Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Did I prostitute myself at the Mayor's party?

I wasn't going to blog about the party Tuesday night because it's usually the same-old-same-old thing... but something happened that changed THAT! So, here it is.

Tuesday was the day of the annual Mayor's Open House Party - a fundraising effort put on by the Mayor's Office here in Calgary. Every year I "DJ" the event - which is a bit of a stretch because really it's a glorified cocktail party for which I play background music - music which floats through the air much like in an elevator and is missed by 90% of the audience. You know the type... the music you would never know is there, but you would know it wasn't if it weren't?

Things were pretty status-quo for the most part. As per usual, I ate and drank on Bronco's tab. The food was amazingly better this year compared to last. Last year I'm sure we could have done better by M&M Meats. This year, much, much better.

Every party has its quirks. Usually the Mayor's party is pretty tame, but this year not only did i run into a number of people I know, I also had a run-in with someone I didn't, and would have preferred not to if it hadn't been for the money.

Did I pique your interest?
Are you going to continue reading?

Along about 8:00 this evening a fellow sidled up to the DJ booth and made himself very comfortable in my space. He was wasted... I mean, he'd had a number of wobbleys NOT to anyone's benefit - except maybe his. He didn't have to put up with his behaviour!

Normally I deal with drunks all the time. Most of them are happy drunks and it's pretty easy to keep them sweet by playing a song they like.

Not this fellow.

The first words out of his mouth (following the aroma of many wines past) were (and I'll edit this for the Family Rating on the blog)

"I want you to stay the F____ away from my wife!"

"HUH???", I gasped.

"You heard me. Look, she's sitting right over there. Isn't she hot?? You'd like her, I know you would."

"Er... so you'd like to dedicate a song to her or something?"

"You need some money, right?"

"Don't we all?"

"I'm going to give you some money."

He flips me a $5 bill. I've had tips before for playing songs, and five bucks is healthy. OK, no problem.

"Buddy, I'm in deep with her. I need you to play this song."

"OK, shoot. What is it?"

"I don't remember... Celine something..."


"Yah, that's it... F___ up song."


He pulls out his wallet and grabs a couple $20 bills this time.

"Play the song and can you announce that I'm sorry I was such a P____ and that I really love her?"

Thinking this just isn't going to happen, I had to think fast.

"Um.... this is a cocktail party... just background music... I can play your song, but I can't announce that."

"OK, OK... here, just a minute."

Out comes yet another couple 20s.

"Look, I can't take your money, friend..."

"No, no. You have to. I want you to. Besides, my wife thinks you're cute."

This is going down hill... fast...

"OK, OK... come with me - I want you to meet my wife."

She was sitting but two tables over from the DJ booth, so I ablidged. Maybe she's got her head about her and can talk some sense into this fellow???

"Honey, this is the DJ and he'll play your song."

"Pleased to meet you, DJ... " she extends her hand. I shake it... reluctantly. "Hey, can you play Queen? Bohemian Rhapsody?"

"Sure. Coming right up." My cue to exit stage right!

I played the song. She and her girlfriend go out on the dance floor (which is covered in people, mostly, and buffet tables) "Crank it!" Or I assume that's what they said... and they're all over the floor, dancing. Cheers from the on-lookers at the bar, and now we have a dance party... of sorts.

Where's my new-found friend? Right beside me. "Go dance with her, man!" he says. Again, this was not going to happen. You can't always reason with drunks unless you can speak their language. So, in my bluest-of-collars dialect I suggested that HE dance with his wife and leave ME alone.

Two more 20s. He actually stuffed them in my back pocket, making a comment I won't repeat here.

Just to clarify, this fellow's wife was far more sober than he. She apologized profusely for his behaviour and asked if I was alright. Within the next five minutes, he's back-against-the-wall in tears apologizing to his wife for whatever it was that was going on. She suggested they go home, he resisted, she left, he stayed. She came back. Left again, he stayed, then left.

At the end of the day I was up $125.00 cash. My question is... was it worth it?

Happy Birthday Mom!

Before the hour strikes, I suppose it's only fitting to mention that today is my Mom's birthday. She's a healthy 81 today and life is good... not always great, but good.

It was almost on the train that she was born too - in 1925. It was going to be a toss-up whether or not she was going to be born in Lacombe or Calgary... or somewhere in between.

Wow... 1925. Life was a whole lot different then.

Monday, June 26, 2006

MUSIC MONDAY - and a visit to the University of Calgary

The European project I've been working on for Music Monday is hung up in production. It's been a bear, actually. So I will post it when it develops into something worth presenting. Right now it's crap.

I was digging through the archives and came across a piece that I thought would tie in rather nicely with not only Music Monday, but also my ambition to take an English course. Also, probably more to the liking of Anvilcloud and Granny than the rock medley of a few posts back.

If you've been reading the past few scattered posts about my application to the U., you know I've had a whole mix of experiences. Everything from a guiding hand, to making new connections with people in the right places, to various degrees (pun intended) of the ever-present beurocratic runaround to an office closure while on the brink of forward motion! (This, folks, is what is known as a run-on sentence. Useful if one wishes to jam lots of little bits between a capital letter and a period. And speaking of punctuation, more on this later in the music section!)

Today I marched into the University of Calgary and submitted my application, transcrips and my money only to discover I was too EARLY to register for the course! What I could and did do today, however, was pay the $135.00 application fee and got myself into the system which will speed up the process on August 15 when I can actually register for the course in question, English 240.

Now, on with the music.

The performer of note today is none other than Victor Borge. The music piece is A MOTZART OPERA BY BORGE - a bit of a spoof on operas in general, so even if you're not a fan of the format, give it a listen - you might get a chuckle.

In keeping with the English theme of this post, here is a link to PHONETIC PUNCTUATION - also by Borge. Cool stuff if you're into periods, commas, semi-colons, dashes and exclamation marks!

Write on!

Weekend fun at the lake

With all the rain lately (and a freak hail storm on the second day of summer!) I decided to take in some hiking once the sun appeared! (FINALLY!!)

Here are some photos of Sunday's adventures!
(sorry, the formatting was a bit weird, and blogger wouldn't allow me to add any more photos, so I'll do a second post with more...)

...made a new friend here too!

...and as if one wasn't enough - he's searchin' out more!

...and look! There are Turtles at this lake! (different lake, but can you identify it? Hint: Have you got an old Canadian $20.00 bill??)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Posting at the Registrar's Office

"Due to a Professional Development Event, the Regisrar's Office will be closed all day June 23"


Moving forward...

Monday it is then.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you Tomorrow...

Tomorrow's the day!

Today, the transcripts arrived in the mail. I have all the necessary paperwork to proceed.

Tomorrow I will apply at the U. of C. for my first University English Course.

Big day.

Big plans.

Tonight? Cleaning and painting.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A long overdue update on my life

I was reading over a number of previous posts to discover I used to write a lot more back in the days of off-season. Life just seems to have exploded in the last couple months which is a great thing, but it means there's more to talk about and so much less time in which to talk about it!

You know about the cat's adventures... Nothing new there except to say that life is pretty much back to normal.

A week ago I had a most wonderful "educational" experience. For some time I've been thinking about expanding my horizons, opening some new doors and in general just actively pursuing personal growth. Several posts back - around my birthday - I remember mentioning a time of sitting on the swing at the park contemplating my future movements. I was thinking "Something about NOW has me feeling like it’s time to go for it – to enter my adult years. (strangely enough)” It may sound odd, even borderline strange to hear a 36 year old man say “it’s time to be an adult”. But really, up until recently I haven’t been ready to “move”… 36 is a nice round number. It’s time."

The last number of months have been somewhat uncomfortable - as welcome as the experiences have been for "personal growth" reasons, it's no joke that some of the most painful things in life cause us to grow the most. I've discovered a change in my outlook - I haven't changed dramatically as a person, but a great deal of the way I see the world has kindof morphed.

I'm still Dave, but I think for starters I have a far greater appreciation for a day than I did even six or eight months ago. I remember a time when the days were long and seemingly endless. Today blew by with no time to spare and not a lot of time to savour the good things. It was just a full, rich day. The "to do" list didn't even have a dent.

So in amongst all the things I've been appreciating about change and growth was an experience I had last Tuesday. I made the decision to go back to school. Not just any school. University. Why? Several hundred reasons, actually - amongst them I'm sure are all the feelings of having come from a University-educated family and not having followed suit. Also, perhaps the dream of one day having an education that would afford me a bigger, better career. But I think what really got me to take the step forward was the feeling of wanting something that I know is achievable, but up until now my belief system has told me was impossible. You see, when I graduated high school, I quickly bought in to what I was hearing... "Oh, University isn't for you... it's a lot of hard work - you have to commit to it full-on for years. Perhaps you'd be better suited to a technical college." So, off to tech college I went. I dropped a number of courses before discovering one that fit. My last full-on diploma was granted in 1993. There's a big difference between the person I was then and now, 13 years later.

So what happened on Tuesday?

I went to the University to meet with an advisor of undergraduate studies in the English department. My objective, to seek out a doable plan that would start with a sampling, a flavour of University life and whose end might result in attaining a Bachelor's degree in English.

Why English?

I have an interest in and a love for it. It's no secret I'm not the world's most avid reader. This may either very quickly change, or it will become the most prominent challenge factor on this path. Bur I love the ambiguity of the language - a language built from many other languages. How unique is that?

So... on with the story.

I met with Dr. H. after a brief tour of the U. Here is a lady I just want to wrap up and take home as my gramma. She was amazing. I think I might have been in her office for all of 10 minutes. We discussed fees, course availability, the ideosychesies of being an "unclassified" student and at the end of it all she shook my hand and thanked me for my interest in her programme and department. Not only that, she extended to me a personal invitation to attend her evening course in September. Sweet.

This is but phase one.

Phase two was to collect the necessary forms, transcripts and such. Some of this proved very simple, other bits were more time consuming. The application forms are readily available from the Registrar's office. In theory my educational transcripts are readily available as well. Or so the institution would have you believe. SAIT - the technical college I attended - had a very simple procedure. Download the PDF from the website, fill out the form and fax or deliver it to the Registrar's office on campus. I did just that. I even delivered said document in person, paid my $10.00 fee up front and proceeded to tour the SAIT campus to catch up with several people I've known over the years - including my brother-in-law who teaches on campus. Oddly enough, he was moving offices when I was on site so I never did actually see him.

Part two of phase two was to get my high school transcript. The U. informed me of the toll-free number to call Edmonton. Simple, right? Well, after selecting from a number of touch-tone options I arrived at the "how to order your transcripts" section. You can order on line, by fax or in person in Edmonton. Hmm... what ever happened to a real, warm, breathing body to answer the phone? Wait, silly me. Forget I said that. So off to the internet I go. Welcome to Alberta Ed. Please create a login and password for your account. OK, no big deal. Now... enter your Alberta Student ID number. What? Oh, wait... If you don't know your number, click here. Now... answer these 20 questions so we can varify that you really know who you are and that you are who you say you are. Great. Here's your number. Plug that number into the first screen and Enter. Appear pop-up screen which reads "There is no Address associated with your account. Please email us here, or call this number to rectify the problem." So I mailed. Then I phoned. "Due to higher-than-expected call volume, please leave your name and number. We will call you back." OK. Later that afternoon, I called again just to be sure. I got a REAL PERSON - can you believe it!? "Just email us your address particulars. Within 24 hours you will have access to the site to request your transcripts." OK. Within 20 minutes or half an hour or so I received an email verifying the details and indicating I can now proceed. So I do just that.

As of today I have the SAIT transcript. The Alberta Ed. papers have yet to arrive. When they do, it's off to the Registrar's office I go.

As for other goings on? This was a long post. Later.

Monday, June 19, 2006

MUSIC MONDAY - Happy Birthday Paul!

Yesterday Paul McCartney turned 64. I thought it fitting to do a post... and a simple one at that. Last week's project hit many, many technical snags - the biggest of which was limited time!

So - this one's quick, sweet and simple.

I found a neat bio and history here.

And you can listen to When I'm 64.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

A wee post in the wee hours

Up early now - not sure if it's all the coffee from yesterday or all the things I've put on my plate to get done.

It's 4:15 AM as I write this.

I'm up in hopes of catching up on computer-related stuff. I think I counted 46 emails to reply to and they've been mounting over the last couple days because of all the OTHER stuff going on.

I woke up about an hour ago thinking about what a precious gift life is, and how little we do to respect it. (Perhpas drinking gallons of coffee isn't the best gift for my body!)

I've also had over the last few days many great opportunities and have received the gift of shared knowledged from not only a dear friend, but someone new... a "master" as it were. More on this later, now it's time to catch up with my friends... see you all at your respective pages!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Yah, these are crazy days!" - Bryan Adams, 2004

...and he was right! So... um... where was I with Music Mondays? So much for being on schedule...

Crazy, crazy days... life-changing days... more to come, and I promise I'll be around to read blogs in time... all I can say - these are crazy days!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Cat Tails 3: "How's the kitty doing?" - Granny

As the titile suggests, the question has been posed! Gosh, where to start...

DJ was looking extremely worse-for-wear so on Thursday it was back to the vet. The bulge in his head had re-filled with fluid and his eyes were just a mess. The battle scar on his nose was also very crusted over and it was difficult to see just what was going on - other than a real mess.

By the time I got him, his cone and kennel to the vet, he'd bounced himself around inside enough to burst the stitches... fluid everwhere. Ick.

The first words out of Dr. B.'s mouth?

"It looks worse than it really is - there's no need to panic."

No need to panic? My cat sits on your exam table drenched in bood and you tell me there's no need to panic?

Long story short, the temporary loose stiches - all of 2 - were in place to keep things "neat" and weren't intended to "heal" the incision. In fact, the wound was supposed to drain through and around the stiches. What happened in actual fact was that the wound HEALED itself enough to retain fluid and form another pouch.

"The old school technique would have been to leave the wound open for drainage. This is what we'll do."

OK, you're the doc!

They kept DJ for the afternoon to clean him up and wouldn't you know it, his nose was just about healed! It was funny to see a hole in his head though... funny odd, not funny ha-ha.

On Friday Bob was scheduled to have the drain in his paw removed. Not fun. We're talking BOB... the cat who will tolerate a certain amount of petting, twitch his tail twice (which is the sign for those in the know) and then immediately nip his ever-so-faithful petter.

Today both cats are cone-free and loving every minute of it!

Turtle Dad has remained cone-free having never had the urge to scratch. The ear infection is just about healed and the medication is just about finished... a wee bit late because Turtle Dad was slow on the "follow the instructions to the letter" part.

Most everything is back to normal, yet I still have no music for you this Monday. Tired now, rest takes priority. Music Tuesday will occur tomorrow.

Music Monday - hours away, I promise!

This week... something... um... European.

It's almost done... really busy today though, so... soon!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cat Tails 2 (and one Turtle)

It's just like having children, I swear.

On Thursday last week I took DJ to the vet to treat what seemed to be an infested cat-scratch on his nose. Upon examination, the vet warned me it could be, and more likely is a tumor. I'd noticed seeping from both eyes, and on further examination we found a bulge above the bridge of his nose. He was hospitalized for drainage and came home sporting a head cone and some antibiotics.

Sunday afternoon I noticed Bob making his way around the house on 3 legs, not 4. Although he did extremely well for himself, this was not normal. I discovered his rear left paw was punctured and puffy. So... off to the vet Monday afternoon. It's an abscess. So, surgery booked for cat #2 today. Dropped him off this morning and now he's back - definitely not happy about the situation because he too is now sporting a cone.

To top all this off, Turtle Dad has been on antibiotics since Wednesday of last week for a full-blown ear infection. Better now, but not 100%.

Is this what the Universe considers "balance"?

Happy Birthday, dear sister

I have but one sibling. My sister, L. She's two and a half years older than I. What's really amazing is that we have never squabbled, argued or fussed as typical siblings do. We don't always see eye-to-eye, but that's OK. And because that's OK it makes our dynamic that much more special.

Happy 39... oops... OK, I promise not to tell everyone NEXT YEAR that it's 40!

To another great year ahead, dear sister, wife and mom.

Monday, June 05, 2006

An "almost summer" evening

I had a really good day today. The capper was a long walk through the neighbourhood: fresh (or as fresh as city can be) air, sun, friendly people to meet, neighbourhood things going on and a bit of lightheartedness in my step.

The kids were out playing softball in the park, old folks were tending to the flowerbeds along the seemingly endless rows of houses... houses far enough apart to make you feel like you have your own space.

The dog walkers were out in full force too.

Sunglasses and fresh-cut grass. MMMM....

All in all, a good day.

MUSIC MONDAY: Rock Sampler Winner!

Well, I'm impressed! You guys tried really hard! Kudos to Julie for getting the list. When quizzed on just how she did it, she said "I used the internet!"

Well then... perhaps something a little more challenging next time?

Now, as promissed, there's a prize. And because I never play favourites, the prize goes to everyone who participated. That's right - just for stepping up to the plate, you got it!

The prize? Sorry Jeremiah, no bacon, however I thought maybe... some MUSIC?

There have been a number of tunes that have crossed my senses in my time here in the blogosphere, so I decided to assemble a compilation of tunes inspired by the people in this space. I'm not about to divulge the contents of the disc, but I will show you the cover:

Do you recognize anyone you know?

Now... I need some information.
  • Anvilcloud

  • Expatraveler

  • Ipodmama

  • Jeremiah

  • megz_mum

  • Roc Rebel Granny

  • Smiley

  • and Julie,

    Submit your postal address to and I will ship Turtle Tunes Volume One to your door!

    Thanks for comin' out!

    About Me

    My photo
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.