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.
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 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. 
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.
mousme: Two open books, one lying on top of the other at an angle (Books)
 My landlady is pulling some serious Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde shit with me (that's where the quote is from). She insisted yesterday on bringing in another flooring company to assess the "damage" again, and I accepted in the interests of not antagonizing the fucking Balrog. It was... interesting, to put it mildly.

I spent today running around in a tizzy before that. I did some tidying/vacuuming in the morning, as well as some overdue laundry (my laundry is always overdue, I hate using the shitty washer/dryer unit in this place), then headed out for my first house viewing. This was the inexpensive co-op that my friend L. had suggested I look into (not that one specifically, but co-ops in general). When I got there, the lady I've been speaking with for nearly ten days greeted me in order to show me the house. Now, she and I had what I thought was a pretty good rapport over the phone, but in person her attitude was completely different. She was cold, brusque, and borderline rude with me. At the end of the viewing she told me she had spoken with my landlady, and I figured that explained the about-face in attitude (more on that later in this post).

The house itself was... well. I suppose technically there was nothing wrong with it. It's part of a much larger housing complex than I was expecting (at least 40 houses, if not more), and rain water was pouring off of it, signalling that the eaves troughs hadn't been cleared in quite some time. Inside the house was dirty, but they were planning on cleaning it, at least. It was another of those places that has the kitchen and dining/living room on the second floor. The entrance was tiny, with a "utility room" on the left (grey concrete floor, wood panelled walls, nothing very exciting) and a smallish bedroom on the right. On the second floor was the aforementioned kitchen, also rather small, and the living room/dining room, equally small. Did I mention small? Small. On the third floor were the remaining two bedrooms, identical in size. Not tiny, but not really that large, either. The kitchen was older, and was missing bits and pieces in the form of drawers. The whole place lacked storage space, except of course for the utility room, but overall it felt impractical, especially with the kitchen on the second floor. I mean, who does that? Also, I must confess, I found the place pretty hideous to look at, both outside and in. There was also no yard, which, while not a deal breaker, is not ideal for a dog owner.

In short, even if the lady hadn't been rude to me and insisted that my landlady must be telling the truth if she'd gotten lawyers involved (what even), this wasn't the place for me. It's really too bad, because it was a lot less expensive than anywhere else I'd looked, and that would have put me on the path of saving quite a bit of money. It's clearly not meant to be, and so I am moving on.

The second house was okay. It was a row house accessible via a shared hallway, which I will confess I find weird. You kind of have to pray for quiet neighbours in a case like this, I'd imagine. The house was in the process of being renovated, and the previous occupants had left ALL their stuff behind. Like, really, all of it. It was a mess like I've rarely seen before, on top of the renovations. There were clothes strewn about some of the rooms, various bits of junk were stacked on furniture, and the kitchen appliances were filthy. It was honestly pretty hard to look past the vast piles of crap, but the space was nice, if unimaginative. Again no yard, but a little outdoor patio with a great view of about a million neighbours. The place isn't top of my list, but it's a possibility, I guess.

I had about an hour and a half before my last viewing of the day, and tomorrow is Cooking Day with [livejournal.com profile] ai731 , so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and go grocery shopping in the area. I ended up at a Metro, where the prices were horribly inflated and I couldn't find about a third of the stuff I needed to buy. I got what I could, and then zipped off to my last viewing of the day.

The third house was very much along the same lines as the second: a townhouse accessible via a shared hallway. What is up with that, anyway? Is this an Ottawa thing? Or am I just super sheltered? Anyway. This place was much nicer, although it was also undergoing a thorough renovation. This place is being renovated with higher-end materials, though, and the appliances were all brand-new (stainless steel, which is not my cup of tea, but still really nice). The space was much nicer, too, though there was still no yard, only a small patio. There were a number of large trees outside, though, which seemed to afford a little bit more privacy than the previous place. Lots of storage space, a semi-finished basement, and a place I could see myself living in for a while, at least. Not spectacular, but certainly doable. There are some perks to this place, though: it has a gym, an indoor pool and an outdoor pool, and two social and gaming rooms which aren't bad at all. Parking space is extra, which is a bit of a concern, but nothing too terrible in terms of price. It would certainly be within my budget.

After that it was a race to get home, because my landlady was coming at 16:00 with the floor guy. Naturally I got caught in the beginnings of rush hour traffic, and spent a good fifteen minutes being very stressed out because I was going to be late for the appointment. I got lucky and managed to make it back by about 15:58. The floor guy was already waiting for me when I got home, but he opted to stay in his truck until my landlady arrived. I slipped inside and checked to make sure the cats hadn't kicked litter all over the floor (the last thing I need is to give my landlady ammunition of any kind against me).

She arrived a few minutes later, and informed me that she had given me a good recommendation to the co-op, so I am perplexed about that. I can't imagine why the co-op lady would have turned so hostile toward me if it hadn't been as a result of their conversation. I mean, we spoke yesterday and she was warm and friendly, and today (after she spoke to the landlady), she was outright rude and dismissive. So, I don't know? Maybe she thinks my landlady is trying to foist off a problem tenant with a good review? Or else my landlady is lying.

Anyway, she and the flooring guy (who was ALSO super rude to me, I have no idea what was with people today) went around the house, and that's when she changed her tune. Suddenly it was all oh-isn't-the-house-clean! and gosh-it-doesn't-smell-bad-at-all! She insisted that one spot on the floor HAD to be pet urine, and even lay down on the floor (!!) in order to sniff it herself, to no avail. I explained that the discolouration had been there when I moved in, and she looked me in the face and lied to me: "No, I inspected the house myself before that, and I was the one living here before you," she said. That is a lie. I met the people who lived here before me, and it wasn't her. I also know that she did no inspection of the place at all, because the previous tenants didn't move out until a few hours before I moved in, and it was being run by a property management company at the time, which means she wasn't involved with the maintenance of the place. Still, she did an almost complete 180, and started back-pedalling on the eviction, in spite of the lawyers' letter. She wants to talk with my downstairs neighbour, because she says he's the one complaining about the smell (although I spoke to him last week and he said there hadn't been a problem), and maybe she'll reconsider the whole thing. I just... I don't know what to do with her anymore. I'm so, SO done with this psychodrama. I don't care if she changes her mind, I still want to go. God only knows what sort of bullshit she'll pull in another couple of months when she goes on another rampage.

I'm a little discouraged by the state of the rentals in Ottawa, at this point. Only one house has come close to suiting my needs (crazy landlady aside, where I am is a great little house, practically perfect in every way as rental units go), and it's a bit too big and on a very busy thoroughfare. I'm not overly optimistic about finding a good place, although of course I haven't stopped looking. It's making me want to reconsider my options, though. I went to the bank several months ago to inquire about a mortgage, and I'm pretty much guaranteed a pre-approval. The problem, of course, is that I don't have enough money for a down payment as well as closing costs and money to move. I'm maybe about halfway there in terms of my savings, and that would clean me out. Someone mentioned that I might be able to get my downpayment as a separate loan, and another friend referred me to her mortgage broker for more information, so after the landlady shenanigans I called the broker, and have gotten the ball rolling on seeing what my options are there, at least. It would be nice to go back to owning my own home, and being the only person to whom I have to answer about my living decisions.

That's it for now. I need to pack up the last of my prepped food for Cooking Day, and then go to bed like a responsible adult. Critical Role is airing tonight, but I have to be up early, so I will likely watch it tomorrow evening. I have one last house viewing tomorrow, after which I have to start the whole query process over again. Lather, rinse, repeat, as the shampoo bottles say.

See you on the flip side, LJ!
mousme: A turquoise twenty-sided die that has landed on "1." The caption reads: "Shit." (Natural One)
 I've spent the last two days running in circles. I worked two night shifts, and I had agreed to spend some time with L. and J. on both days. Apart from my own crazy with my landlady, I found myself sucked into the nightmare crazy that L. and J. are experiencing too. Because they have to work everything around their harassing neighbours, even the simplest things end up being super complicated.

Monday was a bit of a clusterfuck. Originally I was supposed to go from about nine to noon, but they called and asked me if I could come later in the afternoon. Since I had a house viewing scheduled for 16:00 and then work at 17:30, I told them it wasn't really possible, but that I could stop by anytime up to 15:30. So they initially cancelled my whole visit, only to call back at noon to ask me to come by anyway. Monday was Family Day, which is a statutory holiday in Ontario, and so their neighbours were home and causing trouble.

I went over right away, and there ensued a logistical nightmare. Uh, I think I need to provide some context before this will make sense. The neighbours, among other things, harass them by parking their very large trucks in front of their house and sometimes in their actual driveway. Mostly they park in front of the house, and then they all hang out around their truck or stand right up on L. and J.'s property (the police won't lay charges because you can be up to 15 feet away from the public street on someone's property, make rude gestures, and even take pictures legally, apparently. I'm not well-enough versed in the law to know for sure myself, but the Ottawa Police made it clear to L. and J. that they weren't going to intervene in this kind of situation). So in order to discourage the harassers, L. and J. try to have cars parked in their driveway and directly in front of their house at all times.

Okay, explanation done. L. and J. don't own a car, but they've been renting vehicles. They also had a friend lend them a car over the weekend while she went on a ski trip, and that's where I came in. They wanted me to stay while J. drove the borrowed car back to its owner, and then got dropped back at home. I told them that was fine, as long as I could leave by 16:00 (my house viewing got cancelled, luckily), and also drove L. to Loblaws to do some grocery shopping, as they'd both been sick all weekend. While we were out at Loblaw's, J. called L. and revealed that she'd accidentally broken her glasses. So when we got back at 15:45 J. couldn't leave until L. had helped her Scotch tape her glasses together, and I ended up going with her because she can't see at all without her glasses, and they were worried the glasses might break again while she was driving. We left at 16:00, and when we got to our destination, the friend we were going to see wasn't there yet. So we waited some more, and ended up returning to L. and J.'s house at a quarter to five.

I ran home as fast as I could, tried to get ready for work, take care of the pets, and have dinner, and only succeeded at two out of the three. Oh, and the dog was sick while I was gone, so I had to clean that up too before work. It was, as I said, a total clusterfuck, and I ended up being late for work as a result.

Yesterday wasn't quite as bad in terms of logistics, but I ended up spending most of my day with them, from 09:30 to past 14:00, which means that I only got about four hours of sleep all day, total. I wasn't late for work, at least, but I was exhausted by the end of it all.

And today the landlady saga continues. The coop called me and said they left her messages which she hasn't returned yet, and when I spoke to them I hadn't heard from her directly in about three weeks (not since February 1st). I checked my cell phone when I hung up with the coop, and to my surprise found a text message from her, demanding to know if I'd be home tomorrow so a floor company could come in. I responded with my availability, and she hasn't gotten back to me. 

I'm a little concerned, because I spoke to my paralegal today, and she said she hasn't sent the letter yet that we agreed upon, and that means my landlady doesn't yet know that I've engaged legal representation. I don't know what that means for how tomorrow's as-yet hypothetical visit (with the floor company) will mean, and now I'm super stressed about it all again. I honestly thought that the letter would have been sent out either late last week or early this week. Two weeks seems like a really long time to send out what is essentially a one-page letter. I don't know, maybe legal stuff really does take that long, but this is sort of a time-sensitive issue. :(

Ugh. Anyway. Speaking of anxiety, it's time to go to therapy. I haven't been in over a month, due to scheduling and life issues. I had to cancel my last appointment due to my landlady being crazy, and then my therapist got sick, so it's been a while. I'm thinking of stopping, anyway. I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere or developing any true insights into my psyche that I didn't know before, and that means I'm wasting her time, and wasting my time and money.
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)
 That's no mean feat. Mostly I feel like today was a lot of running around. I saw the paralegal this morning, and she is of the (professional) opinion that my landlady has no leg to stand on when it comes to this so-called eviction. I brought pictures of my floors, and she agrees that they're fine and in no way damaged by pets.

She'll be sending an official letter to my landlady and the lawyers detailing how we'd like things to go from here on out:
  • I agree to move out by the end of three months
  • Both my landlady and I sign a mutual release form (she doesn't seek to claim "damages" from me, I don't sue her for harassment and/or preventing my "reasonable enjoyment" of my place of residence)
  • My landlady returns all my post-dated cheques to me, from the month of April onward, so that I don't have to pay a cancellation fee
If my landlady is reasonable, she will accept, and that will be the end of it. Of course, the minute we sign the release, she's allowed to show people my place from 08:00 to 20:00 every single day of the week without giving me any notice at all, so I anticipate many weeks of being awoken during night shifts, or having other activities interrupted. At least it'll make her look bad toward prospective tenants if she does that.

That, of course, is the best-case scenario, supposing she's reasonable. Given that she doesn't seem prone to making sane choices, I am half-expecting her to try to escalate this, at which point we will kick her ass in court in front of the Landlord and Tenant Board. My paralegal is going to recommend a flooring company to me to come in and do an evaluation of the floors, and we're going to see about getting in a different cleaning service (to honour my verbal agreement with my landlady that I'd have them in every two weeks). There will be extensive documentation, and it will all be a pain in my ass to deal with in terms of time, money, and emotional energy. I can't wait.

Anyway, the meeting went well, and I even remembered to pick up milk and tea on the way home, so I'm counting it as a win.

I ended up having to go back out in the late afternoon to meet with a coworker concerning a committee at work I'm supposed to start running. Nothing like having meetings two days in a row, both on my day off, let me tell you. Still, we met at a coffee shop and she brought her adorable dog for me to cuddle, so it wasn't all bad. I just would have preferred to stay cosily at home.

I tried stopping by U-Haul after that to pick up some of their smaller boxes so I could start packing my books (I used medium-sized boxes the last time, and concluded that the weight was not worth the saved space, unfortunately). I ended up not staying, because we've had another substantial snowfall (the second in three days), and the parking lot was packed with trucks, mountains of snow, and a snow removal truck, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out where I should park. I'll try again tomorrow when the weather has improved and daylight is on my side.

I did manage to swing by Canadian Tire, which wasn't on my list of things to do today, but occurred to me to do while I was out. I'm looking for air vent filters so that my landlady can't complain about dog fur in the vents, but I didn't find any that were large enough for my wall vents, which is a bummer. I ended up buying a pack of smaller ones anyway, and I'll try to make them fit, maybe by cutting some of them and playing filter Tetris. We'll see how well I can MacGyver them, I guess.

And last but not least, I ended up back at the office anyway, in order to misappropriate some office supplies by printing an application for a place I'd like to stay in. My friend L. suggested I look into co-op housing, and I found what looks like a promising little community about twenty minutes away from here. It's far enough that I probably won't be able to go home for lunch anymore, but I'd be saving nearly $700 a month in rent and there's a big focus on community, which sounds right up my alley. I really enjoy having cordial relations with my neighbours, if not more, so this would be perfect.

The problem, of course, is that all prospective landlords want to talk to your current landlord for application purposes, and nothing turns them off faster than hearing you're having trouble with your landlord. They immediately (and understandably) assume that you are the problem, because of course there's no such thing as a dishonest or troublesome landlord. So I'm trying to get my ducks in a row in order to assuage any fears that they might have. Thank you, landlady, for ruining yet another part of my life (at least temporarily).

In other, completely unrelated news, my poor mother nearly got scammed today (again). She got an email supposedly from the Canada Revenue Agency saying she hadn't paid her 2015 taxes, and would she please and thank you click on this handy link in order to "confirm" her personal information? Luckily she contacted her accountant first and was waiting for him to call back when we spoke, so I was able to tell her it was a scam and not to click on anything. Her accountant called back while we were on the phone and confirmed what I'd told her, so we dodged that particular bullet. But seriously, fuck scammers in particular.

In short, a lot happened today, and yet I somehow still feel unproductive. I guess I'll call it an early-ish night, since I have a meeting in the morning at work, too. In the afternoon I'll be visiting my first potential rental (though not the one in the co-op). We shall see.
mousme: A picture of Darth Vader, captioned My Fandom Destroys Planets. (My Fandom Destroys Planets)
 I don't want to make this the All Landlady, All the Time journal, so I promise to try keep it brief. I have been in touch with two paralegals today. The first is actually on maternity leave (she was recommended by a friend who obviously wasn't in the loop), but she gave me some good unofficial advice and then recommended a couple of other names for me to try. I have now secured the services of one of those firms, and will be having my first meeting with the paralegal on Wednesday. She wants me to come in with all paperwork and pictures of my house, so that she can see for herself that there's no damage to the house. Shockingly, she can't take my word for it. ;)

So, for now, I'm exploring options. While a huge part of me wants to just rip off the bandaid and get out of this place ASAP and just have done, already, I am coming to see that there are more reasons for me to just grit my teeth and bear it for a couple of extra months. If nothing else, moving in early spring will be easier than trying to dig out my barbecue, patio table, and a lot of gardening stuff from under 3-4 feet of frozen snow, not to mention that I have to dig my packing boxes out of the shed, which is also buried under the same 3-4 feet of frozen snow. As much as I am loath to deal with extra landlady shenanigans during that time (and shenanigans there will be, I am quite sure of it), moving in the spring would be much more convenient.

There are a few avenues open to me, all of which have some drawbacks and some advantages. We shall see what comes of the meeting with the paralegal and go from there I guess. Yes, that's the royal "we." ;) I can ask my landlady for a 

In the meantime, my job is changing categories, starting April 26th, if all goes according to plan. This was all put into motion years ago, when it was decided that Civilian Members were to be eliminated from the RCMP. So we're all being converted to the public service. I think I mentioned this in a previous post many months back, but I can't be bothered to go find it right now.

Anyway, none of the Civilian Members are happy about this, because it means we're losing a ton of the benefits we enjoyed before, including unlimited sick time, which I don't think is offered by anyone else in Canada. Instead we're going to be getting the same amount of time as the other public service employees, which is 120 hours a year. For most employees, that's the equivalent of fifteen days of sick leave. If, like me, you work 12-hour shifts, though, suddenly you find yourself with ten days of leave instead. Granted, most of us don't use that many days in a year, but every now and then it's to be expected that you *will* find yourself in need of long-term leave. Right now, what that means is that if you get seriously ill, you imply stay home and concentrate on getting better, at full salary. Once the "deeming" happens (as it's called), it becomes a lot more complicated. First, you have to burn through your sick leave, then any vacation time you have. Then you have to claim unemployment insurance (thus guaranteeing a not-insignificant interruption in your revenue while they determine if they're going to accept your application), and after, IF that goes through, your insurance kicks in after a year. Needless to say, unemployment and insurance is a lot less than your actual salary.

So if, for instance, you get cancer, you get to also worry about keeping your kids fed or a roof over your head as well as worrying about whether or not you're going to die. Before you say "But lots of people have to worry about that!" let me hasten to assure you that I know. The point is that we had a more progressive set of benefits, and we are going backward. The goal should not be to remove our benefits so that we're like everyone else, the goal should be to give everyone else the same security we have. Of course, that's not what's happening, and I can all but guarantee you that it will end up costing the government more in the long run than they are saving in the short run.

The other part of this is that, thanks to Bill C-7 and the elimination of Civilian Members, we also now have to unionize. Now, I'm generally pro-union, so this isn't terrible news, but I will confess that, having never been part of a union before, the unionization process is breaking. my. brain. We have several unions competing for our attention, and none of them appear to understand our jobs or see the whole picture or even be able to give us a straight answer to any of our questions. It's bloody well disheartening. 

I keep meaning to talk about watching The Clone Wars, or my continuing re-watch of Deep Space Nine, or any of the other shows I'm watching, but my brain is currently being consumed by anxiety about my living situation. When that's not happening, my brain is being consumed by anxiety about the entire world being a political trash fire. There is, of course, the living nightmare going on in the United States, but even Canadian politics are being depressing, with Trudeau going back on his promise of electoral reform, which was basically the platform on which he was elected. It's such a disappointment, even though I have to admit I'm not entirely surprised he's reneging on it.

Okay. I am off to find more painkillers in the hopes of making this lingering stress headache go away. I have fish in the oven for dinner, so at least healthy food is in the offing. See you on the flip side, LJ!
mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
 My landlady is trying to evict me, claiming the aforementioned fictitious damage to the house. I am at my wits' end with this woman, and so I'm going to go, but I'll be damned if she gets to then sue me for nonexistent damage, which she has also said she's going to do, in writing. She has summoned her lawyers, so the plan is to go find myself a legal representative this week (yay) to make sure that my rights are represented. She can't just make things up and expect me to lie down and pay her to go away.

I can't tell you how much fun this is!

I wish I knew why she was doing this. I can't think of a good reason. I'm quiet, I pay my rent on the first of every month on the dot, I am respectful of my neighbours. She herself told me not three weeks ago that I was her best tenant ever. I can only assume that there must be some sort of personal dislike involved.

Anyway, she's given me three months to move out, and I am inclined to accept. Mainly what's stressing me out is that I'll be in Europe for two weeks at the end of March, which is going to make packing and moving extra stressful. I'll be gone from the 18th to the 30th inclusively, which means I'd be back literally two days before an April 1st move-in date. I *think* I can get everything packed before I move, but it would be pretty hellish to come back jet-lagged and then coordinate a move. I was really looking forward to this trip, too, and now it feels like just an additional source of stress. Honestly, fuck her for partially ruining what was supposed to be the best part of my year. I will still love my trip, but I'll probably spend good chunks of it worrying about my move instead of enjoying myself.

On top of that, it's actually pretty difficult to find accommodations at this time of year. I've sent out a half-dozen queries, and with any luck I'll hear back soon, but the pickings in my price range seem rather slim.

I promise I'll be back with a more cheerful post, maybe about Clone Wars of the Walking Dead or something. Right now I'm kind of stressed about this whole situation.
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 am perhaps overreacting about my landlady, but I am incredibly frustrated. After the whole cleaner saga, she has come back and told me that the cleaners said my pets had *stained* the floor and that, as I said yesterday, the cat litter smell is overwhelming. I'm honestly flummoxed as to why they would say that. I have had pets irreversibly stain floors before, and I paid to replace them out of my own pocket. These floors? Not stained.

She insisted on having floor people come to see the house today, which in turn forced me to cancel my afternoon appointments. Did she turn up at the time she said she would? No, of course not. I didn't know the main purpose of their visit, so I was unable to answer even the most basic of their questions. They were very nice, though, and made friends with the cat and the dog. They agreed that my floors are not stained, that it's just normal wear and tear, and they will be passing the message along to my landlady, thank goodness. They also gave me a good trick to keep further dog hair out of the ducts, which was the previous reason for my landlady freaking out.

As for the litter boxes, well, I've got nothing. I don't smell anything, other than the smell of normal clay litter, which does have its own distinct odour. It's not the same as used litter, so if it's the clean litter smell that's the issue, then there's nothing I can do about that. I poured out all the old litter today and washed the litter boxes, just in case, and went down on my hands and knees in the house just to make sure I hadn't missed a spot where one of the cats might have been going outside the litter boxes, but I found nothing. *shrug*

Honestly, part of me kind of hopes she'll pitch one final fit and just ask me to leave. It'll be easier to deal with the extreme anxiety of having to movie on short notice than to deal with the constant rollercoaster of crazy. I mean, I'm not really in a position to move, financially speaking, but I *could* do it if I had absolutely no choice, and I'd be out from under her thumb. I really regret signing that lease now, let me tell you.

In short: ugh.
mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
 I'm starting a re-watch of Babylon 5 with some online friends. We'll be watching one episode a week and chatting about it afterward. I've never done an organized re-watch, so it'll be interesting to see how this turns out. Given the political nature of Babylon 5, it feels like a timely re-watch. A nice reminder of allegories about resisting illegitimate governments that rule through fear, xenophobia, and martial law.

Otherwise, the political world continues to be a trash fire. DeVos is seconds away from becoming Secretary of Education, Steve Bannon appears to be running at least half of Donald Trump's political shitshow, and thousands of refugees to the US now find their lives in danger due to the Muslim Ban. The only heartening news is that the Canadian government is having an emergency debate tonight concerning the refugee crisis, and while I have my doubts that the current government will do anything concrete, lest we antagonize our very powerful economic allies to the south, but the fact that it's being discussed at all is something, I guess. Hey, my government could prove me wrong and decide to rescind the safe third country agreement, welcoming refugees turned away from the USA. Who knows? It could happen.

In personal news, my landlady has stepped up the crazy. The cleaning service reported back to her (she says) that the cat litter smells (I don't smell it, but maybe I've gone nose blind to it?) and that I've damaged the floors, which is complete and utter bullshit. Anyway, she's gone from "You're the best tenant I ever had!" last week back to implying that I'll be evicted, yet again. She's giving me whiplash. Anyway, she's coming tomorrow afternoon with a flooring company? I think? She's left me so many contradictory messages that I don't know which one of them she thinks is the truth anymore.

Ugh.

I passed!

Jan. 26th, 2017 10:55 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 passed the certification course, thank goodness. I mean, I can't claim much credit, here, because the instructor practically spoon-fed us the answers to the test at the end. I am a little irritated with myself, but apart from being a sea of acronyms, the course was one I had trouble wrapping my mind around. I think it'll get better once I have the chance to apply the knowledge in a more practical setting (i.e., work) and get to ask questions specifically pertaining to the subject matter as it relates to my job, and not just the abstract stuff we went over this week.

Still, it's over now, and I'm glad for it.

I was going to call it an early night tonight, but I'd forgotten it's Critical Role night, so I guess that's a wash. XD

In other news, my landlady has decided that not only is she going to pitch a fit about dog fur, but she's basically strong-arming me into paying for half of a cleaning service to invade my space twice a month in order to... IDK, vacuum even more? Ugh. I suppose I shouldn't complain too hard, if it keeps her off my back, but that's a lot of money to devote to it each month, on top of the hike in rent. She's really fucking high maintenance, and I regret considerably signing a full year's lease now. Still, the milk is spilled, no use crying over it. The cleaning service will be coming first thing on Monday, so I'll be spending my free time this weekend trying to tidy up my paperwork enough that they won't have to negotiate their way around my clutter while they're cleaning. The house itself is mostly fine, it's simply the room that I was originally going to make my "office" that's a bit of a disaster.

I have to say, that wasn't how I had planned on spending my weekend. I have to go back to work on Monday, and I was looking forward to a quiet Sunday, at the very least. This is disappointing
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 awoke with a hell of a headache, so I reluctantly decided not to go to Meeting. Normally I'd have been working today and wouldn't have been able to go anyway, so I guess it's not *that* big of a deal. Still, I wish I'd felt well enough to go. I could have at least picked up my tupperware from the Meeting house. I hope no one gets rid of it between now and next week, because those are the only large boxes I own, and they'd be expensive to replace.

The meeting with the psycho landlady went as well as it could have gone, at least. She did make a passing comment about my needing to vacuum more, because the air vent filters have dog fur in them, but she didn't threaten to evict me over it, at least. We signed a new lease, and I'm now paying $23 a month more. *sigh* I pushed for her to move to email transfers instead of cheques for the money, but apparently her accountant prefers to work with cheques, at least for now. I think I may have opened up a chink in her armour on that front, at least.

Otherwise, after I took some meds and the headache faded, I spent today tidying the kitchen, playing a game for a while, and continuing my re-watch of DS9. I'm impressed with the political writing of this show, I must say, although the heterocentric narrative doesn't fly nearly as well twenty-five years later. Watching Star Trek is kind of like slipping back into a pair of comfortable slippers: the metaphors are often heavy-handed, but the characters are easy to get attached to. I'd forgotten that each series has its very own Other™ Character, the one who poses Important Questions About What It Means To Be Human: in the case of DS9, they do a nicely subtle job with Odo, the shapeshifter who knows nothing about his origins and tries to model not only his behaviour, but his physical appearance, after the humanoids around him. He serves the same purpose as Spock, Data, and the holographic Doctor, namely to hold a mirror up to humanity and show us both the good and the bad within us.

I will confess to being a little depressed that, twenty-five years after this series first aired, a lot of the stuff that's being metaphorically addressed in the show is ongoing today, with very little change. There was an episode about teaching creationism in schools, among others, as well as any number of episodes about sexism and racism, and it feels like we're chasing our tails, especially in light of the election of Trump as president. It just feels like we've made no progress at all (which, granted, is not true, but it feels like it).

That's enough for today, I think. I need to call it an early night so that I'll be bright-eyed and bushy tailed for my week of training for work. I'm being sent off-site for it, and I will confess that while I want the knowledge, I'm not particularly looking forward to spending four days shut up in a small room learning about communications security. Quite frankly, it sounds horrifically dull. I hope to be proven wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

mousme: A picture of Wol from Winnie the Pooh, holding a note that reads "Gon Out. Backson. Bizy. Backson." (Back Soon)
 Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, I got super busy with various commitments and didn't have the time to sit at the computer and compose an entry to talk about all of it. It's been a busy week, and it doesn't look like it's about to get any less busy any time soon.

I visited with L. and J. (well, only L., but I met J. later), the lesbian couple being harassed by their neighbours. They are just the most adorable people, and what they are going through is horrific. It's been taking place for years now, and it's not an exaggeration to say it has ruined their lives. Not permanently, but right now they can't even have a semblance of normalcy. It's not just verbal harassment, either. They've been assaulted on a couple of occasions, and it sounds like the police have been treating this as a neighbour dispute rather than a clear case of harassment/hate crimes. I am livid on their behalf, because it sounds like the entire case has been badly mishandled from the start. Unfortunately, the situation is beyond salvaging now, not without their putting in time and money and energy that they simply don't have, and I don't blame them for not wanting to put up with it any longer. 

We're setting up a tentative schedule for me to go hang out at their house once a week starting in early February (my schedule isn't free until then, unfortunately), and with any luck they'll be able to sell their house soon and move to a place where they can start fresh.

The rest of the week was taken up with cleaning the house, hosting a potluck for the young Quakers, and work. Oh, and making sandwiches for a Quaker wedding today (which I was unable to attend, due to work, alas). It feels like I haven't had a moment to myself all week, which isn't true, since I actually got to stay home most of Wednesday and just chill. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been had I not had at least one day to myself to do not much.

Tomorrow was supposed to be my one day off before I start a week of training, but of course my landlady has decided to make my life hard again. She's insisting on twelve post-dated cheques (and wanted them two weeks before the first of the month, no less!), so I pushed back a little, and so now we're signing a new twelve-month lease. I refuse to give post-dated cheques for a month-to-month lease, and at least this way I'm slightly more protected than before, although it means a commensurate increase in my rent, which is going to hurt. *sigh* I can't win with her, and it means I have to put up with her in my home for an extended amount of time tomorrow, instead while we sign a new lease. Bleh. Still, it could be worse, and I hope it won't take too long.

I'm going to call it an early night tonight. I've poked at my Romanian lessons a bit, and now that I know how to say "cow" I feel like my life is just that bit more complete. ;) Tomorrow I'll go to Meeting, then come back to deal with the landlady, and maybe after that I'll have a bit of peace and quiet before work starts up again on Monday.

I will say that the highlight of today has been watching the Women's Marches taking place all over the world. It gives me hope, even as fascism soars to new heights to the south of us.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bad for Zathras)
Little did I know yesterday that my kind of crazy day would continue. I was planning to spend the day cleaning, but as we all know, man plans and the universe laughs.

So around 10:30 I started feeling a familiar, strange pressure in my chest. I experienced the same thing about two weeks ago at work. It lasted for four hours, and I felt like I couldn't quite take a deep breath the entire time. It was super uncomfortable. Still, it passed, and I didn't think about it after that, until yesterday. Yesterday it was the same feeling, only accompanied by a sharp, but not particularly terrible, pain. Annoyed by the inconvenience, I googled to see if this might be a medication side effect. Sure enough, Abilify can cause chest pain, and a host of heart problems, too.

I figured that I would call the Ontario health line and ask if it was okay for me to stop that medication until I see my doctor in two weeks. Turns out, if you call and say the words "chest pain," they transfer you automatically to 911. *sigh* The only way I could convince them not to call me an ambulance was to promise to go to the hospital and get myself checked out. So three hours of my life later, the doctor agreed with my original assessment and told me to stop the medication until I saw my GP.

I know the statistics, I know women tend to underreport or otherwise downplay symptoms of a heart attack, but it would have been really nice to have people not invalidate what I was saying at every turn, until I got to the doctor. I knew it was nothing, but I suppose the HealthLine was covering their asses and thus wasted half my day on nothing.

I decided that the day wouldn't be a complete waste, so I went grocery shopping, and returned to find that one of the cats had peed on the dog bed. The house reeked. So I stripped the bed and put the batting in the wash, to be followed by the cover. No dice. The stacked washer/dryer died mid-cycle, leaving the batting to soak in soapy water, and me to contact my psycho landlady. She said she'd be by today, but there's been no sign of her, and I'm scheduled to go to work in an hour and a half or so. We'll see. I don't know what she thinks she can do, anyway. She's a hairdresser, not a repairperson nor a plumber.

Of course, all of this meant that I never got to have a nap before work, so I was awake for 22 hours, and THEN I had to stay late at work to write a report no one had told me I needed to write, which sucked. By the time I came home and went to bed, I'd been up for over 24 hours. I ended up waking up every two hours today, too, expecting my landlady, who never turned up. So I got about six hours of broken sleep, which makes me not all that functional.

Surprisingly, I spent most of that time in a good mood, except for a few brief minutes this morning when one of my coworkers tried to rush me into doing something while I was still working on my report. I may or may not have made a murder face at them. :P

Today I ended up doing less cleaning and more breaking of the ice outside, so that my mother won't slip and fall and kill herself when she comes to visit on Thursday with my father. I did get the litter boxes, though, so that's something.

So that was the past 36 hours. May the following go a little more smoothly.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Gone Out)
Life has been a whirlwind of stuff now that I'm back at work full-time, and on meds that seem to be allowing me to have more energy. I've been playing catch-up on life, and it is ridiculously busy as a result.

I have said before that I am not a fan of the Cult of Busyness™ that has infected our culture. I don't like using "busy" as a positive descriptor for myself, as if my levels of productivity are a measure of my worth. Nonetheless, I have a lot of shit to catch up on that I didn't get done while I was recovering from burnout. There have also been landlady and her useless handyman shenanigans, which are both energy draining and time consuming.

In short, I shall endeavour to write a post by the end of this week (so by next Saturday at the latest) in which I shall explain (no, would take too long, let me sum up) everything that's happened since I last posted. Almost all of it is positive, exciting stuff. It has been time-consuming, however, and has kept me even away from Twitter most days, which is where I hang out the most.

There have been finance developments, fitness developments, pet developments, career developments... all sorts of things. For once, the curse of 2016 appears to be lifting for me, though sadly not for many others. Though I haven't been posting, I have been reading faithfully, and I do commiserate with all of you who are having such a rough time of it right now. The good part about burning out this summer is that since I've been on a similar roller coaster before, I kind of knew what to expect, and I knew there would be a light at the end of the tunnel (which wasn't a train), which kept me going pretty steadily. So, that's a useful psychological skillset I wasn't aware I had.

On that note, I have more Things To Do, so I shall see you on the flip side!

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