family friends


I went to Waterton this weekend with my parents, my Aunt Mary and Uncle Roger, and Anna-Maria. Here she is doing a little jump near the Prince of Whales hotel with her dog Sophie:

Anna-Maria Lemaistre

Art friends

New Media Special Effect

Today after work I created this little clip (3.5 mb Quicktime) of Anna-Maria chasing me through the backyard.


The Roommate Situation

I’ve been short on roommates lately. I have two empty rooms to rent and I haven’t had any roommates in the last couple months — which makes paying the mortgage pretty hard. So a couple of weeks ago I put an ad in the paper. The very first day the ad ran I had two people call me. The first person, I’ll call him Joe, said he would like to take the room but just needed a couple of days to get the money together. The second person, I’ll call him Victor, told me he loved the place and wanted to take it. Victor couldn’t move in until July 1st, but told me that he would write me a cheque for June anyway to hold the place for him. Things were looking up.

A day or two later I got a call from Joe. He said he couldn’t get out of his current lease as quickly as he had thought and so he wanted to let me know he wouldn’t be taking the room. Joe seemed like a cool guy so I was disappointed but life goes on.

Later I stopped off at the bank to cash Victor’s cheque. They gave me cash and everything seemed cool; so things were still looking up. That day, just after returning from the bank, I found a message from Victor on my answering machine. It said, “About that cheque I gave you — someone gave me a bad cheque and so it might not clear, so if you haven’t cashed it yet I’ll bring you some cash and get it back from you.”

Well I had cashed it already and the bank didn’t seem to have a problem with it, I explained to Victor. He figured he must have had enough cash in the bank even with the bad cheque he’d gotten and advised me not to worry about it. Things were a little odd, but still looking good. I was still getting calls for my other room — they seemed like sketchy characters and I didn’t take them but at least people were looking.

Suddenly the phone rang, Anna-Maria picked it up. Victor couldn’t take the room anymore, he said he was on his way over to get back his $350 and he would explain more fully when he arrived.

I told Anna-Maria that I don’t really have to give him his money back, after all he paid me to hold the room and that’s exactly what I was doing. But I also said that I wouldn’t be a jerk and give him it back since it had only been a couple of days.

His explanation boiled down to the fact that the contract he had signed for his previous place said he had to live there for 6 months before he could break the contract and move out. Also he had to give 30 days notice before leaving. He thought he could give his 30-day notice before the end of the six months but his landlord said no. Even though I thought it sounded like his landlord was just screwing him over he just said he didn’t want the hassle and was sorry for the inconvenience he caused me. He would take back his money but leave me $50 for my trouble. So at least I would have some cash for another ad if needed.

Days past. I was pursuing my bank account status over the Internet and was shocked to discover that I had been debited $350 for a cheque that never cleared! Oh hell — I think I have been scammed.

I called up Victor and explained the situation. Luckily he seems pretty apologetic and sounds like he wants to make everything right. He says we’ll go down to the bank together, get the cheque back, and then he’ll pay me back and any charges the bank may have given me. He specifically mentioned that he needs his cheque back before he will pay me for it. I called the bank this morning to find out if they do, in fact, still have the cheque and if I can get it back. It turns out that when a NSF cheque bounces, they mail it to you — which means I have to wait until I get it in the mail before he will pay me back.

Needless to say this is all a very big headache.

On the other hand I have two new roommates — one of whom moved in on Saturday and another one is moving in on the 25th. We’ll see how this bounced cheque situation works out, but for now things are looking good again.


Here Cattle – Cattle – Cattle

Anna-Maria went to Fort Macleod on Saturday for an open call audition for a Heath Ledger movie. They are looking for locals to be extras in this Western Film they are making (Broke Back Mountain). She went with some French friends of her’s from the French Association.

In her own words, “We got there at 10:15 and there were hundreds of people lined up. Everybody wanted to be in the movie and I can understand why too. What we did, is we waited in line for about 2 hours and 15 minutes, and then we finally got into the gym where they gave us a form to fill out and then they told us to stand in another line so that we could get measured and have our photos taken. So all in all it was mostly waiting and I don’t know when they will let us know or even if they will, but it was a good experience. Everybody was so excited to have a movie shot in their own town that every weirdo, beauty queen, grandma, and two-year old kid showed up. It was very fun / cool / sweet. It was kind of crazy actually so many people showed up with their babies / kids. Kids were just running all over the place. Some of them were crying and many looked extremely bored. They justed waited in line for three hours to get their photo taken. I would never do that to my kids.”


Christmas Eve

It’s almost Christmas. I’ve been having a great time down in Utah with Anna and her family. Apparently due to the fact that Holmans are so excited to open presents, we are going to do that tonight instead of waiting for Christmas morning. It will probably make for more photogenic subjects so I won’t complain. On the one hand I wish I was at home with the family, but on the other hand I’m EXTREMELY happy I won’t have to go through that stupid Christmas program at my Aunt and Uncle’s. Every year they make us all sit around reading the Nativity Story and singing Christmas songs. I’m seriously glad to get away from it.


Anna-Maria’s Triumphant Return!

Anna’s last play goes down at 1:45pm today and then she’s on the bus back to good ol’ Alberta. Because the greyhound doesn’t leave Medicine Hat for Lethbridge until early tomorrow morning, I’m heading back to the Hat to pick her up. I’m more than just a little excited.

Disney friends travel

The Happiest Place on Earth

I am going to Disneyland. It’s official, Anna has purchased our passes, there is no turning back now. However I have some good news. It appears that I may be finishing school earlier than expected. I don’t believe I have any final exams outside of class time — which means I may be done as soon as December 6th. I am not sure how this will affect my desire to stay and swim for the last couple of weeks that Andy has practices sceduled. Actually I’m very certain this will negatively affect my desire to stay. Hmmm, and how am I going to explain my absence? I’ll keep you posted.


Marilyn Monroe – A True Story

Anna put her hands in the cement mold of Marilyn Monroe’s outside Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. I kid you not when I tell you that Anna said, “Oh they’re really hot”. Even after all these years, who wouldn’t expect them to be?

life travel

My Disneyland Vacation

Thursday, July 10th, 2003 – Early Evening

After deciding to actually go on this crazy trip the day had finally arrived (finally as in it had been almost 3 days since we got the tickets). I was planning to work both my life guarding job and then do 3 hours at the phone survey place. Well as luck would have it Anna-Maria talked me into phoning and getting the whole evening off so that we could just leave and get to Calgary. It was a good thing because it took me about an hour to get everything done I needed to, plus we ran over to Anna’s and then back to pickup some last minute laundry at my house. It was 9:30 by the time we arrived at Wally’s house. We ran out and got some food for Friday and Saturday from the nearby Safeway. Helga set the alarm clock for us and we hit the hay.

Friday, July 11th, 2003 – Early Smearly

I guess somehow the alarm clock was set half hour fast and at 3:30AM the annoying sound of an alarm clock went off, (actually it went on. To say that it went off would be lying. It was definitely on.) Anyway Wally was so kind as to drive us to the airport a little after 4:00AM as planned and then we were really off. After a quick layover in Seattle we arrived in sunny California and the fun began. Hitching a ride on the Disneyland Shuttle it didn’t take more than 45 minutes to be in the park. We bought our tickets and entered the happiest place on earth. It still gives me tingles just thinking about it. We did so much that day, it’s hard to remember all the places we went. Toon-Town to Roger Rabbit’s ride, bought some cotton candy, Splash Mountain, oh and we even went over and checked into our hotel. It was so much fun! Then evening we went into the Haunted Mansion and saw the truly spectactular show, Fantastica! It’s a laser/light/fireworks/live actor/animitronic masterpeice that takes place on Tom Sawyer Island and the Rivers of America. Truly an amazing site to see.

Saturday, July 12th, 2003

We got up early, went and had our complimentary hot breakfast in the train car restaurant next door to our hotel, and then walked over to the Disney Cast Building. I don’t know how nervous Anna was – I know I was nervous for her. I didn’t want to tell her I was nervous for fear that I might throw her off. She however seemed cool as a cucumber. The way the audition works was that everyone was assigned a number, and if when it came time for them to make cuts they read off numbers. If your number was called, that meant you were being cut. She said the highest number she noticed was 139. I left her to audition and hit Disneyland and California Adventure on my own. I remember as a kid, some of my fondest memories of Disneyland were from Tom Sawyer Island. I decided, well I’ll check out the old island and just see what’s over there. On the trip over I saw the character Tom Sawyer chatting it up with some of the other park guests, so when we arrived I followed him and he showed us around the Island. He showed us where Injuin Joe’s Spirit was trapped in a cave and what to do if we see him. He took us to his stash of pirate treasure that he and Huck Finn stole from Captain Hook’s own ship. Apparently Captain Hook has been circling the Island ever since trying to get his treasure back. Tom also took us through his caves up to a lookout fortress where we played “Fox and Rabbits”. It seemed a lot like hid and go seek, but a lot more fun since I was bigger than all the other kids playing. Actually I was on pretty even ground with them in my sandals, plus I wasn’t trying my hardest – didn’t want to look like a psycho. We stopped by the old graveyard, and up into Tom and Huck’s tree house where I learned their secret handshake. We also went down fishing – well attempted to fish, but they didn’t catch anything. They just didn’t have a clue as to how to catch fish. They figured it must have been some bad luck from “signing their names in all them people’s books”. Park guests would come up to them asking for autographs.

Later that day I checked up on Anna-Maria and we went to Taco Bell to get her some supper. She was doing great in her audition and she gave me all the details of her day so far. She had to go back for another couple of hours during which time I went and took in the X-Games at California Adventure.

Sunday, July 13th, 2003 – Call Backs and good news

Anna and I got our free breakfast again this morning and then headed to Disneyland to get in as much fun as we could before her 2:00 call back. We rode the matterhorn, Splash mountain, and California Screamin’ (the sweet rollercoaster they have in California Adventure) as well as the Jungle Cruise and Tarzans Treehouse. I can’t remember all the places we went, but we did a lot. We saw Muppets 3D and the Bug’s Life 3D movie as well. There was the Sword in the Stone Ceremony, not to mention watching all the parades and fireworks that evening. There were so many things we did that day. Anna went back and finished her call back and was offered the job. Whether she takes or not, well I’m not sure what she is going to do. Anyway we hooked up with cousin JP after the fireworks were over and he took us to his place in Fullerton. It’s a really cool place – I especially love the fact that they have an outdoor pool that their landlord maintains for them.

Monday, July 14th, 2003 – From Hollywood and Highland to Home

John Paul took us to Hollywood Blvd. where we checked out the Mann’s Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We saw the cement handprints of famous actors from the last century and then took in lunch at Mel’s Diner. What a great day it was. Then it was off to the airport where we flew back to Calgary and slept another night at Wally’s. This time I set the alarm clock myself.

If anything this trip was not only a not a waste of money, it has been quite possibly the best trip I’ve ever been on. Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth. If you don’t believe me, then go check it out yourself, you won’t regret it.


Swimming in the River Near Indian Battle Park

Instead of going to Waterton on Sunday, Anna-Maria, Zee, Sophie (Anna’s dog), and I went down to Indian Battle Park. We had a fire and swam in the river. Afterwards we roasted smokies and marshmallows over the fire. It was a really good day – even though it did start to rain. Even when it rained, it wasn’t that cold – for me at least, and then when the rain stopped it got nice and hot out. I also decided that I want to take Anna-Maria kayaking down the river and get out in Coaldale. I just need to find someone to pick us up. Maybe Dad will bring his truck sometime and we can meet-up at the Nolan Bridge outside of Coaldale.

Animated Gif of Zee Juke, Anna-Maria LeMaistre, and Jeff Milner in the river