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 pale blue that reads Winter is Coming (Winter is Coming)
 Yesterday was fun but exhausting. Part of that was my fault, part of it wasn't. I got up early to finish my script, and was doing okay right up until I put on the new button-down vest I'd bought to wear to Capricornucopia and all the buttons fell off. In my defence, it looks like they were shoddily sewn on to begin with. :P Since I hadn't planned on spending 45 minutes sewing buttons (I am not a quick seamstress), that threw off my timing for the rest of the day.

I arrived an hour late for breakfast with my parents, but we still had a lovely time together. They've settled into the "elderly couple who've been married forever" cliché with a vengeance, and they are absolutely adorable. I watched them bicker amiably over how to write out the Saturday grocery shopping list, and nearly died of cute. 

[livejournal.com profile] miseri was a lifesaver and agreed to print my script for me, so I was at least spared a last-minute dash to Bureau en Gros and was able to get to his place before noon for the usual pre-Capricornucopia highlighting party with [Bad username or site: sorceror and [livejournal.com profile] tcaptain @ livejournal.com]. Wow. Autocorrect just tried to fix both those names for me. They're proper nouns, autocorrect! Grr. Anyway, after 13 years of doing this, we have the pre-party prep down to a fine art (except for [livejournal.com profile] sorceror, who still can't remember to take his allergy meds before getting together with us), and we had finished marking the scripts and bought food for the potluck by 14:00 with no difficulties.

The turnout was a record low this year, as I'd feared. Maybe I should take a page from Trump's book and go on and on about how this was the largest Capricornucopia in all of history. XD Anyway, it was still wonderful to see all the people who did show, up, and we had a good time. We took our time, and started at 16:00 instead of the usual 15:00, and took breaks between every play instead of having only one intermission. We finished at 18:00 on the nose, then hung out and chatted for nearly another hour after that. It was good to be able to catch up with the people I only see once or twice a year, too.

I still think this will be the last one, though. The fact that so few people showed up meant that we had very few people in the audience in order to watch the people on stage, even though we all made efforts to narrow down our cast of characters. We lasted more than most TV shows (except Supernatural and maybe Law & Order), so I think it's been a good run, overall. It's time to move onto new and different things.

In the meantime, I'm spending today quietly. I don't know how everyone else manages to work all week and socialize/run errands all weekend. I spent the week in training and then sped to Montreal and back, and now I am ready for a three-day nap.

mousme: An RCMP officer in ceremonial uniform swinging around a horizontal bar. (Maintain the Right)
 ... and thank goodness for that.

I have averaged about three hours of sleep per calendar day since Tuesday, and I am displeased. Yesterday it was my own choice, though, so I can't complain too much about that.

I dropped the ball about sending out the First Day School schedule on time, and therefore had to pinch-hit in the morning. Luckily, I had an old lesson "plan" from several months ago that I hadn't used because there were no kids on the day I was scheduled. I'd planned to read them the story of Daniel in the Lion's Den, which is what we did, followed by a short discussion about bravery and metaphors (maybe the lions weren't lions, but were symbolic of living through hard times and retaining faith/hope), which I think mostly went over the kids' heads. Luckily I'd also printed out a bunch of colouring sheets from the internet of the story, so we were able to occupy the rest of the time with colouring and more idle conversation.

Speaking of Meeting, last week I submitted a request for a Clearness Committee in order to become a fully fledged Member of Ottawa Monthly Meeting, and it was discussed today during Meeting for Worship for Business by the Members, who were all very enthused at the idea, it seems. I got assigned a Clearness Committee, and I'm going to be meeting with them after they've had an initial meeting without me. I'm not sure what to expect after this, but I suppose it will all become clear (see what I did there?).

I may be making new friends, or at least acquaintances, this week. There's a lesbian couple in my neighbourhood who've been facing extreme harassment by their neighbours, and someone at Meeting asked me if I'd like to be part of their support circle. The couple are planning to sell their house and move away due to the harassment, but in the meantime it helps for them to have people come over to the house and simply hang out for a while. It hasn't caused the harassers to stop, but it does apparently make them keep their distance a little more. Since I've been looking for other members of the queer community in Ottawa, this will serve as a "two birds, one stone" sort of thing. I mean, I wish we'd met under different circumstances, but I'm hoping we can become friends over time. I spoke with one of the women at length today over the phone, and she told me all of the circumstances, and frankly I can't blame them for wanting to move away: it sounds pretty damned terrifying.

I'm going to go on Thursday morning to spend a few hours with them, and then I've invited them over to my house to take part in the potluck dinner I'm hosting for some of the younger members of Ottawa Monthly Meeting. We're all trying to get to know each other better, and so every month there's a potluck at someone's house/apartment. This month I volunteered, since they have a distressing habit of scheduling the potlucks on nights when I'm working.

It's going to be a busy week: I have errands or appointments or commitments pretty much every single day starting tomorrow and not letting up until I go back to work on Friday morning. My one prayer is that the insomnia goes away so I can get some much-needed sleep. Otherwise, it's going to be an excruciatingly long ten days.

Success!

Dec. 30th, 2016 04:29 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. (Baker's 12)
I've been preparing to host an "Un-Christmas" lunch since, oh, the beginning of December. I invited my parents and [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave and his wife, Carolyn, and started menu planning three weeks ago and cooking last week. Because I rarely entertain, when I do, I want it to be memorable. I flatter myself that today went really well, overall. My parents get along really well with [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave and Carolyn, and the four of them had a great time laughing about living "near the North Pole," etc. Carolyn got to see how well Maggie and Ben were doing (I adopted two of their cats over the past year, when they couldn't keep them anymore).

This morning I got up early in order to finish the last of the preparation: a last-minute vacuum/tidy of the house, then make the mashed potatoes, mulled wine, wild rice, and green beans. I didn't get it all done before the guests arrived, and we ended up eating about half an hour later than planned, but it all pulled together at the last minute.

The meal itself was a great success. I started out with a beet salad with goat cheese and candied walnuts. It's the only dish which I managed to capture in a picture. The rest of the food got eaten too quickly for me to be able to snap a picture, but there were lemon tarragon roasted cornish hens, balsamic glazed green beans with almonds and cranberries, tourtière, mashed sweet potatoes flavoured with maple syrup, and wild rice with raisins and almonds. For the cheese course we had brie with truffles, bleu d'Auvergne, and Oka, and for dessert I made apple pie and rice pudding (for the gluten-free guest). We finished it off with coffee, and I think all of us may die happily of food.


I was too busy running around trying to get everything on the table and everyone fed and taken care of to get many pictures, but I did get a few, and my parents took some as well. Hopefully between the three of us we'll have a nice record of the day.

Carolyn, my mother, and Darroch. I tried to get a picture of my father, but he keeps making faces at the camera.


Ben wanted in on the action, and kept climbing into my chair when I wasn't in it.

So, in short, I declare success. My parents gave me a sewing basket for Christmas (at my request), and it's glorious: huge, and red with white polka dots. I love it, and I want to get started on sewing something ASAP. Maybe I'll mend the dog's newest favourite toy: a no-longer-squeaky stuffed hedgehog, which he eviscerates on a regular basis.

I got my parents a framed set of my favourite pictures of them taken over the past two years, and they loved it. So I now get to pat myself on the back for a well-done Christmas, all around, even if it wasn't on Christmas itself.

I am due to write a year-in-review post, which I used to do regularly and then sort of forgot about. Tonight, however, I have a D&D game to prep, so it will have to wait.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Winter Is Coming)
Merry Christmas to all of my friends who celebrate it, or happy Hannukah or merry Yule, or just have a happy day if you are a more secular type. I hope all of you are having an excellent day, regardless. Thank you for being my friends and making my life the richer for it.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Lock The Universe)
I've been bad about posting here, for the same reasons as usual. So much stuff happens IRL that I don't have the energy left over to post when it happens, and then afterward there's so much of it to catch up on that I get overwhelmed. I'm going to try to do better. A few years ago I did well when I challenged myself to post once a day to LJ for a year, regardless of how much or how little had happened that day, so I may try that again in the New Year. You've been warned. ;)

I don't know what I've posted the last few times. I should go back and check, but I probably won't for now. The dog training classes are over, and I haven't been out running in a bit because I find running in over a foot of snow really hard on my ankles and back, among other things. I'm a little disappointed about that, but better to take it a bit easy than to injure myself and not be able to run at all for weeks or even months.

Christmas is in two days, and I'll be at work. I don't mind working Christmas for now, or any of the statutory holidays, to be honest. I don't have kids yet, so I'm fine with the idea of working Christmas so other young families can be together during the holidays. I've done that for ten years now, and I probably won't stop until I have children of my own. I can only hope that someone in my office will choose to repay the favour when that happens, but of course, they're not obligated to. I just remember my cousin having to spend Christmas without my aunt (she was a nurse) when we were growing up, and I remember how much it sucked.

Anyway, it's been a whirlwind of Christmas prep around here. I've sent out holiday cards to everyone I know who wanted and asked for one (if you missed my post on here and on LJ and on Twitter, ping me and I'll add you to the list for next year), totalling fifty-seven cards (egads). Two weeks ago I baked cookies with [livejournal.com profile] ai731, which as usual have been a big hit with everyone at the office and at Meeting. I've been lighting the candles on my Advent wreath for the first time in a long time, and I must say I've missed the comfort of that particular ritual. It's as much a part of my Christmas now as singing carols with the Quakers, so I'm glad I was able to start up that tradition again. It's the only tradition I came up with specifically for myself: my parents never lit candles, nor did my ex (who I'm pretty sure no longer identified as Christian, although the secular part of Christmas was a big deal for her and for Bean too), nor does anyone else I know. I just remember the wreath candles being lit at school when I was a child, and to me it doesn't feel like Christmas without it.

I'm hosting an "un-Christmas" lunch again this year, as I'm working through Christmas. My parents are coming up on the 29th, and on the 30th I'm having them and [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave and his wife for lunch. I have what I hope is a fun menu planned: a beet salad as an entrée, followed by lemon tarragon Cornish game hens, wild rice, and mashed sweet potatoes. Yesterday I baked and froze a tourtière as the final side dish. That's the last time I ever follow a baking "tip," incidentally. Several recipes suggested I wrap foil around the edges of my pie crust so they wouldn't burn, and they *stuck* to the foil and ripped apart my lovely pie. :( It should still taste fine, at least, but I'm disappointed in how it turned out. Today, if there's time, I'm going to bake and freeze an apple pie for dessert. There should be time, if I do it right.

I've been doing some tidying and cleaning of spaces in the house I hadn't touched in a while. The front closet got a makeover yesterday morning, and my CDs got sort of organised. Or at least they're not in a massive pile anymore where they didn't fit into my CD case. I need to get a second CD case to hold them all, frankly. I still need to actually tidy, vacuum, and mop the main areas of the house. I've been procrastinating on that, in part because I've been sleeping poorly of late and the idea of doing those "big" jobs feels exhausting. Eventually I'll get over my reticence and do it, probably on Monday, between my day and night shifts. I even put my curtains in the wash, though I haven't ironed them yet. I should put them back up before my night shifts start, at least, so I can be sure to get enough sleep next week. It's hard to tell what consists of me being truly productive, and what's actually a sort of constructive procrastination. Still, at least things are getting done, and with any luck and a bit of hard work everything that needs to be finished will be by the time Thursday rolls around. Then maybe I'll sleep for the next year. ;)

We've been getting a lot of snow this year, which is pleasing to me, in spite of the shovelling. Last year we had a green Christmas, and it almost broke my heart. So I'm happy enough to have to shovel, if it means having a white Christmas.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Reason is a Flawed Tool)
i'm averaging one post a month. That's... actually better than what I was managing before, but it's not quite the prolific journaling I had imagined myself doing.

Part of the problem, of course, is that I'm not doing much with my days. The only thing I'd be able to write about is my circular thought patterns, and how many hours of Borderlands 2 I've logged in a day. Not exactly the most exciting or uplifting stuff, you know? I'm still off work, and most of my days are spent puttering around the house, taking the dog for short walks, playing Pokémon (while on said short walks), and bopping from one doctor's appointment to the next.

I used to be a lot more confessional in this journal, but now I feel like I have a weird case of stage fright. It's most likely been brought about by the slew of new people I've added. You all seem really cool and interesting, but I don't know you, and I guess I'm past the point in my life where I feel comfortable sharing the more intimate parts of myself with people I don't know well. Those of you who aren't new to this LJ will doubtless already be well-acquainted with my failings at intimacy, and not be at all surprised. :P

I'm giving therapy another shot, after over 13 years since the last time I did it. The last time was group therapy, and it was an unmitigated disaster. I hated it intensely. I also had a brief few sessions with a student, who upon learning that I'd once dyed my hair green asked me if I'd done it to make myself ugly on purpose (o_O), and also seemed convinced that I couldn't possibly be gay. He had very rigid views about what was and wasn't appropriate, didn't understand much about gender or sexuality outside of cisgendered heteronormativity, and I felt like I was educating him most of the time. It was exhausting.

Anyway, I'm trying again. The new therapist seems nice. She's also a student (I'm going through a program at St. Paul's University), but she seems less horrified by LGBT stuff and geeky things than my previous therapist, by which I mean not at all. I saw her yesterday for the second time, and she asked me how I thought things were going, to which I didn't really have a response. I mean, am I supposed to see major changes after two sessions? I thought this was meant to be a longer process, to be honest. :P We'll see. I'm going to keep with it until the money runs out (some of this is covered by insurance, at least).

I'm off work until August 31st, at which point I'm seeing my doctor, and we'll proceed from there.

I had a really lovely weekend, at least. I went to visit [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave and his lovely wife, and spent two days going on Pokéwalks, having delicious food, learning how to play Go, and fishing. It was awesome, and I wish we could get together more often.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Postmodern)
I am too easily distracted, it seems. I keep remembering to post LiveJournal when I'm away from the computer, and then forgetting when I'm finally at the computer.

Things are chugging along at Casa Phnee.

Work has been busy. I had to come in for more overtime this week, which would have been fine had I known in advance that they were planning [Important Redacted Event]. I managed well enough, but having it sprung on me at the last minute was unfortunate. Also, the newbie that I wasn't supposed to train was once again given to me to train for two days this week, while I was still wrangling my current newbie. After this newbie #2 is going to another shift, so I won't have to wear three or four hats at once anymore, thank goodness.

Also, as it turns out, one of the other supervisors (I need to start coming up with code names for them for LJ purposes) threw herself on a scheduling grenade for my sake, and that has allowed me to take actual vacation time starting on Wednesday. I can't even tell you what a relief that is, especially after my first request for vacation in July was denied. I'm hoping to use the nearly two weeks of downtime to good effect, as I'm quite literally exhausted. I've been dragging myself around, scraping from RTO to RTO (RTO is "Regular Time Off," which is what a weekend would be for people who work normal jobs), and barely holding it together because most of my RTOs have been interrupted due to overtime, meaning I haven't had the opportunity to properly rest in a very long time.

Thursday was my monthly Cooking Day with the awesome [livejournal.com profile] ai731, who apparently still reads my LJ. Hi! *waves* I love our cooking days. We've been doing them for about a year and a half now, getting together once a month and spending the entire time making super yummy and healthy (mostly) meals to be put in the freezer, thus guaranteeing we have meals for almost the entire month. During that time we catch up on what's been going on in each other's lives, and talk about all the fun stuff we're into: crafts and volunteering and gardening and self-sufficiency and writing and fandom. Good times all around.

So this time around she showed me the vast improvements she and her husband t! (no longer on LJ, if memory serves) had done to their lovely house out in the country. She decided to follow the method outlined in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and her enthusiasm for it and the very visible results in her house have inspired me to give it a shot. I was leery at first, because some of the advice sounds daunting (the author, for instance, seems to think that books are an easy thing to get rid of, which, if you're me, is not true in the slightest), but I asked a bunch of questions, and it does sound like this might be a useful exercise for me to try. No idea if it will work, as I am a horrible procrastinator and I cling to my stuff, but I am going to snag the book from my local library or maybe try to find it second-hand, and give it a go. If nothing else, it may inspire me to clear out my junk drawer. ;)

The plan this week is, once I'm done with work, to take two days to do not much and just get some much-needed sleep. I will take Sergent for some extra-long walks, and spend more time than usual in the community garden. On Saturday I have a date in Montreal with my friends [livejournal.com profile] toughlovemuse and [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter to finally see Captain America: Civil War (where I will probably cry over Steve and Bucky a lot), Starting next Monday and going until the Friday, the plan is to use my free time to declutter the house. Only time will tell if I actually follow said plan, because I am usually terrible at this kind of follow through.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Piglet & Balloon)
Happy Christmas to all my friends who celebrate it!

Happy Holiday Of Your Choice to those of you who don't celebrate Christmas!

To those of you who are faced with grief and hardship this season, or for whom the season has no good associations, I wish you strength and patience and as much happiness as possible.

You are all incredibly special to me, and I am with you in spirit even if I'm not there to tell you in person.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Cats See Futures)
It's quiet at work, and I have officially reached the so-tired-I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself level of tired. I haven't been able to properly focus on anything for... I've lost track of how long. It's unfortunate, but what can you do?

My calendar has filled up dramatically in a matter of days. Starting tomorrow practically every minute of every day this week is booked for stuff. Tomorrow I drive back to Montreal and have to stop at Reno in order to get refunded for The Fence That Never Was, and then I have to call the vet to book an ultrasound appointment for Sergent. The vet has changed her mind about deciding that he doesn't have Cushing's, but we can't rule anything out either. So this week I have to monitor his water intake down to practically the last molecule, then he's getting an ultrasound, and then I get to consult with a specialist in internal veterinary medicine to see what, exactly, has gone wrong with my dog's liver. Cushings? Liver failure? Something in between? Who knows? I'll find out within a few weeks, I guess. Tuesday I'm seeing [livejournal.com profile] toughlovemuse in the early afternoon, then heading into Montreal for errands, and having dinner with my parents. Wednesday I have more errands to run during the morning, am catching up lickety-split with a not-on-LJ friend on Wednesday afternoon, and then I'm meant to spend the late afternoon/evening with [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti. That leaves me with Thursday morning to maybe do some laundry and a few chores before I head back to Ottawa in the afternoon.

I'm looking forward to the day when the house will be sold and I'll be settled in whatever new place I've found, so that I won't have this ridiculous commute that basically robs me of two days a week. It will be nice to be able to sleep slightly more regular hours, since sleep tends to be the first thing that gets sacrificed on my commute day back from Ottawa. However, since that day has not yet come, I will simply have to make the current situation work for a little while longer.

In the meantime, I've been trying to make lists of everything I need to get done, and then I usually give up in despair when those lists end up not only longer than my arm, but longer than I can keep track of.
Part of me wants to just try to take this one day at a time, but I can't actually do that. The nature of my job, my schedule, and the way my life is going these days requires a lot of fairly meticulous planning, along with a fuckton of flexibility because things are changing at the drop of a hat. In short: ack.

Life can start getting less stressful any day now, thanks.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Cone sold stober)
Had a great night with [livejournal.com profile] sultrysong yesterday, even though we both ended up going to bed much later than intended. By the time I turned out my lights it was nearly 1:00, and I didn't manage to sleep past 9:00 this morning. So, yeah, eight hours of sleep, but that's going to translate to 4 hours of sleep per day when spread out over the course of last night and tonight. *sigh*

Still, it was worth every minute. We ordered pizza, had a beer (only one, in spite of what my icon might imply!), and since she's on a business trip we got to claim it as an expense. The only thing better than beer is free beer, am I right? We spent the entire time chatting and catching up on our lives, and had a grand time.

I am not looking forward to the next few days, though. I have an appointment to get my tires changed on Friday, which means I'll only get about three hours of sleep then, and then I have to drive back to Ottawa on Saturday evening for an overtime shift on Sunday. Don't get me wrong, the extra money will be great, but there's going to be very little sleep for me in the foreseeable future.

I haven't heard back from Home Depot yet about getting an estimate for the new fence, so if there's nothing by tomorrow I'm going to call them and hassle them a bit. I really want to get that fence up ASAP. I'm hoping to get the yard completely cleared this weekend. I don't know how long the tire change will take on Friday (I'm guessing about an hour and a half to two hours), which will put me at home around 17:00. If I play my cards right I'll still have some daylight hours after dinner, and there should also be some time on Saturday for that sort of work. Of course, we're having a garage sale on Saturday if the weather permits, so I'm going to have to juggle that at the same time. At least this year Bean is unlikely to need to be brought to the ER during the garage sale. :P

I'm quite sure I had more to say than this, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. So I guess I'll leave this entry as it is. I can always come back and update again later, right?
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Happiness)
I don't have anything as exciting as the opera to report about today.

In which I talk about people not liking what I like. )

Aside from having people actively rain on my parade, I received some promising news at work yesterday. It turns out that another section wants me to come work overtime for them at least once a month. This will put a bit of a crimp in my schedule, but it will pretty much solve many of our financial problems, because a full twelve hour shift at double time is a significant amount of money. It's practically the same amount of money as if I picked up a part-time minimum wage job for 3-4 shifts a week. So at this point I'll just have to take the extra commute/travel time in the name of financial solvency. It's not a done deal yet, I'll only be hearing back for sure on Friday, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I'm also excited at the prospect of doing actual dispatch work again. I like my current job, but it's very technical and very text-based, and I don't get to talk to people very much anymore. It'll be nice to have a headset again and to work with my old dispatching software and deal with more immediate security concerns rather than worry about what level of classification my transmissions need. :)

Tonight I am going out with the lovel [livejournal.com profile] sultrysong. Plans are a little up in the air for now, but I'm hopeful that drinks might be involved.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Friendly (Ratatouille))
I had dinner yesterday with [livejournal.com profile] guruwench and her "hunny N" as she calls him. I'd forgotten to post last week about my breakfast with her and [livejournal.com profile] le_maistre_e, and was subsequently thwarted for days by my lack of a functioning computer. Still, it was a lovely breakfast, and it served to remind me that I actually have friends who live in this city with whom I can socialise! It was very exciting.

So last night after work I hied myself over there, and proceeded to snorgle all their cats (except for Kira, who was not overly pleased at the new invasive human in her home). N made a delicious jambalaya, [livejournal.com profile] guruwench made an equally delicious berry crumble for dessert, and we spent over four hours talking about cats and geeky things and work and cooking. N has promised me his recipe for jambalaya, and this is very exciting indeed.

After last night's dessert-y indulgence, I am back to the yummy salads I prepared for myself. I discovered this evening, much to my dismay, that my cunning plan of pre-chopping and pre-packing veggies for my snacks is not a great plan. My cucumbers went horrifically mushy. I think it's that I tried putting them all in sandwich bags ahead of time. Next week I'll pre-chop but keep them in Tupperware so they don't, um, disintegrate. :P So right now I'm uncomfortably hungry, because it's not quite dinnertime yet. If I eat my food too early, I'll be hungry later, and being hungry at 03:00 is way worse than being hungry at 21:00.

The plan is to look up some more creative salad recipes for next week. I'm not the type of person to get bored of eating the same thing over and over again, but I think a little variety will do me good, especially in the nutrition department. I want to try new and different and hopefully inexpensive things. Experiment a little. Or a lot. So that'll be on the menu for this weekend (both figuratively and literally!).

I didn't go walking either yesterday or today, partly to give my ankles a break. They have not been overly happy with me for the sudden burst in activity of late. Today's lack of a walk was also partly because of inertia and tiredness and procrastination. I did do those 10 minutes of yoga I've been threatening to do for days, though, so I feel pretty good about that. My conclusion so far is that I am in terrible shape. Even 10 minutes of very basic yoga poses made me work for it, though it was definitely doable. It was a little more difficult because I kept having to move out of position to see the video in order to figure out how I was supposed to be positioned. Practise should help with that, at least. I'm hoping to get to a proper 30-minute routine by the end of the month.

Unfortunately I had some errands to run today, so I wasn't able to do the sleep-until-I-can't-sleep-anymore thing that I try to do on the transition day between day shift and night shift. It's the only time I can really try to make up for the sleep deficit I constantly live with. On a good day when I'm working I can manage my full eight hours. Usually it's closer to six. When I work night shifts I average about five hours of sleep, but it tends to be very broken because my room is very bright and my landlords tend to be very loud when they're home. On my transition day I sleep about 10-11 hours, but that's because I don't sleep before my night shift, so it averages out to about 5 hours a night. I generally get 7-8 hours when I'm home in Montreal, but that's only because I don't get up at the same time as [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter and Bean, who are usually up at 06:00, or whenever Bean decides it's "sunny time." Last week I started getting myself up earlier, but the earliest I managed was 06:20, which was still long after [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter got up (though Bean slept until nearly 07:00 that morning!). So this week I am going to try harder to train myself to get up when it starts getting light out. Hopefully that won't backfire on me when I need to sleep during the day on my night shifts.

Honestly, these days I find myself almost wishing I suffered from insomnia, because at least then I'd get stuff done instead of sleeping. Almost. The thing is, I love sleep a lot. If I could get more of it, I would, but what I need to do is require less of it. All my life I've been the type of person who needs about 9 hours of sleep a night to feel properly rested and be a fully functional human being. These days, though, I need to be the type of person who not only gets by, but thrives on four hours of sleep per night. I've been resisting setting an alarm, because I'm paranoid that it'll go off and wake [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter on the one day that Bean decides to sleep in, but without an alarm I seem to be physically unable to get myself out of bed. I don't suppose anyone has a trick they use to wake themselves without an alarm?

So that's the daily report on me. Riveting, n'est-ce-pas? Now I have to get back to work. Maybe next time I'll tell you all about the new TV shows I've been watching, if you're lucky. ;)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Dead Baby Possum)
Now that I've committed to staying on with my landlords, people are messaging me about potential new rooms. Of course. Luckily they all sound about as "promising" as the other shitholes I visited last week. So I'm not too torn up about it.

In which Phnee whines about being isolated at work, and also tired. )

The ongoing hair experiment. )

Cooking! And mason jar salads! )

And coffee. )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Best Friends)
Today was spent in the company of [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave who was in town in order to put his lovely wife on a plane. I am sad I didn't get to see her, but the timing for that was off.

We spent the better part of the morning and afternoon together, starting with a quick stop by Sail, which is a sporting goods store I'd never heard of until today. It was very reminiscent of the Mountain Equipment Coop, and I had to fight all my outdoorsy sporting goods urges that suddenly all sprang to life again. It might be the promise of spring around the corner, but suddenly all I wanted to do was go for a really long hike in the woods and pull out my fishing gear and declare what [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave likes to call "jihad against the fish."

We dropped by a tobacconist's shop, because [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave has become a pipe-smoking redneck hipster. It was a neat little shop, though the name escapes me currently. The woman running the shop was the founder's granddaughter, which was very cool. Definitely a family business, and right in the heart of downtown Ottawa. We had a nice chat, and then it was time for lunch.

[livejournal.com profile] fearsclave had earlier suggested a restaurant called Coconut Lagoon, which serves Southern Indian food. It was absolutely delicious, though lunch time means we didn't get the full menu but rather a buffet-style self-serve. Like I said, absolutely delicious, and I will definitely have to go back one of these days.

The afternoon was reserved for the National Gallery, to which I had never been. Our goal was the Group of Seven, and we happily ogled the Tom Thomsons and the Arthur Lizmers for quite a while. It's a beautiful museum, and if my brain was more lyrically inclined right now I'd probably wax poetic about the architecture and the tranquil atrium with trees and flowers where you can sit and collect yourself if you're so inclined. I could feel the tension draining from me just by standing there for even a few minutes. I do love going to museums, greeting the paintings I know as old friends and discovering new ones as well. The last time I'd been to a museum was in 2011 when I visited Rome, which is pretty sad. I'm going to have to look up the free or at least half-price museum days so I can go a bit more often.

The temporary exhibit was super cool. It was an installation in the chapel by Janet Cardiff, called the Forty Part Motet. It's a musical piece--a reworking of Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis, a 16th-century English composer. She recorded each voice part as an individual track, then set up each with it's own speaker in the chapel. That way you can stand either dead centre or next to each speaker and hear each individual voice, or "climb in the music" as she puts it. It blew me away. If you have a chance to see it, I can't recommend it enough.

We continued on with our museum tour, though we didn't get to see all the exhibits. In the Canadian works section there was one painting in particular that caught our eye. It had been commissioned by a company that mined and produced refined nickel, and I'm pretty sure that the giant-ass painting done in the style of Soviet realism was not what they had in mind. (I don't remember the name of the artist. If someone knows it, please tell me!) It was huge and featured a rather aggressive looking worker holding the tools of his trade in a way that was more reminiscent of a machine gun than anything else. There was another man bent over a microscope next to a set of beakers and test tubes, while a WWII-style bomber flew over a high-speed train. On the left factory chimneys belched smoke into the sky, while on the far right molten nickel was poured into a container not featured in the painting. Above the molten nickel skyscrapers reached toward the indifferent sky. So, naturally, [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave and I had the following exchange:

Me: "Science!"

[livejournal.com profile] fearsclave: "Industry!"

In Unison: "PROGRESS!"

It was a good moment. I think we giggled over it for about 10 minutes after that.

Alas, the day came to an end far too quickly, since I'm working tonight (and here I am!). But it was a nice change of pace from work-sleep-work-home-chores-sleep-back to work. Tonight I just have to work through being tired and the headache I developed about half an hour before coming here, and everything should be fine.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Politics)
I haven't thought of a good title for this post yet. With any luck one will come to me before I have to hit "post" at the end. I don't think I've ever posted an untitled entry here, though doubtless many of my titles have been unimaginative or along the lines of "I can't think of a title." The more things change, I guess...

I was awake for half the night, mostly just worrying about everything. Hadn't done that in a few months, but I guess there's no time like the present. :P

So, yeah, I am even more tired than usual today. One day, I might not be tired. Today is not that day.

I've hit a rough patch with my writing. Long-winded explanation behind the cut )

Anyway, on to even more depressing stuff. Québec is having elections! Again! Whee! /o\

I am so glad I no longer have to vote in this province, but I'm still going to get the brunt of all the election nonsense anyway. I still live here part of the time, after all, and Ottawa is close enough that we get all of the Québec news. We have to monitor the news at work anyway, so instead of the Commission Charbonneau all the time (which was so depressing it made me want to slit my wrists), now it'll be Québec elections all the time. *sigh* At least it's only three weeks. I don't understand how Americans do it, it must be like being in a constant state of siege, constantly having elections going on. I'd be exhausted.

My main beef with the political parties in Québec is that it truly feels like there are no good leftist options anymore. The PQ is theoretically to the left, but as my favourite joke goes: "Ils clignotent à gauche, mais ils virent à droite." (They signal left, but turn right instead. It's funnier before translation, trust me.) They're also racist and bigoted and hate the anglo community and insist on being fucking separatists. I can't. I won't vote Liberal, because they're corrupt and on top of that I don't agree with 95% of their economic policies, not to mention that they're basically Conservatives who've taken on the Liberal title. That leaves the CAQ, who are so far to the right (by local standards) that it makes me a little sick, and Québec Solidaire, who are leftists but also separatists and who don't appear to have viable economic policies anyway.

*throws up hands*

Bah.

Politics make me hate everything.

In better news, [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti is coming for a visit today, which means that [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter has made chocolate chip cookies! That was after the Banoffee Pie that she made on Monday. Nothing beats coming home to extraordinary baked goods, let me tell you. Delicious.

IMG_2795
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Reason is a Flawed Tool)
My friends G and JF came over with their daughter Gabby for a few hours today, which was very nice. I hadn't seen them in well over a year, not since Gabby was a wee baby barely able to sit up on her own. She's 21 months now, walking on her own and chattering away in mostly incomprehensible toddler speak. She's cute as a button, and she and Bean played mostly nicely together. Bean is not yet at an age where he can truly understand the concept of "this child is much smaller and younger than you, so you have to be patient," so there were quite a few instances in which various parents had to intervene in order to ensure that harmony reigned. Or, you know, to ensure that there wasn't too much chaos. :P

Gabby was enamoured of the stroller Bean got for Christmas and spent a lot of the time pushing it around, as well as the bright pink Barbie Volkswagen Beetle that was also a Christmas present. There were a few scuffles over the MegaBloks, since Gabby was very enthusiastic about taking apart whatever it was Bean had just built, much to his dismay. The one time they played together very nicely was when Gabby got out her LeapFrog toy computer, and she and Bean had a good time pushing all the letter buttons and listening to the alphabet song.

Gabby & Tristan


Overall, it was a great visit, punctuated by the usual semi-chaos of having wee ones running around. Our stairs aren't especially childproof (read: not at all), so we had to do a fair bit of corralling to keep Gabby from launching herself down the stairs with gleeful abandon. I made coffee in the Tassimo, which I haven't done in ages. The machine and I continue to have a love-hate relationship. I successfully made one latte, and the next one took, like, three tries. The first time the machine wouldn't read the barcode. The second time, because I had a second appliance running, the power bar cut the electricity because it was convinced I would burn down the house. Luckily [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter stepped in and saved me from the coffee machine, and I was able to get everyone the coffee they wanted.

G and JF brought danishes. I have had two, and they were squidgy and delicious and now I feel much too full. I did it to myself, but I regret nothing. Bean had half of one after declaring that he didn't want any, and subsequently pronounced it delicious.

The visit was a short one, as Gabby had to go home for her nap and [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter had to start prepping for her cake decorating class tomorrow. As I type this she is busily making a cake in the kitchen. Bean very excitedly declared he was going to help, but he's been coughing horribly since last night, and after he coughed all over the counter [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter decided that this was way too unsanitary. Bean proceeded to scream, howl and then sulk, because he wanted to HEEEEEEEELP!!!! and why couldn't we see that? No amount of explaining that we understood he wanted to help but that he was coughing too much seemed to have any effect. For a while it felt like we were in a Buster Keaton movie with extra sound effects. [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter would take Bean off the chair he'd climbed on, he'd scream NO! and climb back up. Lather, rinse, repeat, until finally he gave up and went back to playing with his toys. Right now he has a pretty elaborate set-up involving his train tracks, his MegaBloks, and his Playmobil. I'm not entirely sure what's happening in his imaginary world, but it seems like it's pretty complex.

I have just been granted a sneak peek of the "zebra cake" that [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter is baking. This is a trial run for Bean's birthday cake. It looks super cool, but we'll only be able to tell if it worked when the cake is cut open after baking, which means it will have to wait until after it's decorated. Pictures will likely be forthcoming on Facebook if you follow her there.

In other news, I just got the following very plaintive email from my mother, which I will share for your amusement.

Angel, it's been ages since we saw you for dins. Any chance for this Sunday - or such ? Must discuss our latest catastrophies with you - coffee machine exploded, telly roared shut, toaster jammed, computer crashed & daddy's toothbrush went bald. Help!

Love, Mim


It sounds like they've had quite the week. I'll have to call back and confirm dinner, so that I can get the details of all these disasters.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (A Little Help From My Friends)
I actually got out of the house today, for reasons other than errands! It's been a while since I saw someone who wasn't [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter, not that her company isn't lovely, of course. I just hadn't seen people apart from coworkers since Capricornucopia, which was three weeks ago. I'm trying to not go for long stretches of time in which I see no one, because otherwise I'll become a complete hermit, which is no good for anyone.

Pretty sure my friend is actually on LJ somewhere, but I don't know his handle. Oops? I'll have to ask him next time I remember. It's probably [livejournal.com profile] bullonir, knowing him... *checks* Yep! I am good. Not that he's updated since 2008, but whatever. Anyway, I drove to his place on the South Shore, we had lunch and then went out for coffee and a cupcake at a local cupcake shop. It was delicious. I should upload the photo here to show you, it was gorgeous on top of being super scrumptious. Anyway.

We had a really nice chat. He's my former shift partner from Montreal, the guy who got me into comic books and Breaking Bad, and to whom I introduced Supernatural and Fringe among other things. We geek out over Avengers and things, but we have a lot in common outside our geeky mutual interests. Like me, he was a temporary employee for a long time (and still is, unfortunately), and he has a young family too, so we share many of the same concerns when it comes to the kids' well-being. We also know what sort of toll working shifts takes on our mental and physical health, and on our romantic relationships, too. It's not easy, living with someone who's not there half the time out of necessity, just as it's not easy to be the person who's absent because of work.

So we had a good, productive chat, as well as delicious food. We got caught up on work things and family things and general gossip. He's also a writer, so we touched briefly on how things were going in that department too. All in all, a really great time, and we have a tentative date for the next time we're both off on a weekday to watch the last episodes of Breaking Bad together, since neither of us has seen it yet.

I was going to run some errands in Vaudreuil on my way home, but after an hour's driving I arrived just in time for rush hour, and I realised that if I tried to head to the Smart Centres I would be stuck in traffic for at least another hour if not more, and that I'd be getting home after dinnertime, which is no good. So errands have been postponed until tomorrow morning, and I have pulled dinner out of the freezer. Well, it'll be dinner supposing I don't get "Me not like it!" as a reaction. Bean has been off his food all week due to being under the weather, which has only strengthened his knee-jerk reaction to refuse any food I put in front of him. He's much better about accepting food that Mama makes, but 90% of what I make gets met with "Me not like that/Me not want that!" He's old enough now, though, that he generally doesn't get presented with other options. When he was sick it was a different story, since it was important to get something in him, but in general dinner is dinner, and we're not a restaurant.

This is one of my weekends at home, but as far as I know there aren't any firm plans. I have a game on Saturday (more people! In less than a week! What is happening?), but apart from that I'm not sure. Next weekend we have friends of mine coming for a quick visit with their daughter, who is about a year younger than Bean, and whom I haven't seen in absolutely forever, so I'm looking forward to that a lot.

So, that's today in a nutshell. A little more exciting than my usual fare, am I right?
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Goat)
I am declaring tonight a complete success.

Contrary to all past experience, we had our play finished Thursday night, and by the time Friday night rolled around everything was printed and highlighted and we were ready to go. It only took ten years for us to get this far, but we are now a well-oiled machine!

There were technical difficulties, of course, and the usual last-minute flurry of trying to assign all the parts. This year we modelled our play a little after This is Spinal Tap and the "Behind the Music" stuff from MTV. We tried to set up a multimedia thing, but we only succeeded halfway, because the projector only half-worked and the speaker wouldn't play our music/sound effects. Alas.

It was still really awesome. We even had [livejournal.com profile] le_maistre_e make a surprise guest appearance via Skype, playing herself, our resident expert Capricornucologist. It was a big hit with everyone.

This year we held the event in the afternoon so that people with kids could attend, and it was a whirlwind of teensies running all over the place. I had drawing/colouring supplies on hand which met with unanimous approval, but it certainly added a whole new level of energy to the event! One cannot expect teensies to be quiet and perfectly still the whole time, and they weren't, but on the whole we had relatively few incidents. Bean was mostly well-behaved, though he (and a few of the others) did a fair bit of rolling around on the floor and on the benches. Right at the very end he pulled a bit of an Exorcist because he didn't want to put on his boots, so it took both [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter and me to hold him down and get him dressed and he flailed and shrieked and generally carried on like he was possessed, but that was the worst of it. For the most part he played very nicely with the other kids and had a good time (I hope!). Certainly he was happy to see all his friends again, adults included.

And, of course, [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter finally got to see one of our events! So yay!

There was about a half hour's worth of dismay when I couldn't find my cell phone, which would have been a major hassle for me. I have a lot of important information on there, and I'm going back to Ottawa tomorrow, which would have added multiple levels of inconvenience to my situation. Luckily it turned out that it had fallen in the car at some point (I don't remember bringing it with me, but I clearly must have, since that's where it was. Then again, I don't care if it teleported itself, so long as I got it back.), and I was very happy to recover it.

As usual I was too busy running around in circles to truly get to socialise with any of the guests, but it was great to see everyone again, and it served to reinforce my conviction that I have to figure out a way to see my friends more.

In parting, here is a picture of me and the Capricornucopia boys. Can you believe that in 10 years we have never managed a group photo? Shameful.

Capricorns 2014
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Excellent)
[livejournal.com profile] pdaughter is making cupcakes as I work on betaing a fanfic for a friend, and it smells delicious. Some of them are for Capricornucopia tomorrow, which means I might eat one then (and then watch as the scale tells me I've gained six pounds, because that's how I roll these days), but for now it's total torture.

Have I mentioned they smell divine? Because they do.

The script for Capricornucopia is written, after a late-night session with [livejournal.com profile] miseri, [livejournal.com profile] sorceror and [livejournal.com profile] tcaptain. We ironed out all the transition issues, and even did some editing! That never happens to my scripts because I always write them last-minute, so it was a fun change of pace. ;)

Tonight we have one last meeting to set up some of the bells and whistles we're adding to the show this year, tomorrow will be our traditional highlighting party before the show, and then the curtain will go up!

I actually spent most of the morning at home working on stuff on the computer and not much else, so I'm feeling like I was really unproductive and lazy. I didn't even put on my clothes right away, but allowed myself an hour and a half in my pajamas. Scandalous. Then again, today was pretty much the only day I'd get to really be home and sort of relax, and it's only a half-day thing. I need to go to the bank, and tonight I have to go out again, tomorrow is Capricornucopia, and Sunday will be spent watching Bean in the morning, then packing up and going back to Ottawa for work. So of all the days I will have been back this week, I won't have spent a single one at home for the full day.

Speaking of which, it's time to get cracking. These errands are not going to run themselves.

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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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