Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bus 511

You know what's cool about busses? Well, let's just say that when Halifax Regional Municipality rolls Bus 511 up to your stop on a blustery Halifax Day, you feel special.

It's an odd beast, old 511. I've written a song about it, actually. That's not true. I'm about to write a song about it, but I haven't thought up the words yet. Anyway, to-it and at-it, as Stompin' Tom would say.

I think Bus 511 is the bus that goes to heaven.
It's a bus with really comfy seats.
It was built in sixty-three
and it has picked up only me

Its seats are made of pleather
and it's warm in any weather
the driver isn't grumpy, fat, or old
and if you don't have no coins,
he'll stare at your bulging loins
And then smile and wave you back towards the rear

Bus 511 is the bus that goes to heaven.
Its engine rattles loudly in the rear.
I would like to make a fuss
because I really like this bus
BLah blah chorus one more line goes here...

Kids like 511 'cause a monkey drives that bus
Parents like it too because the kids don't make a fuss
The monkey scares the children, and it keeps them all in line
and when monkey sees a teenager, it bites and breaks its spine.

Bus 511 is the bus that goes to heaven.
Its engine rattles loudly in the rear.
I would like to make a fuss
because I really like this bus
BLah blah chorus one more line goes here...
(Repeat last line slowly with determination)
BLah blah chorus one more line goes hereeeeeee...

Yeah. That's a great bus. It's like 50 years old, and in perfect condition, and has nice seats. And it looks like the buses from the early '80s in Edmonton. Also, I wanted to be a bus driver until I was in grade 7. Then I wanted to be six feet tall so that nobody would beat me up any more.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Back in CHUDmonton

Cannibalistic Hummanoid Underground Derrick workers -- great horror movie about Edmonton; highly recommended.

In other news, I'm back in Edmonton 'til the 21st to hang out and buy as many handguns as I can while they're still available. And by "buying handguns" I mean drinking beers and shooting them down my throat. Before that happens, though, I had to get here, which meant a four-hour plane ride, plus 2 1/2 hours of delay at the Toronto airport. I mention it because apparently airport bathrooms are where all the best jokes are told.

I'm using one of the urinals at the Pearson Airport when the guy next to me turns and barks, "HEY!" There's a guy staring at me; a guy who smelled like he was actually an open bottle of hooch dressed up like a human being. He was also one of those really blonde guys who turns waterbottle-red when he's drunk, which really added a raging glow about him.

He slurs, "You know what I fuckin' hate about this shithole?!?"

"Uh... no."

"All the fuckin' dicks who hang out here!"

Now, normally when you tell a joke to a stranger you don't yell it and then glare like you want to fight, especially while you're holding peni. Drunk waterbottle man sounded so hostile I didn't clue into the "hanging out" "dick" potty punchline and briefly thought that he was actually picking a fight in an airport bathroom... while pissing.

Then he swivelled his drunk head back around like I wasn't even there. I've seen that reality show Airline, which seems to be exclusively about drunks getting denied boarding and then yelling at airline employees wearing shitty sweater vests, and it's safe to say he didn't leave that airport for quite some time. At least by plane.

If I hope to reach that level of intoxicated belligerence, I'd best get to work. Jeeves, a fresh bussel of hops for my booze-revolver!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ooh! Ooh! I wanna play!

I'm liking this whole reminiscing about how retarded we were when we were young thing, so I thought I'd contribute. Unfortunately, I think my old diaries from elementary school and junior high are still at my parents' house (which reminds me, I should probably get those sometime—my parents really don't need to be reading about how some guy I slow-danced with in grade eight "totally had a boner!!!!!") I did, however, bring a big box of notes that I've collected over the years from friends with me when I moved out. So as not to embarrass people I still know and who read this blog occasionally, I picked one from elementary school. This is from this girl Meredith who spent about ten years of her life dedicated to ruining mine until we stopped being friends in high school. As far as I know, she's an unsuccessful model living in Toronto now. THERE'S YOUR COMEUPPPENCE, BITCH!!!

Anyway, this is verbatim:

"Dear Kris,
So how life? That's how I always start my letters!
Well that was soooo rude of Erica not to come over! Well Let's do something like me, you and Anne go to fantasyland oops sorry I mean Galaxyland or maybe the Waterpark. I'd rather go to Galaxylaxy (?) Land, because some of the rides I've never gone on like the orbitron, the thing that goes around and your in the carts. The thing Erica got hit in the tooth with a loose screw. And the swing of the Century. I might go on the Mindbender it looks fun!
Well I just finished baby-sitting my cousin Luc.
Well your a really good friend see:

My top 5 friends
1. Tamara
2. Kris
3. Erica
4. Jenny (3 and 4 switch sometimes)
5. Lisa

Well this is a private letter! Don't show anyone! Well get back to me on Galaxyland or Waterpark. Here is a Quiz on the Next Page!

1. If your boyfriend dumped you for your bestfriend you would:
a) throw a tantrum
b) tell her your friendship is over.
c) cry, cry and cry
d) tell her you'll get over it someday

2. You've been going out with your boyfriend for a long time and you are in love with him. The more your together the more cute things you notice about him one day he just dumps you. You:
a) shrug and say "oh well I guess it's your loss."
b) complain to all your friends
c) sit in front of the t.v. and pig out
d) give him an evil glare in school as you walk past his locker.

3. When you go out with your boyfriend lately your boyfriend says he forgot his wallet. So instead of paying half you keep picking up the tab. You:
a) invite him to the movies and pretend you forgot your wallet
b) buy him a wallet chain for his Birthday
c) tell him your not convinced and tell him hes putting a magor dent in your purse

4. You've been crazy for a guy since you first laid eyes on him and he's asked you out. He's a great date, so at the end of the date you:
a) say good-night and rush inside before he could say anything else
b) stall on the door step hoping for a kiss goodnight
c) give him a kiss before he has the choice of giving you one.

Well thats all just quiz back A.S.A.P.!

From your pal,

P.S. I hope you like your Duck!"

Keep in mind we were in elementary school when she wrote this, so all the references to "boyfriends" and "wallets" and "lockers" are purely hypothetical. I think my favourite part is when she tells me I'm not her best friend.

Anyway, I expect responses to this quiz from all of you so I can analyze your, uh, dating style.

A little slice of documentary history

I've just discovered that my teenaged ramblings did not survive the great computer theft of 2004. Up until that time, I had, in a sub-sub-folder, wordperfect documents that predated my junior high school career.

So, though it is a consolation prise, here is a violently articulate protest letter I wrote to Wal-Mart in 1997. I sure lied a lot about how much I liked working there. And Mike Ferchoff? What a putz.
Also, store standards are the guys who clean the bathrooms and push the shopping carts.


June 20, 1997
First, I will not lie to you about this. Yesterday, I skipped work, knowing that I was scheduled to work from four to ten. Through some accidental misunderstanding, I was also scheduled in the garden centre for six to ten. Yesterday, I was told I would not be needed in the garden centre. I assumed that I could get off by pretending I had not seen the new schedule for store standards, and stay home.
I am using this opportunity to voice my disenchantment with certain parts of what is, for the most part, a very trim and efficient system. These are some of the things I would like to see, and know would improve, the productivity of the store, especially in receiving/store standard areas. I realize that is not my place to demand anything from my employers, since in most cases, the squeaky wheel gets the pink slip. But circumstances call me to break my silence. My frustration is affecting the quality of my work.
The schedule was changed on Wednesday. That gave me no time to reschedule with my other employer. It is both degrading and disenchanting to find that you consider your employees unworthy of at least a week’s notice for schedule changes, especially when a large percentage of them are working more than one job, and depend on this dual income to support a family. I do not support a family, but would like to have this small bit of courtesy extended to me. I realize that skipping work is not the most effective form of protest, since it inconveniences you immensely. But for the most part, I am at a loss as to how to communicate the magnitude of problems with you.
I enjoy working with Wal-Mart immensely. The people (including management) are tolerant, friendly, and for the most part, very patient. But there is also an element of indifference to the needs of the store standards. Last week, while working a four to close shift, I was asked to bring two skids of stock from the east stockroom. This, in itself, was not a problem. The problem was, I was told at 8:30. I was unable to complete the pull, since I had to collect carts from the mall. This too was done incompletely. There is no time to do that amount of work at that time. From 8:30 on, all of a store standard’s time is divided between carts, carry-outs, and pulling skids to the floor. This lack of consideration frustrated me immensely, but as has been the case lately, my protests fell on deaf ears. My inability to complete my assigned tasks also left more work for the night crew to catch up on, and I don’t enjoy leaving work for others due to someone else’s indifference and inconsideration. And on the topic of indifference, why is there an air conditioning unit blowing hot air into the stockroom, while cooling the assistant managers’ office? Are we being punished?
And on the topic of ‘catching up’, Mike Ferchoff. To work after Mike is to catch up on an entire day’s work. I say, with no exaggeration, that I spent 3 hours doing the work he “couldn’t find time to do” one day last week. Although this is not the median, it is a fair example of what store standards have to put up with. When he is called to do carts, he brings in four or five. Ten minutes later, whoever is working with him
has to go fill up the corral again. I am hardly saying that I am a model employee, but for the most part, I take what is given to me and do what I am told, but there is only so long one can keep quiet. I work very hard to make sure that everything is clean, full and organized in the time I’m allotted, but there is only so much I can do when I’m also doing eight hours worth of work from a day shift. I can’t see the logic in paying someone like Mike three dollars an hour more for one-third the work, especially when he spends most of the time hiding in the back. If you were to ask any of the greeters or store standards what kind of worker he was, you would get unfavorable comments. He also sneaks out early from zoning at night, while I have to stay until 10:45. I have brought up his performance with him with varying degrees of diplomacy, (at one point telling him to “pull his head out of his ass,” after a particularly slack day), but to no avail. What can be done?
The cart corrals are unsafe. While bringing carts into the mall checkouts, I ran into the Doritos rack parked at the back of it. It toppled onto a small boy. Luckily, the mother was very forgiving. What if the oil-change sign had fallen on him? He could have been much more seriously injured. Even so, this will have waves of reprocussions. If a rack or stand had fallen on my child at a department store, I would tell many people how unsafe this location was, or even how unsafe Wal-Mart in general was. Would this discourage people from shopping here? Is there a tool or method to hold the carts together? Or could we put the blockers back at the back of the corrals? The last thing I want to do is go home knowing I injured a small child by my own fault.
Although you may feel that these issues are minor in the whole scheme of running a monsterous department store, I ask you to consider them. I’m not going to send a copy of this letter to Paul Mather, or any management outside of the store. That would cause more animosity by going over your heads, and that is the last thing I want to do. I feel that this can all be resolved easily through discussion and mutual cooperation. Until then, I will continue to work to the best of my ability, if you see fit.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Church signs: nature's street prophets

Finally—someone willing to take a stand and just say NO! to holiday-related abuse and violence. Here's hoping that lots of abusive husbands and violent criminals happened to commute past downtown Edmonton's McDougall Church last week so they could be made aware that God has declared their shenanigans officially unwanted during this Christmas season. Otherwise, you know... things could get pretty awkward.

Abusive Guy: I say, wife! Come here so I can be abusive to you, and possibly violent!

Victimized Wife: But didn't you see the sign downtown? Abuse and violence are unwanted this Christmas!

Abusive Guy: Oh shit, really? No, I totally didn't see that—

God: HEY! What the fuck is going on down there? It had better not be abuse and violence!

Abusive Guy: What? No! We were just, you know, talking about—

God: —because I've declared those two things specifically to be unwanted this Christmas season. Had some guy put it on a sign in Edmonton and everything. Didn't you see it?

Abusive Guy: Normally I would have, since I usually take the 9 downtown, but it's been pretty cold so I've been driving to work for the last couple of weeks, so...

God: Well, I felt it was very prominently displayed.

Abusive Guy: Huh... well, I don't know what to tell you.

God: Well, that's reasonable, I suppose.

Abusive Guy: ... yep... guess so...

Five minutes of silence pass before everyone just sort of wanders offstage, giving way to closing scene in which Godzilla is lowered from the ceiling waving sparklers while "Pomp and Circumstance" blares over PA system before the curtain abruptly falls.

AH, community theatre! That Stirling Award is as good as fucking mine.

Anyhow, there was probably a point to all this. Oh yeah: when is everyone coming back to town this month? Let me know, and maybe we can all do something FUN.

In the spirit of bookending, please enjoy my second favourite church sign ever, courtesy of the Knox United Church by my apartment. I guess not really believing in God means you're allowed to have a sense of humour.