Improv class

Is that all I talk about these days? Improv. This is twice in a row.
Previously, I have had improv classes on Monday. I don’t like them then. I seem to have gotten less sleep and I’m cranky. Snarky even. I stay up too late on Sunday, because it’s a day off and I figure I can, then I have to jump right into the weekday schedule and I’m shot.
So, Tuesdays good. Except today I screwed up. My parents are visiting this Friday, so I was up late trying to get the place in order. Still not done, and lots to do. The main area looks nice though.
I thought the improv class would be bad. I was out of it almost all day, and I was dreading the class tonight. But I zoned out for fifteen minutes and accepted that I hadn’t had enough sleep. It wasn’t blissful unconsciousness, but I guess it was good enough. I perked up and I was pretty functional for the rest of the day.
And the class tonight was awesome. I felt I was doing good scenes. Now I don’t feel bad that I missed the annual general meeting for my condo. In fact there was one I was dreading that I did okay on. We were tasked to do an improvised scene completely by ourself, with no input from anyone. When an audience member doesn’t like what they are seeing, they get up and leave, until you are left with no one. The problem is that you have a tendency to think up a scene beforehand. I was getting an entire play coming through before I went up.
Then I was honest, and ditched it and tried something else. The teacher had inspired me by saying it was okay to fail. So I made my attempt. People left, but I was told what they didn’t like. Now I want to try that scene again but with the improvements suggested to me. I believe I’m going to be on stage this Sunday, so I think I might be able to work it in. Unfortunately, there would be a good chance my aforementioned parents would be in the audience.

Grey Cup?

I went to an Improv jam session today at 7:00. If I was a good Edmontonian I would have watched the Grey Cup. But I have never watched or participated in an organized sport, so why should I start now. I do enjoy listening to people discuss sports, and I can keep up part of a debate by regurgitating what I have heard from others.
The jam ended at 9:00. I asked if anyone knew the score while we were leaving. Someone said that when he had left his car to come, there were four minutes left in the game and Montreal was ahead by five points. Oh well, I guess Edmonton lost.
While driving home along Whyte avenue I heard car horns honking. My first reaction was that an ambulance I couldn’t see was trying to get through. Then I noticed that there were a lot more police patrolling the strip than usual. That’s when I started to suspect something else. When I got to the Gateway Boulevard crossing and saw people waving flags, I figured that Edmonton came from behind to win.
But I still don’t know the final score.

Political commentary

At dinner we had a political discussion. The following conclusion was made.
“The Bloc Quebecois should go national. They are a conservative party that isn’t run by Stephen Harper. I’d vote for them. And they want to get rid of Quebec.”

Pointless entry

I have no need to write now. I just feel the need to keep updating the journal.
After the previous weeks, I’m not interesting right now. My major excitement has been going to a doctor’s appointment, where he wants me to have “nerve induction testing”, and he set up an appointment at some other doctor for February 14th. So at least on Valentine’s day coming up I have a chance to be groped by someone.
I got a call today from a gril trying to get me to come to a seminar tomorrow for their travel agency with a free draw. It’s supposedly 90 minutes. I’m very tempted to cancel. I’ve got enough deficits in my time budget that I shouldn’t go. Still, it gets me out of the house.


Today was painful.
Yesterday I ran 23km. Actually running for the first time in three weeks. I was out of practice, but I kept up and even led. This morning my legs informed me that they were protesting the workout by leaving me with a dull pain every time they moved.
It didn’t help that I seem to have blisters on the outside of my ankle, in the same spot on both feet. I guess I should have used better socks.
And yesterday, I didn’t have dinner. I attended a brunch, so I wasn’t hungry. I sated myself with a small piece of cake from a Chinese bakery, but it wasn’t nutritional in any respect. So I’m assuming that was why I was out of it today. Sleepy. Headache. Lack of concentration.
To ease my pain, everyone at work got new Aeron chairs. Comfy, but I can’t move as much in them. I like to put myself in a new posture defining position every so often, and with these I’m confined to sitting up straight and attentive.

I had the MRI today. I had originally thought there would be an arthogram too, but after talking to me, the physician decided my doctor didn’t know what he was talking about. An arthogram is only needed if you have a dislocated shoulder problem. I do not.
I divested myself of all my clothes and metal and was shoved in the pleasant plastic tube. I concentrated on keeping as still as possible. I really focused on my breathing, trying to keep it minimal. Good thing they weren’t scanning my stomach.
I was out quickly enough. I could have headed home, since I had told work I would be there all afternoon. That would have been true if I had had the arthogram. Still, I’m a good worker drone and I went back to work.


I’m 32 today. It’s been fairly low key. I invited some friends to join me for dinner at the Sawmill. They have a nice prime rib there, and a fantastic complimentary salad bar. So right now I have a large weight in my stomach making me sleepy.
I wanted to buy myself a birthday present, but there really isn’t anything that I want/need. I just got a replacement camera, and maybe that is my present. I thought of an iPod, but there isn’t a pressing need for one, and I really should wait for the next generation of the video. The XBOX 360 isn’t out yet, and it won’t have any good games either. Besides, the last one I only got because of peer pressure.
I guess today is just another day.
Tomorrow I look forward to getting stuck in a high priced medical machine that will hopefully reveal what is going on with my shoulder.

I did some camera swapping yesterday. I went to BestBuy to return my CompactFlash card I had bought. They took it back without any problems. But I also saw that if I buy a camera through them, I get a free printer. So I bought one, got the free printer and on the way home, returned the old camera to Future Shop.
I’m feeling a bit bad. I have a perfectly good printer at home. It is a bit lower on ink than when I purchased it. I’ve never replaced the ink cartridges which shows how much I print. It was easier to get a completely new printer than to think about replacing them.
What a waste.


Ah the sweet addiction of having a watch again. I went to London Drugs last night and picked up one. It is still in the same Ironman series I always buy, but it is slightly upgraded. The water resistance is the same, and I will be abusing it at the same level as before. It does have an interesting watchband that I’m worried will be a headache to replace when it wears out.
It’s nice being able to see the date and time whenever I want. It just gives me that moment of peace that I need.
I also bought a camera yesterday. I didn’t really need one except for a project I’m working on. The one of taking a picture of the building across the street being built. It’s getting harder though because it is fairly dark when I leave for work, and completely dark when I get back. I probably should have just given up and saved my money for other things.
A problem with the camera is that it, like all cameras these days, uses SD memory, instead of CompactFlash. So my old media is worthless to me now. However, I did buy one less than 14 days ago from BestBuy. I’m going to see if I can return it. But first I have to get the data off of it. I’ll try and do that at work today. A co-worker has a CompactFlash reader I can probably borrow.
As an aside, I started working in Edmonton on November 13th, 1995. So I’ve been gainfully employed in this town for ten years.
I’m thinking of re-evaluating my priorities that have been keeping me here.

At the resort they were handing out rum like candy. When I left I had three 1L bottles. I purchase what I’m told was 1L of good rum from the duty free store.

Canada customs only allows 1.5L. Based off of parental example, I hid the free bottles and declared only 1L. They searched and found them. I got fined $32.68. The customs guy was friendly about it and did tell me I did indeed have good rum.

Afterwards he said if I had admitted I was over, they would have just waved me through.

My gut instinct is usually that honesty is the best policy. Wish I had listened to it.

I’m waiting an hour for my flight to Edmonton. I’m still fairly alert, even though I didn’t sleep. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was more interesting.

What the heck?

I’m in my nice big spacious Air Canada jet with many empty seats waiting to go to Toronto. There I will connect to another flight that will get me to Edmonton after 1:00 AM.

I was happy with that plan. I had a small concern that it would be too late to catch a shuttle bus home, but I can always pay a bit more and take a taxi.

That happiness is in question now. As I look out my window seat, I see a WestJet plane sitting on the tarmac, two gates down. The airline that prides itself on serving western Canada. I have no idea where its going, but I suspect that that flight would have been much more efficient. Probably passing through Calgary.

Meh. I’ve got lots of space here to try and sleep, and the Toronto stopover is short. I’ll check with WestJet and find out what plane 201 was doing in Montego Bay later.

No worries, Mon.

I napped on the bus to the airport. I don’t know exactly how long it took to get here. I think it was over two hours.

Part of me is hoping there is a bad inflight movie that I actively don’t want to see. Last year, both flights had interesting movies so I stayed awake all day. An almost total lack of sleep meant I was unconscious for most of Sunday.

Tomorrow, if I’m conscious I want to do a morning run and then attend a brunch at a friend’s place. I did however RSVP with an escape clause of being awake.

I checked out of my room an hour before the bus left. I asked the receptionist if I could fill out a report on the theft of the camera. They called security and the chief met me.

One of the first questions was “Why didn’t you report this two days ago?”

What the hell have I been doing for the past two days everytime I go to reception asking about it!

The laid back Jamaican attitude is totally incompatible with my lifestyle choice. That I have to adopt it since my watch broke is infuriating.

I don’t know what it is, but my improv skill set is starting to surface. A worker here made a comment about being my girl when I said I didn’t have one. I took that and ran with it. The truth was out, I always wanted her. In improv terms, I accepted her offer.

A few seconds later a beautiful German girl asked me if I was involved in the show tonight. I was only a teamster, but I showed her the schedule I had. She didn’t like it. She needed to go at a different time. Nothing I could do about it, but she started up in German with what I believe was swearing. So I joined in and also sounded upset in German. Since I don’t know the language, let me emphasize “sounded.”

I’ve gotten from Tom a CD of all the pictures I lost. I checked them on Sophie’s iBook. They are there. Now I just need to stop locking myself out of my room.

I did more juggling too.

I was stiff this morning. I guess I had too much fun yesterday.

I still don’t have a camera, but I’m having a nice time sitting in the shade updating my journal. My time estimates are getting very vague now, because I was using my camera as a back up watch.

I found my PADI card, which means I don’t need to replace it, but might have been the only identification in the camera in case the thief got a conscious.

I brought two pairs of sunglasses and I can’t find either.

I’m going to buy some personalized shell souvenirs. I just need to figure out who I like enough to give them to.

I decided to go to bed early. Then I realize 2:30 AM is not early. Tomorrow is essentially the last day, so I’m hoping for a good sleep tonight.

During the Karaoke, there was someone who must have been confused as to which resort she was at. The lyrics had changed to something raunchy and she became rather upset.

Go to “Breezes” if you want a family atmosphere.

I think I may have found a use for alcohol. Last monday I was still drinking and I thought I was tolerable for Karaoke. I just did another and didn’t sound nearly as good.

Or was that just the impression alcohol gave me?

In either case, I’m glad I wasn’t drinking. Otherwise I would be suicidally depressed over the camera loss. Mind you, the pity attention has been nice, but I need to rise above that.

I’m pondering how to handle the loss. I’ve been taking daily pictures of the construction across the street from my condo. Do I stop that now?

I think my PADI card was in the case, so is it worth getting another. I may not dive again after the last burn.

Well, be careful what you talk about. My camera has been stolen. There was a pool party. I put it with my stuff and later, my stuff was still there, but the camera was gone.

I’m not too concerned about the pictures because a friend here wanted copies so I let him download them onto his computer. I just need to get them back. I’m only missing less than a dozen pictures, and they were taken at the same time as a friend was taking some too.

But still, I lost my camera.

The pool party was fun, but it feels tainted now. They had wrestling matches. I watched Amrita take down a Canadian far too easily, so I went up to defend my country. Then the referee privately told me to take a dive. Really, I’m bigger than her, have more reach and weigh more.

I did put up a better show and actually won one of the bouts. She is light enough to lift off the ground.

Afterwards I talked to her about wrestling and she talked about how in fake wrestling she never wants to wrestle a drunk person and there were a lot of those there.

Another reason not to drink.

For dinner I was invited to join a bunch of people at Pastafari restaurant. I wasn’t the best conversationalist because I was sort of depressed. I’ll try and get over it before Karaoke tonight.

Curse of the camera

I think I’m beginning to see the camera I brought as a curse for several reasons.

Instead of enjoying a performance, I take pictures, usually not of magazine quality. So later I can have a bad picture of an event that I forgot because I wasn’t paying attention to it, but the camera instead.

Also, during the party tonight I took pictures instead of mingling. It broke the ice, but I never got to know anyone better. I would come into their orbit, snap, snap, and then move along after a few minutes of conversation.

I sleep now. No scuba diving tomorrow, no excursions. I finally get to sleep late.

Watch death

My watch died.

It feels like losing an arm. I use it all the time, and it bothers me when I don’t know if I’m late. For instance, tonight, dinner is at 7:00 and I’m supposed to help with a fashion show at 8:10.

I don’t need this pressure.

It is proudly labeled Water Resistant to 100 meters. That is apparently a lie. This morning it didn’t go deeper than 2 meters during an excursion to Dunn’s River Falls.

We clambered onto a bus and took a 45 minute trip to Ocho Rios. There we boarded a 60 foot catamaran. It took us out a bit and then let us snorkel in a reef area. That was nice. So far I haven’t been able to swim properly here. The beaches at the resort are very shallow, and scuba diving isn’t floating, but more controlled sinking.

The best part was when the guide took a sea urchin and did something to it so that fish wanted to eat it. Little fish swarmed all over it. He passed it around so I got to hold it for awhile. Urchins are prickly, but don’t sting. Of course I can’t speak for the black ones which I’m told are a different story.

Off the side of the boat I bought a conch shell from a guy paddling around on a kayak. I don’t know why, my mother has two of them.

After that, the catamaran took us to Dunn’s river falls. It’s a treat because you don’t climb up a trail, but up the river itself. It was surprisingly easy, and not very slippery. But you do get very wet.

Too wet for a watch.

My camera survived better. I had it in a plastic gift shop bag, knotted at the top and it still seemed to work.

After the falls, we cruised on the boat, drinking and having fun, before going back to Ocho Rios. That’s when I noticed my watch starting to die.

It reset itself on the bus back. I set it to the correct time, but it kept resetting to midnight. At the resort I thought I would try to dry it out under a hand dryer. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. No screen now, just a humming when you put it up to your ear.

On the bus I heard Robert make an observation about how when someone is talking to a beautiful woman, other men will come up and talk to her as if you weren’t there. Ironic, because he did the same thing to me later.