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 view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Carpet Ship)
It's time for my anniversary bout of vertigo, apparently. This one doesn't seem as bad as usual, small mercies, but why it always picks my birthday to strike is beyond me. I need a better vertigo icon, as Snooch is having way too much fun in my current icon for it to be representative of how I feel.

On the plus side, since I took tomorrow off work for my birthday, I'll have plenty of time to recover. I'm also getting my sofas professionally cleaned tomorrow. The poor sofas have taken a beating since I got them nearly five years ago: they've survived a dog, eight cats, and a toddler. They've been peed on (toddler), thrown up on (toddler and cats), bled on (don't ask), sat upon (me and everyone else), shed upon (dog and cats), and generally abused all around. So they are overdue for a thorough cleaning. I should have gotten them scotch-guarded back when I had the option, but I guess hindsight is 20/20.

That's it for now. I have thoughts on writing and other projects this year, but I should probably give up before the vertigo gets too out of hand for me to be able to type and hit "post" on this entry. Stay tuned for more riveting sofa updates! :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. (Gone Out)
I've been back at work since last Tuesday. I'm doing a gradual return to work, which means three-day weeks for three weeks, then a four day week, then a five day week, and then back to my usual rotating shifts. Last week was four hours a day, this coming week will be six hours, then eight hours a day until I'm back on shift for my usual twelve hours.

For those of you who are confused, I normally work twelve-hour rotating shifts, on a schedule that repeats every four weeks. I've found a blank calendar template online, because sometimes seeing it on "paper" is more helpful. So when I start whining about my work schedule, this is what I'm talking about. Shifts start at 5:30 and finish at 5:30 regardless of whether it's a night shift or a day shift.

Calendar behind the cut )

Mental health stuff behind this cut )

I had a really full week, apart from work and the psychiatry appointment. It was my father's 75th birthday on Thursday, and we had two parties for him. The first was here at my house, where it was just me, him, and my mother. A low-key affair, where we went to see the exhibit of Elizabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun, which was a really fascinating peek into the politics of the time, as told through portraits. The woman had an extraordinary talent, and because she was a favourite of Marie Antoinette, she was able, like no other woman of her time, to gain acceptance to the Académie Royale de peinture et sculpture. It's most notable because the Académie was both super stuffy and conservative, and being a woman made you automatically ineligible. Because patriarchy.

I made my parents dinner on my new-to-me barbecue, and I wowed them. It's sometimes really heartwarming to see how my parents think that every little thing I do is magic. I did, however, make a fan-fucking-tastic meal. I'm a novice barbecuer, so I was rather worried about how things would turn out, but everything cooked to perfection, including the t-bone steaks I had bought and very lightly seasoned for the occasion. I also grilled portobello mushrooms, which had been marinaded for a few minutes in garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar (next time I am going to halve the amount of vinegar, because I felt it overwhelmed the delicate taste of the mushrooms), corn on the cob, green and yellow zucchini, and a variety of peppers. It was a feast, and we capped it off with a homemade chocolate cake.

The chocolate cake was a bit of an adventure. I am not a skilled baker, and I nearly broke one of the cake layers while cooling it, and the icing (which should be a simple process) had more drama than I would have liked. The first thing I did wrong was ignore my instincts, which told me to melt the chocolate in a double boiler, and tried to melt it in the microwave. BIG mistake. Chocoloate is super delicate, burns like a motherfucker, and smells terrible. So I started over with a double boiler, then dumped the ingredients into a bowl before realising that I was supposed to do them in a specific order. Oops. Not to worry, I thought, it's just buttercream icing, I'm sure it'll be fine if I blend it as is. I then tried to add 1 tsp of vanilla extract from my brand-new bottle. It had a convenient squeezy-top thing to allow me to carefully measure out the vanilla without spilling, which was a great idea—right up until the squeezy-top thing popped off and literally 3/4 of a cup of vanilla gushed into the bowl. I quickly donned my superhero cape and managed to drain most of the vanilla into the sink without sacrificing the other ingredients, and managed to salvage the whole mess, but let's just say that the icing tasted way more of vanilla than it did of chocolate.

Luckily the cake still turned out okay, if slightly lopsided, because I still don't know how to level or tort a cake.
work calendar example.png

When I'm done with my dog training course, I may sign up for a Wilton cake decorating class. It would be nice to know how to make a cake that doesn't look like it narrowly escaped a harrowing death. ;)

For posterity, here are a few other highlights of that evening's dinner:
Birthday photos! )

On Friday I drove to Montreal for the second party, which was a surprise party. My party was a decoy, so that my father wouldn't know there was a surprise party for him. He was, for the record, very surprised, and quite touched. All but one of his brothers and sisters were there (one sister lives in France and is having health issues), and we had a sumptuous dinner that my mother cooked (I went up early and helped her). I don't particularly like my father's family (they range from bigots to self-important blowhards to unpleasant cynics), but I can put a good game face on and so can they, and so we all made an effort and it went really well overall. My father is incredibly loyal to his family (and slightly blind to their faults), so he was incredibly moved that we'd all gone to such lengths for his birthday.

In short, a really busy, but good week.

Oh, and before I forget, today was also my first day of dog training classes. I was late because I misunderstood the time, but as it was the first course I didn't miss much. It was all introductions and whatnot. I'll have a better idea of things next week, I think.
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
My doctor has given me two weeks off work, with an appointment to reassess at that time, to see where we're at. She and I agreed that my work has put too many demands on me at once, and that I definitely need time off to recharge and reboot, as she put it, but that I also need to make sure that they accommodate me more upon my return. I'm not sure how realistic that is, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Accommodation is all well and good, but part of our problem is that there is literally no one to do the job except the few of us who are there. Still, that doesn't mean it's a good idea for me to burn myself out trying to keep the place afloat. They can manage without me for a while.

She also will be setting me up with an ear/nose/throat specialist for testing, so we can determine the extent of my hearing loss in my right ear. Because yay Menière's Disease! Ugh.

I've spent the last two days in waiting rooms. After a nice week off last week, this week has been kind of stressful. Sergent came back from the kennel (I was in Montreal for the weekend) with no appetite, and after he'd refused any kind of food for three days, threw up what little I got him to eat, and developed diarrhea, I got worried. By the time we were ready to go to the emergency vet he was so wobbly that I had to lift him into the car. $800 later, and we're not sure what's wrong with him. It's nothing visibly serious: no obstructions in his digestive tract, no tumours, and his blood work came back squeaky clean except for one liver value that always tends to read high on him (ALP, if memory serves). In fact, he has the x-rays and the blood work of a really young dog, except for how he can't walk well and has no energy. So he got an antiemetic, an antibiotic, a new painkiller in case the old painkiller for his arthritis was irritating his stomach, an injection of something to reduce his stomach acidity, and an unofficial prescription for me to feed him ground beef and rice for a few days to keep his stomach settled. I'm still worried about him, because he's still super wobbly today, and seems to be having trouble walking well (one hind leg keeps slipping around, as if he can't quite move it the way it's supposed to go). I've been watching him like a paranoid mother hen, trying to figure out if his breathing seems more laboured than usual or if I'm imagining it.

So much has happened in the past few weeks, I feel hard-pressed to try to address it all. There was the Orlando shooting (which I did  talk about in a previous entry), and then there was the Brexit vote, not to mention several other mass shootings, and ISIL suicide bombers targeting people in Istanbul during Ramadan, of all times (not that there's a good time to be a suicide bomber, but Ramadan seems particularly egregious in  terms of timing). It feels like the whole world is swinging to extremes again, and with the threat of the European Union slowly coming apart at the seams, I can't help but see shadows of the first half of the 20th century, which almost all of humanity spent at war with one another. There is so much fear, so much hatred, being spewed about, that it's really hard to push through it to see the good in humanity as well. The bad news rises to the top, and is always accessible. Finding the good is always a lot more work, and there are days when it's hard to remember to even look for it.

According to a topic trending on Twitter, today is Heterosexual Pride Day, which... wow. Just wow. I don't know who came up with that, but that is pretty terrible. The LGBT community has a pride day/month that was "not born out of a need to celebrate being gay, but instead our right to live without prosecution. [...] So maybe instead of wondering why there isn't a straight pride month or movement, straight people should be thankful they don't need one." (Quote by L.Z. Granderson)

I'll try to come up with some nice things to post about after this very depressing entry. I had a good time last week, overall: I saw my parents, I went to a friend's birthday party, I ran a D&D game, and it was all really nice. The world around me seems to have gone to shit, though, and it's hard to reconcile good things on a small scale with terrible things on a large scale.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Can't Cope)
I haven't posted as often as I told myself I would. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Feelings-vomit about burnout )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Canadian Borg)
Amazing how quickly I became dependent on this tiny piece of tech. It started saying "No Signal" on Boxing Day. At first it was intermittent, then it became chronic with intermittent bursts of reception, but it's been dead for 48 hours now. I could still use the data features if I had access to wifi, and a lot of my apps are not network-dependent, so it was livable for a little while. Still, kind of defeats the purpose of a cell phone if I can't call or text or use my data plan, right?

My nose is rather out of joint about this. It's a new phone. It's the one I got to replace the one which had an unfortunate kayaking-related death back in August, which makes it less than six months old. My old iPhone 4s lasted four years without so much as a blip! I understand planned obsolescence is a thing, but this is ridiculous.

So I contacted Apple today, and the helpful tech walked me through some troubleshooting (aside from the troubleshooting I did on my own beforehand), which did nothing. He then instructed me to reset my phone to factory default... which killed it. Dead. So very dead. See, it turns out that if your phone can't get a signal, it can't reinitialise itself. *beats head on desk* So now I have nothing at all on my phone (annoying, as I liked having my calendar and my alarm clock still accessible, for instance).

The closest appointment they could give me? Tuesday afternoon. YIKES. I have to reschedule a vet appointment for it, to boot (grr). Also, it likely means that I won't have my phone for quite some time, if they decide to send it in for repairs. Amusingly, the helpful tech offered me a potentially earlier appointment in Pointe Claire. Uh, no thank you, dude. That is two hours away. When I said I guessed he must not be local, he confirmed my suspicions, and was rather startled when I told him Pointe Claire was in another province. :P

The only good news in all of this is that I actually got a landline about six weeks ago, so I'm not completely cut off from phone service the way I was the last time this happened. Eesh.

I'm still thinking about New Year's Resolutions. I think one of them may well be to get myself a paper address book, and a paper agenda, so that I'm not completely screwed by the absence of my phone anymore.

You know, you never hear about the Borg not getting a signal. I bet that would really fuck up the Collective.
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 Worship)

Clearly, it's not working for me. I used to post to LJ a million times a day, but that was before Twitter gave me an outlet for all those random thoughts that pop into my head that I feel compelled to share with the world. ;)

So nowadays I wait until I feel I have something of substance to say in order to post here, but let's face it, I rarely have anything of substance to say these days. It's all fleeting thoughts and superficial impressions, all the time!

Volunteering and Google Alert Weirdness! )

Rambling about routines and health and sleep and stuff )

I think later this week I'll make a more upbeat post with all the new projects I want to do in my copious amounts of spare time. Those are a lot more fun than all this whining about being tired and out of shape and not having enough time or energy to do things. So, an upbeat post to look forward to!

This has been a rambly, long-winded post. Thank you for bearing with me as I basically process everything in my head out loud. ;)

mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Carpet Ship)
The universe rewarded me for turning 36 with a wicked bout of vertigo in the middle of my night shift, which I was working alone. So I had to call my boss in disgrace for the second time in six months and crawl home and wait for death, but not before I ended up puking in the trash can at work because I couldn't make it to the bathroom. It was extra humiliating. /o\ I also had to cancel my first ever volunteer session at Shepherds of Good Hope, which also sucked.

So things are a little like my icon, but without the vodka, and it's not nearly as fun as it looks.

I spent today curled up with my laptop, posted some fanfiction and took a nap. I also did dishes, so that today wouldn't be a total write-off. I'm scheduled to have a Skype chat with my parents later on too, which will be nice. The world has (mostly) stopped spinning, and moving doesn't make me throw up anymore, so that's a win. :)

Now seems like as good a time as any to talk about my plans for the year. I've decided not to do "resolutions" in the traditional sense of the word. That being said, I do have a lot on my plate for the foreseeable future.

2015 behind the cut! )

Anyway, that concludes my lengthy rambling about what I have in mind for the year. I'd promise to post more, but that's probably a lie. I seem to go through phases when I post a lot, and others in which I post only sporadically or not at all, and I think I'll just stick to that. I'll post when I feel I have something of value to share, and that will have to suffice.

Happy New Year again, everyone!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Always Summer)
I've been having some internet issues. My new provider leaves something to be desired, alas. Connectivity problems aside, it's been a busy few weeks anyway.

I think I mentioned that the move went pretty well, overall. I haven't yet recovered from the exhaustion that came after a month of packing up the house, running the pets to and from various veterinarians, wrangling my parents, running back and forth to sign off on various papers for the house sale, and the actual move itself. That's not even counting all the unpacking I've been doing of late.

House stuff )

Pet stuff )

A brief digression about plans I have for the near future )

Yes, I know, most of you are rolling your eyes and thinking something along the lines of: "Great. Phnee is on another self-improvement kick." What can I say? If at first you don't succeed try, try again. After all, there is a lot about myself I need to work on. I do think that, on the whole, I've improved at least a little as a person in the 12 (nearly 13!) years since I started this journal. That being said, there is a whole lot of room for improvement.

Anyway, I'm going to stop here, because this entry has gotten huge without my noticing. I'll try to update a bit more regularly, but no promises. :)
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 [ 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 [ 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. (End of the World)
Working a 78-hour week. 7 days, although one of those was a half-day (yesterday). Back home Sunday night, then I get a full day at home on Monday, then it's back to Ottawa for another 60-hour week next week.

So, yeah. Busy busy busy.

I have ten million things to do on Monday, all of them time consuming. No idea how I'm going to get it all done, but whatever, I'll improvise. I might be able to do some of them on Tuesday morning, too, before I get going.

There you have it, the main reason I haven't been posting: I am insanely busy. Also very stressed, but that's not new.

I hope the universe is treating all of you better than it's treating me these days. :)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Clever Canadians)
Well, I didn't miss it so much as I slept through it. Night shifts will do that to you.

Happy belated Canada Day, everyone! *cough*

I have at once very little and too much to talk about these days, so much so that every time I open up a new LJ post my mind kind of goes blank. Part of me feels guilty about making a personal post when I still haven't finished my June posts, and another part of me just doesn't even know where to begin with a personal post anyway.

*throws up hands*

Neurotic? Me? Never. :P

Tonight is my last night shift for the week. I'm heading home directly after this because the fence guys are coming at 7:00, and I am quite sure that unless someone is there to guide them with a firm hand, they will find more reasons to freak out and not build a fence for me. It's been three weeks now since the last time they were supposed to build the fence, and I'll be damned if I let this get put off a single day more.

On Thursday I have a guy coming in to install the new floor in the basement, which means that tomorrow (technically today, I guess) I'll be spending the day moving all the stuff out of the basement so he can work. Well, all the stuff that can be moved, I suppose. I can't move any of the appliances (too heavy), and there's the giant wall unit that will have to be taken apart before it can be moved. Also the turtle tank, though we can at least empty that and move the turtle as needed. There is so much stuff in the basement right now that it feels a little overwhelming, but I figure once I get started it won't be as bad as I imagine. I've always had the tendency to blow things out of proportion in my mind, after all.

I'm not sure how long the floor will take to install, but I'm assuming it'll be a 2-3 day job, given that there will be furniture to move around. That means that he will hopefully be done by Saturday, or Sunday at the latest, which means that the house can then go up for sale ASAP. If he's done on Saturday then I can get stuff settled back in the basement on Sunday. On Thursday and Friday, while the work is going on in the basement I'm going to do a big push to pack non-essentials and start the process of "staging" the house, to make it look as appealing as possible to potential buyers. That means de-cluttering the bedroom in particular, packing some of the books and organising the rest, and clearing up space on shelves and counters and such. Hopefully the buyers will be able to see past the piles of boxes and throw all their money at me. ;)

If the house doesn't provoke much interest right away, I will discuss painting with my real estate agent. I already need to paint at least one wall in the basement, and will probably need to fix/paint the back wall that Smudge damaged all those years ago when he used to use the wall as a ladder to climb up into the basement ceiling to hide. There are pretty deep scratch marks in the wall that I have no idea how to fix, but I assume putty and paint will be involved.

Long before the emergency in Moncton, I committed to three days of overtime next week. Just the thought of it kind of makes me want to weep from exhaustion, but the extra money will come in useful, I suppose. I just don't know when I'm going to get anything done. Even if/when the house will be empty eventually, I kind of have to be there in order to get work done. I can't paint the walls remotely, no matter how hard I try. ;) At this point, getting the house painted by someone else is pretty much out of the question, as I have officially run out of money for renovations/prettying the place up. If I can find inexpensive white paint I can do it myself, since I can't imagine it would cost that much to buy enough paint for the walls, but I can't afford to pay someone else to do it. *sigh* Why is everything expensive?

This weekend the dog goes back to the vet, speaking of expensive things. The good news is, he doesn't have Cushings. The bad news is that he has Something Unspecified going on with his liver, which means blood tests AND taking him to the very expensive clinic in Lachine for an ultrasound. This will let the vet determine (we hope!) if his high levels of ALP are due to a tumour or to something else or who the fuck knows. He'll also be getting the stitches out of his eyelid on Saturday, which will be good news for all concerned. Here's hoping that that's the last we will ever hear about this eye surgery, because there's been quite enough veterinary trauma to last me a lifetime this year.

I'm not entirely sure how Sunday is going to shape up. I think I'm going to have to plan to leave later than I normally would, since I'm going to be gone for a week instead of the normal four days. So I have to pack as much stuff into the four days I'll be home as I humanly can, to make sure that I don't fall too far behind schedule. Then I'll be home the following Sunday evening, all of Monday, and then run back to work on the Tuesday for another five day stretch. Good times. Basically, July can be summed up as renos-work-work-renos-packing-work-work-work-try to sell the house-work-work-packing-work. Or something like that. Possibly not exactly in that order, and maybe with more work thrown in there for good measure.

So that's the summary of the last few days for me. Nothing at all, except for worrying about work, the house, and the dog, not necessarily in that order either.
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)
I spent most of yesterday out of the house, so I didn't write my June 24th entry. I have a busy-ish day ahead of me today, so I may end up lagging behind a bit on those lengthier posts once again. Bear with me. :)

Had a great day yesterday with [ profile] luvenditti. We hung out, chatted for most of the day, and I got to see her new house. It's a really awesome house, for the record. If mine weren't so great, I'd be jealous. Then there was the traditional St-Jean Baptiste/birthday party at her parents' place, and I got to catch up with friends I hadn't seen in a very long time.

I left a bit later than I intended, and then got caught in a torrential downpour on the way back, so it took me a lot longer to get home than I would have liked. As a result, I am even more tired than I was before. Ugh.

My plans are all awry this week. I'm not sure how to fix all of it, alas. Mostly I just want to go back to bed and take a seven week nap.

Anyway, I will update a bit later, definitely by tonight. Stay tuned!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (If Life Were Fair)
Sleep has decided that it is not for me. Between the literal pain in my neck and some other factors, I am looking at another three hours of waiting until Bean and [ profile] pdaughter get up for the day. So I'm using the time to catch up on Orphan Black, which is getting better with each passing episode. I can't express how much I love this show, and Tatiana Maslany is phenomenal. She basically carries this whole show, and plays anywhere from three to five characters per episode, which just makes my head spin. She always manages to make me forget that it's always her playing these people, because she makes them so different from each other, hair and makeup aside. Granted, she has great writing to work with, but still, even great writing needs a great actress to make it come to life, and this show delivers on both.

The vet decided it would be awesome to send me a card with some of George's fur taped inside it and his paw prints in ink alongside their condolences. I wasn't expecting to see that when I opened the envelope (honestly, I was expecting a reminder for Sergent's surgery), and I almost burst into tears. It might be a nice gesture if your cat died peacefully, but really all it did was stir up the horrific trauma of watching him get his head bashed in by a car and then bleeding to death in my arms. Thanks, vet. That was so thoughtful. >_< Also, it means they must have taken the prints off his corpse. Who even does that? It's gruesome. Christ.

This morning the guys are supposed to show up to build the fence. I really hope they get it done today in spite of what appears to be a suspicious lack of garden gate included with the delivery of the materials in my absence. It sounds like before they start they're going to expect me to saw off several branches of my lilac tree, which is going to be interesting given how much my neck and shoulder hurt. :P Once they're set up and busy building, my plan is to go to Réno Dépot and give them an earful about how rude their subcontractor was with me. This whole situation has been a bit of a shambles ever since I left for Moncton, and I am very displeased with the level of service I received. While I'm there I guess I'll pick up the remaining paving slab I need for the yard. Also, does anyone have any tips on splitting a paving slab diagonally? I have a weirdly shaped empty spot in my arrangement of paving slabs, and if I split one right down the middle it would likely fit almost perfectly, but I have no idea how to do that.  I should pick up a couple of bags of soil and some grass seed for the area around the slabs, too, to make it look a little better.

If they get here early enough I'm also going to take part of the afternoon to take myself clothes shopping (blech). It's a necessary evil, I suppose. My summer wardrobe is no longer appropriate for work at all. It's shabby and worn and most of it has holes in it now. *sigh* If not, I guess the clothes will have to wait until Wednesday, since everything will be closed on Tuesday.

I also have to chase down the guy for the basement floor, because I damned well need to get this house sold and he's been ignoring my calls for two weeks. As it is, my real estate agent tells me that the market dips right after St. Jean Baptiste, so that ship has sailed. At this point I'm wondering if I'm going to need to resign myself to the notion of losing my damned shirt on this house and continuing to haemorrhage money for the foreseeable future. All I can do is hope that I can make it through the next eleven and a half months without going bankrupt or ruining my credit permanently, or both. Although going bankrupt would ruin my credit permanently, I suppose. I don't know, I'm tired and my brain is fried. :P

I am feeling guilty about not using the time I'm awake to get some creative writing done, but honestly I don't have the focus for it right now. The best I can manage is this really disjointed LJ entry. So, uh, lucky you guys, you get to read my 3am ramblings! Isn't that exciting?

That's it for now, I suppose. I can't think of anything else to say.


I just remembered I need to go to U-Haul and buy boxes today so I can start packing, too. Tomorrow it'll be closed, and I want to pack then anyway as well as Wednesday, so the longer I wait the less time I'll have for that this week.

Also, laundry. I am in desperate need of a shower, so once everyone is awake I'll take a shower and then do all the laundry. If I can get everything on my list for today done, it will free up the next couple of days for the things that can't be moved around, like birthday parties and vet appointments and dinner with my parents on Wednesday.

So, yeah. Busy busy busy.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Meer!)
Sorry, been AFK for a few days. Since Sunday, at the very least. It's been a bit of a busy week, what with Easter and Bean having the Gastro That Would Not Go Away, though [ profile] pdaughter is the one who ended up dealing with the latter for the better part of the week, as I had to head back to Ottawa for work on Tuesday afternoon. I suppose that, aside from that, it hasn't been much busier than usual, though it felt that way.

Cut for complaining )

Food! And also nutrition! And general health stuff! )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Frozen Dreams)
I woke up from a rather distressing dream and told myself I should remember it for later so I could write it down. Of course it has faded considerably since then, but I'm hoping I can reconstruct it well enough.

I was at home and got a call that an elderly relative of mine had gotten into trouble. In the dream I knew this was a great-aunt on my father's side who was suffering from some kind of dementia, and while I barely knew her, I knew that I couldn't just leave her at the police station where she'd been brought after she was found wandering, because no one else in my family were going to go get her.

The trouble was that this was in a place I'd never been to before, and I was worried I wouldn't be able to find it. I entered the coordinates on the GPS in my car, and drove as far as I could manage following the instructions. I arrived close to where the GPS told me it was supposed to be and parked the car, then realised that my destination was further than I thought. Still, since I had parked the car, I decided to continue on foot, convinced that it couldn't be all that far. I had brought the dog with me, so I knew that it would do him some good to do some walking.

My optimism was short-lived, however. No matter how hard I tried to get to my destination, the more I got turned around. I was in a place with extremely steep hills, and I keep getting progressively more tired as I went up and down the various streets, trying to find my way. I pulled out my phone to see if the GPS on that would help me find my way, but no matter how much I tried to follow the directions, the blue dot on the map was always maddeningly just out of reach. It was as if the streets were moving just enough to keep me from getting there, changing directions and even their orientation as needed.

Eventually I ran into the station commander, who immediately began berating me for not getting to the police station. He didn't want to hear about my difficulties finding the place, and talked right over me. He yelled at me in the middle of the street, accusing me of wanting to leave my elderly relative without assistance, and of being a generally useless human being. Didn't I care about my family? I should be trying harder to take care of them, not fucking around doing things only for myself. I was a horrible, selfish person who didn't do anything for her family, he continued, and if it was up to him it would be a offence punishable by prison.

Anyway, I woke up without ever finding my elderly relative or the police station. It seems even my subconscious thinks I'm a useless asshole. :/
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Deeper than swords)
Work has been stupidly busy lately. We had a fairly serious incident tonight, which alas I can't divulge, but it kept me hopping for a good six hours. It could have been much worse, of course, so I'm glad for that, but it didn't make for a quiet night shift. Now I barely have four hours left and I still have all my regular work to do.

*falls over*

In other news, I am still tired. You know how some people say they don't remember ever not feeling tired? That's not actually the case with me. I remember a time when I didn't constantly feel like I was on the verge of collapse, but that was well over a year ago. My job has always been demanding, and during the winter of 2008-2009 I worked so many hours that by the end I looked like someone had punched me in both eyes.

This is not the same situation, of course. I'm not working much overtime at all, but there's a lot more commuting involved in my life, and unlike before I can't just take one of my days off to just sit back and watch movies or read books or something. There's always a million things to be done when you're not single anymore, and I can't justify taking time for myself when I could be cleaning or running errands or something.

Part of me is pretty sure I can't be as tired as I think I am. I am trying to figure out if I'm just imagining this, or malingering, or at least blowing this all out of proportion, but the internet has been unhelpful, and I won't be getting my test results back from the doctor for quite some time. The internet mostly seems interested in determining whether other people are malingering, which is not what I want. The one questionnaire I found resulted in a "yes" answer no matter what information I entered, because the end conveniently linked me to the websites pay-per-use psychiatry consultation services. I think that there might be some bias there. :P

Anyway, I am looking forward to a long weekend at home. It's Easter Weekend, and I'll be seeing my parents on Saturday and hopefully spending all of Sunday at home watching Bean hunt for Easter eggs. Because of the overtime and Bean's birthday (which meant switching shifts around like crazy) I haven't actually been home as much in the past few weeks, and I'm looking forward to some "down" time. By which I mean, "time not spent in Ottawa," since there's very little that qualifies as "down" about my life these days. Like I said before, the days of being able to take a day to recover from work are long since past. It's not a bad trade-off, just one that's taking some getting used to.


Apr. 8th, 2014 10:41 pm
mousme: A picture of the muppet Forgetful Jones from Sesame Street (Forgetful Jones)
Thank goodness for the fact that I always put things in my phone and my computer calendars with alerts. The fact that I basically have no short-term memory these days has made me paranoid, so I tend to make back-ups of my back-ups when it comes to important dates. It turns out that my doctor's appointment is tomorrow, not in two weeks. If it weren't for the pop-up reminders on my phone and computer, I would have missed it completely. Eesh.

This is good news, though. Instead of waiting another two weeks the way I thought I'd have to, it feels like I'm getting a "head start" now.

At [ profile] griffen's suggestion, I'm going to try to write down three things every day for which I'm grateful, in the hopes that it will turn my mind in more positive directions than it's been going of late.

So, in no particular order:

1- I'm grateful for our medicare system, which ensures that I can get treatment for whatever might be wrong with me without worrying about how I'm going to pay for it, ever.

2- I'm grateful for my job, where I am treated well and compensated more than fairly for my work, and where my boss believes in treating all his employees like actual human beings.

3- I'm also grateful for my family, because there can never be enough love in the world.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Virtual Timbits!)
I have been a terrible person to be around lately, both online and in person.

I'm going to try much, much harder to be better than I am. I kind of lost track of my goals in the last few weeks, especially once I started looking for another place to live, but even before then.

My resolution not to complain has been a total bust so far. I just can't seem to help myself. Resolution #1 is to try harder not to complain. I have it pretty good, especially when compared to most. No more complaining, self. This is the last post in which you get to do that.

I also have not been good at doing basic things to ensure good health. My eating habits are... well, they're okay but not great. I already decided to try the mason jar salad things, and in the interest of promoting better health, I'm going to try a few things in the coming weeks.

  • Walk 30 minutes a day. Preferably shortly after "breakfast," but otherwise whenever I can squeeze it in. Take the dog with me when I'm home so he gets some exercise too.

  • Stop drinking caffeinated beverages (coffee especially)

  • Cut back drastically on my sugar intake

  • Plan healthy meals for myself when I'm on my own

  • Take my vitamins/supplements every day

I am going to make a more concerted effort to clean and tidy both my living spaces. I've been doing maintenance rather than in-depth cleaning (like dishes, or surface cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom), and I need to do a lot more than that. I will have to find a way to keep myself accountable for this, but I haven't thought of a good way to do that yet. Related to this, I need to finish organising the books in the bedroom and do another sorting of my clothes to get rid of some of the things I don't wear or that's too old or that doesn't fit anymore. I have overall too much stuff that's taking up too much space in the house, so I'm going to try to cull unnecessary things in the coming months. I guess it could be considered spring cleaning/reorganisation. :)

I've been letting myself sleep in on the days I'm home, sometimes not getting up until 07:30 or nearly 08:00 when the rest of the family is up at 06:00 or 06:30. This needs to change. I'm going to set a (very quiet) alarm for 07:00, to make sure I'm not oversleeping, because these days there is no way I can drag myself out of bed before then without an alarm.

I am also going to work a lot harder to find additional sources of revenue.

No idea if any of this is going to work, but I'm damned well going to try. Self-improvement for the win.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Clever Canadians)
I failed at getting up early today. Every so often on a commute day I'm able to get up by noon, but today that didn't happen. I wish I knew the secret of those people who manage to function really well on four hours of sleep a day. It feels like it would solve at least a few of my problems. At the very least I'd be able to drive home directly after work instead of having to come back here to sleep. Every time I drive home right after work I'm forced to stop halfway there at an On Route to nap in the car lest I cause an accident.

All that's left for me now is to pack up my stuff and make a detour to buy milk. I still have to wash and put away the dishes, too. Even if I weren't leaving, I found out the hard way that leaving dishes in the drying rack is a capital offence as far as my landlady is concerned. I left a plate, a pot and some cutlery to dry overnight, and got a very passive-aggressive "Oh, you're just leaving all your dishes there, I see," from her. This despite the fact that I was going to be the first person up the next morning, when I always put away dry dishes. I keep this kitchen cleaner than the one at home, but it seems that's not enough. Yet another reason to find a new place to stay, I think. This "You pay rent but I don't want to ever know you're here and also keep your stuff out of the common areas except when I want to use it" attitude is getting wearying to deal with.

In the meantime, I have decided that I don't want to be a negative presence on LiveJournal. No one wants to hear my complaining. So I'm going to try very hard to give up complaining in general. Here and on Twitter and IRL. If you never hear from me again, you'll know it's because I had nothing else to say. ;) But seriously, I have become an awful person lately and I don't like it. So, new leaf. No more complaining, ever. It won't be easy, because I do seem to enjoy complaining an awful lot and often I don't even realise I'm doing it. So if you catch me at it, you have my permission to verbally smack me upside the head and tell me not to be such a Debbie Downer.


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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