Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Guess what happened to us tonight?

So... we had someone try to break into our flat tonight. Well, I say break in, more like saunter in. We're on the third floor, and we had our balcony door open. Tanja (bless her incredibly light-sleeping little cotton socks), heard a sharp click (that, in her half-dreamy stupor, she thought was the coffee pot, domestic thing her) which was his flashlight. She saw the curtains move, and the light shine in. She poked me and woke me up and frantically whispered that she thought there was someone in the house. I got up, and snuck into the next room, and saw a shadow staning on the balcony. Summoning my best housemaster what-the-fuck-are-you-doing voice, I bellowed "EXCUSE ME!", and I heard him scramble away, and he then leapt off the balcony hitting the railing and, after a moment, the edge of the car ramp into the garage. I ducked outside onto the balcony, and he was walking away. I got a look at the guy, but not a good one: shaved head, black hoodie, jeans, young white guy. Nothing was taken (my iPod was right there on the table, within an arm's reach of the door, but he didn't see it, I guess). We called 0-0-0, and got an impatient snarky woman who told us that if we didn't need police right then, then to call Directory Assistance and get the number from them, before hanging up. I waited a blink, then called again, and got a much more helpful guy. He sent a couple of cops out. They found the place without trying too hard (see, Ted? It can be done) and took my statement and details. They were shocked he didn't take the iPod, and twice as surprised that he jumped. The guy-cop was hopeful that the "bloke had maybe snapped a few ligaments on the way down, eh? Or maybe broke 'is leg?" He sounded hopeful. Heh. On the way out, a call came in about a guy in black shirt and red pants stealing a mobile phone near King Street (about two blocks from here). same guy? Who knows.

It's now 5:29 am, 45 minutes since it happened and neither of us can sleep. Tanja's got the over-talking "stupids" as she calls them.

We're so hitting the landlord up for some security flyscreens. And a deadbolt.

And maybe he can fix the dishwasher while he's here.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


So it's been a spendy-grabby-acquisitiony few weeks. I went and bought a record player from Dick Smith that would be compatible with our stereo system, despite the dickhead who works there trying to talk me out of it ("You know how fast these wear out, man? And the sound quality of vinyl just sucks." Dude, I have money in my hand and know exactly what I want. Shut your damn mouth.) So now I can play the Shadows, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, John Denver, Neil Diamond, and John Lennon records I found by the side of the road/got from Tanja's father. Also, I made my first foray into Egg records. Appalled at the prices of some things (70 dollars for the Clash's London Calling! And it's not even an original. It's a RE-RELEASE! Get over yourselves!), I ducked into the bargain racks at the back of the store. $4.95 for 1, $15 for 5, $25 for 10. I found some good ones:
Scott Joplin - The Sting: OMPST (Nice ragtime tunes. And "Solace" is one of the loneliest songs I've ever heard)
Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run (I was inspired by it's use in the Battle Royale novel)
Sigue Sigue Sputnik - Flaunt It (It's not just a High Fidelity joke anymore)
The Guess Who - Live At The Paramount (with a 15 minute improv on American Woman)
Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra (I know, i know, but I like the band, and I couldn't find one with The Joker or Jet Airliner on it)
(And these last five are for Tanja, purchased to make her not yell at me for wasting my money):
U2 - War
Kim Wilde - Kim Wilde
Kim Wilde - Select
Abba - Arrival (bwa ha ha)
Midnight Oil - Diesel and Dust

Also, speaking of music acquisitions, David at work has decided to reciprocate my burning him 2 or 3 CDs every week ever since I've known him by lending me a bunch of albums which are now residing in my iPod:
Sublime - 40 oz To Freedom
Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl (Really good)
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
Eskimo Joe - A Song Is A City
Faith No More - Angel Dust
The White Stripes - Get Thee Behind Me Satan
Goldfrapp - Supernature
Grosse Pointe Blank - Soundtrack
Nirvana - Nirvana (the black one)
Morphine - Cure for Pain

Of course, all this was the day I bought myself the following CDs form the $10 CD shop:
Beck - Mellow Gold
Eel - Souljacker (Really, really, ridiculously good. like Beck. But easier to digest)
The Ramones - The Ramones (the re-release with bonus tracks of the first album. I got into a 2-hour argument with Victoria from work because she saw me CD, and started the conversation with "Oh, I don't like the Ramones. They suck." and my lashing back that without the Ramones, there wouldn't BE a punk scene. Dagnabbit. I made myself a Ramones T-shirt, just to wear to work and spite her. Heh)

Oh, and Mom's parcel (that she sent in OCTOBER [doh]) finally arrived with my three Mystery Science Theatre 3000 boxed sets. Happy happy joy joy! I even submitted a few of them to Tanja and she laughed! Hooray! I won't have to watch them alone.

The last few days, though, I’ve been oddly sick. Not cold-sick. No runny nose or anything like that. It sort of happened after I walked in the rain 3 times and ate lukewarm soggy pizza at 2 pm. Then at 5:30 that day I felt unbearable lethargy, soreness like I’d been beaten, lightheadedness, dizzy spells, and a massive headache. I begged off work early. Between work, the train platform, and home, I developed a fever and chills. Tanja helped me once I got home, but the night was filled with half-waking odd dreams of nonsense words drowning me like quicksand (shut up, I’m trying to explain here) sore muscles, and only about three hours of actual sleep. I got up at 4:30 am, and read in the living room, then passed out on the couch for an hour. That morning, my fever and chills were gone, but the headache, dizziness and muscle pain remained. I went to the doctor and got a sick certificate for that day as well, and was feeling nearly normal when I went to bed at 11:30. Cue awakening at 2:47 am. I was so dehydrated. Not just normal dehydrated. This was can’t-swallow-skin-raspy-eyes-hurting-bleeding-from-nasal-capillaries-dehydrated. After sculling a glass of Tanja-recommended Gastrolyte electrolyte drink (though sculling is a misnomer: it tasted horrid, so I read a magazine and drank it over 40 minutes), I was able to sleep until 8. I awoke dehydrated again. Bought two bottles of Gatorade from the IGA and sculled them too. I’m feeling slightly more human now. My nose is no longer bleeding. And there was much rejoicing.

Anyway, I was able to buy said Gatorade for this reason: yesterday, emboldened by my scavenger/bargain hunter spirit, Tanja spotted what she called a tall-boy chest of drawers left out by the curb. We lugged it back home, her blushing furiously, and me crowing in triumph. After some finagling, we got it into the bedroom. In the aftermath, this conversation occurred: (paraphrased)
Tanja: “Hey, Lucas, you know that brown leather 3-seater couch we saw at the store on King Street? How much was that?”
Me: “I think it was around $1000.”
Tanja: “Oh. I’ve been looking in the Ikea and Freedom catalogues, and they don’t have one for less that $1500. I think maybe tomorrow on your day off, you should swing by and get it.”
Me: “Okaaaay.”

So that’s why I was out. It won’t actually arrive until Saturday or so next week (they’re waiting on the next shipment), but we have a new couch! No more futon-thingy. I’ve even convinced Tanja to put the futon out on the balcony (a covered balcony, mind you) for our smoking guests. So I was out ordering the couch, and sculling Gatorade, and I wandered back into the record store. The bargain bins called to me, and I made the following purchases:
David Bowie - Changes One (Surprisingly fantastic. Then again, maybe not so surprising)
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin (!!!!)
Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy (Also !!!!)
BB King - Best of, 1974 (Some of it recorded live at Cook County Jail)
The Kinks - One Golden Hour (Another Greatest Hits, but I enjoy their early stuff)

So now I’m playing Command & Conquer, reorganizing my closet, listening to records, and hoping I’m not still sick tomorrow.

And that’s all I have to say aboot that.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Alright. Let's wang this chung.

Ok, Pre-Christmas work-thingie. Got through it with lots of black V (taste the evil), and headed out to the mountains. Slept for a few hours. Woke up, endured annoying brother-in-law. Opened presents. Got lovely things. Loathed brother-in-law. Went to sleep. Woke up feeling wretched, nausious (however you spell that) and headachey, and had to sleep it off. Was given records and record player from Tanja's Dad. Huzzah! This should allow me to listen to the records I found by the side of the road. Except the player is too old to interface with our system. Damnit. Well, this is just an impetus to buy a new one. Go JB Hi Fi! Post Christmas Spending: New shirts, new brown hat, new jeans, Beck CD, Eels CD (fanTAStic), and Ramones CD. Sweeeet.

Now back to regular life. Although I got to personalise a Futurama quote yesterday. Jason wanted new music for the store, and he goes "We need new music for the store. Do you have anything David Gray-ish?" "No. Not really. Oh, but we do have David Gray."

Heh. I also put on Oasis, Welcome Back 1966-69, and the new tribute to Rubber Soul. It's good to be in control.

And Ted, Catherine, and Craig came over for New Years Eve and we watched John Safran and I got rather drunk. We also learned that TISM has the coolest dance ever. You sit in a chair, thump the microphone against your chest and wobble your head around. Stylin'. And Craig brought me Zero Hour expansion pack for Command & Conquer: Generals. Great. Now I'll never leave my house.

Oh. And I got my watch fixed. That's the real news of the post. Well, when I say me, I mean Tanja, but to be fair, it had sat in her purse for like 2 weeks before we brought it in.

"Isn't it true that you have been paid for this testimony?"
"Yes. You gave me a dollar and some candy."
"And yet you still won't say what I told you to say. How can any of us trust you?"