Trauma Center

…and so ends Jairus’s Albertan Teaching Adventures – class wrapped up today. Jairus’s Albertan Hotel Adventures will continue for another couple of days.

Class was good. The students are all pretty fun and friendly, so it wasn’t too tough. Mostly people I’d end up hanging out with outside class, if I lived in ALBERTALAND. The oldest student is sixty, but he’s easily the most fun. His daughter is a professional snowboarder, his son is an actor (Dead Like Me, Final Destination 3), and he loves industrial music. I might’ve sold him on coming to COMA in April.

In other news, I stumbled upon a Wii. It is sitting in a shiny white box, waiting to be loved upon my return to Ottawa – and loved it shall be.

I had more delicious burgers today, but paid the ultimate price for them: Hiccups. As the wise Siddhartha knew, life is suffering.

Delicious beefy suffering.


Jairus’s Space Journal of the Future, Stardate 60586.4.

One of my students (the kind who is always looking to impress) did some self-assigned ‘homework’ and took it upon himself to thoroughly Google me.

…which, rather surprisingly, only left him with the impression that I’m very well-known in my field, and that I write insane music.

This will do.

I made my way down to another “best of” diner today, and had some delicious Alberta buffalo. The diner itself was all fucked up and weirdly modern-retro, if that makes any sense at all. I’ve never seen a greasy spoon so completely polished and money-soaked.

I then proceeded to get stranded outside on the side of the street for an hour, dialing and redialing the cab number I had, only to be met with the unforgiving tones of a busy signal. I still can’t feel my feet.

…in other news, I had lunch in this beautiful indoor garden with a pond full of Koi. Calgary’s got this downtown dealie they call “+15” (the first time I saw the signs I thought it was an ad for a RPG store), where all the buildings downtown provide 2nd floor pedestrian access and glass bridges from building to building. This building in particular had dedicated its entire 2nd floor to this garden. A tropical oasis, in the middle of corporate Calgary.

This is a weird little town, and everything in it reminds me of things I really don’t want to be reminded of. Is it time to come home yet?

white cowboys, red meat, and coloured help

Some content, perhaps.

The trip started well. I touched down around noon after a slightly-delayed (but mostly boring) flight, and proceeded directly to pay Telus far too much money for wireless access that consisted of a “System error, try again later” page. (This is what happens when you forget to setup your ICMP VPN tunnel before you leave home.)

The hotel is alright, but the internet costs more than Telus’s, and the food is seven kinds of terrible. I have vowed to never eat here again, regardless of how convenient it is.

So, in search of delicious diner food, I scanned the ‘best of’ list of the local alterna-weekly (which has a 2/3 page ad for a darkrave/powernoise party “dedicated entirely to the harshest beats” on the evening I’m leaving), and found a seemingly delicious diner. Upon arriving at said delicious diner, however, I discovered a hole in the wall with a lineup of trendy indie rockers half-way down the block.

I then cheesed it to a nearby brew pub, which had burgers of such deliciousness as to defy description.

The first day of class went mostly okay today, although there are some technical issues to be worked out with the PCs. And they forgot to order the courseware for one of the students. Also they forgot mine.

I have discovered that my anti-discrimination hat, while indeed having the reverse effect here in Albertaland, does not cause nearly as much scorn and malice as learning that I’m from Ottawa does. I get the impression that they believe me to be some sort of comically evil landlord tax-man, delivered straight from the belly of the beast so that I can garnish their wages more effectively. Or something. I couldn’t really understand what they were trying to communicate through all the talk about oil revenue and housing booms.

In the end, I built a bridge of trust through the time-tested tradition of trash-talking Toronto, and was accepted into their tribe. We then engaged in celebratory ritual consumption of sate chicken at a Vietnamese submarine shop(!) downtown.

Now, to numb my mind with hotel television.