Tetris. It doesn't really stop, and you just have to keep things organized until it kills you. Except it doesn't kill you and I get to go home after work is done and I get paid for it. It's a lot more intense than I thought it would be. I need to make sure that all the plates and bowls are power sprayed and loaded into the steamer and the cutlery trays are emptied and cleaned once they are full and that I don't get behind on the oyster cups which have their own trays clean some woks for the line cooks run the steamers take down the wine glass trays once they're loaded and constantly pester the waiters/waitresses until they move those stupid coffee cup trays because the coffee cups sit too high on the tray to stack other trays on there properly gosh darn it. The worst part of it is that fact that I get soaked using the sprayer sometimes. I have the standard issue Teflon coated pants (five words that were never meant to go together in that order!?!?) but my under-drawers and t-shirt are soaked through by the end of my five hours. The BEST part of it is that time goes by lightning fast. You know how you look at a clock and you think an hour has gone by and only ten minutes are past? Well here I check the clock to see if I can get some stuff by the time my shift ends, and each time an hour or two has gone by. It's awesome, I'm never bored.

Sorry about the weird formatting in the last post. I tried to do email updating, but that was the result. Still trying to figure the blog thing out.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Job Hunt: The Up-Date-ening

This week I saw "Slumdog Millionaire" with Janice. It is, in fact, a
very good movie. But it is, however, NOT a movie that you eat snacks
through. The outhouse scene at the beginning made it difficult to
enjoy my popcorn. One thing I liked about the movie was how it was
told in flashbacks. Now this is cool, but it makes it difficult to
notice when the movie theatre places a roll of film incorrectly. It
took me about two minutes before I realized that the flashback was
lasting way to long. If I hadn't noticed a little blip in the scene
change I probably wouldn't have questioned it for another three

Besides that, it was a great moviegoing experience. Remember when "Who
wants to be a Millionaire?" first came out and it was really exciting?
My complain about the show was that those "safety checkpoints" took a
lot of the drama out of the game. There really was no risk in it at
all when a person was guaranteed X dollars after they hit the
checkpoint. I guess in India (or at least in the movie) moving on
means that you have to forfeit what you've already won. It's much more
suspenseful when there's a chance that he's going to lose it all.

Usually I say that a movie needs more exploding robots, but there were
trailers for "Terminator 4: Christian Bale Goes Bananas" and "X-Men
Origins: Please Don't Suck", so that itch was thoroughly scratched.

Good news on the job hunt front: after a month of zero response on
anything, I applied at Earl's after seeing a sign out front. A guy sat
down with me right away, and we talked about working hours. I'm going
back today for a follow up.

In a little bit of an adventure, my roommate Dave asked me to drop him
off at the West Edmonton Mall Bus depot. He missed a bus, so he asked
if I could drive him in his car to West Ed. Now, I don't know why he
didn't a) drive and park at West Ed or b) just drive to wherever his
final destination was anyway, but Dave is a smart guy and I figured he
had good reasons. So instead of wasting time with questions I agreed.
Turns out his car is manual, which I haven't driven in, oh, three
years. Also pulling out of the driveway he tells me that the tires are
pretty much bald. Eeek. Well, he drove to West Ed, and I tried a few
practice runs around the parking lot and I was surprised at how
quickly it came back to me. I was still pretty bad a starting, but
after spending a few minutes on the road, I thought to myself "hey,
this isn't too bad. Clutch down, change gear, ease of clutch, up brake
down, gas... this isn't as bad as I remembered at all!" And then I
tried to go up the driveway into our house. There's a sludge pond at
the bottom of our driveway and ice/snow halfway up. I was weaving
around, and I'm quite surprised that I managed to even get into the
garage. Now, I'm not technical about cars, but what I do know is that
it made very loud sounds during the ordeal, and it started making a
funny smell after the ordeal.

So I still definitely prefer automatic. I'll take the hit of 2 mpg
fuel efficiency, I don't care.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

To the IMAX-mobile, Robin!

As far as uneventful weeks go, this one was uneventastic. Still no job or any call-backs from the places I've applied.

On Wednesday I went to WEM to buy a man purse (re: messenger bag). Found one that was almost exactly like the one I had to abandon on the mission. Good price, too. Also while I was there I was walking by the kiosks on the way to Zellers/Bay and a lady asked me if I had a minute to talk about skin care. I was like, sweet, free samples, and I've been thinking about finding a good product for my face. Well she's from Italy and kinda hot, so I go through the demonstration. I think, “well this stuff seems pretty good, I'd be willing to spend upwards $20 on some decent skin lotion.” Then she tells me the little jars are a year's supply and they are $100 each. Holy SCHPADOINKLE! Um, thanks but no thanks. All the while she's doing the sales pitch I'm giving her my best outs. “Yeah, I'm on a budget, and I can't fit $100 on skin cream right now, Dead Sea product or not.” Then she offers me two bottles for the price of one. Um, that's still $100 I can't spend!

Mom and dad came home from Peru and seem to be in good health. They brought back some treats for all of us, including a drink called “Inca Kola” for myself. It looks like pee in a bottle, and I'm guessing that it's Koala flavoured. I'll let you know how that goes when I get up the nerve to down it.

Friday night the family gathered at Janine's house to look at slides from Janice's trip to Israel. For whatever reason the MacBooks kept messing up and wouldn't work with the projector (haw haw, Mac users) so we just looked at the pictures on her laptop. Janine introduced me to my new best friend, raspberry fudge sauce. Truly an awesomesauce sauce.

On Saturday Russell and I went to see The Dark Knight on IMAX (for only $9.95! Can you believe it?). When I saw him at the mall I was impressed by his beard growth. Much more symmetrical then when I try it. But on to Batman. Wow, when the IMAX scenes kick in I found myself frantically looking at different parts of the screen because the picture was too big for me to take it all in at once.

After the movie I bought a bus pass at a store right beside the Chinese Supermarket, and then we wandered into the Chinese supermarket to check it out. We had fun checking out the weird looking vegetables and strange animal pieces. Well, I guess there really isn't anything inherently strange about a chicken heart, it's just strange seeing fifty of them in a little package at once. Russ bought some squid jerky. I tried a bit of it. Tastes like squid. Now, I like squid, but in order to get the squid flavour out you have to chew it a lot, and it slowly seeps into your mouth as your saliva hydrates the dry product. That's not exactly a pleasant sensation.

After the movie I got a hold of Graham Liddell (pal from waaaay back, elementary school). When I saw him I laughed out loud, because he is also kicken a sweet beard, only with much more growth than Russell. Graham, myself, and a few other guys got together to play the Star Wars Roleplaying game at Graham's place. The SWRPG, for those not in the know, is like playing Dungeons and Dragons but in the Star Wars universe. Thanks it's awesome. I play a medical droid named “Dr Professional.” Homestar fans will get the reference. We ordered pizza and drank pop, and a geek-tacular time was had by all. I really can't see how dating can be more fun than pen and paper RPGs.