mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
It's a statutory holiday here today, so that means I get to wear jeans to work! I have come to deeply loathe and resent having to wear "business casual" office clothing, so God help me if I ever end up having to work in a regular office setting again. Right now I only have to wear the hated clothes about five days a month, often less, when I'm working day shifts during the week, and the rest of the time I can wear comfy jeans, which is my favourite thing to do.

Not much has happened since I last posted. I have been procrastinating like crazy on unpacking the house and doing anything remotely productive when it comes to keeping my life together.

Instead I've been playing Stardew Valley, which is entirely the fault of [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave , who, as usual, is a terrible influence. It's a horribly addictive little farming sim game, which is normally not at all my bag, but on top of the farming there is a significant emphasis on social relationships and community building in the game: the goal is not just to become good at farming, but to integrate a small community and become a respected member of society. The village, called Pelican Town, is also disturbingly realistic in some ways when it comes to depicting small town life, and the otherwise cute and lighthearted game has gotten dark on me a few times. There are characters with depression, suffering from isolation and alcoholism, people on the fringes of "civilised" society. Anyway, it's been weirdly compelling, and it has occupied a lot of my free time in the past three weeks. I finally reached some of the artificial goals the game sets this past weekend, so hopefully my fervor for it will die down a little now, and let me be productive in other ways.

I took Sergent to the vet last week for his shots, and also for our third ride on the "Does the Dog Have Cushing's Disease?" merry go round. I was worried because he's been having accidents in the house ever since I moved. I had attributed it to stress at first, but since it had continued for a month after (though with diminishing frequency), and he's been presenting with other symptoms (panting, less energy, whatnot), a lot of the signs pointed to something else going on. $1,000 later, and the good news is that he still doesn't have Cushings. The bad news is that I'm almost out of savings now. *sigh* I have a new vet, one who is much closer to home, which is much better news for both the pets, who hate being in the car for extended periods, and for my sanity, because my previous vet was an hour away by car, which meant that a vet visit before this meant basically writing off the entire day. It will be nice to be able to do other things on Vet Days now.

In more uplifting news, my new friends L. and J. managed to sell their house, and as of last week no longer live right next to the people who harassed them and made their existence a living misery for two years! I'm so excited and happy for them. They're still looking for a permanent place to live (they both suffer from severe mould allergies. which means they have to be very careful about finding a new home), but at least they now don't have to orchestrate their lives around making sure a vehicle is always parked around their home and that they're not alone for extended periods of time. They no longer have to wear their hoods up to keep their faces covered, or be afraid to leave their house during the day (they did most of their moving in the dead of night), or have their neighbours rev their truck engines at them half the night or point floodlights at their house at all hours, or leave threatening notes on their car windshield. In short, this is fantastic news for them. They sold their house to a heterosexual white couple who already have ties in the neighbourhood, so they're confident the new people won't also be the target of harassment, so it's good all around.

This past weekend ended up busier than any other time since I moved. I ran D&D on Saturday for the first time in over two months, and it went pretty well. I planned a non-combat session for my players: a solstice festival which would allow them to roleplay and just have some fun without worrying about getting killed or having larger moral decisions to make. It was a good way to get back into the swing of things, and give me a bit of breathing space to try to plan out the next arc of their story. In a way, Levels 1-5 were there to help them figure out who their characters are, but now I want to try to start pulling things together and introducing them to the larger world I've been creating. It would likely help me if I worked out more of the details of my world, I guess. :P I don't know if they'll make it all the way to Level 20, but I have plans for them if they do, that's for sure. I just have to figure out what I want to see happen in the interim, and how to make it as much fun for them as possible, too. I have a lot of their backstories to play with as well, which ought to be fun.

Sunday I went to Meeting, after missing two weeks due to work. Now that I'm a Member I'm finding it more difficult to arrange my life with so few free weekends. I'm the clerk of First Day School, which means I feel obligated to lead FDS at least once a month, which means I have only one Sunday a month to attend Meeting, and therefore that's usually the Sunday I will sacrifice if I have to make other plans (like go on a trip, or what have you), but it means I sometimes won't attend Meeting for several months, and I feel really bad about that. I have no good solution to this, unfortunately, short of finding a job that doesn't require me to work weekends, or winning the lottery so I don't have to work at all anymore. :P

Meeting was more stressful than usual, too, because we had an elderly Member become unresponsive during worship. I feel especially bad, because I noticed early on that he appeared to have fallen asleep during worship, and was drooling a little at the time, and I debated with myself if I should go check and see if he was okay and decided against it. This happened to him last year (the only two times I've ever seen him attend Meeting, for that matter), and I wondered if it might not be happening again, but I worried about overstepping my bounds, as I don't know him at all. If I end up in a similar situation again, I'm damned well not going to worry about being told to mind my own business, so long as it means I'm not possibly sacrificing someone's health and safety in the name of social delicacy. It was a poor decision on my part not to interrupt Meeting to check on him, and I regret it.

When worship was over, it became obvious that something was wrong, and people were oddly reluctant to call for medical help for the man. A few of his friends said they would just take him home, and so I stepped in then and put my foot down. He was slumped over in his chair and completely unresponsive, his skin was clammy, and his breathing was extremely rapid and shallow. "I'm calling an ambulance," I told them, and then got them to move chairs aside so the paramedics would have room to work, and employed my best crowd management techniques to get well-meaning but unhelpful people and the looky-loos out of the way. An ambulance arrived within about three minutes, which was great, along with a policeman, who was helpful in getting people to move back and also to have someone to act as a point of contact with the gentleman's family, whom we were having trouble contacting during the emergency.

The funny thing is, because I was the one who essentially took charge of the emergency, everyone at Meeting decided I must know everything there was to know about the gentleman who'd collapsed. People kept asking me what his medical conditions were, if I'd contacted his children, all sorts of things, when the truth is that I didn't even know the guy's name. I'd never met him properly: I just knew from last summer, when he'd also collapsed at Meeting, that there was a history of this happening. Anyway, in light of this latest event, I approached the Meeting clerk and told her we should suggest that everyone volunteer to give us emergency contact information, for cases such as these. We got lucky that a few of the Members in attendance that day not only knew the man, but had phone numbers for his children in their cell phone contacts, but those Members could just as easily not have been there that day, and then the children would not have found out for hours or perhaps even days that their father was in the hospital.

Everything turned out okay, as far as I know: the gentleman was already awake and more responsive by the time the ambulance took him to the hospital, so I'm sure he will be fine. Still, it could have gone much better, and I have learned quite a few lessons from what I did wrong yesterday.

Back to better news: I'm slated to go to a fandom convention next week, which I'm really looking forward to. It has changed names, from Wincon to Confabulation, but it's basically still the same con. I'm looking forward to seeing all the friends I made there last time once more, just to hang out and geek out about fannish stuff. It's a convention run by fans, for fans, with no celebrity guests, which keeps the prices mercifully low, and lets us have panels and round tables to discuss all of our beloved things in depth, which is one of my favourite things to do! So I'm pretty psyched about it, even though it's coming at a time when I no longer have the kind of money I thought I'd have before going, due to unexpectedly having to move and two very hefty vet bills in a three-month period. Still, I can swing it, only because I'd been carefully putting money aside for this convention since last year. I just wish this year had been less expensive.


And that's it! Things are starting to happen in my life again, so with any luck I will be around more and posting.
mousme: Two open books, one lying on top of the other at an angle (Books)
I seem to have a feast-or-famine approach to this journal. If I don't post every day, I end up not posting for weeks or months, so I try to post every day, but there inevitable comes a day like today, between two night shifts, when I have absolutely fuck-all to say. I mean, I came home early from work (yay!), slept eight hours (more yay!), and played Stardew Valley (even more yay!) until it was time for work (not yay). Not exactly thrilling, you know what I mean?

I suppose I could try to force my brain to come up with something, like, I don't know, plan out my week, or talk about the fact that I just obtained the first few trade paperbacks of The Walking Dead, but I haven't read all of them yet, so I'm holding off until I can report back. I read many of them several years ago, just before the show started airing, on the recommendation of [livejournal.com profile] bullonir , who also recommended another comic by the same creator which I quite enjoyed, Invincible. I will probably try to pick those up as well, maybe once I'm caught up on TWD. It's been interesting so far seeing the similarities and differences between the comic and the TV show, and seeing just how much my memories of the comics faded over time. It feels weird reading a story without Daryl in it, even though I knew he wasn't in the comics.

Okay. Time to get back to work. I will attempt more interesting posts next week, I promise. :)
mousme: A text icon in pale blue that reads Winter is Coming (Winter is Coming)
 I got absolutely nothing of value done today. I don't know why I'm in such a contrary mood lately, but I think it might be attributable to the fact that I had no choice but to pack and move house in the last couple of months, and now I'm in a "you can't make me!" phase as a reaction to that. Is it productive or reasonable? NOPE. But there you go.

In short, there's not much to report on. I decided to treat myself to several trade paperbacks of The Walking Dead, so that's my light reading sorted for the next couple of days, I hope. There are also a bunch of new TV shows that I want to try, as well as some that I'm not caught up on. I haven't yet watched Critical Role from last night, and I probably have a few episodes each of Criminal Minds, Elementary, and Blindspot left to watch.

Speaking of Criminal Minds, a few weeks ago I decided to give Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders a shot, and dear God, it is BAD. Not even Gary Sinise can save that Americano-centric, xenophobic piece of garbage. If any of you were planning on watching, do yourselves a favour and avoid it like the plague. I am reasonably tolerant of rah-rah-MURICA stuff when it comes to police procedurals, but this takes it to several new levels of shit sandwich, and it was way too much for me to stomach.

Oh, and on the topic of trash fires, allow me to extend my condolences to my US friends on the passing of the AHCA, in which apparently being a woman is a pre-existing condition and precludes you from getting medical insurance of any kind. I exaggerate only very slightly, which is the sad thing. I can only hope it will be heavily amended in the senate, and that in 2018 all the Republicans who voted for it will be booted out of office. If any Democrats had voted for it, I'd say boot them too, but none of them did, so. I've done most of my yelling about this on Twitter, so that's all I'll say about it here.

Back to TV! 'Cause that's way more interesting... or something. Anyway, yes, lots of new TV shows coming up: Sense8 Season 2 just landed on Netflix, and I'm pretty excited, although an Indian friend of mine has indicated that it is handling the Indian politics aspect of the show in a very worrying way. I've been trying to do my own research as a result, just so I don't come at it with a completely uncritical eye. I am pretty happy about the queer representation, but the fact that many Indian people are indicating that it appears to be supportive of far-right religious extremist politics in India means that the queer representation should not give it a pass.

 Less politically worrying (thus far) is American Gods. I loooooved the book by Neil Gaiman when I read it, and so I really hope that the show will be just as good. The casting appears fantastic, anyway. The same goes for The Dark Tower series (Idris Elba, y;all!). Both of those have either just started or are scheduled to start soon, I'll have to check the dates to be sure. Of course, there's also The Handmaid's Tale, another book I loved (even though it made me want to slit my wrists), but I may need to watch that with a lot of alcohol, given the current political climate.

My summer popcorn shows are coming back, too! Killjoys is coming back for Season 3, and Wynonna Earp, which I just discovered a few weeks ago, is getting a Season 2! They're from the same Canadian showrunner, the one who brought us Lost Girl, and they both do well as low(ish) budget genre TV, with good overall representation and quirky, fun writing. I am looking forward to seeing the stories unfold!

And now, work calls. I'll be working night shifts all weekend. Whee.

Whoops!

May. 4th, 2017 06:35 pm
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
 I ended up not coming back to my post, and now it's Thursday.

I will not, alas, be staying up for Critical Role tonight, because it's 18:30 and I can barely keep my eyes open. Better to go to bed early and watch tomorrow, when I'm fresh. Otherwise I'll just end up nodding off during the show and missing all the important stuff anyway. I'm pretty excited, because Vox Machina are all at Level 17 and above now, which means their story is ramping up toward the End Game of Level 20, and I can't wait to see what Matt has in store for them!

I've been lured into a new video game called Stardew Valley by [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave , who is responsible for so many of my bad habits that I have truly lost count. It's a fun little game, although I'm finding certain aspects a little frustrating. I spent a couple of days obsessing about it, and then I had to work, which generally put the kibosh on most of my extra-curricular activities anyway. I may go back to it tonight, or maybe tomorrow morning, depending on how soon I decide to be boring and go to bed.

Otherwise, life proceeds as usual. I have done no unpacking since the weekend, when my parents visited, and I should probably get on that. Living out of half-opened boxes ain't all it's cracked up to be, but I'm also a terrible procrastinator, and apparently I'm willing to put up with a lot of inconvenience to avoid unpacking properly.

I promised myself I'd be doing more in May, and yet this week I have been a mix of mysteriously extra tired and also pretty busy, video games aside. I'm still not settled into anything remotely like a routine here, inasmuch as I am able to have routines in my life at all these days. There's a lot of upheaval at work again: more people leaving, a couple of new people coming in, but more going than coming, and so now I'm probably going to have to go back to training newbies, which I really don't enjoy. Bleh.

I also am kind of dipping my toe into paying closer attention to hockey. Yeah, I don't understand it either, but there you go. My home team are out of the playoffs ("No, Habs, no!") but my not-quite-home team, the Senators, are still in it for now, so I'm rooting for them. Many, if not most of my online friends are Penguins fans, and although I can't quite bring myself to root for an American team, Sidney Crosby is at least Canadian and is, I must say, pretty magical on the ice. So it's fun to watch my Pens friends get all excited about their boys.

Okay. My brain has officially turned to mush tonight. Time to give it a rest. :)
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
 I'm keeping my friend L. company at her house today. Readers who've been with me since January will remember that she and her partner L. are the targets of neighbourhood harassment, so on Tuesdays I go hang out at their place in order for L. to get some work done in peace. 
 
This week the neighbours across the street appear to be away on holiday, which means they're getting a But of a break. Not a full break, because the back neighbour is still driving by about 8 times a day, and the other neighbours are still around as well, but as L. said: "At least they're not playing chicken with us every time we leave the house."
 
I got a late start this morning, and only brought my phone, so I'm typing this entry in Chrome, hoping it'll work. So far so good. Unfortunately, the Dreamwidth window is at once tiny but still too big for my phone, so seeing what I'm typing is a bit of a challenge. I won't be making a habit of posting from here, that's for sure. 
 
I need to remember to write down my dreams. I had a really cool one the night before last about opening up some kind of craft store with <lj user="miseri"/>. We were in a kind of permanent renfaire set-up, with tents all around, and in the dream my plan was to start selling clay--somethings? I recall I wanted them to have pseudo-medieval fantasy designs, and that I thought maybe D&D players could use them to hold their dice or as dice towers. Dream logic, basically. I wasn't worried in the slightest that I'd never worked with clay before: I was confident that I'd pick it up in no time, and was really excited not to have to go back to my old job. 
 
I've forgotten most of last night's dreams, unfortunately. I remember only bits and pieces that I won't be able to put into a coherent narrative here. It's too bad, because I think they were pretty interesting. Oh well. 

Hm. I've hit the limit of Dreamwidth. Apparently I can't scroll past a certain point, so I can no longer see what I'm typing. This is suboptimal. I'll continue this after from home. 


 



New Leaf

May. 1st, 2017 08:48 am
mousme: The face of a green woman forest deity against a black background (Green Woman)
 I am not going to even try to catch up on the last few months. Well, I might, but it will likely end up in bullet point form. ;) I'm going to try to get back into my good habits of posting every day, or most days of the week, at least. There may be some hiccups on days when I'm extra busy, but I was doing pretty well up until two months ago.

I finished the Move That Would Not End yesterday, after weeks of moving small things and running into minor problem after minor problem. I am swimming in an ocean of unpacked boxes, but my parents came to visit this weekend and helped me unpack about 75% of the kitchen, which is fantastic. So I can now at least make myself a cup of tea in the morning, and I can see my whole kitchen! I have stuff all over the counters which needs to be sorted out, because my new kitchen is WAY smaller than my old one, but at least I've got the basics down.

Yesterday the old house got professionally cleaned, and I took video of the house before I left, and photos of one room because I ran out of space on my phone for video. Bah. This morning I was extra vindicated because I found some old photos of the dog I took when I first moved in in 2014, and those photos show the stain on the floor my landlady claims I made. So now I have *proof* that the "damage" wasn't done by me. I mean, I knew that it wasn't me, but the gaslighting was starting to take a toll after all that time. Anyway, I dropped the keys in the mailbox, and Cruella de Froot Loops, as [personal profile] blackmare  has dubbed her, should forever be out of the picture. Hurray!

I quite like my new house, overall. The one disappointment is that my sofa bed didn't fit in the stairs, and thus can't go in the house. I have decided to donate it to a refugee organization. Hopefully they will be able to make good use of it. I am pretty disappointed, because it was a good sofa, and now I have nowhere for my guests to sleep if I invite them over. I haemorrhaged money these past few months due to the move (moving by yourself is an expensive proposition folks: take it from me, don't be single and mostly by yourself in a strange city), so I can't afford to buy a new bed just yet. My parents have made noises about giving me the two single beds they have in storage, but that would mean moving them from Montreal, and I'm not sure it's worth the cost, honestly. We'll see.

I don't know if I mentioned it, but the adoption-from-foster-care plan is in the toilet, mostly due to my landlady. The CAS wants a stable environment, and apparently moving house makes me unstable. Also, my case worker, after being AWOL for nine months and never answering my emails or phone messages, took exception to the fact that it took me several days to answer one email and decided that I wasn't fast enough for her liking, so they've closed my file. It's not permanently closed, as she told me to reapply in a few years, but I think maybe it's a sign it wasn't meant to be. I've had a bad feeling from her from the start, and I strongly suspect she was just looking for a reason not to accept me as a candidate and just couldn't find a good enough one until now.

I'm going to give myself some time to recover from the financial shock of moving (it was a doozy this year, for several reasons), and then look into other avenues. I think I can still make a great parent, regardless of what CAS thinks. Private adoption is an option, but a very expensive one for a person on a single income. Or there's always artificial insemination, which is also expensive but far less so. The thing with that is by the time I'll be ready to start, I'll be 39, and that's kind of old for a safe pregnancy. It worries me quite a bit.

Since that Big Life Plan™ is on hold for now, I'm looking at smaller plans for the upcoming summer. The move meant I didn't get to start any seedlings, so I'll be buying my plants again this year. I don't know anyone local who has spare seedlings. Hell, I barely know anyone local. I can count the people I know on my fingers and have some left over, and 90% of those are married couples. I should probably feel bad that I have so few friends, but if I had more friends I'd just feel bad that I can't see them most of the time due to work. So that's some consolation. ;)

Anyway, I still have my plot at Vanier Community Garden, and I'm going to hang onto it for as long as I can. I can still get there easily from work, so I can pop by when I'm working, and it's a 20 minute drive otherwise, which is totally doable. I need to be more vigilant about going every day this year, because last year all my edible produce got stolen, and the rest died, which was very sad. Of course, this year I'm not suffering from massive burnout, so I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll be better about things.

I'm also going to try to start writing again. This is probably a terrible idea, but there you go. I haven't written much in well over three years, and what little I do write is basically garbage, but I have this fleeting hope that maybe someday I won't write garbage anymore. I'm going to start out small, maybe 100 words or 10-15 minutes a day. I have some ideas for original fiction, since I haven't yet found a fandom that's making me want to write the way my old fandoms did. I miss having a fandom to be super excited about, frankly, and I hope I can find a new one soonish.

Last but not least (for now, anyway), my trip to Paris has served to remind me how much I love travelling. So I have decided to start putting money aside each year for a trip somewhere. I adored by weekend foray into Scotland, so the plan next year is to go back there and do some more thorough exploring. Two days wasn't nearly enough, if you ask me.

Okay, I think that's it for today. Catch you all later!
mousme: A picture of Wol from Winnie the Pooh, holding a note that reads "Gon Out. Backson. Bizy. Backson." (Back Soon)
I'm moving this Friday, and between that and work and other stuff I just haven't had the wherewithal to post to LJ or DW. I will make it up to you all, I promise!

I'm still reading everyone's entries, so at least there's that. Sorry for the relative radio silence, things will be better in May. 
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
 I'm still here. Sorry for the radio silence. I had an AMAZING trip, and while I was there I was mostly too busy running around Paris and Edinburgh to actually write about what I was doing, and then I got back and was immediately super depressed about not being in Europe anymore and thus didn't update either.

I promise to try to do better in the future. I go back to work tomorrow, and my levels of "I don't wanna!" have reached the stratosphere by now. I'm also in the throes of trying to find a moving company and packing before the end of the month, and things are a tad stressful right now. I'm hoping to get everything pulled together with

Please let me know if I missed anything super crucial in your lives, LJ!

Oh, also, I am not leaving LJ, but in case it implodes after this latest bit of shady business, you can find me on Dreamwidth under the same name.

Also, for people who are on Twitter, you can find me there as @ratherastory. I tweet quite a lot, and it tends to be in the form of yelling about social justice issues, fandom stuff, and sometimes live tweeting shows or movies. Follow me at your peril! ;)

:::ETA::: Okay, cross-posting from DW appears to have weirdly hard-coded a different font into my post, and I can't fix it. Sorry!


Trip!

Mar. 19th, 2017 08:06 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Going and Staying)
  I am in Paris, after a week of running around and dealing with things. I am staying with my parents in a smallish apartment literally two blocks away from Notre Dame de Paris.

Right now I am due for all the sleep, but there will be more complete updates later.

G'night, LiveJournal.
mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
The good news is, I got approved for the house I want to rent starting in April.  I signed the lease on Tuesday, so I will have a home to go to no matter what happens next. I don't know if they spoke to my landlady or not, and I'm honestly not too keen on finding out. It would be a moot point, anyway. The new place is run by a large company, so at least I'll be dealing with them and not at the mercy of a single mercurial landlady.

My landlady briefly lulled me into a false sense of security by promising to bring me back my postdated cheques today. Then yesterday the craziness resumed. She texted me at 18:30 to let me know that if I had laundry to do, I should do it RIGHT THEN because my laundry room would be inaccessible starting today, because the "cement [would be] wet until Saturday." (What cement? Who the fuck knows? It's not a basement floor, I don't know where cement comes in) For those of you keeping track at home, that does NOT count as 24 hours notice.

Anyway, after that little revelation, she promised to bring my cheques at 08:30 this morning, and was nearly an hour late, AND she kept back the cheques for April and May. For those of you following along at home, I'm moving out before May 1st, and I'd already paid first and last month's rent when I signed on. So she was planning on charging me for two extra months of rent, just because. She scarpered before I noticed the "error," but I texted her about it, and she was actually reasonable about it (in theory, we'll see if she actually makes good on it) and agreed to bring the remaining two cheques at some point.

*flops*

Soon this will all be over. I'm leaving for Paris on the 18th, and I will have ten glorious days of vacation, and after that I will be packing up all my shit and going. Next week I will have to clean out my closets, in case my landlady decides to show the place while I'm gone. I know that when I look at places I poke into all the closets and cabinets, so I need to make sure mine aren't a total disaster. I have a tendency to just shove things in there when I'm in a hurry. Oops. ;)

In the meantime, I'm going to make food, and attempt to compose myself. I was hoping this week would be quieter/calmer than last week, but apparently not. Right now my house is a symphony of power tools and sledgehammers.
mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
Most of what's going on is not super interesting to the outside viewer, alas. I applied for the rental house I wanted on Friday, and I'm supposed to hear back by close of business today. It turns out that my medium credit rating is a cause for concern to prospective landlords. I mean, it's an okay rating, but due to a fuck-up over four years ago there's a thing on it that's keeping it "artificially" low (another three years to go before that black mark disappears, alas), so the manager I spoke to said he had some reservations. I tap-danced my way out of it, and the fact that I've been employed by the government for over nine years helped a lot. All that's left is for them to call my references, which, of course, includes my current landlady. YAY. I hope she doesn't fuck things up for me. Close of business (or COB, which always, always makes me snigger) is in six hours or so, maybe seven, depending on when their day ends, so everyone keep your fingers crossed.

More landlady shenanigans ensued while I was chasing all over town trying to get my application approved. I got a text message from her while I was out, saying that the reno guys were going to remove the wall between the downstairs storage space and my part of the house, and was I home so they could show me? Needless to say, my blood pressure rose about a million points, because there's nothing I'd like more than to have an entire wall missing in my house. It would mean that anyone with a key to the side door of the house would have unlimited access to my living space. Reassuring, right?

I took a detour out of my day to come home, and spoke with the reno guy. It turns out he had told my landlady that he didn't want to take out the wall and leave my living space wide open without alerting me first, as a common courtesy. If it hadn't been for him having a conscience, I wouldn't have known until I came home one day to find my wall missing. He also proposed installing a lock on a door at the bottom of my stairs (the storage space is about two feet beyond the door, behind the wall in question), so that I'd have at least something of an illusion of control. I mean, the door is made of glass, so it wouldn't afford me true privacy or safety, but anyone in that space would have to at least expend effort to get into my house. So yay for reno guys with scruples! If all goes according to plan, the lock will go on today, and the wall will come down sometime this week (although I don't know exactly when, maybe Wednesday). So at least that's resolved, for now. I even got my landlady to agree, via text message, to return my post-dated cheques to me, so that's a small victory too.

I played 7 Days to Die with my friend V. on Friday evening, and went to bed WAY too late. I knew I had to get up early the next morning for a 06:00 Skype date with my parents, after which I was meant to drive to Montreal for [livejournal.com profile] le_maistre_e 's birthday Dim Sum party. Still, because V.'s computer has been on the fritz for nearly a month, I rationalized to myself that I'd go to bed early Saturday night and make up for it then. Remember this bit, because it will come back later.

Saturday was my mother's birthday, and the Skype call was fun, if maybe a bit shorter than usual. They were expecting my aunt to come to lunch, so I actually got to see her briefly before we hung up, which was nice. She had cancer last year, and had to undergo chemo for a while. She was looking quite good, as it turns out (my mother was convinced that she'd have lost all her hair and look like a skeleton, in spite of evidence to the contrary), if a little fragile. As far as I know she's in remission now, which is good news all around.

I hopped in the car and drove to Montreal, which as usual went well until I got into the city proper, at which point the construction nightmare resumed, and I found myself threading my way through detour after detour until I got to Chinatown. The restaurant itself was on a one-way street that, unbeknownst to me, had been blocked at the end. Why unbeknownst to me? Because there was no sign saying it had been blocked off! So I had to do a U-turn and go back the wrong way up a one-lane one-way street until I managed to find an alleyway I could use to get out of there. Good times. I do not miss Montreal and its shitty traffic and its shitty street signs, let me tell you. I miss my friends and family, but I've become spoiled in Ottawa, where getting around with your car is not a logistical nightmare on the best of days.

The birthday Dim Sum was a lot of fun, as was the outing afterward for bubble tea and cheese cake. I geeked out with friends, caught up with people I hadn't seen in weeks and months, and it was all over far too soon. I did leave on time, though, and managed to get back to Ottawa without mishap. Since it was still relatively early (18:00 or so), I took a couple of hours to run some errands. I was out of milk, and I needed to pull together supplies for First Day School on Sunday (I was meant to lead again, and the first Sunday of the month is always potluck, as I think I've mentioned before).

That's when things went south. I was a little surprised when I got home that Sergent didn't immediately get up to greet me, but when I looked over he was lying quietly on his bed, so I assumed he was just continuing his nap. That was quickly put to the lie less than an hour later when I heard the unmistakable sound of nails scrabbling against the floor. When I went over to check what was happening, I found him unable to get up under his own power. Even with me helping him, he couldn't stand for long, poor puppy. I ran for my coat and boots, and then spent nearly 20 minutes maneuvering the poor dog to the car. He weighs 90 pounds these days (he always gains a bit of weight in the winter), and that's about 10 pounds more than I can deadlift, unfortunately. I just can't pick him up and carry him (I'll have to start going to the gym again or something). Luckily with some coaxing and support from me, he was able to limp to the car. I could see then that it was his front left leg that was giving him trouble, and not just weakness in his hindquarters. I was able to lift him into the backseat, and drove him to the nearest emergency vet (which, luckily, is about five minutes from my house), where the vet tech and the assistant got a stretcher for him and carried him inside.

Once there he was sort of able to stand for a little bit, long enough for them to weigh him (which is why I know exactly how much he weighs right now) and for him to then poop all over their floor (oops). An examination revealed him to have a fever on top of the mystery leg injury. So $900 later we had bloodworm and an x-ray done, all of which led the vet to the inevitable conclusion of "We're not really sure." Nice to know that Sergent's streak of mystery ailments continues unbroken. :P They pumped him full of hydropmorphone in order to perform the x-rays, and he spent the rest of the night stoned out of his gourd. It was actually pretty funny, amidst the rest of the shit show that was that whole night. We spent nearly an hour in a nice quiet room with a leather sofa while he recovered a bit (he lay on the sofa, lucky dog, but also had diarrhea all over it, which was maybe less ideal), and after two and a half hours total spent at the vet's they loaded him back into the car, and I drove him home.

The story doesn't end there, alas. I couldn't get him out of the car at all once we were home. He refused to stand up under his own power, and I couldn't get the proper leverage to lift him out on my own. I wasn't sure if this was the result of the hydromorphone (he was still pretty loopy) or a combination of that and his leg injury. Either way, I could not get him to budge. So, I decided to wait and see if, when the narcotics wore off, he'd be more willing to come with me. Long story short, we slept in the car. Let me tell you, sleeping in your car is overrated. For one, Sergent picked the coldest day of the week to need to spend the night in the car, so I had to run the engine quite a bit to keep us (mostly me, probably) both warm, and I was really worried that someone would come across the still-running car and report me (for what, I don't know, but I was overtired). 

Anyway, morning broke, and Sergent still wouldn't get up, so back we went to the emergency vet. I wrote an email to the First Day School volunteers, and thank goodness they agreed to pinch hit for me, because I was a bit of a wreck by then. The same assistant and a new tech carried Sergent back inside, and we got seen by the day vet. It took all three of them to get him up and moving, but by then he managed to start walking around mostly on his own. I took him out a few feet away for a pee, and the vet gave him some makeshift physiotherapy, after which we went home again. It took me another ten minutes to get him inside, but after I lifted him out of the car he was able to mostly manage the stairs on his own, which I took as an encouraging sign. I gave him his pain meds (Tramadol), and he actually asked to go back outside on his own (poor puppy still had the runs) and managed it on his own reasonably well. Then we both got a much-needed nap.

He's doing okay today. He's obviously not 100%, but he's putting a lot more weight on his leg than before, and I was able to get him to eat a little bit, at least. I think the Tramadol makes him feel nauseated, so his appetite has obviously been affected.

Once my nap was over I ended up spending the rest of the evening bookending my weekend with 7 Days to Die with V. and later my friend M., before passing out in bed at a more reasonable hour than on Friday. So, yes, the moral of that story is: don't go to bed late thinking you'll be able to make up for it the next night, because that guarantees you'll have to spend the night in the car with your sick dog. ;)

I'm scheduled for a Skype call with my parents at noon today. My father sent me a slightly panicky email about my living situation, which tells me he's even more stressed about it than I am. He said he would help me out, but I'm disappointed that the content of his message implied that all of this was actually my fault, that if only I kept the house cleaner or whatever, that I wouldn't be having trouble with my landlady. Why didn't I accept her offer? he wanted to know. Why didn't I get a house cleaner before? Why not agree to pay more money so I could stay on here? His offer to support me boiled down to "I will help you fix your fuck-up," which is not exactly the ringing endorsement I would have liked. It's disheartening to feel that, after all this time, my parents still default to the notion that if something bad has happened, it must be because I made a mess of things, and not because the other party is at fault. I constantly hear about parents these days who refused to believe that their precious darlings could ever do anything wrong, and I confess I'd like it if my parents took that stance more often. :P

In conclusion, I had an interesting weekend. Lots of ups and downs, so it's difficult to say whether it was "bad" or "good." I guess it just was.

What a week

Mar. 5th, 2017 10:28 pm
mousme: A text icon in black text on yellow that reads The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote (Avalanche)
I've been remiss the past couple of days. There was a lot of running around, birthdays, and an emergency trip to the vet with the dog. I am heading to bed to collapse, and I will update in detail tomorrow. Sergent is sick and in pain, but he's doing better than yesterday, so no need for anyone to worry too much just now.
mousme: A picture of Darth Vader, captioned My Fandom Destroys Planets. (My Fandom Destroys Planets)
My landlady has, entirely coincidentally, I'm sure, decided to do some renovations in the unused portion of the house. The portion of the house that's directly under my bedroom. They started today at 08:30, right after my first night shift was over. I've had two and a half hours of sleep, and I am ready to commit murder.

The repairmen are alternating between hammering with extreme vigour and enthusiasm on what sounds like the wall adjoining my section of the house, and hanging out directly beneath my bedroom window and chatting/swearing at top volume. I don't know why they feel compelled to yell everything to each other when they're taking their breaks (they speak at normal volume otherwise), but here we are.

I was about to despair this morning (when I was still trying in vain to sleep through the racket), because the idea of multiple weeks of no sleep during my night shifts is akin to torture. I debated whether I should look into booking a cheap hotel room (which I can ill afford right now) during my night shifts, but of course that leaves the pets unattended, which is not ideal. I'd be paying for maybe five or six hours of sleep if I also wanted to feed the pets and walk the dog and keep most of my clothes at home.

Then I remembered that the timing on this might not be all bad. Tonight is my last night shift for the week, so it means this week there wouldn't be much sleep, but next week my night shifts start on Friday. If I get very lucky, they won't work on weekends, so it means that I'll get to sleep the whole of next weekend. If they end up working on the Monday, then I'll just miss a few hours of sleep during the day, which is not nearly as bad as missing three days' worth of sleep.

After that block of shifts is over, I'm actually on vacation! I will be away in another country for a good part of that time, too, so that means the landlady asshattery should be kept to a minimum! I'm very excited.

Travel will, of course, bring its own set of (very minor) problems. Mostly I'm anxious about bringing my electronics with me on the plane, in a way I've never worried before. I'm less worried about being permanently detained (my white middle-class privilege will likely protect me from the worst indignities), but now that border services are demanding passwords to all social media, I'm kind of worried that I'll either be turned back at the border (unlikely), or that they'll confiscate my phone and/or laptop. I usually travel with both, because I enjoy having the flexibility of having my favourite communications devices with me. Also, I'm always super paranoid that someone is going to break into my house and steal my computer when I'm gone. It might not make sense, but it feels safer to have my computer where I can see it. The thing is, I can't afford to replace either my phone or my laptop if they get confiscated at the border.

So, do I leave my stuff back home and not be able to communicate at all? Or do I take it with me and run the risk? If I do take my phone and laptop with me, the plan is to log out of/erase most of my social media apps, and just keep my visible activity to a minimum. I already have a Facebook account that I've made as boring and generic as possible, and I think I can get away with telling a border guard that it's the only social media site I use. After all, everyone is on Facebook, and it's not a stretch that a woman in her late thirties/early forties wouldn't have another social media account. I don't have many friends on my decoy FB, because all of my actual, true friends are generally not fans of Trump and are very vocal about it on FB as well as everywhere else, but if a border guard just happens to scroll through, it should pass muster. I hope.

Everything else I have on the computer shouldn't be an issue, I don't think. A completely "clean" computer would be suspicious, but one that paints me as a dabbler who mostly uses it for Facebook and Skype should get me through. Don't get me wrong, I am incensed at the violation of privacy, but I'm trying to choose the lesser of two evils for now. I'm going to support legislative change to roll back the interference in citizens' privacy, especially in the grey area of border crossings, but for now I'm stuck with the system we have, and I have to navigate it as best I can without losing too much in the process. 

Possibly I am overthinking this, but that's always been one of my flaws. :)
mousme: An RCMP officer in ceremonial uniform swinging around a horizontal bar. (Maintain the Right)
I'm back to work tonight, after two days of gastro. I started feeling myself again yesterday afternoon, which was a relief, and today I'm pretty much back to normal. So that means heading back to work for my last two night shifts. I am not really looking forward to it, but I suspect that's the perma-anxiety that set in on Monday (after I spoke with my landlady) talking, and not much else. Maybe. I mean, if I won the lottery and never had to go back to work, that'd make me pretty happy too, but still, the malaise is not actually work-related.

I saw the mortgage broker today, and while the news wasn't bad per se, it also wasn't quite what I had hoped for. Basically, no matter which way I slice it, I am not quite ready to buy a house. The broker estimates I could probably swing it in six months, which is encouraging news, but given that most landlords want to sign a 12-month lease, it means I won't be in a position to buy until next summer. So it's back to renting for now, and socking money away until I'm in a position to move permanently into a house of my own.

I finally found a cleaning service (to honour the verbal agreement I have with my landlady), and the girl who came today is excellent, which is a relief. The service that my landlady hired charged almost twice as much as she does and didn't even bother vacuuming under the furniture. So, anyway, it will be nice to have some help around the house. I have mentioned that I am an indifferent housekeeper, so this ought to keep some of the pet hair under control, at the very least. The house is super clean, although I'd been keeping it quite clean myself (albeit not this clean). If I move close enough, I'm hoping I can take her with me. I'll figure out the budget part somehow. Back in Montreal when I was paying half of what I do now in rent (so before I got my own house), I had a cleaning service as well, and I'd forgotten how much easier it makes things overall.

My next steps over the following weeks will be to hopefully get into the shed, now that there's less snow, pull out my boxes, and start packing. I also need to sort out my "office" and the very large bedroom closet that's sort of become a catch-all for stuff. If people are going to be coming by to look at the place, then the hidden spots need to be just as tidy as the not-hidden spots. I know that when I look at places I poke into all the cupboards and closets, so I can expect other people to do that too.

I'm waiting to hear back from my paralegal. She's been in touch with my landlady's lawyer, who appears to be entirely out of the loop concerning her intentions. So once she hears back from the lawyer, she will get in touch with me and update me on things. I'm trying to hope for the best, but given how passive-aggressive and bitchy she was with me on Monday, I am bracing for the worst.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Default)
 I feel like I do this every year. TV shows get renewed, I make a mental note to start watching again, and then... I don't. Then, months later, I remember they exist, and have to go hunt them down in order to catch up. So yesterday and today, in an attempt to distract myself from my landlady's latest assholery (she's getting too petty for me to call it "shenanigans" anymore), as well as because the gastro has made it all but impossible to do much else besides lie around with my laptop, I decided to marathon the latest season of Elementary.

Spoilers follow, for those of you who are not caught up to Episode 11 of the current season.


Spoilers for Season 5 of Elementary )


I still have three episodes left before I'm caught up, and then only four episodes are left to air before the end of the season. I'm at once wistful that I won't get more, but at the same time I like shorter seasons of television, because it forces writers to be tighter with their plotting and cuts out "filler" episodes. Not that filler is as much of a concern in an episodic procedural like Elementary. Anyway, I've meandered enough in this post. Time to procure dinner, and maybe watch some more episodes.
mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
I should post about staying home sick, and my landlady finally coming over and making my life both better and worse and generally being an unpredictable bitch (but she says I'm the one being "difficult" here, FML), but I'm tired and mostly so anxious I'm having trouble marshalling my thoughts in a coherent way, so I'm going to go to bed and hope the anxiety doesn't keep me awake.

Fuck her in particular. 

*curls up*

Feb. 26th, 2017 09:01 pm
mousme: A text icon that reads: "When the sun has set, no candle can replace it." (Sun has set)
I appear to have contracted a case of gastro, which sucks. I've had to call in sick to work tomorrow, because small call centre + being short-staffed + gastro = keep your germs at home.

I hope I didn't accidentally infect everyone at Meeting, because I was feeling okay when I went earlier today. I nearly didn't go this morning, but only because I felt tired and didn't particularly feel like moving, but I figured that was just the inertia talking. Anyway, I'm glad I did go: it was nice to sit quietly in Meeting without being responsible for the children for once, and I reconnected with a bunch of Quakers I hadn't seen in a while. The Quaker Book Service is shutting down at the end of the year, so they're having a fire sale until then, liquidating all their stock, which means I scored a bunch of cheap books today. I also managed to recover the measuring cup and the egg beaters I'd forgotten there the last time I made cookies with the children.

I drove a Friend home after Meeting, then came home and was delighted to find out that my friend S.'s computer was finally fixed (it's been on the blink since early February), so we jumped online to play 7 Days to Die, whereupon I promptly started feeling sick to my stomach. Stupid gastro. I took a nap, and am feeling marginally better, but I don't think it will last.

So I took a nap, then wrangled my parents over Skype, which was a bit of an adventure. My father is still in Vietnam, and so trying to explain to them how to have a multiple-person conversation was... tricky. We managed it for about a minute, and then they both panicked about it, and I had to agree to talk to them individually over Skype once they were done talking to each other. It was kind of adorable. XD

That's it for me. I'm off to watch The Lost World until I'm tired enough to go back to bed.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Shit)
:::Apologies if this posts twice. LJ is being a dick about crossposting from DW, so I am copy/pasting my original entry:::

I ran eight hours of D&D today, taking a break from landlady craziness and real world responsibilities. My players finally made it out of the cave system they were exploring and went back home, fighting a banshee and a bunch of tree blights on the way. Apart from that one fairly intense combat, it was a role-play-heavy session, which was a nice change of pace. They got to meet some new NPCs, have some downtime, and several of them are coming out of their shells as role-players, which is ncie to see. I need to work on not having my NPC accents waver all over the place.

Next session should be more role-play stuff more than combat, so I'll have to do some more plot and NPC prep for that, which I haven't done in a while. I have to start pulling the mythology of my home-brew world into a semblance of order so that I can start weaving in the overarching plot to their everyday encounters. It will be more work, but I think if I can pull it off it will be super rewarding for all of us.

There's not much else to report on today. I slept super badly because we had several thunderstorms last night, so my sleep was bookended by the dog freaking the hell out next to my bed. He wanted to come up and get comfort cuddles, and the first time he climbed up behind me and lay down exactly in the spot I usuall sleep and refused to budge. I had to physically lift all 85 pounds of him out of the way so I could lie down, but he did get comfort cuddles the way he wanted. Tis morning it was the same thing, except he couldn't get up onto te bed, soI had to get up and lift him up with me. Anyway, it was not super restful. Poor puppy, he really does hate thunderstorms. :(

The goal is to get better sleep tonight, and tomorrow is the first time in months I'll be able to go to Meeting without being responsible for the kids as well. It'll be nice to actually sit in Meeting and be part of the group worship for once.
mousme: A turquoise twenty-sided die that has landed on "1." The caption reads: "Shit." (Natural One)
 I ran eight hours of D&D today, taking a break from landlady craziness and real world responsibilities. My players finally made it out of the cave system they were exploring and went back home, fighting a banshee and a bunch of tree blights on the way. Apart from that one fairly intense combat, it was a role-play-heavy session, which was a nice change of pace. They got to meet some new NPCs, have some downtime, and several of them are coming out of their shells as role-players, which is nice to see. I need to work on not having my NPC accents waver all over the place. XD

Next session should be more role-play stuff more than combat, so I'll have to do some more plot and NPC prep for that, which I haven't done in a while. I have to start pulling the mythology of my home-brew world into a semblance of order so that I can start weaving in the overarching plot to their everyday encounters. It will be more work, but I think if I can pull it off it will be super rewarding for all of us.

There's not much else to report on today. I slept super badly because we had several thunderstorms last night, so my sleep was bookended by the dog freaking the hell out next to my bed. He wanted to come up and get comfort cuddles, and the first time he climbed up behind me and lay down exactly in the spot I usually sleep and refused to budge. I had to physically lift all 85 pounds of him out of the way so I could lie down, but he did get comfort cuddles the way he wanted. This morning it was the same thing, except he couldn't get up onto the bed, so I had to get up and lift him up with me. Anyway, it was not super restful. Poor puppy, he really does hate thunderstorms. :(

The goal is to get better sleep tonight, and tomorrow is the first time in months I'll be able to go to Meeting without being responsible for the kids as well. It'll be nice to actually sit in Meeting and be part of the group worship for once.
mousme: The silhouettes from MST3K with the written caption Oscar Wilde only wished he was this gay (Oscar Wilde)
 Today was Cooking Day with [livejournal.com profile] ai731 , who was feeling under the weather but soldiered on gamely, and it was a resounding success. We started on time, made a ton of food, and I was able to leave shortly before 16:00, which was my cut-off time because I had a house viewing this evening. The dogs had a fun day, too, in spite of the snow having melted considerably due to the unseasonably warm weather we've been having. They romped outside, they came inside and got underfoot, they romped outside some more, came in and tried to eat the baked goods, and were generally dogs. As usual, we had a fun time discussing fandom things, commiserating over various life things (she's heading a local committee that's sponsoring a family of refugees, which is awesome but a shit ton of work), and pretty much anything and everything under the sun. We never seem to run out of things to talk about. :)

The only thing that put a damper on my day was further landlady shenanigans. She texted me several times while we were cooking, insisting that she had to speak to me "in person" today, absolutely. So after multiple texts back and forth I agreed to meet her at 18:30 (an hour after my house viewing), despite the fact that I would rather bathe in a carbolic acid solution. In the meantime, the mortgage broker I'd contacted yesterday also started emailing me, and so in-between texts with my landlady I made an appointment with the broker for next Wednesday to discuss my options. [livejournal.com profile] ai731 was very patient with me while I fiddled endlessly with my phone between recipes. I don't like being glued to my phone when I'm with other people, but this whole situation with the house/landlady has me stressed enough that not dealing with it right away would have been worse than the alternative.

I zoomed back to Ottawa, dropped off the dog, did a very quick tidy of the kitchen (I hadn't completely cleaned up after last night's food preparation) in anticipation of my landlady coming by, then hopped back in the car to get to the house viewing. It turned out that the tenant in the property I'm interested in had called to cancel, but by then it was too late for the agent to contact me. Luckily she had another similar unit that was empty, so she showed me that instead, with an agreement that we'd make another appointment for me to see the actual unit for rent.

To my great surprise, I really liked the place! After over a week of seeing places that ranged from "Uh, okay, I guess" to "Wow, no, not on your life," it was really nice to find a house I could see myself living in! The one thing I'm not thrilled about is that it's carpeted on two floors, and I don't have a carpet attachment on my vacuum. Can we say "pet fur," ladies and gentlemen? Yeah. We'll see, on that front. Carpets are not a deal breaker for me, I'll just have to figure out if I can find a carpet attachment for my antiquity of a vacuum (it's an Electrolux, and I love it to death and will not part with it for love or money). Otherwise, though, it's in a really nice set of town houses: the grounds are well-kept, the houses are in good condition, and the whole place was a very decent size and layout. As an added bonus there was a wood-burning fireplace and an indoor garage, which I have long dreamed of (ever since I've owned my own car, tbh). I am very optimistic about this place, especially if the meeting with the broker leads me to believe that owning a house isn't in my immediate future.

Upon leaving, I received more good news in the form of my landlady cancelling her oh-so-urgent appointment with me and rescheduling for Monday. *hands* I got nothing. I'll take it, though, because it's been a long, if good and productive, day, and all I wanted to do was kick back and watch Critical Role, possibly with an alcoholic beverage of some kind. Tomorrow is D&D, and I have prep to do, too.

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mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Default)
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