Whoops!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay. My brain has officially turned to mush tonight. Time to give it a rest. :)

New Leaf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm still reading everyone's entries, so at least there's that. Sorry for the relative radio silence, things will be better in May. 
mousme: A text icon in pale blue that reads Winter is Coming (Winter is Coming)
Anxiety seems to come in waves these days. I'll be floating along, no problem, until a swell catches me off-guard, and I just have to ride it until it crests and breaks again, like the ocean against a beach. It's nothing that's preventing me from existing, but last weekend was spent sleeping a maximum of four hours at a stretch before I'd wake with my heart racing too fast for me to be able to get back to sleep. It's not as bad now, but I've had a few oh-God-I'm-going-to-be-homeless! waves of anxiety today. I'm worried that no one will want to take me as a tenant because of the number of pets I have combined with my landlady's accusations (because taking the two together, her accusations sound all too plausible to a prospective landlord). Rationally, I know that I still have two and a half months to find a place, and that I will more than likely find someone willing to rent to me. My anxiety, on the other hand, is busy berating me for being an irresponsible fuckwit who is going to make her pets homeless (I can sleep in my car, but my pets won't all fit in there).

I did get an appointment for a viewing of the co-op housing I found the other day. I'll be going next Thursday, and so far the lady I've spoken to by phone and email seems really nice and we seem to have a good vibe together. I'm cautiously optimistic for now, and I really, really hope that A) I like the place and B) they accept my application. Honestly, this would be the best possible outcome right now. I will readily admit that a lot of this is the anxiety talking, but that's because I really, but really hate uncertainty. Yes, I am super privileged in that I have come to expect a certain amount of reliability from my day-to-day existence, but still! I would like to know that I will have somewhere to go in ten weeks' time and that I won't have to shell out hundreds of dollars to both store my furniture and board my pets. Boarding them would cost me in the neighbourhood of $100 a day, by the most conservative of calculations, so I'd be completely broke within a couple of weeks, tops, unless I actually lived in my car. Which, I don't know, I suppose I could manage that for a little while, but I drive a Yaris, and I feel like it would be cramped in there. :P

Anyway, anxiety-induced nightmare scenarios of living out of my car aside, I'm trying to not be horribly melodramatic about the whole affair and, uh, kind of failing at it. I'm sure I'll eventually find a ladder and get over myself, have no fear.

I haven't heard back from any of the other places I've queried, and many of them don't have phone numbers, just web forms. As much as I hate using the telephone, I'd love to feel as if my queries aren't just falling into the void. 
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 went to see the first (and only) place that sent me a response, and it was... not exactly ideal. For one, the placement wasn't great: it was a row townhouse with what seemed like fairly thin walls, so to live there you'd have to pray for considerate neighbours. More ominously, there was a HUGE apartment complex right on the other side of the back yard. The kind of apartment complex that screams "constant visits by the police at 3am for noise complaints and domestic disputes." So I knew pretty much going in that I probably wasn't going to take it. The access to the place was rather restricted: very narrow walkway lined with a couple of trees, which was an additional mark against it. I am not a huge fan of getting a place that's hard to move into.

The house itself was in need of a lot of repair: all the floors were damaged to varying degrees (with parts of it pried up and missing in almost every room, not to mention serious wear and tear otherwise), all the stair railings were coming out of their moorings, all the light switches were broken, and the bottom of the stove was missing. Oh, and the living room ceiling fixture was dangling near the floor by its wiring (it was super ugly, too). On top of that the front walk (and tiny driveway) hadn't been cleared of snow, so I had to wade through up to my knees when the guy finally came to open the door. He spent about half the time apologizing for the state of the place (the garage was filled with junk), and the other half reassuring me that the rent was "negotiable."

In general, he was absolutely useless.

"I don't know what repairs they're going to do, I just show the place," he told me, which did nothing to reassure me. I mean, why show a place if you can't answer even the most basic questions about it? He had no information: no idea how much heat/hydro cost, nothing.

Once the visit was over, the property manager (not the guy showing the place) spammed me with text messages for half the afternoon trying to get me to agree to rent the place until I finally shut him down. I guess they're really desperate to get the place rented out: I've never been pursued so aggressively by any landlord in my life, or by any landlord, for that matter.

I spent the morning in a meeting at work, and the rest of the afternoon after the house visit making various calls, none of which panned out. I'm trying to get hold of the cleaning service my paralegal recommended, but the number she gave me was the lady's residence. I spoke to a guy there who was either being very passive-aggressive with me, or else was maybe on the spectrum and took me a little too literally.

Guy: "Hello?"
Me: "Hello, may I speak with Linda?"
Guy: "She's at work."
Me: *realising I have her residential number instead of her work number* "I see. Is there a better number at which I can reach her?"
Guy: "Yeah."
Me: ...
Guy: ...
Me: ...
Guy: ...
Me: "Can you provide me with the number, please?"
Guy: "Yeah, it's [number]."
Me: *jots down number* "Thank you."

So, yeah, I'm not sure what that was about, but at least I got the other number, and ended up having to leave a message.

I then cast about a little blindly trying to find someone who can come in and do an independent evaluation of the condition of the house. I tried the Landlord Tenant Board on the off-chance they'd be able to give me a starting point. I spoke to a very nice lady named Daphne, and we bonded over having the same name, which was fun. Unfortunately she wasn't able to help me (it's not really within their purview). My paralegal said she'd be able to get me the name of a flooring company, at least, but in an email today she told me she couldn't find the information and would have to get back to me about it.

I also sent in an application to the housing co-op that I mentioned yesterday. I had to fill in ten pages' worth of information, and since I was using my dinky little home scanner it took forever to do, but at least I got it sent. I rather hope it works out, that they accept my application *and* that I like the place. I'd really like for that to happen. Fingers crossed, I guess!

Critical Role is tonight, but I will have to watch it tomorrow or maybe even Saturday, since it's a work night and I need to go to bed early.
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 view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Going and Staying)
Yesterday I moved to Ottawa.

I've rented a little house that's about a twenty-five minute walk from my job, which is awesome. I am excited at the prospect of driving as little as possible for the foreseeable future. It's smaller than my old house but still offers plenty of room. There is a basement apartment whose tenant I haven't yet met but who seems very quiet so far. I have a teeny-tiny yard and a really big patio, which will be excellent for summer barbecues.

I don't have internet or a home phone yet, so I'll hold off on a long update for now, to try and spare my poor data plan on my phone. Suffice it to say that the move went about as well as I could have hoped. I haven't unpacked much yet, but I plan to over the next few days and weeks, as soon as I've made decisions about where all my stuff should live in the new house. I'm actually pretty exhausted, which in turn for me leads to decision fatigue, hence why I don't know where I want to put my things yet.

The kitten has adjusted well to the new space. She's only six months old, and she lived in a foster home before I got her, so she's used to living in different places. The dog suffered a partial nervous collapse yesterday, but a rawhide bone and a long walk have both gone a long way toward mollifying him.

I'm looking forward to getting settled, to developing actual routines now that I won't have to commute back and forth and live in someone else's house half the time. Once I get over this bone-deep exhaustion, I think this is going to be a really good thing.

I will say that it still feels a little weird and unreal, and that a small part of me keeps assuming that at some point I'm going to head home to Montreal again. I have no idea when that feeling is going to subside, having never been an ex-pat before. I miss my friends and family pretty fiercely right now, even though I'm excited to be embarking on a new adventure.

I hope everyone is keeping well, and I promise to come back and post more regularly once my internet connection is functional!
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)
Moving house is eating my brain and taking up all my CPU. With any luck I will be back and posting properly after I've moved. The date is set for November 4th. Yay! Also, ACK!

Quick update on the State of the Phnee:

  1. I am trying to pack like the wind, and mostly packing like molasses uphill in January. Still, things progress.

  2. Sergent finally got his ultrasound done (God, that shit is expensive!), and the good news is that he doesn't have cancer or Cushing's. The bad news is that the vet couldn't tell what the hell is going wrong with his liver, so we've got him on some expensive medication for a month to see if that helps his liver a little bit.

  3. Octavia (my new kitten) got spayed the day before yesterday and is doing fine, except for how much she hates the Cone of Shame. It bends her whiskers out of shape and so messes with her balance and makes her walk funny. Poor kitty. I'm hoping to take the cone off in a couple of days, as soon as her surgical incision has healed a bit more.

  4. I was planning to maybe throw a small going-away party, but I realise now that I can't pull it off in the time I have, given all the work I still have to do. Sorry, everyone. Either you'll have to come to my housewarming in Ottawa, or else we can have a get-together the next time I'm in Montreal. Deal?

  5. Packing. ALL THE PACKING.

  6. Moving is hard. And stressful. And expensive. Boy howdy, is it expensive.

  7. Also, because I am a masochist, I've decided to do NaNoWriMo this year.

mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Ending)
Two days ago marked the third anniversary of the day I moved into this house. Now, in a little over two weeks, I'll be moving into the little house I rented in Ottawa, right near work. Whatever little money I make off the sale of this house is going to go into a savings account, and I'll be adding to it for the next couple of years so that I can once again afford a down payment on a real, owned-by-me house.

I'm going to miss this house. It was (and is) my first, and I love it a lot. It's really big for just one person, with lots of natural light and beautiful hardwood floors. I love my neighbours and the quiet neighbourhood, and the dog park that's a two minute walk away. I'm going to miss the space, the quiet, the security of owning my own home. If I could just uproot the house (and maybe the neighbours, too) and take it with me, I would likely do that. Alas.

It's a move for the better. I'll be close to work, and won't exhaust myself commuting 600km a week or more. I'll save on gas by being able to walk to work most days. The rent on the house will be less than what I was paying on the mortgage and renting the little room in Ottawa, too. Not to mention that the room I was renting was in Nepea'n, which made for terribly long commutes through rush hour traffic in the evenings. All in all, I'll likely end up saving a couple hundred dollars a month, which does add up.

In the meantime, I'm kind of feeling the financial pinch. Don't get me wrong, I have good problems. I have problems other people would kill to have. Nonetheless, my finances this past year have been stretched incredibly thin, when in reality I shouldn't be having this much trouble making ends meet. So starting in December, when I'll be moved and settled, I'm going to start a regime of personal financial austerity that's going to make the Europoean fiscal practices of the past few years feel downright spendthrifty. :P

Okay, maybe not quite that bad. But I still have a good nine months of pretty stiff expenses ahead of me. The big expense after rent is the car payments, which will be over in May, and the daycare payments, which will end in June. After that, the money that was going to those two things is going to get funnelled directly into paying off the debt I accrued in the last year doing house renovations and travelling back and forth to a different city. My hope is to get almost all of the debt paid off within about 12 months, and still put money aside for a down payment on a house in about two years or so.

In the interim, I'll be using [livejournal.com profile] thinkingoutlaw's book to help me be thriftier in the kitchen. Have you all seen it yet? It's pretty great, and on Amazon for a very reasonable price! Even if you don't have an e-reader. Well worth the read, if you're looking to spend less on food yet still eat delicious, healthy things.

For now, I'm trying to focus on packing up my house. It's going very slowly so far, but I hope to pick up the pace in the coming days. Since the movers are paid by the hour, I'll need to make sure that I "waste" as little of their time as possible. The plan is to put as much of my furniture as possible together in one room (probably the space I use as a dining room), and to stack all the boxes together in the living room. I don't want the movers having to trot in and out of various rooms in the house if they don't have to. That way the only extra movements they'll have to make will be to fetch the appliances from the basement and the glass table I have on my balcony, which I don't think I'll be able to move on my own to the front of the house. I can at least move the chairs, though. The hope is that, if I consolidate everything, it won't take them three hours to pack up the house. I'm already looking at about five hours of travel time, so I need to keep the loading/unloading time to a minimum.

I also need to deal with a million details. Cancel the house insurance, acquire rental insurance, switch over the insurance on the car, change my address with Canada Post, cancel the utilities, all that jazz. So much to do, so little time.

I will come back with other updates later. There are lots of things happening, but they don't belong in this entry.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Ahem)
I have accepted an offer on the house. :)

Well, I accepted Tuesday, but I was still on my self-imposed hiatus from LJ and Facebook. Facebook especially. I wish there were a way to get only the good aspects of FB and none of the rage-inducing drawbacks. And no, I'm not signing up for Ello. The last thing I need is another social media site. God. If it weren't my main means of staying in touch with my friends and people in general, I might give up social media cold turkey. If I did that, though, I'd basically become a hermit.

Anyway, yes, house! The negotiation was a bit of a clusterfuck. My agent was dealing with the buyers directly until suddenly another agent insinuated herself into the process at the last minute (my theory is that she's a cousin of the buyers: they're all Romanian, and I know from Romanians. You always bring in family when you can.) and fucked the dog. She started by insulting my house, then insulted me by implying that I might somehow damage the house when I moved out, and capped it all off by presenting me with an offer of less than what I paid for the house. Or, I should say, she didn't even present it to me, just shoved the paperwork at me and forced my own agent to present the offer to me. Not exactly auspicious. She obviously didn't do her homework on the property, and then tried to blame my agent for her own ignorance and laziness. It was all I could do to keep a civil tongue in my head as I politely showed her the door.

The negotiations after that went back and forth for a while, until we hit a number that, while not great, is acceptable enough. I wish I were more excited about this, but her behaviour really soured me on the whole process.

I have until November 5th to move out, which gives me juuuust over a month to pack up my whole house and find a new place to live. That being said, the buyers have 10 business days to have an inspection done, and 12 business days to get approved by a bank. So, basically, anywhere between now and roughly October 15th this whole business could fall through and I'll be screwed yet again. So I can't sign a lease until I know for sure the house is going to sell, which means that any place I have my eye on could conceivably be taken away from me at the last minute.

So I'm in limbo. Again. I'm really looking forward to a time when my life will not be entirely dependent upon other people's whims and schedules. I am, you will not be surprised to learn, a giant ball of stress about all of this.

I was originally planning to spend the next few days recovering, but that's not on the books anymore. Instead I have two potential houses to visit (rentals, in case you were wondering), and my parents are coming for a visit, which, while delightful, is never a restful proposition for me. ;)

I think I'm going to leave this entry as is. I was going to go into other things that happened in the last couple of months, mostly health-related, but I'm A) tired and B) running out of time before I need to start doing my end-of-shift routine. So I'll get to that in a later post, I guess. I know you're all waiting with bated breath.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Valar Morghulis)
Sergent is at doggie sleep-away camp this week for the first time ever. The kennel took him away from me right away and didn't let me go see him in his new spot, which was probably better for him but not all that great for me. They have my phone number if anything goes wrong, but I'm hoping he'll adjust and not be too upset for the few days he's there. I'll pick him up Friday morning after work, and then we'll be off to visit [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave up in Group of Seven country for the weekend. Hopefully the trip to one of his favourite spots will lead to Sergent's forgiving me for abandoning him for several days. It will be a nice little mental break for the both of us from what has been a very stressful summer.

I got the bathroom and the kitchen cleaned yesterday, although I didn't have time to mop the floors the way I would have liked. The bedroom is still a bit of a disaster, and I wasn't able to put up curtain rods, since the Ikea kit didn't actually come with screws. Since when do Ikea kits not come with everything you need to finish your project, is what I'd like to know? Bah.

So the list for when I get back is as follows, in no particular order:

  • get the car stuff sorted out ASAP

  • get the key(s) back for the house

  • call the asphalt company to get the driveway paved

  • call the reno guy to come fix a small problem with the floor install

  • buy extra brackets and screws for the curtain rods

  • finish spackling the holes in all the basement walls

  • sand the basement walls

  • prime the basement walls & ceiling

  • paint the basement walls & ceiling

  • vacuum all the floors

  • mop all the floors

  • install curtain rods in the spare room & bedroom

  • hang curtains in the spare room & bedroom

  • install curtain rods in the basement

  • hang curtains in the basement

  • finish tidying the bookcases in the spare room

  • tidy the bedroom

  • organise the boxes & stuff in the basement

  • wash the cover of the sofa bed

  • stage the basement

  • stage the spare room

  • stage the living room

  • stage the bedroom

  • stage the bathroom

  • stage the kitchen

  • cull my clothes so that I don't end up packing stuff I don't wear anymore

  • mow the front lawn

  • mow the back lawn

  • get 1 more paving slab for the back yard

  • weed the front flower beds

  • weed the back flower beds

  • chop up the branches that were taken off the lilac tree a few weeks back

  • put out the chopped up branches for pick-up

I'm sure there's stuff I'm forgetting. I keep making lists and realising I've forgotten half the stuff on there. Looks like August is going to be a really busy month. I did ask for time off work, but even if it's approved it will be a tight schedule to try and get everything done.

I've run out of steam for this entry. May update again if inspiration strikes later. See you on the flip side, LJ!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (I amaze myself)
The move went.

There's still a lot of stuff hanging out in various parts of the house, but the plan for today is to get most of it collated and put in one spot (inasmuch as possible), so that it's out of the way and easily removed this coming week.

I had hoped to get the house staged for sale this week, but after removing a bunch of shelves from the basement wall (since they're not mine), I realised that that had left holes in more places than I'd anticipated. It boils down to my having to spackle, sand, prime and paint all the basement walls instead of just two walls, the way I'd originally planned. This is a multi-day job, and I am a total amateur when it comes to painting, so it will likely take me for-freaking ever to get it done.

Therefore, in spite of the heroic efforts of [livejournal.com profile] gats, [livejournal.com profile] tcaptain, and [livejournal.com profile] maya_banana, who all came to help me Saturday, everything didn't get done the way I'd hoped. On the plus side, we got a lot done, especially considering the unexpected extra work of having to remove shelves that weren't meant to still be there. We moved all my bookcases into the spare room, removed all the extra shelves, spackled pretty much all the holes, and primed one of the walls for painting. It's looking okay, even though there's still a lot of work to be done.

The upstairs is looking better than the basement, but I still have to mop all the floors, tidy the kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom, and try to stage it for sale. That's not going to happen today, alas, but I've already gotten started. I'm hoping that by the time I leave the kitchen and bathroom will be in good enough shape to show.

I also have to thank [livejournal.com profile] kittyfinn, who helped me more than I can say by putting me in touch with her friend G., who came over on 24 hours' notice and installed 6 light fixtures and a ceiling fan for me, and helped with a couple other small tasks that I am not very skilled at involving screwdrivers (not the alcoholic kind, I am totes skilled at those). Without him I shudder to think what the house would look like.

In short, my optimistic plan to put the house on the market in a week has been cancelled, replaced with a longer timeline of about 2-3 weeks. That should give me the time to properly prep the basement and stage the house so that prospective buyers will be dazzled by how gorgeous it is. ;) I also need to give the garden a lot of TLC. The grass is massively overgrown, and the weeds are trying for a takeover of the entire neighbourhood, I'm sure of it.

Okay, time to get back to work. I have to leave in about three hours, and I need to buy groceries before I leave, because I'll have the dog with me after that and therefore won't be able to stop in Ottawa the way I usually do. No leaving the doggie in the car on a hot day, after all. Oh, wait, no, I don't. I can buy my lunch at work tomorrow and go shopping in the evening after work. Excellent. That's a much better plan than my current one.

Here we go. See you on the flip side, LJ!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Random Sentences)
I have decided that in the New Year I'm going to make a point of writing here every day, even if it's just a couple of sentences or something. Until then, I'm going to try to at least post more often, maybe a couple of times a week.

Every time I think of posting here, I worry that I'll never be able to catch up on everything that's been happening that I haven't had time to post about. Then I feel overwhelmed and decide there's no point in even trying, and I creep away from LJ filled with guilt and regret. Wah. :P

So I'm not going to try to catch up. I'm just going to jump in where I am and hope people aren't too confused.

Quick bullet-point summary of significant events of the last year:

April: [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter moved in with Bean. We are all very happy, if adjusting. (:::ETA::: It occurs to me I shouldn't speak for them. I am very happy. I have no idea if they are, but if they aren't they haven't told me.)
June: I applied for a transfer to Ottawa
August: My transfer was accepted, and I was offered a permanent position with the RCMP. Whee!
September: I started work in Ottawa

Because [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter is still in the midst of her studies, and because we didn't want to pull Bean out of his wonderful new preschool, I kept the house in L'Ile Perrot and am renting a tiny (no, really, it's 8' x 11') room in Ottawa at an exorbitant price. I commute back and forth roughly every five to six days. In two years' time we will be selling the house and moving to Ontario permanently.

This year has also been the year of hospital visits (one each for Bean and [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter, though luckily in both cases it was for stuff that was easily treated with antibiotics), car accidents (one each for me and [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter, though in her case the accident wasn't her fault and in my case it was technically I who hit the other car—no injuries in either case and insurance covered all repairs) computer deaths (only one, but that was enough), and cat-assisted cell phone death.

In short, life right now is insane for me. Whenever I get a chance to be at home I cling there like a limpet because there are so many chores to do that I can never seem to get to the bottom of them all, and because I'm a homebody at heart and I hate having to spend so much time away from my family. I'm reasonably sure they don't enjoy my absences either (though in my more paranoid moments I wonder if they don't heave a sigh of relief when I'm not there screwing up the new routine).

I haven't been writing at all (creative or otherwise), because I'm a) really really busy with mundane things, b) really really exhausted from the new job and the new commute and general stress, c) perennially stressed out about money. All these things basically fuck up the headspace I need to be in in order to settle down and let the muse out to play. I'm hoping to change this in the New Year. I have vague plans that I hope will become more concrete to not only write but also finish my writing projects (something I'm notoriously bad at).

So, yeah, that's me in a nutshell. I'm open to questions if you have any about just what the heck's been going on with me these days. ;)

Happy trails!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Grin (Anna))
All that's left now is the unpacking, and working out all the details I probably missed, because there are always details.

Housewarming is set for October 31st, to coincide with my annual Hallowe'en party. That gives me a little under two weeks to unpack and get my ducks in a row. :)

Here is a slightly crooked picture of the house, taken with my iPhone.



The move itself went about as well as I could have hoped, but between work and running around and getting far too little sleep all week and then spending all of Saturday with not enough food/water and with boatloads of stress trying to coordinate movers, my parents, and extra furniture delivery, I managed to make myself physically ill by Sunday morning. (TMI FOLLOWS) Let's just say that I am a driving rockstar, because I managed to get violently sick to my stomach in the middle of Highway 20 with no place to pull over and yet did NOT crash my car or otherwise provoke an accident. I gotta say those 20 minutes rank in the Top Ten Most Unpleasant Moments of My Life™, though. And then I had to spend 20 minutes cleaning out the car at my parents', in the street. Blech. Luckily my mother was a star and put my clothes in the laundry right off and so we were able to continue with the day afterward.

I am short four curtain rods and short even more curtains. Also, a holder-thing for toilet paper. I can't believe the former owner took that with her. Who even does that? :P

I am excited, though. I have already hung one painting, and after today's trip to Canadian Tire, I will be unpacking and arranging more furniture.

Happy as a clam, here. :)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Fool's Prerogative)
I haven't even signed the papers for the house yet and I'm already sort of starting to have conniptions. Mostly it's because I feel kind of poor in the face of the vast sums of money I am being expected to disburse for this transaction.

Anyone know people looking to buy a kidney? :P


I've been back at work since yesterday after the longest vacation I have had the leisure to take in my entire professional life, but it really hasn't been long enough. Work is the same as always, and while I still like the work itself and my colleagues, there are some frustrations here that haven't actually gone away in my absence, as I'd hoped. The thing is that I've never mastered the art of being content in the face of administrative bullshit.

I don't suppose anyone out there has advice for how to be Zen about things and brainwash oneself into being content to go to one's job, do the best one can, and leave other things aside? Or, in short, how the hell does one overcome one's own tendency toward demand resistance and procrastination?

I don't know, but I really need to find out sooner rather than later. Thoughts? Tips? Resources? Bueller?


It also looks like work may not give me any time off the weekend I'm meant to move. That either means I have to switch shifts with someone (not likely, given how busy that weekend seems to be for everyone) or else maybe end up moving on the Monday following my weekend shift. Ew.


This is not the happy update I was hoping for, but I'm a little bit stressed. I will be very happy in about six weeks' time, when all of this will be behind me and I'll have new things to be stressed about, like how to build a retaining wall in my yard and figuring out how to extend my downspout and clean the leaves out of my gutters.

I also have a list as long as my arm of things I need to look into: good places to go running near my new place, buying a new fridge (my current one doesn't freaking fit in the new kitchen, much to my dismay), possibly getting a dryer for my clothes, all sorts of really boring things that are nonetheless taking up a great deal of CPU for me.

Anyway, you may now return to your regularly-scheduled lives after that scintillating and inspiring update on my life. :P
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)
Signing for the new house in early October. Moving-in date is tentatively set for October 15th, barring complications.

\o/


I don't suppose anyone out there would be willing to help out in exchange for copious amounts of beer and pizza? ;)

I'm also going to set the housewarming for as soon as possible after I move, so that it will motivate me to unpack everything rather than just stop when the house gets to be "livable."

o_O

Aug. 18th, 2011 01:59 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. (Aieeee!)
Oh my GOD moving companies are expensive.

I think I will resort to begging and bribing people with excessive amounts of pizza and beer...
mousme: Two open books, one lying on top of the other at an angle (Books)
The problem with being a financially responsible adult is the realization (often come to around 02:00) that, if I want to get most of my furniture in September, I probably won't be able to buy that megaton of books I wanted to get this summer. I have a very, very long list.

The furniture and appliances I want (and in some cases need, like the stove and fridge) are going to be expensive. This means that *gasp* I may have to defer my gratification wrt books. Oh noes! *grumble*

I have also had about seventeen plot bunnies leap unbidden into my brain in the past two days. I don't know what's going on with that, but I'm getting the itch to write again. This is probably a good sign. It usually takes about a year after I get into a job before I feel settled enough to write. So far I've been here a little over seven months, and while I don't know if I have the energy to start writing regularly, it's nice to know that the writing is still there. I can't remember the last time I sat down and wrote for hours. Actually, that's not true: I did it last November. Still, I wasn't happy with how the last NaNoWriMo turned out, and it kind of burned me out on writing for a while. I'm glad it's back. :)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Cunning Plan)
I now have ten weeks to finish my pre-move purge and pack my stuff. If we don't find a new tenant for my place in the interim, then I will be able to sand and re-varatan my floors after I've moved out, which will simplify my life considerably.

Since this weekend's plans have fallen through, I may hie myself off to Canadian Tire and buy a bunch of Rubbermaid boxes in which to house my books. I want to start packing, but I daren't leave cardboard boxes on the floor, where the cats may view them as fair game and pee on them. Especially not since they've developed good litter box habits: no sense leaving temptation lying in plain sight. Rubbermaid bins seems like a reasonable compromise, and I can always use them for something else later (vermicomposting or something).

I did a purge of the bathroom cabinets yesterday, and today, once I get back from taking George to the vet, I am going to attack some of the kitchen cupboards. The plan for the rest of the week is to purge the kitchen and the two closets in the dining room, as well as the three remaining boxes of Stuff that are lurking in my apartment, trying to fool me with their obfuscation skills. I am not fooled. My Auspex is greater than their Obfuscate, clearly. ("There is nothing to see here. We are a bush. Move along.") I have way too much stuff that I don't like and don't use, inherited along the way from various people to whom it didn't seem polite for me to say "no." So out it's all going to go. The less stuff I have, the less I have to move.

I'm back!

May. 14th, 2008 01:13 am
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)
We'll see how long it lasts. I'm up for another week with overtime, although I'm on days/evenings instead of nights, which is a blessing.

I spent most of last week sleeping. The original plan was to get a whole bunch of stuff done. Instead, my body decided that it was going to put me out of my misery by rendering me unconscious for the better part of five days. When I wasn't asleep, I had just about enough energy to play Dragon Quest VIII (and levelled up a whole bunch). I still cannot get over how much I slept. Appalling.

The weekend was spent at [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave's abode in the GFHW, along with [livejournal.com profile] toughlovemuse and [livejournal.com profile] chibipunkdemon. We went for a walk in the woods, saw a really cute mouse hiding under a log, climbed through a fence and hiked along the railroad tracks. There was knitting and crocheting, and more food than we knew what to do with, and on Saturday night we built a gigantic bonfire, around which we sat and drank scotch and un-scotch, and argued about Harry Potter and various other fun topics. I got tanned and everyone else got sunburned, and we had a fantastic time.

I got back Monday morning in time to pick up Gretzky from the vet (I boarded her there over the weekend because she needs antibiotics twice daily), brought her home, and came to work.

I feel as though I could easily take another two weeks' vacation. I barely saw the week go by, and while I feel okay, I feel about the same as I did before I started the Two Week Marathon Of Night Shift Doom. Luckily, I ought to have some more time off later this summer, unless an operation we have planned soon-ish goes south in a big way, in which case I can kiss my life goodbye.

The only part in all this that's stressing me out is the fact that my apartment is a gigantic unholy mess, yet again. I had it under control for a while, and after the past month it's a disaster. I need to un-disasterify it, first and foremost because I'm likely to be moving sooner rather than later. I have a floor to refinish, and all my stuff to pack, and in the state it is now there's no way in hell I'll ever be able to do any of it.

Gah.

Well, tomorrow is another day. With any luck I will be able to shrug off the feelings of overwhelm and panic and get myself to work on cleaning up, fifteen minutes at a time. That usually works well enough for me, once I get myself in gear.

In other news, my sanity appears to be mostly returned, after the Two Week Marathon Of Night Shift Doom. Whether or not I manage to retain it for the next three weeks remains to be seen.

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