Uncharted territory

So I sucked it up and phoned Whitney. It took me awhile because I had an awful lot of sucking to do. This is new for me, and I didn’t want to screw it up. I had Canticle‘s recommendations to guide me. I also checked through a book that supposedly gave tips on how to pick up women. It said that you shouldn’t leave a message if you call back and get the answering machine.
So I phoned, and I got the answering machine. I think I was relieved at that, because this is a lot of pressure. I hung up and walked away. The phone promptly rang. I was Star-69-ed and suddenly I was in a conversation with Whitney. The book had given recommendations to avoid this situation, but I didn’t take them seriously. I’d feel like a stalker if I was taking that many precautions.
All the preparations in my head went away, but I still stumbled through them. I did learn it was a bad time to call, as she was in the middle of her own halloween party. So I, I can’t say gracefully, proposed phoning back tomorrow. She was open to the idea of meeting for coffee. She didn’t sound enthusiastic, but that may have been because there was a party going on around her.

At least I hope so.

Unneeded stress

Yesterday, while I was getting ready to go to the bar, Brian, who lives below me phoned and said that there was a leak around his living room window. I checked my window, and nothing similar was happening to it.
Today, I noticed that the carpet around that window was moist. I looked under the bookcase at the wall and there is something green there, possibly growing. I’m taking this as a bad sign.
Stress level rising.

Big fish, small pond

In the past, for halloween I’ve gone to Red’s, a big bar in West Edmonton Mall. It has lots of people with excellent costumes. They have big prizes for costume, but I’ve never won. I’ve gotten past the first cut so that I can get some token door gift, but never any further. And I agree, there were more deserving winners.
Last year I couldn’t go because I was being a nice neighbour and went to the people who live below me. It was a small party, and I think would have been better off going to Red’s. Foreign students aren’t the best party animals.
This year, I went to New City. There were some good costumes there, but nothing on the level of Red’s. Getting ready took forever, compliments of a few mistakes on my part. One of the problems was that I needed barrier spray, a magical spray that protects the large amount of makeup needed to make my face look like a cat. Shirley Potter (the big costume store) had completely run out, and every other halloween or cosmetic place I called had never heard of it. I wandered into Sanctuary on a lark, and found that they normally carried it, but had sold the last one an hour ago. D’oh!
Anyway, I still had a few spritz from last year that I tried to make last. I put the eyes in, the prosthetic on, the layers of makeup. Dinner was skipped because I was running late, and I just had a breakfast bar to sate me. (It didn’t.) Then I did the big mistake. I wanted to have claws this year, so I put on some fake nails. The lesson I learned was to do that at the last possible moment. There were still a few things I needed to do, and tying knots with claws on is not easy. They looked impressive, but I think they slowed me down quite a bit. So next time I do a cat, I’ll skip them.
Despite buying a new camera, I used the old one at the bar. I didn’t have time to figure out how the new one worked, and I was comfortable with the current model. Claws did not make operation easy.
So there were the hot girls dressed as sluts at the party. The hottest was technically a cat, but she looked more like a dominatrix who just slapped some cat ears to her very big hairs. I’m going with the theory that she is a lesbian because she didn’t seem to want to talk to me, and it helps my self esteem to think that.
But the smaller venue helped me. I won a prize for best male costume! $250! Best prize I’ve ever won. So I guess all the work payed off. I also won a $50 bar tab, but it expires on November 15th, the day after I come back from vacation. So I don’t think I’ll get a chance to use it. I’m going to talk to the management and see if it is possible to get it changed, but if not, I’ll donate it to Jake.
So why do I care about a bar tab? On this vacation I’m planning to say “No” to as little as possible, so there is a good chance I’ll finally drink alcohol. So I might come back as a nice alcoholic, and could really use the tab.
I was able to use the self-esteem winning gave me. I talked to girls I didn’t know. Well, the costumes help because it is always an icebreaker, and my god do I need those. The other surprise of the night was that I sucked up enough to ask a girl for a phone number. And she gave it! I now have the number to Whitney, a beautiful woman who was a fallen angel at the party. This is uncharted territory. I have to figure out what to do now.
Maybe I should go as a cat every time?
Anyway, I stayed until the place closed down. Then I had to spend hours getting out of costume. I wanted to leave parts of it to the next day, like the claws, but I can’t take out contact lenses with small daggers on the tips of my fingers.
Going running this morning was not going to happen. Strangely I was lucid at the time I would normally get up to go running. But I used that to eat something (remember there was no dinner yesterday) before going back to bed.
God bless “Fall back”.

Past few days

It has been an eventful past few days, but I haven’t had time to update this. For instance, on Thursday, when I should have been getting things ready for a costume for Friday, I went to see a play: Blood Sympathy. A very pleasant vampire story. I had been thinking of doing the cat costume, but it takes so long to get that ready, that I decided to sleep in and just slap on a goth costume.
Of course I didn’t win any prizes for costume at work, but I’ve won the past two years. I didn’t think I should win. And I finally saw “An American Werewolf in London” using state-of-the-art early eighties special effects. Not scary at all.
On Friday evening I did nothing productive. I didn’t even go out.
On Saturday I went and looked at some digital cameras. I have one already, but it is using the moral equivalent of Betamax in storage media. So that media is getting expensive. And I figure that I should check some out for my vacation. If I’m an evil person, after the vacation, I’ll return it to Best Buy. God bless their 30 day return policy.

So on Saturday I went out to the bar. It was good and I stayed later than I had meant to. I am noticing a pattern of how I interact with women at bars. (I use the term “interact” in its loosest sense.) I’ll see a woman I would like to meet. I will try and figure out how to talk to her, but never get a good enough plan, or only come up with one after it is too late. This will shortly become obsession. I will try and make eye contact, but they will always avoid it. Get depressed. Then lather, rinse, repeat.
So my lesson is to not obsess over any one woman. Instead just go and pretend to have fun, and not try to meet anyone. Having typed that out, it sounds depressing.
Anyway, as I said, I stayed out too late. Come Sunday morning, I was too wasted to go running. I did enjoy sleeping in, and I only really got around to functioning when I had to go to the tanning salon. The tanning is good, and I’m well on my way to a base tan. My manager today noticed that I was tanned. But I think he was trying to change the subject to get out of making a decision.
After work I did an expedition to WEM. I was looking for ideas for halloween. Since my demon wing plan has totally fallen through, I’m looking for something else. I have two events I need to have a costume for. One for Friday’s halloween party at work, and then Saturday at New City. Since the Friday one is last minute I was thinking of rehashing a costume from previous years. I have a really good cat costume (pound for pound the most evil thing on the planet). I think I’m going to use an old demon costume for New City; It hasn’t actually been out to a party yet, but I’m not that proud of the wings.
Popular opinion seems to be against the cat costume. It might look too gay, and I’m not secure enough in my sexuality to disagree. 🙂 So I think I’m just going to go as a goth.

So last weekend was somewhat unproductive for me. Well, unproductive on the relaxing front. I started doing some experiments on my Mac with XSL transformations and discovering my webspace on Shaw.
In my D&D campaign, I keep all the information about it in one big XML file. When I want to generate the information each player would know, I run an XSL transformation on it to generate a large HTML file that gives all the info. I’ve been using a adequate application to do these transformation. But I finally figured out how to run Saxon on my Mac, and so I started doing lots of updating. I can now generate an entire web site for each of my players.
Then one thing led to another and I started more experiments with CSS. Now I’m trying to make the pages look good. I’ve found that Internet Explorer is getting obsolete. It doesn’t support the latest CSS goodies, that most other browsers do support. So while I can make the first letter of a chapter be twice as big in Safari, Internet Explorer just ignores it.
I have no sense of style, so the site doesn’t look that great, but I’m still experimenting. Eventually it should look good.
If anyone wants to check it out, you can access the generic info at http://members.shaw.ca/erikallen/kire/. I have ripped a lot of this from other campaign information that I’ve found around. I’m not as original as some might think.

Election time

The City of Edmonton just had an election. I didn’t think voter turnout would be that good, considering it has been snowing since Saturday. (Florida is sounding really nice.) I did slog through the snow to vote though. I was thinking of doing the all-incumbent option, but at the last minute I switched to Stephen Mandel for mayor. I’m reasonably satisfied with my councillors, so there was no issue there. But for mayor, I was really stumped. I knew I didn’t want Noce, because he is the slimy Italian lawyer (I heard he actually set the bar.) I don’t mind mayor Bill Smith, but there is some thought that a change might be good. But Smith and Noce were tied for first, and Mandel was third in the polls. So after voting I was really thinking I should have voted Smith, just to make sure Noce didn’t get in.
I just looked at the results. Stephen Mandel is our mayor by a wide margin.


I went to Die-Nasty today. I have to decide whether to get a season pass, and from what I saw, I don’t think I will.
It was good. The medieval times are set in the castle Downs. There is talk of war with the Scottish land of Bonnie Doon. (FYI In Edmonton, Bonnie Doon is a great neighborhood with a good mall, but I don’t have much experience with the neighborhood of Castle Downs.) Mark Meer is playing Richard Eye Eye Eye who is doing a good job of plotting against the queen who is in charge of the knights of the little table while the king is off to the ice crusades. But with all that going for it, one thing has made me lose enthusiasm in seeing more.
There was a great scene happening where Richard Eye Eye Eye was telling the queen how he was her loyal servant, and would gladly follow her rule. He continually drips with evil. Then director Dana Andersen did what annoyed me every time last year. Just when the scene was getting really interesting, he ended it. It would be okay if we ever came back to the scene, but we never do. The players just refer to what has happen, but we never see it. So we start with a new scene that I’m not interested in, and may never be.
I’ll save my money, and enjoy free time on Mondays.

Theatre Notes

I’m not getting a season pass to Die-Nasty this year. My friend, Andrew, isn’t going anymore, and it hasn’t been that great for the past few seasons, so maybe it is time to let it go. I still pay attention to it. The actors recognize me. I even mentioned awhile ago to one that I would love to see it in a medieval setting. But I’m taking a year off.
So today I read in the paper that the season starts tomorrow. In a medieval setting.
Bloody Hell!

I saw the play “Boston Marriage” today. It is not light fare. It is set in the 19th century, and the players were all long winded. You had to really pay attention to what was being said. I really don’t like to have to work that hard for my entertainment.
The play, as near as I can tell, centered around a pair of self-centered lesbians. So it wasn’t easy to relate. The maid was played very well, and she was quite funny. But as a whole, I wouldn’t recommend the play.
Good line: “I forgot what I was going to say.” “Then say something else.”

So what’s been happening with me?

I felt depressed the other day. I thought I would attempt to see if I could pick up where I left off last year in the construction of costume wings. I did a bit of experimentation, and it didn’t go well. I think I’ll have to accept that I won’t have cool wings on a halloween costume this year.
If I really wanted to be depressed I would concentrate on my company. Yesterday, a person I knew, who had worked there for four years, was let go. Apparently the company wants to lower its expenses, and people cutting is the way to do it.
There, but for the grace of god, go I.
I went to a tanning salon yesterday. I haven’t been to one in two years, but I still had time owed me. I figure I should get a base tan for Jamaica so I don’t burn as badly. I scootered down to the place in the dark (probably a bad idea) but the weather was unbelievably nice. It was warmer than some summer evenings.

Happy Thanksgiving

I did it.
I successfully tackled a turkey (it’s easy if you pin them early on) and made a Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey was cooked throughout and was nice and juicy. It was 8lbs, which was the smallest one I could get. However, that is still too big for one person. So I invited Michael and his fiance Jenn over. This marks the first time I’ve thrown a dinner party cooked entirely by myself.
I would like to thank my mother for providing long distance telephone advice. She pretty much blew the recipe in “Cooking for Dummies” away. Forget all the flipping of the bird. Just baste the hell out of it. My mother is from the “You can’t have too much butter” school of cooking.
I still have half a turkey left, so I’ll have easy cooking (albeit repetitive) for the rest of the week.

Wednesday update

I did running today. It was hell. It was only 10km, but it really killed me. It’s a run like this that makes me feel totally out of shape. However, I have had it pointed out to me that I am getting over a cold. Which would explain why the run was so hard.
I left work early to go to the eye doctor. I want a new set of disposable contact lenses for my vacation next month. Surprisingly, he wants to be paid cash now, but I can forgive little eccentricities like that. However, the time from entering his office, to leaving the office was only ten minutes. That’s quite the racket he’s got going, making $6 a minute.
Yesterday, the electronic fob that I need to use to get around and into my building stopped working. Luckily I have a replacement, but it is darn inconvenient. I hope it isn’t damaged because it is now living on the same keychain as another fob that I use to get into work.
I’ve decided I’m going to try and cook a turkey for Thanksgiving. It’s only going to be me, so I tried to get a small one. I’ve never tackled a turkey, so I’m accepting that I will totally mess it up. But it will be a good learning experience.

Intelligence of an American Administration

I’ve been doing some thinking, so please bear with me.
So my general opinion over the past four years has basically been that George Bush is an idiot. But let’s look at the facts. This is a man that graduated from an ivy league university. He has scads of highly knowledgeable advisors. Really, it would be impossible for him to act stupid.
So what must be happening is that his actions are so sophisticated, that I can not fathom their depths. So Bush isn’t stupid, I am.
So if we continue with this reasoning, what the heck is going on with Iraq?
But I think I’ve found an explanation. Afghanistan is an important symbol. If it can be made into a democracy that the Taliban or Al Quaeda can never gain a foothold in, then the events of 9-11 will be avenged. It will show to the rest of the Arab world how beneficial the United States are, and not to mess with them.
But you can’t nation build if there are terrorists running around blowing up people. So, to preserve Afghanistan, let’s invade Iraq. Paint a big target sign on ourselves over there, and all the terrorists will ignore Afghanistan and instead concentrate on Iraq. Sure the country will suffer greatly, but it’s their own fault for having that dictator in charge. The end result will be a nice stable democracy in Afghanistan.

In my defense, I’m still getting over a cold.

Yesterday I had Cameron over, and we hooked the Xbox to the two condos below me. With the three Xbox we had some competitive games of Halo. There were a total of five people involved.
I was on the team of three people, and the other team of two people regularly slapped us around like a red headed stepchild.
I really need to get my Halo muscles in shape again. Halo 2 is coming out in November and I need to be ready for it. I’m not going to be in the country at that time, so there isn’t quite as much pressure.
Today I did do the run, a nice 18km. I maybe shouldn’t have, because I think it pushed my body over the edge. I’m feeling rather sick now. Needless to say, I haven’t been very productive today.

Weekly stupidity

I went out to New City (finally) tonight. I didn’t stay long. I’m feeling tired (could be from the cold that is dying within me) and I am going running tomorrow. I basically stayed long enough to say hello to the people I know.
Now here is where I was stupid. I left at around a quarter to eleven and headed to my car. When I got to it there was a pair of girls getting out of their car and getting ready to go to New City. (Well they had all the accouterments.) I did a brief chat with them, and I’m pretty sure cute goth girl #1 was checking me out. If I was a smarter person I would have headed right back to the club and tried to get to know her better.
But I am tired and I’m getting up early tomorrow. I will do the best to commit her face to memory, and look for her next time.

My opinion of the debate

I didn’t watch the debate yesterday. I turned it on for a moment, and saw them answer one question. Bush seemed to take the stance that his opponent flip-flops. I forget what Kerry said.
When I was driving to the movie, I listened to CBC on the radio and they played the response to a different question. Bush seemed to take the stance that his opponent flip-flops. I forget what Kerry said.
So in summary:
Bush: My opponent flip-flops.
Kerry: Forgettable.