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December 18, 2005

I took a creative writing poetry class in college.  It was a night class; and I fell in love with it for a variety of reasons.  It was different from everything else I was taking; There was very little reading; I felt success in it; It was an outlet for my hyperactive brain.

The one poem that stands out in my mind as getting the best praise from the instructor (who I truly respected) was about going to teachers' convention every year with my mom and meeting her for dessert on the top floor of The Bay with my dad and my sister.  [in fact, I'd like to find that poem sometime].  The instructor met with me about it afterwards and said, "You know what that was, don't you?  That experience.  You know what that's called, right?"

I blanked.  I had no idea what he was getting at.

He proceeded to tell me that my poem, and my experience was a sort of "communion."  A time where people get together, break bread, and have spiritual sense of connectedness.  I changed the title of my poem to "Teachers' Convention Communion" before submitting my portfolio.

Ever since, I've thought about that tons.  Our weekly Roast Beef Dinner at Grandma's house (when I can make it down), Holiday Turkey Feasts, Pizza Nights, our old Bellini Wednesday tradition, wing nights, dates, whatever.  They are all a communion experiences where food, laughter, stories, and memories can all be shared.  The food and conversation are equal in their abilities to nourish.

Today I joined in a Sunday meal tradition for a group that is somewhat new to me.  As I could have predicted the food was incredible but the warm atmosphere was even more so.  "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."  I heard this on the radio today (CBC, of course).  It made me think.  Maybe the quote should read "Be kind, and take time to share food with those you encounter, for everyone needs time away from their great battles".

December 11, 2005

Right now I'm thinking absolute utopian perfection would be to have a plane ticket in hand for some Montrealesque city where I can just go with a carry-on bag, some books that are just beyond my comprehension level, and a journal.  Just go and explore the world, and have some quiet comfortable time, meet people (or even just watch people), and have no other goal than 'getting away'.

December 5, 2005

I didn't swim today.  I taught.  I was talking with the custodian at my school who also works out at Talisman.  I mentioned that I hadn't been in awhile, but "tonight was the night" I promised.  Nope.  Got home late and it didn't end up happening.

I didn't call someone I'm wanting to call tonight.  It's not as if I'm scared that I'm not supposed to call.  In fact an e-mail I received today said, "
yes.  let's.  absolutely.  wonderful."  That's verbatum.  Clearly I can call.  Still the call scares me.

I didn't run out of my classroom screaming today and book a flight overseas when I learned that I'm having a major, formal performance review in less than a month.  I wanted to.  I feel like I just left university and the constant scrutiny.  I feel like I'm barely staying afloat at this job.  In fact, sometimes I'd say that I feel like I'm drowning.  I fell like it's not so much a review that I need but more like a pill that will somehow make me remember and understand everything I learned in the four years of classes I took on how to teach if not only to find out where I learned that it's possible to manage time with everything required out of this job.

I didn't get ahold of my BFF, David tonight.  I knew he was working but I called anyway.  His roommate asked if she could take a message.  I didn't think she probably wanted to take a twelve page message on all of the things I'm trying to figure out right now.  I said I'd call back later.  I just needed someone to listen to me vent and at the end tell me that I'm crazy.

November 27, 2005

It looks like four and a half months is my relationship limit.  Today, my longest running relationship status has been set to "on a break".  It would be fair to say that the break will likely be indefinate.  The end almost came a month ago.  That time, I was upset and just all around down and out.  Today, when the end actually came I was more indifferent.  Ending things felt right.

What made things difficult is that everything transpired three hours away, in Edmonton.  At least, while things were fairly mutual, it was me [this time] who got to make the call so I wasn't totally blind-sided.

Even though it's been less than 12 hours ago i'm starting my paradigm shift back into the world of being single.  I think I'm more excited/fulfilled than nervous/upset so that's good.  While I'll miss the company, there were negative parts that were starting to outweigh the positive.  It's ironic because when we first met I remember thinking "I see this as making me a better person."  The reality was that I wasn't becoming a better person, I was (as unfair as it is to say) being a bit brought down.  Even friends were noticing.

I learned a lot this go round and as the dolphins say in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  "Farwell, and thanks for all the fish."  The saying goes that life has a way of sorting itself out.  Hopefully, I can just relax and teach while the universe begins to pick my next adventure.  I could use a little less 'crazy, crazy' this time, though.

November 15, 2005

There is a website that is part of the Alberta Education website that writes about pretty much every career you can have in Alberta.  For any job you can think of, you click to learn about the training, the salary, the expectations, yadda yadda yadda.  For Elementary Teacher everything is pretty accurate but there's a part that says (and I'm paraphrasing): be prepared to start out in a remote area because job competition is intense.

Let me just point out that I am now officially a full time Grade 5 Teacher with the Calgary Board of Education.  This is now my second long-term contract with the CBE.  I've been really lucky.  I know a lot of people that have had a much harder run of things.  Some may have to go to the boonies, but I have just waltzed into an awesome awesome school (and after meeting the class today, an awesome awesome group).

I'm just starting to wrap my mind around this whole career thing/grown-up thing.  I'm officially a full-time, working, clothes-ironing, get to bed early every night, whole class all on my own kind of guy.  It's scary and a bit overwhelming.  I mean I'm getting old.  Friends of mine are getting married, and buying houses.   It's nuts.  I've only been working at this job for one day, and for the CBE this term for not even three months, and I'm already thinking I need a vacation from grown-up life.  Hopefully, I settle in soon.

November 6, 2005

Crazy Crazy Crazy weekend.  Oy vey.  It all starts off with a job interview.  The interview went really great.  I don't want to jinx the job prospect because three people were interviewed, and I don't find out until Tuesday if I got it.  I'm pretty cool about being in limbo (waiting) though, because I did the best I can so at least everything is out of my hands now.  Way home: CRASH!  I get rammed by a gravel truck as I stop at a stop light while the gravel truck behind me does not.  It goes without saying, my "Yay my interview went great" comes to a crashing halt.  The scene is crazy because I'm super flustered and two other vehicles are getting involved.  Luckily the rational calm witness was on my side (as was the cop later, who said the only way I'd be at fault was if I put the car in reverse and backed into him).  This crazy, swearing, strange witness however seemed to think otherwise.  It was crazy strange.

Almost equally crazy to the highs and lows of the start of my weekend was Saturday night.  We get ready for a party, drive all the way there, look in and chicken out.  We ended up driving to a party only to turn around and not go because we are intimidated not knowing anyone.  So that's all fine.  Then we go out, and I get to meet the "EX" of my "SO".  I have moments occasionally where people say to me "what's wrong?" or "what are you thinking?" when really I'm thinking a hundred million things, and just really absorbing the moment mentally not really knowing what to think.  That was the moment I had that night.  I've never been in an "EX" situation and it comes with a lot kind of.

So it's good to see that as winter begins, my dramatic self is coming back to show itself off.  I was missing the good ol' "Travis Moments."

October 20, 2005

Winter is here.  I know this because one of my third grade students put on a pair of extra socks after recess that his mom sent in his backpack.  Extra socks are the tell-tale sign that winter is here.  Everyone around me has been telling me that they are dreading winter/snow, but I try to remain optimistic.  I explain winter kind of brings people closer together.  When I look back at winters past, I look back at times with friends (or even family at holidays) as intimate gatherings sheltered from the outside cold.

Plus, people wear scarves.  I love scarves.  I don't have one (aside from my Lorraine Mansbridge of Global TV Edmonton one that I got from Mary at the Bird for Christmas), but I love people who do.  People also wear shiny down vests.  That is something I do have.  It's reversible.  I have one, but I don't really feel that they add that much warmth.  They look warm, but they aren't really.  I love the whole Gap winter get-up despite questions of practicality.

As happy as I am that Calgary gets good old chinooks to melt the snow away occasionally, I hope we get one real blast of winter that totally clears the city out.  I kind of like that whole eerie Snow Day feel, when everyone totally hibernates.  Oh winter, I think I'm ready for you.

P.S.--B-day two days ago was awesome.  It was super gushy with all the texts, calls, and e-mails.  I even got some cards and treats at my school.

October 15, 2005

I have my own class again, and life is good!!  I'm the proud owner of 22 Grade 3 students that rock my world.  Honestly, they're a hoot.  We laugh.  We dance (honestly, in Phys. Ed.).  We visit.  It's great.  This is my first experience with the whole Grade 3 scene, and so far I like what I see.  Everything is still new enough that it's exciting for them, but nothing is so new that I have to stress out about having 'empty vessels of knowledge'.

I got my job right on the dawn of my second trip to Montreal.  Thank goodness, the trip still worked out, because everything was all booked and paid-for.  Plus, I had my heart set on going.  I've decided that I have a somewhat soulful connection to Montreal.  This trip eastward confirmed that a part of my heart will always lie with Canada's most sixties of cities.  Hidden in the cement and art deco ambience there is a warmth and energy in Montreal that I've never experienced anywhere else.  I felt right at home, right from our smoked meat sandwiches at Schwarts' Deli to our brisk night riding roller coasters at La Ronde. 

We met a guy who moved to Montreal from the Yukon because he couldn't leave after "seeing the lights of Montreal."  I could relate.  In fact, we met a lot of really friendly, open, incredible people there.  I hope I reflect the same hospitality I felt there, when people enter into my circle.  I really aspire to be the type of person who exhibits positive energy so that people can be put at ease.  Hopefully, I get more practice as a frequent traveller there.

September 21, 2005

So, I'm kind of jobless.  I say jobless when really I'm subbing for Calgary Public.  So far, however, there has been no jobs.  Tomorrow will be my first day in.  I like the adventure of subbing.  There's no possible way of knowing what each day will bring.  That said, if things don't pick up I'm going to be a broke bum soon.

I found out today that I received an "outstanding" ranking on my interview with Calgary's neighbouring board.  That's good news, I guess, I just wish I had any kind of ranking with Calgary Public but so far I've heard nadda from them basically.

So here I sit feeling like a bum.  All I really do for fun is swim.  I have been going to Talisman regularily (and even working out in the gym part which is a new leaf for me).  Tonight will be my second day at my swim club, too.  Between both facilities I should be a buff buff man very soon.  If only I was good enough to be a professional athlete.

September 18, 2005

Why no blogging last week?  I'm glad you asked.  I was in Trochu for the week doing a [sort of] subbing job.  Trochu, my friends, has dial-up, dial-up that works consistantly less than 75% of the time.  Telus PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get Trochu into the 21st Century.

So, I'm back in the city now.  It feels great to be back in this beautiful metropolis of ours especially when tonight I finally have the gumption to try out a Calgary swim club.  I say try out, but I've already been to this swim club once in the spring.

The club itself is good.  The people are friendly.  I don't seem to be too far behind, which is good.  But, the coach is a bit of a slave driver, especially compared to the one I swam for in Edmonton.  I'm going to try and commit to twice a week, because it will be good to have something to do, and good for the good ol' ab muscles and arms.  In Edmonton, I was there all the time but I think in some ways I liked the Edmonton club better than I will like this one.  We'll see.

Also new here in Calgary, I'm volunteering for the Calgary Aids Walk.  If you are reading this as a Calgary citizen, you should get a team together for me to Register no Saturday.  I've never really volunteered for a city event, so I'm kind of excited for that too.  Next w/e is also exciting because some of my Edmonton 'peeps sound like they are coming down.  I heart my Edmonton crowd.  Maybe after visiting for a weekend they'll decide they should live in Calgary.  That would rock my world.

September 9, 2005

Today I made a return to the world of mascotting.  Oh, what a rush!  I was dancing, and clapping, and cheering, and jumping, and hugging, this time: as Calvin the Cougar.

Calvin is a Cougar who works for Mount Royal College athletics.  Today he looked stunning in a tie-dyed multi-coloured shirt and athletic shorts.  It was so great to be back as a macot.  This is now the third company I have wowed with my bubbling personality.

It was pouring rain, but still I was sweating (or as the Jewish would say Schvettzing) like a Banshee.  I was probably the only warm one there.  So, as I type this I have an intruiging odour and funky hat-hair-like hair.

September 8, 2005

Many moons ago, I did a job interview with Telus.  I said during one of the questions, "Could we come back to that question?"  I was stuck.

Luckily tonight's interview with Rockyview went much better.  It was one of the hardest interviews I've ever done just because of the complexity of the questions, but I persevered.  Life is good and I find out in a week my progress with that board.  I'm a little bummed that I'm still in "job-search mode" but I've felt a lot of success in the search, too.

Before the interview I ate a ton of junk and did a lot of self-talk practice questions.  I was worried this would have a gassy effect, but luckily I went through the interviews gas-free.  I worked out this morning in preparation for my day, too.  Lately, I've been a all round workout guru which is good.  Today was all about the shoulders, and I decided shoulders are my least favourite focus for workouts.  Hopefully, I stick with this gym habbit but I'm less than optimistic.  Today the junk probably cancelled out the workout anyways so I would have been better off just sleeping in.

September 6, 2005

Oh, the mountains.  I just got back from a 3 Day Mini-Vacation to Invermere.  It was really nice to get away from the city and as one of the girls I went with says be a human being instead of a human doing.

One of the best parts (aside from eating, because I love eating) was going to some natural hot springs.  It was very serene soaking in natural pools that flowed downwards into a mountain stream.  Well, it was serene until two young city slicker girls came and killed the mood with their valley girl intelligence and commentaries.  In fact, the entire crowd at the hot springs was an interesting mix.

So now I'm back in the city in job search mode make that: job wait mode.  I have an interview Thursday, so hopefully that is productive.  I just left a dunce of a message on the HR's voicemail so hopefully they disregard that when they consider me as a potential employee.

September 1, 2005

So Summer is pretty much over.  The good news is that today is Alberta's 100th B-Day so we get to start our months of freezing toes & noses with a little fireworks action.  Nothing soften's the blow of frigid temperatures like a centennial celebration.

This summer ended up being a pretty awesome one.  I ended up going to Montreal for the first time ever and fell in love.  I tied my "amount of plays"-record for the Fringe Festival in Edmonton.  I best manned a wedding.  I hosted my folk's 25th anniversary.  I camped.  I found lost babies at the Stampede.  I even learned what an Orthopedic Surgeon really is.  It was pretty much a summer of no regrets.

This weekend I'm headed to the mountains.  I know it will be fun.  I just hope going away helps me forget, even momuntarily, that I have very little lined up for a job (and students go back to school on Tuesday).  The old Travis would be wiggin'.  The new Travis thinks that all things happen in good time, and the job that I'm meant to have will find me.  I couldn't have planned a better summer; so chances are the job I find I wouldn't have been able to plan either.

August 21, 2005

My desk is messy and cluttered.  Every single report card I've ever had said "Travis' desk [and/or locker] is messy and cluttered."  In fact, anyone who has ever met me, sat in my car, or visited me where I have lived would not be surprised one iota to learn that my current desk is messy and cluttered.

The problem, now, is that the task of cleaning said desk it is daunting.  CD's, papers, CD-R's, more papers, remote controls, pens, sharpies, highlighters are screaming to be sorted but I have nowhere to put them.  I have given myself the deadline of midnight tonight to clean it.  Since I'm making the deadline public right now I'm confident that it will be met without any sort of labour dispute or extension.

It's just that it's really sunny outside right now, and the weather has been overcast for nearly a week.  I also don't know where to put half the stuff knowing that I'm switching rooms in the house in just over a week.  Part of me knows that in the time it's taken me to type this entry I could have a good chunk of the mess dealt with but instead I'm looking at with aches in my gut knowing that this needs to be done.

The good news is that my car is clean and that is NEVER the case.  I look forward to keeping you posted on the increasingly clean condition my desk will be in.  I just saw a commercial that literally shocked me when it said "Dirty boys get clean with Axe".  Maybe Axe is the secret ingredient I need as I revolutionize into a cleaner, tidier Travis.

August 20, 2005

Today I did nothing.

I drove someone to the airport.  I figured out my long distance calls using only a pen and a knowledge of long multiplication.  I e-mailed a resume off.

I feel like I did nothing because it's true.  I love lazy summer days.  The only thing I love more is this strange little breakfast place in Calgary called Nellies.  They're everywhere.  They are only open for breakfast (and lunch if you don't eat lunch late).  For the second time there, I had French Cinnamon Buns.

Do the math.  Two cinnamon buns, fried in egg batter.  AWESOME!  Just thinking about them I want to go back tomorrow... in fact if anyone reads this and e-mails me.  We have a [platonic] date.

August 16, 2005

No Grease' Lightning for Travis.

Phone call:

"Unfortunately, that position has been filled"

Wouldn't it have been nice to say five years down the road to people that I found my job via a couple travelling to Greece?  Oh well.  I'm not going to lie and say it's all for the best.  I would have given almost anything to be done the job search for the summer, and this job was Puh-Rhime [accent on the Puh to make "Prime"].

So here I am in the unemployed abyss.  This abyss should be getting comfortable I've been spending so much of my time in it, but it isn't.  I have a few more tricks up my sleeve to get a job in the area, and I'm not really freaking out that there will be NO job, I'm just picky enough that I want the RIGHT job.  I don't need a lot of consolations in the guestbook, or in e-mail form because I'm not really freaking out.  Just as far as jobs go, I'm pretty unsettled still.  Who goes to university for nearly five years to be unsettled?  No one.

Oh well.  Onward ho with the job search and the quest for eternal knowledge and wisdom.  Hopefully I earn my Mr. Robertson stripes very soon.

P.S. II (like the gaming system) You might want to check out the changes to the PICTURE PAGE(S)  but of course, you've already seen them... it's just a plain internal link that's in simple HTML so you won't even spend that much time getting to the page.  See what I do for you guys!!

August 12, 2005

So... this has probably been one of the longest blog absenses ever.

It's been quite a summer.  Some good.  Some bad.  A lot of excitement.  It's been a summer of self-discovery, so I'm confident that as days get shorter I'm on track for a great 2005/2006 "academic year".  Henry Miller says that "the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware" and for whatever reason after work at the Stampede I went through life joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.

The wedding was great.  I was probably the Craziest Best Man that Ever Was, but the wedding was better for it.  I had a little temper tantrum in a Starbucks during Wedding Photos but my toast was amazing, my standing and looking important was brilliant, and the people I met were super cool; so that all makes up for my "fit".  I think it would say that there were too many "Type A"'s present for me to get my way as much as I would have liked to.

Montreal was amazing. 
I say that even after a rough flight back and some tense moments.Bryce and Arica (the bride and groom irrespectively) played cards with David and I at the airport, which was a nutty coincidence.  I think my relationship with my BFF (Edm. David) is different now, but I would venture to say that it's even more tight in some ways.  In some ways I grew up on the trip.  Montreal is a very very large, seemingly-European city.  It's beautiful and dirty.  Kind of organized chaos.  It was, and will be, a great way to get away without actually leaving home.

After I got back I ended up not going to Seattle.  Instead, I got the wheels in motion for some job opportunities and spent some much needed time in 'the shoe'.  I even lifeguarded for a day, and filled in as swim coach.  It was a blast from the past considering I had not been in the Trochu Pool waters for over a year.

So here I am back in Calgary, changed.  It's hard to explain.  Essentially, I decided Calgary is now home.  Some of my friends are now somewhat satellite friends.  I'm accepting the fact that best friends will be transitioning to aquaintences and people I'm meeting now will soon be part of a different circle.  It's kind of like I'm 23 going on 36.  So while you figure that one out I'll leave you with a quote I used during my toast at the wedding.  I like it.  "Our stories are in the physical.  They travel through blood and bone.  They nourish the soul".  My soul, to date, has been well-nourished.  =)

P.S. You might want to check out the changes to the PICTURE PAGE(S)

July 24, 2005

Beef ragout
Cheese souffle
Pie and pudding "en flambe"
We'll prepare and serve with flair
A culinary cabaret
You're alone
And you're scared
But the banquet's all prepared
No one's gloomy or complaining
While the flatware's entertaining
We tell jokes
I do tricks
With my fellow candlesticks
And it's all in perfect taste
That you can bet
Come on and lift your glass
You've won your own free pass
To be out guest
If you're stressed
It's fine dining we suggest
Be our guest
Be our guest
Be our guest [[;) The pics will be avlbl. In a weekish.]]
July 19, 2005

So, yesterday I blog about sitting by the fireplace with a pipe in my mouth working on my masters while thinking about my next clever debate with my fellow academics.  This is after a day of some laundry, a movie, and some pasta cooking.  Today, at 11:15 a.m. my cockiness came to bite me in the buttox.

Phone call.

A high school teacher of mine ran into a principal in Greece.  She is a principal on the outskirts of Calgary.  Long story short, I have basically 12 seconds to get a resume together and figure out how to apply for this "foreign" board.

The phone call occurs while I'm half done working on my toast for the BIG WEDDING this weekend, and post-phonecall I have to make a few decisions about good ol' Montreal.  Throw into the mix that my sister decides today that she is spending the night at my Full House and that I will need to pick her up and I'm back to my usual "how is this all going to work" self.  Then add on my Mom discussing with me her need for grandkids (no word of a lie).

I'm not stressed really.  I just have a lot of balls in the air right now.  I'm waiting to hear more about this pending job.  The toast is half done.  I have to figure out what to do if I need to do part of my application on Friday (when I'm supposed to be at the rehearsal).  The trip to Montreal has VERY few specifics.  There is still a years worth of laundry to do.  It's a lot easier to think about graduate work on pasta making days than it is on actual reality days.


So right now I'm in the midst of all of this knowing that there is a LOT to do [a lot to do before Thursday].  I just went to the gym, ran a little, and am now blogging.  The old Travis would have worked to exhaustion to make it all work, but the new Travis knows that then the work sucks and afterwards you feel like you were in a train wreck.  Travis' outlets: swimming, running, Davids, blogging, complaining, movies.  Readers' outlets: too many to list, based on readership statistics last received.  ;)


Well, I need to throw a load of laundry in and make some popcorn.  See you in a bit.

July 18, 2005

Lately, someone and I were talking about "quarter life crisises".  There's a point (not neccesarily at the age of 25) that a person takes on self-responsibility, and independantly has to make things actually happen well.  Pretty much every decision gets re-evaluated now that the decision requires effort, planning, and investment.

Clearly, I've already had my "quarter life crisis"[... choosing the fireworks edition.]

I think shorty after the "quarter life crisis" is the "quarter life revelation".

My QLR came to me post-Calgary... maybe even during the whole Stampede gig.  (I had a smaller version during my time at The Store in Trochu.)  QLR findings: I'm destined for more than entry level work.  Everyone is.  Whether it's motherhood, ph.D., supervisor, or whatever, no one really stays entry-level with that job being their sole existance... at least to my knowledge.

I see in my future more school, and more public speaking, and probably more [formal] writing.  I look back at university and I rocked at my music option.  I'd even say I rocked at elements of my art and drama options.  At church, I kick ass as a reader.  P.E./Kinesiology classes were no problem.   Being so busy with school, and so fresh-out-of-"TroVal High" I didn't have time to explore but now I do.  Seriously, I didn't suck at science in high school either, nor did I suck at piano or even shop class, I just haven't done ANY since.  After being tenured as a teacher I will even have the financial and scheduling means to do more school.  I still really want to do counciling which is an easy transition with a B.Ed. so at the tail end of summer, I plan to look into it.

I don't think that one particular person has opened my eyes.  I don't even think that city-living gets credit.  I'm just starting to meet more and more people who have conditioned themselves to never really settle.  They learn from the bullsh*# around them but never remain in it, or allow it to prevent them from a prosperous life.

;)  So far the typing of Travis.

July 11, 2005

So, it's no secret that I'm working at the Stampede.

I'm working in Lost Kids with Medical Services.  I kind of dig it because I get to go to the Stampede for free.  I get to ride the LRT.  It's close to my gym (Talisman Centre).  I also like the fact that already 3 crazy things happened.  We'll call the instances CrazyMajor, CrazyMinor, and CrazyBFlatMinor.

CrazyMajor: Today I'm working and a group of people come up (who clearly work for the Stampede).  They yell, "We're looking for Travis."  I say, "That's me." and they start screaming and ringing cowbells and telling everyone around me that they need their attention.  This is the Stampede, so let's not kid ourselves, there's a lot of people staring at me.  Turns out I'm the day's "Super Host" and more hooplah, a poloraid, a pin, letter, and $100 later I'm standing there still dumbfounded.  Turns out I'm really good at my little part-time summer job.

CrazyMinor: Today I didn't have my regular shirt because they had to give it to someone else.  So I had to wear a Lady's Large (with the buttonfold going the wrong way).  The supervisors approach me delicately.  I say that the shirt will be fine fine fine, but I'm looking forward to having a regular one again soon and smile with my big, and somewhat annoyed, eyes.  And they give a huge sigh of relief.  Turns out they thought I was going to blow up and quit.  Someone was actually scared to tell me that I was being screwed over.

CrazyBFlatMinor:  On Friday we were SWAMPED.  Free entrance until 9:00.  Family Day.  Free Breakfast.  I was feeling swamped and BUSY but took a three second breather to look around.  As I did I noticed a kid wearing a shirt that stuck out to me because it's an American-only brand.  Things get crazy and I start doing my job again.  Not even ten minutes later a lady comes to me saying she's lost her kid.  Who's the kid?  Oh right the one I saw (BEFORE HE WAS LOST OR REPORTED).  She mentions the shirt as part of the description, and I tell her that I noticed him earlier and told her the rest of his description.  She was like, "Ya, that's him totally!!"  It was trippy.  Both were reunited fairly instantly because I looked up at the precise right moment in time.

July 9, 2005

Yesterday, I was a mean, awful, terrible person.  Maybe I still am today, but I don't feel very good about it.  There's a Brian Andreas story that says:

"I'm at that point in the day where I'm tired of myself, she said, so if you don't mind, I'm going to be someone else until bedtime & we had a lovely time together, my new friend & I."

That's how I'm feeling now: tired of myself.  Yesterday, I was thinking about a lot and to be honest, a little bogged down about a few things.  I think I expect everyone in the world to know when I'm feeling that way and to act accordingly.  The world didn't change, so I spazzed, and brought a few people with me.

My roommates had a few "areas of concern" in the house and rather than being an adult and discussing the concerns I blew up.  I don't think I'm really capable of roommates but at the same time, I can't really afford not to have them.  Today I got an e-mail from one roommate comparing my "half time" job to his "full time one".  If I wasn't taking an intentional break from being in the house today, I think Blow Up II would be inevitable.

The bigger drama was last night.  A friend came to Calgary from Edmonton.  This is the third time he's been down and unable to say "hi" because of a busy schedule.  Of course God would plan it so that we run into each other.  And of course, try as I might to be an adult again, I revert back to the mean, awful, terrible person.  I think I took it to the extreme enough that we won't be saying any sort of "hi" anytime soon.

Someone just told me that I'm easy-going so long as things are going my way.  I think that's very true and I'm going to try to work on that.  Summer is going well, and I'm so pumped about my trips and being in Calgary.  There's a lot of instability though, too.  I don't know where I'll be in September.  Money is getting tight.  I am feeling a little busy (despite comments that I am not entitled to feel busy).  In Edmonton, I wouldn't have to tell the world about moments like this because I'd have one of a handful of people to just go for coffee with.  I don't have that in Calgary yet.  If anyone knows a good CBFF (Calgary best friend forever) tell them Travis usually isn't a monster.

July 6, 2005

I am on my third official day of holidays.  Already I've:
-been to pigeon lake
-been to edmonton
-been to pine lake
-knee boarded & wake boarded
-saw the folks/sis/grandma
-confirmed two trips
-celebrated confederation
-began a professional growth plan
-planned a stag
-began re-learning francais
-started a vitamin regiment
annnnd -found a part time seasonal job (that starts tomorrow)

Hence the period sans blog.

I will tell you that on my very last day of school (Thursday) my staff went around a circle saying things they appreciated about having me in the school.  The entire staff said things that literally made my heart (and eyes) swell.  I don't know why they picked me to do a little "pick-me-up" but it felt great and gave me a lot of confidence about this coming school year.  It was a day I'll never forget.

David and I CONFIRMED we are ready to take Montreal on.  I am so excited for this trip that I can barely contain myself.  Before I wanted to "get AWAY" but now on a less urgent level, I want to have a great memorable trip with my BFF.  It was so great to see Ali this weekend, too.  She always makes me feel good and is fun to be around. Ali is a great' freakin' social convener so people who bail on her get-togethers are MISSING OUT.  Jo was coo' too... even if we had a breakfast from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks right after her exam from the same origins.  Imagine how happy she'll be to know that I FINALLY have the PICS developed.

Summer 2005 is shaping up to be incroyable.  It's tough setting the precident this high for summers after university.  Cependant, j'adore cette l'ete.

June 27, 2005

Tomorrow is my last day with kids in the 2004/2005 school year.  I was just looking through all of their stuff before I give it back to them and I'm feeling all sentimental.  Basically, this will be the very last time I see any of these kids again.  How will I know if they truly will be the rappers/lawyers/teachers that they want to be?  I guess I'll have to give them my e-mail.  I bought a tonne of "party food", which will make the sad day easier.

On a lighter note, I bought a summer pass today to Talisman Centre.  Now I will HAVE to go every day to swim/excercise, or I'll feel like I'm screwing myself financially.  Nothing motivates like the threat of throwing money down the drain.  One frustration I have with Talisman is that NO ONE gets the whole "swim up the middle and back down the rope" technique.  Lane swim is a little chaotic.  Next time I go, I'm going to grab the P.A. and SCREAM, "YOU CAN NOT JUST SWIM WHEREVER YOU WANT PEOPLE!!! THIS PASS COST ME AN ENTIRE DAY SUBBING!!"  The other frustrating thing was that when I got my pass the "girl" did not want to answer any of my questions.  She guessed that my pass expires August 26th and walked away when I was going to ask my two follow-ups.  She definately lacked the honour, integrety, seeking knowledge, and having fun that Red Robin requires of it's team.

So, the body's getting buff (and tanned).  Don't be jealous.  Once I have the tanned/buff body I hope to take it to the Stampede to work.  I just see the Stampede as the most "Calgarian" job I can have.  I have an interview on Thursday with First-Aid/Lost Kids.  I think I'll nail it.  [remember when people said don't tell your friends when you take your driver's test, etc. in case you don't get it.  the fact that i'm telling you show's my confidence.  the basic reason is that the stampede is less than a few weeks away, so i'm guessing they're stuck].

June 26, 2005

I like living in a capitalist country.  Yesterday, because of big-business marketing and corporate economic strategizing I did not spend a single cent until 8:00pm.  I tanned for free.  A place near my house was under new management and is trying to drum up new business.  After my free tan I swam free lengths at the Talisman Centre.  Please note, that I did not get in for free by pretending I was with an event (as I am often tempted, *cough*, to do) I had a coupon from a free supper I went to for the Calgary Corporate Challenge.  It wasn't that long ago I got a free movie rental, too, from a small video place for becoming a member (also for free).

Usually it's people who complain who get the "free sh$# parade" but in my case it was good sense, and my place in the karmic cycle.

I've always thought of myself as more of a socialist than a capitalist but the last time my government gave me anything for free was the flag I lost six years ago after four thousand calls to the 1-888 number.  I mean, sure, there was the GST cheques I got when I was a student and the Alberta 100 Tatoo I got at school this week, but today it's clearly the private sector giving the loot.  I guess I'm not NDP material anymore... all it takes to get me on board is a free cookie.

June 21, 2005

Today, as you know, is Summer Solstice [the first day of summer].  I spent it doing report cards... unpaid.  From 9:30am-8:30pm I "assessed learning outcomes" only breaking to plan my lessons tomorrow, and go to a staff meeting.

I know people think teachers complain too much.  The majority think that teachers get too much time off, and too much money.  Let me tell you that the majority of MY time off is dedicated to my kiddies, and that often days I make LESS than I was on busy nights at the restaurant.  I'm reminded of the crazy teacher on Boston Public that says, "Show me a teacher that isn't worn out and crazy, and I'll show you a teacher that isn't trying!"  No wonder we all have that strange twitch; this end-of-the-year/reporting-time is MADNESS.

I'm not complaining; I'm just saying don't complain that teachers complain!  But, back to SUMMER.  It was so nice tonight.  I went swimming and walked around our crazy floods (just like I did yesterday).  Summer is shaping-up to be quite a lovely one.  Seattle, Montreal, Bryce's wedding, two great cities with patio streets.  Ahhhh... two goals, and two goals only: tan and have fun.  Hopefully, I don't go broke.

P.S. The shirts are still a hit.  ;)

June 16, 2005

I drove home from school trying not to get my hopes up too much that my online purchase would be waiting for me.  Low and Behold, It feels like Christmas Day!  My two T-Shirts are waiting for me!  Honestly, I love them so much.  No word of a lie, I'm wearing both shirts [at the same time] right now.  Tomorrow is casual Friday and I am 100% incorporating one of the two shirts into my outfit tomorrow.  Both are even kind of curricular.  I can't wait to wear them everyday (17th, nitelife, festivals, work-outs, the mall, job interviews, weddings).

Yesterday I met up with a friend I used to lifeguard with and it was just like old times.  We laughed a lot, and that's never bad.  I learned, while laughing, that Krispy Kreme donuts are free when the "hot light" is on.  While I've had a Krispy Kreme donut before at a Petro Canada, this was my first "official" "hot" Krispy Kreme.  I think I would enjoy them more if I knew my arteries werent' clogging and that actors often use Krispy Kreme's to gain weight for parts.

The last thing I need to do is gain weight.  The T-Shirts barely fit as it is.  Thus, my first KK might be my last.

June 14, 2005

I just bought two psychotic items online.  $60 gone.  I wasn't going to tell anyone, but then I told Ed.

Ed said that everyone makes impulse buys.  He even asked for the links showing what I bought.  I gave him the links and he made me feel better about wasting my money.  He said the purchase was "perfect blogging material" probably assuming I would post the links showing what I bought.  Instead, I'll give you two random links.  (1) My new favourite Monday after-school TV Show and (2) The World's Most Important Online Election (don't let my link to Lemon sway your personal opinion).

The items that I bought were shipped this morning, and now I feel like it will be mini-Christmas in a few days.  Just wait until you see how big of a dork I actually am.   Is this how people get addicted to E-Bay?

June 13, 2005

I ♥ my B.Ed.  Oh my goodness!  It's official.  I have a degree.  Oh, right: I've been teaching for three months and finished my coursework in 2004.  It was still nice to have all the pomp and circumstance of a ceremony.  Mostly, I went for two reasons: (1) Paid convocation day off; (2) I'm sure I've given the people behind that butter of a dome at least a trillion dollars... I deserve the cookies/juice that they provide after the ceremony.  Ted Harrison was our honorary graduate, so that was cool being an Elementary B.Ed. Language Arts graduate.  I'm sure the Pharmacy grads were less-than-enthralled.

I ♥ my friends.  This weekend I got to see a few people from E-Town, and it was incredible.  Of course, I couldn't see everyone.  I didn't even have my own car there either trip up, and a lot of my time was consumed by all-things-convocation.  I think seeing people makes you miss them more.  I finally get used to the idea that things are different and that Wednesday Wing Communion doesn't exist, but then I talk to these people and the witty banter/constant laughter come flooding back.

I ♥ the uninformed.  So much drama this weekend.  I decided I like hearing people say things that are obviously crazy in front of groups.  (a) it makes me feel smart (b) I have perfected giving the look that screams can you believe that this person is saying this??!! and (c) it gives me practice in my career (and part-time job) if I ever go back to Red Robin in working with "the public" or in Latin "hoi polloi".  This comment makes me look elitest, and maybe the shoe fits, but I'll give you two case-in-points:  (1) Waitress at Saphire as she points doorward, "I wouldn't make you guys give a credit card for a tab.  You seem cool... It's just the door is right there."  (2) Random parent encountered this weekend upon hearing I'm a B.Ed. Elemenatry convocate, "Don't you wish you didn't have to waste your time working with slow kids?  They're everywhere.  It's taking valuable resources away from regular kids".  I think you could probably picture my look/eye size during either comment.

I ♥ Huckabees.  Just saw it this weekend.  SO SO SO great.  Why haven't I heard more about this gem of a movie.  Don't laugh, but I have rented it twice within four days.  I think I'm almost as crazy as it is.

June 5, 2005

After hardly doing the nighlife scene at all this weekend I did it TWICE.  Both times I ended up at a 24hr restaurant afterwards.  I love getting food late at night and always have.  I even remember being a kid and stopping at McDonalds after skiing or something late at night and thinking that was cool.

With friends or new aquaintences 24hr food is very communal.  No one even cares if the food is good (in fact you expect it will be bad).  As a server, my sympathy (and empathy) goes out to late night servers.  I certainly respect their patience and their ability to throw on the fake smile with people who are not at their best.  Take last night for example: glass gets broke on floor by drunks.  Night before that: rowdy table gets booted for a food fight.  I think if you aren't in a quazi-normal state you should not eat out.

The craziest thing about eating out last night was that I was with a local celebrity.  I think I am somewhat analytical about the idea of fame and celebrity.  Even as a teacher or as a lifeguard I appreciate being recognized by kids and their families.  Lately I've come accross more and more people who work in media (either radio or television).  While I respect the common personality type, I question how long these people can substain living their lives, quite literally, based on other people's reactions to their surface characteristics.  Deep, I know, but it's something I've thought a lot about lately.

I think eventually, I want to be a sociologist.  I only want to study people in restaurants though.  In a 24hr restaurant I could have a HAY DAY judging people.

June 4, 2005

I have bought groceries one time since I moved to Calgary.  Other than, that it's been convenience/restaurant food for every single meal and snack.  On Access there was a commercial with a lady standing in West Edmonton Mall telling people they would be at less risk for debt if they brought a bag lunch every day to work.  Not only am I not bagging it, I'm not even eating supper/snacking at home.

I think this habit needs to stop.  That said, I'm eating relatively healthy (not counting all the salt and processing chemicals).  In fact, I'd say I look fairly good.  I certainly look better than I did two or three years ago.  I think the key is the amount of water I'm drinking and the absence of pop and other "junk" things.  The unfortunate aspect of the water part, is that I've caught the bottled water bug.

When I was in high school I used to think people that always bought pizza pops etc. every day were losers.  Now I'm among the very same group.  I just can't justify wasting all kinds of time making and buying food.  When I do buy groceries, I usually end up chucking a ton of stuff anyways.  At the end of the day, the cost is probably fairly comparable.

Just a quick note about last night (my first night out post-David).  I ended up having a really fun night with some new friends.  The night couldn't have went better actually.  Today, I was tired but I saw it coming.  Hopefully I get really tight with these people and then the Edmonton friends and the Calgary friends could have a big reunion party.  Tonight, I'm headed out with one of my roomies which should be equally fun.

June 2, 2005

Today I needed a little "mall-therapy".  It wasn't really a bad day, but I need to break the wake - work - homework - bed cycle.  I also decided now that my Mexx pants are split into two, all my pants are ugly (although not as ugly as my last serving pants).  A whack of money later, I'm a new man.

The strangest purchase was actually a free gift.  I went to the Bay to get my BioTherm T-Pur Homme [and I say the fact I use girly moisturizer on my face LOUD and PROUD] and the lady said I "qualified" for a free gift bag.  She said, "dry skin" or "normal"?  I said, "oily and gross".   She said "so, normal" and gave me the bag.

Inside the bag is the strangest thing I have ever heard of.  Abdo-chock (tightening concentrate for the stomach slimming and firming).  I had to read the label twice.  If it were an infomerciall I'd laugh out loud.  This, however, is from a legitimate company and product.  So next time you see me and I'm buff and thin, you'll know my secret.

June 1, 2005

Ah, June!  If I hadn't just started teaching I'd be burnt out and miserable.  Instead, I'm the annoying one with lots of energy left.  I have, however, started thinking about my very first summer... off.

I quazi-decided I'm not working at all this summer.  Seriously, I have worked every single moment of my life since grade ten practically.  My family took it pretty well that I will be a two-month bum.  Looking back, actually, they took it better before I crashed my car.  Maybe I'll get to fill in a bit at the bird and the hometown pool when I'm totally strapped for cash.

This summer I plan on doing a fair bit of travelling, festivalling, and friend-seeing.  I deserve it.  No one has really been able to say "have a nice trip!" to me since Ottawa FIVE YEARS AGO, so I'm due.  My only concrete trip right now is that I'm going to Seattle for a wedding-type party the first weekend in August.  David and I are trying to put together a non-wedding trip but it's still in the works.  Montreal right after Bryce's wedding is looking good but we'll see.

On a completely unrelated note, the CHRA did a study that people who live in Dover live 6 years less than other Calgarians.  The same report said that Calgarians are the least healthy population in Alberta.  Seriously, this city needs to SLOW DOWN.  I say we start a "random acts of kindness" campaign or something.

May 30, 2005

When going to Calgary from Trochu, I always try to get past the giant gopher in Torrington without hitting a deer.  Yesterday, I was unsuccessful.

One smack, and my car looks a little different.  As in, the hood is folded in half.  The grill is gone.  Fluid is leaking everywhere.  I look a little different, too.  I'm standing outside my car now, freaking out because I no longer have a car and I frantically process how things could have been A LOT worse.

Thank goodness for great parents, a great insurance broker, AMA, a farmer who stopped, and a friend in the auto-body business.  I can't really be to dramatic about the whole thing because it wasn't like my life flashed before my eyes; I was, however, scared.  Honestly, the sound and image of hitting Bambi's mom will be with me for a long time.  I'm not 100% sure if my car is written off or what, but it is in ROUGH ROUGH shape.  Had it been the purple car, I'd be more sad.  I wasn't crazily attached to this one.  In fact, it's a little cursed.  It's the car Leanne crashed during grad two years ago.

Hopefully soon my teaching salary goes into my actual account instead of into spur-of-the-minute investments like this one.  Just found out I'm likely headed to Seattle in August, so I'll need a little in my ATB account by then.

May 26, 2005

A lot of foods cut up my mouth.  Toasted sandwiches are among the worst offenders.  I'm starting to wonder if I'm missing a gene for strong mouth tissue.  I just finished a sandwich that wasn't even toasted and I feel like I just put my mouth around a ball made of knives.  It was on a French Bread bun.

When my mouth started to hurt, post-sandwich, I was kind of angry.  It's no one's fault really, but I feel like people shouldn't make things that hurt to eat.  Looking back, I had kind of an emotional day.

It's been a busy, irregular week, and clearly I'm a little overtired.  When I get overtired I always feel super empathetic to girls who have their very own little "peaks and valleys" experiences.  Sad e-mail, I'm sad.  Practical joke gone wrong, I heatedly monologue to the wrong culprits.  Someone brings veggies to the staffroom, I feel like it's Christmas.  Cut my mouth on a sandwich, I'm ready to take out the chain that sold it to me.

I've started drinking Red Bull in the mornings (this is on topic because maybe it is helping, or maybe it is increasing the intensity my tired-caused moments).  Some people think Red Bull is the devil made by an evil corporation.  I should maybe do a little research into the health aspects.   I'm probably drinking the equivilent to Pepsi in the morning, thinking it's a healthy alternative.  All I know that, Red Bull or not, lately I've felt really great overall.  I feel alert, on a career path, and my skin is better than it's ever been.  [knock wood].  Life is good.  Now I just have to solve my new found mouth issue.

May 24, 2005

Ah, MLW [May Long Weekend].  I drove up QE2 [although it wasn't called Highway Queen Elizabeth 2 yet] to Buffalo Lake to spend some quality time with Joanne, and later David.  The weekend couldn't have been better.

Not to brag, but we changed people's perception of camping.  This was a group that thought all camping was, was being rowdy around campfires, being cool, and playing Bocce.  We said, "no" and showed people how to camp while tanning all day on blankets, visiting, and being a little goofy even if it meant totally showering in front of everyone with a freezing cold hoze and some bodywash.

Two things made the trip fun.  First, the weather was WICKED.  That never hurts.  I got some major sun, and snow was nowhere to be found.  Second, we were a *hit sensation*.  People constantly dropped in to talk to us, and laughed with us.  I realized, not for the first time, that the Red Robin crew I chill with [ex team members inclusive] laughs WAY more than the average person.

At the campsite was probably nearly 40 people.  We didnt' know other people super well at the beginning.  It was kind of a friends-of-friends deal.  By the end we had bonded and even become a part of the TOTAL DRAMA that ensued.  Seriously, there was drama worthy of Y&R at this place.  Here's a sample:
-david takes the wrong highway-that-turns-into-dirt-road and gets a little miffed [big make-up session after though which is good]
-relationships changing [which is a given for a group this side]
-group eating burgers with steel shavings in them [enough said]

When I told people I camped, or was going camping, everyone was like Travis is going camping?!?! ... in a tent??!!??  Well, sucka's, turns out I rock at camping and I'm doing it tons more.  Never underestimate this blogger.  ;)

May 19, 2005

If you think I'm obsessed with the internet, you are correct.  In fact, I'm starting to think I should slow down or I'll go crazy.  Somedays it takes me more time than I would care to admit to check all of my e-mail accounts, other people's blog entries, and do other general research.  The thing is, there are people FAR more obsessed than me.  One blogger I read today has a BLOG EXECUTOR in case something happens to her.  THAT is just weird.  Other people, I always think are more obsessed are people that are on MSN constantly.  i.e. every single time you log in the pop up with a "hi" no matter what time of the day it is.

I don't think I'm obsessed with internet to the extent that I'm addicted to chat rooms, or little e-clubs, or message boards.  I think I've just been all over the province in the last few years and there are [here comes the brag] zillions of people I would have lost touch with if it weren't for the 'net.   When I think about it, ten years ago, I couldn't keep in touch with this amount of people any way, shape, or form.

So since I'm camping this weekend, I'm taking a much needed five-day internet sabbath starting tonight.  I still expect comments on the board, and I still expect e-mails, and I still expect people to read every inch of text on the site (I just won't be providing more until Tues.).  When I get back you can expect a thrilling commentary on the state of Ottawa and the role of our Speaker of the House, as well as an in depth reaction to life as a camper.  Did you know that Stephen King started an internet novel and refused to finish it unless people contributed money voluntarily online?  I think I should try that ploy with the site.

May 18, 2005

Let me just say that I love my staff at my school ("Compton slaves" inclusive).  I sub at a lot of schools and none are quite like ours.  We are a very diverse demographic: younger, older, different backgrounds, different work experience.  That said, we [notice how I already use the word we as though I've been there for decades] share a bond.  It's hard to explain but there's this killer accurate sense of what each other are going through, and this constant mood of coyness (in a good spirited way).  I guess I'm just trying to say they're supportive and fun.

Don't get me wrong, though, sometimes I think people wonder what goes on in my head.  We are in this open area school and here's the newbie with every thought he's thinking clearly marked on his face.  Today, even a slightly bright green/yellow polo shirt got some attention and it's not uncommon for my lunches to get a commentary, as well.  My favourite look is not the one I get for those things, however, it's reaction-searching look when a group of the ladies says something that normally falls outside of the realm of a conversation held in the presence of a guy.

I told a few co-workers about the site and a few have read it.  My roommate saw a news story where people lost jobs based on their blogs.  I re-read my entire blog and think I should be okay.  It's not that every thought I have is virtuous and without contraversy, but it's not as though I'm using the blog as curriculum or that it's a tool for corrupting people.  Seriously, if I couldn't BLOG i'd burst.  Imagine stuffing these convoluted thoughts inside my brain all day.

May 17, 2005

Today I went on a Date with Calgary, Carrie Bradshaw style.

It was a really good date, and it looks like we're going steady.  I needed a new manly fragrence so I decided to get up early and do some shopping on Stephen Avenue.  I LRTed CTrained in, and the first thing that happened was I got interviewed for the Calgary Herald (my guess is the DOSE side).  I wouldn't bet the farm that I'm in the paper because I have a low track record when it comes to the interviews done to actual making it to media ratio.

There was an art gallery, in fact The Art Gallery of Calgary, that had admission for students for $2.50.  I thought, "What could be better than a little contemporary art right now?"  So I admitted myself.  The main exhibit I was interested in seeing was by Chris Lloyd and his daily e-mails to the prime minister.  He just writes casual e-mails as though they are the best of friends, with VERY little response.  You can see what I saw here or watch the Zed story on the exhibit here or read Chris' blog here.  I saw a lot of me in whoever this Chris Lloyd character is.

Then I just shopped, ate, and watched buskers.  I spent a fair amount of money and time, but it was worth it.  I will be on Stephen Avenue a lot.  It just feels very metropolitan and fast-paced.  People kind of look comatose when they walk there, but I can fix that.  The craziest part of watching the buskers was (and don't think I'm having a David & his Dejavue style moment) an older African lady was singing a song I had in my head yesterday.  It's a Sunday School song that goes "______ (love/praise/etc) him _____ him ; all you little children" over and over.  It isn't even a song I have in my head that frequently.  She literally sang it all day long (well, everytime I walked by in the span of a few hours).

I also saw the Calgary Board of Education statues called "Family of Man" close up.  My plan this summer is to go downtown and take a wackload of pictures for the site (of me of course).  My other plan is to take anyone who wants to down Stephen Avenue (in fact that's what I told the reporter).  Hopefully, I make it in to the paper, but I'm not holding my breath.  Nothing I said was that earth-shattering.

May 16, 2005

I would say that I'm a follower of "Hype".  Just yesterday, I bought a webcam.  I at least waited for the
"Hype" to die down enough for the cam to be relatively cheap.  I like having it, but it makes me a little self-concious, too.

In fact, today was all about the
"Hype".  I used the webcam on MSN Messenger.  I walked down 17th.  I had a salad at Wendy's.  I had Steeps tea.  I read Dose.  All of these things I would consider "Hype".  What confirmed my "Hype"-following status was when I was watching the season finale of Everybody Loves Raymond documentary (again "Hype", because I never really watch the show) and a commercial came on.

The commercial was actually the absense of a commercial.  Mott's Clamato tried to air a commercial but it was considered to racey.  Instead, a person can only see the comercial on the internet (which is not governed by the CRTC or the Broadcasters' Council).  I tried to see it, but there were to many people trying to do the same, and I couldn't. 
"Hype" alarms were going on in my head everywhere; it was like Microsoft's Q6 game all over again.  I would link the site, but I'm starting to become concerned that as a teacher there are issues of professionalism, and linking a site with censorship issues might be taking things too far.  Google it if you are a sheep like me.

Blogging, period, is plagued with
"Hype".  Yesterday, I asked a friend if she read the blog and she said "I don't really care what people think."  That made me laugh.  Of course people care what I think.  As I tell my kids, I'm omniscient.  Tomorrow, I'll continue the "Hype" parade with a walk down Stephen Avenue to find some cologne because my A&F stuff ran out.  I'm a loud and proud "Hype" follower.

May 13, 2005

Yesterday was CRAZY FUN*.  I went tuxedo shopping, as the best man, with Bryce's wedding party.  We're a fun good-looking bunch, just like a wedding party should be.  It was funny at the rental place because we were going crazy.  Who knew its such a long process with so many steps.   Most people would have buckled down and got it done, but we made it as long as possible thinking we were witty and personable with the girls who worked there.

Today and yesterday were CRAZY FUN* because in all honesty my kids rocked, and I made some huge leaps and strides with students that I didn't see coming.  We went to Wendy's today for lunch and that was nice.  It was the first time I left the school for lunch, but a Spicy Chicken Burger was just what I needed.  Things I did in the last two days so my students would learn: headstand, sing, and carrot-dangle (3 strategies I did not pick up at university).

Tonight was CRAZY FUN* because I took my Water Safety Instructor Recertification.  As of today at 8:00pm I can teach AquaQuest (soon to be Red Cross Swim Preschool and Red Cross Swim Kids).  Most people would think part-time jobs are done once the career has started, but not me.  Today, I found out my car was $1,200.00 sick.  I also just found out unless I work this summer, I will be flat broke.   My plan thus far: lifeguard by day, server by night.  So much for Stampede, camping, and Mexico.

*In these instances crazy fun might sound sarcastic or hyperbolic, but I indeed mean that these were enjoyable experiences worth repeating.

May 11, 2005

Internet stalking rocks my world.  I think my obsession began in Grade 12.  The internet was new, and I successfully tracked down the Pepsi Power Presentation folks, after watching one of their shows two years prior, to bring them to Tro-Val.  Since then, I've been google-unstoppable.  Some examples of internet stalks: potential roommates at the Village, a girl I went to Ottawa with and lost touch with, a guy from High School who opted out of sex ed. and I needed to interview someone in that situation, Holly for the "How's Holly" webpage, yadda yadda.  Yesterday, I tracked down someone knowing only their first name, and a vague description of where they workED.  It was an e-mail that sounded like this: "you might think I'm crazy but... are you...".  It was my finest work yet.

The response I got saved the day, because I had a long, terrible one.  "It's me, and I don't think you're crazy" is the jist.  Turns out, I've been reaquainted with someone who now also teaches for Calgary Public, and will be fun to talk to and reconnect with.

It wouldn't be a blog entry if I didn't tell you a bit about the bad day, too.  So here goes:  CRAZY day in the classroom, and TWO HOURS dealing with it after school (in meetings and phone calls)... OY VEY!!!!  I used the Lord's name in vain because of it, which is ominous.  Honestly, I rarely do that.  Once alone, I said "Jesus" in a frustrated tone when I should have used it in a "Can I call?" tone instead.  It would have been fine if it was just the one time occurance, but it happened again in the car on my way home.  David said, "Want to talk to Grady [ex-roommate]?"  I said, "No."  Next thing I know, we are connected unannounced.  L's N in V gets uttered again.  Hopefully, the stalking habit sticks, and the swearing gets nixed.   We'll see.

May 10, 2005


     -It's free, sure.  What's not to like then?  Well it's hard to read, mostly because of the layout but also because it is trying to be so trendy and modern.  Plus, it's a Canwest Global paper trying to come accross as alternative and up-and-coming.  Then I come across my Horoscope that makes me bust a gut, "You are a wanger with no chin.  Now that you've dumped your date, pack your thong and head to the airport."  Some articles really make me think, too.

     -I have a four year degree and zero years of experience as a teacher.  This will be the case until September 2007.  Right now, it's the lowest possible ranking.  This means I'm very marketable (cheap) but it also means I make the smallest possible teacher wage, and still have to pay nearly $100 to find out I'm the lowest.

     -This is a continued rant from the West End scenario.  I get my paycheck.  It has no overtime (and should), it lowballs another situation it is supposed to resolve.  OY VEY.  Then again, I got the free trip to Banff and some really great friends from the chain.  This place is such a freak show.

    -As far as a house with roomies goes, this is the creme de la creme.  My roommates rock to joke around with or vent to.  Without them I wouldn't have a TV stand, I would have had NO furniture for two weeks, and NO life.  I'm saving money BIG TIME.  I just miss singing in the shower and walking around nude I guess.

    -Tons of room, check.  Nice layout, check.  Having one more e-mail account to check, hastle.  Everyday, I check four accounts. (5 if you count this domain). It's madness.  GMail is funky and cool, but after watching the flash show on the inspired sites page I can't help but thinking this is some evil corporate plot.

May 4, 2005

I'm sick.  My fellow teachers told me that if I play the sick card tomorrow and get a sub they'll look at me with disgust.  Knowing that, I will go even if it means breathing through a drinking straw because my throat won't allow air.  (I did make sub plans if the drinking straw falls out).

I went to the pharmasist at London Drugs, and now I wonder why I ever went to walk-in doctors.  This lady knew her stuff.  Next time, even if I have an embarassing on my rump or complicated problem I'm going to my nearest Pharmasist (who RARELY has the typical four hour walk-in wait time).

They say the worst thing to do when you are sick is mark.  So I guess I will refrain from my usual night time passion of red pen action.  If only I wasn't so wired from the antihistamines I'd settle down to a little "In America" action. 

May 2, 2005

What a weekend!! Last night I was so tired I could barely function.  What's sucky is that today I could not pick up a subbing job because this weekend was not really productive teaching-wise, and now I have to catch up.  Of the whole weekend, Saturday, was the craziest day I've experienced in awhile.   I served after a huge hiatus at Red Robin.  I said 'good-bye' to the Village at Southgate officially.  I gained a new appreciation for Joanne.  I said a very unexpected 'hello' to someone while out on the town after my shifts... massive craziness.  In fact, I haven't really processed it all.  So as I do... I leave you with...

**THE WEST END RED ROBIN TRIVIA QUIZ!!**  What could be more fun??

1.  Upon helping out the restaurant, which Whitemud team member got a free meal?
  a) Joanne, who worked three shifts in a row after volunteering to drop her much more profitable shifts at Whitemud.
  b) Heather, who was made to close on Saturday with no vehicle after walking eleven city blocks from West Edmonton Mall thinking she was covering a short shift.
  c)  David who saw other people working at the West End, happened to have a day off, thought 'this could be fun!', and swung in for a quick lunch shift.
  d) Travis John Robertson, who drove in from Calgary (albeit, I had an apartment inspection too), had to find a uniform, do paper work to get back on payroll, did three shifts in a row, OPENED the restaurant on Sunday knowing saturday would be a late night, and had tiny sections the whole time.

If you chose option c, you are one for one.  Being the golden boy at Red Robin has its perks.  Everyone else, just the usual slap to the face.

2.  What was Skiing Amy's reaction to all this [basically volunteer] help pouring in?
  a) letting us know that without us she would have crashed, or even worse the entire restaurant might have crashed.
  b) giving us a quick walk through of the restaurant so that we would know table numbers and basic differences.
  c)  patronizing us by calling team members "honey" in front of guests, freaking out when someone or something was in her way, being passive aggressive instead of thankful when we put out fires at her tables
  d)  giving us candy apple suckers, and letting us know that west end people are fun too.

Again, option c is the correct response.

Which option does NOT explain why West End is short team members?
  a) their team is 100% hard to get along with, anti-social, and unhelpful.
  b) our new dress code was enforced at the store to the extent that people with the company for years were fired on the spot without discussion.
  c)  because after a split, you have to bus all of your tables because the previous servers are experiencing a major "slack day".
  d)  even weekend shifts are terrible money.

C is the correct response, in that while it is true at this store and that busing other people's junk is aggrivating, it is probably not reason enough to bail.

April 26, 2005

Calgary Public grades things a little backwards. 5 is "not yet" or "there are major concerns" and 1 is "excellent" on report cards.  In the spirit of our evaluation and assessment process here from 5 to 1 is what's going on with me lately.

5-  Yesterday, I was totally stood-up by a close friend.  I was already cranky because the weekend was a ton of work, and one I was dreading for a long time.  It was a "salt in the wound" scenario.  In fairness, it wasn't that I was stood-up from a definitive plan, but I still felt let down.  I know this is a classic vent, but seriously, it was frustrating.  I guess I can empathize with Ali, and how she felt last month, when I left.

4-  "Dirt issue" at my school.  Enough said.

3-  I get to work at my fourth and final Red Robin on Saturday.  I only ranked this as a three on the good/bad scale because most people would be "meh" at best, but I'm pretty pumped at working at "all of the birds in Alberta."  They must be mega stuck, because I get to work after being formally off payroll, with a full month off from my last shift.  Hopefully, I save the restaurant.

2- I heard good news from Edmonton Public today.  It's kind of a moot point because now I'm in Calgary, but EPSB invited me to do paperwork for subbing/contract work with their board.  It was nice to hear that my application wasn't just filed "garbage" and that I might have a prospect there in the fall.  We always hear horror stories that EPSB is very choosy (especially with GPA's) so it was nice to hear I made it through a fairly narrow gate.

1- I am back to feeling super on-top-of-the-world.  Yesterday, I had a good chat with Mary about work, and she is always good at pumping people up.  My apartment in Edmonton is totally clean/empty.  I get to go to Theatre Calgary tonight for free with my roomie after a great day of subbing at my regular school.  I'm ahead of the game in planning/marking.  My room in Calgary is way less of a stye than most would anticipate.  The weather is good, and I'm ready to take on my "Weds/Thurs/Fri. Adventure Combo" heads on tomorrow. 

April 21, 2005

The world is filled with cute little anecdotes and quotes.  Teachers eat it up (unlike servers who tend to rant a little).  Chicken Soup, mugs, e-mail forwards, little cards and plaques are everywhere.

Today was a bit of a 'day' that caused me to do a little searching for a cute little story to wrap it all up in a tight little package.  Throughout university we heard tons of "why do I teach?" stories.  Inevitably, the conclusion is a child learns something new or some humourous token of appreciation surfaces.  Today, a more honest answer would be... "because the hour long 5:30 relaxation massage wouldn't have been half as good after a day of watching T.V."    Here is a quick synopsis of my day (carefully worded to not breech confidentiality issues): 

Mr. Robertson spends a small fortune on pencils to end the "WE CAN'T DO THIS!!! I LOST MY PENCIL!!!" outbursts.   Student takes thumb; student breaks pencil in half; student uses language that clearly reflects he is not appreciative of said pencil while breaking it; pencil falls to floor...  Mr. Robertson enlists the help of other teachers and uses a huge chunk of his photocopy limit to find activities that make multiplication somewhat fun (if possible).  Student takes said activity, huffs, colapses on desk, sending activity on to the floor...  Mr. Robertson starts reading aloud.  Knowing that students are sometimes tempted to interrupt reading time he exclaims, "unless there is an emergency hold your questions until I have finished reading."  Student after student comes up and awkwardly hovers.  As per usual, emergencies included: a story about the weekend, a neat trick to do the previous worksheet, AND someone who is pretty sure their water bottle needs filling at this particular moment in the continuum of time and space... ... ...

It wasn't a bad day really.  It was a day in the classroom.  There were ups and downs, but the issue is that emotionly, physically, and 'tuition'ally I have a lot invested this bunch of kids.  I [probably irrationally] feel that I'm throwing a zillion things and ideas out to my students for maybe 2% to stick.  Of that, I'm sure that only half sticks long term.  Throw onto this feeling bogged down because financially a lot of things just cannot happen in the classroom, things get worse.  Throw on top of that this voice in your conscience saying "unless you work harder you'll never get to every student they way you need to be getting to them" and you start to wonder if you have the stamina or endurance to make a career out of this.

Right now what is keeping me in the fight are the people I look up to who are teachers now.  Strong, extroverted, intellectual people choose this as a career.  When I first got my job, over a dozen e-mailed me and told me it's a fight worth fighting and gave advice on how not to burn out.  Right inside my school people are awesome at lending an ear, offering support, and boosting my spirits with compliments.  You know when teachers made you a small cerificate, or passed you a quick note or a sticker and you secretly relished it?  Who knew teachers literally run on those gestures?  Right now it would be fair to say I'm fading, but without the 'stickers' I would say I faded.  Here's to an exciting Friday.

April 19, 2005

I just finished the perfect blog entry and lost it [both the entry and my cool].  Luckily I was not using IE or would have been even more angry.  When Windows or Microsoft things (inclusive of Messenger) go down I get supremely angry because I feel Microsoft is somewhat evil.  I was using Mozilla, who by default gets a little more slack.  Still, I am a little angry.   Not knowing what to do I call up my good friend Moby, as in the Moby singer\songwriter.  I said "Moby, what can a regular person like me do in a climate where computers are vindictive, conservative people are intolerant, the education system is in deseperate need of money, and there seem to be people who are way too aggressive everywhere?"  He said (cooly):

First and foremost, I think we need to base our well-being and self-worth on the simple things that we can control, like having dinner with your friends, going out dancing, playing with dogs and ... getting a good night's sleep. [Laughs.] You know, try to not get too stressed out about what's going on in the rest of the world. And then, at the same time, to work steadily and concertedly to try to make the world a better place.

Thanks Moby.  Good advice.  You know how much I respect people who use the word "concertedly".  (The answer he would give would be 'A lot!'.  This weekend was all about simple things under the jurisdiction of my control.  I energized back up in Edmonton with the crew there.  I did some spring cleaning (on both the apartment and some areas of opportunity within the relationship department).  Whyte Avenue was in full swing, filled with summery looking people, patios, and some drama (shocking pens, infinite waits for service, and strange run-ins).

Back in Calgary, things are good too.   I'm excited to be back at school tomorrow.  We have a field trip.  On Friday, I left things in a really great way.  I felt really connected to my students, and even to a group of the staff after a small get-together.  Things outside of school things are also coming together.  I'm registered for convocation.  I get to go to Theatre Calgary next week.  I have a swim course in early May (which is cool, because it's been forever since swim courses).  The roommates are rocking (which is crazy, because I swore never to have roommates again in late 2004) and so is the family (helping me move and find stuff).  Spring is such a great time, and this spring seems even better than most!  We have to make a concerted effort to appreciate that.

April 12, 2005

Today I did a very hard thing.  I phoned the apartment I fell in love with, (after it phoned me and said I could rent it), and said, "There's been a change of plans.  I will not be taking the apartment after all.  I'm really sorry; in a lot of ways, the place is ideal.  I just made a different strategic decision."  It was the apartment out of probably fifty destiny set me up with... gone.

Feeling my pain, Candice said, "Honestly, it's in rough shape.  The stove isn't even that good."  Because of Candice's response, and because in my heart I know I did the right thing... I am well with my decision.

That decision: to stay where I am (thanks to Roomie #2's decision to take a long term trip down under).  I'm going to stick with this funky little house.  It rocks my world.  It's cheap like borcht.  It's a great group of guys.  Sooooo... I'm here until late summer.  Now, I have MONTHS to find another place.  Let's be honest, I'm gone all day everyday.  Weekend trips to Edmonton will be frequent.  I could live in a shack and be fine.  So, sticking with where I am settled and with what is working just makes sense.

Instead of moving accross town, I'm moving downstairs.  Manageable.  Ideal.  On a quick other tangent, I have now taught as high as Grade 12 (at a GIGANTIC high school here in the city).  I'm the most versatile teacher around.  Seriously, who can do Grade 2 AND Grade 12 with my kind of pizazz?  Being able to sub Mondays and Tuesdays is like a little age-group buffet.

April 10, 2005

When is a direction or decision not strategic?  It seems that press releases and the government always say "we are headed in a strategic direction" or "we made that strategic decision in order to".  I would hope that people running countries and multinational companies are never making 'random', 'gut-instinct' decisions.  I say leave out the strategic part, it's redundent.

So TLC made a strategic decision to drop Paige Davis.  As of the episode that aired last night, Trading Spaces is hostless.  Paige's official site says that she was at least canned nicely.  "
We believe that this new creative direction will enable the show to be more spontaneous, focus more on the homeowners and designers, and create alternative home trades in different cities and on opposite coasts.  Paige helped make Trading Spaces a great success for the network and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors." People on TLC's guestbook aren't too thrilled about the format, and frankly, neither am I.

David told me once that I was the male version of Paige Davis.  I took that as a compliment.  In fact, I think I blogged that once already.  Paige grew on me.  When she replaced Alex McLoed I was miffed.  I'm always miffed when shows change things.  Even when Vanna started touching letters instead of spinning them, I was like, "WHAT?!  I don't think society is ready."  Now, I like Paige and she's gone.  I guess when I miss her enough, I'll just catch her on broadway.  Well Paige, good-bye, only Evan Farmer holds a candle to you... the rest are dead weight; it was a good run!

P.S.: TLC- if you take either Town Haul or Farmer off, Tier III cable is gone.  You only get one screw-up with me.

April 9th 2005

What was once optimism is now fear.  I looked at two apartments after phoning probably thirty-some.  When I entered the first apartment I threw-up a little.  The smell was the most off-putting, but shortly behind was the fact everything was trashed, and everyone I saw seemed a little bit "chemical".   In my head, "hmmmm... this is a $600/mth apartment."

The next one was better, but how could it not be.  Did I like it because it was good, or because of the comparisson?  It's tiny and hotel like.  It's very a rectangular bachelor, with a lot of mauve.  It is RIGHT by the Elbow River, available the 15th, and the same price.  It's by no means a dream come true, or funky, but it's nice and somewhat in my price range.  Do I wait for a place that feels like home? or Do I get a place because if I don't I'll be commuting from the parents.  We won't even get into the fact that a lot of places don't even qualify if they are good or if they are bad because they require long term leases.

Okay, I'm officially starting to spaz a bit.  I need a house and I'm sick of looking.  The job fell on my lap, why can't a place to live.  If school wasn't going well, or I wasn't feeling as good as I am right now, or if it didn't look like Toby is going to survive, I would be a total mess.  All I want is a cozy, funky place with pedestal sinks in the bathroom, and fun people in the vicinity.  Is that too much to ask?

April 8, 2005

Travis' day by the numbers:

Number of turns I make on my way to school: 16
Number of stops I made for food while on the way today: 0
Usual number of stops for food: 1
Number of letters in the sentence "I made a lunch last night.": 20
Number of people who went to McDonalds at lunch today and asked if I was interested: 2
Number of students I teach: 22
Number of days I worked this week: 5
Number of days I was paid for: 2.5
Number of times I smiled when my principal said I was doing a great job and had lots of energy: 1
Number of teachers out of one hundred who 'burnout' within their first years: 13
Number of naps I had today because of exhaustion: 1
Approximate number of people at the funeral on TV while I napped (not live): 250, 000
Number of staff who watched the funeral (live) at my school: 0
Number of movies I watched tonight: 1
Number out of ten I would give it if I was registered on the website I tried to rate it on: 9
Number of people who know already that I watched "The Upside of Anger": 2
Number of people who probably double checked there are twenty letters in the sentence above: 3
Number of places I have to live as of Friday: 0
Number of alarms that should be going off in my head right now: lots, but I'm going to bed without worrying.  It's been a great week, with everything coming together somehow.  Momentum is never a bad thing in situations like these.

April 7, 2005

I'm sitting in my new temporary (although now looking like maybe permanent) room.  There is funky music playing right now, from my flatmate's* room (*flatmate is Australian for roomie which will be important to know for a future blog).  It's crazy because no one is home.  The same thing happened last night.  8:40-something and music goes off.  My hypothesis is an alarm.  It's GOTAN-like music, super layered, half classical/half technoie.  Remind me to ask him what it is.

So why is the music calming me down now?  OMG*, it's because I feel like the pace of life is exhausting me.  (*G=gosh not God, because in schools I always think gosh is less contreversal).  I'm not "let's have a nap" tired, I'm "every fibre of my being has been used non-stop today and everyday prior" tired.  The good news is, I'm hooked.

This city is rocking my world, and teaching is making me feel in my element and pumped up about life.  My kids are so so so funny.  I wish I could just sit and watch a reality show of the classroom as an observer.  I can't wait to get back in the real world, and use my newfound edunese* in regular conversations. (*edunese is faculty of education lingo).  Travis over wings: "David was that a responsible choice being in Joanne's space?", "Everyone, Ali was just a great communicator when she ordered dessert.  Did everyone hear her say 'please'?  Ali, that was really great to see!"

School's are kickin' little places.  No offence to them intended here, but this weekend I need a little Travis time.  Massage?  Total sabbath?  I'm not quite sure.  Make sure you keep in touch and come down lots.  Once this pace slows down, I hope isolation and homesickness for the leg. don't set in.  Until next time.... I'm Mr. Robertson.

April 3, 2005

So I've been a Calgarian for nearly 33 hours.   Aside from a slightly different climate and endless stretches without any Red Robin Gourmet Burger Makers, being a Calgarian isn't too different from being an Edmontonian.  I don't think it has completely sunk in that I'm here for good, and not going back after this weekend.

That said, I've been through all the protocol already.  I embraced my new Joey Tomato's.  I had a small ceremony where my Edmonton Roomie gave me away to my Calgary Temporary Ones (who are super cool by the way... I'm in a funky hardwood floor house that is really awesome and close to everything).  Of course, I also sent out an e-mail from my 'c.b.e.' account bragging about my appointment as educator.

I'm looking for a long-term apartment, and I have found a few prospects.  One is alone and VERY close to the Elbow River and Talisman Centre, the other is shared and near Chinook.  I also have the phone numbers of basically every apartment in the city with a vacancy.

Tomorrow, I'll head into the school and start to organize my school life.  I am really pumped about that.  It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the day before I start.  I've built up to this day for practically a decade.

I'll leave you with these thoughts on Cowtown: drivers are drunk with agression, seems bigger, has a more urban feel to it, has more VW's than most places, has signs differentiating between North, South, East, and West (which is very handy), you can pretty much always see downtown.

[P.S.--Kaley/Lisa/Elana: I had a blast with you guys the other night.  Whenever we get together it seems like we were never apart.  You three rock my world (and not just for putting up with all my drama and conversation hogging).]

March 31, 2005 (HAPPY BDAY ALEXIS)

So the internet has been down for nearly an entire 24 hours at the apartment.  I now know how our ancestors felt: cold and alone.  I have now talked to three shaw people who politely told me I'm screwed and that they appreciate my patience.  Monday, they'll mosey on by and see if there's anyway way they'll hold up their end of my $80 monthly bill.

Luckily, I took Internet Studies 10 in high school, and I know how to get on dial-up for free with some duck tape, a really long phone line, and a "friend-in-the-know" of some secret numbers.  Muahahaha, you can try to squash the blog, but you will be unsuccessful.

Using dial-up to plan an upcoming career, find housing, and correspond with the public is a test of endurance, but I'm surviving.  I forgot people live this way (that's not actually true, because in Trochu, I also use this archaic form of internet).  Other than that life is good, and I'm on top of the world.  Just think of me while you are watching videos and Flash presentations on the internet.  :(

March 28, 2005

Ah, Calgary.  What a little oasis of joy and prosperity.  My contract with the Calgary Board of Education, which will here on in be referred to as Calgary Public, starts in basically one week.  I've had two ventures down already in preparation and I must admit it's a little weird.  It sounds like I'm a sentimental freak, but just driving down Deerfoot looking at downtown made me think, "Wow, this is real".

I know teaching will be good.  When I was subbing in Calgary, I felt really in my element. I subbed right from grade two to junior high.  Both groups made me bust a gut but in much different ways.  Runners get a running high, and I think in some ways I'm able to get a teaching high.  I just love having my little audience, the atmosphere, and the energy.

So teaching is fine.  There's also a bit of a life element too, though.  I start in a week, and I have no apartment.  I know maybe a handful of people in Calgary well enough to say, "Let's go for supper"  I won't be able to go for spur of the minute wings, or for turkey/board games with my roomie's fam.  Whyte Ave. and West. Ed are no longer day trips.  I think once I'm there for a bit, and deal with some of these issues, I'll be sailing.

I just want to go into Calgary, turn some heads, and reinvent a little.  The rest should just fit into place.  I think the reason I think this is so big is because I look back to moving from Jasper Ave. to the southside of Edmonton.  Who knew what a crazy crazy crazy adventure that would turn out to be.  Bring it on Calgary!!  I'm ready for you.

March 20, 2005

One of my favorite classes in university was my music class.  I had an instructor who was so warm and created this amazing atmosphere for us.  It was so therepeutic to listen to her, and it was even more therepeutic to sit on the floor in a circle singing songs and harmonies.  As crazy and elementary as it sounds, playing recorder was also a fun change of pace from regular university life.

In Ottawa, we sang all the time.  Campfires, church worship, and even karaoke are such nice outlets to just sing, as part of a group.  Our music teacher describes those experiences as being a part of an "organic whole".  I am by no means a music guru, but I certainly have appreciated that organic wholistic sensation.

Right now, David, is considering careers.  He's thinking seriously of a career in music.  I can appreciate the draw.  Music is deeply rooted in spirituality.  Everyone , I could bet, has some sort of interesting relationship with music.  If you think about it, music, is kind of a crazy part of life.  I hope when I teach, I have the nerve to bring music into my class.  It is an outlet I think we appreciate, more than our rolling eyes often indicate.

March 17, 2005

I had a small aneurysm on Monday.  I was reading the Calgary Sun, about a St. Patrick's Day Marathon held the day before.  Travis' self-talk, "Oh my goodness... St. Patrick's day came and went, and I missed it!  This has never happened to me before."  I was later talked off the ledge by Greg, who informed me that St. Patrick's day is always held on March 17th.  The marathon must have just been held within the proximity of St. Patrick's day not on the actual day of celebration.  Phew!

So beside me is my green outfit.  I opted out of buying one at American Eagle, despite their desperate pleas.  I think we can all agree the commercialization of St. Patrick's Day is getting out of control.  Let's keep the Patrick in St. Patrick's Day.  Last St. Patrick's day I was serving green beer, wine, and pop at the bird.  It's sick that I remember that.   What's even more sick is the following "past-blog quote":

September 29, 2004

Bittersweet moment today: I gave my notice at 'the bird'.  I'm done.  You are probably like, "wow, the blogs are sure to suck now" but I promise you I will still have plenty to blog about.  I mean, I'm happy because I've been there a year and it's time... ... ...

Sometimes I think I was/am a loser.  Ummmm... I'm working Saturday, nearly six months after that post.  But, I'm off.  Check out the new "DO NOT CLICK HERE" link (or cheat here) and guess your homework in the guestbook.  If you don't do the implied homework, I'll pinch you, with or without a green outfit today.  Ohhhhhh, I'm glad I didn't miss the big day; even Ellen was excited.  :D

March 16, 2005

After all the vents about 'the fam' and my friends you might think they are truly annoying.  This, however, is not the case.  This five day stint, they were perfect and, in part, because of that, so was the five day stint.

Everyone was rooting for me, giving me space to have my moment, and checking in from time to time to see if the transition from Edmonton to Calgary was truly happening.  So (as mentioned at the guestbook) it is.  It really actually is.  If I said, "This is kinda a big deal." on the way down people could have tossed me casually aside with a simple "Bullsh**, this job is in the bag." or been all "what about me?!?!?!" but instead everyone saw this as a moment.  This is the moment where I start my career.  This first classroom will always be my first classroom.  I'm leaving behind a huge cushion that I really dig to an unfamiliar oblivion.

That said, I'm excited.  Anything other than excited, stems from excitement (i.e. nervous/excited, sentimental/excited, reflective/excited, etc.)  The gang from Mom/Dad/Leanne to Jo/Jamie/David/Ali is excited with me, and that pumps me up even more.  They get me and so the conversation comes full circle:
they were (and are) perfect.  So, now instead of having one city, I have two.  Instead of asking four guests at a restaurant how they're doing, I have twenty-two students.  Instead of wondering a zillion things about what is going on, I actually know a bit of my future. 

Life is good.  That's pretty good.  Imagine if I listened when they told me I was an uneducated person, who gives nothing, waits for life to happen to him, says one thing yet does another, is late, and never sits in the right spot or does the right thing, is messy, sings off-tune, drives poorly, and is incapable of plans and meaningful relationships.  Looks like all-things-meaningful make sure they get through.  ;)

March 12, 2005

For this entry USTPCP will stand for Uptight Small Town Parent Council President.  I cannot accurately say any of these things are true, except for the Uptight part.  That part is true.  Let's begin:

I go with Ali to her hometown, because she could use company on her way to a small fashion show for her parents' store.  Slowly, I get more and more information about the trip, with the final piece of information being the modelling will take place at a Women's Show.  That's fine.  I'm a modern, non-conservative young man.

I walk into the Social Centre's front doors, and awkwardly hover.  Everyone in the building has a fully equipped chromosome set.  I, however, am missing a chunk, and it's only me.  I hold out my camera, and stay tight with Ali so people know my purpose.   This results with most people giving me a small reassuring smile, or in all honesty indifference.  Sigh of relief.  I'm fine.

Enter, USTPCP.  USTPCP says, "ummmmm... you need to wait in the lobby." 

Oh wow, an awkward situation has just been frosted with awkward icing.  I leave, she walks by me a few more times, just so we can exchange icy glares.  What erks me is that USTPCP probably lives for moments like this.  All that's in her life is ratting out the neighbor's kid's experimental phases, and gossip over hair trims.  I was the spice she was waiting for.  Oh, that's not true.  She also has the exciting allure of checking the women to make sure they are registered for the event.  USTPCP says (while looking for proof of registration), "I wanted to make sure you weren't missed."  Right.  Guess what lady, if the KGB shoe fits... ... ...

Every town has one, and I just met Vegreville's.  USTPCP, watch your back for giant eggs rolling down streets; I'm pretty sure your town is waiting for an opportunity.

March 10, 2005

Know the catchy little bar song that goes "one more time" in kind of a guy's nasaly high pitch tone with background music that you can never get out of your head?  I think "one more time"-itis has been the secret to my success (if you could call it that). 

Take swimming tonight.  Tonight we did 4897 lengths of front crawl.  I hate front crawl (although I'm starting to like it more, but I'm more into lesser known strokes, none of this mainstream industry stuff).  Everytime I was swimming and dying (because these were timed sets), I'd think, "I'll do one more set.  After this set, I'm faking an injury/bathroom break/saying I have a nosebleed" or "After this set, I'm switching to a 'non-assigned' stroke'".  Buuuuuuuut, since I was always saying ONE MORE TIME, I ended up continuing on doing front crawl.  See the beauty of this mindset?  I did the whole thing with front crawl (albeit some with a pull-buoy because karma made me pay for my laziness by taking my legs out from under me via le cramp).

Now take Red Robin.  Bad shift?  Yes.  I say to myself, one more shift that I know will be crazy and then no more.  I will do ONE MORE TIME of sucky shift.  A few of these later, I'm the best server in the restaurant.  Okay, maybe not the best, but lightyears ahead of the early years.  The cool thing here is that everytime you say 'one more time' you have more money in your pockets.

School. You get worn out, you think learning is a curse and not a blessing, but what the heck you're in grade twelve or the last year of your program  (or maybe you just have one more math course, or major paper course).  ONE MORE TIME writing finals, and you're done.  Voila, a managaeable situation.  The trick is tricking yourself.  Our minds aren't meant for big picture, so don't let it in on the secret that big picture even exists.

Sick of reading these blogs, just read them one more time after this.  The next one will be better.  ;)  Muahahahaaha.

March 9, 2005

Sometimes I get flack for not blogging.  It’s not that I don’t want to, or that it would be impossible for me but sometimes I’m busy, or just plain uninspired.  I just read another blog with the perfect solution.  This blogger, when in blog-bind, pays homage to other blogs.

Homage, is from the French meaning “to blatently rip off”  (more accurately hom·age n.
a special honor or respect shown or expressed publicly.

So it turns out plagiarism is really a special honor.  I think I could go with this.  Let’s not kid ourselves, my little “many things” phenomenon is definitely an homage.  My most recent homaging was "by the numbers" in January.  [Hmmmm… do we “an” the word homage or “a” the word homage.  I guess it depends how much of a die-hard you are with accents.]

Anyway, my newest homage (with my opinions inserted):

ten things i really liked when i was a teenager that i don't much care for now:
1. blue
2. thrifty’s
3. Costco muffins
4. “7 habits” books
5. ICQ
6. club
Monaco ‘old-school’ sweaters
7. savage garden
8. mike’s hard lemonade :O
9. jonathan torrens
10. light denim

ten things i didn't much care for when i was a teenager that i really like now:
2. front crawl
3. sushi
4. standing out
5. madonna
6. perogies
7. blue cheese
8. department stores
9. movies other than comedies
10.  black jelly beans

ten things i've never much cared for and very likely never will:
1. moodiness
2. mosquitos
3. beowulf
4. getting the wrong thing in drive thrus
5. “up to” sale signs
6. waiting for cold water from a tap
7. malt candies
8. girls with gelled hair in pony tails/buns
9. wolf shirts
10. indoor sunglasses

ten things i've always really liked and very likely always will:
1. manilla tag
2. khakis
3. realemon
4. late night eat-outs
5. discussing politics
6. hoodies and shorts
7. travelling
8. dipable foods
9. public service announcements
10.  laughing so hard you worry

March 8, 2005

Awesome Trochu Swimming Pool Moments:
- phoning every "1-800" number on every product we had in the staff area to comment on products
- jumping from a starting block to another starting block, breaking it, falling, then dealing with a parent with ripped clothes while bleeding everywhere
- deciding to bike 100km
- making up the song "crocheting songs for my grandma" and teaching it to preschool classes
- intense games of "aqua-ball"
- MAKING kids play british bull dog against their will
- MAKING other lifeguards play their own games and not join ours because they weren't up to par
- experimenting with "sun-in"
- visiting all the swim club kids either during warm-up or afterwards in the "hot tub" (wading pool)
- the zillion water fights and push-ins
- doing the big "poop investigation"
- Lightning days (enough said)
- making radio requests
- telling kids the first day of lessons they are in your class and having them praise Jesus they don't have one of the "failers"
- getting gifts from parents while they rave about the awesome work you do

March 6, 2005

Holy cow!  Tonight I had an amazing supper/visit/dessert/discussion evening.  It was great.  I feel like I've officially grown up now.  I'm having Sunday night supper with adults instead of sneaking into hotel swimming pools with waterslides.  My life is officially in transition. 

Afterwords, more grown-up time.  I got home and did a little channel surfing only to discover a show called Intervention on the A&E Channel.  You can probably guess the next part.  I want to be an interventionist.  [Me, "If you have the will, we have the way.  But this is a once in a lifetime, and it has to be decided today.]  I'm 100% watching this show again.  The show is one big build-up to the actual intervention that is this crazy baptisimal, confrontational, emotional, intense, climactic moment.

Now if you are the head honchos at EPSB or CBE reading this.  Do not misunderstand me.  I want to teach.  If you are my parents, don't fret, the degree was not all lost.  It's just eventually, I hope to build on my teaching experiences and venture in the world of social work, or psychology.  I see myself in a job I can immerse myself in emotionally, and even spiritually into the philanthropy of being a changing moment in people's lives.

My only 3 concerns are as follows 1. is that at Red Robin, I am by no means Dr. Phil when tables get in my face.  I'd have to build on some skills in that area.  Number 2. is that even in my practicums I felt like at the end of the day, I had nothing left, the school took a lot out of me.  Realistically, I think classroom teaching is more user friendly than working with psychiatric deviancy. And, 3., Do I say I want to council only because I think it makes me look and feel like a better person?  After one bad experience, or if I work towards this only to find I'm in way over my head.  That's an big investment for a little image makeover.

Maybe this is just a phase.  This phase is now over three-years-old, though.  This education cult has got me again.  I have a love/hate relationship with postsecondary anything.  Arg.

March 4, 2005

I did it.  I finally did it.  I made it to IKEA in time for the $1 Breakfast we've heard so much about all of our lives.  One time in Calgary, I was very close, but special was over.  Alas, that time I just walked heavily around the store with one of their fake Koala-like beverages.  [Koala aside, did you know they are pretty much the only animal that doesn't consume water, they just eat leaves; I learned that yesterday on Zed].

So, I get the breakfast, double the cost with a coffee (making it there in time for the special means you are up very early), and still pay a mere $2.13.  Still, very do-able.  As you can tell, I'm happy about this little program.  Well, it turns out, the guy behind me in line is UNABLE to control his happiness.  You think I'm happy, well he is ecstatic.  He asks the employees if they still get a deal over and above what is already pretty unbelievable.  He tells people it sure beats going to Earls.  He informs random strangers roughly how often he tries to get into IKEA for this breakfast of a croissant, fritter, eggs, and choice of bacon or sausage.  I'm making it out like he was clinical, but he wasn't.  He was just very personable and happy. This is just a guess, but I am guessing lifelong small town citizen here.  In my head I'm kind of smiling, thinking this guy has truly made it.

I get to the coffee machine, thinking the moment has passed, but no.  He sticks his mug under the cappaccino machine and says to me.  "There's not too many places in town you can get a cappacino for $.99".  I smile and agree, praying to Jesus I don't burst out.  I just know that later on in his travels when he saw the 2.99 clock that EVERYONE has, this guy literally lost it.  I am anticipating the guy closed his eyes, wept, got on the floor, feeling unworthy of standing in the presence of a consumer good priced too good to be true.

IKEA does make people happy.  It's a funky blue building, filled with funkiness.  The only people who get screwed by them are the kids who are forced to play in a playroom filled with IKEA toys that look good, but are less-than-interactive.  All I know is that without BILLY (my bookcase), I'd be truly lost.

March 2, 2005

"In those days, we finally chose to walk like giants & hold the world in arms grown strong with love & there may be many things we forget in the days to come, but this will not be one of them."  Joanne and I saw this Brian Andreas print today, walking down Whyte Avenue.  I'm pretty sure I'll be buying one of the Brian Andreas prints, despite the price.

Today is my sisters eighteenth birthday.  My family is all grown up.

Communion (wings, karaoke, lyining on a couch debating grocery profits) was great today.  I never undervalue communion Wednesday.

Tonight, a giant said something I won't soon forget.

Tonight, I talked to my sister, and I'm really pumped about seeing her Friday for the big birthday bash.  Secretly, Red Deer bashes still intimidate me, but now at 23, I'm ready to take them on.

Tonight, I thought quietly to myself that every single person in this world needs a communion Wednesday, or a swimming thursday, or even a pancake Sunday, whatever, the specifics are up for discussion.  When I say I never undervalue communion Wednesday, I could equally say, I'm a better person because of this tradition.

Today was a good day.

March 1, 2005

Maybe you'll think I'm a loser, but I'm fairly aware of what is happening in Genoa City.  In fact, Genoa City has kept me on the seat of my chair pretty much my whole life.  I'm not really sure if I fit the intended demographic of the Young and the Restless, but everyday my mom watched it after school.  My Grandma tapes it every day, and when she baby sat me she watched it too (Even when I lived in Lethbridge, I watched it with my roomie who was addicted).  I was indoctrined, three Ashley's ago.

Today, I learned there is a new Mackenzie coming at the end of the month.  I always deal well with new actors, but it takes me some time.  Usually, I end up liking them better than the previous actor, but it's a little wierd always at first, especially if they don't look or act anything the same.

I don't ever look at my watch and think "oh Victor's on in 15 minutes".  Usually, I'm getting ready for work, or doing a project while it's on.  An hour is a long time, especially when there are only usually four plot lines and the span of an episode is about half a day. 

I do, however, watch enough to be able to compare some of my site-'regulars' with characters on the show.  I'll start with the people who have been begging me to talk about them.  (If I chose someone of the opposite gender, please do not be offended, i was looking gender-exclusive characteristics, if you're not on the list, sign the guestbook and I'll add you).  You all know I'm waiting for the guestbook comment, "We want to know who you think you, the author, are".  Don't disappoint me.

*Mathew the A.M.- Jill Foster Abbott
---Today she said, I'm not respected at Jabot, Matt said the same thing about the West End; I see a similar demeanor here too.
*Joanne- Christine Blair Williams
---Free spirited, determined, similar laughs
*David- Nicholas Newman
---Both work out, have the same 'angry eyes', the actor was in a boy band/David sings
*Ali- Daniel Romalotti
---I think it's the smug look, the attitude, maybe the curly hair too
Leanne- Olivia Barber Winters
---Smart, sensible, everyone else on the show is to psychotic; Leanne has a pretty level-head
Kevin- Neil Winters
---Driven, philisophical, respected
*Alexis- Lauren Fenmore
---The sense of style, the confidence, both have great smiles
*Jamie B.- Esther Valentine
---Always where the drama is, cute/fun, upbeat
*Mat- J.T. Hellstrom
---Need I say more?
*Craig- Devon
---Stylin', rough around the edges, both have the same "raise the eyebrows and nod"
Grady- Jack Abbott
---shmoozer, executive quality, scotch in one hand and a plan in the other
Darcy- Michael Baldwin
---Emotionally charged, driven, a certain "watch out" quality
*Shannon- Lilly Winters
---Likes to vent, fun at parties, social, even the voice qualities are similar
Lisa- Lynne Bassette
---Always aware of what is going on (PI skills aren't easy), innocent, inquisitive
†Kaley- Gina Roma
---Good at chatting and catching up, personable, jokes and laughs with everyone
*Ed- John Abbott
---Always positive, relaxed, pure at heart

† u of a

February 28, 2005

House parties, by nature, have a 50-50 chance of being very fun and being very "maybe if I just close my eyes and tap my heels together three times, I'll disappear."  This weekend I experienced a house party I'll remember for a long time, which is crazy because in some ways I was prepared for the worst.

On the surface, the party would be most easily described as francophone.  I walked into the front door knowing that I would be the only party participant exclusively English (unless, of course you count my four years of French verb conjigation).  Leaving the party, francophone would be my last descriptor.  With the experience behind me I would use the words branché mais détente.  (They converted me.)

[branché defined: literally translated "plugged in", we're going for less of a "constipated" connotation and more for the "cool" or "charged" derriviatve of the word.  See, at the party there was dancing, a limbo contest, tons of laughing, entertaining anchors, killer music, and a strobe light.  Basically, everyone present was looking for a good time.]

[détente defined: relaxing.  Immediatly, I felt welcome.  I was in great company the entire night.  It's hard to explain, but there was such a feeling of warmth and culture, it was like a small escape from Edmonton.  The energy of the room was very positive, to the extent that it would be impossible not to feel at home.  Lisette, the birthday-girl being surprised, was certainly appreciative, but so was I, the party crasher]

I think it goes without saying but the French are rocking my world.   It's official, I'm in this for the long-haul.  This summer I am taking some sort of intensive FSL, because there is a tonne to benefit.  I can't say I regret not knowing more of the language, because in a lot of ways I have been a victim of my circumstances.  Citizens of Trochu, and University English Lit. majors get a little screwed when it comes to second languages.  Luckily I'm not 96, so it's not too late to make up for lost time.

February 24, 2005

Maybe Oprah isn't the definitive source of knowledge, but Oprah says that every single piece of clothing you wear you should feel fabulous in, even if it's "lounge around the house" clothing.  Okay, I can buy into that.  Oprah also says that it's a good idea to keep a Thankfulness Journal, a journal of things you are thankful for.  With that, I 100% concur.

I don't actually keep a Thankfulness Journal.  I used to keep a generic pen-and-paper journal, but with that and the blog it got to be too much.  Loyal to the site, I just stick with this journal outlet.  Today's entry will have to suffice as my Thankfulness Entry.  Sometimes I think I dwell on what's not going right, with what stresses me out, and what makes me bonkers when in reality I have a ton going for me.  Sooooooooooooo, things I couldn't live without include:

 -   My friends [and "more than friends"].  Maybe I should say my support network, because literally I think I would be lost without all the people who make me laugh, check in on all my drama, and let me go on and on and instead of judging me celebrate my different approach to life.
 -   My family.  I know I sometimes make it out like I have a family that is out to get me and is out of touch with reality, but my family is one tight group that I know I can always count on.  My sister knows what I'm thinking 999 times out of 1000 just by looking at me.  My mom and dad would give their left arms for me and that's saying a lot because my dad is left-handed even when he golfs.  I couldn't even tell you how much of a better person I am because of my grandparents.
 -   Good health.  Aside from a few setbacks, I've been very fortunate to have few little healh-related concerns.
 -   Brains.  ;), Okay, this isn't here just so I can brag, but school has been a fairly easy process for me.  I'm grateful university was an option for me, and that it proved to be a successful endeavor.  Confidence in school is a major asset.  I'm glad I had that on my side.
 -   Extroversion.  Sometimes, I think I make it out like I don't really want to be a teacher and that I'm destined for something more prestigous but this last year every single time I have been at a school I felt at home and felt empowered to be able to
make a career out of this.  I am well-aware that sometimes when I deal with people they are a little overwhelmed with my presence, but in general I think I do very well with people and I'm glad I'm able to use that skill to make a difference.
 -   My loot.  Basically, I have everything I want at this point in my life.  I have the apartment, the car, Billy the Bookcase, an adequate supply of polo tee style shirts from the gap, a cell phone, Redken hair product.  Maybe, I should feel guilty and get some of my belongings on the next flight out to where they are needed, but this blog isn't about guilt; it's about thankfulness.
 -   My location.  Sure Alberta is backwards and cold, but "there's more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be found."  Meh, I'm glad the ancestors ventured westward.  Alberta has Red Robin, pools, and classrooms, so basically I'm set.
 -   My new alarm clock.  Sure this could fit in the loot category, but seriously this thing should be made out of platinum.  I got it for Christmas.  It plays CD's so I can wake up to soothing music.  It has two alarm times.  You can set it by going up OR down, so you never have to wind all the way through 60 numbers to set it.  Sleep, Snooze, Nap, the whole nine yards.  Sony DreamMachine Psyc, I AM INDEBTED.  [Ali, I know I mentioned this on your blog too, but I promise I'm not obsessing an more than I should be.]

Well the list is impressive.  Seeings how I don't want to be featured in Alanis' next Ironic song, I'm going to go touch as much wood as I can.  I guess I could put on the list too, but I assumed that was a given.

February 20, 2005

There are two types of people in this world.  There is the type of person who dances on coffee tables, and there is the type of person who has no urge to dance on coffee tables whatsoever.

As a kid, I relished the opportunity to get up on a coffee table and belt out "Little Bunny Foo Foo" to anyone who would listen.  My uncle had a bay window that was an even better stage than any coffee table out there.  When Andrea and I were being babysat at Grandma and Grandpa Robertson's, it was common for us to put boots on our hands and toques on our heads so we could better relate to our audience.  For Joanne's sister, Jamie, her time to shine was in front of a camcorder ballerina-style clothed only in a diaper.  Today, at a going away party my awesome friends Erin and Kelsey relived their past with some dance moves backed up by a ghetto blaster.  It was funny to me, but I would be lying if I said I didn't understand the appeal of letting loose and stepping outside of that easily-established comfort zone.

I am officially done with rolling my eyes and having no part of fun things that are happening around me.  This doesn't mean I'm going to get up with Ali and karaoke every Wednesday, and it doesn't mean that every time Kevin cues a solo part from the ficticous band when he listens to music that I'l be cueing them too.  It does mean defaulting to Mr. Cool who will not be a part of foolish shinanigans is OUT.  The best people in my life are a little nuts in the head, and that's what draws me to them.  Why are we so tempted to never let that part of us show.  It's stupid.  I'm not.  I wear lime green sweaters.  I belt out birthday songs at 'the bird'.  I currently have two fuzzy dice and a clip-on red tie on my rear view mirror.  "That's where I come from; that's who I am."  Take it or leave it.

February 18, 2005

People think servers cannot hear anything, ever.  Surprise, WE HAVE EARS and can hear things outside of what is being ordered and "how you're doing tonight".  I walk by a table and the girl says "I'm not hungry!"

Mom says, "Eat it!"  I walk away and come back.  Mom proceeds to tell me that her daughter's "Mac' and cheesy" is no good.  A good server would smile, apologize, and walk away, but I know I'm being toyed with.  Knowing full well Mom doesn't want to pay for a meal her daughter won't be eating, I say, "Look, this is literally Kraft brand Kraft Dinner prepared out of a box.  It's a little strange that it's "NO GOOD", i.e. WHAT THE HELL COULD BE WRONG WITH IT?!?!

She proceeds to further inform me the milk must be sour.  I take it, and leave.  Not even joking, I go to the back, find a section that is untouched and try a sample.  Surprise, it tastes like mouth watering Kraft Dinner!  No milk has curdled.  No cheese areas have become filmy from sitting too long.  I'm tasting a sample of Macaroni and Cheese that has been prepared to perfection with boiiling water and margarine.  Of course, it gets taken off the bill and life goes on.

I just get a bit peeved that dishonest, and/or cranky melodramatic people pay less in retaurants than people who realize their Friday night meal is not their once in a lifetime wedding or a graduation banquet.  If I was going to take care of a meal out of all the guests I served tonight it CERTAINLY wouldn't have been that table.  I'd choose the table that told me my "smiling face" was a welcome change to the rough week they were having, or the table that gave me tips on how to get hired on with Edmonton Public, or the boy who said he couldn't understand me because I talk a little fast sometimes.  I hope Karma is a real phenomonon that bites bad people on the butt and gives  good people a bit of a boost.  Although restaurants are counterproductive to the Karmic process, real life is waiting on the other side of the door!  Thanks to the people who try to test Karma, I have to worry for 48 hours, that some communicable disease is festering inside of me.

February 17. 2005

So, a guy walks into a bank.  In this case, it's me and the bank is my nearest Alberta Treasury Branch.  The story is the same everytime.  I walk in, wait in line and hand the Customer Service Representative my manilla tag deposit book.  They look at me like, "you loser!  Have you heard of bank machines?  Annnnnnnd if you're doing this archaic system could you at least just use the little white slips so you don't look so dumb?".

I respond by looking at them with a look that says, "I'm keeping you employed, so start keying in those numbers in that lightning quick way of yours!"  What's funny, is that I always thought it was weird that people in the bank here in Edmonton know my name.  I thought maybe it was because of my charm and quick sense of humour.  I'm starting to think it's because I'm the only one who still uses a blue passbook for my transaction history, and the big yellow deposit book.  I'm not leaving the impression I thought I was.

Next time I go in, I'm going to say aloud, "Just so you know I use internet banking too.  I'm not as dumb as you think."  I won't tell them that the only reason I do, is because Joanne (ex-roomie) made fun of me for not knowing how to pay bills online, but knowing how to google random people to find out more about them.  Well, I gotta jet, I'm the 27 439th visitor to some site, and I won a free vacation to Florida, so I need to claim my prize.  All I have to do is click, so I'm outta here!

February 14, 2005

Well thousands of years ago St.Valentine marched all the snakes into a mountain with his flute.  Wait a minute, I think I mixed that up a bit.  Well, it is Valentines day, so let's discuss (say the next part in the taunting little kids voice, as though they had just finished saying 'sitting in a tree'): K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

Remember the commercial where the girlfriend goes "Remember, for Italians it's customary to double kiss!".  In walks Nona and he kisses her twice on the smacker twice hardcore.  Everyone is disgusted and embarassed, except for pore Nona, who seems a little revived, albeit surprised.

That commercial is the perfect segway into what happened to me when I met the publicist for SRC.  "It was nice to meet you Lisette!"  Voice in my head: "handshake? no.  looks like a hug. hmmm... she's awfully close to my head, OH MY GOD, it's that double kiss thing I've heard about.  What if it isn't, I better abort before I look dumb."  Too late.  I look dumb in a big way.  I figure why dance around the subject so I inform all present, that I have never done the "double-kiss good bye".  I give my dumb, eyes-to-the-celing smile and say let's try that again.  I do, we leave, and for the next seventeen minutes I ask myself why the ground did not just swallow me whole.  I hate those moments where you replay them over and over in your head thinking, maybe it wasn't that bad, and then each replay reminds you that it was.

Story done? Consider your writer, No.  Today, I hear that Lisette told people (in my head I'm picturing her at the watercooler with 87 francophones engaged along with 14 people drawn into the crowd from the English side of the office) that Travis not only doesn't "speak the language" he doesn't even "understand some of the simplest parts of French culture".  Oh great, I'm the laughing stock.  Turns out the story was ficticous, no reaction occured.  Someone was just preying on my insecurities.  I'm not too worried now, because Christmas is a long time away.  See, if at the station Christmas party, this story still pops up, this office is in some SERIOUS need of gossip.

February 11, 2005 PART II (read Part I first, for this to make sense)

Just got back from Whyte Ave, and some crazy crazy stuff happened (aside from the usual nutty buskers).  When I went to get the psychic reading, she flipped over a card and described David.  She said some cool stuff, and that alone impressed me that she was obviously talking about my BFF from 'the bird'.  Then she goes off on this tangent that didn't make sense.  She goes, something is wrong with his throat.  It's swollen, sore, and goes on about his throat.  In my head I'm thinking "okay nutty one, quit while you are ahead, there is nothing significant or wrong with David's throat."

So I'm out tonight and run into Toni Barbutza, and she informs me and the girls that Karsten (the menonite line cook) is celebrating his 18th B-Day so we join in.  Later on, she says, "What are your plans for the evening?"

I say, "We're pretty much winding down, but I might call David and see what he's up to."

Moment we are all waiting for: Toni says, "Don't bother, his throat is really sore, and he barely finished his shift.  He won't be doing anything but sleeping."  Holy Jahova, what a day!!

February 11, 2005 PART I

In my head Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, and Stony Plane are the same place.  I would throw in Fort Saskatchewan too but it doesn't start with an "S" so for some reason it deserves it's own exclusive status.  Today, my grad pictures were in Sherwood Park.  Upon driving there, I thought, "SHOOT!! I bet this I'm not even going to the correct "S-'burb" and I'm going to be late.  Thankfully, I had the right place in mind, and was on the right track all along.

So I had my pictures taken, and some turned out okay.  I think it's a good thing I didn't just get a degree in modelling because my smile is very crooked, and invasive of my eyes.  I bet my eyes are always thinking "I wish Mr. Smile down there wouldn't always steel our thunder."  Basically, I looked drunk and happy which is never a good grad picture pose.  It's kind of neat that you can see the pictures right away.  We are light years ahead of film.

Here, though, is where things get juicy.  Somehow, on my way home I stumbled accross a psychic.  (LONG STORY).  I'm not even lying.  I really had a reading.  Sometimes I think you'd have to be me for a day, to see how things like this progress in my world.  Speaking of worlds, this lady rocked my world.  She was dead freakin' on in a lot of ways.  I don't know, really, if psychic anything is legit, but today they scored some major points.

Well, I'm off to Whyte Ave. to hang out with my Meyonohk Peeps.  I hope your year of the rooster is having a great start.  If you want to start off your year of the roost with a gmail (google mail) account, write a nice thing about me in the guestbook, and I'll fire you an invite.  If your comment is super de duper, you might even get a mention on the blog, who knows.  ;)

February 10, 2005

I'm tired and bitchy.  It's just after 12:30 in the afternoon so I shouldn't be either, but somehow I am.  Sadly for you, when I'm like this the blogs aren't clever or fun.

I think I have "busy doing nothing" syndrome.  Remember the song?  I don't even know if it really is a song, I just had it on a Mini Pops tape so I assume it was a remake of a real song.  "I'm busy doing nothing, wasting the whole day through.  Trying to find lots of things not to do".  Anyways, let me describe the symptoms.  I want to do something big (i.e. TRAVEL SOMEWHERE with the passport I just got, start back up in aquatics, apply like mad for a real teaching position, explore life, etc.) but I don't.  "Why?", you ask.  Because I fell busy with what is in reality very little: a few shifts at Red Robin, swimming, and little errands like going to Safeway to return the Potato Salad they screwed me on.

On a lighter note, last night I watched the CBC/SRC people madly put together a 6:00 local news broadcast.  It was really interesting.  I'm in love with the culture of this office.  Kevin told me I could swing by, and at first I felt bad because everyone was in "crunch mode" and here is this random stranger [me] constantly in the way.  I watched the entire process, and met some big-deal people.  I had met Janice Johnson before but I continue to be impressed by her in a big way.  New to impressing me was the English Canada Now anchor, Portia.  She radiates warmth and professionalism.  Kevin asked her if she was stressed out about going on in less than ten minutes and she pointed to her computer screen at the coloured tabs indicating things were ready and she goes, "Nope.  See:  Chiclet, Chiclet, Chiclet."  It seems like nothing, but I'll remember that moment for a long time.

Also memorable last night, will be Kevin and Ali singing a little Melissa Ethridge karaoke style.  The whole night was a typical cozy night out.  It was a great way to wind-up the CBC/SRC madness and the AWESOME day back at Meyonohk for their Chinese New Year.  Well that wasn't as much of a vent as I thought it would be, I guess you're lucky... for now.

February 7, 2005

Calls and E-mails have been flooding in for days now.  This happens every year.  It's Eczema Awareness Month.  Everyone is like, "Travis, we never get tired of hearing your story."  After seven days of this I finally agreed to go public.  I felt that it is my duty to help people through their Exzema, and I felt especially compelled to help the Francophone sufferers.  Today I told my story to them, the people I say, "Zut! Mes jambes démangent!!.

I agreed to do an interview on SRC (CBC's French Counterpart).  It airs tonight between 6:00 and 6:30.  As far as I know, I've only been on TV twice and both times I was dressed as a big red bird.  I have been interviewed twice before that, but both times the clip never made the air (as far as I know).  Actually, I think I ended up making the live shot of the Bill 11 protest too, I'm just not 100% sure about that one, because obviously I WAS AT THE PROTEST at the time.  What I'm trying to say is, I'm not on TV a lot.

Playing the part of Exzema Victim #3 might not have been my first choice as an entrance into stardom, but it is an entrance none the less.  When I was in the Calgary Herald in high school a producer phoned my at my house (which was creepy) and asked me to be in a documentary.  It never worked out.  Maybe someone will call up tomorrow and be like, "Your sexy red arms are just what we are looking for in our next historic epic."

Unfortunately, tonight I'm serving smiling burgers (unless we run out again like last night, then I'm taking off the apron and walking out).  I will be watching my big debut, with my fellow "team members" in the lounge.  It will be funny because I'm basically naked and my hair is remniscent of Harry Potter.  I was going for a 'vulnerable' look.  Hopefully, none of our guests barf up their steak fries.  We'll see.  Until next time, remember: Exzemics are people too!

February 3, 2005

This is a bit confusing so pay attention.  Last nite I dreamt that something crazy and bad happened.  Within that dream, I fell asleep, and in the morning of that sleep, I thought 'I hope what happened was a dream'.  It seemed like it wasn't, buuuuuuut then I REALLY woke up and it was all one big dream.  It was crazy.  Good crazy, but crazy nonetheless.

Sometimes I dream that I'm mad at people, and I have to remind myself when I really see them there is no reason for anger, because in reality they have done nothing wrong.  Sometimes I have to ask myself, "Did this event really happen to me, and I have an actual memory, or did I dream this once and my memory is actually a memory of a dream."  I sometimes wonder if other people have such difficulty separating real world with REM world.

Lately, my two recurring dreams have been very different from each other.  One is that I'm screaming at the top of my lungs and everyone is looking at me like, "We don't get it; You're not making sense."  That makes me scream louder.  I think I mentioned this recurring dream in a previous post.  The other one is I go progressively blind.  That one is worse.  Watching the movie Ray did not help the occurence of the latter.

One of my friends is going clinically insane beacuse of his/her dreams, I don't want to give the person away because of my choice of pronouns.  When he/she tells me about the dream thing, I think I'm come accross as much more skeptical and aloof about the topic than I actually am.  Dreams fascinate me kind of.  A lot of the bible, is based on dreams so obviously many people share in this fascination.  I read once that dreams of being naked in public and dreams of flying often end at the same time in life.  It's like the person has reached acceptance that they need to be clothed, and that they will never fly simultaneously and their mind adjusts accordingly.  It's like a right of passage.  I hope I never get there.  It's not that I don't want to grow-up, but let's not kid ourselves.  Public naked dreams can be some of the most dramatic. 

February 1, 2005

Today, I watched a tiny bit of 100 Huntley Street.  They prayed.  People in the Three Hills Capital, when I went home this weekend, were praying the same prayer.  930 AM Radio: Same prayer, again.  Evidently, our moral climate is about to take a turn for the worse as same-sex marriage legislation takes its first read-through today.  Hmmmm.  Seems to me that the S.S. Shady Morals sailed long ago, and that same-sex marriage legislation could be the least of our worries.  It also seems to me that the lives of most will not change if homosexual couples are allowed to be recognized as a monogomous couple. 

I attempt to refocus your pending prayers with the following excerpt from one of my Ethics and Law in Education papers.  Researching the issue certainly made me think.  Hmmmmm.  Thinking.  Imagine that.  This issue of marriage isn't even one I feel overwhelmingly compelled to, however, I DO FEEL compelled to respond to this sudden increase small-minded, hypocritical, surpressing, uneducated, embarassing commentary sweeping the country.  Because of it, people are suffering:

The impact of sexuality discrimination is wide-spread. Most impacted, are those who do not identify with or are not recognized with the heterosexual majority. This means that even students unsure of their sexually identity are targeted by homophobia and marginalization. Even more broadly, students who even slightly deviate from societal expectations of masculinity or femininity are at risk as targets (Hansman, 1998).

Also of great importance is the severity of the consequences of sexuality discrimination. By not taking action [as teachers] and becoming actively involved, these consequences are essentially being accepted (Snelling,1991).  While growing up students may feel that they need to pose as ‘normal’ among other ‘normals’ in order to avoid negative stereotypes (Hansman, 1998, p.3). They often feel unsafe about being open, to either themselves or others, about sexual identity and experiences. The result is a “common socialization process” in those who struggle—“learning to hide”.  In hiding, students’ ability to learn is jeopardized, as is their desire to participate in school activities (Hansman, 1998, p.3).

Risks for non-heterosexuals are vast. Revealing sexuality or displaying behaviour different than traditional sex-role stereotypes, has the potential for an “onslaught of verbal and physical abuse (Hansman, 1998, p.3).” Many are familiar with Matthew Shepard, a university student, who was savagely beaten, tied to a fence-post, and left to bleed in the cold because of his sexuality (Sheppard, 2003).  Physical abuse is among the many other increased risks to the non-heterosexual community that society should be mindful of. These include: caregiver abandonment, rejection, school-leaving, homelessness, and prostitution (Uribe, 1994).

Psychologically, while dealing with sexuality issues, youth often feel elements of isolation, rejection, and desolation (Hansman, 1998). The result is a possible increased risk of psychiatric illness, specifically those considered to be onset by environment.  Studies verify that homosexually active individuals (as opposed to exclusively heterosexually active individuals) have a higher prevalence of such things as mood and anxiety disorders (Netherlands Mental Health, 2001). Drug use has a higher prevalence in non-heterosexual communities, as well (Netherlands Mental Health, 2001). Perhaps the most important factor to be considered, when establishing the importance of sexuality content in school initiatives is suicide; suicide is a devastating reality for those who suffer (Hansman, 1998).

The A.T.A. published a study done in 1997 stating that “gay youth are two to three times more likely than their heterosexual classmates to: attempt suicide… and abuse drugs and alcohol. While some gay and lesbian youth react to their situation by becoming overachievers it is also true that at least 30 percent of adolescents who commit suicide are homosexual (Teachers Guide, 2003, p.3).” A study by Bell & Weinberg suggests a higher impact rate stating that “gay males are six times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual males, and that lesbians are twice more likely than their heterosexual counterparts (Hansman, 1998, p.4).” 

Both the scope and the intensity of the impact are too great to ignore.  In fact, ignoring these issues can be a very damaging mistake, because it actually increases the problem. A letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association regarding suicide prevention alleges that psychological needs are not being met by medical professionals.  The same could be argued about educational professionals, as well. The letter mentioned states that “these youth [dealing with sexual identity] are not only hated, but also at risk of being ignored to death… Denying the needs of these young people—or worse, ignoring their very existence—only confirms that we do not consider them important (Snelling, 1991).”

January 24, 2005

Remember this blog?  We decided to walk back the 40 blocks.  We began with a stop at Tim Hortons, and a quick look in at A-Channel's studio (only to be taunted by the security guard who yells at us, "hey, haven't you ever seen a t.v. studio before??").  Jo replied, "No, we're from the country."  In hindsight, I don't think I really have seen a studio that close up, but I could be wrong.  Most of the night we just vegged at the legislature grounds.

Well, tonight was a life changing day.  I have now, officially, seen a studio up close.  The great thing about knowing great people is they take you great places.  Tonight, I had a tour of the SRC/CBC news office downtown.  I don't want to make you feel jealous and down on yourself, but it WAS a personal V.I.P. tour, and security guards did not yell at me.  They just said, "Nous sont fermé à cinq, lundi au vendredi".   Oh, federal government employees, so bilingual and so witty.

I don't want to bore you with details, but tonight was a really great night.  I was in amazing company, and it was a nice escape from thinking, "resume please write yourself; portfolio please make yourself; I think this point has been adequately made so I will now stop".  Tomorrow, I have another great day ahead of me.  I'm swimming, being made supper, and going to a big par-tay that only Red, himself, could put on.  Alas, AGAIN, I will miss Red because right when he is scheduled to arrive, I have a quick external engagement.  Just knowing he will be there for everyone else makes me happy.  I hear he is super wonderful, with amazing legs, and a general je ne sais quoi about him.  Oh man, life lately has been REALLY awesome.  I have a lot to be thankful for, and as Martha would say, "that's a good thing."  Here's to more "good things", ;) TR signing off!

January 20, 2005

Come in close to the computer screen, I want to tell you a secret.  No.  Closer.  This is big!  Ready?

Okay the secret is that sometimes I don't post on here, because I like the previous entry and I KNOW that no one ever reads old posts.  I relish the old post by keeping it on top longer.  So here's my NEW AND IMPROVED ACTION PLAN.  I will post more often.  Annnnnnnd I'm going to highlight personal favorites in posts-gone-by.  This way we all win.

I guess this post is an inside look at blogging.  It's like metablogging which is only funny if you know what metacommunication and metacognition are.  Okay, let's be realistic.  If you know what the prefix 'meta' means you are fine.  If not do what I do and go to google.  Type in "WORD IN QUESTION" followed by the word "DEFINED".  In this case, "meta defined" would be your search term.  This way you look smart even if you are dumb.

So tonight I read every single entry in this blog, and I admit sometimes I was bored.  I now feel your pain as a reader.  Sometimes, however, as vein as this sounds: I laughed out loud.  The example that comes to mind is the Edmonton's 100th Birthday post where I wrote, "Naturally, I dressed up like an airplane".  I guess I just like my own sense of humour.  Next admission, this part of the site is not aesthetically pleasing.  Easy to update: Yes! Text 1.X: No!  I won't lie to you, I try to upgrade, but it's harder than you think.  I guess I could change the background colour, but I don't want you to experience a culture shock.

Here's another little secret.  Entries I do verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry late at night tend to be far more entertaining than morning, or afternoon entries.  They are less clear, and harder to follow, but late night mania seems to boost the entertainment value of blog entries.

Okay, I feel like I owe you a real secret.  The secret, "I blog occasionally" doesn't seem substantial enough.  I'm trying to think of something NO ONE knows, not even David or Leanne but let's face it, I'm pretty open book.  Hmmmmmm... I got nothing.  I guess I'll just have to let you know that I use a 'sunless tanner' on my face.  The secret is out, I have pasty skin, and I use a tanning lotion that brings colour to that smile we all love to hate.  Happy?  I would tan at Fab. but appointments are far to 'organizationally advanced' for my life, and I hear voices remniscent of my mother saying, "is that melanoma growing on your forehead" whenever I'm trapped in that light box.  So there you have it, I fake 'n' bake.  If it makes you feel any better, I can't even really tell the difference when it's on. 

By the way, David and Leanne both knew that secret already, so you are still three steps behind.

January 18, 2005

Today we are going to talk about a group of people called "nornom"s.  Please note that the name of the group has been changed to protect the innocent.  I'm not bashing, or really delving into theological issues here; I am simply making a series of observations.

All my life, I have said that 'nornoms' ARE, if nothing else, very convicted witnesses.  Obviously I said that as a lay observer because, now, on at least four occasions I have been a sitting duck and... .... ... nothing.  Imagine how anticlimactic it would be to attend a 'service', and literally say "We are visitors, where do we go?" to have a response of, "Over there". 

Note to anyone starting a community group here: you will need to go door to door less IF you aren't so shocked and amazed to have people on YOUR doorstep.  Second note to anyone starting a community group here: "Over there, elipses, how did you find out about elipses" is an effective PROBING response.

So why bring this up today, January 19th, 2005 at 6:14p.m.  Today,  I was walking down Whyte Ave, only to quicly recognize two "elbers".  Instead of offering me pamphlets or inquiring into my spiritual journey, I am REJECTED.  Maybe they have a a manual, "Faux Hawks, and breath that smells like cactus cut potatos are BAD NEWS, brothers"  Maybe my two-year-old AE jeans were a reflection on future tithes.  Maybe, it was the look of excitement in my face when I saw them, I don't know.  But, I am crushed.  Something about me radiates an unworthy vibe.

Now PLEASE don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to get cozy anytime soon with anyone inside a burnt red brick building.  What I am willing to do is have some meaningful dialogue with someone more exposed to the nornom faith than I am (i.e. They are a part of it).  I don't think it would be good on an entertainment level, or an arguement level, but good in gaining an accurate concept of what nornomism REALLY is, and what their concept of the rest of the world REALLY is.  I would be lying if I said I did not have severe reservations about many aspects of  this group's core beliefs, but maybe over coffee (BAD JOKE, TRAVIS... try over talking) that could get cleared up. Hmmmmm...  Obviously today post-Boston Pizza was not the time.  Instead I went to Holt Renfrew with someone I don't scare away.  Your loss.  At least Jamie B. always makes me laugh.

January 17, 2005

Travis' Day By the Numbers:

# on alarm clock when I awoke: 10:00am
# on CD i awoke to: Track 8 (My Immortal)
# on watch when I arrived at university (for my career fair):11:30am
# of minutes showering: 21 (I was very tired)
# of hair products used (not counting shampoo): 2
# of sweaters I tried on before choosing one: 6
# of coats I wore to cover the sweater all day long: 1
# of times I said, "Hi.  My name is Travis, I'm a December graduate, do you...": 34
# of interviews done with Calgary Board of Education: 1
# of  interviews I was expecting to do: 0
# of questions at said interview: 30
# of times I probably used the word "inviting" during the interview: 387
# of busrides today: 2
# of times I cried today because of Oprah: 1
# of times I'll kick you for being judgemental of my Oprah-reaction: 12
# of times I ordered a Philly Beef & Swiss but actually got some brown bread beef thing: 1
# of times I ran into the person I like serving least in the world at work: 3
# of things I posted on the many things site today: 106 (get to know the ex-roomie here)
# of Minute Maid orange juices consumed today: 2
# of items in this list: 20

A day in the life of me--priceless.

January 13, 2005

So how do you follow a blog entry that says, "I was on an elevator with Meg Ryan."

Ummmm... you don't.  Hence the break between posts.  Those of you who follow the blogs know that one of two things can happen in these times-of-rut.  ONE: I get BIG and philisophical which would mean today I discuss my reaction to the world's reaction on the Tsunami.  TWO: I get sappy and talk about how I'm at a career crossroad (YES, STILL!!) and how my friends are getting me through it.   Ooh.  I forgot the third option: expand on cool quotes.  Okay, I convinced myself to share this one.  It's from Mike Snyder the CEO/President/Head Busboy at Red Robin.  It reads, "Give me a [grill] and a tent in a parking lot, along with the best service-oriented people who take care of the customer [sic] and each other, and every shift I'll beat the pants off the restaurant with the multi-million dollar building next door." 

Thanks Mike, and maybe I'm going to get fired for this next commentary, but we haven't really had a whole lot of team building lately.  Rallies, parties (although there is one soon), incentives, even CDT'S (that's Robinese for trainers) have gone by the wayside.  So I'd watch out for that million dollar....
  Grrr... that wasn't even the tangent I was going to go on.  This was going to be where I said how wonderful it has been to meet everyone (insert: roomies, BFF, movie partners here) and how last night we had an entire HUMUNGI table of people who would have never met if it hadn't been for the 'bird'.  But you know what, back when people were meeting each other like mad, and love was flowin' like wata', things were different.  Our focuses (or foci) were crazy things like having four people greet guests at the door, or putting as many balloons in our sections as we could, or having the entire team together for Burger Olympics.  Annnnnnnnnnd, there was candy on the service isle.  I am a FIRM believer that candy is a good incentive no matter what the nutritionist propaganda says.  Typing teachers, Shiftleaders, Car Salespersons take note.  Candy=Happy.  All I'm saying is apathy is a fast acting virus.  It just bit one of our coolest teammembers in the butt, and he's gone and i'm sad.  Candy could have saved EVERYTHING.

So as we veer off-topic together, let's see how far we can go.  Craig whose many things doubled my traffic (honest), rocks my world.  He's gone.  He will no longer give me those little puppy dog eyes that say, "could you maybe pre-bus ONE table this shift".  He said the nicest thing to me last night.  He said that he won't miss me.  Now wipe that look of horror off your face, because this is a cocoon-like comment.  He said he won't miss me because, he knows that he'll still see me tons. [NOTE THAT COMPLIMENTS GET YOU MENTIONED PEOPLE... NOTE THAT COMPLIMENTS GET YOU MENTIONED].-- Now may my blog, that passes all useless understanding, keep your hearts and minds open to posting in my guestbook.  We depart in this deep freeze.

January 10, 2005

I used to have a teacher who always said, "Is it faster to go by Banff or by bus?".  I never really got it, ever.  Regardless, this weekend I was in Banff for three incredible days!.  I think we overuse the word unforgettable, but so many parts of this weekend were just that: unforgettable.  I can't imagine forgetting riding an elevator with some of the cast of Melrose Place only to have the doors open again, with Meg Ryan entering.  I introduced myself to Meg herself.  It was a crazy moment.  I had my arm around Robin Williams.  I saw Alec Baldwin, Big from Sex and the City, and thanks to David I had a small conversation with a "Nanny named Fran".

Even if I wasn't starstruck the whole trip, it was just great to be staying in a literal castle.  The Banff Springs has this amazing sense of grandeur and history and majesty.  Sitting outside in the hot pool, or being greeted to a small card with tomorrow's weather on my pillow each evening was a welcome change to apartment life.

Alone, however, the trip would have been ho-hum.  Alongside, the entire trip was my BFF David (AKA DVB).  Most people couldn't really do the amount of "together time" we did, but somehow we always seem to have a great time.  I'm sure five days of my driving were a bit tough on his nerves, but he survived.  We also had an amazing time with our marketing director from Vancouver, Holly.  Now in any marketing director/mascot relationship there is the potential for one person to feel slightly higher up the ladder.  Holly never ever let this sentiment show.  We laughed pretty much non-stop over sushi, dessert, stalking opportunities, and sing-along roadtrips.  Honestly, this girl (and I can say girl because she is only two years older than me) is going places.  I'm glad to be in-the-know.  We also spent much of our time with Holly's American counterpart, Anette, of Red Robin International in Denver.  Anette is also such a warm fun person.  Aside from not knowing what a "Touque" is, she was super cool and even told us a few 'insider secrets'.

And that was pretty much our trip.  On the way home we camped out in Cowtown which is always a fun adventure.  We went to Talisman to experience "floatables" courtesy of our good friend Gregory Andrew.  It was great to see him, and catch up.  Had we not been about thirty hours behind on our sleep I'm sure we would have been far more fun people. 

Totally unrelated I'll leave you with this movie clip: "The funny thing about guilt is that there is nothing so bad that you can't add a little guilt to it to make things worse.  There's nothing so good that you can't add a little guilt to it to make things better.  Gult distracts us from the greater truth that we have an inherent ability to heal."  Tonight Alicole will experience the movie, so if you don't know what movie this is from you'll have to have your people call her people.  Ciao.

January 5, 2005

Before I get all the "Travis, you haven't posted for x minus y days".  I am gone-zo.  In fact I'll be chillin' with Meg Ryan courtesy of Red Robin.  Our corporate office is sponsering a celebrity ski weekend I'm doing some "communtiy relations".  When I get back I'll explain.  All I can say is BANFF SPRINGS HOTEL... here come two servers extraordinaire.  I hope you're ready.  Look for me on Entertainment Tonight.  I'll be the one in Red.  ;)

January 3, 2005

If I know anyone in the world well, it's my sister.  As different as we are, I always know what she is thinking and can count on her for a laugh or venting session.  Basically, we get along more than the average sibling demographic.  Tonight she sent me her many things, and 104 seemed like 3.  I flew through them totally engaged, picturing her type them.  Leanne deserves a medal for surviving family life with Travis.  You could only imagine living with all my drama.  Basically I'm saying she deserves a medal.  Check out her many things here.

I'm starting to think that this 'many things' phenomenon is the answer to the worlds problems.  Everyone should sit down and hash out a random list of identity.  It's therepeutic, fun, cleansing, yadda, yadda yadda.  Even if no one reads it you know that there is the potential that someone could.  It's a great icebreaker, and fun for all ages.

Okay, back to me.  Tonight I thought about how I expect everyone in the world to be me.  Maybe that's a sign of egocentrism, but regardless I constantly need to remind myself that people are not me, will never be me, and never have been me (although some people's 'many things' are creepily similar to some of my own).  This is a fairly random case-in-point, but tonight after work we had a typical after work outing and it was super fun.  Everyone was laughing, and things were a lot of fun.  Talk.  Talk. Talk.  I walk into a one-liner as always, and out of left field the conversation splits into two.  Both groups are talking at that annoying "bar/lounge volume level" and one group forgot that "bar/lounge volume" is heard by everyone.  Moment of awkwardness.  In fact the awkardness is so much that I instantaneously feel like, wow, I'm done here.  I just always think to myself, 'hmmmm... call me crazy but how did common sense not prevail here'.  This seems to be the story of my life.  I literally have dreams where I'm screaming on the top of my lungs so loudly that my voice hurts because the masses are not understanding common sense.  It's like I'm the only person in the world with my feet on the ground and everyone else is looking at me with blank stares.  What happens next.  I wake up and live the dream.

Okay Travis tie this all together.  Hmmmm... so far people sending me 'many things' seem to be pretty grounded and not in need of being Travified.  'Many things'=good, Stupidity=bad.  Smell ya later.  ;)

January 2, 2005

Today was a crrrrrrrrrazy day.  Maybe not crazy by your standards (if you think crazy equals skydiving) but crazy none-the-less.  Three servers, David, Erin, and I, attended a Mormon service.  Between a regular Sunday sleep-in and experiencing something outside our normal comfort zone... we chose the latter.  I admit when I first exited the car, I was like "WHAT AM I DOING??!" but once the service begain the whole thing was quite anti-climactic.  There were some funny moments:

1) Walking in at 10:59 and asking where to go and having the response, "Are you here for the 9:00 meeting or the 11:00 meeting?". Ummmmmmmm...
2) ALL THE FREAKIN' BABIES CRYING AND SCREAMING (especially when one boy announced he was 'starting to pee' after being told he couldn't leave.)
3) Looking at each other and knowing EXACTLY what each of the three of us were thinking.

I'm not going to get into a huge commentary on the service on here, because really, who am I to judge.  All I'm going to say is that as an outsider I have reservations about... actually cancel that... I'm not going to say anything.  I will just tell you that while I was there I was thinking I hope all of this religous difference in the world works out at some point, and I hope that I can use today as a learning experience.

After time with the 'brothers and sisters' I headed up to Clairzoo to serve up a storm.  Tonight, more than other nights at that store, I  had a lot of really great conversations with people on the 'team' (at Red Robin we have a 'team' and 'guests' instead of the mundane humdrum staff/guest relationship).  I've said it before and I'll say it again, Restaurant people are fun people.  Dishonest, but fun.  (I'm kidding.  I'm kidding!).  Today without thinking about it I reverted back to the crouch-and-serve method of serving.  I always laugh when other servers do it, but when I do it I feel more 'in touch' and less likely to wack my head on the REALLY low lamps there.  I also reverted to the 'let's drop trays of drinks on tables' method of serving, but alas I survived only to someday serve again.  Ciao-Chung-Cho and check out the new BOOKSTORE on the site that all began from the good ol' 111 Things..

December 28, 2004

On my school blog, there are constantly comments that read, "YOUR BLOG IS TOO LONG AND BORING."  Well kids, buckle up because I think that this is the mega-post we've been waiting for.  I can feel it.

I have had my degree for eleven days now.  You are probably thinking, "WOW!?!? ELEVEN DAYS OF JOY!!".  Au contraire mes amis... instead I feel bogged down and unsettled because it seems like no matter what I chose to do will be the wrong decision.  I blew up at my family yesterday (M.S: [kind of like a post-script but a mid-script if you will] this is a therepeutic/venting post not a clever witty random act of fuzzy post).  I wasn't even mad at anyone in particular, but I was already feeling stressed, and having people say I should pack everything up and move back home was not the answer to my stress.  My mom said I had two options "move back home" or "work at Red Robin with permanent shifts".  Hmmmmm.  I'm thinking wow University propeganda always said "endless options" and here my mom is with the bitter reality: two.  Add on the inevitable guilt trip and the homesickness for Edmonton and I was feeling, and you have the recipe for a quazi-blow up.  I just need space, and time, and inspiration, and a break, and guidance that isn't in the form of forced advice.

I don't want this to be a parental therapy blog, but you need to understand the always guilty paradox.  It reads "Travis needs space.  People recognize Travis needs space.  People respond to this need by removing all evidence of space."  So here I am again, at this place I kind of like (not that you would guess by reading me complain).  When I reach these blank slates in my life, EVERYTHING seems relevent and important to my situation.  I call this time "hyperrelevance".  The bad part of hyperrelevance is that when I watch E.R. and see a social worker I think to myself, "I need to register in a masters of social work or at least some level of counciling certification" because I want to be the guy wearing the ID tag.  The good part is that I have this great opportunity to re-invent.  Take Spanglish tonight.  I want to be part of nearly every single character on the show (minus Thea's character because screaming LEFT! LEFT! LEFT! as I jog would not be very becoming).  Adam Sandler's character had this trait called "stark raving calmness" and this honesty about him that I really want to include in my dealings with how I approach the upcoming career.  Okay, enough about Spanglish, more about me.

I know in my heart, I'm employable and will stumble accross something great.  I also know in my heart that as great as the two positions in Cold Lake are, Cold Lake might be a little too cold on the toes at this point in my life.  I know in my heart that subsitiute teaching at home would feel like I was erasing so much of what I have become (and what I feel is ahead for me to become).  I just feel like I have been at crossroad after crossroad and for once I just want a clear obvious simple decision to make.  Well, I'll leave you at that, but if you want to make this blog a little more interactive: find a baby-naming book and look up 'Travis'.  ;)  Then maybe you'll get my melodrama.  Until next time, I'm looking for roommates, answers, and a job!  Any ideas will be welcomed in the guestbook.

December 19, 2004

Please don't hate me.  I know I have a ton to do on here, but it's been busy.  I just finished my degree, which rocks my world.  I'll post a 'mega-post' soon but until then, i'd like to distract you with MY QUIZ (click here).

Also, soon you can look forward to 110 things about one of my friends.  OOOOOOOOhhhh... Awwwwwwww.  JUST when you thought this site couldn't get any better.
Good luck on the quiz.

December 13, 2004

Time: 10:11pm Monday.  I'm JUST getting home froms chool.  I'm so drained I can barely type.  Honestly, I'm not even getting paid (or is it payed... hmmmm).  I have already got my assessment.  Why the insanity??  If this is what teaching is all about... what have I got myself into.  Thank GOD for Ali Cole.  She came and helped, and without her, I'd be FREAKING OUT.  Four more days... four more days... four more days... four more days... four... more...

December 9, 2004

I am a melodramatic person. I don’t think that is a secret, and honestly I don’t think that fact has done me too much harm over the years. Still, despite crying “wolf” a few thousand times over my lifetime people came running these past few days when I said I was having a rough go.

The last three days have been Job-like. (Job, pronounced JOE-b, is a Biblical person who had a REALLY rough time in the Old Testament.) Andrea called me on my cell phone to inform me that my Grandpa Robertson had passed away. I was living this normal, teaching, let’s-get-ready-for-swim-practice life, and all of a sudden everything seemed different. I have no more Grandpas. I need to get to Trochu to be with family. I’m upset and confused (the whole thing caught the whole family off guard). Grief is a crazy place to be, and all of a sudden I’m there.

So things were sucking. Word catches on, and in no time, I’m surrounded by this “community of support”. People are dropping in the house with food like crazy. There are cards, phone calls, and e-mails. My teacher advisor told me to take the entire week off (I never, but the support at the school has been amazing). Stacy in Calgary doesn’t even know what’s wrong but I get this awesome e-mail from her. Ali writes an entire affirmation blogstyle website on the subject (

It’s as if everyone is working their ass off so my world doesn’t feel like it’s ending. Because they do, it doesn’t end. People know you don’t feel like eating so they work extra hard to make comfort food available. People know you are tired and sad so they give you a boost in the form of a hug. One word: love. Love is great. So at the service, that’s what I’m reading about. I’m reading about exactly what’s taking place around me. I’m reading I John 4:7

So just like Job, my woes can’t end there. I have a cyst in my ear canal that hurts like crazy. Sleeping, hearing, and moving that side of my face seem to be out of the question. Doctors are trying to remove the cyst with medication (three kinds) but I find out in a week if I need to take more drastic measures. I taught today, after coming back from Trochu yesterday, with literally NO sleep last night. Things are crazy. But here’s the neat part. I’m okay. I’m actually doing really well. I just want to post on here for all four of my readers that the fact that I’m okay is SOLEY because of the people I’ve chose to surround myself with. For them, I’m eternally grateful. Someday, I hope to return the favor. YOU ROCK MY WORLD!! ;)

November 30, 2004

So, just so you are aware, I am not dead.  The blog has been for nearly a week but I am not.  I've just been really busy.  I feel like the pace of teaching/life is OUT OF CONTROL.   Luckily Delilah calmed me down today with some Christmas music and heartwarming anecdotes on my way to swimming.  I would love to see Delilah have a bad night and just snap.  It's not that I want her to to not be happy but honestly does she ever have a rough night.  She's always in this utopian little world.  Oh Delilah.

So over the weekend I went to Calgary.  SO GREAT!! Calgary is such a happening little place.  If their downtown was writing an achievement test they would get "standard of excellence" while Edmonton's would only get "approaching the acceptable standard".  We went to the Cactus Club and the Chocolate Bar and the food made me feel like God was rubbing my tummy.  SO GREAT.  All they need is Red Robin back and Calgary will be unstoppable.

But I need to switch to lesson-planning mode.  Spread the word about the site and make my page Canada's Number One Casual Web-Surfing Experience.  After telling everyone get back to me about when we are going to the leg. for FREE hot chocolate.  I'm a sucker for melted marshmellows.  Ciao (pronounced Chow in case you've never made that connection.) ;)

November 22, 2004

I'm not sure if you read about it in the Edmonton Journal or saw the news story on Global but today was Pamper Travis day.  I had an hour long massage, and honestly it was the best one I have ever had.  I really feel like a brand new person.  My massage therapist said I'm in great shape now, which is never bad to hear.  I guess it's the new swim club.  Oh right, I'm lucky if I go once every two weeks.  Maybe there was some confusion.  As if the massage wasn't enough, I also indulged in some Marble Slab Ice Cream AND a huge slice of pizza pizza.  I think I deserve it, I'm well over the student teaching hump and I've worked really hard.

Today was also election day and FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN MY LIFE my candidate won.  Seriously, aside from coucillors or school trustees my people never make it in the big leagues, but today that all changed.  I love elections.  I love the process right down the little mini-golf pencils.  I opted out of voting for a senator.  Despite other people's feelings, I think it's really healthy for a political system to have a group of people not standing up screaming to earn their fourteen seconds on the news.  I really value that 'sober second look', especially when it comes to areas like minority rights and doing the 'right' thing as opposed to the 'popular' thing.  Don't get me wrong, I get frustrated when I hear the statistics on current Senator's attendance rates, and I deeply value democracy, but I really feel like we aren't too far off base when it comes to our senate system.  I guess the propeganda speech I heard from an actual senator during my trip to Ottawa rubbed off on me.

Christmas shopping has yet to occur,  but I'm kind of looking forward to beginning the process.  Gifts buying is always a fun process if you can avoid getting bogged down by everything.  I owe my best girl-friend a diamond plated gift (or equivilant) because it looks like I will not be attending her birthday bash.  I feel horrible and scummy but I really need to get to Cowtown for a 'wedding party' gathering.  Nothing says I'm sorry like over-the-top spending.  Well, time for bed.  Until next time, ciozers mcwowsers.

November 15, 2004

I need to switch to homework mode FAST so I'm just going to tell the world that I am all for "random acts of fuzzy".  I was thinking today how much I love random nice words/actions from strangers or friends that make me feel all warm and fuzzy.  I remember being on the LRT once and someone said "your sense of style tells me your not from around here"  NICE!  An older lady at 'the bird' said "I really like your shorts.".  AWWW!!  The other day Craig (busser) said I was pretty which some may take as an insult but in the context it was spoken there is no doubt it was meant as praise.  Let this be your inspiration to commit a random act of fuzzy today.  Post in the guestbook how it goes.  BTW the mainpage has a new "what's new" section.  Check it out.  I'd like to revive a FAQ page so post any questions you think would be fun to add to that section as well.  Ciaozers!! :)

November 14, 2004

Today was SUCH a lazy day.  I bought groceries which is always a fun little adventure.  I'm a little sad because Funilla Cookies are no longer available.  Mr. Christie isn't kidding when he says "for a limited time only", I only saw these cookies once.  I should have stocked up.  Also today, when surfing the web I found a quote that I really enjoyed.  I think it's a good one for [future] teachers.  It reads:
"Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed.
You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read.
You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride.
And you cannot oppress the people who are no longer afraid."  --Cesar Chavez

So, if you read the guestbook (and I know you do) you now know that I have a thief for a friend.  I lost my gonch that night and spent forever looking for them.  This weekend I'm going to Calgary to see him and my newly engaged friend so I'll get even somehow.  I'm just not sure what the plan is.  Seriously, who steals brand new underwear from someones hotel room.  He's lucky I've had a year to cool off.  Well I need to get organized for my lessons tomorrow.  If you want to read my blog to my students you are more than welcome: .  Until next time, I'm Mr.Robertson. ;)

November 11, 2004

Okay, four day weekend which for most people would be the jist of their blog.  Not me.  I'm more exciting than that and with that said, my milkshake's better than yours too.  Moving on.  My best friend from high school calls and says "I'm getting married."  I'm so happy.  They'll be a great couple and I'm so happy for them.  BUUUUUUUUT things get better which is why I start going nuts at Southgate Mall when he calls.  I'm the freakin' best man.  Honestly I was so honoured and overjoyed I went a little crazy.  I NEED TO get down to Calgary so I can see him in person and say congrat's so if anyone's in... let me know.

So, I've had a little project on my hands.  That project, OF COURSE, is  It's up and running and doing quite well.  My old site's host went under, not unlike Eaton's, and so I thought 'why not just do this??'.  The old site is officially gone December 15th.  Seriously, whoever writes HTML for a living has my respect because everytime I work on my website I feel like taking the computer, driving to the highlevel bridge, calling the City of Edmonton to have them turn on the waterfall, and showing my computer what happens when it says '404 forbidden' in that evil sly tone.

Student teaching is rocking and I work at Clairview 'bird' tomorrow.  Everything is going so great.  Who knew that winter could be so much fun in Canada.

November 1, 2004

I'm feeling stressed out about school (not that it's not going well, but it just seems to be consuming my life).  All I'll mention about school is that my costume, Scuba Steve, rocked my school's world, and our haunted house blew everyone's expectations.  Halloween as a whole was so fun.  I had the school thing, then a pub crawl where we ended going home with a complete stranger in his pick-up truck after not being able to get a cab and we sang Little Mermaid all night, and then for the actual holiday I worked at the 'bird' after a few weeks off.  Honestly, one of the best hallow's eves I've had in a long time.

Today I was thinking about how on Mondays I always used to watch Ally McBeal and drink hot chocolate.  I don't really have a show right now that I would classify as 'appointment television'.  Oh Ally, and her schizo ways.  And then during Ally there would be the Eaton's commercials (later the eatons commercials because everyone knows it's trendy to punctuate and capitalize improperly) telling me that draw-string chino's are 'IN'.  So then I get to thinking about how Eaton's closed and I was literally devistated.  I just loved the atmosphere of that store.  It had such a classic feel.  Then when Sears reopened it they had that AMAZING commercial with the auberguine song and eatons rocked EVEN MORE.  It had a Starbucks and Kenneth Cole and even a guy playing piano (Let's call him Marcus for the sake of this blog).  Alas, version II suffers the same fate. So then I start to think about how it's funny that we still watch that show on Home and Garden network with Linda Reeves that is sponsered by eatons which has been closed for how long?!?!?  Of course, that leads to thinking about how she says "always put a touch of black in every room, it helps to anchor the eye".   Moral of the story: we need some better T.V. so I don't have to think about redecorating the apartment!!

October 25, 2004

Well, I can't really chalk today up as being a really productive day of  teacher planning, but since tomorrow is mostly a fieldtrip I can't really get to worked up about that.  My posse, David, Jo, and Layton (and I), decided we just don't spend enough time in Clairview, so we remedied that with a night of Clairview fun.  We stopped at our 'sister bird' up there and then had supper at Applebees.  Such a fun night.  I learned that Joanne has never had a headache in her life (insert unbelieving face here).  I was so STUFFED.  After trying to get ahold of one of our new red poppy quarters (unsuccessfully), we watched an interesting movie called Ballywood/Hollywood.  I give it 3 'meh's out of  five.

During the night I snagged a Halloween shift at 'the bird' so NOW I DEFINITELY NEED A COSTUME (suggestions will be graciously accepted) for both work and school.  I always have a GREAT costume so it's hard to live up to everyone's expectations.  For some reason, this year, I'm drawing a blank.  Well, I should get to bed now that I'm back to a 9-5 schedule as opposed to a 6-2am one.  Next blog, I can tell you about how I will be homeless and living in the Corona L.R.T. station soon.

October 19, 2004

My 23rd birthday (yesterday) proved to be one of my favorites (slightly better than my 22nd when I got Mononucleosis the day before).  I decided to have a casual dining experience surrounded by friends at 'the bird'.  It was so great.  I even got to stand on my chair while "Travis, buddy" echoed in the background (a bit weird to be on the other side of things) .  The gifts and well-wishes were heart-warming.  My first day being twenty-three were spent doing my first day of student teaching at my school.  My kids are phenominal, and its exciting to be back in the classroom.  I, again, confirmed that I definitely want to teach.  Both days have flown by, and have been awesome experiences.  Ironically, my first class today learned how to make BLOGS on  Unfortunately, I had to opt out of showing my students this piece of work.

On Thursday, I took some pictures of my last official day of work.  I'll post them soon.  It was a sad night, but I also experienced parts that I won't miss (maybe another day I'll bless you with some further commentary on my satanic table).  Saturday was my "DAY OF FUN" with Ali and Chris.  I did three things I've never done before: the provincal museum, Vietnamese food, and a Roadrunners game.  As always it was great to just spend time with these two awesome friends.  Sunday was just my last night to sleep in and a night of church.  I thought I would write a ton tonight but I have some work to do for tomorrow... so next time.  Ciao.

October 12, 2004

Today I spent a good chunk of time chatting it up with our two bussers at work.  Seriously, these two guys (Craig and Nate, see guestbook, they’re on there) are two of the funniest guys I know.  I laughed so hard all day.  Nate is new to our store, and I was honoured to be one of his favorite servers at the bird.  Other than that, just swim club.  Tonight our coach focused on my stroke and it’s nice to know I only have 3004 things to work on.  Seriously, though, it was nice to have her advice because she has really impressive coaching skills.

Six years ago today, twenty-one year old Matthew Sheppard died, never emerging from the coma he was found in five days earlier.  The college student was found tied to this fence post. Police say he was pistol whipped and severely beaten, left to die in near freezing temperatures. He was also robbed, but police say gay bashing was likely the motive.

United States president at the time, Bill Clinton said, “I hope that in the grief of this moment for Matthew Sheppard's family, and in the shared outrage across America, Americans will once again search their heart and do what they can do reduce their own fear and anxiety and anger at people who are different.”

Instead, this week a Baptist Church in Kansas will be picketing “all in celebration of the 6th anniversary of Matt Shepard’s entry into Hell on Oct. 12, 1998 in religious protest and warning ‘God is not mocked! God Hates Fags and Fag-Enablers! Ergo God hates Matt Shepard’ (and is now tormenting him with fire and brimstone)… and all who engage in & enable the filthy fag agenda!”  Hopefully, soon the heart-searching begins.  Well, I’ll leave you with that because I’m on my way to go see a movie.

October 11, 2004

Well, kids, it's been awhile.  So, let's start with Friday.  Friday, this great city of ours celebrated its 100th b-day.  Naturally, I spent most of my day dressed up as an airplain for the Edmonton Airport Authority and hugged kids all day.  It was a pretty good gig actually, very reminiscent of being Red Robin.  The night, though, was amazing.  David, Jo, and I took the L.R.T. to the fireworks and watched the big show.  We were a bit late, but I think we caught most of it.  Some of the music for the fireworks was from DISNEYWORLD so I just felt like I was there.  Most people would probably assume we would take the L.R.T. back and end of story.  But, no.  We decided to walk back the 40 blocks.  We began with a stop at Tim Hortons, and a quick look in at  A-Channel's studio (only to be taunted by the security guard who yells at us, "hey, haven't you ever seen a t.v. studio before??").  Jo replied, "No, we're from the country."  In hindsight, I don't think I really have seen a studio that close up, but I could be wrong.  Most of the night we just vegged at the legislature grounds.  We waded in the fountains and falls, we layed in the leaves, and sang Sound of Music on the steps of the leg.  It was a warm, fun night.  I'll probably remember it for a long time.

Saturday: turkey-turkey.  I loaded up the car with some city kids and showed them a TRUE small town.  David, Grady, Jo, and I spent some time in 'the shoe'.  It was a really great time, and the three of them were a hit.  Of course, I won the traditional card game, but if memory serves me, David came close.  It was a really good day trip, despite being a bit tired from the trek home the night before.

Sunday: last Sunday at the bird.  The restaurant is SO dead.  I love it, we get to visit a bit, and everyone is happy.  All of a sudden, I'm the only one on and we get SMOKED.  I have a small anxiety attack and then BAM no more tables for an hour and a half until close.  I made pretty good money, but it was all within an hour and it was pretty stressful.  The best part was that our manager, Matt, bought us some pumpkin pie.  So, after getting smoked, we all got to sit down, have some pie, and share what we're thankful for.  It was really great.  Well 3 shifts to go at 'the bird' and tonight's time and a half.  Until next time, ciao.

October 3, 2004

Tonight I went to church.  It was so great to not have to work and to be able to go to a night service.  Seriously, since I have been at 'the bird' I have had basically two Sundays (not sundaes) off... one for Groban and one tonight.  After next week, I will have every Sunday of my life off because I am officially declaring them my second sabbath (Tuesdays being my first).  During the service I got to thinking.  Church services have a way of making you think if you are paying attention and not watching the kids in front of you climb the pues.  At this service there were no children because it was a youth service, hence the thinking.  I thought about how I LOVE the cancer commercial with the group of people building in size, flinging a rock at this unseen 'enemy'.  I thought about all the times that we feel really compelled by a cause, but never really do anything about it.  We hear or see something and become moved, enraged, uncomfortable, and empowered to do something but inevitably we go on with our daily routines and the cause becomes forgotten.  I watch a cancer commercial and get chills.  I go to church and here about genocide in Sudan and fell sick.  The result: I make sure my apron and uniform get a good dose of Gain and go to work.  It's perverse.  I'm not really sure where I'm going with this.  It's just something weighing on my mind.

Maybe something a bit easier to digest now.  I did a little reasearch on the school i'm teaching at.  Meyonohk Elementary seems like it will be an awesome experience.  It's actually a pretty unique little school.  Part of the school does half of their program in Mandrin.  So all of the signage, and the library and everything is bilingual.  My last practicum was in Millwoods, as is this one, so I feel very prepared for the multi-cultural and extremely diverse socio-economic school population.

What else... I went for coffee tonight with some new friends and it was really great.  One of the girls was a new server at work.  She rocks!!  I mean, true, she gives me free things from her family business (I won't say what because it might incriminate her) but it goes beyond that.  She is just this really genuine, positive person.  I decided I love having coffee.  People should do it more often.  In my hometown no one ever 'went out for coffee', it's like an urban little secret.  I'm going to try and see that this thing catches on.  I was pretty rested today because yesterday, like a true loser, I went to bed at 10:00pm.  I was SMOKED at work and it drained me out of a Saturday out on the town.  Friday though, we did go out.  This was after a modern dance program I watched with Alexis from work.  I felt so cultured watching modern dance, and honestly I really enjoyed it.  At times I was like "OH MY" because of what the people were(n't) wearing.  It wasn't something I always do so it was a refreshing change.  Well that's about it.  By the way, I'm loving that people are like "you haven't blogged for 2 days" because I GUESS THAT MEANS PEOPLE ARE READING the blog.  It's great being a celebrity.

September 29, 2004

Bittersweet moment today: I gave my notice at 'the bird'.  I'm done.  You are probably like, "wow, the blogs are sure to suck now" but I promise you I will still have plenty to blog about.  I mean, I'm happy because I've been there a year and it's time.  I'm also happy because the reason I'm done is because I will be back in the classroom wrapping up the degree, and that rocks.  The sad part is leaving the team.  I will so miss giving my 'life updates' at the beginning of each shift, and pointing out 'tables of interest' for everyone to check out.  All in all, I'd say I feel pretty liberated.  Plus, it sounds like I'll be there on a casual basis, so I'm not totally totally done.

Anyways, more about me.  I feel like I need BIG change SOON.  I feel like after December when the degree is done I have this one-time opportunity to soul-search, explore, get away, reinvent, actually I can't really find the word for what this opportunity is.  There's a song that says "I've got this 'get away' feeling".  I have it.  And it's not like a get away and have a 'spa day' feeling, it's a 'there's more to this world and more to me than I know, and I'm ready to find out more' feeling.

Now that we're getting all philisophical maybe it's time to wrap-up.  Reporting in Edmonton, Alberta... I'm Travis Robertson.  Back to you Gord and Linda...

September 27, 2004

Thanksgiving in Trochu is looking to be a big event.  So far, everyone I'm inviting seems to be in on the extravenganza..  I'm sure once the actual event comes to fruition, I will be driving the 3 hour drive by myself.  We'll see.  Seriously, I hope some people come because I'm sure we could have some fun going around the table saying what, exactly, we are thankful for.  If I were into wagering, my best bet on someone actually attending would be Grady.  He sounds like he is in for a little turkey in Trochu.

As for work, it was an awesome night.  Percentage wise, I cleaned up!!  I trained, which is always fun. Annnnnnnnnd I learned how crazy fish lady drinks vinegar, while others drink beer.  That's right.  Tonight I served the FISH LADY.  She mumbled about how long she waited for her water.  She mumbled about how she got her vinegar in a ramiken rather than a bottle.   She mumbled about how she never got a fry refill without asking for one.  All the while, EVERY SINGLE TABLE AROUND HER mumbled about how this awesome, patient, loving server put up with CRAZY FREAKIN' FISH LADY despite her psychotic   nature.

Tomorrow is my sabbath.  I'm looking forward to swimming, drinking a vanilla latte frappacino and going to a short meeting at the U.  Oh, Tuesdays how I love thee.  Until next time....

September 23, 2004

Today, I experienced Une date, le nom d'un lieu et l'heure d'un rendez-vous by Claire Savoie.  I stood in this round bright room while both a male and female counted to 10,000.  First the expressionless male, "six thousand three hundred and forty-two"; then the expressionless female, "six thousand three hundred and forty-two".  I stood there, extremely intrigued, laughing with David while secretly appreciating the exhibit.  This was after experiencing Germaine Koh's Bearings.  We equip ourselves with saftety classes while tiny metallic bearings fall randomly from the roof to the carpet.  Perhaps most amazing was Forty-Part Motet by Janet Cardiff.  Forty speakers, each playing an individual choir singer, encircle a room, surrounding you with this life-like experience.

I had never been to the Edmonton Art Gallery, but I have to admit, I'll be back.  We sensed with all five senses.  We laughed; we appreciated; we critiqued.  We even made magic wands in the children's gallery.  (I have to admit that mine was the best).  My favorites, as far as traditional on-the-wall media, included Westmount Square and Urban e_Scape 13 (viewable here).  If anyone wants to come with me, I have a free pass for a friend ;) (and on the 25th a new exhibit opens).  I feel so cultured, not unlike yogurt.

September 21, 2004

Tonight, I tried out a swim club and it was pretty awesome.  The people are great and there's a drop-in option so I don't have to commit to paying for the entire season.  I had so much fun, and it felt great to be swimming again.  I was surprised how smoothly it went since it had been so long since I had done an official swimming workout.  There is one workout I loved, the reverse I.M. set; I wish I used it when I coached.  The only problem is that the club practices at NAIT and that is like a three day commute from where I am living.  Why couldn't I have found this club last year when I lived on Jasper?  Some of us even went for coffee afterwards, and it was really fun.  I'll definately be back.

One of the newer girls at work has connections at the Second Cup at NAIT, too, so once I got there I was even able to have a free vanilla chillatte.  Free anything is nice, but it was good to meet her and gossip about all things Red Robin.  So maybe this will be my new Tuesday ritual, chillatte and swimming.  Other than that, today was pretty much just waking up to Ellen (I love her), doing some errands at the U, and writing my FAQ list for the website.  That was pretty fun.  Maybe other people don't share my sense of humour, but hey, if I laugh at my site that's all that matters.

Tomorrow: work and dessert, that's it.  Should be a stress-free day. :)

September 19, 2004

Okay, I know I talk about work A LOT.  But seriously, tonight, I have to mention something about my 'shift of death'.  Let's just say that I dumped an entire Diet Pepsi down a guest's back.  He starts screaming profanities and walks out.  Everyone is staring at me, and I'm like: "did this really just happen?".  Yes, indeed it did.  SO CRAZY!!  I always brag that I never crash at work, but I'm being slammed with tables, never really catching up.  I screw up an order, which inevitably ends up being no big deal because the right order is like 30 seconds away, but the table acts like I just shot their dog twice in the stomach (and I didn't shoot their dog even once).  The train isn't working, so I have a boy in my section with eyes that say "thanks for shooting my dog, too!".  Eventually, the train starts, my two tables that opted out of my fanclub leave, and life gets back to normal.  My anxiety attack no longer threatens to become an ulcer, and I'm back on track.  Tomorrow I open our Clairview store and I close my regular store (Whitemud) so it will be a long, long day.  Honestly, though, I feel invincible at work now having survived my shift.  We'll see.

September 18, 2004

Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow.  It’s a Swedish Proverb and tonight I realized its truth.  Tonight some of my greatest friends of all time grooved together under the strobe lights to some awesome ninety’s hits.  We laughed, as we closed down McDonalds pretending to finish up a hard day of skiing as we sat near the fire-place downing our cheeseburgers and McNuggets.  If we were drinking milk… it would have been snorted up.  We sang all the way out, and we sang all the way back home.  There’s this feeling of being apart of this ‘organic whole’ when you are with your friends.  There’s this understanding of so many things, even those that go unsaid.

There’s an old Peanuts book called “Happiness Is…”.  I swear part of the book should be Happiness is a great karaoke-session during a car ride.  Happiness is looking across a room indicating someone psychotic is present.  Happiness is laughing so hard the tears and the stomach ache never stop.  Happiness is infectious.  Happiness is a Saturday night.

September 16, 2004

Today "crazy fish lady" came into 'the bird'.  I had just been cut which meant that David had the pleasure of serving her and her significant other.  So funny for me.  I hadn't seen her in awhile but I guess she is still kickin'.  Seriously, who could eat A DOUBLE PATTY FISH BURGER EVER... little known multiple times a week.  I feel like we should slip a Canada Food Guide into her basket.  Work has really slowed down now that school is back... so shifts that used to be good are back to mediocre.  I think I've officially had my 'one-year anniversary' with the company so I'm qualified to analyze these trends.

My time at home was nice.  While I was there I thought about if I could ever really live there again... and I think that answer would be 'no'.  It's not that I don't like it at home, but I'm at a place in my life that is very different from anything there.  We had a big ham dinner and played some cards and it was really nice.  It's always fun hanging out with my sister; she's the best.  As for the dentist, no cavities.  So that rocked.  All in all, it was a good trip.

As for today, it was a faux-hawk day.  Always enjoy those.  My hair is getting a bit long again so the hair is pretty tall.  I'm always worried the 'fin' will have an adverse effect on tips, but it never really seems to.  Today was also very productive.  I enumerated myself because no one came around.  Simple process.  I changed the oil in my car and endured the usual 'let's try to get Travis to spend $10,000 on other car mainenance services'.  I deposited a cheque and endured the usual 'you really use a big yellow depost book for your personal account'.  Also, I started to put together a passport application.  This is not a simple process.  I mean, seriously, could they make this form any longer or more expensive??  I'm thinking maybe I should wait until I have natural coloured hair, too.  We'll see.  Well time for bed.  Tomorrow's an all day shift at work.  JOANNE YOU OWE ME!!

Septermber 13, 2004

Today was truly a milestone.  I had my first-ever Kit Kat Chunky with caramel.  To be honest, I'm not a huge caramel fan but overall, I was impressed.  This being said, if faced with a regular Kit Kat Chunky and one with caramel, I would choose the regular one.

Right now, I'm listenting to Paul Brandt wishing I was at the CCMA's.  I discovered Paul a little later than most people, but seriously, he is one rockin' country star.  Annnnnnnnnnnnnd he's from Calgary (or Airdrie depending who you ask).  I'm definately not a typical 'country' guy but there's something about people who are into country.  It's kind of a groovy little scene.  Maybe, before the month is out I'll have to go out with some red robinites and do some two-steppin'.

Tomorrow I'm headed home to go to the good ol' dentist.  I'm already thinking about what kind of flouride I want.  God willing, I'll have creamsicle.  I think it's actually just 'orange' but it tastes like creamsicle to me.  I'm always a little bit baffled by why I use flouride because all my life I had flouride in my water so I have 'flourosis' which means TOO MUCH FLOURIDE.  I can also hardly wait until my hygenist tells me I will die of heart failure because I do not floss daily.  As long as I get my free toothbrush, I'll be fine.  They never have green, though, which I think is a bit of an injustice.  I haven't been home in SO long, so it should be good.  It will be like "hmmm... a meal not made at Red Robin... what is going on?!?!?"

September 12, 2004

Today, again, was pretty much consumed by 'the bird'.  I always think of my Sunday night shifts as MY shift.  It's pretty much my favorite because I close and I've had them forever.  At night, things get a bit crazy with church groups, but all-in-all it's pretty great.  I'm in love with our after close hangout time.  It's so nice to just sit in the closed restaurant and talk about everything.  Restarant people, by default, are fun people.  We always laugh so much, and generally have a ton in common.  Really I wish my shift was just that part, skip the serving and jump to the post shift wrap-up.

I always think that maybe serving isn't really the best experience for teaching.  I mean my jobs in aquatics have been a lot more relevent to education and working with young people.  But seriously, this job has taught me a ton.  Working in the service industry is so demanding and fast-paced and it breaks down to being this huge sociology study, kind of.  So as experience, I think it has been really valuable.  Beyond that, though, I just think about how different my life would be if I hadn't applied at Red Robin.  I mean, both my roommates: team members, all my friends: team members, even my EDEL art project in university was on our team members.  Things would be totally different if it wasn't for this little part-time job.

So now I'm thinking that I'm done my degree and I should reward myself with a trip.  I have enough saved, so it's just a matter of when and where.  There's talk right now about an all inclusive trip to Puerto Vallarta because it's incredibly cheap.  There's also talk of maybe visiting Mickey and the gang at Walt Disney World.  I'm also thinking I could visit my loving cousins in either Australia or San Diego.  I just don't know.  Plus, I can't really book a trip for the winter because what if I find a teaching position.  So I'll probably have to wait until the spring.  All I know is I'm itching to travel.  It's pretty much all I think about.  Maybe just by myself overseas, who knows?  We'll see.

September 11, 2004

Well three years ago today I was glued to the television at the University of Lethbridge wondering if the world as we know it would be completely changed.  Surprisingly things returned to normal relatively quickly.

Today, most of my day was spent serving at the restaurant.  Tips were out of this world terrible.  It was crazy because I was pretty energetic and food was totally running fine.  I think I just had some bad luck.  It just seems to happen sometimes.  I was pretty tired because I ended up hanging out at David's pretty late, and when I got back to the apartment I didn't really feel like sleeping.

After work I went with an ex-coworker to a pig roast.  Ironically, there was no pig to roast, but there was a huge roaster and bails all around it.  It was actually really fun and I had some pretty good conversations with some old friends and with some people I had just met.  One guy could swear he met me at the "edmonton/calgary game" but seeings how I had only been to one "edmonton/calgary labour day classic when i was in grade four" I felt that was somewhat unlikely.

September 10, 2004

Today has been an amazingly lazy day.  I slept in, slightly confused there were no 'typical friday emergency' calls from work.  I headed to Chapters determined to find a book to add to my library.  I was suckered into the Chapters' Card nearly a year ago, so this was an attempt to actually use it.  After reading 3,987 book jackets, I finally found my new addition.  It was a book called Lucky Baby Jesus.  It's British.  It's funny.  It's hip.  So that has pretty much been my day, learning about Sean (a magazine executive) and his group of friends.

It's basically winter out now, and I love this lazy feeling.  I'm wearing a sweater but my feet are FREEZING.  I would make hot chocolate but I'm not even sure if we have any, and in this apartment water has to be boiled the old-fashioned way.  I feel so well-rested.  The apartment was all mine.  I should read more often.  Seriously, it felt good.  Always nice to have a little "me time".  Well, I'm on my way to David's house for some pizza.  Time for the real world.

September 9th, 2004

Today was a quazi-bad day for three reasons.  First, I discovered that Brownie Batter Blizzards were only a month-long feature meaning that my first was also my last.  I therefore had to settle on a the Peanut Butter Cup variety.  Next, I went to check on the status of my online purchase.  I bought the William Joseph cd on  William Joseph opened for Josh Groban during the concert this long weekend.  After hearing his song "Homeward Bound" I had to buy the cd.  Lucky for me it ships in 24 hours so soon enough I would be the proud owner of his work.  72 hours later: an e-mail.  No cd will be arriving.  Seriously!  I have only ordered two things from chapters/indigo and BOTH things I have ordered have come just-short of ruining my life.  So, I deal with this sadness and order the cd from where it is cheaper anyways and move on with my life.

During this entire process, off goes the infamous msn "da-da-dum".  Who can it be?  Keep in mind: the only thing keeping me grounded through all of this sadness is that soon I will be going for Greek food for the first time in my life.  I have taken the night off from work to go.  I am looking forward to it.  I'm excited because of who is going.  "da-da-dum".  Family emergency, Greek food is off.  "da-da-dum da-da-dum" .

Lucky for me a quick trip to Red Robin cheers me up.  (as always).  The girl who worked for me made basically no money.  I hear about how my best friend David accidently walked through a glass window thinking it was a glass door at an electronic store as the entire staff and onlooking customers came to his rescue.  Funny enough, but even funnier when I drive to the store and see the actual damage right at face level.  Three of us then jet to Super Size Me which was really great.  I love how pumped up I get when I see these documentaries.  I mean, seriously, I was ready to phone McDonalds myself just like I was ready call up Bush right after Farenheit 9/11.  Well, hopefully tomorrow is a quazi-good day for three reasons.  We'll see.